ELLEN SEIDLER: SUCCESSFUL INDIE FILMMAKER AND ANTI-PIRACY CRUSADER SHARES HER STORY AT CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK

She’s the co-producer/co-director of the sexy, hit lesbian romantic comedy, And Then Came Lola, starring Ashleigh Sumner and Jill Bennett, and a crusader against online piracy and its negative impact on indie filmmakers.

Since the world premiere of LOLA, Ellen Seidler has waged a one-woman crusade against the flourishing online black market that profits pirates and ad service providers, but leaves artists and creators penniless.

“It’s difficult enough to see one’s film being pirated widely online,” says Seidler, “What is most disturbing is that everyone is making money, it seems, except those who own the rights to the film.”

And Then Came Lola premiered in June 2009 as part of the San Francisco Frameline LGBT Film Festival and has since screened in more than 100 LGBT film festivals around the world, including Toronto’s own Inside Out LGBT Toronto Film Festival.  Like many independent filmmakers, Seidler and her co-director Megan Siler, personally financed the $250,000 required to make the film.

Within hours of its worldwide release, unauthorized copies of the film began appearing on websites that specialize in pirated content.  These websites also feature ads for legitimate companies, often placed through ad service providers like Google’s Adsense.

“Seidler’s story is nothing short of inspirational,” says Graham Henderson, President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.  “At a time when piracy is threatening the livelihoods of all creators, her unwavering campaign against pirates and those who finance massive online theft through advertising dollars, will resonate with every indie artist, no matter the genre.”

Seidler, a 25-year broadcast journalism and film veteran, will share her experience with CMW delegates during the Global Forum Networking Breakfast, a ticketed event, and will be available for one-on-one interviews upon request.

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About Ellen Seidler:  Ellen Seidler is a 25-year broadcast journalism and film veteran. After working for ABC News in New York she joined KRON-TV in San Francisco as a photojournalist and editor. Currently, she is a professor of Media & Communication Arts at Contra Costa College.  She has also been a lecturer in Digital Media at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and has taught for the Knight Digital Media Center’s multimedia training workshops.

Ellen has also produced/directed/ and worked as a cinematographer on a variety of independent film and documentary projects. Her directing credits include the award-winning documentary “Fighting for Our Lives-Facing AIDS in San Francisco” (narrated by Linda Hunt and appearing on PBS) and the lesbian erotic short “Et L’Amour” which screened in LGBT film festivals throughout the world.  She has been a contributing writer for Logo’s AfterEllen.com and is the creator and editor for the non-profit website, Breastcancernetwork.org.  More recently she has become involved with efforts to raise awareness around the issue online piracy and its negative impact on indie filmmakers.  Her blog on the subject can be found here:  www.popuppirates.com.

Ellen received her B.A. in Fine Arts from Harvard University, and her M.A. in Journalism from UC Berkeley.

Visit the Canadian Music Week website – www.cmw.net – to register for your Canadian Music Week delegate pass.

ABOUT CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK:
Canadian Music Week is Canada’s leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country’s music, media and entertainment industries. Combining four information-intensive conferences; a trade exposition; a film festival; four awards shows and the nation's largest New Music Festival – Canadian Music Fest - CMW spans a five-day period from March 9 to March 13, 2011 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and various downtown Toronto venues, attracting participants from across the globe. For more information, visit www.cmw.net.

We are presently confirming interviews.  Interviews and a screener are available upon request.

For Canadian Music Week information, please contact:
Planet3 Communications: Piera Savage/Joanne Smale
T: 647.346.4101 E: info@planet3com.net

Bessie Bullard - Communications Director
T: 905.858.4747 E: bessie@cmw.net

For Canadian Recording Industry Association, please contact:
Amy Terrill
T: 416-967-7272  E: aterrill@cria.ca

Don Hogarth: mobile: 416.565.8920

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