NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) presents three programs of Canadian short films, co-hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles and Telefilm Canada. The festival program is sponsored by Seneca College Toronto, City National Bank and Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles. Community Collaborators include the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), UBCP / ACTRA and more.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
The evening will be introduced by Canadian-born producer Erika Olde, whose work includes Home Again (starring Reese Witherspoon), November Criminals (starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Catherine Keener) , The Female Brain (directed by and starring Whitney Cummings) , and Woman Walks Ahead (starring Jessica Chastain and Sam Rockwell).
The films represent a mix of drama, comedy, thriller, horror, new media and documentary, and include alumni from TIFF 2017, award winners from top-tier festivals, and first time filmmakers alike.
The first program of the evening presents a mix of existentialism and comedy, with stories that explore the self and our connection with others (or lack thereof).
The next program prominently features family relationships and looking at the world through new eyes, either through those of a child or through those of someone whose life has been indelibly changed.
The final program of the night gets our adrenaline up, with action, laughter and music, while also challenging us to tackle difficult issues.
The program will screen at the South Park Center in Downtown Los Angeles, beginning at 4pm on July 28th, 2018.
Shorts Program #1: InFocus - Canadian Shorts 1
Saturn Devours - Directed by Johnnie Walker
West Coast Premiere
Johnnie can’t catch a break: he bombed his big interview, chipped his tooth, and the Ancient Roman god Saturn has been stalking him all over town. An offbeat magical realist comedy about astrology, gay sex, and millennial ennui.
About the Director - Johnnie is a Toronto-based filmmaker and theatre artist best known for his solo show Redheaded Stepchild, which he has performed across North America and was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press. He runs Nobody's Business Theatre, is an artist-in-residence at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a founding member of Boylesque TO (Canada’s premiere all-male burlesque troupe), and General Manager for performance company AnimalParts. Saturn Devours is his first film.
Hollywood - Directed by Jérémi Roy
Liliana is training for a dancing audition and Antoine is having his first major role in a stage play. Their mutual distaste for each other's work soon becomes apparent and it quickly becomes personal.
About the Director - Roy graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, and Holywood is how second short film. For three years now, he has served as an associate programmer in the Narrative short section of the Slamdance Film Festival.
Bickford Park - Directed by Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart
A woman secretly starts taking skateboarding lessons from a handsome teenager to avoid dealing with the problems in her marriage.
About the Directors - Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark met during their Writers’ Lab stint at the Canadian Film Centre in 2008. They became best friends, fell in love, wrote scripts and now they’re married. To each other. Their first collaboration as writers/directors won several festivals, became a Vimeo Staff Pick and was named to the Viewfinder List of the Top 10 Shorts as voted on by Hollywood Execs. Their next short premiered in Telefilm’s Not Short On Talent program at Cannes and won the A&E Award for Best Film at the NSI Film Festival. In 2013 they were named People To Watch by the Toronto Star and shot their first low-budget feature, which premiered at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival.
Bonne nuit du fond des bois - Directed by Camille Demers-Lambert
Among black spruces and electric pylons, Sylvain and his wolfdogs are getting ready for the winter. An immersion in a boreal solitude in Northern Quebec.
About the Director - Camille Demers-Lambert grew up in the countryside of Lévis, QC. She began an Art History degree but decided to give up to devote herself to making films. She then enrolled in a film production degree at Université du Québec à Montréal with the desire to change reality. Bonne nuit du fond des bois is her first documentary.
Night Owl (Episodes 1+2) - Directed by Gillian Muller and Rebekah Miskin
What do you do when you can't sleep? One girl's quest to face her fears, step out of her comfort zone and make some real friends!... At a grocery store in the middle of the night.
About the Director - A graduate of the Ryerson Film Studies Program, Gillian’s thesis project was acquired by cable channel Movieola and screened at the New York International Film Festival. A graduate of VFS’s Writing program, Gillian has worked on projects for Adam Beach’s production company Pipestone Pictures, Showcase, Netflix, and CBS. She attended the Second City’s Sketch Writing and Improv program and was a resident of the Canadian Film Center’s Primetime TV program under the showrunner. In addition to Night Owl, which was selected for 2018’s SXSW Independent Episodics, she also produced the short film Super Zee which was made with an all P.O.C. crew.
The Final Act of Joey Jumbler - Directed by Harley Chamandy
Joey Jumbler is a man who lives tragedy and comedy in the same day, balancing an emotional rollercoaster and hoping for the best.
About the Director - Harley Chamandy is an 18-year-old filmmaker from Montreal, Canada. He made his first short film in 2016. The film was shown at numerous film festivals across North America including Hollyshorts, The Beverly Hills Film Festival, The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, and The Laughlin International Film Festival, where it won the Emerging Filmmaker Award. Last year, Harley was invited to participate in Black Factory Cinema’s workshop with Werner Herzog in Cuba. There, he made a short film under his guidance and tutelage. The film is currently in post-production getting ready for the film festival circuit.
Must Kill Karl - Directed by Joe Kicak
Everyone has THAT friend – the one who shows up uninvited, drinks all your booze, and hits on your girlfriend – who we all secretly hate. One night, a group of friends decide enough is enough and there’s only one way to get rid of him for good… they MUST KILL KARL.
About the Director - Joe Kicak is a Toronto-based Director and Content Creator currently in development on a digital original family series for CBC. Must Kill Karl has won numerous awards including Best Director and Best Comedy and is currently being developed into a feature film through the National Screen Institute's Features First program. His previous films include the award-winning short films created with the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. His feature film Two Days till Tomorrow screened at festivals across North America and received a limited Canadian theatrical release with AMC Theatres.
Shorts Program #2: InFocus - Canadian Shorts 2
A Birthday Story - Directed by Alyson Richards
A tale of twin brothers who fight over a birthday gift.
About the Director - Alyson Richards works primarily as a producer. Her latest feature Don’t Talk to Irene starring newcomer Michelle McLeod and Oscar winner Geena Davis premiered at TIFF 2017 and won both the audience and jury awards at the Austin Film Festival. Other recent films she produced include the dark comedy Guidance (TIFF, New York Times Critic Pic, Netflix), feature documentary Quality Balls (Hot Docs, Showtime, HBO Canada) and a horror/thriller she co-wrote that was released as “The Resident” in the U.K. A Birthday Story is her first short film as a director.
Where Do Cats Go After 9 Lives? - Directed by Marion Duhaime
Lily-May, in the throes of teenage angst, announces to her parents that she wants to die, in the comforting surroundings of an assisted suicide clinic.
About the Director - Marion Duhaime is a director, scriptwriter & producer from Montreal, Canada. She graduated “magna cum laude” from the BA- Film Production program of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in 2012. She is the cofounder of Arpent Films, a production house specialising in short fiction and independent feature films. She has produced several short films (Punch, Je T’ai Vu). She has also been working at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) since 2010, where she realized her professional interests lay in distribution and audience.
Crème de menthe - Directed by Philippe David Gagné and Jean-Marc E. Roy
Forced to empty her late father's house, Renée tries to find a trace of herself in the clutter.
About the Directors - Jean-Marc E. Roy and Philippe David Gagne? work together since 2008. Grant holders many times, their productions have screened around the globe, gathering several awards. They work in both fiction and documentary. Their previous fiction, Bleu Tonnerre, has been of the 47th Director’s Fortnight.
Game - Directed by Joy Webster
?A young boy struggles to endure his sister's twisted games and accept his mother's death
About the Director - Joy Webster is an award-winning emerging filmmaker. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Joy is a recent alumnus of Ryerson University where she received her B.F.A. in Film Studies. Joy was the recipient of the Norman Jewison Award for best thesis film production at Ryerson University in 2015. Joy has worked professionally as a video producer, photographer, and graphic designer. She is currently employed as the video producer for Chatelaine Magazine.
The Things You Think I'm Thinking - Directed by Sherren Lee
A black male burn-survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly-abled man. After the bar, they go back to his apartment, where he faces his demons as he attempts to experience intimacy for the first time since his accident, ten years ago.
About the Director - Sherren Lee is a Director born in Taiwan, bred in Montreal and currently located in Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in 2007 and is a 2014 alumna of the Cineplex Entertainment Film Program Directors' Lab at the Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre. She has directed several award-winning short films and web series, and has directed episodes of television for CBC, PBS, and Amazon. Her latest short film The Things You Think I'm Thinking won the AWFJ EDA Award at the Whistler Film Festival 2018, the Special Jury Prize at the Canadian Film Festival 2018, two Golden Sheaf Awards for Best Director Fiction and Best Multicultural at the Yorkton Film Festival 2018, has been in competition at over twenty festivals including Slamdance 2018 and SXSW 2018.
Four Eyes - Directed by Michael Clowater
Set in the fall of 1977, an awkward (and bespectacled) 11-year-old learns to stand up for himself with the help of his stressed out, and slightly deranged, mother.
About the Director - Michael Clowater (Writer/director) is a New Brunswick born filmmaker. This is first live action short dramatic film. He first animated short film (Alfred’s New Dog) played at TIFF kids film festival, as well as Interfilm (Berlin), The Toronto Worldwide short film festival, marketplace at Claremont Ferrand and showcased at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in NYC as part of an exhibit on independent Children’s films. Michael’s TV commercial work has won creative awards worldwide (including Cannes) and has been written about in such publications/ media as the CBC, Adweek and The Guardian.
Shorts Program #3: InFocus - Canadian Shorts 3
The Drop In - Directed by Naledi Jackson
Joelle, a hair stylist living in Toronto, has a challenging day when a mysterious visitor from her past arrives for a drop-in appointment.
About the Director - Naledi Jackson is a writer, director and producer currently based in Toronto and Los Angeles. Born in Vancouver to South African and Canadian parents, she spent her formative years living in Zimbabwe, where her family was posted when she was a child. She eventually moved back to Canada to study fine art at Concordia University, before moving to Toronto to pursue a career in film and television. At present, she is a writer on the CBC/Netflix television show Anne with an E. She is also writing the screenplay for Dragon Mountain, a female-fronted Kung Fu feature based in South Africa, which she will direct. Naledi, a recipient of grants from Bravofact, The Toronto Arts Council, and The Harold Greenberg Fund, is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada.
Jessica Jessica - Directed by Jasper Savage
Same name, same problems. The story of two friends in their late 30’s who aren’t married, aren’t mothers, aren’t failures, and are both named Jessica.
About the Director - Jasper Savage was born in Toronto, Canada. Her father is a Director of Photography and mother a novice photographer. She was taught the language of light and composition at a very young age; the camera being an extension of her family. Graduating from photography at Sheridan College in 2009, Jasper has since become an IATSE stills member in 2014. Her success in portraiture and storytelling has lead to a shift in her focus from stills to motion. Jessica Jessica is her first completed film, and is currently in development of her first feature.
DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver - Directed by Kjell Boersma
Kit, the eager beaver, embarks on an odyssey through four seasons in a Canadian forest where she learns about compassion, failure, survival and community.
About the Director - Kjell Boersma is a writer, director, and animator in Toronto. His films include Monster Slayer– a contemporary retelling of the Navajo story of the Hero Twins – featuring an all-Navajo cast and stop-motion-animated monsters in the style of Ray Harryhausen. DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver was commissioned and performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Since its premiere to audiences of more than 20,000 children, DAM! has screened in over 30 film festivals in 15 countries, won Best Animation for Kids at Animation Block Party in NYC, and was nominated for ‘Best Animated Short’ at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.
Nuuca - Directed by Michelle Latimer
Juxtaposing the ravaged yet starkly beautiful landscape with personal testimony from young Indigenous women living on the reservation, an evocative meditation revealing the connections between the rape of the earth and the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls.
About the Director - Michelle Latimer is the showrunner, director, and writer of the breakout Indigenous resistance series RISE (Viceland), which recently won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary series. RISE premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen internationally. Nuuca premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Berlinale and Sheffield Documentary Festival, UK. Her films have screened at film festivals internationally, including Sundance, TIFF, Rotterdam, ImagineNATIVE, Aspen Shorts, Oberhausen and Cannes, and her work has been acquired by National Gallery of Canada. In 2013, Michelle was selected by Playback Magazine as one of Canada’s Top Ten Filmmakers to Watch, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) recently named her among the “Great Canadian Filmmakers of the Future”. Michelle is of Métis/Algonquin descent and much of her work is dedicated to the pursuit of Indigenous rights and sovereignty.
Latched - Directed by Justin Harding and Rob Brunner
An obsessive choreographer on a creative retreat with her toddler awakens a fairy corpse with disturbing intentions.
About the Directors - Justin is a multi-award winning Filmmaker and Television Showrunner. After a decade directing a wide variety of TV series, Justin continued as a Producer on many of the highest-rated series in Canada such as The Amazing Race Canada, MasterChef Canada, Canada's Smartest Person, and HGTV's Home to Win.
In 2016 Justin co-founded the “Bokeh Collective” and is currently Showrunning 40-hours of documentary entertainment, along with a variety of scripted entertainment in both comedy and horror. Latched premiered at TIFF, and his last short film, Kookie was selected by SXSW. Justin is currently in production on the feature film “Making Monsters” which he is directing from his own script.
My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes - Directed by Charlie Tyrell
Filmmaker Charlie Tyrell seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through the personal belongings he left behind... including a stack of VHS dirty movies.
About the Director - Charlie Tyrell is a Toronto-based filmmaker who works in a hybrid style that often combines live-action footage with stop-motion and 2D animation. My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018. His narrative and documentary work has screened internationally at such festivals as SXSW, Hot Docs, LA Shorts Fest, Nashville Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Raindance, Brooklyn Film Festival and many more.
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.