The Hollywood Film Festival was honored to have artist Jabu Molo serve as our inaugural Hollywood Artist in Residence, Jabu’s insight and passion for artistic storytelling helped us build the foundation for what will now be an annual HFF Tradition as we select each future "Hollywood Artist in Residence”.
For that role the HFF will seek out an artist whom we beleive represents the true spirit or our mission of “Building a more inclusive, inspiring, and international future legacy for Hollywood."
We then will invite that artist to express the energy and inspiration that drives each year’s Jury Prize wining films by capturing the essence of those exceptional directors through our Artist in Residence's own unique artistic vision,
While the formal transition ceremony will take place during this October’s Fall Festival events we are excited to privately share with our Hollywood stakeholders that we have invited LA’s very own Robert Vargas to consider representing the HFF and Hollywood around the world as our 2018/2019 Hollywood Artist in Residence,
We will share more about Robert’s truly inspiring story and his amazing artist vision in a future Update. For now here is a quick look at Robert Vargas in Action, both on his current project to paint the world’s largest freehand mural in downtown LA, some of his unique and mesmerizing live-portrait sittings, and pictures form his recent gallery exhibit the at the Sur le Mur Gallery in the Pacific Design Center.
We would also like to offer our special thanks and gratitude to Megan Phillips, owner of the Sur le Mur Gallery, for inviting us to Robert’s portrait event and helping us plan several exciting future gallery events soon to come this October. On a personal note also my thanks to Michelle for re-connecting me with Robert whose friendship I was privileged to earn when I first came out to LA in 2014 to acquire the Festival. Both amazing human beings and the HFF is honored to have them as part of our growing global family of artists.
We were honored to join exceptional emerging filmmaker Leo Foti, industry icon Ed Asner, and phenomenal actress Sean Young at the Screenwriters Guild for a private screening of their new ensemble comedy "In Vino". It was a packed house with what looked to be more than a hunger people left in line trying to get in or in the lobby having a great time while the film rolled.
Before the screening we also privileged to join Leo and his team onstage to announce "In Vino" as our first official Jury selection for the upcoming 2017 Hollywood Film Festival this October. Congratulations to Leo the entire "In Vino" team and special thanks to Ed and Sean for being so gracious in greeting us and sharing their Hollywood story.
Hollywood Film Festival Appoints First Global Ambassador for China & Pacific Asia June 28, 2017: For Immediate Release
Shanghai, China:At ceremonies during this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) closing on June 26, Brad Parks, CEO of the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF), announced the signing of HFF’s first Global Ambassador Partnership Agreement. The agreement continues the Los Angeles-based festival’s effort to build Festival Alliance Partnerships for its 2017 Jury Film Competition and 2018 Hollywood Global Exposition Tour. First announced at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the international film competition campaign is built on the mantra, "Do you have what it takes to be a Hollywood Filmmaker?”
The Shanghai gathering brought together Chinese officials, Asian and Hollywood entertainment industry leaders, and executives from premier film festivals from Mumbai to Cairo attending SIFF 2017 as part of Shanghai's "Great Belt & Road" initiative. That initiative reflects SIFF’s response to China’s strategic deployment in international markets to build a film culture export and exchange in facilitating the globalization of Chinese film.
The partnership agreement is with Hollywood China Media of Shanghai and names its President, Julia Chu, as the HFF's Global Ambassador to the Great China & Pacific Asia Region. She will govern the appointment of national ambassadors and jury committees in each of the 35 nations in the region. Each national jury committee will be responsible for nominating a series of films and filmmakers for regional recognition and consideration for the larger global competition in Hollywood, October 19-28.
Speaking at the event, Zhiqing Yu, General Secretary of the Shanghai Broadcasting Film & Television Producers Association, stated, "We offer the full support of our 1,800 production studios in submitting their films to the Hollywood Film Festival." In her closing remarks Chu said, "It is an honor to represent the exceptional cinematic artists of China while presenting the very best of today's Asian films in Hollywood this October."
Hollywood China Media is located in Shanghai and manages investment capital in film co-production, tourism and theme park development, and produces international events lead by it's president Julia Chu and chairman James Wu. The Hollywood Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017 with expanded celebration events across Hollywood beginning this month and running through its annual entertainment industry celebration and global film competition events in October.
For more information on the Hollywood Film Festival please visit HollywoodFilmFestival.com
Our recent 2017 Hollywood Spring Showcase events were an opportunity to highlight the kinds of socially relevant content the HFF strives to support. It also offered several of the HFF’s Impact Partners a unique look into how our rapidly growing network of global relationship, both inside and outside the Hollywood entertainment industry, are serving to position the HFF not only as a major industry event platform but more so as a growing global movement for Good.
This year’s Showcase opened with our China Showcase event at the prestigious Directors Guild of America. There an official state-sponsored delegation from China including representatives from the Shanghai Media Group, Shanghai Film Foundation, and Hollywood China Media announced the HFF’s unprecedented invitation to participate in the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) in June. The first time in there Festival’s 25 year history that another film festival has been welcomed to participate in their events.
On Friday evening of the Showcase, HFF was proud to present it’s 2016 Best Social Impact Film Jury Prize winner, American Street Kid, as the feature event of our Social Impact Showcase events.
The 2017 Showcase then closed with a day-long Gender Showcase series of “Curated Conversations” on Saturday at the historic the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. An executive team from Plan International in D.C. joined us as that event opened with a panel of experienced women from the entertainment industry representing the Atlanta chapter of Women in Film, the President of Veterans in Film & Television, and President of the Alliance for Women in Media sharing the many lessons of their experience a female content creators and producers. That panel was followed by a second conversation between four emerging female directors and producers joining us from the U.S., Russia, Poland and China to share the challenges they face today as women in Hollywood and how those lessons compare with their experience working in other nations.
Rachel Henderson of the United Nations Foundation in NYC also joined us to present their organization’s groundbreaking “Under the Net” VR Experience, a virtual look into how efforts to protect lives from the threat of malaria in sub-Sahara Africa impacted the daily life a young girl and her family struggling to survive in a refugee camp. During her visit to Hollywood the HFF also arranged for several tours of leading-edge entertainment technology firms to help forward the UN Foundation’s mission. Several executives from those firms joined Rachel on-stage during her Conversation on the Social Impact of Virtual Reality. Those executives included Galen Walker of Media Toaster (provider of post-production and global distribution for all STARZ Originals programming and producer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated and live action films. Will Maurer, VP of VR, and Sahara Stietler, Director of Marketing, from Legend VR-VFX-3D also joined the VR Conversation representing one of Hollywood’s premier virtual effects providers. Legend also provided a special interactive Oculus VR Demonstration Booth in the theater’s lobby to show “Under the Net” as well as samples of their other social content and work on major studio films like Pirates of the Caribbean, the new Ghostbusters and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. Legend was so impressed with the UN Foundation’s work they also offered to host “Under the Net” on their widely successful VR Channel.
The day-long event closed with a special presentation by Director Marcel Mettelstiefen who flew in from Barcelona to personally share the never-before-screened international version of his 2017 Oscar Nominated Documentary, “Watani: My Homeland”, a candid and emotional story of a Mother’s journey to flee war-ravaged Aleppo with her four children. During the Q&A following the film Marcel commented on the difficulty he faced in securing a full global distribution for the film, In addition to the distribution partners of Hollywood Film in attendance, a representative from Paramount’s Licensing Division immediate got on the phone with her team. By the end of the day multiple new channels for distribution were opened for Marcel, and for audiences around the world to experience his amazing film.
With the 2017 themes of Gender Empowerment and Fueling Female Filmmakers the Hollywood Film Festival now sets its sights on the launch of its 2017 Hollywood Global Exposition Tour with the first stop in Shanghai, June 16-22.
Global NGO Plan International USA and Hollywood Film Festival Join Forces to Empower Girls and Female Filmmakers October 11, 2016 : For Immediate Release Hollywood, CA - In support of the United Nation’s declaration of today, October 11th, as International Day of the Girl, the Hollywood Film Festival (HFF) is privileged to introduce its partnership with Plan International USA (Plan) as one of the Festival’s new global relationships dedicated to focusing the resources of Hollywood on advancing issues of gender equity and parity in Hollywood along with the empowerment and equality of women and girls around the world.
“Plan’s mission is to promote the rights and interests of the world's children, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable. Girls continue to be the most excluded group in the world, often denied their right to equal opportunity and engagement in society,” says Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA. San Martin noted that art in general and the film medium in particular are among the most effective means of conveying to the world the importance of investing in girls and what societies lose when they do not recognize equal rights for girls. “We believe that the Plan Federation’s global network of more than 70 program and national offices will extend the artistic reach and social impact of the inspiring independent films and filmmakers represented by the Hollywood Film Festival.”
“We have invited thought leaders from around the world to pull up a chair and join the conversation around our Hollywood Gender Impact Table to help engage the creativity and imagination of our filmmakers and better focus the significant storytelling power of the entertainment industry on issues critical to the advancement of our global community and collective humanity," says Brad Parks, CEO of the Festival. When convened, the Gender Impact Table participants will discuss how to effectively utilize collective partner assets to help filmmakers, cultural content creators, and social impact storyteller’s better leverage the power of Hollywood to make a meaningful and measurable impact on the advancement of women and girls everywhere.
"Through participating in the Gender Impact Table, we hope to encourage other organizations to join us in the development of on-the-ground programming around these impactful films that will powerfully affect the lives of our constituents in the communities we serve worldwide," San Martin says.
About Plan International USA Plan International USA is part of the Plan International Federation. Plan is a child-centered development organization that believes in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time.