What’s Up?! An Oscar Contender, Short Film Contests

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What’s up, good people?! Hope you had a great Labor Day, but we know you miss us. So here’s your weekly roundup of short film and movie news.

The recently concluded Telluride Film Festival debuted a film that is generating considerable buzz and could contend for the major awards this season.

Moonlight is a three-part narrative about a gay African-American male who navigates his sexuality against the backdrop of his brutal Miami neighborhood.

The film, which is directed by Barry Jenkins, is unique in that it features characters seldom seen by mainstream audiences.

Nevertheless, Moonlight has left Telluride audiences and critics spellbound. It is expected to do the same at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, events that have a reputation for breaking Oscar-nominated pictures.

Thus far, the reviews have been fantastic.

“Jenkins has made a breathtaking film, one with political urgency and a deep, compassionate humanity. Moonlight is timely and timeless, a study in limits that casts its gaze up toward something transcendent,” raves Vanity Fair.

Another facet to Moonlight’s story is Jenkins, a former Florida State film school graduate who used to curate Telluride’s short film program.

“I always hoped this would play at Telluride,” Jenkins told the Los Angeles Times recently. “I haven’t seen a film at Telluride where people talk the way they do in the world of this film.”

Brad Pitt (short film and movie news)

Brad Pitt/Wikimedia Commons

Moonlight is co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment Inc. It is set to hit theaters October 21, but the buzz will only build from now to February when the 89th Academy Awards take place.

 

Vote On These Shorts

Last week, we gave you brief synopses of the short film nominees in the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.

This week we highlight two shorts that depict characters grappling with loss. The first is “Nowhere to Be Found,” which is about a mother on a seemingly endless quest to locate her child’s father.

Directed by Rebecca Montalvo and Brian VandenBos, this short film is tinged with emptiness. Yet, you are compelled to watch, if only to see whether the lead character is successful in her quest.

Our second short film entrant is “Through the Trees,” which depicts a widower on the cusp of a fateful decision, that is until he meets a young man on the street. At first, this film is melancholic, but then it morphs into something entirely different. You may leave this Ryan Donovan-directed short with a smile after it ends.

You can watch and vote for these shorts and six others once-a-day, every day for free on our platform until September 23.

To take part, go here.

Pick  a favorite or two or five. It’s your world.

From Around the Web…

Thom Yorke (short film and movie news)

Thom Yorke of Radiohead/ Wikimedia Commons

Speaking of contests, Radiohead recently announced the winners of their short film contest which launched in July.

Fans were asked to submit vignettes using the one-minute version of their song, “Daydreaming.” They announced the six winners via this Instagram post.

To see the winning short film entries, check out this IndieWire link.

And…

Forbes magazine will host a short film contest for filmmakers under 30.

Winning shorts will be screened at a miniature film festival from October 16-18 before a room of 5,000 “young entrepreneurs and game-changers” from media, technology, entertainment and social good industries, among others.

Michelle Obama (short film and movie news)

Not bad.

For more information, please see this link.

And…

What kind of people are we if we can’t show love to Brooklyn. Huh? The Brooklyn Film Festival recently announced the winners of their film event. You can check out the full list here.  

And finally…

We have to show you “Infinitude,” the most amazing short film about the cosmic evolution you will ever see. Special shout-out to director Scott Portingale and the folks over at Gizmodo for letting us know about this one.

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.