Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Powerful Medicine: Simply Magic

Almost anyone who's burdened by a disability will seek a way out—either a cure or a way to manage the affliction. In the modern world, many will find it, but some of the most amazing stories deal with those who find their own cure. This is the topic of a remarkable new documentary from Lynchburg, Virginia.

Powerful Medicine: Simply Magic profiles individuals who use magic as therapy—not magic on themselves, but magic for others. Newfound skill as magicians rewires their brains and connects them with people, all while doing something they profoundly enjoy.

Co-produced and written by Kevin Spencer and co-produced and directed by Mwita Chacha, this 22-minute film offers a new kind of hope and leaves an indelible impression.

You can watch the trailer here: Powerful Medicine: Simply Magic Trailer

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Man on the Edge

Standing alone, high on a clifftop, a man contemplates suicide. The spot where he stands is an important place to him; it's tied to his past.

Just as he begins to seal his fate, a ravishing woman appears from nowhere. She, too, is linked to this place, and so is their past. But who is she, and what does she want him to do?

Such is the wellspring of A Man on the Edge, a beautifully wrought, gothic romance by Australian director Edward Lyons. This tense, moving short film explores what is means to love in the deepest corners of your heart even after everything goes wrong.

You can watch the trailer here: A Man on the Edge Trailer

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Award Winners

Film Jury Awards

Danny Award, Best Picture - The Tailor's Apprentice (Jeff Lehman, USA)
   Nominees: Wallabout, Give & Take, Golem, The Resurrection of Tony Gitone, Rooftops

Best Alternative Feature - Golem (Adam Deutsch, Israel)
   Nominees: The Anarchist's Birthday, The Resurrection of Tony Gitone, Wallabout, The Lengths

Best Documentary - No Problem! Six Months with the Barefoot Grandmamas (Yasmin Kidwai,
   Nominees: The Silent Epidemic, Mona Lisa is Missing, Be With Me, Being George,
Best Short Film - Trip in a Summer Dress (Janine Turner, USA)
   Nominees: Love is All That Matters, Oblivion, Acceptance, The Fay, Lambing Season, Monsura
   is Waiting

Best Experimental Short - Recursion (Sam Buntrock, USA)
   Nominees: Tesla, The Ballad of Snake Oil Sam, Storytelling

Indie Spirit Award - The Lengths (Tim Driscoll, USA)
   Nominees: Give & Take, The Tailor's Apprentice, The Anarchist's Birthday, Golem, The Lengths

Best Animated Film - Light Me Up (Ryan Walton, USA)
   Nominees: Life of a Lego, How to Avoid Annoying People, Mechanical Cow

Best Biography - A Place of Truth (Barrett Rudich, USA)
   Nominee: The Sax Man

Best Mid-Atlantic Film - Being George (Nyler Abdou and Adya Beasley, USA)
   Nominees: Sky Blue Collar, Moving Mountains, The Tailor's Apprentice, Available)

Artistic Spirit Award - Recoil (Evan Matthews, USA)
   Nominees: A Place of Truth, Moving Mountains, Changes by Brushstroke

Best Student Film - Telleth of Those Who Dwell in the Water (Roy Ambriz, Mexico)
   Nominees: Sophie, Home, Unidentified Flying Reality, Recoil, Dry Rain, Night Shift, Derailed

Student Cultural Spirit Award - The Broken Mirror (Hannah Kilcoyne, UK)
   Nominees: Tears and Blood, Dither: The D.I.Y. Sound

New Hope Award - Spirit of the Sato (Ellen La Torre, USA)
   Nominees: No Problem! Six Months with the Barefoot Grandmamas, Tears and Blood, Be With Me

Cultural Spirit Award - Moving Mountains (Jeanie Clark, USA)
   Nominees: Nandan Mela, Kala-Bhavana and Santiniketan: A Collective Spirit, Sikhs Formaggia,
   Pursuit of Truth, The Silent Epidemic, No Problem! Six Months with the Barefoot Grandmamas,
   Moving Mountains

LGTB Spirit Award - Lambing Season (Jeannie Donohoe, USA)
   Nominees: Passing Ellenville, Talk It Up TV: Dwayne Wynne, Sky Blue Collar

Female Eye Filmmaking Award - Sophie (Liz Fisher, USA)
   Nominees: Trip in a Summer Dress, Moving Mountains, Acceptance, Storytelling, Antebellum,
   The Broken Mirror

Best Sci-Fi Film - Recoil (Evan Matthews, USA)
   Nominees: Citizen's Band, The Invaders, Recursion, Unidentified Flying Reality

Best Webisode - Talk It Up TV: Dwayne Wynne (Rick Walters, USA)
   Nominees: Investments: The Series, The Invaders, Lines & Asides

Best Web Series - Investments: The Series (Steven Strickland, USA)
   Nominees: The Invaders, Lines & Asides, Talk It Up TV

Best Comedy - Give & Take (Scott Andrew Kurchak, USA)
   Nominees: The Anarchist's Birthday, Available

Best Comedy Short - The S Word (Jesse Stewart, USA)
   Nominees: No, No, You First, Sky Blue Collar, New Year's Resolutions

Best Director - Jerry Ciccoritti (The Resurrection of Tony Gitone, USA)
   Nominees: Evan Matthews, Eric McGinty, Adam Deutsch, Maureen Quinn, Roy Ambriz,
   Guillem Gutierrez Saura, Jeff Lehman

Best Music Video - Yes is My Favorite Word (Mak Azubike, USA)
   Nominees: Ganesh is Fresh, Brakes, Tocondo El Sol, Milk, Any Other Way, Five Past Ten

Best Pop Music Video - Tocondo El Sol (Vadim Lasca, Venezuela)
   Nominees: Only Me

Best Alternative Music Video - Brakes (Jennifer Nicole Stang, USA)
   Nominees: Fallen Sun, Skeleton Army

Best Experimental Music Video - Fallen Sun (Ivan Andrijanic, USA)
   Nominees: Skeleton Army, Splish Splash, Mechanical Cow, Tesla

Cultural Spirit Music Video - Milk (Victoria Taylor, USA)
   Nominees: Ganesh is Fresh

Best Singer-Songwriter Music Video - Any Other Way (Dillon Garland, Canada)
   Nominee: Five Past Ten

Best Inspirational Music Video - Ganesh is Fresh (Deborah Harse, USA, India)
   Nominee: Five Past Ten, Tesla, Tocondo El Sol, Yes is My Favorite Word

Script Jury Awards

Best Script - Miami Feist (Debra Zarne, USA)
   Nominees: Holy Mackeral!, Mass Exodus, Murmansk Run, Lost Cause, Boonville Redemption,
   Nobody's Child, Naughty or Nice

Best Narrative Feature - Lost Cause (David Schroeder, USA)
   Nominees: Hollywood Gospel, Breed of Crows, D.T., Lean Not on Your Own Understanding,
   Slave in the House, The Earth Below

Best Teleplay - St. Anthony's (Matthew Feely, USA)
   Nominees: Brewski, Papercuts

Best Comedy - Naughty or Nice (JoAnn Hess, USA)
   Nominees: Miami Feist, Holy Mackeral! Amazon Con, Bonding in Brooklyn,

Best Sci-Fi Thriller - Falling Star (Dylan Brann, USA)
   Nominees: Messiah, A New Birth of Freedom, Time and Again, American Harvest

Best Action Thriller - The Trail (Yvonne Paulin, USA)
   Nominees: Lost Treasure of the Mayans, Vultures Run, Lost Cause, The Night Witches, Breed
   of Crows

Best Period Screenplay - Daniel and the Lady (Joy Gee, USA)
   Nominees: Gabriel's Bones, Grace, Aurora, Slave in the House, The Earth Below

Best Psycho Thriller - Sinner (Christopher Graves, USA)
   Nominees: American Harvest, The Trail, Boonville Redemption, Messiah)

Best Short Screenplay - Viva Radilla (Brian O'Neill, USA)

Audience Choice Awards

Best Art House Feature - The Lengths (Tim Driscoll, USA)
Best Documentary - Riot on the Dance Floor (Steve Tozzi, USA)
Best Short Film - Acceptance (Gene Gallagher, USA)
Best TV Pilot - Jersey Chasers (Margaret Anderson, USA)
Best Webisode - Talk It Up TV: Dwayne Wynne (Rick Walters, USA)
Best Music Video - Skeleton Army (Brandon Pro, USA)
Best Student Film - Sophie (Liz Fisher, USA)
Best Mid-Atlantic Film - The Tailor's Apprentice (Jeff Lehman, USA)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Life of a Lego - One Bad Day

Attention all cartoon fans!

Student filmmaker Adam Boyle knows what it's like to have a bad day, a nightmarish day, and don't we all. He also has the animation skills to express this common angst through Lego characters who are hell-bent on giving their rivals one very bad day, too. Watch them battle it out in this wild and creative animated short.

Here's a link to the trailer: One Bad Day Trailer

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Electricity permeates the world in this experimental homage to Nikola Tesla and electronic innovation.

Part short film and part music video, and whether accidental or not, also a surreptitious promotional video for Tesla Motors, this highly polished documentary focuses on the enormous influence that Nikola Tesla has had on what Southern California-based director Sharon Doyle refers to as mankind's fourth industrial revolution. Tesla invented the electric car in 1918.

A brilliant inventor and visionary, Tesla sounds holisitically New Age in this quote: "The desire that guides me in all that I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature in the service of mankind." He asked us to think in terms of our relationship with earth's natural energy and then to power the machinery of tomorrow's future with it; for this and other contributions, he holds significant importance in the history of technology, yet he is almost forgotten.

Sharon Doyle is an ardent futurist and environmentalist who sees in the electric car a chance for a cleaner, more stable future. Her production values are stellar, so come ride with her in the Tesla she created. You can watch the trailer here: Tesla Trailer

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Sherwin, a young scientist, does what a best man should never do on his best friend's wedding day: he loses the ring. That would spoil the party for most weddings, but Sherwin has other, most creative, ideas.

He's going to slip back in time, steal the ring from his former self, and race to the wedding before his former self notices. If the two iterations of himself tangle over the ring, it could initiate the grandfather paradox—then anything could happen. It might even destroy the universe. He jumps back 90 minutes in time, then a second time and a third as he tries to get the procedure right, but one other big complication stands in his way: each time he does this, he creates another version of himself. 

Now he must hide from all of them.

This heady, sophisticated and thought-provoking short film from New York has all the ingredients of a sci-fi psychological drama—with a comedic twist. You may want to watch this one twice because the intricate plot moves at light speed. Filmmaking team Stanton Nash, Antonio Marion and Sam Buntrock nail their experiment called Recursion and lead actor Rob McClure delivers. 

You can watch the trailer here: Recursion Teaser

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lambing Season

Lambing Season is the offbeat tale of Bridget, an American woman who travels to the Irish countryside to track down her long-lost father. Posing as a stranger, she embarks on a convoluted plan that leads to nowhere. That is, until nature intervenes to break the ice. Turns out father and daughter, although long estranged, have far more in common than biology. 

Directed by LA-based filmmaker Jeannie Donohoe, who created the work for a Columbia University final project, Lambing Season is an authentic, tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly delightful escape into the Irish countryside, where magical things happen to those who know where to look. And Donohoe does: she shot the film entirely on location, and Ireland's naturalistic, intimate feel is beautifully captured. 

You can watch the trailer here: Lambing Season Trailer