Category: Industry Profiles

APAP 2014

While it seems for those who’ve lived in Manhattan for a while that the imperative of real estate development in Manhattan was exacerbated in the 12 years of the Bloomberg Imperium to the point that the arts have been pushed further and further out into neighboring boroughs, it’s still possible to see and listen to a diverse array of performers here. One great example of this is the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference, which takes place in January every year. While the primary focus of the confab is to unite in one place folks whose business it is to manage theaters, festivals and other venues all over the nation where live performances are staged, and accordingly there are many panels and presentations which address issues in that arena, the undeniable highlight of the occasion is the showcase performances by the musicians, actors, dancers, magicians and other live acts which give the arts presenters an opportunity to see which acts they may wish to book for their upcoming year. Many of these take place at the conference headquarters at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan, but for the duration of the event many other venues host performers as part of it (both in Manhattan and elsewhere in the city), and one need not be an arts presenter to enjoy some of the acts.


Marked by a substantial change in the digital age, WESTDOC dedicated a considerable portion of its programming slate to the digital space, including its first-ever digital keynote speaker Kelly Day, CEO of Blip. A dream come true to attendees. WESTDOC offered an eclectic event presenting panels, face-to-face meetings, sit-down group discussions and roundtables with more than 150 top industry executives.


When Andy Lee and I decided to do a film about London’s first mayoral race and particularly front-runner Malcolm McLaren, I was under no illusions. Malcolm had a difficult reputation and though I had spoken to him a few times about his thoughts on the coming millennium, we had never actually met. Still, I was impressed with his gift of gab and figured he’d be a live wire and fun to document.


Although it was created seventeen years before the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has never gotten the attention from the entertainment media and the public that it deserves. Part of the problem is that the Songwriters Foundation has never gotten the funding to build a permanent home in a city (it’s currently a wing in LA’s Grammy Museum) the way Cleveland stepped up for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. It’s a shame because New York, with its rich music publishing and theatrical history would be a natural fit to pay tribute to the greatest tunesmiths in history.


If you’re going to visit a foreign country during an international film festival, I guess Cannes would be at the top of the list. I mean, who isn’t in Cannes during those two weeks in May? This year Kanye West and Kim Kardashian even made their way over just to participate in the glory of Cannes. But watch out. It’s not as glossy as it may seem. However, if you must make yourself go over to the event, here’s a little survival guide from yours truly.


The 49th New York Film Festival will open this year on September 30th with Roman Polanski’s Carnage (Sony Classics) and close on October 16th Alexander Payne’s The Descendants (Fox Searchlight). As usual the festival will be a mix of international festival faves, pet directors (Almodovar, Cedar, Ferrara, the Dardennes, Bilge, Wenders and Panahi) and the odd handful of films that will never leave the festival circuit ghetto.


Whether they be citizens of a city, state, nation or the world at large, perhaps nothing is more essential for any group of people in endeavoring to forge a path forward than understanding where they have come from in order to figure out how to proceed to where they wish to direct their society. The way I like to put it is that only a people with a sense of shared history can truly jointly create a shared destiny. Given the role of media in transmitting and accounting for that history, how the various professionals working in these fields go about their business can have tremendous impact in determining what issues and priorities assume more prominence. Thus, it was interesting to see what methods currently are being practiced as of 2011 at the History Makers broadcast media conference at the Marriott Marquis from January 26-28.


When most folks hear the words Film and NYU mentioned in tandem, the personality they’d most likely summon to mind would be Spike Lee, or Martin Scorsese. But if the term Independent Film truly means anything, then without question the person who has most embodied its credo in association with NYU is George Stoney, The Paulette Goddard Professor in Film at the Tisch School of the Arts.