May 28, 2010

Pre-Memorial Day Update

The "Elliot Loves" fundraiser this week was a huge success. I don't yet have pix, but I'll post some next week. Again, I want to thank our very generous sponsors: Heineken, People en Espanol, .mark cosmetics, Film Comment, Macy's and Cafe Bustelo. You're all amazing!

We have officially locked the NYILFF Closing Night film. Phew! Look for the announcement on Tuesday!

Johnnie Walker is officially presenting the NYILFF Opening Night film. Woo-hoo!

Fantastic news. And, yet, hard to celebrate when I'm still not nearly done with sponsorship. The fest is only 2 months away. UGH.

On a personal tip, I'm super excited to see "Sex and the City 2" tomorrow afternoon with my friend, Kat, from HBO. Nothing like a fun, chick-flick to brighten what is supposed to be a stormy Saturday.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!


May 25, 2010

Update Nuggets

Lottery Man
Save for one little edit, the logo is done... Woohoo! Thank you Somos Arte!
Storyboards? Check! Thank you, Timothy Jack!
Thomas and I are meeting tomorrow to review the investor package one last time and then, watch out world, here we come! Or, um, watch out world, we're coming for your money! Or, um, brotha can you spare a dime?

Elliot Loves
Don't forget the Elliot Loves Final Fundraiser is tomorrow night, 5/26 @ Gallery MC (549 West 52nd Street, 8th floor)! View the film's first 25 minutes, drink deliciously ice-cold Heineken and take home gift bags courtesy of the very generous Cafe Bustelo, .mark cosmetics, Macy's, People en Espanol, Film Comment Mag and Urban Latino. All that good stuff for just $20! See you there?

Join Beyond Influencing Da Hood (BIDH) for its first-ever outdoor film screening in Bed Stuy, Bk, TONIGHT, MAY 25, 6-10:30pm @ Stockton Playground (P.S. 297), Park Ave b/w Tompkins and Marcy. With special presentations of the 2009 NYILFF Best Film award-winner, "Inside a Change", directed by BET Awards video director of the year nominee Rik Cordero, and the HBO short film, "Shades of Brooklyn vol.1", directed by Sunshowak Films. Stay for the meet-and-greet with the films' casts and crews. Event host is actor Ephraim "Fetti" Benton ("Precious"). Want more info? Click HERE!

Holy busy, Batman!
  • New water partner - Fiji Water!
  • New coffee partner - Nescafe!
  • New media partner - AOL Latino!
  • Time flies - We had our first staff meeting last night. LOVE the new team!
  • Programming - The Closing Night debate continues. Ugh. Other categories are locking in nicely. AWESOME line-up this year.


May 20, 2010

Elliot Loves Final Fundraiser!

You can help us complete the film, ELLIOT LOVES! How cool is that?!

Join us for the final ELLIOT LOVES Fundraiser/Screening Party, as they head back into production to complete the film.

Check out the film's first 25 minutes, while enjoying complementary ice cold Heineken and cocktails and take home a nifty gift bag, courtesy of .mark cosmetics, People en Espanol, Film Comment, Urban Latino, Cafe Bustelo and Macy's!

As always, the Elliot Loves cast & crew will be present.

Wednesday, May 26
Gallery MC
549 West 52nd Street, 8th floor
$20.00 at door

Pay at the door or via PayPal: PAY HERE!


May 18, 2010


Okay, I'll admit it... I'm nervous about sponsorship for the 2010 NYILFF. It's so unbelievably tough right now, I can't even tell you. Well, I can tell you, but it would just bore you. Everyone's budget is getting cut. I mean, literally, I hear that at least once a day. We still have a bunch in play, but it's getting very tight and I'm getting very nervous. Ah, the joys of entrepreneurship...

On a more positive note, GlobalHue brought on this amazing artist to help design our campaign's key art. Her name is Valerie Crosswhite and she's killer. Check out her site to get a feel for this year's creative:

Then, we have the programming debate. Ay carumba. So, Juan, Calixto and I are trying to figure out what to do with Closing Night. Fortunately, we're not arguing internally (for once!). We're actually all on the same page. We're just having a hard time making a decision between two great films, one of which I watched last night; I'm STILL waiting to get a copy of the other (come on, filmmakers, hup to it!). Without getting too detailed, the decision comes down to balancing 3 key factors: film quality, overall cost and potential PR exposure. For example, are we willing to close with a film that may not have any star power, but is amazing and really represents the mission and uniqueness of this festival? Will people buy tickets? Will the press still cover it? What do you think?


May 13, 2010

Momentum Makes Me Happy

Wowsers - what a day! I'm telling you, it's getting nutsarooni over here.

I received not 1 but 4 calls today from interested sponsors. I'm certain there will be a big range in participation (I already know one partner is only interested in sampling), but that's great news. Even if one of them comes through, that'd be great. Momentum.

I scheduled a 'date' for early June with an old, dear friend of mine with whom I've lost touch over the years. Isn't it so hard to keep up with everyone? Sheesh. Anyway, she's a casting director from my Shooting Gallery days. I can't wait to catch up over cocktails (of course!) and tell her re:"Lottery Man"! Momentum.

We saw the latest iteration of the creative campaign. Honestly, Global Hue is totally kick-ass. Tanya, Calixto and I all love the direction. That, in and of itself, is almost unbelievable. No arguments. No debates. Just a collective grin. Momentum.

Tanya, Sonia and I had a great lunch with our good friends at Clearview Cinemas. Those guys are awesome. Super chill and accommodating. Excellent partners. Got deadlines and clarified some deliverables. Momentum.

Last night, we had an excellent, super productive panels meeting. We officially locked our entire panels line-up (7 in total). We just need to refine some details (include name one of them), secure panelists, firm up the NEW location and get you guys excited about the cool stuff we're planning! Momentum.


May 12, 2010


Check it out... our 2010 NYILFF Domestic Features roster!!


World Premiere / 85 MIN / HD

Directors: Neal Thibedeau and Sarah Louise Wilson

Writers: Neal Thibedeau and Sarah Louise Wilson

Producers: Mercedes Leanza, Neal Thibedeau, Sandra Voris and Byron Werner

Cast: Caroline Le Duc, Christina Ferraro, Ashley Fink, Mercedes Leanza, Steve Talley

In the shadow of Dia de los Muertos, a young couple has 24 hours to decide if their love should live or perish for good. Sue is afraid of commitment; Joey is confused by where it all went wrong. Soon they find themselves swept up in the intoxication of the Day of the Dead, where the dead walk the earth for a day – including phantoms from Sue’s past who have designs on Joey’s soul.


New York Premiere / 97 MIN / HD

Director: Miguel Necoechea

Writers: Carl Bessai, Kirk Harris and Miguel Necoechea

Producers: Don Franken, Kirk Harris and Miguel Necoechea

Cast: Marco Antonio Barrera, Sofia Espinosa, Kirk Harris, Michael Madsen, Alex Perea, Martin Sheen

Trapped in the rough and tumble life of Mexico City, Abner dreams of becoming a professional boxer. When he meets Frank Irwin (Martin Sheen), an American doctor running a medical clinic, and Irwin’s son Jimmy, an Olympic boxer with a burnt out pro career, Abner thinks his dream at last can become reality. Father and son unite to teach Abner the proper skills -- and repair their damaged relationship. In “Chamaco,” we see a world where everyone battles for a better life -- and the heart fuels the punches we throw.


New York Premiere / 92 MIN / HD

Director: Alan Jacobs

Writers: Trina Calderon and Alan Jacobs

Producers: Scott William Alvarez, Frank Aragon, Erica Armin

Cast: Laz Alonso, Kate Del Castillo, Danny Glover, Snoop Dogg, Elizabeth Pena, Emily Rios, Jessica Romero

Rascal, a 15-year-old high school student in East L.A, is one of the leaders of a tough gang of young Latinas, who are in a turf war with a rival band of African-American girls. As their longstanding territorial battle continues, the violence escalates and the stakes grow deadlier. Rascal’s hope of escape lies with her English teacher, Mr. Shannon (Danny Glover), who recognizes her talent for writing. Soon Rascal is torn between the opportunity to get out and her gang’s unwritten code of loyalty.


World Premiere / 77 MIN / HD

Director: William Wedig

Writers: Manny Perez and William Wedig

Producers: Josh Crock, Steven Holtzman and Josh Van Wie

Cast: Kate Breznahan, David Castro, Margo Martindale, Manny Perez, Jaime Tirelli

After serving time for manslaughter, Chuco (Manny Perez) returns from prison to the cold and rusted steel town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. His crime was among the most horrific imaginable: the murder of his son's mother. Ten years later, Chuco must now grapple with avoiding his vengeful son (David Castro) and trying to be the father he never was. In “Forged”, a father’s quest for redemption and connection may end up taking far more than he has to give.


World Premiere / 88 MIN / HD

Director: Carmen Marron

Writer: Carmen Marron

Producers: Sid Idris and Carmen Marron

Cast: Aimee Garcia, Al Bandiero, David Hernandez, Gina Rodriguez, Rene Rosado, Andres Perez-Molina

Night after night, Carmen and her friends tear up the dance floor at the local club. By day, she works at a grocery store to put herself through junior college and fulfill her immigrant parents’ dream for her to get an education and have a better life. But when one of Carmen’s professors catches her dancing, he challenges her to embrace a new destiny: that of a trained dancer at a formal dance school. Soon Carmen finds herself torn between her family’s working-class ways and her dream to dance.


World Premiere / 101 MIN / HD

Director: Ric Dupont

Writer: Carl Lucas

Producers: Gregg Jackson, Jake Pokluda, Patrick Rousseau, Alan Trever and Noah Workman

Cast: Luis Bordonada, Jorge Jiminez, Art LaFleur, Omar Leyva, Salome Martinez, Shirley Rumierk

Five interconnected stories explore hope, heartbreak and the lines people cross in search of a better life. In Juarez, a day laborer helps his friend traffic illegal migrant workers across the border. A young mother flees Mexico in a desperate attempt to get her son American medical treatment. In New Mexico, an illegal immigrant sells drugs to pay the bills for his American-born children. And, when a low-level Mexican gangster tries to work his way up the ladder by smuggling drugs and people across the border, he unwittingly sets these lives on a collision course.


New York Premiere / 90 MIN / HD

Director: Christian Sesma

Writers: Matt Flynn and Christian Sesma

Producers: Redford Mejia, Mason Mukai and Helen Taylor

Cast: Deborah Baker, Jr., Ina Barron, Felipe Esparza, Paul Rodriguez, Edwin san Juan, Chi Chi Navarro, Sophia Santi

For Felipe, life at 30 consists of living at home with his extended family -- father, mother, sisters, brothers, grandmother and sister-in-law -- hanging with friends, and, well…that's pretty much it. There are lots of things Felipe would like to do some day: Lose weight. Face his fears. Get a life. One day, Felipe bumps into an old high school classmate, Jill -- a chance encounter that reawakens his sense of possibility. But to turn his life around, Felipe must first convince himself that, "I'm not like that no more."


New York Premiere / 81 MIN / HD

Director: Laura Neri

Writer: Laura Neri

Producers: Janeen M. Levin, Laura Neri, Linda Pianigiani and Aldo Shllaku

Cast: Cayce Clayton, Maria Elena Laas, Joe Lia, Lili Mironjnick, Katerina Moutsatsos

When drug-abusing Galia kills her two-timing drug dealer, Lyle, she calls on her best friend to help. The two find themselves holed up in Lyle's apartment with his wife, who, it turns out, hated her husband and is more than happy to help them lose the corpse and cover up the murder -- provided, of course, the girls share Lyle's cash. So, all these lovely ladies need to do is cooperate long enough to avoid arrest, dump the body, deal with Galia's drug habit and cover their tracks. What could go wrong?


World Premiere / 80 MIN / HD

Director: Jose Montesinos

Writer: Jose Montesinos

Producers: Ed Kahana, Jose Montesinos, Matt O'Donnell, Miguel Padilla, Dennis Ruel, Sari Sabella and Brett Stillo

Cast: Kyra Gordon, Aileen Lawlor, Joe Montesinos, Miguel Padilla, Dennis Ruel, Sari Sabella

After eight years in prison, Cisco is finally free -- or so he thinks. Now a man of insight and restraint, he returns to his old neighborhood, hoping to build a peaceful future. But Cisco soon finds himself in a very different world. Before long, his hopes of renewal are shattered by the reappearance of the local heavy, who has not forgotten about his $10,000 debt from years ago. “Owned” presents us with an all-too painful reality: we may think we are "free," but our past debts and mistakes just may own us for good.



May 7, 2010

HBO/NYILFF Competish Deadline Extended! LotMan Moving Along!

The HBO/NYILFF Short Film Competition deadline was just EXTENDED one week to FRIDAY, MAY 14!! For all of you who hoped to get it done by today but couldn't swing it, have no fear! You now have an extra week to show us your genius and (hopefully) win the opportunity to make a short film on HBO's dime! What's to lose?!

Matt, Thomas and I had a great call with Shirley and Edgardo at Somos Arte, who are handling the creative campaign (starting with the logo) for "Lottery Man". So exciting! They TOTALLY get it. I need to bust out a creative brief to keep that ball rolling.

I had a positive call with a potential financial partner. They're mostly interested in off-season, private screening events, but that's super cool. I'm into it. Let's do this!

I also connected with what I hope will be our non-alcoholic beverage partner. This Monday, my contact (nat'l hd of multicultural mktg) has a follow-up meeting with his brand team to get feedback on his recommended plan. Fingers crossed!

TEASE WARNING!! Next week, I'll give you a sneak-peek of the entire 2010 NYILFF Domestic Features list. Hells yeah...

Have a great weekend!


May 6, 2010

"Elliot Loves" on indieWIRE! New music vids & webisodes on CINEDULCE!

The indieWIRE piece on "Elliot Loves" was just posted! Check it! "ELLIOT LOVES" ON INDIEWIRE


Serius Jones - "Oh Baby" (Official Video) (4:02)
A Light Up Production: Directed & DP'd By: Lex Lewter & Dr.Woo, Executive Produced By: Mutaurwa Mapondera, Produced By: Darren Id-deen, Special EFX Bobby Yan. Special Thanks to Public School NYC and Lemar and Dauley.

Deranged Fan Episode 3 "Basketcase" (3:48)
Deranged Fan feat. Bomar - "Basketcase" Episode 3. Directed by Rik Codero.

"I Once Was Lost" Webisode #1 "Computer Love" (4:13)
In Episode #1, Elaine explores the possibilities of internet dating at the insistence of her close friend, roommate and serial dater, Lauren.

"Living In A World" (3.08)
CE Muzik presents, debut single by Jae Brook produced by DJ Blakghost. Music Video directed by Slush for McCray Media + Co.


May 5, 2010

Getting Creative

Just got back from the creative meeting with GlobalHue, this year's lead creative agency for the NYILFF campaign.

As you may recall, earlier this year, together with GlobalHue we conducted a contest for the NYILFF's commercial spot. After selecting the winner, the folks at GlobalHue were then tasked with developing an entire campaign based on that initial pitch concept. Soooo... today they presented to us their campaign concepts. Awesome! Sophisticated, elegant, cool, hip, clean... we love them!

PLUS, they secured a HUGE director for the commercial. We all were like wha what?? How the hell did you pull off that one? Insane. Super exciting!

On the sponsorship tip, I received an initial offer from a wellness company. I'm trying to move them up a bit, but it's not a bad prelim offer. It's nice to get good news.


May 4, 2010

Nuggets of Info

We received more entries for the HBO/NYILFF Short Film Competition. Whoopee! Keep em
comin' folks. Remember, the deadline is this FRIDAY, MAY 07!!

Congratulations to "Elliot Loves"'s Robin de Jesus (Hector in "E.L."), who received a Tony
nomination this morning for "La Cage aux Folles"! Yay, Robin!

Bit of a slow day today. Boo. I was supposed to have a rescheduled conference call with a woman at a major
financial institution but she never called. Grrr...

Buuut, I did get a hold of our potential beverage partner, who just returned from vaca in Spain
(jealous anyone??). We're scheduled to reconnect on Friday after he catches up.

Big creative meeting tomorrow with GlobalHue. They're going to present the campaign!


May 3, 2010

NYILFF Domestic Features - GUEST BLOGGER!

Now that we've contacted all of the participating filmmakers in the 2010 NYILFF Domestic Features category, I thought it would be fun to have Juan Caceres, our programming director, give his take on the category:

It's a slimmer domestic roster, but I'm happy with the selections. I think one key thing this year is returning to why we are here... a majority of these films are not star-driven and were shot on micro-budgets, so it is a return to form for us. There's definitely an indie feel, which will be nicely complemented by the international and docs

Thanks Juan!