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ELEVATE Film Festival

ELEVATE Film Festival Brings World’s Only Socially Conscious, Filmmaking

Competition and Awards Show to Los Angeles’ 7,100-Seat Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

 LOS ANGELES (September 11, 2008) ELEVATE Film Festival, the first ever filmmaking competition to challenge the international film community to create works of social and global importance, announced today that the fifth annual ELEVATE event will take place on Sunday, October 5 at the brand-new, 7,100-seat Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Founded by producer Nadia Salamanca and award winning filmmaker Mikki Willis, ELEVATE 5 will premiere 20 short films by some of the industry’s hottest young talents for a night of cutting edge cinema devoted to stimulating positive change.


Growing from just 500 attendees in 2005 to 3,600 at last year's star-studded event at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, turnout this year is expected to top 7,000 guests, making ELEVATE the largest single screen film festival event in the world. “All Tribes Unite” is the theme of ELEVATE 5 with the competing filmmakers challenged to create works that inspire people and societies to break out of the limited thinking and prejudices that persistently divide mankind.  The competition will be judged by a panel of industry heavyweights including Michel Shane (exec. producer I, Robot, Catch Me if You Can), A. Kitman Ho (producer Hotel Rwanda, Ali) and Martha De Laurentiis (producer Hannibal) who will evaluate entries in the categories of Music Video, Narrative Short and Documentary Short.  Hotly anticipated music videos from Apl of the Black Eyed Peas and Grammy Award winning Keb Mo will debut in the music video category.


“The huge growth we’ve achieved in just a few years is a great testament to the filmmaking community’s desire to serve as catalysts for positive change and the excitement that the ELEVATE competition format generates,” said ELEVATE founder Mikki Willis.  “We’ve seen some phenomenal works over the past several events including last year’s stunning Alanis Morissette video for her song ‘Underneath’ and we anticipate another night of great filmmaking in front of our largest crowd ever.”


The search for emerging and professional directors is global, supported through numerous filmmaking outlets and networks.  Once selected, the competitors’ challenge kicks off two weeks prior to the October 5 event, when they are randomly assigned the topic on which they must create their film around.  Seven tension-filled days and sleepless nights follow as the filmmakers hustle to complete their music video, narrative short documentary, or commercial for its debut on October 5th.


In four years, the event has grown from a celebration of humanity and expanding consciousness into a world-class multi-media event. Last year, visionary leader Reverend Michael Beckwith hosted a capacity crowd at the Kodak Theatre and past attendees include Jeff Goldblum, Daryll Hannah, Derek Luke, and Lisa Bonet.


ELEVATE is free to the public and tickets are awarded on a first come, first serve basis at the Nokia box office starting at noon on October 5.  Additionally, a limited amount of guaranteed premium seats will be on-sale September 1 for $35 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the Nokia Box Office.  For more information, please visit:



Created by production company ELEVATE Films, ELEVATE Film Festival is the fastest growing film festival in the world. Created to challenge the international film community to produce works of social and global importance, ELEVATE is the first film festival to combine a filmmaking competition with a mandate to produce socially conscious works.