FILM FESTIVALS

It's a wonderful time of the year! Summer is just around the corner and festival season is still in full swing! As the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival is set to kick off this week, Indiewire has compiled a list of 11 must-see films at the event. From directorial debuts to comedy films and even a reimagining of "High Noon", there's something for all film lovers. Check out the list of top films to watch out for here.

Kickstarter and the Tribeca Film Festival have been partnering up in crowdfunding since 2011. Over the past 6 years, the festival has been proud to screen an assortment of notable Kickstarter-funded documentaries, including The Birth of Sake, Thank You for Playing, and many others. This year, the partnership will present 19 crowdfunded films to Tribeca audiences - films that, with a combined legion of supporters, had more than $2 million pledged to their campaigns. From documentaries about Ghostbusters fans to Bill Nye the Science Guy, Tribeca aims to show a little bit of everything from the crowdfunded front. 

 

To cover the journey from crowdfunding to festival premiering, a panel titled "Kickstarter as Audience Engagement" will also see 3 of Tribeca 2016’s Kickstarter beneficiaries gather for a live conversation this Friday, April 15. For a complete breakdown of the Kickstarter-funded films screening at the festival, read here.

The annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival has just announced its full lineup for 2016 and is happy to unveil that it will be home to over 200 buzzworthy documentaries this year. For its 23rd edition, programmers shifted through almost 3,000 submissions in order to narrow it down to just 232 titles from over 50 countries. 40% of their filmmakers are females as well. With titles from both Canada and abroad, it’s easy to see Hot Docs will continue to bring a high calibre of documentary films to Toronto with highly anticipated films such as “Operation Avalanche”.  For more info, head on over to Indiewire’s announcement or get the complete lineup over at the festival's official website.

Beyond word of mouth, first impressions definitely count in the film industry. Often times, this first impression comes from a trailer, a casting announcement or just simply the release of an official movie poster. The design of that poster is crucial because, not only should the look be relevant to the film’s content and display some necessary information regarding cast and crew, it should be extremely eye-catching to potential viewers. This year’s SXSW definitely did not disappoint poster-wise, exhibiting a large amount of intriguing looking potential conversation starters at the festival. There are even awards for best poster! When they are some of the first things you see when you arrive in Austin, it becomes an important marketing tool that must be used wisely and creatively. Unicorn Booty assembled some of the most unique, eye-catching posters to come out of the festival this year. Head on over and check them out!

In anticipation of the exciting start to SXSW this week, we know it can be a bit overwhelming to know exactly where to begin when looking at the schedule. With an abundance of film offerings, in addition to TV, music, interactive technology and everything in between, there’s bound to be something to do and somewhere to be at every turn. Looking for something a little different? Indiewire has you covered by highlighting their top 8 most exciting (and lesser known) indie films to be on the lookout for. From competitive chicken shows to a Korean karaoke killer entry, these type of lesser known entries are pure gems and will be showing across a wide variety of venues. Time to get out your schedule and marker and start hunting! The festival runs March 11-20. Read more about Indiewire’s highlights and be sure to keep an eye on the schedule here. And remember, the Indie Street Team will be on the ground throughout SXSW giving out cool swag in anticipation of !!

The Chicago International Film Festival just announced the launch of its 2nd annual international poster design contest. All artists are invited to submit designs which will promote the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival, running Oct 13-27, 2016, and should convey the theme "BECAUSE EVERYBODY LOVES MOVIES!" The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and their artwork will have the honor of officially promoting this year’s festival. For entry details, be sure to check out the festival site and get started! Don’t forget: the submission deadline is April 1, 2016 at 11:59PM CST. 

Tribeca Film Festival just announced that it will be introducing the Tribeca X Award, a new juried award category that focuses on branded entertainment. Submissions are open February 8 - March 4 for the new category that will "highlight the excellence, authenticity, originality and creativity in storytelling that is sponsored or underwritten by a brand." As an award that will recognize the best artist-brand collaboration of the past year, this decision is an exciting step in the right direction for future collaborations between film/video and other industries.The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place in New York this April 13-24, 2016.

A pair of Sundance breakout films coming to theaters in October examine the disparate but mesmerizing charades carried out by their subjects. In the documentary (T)ERROR, cameras infiltrate a real life counterterrorism sting carried out by a veteran FBI informant, and in I Smile Back, Sarah Silverman secretly inhabits a world of compulsion and duplicity that belies her idyllic family life. Check out all that October had to offer here.

Louie Psihoyos' follow-up to his academy award-winning documentary promises to 'change the way we understand issues of endangered species and mass extinction.' Premiering at this Years Tribeca Film Festival on April 25th, Psihoyos declares that "We’re going to give people happy tears and yet everyone will be on the edge of their seats. I still can’t believe we’re doing what we’re doing. The last four years we’ve been creating a film that I want people to throw down their hard earned money and feel it’s the best money that they ever spent." They were still shooting footage just a week ago, which is really the type of perfectionist passion and disregard for timelines that we should expect from a great documentarian.