What’s Up?! Fall Movies, CV Short Film Contest

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

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

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

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

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

Emily Blunt (short film and movie news)

Emily Blunt/Wikimedia Commons

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

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

 

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

We’re here for that too.

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

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

Vote In the Collective Voices Short Film Contest!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spread the word and tell a friend.

 

From Around the Web…

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

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

See for yourselves.

And…

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

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

Our Mission

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

What’s Up?! 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?! 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!