Film & Video News Digest: “Poms” With Diane Keaton, New Canon Lens & More

New Comedy: “Poms” With Diane Keaton: Although Hollywood doesn’t have a great history in being an inclusive environment for older women, it seems there are some changes currently taking place in the system. In fact, a new comedy, “Poms,” which opened Friday, May 10, just in time for Mother’s Day, is an example of a movie that seems to be keeping the momentum of this evolutionary change going. But more than that, it’s a beautifully shot, iconoclastic comedy that’s not afraid to take on life’s biggest themes, which is what makes it so engaging. The movie stars an all-star female-powered cast, including Diane Keaton, Jackie Weaver, Rhea Perlman and Pam Grier, and is directed by British documentary filmmaker Zara Hayes, who did such a remarkable job at balancing lighthearted, comedic moments with scenes dealing with sickness, dying and death. In many ways, Hayes said she relied on her experience in creating documentaries in order to strike that balance. What’s even more remarkable is that it happens to be Hayes’ first narrative film. For more on the film, see

Workshop For Documentary Video & Multimedia: If you’re in New York at the end of May and are interested in getting a quick overview of documentary video and multimedia storytelling approaches, check out MediaStorm’s One Day Master Class, which takes place Saturday, May 25 in Brooklyn, NY. The workshop is one of several classes run by Brian Storm, who is the founder and executive producer of MediaStorm, which publishes a wide array of multimedia projects that combine documentary filmmaking, photojournalism and multimedia. For the May 25 class, students will learn about narrative storytelling, reporting approaches, teamwork and even business models, such as how to collaborate with clients, syndication models and distribution of projects across various platforms. It’s not a hands-on workshop, but students will engage in active discussions on theory and real-world examples using MediaStorm’s award winning work. Tuition for the one-day class is $500. For more on the class, go to

Canon’s new RF 85mm F1.2 L USM prime lens.

New Canon Prime Lens For Full-Frame Mirrorless System: Canon has just announced a new mid-range telephoto prime RF-series lens for its EOS R Full-Frame mirrorless camera system: The RF 85mm F1.2 L USM. Canon says that it’s the first RF lens to feature Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) optics, which the company claims will greatly reduce chromatic aberration. The lens will also have a minimum focusing distance of 2.79 feet, comes with a customizable control ring, includes one aspheric and one UD lens, an L-Series dust-and-weather-resistant build with fluorine coating and an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to minimize lens flare and ghosting. The lens will be available in June for $2699. For more, go to

Cutting-Edge Imaging Tech Summit: The LDV Vision Summit, which takes place in New York City on May 22 and May 23, is an annual conference that showcases inventive digital-imaging and video startups that are working in a wide spectrum of industries, from healthcare to publishing to automotive to fashion, and more. The summit is also ideal for those who are looking for potential investors and partners. Plus, there’s a competition for best startups. According to the conference’s website, creatives who should attend include imaging and video startups professionals interested in meeting investors, customers, recruiting and potential partners, as well as photographers, videographers and anyone creating content. For more, go to

Film Festival Deadlines: If you’re looking to enter film competitions, here are some notable ones, which have deadlines that end in May 2019. So, if you’re looking to submit, check these festivals:

  • Hamptons International Film Festival: Four competitive categories, including narrative feature, documentary feature, narrative short film and documentary short film. Deadline: May 14, 2019. To submit, click here to go the festival’s website.
  • Philadelphia Film Festival: Four categories, including features, documentaries, shorts and a local category for filmmakers in Philadelphia. Deadline is May 17, 2019. To submit, click here to go the festival’s website.
  • Austin Film Festival: Categories include Narrative Feature, Narrative Short, Narrative Student Shorts, Animated Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Dark Matters Feature and Comedy Vanguard Feature. Deadline is May 24, 2019. To submit, click here to go the festival’s website.
  • Nashville Film Festival: Categories include Feature Film, Short Film and Tennessee, College Student, & Young Filmmaker. Deadline is May 31, 2019. To submit, click here to go the festival’s website.