If you've ever wondered what it takes to make a film worthy of some of the world's best film festivals, then you won't want to miss our upcoming interview with film consultant and co-founder of the Los Angeles Film Festival (L.A.F.F.), Thomas Ethan Harris, who, in his career in festival programming and working with emerging filmmakers, has watched and reviewed over 35,000 short films and 17,000 features. As a result, his insights into what works - and what doesn't - are invaluable for anyone curious about filmmaking or wanting to learn more about succeeding in the thrilling and highly-competitive world of film festivals.
Harris co-founded L.A.F.F. in 1995, and served as the festival's Director of Programming until 2003, when he started his own successful film consulting business, and was soon selected by Variety as one of their "Top 10 Industry Professionals to Watch" in the American independent film arena. As a film consultant, Harris works closely with film artists and producers from all over the United States and the international film community, advising them on every aspect of film financing, production, screenwriting, direction, visualization and, of course, the festival circuit.
Harris is credited with having introduced to the film world such acclaimed contemporary filmmakers as Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller ("Capote," "Moneyball"), New York Film Critics Circle Prize winner David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express," "George Washington"), Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black ("Milk," "J. Edgar"), Academy Award nominee Jason Reitman ("Juno," "Up In The Air"), and many more.
Over the years, his list of clients has included the filmmakers from "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), "Blue Valentine" (2010), "Pursuit Of Loneliness" (Sundance Film Festival, 2012), "Dogtown and Z-Boys" (2001), "Big Eden" (2000), "Kissing Jessica Stein" (2001), "Most Valuable Players" (2010), the 2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Short Film, "Adam and Dog," the Academy Award nominated Salvador Dali and Walt Disney animated short, "Destino" (2003), the 2003 Academy Award nominee for Best Live Action Short, "Most," and the winner of the 2005 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, "Ryan."
In 2007, Harris reunited with the acclaimed American Cinematheque, for whom he produces and leads many popular filmmaking seminars at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres in Los Angeles.
A graduate of University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, where he studied World Film History and Film Theory & Criticism, Thomas Ethan Harris has served as the Director of Programming for both the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films (from 2003-2004) and the Palm Springs Festival of Native Film and Culture (from 2005-2010). He also helped to found, and served as consultant and Director of Programming for, the International Emerging Talent Film Festival in Monte Carlo, Monaco (2007), as well as Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (2009).
Don't miss the next episode of Cinematic Immunity, available on Tuesday, September 2nd, to hear our interview with film festival aficionado, Thomas Ethan Harris.