The Oscars, LUNAFEST, European Indie Film Fest…Music Make Money, ShoBiz Expo

This year at the Durango Independent Film Festival, a special filmmaker panel will be titled, “Avatar and the Use of 3-D in Narrative Film,” and will be held at Jean-Pierre Bakery and Wine Bar in Durango. There are also many parties at the festival, which runs through March 7, including Welcome the Filmmakers Party & Sutcliffe Wine Tasting.

In Toronto, the World of Comedy Film Festival presents comedy films from around the world showcasing films of the genre from both Canadian and International filmmakers, and classic comedy favorites, through March 7. The Athens International Sci-Fi & Fantasy Film Festival, organized by the Science Fiction Club of Athens, Greece, had its roots as a retrospective of Greek genre short films but has now become international in scope.

The festival runs March 4-10 in Athens. The Miami Film Society in association with Miami Dade College’s School of Entertainment & Design Technology, and the University of Miami’s School of Communication, opens the Miami International Film Festival, March 5-14, hosting a festival format that presents the REEL Seminar Series, with dialogue from speakers discussing various aspects of the creative process of film production and financing to distribution and new technologies, and continues the Encuentros Program, started in 2003 to import commercially viable projects from both Spain and Latin America to Miami.

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PitchMarket 2010 in Vancouver, on March 6-7, promises the opportunity to meet decision makers from every level – big budget studio execs to low-budget indie producers – creating opportunities for networking as in the Sunday Networking Breakfast in the Sunday PitchMarket, and the Oscar Wrap Party with a full dinner menu held on closing night. PitchMarket is making a list of confirmed executives available on its Facebook page.

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars, will be broadcast live from Los Angeles over the ABC Television network beginning at 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific time. Across the U.S., sanctioned viewing parties will be given, produced by local nonprofit organizations with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station. The Oscar Night America events are held under the auspices of the Academy, capturing the festive atmosphere of the official program taking place at The Kodak Theater. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will serve as co-hosts of the 82nd Awards.

LUNAFEST, the fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities, opens exactly on the day of International Women’s Day, March 8, offering just one of many events taking place in the month honoring women and women’s achievements.

The Tenth Annual International Film & TV Summit looks at the role of banks and specialized finance companies in providing financing for film production, and how to obtain financing to get independent feature films made, distributed and marketed in challenging economic times. It meets in Los Angeles from March 8-9.

This year at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, in addition to usual conference lectures, panels, tutorials and round-tables, the twelfth annual Independent Games Festival, where new, unpublished games compete for the attention of the publishing community, is also taking place, along with the tenth annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Many parties and networking functions will be held, including the iPhone Games Summit Reception.

The Center for Asian America Media hosts the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) every March as a showcase for new Asian American and Asian films, this year running from March 11-21. The opening night gala and reception at the Asian Art Museum, treats its guests with free-flowing desserts and drinks.

The Opening Night Filmmakers Reception and Cocktail Party for the Honolulu Film Festival, given along the shores of Waikiki Beach, from March 12-14, is held from Tiki’s Grill and Bar. After three days of film screenings, special Hawaiian premieres, celebrity tributes, interactive panel discussions, a screenplay competition, a filmmaker reception luau, there will be a Closing Night Awards Ceremony to close the festival at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort.

While the ECU goal for the European Independent Film Festival is to bring worldwide attention to European independent filmmakers, there are also four foreign categories open to independent filmmakers from the Americas, Africa and Asia. And to make the ECU Film Festival a rewarding film festival experience for all during its run in Paris, March 12-14, festival goers can attend editing workshops given by AVID, screenwriting labs hosted by Scriptshark, join in on discussion panels just as attending directors have the opportunity to speak about their films at the “Speak to the Directors” panel sessions, and get hands-on experience with the latest filmmaking technology.

South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival will be conducted in three parts: Interactive, on March 12-16; Film, on March 12-20; Music, on March 17-21. Regarded as a place of discovery and interactivity, the event in Austin offers multiple networking opportunities and immersion into the art and business of the areas it addresses.

The 24th annual South By Southwest Barbecue and Softball Tournament, happens Sunday, March 21, at Monroe “Lefty” Krieg softball complex. A March 13 New York workshop, titled, “Hit Factory: Making Your Music Make Money,” will use the morning hours to present “Understanding Your Market”; helping to develop individual business strategies, followed by the afternoon session that will continue with “Making The Hits,” then finish with “Selling the Hits.” Songs by workshop attendees will be reviewed and all attending are encouraged to either bring their song recordings on an iPod or a CD.

BMI is a co-sponsor of The Latin Rock Conference, a platform of selection and promotion of up and coming Latin Rock bands. The conference will begin a rock tour that moves through various music halls of Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn to select the ten best Latin bands in New York that will go on to play in the Grand Concert at Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, in July.

The 2010 winning band will travel to Colombia to participate in “Rock al Parque” (Rock to the Park) in Bogota, one of the largest concerts of this music in this country. The Bermuda International Film Festival takes place in Hamilton, March 19-25, and is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award, screening some 30 shorts plus seven documentary features and seven narrative features in competition.

The Delray Beach Film Festival gets started this year March 22-28, and has a short screenplay competition, sidebar programs dedicated to 3D films, music videos, environmental films, and surf and extreme sports films. But this year at Delray will also feature Ellen Jacoby of Ellen Jacoby Casting International presenting a casting workshop, and Michelle Hillery from the Palm Beach Film and Television Commission hosting a filmmaker brunch.

Women’s International Film & Arts Festival, held annually during Women’s History month, WIFF 2010 will include nine days of film viewings, from March 26 through April 3, in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, along with workshops, panel discussions and parties to celebrate women’s history month and WIFF. ShowBiz Expo New York offers a wide range of networking opportunities including the Exhibit Hall, Workshops/Seminars, Designers’ Showcase, Focus Groups, Round Table Discussions, Film Festival, Headshot Displays for casting, live auditions for performers, Movie Reel Showcase, Original Music Showcase, and much more.

The Association for Performing Arts & Entertainment Professionals opens its annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology in Kansas City, March 31 through April 3. The conference is geared specifically to the design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry, and this year will celebrate 50 years with a special anniversary party.

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. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog.

Follow the posting of the news summary on Twitter. After a brief layoff for restructuring purposes, the video news summary looks to make an early reappearance this month featuring new video and upcoming album release from UK’s soulful, break beat songstress Bukola, electronic, ambient music producers and feature filmmakers, Padded Cell Productions of Toronto, and the “spiritual fusion acoustic sitar experimental chanting spoken word improvisation” of Scot Aaron and Govinda Schlegel who form Shaman Strings.

These videos are now available on the Free Home Video Showcase which now serves as an archive for all past video presentations but without the audio news narration.