Watching the opening scene of the cliteracy-exploring documentary, The Dilemma of Desire, I was intrigued watching a woman, neuroscientist Stacey Dutton, Ph. D., in an office present-day, walking across the screen and opening a Gray’s Anatomy Textbook, while a voice-over narration informs the viewer. What happens next befuddled me. I could not believe my eyes. Here is a woman in 2020 with an anatomy book that has no picture or information on the female clitoris. Unbelievable right? Well, apparently, the edition being discussed was published in 1858. A sleight of hand so to say. The intent is crystal clear in today’s protest language, “Let’s get emotional people! This is pussy power were dealing with here!!!”
But, the best was yet to come as the film’s most intriguing characters were introduced. One, a Brooklyn-based artist, Sophia Wallace, has a routine of going to the gym listening to “work-out” music then taking lyrics and reframing them with the clitoris in mind. From there, prints are created celebrating the “clit,” and the hundred laws of cliteracy. To accentuate, a revealing text title poses the question with dramatic flair, “Can you draw a clit?” Pulsating music accompanies the next segment, Womanhood: The Clitoris Chapter, introducing “Critical Thinking – The Best Work of Sophia Wallace” – a very thought-provoking art exhibit celebrating the female “joy button.” More importantly, Wallace is a compelling force on the screen as she shares her experience, strength, and hope in navigating desire as she expresses her truth as Director Maria Finitzo captures mush of it in Verite’ style.
In today’s world, we often hear somewhat crude and vulgar terms such as “bumping uglies” or “doing the nasty.” Wallace’s phrases, in juxtaposition, are framed in glitteringly gold letters – a beautiful and highly respectful manner and miles away from “bumping uglies” or “doing the nasty.” After Wallace’s whirlwind world, Finitzo goes on to highlight Linda Diamond, PH. D., Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, a monthly newsletter for women interested in “pleasure in a practical everyday sense,” an industrial engineer manufacturing elegant female vibrators as well as a stunning Chicagoan woman, Coriama, who proudly postulates she has the will to negotiate for what she needs sexually.
Interestingly, Finitzo, a Peabody Award-winning director, spouts themes from Audrey Lourde’s feminist-leaning essay, Uses of the Erotic, that women have been suppressed from power and information by the male world. To prove her point, Finitzo adds a black and white still photograph of a woman suffering from what Dr. Sigmund Freud referred to as hysteria. Today, “hysterical” women in Decatur, Georgia, have formed a female support group. Here women create a sacred, safe space to explore the bounds of their sexuality. Adeptly, Finitzo managed to score footage from a meeting of the “mine’s.” as the women from Decatur openly share intimate feelings about their clitorises.
Nevertheless, “the little man in the boat” remains the misunderstood, “shuntive” part of the female anatomy, keeping women suppressed, as they are systematically warned against the dangers of eroticism and the resulting information. In one especially memorable scene, Finitzo mixes a driving, non-diegetic musical score culminating in a crescendo with a voice-over narration describing the clitoris as a powerful provocative force, a replenishing force. Some top-notch burlesque sequences, both archival performances as well as current-day performers, add an exquisite, erotic vibe.
The Dilemma of Desire, executively produced by Academy Award-winning Barbara Kopple, is an exceptionally well-executed film advocating that women are sexual beings with the right to live fully in the expression of their desires. The craftsmanship in gathering footage, in editing, informative narrative voice-overs, and musical score support and add timely emotionality in underscoring Finitzo’s sharply-pointed direction. My hat comes off to the cast and crew.
Probably most surprising was Finitzo’s ability to add tongue-in-cheek scenic elements underscoring the buffoonery surrounding the massive dismissal of the “devil’s doorbell” – in my opinion, a very serious oversight. But in the end, though the coverage seemed somewhat excessive, I found it wholly conceivable to view the clitoris as a replenishing, provocative force after viewing The Dilemma of Desire. A bit long, however, with a runtime of 109 minutes. Highly recommended.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard’s Rebuilding Paradise, a blistering Verite-style, National Geographic documentary, captures the devastation of the 2018 Camp Fire and the resiliency of Paradise, Calif., residents in the fire’s aftermath. Howard, one of Hollywood’s most popular directors, also directed the 1991 fire drama Backdraft. Other Howard films include the Oscar-winning dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, and the critically-acclaimed documentaries Pavarotti and The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years. Following the Rebuilding Paradise screening, Howard and Paradise residents, Michelle John and Woody Culleton, participated in a Q & A moderated by broadcast journalist Katy Tur, an NBC correspondent and anchor for MSNBC Live. Howard confided Rebuilding Paradise was his first venture into Verite-style filmmaking while the residents echoed the unimaginable magnitude of the fire’s devastation and that the images don’t reflect the fire’s “uncomprehendable” nature.
Rebuilding Paradise opens in dramatic fashion with narrative voice-over providing a weather update informing the viewer of a windy day and PG&E contemplating a pre-emptive decision to shut down the area’s power grid. Large, fast-moving fire breaks out in the Feather River Canyon with four dozers, two water tenders, and four strike teams are deployed. Emergency calls are heard. School and hospital evacuations are taking place. Audible prayers are heard. And then, dashcam footage of a vehicle racing through the haze and fiery embers with diegetic radio communications juxtaposed against footage of a raging, massive wildfire (imagine Lord of the Rings Mountain of Fire) fueled by dry timber and blustering forty mile-per-hour winds reveal the genesis of a perfect firestorm. Non-diegetic music from the master composer, Hans Zimmer accompanies haunting, apocalyptic slow-motion frames of horses seeking freedom or at least a free-range amidst a claustrophobic smoke and death-seeking fire patches. The scene closes tinged in hope as a family escapes the area in their vehicle with exclamatory verbiage.
For me, this opening scene captured the essence of Rebuilding Paradise. As devastating as the fire and the footage were, the family breaks out and into blue skies with a redemptive foreshadowing. Howard latches on to a group of Paradise residents who have a deeply rooted sense of place and home as they take the journey to rebuild Paradise one day at a time. There were plenty of setbacks and details of electrical equipment dating to 1921 still in use were trying and quite frustrating as the lawyers for PG&E managed to beat down a wrongful death case to manslaughter with a 3.5 million dollar fine for the lives of 85 Paradise residents who perished in the massive fire. Adeptly, Howard captures the real Erin Brockovich speaking to a group of Paradise residents. Brockovich was the subject of a 2000 bio-drama directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Julia Roberts that dramatized Brockovich’s relentless and successful pursuit of justice for families who were victims of PG&E polluting their water supply.
Interestingly, Howard chose to tell the story in linear segments beginning with one month, then to three months, six months, culminating with nine months. On top of the eighty-five deaths, fifty thousand lives were displaced. One of the film’s most compelling characters turned out to be the school psychologist, Carly Ingersoll, a young thirty-something, married woman who had decided to start a family with her husband. But due to contaminants being absorbed into the groundwater, she and her husband were advised by their physician not to have a baby. In her professional capacity, she was fully engaged in trauma counseling with students and despite having nearly perished in the fire herself managed to see beyond the devastation and find a sense of hope for the future.
Rebuilding Paradise is a gripping, well-executed film with top-notch photography, driving musical score and inspirational, narrative story-telling and it covers the trials and tribulations of a community facing an assured annihilation who turn their devastation into a mythic Phoenix as their town rises from its ashes in warm and hopeful tones. Very highly recommended.
THE 2020 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS
David Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN wins Best Narrative Feature
Pailin Wedel, and Nina Ijas’s HOPE FROZEN wins Best Documentary Feature
Danielle Deadwyler (RECKONING) received the Lisa Blount Memorial
Acting Award, Haroula Rose (ONCE UPON A RIVER) was honored with
the Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award,
and Deepak Sethi (COFFEE SHOP NAMES) is the first recipient of
the Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award
Oxford, MS (June 9, 2020) – The 2020 Oxford Film Festival celebrated the best of this year’s films and filmmakers with a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, June 6, highlighted by the announcement of Hoka awards for David Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN for Best Narrative Feature, which included a $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision, and Pailin Wedel, and Nina Ijas’s HOPE FROZEN for Best Documentary Feature. The Best Documentary Feature prize included a $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision as well as documentary editing feedback from Joe Shapiro.
Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN was noted for its raw, honest and inventive recreation of the 2011 police killing of an unarmed Black man in White Plains, NY.
The presentation of the Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award went to Danielle Deadwyler for her performance in RECKONING, the Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award and $1000 from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation to Haroula Rose for ONCE UPON A RIVER, and the first Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award went to Deepak Sethi for COFFEE SHOP NAMES. The honoree is selected by a committee of Mississippi black filmmakers, is given to a film artist from a diverse background each year who has exhibited a unique and clear voice through their work.
Larissa Lam’s FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH won the Hoka Award for Best Mississippi Feature Film, with the jury citing the film as “A deeply human and life-affirming film that shows that the history of the American South was not written only in Black and White but in many shades of the rainbow and is deeply representative of many parts of the United States.” Je’Monda Roy’s GETTING TO THE ROOT won Best Mississippi Documentary Feature, Erin Palmquist’s FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY won Best LGBTQIA+ Feature, Travis Beard’s ROCKABUL was named Best Music Documentary. and Garin Hovanniisian’s I AM NOT ALONE took the prize for Best Foreign Language Film.
Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said, “In a year of so much uncertainty and figuring out how to re-invent and innovate and not just look forward to how we would do things in the future when it came to presenting and celebrating film and the people responsible for making those films, we knew it was vital to demonstrate our appreciation for the films we did select this year. This film festival has always tried to be a leader in our industry and this state and following through with the presentation of our awards virtually was in the plans from the beginning of our decision to pivot to our weekly virtual fests and OFF to the DRIVE-IN screening events. We are intensely proud of these films and filmmakers and are thrilled to officially recognize them as prize winners.”
In the Short Film category, Best Narrative Short went to Giulia Gandini’s MY TIME, with Best LGBTQIA+ Short going to Patrick G. Lee’s UNSPOKEN. The winner of the Hoka for Best Documentary Short was Johanis Lyons-Reid, and Lorcan Hopper’s THE LOOP.
Kyle Taubken’s THE BROTHERS BROTHERS was named Best Mississippi Short, Dillon M Hayes’ ALL I HAVE TO OFFER YOU IS ME won Best Music Documentary Short, Danski Tang’s UMBILICAL won the Fest Forward Best Animation prize, Ricardo Werdesheim, Moran Somer, and Osi Wald’s JOINTS won the Fest Forward Best Experimental prize, Katrina Blair’s “Pain” by Bandrunna Gwaup was Best Music Video, and Chanelle Eidenbenz’s ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM won the honors as Best Student Film.
Jonathan Mirabill’s “Phelandra” won the Short Screenplay competition for which he received a check for $1000, Final Draft software, and mentorship from producer John Norris, and Javier Molina will receive a $15,000 check as the winner of the Artist Vodka Award for his film, WONDER.
With the Oxford Film Festival completing it’s 7th week of Weekly Virtual fests, in addition to it’s Virtual Art House selections, and recent debut of it’s new OFF to the DRIVE-IN presentations, the presentation of the filmmaker awards for this 17th edition of the fest was more than a routine celebration of jury winners and honorees. It was emphatically, another declaration that the film festival defiantly has not chosen to shutter for a year or offer up a token representation of the film programming and events the city, surrounding region, and state have become accustomed to with the Oxford Film Festival. Rather, the organization has led by example, finding new ways given limitations set in place due to the pandemic, and then mapped a way forward to find a way to bring film to the fans, and connect them with the filmmakers.
Following local musician Silas Reed entertain the audience tuning in virtually, the award show was hosted by Associate Director Matt Wymer, with presentations handled by programmers Brian Whisenant, Meaghin Burke, and Executive Director Melanie Addington. New board president Steve Case was surprised with the Donna Ruth Volunteer of the Year Award for his previous work and dedication to the film festival prior to taking on the new leadership role, underlining the energized outlook for the Oxford Film Festival as it continues to build on the organization’s work this year looking toward 2021.
2020 OXFORD FF AWARD-WINNING FILMS
Danielle Deadwyler (RECKONING) – Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award
Haroula Rose (ONCE UPON A RIVER) – Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award
COFFEE SHOP NAMES – Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award
Director: Deepak Sethi
THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN – BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Director: David Midell
THE IN-BETWEEN – Special Jury Recognition for Disability Representation (Best Narrative Feature)
Director: Mindy Bledsoe
JOINTS – FEST FORWARD BEST EXPERIMENTAL
Directors: Ricardo Werdesheim, Moran Somer, Osi Wald
“Pain” by Bandrunna Gwaup – BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Director: Katrina Blair
“Self Portrait x 1000” – Honorable Mention (Best Music Video)
Director: London Edwards
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – BEST STUDENT FILM
Director: Chanelle Eidenbenz
SHE WHO WASN’T TAMED – Honorable Mention (Best Student Film)
Director: Saleh Kashefi
“Phelandra” – BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY
Writer: Jonathan Mirabill
WONDER – ARTIST VODKA AWARD
Director: Javier Molina
ABOUT OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
The Oxford Film Festival was founded in 2003 to bring exciting, new, and unusual films (and the people who create them) to North Mississippi. The annual five-day festival screens short and feature-length films in both showcase and competition settings. The festival is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com.
(Source: Press release provided by John Wildman, Wildworks PR)
Short films, QUEERING THE QUARANTINE winners and episodic projects are added to first full-fledged LGBTQIA+ virtual film festival
Los Angeles, CA (May 30, 2020) —OUTstream Film Fest, which debuts next week (June 1-7), announced its lineup of short films, winners of the film festival’s QUEERING THE QUARANTINE Filmmaker Challenge, episodic projects, and a special conversation with CLASES DE HISTORIA director Marcelino Islas Hernández and actress Verónica Langer that will be part of the first full fledged LGBTQIA+ virtual film festival. Joining the previously announced feature films being offered, these films and special panel will be part of a dynamic and innovative effort to present and celebrate queer cinema from around the world, kick off Pride month, and bring audiences together amid the COVID-19 crisis.
OUTstream Film Fest Co-Founder and Co-Director Ben McCarthy, said, “We are very excited to give each of these filmmakers a dedicated platform to share their work with audiences. There is so much variety among the stories being told, the voices and cinematic vision on display, and yet – as with our OUTstream Film Fest features – there is a commonality, a shared experience, the demonstration of a connection we all have to one another that comes through the collective experience of seeing these films.”
Co-Founder and Co-Director Megan Garbayo, added, “Our sincere hope is that through the virtual reach of this film festival, regardless of whether or not you are sheltering in place in a city or you find yourself in a rural community, these films will be able to remind us all of what connects us.”
OUTstream Film Fest’s shorts programs curated and packaged under themes entitled, #MissedConnections,Famtastic Flicks,Love in Another Language, OUTside the Lines, and TechnoQueer will be available on-demand June 1-7, 2020. As with the previously announced feature films, a portion of the individual e-ticket sales will go directly to the filmmakers. A live-streamed Q&A with several participating filmmakers will take place for each program on the date/time listed with the program.
OUTstream Film Fest’s QUEERING THE QUARANTINE competition challenged filmmakers around the world to create a short film less than 5 minutes in length that would tell the story of their experience handling the shelter in place directive. They could only use equipment and materials they had available in their homes to create the films and were required to practice social distancing on set. A panel of judges selected the best of the best to be offered as a free-to-the-public program.
Rounding out the latest additions to next week’s lineup is a curated package of episodic works. Along with presenting the projects and sharing in the proceeds, OUTstream Film Fest will be encouraging financial support of the filmmakers so they can take the next steps toward producing series based on the pilots being screened.
OUTstream Film Fest 2020 panel, short films and episodic projects descriptions
A CONVERSATION WITH… Verónica Langer and Marcelino Islas Hernández
Friday, June 5, 2020 | 9:30PM EST
A conversation with CLASES DE HISTORIA director Marcelino Islas Hernández and actress Verónica Langer. Langer is one of the most well known Mexican actresses, whose work in film, telenovelas and on the stage has earned her critical acclaim, as well as an Ariel, the most prestigious Mexican film award. Marcelino Islas Hernández is writer, director, and producer of CLASES DE HISTORIA and is also known for MARTHA (2010) and CHARITY (2016). The conversation will be moderated by Hebe Tabachnik, Senior Programmer for Seattle, Palm Springs, and Cartagena International Film Festivals and Artistic Director for Cine Latino in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
SHORTS BEFORE FEATURES HAUS
Director. Joseph Amenta
Country: Canada, Running Time: 14 min
Makai is a young homeless queer boy sleeping on the couch of his friend Trevon. As the two prepare for a night of competition at a local Kiki Ball, Makai is forced to reconnect with his disapproving older brother. Yearning for distraction from his tumultuous familial situation, Makai chooses to resist when his new found family is threatened.
(screens before Documentary Showcase presentation of FABULOUS)
TRT: 79 min
Watch Party: Sunday, June 7, 2020 | 2:00PM EST
Livestream Q&A: Sunday, June 7, 2020 | 3:30PM EST
Director. Ari Halevy
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min
A gym newbie attempts to quell his loneliness by transforming into a muscled #instagay. But after he meets his fitness influencer idol, he discovers he isn’t the only one struggling.
Director. Ori Ravid
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
World-renowned adult entertainer Colby Jansen stars in this coming of age short about a young man’s potential path to daddyhood.
NEXT LEVEL SHIT
Director. Gary Jaffe
Country: USA, Running Time: 11 min
Taylor (Ben Baur) prepares obsessively for the perfect third date with dreamboat Chris (Daniel K. Isaac), but his efforts backfire, sending the relationship spiraling to a whole new level of intimacy.
Director. Emily Friedman
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min
Madison wakes up in bed with Leyla, the girl she’s been seeing, only to find out that Leyla’s boyfriend, Tim, is passed out in the living room from the previous night’s party. Madison struggles to hide her feelings and avoid outing Leyla while sharing a joint with Tim.
Director: Matthew Allen
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min
After befriending his new classmate John, Eric is forced to come to terms with both his sexuality and the tragic death of a friend. This is a coming-of-age film that examines what it is like to struggle with sexuality, depression, anxiety, and loss in high school. The characters in this story must also deal with these issues in the age of social media. A world where everyone knows what you’re doing and where nothing is ever really gone.
THE PRESCRIPTION (El Remedio)
Director. Tom Sanchez
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
Cecilia’s doctor suggests sex would help her get rid of an ovarian cyst so her friend takes her to a dive bar to “fill her prescription.”
TRT: 91 min
Watch Party: Saturday, June 6, 2020 | 2:00pm EST
Livestream Q&A: Saturday, June 6, 2020 | 3:45pm EST
THE BRA MITZVAH
Director: Stacy Jill Calvert
Country: USA, Running Time: 9 min
The Bra Mitzvah is a comedic short about a young teen who is getting ready for her Bat Mitzvah, but her Nana insists that she needs to get a “real bra” first.
DRESS UP LIKE MRS. DOUBTFIRE
Director. William Jian Zang
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
We think of it as a San Francisco comedy classic, but Robin Williams’ tour-de-force romp as a kindly English nanny in 1993’s MRS. DOUBTFIRE also marks a turning point in Hollywood’s depiction of drag. “Dress Up Like Mrs. Doubtfire” features insightful commentary from film critics and drag performers on the film’s surprising cultural impact.
GO GO, BOY!
Director. Oriana Oppice
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
A young boy discovers his LGBTQ identity when he sets himself free by dancing in his bedroom.
HER NAME IS KEYSHA
Director. Maria Biber-Ferro
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min
An urban youth engages an unlikely conspirator to fulfill an unexpected desire.
Director. Poonam Brah
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 12 min
Roya is a British Muslim woman whose mother has just died. After the funeral she returns to a home much altered – one without her mother. Roya discovers her relationship with another woman was in fact known about all along.
Directors. Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Country: USA, Running Time: 16 min
An intimate glimpse of the first visible group of transgender men in the Pacific Islands – the Rogers of Samoa. From the loneliness of family rejection and homelessness to the camaraderie of church, cooking, and dance, their stories reveal the challenges and possibilities of life in an island society rooted in culture and tradition.
Director. Sarah Ball
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
Ryan gives himself a deadline to tell his son that he’s not his biological father, but it’s easier set than done!
Director. Anna Karín Lárusdóttir
Country: Iceland, Running Time: 15 min
Lísa is fifteen years old and lives with her mother in the suburbs in Iceland. She is different from girls her age, but she hasn’t reached puberty. She is isolated and has a big secret about herself.
Love in Another Language
TRT: 72 min
Watch Party: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 4:00pm EST
Livestream Q&A: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 5:15 pm EST
INFINITE WHILE IT LASTS (Infinito Enquanto Dure)
Director. Akira Kamiki
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 19 min
After falling in love at a party, Danny and Seiji just want to be together. However, their differences might prove stronger than their feelings. The first fiction film about asexuality.
KIKO’S SAINTS (Les Saints de Kiko)
Director. Manuel Marmier
Country: France, Running Time: 25 min
Kiko, a Japanese illustrator in France, gets suddenly overwhelmed by a strange inspiration, while she realizes she’s been spying on a gay couple on the beach. Obsessed by such a vision, she will spy on those men and draw them secretly. This will slowly push her towards an encounter that will change her life and breaks her social rules.
RUBBER DOLPHIN (Dolfin Megumi)
Director. Ori Aharon
Country: Israel, Running Time: 28 min
A gay love story set in a one-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv. They meet, they have sex, they fall in love. Will it last until the morning comes?
OUTside the Lines
TRT: 85 min
Watch Party: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 4:00pm EST
Livestream Q&A: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 5:30 pm EST
Director. Patrick Serre
Country: Belgium, Running Time: 9 min
A child who is building his own identity is confronted to the religious fanaticism of his father. This violence reaches its paroxysm the day the father discovers his12 year-old son dressing up as a woman in the parents’ bedroom. This incident has a serious impact on his sexual behavior as an adult.
Directors. Soham Chakraborty, Hanxu Chen, Meton Joffily, Justin Polley, Julia Trouvé
Country: France, Running Time: 5 min
In a far future, Sonia is about to be transferred from her space station to a newer one. While everything appears to be going well for her, her mind is elsewhere, disturbed by a past not far behind.
ITALY & (THIS IS) WATER
Directors. Ioan Gavriel, Anja Franziska Plaschg
Country: Austria, Running Time: 5 min
A single day: from the tender break of dawn to the darkest night. One out of many days to come? Quite possibly the very last. A long farewell, an ultimate goodbye to a life we have grown to hold dear. Leading to a head-on dive into a new reality, into a new state of being.
Director. Jessica Lynn Guerra
Country: USA, Running Time: 9 min
Cathy wakes up to discover, to her horror, that there are lobsters attached to her nipples! She calls the ‘Maritime Mishaps Hotline’ for aide, but is it too late to escape these arthropod assailants?
Directors. Marvin Bogatsch, Peter Neugebauer
Country: Germany, Running Time: 21 min
Two young female friends, Maja and Charly, use a new method to experience lucid dreaming by combining an exotic pill with musical sounds. Maja is excited and looses herself in the other world, because she finds herself and her hidden desires in it.
SPEAK EASY, B
Directors. Becca Park, Jun Shimizu
Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min
Embark on a tender journey inside the desert of the mind, as B breaks through cultural conditioning, past loves, and psychological defenses to arrive at True Self.
SWEET SWEET KINK: A COLLECTION OF BDSM STORIES
Director. Maggie M. Bailey
Countries: USA/Chile, Running Time: 13 min
SWEET SWEET KINK takes a sweet, sweet peek into the kinky world of bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism through stories of intimate connection, consensual exploration, and deep self-reflection.
WHEN NIGHT FALLS (Quand la Nuit Tombera)
Country: Canada, Running Time: 8 min
As night falls, creatures with pearl and lace ornaments gather at the center of the forest where is laying an inanimate body.
TRT: 61 min
Watch Party: Sunday, June 7, 2020 | 4:15pm EST
Livestream Q&A: Sunday, June 7, 2020 | 5:30 pm EST
Director. Chris Coats
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
When Kevin is asked to model for a professional photographer, he gets more than he bargained for.
DON’T TEXT BACK
Directors: Kaye Adelaide and Mariel Sharp
Country: Canada, Running Time: 14 min
A woman seeks the help of an energy healer to rid herself of a cursed necklace that strangles her every time she doesn’t text back her bad Tinder date.
Director. Jeff Schick
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min
SWIPE is a comedic short film about the digital dating life of Cheryl, a newly single bachelorette attempting to find love in the Pacific Northwest.
Director. Arthur Halpern
Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min
After an unusual online encounter, a lonely man is challenged to step out from behind his computer screen and shatter long-lived inhibitions to claim the touch of another human being.
Director. Kate Cox
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 13 min
Emelia (BAFTA Nominee Nikki Amuka-Bird) and Jeff (Nick Frost) are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary by venturing into the virtual reality world of ‘Vert’ together. Vert presents them with a character that is their ‘ideal self’ and what is supposed to be re-awakening for them as a couple becomes the unearthing of Jeff’s secret.
FILMMAKER CHALLENGE WINNERS
Queering the Quarantine
TRT: 32 min
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Director. Ryan Czerwonko
Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min
Intimate flashbacks to what feels like only yesterday, an artist is adapting to a life confined at home.
Director. Scott Cullen
Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min
Celebrating your birthday in today’s virtual age can feel quite lonely. But you might as well dance and eat a cupcake because you are worth it.
DEAR QUARANTINE DIARY
Director. Cat Tassini
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
Queer thought soup with a side of cute cat videos. Follow this IG story about what it’s like to be queer in quarantine.
LET RIP: BODIES LEAN AND RIPPED
Director. Lee Campbell
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 5 min
Smash the fads, rip the mags, and break out those daddy bellies!
LET RIP: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Director. Lee Campbell
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 3 min
Balls, sports, and men in shorts! A father and son reflect on a game that they remember quite differently.
Directors. Alyza DelPan-Monley, Nick Spencer
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
You may never look at an onion the same way again.
THAT’S WHAT WE DO
Directors. Lauren Tabak
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
Art imitates life in the form of wigs, beanies, and bathwater. Take a dive into the patterns of love in this queeraoke sing-a-long.
Director. Daisuke Shimba
Country: Japan, Running Time: 3 min
Cascading collages of camera cuts leave space for you to answer the question: who are you when no one is watching?
Director. Riley Church
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
Toss your caps and twirl your gowns. A queer virtual cheers to the graduates of 2020!
TRT: 55 min
Watch Party: Saturday, June 6, 2020 | 4:15pm EST
Livestream Q&A: Saturday, June 6, 2020 | 5:15pm EST
Director. Rachel Anderson
Country: Australia, Running Time: 15 min
A curious and playful look at growing up between two cultures in the Sunshine State, with particular focus on food and family, presented by two Australian-born Asian friends who are awkward, honest, and warm in equal parts.
HEART TO HEART
Director. Lilah Vandenburgh
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 10 min
A young girl is scared to make the first move. But her heart has something to say about it. Literally.
Director. Nessa Norich
Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min The Fae is a queer fantasy series that follows Mark, a successful gay Manhattanite hiding his most passionate gift from the world. One fateful night, Mark learns about magical beings called fae – and that he might be one of them!#Missed
THIS ISN’T ME.
Director. Adrian Rojas Elliot
Country: USA, Running Time: 20 min
An earnest West Hollywood gay guy with a skewed sense of decorum chases meaning and intimacy, routinely humiliating himself and occasionally stumbling into moments of grace.
About OUTstream Film Fest
OUTstream Film Fest strives to present films that expand the culture of queer content and to highlight work that challenges mindsets and opens hearts. The seven-day online film festival features queer films, episodic, and short films from all over the world. The festival was created to give audiences everywhere an opportunity to see queer cinema and participate in interactive online Q&As and discussions about the state of queer, art, film, and media. OUTstream Film Fest is produced by McArts Consulting, LLC.
About McArts Consulting
McArts Consulting represents film festivals and other creative clients across the United States. Led by Ben McCarthy, MFA, McArts Consulting specializes in fundraising and marketing strategies, arts and film programming, box office management, and leadership development. In addition to consulting services, McArts produces cultural events and programs with a focus on building inclusivity among communities.
The 1st Annual Big Bear Film Summit Announces Film Lineup for Virtual Film Festival (June 12-July 12)
Los Angeles, CA (May 12, 2020) —The 1st Annual Big Bear Film Summit, announced the film lineup for the festival’s debut which will take place virtually on June 12-July 12, 2020. The inaugural edition will present 52 films (12 feature-length and 40 short films and music videos). Created to encourage artistic production in and around Big Bear Lake, California, the Big Bear Film Summit made a quick pivot to the virtual space like many film festivals have done since March.
“While we looked very forward to welcoming filmmakers, film artists, and industry veterans to the beautiful locale of Big Bear Lake to enjoy and discover great films, have discussions about their work and about the art of filmmaking in this amazing setting, we all currently face the reality of the limitations created by the pandemic,” said BBFS Executive Director Michael P. Hanson.
BBFS CEO Gabriel Horn, added, “The priority with a film festival always begins and ends with the films and filmmakers, so while we will wait until next year to celebrate the art of independent cinema against the backdrop of this historically Hollywood-friendly area, celebrate those films we will. The debut of the Big Bear Film Summit will be a testament to the ability of the filmmaker to persevere.”
Made possible in great extent thanks to Visit Big Bear, Big Bear Film Summit will feature film competition categories including: U.S. Narrative and Documentary Features and Shorts, International Narrative and Documentary Features and Shorts, Experimental and Animated Shorts, Student Shorts, Music Videos, and a Screenplay Competition.
Highlights include the virtual world premiere of Noah Warner’s THE TRAP DOOR AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE about a private detective whose new case involving a priceless stolen heirloom is about to reveal a secret about himself he didn’t see coming, Mindy Bledsoe’s award-winning road trip drama THE IN-BETWEEN, about two women on the road together with different missions, and Lucas Astrom’s HARD PLASTIC starring Andy Dick and his real life daughter Meg Dick in a story about an aspiring disc golfer out to prove her self to her father after getting kicked out of the nest.
Documentaries include David Around’s THE ONE AND ONLY JEWISH MISS AMERICA, about Bess Myerson, the talented beauty queen from the Bronx, who faced anti-Semitism and closed doors at race-restricted venues which did not allow Jews, JT Bruce’s THE DEVIL’S ROAD: A BAJA ADVENTURE, about a group of adventurers set out across Baja California on a 5,000-mile journey to recreate the century-old expedition of two prolific and obscure naturalists, and Andrew Shebay’s WOKE THE MONSTER, about Army veteran Shawn Livingston’s struggle back from a heroin addiction, and facing a 20-year prison sentence, takes the challenge of a 100-mile trail race through the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains to redeem himself.
U.S. Narrative Features Competition BARNEY BURMAN’S WILD BOAR
Director: Barney Burman
Country: United States, Running Time: 98 min
A world where man is suddenly no longer at the top of the food chain. A small group of Geocachers — modern day weekend treasure hunters — go searching in the desert for a bounty left by an eccentric billionaire. Instead they end up being hunted by a mutant boar with an axe to grind. It’s a race for survival and those who don’t make it are sure to be served up for dinner.
Director: Lucas Astrom
Country: United States, Running Time: 67 min
An aspiring disc golfer (Meg Dick) gets kicked out of the nest by her loving father (Andy Dick) who is in the middle of dealing with his own mid-life crisis. Aided by her trusted friend; scratcher addict and caddy (Natisha Anderson), she finds a sponsor, throws an ace at the disc golf championship and proves to her father that disc golf is a real sport.
Director: Mindy Bledsoe
Country: United States, Running Time: 77 min
Two women set out on a road trip with different missions. Mads (Jennifer Stone “Wizards of Waverly Place”) needs to renew her driver’s license in South Dakota, while Junior needs to visit Portland, OR on a quest for her dead sister. Both women have medical issues that cause friction along the way, but they never let those problems define their identities. Mads is also keeping a secret from Junior, that could explode at any moment and ruin their journey.
TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN REVISITED
Directors: Tom Huckabee, Kent Smith
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 76 min
In a dystopian future, American draft dodger Billy Hampton, 19 (played by a very young Bill Paxton), is brainwashed and programmed by militant feminists to assassinate the Welsh minister of prostitution. Lurching unwittingly toward his goal, he makes a series of furtive connections with societal outliers like himself, including a feral child, a gentle prostitute, a sadomasochistic delinquent, a lovelorn androgyne, a hippie dope dealer, and a mute nymphomaniac, while fending off predators who would sell him into sex slavery. Eventually, he is forced to focus on his mission and face the dreadful dilemma tormenting his psyche: to kill or not to kill.
THE TRAP DOOR AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE – World Premiere
Director: Noah Warner
Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min
A Private Detective takes a case recovering a priceless stolen heirloom for a mysterious blonde Femme Fatale (Laura Wiggins). He is determined to catch the crafty Gagliano syndicate, who he is convinced has perpetrated the crime, right up until he accidentally discovers that he is a fictional character.
U.S. Documentary Feature Competition THE DEVIL’S ROAD: A BAJA ADVENTURE
Director: JT Bruce
Country: United States, Running Time: 98 min
A group of adventurers set out across Baja California on a 5,000-mile journey to recreate the century-old expedition of two prolific and obscure naturalists. Their search takes them on a thrilling quest -by motorcycle, airplane, boat, and horseback- to recreate the historic, unprecedented expedition across Baja. Along the way, they bear witness to the vibrant culture and unforgettable people, endure the challenges of the road, and get a glimpse into this extraordinary place and its uncertain future.
KING OF BEASTS
Directors: Tomer Almagor, Nadav Harel
Country: United States, Running Time: 85 min
Aaron, an American hunter, enters the dark heart of the African bush, on a surreal neocolonial expedition, emulating 1000s of years of indigenous rite of passage rituals, as he hunts the ultimate trophy – the king of beasts. King of Beasts is an observational portrait that digs beyond sensationalism and politics, observing the facts and the many shades of the truth on the ground in Africa, in regards to wildlife and lion conservation efforts, amidst the ever-declining animal populations. With intimate access and never before seen footage, the film question man’s very nature, as well as our place in the animal kingdom.
THE OFFLINE PLAYLIST
Director: Brian C. Miller Richard
Country: United States, Running Time: 48 min
A first-of-its-kind concert that paired New Orleans artists on a Spotify playlist with the fans who were listening to it, live at the hallowed Preservation Hall. Staring Jon Batiste, Irma Thomas, Curren$y, Mannie Fresh, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more New Orleans legends.
THE ONE AND ONLY JEWISH MISS AMERICA
Director: David Arond
Country: United States, Running Time: 51 min
How Bess Myerson, the talented beauty queen from the Bronx, won the world’s most famous beauty pageant 75 years ago, at the tail end of World War II. The film follows Bess, the middle daughter of poor Russian immigrants, from her childhood in a one-bedroom Jewish housing project apartment through the suspense-filled pageant. On her 1945 Miss America tour, Bess faced anti-Semitism and closed doors at race-restricted venues which did not allow Jews. It is also a story of courage as her disappointment turned to determination, leading Bess Myerson to start her own tour to teach tolerance at high schools and colleges around the country — a tour which launched her lifelong passion for justice.
WOKE THE MONSTER
Director: Andrew Shebay
Country: United States, Running Time: 57 min
18 months ago, Army veteran Shawn Livingston was strung out on heroin, battling PTSD and addiction, and facing a 20-year prison sentence. Now, he is preparing for the race of his life: a 100-mile trail race through the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. The prize: his family, his recovery, his redemption, his life.
International Narrative Feature Spotlight GETMELOVEDUP.COM
Director: George Carson
Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 101 min
Comedy drama set in Scotland. Two young adults embark on a rollercoaster ride involving internet dating. The two lead characters Sharon & Kevin are under pressure from friends and family to find a partner, so they are encouraged to sign up to GetMeLovedUp.com internet dating site. This leads to several different hilarious “dates” which they both find challenging. Egged on by their friends they continue their quest until their separate paths through this adventure finally come together. This leads them to a set of highly unexpected circumstances.
International Documentary Feature Spotlight FATHER UNKNOWN
Director: David Quint
Country: Switzerland/United States, Running Time: 70 min
Captured on a camera phone as it happened, FATHER UNKNOWN is the true story of a man’s struggle to face the emptiness he carries inside. Disconnected from the people closest to him and haunted by the secrecy in his family, he records his desperate search for connection on a journey with the father he’s never truly known.
U.S. Narrative Short Competition A DRIVERS TALE
Director: Demarcus Brown
Country: United States, Running Time: 12:34 min
A PLACE LESS COLD
Director: Anne Johnstonbrown
Country: United States, Running Time: 14:53 min
ALL THAT YOU LOVE WILL BE CARRIED AWAY
Director: Thad Lee
Country: United States, Running Time: 29:29 min
BURY MY HEART
Director: Kav Lis
Country: United States, Running Time: 7:09 min
Director: Stacey Davis
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
Director: Jennifer Floyd
Country: United States, Running Time: 6 min
Director: Pat Battistini
Country: United States, Running Time: 25 min
FORTUNE IN GOLD
Director: Anne Johnstonbrown
Country: United States, Running Time: 9:57 min
MY NEW PANTS
Director: Gerard Zarra
Country: United States, Running Time: 22:30 min
Director: Katy Dore
Country: United States, Running Time: 8:45 min
ONE LAST DROP
Director: Anthony Alyassi
Country: United States, Running Time: 11:40 min
Director: Alexander Samuilov
Country: United States, Running Time: 4:08 min
Directors: Janina Gavankar, Russo Schelling
Country: United States, Running Time: 17:29 min
Director: Austin Davison
Country: United States, Running Time: 7 min TMARAMRLT
Director: Egor Barkanov
Country: United States, Running Time: 7 min
Director: Candice Carella
Country: United States, Running Time: 13 min
Director: Carlyn Hudson
Country: United States, Running Time: 10:57 min
ZOE & BRYN
Director: Maura Smith
Country: United States, Running Time: 25 min
U.S. Documentary Short Competition AFFURMATIVE ACTION
Director: Travis Wood
Running Time: 3:56 min
Director: Kevin Staake
Country: United States, Running Time: 10:17 min
IN THE SAME DIRECTION: JEFF PIFHER & SOCRATES’ TRIAL
Director: Alexander Craven
Country: United States, Running Time: 17 min
THE KALEIDOSCOPE GUY AT THE MARKET
Director: Russell Brown
Country: United States, Running Time: 21 min
ONE LAST JOB
Director: Tony Armer
Country: United States, Running Time: 15 min
PIE IN THE PUSS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF PIEING IN FILM
Director: Stacey Davis
Country: United States, Running Time: 9:27 min
Director: Noah Berlow
Country: United States, Running Time: 7:37 min
International Narrative Short Competition ANNA
Director: Dekel Berenson
Country: Ukraine, Running Time: 15 min
Director: Jennifer Lumbroso
Country: France, Running Time: 18 min
DO NO HARM
Director: Gabriel Horn
Country: Israel, Running Time: 5:40 min
Director: Masoud Soheili
Country: Afghanistan, Running Time: 15 min
Director: Mohamad Razazian
Country: Iran, Running Time: 13:28 min
Director: Andreas Flack
Country: Israel, Running Time: 6:46 min
THE MORNING WALK
Director: Marc Harpsøe
Country: Denmark, Running Time: 22:18 min
Directors: Saman Hosseinpuor, Ako Zandkarimi
Country: Iran, Running Time: 13:03 min
International Documentary Short Spotlight CALL CENTER BLUES
Director: Geeta Gandbhir
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 25 min
Music Video Competition DREAM
Director: Maxi Witrak, Jose Muro
Country: United States, Running Time: 3:21 min
LET THERE BE DRUMS
Director: George Wada
Country: United States, Running Time: 1:30 min
THE SUN WILL FOOL YOU
Directors: Daniel Bigelow, Talon Nightshade
Country: United States, Running Time: 4:42 min
Experimental and Animation Competition PANCAKES
Director: Chad Briggs
Country: United States, Running Time: 3:12 min
Student Competition THE HUNT
Director: Daarya Serji
Country: United States, Running Time: 10 min
Director: Leia Christ
Country: United States, Running Time: 9 min
Writer: Bristol Mac Donald
Emma Wilson is a timid young woman who escapes a violently abusive relationship and returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she hopes to find refuge, but tensions run high when she is reunited with her brother, a volatile bully and the reason she left home years ago. Prepared to flee once again, an unexpected kinship with a traumatized mustang helps Emma to confront her past and overcome her deepest fears.
Writer: Jason Lor
A young man from ancient times is granted immortality until he finds his true love, no matter how long it takes.
Writer: Chad Briggs
A troubled American soldier searches for a missing bomber crew while navigating the hostile cultural tensions of post-World War Two Japan.
Writer: Kevin Machate
When Dennis got up this morning, he wasn’t expecting that his bank would be robbed by a bunch of witless goons, or that they would take him hostage, but hey, it’s Thursday so it’s almost the weekend, right?
MY MISSING YEAR
Writer: Stephen Foster
A coming of age dramedy set in the backwater town of Bedford, Texas in 1979. Stephen a socially awkward, asthmatic, 11-year-old boy, lives with his mother, Patricia, and sister. Patricia’s attempts to make a better life for her kids uproots them and Stephen is separated from both and begins his odyssey of missing a year from his life.
Writer: Dan Bowman
John Titus, a young conman, upon being forced to flee the states by a local mafia family, begins work for a children’s charitable organization in India. Through his skills in extortion, he’s able to make it the largest charity in Eastern Asia. But with prestige comes unwanted attention from governments, rivals, and the mob.
THE CANARY PROTOCOL
Writer: Michael McDonald
A young lady’s curse of being able to see when someone is about to die is ruthlessly manipulated by a rogue CIA agent. A strange turn of events leaves the young lady in a desperate battle to save her own life.
Writer: Almudena Rojo Yela
A musical drama
About Big Bear Film Summit
The Big Bear Film Summit was founded in 2020 by local Big Bear Lake, California, residents Gabriel Horn and Michael P. Hanson. The Summit and festival work to encourage artistic production in and around Big Bear Lake while celebrating cinema and music through screenings, concerts, workshops, and educational programs, culminating in an annual three-day festival. The Big Bear Film Summit is in the process to become an independent non-profit organization with 501c3 status committed to celebrating the art of independent cinema and music.
The Big Bear Film Summit funding supported by Visit Big Bear. Learn more about Big Bear Lake and it’s history in film-making BigBear.com/about/filming.
Proceeds will be shared with over 30 film festivals across the country
New York, NY (April 6, 2020) – The Film Festival Alliance announced it will team with Theatrical- At-Home to present the inaugural Film Festival Day on Saturday, April 11. 31 FFA member film festivals will participate in a virtual screening of Gary Lundgren’s PHOENIX, OREGON, which will benefit each of the film festivals with a share of the evening’s proceeds.
Film fans from across the country will be able to select their festival of choice when purchasing tickets and box office revenue will be generously split with that organization.
Among the 31 participating film festivals are; Alexander Valley Film Festival (CA), Ashland Film Festival (OR), BendFilm (OR), Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (IL), Buffalo International Film Festival (NY), Cambria Film Festival (CA), Cinetopia Film Festival (MI), Cucalorus Film Festival (NC), Durango Independent Film Festival (CO), Heartland Film Festival (IN), Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival (MI), Indy Film Fest (IN), Interfaith Film & Music Festival (NY), Flyway Film Festival (WI), Free State Festival (KS), Golden State Film Festival (CA), New Filmmakers Los Angeles (CA), Orcas Island Film Festival (WA), Oxford Film Festival (MS), Phoenix Film Festival (AZ), Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (CA), San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (CA), Sidewalk Film Festival (AL), Scottsdale International Film Festival (AZ), Skyline Indie Fest (VA), South Georgia Film Festival (GA), St. Louis International Film Festival (MO), Tallgrass Film Festival (KS), The Valley Film Festival (CA), Vermont International Film Festival (VT), and Woods Hole Film Festival (MA).
“We’ve been looking for a way to emulate the iconic Record Store Day idea for years,” said Lela Meadow-Conner, Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance. “It was always a challenge for film festivals since not everyone has access to a theater at the same time. So now, we gladly take this opportunity to bring audiences from across the country together, at home, and celebrate what makes the film festival experience so unique: connecting people communities through cinema.”
Lundgren’s PHOENIX, OREGON is about two friends, a graphic novelist and a chef, who defy a midlife haze by seizing an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives by quitting their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza.” The film stars an impressive lineup of indie film stalwarts and comedy favorites including James Le Gros (DRUGSTORE COWBOY, LIVING IN OBLIVION), Lisa Edelstein (“House”), Jesse Borrego (“Fame,” BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT), Reynaldo Gallegos (AMERICAN SNIPER), Diedrich Bader (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, OFFICE SPACE, “Veep”), and Kevin Corrigan (THE DEPARTED, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, TRUE ROMANCE).
PHOENIX, OREGON is being released by Aspiration Entertainment in association with Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution and was produced by Joma Films with Pied Piper Productions, Lui-G Films, and Sunset Dynamics.
“Film festivals and community cinemas are the backbones of the independent film industry. They introduce audiences to stories which nurture, nourish and encourage new perspectives” said PHOENIX, OREGON producer Annie Lundgren. “Especially at this time, we are excited to partner with Film Festival Alliance to share our film and support festivals who have given so much to us.”
All ticket purchases will receive a one-time link to watch the movie at home as well as a free digital copy upon its official release this summer.
Film festivals across the nation have endured more than 175 cancellations, postponements, and quick pivots in the wake of COVID-19, with an estimated economic impact of more than $1.4 million for this group of organizations alone. Of the participating festivals, which come from 19 states, they have combined audiences of more than 200,000, support more than 5,500 filmmakers and collectively screened over 3,700 films in the last year.
ABOUT FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE Film Festival Alliance creates a collaborative global community for mission-driven film festivals. FFA advocates for a sustainable and inclusive environment for our industry within the cinema exhibition ecosystem and creates a powerful collective voice for film festivals and the people who run them. Founded in 2010 as a program of IFP, Film Festival Alliance (FFA) was established in 2015 as an independent non-profit networking organization, and now serves a membership of more than 180 organizations and individuals – representing a diverse array of size, geographic location, and annual budget. FFA presents year-round professional development, and engagement opportunities around the country offer valuable money-saving benefits and create a collective community for festival professionals. FFA works year-round to celebrate and support the art of film, filmmaking and film presentation by connecting festival professionals with one another, and with other industry stakeholders including the greater filmmaking community.
(Source: Press release provided by John Wildman, Wildman PR)
Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.
Opioid Drama, Originally Slated to Open in More Than Two Dozen Cities and at Three Festivals, Goes Day-And Date
Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020–Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020—SHOOTING HEROIN, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in America, will debut on all VOD, SVOD and EST platforms on Friday, April 3. The film was originally set for an initial limited national release in two dozen cities and about 100 screens on Friday, April 3rd but quickly made the move to video-on-demand and pay-per-view platforms following the shutdown of almost all movie theatres nationally during the COVID-19 crisis. The film had also been set to premiere at three film festivals in Northern New Jersey, Dallas, and Los Angeles, all of which were canceled.
EST platforms and services will go live on April 3, including, on cable: InDemand and MSOs; Vubiquity; Verizon Fios; ATT U-Verse; DirecTV; Dish Network-IPVOD/EST; and Sling, and on transactional digital including iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay; Microsoft X-Box; Vimeo; Sony PSN; Fandango; and Vudu.
Director and producer Spencer Folmar, himself a small theatre chain operator and distributor through his company Veritas Films, says, “Like every other filmmaker, we’ve hit a wall with theatrical distribution in these turbulent times, which puts our little indie film on the same footing as Disney as we work to find our audience. And of course that audience is the home viewing audience, hundreds of millions of people who are searching for education and issues-oriented entertainment. We consider ourselves lucky to have VOD distribution of SHOOTING HEROIN in place to offer the public, and hope the media pivots along with us to let the public know we’re out there.” Folmar hopes for theatrical exhibition of the film in the future, and in the meantime is looking at booking the film at some of America’s several hundred drive-in theatres still operating.
SHOOTING HEROIN tells the story of a small-town community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs “by any means necessary”—a story of a group of vigilante townsfolk who take justice into their own hands to fight for the heart of America, and save the next generation from overdosing and dying.
The film features Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Alan Powell (Quantico), Garry Pastore (HBO’s The Deuce), Nicholas Turturro (SVU), Cathy Moriarty (RAGING BULL), and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High), among others. Before being programmed in three March film festivals in California, Texas and New Jersey, the film most recently claimed the Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Pastore) prizes at the Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival in New York City last October. SHOOTING HEROIN is being distributed digitally on VOD/SVOD by Stone Cutter Media.
The film is written and directed by Spencer T. Folmar (GENERATIONAL SINS). Since Folmar’s last film premiered nationally, he has pursued new ventures in distributing independent films, including WARNING SHOT, starring David Spade, Bruce Dern, and James Earl Jones, and creating a partnership with his own Veritas Theatres chain in major cities. Folmar is undeterred by the current crisis, which he views as temporary, and is confident Americans will return to movie theatres when it has passed. His first movie theatre was in the Pittsburgh, PA region called the Guthrie Theatre (a 600 seat, the single-screen historic theatre now featuring live entertainment, community theatre and a steakhouse in connection with the screening venue). He had also acquired two theatres in the Dallas region and still hopes to purchase and build theatres in Orlando, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles later in 2020 into 2021. Folmar is building his own theatre chain to give transparency and integrity for indie filmmakers to enjoy their films on the big screen across the country—when it’s safe to do so. All of his theatres are currently shuttered.
Folmar concludes, “Even though it’s being eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid abuse remains a national public health crisis and claims over 100 American lives per day. With a strong cast and a compelling story ripped from daily headlines, we hope SHOOTING HEROIN will shed light on and give hope to those millions affected by it.”
SHOOTING HEROIN (Drama): Release Date: Thursday, April 3, 2020
Starring: Sherilyn Fenn; Alan Powell; Garry Pastore; Nicholas Turturro; Cathy Moriarty; and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs
Producers: Spencer T. Folmar, p.g.a., Mark Joseph
Director: Spencer T. Folmar
Writer: Spencer T. Folmar
Cinematographer: John Honoré
Composer: Mike Newport
Running Time: 90 minutes
*Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.
(Source: Press release presented by Henry Eshelman and Media Platform Group)
The 2018 Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), presented by Zions Bank, will honor Gwyneth Paltrow with its Vision Award. The festival runs March 14-18, 2018.
The SVFF Vision Award pays tribute to an individual who has provided the keen insight, influence and initiative to fulfill a creative vision. Past recipients of the award include Geena Davis, Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone. Paltrow will be presented with the award on Saturday, March 17 at Sun Valley Resort’s historic Roundhouse on Bald Mountain. She will also be a part of the Coffee Talks series, which is a free and informal gathering, where Paltrow will discuss her career and answer questions from the audience.
“We couldn’t be happier to honor Gwyneth, who is not only a cinema icon, but a health and wellness guru who has revolutionized the online presence of lifestyle brands,” said Executive Director Teddy Grennan. “We’re thrilled to celebrate her achievements both on and off the screen with SVFF’s Vision Award.”
Oscar®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose 1998 turn in Shakespeare in Love garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes®, Screen Actors Guild Awards®, and Academy Awards®, is also a decorated author, singer and entrepreneur. In 2011, she won an Emmy® for Guest Actress in a Comedy series for playing substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee, and her song, “Coming Home,” from the soundtrack for Country Strong, was nominated for an Oscar® (the album went gold). In addition, Paltrow has authored three New York Times Best Selling cookbooks, My Father’s Daughter (2011), It’s All Good (2013), and It’s All Easy (2016)—the latter two hit #1. She also co-wrote Spain, A Culinary Road Trip with acclaimed chef Mario Batali after their PBS documentary, “Spain…on the Road Again,” which was about Spanish food and culture, aired. In 2008, Paltrow launched goop, a lifestyle brand devoted to making every choice count, where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide: In particular, goop has gained acclaim for its focus on health, wellness, and clean eating, as well as its city guides, an insider’s perspective on the very best places to eat, shop, and stay in the world’s most compelling destinations. Goop’s recent ventures include goop magazine in collaboration with Condé Nast, goop Lab, its first permanent store located in Brentwood, CA. In addition, goop has a tightly edited digital shop, a book imprint and its own product lines, including skincare, fragrances, apparel, and supplements. Other notable film credits include Proof (for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination), Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Anthony Mighella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, David Fincher’s Seven, the Farrelly brothers’ Shallow Hal, Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations, Douglas McGrath’s Emma, Sliding Doors and Marvel’s Iron Man franchise.
The seventh annual Sun Valley Film Festival, presented by Zions Bank, will take place March 14-18, 2018. A rising star among boutique festivals, SVFF brings together filmmakers and special guests from around the world for an unforgettable weekend of intimate talks with industry insiders, film and television screenings, and fabulous parties. Highlights from the 2018 slate include the Screenwriters Lab, presented by Variety, Nat Geo WILD’s Salon and WILD to Inspire competition, the SVFF Film Lab and more. A combination of cutting-edge content and unprecedented access in Sun Valley’s cinematic setting makes SVFF a “can’t miss” in next year’s lineup of destination festivals.
SCAD TRUSTEES THEATER AND LUCAS THEATER FOR THE ARTS, SAVANNAH, GA
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) proudly presents the 20th Annual Savannah Film Festival from October 28th to November 4th. The eight-day festival is filled with cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging filmmakers. Each year more than 40,000 people attend one of the few festivals started by an art and design university and take part in a variety of film competitions, special screenings, workshops, panels and lectures. The annual Docs to Watch Directors Roundtable will return this year hosted by Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. New this year, the festival will introduce a Legends of Cinema Series in celebration of their 20th anniversary and host a series of panels titled “Wonder Women” focusing on women working in the industry including directors and more.
In addition to the competition films, the festival also screens award-winning studio releases ahead of their theatrical run. Before the evening gala screenings, the festival honors leaders in the film industry including directors, producers, actors, screenwriters, entertainment journalists and editors. Previous festival honorees and guests include: Mahershala Ali, Damien Chazelle, David Harbour, Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Stan Lee, Sir Ian McKellen, Jeremy Renner, Debbie Reynolds, Saoirse Ronan, Isabella Rossellini, Emmy Rossum, Alexander Skarsgård, Molly Shannon, Oliver Stone, Miles Teller, Olivia Wilde, and many others!
Passes start at $75 to $750 per person and are on sale now. Individual tickets go on sale October 2017. Screenings take place at the Trustees Theater at 216 E. Broughton St., the Lucas Theatre for the Arts at 32 Abercorn St. and the SCAD Museum of Art theater at 601 Turner Blvd.
Il Cinema Ritrovato, a film festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and little-known films with a particular focus on cinema origins and the silent movie period, is gearing up for its 3oth edition this June 24th through July 2nd, 2017, with four complete festival sections; the Cinephiles Heaven, the Time Machine, the Space Machine and the Kids and Young Cinema Rediscovered. In addition, a team of film critics headed by Roy Menarini will cover the festival with daily news, interviews, editorials and reviews. A group of young cinephiles, ranging from 16 to 20 years old, will join the editorial board of Cinefilia Ritrovata. Their best contributions will be published on-line.
Cinema Ritrovato is turning thirty this year. It’s been thirty long and yet fast years: memories of our first pioneering editions, when brave movie archivists bring their treasures to our historic single-screen Lumière theater, are still fresh in our minds. Today it takes five screens to show all the movies and Piazza Maggiore can hardly contain our increasingly international, enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. We want to celebrate our festival with all the love and warmth it deserves, and toast with gratitude to all those who contributed to making Il Cinema Ritrovato grow so fast and impetuously and to be recognized and cherished around the world. And so we will celebrate, in every theater with all the archivists, critics, historians, artists, film-lovers and friends who will join us to present their work, share experiences and simply watch movies. We will celebrate with our time-machine journey, back to 1896 and from there throughout the whole 20th century; And with a space machine that will take us on a journey across European, Latin American, US, Asian and African films. This year’s edition will be full of certainties and surprises: eight days of screenings in five theaters, from morning till night; Eight nights in the world’s most extraordinary cinema in the world, Piazza Maggiore, and three in the magic intimacy of Piazzetta Pasolini; Over four hundred films and twenty programs; Over a hundred and fifty silent films with live music accompaniment and talented composers.