2021 We Make Movies International Film Festival

+ 120 Films.
+ From Around the World.
+ Something For Everyone By A Diverse Group of Storytellers.
+ Find the Films & Filmmakers Who Speak To You.
+ We Saved You A Seat.

2020

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

A film for 2020, a year to remember. 2020 different colors create a flicker film.

Filmmaker Bio: Tom Bessoir was born and raised in the Astoria section of Queens in New York City in 1957. From there he commuted by subway to attend The Bronx High School of Science. Tom studied mathematics and electrical engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. While attending the Engineering School, he took advantage of Art School classes, focusing on film theory and studying experimental filmmaking with Robert Breer. In the late 1970s, he started photographing the downtown music scene. His photographs have appeared on dozens of records as well as in films, books, magazines, and newspapers. Tom’s experimental films often use mathematics to explore perception and the structure of the cinema. In the arts, he is best known for Microfilm (1979), Digits of Pi (2019), and his photography documenting downtown NYC.

Director: Tom Bessoir - Composer: Thurston Moore - Color Science: Joshua Pines

31 Hours

2020 MID-LENGTH FILM

A documentary about a young black man who was beaten and detained by the Chicago Police during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.

Filmmaker Bio: Ben Hamer is a 19-year-old filmmaker currently based out of Chicago and attending DePaul University. A cinematographer, director, editor, and producer, Ben often tells stories of social justice issues but also has a passion for sports and documentary storytelling. Early into his film career he already has over 10 awards from film festivals. 31 Hours is his longest film, and it was made as he finished high school. Ben plans to pursue a career in Hollywood upon graduating college. 

Director: Ben Hamer - Writer: Ben Hamer - Cinematographer: Ben Hamer - Editor: Ben Hamer

A Day Off

2021 COMEDY SHORT

Sebastian just wants a day off. When his parents leave the house for a few hours, he sits down to play a video game when he notices a list of chores his parents left for him.  He has to complete these as quickly as he can before it’s too late.

Filmmaker Bio: Caol Ila Bader is a high school film maker from Los Angeles.  She has attended NYFA for many years and is a film major at Crossroads. With A DAY OFF, Ondine has been a finalist in the Kosice International Film festival, was an award winner in the Best Shorts Competition in La Jolla, CA and won the audience award at the Pinewood Studios Film Festival for 2021. Currently she is a finalist in the Burbank film festival. Caol Ila hopes to one day professionally pursue directing.

Cast: Sebastian Bader - Director: Caol Ila Bader - Writer: Caol Ila Bader - Cinematographer: Caol Ila Bader - Editor: Caol Ila Bader 

A Youtuber and a Demon 

2021 SCI-FI/FANTASY SHORT

A lonely Youtuber follows random app-generated coordinates to remote locations in search of anomalies, when an anomaly finds him. She finds him interesting.

Filmmaker Bio: Betty Kaplan is an actor and director based in Berlin.

 

Cast: Pascal Bulot, Betty Kaplan - Director: Betty Kaplan - Writer: Betty Kaplan - Cinematographer: Raphael Federer - Editor: Betty Kaplan - Composer: Mathieu Mutin

Adams

2018 COMEDY SHORT

Based on a short story by Man Booker Prize winning author George Saunders, Adams is a very dark comedy starring Patton Oswalt and Fred Armisen. Oswalt plays Roger, a regular guy who's always been suspicious of Adams (Armisen), his pretentious next door neighbor. One day Roger comes home to find Adams standing in his kitchen in his underwear. The allegorical conflict that ensues explores themes like fear of the other and anti-intellectualism that are very much of the moment in America today.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Tom J Stern is showrunner/director of the Netflix Original Film Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History (starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Kenny, Weird Al Yankovic and others), as well as The Toys That Made Us, an 8 part documentary series also on Netflix. In 1987, while at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Tom collaborated with underground Austin rock legends Butthole Surfers on the short film Cherub. Also while at NYU he began a partnership with Alex Winter which lasted eight years – their college film Squeal of Death caught the attention of Sam Raimi who then developed a feature comedy script with them. After graduating the pair went to Hollywood and directed IMPACT Video Magazine, which featured cutting edge artists and performers such as Bill Hicks, Survival Research Labs, Public Enemy, Robert Williams, Jane’s Addiction, and another short film with Butthole Surfers. Tom got his first mainstream show business job writing for the Jim Henson Hour on NBC. After that he collaborated with Alex Winter on the MTV Sketch Comedy show The Idiot Box, which he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in. The Idiot Box was listed as one of the 40 best sketch comedy shows of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. 

Stern and Winter then shared writing and directing duties on their cult favorite feature film Freaked for 20th Century Fox, starring Randy Quaid, Mr T, Keanu Reeves, Brooke Shields, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Larry “Bud” Melman.

Tom went on to co-write the feature An American Werewolf in Paris with Tim Burns. Tom and Tim then co-created The Chimp Channel, a comedy series for TBS. Tom went on to co-create Wanderlust (with Josh Gardner), a comedy travel show for Comedy Central, which he also co-wrote, directed, and executive produced. He was show runner/director for Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers, and for MTV’s The Andy Milonakis Show. Along the way Tom directed for The Man Show on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, was a staff writer for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Comedy Central show That’s My Bush.

Tom was the director and executive producer for Adult Swim’s series Saul of the Molemen. He co-wrote, co-created and directed an innovative photo animated pilot for MTV called Hardin High and has directed music videos for such artists as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Butthole Surfers and Marilyn Manson.

Tom directed Kanye West’s Alligator Boots, a “black Muppet Show” for Comedy Central written by Jordan Peele, directed season three of Joe Schmo for creators Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland, Deadpool), and was co-EP/director for two seasons of the VH1 sketch comedy show Stevie TV, starring the young Youtube comedy star Stevie Ryan. Tom also directed episodes of 2 Broke Girls (CBS).

Tom and Josh Gardner recently created a serialized comedy series for Conoco and Warner Brothers Blue Ribbon Content called Golden Revenge. It’s a cross between Homeward Bound and Kill Bill – and tells the story of three pets on a cross-country trek for bloody revenge.

Tom is married to architect Barbara Bestor and lives in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

 

Cast: Fred Armisen, Patton Oswalt, Angela Kinsey, Jessica Makinson, Isabelle Murphy, Royal Grotta, Ella Chaim, Brock Pierce - Director: Tom Stern - Writers: Tom Stern (Adaptation), George Saunders (Original short story) - Cinematographer: Joe DeSalvo - Editors: Adam Parker, Bryan Shelton, Tom Stern - Composer: Greg Nicolett, featuring music from Play Level Two by Andrew Norman

An Endless Summer

2020 DRAMA SHORT

A new mother has spent longer than expected with her baby daughter due to the Covid lockdown - but now she must confront the post-pandemic return to work. A docu-drama filmed 100% remotely during the coronavirus lockdown.
 

Filmmaker Bio: Patrick has been addicted to films for as long as he can remember; from film school in school holidays and shooting sketches with friends, to studying Film and Television Production at University of York. After graduating, he set up Dark Avenue Film with partner Bethany White in his native Isle of Man, striving to tell stories that excite him and experiment with narrative and filming techniques. He won Distinguished Director at York's HARPE Awards 2018 for directing Road To The Top, part of the Untold Stories monologues which he later filmed (www.darkavenuefilm.com/portfolio).


Cast: Freya Kingsley, Lilah  - Director: Patrick Crellin - Writer: Patrick Crellin - Cinematographer: Patrick Crellin - Editor: Patrick Crellin - Composer: John Corner

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Ani_Dance(collage30) is a collage from the ani series, and is part of a broad experimental audiovisual research project that tries to explore, from the point of view of artistic-expressive activity, formal, structural, narrative and aesthetic issues. For this we intervene and construct variations, spatial and temporal, of mythical scenes from the cinema that have passed through the public domain. We modify its previous meanings, amplifying or varying its narrative value and its audiovisual aspect.

Filmmaker Bio: Luis Carlos Rodríguez is currently a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Valladolid, Spain. He has had individual and collective exhibitions of painting, photography, video art, installations and audiovisual performances in major cities and universities all over the world. 

Director: Luis Carlos Rodríguez

And the alley she whitewashed in light blue

2020 EXPERIMENTAL FEATURE

At a time of existential threat to the physical and human environment we live in, Architect Nili Portugali takes us into a deeply intimate journey in the Galilean 'Kabbala' holy city of Tsefat. The birthplace and hometown of her family since the early 19th century, where her grandmother, considered by Portugali a "Zen master," founded her hotel -- in a small stone building around a patio at the end of an alley in the old city that no longer exists.


Filmmaker Bio: Nili Portugali is a well-known practicing Architect; senior lecturer; researcher and published author. Her multidisciplinary work, both in practice and theory, is closely connected to the holistic-phenomenological school of thought. She is a 7th-generation descendant of a family living in the holy 'Kabbala' city of Tsefat, Israel since the early 19th century. She was a senior lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem and at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion, Haifa. She has been a guest lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Carleton University, Oxford University, TU Stuttgart; TU Dresden; TU Delft; and Tsinghua University China. Her first book, “The Act of Creation and The Spirit of A Place/A Holistic-Phenomenological Approach to Architecture” -- Edition Axel Menges Stuttgart/London -- was listed in the books of the year by the Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A).


Director: Nili Portugali - Writer: Nili Portugali - Editor: Nili Portugali

Another Word for Learning

2019 DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

ANOTHER WORD FOR LEARNING is a unique documentary about the freedom to choose one's own education, even if this means leaving the school system altogether. Following a mother and daughter's intimate journey of (re)discovering their connection to their culture while living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, we will see what repercussions Aisha's educational choices will have on her family and community - ultimately exposing how the decision to self-direct one's education can continue to broader decolonization. In a world where school diplomas are supposed to offer access to the next rung on the social and economic ladder, can those who don't fit the dominant public school model still survive - and thrive?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Jadis Mariette Dumas is a multidisciplinary artist working for over 7 years as an independent filmmaker and editor, specializing in documentary and video art. Primarily self-taught, she also completed Capilano University's Documentary Film Programme. Since then she has been a videographer and editor on various films being shown through international festivals, and is excited to be sharing her first feature film on decolonizing education, premièring at Montreal's RIDM this year. She is passionate about producing honest and beautiful storytelling through film which inspires social justice engagement.

 

Director: Jadis M. Dumas - Writer: Jadis M. Dumas 

Autoimmune

2020 VIDEO ART

In Autoimmune, a non-human entity speaks directly to the audience, troubling distorted understandings of HIV, queerness, and disease. It gains agency over data, altering images from archives, and animating archival figures to speak. Composed with machine learning processes for generative video and sound, including deepfakes, the piece explores uncanny relations between politics, technology, emotion, and illness.


Filmmaker Bio: Marcos Serafim is Assistant Professor of Photography|Video|Imaging at University of Arizona, Tucson. He holds a BA in Film and Video from Parana State University in Brazil, an MA in Studio Art from Eastern Illinois University, and an MFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University. He has exhibited work at the 5th and 6th Ghetto Bienalle in Haiti; the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Brazil; the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), the Queens Museum, and Flux Factory in New York. His work has been screened in film festivals in multiple countries, including the Cine Esquema Novo Film Festival in Brazil (Audience Choice Second Best Short), Israel`s Horn Festival for Experimental Films (Jury’s Second Prize), Northampton Film Festival in Massachusetts (Jury’s Honorable Mention for Short Experimental) and Faito Doc Festival in Italy (Young Jury’s Honorable Mention for Short Documentary). His work is currently represented by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Center.

Cast: Cameron Michael Chase, Jadrian Tarver, Jon Tenbrink - Director: Marcos Serafim - Writer: Marcos Serafim - Creative Coding: Ian Kirkpatrick - Composer: Douglas McCausland

Bandwidth

2021 COMEDY SHORT

Frank's important job interview on Zoom goes south due to his "stay at home" Covid precautious family using up his bandwidth.
 

Filmmaker Bio: Pat Battistini is an award-winning writer/director/editor and a native of Gary, Indiana. Pat began his career as an actor at the Player’s Workshop of the Second City in Chicago. He continued working in improvisation and eventually performed in over 500 improv shows. Pat suffered having to work for Club Med in their Entertainment Department in places such as St. Lucia, Thailand and Tahiti. Continuing to have fun in Asia, Pat moved to Tokyo where he collaborated with an all-Japanese comedy group for two years performing in the Japanese language. Only making sense, he moved to Miami after his Tokyo gig, where he started his filmmaking career. Pat finally made his way to Los Angeles in the fall of ’98.

In LA, he has written and produced eleven short films. His most recent film, 'Tin Can' has been screened in over sixty-six film festivals and has won twenty-six awards. His feature screenplay, "Rebound" has also won two screenwriting categories respectively. Pat resides in Santa Clarita with his wife Marnie and their two children

Cast: Pat Battistini, Faith Collins, Tom Katsis, Lisa Cole, Hoyt Richards, Jason Goulet, Lucas Franke, Burke Battistini, Brandon Franke  - Director: Robert Franke - Writer: Pat Battistini - Cinematographer: Robert Franke - Editor: Pat Battistini

Beauty’s Journey

2021 DRAMA SHORT

A modern-day Sleeping Beauty myth, in which a young Iranian-American woman, Ziba (Beauty) - pregnant for the first time - has a dream reminiscent of a shamanic medicine journey in which her friend comes in the guise of Maleficent and invites her to take accountability for herself and "wake up" to her true nature and personal power. This short film was created from segments of the feature film, Wake Up Sleeping Beauty, which we filmed during the pandemic lockdown, in September of 2020. Because the film was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, we had to follow the strictest Covid-19 guidelines; which asked that no two actors could ever be in the same room at the same time. The film was made entirely via green screen, and stitched together to give the feel that the actors are occupying the same physical space.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Shila Ommi, born in Tehran, has lived in Los Angeles since 1979. She is an actor with starring roles in Apple TV’s 'Tehran' and 'Little America'. She has directed and produced award winning plays in Los Angeles, and for over a decade toured internationally in an Iranian-American theater production company performing plays in Persian.                      

 

Cast: Darya Mina, Hedyeh Falsafi, Darya June Ellis, Ashfin Katanchi, Roxana Rastegar, Sharareh Shahbazi, Azar Miremadi - Director: Shila Ommi - Writer: Mastaneh Moghadam - Cinematographer: Hitoshi Inoue - Editor: Hitoshi Inoue - Composer: Arjang Rad

Bereaved

2021 COMEDY SHORT

bereaved - /bəˈrēvd/ - Be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, especially due to death...but sometimes because of a break up. A meet-weird love story dealing with both.

Filmmaker Bio: David Beatty is a performer, writer, storyteller, filmmaker and theater creator who works from a combination of curiosity, collaboration, practical application and experience.

Born and raised in southern California, David wanted to travel and by the time he was 25, had flown around the world visiting Europe, Thailand, China and India just to name a few. 

He received a BA from Adams State University in 1996 and an MFA from the University of California Davis in 2005. ​David launched Double Yellow Line Films and through this production company produced dozens of award winning shorts, feature films and new media projects. 

His love of filmmaking brought him back to Los Angeles where he currently lives and works. 

 

Cast: Julie Phillips, Ryan Bertroche - Director: David Beatty - Writer: Julie Phillips - Cinematographer: David Beatty - Editor: Steph Martinez - Composer: Chris Hagen

But I Love the Zine

2018 DOCUMENTARY SHORT

This video reveals the resurgent San Francisco Bay Area culture of zines – artistic publications that are self-made, accessible, intentionally tactile and NOT the Internet. We meet remarkable zine authors in their studios, a major art museum curator, and avid zine festival goers and promoters.

Filmmaker Bio: Fiona McDougall is the Creative Services and Video Producer at OneWorld Communications, where she oversees and coordinates all media production: TV broadcast PSAs, digital informational and educational videos, radio, print, photography, and web/online. Many of the campaigns she has produced incorporate all these media. She has also produced them in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and other languages. Her creative productions for OneWorld’s clients have won numerous awards. She has produced videos for the Secretary of State, CalRecycle, California Public Utilities Commission, BioBag, Office Economic Workforce Development, and other clients. She has published photographic books on Tibet and Morocco, and was nominated by The New York Times for the Pulitzer Prize for Features 1993 for her photographic coverage of civil unrest in Somalia. She is a former press photographer for the Melbourne newspaper The Age and has worked extensively for Australian magazines and other publications while living and working in Italy, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Director: Fiona McDougall - Writers: Fiona McDougall and Jonathan Villet - Cinematographers: Cliff Traiman and Fiona McDougall - Editor: Kat Cory

Città Reale

2020 VIDEO ART

Città Reale is an experimental two channel installation, combining performance, puppetry and moving cardboard insects. Multiple human hands become a form of moving city, disappearing and reappearing amongst lightness and darkness. The asymmetrical combination of two images slightly out of phase with one another, suggest both the eclipse and resurgence of human communities. Città Reale is a testament to vulnerability, inter-connectedness and communal resilience in our uncertain contemporary era.

Filmmaker Bio: Hing Tsang is a filmmaker and teacher based in Ipswich, working at the University of Suffolk. He was trained as a documentarist and is the author of “Semiotics and Documentary Film”, alongside numerous articles about documentary, fiction and experimental practice. He has collaborated for several years with Jose Navarro, an Anglo-Peruvian mime and puppetry artist. Previous collaborations have been seen in festivals across Asia, Latin America and Europe. Hing Tsang’s work incorporates elements of both experimental and documentary filmmaking.

Director: Hing Tsang 

collage25

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

-The audiovisual language was born, grew and developed from artistic activity.

-Audiovisual language is and will be an artistic process that evolves from art and the hand of artist in its two main channels: experimental cinema and video art.

-We firmly believe that audiovisual language must continue to evolve from experimentation and artistic activity.

-We firmly believe that all creation is always a recreation.

The public domain allows us to recreate and recount, again manipulating the time and space of the sequences, (especially those that became unforgettable for us at some point), and, from an audiovisual economy / ecology, move forward with new proposals in this constant process of evolution that must be the audiovisual language.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Luis Carlos Rodríguez is currently a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Valladolid, Spain. He has had individual and collective exhibitions of painting, photography, video art, installations and audiovisual performances in major cities and universities all over the world.

 

Director: Luis Carlos Rodríguez 

Contact High

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

A grieving mother meets a recovering addict, and without ever speaking, he brings her back to life.


Filmmaker Bio: Scarlett Redmond is a Los Angeles-based Actress & Voiceover Artist, making her directorial debut with CONTACT HIGH. (She is also a proud pup mama to a scruffy rescue named Chester Cheeseman). 


Cast: Scarlett Redmond, Dave Daniels - Director: Scarlett Redmond - Writer: Scarlett Redmond - Cinematographer: Mitchell Straub - Editor: Alex Choonoo - Composer: Tim Hare

Crumbs #3

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

A parodic cinema trailer voiceover is paired with footage of a beach in south-west Ireland, filmed in the summer of 2019. The image and sound really have no connection with each other, which is the point, and hopefully the badly delivered bombast of the voiceover is humbled by shining banality in amateur camerawork, seaweed, surf, and sand. This is the third in a series of 16mm films called Crumbs, which I use to explore and experiment with different techniques and textures. The dog is called Monster. The camera had a buggered shutter.

Filmmaker Bio: Jack Wornell is an artist/filmmaker who makes short, landscape-based films exploring the tension between the humdrum and the ecstatic in everyday life. Using a lo-fi and eclectic approach, across a variety of film and video formats, his work seeks the transcendent in mundane objects and overlooked places, such as motorways, edgelands, road signs, and rubbish, often in the urban landscape of London where he lives. Material is often shot with no exact project in mind, and finds form and meaning in the process of editing. Each work has its own filmic language, but they all in some way evoke the messy, contradictory experience of place. His films have been screened at London Short Film Festival, Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, BFI, Transient Visions, Exploding Cinema, Flatpack Festival, and Aesthetica Film Festival.

Director: Jack Wormell - Writer: Jack Wormell

Customer Service

2021 DRAMA SHORT

Tony Rios is a character actor always cast as the bad guy in TV shows and all he wants is to be a romantic lead in a Hallmark movie. During the pandemic his luck changes after meeting his number one fan virtually, Grace, while she’s repairing his computer over a Zoom call.

Filmmaker Bio: Salvador Paniagua is a filmmaker and photographer who is currently developing the television show Funny Brown People with A Good Home Pictures and Kontakto Entertainment. He recently sold his script But She Wasn’t Perfect to PixL Television. Paniagua has worked for the United Farm Workers Foundation, Chadwick School, Urban Compass, the Learning Rights Law Center, and the Children’s Institute. He has traveled across the state of California filming and photographing the daily lives of farmworkers, as well as deep into the Sequoia National Forest documenting an outdoor education trip for Chadwick School students. His short documentary about Sacramento’s first Latino mayor, Joe Serna, was featured at the Sacramento Latino Film Festival. His work has also been recognized by the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the Ford Motor Company, and the American Cinematheque. Paniagua participated in Film Independent's Project:Involve Writer/Director fellowship and NALIP's Writers Lab. He was a finalist for the ABC/Disney Feature Writing Fellowship Program. He also received a grant from the Mercury Latino Lens Challenge to shoot Los Tamales, a comedic and warm-hearted story about a 7-year-old boy's trek across the neighborhood, which featured Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez in his debut role. Paniagua discovered his love of filmmaking and photography while producing programs at Stanford University’s student station, SCBN. He currently works as photographer and filmmaker for the Children’s Institute in Los Angeles

 

Cast: Alejandro Patino, Lisa Catara, Jaime Ferrar, Nelson C. Grand, Michael Uribes  - Director: Salvador Paniagua - Writer: Salvador Paniagua - Cinematographer: Salvador Paniagua - Editor: Cleveland Buckner - Composer: Kevin Macleod

Dark Myriad 4

2020 VIDEO ART

Dark Myriad 4 (Тьма Тем 4) is a videopoem that aims to create a new type of poetic language, integrating spoken word with moving image to develop a non-illustrative style. This piece ponders on the act of looking at a plain brick wall, which starts to tell its story in a rhythmic burst of colours. The videopoem presented here is part of an album called Dark Myriad (Тьма Тем). The project aims to integrate the audio-visual elements into inseparable rhythmic and rhyming compositions. This approach strives to reach a universal type of poem, where the natural language of the spoken word is only a part of the composition and the knowledge of this language does not limit the understanding and appreciation of the piece. The project builds on Eta Dahlia’s previous videopoem album Little Flowers (Цветочки) and develops the visual aspects and techniques of creating a unified videopoetic experience. The title Dark Myriad comes from an ancient Slavonic numbering system and signifies the biggest possible number, which is linguistically associated with darkness and its perceived infinity.

Filmmaker Bio: ​​Eta Dahlia is a Russian poet and filmmaker based in London. His work combines minimalist Russian poetry with a range of audio-visual media. He works with spoken word, video, images, colours and music, integrating these elements into inseparable rhythmic and rhyming compositions to create coherent and complete multimedia poetic pieces. Through these interdisciplinary pieces Eta strives to reach a universal type of poem, where the understanding and appreciation of a piece is not limited to its original language. Recently, Eta's work has been exhibited in the UK as well as in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Romania and Mexico. His first videopoetry album Tsvetochki was selected by over twenty festivals worldwide and was awarded a number of prizes.

 

Cast: Iris Colomb, Ivan Isakov - Director: Eta Dahlia 

Dreams Are Fabricated

2021 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

A commercial hype reel shredding the magic of the mechanism by which the dominant myth defends itself from deconstruction through the fabrication of dreams while simultaneously reproducing itself, duplicating, spreading, feeding, and manifesting into a structured ideology; this is a stretching of these ingredients across a digital canvas.


Filmmaker Bio: Meg Case and Brad Porter are American artists and filmmakers. Having attended undergraduate and graduate film schools throughout the United States, they both went on to create commercials, short films, music videos, and independent feature films. Having spent 15 years in this global independent filmmaking community, while teaching as an associated professor of filmmaking at universities in Michigan and England and working as freelance artists in the commercial image-making industry, they have witnessed the pervasive and destructive ideologies and subsequent culture of traditionally-imagined independent filmmaking. Their work seeks to dismantle the manipulative nature of the “filmmaking” industry which capitalizes on producer/consumer systems of coercion, a culture which knowingly utilizes mind-numbing aesthetics to create an uninformed yet entertained (mindless) consumer. Their works explore the intersection of exploitative power structures and the continual becoming of each person through the liberating medium of experimental filmmaking.

 

Directors: Meg Case and Brad Porter - Cinematographers: Meg Case and Brad Porter - Editors: Meg Case and Brad Porter - Composers: Meg Case and Brad Porter

Dreams of Albuquerque Airspace

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

"A distillation of beauty to the bee." Timelapse animation of a machine learning system studying a collection of 8,000 images of flowers. The visuals represent about 3 weeks of training snapshots after the AI model broke aesthetically. I composed the music separately using "image to sound transduction" techniques.

 

Filmmaker Bio: David Witzling is an artist, educator, and amateur mad computer scientist based in Milwaukee. His films have screened locally, nationally, and internationally for two decades. His recent publications and conference presentations examine diminishing returns

in industrial society and the relationship between citizenship, anonymity, and the Western political tradition. At the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, he teaches courses in 16mm film and digital video production, and lectures on film theory, open source culture, Modernist cinema, and sociological themes in narrative cinema.

 

Director: David Witzling - Composer: David Witzling

Echoes of Kerberos

2020 DRAMA SHORT

A man suddenly gets a call from a stranger threatening the life of his girlfriend if he doesn't do what he’s told.

Filmmaker Bio: Ross Kolton is a Filmmaker and Editor in Los Angeles. He has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from the narrative, documentary, commercial, music video, and branded content. His feature film, “Aldo” premiered at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and had a run at several other festivals, including NewFilmmakers LA, where it was nominated for Best Feature. As one half of the directing duo The Kolton Brothers, he has worked on brand films for Pepsi and music videos for artists such as Gogol Bordello. As a freelance editor, he has been the lead program editor for Westfield Centers, Microsoft, and Four Seasons, and has made music videos for artists such as The Avett Brothers and Blake Shelton. He currently works as an editor, working consistently with IMDb, Westfield Centers, as well as various other stand-alone projects from commercials, branded content, and music videos. He is in production on a short thriller as Director, DP, and Editor as well as developing his second feature film.

 

Cast: Steve Brock, Carolyn Meyer, Torie Tyson, Eric Michael Kochmer, Whit Spurgeon - Director: Ross Kolton - Writer: Steve Brock - Cinematographer: Ross Kolton - Editor: Ross Kolton - Composer: Jeffrey Gold

EMPIRE

2019 HORROR FEATURE

EMPIRE is a feature film following the misadventures of two men shipwrecked in the vast Pacific Trash Vortex. As the men struggle to survive, the power play between them devolves from the darkly comedic and absurd into crashing fear and existential terror. Often hallucinogenic with stunning visuals, this parable mixes apocalyptic and kaleidoscopic imagery as humankind's perverse relationship with plastic is exposed. This dystopian grotesquerie presents an epic challenge: man vs. garbage.

Filmmaker Bio: Paul L. Carr is a Chicago film director, producer, writer and actor whose critically acclaimed feature film, Busted City, portrays the racial politics surrounding Harold Washington’s election as Chicago’s first black mayor. It won numerous laurels on the festival circuit in London, Italy and France, as well as in the US. More recently, Mr. Carr wrote, produced and directed American Barbarian, a psychological horror/dark comedy whose main character is a young woman dealing with the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election. Shot on locations throughout Chicago and featuring a primarily female cast, American Barbarian portrays the tumultuous time period we live in. It appeared in festivals around the world, winning multiple awards. EMPIRE has received nominations and awards from festivals worldwide -- including nominations in the 2020 Nice International Film Fest for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, and the South Europe International Film Festival at Valencia for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Director & Best Original Screenplay. Nick Leininger won Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film in Valencia and also Best Actor at World Cinema/Antwerp Belgium, where the film received 5 additional nominations.The East Europe IFF in Warsaw, Poland, granted six nominations for their 2020 festival, with Don Schroeder winning the Best Supporting Actor award. The Colorado International SciFi & Fantasy Film Fest awarded Empire two very unique prizes -- The Most Shockingly Artistic Feature Film and the Be The Change award. Busted City Productions just wrapped production on a feature length comedy in September of 2019. Currently in post production, the film should be in festivals sometime in 2022.

 

Cast: NIck Leininger, Don Schroeder - Director: Paul L. Carr - Writer: Paul L. Carr - Cinematographer: Christian Hardy - Editor: Nick G. Schultz, with Jen Kienzler, Wheat, Christina Berger, Justin Jones - Composer: Keith Fort

Everfall

2020 DRAMA SHORT

A short film exploring grief. Lola & Ethan, trapped in a dream world, must face a recent tragedy that threatens to tear them apart forever.

Filmmaker Bio: Ashton Avila is a Mexican American writer-director whose work brings a unique and diverse perspective to each story she tells. Her past work includes PlayStation original pilot Two Roads and the award winning short films I Got You Babe, Trying to Fuck: A Modern Day Romance, and Have A Little Faith. She has been working in the entertainment industry since 2013 in various production jobs and has been mentored by some of Hollywood's most notable writers and directors. She is also a professor at the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island where she teaches production and critical studies courses. In addition, she currently works as a freelance writer/director and casting director.

 

Cast: Poonam Basu, Jayme Woj  - Director: Ashton Avila - Writer: Poonam Basu - Cinematographer: Monty Sloan - Editor: Michael Gutierrez - Composer: Andrew Scott Bell

Ex-Sisters-In-Law

2020 COMEDY SERIES

Ex-Sisters-In-Law hilariously confronts the meaning of family, friendship and economic disparity - this pathos-filled story follows the reunion of the sheltered Millicent, who wants nothing more than to have her sister-in-law back, and Deniz, the pragmatic woman who divorced Millicent's brother twenty years ago!

 

Filmmaker Bio: Suzan Mikiel is an Actor, Writer, and Director. She co-created EX-SISTERS-IN-LAW with Allison Youngberg. Her pilot NONPROFIT was the inaugural script for Scripts in Play, a staged reading series co-produced by Tuesdays@9: LA and Rogue Theatre Machine. As a former New Yorker she attended Tuesdays@9 NYC, performed in dozens of Off-Off Broadway plays, and performed improv at Upright Citizens Brigade theatre. Always dedicated to new work, Suzan was a member of the Professional Training Program at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she workshopped with innovators in American Theatre. She has multiple film and TV credits, and is a member of Women in Film and Film Independent.

 

Cast: Suzan Mikiel, Allison Youngberg, Paul McKinney - Director: Suzan Mikiel - Writers: Suzan Mikiel and Allison Youngberg - Cinematographer: Olesia Saveleva - Editor: Michelle Fenn - Composer: Lisa Crawley

EXTERNO

2020 ESSAY FILM

A revolutionary businessman tries to conquer the world with $2,000.

Filmmaker Bio: As an author, Leandro Taub has written 27 books, among which are 'The Hidden Mind', 'Homemade Wisdom' and 'The Anarchist'. He has given more than 400 conference lectures to tens of thousands of people from Latin America, Asia and Europe. As an actor, he has worked in feature films and art films, among which are 'Endless Poetry' by Alejandro Jodorowsky, 'Woodwind' by Fin Manjoo and 'An Innocent Mind Has No Fear' by Ralf Schmerberg. As an entrepreneur and economist, he’s co-founded an investment advisory company, a film production company, a multimedia agency and a publishing company. He is also an advisor of individuals in spiritual and life issues.

Jonathan Taub is an Argentinean designer and filmmaker living and working in Mexico City and Berlin. He was born in San Carlos de Bariloche in 1987. Jonathan has worked in various mediums -- fiction films, documentaries, mini-series, and advertisements -- over the past years. He is often involved in collaborative projects that playfully intend to explore and expose the highs and lows of the human condition. His works usually incorporate an immersive visual and musical component to them.  He is currently working in the post-production of the TV mini-series “Inspire”, the production of the documentary “Food Wasting” and collaborating in the development of a new feature film. EXTERNO is the first feature film directed by Jonathan and Leandro Taub (AKA Taub Brothers) that will premier in 2021.

Cast: Leandro Taub, Elizabeth Ehrlich, Christian Bargados - Directors: Jonathan Taub, Leandro Taub - Writer: Leandro Taub - Cinematographers: Jesse Mickle, Jonas Schneider - Editors: Leandro Taub, Benjamin De Vuyst, Jonathan Taub - Composer: Thomas Meier (aka TommyGunfunk)

Faces without Visage

2019 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

How come a somber silence drowns me and my memory ?

How come the faces lose visage in this dark dungeon of memory ?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Hesam Rahmani is an Iranian independent filmmaker, editor, script writer, producer, performance artist and experimental composer. He was born in Tehran in 1992. Ever since he was forced to leave his education in the field of Architecture because of financial issues, he has dedicated himself full time to the cinema and new media to follow his dreams.

He directed Sanctus (2016), Gross Sum (2017), and MER (2018). MER has been selected for many film festivals, including The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (USA), the Central Michigan International Film Festival (USA), and the Tassvir Film Festival (Iran).

 

Cast: Hasan Rahmani, Golzar Torkamanha  - Director: Hesam Rahmani - Writer: Saeed Aminabadi - Motion Graphic: Sohrab Golestaneh - Editor: Hesam Rahmani - Composer: brk - Scape 5

Faros / Ojos (Buscando la luz II)

2020 VIDEO ART

If looking is enlightening (knowing).

How to orient ourselves in the illuminated sea of information? How to survive in the cinematic sea of lights that lead and confuse our dreams?

How to know which lighthouse will illuminate the shore of our destinations?

The invisible heartbeat is the lighthouse that returns us to the body as a place of knowledge, the place of desire that leads us to the shore of our dreams.

 

Filmmaker Bio: “The films of Rrose Present are like haiku: precise, ambiguous, and deeply resonant. Rrose's films are precisely honest. Their power derives from the juxtaposition of crisply evocative rhythms and imagery that is both personal and deep. The overall form of many of them is to begin the entrainment of thinking in one direction and then shift direction to carve a precise shape in thought. The levels of introspection this creates are like the stages in discourse.The complexity of the relationship between the direction of thought and the rhythms that propel it are wonderful.” - Daniel Barnett

 

Director: Rrose Present - Cinematographer: Rrose Present - Editor: Rrose Present - Composer: Oriol Perucho

Fecundation

1981 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

An experimental animated short using clay and razor blades.

 

Filmmaker Bio: David Hauptschein is a Chicago-based playwright, screenwriter, and visual artist. His plays have been produced in Chicago, New York, London, Edinburgh, and elsewhere.

David Hauptschein’s Scandals (comprised of two one-acts, CAST and The Bunkhouse) had its world premiere at Rhino Fest 2020 in Chicago; and his play The Swim Club

premiered at Rhino Fest 2019 in Chicago. Among Hauptschein’s many other plays are

An Alchemy of Flesh, The Persecution of Arnold Petch, The Gurney, The Ballad of

Johnny 5 Star (co-written with David Vlcek), and Breakdown and Out. His play Trance

received a Fringe First Award at the 1996 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Country of Hotels, the 2020 award-winning feature film written by Hauptschein and

directed by Julio Maria Martino, was shown at the 2021 Manchester Film Festival

(MANIFF), the 17 th Annual Another Hole in the Head Festival in San Francisco (2020),

the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival (2020), and the We Make Movies International Film Festival in Hollywood (2020). Hauptschein’s visual art has been exhibited widely in Chicago and other cities, and he has published three collections of pictures: The Unreality Show, Altered Ego: Self-Portraits, and The Mask Behind the Mask.

 

Director: David Hauptschein

Flatland

2020 MID-LENGTH FILM

An activist wakes up in a strange flat with two murderous men and no recollection of how she arrived. There’s a magical staircase that prevents her from leaving, cupboards of food that replenish themselves and a single bible. To survive, this peaceful protester will have to use all her wits to work out what the flat is, what purpose it serves as well as the cruel rules that govern there. But will she be able to keep to them if it means betraying everything she believes in?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Stephan Andre Nielsen is deeply passionate about story-telling and a lover of all things sci-fi and horror. After leaving his job as a business reporter he spent four years learning the craft of documentary making before producing a spiritual documentary series called ‘Stephan’s Big Awakening’ that won eight Best Web Series awards. Currently in Bulgaria, he is writing a script, walking regularly and dreaming of a world without Covid.

 

Cast: Anna-Louise Nixon, Max Curtis, Felix Wright - Director: Stephan Andre Nielsen - Writer: Stephan Andre Nielsen - Cinematographer: Stephan Andre Nielsen - Editor: Stephan Andre Nielsen

Forensickness

2020 ESSAY FILM

After watching the film "Watching the Detectives" by Chris Kennedy, a young researcher traces the manhunt conducted on the reddit.com forum after the 2013 terrorist attacks in Boston. Examining archival media from the newspapers at the time as well as fictional reinterpretations of the events, she compares how FBI agents, journalists and Internet users analyzed a mass of amateur footage that led to the identification of the terrorists. As she becomes fascinated by the spectacle of their different forms of expertise and authority, she herself gradually loses sight of the gap between what the images actually show and what she wants to see in them.

Filmmaker Bio: Chloé Galibert-Laîné is a French researcher and filmmaker, currently preparing a PhD at the Ecole normale supérieure de Paris (SACRe / PSL). Her films are regularly presented at international art and film festivals (True/False Festival, transmediale, Images Festival, Ars Electronica Festival, WRO Media Art Biennale, Kasseler Dokfest...). Since 2018 she was awarded a residency from the European Media Art Platform (EMAP), an 'Art of Nonfiction' Grant from the Sundance Institute, and the Eurimages Lab Project Award at the international festival of Karlovy Vary.

Director: Chloé Galibert-Laîné

Forsaken Mandalorian and the Drunken Jedi Master

2021 SCI-FI/FANTASY SHORT

A Forsaken Mandalorian must hunt down a seedy Twi'lek Hutt Courier to recover a sensitive asset that has personal value to The Mandalorian. When the Mandalorian finds the Courier, the Twi'lek pleads with him for mercy and reveals that there is a Drunken Jedi Master in the area. As the recovered asset is only one piece of the Mandalorian's mission, he ventures to confront the Drunken Jedi Master. Curiously, this unexpected development may be valuable in fulfilling his mission.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Anthony Ferraro has directed two feature films, 13 short films, and two web series. He was also a producer and editor on Al Gore’s Emmy Winning Current TV team for several years. Ferraro is the writer/director of the breakout sci-fi short film “Aeranger.” The film earned over 3 million organic views across platforms, including the highly curated sci-fi YouTube channel, DUST. Ferraro’s stylized sci-fi series, Galactic Galaxy, won the Outstanding Film Award at the Berlin Sci-Fi Film Festival. He also received seven nominations for special effects and visual effects on the festival circuit. Anthony is also the creator and host of Create SciFi, a popular weekly show for independent filmmakers, with over 1.6 million views.

 

Cast: Clint Carney, Jonathan Castile, Anthony Ferraro - Director: Anthony Ferraro - Writer: Anthony Ferraro - Cinematographer: Jon Schweigart - Editor: Anthony Ferraro

Foster

2020 DRAMA SHORT

A teenager in care tries reaching out to the person he thinks he needs the most .

Filmmaker Bio: Henry Meredith is a Director based in the UK. From being a passionate actor from a young age to developing a love for cinematography, he now looks to combine his skill to deliver great performances.

 

Cast: Oli Meredith - Director: Henry Meredith - Writer: Oli Meredith - Cinematographer: Henry Meredith - Editor: Henry Meredith

Ghost Woman

2020 SCI-FI/FANTASY SHORT

A tribute to the comic book of the same name, Ghost Woman is a coming-of-age, budding teenage romance, 90s style fantasy short film. Kyla and Myrica are enjoying their summer romance while dealing with families that won't accept their love for each other.

Filmmaker Bio: Puppett (she/they) is a queer, non-binary filmmaker and actor based out of Los Angeles. Their work has been featured on USA Today, HuffPost, and Out.com. Puppett's professional directorial debut "Wedlocked" is a short comedy about same sex divorce inequality. Penned by Guinevere Turner ("American Psycho," "The L Word," "Charlie Says"), "Wedlocked" screened in over 40 film festivals worldwide and is now available on Seed&Spark. Puppett's short film "Glenda," a love letter to "Twin Peaks" set 25 years later, premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. She's since directed an episode of the short form series "Razor Tongue," from creator Rain Valdez ("Transparent," "Lopez"), as well as multiple other short films.

 

Cast: Jacqui Calloway, LaFonda Baker, Eileen Soong, Brendan Weinhold  - Director: Puppett - Writer: Stina Pederson - Cinematographer: Aymae Sulick - Editor: Puppett - Composer: Travis Bacon

glimpses of a future/2/of companionship and the sea 

2020 SERIES

A tribute to the comic book of the same name, Ghost Woman is a coming-of-age, budding teenage romance, 90s style fantasy short film. Kyla and Myrica are enjoying their summer romance while dealing with families that won't accept their love for each other.

Filmmaker Bio: Puppett (she/they) is a queer, non-binary filmmaker and actor based out of Los Angeles. Their work has been featured on USA Today, HuffPost, and Out.com. Puppett's professional directorial debut "Wedlocked" is a short comedy about same sex divorce inequality. Penned by Guinevere Turner ("American Psycho," "The L Word," "Charlie Says"), "Wedlocked" screened in over 40 film festivals worldwide and is now available on Seed&Spark. Puppett's short film "Glenda," a love letter to "Twin Peaks" set 25 years later, premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival. She's since directed an episode of the short form series "Razor Tongue," from creator Rain Valdez ("Transparent," "Lopez"), as well as multiple other short films.

 

Cast: Jacqui Calloway, LaFonda Baker, Eileen Soong, Brendan Weinhold  - Director: Puppett - Writer: Stina Pederson - Cinematographer: Aymae Sulick - Editor: Puppett - Composer: Travis Bacon

Good Run

2020 ANIMATED SHORT

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, nature is reborn, giving new life to trash left behind by humans.

Filmmaker Bio: Derek Silvers was born in Wisconsin. Most of his time in Hollywood has been spent reading scripts for screenplay contests, production companies, and coverage services. He has written, directed, and edited two live-action short films, one live-action web series, and four animated short films.

Director: Derek Silvers - Writer: Derek Silvers

Green Cobra

2019 COMEDY SHORT

GREEN COBRA is the genre-bending story of a hit-man…excuse me, “Life Ending Technician.” Who details, to a documentary film crew, her rise in a mostly male dominated field, on the backdrop of a typical day on the job; which consists of Russian mob clients, disturbing methods of torture, and maybe one too many bad ex-boyfriends.

"What have I done..." - Sigurd's mom

 

Filmmaker Bio: When small children lose a parent, they escape into their imaginations. As they grow up, they find their way back out. Sigurd Culhane never left. Directing has allowed him to embrace the stories constantly swirling through his mind, bringing them to life. Driven by the shock of abruptly losing his father and subsequently being raised by a strong, single, viking [read: Danish] mother, Sigurd is drawn to projects with strong female leads in worlds that dance around the surreal, horrific, supernatural, and/or fantastical. Though generally on the darker side, he enjoys bringing a balance with the injection of humor; just as he does in life, countering sometimes harsh realities and bouts of depression with making those around him laugh. After receiving his MA in Film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, he began making short films with the goal of leaving his audience with a visceral emotional - and sometimes even physical - reaction.

 

Cast: Colleen Foy, Patrick Tamisiea, Greg Santos, Max Crandall, Sam Mark  - Director: Sigurd Culhane - Writers: Chris Valdez, Patrick Tamisiea - Cinematographer: Andrew Aiello - Editor: Paul Alderman - Composer: Leland Cox

GRID

2021 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

A ritual of grids, reflections and chasms; a complete state of entropy; a space that devours itself; a vertigo that destroys the gravity of the Earth; a trap that captures us inside the voids of the screen of light: «That blank arena wherein converge at once the hundred spaces» (Hollis Frampton).

Filmmaker Bio: Alexandre Alagôa was born Sept 11th, 1994. He is based in Lisbon. He earned an Audiovisuals Graduation & Masters Degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Sound Art from the same college. His work operates in a sort of limit or borderline, a threshold of what is endurable (tolerable, bearable) for your organism.

Director: Alexandre Alagôa - Writer: Alexandre Alagôa

Growing Up Movies (Episode 1)

2020 COMEDY SERIES

Inspired by childhood videos shot in the late 1980s, “Growing Up Movies” is a new series featuring home video footage shot by kids who grew up to be actors, directors or writers. The show utilizes the old footage along with original cast members, now adults - reprising their old roles. Our first episodes are a spoof comedy law show following up on a story, which is 31 years old. In 1989, a wager is made on a baseball game between two 12-year-old friends. After the game is over, the loser adolescent welches on the debt, before discovering that the other kid’s true identity is that of a demon straight from hell! Chaos ensues and it’s all captured on video. Flash-forward to present day and after all these years, the case has still not been resolved. This experimental web series joins members of the original “cast” (who were young kids when the old movies were shot) with talented comedians + YouTube and social media stars playing the lawyers, arbitrator, host, and witnesses. With a retro look, thrown back to the late 1980s, Assholes In Arbitration pokes fun at old daytime shows like “The People’s Court,” while using the original videos as evidence in a legal showdown that spans the decades.

Filmmaker Bio: Greg Garthe’s debut as a feature film director and producer, LAST CALL, starring Travis Van Winkle, Ryan Hansen, Christopher Lloyd, Tara Reid, and Tom Arnold, was released in the summer of 2015 across multiple platforms on VOD and DVD. It is the most recent chapter in a life of filmmaking that began in early childhood. Greg graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television in 1999 and went to work for director David Dobkin. He was mentored by David during the making of the features SHANGHAI KNIGHTS, FRED CLAUS, and the comedy classic WEDDING CRASHERS. After directing a commercial for the Oakland Tribune newspaper and a short film, THE ROPES, which was well-received on the festival circuit, Greg was promoted to the position of Creative Executive at Dobkin’s production company, Big Kid Pictures, in 2008. After completing LAST CALL, Greg came back on board as Associate Producer for Dobkin’s most recent projects: the family drama, THE JUDGE, which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and AMC’s action series, INTO THE BADLANDS. With an eclectic background of filmmaking experience in both the studio system and the indie world, Greg is developing numerous projects, some of which he has also written, under his Skeleton Pictures production company banner. Greg is also an avid photographer, having shot for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, InStyle magazine, and Google.

 

Cast: Grant Lyon, Steve Greene, Mike E. Winfield, Alison MacInnis, Dawn McCoy, Kyle Kinane - Director: Greg Garthe - Writers: Greg Garthe, Grant Lyon - Cinematographer: John Hessler - Editor: Lance Chapman - Composer: Ace Vaptsarov

Harvest Bowl

2021 COMEDY SHORT

A salacious secret is uncovered in a nineteenth century New England village.

Filmmaker Bio: Cody Kostro is an NYC born filmmaker and actor. His first short film I'm Rapper Girlfriend appeared at the Cinequest Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, and LA Shorts International Film Festival. He can be seen on HBO's Mare of Easttown and the Showtime series Flatbush Misdemeanors.

Cast: Simone Grossman, Rosemary Howard, Jared Kemp - Director: Cody Kostro - Writer: Cody Kostro - Cinematographers: Andy Lilien, Brendan Swift - Editor: Cody Kostro - Composer: MÏRÄNDÄ

Her and Him

2020 DRAMA FEATURE

A love letter to mumblecore films, HER and HIM is a completely improvised feature about the bloody bandaid that is family. With no place left to go, a thirty-something woman crashes on her Type A cousin’s couch, attempting to put her life in order - at her pace. Produced on a micro-budget over fourteen months, with adherence to Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg’s DOGME 95 Manifesto, this dark comedy explores just how far one will go to find a home...

Filmmaker Bio: Eric Michael Kochmer is an actor/writer/director with a background in experimental theater. He mentored under Elizabeth Swados at LaMama Theatre. He produced and starred in avant garde filmmaker Owen Land’s film DIALOGUES (2009), and his directorial feature film debut, WAY DOWN IN CHINATOWN, is available on AMAZON. 2019 saw the release of his second feature film ABOUT STRANGERS (road series Volume I), as well as the short film OWEN. elegantgrotesque.com

 

Cast: Susan Louise O’Connor, Christopher Frederick, Ramona DuBarry, Patrick Duncan, Heidi Schooler, David Beatty, Sean Michael Boozer, Khatchig Chouljian - Director: Eric Michael Kochmer - Writers: Susan Louise O’Connor, Christopher Frederick - Cinematographer: Kevin Sambells - Editor: Eric Michael Kochmer - Composers: Rachel Mason, Henry Wood, Altman

Here Comes the Wolf

2020 HORROR/THRILLER SHORT

In the midst of World War II, Sarah is forced to follow the directions of her father, who recommends that she and her friend Anna flee into the woods to pass through German army checkpoints. But, at nightfall, the crossing in the woods becomes worrying, and the flight quickly turns into a night hunt. Thinking of taking refuge from the storm in an inn run by an old lady, Sarah and Anna quickly realize that the Nazis are regulars in the establishment ...

Filmmaker Bio: Julie Rohart is a French screenwriter and director. Her work on the OZLO music video “All I Had” won the award for BEST REALIZATION at the International Underground Music Video Festival 2019 and was an official selection at the Evolution Film Festival in Mallorca in 2018. Her short film “Beyond the light” was honored as BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILM at the Global Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2018 and was purchased by SHORTS TV for international distribution. Receiving a Major de promotion in 2003 at EFAP Image, she obtained a master's degree in communication and audiovisual production. She has worked with directors such as Roman Polanski, Glenn Casale, Julie Taymor, Franco Dragone, and Sam Mendes on several productions from Broadway to Paris, including The Lion King, Cabaret, Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, and Sister Act. In 2013, she switched to writing and directing, and has collaborated on projects with Disney, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Marvel, Robin Wright (Omaze), Sony Music, Vantage Productions, and Stage Entertainment. Since November 2018, Julie has been one of the talents of EROIN productions, the label of female directors in France and the United States, represented by Audrey Clinet. She is currently developing her first feature film.

 

Cast: Alyzée Lalande, Anaïs Parello, Alexis Loizon, Antoine Berry Roger, Florence Monge, Vincent Launay-Franceschini, Johannes Oliver Hamm, Florian Westerhoff - Director: Julie Rohart - Writer: Julie Rohart - Cinematographer: Louis Bergogné - Editor: Ann Sophie Wieder - Composer: Côme Ordas

High Score

2020 HORROR/THRILLER SHORT

After a young man is fired from his job as a result of his casually offensive behavior, he finds the perfect people to blame: minorities. Newly inspired by the white supremacist ideology of the "Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, we watch as he sinks into the darkest pits of the internet and takes the ideas he finds there as his own...

Filmmaker Bio: Serena Ryen and Ethan Itzkow collaborated previously on "CASHED," which is streaming now on Amazon Prime, screened at over a dozen festivals around the United States, and won awards like the Audience Choice Award with HollyShorts Monthly Screenings at the historic TCL Chinese Theater; Best Dramatic Short, Best Actress, and Best Cinematography at CICHFF; as well as a nomination for Best Comedy Short with the Queens World Film Festival. Ryen and Itzkow are also both regularly working actors. Itzkow won Best Actor at CFF for his work in "High Score" and can be seen in TV shows like the hit Netflix series “YOU” starring Penn Badgley. Ryen has acted opposite stars like Ron Rifkin, toured the world in multiple stage productions, and performed on stages like the Tony Award-Winning Cincinnati Playhouse and Carnegie Hall. They are deeply grateful to the incredible team of artists and aggressive problem-solvers who have made this film possible.

Cast: Ethan Itzkow, Jillian Ferry, Noam Shapiro, Briza Covarrubias, Tavarus Weems, Michael J. York, Law Dunford, Alyssa Kim, Rik Walter, Owais Ahmed - Directors: Serena Ryan & Ethan Itzkow - Writers: Serena Ryan & Ethan Itzkow - Cinematographer: Jorge Arzac - Editors: Jorge Arzac, Ethan Itzkow - Composers: Symaluz, Dave Cohen

How

2020 MUSIC VIDEO

Music video for Leo Crandall's "How" included in the album "Unknowable and Stunning Thing". Shot in 16mm and Super 8 film.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Vasilios Papaioannu is a filmmaker, photographer and mixed media artist currently based in Washington, DC. In his work Papaioannu explores the fleeting dreamscapes of reality using noise, movement and disturbance. He hybridizes different modes of filmmaking, unifying variegated media, primarily 16mm film, digital video and archival footage. His works have been shown in various venues around the world, such as Crossroads at SFMOMA, Anthology Film Archives, EXiS, Cork Film Festival, FILMADRID, IBAFF, Montreal Underground Film Festival, Athens Digital Arts Festival, CICA Museum and Sharjah Film Platform. Papaioannu holds an MA in Communication, Text Semiotics and Cinema from the University of Siena in Italy and an MFA in Film and Cinematography from Syracuse University in New York. Papaioannu is currently an Assistant Professor at the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at Howard University.

 

Cast: Angeliki Lymperopoulou, Orestis Dimitriou  - Director: Vasilios Papaioannu - Writer: Leo Crandall - Cinematographer: Vasilios Papaioannu - Editor: Vasilios Papaioannu - Composer: Leo Crandall

How I Choose to Spend the Remainder of my Birthing Years

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Blending personal narrative with shared pop cultural experience, the artist manifests a long held childhood fantasy set within the love scene from "Dirty Dancing" (1987). "How I Choose to Spend the Remainder of my Birthing Years" juxtaposes pre-pubescent sexual desire with that of a woman descending her sexual peak. Fantasy is both a balm to religious piety and an act of resistance to the pressures put upon women approaching middle age. Here the digitally simulated image, in its wavering visual verisimilitude, exposes our willingness and desire to believe.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Sarah Lasley is a video artist from Louisville, Kentucky. Her no-budget films explore the mediated nature of gender and the subject/object relationship of the camera to a performer. She has taught video production and emerging media at Yale University, Pratt Institute, and Vassar College, and is currently an Assistant Professor of New Media at University of Texas, San Antonio. Her short films have screened internationally in film festivals and galleries, most recently at Lesley Heller Workspace in New York, NY, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA and Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT. She received her MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art in 2008 and her BFA in 2005 from the University of Louisville.

 

Cast: Sarah Lasley, Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze  - Director: Sarah Lasley - Writer: Sarah Lasley - Editor: Sarah Lasley

How To Plan A Heist

2020 COMEDY SHORT

A group of bank robbers must plan their next elaborate heist, all while trying to appease two antsy toddlers who were brought to the meeting by the enthusiastic getaway driver.

 

Filmmaker Bio: An up and coming filmmaker who graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Austin Simmons directed the award-winning short, "Last Meal", in 2018. After winning best short film and other prestigious awards both in the U.S. and abroad, Austin continued to work as an editor at MGM in Hollywood while developing upcoming projects. Now, Austin returns to the director’s chair for his next short, "How To Plan A Heist", which reunites him with both the cast and crew of "Last Meal".

 

Cast: Nate Ward, Amick Viccellio, Chris Smith, Lucy Hartman, Catherine Duncan, Kingsley Ward, Quinn Ward  - Director: Austin Simmons - Writer: Austin Simmons - Cinematographer: Sevag Chahinian - Editor: Austin Simmons

HUG IT OUT

2017 SERIES

Post-divorce and seriously broke, Gwen moves to LA and takes a reluctant deep-dive into the odd, hilarious subculture of professional snuggling -- something she didn't even know was a "real thing" until last week. Challenged by her long-standing intimacy issues and the unique array of snuggling clients, Gwen will be forced to shift her perspective in order to cope -- and maybe even thrive -- in this bizarre new life.

Filmmaker Bio: A graduate of Bennington College, Jason Eksuzian cut his teeth in production in New York City before venturing west. First in Portland, Oregon and now in Los Angeles, Jason creates work for television, major brands, digital outlets and the stage. In addition to directing "Hug It Out," his other digital series include "I Miss Drugs." Created and directed by Jason, it's a hilariously bleak and wildly relatable comedy series about aging hipsters. The series gained a cult following, and was screened at the SXSW Film Festival, the LA Comedy Festival and was honored as a Vimeo Staff Pick. As well, the second digital series created by Jason,"DINKS" (Dual Income, No Kids), starring Kincaid Walker from "Hug It Out," made a huge splash online and was featured on Funny or Die, Blip and in USA Today. In 2015, Jason was selected to travel to India to film the meeting of Nobel Laureates' Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The five-day event was transcribed into the New York Times bestseller, "The Book of Joy."

 

Cast: Kincaid Walker, Parvesh Cheena, Brice Beckham - Director: Jason Eksuzian - Writer: Kincaid Walker - Cinematographer: Mark Evans - Editors: Brice Beckham, David Fickas

I Wish I Knew

2021 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Some people go through their entire lives without questioning reality. For others, significant events force us to explore the uncharted territory of something far bigger than our psyche and our own limited experiences. The moment we begin to question it all, there is no going back and the deeper we inquire, the more our reality seems to morph.

Filmmaker Bio: Tom Krawczyk is a Chicago/Poland based photographer and filmmaker. He lived in South Korea for 2 years, teaching students and working on documentaries. His photographs have been painted as murals in the bustling neighborhood of Hongdae, South Korea and displayed as billboards in Hong Kong. He lived in India, Australia, Myanmar, Fiji, and New Zealand, working as a photographer guide for an adventure program for students from around the world. Currently, he’s a second-year MA photography student at the Łódź Film School in Poland.

 

Cast: Caitlin Sloan  - Director: Tom Krawczyk - Writer: Tom Krawczyk - Cinematographer: Tom Krawczyk - Editor: Tom Krawczyk - Composer: Sirius

IMPASSE

2019 HORROR/THRILLER SHORT

A woman gassing up for the trip home is approached by a stranger for help. When she declines, things soon take a turn for the worse... but for who?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Originally from Seattle Washington, Scott Milam worked in film and video production. He was the editor and co-director/producer on the SLAMDANCE 2004 film festival documentary winner, BIG CITY DICK: RICHARD PETERSON’S FIRST MOVIE. In 2006 Milam moved to Los Angeles after selling his first screenplay, WICHITA, to Dimension films. He went on to sign a two-picture deal with Universal studios as well as write screenplays for Academy award winning producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen at Paramount Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment. Milam wrote the screenplays for MOTHER’S DAY directed by Saw vet Darren Lynn Bousman and SUBMERGED starring Rosa Salazar for producers Cassian Elwes and director Steven C. Miller. Milam recently sold the horror feature TENSION with Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW) directing for Rebel Way Pictures. He is currently working on his feature directing debut for producer Tara L. Craig. 

 

Cast: Lily Rains, Tudor Munteanu, Jane Hae Kim  - Director: Scott Milam - Writer: Scott Milam - Cinematographer: Ryan Meyer - Editor: Michel Aller - Composer: Joanne Higginbottom

Insane Brothers

2020 ANIMATED SHORT

Insane Brothers is a story about traveling and changing. A young explorer unveils for us the most disturbing part of our inner world in a psychedelic trip around the mountains. The idea is to show how our conscious mind filters everything we see, leaving only certain things to occupy our awareness. While simultaneously, the unconscious mind is taking it all in, creating situations that pose more questions than they answer.

Filmmaker Bio: Borja Santomé Rodríguez (Vigo, Spain, 1992) studied Fine Arts between the University of Pontevedra (Spain) and Kingston University (UK), specializing in experimental animation. His work has been screened at the Seville European Film Festival (2018), the (S8) Mostra de cinema periférico (2017), the BAFICI of Buenos Aires (2017), or the Bogotá Experimental Film Festival (2020) among others.

He currently lives and works in Paris (France).

 

Director: Borja Santomé Rodrígez - Writer: Borja Santomé Rodrígez - Editor: Borja Santomé Rodrígez - Composer: Borja Santomé Rodrígez

Isolation Creations

2021 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Video diary of my isolation during the 2020-2021 pandemic, complete with talking animals and many gallons of peanut butter.

Filmmaker Bio: Susan Louise O'Connor is an actor/writer/concoctor who is committed to creating work that celebrates vulnerability. She started her career in the independent theaters of NYC and that grit carries over to her experimental films. Her work frequently induces concurrent chuckles and cringes as in her short film, STANDDOWN (2019) and HER and HIM (2021), a completely improvised feature film that she co-created and stars in.

Cast: Susan Louise O’Connor  - Director: Susan Louise O’Connor - Writer: Susan Louise O’Connor - Cinematographer: Susan Louise O’Connor - Editor: Susan Louise O’Connor

Kill Your Idioms

2020 ANIMATED SHORT

Literal and figurative worlds collide but only one can survive... You decide, do your idioms live or die?

Filmmaker Bio: Grant Kolton is a Writer, Director, and Animator who also often narrates his own short film poems. His most recent animated poem “Kill Your Idioms” was the fifth of his cartoons to receive a Vimeo Staff Pick. Just prior to that was the premiere of his short “Black Hole Apartment” on FX CAKE, it can still be seen on Hulu. In addition to his original animation,  Grant works mostly on commercials, social media content, and television development. Notable clients include: FX Network, Comedy Central, Sony Pictures Animation, IMDb, S.C. Johnson, Pepsi, Bleacher Report, and RCA Records.

Cast: Grant Kolton  - Director: Grant Kolton - Writer: Grant Kolton - Composer: Michael O’Konis

Killing the Parson Bird

2021 DRAMA/ANIMATED SHORT

It is 1769. Captain James Cook is exploring Aotearoa/New Zealand in the ship HM Bark Endeavour. A landing party led by the naturalist Joseph Banks enters the bush to collect specimens for study. A Marine, Samuel Blakely and Midshipman Daniel Whitby are ordered by Banks to kill and collect specimens of the Parson Bird (Tui). As the two men go further into the native forest, they are being watched by the Patupairehe, a red-haired Māori girl who plays warning sounds on her putorino (flute). These sounds reach the mountain liar of the Pouakai, a giant eagle of mythically large size. The men’s attempts to shoot a Tui are thwarted by unknown, mysterious forces, but the two are compelled to continue their fruitless quest for the bird despite the eerie sounds that echo through the hills. When they finally reach a clearing with a clear shot to a defiant Tui on a high branch, Whitby takes aim. But a dark shape emerges from the mist!

Filmmaker Bio: Peter McCully has worked in visual effects for the film industry for over 25 years, running visual effects company Albedo VFX, overseeing work for numerous feature films, television films and series and he has several awards and nominations to show for it. Peter directed the NZFC funded short film “Eeling” (2009), and wrote and directed the short film “The Gully” (in post-production). He was associate producer of the telefeature “Jean” (2016) and “Kiwi Christmas” (2017). Peter’s visual effects work for “Jean” earned him a New York Festivals silver medal. His previous short film with Media Design School, “Kino Ratten” has been selected by several international film festivals in 2020, winning Best Film at the 2020 We Make Movies International Film Festival, awards at Palm Springs Animation Festival and Irvine International Film Festival, and also nominations for cinematography and screenwriting.

Cast: Emmett Skilton, Milo Cawthorne, Jared Turner, Ali Cowley, Kiri Naik, Richie Lovelock  - Director: Peter McCully - Writer: Peter McCully - Cinematographer: Donald Duncan - Editors: Peter McCully & Ryan Mullany - Composer: Benedict Hayes

Letter to my mother

2019 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

"A heartfelt letter to tell the mother the most painful of secrets. Amina, who in 2002 was the small protagonist of Ten by Kiarostami is now a transgender director who tries to make her voice heard, understood, and be understood." -- Written by 35th Lovers Film Festival

Filmmaker Bio: Amina Maher (b. Tehran, 1992) is an Iranian queer filmmaker whose works deal with themes of social taboos and gender-identity in relation to violence and power structure. She began her cinematic activity as the main protagonist in Abbas Kiarostami's "Ten” which featured the real-life relationship between Amina and her mother. Her first short film was Sweet Gin and Cold Wine, followed by Orange. Her multi-awarded short film, Letter to my mother, was part of the competition at numerous international film festivals such as 36th Kasseler Dokfest, 35th Lovers Film Festival, 34th Mix Milano Film Festival and 26th Cheries Cheris, LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, Paris. Among numerous reviews, the film was described as a means for survival, a way to stand up and to understand – a fearless and strong examination that touches upon the centre of the pain and dares to look precisely. َAmina currently studies her MA in directing at Babelsberg University Konrad Wolf.

 

Cast: Amin Maher, Dariush Baradari, Angelina Urbanczyk, Hoda Taheri, Reza Saeedi, Zeinab Miri, Parham Razavi, Mania Akbari - Director: Amin Maher - Writer: Amin Maher - Cinematographer: David Grofs, Mamoun Abufarha - Editor: Amin Maher 

LISTEN

2019 DRAMA SHORT

A black woman who feels like a glitch in society decides to speak up. When her outer bubbly persona is met with exhaustive complacency, she resorts to a tragic alternative with a smile.

Filmmaker Bio: Jhanelle Elissa has been a creative performer for almost 2 decades, and in the last few years has shifted her focus to acting and directing. She recently starred in the film 'Blood of Your Generation' - the newest project from Cannes Film Festival alumni TJ Penton, written & directed by Mallika Pal, ‘End of Summer', a film making its rounds in the domestic & international film festival circuit, and 'The Right Look' which won 2nd place overall at AT&T Create-a-Thon. In the last few years Jhanelle has been in over 18 narrative & new media projects, 35+ commercials, and is continuing to make moves telling stories that are rousing, dynamic, and contribute to the power of social justice. A Florida-grown island girl, Jhanelle has been acting since her first production at the age of 5 and made the jump to LA in 2016. Since then she has worked on Freeform, NBC, several new media platforms, and continues to spearhead tales that push the envelope in terms of diversity, perspective, and visual storytelling. 

Cast: Jhanelle Elissa, Rebecca Mellinger, Victor Wang, Natasha Sawhney, Aimee McGuire, Grant Nakaoka, Nicola Lambo  - Director: Jhanelle Elissa - Writer: Jhanelle Elissa - Cinematographer: Joanna Nguyen - Editor: Jhanelle Elissa - Composer: Benjamin Sturley

Luminous 2

2020 VIDEO ART

Luminous 2 is from an ongoing body of work exploring the manipulation and abstraction of time, view, movement and scale on objects that emanate light. The work can also be looped.

Filmmaker Bio: Matthew Pell is a UK-based Moving-Image Artist & Sound Designer producing both personal and commissioned projects. His work explores human identity within urban morphology, the relationship between natural & manufactured forms, sound ecology and the fundamental elements of man-made objects that emanate light. Pell has also collaborated with musicians, sound artists and theatre companies to produce projections for live performances, music videos and video art. He is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Video Production at De Montfort University.

Director: Matthew Pell 

Mann Overboard

2020 TV PILOT

This is a short pilot episode for the upcoming 8 x 30mins TV comedy series, Mann Overboard. Doug Mann's white man privilege card has expired! He will lose everything. From the discovery of his wife’s threesome to an exploding toilet on a beaten-up boat, Doug Mann is quickly drowning in a world he no longer recognizes, a world where the women around him are thriving, while his life falls apart at the seams. Dumped mercilessly into a colorful community of unconventional liveaboards in a Bronx marina, this grounded, character-driven comedy follows the peaks and troughs of a catastrophe that may prove to be the slap in the face Doug Mann has long needed..

Filmmaker Bio: Sam Cadman is the co-creator of cult comedy series Trigger Happy TV (Rose-D’Or winner, CH4, Comedy Central) and an award-winning commercial director in both the US and UK (Cannes, Clio, LIA, AICP, British Arrows). Known for capturing natural, spontaneous and improvised performances, his work is also held in the permanent collection of MOMA.

Cast: Michael Bakkensen, Marjan Neshat, Catherine Curtain, Vanessa Carrasco, Dawen McGee, Rod Luzzi, Eva Zhou, Neal Lerner, Jordan Jacobson  - Director: Sam Cadman - Writers: Jordan Jacobson, Neal Lerner - Cinematographer: Matthew Woolf - Editor: Bruce Townend - Composer: "Dangerous" by Big Data (feat. Joywave)

Mercy

2016 ESSAY FILM

A road trip leads American filmmaker Marilyn Freeman to the origins of racism in this meditative video essay about facing the religious roots of white supremacy.

Filmmaker Bio: Marilyn Freeman is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of reckoning and resiliency, queerness and film, and contemplative, creative and social practices. Their films have been featured on PBS and in galleries, theaters, festivals and spirituality centers worldwide - including The Powerhouse Arena in New York City, the British Film Institute, Seattle International Film Festival, Montreal’s Festival of International Cinema, Cologne’s Feminale, Sydney’s Queer Screen, the Paris Lesbian Film Festival, L.A.’s Outfest, San Francisco’s Frameline, the Bologna Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Barcelona’s Int’l Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Ladyfests from Olympia to London, Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum and Beijing Contemporary Art Center in China. Freeman’s text and media arts essays have been published in/at The Fourth Genre, Blackbird, Ninth Letter, TriQuarterly, Rolling Stone and Abbey of the Arts. Freeman is author of The Illuminated Space: A Personal Theory and Contemplative Practice of Media Art (The 3rd Thing, 2020); creator of Cinema Divina - short evocative films made for contemplative social practice; co-founder of the media arts studio, Wovie; screenwriter/producer of “Sophisticated,” about golden era film director Dorothy Arzner; and recipient of The Evergreen State College Faculty Foundation Grant, The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation Grant, Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects and multiple Washington State Artist Trust Media Arts Fellowships. Freeman’s work recently showed in Los Angeles at the 2020 Film and Video Poetry Symposium, in London’s MicroActs Artist Film Screenings and Seattle's Northwest Film Forum, and at the 9th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece. 

Cast: Marilyn Freeman  - Director: Marilyn Freeman - Writer: Marilyn Freeman - Cinematographer: Marilyn Freeman - Editor: Marilyn Freeman

MIKE & SETH

2019 DRAMA SHORT

Adapted from the acclaimed play by Daniel Talbott, MIKE & SETH explores the long-standing relationship between two childhood best friends. When Seth, the best man, arrives in town for Mike and Emily's wedding, the boys spend one last night alone. Seth is haunted by memories of his and Mike's complicated past. The night reveals secrets, privilege, and fear of what's to come. Are we deserving of our desires if we can't face our betrayals?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Lovell Holder is a producer, writer, and director, known for Working Man (2020), You Say Hello (2019), Softer (2019), Some Freaks (2016), Loserville (2016) and Surrogate (2016).

 

Cast: Tanner Medding, Joseph Stromberg - Director: Lovell Holder - Writers: Lovell Holder, Daniel Talbott - Cinematographer: Matt Plaxco - Editor: Morgan Halsey - Composer: David Gonzalez

Mom & M

2020 DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Mom & M is an intimate portrait of modern American parenthood. Meet Nikki, a transgender writer; Elise, a social media influencer; and Sansa, their adopted daughter who battles leukemia. Together they navigate what happens when your partner comes out as transgender while caring for an ill child and that remission is not the end to life’s challenges. The Richard family offers a deep-seated glimpse of love’s power in surviving extraordinary circumstances.

Filmmaker Bio: Jena Burchick is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Assistant Professor in the Electronic Media & Film department at Towson University and an IATSE 487 studio mechanic. She received her BS in Electronic Media & Film from Towson University and her MFA in Film from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her current research is focused in documentary and docu-narrative filmmaking. Her films explore the complexities of family dynamics and community relationships while investigating themes related to gender, sexuality, trauma and marginalization.

Cast: Elise Richard, Nikki Richard, Sansa Richard  - Director: Jena Burchick - Cinematographer: Jena Burchick - Editor: Jena Burchick - Composer: Ellen Cherry

Moon Drops

2018 SCI-FI/FANTASY SHORT

A factory worker assembles an enigmatic machine that produces liquid drops from the moonlight.

Filmmaker Bio: Yoram Ever-Hadani has more than one string to his bow. He has been directing high profile commercials for the biggest international brands, wrttien 5 children’s books, and a novel (HAZE) for the acclaimed Keter publishing house. He has an MA degree from Tel- Aviv University in culture studies, and is married and the father of three. Moon Drops is his first fiction film.

Cast: Nikola Vujović, Jelena Stupljanin, Ivan Tomić, Dragoslav Živojnov, Mateja Janjić, The Belgrade Police Orchestra  - Director: Yoram Ever-Hadani - Writer: Yoram Ever-Hadani - Cinematographer: Tobias Hochstein - Editor: Shaun Broude - Composer: Timer Biran

Night Visions

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Robbie and her close friend ’T’ drive out to a secluded forest and experiment with self-hypnotism. The name of an estranged friend arises and triggers memories and serpentine hallucinations.

Filmmaker Bio: William Glass is a writer and director. He graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2017. Whilst studying, he wrote and directed multiple short films. His films have been screened in various festivals and exhibitions including London Short Film Festival and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, and have been shown on online platforms such as Channel 4's Random Acts.

Cast: Lily Ashley, Hugo Nicholson, Olivier Huband, Hester Glass - Director: William Glass - Writer: William Glass - Cinematographers: William Glass, Nina Porter - Editor: William Glass - Composer: Henry Morris

NINE LIVES

2020 COMEDY SHORT

Following a Halloween hookup, a missing piece of birth control and a Facebook post blast from the past make for an awkward morning after.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Jenna Park is a writer/director, producer, and actress from Denver, CO. She received her MFA in Writing and Producing for Television from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, and spent two years working in development for NBC International Studios, where she contributed creatively to a large slate of television projects in active development and production. She went on to serve as a creative consultant for Kitao Sakurai’s Super Deluxe pilot THE PASSAGE, which premiered at Sundance in 2018, and most recently was an associate producer and contributing writer on the staff for Eric Andre and Sakurai’s upcoming MGM feature BAD TRIP, premiering on Netflix in 2020. In 2018, Jenna wrote, produced, and starred in BANGED, an award-winning independent pilot. In 2019, she wrote, produced and starred in CRESCENDO, a half hour pilot that premiered on the festival circuit in January 2020.

 

Cast: Kelsey Peterjohn, Anton Hedayat - Director: Jenna Park - Writer: Kelsey Peterjohn - Cinematographer: Justin D. Lee - Editors: Jenna Park, Kelsey Peterjohn

No Reservations

2021 COMEDY SHORT

When a frustrated couple is faced with a ruined anniversary dinner at the busiest restaurant in town, they decide to take matters into their own hands and steal another couple's reservation. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Steven LaMorte is an award-winning Director and Producer of music videos, branded content, and feature films based in Los Angeles. Steven is the creative director of We Make Movies Creative Services, and has worked with top brands such as Sony, Apple, WWE and Miss World America, bringing his signature visual aesthetic and post production wizardry to each project. Steven’s mission is to tell unique stories, and to empower other artists to do the same.

 

Cast: Chris Sanders, Amy Schumacher, Joe Abraham, Robert DiTillio, Heidi Schooler - Director: Steven Lamorte - Writers: Flip Kobler, Finn Kobler - Cinematographer: Valentina Vee - Editor: Mathew Roscoe - Composer: John T. Mickevich

Nontourage

2020 COMEDY SHORT

These guys in Los Angeles ain't going nowhere.

Filmmaker Bio: Jack Zullo is a bi-coastal American actor, writer and filmmaker, currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, after having spent 15 years in Los Angeles. He produced and starred in the Off-Broadway Showcase,”With a Little Help...It’s John Belushi”  just before the pandemic hit, as well as a complimenting Feature Documentary, “Jack Made a Play About John”. His most recent foray had him performing virtually in August as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival in "Now, Now, Now...", a play he also helped produce. He is the co-founder of We Make Movies NYC. Find him on line at www.jackzullo.com and on social media under @jackzullo. Nontourage was shot on an IPhone 11Max using FilmicPro.

 

Cast: Jack Zullo, James Heaney, Rich Baker, Adam Lau, Josh Margulies  - Director: Jack Zullo  - Writer: Jack Zullo - Cinematographer: Jack Zullo - Editor: Jack Zullo

Open Eyes in Shadow

2019 VIDEO ART

(Lockdown)

Opening and closing a door.

Opening and closing the eyes.

The lighthouses of a shadow illuminate the secret under my bed

Like eyes in the shadow.

Filmmaker Bio: “The films of Rrose Present are like haiku: precise, ambiguous, and deeply resonant. Rrose's films are precisely honest. Their power derives from the juxtaposition of crisply evocative rhythms and imagery that is both personal and deep. The overall form of many of them is to begin the entrainment of thinking in one direction and then shift direction to carve a precise shape in thought. The levels of introspection this creates are like the stages in discourse.The complexity of the relationship between the direction of thought and the rhythms that propel it are wonderful.” - Daniel Barnett

 

Director: Rrose Present - Cinematographer: Rrose Present - Editor: Rrose Present - Composer: Oriol Perucho

POKER FACE

2021 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

Based on a poem written by Emerson Niemchick, POKER FACE is a surrealist, visual-art odyssey through one man's thoughts as he jostles with the ideas of acceptance, love, identity, and relationships.

Filmmaker Bio: Emerson Niemchick is an actor, writer, director, and artist who currently resides in Los Angeles. He was just recently seen in the final season of Shameless, as well as Lifetime’s dark thriller A party gone wrong. He has written and directed four short films, his first which was acquired for distribution and presented at the 2020 Cannes Film Market. He cites his heaviest influences from David Lynch, Nicolas Winding Refn, and David Cronenberg.  

 

Cast: Ryan Bertroche, April Nelson, Julie Phillips, Steph Martinez, David Beatty  - Director: Emerson Niemchick - Writer: Emerson Niemchick - Cinematographer: Emerson Niemchick - Editor: Emerson Niemchick - Composer: Emerson Niemchick

Pop & Spin

2020 SERIES

Pop Culture, Festival DJ World, and News Media Spin come together as we follow the lives of Burning Man DJs, Healing Seminar Junkies, and Youtube News Activists who fatefully cross paths on the dance floor.

Filmmaker Bio: Serene Zloof aka Datgirl is a writer, actress, producer, as well as rapper/electronic music producer, with a flair for sexy techie girl-powered rap rave music, character transformations, magical surrealism, metaphysical comedy and rave culture satire.

She is the creator & star of “Pop&Spin” now on Amazon Prime, the music genre/album “Slutstep” and the theatrical series “GirlPower”, & livestreams her musical comedy variety show “DatgirlTV” with special guests every week pm www.Datgirl.tv

 

Cast: Datgirl Serene, Zapper Jones, Madison Dylan, Kinyumba Mutakabbir, Joey Niemeier, Lauren Simon, Larjayne Blackwell, Tehana Weeks, Kreature LeStrange, Michael Beardsley, Ramona Dubarry, Jack Zullo, Michelle Lavon, Alyssa Sweeten, James Rivard, Christopher Thomas, Chris Reynolds, Andrea Vander Hyde  - Director: Curtis Bechdholt - Writer: Serene Zloof (Datgirl)- Cinematographer: Sam Rosenthal - Editor: Serene Zloof (Datgirl) - Composers: Zapper Jones & Datgirl Serene

postpartumm...

2020 DRAMA SHORT

Harley is an expectant mom, clueless about modern motherhood. During trendy Mommy & Me classes, she retreats into visions of dance and fantasy to escape the absurdity. But once baby comes, fear and fantasy collide as postpartum anxiety twists real life into nightmarish moments.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Director Faith Strongheart is a writer/director with a unique visionary style. She has just completed another short film, Havana, about homosexual lovers in Cuba in 1978. Her last short film, Je Suis (i am), a powerful story about a woman scrambling to balance work and family, garnered attention and awards on the international film festival circuit. In addition to short films, she has written three feature-length screenplays and a dramatic television series pilot. Prior to graduate school, she worked for over 15 years as a film professional on several features. Faith was a finalist for the Sloan Foundation Fellowship and is a two-time recipient of the Motion Picture Association of America award, the Women in Film Verna Fields Memorial Fellowship, the Bill Lee Memorial award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award for Directing, the Carroll Sax Award in Motion Picture and Television Production and the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship. This year, she is the recipient of the Mary Pickford Award for Documentary Filmmaking for a feature documentary that she is making about her non-traditional hippie upbringing.

After studying theatre at Rhodes, Heather L. Tyler began her professional career in Chicago, where onstage credits include The Threepenny Opera w/The Hypocrites @ Steppenwolf and the critically acclaimed Dirty Diamonds at The Factory Theater. Her play, Ceres, was also produced by The Factory. In L.A., she developed the title character in Meditations: Eva Hesse, a world premiere at Highways Performance Space, and she has performed with Rogue Machine in A Bright New Boise and Wish I had a Sylvia Plath (u.s.) & with Sacred Fools in A Gulag Mouse. Film/TV credits include Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word premiering at SXSW and The Bridge (FX). She has also appeared in many commercials. For the Hollywood Fringe, she produced and directed the L.A. premiere of Porno Dido. The following year, while seven months pregnant, she produced four Fringe shows for Rogue Machine, including the multiple award-winning In the Valley of the Shadow, a beautiful story about the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting.

 

Cast: Heather L. Tyler, D’Lo, Kristi Clainos, Jennie Fahn, Jane Hae Kim, Miguel Cohen, K.J. Middlebrooks, Rex Tyler Samsel, Royale Ke’Vonni Turner - Director: Faith Strongheart - Writer: Heather L. Tyler - Cinematographer: Cat Deakins - Editor: Zeborah Tidwell - Composer: Stephen Spies

Private Chat

2020 COMEDY SHORT

In an attempt to up her game, a young woman purchases some one-on-one time with a webcam model. When she decides to reveal her true identity, the two of them have a conversation about intimacy, desire, and which angles best showcase your ass. Private Chat is a scintillating window into the voyeuristic world of cam modeling, challenging the preconceived notions and stigma around sex work.

Filmmaker Bio: Joe Bowden is a writer/filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. He writes and directs absurd comedy, music videos, and other short narrative pieces; he has also produced commercial projects, worked in the art department, and created television programming for XRAY.FM. Joe has a background in playing music and runs a film workspace collective in North Portland. You can find links to most of his work at josephbowden.com, including the award-winning short “VENT”, created for the 2020 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout.

Cast: Treasure Lunan, Ashley Mellinger - Director: Joe Bowden - Writer: Ashley Mellinger - Cinematographer: Joe Bowden - Editor: Jesse Bettis - Composer: New Move

Quinn’s Place

2020 SERIES

Quinn's Place takes a glimpse at the lives of various guests who stay at an AirBnB.


Filmmaker Bio: Charlie Roth is a writer/director from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He began writing at Syracuse University, where he graduated with an MFA in Television, Radio, and Film in 2012. Since then, he has continued to hone his craft by training at the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Second City as well as numerous acting and writing workshops. His first short film The Pitch was produced in 2018, followed by Greg and Lizzy Broke Up in 2019, and the short form series Quinn’s Place in 2019. He lives and creates in Los Angeles, CA.

Cast: Cindy Mersten, Patrick Cohen- Director: Charlie Roth - Writer: Charlie Roth - Cinematographer: Samudranil Chatterjee - Editor: Charles Carter - Composer: Will Van De Commert

Run Rabbit Run

2020 DRAMA SHORT

A lone rancher's quiet life is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young runaway.

Filmmaker Bio: Ilya Polyakov is A Ukrainian born, East-Coast raised, California transplant who loves to tell stories that are at times strange, fascinating and disturbing. Though Ilya always enjoyed playing with the family camcorder it wasn't until high school that he discovered the power of editing and started to shoot and edit skateboard videos with his friends. He attended Emerson College where he began to experiment as a filmmaker and made some of the best friends he has to this day. After graduating in 2009 Ilya moved to LA at the height of the financial recession, and for lack of finding any real work he continued to do what he always did best: make stuff. Over the next decade he directed countless shorts, commercials, music videos and comedy sketches.

Cast: Lisa Roumain, Emily Gateley, Joseph Lopez  - Director: Ilya Polyakov - Writer: Peter Bradshaw - Cinematographer: Nick Albert - Editor: Fluke Farenza - Composer: Jason Scardamalia

Salvager 

2020 SCI-FI/FANTASY SHORT

Special ops police officer Lou Kerrigan is on a mission to capture a rogue, human-like police robot. When she is ordered to destroy him, her loyalties are put to the ultimate test – her captive

is her former partner, Dante. Kerrigan spares Dante but the bomb she placed on his chest is still primed. Now, Kerrigan’s trust in Dante and her refusal to follow orders are about to have potentially fatal consequences

Filmmaker Bio: Peter McCully has worked in visual effects for the film industry for over 25 years, running visual effects company Albedo VFX, overseeing work for numerous feature films, television films and series, and he has several awards and nominations to show for it. Peter directed the NZFC funded short film “Eeling” (2009) and wrote and directed the short film “The Gully” (in post-production). He was associate producer of the telefeature “Jean” (2016) and “Kiwi Christmas” (2017). Peter’s visual effects work for “Jean” earned him a New York Festivals silver medal. His previous short film with Media Design School, “Kino Ratten” has been selected by several international film festivals in 2020, winning Best Film at the 2020 We Make Movies International Film Festival, awards at Palm Springs Animation Festival and Irvine International Film Festival, and also nominations for cinematography and screenwriting.

Cast: Te Ahorangi Winitana, Jono Kenyon  - Director: Peter McCully - Writer: Peter McCully - Cinematographer: Rafael Bonatto - Editor: Ryan Mullany - Composer: James McCully

Schlöppmann’s Hat

2020 COMEDY SHORT

An artist in struggle with deadlines, clients and his children.

Filmmaker Bio: Christine Nippoldt works as an illustrator and author of children’s books. She received her diploma from Bauhaus University of Weimar in 2004, and is the co-founder of “Atelier Hafenstraße 64.”

 

Cast: Robert Nippoldt, Luna Hendrikse, Jannis Achtsoglou, Johanna Nippoldt, Lydia Nippoldt  - Director: Christine Nippoldt - Writer: Christine Nippoldt - Cinematographer: Christine Nippoldt - Editor: Christine Nippoldt - Composer: Philip Ritter

She Had It Coming

2020 COMEDY SHORT

Vivian Dean is dead. She was killed at a baby shower... Went down a flight of stairs. And now she is hellbent on finding out who did it.

Filmmaker Bio: Gedde Watanabe was born in Ogden, Utah and moved to San Francisco at the age of 18 to begin a career in music and theater. He lived in an artist commune called Project Artaud, earning his living as a street singer accompanying himself on guitar. Becoming serious about acting, Gedde enrolled at American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) and performed with several renowned theater companies such as Teatro de Campesino, The Bread and Puppet Theater, and The San Francisco Poverty Theater, where he became a company member. He was discovered while singing on the streets of Chinatown and flown to New York where he was cast in Stephen Sondheim’s original Broadway production of “Pacific Overtures” directed by Harold Prince. He continued his theatrical work at The New York Shakespeare Festival under the legendary producer Joseph Papp, appearing in such productions as “Dispatches,” “Under Fire,” “The Music Lesson” and “Poor Little Lambs.” He also performed at La Mamma Theater and at The Brooklyn Academy where he was directed by Andrew Vajda in “Sansho the Bailiff” and by Emily Mann in “Oedipus.” He studied with Kristin Linklater and Peter Cass of The Working Theatre, Julie Reilly and Geraldine Page. He directed productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Joan of Arc” and “Winterset” at The East Coast Ensemble. Appearing in over 30 plays, he also was a regular on “Sesame Street” for four years playing the artist Hiroshi. It wasn’t until he began his movie career, however, that he received international attention. Starting with the hit film, “Sixteen Candles,” Gedde went on to make “Volunteers” with Tom Hanks and two films directed by Ron Howard: “Gung Ho” with Michael Keaton and “Ed TV” with Ellen DeGeneres. Other movies he appeared in include “Gremlins 2,” “Vamp,” “Slakers,” “Perfect Alibi,” “Boys on the Side,” “Nick and Jane,” “Booty Call,” “UHF,” “Mulan,” “Guinevere,” “Two for the Money” and “Alfie.” He has made numerous guest appearances on television shows such as “Grand,” “L.A. Law,” “Seinfeld,” “Newhart,” “Murphy Brown,” “Mad About You” and “Home Improvement.” Watanabe had his own series with “Gung Ho” and was a regular on “ER” and “Down Home” with Judy Ivy. Now living in Los Angeles, Gedde is member of the resident company of East-West Players, the Asian-American theater group, recently starring in their productions of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Pippin.” He also teaches acting there. His production company, A Thousand Cranes, is dedicated to developing Asian-American stories for film and theater.

 

Cast: Skylar Schock, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa, Jeanne Sakata, Krishna Smitha, Renata Ribeiro, Julia Manis, Mia Ellis, Chris Ramirez, Ryan Shaughnessy, Martha Hunter, James Schock - Director: Gedde Watanabe - Writer: Anna Keizer - Cinematographer: Kate Walker - Editor: Jason Charnick - Composers: Alexa Borden, Connor Cook

Shower Season 

2020 COMEDY SHORT

A woman comes home to find she is at odds with her body... or one particular part, at least.

 

Filmmaker Bio: A native of Cleveland, OH, Nonie Shiverick has always been inspired by creative pursuits. As a  child, she used to watch the Oscars, imagining one day telling a story that could matter on a global scale. As a teenager, watching the behind-the-scenes footage of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, she fell in love with film as a technical medium.  After a brief detour in the world of ballroom dance, Nonie ended up on a film set practically by accident.  After pursuing acting for a few years, she found she kept writing stories in her head that she wished would be made. Realizing Hollywood would never read her mind, and finally believing her mother that “the world needs more feminist writers,” Nonie began writing. She started One Eye Wilde, initially as a vehicle for her own projects, but with a much greater vision: to promote diverse and underrepresented voices in art and entertainment.

Robbie Barnes was born in Cleveland, Ohio and has been involved in entertainment since childhood. She started off doing theater and live-stage performances and gradually transitioned into acting for the camera and going to school for filmmaking. In college, she also studied film and took several courses pertaining to directing and editing. Over the last five years, she has taken a more prominent role behind the camera with directing and writing. She now owns a production company (Perfect Holiday Productions) and also teaches an acting workshop.

Nonie and Robbie first collaborated in 2019, for their award-winning short film, "Scales," which screened with WMMIFF in 2020. They have since then collaborated on seven projects and collectively won 30 awards both nationally and internationally.

 

Cast: Julia Langholt, Nonie Shiverick, Chris Ross, Mario Beverly, Matt Zaleski, Max Carrino - Director: Robbie Barnes - Writer: Nonie Shiverick - Cinematographer: Paul Moore - Editor: James Neyman - Composer: Eli Manos

Sign Man

2020 COMEDY FEATURE

“The man who gives direction has none.”

When the sign spinner for a pizza restaurant loses the van he lives in, he has no choice but to move in with his coworker, the pizza delivery driver. The sign spinner's plans to leave town and start a more meaningful life are derailed when he becomes tangled up in the pizza driver's escalating personal war against a local congressional candidate.

 

Filmmakers Bio: Reuben Guberek and Luc Hollywood are writing partners who grew up in north county San Diego, not always the world of beaches and palm trees one might imagine. It is a hilly, suburban sprawl flanked by a Marine base and an Indian Reservation, where a thriving middle class is faithfully served by an invisible, bored underclass. They were inspired by these surroundings, and by successful micro-budget comedies of the past such as Clerks, El Mariachi, The Foot Fist Way, etc. When Reuben graduated film school in 2015, they realized no one was going to give them the opportunity to make a feature film, so they decided to make one within their means. They spent the next several years writing and banding together their friends and families to help create this labor of love.

 

Cast: Michael J. DeLuca, Luc Hollywood, Chopper Bernet, Sionne Elise, Sapna Kumar - Directors: Reuben Guberek, Luc Hollywood - Writer: Reuben Guberek - Cinematographer: Andrew Huse - Editors: Reuben Guberek, Luc Hollywood - Composer: Adam Wollach

Signed, Steve Hardy

2021 DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Steve Hardy is an abstract, water-color artist who uses his craft as a means to meet new people. Having given out a multitude of free paintings over the course of 20+ years, Steve has become something of a small-town celebrity.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Hailing from Sierra Madre, California, Matthew R. Green is a film editor first and foremost, whereas his focus on directing serves more as a hobby to him rather than a "make it or break it" type deal. Matthew sees himself as a meat-and-potatoes kind of director -- putting the heart and sentimentality of a story above any kind of flashy stylistic choices. He believes "Signed, Steve Hardy" to be his most accomplished project to date.

 

Cast: Steve Hardy, Olivia Behegan, Jenaveve Gregory, Dan B., Dessy Smith and her Boyfriend, Ryan Steven Green, Thomas and Larissa Delong, Adam Ali, Kelly Andreen - Director: Matthew R. Green - Cinematographer: Ryan Steven Green - Editor: Matthew R. Green

Skeleton Love - The End of the World 

2021 MUSIC VIDEO

Skeleton Love follows the lonely love story between a man and his skeleton.

Filmmaker Bio: David Beatty is a performer, writer, storyteller, filmmaker and theater creator who works from a combination of curiosity, collaboration, practical application and experience. Born and raised in southern California, David just wanted to travel and by the time he was 25, had flown around the world visiting Europe, Thailand, China and India - just to name a few. David received a BA from Adams State University in 1996 and an MFA from the University of California Davis in 2005. David launched Double Yellow Line Films, and through this production company produced dozens of award winning shorts, feature films and new media projects. His love of filmmaking brought him back to Los Angeles where he currently lives and works.

Cast: David Beatty, Charlene - Director: David Beatty - Writer: David Beatty - Cinematographer: David Beatty - Editor: David Beatty - Composer: David Beatty

Sleeper/Keeper    

2020 VIDEO ART

With a budget of a $200 Walmart Gift Card, this Performance Art Film takes a giant breast as its protagonist as it fights lobsters, miniature polar bears and a plague of babies. The inanimate world becomes animate.

Filmmaker Bio: Anya Liftig (born 1977, Norwalk, CT USA) is a writer and performance artist. Her creative work has been exhibited at TATE Modern, MOMA, Center for Performance Research, Panoply Performance Lab, Highways Performance Space, Lapsody4 Finland, Fado Toronto, Performance Art Institute San Francisco, Queens Museum, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Rose Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, Grace Exhibition Space, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Kitchen at the Independent Art Fair, Performer Stammtisch Berlin, Performance Space London, Month of Performance Art Berlin, OVADA-Oxford, Joyce Soho, and many other venues around the world. As a dancer, Liftig has recently performed at The Chocolate Factory and New York Live Arts in Andrea Kleine’s pieces Screening Room and My Dinner with Andrea. She is a contributing editor to the Ugly Duckling Presse performance document series, Emergency INDEX and has curated events at The Kitchen, Center for Performance Research and Queens Museum. In “The Anxiety of Influence” she dressed exactly like Marina Abramovic and sat across from her all day during “The Artist is Present” exhibition at MOMA. Liftig’s work has been published and written about in The New York Times Magazine, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Next Magazine, Now and Then, Stay Thirsty, New York Magazine, Gothamist, Critical Correspondence, Theater Magazine, Art Papers, Jezebel, Hyperallergic, Bad at Sports, The Other Journal, and many others. Her first feature length performance film, Sleeper/Keeper, will also be screened in London and Berlin in 2021. Her creative non-fiction essays have recently been featured in Brain, Teen, BioStories, and The Chattahoochee Review (Lamar York Prize Winner.) She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her essay, “Irretrievable Breakdown,” was named a notable essay in Best Essays in America 2017. She is a recipient of a Franklin Furnace Award and a performance commission from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Liftig is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University and has received grant and residency support from MacDowell, Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hambidge Center for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts, The New Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Flux Projects Atlanta, University of Antioquia and Casa Tres Patios-Medellin, Colombia. Her first book, Jewbilly, a memoir, is forthcoming.

 

Cast: Anya Liftig - Director: Anya Liftig - Cinematographer: Anya Liftig - Editor: Anya Liftig - Composer: Sample from Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Smoke, Lilies and Jade

2021 DRAMA SHORT

Alex, a young artist of the Harlem Renaissance, flirts with the idea of bisexuality through posturing and conversations he has with his girlfriend, Melva, and his Bohemian mentor, Raymond. Then he meets Beauty, a Latin man who pursues Alex with poetry and fire, and the fun turns to earnest. The music of a concert performance breaks the floodgates of Alex’s desire, and he finds himself torn between Melva and Beauty. Which one will he choose?

 

Filmmaker Bio: Closeted for the first 7 years of their now 24-year-long relationship, real-life married couple Deondray & Quincy Gossfield began their directing careers when they won Best

Experimental Short Film in Showtime’s Digital Media Festival in 2000 with their micro short,

Had U. Disillusioned with the lack of gay, Black images in the media and fatigued with

the oversimplification of the DL phenomenon in pop culture, they created and directed

the Here TV anthology series, The DL Chronicles, that went on to become the first

Black show to win a GLAAD Media Award. Building on their brand and following their

passion of telling Black, LGBTQ+ stories, they created and directed the Amazon Prime spinoff

series, The Chadwick Journals, the third season of which won a 2021 Silver Telly Award and garnered a 2020 Daytime Emmy® Nomination for lead actor, Damian Toofeek Raven (“Chadwick”). Their short film, Flames, premiered to critical acclaim at 2021’s Tribeca Film Festival. Their short film, Congo Cabaret, highlighting the LGBTQ+ presence and contribution in and to the Harlem Renaissance, has won numerous awards -- including the Harlem Spotlight Award. This film adaptation of Richard Bruce Nugent’s controversial prose poem Smoke, Lilies and Jade premiered this August at the L.A. Outfest Film Festival.

 

Cast: Xavier Avila, Ernesto Reyes, Alexandra Grey, Harry Fowler, Markus Silbiger, Billy Porter, Acquah K. Dansoh, Clinton Roane, Dalila Ali Rajah - Directors: Deondray Gossfield, Quincy LeNear Gossfield - Writer: Robert Philipson (adapted from the short story by Richard Bruce Nugent) - Cinematographer: Ben Demaree - Editor: Ross Kolton - Composer: Ozie Cargile

Spoken Word Coffee Date

2020 COMEDY SHORT

A man and woman meet for a date at a coffee shop. Poetry ensues.

Filmmaker Bio: This is Kara Addington's first time directing and she couldn't be more proud of the results. A graduate of Nazareth College of Rochester and working actress and writer herself, she offered to direct this comedy during a brainstorming writer's group session. Kara is a comedian, activist and performer who is passionate about women's stories and collaboration. She currently lives on a farm in Central Pennsylvania, renovating a camper trailer to travel the country in 2021. She is building a production company and podcast attached to her YouTube channel, LyfeLessTraveled.

 

Cast: Diane Chernansky, Ashford J. Thomas, Carlos Vasquez  - Director: Kara Addington - Writer: Diane Chernansky - Cinematographer: George Reasner - Editor: Kathleen McAuley - Composer: D’Anthoni Wooten

STATUS QUO

2020 EXPERIMENTAL SHORT

In a world in suspense, a common history is written. Without seeing each other, without touching, bodies move to the rhythm of boredom. As dawn reaches its madness, they break the status quo and surrender to become one with the dream of a new day. STATU QUO is a hybrid short film created thanks to the exceptional participation of ten Montreal dancers who have performed, in front of our cameras, for the very first time since the Covid 19 pandemic began. In the streets of Montreal, they have improvised a dance, alone or together. This film is a testimony of the bonds that unite them and the common story written by their bodies. Without choreography or stage direction, this film questions and observes openly the body, hence alive, permanent and as an outlet. An infinite source of expression, the body becomes a militant and liberating tool which materializes our emotions beyond our common standards.

 

Filmmaker Bios: Lamia Chraibi was born in France and raised in Morocco. At a very young age she was submerged in multicultural environments. After studying Political Science at the Sorbonne in Paris, she has travelled in Latin America in search of a variety of stories which all have in common the same hidden and secretive struggle. Her first award-winning documentary, Voix d’Amazonie, is an important documentary on the struggle of indigenous Amazon communities against oil exploitation. Chraibi immigrated to Montreal in 2015, and studied documentary film at INIS (National Institute of Image and Sound). Since then, she has dedicated her body of work and life in hope of giving voice to the unknown social actors through the art of cinema.

Marion Chuniaud Lacau is a French native, living in Montreal since 2015. She has a master’s degree in international and intercultural communication. Passionate about human relations, she is interested, among other things, in gender issues, political and cultural issues of art and processes of social transformation for a more just and inclusive society. She applies her sensitivity and her artistic sense to her reflections, particularly through photography and video. After a first short film in Colombia, she decided to perfect her documentary knowledge at the National Institute of Sound and Image of Montreal (INIS) in the fall of 2020.

 

Cast: Nicolas Contreras, Charles Brecard, Yesenia Fuentes, Andrea Nino, Motrya Kozbur, Arthur Toshiro Kamara, Jossua Collin Dufour, Corinne Crane, Danny Dematos - Directors: Lamia Chraibi, Marion Chuniaud Lacau - Cinematographer: Marcel Muller - Editors: Lamia Chraibi, Marion Chuniaud-Lacau 

Composer: Virginie Reid

Storms Named After People

2020 DRAMA SHORT

Jess is alone in Tarpon Springs, FL on Christmas Eve.

Filmmaker Bio: Sarah Ballard is a filmmaker and multi-media artist based in New York City. Sarah's work is recognized for its poetic structure, which meditates on time and nature, and challenges the relationship between dream and memory. Reoccurring themes and imagery are heavily influenced by her upbringing in rural Florida. She received her BFA in film production and directing from UCF in Orlando, Florida during which she created video installations and several short films.

 

Cast: Rachel Comeau, Arielle Prepetit, Dylan “Plantman” Thompson - Director: Sarah Ballard - Writer: Sarah Ballard - Cinematographer: Aidan Scurti - Editor: Sarah Ballard 

Sunny, Pomona

2021 DRAMA SHORT

A recently separated couple has to tie up loose ends.

 

Filmmaker Bio: Madeline Mack is an Australian writer/director living between NY, LA and New Mexico. Madeline was recently accepted into Ryan Murphy's​ ​HALF Initiative, a​ mentee program for directors, and she is set to be placed this year. Having worked as Dan Minahan's assistant for the past few years, she’s had the opportunity to shadow him on HBO's ‘​Deadwood​’ movie, Ryan Murphy's ‘​Hollywood​’ and the new Netflix limited series ‘​Halston​’. Her latest film 'Baby Elephants’ is set to premiere at Hollyshorts in October. Her film ‘​Sweet Heart​’ also premiered at Hollyshorts and was awarded a Post Production grant through​ ​The Future Of Film is Female​. ‘Sweet Heart’ was also a featured film in the 2020 We Make Movies International Film Festival. Madeline won Best Narrative Short at The Key West Film Festival for ‘​Hot Water​’ and was nominated for Best Drama at Sydney Short Film Festival, and for Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year at the Byron Bay Film Festival. Her absurd dark comedy short ‘​Six Pack’​ ​won its category at Hollywood Comedy Shorts Festival, Portland Comedy Shorts Festival and more after screening at over a dozen festivals around the world, including We Make Movies International Film Festival. Madeline has developed ‘Six Pack’ into a pilot called ‘​Small Fry’​ which was awarded Best Episodic at Hollyshorts film festival in 2020. Madeline is currently co-creating a series called When We Grow Up, set to shoot later this year - wwguseries.com.

Pearl Spring Voss is an Australian Actor, Artist and writer born and raised in sunny east coast Australia. Pearl moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to study at Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio, where they graduated in 2018. After completing their theatre studies, they worked with directors from American Film Institute in short films, and produced and acted in many indie short films and web series. They have worked extensively in television, film and theatre. Some of their TV work includes Aussie TV show Puberty Blues and Eden (Stan). Feature films include Bosch and Rockit and Seriously Red (both in post production). Theatre includes Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades with Theatre Director Sabrina Lloyd, winning their first theatre award as outstanding cameo performance. Sunny, Pomona is a slice of their personal life and their debut in writing a short film. Pearl is a part of the LGBTQI+ community and is currently based in Byron Bay, Australia, where they continue to write and act. 

 

Cast: Pearl Spring Voss, Steven Strobel - Director: Madeline Mack - Writer: Pearl Spring Voss - Cinematographer: Michael Lincoln - Editor: Finnegan Boyle - Composer: Merryn Jean

Tallulah

2020 DRAMA SHORT