Saturday, February 13, 2010

DiMe converges at BIFF


The inaugural Digital Media Convergence Symposium brought together industry leaders in animation and video gaming to share what know about the future of digital media with their colleagues in the greater digital media community. Robert Reich, from OneRiot, moderated a discussion on the technological advances that have been made, and are being made, in the field.

The event was hosted by BIFF, the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media, and the Boulder Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Don Marostica from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade opened the symposium.
The panel, including Oscar nominated producer, Don Hahn, who discussed everything from the iPad to the meaning of being a “creative.”

In the end, the panel agreed on one thing - no matter what the media, producers need a good story for the audience. Hahn said audience members want relevant characters on a journey they could see themselves taking.

David Rolfe, Partner & Director of Integrated Production with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, added that products, whether in film or advertising, should feel authentic to the audience.

The panel discussion was followed by questions from the audience about such things as reducing the “digital divide” between the “haves and have-nots” and what qualifies as good creative products in a world where everyone and anyone can self-produce digital video content.

After the symposium, attendees were invited to view Hahn’s documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, which screened at the Church at Friday night.

Friday, February 12, 2010

BIFF opening night images

The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) opened with a great start on Thursday nighat the Boulder Theater. Boulder Community Media (BCM) covered the event that featured the movie "Lightkeepers" directed by Dan Adams and produced by Straw Weisman. Blythe Danner, one of the actors in the movie, was on hand to watch the screening. Click on the photo to see more images from opening night. (BCM Photo: Jenna Jordan)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's new at BIFF 2010?



There are plenty of new features at the 6th Annual Boulder International Film Festival. Robin Beeck, Executive Director of BIFF, talks about three exciting additions to this year’s program.

DiMe Symposium

BIFF is excited to host this panel discussion with the Governor’s Office of Film, Television & Media and the Boulder Convention and Visitor Bureau. At the St. Julien, leaders in the field of animation and gaming will consider potential collaboration and the industry’s future as well as Colorado’s role as a major player in the years to come. This exciting conversation will be followed by a networking reception. The admission fee includes a screening of panelist and Oscar-nominated producer, Don Hahn’s, new documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, at the First United Methodist Church. You don’t want to miss this opportunity. Tickets are available at the Boulder Theater box office for $35.

Speaking of the Church

This year, The First United Methodist Church has been added as one of the screening venues for BIFF. This is an exciting addition for festival organizers because the Church is just a few short blocks from the Boulder Theater, allowing attendees a greater opportunity to see more films.


BIFF has a long tradition of screening documentaries that promote social change, often leaving audience members to ask, “What can I do to help?” This year, BIFF launched a new website that provides a channel to do just that. Look for films with the new Call2Action logo and then go to for more details on how you can help with the causes depicted in many of this year’s documentaries.

Friday, February 5, 2010

About the Daily One Sheet


In this age of changing media, I know of plenty of people who are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to maintain journalistic integrity and high standards, but at the same time monetize reporting of the news without advertising money, in the traditional sense.

The Daily One Sheet is a prototype. We'll be gathering information and news from the BIFF, vetting and then releasing it. The idea is to use backpack journalists to report about the events and activities happening around them - hyper local.

Seems to me that there's been a trend toward newspapers that try to have an internet presence or internet news aggregators that don't use any hard copy.

Newspapers are still having trouble and the internet is still a bit esoteric. In a place like Boulder, hard copy is still king.

I continue to believe in the "two step flow" communication theory. You know what it is. Agenda setters read newspapers and watch TV to inform themselves and then influence others through interpersonal communication. That's the theory behind the DOS.

The Daily One Sheet is an internet news source that will tease with hard copy. It's heavy on the internet to store information and uses hard copy to drive people to find out more.

For events and activities, the DOS will have coverage online at
and a summary of the stories of the previous day and advance stories about the current day's events. Story teases will be pushed out on Twitter and Facebook.

I wanted to use "off the shelf" technology as much as possible and settled on a blogger page to post content. Nothing fancy for the hard copy one sheet - Word docs and a copy machine.

I come from a community media background having first written for my elementary school paper, then in jr. high, high school and college. I wrote for a twice-weekly and was out of the traditional news business. A few years ago, i plied my hand at video media production and haven't looked back, accept that my journalism streak runs deep and I've had this idea that I've wanted to test.

What's been the most interesting is the language - melding both broadcast and print news terminology.

For events like the Boulder International Film Festival, people step forward to help. I've mostly recruited volunteers from the BIFF itself and some J-students to gather information and three more seasoned journalists to edit and control the information release to be sure it is accurate. Time will tell if the model will translate to general hyper local news.

So here it is. The beta test of my journalism experiment.
Contact Alan O'Hashi at 303-910-5782 or send email to

Five Asian films highlight BIFF 2010

Daily One Sheet

The Boulder International Film Festival 2010 Asian Film Program consists of five movies. This year they will screen at the United Methodist Church at 14th and Spruce Street and the Boulder Theater 2032 14th Street. Click on the title to download a .pdf of a one-sheet about each film. Here’s the line up:

Tibet in Song – February 11, 4:30pm – United Methodist Church One of the most dramatic and daring films of the decade, Tibet in Song follows young Fulbright scholar Ngawang Choephel back to his native Tibet to document the country’s disappearing folk-singing tradition. While leaving Tibet to go home, he was arrested for espionage by the Chinese, tortured and served seven horrific years in prison. Seven of Choephel’s videotapes were confiscated at the time, but nine were smuggled out. From this footage, he draws a never-before-seen glimpse into customs far outside the country’s population centers. Music is more than a pastime for these rural Tibetans: it’s a joyous, integral part of life, setting the rhythm and spirit of every conceivable activity. Choephel, like any good anthropologist, not only documents performances of the Tibetan folk songs, but also the sometimes-surprising explanations of the songs from the laconic older generations of Tibetans living in the villages. Subtitled and narrated by Richard Gere.

Enemies of the People Feb 12 12:15pm – Boulder Theater command. As the film In the 1970’s. in one of the darkest episodes of human history, the Khmer Rouge slaughtered nearly two million people on the Killing Fields of Cambodia.. Why? That qustion had never been answered until Thet Sambath, a young journalist for the English-language Phnom Penh Post, spent 10 years winning the trust of the former Khmer Rouge, beginning with the foot soldiers, who demonstrated on camera how they slit people’s throats. Sambath never revealed that his own family was murdered by the Khmer Rouge as he travels up their chain of progresses, it gradually reveals the scope and importance of Sambath’s hard work. The biggest fish in Sambath’s net turns out to be “Brother Number 2″ Nuon Chea, Pol Pot’s right-hand man who grants Sambath an exclusive, and electrifying, interview. Subtitled.

Mother Feb 12 2:15pm – Boulder Theater What lengths would a fiercely maternal single mother go to protect her only child, a handsome but mentally challenged 27-year-old son who is in jail because he was framed for a heinous murder? The small-town police and the town folk are already convinced of his guilt, while the mother ferociously goes on a hunt for the real killer herself. Bong Joon-ho, who wrote and directed the cult film The Host, has crafted a superb Hitchcockian murder mystery peppered with surprising twists coming thick and fast, which keep his audience guessing over who the real culprit is until the very end.

Journey from Zanskar Feb 12 5:00pm – Boulder Theater Near-mythical Zanskar, in the Indian Himalayas, is one of the most inaccessible and isolated regions on Earth. Today, it is considered the last place in the world where traditional Tibetan Buddhist norms and ways of life still exist, but it is now being connected to the outside world by a road being built by the Indian Army. Concerned by the coming deluge of influences from the outside world, the Dalai Lama instructed two Zanskar monks to bring 17 bright students down to a Buddhist school in Manali. The purpose: to educate the next generation in the Tibetan alphabet so that they can read the Tibetan Buddhist scripture and, in doing so, preserve their language, heritage and culture. Oscar-winning filmmaker Frederick Marx follows their beautiful and dangerous journey. Subtitled.

The Last Train Home Feb 13 10:00am – Boulder Theater The world’s largest human migration takes place each year in China as 130 million factory workers fight for space on overcrowded trains to return home for the Spring Festival. The New Year is a joyous time as the migrants return to the rural villages and families they left behind to seek work in the booming coastal cities. This stunningly beautiful film captures two years in the life of the Zhangs who, 16 years ago, left the poverty of the countryside and their children behind with their extended family. This year, they travel with additional purpose: they’re trying to bring home their runaway teenage daughter, Qin, so that she can return to school and not have to spend the rest of her life in a factory. Painful moments reveal that the patience the Chinese are known for has its limits. Subtitled.

In 2009, the Boulder Asian Film Festival made took a big step and became a program of the BIFF to increase the number of viewers to see content produced by Asian film makers as well as see movies about the Asian experience. To view past Asian Film Festival programs go to the website at

Contact the author, Alan O'Hashi at 303-910-5782 or by email at