May’s Sizzling Media And Entertainment Events are Here!

In Century City, the Music Business Association, formerly NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers), opens Music Biz 2014 for a three day run. Along with its hub for digital initiatives,, the summit agenda is to advance and promote music commerce.

The summit runs through May 8. As a non-profit membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce, particularly through the Music Business Association’s flagship annual event, Music Biz 2014, the Music Business Association is a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry.

Day one gets started with the Music Biz Academy, a program that travels across the country educating music startups and app developers on how to get through barriers of entry to the music industry. A networking breakfast follows that early session and then there will be a formal welcome and introduction as Music Biz President James Donio gives an industry overview including some of the newest stats on sales and consumer behaviors. The talk will review the resources the Music Business Association has available to help artists, managers, students, and startups navigate the music industry. Up for exploration is an entire range of delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and otherwise.

The 67th Festival de Cannes happens from May 1425.

Some of the other Music Biz topics that will be reviewed during the summit, most of which are handled in 30, 45 and 60 minute time limits: Keep Social Sexy: Using Your Profiles To Build Your Brand, Navigating The Music Industry Online, Alternative Revenue Streams: Making It In Today’s Music Biz, The Music Industry Infrastructure Of The Future, Grow Your Audience On YouTube, Metadata Summit: Information And Technology In The Music Business, Managing The Complexity Of An Artist’s Digital Experience, Country Music Meetup, Licensing and Royalty Payments From An Artists Perspective. The summit ends with a closing reception.

In Toronto, Canadian Music Week 2014 will have music industry business, learning and discovery sessions blueprinting how to guide projects to the next level. Planned film screenings offer a mix of music-oriented films, special screenings, documentaries and movie premieres along with special appearances and Q&As with some of the films’ acting talent, directors and crew in appearances. Added to the convention’s agenda since 2012, the Canadian International Comedy Fest features stand-up, with performances from some of Canada’s emerging comedy talent as well as headline talent from comedy venues worldwide. The festival’s Indie Awards is the principal closing event for Canadian Music Week.

The CMW Synch Summit is suited to music supervisors looking to place music in upcoming advertisements, films and TV productions and gives presenting submitters an opportunity to pitch music to them face to face. The International Festival Network, an exclusive networking and matchmaking session for companies to meet with representatives from various international festivals, booking agencies and promoters from around the world will be open. An international marketplace and Export Buyers’ Program featuring a Spotlight on Germany and a Focus on Austria and Switzerland with market overviews, presentations and incoming delegations is planned. The Digital Media Summit at CMW brings together media and brand specialists that focus on the task of outlining an integrated Digital Media strategy.

Now in its 17th year, the New York City Streaming Media East event is a showcase for all forms of online video business models and technology. It is focused on the “business” of streaming media in the Media and Entertainment, Enterprise, Education and Broadcast sectors. Convention events feature extensive multi-day panel sessions producing an executive forum on current topics from industry technology leaders to executives from companies utilizing streaming today. Essentially the two-day convention running till May 14 brings together digital media experts and professionals in order to exchange ideas, strategies and success stories.

The Streaming Media East Exhibit Hall will be the showplace for anyone selling streaming products, services, or content for use in corporate communications, digital media entertainment and technology, marketing, or the streaming industry itself. The shows provide an interactive exhibit floor enabling vendors to exhibit their products and solutions to businesses and organizations looking to incorporate streaming media enterprise solutions into their infrastructure. The Keynote address will be delivered by Matthew Szatmary, senior video encoding engineer at Twitch where he develops next generation encoding services and playback technologies to serve live video. Day one activities close with an evening reception.

Pre-conference seminars will actually be held before Streaming Media’s official open, on May 12. Among the topics, “Setting up Live Streaming Workflows On-Premises and In The Cloud,” with Chris Knowlton, VP, Product Management, Wowza Media Systems; “Producing A Webcast From Soup To Nuts: Part One,” with Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing; “Building A Better Web Video Player,” with Robert Reinhardt, Founder, videoRx (dot) com; “Producing A Webcast From Soup To Nuts: Part Two,” with Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing. Other areas to be explored after the start of the regular conference, include: “Online Distribution and Monetization Strategies for the TV Industry,” “The Future of Digital Entertainment in a Multiscreen World,” “Making the Move to Multiscreen 2.0,” “New Opportunities for Monetizing Premium Video” among other topics.

Festival de Cannes, the anticipated film festival started in 1946 and held in Cannes, previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. Concurrent to the festival, France also hosts its national film awards, the Cesar Awards – generally considered to be the French equivalent of the American Academy Awards – at the same time. Admission to the festival which stretches May 14-25 is by invite only. Festival organizers have already announced that “Party Girl,” from the trio of directors Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis, will open up the Un Certain Regard sidebar, a category originally created to showcase the most experimental, left-of-field and smaller-scale films that didn’t make the Competition cut. Film director Sofia Coppola, actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Willem Dafoe will join Jane Campion on the Cannes film festival jury for 2014.

There will be several featured event stops set up throughout the Festival complex. The Directors’ Fortnight (La Quinzaine des Realisateurs) is a parallel section independent of the Festival de Cannes, organised by the French Directors Society (Societe des Realisateurs de Films). Critics Week, La Semaine de la Critique is a parallel section independent of the Festival de Cannes, organised by the French Film Critics Syndicate (SC). The ACID Programme in Cannes will be a parallel selection independent of the Festival de Cannes organized by the Association for Independant Cinema and its Distribution (ACID). Cannes Cinephiles is an event organised by Cannes Cinema and the Festival de Cannes to provide public screenings from the Official Selection, as well as films from the parallel sections. Cannes Cinema will be adding to this program with two international selections: Ecrans Juniors and Cinema des Antipodes.

TV Festival de Cannes, co-produced by CANAL+, Orange and the Festival de Cannes, will cover the red carpet, the press conferences, the photo calls and interviews for films in Competition, as well as a number of event highlights. TV Festival de Cannes will be broadcast in French and English throughout the Palais complex and in most hotels along the Croisette. It will also be available on “Web TV,” YouTube (Canal+/English) and DailyMotion (Orange/French). The Official Selection is revealed through the awarding of the Palme d’Or to the best film entry during the Closing Ceremony. Un Certain Regard selection, “Party Girl,” which depicts the life of a 60 year-old night club hostess who still loves men and enjoys partying, was shot with the lead role is played by the real-life Angelique.

WINSTON | BAKER will be hosting the 5th Annual International Film Finance Forum in association with Variety magazine in Cannes during the 67th Festival de Cannes. The Film Finance Forum Series was created by the Winston Baker team to educate equity and debt financiers on the latest trends and strategies for film investing while reducing risks, provide producers with effective approaches to fundraising, and demonstrating ways to create great content and generate revenue through various distribution platforms. This particular forum will be a half-day program focused on international issues such as what it takes to make films today, worldwide sales and distribution strategies, emerging film finance resources, applying risk mitigation across borders, co-production opportunities and strategies, subsidies and incentive updates. There will be a featured keynote on the globalization of entertainment.

World Arts Film Festival in Jacksonville seeks to highlight voices of young artists and filmmakers, giving individuals with special needs such as autism and their peers the opportunity to learn side by side. Individuals of all ages and abilities have been encouraged to participate in World Arts’ events and programs to gain success in the creative industries and beyond. World Arts Education + Film Festival is run by a team of dedicated volunteers who serve in their free time to promote and support quality film programs. Special panels and presentations during the festival will include: a Meet the Filmmakers Q&A, Film Creativity + Education panel, on May 15, the Festival’s start; Farm to Film Social panel discussion and panel, Dream It, Learn It, Live It, Love It, on May 16; Girl Directors, Young Directors and Animation Stories are the focus for panels on May 17, Festival closing date, among other topics. There is also the Kaleidoscope Awards presentations in all categories followed by closing ceremony and storytelling performance with David Gonzalez on the final day.

As part of WAE’s global educational outreach, the festival will bring diverse groups of filmmakers of all ages and backgrounds, including those with special needs, to meet and mentor each other and their audiences through this new venue. Created by individuals in New York, Los Angeles and Jacksonville, and supported by a growing network of advisors around the world, the organization is dedicated to a global message of inclusion through the arts and education. An Improv Acting Workshop with Guest Artists Hester Wagner and Sabra Shelley will be conducted. Hester Wagner of Inclusion Films and Futures Explored and co-director Sabra Shelly, who is a New York based actress, Autism specialist and teaching artist, will lead the three-day festival workshop on the 5th Floor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. All day interactive workshops for all ages, Drawing-On-Film, will be conducted with Guest Artist Lois Siegel, instructor of Video Production at the University of Ottawa, Department of Communication.

At the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival, the opening night gala will be, ‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’ with Outkast’s Andre Benjamin in the lead role of this biopic about rock legend Jimi Hendrix. ‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’ looks at the early, momentous years in London in the life of the legendary guitarist after his beginning as an unknown backup guitarist in New York. The Director, John Ridley (Academy Award-winning screenwriter of ’12 Years a Slave’) is scheduled to attend. Tickets include a walk on the Red Carpet, a private reception, reserved seats for the film, an exclusive after-party in the Red Carpet Lounge. The Seattle International Film Festival is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short films. SIFF presents the annual Seattle International Film Festival and year-round programming at our SIFF Cinema venues the Uptown (Queen Anne) and the SIFF Film Center (Seattle Center). The Closing Night Gala will have one last night of mingling with Festival guests and friends while enjoying live music, food, and cocktails.

Global gaming convention, Casual Connect is the place to learn more about the video game industry, which entertains 300 million people each month. This gaming convention which has a trail through many international cities will be held in Singapore, May 20-22 as Casual Connect Asia 2014. Along with the conference sessions, over 80 indie developers will be presenting their games at the Indie Prize Showcase. Also making its debut is the International Design, Entertain, and Amaze (IDEA) Showcase, where established developers are looking for international partners for publishing, user acquisition, game performance monitoring and logistical support, will be presenting their recent projects. The International Design, Entertain and Amaze (IDEA) Showcase, Hosted four times a year in conjunction with Casual Connect, acts on behalf of established developers looking for international partners for publishing, user aquisition, game performance monitoring and logistical support.

Many lectures and talks are scheduled at Casual Connect Asia. On May 20, Robin Sagacious NG, head of International Business, Asiasoft Online Pte Ltd, leads a session that will provide an overview of the South East Asia online and mobile gaming markets and its projected trends. Later that same day Stephen Lee, head of publishing at 6waves, where he leads all business development and publishing-related matters, will share perspective from a publisher’s perspective and highlight key issues developers should be mindful of when getting ready to launch and grow their games globally. On May 21, Si Shen, a co-founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, will discuss the trends, obstacles, and strategies that Asian game developers must know in 2014 for Asian game studios to climb to the top of app store charts in Western app markets. On May 22, Bob Meese, Global Head, Games Business Development, Google Play, conducts a workshop on “Growing Your Business with Google Play.”

Networking and reception events begin with the Badge Pickup and Pre-Funk Party the day before the official convention start on May 19. On opening day, there will be the Official Casual Connect with servings of beer, wine and light snacks. Three receptions for May 21 will include a Womens Lunch at noon, an Official Casual Connect Party with beer, wine and cocktails and the Indie Prize Awards. The final convention day on May 22 is a simple “Mingle” with beer and light snacks. The Indie Prize Showcase is part exclusive gaming arcade and part scholarship program for up and coming indie development teams who show promise to be future leaders in the games industry besides being able to display games to a lot of publishers and industry gurus.

Founded in 2005, the Casual Games Association is a professional international trade organization providing educational resources and community support for those involved in creating games for the mass market consumer. Developed for the general public and families, casual games are video games that are fun and easy to learn and play. The games are platform agnostic, so they can be played via the Internet, PC and Macintosh computers, Facebook, Xbox, PlayStation, iPhone, Nintendo DS, Wii, Android and even mobile phones. They’re nonviolent, arcade-style games that involve puzzles, words, board and card games, game show and trivia. Popular games are Mahjong, Tetris, Solitaire, Bejeweled, Mystery Case Files, and Farmville.

PALM Expo in Mumbai serves the Indian pro audio, sound and lighting market by showcasing the wares of global vendors. The Expo draws its base of participants from the global pro audio, live sound and lighting, music production and system integration industries. This year, Music Expo – a dedicated trade show for the MI Industry – will be co-located with PALM Expo, located in Hall 2 of the Bombay Exhibition Center. Music Expo is dedicated to showcasing the latest MI products from major brands in an industry expanding MI consumption of western musical instruments to an expanding consumer base in the 200 million strong youth market.

The 2014 PALM Expo has several feature areas to explore and take part in while it is in session, May 29-31. The HARMAN PALM Live Arena is a secluded space for stage, sound, light and music to come together, provides visitors with an equipped stage to identify, evaluate and analyse how to enhance audio requirements and deliver the best sound quality. New this year, PALM Expo introduces the demo hall facility enabling audio companies to demonstrate their products and latest features in a private cube structure that is specially tailored for this purpose.

Innovator of Indian Slap Bass and Bass Guitarist for The Khayal Groove band, Jayen Varma, is appearing at Palm Expo, May 30-31, doing performances for ROCKIN 24/7 on behalf of GRUV GEAR Wraps. He is known for developing Tabla and Mridangam style finger technique on bass guitar to play slap bass, a style developed by him and termed Indian slap bass, and in 2008 and 2011 respectively, the Registry of Official World Records (Record Holders Republic), USA&UK and The Record Setter Book of World Records USA, declared him the Fastest Bass Guitar Player. Jayen Varma plays with his band, The Khayal Groove made up of Aparna Panshikar on north Indian classical Vocals and Jayen Varma on Bass Guitar in collaboration with the French Drummer, Jean Davoisne and various artists and bands across the globe. Since the release of the band’s first album, ‘Reflections of a Purple Moon,’ it has since been working on its second album.

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 the 67th Festival de Cannes and Bass Guitarist Jayen Varma at PALM Expo in Mumbai. 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: the 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards will be held in New York City, CineGear LA comes to Hollywood, BANFF World Media Festival opens in Alberta, annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival comes to Manchester, Barcelona Film Festival opens in Barcelona.