The first ever Magic Film Festival: Las Vegas
The first ever magic film festival was held this year (February 2006) in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel. Several hundred people packed into the Decatur Room, where three jumbo projection screens were set-up, and free popcorn given out for all who entered.
Sixteen film submissions were sent in from around the world, and the judges narrowed them down to eight. Of eight submissions, only three would go on to be crowned first, second and third place of the inaugural magic film festival.
The who’s who of magic was out this evening and it certainly was the buzz of the whole World Magic Seminar convention. Even my dad was there! (Pictured on the left)
The Eight Final Contestants Were:
- The Heckler by Josh Jay
- Death Before Me by De’vo Vom Schattenreich
- Happy’s Last Wish by Sean McEwen & Gary Curtis
- From The Eye of The Dove by Paul Carlon & Michael Henderson
- High Jinx and The Magic Nightmare by Siobhan & Michael Jordan
- The Real Secrets of Magic by Jean Luc Bertrand and David Stone
- How to Escape From a Straightjacket by Leigh Jurecka
- The Meeting by David Darkstone
Several months before this festival, Rodney Reyes (the guy running the event) phoned me up and explained how I had been chosen as the recipient of the Inspiration Award at this magic film festival for The Five Card Stud
Immediately, I called the old cast and crew of the Stud and told them the great news. While not all of them were able to show up to this event, a select few of did. Chris Randall, Joey Burton, and even Kaylani Paliotta (the famous 5 Card Stud femme fatale Tara Monroe) made an appearance. (Pictured below)
The event kicked off with Chris Kenner announcing and introducing each of the competing films. Chris was the perfect choice as MC, he is a true film aficionado.
One by one, we all watched these films with a critical eye. It was exhilarating to be in the audience. The energy in the room was dynamic and electrifying.
Once all of the entries were shown, Chris Kenner began to talk about the Inspiration Award.
"Wow!" is what I'm saying at this moment!
Me thanking everyone involved with the Five Card Stud project
After thanking everyone who was in involved with the making of the Five Card Stud, I introduced “On Tour: with Michael Ammar” to the excited crowd.
please click here to watch On Tour: with Michael Ammar
When "On Tour" was finished, they announced the winners of the first ever magic film festival.
3rd place: The Meeting by David Darkstone
2nd place: Happy's Last Wish by Sean McEwen & Garry Curtis
1st place: The Real Secrets of Magic by Jean Luc Bertrand & David Stone
Congratulations to the winners, and a hearty ‘Good Job’ for those other thirteen contestants that took the time to scheme-up, direct, shoot, edit, and enter the film festival. You were the guys who did it!
Hope to see all of you there next year, and who knows…
Maybe you might enter with something you’ve been working on recently?
Photo: Rodney Reyes, Lee Asher, and David Stone