Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Indigenous teen drama series wins Certificate

Cast of  'Ready for This'

Australian filmmakers Werner Film Productions and Blackfella Films, Sydney, NSW, earned a Certificate for Creative Excellence in the 2016 US International Film & Video Festival for "Ready for This," a 14-part teen drama series with a largely indigenous cast.

Werner (“Dance Academy”) and Blackfella (“Redfern Now”) set the drama in inner city Sydney.
The teenagers, all elite in their own field, have come to live at Arcadia House in pursuit of their dreams. What they find is opportunity, how to tackle loneliness and the meaning of family.

The series was produced by Big Chance Films for ABC, in association with Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Program creators are Joanna Werner, Darren Dale, Liz Doran and Miranda Dear. Producers are Werner and Dear. The entry won in Entertainment.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Khaki Films, Pacific TV lead UK winners in competition

United Kingdom entrants walked away with 17 awards, including three Gold Camera first places, in the 2016 U.S. International Film & Video Festival, Los Angeles.

Ina Garten with Jennifer Garner
Khaki Films, Tunbridge Wells, won a Gold Camera and a nomination for Best of Festival in Corporate: Medical/Health for "Punctuation." The entry explores the health risks associated with HIV through the journey of a young man as his father deals with the disease. This film was commissioned as a central element of the new ‘HIV is Going Beyond Undetectable’ campaign, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, and aims to raise awareness of being HIV positive and to address the long-term issues in HIV management. The client was Packer Forbes Communications.

John Pilger at work
Also capturing a Gold Camera was RT UK, London, for "Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda" in Documentary News Programming: Interview. The entry also earned a Best of Festival nomination in Documentary. Author John Pilger discusses the birth and development of ISIS-Daesh and its impact on the media, government and business and interviews Afshin Rattansi, host of “Going Underground.” Consideration is given to changes in recent public policies that do not seem to reflect the expected risks associated with the threat of ISIS.

Pacific Television, London, won a Gold Camera and a Silver Screen for cooking shows. The Gold was for "Barefoot in LA" in Entertainment: Cooking, which was also a Best of Festival nominee in Entertainment. Executive producers for the show were Rachel Purnell and Olivia Ball. In this entry, celebrity chef Ina Garten cooks for Jennifer Garner on her birthday in her Los Angeles home. There also is a master class with chef Wolfgang Puck at Spago and cocktail mixing at the Chateau Marmont before heading for the Hamptons to cook with acting duo Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. The Silver Screen award was for "Pioneer Woman," a television show hosted by skilled home cook and cookbook author Ree Drummond, who works from her remote ranch in Oklahoma. The award came in Entertainment: Cooking.  Client for both projects was the Food Network, New York.

Pacific Television also won three Certificates for Creative Excellence: "Jeni and Olly's West Coast Wine Adventures" in Documentary: Travel. The client was the Travel Channel. "Marilu's Simple Good Food" in Entertainment: Cooking for client Food Network, New York; "Siba's Table" in Entertainment: Cooking for client Cooking Channel, New York.

PSONA Films, London, received a Silver Screen award in Corporate Social Responsibility/Non-
Member of the Paralympic and Olympic team
Profit for "BP's The Energy within – Meet the Team." The film is BP's positioning of its support for Paralympic and Olympic sport in the run up to the 2016 Rio Games. The client was BP plc, London. Executive Producer/Copywriter was Katy Eyre; Producer/Creative Lead: Tom Boden. PSONA earned three Certificates for Creative Excellence for "BP's The Energy Within-Marlou," and "BP's The Energy Within-Meet the Team" in Corporate: Public Relations and another in Corporate: Corporate Social Responsibility/Non-Profit.
Quite Frankly Productions, London and Bangalore, received a Silver Screen for "Brand Diageo" in Corporate: Fundraising/Development. The film demonstrates how a global organization the size of Diageo, the client, can make a difference at a local level. Producers were Lies Deneys, Sitara Menon and Guatam Shaw.

Future & Co. Films, Newcastle Upon Tyne, won a Silver Screen for "SuperCasino-Tonight We Play" in Advertising/Marketing: Business-To-Consumer. Shot in a taut, edgy style the entry is the next evolution of the SuperCasino marketing campaign and had consistent content across all media employed, TV, Online and Print. The client was NetPlay TV, London. Producer was Steve Salam, Director/Editor was Mark Lediard and Director of Photography Scott Coulter.

Receiving Certificates for Creative Excellence were Videotel Productions, London, for "Incident Investigation Analysis & Reporting Training Course" in Education: Professional Development & Continuing Education and for "Prosafe Freefall Lifeboat Training Video" in Corporate: Communication: Employee/Internal. Shell International Ltd., London, for "Shell Safety Day" in Corporate: Communication: Employee/Internal.

Capturing a Student Award was "The Flavor of the Moon" in Student Productions. Entrant Yan Zhang was producer/director'/writer/cast, with assistance from Na Zhao, writer.

The competition produced 145 awards, including 19 Gold Camera, 36 Silver Screen, 88 Certificates for Creative Excellence and three Student awards. More information can be found at

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Moroccan production company snaps up 15 awards

From 'Let's Dream of a New World'
Dounia Benjelloun

Dounia Productions, Casablanca, Morocco, swept up 15 awards plus a nomination for Best of Festival –Corporate for its four entries in the 2016 U.S. International Film & Video Festival. Dounia Benjelloun, a graduate of American University, was the producer on all of films. She also owns Sand Hills Productions.

"Let's Dream of a New World," done for BMCE Bank, received a Best of Festival-Corporate  nomination for direction, two Gold Camera Awards (for Direction and Cinematography), and a Silver Screen Award for Music. The entry used images of knights crossing the desert to a citadel in an oasis and finally to an urban, global world. The sequence represented the expansion of BMCE Bank worldwide. Director was Juan Solanas; cinematographer was Steven Pettiteville. Others on the project included Sound by Sigma Technologies, composer Ludovic Bource, production manager Karim Wahib and actor Nicolas Cazale.

"Women in Amazigh Music" won a Silver Screen Award in Documentary Cinematography and three Certificates for Creative Excellence in Direction, Editing and Short Documentary. In the course of the film, the viewer meets and listens to individuals and troupes of musicians both in Amazigh and in English as they sing and dance in the tradition of Berber culture. In the 25-minute film the viewer hears and sees most of the genres of music in the various regions of Morocco. The film concludes with the live concert of a modern women's music group. Contributors to the project included director Farida Benlyazid, cinematographer Hamid Ait Lachquareand Editor Abderrahim Mettour. This same crew were part of two more winning works, "Amazigh Wedding in the Anergui Valley" and “The Little Maestros.”

"Amazigh Wedding in the Anergui Valley" received a Silver Screen Award in Documentary Feature and two Certificates for Creative Excellence for Craft/Production Techniques in Cinematography and the Use of Music. The Anergui Valley, near Zaouia Hanzala in the Tadla Azilal region, is ringed by mountains and hard to reach but traditions remain strong. Film of the wedding captured the characteristic chanting and dancing of participants along with the costumes, jewelry and carpet patterns of the area.  The men are tasked with buying all that is necessary for the ceremony to be successful.

"The Little Maestros" earned five Certificates of Creative Excellence in Cinematography, Use of Music, Direction, Editing and Documentary Feature. The most visible expression of Amazigh or Berber culture is found in the Atlas, where it dates back 3,000 years with its sung poetry, music and dances. Many young children, like the little maestros in the film, participate from a very early age and represent the continuation and revival of the Amazigh culture. Moroccan youth are motivated to join in the dance and to express their dreams for the future.  

The competition gave 19 Gold Camera, 36 Silver Screen, 88 Certificates for Creative Excellence and three Student awards. More information can be found at and