What’s Up?! Emmy Actresses, Short Film Buzz

THR's Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable (short film and movie news)

THR’s Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable/YouTube

What’s Up?! It’s summertime and the weather is hot. And so is this week’s roundup of movie, short film and entertainment news.

The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable discussions with television and movie big wigs is revelatory. Why? Because the series, which airs on Sundance TV, makes you the fly on the wall.

The latest edition is the best one yet.

THR’s Drama Actress Roundtable included Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue”), Kerry Washington (“Scandal”), Sarah Paulson (“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson”), Regina King (“American Crime”) and Constance Zimmer (“UnREAL”).

It’s like a Lollapalooza lineup for TV actors.

Anyway, these ladies talk about everything under the sun, from what they won’t do for a role and embarrassing experiences.

Luckily, you can experience all this goodness yourself thanks to the magic of YouTube:

 

Yeah, we agree. The starpower in that room is so bright, you’ll need sunscreen just to watch the video.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

No Fare short film (short film and movie news)

“No Fare” short film/itsashort.com

Sometimes, the story about how a film gets made can be just as interesting as the work itself.

Such is the case with “No Fare,” a short film directed by Daniel Masciari. The work was born when Masciari pitched it as an idea in a contest called “Pitch It to Produce It” back in April 2014.

In the span of three months, Masciari, with the help of his former peers at Ithaca College, produced this 14-minute short, the first ever at The Studio at Ithaca College.

For Masciari, the experience was a game changer.

“It was an experience that will live with me for the rest of my life,” he said back in 2014.

Nevertheless, his short got screened at the FirstGlance Film Fest in Philadelphia in 2015. And now, it has the distinction of being our “Short Film of the Week.”

“No Fare” chronicles a weary bus driver who ponders “possibility” after he encounters this particular passenger. As you watch, you can’t help but root for the guy, hoping he will get to taste this “possibility.” It’s a journey that is worth the, um, trip  — pun intended.

Register at itsashort.com to see this off-beat, little short film. Most of all, enjoy!

 

These Films Have Film Festival Folks Buzzing

Maya Angelou (short film and movie news)

Maya Angelou/Wikimedia Commons

A flurry of feature and short films have been making noise on the summer film festival circuit. Serious noise. We’ve added the trailers for each film.

Without further ado, here they are in all their glory.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” a documentary about the famed writer, just won the audience award for best feature at the AFI Docs 2016 film festival.

The AFI award for best short film went to “Snails,” a Polish short about a group of best friends who become snail farmers.

Like AFI Docs, the Palm Springs International ShortFest just concluded as well. The top short film to emerge from that fest was Daniel Mulloy’s “Home.”

“Home,” about a young, unsuspecting family getting caught up in a refugee migration, won the Best of the Festival Award at the Palm Springs ShortFest.

But “Home” wasn’t the only big winner at Palm Springs. These films were also a hit with viewers:

Audience awards were voted to the live-action short The Chop, a comedy about a Jewish butcher, directed by Lewis Rose; the documentary short Phil’s Camino, directed by Annie O’Neil and Jessica Lewis, about a Stage 4 cancer patient; and the animated short Taking Flight, directed by Brandon Oldenburg.

The complete list of winners can be found here.

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?! Scandal, The ‘Cannes Queen’ And Short Film Fests

Scandal Photo (movie and short film news)

Scandal Press Photo/Instagram

What’s up good people?! It’s a new week and we have the scoop on the entertainment and short film news you need.

Much to the dismay of Gladiators worldwide, there will be no Scandal this Fall. But it’s for a really wonderful reason. The top-rated drama will be pushed back to the midseason to accommodate Kerry Washington’s second pregnancy.

This isn’t the first time the show made accommodations for Washington. Season three was cut by four episodes due to her first pregnancy.

It’s a tremendously powerful and gracious gesture on the part of ABC execs to accommodate Mrs. Washington, one of TV’s biggest stars. Plus, that’s one awesome baby. Can you imagine the bragging rights he’ll have because of this?

My birth put the brakes to television’s biggest show. 

Meanwhile, we’ll all have to be patient for the new season while imbibing on some much-needed libations to cope. Right Ms. Pope?

Kerry Washington (short film and movie news)

One day at a time, Gladiators.

Shonda’s New Show

Shonda Rhimes (short film and movie news)

Shonda Rhimes/Facebook

Shonda Rhimes’ new show Still Star-Crossed is a period drama that doubles as a sequel to the classic Romeo and Juliet story.

Take a gander at the show’s intriguing first look, which is set to premiere next year during the TV midseason.

Wonder if Shonda will make a foray into short film. The genre would certainly benefit from her presence.

Kristen Stewart Takes Over Cannes

Kristen Stewart (short film and movie news)

Kristen Stewart/Wikimedia Commons

Actress Kristen Stewart is owning the Cannes Film Festival right now. The Twilight actress was booed for her film Personal Shopper, which debuted at Cannes this week. Yet, her performance is drawing rave reviews.

Stewart is a terrific actress, her brittle exterior barely masking whatever tempest she or her characters are battling underneath, and here, the unpredictability of what she may do next is heightened by the fact that there are no rules for what can happen, says Variety of her role in Personal Shopper.

Critics are also showing love to Stewart’s performance in her other Cannes film, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society.

If you haven’t heard, home girl has been slaying the Cannes red carpets.

With each role, Stewart distances herself from those hokey vampire films. What we’re witnessing is the metamorphosis of a fine actress. And this year’s Cannes festival has been her stomping ground.

 

SoCal Summer Film Fests

LA Film Festival Poster (short film and movie news)

LA Film Festival Poster/Facebook

 

Palm Springs Shortfest (short film and movie news)

Palm Springs International Shortfest poster/Facebook

Some prominent film festivals are set to launch this summer in Southern California, starting with the LA Film Festival which takes place June 1-9. The venerable fest is packed with screenings, premieres and discussions with industry insiders. For more information on the LA Film Festival, please visit this website.

 

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, which takes place about 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, runs June 21-27 and is one of the largest events of its kind. For more information on the Palm Springs ShortFest, please see this link.

FirstGlance Takes A Final Bow

FirstGlance Short Film Contest

FirstGlance Short Online Contest

Hundreds of you voted in the FirstGlance Short Film Contest and we thank you. All 16 nominees were worthy, but only one short film will emerge as the winner. That announcement is coming soon.

That winning film will be screened at the FirstGlance Film Festival in Philadelphia.

 

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 outitsashort.com and register to see the wonderful work of these creatives here.

 

What’s Up?! Kerry Washington at SXSW, The Short Film Program

Kerry Washington, keynote at SXSW (movies, short film, interactive)
Kerry Washington/Wikimedia Commons
Kerry Washington, keynote at SXSW  (movies, short film, interactive)

Kerry Washington/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up good people?! ITSASHORT.COM is back with the short film and movie news you need. It’s a special week for the gang because we’re out at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin!

This spectacular event is only a few days old, but the itsashort.com crew has been making the rounds and spreading the word about our mission. Boys and girls, it has been a grand old time and we do not want it to end.

But it’s not all “work-work-work.” We are out here making connections and checking out cool discussions. One of our favorite events so far was a talk featuring Scandal actress Kerry Washington. That’s right, Olivia Pope was in the building with a roomful of gladiators.

Washington spoke about the power of social media and how it has impacted her life and career.

“That kind of ability that social media has to give a voice to the voiceless is very important,” she said in her discussion with InStyle Editorial Director Ariel Foxman.

Here’s one important aside: Ms. Washington said that her tweets are her own and that she likes to partake in “live tweeting” from time to time. But Twitter as a vehicle for amplifying awareness and social change? She’s all in on that.

The diversity of interests in my tweets, I think that’s just a sign of being a curious person,” Washington said. “I really do care, I won’t say as much, but I am as interested in what just walked at Paris Fashion Week as I am with Hillary (Clinton). I just have a lot of interests.

 Among celebrities, Ms. Washington is an early adopter of Twitter, having joined the social media platform in 2010. The first episode of Scandal aired in 2012. She credits Twitter, Facebook and others for fueling the show’s runaway success.

“To this day, I know we would not have had a second season if it were not for social media,” she said.

All in all, the discussion touched on social media as a pathway to establishing an audience while engaging in meaningful conversations with them, something all filmmakers and creators need to hear.

In other words, get your content out there, learn what people are saying about the key issues/themes you want to utilize in your work and engage them.

After hearing Ms. Washington speak, our minds were blown too. Imagine what we could accomplish as creators if we properly utilized all that social media has to offer. Something to think about.

 

Boban Stojanov at SXSW Film Festival (films, short film program, interactive)

itsashort.com’s Boban Stojanov/Boban Stojanov

Words From The Prez & ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Itsashort.com got to check out a feature film “Don’t Think Twice,” about the cut-throat world of improv – yes, you read that right. The gang also dropped in on a Q&A with director Mike Birbiglia and cast members. Check out a clip of the discussion here.

But that was just one event, there were many others and this festival isn’t even four days old.

The crew got to check out talks on digital marketing and mobile engagement in today’s world, key issues involving short film and video creators.

The crew also got to see the main headliner at SXSW, and in American life in general: President Barack Obama.

And thanks to the SXSW channel on YouTube, you too can check out the President’s full keynote address below:

We are eagerly anticipating the short film program and a host of other interesting and diverse programming. To get updates on itsashort.com at SXSW, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

itsashort.com at SXSW (features, short film, interactive)

itsashort.com at SXSW/Boban Stojanov

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?! 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.

What’s Up?! Happy 2016, Ya’ll

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Common

Sundance is Just Around the Corner and Down the Block

If you read our blog from two weeks ago, you already know that the granddaddy of all film festivals, the Sundance Film Festival 2016, takes place January 21-31 in Park City, Utah. And itsashort.com will be there, front and center.

Sundance will boasts an impressive lineup of 72 short films, from documentary and animated selections to international and “New Frontier” films. What’s more, this event is attracting wider audiences, more than ever before, according to one of the event’s coordinators.

Mike Plante, Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Our longstanding showcase of short films has become a home for audiences who love watching these rowdy, sweet, scary and surprising stories. In recent years, shorts have taken on a bigger presence within the film and media industries, helping more and more people feel the power and potential of these short-on-time, big-on-ideas films.”

Plante is the man to know at Sundance. He’s one of 10 people who selects the films that appears at Sundance. He offers some much needed advice to filmmakers in this interview. If you get a minute, you might want to check out Shorts on SundanceTV, which features a library of short films curated by Plante himself.

One thing is for sure, itsashort.com can’t wait to meet, Mike Plante to take some selfies.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Add “Attend SXSW” To Your List of New Year’s Resolutions

The new year is upon us, and in the first 48 hours of 2016, you have already worn out that gym membership and read the table of contents for just about every popular self-help book published in the last 15 years. You are a monster right now: an unstoppable, irresistible force. Just remember to keep it up. Most of your peers will quit by March, but not you. You have creative goals to accomplish and films to pitch and shoot.

Speaking of March, the 2016 SXSW Film Conference and Festival takes place March 11-19 at the Austin Convention Center, and it is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most prominent film showcases. In other words, you have to be there. Itsashort.com certainly will be in the building.

The video below should inspire you to meet us out there:

Passes to the eight-day festival are not cheap, but the lineup looks legit (as usual): renowned actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Kerry Washington are the headliners. Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some” will be the festival’s opening night feature. Yet, the array of panels, networking opportunities and short film screenings should be nothing short of scintillating.

The short film sections include narrative, documentary and animated shorts, among others. In keeping with this whole “New Year, New You” deal, the SXSW Film Festival, which runs concurrently with the SXSW Music and Interactive programs, could be a game changer for your 2016.

You could meet potential investors for your next project or future collaborators who can assist in materializing your idea. Again, if the registration fees don’t make you sneeze, go for it. This is the year for your breakthrough, right?

For more information on registration for the SXSW Film Festival, visit this link.

If you come out, be sure to follow itsashort.com for the latest news on our SXSW journey. We can’t wait to see you there.

 

Star Wars “Awakens” at The Register – Big Time

 

In case you lost count, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has amassed record numbers at the box office: $740.266 million in the United States in 17 Days and $1.51 billion worldwide and rising, according to Forbes. It is the fastest film ever to $1 billion mark and appears to be on its way to topping Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time domestically. Even after two weeks, the trailer still gives us chills:

At any rate, the box office take is enough to rival the gross domestic product of the Maldives. Still, one question remains: how many lightsabers does that buy? We at itsashort.com would like to know.

Here’s to a creative, abundant and prosperous 2016, good people.