What’s Up?! Palm Springs Shorts Film Fest & Sundance

Palm Springs Int'l. ShortFest (short film and movie news)

Palm Springs Int’l. ShortFest/Instagram

What’s up, good people?! No fear, this week’s roundup of movie and short film news is here.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest, one of the most acclaimed festivals in the world, just wrapped up its biggest event yet. Last month, it featured over 300 short films from over 50 countries. The ShortFest also showcased a three-day conference dedicated to the next wave of filmmaking, Virtual Reality.

Itsashort.com corresponded with Palm Springs ShortFest director Helen du Toit to talk about the festival’s future and the works that were featured. She even doled out a bit of advice for filmmakers looking to submit for next year’s ShortFest.

Itsashort.com: What made this year’s Palm Springs ShortFest different from previous ones?

Helen du Toit: Many of the films in the festival this year explored themes of immigration, displacement and refugees — which is a clear reflection of major issues impacting people the world over. Interestingly, the perspectives of the filmmakers were ultimately hopeful, despite documenting stories of hardship or conflict.

Still photo from "Bon Voyage" (short film and movie news)

Still photo from “Bon Voyage”/Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest

Itsashort: What quality/qualities did the winning selections possess that differentiated them from the competition?

du Toit: The jury’s selections definitely skewed towards themes of migration. Honestly, the level of craftsmanship was extremely high, boding very well for the future of film.

Itsashort: How do you see the ShortFest evolving over the next few years?

du Toit: Our primary goal is to provide a platform for international emerging filmmakers to network and hone their skills. Many of them say that it is like Summer Camp for international filmmakers. We intend to build on the current successes and bring in more and more students and young filmmakers every year.

Still photo from "Taking Flight" (short film and movie news)

Still photo from “Taking Flight”/Palm Springs Int’l. ShortFest

Itsashort.com: What advice would you give to prospective filmmakers interested in submitting to the Palm Springs International ShortFest?

du Toit: Because the programming team sees over 4000 submissions, it is crucial to be as original as possible in your storytelling. And before you start shooting, know what you want to say. You are not just directing your actors on set, you are directing the audience to witness your own specific view of the world. Plus, we are ALWAYS looking for great comedies!

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

"Intersection" Short Film (short film and movie news)

“Intersection” Short Film poster/Facebook

Intersection,” directed by Brendan Beachman, takes place at — you guessed it — an intersection in the middle of nowhere.

Everything seems copacetic with two construction workers until a supernatural event occurs.

This graphic, mind-trip of a short film features stunning cinematography, special effects and editing.  Did we mention that it is satisfyingly creepy as well?

To see this critically-acclaimed short film, hit this link.

Oh, and prepare to have your mind BLOWN.

 

Sundance Shorts Coming To A Theater Near You

2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour (short film and movie news)

2016 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour/Sundance.org

A 90-year-old woman tries bacon for the first time. A police officer incorporates a Bruce Springsteen song into an awkward eulogy and a group of Senegalese street vendors fight over a piece of New York City sidewalk.

Those stories are just part of the 2016 Sundance Short Film Tour, a veritable hodge-podge of films that range from the compelling to the downright absurd.

The short film tour, which started last month, will play at 35 venues across the country.

In a recent review, The Hollywood Reporter attested to the random nature of Sundance’s 95-minute short film program:

Here, one finds every kind of thing, from quirky docs and neorealist dilemmas to animation and dive-bomb Surrealism.

The short film about the nonagenarian trying bacon for the first time, Bacon & God’s Wrath, is one of the standouts, along with the short about a cop doing his mother’s Eulogy (Thunder Road). Asantewaa Prempeh’s Jungle, which chronicles two Senegalese street vendors trying to eke out a living, has also drawn raves.

For more information about the 2016 Sundance Short Film Tour, see this link. And speaking of the Sundance, filmmakers looking to submit to the 2017 festival, should visit 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 out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.

 

 

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?! 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.

 

What’s Up?! This Teenager’s Must-See Short Film, Bill Murray

Khaldiya Jibawi (short film and movie news)

Khaldiya Jibawi/http://anotherkindofgirl.com/

What’s up good people?! Welcome to your weekly ITSASHORT.COM movie and short film roundup.

A 19-year-old Syrian refugee is getting worldwide attention for her short film which was made on a handheld camera.

Khaldiya Jibawi’s “Another Kind of Girl” chronicles her family’s life at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, which is home to about 80,000 refugees. With her nine-minute short film, she depicts many aspects of camp life, from the sobering to the mundane.

She helps her siblings with homework, listens to music on her bed and walks around the camp with her friends. But there are also moments of frustration and melancholy: A shot of her hand tracing dirt on a window pane, a dusty tarp flapping in the wind, a door slamming. 

Jibawi’s short film was created with the help of a media workshop funded by the nonprofit WomenOne, in collaboration with Save the Children International. The workshop encourages young women to tell their stories.

Viewers and critics alike have welcomed Jibawi’s story. Her short film has appeared at Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and the recently concluded LA Film Festival. Is Oscar consideration next? We’ll see.

Said Jibawi in a recent interview with NPR,

This small camera can make so many beautiful moments. I get surprised by what I can capture. After I would film, I would sit down and look at the shots. I couldn’t believe these would be the shots I took, and this little camera made it happen.

That may be true, Ms. Jibawi. However, you and your short film are making it happen as well.

 

Bill Murray Gets Prestigious Honor

Bill Murray (short film and movie news)

Bill Murray by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

Beloved actor Bill Murray will be the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, which is given to individuals who have made a great contribution to American humor.  Murray will be the 19th recipient of the prestigious honor, joining the likes of Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, Carol Burnett and Eddie Murphy, to name a few.

We couldn’t think of a better candidate. Murray’s career spans 40 years. The “Saturday Night Live” alum has starred in a litany of critically-acclaimed films such as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Rushmore and Lost in Translation. He has even appeared in a short film or three (“Scout’s Honor,” “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit,” “Pass the Buck: Expo ’74”)

When the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that it would honor Mr. Murray, the comedian  quipped:

“I’m honored by this award and by its timing. I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace.”

Don’t ever change, Bill. Don’t ever change.

 

Itsashort.com’s “Short of the Week”

"Orphan is the New Orange" (short film and movie news)

“Orphan is the New Orange” poster

Our “Short Film of the Week” is a unique kind of experience that parodies two popular shows.

You’ve heard of “Orange is the New Black” and BBC America’s “Orphan Black.”

Well, “Orphan is the New Orange” riffs on both shows and depicts a young woman who runs afoul of the law and winds up in prison.  That’s when the hijinks ensue.

Orphan is the New Orange is a mind-bending trip that will undoubtedly leave you chuckling. Grab some popcorn and hit this link to watch the full film.

You’ll thank us later.

 

Nothing Small About This ShortFest

Palm Springs International ShortFest (short film and movie news)

Palm Springs International ShortFest/Instagram

In one week, the Palm Springs International ShortFest commences as one of the only film festivals of its kind. What’s so special about this extravaganza?

The shorts: over 300 short films from 50 countries will be screened at the fest, which runs June 21-27.

And these are not your run-of-the-mill, made with daddy’s ‘handcam’ kind of shorts. Some big names are appearing in some of these works.

Kristen Wiig (short film and movie news)

Kristen Wiig/Wikimedia Commons

James Franco, Guy Pearce, Kristen Wiig, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, Steve Buscemi and Oscar Isaac will appear in some of the featured shorts.

Are you impressed yet?

For more information about the fabulous Palm Springs Shortfest, visit this link.

And if you go, drink lots of water. It’s blazing in Palm Springs this time of year. Make sure you take pics, too.

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.

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.