2023 We Make Movies International Film Festival
+ 5 days
+ 133 films From Around the World
+ 35 BLOCKS OF PROGRAMMING & SPECIAL EVENTS
+$20 screenings WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY
+ We Saved You A SEAT
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A retired ornithologist loses his lifelong research to a strange and unusual bird. As he seeks to identify its obscure species and origin, the line between nature and nurture becomes hazy.
Filmmaker Bio: First time Writer/Director Carrington Holritz, a recent graduate from Orange County High School of the Arts, draws inspiration from psychological thrillers and finds comfort in the uncomfortable.
Cast: John Kerry, Alan Maxson, Naiia Lajoie / Producer: Melissa Holritz / Director: Carrington Holritz / Writer: Carrington Holritz / Cinematographer: Ino Yang Popper / Editor: Oliver Li / Composer: Stefan Wesolowski
"22" is the story of the Braga family and their unique facility "Bear-O Care" for children with multiple disabilities. The film explores the system currently set in place for special needs children, its flaws, and possible solutions for caretakers that will help to continue to fulfill the social, educational and developmental needs of their adult child after they cross the 22-year-old mark. More importantly, the film tells the story of Mike, a burger flipper who became the founder of the Bear-O Care facility because of his adopted son.
Filmmaker Bio: Mariya Pyter is an American Director, Screenwriter, and Producer, with experience working in Theater, film, and TV (CBS, TNT, REN TV, NTV). After graduating with honors from the UCLA Directing program, Mariya gained experience at the Dr. Phil show on CBS. Her short narrative films (The Dead are Silent, On the Way to Lovetown) collected multiple awards worldwide. The feature-length version of 22 received worldwide distribution on Amazon, VHX, and other VOD platforms. Her short horror film Me-eat premiered at MosFilm festival in 2020, and Somewhere in the Milky Way at We Make Movies International Film Festival in 2022. In collaboration with Buffalo 8, Mariya and her team at Magic Hour Productions, INC. are developing a feature-length horror/drama, Devil and Dr. Basterhimen.
Cast: The Braga Family / Producer: Mariya Pyter, Frank McNeice / Director: Mariya Pyter / Writer: Frank McNeice, Mariya Pyter / Cinematographer: Scott Baker / Editor: Jessica Carillo
Two people on a first date mask and ignore their insecurities until an event forces them to say what they're really thinking.
Filmmaker Bio: Erin Brown Thomas is a writer/director who makes sad and haunting comedies. Her characters rarely get what they want, but always get what they need. As a director, Erin’s films and pilots have won awards at Oscar Qualifying festivals such as Hollyshorts and Cinequest, as well as top prize at Catalyst Story Institute. Dozens of other festivals have celebrated her work including AMPAV at Cannes, Austin Film Festival, Cleveland International, and Palm Springs Shortfest where she was selected as an “Artist in Residence.” Erin was also a 2020 finalist for Shondaland’s Women in Film Mentorship program through SeriesFest. As a writer, Erin’s work has advanced in many contests and programs including Ron Howard’s Imagine Impact, Sundance New Voices, Sundance Development Track, Scriptapolooza, ScreenCraft Comedy, Austin Film Festival, BlueCat Screenplay, and ISA Fast Track. Her feature The Body of Chris is trending on the Coverfly Red List and is a 2022 Semi-Finalist for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship. In Erin’s (not so distant) former life, she cut films for other talented filmmakers including Emmy Winners Richard Shepard, Lena Dunham, Jenni Konner, and Elisabeth Moss. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Salute Your Shorts Film Festival.
Cast: Olivia Haller, Hunter Stiebel, Ciarra Krohne, Odellas Cain, Amber Khieralla, Jonathan Slusser / Producer: Olivia Haller / Director: Erin Brown Thomas / Writer: Olivia Haller / Cinematographer: Beth Napoli / Editor: Joe Siebert / Composer: Daniel Rufolo, Adam Kromelow
A Brush of Violence
Akila, a prominent photographer, has an exhibit deadline quickly approaching. While at a restaurant, she gets a call from her agent, Abel, who tells her that the anonymous famous painter VIO has requested that she reveal his identity through her photography. Akila is wary of VIO’s questionable reputation, but Abel convinces her to accept this career-changing opportunity.
Filmmaker Bio: Daniel Lawrence Wilson is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California, whose obsession with authentic narrative has led him to partner with brands, agencies, and production companies worldwide. He has spent the last 12 years working as a successful writer, producer, director, and editor, focusing on creating branded content that integrates lifestyle and stories.
Cast: Mia Krystyna, Yavor Vesselinov, Sausan Machari, Garland Scott / Producer: Daniel Lawrence Wilson / Director: Daniel Lawrence Wilson / Writer: Daniel Lawrence Wilson / Cinematographer: Darren Streibig / Editor: Lexi Hiland, Daniel Lawrence Wilson / Composer: Snakes of Russia, Francesca Guccione, Naomi August.
A Fast of Longing
Grandson Dan-Dan picks up his grandma to spend Yom-Kippur at his parents’ house. The car breaks down, and they spend Yom-Kippur alone, on the road, in his car.
He served 13 years as a combat officer in the IDF. He has a B.A in Entrepreneur and Business Administration from the IDC. He learned screenwriting at the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School.
Cast: Lea Koenig, Amir Peter / Producer: Mor Barkan / Director: Ofer Weiser / Writer: Ofer Weiser / Cinematographer: Noa Shaham / Editor: Yevgenia Danilenko / Composer: Nightwalk – Gavin Luke
A New Era of Cowboy
The first openly LGBTQ cowboy in the American Rodeo circuit must come to terms with his future and his family as the world seemingly falls a part around him.
Filmmaker Bio: Steph Martinez is an actor / director living and working in Los Angeles. As an advocate for more women in the film industry, alongside Julie Phillips, Steph is one third of the female-centric production company, Hot and Bothered. The second season of their series, BOTHERED, is scheduled to be released on IndieFlix this Summer. Steph reprised the role of Tessa, Eddie and Jenn’s love interest, and directed all 10 episodes. Continuing to hone their craft, Steph is enrolled at Studio 24 Seven with Mark McPherson and repped by MakeLA Prod Mgmt, Aqua Talent, and One World Model and Talent. Their recent credits include Lifetime’s Sins in the Suburbs, the hilarious pilot, Bee-Man, and the short film Avocado. They have also appeared in several other web series and short films in the past year, including The White Room, Pool, 10 Rabbits, Derek Delroy the Pool Boy, and Next. As an lgbtqia+ film maker and advocate, Steph sees the importance of diverse visibility in film and entertainment, as well as the power of creating more lgbtqia+ focused roles in film. When directing a queer-centric piece, their main focus is giving it heart. So many shows and movies portray the stereotypes and capitalize on the traumas of queer life. Steph’s goal is to break the mold with their art. “This is any other story, they just happen to be gay”. Giving a piece “heart” means showing the world and the media that us queer folk are just like everybody else. We love, we hurt, we cry, we persevere.
Cast: Ryan Bertroche, David Beatty, Jacob Seidman, Katie Tassone / Producer: HRH Productions / Director: Steph Martinez / Writer: Jacob Seidman / Cinematographer: Emerson Niemchick / Editor: Steph Martinez
A Parade of Sadness
Experimental Video/Art Short
A down and out man seeks a vacation.
Filmmaker Bio: Eric Michael Kochmer works as a producer and makes art films and experimental videos.
Cast: Whit Spurgeon, Anthony Ferraro / Producer: Eric Michael Kochmer, Whit Spurgeon, Anthony Ferraro / Director: Eric Michael Kochmer / Writer: Eric Michael Kochmer / Cinematographer: Ross Kolton / Editor: Eric Michael Kochmer / Composer: Sapna Gandhi
A Psychogeography of Mourning
Experimental Video/Art Short
A Psychogeography of Mourning uses static imagery and unpredictable sound to reconcile the contradictory interior and exterior experiences grief elicits.
Filmmaker Bio: Shayna Connelly’s films on ghosts and liminal spaces explore the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fictional forms. The 8-film anthology A Memory Palace for Ghosts illuminates hauntings that arise from traumatic events, mental illness, everyday routines, the search for truth and the aftermath of grief. Her films have screened at Palm Springs, Sydney Underground, Ann Arbor, Athens International, Antimatter Media Art, Chicago Underground, San Diego Underground, and Experiments in Cinema among many others. Chicago’s Newcity Magazine named her one its 50 Screen Gems in 2016, 2018 and 2020.
Director: Shayna Connelly / Composer: Chris Connelly
A Question of Service
From the cliffs of Wales, to the basement of MI6, to a Wisconsin farmhouse, "A Question of Service" follows Joseph, an MI6 interpreter...who may or may not be a Russian spy. Joseph's family drama, inner tension, and a complicated relationship with his boss reveal that personal baggage can be just as complex as an espionage deal gone awry.
Filmmaker Bio: Erin Brown Thomas is a writer-director whose evocative narratives will make you laugh and cry. Her directing portfolio includes recent wins at HollyShorts, Cinequest, and Catalyst Story Institute. Other Oscar-qualifying festivals have awarded her work over the past decade. She is a 2022 Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalist and on the Coverfly Red List (top .07% of comedy projects). Her writing has advanced in contests and programs including Sundance Development Track, Sundance New Voices, Austin Film Festival, and dozens more, with several first place wins. She is the artistic director of Salute Your Shorts film festival. Curation has deeply impacted her curiosity and voice as an artist. Follow along at @erinbrownthomas_filmmaker.
Cast: Hans Obma, Zina Badran, Marco Da Silva, Kojo Attah, Jessica Sanchez Thurnherr, Roshni Rathore / Producer: Elle Shaw, Gabrielle Kinde, We Make Movies / Director: Erin Brown Thomas / Writer: Hans Obma / Cinematographer: Beth Napoli / Editor: Erin Brown Thomas
After the Night with Valerie
A recovering amnesiac's memories are replaced by fantasies he believes actually occurred.
Filmmaker Bio: Born and raised out of New Hampshire, Alex Garnett is an award-winning filmmaker, known for his wide variety of work in both television and film. Some of his directing/cinematography work includes Drowning Era (2010), and Belle (2014), as well as his latest feature, After the Night with Valerie, (2019) which has been awarded the Best Made in Texas (Feature) Film at the Austin Indie Fest, in addition to Best Feature Film at the Direct Monthly Online Film Festival. Today, Alex continues to pursue his passions in narrative filmmaking, and is currently working on a horror short that is set to be released later next year.
Cast: Lorelei Linklater, Sam Stinson, Carly Christopher, Jordan LeuVoy / Producer: Thomas Burke / Director: Alex M. Garnett / Writer: Alex M. Garnett / Cinematographer: Alex M. Garnett / Editor: Alex M. Garnett / Composer: Jesse Beaman
A teenage girl counsels other teens, but has a hard time not making the focus herself.
Filmmaker Bio: Brad Griffith is a Los Angeles based writer and actor. After a many year hiatus from performance, he began again in 2015. His first film, Under Construction, premiered at Outfest and played festivals nationally. He also made a feature length documentary, Cohibernation. This is his third film. He has been a semi-finalist for the Outfest screenwriting lab and the Screencraft Pilot Competition. As an actor, he can be seen in roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Snowfall, The Politician and The Dropout. He holds an MFA in acting from University of Washington and an MA in dramaturgy from Stony Brook University.
Cast: Julia Lester, Ziggy Segal, Milan Levy, John O. Paszkiewicz, Amelia Baker, Rory O’Neill, Brad Griffith / Producer: Vickie Mendoza, Sam Kite / Director: Brad Griffith / Writer: Brad Griffith / Cinematographer: Ian Carberry / Editor: Brian Levin / Composer: Peter E. Jones
Apples to Affleck
Celebrating a milestone birthday, Darren has friends over for a classic game night and some birthday cake. However, things take a fun turn as Darren goes from being the birthday boy, to proving his political correctness.
Filmmaker Bio: Ruffy Landayan is an actor, physical movement artist, aspiring director, writer, and producer in Los Angeles. He has worked in theatre, film, television, voice over, and health education. A proud member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA). His most recent credits and campaigns include: iCarly (Nickelodeon), General Hospital (ABC), AT&T, John Muir Medical Group, Dexcom (Glucose Monitoring System), The Barefoot Spirit and Crash: The Animated Series (Sherwood Players).
Cast: Steve Brock, Toyin Moses, Christine Corpuz, Jeannette Franco, Shaun Fury, Vitoangelino Kaiewe, Cari Kenny, Sharon Spence, Ariel Staehle, Andrew Hoffman / Producer: Sherwood Players, Matt Weinglass, Ruffy Landayan, Toyin Moses, Steve Brock, Alamada Karatihy / Director: Ruffy Landayan / Writer: Ruffy Landayan / Cinematographer: Ajala Bandele / Editor: Ajala Bandele / Composer: Sally Chou
Armed With a Dildo
When Dani’s boyfriend Leslie breaks up with her, a mass shooter starts attacking the motel they were going to have a romantic night at and suddenly the break up becomes the least of her problems.
Filmmaker Bio: Thea Touchton is a non-binary, disabled, Latiné, and pansexual Producer/Actor. They have an Associates Degree in Theatre. Thea is certified in Human Resources, Covid Compliance, Public Relations, Image Consulting, Motivational Speaking, and Event Planning. They are monetized on YouTube and have about 15K across their social platforms. They completed a production company training program called DRAESIS. Nowadays, they are involved in the SAG-AFTRA Next Generation and Women’s Committee and were recognized for their mental health advocacy at MTV’s Mental Health Youth Action Forum at the White House. They just completed their first documentary feature Bake It Till You Make It. They enjoy taking pictures of their creative friends, reviewing films on their YouTube channel and podcast, writing poetry, as well as putting their cats in sweaters and bow ties.
Cast: Winnie Lee, Johnny Cannizzaro, Thea Touchton, Karuna Tanahashi / Producer: Thea Touchton/ Director: Karuna Tanahashi / Writer: Alvaro Sebastian Gonzalez, Thea Touchton / Cinematographer: Bryan Ricke / Editor: Alvaro Sebastian Gonzales
He's not what you're expecting. Wear protection.
When a man complains about the child at the next table, he sparks a feud with an infant which he doesn't understand and just can't win.
Filmmaker Bio: Matt Mitchell hails from the great, and sometimes confused, state of Florida. Cutting his teeth in Orlando, Matt has appeared in many independent films over the years. After moving to Los Angeles, he developed a love for photography, which blossomed into a passion for cinema. Baby marks his 12th time producing, his 6th as a partner in Fancy Movies, and his first effort as sole director after sharing directorial duties on several titles as an indie filmmaker. With Fancy Movies, Matt has collaborated on projects that have been screened at dozens of festivals worldwide, from the British House of Commons to a nudist resort in Texas.
Cast: Slade Picha, Brian Wallace, Rachanee Lumayno, Whit Spurgeon, Brent Picha, Callie Harlan / Producer: Matt Mitchell, Brian Wallace / Director: Matt Mitchell / Writer: Jon Thompson / Cinematographer: Aayush Joshi / Editor: Matt Mitchell / Composer: Roman Falkenstein
Back to 2007
This is a story of a thirty-year-old guy who is dissatisfied with his life. Bogged down in routine and boredom, Boris is sure that if he corrects mistakes of his youth by confessing his love to a girl at the last disco at a summer camp, he will be happy. He decides to recreate the disco: the same camp, the same DJ, the same music. But the main thing is to bring the same people, including his beloved.
Filmmaker Bio: Maxim Emelyanov was born in 1997 in Lipetsk. Despite having a master's degree in civil engineering, he’s directed theatrical productions and shootings for various creative projects since he was a student. He also runs a student theater and his own production studio in his hometown.
Cast: Dmitry Kozhoma, Sergey Belyaev, Nikita Nikitin, Dmitriy Frolov, Alexander Sushchik / Producer: Maksim Federiakin / Director: Maxim Emelyanov / Writer: Maksim Federiakin, Maksim Kozlov / Cinematographer: Daniil Ushkov, Dmitry Lelikov / Editor: Daniil Ushkov
Two best friends grapple with their future one eventful night.
Filmmaker Bio: McKegg Collins has been writing and directing since he was old enough to hold a pen. His last short film, Eros Point, was selected for the 2018 New York Horror Film Festival. He is a core member of the production company Fitch Fort Films and independent film criticism and theory writer. His work can be seen at www.mckeggcollins.com
Cast: Kimberlee Connor, Kar Logan, Dineen Markey, Clay Westman / Producer: Alex Spenser, Nick Candido / Director: McKegg Collins / Writer: McKegg Collins / Cinematographer: Carrie Stalk / Editor: Elise Conklin / Composer: Christopher Marti
Vietnam, 1968. A feared American colonel nicknamed “The Black Dragon” by Vietnamese locals must face his inner shadow when his platoon presents him with a captured Vietcong girl who harbors some very unusual powers. A Jungian psychological thriller/parable examining the capacity for monstrous evil lurking within us all, the film is loosely inspired by the My Lai Massacre, one of America’s most pernicious wartime atrocities.
Filmmaker Bio: Alexander Thompson seeks to explore the human condition through a personal brand of cinema that infuses a love of dark fairy tales, aberrant psychology, strange monsters and even stranger people. His coming-of-age fantasy drama The Sisters made the 2022 annual Black List after placing as a semifinalist in the AMPAS Nicholl Fellowship, and was named by Forbes Magazine as among the fifteen most promising unproduced screenplays. Between writing gigs Alex has worked as a music video director for clients like Adult Swim, Spotify and Mello Music Group, affording him opportunities to merge live-action photography with cell animation, stop-motion and CGI in dynamic and ambitious ways. Alex is in post on Em & Selma Go Griffin Hunting, a neo-western fantasy short starring Milly Shapiro (Hereditary) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Walking Dead). Its ambitious creature VFX hail from the team behind the Fantastic Beasts, Star Wars and Marvel films. It will be completed in late 2023.
Cast: Matthew Del Negro, Celia Au / Producer: Sam Froelich, Isaiah Kang, Alexander Thompson / Director: Alexander Thompson / Writer: Alexander Thompson / Cinematographer: Harper Alexander / Editor: Zach Kashkett / Composer: APM Music
Black Hole Son
A launch of 1.5 million balloons in Cleveland, Ohio 1986 and the 2012 Big Bay Boom in San Diego, California where a 17-minute firework display exploded in less than a minute are the events that inspired Black Hole Son. Part moving painting, part processed video, Black Hole Son is a lucid dream about the desire for spectacle. Turn your volume up.
Filmmaker Bio: Pete Burkeet is an artist who makes paintings, music, videos, and generative art. His work has been exhibited internationally at festivals, museums, and galleries. Past shows include CutOut Festival Mexico City, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, London Experimental Film Festival, and the Utah Museum of Art. He lives and works in Shaker Heights, Ohio. With an eye to the historical role of experimental art, his work focuses on how the stresses of current culture manifest in the expressions of our collective unconscious.
Director: Pete Burkeet / Writer: Pete Burkeet / Producer: Pete Burkeet
Deep in the snowy Blue Mountains, two damaged lives come crashing back together when they discover something in the forest not of this world.
Filmmaker Bio: Nick Ronan is an award-winning storyteller. As a writer and filmmaker, he has earned multiple accolades for his short films Vinyl Underground and The Secret Nobody Knows, including a Director’s Circle Award (Poppy Jasper International Film Festival), and a Best Dramatic Writing Award (Blackbird Film Festival). His films have screened across the U.S. and internationally. Nick’s breakout performance on stage as Danny in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea earned him an IRNE nomination for Best Actor. He has appeared in three Tennessee Williams World Premieres and in numerous independent films. Most recently, he can be seen on cable TV in Season 2 of Godfather of Harlem (Epix). He is the founder and Creative Director of A Night of Fireflies Productions. He holds a B.A. double major in Acting and Film from Emerson College. His first feature film, Apollo Minus Project, is currently in development.
Cast: Erica Camarano, Nick Ronana / Producer: Erica Camarano, Aron Meinhardt, Kevin Chap / Director: Nick Ronan / Writer: Nick Ronan / Cinematographer: Juri Beythien / Editor: Austin Kase / Composer: Jesse Wiener
It has been three months since her mother’s death and Maggie is struggling to keep her grief from consuming her. Daydreams of childhood on the Bolivar Peninsula haunt her waking moments as she navigates a failing marriage and career, and a father who will not engage with his own grief. She is awakened by a pounding on her door. Sonny, her little brother, whom she has not seen since before her mother passed, is high and anxiously pacing around her front yard. Sonny’s return forces Maggie to make sense of a reality that may not be what it seems.
Filmmaker Bio: Nell Teare is an award-winning director, producer, actress and writer. She began directing foreign language dubs with Netflix in June, 2019 and has since completed seven projects, including the third season of Fauda. Nell has shadowed in network television on CBS’ NCIS with Bethany Rooney and NCIS New Orleans with Jimmy Whitmore, Jr. She has directed over 80 book trailers for multiple publishers through Film14. Nell has directed fifteen short films, two web series, and a few pilot presentations over the years, including Parannoyance and The Hunt. Bolivar, her debut feature, was written and produced in 2020. Nell wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film. She is currently attached to direct three feature films and has another two in development.
Nell is a native Texan and graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Originally trained as a stage actor, she was a member of the original cast of Memphis, which went on to win the Tony award for Best Musical, and was in Center Theatre Group’s original production of Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels. She became a company member at The Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles and, eventually, their Director of Development from 2011 to 2012. Nell is the founder of Harmon Creek Press, through which she published her children’s book, Celia and the Witches, and is dedicated to mentoring teens and young people.
Cast: Nell Teare, Robert Pine, Tracie Thomas, Alex Deśert, Chris Petrovski, James A. Walsh / Producer: Nell Teare, Jerry Cope / Director: Nell Teare / Writer: Nell Teare / Cinematographer: Julia Swain / Editor: Noah Harald / Composer: Philip Sheppard
An Improvised Drama. An incident at a small town school galvanizes a community into fighting for the well-being of a teen girl whose mother wrestles with mental illness.
Filmmaker Bio: TandemVision was formed in 2020 by five NYC actors (Jayme Woj, Bethany Kay, Josh Schubart, Claire Ganshert, and Amanda Turen) who set out to stay creative during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group began by organizing weekly zoom meetups to stay creative and offer support to one another during the isolating chaos. Through many weeks of dramatic improv, the group played with the idea of creating a story that had no heroes or villains, and instead explored the difficulties real people face when they are all just trying to do their best to get by. This exploration culminated in the two day, two camera, fully improvised piece that is Book Fair.
Steven LaMorte is an award-winning Director and Producer of feature films, commercials, and branded content based in Los Angeles. Steven 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. He is best known for creating the viral horror parody The Mean One, based on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, which had a successful theatrical release in America before becoming a cult classic around the world.
Cast: Jayme Woj, Bethany Kay, Claire Ganshert, Amanda Turen, Joshua Schubart / Producer: Tandem Vision Productions / Director: Steven LaMorte / Writer: Jayme Woj, Bethany Kay, Claire Ganshert, Amanda Turen, Joshua Schubart / Cinematographer: Steven Della Salla / Editor: Matthew Roscoe
Brilliance De L'Amité
In a tranquil meadow bathed in golden light, five friends stumble upon an ancient map revealing the location of a legendary hidden diamond. They embark on an exhilarating treasure hunt across the field, facing challenges and puzzles, each utilizing their unique talents to overcome obstacles. A memorable day of friendship, adventure, and discovery unfolds.
Filmmaker Bio: Kendy Joseph is a versatile producer, specializing in the creation of films and clip voices and design. With a passion for pushing the boundaries of storytelling, Kendy combines technical expertise with artistic vision to deliver captivating cinematic experiences.
Cast: Claudy Joseph, Magda Chery, Kenderson Chery, Telemaque Jacnold, Kervenso Aristhene / Producer: Kendy Joseph / Director: Kendy Joseph / Writer: Kendy Joseph / Cinematographer: Kendy Joseph, Jameson St Louis / Editor: Kendy Joseph / Studio: Helo Productions
Broke Down Drone
Poverty, Death and Hopelessness is all that can be expected in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Chicago. For Roc and DeVontae, on the brink of potential stardom, the opportunity to escape all three is within reach, if only...
Filmmaker Bio: Marquis Simmons is an Award Winning Director based in Chicago. His work on Trial in the Delta: The Lost Story of Emmett Till garnered him an Emmy win in 2022.
Marquis’s film projects have gained much success in Film Festivals winning Best Director at the 2021 Chicago FEEDBACK Film Festival for Faith Interrupted, and Best of the Fest at the 2022 Chain Theatre Film Festival in New York City for Broke Down Drone. Marquis has a vivid passion for storytelling and is an immersive filmmaker who prides himself on tapping into the innermost layers of the heart.
Cast: Max Thomas, Willie Round, Harold Dennis / Producer: Crystal Barnes, G. Riley Mills, Willie Round / Director: Marquis Simmons / Writer: Willie Round, G. Riley Mills / Cinematographer: Gary Walker / Editor: Marquis Simmons, Chris Neighbors / Composer: Charles “CJ” Chatman
Broken Mirror - Kayla Burch
The music video for the song “Broken Mirror” by Kayla Burch
Filmmaker Bio: Steve Brock is an award-winning director based in Los Angeles. His debut film, Even Steve, a comedy based on what he calls an alt-history autobiography, won several awards. He creates films that speak to personal traumas and the journey back from the brink. His last narrative short, Echoes of Kerberos, dealt with childhood traumas and the strategies some have to use just to survive. Broken Mirror - Kayla Burch, is a music video for a song that deals with themes of growing past betrayal and coming out the other side. Steve loves to tell stories that portray the journey of the human condition. As an actor, screenwriter, director, producer, singer, songwriter, and music producer, he uses those skills in the pursuit of raising up the people around him. His is dedicated to shining a light on the spaces between the public narratives we all tell ourselves and others and by doing so, aid in healing at least one person, and hopefully more. He has been known to say, “An artist’s job is to change the heart and mind of at least one person. If there’s more, so much the better.” He is honored to participate in We Make Movies International Film Festival alongside so many other impactful projects.
Cast: Kayla Burch / Producer: Steve Brock / Director: Steve Brock / Writer: Kayla Burch / Cinematographer: Ajala Bandele / Editor: Ajala Bandele / Composer: Kayla Burch
A woman crossing a bridge on her walk home feels a sudden impulse to peer over at the river below. An otherworldly disturbance transports her through a watery portal into uncanny territory. She emerges in spotlight to the laughter of a self-populated audience demanding entertainment. Perplexed at her new surroundings and at being surrounded by herself, she flees the stage in panic, seeking exit through a labyrinthian course. But can she evade the force that drew her into this grim domain?
Filmmaker Bio: As a visual artist, Will Rahilly has showcased his work – including photographs, drawings, performances, video art and installations – in galleries, film festivals, and art fairs for over a decade, both in the United States and internationally. In recent years, he has been unifying his various art forms within the realm of cinema. When directing these projects, he typically takes on the responsibilities of music composition, sound design, and special effects. His collaborative film, CANAL (2022), has won numerous awards on its festival run.
Cast: Suri Jackson / Producer: Giovanni Saldarriaga / Director: Will Rahilly / Writer: Anna Boskovski, Suri Jackson, Will Rahilly, Aaron Rodriguez, Giovanni Saldarriaga Cinematographer: Will Rahilly / Editor: Will Rahilly / Composer: Will Rahilly
SciFi/ Fantasty Short
When the bell chimes, Adam gasps awake. For the first time in 7 days. As he removes his hibernation mask, an Alexa-like voice tells him what he already knows: he has 90 minutes until he must return to sleep. Enjoy! Trapped alone in a cabin in the desert, Adam pays his debt to the ecosystem as the authoritarian regime demands: with 10 years of hibernation to zero out his carbon footprint. Adam’s 90-minute routine is well-worn, until one day he gasps awake and discovers his new roommate, Phoebe – and Phoebe subsequently discovers that Adam is serving his time under false pretenses. Their differences grow only more pronounced as they grow closer – and all the more intriguing. With Adam’s release date approaching, these roommates in purgatory must face their future in a world that might not have one.
Filmmaker Bio: Jasia Ka is a New York Emmy and Telly award-winning director working in documentary, commercials, music videos & scripted entertainment. Jasia grew up an All-American runner and dancer in downtown Philadelphia. Her passion for filmmaking was inspired by a similar desire to explore and illuminate transformation in unexpected places. She has directed over 30 documentaries, narrative films and episodic series, all while being under 30 years old. She is also an editor by trade and often cuts her own projects. Jasia immerses viewers in audio-visuals with emotion and rhythm at their core, focusing on stories with grit and big dreams. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Paper Magazine, Pitchfork, Bklyner, Brooklyn Vegan, Buzzfeed. She is currently working on her original series Girls Aren’t Funny with BRIC-TV and several other upcoming independent projects, as well as directing for Condé Nast and other commercial and editorial clients.
Cast: Caroline Klidonas, Matt Ippolito / Producer: Matt Ippolito, Richard Yeagley / Director: Jasia Ka / Writer: Libby Doyne, Michael Sallee / Cinematographer: Cole Ellett / Editor: Richard Yeagley
Former secret agent and 90’s TV star, Carlos Bravo is about to retire when his former government liaison threatens the life of his son
Filmmaker Bio: Salvador Paniagua is a filmmaker and photographer. He is currently developing the television show Funny Brown People with A Good Home Pictures and Kontakto Entertainment, and recently sold his script But She Wasn’t Perfect to PixL Television. He has worked for the United Farm Workers Foundation, Chadwick School, Urban Compass, the Learning Rights Law Center, and the Children’s Institute. Salvador’s 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, and he was a finalist for the ABC/Disney Feature Writing Fellowship Program. Salvador 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. He currently works as photographer and filmmaker for the Children’s Institute in Los Angeles.
Cast: Jaime Ferrar, Eddie Martin, Jack Conley / Producer: Jaime Ferrar / Director: Salvador Paniagua / Writer: Salvador Paniagua / Cinematographer: Alex Simon / Editor: Cleveland Buckner / Composer: Michael J. Gonzales
In 2022, “The Mean One” - a horror parody take on the Grinch - took the world by storm as an unhinged viral sensation. But the story of how this outrageous comedy came to be is almost as outlandish as the movie itself. Follow the hilarious trials and tribulations of a scrappy band of indie filmmakers as they set out to make a very unauthorized movie with a small budget, big dreams, and lots of heart.
Filmmaker Bio: Steven LaMorte is an award-winning Director and Producer of feature films, commercials, and branded content based in Los Angeles. Steven 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. He is best known for creating the viral horror parody The Mean One, based on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, which had a successful theatrical release in America before becoming a cult classic around the world.
Cast: David Howard Thornton, Krystle Martin, Chase Mullins, Amy Schumacher, Flip & Finn Kobler, Terence Rotolo, Steven LaMorte, Christopher Sanders / Producer: Amy Schumacher, Martine Melloul, Steven LaMorte / Director: Steven LaMorte / Writer: Flip Kobler, Steven LaMorte / Cinematographer: Christopher Sheffield / Editor: Mathew Roscoe
A son comes home to celebrate Hanukkah with his dad but there's more on his mind than the festival of lights.
Filmmaker Bio: Jason Kurth moved to LA and began his journey through filmmaking in 2014. He volunteered on a litany of projects and learned the different aspects of a film set for two years before creating his first project, WHERE, in 2016. Since then, he has honed his skill by directing over a dozen projects, including a proof of concept for a series. Inspired by Michael Slovis’ work on AMC’s Breaking Bad, Cinematographer Katie Eleneke moved to LA in 2014 to pursue a future in film. She graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree in film and an emphasis in cinematography, while working in the industry as a first AC and camera operator. After school, she continued to work in camera for shows and features but eventually moved into lighting to bolster her communications skills with her grip and electric crew. In 2016, she found that she loved working with lights and electricity and began working as a gaffer and continues to do so, while also working as a Director of Photography.
Cast: Flip Kobler, Kalen Shepherd / Producer: Jason Kurth, Calliope Weisman, Cindy Marcus / Director: Cindy Marcus, Jason Kurth / Writer: Flip Kobler, Cindy Marcus / Cinematographer: Katie Eleneke / Editor: Jason Kurth / Composer: Dennis Poore
Coffee and Listerine
A neurotic hitman is pranked by two baristas in love. It ends violently.
Filmmaker Bio: Eric T. Roth’s work has appeared on Comedy Central, Buzzfeed, EPIX and Hard Times News. His feature film screenplay The F!@# Happened was produced by Laff Mobb Enterprises. As a comedian and improviser he performed at UCB, Second City, Improv Olympic, and TBS’s Just For Laughs New Voices. His work has been called “winsome,” and “loosey-goosey” with an “insanely confident…swaggering sensibility.” Recently, his short films have garnered several awards, including Best Dark Comedy at the Portland Comedy Film Festival. His screenplays have been semi-finalists at The Austin Film Fest in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Cast: Bradley Nnadi, Steph Estep-Gosalo / Producer: Alex Honnet, Brian Biancardi / Director: Eric Roth / Writer: Eric Roth / Cinematographer: Alex Parker / Editor: David Scorca / Composer: John Szymanski
After the death of a friend, two nuns in their golden years contemplate what their future holds. One confession leads to another and before they know it, they're embarking on an adventure.
Filmmaker Bio: Stephanie Kaznocha has been working as a film and television editor for the past 10 years. Her editing work includes Comedy Central's Awkwafina is Nora From Queens, the Duplass Brothers' Room 104 on HBO, and Roshan Sethi's 7 Days, which won Best First Feature at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Confessions is Stephanie's first film as a writer/director. It world premiered at Palm Springs International ShortFest and has won several awards including First Prize for Best Live Action Short at Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Cast: Carol Herman, Eve Sigall / Producer: Chase Horton, Caroline Huber, Stephanie Kaznocha / Director: Stephanie Kaznocha / Writer: Stephanie Kaznocha / Cinematographer: Sarah Pierpont / Editor: Ali Greer / Composer: Tangelene Bolton
Covid Book Club
What's a post-menopausal girl supposed to do when her famous music producer husband publicly dumps her for a younger wanna-be punk rocker/ska singer named Gretl Grunge? DUH! A reality show, of course! Dori Britt wants to show the world she is FINE. But that's hard to do when she's holed up with her live-in housekeeper during a pandemic. So she starts a book club to show the world she's smart, social, and FUN! But things go awry when you combine wine, cheese, cutlery, and "Karens".
Filmmaker Bio: Kim Furst recently created 1827 in Jackson Browne's childhood home for her proof of concept for George Eliot's Middlemarch starring Chelsea Alden (13 Reasons Why) with DP Denis Moran (Mad Men) and Tammy Fouts, Camera (Avatar 2, 3). Her documentary Flying the Feathered Edge stars Harrison Ford and is listed by Flying Magazine as one of the top aviation films of all time. A former actor, Kim is also a member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, and is on the Board of the Alliance of Women Directors where she created and spearheads their ongoing Works in Progress Program with sponsors Canon and FotoKem.
Cast: Julie Phillips, Julia Montgomery, Maite Garcia, Denise Ryan Sherman, Sierra Deanne / Producer: Julie Phillips / Director: Kim Furst / Writer: Julie Phillips / Cinematographer: Danny Brown / Editor: Michael Yanovich, A.C.E.
A Halloween party spirals out of control when four best friends decide to invite the weird guy from work.
Filmmaker Bio: David Beatty received a BA from Adams State University in 1996 and a MFA from the University of California Davis in 2005. In 1997 David launched Double Yellow Line Films and through this production company has produced dozens of award winning shorts, short form series, feature films and new media projects. David is known for The White Room, The Human Project, The Wasteland, Get Spy, Lien On Me, Criminal Minds, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and his directorial debut feature film Surviving New Year’s.
Cast: Julie Phillips, Serena Laney, Jacob Seidman, Rio Magdaleno, April Nelson / Producer: David Beatty / Director: David Beatty / Writer: David Beatty / Cinematographer: David Beatty / Editor: David Beatty
Crossing The Desert
Short Screenplay Finalist
Antara is a Bengali South Asian woman in a committed relationship with her Muslim-Indian girlfriend Saira. Antara lives in (mostly) harmony with her retired mother, Supriya, who enjoys keeping up with the family gossip. The latest news on WhatsApp circulates that Antara's cousin will NOT be getting married after all, much to the disappointment of Antara's grandmother Didima. Antara resolves to carry on the family bloodline by telling Didima about her secret engagement to Saira. The only problem is Antara doesn't speak Bengali and Didima doesn't speak any English. Oh, and Supriya has mysteriously forbade Antara from saying anything. Can Antara keep tight-lipped about her identity, or will she resolve to live her truth no matter the consequences?
Screenwriter Bio: Anu Bhatt (she/her) is a SAG-AFTRA actor, writer, dancer and language nerd based in Los Angeles. She is passionate about work that elucidates the "balancing act" of being American and a child of South Asian immigrants. Anu studied Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley and likes to incorporate language into her work. She speaks French fluently, and Hindi, Bengali and Korean not fluently. Anu received her M.F.A. in Acting from Chicago’s Roosevelt University and worked professionally in theatre and on-camera from 2010-2019. She started creating her own work in 2015 in an effort to gain agency in her career. In 2019, she toured her one-woman show, Hollow/Wave, off-Broadway, and in 2020, she created her first short film, AutoCorrect, a dramedy about the importance of name pronunciation. AutoCorrect was an official WMMINTL selection in 2022 and also screened in nine other festivals. It won Poppy Jasper’s Audience Choice Award for Best Acting. Thank you to WMMINTL for having me back! Follow Anu and her work on Instagram at @iamanubhatt or visit her website at www.anubhatt.com.
When a woman decides to thaw out her cryogenically frozen father, she presents him with the unexpected opportunity to repair their broken relationship or die trying.
Filmmaker Bio: David Beatty received a BA from Adams State University in1996 and a MFA from the University of California Davis in 2005. In 1997 David launched Double Yellow Line Films and through this production company produced dozens of award winning shorts, short form series, feature films and new media projects. These include The White Room, The Human Project, The Wasteland, Get Spy, Lien On Me, Criminal Minds, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and his directorial debut feature film Surviving New Year’s.
Cast: Kelly Mullis, Whit Spurgeon, Michael Beardsley, Ernie Charles / Producer: David Beatty / Director: David Beatty / Writer: David Beatty / Cinematographer: David Beatty / Editor: David Beatty / Composer: Daniel Westiner
We follow Sophie, a 30-something with a borderline obsessive crush on her Los Angeles neighbor, as she attempts to share her birthday cupcakes with the object of her affection. However, these baked goods are made with more than just their sugary components, and she must consider who is worthy of the sweetness of her heart. Ironically, it is the act of reaching out that allows her to reach in, ultimately falling for the person for whom she has been waiting all along: herself.
Filmmaker Bio: A professional actor for over 15 years, this is Brit Morgan’s first time on the other side of the camera. After moving to Los Angeles in 2006, Brit has been on hit shows such as The Boys, Supergirl, and Riverdale as well playing werewolf Debbie Pelt in HBO’s True Blood. She has worked with acclaimed directors such as Alan Ball, Lesli Linka Glatter, and David Nutter.
Cast: Emily Burton, Leah Lewis, Matt Barr, Philemon Chambers / Producer: Larry Teng, Rynn Vogel, Logan Donovan, Brit Morgan, Emily Burton, Jared Padalecki / Director: Brit Morgan / Writer: Emily Burton / Cinematographer: John Fitzpatrick / Editor: Hector Carrillo
A woman suffering from severe panic attacks experiences vivid sensations of drowning that become increasingly, terrifyingly real.
Filmmaker Bio: A native of Cleveland, OH, Nonie Shiverick has always been inspired by creative pursuits. 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 and dreamed of one day having a career in the industry. After a brief detour in the world of ballroom dance, and pursuing acting for a few years, she found her true passion behind the camera. Realizing Hollywood would never read her mind, and finally believing her mother that “the world needs more feminist writers,” Nonie began making her own projects.
Cast: Rivka Deray, William Charles Everett, Dontell McMichael / Producer: Nonie Shiverick, Ryan Koppelman / Director: Nonie Shiverick / Writer: Nonie Shiverick / Cinematographer: Paul Moore / Editor: James Neyman / Composer: Eli Manos
The death of Tupac draws different reactions from a father and his artistic daughter, forcing them to confront the emotional aftermath of their own tragedy.
Filmmaker Bio: Winter Dunn is an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for depicting rich Black stories. She is the producer of the feature film Jezebel which premiered at SXSW 2019 and is currently streaming on Netflix via Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY. Her directorial debut and award-winning short film Junebug has screened at several festivals including HollyShorts Film Festival, American Black Film Festival & Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. She is a former video producer and director for global media company Condé Nast Entertainment. Her celebrity video features for Vanity Fair, Vogue, Architectural Digest, GQ and other media brands have garnered 60 million views and counting.
Cast: Mikayla Lashae Bartholomew, Garland Scott, Perry L. Brown, Maleena Lawrence, Jennifer Lauren DiBella / Producer: Nicole Mairose Dizon, Xin Li, Jordan Hart / Director: Winter Dunn / Writer: Charmaine Cleveland / Cinematographer: Mike Maliwanag / Editor: Emily Ge Zhai
Digits of Pi
Experimental Video Art Short
Pi meets Duchamp in a transcendental film!Inspired by Marcel Duchamp's “Anemic Cinema,” I set out to create a film composed within a circular frame. This circular composition led directly to using the number pi for the underlying structure.Having the digits of pi sung on the soundtrack is an homage to “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson.
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 film. In the arts, Tom is best known for Microfilm (1979), Digits of Pi (2019), and his photography documenting downtown NYC.
Cast: Jahna Rain (Vocals) / Producer: Tom Bessoir, Joshua Pines / Director: Tom Bessoir, Joshua Pines / Writer: William Shanks / Composer: Tom Bessoir
A disgraced tech executive and his estranged ex-wife reunite a year after their son’s disappearance in one last desperate attempt to find him.
Filmmaker Bio: Noam Kroll is a Los Angeles-based narrative filmmaker, known for his incredibly DIY approach to the craft. Over the past decade, Noam has written, directed, shot, and edited numerous acclaimed short and feature projects that have screened at international film festivals, including his micro-budget features Shadows on the Road and Psychosynthesis. Committed to sharing his expertise, Noam reaches millions of filmmakers each year through his popular podcast, "Show, Don't Tell," newsletter, "Micro-Budget Weekly," and his personal filmmaking blog, www.noamkroll.com. Currently, Noam is gearing up to premiere his third feature film, Disappearing Boy, while in development for his fourth feature film, Teacher's Pet, which is funded and slated to shoot in January
Cast: Josh Pafchek, Gabriela Lopez, Maynor Alvarado, Brad Raider, Arielle Bodenhausen, Mickey Kroll, Tessa Lauren, Carolina Alvarez, Ryan Oksenberg, Noam Kroll / Producer: Noam Kroll / Director: Noam Kroll / Writer: Noam Kroll / Cinematographer: Noam Kroll / Composer: Craig Saltz
When life turns unbearably miserable, a lonely old man takes part in a medical experiment, reviving a long-forgotten story of his love...
Filmmaker Bio: Raised in a small Siberian town, Roman Olkhovka is a filmmaker based in Moscow, Russia. Being a true film enthusiast, he began his directing career in 2013 by filming short films for the 48-Hour Film Festivals and was nominated for those films 3 times.
In 2015 his movie-style music video Saving Love was nominated at Russian National TV and in 2016 received the Best Music Video award at the Tracce Cinematografiche Film Festival in Italy. He has since been working on his debut feature film Dreamover.
Cast: Ilya Chepyrev, Angelina Savchenko, Roman Olkhovka, Ioann Lahin, Maksim Govorunets, Sergey Kuznetsov / Producer: Nikita Yefimov/ Director: Roman Olkhovka / Writer: Roman Olkhovka / Cinematographer: Dmitriy Zalisky, Nikita Yefimov, Roman Olkhovka, Leo Giller / Composer: Guy Andrews
In an apparent episode of a television nature documentary, the hidden life of the playful dust bunny is explored. At night, the little creatures come out to play, cavorting and creating mayhem. Covering all the action are strategically placed cameras. As “Sir Rupert Codswallop” narrates, the dust bunnies scatter children’s toys, invade a doll house, and “reproduce like rabbits”. When the homeowner attempts to clean up in the morning, a hidden menace lurks...a wet dust bunny!
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 telefeatures 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, was selected by several international film festivals in 2020, winning awards at Palm Springs Animation Festival and Irvine International Film Festival, plus numerous nominations for cinematography and screenwriting.
Cast: Jeff Szusterman, Emmett Skilton, Milo Cawthorne, Sean O’Connor / Producer: Peter McCully, Toni Li / Director: Peter McCully / Writer: Steve Dorner / Cinematographer: Rafael Bonatto / Composer: Andrew McDowall
After Isabella fakes cancer to pay for cosmetic surgery she is haunted by a menacing shadow figure.
Filmmaker Bio: Amy Geist is a Producer, Director, Writer, and Founder of Beloved Root, hailing from Ohio before landing in Los Angeles. She started in LA as a freelance Producer and Production Manager at The Woo Agency, working with such clients as Lenovo, Disney, Sebastian, Motorola, Marvel, Milani, Bosch, Braun, and Delonghi. Her feature film and television work include Blade Runner 2049, Little, The Exorcist, Alex Inc, Trees of Peace, Everything’s Fine, #FBF, and most recently Bar Fight. In 2018, she wrote and produced the short film The Way You Saw Me, which screened at twelve film festivals and won Runner-Up for Best Narrative Short at the Denver Underground Film Festival and the Bronze Film Award for Narrative Dramatic Short at WorldFest Houston. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic she directed the comedy short The Interrogation, which was featured on Elizabeth Banks’ site WhoHaHa. She also made the short horror film Enjoy Your Stay, which won the top prize at the Shockfest Horror Quarantine Competition. Her 2021 short film Dysmorphia has won Best Short Film Screenplay at the LA Crime & Horror Film Festival and the Independent Horror Movie Awards. Amy holds a B.F.A from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.
Cast: Brit McRae, Jordan Knapp, Nick W. Nicholson, Laura Dromerick, Blake Lindsley, Megan Gill, Debbie Deltoro, Kiki Valentine / Producer: Sean Prange, Katie Kirkpatrick / Director: Amy Geist / Writer: Amy Geist / Cinematographer: Maddie Leach / Editor: Chloe Ballende, Dan Litzinger / Composer: Alexander Taylor
Each Lovely Thing
In the midst of setting up for a mysterious party, a woman tries to stop her flighty younger sister from making a devastating choice.
Filmmaker Bio: Paloma Nozicka is a proud Mexican-American actor, writer, director and filmmaker, born in Chicago and based in Los Angeles. She loves femme-forward stories and anything that promotes the equality of historically marginalized groups, specifically Latine people. Her dark humor, combined with her perspectives on death, grief, and womanhood, blend together to create unique stories that are all her own. She currently has a feature film in development, and is also working on her Death Doula certification.
Cast: Paloma Nozicka, Cher Alvarez / Producer: Lucas A. Ferrara, Vance Smith / Director: Paloma Nozicka / Writer: Paloma Nozicka / Cinematographer: Haley Min Young Kreofsky / Editor: Zoe Kraft / Composer: Bradley Grant Smith
Easy To Scare
Women friends who love to prank each other get more than they bargained for when they set out to experience the scariest Halloween night ever.
Filmmaker Bio: Robert DiTillio began his acting career in New York City where he appeared in off-off Broadway plays, independent films, soap operas and many music videos. Moving to Hollywood, he made guest appearances on TV shows including Babylon 5, Sliders, General Hospital, NYPD Blue and more. He was a prizewinner on America’s Funniest People for a sketch that he co-wrote. Robert works with Rogue Improv and Community Improv on a regular basis. He has also performed at The Comedy Store in LA with his own improv group, Are You Talkin’ Ta Me? He has appeared in a variety of feature films over the years, including Dragon Fighter with Dean Cain (currently streaming on Amazon Prime), the remake Night Of The Living Dead 3D, and the Christmas horror parody The Mean One, which had a very successful 5 week theatrical run in December 2022. As an actor, he has appeared in Tip Toe, which screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Attack Of The Film Festivals, and won Best Short Film Comedy at the 2015 Burbank International Film Festival, as well as in 2016's multiple award-winning Happy Hour, and 2022s’s award-winning Moving Violation, currently on the festival circuit. The Book Club, a short comedy produced by and starring Robert and Christine DiTillio, who also wrote the screenplay, is currently on the festival circuit. Robert’s short horror script, Easy To Scare, was a 2019 winner of the We Make Movies Short Film Challenge. He directed and produced the film along with Christine, who plays Janet. Easy To Scare is currently being submitted to festivals.
Cast: Datgirl Serene, Brianna Oppenheimer, Victoria Ippolito, Christina Marie Leonard, Christine DiTillio / Producer: Robert DiTillio, Christine DiTillio, Patrick Coleman Duncan / Director: Robert DiTillio / Writer: Robert DiTillio / Cinematographer: Daniel Button / Editor: James Hecht / Composer: Datgirl Serene
A failed suicide attempt gives a woman the ability to talk to rocks.
Filmmaker Bio: Max Radbill is an independent filmmaker from Frederick, Maryland, currently living in sunny Los Angeles, California. After studying film at Towson University, he wrote, directed, and produced two independent feature films, the latest of which, the horror comedy Re-Elected, was released on VOD and DVD in the Summer of 2021. He is passionate about films, animals, the Earth, and coffee.
Cast: Lorena Neumann, Sean Mullan, Max Radbill / Producer: La Selva Ecosistema Creatiu under the advice of Werner Herzog / Director: Max Radbill / Writer: Max Radbill / Cinematographer: Max Radbill / Editor: Max Radbill / Composer: Cazz Cerkez
Ernie & The Dispatcher
An older man seeks help when he feels his life is being threatened.
Filmmaker Bio: Bob Telford is an award-winning actor/director who has spent the last 42 years working in theater, commercials, TV & Film. TV credits include Parks and Recreation, Roseanne, Reasonable Doubts and The Young & The Restless. Recent film credits include Riding With James Dean, Wild Horses & Butterfly Caught. He has also appeared in several Hollywood Fringe offerings. As a producer, writer, director and actor, Bob has been involved with a variety of projects ranging from short films & web series to TV and film projects. From 1989 to 2006 Bob had his own production company, producing and directing over 200 projects for clients including The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. During that same period he directed audition sessions for several LA-based casting directors. As a result he has had the rare opportunity to witness the audition process from both sides, and has shared that insight through numerous panels, workshops and classes at the SAG/AFTRA Conservatory & SAG/AFTRA educational program.
Cast: Tom Cavanaugh, Bob Telford / Producer: Bob Telford / Director: Bob Telford / Writer: Bob Telford
A woman is unknowingly forced to exercise her demons.
Filmmaker Bio: Garrett Johnson is a director/writer based out of Los Angeles who specializes in the horror, thriller and sci-fi genres.
Cast: Scarlett Redmond, Chester Cheeseman / Producer: Garrett Johnson / Director: Garrett Johnson, Paranoid LA / Writer: Garrett Johnson / Composer: Erik D. Magnus
Short Screenplay Finalist
An actor and a filmmaker have a surreal encounter
Screenwriter Bio: A native Houstonian with Liberian roots, Tehana Fatima Weeks is an actor and storyteller committed to serving, uplifting, inspiring, and empowering people to make our communities, societies, and world better. Since graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a major in business and minor in drama, she has become an award-winning actor and filmmaker. After graduating from the iO West Theatre Training Center on a full scholarship, she began performing regularly at The Second City Hollywood as a member of the long form improv house ensemble Stick Pics. To date, she has created and produced the web series Shrink Wrapped, for which she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy by LA Web Fest; written, produced, directed and starred in the short film COIN, which won a WorldFest Houston Bronze Remi Award, produced and directed the short film Mama Wanna, a We Make Movies Film Challenge winner, and directed the short film Super Inappropriate as part of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. If you scour the interwebs, you might find her in an Apogee ad for their ClipMic Digital 2, a PSA for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, a digital media campaign for the active eyewear company Goodr, a web series or two, a few photo essays, some multimedia projects and a few short films.
F**k, Marry, Kill
A Hollywood Power couple's clandestine plan to divorce one another results in a passionate night of lies, murder, and theft-for-hire.
Filmmaker Bio: Julia White is a Writer/Director/Producer. She wrote a feature film starring Vanessa Williams, Singleholic, that was produced in Africa with friend/mentor Bryan Barber (Idlewild). On set, she met actor and director Adrian Martinez (Stumptown, Lady and the Tramp, iGILBERT) and went on to co-write a pilot currently being shopped around. On the producing side, Julia has executive produced with Kay Tuxford (The Miseducation of Bindu, Wine Bottles) on several projects, including Tuxford’s upcoming feature, Delivery. A proud member of Women in Film (WIF) and a 2021 WIF peer mentee, Julia’s writing has placed in several Screencraft competitions, Scriptapalooza TV, and the second round of the Sundance TV Writing lab. She likes kicky punchy things with a heart and is inspired by Edgar Wright, James Gunn, and copious amounts of scotch. When Julia’s not writing, and should be, she can be found swimming with sharks or reading comics (about people fighting with and or befriending sharks).
Cast: Will Weed, Charlotte Stokely, Jamie Zwick / Producer: Sami Kolko, Kay Tuxford / Director: Julia White / Writer: Julia White / Cinematographer: Mariscela Mendez / Editor: Brandon Marchionda / Composer: Michelle Richards
My cherished friend and collaborator Herb Rogoff continues to inspire me all these months after his death. Herb’s artwork and life story formed the basis of many videos that we concocted over the decades. I miss Herb so much, I felt like I had to create one more video as a tribute to my late friend. During the last few years of Herb’s life, he and his wife were separated by distance and medical conditions: he was in an independent-living facility and his wife was in a nursing home. Due to the Covid pandemic, he wasn’t able to visit her, and his longing for her became more intense. I’m sure that she was the last thing on his mind before he passed away. NOTE: None of the visual material you see here was shot for this work. To create this video, I repurposed footage that was originally used in my previous collaborations with Herb.
Filmmaker Bio: Neil Ira Needleman was born in Brooklyn, New York toward the middle of the last century, and began tinkering with moving images shortly after that. Throughout the decades, he’s continued to capture and manipulate images, attempting to develop a sense of vision that is honest, engaging, provoking, inspiring, and worthy of repeated viewing.
Director: Neil Ira Needleman / Writer: Neil Ira Needleman / Artwork: Herb Rogoff
A short philosophical debate some 300 years into the future from today.
Filmmaker Bio: Scott Baker is a Writer, Director and Steadicam Operator known for 5th Passenger and The Diary of Anne Frank of the Dead. He grew up in Northern California. He holds a degree in History from Sonoma State University, with a focus on US/Soviet relations and the Cold War. He was a Peace Corps volunteer from 2000-2001 in Turkmenistan. A self-taught filmmaker, Scott pursued acting as a child but fell in love with storytelling while making short video projects with his friends. He now lives in Hollywood and completed his first feature as a director, 5th Passenger, in early 2015.
Cast: Aaron Ten Bears, Eva Emmer, jinny Ryann, Carden Mongiello / Producer: Eric Michael Kochmer, Eva Emmer / Director: Scott Baker / Writer: Christopher Willis, Nonie Shiverick / Cinematographer: Scott Baker / Editor: Scott Baker / Composer: Cora Yi-huan Chung
Experimental/Video Art Short
The lines between reality and fantasy blur as a burlesque star in 1930s Los Angeles relives her memories.
Filmmaker Bio: Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA, Catherine Mosier-Mills is a filmmaker who currently resides in Los Angeles. She graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Media Studies in 2018, and currently works as a Junior Story Producer for unscripted television, most recently Netflix’s Selling Sunset (upcoming seasons 6 and 7). She also served as a Story Associate Producer for Selling Sunset (season 5), Selling the OC (season 1), and Selling Tampa (season 1). Her thesis film, The Secret Life of Art, was shortlisted in the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards.
Cast: Nicole Guibord, Matthew Hawthorne, Rachael Bower, Kelsey Painter / Producer: Catherine Mosier-Mills / Director: Catherine Mosier-Mills / Writer: Catherine Mosier-Mills / Cinematographer: Catherine Mosier-Mills / Editor: Catherine Mosier-Mills
Martin and Cassandra’s promising second date takes an unexpected turn when their conversation challenges personal beliefs and their assumptions about each other. By the end of the night both will find they are living in a world much different than what they believed it to be.
Filmmaker Bio: Brian James Crewe has directed numerous projects including the award winning short films Cabeceo, Far, and Une Libération as well as commercials for Princess Cruises. He co-produced the zombie cult classic Dance of the Dead, which was released by Sam Raimi's Ghost House Underground through Lions Gate Films. Brian produced and edited the feature films Father vs. Son, a Christmas comedy which won the Houston Critics Society's Award for Best Premiere at Houston WorldFest, and the thriller Golden Earrings, winner of the Audience Award for Best Feature at ShockerFest and IndieSpirit Film Festivals. He also directed Behind The Scenes documentaries for the DVD releases of all three features. Brian is originally from Minneapolis MN, and is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.
Cast: Joe Holt, Amy Sloan / Producer: Brian James Crewe, Matt Keil / Director: Brian James Crewe / Writer: Brian James Crewe, Matt Keil, Joe Holt, Amy Sloan, Mario Rivas / Cinematographer: George Feucht / Editor: Christian Logan
Follow Me Quietly
Experimental / VideoArt Short
“Don't follow me; I'm lost.” – U.G. Krishnamurti
Filmmaker Bio: Wheeler Winston Dixon is the James Ryan Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and, with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, editor of the book series Quick Takes: Movies and Popular Culture for Rutgers University Press, which has to date published more than twenty volumes on various cultural topics. He is the author of more than thirty books on film history, theory and criticism, as well as more than 100 articles in various academic journals. He is also an active experimental filmmaker, whose works are in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art. His recent video work is collected in the UCLA Film and Television Archive. He has also taught at The New School, Rutgers University, and the University of Amsterdam. As an experimental filmmaker, his works have been screened at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Anthology Film Archives, Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), Studio 44 (Stockholm), La lumière collective (Montréal), The BWA Katowice Museum (Poland), The Microscope Gallery, The National Film Theatre (UK), The Jewish Museum, The Millennium Film Workshop, The San Francisco Cinématheque, LA Filmforum (Los Angeles), The New Arts Lab, The Exploding Cinema (London), The Collective for Living Cinema, The Kitchen, The Filmmakers Cinématheque, Film Forum, The Amos Eno Gallery, Sla 307 Art Space, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Rice Museum, The Oberhausen Film Festival, Undercurrent, Experimental Response Cinema and other venues.In addition, Dixon’s films have been screened at numerous film festivals throughout the world, including presentations in London, New York, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Monterrey (Mexico), Urbino (Italy), Tehran (Iran), Naples (Italy), Athens (Greece), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rybinski (Russia), Palermo (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Australia, Qatar, Amsterdam, Vienna, Moscow, Milan, Switzerland, Croatia, Stockholm (Sweden), Havana (Cuba) and elsewhere.
Director: Wheeler Winston Dixon
For The Safety of Theo
When casual hook-ups become too debilitating, a man suffering from OCD seeks out different ways to purge himself of the consequences of the night before.
Filmmaker Bio: Christopher Macken is an award-winning director & writer from Massachusetts. After graduating from Emerson College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in film production, Christopher relocated to Los Angeles, CA where he became Charlie Day’s assistant on various projects from New Line Cinema’s Fist Fight, Legendary’s Pacific Rim: Uprising to FOX’s Cool Kids, eventually becoming a Co-Producer on Charlie’s feature film debut FOOL'S PARADISE. Christopher co-created/produced THE GAMER AND THE MOUTH, a video game competition show where Gamers get paired with Stand-Up Comedians to do their trash-talking. Featuring Jacksepticye & Chris Redd, TGATM is getting a theatrical release this September at Cinemark Theaters. With a background in comedy, Christopher hopes to explore his own struggle with OCD in a more dramatic and stylized-sense with this film.
Cast: Darragh O’Toole, Kelly Curran, Charlie Morgan Patton, Dan Sanders-Joyce / Producer: Charlie Day, John Myers, Luke Macken, Christopher Patrick Macken, Jillian Nordby, Sierra Oleson, Ellah Seno / Director: Christopher Patrick Macken / Writer: Christopher Patrick Macken / Cinematographer: Kenzen Takahashi / Editor: Christopher Macken / Composer: Erik Groysman
Free Musuem Day
A young woman tours the Hammer Museum when she gets a break-up text and must decide how to respond.
Filmmaker Bio: Kay (she/her) is the writer of The Miseducation of Bindu, and played a seminal role in accruing over $60,000 for the film on Seed & Spark, winning the Hometown Heroes’ Grand Prize, and drawing the attention of the Duplass Brothers to executive produce. Bindu is now available on Peacock TV. Kay wrote, produced, and directed Wine Bottles, winning multiple awards, including best LGBT film at the Marina Del Rey Film Festival, and also produced The Awareness, which premiered on Shortoftheweek.com and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. Straddling the analytical and the creative, Kay graduated from Northern Arizona with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry before transitioning into filmmaking for her MFA at Chapman University. She focuses on outside-the-box roles for women and underrepresented minorities in film. She is loved by her family and only just tolerated by her cat.
Cast: Emi Ellis / Producer: Kay Tuxford / Director: Kay Tuxford / Writer: Kay Tuxford / Cinematographer: Richie Yau / Composer: Erica Porter
A group of friends spending the weekend at a remote vacation rental in the desert play a mysterious VHS tape, and realize that there are too many strange and terrifying coincidences.
Filmmaker Bio: Born in Montreal, Canada, Los Angeles-based director Michael Gabriele discovered his passion for film and storytelling as a teenager. He made a name for himself within the vibrant advertising community in Chicago, where he spent nearly a decade working at some of the top creative agencies. He made the jump to full-time director after joining the reputable design and production studio Daily Planet in Chicago. Michael commands a striking visual style and creative voice that integrates video-based storytelling with a focus on humanity to express genuine emotions and sincere narratives. His work connects viewers to the story by employing authentic performances from actors and real-life people alike told via relatable stories and experiences and shot in a beautiful, cinematic visual style.
Cast: Lisa Starrett, Steph Martinez, Ericka Lane Enggren / Producer: Danny Rhodes, Amy Stewart, Mike McNamara / Director: Michael Gabriele / Writer: Anthony Jefferson, Michael Gabriele / Cinematographer: Ryan French / Editor: Michael Gabriele
Haunted by Nikola Tesla
A man is haunted by the ghost of Nikola Tesla.
Filmmaker Bio: Daniel Alexander is a creative artist and first time filmmaker who is driven by a love and passion for music and film, and a desire to tell important, impactful, and diverse stories.
Cast: Michael Klug, Daniel Alexander, Whit Spurgeon / Producer: Daniel Alexander, Michael Klug, Neal Tyler / Director: Daniel Alexander / Writer: Daniel Alexander, Michael Klug / Cinematographer: Neal Tyler / Editor: Edwin Lewis, Daniel Alexander / Composer: Daniel Alexander
Incognita’s Infamous Adventures
AJ Pazeski (Incognita) has hit a slump in her superhero career. One day a new guy shows up at the office, her best friend and sidekick disappears, and her boss is on her case to work the weekend. A musical web series featuring fifteen original songs by Nashville-based singer/songwriter Sarah Michele Bailey.
Filmmaker Bio: Allie Sultan received her MFA degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2004, and holds a B.S. in Recording Industry: Production and Technology from Middle Tennessee State University. A narrative and documentary filmmaker, Allie’s short film work has focused on youth identity, LGBT issues, and family dynamics. Her films have screened and won awards at over 60 domestic and international film festivals. Allie has worked as a sound and picture editor for industry leaders such as ESPN, Tippett Studio (character animation and visual effects), Berkeley Sound Artists, Zoetrope-Aubry Productions, Tollin-Robbins Productions (creators of Smallville), Disney/Touchstone Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment. Films and television shows she has worked on include: Casanova, Marie-Antoinette, Feast of Love, Enchanted, Spiderwick Chronicles, Bonds on Bonds reality TV series, and the Sundance award-winning documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. She continues to work as a video producer and editor through her production company, Green Scoot Films (www.greenscootfilms.com).
Cast: Sarah Michele Bailey, Christopher Bailey, Darci Wantiez, Tyler Evick, Carla Christina Contreras / Producer: Sarah Michele Bailey, Christopher Bailey, Allie Sultan / Director: Allie Sultan / Writer: Sarah Michele Bailey / Cinematographer: Chris Hollo / Editor: Allie Sultan / Composer: Sarah Michele Bailey
Dr. Conrad Robertson is a brilliant experimental research oncologist with a seemingly perfect life. Just as Conrad's on the cusp of presenting his revolutionary vaccine to the FDA for approval that could literally cure cancer & save millions, he wakes in a psych ward. Conrad freaks out & has to be restrained, but once he is, he's told he suffers from Dissociative Personality Disorder & the life he thinks he knows is really someone else's...Jackson's. When presented with evidence of this, his mind spins out of control. Could this all be an elaborate conspiracy, or is he in fact…Insane?
Filmmaker Bio: SONIA BLANGIARDO-GOINS is a 3-time Emmy winner (and 8-time nominee), with over 30 years of experience as a producer/director/writer. She is currently directing on Peacock/NBC Universal’s Days of Our Lives, for which she won her 2018 Best Directing Team Emmy. Sonia is the co-owner of The Usual BS Productions, founded with Brandon Goins, which focuses on writing and creating both scripted series and films of varying genres, as well as unscripted concepts and live theatre, including the hit new comedy stage show Kentucky Fried Calamari. Sonia began her career as a production assistant for ABC’s All My Children, serving as an associate producer before joining ABC’s One Life to Live as a coordinating producer in 2000. In 2004 she joined CBS’ As the World Turns as a director and line producer. She then joined the directing team at ABC’s General Hospital. Sonia won an Emmy for best drama in 2002 for One Life to Live and best directing team in 2007 for As the World Turns. She directed and produced the Off-Broadway hits My Big Gay Italian Wedding. She is also the founder of CARLO’S GOAL, a non-for-profit organization for pancreatic cancer research, which has raised over $30,000. Sonia is a graduate of St. John’s University, and is a dual citizen of both the USA and Italy.
Cast: Eric Martsolf, Eva LaRue, Gilles Marini, Paul Telfer, Tiffany Smith, Brandon Goins, Elin Alexander / Producer: Sonia Blangiardo-Goins, Brandon Goins, Teresa Cicala, Eric Martsolf, Steve Dempsey, Allyson Sereboff / Director: Sonia Blangiardo-Goins / Writer: Sonia Blangiardo-Goins / Cinematographer: Rodolphe Portier / Editor: TEE / Composer: Steve Dempsey
Experimental/Video Art Short
"A film you can explain in words is not a real film." -- MIchaelangelo Antonioni."
The imagery of a film and the music of a soundtrack convey something that mere words cannot. While I may not always agree with Antonioni's quote, my primary aspiration for Interlude is that the film is evocative. It can mean different things to different people but I hope it conveys the stunning beauty and fragility of life, the new overtaking the old, and embracing the wonder of the moment. Katherine Terrell toured the world as a professional opera singer. She is also a cancer survivor. After losing my parents and other friends in recent years, mortality has been a constant element not only in my life but the lives of so many others. This is one of the inspirations for Interlude, as was the timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland. My film is yet another trip down the rabbit hole of life and Kathy's performances are part of the cavalcade of imagery of Interlude, as life rushes by like a dream.
Filmmaker Bio: Paul L. Carr is a Chicago based filmmaker who has written, directed and produced feature films -- Busted City, American Barbarian, Empire and Casual Criminals, in addition to short films and music videos. Mr. Carr's films have screened at festivals throughout Europe, the US and Canada and won numerous awards. While the genres and styles of his films can differ significantly, they are all works of passion.
Cast: Katherine Terrell / Producer: Paul L. Carr / Director: Paul L. Carr / Writer: Paul L. Carr / Cinematographer: Nick G. Schultz / Editor: Nick G. Schultz
A "Seinfeld-esque" comedy series about a group of addicts in a self-help group trying to recover from their various "isms".
Cast: Dave Rosenberg, Joshua Ray, Jim Todd, Olivia Cane, Effie Lavore, Boyana Balta / Producer: Dave Rosenberg, Jim Todd, Bryant Lopez, Joshua Ray / Director: Armin Siljkovic / Writer: Bryant Lopez, Joshua Ray, Jim Todd, Dave Rosenberg, Hindy Leitner, Effie Lavore
Two former lovers walk down a path of memories and regrets. In the start it was all so perfect and easy. In a world of cold, lost souls they had found each other. Life, though, had other plans. With contempt and boredom settling in, they took each other for granted. Fighting and ignoring each other, their delicate bond in need of nurturing began to fray until it snapped. Their egos made them insular and blind to each other’s needs, unwilling to listen and impatient with each other. Now with time and distance behind them, they look back wishing they put their relationship ahead of each other. A lesson learned too late.
Ram Prasadh Parthasarathyis based out of San Francisco, Bay Area. He is very passionate about cars and movies. Karuppu Vellai being his first project that has been screened in multiple film festivals and has won in film festivals ; Jersey Shore Film festival, Indo French International Film Festival and Tatras International Film Festival.
Cast: Akash D Prabhu, Suruthi Periyasamy / Producer: Noam Shapiro, Luke Tennie / Director: Ram Prasadh Parthasarathy / Writer: Ram Prasadh Parthasarathy / Cinematographer: B Vasanth Paul, Ameen / Music Director: M.S. Jones Rupert / Choreography: Harshitha Sidhraj
The Killer, in a fit of anger, beats his victim to death, but important information dies along with the victim. For help, he calls the Doctor - his smart, but strange partner. Everything seems to be going as usual, until the partners start arguing about God and his purpose…
Filmmaker Bio: Arseniy Seroka was born in 1993 in St. Petersburg, Russia. For 10 years, he has been associated with the Mariinsky Theatre. He graduated as Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics at ITMO University. Since 2015, he has been engaged in international business in the art and scientific fields. In 2020, he entered the film school at the Lenfilm studio, finishing in 2022. He shot his graduation film and moved to Paris, where he currently lives and works and continues to develop in the film industry.
Cast: Roman Ageev, Dmitry Lugovkin, Eduard Gursky / Producer: Ragif Konshin / Director: Arseniy Seroka / Writer: Arseniy Seroka / Cinematographer: Alexandr Sisnev / Editor: Dan Orlov / Composer: Alexey Pomigalov
A struggling actor, who works as a late-night Lyft driver to support his young family, finds himself fighting for survival so that he can return to the difficult home life that, only an hour ago, he wished he could escape.
Filmmaker Bio: Charles Burmeister is an award-winning writer and director whose films have appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, and the IFFBoston, where he received a jury award for directing. His first feature film, Columbus Day, starred Val Kilmer, and the screenplay won the Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship sponsored by Paramount Pictures and was named Top 30 of 4400 scripts by the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. His first short film, Interview (shot by Jay Duplass), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. Lift is a sequel to Interview, now exploring the main character “Mark” 15 years later. Recently, Mr. Burmeister sold an original television series to Sony, with Gary Oldman as executive producer. His feature film, Mercury Plains, starring Scott Eastwood, was released by Lionsgate in 2016. He currently teaches filmmaking at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Cast: Mark Kelly, Leonora Pitts, Justin Park, Savannah Joeckel, Christopher Brown, Hoyt Kelly, Greta Kelly / Producer: Rose Donahue / Director: Charles Burmeister / Writer: Charles Burmeister / Cinematographer: Jeremy Bolden, Brent Johnson, Charles Burmeister / Editor: Charles Burmeister / Composer: Austin Wintory
A young woman works with a digital copy of her mom to investigate the sudden disappearance of her real mom.
Filmmaker Bio: David A. Flores is an Arizona born writer/director and former mariachi musician. He loves genre stories, with an eye for diverse characters and heroes that aren't truly heroic.
Cast: Mary Rose Branick, Virginia Newcomb, Lanéa Nolan / Producer: Kyle Little / Director: David A. Flores / Writer: David A. Flores / Cinematographer: Carrie Morgan / Editor: Andrew Nolan / Composer: Bruce Witkin
An errand at the dry cleaners unleashes a free-for-all of fat-shaming, body image demons and family dieting obsessions.
Filmmaker Bio: Debra Solomon has been making animated films since 1995. She is a N.Y.F.A fellow and Jerome recipient and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her films have won awards at festivals around the world, including a Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale, Best Soundtrack in Annecy, and a Special Jury Award at the World Animation Festival. Her film Everybody’s Pregnant is in MOMA's film and video collection. In 2001, Debra helped create the Disney Channel's first hit show, Lizzie McGuire, designing the animated Lizzie and acting as animation director for the series and movie adaptation. Her film Getting Over Him in 8 Songs or Less was featured on HBO. Debra’s latest animated short, Little Hurts, follows the aftermath of a visit to the dry-cleaners where she is told to go on a diet, “Just go to the gym and stay there!”
Cast: Debra Solomon / Producer: Debra Solomon / Director: Debra Solomon / Writer: Debra Solomon / Composer: Alan Zahn
Liturgy of anti-tank obstacles
The reality in Ukraine split into before and after the war. Every citizen is trying to contribute to the nationwide resistance. Many people retrained for the needs of the military. Sculptors and metalworkers now make anti-tank obstacles. In the art workshops, among the artwork, anti-tank obstacles are being produced. The artists make the anti-tank obstacles, surrounded by the sculptures of angels, Cossacks, and famous Ukrainian personalities. Statues stand in the corners like a silent army. Multiple copies of Jesus Christ, like a terracotta army, are frozen in various poses and waiting. Masters weld metal for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Filmmaker Bio: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk is a Ukrainian author and filmmaker, graduated from the Kyiv National I.K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University. A participant of the Berlinale Talents, Locarno Film Academy, he is the founder of the script platform Terrarium. He was first noticed with his short film Weightlifter, an EFA contender, winner of the Best Short Film Award in Angers and Grand Prix of the Warsaw IFF. His first feature, PAMFIR, was developed by TorinoFilmLab, Midpoint and Cannes’ Cinéfondation and achieved a selection at Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight in 2022.
Cast: Roman Sova, Serhiy Danko, Andriy Holdiy, Orest Voytekhivskiy / Producer: Soo-Jeong Kang, Daniel Lombroso / Director: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk / Writer: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk / Cinematographer: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, Andrii Lysetskyi, Konstantyn Klyatskin, Denys Vorontsov, Denys Tokarev / Editor: Sergo Klepach / Sound Design: Mariia Nesterenko / Music by: Church of Blessed Klymentiy Sheptytsky, Reverend Sebastian Dmitruckh, Choir Artos, Conductor Natalia Ivashkiv
After eleven years in LA, a musician from San Francisco reflects on the friendship he lost by reaching out the old-fashioned way.
Filmmaker Bio: Andreas Blair (me!) is an artist from California, who studied film directing and screenwriting at City College of San Francisco. Blair has been a happy Angeleno since 2010.
Cast: Andreas Blair, Niko Volonakis, Nicholas Haughton, Siobhán Willing, Taher Medhat, Julia Comita, René González / Producer: Andreas Blair, William Blair, L.A. Blair / Director: Andreas Blair / Writer: Andreas Blair / Editor: Andreas Blair
An exploration of the cosmic horror of the unknown that is internet dating.
Filmmaker Bio: A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, it was over a decade ago that Michael Beardsley first moved to Los Angeles to work as an actor. As an actor, he’s worked on well over one hundred projects across film, television, commercials and stage, and has played everything from a serial killer to a mentally challenged man-child, from God to the Devil, and from a peeping pervert to a romantic leading man. Over the years Michael slowly started adding other filmmaking skills to his repertoire: writer, editor, producer and director. Love-Craft marks the first occasion that he’s taken on all these roles in a single project. Since July 2010, We Make Movies has been an important part of Michael’s creative journey, and he’s very pleased to have the world premiere of Love-Craft at the We Make Movies International Film Festival.
Cast: Jay Lindsay, Michael Beardsley, Allyson Sereboff, Victoria Ippolito, Brent Scott Davis, Christina Marie Leonard, David Beatty, Marlan Clarke, Torie Tyson, Christina Gray, Lauren Simon, Datgirl Serene, Tehana Weeks, Kerry Liu, Ernie Charles, Bron Theron, William Joseph Hill, Josh Margulies, Tim Wadhams, Richard Parker, Michael Fluffer, Heidi Schooler, Millicent, Kelly Mullis, Pamela Hill, Carolyn Meyer, Robert DiTillio, Mystique, Stella Tinucci, Héloïse Rose, Geoffrey Gould, Sunset, Sharon Spence, Zack Van Eyck / Producer: Michael Beardsley / Director: Michael Beardsley / Writer: Michael Beardsley / Cinematographer: Phillip Darlington / Editor: Michael Beardsley
Lunch Tattoo is an indie comedy short about two friends who are getting their first tattoo in an attempt to break their family's anti-tattoo legacy. Filmed at Rabble Rouser Tattoos in Los Angeles with real tattoo artists and the actors’ parents. Written, produced and starring Kimia Behpoornia and Nicholas Luciano. Directed by Nicholas Luciano.
Filmmaker Bio: Nicholas Luciano is a director/writer/producer and video editor based in Los Angeles. He received a B.A. in Film and Video at Penn State University, where his comedy short Mad About Saffron premiered at the Penn State Student Film Festival. His recent short Lunch Tattoo was an official selection at Dances with Films 2023. Since 2015 Nicholas has produced and written live comedy shows on house sketch teams at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, and is interested in telling stories that uplift, empower and subvert an audience's expectations. Comedy videos that Nicholas has made with his father have charmed thousands of people on YouTube and Instagram, and have been featured in Huffington Post, GQ, Mashable and Now This News.
Cast: Kimia Behpoornia, Nicholas Luciano, Jesse Lara, Kenny Takar, Parvin Behpoornia, Jay Behpoornia, Regina Luciano, Mike Luciano Jr., Sophia Grosso, Tricia Lu / Producer: Kimia Behpoornia, Nicholas Luciano / Director: Nicholas Luciano / Writer: Kimia Behpoornia, Nicholas Luciano / Cinematographer: Fernando Castro / Editor: Nicholas Luciano / Composer: David Adrian Nunez-Brenes a.k.a. The Tewa
Short Screenplay Finalist
Two poets cross paths in the city and encounter a darkness they try to outshine as mad moons.
Filmmaker Bio: Jeffrey Morin is a poet, playwright and producer.
Making Ends Meet
London, 2030. Rising costs and global food shortages have made meat only available to the ultra rich. Meanwhile, teachers remain underpaid and disrespected. During one of their grading games, Joe, a young educator at the Thatcher Academy, discovers that Marion, his only kin there, manages to live over the poverty threshold thanks to a somewhat questionable side business. Will he join her?
Filmmaker Bio: Andrew Harmer is an award-winning director based in Bristol, UK. His debut feature film, The Fitzroy, a comedy set in a post-apocalyptic 1950’s Britain aboard a hotel submarine, won Best Comedy Feature at World Fest, with the title sequence garnering two awards at SXSW. Andrew has a passion for film and storytelling. With a strong love of British comedies, fantasy and folklore, his work often focuses on the darker aspects of the human psyche.
Cast: Anne-Sophie Marie, Thomas Wingfield, Violeta Anne / Producer: Paul Anderson, Andrew Harmer / Director: Andrew Harmer / Writer: Anne-Sophie Marie / Cinematographer: Amber Tunstall / Editor: Andrew Harmer / Composer: Gary Say
Two men. Too many emotions. Sitting in a waiting room, Harrison and Percy confront their emotions and each other as they attempt to fill out paperwork for an experimental drug that might have the power to take their grief away...forever.
Filmmaker Bio: After unenthusiastically serving in the US Army and getting kicked out of The United States Military Academy (West Point), Adam Peltier found himself working at a super cool box factory in Piqua, Ohio. Truth be told, it was neither super nor cool. He was miserable making boxes so...Adam decided to make movies instead. He put the box factory in his rearview and marched his butt on over to Hollywood where he got his MFA in Acting from CalArts. Currently, you can find Adam in debt up to his eyeballs and avoiding phone calls from student loan debt collectors.
Cast: Adam Peltier, Lucas Brahme, Amanda Montell, Sam Jacobs, Courtney Flanagan / Producer: Lucas Brahme, Connor Linnerooth, Adam Peltier / Director: Adam Peltier / Writer: Adam Peltier / Cinematographer: Connor Linnerooth / Editor: Connor Linnerooth / Composer: Max Davidoff-Grey
A novelist realizes that her neighbors may be under the mind control of unknown forces. Little does she realize how close and sinister its influence has become. MIND THIEF is a sci-fi thriller that takes us on a harrowing, sometimes humorous journey through the depths of the human psyche.
Filmmaker Bio: Matt Steinauer is an award-winning director with a strong background in cinematography and editing. Previous works have become Vimeo Staff Picks and invited to prestigious film festivals such as Telluride, Raindance and Seattle International. Francis Ford Coppola said of his film, GUMSHOE, "Funny, unique and must've been hard to pull off." Matt is a knowledgeable cinephile with an excellent grasp on genre and cinematic style.
Cast: Angelique Pretorius, Leslie Miller, Greg Berman, Michael Tighe, Jamie Lynn Concepcion, Jason Sims-Prewitt, Alison Martin, Stefanie Estes / Producer: Matt Steinauer, Angelique Pretorius, Dilip Isaac / Director: Matt Steinauer / Writer: Matt Steinauer / Cinematographer: Dilip Isaac / Editor: Matt Steinauer / Composer: Patrick J. Griffin
Mindy & Martin’s Melee
Short Screenplay Finalist
A bridesmaid and a best man derail a wedding when their simmering resentments and passions boil over, igniting a powder keg of accusations, revelations, and declarations.
Screenwriter Bio: Harker Jones grew up on a dirt road in Michigan in a town so small it doesn’t to this day have a traffic light. Upon completion of college he found his way to the entertainment hub of Los Angeles where, as a queer writer, he has completed the Amazon #1 best-selling gay love story Until September and seven screenplays, revealing truths through humor and horror. His short thriller Cole & Colette won the Get It Made Short-Form Competition and was subsequently produced and accepted into thirty-nine film festivals, garnering several awards. He loves cats and carbs, would like to be a pop star, and is a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and a card-carrying member of Mensa.
1977, Wood Green London. The political climate is volatile with the rise of the National Front. The UK is dealing with the aftermath of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, calling for the repatriation of immigrants and appealing to racial hatred -- skinhead subculture is prevalent.The film is seen through the eyes of Grace, age 6. The world as she sees and experiences it, innocent, carefree and mischievous. Grace is Black.
Filmmaker Bio: Karen Bryson MBE has a multi-award winning career spanning over 25 years across various multi-media platforms, both in front of the camera and, more recently, behind it. Karen was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her Services to Drama. She is best known for playing Avril Powell in the critically acclaimed drama Shameless. Her recent acting projects include series regular in the award-winning Nordic drama White Wall, Black Narcissus (BBC and FX US), the independent feature film REAL directed by Aki Omoshaybi, Elinor Stone in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (HBO MAX/Warner Brothers), Unchartered (Sony Pictures), and Teacher (Channel 5), due out this year. She produced Family Reunion, winner of Best of the Fest at the Triforce Short Film Festival, and The Block, winner of Best Pilot at the
Ramsgate International Film Festival. She also founded a theatre company, writing and directing two short plays which toured the fringe theatre around London. Karen has just finished writing her first feature film, The Art of Falling, and is developing a TV series. She recently narrated the landmark documentary series 1000 Years a Slave, available now on Channel 5. Karen is a voting member of BAFTA, BIFA and the Raindance Film Festival.
Cast: Stephanie Levi-John, Sonnyboy Skelton, Kennedy McCallam-Martin, Elisha Robin / Producer: Shakyra Dowling, Lorraine Bhattachary / Director: Karen Bryson / Writer: Karen Bryson / Cinematographer: Tristan Chenais / Editor: Rebecca Lloyd / Composer: Daniel Patrick-Murell
My Little Caregiver
When the regularly scheduled nurse from a local caregiving agency doesn’t show up for work, imaginative 10 year old Elijah acts on the chance to spend a day alone with his mother who is a wheelchair user. After a brief argument in the afternoon, Elijah wakes up to find his mom's demeanor different, excited to play games with her son. But is it too good to be true?
Filmmaker Bio: Sam Solomon is a director, performer & writer from Maryland, currently living in Los Angeles. Since graduating from Emerson College, Sam’s original work has been selected in poetry anthology, theater and film festivals alike. His feature-length screenwriting work has been selected into writing fellowships like Stowe Story Labs (2021). Sam has been awarded a two-time Forbes Under 30 Creative Scholar during his time in college and has worked at several entertainment companies including Viewpoint Creative, Bow & Arrow Entertainment, and Imagine Entertainment for Ron Howard & Brian Grazer. Sam is a working actor and hip-hop dancer, training at prestigious acting studios like Stagedoor Manor, AMAW & Maggie Flanigan Studio, and trained at many professional dance studios around LA. In addition to being a working performer and writer, Sam also worked as a virtual moderator for Broadway Plus, offering VIP experiences with notable Broadway stars. His most recent acting accomplishment was playing The Weeknd in the Universal Horror Nights The Weeknd: After Hours maze at Universal Studios Theme Park LA. In 2020, Sam wrote “i guess i am lonely...”, his first collection of poetry and prose, self-published through Amazon. Poetry book #2 is set for release sometime in 2023.
Goldmond Fong is a Director and Editor from Toronto, Canada, currently located in Los Angeles. Goldmond is a creative director and post-production specialist, having created many commercials, music videos, promos and more. He has worked with award-winning agencies and as an Editor on the YouTube Original BookTube with Michelle Obama. In his freelance time, he has served as creative director for visualizers for mainstream recording artists like Katy Perry, Niall Horan and Marina. Goldmond has directed music videos for Nav, Coi Leray, Tyga and more, and announcement videos for e-sports streamers like Fuslie, Lily Pichu, Myth and FaZe Swagg. He recently won the Outstanding Editing (Short) Award at the 2022 Micheaux Film Festival for the 2023 Oscar Qualified Live Action short film Fetish. A graduate from Emerson College, Goldmond not only has an expertise in film production, but a keen eye for visual effects production. He is trusted by Fortune 500 brands and Billboard Hot 100 recording artists alike.
Cast: Seth Liam Ellis, Andrea Jennings, Julian Vidaurrazaga / Producer: Benjamin Bradley Gilbert, Sam Solomon, Goldmond Fong / Director: Sam Solomon, Goldmon Fong / Writer: Sam Solomon / Cinematographer: Vivan Lau / Editor: Goldmond Fong / Composer: Jack Bradley
Experimental/Video Art Short
Nitsa Gofa died 24th of March 1925, age 17. She was a random girl. She died from love. We learn about her case from the newspaper archives of 1925. Some of her last words, as they were saved in her suicide letters: "How wonderful death would be if it was offered by his hands" and "Respect the feeling of love wherever you encounter it." This movie was made mainly at the underground canals of Athens and consists a chapel of remembrance.
Giorgos Efthimiou was born in Athens. He has been making films since 2011. He is also a stage director, visual artist, performer and curator (Pugnant Film Series).
Cast: Evi Chroni, Kleio Papatzanaki-Chrysovergi, Kristina Konchits / Producer: Giorgos Efthimiou / Director: Giorgos Efthimiou / Writer: Nitsa Gofa, Andreas Efstathiou
No Overnight Parking
While fleeing her abusive husband, a cosmopolitan woman gets locked in a cavernous underground parking garage with a masked killer out for blood.
Filmmaker Bio: In the last three years, Meg Swertlow has directed eight short films which have been selected for over 50 top film festivals, including the Austin Film Festival, Hollyshorts, Fright Fest UK, Fantastic Fest, Screamfest, Macabro, Nightmares Film Festival, FilmQuest and Etheria Film Night. Her films have been featured on Shudder and recommended by the New York Times. In March, her feature screenplay of No Overnight Parking was selected for K Period Media/Blumhouse’s inaugural “Screamwriting” Lab.
Cast: Alyssa Milano, French Stewart, Brandon Loeser, Tina Huang, Sammy June, Chelsea Edmundson, Gola Rakhshani / Producer: Nate Lipp, Felicity Wren / Director: Meg Swertlow / Writer: Meg Swertlow / Cinematographer: Noah Rosenthal / Editor: Brett Solem,Tom Pilla / Composer: Jacques Brautbar
As she recalls the harsh treatment received at the hands of her programmer, an android decides she's had enough.
Filmmaker Bio: With Sarah serving as Production Designer while Matthew wrote and directed, the Emerys first collaborated on Matthew’s thesis film while he attended Loyola Marymount University. That film, Pâté, won 8 awards including Best of Fest and Best Director, garnered another 7 nominations and screened at dozens of festivals. After getting married and moving across the country, the two then decided to christen the house with their latest short film, OKAY AL-i. With cast and crew totaling 3 persons, Sarah and Matthew co-wrote, directed, and featured in OKAY AL-i, all as a trial run for their latest project, a self-made feature film entitled Nervous System.
Cast: Sarah Emery, Matthew Emery / Producer: Sarah Emery, Matthew Emery / Director: Sarah Emery, Matthew Emery / Writer: Matthew Emery, Sarah Emery / Cinematographer: TinNGai Chan / VFX: Matthew Emery
Martyna and Kamilė are young women in their mid-twenties. They used to be best friends during their studies. About a half a year ago, Martyna decided to vanish from Kamilė’s life. But she didn't tell it to her friend. One day Martyna is on her way to meet her co-workers, she is passing through the parking lot of a shopping center in a rush. She meets Kamilė, who wants to find out the reasons for Martyna‘s disappearance. This short film examines the theme of “emotional hygiene” through the perspective of contemporary female friendship.
Jorė Janavičiūtė has a BA in Journalism from Vilnius University (2014), has completed a Film Production course at European Film College in Denmark (2015), and holds a Film Directing MA from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater (2018). She has made five short films. Her short film Where Things, Where People Disappear (2017) has been screened in almost twenty festivals around Europe and won the Silver Screen award “Young Director Award” in Film School (Europe) category in 2018 in Cannes, France as well as Best Fiction Film prize in BEAST IFF 2019 in Porto, Portugal. Her short documentary <3 / Less Than Three (2019) had an International premiere in Ji.hlava IDFF 2019. Parking Lot (2021) was also screened in a number of festivals including Palm Springs International Shortfest, HollyShorts in the U.S., FEST in Portugal, etc. Jorė currently is developing new film projects, lecturing at Vilnius University, writing articles for Lithuanian media, as well as working as Junior Programmer at Vilnius International Short Film Festival and in casting on film, TV, and commercial productions.
Cast: Greta Petrovksytė, Milda Noreikaitė / Producer: Migla Butkutė / Director: Jorė Janavičiūtė / Writer: Jorė Janavičiūtė / Cinematographer: Vytautas Katkus / Editor: Gabrielė Urbonaitė
Dan is fed up. Fed up with his misfortunes, fed up with his bad luck and fed up with his life. He decides to end it by eating his last ban: peanuts.
Filmmaker Bio: An artist in the 3D Animation field, Maxime Divier writes, directs and experiments, guided by his passion for storytelling and visual composition. Interested in all the formats that allow us to tell stories visually, he challenges himself by directing and creating projects that are dear to his heart.
Cast: Cédrick Mainville, Louis Carrière / Producer: Yanis Arab / Director: Maxime Divier / Writer: Jérome Bérubé, Maxime Divier / Cinematographer: Antoine Doan / Editor: Laura Novo / Composer: Philipe Poulin
With time running out before her uncontrolled spacecraft will crash into the Moon’s surface, astronaut Alex da Costa is out of options. Now, she must draw on her own courage and resourcefulness to escape certain death.
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, was selected by several international film festivals in 2020, winning awards at Palm Springs Animation Festival and Irvine International Film Festival, plus nominations for cinematography and screenwriting.
Cast: Jules Robertson, Pete Muller, Richard Felix, Sean O’Connor, Thea Hielkema, Maza White / Producer: Peter McCully, Ryan Mullany / Director: Peter McCully / Writer: Peter McCully / Cinematographer: Rafael Bonatto / Editor: Pierre Montage / Composer: Andrew McDowall
A Norwegian Woman with a death sentence. A stray dog from Tennessee. In Manhattan they meet and get another chance at life. "Phoenix" is a true story about Elisabeth, who receives a death sentence at the hospital in Norway. With the help of friends, she gets to a hospital in New York to attempt saving her life. Here she meets a stray dog whom she adopts. In the chaos of cancer treatment, Covid 19 starts. Phoenix is a short documentary about daring to believe that things can go well, even when it looks like all hope is lost.
Filmmaker Bio: Elisabeth Rasmussen is a Sámi filmmaker from the Norwegian Arctic Circle and the founder of Wonderline Productions. With a passion for storytelling and a fearless perspective, she has established herself as a rising talent in the film industry. She sold her award-winning directorial debut The Heart of Bruno Wizard to Netflix and SVT. The film screened at more than 30 festivals around the world, including those qualifying for the Academy Awards, and was voted a “must watch film” ahead of The Frieze Art Fair by Dazed & Confused magazine. Elisabeth’s storytelling heritage ranges from participating in NRK’s radio show Ekko on several occasions, articles in Grist (US), The Observer Magazine (UK), music videos and installations featured at Tele3 and Flaix TV (Spain), The Barbican and Selfridges (UK), The Norwegian Embassy in Berlin (Germany) as well as the most prestigious international film festivals. She holds a MA in Media and Communications with Merit from The City University of London & a BA in Philosophy from the University of Tromsø. Starting out as a guest coordinator for TIFF (Tromsø International Film Festival) and then Marketing Manager for The Aurora Cinema Chain in Norway, Elisabeth was inspired to make her first short. Her intimate style has allowed her to produce, direct and edit medically sensitive films for the production company Takepart Media & Science (Germany), make the website “Mine Behandlingsvalg” for the University hospital in Tromsø, Norway, as well as make inspiring videos for the American Veterans. Rasmussen is known for her collaborative spirit and ability to bring out the best in her cast and crew, making her a sought after resource in the industry.
Cast: Phoenix, Elisabeth Rasmussen, Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska, Agnes Søerheim, Josh Wald/ Producer: Elisabeth Rasmussen, Inge Wegge / Director: Elisabeth Rasmussen / Writer: Elisabeth Rasmussen / Cinematographer: Dmitriy Mukhin, Knut Sævik, Elisabeth Rasmussen, Jannicke Mikkelsen, FNF, Sara Marielle Gaup Baeska, Agnes Sørheim, Danny Sarns, Jeremy Ripley, Melanie Horn, Babang Deshommes, Mohamed Jabaly / Editor: Marte B Aasen, NFK / Composer: Øivind A. Sjøvoll
Please In Spanish
Feeling disconnected from her Dominican heritage, a young woman warms to her cultural identity after meeting a lively neighbor.
Filmmaker Bio: Patricia Seely is a Los Angeles-based multimedia producer/director/writer. She is currently a 2022 WIF Google Shorts Lab Inaugural Fellow for a short film she wrote and directed called Please In Spanish. Her recent projects as a producer include two shorts which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival: The Cocktail Party, written and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jessica Sanders, and The Rising Voices Story, directed by Kwanza Nicole Gooden, which was created as part of Lena Waithe’s Rising Voices initiative. She was previously the Vice President of Production for Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, producing the ESPN+ series Detail, the scripted podcast The Punies, The Wizenard Series and Legacy and the Queen audiobooks, and behind-the-scenes documentation of the Academy Award-winning animated short Dear Basketball.
Cast: Emily Tosta, Kevin Alexis Rivera, Esther Pidal, Marabina Jaimes, Diana Tinker, Elizabeth Lamboy-Wilson / Producer: Alexandra Clayton / Director: Patricia Seely / Writer: Patricia Seeley / Cinematographer: Veronica Bouza / Editor: Karl Stieg, Justin Yates / Composer: Josean Jacobo
Outcast Freya attempts to make it through the night at her childhood best friend's seventeenth birthday party without revealing her most dangerous secret.
Filmmaker Bio: Ellie Stewart is a writer, director, and producer from Calgary Alberta. Blending the whimsical with the grotesque, her work exists at the intersections of comedy and horror. Her short film Weird Sister was nominated for best student film at the 2018 Stinger Awards. Her film The Curse premiered at the Final Girls Festival in Berlin, played at the Calgary Underground Film Festival, and can be found streaming on the Arrow Player app. Her most recent short film, Pool Party, was funded by Calgary Arts Development, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and CSIF. It is a queer coming of age film with a twist.
Cast: Glen Dela-Cruz, Jack Rasmussen / Producer: Ellie Stewart, Matt Prazak, Rino Mioc, Tyler Whelen / Director: Ellie Stewart / Writer: Ellie Stewart / Cinematographer: Myriam Boutin / Editor: Jelayna Hyggen / Composer: Julianna Hindemith
A surprise visitor arrives at the coroner's home, bent on confronting her with her cover-ups of the death of Andrey Levine, whose family and friends demand answers. Inspired by true events.
Filmmaker Bio: Gabriel Horn is an award-winning filmmaker from Tel-Aviv, Israel. His first film, Do No Harm, highlighting clinical negligence in the UK, won several prizes on the international film circuit. Gabriel is also a European citizen, and has made several independent films with international collaboration. His film Post Mortem is based on true events and draws attention to the criminal culture of many British institutions. Gabriel is a professional actor and has taken part in many international productions including feature films, independent films and commercials. Horn’s films include Do No Harm; Mordechai; Thou; First Do No Harm; Life, Death & Turkey Sandwich; The Only Friend I Ever Had; Tortoise; One Step Forward Two Steps Back; Post Mortem; All I Ever Wanted; Protagonist; Avner; and Stuck.
Cast: Gabriel Horn, Kati Thiemer, Betty Kaplan, Roland Eisner, Karina Frik, Vanessa Most / Director: Gabriel Horn / Writer: Gabriel Horn / Cinematographer: Clemens Helmchen / Editor: Talia Levy / Composer: Patrick Zimmerman
Filomena’s life is struck by poverty and the sad obscurity of hardship and torment. Terrible occurrences will mark her character during her childhood growing up in a Galician hamlet towards the end of the 19th century. Might she have the opportunity to change her fate?
Filmmaker Bio: Alberto Díaz López (Bóveda, 1984) graduated in Audiovisual Communication from Rey Juan Carlos University and has a European masters degree in Film studies. It was during his time as a student that he filmed his first short Stringless, which was defined as “a piece capable of innovating the layout of a hypertonic montage which has a thrilling post modernist structure” at Ca Foscari de Venecia Film Festival. He has recently directed a self-referential film workshop in the Escuela Internacional de Cine de San Antonio de los Baños (Cuba) thanks to a grant awarded by the SGAE. Nowadays he finds himself involved in writing and the pre-production phase of his first feature film, a metalinguistic reflection about motion picture art. Alberto is passionate about the theory of Cinematography and the poetic discourse. Mordisco Films, his production company, has enabled him to carry out simultaneous undertakings such as writing, directing and post-producing in various audiovisual pieces. He is the founder of Yaq distribution, a short film production company, having dealt with over 500 audiovisual pieces to date. Among his projects as a director and producer he counts more than 1500 selections and 300 international awards. Alberto also held one of the most prestigious grants in the Real Academia de España in Rome as an Artist in Residence.
Cast: Zoe García De la Torre, Samu Piñeiro Durán, Antonio Durán Morris, María Vazquez, Xose Antonio Touriñan, Gemma do Carmo / Producer: Alberto Díaz, Kyong Sik Suh Oh, Pedro de la Escalera, Carlota Coronado, Alfonso Palazón / Director: Alberto Díaz / Writer: Alberto Díaz, Ángela Andrada / Cinematographer: Miguel Ángel Viñas / Editor: Raquel Sánchez Moreno / Composer: Carme Rodríguez
Revelation of John
To live one’s last days in peace and fulfillment in the company of a loved one. Light and buzzing of cosmic orbs. Quiet, slowly trickling film rejects the consumer world, medicine, and eternal rushing and pays homage to peaceful old age with a touch of spirituality and intimacy.
Filmmaker Bio: Andrey Kolenčík, nicknamed Admiral (born 3/8/1984 in Bratislava) is a film director and visual artist. At present he’s studying his doctoral studies at Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and working as a freelance film director of fiction, documentary and also animation films. In 2014 he was selected for Berlinale Talents. In 2015 he started his own production company called Admiral Films. Films he directed have been awarded at several international film festivals like the Golden Egg at the Kunstendorf film festival in Serbia, but also at home – the Slovak Oscar Sun in the Net Award. His films have been selected to such festivals as Palm Springs Short Fest, Atlanta Film Festival, Guanajuato International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, DOXA Documentary Film Festival and many more.
Cast: Eva Pavlíková, Viliam Hriadel, Marek Obuch, Kuki / Producer: Andrej Kolencik / Director: Andrey Kolenčík / Writer: Juro Slauka, Andrey Kolenčík / Cinematographer: Michaela Klanicová / Editor: Andrey Kolenčík / Composer: Adam Matej Composer: Carme Rodríguez
After discovering her boyfriend’s plan to propose on their weekend vacation, a young girl undergoes a crisis of commitment which attracts the attention of a sinister local cult.
Filmmaker Bio: Will Lee is a Los-Angeles based filmmaker and blu-ray hoarder. His short film, RINGWORMS, was a creative lifeboat during the pandemic and a story that became deeply personal. He takes inspiration from Sam Raimi, David Cronenberg, and a little bit of Junji Ito, pushing vulnerable characters with relatable fears into a nightmarish crucible that demands transformation. His favorite horror films are The Thing (1982), The Shining (1980), and Mandy (2018).
Cast: Faye Tamasa, Skylar Okerstrom-Lang / Producer: Katrina Ungewitter, Ian Hedman / Director: Will Lee / Writer: Will Lee, Ian Hedman / Cinematographer: Rafael Gomez / Editor: Will Lee / Composer: Marc Giguere
A rockumentary about two pioneers of the music business and their technology that will forever change how bands are named - a futuristic machine called the Rock Genius.
Filmmaker Bio: Maximilien Blanc is a London-born, French-American actor, editor and director based in Los Angeles, with dual US and French citizenship. His editing work includes the Emmy Award-winning series The Shop, produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. He is also an avid animator, having experimented with the medium during the Covid pandemic lockdown. In 2022, Maximilien won an animation Emmy Award (along with the rest of the team) for his work on the CNN documentary Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street. He is a graduate from Pitzer College, earning his B.A. in Media Studies and Literature.
Cast: CC McKenna, Taani Fuahala, Chander Daya, Greg Safel / Producer: Chander Daya, CC McKenna / Director: Maximilien Blanc / Writer: Maximilien Blanc / Cinematographer: Rob Mestas / Editor: Maximilien Blanc / Composer: Epidemic Sound
Set in an alternate universe, a young girl wins a free procedure to have every word she has ever spoken available in a script format.
Filmmaker Bio: Emerson Niemchick is an award-winning director, writer, and actor. His first short film, roach, was acquired for distribution and presented at the 2020 Cannes Film Market. His third short, anniversary, won the Audience Award at the New York Movie Awards in 2021. His films are heavily influenced by David Lynch and take on the surrealist-noir genre. He resides in Los Angeles.
Cast: Siena Solinda, David Beatty, Sierra Deane, Anna Heffington, Gregory Yuan, Raisu Williams, Julie Phillips, Ryan Bertroche, Craig Fairbanks, Jess Shira, Caleb Francis Jenkins, Emerson Niemchick, Mary Sader, Lacey Buchanan, Karen Niemchickl / Producer: Emerson Niemchick / Director: Emerson Niemchick / Writer: Emerson Niemchick / Cinematographer: Emerson Niemchick / Editor: Emerson Niemchick / Composer: Emerson Niemchick / Animation: Bruno Vertel
Searching For Yoo
An ethereal entity begins to haunt Dani, a Korean adoptee, as she begins to reunite with her birth family, but when she uncovers a little information about the past she must forge a bond with the ghost that haunts the basement rather than her surviving birth family.
Filmmaker Bio: Marissa Lichwick began her career in New York City in the Lower East Side at LA Mama Etc... helmed by Ellen Stewart, devising work with the late Elizabeth Swados and Michael Fieldman. She made her way through the Off-Off Broadway scene performing at various venues including The New York International Fringe Festival and making her Off-Broadway debut at Urban Stages Theatre. Marissa lived and worked as an actress in New York City for ten years before heading off to the University of Washington to earn her MFA in Acting. Upon completion, she lived in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago where she worked at various theatres throughout the city – including appearances at The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, and Silk Road Theatre. She worked regionally at The Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center, and workshopped many new works by emerging playwrights. She has appeared in Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and Chicago Med, as well as in short films and independent feature films. Marissa wrote her solo show, Yellow Dress, in graduate school. It performed in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, and most recently at the Santa Monica Playhouse. She wrote a short film in 2020 inspired by her solo show with the same title, Yellow Dress, which went on to win 15 Best Film awards and 29 other honors including honorable mentions and finalist selections. She completed her second short film, YOO, which premiered this March and was awarded Best Short Film on Women by the RunDoc Film Festival, received the Best Actress Award by New York Film Award, the Best Acting Ensemble by Best Directors and Actors Award in New York City, and was an Official Selection at the Marina del Rey Film Festival. Searching For Yoo completed filming on June 29, 2022. Marissa completed her Screenwriting degree at UCLA this Spring, of 2022
Cast: Annabella Camardelli, Avelyn Choi, Bruce Baek, John Ruby, Dwight Sora, Karla Kim, Marissa Lichwick, Greg Matthew Anderson, Karmann Bajuyo, Aurora Adachi-Winter, Chris Yim, Atlie Gilbert, Jacob Chan / Producer: Eric Michael Kochmer, Marissa Lichwick / Director: Eric Michael Kochmer, Marissa Lichwick / Writer: Marissa Lichwick / Cinematographer: Grace Pisula, Drew Tieng / Editor: James Hecht / Composer: John Baxter
Seeing Diane Arbus
A movie theater projectionist with dwarfism has a fateful, frightening reunion with the famously voyeuristic photographer, Diane Arbus.
Filmmaker Bio: Lindsay Zibach has worked as Guillermo del Toro's assistant, an Associate Producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and a Photo/Video Producer for The Hollywood Reporter. Her debut film, Seeing Diane Arbus, reflects her curiosity for outsiders, period films, and classic horror. She received her B.S. in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She lives in Ventura, CA, where she's in post production on her second film, a folk-horror short titled The Last Sin Eater.
Cast: Kimberly Alexander, Katrina Kemp, Circus-Szalewski, Joshua Close / Producer: Natalie Heltzel, Stephanie Fischette, Ian Gibson, Lindsay Zibach / Director: Lindsay Zibach / Writer: Lindsay Zibach / Cinematographer: Favienne Howsepian / Editor: Stacy Pietrafitta / Composer: Daniel Pioro
Experimental/Video Art Short
Seeking Truth is a Virtual Reality series examining historical distortion and interrogating dominant narratives. The first installment of the series focuses on US historical figure, Sojourner Truth.
Filmmaker Bio: Bonita Oliver is a multidisciplinary artist and improviser whose body in space work focuses on transitions - the process of moving through. She creates emotionally stirring, immersive works which often directly engage audiences. Much of her work is improvised - created in the moment - with audience participation and imagination. Bonita (who also performs under the name of French Leave) is originally from Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a composer, curator, visual artist, actress, playwright and multi-award winning filmmaker. She is a member of SAG/AFTRA, NYWIFT, WOCU and is a 2022 Opera America Artist in Residence, currently working on her first Augmented Reality installation.
Cast: Nadhege Ptah, Jade Litaker, Cynthia St. Juste, Mecca Akbar, Ronnie Rochester, Bonita Oliver/ Producer: Bonita Oliver / Director: Bonita Oliver / Writer: Bonita Oliver