What’s Up?! Rock the Vote & BMW Short Film!

What’s up, good people?! there’s plenty to dive into in short film so let’s get to it.

Actually, let’s take a step back and talk about something very important: voting. Itsashort.com understands that you can vote for whomever you wish in this year’s election. Justin Timberlake is ahead of the game (click JT’s face to get election info for your state). But make sure you vote so you can feel your face. Watch the video to see what we mean:

 

Itsashort.com appreciates your participation in our viewer-voting contests. Make sure your vote is counted in the 2016 election, too. Vote early (October 24-November 7) or on election Tuesday (November 8). Make it happen, good people.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

Clive Owen

Many a star has risen using short film as their launchpad. Oscar-nominated director Neill Blomkamp earned a name for himself with the short film, “Alive in Joburg”, the impetus for District 9 feature that took the world by storm in 2009. It’s fascinating how 6 minutes and 22 seconds catapulted him to the forefront of the film industry. Blomkamp has come back to short film with Clive Owen, who has also returned, reprising his role as “The Driver” in a BMW short film series that began 15 years ago.

BMW Films has enlisted major directors (or minor folks who later became major), including Guy Ritchie, Ang Lee, John Woo, and Tony Scott. Now, Blomkamp has taken the reins to continue the storyline.

Take a look at the latest installment, “The Escape,” below:

The series of short films has also included big-name actors like Don Cheadle, Ray Liotta, Gary Oldman, and now, Vera Farmiga and Dakota Fanning. To check out other films in the series, click here.

 

This Week’s Short

The Paper Trail Short Film

This Week’s Short has everything to do with relevance. In “The Paper Trail,” a government Document recounts its life and purpose as it waits atop a pile of papers to be shredded. Writer and director, Jonny Lucy, must have foreseen the future of this election year where politicians struggle to stay on important topics that affect society.

“The Paper Trail” may also bring up visions of the past for you, but in the best way. Twenty Bucks follows the life of a twenty dollar bill as it exchanges hands in multiple transactions. But there is one famous document that has lots to say on his higher ambitions, much like in Lucy’s film:

Click the link to see what the lamenting policy document has to say in “The Paper Trail.”

 

Around the Web…

Madre Short Film

Madre – Best of the Fest: Shorts (CIFF short film)

The Chicago International Film Festival wraps up this week (you have until October 27) so if you’re in the midwest, swing on over to AMC River East 21 in downtown Chicago to catch the CIFF shorts programs. One of the short films that you can’t ignore is “Moms On Fire.” Director Joanna Rytel displays her talent in a comedy about the challenges of pregnancy.

The vestige of women both in front of and behind the camera is an important issue in filmmaking. Tribeca Enterprises and Chanel are attacking the problem with their second Women’s Filmmaker Workshop.

Dakota and Rashida

Dakota Fanning and Rashida Jones

The three-day workshop, Through Her Lens, takes place in New York City (October 25-27) covering the essentials, from script development and casting to festival strategy. There’s plenty to learn from the likes of filmmakers like Dakota Fanning, Rashida Jones, Anne Carey, Jenni Konner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Catherine Hardwicke and Rachel Winter, who are all involved this year.

Will you be there next year? Let us know how it goes.

 

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?! 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?! 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.