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Attendance at the 10-day fest was near 25,000, up considerably from 2002 box office figures. The Opening Night World Premiere of One Last Dance directed by Lisa Niemi and starring Patrick Swayze sold out the full theaters.

Houston, TX - The 36TH Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival concluded with a solid upturn in box office. Several bona-fide hit movies, a Gala Awards Banquet with top honors presented to up-and-coming attending filmmakers from over 37 countries from round the globe, Indie Panels and a exciting Houston Yacht Club Sailing Regatta & Texas BBQ were highlights of the 36th Annual WorldFest-Houston this year!

The overflowing, sold-out Awards Dinner at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Houston, on Saturday night (April 12) hosted a record number of international filmmakers, despite the war and the effects of the economic downturn. Awards were presented during the dinner, with special Folkloric Dances from Scotland, Taiwan, India and Mexico before each award segment. WorldFest’s top honors- The Remi Grand Awards went to the following productions: Best Feature Film, Nynke (Holland) directed by Pieter Verhoeff; Best Film & Video Production, Documentary ‘Death of a Warrior’ Barna-Alper Productions (Canada); Best Television & Cable Production, ‘Alone at Sea’ CineNova Productions (Canada); Best Short Subject ‘Father and Daughter’, Michael Dudock de Wit (Holland) (also winner of the HP Crystal Vision Award, $2,500 in cash and a HP iPAQ Pocket Computer); Best Music Video, ‘Flogging Molly: What’s Left of The Flag’ Steve Marino, Voodoo Design & Special Effects (NYC-USA); Best Commercial ‘Museum of the Mountain Man’ Steve Marino, Voodoo Design & Special Effects, (NYC-USA); Best Student Production ‘Time for Change’, Daniel DeJesus, FSU (USA); Best Experimental ‘Untitled: 003 Embryo’ Mike Goedecke, (USA), Best Unproduced Screenplay, ‘Wizard of Genoa’ Gary L. Miner, the HP Crystal Vision Award for Feature Films, ‘Artworks’ Jim Amatulli (USA) ($2,500 cash award and a HP iPAQ Pocket Computer. - It was also awarded a Gold Special Jury Award for Creative Excellence.)

In addition to Grand Awards, WorldFest presented a special Grant-in-Aid Award: the Eastman Kodak Cinematography Award, $2500 in 35mm or 16mm film stock to the short film ‘The Legend of Razorback’, Michael Greenspan, Los Angeles, California. Other major Gold Special Jury Awards in the feature film categories went to ‘Queen of The Gypsies’ directed by Jocelyn Ajami, Documentary (USA); "War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator" Robert Clem, Waterfront Pictures, Documentary (USA); ‘Kung Phooey. Quest for the Ancient Peach’ Darryl Fong, Comedy (USA); ‘Morlang’ Tjebbo Penning, Phanta Vision Film Intl, Suspense/Thriller (Holland); ‘All-American Boy’ John Truby, PJM Productions, Dramatic (USA); ‘Touching Wild Horses’ Eleanore Lindo, Family/Children (CANADA); ‘The Anarchist Cookbook’ Jordan Susman, First Feature (USA); ‘May & August’ Raymond To, Foreign Film (China); ‘Hungry Hearts’ Glenn M. Benest, Dramatic/Mature Themes (USA); ‘Hukkle’ Hungarofilm, Experimental (Hungary) and ‘Japanese Devils a.k.a. Riben Guizi’ Akiko Agishi, Experimental (JAPAN);

Altogether, more than 4,500 category entries were received for WorldFest, a 36-year record for WorldFest, the largest and oldest film festival in North American operating under the same continuous non-profit management and the only one fiercely dedicated to presenting and honoring only new independent, undistributed films. WorldFest was founded in 1961 as a Film Society and became an international competitive event in 1968.

Another important dimension for WorldFest was the special digital video projection by Wagner Media and Christie Digital Systems, with the new Wagner/Christie Roadie X10 DLP ‘Black Chip?’Digital Projector screening more than 100 features and shorts at the festival. Viewers were astounded at the brilliance and clarity of the new Wagner/Christie Digital equipment and the filmmakers made regular pilgrimages up to the projection booth to take a look at the current cinematic state-of-the-art technology. All came away both impressed and inspired by this look at the digital future of the movies and theaters.

There were 9 exceptional seminars, presented by experienced professionals. These included: Kodak/24P Film Capture presented by Ken Replich and (in 2-parts), Agents & Managers & Studios: An Overview by Andrew Deane of Immortal Entertainment (LA), Writing & Selling Screenplays: Beyond the Script by John Truby, Indie Film Distribution by Stuart Strutin of Panorama Entertainment (NY), Acting, Casting & Modeling by Page Parks, Music Scoring for Film & Video presented by Shark (The Spreading Ground) and an exciting and informative panel on Producing and Directing the Independent Feature with filmmakers; Jim Amatulli (USA), Harold Brodie (New Zealand), David Craig (Texas), Steven Couchoron (France), Annette Ernst (Germany), Juan Carlos Garza (USA), Isabelle Lukacie (France), Cristobal Krusen (South Africa), Andrew Levine (USA), Eszter Nordin (Hungary), David Ofek (Israel), Rolf Schrader (USA), Vangelis Seitanidis (Greece), John Truby (USA), Pieter Verheoff (Holland), and moderated by David Winning, (Director-Producer, LA & Canada), Special Effects Production for Indie Films by Steve Wolf (The Firm, Cast Away).

WorldFest-Houston is unique in the festival world, as it is totally dedicated to the Independent feature and short film. WorldFest does not screen any feature or short films produced by the major studios or distributors as it feels that the Indie filmmakers are the ones that need support from a film festival. WorldFest offers 12 major areas of competition and awards, including Documentary, Film & Video production, TV & Cable production, Experimental, Short Subjects, TV Commercials, Screenplays, Radio & Print, Music Video, New Media, Feature Films and Student Films. Both film and video formats are accepted, video only for the jury deliberations. WorldFest is sponsored by HP/Hewlett Packard, Hummer & H2, RM Crowe, The City of Houston, The Houston Film Commission, The State of Texas, The Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, The NEA, The Texas Commission for the Arts, Wagner Media, The Houston Yacht Club, The Inter-Continental Hotel, Nova Cinemas, Eastman Kodak, and The Houston Film Society. It is a non-profit 501-(c)-(3) cultural/educational organization, founded in 1961.

Next up: WorldFest No.37, April 2004!
Entries open August 1st, the EarlyBird (discount) Deadline: Nov. 15, Main Deadline: Dec. 15th
Final Brickwall (late fee) Deadline: Jan. 15, 2004.
Full Entry Info & Entry Forms are on the web at
For the complete 2004 entry and info package, send your name and address to: The 37th Annual WorldFest-Houston, P.O. Box 56566 Houston, Texas USA 77256-6566 Or email: (Phone 713-965-9955 Fax 713-965-9960)

Presss Release Hunter Todd - Houston WorldFest April 27th

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