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





New York Times, TV Guide, Advertising Age and People Magazine Editors Share New Media Insights with LA Entertainment Publicists

22 11 2009
EPPS media workshop on NY Media at ICG Local 600 sponsored event

Twitter, Facebook and social networks have become mainstream for entertainment writers and editors, Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) members learned recently(11-19-09) at a media workshop sponsored by the International Cinematographers (ICG) Union Local 600 in Hollywood.

West Coast Editor Michael Fleeman, People.com said, “Whether we like it or not, reporters are being dragged into new media, some kicking and screaming about it. You have to know how to do it, and you have to file under deadline.”

New York Times Reporter Edward Wyatt, Los Angeles said reporters are being asked to post their stories Online and twitter about it. “Sometimes I record audio interviews or TV interviews and post them on the site,” he said. Wyatt cautions PR Pros to not miss the forest for the trees.  “If you have a webisode that is attracting 50,000 eyes, and you want to tell me about it great, but it the television show associated with it attracts 16 million people a week, that’s the meat of the story.”

Wyatt covers the television business in LA. He joined the Times in New York in 1995 as a finance and investing reports and has covered education, the redesign of the World Trade Center site, the 2004 Democratic primaries, publishing business, as well as professional cycling and the Tour de France. He moved to LA in 2006 to cover Television.

New York Times Reporter Wyatt also said he’s looking for national stories, because the Times just doesn’t report on Manhattan stories. “When I came to LA I found we had not done a story on Two-and-a-Half Men, which is the biggest comedy on television and watched all over the country,” he said. “A lot of people in Manhattan don’t watch it, but people in Iowa, Kansas and elsewhere do. So if you bring stories with a national pace, we’re interested.”

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Los Angeles Reporter Andrew Hampp for Advertising Age echoed other complaints of panelists on publicists’ followup calls on a pitch.

“Please don’t pitch me after you received a big NO from another editor above me,” he said. “We are still a work in progress, and started our website three years ago. We have separate website andmagazine editors and then we share editing staff. It’s about 99 percent original content on the website. There’s not much overlap between the magazine and website. The site is shorter, faster and more newsie, breasier and a younger user,” he said. Hampp said the print version deadline for  Ad Age magazine is Thursday or early Friday, and the AdAge.com has a daily and weekly newsletter so there is much to choose from through the week. He says deadlines are many at AdAge.com

Hampp’s pet peeves of PR Pros is that second followup phone call he receives after the press release has been received. “

Staff Editor Natalie Abrams, TVGuide.com said, “I think my biggest pet peeve is just the coordination on events,” said TVGuide.com’s Natalie Abrams. “ I’ll get three separate emails a network publicist, a studio publicist, a show publicist or a personal publicist for the actor, and it is all on the same thing, making it hard to decide who to respond to, so coordination on that end would be good,” she said.

TVGuide.com’s Abrams also  said they don’t have full time twitter people, but each writer or editor use new media to drive more traffic to TVGuide.com’s websites.

Abrams also agreed with Wyatt about lying, “if you don’t want it out there that your client is going to be killed off of a show, or that your show has been cancelled, we can embargoed it, just be honest with us.”

Natalie Abrams, staff editor, TV Guide.com is the west coast Staff editor at TVGuide.com, a one-stop entertainment and video content destination serving more than 20 million unique users per month. From television spoilers to insider scoops, Abrams breaks the latest in entertainment news. Since joining in September, 2009, she landed exclusive interviews with some of the hottest celebs including the cast of Glee, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, 24 and 90210 among others.

Los Angeles Reporter Andrew Hampp for Advertising Age echoed other complaints of panelists on publicists’ followup calls on a pitch. “Please don’t pitch me after you received a big NO from another editor above me,” he said. “We are still a work in progress, and started our website three years ago. We have separate website and magazine editors and then we share editing staff. It’s about 99 percent original content on the website. There’s not much overlap between the magazine and website. The site is shorter, faster and more newsie, breazier and a younger user,” he said. Hampp said the print version deadline for  Ad Age magazine is Thursday or early Friday, and the AdAge.com has a daily and weekly newsletter so there is much to choose from through the week. He says deadlines are many at AdAge.com.

New York Times Wyatt told EPPS workshop that  his two pet peeves from entertainment publicist who pitch him include: “getting asked ‘who have you been talking to, which is none of your business when I am trying to just do a story”  and when publicist lies to their client, “because what will happen is one day I’ll meet your client at a cocktail party and they will say ‘why didn’t you talk to us to promote this new show of mine?’ This actually happened. I said, “Because I asked your publicist, and he said, “you couldn’t talk for X and Y reasons, and I was there on the set, and you walk right past me three or four times. Just don’t do that (lie).”

All panelist prefer email pitches, and most prefer early mornings, except for Edward Wyatt of the NY Times, because he deals with editors, who are three hours of ahead in the morning.

Wyatt@nytimes.com – 323-617-9034

Natalie. Abrams@tvguide.com – 323-856-4093

Michael_fleeman@peoplemag.com 310-268-7200

Ahampp@adage.com –  no phone number provided

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visit: www.MayoCommunications.com or
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