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

Still from Jackie (short film and movie news)

Still from “Jackie” /imdb.com

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

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

Why is this significant?

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

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

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

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

 

Vote for These Short Film Docs

The Black Kid Table (short film and movie news)

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

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

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

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

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

From “34 Days: Hungry for Justice”

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

"Variations" (short film and movie news)

“Variations” poster/Laurie Little

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

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

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

Trust us on this one.

 

Take Us to “La La Land”

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

Still from “La La Land” /Facebook

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

Stone won the best actress award at Venice.

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

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

 

The VR Short Film You Want To See

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

 

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What’s Up: PSI Shortfest and Alan Becker and Animation!

Palm-Springs-ShortFest-2015-gifThe festival was amazing! The short film winners, wow. The Palm Springs International Shortfest has just concluded it’s 21st year. It is the largest short film festival  and short film marketplace in the United States.

Actually Palm Springs does two festivals per year, the International Film Festival held in January and then ‘shortfest’ every June. As a market place this year they screened over 300 shorts actually culled from 3000 submissions….all available through the market place.

But, which short film was our favorite?

Well Body Team 12, is a favorite, it was also recognized this spring  at Tribeca and mentioned in our previous blog post. Our new favorite and part of the online contest for Palm Springs International Short fest is Animation vs Animator!

Its our favorite because the story is cool…and so is the animator Alan Becker.

The Story of Alan…he started his series Animation vs Animator very early in his career/life. The fourth in the series, Animation vs Animator IV is on the itsashort.com platform. And was created by Alan just after graduating from school.

The story, which you have to watch is about the central character, a stick figure. The stick figure, does the stick figure have a name…I think it’s just stick figure, takes over the Alan’s computer and in the process demonstrates very unique characteristics…like it can talk?

The stick figure makes friends with other animation figures being developed on the same computer, has major temper tantrums, kicks butt, crashes Facebook messenger, totally boss. Resolution was tough but ultimately, the stick figure agrees to negotiate a relationship, which though hard to believe, makes a lot of sense!!!

Alan, as the animator is genius. The short film also animates the iphone, totally cool.

itsashort.com

Deeply committed to award winning and nominated artists we introduce our audiences to Alan Becker…an animator worthy of respect.

What’s Up!!? The Movie Guys, Film Critics?

The Movie Guys PosterRoger Ebert immortalized the role and value of the 'Film Critic'. We just saw the recently released film about his life and his lifelong effort to embrace the value of the 'critics' voice. He and his partner, Gene Siskel became two of the best known critics for film, commercial and independent, in the country. And, in that effort created real space for the voices of others whose unique perspective should be heard....such is the case with our colleagues, The Movie Guys!

The Movie Guys

Paul Preston, Justin Bowler, Karen Volpe and Ray Schillaci have worked together to create The Movie Guys a weekly podcast that critiques, but on special occasions, makes fun of recently released and some not so recent movies. They are heavily involved in the comedy and horror film communities but never shy away from the opportunity to share their opinions about the ‘blockbusters’ of the week. They each have spent years in the ‘business’, in various roles, including acting roles in the case of Paul and Karen.

itsashort.com is excited to premiere their ‘critics’ episode, tomorrow, Wednesday, August 13, 2014! The premiere will be followed by a live-streamed google hangout/twitterchat. We must admit, we are kind of looking forward to their being a bit in the hot seat!! The premiere will start at 8 CDT PM and the link to the live hangout will be posted on the itsashort facebook page. Please join us!!

What’s Up? Guess who’s singing Alicia Keys….freak, right?

Image

No we did not know that there is an italian version of the TV show, The Voice, but, it’s not a surprise. What is a surprise, as always, are who the contestants turn out to be and the video below is definitely, no exception. We had to really think about what it is about this performance that is just totally freak…I think when you watch, everyone from the panel to the audience was ‘gobsmacked’. Finally found a way to use that word!

Sister Cristina!

 

Even the panel was really challenged to accept and make the case for who she should pick, they had to change their language, think about their strengths, their style, who would work best? And, what of Alicia Keys…would she expect this presentation? We are sure she’s very pleased. Was this filmed in Rome, we don’t know…but, each person invoked the Pope as one of many reasons they should be considered…spoiler alert, she picked J’Ax.

itsashort.com

Why do people watch shorts? Time, attention span, want a quick laugh, its just fun. There are a ton of reasons…today’s explanation was that if you are an ADD or an ADHD person, you won’t spend more than a few minutes anyway and you don’t want to be committed to an hour of programming if you are not sure what it is. Sounds good and right to us…so check out itsashort.com. It’s a platform for short film, short video and webisode series. Like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and register on the site!