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





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

MAYO PR – “We don’t guarantee media, we just get it!”
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TV/Film Production, Hollywood, Tourism and International Trade Top industries to lead region in recover says new study

18 02 2010

Frank Mottek, KNX Business Hour moderates 2010-2011 LAEDC Economic Forecast at LA Marriott, downtown.

LAEDC Forecast Report Says U.S., California and Southern California face a measured economic recovery, with stronger growth in 2011

Entertainment, international trade and tourism cited as regional industry leaders, with an economic boost from major infrastructure projects and a modest rebound in residential real estate

Los Angeles A measured economic recovery is underway in the nation, the state and Southern California, according to the 2010-2011“Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook” report released today by the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

George McQuade, Dr. Nancy Sidhu and Jack Kyser, LAEDC

In California, three sectors will see employment growth during 2010: information, private education and health services.  Like the national experience, unemployment rates in the state will remain high with the LAEDC forecasting a 12.3 percent average rate in 2010, easing down to 11.9 percent in 2011.

“We project that the U.S. economy will grow by 2.6 percent in 2010 and by 3.1 percent in 2011, after plunging by 2.4 percent during 2009,” said Nancy D. Sidhu, Ph.D., the LAEDC’s chief economist.  “However, unemployment rates in the U.S. will remain uncomfortably high, averaging 9.9 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent in 2011.”

Sidhu observed that consumer spending holds one of the keys to the economic recovery, with inflation-adjusted gains of 1.9 percent in 2010 and 2.7 percent in 2011 forecast, after falling by 0.6 percent in 2009.

“California’s economy is also on the recovery track, but the state will still lose 121,800 jobs in 2010,” said Sidhu.  “However, this will be a huge improvement from the 668,200 jobs lost in 2009.”  California’s housing industry will see a modest recovery in 2010, according to Sidhu. For the full story and link to the forecast visit: http://tinyurl.com/yf85d5m

For images and media interviews call Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade, MAYO Communications, 818-340-5300 or Cell: 818-618-9229.





New Entertainment & Los Angeles Media Study finds runaway TV/film production a threat to Hollywood

21 01 2010

Runaway TV/film production stilll poseing threat new LAEDC Study finds.

LAEDC’s Entertainment Report Sees Modest Increasein Industry Employment, Another Strong Year at Box Office

Despite a boost from California’s film incentive program, runaway TV/film production remains a significant threat

Los Angeles, CA —  A new study released today by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s (LAEDC) Kyser Center for Economic Research predicts a modest increase in industry employment in 2010.   The report also forecasts another strong year at the box office, no foreseeable labor issues, and a boost in production from California’s film incentive program.

Other pluses include NBC’s programming of scripted series in the 10:00 p.m. primetime spot being vacated by Jay Leno and the ongoing investment in the entertainment industry’s infrastructure such as NBC Universal’s Evolution Project and the Disney/ABC Studios at the Ranch. However, key issues include changes in the business model, with an intense focus on costs.  Run-away production remains a significant threat and changing technology, distribution, exhibition and marketing models are noted.

The media industry will continue to struggle, reflecting a slow rebound in advertising and changes in the way consumers access information.

Jack Kyser, LAEDC

The LAEDC study recommends a renewed focus on entertainment as a serious business because it is a high-wage, high-multiplier activity.  The study cited efforts by the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Clarita to become more “film-friendly.”  It also recommends watching the state’s film incentive plan that has helped boost employment in this sector.

“The coming changes in how the industry operates also need to be monitored,” said LAEDC  Founding Economist Jack Kyser.  “At the end of the day, content is still king and leaders need to be alert so that much of it is still produced in the County.”

For the full study and highlights of the report visit: http://tinyurl.com/yfmwjzj





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.  




65th Anniversary of D-Day Celebrated on Film

2 06 2009
WW II Vet Bill Newbery, suffered frostbite while serving in the 75th Div., Normandy. He won a drawing for the DVD at a recent event Memorial Day weekend in LA. Photo by George Mc Quade

WW II Vet Bill Newbery, suffered frostbite while serving in the 75th Div., Normandy. Photo by George Mc Quade

The Americans on D-Day A Great Father’s  
Day Gift for Dad, Grandpa and Whole Family

 

Film Review
Steve Shepherd

 “The Americans on D-Day” is a compact and concise examination of the United States‘ part in the June 6, 1945, Allied invasion of Normandy. 

 Considering the enormity of the actual D-Day undertaking it might sound hopeless to present a comprehensive account in a film with a running time of 44 minutes, but producer-director Richard Lanni has come up with a well organized documentary that provides a clear outline of the events of D-Day, punctuated along the way with somewhat more detailed accounts of specific moments in the battle that turned the tide of World War II in Europe.

  The film benefits immensely from the presence of Ellwood von Seibold as host-narrator-tour guide. Donning authentic military uniform and accessories – down to the “pineapple” style hand grenade hanging from his utility webbing – von Seibold shares a wealth of knowledge on the subject, presenting it with an elegance that provides an effective counterpoint to the brutality that is, after all, at the center of the D-Day story. 

200-AmericansOnDDay DVD

  “The Americans on D-Day” strikes a tone appropriate to the nature of D-Day, offering a matter-of-fact account that acknowledges the powerful emotional component of its subject matter while stopping short of romanticizing or idealizing an event that was as bloody and brutal as it was essential to the Allies’ success inEurope. 

  The production deftly blends archival footage and stills with contemporary footage. Early on, we see black-and-white images of U.S. forces, including Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower – as we hear audio of Ike’s sendoff to the D-Day forces. 

  “You are about to embark upon a great crusade,” he tells them. “The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine.

  “We will accept nothing less than full victory”

  The film then goes on to function as a battlefield tour, offering close-ups of German fortifications along the beaches of Normandy, arms – including the MG-42, a heavy machine gun that could fired upwards of 1,200 rounds per minute – and bridges and structures that played key roles in the Allie invasion.

  Interviews with both U.S. and German veterans of the operation provide further personal insight into the significance of D-Day and its human toll.

  Many of the images presented in “The Americans on D-Day” will be familiar to those who have seen the feature film “Saving Private Ryan,” the TV miniseries “Band of Brothers,” or any number of other filmed projects that touch on D-Day.

  The DVD package has extras including the film’s trailer, a making-of feature, a segment on weapons training, another on uniforms and a collection of stills.
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Editors note: If you would like a copy of Americans of D-Day to review at your publication or media news website contact:

MAYO Communications 818-340-5300
or send request by email.





Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Antonio Banderas, Solveig Romero Campbell among stars at Janeen Mansour Celebrity Shoe Drive Saturday

9 01 2009
TV Anchor Janeen Mansour

TV Anchor Janeen Mansour

“The Janeen Mansour
Celebrity Shoe Drive”

If the Shoe doesn’t fit….throw it!

***

A family-fun filled Celebrity Shoe Drive
To Benefit The Salvation Army

What:

The Janeen Mansour Celebrity
Shoe Drive Children’s, Ladies and
Men Competition for –

“The Golden Shoe Award”

Who:

President Bush & First Lady Laura Bush (officially invited)

Paris Hilton (Invited)

Kim Kardashian, Reality TV Show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”(invited)

Melanie Griffith, “Twins,” “Sweet Baby Jesus,” 2009 (confirmed)

Antonio Banderas, “The Code,” (confirm)

Jay Leno, NBC “The Tonight Show” (invited)

Eduardo Garcia, “No Country for Old Men” (confirmed)

Elizabeth Nicole, “7th Heaven” and ABC’s “Port Charles (confirmed)

Katie Gill, “CSI Miami,” A&E’s “The Cleaners” (confirmed)

Dyllan Christopher, “Unaccompanied Minors,” “Bones” (confirmed)

Stefani Brass, “This Might Hurt” ABC, TV (confirmed)

Ellia English, “My Sister’s Keeper”, “Empty Nest” (confirmed)

James Black- stars in USA Network’s, “The Starter Wife” as Felix (Confirmed)

Damien & Tourie Escobar, Nuttin But Stringz, NBC America’s Got Talent (Confirmed)

Yancey Arias “Behind Enemy Lines,” “Sweet Dreams,” (invited)

John Gearries, “AmerAsian3 (2010) (filming) “Code Black” (invited)

James Duval, “CORNERED!,” “Donnie Darko” (invited)

Executive Producer Ziad Batal, Reality TV Show Hydra Executives (confirmed)

When:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 2009- Noon – 2 PM

11:30 AM media-check-in (VIP Tent, Refreshments)

Where:

Rancho Park Golf Course (Driving Range)

10460 W Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA  90064-2342

(310) 839-9812 (cross street is Jordan)

Background:

TV Celebrity Talk Show Host Janeen Mansour, Dubai.TV, plans to launch the first ever celebrity Shoe Throwing Benefit and Drive at the Rancho Park Golf Course driving range. Although it is a celebrity event, it is open to the public. The public is invited to bring as many new or newly used shoes as they can. “If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit Throw It” for a good cause Saturday, Noon – 2PM, Jan. 10, 2008. There will be three categories: Children’s, Ladies and Men’s Competition. The Guiness Book of World Records has been invited for record toss. Winners in each category will take home “The Golden Shoe Award.” It’s a fun for the whole family event, and for the Salvation Army needy families. Come participate and help kick off the New Year on the right foot.

[Editors: Media please call Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade for advanced interviews and to RSVP for event. @ 818-340-5300 or 818-618-9229.