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.

 

 

What’s Up?! MJ Comes To TV & Alicia Keys’s New Short Film

Michael Jackson (short film and movie news)

Michael Jackson/Facebook

What’s up good people?! Summer is here and we have the movie and short film news you can use.

The final months of Michael Jackson’s life is coming to the small screen thanks to filmmaker J.J. Abrams and author and talk show host Tavis Smiley.

Abrams is planning to turn Smiley’s new book “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days” into a TV miniseries.

This is the second time Smiley and Abrams are teaming up on a project.

Smiley and Abrams will serve as executive producers. Their production companies, Smiley TV and Bad Robot, announced in April they are also developing a television series about Smiley’s 2014 book, “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.”

The Michael Jackson project, which is described as a novelistic take on The King of Pop’s final months, follows a growing television trend where real life events are serialized for TV. FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” enjoyed enormous success earlier this year. Though the Michael Jackson project is in the developmental phase, it is expected to draw huge interest.

Abrams’ involvement is a mild surprise, if only because it’s such a huge departure from his other recent work…it’s hard to imagine a more compelling subject, and it’s being built from a solid base in Smiley’s book, says The Verge.

It may be awhile before this project becomes a reality. Still, legions will be waiting with bated breath for this development. Believe that.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

TAPE by Sierra Parr (short film and movie news)

TAPE poster/Facebook

Our short film of the week transports us to a place not often seen. The psychological thriller “TAPE” takes place in purgatory and explores the critical issue of mental illness. The main character finds himself in this netherworld where he meets five suicide victims who have a secret they cannot share.

Bone-chilling is how most would describe this short. We think this film will keep you riveted while rewiring your insides, simultaneously. In other words, TAPE is compelling with a capital “C.”

Hit this link to watch the full film.

But please, do us a favor and buckle up — shoulders, waist and feet.

 

Alicia Keys’s New Short Film

Alicia Keys (short film and movie news)

Alicia Keys/Wikimedia Commons

Alicia Keys recently made a short film to tackle an important issue and showcase her music. Unlike Lemonade, Beyoncé’s sprawling and wonderful filmic album, Keys takes a different approach. Her short film “Let Me In” shines a light on the global refugee crisis. Plus, it is an actual film instead of a music video.

Alicia Keys's Short Film, "Let Me In"

Alicia Keys’s Short Film, “Let Me In”/Twitter

The 11-minute short, directed by Jonathan Olinger, depicts what happens when a young girl and her family suddenly become refugees.

“Creating this film really allowed us to imagine, what if we were the refugees? What if we were the ones torn from the arms of our families and loved ones? How would it feel if this were happening to us?” said Keys in a statement.

In addition, her new song “Hallelujah” serves the film’s centerpiece.

See this powerful short film for yourself below:

And kudos to those artists who are using the short film genre to tell important stories. Here’s hoping that more musicians follow suit.

 

Film Festing

Michael Moore (short film and movie news)

Michael Moore/Wikimedia Commons

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, which launched this week, is regarded as the largest festival of its kind.

The Huffington Post recently hailed the short film festival as brilliant and innovative:

The opening night selection boasts major award winners from the world’s top film festivals and focuses on the most talented emerging international directors. Elsewhere, there are plenty of other standouts—Romania’s “237 Years,” Berlin’s In Pursuit,” and featured programs such as “Sibling Stories” and the Monty Python-inspired “And Now For Something Completely Different” should generate applause.

Another film festival of note that launches this summer is the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF), which was founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.  For more information about TCFF, hit this link.

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 subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.