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.