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With film, music, and networking events across NYC, the 2018 Interfaith Film & Music Festival aims to promote diversity and inclusion through music and cinema. Running November 30 to December 2, the IFMF addresses issues of racism, sexism, immigration, and identity through shorts, documentaries, narrative films and animation.
The festival opens with Searching Skies, directed by Vivian Hua, in which a Syrian refugee family is invited to a Christian family's house for Christmas dinne. They are caught between opposing viewpoints for and against their presence, until an unexpected event suddenly occurs. The documentary Sunday’s Best, directed by Marlon Johnson, Dennis Scholl, and Chad Tingle, explores the cherished African-American custom of wearing extraordinary hats to church services on Sundays, and explores the rich tradition with Miami's own fashionable faithful black community. Wilhemina’s War, directed by June Cross, is the story of Wilhemina Dixon, an uneducated daughter of sharecroppers who becomes a force in helping her granddaughter survive the health risks and social stigma of living with HIV in the South, where HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women.
The festival will also have community events in Harlem on December 1 as part of World AIDS Day, and a slate of panel discussions to go with the films.
To learn more, go to: http://www.interfaithfilmfest.com/
2018 Interfaith Film & Music FestivalNovember 30 - December 2, 2018
Fall ushers in the festival season, and that means the return of the Woodstock Film Festival. Running October 10 - 14 in scenic Woodstock, NY, the festival has a full slate of indie features, animation, documentaires, shorts and more. The festival also features a special segment for VR experiences, as well as panel discussions and awards.
The festival opens with Karl Berger - Music Mind, directed by Julian Benedikt, which follows the life of legendary jazz improvisational pioneer and longtime Woodstock resident Karl Berger. A concert featuring Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin, Peter Apfelbaum, Ken Filiano, and special guest Marliyn Crispell will happen after the screening.
There is also a special slate of music video screenings from acts including Japanese Breakfast, Toulouse, Journey Blue Heaven, Boogrov, and more.
Special guests to the festival also include Steve Buscemi, William Fichtner, Julie Taymor, Rosamund Pike, Bill Plympton, Christopher Lloyd and Stanley Tucci.
Photos from the Woodstock Film Festival preview party, courtesy of John Mazlish Fine Art Photography
To learn more, go to: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/
19th Annual Woodstock Film FestivalOctober 10 - 14, 2018
A slew of new compelling short stories are coming to the first ever Ojai Short Film Festival (OSFF) in Ojai, California. Running October 6 to 7th at Greater Goods (145 West El Roblar Drive), the festival features 27 films from all over the world such as the award winning Night Shift, produced by Viola Davis’ production company JuVee. There’s additional star power behind the mother daughter story, Little Match Girl, starring two-time Academy Award winner Kim Magnusson and Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Ferguson.
The festival’s co-founders, Sunil Sadarangani and Aman Segal, believe in the power of short films because of the impact it can spawn on its creators for bigger business ventures. In other words, small content is a vehicle for a longer journey in the filmmaking and entertainment business—it helps creatives get their work in front of audiences.
"Digital tech has given filmmakers a freer hand to fully express their craft using superior production methods to communicate powerful narratives in a limited time span,” Sadaranganitold a Ventura Countylocal paper. “Creators from diverse cultures and communities, therefore, are more than ever seeking a common ground to reconnect, ideate and showcase their debut work for better business prospects and a short film festival is that perfect conduit.”
In addition to the artistic push it gives creators, it also helps that the festival’s prime location is a beautiful place. “Ojai is a destination town,” Sadarangani said. “Its unique geographic location nestled right at the foot of the Los Padres National Forest provides natural magnetic vibration of earth, rock, flora, and fauna.”
“It has attracted many people to hone their art, music, and creations, and is home to many such artists,” he added.
In the end, what matters most is how much short content will grow and evolve as a business venture in the future. Both the co-founders of Ojai see a bright outcome within the next few years because of establishments like OSFF.
“The Ojai Short Film Fest's vision is to provide Filmmakers and Artists, from around the globe, a platform that empowers them to share their stories and to bring the Ojai community closer to the world,” shared OSFF co-founders Sadarangani and Segal. “Moreover,short-form content will be a major revenue stream for filmmakers in a few years, and we want to stay ahead of this ever-evolving, digital universe curve. As filmmakers ourselves, we have faced it all. It’s time for us to take the reins and gallop ahead.”
Featuring 55 films representing 39 countries, the Margaret Mead Film Festival runs October 18, through Sunday, October 21, at the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West & 79th St.) . This year’s festival includes 14 U.S. premieres and four North American premieres focusing on the theme of “Resilience in Motion,” documenting strength and resilience overcoming the difficult of circumstances.
The festival honors anthropologist Margaret Mead and features shorts, documentaries, features, and animated films with a social focus. The festival opens with Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram, written and produced by Karen Edwards and directed by Gemma Atwal. The film introduces the world to the young women whose kidnapping by Boko Haram, a militant terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, drew global attention and inspired the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Through exclusive interviews, we see how girls who managed to escape are adapting after their imprisonment and rebuilding their lives. There will be a discussion with the filmmakers after the screening.
There will also be non-film activities such as the Mixed Media Lounge in the Museum’s oldest gallery—the Northwest Coast Hall— showcasing storytelling through AR and virtual reality. On Saturday, October 20 at 2pm, the festival will presents a provocative panel discussion, “Whose Story Is It? Rethinking Cultural Representation” in the Museum’s Northwest Coast Hall, which examines how a New York museum can authentically present the voices and stories of First Nations communities across the continent.
To learn more, go to: https://www.amnh.org/explore/margaret-mead-film-festival
The Margaret Mead Film FestivalOctober 18 - 21, 2018
The American Museum of Natural HistoryCentral Park West & 79th St.New York, NY 10024
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