Tag - film festival

Newport Beach UK Honours Kicks Off BAFTA Weekend With Celebration of UK Creative Talent

In a star-studded celebration of the best of UK talent from film, television, and music, the Newport Beach Film Festival kicked off BAFTA weekend with the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours on Feb. 7 at The Langham London.

For 20 years, the Newport Beach Film Festival, one of the fasted growing luxury lifestyle film festivals in the United States, has included a dedicated UK showcase during its 10-day program.  Starting in 2015, the film festival and Visit Newport Beach partnered to elevate the connection to the UK industry by honoring talent via the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours held in London just ahead of the BAFTA Awards. Honours include Arts Champions, Breakout Talent, Artists of Distinction, Icons, and Outstanding Achievement in Cinema.

2019 Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honours Honorees


Stan & Ollie – Jon S. Baird, Jeff Pope


The Favourite


Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, All or Nothing), John Llyod (Blackadder, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)


Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip), Lily Cole (Balls, Snow White and the Huntsman), Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones, Fortitude), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey, A United Kingdom)


Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth, The Bisexual), Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, High Resolution), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ready Player One), Louis Ashbourne Serkis (The Kid Who Would be King, Mowgli)


MediCinema, Women in Film and Television

Tanner Beard on the True Reasons for the 2nd Mammoth Film Festival

ATM: How does your film festival bring a film purpose for exhibition, exploration, and a creative nature?

TB: This is a great question. I would love to answer this question. What is cool about our film festival are the creators happen to be filmmakers themselves. I am a filmmaker and as is co-founder Tomik Mansoori. Theo Dumont has been in the festival game for 15 years with his film festival Hollyshorts and Alexandra Chando, our festival manager, is also a great actress. She has starred on her own television series for several years and she is now directing. I would like to think about this as a film festival by filmmakers for filmmakers. All of us understand the plight of making a film, being in a film, and how much a festival can pivot your movie for the better.

We have all been in the business for years and gone through the festival circuits. I have been competing in festivals for the last decade. I wanted to cherry-pick a few things I learned from those festivals and apply them to MammothFF to make it different but familiar.

ATM: All films start in the film festival phase. This is whether it picks up distribution and goes to the Oscars or just remain an indie film. They all start here. It is more like an NFL draft pick. The distributors are the recruiters.  There is a misconception to some people in the nonentertainment that think a film just magically appears at the theatres, on the television, and streaming platforms.

TB: This is a great way to look at it. This is another thing we like to think about too. The first world premiere that we ever showcased at this film festival starred Sophie Turner, of Game of Thrones. This was an indie film and for this to be our first thing out of the shoot, the bar was immediately raised very high and set a tone for what we set out to accomplish. If you get accepted into this film festival, you also have a chance for distribution, that’s something we’ll continue to build on. The idea of, you can be bought and sold at the Mammoth Film Festival. This is our purpose. A poor analogy if you will -If you are here, it’s like being an athlete well on their way to being chosen into the NFL draft. You are going to play for the Dallas Cowboys or the Kansas City Chiefs, ha.

ATM: What characteristics do you feel this film festival give off that is like its animalistic title?

TB: This is such a lovely question and a fun one to answer. I am a Texan at heart, and I was born in Texas. I live in LA now. There is a saying in Texas “Everything is bigger in Texas.” With a name like ours, everything is bigger in Mammoth. Our huge world premieres with huge talent and mega movie stars like Zac Efron, Jennifer Morrison, Xzibit, Josh Duhamel, and Lamourne Morris. All of these stars walk the streets of Mammoth Lakes, California during the festival. They’re eating where you’re eating and skiing where you’re skiing. We go big with events. We have an 80s Ski Lodge party that is going to be an absolute blast. We have a celebrity charity bowling tournament. We have an exhibition hall called MammothCON, which is going to grow into its own convention. All of this was established in our first year. We were called the biggest first-year festival ever organized. If that’s is not mammoth, I don’t know what is, (laughs).

ATM: How do the definitions of togetherness and mentorship infuse themselves into the festival’s mission statement?

TB: This is a great question too. It takes some film festivals years and years to develop interactive film discussions. The togetherness of the people who speak on our panels offers a huge amount of mentorship. The interaction we can have with people who sign up for our panels, they get direct access to talk to these producers of who’s representation precedes them. 

ATM: How does working in the business side of the film and performance side bounce off each other?

TB: I started off just doing acting and filmmaking. Now, I am doing 1 or 2 projects as an actor a year. 1 or 2 projects as a filmmaker a year. To go in having the business side, you really appreciate each other’s job. Building a festival is like doing ten movies at the same time. There are so many moving parts.

ATM: How does the area’s weather climate impact the ways a person might perceive the festival?

TB: Well, we have been compared to Sundance in only our 2nd year due to the landscape of Mammoth Lakes, California. It is a beautiful ski resort town and a wonderful place to house a film festival. They are calling it “California’s Underground Sundance” already. It is kind of unfair for us because Sundance has been going on for almost 30 years. We are only a 2nd-year film festival. My goal is by 2022 to be in the top 25 film festivals in the world. With the number of movies, we are able to world premiere and screen with the caliber of our talent. We are well on our way. The snow and the landscape here are what makes our film festival special. Thank you, Town of Mammoth Lakes.

ATM: I would also assume Texas has taught you some things. There are life traits. How do your Texas roots spread throughout your job in carrying out of the responsibilities?

TB: I had a great mentor Suzanne Weinert. She is also the president of the Austin Film Society. She is a great Texan producer. She really took me under her wing. Me being from Texas, I spend a lot of time doing movies in Austin, Texas. I got to compete in SXSW a couple of times. The comradery that the Austin film circuit has, trained me to carry on with that comradery we built with Mammoth Film Festival.

ATM: Every state as a slogan they go by. For example Virginia is the state for Lovers. Texas is the state for Friendship. How has friendships and partnerships helped you?

TB: They are everything. Tomik Mansoori is not only one my best friends but also my business partner in this whole thing. He and I have gone through hell and high water every day as the co-founders of this film festival. We have people with us like Theo Dumont, Alexandra Chando, Nicole Castro and Dylan Efron. If we were not close friends, then I do not think we could bear the difficulties there are to put this festival on.

ATM: How does going through the process if it being hell and high water metaphorically do you all make the waters become calm like the Mammoth Lakes in California? How do you make it ease and stay calm?

TB: All of us throw the pattern away and throw our egos away. There is no handbook on how to make a successful festival. We do not know really what our festival is going to be until submissions come in. We have made sure we never lose control of the boat on the open water. We take it one day at a time. We have really ambitious goals for this festival. We depend on each other and take a lot of deep breaths. There’s’ only 5 of us. We know that at the end of the day what we are doing and the organization we formed is doing great things for some many people. But we’re happy to be creating what I’ve heard called, “secret star studded, underground film festival that only the who’s who know about.” (laughs).

Newport Beach Film Festival Fall Honors

20th anniversary of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch, and the kick off of Newport Beach Film Festival’s year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary. The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world to Orange County, showcasing a diverse collection of international studio and independent films from all film categories; embracing the passion, vision, and independent spirit of both emerging and seasoned filmmakers. The 20th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival will take place from April 25th – May 2nd, 2019, presenting hundreds of films to over 50,000 attendees.

NBFF and Variety round out their First Annual Fall Honors Event, recognizing Robert Forster (What They Had) with the ICON Award, and Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (upcoming All About Nina), and Topher Grace (BlacKkKlansman) with Artist of Distinction Awards. Photo by Joe Scarnici

The Panamanian International Film Festival in Los Angeles Artistic Director and Founder, award-winning Actor-Director-Producer Carlos Carrasco

ATM: What are your daily duties as the director of PANAFEST by the Panamanian International Film Festival in Los Angeles?

Carlos: Oh my God! The list is long. You wear a lot of hats when you are producing something like this. We finalized the programming, which means selecting the films that are going to be in the festival and arranged them in some form or order that makes sense. There’s a timing for everything and for getting everything put together. So, we got that done. My co-director was in Spain and we worked long distance trying to make time because we were nine hours apart. Sometimes we talked when it was 4 o’clock in the morning. She is young and can do these kinds of hours. We also had to get all the branding correct for everybody on the materials they are putting out. We had to coordinate with the venue and the technical people down there…  There are just a lot of things to do.

ATM: Where did you gain your leadership abilities?

Carlos: Whenever I am in a situation, I end up being the person that everyone refers to: “Ask Carlos”, or tell me “You do it”. Someone told me a long time ago: “There are two kinds of people in the world: There are people that lead and there are people that follow.” I am just a person that leads. I have been in this position in different circumstances many times. This goes back to when I was in New York for 13 years. The last 6 years while I was there, I was the executive director of a non-profit organization for Latin actors. This was handed to me. They did not know what to do and thought that maybe I could fix it. There I was around for 6 years. I got the grants and the programs going. I produced all of their activities.

Then, I finally moved out to Los Angeles. I wanted to focus on being an actor. I got involved just as a member in a theater company out here that focused on classical theater. Sure enough, little by little, they needed someone to do this and someone to write that. Just in the last three years, I was with this company administering. I left this and started another arts organization, which has an art collective of actors and directors. We do different projects. Everything from putting out plays, to poetry readings, to doing short films. I ran this as well, and when I left it just fell apart.

I enjoy producing. Producing is a challenging endeavor, but it is challenging in the fact that it involves a lot of creativity. When you are producing something, basically you are solving problems. Every day you get up and again something else happens. A director quits…or the venue says you cannot have acrobats. Every day is about being creative, coming up with ideas and solving whatever comes up.

ATM: What can an emerging filmmaker from the backgrounds that The Panamanian International Film Festival represents learn from you?

Carlos: I would encourage any young or emerging person to create his or her own projects. I wish I had started doing this myself earlier in my career. I think people that get into this industry do so thinking somewhere along the lines [someone] is going to take them by hand and take them to the Promised Land. This is not necessarily the case. You really must put in the work and the effort. You must figure out what you want to be and how you are going to do it. I want to say this, especially in film. Nowadays with all the advancement in technology pretty much everyone is making films. You can even make one on your phone. I have seen people advance their careers by using a piece of technology and creativity where they just sat down and made it themselves. You have to show up.

I think Woody Allen said this: “You have to show up.”  Short films are a great calling card for someone who is just starting. I am producing this event in conjunction with another gentleman who is also very involved in short films.

ATM: Name some creative aspects that are seen in you as a director and as an actor.

Carlos: As a director, because I am an actor and have a background first, one of the things I most enjoy about directing is working with the actor. This has been my experience as well as a film actor. The directors have gone to film schools and learned about the dolly shots and the cranes. Also, what does an actor go through? What is an actor’s process? How do you support the actor? How do you get them to where you want them to be? I try to apply this when I am directing because I am an actor. I know what is involved and I also know about the insecurities. I have found that in the doing of it that, apparently, I am very good at it. People have always come up to me at the end of projects and told me how much they have enjoyed it. As an actor, I most enjoy the language. I have studied a lot of literature before I trained as a classical actor. You can take everything else away as long as the language is clear, and the story rises in terms of the language.

ATM: What could a first timer who is attending PANAFEST expect?

Carlos: A lot of variety. We have 40 films from about 12 different countries. This year we have been grouping them by themes like comedy, relationship comedy, immigration, and documentaries. It is remarkable how much good work is out there. A lot of what we are trying to do is expose the artist and build networking opportunities for as many people as we can. We have 16 hours of screen time. We discovered that focusing on short films gives us an opportunity to expose more people. Our shortest short is about 2 minutes and our longest short is about 20 minutes long. The average is about 12 minutes of length for the films. We have gotten comedies. There is a couple of cases about immigration that are just heartbreaking. We have a couple of feature-length films. We have an action adventure film. We also have a wonderful feature-length film from Panama about the West Indie cultures.

ATM: What are things about your love for acting that you are still learning about?

Carlos: The learning never stops. The literature changes because actors are depending on writing. It is always a challenge when you come up across new material. Acting is an ongoing experiment. You cannot label anybody. There is no one set way on how to approach an actor’s part. You must use language as a tool. There is voice production. There is always a process going on and always something to learn.

ATM: Throughout your whole acting career, how has acting influenced or changed you are a son, uncle, and as a man. What about acting have you taken and implemented into your own life?

Carlos: Acting has been my life. I have been doing this my whole adult life and it has formed many decisions in my life. Little decisions. Big decisions, like where I live, and whether I would get married or not. I appreciate that I have had the ability of having been able to pursue what was really a calling for me. When I was growing up in Latin America, there were only about four honorable professions you could go into: lawyer, pharmacist, computers, or priest. God forbid you chose anything else. It is just not this way anymore.

I struck out on my own. I had a little bit of a rebellious streak. No one could tell me what I could and could not do. The fact that I pursued acting influenced my life completely. Acting took me to the United States and out of Panama. I could not have made it there. Acting was nothing; there was no industry there. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship that changed my life. All of the decisions that I made from the time I was in school onwards had to do with striving to achieve my goal.

Marti Hines and Jasmin Greene New Production Paper Friends

Jasmin Greene and Marti Hines started out as college friends at Hampton University to now having their own production company called Dique Pic Productions. In 2015, this company was formed with the aim to bridging the gap of lack of representation for women of color in Hollywood. Their first film die Expats explored the foundations of friendship, love, and relationships. ATM sits down with the duo as their give insight on their current production Paper Friends that continues these narratives.

ATM: How do you want the element of friendship to create a response based on your film?

Jasmin: It really is about being in your mid 30’s and examining relationships in your life whether they be romantic or platonic. It is about taking a look at where you are in your life, where your friends are, and where you expected/hoped to be and how these disappointments or actualizations affect your relationships.

ATM: Marti can you express more of what you took away from the film?

Marti: We are in our mid 30’s. Jas and I met in college, so we’ve known each other a while. Some of the relationships I had back then have changed, some relationships have faded.

Paper Friends gives you that feeling of wanting to reconnect to see if the friendship or bond is still there. This is what Paper Friends explored.

ATM: How are you all going to allow the film to let the characters understand that their college self is different than their adult self? This is constantly wrongly represented in films about reconnecting with old friends.

Jasmin: When they meet back up for the first time they see how personalities have shifted. For example, London was always a very confident, borderline self-centered person. However, as time has passed and certain dreams of hers have not been actualized, she has become darker, more stuck up, more bitchy. But through watching her journey you get it at the end-it really is tough to wake up one day, no longer in your 20’s with the world at your feet, and not have things you for sure knew you would.

Marti: You have our character Waverly who is still fighting for the dream she always wanted. She is an actress and was a drama major at NYU. They are reconnecting at 40. Waverly is still passionate and still on that road, trying to actualize her dreams although she has had no big breaks and is struggling. But as she’s gotten older she’s gotten even more passionate and more certain that this is the career and life for her and even though she wants to give up at times, its more important now than ever that she doesn’t.

ATM: Jasmin and Marti discuss your favorite scene while writing Paper Friends.

Jasmin: My favorite scene is with our married couple, Carson and Ana. They have a huge argument in the middle of Times Square. A lot of hurtful things are said, but a lot of truth is revealed too. You feel for both of them.

Marti: I love the beginning of how we jump into them eating dinner, everyone is reconnecting after years, you get to learn more about each person and how they ended up there.

ATM: This film is a follow up from your die Expats. How did you think to take the exploration of love, lust, identity, and modern relationships to the next level with Paper Friends?     

Marti: It is really about reflection. It is taking a look at the goals of when you are younger and looking at where you have fallen. It is not to become discouraged. I would hope that people use it for reflection.

ATM: From the components just described, do you see any pieces of yourself in one of the characters?  

Marti: Jasmin that question is direct to you. (Laughs)

Jasmin: There are elements of myself in all of them. There are elements of my friends. I take a part of myself or others to make the characters more dramatic. I am everybody and everybody is me.  This is pretty much for every character I write in every script- life is stranger than fiction, right? I don’t have to dig too deep.

ATM: (Chuckles). This is a film about college friends who once attended NYU. You all both met while attending Hampton University. Did you ever think you would still be friends?

Marti: There are ebbs and flows to all relationships. After graduation we did go our separate ways, living in different states. We reconnected a few years after college and kinda just picked up where we left off. And here we are now. {haha}

ATM: Wow. Describe the type of woman you all were while attending college compared to now.

Marti: Jazz, how would describe yourself or me? I know what you could say about me. Jazz was and still is happy. She has always been free spirited, a boho type with huge curly hair which she still rocks. She was a party girl then, and I think still is now, even as a mother she hasn’t lost that about herself which is cool.

Jasmin: (Chuckles)

Marti: I was so preppy in college. I was the one wearing polos and cardigans. I looked like a Tommy Hilfiger ad. We were so different from each other, still are. I thought I knew everything about the world. I became a party person as an adult. I guess that is where we have our similarities haha.

ATM: You have a character in your film that is desperate for a child. She wants kids and is purposely rude to men. What about family is the reason for this character’s possession of family so bad?

Jasmin: This character is at the point of waking up in life and not having the things she wanted by 40. A family is a big one for many and most of us. Through the years this what caused her attitude shift. There is a specific reason that elevates her bitterness on this subject, but I don’t want to give the movie away!

ATM: There is a quote on your website. This is a man’s world, this is a man’s, world / But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman” I know you all understand this, but what your overview about the rest of the film industry that says this but lacks in hiring more women of color still happening. Please explain and expand.

Jasmin: This is why we started our production company because we see this as a huge problem. We are women of color. Our aim is to hire more women of color behind and in front of the camera with one movie at a time.

Marti: This is a great day to be a filmmaker of color. People are becoming more aware of what is happening in Hollywood. There is a need for representation. There are so much work and presence.

Greene and Hines plan on submitting their film in festivals and hope it starts a movement. Their creative production company derived from men having the central positions behind the camera and men obtaining the smartest roles than women of color. Aside from running a production company with Jasmin, Hines and Lola Wood are the founders of Wanderluxxe, a luxury concierge company in entertainment that offers the ultimate VIP festival experience with exclusive benefits and insider access for groups and individuals, with a newly launched membership program for unparalleled access.

For more information about the membership, follow Wanderluxxe on IG:  @wanderluxxemembers



The stars of Italian Cinema shine in Canada’s Italian Contemporary Film Festival

Canada crowns Claudia Cardinale during the closing ceremony of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival presented by IC Savings. Ms. Cardinale won the Lifetime Achievement Award, the festival’s highest honour. Past winners of this recognition include Roberto Benigni, Al Pacino and Carlo Verdone. Audiences were treated to a grand gala at Toronto’s Bell Lightbox, where Ms. Cardinale’s latest film, “All Roads lead to Rome,” was presented. During the ceremony, the legendary actress was given a hearty standing ovation.

“I don’t know how many films I made – 130 or 140,” said Cardinale, holding the award created by sculptor Silvio Mastrodascio. “Cinema gave me the opportunity to live many lives. This was amazing to me and has spurred me to continue pursuing this profession. In this film I had the chance to play Raoul Bova’s mother. It was truly a special experience.”

At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, upon receiving the best actor at the ICFF 2016, Raoul Bova replied to Cardinale’s comment. “I’m very excited about this award given to me by the Festival, especially since it is for a film that saw me work with this wonder, this force of nature, Claudia Cardinale.” The Roman actor also came to Canada to present Rewind and Reboot, the latest film from director Carlo Vanzina.

The winners of the People’s Choice Award were director Gennaro Nunziante and Checco Zalone. Their film, “Quo vado?” won the prestigious prize, confirming the fact that their comedy was successful with an international audience. The comedic duo won over a large portion of the Italian-Canadian audience. “We received a wonderful welcome,” said Checco Zalone. “The Italians in Canada have not stopped being Italian.” Director Gennaro Nunziante also expressed satisfaction: “It’s great to be here at the Festival. We’ve been welcomed by many fellow Italians who continue to believe – as we do – that Italian culture represents something important for the whole world.

The IC Savings Award for best Canadian Film went to Andrea Iervolino, whose tireless work as an Italian Canadian film producer were duly recognized. Mr. Iervolino, along with Ms. Monika Bacardi, founded AMBI/AIC and represents a veritable bridge between Italy and North American in the field of film production and distribution.

The Toronto Film Critics’ Association awarded their prize to “They called me Jeeg Robot,” by Gabriele Mainetti. The prize was announced to the public by Thom Ernst, representing the Jury, during the Festival’s closing ceremony at the prestigious TIFF Bell Lightbox. The award for best short went to “Resce la Lune,” by Giulia Di Battista and Gloria Kurkik, while the Best Picture award at the ICFF Junior was conferred to Gabriele Salvatores’ “The Invisible Boy.”

The 6th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival Nov. 5-8, 2015

The 6th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival [BLFF] will kick off in Atlanta, Georgia onThursday, November 5th.  The BLFF will feature screenings in multiple venues, as well as the following Master Classes led by some of the top names in film, direction and production.

The BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, that is dedicated to bringing national and worldwide attention to Atlanta as a center for film and film production for people of color.

In fact, the mission of the BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta, Georgia is two fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color; and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers.

Every fall,  film lovers, actors, and film makers gather in culture-and-heritage-rich Atlanta, Georgia to share a creative platform of education, entertainment and empowerment discussions related to film, as well as television, and the production of both. The BronzeLens Film Festival will feature screenings in multiple venues, as well as informative panels, and enlightening Master Classes led by top names in film, direction, and production.