The BobbeKins are here

The Magical Man behind Star Wars’ R2-D2 and the Bobbekins

An Interview with Scissores’ Tony Dyson & Chantal Harvey

By Phylis Johnson aka Sonicity Fitzroy, for BOSL magazine

 My journey to Bobbekins began a bit like this….

Scissores, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Clive, Bobbekins, Bobbekinworld, transmedia,

“This is the magic castle where the wizard sits and teaches,” announces my tour guide. The colors are vibrant, and the room is full of majesty and magic.   She teases me with the wonders that abound, and continues,“A big part of our story is here.”

Where am I, I think?  I was transported into a land of colors and shapes, books, candy, castles, glitter and sparkles, and buttons that zip me across this strange but intriguing universe.  I ponder who are these fantastic creatures of various colors – red, green, blue and yellow, all with eye-popping curiosity?   Ah, I am told that these inquisitive beings are the Bobbekins.  A couch nearby takes us to five mainHolodecks; from there so many lands unfold, opening up infinite possibilities for stories yet untold.

Bobbekins, e-books, children, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Scissores

 My tour guide takes me back to the castle, asking, “Would you join me on the magic carpet here?  Oops, beware the hole!”   She laughs, as I step around it, then exclaiming, “This is Toy City.  Welcome!”

That is where the main stories take place in this wonderful adventure now set into motion by legendary special effects artist/engineer Tony Dyson of Star Wars fame (and so many other Hollywood blockbusters) and professional Dutch filmmaker/machinimatographer Chantal Harvey.  My host today is Chantal, also dressed as one of the stars, Clive, a Bobbekin.


Welcome to Toy City

Chantal explains, “Toy City is a living city; it forever changes, like overnight. We have around 100 avatars involved.  Most are fantasy creatures.”  She tells me, “Tony built the sets on the ground.  I am dressed as one of the stars – Clive!”

Scissores, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Clive, Bobbekins, Bobbekinworld, transmedia,

“Adorable,” I respond. “Wow, I can see this in the stores!”

Chantal Harvey adds, “and on real life t-shirts.”  Recently, Chantal took her project to a university nearby where she lives, and presented it to 74 marketing students, and had them experiment with some test marketing. “The reports so far look good.”

Scissores, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Clive, Bobbekins, Bobbekinworld, transmedia,

The Bobbekins are loveable fantasy creatures with the ultimate mission of teaching children from all around the world through interactive play.  Chantal explains, “I’d like to think of our series as somewhere between Sesame Street and Teletubbies, and we are going for high quality.   We have strived for the best graphic art, and Tony is the best writer, and we bring all our experience into this project.  I have been in Second Life for more than four years.  But working with Tony has helped me see Second Life in a wonderful way, almost like Hollywood, but easier.  We don’t use the use pre-existing sims as designed by others – we control the environment.”

Scissores, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Clive, Bobbekins, Bobbekinworld, transmedia,

Although both work thousands of miles apart, they have been spending most of their days, and many late nights together in Second Life, implementing their vision for what they believe is the next step in professional animation production – machinima, or what Tony calls “real time animation,” a term he coined way back when he was in the midst of production for various Hollywood block buster movies.    What many people don’t realize is that Tony is also a children’s book writer, and his love for fantasy worlds was a natural for this ambitious project that includes a television show series and digital e-books.

Suddenly, as if she received a news bulletin, she interrupts, enthusiastically, “I just talked to Tony, and we can give you a scoop – we are starting a Machinima Film Academy this summer, with film assignments, workshops and a membership website, plus a signed ‘Certificate of Completion’ at the end of his course.  So if anyone would like to learn the art of the next and hottest film trend this century ‘Machinima’, don’t let this opportunity pass you by, secure your place now and learn from the very best.”

The coming together of so many elements still amazes them.  All their hard work and vision is now a reality, at least virtually!  Machinima is at the core of this project.

Scissores:  Cutting Edge Machinima

“I quoted the phrase ‘real time animation’ in 1983.  It was a direct form of animation that is quite amazing, a totally different way of filming, making characters and building sets. There are some challenges.   The movements in SL are still second rate, so you must find tricks to compensate.”     Because of the difficulty of using human avatars, Tony adds, “Second Life lends itself to fantasy creatures.”  And that is something Tony has quite extensive experience with, the creation of imaginative characters.  He continues, “The Bobbekins were given to us.  I worked on the stories, and there are seven main characters, with which you can pick and choose in story or game forms, or both.  From the start, I liked the idea that they would be like fairies from a different world, living in houses of toys or teapots, all in a full size city.  All in all, I have built 26 different sets for this TV series.”

With Chantal, Tony works under the company name of Scissores. Chantal states, “We work a lot;  spending 5 to 8 hours daily planning, organizing, filming, refilming, testing, writing, and filming.”   She adds, “Think of it this way, we are creating a virtual school.   It is virtual teaching, in essence teaching the basics to children through a TV Series.”   You can sense her excitement, having spent so many months on this project.

Beyond Tony and Chantal, they have 14 people on staff in various capacities.  “The biggest joy and challenge is teamwork,” she notes. “Our whole project is run like a professional studio. For this project, we have fantastic avatars created by Mad Cow.  The Bobbekins were especially created for this series, and for now we are targeting pre-school and down the road, older children.”

In her role as SL Founder of the 48 Hour Film Project, she met Tony, who she asked to judge the 2011 competition.  The most exciting thing for Chantal is to “pick Tony’s mind.   I had to think differently, plan everything, lighting and so many elements.   It is a big job, but we laugh a lot, and we certainly are professional about it.”

Fantasy Abounds in Second Life

There must be “truth” in a story, that credible connection between the audience and the characters. Tony explains, “We tend to look carefully at humanoid expressions and actions.  Those outside of SL still think ‘what am I looking at,’ when they look at human representations through machinima. We found out that by using fantasy creatures in SL, your audience doesn’t miss those emotions.  You can put some feeling into the character in a unique way, one that is not comparable to how we would expect a human to act, for instance.  Human bodies are still rigid in here.   It does take time learning what works in here, and learning what camera movements work even for fantasy creatures.”

Scissores, Tony Dyson, Chantal Harvey, Clive, Bobbekins, Bobbekinworld, transmedia,

The magical race of the Bobbekins might be considered comparable to fairies and elves. Second Life has always been a friendly host to such beings.  The themed subjects are what you would anticipate for the series (i.e. the alphabet, fruits and vegetables) within storylinesinspired by the professional wisdom and caring spirits of Tony, Chantal and those who have helped them along the way.

The Bobbekins spend all their time helping others, “like all magical creatures might be expected to in such a place,” notes Tony.   As the story goes, they even launched their own television station so they could share their lessons with children.   They travelled like nomads from planet to planet, until one day they discover Toy City, and the plot thickens when the Bobbekins find a way to make a home through good deeds.

Hmmm.  Good deeds.  Maybe we might learn a bit in Second Life from the Bobbekins!

Tony muses, saying, “You know, I have to say, I like it when a plan comes together.”  And this one has, most definitely.  Tony reminds us, a lesson learned from having a full life, “It’s exciting to teach children.”  Like the Bobbekins, Tony likes to share his wisdom from his life’s adventures, one that has taken him to Hollywood and across the world, virtual worlds too!








The 6th Annual LONE STAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (LSFF), offering up a hearty Texan welcome to filmmakers from around the globe for a celebration of both the art of cinema and the robust city of Fort Worth. LSFF takes pride in positioning some of the most high-profile and critically lauded films of the year next to as-of-yet undiscovered gems worthy of audience attention, and also provides critical mentorship and resources to up-and-coming filmmakers on the road to success.

The dynamic program includes a thoughtfully selected lineup of short and feature films, as well as educational panels, celebrity guest appearances, and red carpet galas. Last year, LSFF drew some of the most beloved names in the industry to Fort Worth’s Sundance Square, including Willie Nelson, T-Bone Burnett, Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri, Troublemaker Studios’ head Elizabeth Avellan, and esteemed producer Ted Hope. The Festival has bestowed its most prestigious honor, the LSFF Lifetime Achievement Award, upon the likes of Gregory Peck, Martin Sheen, Sidney Lumet, and Bill Paxton.

LSFF has showcased a variety of incredible films, including SUNSHINE CLEANING, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR DEAD. In 2011, titles that screened at LSFF – including THE DESCENDANTS, THE ARTIST, and SHAME – went on to snag a total of 24 awards and 126 nominations at the Golden Globes, Oscars, BAFTA Awards, and more. LSFF aims to offer an environment where great films and great filmmakers really can be discovered by critics, fans, and industry players alike.


July 23, 2012 – Regular Deadline

The mission of the Lone Star International Film Festival is to promote artistic integrity and the independent spirit in film while promoting the city of Fort Worth, Texas to regional, national, and international audiences with the intention of fostering tourism and economic development.

There’s plenty for visitors to see and explore in Fort Worth, Texas, a city that proudly merges cowboys and culture while offering up a dazzling downtown metropolis. The host venue, Sundance Square, is an entertainment and shopping district with unique architectural feats and 35 blocks of restaurants, stores, art galleries, and performing arts venues. Fort Worth is safe, friendly, and alive with activity both day and night, making it the perfect setting for a star-studded and vibrant film festival.

Year after year, nothing but the best roll on down to Texas. To discover this memorable city and one-of-a-kind event for yourself, submit to the Lone Star International Film Festival today!

Literati Film Festival

New York, New York – USA
November 26 to 27, 2012

The 2nd Annual LITERATI FILM FESTIVAL (LFF) is dedicated to exploring evocative, challenging, and emotionally resonant films from around the world. Taking full advantage of its dynamic New York City setting, this festival is uniquely designed for any filmgoer who is ready to embrace the bold, the strange, and the unfamiliar. Applicants are encouraged to submit not only finished films, but also scores, performance pieces, videos, and any in-progress materials for review.

Selected applicants will receive passes to LFF events and the opportunity to attend screenings at the prestigious Anthology Film Archives, an international center for the study, preservation, and exhibition of film and video. With the intention of encouraging the study of film as art rather than as entertainment, Anthology houses a reference library with the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, and stills exploring avant-garde cinema.

Literati Film Festival offers its participants the chance to explore filmmaking’s robust past while helping to shape its limitless future. Alums Ben Russell (TRYPPS #3), Robert Todd (MORNING GLORY), and Alex McLeod (UNTITLED) have received acclaim after participating in LFF, and have continued to carry forward the off-beat spirit of the festival in their various projects.

July 20, 2012 – Late Deadline

The Literati Film Festival is located in New York City’s East Village, a renowned arts community surrounded by theaters, restaurants, pubs, and many other Big Apple attractions.

To enjoy the energizing sights, sounds, and flavors of New York and a bold, artistic program of films, submit to the Literati Film Festival today!


Somerville, Massachusetts – USA
October 6 to 7 & 13 to 14, 2012


The 3rd Annual FILMSHIFT FESTIVAL celebrates the power of cinema to energize communities and change the world. Presenting films that tell unique and interesting stories from a variety of genres, including local projects, student works, and films that deal with environmental or sustainability issues, Filmshift marries filmmaking, community, and social empowerment for two unforgettable weekends just outside of beautiful Boston, Massachusetts.

Filmshift’s first-place winner will take home $1,000 USD cash, a downloadable copy of Final Draft’s professional screenwriting software, membership in Script Pipeline’s lauded screenwriting database, and the Festival’s “Shifty Award.” Cash, trophies, and other prizes will also be awarded to second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-place winners, thanks to sponsors including Improv Boston, Script Magazine, and Cambridge Naturals.

Previous Filmshift programs have included such films as EARTHWORK, starring Academy Award-nominee John Hawkes; Indie Spirit Award-nominee MARWENCOL; and THE BURNING SEASON, featuring Hugh Jackman. All screenings take place at the historic Somerville Theater, a venue that has been entertaining audiences since 1914 and gives festivalgoers a taste of cinema history.

July 16, 2012 – Regular Deadline

Filmshift’s Student Film Showcase offers audiences a chance to witness the works of on-the-rise talents in a wide variety of genres, including Documentary, Music Video, and Horror. Acceptance into the Filmshift Festival is a great way for young filmmakers to stand out among their peers and show off what they can do.

Experience the power of film to change minds and communities…submit to the Filmshift Festival today!

Project48 challenge

50 Teams registered for the 48 EcoFilm Challenge 2012, of those 50 registered teams 36 completed their films in 48 Hours. Congratulations to all the teams that took part in this years event, it’s not easy to make a film in 48 hours and its even harder to make a good one and from what I can see there are some great ones. “Project48 would like to Congratulate all the teams for this absolutely great effort! Hats off to all of you! Here are the 50 teams that reistered.

Arm Productions
Aurora Solarcar
Bear in Box Media
Bheeema Studios
Blatant Labs
Do Not Disturb
Dudes in Suits
Eagle Eye
Earth angels
Etiquette Eco
Fabiano’s Films
Flown the coop
Green Machine
Inside Out
iRoad Trippers
Media Pending
Mocumentary Spectacular
No Coincidence Tennant Creek
Oh My Creative
Orsino Media
Panda Clap
Paper Moose Production
Peeking Duck Pictures
Platypus Lap Dance
Shady Character Productions
Steam Team
Studio Shoot Me
Sudden Stop
Team Banzai
Team Cage
Team Green
Team RED
The Bicycle Club
The Late Bloomers
The Magnificent
The Math Magicians
The Unwanted Friends
Thorium Films

48 EcoFilm Challenge is a national short film competition designed to showcase how film can play a role in encouraging action relating to environmental, ecological and sustainability issues. But the real challenge lies in making a telling short film, in only 48 hours.

Proudly supported by NRMA Motoring & Services. The theme for this year’s competition is: Green Your Ride. “We are asking filmmakers to consider a scenario where in 48 hours the world’s oil rigs will stop pumping and the tankers filled with fuel for our cars will stop arriving on our shores. How do we keep Australia moving?”

Over $12,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, $5000 cash goes to the winning film and it will be shown at the Cannes Short Film Corner. The competition takes place July 6-8, 2012 more about 48 EcoFilm Challenge.

All creativity must take place during the “Official 48 Hour Time Period”

All 48 hour competitions will occur between Friday, 6th July 2012, 7pm EST (known as Kickoff) and the following Sunday, 8th July 2012, 7pm EST (known as Dropoff). This is the Official 48 Hour Time Period. The participating team must complete its film and successfully upload it by Sunday at 7:30pm EST.

Competition Times Awards Night
Kickoff:Friday – 6th July @ 7pm

Dropoff:Sunday – 8th July @ 7pm

Awards Night & screening of winning films:Friday – 27th Jully @ 7:00pm

Prizes and Awards – Over $12,000 in cash to be won!

First prize for winning film: The NRMA Motoring & Services best film is $5000 and their film will go to Cannes short film corner.

Runner Up for best film: The Camden Council award for runner up wins $1000
Best film made in Camden by a person living outside Camden local government area wins $1000
Best film made in Camden by a Camden local government area resident wins $500

Best Student Film – $500 for the team and $500 for the school.

Parramatta Prize for Inspiring Change: The winner of the Parramatta City Council’s most inspirational film wins $3000. This prize will be awarded to the film considered most likely to influence viewers to make changes in their own lives to help avert problems associated with peak oil.

The basis for this prize is the principle that responsibility for resolving environmental and other sustainability issues does not lie solely with government, but that all individuals can and should play a meaningful part in effecting change. Any film that educates individuals and communities about realistic actions they can take – whether they are small or significant – is eligible for this prize.

Best Machinima Film: The NRMA Motoring & Services best Machinima film wins $1000

Fantasia Fest Announces New Satoshi Kon Animation Award

Fantasia Fest Announces New Satoshi Kon Animation Award, announces Set of Films for 2012 Fest

The world’s largest genre film festival, Montreal’s mammoth Fantasia Fest, has announced that it will now program a section, Axis, devoted exclusively to animation, and will crown one film each year with the juried Satoshi Kon Award for Acheivement in Animation. The award is, of course, named after the recently deceased master of anime, best known for films like “Tokyo Godfathers” and “Perfect Blue.”

Fantasia Fest also announced four films in this year’s Axis lineup and a slew of other films announced for the first time today.

ASURA (Japan) Dir: Keiichi Sato
Over 40 years since it came into being, Akiyama’s “Ashura” remains a raw and affecting action-horror-tragedy, and its potency is only further amplified in this new anime. Keiichi Sato, director of TIGER & BUNNY and KARAS, oversees a masterful blend of digital animation and handcrafted artwork spiked with startling fights and chases and flashes of fearsome beauty. Vivid and intense, ASURA is a journey through hell not soon forgotten. Official Selection: Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2012.Canadian Premiere, hosted by Producer Yoshiyuki Ikezawa

THE KING OF PIGS (South Korea) Dir: Yeun Sang-ho
Selected at the last Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, this masterfully written animated social drama brings elements of thriller and even horror cinema to expose how social inequities can bring extreme consequences, even in middle school. With his intense first feature film, director Yeun Sang-ho has instantly established himself as one of the leading voices of international animation cinema. Canadian Premiere hosted by Writer / Director Yeun Sang-ho

WRINKLES (Spain) Dir: Ignacio Ferreras
There’s more than a fair bit of best-animated-film Oscar buzz beginning to surround this very faithful cinematic adaptation of the graphic novel “Arrugas” by Spanish comic artist Paco Roca. It is a careful character study of the aged — some of them defiant, some despondent, some adrift far from the shores of lucidity – infused with an abundance of sharp wit, whimsy, honesty and poignancy. WINNER: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Animated Film, Goya Awards. Canadian Premiere

ZARAFA (France / Belgium) Dir: Rémi Bezançon, Jean-Christophe Lie
A stunning hand-drawn work of animation detailing the adventures of a young child named Maki and an orphaned giraffe, Zarafa, who go on an epic adventure from the Sudan, where the boy escapes from slave traders, to Alexandria, Marseille and Paris. Official Selection: Berlin Film Festival 2012. Canadian Premiere

More films just announced:

ACE ATTORNEY (Japan) Dir: Takashi Miike
Who else but Takashi Miike could deliver a video game adaptation set in court where attorneys would match in surrealistic juridical duels? This visual fest tainted with black humour got its share of attention at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival and will surely be one of the highlights of Fantasia 2012! Canadian Premiere

AFRO TANAKA (Japan) Dir: Daigo Matsui
When Tanaka traded in his messy hair for a glorious Afro, he finally got respect. The problem is, this is the only good decision he’s made in his entire life. Director Daigo Matsui presents one of the funniest and most strangely endearing characters you will see this year, joyfully interpreted by star Shota Matsuda (HARD ROMANTICKER). North American Premiere

THE AMBASSADOR (Denmark) Dir: Mads Brügger
Mads Brügger (RED CHAPEL) is on a mission. Armed with a forged Liberian diplomatic passport, the infamous prankster journalist ventures deep into the underbelly of African politics in search of diamonds, wealth and power — and exposes an industry where diplomatic titles across the continent are for sale. Far more disturbing in its realism than any Sacha Baron Cohen creation, THE AMBASSADOR redefines extreme documentary filmmaking, and gives a whole new meaning to diplomatic immunity. Quebec Premiere

BLACK’S GAME (Iceland) Dir: Óskar Thór Axelsson
The Icelandic gangster/drug scene of the late 1990s explodes vividly into life in this throttling directorial debut from cinematographer Axelsson, exec produced by none other than Nicolas Winding Refn, its frame lines singed with a dizzying assortment of colourful characters and explosive bursts of violence, its snowy landscape charged with blood, testosterone, sex and cocaine. Official Selection: Rotterdam International Film Festival 2012, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2012. North American Premiere

BONEBOYS (USA) Dirs: Duane Graves, Justin Meeks
What happens when the co-directors of THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD team up with notorious screenwriter Kim Henkel (scripter of the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE)? Sheer, absolute madness. We’re talking leather clad psycho jocks, roaring chainsaws, a cross-dressing surgeon, a monster in chains… You don’t want to miss this! World Premiere, hosted by Co-Directors Duane Graves & Justin Meeks, Screenwriter / Co-Producer Kim Henkel and more!

COLD BLOODED (Canada) Dir: Jason Lapeyre
A lone female cop (DEVIL’s Zoie Palmer) faces down against murderous thugs in the nightmarishly vast isolation ward of a major urban hospital in director Lapeyre’s gritty, ghastly breakout thriller. His subsequent film (made back to back with this one), I DECLARE WAR, recently won multiple awards at ActionFest 2012. Quebec Premiere, hosted by Director Jason Lapeyre

DEAD BITE (Thailand) Dir: Joey Boy
Oh yes! Redneck islanders, zombies, sea monsters, an evil mermaid and a giant shark vs. a bunch of horny rappers and many, many gorgeous bikini models. This is what midnight screenings are all about folks! Thai hip hop star Joey Boy makes his feature directorial debut with an awfully hilarious and sexy gore fest that will make audiences scream for more. Canadian Premiere

DEAD SUSHI (Japan) Dir: Noboru Iguchi
After geishas, schoolgirls and robots, we thought director Noboru Iguchi couldn’t turn more of the strongest Japanese symbols into killing machines. We were wrong! Here comes the zombie sushi! Incredibly charismatic young actress Rina Takeda (HIGH KICK GIRL) star in this hilarious, bloody and action packed joyride where Iguchi proves once again that imagination, talent and passion will always prevail. World Premiere, hosted by Director / Co-Writer Noboru Iguchi and Actress Rina Takeda

DRAGON (Hong Kong) Dir: Peter Chan
Kickass kung fu star Donnie Yen is back in this visually stunning martial arts thriller packed with jaw dropping action scenes where an apparently normal man inadvertently brings a horde of assassins by beating up a couple of petty thieves. DRAGON (formerly WU XIA) might be the film that earns Yen the kung fu icon status enjoyed by Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Also starring Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei. Quebec Premiere

EXCISION (USA) Dir: Richard Bates Jr
If John Hughes and David Cronenberg made their own medically obsessed version of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE crossed with MAY, this is the film they would likely have conceived. This funny, shocking and soulful powerslam of a teen-outsider film stars AnnaLynne McCord, Ariel Winter, Traci Lords, John Waters and Malcolm McDowell and blew no shortage of minds when it launched at Sundance earlier this year. Canadian Premiere, hosted by Writer / Director Richard Bates Jr and Actress Anna Lynne McCord

A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (UK) Dirs: Crispian Mills, Chris Hopewell
Simon Pegg as a neurotic writer of children’s books, trying desperately to break into the film business while struggling with crippling paranoia. What more could you want? A quirky gem of a film, Mill’s and Hopewell’s feature film debut fits well into the British tradition of horror-comedy, where slightly crazed logic flows along with an acceptance of the weird, the existential and the eccentric. North American Premiere

THE FOURTH DIMENSION (USA / Russia / Poland) Dirs: Alexey Fedorchenko, Harmony Korine, Jan Kwiecinski
Vice Magazine’s Eddy Moretti, co-writer of the extraordinary WHITE LIGHTNIN’, had a notion. He would write his own filmmaking manifesto, one so bizarre and liquefied that it could only result in genius. This manifesto would include such rules as “a stuffed animal needs to make an appearance.” With said manifesto, he would bring on board a trio of wildly iconoclastic filmmakers to shoot 30-minute shorts, each from a different country — with the instructions to shoot in their locales — that would in some way or another, explore the possibilities of a fourth dimension. The results are glorious indeed. Official Selection: Edinburgh Film Festival 2012. Canadian Premiere, Hosted by Co-Producer Eddy Moretti

HIDDEN IN THE WOODS (Chile) Dir: Patricio Valladares
The teen children of an abusive drug-dealing scumbag run away from home and find themselves stalked by a terrifying cavalcade of miscreants, psychopaths and killers. Like the bastard child of a Ruggero Deodato/Sam Peckinpah/Gaspar Noe pile-up gestated in the loins of Roberta Findlay, HIDDEN IN THE WOODS is a blisteringly confrontational piece of work that will have even the bravest of audiences watching from between their fingers, with seemingly every other line of dialogue being interrupted by shrieks, smashing glass or gunfire. World Premiere, hosted by Writer / Director Patricio Valladares

LLOYD THE CONQUEROR (Canada) Dir: Michael Peterson
A riotously funny look at the world of LARPing (Live Action Role Playing), featuring hysterical performances from Brian Posehn, Mike “Bubbles” Smith and Evan Williams, a wickedly witty script, an endearing sense of lunacy and a near wall-to-wall CDN metal soundtrack. John Landis loves this film. So will you. Plus, on the night of the screening, be sure to join us for a special heavy metal LARP after-party! Quebec Premiere, hosted by Writer / Director Michael Peterson, Co-Producer Brendan Hunter and Actor Mike Smith

MONDOMANILA (Philippines) Dir: Khavn De La Cruz
Rebel director Khavn De La Cruz give life to a bunch of incredibly crooked, yet dignified teenagers living in the slums with a gallery of bizarre characters. The opening film of this year’s Camera Lucida section, MONDOMANILA merges drama, musical, horror, experimental and exploitation cinema, with a strong propensity for documentary aesthetics and trashy humour and will leave absolutely no viewer indifferent. Not to be missed! Canadian Premiere

What happens when Harold from HAROLD AND MAUDE meets Lulu of LOVE & LOATHING & LULU & AYANO in a contemporary Japan shaken by treacherous intergenerational shocks? Find out in Hidenobu Abera’s startling crescendo of teenage rage and anguish blessed with a note of hope and even a charming dash of eccentricity.International Premiere

Choi Min-sik (OLDBOY) and Ha Jung-woo (THE CHASER) bring one of the most astonishing actors duel seen in years in this gangster flick where a corrupted customs agent raises to the top of the underworld. Set in a fascinating historical context, NAMELESS GANGSTER is strongly reminiscent of GOODFELLAS without being overshadowed one second by Scorsese’s masterpiece. Quebec Premiere

PLAY DEAD (USA) Dir: Teller
Thrill seekers, spiritualists, lovers of magick and the occult, have we got a show for you. Behold: PLAY DEAD, an enormously entertaining live performance film directed and co-written by the legendary Teller (of Penn & Teller), shot by DARK STARS RISING author Shade Rupe and performed by the supernaturally charismatic and brilliantly funny illusionist/sideshow performer Todd Robbins. What is it? A no holds-barred recreation of the live midnight spook shows of yesteryear! World Premiere, hosted by Director / Co-Writer Teller, Star / Co-Writer Todd Robbins and Producers Shade Rupe & Ezekiel Zabrowski

This beautifully shot independent gem of a film will surprise many with its atmospheric post-apocalyptic story filled with strange animated scenes inspired by the English workbooks of our youth. Director John Cairns brings a ballsy fresh look at the “zombie” genre with a touch of women empowerment and lots of creativity. North American Premiere hosted by Writer / Director John Cairns

SLEEP TIGHT (Spain) Dir: Jaume Balagueró
With our North American premiere of THE NAMELESS, Fantasia was one of the first festivals in the world to showcase the genius of Barcelona filmmaker Jaume Balagueró. Years later, we held the first North American screening of [REC], the game-changing masterpiece he co-directed with Paco Plaza. As with that film, the multi-award-winning SLEEP TIGHT is set mostly within the walls of a horrifically ill-fated apartment complex. Only here, the terrors Balagueró conjures are blood-chillingly tangible, as viable as a car crash on a heavily populated road. A masterpiece. Winner of 6 Gaudi Awards.Canadian Premiere

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT (Taiwan) Dir: Tom Lin
Softly surreal and quite simply sublime, STARRY, STARRY NIGHT is a flawless, sparkling jewel in the firmament of this year’s Fantasia programming. Beautiful and heartwarming, yet sometimes as cruel and moving as life itself, this coming of age drama features a first-class performance by Xu Jiao, a rising star to watch in the heavens of Chinese cinema. Quebec Premiere

THE TALL MAN (Canada / USA) Dir: Pascal Laugier
Jessica Biel, Stephen McHattie and Jodelle Ferland star in an unconventional, disturbing and politically-charged new chiller from the inimitable Pascal Laugier, whose previous film, MARTYRS, has already become a modern classic of the genre. Official Selection: SXSW 2012. Canadian Premiere

TOAD ROAD (USA) Dir: Jason Banker
Inspired by an urban legend, TOAD ROAD is an intimate meditation on lost youth evocative of Gus Van Sant (with a racy touch of Larry Clark) and a radical deconstruction of genre cinema, a devastating and brilliant object of contemplation and dread, and a journey down unexpected paths. World Premiere, hosted by Writer / Cinematographer / Director Jason Banker

UNDER THE BED (USA) Dir: Steven C. Miller
A teenager returning home awakes the wrath of a savage creature he tried to kill year ago. Now, he must team up with his young brother in order to destroy what lies under the bed. Co-produced by Brad Miska (V/H/S), this intimate and shivering take on childhood fear is another gem from newcomer Steven C. Miller, the new festival sensation who took SXSW by storm with the sensational THE AGRESSION SCALE last March. World Premiere, hosted by Director Steven C. Miller

THE WARPED FOREST (Japan) Dir: Shunichiro Miki
After co-directing the surrealistic FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT, director Shunichiro Miki brings us in a universe where giants, nipple sucking fuzzy creatures and flying time traveling devices coexist with totally normal people. This is an essential work in the new wave of radical, rainbow-coloured, hallucinogenic Japanese comedies that blend deadpan humour, delirious dream logic, creeping paranoia and empathic, easygoing optimism into the strangest of cinematic brews! Canadian Premiere hosted by Director / Co-Writer Shunishiro Miki

YES WE CAN! (France) Dir: Olivier Abbou
A pair of petty criminals hatch an “ingenious” get-rich-quick scheme – they will fly to Kenya and kidnap Barrack Obama’s grandmother for a ransom of 10 millions dollars. What could possibly go wrong? Echoing the French tradition of the buddy comedy by ways of a SOUTH PARK version of the Farrelly brothers, this outrageous goofball comedy from Abbou (whose 2010 shocker TERRITORIES offered a whole other side of political commentary) surprises, offends and ridicules with manic wit. Full of eye-popping imagery courtesy of cinematographer Karim Hussain (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, THE THEATRE BIZARRE). International Premiere, hosted by Writer / Director Olivier Abbou (tentative)




Hollywood, California – USA  October 11 to 14, 2012

Upcoming is the 8th Annual LA FEMME INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, a four-day celebration of women filmmakers and a festival that is “by women, for everyone.” In addition to rewarding noteworthy films, hosting educational seminars, and offering networking opportunities for its attendees, LA Femme seeks to close the gender divide in front of and behind the motion picture camera while championing strong storytelling that empowers and enhances the diversity of women.

Set amidst the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood scene and attracting notable industry attention, LA Femme pursues national and international distribution opportunities for filmmakers who win top prizes in the Festival’s documentary and feature film categories. Through a variety of the Festival’s connections, all official selections may be considered for these and other unique opportunities. LA Femme has a strong record of seeing award-winning material make its way to screens both large and small. THE COLT, a 2005 LA Femme award-winner, debuted on The Hallmark Movie Channel that same year. BEAUTIFUL DREAMER was picked up by Showtime after winning at LA Femme, and five LA Femme documentaries have been programmed by the Independent Documentary Channel in 2012 alone.

Many of LA Femme’s guest speakers and honorees are familiar faces to film and television audiences. In 2010, Academy Award-nominees Angela Bassett (WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT) and Virginia Madsen (SIDEWAYS) were honored with LA Femme’s Pioneer Award and Visionary Award, respectively. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (JUNO) and Directors Guild of America Award-winner Patty Jenkins have both been honored by LA Femme for advancing opportunities for women behind the scenes.


July 16, 2012 – Late Deadline

LA Femme International Film Festival is dedicated to supporting and nurturing the artistic entertainment productions of women for the benefit of international and domestic audiences.

At LA Femme, filmmakers engage in an environment that is more collaborative than competitive, as each attendee plays an important role in advancing opportunities for women in the exciting world of filmmaking. A complimentary festival pass is offered to each LA Femme applicant whose material is not selected to be screened, ensuring access and support for all women working in film. But this festival isn’t just for the girls: LA Femme welcomes and encourages submissions from any male filmmaker who seeks to create, celebrate, and support strong female roles in cinema.

By providing a platform for showcasing terrific female-driven material, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of women filmmakers, and creating an inclusive and collaborative industry environment that celebrates diversity, LA Femme International Film Festival is a great place for filmmakers to take proactive and empowering steps toward their dreams. Submit today



Louisville, Kentucky – USA
October 4 to 7, 2012

LOUISVILLE’S INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILM (LIFF), now in its fourth season. LIFF is a four-day celebration of independent film and the cultural and creative diversity that flourishes in Louisville, Kentucky. The annual program has expanded rapidly to include the Kentucky Youth Film Festival, which allows students the opportunity to pitch and promote their work, and the Kentucky Legends of Fame showcase, honoring an entertainment luminary and delighting audiences with one-of-a-kind live performances.

As its visibility, network, and reputation continue to grow, LIFF benefits from strong partnerships with Final Draft and with film distributors Barnholtz Entertainment and 3DD Entertainment. Several of LIFF’s programmed features have been picked up for distribution thanks to these and other relationships, proving that this is a festival dedicated to fostering connections and exposure, and yielding substantial results for the independent filmmaker. Cash prizes are awarded to winning filmmakers; the values of those prizes are determined by the number of festival entrants and have grown steadily, year after year.

Thanks in no small part to its formidable network of industry supporters, LIFF draws from a selection panel of experts that includes former network television executives, Emmy Award-winning actors, casting directors, and entertainment attorneys. Last year, every attending filmmaker had the opportunity to pitch to Barnholtz Entertainment’s Director of Acquisitions and was given professional feedback on their material – a truly valuable experience for LIFF’s exhibiting filmmakers.

July 15, 2012 – Regular Deadline

Louisville’s International Festival of Film is a sustainable, annual film festival located in Louisville, Kentucky, developed to showcase independent film, celebrate the cultural diversity of its surrounding area, and to support The Louisville Film Arts Institute.

LIFF’s wide array of screenings, seminars, discussions, and celebratory events are held in many of the most picturesque locations in Louisville, including the Galt House hotel (where filmmakers are offered a reduced room rate), Glassworks, and the Muhammad Ali Center. “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston calls Louisville a “delightful [and] ideal setting for a film festival.” LIFF’s opening and closing night ceremonies are rich with the spirit of storytelling. In 2011, actress and comedian Lily Tomlin performed her one-woman show to a sold-out crowd to benefit the Festival’s creative arts charity.

More seminars, guest speakers, and celebrations will be unveiled as the festival approaches, but it’s already clear that this year’s program will be top-notch. Submit your film to Louisville’s International Festival of Film today for your chance to take part!


The 7th Annual EUGENE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (EIFF), is presenting a diverse line-up of films from around the world and an informative program of interactive workshops, panel discussions, and networking events in Eugene, Oregon. EIFF receives entries from more than 30 countries annually, and accepts features, shorts, and short shorts in a variety of categories including narrative, documentary, science fiction, animation, young audience, art/experimental, comedy, television pilots, and more.

The Festival is renowned for its Screenwriter and Filmmaker Retreat, which offers attending artists the chance to meet, learn from, and collaborate with other attending writers, filmmakers, and special guests. This year’s industry participants are writer/producer Tom Sawyer (“Murder She Wrote”), Beverly Hills literary agent Ken Sherman, film and video distributor Mike Katchman, and acclaimed feature film concept artist Terryl Whitlatch. This year’s retreat will include a Concept Arts Workshop, where Whitlatch will discuss her work creating STAR WARS creatures and help those attending hone the art of visual storytelling and character development by guiding attendees through a concept world, “The Tales of Amalthea,” with its own ecology, culture, and inhabitants.

Over a half-dozen films have been acquired for distribution at EIFF over the years, and many more EIFF filmmakers have had their careers boosted by the many agents and other industry attendees that have discovered their work at the festival. Roger Corman raves that EIFF is “already one of America’s top film fests…and getting better every year.”

July 13, 2012 – Regular Deadline

In addition to screening great films and showcasing talented artists, the Eugene International Film Festival puts a special focus on networking, and strives to offer attending artists and guests a platform for connection and collaboration.

Participating filmmakers vie for a number of awards in each category, including Most Original Film, Most Socially Engaging Film, the Wild Card Award – given for just about anything special, and the Cut to the Chase Award – given to the filmmaker that most efficiently captures the hearts and minds of the audience. All EIFF submitting filmmakers receive a free download copy of the “Showbiz Software Labor Guide for North America” and a complimentary Copic Marker Storyboard and Concept Art starter pen set, shipped from Imagination International, Inc.

If you’re looking for a fun and educational filmmaker getaway to the Pacific Northwest and a state-of-the-art venue to screen your film for industry guests, the Eugene International Film Festival is for you. Submit today!

Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor Film Festival

51 Annual March 19, 2013 to March 24, 2013


The Ann Arbor Film Festival is committed to support bold, visionary independent filmmakers, advance the art form of film and new media, and engage communities with remarkable cinematic experiences.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. Internationally renowned as a premiere forum for film as an independent art form, the AAFF screens works across a broad range of genres including: experimental, animation, documentary, narrative and hybrid works. The AAFF is steeped in a rich tradition of ground-breaking cinema as thousands of filmmakers screened early work at the AAFF, including luminaries such as: Kenneth Anger, Agnes Varda, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Gus Van Sant, Barbara Hammer, James Benning, Bruce Conner, Chick Strand, Les Blank, Lawrence Kasdan, and George Lucas.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival serves as one of the few Academy Award®-qualifying festivals in the United States for the Short Films category. The AAFF presents over $20,000 in cash awards to filmmakers in competition, as determined by the awards jury. The AAFF is highly competitive, receiving over 2,600 submissions annually from more than 60 countries. All submissions are reviewed by a minimum of 3 trained screeners, with many films watched and discussed collectively by 4 – 7 members of the festival screening team.

The festival main venue, the Michigan Theater, is a gorgeous 1920s movie palace with a historic organ that is performed prior to many of the programs. The theater has two screening spaces: the impressive 1,700-seat main auditorium and the state-of-the-art 200-seat screening room. The AAFF is committed to high quality exhibition of all films at the festival and presents work on 16mm, 35mm, super 8mm and digital formats.

Many accepted filmmakers attend the festival as guests each year and receive complimentary festival pass, housing with host families, shuttle transportation to/from airport, filmmaker party, catered green room and swag bag. The AAFF also provides additional opportunities for select filmmakers accepted into the festival. As a pioneer of the traveling film festival tour, each year a “best of” shorts program travels to more than 35 theaters, universities, museums and art house cinemas throughout North America. Filmmakers participating in the tour are paid for each screening of their work.

Becca Keating (Development Manager) ; David Dinnell (Program Director) ; Maria Feldman (Operations Manager)

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is open to independent film and digital media in all categories that demonstrate a high regard for the moving image as an art form. Each year we select 100-125 shorts and features for exhibition in the awards competition portion of the festival. Films previously submitted (and not selected) may be re-entered if there has been a significant change to the edit. You must complete an entry form for each film submitted. Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form for confirmation. Make checks and money orders payable to the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Entries are accepted in the following formats: DVD, Blu-ray, Internet Links (URL) Secure Online Screening and 16mm. Please note: Region free NTSC DVDs are preferred for screening purposes, though we do accept PAL and region 1. We do not accept VHS or video data files for screening purposes.

DVDs & cases must be labeled (preferably using permanent marker/ink) with film title, filmmaker name, phone, email and WAB tracking ID number. Please place DVDs in a DVD sleeve, no hard plastic cases of any kind.

If you have a link (ie., Vimeo) you may submit via Withoutabox or with an entry form found on our website ( and send an email to with the link, title of film, director and Withoutabox tracking number (if applicable).

This option is only available for short films in the documentary, animation, narrative and music video categories. We do not accept the SOS option for experimental works.

If you would like the festival to preview a 16mm print of your film, please contact the festival directly to make arrangements.

Please review the following postmark deadlines carefully.

Early Deadline – August 20, 2012 (postmarked by)

Official Deadline – October 8, 2012 (postmarked by)

Late Deadline – November 8, 2012 (postmarked by)