Thursday, April 5, 2018

Deauville Green Awards still open

In its 7th year, the Deauville Green Awards has become a meeting place for innovations regarding sustainable development and green, responsible audio visual communications.  It provides a platform for industry professionals to promote their films and their messages, in a competitive festival with an internationally regarded prize, the Green Award d’Or.  There still is time to enter this year; deadline April 13.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saluting Russian Companies' Videos

Lee Gluckman, chairman of FilmFest, joined members of award-winning FreeMotion Group at a TASS news agency conference recently in Moscow. The conference topic was about the success of Russian companies in international video competitions. LBL Production (FreeMotion Group), Novosibirsk, won Best of Festival in Corporate in the 2017 FilmFest competition. The winning work was for Minsk Traktor Works, Minsk, Belarus. Here, Lee (center) presents a plaque to Ekaterina Kolyada, member of the Board of the Association of Communication Directors and Corporate Media of Russia. Vyacheslav Goldfeld (left) is FreeMotion CEO, co-founder and managing partner, and Alina Kotova (right) is FreeMotion co-founder and managing partner.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Philippines' GMA Network, News TV win 12 awards

"I-Witness: Busal (Muzzled)"

Entrants from The Philippines have won 12 awards, including a First Place, in the 2017 International Film & Video Festival competition.  One entry also was nominated for Best of Festival-Documentary.

GMA Network Inc., Quezon City, captured a Best of Festival nomination and a Gold Camera statuette for "I-Witness: Busal (Muzzled)" in Documentary: Public Affairs Programs. The agency also earned four second place Silver Screen statuettes for "I-Witness: Body Collector" in Documentary: Current Affairs; "Front Row: Bata sa Bintana (The Boy by the Window") in Documentary: Health, Medical; and "Front Row: Mga Barya ni Lola Maria (Coins for Grandma Maria") in Documentary: Biography, and "Il Bilib" in Entertainment: Children's.

GMA Network received Certificates for Creative Excellence for "Reporter's Notebook: Pasang-Pasang Pangarap (The Weight of a Dream) in Documentary: News Programming;  "Alamat: Ang Bakunawa at ang Pitong Buwan (Legend: The Sea Serpent and 'the Seven Moons')" in Entertainment: Children's. GMA Network Inc., Metro Manila, won a Certificate for Creative Excellence for "Idol sa Kusina" in Entertainment: Cooking.

GMA News TV (GMA Network Inc.), Quezon City, won second place Silver Screen statuettes for "Motorcycle Diaries: Lason sa Paraiso (Poison Paradise") in Documentary: Environment, Ecology, and "Reel Time: Maling Akala (Costly War)" in Documentary: Political, Government. The agency also earned Certificates for "Brigada: Abo at Tubig (The Brigade: Bathed in Ashes)" in Documentary: Magazine Format and "Reel Time: Insinulat sa Tubig (Forgotten Children of the Waves) in Documentary: Social Issues.

Entries from 25 countries competed in the festival's 50th year. The overall competition awarded 104 awards, including 24 First Place Gold Camera statuettes, 37 Silver Screen Awards, 42 Certificates for Creative Excellence and one Student Award. Full details on winners are posted at

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2 Australian filmmakers win in 2017 Festival

Australians won three awards in the 2017 US International Film & Video Festival. A Children’s Television show won a Best of Festival award and a Gold Camera first place award. A Silver Screen award went to a second work, by MindConsole, Sydney.
"Little Lunch"

The Australian Children’s Television Foundation sponsored the Best of Festival-Entertainment work, "Little Lunch – The Nightmare Before Graduation," based on books written by Danny Katz and illustrated by Mitch Vane.  “Little Lunch” refers to a morning tea break, and the shows tell about funny and touching adventures that happen during that 15-minute period.
Gristmill, Melbourne, was the production company for the TV segment with Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope and Ben Grogan as producers. Butler also directed.

The MindConsole award was for "Pernod Ricard Winemakers," which featured the different winemaking regions and how they are woven together. Sarah Descher headed the project for Pernod with Markus Karlseder as producer and Benjamin Shepherd as director. Cinematographer was Benjamin Shepherd with Dominic Dimech as editor.

Entries from 25 countries competed in the festival's 50th year. Find more information about winners at

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

BOF Nominees represent 9 countries

Fourteen productions selected as nominees for Best of Festival in the 2017 U.S. International Film & Video Festival come from nine countries. They also represent multiple nominations for LBL Production (FreeMotion Group) in Russia and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Tokyo.

The shortlist represents works as broad as a look at the Chopin piano competition and insight into the aftermath of a nuclear plant meltdown or life for two elderly Japanese who shun modern conveniences.

Corporate nominees:
  • LBL Production (FreeMotion Group), Novosibirsk, Russia, for "The 31st  Kilometer," produced for Salym Petroleum Development, Moscow, to demonstrate efforts to prevent environmental problems;
  • "Breadwinner," a first-person for Minsk Traktor Works, Minsk, Russia, done by LBL Production to expand knowledge of the product, which is sold in 130 countries;
  • Omnicron Productions, Auckland, NZ, for "Vodafone," a safety film for Vodafone New Zealand featuring real staff;
  • Wizard Films, New Taipei City, Taiwan, for "The Master," which shows an artist who draws inspiration from pottery, calligraphy and tea ceremony rituals;

  • NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Tokyo, for "Tuning the Battle: Behind the Chopin Piano Competition," the world’s most prestigious and demanding contest for young pianists;
  • NHK for "88 Hours: The Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown," views the background of the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant through interviews with more than 500 people involved in the crisis;
  • China Global Television Network, Beijing, for "Operation: Drug War," which documents Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war against drug dealers and users;
  • RT, Moscow, for "H2Woe," a look at the water crisis in several Indian states as a way to increase awareness of ecological challenges;
  • GMA Network Inc., Quezon City, Philippines, for "I-'Witness: Busal (Muzzled)" tells the horrific effects of President Duterte’s “War on Drugs” through the experiences of the group most affected, the marginalized sector of society.

  • NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Tokyo, for "Design Ah! #109," a film aimed at ages 5-10 that demonstrates design through everyday objects;
  • Centre For Electronic Media, Bern, Switzerland, for "Focus – Federal Intelligence Service" showing Switzerland as a business and research place sensitive to the threat of espionage and proliferation.

  • Australian Children's Television Foundation, Melbourne, for "Little Lunch – The Nightmare Before Graduation," done for Australian Children's Television tells about funny and touching adventures during snack time in the school playground, based on books written by Danny Katz and illustrated by Mitch Vane;
  • Pacific Television, London, for "Life's A Party with David Burtka," done for Food Network USA, New York, and featuring actor Burtka preparing a birthday party for husband Neil Patrick Harris with help of their twins, Harper and Gideon;
  • "An Eden for Two" by Yamaguchi Broadcasting Co. Ltd., Shunan, Japan, features a couple who after World War II chose to live deep in the mountains without electricity, a telephone, or plumbing.

Videos and/or photos of the nominees along with Gold Camera, Silver Screen and Certificate winners can be viewed at

Best of Festival winners and the recipient of the One World Award presented by the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers will be announced June 21.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Festival promotes global cooperation theme

Filmmakers whose topics speak to global understanding were invited to compete for the 2017  One World Award in the US International Film & Video Festival. The award recognizes a production that demonstrates international cooperation and has been sponsored for 25 years by the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers (IQ).

2012 Statuette

In the past decade, winners have represented 10 countries and addressed topics such as AIDS, nuclear power, religious tolerance, green technology, child labor and counterfeit products. US International Film & Video entrants nominate their own works for One World consideration. Judges in the festival also can recommend works for the award.

We are just a few weeks away from knowing more about this year's One World participants. IQ judges are in the process of viewing nominees, and the insider info is that it will be a tough duty.  

Here's a quick look back at some past One World winners:
In 2016, Arizona Films, Brussels, won for “Wattway – Solar Roads.”  The film was done for Colas Group Paris, a civil engineering firm, and considers the possibilities of innovative road technology as a source for energy.

GMA News TV, The Philippines, received the award in both 2014 and 2015. A 2014 documentary, "Brigada (The Brigade): Gintong Krudo (Black Gold)," raised awareness of the 5.5 million Filipino children considered child laborers. The 2015 winning program, “Front Row: ALS,” exposed the hardships of families caring for members with the debilitating disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Other One World winners:

  • 2004 "Walk the World" Momentum NL, The Netherlands 
  • 2005 “Gorbachev’s Revolution” Director Fern Levitt and Barna-Alper Productions, Toronto, Canada 2006 "Tracking the Monster: Confronting AIDS in Africa" Boom Pictures, New York City 
  • 2007 "The Battle of Chernobyl" Discovery Networks International (USA) 
  • 2008 "Five Times God" Kanguruh-Film Berline GmbH, Berlin
  • 2009 "Beyond Beliefs" Closer Productions, Adelaide for Issues Deliberation Australia/America (IDA) 
  • 2010 "IBM Multitask—Popsicle—Heart" Wizz Design, Clichy, France 
  • 2011 “New Standard for Environmental Action” Pohjantahti-Elokuva, Helsinki, Finland 
  • 2012 “Heritage Saved is History Preserved” Henk van Mierlo VOF for NV Bergkwartier, Deventer, The Netherlands 
  • 2013 “Counterfeit Culture” Tell Tale Productions, Halifax, Nova Scotia 

More as soon as we know.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ReelChicago Ratney a Real Journalist

Ruth Louise Ratny, founder and editor of ReelChicago and Screen Magazine – and a friend to those of us at Mobius Awards and US International Film & Video Festival – died Feb. 21 in her sleep. The only daughter of German immigrants who settled in Chicago, she jumped from high school to become a dedicated and successful supporter of the Chicago film and advertising communities.

At the beginning of her career, Ruth worked as a producer in the post-production industry and earned an Emmy. In 1979, she founded the print-based advertising and film publication Screen Magazine and served as editor and publisher for 23 years before selling it in 2001. She founded the digitally exclusive in 2004 and continued editing and writing much of the publication’s content until last week. She filed her final story on Feb. 10, 2017.

Along the way, Ruth earned distinction as a Chicago and Midwest Ad Woman of the Year, a member of Today’s Women Chicago 100 Hall of Fame, an honoree on Newcity Magazine’s “Film 50” list, a recipient of the Hugo Legend Film Award and a recipient of the Chicago Film Critics Award, among others. Additionally, she served on dozens of film juries, discussion panels, volunteer organizations and awards shows.

Lee Gluckman, also a Chicago native and chairman of Mobius Awards and US International Film & Video Festival, which were founded in Chicago, had known Ruth “going back to the late ‘60s not long after I formed Producers Group Ltd., a Chicago-based production company,” he said. “I always had great respect for her approach and opinions on everything about the business in Chicago. It seemed that she knew everyone who was anyone in in advertising and film.”

Gluckman, now based in Los Angeles, kept in touch with Ruth occasionally in person and more often by phone. “She had a sharp wit and strong opinions, but she was usually right. I will miss her,” Gluckman said.

In her personal time, Ruth completed two film scripts that generated a number of offers, but none of them matched the deal that she had hoped for. One was a love story about a young couple on different sides of the U.S./Mexican border; the other, a feature documentary about Mahalia Jackson, “The Queen of Soul,” who earned her fame and spent much of her career in Chicago. Ruth was also a fierce supporter of liberal causes, especially those devoted to women and children. Her contributions to charitable organizations would have been legendary if she had chosen to publicize them, according to her staff at