What’s Up?! Oscar Buzz, Chicago Short Film Docs

Still from Jackie (short film and movie news)

Still from “Jackie” /imdb.com

What’s up, good people?! The days are getting shorter and the temps are getting cooler. But the short film buzz is sizzling, movies too.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) just had its first sale. Fox Searchlight bought the U.S. distribution rights to Jackie, the Jacqueline Kennedy biopic starring Natalie Portman as the former First Lady.

Why is this significant?

Fox Searchlight is planning on releasing the film on Dec. 9, smack dab in the middle of awards season.

Ultimately, Fox Searchlight believes this film could ultimately garner some significant hardware. An Oscar? A Golden Globe? A Screen Actors Guild Award?  Perhaps.

We told you about Jackie several weeks ago, but here is more: the biopic is directed by Pablo Larraín and chronicles the immediate aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“Pablo Larraín’s Jackie is a daring, one-of-a-kind cinematic portrayal of a beloved icon,” said Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley. “Led by an indelible performance from Natalie Portman and supported by a richly talented ensemble of actors and artists, the film is one we are thrilled to bring to audiences later this year.”. 

 

Vote for These Short Film Docs

The Black Kid Table (short film and movie news)

“The Black Kid Table” /http://www.missgraham.com/

An African-American man lands the opportunity of a lifetime, he gets a role in a major movie featuring this huge star.

The day this actor starts working, the huge star notices him. And when that star approaches him, it is to tell a “black” joke, an inappropriate one at that.

This anecdote is from the documentary short film “The Black Kid Table,” one of the entries in the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.  Directed by Stephanie Graham, The Black Kid Table has black subjects from different spheres of society talking about their cringeworthy encounters with racism.

34 Days: Hungry for Justice (short film and movie news)

From “34 Days: Hungry for Justice”

Another intriguing entry in the Collected Voices contest is “34 Days: Hungry for Justice,” a short doc that chronicles a group of Chicago activists who go on a hunger strike to save a community school. The event drew national attention and highlighted the political turmoil around class and education in Chicago.

"Variations" (short film and movie news)

“Variations” poster/Laurie Little

And finally, the inspiring “Variations” chronicles a dancer, a pianist and a visual artist. This short film documentary about these three artists is best summed up in a single line: “Part of what’s breathtaking about us is our variance and flexibility.”

This variance is what’s central to human beauty, states Riva Lehrer, who is featured in this Laurie Little-directed short film.

You can watch and vote for these Collected Voices nominees at this link. You have until September 23 to cast your vote. It’s free and it is fun.

Trust us on this one.

 

Take Us to “La La Land”

Still from "La La Land" (short film and movie news)

Still from “La La Land” /Facebook

The Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone musical La La Land is also getting some of that good Oscar buzz.  It is almost deafening. The film reportedly dazzled audiences and Oscar voters at the Telluride Film Festival. Apparently, it did the same at the recent Venice Film Festival.

Stone won the best actress award at Venice.

Plus, La La Land, which is about a jazz pianist falling for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, is making the fall festival circuit rounds as well. It could also join Jackie as a potential Oscar nominee.

Here is a clip of the Damien Chazelle-directed musical.

 

The VR Short Film You Want To See

Before we leave you, we have to put you up on “Henry,” an animated short film by Facebook’s Oculus Story Studio. It just won an Emmy. The trailer looks so cool. Check it out for yourself.

 

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What’s Up?! Sundance, “FirstGlance” Short Film Winner

What’s up, ya’ll? Welcome to a new week, and here’s the good word.

Itsashort is hosting a live Google hangout with the winner of the prestigious FirstGlance Fall 2015 Short Online Contest!

That’s right, this Thursday you will get the opportunity to chat with Brian Mellen, director of the gripping short film “Spark and Fade,” which you can check out below:

Rock star media mogul Brandon Broussard will moderate the discussion. You can pose questions on the live stream or participate on Twitter. Just use the hashtag #sparkandfade to chat with two of film and television’s rising stars.

The Google hangout is on Jan. 14 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.

 

Submit to Sundance Next Year

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival opens in less than two weeks, and itsashort.com can’t wait to be there.

You know the saying about the early bird getting the worm, well the early filmmaker who submits in a timely fashion, will get his work seen and heard (Okay that didn’t sound as cool when I read that out loud).

Nevertheless, it is never too early to consider submitting for Sundance 2017. Interested? Well, Sundance wants you to check back here during the first week of May.

But you just can’t submit your piece “willy-nilly,” without a bit of inside info.

Thanks to this wonderful article with Sundance Film Festival programmer Mike Plante, here are the most important pieces of advice regarding the submission process.

On short film submissions: “8,700 this year, which is the third year in a row we have received over 8,000.”

According to Plante, a 10-person committee screens the films. They are tasked with selecting around 70 shorts out of that batch that will make it to Sundance. That’s an arduous task, folks. Why? Plante said there are usually 300 shorts that the committee really loves. That means they have to break the hearts of 230 submitters before getting to the winners.

The trend from this year’s submissions:

Filmmakers are getting better at telling stories and creating characters in a shorter amount of time. It feels like they are trusting the audience more and more. You don’t need to imitate a feature, in fact that hurts a short film. Less is more. We have hilarious comedies that are less than 7 minutes long, and powerful documentaries with huge stories in just 15 minutes of run time.

And finally, advice for those who want to submit next year. Here is how you can impress a Sundance film programmer:

Did I say less is more yet? Audiences are so savvy at festivals that you can trust them. You don’t have to tell them what to think with more dialogue and “action” for lack of a better word. They watch shorts all the time—TV shows, commercials, music videos, and now actual short films online.  

“World of Tomorrow,” the 2015 winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, is one work that captured the hearts of judges last year. Here is the trailer for that mesmerizing short:

Awesome, right? Now it’s your turn.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

See The Golden Globes Tonight

We would be remiss if we did not mention the arrival of awards season with tonight’s airing of the 73rd annual Golden Globes. Sorry to disappoint you, but if you’re watching, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler won’t be your co-hosts this year. Instead, British comedian Ricky Gervais will serve as your master of ceremonies.

Expect some edgy and irreverent humor.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Denzel Will Be in The Building

Ladies (and some gentlemen) don’t swoon. That’s right, Denzel Washington will be one of the main stars of the evening. He is receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, bestowed to those who have made “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Mr. Washington certainly fits that bill.

Oscar Film Buzz

As far as the big films are concerned, the Globes have long served as the bellwether to the Oscars. The strongest Oscar “Best Picture” contenders from the Globes’ Best Motion Picture, Drama category are “Spotlight” and “The Revenant,” supposedly. In the “Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” category, Globe nominees “The Big Short” and “The Martian” are seen as the prime contenders as well. Nevertheless, the race is said to be wide open. “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Compton” have their supporters as well.

The 88th Academy Awards will air February 28 at 7pm ET. Until then, we’ll enjoy the awesome three-hour spectacle that is the Golden Globes, and more importantly, we’ll see who gives the most inebriated acceptance speech. Itsashort.com will be watching and it should be fun, fun, fun!

What’s Up!? The Golden Globes: Je suis Charlie!!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PMWell, the award season launches with the Golden Globes! What do we love most: The speeches, the clothes, who walks with who or the movies? Here at itsashort.com we love the Golden Globes because as George Clooney says, its about ‘the little guy’ movies, not the block busters. The independents, they need the push, and the industry, delightfully, pushes for independence and point of view and talent, creativity, all the things that make making and watching movies the amazing experience we know it to be. So, thank you, Golden Globes! Below is the montage of best moments from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the George Clooney speech and Common and John Legend! Honorable mention goes to the very touching tribute Michael Keaton pays to his son. What were your favorite moments?

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

We so appreciate their very unique brand of ‘keepin it real’ humor!!

George Clooney: Je suis Charlie!

George Clooney offers a very moving tribute to his colleagues, Amal and all of the people world wide protesting the hideous events in Paris: Je suis Charlie!

Common and John Legend for their wonderful and timely music titled: Glory

Common and John Legend were introduced by Prince!!!! Common offered a very moving tribute, the movie Selma, to the US fight against terrorism, racism and any other ism that divides our citizens.

OMG the Globes ‘killed it’ this year!!

itsashort.com

Like the Golden Globes, we are unrelenting fans and the keenest of advocates for the independent artists, as George Clooney says: the little guy, they need the push. Our site is designed for just that. Please join us in our global efforts to support the independent artists and register here.

There are amazing artists and award winning short film, video and webseries you must discover!!! itsashort.com is the platform for discovery, thank you for your support!!!