Cinequest Revolution

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Globally unique in its concept, the seventeenth edition of the Cinequest Film Festival presents an event that goes beyond the traditional concept of "film festival" and providing the world of independent and foreign filmmakers, technology innovators, students and film lovers with a revolution of discovery, empowerment and distribution. Cinequest Film Festival is not only a platform to premiere films and celebrate talent, but Cinequest Distribution is a viable option to reach a worldwide audience. During the 12 days of February 28 through March 11, 160 films from around the world will converge in San Jose for an event that is expected to draw over 70,000 attendees. This is a festival of true discovery, empowerment through knowledge and the latest in technologies, and revolutionary distribution.

Globally unique in its concept, the seventeenth edition of the Cinequest Film Festival presents an event that goes beyond the traditional concept of "film festival" and providing the world of independent and foreign filmmakers, technology innovators, students and film lovers with a revolution of discovery, empowerment and distribution. Cinequest Film Festival is not only a platform to premiere films and celebrate talent, but Cinequest Distribution is a viable option to reach a worldwide audience. During the 12 days of February 28 through March 11, 160 films from around the world will converge in San Jose for an event that is expected to draw over 70,000 attendees. This is a festival of true discovery, empowerment through knowledge and the latest in technologies, and revolutionary distribution.

Revolution of Discovery -- Viewer's Voice

Through the power of Cinequest Online (http://www.cinequestonline.org), Cinequest's premiere secure film downloading site, Cinequest created a unique method of choosing the final four features and final four shorts for the Cinequest line up. Cinequest empowered the fans instead of the programmers by allowing filmmakers to compete online in the Cinequest Online Viewer's Voice competition. During three different rounds held during spring, summer and fall of 2006, fans downloaded competing films on Cinequest Online and then voted for the films they felt should get a slot in Cinequest 17. For the fourth and final round of the Viewers Voice competition, 31 features and 124 shorts will vie for the last openings in the Cinequest program. Competition begins February 1, 2007 with voting ending February 20, 2007 and is open to all fans. Simply go to http://www.cinequestonline.org to join in the fun.

Revolution of Discovery -- Film Program

Cinequest remains one of the last big-fest bastions for the discovery of new, emerging and yet-to-be amply recognized artists. This year a record 1,850 submissions (features and shorts) competed for slots in the Cinequest 17 program. Of those films, 160 films covering a variety of genres were selected. Over 40 features and over 40 shorts are World and U.S. premieres. Over 100 first-time, emerging film artists are 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. An interesting note is a Focus on the Balkans section including one film that was co-produced by all of the countries that comprised the former Yugoslavia.

Revolution of Discovery -- Maverick Spirit Events

Some of the most exciting moments in Cinequest history have been the trademark Maverick Spirit Events. Past guest recipients have included: Sir Ben Kingsley, William H. Macy, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee and Kevin Spacey. These one-on-one live conversations with top film moguls and masters have entertained, inspired and intrigued. Cinequest is excited to celebrate three Mavericks in their own right with the festival's highest honor. This year Stewart Copeland, legendary musician (The Police) and film composer, receives the Maverick Spirit Award as part of the Day of Sight and Sound Forum on Saturday, March 3. A screening of Copeland's latest film Everyone Stares -- The Police Inside Out will occur before the conversation with Mr. Copeland. Also on March 3, at the California Theatre, captivating actress Minnie Driver will receive the Maverick Spirit Award for her career as one of the world's most dynamic actresses. Cinequest is also excited to present legendary independent film producer Christine Vachon. Vachon has an incredible volume of work including the films Boys Don't Cry, Happiness and Far From Heaven. For more information on the Maverick Spirit Events please go to the following program guide links:

Stewart Copeland: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=254#StewartCopeland
Minnie Driver: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=340
Christine Vachon: Date to be determined.

Revolution of Empowerment -- Day of Forums

Thanks to the generosity of Cinequest presenting sponsor, Intel, Cinequest's Day of series of forums include four days of inspiration and empowerment. They include: Day of the Writer, Day of the Producer, Day of Sight and Sound, and the Day of Distribution. Each forum presents experts in their field to motivate, educate and fascinate both filmmakers and film fans. Cinequest has partnered in this venture with companies such as Azureus, Beacon Pictures, Canon, Comerica, Dolby®, Intel, Jaman, Kontiki, Magus, Palm®, Panasonic, and Yahoo, to name but a few.

The Day of series combines workshops, presentations and behind-the-scenes information that will captivate anyone interested in the world of film. These are empowering days of discovery as well as exhibition. For example, one presentation with Beacon Picture's Executive Vice President of Production, Nancy Rae Stone, will walk the audience through a film from story idea to distribution at an independent production company. Stone and producer Miranda de Pencier will explain how decisions were made on story, script, casting, budget, production and distribution for this film, which was shot in Bucharest and Moscow. This is a rare opportunity for the audience to be privy to this kind of detail.

Scott Hancock, Director of Marketing and Communications for Palm Inc. will explore how PDA's, cell phones and other handheld devices have opened a new channel for the distribution and marketing of film, specifically the formally overlooked short film. With these new technologies, the buzz has been on the possibility of the short film becoming the new blockbuster. One of the most captivating presentations at Cinequest this year will be a one-on-one conversation with Gaurav Dhillon, Founder and CEO of Jaman. Jaman's global on line community, http://www.jaman.com/maverick, is pioneering social cinema. It is a new destination for movie goers to watch and discuss the world's best films. Having curated and assembled one of the world's largest on-line libraries of feature films and documentaries, Jaman provides filmmakers a secure way to distribute and market films worldwide.

An exciting and different kind of an event for Cinequest is the one-on-one conversation with revolutionary television producer J. J. Abrams. Abrams has been dubbed by many as a "triple threat" -- a great writer, producer and director -- and he is one of the few successful auteurs working today. He executive produced Alias, Lost, What About Brian and Six Degrees and his insight into the changing face of television will be golden. For full details on the Cinequest forums paste the following links into your browser:

Day of Distribution: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=254#distribution
Day of Sight and Sound: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=254#sight
Day of the Writer: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=254#writer
Day of Producer: http://cinequest.org/programguide/event_view.php?eid=254#producer

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. Starting Wednesday, January 30, Cinequest Distribution launches the third phase of its distribution model. On that day, Cinequest Online will have 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 will be 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 http://www.cinequestonline.org.

Where to go from hereā€¦

It's not all about discovering films and innovations: it's also about discovering people. Cinequest's parties and special events are rare celebrations that connect people from around the globe and every walk of life. At these parties, you can eat, drink, and swap ideas or viewpoints on your favorite or most provocative films and forums. For full program information and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.cinequestonline.org. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (408) 295-FEST. A complete list of press releases and media guides to help navigate all that is Cinequest may be found at http://www.cinequest.org/media/press_releases.php.

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JENS HUSSEY
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