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First-Ever Mammoth Film Festival Includes Tribute to John Wayne-Starring ‘North to Alaska’

Plus, in the our bi-weekly film festival roundup, the Slamdance Film Festival announces its winners.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5881844b)Ernie Kovacs, John Wayne, CapucineNorth To Alaska - 1960Director: Henry Hathaway20th Century FoxUSAScene StillAction/AdventureLe grand Sam

“North to Alaska”


Awards and Honors

– The 24th Slamdance Film Festival presented by DGA announced the feature and short film recipients of this year’s Sparky Awards in the Audience, Jury, and Sponsored Categories. The festival also announced the recipients of three new awards: The Russo Brothers Fellowship, the CreativeFuture Innovation Award, and a curated Acting Award. The award winners were announced at the festival’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, UT.

“We congratulate the winners and everyone at Slamdance who represented the unfiltered voice of independent artists. Thousands came to appreciate our diverse international program, including our neighbors Sundance. As the major acquisition of Pick of the Litter demonstrates, we can expect millions more to follow as our filmmakers and their work continue to attract global recognition out of our showcase.”

During the Awards Ceremony, the recipient of the highly anticipated The Russo Brothers Fellowship was announced. The $25,000 prize, presented by AGBO Films in partnership with the festival, is designed to enable a deserving filmmaker the opportunity to continue their journey with mentorship from Joe and Anthony as well as development support from their studio. The 2018 recipient of the inaugural Russo Brothers Fellowship is Yassmina Karajah, director of the narrative short, “Rupture.”

The Festival also presented the inaugural CreativeFeature Innovation Award. Slamdance and CreativeFuture have partnered for years to support new talent in the world of film and educate creatives on the importance of protecting their work. This inaugural Award is given to an emerging filmmaker who exhibits the innovative spirit of filmmaking. The CreativeFuture Innovation Award went to Shunsaku Hayashi for his animated short film, “Railment.”

You can check out the full list of winners right here.

Lineup Announcements

– Celebrating France’s rich tradition as a pioneer of animation, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is launching Animation First, the first-ever French animation festival in the United States, which will take place Friday, February 2 through Sunday, February 4.
With 12 US and New York premieres, the festival presents ambitious, innovative, and award-winning animated feature and short films, virtual reality, video games, and more, coming out of France’s most exciting studios and art schools. Animation First features special screenings and events for all ages, putting audiences in the front seat of 3D animation, works in progress, interactive workshops on drawing and sound effects, gaming demonstrations, and panel discussions with leading artists and studio executives.

Animation First is co-curated by Delphine Selles-Alvarez, FIAF’s Film Curator, and Catherine Lamairesse, Director of Special Projects at FIAF, who said in an official statement, “French animation has enjoyed increasing success worldwide in recent years, from the Oscar-nominated ‘Triplets of Belleville’ to recent hits ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini.’ With Animation First we are excited to offer New York audiences of all ages the opportunity to explore the breadth and diversity of animation in France, and discover an abundance of creativity across genres and techniques, past and present.”

Panels and Events

– The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has announced the roster of the annual Women’s Panel. Costume designer April Napier (“Lady Bird”), producer Darla K. Anderson (“Coco”), director Elaine McMillion Sheldon (“Heroin”), hair and makeup artist Lucy Sibbick (“Darkest Hour”), director Ru Kuwahata (“Negative Space”), and editor Tatiana S. Riegel (“I, Tonya”) will be this year’s participants in the “Creative Forces: Women in the Business” panel. The event will take place on Sunday, February 4 at the Lobero Theatre.

Submissions and Calls for Entry

– Portland Horror Film Festival is expanding to 4 days of independent Horror Films for its third annual event, June 13 – 16, 2018 at the Hollywood Theatre. Besides being enjoyed by Portland’s distinguished horror fans, and being eligible for a number of Festival Awards, selected films are also reviewed by an industry insider for the Bloody Judge Award. This year’s Bloody Judge is Brian Yuzna, producer Re-Animator, director Return of the Living Dead III. In 2016 the guest judge was Gregg Hale, producer of “The Blair Witch Project” and in 2017 Richard Stanley, director of “Hardware.”

Festival judges are looking for films from all horror sub-genres. “The number one thing we heard from our audience in 2017 was MORE MONSTERS! Furry and scaly critters, demonic entities, men in suits, and fantastical beings.” said Festival Co-Director Brian Callahan. “We’re also big fans of the Italian witchery of Argento, the Satanic Panic of the 70s, and would love to see films that evoke those genres.”

Filmmakers are invited to submit their independent short and feature-length horror films through FilmFreeway at https://filmfreeway.com/PortlandHorrorFilmFestival. Independent studios or horror-oriented businesses interested in partnering with PHFF should contact us at https://portlandhorrorfilmfestival.com.

– The 8th annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) taking place November 7 – 11, 2018 is now accepting film submissions. NVFF is a five-day immersive experience celebrating the best new independent films of the year, accompanied by Napa Valley’s world-class food, wine and hospitality. NVFF continues to establish a strong sense of community dedicated to supporting the art of visual storytelling.

NVFF welcomes submissions of any genre. Programmers will select approximately 100 new independent films to be screened alongside awards season contending films. Submission categories include narrative features, narrative shorts, documentary features and documentary shorts. Organizers are looking for films that will entertain, inspire, educate and intrigue audiences. All of the films programmed from submissions are eligible for Audience Awards.

Filmmakers can submit projects through FilmFreeway or Withoutabox. For early submissions with discounted entry fees, the Early Bird Deadline is February 23. The Regular Deadline takes place on April 6 followed by the Late Deadline on May 11. The final opportunity to submit a film for consideration is marked by NVFF’s Extended Deadline, June 8. Visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org for full film submission details, or call 707.226.7500.

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