Media and Entertainment Events for Month of March Unveiled

The Miami International Film Festival presents world cinema from Cuba, Spain, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom, China and other regions of the world. MIFF typically presents 100 films from over 40 countries, including several international prizewinners, 11 World Premieres, five International Premieres, nine North American Premieres and 11 US Premieres. This year’s festival puts a spotlight on China with screenings of films from mainland China and Hong Kong – part of a three day International Symposium hosted by Miami Dade College’s Confucius Institute happening March 7-9. Headquartered in the heart of Miami Beach, the Festival has hosted accomplished filmmakers and talent, including Pedro Almodovar, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Andy Garcia, Alfonso Cuaron, Kate Hudson, Jonathan Demme, Liv Ullman, Luc Besson, and others.

The Festival offers accreditation for VeoMiami – an area of the festival to discover, discuss, and develop the art and business of Ibero-American cinema. VeoMiami consists of a dedicated group of industry players, with access to Master Class Seminars, Industry/Filmmaker invite only events, catalogue and material distribution to attending delegates and concierge meeting set-up with other delegates, access to the online library of films available from March 1 – including VeoMiami Digital Market – and ending two weeks after the close of the Festival which is March 10. And especially suited to the Miami Beach area, there are nightly Happy Hours and networking opportunities. Celebrate the year’s accomplishments at the Pyrat Awards Night Party, March 9. The gala evening will feature a wide variety of culinary delights, wine and spirits, and plenty of entertainment.

Argo was the winner at the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Picture.

Future Shorts Festival in London is a quarterly global film festival uniting audiences across the world. Since November 2011, festival screenings have taken place in over 285 cities and 90 countries with a showcase of short films, often alongside live music, performance, DJs and art. From London to Tokyo, Cairo to Kabul, screenings have taken place across a network of music halls, cinemas, theatres, galleries, clubs, bars and warehouses. Every three months, Future Shorts HQ in London puts together a feature-length programme of selected classic, cult and award-winning short films from around the world. The festival programme lasting through March 29 is then made available to a global network of film enthusiasts, promoters, entrepreneurs and adventurers who book, organize and host local screening events.

The following are screenings in various (mostly) European cities: London, March 2; Barcelona and Vilanova, March 3; Brno and Latvia, March 7; Tampere, March 8; Baku, March 9; Bialystok, March 11; Zamora, March 14; Arcata, Bricko and Przemysl, March 15; Blackburn, March 20; Elblag, March 21; London, March 22; Lodz and Paris, March 24; Lublin, March 25; Tbilisi. Additionally, Future Shorts maintains a distribution arm offering a range of distribution services representing an extensive and varied catalogue of original and independent international films. Original content creation is undertaken drawing from a pool of available creative talent on the Future Shorts roster and strategic development and production with various broadcast partners, including: Arte/ZDF, Canal+, HBO, SBS Australia and SVT, YouTube, Babelgum, Sony Computer Entertainment, Samsung and others.

The two-day Meg expo, more formally known as Media Days Gothenburg, is focused on professionals dealing with the different technology related to media production and development. The Gothenburg based expo theme this year is “parallel realities” and the program opening March 7 reviews topics from popular music to satire, investigative journalism to interactive design. Meg13 starts out from five different seminar topics: Fiction, Fact, Trust, Market and Innovation. Together, they accentuate this year’s theme: “Parallel realities.” Keynote speakers in the parallel realities program include: Internet researcher Evgeny Morozov, born in Belarus, now living in the US, who gave a previous TED talk titled “Is the Internet what Orwell Feared?” Also, Sofia Svantesson, designer, innovator and founder of design bureau Ocean Observations is featured.

Another of the highlights of this year’s program is the establishment and presentation of the newly instituted MegAward which will be given to a person or an organization that has achieved innovation in the media sector. The winning innovation may be of an administrative, technological, or organizational nature, in the fields of journalism or design. The MegAward will reward work demonstrating broad thoughtfulness and curiosity, regardless of whether the winner operates within the confines of traditional journalism or in the world of blogging, podcasts, advertising or technology development. It can be awarded to a Swedish or an international person or organization. The MegAward is an open nomination process. The Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre is one of the biggest hotels in Scandinavia joining the Gothia Towers and popular restaurants. It is also home to the largest office hotel in Scandinavia, the World Trade Center. A new tower and the extension is slated to be ready in the end of 2014.

Since 1987, SXSW (South By South West) in Austin has produced its well regarded Music and Media Conference and Festival. Although it is perceived as one seamless event week, emphasis will be given to Interactive, March 8-12; Film, March 8-16; Music, March 12-17. The event celebrates the organizations that define the ever-evolving relationship between media, technology, creators and consumers. A special highlight for SXSW this year will be its “Maker” movement in education with a Makerspace that will showcase a number of exhibits from makers, creators and DIYers, March 4-7.

New for 2013, SXSW Film introduces the “Come and Capture” Film Factory, that allows participants to explore and interact with the newest tools for capturing and creating moving images. Each day begins with panel discussions, workshops and demos, and leads up to the opportunity for registrants to tinker with featured products. Registrants can not only sample a range of filmmaking products but go out each day and capture their experiences of SXSW to then share the finished work with the SXSW community through SXSW’s online channels and on the official festival website. “Come and Capture” takes place from March 9-12 (advance badge registration needed) at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Capital Ballroom.

Themed parties seem to dot the daily/hourly event schedule of the Expo, including: The Morning After party, Trade Show Block Party, SXSW Film Intermission Party presented by IMAX, Warner Bros. Television Group, BBC America Roadhouse, SXSW Film Late Night Saloon, @PBS Party featuring Peter Sagal, Berlin Calling, #VegasTech SXSW Party, New Zealand @ SXSW, SXSW Film + Interactive Fusion Party presented by Fandango, Music From Ireland / Full Irish Breakfast, The Aussie BBQ, and so many more not listed.

Online resource SXsocial is available to SXSW registrants to search for and message other conference attendees. Upload a photo and bio to establish a presence and connect with new colleagues and friends before during and after SXSW 2013. The 27th annual South By Southwest Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament, the traditional closing social event of the SXSW week, happens on March 17 and is free for all SXSW Music and Platinum registrants.

CABSAT Broadcast Conference in Dubai is a trade platform for digital media and satellite sectors across the Middle East, Africa, and the Southern Asian region. There are two conference sessions that are free to attend: CABSAT Broadcast Conference and GVF MENASAT Summit. The CABSAT Academy brings together the two sides of the show into one expanded and multi-stream knowledge exchange platform held in centrally-located networking areas. The dedicated Broadcast and GVF organised Satellite Conference streams are complemented by Workshops and Vendor Presentations. New to the three-day conference for 2013 which opens March 12 is a dedicated ‘Africa in Focus’ trade visitors session, gathering key ICT decision makers from emerging African markets, and use of satellite communications earth station equipment that has been tested and approved in co-ordination with the industry-endorsed GVF Product Quality Framework.

The Atlanta Film Festival, now in its fourth decade, is one of the small number of Academy Award qualifying festivals in the U.S. ATLFF365 presents a diverse slate of year-round offerings for film-lovers, filmmakers, and established and emerging industry professionals. Atlanta Film Festival 365 (ATLFF365) is a membership-based 501(c)(3) arts non-profit with a mission to lead the community in creative and cultural discovery through film/video display. Throughout the year, ATLFF365 offers a range of workshops on screenwriting, directing, production, getting into the film business and more.

This year’s fest opens with MUD from writer/director Jeff Nichol’s (Take Shelter). Debuting at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d’Or, and starring Matthew McConaughey, MUD has been likened as a film, echoing Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Closing the fest will be THE SPECTACULAR NOW directed by Athen’s native and 2008 ATLFF Screenplay Competition winner James Ponsoldt. Written by (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (ATLFF09) writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and featuring performances from leads Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, SPECTACULAR won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) is an annual film market organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). A central objective of the FILMART convention is to promote Hong Kong as a regional hub for distribution and production of film, TV programs and entertainment-related products in Asia-Pacific while assisting cross-media, cross-businesses partnerships. The event is restricted to trade only.

The four day event opens March 18 with the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2013 Kick-Off Ceremony on conference opening day. Later that day is the Taiwan Party hosted by the Taipei Film Commission. On day two, conference organizer, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), presents “Opportunities in Asia: Book-to-Screen Projects in Today’s Box-Office hits.” Also on that day are Exhibitors’ Organized Events, including the 6th Asia VFX and Digital Cinema Summit. Among the planned Digital Movie and Cinema Symposium events, the “Digital Movie and Cinema Symposium” is hosted by 23 Magic Limited, he “6th Asia VFX and Digital Cinema Summit” is hosted by Digital Magic, “Shooting in Italy: High Quality, Low Budget” is hosted by Italian Trade Commission, “Promoting And Protecting The Screen Community In The Cloud Era” is hosted by Movie Producers & Distributors Associations of Hong Kong Limited, “Universe Entertainment 2013-2014 Production Line-up Presentation” is hosted by Universe Films Distribution Company Ltd.

Within the Greater Los Angeles area, two separately organized television industry summits will open the same day on March 21 for nearly concurrent runs. Variety and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation present the one-day The Universal Summit. The Summit will explore how to recognize new business opportunity and leverage it from changes and transformations to the industry caused by splintered audiences with choices between new web and mobile platforms. Leaders from the broadcast/cable channels, emerging original content hubs, TV service providers and technology partners will explore what it means to develop, market and distribute successful programming. Topic areas that will be examined include: State of the TV Business, The Worldwide TV Boom, Transformative TV: Next Generation Networks Turn Now, The Growing Power of Hispanic TV, TV that Makes a Difference – The Social Revolution, The New TV Everywhere: The Game-Changing Business of SVOD and Second Screen, Showrunners (perennially popular shows) SuperSession. The day ends with a Networking Reception.

Over two days, the International Film and TV Finance Summit organized by Bloomberg BNA addresses obtaining finance and tax incentives to get independent and studio films made, distributed and marketed in today’s market place. This will also include discussion on: Understand how to utilize new digital platforms for distributing media content into the home and onto hand held devices; Ways to generate financial support for films utilizing brand integration and product placement; Access to and information from the most senior players in the industry at the top of their professions; Presented case studies how medium to low budget films are made, financed and distributed; There will be an expanded session on the U.S. state, federal and international tax credits and incentives for film and TV production. Also a case study in financing an independent feature film, presented before conference close. There will be planned networking opportunities, as well as, Continental breakfasts, lunches, refreshment breaks.

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 55th Grammy Awards. 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: NAB Show 2013, and all its offshoot programs, is in Las Vegas, Florida Film Festival is in Maitland, Bermuda International Film Festival opens in Hamilton, 5th Annual Film Finance Forum East in association with Variety comes to New York City, The Madrid International Film Festival comes to London, the Tribeca Film Festival will customarily be in downtown Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, The Mexico International Film Festival opens in Rosarito.