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SPACE LADY | DIRECTOR: SOPHIA FEUER
A short documentary portrait of 71-year-old musician Susan Schneider (aka ‘The Space Lady’) who, after 30 years of homelessness and busking, is beginning to receive notoriety for her early contributions to electronic pop music thanks to its being shared online. Shot on 16mm and pulling stylistic techniques from experimental film and science fiction, the film explores the past as she tells it verbally, but focuses first and foremost on sensory, observational details from the present—namely, her struggle to reclaim the music from the pain that encompasses it.
FAMILIAR TOUCH | DIRECTOR: SARAH FRIEDLAND
FAMILIAR TOUCH is a coming of (old) age film that follows an octogenarian woman’s transition to life in an assisted living facility as she contends with her own desires and conflicting self-narratives amidst her cognitive impairment. Sharing much of the same aesthetic approach as her successful short film HOME EXERCISES, Friedland seeks to reimagine the coming of age drama by illuminating the experience of an old woman, and open up the world of the assisted living facility, whose residents’ lives and staff’s labor are typically rendered invisible. Producers: Alexandra Byer and Matthew Thurm.
Producers: Alexandra Byer, Matthew Thurm
CHUJ BOYS OF SUMMER | DIRECTOR: MAX WALKER-SILVERMAN
'Chuj Boys of Summer' is the story of a close knit group of Guatemalans living and working in a small Rocky Mountain town. Taking place almost entirely in their indigenous Mayan language, it centers on two boys--one a new arrival, the other preparing to leave--and details the handoff of place and purpose between the two. It is a story of hope, home, and friendship in a strange place.
Co-writer: Marcos Ixwalanhkej Ordonez Mendoza
Producers: Grant Hyun, Jesse Hope
Cinematographer: Alfonso Herrera Salcedo
Production Design: Juliana Barreto Barreto
SEEDS | DIRECTOR: BRITTANY SHYNE
An ethnographic portrait that takes a sensitive exploration of a centennial African-American farm in Thomasville, Georgia. The film uses lyrical black and white imagery to examine the decline of generational black farmers and the historical importance of land ownership and generational wealth. The farm dates back to 1883 when Charles Cockrell purchased 245 acres in Southwest Georgia, and still thrives today, in large part due to the Kentavia-Williams steadfast belief that land should always be kept in the family. As one of the few African-American centennial farms left in the nation, SEEDS hones onto this notion of reconciling an identity within a place through poetic visual symbolism.
FEYATEY | DIRECTOR: JESSICA BESHIR
A spiritually poetic and intimately political depiction of contemporary Ethiopia under a repressive regime, a window into the fantasies that the mysterious, mild narcotic leaf Khat has afforded millions of Ethiopians who seek to escape their grim realities. This immersive documentary tells the story of the fantasy world induced by Khat chewing against the backdrop of the industry workers who work around the clock to fuel the country with the mighty leaf. Currently in production.
Jessica Beshir is a Mexican-Ethiopian writer and director based in Brooklyn. She received her BA in film at UCLA and soon after moved to NY. Her short films have screened in festivals around the world, including Sundance, Rotterdam Film festival, IDFA, Hot Docs, and Tribeca Film Festival among others. She made her directorial debut with HAIRAT, a short which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Her follow-up shorts, HE WHO DANCES ON WOOD and HEROIN screened at prestigious festivals like Hot Docs, Edmonton, Tribeca and many others, and we’re both Vimeo Staff Picks. In 2017, She’s an alumni of the TIFF Lab, the IDFA lab in Amsterdam and the Artist’s Academy at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. FEYATE is her first feature documentary.
Producers: Beth Earl, Noa Osheroff
Editor: Max Allman
PILLARS | DIRECTOR: HALEY ANDERSON
A non-linear experimental short that explores transgenerational trauma and genetic memory through coming-of-age experiences across three generations of a family in the American South. Currently in pre-production.
Haley Elizabeth Anderson is a filmmaker, writer and visual artist from Houston, Texas. She’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently a BFA candidate in New York University’s Graduate Film Program. Her recent experimental piece, PRESENCE, recently played at the closing event held for the first large-scale Jean Michel Basquiat exhibition in the UK, Basquiat: Boom for Real. Her short film GET OUT FAST premiered at the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival where she was named a “Filmmaker to Watch”. Anderson is currently developing two feature films, creating a multidisciplinary art installation, and is in post-production on her fourth narrative short film SUMMER ANIMALS.
Cinematographer: Lasse Tolboll
DON’T EVER LET GO | DIRECTOR: FABIAN MOLINA
An animated short film about teenage Mexican-American brother and sister who are both trying to figure out their place in the world. Walking home from school one day, they come upon a powerful stone, and both of them have different ideas about what to do with it. Currently in production.
Fabian Molina is a commercial animation director and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BFA in Visual Arts and Animation in 2007 after studying both 3D and traditional hand-drawn animation. After college, he entered a burgeoning mobile gaming industry as a supervising animator. In 2012 he started a production company called Bloom Studios in San Francisco to help brands tell their stories. Molina has self-published two books on the subjects of drawing and animation, and he’s currently working on DON’T EVER LET GO, his debut short, while writing and developing his first animated feature.
Producer: Kaitlyn Mahoney
Illustrator & Designer: Tom Goyon
Illustrator: Maggie Chiang
Animator: Khylin Woodrow
WHO CAN PREDICT WHAT WILL MOVE YOU | DIRECTOR: LIVIA HUANG
Two Asian-Americans boys from Queens caught in a rivalrous, two-close relationship between friendship and romance, spend one last night together in the summer before college. Currently in pre-production.
Livia Huang is currently studying at Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. In her first year, she wrote and directed four shorts. She became interested in filmmaking via documentary during undergraduate video art classes at Columbia University, where she majored in philosophy and visual art.
Producer: Nia Ashley
Cinematography: Jack Davis
A BLACK RIFT BEGINS TO YAWN | DIRECTOR: MATTHEW WADE
A tone poem that teeters between being a pure mood-piece and a mysterious narrative; exchanges of dialogue between two women, Laura and Lara, working to uncover a conspiracy regarding the work of a deceased teacher and his obsession with an alien satellite, slowly reveal their intentions. One appears to have nefarious motives while the other tries to make sense of a puzzle she feels they have both been placed in, feeling out the danger which her former colleague presents. Currently in post-production.
Matthew Wade began working as an actor in high school, but in college his interest shifted from theater to film. He’s made many short films including IT SHINES AND SHAKES AND LAUGHS (Slamdance 2009) and the animated shorts KRAWLL and PLENA STELLARUM (Sun Valley Film Festival, Slamdance 2016) . His debut feature HOW THE SKY WILL MELT was made with close collaborators and premiered in 2015 on NoBudge.com. A BLACK RIFT BEGINS TO YAWN is his second feature length project.
Co-Star, Co-Producer: Sara Lynch
Co-Star: Saratop MacDonald
Cinematography: Lila Streicher
NETTLES | DIRECTOR: RAVEN JACKSON
Nettles are stinging plants. This short film is comprised of seven chapters, each exploring stinging moments in the lives of different girls and women.
Palm Springs International ShortFest
San Sebastián International Film Festival
Raven Jackson is a filmmaker and poet currently attending NYU's Graduate Film Program. In her work, gray areas of life are often detailed. She is particularly interested in stories which add texture to the pivotal experience of coming-of-age and/or into one's sexuality. NETTLES is her fifth narrative short film and she's currently developing a feature-length script exploring coming-of-age themes in the American South. Her book of poetry, Little Violences, is available from Cutbank Literary Magazine. Raven is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of the New School's Writing Program.
WHERE THE BOYS ARE | DIRECTOR: JOSHUA GLEASON
Three lonely souls converge at a virtual reality sex clinic, in a future where digital pleasure has replaced physical intimacy and relationships. Currently in pre-production.
Joshua Gleason is a filmmaker and founding member of the Spirit Farm film collective. He has written, directed, and shot several short films that have screened at international art and film festivals. He has collaborated below-the-line on acclaimed micro-budget films like Matt Porterfield’s PUTTY HILL and Andrew Ahn’s SPA NIGHT. Josh received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). WHERE THE BOYS ARE will be his feature directorial debut.
producers: ALEXANDRA BYER, GIULIA CARUSO
cinematography: KI JIN KIM
THE EARTHENWARE HEAD | DIRECTOR: JARED HUTCHINSON
An experimental and ethereal feature, loosely based on biographical stories from Sylvia Plath’s life with her husband, Ted Hughes, in which a woman receives a package that haunts her. Currently in post-production.
Jared Hutchinson holds a B.A. in Film and Television Production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Film, Video and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a video editor. THE EARTHENWARE HEAD marks his feature directorial debut.
cinematography: BEN LOUIS NICHOLAS
cast: KATE LYN SHEIL, LAWRENCE MICHAEL LEVINE, KAYLA MURRAY, JONATHAN GEAN
A CURE FOR FEAR (SERIES) | DIRECTOR: LANA WILSON
Neuroscientist Dr. Merel Kindt has discovered a cure for phobias using common medication. It's a brief but intense exposure to the patient's fear, followed by taking a single pill. 24 hours later, the fear is gone. From animal phobias to PTSD, the potential impact is both profound and dazzlingly complex. A CURE FOR FEAR goes inside Dr. Kindt's radical treatments as she explores the ethically treacherous grounds of curing our most human ailment.
Camden International Film Festival
Lana Wilson's first feature film, AFTER TILLER, premiered in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and controversy. It went on to a fifty-city theatrical release and won the Emmy Award® for Best Documentary. Her follow-up, THE DEPARTURE, recently premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to unanimous praise and is still touring the festival circuit. She works in television in a variety of capacities, has taught master classes and workshops at UnionDocs and DCTV, and has given lectures at a range of contemporary art and film institutions. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Dance from Wesleyan University.
producers: SHRIHARI SATHE; LANA WILSON
cinematography: EMILY TOPPER