Thursday, December 4, 2014

Film Festival News - Art & Tech 

in Center City Philadelphia

POST UPDATE:  #PIFF Screening Schedule (4/17-25, 2015)

Post Update 4/19/15
Pictured: Japanese Filmmaker of Opening Night Centerpiece film “Grateful Dead” Eiji Uchida with Philadelphia Asian American Film Director Rob Buscher and PIFF Director Ben-Barnett.
 Tinsel &Tine's mini review of GRATEFUL DEAD

by Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

I love films depicting a visual feast, they reiterate the knowledge that food not only feeds the body, but the mind and soul as well.  We can all agree whether or not you pay attention to a particular song or melody during a movie, subconsciously, music is monumental in setting a scene. Location and costuming bring us inside the story. But what would the medium of film be without technology? Well, it simply wouldn't exist.

Which is why the 8th Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival joining Philly Tech Week 2015 makes perfect sense!

I got a chance to talk to PIFF founder, Benjamin Barnett now that the festival has officially been moved from June to April 17-25, 2015.  There was much excitement in Ben's voice as we discussed this highly anticipated blending of art and technology.
The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival has been gaining momentum and audiences over the last 7 years, but it is accustomed to being just that, independent, so I wanted to know if PIFF was worried about getting lost inside the vast offerings which take place during Philly Tech Week?

Benjamin F. Barnett
"I'm really not, responded Ben. Philly Tech Week is psyched to have us as a component of their Creative Track and they are looking for us to take on a big part of it. And inevitably, just by the sheer number of people attending, we'll be increasing attendance at our screenings and panel discussions. 
There's a natural crossover here, and we are in a position to really facilitate this dialogue;as you know, film is as narrative and storytelling as it is technical and creative." Philly are the Organizers Behind PTW 

Christopher Wink is cofounder and Editorial Director. I reached out to ask how they saw PIFF integrating into this week of Techie programming?

Christopher Wink of Philly
"From the beginning, Philly Tech Week was meant to be a platform, something anyone building community around innovation in the region could take a part in. With a curated festival of independent film to coordinate, we both get the chance to experiment. We get to add film programming, and PIFF gets to show off its work to a new community of technologists, entrepreneurs and other new thinkers."-cgw

Screenings and Venues and Themes, Oh my! 

I asked Ben if he planned to offer as many screenings as they have in the past? Will all films chosen be those with a tech theme? And what about venues?

He explained they aren't worried about screening a certain number of films, which last year was 87. That they are approaching their in take submission process same as always, and will see where that takes themAll the venues have not been nailed down yet, but it will be the first year working with University of the Arts (South Broad Street). And in fact, screenings for all U Arts students will be free!

Attn: Filmmakers, the PIFF Underground Film Forum (screening committee) is already meeting, so send in your submissions PIFF Withoutabox.
I knew Ben had a background in IT and digital strategy, having created Media Bureau Inc, but what I didn't know was that PIFF was founded as a Politics & Media Documentary Film Festival, which expanded because of all the amazing narrative submissions they kept receiving. PIFF's submission policy will remain open this year, but they are excited about getting back to their roots of merging technology, media, marketing & digital into the creative, which might be something Sci-Fi, or a terrific drama, but shot on RED, and so much in between - including getting back to offering a music component to the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, much of which will be under the music direction of Chuck Treece, with local bands performing, DJs, Open Mic nights, Royalty Free and Edit/Record/Play sessions.

T&T: Will #PTW15 and #PIFF15 have combined calendars?

BB: We will have our own calendar listed on

but we'll also be a part of the programing schedule listed on

In addition to bringing great content to Philly Tech Week, PIFF is excited to be adding to the fabric & energy that is April in the city.  This is true, there's always a host of events and happenings as we start to emerge from our winter cocoons. Once upon a time, Philadelphia Cinema Alliance (PCA) would hold Cinefest, in April, but the playing field for film festivals has been wide open during this time the last couple of years; so festival attendees should mark their calendars for 4/17-25. PIFF also has the full support and creative influence of QFEST's Thom Cardwell and PIFVA

Speaking of Partnerships and Collaborations 

PIFF offices have moved to (2401 Walnut Street). City CoHo is the only green co-working space in Philadelphia. Hosting environmentally conscious businesses, and green events. However, if the only green thing you do is recycle your Coke cans, City CoHo also welcomes a variety of start-ups and small businesses into its co-working spaces. (check out the site for amenities and services).

Now here's where it gets complicated, also located at CityCoHo is Philly Nexus, a sustainability, environmental, social justice, networking & connecting program. Then there's Ben's company Media Bureau, an Interactive Digital Media & Strategy Agency. Currently the 3 entities are in the process of designing and developing a Media Lab. They are looking to have a 120 seats screening room, Red cameras, black magic cameras, and other creative tools, equipment, sound room, whisper room, etc...where artists, techies, entrepreneurs and organizations can rent, barter, and have access to these fundamental creative resources. There's more to it regarding crowdfunding and workshops, but we'll save that for a future post.

Money Makes the World Go Round

My last question to Ben Barnett was about dollars and cents, as Philly Tech Week is sponsored by AT&T, I was curious to know if PIFF will see any of these funds?

"This is tactical for us. We're not going in there and saying we want money and resources from AT&T, stated Ben. We're going in there with our resources and seven years of history. No matter what anyone has said about our film festival, it's always been noted that the programming is good.

And for me that's the bottom line, it doesn't matter how much money I have, if I can't produce good programming. Our approach has always been content-centric and I think our history shows that, so we feel confident walking in to this environment."

"Part of that programming will be TED style talks - gritty dialogues with filmmakers that are clearly going somewhere, getting into the minutiae of what it really takes to be in this business."

"We're going to come in under the radar and make a splash in a way that we hope the local community will respond to, then we can approach bigger sponsors. But don't get me wrong, if anyone reading this piece right now is interested from an investment, sponsorship, advertising standpoint, this is the time to get in on the ground level."

"We're gonna walk out of this tech week with everyone saying  

Wow, that was awesome, let's do it again! "

to get notices on Free Screenings, Giveaways and Upcoming Philly Events!

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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