Dallas, TX (PressExposure) March 09, 2011 -- The Dallas Convention Center Theatre Complex will host the inaugural Rembrandt Film Festival on Saturday, March 19, 2011 beginning at 10 AM. The day will be comprised of screenings of the festival's winning submissions, a Q&A panel with film industry professionals, awards ceremony and post event reception. Day passes to the event are on sale now at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the event center Box office at 214.743.2400. Day passes are $20.
Launched by Rembrandt Entertainment Group, the purpose of the Rembrandt Film Festival is to enlighten, entertain, and enhance the awareness of talented filmmakers to a diverse audience that ranges from the everyday "movie fanatic" to those who seek quality in entertainment of all kinds. Film categories include: Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film. Attendees will also enjoy a filmmaker panel discussion featuring some of Dallas' top industry professionals including: Producer/Director/Distribution Rep Brad Keller (A Killer Within, Inspector Mom), Producer/Director Russ Pond (Fissure), Documentary Filmmaker/Producer Cynthia Salzman Mondell (Funny Women, Soul Sisters) and Writer/Director/Producer Gabriel Barboza (Green Eyed Monster). The John Carstarphen Trailblazer Award will be presented to Dallas Film Commission Director Janis Burklund for her tireless efforts and dedication to fostering the growth and economic development of the creative media industries in the City of Dallas. Following the screenings and awards ceremony, guests will have the opportunity to network and mingle with fellow filmmakers and special guests of the festival.
The Rembrandt Film Festival is sponsored by: Oncor Electric, Farmer's Insurance Agent Oliver Velasquez, and CPA Cedric Roberson. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org To purchase day passes to the festival, log onto http://www.ticketmaster.com or call the Dallas Convention Center Theater Complex Box Office at 214.743.2400.
ABOUT THE JOHN CARSTARPHEN TRAILBLAZER AWARD RECIPIENT
Dallas Film Commission, Director
Janis Burklund is Director of the Dallas Film Commission and has been active in the local film and television production market since 1982 and has been promoting the area since 1997 when she first started as project manager with the former DFW Regional Film Commission. With the inception of the Dallas Film Commission in October 2002, she was hired as the project manager, and then named director in October 2003. In November of 2010 the film commission transitioned to the City of Dallas, Office of Economic Development in order to provide a more synergistic approach to growing the city's targeted Media Industries.
In her positions with the film commissions, she has acted as a liaison with Dallas and area cities regarding filming policies and procedures, advocated for better understanding of the impact of the industry, the need for incentives and benefits of local participation, handled location requests and referrals, worked with production crews and vendors, and actively marketed the area's strengths to studios, producers, location scouts and various industry professionals. Under Burklund's direction the commission has attracted and supported approximately $1 Billion in economic impact from the film & television related creative media industries.
Prior to working for the film commissions, Janis freelanced in the film/ television industry for 15 years; much of that time as a Location Manager working on numerous television shows, series, commercials and motion pictures. Burklund also serves on the board of the Dallas Film Society and has been involved with the Dallas International Film Festival since its inception. In addition, she actively supports numerous local film festivals and industry organizations; and is an active member of the Association of Film Commissioners International, serving on their certification committee and assisting with further development of their professional education courses.
ABOUT JOHN CARSTARPHEN
John Carstarphen's passion for filmmaking and social change was ignited when he saw The Black Girl of... by revolutionary African filmmaker, Ousmane Sembene (OOS-mon SimBAYNE). The film is a quietly powerful drama about the complex struggles of the African middle class. During the screening at the University of Pennsylvania in his hometown of Philadelphia PA., Carstarphen learned that Sembene created international masterpieces in spite of massive obstacles, both political and financial. Inspired by the maverick African filmmaker, the then 15-year old Carstarphen set his sights on a career in filmmaking. The 1970's were a boon for Black filmmakers in the U.S. and Carstarphen was eager to make an impact. A few years later in 1976, John graduated from the Temple University Film School. He began working in local television, first at ABC affiliate WOWK-TV in Huntington, West Virginia as a news and documentary cinematographer. In his first year at WOWK-TV, at age 20, he won the West Virginia Associated Press award for Best Documentary Cinematography and was listed in the 1977 edition of Who's Who Among Black Americans. At the peak of the Reagan era in the mid- 1980s, Carstarphen realized what other Black filmmakers discovered: a narrowing of diverse voices in the mainstream media forced Artists of Color to become independent, try to pool resources, and hope to survive.
In 1986 at age 30, Carstarphen broke away from television to begin carving out a new career as an independent filmmaker. He attended the American Film Institute in Hollywood as a Directing Fellow. After the AFI, he was offered some of 2nd Unit Directing work on Hollywood shows, but decided to move back to Dallas to write and direct his own films. The Weekend of Our Discontent was his first feature as writer-director-DP-editor. The film tells the story of Marla, a college professor whose frequent blackouts begin to hint at her more personal conflicts as an upwardly mobile African-American. Starring local Black actors Summer Selby, Phyllis Cicero and Willie Minor, Weekend was financed with Carstarphen's teaching salary from his part-time teaching job at SMU and small grants. Shot entirely on locations in Dallas, the film won the Grand Prize at the 1993 Newark Black Film Festival. During the production, Carstarphen met his producing
partner, Dallas-based producer Rebecca Rice, who was instrumental in helping him finance his next two features, Stealin' Home and FLMKR, which was an official selection at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival Forum. Currently based in Richardson, Texas, Carstarphen continues to make independent films utilizing new technologies such as CGI Animation, as he continues to embrace the Texas ethos of independence and freedom. His new animated short, Avalanche is in production, and a new documentary feature about growing up in Southwest Philadelphia, The Wall, is in development.
He has been married to his beautiful and talented wife, international artist and photographer Susan Sponsler, since 2001. John would like to thank Vivian Fullerlove, Jerome Sheffield, as well as the many friends and colleagues in the Dallas-Fort Worth film community for their great support and generosity.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Brad Keller has over 18 years of experience in producing and distributing feature film and television projects. He began his film career after leaving the American Film Institute for Directors with a short film called the Next Three Exits, which launched several film careers. Since then, he directed and produced dozens of productions, including national commercials, network broadcast television series, and numerous feature films. His resume includes films ranging from the Lifetime TV hit A Killer Within to Midgets vs. Mascots a comedy starring Gary Coleman, which won an Audience Choice award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. With family film experience such as The Secret At Arrow Lake and the glossy, high-roller reality series Plush Brad's ability to be diverse in his vision has expanded into producing large budgeted films.
As a producer Brad prides himself with attaching a seasoned crew and demanding strict budget guidelines that brings a track record for returned investments. He also learned that a film is not complete when the cameras stop rolling, which prompted him to launch Fireside Releasing, an independent distribution company, in Dallas, TX. In his five-year tenure with Fireside, Brad learned the nuances that come with distribution. He recently left Fireside to join forces with and strengthen the distribution arm of Agora Entertainment. His background in both producing and distributing feature films coupled with his commitment to the same standard of excellence that Agora strives for makes him an indispensable addition to the company. He continues to fine-tune his craft by learning what kinds of titles the buyers are acquiring while adapting a vision that applies in gaining recognition. With direct access to top buyers such as HBO, Starz, Showtime, Blockbuster, and Wal-Mart, he will tailor an exit strategy for each film Agora produces well before the cameras start rolling.
After sixteen years in corporate America, Russ Pond decided to toss his suit and tie to pursue his passion for filmmaking. His love for storytelling was evident early on, as he would sneak into the back of his dad's photography studio, grab the 8mm movie camera and start making his movies. After school, he would rush back to his dad's studio to watch his stories come alive on the screen. Throughout high school, he continued to dabble in arts and music. After graduating, he went on to obtain a degree in Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. With his filmmaking days long behind him, or so he thought, he moved to Dallas, Texas and went to work for Uniden in 1989. However, years later he found himself wanting to return to the craft that fascinated him as a young boy. In 1995, he purchased a video editing system that enabled him to add music, sound effects and animation to home videos. This past time became his creative outlet. It also provided an unexpected means of income. In 1998, he formed an independent media company called Top Pup Media. He used this business to hone his craft as a filmmaker, working on a number of corporate video projects for various clients.
In 1999, Russ decided to accept an offer from Nokia. He worked with them for six years in business development, product marketing and helped launch new products for the North and South American markets. In spite of his new position with the telecommunications giant, Russ continued to grow his Top Pup Media corporate clientele roster. When Nokia became aware of his "side" job, they too hired his company to produce many of their own corporate videos and commercials! After listening to a local filmmaker talk about narrative storytelling in 2003, Russ decided to delve into screenwriting and film production. He experienced immediate success with his first short film Treasure which was picked up by an LA cable show. The following year, he produced another short entitled The Light. His third short Growing Up won the Audience Choice Award at the San Antonio Independent Film Festival the subsequent year. Winning encouraged him to take his filmmaking to the next level, which was to produce and direct a full-length feature film. After receiving more than 450 submissions, Russ selected the script Fissure to be the company's debut, feature film project. He knew this story was the one when he was still captivated by the script after only twenty pages into it! Three decades after producing his first "motion picture" with his father's 8mm film camera, Russ has created a brilliantly crafted, emotional and suspenseful feature film with Fissure. He lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with Angela, his wife of 18 years, and their 15 year-old son, Caleb.
CYNTHIA SALZMAN MONDELL
Cynthia Salzman Mondell is an independent filmmaker who is committed to making films and videos that speaks to the the world she lives in. Her first documentary on housing and the lack thereof, Promise and Practice, aired on public television in l977. She teamed up with her husband, Allen Mondell to form Media Projects. Together, they have created over 30 social-issue documentary films and educational videos. In recent years, she has directed Funny Women,a film celebrating women comedians, which will be a permanent exhibition at the Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future in Dallas. Prior to that, she explored, The Ladies Room, a documentary about the raucous and ribald world inside women's restrooms. Cynthia is past president of Women In Film - Dallas and past president of the Board of New Day Films,a nationally known independent film cooperative based in New York City. She was an artist in residence at University of Texas at Dallas, a member of the Texas Jewish Historical Society and the American Jewish Committee. Cynthia was recently nominated for an Emmy for her work on a Public Service Announcement for Meals on Wheels in conjunction with Women in Film - Dallas and in 2004, she was honored with the Women in Film's Topaz Achievement Award.
Gabriel Barboza's credits include the feature film Green Eyed Monster and work on three syndicated television series: The River, The Split, and Cooking With The Legends. He completed his education at the University of North Texas receiving a dual B.A. in Television & Film Production and Creative Writing in 2004. After graduation he was accepted into the Kodak Student Filmmaker Program at the Cannes Film Festival and landed an internship with mini-major studio Crystal Sky, Inc. That same year Crystal Sky invited him back to work with them in Santa Monica, CA at the American Film Market. Over the next few years he continued to write and direct his own short projects as well as work commercially as an Editor and Camera Operator. By combining what he learned through his early immersion into the business side of filmmaking with his creative interests, he was able to raise the funds necessary to direct his first feature film: Green Eyed Monster. In 2007, the film debuted to a packed theater and gained local publicity in print, radio, and television for it's interactive contest element. Afterward, Barboza successfully funded a promotional tour of the film by selling advertising space on EBAY and drove a large Scrolling Mobile Billboard truck from New York to Los Angeles attending Horror Conventions, Film Festivals, and hosting screenings. During this time he developed a website for the movie, and both written and video blogs, which he maintained while on the road. Taking a no-budget approach, and utilizing free and affordable online marketing methods, which in turn, gained the attention of film distributors. The film was released in February of 2009 and is available through several online retailers including Netflix.com and Blockbuster.com
Vivian Fullerlove is a broadcast professional from East Texas, with experience in radio, television and film. She began her career in 1993 as the News Director for country music radio station KGRI in Henderson, Texas. Two years later she joined KLTV Channel 7 (ABC) in Tyler, Texas as a news associate producer. She relocated to Dallas, Texas to work as the assignment editor for KTVT Channel 11 (CBS). Having worked as a publicist for Planet Hollywood and in Marketing and Publicity for Ticketmaster and NextStage Theatre (now Verizon Theatre), she used her knowledge to begin, her own marketing and PR firm in 2003 and represented such high profile clients at Dallas Cowboys Quarter Back Tony Romo and entertainment giant Clear Channel Theatrical. In 2006, she co-founded Titanium Productions Group with business partner Jerome Sheffield. The duo are behind the long running entertainment program Reel Critics and recently wrapped shooting on their first feature film project together It's Out There.
9:00 AM Check-In & Registration
10:00 AM Winning Documentary Film Screening
12:00 Noon Short Block & Winning Short Film Screening
2:00 PM Filmmaker Panel Discussion
3:30 PM Winning Feature Film Screening
6:00 PM Marquee Feature Film Screening
8:00 PM Trailblazer Award Presentation by Mr. John Carstarphen
9:00 PM Post Event Party