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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“I Am Neda” a Powerful Indie Film from Today’s Headlines

5 10 2011

 This year a powerful movie is the featured film of 14th Annual ARPA International Film Festival ‘ShortProgram

SYNOPSIS:

June 2009 marked another turning point for Iranians, when mass anti-government protests erupted across major cities in Iran, following the June 12 rigged Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which came to be known as the “Green Movement”.
These events provoked the Islamic Republic government to declare war on its own people and the world became a witness to some of the most horrific acts that were shown daily through major news outlets, twitter reports and even youtube. Many innocent Iranians were, imprisoned, tortured, raped and killed for standing up for their basic human rights in non-violent civil disobedience.
This story is centered on a courageous young woman who has since become the symbol and face of this movement
Voice of America Television Network Interviews Actress/Producer Nicole Kian about her movie “I Am Neda” on the red carpet.

Persepolis Pictures, United States of America. “I Am Neda” (http://www.IAmNeda.com/), Official Selection – 14th Annual ARPA International Film Festival ‘ShortProgram’(http://affma.org/).





Red Wolf puts on a proper premiere for “A Proper Violence”

3 06 2011

TWO THUMBS UP – A THRILLER MYSTERY THAT WILL KEEP YOU ON THE END OF YOUR CHAIR ALL NIGHT 

Culver City, CA –This is dark and unpredictable independent film “A Proper Violence.”

POSTER OF A PROPER VIOLENCE MOVIE

Coming to theaters soon

Shot for next to nothing in the woods of upstate NY, this deep psychological thriller has moving performances, lots of suspense, and one of the most shocking endings in recent cinema.

Directed by Chris FaulisiMatt Robinson. Starring Randy SpenceJustin MorckShawn Mahoney.

A Proper Violence

Los Angeles Premiere

Hosted by: Cinema Epoch & Red Wolf Films

www.AProperviolence.com

 

WHAT:
A Proper Violence Los Angeles Premiere
www.AProperviolence.com
Event will include press/media/celebrities, red carpet, gift bags, complimentary drinks and entertainment…

WHEN:
Friday June 3, 2011
Red CarpetArrivals begin at: 8:30 p.m.
Press Check-in at: 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Culver City Plaza Theatres

9919 Washington Blvd.

Synopsis:

How far can we go before change becomes impossible?  After being released from prison, Morgan Edwards is striving for change and searching for a new life.  Desperate for connection, he accompanies three strangers into the woods, and is forced to confront the demons of his past.  When it is revealed that his new found friends are connected to his alleged crimes, redemption becomes secondary to survival.  A slow burn to an explosive finish, A Proper Violence is at once a compelling human drama that builds into an edge of your seat thriller that will keep audiences guessing until the final shocking frame. Ultimately a discussion piece, the film challenges its viewers to question their perception of morality.

Director Chris Faulisi: Fresh on the industry circuit, this 22 year old director is making a statement with his debut feature “A Proper Violence”.  Blended with layered themes and dark content, Faulisi explores and exposes the human condition, as it has never been seen before.  Immediately recognizable is Faulisi’s innate ability to foster truthful, engaging performances and tell a dynamic story.  Chris is currently shooting “The Critic” with James Duval and Dominique Swain.  After “A Proper Violence”, Faulisi and lead actor Randy Spence began collaborating on “Shift” a drag racing feature that Chris will direct and Randy will star in.
Official Website: http://www.aproperviolence.com.

Justin Morck Justin MorckShepard Jeremy Goren Jeremy GorenJoe Beverly Lauchner Beverly LauchnerLucy
Randy Spence Randy SpenceMorgan Edwards Will Brunson Will BrunsonDustyn Mark Genovesi Mark GenovesiBar Patron #1
Shawn Mahoney Shawn MahoneyRich Joan Roman Joan RomanCharlie Tyler Nichols Tyler NicholsTyler
Timothy Selby Timothy SelbyBartender




“Keiko The Untold Story Makes Los Angele Dubut @LA Femme Film Festival, Hollywood

16 10 2010

LA Femme Film Festival Oct. 14 -17th Renberg Theatre.

Millions of Keiko fans around the world will finally learn the truth about what happened to the “Free Willy” star

Los Angeles October 13, 2010   Keiko the Untold Story by Theresa Demarest will screen at the 6thAnnual LA Femme Film Festival, on Friday, October 15 at 12 pm.  Four years in the making, this compelling documentary presents never before seen footage of Keiko – the Free Willy star, the first and only captive Orca to released back into the wild.  The film provides insight into the unique culture of Orcas, and how the impact of being taken from his pod affected Keiko’s survival instincts. The film offersexclusive accounts of his day-to-day existence by Keiko’s last two caretakers, Colin Baird and Thorbjorg (Tobba) Valdis Kristjansdottir

“It seems like everything I’ve ever done, everybody I’ve ever known, every piece of music and poetry I’ve ever written, has gone into making this film,” says first-time filmmaker Theresa Demarest, a celebrated singer and songwriter from the Northwest, retired critical care nurse, former Catholic nun, single parent and two-time breast cancer survivor. It has been a phenomenal journey.”

Keiko first swam into Demarest’s life in 1996, while she was recovering from several major surgeries related to her second battle with cancer. The day the ailing whale arrived in Oregon, Demarest found herself mesmerized by his spirit after an eleven-year ordeal surviving in a tank that was never designed for anything larger than an eight-foot bottlenose dolphin.

“There was something about the story,” she recalls, “something about the people involved in the story, something about him and his spirit got me going after his story.”

Among Demarest’s ‘other hats” on the film include stints as producer, singer, songwriter, composer, and executive producer (along with EP’s Nola Wilken and Jay Schornstein).  The film’s expert advisors include Baird, Director of Field Operations, the Free Willy- Keiko Project, Dr. Naomi Rose of the Humane Society International, Mark Berman of the Earth Island Institute, and Dr. Paul Spong of OrcaLab.

The film just won Best Documentary from the Accolade Film Competition and will compete as an Official Selection at the Starz Denver Film Festival November 3 – 14, 2010.

The LA Femme Film Festival, now in its sixth year, runs October 14- 17, 2010. Keiko the Untold Storywill screen at the Davidson Valentini Theater, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood on Friday, October 15 at 12 pm.  Tickets for the festival can be purchased online at www.LAFemme.org or at the box office.

See you on the blue carpet!

 

# # #

 

Contact:

 

Theresa Demarest/ Producer                                    Deborah Gilels

Joshua Records, LLC                                              LA Media Consultants

2435 SW 5th Ave., #201                                              Cell 818-648-9513

Portland, OR 97201                                                      Office- 758-6509

(503) 807-3524 (Cell)                                             ddgilels@prodigy.net

(503) 235-6072 (Office)

info@keikotheuntoldstory.com

www.keikotheuntoldstory.com

Synopsis:

Nowhere in recent history has a captive mammal garnered so much attention as Keiko, the orca star of the 1993 hit film, “Free Willy.” The film’s success, partnered with growing public interest in animals held in captivity, launched a children’s crusade that called for Keiko’s release into the wild. The result: a multimillion-dollar project that spanned four countries, weathered endless controversy and lasted nearly a decade. Through first-hand accounts by the marine mammal experts charged with his care, “Keiko The Untold Story” follows Keiko, his life, his legacy of hope, and the untold story of his extraordinary years in Iceland and Norway.


 

 





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.





More than a dozen movie premieres at the Downtown Film Festival in Los Angeles starts Wednesday ends on 9-11

8 09 2010

John Hawkes To Be Honored With The
Indie Trailblazer of the Year Award

Los Angeles, CA – Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles announced today that “Everything Will Happen Before You Die,” a hilarious romp through the underbelly of L.A.’s boho subculture, will be presented as the 2010 festival’s Centerpiece Gala premiere film, Saturday, Sept. 11th, 7:30 pm at the new 400-seat Civic Center F. Deaton Auditorium, at corner of 1st and Main St., across from City Hall in downtown L.A.

John Hawkes
(courtesy JHS Class of 1997)

The presentation marks the world premiere of the film directed by Dan Finkel and written by Finkel and Brian McGuire. The film stars McGuire and Bret Roberts. Bruce Dickson is the director of photography.

That evening during the Centerpiece program, actor John Hawkes will be honored with the festival’s Indie Trailblazer of the Year Award, for his body of work in 2010. In addition to appearing in “Everything Will Happen Before You Die,” Hawkes also appears in “On Holiday,” another feature screening premiering at the festival earlier that afternoon. Earlier this year, Hawkes received critical acclaim for his starring role in “Winter’s Bone,” which debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and went on to nationwide commercial release. Hawkes also has appeared in the feature releases “The Perfect Storm,” “Wristcutters: A Love Story” and “Me and You and Everyone We Know” as well as TV’s “Deadwood& quot; and “Lost.”

In “Everything Will Happen Before You Die,” Edgar (Brian McGuire) finally has got his shit together. After years of riding the party train, he has finally stepped off and is living the nerdy, hipster dream. He has his own on-line fabric company where he designs controversial T-shirts, and has a new beautiful Kenyan girlfriend whom he’s marrying at the end of the day (ok, for her immigration status). He’s right on track with his new life when an unexpected visitor from the past sets him on a new (old) course. Doran (Brett Roberts), a Russian expat who has his own private cabin on life’s party train, insists that he gives his best friend an all-day bachelor adventure. Next stop: chaos! Their friendship is tested as they must square off with a low-re nt Russian mobster and embark on a spiritual quest that brings them in contact with a motley crew of characters from L.A.’s self-professed bohemian underbelly.

“We’re delighted to be the launching platform for this film that so much captures the spirit of L.A.’s ‘alt subculture.’ Brian, Bret, Dan and the rest of their filmmaking team have proven that you don’t need a huge production budget to make a superior – and I’ll add, extremely funny – feature film,” said Greg Ptacek, DFFLA’s Festival Co-Director. “It’s also our honor to award John Hawkes with our Indie Trailblazer Award. John has had an amazing year, and his talent for completely transforming himself in roles, as evidenced in ‘Everything,’ never ceases to amaze me, and audiences everywhere.”

The 2010 Downtown Film Festival L.A. will be held Sept. 8-12 in venues throughout Los Angeles’ historic core. More than 100 feature-length and short films – narrative, documentary and experimental – will be presented along with filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, cocktail parties, live music events and receptions. For more information, please visit us online at www.dffla.com.

PRESS CONTACT

Katie Littlejohn, publicist
Downtown Film Festival L.A.676-898-3587; katie@dffla.com

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