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.

 

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?! The Birth of a Nation And Top Sundance Short Film

The Sundance short films that won big and Parker's passion project, "The Birth of a Nation."

Nate Parker/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up, good people? Your Short Film News and everything else Is Here.

The Sundance Film Festival just concluded and ITSASHORT.COM had a great time at Park City, Utah. Some stellar short films took home coveted awards, but the feature that was the biggest winner of all was “The Birth of a Nation,” the Feature about Nat Turner’s 19th Century slave revolt.

The film sparked a bidding war. That’s when Fox Searchlight eventually plunked down $17.5 million for its distribution rights, a Sundance record.

On Saturday, the film, which Variety magazine hailed as a “searingly impressive debut,” swept the top prizes at Sundance: The Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Those wins could mean a 2017 Oscar award run for the provocative feature.

What’s more, the film’s driving force Nate Parker quit acting for two years to realize his dream of completing the film. He paid $100,000 of his own money to meet with investors across the country. Eventually, a dozen investor groups, including San Antonio Spurs star player Tony Parker and former NBA player Michael Finley, helped to put up the film’s $10 million budget.

Here is Parker, the film’s writer, director and lead actor describing why he wanted to make “The Birth of a Nation”:

 

The Sundance ‘Shorts’ That Stole The Show

The iconic movie theater that plays host to Sundance, featuring award-winning movies and short films.

The Egyptian Theatre at night/Wikimedia Commons

Over 8,700 short films were submitted to Sundance this past year, and 72 of them were featured in the festival’s short film program. The top winner of them all was “Thunder Road,” which was awarded the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. This 13-minute dark comedy is about a man who eulogizes his mother. Described as quirky, ridiculous and funny, “Thunder Road” is the brainchild of Jim Cummings, who wrote, directed and starred in the film. He even funded it himself.

Cummings talks about what it took to create a work that would capture the top prize for short films:

In case you missed it, here is the full list of short films that won big at Sundance:

Short Film Grand Jury Prize: Thunder Road / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jim Cummings)

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: The Procedure / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder)

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: Maman(s) / France (Director and screenwriter: Maimouna Doucoure)

Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction: Bacon & God’s Wrath / Canada (Director: Sol Friedman)

Short Film Jury Award: Animation: Edmond / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Nina Gantz)

Short Film Special Jury Award for Outstanding Performance: Grace Glowicki for her performance in Her Friend Adam.

Short Film Special Jury Award for Best Direction: Peacock / Czech Republic (Director: Ondrej Hudecek, Screenwriters: Jan Smutny, Ondrej Hudecek)

 

2016 SXSW Film Fest Headliners

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the headliners at this year's SXSW Film Festival, featuring acclaimed movies and short films.

Jake Gyllenhaal/Wikimedia Commons

The SXSW Film Festival will be here before you know it (March 11-19 in Austin, Texas) and itsashort.com will be there for all the glorious short films. Speaking of which, the 2016 Short Film Program will be announced in just a few weeks, so stay tuned. To whet your appetite, here are the SXSW short films that captivated festival-goers last year.

SXSW is sure to have its fair share of luminaries. Check out the headliners for this year’s festival: Kerry Washington (Scandal, Django Unchained) Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko), Richard Linklater (Boyhood, School of Rock) and Sarah Green (The Tree of Life, Frida).

Our heads are still in the clouds over Sundance. Nevertheless, Itsashort.com cannot wait for SXSW.

This small promo clip for SXSW has us hyped up:

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.