Saturday, December 14, 2019

Theater: 42 FT, Cirque Mechanics


Behold! A man so strong he juggles trees! An acrobat so light she floats on air! With a brilliant blur of sequined stilts, feathered frocks and flashing circus stripes, the endlessly inventive Cirque Mechanics upends expectations in a dizzying, dazzling array of acts that have never before appeared on the New Victory stage. Bright with light, laughter and good cheer, this stunning spectacle is a high-flying hit for the holidays!

Cirque Mechanics
From Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, December 13, 2019

Theater: BECAUSE I SAY SO at the New Vic Theater, NYC

From offbeat ideas to curious habits, each kid is truly one of a kind. In the unique universe of BECAUSE I SAY SO, colorfully-clad performers in trendy tracksuits ask the question: What if kids had absolute agency? With endless imagination, derring-do and daring dance, this renowned Swedish theater company (named "Unga Klara
") helps us see and move through the world as little ones do.

Unga Klara

From Stockholm, Sweden

Creative Team:
Conceived by Farnaz Arbabi and Gustav Deinoff
Directed by Farnaz Arbabi

Friday, September 20, 2019

Theater: Mac Wellman festival at The Flea Theater, NYC 2019
Bad Penny
A man and a woman sit in a park. They appear to be a couple, but aren’t. The man is clutching a car tire. The woman has picked up a penny and put it in her pocket. Wait! Is that the Boatman of Bow Bridge coming for the penny? How do we make choices in the face of the end of the world as we know it?
By Mac Wellman
Directed by Kristan Seemel

The Invention of Tragedy
A chorus of students, all alike and all unalike, are trying like the devil to tell a simple story—perhaps the story about the tragedy of the Sandwich Man, with sandwich boards upon which nothing is written, and hence, say nothing. Wellman’s examination of the post-9/11 world and America’s general and genial acceptance of the Iraq war.
By Mac Wellman
Directed by Meghan Finn

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Theater: "Plano" by Will Arbery, paperchairs 2019

Three sisters.
Three men.
One mother with her own crazy backstory of having been a nun, a wife, a mother.

The paperchairs theater of Austin performed "Plano" by Will Arbery in Sept. 2019 at the Ground Floor Theater. The set design, by Lisa Laratta, was a terrific cube of a house and front porch, projecting like a dangerous missile on an angle toward the audience. The set, like the lives and psyches of the three women on the front porch, frozen in a moment of careening speed as the characters fly through rapid-fire language, confusion and distress. The daughters each embody and elaborate the types of the mother: nun, wife, mother. Each daughter, in turn, defined by the disappointing relationships they have with men. All of this from a show with many moments of humor and delightful surprises, washing over the audience like a bucket of cold spring water.

A fabulous show, beautifully acted, challenging and thought provoking; and all of it set in an American heartland: somewhere near Plano.

Paperchairs actors

Anne: Heather Hanna
Genevieve: Hannah Kenah
Isabel: Elizabeth Doss
Mary: Janelle Buchanan
Steve: Josh Meyer
John/Juan: Harold Fisch
Faceless Ghost: Matt Hislope

Review of the play as performed in NYC recently by Clubbed Thumb:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Film: Jay Myself

JAY MYSELF documents the monumental move of renowned photographer and artist, Jay Maisel, who, in February 2015 after forty-eight years, begrudgingly sold his home—the 36,000 square-foot, 100-year-old landmark building in Manhattan known simply as “The Bank.” Through the intimate lens of filmmaker and Jay’s protégé, noted artist and photographer Stephen Wilkes, the viewer is taken on a remarkable journey through Jay’s life as an artist, mentor, and man; a man grappling with time, life, change, and the end of an era in New York City.

A film by Stephen Wilkes

In Select Theaters July 31st 


Film: Flickers Film Festival 2019 

Waters of March

Elizabeth Lewis
Canada | 2019 | 4min | Animation | Canadian
Waters of March is the classic written by Tom Jobim and performed by jazz singer Stacey Kent. The delicately rendered animated drawings move at a rollicking pace transitioning back and forth from real to abstract images telling the everchanging story of loss and hope.

To view:

Director Biography-
Born and raised in Montreal, I later moved to Toronto. I animated and designed A kite is a Victim by Leonard Cohen at the NFB, then animated other poems by Earl Birney, William Carlos Williams. Professionally I worked at Nelvana, and other studios including Walt Disney Animation Canada. I was an animator on Street Kids International Films directed by Derek Lamb and Kai Pindal. I later became a high school teacher and spent ten years teaching First Nations in remote northern communities and Inuit in the arctic.I gave animation classes and conducted workshops for teachers in Iqaluit. I have won awards for my poetry films from the Poetry Film Festival in San Fransisco and the Chicago Educational Film Festival.Waters of March will be shown at the Flickers International Film Festival, Rhode Island 2019.


Adrian Silisteanu
Romania | 2019 | 17min | Narrative | Drama
Sporadic gunshots echo among the ruins of a village which, though abandoned, is an objective of great import for the Romanian government. This forces two young men to lead a hard negotiation, both for the fate of the settlement and for their own future.

Bunny Man (人中之兔)

Athena Han
Canada | 2018 | 8min | Narrative | Comedy, Drama, Canadian, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Over a meal at a Chinese restaurant, four Taiwanese friends discussion over the differences between FOB (fresh off the boat) and CBC (Canadian born Chinese) grows heated when a mysterious Bunny mascot enters.

Director Biography-
Athena / ??? is a Taiwanese-Canadian writer-director based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her film Home / ? was screened at film festivals including Whistler Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films and Los Angeles Asian Film Festival. The film has also received A&E Short Filmmaker Award for Best Film, Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award and Brian Linehan Actors Award. Bunny Man / ????, her latest film, was selected for short film competition - Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon. It has won 1st Place for the 10-Minute Short and People's Choice Award for Best Overall Short.


Frederic Zeimet
Luxembourg | 2018 | 23min | Narrative | Children's/Family
Eight year old Joachim has an uncommon best friend. Cowboy is plump, funny and consoles him...but he is imaginary. Philippe, his father, ignores Joachim and is unable to talk to him, to communicate... and to tell him what happened to his mother.

Director Biography-
Frederic Zeimet is a Luxembourgish-born screenwriter and director.
He worked with LUC DARDENNE on his first long-feature script, an adaptation of Friedrich Durrenmatt's THE JUDGE AND HIS HANGMAN. He took part in several screenwriting competitions, was selected for the International Screenwriters' Festival, twice for the Screenwriters' White Night at the CANNES FILM FESTIVAL, and finally won the Jury Prize at the BEST JUNIOR SCRIPT PRIZE in France in 2010.
BLIND SPOT (DOUDÉGE WÉNKEL), the movie he co-wrote, hit the cinemas in 2012, the same year, COMEBACK, a sitcom on which he worked as Headwriter and Co-Showrunner, was broadcasted.
This experience led him to be part of the European TV Lab in 2013.
In 2017, he participated in Adaptlab organised by the TORINOFILMLAB.
He is currently working on TV projects in France and Belgium and long-features in Luxembourg and France. Frederic speaks and works in four languages: Luxembourgish, French, German and English. These linguistic capacities have allowed him to work as a script doctor on numerous films in France, Germany and the UK.

His short-film COWBOY, developed during the EUROPEAN SHORT PITCH, is his first experience as a director.


Nara Normande
Brazil, France | 2018 | 14min | Animation | Children's/Family
Tayra and I grew up on a beach in the north east of Brazil. We were inseparable. The sea breeze brings me back happy memories.

Paradise Hotel (Hotel Paraíso)

Daniel Rehder Normand
Peru | 2019 | 93min | Narrative | Children's/Family, Comedy | International Premier
A coming-of-age story about family, first love and restoring self-esteem. When Guillermo, a pre-adolescent introvert, arrives with his family at the wonderful HOTEL PARAÍSO (Paradise Hotel) for summer vacations, he will not only have days full of activities and colourful entertainers, but he will also run into Andrea, a beautiful and curious girl from his school with whom he regularly fantasizes. Unfortunately for him, Nahel, the popular and heartthrob boy, who often bullies his classmates, is also staying in the hotel and seeks to make Andrea fall in love with him. With the help of unexpected allies and family members, Guillermo will have to confront his insecurities and participate in different hotel activities to win the weekend's real big prize: Andrea's heart.

Director Biography-
Daniel Rehder is a Peruvian filmmaker who graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2015. Previously, he studied law in Lima before deciding to follow his dreams and move to NY to pursue film. He has directed, produced and written several short films, written for a Nickelodeon Latinoamerica show and premiered his first feature film as a producer in 2016 called "El Candidato". He is currently working in Lima and writing a second feature film which he wants to direct in 2020. When he is not working, Daniel plays field hockey and trains with the national team.

In This Life

Bat-Sheva Guez
United States | 2019 | 12min | Narrative | Experimental, Rhode Island, Musical
Grief is unavoidable. It follows us and consumes us. It is a physical experience, one where words are often inadequate to either convey or comfort. In five acts, this film explores the language of loss through dance, narrative scenes, and performance art, conveying the complexity of grief in the often wordless way it impacts all our lives. Each act illustrates a different phase of grief and is choreographed by a different leading choreographer (Christopher Wheeldon, Andrea Miller, Warren Craft, Robbie Fairchild, and James Alsop.)
After every major loss, we all must grief for the person we used to be, for the future we thought we'd have. The journey to accept this new version of ourselves is often fraught with pain and loss. This film is about that journey.


Sasha Rainbow
United Kingdom | 2019 | 24min | Documentary | Children's/Family
A single mother fights for her daughter's empowerment in India through skateboarding.

Seven-year-old Kamali is the only girl skateboarder in a small fishing village in India where, by chance, a skate ramp happened to be built right outside her house. Kamali's timorous mother, Suganthi, gives in to a burning desire to escape her past and decides to take a pilgrimage in a quest for self discovery. As mother and daughter are separated for the first time, they both must find their freedom as they dare to step outside into a man's world.

Director Biography-
Sasha Rainbow is a director who has worked across multiple disciplines including film, art direction, photography and costume. Sasha was selected to be part of the BFI Network X BAFTA Crew 2018 and was awarded Best Director at the Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival 2018 for her documentary, 'Kamali'. She is also on the board of directors at the NGO Skateistan. For the past two years she has been focusing on narrative film to highlight social causes, which has taken her around the world to places such as Ghana, India, Romania and Thailand.

Sasha recently attended Yaddo artists' residency in New York to write her feature film, Baxt Ali (Lucky One), about a Roma girl on a quest to find her place in the world. Her short film 'Kofi and Lartey', set in Ghana on one of the world's biggest electronic waste dumps, won The Award of Excellence at the Impact Docs Awards and was nominated for Best British Short Film and Best Documentary at the BAFTA qualifying London Short Film Festival 2019. Kofi and Lartey was also selected for the Hamilton, Sunday Shorts and Big Sky Documentary Film Festivals. Her music video for Placebo's ‘Life What You Make It' was nominated at the UKMVA's for best cinematography and best colour grading at the IMVF festival. Sasha believes storytelling can throw light onto communities to showcase heroic role models, which is just what the world needs.


Freddie Waters
United Kingdom | 2019 | 11min | Narrative | Drama, Comedy
Tom is in for a surprise when he meets his elderly grandfather's two caretakers. Not only do they appear to be at war but when he discovers a mysterious object in the kitchen things take a dark turn.


Alejandro Saevich
Mexico | 2017 | 12min | Narrative
The president of Mexico spends his final days in office making plans for his future. Everything looks in order until an international conflict interrupts his pleasant rest.

Maria Camila's gift

Andrés Molano Moncada
Colombia | 2019 | 12min | Narrative | Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family
In a park, 9-year-old Maria Camila gives to unaware passersby a sheet of paper written by her. Immediately after having read the paper, people start to impersonate different animals. What power does Maria Camila have to transform them?

Director Biography-
Andrés Molano Moncada was born in Bogota, Colombia. He graduated as Mass Communicator from Externado de Colombia University.
Andres Molano is a film and television director with 20-year experience. His short-film "Breakfast with Tiffany" (2015) won 20 international awards and has participated in more than 35 highly known festivals.

His screenplay for short-film "Faces" has been nominated for best screenplay in Mexico and USA (Miami and Beverly Hills).
His new 11-minute short-film "Maria Camila's gift" has a cast of 14 professional actors.
Andres Molano Moncada is a well known professor at the most important universities in Bogota, where he teaches film and television.

Moon Above The Raging Sea

Steven Jerram
Australia | 2019 | 6min | Animation | Experimental
Late one night, a 17-year-old girl flies from Yugoslavia to Italy in a tiny, home-made airplane.
'Moon Above The Raging Sea' is both a lo-fi, abstract 'painted dream' - and a first-person retelling of the 1991 Škabrnja massacre.

Director Biography-
Steven Jerram makes music, art and films in Melbourne, Australia.
Since completing a masters degree in video art (2009), he has been experimenting with obscure, early 20th century animation techniques (such as the silhouette form of Lotte Reineger) and subsequently developed a unique, naive, 'expressionist' animation style.

A number of his music videos have been televised and his work has featured in multiple video-art exhibitions. Moon Above The Raging Sea is his first true 'narrative film'.

Mum's Hairpins
Tatiana Fedorovskaya
Russia, Germany, Ukraine | 2019 | 20min | Narrative | World Premier
Jewish shtetl, Ukraine, 1941. A box with mother's hairpins – the only thing left from his family – is Yasha's last chance to escape German invaders and rescue his new friend, a wounded goat kid.

DIRECTOR Tatiana Fedorovskaya

My Moon

Eusong Lee
United States | 2018 | 9min | Animation | Drama, Children's/Family, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
A relationship between three celestial bodies; a romance between Earth, Moon, and Sun. Presenting “My Moon”, a new short film directed by Eusong Lee, brought to you by King of Pine in collaboration with Chromosphere.

Director Biography-
Eusong Lee is a filmmaker and a designer actively working in the animation industry. He started his career with a Silver Student Oscar award winning short film, "Will". He has worked on over 40 animated shorts at JibJab as well as commercials for various clients such as Axis, MTV, and Facebook. Recently, Eusong worked as an Art Director at Cartoon Network and as a concept designer for Warner Brothers Animation, Dreamworks TV, and Disney TV.


Shady Srour
Israel | 2019 | 16min | Narrative | Drama
Ziad, a Palestinian day laborer, is denied entry into Israel for work, forcing him to change how he provides for his family. A poetic and tragic reflection on the everyday struggle of Palestinian breadwinners.

Director Biography-
Shady Srour is an actor, scriptwriter, director and producer for Cinema, Theatre and TV, and a lecturer at the Open University.
He has B.A degree from Tel-Aviv University in Theater acting and M.F.A in filmmaking from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.
Lately Shady was involved in the film 24 Hours Jerusalem (arte), which won the German TV Award for best documentary 2014. He was the Lead in the Oscar-nominated short film Ave Maria. Holy Air is his feature debut as director.

Residents of the Last Floor

Amir Jalali
Iran | 2018 | 26min | Narrative
What happens when four strangers flee to the roof of their apartment building to escape the attention of the religious police who show up to investigate a noisy birthday party? Modern life in Iran requires everyone to have a public and private face. What will these strangers reveal to one another?

Director Biography-
Amir Jalali was born in 1979 in Yazd, Iran. He's a photographer, actor and a filmmaker. He started his professional career in cinema and photography in 2003 since graduation from the Young Iranians Ciinema Society. He has diploma in photography and holds a B.A in cinema with a major in editing.

His activities in photography include holding six individual and collective photo exhibitions. He has worked as a still photographer, and has participated in the production of eight feature films and more than 20 short and documentary films.

Selfish (魚生)

Chen, Po Chien
Canada | 2019 | 2min | Animation | Children's/Family, Canadian
In an izakaya, a chef notices a group of special guests. He decides to serve them a variety of signature dishes.

Director Biography-
Started at traditional painting, I am a computer animation artist making animated films to speak of our environment and human goodness. Love traveling, diving, cycling and exploring the beauty of our world.

Senior Love Triangle

Kelly Blatz
United States | 2018 | 98min | Narrative
After getting kicked out of the luxurious retirement facility where he was living with his partner Adina, 84-year old WWII veteran William declares that he will be back to save her like she was saved from the Holocaust in 1941. His plan? To receive a mansion and a million dollars from the mysterious John Collins, an over-the-phone businessman whom William is working on a Jamaican oil deal with. When William finds a new residence at the not-so-luxurious Gramercy towers, he meets and becomes infatuated with Jeanie, a beautiful aging actress, who also takes a liking to William. Adina feels his distance and demands to see his new home, where she meets Jeanie, and quickly realizes Will's affection for her. She makes it very clear that William is her man, and Jeanie confronts him about it, telling him that she won't be involved with another woman still in the picture. He convinces Jeanie that he can't abandon Adina because she lives amongst Nazi's and that they all need each other. William then goes on a Quixotic quest to secure the deal with John Collins, save the women from their “concentration camps” and live his utopian polyamorous dream in his Hollywood Hills mansion.

St. Louis Superman

Smriti Mundhra, Sami Khan
United States | 28min | Documentary | African-American
Bruce Franks Jr. is a 33-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis, Missouri. Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure the likes of which you've never never seen — full of contradictions and deep insights, who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country. This short verite documentary follows Bruce at a critical juncture in his life, when he is forced to deal with the mental trauma he's been carrying for the nearly 30 years since his 9-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him, in order to find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader for his community.


To College

Quinn Halleck
United States | 2018 | 11min | Narrative | Comedy, Drama
A year in the dorm room of an introverted freshman looking to embrace the wild college experience. Luckily he's been roomed with an extroverted stud. Shenanigans ensue.

Director Biography-
Born in the grape vines of Sonoma County, Quinn Halleck has moved out of his roots of Northern California to direct in Los Angeles. Quinn emphasizes in quickly-paced, coming of age stories, both in the comedic and drama categories.
Once moving to Los Angeles, Quinn spent four years attending Chapman University, working for various production houses, and directing a variety of televised commercial work.
Today, Quinn continues his works on both commercial content and branded documentary content. Though his passions lie in his desire to tell long-form narrative content.


Cooper Haskell
United States | 2019 | 8min | Animation | Comedy, Drama
A procrastinating writer sleeps his life away on the New York City Subway.