BURIED ALIVE 2018 Full Schedule and Ticket Info


The full schedule is now up for BAFF 2018 is up at the website and the Facebook page. We've got 7 features, 4 special event screenings, and a ton of shorts. To go with the already announced special events, we have added a special event screening of our friend James Bickert's Amazon Hot Box.

For the main features of the fest, there are 7 films varying in style and tone from absurdist comedy to documentary to extreme horror.

The opening night feature is Joe Badon's bizarre and intriguing The God Inside My Ear. On Friday, we get to share two of the special event screenings (The Golem and Amazon Hot Box), but not before The FP2 hits Atlanta in all of its unique and weird glory. We kick our international groove into full swing on Saturday with Spain's Framed and Japan's Violence Voyager, before the Taboo-La-La event with The Lost Boys hits the stage and we round out the night with midnight movie Dead by Midnight

On Sunday, the day kicks off with a reprise of the live Samahda soundtrack event screening of 1920's The Golem for the earlier birds in the crowd. The fascinating documentary Survival of the Film Freaks follows and the night wraps up with the WORLD PREMIERE of anticipated Todd Sheets future classic Clownado, a classic horror style film with all of the fixing you've come to expect from the warped mind of one Mr. Sheets.

Top off these features and event screenings with tons of short films, split into several blocks for your viewing pleasure, as well as the return of the SINEMA CHALLENGE on Wednesday night before the official kickoff of the festival. There is so much genre madness crammed into this year's festival, we're bursting at the seams.

Tickets are $12 for each screening block of the festival, $10 for the Sinema Challenge screenings, and $120 for a full festival pass (an over $80 discount). You can purchase tickets at FilmFreeway by clicking here or visiting filmfreeway.com/BuriedAliveFIlmFestival/tickets.

Chat w/ Sandra Seeling Lipski - Founder/Director, Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival

Born in Berlin and raised in Palma de Mallorca, Sandra is an award-winning actress, filmmaker, and festival director with a unique international background and experience, currently based in Los Angeles and Palma de Mallorca. She is fluent in English, Spanish and German.

Her earliest passion was acting, and after working professionally as a teenager in Europe, she studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre School in New York City. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career, and begin her filmmaker career as well. She graduated from the Los Angeles Film School with a degree in Directing and Producing in 2012.

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In 2012 she founded the inaugural Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival, with the goal of creating a world-class, destination film festival in the Mediterranean that celebrates innovative independent cinema amidst the natural beauty of Palma de Mallorca.

We had a chat with Sandra. Here are the excerpts.

  • What inspired you to start/conduct this festival. 

I started the Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival because I saw there was great potential  (in my home, where I grew up) to establish an event could attract the international film industry once a year to celebrate independent film in Mallorca. I am a filmmaker myself and after visiting numerous festivals throughout the years I wondered by Mallorca didn’t have it’s own great festival? I pitched my idea to some friends who lived on the island, all involved in their own amazing businesses and to my surprise everyone jumped on board and the EMIFF was born in 2012. 

  • How does this festival stands apart from other festivals?

Location, Location, Location. It’s a cliche but so true. Mallorca has forever been a magical place; enchanting light, beautiful beaches, impressive mountains, excellent food and of course wonderful people. It sits right in the middle of the mediterranean so the weather in October is mild and warm compared to the rest of Europe. Mallorca boasts amazing shooting locations, production services and crew. Apart from the Locals, Mallorca has a large expat community of german, British, Swedish, French and American business entrepreneurs, bringing a fresh new line of innovative start ups, cafes and restaurants, and design oriented brands to the island. Airline connections are endless every day and I have never met a person who wouldn’t want to come to Mallorca.

  • What are the few things to look forward to, at the festival this year?

EMIFF 2018 offers 7 full days and nights of films, panels, networking events and parties. Our program includes 102 films, including feature films, short films, documentaries a Made In Baleares section, a virtual Reality lounge, experimental films, Music Videos and films for Kids. We are the only European Film Festival with an original Drive in Cinema hosted by Port Adriano. Our Industry panels are called Producers Club (28.10.) and this year we welcome great names to talk about International Co-Production and Marketing for film such as: Lucinda Syson (Casting Director for Wonder Women, Batman, Inception etc.), Tore Schmidt (Producer of the Academy award winning Danish Girl, 2015), Journalists Hus Miller and Anna Smith (President of the Film Critics Circle UK) and many more. Our 2018 Award winners include Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen who receives the Evolution VISION Award, Academy Award nominee writer/director Tobias Lindholm who will receive the Evolutionary Award and Grand Dame of Spanish cinema Marisa Paredes whom we will honer with the Evolution Honorary Award. 

  • Any exciting things you are currently working on?

It’s all very exciting! The 7th EMIFF edition is around the corner and I am 7months pregnant, so lot’s to look forward too :)

  • Anything else you would like to share?

EMIFF’s mission since it’s inception as always been BRIDGING CULTURES / BRIDGING PEOPLE. My goal is to create an international Film community on the island who all come together under one roof, no matter their skin color, religion or nationality, all are welcome - Come and Join the Evolution!


Information on Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival:

Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival (EMIFF) is one of the fastest growing, most respected and exciting film festivals in the Mediterranean. An excellent hub for networking with some of the brightest minds in filmmaking, EMIFF is as intimate and invigorating as it is breathtakingly gorgeous. Filmmakers and storytelling enthusiasts visit this island paradise to discover "the next great generation of filmmakers" They've yet to go home disappointed. 

Now in its 6th year, EMIFF is based in the heart of Mallorca’s buzzing and culturally rich center of Palma. In addition to feature films and short films, EMIFF also welcomes documentaries, music videos, animation shorts, experimental shorts and more. With competitive screenings unfolding at Teatro Principal, Cineciutat, Port Adriano and the museum of modern and contemporary art Es Baluard, EMIFF is an ideal place for indie filmmakers to rub elbows with industry professionals, while enjoying one of the most stunning islands in the Mediterranean as their backdrop.

This year's EMIFF will include screenings, networking events, panels, and workshops every single day with up-and-coming filmmakers, established industry professionals as well as the general public interested in arts, film and culture.

EMIFF attracts over 2500 attendees from over 20 countries worldwide. In conjunction with its sister-screening event in Los Angeles; SEE THE WINNERS, a special selection of winning films screened at the Los Angeles Film School in the heart of Hollywood, EMIFF is becoming an international launching pad for promising new talent in all film genres

Additional Information about Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival is available at www.evolutionfilmfestival.com

Connect with Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival:


Twitter: @EvolutionIFF

Instagram: evolutionmallorcafilmfestival

Mallorca Int'l Film Fest Announces Slate and Special Guests (Oct. 25 - 31)


October 25th - 31st, 2018


Events include Opening Night Gala

Gala Award and Tribute to GOYA winning Spanish actress Marisa Paredes

Evolution VISION Award to Cannes winning Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen

Closing Night Evolutionary Award presentation to Academy Award nominated filmmaker Tobias Lindholm

Spanish premiere of Funny Story with writer/director Michael J. Gallagher and lead actors Matthew Glave and Jana Winternitz

Spanish premiere of acclaimed French film M by Sara Forestier

Special Tribute screening of Pedro Almodóvar's acclaimed Spanish cult film The Flower of My Secret with Marisa Paredes in attendance

Special screening of Arctic followed by Q&A with Mads Mikkelsen

Screening of Berlinale hit Away You Go by Philipp Eichholtz

Spanish premiere of acclaimed Documentary George Michael - Freedom

Palma de Mallorca, October 3, 2018: Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, set in the heart of Mallorca's buzzing and culturally rich center of Palma, has announced its line-up of screenings and events for the festival's 7th edition. The six-day festival will take place, October 25th - 31st, 2018, and includes in-person Gala tributes to actress Marisa Paredes, actor Mads Mikkelsen, and Academy Award nominated filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, a Gala Opening Night event, narrative and documentary competition sections, a Drive-In Cinema section at Port Adriano, a Kids section co-curated by the Andorra Kids Film Festival, and Virtual Reality and collaborative sections with the Festival de Cinema de Menorca.

EMIFF will present 11 films in Narrative feature and 6 films in Documentary feature Competition, 48 international short films, a Music Video section, and many additional nightly events and special screenings. Special events include the Opening Night Gala Screening of Funny Story, produced by Cinemand Productions. Centerpiece Gala will be the 'Evolution Honorary' Award Presentation to iconic actress Marisa Paredes, with a screening of her award-winning film The Flower of My Secret, by Pedro Almodóvar. Other Gala events include the Evolution Vision Award presentation to Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, with a screening of his new film Arctic; Closing Night Evolutionary Award presentation to Academy Award nominated filmmaker Tobias Lindholm; Spotlight Gala Screening of acclaimed French narrative film M, with writer/director Sara Forestier; a Closing Night Gala Screening of Back For Good by German writer/director Mia Spengler by acclaimed German Production company Zum Goldenen Lamm; and an Awards Gala at Gerhardt Braun Gallery.

Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival (EMIFF) is one of the fastest growing and exciting film festivals in the Mediterranean. An excellent hub for networking with some of the brightest minds in filmmaking, EMIFF is as intimate and invigorating as it is breathtakingly gorgeous.

Filmmakers and industry professionals visit this island paradise to discover "the next great generation of filmmakers" The festival presents a diverse selection from world premieres to film festival favorites, short film screenings, Q&As, a Drive-In Cinema section at the Philip Stark designed Port Adriano, an Art & Cine event at the Gerhardt Braun Gallery and Industry events such as the Producers Club at the modern museum of contemporary art Es Baluard.

Said EMIFF Founder and Executive Director Sandra Seeling Lipski, "EMIFF is more than a film festival; it provides a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, focusing on showcasing a diverse collection of both local and international independent films."

"For seven days and nights, EMIFF invites you to join us on a journey to far away lands, intimate stories and unexplored realities. With the intention to encourage positive change, EMIFF's films will push your limits and raise your consciousness. Our goal is to bridge bultures and build a stronger and more purposeful community. I believe we have to recognize each others individual stories and dreams in order to realize, that at the end of the day, no matter where we are from, we are not that different from each other."

"I am particularly excited for our Evolution Honorary Award and Evolution Vision Award recipients this year, globally acclaimed actors Marisa Paredes and Mads Mikkelsen. Ms. Paredes has captivated generations, known around the world for her work over five decades, including captivating audiences in her work with Spanish master Pedro Almodóvar. Her extensive and prolific career is defined by a body of international films defined by risk and prestige. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen remains a singular European actor who eloquently balances award-wining performances in visionary European films with a successful career in Hollywood blockbusters. From his eloquent work with director Susanne Bier and his Cannes Best Actor winning performance in Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt to his standout performance in the Star Wars series, we celebrate Mr. Mikkelsen as visionary actor who inspires audiences, breaks boundaries and bridges cultures" said Lipski.

About Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival

Now in its seventh year, EMIFF has attracted over 4000 attendees from over 30 countries worldwide. In 2018, EMIFF will continue to expand the presence of international filmmakers and strengthen its position within the worldwide film festival calendar. Since its 2012 inception, the number of films screened has tripled, counting over 100 movies from 25 countries during the 2017 festival program.

Previous guest filmmakers, talent, and industry attendees include: Danny DeVito, Paul Haggis, Oscar Jaenada, Emma Suarez, Manuella Velles, Marc Clotet, Ana de Armas, Colm Meaney, Benito Zambrano, Feo Aladag, Ronald Souse Richter, Lilith Stangenberg, and Claudia Eisinger.

EMIFF is extremely grateful for the incredible support of: 2018 EMIFF Sponsors Rialto Living and MallorcaSite.com. Additional collaborators include Turismo Mallorca, with the support of Port Adriano, Es Baluard Museum, Gerhardt Braun Gallery, Mercedes Auto Vidal, Consell de Mallorca, Islas Baleares Film Commission, Illenc, Teatre Principal and Ajuntamiento de Palma among others.

Festival passes and individual tickets are available now.

Additional Information about Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival is available at www.evolutionfilmfestival.com

Connect with Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival:


Twitter: @EvolutionIFF

Instagram: evolutionmallorcafilmfestival

All screenings and events will take place in Palma de Mallorca, at venues including the Teatro Principal, Cineciutat, Rialto Living, Port Adriano, Musuem Es Baluard and Gallery Gerhardt Braun.

Festival Awards will be awarded on October 31st by internationally esteemed jurors in the following categories: Feature film - Best feature film, Best Actress, Best Actor. Short Film - Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Feature and Short Documentary, best Music Video, Best Experimental short, Best feature film Screenplay, Festival Awards -, Best Film Made in Baleares short, Evolution Island Award (best feature film made in Baleares) and the Evolutionary award (best new filmmaker).

The EMIFF award was designed by internationally acclaimed artist GUSTAVO.



Funny Story, Director Michael J. Gallagher (USA)

After years of being a neglectful father, a womanizing TV star decides to crash his estranged daughter's vacation in Big Sur. FUNNY STORY is a tragicomedy you never saw coming. FUNNY STORY teaches us about the destructive power of narcissism, the healing power of forgiveness, and our willingness to do karaoke after drinking enough tequila.

Filmmakers and talent will be in attendance.


M, Director: Sara Forestier (France)

Lila and Mo meet at a bus stop. Lila has a paralyzing speech impediment. Mo is chatty and exuberant. Lila is preparing for her exams. Mo illegally races cars for a living. Opposites attract, and they fall in love. But Mo carries a secret burden.


'Evolution Honorary' Award Presentation to iconic actress Marisa Paredes, with a screening of her acclaimed film The Flower of my Secret (1995), by writer/director Pedro Almodóvar.


'Evolution Vision" Award Presentation to actor Mads Mikkelsen, with a screening of his new film Arctic by director Joe Penna (2018).


Back for Good, Director: Mia Spengler (Germany)

Angie, a reality-TV Star just moved back in with her mom, since none of her friends would take her in after she came out of rehab totally broke. Her mom's health is as bad as their relationship and Angie finds herself taking care of everything at the same time.


Evolutionary Award for Academy Award nominated writer/director Tobias Lindholm


ARCTIC - Joe Penna, 2018, (Iceland)

A man stranded in the Arctic is finally about to receive his long awaited rescue. However, after a tragic accident, his opportunity is lost. He must then decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown for potential salvation.

BACK FOR GOOD - Mia Spengler, 2018, (Germany)

Angie, a reality-TV Star just moved back in with her mom, since none of her friends would take her in after she came out of rehab totally broke. Her mom's health is as bad as their relationship and Angie finds herself taking care of everything at the same time.

M - Sara Forestier, 2018, (France)

Lila and Mo meet at a bus stop. Lila has a paralyzing speech impediment. Mo is chatty and exuberant. Lila is preparing for her exams. Mo illegally races cars for a living. Opposites attract, and they fall in love. But Mo carries a secret burden.

ANA DE DIA - Andrea Jaurrieta, 2018, (Spain)

Ana discovers one day that a double identical to her, whose presence does not seem strange, has taken her place. Now, that other person covers all of her obligations in life. She then debates over her lost identity or, on the contrary, tries try to find a new identity outside of everything that used to be her normal life.

DADDY ISSUES - Laura Holliday, 2018,(USA)

Twenty-something stand-up comedian Henrietta hasn't been funny since her dad died. Distraught, in a quart life crisis, she leaves her messy London life behind for LA, to re-examine her past relationships with dysfunctional ex-lovers and friends struggling with adulthood. Henri tries comedically and introspectively to find humour in her darkest moments.

HAWAII - Jesus del Cerro, 2017, (Romania)

Andrei and his father Vasile live in sovietic Romania. Unexpectedly, they receive news from Petrus who was assumed dead and he left them a large heresy. It will be not easy for Andrei and Vasily to take his brother's legacy in a communist country.

AWAY YOU GO (RÜCKENWIND VON VORN) - Phillip Eichholtz, 2018, (Germany)

The young Berlin schoolteacher Charlie no longer wants to continue as usual on her chosen path and asks herself what she really wants and needs.

Premiered at 68TH BERLINALE, Perspektive Deutsches Kino

YOU GO TO MY HEAD - Dimitri de Clercq, 2018, (France, Germany, Belgium)

In a desolate stretch of the Sahara, a mysterious car accident leaves a young woman lost and alone. Jake finds her unconscious, intoxicated by her beauty, he claims to be her husband. He names her Kitty and takes her to his remote desert home to recuperate. Little by little, Kitty begins to fall in love with him. But when shreds of her past begin to surface, Jake increasingly lives in fear of losing her.


GEORGE MICHAEL - FREEDOM - David Austin, 2018, (UK)

A deeply autobiographical, feature documentary personally narrated by the late Grammy® Award winner. George takes us through his musical life, his thoughts on his public life and his honestly and openly into his very private life. Musically George talks about his first youth band to teen pop idol to becoming a worldwide icon at the time of "Faith".

OUT OF PLASTIC - Line Hadsbjerg, 2018, (Spain)

A documentary film that sets out to explore the obscure depths of plastics in the Mediterranean. Set in the Balearic Islands, it offers viewers a moment to reflect on the profound presence of plastic in our lives and in our natural environment. Views of sweeping landscapes and mystic ocean depths.

THE SILENCE OF OTHERS - Robert Bahar & Almudena Carracedo, 2018 (Spain)

The stolen children, the disappeared, the graves. After decades of silence, Spanish society faces the ghosts of the dictatorship: tortures, executions, summary trials. Through the stories of those who are seeking answers we find the country who wants to reconcile with its past.

ALL THE WOMEN I KNOW - Xiana Gomez Diaz, 2018, (Spain)

From the personal to the political, experiences of diverse women speaking about how masculinized and violent the streets still are nowadays.

HAYATI: MY LIFE - Sofi Escude & Liliana Torres, 2018, (Spain)

In 2015, Ossamah Al Mohsen and his 8-year-old son were tripped up by a TV reporter on the Hungarian border. The moment was captured on film and it soon became one of the most iconic images of the Syrian conflict. This incident helped Ossamah get a job as a football coach when he reached Madrid. But the rest of his family is still stuck in Turkey.

BALTASAR SAMPER - Victoria Morell Salom, 2018, (Spain)

Baltasar Samper is the protagonist of this film that uncovers the cultural vacuum caused by one of the worst armed conflicts of Europe's recent history. The Civil War and the subsequent exile of more than half a million Spaniards. Samper was one of the most recognized musicians of his time.

"THE GOLEM" w/ LIVE soundtrack and "THE LOST BOYS" w/ burlesque: at BURIED ALIVE FILM FESTIVAL

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Submissions are closed and the lineup is being finalized, but we couldn't wait any longer to share our amazing new posters for two of our special events at this year's BAFF.

First, our annual silent film experience with Samadha continues when they provide a kickass live soundrack for 1920's The Golem. Check it out on Friday, November 16th at 10:00pm and Sunday, November 18th at noon. $15 per ticket, a one of a kind experience.


Second, another annual tradition continues when Altanta's "Illegitmate Burlesque" troupe, Blast-Off Burlesque. On Saturday, November 17, join BAFF and Blast-Off for another round of Taboo-La-La with classic 80s vampire flick The Lost Boys and the most unique burlesque show you've ever seen. LEave the kiddos at home though, because this event is 18+.

espnW: Women + Sports Summit Speaker Line-Up


GRAMMY-Nominated Singer Andra Day, Maverick Carter, the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, Danica Patrick, Candace Parker, Breanna Stewart, and Jordyn Wieber Headline the Ninth Annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit

Featured Speakers also include Michele Roberts, Val Ackerman, Willow Bay, Audrey Gelman and ESPN’s Sam Ponder, Maria Taylor, Doris Burke and Beth Mowins Discuss Breaking Barriers in Sports Media

The ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota will again showcase key figures in sports, business and entertainment, and will be headlined by GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day, retired motorsports star Danica Patrick, WNBA greats Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart, former gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and Sarah Klein – two of the Sister Survivors who spoke out against sexual abuse by their former team doctor, the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team and Maverick Carter (LeBron James’ partner in SpringHill Entertainment). The yearly gathering will take place October 1-3 at The Resort at Pelican Hill, in Newport Beach, Calif., and will include keynotes, work sessions, panels, presentations and activities focused on advancing women in sports.

On the first night of the conference, Andra Day will offer an intimate musical performance after sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with SportsCenter’s Cari Champion. Day’s debut album, Cheers to the Fall, was nominated for Best R&B Album and the single “Rise Up” was nominated for Best R&B Performance at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards. She was also nominated with rapper Common for a GRAMMY in 2017 for their song “Stand Up for Something.” 

Danica Patrick will be featured in a keynote interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, also on Monday, Oct. 1. ESPN The Magazine’sMina Kimes will conduct a keynote interview with Jordyn Wieber and Sarah Klein on Tuesday, Oct. 2, to discuss their journeys to help to bring justice to hundreds of female athletes. Carter, a childhood friend of James’, who has managed the basketball star’s career for the last 15 years and is his production partner, will have a candid one-on-one interview with Champion Tuesday evening, as part of her signature Be Honest interviews.

“The Summit always aims to further the conversation around key issues for women in sports,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW, Business Operations & Content Strategy. “This year we have a lineup of powerful voices who will enable us to focus on the most relevant issues impacting women today- from the disturbing abuse of female athletes to pay equity in sports.”

On Monday, Julie Foudy will host a conversation with leaders of the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Hockey Team – Jocelyne Lamoureaux-Davidson, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield – about their road to gold and their fight for equality. On the final day of the conference, WNBA superstars Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker will discuss their lives and goals, on and off the court, with ESPN’s Sarah Spain.

On Tuesday, College GameDay’s Maria Taylor will join ESPN’s Doris Burke, Beth Mowins and Sam Ponder for a panel on “Breaking Barriers in Sports Media.” ESPN The Magazine and espnW editor in chief Alison Overholt will conduct a Female Founder Interview with The Wing’s Audrey Gelman, then later that evening, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro will sit down for a discussion withSportsCenter anchor Sage Steele.  

Other speakers and panels will include:

  • “Voices of the Future” – featuring dual-sport star Kiana Clay (adaptive motorcross and snowboarding), 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Rachel Garcia (softball), 15-year-old World Championship bronze-medalist Jade Howson (paddleboarding), and 2018 Olympian and World Junior Short Track Speed Skating gold medalist Maame Biney (speedskating);

  • “The State of Journalism” – by Willow Bay, dean of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Annenberg professors Vince Gonzalez, Stacy Smith and ESPN’s Shelley Smith;

  • “World Cup Preview” – a look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by former U.S. Women’s National Team stars and World Cup champions Julie Foudy and Kate Markgraf.

 Also joining this year’s Summit will be espnW’s Allison Glock, ESPN commentator Victoria Arlen and ESPN The Magazine/espnWsenior writer Alyssa Roenigk. In addition, ESPN executives Christine Dreissen, Connor Schell, Laura Gentile and Alison Overholt will each formally address attendees during the Summit.

 The espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the only one of its kind in the industry. Through structured and thoughtful conversation, the event pushes the boundaries on topics surrounding women and women in sports, and has offered insight from such notable and groundbreaking people as: Los Angeles Lakers owner and president Jeanie Buss, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, phenom pitching ace Mo’Ne Davis, tennis legend and civil rights activist Billie Jean King, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, journalist and philanthropist Maria Shriver, Ambassador Madeline Verveer, soccer stars Mia Hamm, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, and more. 

Interviews, photos and additional content will be posted to espnW.com throughout the Summit. In addition, this year’s conference will be livestreamed from start to finish on espnW.com and via the ESPN app. For more information about The espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda visit www.espnWsummit.com or follow on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.

About espnW

espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style.  espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its ninth year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports, and is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.

Catriona McKenzie - First Indigenous Australian Woman To Direct US Series TV - Launches Dark Horse Production Company Ahead Of LA Film Festival



Los Angeles, Calif. – September 12, 2018 – Ahead of the LA Film Festival screenings of her series Kiki and Kitty this monthmulti-award-winning writer/director/ producer Catriona McKenzie has announced that she is setting up her own production company, Dark Horse.

The first Indigenous Australian woman to direct series television in the US (Shadowhunters for Freeform), Catriona spent time as a director’s attachment on the television series Prison Break (Fox) and she interned at Ridley Scott’s production company and as a director’s attachment on his film Alien: Covenant.

Kiki and Kitty, based on an original concept from and written by Nakkiah Lui and produced by Porchlight Films’ Liz Watts and Sylvia Warmer, is a 6 x 12-minute series about the adventures of a young, black woman in a big, white world, where her vagina is a big, black woman and her best friend. The series won two prizes at Series Mania in Paris.

First on the slate at Dark Horse is Stolen, which Catriona is co-writing with Patricia Cornelius (Blessed). Catriona is also attached to direct the US feature Driven with producers Veronica Sive and Brian Gersh at Sunjive.

Catriona’s recent directing credits include Tidelands, Australia’s first Netflix Original, and the series Wrong Kind of Black, Harrow and The Warriors. She has directed outstanding television series including the Emmy-nominated Dance Academy; Logie and AFI award-winner My Place (series 1 and 2) and Satisfaction starring Academy Award-nominated Jacki Weaver. She has also directed the pilot of award-winning series The Circuit, Redfern Now and The Gods of Wheat Street (ABC-TV). Her first feature, Satellite Boy, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, and screened at Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2013, as well as collecting the international and children’s juries’ Special Mention at Berlinale. Satellite Boy was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Film and was the 2014 recipient of the Australian Directors Guild Finders Award and Best Feature at imagiNATIVE Media Arts Festival, Canada.

Dark Horse is the next step in McKenzie’s passion for telling audacious stories to her audience.

“I am partnering with international creatives to bring uniquely diverse stories to the global market. I am committed to championing diverse creative talent and gathering exciting partners around Dark Horse, such as brand strategist Greg Logan at The Definery. I am also working with Erin Bretherton on developing new projects domestically and internationally across various platforms, and with writer Ligiah Villalobos on new television projects,” she says.

Catriona graduated with Honours from the prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School and she also studied screen writing at NYU, TISCH. She has mentored other emerging filmmakers at Sundance Native Writing Lab, OUTFEST and UC and she has sat on various film juries including Berlinale and the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Catriona is of Australian Aboriginal descent; her tribe is the Kunai Gurnai of South Eastern Australia.

Kiki and Kitty screens as part of the following LA Film Festival sessions. Q&A follows each session.


Saturday Sep 22 at 9:00 PM and Sunday Sep 23 at 12:45 PM

ArcLight Culver City, Culver City

13TH Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Unveils Finalists, Setting New Festival Record for Female Representation In Front and Behind the Scenes


13TH Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Unveils Finalists,

Setting New Festival Record for Female Representation In Front and Behind the Scenes

The Six Finalist Shorts Explore Race Relations, Women’s Rights and Gender/Sexual Identity

Finale Screening and Awards Ceremony Recognizing Finalists Will Be Held October 24 in Hollywood

The 13th Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, which celebrates diverse stories while finding the next generation of storytellers, has unveiled six original short films, pilots and webisodes as this year’s finalists. They will be recognized at the festival’s finale screening and awards ceremony on October 24, 2018 at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood.

The finalists shorts, “B.U.T.S: Spanish Class,” “Kyenvu,” “Masks,” “Monday,” “Rani” and “We Know Where You Live” were selected from 15 semi-finalist shorts after being showcased at public screenings in New York City this past August. They have already earned acclaim at prominent festivals including CAAMFest, the New York Television Festival, Outfest and the Pan African Film Festival.

This year’s finalists, chosen from more than 3,400 submissions, set a festival record for female representation—both on and off camera. Four out of the six finalists were written and/or directed by women, and female characters are at the center of four of the shorts. While each short film depicts stories exploring today’s social and cultural issues in its own way, they are all rooted in universally relevant themes of love, acceptance and compassion.

“In the festival’s most competitive year to date, we had an incredible selection of shorts, and we are thrilled with the quality and caliber of our finalists,” said Karen Horne, SVP of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment. “Our festival has always aimed to bring unique, diverse stories and storytellers to the forefront, and each finalist is a fantastic representation of the kind of talent we seek to foster.”

At the finale screening and awards ceremony next month, the festival will announce winners for awards such as Best Writer, Best Director and Best Actor. They will be determined by a panel of entertainment industry professionals, members of the press, and NBCUniversal executives. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved at the festival website.

The NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is presented by NBCUniversal and NBC Entertainment. It is one of the tentpole initiatives within the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS) that promote and encourage people of diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of storytellers. Other programs include Female Forward, the Alternative Directors Program, Writers on the Verge and the StandUp NBC nationwide search for stand-up comedians.

Synopses of the finalist films are:

B.U.T.S: “SPANISH CLASS” Episode Director: Brendan Colthurst

Writers: Emma Ramos, Irene Lucio, Bernardo Cubria and Timmy Wood

Nominated twice for an Imagen Award for Best Web Series, B.U.T.S is a sketch comedy web series created and starring Irene Lucio and Emma Ramos making fun of themselves and their surroundings through a Latina lens. In each episode, they portray different characters that parody and satirize the many ‘afflictions’ of the modern-day woman. In the “Spanish Class” episode, a couple, Lucy and Timmy, get way more than they bargained for when they set out to learn Spanish in a week. (trailer)

KYENVU Writer & Director: Kemiyondo Coutinho

An independent young Ugandan woman lives through the taunts of using public transport on a daily basis. As she struggles to find her footing in a patriarchal society that entitles men to women’s bodies, she finds love in a bittersweet moment. The film won at the Pan African Film Festival and Zanzibar International Film Festival. (trailer)

MASKS Writer & Director: Mahaliyah Ayla O

A closeted medical student risks being outed to her family on the same evening a masked gunman opens fire at a gay nightclub. “Masks” won the AT&T Audience Award for Best Short Film at the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival. (trailer)

MONDAY Writer & Director: Dinh Thai

Kwan is everyone’s one-stop shop for anything stolen or illicit, but his reasons for hustling are not as clear-cut as they seem. While maneuvering between disparate cliques and facing racism, he’ll be forced to question the immorality of his occupation. “Monday” was a first place winner at the HBO APA Visionaries and won Best Direction at the New York Television Festival. (trailer)

RANI Writer & Director: Hammad Rizvi

In the streets of Pakistan, a socially outcast transgender woman sets out to take care of an abandoned child. “Rani” won the Fox Inclusion Award at Outfest Los Angeles. (trailer)

WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE Director: Honora Talbott

Writers: Bill Posley and Honora Talbott

When a newlywed Latinx couple moves into a trendy, gentrifying LA neighborhood, two hipsters invite themselves over to offer a "warm welcome." But as the night goes on, it’s clear these neighbors are not what they seem: cold pressed, cold brewed and cold blooded. (trailer)


Founded in 2006, the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL is the first and only film festival created and run by an entertainment studio solely dedicated to celebrating the importance of diversity in entertainment and discovering the next generation of storytellers. The annual bicoastal program is a nationwide search for diverse talent, both in front of and behind the camera, including those from ethnically diverse backgrounds, members of the LGBTQ community and female content creators. Winners are awarded with prizes ranging from development meetings and holding deals with NBCUniversal to cash grants and industry standard software and camera packages. Festival alumni include Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed 2”), Hasan Minhaj (“The Daily Show”), Randall Park (“Fresh Off the Boat”) and Simone Missick (“Luke Cage”). For more information, visit NBCUshortsFEST.com #NBCUshortsFEST

About the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS)

Since 2000, NBC has been dedicated to discovering and nurturing on screen and behind-the-camera talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds through the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS). NBC TIPS are amongst the most extensive and robust diversity and inclusion programs in the television industry. They feature more than 20 programs including Writers on the Verge, the Diverse Staff Writer Initiative, Female Forward, Emerging Director Program, Alternative Directors Program, StandUp NBC nationwide search for stand-up comedians and the NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL that celebrates diverse stories and the filmmakers who create them. Program alumni are celebrated producers, writers, directors and actors in the entertainment industry who have gone on to win Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards and include Deon Cole, Donald Glover, Lil Rel Howery, Mindy Kaling, Danny Pudi, Natasha Rothwell, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Keto Shimizu and Alan Yang. For more information, visit NBCUniTIPS.com.




Critics Week Debuts; Tribeca X Award Expands with New Juried Award Competitions in Branded Entertainment

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, announced that its 18th edition will take place April 24 - May 5, 2019 in New York City. Tribeca celebrates storytelling in all its forms from film to TV, VR to gaming. Submissions will open on August 20 for feature and short films; episodic and online storytelling; virtual, immersive, and augmented reality; as well as branded entertainment.

The 2019 Festival will introduce Critics Week, the first for a North American film festival, as a sidebar to the main program. Tribeca is collaborating with New York-based film critics to curate the section including Eric Kohn (IndieWire Chief Film Critic and Deputy Editor), K. Austin Collins (Vanity Fair Film Critic), Bilge Ebiri (Village Voice Film Critic), Alison Willmore (BuzzFeed News Film Critic and Culture Writer), and Emily Yoshida (New York Magazine and Vulture Film Critic). The inaugural Critics Week will highlight a slate of 5-7 feature films and screen throughout the Festival.

Tribeca also announced that the Tribeca X Award, which debuted in 2016 to honor the best in branded entertainment, will expand with new juried award competitions for feature length film, short film, episodic, and VR. Past Tribeca X winners include works for Samsung (Hearing Colors, directed by Greg Brunkalla), Smirnoff Ice (Chris Fonseca: Keep It Moving, directed by Zachary Heinzerling), and Square (For Every Kind of Dream Series, directed by Mohammad Gorjestani).

Tribeca is a longstanding champion for female filmmakers – last year 46% of the feature films were directed by women. The 7thannual Nora Ephron Award will again recognize a female writer or director whose work embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron with a $25,000 prize.

In addition to honors for films playing In Competition, Tribeca continues to focus on the discovery of new filmmakers with juried awards for best new narrative and documentary filmmakers.

“The New York critical community has long been our compatriots in championing the most exciting new voices and trends in cinema, so we are thrilled that Tribeca will officially partner with them with this inaugural Critics Week program,” said Tribeca’s Director of Programming Cara Cusumano. “We look forward to discovering the new work they select, along with all the upcoming features, shorts, TV, VR, and online work from around the world as we officially open for submissions for Tribeca 2019.”

“We have been impressed with the caliber of stories and creators submitting to Tribeca X to the point where we see a need to increase visibility for the work being done in branded entertainment by expanding with additional awards opportunities,” said EVP Paula Weinstein.

Last year’s Festival celebrated storytelling and diverse voices with a slate of feature films; acclaimed shorts programming; TV including the world premiere of National Geographic’s Emmy®-nominated Genius: Picasso, the second season of the series which world premiered at the 2017 Festival; in addition to Tribeca N.O.W.’s (New Online Work) showcase of innovative digital storytellers. Tribeca Immersive expanded with the debut of VR theater Tribeca Cinema360, and its acclaimed line-up included projects likeVestige, one of the first VR experiences to be acquired at a major festival. The Festival debuted the first film funded through Untold Stories, the Festival’s premier program awarding $1M to an underrepresented filmmaker, in collaboration with the Festival’s Title sponsor AT&T and the Tribeca Film Institute.

Submissions open on August 20 for all sections of the Festival – feature and short films, TV, Immersive, N.O.W., and the Tribeca X Award. Filmmakers and creators can submit for consideration for all categories directly at https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival/submissions or via Withoutabox at https://www.withoutabox.com/tribeca.

Submission deadlines for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival:

Feature and Short Films, Tribeca TV, Tribeca N.O.W., and Tribeca Immersive:
August 20, 2018 – Submissions Open
September 26, 2018 – Early Deadline
October 31, 2018 – Official Deadline
November 28, 2018 – Late Deadline

Tribeca X Award:
August 20, 2018 – Submissions Open
November 28, 2018 – Early Deadline
January 9, 2019 – Official Deadline
January 30, 2019 – Late Deadline

Submission rules, regulations, and complete information regarding eligibility for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival are now available athttps://tribecafilm.com/festival/submissions. Questions regarding submissions may be directed to entries@tribecafilmfestival.org or by calling 212.941.2305.

The Tribeca Film Festival is curated by Director of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frederic Boyer; VP of Shorts Sharon Badal; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz (features, TV, and online work), Loren Hammonds (virtual reality and features), Ian Hollander (features); Programmer Ben Thompson (shorts) and Ingrid Kopp (virtual reality); and program advisors Paula Weinstein and Tammie Rosen, along with a team of associate programmers.


Twitter: @Tribeca

Instagram: @tribeca

Facebook:  facebook.com/Tribeca

Hashtag: #Tribeca2019

About the Tribeca Film Festival:

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, is the leading cultural event that brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. The 18th annual edition will take place April 24 - May 5, 2019. www.tribecafilm.com/festival 

About 2019 Presenting Sponsor, AT&T:

As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. AT&T Presents Untold Stories. An Inclusive Film Program in Collaboration with Tribeca, is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

12th Manhattan Film Festival premieres 'KACHREWALA: Five Cents Each', a short film about bottlepickers in NYC

The 12th Manhattan Film Festival runs from April 18-29, bringing some wonderful feature, shorts and documentaries from NYC and around the world . One of the buzzed-about short films takes a look into the subculture of New York City bottle pickers, giving a rare glimpse into what it really means to pick up discarded bottles, and cans using the money as necessary income.

"KACHREWALA: Five Cents Each", Written, starring and produced by Indian immigrant Art Shrian Tiwari, takes a moment to step back and look at a “secretive” world that's taking place in plain sight, in the city, and being able to capture and present this as his first short film actually ushered in a sweeping change in the writers/actors' life.

There is another perspective that a person gains when they are "literally" getting their hands dirty and being viewed, by so many New Yorkers' as undesirable people in the city, performing an act that many, dare I suggest, would never do out of sheer pride, opting to beg.  As one character, an older white woman in her late 70 says in the short film, "begging is a lot harder than picking bottles, I tell you that!"

To get ready for the role, and to become a part of the fabric of this subculture Tiwari, did just that. He rolled up his sleeves, and picked up discarded cans and bottles, turning them in for 5 cents each in the drop off locations around the city.  It's hard work and it's messy. A far, far cry from the job that Tiwari, performed when he arrived, from India, years ago.

For a long time, in New York, Tiwari, worked as in software engineering and program management, with extensive experience in e-commerce and financial services as well as an expertise in web and mobile domains. In those roles, he’s worked for such well-established organizations as the Weight Watchers, Scholastic, Sprint, Starwood Hotels and New York Stock Exchange.

Now in his early 30s he decided to make a change.  He left the financial security of working in the i.t. field and stepped out, in faith, to pursue his writing and acting life, full time.  This along with being a husband, and new father.

Says Tiwari “I am proud of being an immigrant in America, an Indian-American.  I grew up in a middle-class family, with a happy upbringing surrounded by family, love, and support. My father was in Air Force, with a transferable job, thus we moved a lot. That opened me up to experiencing new cultures, people and be more open-minded in general”.

Writers write about what the know, or what they live.  For this, again, Tiwari took a look inside another part of a glamours city, that most New Yorkers never glimpse, or care to know about.

The core of “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,”  is about a single day in the life of a bottle collector, and his challenges of navigating the streets of New York.  As Tiwari explained about wrestling his idea into a script, he learned quite a bit about bottle people. “We see these people around us in this great city every day. But we don't know anything about them. We just assume them to be homeless, scavengers or beggars of the sort. But in reality, they truly work hard for a meager amount of money. Of course, that little money can mean a lot, when you are in need."

The April 24th screening of the short film “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” will take place at Cinema Village East Theater at 5 pm. It stars Tiwari, Nitin Mandan, Ilissa Jackson, Dequan Deveraux, and Mary Lu Garmone, it was directed by Daniel Guillaro, written by Tiwari.  

You can follow the film on Facebook & Twitter at @KachrewalaFilm. To learn more and get your tickets for the screening, check out the link below.

About Manhattan Film Festival
Manhattan Film Festival was founded by independent filmmakers that learned first-hand how hard it is to find an independent film an audience. Originally launched as the start-up Independent Features, MFF evolved into a globally recognized brand. The festival is covered by local, national, and international media outlets. This includes The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Good Morning America, The New York Times, as well as international outlets such as The Sun, BBC, and The Guardian. The festival has been named both “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “The Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine. Although we have grown into one of the largest independent film festivals on the circuit, we have stayed true to our principals. We have thrived by building our festival through the voices of filmmakers rather than corporate sponsors. That is one of the keys of our success and a main reason MFF was founded.


“Hand Sight,” one of Anaïs Michel’s latest short documentary films, will premiere at the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films that starts tomorrow in Varna, Bulgaria. The nine-minute short follows Lana, a four-year- old blind girl who was born in Russia and now lives with her family, in New York City. She attends the Children’s Learning Center at the Helen Keller Center in Brooklyn, where she learns to develop her tactile skills in the absence of her sight. We hear from Garth White, the principal of the school; her mother, who encourages Lana to play the piano; and a current teacher, who is especially admiring of Lana’s tenacity. All in all, the film allows viewers to experience the challenges of growing up blind and reminds us of the importance of having a strong network of individuals that can push us to strive for more.

Anaïs Michel is a New York City based documentary filmmaker and editor. After getting a Bachelor’s degree at La Sorbonne and a Master’s degree at the French Press Institute, Anaïs Michel decided to leave Paris to learn how to make documentary films in New York. She fell in love with the craft and the city and decided to stay to pursue her career. After graduating, she crossed the country to work as an editor in Portland, Oregon with the Oscar nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky. Back in New York, she has worked for the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vice News Tonight and is now editing at HBO.

Learn more about the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films at the link below

Nordic International Film Festival announce their opening night film and their 2017 line-up

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The Nordic Film Festival is proud to announce their third year line up, with 24 competing films of Nordic and International decent. 83% of the films have female producers, directors and writers! The opening night feature is the international premiere of Finland’s and ‘Man and a Baby’, directed by Marja Pyykkö. That will screen at 7pm at the renowned Scandinavia House on Park Avenue, New York.

The Nordic consulate will attend the opening night film and the award ceremony gala the last night.

The festival will screen 6 International Premieres, 8 North American Premieres, and all the rest; US or New York Premieres will screen at Scandinavia House October 12 - 14th.

New York Women in Film and TV will have an industry panel on the co-work of International Productions at NIFF on October 12th.

The competition jury includes Bo Svenson (Inglourious Basterds) Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie), Charlotte Munck (Anna Pihl), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails), Jacob A Ware (Boardwalk Empire), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee) and Selenis Leyva (Orange is the New Black).

The Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) celebrates Nordic and international films. They discover new and upcoming independent films as well as honoring great work from already established filmmakers. NIFF's programmers focus on finding diverse independent films with strong characters and storylines and encourage all filmmakers, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The festival was founded by Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter; they have partnered this year with Volvo.

This year the Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) will be held from October 12-14th at Scandinavia House in New York. Nordic International Film Festival has throughout the year collaborated with Gunpowder and Sky a distribution company that focus one finding new films from around the world.

“This way of introducing non-represented films as a festival to distribution companies is our way to help independent filmmakers obtain distribution for their films without having to pay for sales agent fees. As a festival we have leverage to help the filmmakers though the distribution companies know we as a festival have watched hundreds of films and selectively introduces only, maybe, only 2-3 titles to the distribution company that we believe hold very high quality” - John Matton, Founder of Nordic International Film Festival.


Competition line-up

  • Narrative Short
    • Far from the Tree – US – New York Premiere, Dave Thomas
    • Tomorrow Is Far Away - France - North American Premiere, Capucine Lespinas
    • Limbo - Greece - New York Premiere, Konstantina Kotzamani
  • Documentary Short
    • Love and Fear - Denmark - World Premiere, Thora Lorentzen
    • Per - Sweden - World Premiere, World Premiere
    • A Home In Memory - Finland - US Premiere, Helena Oest
    • Kometen - Sweden - International Premiere, Victor Lindgren
  • Narrative features
    • Quit Staring At my plate - Croatia - East Coast Premiere, Hana Jušić
    • The Strange Ones – US, Christopher Radcliff
    • Documentary features
    • A Modern Man - Denmark - East Coast Premiere, Eva Mulvad
    • Waiting For The Sun - Denmark - New York Premiere, Kaspar Astrup Schröder
    • 69 Minutes of 86 Days - Norway - New York Premiere, Egil Håskjold Larsen


  • Nordic shorts A
    • Under The Surface You Are Never Alone - Sweden - North American Premiere, Alessandro Berellini
    • Renard Rouge - Sweden - North American Premiere, Leonard Rääf
    • Retrett - Norway - North American Premiere, Itonje Søimer Guttormsen
  • Nordic shorts B
    • An Autobiography – Finland, Mari Mantela
    • Superluminal - Sweden - International Premiere, Patrick Alexander
    • Distance - Denmark - International Premiere, Rikke Louise Schjødt
    • Cubs - Iceland - New York Premiere, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir
    • Forever Now - Denmark - East Coast Premiere, Kristian Håskjold
  • Nordic feature
    • Man and a baby - Finland - International Premiere, Marja Pyykkö
    • Lovers - Denmark - World Premiere, Niels Holstein Kaa
    • Bakerman - Denmark - North American Premiere, David Noel Bourke

It’s the Best of African and African-American filmmakers and stories at the 2017 New York Film Festival 55 — September 28 to October 15

Seven films with black star power will make their impact on the 2017 New York Film Festival — running from September 28 to October 15, 2017. And that includes an evening with director Ava DuVernay (October 6th) who will choose an artist to join her for a special onstage conversation, which will include wide-ranging discussion about the state of the cinematic arts.  

The overall festival is built around a thoroughly vetted main slate culled from films seen in top global festivals (and meant for theatrical runs) but, this year, has many drawn from the streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. ell.

This year, the 55th edition of the New York Film Festival will also feature the Convergence section (which runs from September 29 – October 1). In its sixth edition, the highly anticipated annual program delves into the world of immersive storytelling via interactive experiences, and features virtual reality, augmented reality, live labs and demos, and more.  From October 6th-9th, the Projections section screens eight features and eight shorts programs which present an international selection of film and video work that expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be

Among the 18 days of the fest, check out these picks of the must-see films at the 2017 NYFF:

“Mudbound" by writer/director Dee Rees

This is a historical epic about a failing economy of Mississippi during the World War II era. Two families, one white (the landlords) and one black (the sharecroppers) work the same miserable piece of farmland. A Netflix release.

“Félicité” directed by Alan Gomis 

A feature made by a French director of Guinea-Bissauan and Senegalese descent. This story is set the Congo where a woman named Félicité (Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu) scrapes together a living as a singer in a makeshift bar (her accompanists are played by members of the Kasai Allstars band).  

“Boom For Real - The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat” directed by Sara Driver 

A look at Jean-Michel Basquiat's life pre-fame, and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements around him formed the artist he became.

“The Rape of Recy Taylor” directed by Nancy Buirksi 

From the Spotlight on Doc section comes this film about Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother, and sharecropper, who was gang-raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama — something that happened far too often in the Jim Crow South. Recy Taylor bravely identified her rapists.                                               

“Tonsler Park,” directed by Kevin Jerome Everson

On Election Day, 2016 Everson’s 16mm camera quietly observed a community of mostly African-American voters and volunteers at a local polling precinct in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The Mike Henderson program” (Projections)  

A singular cinematic figure, San Francisco's Mike Henderson became one of the first independent African-American artists to make inroads into experimental filmmaking in the 1960s.

“Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?” by director-screenwriter-producer-editor Travis Wilkerson  

Another Spotlight on Doc film, this unique production tries to answer how is it that some people escape the racism and misogyny in which they are raised, and some cling to it as if it were their reason for existence? This film/theater hybrid investigates the creator’s great-grandfather's killing of a black man in 1946.

“Piazza Vittorio” directed by Abel Ferrara

Also in the Spotlight on Doc program, this film illuminates the African musicians and restaurant workers, and others who call Rome’s biggest public square, Piazza Vittorio, (built in the 19th century) home. 

Seinfeld, Hart, Apatow, take the stage at JFL 2017, + "Stand Up On The Spot"

Yesterday, the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal heated up with performances from some of the world's top comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart and Mike Birbiglia. It was a big day for the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, now with its 35th annual event in full swing. 

Jerry Seinfeld made his return to the festival since his performance in the 1980s, bringing him face-to-face with his French doppelgänger, Gad Elmelah, on stage for the first time in a shared co-headlined event. Elmelah, an emerging comedic superstar around the world, is often referred to as the "Jerry Seinfeld of France" and the two comedians have even joked that their similarities go way beyond similar comedy styles as it's been said that they also share similar physical appearances. 

Kevin Hart, who is attending the festival this week to announce the winners of "Eat My Shorts”, a talent search competition for his LOL Network, gave a surprise midnight performance to excited festival goers, bringing him back to his stand-up roots at the very same festival that gave him his start when he was named a “New Face” in 2001. Hart's set touched on his life experiences as a parent, including his excitement (and anxiety) over his forthcoming third child.

Stand Up on the Spot (Photo Credit. Just for Laughs-Joseph Fuda)

Check out this photo from the "Stand Up On The Spot" show. One the best parts of this festival is that it shows the comedian camaraderie. It’s “comedian summer camp” where they all want to hang out with each other, and do pop up sets at each other's shows. From left to right: David Kau, Tom Segura, Jeffrey Ross, Judd Apatow, Russell Peters, Chris D'Elia and Wayne Federman. Credit: Just For Laughs/ Joseph Fuda

The day also featured galas hosted by David Spade, as well as SNL's Michael Che and Colin Jost, showcasing a range of talent from today's top comedians, including Jeff Ross, The Lucas Bros., Katherine Ryan, K. Trevor Wilson, Godfrey, Arj Barker, Jim Norton, Lil Rey Howery, Sarah Millican, Steve Byrne, Ivan Decker, Phil Hanley, and David Baddiel. 

Audiences were also treated to stand-up sets from Mike Birbiglia and Tom Segura.

Finally, always a highly-anticipated annual event, Just for Laugh's "New Faces" showcase introduced 2017's top emerging names in comedy to watch out for. The event previously introduced some of today's comedic heavy hitters, including Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer,Hannibal Buressand Demetri Martin. Hosted by Montreal's very own, Sugar Sammy, this year's talent showcase included Jared Freid, Taylor Tomlinson, Martin Urbano, Preacher Lawson, Blair Socci, Yedoye Travis, Charles Gould, Danny Jolles, Rae Sanni, and JR De Guzman. 


(June 30 – July 16, 2017)

Opening Gala is the International Premiere of Thai high school thriller Bad Genius, Centerpiece Gala is the North American Premiere of slow-burning Filipino thriller Birdshot, and Closing Gala is the U.S. Premiere of Jung Byung-gil’s revenge thriller The Villainess

Just shy of 60 films, the festival features a 20th Anniversary Hong Kong Panorama with an eye on emerging talent, a focus on LGBTQ films, Nikkatsu’sRoman Porno Reboot Project, and spotlights on the cinemas of mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia

Plus the brand new NYAFF Main Competition featuring seven diverse films by first- and second-time directors receiving their North American Premiere

Festival honorees include Star Asia Lifetime Achievement awardee Tony Leung Ka-fai (Hong Kong), Star Asia Award recipient Gang Dong-won (South Korea), and Screen International Rising Star Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Thailand)

Other prominent guests will include director Lawrence Lau and actress Carrie Ng (Hong Kong), Korean actress Han Ye-ri, Korean-Chinese director Zhang Lu, and more

 The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema announced today the complete lineup for the 16th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which will take place from June 30 to July 13 at the Film Society and July 14 to 16 at the SVA Theatre. North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema will showcase 57 feature films, including 3 International Premieres, 21 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, and 15 films making their New York City debuts. The festival will feature in-person appearances by more than 20 international filmmakers and celebrity guests from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

This year, all three of NYAFF’s Gala screenings are brilliant reinventions of the thriller genre. The Opening Gala will be the International Premiere of Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius, the first Southeast Asian film to open the festival, with the director and stars in attendance. In this exhilarating high-school thriller, straight-A students Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) and Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul) stage a heist that will undermine the U.S. university entrance system after they lose their own scholarships.The Centerpiece Gala of the festivalwill be the North American Premiere of Mikhail Red’s Birdshot, a continuation of the festival programmers’ efforts to champion films from Southeast Asia, and the Philippines in particular. The Closing Gala is the U.S. Premiere of Jung Byung-gil's The Villainess, fresh from its Midnight screening in Cannes. The adrenaline-soaked action film stars Kim Ok-vin as a ruthless female assassin trained in China who starts a new life with South Korea’s Intelligence Agency.

New to NYAFF in 2017 is the Main Competition section, featuring seven diverse works by first or second-time directors that are all having their North American premieres at the festival. Competing are Bad Genius (Thailand), Birdshot (Philippines), A Double Life (Japan), The Gangster’s Daughter (Taiwan), Kfc (Vietnam), Jane (South Korea), and With Prisoners (Hong Kong). The competition jury will be announced at a later date, with winners revealed on the festival’s final night at Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 13.

“We were seeking a range of original films from young, first-time directors, films that represent the diversity of filmmaking from Asia, stories that say something both very local and specific to their countries of origin and something very universal: we hope we achieved at least some of this with our inaugural competition selection, which includes films from seven countries/cities in the region in a broad variety of genres,” NYAFF executive director Samuel Jamier said. “It’s important for us to champion new filmmaking from Asia, and the diversity of film made there at a time when other festivals in North America seem to be reducing the size of their Asian lineups.”

More now than ever, Hong Kong cinema is at the core of the festival’s programming: faithful to its Chinatown origins, this year’s edition celebrates the best filmmaking from the Special Administrative Region with a central Hong Kong Panorama section, commemorating the 20th anniversary of its establishment, with major support from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. Over the past two decades, Hong Kong cinema has continuously influenced and inspired many filmmakers in Asia and in the world. This year’s lineup proves the originality and excellence of its production is intact: from a powerful condemnation of life inside the territory’s juvenile detention centers (With Prisoners),  to a tale of corruption and redemption set in the underbelly of 1960s Hong Kong (Dealer/Healer), the films bear testimony to the city’s rich cinema history.

The core of the panorama will be a special (and first of its kind) focus on the exciting new generation of directors, titled Young Blood Hong Kong. As part of the 20th anniversary, the festival is looking to the future of Hong Kong cinema, rather than its past: these recent Hong Kong directors are working in various genres, tackling a range of social issues, and paying homage to the film traditions they grew up with, from tenement dramas to vampire comedies. Meanwhile, NYAFF continues to bring established, major filmmakers from the region: Lawrence Lau, who, along with Ann Hui, is one of Hong Kong’s best neorealist directors, will be introducing his star-studded crime action drama Dealer/Healer; the Panorama will spotlight the new generation from the region with guest filmmaker Wong Chun and screenwriter Florence Chan with Mad World, Derek Hui with This Is Not What I Expected, and Alan Lo with Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight. Other films by first-time Hong Kong directors in this year’s lineup are Derek Tsang’s Soul Mate, Yan Pak-wing and Chiu Sin-hang’s Vampire Cleanup Department, and Andrew Wong’s With Prisoners.

The 2017 lineup also includes five LGBTQ-themed films: two dramas with transsexual protagonists, Naoko Ogigami’s Close-Knit from Japan, and Cho Hyun-hoon’s drama Jane from South Korea; two coming-of-age high-school youth dramas, Ahn Jung-min’s Fantasy of the Girlsfrom South Korea, andLeste Chen’s 2006 Eternal Summer from Taiwan, which merits a second look a decade on; and Lee Sang-il’s wild and violent mystery thriller Rage, featuring Go Ayano (NYAFF 2016 Rising Star Asia awardee) as a homeless stranger invited into the home of a semi-closeted salaryman (Satoshi Tsumabuki) as his live-in-lover.

Another highlight of this year’s festival are three films that celebrate Japan's unique "Roman Porno" genre, each having their North American premieres: Aroused by GymnopediesDawn of the Felines, and Wet Woman in the Wind. Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest film studio, is celebrating 45 years since they birthed the softcore Roman Porno genre (roman derives from the French word for novel). Invented to save a dying industry, they gave carte blanche to directors with minimal rules: keep it under 80 minutes with a sex scene every ten. This allowed for wild stream of consciousness works of both the highest and lowest caliber. Now, Nikkatsu has enlisted top contemporary talent for the Roman Porno Reboot Project, taking the provocative, envelope-pushing format to a whole new level.

In addition to the festival’s screenings, the NYAFF awards a number of honorees each year, including this year’s recipients:

·       The 2017 NYAFF Lifetime Achievement Award goes to veteran Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fai, who will attend a three-film tribute, including Johnnie To’s Election, Longman Leung & Sunny Luk’s Cold War 2 and Tsui’s Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D. In a career spanning 35 years, Leung has worked with the iconic directors Li Han-hsiang, Wong Kar-wai, Stanley Kwan, and Jean-Jacques Annaud, and starred opposite the screen legends Jackie Chan, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Jet Li, and Fan Bingbing. Leung was arguably the first Hong Kong star to become an international heartthrob, in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Lover.

·       Our Star Asia Award recipient is Korean movie star Gang Dong-won, whose charisma and emotional investment in his performances gives his films a unique edge. His most iconic films include Lee Myung-se’s Duelist, Park Jin-pyo’s Voice of a Murderer, and Jang Hoon’s Secret Reunion. Last year, NYAFF presented two of his films, The Priests and A Violent Prosecutor, and in 2017, the festival will be joined by Gang to present a special screening of the magical fable Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned.

·       The Screen International Rising Star Asia Award will be given to Thailand’s Chutimon “Aokbab” Chuengcharoensukying. The 21-year-old model, who is still a student at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, found fame last year in Thank You for Sharing, an eight-minute, viral short about cyber-bullying. The NYAFF is opening with her feature debut, Bad Genius, in which she stars as a high-school student who masterminds an ambitious heist of the American university entrance exam system. It's a demanding role, in which her quick-witted character must navigate a complex moral universe where parents and teachers don’t always know best.

Tickets go on sale June 15, with Film Society and Subway Cinema members receiving an early access period beginning June 13. Tickets are $14; $11 for students and seniors (62+); and $9 for Film Society members. See more and save with a 3+ film discount package and All Access Pass. Learn more at filmlinc.org.


Curated by executive director Samuel Jamier, deputy director Stephen Cremin, and programmers Claire Marty and David Wilentz.

The New York Asian Film Festival is co-presented by Subway Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center and takes place from June 30 to July 13 at Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th St), and July 14 to 16 at SVA Theatre (333 West 23 St).

Keep up to date with information at www.filmlinc.org and www.subwaycinema.com. Subway Cinema can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nyaff and Twitter at www.twitter.com/subwaycinema.


Titles in bold are included in the Main Competition

Co-presented with Confucius Institute Headquarters and China Institute

Battle of Memories (Leste Chen, 2017)

Blood of Youth (Yang Shupeng, 2016)

Duckweed (Han Han, 2017)

Extraordinary Mission (Alan Mak & Anthony Pun, 2017)

Someone to Talk to (Liu Yulin, 2016)

Soul on a String (Zhang Yang, 2016)

Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York

Cold War 2 (Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, 2016)

Dealer/Healer (Lawrence Lau, 2017)

Election (Johnnie To, 2005)

Mad World (Wong Chun, 2016)

Soul Mate (Derek Tsang, 2016)

The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Tsui Hark, 2014)

This Is Not What I Expected (Derek Hui, 2017)

Vampire Cleanup Department (Yan Pak-wing, Chiu Sin-hang, 2017)

With Prisoners(Andrew Wong, 2017)

Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (Alan Lo, 2017)


Aroused by Gymnopedies (Isao Yukisada, 2016)

Close-Knit (Naoko Ogigami, 2017)

Dawn of the Felines (Kazuya Shiraishi, 2016)

Destruction Babies (Tetsuya Mariko, 2016)

A Double Life (Yoshiyuki Kishi, 2016)

Happiness (Sabu, 2016)

Japanese Girls Never Die (Daigo Matsui, 2016)

The Long Excuse (Miwa Nishikawa, 2016)

Love and Other Cults (Eiji Uchida, 2017) 

The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio (Takashi Miike, 2016) 

Rage (Lee Sang-il, 2016)

Suffering of Ninko (Norihiro Niwatsukino, 2016)  

Survival Family (Shinobu Yaguchi, 2017)

Traces of Sin (Kei Ishikawa, 2016) 

Wet Woman in the Wind (Akihiro Shiota, 2016)


Presented with the support of Korean Cultural Center New York

Fabricated City (Park Kwang-hyun, 2017)

Fantasy of the Girls (Ahn Jung-min, 2016)

Jane (Cho Hyun-hoon, 2016)

Ordinary Person (Kim Bong-han, 2017)

A Quiet Dream (Zhang Lu, 2016)

A Single Rider (Lee Joo-young, 2017)

Split (Choi Kook-hee, 2016)

The Tooth and the Nail (Jung Sik, Kim Whee, 2017)

The Truth Beneath (Lee Kyoung-mi, 2016)

Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Uhm Tae-hwa, 2016)

The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil, 2017)


Bad Genius(Nattawut Poonpiriya, Thailand, 2017)

Birdshot (Mikhail Red, Philippines, 2016)

Kfc (Le Binh Giang, Vietnam, 2017)

Mrs. K (Ho Yuhang, Malaysia, 2016)

Saving Sally (Avid Liongoren, Philippines, 2016)

Town in a Lake (Jet Leyco, Philippines, 2015)

Presented with the support of the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York

Eternal Summer (Leste Chen, 2006)

The Gangster’s Daughter (Chen Mei-juin, 2017)

Godspeed (Chung Mong-hong, 2016)

Mon Mon Mon Monsters (Giddens, 2017)

The Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, 2016)

The Village of No Return (Chen Yu-hsun, 2017)



Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno (Jung Yoon-suk, 2017)

Mrs. B., A North Korean Woman (Jero Yun, 2016)


Now in its 16th year, the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema, which The Village Voice has called “the best film festival in New York,” and The New York Times has called “one of the city’s most valuable events.” Launched in 2002 by Subway Cinema, the festival selects only the best, strangest, and most entertaining movies to screen for New York audiences, ranging from mainstream blockbusters and art-house eccentricities to genre and cult classics. It was the first North American film festival to champion the works of Johnnie To, Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike, and other auteurs of contemporary Asian cinema. Since 2010, it has been produced in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.


The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from The New York Times, Shutterstock, Variety, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.



Subway Cinema is America’s leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular film culture in all forms, building bridges between Asia and the West. With year-round festivals and programs, the organization aims to bring wide audience and critical attention to contemporary and classic Asian cinema in the U.S. In 2002, Subway Cinema launched its flagship event, the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which is North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway cinema’s other events and initiatives include Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF).

For more information, visit www.subwaycinema.com, www.facebook.com/NYAFF, and follow @subwaycinema on Twitter (#nyaff16).

Subway Cinema receives generous, year-round support from the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation and sponsorships from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Korean Cultural Center New York, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, China Institute, Manhattan Portage, Tsingtao Beer, Japan Foundation New York, Maven Wine, Bruce R. Watts, and thanks their media partners: Screen International, Asian Crush, China Film Insider, Chopsticks NY.



Week-Long Event, Programmed And Moderated By Critic/Author Matt Zoller Seitz,

To Present First Legacy Award to Actress/Director/Trailblazer Lee Grant, Monday, June 5th

Additional Panels Showcasing Acclaimed, Highly Anticipated Scripted Content Include: Premiere of USA Network’s ‘The Sinner’; Special Screening of ‘The Sopranos’ Pine Barrens Episode With Creator David Chase, Recipient of The Festival’s Vanguard Award; An In-Depth Look at Margo Martindale’s Many Roles Including Amazon’s ‘Sneaky Pete’; An Exploration of Web Series; A Deep-Dive into the End of ‘Hannibal’;

A Discussion About the Art & Craft of Amazon’s ‘The Man In The High Castle’;

Plus A Look at the Art of TV Criticism Featuring Seitz and TV’s Most Prominent Critical Voices

Festival To Take Place from June 2-8; Tickets Now on Sale at SplitScreensFestival.com

[New York, May 22, 2017] – IFC Center today announced the remaining events scheduled during the inauguralSplit Screens Festival (www.splitscreensfestival.com) taking place Friday, June 2 through Thursday, June 8, 2017, at the IFC Center in New York City.  


Details announced last week, including a premiere of HBO's period drama, "The Deuce,"  plus panels for “Difficult People” (Hulu), “The Get Down (Netflix), “Orphan Black” (BBC AMERICA), “Search Party (TBS); “The Girlfriend Experience”(STARZ), “Underground” (WGN America); “Billions" (Showtime), “Brockmire”(IFC), “Mr. Robot” (USA Network),  and “Better Call Saul” (AMC), laid the groundwork for what is expected to be New York's premiere television festival event this summer.


As previously announced, the festival will be anchored by four signature categories: PREMIERES, an opportunity for audiences to be  among the first to screen an anticipated new series; CLOSE-UP, focused primarily on the work of one or two celebrated actors in a series; SHOWCASE, which will take a deeper look at a series through the lens of its creators, producers and stars;  and REWIND, revisiting an iconic episode of television via a screening and conversation with the creatives who have brought their vision to life.


IFC Center along with Split Screens’ curator/moderator Matt Zoller Seitz said that the Festival will feature several signature events and presentations including the first-ever Legacy Award, sponsored by AMC Networks, an annual honor presented to a television leader who has broken new ground and reshaped the landscape and the industry over the course of a significant career.  On Monday, June 5 at 6:30 PM, the 2017 Legacy Award will be presented to actress/director and trailblazer, Lee Grant followed by a thoughtful exchange between Grant and Seitz about Grant's body of work over the past seven decades.  Most recently, Grant created a short piece for YouTube entitled “Battered: The Assault on Hillary Clinton,” a montage of what Grant saw Clinton endure during the presidential campaign.  


New festival highlights announced today include: PREMIERE of USA’s “The Sinner”; CLOSE-UP conversation featuring Margo Martindale of “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon); a REWIND panel on “Hannibal” (NBC); SHOWCASE event on “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon); and lastly two SPECIAL EVENT panels: “The Evolution of Television Criticism” featuring some of the country's most well-respected critical voices as they dissect the latest and (sometimes not so) greatest moments in TV and “New Platforms, New Voices” exploring the creation of web series.


In addition to the Legacy Award, Split Screens will present the Festival’s Vanguard Award to “The Sopranos” visionary David Chase, a creative master whose work has demonstrably shifted the direction of the television industry. The June 5th event, scheduled for 8:30 PM, includes a special screening of the classic Pine Barrens episode directed by Steve Buscemi, who will be in attendance, and will present the award along with co-writer and co-executive producer Terence Winter.


Most festival screenings and panel discussions will be hosted and moderated by Split Screens artistic director Matt Zoller Seitz. As Editor-in-Chief of RogerEbert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the author of TV (The Book) and studies on Wes Anderson, Oliver Stone and Mad Men, Seitz, the ultimate TV fan, knows that audiences can't get enough of good television content.


“We spent hours considering those talented individuals whose work and ethic stood out amongst a long list of brilliant creatives,” noted Matt Zoller Seitz.  “In the end, we chose to honor two individuals who we believe have changed the face of the entertainment industry --Lee Grant, a woman whose long record of excellence both in front of and behind the camera speaks for itself, and David Chase whose masterful work was on the leading edge of what we now call Peak TV.  It’s an honor and a privilege to have them with us during the week of the festival and we look forward to getting their take on the world of television today.”


Split Screens Festival is made possible by Major Sponsors SHOWTIME®, AMC Networks; Supporting Sponsor BBC AMERICA; Event Sponsors USA Network, FX Networks. Additional support from Friends of the Festival include WGN America, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Wheelhouse Creative.


Social Media Handles:

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/SplitScreensTV

Twitter:                @SplitScreensTV

Instagram:          @SplitScreensTV


Ticket Information:

  • Tickets for the opening night premiere of “The Deuce” are $30 ($25 IFC Center members)
  • Tickets for individual events are $12-$19 ($10-$16 IFC Center members)
  • A festival pass, providing admission to all festival programs, is available for $125 ($95 IFC Center members)


Tickets, festival passes and additional program information are available online at SplitScreensFestival.com, or in person at the IFC Center box office at 323 Sixth Ave. (at West 3rd St.), open daily 10:30am-10:00pm


Press Contacts:

FerenComm for Split Screens Festival



For sponsorship information, please contact sponsorship@splitscreensfestival.com

To download Split Screens Festival logo click HERE






In person: Series producer and co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal, pilot director Michelle MacLaren and series co-creator George Pelecanos


To download image click HERE


Split Screens premieres the pilot episode of HBO’s eagerly anticipated New York period drama from executive producers David Simon and George Pelecanos (The Wire), about the rise of the porn industry in and around Times Square in the 1970s. The cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal as an entrepreneurial sex worker and James Franco as twin brothers who serve as fronts for the Mafia. True to form for a producing team that shepherdedThe Wire and Treme into existence, The Deuce is a beating-heart-of-the-city drama that explores the interconnectedness of characters from different social classes and ethnicities, some of whom find themselves at odds over money, honor and the obligation to uphold the law.




In person: Sonia Saraiya, Variety; Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker; Angelica Jade Bastien, contributor to Vulture and The Atlantic; and Matt Zoller Seitz


Much of early television was, to quote Edward R. Murrow’s exhausted call for substance in TV journalism, little more than lights and wires in a box. And TV criticism was a similarly disreputable arm of print journalism, the job you took if no other discipline would tolerate you.  It consisted largely of rote descriptions of what aired last night and teasers for whatever was coming up tomorrow, plus listings, and, if the readers were lucky, the writer was funny and would throw in a not-terrible joke.


The medium evolved through the years, though, and critics evolved with it, treating Murrow’s idiot box as a window into and mirror of the world at large. Reflecting the diversity of its subject, TV criticism has exploded into dozens of different subgenres, from sociopolitical “hot takes” to deep-dish formal analysis to recaps of individual episodes and even video essays that use bits and pieces of the shows themselves in order to analyze, praise or decry them. A panel of distinguished columnists with experience that spans three decades will take us through the changes and talk about where both TV and TV criticism might be headed.



In person: Production designer Drew Boughton and costume designer J.R. Hawbaker



To download image click HERE


Based on Philip K. Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel, Amazon's The Man in the High Castle visualizes an alternate reality in which the Axis powers won World War Il. The continental United States has been divvied up into three zones: the East Coast, run by Germany; the West coast, run by imperial Japan, and the middle part of the country, a no-man's land that suggests an industrialized version of the mythic Wild West of yore. This lavishly produced nightmare adventure is one of the most thoroughly imagined worlds ever built for television, mixing an array of cultural, architectural and historical influences to suggest how competing world views express themselves in daily life. This special panel will reveal how the High Castle team works to convince the audience that this is all actually happening, using everything from green-screen composited digital skyscrapers to cleverly fabricated documents, cigarette packages, high heeled shoes and "vintage" revolvers, none of which ever existed in our world.


4:30 PM – “MR. ROBOT” (USA Network) CLOSE-UP with Rami Malek

In person: Actor Rami Malek


To download image click HERE


It’s tricky enough to be the lead actor on a TV drama, more so when you’re in almost every scene, and trickier still when your character narrates the show. USA Network’s Golden Globe® award winner Mr. Robot tasks its star, Rami Malek, with all these responsibilities, then adds more: It’s one of the most relentlessly interior shows, inviting you into the headspace of its lead character—computer expert and secret vigilante hacker Elliot Alderson—and showing you the world as he sees it.

Through clips and discussion, the event takes a deep dive with Malek into his performance as the show’s title character. Playing an introvert turned underground revolutionary, Malek shapes his role through research and prep work, posture and gestures, and even the way he modulates his voice between Elliot’s dialogue with different characters and his voiceover narration directly to the audience. Co-presented By USA Network.


In person: Series creator and showrunner Derek Simonds and executive producer and director Antonio Campos.


To download image click HERE


In this remarkable new psychological thriller, Jessica Biel stars as Cora Tannetti, a young mother who is suddenly and mysteriously subsumed by rage and commits a shocking act of violence in plain view of others. Bill Pullman costars as Detective Harry Ambrose, who tries to understand why she did it, a question that no one, Cora included, can answer.  Created by screenwriter Derek Simonds and featuring a pilot directed by independent filmmaker Antonio Campos (Simon KillerChristine), it’s a rare potboiler that’s more concerned with the psychology of disturbed people than with the procedural details that too often bog down these kinds of stories. Everyone knows what happened and who did it; the big question is why. Co-presented by USA Network. 



In person: Series creators, co-directors and executive producers Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, and executive producer Lilly Burns


To download image click HERE


It’s rare to encounter a TV series that could accurately be described as a satire, much less an unsparing one, butSearch Party absolutely qualifies. It’s a mystery about people trying to get to the bottom of a young woman’s disappearance, but that’s just what’s happening on the surface. The detective story is the gimmick that draws you in so that this exceptional and surprising show — credited to a rogue’s gallery of executive producers, including Michael Showalter, Sarah-Violet Bliss, and Charles Rogers — can work its dark magic. The vanishing is a device that the show uses to explore Dory’s (Alia Shawkat) world and make uncomfortable observations about modern life, in particular the tendency to confuse the ego-stroking virtual busywork of the text- and social media-driven era for actual, meaningful action. There’s an even deeper level to this series, something on the order of an existential quest, a long journey into the heroine’s emotional interior. The condition of believing oneself sensitive while feeling very little has rarely been examined with such exactness.



12:30 PM - “SNEAKY PETE” (Amazon) CLOSE-UP with Margo Martindale

In person: Actress Margo Martindale  



To download image click HERE


Born and raised in Jacksonville, Texas, Margo Martindale was a reliable character actor on stage and in films and television series for decades before she suddenly and delightfully became a star on FX Networks’ crime saga Justified, playing Mags Bennett, a Ma Barker-styled Kentucky crime boss who dispatches her foes with poisoned moonshine. A string of very different, equally eye-catching roles followed, in such series as The Americans (playing Claudia, a devious KGB handler) and the Netflix animated series Bojack Horseman (playing a version of herself, appropriately referred to by other characters as “Esteemed Actress Margo Martindale”).


Her most recent role might be her most all-encompassing: on Amazon’s Sneaky Pete, Martindale plays the grandmother of Giovanni Ribisi’s con man hero, a small town bail bondswoman who is determined to keep her family together even as it threatens to buckle under the pressure of repaying a debt to a gangster (series co-creator Bryan Cranston). Mixing Mags’ ferocious family loyalty, Claudia’s barbed wire ruthlessness and the eccentric warmth she brought to the short-lived CBS sitcom The Millers (which Martindale still recalls fondly), it’s a milestone role in a career that continues to surprise and delight.



In person: co-creator and executive producer Stephen Adly Guirgis, supervising producer Nelson George


To download image click HERE


“Unfold your own myth,” blares a graffiti tag on the skin of a subway car in The Get Down. Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis’s 1970s musical melodrama about the birth of hip-hop and the fall of dirty-glorious Gotham is forever characterizing itself this way: like a rapper nimbly reframing a story as he tells it. It’s a multimedia work—television, cinema, a novel, a scrapbook; collage, decoupage, a montage barrage. The sheer, shameless entertainment value of The Get Down camouflages how formally inventive it is. The gleeful way that the image texture (1970s TV news video, 16mm, what looks like enhanced YouTube footage) changes from shot to shot suggests the filmmakers are glorying in a crazy-quilt aesthetic instead of knocking themselves out trying to make every piece seem like part of a seamless whole. The show is sampling pop culture history, New York City history and music history to create its own sound.



In person: Series creator, co-executive producer and costar Julie Klausner



To download image click HERE


Julie Klausner’s series about brilliant, acerbic, self-defeating best buds on the fringes of stardom is tailor-made for the YouTube era, when artists and entertainers act as their own agents, publicists and managers and watch their colleagues’ successes and failures unfold in real time, with envy or glee, depending.


Julie (Klausner) and Billy (Billy Eichner) keep hatching schemes like a couple of Lucy Ricardos, even though their quest is motivated less by a burning urge to express themselves than a lust for fame and comfort. They pop others’ delusions and preserve their own, but even at their pettiest, there are moments when they speak the truth, and some of their most penetrating insights have to do with the show you’re watching and the medium that spawned it. One of Difficult People’s fiercest convictions is that a sitcom’s first obligation is to be funny and engaging, a surprisingly contrarian point of view now that every form of scripted entertainment is striving to subvert rather than embrace proven formulas. “When did comedies become 30-minute dramas?” Billy asks, with an aghast tone that suggests Difficult People is not interested in becoming one.


6:15 PM – “BETTER CALL SAUL” (AMC) CLOSE-UP with Michael McKean as Chuck McGill

In person: Actor Michael McKean and series co-creator and co-executive producer Peter Gould



To download image click HERE

Better Call Saul, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s improbably just-as-good prequel to Breaking Bad, is a showcase for ace character actors, none as sneakily great as Michael McKean, who costars as the slippery hero’s straight-arrow older brother, Chuck McGill. Chuck is a feared trial lawyer at a top Albuquerque, New Mexico law firm who claims to be hypersensitive to electricity, and is equally allergic to laziness and ethical short cuts. In lesser hands, he could have been an amusing if one-note foil. But McKean, a wizardly comic actor with the soul of a Method chameleon, imbues him with so many layers of personality, all operating simultaneously, that you can’t help feeling for him and understanding Chuck even when the character grates on you. This Close-Up panel will explore McKean’s collaboration with the character’s creator, writer-producer Peter Gould, and delve into McKean’s long and rich career as a dramatic and comedic actor and improvisational comic.





In person: Lee Grant



To download image click HERE


Split Screens is proud to announce the inaugural Legacy Award, presented by AMC Networks, honoring an individual whose career has had a lasting impact on television, to actress, director, author and activist Lee Grant. Born in Manhattan to Russian Jewish immigrants, Grant scored her first Oscar® nomination playing opposite Kirk Douglas in 1951’s Detective Story. But her budding career was temporarily derailed the following year, when the House Un-American Activities Committee, angered by her criticism of their methods, demanded she testify against her husband, playwright Arnold Manoff. Her refusal led to her being blacklisted.


When the political climate cooled, she returned to stardom in an Emmy-winning role on the first successful nighttime soap opera, Peyton Place, a series controversial for its frank, often sexual themes. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar® for her role as Warren Beatty’s lover in 1975’s Shampoo, then channeled her political awareness into a career as a director of socially aware fiction and nonfiction films, tackling such hot-button subjects as workplace discrimination (A Matter of Sex), transgender identity (What Sex Am I?), poverty and Reaganomics (the Oscar®-winning documentary Down and Out in America), and sexism in medical treatment (the TV movie Nobody’s Child, for which Grant became the first woman to win a Director’s Guild of America award). She is also the author of the acclaimed 2014 memoir I Said Yes to Everything. Grant will touch on these highlights and more in a one-on-one interview about her extraordinary life and career.


8:30 PM- VANGUARD AWARD: HONORING DAVID CHASE followed by a special screening of “THE SOPRANOS” (HBO) Season Three: “Pine Barrens” SPECIAL EVENT

In person: Creator and executive producer David Chase; co-executive producer and co-writer Terence Winter; director and actor Steve Buscemi.


To download image click HERE


David Chase’s gangster series shattered the industry’s preconceptions and showed what TV drama could be. Part crime thriller, part domestic drama, and part social satire, The Sopranos was also innovative in its structure. It split the difference between serialized, long-form storytelling, in which an entire season was united by ongoing plot strands, and more traditional TV narrative, where characters and conflicts were introduced at the start of an episode and resolved neatly at the end.


These qualities and more are exemplified by Season Three’s “Pine Barrens,” in which Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti ineptly try to kill a Russian gangster in a snowy stretch of New Jersey forest, with an ending that is classic Sopranos, offering a conclusion at once inevitable and surprising—and also prankishly frustrating, denying both characters and viewers the closure they crave. In that respect, it feels like a harbinger of the show’s notorious 2007 cut-to-black ending, which Sopranos fans argue about to this day. The episode’s screenwriter Terence Winter and director Steve Buscemi will present Chase with Split Screens’ first-ever Vanguard Award, then take us behind the scenes of one of the greatest of all Sopranos episodes.




In person: Actors Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Evelyne Brochu and Ari Millen, and executive producers Graeme Manson and John Fawcett


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BBC AMERICA’s clone conspiracy thriller stars Emmy® award winner Tatiana Maslany as multiple genetically identical women. But this is not merely a series about clones; it’s a continuous study in nature versus nurture that routinely puts Maslany in conversations with iterations of herself, and each iteration feels like a distinct human being rather than a sketch-comedy caricature. Graeme Manson and John Fawcett create a maze-like world where the reflections can not only talk, but have their own opinions. The result is sorcery, and Maslany is at the center, playing as many as four personalities at once while a constellation of gifted supporting players, including, Jordan Gavaris, Kristian Bruun, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kevin Hanchard, Evelyn Brochu, and others swirl around her. The show’s bottomless inventiveness and persistent sense of fun are infectious. In addition to the suspense generated by the story itself, there’s a secondary thrill from watching the cast and crew struggle to top themselves in sheer outrageousness. Co-presented by BBC AMERICA.


8:45 PM - “BILLIONS” (SHOWTIME) CLOSE-UP with Asia Kate Dillon

In person: Actor Asia Kate Dillon and creators David Levien and Brian Koppelman



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In its second season, Showtime’s hit drama series Billions made history by introducing TV’s first gender non-binary major character, Taylor Mason (played by Asia Kate Dillon), an intern at Axe Capital who unexpectedly becomes a favorite of macho hedge funder Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis). Dillon, who uses the singular they pronoun, auditioned for the role shortly after playing the racist skinhead Brandy on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Sharing the stage with series creators and executive producers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, our three guests will discuss the second season of Billions and the joys and challenges of playing a trailblazing character in a medium where starkly defined gender roles still rule the perceptions of casting directors and viewers alike.



7:00 PM - “BROCKMIRE” (IFC) CLOSE-UP with Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet

In person: Series executive producer and star Hank Azaria and star Amanda Peet


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Although he’s perhaps best known as one of the versatile repertory actors on The Simpsons, Hank Azaria is also a formidable live-action performer who can adjust his body to suit the needs of a role as deftly as he can his voice. Jim Brockmire, a minor-league sportscaster struggling with alcoholism and his own monstrous ego, gives the actor a rare opportunity to hold the spotlight for the entire running time of a series, as a character he’s been developing for years. The results are dazzling.

He’s matched by Amanda Peet, who brings a no-nonsense toughness to the role of Jules James, the owner of both the team and a local bar. Peet is equally comfortable as a romantic leading lady, a kitchen-sink drama actress and a pratfaller, and she gets to combine all three of those talents here. This detailed one-on-one discussion will delve into Peet and Azaria’s varied careers, their chemistry on the show, and the fine points of bringing these two eccentric characters to life.


In person: “Bravest Warriors” executive producer Fred Seibert; “Eat Your Feelings” creators and writers Emma Jane Gonzalez and Sasha Winters; “The Outs” writer and director Adam Goldman; “Gunner Jackson” creator and star Christian Strevy.


Series on the web, which originally served as an alternative ecosystem for storytellers who couldn't get their work onto larger platforms, now serves as an unofficial farm team for those same platforms, birthing such recent web-to-cable successes as “Insecure,” “High Maintenance” and “Broad City.” But the format is equally fascinating as an incubator for new voices and storytelling forms that might not be possible in traditional venues.  

Split Screens' inaugural web series panel spotlights four titles, each with a distinct style and point-of-view: “Bravest Warriors,” from “Adventure Time” mastermind Pendleton Ward, follows four teenaged heroes-for-hire as they warp through the universe to save adorable aliens and their worlds using the power of their emotions; “Eat Your Feelings,” a combination sitcom and cooking show that follows two Brooklyn 20-somethings cooking and eating their way through life's challenges; “The Outs,” which tells the story of broken-up couple, Jack and Mitchell, in non-linear scenes, and “Gunner Jackson,” in which a 26-year-old inventor tries to prove he's being surveilled by the U.S. Government.


In person: Co-executive producers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz


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The most narratively complex single episode of an ongoing series since the hero of Louie went to China, this alternately unnerving, baffling and hilarious half-hour of The Girlfriend Experience works as a psychological X-ray of the show’s heroine, escort Christine (Riley Keough); a play within a play; and a meditation on voyeurism, exhibitionism, sex, and acting. Co-written by series creators Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, and directed by Kerrigan, the episode doesn’t just avoid the traditional sorts of closure that TV viewers tend to crave; it throws the totality of the show’s first season into question, making us question the intent and substance of everything we’ve seen. As such, it owes less to current trends in scripted TV, even the most rarified kinds, than to 1960s European art cinema classics like Blow-UpLast Year at Marienbad and The Exterminating Angel.



7:00 PM –“UNDERGROUND” (WGN America) REWIND Season Two: “Minty” episode

In person: Actor Aisha Hinds and executive producer/director Anthony Hemingway


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WGN America’s groundbreaking series “Underground” made television history with the extended episode “Minty” that originally aired April 12.  During her hour-long solo, and career-defining, performance, Aisha Hinds brought Harriet Tubman back to life when she delivered a monumental and definitive speech in character as the Underground Railroad's most famous conductor.  Set in 1858 against the backdrop of a nation deeply divided by race, class and gender, Tubman makes a passionate plea to abolitionists to shift their thinking as she challenges them to take swift action against those who are determined to oppress others.  “Minty,” was written by series co-creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, and directed by Emmy and Golden Globe Award® winner Anthony Hemingway. Co-presented by WGN America.


9:00 PM –”HANNIBAL” (NBC) REWIND Season Three: “The Wrath of the Lamb”

In person: Leila Taylor, Creative Director at the Brooklyn Public Library; novelist Rob Hart (New YorkedThe Woman from Prague); composer Matt Marks of Alarm Will Sound; illustrator and author Janice Poon, food stylist for Hannibal and author of Feeding Hannibal.(Via Skype) Hannibal creator and executive producer Bryan Fuller.



To download image click HERE


A special theatrical screening of the finale of NBC’s “Hannibal,” a nightmare fantasy from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) that reinterpreted Thomas Harris' novels through the eyes of an expressionist, polymorphous sensualist. Reworking much of the plot of Harris’ Red Dragon, but in a more hallucinatory way than in earlier film versions, the finale builds to an orgiastic release of pent-up intellectual and sexual energy so intense that viewers may need a cigarette and a towel afterward.  Fuller will join the audience via Skype to discuss the finale, the legacy of his cult classic, his new Starz series American Gods, and what a hypothetical fourth season of “Hannibal” would look like. A panel of New York-based Fannibals will discuss the legacy of the show, including its impact on popular art.



Split Screens Festival (www.splitscreensfestival.com) is produced and presented by IFC Center, one of New York’s leading independent cinemas, and is organized by the core team of its successful DOC NYC documentary film festival, including Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen, Partnerships Director Deborah Rudolph and Operations Director Dana Krieger. Collaborating with broadcasters, cable networks and streaming services, the annual festival will highlight acclaimed and anticipated content from a range of platforms to bring together the creative talent behind TV’s most acclaimed shows and sophisticated New York audiences.



IFC Center is a five-screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village that opened in June 2005 following an extensive renovation of the historic Waverly Theater. Headed by Senior VP and General Manager John Vanco, IFC Center presents the very best in new foreign-language, American independent and documentary features to audiences and is also known for its innovative repertory series and festivals, showing short films before its regular features in the ongoing “Short Attention Span Cinema” program, and special events such as the guest-programmed “Movie Nights” and frequent in-person appearances by filmmakers. In 2010, IFC Center launched the acclaimed DOC NYC festival, a high-profile showcase that celebrates nonfiction filmmaking and is now the largest documentary festival in the US. For additional theater information, current and upcoming program details and more, visit ifccenter.com.

'THE SUITCASE' director Abi Damaris Corbin - "Just tell the story authentically, diversity naturally occurs"

Tribeca Film Festival 2017 had some wonderful short films this year. It's a clear example of how the quality of short films is better than ever, and content just keeps getting more interesting, intriguing and exciting. One of those examples was the film THE SUITCASE. The film inspired by true events, tells the story of a Boston bred baggage handler, whose ordinary life is turned upside down when he steals a suitcase that contains terrorist plans of 9/11. 

We talked to Abi Damaris Corbin, the director, writer, and co-producer of THE SUITCASE. Here are the excerpts.

Art Shrian: Congratulations on your wonderful film. It's very well produced, and well made. So, what inspired you to make a movie about 9/11, specially at this time?

Abi Corbin: I do not necessarily consider this a 9/11 story. It's people's story. I'm from Boston, and I particularly remember the news of Boston Marathon bombing. It shook me up. I remember 9/11 myself. Innocence was snatched from Americans on 9/11 and in many ways we’re a generation living in the shadow of that day. Since then America has become inundated with attacks — marathon, subway, school, club; the list is long — and when writing this I was overwhelmed by the desire to affect change. In a world where nothing I did seemed to make a difference, I idealistically wanted to matter. When I came across this story it clicked for me that change makers — real heroes — shaped the world by their integrity in tough everyday moments and actions.

AS: What was the most difficult part of making this film?

AC: We knew jumping into the project the TARMAC LOCATIONS would be our biggest challenge — and it certainly was.  It came to the wire — we were 4 weeks out and not satisfied with airport options. Committed to authentic story telling and high production value, we kept at the search and finally uncovered San Bernardino Airport. Thankfully my editors wife is an excellent cook and her banana bread accompanied by the persuasive powers of myself, the producers and the kindness of the incredible SB staff secured us the tarmac location. We then married San Bernardino’s tarmac with a warehouse and a Boston splinter unit and voila we were had our “Boston Logan Airport.”

AS: What you did there is something all new filmmakers need to learn. Congratulations to you and your producers for making it happen. How was your experience screening your film at Tribeca?

AC: The film’s not complete until you share it with an audience — so WOW — it was gratifying and fulfilling to see an audience take heart from our story. 

Ben Thompson and Sharon Badal, our Tribeca champions, positioned our premiere across from the 9/11 memorial at the Regal Cinema. When we pulled up to screen — seeing the Freedom Tower and the names of victims etched into the memorial gave me spine shivers. It was one of the distinct honors of my life to share this story in NYC.

AS: What's next after this project? Do you plan to evolve this project into something larger or moving to something else?

AC: I’m in the midst of writing a feature film called SWATTED. It’s a cousin to SUITCASE in that it’s about a down on his luck Boston guy who longs to matter – but this story is set against the backdrop of the eSports world. Getting "swatted" is a phenomena in gaming world. And this guy's life changes in a moment, when he gets swatted. It's the story of how far he's willing to go. And what happens from there.

AS: Sounds very interesting. I really look forward to it. Talk to us little bit about being a woman storyteller in the industry. Diversity & Inclusion have become big words in Hollywood. What's your experience been and what's your message to other storytellers?

AC: First and foremost, I'm born a storyteller and born a woman. So I have stories to tell, that are inherently about where I'm from, and who I am. It's not an obstacle. You just embrace, that you are going to tell the stories that I'm born to tell. And you move forward. There may not be tons of diversity behind the camera right now, but there's lot of initiatives going on to improve that. I myself have been part of some of them in several programs, and panels etc. They are striving to make sure that all voices are represented. But more so, just tell your story. That's the most important thing for me. Tell the story authentically and honestly, find the best people that are able to tell that story, and diversity naturally occurs.

AS: Very well said. I cannot agree more. Last, but not the least. What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about NYC?

AC: F. Scott Fitzgerald has this phrase in GATSBY that captures NYC — “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

For me NYC’s promise isn’t just seen from the bridge — it’s etched all over the city — in the imposing power of the financial district buildings, snapshots of fierce hope at the 9/11 museum, art at the Met, New Yorkers doing life on the Highline in Chelsea… I could go on about NYC haunts all day – but it’s the spirit of promise that makes me want to design my own I love NYC tee.

Least favorite... The train commute between Tribeca and Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. I lived all the Buzzfeed jokes — the pole hugger, the napper, squeezer — we’re all friends now. Also I’m fairly sure there’s a dude in Brooklyn who owes me a pair of sunglasses – if you’re reading this I want them back!

AS: Well. Someone somewhere is rocking your sunglasses, and probably thanking you right now! Thank you so much for talking to us and many congratulations and All the best. We look forward to hearing more of you. CHEERS!

More about THE SUITCASE:


  • Director: Abi Damaris Corbin

  • Screenwriter: Abi Damaris Corbin

  • Cinematographer: Jon Keng

  • Editor: Chris Witt

  • Composer: Nathan Matthew David

  • Production Designer: Lauren Meyer

  • Executive Producer: Elena Bawiec, Jean de Meuron, Erik Weaver

  • Producer: Abi Damaris Corbin, Drew Diamond, Daniela Ruiz

  • Associate Producer: Chris Witt

  • Supervising Sound Editor/ Re-recording Sound Mixer: Peter Bawiec

  • Casting Director: Selina Ringel

  • Costume Designer: Christine Bald

  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Gregory Jones

  • Cast: Mojean Aria, Joseph D. Reitman, Charley Rossman

CineKink Announces Kick-Off Gala Redux

The annual kick-off gala for CineKink NYC, “the kinky film festival,” will take place Tuesday, May 23rd, 8:00 PM to midnight, at M1-5 Lounge (52 Walker St., bet. Church & Broadway, NYC).

Rescheduled from its original March date, when a blizzard shut down the city, CineKink Kick-Off Gala Redux will be a “pansexual celebration of epic proportions.” In addition to burlesque performances, the event will feature “sexy sensation” stations for samplings by the kink-curious, a raffle of sex goodies, and some favorite CineKink film shorts.

While the gala is normally the kick-off to CineKink’s annual film festival, organizers are looking at it as a launch to a fundraising campaign that will help it recover from this season’s weather-related losses, and put the festival in a strong position for its 15th anniversary appearance next spring.

“We’re excited at the chance to toast what we’ve accomplished over the past decade and a half,” said Lisa Vandever, CineKink co-founder and director. “And, with the help of the CineKink community, we look forward to really building on that in the year ahead.”

Entertainer and activist Witti Repartee will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala, with Clara Coquette, Mary Cyn and Anja Keister scheduled to perform.

Meanwhile, several “sensation stations” will allow revelers to sample a range of kinky activities, with experts including Lolita Wolf (rope bondage), Veronica Vera (feminization and transformation), N1 (spanking and impact play), and Infinity Rising with Martyn Fire (electrical play).

Sponsors for the event, several of whom have also donated raffle items, include Bowery Bliss and njoy, along with Purple Passion, plus Leather Archives & Museum, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Pleasure Salon.

Suggested admission for the gala is $20 door/$15 advance; 21 and over only.

For more information on the event, visit

To purchase advance tickets or to make a donation to CineKink, visit https://cinekink2017kickoff.eventbrite.com


Billing itself as “the kinky film festival,” CineKink NYC returned for its 14th annual appearance March 14-19, 2017, and will be followed by a national showcase tour. Presented by CineKink, an organization dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television, works featured at CineKink range from documentary to drama, comedy to experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit – and everything in between.

New York Indian Film Festival 2017, closes with "You Are My Sunday"

The 17th New York Indian Film Festival closed last night, with the screening of Milind Dhaimade's directorial debut, YOU ARE MY SUNDAY (Tu Hai Mera Sunday). The slate of films this year was exceptional with over 85 wonderful films, with several of them having their New York premiere.

The quality of Indian cinema is better than ever, on par with not just American & European cinema, and this festival brought several examples of that in narrative, documentary shorts and all categories. Films like SHAB by Onir, POORNA by Rahul Bose, A DEATH IN THE GUNJ by Konkona Sen Sharma (who won the best actress award & best director award at the festival this year), TRAPPED by Vikramditya Motwani, KASAAV by Sunil Sukthankar, AN INSIGNIFICANT MAN by Khushboo and Vinay Shukla, are just some of the examples of the exceptional quality of films that are being produced by Indian diaspora.

The festival also had various other events for filmmakers and audiences. The highlight was the 2 day workshop for "SHOOT A SHORT", by three time National Award winning Indian filmmaker Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni. The workshop primarily aimed at guiding film enthusiasts and beginners to make short films. It focused on the process of translating an idea to a complete short film. Umesh gave some very practical and valuable advice about how to plan the production, how to write and shoot your film, and how to make it into an exceptional piece of art, by putting every piece together beautifully.

Another big event was the meeting and panel discussion with David Tagioff from CAA. This was an opportunity for filmmakers and story tellers to understand the business from an agency's side. David and his associate Jason gave a deep insight into value of Indian cinema and content in the international arena. CAA has been ahead of the curve, when it comes to International programming. David and his team has been leading that effort, and his commitment and passion to great storytelling was quite inspiring to all.

The closing night film YOU ARE MY SUNDAY, is the feature directorial debut of ex ad man Milind Dhaimade, who quit at the height of his career to pursue his dream of making movies. His first feature film, definitely does not disappoint. It's a joyful tale of group of friends (Cast - Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Avinash Tiwary, Rasika Duggal, Vishal Malhotra) who are just looking for a place to play football every Sunday, in Mumbai. But there personal lives, there own journeys, and their own fights become a metaphor of how urban lives have become so convoluted for simplicity of life. People are not able to enjoy simple things in life, due to the hustle & bustle of there career, wishes, goals, or lack of those.

The film is beautifully shot between Mumbai and Goa. The entire cast is wonderful, and does a great job. It's breakout performance by Barun and Shahana Goswami. Shahana breaks the mould she has been cast in, and gives a joyful performance as Kavi, a MBA working in marketing, trying to care for her father, and figure out her life. Without being overtly feminist or preachy, the film does a good job of portraying some honest stories. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Milind, Shahana and Rasika.

The night and the festival, ended with a fun after-party at Gramercy Theater. Delicious Indian food, live music by Punjabi band - Rhythm Tolee, beer by BIRA (they do make good white beer) and wine by Mirza Ghalib.  

The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) is the oldest, most prestigious film festival screening premieres of feature, documentary and short films made from, of, and about the Indian subcontinent in the Independent, arthouse, alternate and diaspora genres. Seven days of screenings, post-screening discussions, industry panels, award ceremony, special events, nightly networking parties, red carpet galas, media attention and packed audiences build an awareness of Indian cinema, entertain & educate North Americans about the real India, and add to the amazing cultural diversity of New York City. Please visit: www.iaac.us/NYIFF2017/index.htm

Montclair Film Festival 2017, closes with BAND AID, by Zoe Lister-Jones

The 6th Montclair Film Festival that ran from April 28th to May 7th, had its closing night celebrations. The closing night film was Zoe Lister-Jones's directorial debut BAND AID. A house-full screening at the iconic Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, and a live discussion with Zoe herself, was followed by A filmmakers party at MFF's new & beautiful headquarters at Cinema505. the party was joined by several filmmakers and film lovers from New Jersey, New York and nationwide, enjoying delicious food by Events by Joni and drinks by New Jersey Beer Co. The Filmmaker Party was the perfect ending to ten days of great cinema, conversations, and community!

Closing night film BAND AID came to MFF on the heels of Sundance, where the film had its world premiere. It well deservedly got great response there, and got picked by IFC & Sony Pictures Worldwide for theatrical release on June 2, 2017.

The film is a beautiful tale of a couple (played by Zoe and Adam Pally) who love and hate each other. Maybe more fighting than loving. But that hate and fighting inspires them to write hate songs. And they love that. They end up forming a band, with their weird sexaholic neighbor and drummer, Dave (played wonderfully by Fred Armisen). The film is very musical and very funny, thanks to the wonderful cast and good writing. The film also gets quite emotional and the right moments, making it a good mix of drama and comedy.

The film does tend to be very feminist, for some people's taste, but it does not really get offensive. For many people, its close to truth (Ben dealing with his pain through video games!). Zoe mentioned that it was entire women crew that made the film. And the diversity/inclusion in her casting is quite evident. Zoe does a great job of making an impactful first film.

The screening was followed by a discussion with Zoe. You can watch it here