Friday, July 31, 2015


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Green Ronin Releases Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana Rulebook - Sells Out Day One at GenCon!
The new adventure book for Fantasy AGE RPG features Wil Wheaton’s latest RPG, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana
July 31, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA – After selling out of their initial inventory in less than one day at GenCon, the highly anticipated rulebook to accompany Wil Wheaton’s hit RPG series, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, is now available for Pre-Order Plus.  Wheaton’s latest TableTop show premiered on Geek & Sundry in June and shot to immediate success thanks in part to a loyal fan base that has supported the show since its inception after a record-breaking Indiegogo campaign in 2014.

Green Ronin's Chris Pramas comments, "We first talked about Titansgrave at last GenCon, and it's hard to believe what we accomplished in only one year. The finished book is beautiful and really enhances the experience of the show. I can't wait for gamers to make Valkana their own." 

Wil Wheaton adds, "All these worlds are yours to explore, except for Dragons & Donuts in Nestora - attempt no adventures there." 

The game is played using Fastasy AGE, the latest iteration of the Adventure Game Engine by Green Ronin Publishing. Fans can now order the Titansgrave rulebook and Fantasy AGE via the Green Ronin website and should note that both book are needed to play the game. The book will be available for pre-order or immediate PDF download. The PDF sold separately is $13.99, but may be added to a pre-ordered print copy for only $5.

For more information and to order the books, visit, and check out the latest episodes of Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana on

About Geek & Sundry:

Geek & Sundry is a digital entertainment company recognized for providing the best in award-winning Internet television content featuring leading voices in geek culture and lifestyle. Geek & Sundry is part of Legendary Digital Network, a collection of next generation channels, which also include Nerdist Industries and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.  Spearheaded by prominent geek figureheads including Felicia Day (The GuildSupernaturalDr. Horrible) and Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Geek & Sundry has launched fan-favorite shows such as TableTopCo-OptitudeWritten By A KidSpellslingers and Spooked which have earned them over 1.5 million subscribers and 140 million views. The network has also launched their Twitch Channel that received over 5 million minutes viewed within its first week of going live to further connect with the online community. Geek & Sundry has won multiple accolades and nomination votes from the Annual Streamys, IAWTV, Origins, Davey, Diana Jones and Producers Guild awards since launch.  The office is headquartered in Burbank. For more information, visit and watch us on YouTube at

About Green Ronin Publishing:

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher.
Archie Comics renews distribution agreement with comiXology, expands single issues to Amazon
Amazon’s Kindle Store now has more than 1,700 single issue comics featuring iconic Archie characters, as well as the new Riverdale Reborn series, Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and more
July 30th, 2015 — New York, NY—Archie Comics, comiXology and Amazon announced today an expanded and renewed distribution agreement to sell Archie’s digital comic books and graphic novels across the comiXology platform and bring Archie single issues to the Amazon Kindle Store. More than 1,700 single issues are now available for sale in the Kindle Store, including the newly re-launched Archie series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, the upcoming New Riverdale titles as well as Archie Horror and Dark Circle comic series.

“As we look forward to celebrating our 75th anniversary, it’s an ongoing priority for us to engage our fans in new and innovative ways,” said Jon Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics.  “We are very pleased to continue serving our readers around the globe through the comiXology platform, and extremely excited to reach a brand new reading audience through the Kindle Store.”

“Archie Comics is one of the most recognizable comic book brands in the world,” said David Steinberger, comiXology’s co-founder and CEO. “They’ve done a fantastic job of constantly reinventing themselves to keep their characters fresh and relevant to readers of all ages. We’re happy that comiXology continues to be a key part of their digital distribution and to add them to the Kindle Store as a way to reach even more fans.”
While Archie’s graphic novels have long been available in the Kindle Store, their 1,700 single issues available today include many popular series and characters from the Archie Comics catalog, including Archie, Josie And The Pussycats, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Afterlife with Archie, and a variety of Dark Circle titles.  Kindle readers will also have same day as print access to new releases, including the new Archie series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples and the upcoming Jughead by Chip Zdarsky, Betty and Veronica by Adam Hughes and Life with Kevin by Dan Parent and J. Bone.
The Kindle Store gives readers access to millions of books on the most popular devices and platforms, including Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, iOS, Android, and more.
With over 75,000 comics, graphic novels and manga from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers the widest selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s immense catalog and cinematic Guided View reading experience make it the best digital platform for comic and graphic novel fans worldwide.

About Archie Comics
Archie Comics is the leading mass market comic book publisher in the world and the home to a wide array of the most popular humor, action-adventure and superhero characters in entertainment, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Reggie, Kevin Keller, Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Afterlife With Archie, the Dark Circle Comics superhero characters (The Black Hood, The Fox, The Shield and more), Li’l Jinx and many more. Archie Comics have sold over 2 billion comics worldwide and are published around the world in a number of languages. In addition to comics, Archie characters have been featured prominently in animation, television, film and music. Follow Archie Comics on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the Archie Comics Store.

About comiXology
ComiXology, an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology's Guided View reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become a top ten grossing iPad app in 2011 and 2012 and the top grossing non-game iPad app in 2012 and 2013. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from over 75 publishers - and independent creators as well - comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. ComiXology is based in New York City, with operations in Seattle, Los Angeles and Paris. For more information visit

About Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

S.F.’s Annual Japanese Pop Culture Festival Hosts First-Ever
SAKE SUMMIT Celebrating Japan’s National Spirit With Special Japanese Tea Culture Attractions In Union Square - Sat. & Sun. August 8th & 9th

San Francisco, CA, July 30, 2015 The 2015 J-POP SUMMIT, a Japanese pop culture event held annually in San Francisco, showcases the exotic and delectable world of Japanese green tea – Matcha – as part of this year’s extensive programming.

Presented within a special area adjacent to the SAKE SUMMIT, taking place in Union Square Park, the MATCHA SUMMIT will contain a specially curated collection of premiere retailers and manufacturers of Japanese matcha products, including tea and Japanese desserts. The MATCHA SUMMIT complements a tasty and informative array of events and attractions focused on essential components of Japanese cuisine such as Matcha, Sushi and Sake. Admission to the MATCHA SUMMIT is free. Tickets to SAKE SUMMIT are now available at

San Francisco’s inaugural SAKE & MATCHA SUMMITS celebrate Japan’s tea culture and national spirit and take place in the city’s downtown Union Square Park on the weekend of August 8th and 9th; the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT takes place Saturday and Sunday August 8th & 9th at the historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Organized by the J-POP SUMMIT Festival Committee and presented in partnership with a variety of leading Japanese and U.S. matcha tea companies, sake brands, brewers, distributors, and retailers, the 2015 SAKE SUMMIT & MATCHA SUMMIT in UNION SQUARE will feature multiple tasting booths. Inside the MATCHA SUMMIT area, attendees can enjoy an assortment of Japanese matcha and tea-related products. Taste authentic matcha, made with finely ground tea powder and served as the focal point of the Japanese tea ceremony, Sen-cha (green tea), Houji-cha (roasted tea), and all kinds of flavored tea will be available to sample and purchase. A selection of sweet treats and snacks with matcha flavors invented by long-established Japanese sweets brands will also be offered. In addition, there will be demonstrations of traditional tea ceremonies from the Urasenke and Omotesenke schools of tea ceremonies.

SAKE SUMMIT attendees can try a wide range of premium Japanese sake and learn how to enjoy them with food-pairings. In addition to tasting, attendees can purchase select brands of sake on-site. There will also be live Japanese traditional music entertainment, Japanese food vendors, and Japanese Matcha (green tea) exhibitors. Additional information is available at:

Admission to the MATCHA SUMMIT is free. Tickets to the 2015 SAKE SUMMIT UNION SQUARE are on-sale now at:; advance tickets (until 8/7) are $30.00; tickets purchased on-site the day of the event will be $35.00 each.

Participating MATCHA SUMMIT companies & organizations include:

The popular ITO EN-produced matcha specialty store “MATCHA LOVE,” which can be found in the San Jose Mitsuwa Market, comes to Union Square for MATCH SUMMIT. The store will sell a variety of matcha-inspired drinks and soft serve desserts normally only carried at the retail store.
Additional information on ITO EN is available at:

Lupicia, a Bay Area staple with locations in Bloomingdale’s in downtown San Francisco and at the Mitsuwa Market in San Jose, comes to the J-POP SUMMIT for the first time this year. The retailer stocks teas from all over the world, including seasonal black and green tea, oolong tea, original blend tea, and flavored teas. At the MATCHA SUMMIT, Lupicia will have 4 types of green tea, 4 varieties of green tea based flavored teas, and 2 types of matcha. There will be lots of samples available. Additional information on Lupicia is available at:

Minamoto Kitchoan
Minamoto Kitchoan carries a wide variety of Wagashi, Japanese sweets. International branches are spread over 7 different countries and proudly serve mochi (rice cake), manju (bean cake), jelly and more. Delight in the finest ingredients available including seasonal fruit, teas and nuts. Pair each flavor and variety with a cup of Green tea for an unforgettable experience. Inside each beautifully wrapped Wagashi item lies the warm heart of Japanese culture. Minamoto Kitchoan will be offering a variety of matcha sweets, as well as sweets that go perfectly with tea. Additional information on Minamoto Kitchoan is available at:

Omotesenke Domonkai Northern California Region
Since Omotesenke Domonkai Northern California Region was founded in 1969, it has been practicing Omotesenke tea ceremony by Rikyu. Now it has two hundred and thirty members in Northern California including twenty eight instructors who are officially certified by omotesenke Domonkai in Kyoto, Japan. It also hosts an annual Summer seminar for three days in August, overseen by two instructors from Kyoto.

The Urasenke Foundation, San Francisco
The Urasenke Foundation, San Francisco Center represents the 400 year-old Urasenke Tradition of Tea in the United States. The non-profit foundation is devoted to public service educational programs on chanoyu (the tradition of preparing, serving, and drinking powdered green tea) and Japanese culture. The Foundation offers opportunities to learn more about chanoyu and Japanese culture through direct participation in tea gatherings, lectures, workshops, and other events. The Foundation also serves as a resource center for local and visiting scholars and offers introductory through advanced instruction in chanoyu.

Tickets and V.I.P Passes to the 2015 J-POP SUMMIT are available now at: Over the weekend, J-POP SUMMIT attendees at Fort Mason can enjoy a colorful assortment of Japanese pop-influenced culture, fashion, pop art, live music, technology and travel that will be complemented by celebrity Guests of Honor, anime programming, cosplay and pop idol contests, and a wide assortment of vendors and other programming.

The J-POP SUMMIT is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration held in San Francisco, CA that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion shows and events, food and beverages, art, and celebrity appearances. In 2014, the two-day event attracted 125,000 attendees.

Details on the J-POP SUMMIT are available at


2015 Portland Film Festival Unveils Special Event -
Guinness Record Setting Zombie Day,
With director George C. Romero

LOS ANGELES - July 30, 2015 - Portland Film Festival announced today a record setting special filmed event, Zombie Day Apocalypse, to be held on Labor Day during the 2015 Portland Film Festival, which will take place September 1st - 7th.  Zombie Day Apocalypse, to occur on Monday September 7th, will attempt to set a new Guinness Book of World Records for 'most extras in a short film. Director George C. Romero, son of iconic horror director George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead), will direct.

Award-winning makeup artists Conor McCullough (The Hunger Games) and Jason Collins (The Maze Runner, Firefly) will oversee makeup effects. Randall Jahnson (The Doors, The Mask of Zorro) wrote the screenplay, and Portland Film Festival Founder and Executive Producer Josh Leake is producing the filmed event.  Additional collaborators include the Pander Brothers (Dark Horse Comics), who are creating graphics and imagery.

An anticipated cast of thousands are expected for the all-day holiday event, which will also include a late night surprise zombie film graveyard screening.

Additional details and sign-up information can be found at:

Said Portland Film Festival founder and Executive Director Josh Leake, "Zombie Day Apocalypse perfectly captures the renegade spirit and vision of the Portland Film Festival, and we're honored to be working with George Romero Jr., and a truly talented group of filmmakers to redefine cinematic history and set a new Guinness world record.  I invite all zombie lovers, cinema fans and filmmakers from around the world to join us in creating an unforgettable zombie film experience this Labor Day, and celebrate this unique Portland Film Festival event.

The fourth annual Portland Film Festival will take place September 1 - 7th, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, at seven venues throughout the city, including historic theatres and community venues.

The 2015 Portland Film Festival will announce the full festival lineup the first week of August, including all competition films, special events and guests, master classes, and more.  Festival passes are available now, and tickets for all screenings and events will be available upon announcement of the full lineup:

Lineup and ticket info:

About the Portland Film Festival

Established in 2012, The Portland Film Festival is Oregon's largest film festival, and was named "one of the coolest film festivals in the world," by MovieMaker Magazine in 2014. It is a non-profit, year round organization dedicated to nurturing filmmakers and audiences, and to celebrating the power of a good story. The festival focuses on the people, ideas, technology, skills and artistry behind filmmaking and provides both entertaining and educational opportunities to the public.

Screenings take place across the city at seven venues, including some of the oldest historic theaters in Oregon, and includes outdoor screenings as well - offering its filmmakers some of the largest audiences available on the West Coast.

Previous and current festival partners include the City of Portland, Portland Parks & Recreation, Women in Film, Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA), Willamette Writers, SAG Aftra (Actor's Guild/Union), Oregon Governor's Office of Film (Oregon Film), I.A.T.S.E. (Film Union), Directed by Women, Digital Media Communications Department at Clackamas Community College and others.

Although the festival began in 2012, its history goes back to 2009, when the Portland Film Club was founded as a film club to bring film lovers together to view and discuss films. The club now boasts over 2300 members and is one of the largest movie clubs on the west coast. It screens typically one movie a week including new and independent features.
Dynamite's Greatest Hits Sale at comiXology!

Save up to 50% on Graphic Novels this week ONLY!
July  30th, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Dynamite Entertainment is celebrating the summer right with an incredible Graphic Novel sale going on now over at comiXology. For the next two days only, fans can add over 40 of the publisher's "Greatest Hits" to their digital collections for 50% off the normal price. 
Go to the link below to find Dynamite's Greatest Hits at an incredible discount!

The sale lasts until 11pm EST, July 31st, so make sure to get your favorite Dynamite titles through this monumental offer. 
Dynamite's CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci states.  "This is an awesome list of Graphic Novels comiXology has put together, and the price is perfect for long-time fans to stock up as well as new fans looking to dip their toes into the Dynamite pool."
 Here are some of our best-selling titles with creators that are available!
The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson!
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham
Red Sonja by Gail Simone and an incredible backlist of books and collections!
The Twilight Zone by J. Michael Straczynski!
The Shadow by Garth Ennis, Matt Wagner and more!
Kings Watch by Jeff Parker - The beginning of Dynamite's recent KING mini-series event!
Battlestar Galactica by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, plus a huge backlist of more Battlestar Galactica comic books!
Kevin Smith!!!! Green Hornet and The Bionic Man comics!
Uncanny by Andy Diggle!
About Dynamite Entertainment

Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja,Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more.  Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.  In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent.  Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors.  In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011.  The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
Patrick McHale and Jim Campbell Return for New 'Over the Garden Wall' Comic Series

Over the Garden Wall #1 Main Cover
Over the Garden Wall #1 Main Cover by Jim Campbell

Over the Garden Wall #1 Subscription Cover
Over the Garden Wall #1 Subscription Cover by Steve Wolfhard

Over the Garden Wall #1 10 Years Cover
Over the Garden Wall #1 10 Years Cover by Jeffrey Brown (Full wraparound image shown)

Over the Garden Wall #1 Incentive Cover
Over the Garden Wall #1 Incentive Cover by Patrick McHale

July 31, 2015 (Los Angeles, Calif.) - KaBOOM!, an award-winning imprint of BOOM! Studios, and Cartoon Network Enterprises, the licensing and merchandising arm of the network, are pleased to announce that Patrick McHale and Jim Campbell have teamed up once again for a new, four-issue Over the Garden Wall limited comic series. Last November, Cartoon Network debuted McHale’s eerily sweet Over the Garden Wall, its first original animated miniseries, about half-brothers Wirt and Greg trying to find their way home. KaBOOM! published a companion one-shot that was eagerly snapped up by fans, selling out immediately.

“We are incredibly excited to dive back into the unknown with Patrick and Jim,” said BOOM! Studios President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik. “We adored the Over the Garden Wall animated miniseries here at BOOM!, and this new limited series will allow us to explore even more adventures with Wirt, Greg, the Woodsman, and all our favorite characters.”

It’s a new Over the Garden Wall story set between episodes 3 and 4 of the animated series. Wirt and Greg are trying to hitch a ride out of schooltown but end up having to walk. Soon, they come upon two girls playing, and wind up having to keep them entertained so that they don’t wake their giant father!

Headlined by an all-star voice-cast that includes Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Collin Dean (The War at Home), and Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men), Over the Garden Wall is Cartoon Network’s first-ever miniseries, an animated comedy/fantasy story about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are trapped in a mysterious world. In this 10-part production, music plays an important role with a soundtrack full of Americana-influenced original songs. A DVD collecting all of the episodes will be released on September 8. Over the Garden Wall is created by Patrick McHale and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

Over the Garden Wall #1 (of 4) arrives in comic shops on August 26th with a main cover by series artist Jim Campbell for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JUN151090. Also available in a limited quantity is a subscription variant by Adventure Time storyboard artist Steve Wolfhard, a 10 Years incentive cover by Jeffrey Brown (Star Wars: Jedi Academy), and a retailer incentive cover by creator Patrick McHale.

The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is August 3rd. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use or to find one! It’s also available for order directly from

Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios ( generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent. BOOM! Studios is comprised of four distinct imprints. The original Studios imprint is home to Mike Carey's Suicide Risk; James Tynion IV's The Woods; Mark Waid's Irredeemable; Sons of Anarchy; and Big Trouble in Little China. Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 Guns was released as a feature film from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ Peanuts; Jim Davis’ Garfield; Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Steven Universe; Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid; and Natasha Allegri's Bee and PuppyCat. BOOM!'s experimental imprint BOOM! Box publishes The Midas Flesh and Lumberjanes. In June 2013, BOOM! acquired Archaia Entertainment ( Archaia is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of Mouse Guard, Cow Boy, Gunnerkrigg Court, Rust, and Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand. In October 2013, BOOM! Studios entered into a unique first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox, giving the studio access to its library of titles and giving the publisher access to Fox's vast catalog of films. In August 2014, BOOM! Studios began a similar first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox TV to develop properties for the small screen.

Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) is responsible for building consumer products and merchandising programs for a wide range of brands by securing and supporting long-term licensing partnerships across all categories. As the global branding and merchandising arm of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, the division manages the consumer product programs for the networks’ award-winning original programming, brands and characters including Ben 10, Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, The Powerpuff Girls, Adult Swim and more. CNE also serves as the exclusive global licensing agent for LazyTown Entertainment.

Cartoon Network ( is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s global offering of the best in award-winning animated entertainment for kids and families across multiple platforms worldwide. Available in 192 countries, 26 languages and over 370 million homes, Cartoon Network takes its responsibilities to its audience seriously by embracing key social issues affecting families worldwide with initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up, Basta de Bullying and Move It Movement.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
168 Film Competition Breaks the Glass Ceiling for Women Directors 
to Launch Careers in Faith-Based Filmmaking
Seven-Year-Old Girl Nominated for Best KidVid Film
BURBANK, CA (31 July 2015) – Since its inception, the168 Film Project has been a catalyst for launching the careers of the next generation of filmmakers. Throughout its 13-year history, independent producers, writers, directors and actors have come together to create high-quality shorts that have set the stage for further opportunities and inspire talent both in front and behind the camera. This year’s films will be debuted at the 168 Film Festival, which takes place at the Premiere House at Regal Cinemas LA Live on August 29 - 30, 2015. Tickets are on sale at
When Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar in 2010 as Best Director of “The Hurt Locker,” her accomplishment carried an expectation that a gateway was now open for female directors.  However, no woman has received a Best Director nomination since then.
The ranks of female studio film directors have fallen from 8.1 percent in 2010 to 4.6 percent in 2014 according to an L.A. Times analysis (22 February 2015), and Directors Guild of America’s 2014 statistics show that women directors comprise only 14 percent of their current membership, and head 14 percent of TV directing roles. 
There are bright spots for women in independent faith film. The 168 Film Festival has been a proving ground for artists for 13 years.  This year, over 30% of 2015 entries boast women directors, and nearly two-thirds of the entries overall featured women in above-the-line positions including Producer, Executive Producer, Director or Director of Photography. Entries in the 17-day speed filmmaking contest are based on an assigned biblical passage.
“We encourage women, men, and even children filmmakers to develop and grow in the 168 incubator,” said John David Ware, the contest’s founder and director. “It’s rewarding to see alumni launching their careers and establishing themselves in the film industry.”
Seven-year-old Rachel Lowry entered this year’s 168 contest with her directorial debut, “True Freedom,” the story of a young girl who is wrongly accused of a jewel heist. Lowry wrote, produced, directed and voiced all the roles in the film, which is a contender in 168’s “KidVid” category.  See video interview with Rachel Lowry, Seven-year-old director here:
Second-time producer-writer April Manor returned in 2015 with the comedy, “Die Trying.” “My director, Liz Hewes, has a good rapport with our director of photography. She gave him room to do his job, so egos were left out of it. That lack of ego is magic,” said Manor. Her film is up for four awards, including Best Comedy.  Last year these newbies won best comedy screenplay for their film, “The Parcel,” which starred four-time Emmy Award Winner Michael Learned (“The Waltons”).
The experience was challenging for “Birdie’s Song” director Shari Rigby. “We lost our script, location and writer at 11 p.m. on Wednesday,” she said. “Just 48 hours prior to the production, we wrote a new script (in 12 hours), complete with all new shots and locations. The 168 really puts you in a pressure cooker. I ran a crew and cast of 40 people. The contest showed us what we’re made of and who we are.” Rigby is also an actor, starring with Stephen Baldwin and Sharman Joshi in an untitled feature that is shooting in India.
Talisha Henderson's crew told her during production that they could not film on one particular day, and so she went on a date with her boyfriend. "He had hired my crew to record our engagement,” she said, “I got engaged last night!  I'm going off pure adrenaline today. This is our fourth year with the 168. I feel much more confident now.”
The 168 Film Festival takes place at the Premiere House at Regal Cinemas LA Live on August 29 - 30, 2015. Tickets are on sale at
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ABOUT 168: The 168 Film Project ( is a catalyst for launching the careers of writers, actors and film producers in Hollywood. 
The faith genre includes several women of note, including Martha Williamson, a 25-year veteran executive producer and writer who began her career working on musical variety programs for Carol Burnett, Walt Disney Television and others.  Williamson made television history when her CBS series, “Touched by an Angel,” set a new standard for inspirational family drama, attracting a weekly audience of 25 million and exploding into a billion-dollar franchise during its initial nine-year run.
Beverly Holloway is a casting director with credits on over 50 films, including “Mom’s Night Out,” “October Baby,” “Beyond the Mask,” and “Like Dandelion Dust.” Holloway has been a supporter of 168 Film for many years as both an instructor and a film competition judge.
Producer Cindy Bond mixes the art of development with distribution and production of selected films.  She has been a guest lecturer at 168 Film events. Bond is currently working with Michael Landon Jr. on “Heaven Sent.”