Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Hollywood & Vine Film Festival (HVFF) celebrates artisticpreneurs!  The mission of HVFF is to provide industry access to emerging content creators and to showcase their talent throughout the US and in over ten countries.  Submission materials include media projects that have not yet been distributed through a mainstream outlet such as a studio, network or independent distributor.  Acceptable projects include these categories:  feature films, shorts, documentaries, web series, TV pilots, scripts, trailers and even sizzle reels and artists' reels.

Presented by Hollywood & Vin magazine, HVFF will provide awards up to thirty filmmakers and the grand prize winner will appear on the cover of Hollywood & vine.  Submissions are accepted from December 17, 2013 through the postmarked deadline of October 1, 2014.  Winners will be announced at the festival and their projects will be screened.  The second annual HVFF will take place on December 12-13, 2014 in the Los Angeles area.  This year's platinum sponsor is ProductionHUB.

Appicants submitting to the festival will have industry access unlike any other festival.  While the festival prizes total over $10,000 the industry value is priceless.  Past HVFF judges have been prominent film/TV/music executives, agents and other power players working at ICM, Sony, Google/YouTube and BET among other entertainment companies.

Hollywood & Vine Film Festival Award:  
'Reno Nevada and Other Songs of Gambling, Vice and Betrayal'

to all concerned -

WINNER - 'Reno Nevada and Other Songs of Gambling, Vide and Betrayal
'The Great American Robber Barons'

'The Great American Robber Barons'
Diana Mangano, Keith Dion and Richard Farina

1      CONGRATULATIONS to all concerned, especially Diana Mangano, Keith Dion and Richard Farino on the above award.  Absolutely stunning news.  How does it feel?

        KD Answer:  Great!  We were very happy to have just made it to the top four finalists.  Something told me though, that we had a pretty good shot.  We haven't heard yet what Richard's estate thinks or if they've even heard our version yet - we'll have to ask Joan Baez the next time we run into her!  I did send the guy who runs the Richard and Mimi Farina website a copy of it and he said he thought it was the best cover he'd ever heard of one of Richard's compositions.  (Richard Farina, writer of the song 'Reno Nevada' has been deceased since 1966 - he was married to Joan Baez's younger sister, Mimi - now also deceased.)

2           How did you know that 'Reno - Nevada' had been nominated?  How does that work?

          KD Answer:   A filmmaker friend of ours - Barbara Skinner - brought the Hollywood Vine Film Festival to my attention earlier this year.  It looked promising, as they actually had a Music Video category - a lot of film festivals don't.  So I made the submission for 'Reno Nevada' and didn't hear more about it.  They just notified me a couple of weeks ago that we'd actually made the finals and it was to be screened at the festival.

3          How did it feel, sitting in the auditorium, listening to the nominations and then that breathtaking final moment when the winner was announced?

             KD Answer:   The screenings for all the category finalists were the day before and that was really cool seeing the footage on the big screen.  The awards were the next day at the presentation and speakers event.  I knew we had a good chance - 25% and thought that the vintage 8mm footage we used in Reno Nevada was very striking, so thought we could just pull this off - and we did!

4             Keith, you just 'had a feeling' about this award?  Please describe that.

               KD Answer:     Like i said, I knew that the vintage home movie footage was like no other - perfectly bringing the time back right in front of your face.  Pretty hard to compete with that, but then again you never know who the judges are or exactly what they are looking for.

5            And Diana - would you like to describe your feelings about the whole win and leadup?

              DM Answer:     So far as the lead up, I didn't know anything about it, really.  I knew (Keith) had done work in other film festivals showing and we had one played in NY, I think it was, so he is always doing much work regarding what is mostly, of course, his material and this particular CD/DVD set.  Keith is tenacious and talented in all counts.  I commend his worth ethic and attention to details and the art focus he has constantly shown towards any work he puts out.

                 I am thrilled, or course, mainly because Keith has developed such a wonderful selection of writing and video pieces.  I am not one to delve into the current stream of what is out there in video/music videos, so I am glad to see that his timeless work has fit the bill for choice in an award like this.  I am simply there as his support and vocalist for the particular song chosen.  It has been a joy to work with him due to his ethics, honesty, talents, support and consistent enjoyment of providing his art of the masses.  It is also great due to the history of music as a whole, to continue the vocal input alongside Keith's musical vocal style and playing style.  I am honored and happy to see his video chosen and we will continue to perform what and when we are able to.  In a world that is going through much turmoil and strife, I consider myself to be a very fortunate person in my times.

6             What would you equate the 'Hollywood & Vine Film Festival' with in the way of awards ceremonies in the USA?

                    KD Answer:   The USA has many, many film festivals and the 'Hollywood & Vine Film Festival' is one of several quality events.  It's sponsored by the Breaking Into Hollywood and Hollywood and Vine magazines and is very well respected.

7                  Has there been a lot of publicity surrounding your win?  You have done a lot of interviews in the USA?

                     KD Answer:   Part of the award is to be in featured articles in their magazines and on their websites as well as the usual FaceBook and social media outlets.  I let our NYC publicists (Ariel Publicity) publicity know of the win right away and I know that they will be pushing it too.  We should be getting a lot of mileage out of this, as the next film project we are working on - the Noel Redding biographical DVD - is just now getting the fund raising gears in motion.  Now being 'Award Winning Filmmakers' - this should help that cause rather nicely.

8                      What are you planning now?

                        KD Answer:  Apart from the above-mentioned Noel Redding biographical feature, I've already written a good dozen or so songs for the follow up to 'Reno Nevada and Other Songs of Gambling, Vice and Betrayal'.  We'll continue to hone those down and see what we can finish in the next year before making the final decisions on the next album.  Again, we're still in the middle of the publicity and promotion faze for the current 'Reno Nevada' album, so the idea of releasing a new one soon, is a bit unlikely - unless of course we get some major label backing.  Then they can call the shots - and write the checks!

Trailer for forthcoming Noel Redding DVD:  

Filmmakers Stephanie Gwyn-Brown, Keith Dion and Pablo Vazquez -
Whitefire Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

9                     What is on the drawing board for 2014?

                       KD Answer:  More song writing and gigs, the completion of more music videos using my father's 8mm vintage home movie footage from the 1960s and hopefully the completion of the book I've been writing which ties all these things together - 'Snapshots of Heaven and Hell:  Surviving Fillicide and The Music Business and Living to Tell the Tale'!  Speaking of work on new music videos - after we won the award, my co-filmmakers Stephanie Gwyn-Brown and Pablo Vazquez and I went to celebrate at a really great Thai restaurant on Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood.  When we finished, we then went back to Stephanie's house in the hills above Burbank/North Hollywood, where she has a well set up music and film studio and got straight to work - pulling out the 'Green Screen' to film my performance segments for the videos for what's looking to be the lead singles from the next album - 'Showdown at Gulliver's Saloon' and 'The End of Revolution Coming'.  The first one (is) about witnessing the biggest barroom brawl ever, while the band kept playing and the second about the death of a beautiful thoroughbred racehorse on her first race ever.  Both true stories.  They should make for great film pieces.  Also part of our award from the festival are free submissions to next year's event so we should have plenty of candidates to put forth.

10             Are you planning to come to Australia at all?

                 KD Answer:   Yes!  In just a couple of months.  I grew up in New Zealand and my son Sam was born there.  He's just moved to Melbourne to take a great job in this industry and my girlfriend Vivian and I will be going over to see him for several weeks.  Coincidentally, I have other great friends there too, including Kathy Etchingham - Jimi Hendrix' long time English girlfriend who actually introduced me to Noel Redding in the first place.  Diana and the band won't be coming out but I'm hoping to get the chance to play solo locally if the opportunity arises.


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