China has finally launched a film festival specifically targeting the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, called the Just Film Festival. The group appears to have organized in 2014, holding the first festival in 2015, as near as I can tell. It seems to have gotten them off to a good start, because this year around 200 industry professionals were running 3 tracks, with the most popular session being the projects, promotion, and investment presentation. That started off with around 500 potential films putting in their bids for funding, and by the time the dust settled it was narrowed down to just 3 titles: Immerse, Saving Human, and Planet X. I don’t know which or how many of them got the money to begin production, but over the last decade or two there has been an explosive growth in the Chinese Science Fiction literary scene. Some of those books and stories have won recognition world wide, and some of them are now in bookstores in North America; it is nice to see their SF/F film industry starting to get some momentum and recognition as well.

I have always been a Holmes fan, and Sherlock is the best there has ever been. So here are two offerings from this weekends Comic Con event, the new trailer, and the related gathering from Nerd HQ 2016 which benefited Operation Smile this year. The sessions of this project are referred to as A Conversation For A Cause, and it is exactly that. The format is a small intimate room at the San Diego New Children’s Museum, which seats a limited number of people, all of whom pay a noticeable (but not exorbitant) amount of money to attend. A small group of major players of some cult favorite show gather on stage, with another cult favorite actor from an unrelated property as the moderator. The folks on stage have a chat about the program they are involved in, then the moderator invites questions from the audience.

As near as I have been able to tell, 100% of the money raised by this series of events goes to the charity. The audience gets to have the kind of one-on-one experience with the show makers that used to be common several decades ago, when only us nerds and geeks even knew this kind of convention was happening, but which seems to have evaporated around the turn of the century. The participating actors, writers, and directors of these shows all get to contribute their time (and money; lots of them also make a contribution beyond their mere attendance), connect even more personally with their most loyal fans, and by doing so generate an impressive amount of revenue for the charity. As a person who was a member of the group who created the original Beg-A-Thon which was then used as the model all PBS radio and TV stations put into play to raise public awareness and money (crowdfunding decades before most people became aware that it was an option), I don’t see a downside to this project. The fact that they then make these sessions available to the general public (with or without editing, it could go either way but what I see makes me think without) is just yet another bonus as far as all us fans are concerned. Enjoy!

The Anisong World Matsuri takes place July 2nd and 3rd as part of Anime Expo, pretty much North America’s most intense Anime Con. The musical line up is amazing, with 9 artists including:

Eir Aoi (Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, Kill la Kill, more)
Flow (Naruto, Eureka seveN, more)
JAM Project (MACROSS 7, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh!, over 100 more)
Luna Haruna (Sword Art Online I and II, Monogatari, more)
Minami (Haruka Suzumiya, Infinite Stratos, Mobile Suit Gundam Age, more)
OLDCODEX (GODEATER, Free, more)
Sphere (Demon King Daimao, Class of Heroes 2, more)
T.M.Revolution (Rurouni Kenshin, Bleach, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, more)
Yoko Ishida (Ah! My Goddess, Sailor Moon R, Strike Witches, more)