16 05 2013

Q/A session at Dances with Films.

Filmmakers and movie lovers will be treated to scores of films on this year’s lineup of Dances With Films,” at Hollywood’s famed TCL Chinese Theatre.

Dances With Films, one of LA’s most popular showcase of filmmakers, has unveiled its schedule 16th anniversary or billed as “Sweet 16 year,” ,which now goes for an additional 11 days from May 30-June 9. There will a Grand Jury Prize reception this year, too.

Festival organizers say there will be interesting panels of industry movers and shakers, who plan to discuss changes in the business to the latest trends and demand.

Founder Leslee Scallon, Dances With Films Festival

Scores of films on tap are West Coast premieres and award-winning producer/director, Ron Davis’ child pageant documentary “Miss You Can Do It” scheduled for the opening night film premiere.

The 75 min. HBO Documentary Film’ Miss You Can Do It spotlightsAbbey Curran, Miss Iowa USA 2008, the first woman with a disability to compete at the Miss USA Pageant, as well as eight girls and young women from around the country living with special needs, who take part in the Miss You Can Do It Pageant.

Created in 2004 by Curran, the pageant offers them and their families a chance to bond and take part in a special event where inner beauty and abilities reign. Debuts exclusively on HBO MONDAY, JUNE 24 (9:00 – 10:15PM ET/PT).

iss you can do it RON DAVIS director

On the celebrity carpet and expected to attend the festival are celebs: Chris Rock, Melissa EtheridgeKelly Lynch and Christopher Lloyd to name a few.

Since 1998 Dancing with Films has been an innovator and leader in positioning raw and new talented directors and unusual films. This year Festival announced a new Grand Jury Prize for its lineup, where the winner receives a full distribution deal throught Distributor and Festival sponsor, Gravitas Ventures (Sound CityHunky Dory).

Gravitas Ventures plans to release the winning film with a Video on Demand distribution deal with an anticipated reach of more than 100 homes. For more about Dances with Films and ticket info visit: www.danceswithfilms.com.

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Downtown Film Festival judges say hand me the envelope please…And the winner is…

14 07 2012
Downtown Film Festival L.A.Announces 2012 Award Winners

Betty I Am” and “We Are Legion” Given Best Picture NodsAnthony Meindl for “Birds Of A Feather” and Caskey Ebeling for “Getting Up”

Honored as Best Directors

Melissa Leo and Joey Capone Take TOP Acting Awards

Heathen and  Thieves” Captures Audience Favorite Award

The downtown Film Festival grows in the number of films entered and people attending each year. This is the first fest since it was in hiatus for two years and was held at the Independent theater with a dynamite afterparty at Towne (9th & Flower).

The winners of the 2012 Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles were announced today (Friday, July 13th) in an awards presentation at The Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles.

Taking top honors were “Betty I Am” and We Are Legion” for Best Picture feature narrative and  feature documentary, respectively. “Betty I Am” by director Jose Renteria Jr.is a stylish black-and-white film shot on 16 mm that follows the story of two siblings brought together by the untimely death of their father. “We Are Legion,” directed by Brian Knappenberger, is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the secret hacktivist movement Anonymous.

Best Director honors went to Anthony Meindl for his narrative feature “Birds Of  A Feather”and to Caskey Ebeling for her documentary feature “Getting Up: The Tempt One Story.” Meindl’s film is a new twist on the time-honored comedic movie genre where the action revolves around the mounting of a musical play. Ebeling’s film is  a poignant account of the comeback of well-known graffiti artist Tempt One who became ill with ALS, the debilitating neurological affliction also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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All four films – “Betty I Am,” “We Are Legion,” “Birds Of A Feather” and “Getting Up” made their  Los Angeles premieres during the festival.

“These independently produced feature films reflect the extraordinary quality and diversity of content in today’s independent cinema. We’re very proud to have played a role in providing a showcase for them in the Film Capital of the World,” said Greg Ptacek, Festival Co-Director.

Sharing the Best Picture Short Film award were “Been Good To Know Yuh” by director Corey Brandenstein, an imaginative depiction of a chapter in the life of poet-songwriter and folk singer Woody Guthrie,  and “This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” by director Teressa Tunney, a battle of the opposite sexes with a decidedly different ending.

The Audience Favorite award was captured by “Heathens and Thieves,” a genre-bending action thriller with a  film noir plotline of intrigue and betrayal but set in the Old West.

Oscar winner Melissa Leo took the Best Actress award for her dark comic role as a woman on the dating circuit in “This Is A Story About Ted And Alice.” Joey Capone was named “Best Actor” for his role in “Carlos Spills The Beans,” playing a character who inherits the family restaurant with disastrously funny consequences.

A complete list of the film awards, as they were presented at tonight’s Closing Night ceremony, follows. Downtown Film Festoval L.A. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting emerging film talent in the culturally diverse and historic downtown district of Los Angeles.

Downtown Film Festival L.A. 2012 Film Awards

Note: Titles in ALL CAPS indicate feature-length films. Titles in “quotes” indicate short films.

1. Best Director – Short Film

Lauren Lillie – “Paying for It”

2. Best Editing – Short Film

Nayeli Garci-Crespo & Santi Minasi – “Dissent”

3. Best Screenwriting – Short Film

Paul Grellong – “Tracer Gun”

4. Best Cinematography – Short Film

Joe Kocsis – “Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace”

5. Best Musical Score – Short Film

Paul Festa – “The Glitter Emergency”

6. Best Short Films – Honorable Mention

  •  “The Glitter Emergency” directed by Paul Festa
  • “Past Due” directed by Denise C. Plumb
  • “Paying for It” directed by Lauren Lillie
  • “Scenen (Act 1, Scene 1)” directed by Hans Montelius
  • “Substance Ovüse”directed by Burke Roberts

7. Best Short Films (tie)

  •     “Been Good To Know Yuh” directed by Corey Brandenstein
  •     “This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” directed by Teressa Tunney

8. Best Los Angeles Films (All Films)

“Botes al Amanecer” directed by Nikki V. Roberts

9. Best Editing – Feature

Nils Arrington & Thom Newell – JUST LIKE BEING THERE

10.  Best Screenwriting – Feature

Iris Almaraz & Gustavo Ramos – DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

11. Best Cinematography – Feature

Robert Murphy – CARLOS SPILLS THE BEANS

12.  Best Music/Score – Feature

Adam Blau – FUZZ TRACK CITY

13.  Best Performance by an Actor – Honorable Mention

  •     Michael Buffo – “Slapstick Porno”
  •     Robert Loggia – THE DIARY OF PRESTON PLUMMER
  •     Jimmy Simpson – “Tracer Gun”
  •     Rob Tepper – “Been Good to Know Yuh”

14. Best Performance by an Actor (All Roles/All Films)

Joey Capone – CARLOS SPILLS THE BEANS

15 . Best Performance by an Actress – Honorable Mention

  •     Anishika Fontae – “Gasp”
  •     Kelsey Ford – “Paying for It”
  •     Celeste Pechous – “Past Due”
  •     Matthew Simmons (playing Peg-Leg Ballerina) – “The Glitter Emergency”

16. Best Performance by an Actress (All Roles/All Films)

Melissa Leo – “This Is a Story About Ted and Alice”

17. Best Director – Feature Narrative

Anthony Meindl – BIRDS OF A FEATHER

18. Best Director – Feature Documentary

Caskey Ebeling – GETTING UP:  THE TEMPT ONE STORY

19. Audience Favorite Award (All Films)

HEATHENS AND THIEVES

Directed by Megan Peterson & John Douglas Sinclair

20. Best Picture – Documentary

WE ARE LEGION

Produced and Directed by Brian Knappenberger

21. Best Picture – Narrative

BETTY I AM

Produced by Joe Engelke, Israel Gomez

Directed by Jose Renteria Jr





An emotional film to “CHOOSE” from coming soon

21 07 2011

Los Angeles, CA –  “Choose,” the emotional true story about a young husband’s agonizing choice to save his wife or unborn child, is at the heart of the short film by Robbie Bryan which will have its local premiere at the Los Angeles Shorts Film Festival on Monday, July 25, 5:30PM at the Laemmle Sunset 5 theater in West Hollywood.

Director Bryan based his screenplay on the real-life experiences of a college friend and the film is dedicated to the young mother who lost her battle with cancer.

A sleeper hit on the festival circuit, the film has just been accepted by Germany’s prestigious Oldenburg festival, widely considered “the Sundance of Europe.”

“What a thrill it is to be in a festival with folks like Terry Gilliam, Jessica Biel, Rachel Weisz and Eva Mendes, as well as the talented group of indie filmmakers I will be in company with. Can’t wait to storm the castle and have an amazing screening and see everyone’s reaction to “Choose”.

The film has been used as a fundraising tool for cancer support groups such as Susan G. Koman and has been endorsed by both the medical and spiritual community for its honest portrayal of the many ethical issues it raises.

A trailer is available to view on YouTube and there is also a Facebook page for “Choose the Movie” with more information.

Following the screening, there will be a short panel and Q&A led by director Bryan. The group will also be joined by renowned Rabbi David Wolpe (author “Why Faith Matters”) and Keisha Whitaker, actress-producer and cancer advocate, who will introduce the panel. She is also married to Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.

Tickets for the screening are available at the box office, Laemmle Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, California 90048.





Actress Tippi Hedren to intro film “The Last Elephants of Thailand” at LA Femme Film Festival, Sat. Oct. 16th

15 10 2010

THE LAST ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND TO SCREEN AT LA FEMME FILM FESTIVAL SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16

Activist/actress Tippi Hedren to introduce the film

Melanie Griffith and Tipi Hedren

Los AngelesOctober 14, 2010 The Last Elephants in Thailand

by Michelle Mizner and Don Tayloe will screen at the 6th Annual LA Femme Film Festival, on Saturday, October 16 at 6pm.  The film, a stunning statement on elephant abuse in Thailand and beyond, has already garnered wins at the San Antonio Film Festival, Bangkok IndieFest and the Venice Green Screen Film Festival and will compete at the United Nations Association Film Festival (October 22 – 31) at Stanford University.  The filmmakers’ prescient insight is also being brought to light by Hollywood via the new Reese Witherspoon film Water for Elephants.  The film will be introduced by the legendary Tippi Hedren, a well-known animal activist.

Michelle Mizner is a documentary filmmaker from Central California.  She studied cinema and creative writing on full scholarship at Cal State Northridge, where she directed Barrio Thief, a short film about a family affected by drug-resistant tuberculosis in Peru.  Upon graduation, Michelle they joined forces with Don Tayloe to make this film, a process that altogether took almost 2 years.   “Don and I were both working full time jobs and living on opposite sides of the country, but this was a passion project.  It began as a small story about an elephant hospital in Thailand, however as we were filming and made aware of the hardships faced everyday by domesticated elephants and the humans who care for them, and we knew we had an urgent responsibility to share.

Michelle hopes the film challenges viewers to consider their own opinions about how and why elephants are used in entertainment and tourism, both at home and abroad.  “People love elephants.  So its heartbreaking to learn that something as innocent and alluring as an elephant painting can actually be the result of serious torture.”

Don Tayloe is a practicing internist at the VA Hospital in Fresno.  He became interested in the Elephant Hospital in Thailand because of the uniqueness of a hospital that only treated elephants.  It gave him the chance to observe cutting edge veterinary medicine applied to elephants.

Tippi Hedren, actress, producer, activist was the recipient of the “Thespian Award” from the LA Femme Film Festival in 2008.

The LA Femme Film Festival, now in its sixth year, runs October 14- 17, 2010. The Last Elephants in Thailand will screen at the Davidson Valentini Theater, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood on Saturday, October 16, at 6pm.  Tickets for the festival can be purchased online atwww.LAFemme.org or at the box office.





A legendary Hollywood publicists to produce his first own movie

5 10 2010
Julian Myers

Hollywood, CA-92 year-old Hollywood publicist Julian Myers will compete in 13 track and field events in Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, October 4th , 5th , and 6th to draw attention to the movie he is producing,”NIGHTHAWKS: 90 Minutes and Nine Lives.”

Wearing his “NIGHTHAWKS, THE movie” T-shirt, Myers is seeking a co-producer to financethis “dramatized” drama (!) of conflict between artist Edward Hopper and his painter wife as Hopper completes Nighthawks, which is regarded as the second most “followed” American painting. It came out just after America entered World War II, the moment of great life-style changes in the US and the world. Nine Lives are forever altered, in 90 minutes real time, in this film.

Myers and screenwriter Arlene Clendenin are making this micro-budgeted feature (in two sets) which they plan to premiere October 27, 2011, for the weekend before Halloween “When it may be the only new valuable movie opening at that time, and will qualify then for Oscar consideration,” Myers, an Academy member, points out.

Legendary Hollywood Publicist Julian Myers showing his Amingo Day cufflinks.

Myers, whose publicity career began with Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Deborah Kerr, Clark Gable, and Natalie Wood graduated from the University of Southern California in Cinema in 1939, which he followed at Columbia Pictures in the story department. “I’ve been working in Hollywood seventy-one years and now I’m ready to make my movie. Guess I’m a slow learner…”

Mrs. Myers and Julian are founders, seven years ago, of the international holidayAmigoDay, which has been mentioned in the media and was presented at length four times on Voice of America. AmigoDay: Just greet anyone anywhere, your way, any month’s first Sunday. Julian’s T-Shirt will feature “Nighthawks,” and his cap will keep reminding about AmigoDay…

Julian hopes to be contacted regarding “NIGHTHAWKS: 90 MINUTES AND NINE LIVES ” and/or AmigoDay at his office, 13900 Panay Way, Suite R 217, Marina del Rey, California, 90292. He has been fastest in his age group “for the last three or four years” in America in the 3,000-meter run. In the World Senior Games he will compete in the 3,000 again plus 1,500, 800, 400, 200, 100, and 50-meters, also running and standing long jump, triple jump, javelin, discus, and shot put.

For more about the movie or Julian contact MAYO Communications for interviews and details on the movie. 818-340-5300 or Publicity@mayocomunications.com.





Hollywood to rebound with record job rise next year says new study by LAEDC

21 07 2010

Nancy Sidhu, LAEDC

LAEDC Mid-year Forecast Shows Improving Economic
Picture and Job Growth in 2011

***
Los Angeles County’s entertainment, tourism and international trade sectors
will lead a “measured recovery,” but housing remains an issue

Los AngelesIn a new report released today, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) projects the U.S. economy will grow by 3.1 percent in 2010 and by 2.9 percent in 2011 after contracting by 2.4 percent in 2009. The report also shows that employment will grow through year end 2010, and the nation’s unemployment rate will decline slowly, reaching the nine percent range by the end of 2011.
According to the2010-2011 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook: Mid-Year Update” report produced by the LAEDC’s Kyser Center for Economic Research, California’s recovery will be led by tourism, international trade, technology, and television and film production.
“We are seeing a measured recovery under way,” said the Kyser Center’s Chief Economist and report co-author, Dr. Nancy Sidhu. “Automotive and housing-related purchases and business investment in equipment will contribute to the recovery as well, but consumer spending holds one of the keys to the overall economic outlook.”
Tourism will see an increase in 2010 and 2011, as more people visit the region and stay in hotels in the area. The outlook for the Los Angeles region’s large tourist industry is improving, albeit slowly. Most local theme parks, such as Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventures, have new attractions opening this year or plans for major park improvements. With the opening of the new hotels at L.A. Live, the City of Los Angeles has booked several major business shows. In Los Angeles County, the hotel occupancy rate is about 69.7 percent compared with 65.5 percent in 2009.

The region’s famed motion picture/television production industry got off to a good start this year as well. Domestic box office receipts were up strongly over the year, the state film production incentive plan was well received, and television networks, both broadcast and cable, produced a number of pilots and series. Jobs in the entertainment industry started to rebound at the end of 2009, and for 2010, an increase of 16,900 jobs is estimated in the motion picture and sound recording sector in Los Angeles County..  For full story visit: http://bit.ly/9p622a





Brian McKnight and Julio Iglesias, Jr., along with Emily Bear and Timothy Mitchum To Perform Live at First Annual Noble Awards in Beverly Hills Sunday

16 10 2009
Teri Hatcher (www.babble.com)
Teri Hatcher (babble.com)


Teri Hatcher, Norman Lear, Lionel Richie, Laila Ali, Nancy O’Dell
Joel Madden, Brett Ratner, Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Billy Bush and Annalynne McCord

have been confirmed on star-studded list of celebrity humanitarians attending the red carpet and Noble Awards event this Sunday, Oct. 18th at the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills.
Morgan Freeman is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Awardand is also confirmed.
Brian McKnight
is an American singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and pop and R&B musician. He is a multi-instrumentalist who can play nine instruments: piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussions, trombone, tuba, French horn and trumpet. Brian McKnight has earned himself a spot in contemporary music history. He has released 11 albums to date, 7 of them have gone platinum, with several going 2 and 3x platinum, and has sold over 20 Million albums worldwide. He just released a new album last month. Brian McKnight (Video)
8-year old Emily Bear – One of the youngest if not the world’s youngest composer, who played at the White House will perform live Sunday at Beverly Hilton during the two hour Noble Awards show.

Emily was the youngest solo performer in the history of the Ravinia Festival, has performed with many well known musicians, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” five times and performed at the White House. See Events for more info and Galleries for photos and videos.
Julio Iglesias Jr. – Dejame volar


Julio Iglesias Jr. was born in Madrid, Spain to well-known singer, Julio Iglesias and Isabel Preysler. He moved to Miami, Florida at a very young age, a place he now considers home. Although he has spent his whole life surrounded by music, his own personal journey into the music industry didn’t begin until the late 90’s when he released his first album in English titled “Under My Eyes” with Epic Records. With the desire to go back to his roots and reestablish himself, the budding musician searched for new territory to conquer. Julio chose to sing in Spanish and the result is the mind-expanding Tercera Dimension.
The two-hour event, hosted by Access Hollywood’s very own Billy Bush, seeks to annually honor up to a dozen charities and celebrities who actively support them, elevating awareness of these organizations and the impact of their work.
Celebrities who will accept awards on behalf of the charities being honored include Laila Ali (Women’s Sports Foundation), Bush (Lollipop Theater Network), Kenny Edmonds (Stand Up to Cancer), Teri Hatcher (Childrens Hospital Los Angeles), Norman Lear (Playing for Change), Joel Madden (The Art of Elysium), Annalynne McCord (The Blind Project), Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell (Best Buddies), Eva Longoria Parker (Padres Contra El Cancer) and Brett Ratner (DoSomething.org).
The Blind Project, The Lollipop Theater Network, Padres Contra El Cancer and Playing for Change will be honored along with six other previously announced charities.
During the ceremony, each will be presented with an award sculpture, designed by Antonio Banderas, with personal touches added by children who participated in The Art of Elysium workshop at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Brian McKnight and Julio Iglesias, Jr., along with Emily Bear and Timothy Mitchum will provide live musical performances throughout the evening.
“We are delighted to present these eleven distinguished charities and their celebrity supporters with the inaugural Noble Award,” said Janeen Mansour, creator and executive producer of the Noble Awards. “We hope this will inspire a revolution for giving not only in Hollywood, but globally.”
For more information, please visitwww.thenobleawards.org.