Coolest Global Media and Entertainment Events for December


The same pop culture themed convention so very popular in San Diego, USA has also been operating in some of the various regions of the Indian sub-continent. The flagship location is New Delhi, which this year, runs December 4-6. In August 2014, Comic Con India joined the Reed Pop family of international pop-culture shows Other locations that round out the presence in India include Mumbai which runs from December 19-20, but there are also editions in Bangalore and Hyderabad. In Delhi, scheduled guest appearances include Rob Denbleyker author and artist of the web comic Cyanide & Happiness, on all three days of the convention; Northern Irish actor and DJ, Kristian Nairn, best known for the role of Hodor on HBO’s GAME OF THRONES; Dinesh Shamdasani, one of the founders of Valiant Entertainment, a character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,500 characters including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior and many more.

Delhi Cosplay Contest

The Delhi Cosplay Contest will be a craftsmanship award show with a registration and a stage display. All entries must represent a character or element from the pop culture realm within one of the following five categories: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Anime/Manga, Gaming, Movies/Television/Animated, Comic Books/Graphic Novels. The Grand Prize winner from each day qualifies automatically for the finals of the National Indian Championships of Cosplay happening at a later in the year. AXN India, a pay-TV, cable and satellite TV channel owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment with programming that includes American Ninja Warriors, Ray Donavan, Supernatural, Limitless, will conduct a special session for fans to win exclusive prizes. Also at Delhi, Cornea Entertainment will present an interactive session to experience reading Cinematic E-Comics in a completely new way.

Mumbai Film and Comic Con

STAR WARS: The Force Awakens, opens midDecember in North America.

Although Mumbai Film and Comic Con officially opens December 19, on December 12 the organization presents Dr. Who Fan Night In Association With He Said She Said – Mumbai. The evening is expected to feature theme based cosplay, Dr Who experiences, photo opps and themed music to celebrate the mood. Also it comes with a special Dr. Who Themed Drinks Menu. The public is invited to cosplay as their favorite Dr. Who character. At the official convention opening, professionals from the comic/culture industry will gather at the event space to focus on products and services like films, comics, products from industry writers, artists, publishers, and film industry personalities, latest comics released, previews of upcoming films, toys, merchandise and more. Its anticipated a new group of comic titles are set to get launched at Mumbai Comic Con this year.

The Pop Culture Village at Mumbai Comic Con is a zone, exclusively dedicated for hosting the trend-setting creative brands that are making the waves in the design and crafts field. Quirky merchandise, cutting edge designs, collectible toys, pop art and technology and the very best of Indian pop culture industry, are planned for this exhibit. Indian and International artists, writers and International celebrities headline this year’s Mumbai Comic Con, taking part in a number of sessions and panel discussions and giving fans exclusive opportunities to interact with them. Invited guests include Scottish actor, Sylvester McCoy, Best known for his roles as the 7th Doctor in Doctor Who and Radagast in The Hobbit; American comic book writer and screenwriter (The X-Files, Darkness Falls), Joe Harris; Gavin Aung Than, a cartoonist (Zen Pencils) based in Melbourne, Australia.

Press Play

Media and entertainment industry publication Variety will present the 35th annual PRESS PLAY: Variety Home Entertainment and Digital Hall of Fame, benefiting City Year in Beverly Hills. The Hall of Fame gala dinner and awards event set for December 8 recognizes home entertainment trailblazers who are striving to maximize the revenue lifecycles for film, TV and video games across Blu-ray/DVD and digital formats. The 2015 Honorees include: Mark Horak, President, Redbox, who has led Redbox since March 2014 following serving as President of Americas at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The duo of Jim Packer, President Worldwide TV and Digital, Distribution and Co-Head, Worldwide Home Entertainment, Lionsgate and Ron Schwartz, President, Home Entertainment and Co-Head, Worldwide Home Entertainment, Lionsgate. The duo oversees a library of approximately 16,000 films and TV titles, including The Hunger Games franchise and Orange is the New Black. Writer, Director, Producer, Actor Paul Feig, who most recently wrote, directed and produced the blockbuster film SPY.

In addition to the 2015 Honorees, Variety will hand out the Deloitte Media and Entertainment Leadership Award to Chris Hardwick, comedian, actor, writer, producer and creative head of Nerdist Industries. Also, The Innovation Award to HBO accepted by Sofia Chang, EVP Worldwide Distribution and Home Entertainment, HBO, recognizing its frontrunner status leading the way in delivering programming for today’s multi-platform audiences through its premium cable service, its new HBO NOW standalone streaming channel, HBO GO, DVD. The importance of ancillary digital distribution such as Blu-ray/DVD and digital formats cannot be overstated. Delivery strategies may be impacted by the rate of technological development. Exhibition formats and delivery formats will likely be determined by how successful a film turns out to be. If it turns out to be theatrical caliber, its likely a combination of DCPs and HDCAMs and BluRays could be used to meet the demands. If a film has more limited public exhibition prospects, then a mix of BluRays, DVDs, and digital files may fit the bill. A likely way forward may be to not commit to any particular exhibition format and instead finish a film in a digital (hard-drive) format to store as a master for quick turnaround at a trusted lab with multi-format output capacity.

Cineasia Hong Kong

Cineasia Hong Kong is a three-day event that brings together Asian cinema industry professionals, from cinema owners and suppliers to film buyers and distributors. As the sister event to ShowEast and CineEurope, CineAsia maintains the same standards of programming, seminars, special events and suppliers. CineAsia also screens major Asian and Hollywood films and offers educational programs specifically geared toward the needs of the Asian cinema exhibition community. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is a Supporting Organization of CineAsia which will be held in the Wanchai district. In one of the planned ceremonies, Cinepolis India will be honored with the DLP Cinema Marketing Achievement Award and Javier Sotomayor, Managing Director of Cinepolis India, will accept the award.

Each day of the convention, which opens December 8, the CineAsia University located on the Trade Show Floor will be in session run by a daily presenter, including: the National Association of Concessionaires (NAC). Hu Fei, Director of R&D, CFG Appotronics Digital Cinema Technology Co. Ltd, International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA). And award ceremonies will recognize industry achievement. Sheila Timothy, Producer of LifeLike Pictures and President of APROFI, (Association of Indonesian Film Producers) will be honored with the 2015 Motion Picture Association Award (ACE) Award. The award will be presented during the CineAsia Awards Ceremony on December 10. Additionally, Jack Ledwith, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of International Distribution and Marketing, L.A., for Universal Pictures will be honored with the 2015 Distributor of the Year Award, and Raman Hui (SHREK franchise) will be honored with the Director of the Year Award during the same awards ceremony

Exhibitors include Manufacturer of Acoustical Fabric: for cinemas, auditorium, banquets, Distributor of imported carpets: for cinema with special stainproof, static control, fire retardant property in nylon, polypropleen, printed and tufted loop pile, cut pile and punched technology, Manufacturer of specialised chair fabric: for cinema houses specialised in jaquard, plain, knitted and various textures with fire retardant and water replacement property. CineAsia is produced by Prometheus Global Media, owner of leading entertainment publications and events including Film Journal International, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, the CLIO Awards, CineEurope, and ShowEast.

BMI Maui Songwriters Festival

This is the first-ever BMI Maui Songwriters Festival, presented by Grand Wailea and happening in Wailea, December 8-13. There will be intimate in-the-round acoustic shows and full-band concerts conducted at island venues including Charley’s Saloon, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Grand Wailea. The program features selected songwriters sharing songs and the stories behind them. The gathering benefits key organizations, including the Dorvin and Betty Leis Charities, Inc., which supports local Maui difference-makers including the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, University of Hawaii Maui College, Hospice Maui, Maui Family YMCA, Women Helping Women, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the Salvation Army. It also aids the BMI Foundation dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants, and commissions. The special lineup includes: Kacey Musgraves, Bob DiPiero, Jeffrey Steele, Rhett Akins, Rodney Clawson, Nicolle Galyon, Brandon Kinney, Jake Shimabukuro, Maggie Rose, Loving Mary, Mark Johnstone, Kimberly June, Greylan James and Lily Meola. The festival is sponsored by HD Radio, Texas Roadhouse, Delta Air Lines, Tom-Leis Music, and Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

Hollywood and Vine Film Festival

The mission of Hollywood and Vine Film Festival is to provide industry access to emerging content creators and to showcase their talent throughout the U.S. and in over 10 countries. Submission materials include media projects that have not yet been distributed through a mainstream outlet such as a studio, network or independent distributor. Acceptable projects include these categories: feature films, shorts, documentaries, web series, music videos, web series, TV pilots, scripts, trailers and even sizzle reels and artists’ reels. The first day of the festival features the screenings of the accepted entries. The second day of the festival is an industry access forum which includes networking, speakers, filmmaker Q&A and announcement of festival winners. Presented by Hollywood & Vine magazine, HVFF will provide awards up to 30 filmmakers, and the grand prize winner will appear on the cover of Hollywood & Vine. Among the resources that the Hollywood & Vine organization boasts is an industry talk show, “The BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD Show” appears as an interstitial style 3-minute talk show that airs on the Transit TV Network with 1.15 million viewers daily. Watch the episode(s) related to your passion or expertise. Topic areas it will tackle include: Breaking into Producing, Breaking into Acting, Breaking into Showbiz, Breaking into Directing, Breaking into Writing, Breaking into Music. The Beverly Hills located event running December 11-12 is free and open to the public.

International Music Festival Conference

International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON) is a San Diego conference addressing the issues facing the music and film festival industry. The 7th Annual International Music Festival Conference has keynote presentations, informative panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking social activities, and the IMFCON Excellence Awards. This year’s conference, which runs for three days starting on October 13, brings industry experts together to discuss pressing changes facing the music festival industry as well as guiding attendees through the latest trends. John Amato, president of Billboard and Hollywood Reporter, will be keynoting the International Music Festival Conference.

Here are agenda highlights that will be covered in the full conference program: Reviewing the Modern Film Festival: Current and Future Possibilities, The Golden Age of Music Festivals, Making Waves: Innovative Revenue Models for Music Festivals, Film Festival Revenue Models: Innovative Opportunities and Challenges, Economic Strategies for Festivals, Film and Music: Where World’s Collide, What’s Trending? The Latest in Festival Technology, Going Country Crazy: The Rise of the Country Music Festival, The Niche Music Festival Take Over, Experiential Marketing: Building the bond between Brands and Fans, Uncoding the Details of Distribution, Community and Connective Tissue for the Future of Festivals with Hugh Forrest, Talent Buying: The Art of Programming Talent. Each evening ends with a cocktail reception or After Party.

Dubai International Film Festival

Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will see thousands of cinema-goers, actors, directors, producers, writers and industry experts descend on Dubai to view films selected from across the globe in one of the world’s international destinations. From December 9-16 the 12th Dubai International Film Festival will showcase over 120 features, film shorts and documentaries from around the world which will include many world premieres. Every year DIFF introduces audiences to new talent from an acting and directorial point of view. The 2015 festival will screen, 1001 INVENTIONS AND THE WORLD OF IBN AL-HAYTHAM, the story of the famous scientist Ibn Al Haytham, known for his great contributions in the field of optics, and representing the final lead performance of the late Omar Sharif. Additionally, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, whose most recent credits include NIGHTCRAWLER, SOUTHPAW, EVEREST and DEMOLITION, will be presented with Variety’s ‘International Star of the Year’ Award at the Festival’s 12th edition. An exclusive public ‘In Conversation’ with Jake Gyllenhaal Q&A event will also be conducted.

The Dubai Film Market (DFM), DIFF’s industry arm was attended by over 2,500 industry representatives and film professionals from 81 countries in 2014. It will run from December 10-14 this year. The DFM sets up access to decision makers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The DFM offers visibility to buyers, sellers, service providers and industry professionals through exhibition spaces, networking opportunities and a carefully curated film library. The Dubai Distribution Programme programme presents independent filmmakers with the opportunity to obtain distribution and showcase their films to a wider audience both here in the region and on the world stage. Started up in 2014, DIFF partnered with industry leaders Empire, Gulf Film, VOX Cinemas, Iraqi Cinemas and Front Row Filmed Entertainment, which participated alongside its business partner Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC). This collaboration involved each organization selecting and securing distribution for at least one Arab title from DIFF’s 2014 film program.

DFM will be exploring growth opportunities and looking to expand the network of partners both locally and internationally in 2015. Submission are now open for DIFF’s Muhr competition for feature fiction and non-fiction; and short films originating from the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world which will compete for the prestigious Muhr Awards. The competition, which has been an integral part of the festival since 2006, will continue to nurture and reward exceptional Arab talent and cinema from the region. DIFF will once again be hosting free public screenings throughout the Festival providing an opportunity for UAE fans to see global cinematic works absolutely free of charge.

MAK Forum

In anticipation of the imminent 2015 Star Wars sequel, a team of experts from the fields of psychology, neuropsychology, biochemistry and genetics, have been recruited to form an interactive exhibition that uses state-of-the-art investigations into identity in STAR WARS Identities, opening December 18, running through April 16, 2016 in Vienna. To immerse visitors in the devised interactive environment, the MAK FORUM will be transformed into a “games room” with digital games from all of the Star Wars episodes. Original consoles from the past decades – from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox will be situated in a living room atmosphere. Equipped with a smart technology bracelet, every visitor is invited to respond to a series of identity questions at interactive stations throughout the exhibition.

These Star Wars themed character-design stations are interwoven with the exhibition’s collection and scientific content and form the backbone of the exhibition experience. Additionally, 200 original objects drawn from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art form a cinematic art exhibition that includes original costumes, props, models, and pieces of artwork that will be part of the display. Visitors can expect R2-D2, Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, Anakin’s full-sized Podracer, Yoda, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, stormtroopers, and Darth Vader. The collection spans all six Star Wars movies as well as the ongoing television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Separately, at Discovery Times Square in NYC, Star Wars and the Power of Costume, an exhibition, is now running through September 15, 2016. It primarily features 70 hand-crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films.

And Much More

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. This month’s photo placement displays featured subjects that are part of: Star Wars relaunch and exhibitions, Comic Con India, late actor Omar Sharif at DIFF, Director Raman Hui at CineAsia. If the photos do not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view them. Coming into the new year of 2016, here are some upcoming industry events you will not want to miss: Golden Globe Awards take place in Los Angeles, Variety Entertainment Summit will be conducted from out of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival will co-exist as neighbors in Park City, DocPoint Helsinki happens in Helsinki, International Film Festival Rotterdam will be in Rotterdam, the 39th Goteborg Film Festival will be in Goteborg, the NAMM Show will be in Anaheim, German Media Congress and Exhibition will be held in Frankfurt. Happy Holidays!