Category Archives: Film Festival

The International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts is in the Heart of Beverly Hills

The fourth annual International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts (IFFCA) was held at the Laemmle Music Hall Three in super swanky Beverly Hills right on Wilshire Boulevard from October 10th to the 12th.

The IFFCA was started by passionate cinema enthusiasts who liked to contribute to the film community and recognized the excellence and hard work which goes in the making of a film. The festival’s goal is to foster a meaningful global conversation between cultures and countries through Cinema.

Festival Co-founder Amir Masud with actor and filmmaker
Festival Co-founder Amir Masud with actor and filmmaker Akash Chopra of The Interrogation of Guru Kartaar Singh

“This year our festival is three full days and we screened over a 100 films, many of which were from all over the world like England, Australia, and India,” said Masud.

“I’m so excited that we are screening the films at a Laemmle Theatre, which is a family owned business and it’s a good match for us as all our hearts are passionate about the art and craft of cinema,” he added.

Host Violet Kanian, entertainment attorney Nadia Davari and host Mia Eden
Host Violet Kanian, entertainment attorney Nadia Davari and host Mia Eden

The festival is a joyous celebration of the art and craft of cinematic storytelling. They celebrate and recognize not only the directors, actors, but also present jury awards to screenwriters, editors, and composers. At this festival, they celebrate all artists responsible for creating cinema.

The cast of "Breathe" under the festival's marquee at the Lammle Theatre
The cast of “Breathe” under the festival’s marquee at the Lammle Theatre

Finally, it is indeed possible to tell evocative, visceral, meaningful, and moving films without spending millions of dollars. The Cinematic Arts Film Festival will inspire filmmakers around the world by premiering examples of films made on micro-budgets. They have also included a new category just for music videos to appreciate the creativity and talent it takes to make these short forms of filmmaking.

Q and A after a screening
Q and A after a screening

I got a chance to watch The Interrogation of Guru Kartaar Singh by Akash Chopra, who wrote, directed and starred in this film and did a truly outstanding job even though he wore many hats. This film is based on a play of the same name and is a fictitious Indian short film that revolves around an interrogation of a young Sikh who attempts to assassinate a political figure in the name of religious vengeance and propaganda. Based on true facts surrounding the Sikh secessionist demand for a new state also known as the ‘Khalistan’ Movement, the infamous genocidal Operation Blue Star in year 1984, Chopra gives a stellar performance and is the only character on-camera.

“Sikhs have the most peaceful religion, so it’s really tragic what they’ve had to go through. Certain episodes in the 80’s really left a mark,” said Chopra, who is not a Sikh himself.

The trailer of this film is at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2353050393 and more info about the festival at http://iffca.org/

 

 

 

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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Seventh Annual Lady Filmmakers Festival

The Lady Filmmakers Brings Much Needed Attention to Female Filmmakers

The 7th annual Lady Filmmakers Festival is under the umbrella of the newly formed Lady Filmmakers Foundation, a 501c3 tax exempt charity. This wonderful festival celebrates women in leadership roles in the entertainment industry. Their film festival celebrates women filmmakers, artists, and musicians and the men who collaborate with them.
Lady Filmmakers was founded by Patricia DiSalvo Viayra and her husband, Mike Viayra, who is also the festival programmer. I met Patricia and Mike years ago at their festival and they were so kind, friendly and encouraging of all the filmmakers and artists in attendance and I don’t usually see that in the wild and wooly festival circuit. I have a film screening at this festival, so I’m really excited and honored for it to be screened here. 
Lady Filmmakers event poster
Lady Filmmakers event poster
This festival is an entire weekend of films, music, art, mentoring workshops/panels and of course parties! They promote and support opportunities for artistic and career growth through their many different workshops, panels and networking events.
Festival Executive Director and Co-Founder Patricia DiSalvo Viayra
Festival Executive Director and Co-Founder Patricia DiSalvo Viayra
They look for extraordinary visual storytellers for our programming. The festival encourages collaboration between men and women currently in the industry and to instill this idea within future filmmakers. Their speaker series and events are designed to help our filmmakers expand their network and further career goals. Lady Filmmakers is a safe environment to exhibit works and to find future collaborators and mentors. The festival promotes diversity and strong female lead driven content and they wish to INSPIRE & ENTERTAIN!

One Woman has to fill the role of Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer or Editor to qualify to screen at the festival!

They also have Music and Art Programs this year too featuring men and women artists and musicians!

Long after the festival is complete they actively continue to promote their “Alumni” filmmakers, cast, and crew throughout the year!

Our main programming themes are:

  • Ladies Illuminate – films that bring social awareness
  • Ladies Kick Butt – films that appeal to a broad audience
  • Ladies First – films that are World, US, West Coast, or Los Angeles Premieres
  • Young Ladies and Gentlemen – films made by students/youth
  • Family Friendly- films appropriate for families with children
  • Halloween Teasers- films that are horror, psychological thrillers, scary, creepy, and freaky! More info at http://www.ladyfilmmakers.com/
Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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Shriekfest has a Ghoulish Opening Night Party

I went to an event I look forward to every year last night, the Shriekfest Film Festival Opening Night Party. My friend, the lovely and oh so talented actress Denise Gossett created the festival.

She started the festival in early 2001 when starred in the horror film “Chain Of Souls” and was searching for ways to get the word out. She soon discovered there really weren’t any film festivals focusing on horror and wisely came up with the idea to start a horror film festival.

With Denise on the red carpet of Shriekfest
With Denise on the red carpet of Shriekfest

“I told my sister-in-law Kimberlee my “silly” idea. She loved it! And even though we had no idea what we were doing, we immediately got to work, said Denise.

With my horror posse of wonderful fellow actors, Kristin West, Devanny Pinn, Bill Oberst Jr., myself, Mo Kelly, Scott Engrotti and Marv Blauvelt
With my horror posse of wonderful fellow actors, Kristin West, Devanny Pinn, Bill Oberst Jr., myself, Mo Kelly, Scott Engrotti and Marv Blauvelt

“I always say naivete will take you far and we are proof. We thought doing this festival would be fun and perhaps we’d be able to make some money to put towards making our own films. Little did we know how popular this “little” festival would become! After a few years Kimberlee ended up moving back to her home town in Michigan to raise her son. Her brother, my husband, Todd Beeson stepped in and 3 years ago I finally “let” him retire,” she added.

Denise with festival judge Karina Wilson
Denise with festival judge Karina Wilson

They are currently in their 15th year and submissions have gone through the roof and entries now come from every country!

Actresses Suze Lanier-Bramlett and Reatha Grey
Actresses Suze Lanier-Bramlett and Reatha Grey
Corpsi does a crazy choke pose with Denise and a colleague
Corpsi of Girls and Corpses Magazine does a crazy choke pose with Denise and a colleague

“I just want to say how truly grateful I am for all of the supportive filmmakers, screenwriters, and fans. Thank you for keeping us around,” she said.

TV host JosiKat strikes a pose on the red carpet
TV host JosiKat strikes a pose on the red carpet
Denise and Joann Thomas, co-founder of the FANtastic Film Festival
Denise and Joann Thomas, co-founder of the FANtastic Film Festival

Denise moved to Los Angeles from Orlando, FL. Denise has been in the entertainment business for more than 20 years primarily as an actress. She can be seen in the latest Tom Hiddleston movie “I Saw the Light”, with Morris Chestnut in “When the Bough Breaks” in the Mel Gibson movie “Get the Gringo”, “The Last Ride” with Dennis Hopper and on such tv shows as “The Office”, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, “Samantha Who?”, “Veronica Mars”, “Fashion House”, “Believers Among Us”, “Superboy”, “Guilty Or Innocent”, “The Life of Tonya Harding”, “What Should You Do?”, a recurring role on “Zoey 101”, “Drake & Josh”, “Born on a Bad Day”, and many more! Denise has also had lead roles in many feature films. She can also be seen in the SciFi film “Decaying Orbit” and the horror films “La Llorona”, “Carnies”, “The Mutilation Man”, “Fright Club”, and in the upcoming “The Cellar Door 2: Preymate.”

Sharing a laugh with actor Ford Austin
Sharing a laugh with actor Ford Austin

More info about the festival at https://www.shriekfest.com

 

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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Action on Film Festival World Premieres

Several of my films are making their world premiere at the prestigious Action on Film (AOF) Festival, which is going on until Sunday, September 27th in scenic Monrovia at the Krikorian Theatres. These films are Strangers In A Book, Seeking Valentina, and Natural Born Filmmakers.

This festival was created by Del Weston, who is also a filmmaker, so he really supports indie filmmakers in our community. And I really feel the sense of community at this festival. I ran into supportive friends from the film festival world and the media like King Bassey, Founder of the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards, LA Talk Radio Host Cameron Datzker and journalist and actor Harrison Held.

With my castmates and writer and executive producer of Strangers In A Book. From left to right: Pooneh and Pedram Navab, myself and Kristin West
With my castmates and writer and executive producer of Strangers In A Book. From left to right: Pooneh and Pedram Navab, myself and Kristin West

Working on Strangers In a Book was an interesting experience and I learned so much as I also wore a producer hat on this one in addition to playing the lead role. This film is nominated for Best Guerilla short film at AOF. It was shot entirely in black and white. And has a great soundtrack which enlisted bands from the hip and progressive Italians Do it Better label, such as Chromatics, Desire, and Johnny Jewel which really add to the style of this bold, psychological thriller. Keeping fingers and toes crossed!

Seeking Valentina cast and crew with some industry luminaries like King Bassey, Founder of the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards, writer-director Armin Nasseri, Del Weston, Founder of the Action on Film Festival with myself and actress-producer Kristin West
Seeking Valentina cast and crew with some industry luminaries like King Bassey, Founder of the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards, writer-director Armin Nasseri, Del Weston, Founder of the Action on Film Festival with myself and actress-producer Kristin West

I had a great time working on Seeking Valentina. Kristin and Armin had a crazy shooting schedule, but thankfully for me, my scene was shot in North Hollywood. This film is about an Iranian-American writer (Ali Bavarian), in the pangs of grief, who takes in a mysterious tenant (Kristin West). When she mysteriously disappears, is she a ghost, a hallucination, a dream or a runaway? The subject matter and open-ended ending left a lot of audience members in suspense about who Valentina really was and that was what Nasseri was trying to convey with the film. The film also stars Srinivasa Kapavarapu of Outsourced, Mehlad Gibson, and yours truly of course.

The cast and crew of Natural Born Filmmakers. From with writer and producer Melanie Grunder, actor Gregory Blair, myself, writer-director Steve Oakley, actress Dawna Lee Heising, and Joycelyne Lew in the center. Photo courtesy of John Cox/Polymedia Photography
The cast and crew of Natural Born Filmmakers. From with writer and producer Melanie Grunder, actor Gregory Blair, myself, writer-director Steve Oakley, actress Dawna Lee Heising, and Joycelyne Lew in the center. Photo courtesy of John Cox/Polymedia Photography

I’m really excited that Natural Born Filmmakers is nominated for a Best Comedy Feature award at AOF. I had a blast working on Natural Born Filmmakers with an ensemble cast of fine folks like my dear friends Gregory Blair and Dawna Lee Heising, which are very talented. I can’t wait to work with them on Garden Party Massacre!

Q and A for Seeking Valentina along with the Strangers in a Book gang. Photo courtesy of King Bassey
Q and A for Seeking Valentina along with the Strangers in a Book gang. Photo courtesy of King Bassey

More info about this wonderful festival at http://www.aoffest.com/ and more info about the films at https://www.facebook.com/StrangersInABookhttp://www.seekingvalentina.com/, and https://www.facebook.com/naturalbornfilmmakers

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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LANFA Award-Winning Filmmaker to Screen His Films

On Saturday, September 12th at 1pm, Kelechi Eke, who was bestowed the Movie Achievement Award fron LANFA (Los Angeles Nollywood Film Awards), will be premiering his award-winning films, “The Other Tribes” and “Weeping Ashes,” as the ACME Studios in North Hollywood.

Award-winning filmmaker Kelechi Eke
Award-winning filmmaker Kelechi Eke with his award

“The Other Tribes” explores the biases tribes have towards each other and “Weeping Ashes is based on true events that primarily took place in Uganda.

Posters for Eke's "The Other Tribes" and "Weeping Ashes"
Posters for Eke’s “The Other Tribes” and “Weeping Ashes”

LANFA’s goal is to promote actors, actresses, directors and producers in Nollywood to Hollywood, and to develop a technique that will enable them to work together in producing quality films. This goal gives greater media exposure, increases awareness, visibility, and opportunities to those who need to promote their projects. This esteemed organization also wants to eventually build a healthcare center in Africa to give the best medical help for those in the film industries and others who can’t afford to do so. Another goal of LANFA is to construct a state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles for the production of technologically advanced film, TV, and theatre projects. King Bassey is the founder and CEO of LANFA. 

I had the honor of being a presenter to my good friend, noted fashion designer Eugene Sidney, who received an award from this wonderful organization.  I also really enjoyed learning more about Nigerian films and that creative community. More info at http://www.lanfaa.com/

The trailers for “The Other Tribes” and “Weeping Ashes” are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXluIl14BYk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCGucwjX5VQ&feature=youtu.be

More info about these films at http://www.bigobi.com/ and for tickets to the screening, please go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-other-tribes-weeping-ashes-movies-premiere-in-hollywood-september-12th-2015-tickets-18198961584

 

 

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

More Posts - Website

Premiere of “Lovesick Fool–Love in the Age of Like”

The witty animated film “Lovesick Fool––Love in the Age of Like” will be screening at the popular Hollyshorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre in the heart of Hollywood tonight at 7:30pm. The film stars a talented ensemble of comedic geniuses like Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, and Fred Willard. Polcino, an Emmy-nominated director of “The Simpsons”, “King of the Hill”, and “Family Guy”, directed, wrote, and voiced the lead role. The film is Polcino’s Mezmo Productions’ first feature.

“Dating in LA sucks. And animation seemed the best way to capture the despair while maintaining a sense of humor about it,” says Polcino.

Animated still of Janeane Garofalo, Polcino, and Fred Willard playing characters trying to find meaning in their daily grind in "Lovesick Fool-Love in the Age of Like"
Animated still of Janeane Garofalo, Polcino, and Fred Willard playing characters trying to find meaning in their daily grind in “Lovesick Fool-Love in the Age of Like”

It’s an original adult animated vision, expanding on Polcino’s award-winning short film “Lovesick Fool”, about a single guy in LA in search of true love. The film is semi-autobiographical for the multi-talented Polcino–a true comedy in a unique style featuring a lush soundtrack by innovative music supervisor Robin Fujiwara (music coordinator for “Burn Notice”) and top-notch voice performances by its stars. Rounding out the ensemble cast is David Banks (“Deadly Wives”, “Tosh.0”), Paul Gregory (“True Blood”, “Happily Divorced”), Renee Rivera (“Near Myth”), David Polcino (“Family Guy”), Pepper Jay (“Bill Plympton Presents Magnum Farce,” “Midlife”), Mila Musiynko (“Waiting for Dracula”), Paul Batmanis, Bradley Smith, and Melissa Teper. HPC’s own Vida Ghaffari (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,”“The Mindy Project”), who is also a talented character actress, will be making her animated film debut as the “dream girl.” Ghaffari also voices the role of hipster girl.

The cast and crew of Lovesick Fool at the Burbank Film Festival screening. From left to right: voiceover artist Paul Gregory, voiceover artist and producer David Polcino, voiceover artists Renee Rivera, writer-director and lead voiceover artist Dominic Polcino, voiceover artist Renee Rivera, writer-direct and lead voiceover artist Dominic Polcino, Vida Ghaffari, music supervisor Robin Fujiwara and voiceover artist Dr. Paul Batmanis. Photo courtesy of ZFO Entertainment
The cast and crew of Lovesick Fool at the Burbank Film Festival screening. From left to right: voiceover artist Paul Gregory, voiceover artist and producer David Polcino, voiceover artists Renee Rivera, writer-director and lead voiceover artist Dominic Polcino, voiceover artist Renee Rivera, writer-direct and lead voiceover artist Dominic Polcino, voiceover artist Vida Ghaffari, music supervisor Robin Fujiwara and voiceover artist Dr. Paul Batmanis. Photo courtesy of ZFO Entertainment

This comedic film had its West Coast premiere at the Los Angeles Art-House Film Festival where it won 1st place in the feature film category in the festival. After that, it moved on to the popular Topanga Film Festival, where it headlined the Comedy Shorts program and also won 1st place. The film made it’s US debut at the Manhattan Film Festival Polcino and has also screened at the Hollywood Short Film Festival, the Hollywood Reel Film Festival, the Victoria Film Festival, the NYC Independent Film Festival, The Atlanta Underground Film Festival and the Burbank Film Festival. Polcino also hopes to pitch the film as a TV series.

HollyShorts Film Festival is an annual short film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe. HollyShorts is devoted to the advancement of filmmakers through screenings, Q&A sessions and networking events. The HollyShorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced 40 minutes or less. Categories include Short Animation, Short Live Action, Short Documentary, Music Video, Webisode, Commercials, Trailers, 3D Shorts, Youth Film and Digital Microbudget.

More info about the film at http://lovesickfool.com/ and more info about this prominent festival at http://www.hollyshorts.com/

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Hollyshorts Announces Official Lineup for 11th Annual Festival

 

Holly

OVER 400 SHORT MOVIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD SET TO BE SHOWCASED HOLLYWOOD

 

$15,000 CASH PRIZE ON THE LINE FOR OVERALL WINNER FROM ZYPE

 

$60,000 POST PRODUCTION PRIZES SET TO BE AWARDED FROM COMPANY 3 AND METHOD STUDIOS

 

Hollywood August 1, 2015—-The organizers of the 11th annual HollyShorts Film Festival are announcing today the official film lineup that will compete for the $15,000 cash prize from Zype and $60,000 in post-production services from Company 3 and Method Studios at the upcoming festival. The lineup includes 400 of the top short movies from almost every major continent. The festival received a record 2,200 submissions this year a festival record. HollyShorts, which was named “The Cannes of Short Film Festivals” by Indie Wire, and is consistently ranked as one of the top film festivals each year by MovieMaker, prides itself on not putting any restrictions on it’s coveted filmmakers and allows them to showcase and premiere their works where they want, when they want it, unlike any other Los Angeles area film festival, no premiere restrictions.

 

The organizers bill HollyShorts as “The Filmmakers Festival.” The festival will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres August 13-22, 2015. The HollyShorts Film Conference, which will feature heavy hitter panel discussions, will take place at IgnitedSpaces August 14-21.

 

This year’s festival feature shorts with talent including: Jerry Stiller stars in Steve Monarque’s Simpler Times, Caity Lotz who stars in Susana Hornil’s short Missed Call,

Jennifer Morrison stars in Chris Peters’ To Dust Return, Corbin Bernsen in his son Oliver Bernsen’s short Midland, Dominic Polcino’s animated award-winning short Lovesick Fool: Love in the Age of Like stars Janeane Garofalo, Fred Willard and Lisa Kudrow. Joe Magee and Bill Bailey’s Love Song stars Emma Thompson, Brent Weinbach’s I Don’t Dance stars Natasha Leggero, John Henry Hinkel’s HOME stars Robert Forster. JT Mollner’s Flowers in December stars Dee Wallace, Emad Asfoury’s Duality stars Don Most, Sarah Lynn Dawson, Jon Foo and was voiced by Deepak Chopra. Aaron Webman’s After Lilly stars Jack Quaid, Raymond Cruz stars in Alexandra Debricon’s A Gringo Honeymoon. Michael Gross stars in Linda Palmer’s Our Father.

 

This year’s categories include: Live Action, Animation, Documentary, Web Series, Trailers, Commercial, Music Videos. Short genres range from Horror, Romance, Drama, Action, Comedy, Thrillers and much more.

 

Commented Theo Dumont, HollyShorts co-founder and co-director: “We are honored to showcase this selection of the world’s top short movies at HollyShorts. This festival has grown into the biggest and most prestigious annual celebration of short movies and prides itself on providing next level opportunities for our filmmakers. It’s going to be an epic 10 days with receptions every day for our guests.”

 

Added co-founder and co-director Daniel Sol: “We are flattered that other festivals in Los Angeles this year have aggressively contacted our filmmakers with numerous efforts to poach them, this shows the demand for their great works. What those festivals don’t understand is that this is THE filmmakers festival and they’ll do whatever they want here whenever they want, and we encourage that.”

 

The festival’s opening night celebration lineup will be announced momentarily and will take place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and OHM nightclub at Hollywood and Highland. Advance tickets, the lineup, all-access passes and the fest schedule are currently available at hollyshorts.com.

 

This year’s HollyShorts sponsors include:

All Short TV, Brickyard VFX, Color Space Finishing, Company 3, Creative Handbook, Crypt TV, Daily Motion, Dark Horse Wine, Delmay Partners, Diablo, Evil Slave, Film Radar, FilmLA, Final Draft, Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop, Ignited Spaces, Indi.com,

Indievent, Jungle Software, Kim Ruggles Events, Law Offices of Clifford Lo Entertainment Law, Lightspeed EPS, Lyft, Mercury Production Report, Method Studios, New Media Vault, NYFA, OHM, Panavision, Philippe Catering, Pond5, Red Giant, Robert Taylor Insurance, Script Pipeline, Shorts HD, Showbiz Software Store,

Simple DCP, Stage 32, TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, The Agency-Sports & Entertainment Division, Uber, UCLA Extention, Women in Film, Zype.

About HollyShorts

HollyShorts Film Festival is an annual short film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe. HollyShorts is devoted to the advancement of filmmakers through screenings, Q&A sessions and networking events. The HollyShorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced 40 minutes or less. Categories include Short Animation, Short Live Action, Short Documentary, Music Video, Webisode, Commercials, Trailers, 3D Shorts, Youth Film and Digital Microbudget.

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Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

More Posts - Website