Film Festivals

South By Southwest Interactive Conference and Film Festival, Austin, TX:

All students in the program attend the South By Southwest Interactive Conference & Film Festival (SXSW) in the first year of the program (March). MEIM leadership organizes special seminars with executives from leading entertainment companies who are actively engaged in doing business at the festivals. Through these seminars, students get to experience business transactions and strategies in real time, with seminar discussions often including information that will appear in the following days as headlines in the trade publications.

Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT:

Similar to SXSW, students attend The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT in the second year of the program each January. Students attend special seminars and panels both sponsored by Sundance and produced by MEIM leadership. As a Sundance Institute sponsor, the MEIM program hosts an annual party on the opening weekend of the Festival. In past years, this party has honored the international filmmakers whose films are showing at Sundance. Most recently, the party showcased the opening of the Sundance New Frontiers program, an experimental installation space exhibiting the most innovative experiments in digital media and visual storytelling.

Cannes International Film Festival, Cannes, France:

The MEIM program sponsors a limited number of students to attend Le Festival International du Film De Cannes under the auspices of the American Pavilion and Creative Minds, two US industry trade groups. Students who have successfully completed the first year of the MEIM program and who are in good academic standing are eligible to apply for a partial scholarship to attend the festival under this program. Students are selected by a jury of MEIM Advisory Committee Members. While in attendance at Cannes, students partake in events sponsored by either The American Pavilion or Creative Minds at Cannes. Students attend panel discussions or intern with companies doing business at the festival. Cannes is the most important international film distribution market in the world, as well as a prestigious creative film competition. Because it offers a unique showcase for international films, Cannes has become a wonderful educational opportunity for the MEIM students who are able to attend.

Student Success at Festivals

MEIM alumni have a growing presence on the festival circuit, whether as content producers or presenters. It is not unusual for current students to sit in on a panel at a festival that is being led by an alumnus of the MEIM program. MEIM alumni have also put together special events for current students as well. Perhaps one of the more exciting developments in recent years has to do with MEIM alumni and students who have had work shown at a major festival. These include the following individuals:

Bob Moczydlowsky (MEIM 2007) regularly attends several music and film festivals including SXSW and Sundance where he is an in-demand panel speaker on digital distribution and marketing.

Roxanne Benjamin (MEIM 2009) produced two films (V/H/S and V/H/S/2) that were accepted to Sundance Film Festival and SXSW among others. Magnolia Pictures went on to distribute both films. Most recently, Roxanne directed Southbound and Rolling Stone magazine featured her in an article titled "13 HORROR FILMMAKERS YOU NEED TO KNOW"

Jonny Paterson (MEIM 2012) produced the film Halfway starring Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side). The film has played at the Dallas International Film Festival, The American Black Film Festival, The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, the Milwaukee Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival and Cleveland Urban Film Festival among others.

Lakshmi Iyengar (MEIM 2009) regularly attends Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, Cannes, and other festivals in her position as Manager, Worldwide Acquisitions, Universal Pictures.

Samantha Fabin (MEIM 2013) attended Sundance, Toronto, Cannes as well as others in her role as Director of Acquisitions at Alchemy.

Taylor Grabowsky (MEIM 2014) wrote, produced, and directed the short films Donor Heart and The Encounter. Both Films were accepted into the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Dian Song (MEIM 2014) regularly attends Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, US-China Film Summit, and several other festivals in his role as Special Contributor at Dalian Wanda Group, a popular movie magazine in China, as well as for his work as Contributing Writer for Phoenix New Media's iFeng.com.

Rachel Song (MEIM 2016) just graduated this past year and has already attended Sundance, SXSW, Cannes, and Shanghai International Film Festival in her role as Co-Founder, Head of Business at Vantage Entertainment. She recently Co-Produced the film Billionare Boys Club with Kevin Spacey and Emma Roberts.