Sunday, April 29, 2018

Award Winners Announced by SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY 2018 International Jury as Fifth Edition of Festival Closes

NEW YORK - March 25, 2018 - PRLog -- [NEW YORK, NY] SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival 2018(SRFF 2018) wrapped up its Fifth Edition at Cinema Village on March 22, 2018, revealing the winners. Stand-out awards were the Empowering Women and Girls Award, given to Dr. Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap, and the tie for Grand Prize Narrative Feature presented to 'Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free' and 'Hot Country Cold Winter'.

The awards are: Vanya Exerjian - Empowering Women and Girls Award, Grand Prize Narrative Feature, Grand Prize Documentary, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) Award, Best Ensemble Work, Best Actor in a Feature Film, Best Actress in a Feature Film, Best Actor in a Short Film, Best Actress in a Short Film, Immigrant Filmmaker Award, and three winning scripts from the script-writing competition.

"On our fifth year, SRFF is thrilled to continue its quest to spotlight the most impactful stories from around the world," said Nora Armani, Founding Artistic Director of SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival. "Our goal is to highlight films and filmmakers who choose to tell socially relevant stories oft not given a commercial platform. These films have a strong impact on people's lives."

The 2018 Fifth Edition of SRFF screened 70 films from 35 countries in the narrative feature, documentary feature, short film, and immersive VR/360º categories, along with finalists in script-writing. The winners are selected by a hand-picked international jury of industry veterans.

SRFF's original trophies are the Molten Bowl, designed and donated by Michael Aram and a wine by City Winery bearing the specially designed 5th-anniversary label of SR Film Festival. In-kind awards include Inclusion in InkTip, download certificates by Final Draft, consultation services by Cinema Libre Studio and Candy Factory Films, distribution on IndiePix, stock footage by Pond5 and more.

The jurors: Nicole Ansari-Cox, Najla Said, Valerio Caruso, and Andre Degas.

Awardees in ex aequo:
Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free | Cordula Kablitz-Post | Germany | 2016 | 113 min
German, Italian, Russian w/English subtitles

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the woman who enraptured 19th century Europe's greatest minds, recounts her life to Ernst Pfeiffer in this German film directed by Cordula Kablitz-Post.  Salomé became the first female psychoanalyst under the tutelage of Sigmund Freud.

Hot Country, Cold Winter | David Safarian | Armenia, The Netherlands, Germany | 2016 | 104 min
Armenian, Russian with English subtitles

A tale of a man and a woman suffering near-absurd circumstances during a total energy crisis right after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Their narratives, recollections, imagination, and dreams are depicted in this powerful narrative feature film dealing with a period of recent modern history.

The jurors: Claus Mueller, Morgan Jenness, Dirk Robertson, and Edie Nugent.

Hotel Everest | Claudia Sobral | USA | 2017 | 39 min

Filmed over a tumultuous two-year period, the film follows the efforts and relationship between two unlikely peace activists: Eden Fuchs, a retired Israeli army colonel, and Ibrahim Issa, a Palestinian born in a refugee camp, are joined by the Idahoan founders of the Centre for Emerging Futures, Whit and Paula Jones at the Hotel Everest.

For more information on all of the films screened at the Fifth Annual Edition of SR Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY, please visit

--Grand Prize Narrative Feature (ex-aequo): Lou Andreas-Salomé: The Audacity to be Free by Cordula Kablitz-Post, and, Hot Country Cold Winter by David Safarian
--The Vanya Exerjian Empowering Women & Girls Award: Ruchira Gupta - Apne Aap
--Grand Prize Documentary: Hotel Everest by Claudia Sobral
--Best Ensemble Work in a Feature: Darcy by Heidi Philipsen-Meisner & Jon Russell Cring
--Best Narrative Short: Malik and the Turtle by Adnane Tragha
--Best Documentary Short: The Hammamis by Molly Bareiss
--Best Actor in a Feature Film: Johnathan Tchaikovsky in Darcy
--Best Actress in a Feature Film: Yana Druz in Hot Country Cold Winter
--Best Actor in a Short Film: Azhar N'Dahoma in Malik and the Turtle
--Best Actress in a Short Film: Jasmin Riggins in Free Period
--VR/360º Award: My Beautiful Home by Romain Vakilitabar
--The Women Film Critics Circle Award: I Seek Asylum by Anna Southgate
--The Immigrant Filmmaker Award: Robert Tutak for Ellis Island
--Finalist Script 1st place/Winner: Riding on Duke's Train by Ken Kimmelman
--Finalist Script 2nd place: Shepherding Cassie by Mike Oborn
--Finalist Script 3rd Place: American Snake Pit by Dan Tomasulo

The rapidly-growing, social-issue focused festival is now in its fifth year. SRFF is a multi-faceted event that embodies the cultural values of New York and the world. SRFF showcases socially relevant films from emerging, international and local filmmakers. Several spotlight programs, industry workshops, and panels on different issues highlight the festival.

The Socially Relevant™ Film Festival NY is pleased to announce its 2018 partners and sponsors, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (, Fairways Law Firm - Paris (, The German Consulate General of New York (, The Consulate General of the Kingdom of Netherlands ( and Soletech ( Industry partners and sponsors of the awards and trophies include Cinema Libre Studio (, Candy Factory Films (, IndiePix (, Final Draft (, InkTip (, Pond5 (, Littlstar (, City Winery (, Michael Aram ( Samsung ( Hospitality partners are Villanelle (, Vapiano (, Ribalta (, La Contenta (, Le Grand Triage (, Westside Market (, Peet's Coffee ( and La Colombe Coffee ( SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York is supported by New York Culture City of NY Cultural Affairs (, and New York State Council on the Arts (


SR Socially Relevant ™ Film Festival New York is a 501(c) 3 non-profit film festival founded by actress Nora Armani. The Mission of the SRFF is to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant™, human interest stories, across a broad range of social issues. During its first five years, the festival has showcased 277 films from 35 countries. Submissions re-open mid-May and are received from all over the world.

Facebook @RatedSRSociallyRelevantFFNY/ (
Twitter @SRFilmFest (
Instagram @srfilmfestnyc (

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Emmy-winning Filmmaker Pens Lively, Candid Guide To Independent Movie Making

 Multi Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley, a lifelong entertainment industry insider, has worked in every aspect of the film industry, covering a multitude of movies, television shows, and other projects. In his valuable new book, WHAT YOU DON'T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING, Stanley takes a candid look at the film business and offers ambitious young filmmakers important information on how to navigate every aspect of making movies, from initial pitch to distributing a finished product. The book (  "is written for anyone who hopes to have a career in the industry at any position, but (is) geared for (the) total filmmaker," Stanley says.

Producer Neal H. Moritz ("Fast & Furious," "S.W.A.T.," "21 and 22 Jump Street"), says that WHAT YOU DON'T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL "pulls no punches. It's one of the most insightful and accurate books ever written on the subject, a master class bridging the gap between school and real-life experience that will save you years of heartache. A must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a career in film."

Jane Seymour, two-time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, actress, producer and founder of the Open Hearts Foundation, declares that Stanley's "step-by-step guide is a must-read for anyone hoping to break into the world of independent cinema, along with many useful tips for those who desire to work within a studio or network system."

Jeff Sagansky, former president of Sony Entertainment and CBS Entertainment, notes that "Shane Stanley takes you to a film school that only years of practical experience can teach. He covers both the business of independent filmmaking as well as the hard-earned secrets of a successful production. A must-read for anyone who wants to produce."

A lifelong veteran of the film world, Stanley has directed and produced hundreds of film and television projects, including the 2006 No. 1 Box Office hit "Gridiron Gang," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. His clearly-written guide to navigating the shoals of independent filmmaking comes from his hands-on experience, covering such topics as choosing what material to produce, raising independent capital, hiring a production crew and selecting the right cast.

WHAT YOU DON'T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL is an essential book written by someone who clearly understands the independent film business from the inside.

About the Author Shane Stanley

Multi-Emmy Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set starting with hit shows like "Entertainment Tonight" and "Seinfeld."

Along with his father, Stanley produced "The Desperate Passage Series," which was nominated for 33 individual Emmy Awards and won 13 statues. In this series, five of the seven specials went No.1 in Nielson Ratings, which included "A Time for Life" and "Gridiron Gang."

Stanley has produced films starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei and Martin Sheen. He co-wrote two of the films and has worked closely with top Hollywood executives.

Stanley has taught workshops at many film schools and universities. He is the founder of Visual Arts Entertainment, a production company based in Los Angeles. He is still active in teaching, working with several schools, film students, and recent grads as a mentor and guide.

What You Don't Learn in Film School: A Complete Guide to Independent Filmmaking

199 pages.

Softcover, $19.99; ISBN:  978-1-976-9864-8

eBook, $8.99; ISBN:  978-197698646X (Amazon), 978-1-543924589 (BookBaby)

Publication date: January 31, 2018

Published by Industry Insider, LLC


Available at,, booksellers nationwide, and author's website

Monday, April 23, 2018

Shudan Wang: Hollywood's Newest Superhero or Supervillain?

Rumors and leaks tell us that there is more than one superhero TV series on the horizon.  Depending on who's sharing the "inside information," actress Shudan Wang is likely to play either a superhero or a supervillain or both. Considering her remarkable martial arts and weapons expertise combined with her outstanding acting ability, it's not at all surprising that she stays at the "top of the list" to play such diverse roles.

We asked Ms. Wang if congratulations were in order.  "Congratulations are premature," she replied.  "I have yet to sign a contract and it may conflict with other projects."

"With other projects where you have already signed contracts?"
 we asked.  Shudan nodded her head "yes."

Tad Atkinson, Vice President of Cuban Lightning Enterprises, stepped forward.  "We want her in all four of our films," he announced with an almost child-like grin. "We intend to keep her busy for a while."  Mr. Atkinson was referring to the "Cuban Lightning: The Zipper" movie franchise.

"We're producing a series of feature films based on the real-life adventures of a fascinating career spy," Atkinson continued. "Shudan Wang is perfect for the role of the double-agent.  Let's face it; she makes the perfect spy.  A concert pianist since age five - an extremely competent and impressive martial artist and weapons master - an award-winner for dozens of disciplines as diverse as public speaking and fencing.  She speaks at least three languages fluently.  She's gorgeous and intriguing in real life and she can really 'turn it up' on screen."

"The President of our company, Dr. Julio Antonio del Marmol, is the real-life spy whose story we're telling in the quadriligy,"
 Mr. Atkinson added.  "He was a career spy for over fifty years and he's not easily impressed."

Dr. Marmol was so impressed with Shudan Wang, however, that he allegedly suggested to Tad Atkinson, "Maybe we should recruit her."  Atkinson raised an eyebrow, slowly shook his head and said, "Not a great idea."  Dr. Marmol, possessing an "interesting" sense of humor, reportedly responded with "Okay, we'll hire her for our films instead!"

Shudan Wang, coming soon to a theater near you.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Summer Hill Films announces the North American DVD and VOD release of the crime thriller, Saint Nicholas!

In the film, Nicholas De Le Cruz is a drug and sex addicted attorney who's inner demons unravel during a trial representing his childhood friend. To cope, he attempts a quick fix healing through a psychiatrist visit, that opens the door of an in depth revelation that will change his life forever.

The film stars Monte Bezell, who also produces. Monte has been an actor on NBC's The Black List (2016), Showtimes' Homeland (2013), CBS's Madam Secretary (2015), Person of Interest (2013), and Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix (2015). Having cut his teeth on the indie film scene, he created a slate of culture driven, New York City centric projects including "Saint Nicholas". Monte also has a heavy hand in the producing world, producing and financing over half a dozen projects in just the last three years.

Film also stars, Francesca Van Horne, who is coming off a hugely successful London and Paris tour of "Tales From the Trundle", which she also penned; A.R. Garcia (El Gallo), and Karyna Kudzina (The Path, The Americans, Cafe Society).Written by A.R. Garcia (El Callo) and directed by Jose A. Esquea, best known for Holes.

"We are very excited to release the New York-centric, SAINT NICHOLAS," says Summer Hill President, Ted Chalmers, "Monte gives a remarkable and edgy performance."

"Both A.R. Garcia and I are delighted to have Summer Hill release the film and getting us up on the platforms," says Monte Bezell.

Saint Nicholas is now available in North America on DVD through Fox Hollow Features with VOD on Amazon, Google Play, and Xbox coming soon. It is also available internationally, and Summer Hill Films attends all the major film sales markets including EFM, Marché du Film, AFM and Hong Kong Filmart next week!

Read more about Summer Hill Films, LLC here:

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

15 films take top honors at NYC's 7th Annual Winter Film Awards International Film Festival

Tom Sierchio's debut feature film The Girl Who Invented Kissing has won the award for Best Picture at New York City's 7th annual Winter Film Awards International Film Festival. The film is the story of a nameless, pill-popping drifter girl (Suki Waterhouse), who steps off a bus and into a neighborhood bar owned by two middle-age brothers. She quickly befriends older brother Victor (Dash Mihok) — a good-natured lummox whose mind was affected as the result of a childhood accident. The mysterious Girl soon upsets the delicate balance of the brothers' lives while bringing both trouble and new life into the world of these resigned characters.

The festival's international jury described "The Girl Who Invented Kissing" as "a very wonderful slice of life about hard times, relationships, romance, conflict and resolution. The script is very nicely written and wraps things up nicely at the end. The actors, shooters, camera work music and editing were all spot on."

At a glittering ceremony Saturday March 3 at the legendary Copacabana Nightclub in NYC, Winter Film Awards was proud to recognize the outstanding achievement of 15 films, and honored Carl Goodman, Executive Director of the Museum of the Moving Image as the 2018 Patron of the Cinema (

Winter Film Awards 2018 International Film Festival awards the following films:
Best Picture ……… The Girl Who Invented Kissing (United States, directed by Tom Sierchio)
Best Director ……… Adrian Goiginger (The Best of all Worlds, Germany)
Best Documentary Film ……… Burkinabè Rising: the art of resistance in Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso, directed by Iara Lee)
Best Short Film ……… Path of Dreams (Japan, directed by Tamara Ruppart)
NY Perspectives ……… One Ticket Please (US & Latvia, directed by Matiss Kaza)
Best Horror Feature ……… The Revenge of Phantom Knight (China, directed by David Shao)‎
Best Horror Short ……… Monsters (United States, directed by Steve Desmond)
Best Animated Film ……… Curpigeon (United States, directed by Dmitry Milkin)
Best Music Video ……… True Paradise (United States, directed by Evgeniya Radilova)
Best Original Score ……… The Guardian of the Ice (Italy, directed by Salvatore Metastasio)
Best Student Film ……… Isabella (United States, directed by Qihong Wei)
Best Web Series ……… Your Mom Says Hi! (United States, directed by Carlie Mantilla & Doni Carley)
Outstanding Woman Director ……… Word Count (United Arab Emirates, directed by Charlotte de Bekker)
Best Actor ……… Jeremy Miliker (The Best of all Worlds, Germany)
Best Actress ……… Caitlin Carmichael (Monsters, United States)

For a complete list of winners and nominees, visit

About Winter Film Awards
New York City's 7th Annual Winter Film Awards International Film Festival( ran February 22-March 3 2018 with a jam-packed lineup of 93 fantastic films in all genres from 31 countries, including Animation, Drama, Comedy, Thriller, Horror, Documentary and Music Video. Hollywood might ignore women and people of color, but Winter Film Awards celebrates everyone!

Winter Film Awards is an all volunteer, minority- and women-owned registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011 in New York City by a group of filmmakers and enthusiasts. The program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the NY State Council on the Arts.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished At "The Samaritans" NY Premiere

Full coverage of the award winning thriller, The Samaritans New York City Premiere & After Party

A chilling first look at the harrowing world of The Samaritans film took place in NYC with the premiere being held at Anthology Film Archives and exclusive after party at famed hotspot The Vnyl

The Samaritans Starring Cast; Keith Collins, Doug Bollinger, Timothy Laurel Harrison, Annelise Nielsen

Keith Collins, Doug Bollinger, Cory Green & Matt Grego

Writer/Director Doug Bollinger

Annelise Nielsen

Producer, Cinematographer & Editor Cory Green

Producer, Colorist & Editor Matt Grego

Musician Olivia Bec & Guest

Producer Keith Collins & Christina Dollard

Sharif Gordon

Timothy Laurel Harrison

Andrea Boehlke

Matt Grego & Guest 

Elyse Metelka & Cory Green
Randy Jones & Billy Sample
Keith Collins

Billy Sample
Randy Jones

Christina Dollard

Andrea Boehlke & Tim MacKay

Matt Grego, Cory Green, Keith Collins, Doug Bollinger, Timothy Laurel Harrison & Annelise Nielsen


The Vinyl

“The Samaritans” tells the story of Four co-workers who get together to finish a project at their manager’s home. They haven’t actually met face to face and they discover they have more in common than the new App they are perfecting. As they piece together their histories, they realize that each of them has a deadly secret that could reveal a way out or seal their fates. Their pasts have provoked a vengeful force to show them the errors in their ways. The home they have been summoned to becomes their court and their prison. Can they prove that history doesn’t repeat itself? Can they redeem themselves before time runs out? Will they figure out their fateful bond before revenge has its way with them?

STARRING: Keith Collins (“The Evangelist”), Doug Bollinger (“Waltzing Anna”,”Mail Order Bride”), Timothy Laurel Harrison ("Out Of My Hand”), Annelise Nielsen (“The Brink Of Us”). PRODUCED BY, Keith Collins, Doug Bollinger, Cory Green (“The Jersey Devil”), Matt Grego. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY Cory Green. EDITED BY, Cory Green and Matt Grego. STORY BY, Keith Collins. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY, Doug Bollinger. ORIGINAL MUSIC BY, Olivia Bec"THE SAMARITANS"  WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THESAMARITANSMOVIE

(Photos By, Rob Klein & Udor Photography)