SXSW FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FINAL 2014 KEYNOTE, COMPLETE CONFERENCE LINEUP & ADDITIONAL FESTIVAL TITLES

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced today filmmaker Marc Webb will serve as the fourth Keynote on Saturday, March 8, as well as the final additional features to screen at the festival. Also announced were featured Conversations with Jason Bateman, Mike Myers, Ralph Steadman, Robert Duvall and Tilda Swinton, and the complete Conference lineup including Convergence sessions. SXSW Film will open on Friday, March 7, 2014 with the world premiere of Chef, and run through March 15 in Austin, Texas. The schedule, complete with both screening and conference dates and times, is now available at http://www.sxsw.com/film.

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An additional eight features have been announced, and descriptions follow below. With these additions, the 2014 SXSW Film Festival will host a total of 133 features, consisting of 89 World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres and 8 U.S. Premieres, with 70 first-time directors. 113 shorts will screen as part of 11 overall shorts programs. The 246 films were selected from a record number of overall submissions, nearly 6,500, comprised of approximately 2,200 features and 4,300 shorts, with an overall increase of 14% over 2013. For more information and the complete SXSW Film Lineup, visit http://www.sxsw.com/film/screenings/film-lineup.

In addition to nine full days of film screenings, the SXSW Film Conference (Friday, March 7 – Tuesday, March 11), will feature over 150 informative and entertaining sessions. Also announced were Convergence sessions, open to all Film, Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badges, and taking place in multiple locations for 2014. For more information on Convergence at SXSW, visit
http://sxsw.com/convergence-about.

The panels released today join over 40 previously announced sessions for the 2014 SXSW Film Conference, including its first-ever daily keynotes, previously announced to include Lena Dunham (Monday, March 10 – new date), Jason Blum (Sunday, March 9) and Casey Neistat (Tuesday, March 11), and major Conversations with luminaries like Alejandro Jodorowsky and the return of Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop. For complete programming for the all new SXsports, Digital Domain, Future 15s, Mentor Sessions, Meet the Insiders, Workshops, Startup Alley, Come & Capture Demo Pavilion and Conference descriptions and participants, browse the schedule at http://www.schedule.sxsw.com.

Announced today:
Marc Webb Keynote
Webb most recently directed the smash hit The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Sally Field, which grossed over $750 million worldwide. Upcoming, he helmed the latest chapter in the Spider-Man legacy The Amazing Spider-Man 2, out May 2. Webb made his feature film debut with the acclaimed (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. The film was nominated for two Golden Globe® Awards, including Best Picture, and The National Board of Review honored Webb with their Spotlight Award, which recognizes outstanding directorial debuts. Webb began his career as a music video director. He has been honored with several MTV Video Music Awards, including the Best Director Award for Green Day’s “21 Guns,” Best Rock Video in 2006 for AFI’s “Miss Murder” and Best Group Video for The All-American Rejects’ “Move Along.” The Music Video Production Association also honored him as Director of the Year for his work with Weezer, AAR and My Chemical Romance.
(Saturday, March 8, 11:00am – 12:00pm – Vimeo Theater, Austin Convention Center) Continue reading

Fall/Winter 2014 New York Fashion Week: Rebecca Vallance Fashion Show

Australian designer Rebecca Vallance makes her New York Fashion Week debut this season with her aptly named collection, “Lady’s Man.” Through a mixture of menswear-inspired cuts and her signature ladylike details, Vallance delivers an alluringly androgynous lineup for Fall / Winter 2014.

My previous collections had more of a soft femininity,” explains Vallance, “and this season my eye has been drawn to a more androgynous style. This collection illustrates a sharp identity and a taste of what the brand is growing into.”

Vallance’s craftsmanship takes center stage in her exploration of gender dichotomies. Fundamentally masculine pieces, like collared shirts and pintucked trousers, are perfectly tailored to envelop the female form. Pencil skirts with daringly high slits, paired with structured jackets, are this season’s power suits. Boxy tops and moto jackets offset flirty, pleated skirts and fluidly draped dresses.

Texture and print are central to Vallance’s aesthetic, and these elements prove particularly important in defining this season’s “lady’s man.” Inherently masculine materials, like a navy hopsack and brown grid-print wool, are used for the collection’s most feminine silhouettes, including A-line dresses and curve hugging gowns. Conversely, the use of Broderie and lattice-woven fabrics lend subtle feminine charm to the collection’s more masculine cuts. Continue reading

Absolut and acclaimed graphic novelist Rafael Grampá collaborate on crowdsourced animated film

As part of the brand’s global campaign, Transform Today, Absolut announced a new project with graphic novelist Rafael Grampá, one of the featured artists of the campaign. Entitled Next Frame, the collaboration will invite users from around the world to make plot decisions within an original graphic novel created by Grampá – as he writes it. Once the story is complete, the brand will work with Grampá to transform the still drawings into an animated film, which will premiere in Berlin at MADE, a creative space by Absolut, on March 15th.

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The goal of the Transform Today campaign is to inspire people to tap into their creative potential and explore their ability to create a new future. Next Frame is the first example of how Absolut will bring this goal to life. In the coming months, additional collaborations with the campaign artists Woodkid, Yiqing Yin, and Aaron Koblin will be announced. Each collaboration will provide opportunities for users to interact and explore the inspirational message of Transform Today.

The Next Frame project began on February 3rd, when the story was introduced on http://www.Facebook.com/Absolut. Users will then have multiple points of intervention where they can decide how the characters will progress in the story. After each decision, Grampá will create the next piece of the story, inventing new places for the characters to explore – – up until the next crucial moment that users can provide input. After two weeks of international online collaboration, ending on February 21st Grampá will polish the final film, which will then be unveiled at MADE in Berlin on March 15th.

Jonas Tåhlin, Absolut VP of Global Marketing explained how the project fit into the brand’s new global campaign, “With the launch of Transform Today, Absolut announced that it would be changing the way it works with artists. Next Frame is the first outcome of that promise. Grampá’s unique style of illustration has already distinguished him within the graphic novel community, but we wanted to give him an opportunity to transform his craft even further, allowing for new creative opportunities. Not only will he be co-writing the Next Frame story with online users, but he will also be imagining a fully original story in live motion – a first for him.

Building on the Transform Today ideal of ‘The future is not a given, it’s yours to create’, the project opens new possibilities for the Brazilian graphic novelist, who’s inspirational personal story is a central pillar to the campaign. After transforming his life to follow his dream of becoming a comic book artist, he has found success by creating entire worlds out of nothing but his imagination and a pen. Next Frame challenges Grampá to transform his work even further by adapting his storyon-the-fly, based on consumer interaction.

According to Tåhlin, “Absolut has always believed that collaboration can bring out new creative potential. Next Frame offers the possibility of a three-way collaboration, with Grampá creating the world and characters of the story, online users shaping the direction, and then Absolut and Grampá working together to create an animated film. Through this multi-part collaboration, Next Frame transforms the artistic process in the most true sense.”

When describing the project, Grampá explained, “I am always looking for ways to transform my work. With Next Frame, I have a chance to do something I’ve never done before by co-writing the story with users online, and also by turning the illustrated story into my own animated film. It’s a very exciting project, and I am happy to be working with a brand that allows me to try new things in the way I work.