Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Paul Sorvino To Receive the Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award

The Beaufort Film Society is honored to announce that Paul Sorvino will be presented the prestigious Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th annual Beaufort International Film Festival in February. The festival dates are February 19-24, 2019 with the Red Carpet Reception and Awards Gala taking place on Sunday, February 24th at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort, Center for the Arts.

"If you look at his body of work in the film and television industries, his work on Broadway, his philanthropic efforts over the past six decades, you can  see why we're so very honored to present the Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary entertainer Paul Sorvino," stated Beaufort Film Society President Ron Tucker.

The award is named for Best Selling Author and Academy Award nominated Screenwriter Pat Conroy, who was a long time resident of Beaufort, SC before his death of pancreatic cancer in March 2016.  "Beaufort's long film history began with Pat when his novel The Great Santini was made into a feature film followed later by The Prince of Tides. Both films were shot right here in Beaufort," stated Rebecca Tucker, Co-Director of the Beaufort International Film Festival.

Brooklyn-born actor Paul Sorvino began his career as a 16-year-old singer at a Catskills resort dreaming of becoming an opera singer. And it was no pipe dream. He had studied singing for years and, to this day, has a beautiful tenor voice. But rent and real life led him into a variety of odd jobs and a stint in the Army.

His singing hopes somewhat stifled by asthma, he redirected his career into what promised to be a more promising field—acting. Years of acting and vocal lessons were largely supported through scholarships. After studying dramatic arts under the tutelage of renowned acting teacher Sanford Meisner at the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, Mr. Sorvino made his Broadway debut at 25 acting and singing in the original 1964 production of the musical "Bajour."

Over the next three years, Mr. Sorvino worked a variety of jobs (salesman, chauffeur, etc.) while gaining prominence as an advertising writer/creative director and pursuing his acting career. He made his film debut in Carl Reiner's 1970 comedy "Going Ape" and began a career solely dedicated to acting and occasional singing.

At 40, the tenor made his lifelong dream come true with his operatic debut in "Die Fledermaus," selling out six performances at the Seattle Opera (the impresario Glynn Ross told the press Mr. Sorvino had "one of the voices of the century"). The reviews included "he has an astonishing high C." In opera, he would go on to sing the lead in "The Most Happy Fella" in 2006 at The New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and sold out 15 critically acclaimed performances.

Paul Sorvino's resume is as long and varied as any performer could hope for, including over one hundred eighty movies and television shows, two operas, three Broadway plays, musicals on Broadway and at major theaters across the country. For THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, he won six awards including the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Actor, Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent awards and a Tony nomination for playing the rich, morally bankrupt Phil Romano.

TV has seen him as "THE OLDEST ROOKIE", in LAW AND ORDER, THAT'S LIFE,
BERT D'ANGELO SUPERSTAR with stints on STILL STANDING as well as many singing appearances (He is an internationally known operatic tenor). Public Television has aired his special "PAUL SORVINO SINGS" (he can be heard on the album of the same name). TV was also the medium for DUMMY, the Peabody award-winning drama in which he played Lowell Myers, the ground-breaking deaf trial lawyer.

His films include GOODFELLASNIXON (as Henry Kissinger), REDS, MONEY TALKS, SEE SPOT RUN, THE BRINKS JOB, BULWORTH, MAMBO ITALIANO, ROMEO AND JULIET, THE COOLER, DICK TRACY, THE BRONX BULL and and many, many others.



In 1987, Paul founded the AMERICAN STAGE COMPANY on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. It remains the most successful regional theater in American theatrical history. Of twelve original productions over a period of three years, six had New York openings, including OTHER PEOPLES MONEY, which went on to become a major motion picture starring Danny Devito. The theater opened with ALL THE KING'S MEN, directed by and starring Paul. The response was so favorable that Paul quipped "I think my mother wrote the reviews."

Early on Paul  suffered from severe asthma, but as an adult created and mastered breathing techniques that helped control attacks. He wrote the 1985 best-selling book "How to Become a Former Asthmatic" and founded the Sorvino Asthma Foundation to educate the public about asthma and techniques for managing the illness. He has been honored twice by the Pope for his work with asthmatics as well as by the American Medical Association.

Paul Sorvino is a true Renaissance man. In addition to being a fabulous entertainer in almost all genres, he is also an accomplished Chef. Along with his wife Dee Dee, he is the author of Pinot, Pasta, and Parties, a new cookbook that he describes as the "the best Italian cookbook that I have seen. There is no Italian that doesn't love food. There is food that doesn't love Italians, but there is no Italian that doesn't love food," Sorvino says.

An internationally known sculptor, he has created more than thirty figurative works in bronze including installations at The Versace House in Miami, Fla., The Courthouse Square in Scranton, Pa. (a portrait of his dear friend Jason Miller), and the Boca Raton Community Hospital in Boca Raton, Fla.

Paul has been Knighted by the Order of the Carinzia started by St. George in the third century for the protection of the Pope. His title is Knight of The Great Cross and he is also a Knight of the Italian Republic. The Sorvino coat of arms dates from the twelfth century. But as all European Knights eventually learn, no free subway rides come with this title.

An actor, director, best-selling author, screenwriter, professional bronze sculptor, pianist, business man, operatic tenor and passionate cook, Sorvino still returns occasionally to his original dream and headlines his own concerts.

He lives in New York and Los Angeles with his wife, Emmy award - winning television host and commentator Dee Dee Sorvino.

He is the father of Michael, Amanda and Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino. Paul was recently chosen to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Paul is currently filming the American Crime Drama Television Series, The Godfather of Harlem, set to debut in 2019.

The "Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement" Award is sponsored by Leslie and Landon Thorne.

For more information about the 13th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival, visit beaufortfilmfestival.com. The festival is produced by the Beaufort Film Society.

The Beaufort Film Society is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3, member-supported organization, dedicated to providing the highest levels of entertainment and education to the public from all areas of the film industry.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival Announces 2nd Annual Festival with a Robust Slate of Films and Panels from 21 Chinese Independent Voices

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) is proud to host its second annual festival, screening 21 nominated films from Chinese independent filmmakers and artists, at the Downtown Independent Theater, from November 1st to 4th, 2018.

LACFF is the only film festival in Los Angeles to focus on independent Chinese culture and heritage films. LACFF also aims to foster cultural exchange between the Hollywood and Chinese film industries.

This year, the festival received a total of 255 film submissions from 11 different countries and regions. After two months of expert and jury deliberations, 21 films were nominated; including three features, three documentaries, six narrative shorts, four documentary shorts, and five experimental/animated shorts.

Of the festival line-up, nine films will be making their North American and/or Los Angeles Premiere at LACFF this year. The feature film, E.T. Made in China (Dir. Xiaosha Zhang), as well as stop-animation short, The Quintet of the Sunset (Dir. Jie Weng), will be making their World Premiere at LACFF as well.

This year's films cover a variety of international topics, focusing primarily on the directors' thoughts on the ever changing Chinese and global landscapes. For example, E.T. Made in China looks at the modern Chinese rural reality in the presence of actual extraterrestrials; Speculator (Dir. Yuntao Du) features the ride-sharing app, Uber and the foreign capital flowing into the Chinese market; People's Republic of Desire (Dir. Hao Wu) explores the financial and personal conflicts behind live internet streaming platforms; and Hanzi (Dir. Mu-Ming Tsai) explores Asian culture and identity through a typographic lens.

Jury members this year include Ruijun Li, the director and screenwriter of Walking Past the Future,which has been featured in the official selections of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and 69th Venice Film Festival; film scholar Gabrielle Kelly, who has taught at UCLA, USC, & NYU and is currently on the faculty at AFI; Rebecca Baron, a Los Angeles-based media artist whose works have screened widely at the New York, Toronto, and London Film Festivals; award winning producer Richard Liang, whose documentary won the Best Chinese Documentary Award at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival in 2016; David E. James, film studies professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts; Jeff Swimmer, professor of Documentary at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts; award winning cinematographer, Helder K. Sun; and Emmy Award winning visual artist, Lin Zheng.

This year, LACFF is also hosting industry tastemakers to speak at two panels discussing the collaboration and future of US and Chinese entertainment, in both the business and creative fields. The panelists include Rong Chen, Senior Vice President of Perfect World and CEO of Perfect World Pictures, Mike Gabrawy, Chief Creative Officer of Arclight Films; Randy Greenberg, Executive Producer of The Meg (2018); Bennett Pozil, Executive Vice President of East West Bank; Jimmy O. Yang, actor on Silicon Valley (2014-2018) and Crazy Rich Asians (2018); Jessica Gao, Emmy Award winning writer for Rick and Morty (2013) and Silicon Valley (2014); Helen Shang, writer on Hannibal (2015) and Invoking 5 (2018); Rachel Song, Founder, CEO, and bilingual producer of XS Media (A Kid Like Jake, 2018); and Rui Yao, screenwriter of Lin Shi Yan Yuan (2017) and Angry Kid (2013).

The LACFF is organized by Chinese in Entertainment (CIE), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that supports Chinese talent and culture in entertainment and the arts.

For additional information on the 2018 LACFF, including screening times, locations, featured guests and ticketing details, please contact pr@lacff.org.

Website: https://www.lacff.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/losangeleschinesefilmfestival/
Ticket Information: https://tinyurl.com/lacfftix

Full Festival Line Up
Narrative Features

E.T. Made in China (World Premiere)
Director: Xiaosha Zhang

Girls Always Happy
Director: Mingming Yang

Transcendent (North American Premiere)
Director: Linzi Zhang

Documentary Features
Hanzi (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Mu-Ming Tsai

I've Got a Little Problem (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Ximing Zhang

People's Republic of Desire
Director: Hao Wu

Narrative Shorts
Besieged
Director: Mengchen Niu

Birthday Party
Director: Theo Ma

Cupcake
Director: Dawei Zhang

Jiejie
Director: Feng-I Roan

Miss World
Director: Georgia Fu

Mother Eden
Director: Erzhuo Wang

Documentary Shorts
Arcosanti: A State of Fugue (North American Premiere)
Director: Kehui Feng

Life as He Likes
Director: Lizhu Yang

One Day In GaoYi (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Jiaxuan Xiao & Muqiu Qin

Speculator (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Yuntao Du

Animation and Experimental Shorts
Ayesha (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Yanyu Dong

Barry
Director: Anchi Shen

Cry Baby (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Xiner Jiang

Light (Los Angeles Premiere)
Director: Tatsu Aoki

The Quintet of the Sunset (World Premiere)
Director: Jie Weng

Opening and Closing Screenings
Opening Screening: Walking Past the Future
Director: Ruijun Li

Closing Screening: Linsanity
Director: Evan Jackson Leong

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"Ask Me How I Feel," a documentary film about a singer's return to the stage after music broke his heart, named a "Project We Love" by Kickstarter

The vision for "Ask Me How I Feel" was born in Philadelphia, PA in February 2016 when filmmakers Marie Hinson and Thomas Daniel Dwyer met Frank Bey and decided to follow him to the Blues Music Awards in Memphis where he was nominated for two awards that year. Over the next two years the filmmakers followed Bey around the world, capturing moments from Bey's shows and life off the stage. During this time, Bey went to Nashville for the first time in his career to make an album about his life, "Back in Business", with Grammy award-winning producer Tom Hambridge. "Ask Me How I Feel" culminates with this creative and emotional high-point of the 72-year-old singer's life.  The official documentary trailer can be viewed here.

The development of the film has brought together a uniquely-special crew, diverse in backgrounds but strongly united in their mission to share the urgently needed voices of the film.  The director, Marie Hinson, is an emerging artist and cinematographer whose films have screened at galleries and festivals all over the world. Her roots as a queer transgender woman from rural Appalachia bring to all of her work topics of identity, place and creative voice. Producer, Thomas Daniel Dwyer, is a musician and former public school teacher who entered the film business through acting.  Executive Producer, Jamila Paksima, is an Iranian-American documentarian and TV producer. Her recent work includes the award-winning documentary "Until 20" and the eight-part series for PBS "The Contenders."

The making of this independently-produced documentary has been a local, community-engaged effort. Now that the filming is complete, the filmmakers are reaching out to the audience beyond their home and Bey's stage. They are inviting audiences from around the world to join them in a grassroots effort to finish the film through a crowdfunding campaign. Their campaign is running on Kickstarter until Oct 25 and was just picked as a "Project We Love" by the popular crowdfunding platform.  For further details, visit the Kickstarter campaign.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Summer Hill Films announces the North American DVD and VOD release of the surreal drama, Grief

In the film, we follow Kyle Harden who tortures himself day after-day by returning to his once happy home where he, his wife, and son all lived.  He wants to end the suffering by facing his inner demons in an effort to 'pull the trigger' as he slips further and further into a psychological wormhole of love, loss, and self-exploration.

The film stars Kevin Renwick, known for 'Nocturnal Animals' (2016), 'Win Win' (2011), and 'Left of the Murder' (2015). Also starring Jackie Moore, recently appeared on `The Mindy Project', `West World', Dr. Dre's upcoming series `Vital Signs', and `The Odd Couple'.

Written and co-directed by Kevin Renwick, who is a prolific writer of sorts varying from screenplays to short stories and songs.  He has directed several short films as, `Left of the Murder' (2015), `Monkey with a Mustache' (2013), and `The Best Coffee Maker' (2012).  Co-director Chris Mammarelli is known for his work on Left of the Murder (2015) and Southern Comfort (2014).

"We are very excited to release the first-time feature of Kevin and Chris, 'Grief,'" says Summer Hill Films President, Ted Chalmers, "Kevin gives an unnervingly entertaining and edgy performance."

"Happy to find Summer Hill after the film's debut at Dances With Films," says Kevin Renwick, "Now let us get this thing out for the masses and hopefully, they'll watch and enjoy it!"

'Grief,' is now available in North America on DVD from Fox Hollow Features with VOD from Amazon, Google Play, and Xbox coming soon. It will also be available on Amazon UK and internationally licensed through Summer Hill Entertainment which attends all the major film sales markets including EFM, Marché du Film, AFM and Hong Kong Filmart!

As the film deals with grief and suffering and suicidal thoughts, Summer Hill Films has pledged a portion of the proceed will go to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  For more information, please visit: www.summerhillfilms.com/charity.

Friday, October 26, 2018

A New Professional Service Firm Exclusively Focusing on the Entertainment Industry Launches in Los Angeles

Many people know of firms like Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Mckinsey & Company and Booz Allen Hamilton for the professional services they provide major companies around the world. These award winning brands are some of the best when it comes to Operational Consulting, Financial Advising and Business Management. v2 Management LLC (V2M) is looking to emulate these brands and bring similar services to creative individuals and businesses within the entertainment industry. Some A-List creatives are equivalent to a medium size business, especially when considering revenues exceed 7 figures for one project.  Currently, some top creative talent have a combination of Agent, Manager, Publicist, Business Manager, CPA and Lawyer to hopefully grow their career and keep it afloat. This model might not be the best for the client, especially when each service provider has their own agenda in mind, which may not put the client's needs first.

The ultimate goal for V2M is to be a one-stop-shop for creatives, who opt not to bring the above mentioned services "in-house" and would like to hire one company that maintains their singular vision.

Client First, Employee Second and Company Third (1st, 2nd, 3rd) is a term which eventually became the motto in the offices of V2M. "We are a service company first and foremost and if we keep that in mind, we'll prosper and maintain growth for years to come" said Brandon Ross, the company's Founding Partner. The company does not want employees to be treated second rate compared to clients, but an employee's desire to buy a new Tesla should not be put over the well being of the client. Mr. Ross, a former Talent Manager, who took a 10 year break from the industry in order to pursue other passions; noticed that employees and companies would always put commissions ahead of client's well-being and doesn't want V2M to have any part in that.

V2M is backed by Private Equity and US Bank. Upon opening, the company plans on only offering Talent Management and Business Management services, but plans to expand into other key services starting Q2 2019. Click here for the official site -  https://www.v2management.com/