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New York International Independent Film and Video Festival









The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and showcases independent films in real theatres in New York City and LA.
Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal.
Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, "This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!”



How the Game Is Played: Lessons Learned in the Game of Life: An Interview with Stewart Peterson




Award-winning director and co-writer Forrest B. Peterson and award-winning producer and co-writer Stewart J. Peterson’s film How the Game Is Played: Lessons Learned in the Game of Life makes its Cannes debut with a screening on May 16th, 2009 at 9:00am, Palais E. The film will be apart of the 2009 Cannes Film Market, courtesy of ITN Distribution’s line-up.


How the Game Is Played: Lessons Learned in the Game of Life recounts the true story of twin brothers Stewart and Steven Peterson as they muse over the valuable life lessons they've learned in life: teamwork, perseverance and responsibility. They wish to share their captivating and treasured experiences that prepared them for the most important game . . . The Game of Life! Notable film highlights include insightful interviews with close family members, and compelling narration by award-winning news anchor Dennis Anderson, all shot on Stewart's horse ranch in rural Duluth, Minnesota. Both brothers recount their experiences with entertaining 8mm footage filmed by their devoted father from the 1950's and 1960's as well songs performed by Dave Tak and The Finnbilly's and world, renowned pianist/musician James Oneil Miner.


The film won several awards at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF): Best Social Documentary, Best Inspirational Documentary and Best Director. After winning these awards, Peterson has been launched into a new career and/or another aspect of his life. After returning home to Duluth, Minnesota, he was invited to be on well-known Duluth radio personality Neil Atkins' ninety-minute program. In addition, Peterson was nominated for the Duluth Hall of Fame citizenship award and was invited to be the keynote speaker for the event's awards dinner.


How the Game Is Played: Lessons Learned in the Game of Life starts off with Vince Lombardi’s quote, which encapsulates the film’s message: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence.” According to Peterson, the commitment to excellence simply means how far you get in life depends on how hard you work. This directorial debut is a family collaboration and The Peterson family is living proof that hard work, ambition, a game plan and determination always pay off.


IFQ: Your film How the Game is Played: Lessons Learned in the Game of Life screened at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Tell me about your experience.


Stewart Peterson: Our film screened at the NYIIFVF in Los Angeles in December 2008 and in New York City in March 2009. I was not able to attend the festival in L.A. because of prior commitments in Duluth and at the Ranch. Therefore, I sent my daughter, Krista Peterson (Associate Producer) and Stacey ‘Boy’ Peterson (Director’s Assistant and Forrest’s son).  Krista and Stacey ‘Boy’ came back from Hollywood excited by all the wonderful things that happened. First of all, our film received a second screening! Secondly, they met some very influential people in the industry and made some valuable connections. I was convinced that I had made the right decision by sending them to the festival. A month after the December festival, ITN Distribution called us and asked if we would like them to distribute our film; of course we agreed. After our first film festival, we secured a distribution company to represent our film.


With all that had happened, I just had to make sure I could make it to the NYIIFVF in New York City. Before we left for New York, Ricki McManus from the Minnesota Film Board helped with a press release resulting in the Mayor of Duluth holding a press conference at his office. All the major TV stations and newspaper reporters were in attendance giving us huge coverage.


When I was at the festival in New York, I quickly began to see the magnitude of what we had accomplished. Actors, producers and agents sought us out. We spent many hours in meetings and talking with them at the theatre and after parties. Even a well-known talent agent from Gotham Artist Agency made many positive comments about our film and our Production Company. He also wants to work with us on our next project.


IFQ: Your film mixes archival 8mm film footage with present day interviews, all shot on your horse ranch in Duluth, Minnesota.  How did you bring the concept of your film to full fruition?


SP: My father started filming in the 1930’s with an 8mm camera. Over the years, my father shot over 10,000 feet of film footage. The idea to make a movie, with my father’s footage, was always in the back of my mind. Forrest admits that if it were not for my father, he most likely would not be in the industry. After many years, I sat down and watched the footage that my dad had shot. We were all at my twin brother’s house when Forrest showed us one of his film projects. We started to talk about all the old movie footage we had. That’s when the movie started to evolve.


IFQ: How did your film secure distribution?


SP: Without the film festivals and people like Stuart Alson, I feel we would not have a distribution deal today. The learning curve has been very fast for us and I can thank him for that. Through his festival seminars, personal advice, and one-on-one relationship, he has given us that added edge. He truly has helped us with his expertise needed to succeed in this industry. Making the movie How the Game Is Played is one thing, but getting out there in the market place is a whole different set of rules. If you don’t learn how to play the game…you’re lost.


IFQ: Any upcoming projects?


SP: Yes. We do have another project. It will be a full-length, feature film based on “factual” events with action, suspense, twists and turns, ending with a riveting courtroom sequence. The movie’s working title is The Third Gun. We will not lose our focus and our awareness towards our production company’s mission of quality entertainment in our next movie. The movie will start with a living nightmare but will end with a powerful message for all ages!


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About New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

(The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival )

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The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993. NYIIFVF has been recognized by the film and entertainment industry as one of the leading film events on the independent festival circuit. The festival hosts film, music and art events in the two entertainment capitals of the United States: New York and Los Angeles.

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