The same Australian acting techniques that launched the careers of Russel Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman can be sampled when the Australian Institute of Dramatic Arts offers several sessions in selected cities, including Hollywood, through January 10. Tucson Slow Food and Film Festival is an extended weekend of classic food films, culinary events and cultural discussions that combine screenings of feature films, documentaries, shorts and animation with panel discussions about the cuisines, cultures and traditions shown on the screen, along with culinary events at restaurants, all happening in Tucson, through January 11. For the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, writers selected through a year-round staff search/outreach receive feedback and help with their projects at the Park City facility from January 9-14.

The Slamdance Film Festival, running this year from January 15-23 in Park City, is best known for its annual film festival. But Slamdance will now also serve as a year-round showcase for the discovery of new and emerging musical talent, in addition to the recently formed online venture with INDIEROAD.NET, a website created by a team of veteran entertainment and business executives to address the lack of robust distribution options available to promising new talent in the independent film field. From January 15-25, Sundance Film Festival, organized by actor Robert Redford in 1981, continues its festival, held primarily in Park City, and dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, and to the national and international exhibition of new, independent dramatic and documentary films. The International Film Festival Rotterdam offers a quality selection of worldwide independent, innovative and experimental cinema and visual arts, and will be running this year, January 21 through February 1.

Interaction is encouraged for audience members during the run of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, to sharpen their critical eyes through workshops with professional actors, directors, writers, technicians, and producers, during the run of the festival from January 23 to February 1. Göteborg International Film Festival, opening January 23 through February 2, functions as a meeting place for the Nordic film industry and has become an integral link for new Nordic film, hosting about 200 specially invited buyers, distributors and festival representatives from all over the world. Steve Seskin and Pat Pattison will present a Hollywood Songcrafting Seminar in Los Angeles, January 24 & 25, sharing their knowledge and passion for writing songs. Honoring excellence in the field of animation, Annie Awards will be presented in the categories of animated theatrical feature, television production, television commercial, short subject and video games, and the people who have worked in these areas, January 30 in Westwood.

The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page at actorschecklist.com/news.html. Video and podcast versions of this news summary are also available at popular video sites around the Web like MySpace, YouTube, Daily Motion, as well as on The Actor’s Checklist podcast blog at actorschecklist.com/loudblog, a great place to get your iPhone, ipod or Apple TV download from. The Free Home Video Showcase at actorschecklist.com/video now serves as an archive for all past video presentations. This month on video you will again see an interesting array of performing artists from the indie sector on video. Newly introduced this month to The Actor’s Checklist website is Google Friend Connect technology where visitors may now sign in with their Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account. You are encouraged to explore the entirety of the site for instances of Google Friend Connect deployment, including its use on the news page at actorschecklist.com/news.html. Happy New Year to all from The Actor’s Checklist!

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