2017 Competitions

Narrative Shorts Competition

WINNER

Mordechai

Directed by Benjamin Bee
Produced by Maria Caruana Galizia

RUNNER-UP

Sure-Fire

Directed by Michael Goldburg
Produced by Michael Goldburg & Dave Chan

Documentary Shorts Competition

WINNER

The Last Projectionist

Directed by Eugene Lehnert & Christopher Pecoraro
Produced by Christopher Pecoraro & Helge Bernhardt

RUNNER-UP

Will Strip For Change

Directed by Travis Mauck

Animated Films Competition

WINNER

Agrinoui

Directed by Alexis Chaviaras
Writen by Alexis Chaviaras, Christiana Vasiliou

RUNNER-UP

I Went Ahead and Did it Anyway

Directed by Pei Jung Wang
Produced by Mitchell Leonard & Pei Jung Wang

Music Videos Competition

WINNER

Take Your Time

Directed by Max Sachar & Natasha Adorlee Johnson

RUNNER-UP

Shadows Of My Mind

Directed by Peter Harton
Produced by Nicolai Berthelsen

Screenplay Competition

FIRST PLACE

MUSIC BETWEEN US

written by

Tal Rayman

Synopsis: A British trench in France, April 1916, the height of World War One. Thomas, a British soldier, has been playing the same tune on his harmonica for weeks – the only tune he knows. His pals are sick and tired of it, and when he plays it again, one of them grabs the harmonica and throws it out to no man’s land. But it comes flying back – with a note from Paul, a German soldier, who’s looking to trade the harmonica back for food. Paul and Thomas start meeting in no man’s land and become fast friends. But when a major German attack looms, their friendship is sorely tested. “Music Between Us” is about friendship in times of war. It explores how we make friends, how friendship changes our lives, and the difficult choices we face when we bind our lives with the lives of others.

Bio: When not writing plays and scripts, Tal Rayman works in the technology sector and spends time with his wife, kids and cat. Tal is a graduate of Tel Aviv University’s English and Life Sciences Departments. His first play, “A Cricket, A Grasshopper” was selected for the 2013 Pittsburgh New Works Festival. “Music Between Us”, his second play, was selected for the 2016 Different Readings festival at the Santa Fe Playhouse and has won several writing awards.

SECOND PLACE

SARDIS THE MERCIFUL

written by

Christian Thomas

Synopsis: When a king hears assassins creeping into his bedchamber, he knows his past has caught up with him. He must escape and make his way through caves where a deadly horror lurks, an erotic brothel where love is laced with betrayal, savage battles and gruesome mass graves – all for one chance at redemption, and bloody revenge.

Bio: Christian Thomas teaches writing at UC Santa Barbara, and works as a narrative designer in the video game industry. He has an MFA from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.

THIRD PLACE

DEVIL TO PAY

written by

Kemmy Moran & Julie Moran

Synopsis: When the daughter of wealthy power couple Luke and Janice Dodd receives a music box for her eighth birthday, strange things begin to happen and people around them start to die. Luke soon discovers that this seemingly innocent gift holds clues to a terrible family secret.

Bios: Julie L. Moran is a producer, writer and screenwriter whose works include a series (now an upcoming film), Miss Beverly Hills Ghost, co-written with Kemmy Moran, which has been selected for and won awards in numerous film festivals; her recent short story, “Lunch With Debbie” which earned a grand prize in the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition; and her most recent screenplay, “Devil to Play,” also co-written with Kemmy, which has placed in film festivals. Julie received her Master’s of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and her law degree from Fordham University School of Law. Kemmy Moran is a screenwriter, director, and producer. She began her career in production at The Institute, co-owned by Michael Bay, and headed Sundance-winning director Matthew Harrison’s Film Crash screenplay competition. When Kemmy’s second screenplay placed in the Academy’s Nicholl screenplay competition, she decided to use her degree from Pepperdine Law School to co-found her own production company: MissDirection Entertainment, whose first production, award-winning series/film Miss Beverly Hills Ghost, is Kemmy’s directorial debut.

FINALISTS

(in alphabetical order)

Darnell

written by

Malcolm J. Solomon

Darnell reflects on his life being raised by his black Jewish mother, Christian father, atheist aunt, and Muslim big brother.

Drowning in the East River

written by

Kimberly Pierce

A historical epic told on an intimate scale, Drowning in the East River tells the story of David McGarry, a battle-scarred World War I veteran, who is blindsided by the unexpected death of his beloved wife. Finding himself alone with a two-year-old son he has no idea how to raise, David embarks on a journey of growth and internal repentance, which takes him through Havana and finally to a tumultuous and battle-weary Dublin in the 1920s.

Radish

written by

Michael Marco

Jacques, a French filmmaker turned radish farmer, lives a quiet life in Venus, TX. When Jacques’ best friend, Jack, a crime scene cleaner, decides to keep a little gym bag full of money he finds in a motel room where a man committed suicide, life becomes a bit more complicated.

Snow Angel

written by

Monica McFawn

Twenty five years after seeing visions of heaven and being subject to publishers profiting off of her story, Lily Thompson has distanced herself from her child-star past. But her book’s old ghostwriter, Bruce, is sure Lily has another vision in her (and payday for him) and cooks up a scheme, with the help of Noah, a former monk, to help her see the light.

Tynee

written by

Greg Chandler

After four decades in prison for murder, a 70 year old woman with severe boundary issues, who believes she wields supernatural powers through a doll, moves in with her daughter and grandson, and proceeds to redefine the role of mother with deadly results.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

(in alphabetical order)

A Roaring Lion

written by

C.N. Bean

A want-to-be artist discovers a disturbing secret kept by his mother and searches for meaning in his life in New York City. When the lives of a transgender guru, a struggling, single mother and a 5-year-old boy converge with his, his heart is changed forever and a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity arises.

Connect

written by

John Pisano-Thomsen

A want-to-be artist discovers a disturbing secret kept by his mother and searches for meaning in his life in New York City. When the lives of a transgender guru, a struggling, single mother and a 5-year-old boy converge with his, his heart is changed forever and a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity arises.

Goodbye Komarom

written by

Sheldon Schiffer & Amir Kovacs

Two Hungarian families of holocaust survivors are lead out of Hungary on a dangerous clandestine journey by a pair of defected British secret agents to find a new home in Palestine. This historical thriller is based on true events from 1946 – 47 that dramatize the agonizing experience of Jewish refugees who survived the concentration camps only to face another perilous period of oppression and flight.

Corners

written by

Arthur Grubert

Two Hungarian families of holocaust survivors are lead out of Hungary on a dangerous clandestine journey by a pair of defected British secret agents to find a new home in Palestine. This historical thriller is based on true events from 1946 – 47 that dramatize the agonizing experience of Jewish refugees who survived the concentration camps only to face another perilous period of oppression and flight.

Hell Hound – The Legend of Robert Johnson

written by

Giancarlo Fusi

In this series pilot set during the Depression, a black sharecropper’s burning desire to be a traveling Bluesman leads him to sell his soul to Satan at a Mississippi crossroads to become the greatest guitarist ever. The pact unleashes two vicious Hellhounds that will doggedly pursue him for eternity.

Monsterland

written by

Michael Phillip Cash

A teen must save his date in a theme park whose main attractions – real werewolves, vampires and zombies – descend the place into chaos.

Mocha Dick

written by

Laura Kelber

A re-imagining of Moby Dick, set in an alternate version of present-day NYC, where a coffee blight has rendered coffee a rare commodity, and Mocha Dick, an international company that’s cornered the market on the remaining coffee, threatens to put the Pequod Coffee House out of business.

Portia’s Journey

written by

Sylvia Clark

Inspired by actual events, this epic love story of a strong Southern woman and a learned Russian scientist travels from the languid cotton fields of South Carolina to a crowded car on the Trans-Siberian Railway during the 1917 Bolshevist Revolution.

Renaissance Man

written by

Robert Tolz

A humble renaissance fair actress with working-class values meets the man of her dreams whom she believes to be a fool, but who turns out to be a prince or rather, a massive multinational corporate CEO. And her boss.

Rosa and the Black Tulip

written by

Gena Ellis

Falsely imprisoned while growing the impossible black tulip, unlikely war-hero Corn van Baerle falls for Rosa, the humble, unprivileged prison-keeper’s daughter, who uses newfound knowledge to save them all in this witty, romantic drama set during Holland’s 17th century tulip frenzy and against a highly-charged political backdrop that resonates today, based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Black Tulip.

The Unconquerable

written by

Jonathan Fear

Vederius Ligustus, joins the Roman army to honour the family name after struggling to cope with a devastating tragedy. He is sent to Northern Britannia to train for the final push into ancient Scotland. There he is duped by a power hungry General into believing that two officers lead a gang of bandits hounding the Legion and have murdered a brother in his squad. The General convinces Vederius to swear a sacred oath to kill the two men. He places Vederius in the scouts to help him with this task. They don’t want him at first and it’s only after Vederius displays his fighting skills that a strong bond of brotherhood finally develops. When Vederius discovers the whole premise was based on deceit, the General must take steps to have him killed. Torn between the bonds of brothers in battle and his sacred oath of vengeance, Vederius finds he can’t recant the latter or ignore the former.

Commercial Competition

The Pitch

Client: Cannondale

Roberto Serrini

Bio: Serrini studied writing, then photography, then editing to become a director. His style is a culmination of these tools, combined with the learned appreciation for communication that one acquires being a professional traveller. His focus in on small stories with big emotions, advertising that gets you thinking, and films that get you feeling.

FIRST PLACE

Concept: What goes on in a creative’s mind when he pitches a new idea… maybe now we know.

I don’t think that’s a leaf blower

Client: Doritos

Stefano Pennisi

SECOND PLACE

Two friends find a weird looking leaf blower and decide to show their friend Brian. The goal of this commercial was to think of a fun and clever way to cycle through all the stereotypes of what usually sells in a Doritos commercial (a baby, a puppy, a pretty woman).

Dove

Client: Unilever

Ben Dolphin

THIRD PLACE

Highly technical and great fun, shot in 3D using two Phantom High Speed Digital Cameras…here presented in 2D.

Soundtrack Competition

The Cabin Soundtrack

directed by

Andrea Izzy Anthony and Jean Goto

music by

Alec Ferrell

The Cabin (short) is a dark comedy about the challenge of human companionship in a post-apocalyptic world. Jai and Ivy struggle to align their priorities. Unfortunately they find that the apocalypse isn’t funny anymore.

WINNER

Alec Ferrell has over a quarter-century of experience in music performance, production, and composition. A veteran of New York City-based bands Skeleton Key, The Holy Ghost, and Steve Shiffman & The Land of No, Ferrell has worked in Durham, NC, since 2010, with such varied artists as The Big Picture, Hog, Hospital Smokers, Voidward, and Shirlette Ammons. Ferrell is the proprietor of Clearly Records and leader of meta-rock band The All Things. He has toured extensively, opened for everyone, played on a ton of records, and has a “solid write hook.” The Cabin is his first short film soundtrack. Alec would like to extend his deepest thanks to Andrea Izzy Anthony and Jean Goto for the opportunity to help tell this story of two souls on the edge of apocalypse. Lastly, he and John Williams have the same birthday, so there’s that.

Sonnet 134

music by

Steven von Kampen

HONORABLE MENTION

Steven von Kampen is a composer working in Southern California. His influences range from Bernard Herrmann to Cliff Martinez. Steven describes his scores as a “lush minimalism that stays out of the way, yet still provides an unforced emotional impact.”

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