September 2013 Archives

27 September 2013

SPIFFest Update–Renee To Moderate Panel

Here’s the latest updates about the upcoming SPIFFest on 6 October:

Renee will be moderating a panel on "Cultivating Awareness-Based Content in TV, Film and Gaming" at SPIFFest on October 6:

Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Grand Annex
434 W 6th St
San Pedro, CA 90731

Cultivating Awareness-Based Content in Television, Feature Films & Gaming
Entertainment professionals discuss how progressive transformational entertainment, where the stories cultivate social, ecological, or spiritual concerns, is an exponentially growing platform for creativity and sustaining the human existence of new world values.

Renee O’Connor: Reneé made a name for herself when she resided in Auckland, New Zealand, playing the role of Gabrielle, Xena’s trusted sidekick on the popular series from 1995-2001. Since 2001, Renee writes, directs, and produces award winning short films and new media, with the mission of elevating personal and interpersonal awareness through entertainment.Renee has starred in several independent films including this year’s Beyond The Farthest Star, the anticipated theatrical release from Pathlight Entertainment in October.

Casey Cannon: A member of the Producers Guild of America and the Visual Effects Society, CASEY CANNON started her film career with such diverse companies as Vidal Sassoon to George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic. An independent music video director and producer, Cannon worked with such luminaries as Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock and Grover Washington Jr. while producing the multimedia presentation “Billboards” featuring the Joffrey Ballet and Prince. After producing and art directing the Award Winning “Terminator 2″ Special Edition Directors Cut, she founded Banned from the Ranch Entertainment, one of the industry’s premiere digital visual effects ‘boutiques’, producing work for “Strange Days”, “Congo”, “Twister”, “The Relic”, “Dante’s Peak”, “Jerry Maguire “Titanic”, “Men in Black”, “Hollow Man”, “Doctor Dolittle”, “Spawn”, “Inspector Gadget” and many others. Cannon also served as the Creative Visual Producer and Supervisor from 1998-2002 for the MTV Movie Awards. Cannon co-produced and created the Life Extension sequence with director Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise for the feature film “Vanilla Sky”, while contributing to AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.  Currently, Cannon’s RanchWorks Picture Show is producing the feature film “The Crescent and the Cross” for director Phedon Papamichail. The film is slated to shoot in the spring of 2014.

Katherine Fugate: Best known for writing the screenplays for Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, direted by Garry Marshall and featuring all-star casts and for being the Creator and Executive Producer for the hit TV series Army Wives, now in its 8th season. She was also voted one of Variety’s “50 Women of Impact in Hollywood in 2008”.

Pina De Rosa: As a Mindset Effectiveness Expert, a TEDxSpeaker, an Award Winning Producer and International & High Performance Results Coach, Pina De Rosa has been designing and leading live workshops, teleclasses and webinars for over 12 years now. She has been nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal Woman Making A Difference 4 years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).


More info and tickets:



25 September 2013

Renee's Story "To The Roof of Africa" in New Book


Jane Treat, the author of a new book called "Women & Middlehood - Halfway Up the Mountain", sent me news about the book. Of interest to Renee fans is that Jane has Renee's story "To The Roof Of Africa" as the lead story and provides the image on the cover of the book.

Renee's mother, Sandra Wilson, also added a new ending to the story from her perspective.

Renee` and her mother, Sandra, had planned the vacation of a lifetime. Africa! After a visit to Egypt, they traveled to northeast Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in all of Africa – 19,340 feet. Even though it is only 3 degrees from the Equator, Kilimanjaro is so high that its snow-covered summit is often lost in the clouds.

The book is called: Women and Middlehood: Halfway Up the Mountain and the website is



24 September 2013

Renee To Attend Houston Beyond The Farthest Star Screening 19 October 2013

Here is the latest info from the BTFS facebook page on Renee’s appearances.

Watch the movie with RENEE, TODD, CHERAMI, ANDREW and BENJAMIN! There are two showings left where you can watch the movie and meet the stars. GRAPEVINE/SOUTHLAKE late evening on Fri. Oct. 18 and Renee is in Houston Sat. Oct. 19 early evening. Reserve tickets NOW for these limited seats!!

The other two appearances are SOLD OUT! Facebook First. They’ll go quick.






24 September 2013

Dawn Higginbotham Talks About Film “The Usual” with Renee

Image635156882117770916Image635156882542955653Dawn Higginbotham said about the film on her Facebook Page which stars Renee:

The Usual is a period piece set in the 1930s paralleling the Great Depression to our current uncertain economic climate. It's essentially a film about kindness and paying it forward.

Yes as soon as all potential festival submissions are exhausted we will be looking into dist. and posting YouTube. Canon is also very interested in using clips in their marketing campaign. So fingers crossed it all goes smoothly. I'll keep everyone posted as it moves forward. We just finished the film. And Renee is absolutely incredible in the film.

Also stars Mackenzie Astin, Russell Sams and Raymond O'Connor.



24 September 2013

Renee To Attend Beyond The Farthest Star Screenings Update


According to a post dated 9/22/13 on the official BTFS Facebook page, Renee will be appearing at a screening of the theatrical feature film during the opening weekend (as she posted on her official facebook page – see below for the news we posted on 26 August)

"Reserve your tickets to see RENEE O'CONNOR (Xena), Todd Terry and Cherami Leigh in person at one of 3 Dallas or Houston theaters during BTFS's opening weekend. (....)"

Facebook page to read more:


Initially posted on 26 August...

Renee To Attend Beyond The Farthest Star Screenings

Renee posted on her Facebook page that schedule permitting, she will be at a couple of screenings of Beyond the Farthest Star when it opens on October 18,

"I am VERY excited that Beyond The Farthest Star is opening the weekend of October 18th and I will be attending a couple of the screenings. I will be sure to let you know once I have a better idea of what I can do, scheduling wise. It is an honest, emotional, beautiful film! If you want to see it, you have to make a reservation/campaign. Please read the Facebook page for more information.
Thanks heaps, Renee"



20 September 2013

Beyond The Farthest Star–Just Two Weeks Left To Get Tickets

You can make a difference today!

"By far, the acting was the best I have ever seen in a Christian-themed film, " writes Pastor Randy Daw of Greenville, TX, "But the star of this movie is the script.  Multi-layered. Clear and elegantly understated.  [Anne's line] 'See also life,' will stick in my memory as long as I live, I suspect." 

Beyond the Farthest Star is not just a movie with a message but a cinematic experience.  That is, after all, why we go to the movies? To have an experience. To take a journey.  So plan on bringing a box of tissues, every bit of grey matter you possess and reserve your tickets today for the Beyond the Farthest Star Experience beginning October 18th today!


Find your theater below and be a part of bringing this compelling inspirational film to your community... 

Reserve West Plano! (90%)
Theater is booked!

Reserve Greenville! (89%)
Just 69 Tickets to Go! Keep It Up, Greenville!

Reserve East Plano! (43%)
286 Tickets to Go! You Can Do It, East Plano!

Reserve All Seatzy Theaters!

*More theaters to be added as the BTFS Nationwide Tour begins...

See "Life" Trailer



20 September 2013

Infinity News: Upcoming New York Screening 25 September

Here is some current information on another festival this month for "Infinity." Taken from the Infinity website. Posted in August, 2013.

"Upcoming New York screening of infinity. Hoping our NY fans and friends can attend.

Wednesday Sept. 25, 7pm
Courthouse Theatre @ Anthology Film Archives
32 second Ave.

Tickets are $6 at the door for the entire evening of screenings commencing at 6pm."


Many thanks to Candy for the news!



19 September 2013

SPIFFest Returns To San Pedro In October

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 5230dbd8eb8b7.preview-300.jpg

Great article in about Renee's involvement in the second annual San Pedro International Film Festival (SPIFFest):

SPIFFest Returns To San Pedro In October
14 February 2013

Ziggy Mrkich is no stranger to the film festival circuit. She had more than a decade of film festival programming under her belt before she started her own last year in downtown San Pedro just west of Long Beach.

The second annual San Pedro International Film Festival (SPIFFest) returns next month.

"I wanted to continue showcasing films, really good films, from the festival circuit," Mrkich said. "I saw that in this particular downtown area they weren't being shown those films. They don't get screened here."

Last year the film festival drew about 700 people to San Pedro. It opened with the film "The Loneliest Planet" starring Gael Garcia Bernal and closed with the first Los Angeles screening of "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Jennifer Lawrence. That film went on to win several awards including Lawrence's Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

"I was very surprised but very happy to acquire the film as part of our first year," Mrkich said.

The documentaries and short films that will be screened this year come from a pool of more than 550 submissions. What's more difficult to secure are the feature films that Mrkich said she hand picks based on what has been getting attention at the Toronto Film Festival and other festivals. She also likes to include films that are already garnering Oscar buzz.

But getting those feature films isn't easy. That's partly what Mrkich said makes her job both really fun and really hard.

"It's actually very hard to do," she said, adding that she hears "no" to most of her requests. "Programming is not easy in any festival. Just because you might want to screen something, doesn't mean you're going to get it."

Still, Mrkich and her partner Renee O'Connor are determined to keep going. They said they are trying to provide a service to the community by attracting new visitors to San Pedro and exposing area residents to films they might not otherwise see.

This year, O'Connor -- an actress, director and producer best known for her role as "Gabrielle" in the television series "Xena: Warrior Princess" -- is taking on a new task of facilitating filmmaker panels for the 2013 SPIFFest. The panels will include information on producing small and large budget independent films; O'Connor said she is passionate about helping fellow filmmakers by providing information that is not always easily accessible.

"It's sometimes hard to get into the industry," O'Connor said. "So, if we can lift the veil and just let people share their experiences and how they did it, I think it helps people to realize their own path."

In addition to screenings at the historic Warner Grand Theater, new outdoor screenings, pop-up screenings and a special screening aboard the Historic Naval Battleship U.S.S. Iowa, Mrkich and O'Connor are taking on another sizable task at this year's festival. The two women are organizing a tribute to legendary filmmaker Tony Scott ("Top Gun," 1986) who died in San Pedro last August. That event will include a brief retrospective of Scott's work and his contributions to the San Pedro community. Scott's family is expected to attend.




14 September 2013

Renee Photo From Long Beach California Gazettes


There's a new recent photo of Renee on the Long Beach California Gazettes website.  As you'll see, the photo caption labels her as a co-director of SPIFFest (San Pedro International Film Festival).  SPIFFest is the organization that ran the Youth Filmmaking Intensive she recently helped teach and the film festival she said she would be all around in October.


Click here for image



11 September 2013

SPIFFest Youth Filmmaking–Renee Mention

Image635145256630515009There is a good, interesting article about the weekend SPIFFest Youth Filmmaking Intensive Renee helped to teach recently, calling Renee a "great catch" for them.


It starts with the Spiff's executive director Ziggy Mrkich inviting a couple of Hollywood professionals to develop the training class for students. One great catch was the actress Renee O'Connor, best known to the American public for her role as Gabrielle in the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. One thing I've noticed over the years is that film and television directors write sidekick rolls into their scripts because they need to put in real actors and actresses who can bring the plot alive. Over the years, the audience develops a connection to the sidekicks -- just think of the actors who supported Captain Kirk on Star Trek, and became icons in their own right. Renee is that kind of actress.           

So we had somebody who can actually talk about the art and craft of acting, and has the resume that makes her presentation believable.     

Read more of the article



9 September 2013

How to Bring Beyond The Farthest Star To Your Seatzy Theater

Image635143907011689879Beyond the Farthest Star is also have a promotion – if you want your theater to show the movie, get people to buy 500 ticket reservations and the movie will be shown on 18 October. Please see how below for more info:

Each individual SEATZY theater must get 500 ticket reservations by October 4th for BTFS to be released in that theater on October 18th.   

So, if you’d like to help bring Beyond the Farthest Star to your local theater this October, please click the GET TICKETS TODAY link below, find your theater and reserve tickets today.

When you reserve early, you'll get a complimentary mp4 of Crystal Lewis' remake of "Beauty for Ashes" as our way of saying thank you and qualify to win cool prizes.

Seating is limited. Several showtimes already sold out!  Reserve today!

Get Tickets Today!



9 September 2013

New Beyond The Farthest Star Trailer


Check out the NEW Beyond the Farthest Star “Life” trailer on-line today and then share it with your social network, family, co-workers and church. 

To see this "riveting" faith-based drama in theaters October 18th you MUST reserve your tickets by October 4th.



BTFS Official Trailer 2 from Pathlight Entertainment on Vimeo.