Easterseals SoCal partners with Disability Film Challenge

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By Scott A. Capestany – Editor In Chief

Hollywood, CA

In a move to support one of the most under represented groups in the entertainment industry, the Easterseals organization partnered with the LA based Disability Film Challenge founded by producer, actor, writer and stand up comedian Nic Novicki this Spring.

As we continue our coverage of the unique and diverse sectors within the entertainment industry, we got a chance to sit down with Novicki poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt to learn more about his endeavor and recent premier affiliation with the Easterseals.

Q: Tell us about the evolution of the Disability Film Challenge and how the Easterseals got involved this year.

A:  A handful of years ago I came up with the idea to start the disability film challenge to help bring awareness and to support people in the entertainment industry whom have disabilities.  Over 56 million people in the US live with some form of disability.  My mission with this film challenge was designed to help these marginalized groups within the creative space have a platform to showcase their unique projects through This year we had more submissions in the four years of the challenge running while establishing wonderful sponsorships  and support allegiances with DELL, CBS Diversity and SAG-AFTRA.  

Q:  Tell us about your personal connection to this cause of disability performing artists in the industry?

Nic Novicki 1

Nic Novicki Founder of Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

A:  Being that I personally represent one of the many recognized disability groups in the US, I’ve always had to carve out my own path in this industry by creating my own roles and hustle harder than most.   I’ve had the privilege over the years to partner with so many talented people and organizations in the creative space over the course of career that all supported by vision by bringing the film challenge idea to reality in the last handful of years.  Becoming a mentor with CBS diversity not only has helped me in my own career as a performer with disabilities but more importantly has helped bring to light the lack of diversity at the studio level.    

Q:  How does the Easterseals Disability Film challenge work?

A: We just completed our fourth year this Spring.  People in the entertainment space with and without disabilities are encouraged to participate in our challenge. Each team produces a short film within 55 hours over the course of one full weekend lasting no more than five minutes showcasing at least one member of the cast or crew with a disability.  Prior to the challenge, each participating team is emailed a short list of elements involving a genre/theme, prop/locations that need to be included in the film.

Q: Tell us about the categories and prizes the winners receive.

A:  This year we partnered with DELL to offer our winners in four categories brand new computers.  We also partnered with Hollyshorts Film Festival (now an Oscar qualifying festival) to screen our winning films at the famous and iconic TCL Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd in August.  We’ve got four unique achievement categories that filmmakers content for each year.  Best Film, Best Filmmaker, Best Actor and Best Promotional Campaign. Winners for 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Leaders from both Easter Seals and CBS Entertainment Diversity also shared with us more about their new partnerships with Nic’s endeavor.  Senior Vice President of Entertainment Diversity & Communications at CBS Entertainment Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i offered these remarks about their involvement.

 Q: Tell us about working with Nic Novicki and how CBS Entertainment Diversity supports his vision of the Easterseals Film Challenge.

A: Nic is a former participant of our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. It was his undeniable talent and dedication to the program that paved the way for our continuous communication. When Nic presented his project to us we were thrilled. It is so rewarding to see former showcase participants take charge and continue to advocate for diversity in entertainment, especially on behalf of the largest and most underrepresented minority in the United States. Our support is beyond question.

Q: What type of support and scope of collaboration is involved with your sponsorship? 

A: In addition to judging the submissions, a major aspect of our collaboration is having the pleasure of spending time with the winners and mentoring them to help define the next step in their careers. It is essential for these creatives to continue to develop professional relationships not only with executives but among their peers to build a strong network with opportunities and resources.

Q: Tell us more about CBS Entertainment Diversity program/s

A: Along with our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, our department manages five additional programs for writers, directors, actors and students that like the Easterseals film challenge, aim to showcase the talent of individuals with diverse backgrounds, both in front and behind the camera. These programs create a talent pipeline that CBS and other network counterparts can utilize. We are proud to say that every year we witness participants making headway in their careers.  More information on these programs can be found at www.cbsdiversity.com

Best Film: 2017 Winner Cory Reeder (“Best Friend”) – The Best Film award is presented to the leading producer based on the film’s incorporation of the required elements (theme, props and locations), production quality and plotline. PRIZE: The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with Speechless creator Scott Silveri, one Dell mobile workstation and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Best Filmmaker:  2017 Winner JONATHAN JOHNSON (“Sibings Liebencrantz”) -The Best Filmmaker award is presented to the director of the film with the most outstanding direction of acting, cinematography and storytelling. Dependent upon the genre/theme, judges base their decision on the director’s ability to evoke emotions in specific scenes as well as surrounding the overall film as appropriate. PRIZEThe award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actor, writer, and director Randall Park, one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres

Best Actor: 2017 Winner JAMIE BREWER (“Whitney’s Wedding”) – The Best Actor award is presented to the actor with the most memorable performance. Judges consider the complexity of the character and the actor’s ability to take on this challenging role. PRIZE: The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with actress, writer, producer, and activist Amy Brenneman one Dell 2-in-1 computer and a spot to screen their film at the HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres.

Best Awareness Campaign: The Best Awareness Campaign award is presented to the leading producer for the team that raises the most awareness for their film through marketing strategies. Judges will review the YouTube videos for number of overall views, shares, likes, and press coverage. PRIZE:  The award recipient will receive a mentorship opportunity with the Executive Vice President of Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications at CBS Entertainment, Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i.

Q: Tell us about the mentors and judges that are involved in the challenge.

A: The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge provides both an opportunity to hone filmmakers skills and the chance to interact with well seasoned entertainment industry professionals and have their work scrutinized and screened by some very well established filmmakers . We’re proud to work with producers, writers, directors, casting directors and other crew members in two ways. Our Mentors meet with each of our winners to give advice on building a career in “the business.”  All mentors and judges can be found on their website HERE. 

We also got a chance to connect with the MARK WHITLEYPresident and CEO of Easter Seals Southern California who shared with us some great insight on his organizations new sponsorship of the program.

Q: How is Easterseals Southern California working with Nic Novicki and supporting his vision?
A: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Nic Novicki on this year’s Easterseals Disability Film Challenge — Nic has built the Challenge to be a premier annual event showcasing the power of diversity.  Through this partnership, we hope to continue Nic’s vision of encouraging and highlighting the tremendous talent and stories that exist within the disability community.”
Q: Tell us about the impact the sponsorship will have on Easterseals SC mission statement in supporting people with disabilities.
A: “We continually strive to change the way the world defines and views disability — storytelling through film is a unique and powerful way to continue the conversation and shift people’s perception.  The Challenge is a new opportunity to support and highlight the skills of individuals with disabilities.”
Q: How does the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge enhance your organizations directives?
“The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge enhances all of our various service areas — including Adult Day Services, Living Options, Employment Services, the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program, Child Development Services and our Autism Therapy Services — by telling stories that showcase a variety of individuals will all levels of ability, we can showcase the amazing ways individuals with disabilities contribute to society.”
4. Share with us the type of support you are now offering Nic with with endeavor. 
“We are supporting the Easterseals Disability Challenge in many ways.  We launched a completely redesigned website, did extensive traditional and social media outreach, implemented a targeted online and print advertising effort to encourage filmmakers to apply as well as created and distributed a variety of collateral materials to support the Challenge.” 
This year, the EASTERSEALS partnered with Novicki making his creation officially the “Easterseals Disability Film Challenge”.  We caught up with TIFFANY SMITH-ANOA’I – Senior VP CBS Entertainment & Communcatio.  Here’s what she said about the new partnership.
MEDIA INC: Tell us about working with Nic Novicki and how CBS Entertainment Diversity supports his vision of the Easterseals Film Challenge.

Smith – Anoa’i:  Nic is a former participant of our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase. It was his undeniable talent and dedication to the program that paved the way for our continuous communication. When Nic presented his project to us we were thrilled. It is so rewarding to see former showcase participants take charge and continue to advocate for diversity in entertainment, especially on behalf of the largest and most underrepresented minority in the United States. Our support is beyond question.

MI: What type of support and scope of collaboration is involved with your sponsorship?

S-A: In addition to judging the submissions, a major aspect of our collaboration is having the pleasure of spending time with the winners and mentoring them to help define the next step in their careers. It is essential for these creatives to continue to develop professional relationships not only with executives but among their peers to build a strong network with opportunities and resources.

MI: Tell us more about CBS Entertainment Diversity program/s

S-A: Along with our annual Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, our department manages five additional programs for writers, directors, actors and students that like the Easterseals film challenge, aim to showcase the talent of individuals with diverse backgrounds, both in front and behind the camera. These programs create a talent pipeline that CBS and other network counterparts can utilize. We are proud to say that every year we witness participants making headway in their careers.  More information on these programs can be found at www.cbsdiversity.com

You can follow Nic Novicki on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM and also read more about his career as a actor, producer, writer and comedian HERE on his IMDB page.

Click here for more about  EASTERSEALS Southern California 

Follow Easterseasls SC on TWITTER

 

 

 

 

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2017 Kicks off this week – WIF Showcased

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Opening night screening 7pm @ Egyptian Theater Hollywood!

By Scott A. Capestany @MediaIncMag 

Hollywood, CA

The 2017 LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL (#LAAPFF) kicked off Thursday night at 7pm with their opening night screening of Director JUSTIN LIN (Fast & Furious) latest endeavor BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and Festival Gala beginning at 9:30pm.

Hosted at the iconic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood (6712 Hollywood Blvd), Red Carpet arrivals begin at 6pm. Lin will be in attendance tonight along with his cast from the film.

The festival will run from April 27-May 4th. While also running in Orange County from May 5-11, 2017.

This weekend’s centerpiece screening of the film GOOK on Saturday night April 29th was the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Next Audience Award winner in Park City Utah.

As we continue to cover #WomenInFilm throughout the IndyFilm secor of the industry, here’s a complete list (updated throughout the festival) of films written, directed and/or produced by WOMEN IN FILM at the this years festival.

APRIL 28, 2017 – Special Screening – 4pm

RELOCATION ARKANSAS (Trailer link)

A look at the aftermath of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the deep south, the reality of prejudice, and the irony of identity, told through the words of one survivor, one rebel and one woman mayor. #WomenInFilm Showcase.

RElocation Arkansas

This powerful sophomore feature film by Justin Chon examines race and family set against the 1992 LA riots.  Just last week, Samuel Goldwyn Films announced the acquisition of the films North American rights. The film was both written and directed by JUSTIN CHON, and stars Chon, DAVID SO, Curtiss Cook Jr. and newcomer child actress SIMONE BAKER.

GOOK

Screenshot taken from Director Justin Chon’s Sophomore feature GOOK.

The LAAPFF is produced by the VISUAL COMMUNICATION Group. 

Visual Communications (VC) mission is to develop and support the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists who empower communities and challenge perspectives. VC  is the first non-profit organization in the nation dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts.  VC was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between peoples and generations through the development of AAPI film, video, and media. The organization has created award-winning productions, nurtured and given voice to our youth and seniors, promoted new artistic talent, presented new cinema, and preserved our visual history.

Aside from hosting the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and their year‐round screenings and exhibitions, the VC Group also showcases the Armed With a Camera Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists; the Digital Histories media production and digital storytelling program for senior citizens; a Media Development Fund for independent filmmakers; and C3: The Conference for Creative Content.

Visual Communications is also home to the VC Archives, one of the largest photographic and moving image archives on the Asian Pacific experience in America. We see media as a powerful tool to create and share meaningful perspectives, and our programs ensure that the AAPI community has access to the resources tell their unique stories.

 

Tickets and information for this years LAAPFF:

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Follow them on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM

 

Talent Agency Spotlight – TCM Talent of Seattle

TCM Models and Talent.  Established in 1979 byTerri Morgan, this SAG Franchised talent & management agency has been a long-standing fixture in the Seattle, WA market.  Terri was once a working model herself and had her hands in multiple projects both in front of the screen and behind the scene in fashion for over 30 years.  We sat down with Terri in her new penthouse office whose rooftop view offers one of the most majestic views of the Emerald City.

MI:  Tell us more about TCM

Terri: We’ve been in business since 1979 and been located in this same building since 1990.  We started out on the first floor for about 10 years, then relocated to the 5th floor for 16 years and now as you can see, we are now in this wonderful penthouse.  So it’s been kind fun…movin’ on up kinda like the Jefferson’s [referring to the TV series of the 70s].  Our new location has helped re-energized our staff tremendously and helps bring a fresh new perspective on our company’s goals.  There’s great energy when you arrive in our office to an early morning bright sunny Western Washington sunrise shining through our windows to get the day started.

MI: Tell us about your staff here at TCM

Terri: There are six of us that are full time here at TCM and one Part-timer.  I’m the Director of the agency in which I oversee everything from meeting with new and existing talent and working with them on career strategy and guiding them through the process of the business while keeping them in front of the technology and how brands and the industry is quickly evolving. I also oversee the model division that is another side to our business as well.  Our assistant director is Debbie Lehnherr who handles all the workings of the agency.  She calls herself the cage cleaner, but her role is much more operations oriented.  She does our in-house book keeping, accounting and payroll as we have an outside accounting firm that does the bigger stuff.  Debbie keeps us all on track while meeting with all our new models and talent, going over “what it takes” to success in the business and how we compliment their careers.  We’re not an agency that’s interested in finding new people and seeing if they work.  We strive to represent the most informed talent in the market.  Although we are not the one’s training them and teaching them on how to be good actors, but we want to help them become good business professionals.  So education and professional industry guidance for our talent truly are the cornerstones of our agency.

Raelene Plant is our talent booker where she works with our actors, talent and commercial models as far as anything that goes for video, TV film, print and industrials.  She also is the first contact with potential new talent coming into the agency and coordinates and oversees those meetings.  Raelene brings to TCM a great theater background with a Drama degree from the University of Washington where she can identify a good actor when they come in. She has a fantastic intuition when it comes to talent making it blessing to have her on the team. Kristi Morgan, who’s also my new daughter in law that recently married my son, runs our kids talent division and works with our models on the fashion print side including our new faces division.   Blair Morgan, my daughter, handles the models for fashion that is all live if it’s fashion shows, informal modeling, etc. and handles all our social media platforms.  Sheene Jewell is our assistant talent booker who handles the theatrical, special features small budget projects in town and any kind of extra work that we do.  Cheene brings great experience to us having worked with the Seattle International Film Festival and was a former model with us.  So she knows how the business side works.

 MI:  Tell us your thoughts on how the digital new media revolution has impacted your business.

Terri: Well, it’s been both a challenge and blessing for I think all of us in the industry.  When it comes to social media, talent has more access to what is going on in the industry through chat rooms and public posting for gigs.  So how TCM stands out, is that we specialize in educating our talent on how not to negotiate your own contracts and/or get involved with producers or clients.  Which ultimately creates a floundering relationship between talent and agent.  So, a big part of signing on and working with TCM is the benefit of having us managing their careers while professionally handling all the contracts and talent negotiations, like it should be.  As far as how technology has helped us, we are at the cutting edge of regional and national casting breakdowns that are all now digital.  Each of our talent has their own unique digital profile that we update regularly and use as a valuable tool in this new era of digital technology.

MI:  How are you developing your theatrical division in regards to the smaller film/web projects that are prevalent in the Seattle film industry.

Terri:  Although most all of the smaller projects in this market yield very little pay both for the agent and talent, I saw a way for our pool of artists to develop their craft to complement their ongoing training and workshops that they may be involved in around town.  Sheene, who heads up this division, has become well versed with both the new media and low-budget SAG contracts for our talent which gives our them additional opportunities to develop their skills on smaller film sets and web series that are now becoming a new platform for actors.  Offering smaller SAG productions to our talent gives us an inside look at to what producers we want to work with and recommend to our talent.  And most importantly, these projects often times help nurture this markets emerging actors and filmmakers along the way.

TCM is a registered SAG Signatory business.  For talent and booking inquires visit www.tcmmodels.com

Follow TCM on TWITTER + IG + FACEBOOK

Lee Daniels shares about his tough childhood + surviving in Hollywood – SXSW 17′

As our coverage of the SXSW Film Festival continues, it was somewhat fitting for Lee Daniels (Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Empire) to arrive without a speech prepared as a keynote speaker Sunday morning.  Heck, even the big boy’s/girl’s in the biz have to ‘wing it’ some days.   Shooting somewhat from the hip using his smooth and brilliant comedic timing, Daniels chatted about a wide range of things from Prince to the current President of the United States.  But what captivated the audience most, was what he said about his childhood and growing up as a survivor of the AIDS crisis in Hollywood.

“We are in difficult times”, he said about the new Trump administration. “This man is where he is – a reflection of who we are.  He is our karma. I’m trying to explain this to my son. It’s hard to be a dad and hard to be a black dad.”

Daniels hinted that the new Trump era will be good for the overall health and growth of the creative community. “I think some of the best art, literature, writing will come out of all this [The recent election] I couldn’t sleep, but I wrote some of the best work I have ever done. I was in pain.”

Bringing it closer to home, Daniels shared personal struggles he has endeared over the course of his career talking about his abusive father and ‘tough as nails’ grandmother.  Daniels, who is openly gay, also talked about basing his EMPIRE character Cookie Lyon on her.

With some ‘tough love’ words his grandmother told him: “You’re a faggot, black and life isn’t going to easy”, Daniels shared how it was a miracle he survived after coming to LA during the AIDS crisis while watching many of his friends die and getting hooked on drugs himself.  “I just can’t figure it out [how I survived]”.

What surely inspired the packed audience of emerging Hollywood creatives and ‘hustlers’ in the business doing whatever it takes to survive before their first break, Daniels talked about his job at a nursing company.  “It was no different than pimping.”, which sparked laughter in the crowd. “I went from making a few hundred dollars a week to a million dollars..It was crazy”, he said.

After spotting ‘Precious’ star Gabourey Sidibe among the crowd,  He brought her to the stage and joked about how she was upset at Daniels for not casting her in more episodes of his ‘Empire’

Daniels shared in his closing statements about his grateful appreciation for the business by being much more humble these days with all his success. “I’m a vessel here to pass things on to people better than me”.  He said

Photo of Lee Daniels By SXSW 

SXSW 17′ – Women In Film: From Her POV

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Editor In ChiefScott A. Capestany

March 9, 2017 – Austin, Texas

The 24th edition of the SXSW Film Festival opens this week in Austin, Texas.  With over 125 feature films screening, 84 World Premiers, 11 North American Premiers and 6 US Premiers will be presented.

To continue our coverage of highlighting and supporting the visual works by #WomenInFilm within the Independent film space around the world,  Media Inc Magazine congratulates the 80+ Women Directors & female Co-Directors whom will showcase their films and/or visual works of art  at #SXSX this year!

To begin (more category’s below), here’s a full comprehensive look at each feature length film (in competition) @SXSW this year Written and/or Directed by WOMEN.  Each film title is linked to all screenings + filmmakers bios + cast + crew. (Links and brief descriptions courtesy of SXSW)

Feature Length Competition

World Premieres- Selected from 1,407 narrative feature submissions in 2017.

A Critically Endangered Species

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Poland, United States –  World Premiere
Directors/Screenwriters: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak –
An internationally respected poet announces she is going to kill herself and needs an heir and executor. Young writers drive up the mountain to compete for the position and are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically. Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Jordan Gavaris, Alexander Koch, Nathan Keyes, Chris Voss.

Fits and Starts

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World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Laura Terruso – @Fits_andStarts 
A struggling writer can’t seem to escape his wife’s literary success. When a road trip to a publisher’s salon takes an unexpected turn, he has to face his own creative shortcomings and find a way to regain control of his life and work. Cast: Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia, Alex Karpovsky, Ben Sinclair, Onur Turkel, John Rothman, Louis Cancelmi, Larry Murphy, Sam Seder.

The Light of the Moon

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World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Jessica M. Thompson –@TLOTMfilm  @jess_m_thompson
After her world is irrevocably changed, a successful New York City architect struggles to regain intimacy and control in her life. Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora, Catherine Curtin, Olga Merediz, Cindy Cheung, Susan Heyward, Craig Walker, Cara Loften, Michael Cuomo.

MFA

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World Premiere
Director: Natalia Leite /  Screenwriter: Leah Mckendrick –@_natalialeite_
The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fueling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition. Cast: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr, Peter Vack, Leah Mckendrick, Marlon Young, David Sullivan, Michael Welch.

Most Beautiful Island

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Writer, Director, Producer and Actor Ana Asensio

Spain, United States – World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Ana Asensio – @AnaAsensio1
An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti.

The Strange Ones

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World Premiere
Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff, Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff – @thestrangeones  @laurenwolkstein
Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to dark and complex truths. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones.

Documentary Feature Competition

Bill Frisell, A Portrait

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Australia – World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Emma Franz
An intimate, behind-the-music portrait of one of the most unassuming yet influential creative artists of our time, guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell said of the film, “It’s like the inside of my brain!” 

I Am Another You

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World Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Nanfu Wang – @iaayfilm  @wangnanfu
Through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and intentionally chooses to live on the streets, Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the meaning of personal freedom – and its limits.

Maineland

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China, United States- World Premiere
Director: Miao Wang – @mainelandfilm  @miaowang
Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect.

Mommy Dead and Dearest

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World Premiere
Director: Erin Lee Carr – @erinleecarr
Child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love converge in this mystery involving a mother and daughter who were thought to be living a fairy tale life that turned out to be a living nightmare.

Served Like A Girl

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World Premiere
Director: Lysa Heslov – @servedlikeagirl 
Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives.

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

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World Premiere
Director: Sandra Adair – @LLetscherdoc  @sadair20
Witness the collision of memory, color, and chaos in this unprecedented journey through the visionary mind of collage artist Lance Letscher.

Here’s the breakdown numbers of ALL #WomenInFilm projects directed or co-directed by #SXSW female creatives this year:

Narrative Features -20, Documentary Features – 15, Narrative Shorts – 14, Animated Shorts – 7, Documentary Shorts: 6, Music Videos – 5,  Texas High School – 14, Virtual Reality – 10+, Series – 1

Editor-In-Chief Scott A. Capestany is an Award Winning Film/TV content creator, writer and producer. Scott’s recent appointment to EIC has led to a full re-banding of the 20+ year publication running into a national and soon to be global Independent + Sport + Music + Art publication.  As a devout and long time advocate of #WomenInFilm and #Diversity in the industry, Scott’s ambition is to help women filmmakers and artists of under represented groups have an equal and strong voice in Hollywood.  He is represented by Bloom, Hergott, Diemer, Rosenthal, Laviolette, Feldman, Schenkman & Goodman, LLP in Beverly Hills, CA

Followed Scott @MediaIncMag + @CapestanyFilms

 

 

 

 

 

Courtside with PAC-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazineMarch 2017

Seattle, WA – Key Arena

Shortly before the quarterfinals began at the 2017 Women’s Basketball PAC-12 Championship in Seattle, WA at the Key Arena earlier this Spring, we got a chance to sit down with PAC-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans to get an inside look at the extraordinary transformation the conference has gone through since the advent of the PAC-12 Networks.  With one of the new segments of editorial content being ‘Media In Sports’ in 2017, we were honored to chat with this very dynamic leader who has helped transform the way we consume sports media both here in the United States, but also all around the world.

Q: Tell us about the inception of the PAC-12 Network

A:  We’re now in our fifth year of the PAC-12 Networks.  Our initial mission was to create a media company owned by the twelve universities and managed by the PAC-12 conference.  The impetus was to provide more exposure to the schools and student-athletes which today we are now producing 850 LIVE events across 32 sports each academic year.  Which means sports like Women’s basketball and all the olympic sports that didn’t get television exposure before now get  significant national and sometimes global exposure.  We are now achieving this through TV networks and across the digital platforms including social media.

Q: What  do you think has helped you achieved success in such a short period of time with the PAC-12 Network?

There was an amazing foundation in place.  The PAC-10, which became the PAC-12, had phenomenal athletic teams both in women and men’s sports as the conference of champions with 493 NCAA championships to call our own.  And what my staff and I have done since the inception of the network was to build on a stellar foundation that was already in place.   There was this amazing brand and level of athletic talent within the conference and so with the  media company what we did was build the infrastructure to be able to provide exposure for that talent.  I also think the advancement in  technology has helped us significantly over the last four years.  When we launched a handful of years ago, twitter was not streaming video, Instagram did not exist and Facebook was not streaming live.  And those are all different vehicles for us to now partner with and distribute content.  So we came along when the timing was just right with both technology and the content we had to showcase.

Lydia Murphy-Stephans (1)

PAC-12 Network President Lydia Murphy-Stephans

Q: Tell us about your leadership team.

A: At the initial stages when we were in the planning phases for the network, we were thinking of it as a multi-faceted media company. We never though of it as a set of family of TV networks, so we decided to run parallel paths of the liner side of the business and the digital side of the business that allowed both our network staff and conference staff to work together and side by side.  The PAC-12 network consists of around 185 full-time staffers and over 1500 freelance workers across our six states that bring a unique blend of highly skilled media people along with highly skilled tech savvy team members.

Q: Tell us about your Networks production footprint and structure in terms of operations and athletic coverage.

PAC-12 networks is owned by the 12 Universities.  We produce over 850 events and over 550 hours of content across six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah.  Our twelve Universities  include UCLA, USC, Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Oregon, Oregon State, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Washington, Washington State University, University of Colorado and the University of Utah where we have over 110 athletic venues.

Q: What’s new to PAC-12 Networks this year and what’s to come in the future?

A:  Being headquartered close to silicon valley certainly has its advantages for us.  Thus allowing us to strategically position ourselves to partner with all the technology that allows us to deliver our content.  This last year we added twitter LIVE and Sling TV.  PAC-12 Networks currently is also delivered over the top internationally on both YouTube and EverSport.  Making us available in every country in the world outside the United States that has Internet service. Our focus now is to maximize the distribution both domestically and internationally.   

Prior to becoming the President of the PAC-12 network, Murphy-Stevens cut her teeth as a young producer for ABC sports.  She also was a member of the 1984 Olympic speed skating team.

 

PAC-12 CMO Danette Leighton – Innovation and Excellence

Scott A. Capestany

Editor In Chief – Scott A. Capestany

March 2017- Seattle, WA

As the PAC-12 Woman’s NCAA basketball tournament unfolded this Spring at the Key Arena, Media Inc Magazine got a chance to sit down with two quite extraordinary PAC-12 conference executives whom together lead the nation’s most impressive linear and digital broadcast entities – the PAC-12 Network.  As part one of our two part featured ‘Women In sports’ coverage of the NCAA Women’s PAC-12 Conference tournament, we first caught up with first with the Chief Marketing Officer – DANETTE LEIGHTON.

Leighton, whom was appointed the first ever CMO in the history of the conference by commissioner Larry Scott , returned to the PAC-12 in 2010 after cutting her teeth with some of the biggest organizations in professional sports, the WNBA, NBA and Sony Sports.  Prior to her meteoric rise in the world of sports marketing as an executive, Leighton had a long-standing connection to the conference since graduating from the PAC-10’s (at the time) University of Arizona in 1993.

She realized this unique passion and connection to the world of sports and the now the PAC-12, suited her well when the call came from conference commissioner LARRY SCOTT to execute his elaborate vision to re-brand and enhance the conferences already impressive tradition of excellence.

Q: Tell us about your journey to the PAC-12 Conference & Network and the brands evolution to where it is today.

I’m a product of the PAC-10 (the former name of the PAC-12 before Colorado and Utah joined in 2011) where my father played baseball at UCLA and I went to Arizona so pretty much grew up in this league.  So, when I came back seven years ago, I already had a very strong passion for what this brand is and was.  I believe a brand is truly built on its genuine and authentic pillars that exist.  So, my job when I came on board was to really find the ones that differentiated us and start to “pound our chest”, so to speak, but to do it in a way to always be humble.

One of the first things I worked on with our commissioner, Larry Scott, where he was already well down a path of doing an overview of where the brand was and where we needed to go, was to examine the Pac-10 brand that we had and to fortify and strengthen the conferences three very strong brand pillars.  Innovation, geography and excellence.   Geographically speaking, it wasn’t only about the beauty of the mountains, deserts and ocean that made our regional footprint unique, but dating back to the covered wagons pilgrimage to the west coast, it represented a time where Americans moving west carried with them an innovative mindset and looking for a better way of life.

The history of our twelve Universities were each built on the foundations of this great academic success but through a very modern and progressive point of view.  Our strength of being on the west coast really tailored well into the innovation brand pillar we believe is so unique to us.  Blending three very innovative communities in our geographic footprint you can think about entertainment in Hollywood, the Pacific Northwest and Silicon Valley which is our biggest differentiator when you look at us across the landscape of sports compared to other conferences.  Our third pillar of excellence reflects our long and distinguished history of dominance within athletics.  Entering our 101 year of existence, we hold the most NCAA titles than any conference and what makes it so amazing we are currently at 493 national titles where our next closest counterpart is roughly half of that.  We not only have the dominance of the national titles, but we also have a strong Olympic success as well for both men and women.  I believe we made up roughly 80% of team USA which, if we were a country, we would have finished fifth in the overall medal count. Which complemented our progressive mindset of always offering these types of opportunities to both men and women and really value the importance of them.

So, one of my primary roles since I have arrived was tell the stories of these 7000+ student athletes that make up our PAC-12 through these distinguishable and long standing traditions in both athletics and academics.

Q: What experiences from your prior endeavors have helped you enhance the PAC-12 brand.

When I worked with the Monarchs of the WNBA managing the business side of things, I learned how to be scrappy, innovative and mindful of modest business operations and initiatives.  While working with the Kings of the NBA under the great commissioner of David Stern, I had the honor to work with some very dynamic owners who allowed me to work autonomously which Commissioner Scott has supported and embraced with my current position here at the Pac-12.  What I learned most was how different the two brands were and how to market to uniquely different to the men and women fan base of each of the organizations which has helped me tremendously here with the Pac-12.

Q: Tell us more about the creation of the PAC-12 Network.

One of the most impressive and innovative ideas that my commissioner Larry Scott conceived since my arrival has been the creation of the Pac-12 Network.  For the first time in conference history fans can experience LIVE linear and digital broadcasts of over 850 games across multiple platforms and multiple sports.  Where before the TV coverage was very minimal and nearly non-existent with many women sports.  We now LIVE stream our all our basketball press conferences on Facebook live and utilize multiple platforms like Twitter and Instagram to engage our fans around the world.

The network also has enhanced the relationship between student-athletes, fans and families.  Where some live quite far away from their kids and now have the technology to watch and experience their kid sporting events.  Not to mention how the network has helped and complimented the recruiting component allowing high schools coaches from around the county to watch incoming student-athletes.

Q:  What is the most exciting part of your job.

I love being a part of a team and leading a great group of humans. I think it’s very important to believe in what your organization stands for in terms of personal and cultural standpoint.  Although I feel very strong about our brand and our 12 universities, the role that I love so much is experiencing events like this one here in Seattle, the PAC-12 Conference Championship tournament.   I feel very lucky that my team gets to touch everything and experience it.   I value the autonomy commissioner Scott gives me to execute his vision every day at my job.

The one thing that impressed me the most in chatting with Danette was her fierce passion and genuine love she has for her Pac-12 team she works with every day.   But most impressively, her innovative vision she has reflecting her commissioners most impressive creative to date – the Pac-12 Networks.

Women’s PAC-12 Basketball Tourney kicks off in Seattle!

press_scottcapestany_mediaincmagazine

Editor in Chief – Scott A. Capestany

 

March 2, 2017  – Seattle, WA 

Arriving this weekend in the Emerald City of Seattle, WA comes the convergence of a unique blend of Entertainment and Sport.   The Key Arena, for the fifth straight year, will play host to the 2017 Women’s 2017 NCAA Pac-12 Tournament.  With twelve teams jostling for the Pac-12 crown that earns an automatic ticket to the NCAA Championship, one athlete in particular from our own University of Washington will likely draw one of the biggest home team crowds in the tournament.   Senior KELSEY PLUM (#10), recently named the 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year,  enters the tournament as the nation’s ALL-TIME leading scorer and coming off one of the  most explosive regular season performance ever by a woman collegiate athlete in any sport.

Kelsey Plum

On February 25th, Plum ignited the net by pouring in a conference record of 57 points that surpassed the legendary Jackie Stiles to become the NCAA All-time leading scorer.  Her performance broke both the UW school and conference single game scoring record with 3,397 points.   Plum also has scored the second-most points in NCAA Division I history, men’s or women’s behind the NBA Hall of Famer Pete “pistol” Maravich.

Plum, who leads the nation in scoring at 31.6 points per game finished the regular season shooting 53.7 from the field, 43.6 from three-point range and 88.7 from the foul line.  Statistically speaking, these numbers are mind boggling for any basketball fan.  And if the stars haven’t already lined up to perfection, she has the opportunity to finish her distinguished senior season as the only player, male or female, in the history of the NCAA to finish a season as the game’s leading scorer and a member of the 50-40-90 club (Shooting, 3-Point and free-throw percentage).

This weekend’s women’s collegiate athletic showcase couldn’t have come at a better time to compliment @MediaIncMag current coverage of Women in Film.  With exciting plans to expand the magazines print and digital content  to cover both collegiate and professional Athletics + Art + Music beginning throughout the Pacific Northwest, enjoy LIVE coverage of this weekends PAC-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament via twitter @MediaIncMag

For the local Seattle sports fans,  both the University of Washington and Washington State University will be participating in this weekend March Madness.

Here’s when you can catch the lady DAWGS and COUGS:

Thursday March 2nd tipping off at 6pm is WSU vs. Colorado. 

WSU:  (Courtesy of WSU Athletic department) Earning the No. 7 seed in 2017 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament and will face off against No. 10 Colorado (15-14, 5-13), Thursday in the first-ever meeting between the two on a neutral court. The tournament match-up between the Cougars and the Buffaloes will be the second contest between the two teams in less than a week after both squared off in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon in Pullman.

WSU 1

The Cougs won the afternoon matinee at Beasley, 67-56, to even the season series with Colorado. The Buffs had previously won in Boulder, 70-58, with a big fourth quarter comeback against WSU. The No. 7 seed for the Cougars matches their best seed in the Pac-12 tournament which dates back to 2002. WSU has advanced out of the tournament’s first round four times, most recently in 2015 after defeating No. 10 Oregon, 66-64, in another 7-10 matchup.

Friday March 3rd tipping off at 8:30pm UW vs. winner of tonight’s Arizona and Oregon’s game.

UW: (Courtesy of UW Athletic Department) Washington is 9-15 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament since it began in 2002. Last season, the Huskies beat Colorado and Stanford to reach the semifinals before falling to Oregon State, 57-55.

The Huskies will enter the tournament ranked No. 11 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, joining three other Pac-12 schools: Oregon State at No. 6, Stanford at No. 10 and UCLA at No. 15. Washington is ranked No. 7 in the latest RPI poll.

Up_next_Pac_12

Washington tops the nation in several statistical categories, including leading the NCAA in made three-pointers (319), second in made free throws (496), third in three-point field goals per game (10.3), fifth in scoring margin (22.4), sixth in points per game (85.3) and eighth in field goal percentage (47.4).

Follow the lady Dawgs @UW_WBB 

Follow the lady Cougs @WSUWomensHoops 

PAC-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament official site

Scott is the Editor-in-Chief of MEDIA INC MAGAZINE and an Award Winning Film / TV content creator, producer and director. He was the first independent  producer in the history of WA State NCAA and Professional athletics to become an official member of the regional press by creating his own weekly LIVE and taped public access Sports TV show ‘Emerald City Sports TV’. The series went on to be nominated as the BEST sports show while covering more Women In Sports events ever broadcast on Cable TV.   He and his production teams can be followed @CapestanyFilms and @MediaIncMag 

Capestany Films Presents Pre-Oscar Party Hosted By ELEW!

ELEW + Capestany Oscar flyer

Capestany Films

PRESENTS

 Pre-Oscar Party @Sofitel’s Riviera31

In BEVERLY HILLS, CA

Hosted By:

ELEW

 

Award Winning Producer and Journalist Scott A. Capestany- Editor-In-Chief for Media Inc Magazine and CEO of Capestany Films –  is proud to present this high profile Pre-Oscar party hosted by “Obama-approved” pianist, DJ, screenwriter & director ELEW.

Mr. Capestany’s writings  and magazine publications have appeared at over 25 major film festivals and markets around the world with recent expansion into new thriving regions in supoort of #IndieFilm #IndieMusic #WomenInFilm and #Diversity in the creative space.

ELEW is “a highlight of the party” – Forbes Magazine . You can find him anywhere from Sundance’s Film Festival, DJ’ing at various exclusive nightclubs, playing piano for presidents or at ultra-exclusive private parties in “a $16 million penthouse at Art Basel”, to touring his latest album And To The Republic around the world. Most recently, ELEW and IBM’s super computer, Watson jammed together at DAYBREAKERS in San Francisco.

This Saturday night Feb. 25th from 10pm- 2am you can join ELEW & Scott A. Capestany along with special guests, fans & friends

@ Riviera 31 (inside the Sofitel Hotel), Beverly Hill, CA celebrating the 89th Academy Awards with music, food & drinks.

 

Follow ELEW and CapestanyFilms on Twitter and IG for updates!

@Elewrockjazz and @CapestanyFilms

+ @MediaIncMag
Join the Party by emailing your RSVP to: producer@Capestanyfilms.com

Women in Film – SLAMDANCE – Coverage 2017

 

key-art-with-type_outline-copy_150SLAMDANCE Film Festival will showcase 8 feature length films by Women Filmmakers in their 2017 line-up.   As part of our ongoing coverage and support of #WomenInfilm throughout the world of Independent film,  we are excited to continue our journalistic directives in helping promote the works of these emerging filmmakers.

Originating in 1995, the SLAMDANCE film festival has emerged as one of the top film festivals in the world whose screenings have showcased and help discover talented filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and our own Pacific Northwest Native writer/director Lynn Shelton (Humpday) to mention a few.

The festival has grown exponentially in the 21st century to now include multiple layers of creative opportunities for filmmakers and creatives. Their programs include the center piece Film Festival that takes place each January in Park City at their original headquarters The Treasure Mountain Inn and screenplay competitions and while forging global partnerships with the likes of Microsoft (Slamdance Studios / Xbox + Zune) and others to expand the scope of audiences for their filmmakers and alumni by embracing the latest in digital viewing platforms technology.

Screenings beginning Monday January 23rd

Kuro – Jan 23rd – 5:15pm
(France, UK, Germany, Luxembourg) World Premiere
Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Joji Koyama, Tujiko Noriko
A Japanese woman living in Paris tends to her paraplegic lover, passing time by recounting a story about the time they once spent together in Japan, rich with anecdotes, myths and an unexpected dark turn.
Cast: Tujiko Noriko, Jackie

Suck It Up – Jan 23 – 7:45pm & Jan 25th – 11am
(Canada)
Director: Jordan Canning; Screenwriter: Julia Hoff
Faye lost the love of her life. Ronnie lost her brother. These two best friends take off on a debaucherous journey into the mountians to cope with the loss of the man they both loved
Cast: Erin Carter, Grace Glowicki, Daniel Berirne, Toby Marks, Nancy Kerr, Michael Rowe. Music Ben Fox 

Beat Beat Heart – Jan 24th – 3:45pm
(Germany) North American Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Luise Brinkmann
Daydreaming her way out of a broken heart, Kerstin’s denial as well as her days are shaken up with the arrival of her mother, dealing with her own relationship’s demise.
Cast: Lana Cooper, Saskia Vester, Till Wonka, Aleksandar Radenkovic, Christin Nichols, Jörg Bundschuh, Caroline Erikson

Cortez – Jan 24th – 7:15pm
(USA)
Director: Cheryl Nichols; Screenwriter(s): Arron Shiver, Cheryl Nichols
Struggling musician Jesse tracks down his ex Anne in a small town in New Mexico, and is forced to face the decisions of his past as present day consequences set in.
Cast: Arron Shiver, Cheryl Nichols, Drago Sumonja, Judith Ivey, Jackson Shiver, Cassidy Freeman, Kristian Moore, Dylan Kenin

Supergirl – Jan24th – 9:30pm 
(USA)
Director: Jessie Auritt
Naomi seems like a typical 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl; watching her compete to lift almost three times her bodyweight tells a different story.

The Children Send Their Regards – Jan 25th – 3:15pm
(Austria) World Premiere
Director: Patricia Josefine Marchart; Screenwriter(s): Jakob Purkarthofer, Sepp Rothwangl, Patricia Josefine Marchart
Adult victims of physical abuse by clergy members in Austria revisit the sites of their childhood trauma and make public their stories to shed light into one of the greatest crimes of the post-war period.
Cast: Georg Prader, Jo Auer, Inge Killmeyer, Josef Schörkmayr, Klaus Oberndorfer, Paula Neulinger, Walo Nowak, Anita Ossinger, Klaus Fluch, Sepp Rothwangl

Wexford Plaza –  Jan 25th – 8:45pm
(Canada) North American Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Joyce Wong
Betty is a lonely strip mall security guard, and an unexpected moment with charming deadbeat Danny ends up setting off the unraveling of both their lives.
Cast: Reid Asselstine, Darrel Gamotin, Francis Melling, Ellie Posadas

Weather House – Jan 26th – 11am
(Germany) World Premiere
Director(s): Frauke Havemann; Co-Director: Eric Schefter; Screenwriter: Mark Johnson Set in an unspecific time of extreme climate change, an isolated group of disoriented characters develop their own strange belief systems and engage in absurd activities to process their dilemma.
Cast: Inga Dietrich, Charles McDaniel, Erik Hansen, Sabine Hertling, Jack Rath

Established in 1995, Slamdance is dedicated to discovering and supporting new talents in independent filmmaking.  Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Marc Forster (World War Z), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Lena Dunham (Girls), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin), Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), Lynn Shelton (Humpday) and Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche). Box Office Mojo reports alumni who first showed their work at Slamdance have earned over $11.5 billion at the Box Office to date.

In addition to the Festival, Slamdance serves emerging artists and a growing audience with several year-round activities. These include the popular Slamdance Screenplay Competition, the traveling On The Road screening events, the Anarchy Workshop for student filmmakers, and The ArcLight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club – a monthly cinema club partnership with ArcLight Cinemas based at the ArcLight Hollywood and ArcLight Chicago, with two screenings and filmmaker Q&A’s each month:
www.arclightcinemas.com/en/news/arclight-presents-slamdance-cinema-club

Slamdance Presents is a new distribution arm established to access broader distribution of independent films. The goal is to build the popularity of independent films and support filmmakers on a commercial level through theatrical releases. In August 2016, Slamdance Presents launched the week long release of Claire Carré’s feature sci-fi film, Embers, at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood. Steve Yu’s The Resurrection of Jake The Snake was the first film to be released by the company. The documentary reached number one on iTunes in December, 2015.

In November 2015, Slamdance announced DIG (Digital, Interactive & Gaming), a new digital, interactive and gaming showcase dedicated to emerging independent artists working in hybrid, immersive and developing forms of digital media art. Ten works were featured in the inaugural DIG show that opened in Los Angeles at Big Pictures Los Angeles on December 4, running through December 13, 2015. The show was also featured at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival.

Previous Slamdance alumni include: Bong Joon Ho (SNOWPIERCER), Lena Dunham (TINY FURNITURE), and Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT; MEMENTO). The 23rd edition of Slamdance will also feature DIG (Digital, Interactive & Gaming) which showcases eight works by emerging artists working in cutting edge digital media, and Polytechnic, a series of free, open-learning workshops that explore new ideas and disrupt existing ones with unique perspectives on filmmaking and new media production from industry insiders.

2017 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors include Blackmagic Design, Distribber, CreativeFuture, Directors Guild of America, Fusion, Different By Design, Pierce Law Group LLP, Writers Guild Of America West, Salt Lake City’s Slug Magazine, Beehive Distilling, and BlueStar Café. Slamdance is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and filmmakers. Additional information about Slamdance is available at www.slamdance.com

Facebook: SlamdanceFilmFestival
Twitter: @slamdance
Instagram: @slamogram

Follow @MEDIAINCMAG for @Slamdance #WomenInFilm coverage this year on Twitter.

The Source for Northwest Media News and Information