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Cinequest Film Festival 21 Sets Records

  (March 24, 2011)

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) March 24, 2011

Cinequest Film Festival 21 (CQFF21) proved to be so much more than a film festival by continuing to transform lives across the globe through discovery, innovation, connecting and creativity. The festival celebrated 75 U.S., North American and World Premieres representing over 41 countries. Enhancing its position as the place to discover the future of film innovations, Cinequest produced 22 art and innovation forums and workshops. A record 91,000 participants enjoyed premier venues loaded with Barco state-of-the-art projection for all digital formats from 2D to 3D plus a spectacular new HP VIP Lounge acting as the central connecting hub in an already centralized experience.

Opening Night included a screening of Passione directed by John Turturro as well as a special Maverick Spirit Award event for the maverick Mr. Turturro, followed by a passionate conversation on stage. Eleven days later, the curtains closed with Soul Surfer and a very special award ceremony for Bethany Hamilton. Hamilton received the Life of a Maverick Award, presented by Mavericks Surf Contest founder, Jeff Clark. Previous Life of a Maverick recipients include Dr. Deepak Chopra, Desmond Doss and Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah.

"As befits its setting, in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cinequest manages to straddle two worlds -- film geeks and financial barons -- with remarkable alacrity; not many fests can boast homepage testimonials from both Forbes Magazine and Ain't It Cool News. Eager to emphasize its "maverick" stance ("daring to act as a catalyst of dynamic change in a cookie-cutter world"), the fest has long positioned itself at the cutting edge, as a showcase for new technologies and champion of the more DIY end of U.S. and global indie filmmaking, with programming that routinely eschews the typical fest fare. And having recently added a production shingle -- Cinequest Mavericks Studio -- to its distribution arm (Cinequest Distribution, natch, founded in 2006, and currently boasting a catalog of more than 60 titles, available on DVD and PPV/VOD), this outsider is anything but content to rest on its laurels," says Shane Danielsen, Variety, February 17, 2011.

Film Success and Highlights:

  •     "We knew Cinequest was a big festival; we just didn't know how big or how well connected, but we have already had calls from five separate distributors, two of whom have made very reasonable offers, three bigger ones who we have to sit down with later this week. But the word has spread from Cinequest all the way to New York City, when they heard that our screenings were getting a lot of buzz," says Biagio Messina, Director of Dying to Do Letterman. "And we just came down here not knowing what to expect, and we left feeling like WOW, so thank you Cinequest!"
  •     "Feels like you are coming home each time you walk out of the hotel," says Steve Mazan, star of Dying to Do Letterman.
  •     "Cinequest has been pretty surreal so far and its pretty unbelievable being a 21-year-old college student and having a short in here...they're so accommodating to everybody and I'm just in shock and along for the ride," says Daniel Maggio, Director of student short, Jimbo.
  •     "It feels like homeit's a place where you just feel welcome; you feel this warm energy going around, basically brings everybody together! And that's the take I get and that is why I enjoy coming back every year," says Oscar Arguello, Producer of Base Emotions.
  •     "It's one of the last big discovery film festivals and I think that when I'm here, I get the sense of this is what it must have been like 25 years ago at Sundance, just the fellowship amongst the filmmakers, getting a chance to meet the guy that founded it, is very personable, and very communicative.the festival has been a great experience because I have been to a couple and my experiences weren't that great, and it's been hats off to Cinequest for being able to make it an experience worthwhile," says Malik Isasis, Director of New York Decalogue.
  •     "I think in a couple years Cinequest will be, if not just as good, better than the Cannes Film Festival," says Chrissy Sullivan, novelist and participant of Cinequest 21.
  •      "I am really honored to be here, since I got to the airport, everyone has been so kind and what a gorgeous theatre, the hotel, everything is beautiful. I'm just really, really happy we are here," says Lymari Nadal, writer, producer, actor of America. "It's an opportunity for films to fly from here to who knows where."
  •     "It's always great to come here, and it's an honor and a privilege to be at Cinequest, to be accepted, and to become a participant and am very grateful for what you guys have done for the film America," says Edward James Olmos, executive producer and actor in America.

Amazing Innovations Success and Highlights:

  •     A new partnership with IndiePlaya was announced on March 12, 2011, to provide a platform for distribution among maverick filmmakers.
  •     "We've created a platform that empowers the filmmaker in ways never before available," says Jeffrey Brandstetter, Co-Founder & CEO of IndiePlaya, Inc. "As an entertainment attorney negotiating on behalf of indies for the past two decades, I wanted a play-leveler that gives independent filmmaker a fighting chance of actually turning a profit with their films, and we do that by enabling them to sell further down the long tail than ever before possible."
  •     "IndiePlaya and Cinequest share a common goal -- empowering film artists with innovative ways to optimize their distribution opportunities," says Halfdan Hussey, Co-Founder and Director of Cinequest. "Our strategic alliance with IndiePlaya provides Cinequest's maverick filmmakers with bleeding-edge technologies that enable them to better reach their audiences and monetize their content. Silicon Valley's Cinequest has played a pioneering role in the world of Internet distribution since 2003 as the first film institute to deliver feature films and as a partner in several of the companies that drove Internet delivery from a promise to a reality. The re-launch of CinequestOnline using IndiePlaya enables us to offer both DVDs and streaming video directly to our fans at the premier level of quality and ease."
  •     Barco DCI compliant projection (recently named world's brightest projectors by The Guinness Book of World Records) enhanced Cinequest venues with state-of-the-art digital and 3D technologies. Omneon servers and Panasonic technologies continued to insure Cinequest's commitment to being the preeminent digital festival. HP TouchSmart screens loaded with applications including TweetRiver will connect bloggers and social communities with festival venues and attendees enhancing the highly interactive Cinequest experience
  •     Newly added workshops presented by Adobe and Phantom Cameras to enhance filmmaker's experience at the festival.
  •     Artist & Innovator Forums including the 3D Celebration, How-to Make it 3D with Jon M. Chu, the Overview of 3D; as well as Mastering the Art of Maverick Filmmaking, presented by Adobe; and Nokia's Mobile Cinema forum, Make it Easy, Make it Great.
  •     Superb state-of-the-art venues and added screens equipped with digital servers, digital and 35mm projection, as well as select 3D, all within a four block radius.
  •     Pioneering Cinequest Interactive Scheduler and Application for the iPhone and Blackberry.

CQFF21 Maverick Spirit Award Recipients:
John Turturro received the Maverick Spirit Award at Opening Night of Cinequest 21 for his Maverick career in the film industry. Alyson Stoner and AnnaSophia Robb received the Emerging Maverick Award for their promising talents in the film industry and continue to inspire audiences around the globe. The Life of a Maverick award was presented to Bethany Hamilton for her perseverance and courage to return to the ocean after she lost her arm in a shark attack.

CQFF21 Award Winners:

Maverick Narrative Feature Awards
Best First Feature Film:
"Rosa Morena"
Director: Carlos Augusto de Oliveira

Best Feature Film:
"Mozart's Sister"
Director: Rene Feret

Special Jury Award:
"Falling Overnight"
Director: Conrad Jackson
(United States)

Documentary Awards
Best Feature Documentary:
"Dying To Do Letterman"            
Directors: Biagio Messina and Joke Fincioen        
(United States)

Special Jury Award:
"The World According to Ion B."    
Director: Alexander Nanau            

Audience Award to Best Feature:
"The Liverpool Goalie"
Director: Arild Andresen

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature:
"Dying To Do Letterman"
Directors: Biagio Messina andJoke Fincioen
(United States)

New Visions Award:
"Make a Movie Like Spike"            
Director: Jamil Walker Smith    
(United States)

Global Vision Award:
"Togetherness Supreme"        
Director: Nathan Collett

Short FIlm Awards
Best Student Short:        
"The Pool Party"        
Director: Sara Zandieh            
(United States)

Best Short Documentary:    
"The Stitches Speak"
Director: Nina Sabnani

Best Animated Short:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore        
Director: William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg    
(United States)

Best Narrative Short:
"Inside Out"    
Director: Jim O'Doherty
(United States)

Special Jury Prize:        
Director: Jonas Odell        

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award:
I AM        
Director: Tom Shadyac    
(United States)

Maverick Screenplay: First Place Award
"Mr. Tesla"
Screenwriter: Robert Holbrook

Maverick Screenplay: Second Place Award
"Welcome to Akron"
Screenwriter: Stephan Bugaj

Maverick Screenplay: Third Place Award
"Saint Patrick's Tear"
Screenwriter: Neil Cumbria

CQFF22 Dates: February 28- March 11, 2012.

CQFF 21 Sponsors
Intel ,Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, Adobe, Barco, RealD 3D, Omneon, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Applied Materials, Panasonic, Clear Channel, Metro Newspapers, The Hearst Foundations, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Fry's Electronics, Adobe Youth Voices, IndiePlaya, Camera Cinemas, Kaiser Permanente, Castellano Family Foundation, Phantom, The Examiner, Travelocity, Betty Confidential, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Yelp, NBC Bay Area, Telemundo, and the City of San Jose.

Cinequest Empowers Mavericks to transform our lives for the better.


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