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.

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

What’s Up!!? Cannes 2015 Short Film Winner

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Reel shorts for Real Views

The short film winner for the Cannes 2015 Film Festival is Waves ’98 by Ely Dagher. And, we are back!! It’s been quite a dry spell and we’ve missed sharing a lot…we missed talking about Tribeca, lots of regional festivals and amazing artists. We were under construction, major but…for the best of reasons, we are going to look better, play better and just be better.

Thank you for your patience and let’s get back to stuff that’s interesting…

Waves ’98 Trailer

The film itself is in festivals throughout the world…but look for it. It’s a narrative about the filmmaker, Ely Dagher’s relationship with his home land and home town Beirut. A little heavy on the political side, but the message and the story make you think. Many of us take our homelands, our neighborhoods for granted…who thinks that any of ‘this’ can be destroyed and understand the power of that reality…not many. So its an important convo about home. Congratulations Ely!

In other news on itsashort.com, we just finished another very successful contest with our festival partner First Glance Film Festival. Some of the shorts are still available on itsashort.com. Each tells a totally cool story. The artists love your support and getting to know their work is awesome.

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Check out the award winning short film, videos and web series on  itsashort.com. Like, where else would you go? Right…and stop by the artists…let them know what you think of their work…thoughtful critique is always appreciated!

What’s Up!!? SXSW 2015 Short Film Winners!!

itsashortlogoSXSW just closed and announced their 2015 short film winners!! I know..not what people think about when thinking about SXSW because music is just ending…and everyone is thinking about music…but did anyone know there were short film winners???? Right!!

Short Film Jury Awards

Jury Award Winner: Pink Grapefruit
Director: Michael Mohan
Special Jury Recognition: Share
Director: Pippa Bianco
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
Jury Award Winner: Boxeadora
Director: Meg Smaker
MIDNIGHT SHORTS
Jury Award Winner: Kiss Kiss Fingerbang
Director: Gillian Wallace Horvat
ANIMATED SHORTS
Jury Award Winner: World of Tomorrow
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
Special Jury Recognition: teeth
Directors: Daniel Gray, Tom Brown

Pink Grapefruit: Here is the trailer and it won at Sundance and now SXSW…

Have a look at the trailer and who is Michael Mohan, the Director? Well, here’s what his bio page says..

Michael Mohan makes films of all shapes and sizes. His most recent feature SAVE THE DATE premiered in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, starring Lizzy Caplan & Alison Brie, was co-written by graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown and released by IFC Films.

Prior to this, he directed the short film EX-SEX and the microbudget feature ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS, both of which premiered at Sundance. EX-SEX was featured on the Viewfinders list as one of the 10 best short films of the year.

On the advertising front, Michael has directed spots for AMERICAN EXPRESS, FORD, MOTT’S, and IKEA. Most recently, he directed the first in a series of spots for KATE SPADE, starring Anna Kendrick.

Totally cool that he worked with Anna Kendrick!!

Check out the website:  michaelmohan.com for more info.

 

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Yet another great filmmaker and we see his work on the commercial side…but this award winning short film will be in several festivals this year. There’s another short film that Michael created we hope to share on our website…we will keep you posted.

Itsashort.com is all about introducing you guys, our viewers to artists and short film, video and webseries you may not get to know. So, join us and support amazing artists! Register on the website, leave a comment for someone or just share!!

What’s Up!? The Golden Globes: Je suis Charlie!!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PMWell, the award season launches with the Golden Globes! What do we love most: The speeches, the clothes, who walks with who or the movies? Here at itsashort.com we love the Golden Globes because as George Clooney says, its about ‘the little guy’ movies, not the block busters. The independents, they need the push, and the industry, delightfully, pushes for independence and point of view and talent, creativity, all the things that make making and watching movies the amazing experience we know it to be. So, thank you, Golden Globes! Below is the montage of best moments from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the George Clooney speech and Common and John Legend! Honorable mention goes to the very touching tribute Michael Keaton pays to his son. What were your favorite moments?

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

We so appreciate their very unique brand of ‘keepin it real’ humor!!

George Clooney: Je suis Charlie!

George Clooney offers a very moving tribute to his colleagues, Amal and all of the people world wide protesting the hideous events in Paris: Je suis Charlie!

Common and John Legend for their wonderful and timely music titled: Glory

Common and John Legend were introduced by Prince!!!! Common offered a very moving tribute, the movie Selma, to the US fight against terrorism, racism and any other ism that divides our citizens.

OMG the Globes ‘killed it’ this year!!

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Like the Golden Globes, we are unrelenting fans and the keenest of advocates for the independent artists, as George Clooney says: the little guy, they need the push. Our site is designed for just that. Please join us in our global efforts to support the independent artists and register here.

There are amazing artists and award winning short film, video and webseries you must discover!!! itsashort.com is the platform for discovery, thank you for your support!!!

What’s Up!!? The Holderness Family!!!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PMThe Holderness Family, remember them, or do you know them? Check out the 2013 Holiday video….because on Monday, December 22, 2014 itsashort.com will premiere their 2014 video!!! And, then following the premiere there will be a live streamed hangout with the family! Totally can’t miss this because they are amazing and funny and happy!

Kim or Mom was in the movie Ironman3 and Penn, the Dad, was a real news anchor who decided to leave his ‘gig’ and join his wife to run their production company and spend time developing more amazing videos. The result, they just signed on for a TV series!!! We think they will be the ‘family friendly’ version of the ‘Kardashians’!!

We also just love their work, their energy and the deeply rooted commitment to ‘hip hop’ as a prime tool for communication!  Check out their GMA and Today shows appearances, as we say, you feel me?!

Itsashort.com

itsashort.com is ‘the’ distribution platform for amazing, award winning short film, video and web series. We are excited to welcome the Holderness family and introduce our subscribers to something new. We love their story, it is something everyone fantasizes about: what would happen if you really followed your true passion, that’s the essence of itsashort…showcasing people who follow their passion and create something amazing. Please join us on Monday, December 22, 2104 in welcoming The Holderness Family to itsashort.com!!

What’s Up? FirstGlance Film Festival Online Film Contest!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PM It’s true, we’ve been silent for about a month…we’ve missed everyone. We’ve been engaged in reformatting, we moved our offices and reformatted sections of our website to create a better user experience. And, we’ve launched a new relationship with FirstGlance Film Festival, we are hosting their online 2014 film contest.

FGONLINE2014slideAWe  know your question, who are these guys? Founded by Bill Ostroff, FirstGlance Film Festival,  now 17 years ago, they manage two film festivals a year, the fall is Philadelphia and the spring is Los Angeles, following the Academy awards. Bill, a veteran of the industry is deeply committed to a great filmmaker and fan experience, two aspects we also value. So, hosting their online festival, we thought would be a wonderful experience.

The short films are awesome! And, it’s a contest with cash prizes for the artists and ‘fun’ prizes for the fans. The contest runs for 30 days, it started 10/10 at 10 PDT! But more than prizes, it is amazing exposure for these artists who truly have created wonderful options for fans. So, as we move back into our blogging universe, we do so with an invitation in hand. Please join us in supporting these amazing artists!!

The first film we loved is Failure Groupies, a wonderful short film by Rosalie Tenseth and Mandira Chamain as the director. The main actors are middle school kids but the issues: race and class, are definitely real world, today discussions. It’s fascinating to view these discussions through the lens of ‘tweens’.

We will profile each film and ask everyone to share with your respective universe. To quote Bill Ostroff, this is the first time a contest of this kind has ever been done and it is designed to share with the widest audience possible, these amazing short films.

As always, we at itsashort.com truly thank each and everyone of you for your interest and support…see you tomorrow…

What’s Up!!? Is Self Harm, Self Love…Cutting

screen-shot-2013-10-07-at-6-53-47-pm Cutting, a difficult form of self mutilation….was that something we saw on the arms of Robin Williams? And, self mutilation…is an expression of what exactly, self love, its hard to say. Tchaiko Omawale, a citizen of the world, having lived in seven countries before coming to New york City, is the and the ‘inspiration’ for this short film. Omawale hid her secrets of self mutilation for years. They took many forms, the most visible being ‘cutting’. People suffer in silence. Tchaiko Omawale gives voice and ‘light’ to this suffering with this award winning short film: Solace.

Solace

Trailer for “Solace” from Tchaiko Omawale on Vimeo.

Please join us for the online premiere and the google hangout that will immediately follow. Tchaiko just launched a kickstarter campaign to fund the feature version of Solace. She will share the details of that campaign and be joined by members of the cast and crew. The link to the hangout will be posted on the itsashort facebook page at the start of the premiere. To see this groundbreaking short film, register on itsashort.com, click premiere ticket to purchase ticket, return to the site, go to Browse and go to the Premiere Lounge. It’s a few steps but this short film, it’s poignancy and thoughtfulness, should not be missed. Please share with anyone for whom this could be of interest, or help.

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!!? US Veterans…as Citizen Scientists, Awesome!!

wlk4srlAoyyOHLAb1p8_onOPh-i5wPhwCjnqt05D6TMGrizzly Tracking with Citizen Scientists  premiered online at itsashort.com and was followed by a live google hangout/twitterchat. The short film was produced by Christi Cooper-Kuhn, an award winning filmmaker, and formerly a neuro scientist. It featured the experience, led by Gregg Treinish, founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, and the citizen scientists all of whom are US Veterans!

In fact, they don’t find any grizzly bears…but that wasn’t the only story. This film project was funded by The Sierra Club, specifically Stacey Bare, a US veteran himself and program officer for The Sierra Club. His interest in funding the project was to create an amazing experience for veterans. “We want to connect veterans to this great country, to help them see what they were fighting for.”

Wow!! Is that not totally cool? And, because the US Veterans are remarkably trained, their ability to serve as citizen scientists is amazing. Gregg Treinish comments that their skills for tracking and observation are awesome. Well…, yeah!

So, we had to rewatch the film, this time looking through the lens of the Citizen Scientists, really appreciating our fellow Americans.

What’s Up!!? Citizen Scientists and Grizzly Bears!

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Tracking Grizzly’s with Citizen Scientists

Christi Cooper-Kuhn, a neuro-scientist turned filmmaker was engaged by the extraordinary organization Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to film one of their expeditions, an effort to learn more about Grizzly Bears. This ‘still’ is a screen capture of a moment of discovery by the team of Bear Trackers.

Why is this important? Tracking Grizzly’s is part of a much larger effort to help preserve the habitats of Bears in the Tobacco Root Mountains of Montana. Their numbers have dwindled in alarming ways and learning more about their life habits informs the scientists and conservation communities about ideas for habitat preservation.

Cooper-Kuhn’s filmmaking has captured in ‘real time’ the efforts of citizen scientists as they discover tree markings, footprints and other ‘unmentionables’ which you will discover when you watch the film, yes there will be questions about the unmentionables!!!

Join us, August 4, 2014 at 5 PDT/6 MDT/7 CDT/8 EDT for the online premiere of Grizzly Tracking with Citizen Scientists. The premiere will be immediate followed by a live google hangout/twitterchat. Christi Cooper–Kuhn will share her perspective as the filmmaker. She will be joined by Gregg Treinish founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and Stacy Bare from The Sierra Club!