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





“The Bill Hicks Story” comes alive at Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival

23 08 2010

Los Angeles, CA – Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles announced today that “American: The Bill Hicks Story” will be presented as the 2010 festival’s Opening Night Film, Wed., Sept, 8th, 7:30 pm at the new 400-seat Civic Center F. Deaton Auditorium, at the corner of 1st and Main St., across from City Hall in downtown L.A.
The presentation will mark the Los Angeles premiere for the critically acclaimed film that has been commercially released in Europe and previously screened in North America at HotDocs in Toronto, SXSW in Austin, the Boston Int’l Film Festival and the Seattle Int’l Film Festival. In its review, The Hollywood Reporter said “the groundbreaking comedian gets a step closer to immortality with American…funny, well executed” and achieving a “compelling intimacy.” The Daily Mirror (UK) called it “hysterically funny and deeply moving tribute to a true American outlaw.” Variety called it a “fascinating portrait of a born funnyman who seemed to know early on that his time was limited.”

With exclusive interviews from the people who knew Hicks intimately, filmmakers Paul Thomas and Matt Harlock boldly recreate scenes throughout the comedian’s life using a stunning new form of photo-animation that Esquire called “brilliant and beguiling,” allowing the audience to be immersed in Bill’s world as he moves from Houston to Los Angeles, where he achieved his first level of success at the famed Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. (His name is still featured on the Comedy Store’s Wall of Fame.) Hicks would go onto to make his mark not only in the LA comedy community, but nationally as well, appearing on “Late Night with Letterman” eleven times, as well as two of his own HBO specials.

His life and career, which promised even more to come, was tragically cut short when he was diagnosed at age 32 with pancreatic cancer and died in 1994 within a matter of months. Known as a comedian in the vein of Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl who wasn’t afraid to tackle “big ideas” on politics, religion and even the meaning of life in a stand-up comedy routine, Hicks started with a cult following, first through word-of-mouth, bootlegs and VHS, and is now tipping into a much wider mainstream following.

The filmmakers comment: “Although Bill was a superstar outside America, the challenging nature of his material meant he never got the chance to be seen unedited by mainstream US audiences, but since the rise of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show,” Stephen Colbert and Lewis Black, the landscape has changed. Considered by many in the comedy community to be one of the most important stand-ups America ever produced, this firebrand comic’s freethinking message of acceptance and hope is more relevant in today’s world than ever. Above all though, his is the human story of an artist who had to overcome great obstacles, personal and professional, to try and make the world a better place. As such, its for everyone.”

Headlining at festivals around the States, and now the second most successful theatrical documentary release in the UK this year, the film is now primed to firmly secure Bill’s place on America’s cultural map.

In “American,” Hicks’ story is told by the 10 people who knew him best; his family and closest friends who recount the twists and turns of his life with a freshness that hasn’t faded in 15 years. From Los Angeles filmmaker Kevin Booth, Bill’s lifelong friend, to the Outlaw Comics who introduced Bill into their heady world of drugs and alcohol, to photographer David Johndrow who perceptively captures some of the most revelatory moments of Bill’s life, each speaker is a compelling narrator who still carries a piece of Bill with them and, woven together, they bring a palpable sense of Bill’s presence to the screen.

“We’re privileged to present the Los Angeles premiere of this compelling film about a truly original comedian whose humor still resonates today,” said Rod Ramsey, DFFLA Director of Programming. “For those who already know Bill Hicks, the movie reveals all, including how some of his most famous skits were directly connected to events in his early life. For those who aren’t acquainted with Hicks, suffice to say that Letterman taped and then banned his last televised skit from his show. He was a rebel with a cause and a punchline.”

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.

MAYO PR – “We don’t guarantee media, we just get it!”





A full moon at the box office for “Eclipse”

30 06 2010

Sizzling Times at the Box Office for Moon Die Hard Fans

Those in charge are now wondering if “Eclipse” will be a larger box office hit than “New Moon” or if they will receive a total domestic gross of about $300 million.

Since most of us have Monday off for the 4th of July holiday,  this movie is predicted to gross big bucks in the first week, more close to $200 million.

More than $1 million of “Eclipse” ticket sales Tuesday night came from Imax screens according the Los Angeles Times.

It appears that the huge following of movie stars Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart is paying off, if the recent premiere is any indication.

“Eclipse” has the advantage of being the first “Twilight” movie to open in the summer and also the first to play on Imax screens — 193 total — which carry higher ticket prices. However, “Eclipse” also easily broke the previous record for midnight ticket sales in the summer: $22.2 million for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” last summer.

MAYO PR“We don’t guarantee media, we just get it!”





5th Anniversary of D-Day Comes Alive in New Battle Tour Film of

2 03 2009
Battle Tour Guide Ellwood von Seibold races to the freezing beach waters to renact that chilly morning on D-Day in The Americans On D-Day. (photo by Mike Forster).

Battle Tour Guide Ellwood von Seibold races to the freezing beach waters to renact that chilly morning on D-Day in The Americans On D-Day. (photo by Mike Forster).

WW2-Reflections, a division of Labyrinth Media & Publishing Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland is looking for a theater in Hollywood and elsewhere to premiere film free to all American Legions in USA

“I grew up in the early 1950’s, and I have always been fascinated by the second World War,” said Ellwood von Seibold, battlefield guide of Americans on D-Day, the first battlefield tour film of WW2-Reflections, a division of Labyrinth Media & Publishing Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland. Labyrinth specializes in WW2 battlefield tour DVDs for the U.S. market. “The Americans on D-Day” coincides with the 65th anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy invasion.

“D-Day became a focus point of my interest, and I decided to live a dream and move to France and take people all around these areas,” explained Seibold. “And the producer and director of

WW2-Reflections said ‘why don’t we put one of your tours on film in Normandy‘.”

Seibold noted that WW2-Reflections had assembled a remarkable and accurate collection of soldier’s testimony, stories and witnesses who survived one of America‘s most bloody battles in war history. Seibold, donning American and sometimes German uniforms, hops into an early model Army Jeep much like General George Patton rode in shows you what brave soliders endured.

The film uses smart graphics and extensive use of veterans’ recollections, as well as invaluable assistance from Dale Dye, a retired U.S. Marine captain who founded Warriors, Inc. – which specializes in training actors for war-themed film and television productions. Dye was in France researching an upcoming film project and worked with Siebold on historical accuracy. “We are thrilled that he has supported this tour film,” Producer Richard Lanni said.

WW2-Reflections had assembled a remarkable and accurate collection of soldier's testimony, stories and witnesses who survived one of America's most bloody battles in war history. Seibold, donning American and sometimes German uniforms, hops into an early model Army Jeep much like General George Patton rode in shows you what brave soldiers endured.Photo by Mike Forster.

WW2-Reflections had assembled a remarkable and accurate collection of soldier's testimony, stories and witnesses who survived one of America's most bloody battles in war history. Seibold, donning American and sometimes German uniforms, hops into an early model Army Jeep much like General George Patton rode in shows you what brave soldiers endured.Photo by Mike Forster.

 

“The Americans On D-Day provides an exciting insight into one of the most pivotal events of the 20th century,” said Captain Dye. “I’m really proud to have a hand in this effort to provide a foxhole-level view of what happened in Normandy on June 6, 1944.”

“I’ve seen a lot of tour videos that purport to give viewers an insight into what gallant Americans endured and accomplished on D-Day, but this one really hits the mark. The Americans On D-Day provides a stirring, GI-level look at one of the most momentous battles of World War II,” explained Dye.

On the trailer for the tour film Dye said, “I am a big fan of Normandy Tour Guide and Historian Ellwood von Seibold, who takes you for a ride in his 1943 Dodge Command Jeep for the D-Day landings in the real time, you’ll see the uniforms they wore and the weapons they used.”

“If you can’t afford a trip to tour the battlefields of Normandy, just get a copy of The Americans On D-Day and you’ll get a stirring look at events that changed the course of World War II in Europe. Ellwood von Seibold knows his history and how to present it to people in an exciting, understandable fashion. The insights and revelations in this work are extremely valuable to everyone interested in military history.”“We wanted to show a snapshot of that ‘Day of Days’ through the individual soldier’s eye,” Lanni said. “Ellwood, who is an incredible 62-year-old, who put on all the different uniforms, allowed himself to be suspended on a rope ladder over a cliff, ran out of the freezing water on Omaha Beach at 6.30 a.m., crawled through hedgerows and shinned up trees.”

The production crew shot its first interview in 2007 with Howard Manoian, a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne who landed in Normandy on D-Day and returned many years later to live in the country that he helped liberate.

“With the addition of archive footage and stills we have turned this interview into a short biographical documentary under the title of ‘A Soldier’s Journey,’ which we also hope to launch for the 65th anniversary,” Lanni said.

(Press Clips are available at http://www.ww2-reflections.com/the-americans-on-d-day-press.html)  

(EPK at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJIjD-MaRJw&feature=channel_page)  

Howard Monian with son Chris in Normandy. Photos by Mike Forster.

Howard Monian with son Chris in Normandy. Photos by Mike Forster.

Manoian was recently named a recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government. He will be presented with the award in June at St. Mere Eglise, where U.S. paratroopers suffered heavy losses during the Normandy invasion.

[Editor’s note: EPK’s are available to credentialed media, which includes the 45 minute film, a trailer, the making of the film, uniforms of the day and WW2 machine guns and other weapons used in Normandy. There are some gripping interviews with military officers who were charge on land and sea. There are also still images of the area and on the scene production photographed by Mike Forst. Please call for interviews or a press kit. Some of the EPK is posted Online, too.

For more about MAYO Communications contact Aida Mayo or George

Mc Quade call 818-340-5300, or email: Publicity (at) mayocommunications (dot) com or visit: http://www.mayocommunications.com. 

For more about MAYO Communications contact Aida Mayo or George

Mc Quade call 818-340-5300,  or email: Publicity@mayocommunications.com or visit: www.mayocommunications.com.