Tag Archives: featured articles

WFF

Whistler Film Festival – Women In Film take home multiple awards!

ScottCApestany_PressHS_Web_2017Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

The 17th annual edition of The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) came to a close this  weekend with Women In Film headlining much of the buzz.  With this years line-up of presentations, 30% (14 features and 16 short films) of the 87 movies were crafted and engineered by female filmmakers.  The winners were announced this morning on the final day of one of North America’s most iconic Winter resort destination film festivals on the planet.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood, star of the Canadian produced film A WORTHY COMPANION, was the recipient of this year’s Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film Award. The WFF jury said “Evan gives a brave, raw nuance performance that explores the grey areas between predator and victim”.

A worthy companion poster

The actress stars in the drama film as Laura, a troubled woman who has an obsession with a teenage girl (Julia Sarah Stone) after suffering abuse and failed relationships in the past.

Despite not being in attendance,  she took to Twitter to share her joy.

Evean rachel wood tweet

Best Cinematography in a Borsos Film, presented by I.A.T.S.E. Local 669, went to cinematographer Sara Mishara for A WORTHY COMPANION. 

The World Documentary Award was presented to director Kate Novack for her film THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRÉ.  “The winner of the world documentary award delivers a fascinating portrait of a larger-than-life personality, but admirably escapes the trappings of simple biography by revealing how a towering, influential figure still thrives in an imperfect world.”, said the WFF jury.

VENUS, a feature film about a woman in transition Directed my Eisha Marjara, won the EDA award for Best Female-Directed Feature Film.

In the short film category, director Sharren Lee took home the Best Female-Directed film award for her film THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING. 

Emmy and Golden Globe Winning Actress Kyra Sedgwick won the EDA Jury Award for her directorial debut of A STORY OF A GIRL.

Story-of-a-Girl-movie-1

The Story of a Girl

Whistler Film Festival’s Short Work Student Award went to emerging Writer, Director and Producer Natalie Murao for her film FLOATING LIGHT.

Natalie murao

Natalie Murao – Writer, Director and Producer FLOATING LIGHT

The MPPIA Short Pitch Award which included a hefty $15,000 cash prize and up to $100,000 in production services went to Director Veronika Kurz for her film 20 MINUTES OF LIFE.  The finished film is scheduled to premier at the 2018 Whistler Film Festival.

IMG_20171205_200143

Veronika Kurz (Middle) and Short Pitch Award finalists

You can follow us and our Editor In Chief  Scott A. Capestany on Twitter  @CapestanyFilms + @MediaIncMag

 

 

Scott on the set of one of his latest projects, The Rainforest.

THE RAINFOREST: Action/Adventure Thriller taking international stage!

Scott Capestany standing in front of field monitor.

Creator/Director Scott A. Capestany standing in front of field monitor.

The highly anticipated Feature Film The Rainforest, currently in development by Capestany Films, will soon be taking the international stage featuring an epic saga of mysterious adventure, riddle solving treasure hunting and heart-pounding action that’s sure to ignite audiences around the world.

Created, written and executive produced by Award-Winning filmmaker Scott A. Capestany, The Rainforest carries quite the adventurous story-line about a group of international explorers that set off into the heart of a mysterious Rainforest in search of an ancient lost civilization that also uncover the truth of an ancient mystical legend that protects is rumored existence.

International locations currently being considered include exotic mountainous parts of Southern China and South East Asian (Borneo) regions including originally proposed lush temperate Rainforest regions of the Pacific Northwest (Canada and WA State).

The story boasts of rich and authentic indigenous tribal legends within the proposed filming locations around the world woven cleverly into a ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’-style treasure hunting and pulsating  cinematic adventure.

Co-Production meetings with international partners from China, Canada, South America, USA the the UK are currently underway whom many will be converging  at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA this fall to meet and discuss the project.

12003406_10156053575395183_2677293733217924270_n

Scott A. Capestany (Creator/Producer) on stage at an early PR event hosted by the S’Klallam Tribe Casino 7 Cedars in Western Washington.

“We are very excited to be expanding the overall scope of this long anticipated film”, said Creator and Producer Scott A. Capestany.  “It’s been quite the journey to see this story evolve over the last few years.  We’ve remaining patient while strategically aligning the project with more partners to enhance the overall production and commercial value with new internationally proposed locations and alliances to compliment the  extraordinary story-line.”The Rainforest BAnner

The story was conceived by Capestany during the filming of his cable TV series, NW Waters, while on a river fishing expedition deep in the heart of one of the largest temperate rainforests in the western hemisphere within Washington State.

His quite engaging “proof of concept” teaser         (VIEW HERE) and well developed ‘pitch deck’ has helped him generate interest from international investors, distributors and business partners from around the world.  The project was selected as a “pitch” finalist for the WA State Filmworks Innovation Lab which eventually was awarded to another project in lieu of WA State lengthy battle to increase it’s Motion Picture Competitiveness program (Film rebates/incentives).  That WA State program has now since been renewed and increased as of 2017.

This hurdle helped motivate him to continue his quest and look elsewhere for funding.  “Creative financing is a delicate and skillful craft that I’ve been fortunate enough to master with this project.  Film incentives are a major part of the financing equation with 21st century filmmaking.  Especially when the project will be filmed overseas and the budget exceeding a certain threshold.”, said Capestany.

With pre-production scheduled to begin in Summer 2018, Capestany’s endeavor is now on the fast track heading into the American Film Market where he will meeting with his team and film industry executives to push the needle closer to production.

Wide shot of actress Cindy Lemos reading the map.

The adventure team assembles in proof of concept filming.

“My ambition and strategy was to spend a few years developing global business partnerships and backing including ironing out the screenplay with the goal to positively impact both the Washington State and international filming locations economy through general interest, commerce and educational awareness of our delicate Rainforests.” he said.

“Connecting our proposed filming locations around the world to their local communities will ultimately enhance these regions exposure to the world where our audiences can lean more about these unique travel destinations and delicate ecosystems while being entertained and engaged with a heart pounding global adventure.”

Committed to supporting WA State companies connected to the industry, Capestany is exploring  partnerships with both Emmy Award winning Seattle Post Audio design company BAD ANIMALS  along with KOERNER CAMERA to help facilitate his projects production needs.   “Our relationships with long standing highly acclaimed regional leaders are important not only for the economics of the Pacific Northwest regional industry but also from the high level of work they do”, Said Capestany.  “Bad Animals has been the premier leader in sound design in the Seattle market having worked with some of the greatest musicians of our generation including  Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller and R.E.M.  And they are still winning Emmy’s!”

Scott’s strategic planning paid off by signing on 7 CEDARS CASINO in Sequim, Washington, as both a marketing and creative participant whose tribe’s history and legends will be accurately featured in the main storyline.

Jerry Allen, CEO of the 7 Cedars Casino, said, “We are honored to have this new partnership with Scott. I think this is a compliment to the tribe that Scott wants to do something like this. We are excited to be part of it. There were a lot of choices. When you think about the number of tribes that circle this peninsula and the fact that we were able to put this together, we are very, very flattered.”

Capestany on his Satellite phone.

Capestany on scouting trip with his Satellite phone.

Preserving the delicate ecosystems within the proposed filming locations are a primary objective for Capestany.  His goal of formulating key international  partnerships with leading outdoor and environmental brands whose leaders support sustainability + actively advocate environmental awareness will remain at the forefront throughout each stage of the production.

As creative director at Capestany Films, Scott has cut his teeth like all indie filmmakers whom most began their career operating outside the studio system.  Over the last handful of years, he has delicately cultivated key business relationships within the studio, network, agency and inner circles of the industry both as a reputable journalist and well seasoned producer.

Through these relationships, he has worked as a consultant for many creatives across the board in the entertainment space.  “This business is 100% about relationships. And the secret ingredients that bind these sacred alliances are integrity, transparency and consistency.”, he said.

Interior airfield hangar of cast looking at laptop.

Interior airfield hangar of proof of concept filming.

In this short time span, Capestany has been selected to pitch at multiple Hollywood networks, studios, production companies and some of the most recognizable film market events in the world.

Including both Variety Magazine’s Faith-Based Summit and the American Film Market in Southern California.  The later (AFM), is where he was pulled aside by industry veteran and Producer Guild of American member Anne Marie Gillen to help guide his new endeavors through the quite complicated terrain of Hollywood business and finance.

Gillen was the former COO of Morgan Freeman’s production company – Revelations Entertainment and is a well known industry player in the financing and business realm.

“Scott’s engaging presence on the AFM stage in recent years illustrated to me clearly that he’s a well refined and savvy producer that has a successful future ahead of him.”, Gillen said.

(See Featured story on Anne Marie Gillen HERE).
Scott meeting with Sklallam tribe

The Rainforest is a hero’s journey about a quite sophisticated and intellectually skilled female professor, Dr. Riley Stone, who one day is visited at her college campus by a young girl claiming her great-grandmother’s story of a Rainforest legend should be examined further. After recognizing a very rare necklace the girl shows up wearing, Dr. Stone agrees to set off to her small town located in Western Washington to meet with the woman. Upon her arrival, Dr. Stone learns more about the legend and discovers some extraordinary clues that leads her to assemble a world-class team of explorers to join her for an expedition of discovery and adventure. Soon after the team gets underway, bizarre things begin to affect the expedition, sending them all on a death-defying race of survival and psychological mystery.

Casting for the film will begin in February 2018 with the lead, Dr. Riley Stone, being considered for numerous well-known performers whose intellectual strength and heroic characters have graced current and recent Film + TV productions in Hollywood.

As one of the most fierce and vocal advocates in the independent film sector of the industry for Women in Film, Capestany is strategically positioning  this partnerships with some of Hollywood’s elite leaders in this current fight for equality and diversity in the work place.  “My lead character Dr. Riley Stone is a reflection of some of the strongest and most influential women I have met in this business and throughout the world whom I respect”.  I hope that audiences and particularly women will embrace her.  She’s a very strong, intelligent and dynamic leader. But most importantly she is well-respected among her team.”, Capestany said.  MI

Follow both @MediaIncMag and @CapestanyFilms on Twitter.

 

Scott PGA BEst1

Media Inc Magazine appoints Scott A. Capestany Editor-In-Chief

In an aggressive move by Media Inc Publishing, one of the longest running print publication companies in the Pacific Northwest with over 25 publications, General Manager of the group John Rusnak announced the appointment of Award Winning Film Producer and Indie Film business executive Scott A. Capestany to helm Media Inc Magazine as its new Editor-In-Chief.

Long before the internet, the publication began in the late 1980s as the sole media+film resource and news platform to complement the growing indie film scene in the Seattle, WA market and also to keep its readers up on film festival news, regional film productions and also help production crews members to find jobs.

Over the years, the publication circulated among a regional footprint throughout the Pacific Northwest stretching from Seattle to Portland and Eastern Washington as a well known staple among cinephites.

Early in 2015, Capestany was commissioned by the publication to write a few editorials on the current landscape of Film/TV productions in the region. His cover story “TOP influential Women in Film and Media in WA State” gained the attention of Indie Film communities that quickly led to multiple partnerships with film festivals, businesses and organizations whose mission statements supported spearheading Women In Film, gender equality and diversity throughout Hollywood.   “We are very excited to see Scott take this publication into the 21st century and look forward to seeing his new vision enhance the publications reach and growth”, said Rusnak.  MI Publishing ownership said they were quite confident in Scott’s abilities to carry the torch of the magazine and has no doubt his choice as the successor will bring exciting new content, readers and partnerships around the world for the first time in the company’s history.

Soon after taking the reigns of the magazine, Capestany invited trusted film industry colleague, film financier and Producers Guild of America member ANNE MARIE GILLEN into the fold to further support him in his quest to promote and connect with emerging and high profile Women in Film in Hollwood.  “Scott’s resilience and drive over the years and watching him grow as a reputable player in the business was more than enough to join his team.” Gillen said.  “Scott is quickly evolving into one of Hollywood’s premier Impact Producers.  His explosive energy, ability to quickly formulate partnerships across industry platforms and communicate with the new digital age filmmakers and players is impressive”.

We got a chance to sit down with our new fearless leader to share with us his vision for the future of MI Magazine.

MI:  Congrat’s on your new appointment!

Scott A. Capestany:  Thanks.  When the ownership group approached me, the timing just happened to be perfect.  I’m eager to focus my attention with the new appointment in building a new editorial and mobile support team that will support and stand behind the new branding of the publication including my ongoing advocacy for Women In Film and diversity within the creative space.  Another component I’m excited about is adding a sports and artist lifestyle segment to the publication that highlights the explosive new media growth in those spaces.  The ambition is to eventually offer more of an international scope of entertainment + media related content to our publication online to compliment and grow our print publication still in circulation from its original roots in the Pacific Northwest.  

MI:  Tell us more about the new direction of the publication and how it’s fitting into the new digital media space.

SAC:  One of the first things we tackled was enhancing our online social media engagement component for our readers.  We are now platforming our brand and editorial content aggressively and consistently on twitter.  Many of our followers and engagers are some of the industry’s most active and vocal supporters of our primary editorial content coverage – Indie Film + Women In Film + Diversity in the entertainment space.  Which helps with the growth of our audience and exposure for our partners and advertisers.  With industry news and press coverage PR now primarily being streamlined through the various digital platforms on smartphones and tablets, our plan is to continue to grow our audience through these new technologies.  Secondly, we are aggressively partnering with top international and domestic film festivals as their exclusive Media partner.  The partnerships and press coverage we have in place at high profile indiefilm meccas and markets such as  Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, American Film Market, Seattle International Film Festival and Whistler International Film Festival to mention a few, help bridge the gap of emerging filmmakers and creatives with the rapidly evolving media world.  Showcasing unique aspects of their festivals and events daily on our online platforms (twitter @MediaIncMag) and quarterly in print issues help connect more people to these unique film festivals and markets.  We are also slated to launch a series of interactive social experiences and events for our community through LIVE stream broadcasting and monthly mixers at our partners and film festivals around the world.

MI:  How did you get involved in the Film/TV business?

SAC:  Shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival a while back, I found myself drawn to the energy of this extraordinary tribe of creatives called ‘Indie Filmmakers’.  They all seemed to have this contagious “rebel” almost “maverick” approach to getting things done.  Doing what ever took with limited resources to get a film made, find an audience, buyer and move to the next project swiftly.  Thinking  outside the box and bucking the traditional ways of creating and presenting visual arts was what really drew me in.  I found a way to apply my business background to this newly discovered world of brilliant creative artists and help them.  That’s when the producer was born.  I knew that I had something to offer the indie film world both as a writer, creator and most importantly someone who could connect and educate these creatives on the ‘business’ components of the industry.   Unfortunately, there is a very low number of indie filmmakers that know very much about the business side of the industry.  It’s mostly all about art and expression for creatives.  It’s radically improved in the last five years with the explosion of digital technology tools now available for creatives to create, market and share their content by themselves.  So the timing was perfect for me when I arrived into the scene.   

MI:  How would you describe what is taking place in the current landscape of Film/TV production?

SAC:  I call it the ‘Perfect Storm’ with the three most important  components converging simultaneously and changing so rapidly. Technology, creativity and consumption.  Many people dropped out of the entertainment industry business because of the lighting speed technology and the time it takes to develop and foster professional relationships.  So it’s really opened it up for new emerging creatives that understand the new digital landscape and are leveraging this technology to grow the “New Hollywood”.  You can now pitch a complete stranger at a film market, festival or conference and within days they are investing and often times partnering with you in your endeavor.  Technology has helped bridge the gap of uncertainty in our business.  Content is King in this business more than ever before.  With the emergence of digital distribution, everyone is looking for contact all all platforms and it’s more easy in today’s landscape to get projects pushed along to production if the relationships are there.  The demand for content is unparalleled from any other time in movie making history.  Netflix and Amazon combined are in the process of spending close to $10 Billion dollars for 2017 and likely to increase that aggressive content acquisition well into the future.   So I’m glad I stuck around for this amazing moment in time.  The growth curve for many these days is too much to stay on top of, thus they drop out and revert back to archaic business models that no longer work in the modern world of movie making.   Thanks to getting my first computer in 1981 for Christmas,  I’ve always been a “techie” kind of guy that’s had a computer and cell phone since they came out and have stayed well ahead of the curve within the new digital landscape.   Especially when it comes to engaging decision makers at the studio and network level.  They most all have brilliant tech minds and quite savvy withing the new Hollywood digital landscape.  So I speak their language quite well.  Applying and harnessing the latest technology allows me to navigate the terrain with ease and lightning speed efficiency.  Today’s landscape of film making truly is a manifestation of what I imagined it could become when I was a kid and young business professional in the 90s.  Most everything the imagination conceives in the story telling world now can be produced on screen for worldwide audiences and viewed at the touch of a button 24/7.    And now in this quite extraordinary time, at a fraction of what it cost 5-10-15 years ago.

scott-on-stage-2

Scott A. Capestany pitching ‘My silent Voice’ on stage at the VARIETY Faith Based Film Summit. He was 1 of 12 selected from around the world.

 

MI : What film projects are you involved in as a Producer now?

SAC: My team and I are involved in multiple projects in a variety of production stages including our headlining project which is an action/adventure thriller feature film THE RAINFOREST .  (See story on page  15).   It’s a story about a group of international explorers and scientists that set out to a mysterious Rainforest to investigate a series of tribal legends, riddles and search for a ancient lost civilization myth.  We also are working on a magical family film MY SILENT VOICE that’s about a young deaf girl, her love for horses and her heroic journey to the equine winners circle.  

HOME-SLIDER-IMAGES-Capestany Films

 One of my personal favorite projects that I’m a creator on is an adventurous TV series titled THE ADVENTURES OF SAMMIE DRAKE.   It’s a story about a young 9-year girl who just graduated from the 3rd grade and convinces her parents that she’s old enough to join the family treasure hunting business.  If you remember the adventures of Pippy Longstocking and the illuminating moxy of little Punky Brewster (of the 80s) with a dash of Nancy Drew mystery, audiences and especially younger kids will quickly identify and connect with Sammie and her brave adventures.  Sammie’s bold and brave spirit allows her to do everything the boys can do highlighting our support and advocacy of gender equality.   We are also developing both an APP and VR interactive products with this series similar to the Dora the Explorer brand. 

MI: Tell us about your vision and new direction you are taking with MEDIA INC MAGAZINE.

SAC:  We are currently laser focused on re-branding the publication and designing effective “Editorial Impact” campaigns for our new generation of readers, influencers and strategic partners.  We’ve already partnered with multiple film festivals as their media affiliate providing coverage and connecting with indie filmmakers to help them promote their projects with solid press coverage.   It’s one thing to get a write-up on an unknown blog and another thing to get a write-up in a globally distributed magazine print publication and have a professional digital link coming from that legitimate digital source.  One of the first things we jumped on was the social media platform that this publication had very little exposure on.  We’ve grown our twitter, IG and FB pages 700% since taking over and still primed for fresh new engagement daily.  So being a fresh new print publication in the digital world has worked to our advantage growing our communities and engagers.   We are already becoming a well known media publication outlet both Nationally and Internationally within the Indie film world.  We have already covered Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Seattle International Film Festival and the American Film Market this Fall.  We are also very excited to add a new segment beginning with this publication –  SPORTS.    We’ll be doing editorials that have a new media focus within major organizations like the Pac-12 Network (See page 33) whom are expanding their digital new media footprint and audiences using the power of technology.  

Media Inc Cover BEST with Scott

MI:  What is the current distribution, circulation and frequency of the magazine?

SAC:  We are a FREE quarterly print publication circulating around 5K+/- throughout the Pacific Northwest and West Coast Cities (Seattle, Portland, LA and global film festivals). You can now find us on the racks (just to the right as you walk in the door) at LA’s largest Indie bookstore in Hollywood BOOK SOUP on sunset Boulevard.  We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication to other markets through partnering with domestic and international film festivals, industry organizations and entertainment entities that support Indie Filmmaking. 

All photos, images, soundbites and writings of Scott A. Capestany are COPYRIGHTED and protected under US Copyright laws.

Scott is represented by Beverly Hills lawfirm Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP

You can follow MEDIA INC and CAPESTANY FILMS on Twitter/IG

For Scott’s full Biography – IMDB

 

 

Scilla Andreen

WA State’s Most Influential Women in Film, TV and new Media

Scott A. CapestanyBy Scott A. Capestany Editor-In-Chief

Over the past decade, a growing band of Pacific Northwest talented and fierce female creatives have taken the regional community of independent film, TV, media and music by storm. This two-part cover story takes us into the hearts and minds of some of Washington’s and Oregon’s most admired and influential women who have helped pave the way on how we consume media, create films/music, produce visual art (films) and empower others through their creative and artistic talents. Their work today continues to push the limits of innovation by contributing to the ever-growing and quickly-evolving landscape of our region’s multi-media sector. We are proud to call these women ‘our own.’ But most importantly, so very grateful for what they do for others through their leadership, inspiration and love within our communities.

For part one of this cover story, we are honored and excited to commemorate the careers and achievements of 18 unique and fascinating women from Washington State within the world of film, TV, media and creativity. Highlighting their profound and worthy contributions is just one factor we took into consideration. The other, which is equally important throughout the process of creative collaboration, is the leadership and teamwork skills that each of them have so admirably displayed over the years. Our selection is not in any order of significance, but rather a collective equal presentation celebrating women pioneers that have fought hard in their professions, stepped outside the box, made their voices heard and, most importantly, become game-changers that continue to push for equality and women empowerment in the entertainment space.

Congratulations to these outstanding women from the Pacific Northwest, and be sure to look for part two of this story, which will feature women in film from Los Angeles, in the next issue of Media Inc.

SCILLA ANDREEN, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based IndieFlix, has truly become one of the most iconic empresses of women empowerment and influence within the world of indie filmmaking.

Scilla Andreen

Scilla Andreen

What Variety magazine calls ‘the Netflix of indie films,’ IndieFlix is now the world’s premier online indie film streaming service that specifically provides a platform for content representing independent thinkers, offering a unique and never-before-seen distribution and revenue model for filmmakers. Content that is featured on the IndieFlix platform allows filmmakers to get paid through metrics involving ‘minutes viewed’ and most recently can now access all their films’ data of their actual viewing audience.

“We created IndieFlix with the filmmaker in mind first that offered more than just a platform for showcasing their finished films,” Andreen said. Currently now in beta  testing, IndieFlix filmmakers can for the first time have access to all the necessary data as to who, where, and how consumers are viewing their content, which she believes is a game-changer in the industry.

As a veteran entrepreneur, Andreen’s work over the past two decades as an Emmy-nominated costume designer, award-winning filmmaker, producer, popular speaker, international film festival juror and dedicated advocate of independent film has helped open up doors and inspired millions of creative artists, both in front of and behind the camera. Her recent empowerment documentary project run through her IndieFlix foundation, which highlights ordinary women doing extraordinary things, recently returned home to Washington State after making a national tour around the country featuring a band of young female filmmakers interviewing and highlighting other women’s empowering stories. The documentary now is being screened at hundreds of schools across the nation. Her current project Screenagers is a fascinating look into today’s youth and their usage of digital technology, directed by Seattle physician and award-winning filmmaker Delaney Rustin. Visit www.indieflix.com and www.screenagersmovie.com for more.

Having directed every single one her seven feature films in Washington State, (Click HERE) our next woman of influence likely does not need a formal introduction. If you have had your eye on the Pacific Northwest Indiefilm line-up over the last decade, writer/director LYNN SHELTON has essentially embodied what women in film and Washington State filmmaking has become. Along with her good friend and Seattle producer Mel Eslyn, Shelton feels there needs to be a greater effort by Washington State legislation to see the value and benefit of making films and TV shows in Washington.  (This published prior to the renewal of the 2017 incentive program).

“The thing about the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program is that it’s so beautifully engineered and designed to benefit the Washington State economy and professional filmmakers,” said Shelton. “In fact, Washington State was the first state ever to create a film incentive that included union standards, like pension health benefits.”

Lynn Shelton

Lynn Shelton

Spending half her time in L.A., Shelton works both as a writer and director for a number of well-known network and studio projects. Her work has been seen on Netflix, Showtime, Fox and 20th Century TV in episodes of series such as Mad Men, Shameless, Master of None, Fresh Off the Boat, New Girl and Maron.

Shelton also feels that it is a very unique time for women in film. “I believe that we as women are upon a very special moment that I hope is not wasted,” she said. “A moment of opportunity… that I hope is not wasted.” Now that the conversation of women in film and the lack of gender diversity among directors in Hollywood has been brought to the forefront of the media, Shelton senses a much more profound willingness and actual  desire of women wanting to change the pattern by hopefully enhancing the numbers of women directors at large in the workplace. Shelton is actively pushing to bring her next feature to the Evergreen State, produced with our next featured woman of influence and her good friend, Mel Eslyn.

One of the most decorated and hard-working independent film producers from Washington State is MEL ESLYN. Having begun working on movie sets at the age of 14, Eslyn’s resilient and admirable work ethic has spanned two decades, leading her to producing over 15 films, including 3 of Lynn Shelton’s 6 major feature films. Over the last handful of years, she has produced a series of feature films that have screened at some of the world’s top film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and SXSW. She recently won the prestigious Piaget Producers Award at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards that honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films. The annual award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Mel Eslyn

Mel Eslyn

“One of the biggest hurdles for me as a producer has been my ability to bring more of my films to Seattle. Once projects reach a certain budget, a state film incentive comes into play quite significantly as to where the film is made,” Eslyn said. “It’s my goal in the next year to bring at least one, if not two, feature films to our market that in turn will help bring more awareness to legislation to see the huge benefits a feature film has on impacting local community’s business and economy.” One of Eslyn’s biggest contributions to the Washington State film scene over the years has been her loyalty to her crew and co-workers. Although a number of her films have been filmed outside of Washington State, she brings along many local crew people to work alongside her.

When it comes to connecting the Pacific Northwest’s growing pool of talented actors, casting director NIKE IMORU, CSA, is the one woman who not only gets the job done, but is counted on by the leading producers throughout Washington and now in Los Angeles to find the most talented performers in film and TV. Nike, pronounced “Nee-Kay,” has been a professional casting director in Washington for over 10 years and currently is the lead casting director for the state’s largest recurring cable TV series, Z Nation.

Nike Imoru

Nike Imoru

“It’s been my goal ever since I began casting to offer more to actors during the casting process than what typically they would get during an audition,” Imoru said. Known around the region as a true “actors coach,” she is a classically trained professional theater actor herself who hails from the U.K., where she also taught acting at a few prestigious schools before becoming a full-time CSA. She recently opened up a state-of-the-art casting studio facility in West Seattle, where she will be spending most of 2016 casting and supporting Z Nation. Visit www.nikeimorucasting.com or find Nike Imoru Casting on Facebook: ‘Act with Inspiration.’

With approximately 45 film festivals and competitions each year for filmmakers and folks to attend around the state, STEFANIE MALONE, executive director of the world’s largest youth film festival NFFTY, helms a quite impressive and quickly growing international festival in downtown Seattle each spring. Now in its 10th year, NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) receives over 950 submissions from over 20 countries around the world made by youth filmmakers between the ages of 5 and 25.

Stefanie Malone

Stefanie Malone

An Emmy Award-winning producer herself, Malone’s work in the PBS arena for many years led her to Seattle, where she became the community engagement and education director for Seattle’s local PBS affiliate, KCTS. Although her full-time commitment to NFFTY year-round occupies most of her bandwidth, her ongoing relationship with KCTS and WETA (the Washington, D.C. PBS affiliate) allows her to pursue her true passion and love for developing and producing documentaries. “It’s hard to leave PBS entirely after being with them so long, so I’m grateful I can continue to work within that space where I still think it is an excellent platform for filmmakers to showcase their films and TV shows,” Malone said. Her team of likeminded leaders and growing numbers of supporting staff at NFFTY has allowed the festival to expand its annual events and festival offerings to the public. Visit www.nffty.org.

Working for the City of Seattle as executive director for the Film+Music Office, KATE BECKER leads a staff of seven who oversee a multitude of resources and permitting activities that help facilitate filmmakers, musicians and special events. Whether it be a feature film, TV series, commercial or new media production that involves city parks or hundreds of locations run by the city, Becker’s team truly is the ‘one-stop shop’ for the professional filmmaker. Each year, the city issues over 400 film permits for projects filmed in and around the city.

Prior to working with the city, Becker served in leadership roles at Kate BeckerSeattle Theatre Group, Art Share L.A. in Los Angeles, and the New Art Center in Newton, Massachusetts. She co-founded Seattle’s Vera Project and the Old Fire House, nonprofit art- and music-based all-ages venues that have helped build Seattle’s creative economy talent pipeline. Becker has also produced more than 1,000 all-ages shows and numerous major fundraisers and galas. Talking about women in film, Becker said, “I’m so happy to work in a market (WA State) where so many talented women are leading our local industry by producing and creating exceptional content which is a true feather in our cap.”

Becker also works quite diligently as one of Washington State’s top interactive advocates for helping bring new filmmakers to the state from around the world while attending national and international festivals and markets. “We are excited the members of the film industry are actively convening in pursuit of a production facility to be located in Seattle,” she said. “Something like this could do wonders for the film/TV and media landscape.” Visit www.seattle.gov/filmandmusic.

As co-founder and owner of Mighty Tripod Productions (MTP), one of Seattle’s most respected actor development, management and indie production companies, ANGELA DiMARCO truly has become an empowering woman of influence, both in front of and behind the camera. With a genuine heart to help others (she is known as ‘Mama DiMarco’ among her circle), she helps mentor and prepare actors for the rigorous road of working in the business.

Angela DiMarco

Angela DiMarco

“MTP is an evolution of who I was, growing up without having quality training and mentorship that I believe is a major cornerstone of becoming a professional artist,” said DiMarco, who runs the company with her talented and award-winning husband David Hogan, who himself has over two decades of theater, film, TV and talent leadership under his belt.

“David and I wanted to create a platform in Mighty Tripod Productions for Northwest actors taught by Northwest actors, available to all ages to hone their craft, build their confidence and, most of all, be mighty,” she added. You can find DiMarco on all social media channels under Mighty Tripod Productions, her own hashtag #dontwaitcreate and at www.mightytripod.com.

Once a creative artist decides he or she wants to take the plunge into the world of acting or modeling in the Seattle area, TERRI MORGAN’s TCM Models and Talent Agency would be considered by many one of the most well-known and reputable agencies in the state. Starting up in 1979 as a modeling agency over in Eastern Washington, Morgan decided to take her love for helping others within the industry to Seattle and opened up a new location downtown in 1990, where they remain today. By 1998, her well-seasoned staff established a new talent division that has provided actors opportunities in commercials, feature films, TV series and new media requiring on-camera talent.

Terri Morgan

Terri Morgan

“Coming from a modeling background myself, I know how hard it can be to break into the business not knowing how to navigate the oftentimes intimidating and rigorous demand of the business or how the auditioning and selection process works,” she said. “TCM specializes in counseling and advising talent by offering a well-developed road map for actors and models to utilize if they choose to enhance their careers.” Visit TCM at www.tcmmodels.com.

One of Washington State’s best known features is its rich and vibrant Native American culture and history. Our next woman of influence has spent over a decade developing an awareness  and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool for local communities, primarily the indigenous people of the region. As co-founder and executive director of Longhouse Media, now in their 11th year, TRACY RECTOR (Choctaw/Seminole Tribe) has produced over 350 film shorts, worked with over 40 tribes from around the United States, and has served over 3,000 youths by bringing filmmaking tools to tribal students from around the country to help them tell their own stories. Her work has been featured by Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative and National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project, while also leading the first filmmaking team from Seattle to have a documentary on PBS’ Independent Lens and appearing in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian. Not to mention, she’s a recent Sundance Film Institute Lab fellow participant and Tribeca Film Festival all-access grantee to boot.

Tracy Rector

Tracy Rector

Aside from being an award-winning director/producer and advocate, Rector developed and launched the quite successful educational program ‘SuperFly,’ a program that challenged students to create 5 films in 36 hours, which then screened in conjunction with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).

“SIFF’s decade-long collaborating with Tracy on ‘SuperFly’ was an exceptional opportunity that not only provided exemplary training and experience to youth across cultures, but built bridges between the Native community and their neighbors from cities across the USA. Today, Tracy’s new ‘4th World’ program continues that depth of intent, as we are proud to be working with her to fill the need for additional training for up-and-coming Native filmmakers,” said Dustin Kaspar, education director at SIFF.

Rounding off her admirable leadership throughout the communities of the Puget Sound, Rector currently sits as City of Seattle Arts Commissioner.

“My vision is to bring traditional and contemporary education together on a foundation based in environmental stewardship,” said Rector. As a monthly series, her ‘Indigenous Showcase’ program at the Northwest Film Forum also blends culture with community. She added, “The Indigenous Showcase program screens films made by Native Americans or in part supported by the Native American community.” Read more about Rector at www.longhousemedia.org and www.clearwaterstories.org.

Abby Dylan

Abby Dylan

With the growing number of actors and performers living and arriving to Seattle, ABBY DYLAN is a woman whose lengthy multi-decade experience in the industry has landed her passionate voice for actors at the top of the most prestigious organizations in show business. Dylan is an elected member of the SAG-AFTRA Board, where she serves as the National Chairman of the SAGIndie Committee and ViceChair of the Legislative Committee. In addition, she is also a director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board, and was appointed to serve on the Board of Washington Filmworks by both Governor Christine Gregoire and Governor Jay Inslee. In 2016, Dylan also was appointed to the Board of the SAG Foundation as their new secretary. For more, visit www.sagaftra.org, www.sagindie.org, and www.washingtonfilmworks.org.

Every spring, Seattle ushers in one of the biggest and longest-running city-wide events, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Ranked as one of the top film festivals in the world, SIFF showcases over 450 films, shorts and documentaries from over 80 countries throughout a 25-day odyssey. BETH BARRETT, director of programming, spearheads the division along with her team of staffers and volunteers that help formulate the line-up and presentation of films each year. Barrett has been with SIFF since 2003, joining as an intern in communications and quickly moving along into the programming division. Over the course of her tenure, she has watched SIFF grow from 5 staff to now over 25 full-time staffers.

Programming essentially works with the incoming filmmakers each Beth Barrettyear, streamlines communication between programmers and watches hundreds of films leading up to the festival with the objective of bringing the best films they can find from around the world and our own region to screen in Seattle. To help local filmmakers from Washington State showcase their films on an international platform, SIFF offers a unique ‘Northwest Connections’ showcasing. “The program is designed to help elevate local filmmakers to international attention that essentially represent a microcosm of the work being done by Pacific Northwest artists with projects of all types of films, genres, styles and lengths,” Barrett said.

Her commitment to bring some of the best films from around the world made by women is a top priority while paying close attention to her final design of the festival’s programming. “It’s really important to me to have women from all around the world represented here at SIFF on an equal footing every year,” said Barrett.

Be sure to mark your calendars for May for this spectacular presentation of world cinema right here in Seattle by visiting www.siff.net for all the events, parties and screenings.

Recently winning the ‘Best TV Personality’ award put on by KING 5 in 2015, ANNY HAVLAND has been making a huge splash in the world of online empowerment through her uplifting reality TV/Web series called Talk It Up TV. Originally from Bellingham, Havland came to Seattle to explore more opportunities using her magical gift of connecting and inspiring others. In 2010, she co-founded and now produces her own series that boasts over 5,000 YouTube subscribers from all around the world.

Anny Havland

Anny Havland

Talk It Up TV is a new style of media that is reality TV at its best with a positive twist. Instead of reporting and highlighting negative tragedies, we share these real-life stories with our viewers and create a positive ending to each story with a shocking act of kindness that are unforgettable,” Havland said. Each episode is lined with a powerful, very uplifting and heartfelt message that offers a life-changing experience for the individual. Visit Havland online at www.talkituptv.com or by using the hashtag #tiuarmy.

One of Seattle’s most dynamic documentary filmmakers is ROSALIE MILLER. Her handful of films she has produced in just the last five years have screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide under her own banner, Wanderhouse Productions. Her independent production company focuses on producing micro-budget narrative and documentary projects with an emphasis on digital media production. The Wanderhouse website boasts: “We are dedicated to creative collaboration, compelling storytelling, and subject matter intended to inspire others.”

Rosalie Miller

Rosalie Miller

Miller’s resilient and fierce approach to the filmmaking process radiates wherever she goes with quite vocal and well-developed skills in pitching, fundraising and audience engagement. Her feature-length documentary Personhood (now in post-production), which documents the burgeoning personhood movement and the far-reaching impact of laws designed to protect the fetus, won both the Women in Film Seattle Professional Grant and the 2015 American Documentary Film Fund.

Aside from her work behind the camera, Miller is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is a well-known actress who has appeared in dozens of feature-length films, shorts, commercials and TV series in Washington State. Miller is currently in production on her next documentary, an intimate portrait piece about Seattle-based dance artist and drag queen, Jody Kuehner (aka Cherdonna Shinatra). Visit www.wanderhouseproductions.com and www.personhoodmovie.com for more.

Producer LEAH WARSHAWSKI has over a decade of experience in film and TV production. Warshawski has worked on some of TV’s biggest series, including Lost, Survivor and Alias. She recently wrapped her own feature-length documentary Big Sonia, which in 2015 won the prestigious $50,000 film grant award given annually by True Productions in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival.

Leah Warshawski with her doc subject and grandmother, Sonia.

Leah Warshawski with her doc subject and grandmother, Sonia.

“The process of documentary filmmaking is becoming more about the films’ campaigns than just about the actual movie being made,” Warshawski said. “Big Sonia has been a story I’ve always wanted to tell about my own grandmother. So we decided early on to develop a nationwide campaign for major cities that would also educate and involve local communities around the country surrounding her story.”

Warshawski also is currently working with local filmmakers Jo Ardinger and Rosalie Miller on the doc Personhood as producer. “When Jo approached me to join the team, I just couldn’t say no because of the impact I knew this film would make on our communities and country,” she added. Her current projects can be found at www.bigsonia.com.

RYAN DAVIS is a professional film publicist, communications specialist and co-founder of Seattle’s Smarthouse Creative. With over 30 years of combined experience in film marketing, publicity, distribution, programming and exhibition, Smarthouse Creative helps filmmaking teams find their audiences and bring attention to their work during all phases of their projects, from fundraising to festivals to distribution. They also work with select film festivals, non-profits and startups to deliver digital strategy, publicity and audience engagement services to position clients at the forefront of their respective industries.

Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

For over a decade, Davis has worked in nearly every aspect of the film business including documentary film producing, film festivals, distribution, exhibition and sales. She and Smarthouse have placed multiple projects on media platforms such as HBO, CNN, The
New York Times, newspapers and local radio. Independent film projects that Smarthouse has run PR/marketing on have screened all over the world. Prior to Smarthouse, Davis served as a marketing leader for multiple non-profit arts groups and organizations including the Northwest Film Forum and Northwest Folklife.

Smarthouse Creative gets Media Inc.’s vote for best local indie film PR & marketing firm! Visit  www.smarthousecreative.com.

If there is one woman creative in Seattle that personifies the fastest and hardest-working bird on earth—the hummingbird—it most certainly is producer/actor LORRAINE MONTEZ. For over a decade, Montez has appeared in over 20 films as an actress and over a dozen films as producer. She is known widely in the local film community for her unlimited amount of energy and drive she pours into her daily routine as a filmmaker, educator, mentor and actor.

Lorainne Montez

Lorainne Montez

After noticing that fewer roles were being offered in film and TV to more mature women as a performer in the local market, she took the initiative to begin writing and soon formed her own production company, Abundant Productions. “I strongly believe in the laws of attraction,” Montez said. “I wanted to create a company that would attract goodness, abundance and creativity.” A recent feature film she produced under her Abundant flagship, The Hollow One, was acquired by Raven Banner Entertainment for international and domestic distribution.

Montez has been a vocal and active member of Women in Film for many years and recently served as the marketing and communication chairwoman for WIF Seattle. As a producer who feels there needs to be a bigger pool of well-educated filmmakers in the art of marketing and producing skills, Montez also instructs a marketing and producing class at Shoreline Community College. She also heads up a monthly workshop called Abundant Creative Playground, a platform where writers and professional actors come together in an interactive creative setting to enhance literary material. It’s a process she calls “disrupting the writing process in a productive and unique way.” Find out more at www.abundantproductions.net.

Award-winning journalist MAUREEN FRANCISCO is a woman whose journey into the world of TV and media has been quite unique. After arriving from the Philippines as a young girl to Federal Way, Washington, she learned to speak English by watching the nightly news. Fascinated by The Oprah Winfrey Show, Francisco was quickly inspired to pursue a career in journalism, which led her to an early career working for major network affiliates (CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX) around the country as a news reporter after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. Upon her return to the Puget Sound in 2004, Francisco continued her work in TV at Northwest Cable News.

Maureen Francisco

Maureen Francisco

By 2013, she joined her husband as co-executive producer of NW Productions. Their company produces live shows, including the Pacific Northwest qualifying events for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington
States. “We coordinate and produce all of the events for both pageants in our region including doing the PR for our title holders and contestants under a separate division of NW Productions,” Francisco said. “We are in charge of procuring sponsors, selecting judges, screening contestants for eligibility requirements and finding our host venues.”

NW Productions also produces red carpet events, women empowerment workshops, and reality/talk show programming throughout the Puget Sound. Visit www.maureenfrancisco.com.

With 1 in every 10 Americans now using online dating services, the number of people looking for love online has never been greater. SUSIE LEE, CEO and founder of the dating app Siren, took things into her own hands a few years ago by creating an entirely new approach to the virtual world of online dating. “Our members set the tone of our community; we focus on connections that matter in a respectful space,” said Lee. “Siren is a platform where wit and personality shine.” Lee’s brainchild won the App of the Year by GeekWire in 2015, and recently landed an additional $500,000 in funding to help expand their 20,000 membership base and operations.

Susie Lee

Susie Lee

The app works quite differently than most apps, in that members receive a “Question of the Day” asked by artists and other types of creatives in the local community. The questions ignite conversations, which in turn promote members to uncover their true personalities organically, rather than with a generic profile and photo.

A graduate of Yale, Columbia and UW with degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, science education, and art, Lee uses her skills as a social sculptor to amplify humanity in technology. Her work has been collected by numerous institutions including the Denver Art Museum, Mitchell Center for the Arts, Frye Art Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. For more, go to www.susiejlee.com.

We invite you to learn more about the women of influence within TV, film and media as we continue our coverage in our next issue, which will feature women from the state of Oregon.

Features writer Scott A. Capestany is an award-winning producer, educator and advocate for women in film. Visit him at www.capestanyfilms.com and all social media platforms @capestanyfilms. Email producer@capestanyfilms.com.

Marc Cartwright

MARC Cartwright – LA’s Premier Headshot Photographer and Award Winning Filmmaker

ScottCapestany_PRESS_MediaIncMAG

Editor In Chief Scott A. Capestany – Photo By Marc Cartwright

With headshots remaining the most important and valued tool for the performing artist and actor, Media Inc Magazine got a chance to sit down with one of Los Angeles most reputable and talented photographer whose new career path now also involves filmmaking.

MARC CARTWRIGHT has been working in the entertainment business since the 90s starting off as an actor in New York City while attending NYU majoring in Mass Media + Human Behavior.  Fascinated more with what was going on behind the camera during his work on TV/Film sets as a performer, Marc enrolled in a photography course that ignited his desire to pursue the craft full-time.

Marc soon moved to LA in 1998 and built a photography client list that now includes Emmy+Golden Globe nominees Lou Diamond Philips and Ariana Grande as well as  Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.   His highly sought after photography sessions  now book out many weeks in advance, so  we were lucky to catch up with him for our own photo shoot and interview at his high-rise studio overlooking the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Q:  What brought you to LA?

Marc Cartwright: I moved  our to LA in 1998 to pursue acting and my photography.   After arriving I met a friend that introduced me to a publicist that quickly referred me to new clients that helped expand by business.

Q:  Tell us about how the digital revolution impacted your business.

MC:  Obviously it makes it cheaper and much quicker regarding turn around and sharing images immediately with clients.  But I’m really glad I learned the craft on film because I feel that people who learned this way take more time with images.   You really had to develop your eye before the shutter was snapping.  I truly enjoy the process and working with clients getting them what they want and capturing them at their best moments for the camera more than the efficiency and technological advances of the craft. 

Q: Tell us about the process of working with you and coming in for some headshots.

A:  The idea is that I encourage my clients to have an idea as to where they want to go as actor in the industry prior to coming in.  And if they don’t quite yet know and they are new to the business, I ask them to think about that.   Prior to booking with me,  I email  out a series of questions asking them to prep with their wardrobe reflecting these ideas that will allow me to help with the creative visual telling component of the session.  Before we get started I like to talk with my clients to get a sense of their personality. Some people like to be coached harder, the tough love kind of thing and others come in and know exactly what they want and how to react to the camera.   Although photography is obviously visual, it truly is a mental medium.  For instance, when you look at a photo and the lighting, wardrobe, etc. all seems perfect but the feeling isn’t there, we’re not going to like the photograph.  You really want to capture that cerebral connection or it will seem forced. This approach I use also works well at reducing any nervousness and apprehension with the client knowing a bit more about who they are and how they want to be photographed.  

Q: Tell us about your recent transition into cinematography and Filmmaking.  We hear you won some recent awards to!

A:  GLASS CABIN FILMS is my production company that we started in 2015 with my friend Baker Chase Powell.  After I came on-board a web-series as a cinematographer and producer, he and I shared a number of interests in filmmaking.  Then it developed into a partnership with him where we have now since produced three short films all in the horror psychological thriller genre films.

VEXED winner pic

Baker Chase Powell (L) and Marc Cartwright at the 2017 Twister Alley Film Festival in Oklahoma City 2017

With our film VEXED currently on tour and getting selected by many film festivals as we speak, we just won BEST FILM and BEST ACTOR at the Twister Alley Film festival in Oklahoma.  The film was also1 of 15 films screened at the UCLAx Entertainment Studies program in West Hollywood where I”m currently taking a course in producing this year.  We also won best horror thriller short at the NORTH HOLLYWOOD CINEFEST this year as well.  

lowREZ_Vexed_Poster

Marc Cartwright grew up in New York on Long Island’s East End. Partially raised by his grandparents who were avid fans of Hollywood classics, he developed a passion for film.   In 2008 Marc opened Marc Cartwright Photography which developed into a successful business of photographing established and up and coming talent in Film and Television.  In 2013, Marc was asked to co-produce and be the director of photography on various projects which cemented his love of film making and created a deeper desire to explore the art.

As Creative Director of Glass Cabin Films, Marc oversees the identity and vision of the company.

Marc can be booked and his work can all be viewed via his WEBSITE Follow him on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM. 

BAKER CHASE POWELL and GLASS CABIN FILMS 

anne-marine-1

Anne Marie Gillen joins MI as Associate Editor

Media Inc Magazine welcomes Award Winning Producer Anne Marie Gillen (Producers Guild of America) as Associate Editor to compliment the publications efforts of increasing its global outreach and engagement within the independent film arena. She will help oversee industry, film festival and film market event editorial coverage primarily for Women In Film.

As former COO of Morgan Freeman’s production company ‘Revelation Entertainment’, Gillen’s work as a Producer, Consultant, Lecturer and Corporate/Executive Coach has spanned the elite levels of motion picture development and financing business for over 25 years.  Her work as Executive Producer on Universal Studios feature film ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ paved the way for  global box-office success grossing over $110M.  As an expert in film finance, distribution, digital media and film development, Gillen also brings a plethora of top tiered industry relationship to Media Inc Magazine’s network.

She is the co-author of the The Producer’s Business Handbook published by Focal Press and co-branded by the American Film Market (AFM).  The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®  The 4th and newest addition will premier at AFM 2017 with book signings at the Focal Press booth next to registration at the AFM headquarters inside the Santa Monica Lowes Hotel.

Her current projects featured at the AFM are the underwater sci-fi film Oceanus being sold by Evolutionary Films and 12-episode opera Vireo being sold by Altadena Films.

She is the CEO and President of ‘The Gillen Group, LLC’ whom specializes in working with ‘IndieFilm’ producers realize their projects.  Anne Marie can be reached at  amgillen@gillengroupllc.com 

Ashland article_Bagshaw

Ashland Named A Best Place to Live and Work as a Filmmaker by MovieMaker Magazine for Third Year in a Row

Ashland article_Bagshaw

By Ginny Auer Executive Director, Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM)
Photo by Sean Bagshaw

When thinking of Ashland, most people’s minds go to the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the powder atop the slopes of Mt. Ashland or the many local wineries and breweries. But after a third year in a row on the list of best places to live and work as a filmmaker in MovieMaker Magazine, Ashland’s reputation as a filmmaking hub is solid as well.

Ashland was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as the #2 Town to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in the nation for 2014, and then was honored with a bump to #1 in January of 2015! In 2016, MovieMaker changed the criteria for the award to combine small cities and towns. Ashland beat out film hubs with populations of more than 150,000 and more robust incentive packages, ranking at #5 on the list this year. How is it that this small town of 20,000 is getting such accolades? MovieMaker cited “a bustling culinary scene, a no-big box store policy (and no state sales tax!), film festivals, independent theaters and a super-supportive film organization called Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM).”

SOFaM supports the local film industry by promoting the region to both local and out-of-area producers, and works to connect productions with local film professionals, actors, equipment and resources via its online directory. With its large database and deep reach across the entire region, SOFaM is a great place to start for any film or media project.

In recent years, Ashland has shown up on big and small screens quite a bit. Wild, with Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon, featured the downtown area, as well as nearby sections of the scenic Pacific Crest Trail. Ashland was also seen in Night Moves with Jesse Eisenberg and then again in the locally-produced independent film Black Road. Companies like Hewlett-Packard and even John Deere are finding Southern Oregon a great place to film.

Ashland has a film-friendly community, with low- to no-cost permits, strong state incentives, no sales tax and unexpectedly large numbers of filmmakers, technicians, equipment, support services and on-screen talent.

And then there are the kinds of resources you don’t expect to find in a town this size. Beyond the talented performers that join the Oregon Shakespeare Festival each year, OSF’s costume rental shop is just as impressive. The shop is the size of a football field with costumes from nearly every era, and it regularly rents to theaters, film and TV productions across the country, including Saturday Night Live.

Ashland is in the center of a filmmaker’s goldmine. Southern Oregon boasts a unique and beautiful coastline, high desert to the east, and many small towns with a host of unique venues for shooting. Medford, situated at the heart of the region, is the location of an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix. When taken as a whole, the MovieMaker designation of Ashland as a best place to live and be a filmmaker really applies to all of Southern Oregon.

Cameras are rolling in Southern Oregon like never before and SOFaM extends an invitation for new and returning filmmakers to join in and see what all the buzz is about!

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

THE 2016 TRANSLATIONS

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

The staff of Three Dollar Bill Cinema with Maureen Bradley, director of the 2015 Best Narrative Feature, Two 4 One.

Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a constellation of shining stars & original stories

By Sam Berliner Festival Director
Photos courtesy of Three Dollar Bill Cinema

The 2016 edition of Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is all about connecting audiences with stars and stories. This year we are excited to celebrate some of the champions who have led the way for transgender communities and highlight connections through an array of voices and perspectives.

One of the most visible and highly acclaimed transgender-centered series is the groundbreaking Transparent. Join us during this year’s festival for an exciting discussion with some of the remarkable talent behind the making of this captivating show, including pioneering star Alexandra Billings—the first openly trans woman to have played a transgender character on television back in 2005. Our guests will share some inside scoop, thoughts on the broader implications of the show’s success, reflections on what it means being transgender both in front of and behind the camera, and where they see trans representation going in the future.

Festival director Sam Berliner

Festival director Sam Berliner

We’re incredibly excited for the Northwest premiere of Major! about Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, the 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has fought for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to the Transgender
Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Miss Major’s life is a testament to the fierce survivalism, resilience and celebration of a community that has been historically traumatized and marginalized. The film, which recently sold out its San Francisco premiere at the historic Castro Theatre, shows one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for each other can be a revolutionary act.

And when it comes to unique stories, Suited fits to a tee. This documentary—fresh from its Sundance premiere and produced by Lena Dunham—tells the story of Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company that makes custom suits for gender -nonconforming and transgender clients. Among the people on the gender spectrum sharing their stories are a trans boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, a New York City cab driver, a young Southern law student and a trans man preparing for his wedding. At its heart, the film is an intimate journey of coming into a new identity, accepting difference and living bravely in one’s own skin. It’s another Northwest premiere!

Co-directors of last year's Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Co-directors of last year’s Best Documentary Short Film, Passing, Lucah Rosenberg Lee (left) and J. Mitchel Reed (right).

Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival is not only a groundbreaking film festival that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender people and the issues facing the transgender community, but one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world. The goal of the event is to place emphasis on visibility and positive representations. Join us for four days of shining stars and exciting stories from our community.

Translations takes place May 12-15 at the Northwest Film Forum and 12th Ave Arts. To read more or purchase tickets, visit www.translationsfilmfest.org and www.threedollarbillcinema.org.

Photo by Sherry Zheng

Asian American Festival Bridges Culture in Seattle

Photo by Sherry Zheng

Photo by Sherry Zheng

This past February, audiences enjoyed the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, which screened at the Northwest Film Forum over four days. Media Inc. spoke with the co-directors of the festival, Vanessa Au and Martin Tran, to hear about the festival’s contribution to the Seattle film and cultural landscape.

Media Inc: Tell us a bit about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival. It had been on hiatus starting in 2007, and then it was resurrected in 2013. What about the festival has changed?
Vanessa Au and Martin Tran: Since SAAFF’s resurrection, we’ve made several changes. We kick off every festival with an opening night party featuring live performances from local Asian American musicians, artists and dancers. We’ve also tried hard to bring the filmmakers to the festival so that they can network with one another and meet the audience, whether that’s during post-film Q&As, panel discussions or in the theater lobby. Finally, we’ve spent a lot of time doing outreach to the Asian American community through our co-presenters program. We get at least one API (Asian Pacific Islander) nonprofit group to promote each program and in turn provide them with a table to distribute info about their organization and a few minutes at the start of the screening to tell the audience about their org.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: What are some of your goals with the festival? How does it contribute to the Seattle community?
VA/MT: One of our top goals is to contribute to the Asian American community by bringing attention to various organizations and bringing community organizers to the festival. Some of the groups who’ve participated as co-presenters include API Chaya, Asian and Counseling Resource Services (ACRS), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Seattle, Vietnamese Friendship Association, Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle, Trikone, International Community Health Services (ICHS), and others. We also use the opening night party to feature local live Asian American talent.

MI: What were some highlights about this year’s festival?
VA/MT: The biggest highlight this year was the number of filmmakers that were in attendance. It was amazing to see them meet one another and the greater Seattle community, be it at official events like our Opening Night Party, Filmmaker Brunch, VIP party, and Q&As after their screenings, to more casual settings like the lobby of the Northwest Film Forum, or in our VIP Lounge or at an impromptu dinner the last night of the fest. It was just really wonderful to see people coming together, and to share our wonderful city with these visiting filmmakers.

Photo by Amy Zhong

Photo by Amy Zhong

MI: Can you speak about some of the Northwest filmmakers that were showcased in the festival?
VA/MT: Every year we do our best to showcase local filmmakers, and we were lucky to have so many great short films to share. Tadd Mitsui told a touching story about a man and his place in our ever-changing city in The Car Doctor Pat Abe. Jade Justad brought such a beautiful visual eye and drew out naturalistic performances from her young actors with her short film, Creased, about a young Asian American woman struggling with self-image and what it means to be beautiful, let alone “normal,” in this world. She brought a deft touch to the issue of Asians having the double eyelid surgery that makes them look more “White.”

We also showcase films from ACRS Southeast Asian Young Men’s Group, shepherded by Joseph Mills. This year we screened Model Minority Stereotype by Minhkennedy Pham and Chanthadeth by Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy. Both films spoke to our perceptions of identity, on both very personal and political levels.

MI: Thanks so much for sharing about the festival. We look forward to it in 2017!

More information about the Seattle Asian American Film Festival is available online at www.seattleaaff.org.

ompa-logo

Shokrian Leads the OMPA

By Mary Erickson Associate Editor
Photo by Owen Carey

Janice Shokrian has worked around the film industry for years. Now she’s firmly embedded within the industry as the new head of Oregon’s industry association, the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA).Janice

After Tom McFadden resigned his post as Executive Director in February 2015, the OMPA has been in the interim hands of Nathaniel Applefield. The OMPA’s Board of Directors conducted a search to find McFadden’s replacement, and selected Shokrian to lead the OMPA in December 2015.

Ever since, Shokrian has been hitting the ground running. She’s traveled around the state, familiarizing herself with the myriad of individuals involved in Oregon’s media industry. Also on the agenda: getting familiar with the SourceOregon Directory and determining how to maximize its impact, particularly with regards to state incentive programs.

“The directory isn’t just a place to have your name. It has a greater purpose. It’s also a show of force for legislators,” Shokrian comments. “This message needs to resonate more fully.”

Shokrian brings a trove of arts management experience, having worked in volunteer management and marketing over the course of her career. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Portland Actors Conservatory, and she also ran a boutique marketing company for 12 years, working with a Grammy Award-winning musician, an opera singer, and other clients from the nonprofit arts world. “I’ve always wanted to work in the nonprofit world,” says Shokrian. “It’s important that I have a cause and a drive to my work.”

Although she hasn’t been directly involved much in the film industry prior to her appointment with the OMPA, Shokrian is committed to understanding the dynamics within the organization and around the state. “I’m looking at the OMPA from a 30,000 feet viewpoint…this perspective allows me to look at our work from a different vantage point.”

She’s excited to be a champion for the industry and to provide support, especially working within Oregon’s film community. “I feel proud of our state. It’s not pretentious. Everybody stands shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s a real giveback sense in the community.” Shokrian hopes to continue that sense of involvement in the community while building the OMPA’s membership, which currently stands at roughly 800 members. Shokrian will also work with organizations around the state, such as Southern Oregon Film and Media (SOFaM), to ensure that the sense of community is supported and sustained throughout Oregon.

“We represent the whole state, not just Portland,” she says. “We’re Oregon-centric.”