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.





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





“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/).





Actress Sol Romero To Attend Downtown Film Festival — L.A. and The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE this Week

10 08 2009

Actress and Model Sol Romero plans to attend the Downtown Film Festival — L.A. and The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE this week

Actress Sol Romero seen here at The Ugly Truth Premiere plans to attend Downtown Film Festival in August.
Sol Romero

Los Angeles, CA – “This is the first ever Music Film Festival with seven nights, seven artists and seven films, that’s going to keep us hopping from one exciting event to another,” said Actress Sol Romero, who has recently completed a movie with Mel Gibson, “The Edge of Darkness,” directed by Martin Campbell.

The Screening events will include live performances, filmmaker and artist questions and answer sessions and after screening parties.

The first-ever music film festival at the Museum will run seven consecutive nights during the film festival, Saturday, Aug. 15 through Friday, August 21.

Each night will present a different film in the Museum’s 200-seat Sound Stage auditorium, located near the corner of Figueroa and Olympic in downtown’s South Park district. Many of the film programs. Ticket prices are $15 for single programs and $100 for the series.

“This film series perfectly reflects The GRAMMY Museum’s mission to celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of music. From classic rock to rap, Latin jazz to new wave, the series has a film for virtually every musical taste,” said Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli.

“Music fans will love seeing their favorite artists in The GRAMMY Museum’s Sound Stage. It’s very intimate, more like being in someone’s living room but with state-of-the-art sound and great sight lines,” said Greg Ptacek, the film festival’s director.

The series begins with Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple’s no-holds-barred look at the phenomenon of Woodstock in its various incarnations from the 1969 rock concert to its subsequent iterations. The film screening coincides with the 40th anniversary of the original concert and the Museum’s own Woodstock public programming.

Subsequent programs include an evening with Devo’s Jerry Casale (bass/keyboardist) and Devo-tee avant-garde filmmaker and music video pioneer Bruce Conner as they present Devonia 1976, 1978, 2009; and, the Los Angeles premieres of two critically-acclaimed documentary features, In Search of Beethoven and Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison.

Also screening are the Los Angeles premiere of Still Bill, documenting the celebrated singer-songwriter Bill Withers; Poncho At Montreux, showcasing the Latin jazz master, who will perform live following the screening, and the world premiere of Dirty: One Word Can Change The World, which is about one of the founding members of the influential rap group Wu-Tang Clan with members of Brooklyn Zu performing live afterward.

Sol Romero
Sol Romero

“As a singer myself working on a new album, I have a great appreciation for music and music artists,” said Romero, who sings soprano and is in a recording studio this month.

Additional live performances and celebrity artist appearances as well as after-screening parties will be announced up until the start of the series; check the festival website (www.dffla.com) for details. The complete program series schedule is below.

Published reports say “The Jackson 5 in Africa” — a film of rare footage documenting the Jackson 5 during their 1974 tour in Senegal — will be the centerpiece of the Closing Night Gala for the 2009 Downtown Film Festival-L.A. on Aug. 22. Tickets for the film will go on sale Aug. 1. Narrated by actor Robert Hooks, the film opens with the Jackson 5 being greeted by a group of dancers and drummers at the airport. The camera follows Michael Jackson and the family cinema-verité style on their first-ever visit to Africa, including live footage of their visit to an African market, classic live footage of the group spontaneously performing “Hum Along and Dance,” and footage of the Jackson 5 performing on stage before a packed, standing-room-only audience at the height of their career in the mid-1970s. I

• Libros Revolución/Revolution Books will present a screening and discussion of “Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About” on Aug. 8, 7 p.m., at Papa West Dinner Club, 4336 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles. The film is from a 2003 talk delivered by Revolutionary Communist Party Chairman Bob Avakian, which breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible.

Saturday, August 15, 7:30 pm
MY GENERATION
2000 USA 103 minutes

The definitive =2 0 documentary of Woodstock ’69,’94 and ’99 concerts, including behind-the-scenes logistics and promotions planning, and the concert’s effect on the residents of the host town of Saugerties, New York. A picture emerges of two generations acting in remarkably different ways, but expressing the same longing for togetherness in a world of uncertainty and violence.

Writer, Director, Producer: Barbara Koppel
Director: Tom Haneke
Producer: Michael Lang
Executive Producer: Allen Newman, Jeff Rowland
Cinematographer: Tom Hurwitz
Cast: Aerosmith, Joe Cocker, David Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Melissa Ethridge, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Michael Lang, Moby, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, John Sebastian, Steven Tyler, The Who


Sunday, August 16, 7:30 pm
DEVONIA
1976, 1978, 2009 USA

Formed in Akron, Ohio, in 1974, De vo too k its name from their concept of “de-evolution”-the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society. Mark Mothersbaugh will be present to introduce Bruce Conner’s 4-minute experimental film with Devo, Mongoloid and two Devo music videos:The Complete Truth About De-Evolution and the premiere screening of Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man).


Monday, August 17, 7:30 pm
IN SEARCH OF BEETHOVEN
2009
UK 138 minutes

The first truly comprehensive feature length cinema documentary ever made about Beethoven features a who’s who of performers and experts, who reveal new insights into this legendary composer. Interviewees include Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Roger Norrington, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, Fabio Luisi, Frans Brüggen, Ronald Brautigam, Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Repin, Janine Jansen, Paul Lewis, Lars Vogt, and Emanuel Ax. With over 60 live performances. The film is narrated by Juliet Stevenson and young RSC actor David Dawson.

Director, Producer: Phil Grabsky
Cast: Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanual Ax, Giovanni Biette, Jonathan Bliss, Ronald Brautigam, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Roger Norrington, Barry Cooper, Jonathan Del Mar, Louis Langree, Vadim Repin, Ilona Schmielm, Phil Grabsky


Tuesday, August 18, 7:30 pm
JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON
2008=2 0US A 87 minutes

Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison remains one of the greatest live albums ever made, and the man himself one of America’s greatest troubadours. Cash also was a tireless and passionate advocate for prison reform. Forty years later, the album still resonates today with a rawness and authenticity that few recordings have ever achieved. This film will expose a lesser known “Man in Black” through an exciting, visually compelling examination of this histori c concert.

Director, Producer, Cinematographer: Bestor Cram
Co-Producers: Peter Reichenbach, Louise Rosen
Writer: Michael Streissguth
Cinematographer: Miguelangel Aponte-Rios
Cast: Gene Beley, Jim Brown, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Tittle


Wednesday, August 19, 7:30 pm
STILL BILL
2009 USA 78 minutes

Best known for “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me,” Bill Withers topped the charts, and then stopped performing in 1985. The makers of Still Bill wanted to know why. Combining old performances and intense interviews with Withers, the film reveals how the artist started as a musician relatively late in life. After careers in the Navy and assembling airplane toilets, he eventually won three Grammys. But facing the pressure from record execs to promote himself, he retreated into his Hollywood mansion and stopped making music. Now, with his children grown, he is ready to beg in again, on his own terms. Even at 70 years old, as he sits on his porch and describes his goals, it’s evident that Bill Withers is oblivious to fame and still happy about it.

Directors: Damani Baker, Alex Vlack
Producers: Damani Baker, John Fine, Alex Vlack
Executive Producers: Alex Vlack, Andrew Jackerman
Cinematographers: Damani Baker, Jon Fine, Ed Marritz
Cast: Bill Withers, Corn el West, Tavis Smiley, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo


Thursday, August 20, 7:30 pm
PONCHO AT MONTREUX
2004
USA 86 minutes

The Montreux Jazz Festival has seen an incredible array of performers take to the stage over the years. So when it came to celebrating the 30th anniversary of Concord Records, it seemed appropriate that one of their leading lights, Poncho Sanchez, should take to the stage at the festival. Bringing his own inimitable brand of Latin jazz to the festival, Sanchez delights the crowd with some of his signature tunes. A highly appropriate tribute to a label that has produced some historic music, Sanchez pours all his energy into his performance, working his way through songs such as “Watermelon Man,” “One Mint Julep,” “Conmigo,” and many others.

Producer: John Burk
Cinematographer/Editor: Duane Conder
Cast: Poncho Sanchez, Edward James Olmos, Duane Conder


Friday, August 21, 7: 3020pm
DIRTY:
ONE WORD CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
2009 USA 55 minutes

This is a personal tribute by the filmmaker to one of the most enigmatic, controversial and tragic figures in hip-hop music history, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, or just ODB for those in the know. During his years with the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, he became famous for his slurred, half-sung, half-rapped delivery of bizarre lyrics, which personified the raw, unadulterated and innovative style of the group. His own solo career was at once celebrated and fraught with legal troubles and eventually, his death by overdose. Featuring members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Brooklyn Zu and many others, this film celebrates the life of a genius madman who lived life without any breaks.

Director, Producer, Cinematographer: Rasion Allah
Cast: Ghostface, Meth, RZA, Raekwon, Masta Killa, ODB’s parents, Rasion Allah

The 2009 Downtown Film Festival will be held in venues throughout downtown L.A. More information at www.dffla.com. Rock ‘N Fish restaurant (www.rocknfishlalive.com) at L.A. Live! will be hosting three after-screening parties during the series; details to be announced.

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Who: Films featuring Beethoven, Johnny Cash, Devo, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Poncho Sanchez, Bill Withers and the artists of the Woodstock concerts, plus live musical sets by select featured artists and Q&As with artists and filmmakers.
What: 2009 Downtown Film Festival &mdash L.A.’s Music Film Series at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live!
When: A ugust 15 – August 21, 2009. All Screenings Times: 7:30 pm
Where: The GRAMMY Museum
800 W. Olympic Blvd. (corner of Figueroa St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213.765.6800
How Much? Tickets: $15 for single program; $100 for series (available only online). All advanced series tickets go on sale beginning August 1st at www.dffla.com

More Info: www.dffla.com or www.grammymuseum.org

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0p>/P br>DIRTY: ONE WORD CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
2009 USA 55 minutes

This is a personal tribute by the filmmaker to one of the most enigmatic, controversial and tragic figures in hip-hop music history, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, or just ODB for those in the know. During his years with the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, he became famous for his slurred, half-sung, half-rapped delivery of bizarre lyrics, which personified the raw, unadulterated and innovative style of the group. His own solo career was at once celebrated and fraught with legal troubles and eventually, his death by overdose. Featuring members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Brooklyn Zu and many others, this film celebrates the life of a genius madman who lived life without any breaks.

Director, Producer, Cinematographer: Rasion Allah
Cast: Ghostface, Meth, RZA, Raekwon, Masta Killa, ODB’s parents, Rasion Allah

The 2009 Downtown Film Festival will be held in venues throughout downtown L.A. More information at www.dffla.com. Rock ‘N Fish restaurant (www.rocknfishlalive.com) at L.A. Live! will be hosting three after-screening parties during the series; details to be announced.

Who: Films featuring Beethoven, Johnny Cash, Devo, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Poncho Sanchez, Bill Withers and the artists of the Woodstock concerts, plus live musical sets by select featured artists and Q&As with artists and filmmakers.

What: 2009 Downtown Film Festival &mdash L.A.’s Music Film Series at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live!

When: A ugust 15 – August 21, 2009. All Screenings Times: 7:30 pm

Where: The GRAMMY Museum

800 W. Olympic Blvd. (corner of Figueroa St.)

Los Angeles, CA 90015

213.765.6800

How Much? Tickets: $15 for single program; $100 for series (available only online). All advanced series tickets go on sale beginning August 1st at http://www.dffla.com

More Info: www.dffla.com or www.grammymuseum.org

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