Blues musicians from around the world will compete for cash, prizes, and industry recognition, performing in 18 venues along Beale Street, as The Blues Foundation presents the 25th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, running through February 7. In Directors Close-Up: Conversations on the Art of Filmmaking, a series running through March 11 in Los Angeles, indie directors and their collaborators explore specific aspects of their craft, and allow you to ask questions, examine their work, and get a rare insight into the creative process. For nine days during the Berlinale, also known as the Berlin International Film Festival, film professionals have the opportunity to get informed about the latest productions and developments in the global film scene, for an event that has come to be known as The European Film Market, running February 5-15. The 17th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival opens this year’s festival, running February 5-16 in Los Angeles, with the acclaimed South African drama “Jerusalema” directed by Ralph Zinman, hosted by 2009 PAFF Celebrity Host Blair Underwood. Musical artist support group, MusiCares, will present the Person of the Year Tribute To Neil Diamond, February 6 in Los Angeles. The Urban Individualists (email@example.com), a multicultural network of collaborating individualists, presents an exhibit, “Space and Time” that contemplates the subtle and apparent aspects and perspectives of connections and disconnections of time and space, opening with a gallery reception on February 7 and continuing through February 21, in New York’s East Village.
The “Guru of Rom-Com” and author of the screenwriting textbook, ‘Writing the Romantic Comedy’, Billy Mernit shares secrets about writing for this genre learned during his tenure in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and his background as a writer, lyricist and script consultant, when he sits in at a February 7 Alameda Writers Group meeting in Glendale. The Writers Guild of America, hosts its annual Writers Guild Awards, February 7 in Los Angeles. Jimmy Kimmel will host the 51st Grammy Awards, February 8 in Los Angeles, which will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound on the CBS Television Network from 8-11:30 pm (ET/PT), as well as on grammy.com and cbs.com. The NAACP Image Awards, held in Los Angeles, February 12, is the nation’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts (motion picture, television, recording, and literature), as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors. The GSMA Mobile World Congress, February 16-19 in Barcelona, combines the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry with a viable congress that brings together prominent leaders and personalities from mobile operators and equipment vendors, as well as Internet and entertainment professionals. Director John Reiss (‘Bomb It’) shares his experience and insights regarding self distribution, passing along his acquired wisdom about the tools and tips of how to self distribute a film and get it seen by the widest possible audience, when he speaks at a Film Independent workshop on February 17 in Los Angeles.
The Folk Alliance Music Conference conducts special events, such as the Folk Music & Business Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, networking receptions, official Performance Alley and private showcase performances, feature shows and more when it meets February 18-22 in Memphis. The 2009 United States Super 8 Film and Digital Video Festival encourages any genre (animation, documentary, experimental, fiction, personal, etc.), but the work must have predominantly originated on Super 8mm/8mm film or Digital video or 8mm video formats. All works will be screened by a panel of judges who will award over $4000 in prizes when the festival meets for three days, opening February 20 in New Brunswick. The 81st Academy Awards take place February 22 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, with Laurence Mark and Bill Condon producing. Participate in the Academy Awards festivities by attending one of 52 official Oscar viewing parties across the country. The Noise Pop Film Festival, February 24 through March 1 in San Francisco, focuses on films that embrace and reflect independent music and culture. Most screenings include Q&A’s with the filmmakers. 2009’s program includes “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison” and “Agile Mobile Hostile: A Year with Andre Williams.” Noise Pop is pleased to unveil plans for Noise Pop 2009’s opening night party featuring a special live performance by Deerhunter.
The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events page. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog at actorschecklist.com/loudblog, a great place to get your iPhone, ipod or Apple TV download from. The Free Home Video Showcase at http://www.actorschecklist.com/video now serves as an archive for all past video presentations. This month on video you will again see an interesting array of performing artists from the indie sector on video, including Used Bookstore (www.myspace.com/usedbookstoredocumentary), an American mockumentary film series produced by Dogma Digital in association with Rise in Might Studios. “Hip-Hopumentary” film about the Los Angeles underground rap music movement, PrimalRap (www.primalrap.com). Australian dance music artist duo, Groove State (www.groovestate.com), performing the Get Sexy, bikini fiesta vocal mix, music video from the new Pop Glam album, distributed by Play Lab Records. The Actor’s Checklist now lets you check the latest musical artists song releases on Apple’s iTunes, updated on an hourly basis.