What’s Up?! Ghostbusters!

 

what’s up, good people?! it’s mid-October and it’s scary how great the short film landscape looks.

This week was the digital and DVD release of Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. Despite the unruly, pre-movie conversations, people weren’t afraid of no ghosts. The famous franchise film landed a top-ten position in domestic gross among summer movie releases.

Feig will be at this year’s Austin Film Festival in several sessions speaking about how an all-woman cast of Ghostbusters became a reality with him at the helm. Click here to see his schedule.

PS–It is this week! October 13-20.

Feig’s success also won him an opportunity to direct a pilot for HBO starring Goldie Hawn.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be associated with HBO? Funny you should ask.

HBO scouts short films for burgeoning talents. The HBO Short Film Contest in the American Black Film Festival accepts submissions beginning in January. There’s still time!

Click here to watch the trailer for last year’s winner.

 

This Week’s Short

Anthony Bradford has his hands in all of the cookie jars with “The Traveler” as producer, writer, and lead actor. When Tristan’s love, Maggie, is kidnapped, he must use his time-traveling ability to save her. “The Traveler” is evidence that with a little time (ha!) and a knack for special effects and design, filmmakers can bring a sci-fi short film to life in a big way.

Click here to watch the movie and see for yourself.

This short film was selected by many shorts programs, including First Glance Film Festival, Los Angeles. And speaking of First Glance…

Itsashort.com is hosting the First Glance Short Online Contest this Fall. The contest begins November 7. For the list of short films, click here. Be sure to register here to watch and vote for your favorite!

Atlanta Horror Film Fest

Pumpkin? Check. Scary skeleton mask? Check. Atlanta Horror Film Festival tickets? Now’s the time.  It starts today!

This film festival is now in its 10th year and has showcased thousands of brilliant short films (and features) and has taken on a death…er…life of its own. If you’re in the Atlanta area, indulge the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve and check out some frightening flicks to raise your heart rate.

 

Around the Web…

Finding Dory

Talking animal movies are usually a hit. The Secret Life of Pets is another top-ten movie from this summer along with Finding Dory which came in at #1. But not all movies need to be on the big screen to make a big impact.

“Dogtor” is a sweet short film from Rhea Dadoo that tackles a series of difficult issues in less than five minutes. (No disrespect to the charming Zootopia now available on Netflix.)

When Lucy questions her life decisions with her friends, they remind her that she should not be afraid to be herself.

Words to live by.

 

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?! Hamilton Fever, Short Film Rocks!

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 11.52.34 AMWhat’s up, good people?! We’re up to our ears and elbows in movie and short film news. It’s crazy.

The 54th New York Film Festival, the next major event on the festival circuit, promises to be every bit as spectacular as the recently-concluded Toronto International Film Festival.

Ava DuVernay (short film and movie news)

Ava DuVernay/Wikimedia Commons

Hamilton’s America, about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular Broadway musical, and Ava DuVernay’s The 13th, about the U.S. prison industry, will premiere at the New York Film Fest.

New York will also feature Gimme Danger, about iconic rock group Iggy and the Stooges. All three docs should generate plenty of buzz, but are they Oscar-worthy? Only time will tell.

What’s more, the festival will showcase 23 shorts in five short film programs.

The New York Film Festival runs from Sept. 30 to October 16. For more information on this spectacular event, see this link.

 

Last Week To Vote

Still from the short film, "Speechless" (short film and movie news)

Still from the short film, “Speechless”

The short films that comprise the Collected Voices Online Film Contest run the gamut, from stories about loss and perseverance to documentaries about art and education.

When it comes to matters of the heart, the Collected Voices contest has you covered with these three shorts.

“Speechless” is a delightful little story about a man on the brink of approaching a woman he admires, but it has a twist. You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

"Before I Leave" (short film and movie news)

“Before I Leave” poster/imdb.com

“Before I Leave” is a much darker story about a man on the brink of a fateful decision. The only question is, will his love for his mother interfere.

Red & Purple (short film and movie news)

Red & Purple

And finally, we can all identify with the age-old story of rediscovering a long lost passion. In “Red & Purple” a medical doctor follows an unlikely path back to her youth and rediscovers the pastime that was always at the center of her heart.

All three of these shorts are eloquent, heartfelt and moving. Which is the best?

Well, that’s up to you to decide.

While you still have time, you should watch and vote for any of these three films. You can watch all eight nominated short films and vote for free. Just hit this link to play. No assembly required.

The contest ends this Friday, September 23.

 

From Around the Web…

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) just wrapped up and the winners have been announced! To see the full list, hit this link.

From the upcoming film, Barry (short film and movie news)

From the upcoming film, Barry/imdb.com

Netflix purchased the worldwide rights to Barry, the film chronicling a young Barack Obama.

And… 

Rapper and entertainment mogul Shawn Carter ( aka Jay-Z) recently narrated an intriguing short film titled, “The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail.”

Illustrated by Molly Crabapple, this New York Times short film provides a brief history lesson on the war on drugs — brief but potent. This is a bitter yet satisfying little pill.

And…

We know you hate unsolicited advice, but trust us, you will like this. The Manhattan Short Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1, will have over 100,000 film lovers from 250 cities gather at “cinemas, museums and universities for one purpose”: they will watch and vote for the festival’s short film finalists.

For more information on this awesome program and to locate a viewing venue closest to you, please 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?! 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?! Women Filmmakers Rule, Best Short Film

Michael Moore (short film and movie news)

Michael Moore, TCFF Founder and President/Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

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

Moore  in the TCFF welcome letter said this:

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

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival /Twitter

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

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

 

“Short Film of the Week”

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

Star Wars Episode 4-A Toy Story poster/Facebook

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

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

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

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

 

From Around The Web…

Leslie Jones (short film and movie news)

Leslie Jones/Facebook

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

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

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

Our Mission

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

 

 

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

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

THR’s Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable/YouTube

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

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

The latest edition is the best one yet.

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

It’s like a Lollapalooza lineup for TV actors.

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

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

 

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

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

No Fare short film (short film and movie news)

“No Fare” short film/itsashort.com

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

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

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

For Masciari, the experience was a game changer.

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

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

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

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

 

These Films Have Film Festival Folks Buzzing

Maya Angelou (short film and movie news)

Maya Angelou/Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The complete list of winners can be found here.

Our Mission

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

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

Michael Jackson (short film and movie news)

Michael Jackson/Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

TAPE by Sierra Parr (short film and movie news)

TAPE poster/Facebook

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

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

Hit this link to watch the full film.

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

 

Alicia Keys’s New Short Film

Alicia Keys (short film and movie news)

Alicia Keys/Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this powerful short film for yourself below:

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

 

Film Festing

Michael Moore (short film and movie news)

Michael Moore/Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

Our Mission

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

 

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?! #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.