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SAN JOSE, CA – A dozen top-flight international filmmakers today were dispatched to capture stories of the people who use technology to benefit humanity around the world, marking a new partnership between The Tech Awards and international film powerhouse Cinequest.
The 90-second films will be shown as part of Silicon Valley’s foremost technology awards program, The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. A signature program of The Tech Museum, The Tech Awards recognizes 12 brilliant innovators who are changing the world with their technologies to eliminate hunger, do away with disease and combat illiteracy, among other global challenges.
The Cinequest partnership is neatly aligned with the goals of The Tech Awards, which seeks to raise awareness about the life-changing work that affects people from Uganda to Uruguay. Over the years, the 257 laureates of The Tech Awards have worked hard to erase stubborn global problems. Thanks to the international reach of Cinequest, these gripping stories will be relayed around the world.
“As we explored different ways to introduce The Tech Awards laureates this year, Cinequest's Film Festival and its Picture the Possibilities project caught our attention—and a new idea emerged,” David Whitman, vice president The Tech Awards. “Why not convey the compelling stories of the laureates this year through the lenses of 12 diverse, imaginative, and daring filmmakers associated with Cinequest? We pictured the possibilities. And now we're making them into a reality.”
Cinequest has paired a filmmaker with each of the 12 laureates to feature the laureates’ fieldwork and illustrate how their innovations help people most in need. The films will serve as a creative introduction for the nearly 1,500 attendees at the annual The Tech Awards gala November 15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. After the gala, the films will be available for the laureates to share with media, potential partners and donors or those simply interested in learning more about their work. The films will also be posted on the museum’s website, along with those of past laureates. The top three will be screened during the Cinequest Film Festival, February 26 – March 10, 2013.
“Cinequest and The Tech Museum share a commitment to integrating creativity and innovation. It’s a pleasure to engage Cinequest filmmakers to honor the innovation and powerful work of this year’s laureates,” Halfdan Hussey, director and co-founder on Cinequest, said.
The inspiring work of the laureates has included designing earthquake-resistant construction technology to creating a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunizations to building a simple, low-cost, mobile phone-based device that allows remote monitoring and operation of irrigation pumps.
This year, the laureates will be honored in six categories: Intel Environment Award; Microsoft Education Award; The Swanson Foundation Young Innovator Award; Nokia Health Award; Flextronics Economic Development Award, and The Sustainable Energy Award. The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award will be presented to Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy, who founded tech services giant Infosys along with six colleagues and went on to become one of India’s most influential advocates for health care and rural development.
The following lists the filmmakers’ names and short biographies:
* Abbey Luck, Awesome + Modest
Abbey is a director and animator whose work has been featured at the Slamdance and Cinequest film festivals and in the feature film, Waiting for Superman. She produced music videos and commercials for General Electric, Gerber, Scion, Nokia, and AOL
*Lee Lanier, BeezleBug Bit
Lee is a leading animator and visual effects designer who has served as a senior animator at PDI/Dreamworks, taught at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, authored six high-end animation and visual effects books, was featured at 200+ venues worldwide, and is the executive director of the Dam Short Film Festival
*Landon Zakheim, filmmaker
Landon is a short-film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and a filmmaker whose short films, Delmer Builds A Machine and Another Bullet Dodged, have been featured at over 60 international film festivals around the world
*Mike Blum, Pipsqueak Films & Blumayan Films
Mike is an Emmy-nominated and award-wining director, writer, and producer who owns and operates the Pipsqueak Films animation studio and Blumayan Films. Mike’s projects include the Emmy-nominated series, The Adventures of Baxter & McGuire (Comedy Central); live-action feature, The Playback Singer; and recent series, Samurai! Daycare (SMOSH/Alloy Digital)
*Evan Mather, filmmaker
Evan is an independent filmmaker and landscape architect based in Los Angeles. His 2007 film, So What?, received the 2008 Communications Award of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects and he is a Graham Foundation recipient for his 2009 documentary, A Necessary Ruin
*Mary Skinner, 2B Productions
Mary directs and produces documentary films and corporate media. Her most recent project Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers, an official selection at this year’s UN Film Festival, was broadcast nationally on PBS and won the 2012 Gracie Award for outstanding documentary for, by, and about women
*Oliver Cukor, Sleeveless Productions, Inc
Oliver has combined his passions for film, music and new technologies to create stunningly visual and immersive experiences. He has produced, edited, and directed several award-winning films, two of which, Sleeveless Heart and Blue Road, have been shown at the Cinequest Film Festival
*Kavi Raz, K.R. Films Hollywood
Kavi is an award-winning actor, writer, producer, and director as well as the founder of his production company. His directorial debut film The Gold Bracelet has been screened at many prestigious film festivals and has garnered several awards
*Vijay Vanniarajan, Siren Song Creations
Vijay is a co-owner of Siren Song Creations, whose work has been featured on national television, Oprah.com, Deepak Chopra’s website, several film festivals, and has produced for companies such as Adobe, ESPN, NBC, Sentilla, Cinequest and Plug and Play. Paramount Pictures also distributed his documentary.
*Sean McCarthy, Guerilla Wanderers Films
Sean McCarthy is the founder and director of Guerilla Wanderers Films, an award-winning, full-service production company that specializes in film, commercials, corporate videos, and music videos. His short films, Superhero, Boxed Up and Raging Cyclist have received high recognition and awards at various film festivals throughout the United States
*Sidney Sherman with Cliff Schmidt
Sidney is the founder and CEO of Rosa Entertainment, an independent film/television production and management company. Sherman produced the IFC Films released Go Tigers!, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was an Academy Award Finalist and Independent Spirit Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature
*Thomas Mignone, filmmaker
Thomas is a leading filmmaker and music video director who has directed over 150 award-winning music videos for top industry artists and feature film, On the Doll, Thomas utilizes his electrical engineering background to fuse digital audio and video systems and technologies in his filmmaking
For learn more about The Tech Awards, click: http://thetechawards.thetech.org/ 
For more information about Cinequest, click: http://www.cinequest.org/indexCQ.php