2017 Topanga Film Festival


Featuring some of the world's best and most awarded VR experiences

SAT & SUN 12:00 - 6:30PM

Milica Zec - Giant
Makropol - The Doghouse & EWA, Out of Body
Ben C. Solomon - Fight for Falluja
Hydro Studios – Tilt Brush Installation

Cari Ann Shim Sham + Light Sail VR + Opera on Tap - The Parksville Murders (The first VR Opera Horror)


And Now, For The Complete Program:


FRIday 02/10




6:30 - 7:30PM – Opening night reception 

The opening night reception will be a celebration of artists in different forms coming together as a celebration of the start of the festival. The reception will host dancer Scarlett Rae, virtual reality experiences as part of our VR Lounge, and live music from Ashley Norris accompanied by Corey Klass and Michelle Capra. We will also have local businesses joining us in the celebration including the famous Rock N' Roll Pizza truck, light bites from Cava Grill and complimentary Hubert's lemonade. 

7:30 - 9:00PM – dance film showcase
Curated by Cari Ann Shim Sham* NYU Tisch associate arts professor, dance & new media

The Topanga Film Festival Dance Film Showcase, curated by Cari Ann Shim Sham, now in its 8th year, strives to present the highest quality of visually engaging, sensory stimulating, movement driven short film work. 



11:00AM – open table: Funding in digital culture / Free (RSVP)

In this open forum we invite a conversation diving into the changing nature of funding within digital culture. How do we fund films? Have you used or are you curious about crowdfunding, YouTube Ads, breaking the mold? Come listen, share and enjoy free coffee and pastries! 



We are inviting the makers: the set designers, make-up artists, costumers and casting directors to share with us their process when (quite literally) building a world. What is their first step? Where do they get inspiration? How is the finished product different from what they first imagined?

Matt Mahurin – The Imagemaker's Journey

Matt Mahurin – The Imagemaker's Journey

2:30- 3:30PM – The imagemaker's journey – A dialogue With MATT MAHURIN

Matt Mahurin will share his 35 year journey through film, photography, and illustration. He has directed three feature length films and hundreds of music videos, public service announcements and short films. His illustrations have appeared on the covers of TIME, Rolling Stone, Esquire and Mother Jones Magazines. He has also published three books of his fine art photography.

He will discuss his book series, The Imagemakers Handbook which will be released in 2017. The series explores the practical skills and philosophical concerns that support a passionate and prosperous life as a creative professional.

Through showing his illustrations, photographs, and film work, Matt will share stories behind his photo shoots and videos with U2, Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Metallica; his photojournalism assignments in Haiti, Nicaragua, Belfast and the Texas Prison System; and his adventures in the world of independent filmmaking.

As director, cinematographer, and editor of his projects, Matt will discuss the process of developing a business model that has resulted in a one-man film production company in his Topanga home studio.

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4:00 - 5:00PM – Composer Highlight:

Aska matsumiya in conversation with sybil buck

Composer Aska Matsumiya will present her most recent short film THAT ONE DAY - an exciting, youthful, and feminist film about a fearless all-girl skateboarding crew in New York City resisting casual macho sexism. Aska will discuss her journey, process and feminine power in a dialogue with yogi, musician, model and skater, Sybil Buck. 


7:00 - 9:00PM – International Short Film Competition
Curated by shauna farrell, tfi programmer

TFF is delighted to present it's 13th Annual Short Film Competition. This collection delivers timely, beautiful, and innovative films telling the stories we need to hear now. 

Programmer's note: The international short film program highlights excellence in storytelling, including fiction, factual and experimental films. In shaping this program my highest priority was to showcase and celebrate works by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds that use innovation and creativity to tell their stories and who investigate their themes without inhibition. The selected shorts will take the TFF audience on a compelling journey through the experiences and imaginations of filmmakers from around the world - near and far - and I hope will be both thought-provoking and inspirational for all.

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5:30 - 6:30PM – Youth salon / Free rsvp

Featuring the next generation. Our Youth Salon has gained international prestige as we received entires from around the world; from Topanga to Canada to South Korea. This is the future of cinema. 

Photo: Diego Didden, Director of 'Salty Days'. 




8:00 - 11:00PM – Label 27 presents tfF official after party

Label 27 (the creators of Reggae on the Mountain) will partner with TFI to deliver the best after party yet. Get ready to DANCE DANCE to the funk of Soulfire Collective at Froggy's Fish Market. 

Come straight from the International (Yes, Mr Trump) Short Film Competition - WINNERS ANNOUNCED. $10 Pre-Sale or free with All Access Pass or Saturday Pass. 

Bring your dancing shoes. 



SUNDAY 02/12


11:00AM – OPEN TABLE: Distribution in digital culture (Free, RSVP)

In this open forum we invite a conversation diving into the changing nature of distrubution within digital culture. How do we distribute films? Who should watch your films and how? We want to discuss working outside of the mainstream model, be it on YouTube, Vimeo, private distributors, the film festival circuit or breaking the mold - how can you find your audience?  Come listen, share and enjoy free coffee and pastries! 


1:00PM-3:00PM –  SIMA (social impact MEDIA awards) SHOWCASE SCREENING

The SIMA Impact Cinema Showcase features some of the best short films that promote social impact. SIMA has given us a showcase curated specifically for our TFF audience surrounding issues of social impacts and the arts. 

Followed by a conversation led by TFI Co-Founder Urs Baur with SIMA, documentarians, and non-profits to dive into questions of social impact through storytelling. 





3:30 - 4:30PM – THE formula for happiness Workshop / Lecture with Gregg katano

Basically, I have been developing a process for creative people to 'dump' their thoughts and organize them in a way that will help them bring most any idea or project to fruition.  It is very easy to understand and I have taught students from both Otis College and Pepperdine, media professionals,entrepreneurs, friends and family members. 

Gregg Katano is a media entrepreneur, solutions architect, and educator.  He is a partner at Unofficial Cardboard, a Google-certified partner producing Google’s ‘Cardboard’ VR viewers. He is VR Ambassador of MaiTai Global, a group of entrepreneurs, and innovators fueling philanthropic activities around the world working closely with Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite and the Ocean Elders. He’s a frequent speaker for the VR community domestically and internationally. 



A panel of VR innovators and creators discuss how to use new immersive media technologies to enhance a story. Why should we tell stories in this space? How should we tell stories in the space? What stories can we tell that have never been told this way before? 

Michael is an award winning storyteller, coach and facilitator living in Los Angeles. His solo show, Ceremony, has toured nationally and continues to attract audiences seeking a transformative evening of story and ritual. His coaching and consulting focuses on helping folks discover and harness the power of their stories to move with a greater, grounded sense of purpose and create change. Michael also facilitates private and group breathwork sessions and struggles daily with a brownie addiction.