The Director Of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS Trying To Muscle In On The ActionFest Brand ...

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Dear Warner Brothers: Smarten up and sort this out.

Back in April of this year I was invited to Asheville, North Carolina to sit on the jury of the inaugural ActionFest. A brand new festival founded by Aaron (Brother Of Chuck) Norris with an eye to not only exhibiting the best action films around the globe but also honoring the men behind the scenes who risk their lives to make them while ALSO pumping money into a children's charity favored by Chuck, ActionFest was - to put it simply - a blast. I was joined on the jury by CHUD's Devin Faraci, Hitfix's Drew McWeeney and Toronto International Film Festival programmer Colin Geddes and I'm quite confident that every one of them would join me in saying that despite any first year growing pains, ActionFest was not only a sorely needed addition to the festival world but also a damn good time. Hell, I know Geddes would back me up on that because he's since taken on the job of festival director.

Now here's where things get messy.

Anybody know the name Courtney Solomon? Solomon broke into the film world as the director and producer of the absolutely atrocious Dungeons and Dragons movie ten years ago. He'd take one more equally successful stab at directing before focusing his energies into working as a producer, landing most recently as one of the producers on this year's slate of After Dark Original films. And while doing that he had a clever idea: Why not do for action what After Dark is doing for horror and produce a slate of low budget action movies that can then be presented as a sort of multi-city film festival before hitting DVD and VOD?

It's a good idea, honestly, and I'm glad someone is doing it. Warner Brothers obviously think it's a good idea, too, because they're backing it and paying for the films. But you know what's not a good idea? Calling it Action Fest.

Memo to Solomon and Warner Brothers: There already is an ActionFest and adding a space makes it no more kosher to nick the name.

If this was an honest mistake it wouldn't be such a big deal. Someone could just get on the phone and clear it up. But it's not an honest mistake. Solomon was well aware of the original - and still fully operational - ActionFest when he launched this venture. He has been contacted by the organizers since and been uncooperative. And Warner Brothers? Hell, Warner Brothers slapped big ActionFest Award Winner stickers on the cover of their Undisputed III DVD and BluRay release when that came out, so they are obviously aware of it, too. What's happening here isn't that they don't know. It's that they either don't care or, more cynically, think they can capitalize on all the hard work ActionFest did in year one to establish the brand to give themselves a leg up without actually having to do the work.

Not cool, boys, and I will not be supporting anything you do under this name.
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