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Breaking Film Industry News — Awards, Acquisitions, Festival Buzz, Grants, and More

Everything industry insiders need to know this month at the movies, from newly announced awards to festival lineups, acquisitions and more.

Honeyland

“Honeyland”

Neon

May 4

– The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center has that Amy Dotson will be the next director of the Northwest Film Center. Dotson comes to the Film Center from the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest organization in the United States championing the future of storytelling on all platforms, where she served as the Deputy Director & Head of Programming for over 13 years. Dotson was selected from a national slate of candidates with members of the Portland film and arts communities participating in the interview process.

In her new role, which she begins in September 2019, Dotson will be responsible for the overall vision of the Film Center, including strategic planning, fundraising, and program direction. She will also collaborate with the Museum’s curatorial departments, applying her extensive film and new media experience, as well as leveraging her strategic, industry, and international relationships in support of the Film Center’s future as a world-class center for film and new media storytelling.

May 2

– Women In Film, Los Angeles (WIF LA) announced the honorees for the 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala that will be held on Wednesday, June 12 at The Beverly Hilton. Formerly named the Crystal + Lucy Awards, the annual benefit supports WIF LA’s educational and philanthropic programs and its advocacy for gender parity for women throughout the industry.

The 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala Honorees are:

  • The Women In Film Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award – AMY POEHLER
  • The Women In Film Emerging Entrepreneur Award – ISSA RAE
  • The Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award – ELIZABETH DEBICKI
  • The Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment – CATHY SCHULMAN
  • Women In Film Member’s Choice Award – Announced at the event

– The Greenwich International Film Festival has announced its full film slate and programming for the 5th annual festival running May 29 – June 2 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Amazon Studios’ “Brittany Runs A Marathon,” a feature film about a woman living in New York who takes control of her life – one city block at a time, will serve as the Opening Night Film. Directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, the film will screen on May 31 at the Bowtie Cinema followed by a Q&A with the Director and Opening Night Party at Gabriele’s of Greenwich featuring music by DJ Dinero.

Additionally, the documentary “The Map To Paradise,” directed by James Sherwood and Danielle Ryan, will screen in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Greenwich.

Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams and Aaron Phagura appear in Blinded by the Light by Gurinder Chadha, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Nick Wall.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Blinded by the Light”

Nick Wall

Other highlights of the festival weekend include:

  • Centerpiece Films include: “Blinded by the Light,” “Brian Banks,” “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” “Safe Spaces,” “Auggie,” “Any One of Us,” “Luce,” and “Cold Case Hammarskjöld.”
  • The Changemaker Award Gala honoring Eva Longoria Bastón for her work to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship on May 30.
  • A performance by Kesha at the Epic Anniversary Party Concert on Saturday, June 1 at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY.
  • The Ability in Disability panel moderated by Secretary Tom Ridge, will be held at Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library on Saturday, June 1 at 1:00pm. Millicent Simmonds (deaf actress – “A Quiet Place,” “Wonderstruck”) to receive the Make an Impact Award.
  • Storytelling to Inspire Change panel sponsored by J.P. Morgan, to be held at Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library on Friday, May 31 at 1:30pm.

Check out the full lineup and more information right here.

May 1

– The Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended film festival in the United States, announced today the complete lineup of films, guests, and events for the 45th annual 25-day Festival that runs May 16 – June 9. This year, SIFF will screen 410 films representing 86 countries and will include: 147 features (plus 4 secret films), 71 documentaries, 12 archival films, and 176 shorts. The lineup includes 33 World premieres (12 features, 21 shorts), 42 North American premieres (27 features, 15 shorts), and 19 US premieres (11 features, 8 shorts).

You can check out the full public program right here.

– The Lighthouse International Film Festival will open with Guy Nattiv’s “Skin” and close with “American Factory” by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. The 2019 International Film Festival in Long Beach Island, New Jersey (LBI) will open on Thursday, June 6 and will conclude on Saturday, June 9, after a weekend packed with quality feature narratives, docs, shorts, and episodic content, accompanied by panels, networking events, and parties all set against the relaxing scenery of LBI and the Atlantic Ocean.

The festival was founded by Charlie Prince in 2009 and, since then, has evolved not only as a leading film festival in New Jersey, but also as a cultural event. In 2018, MovieMaker Magazine named LIFF one of “The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in The World.”

– The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) announced today its complete lineup of narrative, documentary, and short films, as well as special tributes. Acclaimed writer/director/actor John Cameron Mitchell will be named the 2019 “Filmmaker on the Edge.” Mitchell, who won the PIFF Audience Award for his “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in 2001, will return to Provincetown to accept the festival’s highest filmmaking honor in conversation with resident artist John Waters on Saturday, June 15 at Town Hall. Mitchell’s original musical podcast Anthem: Homunculus is now available on Luminary Media.

“We’re thrilled to honor John Cameron Mitchell as our 2019 Filmmaker on the Edge,” said Andrew Peterson, PIFF’s Director of Programming. “With each new project he surprises and delights us with his singular point of view, style, and skill. His conversation with John Waters is sure to be one for the history books!”

Additionally, actress and producer Jillian Bell will receive the festival’s third annual “Next Wave Award,” which recognizes those who have exciting and distinctive voices, take artistic risks, and have a passionate commitment to independent film. Bell will be in attendance to accept the award in conversation and in support of her film “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” which will open the festival.

Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs A Marathon by Paul Downs Colaizzo, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jon Pack. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Brittany Runs a Marathon”

Jon Pack / Amazon

– Call for Entries open today for the 2020 Oxford Film Festival, which has moved to March taking place in Oxford, Mississippi, March 18-22, 2020. The 17th edition of the popular regional film festival again features OFF’s screenplay competition with cash prizes, as well as a reduced submission fee incentive for female filmmakers and people with disabilities. All juried competition winners will receive cash prizes along with their awards.

In an official statement, Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington, said, “The move to March was inspired by a desire to give us a little more breathing room following the Academy Awards broadcast and the conclusion of the Sundance Film Festival, opening up more potential for select films to play that fest as well as Oxford FF.”

Led by Addington, the Oxford FF will screen films in all genres, and focusing on “discoveries” through its film selections via submissions, as well as celebrating short screenplay writers and promoting and celebrating Mississippi filmmakers culminating in the presentation of the film festival’s award ceremony.

At the forefront of film festivals offering concrete policies and actions on behalf of films created by people with disabilities, and/or featuring performers with disabilities – those filmmakers can receive a 50% submission fee discount using code ReelOXFF2.

Addington has also re-confirmed her pledge that OFF will keep the efforts going as long as it takes to get to 50-50 female to male representation. When submitting their films to Film Freeway for consideration by the festival, women should use the following submission code to receive their 50% discount: BlacheOXFF. The festival also joined the Parity Pledge to get to 50-50 by 2020 joining festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, and more.

Submissions can be made right here, and more information is available at the festival’s official website.

– The Sundance Institute’s Theatre Program has announced the nineteen artists who represent the creative teams that will convene to develop new work at the annual Lab at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah July 8-28.

Eight genre-spanning pieces, encompassing plays, musicals, and interdisciplinary work for the stage, are among the works being developed by fifteen Fellows and four Artists-in-Residence. This year’s cohort was selected by Theatre Program Artistic Director Philip Himberg, with support of a six-member Advisory Committee and in partnership with Producing Director Christopher Hibma.

The Lab offers these emerging and established theatre makers the opportunity to evolve their work with the benefit of a full acting company, a robust group of experienced dramaturgs and advisors, and the context of an intimate artistic community.

This is one of 24 residency Labs the Institute hosts each year for independent artists in theatre, film, new media and episodic content. The Theatre Program’s international activity supports mentorship and cross-cultural exchange, focused on Arabic artists from the Middle East, North Africa, and the diaspora, and has included programming in Lebanon, Germany, Morocco, France, and the U.S.

Additional Lab participants, including the acting company, stage management, dramaturgs, and creative advisors will be announced at a later date. You can see the full list right here.

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