Greenwich International Film Festival names marquee director, announces charity partnership

Director Elvis Mitchell joins the Greenwich International Film Festival

Director Elvis Mitchell joins the Greenwich International Film Festival

The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) has announced Elvis Mitchell as the festival’s marquee director and a charity partnership with UNICEF for their inaugural year — a film festival first.

The film festival is set to premiere next year and preparations are well underway. Bringing in Mr. Mitchell, who is considered one of the top critics and writers about film, is just one part.

Mr. Mitchell, who curates Film Independent at LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s film series presented by the New York Times, and hosts National Public Radio’s The Treatment on KCRW, has been tapped to oversee programming at GIFF.

He has previously written for The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press, L.A. Weekly and the Fort Worth Star Telegram, among other outlets, and has been a lecturer at Harvard University. Mr. Mitchell will work bicoastally, building the festival’s inaugural slate.

“It is an honor to be working with the Greenwich International Film Festival,” Mr. Mitchell said. “I look forward to creating an exciting slate for year one and establishing GIFF as an innovative festival that effectively merges film, finance and philanthropy.”

The festival founders added, “Elvis Mitchell makes a perfect addition to our team.

He will help us create a long-lasting film event that will benefit the filmmaking community, the Greenwich community and the global community.”

With the goal of harnessing the power of film to serve the greater good, GIFF has partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support OneMinutesJr. TheOneMinutesJr. workshop is an international, arts-based initiative that works closely with local UNICEF offices to teach children and young people, especially those who are underprivileged and marginalized, basic camera and directing skills, story-telling, teamwork and how to think creatively about issues that affect their lives.

The participants develop their own stories based on the workshop theme to produce a 60-second video. OneMinutesJr.equips these young filmmakers with the fundamental skills of self-expression and gives them a chance to make their voices heard.

“Given Greenwich’s strong ties to the financial world, it felt natural to build a model that made the most of those connections to benefit both individual filmmakers and a charity everyone believed in,” festival founders said. “We are so lucky to have the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on board and have them believe in us as well.”

“We are so very grateful for our partnership with GIFF in its inaugural year,” said U.S. Fund for UNICEF Vice President of Community Fundraising Leslie Goldman. “Support from GIFF will help UNICEF amplify the voices of children and harness the power of communication to promote child survival, development, protection and participation.”

The Greenwich International Film Festival will mark its inaugural year June 4 to 7, 2015 with over 25 films.

The call for entry opened Sept. 1 and GIFF will be programming films in the following competition categories: Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Feature and Documentary Short. Cash prizes and awards will be awarded including a Best Socially Conscious Film Award.

Additionally, GIFF will feature a Work In Progress category with a post-production prize.

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