2010 French Quarter Festival, Nab Show, Country Music Awards, Tribeca Film Festival, Focal Awards, Highlight April Media Industry Events

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by Canadian Film Centre

The 2010 International Experimental Media Congress, the first Congress of its kind since the 1989 Toronto Experimental Film Congress, will assemble film, video, new media artists, theorists, archivists, and curators from around the world, who will be in Toronto through April 11 for panels and discussions related to experimental media production, exhibition, dissemination, criticism, pedagogy and reception. The International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) is an annual conference and trade show for professionals from the film festival industry who will be in Amsterdam through April 9 to participate in presentations, interactive panel discussions and networking events, and to look forward to the Dinner With Strangers event that allows attendees a unique and fun opportunity to meet and dine with festival colleagues from all over the world. The 2010 French Quarter Festival, opening April 9-11, highlights New Orleans’ signature music, food, and culture in the historic neighborhood, mostly by a musical smorgasbord of jazz, r&b, funk, folk, opera, gospel, blues, and brass bands, but also with over 105 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, forming the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” with local cuisines from the area’s finest restaurants including such festival favorites as Jambalaya, Crawfish Bread, Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Muffaletta, Crawfish, and more.

The annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference and expo for professionals who create filmed entertainment, and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums and platforms, happens this year from April 10-15 in Las Vegas. Comic strip icon, Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Silver Surfer), will be at this year’s event, and the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) in partnership with the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) will host its annual spring Career Fair at the NAB Show. Nailing Jello Productions conducts a short film screening, fundraiser and panel discussion on how independent filmmakers are using social and emerging media to fundraise, market and distribute their films at an event conducted in New York City on April 14. Tours and activities in Wine Country sets the theme for the Sonoma International Film Festival as activities interwoven into the festival’s daily screenings, happening April 14-18. Leading off the Sonoma Festival will be the world premiere of the documentary, “Coals to Newcastle”, about one of Britain’s cutting-edge funk bands, the New Mastersounds, who will be in town for the festival and perform live after the screening.

The Beverly Hills Film Festival, a competition festival dedicated to showcasing non-studio films and screenplays of emerging filmmakers in the city generally recognized as the headquarters for VIPs to the motion picture industry, is now in its tenth year, opening for a run from April 14-18, while treating festival goers to nightly theme parties, seminars, and a charity benefit. Nashville Film Festival, an Academy qualifier for short films, opens April 15 this year, through April 22, and because it takes place in “Music City” it is only natural that part of the focus be on music in films. So in addition to the many films about music and the Music Films in Music City awards, NaFF presents showcases, workshops, and other events where songwriters and artists come together with film professionals from Hollywood and around the world to promote collaboration. The 45th Academy of Country Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on CBS television network Sunday, April 18 at 8 pm (EST), hosted by Reba McEntire. For those fortunate to attend the Awards live in Las Vegas, the ACM All-Star Jam follows the award ceremony featuring impromptu performances from artists who participated in the Awards show. Mediabistro hosts an April 20 L.A. Cocktail Party for professionals in the media industry.  Conversation will be geared toward the latest media industry developments as party hosts, Write On! Online freelance writer, Debra Eckerling, and Kaiser Permanente senior web editor, Michelle Thatcher, help you enjoy yourself and make some great connections.

The mission of the Rincón International Film Festival is to support and promote culture and the arts in Puerto Rico through the medium of film. Rincón, Puerto Rico is also a Surfer’s paradise, so the festival is also looking to screen great surfing films, particularly at the beachfront resorts that will be used as screening venues during the festival run, April 20-25. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, honoring entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Awards will be presented on April 22 (the festival itself runs April 20-25) at the IFFLA Industry Leadership Award Luncheon held at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. The show will include performances by TAAL Dance Collective. Championing the short film format, Filmfest Dresden promotes a film category which is mostly disregarded by cinemas and television. This year, Filmfest Dresden is supplementing its film programmes with an extensive range of special events discussions, receptions and get-togethers such as on April 22 when the Saxony Film Association, the German Short Film Association, Filmfest Dresden, the School-goers Cinema Dresden, the Dresden Narrow Gauge Festival and other institutes are holding a reception where people will have an opportunity to get together for mutual exchanges.

As it usually does, the Tribeca Film Festival in New York will host many free events during its run from April 21 to May 5, for film fans and families, including: Tribeca Drive-In, an outdoor screening series that takes place at the World Financial Center Plaza, where you can watch professional salsa dancers, listen to live salsa music, enter dancing contests, and even take salsa lessons, following the screening of the HBO documentary The Spirit of Salsa. Then there will be the Tribeca Talks: Industry panels touching on all aspects of the filmmaking trade, and The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day. Opening on April 22 until April 26, Palm Beach International Film Festival, started in 1996 to give the area a foothold in the film industry as well as to benefit the area’s community schools through grant and scholarship awards, will emphasize its newly formed Friends of the PBIFF, which offers an array of fun-filled events to raise funds and awareness on a year-round basis for the PBIFF. Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 22 to May 6, is thought to be one of the longest-running film festival in the Americas. This year, SFIFF has an line-up of narrative feature films, live action and animated shorts, television and theatrical documentaries, experimental work, digital media, and industry panels, seminars, awards events, onstage tributes, retrospectives, and the well regarded Schools at the Festival program, which brings an estimated 4,200 grade school students into the festival.

ShowBiz Expo Los Angeles is the west coast counterpart to the show held in New York City in March — but runs for two days, April 24-25. Like New York the Los Angeles Expo includes a wide range of networking opportunities including the Exhibit Hall, Workshops/Seminars, Round Table Discussions, Headshot Displays, etc., and most importantly, live audition opportunities for which there is limited enrollment on a first come basis. MUSEEXPO 2010 will be in Los Angeles from April 25-28, and will incorporate the intimate format that marked its beginnings as organic networking dinners organized by A&R Network and A&R Worldwide architect Sat Bisla, aimed at bringing together friends and like-minded relationships from the global radio, A&R, film/TV music supervision, publishing, new media and artist management communities. In London on April 27, noted film director and FOCAL International’s Chair of Patrons, Lord David Putnam, opens the FOCAL International Awards festivities with a champagne reception sponsored by AP Archive, followed by a three-course dinner. FOCAL was formed in 1985 as an international, non-profit professional trade association representing commercial film/audiovisual, stills and sound libraries. The black tie and evening cocktail attire affair ends late with an after party also sponsored by AP Archive.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog. Follow the posting of the news summary on Twitter. Last month on the video news summary you saw new video from newly released single on iTunes – Make Your Move – from UK’s soulful, R&B songstress, Bukola. Music producing Padded Cell Productions of Toronto with a newly released art film, Jane Doe. And there was the “spiritual fusion of acoustic sitar experimental chanting spoken word improvisation”  of Scot Aaron and Govinda Schlegel who form Shaman Strings. These videos are now available on the Free Home Video Showcase which now serves as an archive for all past video presentations but without the audio news narration.

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