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A look at what's happening in the world of filmmaking

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One of the largest events for professionals working in the digital-video medium, Digital Video Expo West (Dec. 4–6 in Los Angeles) is a must, especially for those looking to keep up on the latest technologies. More than 125 exhibitors, from Panasonic and Sony to the Hollywood Creative Directory and the American Society of Cinematographers, will have booths set up. Next-generation high-definition cameras, the latest in editing software, and state-of-the-art hardware will be on display, and attendees can see the latest products at work.

Although companies like to keep the debut of their newest products and those products' technical specifications hush-hush until the expo, the industry is often awash in rumor. At last year's expo, Sony unveiled the V1U, an eagerly awaited professional HD cam. Which new camera will capture the industry's attention this year? What editing software will be the new standard? DV Expo West often answers those questions.

But it offers more than just a look at new products; it will also feature digital-video seminars and Apple-certified training programs; conferences on digital color correction, lighting, and shooting for HD and DVCAM; Internet distribution seminars; and technology boot camps and legal seminars for film producers. Apple will offer three-day intensive Final Cut training courses that range from an introduction to the software to advanced techniques such as color matching.

Entrance to the exhibit hall is $15. A one-day conference pass is $299, a two-day pass is $399, and a three-day pass is $475. The Apple courses include three days of hands-on training for $949 per training package.

Information and registration can be found online at www.dvexpo.com. For questions on how to sponsor or exhibit, contact Linda Cohen at (212) 378-0457 or lcohen@nbmedia.com.

For those who feel film has gone bone-dry, spiritually speaking, the Kairos Prize offers an opportunity for screenwriters to sprinkle a little inspirational water on the art form. The contest, in its third year, encourages new screenwriters to "produce compelling, entertaining scripts with a spiritual focus," modeled after such films as Amistad, The Preacher's Wife, and Dead Man Walking.

Three prizes are awarded: a grand prize of $25,000, a first-runner-up prize of $15,000, and a second-runner-up prize of $10,000. All winning scripts will be read by industry executives and promoted through the Kairos organization. The final deadline is Dec. 7, 2007. The entry fee is $75, $85 for scripts more than 130 pages long. Submission forms and more information can be found at www.kairosprize.com.

Park City, Utah, turned into a filmmakers' mecca when Robert Redford established the Sundance Institute there more than 25 years ago. The country's most famous independent film festival was soon born. Park City is now also home to the smaller but no less acclaimed Slamdance and Nodance festivals.

The Park City Film Music Festival (Jan. 17–27, 2008), in its fifth year, focuses on an often unheralded aspect of independent moviemaking: the music. The event is one of the few that recognizes and rewards the work of film composers. It will feature screenings of more than 200 films; seminars, workshops, and master classes in film scoring and the music industry; mixers for industry professionals; live performances; and an awards presentation. Award categories include best use of music in a feature, documentary, short film, and music documentary.

The submission deadline is Dec. 7, 2007, with an extension to Dec. 20, 2007, if submission is through Withoutabox.com. The regular submission fee is $60 per entry, with a $5 discount if submitted through Withoutabox. The late Withoutabox entry fee is $60. Submissions must be in DVD format.

Single-screening tickets and all-day passes are now on sale through the festival website. Tickets for single films are $10, and the all-day pass is $30. Students and residents receive a $5 discount. For more details on the Park City Film Music Festival, to enter a film, or to buy tickets, visit www.parkcityfilmmusicfestival.com.

Scientists, Technologists, Artists Generating Exploration is a playwriting competition hosted by the University of California, Santa Barbara, in conjunction with UCSB's Professional Artists Lab (www.proartslab.ucsb.edu) and the California Nanosystems Institute (www.cnsi.ucsb.edu). It "endeavors to cultivate appreciation and collaboration between the two cultures of science and art" with a competition for plays about science and technology that seeks to avoid the genre identifications of medical drama, biographical drama, and science fiction. Its panel of jurors includes Tony Award–winning writers, literary agents, and Nobel laureates in physics and chemistry.

The grand prize is $10,000 plus development and promotional opportunities for the winning play. All submissions (full-length plays only) must be postmarked on or before Dec. 31, 2007. The winner will be announced in July 2008. Competition details, online entry form, and contact information can be found at www.cnsi.ucsb.edu/stage.

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