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Harry Belafonte, Michael Shannon and More Join All-Star Lineup for FIRST TIME FEST at Players Club, 3/1-4

Related: Harry Belafonte, Michael Shannon, First Time Fest, The Players Club

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Harry Belafonte, Gay Talese, Michael Shannon and Ellen Burstyn have joined Christine Vachon, Fred Schneider, Sofia Coppola, Todd Solondz, Barbara Kopple, Scott Foundas, Eric Kohn, Emily Russo, Jenny Lumet, Darren Aronofsky, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hal Hartley, Peter Saraf, Nancy Savoca, Amy Ryan and Martin Scorsese as participants in First Time Fest.

Belafonte & Shannon will each be appearing onstage in the FTF's "Stand Alone! - Conversations with the Outstanding" series, one-on-one interviews with notable cinema artists.

Renowned author Gay Talese will join Christine Vachon and the B-52s Fred Schneider as another of the FTF's five jurors (the entire live audience at each of the 12 competition films will be the 5th juror). Together, the jury and audience will ultimately select a Grand Prize winner, which will be offered theatrical distribution for their film and full international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio.

Acclaimed actress Ellen Burstyn, who has worked with both Scorsese and Aronofsky will serve as the host of the FTF Closing Night Awards program. As part of that festive evening, Martin Scorsese will add his illustrious presence and belief in the art of cinema to present the first John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema to Darren Aronofsky. John Huston was one of the most prolific and versatile directors in the history of cinema. And with his mesmerizing debut film, Pi - made independently on black-and-white 16mm film - Darren Aronofsky was instantly recognized as a uniquely gifted new talent. His subsequent films: Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and BLACK SWAN, have more than fulfilled that promise.

In addition, FTF has announced that a special presentation of Andy Grieve and Lauren Lazin's documentary about the band The Police, CAN'T STAND LOSING YOU, featuring Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers will be added to the Fest's slate.

On an exciting party note, and in conjunction with FTF's presentation of the Australian/Mongolian documentary MONGOLIAN BLING on Sunday night, First Time Fest and Hip Hop Saves Lives presents "Project Haiti," an album release party for Zing Experience at Webster Hall. FTF is selling tickets to the screening, the party or a special combo pass for both.

First Time Fest (FTF) - a celebration of first time filmmakers - is a new and unique film festival taking place in New York City from March 1 through 4, 2013. FTF is set to discover and present the next generation of great cinema artists.

Representing a hybrid between a traditional film festival and a highly motivated audience participation event, FTF will present a dozen Competition Films, which will be judged by a panel of industry luminaries and the FTF audience. All competition screenings will be followed "hot-seat" discussions between the jury and filmmakers, and all audience members will vote on the films as well. Together, the jury and audience will ultimately select a Grand Prize winner, who will be offered theatrical distribution for their film and full international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio. It will truly be a contest of the best emerging filmmakers competing for the Ultimate Audience Award. COMPETITION FILMS - (visit http://firsttimefest.festivalgenius.com/2013/films/type/film/category/Competition
for competition films, descriptions & times)

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