March 31, 2010

Bring It

Yesterday, Calixto and I had a really good meeting. He's been away for a bit and we just haven't been able to connect. It was nice to catch up and get on the same page.

I spent the better part of today reconciling the festival's 2007 Quickbooks file (yawn...). Yes, I recognize it's 2010, but I need to go backwards and get the entire file brought up to to date. Hopefully, I'll knock out 2008 on Friday (too many meetings and deadlines tomorrow) and 2009 early next week. 2010 will be a breeze and then we're good to go. I'll admit, it's not all that fun to execute, but the thought of having perfectly organized, reconciled 'books' makes me downright giddy.

On a more interesting note, I just got off a follow-up call with the agency for two GIANT retailers, both of whom have preliminary interest in the NYILFF. So great! Of course, now I only have 24-hours to bust out a whole customized proposal b/c the client presentation is Friday, but that's fine. Bring it.


March 29, 2010

Catching Up, Part II

Lots to discuss.

First off, thanks SO much again to Benjamin at American Airlines for inviting Sonia and me last week to the opening night of New Directors, New Films at the MoMA. The feature presentation, "Bill Cunningham New York", about the famed NY Times fashion photographer was amazing! If you get the opportunity to see it, GO! The doc is a loving, captivating tribute to a New York artistic 'institution', who is a true artist with an irrepressible, almost childlike fascination with and love for fashion; fashion is his passion, his muse and his lover. You could view his life as somewhat tragic because he ardently pursues his obsession at the sacrifice of a personal life, and yet he seems blissful, giddy and ultimately content. Who are we to judge the decisions of others?

On Friday, I had a great lunch with my friend at a major financial institution. I've partnered with him once before and am hoping we can continue, if not grow, the association. He seems confident we can get something done. Details TBD. Fingers crossed!

I've been making tons of calls and sending tons of emails re:NYILFF sponsorship and product placement/partnership for "Elliot Loves". Getting closer with a bunch of potential partners but no news to deliver... yet!

On a personal note, my grandfather just celebrated his 100th birthday. Can you believe?! He was born in 1910. Just think what he's seen in his lifetime, including 2 World Wars, movies, television, computers, the Internet, microwaves, major medical, transportation and technological advances, flappers, hippies, punks, grunge, hip-hop, globalism, environmentalism, the multiculturalization (is that even a word??) of America, etc. It's truly awesome. Happy Birthday, Grandpa!


March 24, 2010

Back on Online! Paciencia.

Okay, I'm back in biz. Time Warner Cable rewired my Internet and phone so I'm back up and running. Phew! That was annoying!

Tonight, I'm going to the Opening Night of the Lincoln Center Film Society's New Directors, New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of my dear friend, Benjamin at American Airlines, the official NYILFF airline partner. Yay! The feature presentation is a doc called "Bill Cunningham New York". Should be a fun time. I'm taking Sonia as my 'date' so she can meet Benjamin. No doubt, they'll totally get along famously.

On the frustrating news tip, yesterday, I lost a confirmed sponsor. Argh! Apparently, 2009 revenues were down and, in turn, they cut all 2010 sponsorship. I totally get it, but it's still a huge bummer and just adds more pressure to an already stressful situation. Who needs it, right?!

However, as I always say, you have to take the good with the bad, yin with the yang. Patience and persistence are key. Case in point, I received two very good calls today (one follow up and one new) and had a very encouraging follow-up convo with a potential telecom partner, with whom I've been speaking for YEARS. Fingers crossed!!!


March 22, 2010

Catching Up

This whole no cable Internet or phone situation has been a bit of a bummer - gotta admit. But, I'm making it happen because that's what you need to do. In the wise words of Tim Gunn, "Make it work!".

I saw a GREAT fest doc this past weekend. Obviously, I can't yet tell you the name, but, trust me, it's hot. It's so hot, in fact, that it already has sponsors attached - super rare and a great sign.

This is always a stressful time from a sponsorship standpoint, but a fun one from a programming standpoint. It starts to get a bit late for new sponsor outreach, while, at the same time, most sponsors in consideration are still planning and budgeting. So, it's a bit strange - lots of waiting but also an attempt to stay aggressive. On the programming tip, the screeners and managers are busy checking out submissions while Juan, our programming director, started to give me secured films. It's just super exciting to see the program slowly come together.

On Friday, Sonia and I had a great meeting with NYWIFT (NY Women in Film & Television). The ED, Terry, is great and it looks like we'll definitely do something with them. I have 3 potential sponsors interested in Latina-themed programming, so the NYWIFT partnership will be a great help. Fingers crossed...


March 17, 2010

More Media. Clean Books!

Yesterday, Sonia and I met with our good friend, Susan, at 103.5 KTU, the NYILFF's English-language radio station. I've never met with her so early in the year, but I really want to knock out all key partnerships as soon as possible. She's so awesome - just love working with her. Plus, she brought in the head of sales to talk to us about potential advertiser upsell and tie-in opportunities. Turns out they may have some real leads. Granted, I've heard this story too many times to tell, but they're super gung-ho and want to make it happen. In my eyes, even one small KTU-generated deal would be a home run. So, I'll maintain low expectations and see what happens.

Today, I had a good meeting with our new bookkeeper, Avalon, who's helping me clean up and better organize our 'books'. The thought of it makes me downright giddy. Who knew I'd be so excited about organized accounting? My, my how being a small biz owner changes your perspective on fun. ;)

Oh, and my dear friend Benjamin at American Airlines (NYILFF's official airline!) invited me to next week's opening night of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New Directors, New Films series. The film is a documentary, titled "Bill Cunningham New York" (dir. Richard Press) about the famed New York Times photographer. So fun! Thank you, B!!


Quote of the Day

"Most people's wake is much, much larger than they can ever imagine. We all can't imagine we have as much impact on the people and the world around us as we actually do."
Kip Tindell, Chief Executive of The Container Store to the New York Times on Sunday, 03/14/10

Pretty inspiring, huh?
Go make your wake and see the ripple effect of change...


March 13, 2010


Thursday was insane and my Internet was out all of Friday. Ayyy! But, I'm back with updates.

Yesterday, Sonia and I had a great meeting with a potential replacement media partner (obviously, I can't say whom until the deal is done). They totally get it and already have some interested advertisers that may have cash for us (i.e., upsell the ad buy with a promo tie-in). Of course, I've heard this story before too many times to count, but these guys really seem excited to make it happen. Let's stay positive and see what they can do.

I also scheduled a meeting with NYWIFT (NY Women in Film and Television) about some tie-in ideas. I'm excited about that one because I have 3 potential sponsors interested in targeting Latinas. We shall see...

Last night, I went to a preview of the new Broadway play, "Looped", starring Valerie Harper based on a real, somewhat insane looping session with Tallulah Bankhead (looping is when an actor goes into the studio to re-record lines that didn't record clearly during the shoot). It was great... really funny, but also very touching. Kat (my friend who got the tickets) and I got lost in the characters and their stories and ultimately forgot it was Valerie Harper on the stage (it helped she was wearing a TON of makeup and perfected Tallulah's uniquely affected voice). Regardless, I definitely recommend it. Plus, we went to some random restaurant bar around the corner and met a huge DJ. So fun!

Who's going to Lyndon's bday tonight at the Essex Restaurant on the LES? Rain can't stop me from helping Lyndon celebrate the big 2-9! Happy bday, amigo!


March 10, 2010

Yin. Yang. Yang. Yin.

Bit of a bummer today - I was scheduled to have a NYILFF meeting tomorrow AM with a fairly big agency, but they canceled this afternoon. They don't think there's a fit with their clients' current strategies. And, so it goes. But, on the flip side, yesterday I received a call from a new, interested sponsor and, on Monday, I had a very promising conversation with an exec from another very interested sponsor. In this case of Monday's convo, the brand is a 2x former partner and, through the years, my relationship with the exec has blossomed into full-scale friendship and mutual respect. He's a fantastic guy and a good egg.

You know, you have to take the bad with the good. Yin and yang. I can't stress this one disappointment. All I care about is I secure like-minded partners and cover our budget so we can produce the best possible festival. Is that too much to ask?!

"Lottery Man": Matt, our director, had a great meeting with Tim, who's officially now our storyboard artist. Such a relief. Plus, Tim is a doll; he's a hardworking, passionate, incredibly talented guy. I'm so glad to give him the work. Thank you, Lyndon, for the recommendation! On the flip side, no word yet from the agency about the actress we want for the lead female. Yang. Yin.

Patty Dukes just tweeted she will be performing at SXSW. Big news! Congrats and buena suerte to her!

RIP Corey Haim.


March 9, 2010

Slowly But Surely Coming Together

Don'tcha just love when a potential sponsor calls you asking if they can spend their money on your event?! Um... okay! Yes, indeed, that happened today. You know I can't reveal the brand, but, I promise, if the deal closes, you'll be the first to know!

I also hired the woman who's going to serve as our office manager and assistant to Tanya, NYILFF's Managing Director. She's going to be GREAT and Tanya's psyched, which is most important to me. The team continues to grow and gel. Loving it!

On the LOTTERY MAN tip, our director, Matt, met with Tim, the storyboard artist who was recommended to me by Lyndon, and he really liked him! Hired! Tim feels he can complete the initial scenes we want for the investor package by end of next week. Right on, Tim!

More changes and updates to come...


March 8, 2010

Oscars Recap

First off, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were surprisingly kooky and funny - much edgier than I expected. Thank God, they didn't bust out the "Dirty Dancing", Catskills, schmaltz-a-thon. Ben Stiller? Hilarious! And, I don't care what anyone says - I love Neil Patrick Harris and thought his opening number was adorable. That bizarro dance medley, however, was another story. What the hell?!

Okay, onto the awards. There were few surprises, but it's still fun to watch. Mo'Nique, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges and Christoph Waltz were, in my opinion, all shoe-ins. They've consistently been winning award after award and had a huge amount of momentum going into the night. The story of the night, of course, was Kathryn Bigelow winning the Best Director award. I wasn't surprised by the win, but to have a woman finally break through the old DGA boys' club and capture the coveted top creative award is astounding and a major ceiling-busting moment. You go, girl!

And, for all you ladies out there, I thought Sandra Bullock was the best dressed. She looked stunning! This was her moment and she worked it. I also thought Anna Kendrick, Rachel McAdams, Nicole Ritchie, Elizabeth Banks, Queen Latifah, Kristen Stewart (seriously!) and Demi Moore looked beautiful - really lovely dresses. And, J-Lo, as always, looked gorgeous!

The funniest Oscars feedback I've heard thus far: Joan Rivers on James Cameron, "He looks like a lesbian." Ha! Now, THAT'S funny stuff.

For the record, I won my Oscars pool (woo-hoo!), which worked out well because I spent a pretty penny on my micro-viewing party. The pot didn't fully reimburse me, but it did mitigate the pain! ;)


March 5, 2010

OSCARS!! (And, Other Stuff)

The seemingly endless film awards season is about to come to a glittery, faaabulous close with tomorrow night's Oscars telecast (8pm EST, ABC). I don't want to reveal my picks because, of course, I'm in an Oscars pool and I stand to win some ridiculously small amount of money. But, still, I could win!

To host your own pool or just have solo fun, print the official 2010 Oscars ballot and play along!

Download the ballot HERE!

Yesterday, I spoke to Rema, the woman I hope is coming on board as the NYILFF's new venue director. For the past few years, she's worked with us as a venue manager and is kick-ass. I love our longstanding venue director, Nancy, but she's not available this year. Boo! Although I adore Nancy, I would be totally relieved and psyched to have Rema take over her post. In fact, Rema was Nancy's genius idea! I absolutely LOVE how this new team is coming together.

Also yesterday, I scored a meeting for next Thursday, 03/11, with a major agency. They're inviting all of their execs so I'll be hitting reps for multiple key brands simultaneously. I love me some efficiency! Hopefully, the mtg will go well and at least one account exec will see an opportunity for his/her client. Just one would be a home run.
2hpl Job List!

Go get em, folks!

P, Branded Entertainment - Telemundo Network - General Electric

Integrated Copywriter - Ignited LLC
Integrated Art Director - Ignited LLC
Talent Manager - Alma DDB
Account Director - Lopez Negerete Communications
Local Sales Manager - WVEA / Entravision
National Retail Account Manager - Tribune Hispanic
Digital Creative Supervisor - Zubi Advertising
Account Planner - Zubi Advertising
Accounting Manager - Lopez Negrete Communications

To view job listings CLICK below:


March 4, 2010

New on Cinedulce: "I Remember" music vid, Struggling Actor and Emmi!


Life Of A Struggling Actor, Ep #46 (7:08)
Writers strike & Alicia Keys.


"I Remember" (6:49)
Epic music video for KOZ.
Directed by SLUSH for McCray Media + Co.

Hanging Out With Emmi, Ep. #7 (9:35)
Hanging out
with Urban Latino at PNC Studios, in Brooklyn.


March 3, 2010

Elliot Loves...ME!

I am SO super proud and honored to say I have been named associate producer on the film, "Elliot Loves". Thank you Gary and Juan! I thought it was my first IMDB credit, but it turns out I have minor credits on "Frogs for Snakes" and "The Minus Man", films my old company, Shooting Gallery, released. For my old SG friends... how hilarious is that?!

This PM, Sonia (NYILFF's Manager, Partner Client Services) and I had a GREAT meeting with the head of the multicultural division of a huge agency on behalf of their equally huge beauty client. As Scooby Doo's Shaggy would say, "Zoinks!" I can't believe how much I liked this agency woman. She's one of the cooler, smarter ladies I've met in a long while and, quite frankly, pretty atypical for that corporate agency world. I dig her. More importantly, she seems to dig Sonia and me and the festival. Let's see if this mutual digging leads to a 'beautiful' partnership.

Leading up to the meeting, however, was a virtual comedy of errors, peaking with the generally rude and largely incompetent FedEx/Kinko's staff at 6th Ave/24th Street. You just have to laugh.


March 2, 2010

"Ajami" - Super Powerful

I finally have my computer back from the Mac store. What was supposed to be a 30-minute fix turned into 3 days! That aside, all is well and I'm loving my fresh, new keyboard.

On Saturday night, I saw "Ajami" (2010 Oscar Foreign Film nom., Israel)... unbelievably powerful, original movie. It's sort of Altman-esque in its weaving of multiple stories and characters into one large, complex fabric. In this case, the story is told in 'chapters' that are non-chronological, each focusing on a different storyline or different perspective of an established story.

What's most astounding about the film, however, is its near neutrality about the many layers of conflict in the Middle East. Palestinians/Arabs v. Jews. Christian Arabs v. Muslim Arabs. Accepted Arabs in Israel v. non-accepted Arabs. The story is so sensitively told from all perspectives that you care about all of the characters, who have both positive and negative aspects, and legitimately understand each POV. At any given point, there are 3 languages being communicated either audibly or visually via subtitles: English, Hebrew and Arabic.

"Ajami" may make you a bit uncomfortable, but I think it's totally worth the experience - dark, intense, emotional, engaging, interesting and ultimately quite tragic because you realize this is not an unrealistic portrait of the region and, more importantly, there is no easy solution and no end in sight.

If nothing else, this movie genuinely makes you appreciate being an American and the many freedoms we enjoy (and often take for granted) on a daily basis.