Megafest 2019 Featured Films from all over the World

Written and Photos by Nikki Artale

Part Two
Megafest had two weeks of film screenings, red carpets, films by CSN students, seminars and a life panel at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas July 31-August 3, 2019. Two of the Life Council Panelists were Maggie Cook who shared her story about being born and raised in a Mexican Orphanage to becoming a millionaire and then a motivational speaker. She shared her story from her heart and was admired by everyone. Dr. Robert Goldman, a medical doctor and International Martial Artist and partner to Arnold Schwarzenegger shared his advice and knowledge in how to succeed in life. Dr. Goldman donates 80% of his time around the world doing charitable work. He is a wonderful human being who definitely cares about people. He will once again host the Icon Awards at the Black Tie Award Dinner.
                                                            Dr.Robert Goldman

                                                                     Maggie Cook

Harold Lea Brown walked away with 8 awards including writer of the year for his script “Hope is not a Black and White Rainbow”. Harold is in the Top 100 Indie writers in the world and it is always a pleasure to see him at the Film Fest every year.
                                                                  Harold Brown

Geoffrey Calhoun presented the first awards at the writer’s dinner and awards show. Winning for Writers of the Year was Harold Brown, Jack McLaughlin and Matt De Gennaro.
                                              Matt DeGennaro *Geoffrey Calhoun)

Geoffrey introduced his new book “The Guide for Every Screenwriter”. He is a mentor to filmmakers, a multi award screen writer and is listed as a top 100 Indies writer in the world. He is valuable to the Film Festival.   photoguide press book 

Coming all the way from Cyprus was Anastasia Gukovskaya and her mother. A 16 year old Taekwondo World Champion, Spanish Cup Kickboxing Champ and a Euroasian and Asian Champ and she stole the hearts of everyone. If only our children could grow up to be like her.  She speaks 4 languages Russian, English, Turkish and Spanish and studies at Girne American University. She would love to move to Los Angeles and become an Actress. 

Mega fest 2019 another Successful Year Featuring over 600 Films

Written and photos by Nikki Artale
Part One
The Mega fest was filled with extra ordinary films from film makers from all over the world and I will write a few articles to cover the seminars, award dinners and screenings because I want everyone to be recognized for their talents. Mega fest was held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas July 24-August 3, 2019 by the founder and creator Del and Theresa Weston. 

                                                               (Del Weston) 

Two new festivals were added in the two week festival, “Most Important Films” hosted by Anabelle Munro and”’Venus International Italian Film Fest” hosted by Katherina Miccio and Alexandra Guarino.  The Venus award went to Daniel Baldwin for best Actor in the film “Making a Deal with the Devil
                                                       (Daniel Baldwin)

                                                     Kat Miccio  Alessandra Guarino

                                                                 Anabelle Munro

Jerry Valastro won “Best Drama” and “Best Score “for his film “Solstice” that he made 25 years ago.  The film was restored with new music performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. Jerry Valastro wrote, produced, directed and edited the film which starred Michael Kelly. It is a heartwarming story of the spirit of Christmas that is portrayed beautifully by Michael Kelley. Click on the link, to see the making and behind the scenes of Solstice and enjoy the magic of Christmas that Jerry Valastro is sharing with us Jerry is such a kind loving soul and it was wonderful meeting and speaking to him and I know there will be other great films to be made by him.
                                                                     Jerry Valastro 
                                                                        Michael Kelly

Alessandro**Nikki Artale

Another stand out film was a Greek Tragedy “Nothing beyond Measure”, the tragedy of Antigone by Sophocles, and a conflict between human and divine laws. It was mesmerizing to watch the performance of Alessandro Vantini who is a wonderful actor and who gave a perfect performance, on an empty set, only relying on the text and his acting skills. 

I will write additional stories on Megafest next week.

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.