What’s Up?! This Teenager’s Must-See Short Film, Bill Murray

Khaldiya Jibawi (short film and movie news)

Khaldiya Jibawi/http://anotherkindofgirl.com/

What’s up good people?! Welcome to your weekly ITSASHORT.COM movie and short film roundup.

A 19-year-old Syrian refugee is getting worldwide attention for her short film which was made on a handheld camera.

Khaldiya Jibawi’s “Another Kind of Girl” chronicles her family’s life at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, which is home to about 80,000 refugees. With her nine-minute short film, she depicts many aspects of camp life, from the sobering to the mundane.

She helps her siblings with homework, listens to music on her bed and walks around the camp with her friends. But there are also moments of frustration and melancholy: A shot of her hand tracing dirt on a window pane, a dusty tarp flapping in the wind, a door slamming. 

Jibawi’s short film was created with the help of a media workshop funded by the nonprofit WomenOne, in collaboration with Save the Children International. The workshop encourages young women to tell their stories.

Viewers and critics alike have welcomed Jibawi’s story. Her short film has appeared at Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and the recently concluded LA Film Festival. Is Oscar consideration next? We’ll see.

Said Jibawi in a recent interview with NPR,

This small camera can make so many beautiful moments. I get surprised by what I can capture. After I would film, I would sit down and look at the shots. I couldn’t believe these would be the shots I took, and this little camera made it happen.

That may be true, Ms. Jibawi. However, you and your short film are making it happen as well.

 

Bill Murray Gets Prestigious Honor

Bill Murray (short film and movie news)

Bill Murray by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

Beloved actor Bill Murray will be the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, which is given to individuals who have made a great contribution to American humor.  Murray will be the 19th recipient of the prestigious honor, joining the likes of Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, Carol Burnett and Eddie Murphy, to name a few.

We couldn’t think of a better candidate. Murray’s career spans 40 years. The “Saturday Night Live” alum has starred in a litany of critically-acclaimed films such as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Rushmore and Lost in Translation. He has even appeared in a short film or three (“Scout’s Honor,” “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit,” “Pass the Buck: Expo ’74”)

When the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that it would honor Mr. Murray, the comedian  quipped:

“I’m honored by this award and by its timing. I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace.”

Don’t ever change, Bill. Don’t ever change.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

"Orphan is the New Orange" (short film and movie news)

“Orphan is the New Orange” poster

Our “Short Film of the Week” is a unique kind of experience that parodies two popular shows.

You’ve heard of “Orange is the New Black” and BBC America’s “Orphan Black.”

Well, “Orphan is the New Orange” riffs on both shows and depicts a young woman who runs afoul of the law and winds up in prison.  That’s when the hijinks ensue.

Orphan is the New Orange is a mind-bending trip that will undoubtedly leave you chuckling. Grab some popcorn and hit this link to watch the full film.

You’ll thank us later.

 

Nothing Small About This ShortFest

Palm Springs International ShortFest (short film and movie news)

Palm Springs International ShortFest/Instagram

In one week, the Palm Springs International ShortFest commences as one of the only film festivals of its kind. What’s so special about this extravaganza?

The shorts: over 300 short films from 50 countries will be screened at the fest, which runs June 21-27.

And these are not your run-of-the-mill, made with daddy’s ‘handcam’ kind of shorts. Some big names are appearing in some of these works.

Kristen Wiig (short film and movie news)

Kristen Wiig/Wikimedia Commons

James Franco, Guy Pearce, Kristen Wiig, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, Steve Buscemi and Oscar Isaac will appear in some of the featured shorts.

Are you impressed yet?

For more information about the fabulous Palm Springs Shortfest, visit this link.

And if you go, drink lots of water. It’s blazing in Palm Springs this time of year. Make sure you take pics, too.

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.

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?! Jungle Book, Nashville And FirstGlance Short Film Contest

The Jungle Book movie poster (short film and movie news)

The Jungle Book movie poster/YouTube

What’s up good people?! The short film and movie news you need is here for you.

The biggest news of the week is the release of the highly-anticipated film, The Jungle Book, which has captivated audiences everywhere.

The reviews have been fantastic and people are bum-rushing their local theaters to catch the Walt Disney remake.

The box office numbers tell the tale:

The Walt Disney Co.’s “The Jungle Book opened with $103.6 million in North America, making it one of the biggest April debuts ever at the box office…, according to NBCNews.com.

Counting Money gif (movie and short film news)

Big money.

 The Jungle Book hype is real, folks. The movie is a feast for the eyes – a must-watch in 3-D. According to NBCNews.com, “42 percent of the film’s domestic sales came from 3-D and premium-format screens.”

This IMAX featurette is just a taste of this majestic piece of filmmaking, courtesy of director Jon Favreau.

 

Nowdo yourself a favor and go see this film. Itsashort.com commands you to.

 

Movies In Music City

Nashville Skyline (movie and short film news)

Nashville Skyline/pixabay.com

The weather is warmer and the days are longer. Top American film festivals like Sundance and SXSW are over, and the Tribeca Film Festival pushes on.

Yet, another fest is gaining prestige by the year and is entering the conversation as one of the country’s best. The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), which kicked off Thursday, has become a destination event for groundbreaking features, music documentaries and short films.

(500) Days of Summer movie poster (short film and movie news)

(500) Days of Summer movie poster

Well-regarded movies like 13 Assassins, (500) Days of Summer, and Oscar nominees I Am Love, Ajami, and Dogtooth once debuted at the 47-year-old movie extravaganza. Plus, NaFF has hosted its share of celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, William Shatner, Al Gore and Nicole Kidman to name a few.

The short film program is nothing to play with either.

The festival features 172 selections in the short film category. Those shorts were chosen from among 3,700 entries.

Yet, this is how big-time the Nashville Film Fest has become: Short film winners in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Shorts Competitions will qualify for consideration for the 2017 Academy Awards.

Wow (movie and short film news)

Yes. You read that right.

The Nashville Film Festival is in the upper echelon, in case you didn’t know.

For more information on NaFF, please check out this site.

Get Your First Glance

FirstGlance Short Film Contest

FirstGlance Short Online Contest

Did you ever want to be a film critic like Roger Ebert?

Well, here’s your chance. Itsashort.com is hosting the Spring 2016 FirstGlance Short Film Contest, which starts today and runs through May 18.

Here is how you can take part: Visit itsashort.com to watch and vote for the film you like the most. Once you register at no cost, you can watch the nominees and vote, once-a-day, everyday for the film of your choice.

Once the votes are tallied and prizes doled out, one lucky filmmaker will have their short film screened at an event in Philadelphia.

So vote early and often on your favorite short film. It’s fun and it doesn’t cost anything.

Plus, you’ll be making a filmmaker’s dream come true.

Got it?

Bill Clinton, Thumbs Up (movie and short film news)

Yep.

Good.

Our Mission

itsashort.com (short film and movie news)

LoveShort Film?/itsashort.com

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.

 

 

What’s Up?! Tribeca, Will Smith And Dope Short Film Programs

Tom Hanks (short film and movie news)

Tom Hanks/YouTube

What’s up good people?! Welcome to your weekly itsashort.com roundup of movie and short film news.

The Tribeca Film Festival is an extravaganza of coolness. The prestigious fest is set to take New York by storm starting April 13.

Let’s just say this: the list of events is enough to make your freaking head spin.

Why?

Oprah Winfrey will be at Tribeca to premier a new television series called “Greenleaf,” which is set to air on her OWN network.

Want another reason?

Chris Rock will be interviewing J.J. Abrams on Friday for its Tribeca Talks series. Plus, the film “A Hologram for the King,” starring Tom Hanks, is set to premier at the festival as well.

Per usual, the short film program looks pretty amazing. The documentary short “A.C. Green: Iron Virgin,” profiles an NBA player who was a professed virgin that saved himself for marriage.

Another fascinating entry is FiveThirtyEight & ESPN Films’ 8-minute short “A More Perfect Union,” about the discovery of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons and their impact on the 2008 democratic primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

That’s only a fraction of what Tribeca has to offer. For a full list of events, visit this site for more details.

 

Will Power

Will Smith (short film and movie news)

Will Smith/Wikimedia Commons

People tend to overlook Will Smith’s amazing career.  Thankfully, the good folks at MTV gave the man his proper due. The MTV Movie Awards bestowed Smith its highest honor for career achievement in film on Saturday. He was the recipient of The Generation Award for his extraordinary movie career, which nearly spans 25 years (!!!!).

That’s right, Smith has been in the movie game for a while now.  Yet, we tend to forget that he was already a successful Hip-hop artist and small screen star before transitioning to feature films.

Will Smith (movie and short film news)

Will Smith, you are amazing.

This Fresh Prince may not be in Bel-Air anymore, but you can find him in the lead role for just about every film he is cast.

Will Smith (movie and short film news)

No neuralyzer needed. Smith’s career has been unforgettable.

Stars like Kevin Hart and Halle Berry showed him plenty of love at the MTV Movie Awards, Saturday night.

Said Berry of the 47-year-old Smith, “Will is a champion for diversity in Hollywood blazing the path for actors by showing someone of any color, can play any role, can open any movie and can win every award; and be the biggest freaking movie star in the whole world. I love you Will Smith.”

Indeed Will, itsashort.com loves you, as well.

 

These Oscar Snubs Got Some Love

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (short film and movie news)

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega of Star Wars: The Force Awakens/Facebook

The MTV Movie Awards gave these films the full embrace, as expected.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by Itsashort.com favorite J.J. Abrams, won the “Movie of The Year” award and Straight Outta Compton took home the True Story award. The Oscars largely ignored both.

The top individual acting awards went to Charlize Theron for Mad Max: Fury Road and Chris Pratt for Jurassic World. Personally, we feel Ryan Reynolds should have won for Deadpool, but congratulations to Pratt. Reynolds did win for “Best Comedic Performance,” which isn’t a bad consolation prize. Actress Daisy Ridley won the “Breakthrough Performance” award for her role in the Force Awakens as well.

MTV might want to consider some awards for the short film genre in the future. We’re just saying.

Chicago’s Very Own

Chicago CIMMfest (short film and movie news)

Chicago CIMMfest poster/cimmfest.org

Cannes, Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca are your top-tier film festivals: the proverbial cool kids at the cool table.

Then you have those festivals trying to nudge their way in for a seat at that table or find one close to it.

Chicago’s CIMMfest is an emerging music and international film festival that launches April 13. The music lineup is pretty cool, but CIMMfest has some dope film offerings. “Cracked actor,” a rare BBC documentary on the departed, pop music icon David Bowie is a gem. Another is the fictive short film “Bail,” about “life on the down-low in 1926 Harlem.”

CIMMfest boasts a formidable short film program to boot. Itsashort.com will be in the building for this dandy and you should too. For a full rundown of CIMMfest events, visit this site.

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.

What’s Up?! Taylor Swift, “Hardcore Henry” and Short Film News

Taylor Swift (short film and movie news)

Taylor Swift/youtube

What’s up good people?! ITSASHORT.COM is back with your weekly short film and movie roundup.

Before we get into some movie news, we have to give a shoutout to Taylor Swift. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Taylor’s world and we are all just living in it. This notion was evident at Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards where the reigning pop music queen won three trophies, including “Album of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year.

And by the way, sitting with Ms. Swift is like being at the cool kids’ table. Her boyfriend Calvin Harris won a iHeartRadio award for “Dance Artist of the Year,” and her BFF Selena Gomez was named “Biggest Triple Threat.”

It’s good to be Ms. Swift these days. Being associated with her isn’t bad either.

Taylor Swift (short film and movie news)

Taylor Swift at iHeartRadio Awards

But game recognize game (as they say), so itsashort.com had to show Taylor some love.

 

A New Kind Of Hardcore

"Hardcore Henry" (movie and short film news)

“Hardcore Henry”/Facebook

A new kind of film is set to debut in theaters this week. “Hardcore Henry” is entirely shot from the first-person perspective of the central character, some dude named Henry. The movie was shot almost entirely with wide-angle, body-mounted Go-Pro cameras.

Have you ever played those video games where you’re holding the gun and the action is from your perspective? That’s what this film is, according to the Guardian.

…the film is rife with familiar video game staples – not just the way we see Henry’s arms flailing about, but the way he throws things, the way he shoots guns and the fact that he’s accompanied by supporting characters constantly shouting exposition and instruction at him.

What’s interesting about the film is that it evolved from a viral music video, a short film of sorts. It got made into a full-length feature after Russian movie mogul Timur Bekmambetov viewed it.

The movie is just days away from opening. Yet, the reviews have been largely positive. As of this writing, “Hardcore Henry” has an 81 rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.

Hardcore Henry (short film and movie news)

Hardcore Henry/Instagram

And if “Hardcore Henry” becomes a hit, expect more movies like it to be made: films that make you feel like you’re in a video game.

“If Hardcore Henry does well then people are gonna be more open to it. And if it makes money, I guess people will jump on that bandwagon,” director Ilya Naishuller told the Guardian recently.

 

Big Bubbles

Andre Royo (short film and movie news)

Andre Royo/Wikimedia Commons

Starring in a critically-acclaimed television series doesn’t necessarily guarantee you more work. Just ask Andre Royo, who played Bubbles in the award-winning HBO series “The Wire,” a show widely regarded as a milestone in television history.

Unfortunately, Royo hasn’t gotten much work since the show ended in 2008.

“The Wire” is one of the best things ever done and it certainly changed me. But I wasn’t getting offers after “The Wire,” said Royo in a recent IndieWire report.

But it looks like Royo found his flow.

He is the lead actor in “Hunter Gatherer,” a film that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. In fact, Royo received the festival’s top acting award, SXSW’s Special Jury Recognition for Best Actor.

“When I heard I won the acting prize at SXSW, I was just kind of overwhelmed with appreciation and a little bit of awe. You’re always scared that maybe you’re a little crazy, maybe people aren’t gonna get it,” he said.

People certainly seem to get it now. And it’s good to see more actors from “The Wire,” a favorite of itsashort.com, get their due. More short film roles for Wire actors would be great as well.

SXSW Short Film Winners

The SXSW Film Festival wrapped a few weeks ago, but we wanted to present you the list of the short film winners. Itsashort.com also wants to remind you that submissions for the 2017 film festival will start this summer. To receive reminders about the upcoming SXSW Film Festival submission period, go to this site.

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.

What’s Up?! J.J. Abrams, Don Cheadle at SXSW and Short Film News

Filmmaker J.J. Abrams (movies, short film, technology)

J.J. Abrams/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up good people?! It’s your weekly roundup of all the short film and movie news you desire. It has been a whirlwind week for itsashort.com after the SXSW Film Festival in Austin. It was an amazing Stretch of talks, meetups, screenings and networking opportunities.

One of the best SXSW discussions we attended featured Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. All told, 2,000 people attended the discussion, which occurred directly after President Barack Obama’s keynote.

Abrams talked about the impact of technology on filmmaking, particularly as it relates to the making of The Force Awakens:

The idea was, in the case of Star Wars, to both create a sense of analog authenticity visually, and most importantly to make sure the humanity of the characters wasn’t getting lost wherever possible,” he said. “That was our ambition, it’s up to every viewer to decide whether that worked — but that was the idea, to try and make sure the movie felt as human and as emotional as possible.

Abrams, who participated in a discussion alongside writer and director Andrew Jarecki, also advised filmmakers to take this approach when incorporating technology into story:

The challenge with what we all do, using whatever technology is that we use, is to hide it, in a way,” Abrams said. “The machinery — whether it’s the technology of what a story is, the map of a story, whether it’s the technology you’re using to code something — you’re trying to make that invisible so that the audience or the user is having as effortless an experience as possible and they’re as engaged as possible.

Truth.

Don Cheadle Talks Miles Davis

 

Miles Davis (movies, short film)

Miles Davis/Wikimedia Commons

If you thought that was groovy, the SXSW panel discussion with Don Cheadle was absolutely phenomenal. The actor talked about the making of “Miles Ahead,” his biopic on jazz legend Miles Davis.

“I wanted it to be something that was innovative and crazy and kind of gangster,” Cheadle said of the movie.

“I was more interested in making a movie in the way that I think Miles Davis would approach that medium, and create a film that he would want to star in as opposed to making a Cliff Notes version of his life.”

Cheadle, who directed, co-wrote and starred in the film, went to great lengths to convince Davis’s family members that he was the right guy for the lead role, according to one relative.

“This guy Don Cheadle, he really cared what the family thought,” said Davis’s nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. “He really wanted our input, a lot of times you sign on the dotted line and that’s it, then the director changes their phone number.

“He took time on his break and had us come to his trailer. He really cared.”

“Miles Ahead” hits theaters April 1, and we at itsashort.com can’t wait to see it.

You can watch the rest of Cheadle’s conversation below:

Perfect Match

The Perfect Match (movies, short film)

The Perfect Match/film poster

We would be remiss if we did not mention the latest accomplishment by our friend Brandon Broussard. Brandon served as a co-writer for the film “The Perfect Match,” which stars Terrence Jenkins, Paula PattonLauren London and Brandy Norwood (yes, that Brandy). The film was directed by  Bille Woodruff and executive produced by Queen Latifah

It’s a fun, romantic comedy about a playboy who meets his match in the love department.

Check out the trailer for this cool, funny flick below:

Again, a huge mazel tov to Brandon for the release of the film, which is in theaters now. Go out and support.

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.

 

What’s Up?! Kerry Washington at SXSW, The Short Film Program

Kerry Washington, keynote at SXSW (movies, short film, interactive)
Kerry Washington/Wikimedia Commons
Kerry Washington, keynote at SXSW  (movies, short film, interactive)

Kerry Washington/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up good people?! ITSASHORT.COM is back with the short film and movie news you need. It’s a special week for the gang because we’re out at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin!

This spectacular event is only a few days old, but the itsashort.com crew has been making the rounds and spreading the word about our mission. Boys and girls, it has been a grand old time and we do not want it to end.

But it’s not all “work-work-work.” We are out here making connections and checking out cool discussions. One of our favorite events so far was a talk featuring Scandal actress Kerry Washington. That’s right, Olivia Pope was in the building with a roomful of gladiators.

Washington spoke about the power of social media and how it has impacted her life and career.

“That kind of ability that social media has to give a voice to the voiceless is very important,” she said in her discussion with InStyle Editorial Director Ariel Foxman.

Here’s one important aside: Ms. Washington said that her tweets are her own and that she likes to partake in “live tweeting” from time to time. But Twitter as a vehicle for amplifying awareness and social change? She’s all in on that.

The diversity of interests in my tweets, I think that’s just a sign of being a curious person,” Washington said. “I really do care, I won’t say as much, but I am as interested in what just walked at Paris Fashion Week as I am with Hillary (Clinton). I just have a lot of interests.

 Among celebrities, Ms. Washington is an early adopter of Twitter, having joined the social media platform in 2010. The first episode of Scandal aired in 2012. She credits Twitter, Facebook and others for fueling the show’s runaway success.

“To this day, I know we would not have had a second season if it were not for social media,” she said.

All in all, the discussion touched on social media as a pathway to establishing an audience while engaging in meaningful conversations with them, something all filmmakers and creators need to hear.

In other words, get your content out there, learn what people are saying about the key issues/themes you want to utilize in your work and engage them.

After hearing Ms. Washington speak, our minds were blown too. Imagine what we could accomplish as creators if we properly utilized all that social media has to offer. Something to think about.

 

Boban Stojanov at SXSW Film Festival (films, short film program, interactive)

itsashort.com’s Boban Stojanov/Boban Stojanov

Words From The Prez & ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Itsashort.com got to check out a feature film “Don’t Think Twice,” about the cut-throat world of improv – yes, you read that right. The gang also dropped in on a Q&A with director Mike Birbiglia and cast members. Check out a clip of the discussion here.

But that was just one event, there were many others and this festival isn’t even four days old.

The crew got to check out talks on digital marketing and mobile engagement in today’s world, key issues involving short film and video creators.

The crew also got to see the main headliner at SXSW, and in American life in general: President Barack Obama.

And thanks to the SXSW channel on YouTube, you too can check out the President’s full keynote address below:

We are eagerly anticipating the short film program and a host of other interesting and diverse programming. To get updates on itsashort.com at SXSW, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

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

itsashort.com at SXSW/Boban Stojanov

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.

What’s Up?! Barack, Michelle at SXSW and the Short Films Movement

Barack and Michelle Obama at SXSW (short films, movies, music, interactive)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up good people?! Welcome to your weekly itsashort.com roundup where we talk short films, festivals and movies.

The biggest news of the week has to be SXSW. Oh, you didn’t hear? Barack and Michelle Obama will be keynote speakers at the music and interactive festivals. You read that right: The President and The First Lady.

No they will not take part in the SXSW Film Festival, but the fact they are coming to Austin is still significant.

It will mark the first time in SXSW’s 30-year history that a sitting President and the First Lady will participate in the event, according to the SXSW site.

On Friday, March 11, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.

 First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW Music on Wednesday March 16 “to discuss the “Let Girls Learn” initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent.”

Said SXSW Co-founder Roland Swenson, “I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW.”

Whatever the case, itsashort.com will be in the building and we cannot wait.

Details regarding location, time, streaming, and access to these events will be announced on the SXSW website soon. Check back here.

 

The Movie Business (short films and movies)

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The Short Film Revolution And Us

Do you know the story of itsashort.com and how it came to be?

Founder Chris Boulware wanted to give life to the films of independent artists because many don’t have a platform to showcase their works.

“If you don’t get into festivals, you don’t get seen,” said Boulware, recently. “We wanted to create a platform where people can see curated short content.”

Short films are a passion of Boulware’s and they are becoming more popular than ever.

Some of the most creative and engaging stories are being told through short films, states a recent article in The Atlantic. Even though the genre remains marginalized to a degree, there is hope:

…the Internet has allowed people outside the studio system to create and distribute their own work, and has helped filmmakers reach viewers around the world with unprecedented ease. As a result, short film is again becoming a vibrant and original medium in a blockbuster-driven, reboot-riddled industry.

Itsashort.com is proud to be at the forefront of this movement. In two years, nearly 400 filmmakers have uploaded content to our site. To be a part of this burgeoning movement, feel free to register at itsashort.com to view our repository of award-winning short films and upload your own content.

One more thing: get your popcorn ready. That is all.

Our Mission  

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love short films. 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.

What’s Up?! Earth Shattering Oscar Short Films And SXSW

'A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness', one of five Oscar-nominated short films.

A still shot from ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’

What’s up good people?! The Oscars are this Sunday and some potent documentary short films have tongues wagging, including ours at ITSASHORT.COM.

All five of the nominated shorts have one thing in common: all are impactful. These stories not only make you think; they rewire your entire being.

This year’s Oscar-nominated documentary shorts are a harrowing lot. Although there’s at least one uplifting effort — mind you, uplifting in a pass-me-a-tissue way — the five entries will likely have you reaching for your anti-depressant medications, states the Hollywood Reporter.

Needless to say, they pack quite a punch – the kind that will make you keel over. In the realm of filmmaking that is a great thing.

Thematically, these short films mine tough territory, like the Holocaust (Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah); honor killings (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness); the effects of Agent Orange (Chau, beyond the Lines); the Ebola Crisis in Liberia (Body Team 12) and the death penalty (Last Day of Freedom).

Three of the five nominated films are being distributed by HBO, including category favorite Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, about 90-year-old Claude Lanzmann, who created the most influential documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah. Here’s a quick peek at the trailer:

 

 

Another emotional powder keg is Chau, beyond the Lines, a short film about Vietnamese children and the deformities they have incurred due to their mothers’ exposure to Agent Orange, the herbicide deployed during the Vietnam War. It is one of those short films that will make you question your own life:

This is a film that reminds a viewer to stop complaining and making excuses about his or her own life because people find a way to be happy and accomplish their goals in spite of far greater adversity than most of the rest of us will ever face.

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness will simply shatter you. The HBO-distributed short film recounts the horrific story of a young Pakistani woman who survives an honor killing attempt by her father and uncle. Both men felt disrespected because the woman eloped to marry a man from a lower social class.

It is absolutely gripping. Yet, whether it wins or not, it stands to be the most impactful film at this year’s Oscars.

Notes New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof,

I don’t know whether “A Girl in the River” will win an Oscar in its category, short subject documentary, but it is already making a difference. Citing the film, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan has promised to change the country’s laws so as to crack down on honor killings.

Last Day of Freedom takes place a hemisphere away from the other Oscar nominees. Made in the Bay Area, this poignant, black-and-white animated short, which is available for streaming on Netflix, is according to the Berkeley Daily Planet, “an emotionally open 35-minute taped conversation with Bill Babbitt who tells the story of his little brother, Manny—an innocent child who grew up to become a US Marine and a combat hero, only to stumble into homelessness as a result of physical injuries and the unseen wounds in his head.”

Another astonishing fact about this film: it was made from 30,000 drawings. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at its creation:

Last week, itsashort.com profiled Body Team 12, which chronicles Director David Darg’s time with a team that collected and cremated the bodies of Ebola virus victims in Liberia —another filmic sledgehammer.

Feature films like The Revenant, The Big Short and Spotlight will garner the majority of the headlines this Sunday, but these documentary short films are noteworthy in their own right.

The 88th Academy Awards is set to air this Sunday night on ABC at 8:30 (EST)|5:30 (PST), and Comedian Chris Rock will serve as the master of ceremonies. Itsashort.com, along with the entire world, waits with bated breath to see what unfolds. Stay tuned.

Blind Date Rules

'Blind Date Rules' (itsashort.com short films)

‘Blind Date Rules’ poster/http://www.mareleentertainment.com/

Itsashort.com will be at the SXSW Film Festival, which goes from March 11-19 in Austin, Texas. Not only will we be in the building, we will continue to be the premiere destination for quality short films.

We like to brag on the cool films we have up at our site. One such work is the hilarious, romantic short Blind Date Rules. We can all agree that blind dates are generally for the birds, but they can make for some entertaining stories.

Director Brie Eley gives us one as this poor, exasperated single gal finally decides to lay down some ground rules before going on yet another frightening blind date. The official trailer gives you just a hint of the hilarity:

Itsashort.com is proud to feature the full short at our site, which you can stream in ts entirety here. As you watch, try to resist those flashbacks of your own blind date misadventures. And if not, just laugh, because Blind Date Rules will provoke you to do so.

And Speaking Of SXSW…

Don Cheadle (SXSW Film Festival, short films)

Don Cheadle/Wikimedia Commons

The Short Films Program has officially been announced. Here’s the rundown: The 114 short films were selected from 4,784 short film submissions. They are featured across four categories: Narrative, Documentary, Animated and Midnight (shorts that feature sex, gore and hilarity). The film selections come from all over the world, from as far away as the Netherlands and to home-grown short films set in the Lone Star state.

SXSW will have its share of headliners, like acclaimed actors Don Cheadle, Jake Gyllenhaal and famed director Judd Apatow. Itsashort.com will be on the ground networking , advertising and socializing with all the good folks attending the nine-day festival. It should be a blast, and we’ll have plenty to report about  our trip. Be on the lookout, ya’ll!

Our Mission

We love short films. 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.

What’s Up?! Oscar Diversity and the SXSW Short Film that Broke Big

Taraji P. Henson speaks out at the NAACP Image Awards which celebrate film and television. (Television, Movies and Short Film)

Taraji P. Henson/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up, good people?! WE HAVE THAT LIT SHORT FILM AND MOVIE NEWS AT ITSASHORT.COM. HERE’S YOUR weekly roundup:

The Super Bowl is here, but there’s one battle that is expected to rage on all month: that’s the Oscar diversity controversy.

The latest chapter occurred Friday night during the 47th Annual NAACP Image Awards. One of the biggest Oscar snubs won big. The movie “Creed” took home Image awards for best actor (Michael B. Jordan), Best Director (Ryan Coogler), Best Supporting Actress (Phylicia Rashad) and Best Writing.

Creed lead actor Jordan won in every major category he was nominated for except one. Though Jordan won big there, he was not nominated for an Oscar. His co-star Sylvester Stallone was.

Image Awards host Anthony Anderson made sure to point this out:

“Listen, y’all, I don’t mean to sound cocky, but the movie’s called Creed, not Rocky,” he rapped at one point during his opening monologue.

Yet, the most powerful statement from that evening may have come from actress Taraji P. Henson of Empire, winner of the Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. This was her response to the overwhelming lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees:

Again, this is what she said: “We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone. We are enough, we’ve been enough and we always will be enough.”

Can you say, “mic drop?”

This Oscar controversy is far from over. The 88th Academy Awards will air February 28, and comedian Chris Rock will be the host. Stay tuned…

SAG Swag

Laura Prepon of "Orange Is The New Black" (Television, Movies and Short Film)

Laura Prepon/Wikimedia Commons

The Screen Actors Guild Awards came and went last week, but diversity prevailed there as well. Idris Elba won the best supporting actor award for his role in the Netflix film, “Beasts of No Nation.”

He also won a SAG Award for male actor in a television movie or miniseries for the BBC America Crime Drama “Luther.”

Queen Latifah won for her lead role in the HBO Film “Bessie.” Viola Davis took home a SAG for “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Uzo Aduba also won for her role in the Netflix hit “Orange Is The New Black.”

The most poignant statement during the SAG Awards came from “Orange Is The New Black” star Laura Prepon.

Check her out:

 

The SXSW Short Film Turned TV Hit

UnReal, the TV show inspired by a SXSW short film.

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Itsashort.com will be in attendance for the SXSW Film Festival, which will take place March 11-19. We’re psyched, yet patiently waiting for the announcement of the 2016 Short Film Program. In the 21-year history of the SXSW film festival, some cool short films have gone on to do great things.

Before the wildly popular TV series “UnREAL” came to be, co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro directed this short that helped to inspire the hit show. The short film was called “Sequin Raze,” and it premiered at SXSW in 2013 where it won the Narrative Short Honorable Mention.

Obviously, premiering at SXSW was life-changing for Shapiro. Imagine what a SXSW selection could mean for your film. Submissions may be closed for 2016, but the 2017 period will be opening back up in a few short months. We’ll keep you posted when that happens. You can also, submit your work to us at itsashort.com, where we will help spread the word about your film.

Our Mission

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.