Introducing: First Time Film Fest

First Time Fest (FTF) – a celebration of first time filmmakers – is a new and unique film festival taking place in New York City from March 1 through 4, 2013.

Just as Stanley Kubrick had KILLER’S KISS, Darren Aronofsky PI, and John Huston THE MALTESE FALCON as their first works (all of which will be screened during the festival), First Time Fest is set to discover and present the next generation of great cinema artists. The core of the festival is an exciting lineup of twelve international films — from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Chile, Israel, Mongolia, and the United States, all debut films by promising and provocative directors.

Representing a hybrid between a traditional film festival and a highly motivated audience participation event, FTF will present a dozen Competition Films, which will be judged by a panel of industry luminaries and the FTF audience. All competition screenings will be followed “hot-seat” discussions between the jury and filmmakers, and all audience members will vote on the films as well.

Together, the jury and audience will ultimately select a Grand Prize winner, who will be offered theatrical distribution for their film and full international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio. It will truly be a contest of the best emerging filmmakers competing for the Ultimate Audience Award.

First Time Fest is a four-day, multi-faceted event hosted in New York Cityʼs Gramercy Park by the celebrated Players (16 Gramercy Park South), the club founded by Edwin Booth, Mark Twain and John Singer Sargent, the oldest and most exclusive arts organization of its kind whose membership includes the greatest stars of stage and screen. Each of First Time Festʼs twelve finalists will receive high-level industry mentorship and a one-year membership to The Players.

The Players will be the location for all FTF panels and events as well as the Filmmaker and VIP Lounge. First Time Festʼs screenings will be held at the Loews Village VII on Third Avenue (on 11th St. & 3rd Ave).

Johanna Bennett (daughter of Tony Bennett) and producer/documentarian Mandy Ward, co-founders of First Time Fest, said, “Along with the Players, we are thrilled to be inaugurating First Time Fest and finding and presenting the most exciting new filmmakers from around the globe. We hope to be seeing much more of their work in the years to come. It is a thrill to be present at the beginning of a career, and we expect to follow and support these filmmakers as they flourish and soar.”

In addition to the Competition Films, First Time Fest will present First Exposure, a series of first films from now prominent filmmakers. Included among them are PI (Darren Aronofsky’s [attending] first film), THE MALTESE FALCON (John Hustonʼs debut), POISON (Todd Haynesʼ first film which was produced by then first-time feature producer Christine Vachon [attending]), JACK GOES BOATING (Philip Seymour Hoffmanʼs [attending along with actress Amy Ryan] premier effort), THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH (Hal Hartleyʼs [attending] debut), TRUE LOVE (Nancy Savocaʼs [attending] debut) and KILLER’S KISS (Stanley Kubrickʼs first [with star Chris Chase attending]).

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