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Best in Fest

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Host Leslie LaPage, Director of LaFemme International Film Festival uncovers the Secrets of Filmmaking with her lineup of industry professional guests. In every episode you will learn things like how to make the most out of the film festival circuit, how to find a great distribution partner, how to attract A list talent, finding the perfect representation, the dirty little secrets of Hollywood and much more.


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Host Leslie LaPage, Director of LaFemme International Film Festival uncovers the Secrets of Filmmaking with her lineup of industry professional guests. In every episode you will learn things like how to make the most out of the film festival circuit, how to find a great distribution partner, how to attract A list talent, finding the perfect representation, the dirty little secrets of Hollywood and much more.




From Live Action to Animation with Studio Head -Karen K Miller - Ep #142

Karen K. Miller is the current President & CEO of CGS USA LLC at Cyber group studios. Prior to this, they were the Senior Vice President of Content at NBCUniversal Media, LLC from July 2018 to March of 2022. In this role, they were responsible for creating and executing a content strategy, leading a development team, overseeing co-productions, short form team, and current production of original series. Karen also was responsible for identifying and executing acquisitions of content. Karen Miller began their career in 2007 as an Associate Producer for The Simpsons Movie at Rough Draft Studios, Inc. From December 2010 to July 2018 they worked for The Walt Disney Company as the Vice President Acquisitions, Co-Productions & Global Content Strategy-Disney Channels Worldwide. In this role they created & executed acquisition strategies for Disney Channel, Disney Junior & Disney XD worldwide, served as the sole creative liaison with input on creative development and production process, sourced & negotiated co-productions for all platforms, and created & implemented global programming strategies for Disney Channels Worldwide.


The College of Comedy with Alec Bantivoglio - Ep #140

Alec Bantivoglio is a comedy writer from Philadelphia with a passion to make people laugh. In the Spring of 2023 I graduated from Chapman University with a Master’s in Television Writing and Production. While there, he created and was the show runner for Xander, a fantasy-comedy web-series, crewed by many of my fellow Chapman students. Over the last 2 months Xander has won several awards and we are getting ready to premiere at Dances With Films New York.


Breaking the Glass Ceiling with Producer Donna Smith - Ep #140

Donna Smith


What it Takes to be Great at Your Craft with Maritza Meadows - Ep #139

From line producing to lighting design Leslie and Maritza dive deep into what it really takes to perfect your craft in Hollywood.


Film Editing From an Expert with Gail Gilbert - Ep #138

Gail Gilbert was an award-winning film editor before going back for an MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. Now she is fully launched in a new career as writer/director, thriving on creating stories that push the envelope in critiquing modern life. Her work challenges stereotypes of ageism and shows that life is equally wild and crazy all the way to the end.


How to Get What You Need From a Scene with Carlyle King and Irina Maleeva - Ep #137

Irina The world of Irina Maleeva jettisoned into the cinematic spotlight when she was discovered by the legendary Federico Fellini at age 15 and would go on to perform in three of his highly-acclaimed movies: Satyricon; Spirits of the Dead; and Roma. Later Maleeva was chosen for the lead part of Jessica in the film, “The Merchant of Venice” playing opposite Orson Welles’s Schylock. The film was also directed by Orson Welles “This was the best time of my life”, remembers Irina. For many years part of the film was lost. When finally recovered, it premiered in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theater in 2017. Carlyle Carlyle King is an actress and voice artist who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise and on the feature film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. As an actress, King appeared in an episode of Seinfeld (1991, with Jason Alexander and Tucker Smallwood), the television drama Grass Roots (1992, with Corbin Bernsen, Joanna Cassidy, John Glover, Tim O'Connor, and L. Sidney), the television drama Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story (1994, with Michael Cavanaugh, Robert Pine, Ellen Geer, Peggy Roeder, Lilyan Chauvin, and Jack Shearer), and the short drama The Son (2007).


The Burdens and Blessings of Being a Female Director with Chloe Burns - Ep #136

Chloe Burns graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Film & amp; Media Studies. After graduating, Chloe wrote, produced, and acted in The Adventures of Botfly, an award-winning web series, and the short film, The Thing About Miller House, which showed at film festivals throughout Kansas City. In 2021, Burns founded Bull Skull Productions, under which she produced the short documentary The Wallace Project, and the six-episode web series Trauma Bonded. As an actress, she has been featured in roles at the University of Southern California and the ArtCenter College of Design. She has studied at Warner Loughlin Studios and Lesly Kahn Studios in Los Angeles, and uses writing and producing to explore complex stories and create challenging, dynamic roles for herself.


What's it Like to Film in China with Susu Huang - Ep #134

Currently a student at the University of Southern California, Linjie “Susu” Huang had a long and winding road before following her dream of making films. Born into a traditional Chinese family, Linjie endured twenty years pursuing their values like being practical and doing something more success driven. But instead she decided to unleash her inner voice and pursue her passion for filmmaking. She’s particularly interested in telling stories that examine the basis of our relationships. Growing up in a result-driven culture, I always looked at the grand prize ahead of me. I missed so many great moments of my life and ignored the lovely relationship I had with my beloved family and friends. Chasing Jupiter is a story that depicts a stressed girl who only cares about her grand reward, but discovers her lost connection with her animal friend. I hope Chasing Jupiter reminds everyone that there is more to life than just grand prizes!


Don't Listen Before Bed: The True Crime Episode with Marlene Sharp - Ep #133

Marlene Sharp is a creative and business-savvy entertainment multi-hyphenate who originally hails from New Orleans but is now a (San Fernando) Valley girl. Firmly ensconced in LA life, Marlene is top dawg at Pink Poodle Productions. Clients include Rainshine Entertainment,,, ToonBo, and The Center for Learning Unlimited. Prior to Pink Poodle, Marlene served as Director, Production at LEVEL-5 abby, home of YO-KAI WATCH and other hit video game-based franchises. Formerly, as Producer, TV Series, at Sega of America, Marlene worked on much more than Teen Choice Award-nominated Cartoon Network series SONIC BOOM. In fact, her Hedgehog duties took her to the heights of nerd-dom as an official San Diego Comic-Con 2017 panelist. As a freelance journalist, Marlene concentrates on pop culture for noteworthy fan destinations, such as, DOGTV,,, and As a short film auteur, she has snagged recognition at Austin Comedy Film Festival, Kids First! Film Festival, Canine Film Festival, and San Luis Obispo Film Festival. Marlene is the proud winner of the 2019 LA Shorts International Film Fest Script Competition (an Oscar- and BAFTA-qualifying fest), at which her backdoor sitcom pilot received a staged reading courtesy of The Groundlings.


The World of Animation and AI with Bob Harper - Ep #132

After dazzling Dallas, Texas with street performing and experimenting with professional wrestling (which was brutal) and stand-up comedy (which was even more brutal), Bob was 'drawn' into the Los Angeles animation industry. Bob worked for Cartoon Network, Disney TV, and Nickelodeon. He co-executive produced two seasons of the Misfortunes of Being Ned for the Annoying Orange YouTube channel. Bob has written and sold projects to Cartoon Network and Disney and co-executive produced, wrote and designed Prank Boy for DreamWorks TV. He has done everything in the animation industry from storyboarding, animating, designing, writing, directing, and producing. Most recently, Bob helped oversee the delivery of 156 episodes of an animated series for DreamEast Pictures. To sharpen his comedy roots, Bob performed improv at The Groundlings and wrote sketch comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. As a father of three, including a child on the Autism Spectrum, Bob's sensibilities naturally lean toward creating engaging, inclusive and dynamic content in family entertainment.


The Best Of Best in Fest - #Ep 131

Welcome to the Best OF Best in Fest!


Bringing the Children's Hour Radio Show to the Masses with Katie Stone - Ep #130

Katie Stone is Executive Director and Producer of The Children’s Hour radio show and podcast and has been described as the “Mr. Rogers of public radio.” She began producing The Children’s Hour 22 years ago as a volunteer at her local NPR affiliate, KUNM-fm. In 2018 Katie started a nonprofit, The Children’s Hour Inc. and has taken the radio show to international syndication. Katie and her husband live and work in Albuquerque, New Mexico in a handmade adobe home on a solar powered organic farm near the Rio Grande.


Directing TV: Tricks of the Trade with Nikki Hevesy- Ep #130

Nikki Hevesy is an award-winning director and producer who has worked on documentaries, shorts, multi-camera presentations, promotional and music videos. She began her career in theatre, and as the founding artistic director of the City of Performing Arts company in San Francisco, has directed more than 50 stage productions, including writing and directing two critically-acclaimed musicals that premiered in San Francisco, as well as a small musical for the National Theatre of Uganda, Africa. As a writer, director and producer, Hevesy has won a slew of awards, including multiple TELLY, Aurora and CINE Golden Eagle Awards. She also nabbed recognition for her work on “Joined Together,” an award-winning, one-hour special on interfaith marriages, which aired on PAX TV. Hevesy has a Master’s of Fine Arts in directing from the University of Southern California (USC) and a degree in theology from Simpson University. She has taught directing, acting and sit-com production both privately and as a faculty member at various colleges and universities, including Pepperdine University, Los Angeles Valley College and Azusa Pacific University – just to name a few. A year to life - social impact short Hevesy’s scripted series, based on her gang intervention documentary was one of four TV projects selected for the highly-competitive Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) diversity development program. During the pandemic, Hevesy wrote (and attached to direct) the feature film, LIFE LIKE THAT, for producer Anne Marie Gillen (FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, UNDER SUSPICION and INTO TEMPTATION) under the shingle, Gillen Group LLC. Currently, Hevesy is working on her true crime journal docu-series, titled “Inside Justice: Getting Out,” which examines a current wrongful conviction, as well as developing TV and film projects under her production company, Through the Glass Productions.


Women Advancing in Corporate America with Genna Rosenberg - Ep #129

Genna Rosenberg is CEO of GennComm, a global PR & Marketing agency representing many of the most powerful classic and new brands of our time, Chief Ideator at ImaGENNation, a Think Tank focused on licensing and connections in the consumer product space, and Executive Producer at Upbeat Entertainment Group, bringing music and content focused on empowerment, diversity and inclusion to life through powerhouse partnerships with giants.


Developing and Marketing Graphic Novels with John Shableski - Ep #128

John Shableski is a nationally recognized expert in the development of the graphic novel/manga/comics category for the publishing industry including trade, library and educational markets. Along with editorial development, design and strategic planning, his scope of expertise includes the study of industry trends and market development for the educational, public library and retail categories for book publishing along with classroom application of graphic novels. John currently serves as president for Reading With Pictures, a global literacy organization focused on improving the learning experience for students of all ages and abilities.


Secrets of Animation and NFT's with Rob Feldman - Ep #127

Rob Feldman is a Ringo-Award nominated comic book creator, animation producer and NFT artist best known for his print and online comic, Cyko KO and web animated series, Dr. Shroud. Having produced content for the likes of Warner Brothers, Fangoria, Starlog, Top Cow and Mystery Science Theater, Rob's recent work of NFT drops and streaming through the blockchain-based partner Theta Network have proven to be the most innovative and utility-driven to date. In addition to producing, Rob serves as CTO of the publishing powerhouse Rocketship Entertainment where he helps brainstorm, source product and manage content. When he's not exploring the emerging blockchain landscape of digital collectibles,


Children's Book Turns to a Series - Ep #126

Linda Malik is a writer/screenwriter/storyteller living in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Denmark, she worked as a professional ballet dancer for 12 years before an injury put a stop to her career. She went back to school in the U.S., where she earned a B.A and M.A in Radio and Television (Screenwriting) from San Francisco State University. She has written several screenplays, mostly dramas - she placed as a semi-finalist at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Screenwriting competition - children's animated series pitch bibles, short stories. Presently, she has one optioned script for a dark animated feature film, self-published children's picture books in the series of "Willow's Tale" that are inspired by her real-life rescue cat, Willow. She has written/ produced 2 short animations based on the Willow books that premiered in October at CatCon 2022, Pasadena. Established in 2002, The Center for Learning Unlimited (CLU) reconnects complex learners with their academic, social, and emotional potential. CLU serves kindergarten - 12th grade students with learning challenges. CLU also is home to a swiftly growing animation career training program for adults on the autism spectrum. As CLU sister studio, Brainstorm Productions offers paid workplace experience for CLU animation alumni.


Amanda's Action Club with Amanda Frolich - Ep #125

Amanda Frolich, aka Action Amanda, is an award-winning children’s entertainer, early years educator, health and fitness expert, best-selling author and Government advisor. This year marks Amanda’s 30th year in business as the CEO of Amanda’s Action Club. From starting in a small community centre, Amanda has grown to working globally. Her impressive client list includes some well-known stars including; Brad and Angelina and The Beckhams… Peter Jones, Amanda Holden, The Beautiful South’s Alison Wheeler, Take That’s Mark Owen, Declan Donnelly, Sarah Beeny, Catherine Tate, Olympian Matthew Pincent… and many more… In 2020, Amanda was invited to become a UK Children’s First Champion in Parliament, encouraging policymakers to put children first at the heart of all decision making. She previously worked as a children’s fitness consultant on the government’s Change4Life programme and was selected to run classes, events and training for Sure Start. Over the last 30 years Amanda has won multiple awards for her work, she is a number one best-selling author and iTunes number one chart topper — beating Baby Shark to the number one spot!


Mastering Every Aspect of Producing a Documentary Film with Judy Korin - Ep #124

Judy Korin fuses her backgrounds in graphic design and filmmaking to contribute to visually powerful and socially impactful works. In addition to producing REBEL HEARTS (2021, max/discovery+) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, she is a producer of the documentary series THE LINCOLN PROJECT (2022, Showtime) and the Netflix original documentary THE GREAT HACK (2019, Sundance premiere), which made the Academy Award shortlist, was BAFTA-, Grierson- and Emmy-nominated, and won a Cinema Eye Honors Award. She also co-produced BENDING THE ARC (2017), directed the International Documentary Association and Emmy Award nominee A CENTURY OF WOMEN (1994) and produced the indie scripted feature FINDING NEIGHBORS (2013, AppleTV, Amazon). Judy has directed and produced many short-form documentaries and branded content films for social justice and educational non-profits such as the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Community Action Network. In addition to her filmmaking, she teaches documentary production to the next generation of storytellers at California State University, Northridge.


What Does A Line Producer Really Do? - Ep #122

A Line Producer is the unsung hero of a film production. Full of responsibility and, of course, stress, the job of a line producer is crucial and really challenging. In this episode Leslie breaks down the whole job from beginning to the end leaving no stone unturned. This is a must listen!