BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Beverly Hills will be home to THE BEVERLY HILLS INFINITY FILM FESTIVAL™ (infinityfilmfestival.com). Running November 1-4, 2018, the inaugural event will be Beverly Hills' first landmark festival of filmed entertainment.
Co-founded by industry veterans Nick Urbom, Mark Lieber and Roy Taylor, BHIFF will be the first festival to reflect the myriad forms and delivery platforms filmed entertainment takes today. Programming will have an emerging-technology focus, with events bringing together creative, business and tech icons from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach. The festival's name was inspired by the seemingly infinite possibilities currently being realized as these industries morph and merge: from digital networks and new streaming services to innovative mobile and social media content. The festival will also serve as a platform for premiering effects-driven blockbuster films and cutting-edge independent films and documentaries.
"In our experience working at the nexus of entertainment, technology and events, we observed two distinct things missing," said BHIFF creators and founders Lieber and Urbom. "The first is a film festival that is truly native to this new ecosystem of content creation and delivery that allows storytellers and platform providers to come together. The second is a world-class film festival in the entertainment capital of the world. BHIFF is both of those things, and so much more. We are thrilled that it's found the perfect home in Beverly Hills."
Taylor, a technology evangelist and BAFTA Los Angeles board member, who serves as the festival's co-founder and chairman, added, "Here is an event for filmmakers and inventors to come together and share their visions for the future. No matter what the screen size, the professional community and the public will get a chance to discover the latest in content and technology and meet the best, brightest and boldest in a festival that offers infinite possibilities. The people who have come together to comprise the various BHIFF committees represent the top innovators in entertainment and technology."
Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold remarked, "The history of Beverly Hills is intertwined with the history of filmed entertainment. The city welcomes events such as this innovative film festival that will celebrate the next generation in filmmaking."
Jeff Hyland and Rick Hilton, co-founders of Hilton & Hyland, the festival's exclusive luxury real-estate sponsor, stated, "With its original village design, walkability, world-class restaurants and shops, and globally recognized destination brand, Beverly Hills is an ideal location for a film festival, and we were thrilled that Karén Setian, BHIFF's chair of the Beverly Hills Chairman's Council, invited us and our company to participate in a festival designed specifically for our great city."
In addition, BHIFF is excited that Phase Two, a space where entrepreneurs, technologists, creators and makers meet to work, mingle, and play has come on board as the festival's official headquarters.
- The first two days of the four-day festival will feature premiere exhibitions and screenings, panels, keynotes and events for industry professionals. The final two days will be open to the public.
- The festival will include three gala evenings.
- BHIFF will offer numerous opportunities for up-and-coming and aspiring talent, including a festival job fair and a student lab to showcase and support the work of the best and brightest future storytellers.
- The fest's November timeslot will lend itself to premieres and previews of major holiday-period feature-film releases and product launches.
Content and Technology Samplings
- The festival will use advanced technology to create an immersive and inclusive environment for on-site attendees and remote digital participants.
- Custom venue installations, including projection mapping and curved LED projection walls, will immerse participants in the festival's common spaces from the moment they enter the event.
- Festival programming will showcase cutting-edge production and exhibition technologies, from real-time rendering and AI to light field and volumetric capture, photogrammetry and more.
- The festival's digital presence is the first to be based on Blockchain, bringing a new level of transparency and inclusivity.
- The festival will also feature premieres and screenings of restored classic films.
- With an inclusivity committee involved in every facet of planning and execution, the festival will focus not only on technological, but also on social innovation.
- Publisher Judith Regan will act as lead interviewer for the festival.
- This is the first time the city of Beverly Hills has been home to a film festival of this magnitude.
- The event's venues include the Paley Center for Media, the Writers Guild Theater and the private screening rooms of Beverly Hills-based talent agencies and entertainment companies, as well as local commercial theaters. Beverly Hills hotels will also participate.
- The festival will use Beverly Hills retail storefronts as pop-ups for exhibitions and installations.
Nick Urbom is a high-tech experiential producer who has executive produced cutting-edge content and technology events including professional conferences, content screenings and awards shows worldwide. He has worked with the University of Southern California to develop a multiyear professional education series for content creators and has launched multiple companies and curated board development for his own brands and others. Urbom is a founder of Big Push Media Group, and co-founder of three world-renowned trade organizations: the International 3D Society, the Advanced Imaging Society and the VR Society.
Mark Lieber has extensive expertise in all facets of the entertainment and tech industry. He co-founded the VR Society, working with every major studio and Fortune 500 tech companies to create VR events known globally as the ultimate destination for industry stakeholders. He is a co-owner and co-founder of the BirthdayLand brand, and the founder of Rethink Entertainment and Media. Lieber has produced Emmy® Award-winning programming and has created content with Howard Stern, Norman Lear, Steve Tisch and many other icons in the entertainment industry and has been involved with numerous successful entertainment and brand franchises.
Rose Kuo is the former executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the organization behind the New York Film Festival, and the former artistic director of Los Angeles's AFI Fest. She will be collaborating with the festival's chief programmers, including Ellen Pittleman (Theatrical Studio Releases, Indies, Docs, TV, OTT, Creative Talent), Lloyd Scott (TV, OTT, Digital, Mobile-First, Social Media), Jonas Hudson (Blockchain + Data), Lori H. Schwartz (Technology Speakers and Presenters), and Danilo Moura and Gregg Katano (Immersive, AR, VR, MR, Artificial Intelligence). The festival's creative team is led by Patrick Long and Amber Rivera from TenNineThirty Creative and Jennifer Pearl. Amanda Flores Dunn, founder of BeautyMark Events, is serving as the events director.
Committee chairs joining festival Co-Founder and Chairman Roy Taylor include:
Beverly Hills Chairman's Council – Karén Setian (Chair)
Inclusivity Committee – Dwight Caines, Thesis (Co-Chair); Shelby Stone, Freedom Road + Producer (Co-Chair); Guy Primus, Virtual Reality Company (Co-Chair); Ivette Rodriguez, AEM (Co-Chair)
Theatrical/Indies/Docs Committee – Dwight Caines, Thesis (Studio Chair); Rena Ronson, UTA (Indie & Docs Chair); Dane Smith, The Third Floor (Production Chair); Jennifer Ahn-Newman, The Film Foundation (Classic Film Chair)
TV & OTT Committee – Jules Haimovitz, Consultant (Co-Chair); Lisa Perrin, Endemol (Co-Chair); Diane Robina, Diane Robina Media (Co-Chair); Michael Russo, Warner Bros. (Co-Chair)
Technology Committee – Roy Taylor (Co-Chair); Chris Edwards, The Third Floor (Co-Chair); Gary Radburn, Dell (Co-Chair)
Immersive Committee – Rick Champagne, Nvidia (Co-Chair); Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB (Co-Chair); Marcie Jastrow, Technicolor (Co-Chair)
Digital, Mobile-First, Social Media Committee – Chris Hercik, Meredith/Time Inc./The Foundry (Co-Chair); Sebastian Burkhardt, Keshet (Co-Chair); Kevin Conroy, MGM (Co-Chair)
Gaming Committee – Eric Shamlin, Firebringer (Co-Chair); Jenna Seiden, SpringboardVR (Co-Chair); Monika Madrid, ILMxLAB (Co-Chair)
Music Committee – John Rubey, Rubey Entertainment, LLC (Co-Chair); Brad Spahr, Sony Music (Co-Chair)
Art + Museums Committee – David Goodman, Sotheby's (Chair)
Animation Committee – Sue Shakespeare, Creative Capers (Co-Chair); Conrad Vernon, Director (Co-Chair)
Student Tech Lab Committee – Madeline Warren, Chapman University (Co-Chair); David Nelson, USC (Co-Chair)
International Committee – Ravi Velhal, Intel (Co-Chair); Jean-Michel Blottière, Imagina Monte-Carlo / FMX Stuttgart / Games for Change Europe (Co-Chair)
Blockchain + Data Committee – Jonas Hudson, Greenfence (Chair); Toby Past, Publicis.Sapient (Co-Chair); Gary Radburn, Dell (Co-Chair); Rick Hack, Intel (Co-Chair); Brad Spahr, Sony Music (Co-Chair)
Advertising + Brands Committee – Bill Apfelbaum, Max Worldwide (Co-Chair); Mimi Slavin, Global Marketing & Brand Strategist (Co-Chair); Jonas Hudson, Greenfence (Co-Chair)
Speakers + Presenters Entertainment Committee – Stuart Krasnow, Telepictures (Chair)
Creative Talent Committee – Mindy Peters, Producer (Co-Chair); Jennifer Ahn-Newman, The Film Foundation (Co-Chair); Stuart Krasnow, Telepictures (Co-Chair); Jane Owen, Jane Owen Public Relations (Co-Chair).
Executive Talent Committee – Neal Lenarsky, STI Management (Chair)
Investment Committee – Richard H. Lee, Salisian | Lee LLP (Chair)
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