Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bitchin!! (In Honor of Valley Girls Everywhere)

Contributed by Georgia Menides

"Gag me with a spoon" and "barf me out the door"!  As much as we all love to laugh at "Valley Girl" lingo how much do you... like... actually know about its origins? 

As a programmer for The Valley Film Festival and lover of all things (818), I decided to do some digging into the history of these phrases as well as the concept of "upspeak" in general.

Although the expressions that made the words "Valley Girl" so ubiquitous did in fact originate in Encino, CA. in the late 1970s, entomologists have actually traced the beginnings of "upspeak" or "high rising terminal" back to the 1930s in parts of England and Australia. By "high rising terminal", I am referring to the use of a rising pitch intonation at the end of a sentence where a falling pitch is actually implied by its contents. So this concept that we have of a "Valley Girl" inflection being synonymous with being rich, female, flighty, or shallow couldn't be farther from the truth.  Speaking this way is actually quite international. 

San FernandoValley by Serouj via WikiCommons
That being said, in the late 70's and early 80's, up-speak did make its way into Encino, and other pockets of the San Fernando Valley, where it took on a life of its own.

In 1982,  Frank Zappa truly immortalized the concept with his song "Valley Girl" on the album "Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch." Lyrics with phrases like "gag me with a spoon," "bitchin," and others were given to him from his daughter, Moon Unit, then a teenager, who compiled a list of phrases she heard from her peers at the mall, in school, at parties, etc. and collaborated with her father on this track. (Read full lyrics here.)

On the heels of this song came Tracey Nelson's character, Jennifer DiNuccio, on the TV show "Square Pegs" where she played the ultimate Valley Girl. DiNuccio was known to use the word "like" up to 30 times per episode!!
Other TV shows like "Silver Spoons," "Saved by the Bell," and "My Two Dads," along with the movie "Clueless" continued to immortalize this kind of talk and link it to a vapid culture of shallow young girls dying to, like, go to the mall. 

But recent speech scholars have done extensive studies on "upspeak" and have been myth-busting ever since. 

These days,  this type of inflection is characteristic of all of Southern California, across all races, classes, ages, sexes, and cultural demographics. No longer does talking like a Valley Girl imply a less than stellar intellect. These days, Valley Speak, is simply a sign that someone may be from Southern California (aka the best place to live in the universe). So, like, embrace your inner Valley Girl with pride!! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

VFF17 - Focus On: The Business of Licenses and Permissions (Free Panel)

One of VFF's goals this year is to ramp up our FREE educational panels. We had so much fun at Columbia College Hollywood in June, for Meet The Programmers, that we're doing it again next Wednesday, August 2, for an evening all about The Business of Licenses and Permissions. Food & beverages donated by Stonefire Grill and David's Tea. Join us!

Wednesday, August 2 @ 7:00pm (Networking)/ 8:00pm (Panel)Columbia College Hollywood18618 Oxnard StreetTarzana, California 91356-1411

This event is free and open to the public, however an RSVP is required for headcount purposes. RSVP through FilmFreeway or  

. Free parking is available on site and the venue is accessible from the Orange Line Reseda station.

NOTE - If you can't make it in person we will be broadcasting on Facebook Live

Join the VFF team as we navigate the complicated world of copyrights, licenses and permissions with our panel of experts:

Linda Nelson - Distribution Linda and her partner, Michael Madison, built a distribution company, Indie Rights, from scratch ten years ago and now represent more than 500 films globally. They maintain offices at AFM and Cannes.

Dean Rusu - Copyrights Dean is a graduate of York University with a background in Business Affairs and international distribution for studios such as Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount. Creatively, Dean is a writer, director and producer of documentaries, dramatic short and features.

Kevin Laffey - Music Clearances Kevin specializes in Music clearances and has consulted for both studios and independent projects - including Lionsgate, Showtime, The Weinstein Company, Sony, Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures.

Moderated by Ken StorerA graduate of Vassar College, Ken began his began his career with the DGA, ABC, and Disney, before landing on a desk at ICM working for the head of Television Packaging. There he became assistant to the showrunner of Law & Order: SVU at Universal Studios and eventually a staff writer for three seasons.

Monday, July 17, 2017

VFF17 ~ T-Minus 100 Days

It's our annual 100-day countdown to The Valley Film Festival, so we thought unveiling our 2017 poster would get you excited for the return of great, independent cinema in North Hollywood, October 25-29, at Laemmle NoHo7. Thanks to the creative genius at iBlakeStudio for listening to our concept and, once again, surprising us with something special. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

5 Ways You Can Help VFF17 Today

We can't wait to welcome you back to North Hollywood for the 17th Annual Valley Film Festival, October 25-29, and are excited to announce that our programming is in full swing, with the Los Angeles Premieres of the documentary, That Never Happened: Canada's First National Internment Operations, produced by Ryan Boyko and Diani Cofini, and the feature film, The Father and The Bear, directed by John Putch, which will open the Festival at Laemmle NoHo7.

But first, we need your help before our fiscal year ends on June 30th.

As a non-profit, we rely on your donations and thank you for making us the longest running film festival in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, 17 years and counting! Your donation is tax-deductible and 89 cents of every $1.00 goes directly into producing the Festival and our local economy. Please give what you can today so we may continue to showcase independent films from around the corner and around the world.

Can't give today? We hear you. There are other ways you can help The Valley Film Festival:

Need more reasons to donate to The Valley Film Festival?
  • Our volunteer-run team are some of the hardest working people in the entertainment industry. Period. 
  • Long before California film incentives, we were rewarding local film production with our signature "Made in the (818)" program.
  • We love subtitles! We're not just a local fest, we screen films & host filmmakers from all over the world. Like, totally.
  • Dreams start somewhere & never die. We screen films made by & for tweens to octogenarians and welcome all 60+ genders. There's a home for you at VFF.
  • Film festivals bring a community of filmmakers and film lovers together to form lasting relationships.
  • Because you can.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

VFF17 - Focus On: Meet The Programmers

We can't thank our panelists, sponsors, and attendees enough for joining VFF17 at Columbia College of Hollywood for our first panel of 2017: Meet The Programmers. If you missed the fun, you can watch the magic on Facebook Live

Moderated by writer, Ken Storer, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit, VFF was joined by programmers from: 

Dances With Films (@DancesWithFilms)
June 1-11, 2017 @ TCL, Hollywood

DTLA Film Festival (@DTLAFF)
September 21-30, 2017 @ Regal Cinemas, Downtown LA

LA Film Festival (@FilmIndependent)
June 14-22, 2017 @ ArcLight Cinemas, Culver City

SEE Fest (@seefilmla)
April 2018 @ Various Venues (West Hollywood & Beverly Hills)

A special thanks to our sponsors, especially Columbia College of Hollywood, without whom this would not have been possible:

Pete's Coffee in Tarzana - @PeetsCoffee
David's Tea in Woodland Hills - @DavidsTea
Troy Casey in Los Angeles - @Mr.HealthNut
Stonefire Grill - @StonefireGrill

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The VFF Team @ Cine Gear Expo

Cine Gear is one of our favorite local expos! It's a chance for us to play around with film equipment, discover the newest technology, and meet up with friends from all over the globe on the historic Paramount Studios backlot.  Since you missed us this year, join us May 31-June 3, 2018.

Friday, May 26, 2017

And This is How VFF17 Spent The Month of May

OK, I promise you we did more than stare up at OWN the entire month of May, but not much. We're so freaking excited for all of the awesome things coming up later this year, we can't contain ourselves. Just know we have more panels in the works for you, like Meet the Programmers at Columbia College of Hollywood (in Tarzana), additionally we're adding more screenings to the 2017 festival, and we are looking to our friends around the globe to participate. For now, enjoy more of Oprah and this beautiful the beautiful LA dusk.

Friday, April 21, 2017

VFF17 @ The Lot Studios

Thanks to our friends at Dances With Films, we're crashing their office space at The Lot Studios for the next two months! Looks like we're in good company with OWN next door. If only Oprah would share her wifi with us....

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cannes Film Festival Unveils Poster for 70th Anniversary

Italian actress Claudia Cardinale graces the 2017 Cannes Film Festival poster to celebrate 70 years of the worlds best cinema. If you're attending the market, May 17-28, please let us know. If we're not there to host our Cocktails in Cannes, we'll introduce your to our filmmakers in attendance. More importantly, let's just take a moment to let this sink in...70 years....! Well, VFF is on the verge of 20, so just another 50+ years to go.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

VFF17 ~ Save The Dates: October 25-29 @ Laemmle NoHo7

While we get our non-profit paperwork in order, ink our 2017 dates in your calendar: October 25-29 @ Laemmle NoHo7! Looking forward to seeing you all there.