Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Films promote tourism, boost economy

Films, delivered in a variety of venues, are obviously popular for viewers and competitions, but also for Economic Development offices. And, for good reason. Films attract tourists; they also offer the travel-dreamer fuel for planning.
Examples of what a film can do for tourism has been well documented, including in such far-apart places as Thailand and the state of North Carolina in the U.S.
According to writers in the February 2018 issue of the academic journal Social & Cultural Geography, the film “Lost in Thailand” in 2012 sold tickets valued at more than $200 million U.S. dollars. It also has become the highest-grossing homegrown film for the country. The film inspired tourism-related events in northern Thailand where it is set, including re-enactment of some of the film scenes on university campuses, in temples and around the city of Chiang Mai.
“Film-induced tourism is increasingly popular in the United States and globally,” according to the Southeastern Geographer Summer 2012 issue. A 1960s television show starring Andy Griffith and set in a North Carolina mountain town of  Mt. Airy spawned an entire industry built around the theme that Mt. Airy, Griffith’s home town, was the town of Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.” Griffith said his hometown was not the model for Mayberry, but apparently no one cares. The popularity of the TV show – which continues in reruns today – has enticed visitors to that area, especially since “Mayberry Days” celebration began in 1990. Visit Mayberry even has its own website.
“Film tourism is an important part of a state’s income, as visitors flock to their favorite celebrity’s hometown or where a particular movie was filmed. They book hotel rooms, visit museums and other points of interest and spend money in local businesses,” wrote author Lisa Iannucci in a January 2017 article for
A November 2018 article in the U.S. edition of The Guardian noted that Scotland was preparing for a major influx of tourists because of the Netflix film, “The Outlaw King,” about the life of Robert the Bruce. The country already experiences expanded tourism from the “Outlander” TV drama series.
Film is one way to give the world a different look at a country not always at the forefront of tourism.  In the 2018 competition, FilmFest had 16 tourism film winners. Among them was “Arz e Pakistan (Land of Pakistan)," directed by Ali Sohail Jaura. In his description of the project, Jaura explained its intent  “was to promote both local and international tourism in the Northern regions of Pakistan, to make people aware of the environmental treasures so that it can be preserved, and bring about the positive and cultural image of Pakistan that is often neglected by the mainstream media.”
The popularity of videos and the accessibility to them through YouTube and other internet resources have boosted all types of films into roles as drivers of tourism. Perhaps the best example is how the television show “Game of Thrones” has affected tourism in Dubrovnik where it was shot. “The medieval-like context of the series highlights Dubrovnik's most attractive tourist assets such as the rich and preserved historic town center,” wrote Marina Tkalec, Ivan Zilic and Vedran Recher from the Institute of Economics in Zagreb. Their report, The Effect of Film Industry on Tourism: Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik,  further states that “Croatian national statistics report that tourist arrivals to the Dubrovnik county increased by 37.9 percent in the period 2011–2015, accompanied by an increase in overnight stays by 28.5 percent.”
They concluded: “We find a robust and positive effect of filming the TV series in Dubrovnik on the number of tourist arrivals.” They also found “positive spillover effects on other counties and the whole country.”
Celebrity locations, locales found in literature, and beautiful photos inspired travel prior to the internet. Who hasn’t followed Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps through Paris based on his writings? Now new and greater visuals -- through mini-movies, basic tourist films and the more complex movie or television show -- urge people into strange lands.
US International Film & Video Festival is proud to be a part of helping films gain recognition.

By Sandra Brown Kelly, Media Manager

Monday, December 3, 2018

Competition has variety of awards

Now is the time to start analyzing your work for the 2019 FilmFest competition, which has opened. Awards include Gold Camera, Silver Screen, Certificate for Creative Excellence, Student Certificate, and, of course, the Grand Prix, or Best of Festival.

In addition, consider proposing a work for the One World Award, sponsored by the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers ( This special award is given to the production that best exhibits cinematic excellence and innovative storytelling, and engages the audience with universal themes.

Elsewhere on this website, you can read about the 2018 One World winner, as well as get a look at other past winners. Since 2012, (awards for which is pictured here) One World recipients have been:

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
2014 “Brigada (The Brigade): Gintong Krudo (Black Gold)”
GMA News TV (GMA Network, Inc.), Quezon City, Philippines
2015 “Front Row: ALS
GMA Network Inc., Quezon City, Philippines
2016 “Wattway – Solar Roads”
Arizona Films, Brussels, Belgium
2017 “Dare To Think”
Director Peter Bostoen and Producers Marc Van Eyken and Jo Goossens of Bozo Film Company, Rotselaar, Belgium
 Spend some time exploring, and then get your entries ready. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Advice: Find ways to expand project audiences

US International Film & Video Festival (USIFVF) Chairman Lee Gluckman spoke recently on film making at a gathering of the Russian Association of Communication Directors and Corporate Publishing (AKMR) group in Moscow. He discussed filmmaking trends based on his personal experience as a filmmaker and as head of the annual film competition, which accepts Corporate, Documentary, Education and Entertainment films.
Gluckman’s film competition is more than 50 years old and, as he noted, has seen all of the changes in the film industry driven by technology. What has not changed, he stressed, is the need for storytelling. He also encouraged the audience to think about how a specific project might be expanded for greater use.

“I’ve never come across a project that doesn’t have the potential for another audience or two,” he said.

“Often nothing has to be changed in the production to communicate to those other audiences. However, many times a small additional investment in narration and editing can bring the same message to an expanded audience without having to start from the beginning again. In this way, you can spread the expense of the initial production across multiple audiences.”

AKMR was established in 2004; its president Igor Ignatiev, is vice chairman-director of Cooperation with Governmental Authorities at Shell Exploration & Production Services.

The trade group provides opportunities for executives in communications to exchange experiences and expand their professional development and compete with their projects.  Gluckman also announced that FreeMotion Group, one of AKMR’s members -- and a winner in USIFVF competition -- is the newest member of the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers (IQ). Gluckman is the longest-standing member of the global network of producers.

LBL Production (FreeMotion Group), Novosibirsk, won Best of Show in Corporate Films in 2017 with “Breadwinner,” work done for Minsk Traktor Works, Belarus.

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.

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.