What’s Up?! An Oscar Contender, Short Film Contests

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.02.49 AM

What’s up, good people?! Hope you had a great Labor Day, but we know you miss us. So here’s your weekly roundup of short film and movie news.

The recently concluded Telluride Film Festival debuted a film that is generating considerable buzz and could contend for the major awards this season.

Moonlight is a three-part narrative about a gay African-American male who navigates his sexuality against the backdrop of his brutal Miami neighborhood.

The film, which is directed by Barry Jenkins, is unique in that it features characters seldom seen by mainstream audiences.

Nevertheless, Moonlight has left Telluride audiences and critics spellbound. It is expected to do the same at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, events that have a reputation for breaking Oscar-nominated pictures.

Thus far, the reviews have been fantastic.

“Jenkins has made a breathtaking film, one with political urgency and a deep, compassionate humanity. Moonlight is timely and timeless, a study in limits that casts its gaze up toward something transcendent,” raves Vanity Fair.

Another facet to Moonlight’s story is Jenkins, a former Florida State film school graduate who used to curate Telluride’s short film program.

“I always hoped this would play at Telluride,” Jenkins told the Los Angeles Times recently. “I haven’t seen a film at Telluride where people talk the way they do in the world of this film.”

Brad Pitt (short film and movie news)

Brad Pitt/Wikimedia Commons

Moonlight is co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment Inc. It is set to hit theaters October 21, but the buzz will only build from now to February when the 89th Academy Awards take place.

 

Vote On These Shorts

Last week, we gave you brief synopses of the short film nominees in the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.

This week we highlight two shorts that depict characters grappling with loss. The first is “Nowhere to Be Found,” which is about a mother on a seemingly endless quest to locate her child’s father.

Directed by Rebecca Montalvo and Brian VandenBos, this short film is tinged with emptiness. Yet, you are compelled to watch, if only to see whether the lead character is successful in her quest.

Our second short film entrant is “Through the Trees,” which depicts a widower on the cusp of a fateful decision, that is until he meets a young man on the street. At first, this film is melancholic, but then it morphs into something entirely different. You may leave this Ryan Donovan-directed short with a smile after it ends.

You can watch and vote for these shorts and six others once-a-day, every day for free on our platform until September 23.

To take part, go here.

Pick  a favorite or two or five. It’s your world.

From Around the Web…

Thom Yorke (short film and movie news)

Thom Yorke of Radiohead/ Wikimedia Commons

Speaking of contests, Radiohead recently announced the winners of their short film contest which launched in July.

Fans were asked to submit vignettes using the one-minute version of their song, “Daydreaming.” They announced the six winners via this Instagram post.

To see the winning short film entries, check out this IndieWire link.

And…

Forbes magazine will host a short film contest for filmmakers under 30.

Winning shorts will be screened at a miniature film festival from October 16-18 before a room of 5,000 “young entrepreneurs and game-changers” from media, technology, entertainment and social good industries, among others.

Michelle Obama (short film and movie news)

Not bad.

For more information, please see this link.

And…

What kind of people are we if we can’t show love to Brooklyn. Huh? The Brooklyn Film Festival recently announced the winners of their film event. You can check out the full list here.  

And finally…

We have to show you “Infinitude,” the most amazing short film about the cosmic evolution you will ever see. Special shout-out to director Scott Portingale and the folks over at Gizmodo for letting us know about this one.

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?! Fall Movies, CV Short Film Contest

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (short film and movie news)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie poster/Facebook

What’s up, good people?! We have the goods on the latest movie and short film news of the week.

Now that the summer is just about over, it’s all about fall, football, and more films, 37 of them that the Hollywood Reporter is declaring their most anticipated movies of the season.

It’s a tantalizing platter indeed. From Star Wars and Harry Potter spinoffs to a film about the 2010 BP Oil Spill and a biopic on eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes. What would any movie season be without a comic book character movie? Thanks to Marvel, there’s one of those on deck as well.

Emily Blunt (short film and movie news)

Emily Blunt/Wikimedia Commons

These fall films will feature the industry’s biggest stars: Tom Hanks, Hellen Mirren, Denzel Washington, Emily Blunt, Warren Beatty and Benedict Cumberbatch, among many others.

We already mentioned Snowden with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the The Magnificent Seven with Washington. We’d be remiss if we didn’t cite Renee Zellweger’s return to the big screen with Bridget Jones’s Baby and Tim Burton’s enchanting new adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

 

Oh and a movie where Amy Adams and Forrest Whitaker confront aliens?

We’re here for that too.

As we enter that pivotal stretch where Hollywood ramps up for awards season, these films will either live up to the hype or fall flat. Most will be resurrected for their eventual basic cable runs 15 months from now.

Still, fall is a pivotal period for unique and important movies.

Vote In the Collective Voices Short Film Contest!

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

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival/self-submitted

We have an impressive slate of short film entries of our own. For instance, a guy likes a girl but doesn’t know how to approach her. Chicago activists go on a hunger strike to save a neighborhood high school. A widower who is contemplating suicide encounters a young homeless man.

Then there are these: A musician, an artist and a dancer share their art and influences. Black people discuss what it’s like being the only one in the room. A medical doctor pursues her dream of becoming a dancer. A young mother ventures out in search of her child’s father, and an emotionally damaged man fulfills one last item on his to-do list before he leaves.

These are the storylines of the eight short films included in our inaugural Collected Voices Online Film Contest, which showcases works that explore the intersection of race, age, class, gender and sexuality.

You can vote on these films for free over on our platform at itsashort.com. To vote, go to this link, watch as much as you want and vote for your favorite short film.

Spread the word and tell a friend.

 

From Around the Web…

We are in the business of highlighting quality short films. We discovered this little gem at designtaxi.com: an award-winning, animated short about lovers that complement each other called “Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou.”

The short film, created by Michael Bidinger and Michelle Kwon,and produced at Ringling College of Art and Design, is top shelf.

See for yourselves.

And…

One of the year’s most stunning projects was Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade. Her video for “Formation” just won the MTV Video Music Awards’ Video of the Year award.

Music videos fall within the short film genre, and Formation is as cinematic and arresting as it gets.

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?! 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?! 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?! 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?! New Ghostbusters; FirstGlance Short Film Winner

The New Ghostbusters (short film and movie news)

The New “Ghostbusters”/www.ghostbusters.com (official site)

What’s up, good people?! We’re back from the Memorial Day Holiday with the movie and short film news you need.

We’re smack dab in the Summer Blockbuster Season! That means action films with car chases and explosions, a plethora of super hero franchises and of course, reboots of classic movies will dominate.

One of the most polarizing blockbusters is Ghostbusters, the remake of the 1984 classic that originally starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson.

The Original Ghostbusters cast (movies and short film)

The Original Ghostbusters cast/Facebook

The 2016 remake has a new cast that reads like a who’s who of comedic actresses: the always entertaining Melissa McCarthy, the brilliantly daft Kristen Wiig, master impressionist Kate McKinnon and the completely outrageous Leslie Jones.

Word is, the remake might be funnier and scarier than the original, according to this original old-timer.

Even that kind of endorsement can’t stem the tide of criticism of the film, which is set to hit theaters July 15. The first trailer holds the distinction of being the most disliked trailer ever on YouTube (over 854K dislikes on YouTube as of May 31).

Another bone of contention with fans is the casting of the original surviving Ghostbusters members, who will make cameos in the new film instead of appearing as their original selves.

It remains to be seen how the film will fare with audiences. What we know is this: box office success and critical acclaim can be mutually exclusive. Bad summer blockbusters can and do make a boatload of money despite critical disapproval.

Plus, Ghostbusters already has a leg up on the 2016 blockbusters that have apparently tanked already. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” we are looking at you.

Ghostbusters' Bill Murray (short film and movie news)

Will the new Ghostbusters get ‘slimed’? We’ll shall see.

 

We Have A Winner

Thank you for the hundreds of voters who participated in the FirstGlance Short Film Contest. The film that will win the right to a free screening at the FirstGlance Film Festival is — drumroll, please — “The Accusation.”

The controversial film was the talk of the FirstGlance contest. Nevertheless, director Enrica Brunilde Amici‘s crime drama about the troubled relationship of a young American artist will earn a major opportunity via FirstGlance.

To see the short for yourself, visit this link.

A hearty congratulations goes to Enrica Brunilde Amici for her award-winning short film.

Shia LaBeouf (short film and movie news)

Shia approves.

 

How Her Short Film Got Her A Job With Steven Spielberg

Emily Carmichael (short film and movie news)

Emily Carmichael/http://kidcandrive.com/ (Official website)

Emily Carmichael, whose short films have been screened at SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival and Sundance, will have her first feature-length film (“Powerhouse”) produced by the great Stephen Spielberg and director Colin Trevorrow.

Steven Spielberg (short film and movie news)

Steven Spielberg says “Thank You.”

At 34-years-old, Carmichael has already won a bevy of awards for her work in the short film genre. Her critically-acclaimed short, “The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting,” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and garnered her the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Science Fiction Fantasy Short Film Festival — that is a mouthful.

Her animated short film RPG OKC was nominated for best narrative short at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Plus, her works have had commercial theatrical runs at venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the IFC Center, among others.

Carmichael’s chance of a lifetime came when Trevorrow saw “The Hunter and the Swan…,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Emily Carmichael is the next great writer-director of the kind of movies I love,” said Trevorrow. “Her ability to find warmth and humanity in genre storytelling is a superpower in itself.”

Carmichael is just the latest example of a short film creator successfully transitioning to feature films. We at itsashort.com are already rooting for her.

 

LA Film Festival Blasts Off – Finally

LAFF Poster (movie and short film news)

La Film Festival poster/http://www.filmindependent.org/

For weeks we have been telling you about the LA Film Festival, which launches this week and runs from June 1-9. The festival, which showcases the works of established and emerging filmmakers, will feature 56 feature films (42 of which are world premieres), 58 short films and 13 short episodic works from 28 countries, according to MovieMaker.

The LA Film Fest’s short film program covers an eclectic array of topics and themes, from the plight of a transgender character to a filmmaker’s decision to swim with dolphins. The Shorts Program looks to be well worth the ticket.

For more information on the LA Film Festival Shorts Program, visit this link.

Our Mission

itsashort.com at SXSW (features, short film, interactive)

itsashort.com at SXSW/Boban Stojanov

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?! #ChewbaccaMom, Top Cannes Movie And Short Film

#Chewbaccamom (movies and short film)

Internet Sensation ##Chewbaccamom (aka Candace Payne)/Twitter

What’s up good people?! Memorial Day is near and WE’RE HERE with the movie and short film news of the week.

The power of short film was on full display as a 4-minute Facebook video turned Texas mother Candace Payne into an internet sensation.

If you were orbiting Saturn last Thursday and missed Payne’s video, have a look-see.

 

Payne walked into a Kohl’s store looking for some Yoga pants and discovered an electronic Star Wars Chewbacca mask for $20. She bought the mask, filmed the video and the rest, as they say, is ‘herstory’. As of Tuesday, Payne’s video scored a whopping 142 million views on Facebook.

It also landed her interviews on Good Morning America, NPR and the BBC. It also earned her a drive with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and CBS The Late Late Show’s James Corden.

 

It was also the perfect marketing moment. Since Payne’s video, the Chewbacca mask has sold out at major retailers and went for as much as $500 on eBay.  Kohl’s delivered Star Wars merchandise to the Payne family and $2500 worth of gift cards, according to the New York Times.

Just as cool was the fact that Payne’s uproarious rendition of the famed Star Wars character earned approval from the actor that played the Wookiee.

 

 

Critics Say This Was The Best Cannes Film

Toni Erdmann (movie and short film)

Toni Erdmann poster/Facebook

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped on Monday, and a modest German comedy ended up being its most beloved movie.

The film “Toni Erdmann” got shut out from the top prize at Cannes. The coveted Palme d’Or award went to the film “I, Daniel Blake” by socialist filmmaker Ken Loach. Loach’s win was stunning because it was not recognized as Cannes top film. According to critics, Toni Erdmann earned that distinction.

It was Toni Erdmann that lifted the mood of the festival and had critics chuckling, says the New York Times. While it lost out to I, Daniel Blake, the film’s popularity has raised the profile of 39-year-old director Maren Ade.

The rave reviews of Ade’s third feature earned her 30 hours of interviews with 60 journalists from more than 15 countries.

And despite being shut out, Toni Erdmann ended up garnering some cool consolation prizes: international rights deals out the wazoo. Sony Pictures Classics bought the rights to distribute Toni Erdmann in North America.

So expect this Cannes crowdpleaser to debut at a theater near you.

 

Top Short At Cannes

Timecode Director Juanjo Giménez (short film and movies)

Timecode Director Juanjo Giménez/Facebook

The top short film at Cannes was about the lives of two security guards.

Timecode, by Spanish director Juanjo Giménez, won the short film Palme d’Or. Timecode is about the relationship between two security guards on duty. In filming this short, Giménez utilized parking lot cameras in order to deliver the short film.

According to one publication, Giménez prefers the short film genre to longer movies because they allow him to bring out the best in cinematic language in a way that provides more freedom than that of long motion pictures.

For a list of all the Cannes 2016 winners, click this amazing link.

 

We Looove LA — The FilmFest, That Is

LA Film Festival Poster (short film and movie news)

LA Film Festival Poster/Facebook

As we announced last week, the next stop on the film festival circuit is the vaunted LA Film Festival, which runs June 1-9 in the City of Angels. This fest is all about independent filmmakers. And this year, it will also be about EDM music. Zedd, one of the world’s most popular Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artists, will have his feature-length documentary “Zedd True Colors” premiere at the LA Film Festival.

Zedd and Ariana Grande (short film and movie news)

Zedd and Ariana Grande be jammin.

The LA Film Festival is also a destination event for short filmmakers. A short film selected to the LA Film Festival automatically qualifies for consideration by the Academy Awards in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Short Film categories.

For more information about this fest, check out 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 register to see the wonderful work of these creatives here.