Tickets now on sale for the Nomading Film Fest

If you’re an avid Gadling reader, then hopefully you’ve already cleared your calendar on the 18th of June (and the morning of the 19th).

In just 40 days, the Nomading Film Festival will descend upon the lively HI New York Hostel for a night of cinematic exposition that will showcase a lineup of short films from travelers, vagabonds, and video buffs around the world. If you’re looking for a night of entertainment or just a chance to meet and network with other travel aficionados, then book your ticket for the NoFF today.

Early bird tickets ($18.00) are on sale until May 16th, after which tickets go up to $25.00.

There’s even a little rumor that some of the Gadling crew will be present, so come out and show us a little love in person!

For more information, check out the official Nomading Film Festival website or be the early bird and book your tickets via Eventbrite.

Inside the 2011 Vail Film Festival (w/ exclusive video)

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the 8th annual Vail Film Festival to check out Olympus’s new initiatives in digital filmmaking and photography. As someone that loves independent films, experimenting with digital cameras, and snowboarding; the only way I would have been more anxious to pack my bags and fly to Colorado would’ve been if Lindsey Vonn had personally offered to escort me to the slopes and give me ski lessons upon arrival.

I’d never visited any Colorado ski resorts, so all of my preconceptions of the town were summoned from an exaggerated mix of pop culture references to Aspen (think Dumb & Dumber, Southpark or Family Guy). Just before touching down at Eagle Airport, I imagined that I would have to sift through hoards of stiff yuppies draped in mink furs and Burberry scarves scoffing at me for participating in the barbaric sport of the mono-ski.
But after settling into the newly remodeled Sebastian Hotel and taking a walk through the quaint cobblestone streets, I was relieved to find a proportionate balance of twenty-somethings on spring break from the nearby CSU Boulder, mild-mannered family crowds, and even a few polite young urban proffesionals sipping chardonnay and enjoying the afternoon’s aprés-ski.

Olympus came to Vail as one of the primary sponsors of the film festival and host of the 48-hour “PEN Your Short” competition. This contest gave teams of filmmakers the chance to shoot a 3 to 5 minute long video in just 48 hours with the PEN EP-L 2, a compact digital SLR camera that boasts interchangeable lenses and an array of in-camera ‘art filters’. The participants of the contest ranged from tight teams of young but experienced production buffs to a pair of local radio hosts that desperately began to search for a video editor moments after the countdown kicked off.

In theory, it was a great chance for everyone to showcase their ability; a level playing field of equipment, a list of specific shots & techniques to be incorporated in the videos, and the freedom to showcase any topic or narrative feasible within the given deadline.

Shot with the Olympus PEN and Olympus Tough TG-610

After meeting the 48-hour teams & getting familiar with the PEN, the impressive XZ-1, and Olympus’s Tough TG-610, myself and the handful of other journalists had the chance to participate in the weekend’s festivities and catch the various festival events and screenings. In its 8th year, the Vail Film Festival has yet to reach Telluride or Sundance proportions; but the stars that came to support the event and quality of the films shown lead me to believe it will eventually grow to be associated within the weight class of the bigger festivals over the next 5 years.

The films screened ranged from a charming low budget love story titled Falling Overnight, to a quirky Sideways-esque film about a female scientist that refuses to give up control in every aspect of her life, to a fascinating documentary about legendary skier Bill Johnson.

There were festival parties held across several ballrooms inside the Sebastian, with intimate musical performances by artists like Cary Brothers & Meiko. Representatives of films in the festival rubbed elbows with Vail’s socialites and a few celebrities (that had been lured to the festival by handing them awards) like Kate Bosworth, Michael Imperioli & Oscar Nunez; Lindsey Vonn even made a brief appearance, but I got the impression that my ski lessons would have to wait.

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend was chatting with Kris Krosskove, a Hollywood cinematographer and camera operator that had used the Olympus PEN to shoot several of the racing scenes in Disney’s 2010 horse-racing film Secretariat. Krosskove took advantage of the PEN’s small profile to capture angles that wouldn’t have been possible with full sized cameras, using it to shoot fast-paced action sequences that were then intercut with standard 35-mm film shots. It was both fascinating and reassuring to speak with a professional that was using the same tools that everyday consumers have access to; proof that a typically slow-to-adapt industry is in fact willing to incorporate new, inexpensive technology.

The founders of the Vail Film Festival are well on their way to establishing a legacy in Vail, and for travelers interested in independent film but reluctant to join the masses at Sundance it’s certainly a viable mountain festival alternative. The good snow, great venues throughout the town, and an overall charming and pleasant setting to mingle with the creative class and see a unique selection of films will certainly bring me back.

To check out the unique variety of finished films from the Olympus 48-hour film competition, visit the Olympus Youtube channel and see if your favorites match up with the contest winners.

Stephen traveled to the Vail Film Festival on a trip sponsored by Olympus. No editorial content was guaranteed and he was free to openly experiment with Olympus’s cameras while snowboarding, bathing in picturesque hot tubs, and rubbing elbows with A-list celebrities.

Nomading Film Festival announces NY venue

If you’re a New Yorker, a film enthusiast, a traveler that loves good storytelling, or combination of all three; clear your calendar for June 18th and set your sights on the West Village’s massive Hostelling International-New York.

The Brooklyn-based Nomading Film Festival has announced that they’ll be holding their big night of screenings in the biggest hostel in North America – an environment that falls right in line with their overall theme. The idea behind the Nomading Film Festival is simple. The fest’s creators “believe that stories caught on film, while traveling, are some of the most entertaining, educating, beautiful, and authentic. These are stories which should be shared, acknowledged, and awarded.

Don’t have any video experience? Not to worry – NoFF encourages people of all experience levels with video to submit so long as it’s under 15 minutes, non-fiction, and uploaded before April 30th (upload here). The festival has changed their grand prize from a trip to Egypt, to a 10-day trip to India, courtesy of Intrepid Travel. So grab your camera, phone, or webcam and hit the road!

Head on over to the Nomading Film Festival homepage for more information.

Mountainfilm Festival announces guest speakers

Organizers of the Mountainfilm Festival, held annually in Telluride, Colorado, have announced the list of this year’s special guests which will be on hand for the event. That list includes an impressive array of activists, artists, and adventurers who will share their stories and experiences, while also discussing some of the pressing topics of the day.

This year’s fest will take place from May 27th to the 30th, and will kick off with the Moving Mountains Symposium, a full day event that includes lectures and panel discussions focused on the theme of “awareness into action .” The three days that follow will be filled with guest lectures, art displays, social events, and some of the most amazing adventure films you’ll ever see.

Amongst the guest lecturers this year will be Dan Austin, one of the co-founders of 88Bikes, an organization dedicated to providing bicycles to needy children around the world. He’ll be joined by wildlife and nature photographer Paul Colangelo and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Wade Davis, as well as Geoff Tabin, a doctor who works tirelessly to cure people with preventable blindness in developing countries. To check out the entire list of guest speakers, click here.

Take advantage of early bird discounts on passes for the Mountainfilm Festival if you purchase before May 1st. Click here to order your passes now and start making your plans for Telluride this spring.

Win an Intrepid trip to Egypt with the Nomading Film Festival

If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling by camel, visiting the iconic Pyramids, dining with Nubian locals in a traditional village, cruising along the Nile on a felucca, or bargain hunting in Cairo’s souqs; it’s time to pick up your camera and start shooting.

The adventure experts at Intrepid Travel have teamed up with Brooklyn’s Nomading Film Festival to offer an extensive 8-day Egyptian tour to NoFF’s winning submission. Don’t have any video experience? Not to worry – NoFF still wants to see your stories! The festival encourages people of all levels of filmmaking to submit so long as it’s under 15 minutes, non-fiction, and uploaded before April 30th (upload here).

Audiences will vote in five categories: 1) The trip I wish I was on, 2) The trip I’m glad I wasn’t on, 3) The nomad(s) I want to travel with, 4) The most enlightening trip, and 5) Simply put, that trip makes me want to travel, now!

So pack your camera, get out on the road, and find a great story that needs to be shared and you could be on your way to the Land of the Pharaohs.

[Photo by scribs]