What’s Up?! New Short Film News for the New Year!

Jessica Sanderswhat’s up, good people?! 2017 means resolutions and reinvention. just make sure you stay true to yourself and we’ll do the same. Now let’s get to some short film news.

We here at itsashort.com support the equal and equitable representation of voices not often heard in the film industry. Media outlets such as Film Independent are good at drawing attention to programs that work to pump up the volume to make sure those voices are heard.

One such program is Fox Global Directors Initiative (FDI), dedicated to shining a spotlight on the careers of underrepresented filmmakers. Jessica Sanders was one of 20 women directors in FDI’s first cohort and created a short film to express her feelings about what programs like FDI can do to make Hollywood more inclusive, particularly for women. She’s since shared some thoughts and even made a short film about her experience. Check out her mini documentary below.

 

 

This Week’s Short

"The Smiling Man" short film

AJ Briones has a beautifully shot short film in “The Smiling Man,” the story of a little girl facing a purely evil being. This creepy, horror story turns some dark corners, but manages to look wonderfully cinematic while doing it in such a brief span of time. You should not watch with children. In fact, you may need to watch with several adults.

Seriously, people. Silence is used quite well in this piece. Click the link to scare your New Year’s socks off.

 

 

Around the Web…

Ann Arbor Film Fest

Mark March 21-26 off on your calendar as a “you must be here” moment for the much-anticipated Ann Arbor Film Festival. This program contains a myriad of voices from all over the world in both film as well as other presentations of art. From “Video Bureau: Works from an Archive of Chinese Video Art,” programmed by Ellen Zweig to a screening of works by African-American women artists—these folks understand what ‘inclusive’ means.

The 2017 schedule is soon coming, but in the meantime, you can absolutely check out the films from the previous festivals. In other words, you can support the short film and feature filmmakers by purchasing a DVD with last year’s films along with additional highlights from the festival at large. Click here for more details on how you get your hands on some of the most ground-breaking, experimental short film of the year.

 

"Star-Wars-Main-Poster" short film

There seems to be a disturbance in the Force. As in, there’s another take on the highly popular universe that provides an alternate perspective on the franchise. This short film garnered a little bit of steam in Los Angeles and Atlanta screenings last year. Follow the link to watch and let us know what you think. Does it rank among your favorite fan films?

Exciting stuff, good people.

 

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?! Short Film NYE!

"The Fisherman" Short Filmwhat’s up, good people?! 2016 was a great year of short film. let’s be sure to make the new year even better!

Even though Kylie Jenner “gifted” us with a smokey short film starring her and her rapper-boyfriend Tyga, we thought we’d end the year by sharing some beautiful and bright animation about the importance of soul mates. Luke Sanders envisions the future through a neon gaze in his sci-fi short, “The Fisherman.” When a young woman takes the reins of her father’s scientific research, the power of attraction turns everything on its ear. Check out the electric short film below. You’ll be hooked! Get it? You get it.

 

This Week’s Short

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Toy Story" Short Film“Rogue One: A Star Wars Toy Story” is the perfect follow up for Raymond Montemayor’s previous (prequel?) “Star Wars: A Toy Story.” In This Week’s Short, a young Star Wars fan forcibly awakens her father’s dark side when she plays with his sacred toys without permission in order to gain his attention. Take a look at this short film to see how it stacks up against the newly-released feature in theaters now. Sure it may not have the same star power (see what we did there?) but we think it’s out of this world.

Click the link to see the toy story from not that long ago in a land that’s actually pretty close.

PS – This fan film was produced for LucasFilms‘ #GoRogue contest. Does this make it canon? Hm…

 

 Around the Web…

Slamdance Film Festival 2017

Oh, so you’re wondering just how you can kick off the new year with some awesome short film consumption? Allow us to assist you. Slamdance Film Festival gets going January 20-26 in Park City, Utah. If you’re still in the throes of your holiday travel, maybe you can add a stop and swing over to check out the schedule for either the Experimental or the Anarchy short film program. Terms like “anarchy” and “rogue”…a pattern, we sense. (That’s Yoda-speak.)

By the way, the image above is from Houston native, Tommy C. Burns who contributed the image as the official 2017 film festival artwork. Gotta love it.

Keeping with the outer space motif, Ridley Scott is back among the stars with the upcoming Alien: Covenant. An apparent sequel to a prequel (Prometheus), the teaser trailer was released over the holiday and has people up in arms. Without giving away too much, there are some familiar faces and a few tweaks to what we know as common alien imagery that may raise some eyebrows. Based on this sneak peek, can you tell us where you think you’d rank this entry in the series? Maybe you’re interested in making your own fan-centered short film based on this iconic franchise… Here’s the mini-trailer:

Exciting stuff, good people.

 

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?! Alejandro Iñárritu Directs Short Film

Alejandro Iñárritu VR short film

Leonardo DiCaprio/The Revenant

What’s up, good people?! Ready to raise the curtain on short film news this week? let’s do It.

Director Alejandro Iñárritu gets the band back together with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki for a new  experimental project. The Oscar-winning duo who worked on Birdman and The Revenant, are collaborating with Legendary Entertainment and Lucasfilm to create a new virtual reality short film.

Word on the street is it will be a subversive look into the world of immigration. Considering the big players, this short film is a “must-watch.”

 

Lucasfilm is no stranger to short film, though. In fact, this year they teamed with StarWars.com to host a fan film contest. Above is the director’s cut of “TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story” which was selected as the Filmmaker Select award winner by a jury that included Gareth Edwards, director of Rogue One. The Force was strong with this one!

To watch all of the award winners from each category, click here.

Short of the Week – LIVE!

22 Years

We announced last week the premiere launch event of the highly anticipated short film, 22 Years.” With the multi-talented Dawn Noel at the helm as both lead actor and producer, “22 Years” is proof of what good things may come when skill, creativity, and passion are employed to share diverse perspectives.

Join us for the FREE premiere today followed by a live-streamed interview with the cast Dawn Noel, Luis Jose Lopez, Kearran Giovanni, Alexander E. Garland, and director Fred Thomas. Get your popcorn ready!

The event airs Tuesday, October 4, 8:00pm Central Time, 6:00pm Pacific Time, 9:00pm Eastern.

 

Chicago Int’l Film Festival

9 Rides - CIFF

Now in its 52nd year, it’s clear why CIFF is the longest running film festival of its kind. Arresting films from around the world light the screening rooms with the goal of cultivating diverse cultural conversations through international and independent art.

The festival runs October 13 – 27 and showcase  200 total films. If you’re in Chicago you’re bound to find something you like and discover something you love. Heavy buzz surrounds the Barry Jenkins film, Moonlight, about love and self-identity. Rumblings are also increasing about 9 Rides, a film by writer/director Matthew A. Cherry about a driver who sees himself through the lives of his passengers.

Plus, it was filmed entirely on an iPhone!

Moriom-CIFF Short Film

“Moriom” – CIFF Short Film

The short film slate looks more promising each year. One of the more compelling is “Moriom,” a Swiss film about the lasting effects of trauma. It’s part of the It’s All True shorts, one of 6 short film programs throughout the fest.

For the complete list of short films, from claymation to documentary, click here.

Around the Web…

Luke Cage - Netflix

Luke Cage – Netflix

Soooo… Luke Cage broke Netflix last weekend. The latest Marvel series available for streaming was so popular that the site shut down. Things eventually worked themselves out and the show appears to live up to the hype.

Marvel is taking a certain amount of care with their first black super hero show. There is grit to Mike Colter’s Luke Cage but the story arranges its players like chess pieces. We’ll see if execs will make the move for a second season.

Not familiar with Luke Cage? Check out his story here and let us know what you think.

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?! Fall Movies, CV Short Film Contest

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (short film and movie news)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie poster/Facebook

What’s up, good people?! We have the goods on the latest movie and short film news of the week.

Now that the summer is just about over, it’s all about fall, football, and more films, 37 of them that the Hollywood Reporter is declaring their most anticipated movies of the season.

It’s a tantalizing platter indeed. From Star Wars and Harry Potter spinoffs to a film about the 2010 BP Oil Spill and a biopic on eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes. What would any movie season be without a comic book character movie? Thanks to Marvel, there’s one of those on deck as well.

Emily Blunt (short film and movie news)

Emily Blunt/Wikimedia Commons

These fall films will feature the industry’s biggest stars: Tom Hanks, Hellen Mirren, Denzel Washington, Emily Blunt, Warren Beatty and Benedict Cumberbatch, among many others.

We already mentioned Snowden with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the The Magnificent Seven with Washington. We’d be remiss if we didn’t cite Renee Zellweger’s return to the big screen with Bridget Jones’s Baby and Tim Burton’s enchanting new adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

 

Oh and a movie where Amy Adams and Forrest Whitaker confront aliens?

We’re here for that too.

As we enter that pivotal stretch where Hollywood ramps up for awards season, these films will either live up to the hype or fall flat. Most will be resurrected for their eventual basic cable runs 15 months from now.

Still, fall is a pivotal period for unique and important movies.

Vote In the Collective Voices Short Film Contest!

Collected Voices: Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival/self-submitted

We have an impressive slate of short film entries of our own. For instance, a guy likes a girl but doesn’t know how to approach her. Chicago activists go on a hunger strike to save a neighborhood high school. A widower who is contemplating suicide encounters a young homeless man.

Then there are these: A musician, an artist and a dancer share their art and influences. Black people discuss what it’s like being the only one in the room. A medical doctor pursues her dream of becoming a dancer. A young mother ventures out in search of her child’s father, and an emotionally damaged man fulfills one last item on his to-do list before he leaves.

These are the storylines of the eight short films included in our inaugural Collected Voices Online Film Contest, which showcases works that explore the intersection of race, age, class, gender and sexuality.

You can vote on these films for free over on our platform at itsashort.com. To vote, go to this link, watch as much as you want and vote for your favorite short film.

Spread the word and tell a friend.

 

From Around the Web…

We are in the business of highlighting quality short films. We discovered this little gem at designtaxi.com: an award-winning, animated short about lovers that complement each other called “Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou.”

The short film, created by Michael Bidinger and Michelle Kwon,and produced at Ringling College of Art and Design, is top shelf.

See for yourselves.

And…

One of the year’s most stunning projects was Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade. Her video for “Formation” just won the MTV Video Music Awards’ Video of the Year award.

Music videos fall within the short film genre, and Formation is as cinematic and arresting as it gets.

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?! 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.