HKIFF opens in Hong Kong. (Credit: HKIFF)

The Miami International Film Festival 2016 opening film is ONE BREATH, Christian Zübert, Director. An opening night event, MY BIG PARTY, follows later in the evening. The Festival had its beginnings as the main activity of the Film Society of Miami, Inc., which was founded in 1983. During the early years, films were screened in a variety of local theaters in the greater Miami area. By the sixth Festival in 1989, the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts had become the official residence. Domestic theatrical distributors and broadcasters participating in the Festival have included Paramount Vantage, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Music Box Films, IFC, Sundance Selects, HBO, HBO Documentary Films, HBO Latino, and Miramax, to name a few.

Tale of Tales (IL RACCONTO DEI RACCONTI), directed by Matteo GarroneThe Festival has hosted and introduced filmmakers including notables such as Pedro Almodóvar, Andrea Arnold, Hector Babenco, Luc Besson, Susanne Bier, Bertrand Blier, Juan Carlos Campanella, Joel & Ethan Coen, Alfonso Cuarón, Terence Davies, Sam Fuller, Alex de la Iglesia, Jonathan Demme, Abel Ferrara, Andy Garcia, Patricio Guzmán, Werner Herzog, Steve James, Lawrence Kasdan, Spike Lee, Lucrecia Martel, François Ozon, Jose Padilha, Patricia Riggen, Ira Sachs, John Sayles, Carlos Sorin, Morgan Spurlock, Fernando Trueba, Liv Ullman, Paul Verhoeven, Denis Villeneuve, Margarethe von Trotta, and Wim Wenders. The Festival runs through March 13.

The Giant Screen Cinema Association 2016 Film Expo and Filmmaker Symposium in Universal City showcases industry products and will feature new films, films in production, and projects in development. The filmmaker symposium will have sessions and hands-on opportunities to learn more about the technology, techniques, and business practices that are applicable to large screen cinematic screen format of the industry. Looking at the schedule, GSCA opens March 6 for a Pre-Expo Day and among other activities will host an Alternative Content Special Interest Group Meeting that day. Other topic areas covered in sessions in GSCA Filmmaker Symposium include: What Belongs on the Giant Screen?, Development: Economic Realities and Fundraising, Preproduction: The Anatomy of a Giant Screen Budget, Storytelling: The Art of the Giant Screen, Post-Production: Capture and Audio, Marketing and Distribution: Your Film Is Finished… And You Thought You Were Done!

On March 7, a GSCA Films in Production Session will show abbreviated screenings of films due for release in the year. A short listing includes: Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Art of Burning Man, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Cuba, Independence Day: Resurgence, Pono: The Secret of Hawaii, Predators, Voyage of Time, Warcraft. The Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA®) membership includes more than 260 organizations in nearly 30 countries. Member organizations include giant screen filmmakers, distributors, theaters, suppliers, manufacturers, and students from around the world. GSCA was formed in 2006 after the unification of the Giant Screen Theater Association (GSTA) and the Large Format Cinema Association (LFCA).ROBOTS 3D showcases the latest developments of robotics around the world at the GSCA Film Expo.

In its wide ranging mission, GSCA will support original, high quality, mission-based, educational, giant screen films. GSCA is intent on creating demand and shaping consumer impressions of the giant screen and making giant screen film a viewing priority for audiences. It will support strengthening the links of the value chain in the giant screen industry from production to audience. The GSCA, working with each of its constituencies, builds performance data specific to the giant screen industry to help stakeholders evaluate success, as well as create and deliver better content offerings. It further lends support and assistance by nurturing content creators who are developing high quality digital content to consider producing that content for the giant screen.

From Dubai, CABSAT is an established convention and trade platform for satellite, broadcast and digital media across the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Asian region. It is an annual showcase for the latest developments in the electronic media and communications industry, and among other things, explores the latest in second screen, IPTV and OTT solutions, plus e-commerce technologies, targeting the region’s broadcasters who are looking to engage with present and next generation audiences. At this 2016 CABSAT, newly planned CXO Roundtables take the form of debates, focused on the impact of future, immersive, and disruptive tech trends on the region’s entertainment and media industry. The CABSAT spotlight will also focus on technical satellite trends and innovations that drive content distribution globally and the resulting consequences for the regional market. And there will be CABSAT VIP access leads to a premium lounge space for pre-arranged meetings with the region’s designated buyers and sellers of content.

The conference section of CABSAT 2016 will feature a revamped conference agenda called Content Congress, now under the theme ‘The Future of Television in a Connected World,’ and will also feature the expanded certified Middle East Post-Production Training Conference — presented in partnership with Future Media Concepts. Added benefits to the conference section include access to the CABSAT and Content Marketplace Meeting Programs, three-day pass to the CABSAT and Content Marketplace Exhibition, and an invite to the Connect Networking Evening Event. The CABSAT content marketplace will serve Content Buyers from across the region who are looking to buy content in TV, Serial Dramas, Documentaries, Sports, Kids TV and Films covering Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood and Arabic. A focus will also be on exclusive content for those populating their Ramadan programming schedules.

CABSAT draws much of its designated audience from the industries of broadcasters, production and animation houses, professional photographers and videographers, oil and gas technology companies, earth and remote monitoring technology users, content owners and creators, software developers, systems integrators, Pro A/V installation companies and distribution channels in the MEASA region. Within the Middle East region CABSAT has the strong support of international industry associations, Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), International Associations Of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) and Global Satellite Forum.

An annual Hollywood pop culture event produced by The Paley Center for Media, PaleyFest LA brings together well regarded TV talent to share behind-the-scenes scoops, witty anecdotes, and breaking news stories after a screening of their work has been presented and to which the audience can take part in through Q&A. Opening March 11 and continuing over 10 days, PaleyFest — also known as the William S. Paley Television Festival — features panels composed of the casts and creative talent from popular television shows such as COMMUNITY, PARKS AND RECREATION, MAD MEN and LOST, among many others. The panels field questions from a moderator and a public audience and often present exclusive content from their respective series. The festival has been staged in many venues over its history, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Bing Theater, the Directors Guild of America theater, the Cinerama Dome, and the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. It was relocated to the larger Dolby Theatre in Hollywood in 2014.

The Paley Center for Media, formerly the Museum of Television & Radio (MT&R) and the Museum of Broadcasting, was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, as an American cultural institution dedicated to the discussion of the cultural, creative and social significance of television, radio and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. It was renamed The Paley Center for Media on June 5, 2007, to encompass emerging broadcasting technologies such as the Internet, mobile video and podcasting, and to expand its role as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Named for William S. Paley, founder of CBS and The Paley Center for Media, proceeds from the event support the nonprofit Paley Center. PaleyFest LA was founded in 1984.

The annual SXSW in Austin is arguably the highest profile event of the month, encompassing three major topic areas presented in overlapping dates: music, film and interactive tech. SXSW Music, March 15-20 generally fields more than 2,200 official performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues throughout the Austin city limits. SXSW Film, March 11-19, focuses on new directing talent. SXSW Interactive, March 11-15, is focused on emerging technology, and includes a trade show, speakers, parties and a startup accelerator. There are also official Welcome Events to get things started at SXSW. Attendees can open their SXSW experience by enjoying food, drink and networking. South by Southwest is run by the company SXSW, Inc. which plans and executes conferences, trade shows, festivals, and other events. The SXSW Interactive Opening Party is March 11 at Mellow Johnny’s. The SXSW Film IMAX Opening Party is March 11 at Speakeasy.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at SXSW 2016U.S. President Barack Obama will appear as part of a Keynote Conversation at SXSW Interactive on March 11 and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on March 16. President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their technology ideas and talents toward tackling challenges like greater involvement in the political process and fighting climate change. First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW Music, which is emphasizing Women’s History Month, to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent. This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated in the event.

This year, SXSW holds its 19th annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards on March 15, emceed by comic, actress, writer and life-hacker Brooke Van Poppelen, along with special guest Julian Velard. The SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards celebrates inspiring and creative innovations in the connected world. This event is open to all SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum badgeholders. The Showcase offers the badgeholders a first look at new tech developments, including achievements in digital design, health technology, privacy and security, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality. Then, there is a chance to place their votes for the People’s Choice Award. The SXSW Music Opening Party presented by the Independent Label Alliance is March 15 at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop. There are so many other SXSW theme parties that could not be listed here that will be found by listing the schedule.

Founded in 1976, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) in Kowloon features world and international premiers of Hong Kong and Asian films, and Asian premiers of international films. The festival has maintained its longstanding mandate of bringing films to local audiences that they might not be aware of and of introducing Hong Kong, Chinese language, and Asian films to the world. Running March 21 through April 4, the festival screens works of new Asian films and filmmakers of the Hong Kong New Wave, filmmakers like Ann Hui, Tsui Hark and Allen Fong, and Philippines masters Lino Brocka and Mike de Leon in the late 1970s, through to the Chinese new waves of Taiwan filmmakers Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang, and Fifth Generation of Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou in the 1980s, to contemporary innovators like Apitchatpong Weerathasakul.

HKIFF 2016 will screen Bruce Lee classics in a new digital format.Planned seminars for HKIFF include: In The Mood For Films and 40 Years of HK Cinema. HKIFF will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with ‘Shakespeare Lives in Film,’ a special program showcasing three very different interpretations of Macbeth, with Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (1957), Roman Polanski’s The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971) and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015). HKIFF will also project Bruce Lee classics in a new digital format. The films — The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972) and The Game of Death (1978) — have been digitally restored in 4K resolution. Annually screening over 280 titles from more than 50 countries in over 10 major cultural venues across the region, the Festival is one of Hong Kong’s larger and anticipated cultural events that reaches an audience of hundreds of thousands, including business executives who attend the Hong Kong International Film and Television Market (FILMART), a concurrent event of the HKIFF.

The 20th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), will be conducted some days before HKIFF on March 14-17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. FILMART is a cross-media, cross-industry entertainment trade platform, featuring an array of related services as well as film trading and networking activities. FILMART encompasses: TV World, Animation and Digital Entertainment World, Locations World, Equipment and Post Production Services World, Short Film Cafe. HKIFF’s retrospectives and bi-lingual publications on Hong Kong cinema have helped establish Hong Kong movies on the international stage and its programming of Asian films have inspired many other film festivals.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. If you like this report and other content found on The Actor’s Checklist, please consider liking the Facebook page at this link. This month’s photo placement displays featured subjects of screening selections slated for the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the GSCA Film Expo film entry, ROBOTS 3D, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who will deliver Keynote speeches at the 2016 SXSW Convention in Austin. If the photos do not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view them. And here are some of the upcoming international industry events that may interest you: a Filmmakers and Media Artists Job Fair will be held in Rockport, Television and Video Marketer’s Conference is in New York City, the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from Las Vegas, the Academy Award® qualifying Atlanta Film Festival will be in Atlanta, the Florida Film Festival which is another Oscar qualifying festival will be in Maitland, annual NAB Show 2016 returns to Las Vegas, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival takes place in Toronto, Media Days Gothenburg returns to Gothenburg, Supanova Pop Culture Expo series shifts to Melbourne.

CABSAT MENA 2016, PaleyFest LA, South by Southwest – SXSW, Hong Kong International Film Festival, are highlights in March’s Global Media and Entertainment Industry

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