What a week!!! The first annual Indie Street Film Festival came to a close on Saturday July 9th after 4 days of screening 75 new independent films! And what an amazing experience the whole festival was, bringing together a community in the spirit of independent film and art!  Women Who Kill directed by Ingrid Jungermann won the award for Best Narrative Feature and Romeo Is Bleeding directed by Jason Zeldes took home the award for Best Documentary Feature.  The Jury also chose to honor the Ensemble Cast of Sam Kretchmar’s Keep In Touch with the Special Jury Award.  Short film winners were: BEST ANIMATED SHORT – The Past Inside the Present directed by James Siewert BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – Love Wins directed by Robin Kampf BEST NARRATIVE SHORT – Thunder Road directed by Jim Cummings  The Awards ceremony took place on stage at the Count Basie Theatre prior to the closing night screening of Ira Sachs’ Little Men.  Encore screenings of the winning films took place at the Red Bank Middle School on Sunday, July 10.  The Jury for the Inaugural Indie Street Film Festival was comprised of New York Magazine chief film critic David Edelstein, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Black Maria Film Festival John Columbus, IHeartMedia co-host/News Director Shelli Sonstein, Emmy-winning film producer Sylvia Caminer (Chosen), Co-Founder and CEO of Cartuna James Belfer, and Indie Street partner filmmakers Alex Steyermark (The 78 Project Movie) and Benjamin Wiessner (Ornana Films).  ISFF Audiences had a chance to vote on their favorite films throughout the festival and the Audience Awards were handed out to: BEST SHORT: The House Is Innocent (Documentary) directed by Nicholas Coles BEST FEATURE: Auld Lang Syne (Narrative) directed by Johanna McKeon BEST NEW JERSEY FILM: After Sandy (Documentary) directed by Joe Minnella  ISFF Feature competition included the World Premiere of Johanna McKeon’s Auld Lang Syne and New Jersey premieres of James Morrison’s Diverge, Juan Pablo Arroyo Abraham’s Day Six, Sam Kretchmar’s Keep In Touch and Ingrid Jungermann’s Women Who Kill.  Documentaries included: Joe Minnella’s After Sandy, Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang’s Hotel Dallas, Beatrice Alda’s Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town, Adam Irving’s Off the Rails and Jason Zeldes’ Romeo is Bleeding.  Indie Street Film Festival Director of Programming Bill Augustin said “I am extremely proud of the inaugural program of the Indie Street Film Festival.  It was a diverse and artistically rich mix of independent films that exemplified our motto of ‘Story over Budget’.  We received nearly 350 submissions from over 20 different countries and were excited to bring unique voices from around the world to Red Bank.”  Since ISFF is more geared toward cooperation than competition, all feature films accepted into the festival have been awarded the opportunity to join Indie Street as a partner filmmaker and be promoted through its VOD platform. Winners from each feature film category will enjoy a minimum 1-week theatrical release in NYC. Short film winners from each category will be considered for coop inclusion and will be presented and promoted through the Indie Street platform.  It was an amazing week and we look forward to already planning for next year’s second annual Indie Street Film Festival!! Keep checking out to keep up to date on winners and more!

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.