Enjoy the Summer Heat With July’s Entertainment and Media Events

A 24/7 Expo happening right in downtown L.A., Anime Expo is considered North America’s largest anime and manga celebration and the second longest running anime convention after A-kon in Texas. The Expo wants fans to meet and hear from veteran anime, manga and musical artists from Japan and get involved with everything from costume play, karaoke and video competitions while offering exclusive screenings, non-stop video gaming competitions and the anticipated Masquerade in which fans transform themselves into their favorite characters through creative costuming, accessories and make-up and put on their own show before an audience of thousands. A simple online application process is available to anyone wishing to take part in or present at Anime Expo, obtainable from the web site. The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is the parent organization which funds and manages Anime Expo.

Comic Con
ComicCon International opens with Preview Night on July 23, marking the 45th year for the show.

There are numerous areas of event interaction that Anime Expo will have going on – in some cases 24/7. Last Comic Standing is a showcase for visitors to show off their comedy skills. There is programmed Japanese music entertainment, featuring J-Pop, Ani-Song, Japanese rock, and Idol Performers. The Anime and Manga Studies Symposium will schedule talks and lectures on Japanese comics and animation given by scholars from colleges and universities around the world. Live Panels put on by industry companies as well as attendees, range from announcements directly from the industry to fan discussions. AX Fashion unveils trends in Japanese street-wear and design from Harajuku and Shibuya through panels, a showcase fashion show, and guest designers and models.

eGames area is a free play area at Anime Expo for everyone attending Anime Expo that love video games. The Table Top Gaming will host tournaments in favorite games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic The Gathering, Settlers of Cataan, and Texas Hold’em, to a casual gaming environment and this year will be joining forces with Arcade, and Console gaming. The anticipated Masquerade is an Anime Expo highlight with costumes and performances competing for the trophy. Lounge 21 and Manga Lounge will be separately themed lounges for relaxation and entertainment. The Artist Alley is a venue for amateur and semi-professional artists to celebrate Japanese pop culture through works of art.

Taking place in cinemas, bars and clubs about Perth, but centered in Leederville, with live music, performance, conferences and movies, Revelation Perth International Film Festival strives to put a unique slant on its programming. Opening night screening is Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under The Skin,’ adapted from the book of the same name by Michael Faber, in which Scarlett Johansson plays an alien driving through Scotland in a van to seduce men and lure them back to her mysterious lair. Getting its start back in 1997 in the basement back room of the Greenwich Club, a regarded Perth jazz venue, Revelation is part of the Australian film festival season and interacts with the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand International Film Festivals and any number of Australian screen culture organisations with program, print sources and curated projects.

The Revelation Screen Conference (RevCon) is structured to highlight and investigate issues, approaches and perspectives that are part of international independent film process. Held over two weekends during the festival, RevCon aims to be an ‘ideas market’ that draws in industry participants from the creative, cultural and business sectors for discussion and analysis oriented panel sessions that are free to attend. Complimentary to RevCon is an academic sidebar – Revelation Academic – that will take on areas such as: the current state of play of the international independent scene, a television masterclass with Aaron Pedersen (at cost), getting ideas through from concept to screen, creating new cinematic worlds. Separately from the conferences, Magnolia’s Late Night Live Revelation Special, a live talk show with a substantial following, brings together artists and musicians to chat about entertainment and cinematic appreciation led by Tristan Fidler (RTRFM’s Movie Squad), at a scheduled July 7 appearance at Bill’s Bar and Bites.

Revelation strives to bring out the unique, weird and unusual in its festival programming. Revelation will celebrate Vladmaster’s View-Master reels – handmade View-Master reels. As a seated audience holds their viewmasters in hand the audio soundtrack starts accompanying the 3D stereoscopic slides with the audience clicking-on the viewers as the soundtrack demands. The result becomes a visionary form of storytelling where the music, narration, sound effects and dings let the audience know when to advance each image or change discs. A selection of experimental films, from abstracted forms through dreamscapes and diaries and very personal explorations of the potentialities of cinema will be screened in the Experimental Showcase. The REVEL-8 Showcase was conceived to challenge a filmmaker to shoot one reel of silent Super 8 film in camera lasting only three and one-half minutes. A composer’s challenge was to compose and record a music soundtrack without meeting the director. The resulting public showcase of matched films and scores will compete for prizes.

Revelation’s program carries live music, gallery based visual arts and associated activity generated by the event or independent curators. Entries for the 2015 edition will open on September 1. Subscribing to the newsletter is one way to receive notification as it happens. Presently, the festival includes 100 international films presented at cinemas, galleries, cafes and bars across Perth. The 26th Annual WA Screen Award (WASAs) will be held at the Heath Ledger Theatre in the State Theatre Centre of WA on July 14 as a grand finale event to the Revelation Perth International Film Festival.

With an emphasis on music in film, the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival features a music competition as well as a film competition. There is also the July 17 opening night gala, live concerts, music winners, youth programs and film screenings with filmmaker discussion that round out this Bay-Area festival held in the Mission district. Last year’s festival featured surf and skate films, international films, animated shorts, dramatic shorts, comedic shorts, Art House / experimental shorts, feature films, digital films, music documentaries, prison documentaries, and two musical concerts. In addition to the annual film festival, the SFFFF Youth Program is very focused on providing underserved youth pathways to help them find a career in the film arts.

The 2014 festival features a Gala-party, a concert with the music winners, another concert with bands from one of the movies, and a closing night awards ceremony set for July 20. The Frozen Film Festival invites all filmmakers and musicians to submit their work for programming with a strong commitment to music, shorts, and Bay Area related films, and more than 10 bands who played concerts at various spots around the city during the festival. The festival takes in submissions on VHS or DVD/Blu-Ray disc. More information is available on the website or by emailing: [email protected]. Filmmakers whose work is accepted into the festival are invited to come to the festival to screen and discuss their work.

Skip City International D-Cinema Festival is an international competitive festival taking place in Saitama, created to encourage and contribute to the development of Digital Cinema (D-Cinema), focusing just on works shot and produced digitally. The Festival’s mandate is to encourage and contribute to the development of Digital Cinema and to cultivate filmmakers in Digital Cinema through international competitions, screenings and awards for digital filmmakers and their works. Categories up for competition for this festival with dates from July 19-27 will include: Feature Length, Short Length Competition, Animation Competition, Current D-Cinema 2014, Cinema Kabuki, Special Screenings, Barrier Free Screenings with Japanese subtitles and Audio Guidance and Guests.

All entries are screened by a 4K Digital Cinema projector at Skip City. Awards will be presented at the Closing Ceremony by an international jury committee. Overall, there will be several unique side events that will accompany the screenings and competitions, most of which are suited for the entire family. There will be three evenings of outdoor screenings (July 20-22) with an appearance by action hero Ultra-man Tiga on evening one, three NHK animations will screen on evening two, the original Ultra-man series will screen on evening three. Learn how to cook with secret recipes (July 20) and sample various dishes prepared with Bulldog sauce.

In Skip City musical programming, a local big band, New Notes Orchestra, will perform movie soundtracks (July 21-26). The annual bon dancing festival with international guests (July 21). UWF, a popular student wrestling team, will appear at Skip City (July 26) and visitors can enjoy tap beer and snacks in the Beer Garden. A Waku Waku Workshop (July 19, 22, 26) will show visitors how to make a thaumatrope, the origin of the motion picture reel. Kids special screenings of TV programs from NHK Archives and popular animation programs will be screened (July 20, 21, 25). An exhibition of on-set location photos provided by Film Commission Office in Saitama can be viewed from July 19-26.

Casual Connect USA 2014 happens in San Francisco with a July 22 starting date. Casual Connect USA is the largest of all the Casual Connect conferences. Casual Games Association produces these events for the casual games industry with over 6,500 professionals attending Casual Connect each year. Along with the conference sessions, indie developers will be showcasing their works in the Indie Prize Showcase and established developers will be presenting their games in the IDEA Showcase. The remaining Casual Connect series set for this year is set for November 10-12 in Serbia.

Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the video games space. Presenting at the series, Jill Braff, Commerce Mobile Gaming Social, discusses “Beyond the App Store: Where’s the Casual Games Market in a Post-Zynga World?” Another presentation features Mike Delaet, Kabam; Andrew N. Green, Tinyco; Simon Jeffery, Backflip with Moderator Ben Chen, SponsorPay, taking part in a panel titled “Indie vs. Blockbusters… or a Match Made in Heaven?”

The International Design, Entertain and Amaze (IDEA) Showcase at Casual Connect invites established developers looking for international partners for publishing, user aquisition, game performance monitoring and logistical support. Among the benefits offered by IDEA is a dedicated showcase area, online game listing and online meeting system listing. 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. Submission is handled through an online application process (http://www.cvent.com/d/w4qs56/4W).

Casual Connect is often reputable for its parties and networking events. Networking mixers will include: A Pre-Funk & Badge Pickup with StartApp on July 21. The next day, July 22, there is an early evening Mingle with Tapjoy followed by the Official Opening Night Party, presented by InMobi + Pandora, which will be a dance party featuring DJ Youngblood Hawke and Tender Buttons at Mezzanine. For July 23, Mingle with Fiksu, opens the early evening then followed by Dinner with Vegas World, Indie Prize Awards Ceremony, ending in an evening of music and dancing with App Annie and Upsight at Party @ City Hall. On the final convention day, July 24, there is the Women’s Lunch with DeNA starting at noon.

Comic-Con is a multigenre entertainment and comic convention taking place annually since 1970 when it originally began as Golden State Comic Book Convention. Once only exclusively showcasing comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film and television arts, the convention now includes a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across most all genres. On the Wednesday evening prior to the official July 24 opening of the convention, there is a preview for professionals, exhibitors, and select guests pre-registered for all four days. Comic-Con International opens with Preview Night on July 23, marking the 45th year for the show.

There are several event areas that happen at Comic-Con. Comic-Con International’s 2014’s Artists’ Alley will feature artists and illustrators working in comics, science fiction and fantasy, and related popular arts fields. Anyone interested in applying for exhibit space in Comic-Con International’s Artists’ Alley can go to their website to download the Artists’ Alley Exhibitor Application. The Comics Arts Conference which started in 1992 at Comic-Con has an academic orientation and offers panels, seminars, and sessions covering all four days of Comic-Con. The Comic Creator Connection is the convention initiative that brings writers and artists together to enable creative collaborations.

Located in the Sails Pavilion upstairs at the Convention Center, the Art Show displays the nominated books and comics for this year’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and houses a special exhibit devoted to members of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in addition to original works by both amateurs and professionals. Carrying over an arrangement of past years, fan tables will be set up across the convention exhibit hall.

Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), both held in San Francisco. Comic-Con has also awarded its annual Inkpot Award on guests and persons of interest in the Popular Arts industries, as well as on members of Comic-Con’s Board of Directors and the Convention Committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards. Comic-Con is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events.

The Kaua’i Music Festival (KMF) Songwriter Conference and Concert Series is a four-day annual event is held on the island of Kaua’i focusing on the art and craft of songwriting, embracing most genres – rock, pop, R&B, country, urban, contemporary Hawaiian. At Kaua’i, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization now in its 12th year, attendees can learn songwriting or refine skills through interaction with actively professional songwriters. In addition, throughout the conference performed music will be heard by active industry veterans. Through one-on-one meetings, small group sessions, workshops, panel discussions, open mic activities, and more, there are ample opportunities to consult with and get feedback from industry representatives that include producers, TV and Film Music Supervisors, A&R Executives. An evening discussion set for July 30 covers, “How the Grammys Work.”

In addition to the regular songwriting workshops and one-on-one meetings, Kaua’i Music Festival will provide a number of “Informational Workshops” to help working musicians and songwriters. There will be two workshops sponsored by the State of Hawaii, DBEDT, Creative Industries Division: “Everything You Need to Know About the Business of Placing Your Music in TV & Advertising,” led by Chris Jackson, Comcast Entertainment Group, and “Everything You Need to Know About the Business of Placing Your Music in Film and Cinema,” led by David Trotter, Studio 51. Other workshops are available and a CD “Demo Derby” will be held during the early morning session of August 2 with participants encouraged to bring their CD’s.

As in past years, Kaua’i Music Festival will hold it’s songwriting contest for registered attendees to participate in. Submissions would have had to have been registered in advance. The final competition will be held on the second day of the Festival. Each of the selected Finalists will perform their submitted song in the competition. In 2014 there are two concert nights. On August 1, a Po’alima Concert featuring Mainland Artists will present Hot Chelle Rae, ‘Hookman’ Marlin Bonds, Mark Feist, Richard Harris and other artists. And on August 2 a Pau Hana Concert features Hawaiian Artists, showcasing Kenneth Makuakane with the Pandanus Club, Eric Gilliom, John Cruz, Kimo Knox and other performers. The Festival closes out on August 2 with an Open Mic followed by Party time in the Makai Lounge.

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 highlights Mumbai based film sound designer, Harikumar Pillai as the subject of a profile by Dhaka based Jamuna Television and the official show poster for Comic-Con in San Diego. If the photo does not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view it. Looking ahead into the next month, although the industry gets quiet during the summer months, be aware that: the Florida Film Industry Expo 2014 opens in Tampa, Texas Association of Broadcasters 61st Annual Convention and Trade Show opens for two days in Austin, the 3rd Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival-14 is a one day festival in Kolkata, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest known film festival – Melbourne International Film Festival – opens in Victoria for an 18 day run, the 10th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival opens in Hollywood, the Monitor Latino Convention will be in Los Angeles over three days, the Brazil Promotion Trade Show 2014 will be in Sao Paulo.