NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) spotlights LGBTQ+ cinema and also highlights post production in partnership with the Los Angeles Post Production Group.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
The night begins with the InFocus: LGBTQ+ shorts program, which features both narrative and nonfiction stories of struggle, triumph and personal relationships.
Next up is a shorts program of films that each exemplify strong elements of post production, in celebration of the Los Angeles Post Production Group’s tenth anniversary. From sound and music to editing, VFX and stop-motion animation post-production, the program represents a wide range of skills that make films come alive once shooting wraps.
Concluding the night is the feature film Alaska’s A Drag, the story of a drag performer in small-town Alaska who must survive his surroundings and find a way to follow his dreams, created from a short film made in AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women.
Shorts #1: InFocus - LGBTQ+
Uniform – Directed By Ellie Foumbi and Michael Niederman
Parents are at odds with what to do when their 6-year old son is sent home from school for wearing a dress.
About the Directors - Ellie Foumbi is an actor/writer/director/producer born in Cameroon. She moved to the United States at a young age and studied classical French theatre at the French-American School of New York. She's an award-winning director whose short films have screened at international festivals, one of which was a semifinalist of the 44th Student Academy Awards.
Michael Niederman is the author of numerous plays in addition to being an accomplished and award-winning screenwriter. He is the Director for New Works at Ignited States, a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is a founding member and producer of the Crosstown Playwrights. When Michael isn’t writing plays or screenplays, or writing theater criticism for the New York Theater Review, he is a schoolteacher and tutor in New York City.
Zoe+Ari – Directed By Rachael Meyers
Zoe and Ari, a couple of two years, pack their suitcases to fly to Zoe's sister's wedding in Portland. As they decide what to bring, Ari learns a devastating truth about what Zoe's family knows.
About the Director - Rachael Meyers fell into production while achieving her BFA at Colorado College. There, her work in the theatre gained momentum, and in 2011 created RM Productions, under which she has built a body of work as an award-winning director, writer and producer. She received the Young Artist Development Award from Chaspen Foundation for the Arts, and her directorial debut garnered awards at festivals across the country.
Real Lemons – Directed By Julian Buchan
Hardened ex-convict Jesse, openly gay to those he trusts, ropes his high-spirited and naive younger brother John into committing a robbery so they can leave their old life behind.
About the Director - Julian Buchan is a director, editor and photographer based between London and California. In addition to his own projects, he’s worked on FX’s Tyrant, directed and edited music videos, and premiered a photo shoot in OUT magazine.
We Did Not Fall From The Sky – Directed By Tabs Breese and Georgia Oakley
Purushi, Pratiksha and Shalu are three best friends and trans women struggling to find their place in contemporary Indian society, often via the only means of making a living available to them: sex work and begging.
About the Directors - Tabs and Georgia are filmmakers from London. Tabs is in the film department at Pulse Films where she works across their slate of feature documentaries. Credits include THE DEAD SEA, a short about the migrant crisis (TriForce Audience Award 2017, London Short Film Festival 2017) and THE LAST GOODBYE (TriBeca 2017), a VR experience from the UN about Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter. She was chosen as a Sheffield Documentary Festival Future Producer in 2017.
Georgia is an award winning writer / director. Her latest project premiered at the 2017 TriBeCa International Film Festival and awarded the Kodak Kickstarter Grant, the Jameson Works Film Bursary and the Audience Award Jury Prize. She was recently selected as one of six emerging filmmakers on the BFI Flare & BAFTA mentorship scheme, as well as BFI NET.Work x BAFTA Crew 2017.
Lulu – Directed By Diana Cignoni
To inhabit Lulu's world is to enter the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole and discover that nothing is as it seems. A modern day fable exploring first love, gender & sexual identity.
About the Director - Diana Cignoni is a German film producer, director, screenwriter & actor. She is a member of Film Fatales and GABA Film Initiative. She modeled in Europe and the USA for many years before she started directing. She was taught by Charlie Laughton, Penelope Allen, Mark Rydell & Martin Landau at The Actor's Studio and The HB Studio NYC, and won multiple awards as a member of the KOAN UNIT of the Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles, where she is also a board member.
Shorts #2: Post Production
The New Guy – Directed By Sam Carmichael
A group of teenage kids set in the late 90's make a series of prank phone calls and unknowingly stumble upon a deadly hostage situation.
About the Director - Sam Carmichael was born in Champaign, IL with a love of filmmaking from an early age by way of the family video camera. To learn the craft and business from the ground up, he moved to Chicago to work on film sets and eventually to Los Angeles to work at a major studio in the production department. The New Guy marks his directorial debut.
Gloria Talks Funny – Directed By Kendall Goldberg
When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.
About the Director - Kendall Goldberg is an award-winning filmmaker with a diversified slate of films. Originally from Chicago, IL, she currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Goldberg was hired to produce and direct a mockumentary short Bark Mitzvah and worked with Tony-Award-winning dog trainer extraordinaire, Bill Berloni, as well as 12 dogs and a cat. She earned her BFA in Film Production from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.
The Cure – Directed By Mike Olenick
A mom cries, photos fly, cats spy, and bodies collide in this sci-fi soap opera focusing on the secrets dreams of people who are desperately searching for ways to cure their fears of loneliness.
About the Director - Mike Olenick makes perverse films focused on photography, forbidden desire, reproduction, transformation, and memories. His work has streamed on MUBI, played on Dutch TV, and won awards at the Slamdance Film Festival (Best Experimental Short, 2015), Chicago Underground Film Festival (Best Looking Film, 2014), Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Big Muddy Film Festival (Best Experimental Feature). Mike is the recipient of several awards and fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and has worked as an editor for Guy Maddin, Kelly Reichardt, the Quay Brothers, Lucy Raven, Michael Robinson, Sadie Benning and Jennifer Reeder.
Evie's Christmas Gift – Directed By Dawn Fields
A bratty ten-year-old girl learns a SCARY lesson about opening her gifts before Christmas morning.
About the Director - Dawn Fields is a Los Angeles-based producer, writer/director and owner of the feature film production company Palm Street Films, LLC. She has over twenty years of experience working as a producer, writer, director, assistant director and editor and has a background in acquisitions and development. She has worked for such companies as LucasFilm, Twentieth Century Fox, Tri-Star, ABC, NBC, Aaron Spelling Productions and Morgan Creek. She is most well know for the multiple awards-winning short film Fragile Storm, starring Lance Henriksen.
The Scorpion's Tale – Directed By Jhosimar Vasquez
A notorious hitman who’s facing death row is visited one last time by his seemingly innocent son. Now the hitman has to convince his son that he accepted his fate and he’s ready to die.
About the Director - Jhosimar Vasquez grew up in Cusco, Peru. Raised by his parents and 4 older brothers, he learned to work hard for a better life. He learned to be humble, and to never forget where he came. Moving to Mexico was a total change in Jhosimar's life. Though he was young, he instantly observed how culture and people differ from place to place, and he began to gain a desire to show the reality he lived in to the world. Today, Jhosimar lives in Los Angeles, making films that tell the stories of people that live un-perfect lives, lives that are as close to reality as his own personal story.
Two Balloons – Directed By Mark C. Smith
Two adventurous lemurs navigate their dirigibles halfway around the world to a place where happenstance and fate threaten to disrupt their reunion.
About the Director - Mark C. Smith is a filmmaker from Portland, Oregon. He has produced the films North, Denmark and A House, A Home. As a cinematographer, Mark spent many years filming winter expeditions in North America and South America. He is the co-author of two photography books, “Osterlandet” and “The Powder Road.” Two Balloons is Mark’s first animated film.
Alaska is a Drag - Directed By Shaz Bennett
This is a fish out of water story -- literally. Everyone who slices fish all day daydreams - his are just glamtastic. He's had to learn to fight to survive. And his boss who is also an amateur boxer takes note. When a new kid offers to be his sparring partner – he and his twin are forced to confront the real reason they’re stuck in fish guts.
About the Director - Shaz Bennett is a writer, director, and storyteller. Before being a full time filmmaker and writer of television (The Glades, UnReal, Bosch) – Shaz worked in a fish cannery, bartended at a mafia bar, was a film programmer at Sundance, LA Film Festival and AFI FEST, peddled liquor undercover, developed films for actor Giancarlo Esposito, and was Cher’s stand-in for a day. Her films and performance pieces have been seen in festivals, theatres, museums and abandoned warehouses all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and Europe. One of 8 women selected to the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, nominated as one of Fox's Top 20, Sundance Screenwriting Labs 2017, and Fox's inaugural Franchise Directing program.
Additional event information is available at www.nfmla.org
Founded in 2007, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. NFMLA’s programs annually serve approximately 25,000 patrons in the Greater Los Angeles area. NFMLA has screened over 2,500 films from 75+ countries, highlighting local and international talent.