October’s Global Media and Entertainment Industry Networking Events

Busan International Film Festival

The 20th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) organizers have identified certain areas of focus woven into the festival programming: Hand Printing, Master Classes, Open Talk, Meet the Guest: Talk to Talk, Audience Meet-And-Greet, Cinema Together.

The Keynote Speaker at this year’s BIFF Conference is Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of he Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s THE ASSASSIN (2015) is programmed as the opening Gala Presentation of the Busan International Film Festival. It was a highly anticipated film after an 8 year production wait. Hsiao-hsien’s film is meant to show a new aesthetic that breaks the frame of the typical martial arts films.

Poster for Viennale international film event in Vienna
Viennale international film event in Vienna

BIFF’s, A Window on Asian Cinema presents 52 films from Asian countries. Many of Asia’s top directors will visit Busan with their most recent films including Kore-eda Hirokazu, Jafar Panahi, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Mani Ratnam, Brillante Mendoza, Johnnie To, Sono Sion, Eric Khoo, Bahman Ghobadi, Garin Nugroho, Mabel Cheung, and Sylvia Chang. In Tsai Ming Liang’s AFTERNOON, the director and actor Lee Kang-Sheng converse about their personal lives and share anguish as director and actor, revealing the evolving societal views on cinema.

In the opening days, BIFF presents a program for emerging Korean film directors and script writers interested in learning more about feature film production and script development from both Korean and international perspectives. Ten pre-selected participants will work with experienced mentors through a series of lectures and mentoring on their new feature film projects. The ten filmmakers will participate in a pitching competition to win a chance to visit Los Angeles to take part in a film immersion course. Anyone who registers can attend the open lectures by Hollywood and Korean filmmakers.

BIFF’s Asian Cinema 100 is a focused program that conveys the history and aesthetics of Asian films and shows Asian cinematographic history in a new light. ‘Asian Cinema 100’ has ambitiously compiled its top 100 Asian films of all time using input from directors, critics, film scholars, and journalists throughout the international film community. BIFF seeks to shed new light on preservation and restoration of Asian cinema. Including the internationally acclaimed works, it is important to discover hidden masterpieces and talented directors in Asian film history. The festival runs through October 10.

BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival is a public film event, screening more than 300 features, documentaries and shorts from almost 50 countries. It also provides an extensive program of industry events, public forums, education events, lectures, masterclasses and Q&As with film-makers and film talent.

The Opening Night Gala (October 7) is Sarah Gavin’s SUFFRAGETTE, that traces the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. The Closing Night Gala (October 18) is Danny Boyle’s STEVE JOBS, starring Michael Fassbender in the lead role of the Aaron Sorkin screenplay. LFF Connects will be the start of a new series exploring how feature film engages with the other creative disciplines of television, art, music, games and creative technologies. In an LFF Connects program on October 9, British filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and British fine artist, Tacita Dean (Tate Modern exhibition FILM), explore the future of film in a conversation moderated by BFI Creative Director Heather Stewart.

On October 8 BFI talk, Geena Davis discusses her career as an Academy Award winning actress and producer, and her involvment in her Geena Davis Institute, engaging, educating and influencing issues on gender imbalance in the media. On October 12, immersive storyteller Chris Milk, talks about the possibilities of Virtual Reality (VR) filmmaking and what he believes is its capacity to deliver. On October 15, Laurie Anderson joins LFF Connects to talk about her creative approach to filmmaking and how it intersects with art, performance and music. The BFI Film Forever initiative is a plan extending through 2017 and is primarily funded by Grant in Aid from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as well as other sources. BFI encourages new audiences into the world of specialist, independent and archive film by sharing knowledge, techniques and critical approaches.

Musician and presenter Jarvis Cocker hosts the annual BFI Awards Ceremony on October 17 at Banqueting House. Prizes will be presented for the Festival’s competitive sections. The Best Film Award is presented to the winner of the Official Competition, the Sutherland Award is presented to the winner of the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award is presented in partnership with the Grierson Trust to the winning film in the Documentary Competition. The inaugural presentation of the Short Film Competition is being started to recognize short form works with a unique cinematic voice. It is to be presented to one of a shortlist of 12 films selected within the program. Each of these sections is open to international and British films. The BFI Fellowship, awarded each year at the BFI London Film Festival Awards ceremony will be presented to Cate Blanchett.

Hamptons International Film Festival

Set to open October 8 in Sag Harbor and surrounding communities, the Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate Independent film – long, short, fiction and documentary – and to introduce a varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to gathered audiences.

This year, HIFF’s Spotlight Films include the North American Premiere of A ROYAL NIGHT OUT, the US Premieres of I SAW THE LIGHT, THE LADY IN THE VAN, LOUDER THAN BOMBS, the East Coast Premieres of ANOMALISA AND MACBETH, and a Sneak Preview of BORN TO BE BLUE. The Spotlight Films will also feature SUFFRAGETTE, WHEN I LIVE MY LIFE OVER AGAIN, BROOKLYN, EXPERIMENTER, MEADOWLAND, and WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, directed by Michael Moore, who will attend the screening and take part in “A Conversation With…” on October 11 at Bay Street Theater.

Now in its 14th year, HIFF’s Screenwriters Lab, October 11, is a program pairing up-and-coming screenwriters with established screenwriters, directors, producers for one-on-one mentoring sessions. Each April The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and HIFF select two screenplays to participate in the Lab. They will be read during the Festival with cast present. Also on October 11, The Casting Society of America will present a program, “The Art of Casting,” with Ellen Lewis (BRIDGE OF SPIES), Richard Hicks (MEADOWLAND), and moderator Bernie Telsey (New York Vice President of the Casting Society of America) who will demystify the ins and outs of the trade and reveal the casting process, cultivating talent, and the future of the field.

HIFF presents 10 programs of short films this year, including the Narrative Short Film and Documentary Short Film Competition programs, the New York Women In Film and Television: Women Calling The Shots program, the Ahoy! Shorts for All Ages program, and the Crafted program, which features three short films about auteur Claude Lanzmann and artists Phil Toledano and Hilary Knight. The Festival is also proud to present a special screening of Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s BEST OF ENEMIES, as the film won the 2015 SummerDocs Audience Award, sponsored by Candescent Films.

HIFF’s World Cinema Documentary titles include the World Premieres of THE C WORD, CLASS DIVIDE, HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST, the North American Premiere of BY SIDNEY LUMET, an American Masters Film, the US Premieres of BOLSHOI BABYLON, and the East Coast Premiere of SHERPA. Other films in the section include CROCODILE GENNADIY, DREAM/KILLER, HARRY & SNOWMAN, HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO, IN TRANSIT, PALIO, and THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER, to name a few.

HIFF’s World Cinema Narrative films include the World Premiere of THE PREPPIE CONNECTION, the North American Premieres of CAFE DERBY, BABAI and A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS, the US Premieres of 11 MINUTES, ALL ABOUT THEM, DHEEPAN, DISORDER, and the East Coast Premieres of 45 YEARS, ROOM, and THE WAVE. The section also includes THE CLUB, KRISHA, and SON OF SAUL, among others.

The Festival’s closing night (October 12) film is three-time Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg’s BRIDGE OF SPIES, a dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events. BRIDGE OF SPIES is the story of James Donovan (two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on a near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, BRIDGE OF SPIES also stars three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda.

Digital Media Pipeline

Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Media Pipeline conference focuses on the business-to-business opportunities in the delivery of digital entertainment. Conference sessions, which take place in Los Angeles, focus on the latest device and delivery technologies, digital and traditional retailing’s digital partnerships. It explores new and existing business models and current developments of digital delivery from content providers. At this October 14 single day symposium, session topics include: Discussion of Windows, Paid Video on Demand, Ad-Supported Video on Demand, Digital Supply Chain. The day closes with an open networking session.

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) is a not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $35 billion home entertainment industry. EMA-member companies operate approximately 35,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 45,000 around the world that sell and/or rent DVDs, computer and console video games and digitally distributed versions of these products. The EMA exists to protect the right to sell and rent entertainment products and content; promote the sale and rental of entertainment products and content; and provide a forum for all those engaged in the sale, rental and/or commercial delivery of home entertainment to consumers.

MIA ANIMATION is a Miami-located industry conference (and combined festival) that focuses on Computer Animation, Gaming, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, Film, Web Design and Visual Arts. Worked into the program agenda is time set aside for active networking and access for information retrieval, placing an emphasis on learning, along with the development and nurturing of new talent. Planned Master Classes on the schedule include: Intro to After Effects, After Effects Code for the Motion Designer, Leveling Up: Conquering Legal Issues for Animators and Game Designers, MAXOM Workshop, Harmony with David Costa, Life Drawing Master Class. Frank Gladstone, the current president of ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest organization of animation professionals in the world, is the 2015 conference Keynote Speaker.

GAME ON, will be an Indie Game Competition sponsored by MIA Animation, LLC in partnership with the IDEA CENTER at Miami Dade College. It features the following games: Galaxy Games by Andres Reyes and Brenna Verner, Heroes of Issachar by Blue Mana Entertainment, Gems Wars: Attack of the Jibletz by David Israel Nunez Alvear. The staging of this competition has been set up to encourage independent game development and fresh voices in the video game industry. The winning entry will receive a $1000 cash award and a consulting meeting with an incubator program. The Brickell Festival Dinner and a MAXON Festival After Party close out the event.

Portfolio reviews will be conducted over both days of the conference, from October 16-17, at the festival site by representatives of: CNN, NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fusion Networks, Shiver Entertainment, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Cartoon Network Studios. Interview requests are handled through this link

(http://www.miaanimation.com/portfolio-review/) on the website. Following the conference/festival, the MIA Animation Job Fair is from October 19-20. Recruiters expected to take part include: Disney Interactive, Walt Disney Television Animation, Neversoft Entertainment, Univision Communications, Obsidian Entertainment, D’Ocon Films, Open Pros. A Job Fair Sign Up form can be found at this link (http://www.miaanimation.com/job-fair/)

NYC Television Week

Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News, Next TV, and Ratings Intelligence present the third annual NYC Television Week will be co-located with the second annual Content Show, as well as best-of-industry conferences such as Advanced Advertising, Next TV Summit, and the Thirteenth Annual Hispanic Television Summit. NYC Television Week offers education, information, and networking for leaders in broadcast, cable, advertising, and technology companies serving the industry. On the October 20 opening evening for the three-day conference program, The 25th Anniversary Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, honors the pioneers, innovators and stars of the electronic arts. This black-tie affair offers a night of celebration and honors new inductees. Programming is structured to review the rapid evolution of television in all of its many facets. Three days of programming beginning October 20 are segmented into essentially five areas outlined below.

Advanced Advertising returns to NYC Television Week with an in-depth look and implementation strategies for the latest digital advertising technologies, programmatic TV, metrics, and addressability. The Content Show, back for its second year, engages executives and producers into a discussion of content development, production, marketing, monetization and the future of content production. This year its program is planned to cover more ground and attract a wide variety of content providers and deal makers. The Next TV Summit, with a focus on broadcasting, content, technology, digital media and OTT, is expected to be the only East Coast Next TV Summit held for the remainder of this year. This is the 13th annual Hispanic Television Summit, but its first time as part of NYC Television Week, covering programming, advertising, distribution technology for those in the business of providing video and television to Hispanic audiences.

Tokyo International Film Festival

Tokyo International Film Festival provides a platform in Tokyo for networking with the world film industries, developing international co-productions, and promoting the global film business. This year marks the 28th edition of TIFF, a festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). Over the nine days of the festival, beginning October 22, films from a variety of genres will be shown in several program sections. TIFF’s programming has varied events, including TIFFCOM, seminars for students, professionals and business people, and symposiums and workshops. TIFF also holds interactive discussion programs and business networking opportunities. As a part of “Japan Content Showcase 2015” TIFFCOM, the multi-content market, happens from October 20-22. Last year, TIFFCOM hosted 331 exhibitors and more than 1,150 buyers from around the world. The alliance with this co-located market event is a significant aspect of Tokyo International Film Festival.

The 28th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will continue to focus on Japanese animation, presenting a special program of “Mobile Suit Gundam,” an iconic work of robot animation. This will be the first-ever major screening occasion to showcase the Gundam franchise as well as the first time in TIFF history that the festival will present special screenings of animated works specific to a single series. It is nearly 35 years since the theatrical version of Mobile Suit Gundam was released, but it has since influenced other works most notably the Guillermo del Toro-directed PACIFIC RIM. In addition to screening the memorable first theatrical-released film and the legend, Mobile Suit Gundam directed by Yoshiyuki TOMINO, the festival plans to screen a few dozen works of TV series episodes, other films released in theaters, and shorts that have rarely appeared on the big screen.

Directors Shuji Terayama and Orson Welles will be the focus of retrospective screenings on “Geniuses East and West” at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. In commemoration of 80 years since Terayama’s birth, the festival is screening a special selection of the feature films that Terayama directed. This special selection includes, among other full-length works directed by Terayama, “Pastoral Hide and Seek (DEN’EN NI SHISU)” (1974), which was selected in the competition section of the 28th Cannes International Film Festival and “Labyrinth in the Field” (1979), which was based on the novel written by Kyoka Izumi.

TIFF’s Orson Welles Retrospective will be co-hosted by the National Film Center, Motion Picture Association, Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association. This retrospective celebrates a full century since the birth of Orson Welles (1915-1985) who created many legendary works in the history of global cinema following his acclaimed debut into movie making with “Citizen Kane” (1941). Welles’s directorial style gave rise to an expansive filmography that includes unfinished works and multiple versions of his films. At the centenary of Welles’s birth, this special selection of the director’s work-presented with the cooperation of the Munich Film Museum-includes “Citizen Kane” and supposedly comes closer to understanding ‘the unknown Orson Welles.’

In other notable special activity programming, TIFF event, Tokyo Cinema Cuisine, will assemble chefs in Japan at Roppongi Hills Arena presenting their special menus, only available at this food fest at TIFF. This event features authentic taste of Cantonese food emphasizing used ingredients, menu placement and well planned presentation suited to gourmet fans. During Cinema Music Jam produced by J-WAVE, various musicians from varying music genres meet at the Roppongi Hills Arena, from October 26-30. A band with talented musicians, including TOKU (vocal,flugelhorn), cellist Hajime Mizoguchi (cello) and Sarah Alainn (vocal, violin), will play with other notable and talented artists.


Vienna’s Viennale international film event is one of the oldest festivals in the German-speaking world. Every October, the Biennale happens in cinemas in and around Vienna’s historic center providing the festival with an international orientation. Every new festival season the Viennale creates a festival trailer. This year at the Viennale’s invitation, the Taiwanese filmmaker, Tsai Ming-liang, known from works such as REBELS OF THE NEON GOD, THE RIVER, THE HOLE and WAYWARD CLOUD, created a two-minute homage to an actor who has appeared in almost all of his films over the past thirty years, Lee Kang-sheng. This 2015 festival will be opened (October 22) with the new film of American director Todd Haynes, CAROL, which had its premiere at Cannes. CAROL tells the love story between Carol (Cate Blanchett), a high society woman, and a young department store clerk, Therese (Rooney Mara).

Among special programs at this year’s Viennale will be: Choreography of Desire – A Tribute to Tippi Hedren, focusing on the legendary classics, THE BIRDS and MARNIE, that were produced under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock; How Green was my Valley: A Tribute to filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira – remembered by Pedro Costaj; The Man from Ituzaingo, Raul Perrone – The Last of the Independents and his films in (and on the subject of) Ituzaingo, a small city 15 kilometers away from Buenos Aires; Tales of a Useful Life, Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj, and his compilation of only three full-length feature films along with a handful of short works.

In its main program, the Viennale shows a carefully picked selection of new films from all over the globe as well as from Austria, and the festival gives particular attention to documentary films, international short films, as well as experimental works and crossover films. The Viennale receives international acclaim for the large-scale retrospective on relevant aspects of film history it organises every year in collaboration with the Austrian Filmmuseum, its numerous special programs, as well as for its tributes and homages dedicated to important personalities and institutions in film-making. At the closing gala on November 5, the film ANOMALISA by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson will be screened. An interesting aspect of the screening is the cutting-edge format of stop-motion animation it uses. The conclusion of the festival is the awarding of the FIPRESCI Prize of the International Film Critics’ Association and the Vienna Film Prize of the City of Vienna.

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 on Facebook. This month’s photo placement displays featured subjects that are part of: Freak Show Horror Fest, MIA Animation Conference, Tokyo International Film Festival, The Viennale. If the photos do not appear in this post please visit the blog page to view it.

Heading into the fall months activity picks up, so looking ahead into the next month, be aware that: American Film Market and Conference opens in the beachfront hotels in Santa Monica, CCW/SATCON Convention comes to New York City, American Film Institute’s (AFI) annual festival that cooperates with AFM returns to Hollywood, Thessaloniki International Film Festival will be in Thessaloniki, Stockholm International Film Festival is in Stockholm, Dubai International Film Festival is in Dubai, ASCAP Rhythm & Soul at SAE Institute conducts an Educational Panel in Los Angeles, and the Asia Pacific Entertainment Finance Forum co-located within Hawaii International Film Festival will be in Honolulu.