Las Vegas Film Fest Features Outstanding films

Written and photographs by Nikki Artale

The Las Vegas Film Fest will be show casing 60 films in downtown Las Vegas and the Brenden Theaters on April 28-May 5, 2019 that will feature documentaries, short films, music videos, parties and Q&A sessions. Work from local, national filmmakers, from Sundance and UNLV film students will be shown in this 12th Annual FF that is sponsored by Zappo, under the direction of Executive Director Milo Kostelecky. 

The festival opened with the feature film “Untitled the Amazing Jonathan”, a documentary of the Amazing Jonathan who was diagnosed with a heart disease and given one year to live. Three years later he was on tour filming his last hurray of magic and comedy. Director Ben Berman was trying to separate the truth from illusion, shock and deception as he filmed his epic comeback tour.  
                                                Ben Berman Amazing Johnathon  Anastasia Synn)
In an interview with his wife Anastasia Synn after the Q&A, I asked what has kept him alive and she said it was all the loving good care she has given him. This is a must see film and after being shown at Sundance, Hulu has picked up the rights for $2 million worldwide distribution.
                                             (Anastasia Synn the Amazing Johnathon

Action on Film Megafest Celebrates 14 years Honoring Filmmakers and Writers


Written and Photographs by Nikki Artale

Action on Film (AOF) brought together filmmakers, producers, writers and actors from all over the world to have their work honored. The International film festival was once again held in Las Vegas NV for the second time in a row on August 16-25, 2018 at the Palms Hotel. AOF is in the top 2% of all film festivals. I personally think it is the best film festival in Las Vegas.  

Where do I begin in saying that AOL is more than just an award show, it is a show of heart and love that is displayed by Del Weston, founder, writer, producer and director as he shows each and every one that attends the festival his love.  He cares about every person and welcomes them with open arms and hugs. There were more than 600 films shown and many informative seminars given by the best talented filmmakers, writers and actors. Del’s wife Theresa and Zin worked hand in hand with Del and put together a fabulous nine day event.   

For a second consecutive year Annabelle Munro was named AOF Queen and this year she led a seminar with the First Lady of Film Kathrina Miccio and Elizabeth Blake Thomas in discussing Women in Film. Annabelle is an award winning actress, writer, producer and director from Los Angeles. Her talks highlight and inspire female filmmakers to support each other and own their own space and power.
                                                               (Annabelle Munro)   
Kathrina Miccio a 12 time award winning actress was part of the panel and won Best Woman Filmmaker LAIFFA 2018 for her film St. Joseph Do Your Thing. She wrote directed and starred in the film. Kathrina spoke about her life in films and to go live your dreams.
                                                             Kathrina Miccio

Elizabeth Blake-Thomas has written and directed 6 feature films in two years and rounded off the panel, sharing her knowledge of raising funds to shooting and getting distribution. She says that creativity happens in all formats. 
                                       Kathrina Miccio..Elizabeth Blake..Annabelle Munro)

Other seminars during Megafest were held by Harold L Brown, Matt DeGennaro and Antonio Fargas, actor and screenwriters. Del Weston creator of AOF and Hollywood Dreamz Film Festival held two informative seminars on “Make your Movie Now” and Write the Script Now sharing how he made it all happen and how to make it a reality.

I could not see every film but the outstanding films I did see were St. Joseph, Little Milo, Miracle in a Spiny Bur, Friday the 13th, all winners in their categories. I loved St Joseph which was written, produced and directed by Kathrina Miccio who starred in the film.
In a Spiny Bur, Friday the 13th, all winners in their categories. I loved St Joseph, a story that tells an Italian tale that is 500 years old that if the statue of St Joseph is buried head down with the face facing a house it will sell quickly. Great story, great acting and it is funny. I believe it.
                                                             Kathrina Miccio

Another favorite of mine was Little Milo starring Ian Slade, produced by Daniel Drescher, directed by Drago Lazetich and Marianne Kaulima producer and manager. All did a splendid job in bringing the message of free speech, positivity and hope. Ian Slade was outstanding and I knew it was a winner. The film won for best LGBTQ award. 

A heartwarming story, filmed in Japan is Miracle in a Spiny Bur, starring Mau Nishio, Producer Hayato Mitsuishi, Yuko Nishio, Executive Producer. Also staring in the film were two members of the boy band in Japan “Boys and Men”, Yahi and Takami Tsuchiya. They are wonderful young men that any mother would be proud of.  Miracle in a Spiny Bur tells the story of a young boy that is raised by his grandparents, the Chestnut Family of Kasama and it will bring you to tears. I loved meeting the entire cast. They were all wonderful loving people who warmed my heart.  

Sean Richards, Producer, writer, actor bought Friday the 13th back to the screen and it was scary and brought back many memories of the past  

The Megafest ended with a black tie dinner where more awards were given out. The Young Story Tellers awards were special as the young writers were recognized and honored for their talent. 

The Icon candidate is a person who has excelled in his/her craft and also gives back to his/her community. Randy Couture a six time world UFC fighting champion was one of the honorees.  

Hosting the evening along with Del was AOF’s own royalty, the Queen of AOF, Annabelle Munro and the First Lady of AOF, Kathrina Miccio. 

It was an exciting 10 days and we look forward to seeing everyone next year.