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By: Audience Awards | March 10. 2017



(MARCH 9 -LOS ANGELES, CA)The Audience Awards Film Festival will showcase 110 award-winning short films by world-class filmmakers and will celebrate some of the most respected, diverse industry voices of our time. Honorees at the inaugural event include award-winning documentarian OndiTimoner(DIG!, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, BRAND: A Second Coming), who will be recognized with the Maverick Award; Effie Brown (Dear White People, But I'm a Cheerleader), who will receive the Trailblazer Award; Paz Lenchantin of ThePixies, will be therecipient of the Avant-Garde Award; and Jacques Thelemaque, President ofFilmmakers Alliance, will be honored with the Community Impact Award. The festival runs April 6-9th, 2017, at the Laemmle Noho and El Portal Theaters.

"We celebrate diverse, emerging storytellers by providing a global platform for their voices to be heard," says Paige Williams, Audience Awards' Founder and CEO. "Our inaugural AudFest in LA honors and elevates the stories of new filmmakers and of the venerated industry leaders who carved the path for them."

Partners, panelists and moderators come to AudFest from Paramount, Disney, MACRO, SAG-AFTRA, SAGIndie, Women In Film,The Black List, Too Fab, Tangerine Entertainment, ColorCreative∆TV, LA Times, Indiewire, Vice, "Empire," Film LA, AFCI, Pro8mm, Kodak, Panavision, Outfest, The Sundance Institute, GOOD DOCS, New Filmmakers LAandFilmmakers Alliance.

Audience Awardsis still accepting narrative and documentary submissions for its Women's Film Challenge. Films or excerpts of films,7 minutes or less, made with a woman in an above-the-line position are encouraged to submit before the March 17th deadline. Ten winning films will receive a total of $27,500 in cash and prizesand have a red carpet screening on Saturday, April 8th.

WFC winning filmmakers will also be matched with top-tier women in the film industry at a mentorship brunch during the festival. Participants include Svetlana Cvetko, award-winning cinematographer; Deniese Davis, COO of ColorCreative.TV; Sarah Halley Finn,casting director; Darrien Michele Gipson, National Director of SAGindie; Moira Griffin, Senior Manager of Diversity Incentives at Sundance Institute; Poppy Hanks, SVP of Development and Production for MACRO; Debbie Liebling, entertainment executive and film producer; Roberta Marie Munroe, award-winning director, producer and author; Lynnette Ramirez, Content Creator and Executive Manager at 51 Minds Entertainment; and Orly Ravid, Founder/Co-Executive Director of the distribution nonprofit The Film Collaborative and an entertainment attorney at MSK (Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP).

Jury members for WFC include Fanshen Cox DiGovanni,award-winning actor, producer and educator; Sarah Feinbloom,award-winning documentary filmmaker and Founder and Director at GOOD DOCS; Cassidy Freemanof "Longmire" and "Smallville";Cristina Garza, General Manager at Mundial; Lily Gladstone, award-winning actress of Certain Women; Lisa Hasko, Manager of Documentary Programs and Fiscal Sponsorship at Film Independent; Margaret Lazarus, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, author and lecturer; and Erin O'Malley, TV producer and director; Freida Lee Mock,Oscar-winning filmmaker; Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film; Carol Trussell, Head of Production for Gaumont International Television.


Thursday, April 6th:
Jacques Thelemaque is honored with Audience Awards' Community Impact Award, followed by a screening of a short film from Filmmakers Alliance.

Paz Lenchantinperforms live to accompany her Super 8 film The Spider Ladyand then receives the Avant-Garde Award. Her performance is followed by the world premiere screening of the Super8 One Roll Film Challenge winners, also with live music accompaniment

Friday, April 7th:Effie Brownwill receive the Trailblazer Award followed by a conversation on her career and her commitment to diversitymoderated by Franklin Leonard, Founder, CEO: The Black List. Next is a screening of the award-winning Fusion DocChallenge shorts, all of which were shot, edited and produced in 120 hours.

Friday, April 7th:
Effie Brownwill receive the Trailblazer Award followed by a conversation on her career and her commitment to diversitymoderated by Franklin Leonard, Founder, CEO: The Black List. Next is a screening of the award-winning Fusion DocChallenge shorts, all of which were shot, edited and produced in 120 hours.

Saturday, April 8th:
Audience Awards' Maverick Award goes to Ondi Timoner. A conversation about her groundbreaking career will be moderated by Anne Thompson, Editor-at-Large at Indiewire, followed by the red carpet screening of the Women's Film Challenge short-film winners.

Sunday, April 9th:
Awards Ceremony and Farewell Brunch where filmmakers from Women's Film Challenge, Pro8 and the other screening blocks will be eligible to receive over $30,000 in cash and prizes from companies including Panavision, Audience Awards, Filmstro Pro, Tangerine Entertainment, POV, Pro8mm, Kodak, Montana Film Office and VideoMaker.


Opportunities in Branded Content: Moderated by David S. Cohen, Digital Features Director forVariety, AudFest attendees will hear about identifying brand collaborations to sustain a rewarding career as a short-form filmmaker. Panelists include industry leaders from Audience Awards, SXM, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, and PatternBreak.

Secrets to Successful Productions: Moderator Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Executive Director of Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA, will help narrow down the vital nuts and bolts of filmmaking, including permits, contract negotiation and location scouting. Panelists include executives from Donaldson + Callif, LLP, Film LA, AFCI, and the Youth and GenderMedia Project.

Talking Festival Strategy with the Experts: Moderated by Mark Olsen, staff writer for the LA Times, panelists talk navigating the festival circuit, submissions strategy, planning your premiere and life after the festival circuit. Festivalexperts are with the Seattle, Palm Springs, Tribeca, Outfest, and Hollywood Shorts film festivals.

Social Impact Through Filmmaking: Moderated by Rachel De Leon, Emmy-winning video producer and reporter for The Pulitzer-prize winning Center for Investigative Reporting, social influencers will talk about how to successfully deliver your message through media to engage a global community. Contributors are from Participant Media, VICE Media, Inc., along with award-winning filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez.

Inside the Writers' Room with Story Editors from "Empire": Moderator Joseph Kapsch, Managing Editor of TooFab, will have a conversation with JaNeika andJaSheika James, sisters and story editors for FOX's "Empire."


The Power of Super 8 Film -Insider Tips Every Filmmaker Should Know: Pro8mm hosts the first of two AudFest workshops. This one will demystify the Super 8 workflow, including camera choices, film stock options, scanning choices and delivery of content.

Do a Shot with Pro8mm: Pro8mm's second workshop will be a hands-on film workshop, sending AudFest filmmaker participants out into the world to capture festival outtakes with an opportunity to edit the collective reel and create an Audience Awards trailer.

GNITE THE VISIONARY -Focusing on Lens: A Fearless Film School workshop, offered by award-winning directors and DPs Liz Hinlein and Anka Malatynska, gives filmmakers tools to become more masterful storytellers.

To learn more about the festival or to submit for a festival badge go to:
or to follow the festival on social media:

Audience Awards Audience Awards began as a digital film challenge platform, connecting filmmakers with opportunity and support, yet has become so much more. Online, Audience Awards' filmmakers have the opportunity to create authentic, high-quality films for brands like GoDaddy, Hilton Worldwide and Kodak and compete in other creative contests. Our short films have premiered at prestigious festivals like Hot Docs, Slamdance and DOCNYC. They have been Oscar-qualifying and Emmy-nominated. With an international filmmaker collective and a community of 150,000, Audience Awards Film Festivalgives this significant online community and prestigious filmmaker collective the chance to finally meet face-to-face.