Educational Offerings

All educational offerings are free to the public. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.


Apple Computer Demonstrations

Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
YMI Cultural Center Drugstore

Apple is proud to support the Asheville Film Festival and will be on hand this year to give workshops and demos of professional film and video techniques and workflows. Turn your vision into reality. Meet the challenge of HD production values. Tell your story using Apple’s integrated tools for real-time video, motion graphics, and audio production. Final Cut Studio is your all-in-one solution in the new era of post-production. Please join us as we showcase how Apple’s professional applications are used to create award-winning projects. The workshops will focus on HD video and film production with Final Cut Pro, sound design and music creation with Logic Pro and Soundtrack Pro, advanced motion graphics, animation, and visualization with Motion and Shake, and professional DVD authoring with DVD Studio Pro and Compressor. Technologies previews of Sony’s XDCAM-HD, Panasonic’s P2 format, and 24p editing will be highlighted along with Apple’s software and hardware solutions. Apple engineers and representatives will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss your project workflows.


Creative Distribution

Session Leaders:Adam Birnbaum, Greg Gardner and Kelly Sanders

Friday, November 10, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St. (Lunch available.)

Picture this: Your film has been on the market for a year. You’ve been to all the festivals, got some awards, received great feedback from the audiences but you still don’t have a distribution deal. This panel will explore the creative ways to go about getting distribution.

Adam Birnbaum is the Director of Business Development and Film Programming for the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Conn. Adam spearheaded the effort to revive this shuttered downtown cinema into a two-screen not-for-profit art house. He is also the President of Nova Theatre Circuit, an independent film buying and programming service for over 20 screens around the East Coast, including the Fine Arts in Asheville, NC. He serves as a part-time consultant for Shadow Distribution and Cinematic Media Events.

Gregory S. Gardner is the product division manager at Laemmle Theatres, and has been with the filmmaker-friendly Southern California chain for almost 20 years, booking films and special events. Recently he has formed C*ME (Cinematic Media Events), a distribution source that coordinates booking, publicity, marketing and advertising services for the independent producer and director looking to open their films theatrically. C*ME is especially geared toward AMPAS eligibility for feature documentaries. Gregory has spoken on panels at various film festivals and film forums, and has been at the forefront of independent cinema throughout his career.

Kelly Sanders is the Executive Director for Truly Indie, an initiative launched by 2929 Entertainment to give filmmakers access to marketing and sales tools without a traditional distributor. She reviews all submissions to the program, and oversees the distribution, exhibition, advertising and marketing of all releases in the United States. Reporting directly to CEO of Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures Bill Banowsky, Ms. Sanders has been with Truly Indie since its inception. Before working for Truly Indie, Ms. Sanders served as President of Acme Film Booking providing film programming services to theatres and festivals around the country.


Masters of Horror

Session Leaders: Don Mancini and Jack Sholder

Friday, November 10, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St. (Lunch available.)

If horror is your thing, learn from the masters of horror! Don Mancini, creator of the “Chucky” series and Jack Sholder, whose credits include The Hidden and Nightmare on Elm Street II, will share the tricks of their trade. Mancini and Sholder also collaborated on a Tales from the Crypt episode, “Fitting Punishment,” which Sholder directed and Mancini co-wrote, for HBO.

Don Mancini created the Child’s Play franchise, the phenomenally successful series of horror movies featuring “Chucky” the killer doll. Mancini wrote the screenplay for all five films in the series, and made his directorial debut with the latest, 2004’s Seed Of Chucky.

Jack Sholder directed his first feature in 1982 for New Line Cinema, Alone in the Dark with Martin Landau, Jack Palance and Donald Pleasance. He then wrote Where Are the Children, starring Jill Clayburgh, for Ray Stark and Columbia, and directed Nightmare on Elm Street II. Sholder’s other credits include The Hidden, By Dawn’s Early Light, Evil Never Dies, Tales from the Crypt, and Twelve Days of Tremor.


The Role of a Publicist in Your Film

Session Leaders: Greg Gardner and Kelly Sanders

Friday, November 10, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St.

Making a film is only about half the battle. Successful marketing and publicity are key to a project’s success. Creating the hype often takes the efforts of a full-time public relations professional. Get tips on how to create and maintain the buzz about your film.

Gregory S. Gardner is the product-division manager at Laemmle Theatres, and has been with the filmmaker-friendly Southern California chain for almost 20 years, booking films and special events. Recently he has formed C*ME (Cinematic Media Events), a distribution source that coordinates booking, publicity, marketing and advertising services for independent producers and directors looking to open their films theatrically. C*ME is especially geared toward AMPAS eligibility for feature documentaries. Gregory has spoken on panels at various film festivals and film forums, and has been at the forefront of independent cinema through out his career.

Kelly Sanders is the Executive Director for Truly Indie, an initiative launched by 2929 Entertainment to give filmmakers access to marketing and sales tools without a traditional distributor. She reviews all submissions to the program, and oversees the distribution, exhibition, advertising and marketing of all releases in the United States. Reporting directly to CEO of Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures Bill Banowsky, Ms. Sanders has been with Truly Indie since its inception. Before working for Truly Indie, Ms. Sanders served as President of Acme Film Booking providing film-programming services to theatres and festivals around the country.


The Art of Still Photography for Film

Session Leader: Holly Bower

Saturday, November 11, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St. (Lunch available.)

Still Photography is an important part of the publicity for a film, yet it’s often not thought of. After 30 years in the industry, Holly Bower has perfected the craft of still photography for Hollywood films. Ms. Bower will share her industry experience as well as some lively stories.

Holly Bower, the first female still photographer in the motion-picture industry to join a union, sued Local 644, IATSE, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and received her union membership in October, 1974. Shortly thereafter, Sydney Pollack, director of Three Days of the Condor, asked Ms. Bower to shoot the lonely, isolated photographs which depict Faye Dunaway’s character. These photographs remain an integral part of this film’s texture. Ms. Bower was the first woman to be elected to the Executive Board of Local 644 in 1980. Bower has taken still photographs for over 40 features and television shows. The inscription on a photograph of Holly Bower, taken by Dustin Hoffman on Kramer vs. Kramer, reads: “For Holly, because this proves she is in Fellini’s world.”


The Changing Dynamics of Distribution

Session Leaders: George Mansour and Frank Rodriguez

Saturday, November 11, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Diana Wortham Theatre

With the evolution of independent film, distribution channels have changed greatly over the last decades. George Mansour and Frank Rodriguez will discuss their past experiences, share what works now and what the trends in distribution will be for the future of film.

George Mansour has been actively involved in the movie industry for well over 40 years and is currently active as an independent film programmer for over 21 screens throughout the country. His primary focus is on foreign and domestic independent cinema. Among his most prestigious clients for whom he consults are the Angelika Film Center in New York City and the Telluride Film Festival. George is also one of the original co-founders of the Boston Film Festival, the past curator of the West Virginia Film Festival, and the creator of the Boston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. In addition, he was the film curator at the Harvard Film Archives and Film Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Frank Rodriguez started his career working for the West Coast distribution office of 20th Century Fox as a film booker. He was later promoted to LA Sales Manager, and soon after that was transferred to Fox’s New York office to head up sales for the New York territory. When Fox Searchlight was created in 1995, he was recruited and appointed Vice-President and head of Eastern Division sales. He remained there until 1997 when Dreamworks SKG was formed, where he became a Senior Sales Executive, handling New York, Washington, Philadelphia, and the Caribbean market. In March of this year, Paramount Pictures acquired Dreamworks and Frank was named vice-president/district manager for New York and Puerto Rico territories.


A Marketing and Distribution Case Study: Loggerheads

Session Leader: Tim Kirkman

Saturday, November 11, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St. (Lunch available.)

North Carolina native Tim Kirkman, who wrote, produced and directed the Sundance hit Loggerheads, will discuss taking an idea from inception and translating it into a successful film.

Tim Kirkman made his feature film debut in 1997 with the highly acclaimed documentary Dear Jesse. The film earned an Emmy Award Nomination after airing on the HBO/Cinemax Reel Life Series, and was nominated for the GLAAD Media Awards and Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards. The Boston Society of Film Critics nominated it for Best Documentary of the Year — alongside Michael Moore’s The Big One. His most recent film, Loggerheads, had its premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival where it was an Official Selection in the Dramatic Competition. The film went on to win prizes at several film festivals across the United States, including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest and Audience Awards at the Nashville and Florida film festivals. Starring Tess Harper, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Learned, Kip Pardue, Chris Sarandon and Robin Weigert, Loggerheads was released into theaters across the country by Strand Releasing in October 2005. Tim is currently writing a feature-film adaptation of three short stories by singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash and co-writing Lee Smith’s novel Family Linen, both of which he will direct. He is also writing a biopic of gay professional baseball player Billy Bean for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (producers of Chicago) and Alan Poul (Six Feet Under). Tim Kirkman lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles with his partner, theater director Drew Barr.


Acquiring and Distributing Films

Session Leaders: Ken and Beth Eisen

Saturday, November 11, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
The Ritz Building, 42 S. Market St.

Ken and Beth Eisen will give an insider’s view of what they are looking for when they are scouting films.

Beth Eisen is Vice-president of Acquisitions for Shadow Distribution. She is also co-Founder and co-Programmer of the Maine International Film Festival.

Ken Eisen is co-founder and President of Shadow Distribution. He is also the co-founder and President of Waterville, Maine’s Railroad Square Cinema, and co-founder/co-Programmer of the Maine International Film Festival. He teaches film at Colby College and the University of Maine at Augusta, was film critic for the Maine Times, and a contributor to Film Quarterly and Cineaste.


New Generation Screening

Sunday, 2 p.m. Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library

Middle and high school students from Western North Carolina teamed up with mentors at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Mass Communication Department to produce these awesome short films. Come to our world premiere! The filmmakers will be there to share their experience and to address your questions.


Technical Exhibits

In between the fantastic films and educational seminars, browse through the variety of technical exhibits. On Market and Eagle streets, support vehicles for film projects will be on display, and at the YMI Cultural Center, there will be a collection of products, equipment and contact information for local production crews for your next film project. The Pack Place Gallery will house a variety of locations that are film-friendly and have been used in multiple productions.

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