CONTACT: Michele Rothert, 412-322-0281

Pittsburgh Film and TV Professionals Celebrate Achievements,
Discuss Goals, Challenges, and Outlook for Local Productions
o Location: 5:30-8p.m., Dec. 18, Entrepreneurial Thursday,
Dowe's on Ninth Jazz Club, Downtown Pittsburgh, 412-281-9225
o Host Jessica Lee to conduct "open mike" interviews on stage with
industry leaders, producers, writers, artists and other celebrities
o Event: Public welcome to attend, join in discussion, network

PITTSBURGH (Downtown), PA (December 8, 2003) - Creative professionals from Pittsburgh's film and television industry will gather at Entrepreneurial Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 18, 2003, Dowe's on Ninth Jazz Club, Downtown Pittsburgh, to discuss goals, achievements, challenges and their collective vision for fortifying film and television production in the tri-state region.
Entrepreneurial Thursday is a weekly business-social event featuring live jazz, soul and blues by Vocalist/Host Jessica Lee and musical guests, and featuring open-mike interviews between sets by Lee with members of the Pittsburgh community. On Dec. 18, Lee will talk with Pittsburgh's Film/TV professionals and literary guests about critical and timely topics:
- Local market impact of the film The Bread, My Sweet, the Steeltown Entertainment Project, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and other local groups, independent producers and literary and creative professionals
- Need for collaborative effort, challenges, and outlook
- Legislation to provide tax breaks for production projects
- Talent and opportunity in Pittsburgh
- History of filmmaking and video production in Pittsburgh
- Creative and literary achievements of Pittsburgh writers and artists
- What the public can do to support efforts, demonstrate "Pittsburgh Pride"
Many distinguished professionals in film, TV, literature, music and other arts will participate in
open-mike interviews:
* Adrienne Wehr, co-organizer of event and producer of award-winning "indie" film sensation The Bread, My Sweet. Critically acclaimed performer and active union organizer with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Wehr will co-host open-mike discussions with Jessica Lee.

* Kevin Clark Forsythe, co-organizer of event, "a writer who lives in Pittsburgh," published author of
The Pittsburgh River Trilogy, three novels: Stardust on the Allegheny, Murder on the Mon, and Twilight
on the Ohio. Forsythe is seeking to option or sell the rights to his novels for screenplay and film

* Charlie Humphrey, executive director, Pittsburgh Filmmakers media arts center.


* Suzanne Steidl, assistant executive director, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

* Carl Kurlander, co-founder, Steeltown Entertainment Project; writer, St. Elmo's Fire, Saved by the Bell.

* Ellen Weiss Kander, executive director, Steeltown Entertainment Project.

* Lisa Frankovitch, treasurer, Steeltown Entertainment Project.

* Melissa Martin, writer/director, The Bread, My Sweet.

* Vincente Stasolla, writer/director, The Forgotten, which opened this years' Three Rivers Film Festival.

* Henry Simonds, producer, The Forgotten; and president, Headwater Films, LLC.

* Bud Adams, co-founder, Motion Picture Commission of Pittsburgh; founder, Sonic Pictures
production company.

* Jim Manley, co-founder, Motion Picture Commission of Pittsburgh.

* Adam Taylor, founder and president, Galaxy 454 production company; writer/director, Bundle of Joy.

"Pittsburgh shines with talent and we need to project a powerful beacon of ability to the West Coast, to New York and to other parts of the world," said Adrienne Wehr, producer and performer, The Bread, My Sweet. "Today, there is widespread recognition that we must work together, harder and more collaboratively than ever, to fortify Pittsburgh as a center of film and video activity."
Preparing to discuss issues and challenges at the Dec. 18 event, Charlie Humphrey, executive director, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, will share his outlook for a new Media Campus and North Oakland Media Corridor. Humphrey said, " We must strengthen the film field locally, and we must use that strength to attract film business from outside the region. By combining these import and export components, we can elevate our potential in both, and at the same time create an ancillary 'branded' reputation for Pittsburgh as a dynamic and creative film town.
"This means at least two things: Establish a degree-granting college devoted to film, photography and the digital arts, capitalizing on Pittsburgh Filmmakers' already strong national reputation as a leading media arts center, and establish a stronger, permanent presence in Los Angeles for Pittsburgh. This external marketing tool will allow for far greater access to industry decision-makers, and will solidify Pittsburgh's commitment to the entertainment industry."
Based in Pittsburgh (North Side), PA, Esteta Communications is a public relations, advertising and marketing firm serving as publicist and literary representative for various clients.