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.  

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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?! Sundance, “FirstGlance” Short Film Winner

What’s up, ya’ll? Welcome to a new week, and here’s the good word.

Itsashort is hosting a live Google hangout with the winner of the prestigious FirstGlance Fall 2015 Short Online Contest!

That’s right, this Thursday you will get the opportunity to chat with Brian Mellen, director of the gripping short film “Spark and Fade,” which you can check out below:

Rock star media mogul Brandon Broussard will moderate the discussion. You can pose questions on the live stream or participate on Twitter. Just use the hashtag #sparkandfade to chat with two of film and television’s rising stars.

The Google hangout is on Jan. 14 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.

 

Submit to Sundance Next Year

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival opens in less than two weeks, and itsashort.com can’t wait to be there.

You know the saying about the early bird getting the worm, well the early filmmaker who submits in a timely fashion, will get his work seen and heard (Okay that didn’t sound as cool when I read that out loud).

Nevertheless, it is never too early to consider submitting for Sundance 2017. Interested? Well, Sundance wants you to check back here during the first week of May.

But you just can’t submit your piece “willy-nilly,” without a bit of inside info.

Thanks to this wonderful article with Sundance Film Festival programmer Mike Plante, here are the most important pieces of advice regarding the submission process.

On short film submissions: “8,700 this year, which is the third year in a row we have received over 8,000.”

According to Plante, a 10-person committee screens the films. They are tasked with selecting around 70 shorts out of that batch that will make it to Sundance. That’s an arduous task, folks. Why? Plante said there are usually 300 shorts that the committee really loves. That means they have to break the hearts of 230 submitters before getting to the winners.

The trend from this year’s submissions:

Filmmakers are getting better at telling stories and creating characters in a shorter amount of time. It feels like they are trusting the audience more and more. You don’t need to imitate a feature, in fact that hurts a short film. Less is more. We have hilarious comedies that are less than 7 minutes long, and powerful documentaries with huge stories in just 15 minutes of run time.

And finally, advice for those who want to submit next year. Here is how you can impress a Sundance film programmer:

Did I say less is more yet? Audiences are so savvy at festivals that you can trust them. You don’t have to tell them what to think with more dialogue and “action” for lack of a better word. They watch shorts all the time—TV shows, commercials, music videos, and now actual short films online.  

“World of Tomorrow,” the 2015 winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, is one work that captured the hearts of judges last year. Here is the trailer for that mesmerizing short:

Awesome, right? Now it’s your turn.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

See The Golden Globes Tonight

We would be remiss if we did not mention the arrival of awards season with tonight’s airing of the 73rd annual Golden Globes. Sorry to disappoint you, but if you’re watching, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler won’t be your co-hosts this year. Instead, British comedian Ricky Gervais will serve as your master of ceremonies.

Expect some edgy and irreverent humor.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Denzel Will Be in The Building

Ladies (and some gentlemen) don’t swoon. That’s right, Denzel Washington will be one of the main stars of the evening. He is receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, bestowed to those who have made “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Mr. Washington certainly fits that bill.

Oscar Film Buzz

As far as the big films are concerned, the Globes have long served as the bellwether to the Oscars. The strongest Oscar “Best Picture” contenders from the Globes’ Best Motion Picture, Drama category are “Spotlight” and “The Revenant,” supposedly. In the “Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” category, Globe nominees “The Big Short” and “The Martian” are seen as the prime contenders as well. Nevertheless, the race is said to be wide open. “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Compton” have their supporters as well.

The 88th Academy Awards will air February 28 at 7pm ET. Until then, we’ll enjoy the awesome three-hour spectacle that is the Golden Globes, and more importantly, we’ll see who gives the most inebriated acceptance speech. Itsashort.com will be watching and it should be fun, fun, fun!

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 Verge Webseries!

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PMThe Verge is a new Webseries that made its debut at the LA Webfest in March 2014. Didn’t know that? No worries, the first episode can be seen on itsashort.com. Relationships, something we think about, experience, live, lament on occasion but always acknowledge that at times things are definitely complicated. What we do know is that we can’t live without relationships, truth.

Relationships underlie just about everything we do: business, everyday, family, friendship and life. Sometimes, we want to call an audible, right? Enough!

But, not taking care of relationships is never really an option, because relationships are the fuel of our lives, despite friction or just comfort. Our life lessons are a lot about learning to value and manage relationships good, bad, tough, sad…whatever, it really is the key to our happiness.

The Verge Webseries is among other things, about relationships and what it looks like when things are complicated. Check out the trailer below and watch the first episode, here.

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We are the ‘go to’ platform for amazing, award winning or award nominated short film, video and webseries. We exist to connect artists that you may not know with audiences artists are not connected to. So, join us by sharing this post, the site or just your thoughts with everyone you know. These artists create work for the world to see. No one likes everything…but definitely there will be something to like. Introduce your friends to work and artists they may not know, just by sharing.

Register on our site, the first month is free and subscribing is easy and…definitely the cheapest great entertainment we know. Subscription is $2/mo or $20 for the year….for $2 you can watch every short film, video or webseries one time at no additional costs in a month. It’s kind of new idea but not really, how often do you watch Youtube, TED talks or music video…same thing just on itsashort. Register in December and you may be selected to join us as a guest host in our next live streamed hangout…so see you soon!!

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!!? 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!!? The Very Scary…Evelyn Black

I don’t know if this would be my choice of next steps, but I imagine it’s what some people think? Evelyn Black, the title of an award winning short film by Michael Foster, a very talented filmmaker who currently makes Charlotte, North Carolina, home.

Evelyn Black will premiere online on itsashort.com, July 23, 2014 at 9 EDT/8 CDT/6 PDT…that’s PM ya’ll.

But what is it really about, power, anger, or some kind of …I don’t know…need to do justice? And, maybe that’s the real question, what is justice and what are the rules of justice…?

Evelyn Black…the trailer

Evelyn Black Official Trailer (Full HD) from The Michael Foster Experience on Vimeo.

And Then….

Join us after the screening for a live google hangout/twitterchat with Michael Foster, other members of the cast and crew as we talk about the inspiration for the short film, Evelyn Black. We will also be joined by representatives from two of the festivals where Evelyn Black screened, Montreal International Black Film Festival and the Charlotte Black Film Festival.

Use the hashtag #evelynblack to tweet your questions and more importantly your thoughts about justice.

For those of you joining us for the first time…welcome to itsashort.com! We are the ‘go to’ spot for award winning short film, video and webseries. We exists to support artists and to introduce you, the viewer to content you need to know! We believe that artists should be able, like the rest of us, to make a living by living their passion. We know you share that view and want to see more, hear more, experience more…so what does that mean?

You gotta buy a ticket! It’s only $2 and it includes a month long subscription to itsashort.com. You gotta watch the movie and then…join us to meet Michael and his crew!

We will post instructions for tickets on FB and in our next blog post…for now, save the date, July 23, 2014!

What’s Up? Wow, she’s beautiful, does she see me?

Wow! She’s beautiful, I want to say something…but I’ve only got a second before the train stops…and I may never see her again…so….we spend an amazing day…laughing, sharing a coffee, a meal and then…’snap’…was that real? Join us for the online premiere of The Color of Her Dress and share on our facebook page, a similar story from your life.

James Poirier, the Director, and the stars of the movie, Erin and Nick will join us for a live Q & A immediately following the premiere, June 26, 2014. So, join us this Thursday, 6 pacific/8 central/9 eastern and ask questions, share stories and talk with these artists about their inspiration, their experience and what it’s like to be a part of an award winning short film.

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