Gear Up for Coolest November Entertainment and Media Events

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AFM is the anticipated, annual film industry event that’s not quite festival, not quite conference, but mostly business opportunity – the business of independent motion picture production and distribution – set oceanside against Santa Monica/Venice beachfront. Generally, 8,000 plus industry professionals arrive in Santa Monica for deal-making, screenings, seminars, networking and parties.

Each consecutive day of the conference series is set to focus on any one topic of Finance, Pitching, Production, Marketing and Distribution. Headlining names set to speak at the 2014 Film Market include: Millennium Films’ President Mark Gill, WME Partner Mark Ankner and UTA’s Independent Film Group Co-Head Rena Ronson, all confirmed to participate in the Production Conferences. The Distribution Conference attendees include Tugg, Inc. CEO and independent producer Nicolas Gonda and Cinetic Media Founder John Sloss and producer Cassian Elwes will participate in the Pitch Conference.

Salon de la Photo
Annual Salon de la Photo launches in Paris and features a special retrospective exhibition of humanist photographer Sabine Weiss (inset).

Screening 430 Films

Growing from 2013, a total of 430 films are set to screen with 349 market premieres and 84 world premieres. More than 100 speakers from around the globe will participate in the AFM Conference Series, Producers Forum, Roundtables and Industry Conversations. Director/producer Brett Ratner takes part in the Finance Conference and comedian/podcast king Adam Carolla will indulge in an Industry Conversation. Millennium Films’ President Mark Gill, WME Partner Mark Ankner, and UTA’s Independent Film Group Co-Head Rena Ronson will add insight in the Production Conferences. For well informed film industry professionals it’s no secret that Nigeria is one of the top global filmmaking capitals.

For 2014, AFM is hosting a November 9 roundtable that will focus on the development and promotion of the African film industry through co-production. The roundtable will bring together business parties/partners that have an interest in films produced in Africa with cross-cultural appeal, and develop opportunities to reap returns of untapped potential of the African film industry.

The American Film Market

The American Film Market (AFM) is the market partner of AFI FEST. The association between the two events connects art and commerce (more on AFI in the next story below). AFM badges will allow access to many AFI events, including all public screenings. AFI FEST badges will allow access to the AFM screenings.

AFI FEST filmmakers, whose films are part of the festival, will have full access to AFM (and to be able to promote their film to the AFM participant distributors. Shuttle buses will move participants between Santa Monica and Hollywood. AFM is produced by the Independent Film and Television Alliance, the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television industry and the voice and advocate for the Independents worldwide. The organization represents more than 150 member companies from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies and financial institutions engaged in film finance.

Participant Media World Premiere

Participant Media’s “A Most Violent Year,” distributed by A24, will have its World Premiere as the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2014 in Hollywood. The film is written and directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor and stars Oscar Isaac, Academy Award nominees Jessica Chastain and Albert Brooks as well as David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Elyes Gabel and Catalina Sandino Moreno. To attend the World Premiere and Opening Night Gala of “A Most Violent Year” with reserved seats, guests must purchase a festival package at the Star Patron or Marquee Patron level. The American Film Market (AFM) that happens across town in Santa Monica, from November 5-12, is the market partner of AFI FEST. The association between the two events connects art and commerce, broadening the opportunities for all participants, and collectively represents the largest gathering in North America.

At this years AFI, Sophia Loren will be honored with a Tribute on November 12 and her memoir “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life” will be published by Artia Books on December 2, 2014. The November 12 evening celebrates Loren’s career and coincides with the 50th anniversary of her Academy Award-nominated role in “Marriage Italian Style” [Matrimonio All’Italiana] (Dir. Vittorio De Sica, 1964). The Tribute will also include a conversation with Loren about her career, and The Human Voice [La Voce Umana] (Dir. Edoardo Ponti, 2014), a short film directed by her son in which she stars, will be shown as part of the evening. Festival-goers will be able to obtain available tickets online at AFI.com/AFIFEST until the last day of the festival. Additional tickets will be available all day, every day through Closing Night online and at the festival’s box office. No pre-assigned time slot needed. Same-day tickets are only available in person at the AFI FEST AT&T Box Office or the Rush Line.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. AFI FEST holds the FIAPF accreditation (FIAPF.org), assuring a high standard of quality and reliability for the international film community. As a non-profit educational and cultural organization, AFI’s purpose is to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.

Casual Connect Convention Series

The well regarded Casual Connect convention series comes to Belgrade. Casual Connect is the place to learn more about the gaming industry which entertains 300 million people each month, and its various platforms: iPhone, Social, Android, Flash, Browser MMO and Download Games. Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the casual games space. Over 40 games will be exhibited as a part of the Indie Prize showcase in Belgrade, Serbia and entered into competition for the Indie Prize Award. Developers and schools submit their indie games to take part in future upcoming showcase which is handled through the website.

One highlight of Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014 is The International Design, Entertain and Amaze (IDEA) Showcase, setup for established developers looking for international partners for publishing, user acquisition, game performance monitoring and logistical support. Hosted four times a year in conjunction with Casual Connect and Indie Prize, the IDEA Showcase highlights developers from all over the world in showcases in Western Europe, Asia, USA and Eastern Europe. Promising developers just getting started are encouraged to apply for the Indie Prize scholarship.

Parties at Casual Connect are an integral part of the networking experience. At this ninth annual Casual Connect Eastern Europe there is the Big Fish Rock Star Party on November 10, the Indie Prize Awards Ceremony on November 11, the Nordeus Party also on November 11, the Mad Head Games party which happens for all three convention dates. Casual Games Association produces the premiere events for the casual games industry with over 6,500 professionals attending Casual Connect each year. Casual Connect brings together talented and knowledgeable experts in the casual gaming field to further the casual games industry with the networking and learning.

CCW+SATCON Produced by NAB

CCW+SATCON in New York City, now produced by NAB, is about the business of content – media, entertainment, video and communications technology. It’s conference and exposition format covers evolving digital, production and satellite technologies that are driving the industry and impacting the way content is delivered to the world. Opening November 12, the CCW Conference includes includes two full days of breakout sessions featuring the current topics of concern to media and entertainment professionals. Conference topics are selected by the CCW Advisory Board and are relevant for senior executives and technical management in television, broadband video/streaming media, film and motion pictures, and production and post, including pro audio. Not to be overlooked is the CCW Conference Keynote along with opening and closing General Sessions each day.

The SATCON Conference includes two full days of breakout Sessions programmed by the SATCON Advisory Board – a mix of commercial, military and government professionals involved in the global communications market. Topics are selected by the Advisory Board and are relevant for satellite TV providers, radar and satellite operators, telco providers, and broadcasters seeking to gain efficiencies in satellite distribution. A Broadcast IT Summit will address the Changing Role of Information Technology in Today’s Digital Broadcast World. For over four years HITS has been working on the West Coast with the CIOs of the Hollywood studios to facilitate information exchange and collaboration in television, film and home entertainment. To address the IT challenges of the broadcast, network and advertiser communities, the Society is launching its New York chapter on November 13, 2014, by presenting a program of panels, keynotes and exhibitions at CCW.

Visitors to the CCW Post-Production Theater can explore the latest technologies, techniques and workflows transforming production and post-production for film, video and television. Experts will relate experiences and techniques that bring their creative visions to life. The Streaming OTT Theater will showcase the ever changing landscape of online video. It will be a learning opportunity to gain insight on all things second screen, from multi-platform content creation, to mobile and OTT delivery, to regulation and consumer demands. A content creators party happens November 12, from 21:00-23:00 at Marquee NY for fun and networking. Enjoy complimentary entry with the show badge and an open bar compliments of RED and Atomos.

Florida Media Market in Miami

Florida Media Market in Miami was created to be an outlet for South Florida independent Filmmakers to meet with executives, producers, production companies, distributors, TV Networks and Stations that are actively seeking content, either by producing, co-producing or purchasing. FMM is also structured to serve as a meeting place where new filmmakers can gain valuable insight from industry veterans and established companies through its conference sessions. It has created both an annual market, and an online platform, for buyers and sellers of film, documentary, television, and new media content to gather in order to teach, learn, inspire and do business together. This year’s conference theme is “Connecting the Multiplatform,” with the aim of easing the path of talented storytellers toward the audiences they aim to entertain. Entries to FFM are generally submitted through FilmFreeway.

Added into FFM programming, the Seventh Annual Florida Media Market Global Media Conference allows participants at FMM to pitch story concepts, mingle with buyers, distributors, and production companies, and work to bring their projects to desired levels of viability within the dynamic communities of film and television professionals. The Shift Awards gala on November 15 at the Colony Theatre is held to recognize programming that has started a positive, global shift in humanity. Feature films (85 minutes or longer) that have been both released and screened at least once between January 2012 and June 2014 are eligible and television programs 23-30 minutes for a half hour slot and 34-60 minutes for a full hour slot aired within the same time periods mentioned above are eligible. In a related local event, Goddess Mujer Woman (GMW) will be hosting it’s annual Brunch on November 15 in Coral Gables. GMW highlights and presents women’s programming that is relevant to contemporary women’s issues. The goal is to empower, educate, and relate to women through media. The GMW Brunch program will recognize “13 Women of Purpose” who have made an impact in the global media industry.

The Florida Media Market accepts Films, TV Series, Documentaries and Web Series in every stage of production, including finished and unfinished projects. “Sizzling Pitch” is a competition in which filmmakers can pitch their stories still in development with a visual aid or sizzle reel. There is also the traditional “Ready for Distribution,” a Pitching Competition in which selected filmmakers get a chance to pitch their ideas and/or Ready for Distribution projects before a panel of executives, distributors, and industry experts. This year’s media market will run for four days through November 16.

Paris-Based Salon de la Photo

Paris based Salon de la Photo is a gathering for photography brands, equipment manufacturers, importers, schools, and professional groups. It showcases the art of photography and the photography profession with the “Grandes Rencontres”, the ZOOMS Awards for emerging photographers, special photography exhibitions, portfolio sessions, and technical presentations organized and presented by top professionals from the trade press. Comexposium is the organizer of Salon de la Photo. The convention, running November 13-17 will offer opportunities to learn about photography techniques: shooting, composition, lighting, post-editing, printing, landscape photography, wedding photography, wildlife photography, portraits. Meet representatives from schools, training organizations, and professional associations. Attendees can take part in technical workshops and learn to use photo editing software.

A special retrospective exhibition of photographer Sabine Weiss who began taking pictures in 1942 at the age of 18 is a convention centerpiece. It is also to mark the occasion for her 90 birthday. Known for her “humanist” body of work exemplified by the photography on exhibit, the Salon’s exhibit will reveal Sabine Weiss at work, by displaying the archives that reveal different aspects of her activity over many decades: fashion, advertising, commissions, reportage work, and so on. Additionally, nine professional photographers, half a century younger and with the same passion for recording life, will pay tribute to Sabine Weiss with a photograph inspired by one of her own works. They will exhibit photographs shown alongside the photographs of her’s they have selected. And in another planned exhibition titled “Stars Au Firmament D’Hollywood,” Maison Europeenne de la Photographie has put together an exhibition of 26 portraits of legendary Hollywood stars from the 1930s to the 1960s. The works of photographers, including: Richard Avedon, Walter Carone, George Hurrell, Jean-Loup Sieff, Raymond Voinquel, will be featured.

This year, again, The Salon de la Photo presents ”Les Grandes Rencontres”, an opportunity for everyone to meet major photography professionals and take a behind-the-scenes look at their work. Photographers available for meetings will include: Leo Delafontaine, Nicola Lo Calzo, Mathilde de L’Ecotais, Laurent Millet, Alain Keler, Claudine Doury, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Catherine Henriette, Mohamed Bourouissa, Gerard Rancinan, Hans Silvester, Luc Choquer, Marie-Paul Negre, Yves Marchand et Romain Meffre, Renaud Corlouer, AFP / MYOP, Stephane Couturier. Sabine Weiss, the focus of a special convention retrospective, will be available for a meeting November 17. For the fifth year running, Salon de la Photo will award the “Public ZOOM” and the “Photo Press ZOOM” to two outstanding photographers. The Zooms awards paying tribute to emerging photographers, and nine chief editors of photography magazines have each selected an emerging professional photographer that is either a French national or living in France).

Live Design International in Las Vegas

Entering its 27th year, Live Design International (LDI) is a Vegas tradeshow and conference serving live design professionals in North and South America. It attracts attendees working in theatre, concerts, houses of worship, corporate presentations, clubs, theme parks, and any other live venue. More than 300 exhibiting companies provide attendees with live demos and the opportunity for face-to-face discussions about equipment, including lighting, sound, projection, and special effects. Backstage Las Vegas is the November 17 opening special event for LDI2014 produced in conjunction with Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. The exclusive event is an insider’s look at what goes into the making of the Las Vegas show scene, going behind the scenes to meet creative and technical teams that put it together. On the tour stop is Le Reve – The Dream, as well as taking in rock band, KISS, live at The Joint (Hard Rock Hotel). Then there are club tours, a rigging demo in Le Reve’s aqua theatre, and a ride and tour of the new High Roller soaring over the Vegas landscape.

LDI will conduct its 2014 Las Vegas Club Crawl to explore the state-of-the-art design and technology of some of the top night spots in Vegas. Tour guides will point out the gear from the lighting rigs to the sound systems and DJ/VJ stations as well as the designed interiors of the clubs. Tour venues included in the crawl are: Drais Beach Club (The Cromwell), Hakkasan (MGM Grand), Light (Mandalay Bay), Life (SLS), Rose.Rabbit.Lie (Cosmopolitan), TAO (The Venetian). LDI and the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance have entered the second year of a program that allows undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to select from four professional training courses at LDI2014 and future events. The courses carry university credits that would be accepted by the students’ home institution towards degree programs. Topics that will be covered include: Entertainment Rigging Fundamentals, Electrics Hands-On Workshop for Production Electricians and Technicians, Projection 101 – The Basics, Entertainment Rigging Fundamentals.

Electronic Dance Music is a prominent feature at LDI2014 stemming from an arranged partnership between LDI and BPM-the UK’s leading producer of EDM trade shows. There are planned live demos and performances in the [email protected] pavilion on the show floor, plus special sessions led by Ean Golden of DJ TechTools and technical training by Dubspot. To make this happen, LDI partnered with three separate entities in Electronic Dance Music: Marked Events, which produces BPM Europe’s largest trade show dedicated to the DJ market; DJ TechTools, a high traffic global DJ website that will promote [email protected] to its dedicated fan base of 600,000 aspiring and professional DJs from around the world; and Dubspot, the electronic music and DJ school, will help with programming content. Live Design International 2014 comes to a close November 23.

Supanova Pop Culture Expo

Generally acknowledged as Australia’s version of the USA’s Comic-Con, Supanova Pop Culture Expo stages in one expo the worlds of comic books, animation/cartoons, science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, fantasy, entertainment technology, books, internet sites, fan-clubs, and cosplay (cos-tume role-play). But unlike Comic-Con, Supanova is a sprawling event taking place on many dates and across many regions of Australia from November of 2014 through June 2015. The upcoming Supanova dates and events are as follows: Brisbane 2014, November 28-30; Melbourne 2015, April 10-12; Gold Coast 2015, April 17-19; Sydney 2015, June 19-21; Perth 2015, June 26-28. In one of the very marquee events planned this year for the expo, Syfy network and Supanova will present Battlestar Galactica: 10 Years On – with appearances by Jamie Bamber – Lee “Apollo” Adama and Tahmoh Penikett – Karl “Helo” Agathon. These stars will share stories of their time on Galactica and discuss the show’s legacy. Syfy will also be bringing the Syfy FanCam 360 to Adelaide and Brisbane for the first time, giving fans and cosplays the opportunity to create clips.

In more scheduled appearances, Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey Baratheon in the television series, Game of Thrones, joins the November line up that includes veteran voice actor, Peter Cullen, best known as the voice of Optimus Prime of the Transformers movie franchise. Both actors will appear at the expos in Adelaide and Brisbane. Other noteworthy actors slated for the November 2014 expo events include: Jeremy Shada – the voice of Finn the Human in Adventure Time, Grant Imahara – Mythbusters, Star Wars Epsiodes 1-3, John Jarratt – Wolf Creek 1 and 2, StalkHer, Gus Sorola – Co-founder of Rooster Teeth and Private Dick Simmons in Red Vs Blue, Jordan Cwierz – Creator and animator of Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures, Alan Tudyk – Firefly, Serenity, Frozen, Suburgatory, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Robert Knepper – Prison Break, Heroes, Stargate Universe, and the upcoming Hunger Games.

In addition to these dates, Supanova Pop Culture Industries and Brisbane Powerhouse are staging a party – “New Year’s Geek” – to open the new year of 2015, featuring popular pop-culture characters. Local band, Boss Fight, performs versions of classic video game tunes. DJs, trivia, retro arcade games, film screenings, a cosplay prom and free refreshments are also included. At another separate, but related Supanova event, on February 7 in Brisbane, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek will be projected in high definition on a big screen while Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s score is performed live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Rounding out Supanova featured events, there will be informative masterclasses, panels and workshops to attend. The new Imagineer’s Playground is an interactive part of the event dedicated to creative arts, focusing on fans and enthusiasts of special FX, model makers, prop builders and costume designers. Despite the array of events and activities, one of the more anticipated activities of Supanova Pop Culture Expo are the Cosplay competitions that give individuals and groups a chance to dress up (and model or act on stage) as their favorite costumed characters. Supanova Pop Culture Expo is organized by Supanova Pop Culture Industries.

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. The events blog also shows links to pages that are translated into ten of the most widely used international languages read over the Internet other than English. This month’s photo placement includes Avengers comic strip cover by Arthur Adams, on view at Supanova Pop Culture Expo and Photography expo, Salon de la Photo in Paris. If the photo does not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view it. Looking ahead into the next month be aware that event dates are curtailed due to the holidays, however: Siggraph Asia takes place in Shenzen, The International Music Festival Conference 2014 arrives in a very qualified city for music – Austin, the annual Jingle Mingle holiday networking gathering is once again in Winter Park, Asia TV Forum and Market opens in Singapore City, the London Film Awards will be in London, global content marketplace NATPE Miami opens in Miami, continental art show, Art Basel, lands in Miami this month.