What’s Up?! Hamilton Fever, Short Film Rocks!

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 11.52.34 AMWhat’s up, good people?! We’re up to our ears and elbows in movie and short film news. It’s crazy.

The 54th New York Film Festival, the next major event on the festival circuit, promises to be every bit as spectacular as the recently-concluded Toronto International Film Festival.

Ava DuVernay (short film and movie news)

Ava DuVernay/Wikimedia Commons

Hamilton’s America, about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular Broadway musical, and Ava DuVernay’s The 13th, about the U.S. prison industry, will premiere at the New York Film Fest.

New York will also feature Gimme Danger, about iconic rock group Iggy and the Stooges. All three docs should generate plenty of buzz, but are they Oscar-worthy? Only time will tell.

What’s more, the festival will showcase 23 shorts in five short film programs.

The New York Film Festival runs from Sept. 30 to October 16. For more information on this spectacular event, see this link.

 

Last Week To Vote

Still from the short film, "Speechless" (short film and movie news)

Still from the short film, “Speechless”

The short films that comprise the Collected Voices Online Film Contest run the gamut, from stories about loss and perseverance to documentaries about art and education.

When it comes to matters of the heart, the Collected Voices contest has you covered with these three shorts.

“Speechless” is a delightful little story about a man on the brink of approaching a woman he admires, but it has a twist. You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

"Before I Leave" (short film and movie news)

“Before I Leave” poster/imdb.com

“Before I Leave” is a much darker story about a man on the brink of a fateful decision. The only question is, will his love for his mother interfere.

Red & Purple (short film and movie news)

Red & Purple

And finally, we can all identify with the age-old story of rediscovering a long lost passion. In “Red & Purple” a medical doctor follows an unlikely path back to her youth and rediscovers the pastime that was always at the center of her heart.

All three of these shorts are eloquent, heartfelt and moving. Which is the best?

Well, that’s up to you to decide.

While you still have time, you should watch and vote for any of these three films. You can watch all eight nominated short films and vote for free. Just hit this link to play. No assembly required.

The contest ends this Friday, September 23.

 

From Around the Web…

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) just wrapped up and the winners have been announced! To see the full list, hit this link.

From the upcoming film, Barry (short film and movie news)

From the upcoming film, Barry/imdb.com

Netflix purchased the worldwide rights to Barry, the film chronicling a young Barack Obama.

And… 

Rapper and entertainment mogul Shawn Carter ( aka Jay-Z) recently narrated an intriguing short film titled, “The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail.”

Illustrated by Molly Crabapple, this New York Times short film provides a brief history lesson on the war on drugs — brief but potent. This is a bitter yet satisfying little pill.

And…

We know you hate unsolicited advice, but trust us, you will like this. The Manhattan Short Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1, will have over 100,000 film lovers from 250 cities gather at “cinemas, museums and universities for one purpose”: they will watch and vote for the festival’s short film finalists.

For more information on this awesome program and to locate a viewing venue closest to you, please 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?! An Oscar Contender, Short Film Contests

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.02.49 AM

What’s up, good people?! Hope you had a great Labor Day, but we know you miss us. So here’s your weekly roundup of short film and movie news.

The recently concluded Telluride Film Festival debuted a film that is generating considerable buzz and could contend for the major awards this season.

Moonlight is a three-part narrative about a gay African-American male who navigates his sexuality against the backdrop of his brutal Miami neighborhood.

The film, which is directed by Barry Jenkins, is unique in that it features characters seldom seen by mainstream audiences.

Nevertheless, Moonlight has left Telluride audiences and critics spellbound. It is expected to do the same at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, events that have a reputation for breaking Oscar-nominated pictures.

Thus far, the reviews have been fantastic.

“Jenkins has made a breathtaking film, one with political urgency and a deep, compassionate humanity. Moonlight is timely and timeless, a study in limits that casts its gaze up toward something transcendent,” raves Vanity Fair.

Another facet to Moonlight’s story is Jenkins, a former Florida State film school graduate who used to curate Telluride’s short film program.

“I always hoped this would play at Telluride,” Jenkins told the Los Angeles Times recently. “I haven’t seen a film at Telluride where people talk the way they do in the world of this film.”

Brad Pitt (short film and movie news)

Brad Pitt/Wikimedia Commons

Moonlight is co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment Inc. It is set to hit theaters October 21, but the buzz will only build from now to February when the 89th Academy Awards take place.

 

Vote On These Shorts

Last week, we gave you brief synopses of the short film nominees in the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.

This week we highlight two shorts that depict characters grappling with loss. The first is “Nowhere to Be Found,” which is about a mother on a seemingly endless quest to locate her child’s father.

Directed by Rebecca Montalvo and Brian VandenBos, this short film is tinged with emptiness. Yet, you are compelled to watch, if only to see whether the lead character is successful in her quest.

Our second short film entrant is “Through the Trees,” which depicts a widower on the cusp of a fateful decision, that is until he meets a young man on the street. At first, this film is melancholic, but then it morphs into something entirely different. You may leave this Ryan Donovan-directed short with a smile after it ends.

You can watch and vote for these shorts and six others once-a-day, every day for free on our platform until September 23.

To take part, go here.

Pick  a favorite or two or five. It’s your world.

From Around the Web…

Thom Yorke (short film and movie news)

Thom Yorke of Radiohead/ Wikimedia Commons

Speaking of contests, Radiohead recently announced the winners of their short film contest which launched in July.

Fans were asked to submit vignettes using the one-minute version of their song, “Daydreaming.” They announced the six winners via this Instagram post.

To see the winning short film entries, check out this IndieWire link.

And…

Forbes magazine will host a short film contest for filmmakers under 30.

Winning shorts will be screened at a miniature film festival from October 16-18 before a room of 5,000 “young entrepreneurs and game-changers” from media, technology, entertainment and social good industries, among others.

Michelle Obama (short film and movie news)

Not bad.

For more information, please see this link.

And…

What kind of people are we if we can’t show love to Brooklyn. Huh? The Brooklyn Film Festival recently announced the winners of their film event. You can check out the full list here.  

And finally…

We have to show you “Infinitude,” the most amazing short film about the cosmic evolution you will ever see. Special shout-out to director Scott Portingale and the folks over at Gizmodo for letting us know about this one.

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?! Eddie Murphy Returns, Short Film Contest

Eddie Murphy (short film and movie news)

What’s up, good people?! The summer is almost done, but the short film and movie news You Need is heating up.

The most prolific yet enigmatic actor of our generation has returned. Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live’s most famous alum, is coming back to the big screen after a five-year absence. No, he’s not playing a bumbling dad is some mediocre kid’s movie. The 55-year-old comedic actor is returning in a dramatic role that critics are already deeming Oscar worthy. Seriously.

Murphy will play the title role in Mr. Church, a film about a black man who helps to raise a white child whose mother suffers from cancer.

The Hollywood Reporter, which recently interviewed Murphy, stated that Mr. Church is his “best shot at winning the Academy’s attention since The Nutty Professor…”

Said Murphy about the role, which is based on a true story,

I never did anything like this. It was something I could do where there was no pressure at all because there was no expectation because this isn’t a funny thing. The engine of this thing isn’t my sense of humor or what I do or my performance.”

Murphy was nominated but lost out on a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.

Mr. Church is set to hit theaters September 16. From the looks of it, this will be an Eddie Murphy we have not quite seen before. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

 

Short of the Week

The Art of Human Salvage (short film and movie news)

The Art of Human Salvage poster/Facebook

Our short film selection of the week is a Sci-Fi entry about a 10-year-old boy who faces execution. The question is who will save him.

 

“The Art of Human Salvage” is a riveting short set in a netherworld and inspired by classic films like Blade Runner and Children of Men.

Directed by Dempsey Tillman, this short film stars Oscar-nominated actor Edward James Olmos. In fact, “The Art of Human Salvage” was so popular that the trailer alone garnered over 257K views on Vimeo.

And with good reason: This is a brisk, high energy short film that hits like a shot of expresso.

That’s our way of saying we think you’ll like it.

To see “The Art of Human Salvage,” hit this link.

 

 

Vote For Your Favorite Short Film

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

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival/http://www.collectedvoicesfilmfest.com/

Big things are happening around here, folks.

As we announced last week, itsashort.com and Collected Voices have partnered up to introduce the Collected Voices Online Film Contest.

Here’s how it works: Visit our site to watch and vote among eight unique short films that have been nominated for entry. These short film nominees either focus on history, culture or  real life experiences. You can watch all eight films for free and cast your vote, once a day. Winners will be announced on October 29.

Again, you can vote and even encourage your friends to participate by visiting this page on our website.

There are no “hanging chads” here, just cool short film entries for your voting and viewing pleasure.

 

From Around the Web

Riz Ahmed in HBO's "The Night Of" (short film and movie news)

Riz Ahmed in HBO’s “The Night Of”/Courtesy of HBO and IMDb.com

Variety, one of Hollywood’s leading publications, just announced its “Actors to Watch” list for 2016.

The list includes Oscar award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, “House of Cards” actors Mahershala Ali and Rachel Brosnahan and the lead actor from HBO’s “The Night Of,” Riz Ahmed.

Rachel Brosnahan (short film and movie news)

Rachel Brosnahan/giphy

What’s great about the list is that its showcases diverse and rising talents in the industry. To see the list for yourself, go here.

And…

Don’t forget! The Toronto International Film Festival is  just two weeks away. The film lineup is staggering, loads of premieres are happening. You can get “the deets” on the feature and short film entries by going here.

One more thing…

The San Diego International Film Festival is over a month away. It will run from September 28 to October 2. For more information on this important event, go to 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?! TIFF News, Short Film & Usain Bolt

Natalie Portman (movie and short film news)

Natalie Portman/Wikimedia Commons

What’s up, good people?! We’re back in effect like we never left with this week’s short film and movie news.

We told you about the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) earlier this month. Now that it’s only three weeks away, more details are being revealed. By all indications, it looks like TIFF is going to be epic.

Why?

The Toronto fest will premiere some quality features. Not to mention the fact that TIFF has a history of minting future Oscar award winners.

Leonardo DiCaprio will world premiere a new documentary about climate change, The Turning Point, and audiences will see the sequel to the ever-popular 1999 horror flick, The Blair Witch Project.

And if that isn’t enough to make you buy roundtrip tickets to Toronto, then this might do it: The premiere of the film Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in the lead role, which chronicles former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination.

Whew.

In more TIFF-related news, festival coordinators recently launched the inaugural TIFF x Instagram Shorts Festival, which showcases eight 60-second short films from all over the world that were made using Instagram.

According to IndieWire, TIFF has screened three short films a day on its Instagram account. It will continue to do so until August 18th, when the winning film and audience favorite is announced.

For more information about TIFF, which runs September 8 -18, visit this link.

Want more info about the TIFF x Instagram Shorts Fest? You can go here for more details.

“Short of the Week”

Animator vs. Animation IV (short film and movie news)

Animator vs. Animation IV poster/Facebook

“Animator vs. Animation IV” is one of the more innovative shorts on our platform. This short film is about a stick figure that battles its creator, with the former wreaking havoc on the latter till the very end.

Yet, words fail to describe the sheer creativity of this compelling 14-minute short. In 2014, “Animator vs. Animation IV” went viral and collected over 5 million views in a month.

And the film, created and directed by Alan Becker, still remains a phenomenon.

Do yourself a favor and peep this short film for yourself.  Just visit this link and register to watch.

You won’t look at stick figures or your computer the same way ever again.

 

Breaking News: A Brand New Film Contest!

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

Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival poster/http://www.collectedvoicesfilmfest.com/

Itsashort.com is proud to announce a new partnership with Collected Voices, a unique film festival that highlights diverse works about culture, history and real life experiences.

Starting August 21, Itsashort will host an online short film contest that will feature 10 Collected Voices Film Festival nominees from the past two years. Five entries will be selected from the 2016 Collected Voices festival, which launched August 11. The other five will be from last year’s festival.

The contest will run until September 23 and winners will be announced at the Collected Voices Fest of the Fest gala on October 29.

For more information about the Collected Voices Film Festival, visit this link.

 

From Around the Web…

Usain Bolt (short film and movie news)

Usain Bolt/Facebook

Usain Bolt has been tearing up the track at the Rio Olympics and minting hilarious memes in the process. It’s only right that the fastest man on the planet gets his own film documenting his exploits. Gatorade, one of the companies Bolt endorses, released a cool animated short film about the Jamaican sprinter that is worth checking out.

Now, all we need are films about Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Wayde van Niekerk and Michelle Carter. Please and thank you.

 

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?! TCFF, #1 PBS Short Film, Oscar Contenders

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival photo/Traverse City Film Festival–Flickr

What’s up, good people?! The dog days of summer can’t put a damper on all this great short film and movie news that’s happening. Let, ITSASHORT.COM clue you in.

Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival wrapped on Sunday and dozens of filmmakers emerged as big winners, especially women directors. The entire list of winners can be found here, but special mention goes to Kulikar Sotho’s The Last Reel, which won the Founders Grand Prize for Best Film and Rebecca Miller for Maggie’s Plan, which was designated the “Best U.S. Fiction” film.

Two documentaries were bestowed TCFF’s top honor: Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson, and Unlocking the Cage, directed by D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Both won for “Best U.S. Documentary.”

Out of the 107 shorts that comprised the short film program, six took home awards. “Over,” directed by Jorn Threlfall, won for “Best Fiction Short,” and “Speaking is Difficult,” directed by AJ Schnack, was named “Best Documentary Short.”

The Audience Award for “Best Fiction Short” went to Timothy Busfield and Tommy Lohmann for “One Smart Fellow,” and Amy Nicholson’s “Pickle” won the Audience Award for “Best Documentary Short.”

All in all, TCFF was a rousing success. Thousands attended the festival’s opening night with 82 of the 250 screened films sold out on the first day.

Traverse City Film Festival (short film and movie news)

Traverse City Film Festival photo/Traverse City Film Festival–Flickr

Sounds like a winner to us. Now, it’s time to plan our Traverse City trip for next year.

 

The Short of the Week

Who Is Evelyn Black? (short film and movie news)

Who Is Evelyn Black? poster/http://themichaelfoster.wix.com/evelynblackmovie

So, “Who is Evelyn Black?” That’s the question and title of our “Short Film of the Week,” an intriguing, suspenseful thriller about a woman who leads a double life.

Let’s juts say that, by the end of this film, her duplicity will seem warranted.  Directed by Michael Foster, Evelyn Black is a compelling little short that deserves more attention. It has our stamp of approval.

It will get yours as well. Don’t believe us, just register and watch at this link.

Gold Star for “Gold Star”

Gold Star film poster (short film and movie news)

Gold Star film poster/http://goldstartheshort.com/

Karla Legaspy’s short film “Gold Star” won the PBS Online Film Festival. It beat out 24 other shorts as the contest’s top vote-getter.  

To see this wonderful short film for free.99 (translation: free), visit this link. It will include all the info you’ll need on Gold Star and the other shorts.

 

Awards Season Starts With TIFF

Snowden (short film and movie news)

Still from Snowden/Twitter

Awards season is about to ramp up real soon. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from Spetember 8-18, is a kingmaker for the major movie awards.

TIFF has a history of breaking Oscar darlings. Films like Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and The King’s Speech debuted at TIFF before going on to earn gold statues the following year.

A scene from Silver Linings Playbook (short film and movie news)

Silver Linings Playbook/Facebook

Several films that will be screened at TIFF could generate Oscar buzz.

According to CNN, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, is a potential contender.

Loving, a powerful film about an interracial couple fighting racism and the law in the 1960s, could also vie for a gold statue.

One intriguing entry is the Oliver Stone-directed biopic Snowden, which chronicles the life of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The phenomenal Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the lead role — and we’re not mad at that.

Other films that could get  Oscar love are Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation, Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe (starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o) and Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral.

 

We’ll keep track of TIFF news and the fates of these and other Oscar contenders over the next several months. Meanwhile, feel free to use the info we just shared with you at your next gathering. Our knowledge will be sure to impress your friends — wink!

Fun Short Fact…

Napoleon Dynamite (short film and movie news)

Still from Napoleon Dynamite/Facebook

Did you know that Napoleon Dynamite evolved from a nine-minute short film?

Yeah, we didn’t either. IndieWire recently spilled the tea on how Napoleon Dynamite writer-director Jared Hess came up with his cult comedy hit. It evolved from a short film entitled, “Peluca,” which he shot as a student at Brigham Young University.

IndieWire uncovers the links the short shares with its predecessor, but you can see them for yourself by checking out Peluca in its entirety:

 

Enjoy!

Our Mission

Itsashort.com is a platform for filmmakers and creators the world over. We love the short film genre. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and subscribe for $2 a month to see the wonderful work of these creatives.