September 6, 2016: White House Partners With SXSW for New Festival, TIFF Slated to Impact Oscar Season With Numerous Race-Theme Films, How Designers Are Foregoing Traditional Runway Shows at Fashion Week

By Ian Zelaya September 6, 2016, 8:33 AM EDT

1. WHITE HOUSE PARTNERS WITH SXSW FOR NEW FESTIVAL: The Obama administration has partnered with South by Southwest to host the first-ever South by South Lawn, a spin-off of the Austin festival inspired by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s panels at the 2016 event. Billboard: “Scheduled for Oct. 3, SXSL aims to bring together creators and thinkers from around the country for a night of music, film and tech innovation. White House chief digital officer Jason Goldman describes the event as a ‘call to arms for every American to roll up their sleeves and make a positive mark on our country -- and a celebration of the great work so many of us have already accomplished.’ Like its counterpart in Austin, SXSL will be comprised of three parts: Interactive, Film and Music, with the latter featuring a lineup of both well-known and emerging artists. The film portion will feature the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival, for kids K-12. The interactive section will include panel discussions with ‘influencers who are using their platforms to bring about positive change.’ The White House is partnering with the American Film Institute (AFI), concert promoter C3 Presents, the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities (PCAH) and South by Southwest for the new event.”

2. TIFF SLATED TO IMPACT OSCAR SEASON WITH NUMEROUS RACE-THEME FILMS: The Toronto International Film Festival, which runs September 8-18, is known for showcasing early Oscar contenders. This year, many films in the lineup—including the now-controversial slave revolt film The Birth of a Nation—will be focused on black-white relations and racial politics and identity in various time periods. Los Angeles Times: “‘There's a whole new mix of films and people that involves race and, equally important, I think there's an appetite for them,’ said Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director. ‘We want to disseminate and call attention to these works. And hopefully they can call attention to the world beyond.’ While these movies can seem like a response to the Oscars So White controversy that reached a cultural peak last winter, many of these works have—of course—been in development long before the current debate. Still, at a moment when the Black Lives Matter movement continues to seize headlines and racial politics have dominated the presidential election, these films are arriving right on time. With its hundreds of journalists, artists, agents and Oscar consultants, Toronto is ground zero for a fall season of serious films, previewing and setting the tone for the dozens of prestige works that will soon come out. The focus this year could be on contenders such as ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Figures,’ and ‘Loving’—all of which could end up in the thick of the best picture race. (So could 'Fences,' Denzel Washington's adaptation—he directed and stars—of August Wilson's Pittsburgh-set Pulitzer winner, which will not be represented at Toronto.) What this means is that, for the first time in modern Hollywood, the majority of the best picture nominees could be films that tackle racial themes. The movies will stand a greater chance amid the stiff competition of Oscar season given both the high-profile discussion about race and Hollywood in recent months and a generally more diverse Motion Picture Academy, though the chance for a backlash exists too.”

3. HOW DESIGNERS ARE FOREGOING TRADITIONAL RUNWAY SHOWS AT FASHION WEEK: New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday, will see fewer traditional runway shows and more alternative, consumer- and social media-friendly shows from designers. The Hollywood Reporter: “With retail sales in the doldrums, and the immediacy of social media challenging the exclusivity of shows, and the ability of magazines and designers to dictate trends six months ahead, the industry is trying new things to reinvent, which is changing the look and feel of the spring 2017 schedule. Several labels are in transition, with new designers in place but not ready to show their collections yet (Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, Monse at Oscar de la Renta). Other designers are trading traditional runway shows for alternative formats, hosting consumer-facing, social media-friendly extravaganzas (such as the carnival set-up for Tommy Hilfiger), for example. Others are choosing more exclusive, intimate presentations (see the appointment-only previews at J. Mendel). And a few are going strictly digital (Misha Nonoo's Snapchat-only show, for example). In addition to venue format changes, industry participation in the ‘see now, buy now’ model is growing. Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff, Hilfiger and Nonoo are among those showing fall collections, instead of spring, and making them available for purchase simultaneously at the shows. Could the efforts to eventize fashion week, and cater more directly to consumers, mean an end to runway shows with star-studded front rows as we know them, as designers shift attention to the people who are actually buying their clothes? Time will tell.”


ATLANTA:  LDV Hospitality's American Cut steakhouse and the Regent Cocktail Club rooftop bar will open soon at the Shops Buckhead. An exact opening date is to be announced. 

CHICAGO:  The Paramount Events team has opened private event space Lakewood in the West Lake District. The venue can hold as many as 600 for receptions. 

Cochon555's Chef's Course dinner will take place September 10 at Rural Society. The dinner will feature small bites from chefs Cory Morris, Evan Behmer, Jonathan Meyer, and Greg Laketek. Event proceeds will go to Piggy Bank, a charity focused on promoting and preserving heritage-breed pigs. 

DALLAS/FORT WORTH:  Homewood Suites by Hilton Trophy Club Fort Worth North is now open. The 110-room hotel has a 924-square-foot meeting room.

LAS VEGAS:  Nacho Daddy’s newest restaurant opened at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on September 1.

LOS ANGELES:  Vanity Fair has announced that it will bring its Vanity Fair Social Club to Emmy weekend for the second year in a row. V.F.S.C. returns to Platform, kicking off September 16 with a celebration presented by Shiseido and YouTube.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  By the end of 2017, Gzella Collection Hotels will have three renovated properties in Fort Lauderdale. Fortuna Hotel—formerly Seaside Motel—opened in April, has 35 rooms, and is located at 350 North Birch Road. Ikona Hotel—formerly Shell Motel—opened in August, has 24 rooms, and is located at 3030 Bayshore Drive. Mirra Hotel—formerly Martindale Motel—is expected to open in the third quarter of 2017, and is located at 3016 Bayshore Drive.

NASHVILLE:  Hyatt Hotels Corporation has entered into a franchise agreement with Southwest Value Partners for the development of a Hyatt Regency hotel on the northwest corner of Broadway and 10th Avenue. The hotel will be part of S.V.P.’s 15-acre mixed-use urban project that includes the redevelopment of the former LifeWay campus. Expected to open in 2019, the 540-room hotel will have 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event facilities.

NEW YORK:  The Fashion Group International will honor designer Riccardo Tisci Givenchy at its event “The Non-Conformists,” which will take place October 27 at Cipriani Wall Street. 

Drunken Dumpling, a farm-to-dumpling concept in the East Village, will open this month. 

Jema, a globally inspired American restaurant from celebrity entrepreneur Joy Mangano and chef Franco Sampogna, will open this month in Huntington.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Surf Expo is Wednesday through Friday at the Orange County Convention Center. New this year, Surf Park Summit 2 will be co-located at the event. The summit is an industry conference designed for surf park entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and suppliers to accelerate the growth of surfing outside the ocean. 

Key International has acquired the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Downtown Gainesville for $27 million. The 124-room hotel has 1,700 square feet of flexible meeting/event space. 

TORONTO:  The 40th annual Cabbagetown Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday. The street fest is sponsored by TD Bank. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's 17th annual fund-raiser and silent auction benefiting Educated Eats, R.A.M.W.’s Education Foundation, will take place September 20 at Ivy City Smokehouse. Kelly Collis, a host at 95.7 Fresh FM, will emcee the event.

The Fourth Annual Global Women's Leadership Summit will take place September 25 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The event is jointly organized by the Eighth Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress and the Ninth World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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