The Pop Blitz

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Hey there Popsters, Spring is officially around the corner, can ya believe it? FINALLY, Right?!

We’ve got some fun stuff for you today so, without further yada, yada, yada, let’s get it on!

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• The 2013 Sedona International Film Festival 

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Another Sedona Film Fest has come and gone and, just as in years past, the fest rocked!

I never get to quite as many films as I originally plan but the annual event is always an interesting mix of both established filmmakers along with a lot of up-n-comers and the conversations are always stimulating and memorable, I’m already looking forward to the 2014 Fest!

A special shout out and big THANK YOU to the festival crew, particularly Media Director Steve Carr who always does an expert job wrangling the talent and press!

And here’s your list of winners for the 2013 Sedona International Film Festival:

Chittagong, based upon actual events of India’s Chittagong Uprising, and Least Among Saints, the story of a solider back from war and a young man who has never known peace in his life who become unlikely friends, tied for the Audience Award for Best Drama at the 19th annual Sedona International Film Festival.

Two new awards were presented for the first time this year.  The Marion Herman Excellence in Filmmaking and Music went to Downtown Express, the story of Sasha, a young Russian violinist on scholarship at Juilliard caught between the world of classical music and the sounds of street music.  The Heart of the Festival Award was presented to Vectors of Autism, a documentary about Laura Nagle’s journey with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Marion Herman was among the founders of the Festival.  She passed away last year.

Audience Choice winners were announced at the closing Awards Brunch this morning marking the official end of the weeklong Festival that featured 159 films.

Other Audience Choice Award winners were:

• Best Feature Film, Comedy: Fanie Fourie’s Labola

• Best Documentary Feature Film: Trash Dance

• Best Documentary Short Film: The Highest Cost

• Best Short Film: Pear

• Best Short Film, Runner Up: Karen Returns Something to Scott

• Best Foreign Film:  Shun Li and the Poet

• Best Environmental Film: Go Ganges

• Best Animated Film: Wolf Dog Tales

• 1st Annual Marion Herman Excellence in Filmmaking and Music: Downtown Express.

• Bill Muller Excellence in Writing or Screenwriting Award:  Last Wil. and Testament

• Heart of the Festival: Vectors of Autism.

Director’s Choice Awards, which were announced on March 2 were:

• Best Feature Film, Comedy (tie): Liberal Arts; One Small Hitch

• Best Feature Film, Drama): Any Day Now

• Best Foreign Film: Lore

• Best Documentary: Stolen Seas from Estonia

• Best Documentary Short Film: Desert Dreams

• Best Environmental Film (tie): Bidder 70; Pad Yatra, A Green Odyssey

• Best Animated Film: Bunny

• Best Short Film (tie): Boo!; Stalled

• Best Student Short Film: Green Acres

• Independent Spirit Award:  Common People; Peoria

            • Humanitarian Award:  Anyone Out There

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• Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde

DaytonHyde leaning into horse

Though I didn’t see most of the winning films at the Sedona Fest, I was surprised to see Running Wild: The Life of David O. Hyde didn’t take any of the top prizes, you can be certain the votes had to be close, everyone I spoke with LOVED this movie and , some day, you will too.

It’s always a little frustrating, I’m sure, for you to hear us sing loud praises for a film that, at this point, you can’t see. It is for us as well, but we’re confident it won’t be long before this flick is available to a much wider audience.

 In this true story of an inspirational cowboy we experience a cinematic adventure that examines the vibrant life of a conservationist and award-winning writer, who through extreme perseverance and enormous grace and wisdom is preserving part of American history for generations to come. RunningWild combines breathtaking scenes underscored with original music and intimate conversations. One of America’s last remaining true cowboys, Dayton Hyde a bigger-than-life, dynamic man who lived through the final decades of the American West has found himself, his destiny and his personal freedom in the threatened indigenous horses he is protecting and the native land he is saving. In the end, this visually beautiful and powerful film will be an inspirational testament for anyone who needs motivation on their own personal journey and reassurance that each of us can truly make a difference if we try.

We really can’t imagine loving a documentary more this year than we loved this one!

For more info on Dayton O. Hyde and his Wild Horses check out the website and, if you can, a small, (or BIG!), contribution would be a beautiful thing for you to consider, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary 

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• Bitter Party of Five

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This has got to be one of the funniest web series’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of following, so much bitter, angry fun!

Five fairly successful actors, cast in a hot new NBC TV pilot starring Roseanne Barr & John Goodman, have been waiting for word about whether their show would get picked up. The hopeful five bonded and became practically inseparable until finally, in desperation, they made one phone call. THIS… is that phone call. And YES the phone call is real.

There are several episodes online at this point but it only makes sense we start you off with the first one and you can follow the rest on your own.

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• The Google Glasses

googleglass

I’m sure you’ve heard all about the “Google Glasses” at this point and I’m sure I’m not alone in being slightly freaked out about this new kid on the tech block.

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• Sex Life of Video Game Characters

Sure, it’s subtitled but that doesn’t make this new viral hit any less hilarious, if you’re a gamer you are about to split your sides, enjoy!

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• Pop Bitez New Music PopCast for March

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A brand new track from Eric Clapton’s Old Sock is just one of the many reasons you should tune into this month’s New Music PopCast! This week’s tune filled hour also features new music from David Bowie, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Boz Skaggs, Dido and many, many more! So, what are you waiting for? Turn it up!

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* And speaking of Mr. Clapton, we’re going to be attending the first date on the Guitar God’s 2013 North American Tour this week, check back next Friday for our full review of the show!

Thanks for stopping by, until next time Popsters, as always, Cheers!~ Scott

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