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Photo Flash: Julie Taymor, Brooke Shields, Michael Moore and More at 2014 FIRST TIME FEST


After 5 days featuring 10 new films from around the world; 9 retrospective screenings with artists such as Jennie Livingston, James Toback, Julie Taymor and Frederick Elmes; 9 amazing panels featuring the brightest industry minds; and 8 special events including conversations with Michael Moore, FIRST TIME FEST, The Second Time Around came to a close last night, April 7 with its Closing Night Awards Ceremony which took place at the 42West Nightclub in NYC. Scroll down for photos from throughout the festival!

The members of the Jury presented all the Awards except for the presentation of the Grand Prize, distribution from Cinema Libre Studio and Scandinavia Locations package, which was presented by FTF Co-Founders Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward.

Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated director Julie Taymor will be the FIRST TIME FEST's 2014 John Huston Award For Achievement In Cinema recipient. Ms. Taymor was also represented in the Fest's 'First Exposure' Retrospective Program where she attended to present and discuss with the audience her first feature film, Titus. Presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of cinema, and whose presence in our community has offered leadership and inspiration to other cinema artists, the John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema is named in honor of one of America's greatest filmmakers. Academy Award®-winning Composer Elliot Goldenthal presented the John Huston Award to Julie Taymor.

Among the many guests and participants attending the festival over the five days were Tony Bennett, Julie Taymor, Elliot Goldenthal, Slash, Duncan Sheik, Carol Alt, Rosie Perez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Brook Shields, Lake Bell, Frederick Elmes, Jennie Livingston, Tom McCarthy, Michael Moore, Kelly Reichardt, James Toback, Jess Weixler, Nicholas Guest, Noah Levy, Anne-Katrin Titze, Stephanie Zacharek, and our fantastic competition filmmakers: Tommy Oliver (1982), Marieke Niestadt (Bittersweet), Josephine Decker (Butter on the Latch), Rok Bicek (Class Enemy), Jayce Bartok (Fall To Rise), Yael Reuveny (Farewell, Herr Schwarz), Serene Meshel-Dillman (Getting to the Nutcracker), Gesa Jäger (Love Steaks), Mikael Berg (Miss Julie), Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker).

The 2014 First Time Fest (FTF) - a celebration of first time filmmakers - is a second year, unique film festival that took place in New York City from April 3rd through 7th, 2013. FTF is set to discover and present the next generation of great cinema artists. Screenings were held at Loews Village VII and panels at NeueHouse, a new FTF sponsor, and a work and social space. This year's FTF industry jury included Nicholas Haden-Guest, Anne-Katrin Titze and Stephanie Zacharek, together with the audience members. The Grand Prize winner was offered theatrical distribution for their film and full international sales representation from the renowned American film distributor, Cinema Libre Studio, a leader in distributing social-issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers, as well as a trip to Norway and Sweden to spend a week at a writer's cottage in Northern Sweden to work on their next project, courtesy of Scandinavian Locations - the consortium of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Danish film commissioners -

In addition to the Competition Films, FTF presented FIRST EXPOSURE, a series of first films from now prominent filmmakers. They included TITUS (Julie Taymor), Roger & Me (Michael Moore), FINGERS (James Toback), TARGETS (Peter Bogdanovich), ERASERHEAD (Frederick Elmes), RIVER OF GRASS (Kelly Reichardt), SALESMAN (Albert Maysles), IN A WORLD (Lake Bell), THE STATION AGENT (Todd McCarthy), The Festival also included special presentations of SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY (Drew Tobia), and the first film produced by musician Slash NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR by Anthony Leonardi III.

First Time Fest also included a series of panels called "How They Did It," in which a diverse group of award-winning filmmakers and industry professionals moderated filmmaking case studies and spotlighted some of the most successful and accomplished masters of the industry. The panels were Women in Entertainment (with Carol Alt, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Rosie Perez, Brooke Shields); From Rock To Score (with Slash, Duncan Sheik); Show Me the Money (moderator Steven Beer); Panel What's Up Doc? (with Carol Suh, Michael Bonfiglio from Radical Media, and directors Rachel Doynton and Richard Rowley); Sell Baby Sell (with) Help Me Help You: Everyone Needs an Agent, Manager, Publicist, Lawyer and Personal Umbrella Handler! (with moderator Steven Beer; We Need a Bigger Boat - Producing Independent Cinema (with ) and A Critical Eye: Critics and their Role in Discovering New Filmmakers (with Eric Hynes, Keith Uhlich, Josh Rothkopf , Violet Lucca and moderated by Film Society's Eugene Hernandez).

"Stand Alone! - Conversations with the Outstanding" featured a one-on-one interview with notable cinema artist Michael Moore.

Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward are the co-founders of First Time Fest. As an accomplished philanthropist, actor and social entrepreneur, as well as the daughter of singer Tony Bennett, Johanna Bennett has immersed herself within the entertainment and artistic community her entire life. Mandy Ward has worked in the film industry for the past decade in varied capacities, namely as a film producer of several projects. Mitch Levine, CEO of The Film Festival Group, is producing the festival. Through his company, Mitch offers consulting services and expertise to film festivals, film commissions, distribution companies and filmmakers around the world, and was formerly the CEO and Executive Director of the renowned Palm Springs International Film Festival. The Festival's Director of Programming is David Schwartz, the Chief Curator of Museum of the Moving Image.

For more information visit The Festival Website at

Photo Credit: Phillip May

FALL TO RISE producer Tiffany Bartok, star Katherine Crockett and director Jayce Bartok

Carol Alt, Rosie Perez, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Brooke Shields

FIRST TIME FEST founders MAndy Ward and JohAnna Bennett with director Anthony Leonardi and producer Slash at the screening of their first film NOTHING TO FEAR

FIRST TIME FEST panelists Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez, Carol Alt and Daphne Rubin-Vega are joined by FTF co-founded JohAnna Bennett and special guest, her dad Tony

FIRST TIME FEST's programmer David Schwartz and producer Mitch Levine flank composer Elliot Goldenthal and director Julie Taymor at the first exposure screening of her TITUS

Cinematographer Frederick Elmes discusses first exposure presentation of ERASERHEAD with FIRS TIME FEST programmer David Schwartz

Film editor Gesa Jager accepting the award for best film for LOVE STEAKS (Germany) from FIRST TIME FEST co-founders JohAnna Bennett and MAndy Ward

FIRST TIME FEST panel "Help Me Help You"

FIRST TIME FEST's John Huston Award goes to Julie Taymor. Pictured: Presenter Elliot Goldenthal, FTF co-founder MAndy Ward, Julie Taymor and FTF co-founder JohAnna Bennett

FIRST TIME FEST's programming coordinator Sarah Salovaara conducts a Q&A with 1982 director Tommy Oliver and young star Troizee

Michael Moore chatting with the audience following the FIRST TIME FEST screening of ROGER AND ME

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