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LA Festival Update

The United Film Festival – Los Angeles is in full swing and so far the screenings have been incredible. To give you an update on everything you missed, let’s start from the beginning. After hearing all the great things that are happening you will most definitely want to buy your tickets immediately.

After our wonderful Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony to kickoff our 2012 season, we moved to the Los Feliz 3 Cinemas for our first screenings on Friday evening. We began with a short block called ‘Love and Romance,’ appropriately titled. Three fantastic shorts, ‘Gemalogia,’ ‘Love After Sunrise,’ and ‘Okechukwu’ screened to wonderful reviews. As early as 6:15 people were lining up for our 7:00 screening, ‘Act Naturally’ and the film played to a packed house followed by a great Q&A with the cast and crew. By 9:30 our audiences were ready for ‘The Horror of Barnes Folly,’ which also brought in a great crowd. Our midnight classic screenings of ‘Gremlins’ and ‘The Fly,’ brought nostalgic feelings as audiences came out to enjoy two great films.

Over the weekend we moved into our busiest days with five feature screenings each day. On Saturday we screened ‘To Make A Farm,’ ‘We’re Getting On,’ ‘Fools On The Hill,’ ‘Supporting Characters,’ and ‘It’s In The Blood.’ Each feature brought a really dynamic and interesting crowd of people. The feature screenings each included a set of short films which all played before the feature. If any filmmakers from the shorts were there, we gave them the opportunity to hold a Q&A. The Q&As continued with the features, which offered a fascinating opportunity to hear from the filmmakers themselves.

On Sunday we had a day of amazing documentaries. First was the screening of ‘Erasing Hate,’ followed by the hilarious and heartfelt documentary about Jim Breuer called ‘More Than Me.’ For our afternoon showing we were beyond thrilled to screen ‘Of Two Minds’ to a completely sold out house. We even had to sell standing room only seats! After that we screened ‘New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art,’ followed by the final screening of the evening, a great horror flick called ‘Dead Inside.’

We are now gearing up for a whole new week of screenings, and we would love for you to be there! Click here to view our schedule and buy tickets today!

Lifetime Achievement Awards Event

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Last night the United Film Festival kicked off the 2012 season by honoring Mark Rydell and Dabney Coleman. The event was set to start at 7:30pm, and by 6:30 supporters and fans of the dynamic duo were already lined up outside the theatre to witness the event. By the time the cement was ready, over 100 people gathered to watch Mr. Rydell and Mr. Coleman place their hands and sign their names. With so many onlookers, it was wonderful to witness the support given to the honorees. An immense amount of respect was felt the entire night for the work that Mark Rydell and Dabney Coleman achieved throughout their careers.

Before the movie began, Mr. Rydell and Mr. Coleman graciously agreed to a Q&A. In a display of true friendship, they both discussed their experiences with the film and shared some great stories. The audience was captivated as Mr. Coleman got emotional about his experience and the lifelong friends he made during production. As the Q&A began to wind down, our founder Jason Connell surprised both honorees with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was perhaps the most poignant moment of the evening. Both Mr. Rydell and Mr. Coleman were sincerely touched by the gesture, and it was evident that they were grateful to be receiving such an honor.

After the ceremony, the film began and audience members prepared themselves for two hours of movie magic. The film remains a staple in Hollywood history, a testament to its brilliance. In a day and age where movies rely on computer graphics and intense sound effects to keep the attention of a viewer, this film is able to achieve it with sheer talent. After the screening, the audience clapped loudly to signify their appreciation to Mark Rydell and Dabney Coleman for such unprecedented work. Thank you to everyone who came out to experience such a great evening, and congratulations to Mr. Rydell and Mr. Coleman for their Lifetime Achievement Awards.

 

Screenwriting Finalists Announced

We are so excited to announce our finalists in both short and feature categories. Thank you so much to everyone who submitted and congratulations to the finalists!

Winners will be announced on the Awards Night of our United Film Festival – Los Angeles at the Los Feliz 3 Cinemas on May 3, 2012.

Feature Comedy
Mr. Axeman by Nathan Bloch
An off-beat comedy about a desperate-to-be-cool high school senior coping with his best friend’s new-found popularity. He realizes through several social blunders who his real friends are — a 15-year-old theater geek and his sex-crazed older sister.

Playing for Home by Kathy Pyatt
The President of the United States solves a military coup for independence in Puerto Rico with a winner-take-all baseball series which challenges Hispanic loyalty in this country.

Waking The Dead by Michele Schultz
A deadbeat dad reunites his dysfunctional high school garage band to keep from losing his estranged, rock-obsessed teenage daughter.

Feature Drama
Bare Knuckle Days by Neil Chase
After saving the life of an aging mob boss, a bullied boy forms an unlikely friendship with the reluctant enforcer ordered to protect him.

Darlings by Mark Busch
A young woman with a dark secret finds herself involved with a small-time criminal only to see the situation spiral out of control into peril and crime.

Engelbert & Rabinskini by Nathaniel Stutz
A coming of age tale of a troubled 16-year-old graffiti artist, still struggling to forgive himself for his role in his father’s tragic death, and his unlikely friendship with a lonely, older gay man fighting full blown AIDS.

Feature Horror/Thriller
The Feeding Cycle by RC Speck and Daniel Maidman
Is the latest zombie menace caused by a long-dormant microbe that returned Christ from the dead? Or is it truly an act of the Devil?

Finishing School by Jennifer Cote
A young woman battles a daunting legacy that all girls in her family commit suicide on their 18th birthdays. As she unravels dark, supernatural secrets and fights to save her life, the concept of getting out of high school alive takes on a new meaning.

H. G. Wells and Vampires by Ward Parry
Before becomming a celebrated author, a young HG Wells travels through time to save mankind from vampires intent on world dominion.

Short Comedy
Close Call by Shane McCabe
A week before his wedding, Mike confesses to his two friends that his future sister-in-law tried to seduce him. Mikes friends are anxious to hear the full story but are shocked at how things played out.

Playing Through by John Harris
Two long-time golfing buddies are pushed to play faster by the group behind them. The conflict escalates into a battle never seen before on a golf course.

Sacrifice The Virgin by John Harris
A clan’s ceremony to sacrifice a virgin is threatened due to a lack of virgins.

Short Drama
The Dan Dedman Song Factory by Jeremy Burgess
When Wallace gets an unexpected phone call from one of his favorite musicians, he thinks it’s the coolest birthday present he’s ever received. But by the end of their conversation, he realizes that it might’ve been more like a wake up call.

I Love You…Me Neither by Sarah Monroe
An overweight woman must gather her courage to meet the man she’s in love with but has never seen. The promise of romance tempts her, but will she let weight prevent her from fulfilling it?

This Modern Man is Beat by David Schroeder
In a world of cultural confusion, Habib bin Habib al Fulan faces discrimination while trying to pawn his guitar and reconcile with his young wife.

Short Horror/Thriller
The Invitation by April Wolak
A woman attempting to reignite her marriage through experimental methods, encounters a dire outcome.

Revolver by Adam Hirsch
Stranded at a motel, an identity thief is forced to confront his demons after he accidentally steals the identity of a killer.

The Trouble With Eddie by Amanda Brewer
Eddie is a bit of a loner that hates his life. When he finally reaches his breaking point, he dedicates his time to becoming a killer. The only problem is, Eddie just can’t hack it. After many failed attempts, Eddie meets a girl that educates him on murder.

London Venue Announced

The United Film Festival is excited to announce the venue of our 3rd Annual United Film Festival – London. The new venue, Roxy Bar & Screen will host this year’s festival June 3rd-5th over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Holiday.

Roxy’s dynamic energy and love of bringing people together make it the perfect home for the United Film Festival – London. Screenings begin at 7:00pm Sunday evening and 3:00pm Monday and Tuesday afternoon. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased in advance here:

http://unitedfilmfestival.bigcartel.com/

On Golden Pond

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This year the United Film Festival is proud to honor two very special contributors to our industry. On April 26th at 7:30pm at the historic Vista Theatre, we will be honoring Oscar Nominated Director Mark Rydell and Emmy Award Winning Actor Dabney Coleman with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Both honorees will place their handprints in the cement outside the theatre, commemorating the immense impact they have both had on Hollywood throughout their careers.

After the ceremony, in honor of both of them, we will be showing the classic film ‘On Golden Pond.’ This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Mark Rydell for Best Director. We would love to have you join us and celebrate the lives of industry legends.

Click here to purchase tickets to the screening, and remember to join us April 26th, 7:30pm at the Vista Theatre for the ceremony.

 

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5 Days in Denver

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In a intense and dynamic look at the modern protest, 5 Days in Denver documents the story of a group called “Re-create 68.” During the Democratic Convention in 2008, this group set out to show American government that they wanted change. Staging protests in the self-proclaimed style of the 60′s, people spent 5 days in the city fighting against federal court orders and police action. What resulted was an extremely interesting display of citizens fighting for their right to speak out.

In fascinating interviews with these modern protestors, people ranging young to old defend their right to the first amendment. It is interesting to witness people who are so different in age, race, and religion join together to defend a common cause. You will not want to miss this documentary, it will capture your attention instantly and make you truly question what you believe about modern political structure.

5 Days in Denver will be showing at the United Film Festival – New York on Sunday, May 13th at 7:00pm.

 

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Of Two Minds

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In an fascinating illumination of bipolar disorder, the documentary ‘Of Two Minds’ follows the lives of three different people living with the disorder and how they function day to day. It is apparent the film does not strive to dramatize the lives of these people, but rather unearth the immense struggle they endure living with a mental illness.

The creators of the documentary have close ties to the disorder, which allows for even more heart and vulnerability within the film. Lisa Klein and Doug Blush are a husband and wife team that directed the film together. Lisa had a sister diagnosed with bipolar disorder who passed away in 1994. This film is dedicated to her sister, Tina, in hopes to show others suffering that they are not alone.

Something amazing about this documentary is the raw emotion it portrays. Over a span of three years, these filmmakers dedicated their lives to telling the stories of these people. Rather than displaying a clinical perspective, it delves deep into the world of these people to make sure they are depicted as real human beings rather than test subjects. If you want to experience emotion in some of its purest form, watch this documentary.

 

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Falling Uphill

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A tale of young adulthood in a time of confusion, ‘Falling Uphill’ documents the life of two strangers who move in together after posting an ad on Craigslist. Nicknamed a “a quarter life crisis” by the filmmakers, the characters experience a time in life that seems to have no rhyme or reason. When the real world seems to be too daunting to handle, these young people must learn to stay afloat amongst the fear of broken dreams and missed opportunities.

Written and directed by Richard J. Bosner, the film encompasses the emotion felt by a new generation of young individuals. A self proclaimed lover of storytelling, Bosner illuminates an issue that seems to be mounting amount young adults currently; the in between period of establishing oneself as an adult and attaining security. With the unrest of the economy and the decreasing amount of jobs available, qualified young adults are ending up unemployed. This struggle to find oneself and achieve success while maintaing financial stability ultimately affects the emotional life of people in this stage. Beautifully crafted, ‘Falling Uphill’ unearths this issue and how it effects the relationships of people trying to find out who they are.

‘Falling Uphill’ will be showing at the United Film Festival – LA on Tuesday, May 1st at 9:30pm at the Los Feliz 3. Click the link below to buy tickets, you will not want to miss this wonderful film!

 

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New York Showcase

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When your future literally hinges on one audition, can you handle the pressure? Some of the students from the incredible new documentary ‘New York Showcase’ won’t be able to. This film highlights one of the biggest events in the life of any actor, a showcase. The casting and rehearsal for a showcase leads to one goal, getting seen. Hundreds of recent graduates come to one place to perform for a chance to secure an agent and ultimately perform on Broadway.

Reminiscent of many experiences expressed in the musical ‘A Chorus Line,’ this documentary offers a look into the lives of fresh talent with a dream to sing and dance for the rest of their lives. The trials, the fear, and the anticipation make for an extremely compelling 86 minutes.

‘New York Showcase’ will be showing at United Film Festival – New York on Wednesday, May 16th at 9:30pm at Cobble Hill Cinemas.

http://www.garagefilms.net/web/new-york-showcase-trailer

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The Table

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Every Thursday night, Marc Zicree proves the power of old school social networking. He is the pivot point where a group of aspiring and accomplished show business professionals meet weekly at a local restaurant sharing their current projects, needs, and resources.

“The Table” which screens at the United Film Festival – Los Angeles on April 30th and United Film Festival – New York on May 16th highlights Zicree, his 20 year journey with The Table, and the unique characters whose careers have benefited greatly because of The Table. Zicree is examined as the central character who has helped facilitate people’s dreams and is using this year to focus on one of his own.

As The Table continues to build the careers of others, will Zicree find the personal success he is looking for?

“The Table” screens at the Los Feliz 3 Cinemas at the United Film Festival – Los Angeles on April 30th and at Cobble Hill Cinemas at the United Film Festival – New York on May 16th.

 

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