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NOVAC announces cinema speakers lineup for Sync Up partnership return

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The partnership between the New Orleans Video Access Center, New Orleans Film Society, and the Jazz & Heritage Foundation continues as “SyncUp Cinema” returns for its third year. The annual event is scheduled for April 28-30, 2014. NOVAC is thrilled to be back after the tremendous success of last year's run.

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SyncUp Cinema is part of the Jazz Fest's SyncUp Conference, an annual event to celebrate and support the entertainment industry. The conference caters to education and appreciation toward today's levels of entertainment, from the independent artists' points of view. SyncUp invites industry leaders in music, film, and digital media to hold panels and discussions on topics such as crowdfunding, marketing, etc.

To get the local film community excited for the weekend event, NOVAC has released a list of confirmed guests for 2014's SyncUp Cinema:

  • Franklin Leonard – Founder of the The Black List, an annual publication containing popular, unproduced Hollywood screenplays. Franklin has a resume including work with Universal Pictures, along with the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack, John Goldwyn, and more. Among many titles, Franklin has been named “35 Under 35” (Hollywood Reporter), “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future” (Black Enterprise Magazine), and “12 Innovators Who Are Changing Hollywood” (The Wrap).
  • Lauren Wolkstein – New York City filmmaker. Lauren's film The Strange Ones premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and since then has screened globally at over 100 festivals. Her latest work, Jonathan's Chest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance, and will be headed to SXSW. While earning her film MFA from Columbia, Lauren was awarded the “Plum Pictures Most Promising Filmmaker.” She is among the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” for this year, according to Filmmaker Magazine.
  • Nailah Jefferson – New Orleans born-and-raised. Nailah's start came in March of 2010, when she formed Perspective Pictures as a way to spotlight important, yet little-known issues, in addition to bringing positive influences to the world. The aftermath of the BP oil spill largely influenced Nailah's first subject, a fishing community in Pointe à la Hache. Her debut feature, Vanishing Pearls, makes it Louisiana premiere at this year's SyncUp, arriving fresh from its screening at the 2014 Slamdance Film Fest.
  • Yolonda Ross – Actress, Writer/Director, and Producer. Perhaps best-known as Dana Lyndsey on Treme, Yolonda joins SyncUp after her latest role in John Sayles' Go For Sisters, for which she has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Best Supporting Actress. She's currently cast alongside Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez in Lila & Eve, and is booked for a recurring role on Showtime's Happyish. Yolonda's directorial debut happened with NOLA-produced Breaking Night.

Go For Sisters and Vanishing Pearls are the only two films currently confirmed to screen at SyncUp, however, new information will be posted at NOVAC's SyncUp Cinema webpage.

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