Oracle CEO and billionaire Larry Ellison is following in the footsteps of his children. He’s getting involved in the film business.
In this case, he’s launching a new politically minded film festival hosted on his Hawaiian Island, Lanai.
But he’s not just going to host a festival. He’s hoping to change the festival industry altogether.
The inaugural Lanai Documentary Film Festival will take place February, 2016, on the subject of “Governance for Africa.” It will showcase films on things like women’s rights, education, animal welfare, sustainable living and technology.
Unlike other festivals that screen films in the hopes of getting a bigger distribution deal, Ellison’s crew plans to use social media and other tech to turn these films into year round events, it says.
The crew will pick films far in advance and select filmmakers for fellowships. It will then follow the filmmakers all year and show the film in 2016 like a grande finale.
The idea is that these films become agents for real change, not just an interesting evening of entertainment, according to the website announcing the film festival.
It’s an idea that melds a couple of Ellison’s interests. He bought Lanai to turn it into a model of sustainable resort living and agriculture, he has often said. He’s invested in two airlines, updated the resorts, deployed a solar-and-wind power grid and invested in schools and community resources for the residents.
Meanwhile his two kids have become high-powered Hollywood producers. Megan Ellison is the first woman producer ever to have two films nominated in the same year for a Best Picture Oscar, for “Her” and “American Hustle”.
Son David Ellison is responsible for blockbusters like “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”
This film festival won’t be run by Ellison’s kids though. It’s being organised by marketing pro Audrey Cavenecia, hired by Ellison to help Lanai become known as a world-class resort.