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Organising a film festival

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  I spoke to Nashen Moodley, manager of the Durban International Film Festival, in hindsight.When do you start organising a filmfest? Have you started with 2012yet? Any dates yet? We start pretty much immediately, and are at the moment in a number of review meetings working on ways to improve the festival. We alreadyhave some programming plans for 2012. The dates have not been set yet,but we expect to occupy the same time in late July.How was the attendances at Diff 2011? I saw various sold...

Making Short Film: Learn from my mistakes, not yours!

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I'm an actor and a story writter. Thought of tranforming my stories into short films, all 7 stories! So, I dared to be a film maker with a very small budget. With an intelligent guss work, I went ahead and completed 3 short films on a self created character of "Billy Moore".  My friends tell me they are good and amusing  films. Not knowing fully the process of submitting them to the festivals like sending screeners have to be followed by preview material submission, I just we...

BTEFF 2011 Call for Submissions. 2011 Deadline Approaching (8/31/11).

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(NEW YORK) June, 2011 –  Beneath the Earth Film Festival (BTE), the latest purveyor of online content, reveals an impressive lineup of revered guest judges while also announcing this year’s Call for Entries after a successful first season as a standout and innovative online film festival.  The festival will accept submissions through 8/31/11. In an age when consumers are receiving more news and content through social media and social networking channels, BTE has partnered wi...

SURGE Film Festival

"One must remember that in choosing the lesser of two evils, one still chooses evil." --Hannah Arendt, Philosopher, Activist





The SURGE Film Festival was established to enable filmmakers and screenwriters to present all styles of films, scripts, music videos and multimedia content.

Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which only use traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material. Multimedia includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactivity content forms. Multimedia is usually recorded and played, displayed or accessed by information content processing devices, such as computerized and electronic devices, but can also be part of a live performance.

AT SURGE, you will have the opportunity see numerous films from around the world, attend educational panels, hear scripts read by the screenwriters, meet filmmakers and hear from activists from all over the world about the social movements in which they are involved.

SURGE is the first international activist film festival which is not only an annual film, script, music video and multimedia festival but it is also a film festival network which enables people worldwide to bring the festival into their area of the world through the SURGE film festival network! Now in our sixth year our festival promises to be more amazing than ever!

In 2011, SURGE was scheduled to take place for only 3 days in Austin, Texas. Yet, because of increased international interest in SURGE, the SURGE Film Festival took place for a total of over 10 days nationwide, showing a total of over 40 films in the cities of Austin, Texas; Urbana, Illinois; and Portland, Oregon! Films from over 15 different countries were shown. These films included a vast array of independent features and world premiers by new filmmakers as well as feature films such 'In The Footsteps of Elie Wiesel' with internationally recognized Emmy and Golden Globe winning actors such as RICHARD GERE, and feature films such as 'Love & Valor - The Intimate Civil War Letters' with Golden Globe winning actors such as BRIAN DENNEHY.


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Photo: Production still from the film 'In The Footsteps of Elie Wiesel' filmed in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the U S A. High school students travel through Europe as they trace the life path and, in this photo, sit in front of Nobel laureate, author, humanitarian and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel.

  

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Director Rio Collier of the B Media Collective seen here in 2011 after she received the SURGE 'Eternal Flame' award for keeping the flame of equality and social justice burning bright for all the world to see. She received the award for her inspiring film 'Armed with Art: A New Revolution is Necessary - "Armad@s Con Arte. Una Nueva Revolucion es Nescesaria." It was filmed throughout Mexico and shown at the Historic Academy Theater en Español with English subtitles.
Video:  To see the video interview in which Director Rio Collier is presented with the Eternal Flame award please click here.



SURGE recognizes that it is extremely difficult for small, independent films to find a wide audience. That is why in 2011, SURGE started the S.U.R.G.E. Collection DVD Compilation which circulated over 1,000 DVDs with two films selected from the 2011 SURGE Film Festival. After filmmakers are officially selected for SURGE they are given a questionnaire and filmmakers who choose to have their film included in the SURGE DVD Collection may receive a wider audience all over the world.

In Addition, in 2012 at least one filmmaker and/or screenwriter will receive our annual “Love & Encouragement” Award. This award is presented to a filmmaker and/or screenwriter who presents an excellent film that simply strives to create art and media that does not promote or cater to politicians or multinational corporations. The filmmaker will receive round-trip airfare from their city to the film festival, housing during the film festival, a spending stipend and much more. In 2011, SHAWN JUNE was honored at the SURGE Film festival in Austin, Texas for his film Asphyxious. He also received round-trip airfare from his home in Des Moines, Iowa to the Portland, Oregon screening of his film at the Historic Academy Theater that screened during the Grand Finale of the Portland, Oregon portion of the 7 day SURGE Film festival! 
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Photo: 'Asphyxious' director Shawn June, standing in front of the Marquee showing the Portland, Oregon screening of the films 'Free World' and 'Asphyxious' at the Historic Academy Theater. This screening celebrated not only the Grand Finale of the Portland, Oregon portion of the 7 day SURGE Film festival, but it also marked the 2011 Grand Finale of the Fifth Annual International SURGE Film festival which ran for over 10 days nationwide in 2011! As always, admission was free of charge for everyone because everything in the world should be free!


Many films were shown with the directors attending Question & Answer sessions after their films and receiving the distinguished SURGE 'Eternal Flame' award for keeping the flame of equality and social flame burning bright for all the world to see. It is notable that the budget for Asphyxious was estimated at $1,000.00. At SURGE, it is not the cost of the film that matters, but the courage to encourage other people to follow their dreams in the quest for a better world.

SURGE also offers officially selected filmmakers user accounts on the SURGE website so they can upload as many trailers for their films as they like to our website. Trailers for their films will remain on our website for at least a year to help promote their films. In addition, when visiting the SURGE website, people will see the “Love to S.U.R.G.E. - Film Festival Directory.” This directory not only extensively profiles the officially selected films of the prior year, but it also features photos and a great deal of press kit material highlighting the filmmaker and some of their biography and/or cast and crew..

SURGE is a non-competitive film festival so all participants are winners. Because we remain a non-competitive film festival, when a film, script or music video is officially selected by our film festival, each member of the cast and crew is permitted to display our official selection SURGE laurels on their website and materials. The SURGE laurels not only distinguish you as being a part of an official selection of SURGE, but more importantly the laurels distinguish you as someone who works for equality and social justice on behalf of all people. In addition, each member of the cast and crew are eligible to receive a certificate. SURGE has also begun interviewing members of the cast and crew who attend SURGE and placing the video interviews on our website through Vimeo as well as Youtube channels. This enables the video interviews to appear not only on the SURGE website, but these video interviews can also appear on the filmmakers website through links.

Each and every year admission and ticket fees for people to attend the SURGE film festival has remained free-of-charge! This enables the largest possible audience, from all different financial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, to participate in the film festival.

Registration fees to submit films into the SURGE film festival remain low. This enables the largest possible audience, from all different financial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds to submit films...

+...in which anonymous entries are accepted as we encourage whistle-blowers to expose injustice!

+...in which some of the entries that are not included in the festival are still published along with all the other entries in our International, S.U.R.G.E. Multilingual Film Festival Directory! This enables all entries to receive exposure and networking with people from all over the world.

SURGE is so much more than just another film festival: it is in word and in action the sixth annual international Social Uprising Resistance and Grassroots Encouragement (S.U.R.G.E.!) Film Festival!

Mission Statement

Peace, Equality and Solidarity. Although political protests give us the opportunity to unite our thoughts in opposition to the route which our governments are taking us, many of us all over the world have come to the realization that the lack of peace in the world and the problems that we see increasing every day have a foundation deeper than the Republicans, the Democrats, or a few select multinational corporations. What we face are institutionalized problems, problems which can only be confronted at the root, researched and solved by imaginative and broad based, non-violent social movements - not ballot boxes.

A Forum of Unparalleled Access and Outreach
Access, Horizontalism and Outreach. The Annual Social Uprising Resistance and Grassroots Encourage (SURGE) Film Festival begin during the first Annual International A World Beyond Capitalism (AWBC) Conference  that began in 2005.  Much like the AWBC, SURGE has always aimed at contributing to the process of Access, Horizontalism and outreach by providing a space for activists - to reflect on the importance of long term vision, strategy, face-to-face relationship building and the realization that a worldwide multi-racial struggle for true universal equality must pro-actively work to include all races and classes of people, differently abled people, and even those who do not speak English. We also seek to bring together and give voice to people working for a better world: a world of equality, a world of peace.

With this in mind, SURGE is a film festival that is now moving to the next level by once again organizing the Annual International SURGE Film Festival that will take place in several different cities during several large events.

There has been so much talk about what kind of ‘charity’ third world countries and immigrants ‘need.’  But there is little talk about the need for self-empowering justice beyond capitalism and more capitalism. 

Once again, in 2012 SURGE is being organized with hopes of not replicating the style and approach of traditional film festivals, which are often alienating and racially homogenized with little attempt to create outreach and universal accessibility to non-English speaking people and to the disabled people of our society. These segments of our society are often the most vulnerable populations victimized by the oppressive characteristics of capitalism. Rather, SURGE is an attempt to use outreach to create an inclusive gathering.

Our Vision
Those of us who have collectively worked together to make the ‘SURGE’ a reality share the vision below, one that we imagine is also shared by many who have agreed to participate, facilitate, present, translate, or involve themselves in some active way.

We envision a space in which all voices are heard, and see the concept of "horizontalism" as a goal and a tool. It implies directly democratic discussions where theory meets non-violent practice, seeing and hearing one another in our full humanity, and confronting the power hierarchies that we observe amongst ourselves. Given that we all still live under the shadow of capitalism and the consequences of how it affects our behavior and psyches, we know that it is necessary for us to put great amounts of energy and thought into structuring egalitarian and provocative conversations, ones in which all of our voices and ideas can thrive. This at times may mean putting aside our defensive egos which often may inadvertently defend our lifestyles of privilege. At some level, we all have privileges in the United States, and these privileges of our capitalistic society have been gained by exploiting millions of the most vulnerable people throughout the world.

Diverse Perspectives
All of us participating in Film Festival have various experiences and thoughts on all the topics being discussed, from those of us who have spent most of our adult lives contemplating a particular subject, to those of us who are now just thinking about certain things for the first time. There are those of us who are creating alternative energy in our communities, and those of us who are still very much in the dreaming and questioning stage.

We would greatly like for you to help us work towards the goal of education and peaceful, universal alliance building. The best event and intentional community is the one we build in solidarity. Bring a friend, offer housing or a ride, post flyers in your community, volunteer or just be imaginative!

Goals
"Once people understand the strength of non-violence - the force it generates, the love it creates, the response it brings from the total community - they will not easily abandon it."

--Cesar Chavez, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America, Union Activist, Ethical Vegetarian, Philosopher, Activist


You have probably attended many meetings and conferences which speak about building Multi-racial alliances. Here are a few of the many ways in which film festivals that you have attended in the past greatly differ from SURGE Film Festival.

  • We greatly welcome the help of not only face-to-face volunteers but also volunteers who can only help from out-of-state, or out of country who work-from-home with or without the internet.
  • We intend to give people who attend the conference the option of placing contact information into a list which we will later transform into a free Alliance building directory.
  • The directory will also have a list of the languages that each person or organization is able to speak so that even activists or groups that do not speak English can form new alliances.
  • We acknowledge that lack of transportation is a race, class and gender issue. We desire to co-ordinate volunteers to drive to Native American reservations, migrant farm and labor camps, and other extremely low-income communities, to give a free ride, back and forth from the SURGE Film Festival, to people living in those communities.
  • To learn more about lack of transportation issues that face Native Americans, please read the American Indian Relief Council's resource information on obstacles to prenatal care.
  • It is the goal of SURGE that the workshops presenters are not members who are part of Corporate Front Groups.  This is very important because there has been an incredible increase throughout the world of organizations and groups which are deceptively posing as social justice groups and they have increasingly been able to achieve the goals of their government and multinational corporate sponsors.
[To see a list of corporate front groups and corporate-backed groups please go here. Go here to read about the international usage of corporate front groups in an Australian Science article titled 'ecological double agents.' Or go to your local library and find a very detailed list of corporate front groups found in article written by Co-op America titled: 'Unmasking Corporate Front Groups: Will the Real Grassroots Groups Please Stand Up.']

We have many more innovative ideas to build real and lasting multi-racial alliances amongst people who are truly working for world peace. But we can only do it with your help. Volunteer or just make sure you come to the SURGE Film Festival!





"Once people understand the strength of non-violence - the force it generates, the love it creates, the response it brings from the total community - they will not easily abandon it."

--Cesar Chavez, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America, Union Activist, Ethical Vegetarian, Philosopher, Activist

FANCINE - Fantastic Film Festival of the University of Málaga

FANCINE – FESTIVAL DE CINE FANTÁSTICO Fantastic Film Festival of the UNIVERSITY OF MÁLAGA has as its goal the presentation of a selection of world film production both of feature films as well as short films in the genre of Fantastic films in all its variants (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror). As a non profit organisation, the University of Málaga has the goal of offering to the audience the development of this film genre as well as backing better understanding between peoples and different cultures through film creation.

Call for Entries

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TIFF – THE INIGO FILM FESTIVAL Madrid - SPAIN August 16 to 19, 2011 In the Spotlight this week is THE INIGO FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF), an international celebration of films on topics of faith and spirituality, taking place on World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. TIFF showcases short films made by filmmakers under age 35, covering a wide variety of interpretations on Festival's theme: "City of God." The Festival seeks filmmakers who successfully integrate their relig...

New York: 2011 Jewish Film Festival

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                 In its 20th edition, the New York Jewish Film Festival presented 36 features and shorts from 14 countries; 31 premiered in New York.  As in past years a balanced program provided perspectives on the Jewish experience and included several outstanding productions on the holocaust period and its aftermath.                In LILITH (Eytan Harris, ISRAEL, 2010), a documentary; prejudices and resentments are revealed when a mother...

Industry event during the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Fest in Prague

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  Documentary Campus Industry Session 11-13th March Prague, Czech Republic   "One World, Many Ways" - New Directions in Human Rights Documentaries   Documentary Campus is honoured to present a three-day industry event during the acclaimed One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague (8-17 March 2011). Thought-provoking panels and case studies for industry professionals will be run parallel to workshops on low budg...

Sundance 2011 survival guide

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While the Sundance Film Festival is all for self-exploration, pushing boundaries, and taking the untrodden path, sometimes a little guidance can go a long way. From last minute ticket advice to must-see panels and musical performances, this Festival 101 crash course will guarantee you don't miss a thing. When you've made it to Park City, you're ready to zip up your fleece, watch some films, sample some restaurants, and get the whole show going. What better way to find out what's h...

Newsletter for Williamsburg Film Festival #1

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The 15th Annual Festival is on track for March 9-12, 2011. Guest Stars confirmed for our festival include Ed Faulkner, Anne Jeffreys, Mickey Kuhn, Donna Martell, Paul Petersen, Ann Rutherford and H.M. Wynant. Entertainment will be provided by Ed & Bobbi Beard, the Blue ...River Blue Grass Band and Johny Western. Due to circumstances beyond our control, Betsy Palmer and Stella Stevens who have been previously announced will be unable to attend. We expect a record crowd based on the hote...

J.P. HUCHON Bullish About FIFE Paris Environmental Film Festival

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FIFE     It was a proud President of the FIFE International Environmental Film Festival of Paris, who stepped on to the stage of the Conseil de Paris, near the Pagode Cinema Babylone to announce the closing night ceremony of the 37th event. President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France : Since 1998 and reelected in 2004 and 2010 for a third term, Jean Paul Huchon traced a short history of the festival, created in 1982 and organized by the French Min...

Make a difference in cinema history: An appeal from CamboFest founder J Rosette

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If this newsletter is not displaying correctly, click here to view it in your browser  CAMBOFEST, Cambodia Film Festival: thanks to all supporters ~ seeking contributors for Cambodian youth festival staff training  FREEDOM DEAL: Vietnam war-era social issue feature drama reaches milestone - Phase II commences CAMBOFEST, Cambodia The on...

New Venues for Generation and Panorama at the Berlinale 2011

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At the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, the House of World Cultures (Haus der Kulturen der Welt/HKW) will be the new venue for the premieres of Generation, the Berlinale’s section for children and youths. Also the Panorama Special will be presenting its premieres in the coming year at new venues: at the Friedrichstadtpalast and Kino International. This is due to renovation and remodelling work at the Zoo Palast, which has until now been the popular venue for the premieres of both these...

The future of Animation panel at The Hamptons International Film Festival

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  "The Future of Animation" panel took place Sunday, October 10, at UA Cinema 6 in East Hampton, at the Hamptons International Film Festival, panelists included Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson (director and producer of Toy Story 3), Thelma Adams (US Weekly, New York Film Critics Circle), Signe Baumane (Birth, Teat Beat of Sex), and Jim Cox (Over the Hedge, RingTales co-founder). New Yorker cartoon editor and Cartoon Bank founder Bob Mankoff will moderate.   "...

Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma line up

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Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma celebrates its 39th edition from October 13 to 24. Once again this year, the Festival will delight you with a spectacular lineup, more than ever in tune with real-life changes in the film landscape and new technologies. Features and shorts, fiction and documentary, animation, retrospectives, tributes, professional panels, outdoor interactive installations and events will be served up over 12 days, for all audiences. Over 295 films from 51 countries, inclu...

Matthew Modine Feted As Global Citizen

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  Film, at its most loftiest, can be a unifying force on the planet and the people who work in it, both in front and behind the camera, can be its "global citizens". That is the spirit that has inspired the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival (MVIFF) to bestow their first ever Global Citizen Award to actor/activist Matthew Modine. The award, created by local sculptor Barney Zeitz, will be presented on Saturday, September 11, 2010, following the screening of TH...

Matthew Modine accepts Global Citizen award at Martha's Vineyard Festival

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Renowned actor Matthew Modine will receive the MV International Film Festival's first annual "Global Citizen" award.The award, created by Vineyard sculptor Barney Zeitz, will be presented on Saturday, September 11, 2010. Mr. Modine's new film " The Trial," directed by Gary Wheeler and to be released by 20th Century Fox, will screen at 7:30 at the Capawock Theatre on Vineyard Haven's Main Street. The award presentation and a Q&A with audience members will immediately follow the screening. Mr. Ma...

New York: Tribeca 2010 Documentaries

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Documentaries screened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival tended to be superior to the feature films in its program an assessment not disputed by its creative director Geoff Gilmore.  In one of the seminars Gilmore admitted that the Sundance festival which he had directed before coming to New York experienced a similar discrepancy.  Similar to the US market position of foreign language films, documentaries play a minor role at the US box office. In the 2009 U.S. total box office of $10.6 billio...

New York: Tribeca 2010 Documentaries

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Documentaries screened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival tended to be superior to the feature films in its program an assessment not disputed by its creative director Geoff Gilmore. In one of the seminars Gilmore admitted that the Sundance festival which he had directed before coming to New York experienced a similar discrepancy. Similar to the US market position of foreign language films, documentaries play a minor role at the US box office. In the 2009 U.S. total box office of $10.6 billion,...

The Aruba International Film Festival Thinks Green

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The Aruba International Film Festival is very excited about its plans to reduce the environmental footprint of its week-long event by adopting pro-environmental practices in its planning. The film industry, historically, has been at the forefront in raising critical issues for society, and current concerns about environmental threats from climate change and over-exploitation of resources are no exception. The AIFF acknowledges that climate change is an important issue, and recognizes that red...

“The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom

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“The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom”Opens March 31st, 2010 at “Film Forum”Recently, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, held this past January 5-18, 2010, screenings of Chinese features, “City of Life and Death” and “Quick, Quick, Slow”, were taken out of the film festival by the state-run China Film Group in order to protest the festival’s choice to show the “The Sun Behind The Clouds”, which takes on a unique Tibetan perspective on the...

"The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet's Struggle For Freedom" Interview with Directors: Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam

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“The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom”Opens March 31st, 2010 at “Film Forum”  Recently, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, held this past January 5-18, 2010, screenings of Chinese features, “City ofLife and Death” and “Quick, Quick, Slow”, were taken out of the film festival by the state-run China Film Group in order to protest the festival’s choice to show the “The Sun Behind The Clouds”, which takes on  a unique Tibetan perspective on...

Film Budget : Quality film budgets are demanded by financiers and investors

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  Film Budget : filmbudget.com - the Producer of Reign Over Me (Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle), The Upside of Anger (Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Evan Rachel Wood, Kerri Russell) provides filmmakers quality, custom, detailed, bankable, bondable, finance and camera ready film budgets and schedules from a highly reliable source.  Your investors demand a quality film budget.  A 25 year veteran line producer, producer reads your screenplay and creates a script breakdown by hand.   A well cons...
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