The 4th Annual New Media Film Festival captivated opening-night attendees at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., celebrating the interactivity of emerging technologies and formats for media. The festival, ‘Honoring Stories Worth Telling’, showcased a variety of domestic and foreign shorts (some animated, or in 3D), web series, mobile media, apps and music videos, while awarding prizes and offering distribution to non-traditional, web-based filmmakers.
The festival opened with displays of sculptures by Brent Armstrong (sculptor, painter and mold maker), photography by Jeff Fasano (well-respected photographer and author) and portraits by Xaque Gruber (published author/illustrator). The red carpet evening presented writers, producers and actors from the various categories: Susan Johnston-Founder and Director of New Film Media, Douglas Horn and Dan South worth (DEVERENGE) Joe Sofranko and Lili Fuller (CAN’T STAND THE RAIN) Veronica Dang (SUBWAY) Lily Baldwin (SLEEPOVER LA) Shannon Benna (“A Lapse of Time” by Celine Tricart- English version ) Andrew Garrett (LOCAL SUGAR) Tito Dudley (SIMPLE EAT) Inna Conradi Chavez (ELYSIAN FIELDS) Amanda Eliasch, Charles Eliasch & Justine Glenton (THE GUN, THE CAKE & THE BUTTERFLY) Irina Maleeva– (LETS FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE) Angeline Rose-Troy, (Model, Actress, Producer) among many other film and media creators…
When interacting with writers and directors, the press received responses from them that included a common, but two-sided thread: the passion for their artistic duties and the challenges faced when creating these shorts and other videos. Regarding the former, some highlighted the thrill factor of writing an idea to life, and maturing it by adding special tools to spice up the content. The artists praised the availability of technology to better develop their characters that provoke emotional responses of elation, anger, courage, fear, laughter and sadness among others.
A common challenge faced in the journey toward accomplishing this type of work is raising the necessary funding through web donations, sponsored events, personal contributions and other means. Another challenge is the requirement of collaborative hard work and energy of each cast and crew member involved in each of their projects. While the journey is seldom easy, artists concur that the public cinematic experience (popcorn included) is well worth their efforts, along with their love for storytelling.
Festival Founder Susan Johnston commends the great variety in the exhibition of film shorts. She defines New Media Film Festival as providing “infinite possibilities where trailers are exciting, like being in a candy store with jars of colorful choices and no end in sight. What I really like about the trailers we have this year is the many genres: autobiographical, dance, LGBT, political, African, North American and European.” While the festival embraces the new technology, Johnston maintains that the tools of traditional storytelling remain on its foundation, good stories worth telling. –Huntington Post
The festival opened with the presentation of 3D shorts and continued for an entire day. The public enjoyed an intimate panel discussion with writers, producers and actors while creators utilized the audience’s feedback as a final touch to the magic and talent of their work.
Each short was reviewed by a team of panelists awarding prizes to winners of technological categories including Shot on RED (high-resolution digital camera), mobile (cellphone camera) Machinima (computer generated cinema) and Sniplers (30-second snippets of trailers).
This year, David Sedari (The Rock Star of Writers) won The Grand Prize in the 4th Annual New Media Film Festival with Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) staring in the Grand Prize Winner – The Learning Curve, a Shot on RED entry. Category winners included: Matthew Modine‘s Full Metal Jacket Diary App and Lou Ferrigno’s Digital Comic – The Liberator. along 16 other category winners.
The event screens more than a dozen select submissions from around the world, often featuring well-known actors and industry professionals, world premieres and student filmmakers. Films submitted to the festival are approved by a panel of judges including Pixar, The Caucus, Industrial Light & Magic Lorne Lanning, Spencer Halpin, and a variety of other Oscar, Grammy and Sundance winners and nominees.
From silver screen to silver lining, the Festival also uses its influence to give back to the community. Past recipients include: LA High School #9, LA Film School Students, We Spark, Unemployment Fund and The Madrone Project, GATE, Save the whales, EyeCare4kids and more.
This year’s panelist included:
Chuck Haifley (moderator) – CEO, Big Vision Rentals, A stereoscopic 3D & HD motion picture, TV & live production & equipment company.
David Uslan – Producer & VP of Business Development Graphicly
Kyle Schember – Co-Founder-CEO, Subtractive Studio
Doug Leighton – Panasonic 3D Recipient of 2 Technical Emmys
Allison Dollar – CEO, ITV Alliance- TV Academy’s IMPG Executive Committee
Logan Mulvey (moderator) – CEO Award Winning GoDigital Distribution
Russell Burke – CFO, Mandalay Media Inc.
Lon Strickland – Entertainment Programming Manager for Machinima, Inc.
David C. Fein – Technologist/Producer