Third Annual LA Femme Film Festival, October 11-14

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The third annual LA Femme Film Festival, taking place in Beverly Hills, is committed to changing how women are viewed in the industry by showcasing the diverse talents of emerging artists to wider audiences.

Festival founder Leslie LaPage said, “After more than a decade of working as a producer in the industry, I’ve seen women filmmakers rise to the top and I wanted to create a specific forum in which our stars of tomorrow could be championed. Our festival’s winners receive distribution deals and we hope that this year’s cadre of extraordinary filmmakers will enjoy the same success.”

The four-day festival program includes screenings of selected new independent features, shorts, student and animated films for industry professionals, other up and coming filmmakers and film fans, as well as seminars with industry experts, networking events, an awards ceremony and a benefit gala.

The seminar line-up includes a prestigious array of film business professionals. The Writers Guild America West will sponsor a writers’ panel featuring women screenwriters who have written screenplays on genre specific films. The Screen Actors Guild will sponsor a panel featuring women actors, directors, and producers on “Ageism in Hollywood”.

LA Femme Film Festival accepts submissions of films produced, directed or written by women. Each film, video, short and screenplay competes with others in its category for awards, including Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Screenplay, Best Commercial, Best Music Video, Best Public Service Announcement, Best Short, Best Indie Feature, Best Indie Writer, Best Director and Honorable Mention for Outstanding Achievement.

Awards are presented at the festival’s closing ceremony on October 14. Award winners receive prizes, including merchandise, valued at over $1,500. Most importantly, winners gain priceless exposure for their films. For example, the 2005 Best Feature winner, “Green Street Hooligans.” subsequently opened in over 2,000 theaters nationwide. Yelena Lanskaya, winner of the 2005 Best Director award, saw her film “The Colt” aired on The Hallmark Channel. In 2006 the filmmaker of “City of Gold,” signed a production agreement with Sandman Studios. The festival also distributes selected films and acts as a producer’s representative.

LA Femme Film Festival also honors deserving members of the entertainment community. This year’s honorees are Martha Coolidge, Rosanna Arquette, Lea Thompson and Sara Risher. Past honorees include Lauren Zalaznick, Angela Bromstad, Susan Seidelman, Marisol Nichols and Maria Conchita Alonso, among others.

LA Femme Film Festival is open to the general public. Tickets are available on the website www.lafemme.org or by calling (310) 441-1645. Tickets for individual films are $10.00 and seminars are each $20.00 at the door, while a VIP pass for all events is $150.00. A union member pass (SAG, WGA, AFTRA, DGA, PGA, IATSC) for all events is available for $59.99.? High school students may attend screenings and seminars for free. Full Festival VIP passes include all screenings, after parties, seminars, the Benefit Party and the Closing Night Awards Ceremony. Students with a current ID from film school are welcome to attend the seminars for FREE and the screenings for $10. Single tickets are also available for industry cocktail parties ($25) the benefit gala ($60) and the awards ceremony ($30).

Visit the website at www.lafemme.org.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).