5th Edition of The Italian Contemporary Film Festival

The 5th edition of the ICFF kicked off Thursday night with the international premier of Checco Zalone's film Quo Vado? directed by Gennaro Nunziante, and an Opening Night Party at Roy Thomson Hall. This is my 4th year being a part of this fantastic festival and I am proud to work with such an amazing group of people who bring Italian culture and cinema to Toronto, Hamilton, Vaughan Montreal, Quebec City, and Niagara Falls.

At the 2016 Opening Party at Roy Thomson Hall

At the 2016 Opening Party at Roy Thomson Hall

The annual festival, which takes place during Italian Heritage Month in June, celebrates the best in contemporary Italian cinema from around the world. This year's line up includes 70 features, shorts and documentaries, with 42 of them being premiers. This star-studded event will welcome comedic actor Checco Zalone, director Gennaro Nunziante, Italian actor Raoul Bova, Italian Actress Claudia Cardinale and Italian screenwriter, director and producer Renzo Martinelli.

Industry Day is back again this year and is a great way for film lovers and students to explore new screen technologies like virtual reality and 360 filming. Industry Day takes place on June 16th - register here.

This year's festival will close on Friday June 17th, with the feature film The Correspondence and the Closing Gala at Toronto's Ritz Carlton.

To experience the festival first hand, visit www.icff.ca for more details and schedules and to purchase your tickets.

Don't forget to follow the festival (@ICFFCanada) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ICFFCanada)! #ICFF16

xo Nikz

ICFF 2015 with Mara Cataldi, Fabio Gesufatto and Tanya Phillips at a Private Dinner with Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi

ICFF 2015 with Mara Cataldi, Fabio Gesufatto and Tanya Phillips at a Private Dinner with Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi

2016 Press Conference with Tony Monaco

2016 Press Conference with Tony Monaco

2016 Italian National Day at Casa Loma with Creative Director Cristiano de Florentiis

2016 Italian National Day at Casa Loma with Creative Director Cristiano de Florentiis

2016 Opening Night at Roy Thomson Hall

2016 Opening Night at Roy Thomson Hall

ICFF 2016 Opening Party with My Mom and Aunt

ICFF 2016 Opening Party with My Mom and Aunt

2016 Press Conference with Fabio Gesufatto and Romena Monaco

2016 Press Conference with Fabio Gesufatto and Romena Monaco

Small Business Social Media Training

I've been speaking to many small business owners lately who understand that they need Social Media but don't know where to start. For some, Social Media can be overwhelming. And others know how to use it for personal use, but can't seem to understand how to use it for business to effectively drive traffic to their website and ultimately drive awareness and sales.

For anyone new to the world of Social Media, the major channels usually include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Your Blog Site, Tumblr, etc. etc. etc. (There are TONS of Social Media platforms but these are the basics). Each channel functions a little differently but what they all have in common is creating a shared experience for an online community.

So what is the point of Social Media?

A lot of people believe they are "too old" for Social Media or don't see the point. Social Media is simply a tool that allows you to connect with customers to build your business and share ideas. It creates a two-way conversation between a brand and it's potential clients with a huge opportunity to create loyal brand ambassadors (people who LOVE your brand and are committed to helping promote you).

Social Media Training

But Social Media is nothing with out really great content. Your content is what gives your Social Media personality. It's your voice and tone and what's important to you and your brand. Together, Social Media and Content is what you use to transfer your amazing offline reputation, online in the digital space - to reach more people. Through strategic content you can create an online community where you share information, ideas, news, promotions, etc. with your customers quickly and easily.

Social Media is also a great customer service platform.

Think of Social Media as another way for your customers or fans to get in contact with you. Remember when E-Mail was new and many people didn't think they needed one? Now you can't survive without an email account, and that's the same for Social Media. Does your business even exist if you don't have a Facebook page or Twitter account?

To make Social Media a little easier to understand I've put together an 8-week Small Business Social Media Training program that is designed to give you the tools to set up/optimize your accounts, create a Social Media Strategy and engaging content that will help you reach new customers.

If you run a small business and don't have a large budget for Social Media then this program is what you're looking for! Send me an email and we can set up one-on-one training or I can send you my Small Business Social Media Workshop schedule so you can get started on creating amazing content and reaching tons of new customers!

Share the Magic with Dream Hunter Vacations

It’s been a busy start to the year. But no matter how busy I get, I always make TIME. Time for my family, time for my health, and time for my hobbies. Time really is the only constant thing we have, and if we don’t spend it making memories with the people we love, then what do we have? That’s basically the motto of my new client Dream Hunter Vacations.

Sharon Hunter has a passion for Mickey Mouse and Disney, which has propelled her to start her own business earlier this year. Sharon built her business on the philosophy that “Life is too Short!” It’s not about the quantity, it’s about spending quality time with the people you love and who you work so hard for every day of the year.  So how should you spend that quality time? With a vacation of a lifetime, of course!

Dream Hunter Vacations specializes in Disney Vacation destinations worldwide as well as Anaheim and Orlando attractions such as Universal Studios and Legoland. If you’ve been to a Disney theme park or cruise do you remember your first time? That magic of seeing all your favourite characters come to life? There is nothing like it. I remember one of my first Disney Vacations. Meeting Pluto for the first time was definitely something to check off the bucket list. Walking around with my autograph book and meeting the characters I’ve grown to love is definitely something I will never forget. Unfortunately the memories of my first Disney Vacation were SLIGHTLY tainted by the fact that I lost my brother in the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, and we had the entire park shut down in minutes. We laugh about it now, but talk about a memory! Sorry brother bear!!!

Visiting Sharon at Dream Hunter Vacations head office with Romeo, who wanted to rock some Mickey ears!

Visiting Sharon at Dream Hunter Vacations head office with Romeo, who wanted to rock some Mickey ears!

Even with that little fiasco, the dream of Disney comes to life when you step into that theme park. Those memories you make with your family will last forever. And Sharon is the one who can help put your dream vacation together. Not only has she been to Disneyland and Walt Disney World numerous times … She has immersed herself in Disney culture and knows everything you want to know about visiting one of the Disney theme parks. She even graduated from the College of Disney Knowledge! (Talk about an expert!) Did you know that if you run into Buzz and Woody from Toy Story and say “Andy is coming” they will both drop to the ground to resemble the dolls they are. And did you know there is a walkway that connects Epcot (between Britain and France Pavilions in World Showcase) and Hollywood Studios. With a comfortable pace, you can walk between the two parks in about 30 minutes - which can be much faster than relying on Disney’s transportation systems. Well Sharon has these tips and more! So if you’re looking to plan a Disney Vacation for your family, you’ll want to call Sharon. She’ll hunt for the best deals and with her expertise she’ll book your one of a kind Disney Dream vacation! So what are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to start making memories that will last forever.

Sharon's tips ans tricks will be available on her Facebook page and Instagram, so make sure you’re following if a Disney Dream Vacation is in your future!