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?! New Ghostbusters; FirstGlance Short Film Winner

The New Ghostbusters (short film and movie news)

The New “Ghostbusters”/www.ghostbusters.com (official site)

What’s up, good people?! We’re back from the Memorial Day Holiday with the movie and short film news you need.

We’re smack dab in the Summer Blockbuster Season! That means action films with car chases and explosions, a plethora of super hero franchises and of course, reboots of classic movies will dominate.

One of the most polarizing blockbusters is Ghostbusters, the remake of the 1984 classic that originally starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson.

The Original Ghostbusters cast (movies and short film)

The Original Ghostbusters cast/Facebook

The 2016 remake has a new cast that reads like a who’s who of comedic actresses: the always entertaining Melissa McCarthy, the brilliantly daft Kristen Wiig, master impressionist Kate McKinnon and the completely outrageous Leslie Jones.

Word is, the remake might be funnier and scarier than the original, according to this original old-timer.

Even that kind of endorsement can’t stem the tide of criticism of the film, which is set to hit theaters July 15. The first trailer holds the distinction of being the most disliked trailer ever on YouTube (over 854K dislikes on YouTube as of May 31).

Another bone of contention with fans is the casting of the original surviving Ghostbusters members, who will make cameos in the new film instead of appearing as their original selves.

It remains to be seen how the film will fare with audiences. What we know is this: box office success and critical acclaim can be mutually exclusive. Bad summer blockbusters can and do make a boatload of money despite critical disapproval.

Plus, Ghostbusters already has a leg up on the 2016 blockbusters that have apparently tanked already. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” we are looking at you.

Ghostbusters' Bill Murray (short film and movie news)

Will the new Ghostbusters get ‘slimed’? We’ll shall see.

 

We Have A Winner

Thank you for the hundreds of voters who participated in the FirstGlance Short Film Contest. The film that will win the right to a free screening at the FirstGlance Film Festival is — drumroll, please — “The Accusation.”

The controversial film was the talk of the FirstGlance contest. Nevertheless, director Enrica Brunilde Amici‘s crime drama about the troubled relationship of a young American artist will earn a major opportunity via FirstGlance.

To see the short for yourself, visit this link.

A hearty congratulations goes to Enrica Brunilde Amici for her award-winning short film.

Shia LaBeouf (short film and movie news)

Shia approves.

 

How Her Short Film Got Her A Job With Steven Spielberg

Emily Carmichael (short film and movie news)

Emily Carmichael/http://kidcandrive.com/ (Official website)

Emily Carmichael, whose short films have been screened at SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival and Sundance, will have her first feature-length film (“Powerhouse”) produced by the great Stephen Spielberg and director Colin Trevorrow.

Steven Spielberg (short film and movie news)

Steven Spielberg says “Thank You.”

At 34-years-old, Carmichael has already won a bevy of awards for her work in the short film genre. Her critically-acclaimed short, “The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting,” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and garnered her the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Science Fiction Fantasy Short Film Festival — that is a mouthful.

Her animated short film RPG OKC was nominated for best narrative short at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Plus, her works have had commercial theatrical runs at venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the IFC Center, among others.

Carmichael’s chance of a lifetime came when Trevorrow saw “The Hunter and the Swan…,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Emily Carmichael is the next great writer-director of the kind of movies I love,” said Trevorrow. “Her ability to find warmth and humanity in genre storytelling is a superpower in itself.”

Carmichael is just the latest example of a short film creator successfully transitioning to feature films. We at itsashort.com are already rooting for her.

 

LA Film Festival Blasts Off – Finally

LAFF Poster (movie and short film news)

La Film Festival poster/http://www.filmindependent.org/

For weeks we have been telling you about the LA Film Festival, which launches this week and runs from June 1-9. The festival, which showcases the works of established and emerging filmmakers, will feature 56 feature films (42 of which are world premieres), 58 short films and 13 short episodic works from 28 countries, according to MovieMaker.

The LA Film Fest’s short film program covers an eclectic array of topics and themes, from the plight of a transgender character to a filmmaker’s decision to swim with dolphins. The Shorts Program looks to be well worth the ticket.

For more information on the LA Film Festival Shorts Program, visit this link.

Our Mission

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

itsashort.com at SXSW/Boban Stojanov

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?! Jungle Book, Nashville And FirstGlance Short Film Contest

The Jungle Book movie poster (short film and movie news)

The Jungle Book movie poster/YouTube

What’s up good people?! The short film and movie news you need is here for you.

The biggest news of the week is the release of the highly-anticipated film, The Jungle Book, which has captivated audiences everywhere.

The reviews have been fantastic and people are bum-rushing their local theaters to catch the Walt Disney remake.

The box office numbers tell the tale:

The Walt Disney Co.’s “The Jungle Book opened with $103.6 million in North America, making it one of the biggest April debuts ever at the box office…, according to NBCNews.com.

Counting Money gif (movie and short film news)

Big money.

 The Jungle Book hype is real, folks. The movie is a feast for the eyes – a must-watch in 3-D. According to NBCNews.com, “42 percent of the film’s domestic sales came from 3-D and premium-format screens.”

This IMAX featurette is just a taste of this majestic piece of filmmaking, courtesy of director Jon Favreau.

 

Nowdo yourself a favor and go see this film. Itsashort.com commands you to.

 

Movies In Music City

Nashville Skyline (movie and short film news)

Nashville Skyline/pixabay.com

The weather is warmer and the days are longer. Top American film festivals like Sundance and SXSW are over, and the Tribeca Film Festival pushes on.

Yet, another fest is gaining prestige by the year and is entering the conversation as one of the country’s best. The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), which kicked off Thursday, has become a destination event for groundbreaking features, music documentaries and short films.

(500) Days of Summer movie poster (short film and movie news)

(500) Days of Summer movie poster

Well-regarded movies like 13 Assassins, (500) Days of Summer, and Oscar nominees I Am Love, Ajami, and Dogtooth once debuted at the 47-year-old movie extravaganza. Plus, NaFF has hosted its share of celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, William Shatner, Al Gore and Nicole Kidman to name a few.

The short film program is nothing to play with either.

The festival features 172 selections in the short film category. Those shorts were chosen from among 3,700 entries.

Yet, this is how big-time the Nashville Film Fest has become: Short film winners in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Shorts Competitions will qualify for consideration for the 2017 Academy Awards.

Wow (movie and short film news)

Yes. You read that right.

The Nashville Film Festival is in the upper echelon, in case you didn’t know.

For more information on NaFF, please check out this site.

Get Your First Glance

FirstGlance Short Film Contest

FirstGlance Short Online Contest

Did you ever want to be a film critic like Roger Ebert?

Well, here’s your chance. Itsashort.com is hosting the Spring 2016 FirstGlance Short Film Contest, which starts today and runs through May 18.

Here is how you can take part: Visit itsashort.com to watch and vote for the film you like the most. Once you register at no cost, you can watch the nominees and vote, once-a-day, everyday for the film of your choice.

Once the votes are tallied and prizes doled out, one lucky filmmaker will have their short film screened at an event in Philadelphia.

So vote early and often on your favorite short film. It’s fun and it doesn’t cost anything.

Plus, you’ll be making a filmmaker’s dream come true.

Got it?

Bill Clinton, Thumbs Up (movie and short film news)

Yep.

Good.

Our Mission

itsashort.com (short film and movie news)

LoveShort Film?/itsashort.com

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?! Sundance And Oscar-Nominated Short Films

The Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre, home base for Sundance features and short films.

Credit: Travis Wise/flickr

What’s up, good people? The 32nd Sundance Film Festival launches in less than four days, and itsashort.com will be in the building for all those wonderful short films.

If you can’t make it, that’s okay. We have all the info you need to be a Sundance pro, whether you’re in Park City or not. Info on the short films, features, panels and the works will be made available to stream right where you are. There will even be round-the-clock updates via Twitter and Instagram.

You can stream Live@Sundance events at Sundance.org/festival and at its official YouTube page.

Lena Dunham, featured guest at Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A host of festival highlights are on deck, including a conversation with Lena Dunham, the actress, writer, producer and director best known for HBO’s “Girls” and Norman Lear, the writer/producer whose classic television shows “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and others redefined the sitcom genre. That event takes place Friday, January 22, 1:30 PM EST, which you can stream here.

We may be getting ahead of ourselves, but itsashort.com can’t wait to attend the “Power of Story: The Art of Film” conversation, which features acclaimed filmmakers Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight series, Interstellar) and Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World). The panel takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 28. The good news is that you will be able to stream this too.

The full slate of streamable Live@Sundance events is available here.

Got it? Great.

 

George Lucas, Pixar And These Oscar-Nominated Short Films

Filmmaker George Lucas championed one the year's best short films.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The feature film stuff is fine, but itsashort.com is more interested in the 15 short films recently nominated for Oscars. Here’s the skinny: they represent three categories (animated, documentary and live-action) and span six to 40 minutes in length.

There are several notable inclusions this year, like the vastly popular “Sanjay’s Super Team,” the directorial debut by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel. According to Bustle, Sanjay’s Super Team is “partly biographical, and is based upon Patel’s experiences growing up in California with Indian immigrant parents.”

A clip of the animated short film has already garnered more than 1.8 million views, which you can see below:

And speaking of cool stories, there’s this one about the gripping short, “Day One,” its creator Henry Hughes and Star Wars creator George Lucas.

After serving two combat tours in Afghanistan, Hughes became a student at the American Film Institute. While there, according to Entertainment Weekly, Lucas became his mentor. The legendary filmmaker would champion Hughes’ “Day One,” which is about an Afghan-American woman’s first day as a translator with the U.S. Military in Afghanistan. The film is based on Hughes’ own experiences working alongside a female translator when he was an infantry soldier and paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne, according to EW.

Here is the trailer for “Day One”:

In the Entertainment Weekly feature, Hughes mentions how Lucas came to be his mentor:

…there is a veterans’ organization called American Corporate Partners. And they find a veteran in search of a mentor, and this mentor is in a profession or industry that the veteran is pursuing. I happened to get George Lucas…And so [Lucas] saw some of my earlier work, and I guess he agreed that it was okay enough to mentor me.

The guidance Lucas gave him on filmmaking:

He asked me who I made films for, if I made films for filmmakers, or I made films for an audience. He said it’s an important question you had to ask…

And finally, his plans for “Day One,” which he plans to develop into a longer feature:

“Yes, I’m currently developing a feature based on the interpreter character. I just think that she has an inspiring story that needs to be told.”

“Sanjay’s Super Team” and “Day One” will compete in the Short Film (Animated) and Short Film (Live Action) categories, respectively. Itsashort.com is looking forward to February 28, the night the 88th Academy Awards will take place.

Below are the list of nominees in each short film category:

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Body Team 12

Chau, beyond the Lines

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

Shok

Stutterer

 

Our Mission

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 the wonderful work of these creatives here.   

 

What’s Up?! Sundance’s Shorts And Tarantino’s Tiff

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Sundance Institute announced its full lineup of 72 short films for the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance and Ogden, Utah.

There are some good-looking shorts among the lot.

The full list of them can be found here.

 

Moved By The Force: what’s up with this, itsashort.com

While everyone is awakening to the force and loving it, not everyone was happy about the ubiquitously marketed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” especially one Oscar-winning filmmaker.

Quentin Tarantino accused Walt Disney Studios of pushing his film, “The Hateful Eight,” from the famed Cinerama Dome venue in Hollywood.

Said Tarantino on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show last Wednesday,

“As of yesterday, Disney came to the ArcLight people and said ‘no, you are going to play ‘Star Wars’ in the Cinerama Dome for the entire holiday season, and if you don’t, if you honor your deal with the ‘Hateful Eight,’ we will not allow you to have ‘Star Wars,’ the biggest movie in the world, we will not allow you to show it at any of your ArcLight movie theaters.'”

Said Tarantino, “It’s vindictive, it’s mean and it’s extortion.”

Tarantino said his film was supposed to play at the Cinerama Dome starting on Dec. 25th, but “The Force Awakens” will be getting extended play through the holidays, pushing out his film when a glut of movies is expected to be released during the holiday season.

“The Force Awakens,” of course, is the biggest of them all.

If Tarantino’s claims are indeed true, then it’s a blow because the Cinerama Dome is one of the few venues equipped to properly project the 70mm “Hateful Eight.” What’s more, the Cinerama logo appears in the opening credits of his film.

Stern assured Tarantino that the matter would be resolved. The radio host went so far as to plead the filmmaker’s case to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who he claims is a faithful listener to his satellite radio program:

“Listen Bob … I don’t give a s— about this theater. Quentin’s a weirdo, sorry Quentin. They’ve got the stupid 70 mm. They got all that s— that he cares about. He just wants to show his goddamn movie there. You’re sitting on top of the world. You’ve got ‘Star Wars.’ What, do you need this?”

Sheesh, Quentin sure knows drama.

 

Did you hear? Natalie as Jackie, yay, itsashort.com

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Natalie Portman will play the famed former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the film, “Jackie?” The movie is slated to be released in 2017. We can’t contain our excitement either.

Does she ever do short films?

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday season everyone.

What’s Up? Dear White People

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 6.53.47 PMDear White People was oversold today at the Sundance Film Festival. Crowds were wrapped around the block of the Eccles Theatre, a venue with seating for 1200 people. It was amazing. The feature was developed from a short film (see the short below) a piece done by Justin Simien and Effie T Brown.

It’s really a fun not really spoof but commentary from two millennial about millennials. It’s funny, yet thoughtful and they do make some interesting points about living in general.

Dear White People

itsashort.com intends to include the short on the platform as a great example of short video. It’s confusing, the difference between short film and short video. We think this short video is a keeping it 100 example of a short video. But, what is your  idea…is this short a video or a film, and truthfully, only comment if you think the distinction is important! In the meantime, please like our FB page, follow us on instagram and pinterest: itsashort is the name and just keep to it.