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Cordillera International Film Festival celebrates diversity and inclusion (sponsored)

By ThisIsReno
Unique Voices

SPONSORED POST

Festival Announces John Singleton Impact Award

The Cordillera International Film Festival (CIFF), which takes place in Reno July 23 – 26, 2020, will share more than 140 selections through a combination of drive-in presentations and streaming through the Eventive app. Those selections represent 43 countries, with 39 percent of official selections falling into the under-represented voices categories, which includes LGBTQ, Indigienous, Black and female filmmakers.

This commitment to inclusion is intentional and one of CIFF’s core values.

“Films are a great way to tell stories from all different perspectives and film festivals can be a powerful platform for social change,” explains CIFF co-founder and executive director Emily Skyle-Golden. “That’s why we established our Diversity Initiative when we created the film festival in 2017.”

The Diversity Initiative encourages submissions from underrepresented filmmakers by fully sponsoring submission fees and providing dedicated prizes for those whose messages inspire change. In 2019, the award was renamed the Impact award. Past CIFF Impact award-winning films include GAME and Stop.

New this year, CIFF Chairman and Australian cinematographer Peter Menzies, Jr. has announced that CIFF will be honoring the legacy of his colleague and friend, John Singleton, with the newly renamed The John Singleton Impact Award, honoring storytellers who give a voice to the underrepresented and inspire change through the art of screenwriting and filmmaking.

John Singleton
John Singleton

The award, made possible with the collaboration of John Singleton’s five adult children, honors the legacy of the prolific film director, screenwriter and producer. Singleton was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for his film, Boyz n the Hood at the age of 24, making him the first African American and youngest person ever nominated for that award.  

“On behalf of my adult siblings, we want to extend our support and sincere appreciation to Peter Menzies, Jr. and the Cordillera International Film Festival for honoring our father’s legacy with The John Singleton Impact Award,” said Maasai Singleton concerning the announcement. “Our father prided himself on mentorship and helping to elevate the next generation of filmmakers. Because of this, we unanimously agree that The John Singleton Impact Award is a thoughtful initiative of which our father would be proud. Together with the Cordillera International Film Festival, we will honor his legacy by elevating these voices.”

“It was an honor to collaborate with John on several film projects, but the greater honor was calling him a friend,” Menzies said. “I’m proud to be working with CIFF and John’s children to continue to shine a light on his passion for storytelling and commitment to diversity and inclusion in our industry.”

The 2020 festival is a hybrid model, integrating a limited socially-distanced opening night with a drive-in theater experience and a virtual viewing experience of the entire festival for audiences throughout the world. CIFF invested in the latest digital streaming technology in order to convert the festival to an online platform for screenings of feature-length and short films, interactive panels and filmmaker Q&As. This creative approach has allowed CIFF to attract a world-class Grand Jury led by CIFF Chairman Menzies, known for his diverse and critically acclaimed body of work which includes A Time to Kill, Shooter, The Incredible Hulk, The General’s Daughter and Die Hard with a Vengeance. 

Joining the CIFF Board or the Festival Grand Jury is a who’s who of Hollywood including Native American actor and musician, Wes Studi, best known for his roles in Academy-award winning films, Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans, among a long list of Academy-nominated films. Studi will present the award for Best Indigenous Film.

Red Carpet VIP passes (which offer a combination of drive-in, streaming and access to CIFF events throughout the year) are available for $50, while there is a Destination Living Room (streaming only) option available for $35. Passes can be purchased at cordillera2020.eventive.org/passes/buy.

For more information about the Cordillera International Film Festival, visit www.ciffnv.org.

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