What’s Up?! Eddie Murphy Returns, Short Film Contest

Eddie Murphy (short film and movie news)

What’s up, good people?! The summer is almost done, but the short film and movie news You Need is heating up.

The most prolific yet enigmatic actor of our generation has returned. Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live’s most famous alum, is coming back to the big screen after a five-year absence. No, he’s not playing a bumbling dad is some mediocre kid’s movie. The 55-year-old comedic actor is returning in a dramatic role that critics are already deeming Oscar worthy. Seriously.

Murphy will play the title role in Mr. Church, a film about a black man who helps to raise a white child whose mother suffers from cancer.

The Hollywood Reporter, which recently interviewed Murphy, stated that Mr. Church is his “best shot at winning the Academy’s attention since The Nutty Professor…”

Said Murphy about the role, which is based on a true story,

I never did anything like this. It was something I could do where there was no pressure at all because there was no expectation because this isn’t a funny thing. The engine of this thing isn’t my sense of humor or what I do or my performance.”

Murphy was nominated but lost out on a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.

Mr. Church is set to hit theaters September 16. From the looks of it, this will be an Eddie Murphy we have not quite seen before. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

 

Short of the Week

The Art of Human Salvage (short film and movie news)

The Art of Human Salvage poster/Facebook

Our short film selection of the week is a Sci-Fi entry about a 10-year-old boy who faces execution. The question is who will save him.

 

“The Art of Human Salvage” is a riveting short set in a netherworld and inspired by classic films like Blade Runner and Children of Men.

Directed by Dempsey Tillman, this short film stars Oscar-nominated actor Edward James Olmos. In fact, “The Art of Human Salvage” was so popular that the trailer alone garnered over 257K views on Vimeo.

And with good reason: This is a brisk, high energy short film that hits like a shot of expresso.

That’s our way of saying we think you’ll like it.

To see “The Art of Human Salvage,” hit this link.

 

 

Vote For Your Favorite Short Film

Collected Voices: Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival/http://www.collectedvoicesfilmfest.com/

Big things are happening around here, folks.

As we announced last week, itsashort.com and Collected Voices have partnered up to introduce the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.

Here’s how it works: Visit our site to watch and vote among eight unique short films that have been nominated for entry. These short film nominees either focus on history, culture or  real life experiences. You can watch all eight films for free and cast your vote, once a day. Winners will be announced on October 29.

Again, you can vote and even encourage your friends to participate by visiting this page on our website.

There are no “hanging chads” here, just cool short film entries for your voting and viewing pleasure.

 

From Around the Web

Riz Ahmed in HBO's "The Night Of" (short film and movie news)

Riz Ahmed in HBO’s “The Night Of”/Courtesy of HBO and IMDb.com

Variety, one of Hollywood’s leading publications, just announced its “Actors to Watch” list for 2016.

The list includes Oscar award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, “House of Cards” actors Mahershala Ali and Rachel Brosnahan and the lead actor from HBO’s “The Night Of,” Riz Ahmed.

Rachel Brosnahan (short film and movie news)

Rachel Brosnahan/giphy

What’s great about the list is that its showcases diverse and rising talents in the industry. To see the list for yourself, go here.

And…

Don’t forget! The Toronto International Film Festival is  just two weeks away. The film lineup is staggering, loads of premieres are happening. You can get “the deets” on the feature and short film entries by going here.

One more thing…

The San Diego International Film Festival is over a month away. It will run from September 28 to October 2. For more information on this important event, go to this link.

 

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

What’s Up?! TIFF News, Short Film & Usain Bolt

Natalie Portman (movie and short film news)

Natalie Portman/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up, good people?! We’re back in effect like we never left with this week’s short film and movie news.

We told you about the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month. Now that it’s only three weeks away, more details are being revealed. By all indications, it looks like TIFF is going to be epic.

Why?

The Toronto fest will premiere some quality features. Not to mention the fact that TIFF has a history of minting future Oscar award winners.

Leonardo DiCaprio will world premiere a new documentary about climate change, The Turning Point, and audiences will see the sequel to the ever-popular 1999 horror flick, The Blair Witch Project.

And if that isn’t enough to make you buy roundtrip tickets to Toronto, then this might do it: The premiere of the film Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in the lead role, which chronicles former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.

Whew.

In more TIFF-related news, festival coordinators recently launched the inaugural TIFF x Instagram Shorts Festival, which showcases eight 60-second short films from all over the world that were made using Instagram.

According to IndieWire, TIFF has screened three short films a day on its Instagram account. It will continue to do so until August 18th, when the winning film and audience favorite is announced.

For more information about TIFF, which runs September 8 -18, visit this link.

Want more info about the TIFF x Instagram Shorts Fest? You can go here for more details.

“Short of the Week”

Animator vs. Animation IV (short film and movie news)

Animator vs. Animation IV poster/Facebook

“Animator vs. Animation IV” is one of the more innovative shorts on our platform. This short film is about a stick figure that battles its creator, with the former wreaking havoc on the latter till the very end.

Yet, words fail to describe the sheer creativity of this compelling 14-minute short. In 2014, “Animator vs. Animation IV” went viral and collected over 5 million views in a month.

And the film, created and directed by Alan Becker, still remains a phenomenon.

Do yourself a favor and peep this short film for yourself.  Just visit this link and register to watch.

You won’t look at stick figures or your computer the same way ever again.

 

Breaking News: A Brand New Film Contest!

Collected Voices: Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival poster/http://www.collectedvoicesfilmfest.com/

Itsashort.com is proud to announce a new partnership with Collected Voices, a unique film festival that highlights diverse works about culture, history and real life experiences.

Starting August 21, Itsashort will host an online short film contest that will feature 10 Collected Voices Film Festival nominees from the past two years. Five entries will be selected from the 2016 Collected Voices festival, which launched August 11. The other five will be from last year’s festival.

The contest will run until September 23 and winners will be announced at the Collected Voices Fest of the Fest gala on October 29.

For more information about the Collected Voices Film Festival, visit this link.

 

From Around the Web…

Usain Bolt (short film and movie news)

Usain Bolt/Facebook

Usain Bolt has been tearing up the track at the Rio Olympics and minting hilarious memes in the process. It’s only right that the fastest man on the planet gets his own film documenting his exploits. Gatorade, one of the companies Bolt endorses, released a cool animated short film about the Jamaican sprinter that is worth checking out.

Now, all we need are films about Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Wayde van Niekerk and Michelle Carter. Please and thank you.

 

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

What’s Up?! Francis Ford Coppola Supports Short Film

Francis Ford Coppola (short film and movie news)

Francis Ford Coppola/FICG.mx, Flickr

What’s up, good people?! Our gold-medal worthy movie and short film news blog is here, but we’ll accept your cheers.

Legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola recently relaunched his virtual studio Zoetrope.com. Coppola founded the site way back in 1997 as a global creative community for writers, filmmakers and other creatives.

With this new relaunch, Zoetrope will showcase the short film genre. The shorts showcase will offer screenwriters, directors and producers peer feedback. Membership is free. This is how it works. For every story a member submits, they are required to review five submissions by other participants. Think of it as a virtual creative writing workshop.

For Coppola, who has directed some of the most influential films in history, Zoetrope is all about providing access.

“…that’s what I was trying to do with this site – let everyone have access to a movie studio or set a new context of creative community for people interested in cinema, music, acting, art, graphics, photography, songwriting, and so on.”

Again, for the low, low price of “Free.99,” you can take part in this amazing opportunity by going to Zoetrope.com.

Short of the Week

"Mirror" (short film and movie news)

“Mirror” poster/Facebook

“Mirror” is about a man, haunted by his reflection in the mirror, who seeks help for his visions. When he gets that help, he plunges further into his nightmare.

This short film, directed by Dustin Biren and Thomas Ouziel, is kind of a big deal. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and was also nominee in the First Glance Short Online Contest.

If you’re into dark, psychological thrillers, then this short film is right for you.

So grab some popcorn and root beer (or real beer), and check out this harrowing 10-minute short film.

Hit this link to watch “Mirror” and buckle up!

 

Black Harvest

Black Harvest Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Black Harvest Film Festival poster/Facebook

The venerable Black Harvest Film Festival has launched at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and will screen some game-changing films all month. Already in its 22nd year, the festival highlights films that chronicle the black experience, both nationally and internationally.

Black Harvest, which runs until September 1, will screen 56 features and shorts in all. Amid that veritable gumbo are old classics like Prince’s Purple Rain and Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger. In fact, the festival opened with a screening of that classic Prince film (Sigh, we still can’t believe he’s gone, either.)

Purple Rain (short film and movie news)

Purple Rain poster/Facebook

The short film programs are highlight trenchant and relevant experiences, which have long been the hallmark of Black Harvest. For example,  short film programs will highlight filmmakers from Chicago and abroad. Other curated programs will showcase shorts on family and love.

For more information on Black Harvest, please visit this site.

 

From Around the Web…

Suicide Squad character  Harley Quinn (short film and movie news)

Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn/Facebook

Everybody is talking about Suicide Squad, the summer blockbuster with subpar reviews.

The film about comic supervillians has taken some serious shots.

Take Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal: “Suicide Squad” amounts to an all-out attack on the whole idea of entertainment. (The opening lines of his review is even worse.)

And this zinger from Christopher Orr of The Atlantic: If I have not yet convinced you of the movie’s astonishingly slipshod quality, I’m unlikely ever to do so.

Ugh.

Still, Suicide Squad managed to break records as this weekend’s top-grossing film both here and at the foreign box office.

The question remains, how did this poorly-reviewed film rake in so much money? The New York Times provided a little “inside baseball” on how Warner Bros. was able to make Suicide Squad penetrate the American consciousness. The jury is still out on the film’s overall profitability, but it makes for an intriguing case study on how marketing can overcome critical reception.

Check out the piece for yourself. It is well worth the read.

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

 

What’s Up?! TCFF, #1 PBS Short Film, Oscar Contenders

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival photo/Traverse City Film Festival–Flickr

What’s up, good people?! The dog days of summer can’t put a damper on all this great short film and movie news that’s happening. Let, ITSASHORT.COM clue you in.

Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival wrapped on Sunday and dozens of filmmakers emerged as big winners, especially women directors. The entire list of winners can be found here, but special mention goes to Kulikar Sotho’s The Last Reel, which won the Founders Grand Prize for Best Film and Rebecca Miller for Maggie’s Plan, which was designated the “Best U.S. Fiction” film.

Two documentaries were bestowed TCFF’s top honor: Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson, and Unlocking the Cage, directed by D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Both won for “Best U.S. Documentary.”

Out of the 107 shorts that comprised the short film program, six took home awards. “Over,” directed by Jorn Threlfall, won for “Best Fiction Short,” and “Speaking is Difficult,” directed by AJ Schnack, was named “Best Documentary Short.”

The Audience Award for “Best Fiction Short” went to Timothy Busfield and Tommy Lohmann for “One Smart Fellow,” and Amy Nicholson’s “Pickle” won the Audience Award for “Best Documentary Short.”

All in all, TCFF was a rousing success. Thousands attended the festival’s opening night with 82 of the 250 screened films sold out on the first day.

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival photo/Traverse City Film Festival–Flickr

Sounds like a winner to us. Now, it’s time to plan our Traverse City trip for next year.

 

The Short of the Week

Who Is Evelyn Black? (short film and movie news)

Who Is Evelyn Black? poster/http://themichaelfoster.wix.com/evelynblackmovie

So, “Who is Evelyn Black?” That’s the question and title of our “Short Film of the Week,” an intriguing, suspenseful thriller about a woman who leads a double life.

Let’s juts say that, by the end of this film, her duplicity will seem warranted.  Directed by Michael Foster, Evelyn Black is a compelling little short that deserves more attention. It has our stamp of approval.

It will get yours as well. Don’t believe us, just register and watch at this link.

Gold Star for “Gold Star”

Gold Star film poster (short film and movie news)

Gold Star film poster/http://goldstartheshort.com/

Karla Legaspy’s short film “Gold Star” won the PBS Online Film Festival. It beat out 24 other shorts as the contest’s top vote-getter.  

To see this wonderful short film for free.99 (translation: free), visit this link. It will include all the info you’ll need on Gold Star and the other shorts.

 

Awards Season Starts With TIFF

Snowden (short film and movie news)

Still from Snowden/Twitter

Awards season is about to ramp up real soon. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from Spetember 8-18, is a kingmaker for the major movie awards.

TIFF has a history of breaking Oscar darlings. Films like Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and The King’s Speech debuted at TIFF before going on to earn gold statues the following year.

A scene from Silver Linings Playbook (short film and movie news)

Silver Linings Playbook/Facebook

Several films that will be screened at TIFF could generate Oscar buzz.

According to CNN, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, is a potential contender.

Loving, a powerful film about an interracial couple fighting racism and the law in the 1960s, could also vie for a gold statue.

One intriguing entry is the Oliver Stone-directed biopic Snowden, which chronicles the life of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The phenomenal Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the lead role — and we’re not mad at that.

Other films that could get  Oscar love are Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation, Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe (starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o) and Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral.

 

We’ll keep track of TIFF news and the fates of these and other Oscar contenders over the next several months. Meanwhile, feel free to use the info we just shared with you at your next gathering. Our knowledge will be sure to impress your friends — wink!

Fun Short Fact…

Napoleon Dynamite (short film and movie news)

Still from Napoleon Dynamite/Facebook

Did you know that Napoleon Dynamite evolved from a nine-minute short film?

Yeah, we didn’t either. IndieWire recently spilled the tea on how Napoleon Dynamite writer-director Jared Hess came up with his cult comedy hit. It evolved from a short film entitled, “Peluca,” which he shot as a student at Brigham Young University.

IndieWire uncovers the links the short shares with its predecessor, but you can see them for yourself by checking out Peluca in its entirety:

 

Enjoy!

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

What’s Up?! Women Filmmakers Rule, Best Short Film

Michael Moore (short film and movie news)

Michael Moore, TCFF Founder and President/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up, good people?! The short film and entertainment news never stops, so we don’t either.

One of the more progressive film festivals is set to begin this week, Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), which runs July 26-31. What’s distinctive about the TCFF is that every officially selected film at this year’s festival – 32 of them – are directed by women.

Will there be films directed by men screened at TCFF? Yes, said Moore to IndieWire recently, but as a sidebar.

“Every film in our Official Selection (US), fiction and nonfiction, is directed or co-directed by a woman,” Moore said. “And they’re all incredible movies. As an expression of tokenism usually reserved for women, I am bringing five films by American men in a sidebar called, ‘Men Make Movies —The Struggle Continues.’”

TCFF’s programming takes direct aim at the perceived inequalities of the mainstream movie industry, which largely restricts filmmaking access to women and people of color.

Moore  in the TCFF welcome letter said this:

“…And this rigged system continues uninterrupted when those of us who benefit from our “white male privilege” do not acknowledge it openly, do not rock the boat that has served us so well, do not rail against the obvious and thus remain complicit through our obedient silence. This tidy little arrangement keeps women—and people of color—in their place: on the outside looking in, with only a rare token seat for them at the table…”

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival /Twitter

Notable selections include a documentary about legendary television writer/producer Norman Lear, entitled Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady; Maggie’s Plan, directed by Rebecca Miller, starring Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke and Maya Rudolph and Certain Women, directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Kristen Stewart.

And in case you’re wondering, TCFF has a diverse and compelling short film program as well. Props to Michael Moore for doing his part to help level the playing field for women filmmakers. We like the cut of his jib.

 

“Short Film of the Week”

Star Wars Episode 4-A Toy Story (short film and movie news)

Star Wars Episode 4-A Toy Story poster/Facebook

One of the more imaginative films on our platform pays homage to two influential movies, Star Wars and Toy Story.  “Star Wars: Episode IV – A Toy Story,” a well-executed fan film, is our “Short Film of the Week.”

Written and directed by Raymond Montemayor, the short is about a Star Wars fanatic who is persuaded to sell his collection of action figures by an overbearing girlfriend. When he attempts to do just that, he goes on one memorable adventure.

The special effects alone are entertaining. Yet, it is easy to see why this short film scored an 8.9 out of 10 rating on IMDB.com.

To see “Star Wars: Episode IV – A Toy Story,” use the force and hit this link.

 

From Around The Web…

Leslie Jones (short film and movie news)

Leslie Jones/Facebook

What is the best short film ever made? Several film critics shared their opinions with IndieWire. You can check out the story and those short films at this link.

Star Trek Beyond, the film from the revered franchise, is a certified hit, rocking the box office this weekend.

Finally, the inimitable Leslie Jones, of “Saturday Night Live” and Ghostbusters fame, was the subject of a fascinating profile in The New Yorker earlier this year. Given her recent rise to prominence, the article is worth revisiting. The language in this piece is coarser than old sandpaper, but it is well worth your time.  

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

 

What’s Up?! PBS Short Film Contest, TV Stars Dish

What’s up, good people?! We can’t offer you SHADE for this blazing summer, but we do have the latest short film and movie news you need.

What a time to be alive for people who appreciate short films. The short film genre has become all the rage thanks to a bevy of celebrities and organizations that have utilized the medium to tell important stories.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is helping to promote our beloved medium even more with its online film festival, which runs until July 29.

2016 PBS Online Film Festival (short film and movie news)

2016 PBS Online Film Festival poster/Facebook

The best part is the spectacular array of short films you get to see. There are 25 of them in all and you get the opportunity to vote. What’s even better is you get to see these works for free.

Tatyana Ali (short film and movie news)

Tatyana Ali (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) stars in a short film featured in the PBS Online Film Contest/Wikimedia Commons

You can stream all 25 shorts and vote here. Winners will be announced August 1.

Happy viewing!

 

“Short of the Week”

"All that I Am" (short film and movie news)

“All that I Am” movie poster

With regard to what has been going on in the world, it has been a rough few weeks. We figured you could use a short film that is inspiring.

Enter “All that I Am,” a short about professional motorcross racer Aaron Baker who suffered a horrific, life-altering accident.

How Baker bounces back is what makes this five-minute short so inspiring. As the kids say, this short film will give you all the feels.

You can watch the “All that I Am” short film by hitting this link.

We figured you could use a little light amid all this doom and gloom.

 

TV’s Top Funny Men Sound Off

2016 THR Comedy Actor Roundtable (short film and movie news)

2016 THR Comedy Actor Roundtable/YouTube

This one time TV’s top funnymen sat down at a table and let it rip.

Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, this goodness was all captured on camera. The publication’s critically-acclaimed roundtable series just released its latest installment featuring Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation”),  Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Tony Hale (“Arrested Development”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Key and Peele”) and Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show”) — seven of the top comic actors on television at this very moment.

The conversation is candid, coarse (there are some F-bombs in there) and funny. They dish on embarrassing moments, the folks they look up to and how they got to where they are.

You heard the term “must-see TV.” Well, this is a must-see about the TV industry.

Check it out here:

We would be remiss if we didn’t include the awesome 2016 Comedy Actress Roundtable, featuring six of the top comic actresses on TV — Allison Janney (“Mom”), Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Niecy Nash (“Getting On”) and Ilana Glazer (“Broad City”).

Pretty tremendous stuff:

 

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

What’s Up?! Palm Springs Shorts Film Fest & Sundance

Palm Springs Int'l. ShortFest (short film and movie news)

Palm Springs Int’l. ShortFest/Instagram

What’s up, good people?! No fear, this week’s roundup of movie and short film news is here.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, one of the most acclaimed festivals in the world, just wrapped up its biggest event yet. Last month, it featured over 300 short films from over 50 countries. The ShortFest also showcased a three-day conference dedicated to the next wave of filmmaking, Virtual Reality.

Itsashort.com corresponded with Palm Springs ShortFest director Helen du Toit to talk about the festival’s future and the works that were featured. She even doled out a bit of advice for filmmakers looking to submit for next year’s ShortFest.

Itsashort.com: What made this year’s Palm Springs ShortFest different from previous ones?

Helen du Toit: Many of the films in the festival this year explored themes of immigration, displacement and refugees — which is a clear reflection of major issues impacting people the world over. Interestingly, the perspectives of the filmmakers were ultimately hopeful, despite documenting stories of hardship or conflict.

Still photo from "Bon Voyage" (short film and movie news)

Still photo from “Bon Voyage”/Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest

Itsashort: What quality/qualities did the winning selections possess that differentiated them from the competition?

du Toit: The jury’s selections definitely skewed towards themes of migration. Honestly, the level of craftsmanship was extremely high, boding very well for the future of film.

Itsashort: How do you see the ShortFest evolving over the next few years?

du Toit: Our primary goal is to provide a platform for international emerging filmmakers to network and hone their skills. Many of them say that it is like Summer Camp for international filmmakers. We intend to build on the current successes and bring in more and more students and young filmmakers every year.

Still photo from "Taking Flight" (short film and movie news)

Still photo from “Taking Flight”/Palm Springs Int’l. ShortFest

Itsashort.com: What advice would you give to prospective filmmakers interested in submitting to the Palm Springs International ShortFest?

du Toit: Because the programming team sees over 4000 submissions, it is crucial to be as original as possible in your storytelling. And before you start shooting, know what you want to say. You are not just directing your actors on set, you are directing the audience to witness your own specific view of the world. Plus, we are ALWAYS looking for great comedies!

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

"Intersection" Short Film (short film and movie news)

“Intersection” Short Film poster/Facebook

Intersection,” directed by Brendan Beachman, takes place at — you guessed it — an intersection in the middle of nowhere.

Everything seems copacetic with two construction workers until a supernatural event occurs.

This graphic, mind-trip of a short film features stunning cinematography, special effects and editing.  Did we mention that it is satisfyingly creepy as well?

To see this critically-acclaimed short film, hit this link.

Oh, and prepare to have your mind BLOWN.

 

Sundance Shorts Coming To A Theater Near You

2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (short film and movie news)

2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour/Sundance.org

A 90-year-old woman tries bacon for the first time. A police officer incorporates a Bruce Springsteen song into an awkward eulogy and a group of Senegalese street vendors fight over a piece of New York City sidewalk.

Those stories are just part of the 2016 Sundance Short Film Tour, a veritable hodge-podge of films that range from the compelling to the downright absurd.

The short film tour, which started last month, will play at 35 venues across the country.

In a recent review, The Hollywood Reporter attested to the random nature of Sundance’s 95-minute short film program:

Here, one finds every kind of thing, from quirky docs and neorealist dilemmas to animation and dive-bomb Surrealism.

The short film about the nonagenarian trying bacon for the first time, Bacon & God’s Wrath, is one of the standouts, along with the short about a cop doing his mother’s Eulogy (Thunder Road). Asantewaa Prempeh’s Jungle, which chronicles two Senegalese street vendors trying to eke out a living, has also drawn raves.

For more information about the 2016 Sundance Short Film Tour, see this link. And speaking of the Sundance, filmmakers looking to submit to the 2017 festival, should visit this link.

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

 

What’s Up?! A Scary Short Film, Oscar Diversity

Accidents, Blunders and Calamities (short film and movie news)

Accidents, Blunders and Calamities movie poster/imdb.com

What’s up good people?! We hope your Holiday weekend was splendid and that you are ready for Some short film AND MOVIE news!

Is it possible for a film to be both scary and adorable? Apparently it is, if this report about a short film from New Zealand is to be believed.

“Accidents, Blunders, and Calamities,” a film created by the Media Design School of New Zealand, is garnering a boatload of accolades. The animated short, directed by James Cunnigham, chronicles the biggest threat to animal kind the world over, human absent-mindedness. A Father Possum reads off an entire litany of casualties that animal kind have suffered at the hands of humans. Here is the five-minute short film in its entirety.

According to Nerdist, 44 students created over 30 CGI creatures that were featured in “Accidents, Blunders, and Calamities.”

At any rate, this short film, will likely make you come to a few conclusions:

One, human beings are terrible.

Two, this makes my skin crawl. 

And three, it is absolutely lovely to watch. 

If a short film can elicit those responses, chances are you’ve got a winner.

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

The Pradys (2014) (Short Film and Movie News)

The Pradys movie poster

Family secrets, sibling rivalry and a dog?! “The Pradys,” our short film of the week, has all this and apparently more.  The short is about a guy who, upon admitting he dropped out of law school, gets a reaction from his parents that he didn’t quite expect.

Explained writer Jessica Hendrickson, “The Pradys is a comedic short film I wrote a couple years ago about the hilarious consequences that ensue as a result of the little lies families keep from each other.” 

At any rate, the consequences are quite hilarious. The Pradys has been accepted at a number of prestigious indie film festivals such as the LA Indie Film Festival and the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, among others.

Bop on over to this link at itsashort.com and prepare to giggle.

 

Oscars: Latest Diversity Push Barely Moves The Needle

Idris Elba, 2014 (short film and movie news)

Idris Elba/Wikimedia Commons

After February’s Oscar debacle, organizers are pushing for more diversity. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently invited 683 filmmakers, actors and industry types to join its body, the most ethnic and gender diverse class ever.

Forty-one percent of the new class is comprised of people of color, bumping the overall academy from 8% to 11% people of color, according to the Los Angeles Times. Currently, the Academy is comprised of more than 6,000 members.

Should these new invitees assent to inclusion, the impact would still be slight. The same is true on the gender side.

Male membership would slip from 75% to 73% – white membership from 92% to 89%, reports BBC News.

Rachel McAdams (short film and movie news)

Rachel McAdams/Wikimedia Commons

The invitees list still manages to be impressive. It’s a who’s who of established actors like Rachel McAdams, Idris Elba, Anika Noni RoseBrie Larson and Jacob Vargos.

Even the dude from Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on the list:

This latest push for inclusion comes months after the 88th Annual Academy Awards controversy. The apparent lack of diversity among Oscar nominees sparked a massive outcry and birthed the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

As for the push for inclusion, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacssaid the plan is to “keep that pedal to the metal.”

“The industry is evolving,” she said, “and the more inclusion the better…We absolutely want to change the demographics of the Academy, but what is of the utmost importance is recognizing the challenge that is there. Production companies, studios, different organizations can create more opportunities, and I think we’ll see more diversity as the years go on.”

We at itsashort.com look forward to seeing the results of this latest initiative.

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

What’s Up?! Emmy Actresses, Short Film Buzz

THR's Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable (short film and movie news)

THR’s Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable/YouTube

What’s Up?! It’s summertime and the weather is hot. And so is this week’s roundup of movie, short film and entertainment news.

The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable discussions with television and movie big wigs is revelatory. Why? Because the series, which airs on Sundance TV, makes you the fly on the wall.

The latest edition is the best one yet.

THR’s Drama Actress Roundtable included Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Sarah Paulson (“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson”), Regina King (“American Crime”) and Constance Zimmer (“UnREAL”).

It’s like a Lollapalooza lineup for TV actors.

Anyway, these ladies talk about everything under the sun, from what they won’t do for a role and embarrassing experiences.

Luckily, you can experience all this goodness yourself thanks to the magic of YouTube:

 

Yeah, we agree. The starpower in that room is so bright, you’ll need sunscreen just to watch the video.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

No Fare short film (short film and movie news)

“No Fare” short film/itsashort.com

Sometimes, the story about how a film gets made can be just as interesting as the work itself.

Such is the case with “No Fare,” a short film directed by Daniel Masciari. The work was born when Masciari pitched it as an idea in a contest called “Pitch It to Produce It” back in April 2014.

In the span of three months, Masciari, with the help of his former peers at Ithaca College, produced this 14-minute short, the first ever at The Studio at Ithaca College.

For Masciari, the experience was a game changer.

“It was an experience that will live with me for the rest of my life,” he said back in 2014.

Nevertheless, his short got screened at the FirstGlance Film Fest in Philadelphia in 2015. And now, it has the distinction of being our “Short Film of the Week.”

“No Fare” chronicles a weary bus driver who ponders “possibility” after he encounters this particular passenger. As you watch, you can’t help but root for the guy, hoping he will get to taste this “possibility.” It’s a journey that is worth the, um, trip  — pun intended.

Register at itsashort.com to see this off-beat, little short film. Most of all, enjoy!

 

These Films Have Film Festival Folks Buzzing

Maya Angelou (short film and movie news)

Maya Angelou/Wikimedia Commons

A flurry of feature and short films have been making noise on the summer film festival circuit. Serious noise. We’ve added the trailers for each film.

Without further ado, here they are in all their glory.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” a documentary about the famed writer, just won the audience award for best feature at the AFI Docs 2016 film festival.

The AFI award for best short film went to “Snails,” a Polish short about a group of best friends who become snail farmers.

Like AFI Docs, the Palm Springs International ShortFest just concluded as well. The top short film to emerge from that fest was Daniel Mulloy’s “Home.”

“Home,” about a young, unsuspecting family getting caught up in a refugee migration, won the Best of the Festival Award at the Palm Springs ShortFest.

But “Home” wasn’t the only big winner at Palm Springs. These films were also a hit with viewers:

Audience awards were voted to the live-action short The Chop, a comedy about a Jewish butcher, directed by Lewis Rose; the documentary short Phil’s Camino, directed by Annie O’Neil and Jessica Lewis, about a Stage 4 cancer patient; and the animated short Taking Flight, directed by Brandon Oldenburg.

The complete list of winners can be found here.

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

What’s Up?! MJ Comes To TV & Alicia Keys’s New Short Film

Michael Jackson (short film and movie news)

Michael Jackson/Facebook

What’s up good people?! Summer is here and we have the movie and short film news you can use.

The final months of Michael Jackson’s life is coming to the small screen thanks to filmmaker J.J. Abrams and author and talk show host Tavis Smiley.

Abrams is planning to turn Smiley’s new book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days” into a TV miniseries.

This is the second time Smiley and Abrams are teaming up on a project.

Smiley and Abrams will serve as executive producers. Their production companies, Smiley TV and Bad Robot, announced in April they are also developing a television series about Smiley’s 2014 book, “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.”

The Michael Jackson project, which is described as a novelistic take on The King of Pop’s final months, follows a growing television trend where real life events are serialized for TV. FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” enjoyed enormous success earlier this year. Though the Michael Jackson project is in the developmental phase, it is expected to draw huge interest.

Abrams’ involvement is a mild surprise, if only because it’s such a huge departure from his other recent work…it’s hard to imagine a more compelling subject, and it’s being built from a solid base in Smiley’s book, says The Verge.

It may be awhile before this project becomes a reality. Still, legions will be waiting with bated breath for this development. Believe that.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

TAPE by Sierra Parr (short film and movie news)

TAPE poster/Facebook

Our short film of the week transports us to a place not often seen. The psychological thriller “TAPE” takes place in purgatory and explores the critical issue of mental illness. The main character finds himself in this netherworld where he meets five suicide victims who have a secret they cannot share.

Bone-chilling is how most would describe this short. We think this film will keep you riveted while rewiring your insides, simultaneously. In other words, TAPE is compelling with a capital “C.”

Hit this link to watch the full film.

But please, do us a favor and buckle up — shoulders, waist and feet.

 

Alicia Keys’s New Short Film

Alicia Keys (short film and movie news)

Alicia Keys/Wikimedia Commons

Alicia Keys recently made a short film to tackle an important issue and showcase her music. Unlike Lemonade, Beyoncé’s sprawling and wonderful filmic album, Keys takes a different approach. Her short film “Let Me In” shines a light on the global refugee crisis. Plus, it is an actual film instead of a music video.

Alicia Keys's Short Film, "Let Me In"

Alicia Keys’s Short Film, “Let Me In”/Twitter

The 11-minute short, directed by Jonathan Olinger, depicts what happens when a young girl and her family suddenly become refugees.

“Creating this film really allowed us to imagine, what if we were the refugees? What if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones? How would it feel if this were happening to us?” said Keys in a statement.

In addition, her new song “Hallelujah” serves the film’s centerpiece.

See this powerful short film for yourself below:

And kudos to those artists who are using the short film genre to tell important stories. Here’s hoping that more musicians follow suit.

 

Film Festing

Michael Moore (short film and movie news)

Michael Moore/Wikimedia Commons

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, which launched this week, is regarded as the largest festival of its kind.

The Huffington Post recently hailed the short film festival as brilliant and innovative:

The opening night selection boasts major award winners from the world’s top film festivals and focuses on the most talented emerging international directors. Elsewhere, there are plenty of other standouts—Romania’s “237 Years,” Berlin’s In Pursuit,” and featured programs such as “Sibling Stories” and the Monty Python-inspired “And Now For Something Completely Different” should generate applause.

Another film festival of note that launches this summer is the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), which was founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.  For more information about TCFF, hit this link.

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check outitsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.