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

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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.





LAEDC Study Concludes Redbox’s $1 DVD New-Release Rentals Could Result in $1 Billion in Entertainment Industry Losses

21 02 2010

Ripple Effect of Lost Revenues in Southern California Could Cost More Than 9,280 Jobs and $1.5 Billion in Economic Output, Along With Reduced Contributions to Guild and Union Pension Plans

Los Angeles – The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) has unveiled a new economic study entitled “The Economic Implications of Low Cost DVD Rentals” which illustrates the negative impact that low cost, new-release DVD rentals could have on the Entertainment industry and the Southern California economy.

The LAEDC study, which utilizes the Redbox model of $1 DVD rentals available at the street date, shows the ripple effect of $1 billion in lost revenues to the domestic home video industry in the Southern California region – the entertainment capital of the world – would lead to an additional $500 million in reduced economic activity.  The loss of motion picture production in and around Los Angeles would result in the loss of more than 9,280 jobs with annual earnings of almost $395 million, according to the LAEDC’s study.

“The economics of the motion picture industry are based on exclusive release windows which allow price differentiation – that is – some earlier transactions take place at higher price points,” said Gregory Freeman, vice president of Consulting and Economic Policy for the LAEDC.  “Redbox, or any other distributor that weakens the release window model, could reduce overall industry revenues.  Lower revenues will likely lead to lower production activity, hurting the Southern California economy.”

Of the 9,280 jobs, more than half of the losses will occur in the Information Sector, the LAEDC found.  In addition to motion picture and sound recording industries, this sector includes publishing industries, radio and television broadcasting, telecommunications industries and Internet service providers.  Other industries impacted will be retail trade, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, and manufacturing, among others.

For the full story and LAEDC Study link visit: http://tinyurl.com/yeqcw94