When In Rome Visit The Film Festival

While Rome, affectionately referred to as la Città Eterna (“the Eternal City”), is often visited due to its rich history, its stunning architecture or renowned cuisine, later this month from the 18th to the 27th of October, visitors can experience the Rome Film Festival. Although it is only in its second year, it has attracted a high number of private sponsors, and the City Council of Rome, in the name of the Mayor and film-buff Walter Veltroni, the Province of Rome and the Lazio Region all strongly support it both in terms of institutional communication and economic investment.

The actual title of the festival in Italian is Festa, which could be translated as feast, not festival, and is apt, since it is more a celebration of the joy of cinema than a regular film festival. Indeed, though the Rome Film Festival’s jury includes a renowned director as its president, last year Ettore Scola, the rest of the 50 jurors are not film professionals but are, in fact, regular moviegoers selected both in Italy and Europe.

Although it enjoys fierce rivalry with the Venice Film Festival, The Rome Film Festival has attracted its own audience and this year will host the world premiere of 11 new films. Among the most exciting is ‘Youth Without Youth’ – Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film in a decade. The film is about a timid Romanian professor who becomes young again after being hit by lightning. The five-time Oscar-winning director wrote the film based on a novella by Romanian philosopher-author Mircea Eliade and has been described as his “third renaissance” after ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘The Godfather’.

Coppola’s film appears out of competition, along with a number of American films exploring the political climate post 9/11. These include Robert Redford’s ‘Lions for Lambs’ and Gavin Hood’s ‘Rendition’. ‘Lions for Lambs’ stars Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep and tells the story of two soldiers wounded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan and the repercussions back home. ‘Rendition’ is about an American woman trying to track down her Egyptian-born husband, who is held at a secret CIA detention centre. It also stars Meryl Streep, as well as Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon.

The 14 movies in competition for the top Marcus Aurelius award for Best Film include ‘El Pasado’ (The Past), with Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, ‘Li Chun’ (translated as ‘And the Spring Comes’) from China’s Chang Wei Gu, ‘Barcelona (un mapa)’ (translated as ‘Barcelona, a Map’) by Spain’s Ventura Pons and Alain Corneau’s ‘La Deuxieme Souffle’ (translated as ‘Second Wind’), starring Monica Bellucci and Daniel Auteuil. Separate awards for Best Actress and Best Actor, as well as a special jury prize, will also be handed out.

In addition to the more mainstream fare, the festival also boasts dedicated sections for alternative productions and documentaries, children films, first films by new directors and the craft of acting.

Visitors wishing to experience the Rome Film Festival can take advantage of cheap flights to Rome’s two main international airports, Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, more commonly known as “Fiumicino airport”, and Ciampino International Airport. From either airport travellers can catch a train or bus or arrange private transfer to get to their final destination with ease. Hotels in Rome can be booked online in advance, which is recommended, especially due to the popularity of the festival. Last year’s inaugural edition attracted half-a-million visitors and this year is looking to top that.

About The Hollywood Film Industry

The Hollywood film industry is an amalgamation of technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking. It generally consists of film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, actors, directors, and film personnel.

Today the Hollywood film industry is positioned across the world. In this 21st century, the major business centers of filmmaking are concentrated in United States, India and China. Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California that is situated in west- northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural individuality of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a connotation for the cinema of United States which is popularly known as the Hollywood film Industry.

The history of the Hollywood Film Industry probably started in the hands of D.W. Griffith when the Biograph Company sent him and his crew. They started filming on a vacant lot in downtown Los Angeles in early 1910. Soon the company decided to explore new territories to find that the region was quite friendly and enjoyable for shooting.

Therefore, Griffith filmed the first ever movie shot in Hollywood. The title of the film was “In Old California”. The movie company then stayed there for months to shoot several of their films and returned to New York.

Starting in 1913, this wonderful place came into the limelight when moviemakers started heading to the west. The first feature film made in Hollywood was called ‘The Squaw Man” This resulted in the birth of Hollywood Film Industry.

Nestor Studio, founded in 1911 was the first movie studio in Hollywood. Fifteen other small studios also settled in Hollywood. Gradually, Hollywood came to be so powerfully associated with the film industry that this term began to be used as a synonym for the entire industry.

During the time period of the first World War, Hollywood become the movie capital of the world. Previously mentioned, Nester studio became the Hollywood Digital Laboratory. By the year 1950, music recording studios and offices began moving to Hollywood, though much of the movie industry remained there.

The world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame was constructed in the year 1958 and the first star was placed in 1960. The Walk of Fame was placed as a tribute to the artists working in the entertainment industry. It is embedded with more than 2,000 five pointed stars featuring the names of celebrities, as well as fictional characters.

Self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust maintains this Walk of Fame. The first star to receive this honor was Joanne Woodward. The artist received a star based on career and lifetime achievements in motion pictures, live theatres, radio, television, and music.

The famous Hollywood symbol, originally read Hollywoodland, was constructed in the year 1923 as an advertisement of a new housing development. The sign was left to worsen until in 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce repaired and removed the last four letters.

The sign located at Mount Lee, is now a registered trademark hence cannot be used without the permission of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Hollywood Film Industry can be called the Mecca of film industries. Though geographically it is located in Hollywood, it resides in the hearts of millions of film lovers and film related personalities. Hollywood remains and will remain a king, without a scepter.

Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films

My husband and I began visiting Palm Springs in the late 1970’s. We rented a small condominium on Ramon Road near to downtown which we’ve kept for many years. Then we began to explore. From our first visit we knew we would return to the desert many times more and we have. It was then that we discovered the Palm Springs International Film Festival which has become famous around the world. In the words of the Festival’s Vision statement the “….. society strives for a world in which enlightenment, knowledge and tolerance prevail.” The best was yet to come.

In 1994 we happened upon the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films now in its seventeenth year and the largest short film festival in the United States. Now commonly known as The Shortfest, it attracts an incredibly eclectic group of industry people and films which now exceed over three hundred screenings each season from filmmakers from over 40 countries. Last year nearly 15,000 people, two of them being George and I, attended the festival which now includes twenty awards in six categories. First place winners are available to be considered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and those winners in the action and animation categories are automatically eligible for consideration. Three of the recent films to have been screened are Nine, Precious and the Hurt Locker.

It has been said that the Shortfest, which typically runs in June, is a spin off of the International Film Festival which is held in January of each year but to us it is so interesting and enjoyable that we feel it should and can stand on its own. In fact, almost 50 of the short films have gone on to be Academy Award nominees and each year $70,000 in prize money is awarded and awards are given in the category of the “Best of the Fest” and for us the “Future Filmmaker” category is our favorite.

In addition, we always make a point of attending seminars and for George the receptions where he likes to gab with others who enjoy not only the films but the wonderful festival itself. There are year ’round screenings and special events and a library of films totaling at least 2,200 short films, known as “The Short Film Market” which is available at the Festival’s viewing facilities and industry, filmmakers and the press are encouraged to take advantage of the amazing collection of films available.

Why You Should Attend a Film Festival

A film festival is an extended presentation of movies at a screening venue. It can be on a particular theme, or focus on a specific director’s work. You can often interact with the director, cast, and critics after the screening. It is a great way to meet others who share your interest in movies belonging to a particular genre. New York’s first Dominican Film Festival began this month. It touches on political issues, as well as concerns of the Dominican diaspora.

Some film festivals are free, so you can enjoy viewing movies which may not be available for viewing otherwise. Award winning films, which are international, can also be part of the event. These are usually annual events, organized by cultural organizations.

Look at details of previous year film festivals to understand the kind of movies which are screened by the organizing body. This will help you determine whether they are in sync with your taste. Even if you have watched a few of the films before, you are likely to appreciate the other movies being screened, because they will also belong to the same genre.

A body which is focused on justice can screen films on slavery, and lead a discussion on issues related to freedom. In case you are a law student, this will be of interest to you. If you are an amateur film maker, you can ask questions of professional film makers attending the festival. As you are unlikely to come in contact with these kinds of people in daily life, you should prepare any questions you have for them in advance.

Search online for organizations in your area which hold film festivals. Sign up for their email newsletters to stay informed about dates and venue details. You can go to these events with your friends, family, or colleagues, and expose them to new movies.

Some film festivals specialize in short films. Others focus on a different theme every year, such as Asian cinema, horror, or a famous director’s work. Often there is a competitive category, which celebrity judges from the field of cinema to evaluate them and award prizes.

Watching a film on the big screen is a different experience from watching it on television, or on your laptop. The atmosphere at events of this nature is often festive, and you can enjoy spotting celebrities watching movies too.

The Cannes Film Festival For Tourists

The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s most renowned film festival. It is an indulging event which celebrates the art of acting and films both new and old. It takes place annually in May in Cannes, once a small fishing village, Cannes is now a glamorous and expensive seaside town.

Celebrities attending the festival travel from all over the world, each bringing their own headlines for the celebrity thirsty press. In the last couple of years, top actors such as Eva Longoria, Ryan Phillippe and Hayden Panettiere have been seen there. The most notable celebrity event in 2008 was Angelina Jolie confirming she was carrying twins.

Although regular tourists aren’t permitted to attend the official film screening, which is reserved for filmmakers, actors and the media, it is still possible to get a taste and even watch some of the films in the selection. Following this, tourists can buy souvenir such as posters, t-shirts and other memorable goods in tents which are set up on the outskirts of the festival.

For celebrity-spotting, you can crowd the barricades near the red carpet in the evenings, however schedule watching is a must as only barely-known celebrities graze the red carpet on some nights. Come equipped with a camera and get there early for the best spot.

There are hotel suites named after movie stars, movie star cocktails, wall-filling movie-star murals and, recently placed all over town, life-sized hardboard cut-outs of movie stars with their faces missing. Don’t let this put you off. Alongside the extravagant hotels that accommodate the rich and famous, Cannes offers reasonably priced hotels and apartments. For example, the Appia Hotel is a basic two-star but relatively comfortable hotel that provides a base 200m from the beach and the grounding for Cannes Film Festival. To find out more about hotels in Cannes and to make sure you are in the right area for celeb-spotting, make sure you have a look at a travel guide of Cannes so you can plan ahead.

Marketing Strategy and Movie Distribution Plans

It’s too easy to neglect having a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan when producing on an indie film budget. Producers are focused on fleshing out a tight screenplay, hiring cast and crew while keeping track of every dollar they spend. Studio budget movies hire goliath companies to develop a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan for their latest blockbuster.

Indie filmmakers have to get creative with their marketing strategy and movie distribution plan so their creative hard work doesn’t just disappear after it’s done. I’ve been learning a lot of good stuff by following what other filmmakers are doing to market a movie in order to make film distribution money.

One movie with a sexually driven theme created artwork and an attention grabbing marketing package that included condoms with the name of the film printed on them. I read they stood out at film festivals with this creative approach. There are also rare indie produced movies that are so damn entertaining they secure meaningful movie distribution without a strong marketing strategy to promote them.

But why take the gamble that your movie will be one of the rare ones? Thinking about a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan early as possible is what successful indie producers do. I don’t read entertainment industry trades like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety because they don’t have information based off the real life indie cinema scene.

I’ve been turning to blogs more and more that are ran by indie producers and filmmakers that share what marketing strategies and movie distribution plans have worked for them. I really like reading Indie Slate Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine because they spend time focusing on the business of indie filmmaking not just the creative part of the process.

Creating an online buzz for an indie feature is one of the most effective ways to market a movie without having to spend money you don’t have. It only takes personal time to run a movie blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, Google +1 and other popular social networking outlets. Crowd funding for indie movies has really shown that people do respond to online marketing. The effort to keep a movie blog fresh and stay connected with people pays off in the end. Building interest for a movie online is the way to go.

Having an idea of what the movie distribution plan is going to be will depend on what you want as a producer. Are you going to self-distribute or look to land a distribution deal with a company?

Movie self-distribution makes financial sense for smaller budget indie films. Self-distribution allows the creators to keep control of the rights to their movie. Less money has to be made from direct sales to make a real profit from a movie because there aren’t distribution fees and percentages taken out by a distributor. Many filmmakers have made money for their film investors and themselves from their work through self-distribution combined with an aggressive online marketing push they do themselves.

Landing a movie distribution deal normally offers greater exposure and more people see a movie that is released by a film distribution company worldwide than a self-distributed titled. Movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films usually don’t put together a big marketing strategy. They have relationships with film buyers all over the world that receive their catalog of available titles or see what they have at film markets.

Avoid a past mistake I made by sitting back after signing a distribution deal expecting the distributor to market the hell out of the title. It’s important to still have a workable marketing strategy after you sign a movie distribution agreement. You’ll have to check with the distributor to see what you can and can’t do to market your movie online. But overall it’s a win-win for both parties in exposure and film sales.

A Film Festival For Global Peace

This is an international film festival sans glamour. A film festival sans the star parade, rocking parties and the hype. This is a film festival with a passion-a commitment to make our planet earth a better place to live.

The 7 Islands International Film Festival (7iiff) for Non-Violent Resistance, Global Disarmament and Peace was born in 2006 thanks to the dedicated efforts of a few global citizens residing in Mumbai. Maybe for the first time a film festival was not just restricted to filmmakers. Several socio-cultural organizations dedicated to peace and the Gandhi ideology put in their strength behind it.

Coordination and publicity work was mostly done through the internet. And the response was tremendous. Committed filmmakers from all around the globe joined in forwarding their film videos entirely at their own cost. The foreign embassies consulates situated in India also contributed their might. The issues of the films were a revelation. The legacy of the Martin Luther Kings, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other lesser known and even unknown mass movement heroes was brought alive; strong anti-war commentaries were heard, seen and felt in the films dealing with the imperialist designs of the US on Iraq, the Israel stalemate, the Latin American problems, India-Pakistan brouhaha and so on. A universal condemnation of global terrorism got echoed all around.

Significantly, 7iiff is slotted during January 26-30 every year. January 26th is observed as the Republic Day in India that is India became a democratic republic with a full fledged constitution on this very day in 1950 January 30th is the Martyrdom day-the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on that day in 1948. ‘Seven Islands’ refers to erstwhile Bombay-now Mumbai- which was a group of islands in the ancient times put together in the form of a city by the British nearly four hundred years ago. Devastating terror attacks had taken place here in Mumbai in recent times and Mumbai has now become a permanent terror target. The Festival aims to mobilize the Mumbai residents into a formidable peace front to reject the terror stigma.

The Festival strives to offer solutions to global problems through non-violent resistance and disarmament. It wants to imbibe the youth with the peace ideology through some excellent films that are instant attractions. As has been demonstrated time and again wars, terrorism and violence not only hinder world progress but also impairs human mind and personality development.

And it has been a film feast too. Outstanding works of many famous award winning filmmakers and also many unknown filmmakers have been showcased here. Films have been discussed debated upon through proactive forums. To serve the dual purpose of art and commitment the festival authorities have recently announced that from the year 2009 7iiff is going to competitive with an Award of 2,00,000 Indian rupees for the best film of the festival. Any film dedicated to the themes of non-violence, peace, disarmament-be it in the format of a documentary, feature or animation film-can vie for the Award.