Now in its fourth decade, the Atlanta Film Festival — an Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the U.S.— screens hundreds of new independent, international, animated, documentary, and short films, selected from 3000+ submissions from all over the world. The Atlanta Film Festival is a membership-based 501(c)(3) arts non-profit with a mission to lead the community in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image. ATLFF presents a diverse slate of year-round offerings for film-lovers, filmmakers, and industry professionals. Year round programs — screenings, parties, panels, workshops, and other educational events — provide a forum for building the community of film lovers and film supporters. Opening night presentation is, The Fundamentals of Caring, Director Rob Burnett. An Opening Night Party follows with live entertainment.
The city’s Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau will sponsor the festival’s second-weekend kick-off party, that will feature an advance screening of the new Atlanta episode of “Music Voyager” before it airs on PBS television. After the screening, the audience will join festival friends, filmmakers and staff to cocktails, catering and live music. The Festival’s Creative Conference is a five-day (April 4-8) curation of nearly 40 panels, demos, talks, and workshops aimed to support and develop filmmaker education and curiosity. With topics from acting and casting to production and scoring to funding and distributing and special guests from The People Store, Kickstarter, ASIFA-South, Adult Swim, and the ATLFF Alumni family, there’s something for everyone at the Creative Conference.
Atlanta Film Festival screenings often include in-person dialog with filmmakers, providing audiences, artists and industry professionals with meaningful opportunities to network, interact and engage. Recent festival guests have included Josh Brolin (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Michael Ealy (BARBERSHOP), Jasmine Guy (DIFFERENT WORLD), Gary Anthony Williams (MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE), Pauley Chris Moore (GOOD WILL HUNTING,), Howard Zinn (The Peoples’ History of the United States), Ray McKinnon (THE BLIND SIDE), Walton Goggins (THE SHIELD), Margaret Cho (DROP DEAD DIVA), comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Pauley Perrette (NCIS), Tichina Arnold (EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS), John Sayles (PASSION FISH), Hal Hartley (SIMPLE MEN), Carlos Cauron (RUDO Y CURSI) and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers). The festival closes April 10.
TVMC, the Television and Video Marketer’s Conference, is structured to address the key topics facing anyone in the business of attracting viewers and engaging them as fans in streaming media that allows real-time telecasts, and TV Everywhere viewing platforms. The industry is changing rapidly as more content is available on more platforms. As a result, attracting viewers to specific content is considered more challenging than ever before. The Television and Video Marketers Conference (TVMC) in New York City, for one-day on April 6, highlights vital aspects of the business of marketing and promotion for television and video. It offers executives and professionals who are engaged in each area of this business with opportunities and resources to connect, explore, share and be informed. The TVMC is suitably set up for industry professionals who are responsible for driving awareness for and attracting audiences to TV and online video programming through effective marketing strategies, creative services, licensing, media placement, social media, grass roots and on-site street team promotions, co-branded or sponsored promotions, publicity stunts and corporate communications.
The TVMC program includes general sessions and keynote conversations featuring spokespersons from sports, entertainment, politics, advertising and popular culture. It further includes break-out sessions and roundtable group discussions intended as an “idea-exchange” resource. Roundtables are directed by marketing experts and published authors and are presented within two different tracks – one focused on traditional television and one exploring non-traditional or alternate viewing options, including “TV Everywhere,” online, mobile and digital place-based video. The days programming concludes with an award ceremony and networking reception that celebrates colleagues in the business with the TVMA (Television and Video Marketers’ Award) and acknowledges select leaders within the industry with the prestigious Brandbuilder Award.
Media Days Gothenburg or Meg, is a forum for social/political conversations about media issues and contemporary issues surrounding media development. It is a meeting place for practitioners, decision-makers, both well-established and new media representatives, who work with everything from content and production to distribution and technical issues. It is where the media business, industry and academia come to discuss common challenges and opportunities of the transformation that is now taking place. This year, #Meg16 runs concurrently with Grävseminariet, April 8-9 (Association for Investigative Journalism) and Marknadschefsdagarna, April 7-8 (Marketing). Aside from the seminar program featuring both Swedish and international speakers, Meg offers an open program and a meeting area called MegOpen. MegOpen will be the gathering place where all seminar participants meet over breakfast seminars, mingles, product launches, workshops, programs at the Open Stage and the Investigative Stage, events on the stands and other types of meeting.
The titles of featured seminar topics that will be given in English include: The power of TV, news and Twitter, Hacking Journalism, The Funny Business of Global Growth: Understanding BuzzFeed Internationalization with Internet Speak, Open data and civic engagement: making data work for people, The Future of Digital News, Survivalism through trusted filters, The changing world of media and marketing – how both can survive and thrive, Sharing stories is the fourth level of human survival, Can Google save the news industry?, Native advertising & branded content: how it’s done, Essential search tips, Marketing Talk, Working with ISIS? Journalism and violent non-state actors in the Middle East, The battle for the truth, The importance of an open society, Opening ceremony Gräv 16, Little brother is watching you!
The 33rd Annual French Quarter Festival in New Orleans highlights the city’s signature music, food, and culture from April 7-10, set in the historic French Quarter neighborhood. The 2016 French Quarter Festival will feature over 1,700 musicians performing on 23 stages located throughout the French Quarter and at Spanish Plaza. The kickoff parade for the festival is April 7, starting in front of 100 Bourbon Street, featuring the New Wave Brass Band. The Festival schedule is filled with special event happenings reflecting upon the various cultures and traditions of the area. April 7, Opera will be presented at the Upper Pontalba with musical accompaniment presented by the French Market. April 8, The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase features dancing and free dance classes, that includes styles of: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. And starting on the same day, Whitney Bank Film Festival at French Quarter Festival begins a series of free screenings, including the Emmy-award winning concert documentary, A Tribute to Toussaint, with a Q&A following directly after the screening. On April 9, the Pirates Alley Juried Art Show presented by the New Orleans Art Association will showcase over 100 artists displaying original fine art. French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the Vieux Carré and annually produces three festivals: French Quarter Festival, Satchmo SummerFest, and Christmas New Orleans Style.
Now in its 25th year, the Florida Film Festival is another Oscar®-qualifying festival, premiering current, independent, and international cinema. Through ten days — this year beginning April 8 — of 170 films and first-class events, film lovers mingle with filmmakers and screen talent over hand-crafted cocktails and a the menu at Eden Bar and inside the theater in Maitland. The opening night film is ‘The Lobster,’ directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Colin Farrell. Following the screening, the Opening Night Party follows giving patrons the chance to sample food and cocktails from regional eating and drinking establishments.
The 20 feature and 67 short films in the American Independent Competition will be eligible for up to three awards each: a Grand Jury Award for best film in that category, a Special Jury Award given at the jury’s discretion for exceptional achievements, and an Audience Award determined by audience votes for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film. International films are also eligible for Audience Awards for Best International Feature and Best International Short. New this year, due to the popularity of the Midnight Shorts category, an Audience Award will be given for Best Midnight Short as well.
An Introduction to Cinematography session will be conducted by former Kodak Imaging scientist and educator Randy Tack, on April 14, covering color theory as it relates to film, film exposure and light meters, and basic film lighting. Participants can also learn to operate, load, and shoot both 35mm and 16mm motion picture cameras with Kodak Motion Picture Film. The Florida Film Festival has been accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film categories and Documentary Short Subject, placing it in a rare position to be accredited in all three shorts categories. Recipients of the Festival’s Grand Jury Awards will be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, and Documentary Short Subject categories of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
Opening April 13, the Tribeca Film Festival was founded to celebrate New York City as a major filmmaking center and to contribute to the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan particularly after the 9/11 attacks. The Opening Night gala screening is, ‘First Monday In May,’ directed by Andrew Rossi. Elvis & Nixon, directed by Liza Johnson, is the festival’s Centerpiece Gala screening. In the lineup of panels and conversations, Tribeca Talks, will host the likes of J.J. Abrams, Andrea Arnold, Anthony Bourdain, Francis Ford Coppola, Katie Couric, Alfonso Cuarón, Jodie Foster, Ricky Gervais and others. The Festival’s screen program line-up includes independent films that are documentaries, narrative features and shorts, as well as a program of family-friendly films. The Festival schedules panel discussions with notables of the entertainment industry and a music lounge produced with ASCAP to showcase artists. Yet another distinctive aspect of the Festival is its Artists Awards program in which emerging and renowned artists celebrate filmmakers by providing original works of art that are given to the filmmakers’ competition winners.
A new aspect to the Tribeca Talks program is Tribeca Talks: Storytellers, spotlighting media artists who take a multi-disciplinary approach to portray their stories. Francis Ford Coppola, Idina Menzel and Patti Smith join previously announced participants Tom Hanks and Tina Fey for the program. Also debuting for 2016 is Tribeca Talks: Daring Women Summit Powered by the Li.st, a day of conversations with some of the influential women in arts and technology who will share stories from their careers and unconventional paths to success, as well as their support and mentorship of other women in their respective fields. Participants include Google Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief Julie Ann Crommett, producer and actress Olivia Wilde, fashion designer Donna Karan, Fresh Off the Boat Showrunner Nahnatchka Khan, among others. Filmmaker/Producer J.J. Abrams will discuss the challenges of his career with recent Oscar host Chris Rock on April 15.
Notable this year, the festival will feature a line-up of experiential programming, including the world premiere of “the bomb,” a multimedia installation created by Smriti Keshari and Eric Schlosser that immerses the audience in the envisioned scenario of a nuclear threat. the bomb will be the closing event of the interactive and experiential portion of the Festival, on April 23, and April 24, with two shows each evening. It will be preceded by a panel with the creators of the bomb, along with Michael Douglas, the Oscar-winning actor, producer, and advocate of nuclear non-proliferation. After its TFF premiere, the bomb will travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin and other locations. And in other activities, additional VR projects in the Virtual Arcade, include a roster of tech thought leaders taking part in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Imagination Day, set for April 19. Tribeca Film Festival will run through April 24.
The annual Supanova Pop Culture Expo Melbourne will be held just after the Expo leaves the city of Gold Coast on April 10. Other Australian cities the annual convention visits are Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The three-day fan convention which will start in Melbourne on April 15 focuses on science fiction and fantasy film and TV, comic books, anime, gaming and collectables. Programming themes at Supernova are contrived from the fantasy nature of comic books, animation/cartoons, science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, entertainment technology, books, internet sites and fan-clubs. The result is a space tailor made for expressing ones inner geek and where getting into cosplay (cos-tume role-play) becomes a compelling aspect of the show.
In general, Cosplay is such a marquee event (aside from autograph sessions from film/TV personalities) at any comic/anime convention and at Supanova Melbourne, the Supanova Cosplay Competition gets a makeover in 2016 with new streamlined categories: best standout costume from the entire competition, best character portrayal and costume quality, Best Craftsmanship of costume making, best performance for the most entertaining, engaging or funny enactment, best group award and a Judges Award. At the heart of convention goers creativity, the Imagineer’s Playground in the main expo hall, is an interactive stage fielding industry artists and enthusiasts from around the world, teaching tips and tricks of cosplay design, model and prop making, animation and more.
And for all the emphasis on things supernatural and fantasy inclined, the Supanova does include seriously grounded seminars and workshops. Swinburne University of Technology in a joint presentation with the Australian Research Council and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) leads an exploration into why superheroes have become transcendent icons, and the place of comics in popular culture. The lead researchers will be available for feedback and discussion as they explore the relationship between “Superheroes and Me”. Another panel is set to examine “Zombies and the Apocalypse” as a growing trend of TV and literature. Under the panel theme “Superhero Themes, Times, and Storytelling Techniques,” Dan Golding leads a panel chronicling the changing music of superhero movies. Naja Later charts the reshaping of Captain America in different political climates. Martyn Pedler explores how motion lines and other comic techniques have been adapted to TV shows like The Flash.
Program content for Supanova comes from the array of interactive participatory events that make up the show’s many activities. Here is a handy summation of featured activity areas at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo: Imagineer’s Playground, cast and crew of Garrison 7, Cosplay Theatre, Cosplay HQ which is also the location of the Supanova Cosplay Ambassadors, AnimeLab Theatre, Supanova Seminars, FilmInk Features, Supa-Star Signing Area, Roy’s Photos, Also, for everyone’s safety and security there is Weapon’s Check.
Set in Las Vegas, NAB Show is the anticipated, annual video, audio and broadcast event serving the digital media and entertainment industries. It comprehensively showcases next-generation tools to develop, manage and deliver content across varied platforms. The international community of content professionals will be in attendance at this event to network and learn about the resources available to keep their careers and businesses on a relevant and future embracing track. Marquee attractions set for the 2016 show, which will run April 16-21, include the new Virtual and Augmented Reality Pavilion, showcasing this new medium and how it impacts all aspects of the industry, Connected Media|IP, focusing on the consumer experience; the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, featuring a fully enclosed “flying cage” for demonstrations; SPROCKIT, where market-ready startups present their new ideas; StudioXperience, a live studio using all the latest tools.
Oscar winning director Ang Lee will present a keynote address and screen footage from his upcoming film “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” at NAB Show’s Future of Cinema Conference, produced in partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). In this exclusive screening, the audience can experience this screening from the upcoming movie in its native 4K, 3D, 120-frames-per-second format using a cutting-edge dual laser projection system. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has programmed in the launch of the Digital Futures Exchange (DFX), a new NAB Show Conference to be held on Sunday, April 17 at the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The conference will showcase emerging trends and best practices for broadcasters to leverage successful digital content strategies and drive new revenue.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is introducing the new Multicultural TV and Video Conference, happening April 20 in Las Vegas during the 2016 NAB Show. This conference will focus on how media companies can best capitalize on the diverse audiences inherent to television and other video content viewing, particularly related to talent, content development, brand advertising and publicity. Next-generation broadcast television moves moves closer to realization at the upcoming 2016 NAB Show, when live transmissions originating from the show floor reach prototype receivers designed to demonstrate the myriad new capabilities of ATSC 3.0. And NAB’s launch of the Digital Futures Exchange (DFX), a new NAB Show Conference set on April 17 will showcase emerging trends and best practices for broadcasters to leverage successful digital content strategies and drive new revenue.
Coachella, the highly anticipated annual music event set in the California desert (called Colorado Desert, about 125 miles east of Los Angeles) is held over two consecutive three-day weekends in April and features many genres of music including alternative rock, indie, and electronic music, as well as large sculptural art and installations on display. Coachella showcases popular and established musical artists, as well as emerging artists and reunited groups. The main stages are: Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, Yuma Stage and the Sahara Tent. The event has several stages/tents set-up throughout the (camping) grounds, each playing live music continuously. The festival also features installation art and sculptures. Many of the art pieces are interactive, and are stimulative to interact with for attendees walking throughout the Polo grounds. Getting booked for Coachella is handled by the festival management, Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Live. In addition to agent pitches and artists discovered online, the lineup is taken from acts booked by Goldenvoice for their other 1,800 shows each year.
Each year Coachella features art and installations from artists worldwide whose exhibitions are found throughout the polo grounds. Some of the featured 2016 artists will include: Alex Arrechea, Phillip K. Smith III, The Date Farmers, Robert Bose, Jimenez Lai, Raices Cultura, Do Lab, Papilla Merraculous, The Jive Joint, Pulp Pavilion, Chromo Chromatic and others. A very partial listing of some of the expected performers will include: Calvin Harris, Courtney Barnett, Despacio, ASAP Rocky, Chronixx, DJ Koze, Ellie Goulding, Goldroom, Guns N’ Roses, Hudson Mohawke, Ice Cube, Mavis Staples, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Nina Kraviz, SIA, The Vandals, Zhu. A full listing of artists can be found at this webpage: http://www.coachella.com/event/lineup.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is an annual documentary festival, conference and market in Toronto. Each year, the eleven-day Festival screens a selection of more than 180 documentaries from Canada and around the globe. Additionally, it uses industry programs to offer a full range of professional development, market and networking opportunities for documentary professionals. The April 28 Opening Night will include a VIP cocktail reception at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, followed by the opening night screening of “League of Exotique Dancers’ (photo left). The celebration continues at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery with cocktails, gourmet cuisine, dancing and the celebration of what’s been called “Canada’s national art form.”
There are many planned special events and presentations at Hot Docs in 2016. Mill Street Hub will include food, concerts and networking with fellow documentary film lovers, set amid a backdrop of live music in partnership with Canadian Music Week. Families can view a selection of free documentary shorts for children aged 8 years and older, with free tickets available on the same day. Festival goers can take part in a live and interactive group therapy session with noted graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who will share advice based on his self-improvement quest in The Happy Film. Hot Docs accepts Canadian and international documentaries of all lengths and subject matter. Additionally, submissions can be made to The Doc Shop online market for buyers, distributors, sales agents and programmers (http://www.hotdocs.ca/i/submit-a-film).
Hot Docs was founded in 1993 by the Documentary Organization of Canada (formerly the Canadian Independent Film Caucus), a national association of independent documentary filmmakers. In 1996, Hot Docs became a separately incorporated organization with a mandate to showcase and support the work of Canadian and international documentary filmmakers and to promote excellence in documentary production. The organizing body behind Hot Docs is a national, charitable organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary. The organization showcases Canadian and international documentaries to the public and delivers professional development, market and network opportunities to documentary professionals through the presentation of the annual documentary festival and other complimentary activities.
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 reflects the colorful array of events, including: Tribeca Film Festival (Top photo from left: Jodie Foster, J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuaron, Patti Smith), Hot Docs Fest, Coachella 2016, Supanova Pop Culture Melbourne and more. 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: Key West Songwriters Festival will be in Key West, The Hangout Music Festival will be in Gulf Shores, Arabian Social Media Conference and Exhibition will happen in Kuwait City, Variety will conduct it’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in New York City, INTX Internet and Television Expo comes to Boston, Streaming Media East is in New York City, 1The TV and Radio Fair will be in Kiev, Festival of Media Global is in Rome.