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Cinequest Film Festival 17 closed

Cinequest Film Festival 17 closed last Sunday night with the Vietnamese film Owl and the Sparrow in the capital of the Silicon Valley after 12 days of showcasing 160 films. Over 40 features and over 40 shorts were World, North American or United States premieres. Several hundred filmmakers and a collection of distributors came in from around the globe, and over 70,000 film fans were in attendance. This year’s festival broke attendance records and was about true discovery, empowerment through knowledge and the latest in technologies, and revolutionary distribution.

Revolution of Discovery — Film Program
This year a record 1,850 submissions (features and shorts) competed for slots in the Cinequest 17 program. Of those films, over 100 first-time, emerging film artists were represented from 34 countries including: Bolivia, Brazil, Ireland, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Iceland, Serbia, Croatia, the Philippines, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Cuba, Austria, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Norway, Canada, Iran, Hungary, Mexico, China, Germany, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, France, Romania, Czech Republic and the United States.

Revolution of Discovery — Maverick Spirit Events
Some of the most exciting moments at Cinequest this year were the trademark Maverick Spirit Events. These one-on-one live conversations with top film moguls and masters entertained, inspired and intrigued. Cinequest was excited to celebrate five Mavericks in their own right with the festival’s highest honor, the Maverick Spirit Award. This year Stewart Copeland, legendary musician (The Police) and film composer, received the Maverick Spirit Award as part of the Day of Sight and Sound Forum. Captivating actress Minnie Driver received the Maverick Spirit Award for her career as one of the world’s most dynamic actresses, and revolutionary television producer J. J. Abrams, a great writer, producer and director who produced Alias, Lost, What About Brian and Six Degrees. Cinequest was excited to present legendary independent film producer Christine Vachon with the award for her incredible volume of work including the films Boys Don’t Cry, Happiness and Far From Heaven. Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie was the final Maverick Spirit recipient, receiving his award at the Day of the Writer Forum.

Revolution of Empowerment — Filmmaking and Technology Forums
Cinequest’s Day of series of forums included four days of inspiration and empowerment. They included: Day of the Writer, Day of the Producer, Day of Sight and Sound, and the Day of Distribution. Each forum presented experts in their field to motivate, educate and fascinate both filmmakers and film fans. Cinequest partnered in this venture with companies such as Azureus, Beacon Pictures, Canon, Comerica, Dolby® (NYSE: DLB), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Jaman, Kontiki, Magus, Palm® (NASDAQ: PALM), Panasonic, and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), to name but a few.

The Numbers
Film submissions and attendance for Cinequest 17 broke all records for previous Cinequest festivals. This year a record 1,850 submissions (features and shorts) competed for slots in the Cinequest 17 program. Cinequest experienced a growth in attendance when 70,102 people filled the seats — an increase from the 2006 figure of 67,201. On top of this, the festival experienced an increase in box office sales and the estimated fiscal impact to San Jose is approximately four million dollars.

What’s Next…Revolution of Distribution
Cinequest Distribution (launched November 2006) is making its name in the world of film by offering distribution solutions that work for the Maverick gems that get lost after their festival life. Many of the world’s truly deserving films do not receive traditional distribution with some estimating that less than one percent of U.S., and less than five percent of International Indies receiving Hollywood distribution. Cinequest, long a harbinger of the use of new technology to empower artists, has created a distribution solution to deliver films to fans worldwide via unique Internet marketing and delivery plus comprehensive DVD.

In November, Cinequest Distribution launched the first phase of its distribution plan by making available a DVD catalogue of 35 Maverick titles. The second phase of Cinequest Distribution was the availability of the Cinequest collection on Jaman’s exciting video-on-demand Internet site. Cinequest Distribution recently launched the third phase of its distribution model. Cinequest Online now has 29 features and 28 shorts from the Cinequest DVD collection available for pay-per-view video on demand downloading. This collection is titled the Cinequest Exclusive Collection. An additional nine features and 101 shorts are available on Cinequest Online for PPV downloading under the banner of the Cinequest Discovery Collection. Pricing is $4.99/feature film and $1.99/short film. Go to

Cinequest award winners for the 2007 Festival:


Director’s Award: Global Vision
Fresh Air
Director: Ágnes Kocsis
Producer: Ferenc Pusztai

Director’s Award: New Visions
Blood Car
Director: Alex Orr
Producer: Alex Orr


Best Student Short
Forgetting Betty
Directors: James Anderson and Robert Postrozny

Best Short Documentary
Half Life: A Journey to Chernobyl
Director: David Bickerstaff

Best Short Animation
One Rat Short
Director: Alex Weil

Best Short Narrative
Dinner for One
Director: Anita McGee


Special Jury Award
I Fought the Law (AKA Lockdown, USA)
Directors: Rebecca Chaiklin, Michael Skolnik
Producers: Rebecca Chaiklin, Michael Skolnik

Best Feature Documentary
Director: Ben Byer
Producer: Ben Byer, Rebeccah Rush


Special Jury Award for Overall Excellence
Director: Ole Christian Madsen
Producer: Morten Kaufmann

Best First Feature Film
Midnight Clear
Director: Dallas Jenkins
Producers: Dallas Jenkins, Kevin Downes

Maverick Spirit Award
The Bothersome Man
Director: Jens Lien
Producer: Jørgen Storm Rosenberg


Audience Award Best Feature
Director: John Jeffcoat
Producer: Tom Gorai

Audience Award Best Documentary
Monster Camp
Director: Cullen Hoback
Producer: Aaron Douglas

Audience Award Best Short
Director: Vince Navarro

Narrative Feature Jury
Dale Djerassi
Robert Hawk
Susan Tavernetti

The Documentary Jury
David Hakim
Kimberly Massey
Pam Walton

For full bios on the film jurors please go to the following link:


First Place
Son Up
Andrew Shearer and Nicholas Sherman

Second Place
Elysian Fields
Joel Kling

Third Place
Hiding in Plain Sight
Sheri Sussman

Screenwriting Competition Final Jury
Erik Bauer – Publisher, Creative Screenwriting Magazine
Jens Michael Hussey – Director of Public Relations, Cinequest Inc.
Joanna Burish, Production, Distribution, Acquisitions, Imageworks Entertainment
Phil Gorn, President Wonderphil Productions (sales and production of independent films of all genres).
Marla Halperin, President of Publicity and Promotion, Magic Lamp Releasing
Steven Haft, Founder and Producer, Haft Entertainment Inc. (Producer, Dead Poets Society, Tigerland, Executive Producer MAD TV)
Halfdan Hussey, Executive Director, Cinequest Inc.
Janet Jeffries, Development Executive, Lawrence Bender Productions, A Band Apart Films
Eliot Kotek, Editor-in-Chief, Moving Pictures
Dana Lambert, Vice President of Creative Affairs, First Look Studios
Eugene Mandelcorn, President, Film Artists Network
Bobby Moresco, President, Moresco Productions (Producer / Screenwriter Crash, Co-Producer Million Dollar Baby)
Eric Morris, President, ELM Entertainment
Lucy Shuttleworth, Head of Development, Spice Factory

Nancy Rae Stone – Executive Vice President of Production, Beacon Pictures

Cinequest is a premier motion picture institute that produces:

• Cinequest Film Festival, a discovery festival of Maverick films and technology forums.
• Cinequest Distribution: delivering films to fans worldwide through leading Internet technologies plus DVD.
• Cinequest Screenwriting Competition.
• Camp Cinequest: a groundbreaking youth education program.

Cinequest Film Festival 17 will occur February 28 – March 11, 2007

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