Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Howard Stern Launches Film Festival
Robert Redford and Robert DeNiro look out! Howard Stern -- the self proclaimed "King of All Media," who, this January, left a more-than-30-year career in broadcast radio to set up shop at Sirius Satellite Radio -- has now launched The Howard Stern Film Festival. Stern himself tested the filmmaking waters when he starred as himself (and received generally good reviews) in the film adaptation of his autobiography Private Parts. The Howard Stern Film Festival will be produced in association with iN DEMAND Networks -- the home of Stern's pay-per-view Howard TV. Ceremonies will be held in New York on April 27, and aired exclusively on iN DEMAND on April 28 (which just happens to coincide with the beginning of DeNiro's Tribeca Film Festival). Robert D. Jacobson, the president and CEO of iN DEMAND Networks, was quoted as saying that the Howard Stern Film Festival is part of Stern's "commitment to democratize entertainment." In the glutted field of film festivals, one with the Howard Stern brand could certainly rise above the rest. While this is a great marketing move on Stern's part, the festival might in fact prove to be the platform for the talents of a filmmaker who would not otherwise be recognized. In an age of Internet distribution of short films, what I think the Howard Stern Film Festival does above all else is lend credibility to the "democratization movement" with the filmmaking industry. If this works -- like his radio program -- look for imitators to spring up quickly. All qualifying films are due by April 11, and must run five minutes or less. Each film will be judged on how well it "demonstrates a creative interpretation of Howard Stern related storylines." The festival will hand out $25,000 in prizes, with $15,000 going to the first place winner, $7,500 for second, and $2,500 for third. For more information on how to enter the competition, or how to obtain tickets for the festival, go to www.howard.tv.