AFI Fest, Marvel Universe Live, TV Connect Africa, Barcelona Games World Fair, are calendar highlights in November’s media and showbiz industry events

Bohemian Rhapsody biopic

The anticipated, annual film event that’s not quite festival, not quite conference, but mostly business opportunity — the business of (mostly) independent motion picture production and distribution — set oceanside against Santa Monica beach. Generally, 8,000 plus industry professionals arrive in Santa Monica for deal-making, screenings, seminars, networking and parties. Participants come from many countries outside the US and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the international press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

AFM 2018 at Santa MonicaSeparate from the conference schedule, the AFM Industry Conversations are interactive and informative discussions led by Hollywood thought leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and experts, and are free to anyone with an AFM Badge. Just one of the ways AFM facilitates the networking dynamic at its annual meeting is through the Carousel Cocktails event. Carousel Cocktails will host producers and decision makers to four networking receptions at the historic Merry-Go-Round on the Santa Monica Pier, a place for participants connect and relax at the beach.

AFM is produced by the Independent Film and Television Alliance®, the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television industry and the voice and advocate for film independents worldwide. The American Film Market (AFM) is a market partner along with AFI FEST, the two forming major film industry events in the US running almost simultaneously (more on AFI in the next story below). AFM badges will allow access to many AFI events, including all public screenings. AFI FEST badges will allow access to the AFM screenings. AFI FEST filmmakers, whose films are part of the festival, will have full access to AFM (and to be able to promote their film to the AFM participant distributors. Shuttle buses will move participants between Santa Monica and Hollywood.

Since AFM added conferences and workshops to its programming, its offerings have grown more varied and comprehensive, presenting industry thought leaders, decision-makers and experts to its attendees. Conference topics will include, Pitching Essentials and The 2-Minute Pitches, Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets, Producing Studio Films with Independent Budgets, The Film Finance Matrix: From Script to Screen, Producing for the Pre-Sales Marketplace, Casting for a Greenlight, Working with Sales Agents, The Future of Video On Demand, The Art of Cinematic Storytelling: Transforming Your Premise Into An Engaging Screenplay, Get Your Story Straight: Structuring Your Screenplay to Sell, Using Intellectual Property to Boost the Visibility of LGBTQ Characters, International Awakening: Investing in Gender Diversity for Expanding Audiences around the Globe, and Boosting Your Micro-Budget, with many other topics not mentioned here.

At #AFM2018, Spotlight Events are opportunities for learning and networking. Topic areas attendees can expect to find this year include: The South African Success Factor: Briefing on the new South African Rebate, Content, Funding and Talents: The New International Dynamics in Hong Kong, Korea CG/VFX Pitching Showcase, Producing Successful Content for a Global Market, Engage: 21st Century Creatives and Storytelling, Understanding Distribution In China, Filming In Korea, Choose Poland as Your Next Filming Location – Introducing a 30% Cash Rebate, How to Build, Manage and Grow Your Own Video On Demand Business, How to Build, Manage and Grow Your Own Video On Demand Business, Unlocking the Hidden Value of Your Content with Blockchain, Can’t Skip Filming in Portugal: New Cash Rebate System, The Louisiana Advantage, Success Factors of Korea CG/VFX and Korea-Global Co-Production, Score It Great! How To Get The Best Possible Film and TV Music For Every Budget, and Working with the U.S. Guilds.

The conference section at AFM strives to include newly relevant topic areas answering the industries most recent challenges and to help knowledge intensive professionals stay abreast with new developments. Most notably in the conference segment, BLOCKCHAIN technology, which originally sprung from the Bitcoin cryptocurrency revolution, has taken on a life of its own as it has been adapted into other industries. AFM will highlight the uses of Blockchain as it headlines the topics of certain talks and workshops that will happen at AFM 2018. In part, Blockchain topics will include “Run Your Money Flows with Blockchain – From Global Distributors to Filmmakers’ Pockets,” “New Business Models for the Film Industry: How Can Blockchain Support the Financing and Monetization of Your Movie?” “Motion Protocol: A Unified Ecosystem for the Film Value Chain,” “How Blockchain Technology Will Revolutionize the Independent Film Distribution Industry,” “The Hollywood Blockchain: Empowering Entertainment with a New Paradigm,” “Bringing Blockchain-VOD to the Real World: Possibilities, Challenges and Solutions,” “Is Blockchain Enough to Change Digital Distribution, or Do We Need More?”

AFI Fest cinema celebration in HollywoodThe 32nd edition of AFI FEST will be held at various locations in Hollywood. AFI is an American institution that has chartered itself to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. It preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage for future generations through the AFI Archive, comprised of rare footage from across the history of the moving image and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present. This 32nd edition of AFI FEST opens November 8 with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Mimi Leder (AFI Class of 1973), ‘On the Basis of Sex,’ that tells the story of young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The film stars Academy Award® nominee Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Jack Reynor and Cailee Spaeny, with Academy Award® nominee Sam Waterston and Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates.

This year AFI FEST 2018 which runs for eight days, features An Evening With Nicole Kidman. The event will include a conversation with the Academy Award-winning actress in tribute to her career, followed by a Gala screening of her latest film, Annapurna Pictures’ ‘Destroyer’ (Director, Karyn Kusama), on November 13 at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Aspiring filmmakers that are considering being part of AFI Fest are certainly encouraged (and invited) to submit feature, documentary, experimental, animated and short films at AFI.com/AFIFEST or through Withoutabox.com. AFI FEST will have submission deadlines — early, official and final — for fiction shorts (under 30 minutes), nonfiction shorts (under 40 minutes), feature films and virtual reality (VR) submissions. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Live Action and Animated Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. Filmmakers can email programming@AFI.com or call 866.AFI.FEST for more information about the submissions process.

In this year’s Cinema’s Legacy program, AFI FEST highlights films directed by women. The programming reflects motion picture history and the screening of recent restorations of classic and lesser-known films. There will be a focus on six independent filmmakers interlacing genres and subjects. There are two world-premiere restorations, and new 16mm presentations – ‘The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy,’ (Director, Kathleen Collins, 1980); ‘Drylongso,’ (Director, Cauleen Smith, 1998); ‘The Juniper Tree,’ (Director, Nietzchka Keene, 1990); ‘Meetings of Anna,’ (Director, Chantal Akerman, 1978); ‘Nitrate Kisses,’ (Director, Barbara Hammer, 1992); ‘Queen of Diamonds,’ (Director, Nina Menkes, 1991). Then, there will be a Midnight section offering an international selection of eclectic genre films – ‘Cam,’ (Director, Daniel Goldhaber); ‘In Fabric,’ (Director, Peter Strickland), ‘Knife+Heart,’ (Director, Yann Gonzalez) and ‘Piercing’ (Director, Nicolas Pesce).

The festival’s platform for upcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their new film(s), New Auteurs (including 12 women directors), puts a spotlight on, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (Acid Forest); Hajooj Kuka (Akasha); Eva Trobisch (And Breath Normally); Khalik Allah (Black Mother); Lila Avilés (The Chambermaid); Tarik Aktas (Dead Horse Nebula); Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs); Yona Rozenkier (The Dive); Katharina Mückstein (L’Animale); Ioana Uricaru (Lemonade); Zsófia Szilágyi (One Day); Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki); Richard Billingham (Ray & Liz); Malene Choi (The Return); Rohena Gera (SIR); Wolfgang Fischer (STYX); André Novais Oliveira (Temporada). The American Independents section presents independent filmmaking from both new voices and filmmakers returning to AFI FEST. In this category there is, The Biggest Little Farm (John Chester); Blowin’ Up (Stephanie Wang-Breal); Communion Los Angeles (Peter Bo Rappmund, Adam R. Levine); Family (Laura Steinel); The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack); The Great Pretender (Nathan Silver); Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry); Jinn (Nijla Mu’min); Relaxer (Joel Potrykus); The Weekend (Stella Meghie),

AFI FEST closes with the World Premiere of Josie Rourke’s film, ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ written by Academy Award nominee Beau Willimon. The historical drama is based on John Guy’s biography, “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart,” and stars Academy Award nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. The Closing Night Gala takes place at the TCL Chinese Theatre. In addition to passes and packages for sale, AFI FEST offers tickets to festival-goers on a first-come, first served basis for free. Tickets will be made available beginning October 30. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. AFI FEST holds the FIAPF accreditation (FIAPF.org), assuring a high standard of quality and reliability for the international film community.

Captain America featured in Marvel Universe LIVE!You’ve read the comics, you’ve viewed the movies, now you can witness Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes, a touring, original, live-action arena experience with an original story. The show will feature no less than 25 Marvel Super Heroes and villains. It will have shows in Manchester from November 8-11. Marvel Universe Live! creates a new experience through the live show with an original story that brings the most Marvel characters together in one new production. The iconic Superheroes and villains, first made famous through their comic strip and movie portrayals, will engage in high-energy stunts, world-class motorcycle tricks and monumental aerial maneuvers in an original adventure. There will be brief periods of blackout, safe use of pyrotechnics and loud special effects. Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes brings together the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy and other favorites, to stop Loki in his quest to rule the universe. To enact this live stage production to life, Feld Entertainment collaborated with Marvel Entertainment from concept to production. Through the casting of an array of aerialists, acrobats and motorcycle riders, Feld Entertainment was able to field talented performers to portray the Marvel heroes and villains.

The original story behind ‘Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes’ transports its audience through the story from outer space to the Savage Land to New York City and beyond using large video projection, Through technological wizardry and character special effects, the audience can witness the transformation of Bruce Banner into the Hulk right before their eyes, levitate Doctor Strange, shoot Spider-Man’s webbing, and more superhero features come to life. Feld Entertainment is experienced in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create lasting memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries on six continents to date and include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE!

Southern Africa’s annual technology, media and telecommunications event – AfricaCom Presents TV Connect Africa – returns to Cape Town for three days of networking, learning and discovery, beginning November 13. It embraces over 14,000 tech, media and telecommunications professionals from around the globe, gathering them to discuss accelerating digital transformation and elevating Africa’s digital economy. The interested public may attend AfricaCom as a free visitor and gain access to two large-scale exhibition halls, hours of keynote addresses, panels discussions and showcases, and even the AfricaCom Awards Afterparty. A mini music festival, AFest, is another anticipated aspect of the AfricaCom offering.

AFest at AfricaComAt TV Connect Africa 2018 there will be an array of media technology and entrepreneurship topics explored at the AfricaCom TV Connect Africa 2018. Expect insightful explorations about, Digital Identity: The Cornerstone for The Emergence of Digital Services and Its Influence on Economic Development, Preparing Africans for IoT and The Future of Work, Connecting and monetising a massive digital future with 5G, The digital and social era of virtual communities in a new African economy, Disruption of digital platforms and i-sports content, TelcoTV: A new revenue stream for broadcaster and content owners, how Blockchain technology is disrupting Africa, Launching OTT Video Services in Sub Saharan Africa, Blockchain as a global phenomenon with massive social, technological and economic impact, Ensuring that quality content is getting commissioned in Africa, How is Blockchain technology disrupting Africa? Can content producers think differently in terms of how they produce content?

At AfricaCom, the Technology Arena will be a large exhibition area focused on ICT innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation. The Technology Arena hosts exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in Fintech, AI, Big Data, Smart Cities, IoT and more, with ‘demo pods’ that will allow viewers to interact with next-generation technologies. New initiatives within the Technology Arena are the launch AI Summit Cape Town and IoT World Africa. And beyond this, with over 100 exhibitors, visitors can expect to experience and interact with AfricaCom 20/20, As a centerpiece of the Technology Arena, AfricaCom 2020 is dedicated to accelerating Africa’s digital transformation. Expect visionary presentations on AI, IoT, African smart cities, Blockchain, technology innovation in sport, cryptocurrencies, enterprise digital transformation, digital health, agri-tech, Africa’s sharing economy, VR/AR in Africa, closing the digital skills gap and more. The AHUB, IOT World Africa, Africa Video Forum, AfricaCom Enterprise Power Hour, curated showcase of top African tech start-ups, AI Summit Cape Town, The Content Hub, The AfricaCom 20/20 Bar, The Investor Green Room.

AfricaCom TV Connect features knowledge intensive tracks and co-located events to take in. TV Connect has 450 speakers slated to deliver addresses. Here are just some of them that will take part. Stellar Wawira, Telkom Keyna; Abe Wakama, IT News Africa and African Innovator Magazine; David van Dijik, African Business Angel Network; Chetan Trivedi, Hindustan Zinc Ltd.; Chafic Traboulsi, Ericsson Middle East and Africa; Karen Thorne, Cape Town TV; Dhanaraj Thakur, The Web Foundation; Ts’epo Thabisi, Vodacom Lesotho; Joe So, Huawei; Elias Schulze, Kana TV; Nasreen Saunders, Umphakathi WeAfrika; Sami Said, Tunisie Telecom; Christel Quek, BOLT Global; Farhad Omar, ITV Networks; Nsovo Nkatingi, Startupbootcamp Africa; Themba Ndlwana, Sports Media Africa; Joyce Mwangama, University of Cape Town; Cassandra Mensah-Abrampah, Google; Paul Marszalek, U.S. Agency for Global Media; Huidi Li, China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd; Carol Kioko, African Narrative Forum: Kenya; Mousa Khalid, Telecom Egypt; Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat; Kojo Boakye, Facebook; Arnauld Blondet, Orange; Tony Anyiam, Dangote Industries; Mohammed Aiyu, MTN Global Connect; Dayo Olopade, YouTube; Shinya Kukita, NEC Corporation; Thelma Obaze, Nigerian Television Authority; Joseph Hundah, Econet Media; Priya Thakoor, Coca Cola; Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Republic of Ghana; Rob Shuter, MTN Group.

Barcelona Games World Fair will be a four-day gaming industry event in the district of Recinto Montjuïc, beginning November 29. The programming behind the fair offers gamers the opportunity to try out a large collection and variation of video and computer games. These will be new video game titles that were just released on the market as well as new creations in the field of VR tech. This year an XR Zone by XRPitStop will open as a new 1500m2 of virtual reality divided into eight different areas – Psicodelic Dome, Zombie Attack, Escape Reality, Arcade VR, Adrenaline Zone, Laser Tag, Immersive Pond, and Gaming VR. Furthermore, the fair offers different features as a Retro Lounge, Cosplay, Conferences and Game World Jam. Barcelona Games World Fair will be presenting a show in Cosplay, costumes to represent a specific character from anime, cartoons, comic books, live-action films, television series and video games, in different competing categories. So dress up and win up to 300 euros or exclusive prizes for either: Best Performance, Best Costume, Best Armor, Best Twin Costumes, Jury Winner or Destiny Winner.

To ensure the best accessibility, BGW has arranged its gamer universe into six areas of participation. “Play” sector allows visitors to discover the exhibitors and brands at the event, as well as their location at the fair and the names of the video games they’ll be releasing for the Christmas campaign and which they will bring to try out. “E-Sports” sector lets you have the competitive multiplayer experience both at home and away. New for this year’s edition, BGW and the Professional Video Games League (LVP in its Spanish initials) are bringing you the first mobile tournaments in Europe, including Iberian Cup, Circuito Tormenta, and Barcelona Mobile Challenge. “Retro” sector has arcade associations from all over the country come to RetroBarcelona to create a large 80s recreational hall, with a multitude of classic and original arcades for the entire public to enjoy. “Pro” sector aims to facilitate project developers to take a project to the next level by helping to find a partner or funding. “Funfest” sector will have special guests such as music soundtrack composer(s) Akira Yamaoka, and Tom Kalinske. Also, activities such as the Tunnel of Terror, the concert given by the Games & Symphonies orchestra and the Cosplay Contest. “EDU” will have activities to play and learn at the same time with new disciplines are introduced to students through studies and professions in fields such as Management, Creative Arts o Performing Arts: from the concept artist comings from Fine Arts to capturing movement, 3D animation or soundtracks, as well as business strategies or video game marketing.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Calendar of Global Media and Showbiz Industry Social Networking Events” page. If you like this report and other content found on The Actor’s Checklist, like the Facebook page at this link. In this month’s photo placement (starting at the very top), ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ a 2018 biographical film about the British rock band Queen, focusing on lead singer Freddie Mercury’s life, opened in movie theaters in North America, directed by Bryan Singer, produced by 20th Century Fox, New Regency, GK Films, and Queen Films. Next, the official AFM 2018 film poster. Logo of the AFI Film Fest in Hollywood. Captain America featured in Marvel Universe LIVE! AfricaCom’s Afest mini music festival is just part of the planned events at TV Connect Africa in Cape Town. Entering December we’re in the midst of a holiday stretch with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America just passed. The calendar does thin out a bit, here are some worthwhile events to know about. a one day diversity and inclusion summit presented by Westminister Media Forum happens in Central London, Stereopsia World Immersion Forum comes to Belgium, VRX 2018 global summit, the Fifth Annual Culver City Film Festival happens in Los Angeles, the World Gaming Expo is an international gaming trade show set for Monaco, the International Theater Expo (THEATEX) will be in Koto, XLIVE Annual Conference and Expo comes to Las Vegas, CineAsia is in Hong Kong, Torino Comics convention will be based in Turin.