Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Wall: Kings of Coney Island

One Wall: Kings of Coney Island celebrates Coney Island, Brooklyn, summer and athleticism. Given the recent devastation of this area due to Hurricane Sandy, this film stands as a portrait of a neighborhood and a subculture that is swiftly disappearing.

Most people who know central character Joe Durso know the handball legend as a foulmouthed egomaniac -- part Muhammad Ali, part Howard Stern -- a man so scornful and profane that even Lenny Bruce might have blushed at some of the verbal daggers he hurled at the brawny gumbahs who spar with him on the concrete courts on Surf Avenue in Coney Island. Were this former champ just another cocky jock talking trash in the playground, this story might be the tale of a colorful character -- big game, big mouth --- who dominated the quirky world of his sport like none other. But the story is more complex. It is the saga of a gifted, fiercely determined kid who spent 20 years becoming the unchallenged master of his game, the game that defined manhood in the bubbling cauldron of Coney Island.

But the film is also about love: love for the game, love for your fellow man. And that's why first-time director Joe Glickman received so much praise from our audience for his work. You can watch the trailer here: One Wall Trailer

Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 Award Winners

Hey Everyone!

Here are the results from yesterday's exciting awards ceremony. Congratulations to all of our all are winners!!

Lifetime Achievement Award - Christina Crawford

Film Jury Awards

Danny Award, Best Picture - Mad Ship, Canada
   Nominees: Pechorin, Mad Ship, The Assignment, Locomotive, Since I Don't Have You, Legend of
   Love, Sonny Days

Best Director - Khrushch Roman, Russian Federation
   Nominees:  Susan Barry, Matthias Rosenberger, Khrushch Roman, David Yohe, Karl Stieg,
   Tom Megalis, David Mortin

Best Documentary - Out of Print, USA
   Nominees: Surviving Mommie Dearest, Out of Print, Misa's Fugue, 1913 Massacre, Geil of
   Doylestown, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, One Wall: Kings of Coney Island

Best Short Film - Spaghetti for Two, Germany
   Nominees: Autumn, Spaghetti for Two, If I Were a Bell, Possum, Refuge, A Family Dinner,

Indie Spirit Award - My Way, USA
   Nominees: No Horizon Anymore, My Way, Locomotive, Legend of Love, Since I Don't Have You,
   Sonny Days, Route 30, Too!, When Time Becomes a Woman

Best Animated Film - Recipe for Love, Canada
   Nominees: The Nature of Things, Recipe for Love

Best Biography - Geil of Doylestown, USA
   Nominees: Misa's Fugue, Geil of Doylestown, Surviving Mommie Dearest, All Me: The Life
   and Times of Winfred Rembert

Artistic Spirit Award - Surviving Mommie Dearest, USA
   Nominees: My Way, Surviving Mommie Dearest, The Assignment, No Horizon Anymore,
   The Risk Factor, The Mercury Cycle

Best Student Film - Sweetly Broken, Czech Republic
   Nominees: Safe, Sweetly Broken, On Becoming a Man, The Road Back, A Flight of Fancy,
   Saving Bella, La Vie en Gris, On Becoming a Man, Sahasi Chori, Mr. Bellpond

Best Adaptation - The Assignment, Canada
   Nominees: Pechorin, The Assignment, Spaghetti for Two

New Hope Award - All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, USA
   Nominees: Unlikely Friends, Misa's Fugue, Surviving Mommie Dearest, Battle: Change from
   Within, Shell Shocked, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, My Way

Cultural Spirit Award - Shell Shocked, USA
   Nominees: GMO OMG, Shell Shocked, Battle: Change from Within, Shell Shocked, Out of Print,
   Misa's Fugue, Dit is Ek (This is Me), Out of the Blue

Best Horror Film - Metamorphosis, USA
   Nominees: Side Effects, Metamorphosis, Kingdom of Shadows

Best Comedy - Sonny Days, USA
   Nominees: Grow Up Already, Sonny Days, Girl Clown, Baggage, Young(ish), Ben & Elaine,
   Vena Amoris

Screenplay Jury Awards

Best Screenplay - Taking the King, USA
   Honorable Mention - The Still Life of Cornelius, USA

Best Narrative Feature - all I ever wanted was EVERYTHING, USA, Costa Rica

Best Short Screenplay - Transhumans, USA

Best Mid-Atlantic Screenplay - Scarlett Sunshine, USA

Best Futuristic Screenplay - PRION, USA

Best Dramatic Screenplay - Halfway Home, USA

Music Video Jury Awards

Best Music Video - Old Coats, USA

Best Pop Video - My Dream Girl, USA

Best Alternative Video - Life in Pictures, Canada

Best Hip Hop Video - Top of My Game, USA, Jamaica

Music Video Cultural Spirit Award - Let Your Light Shine, USA

Best Folk Video - What Are We Waiting For, Canada

Best Inspirational Video - Miracle, Poland

Audience Choice Awards

Best Webisode - Chart Star, Australia

Best Music Video - Miracle, Poland

Best Art House Feature - Since I Don't Have You, USA

Best Documentary - Gamers, USA

Best Short Film - Autumn, USA

Best Student Film - The Mercury Cycle, USA

Best Mid-Atlantic Film - One Wall: Kings of Coney Island, USA

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Way

This wonderfully inspiring documentary begins with the conventional "small-town girl livin' in a lonely (corporate) world" motif. Yet instead of taking the midnight train, Rebekah Starr, the film's Executive Producer and Co-Lead Actor, trades her pantsuit for a Les Paul, grabs her sassy, Estonian, tambourine-banging sidekick, and hits the highway—destination: Sunset Strip.

Then Starr's marriage falls apart, and we realize that her dream is much more than a youthful whim. It's a burning passion for music that comes with its share of real world sacrifices. Thanks to support from newfound rock'n roll legend friends such as Steven Adler (Guns N'Roses) and Rikki Rockett (Poison), Starr commits to her mission and accomplishes what she set out to do. 

My Way speaks to anyone who has a dream but is afraid to pursue it—anyone who feels trapped by circumstances. You can learn more and watch the film's trailer on their website: My Way Website

Friday, May 31, 2013


Mikey tells the unsettling story of a guy with emotional and social difficulties who becomes obsessed with a singer. He decides to give her an awkward gift to win her heart, but with no idea how she'll receive it. Find out what happens next in this 20-minute student short.

Filmmaker Jaco Dukes is originally from Chile but now resides in Southern California. You can watch the trailer here:

Sunday, May 26, 2013


In this coming of age drama by Brooklyn filmmaker Patrick Mandeville, a young man's self-esteem problem leads him to join the Army in order to please his father. After becoming a prisoner of war, he begins to flip a coin and tally heads and tails. This seemingly random game of chance leads to his complete reappraisal of this life: he begins to reconsider his philosophy and the personal choices that lead to his strained relationships with his father and ex-girlfriend. 

By flipping a penny in solitary confinement, he is able to face a long-standing obsession with odds and his underlying fear of failure. You can watch the preview here (parental discretion advised): Worth Preview

Friday, May 24, 2013


Alex and Ben experience the devastating miscarriage of their first child. On the weekend of Halloween, Ben decides to get them out of town, hoping to have a chance to talk through their loss. Alex proceeds to protect herself through denial and treats the weekend, inappropriately, like a romantic getaway. But on a morning run, she finds a dead Possum on the side of the road, and heartbroken by the sight of its lifeless body, she comes to face her tragedy — and Ben. Now they can deal with each other. 

This 16-minute short film by writer, director and producer Eleanor Wilson, who is originally from Australia, is marked by a powerfully engaging relationship between two upwardly mobile professionals. The stakes of their problems are high, and the intelligent way in which they speak to each other gives their words extra heft and immediacy. Wilson herself plays the lead, superbly, and her leading man, Miguel Govea, brings equivalent depth to his role. 

This is a strong little drama. You can watch the trailer here: Possum Trailer

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Three Secrets for Success

On the day Li is officially hired at the company of his dreams, and only a few days after getting married, the young businessman learns from his boss's wife that trust is relative, win-win situations can be biased in favor of one of the winners, and the road to success takes no sure path. Fate will rule him.

A lively, black comedy situated at the heart of Chinese contemporary society, Three Secrets for Success shows how success is superficial when reality tells its own story. Directed by Arturo Casares Cortina, a Mexican citizen who lives in China, this NHFF Official Selection offers a fresh and entertaining blend of cultural vantage points. 

You can watch the trailer here: 

Proudly Announcing a New NHFF Contributor

Valerie Patterson is the director of marketing for a regional residential real estate company. From 1997 until 2005, she worked at Dow Jones & Co. Inc. and was the producer of The Wall Street Journal Online's real estate site for both commercial and residential coverage. While at, she was a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and Fox News. She holds a B.A. in German and Communications from Cedar Crest College and an M.A. in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   

Ms. Patterson joins us a writer with a special emphasis on documentaries. Look for her upcoming feature article, Green Is Good, in our 2013 Program Guide. The piece takes a closer look at two of this year's documentaries, The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert and Surya Prakash — A Journey Through Life and Art.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Risk Factor

Any artist worth his or her salt is willing to take risks, even to the point of wasting an entire life on a pursuit that bears little tangible fruit. This is the central theme The Risk Factor, a portrait of Lambertville, New Jersey artist Paul Matthews.

A heir to the Proctor & Gamble fortune, Matthews eschewed the careers that are often expected of a privileged young man — law, academia, business and medicine — and instead used his modest trust fund to support his painting. When starting out, he was certain of his destiny as a famous artist, but time brought him back to earth; this documentary, a retrospective on his life and career, asks a probing question: was it worth it?

Despite his blue-blooded upbringing, most people can identify with Paul Matthews, a careerist who struggled to live up to his own youthful ambitions. It's a film about fame, recognition and missed opportunities. Paul's story is at turns amusing and sad, but ultimately, it's optimistic.

You can watch the trailer here (parental discretion advised): The Risk Factor Preview

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If I Were a Bell

If I Were A Bell is the poignant story of two brothers who fall into a perilous love triangle with a rising, bombshell rapper. 

Director Sherese Robinson Lee, who bases herself in Manhattan, brings consummate artistry to this film: the score, the cinematography, the acting, the lighting and the intricate rhythms of this piece are melted together into something sensitive and graceful, despite the hard edge of some of the scenes. 

You can watch the trailer here: If I Were a Bell Preview

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Corinne, an aging theater actress, wakes to a disastrous review of her latest play and the news that she has not been casted in an upcoming production. Struggling to find meaning in her work, Corinne transforms her apartment into her stage, her theatrical past into her present, and her husband, Chris, into her audience. But her impromptu morning drama is interrupted when a bird crashes into their window. Where Chris finds death, Corinne finds an allusion to Anton Chekhov. 

Student helmer Michael Johnston wrote and produced IRINA during his second year at Temple University's Film & Media Arts Graduate Program with help from a Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association Finishing Funds Grant and a Temple University Completion Grant. Johnston refers to his film as a Christopher Durang-style dramedy, but his characters have the maturity, depth and tension one would expect from a full-out dramatic piece — you can feel the agony in his fragile protagonist.

The trailer is available on their Facebook page (parental discretion advised): IRINA Preview

Friday, May 17, 2013

Shell Shocked

Shell Shocked is a documentary about youth and gun violence, the way the environment that inner city kids grow up in contributes to gun violence, and what can be done to help kids growing up amongst this mayhem. The film started as a teenage documentary program four years ago. Five New Orleans youths participated in a class where they were asked to document their lives and share their insights into why there was so much gun violence in the communities in which they lived. All of the participants would be what society would consider "good kids," but all of them had witnessed either a family member or friend getting shot. This is common for New Orleans African-American youth: the New Orleans homicide rate, annually, leads the nation by a wide margin. What the filmmakers learned from the kids became the guiding principal of the film.

Executive Producer and Director John Richie, along with his clearly passionate team, has produced a powerful piece about a social milieu that cries out for reform. As the film sagely points out, no one wants to be a gang member or live in a violent neighborhood; tragically, many see no alternative. But a film like Shell Shocked is a catalyst for positive change.

You can read more about Shell Shocked in a Huffington Post Feature and a Article. The film has also inspired a heartfelt and moving music video by KOAN, which you can watch here:  

And the trailer is here: Shell Shocked Trailer

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Assignment

Obie (Erica Marks) is second-in-command in the Vigils, an established secret organization at Trinity High School. A professor enlists the Vigils' help, wishing to use their influence to convince students to sell overpriced, fundraiser chocolates. When new student Jerry Renault (Garrett Hnatiuk) refuses to participate, Obie attempts to persuade him to sell the chocolates. The two begin a secret romance, though he continues his defiance. As Obie witnesses the Vigils escalate their aggressive tactics towards Jerry, she is forced to examine her involvement with the organization that once protected her but now seems ready to destroy everyone she cares about. 

This undergraduate student project from Winnipeg, Canada came about thanks to funding from the University of Manitoba and Canadian private investors, and director Cam Peters has taken this modest charter to produce a work that far exceeds the requirements of his own assignment. Based on Robert Cormier's 1974 young adult novel, The Chocolate War, this film is dark, brutal and realistic; as the filmmakers make clear in the (parental discretion advised) Featurette, The Assignment is an allegorical tale about power structures and how people cope with them. 

Check out the trailer here (parental discretion advised): The Assignment Trailer

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Battle: Change from Within

Battle: Change from Within is a documentary about educator Eliot Battle and the pivotal role he played in desegregating schools, housing, and the Columbia, Missouri community. As Battle facilitated changes with quiet resolve, he faced resistance from both the black and white communities. His calm demeanor and dedicated work within existing institutions and systems allowed him to bridge the gap between the two races and change Columbia for the better. 

Written and produced by Michael Hicks of University of Missouri Extension, this film is highly educational and offers great social value. You can watch the trailer on the documentary's website: Battle Preview

Sunday, May 12, 2013

All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert

All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert chronicles the journey of Winfred Rembert, an African-American artist who recently had a retrospective in a top-tier Madison Avenue gallery but who earlier in his life had served seven years on a chain gang in Georgia. 

His brightly colored paintings, all executed on leather canvases that Rembert tools, a technique he learned in prison, describe life in the Jim Crow south of the 1950's and 60's. A native of Georgia, Rembert now lives with his wife and eight children in a rough neighborhood in New Haven, but also operates in the social universe of well-off white collectors in Connecticut who buy his work. This wonderful, inspiring film by Vivian Ducat traces Rembert's life and contextualizes the era he describes. 

Check out the Feature in Vanity Fair and watch the trailer here: Winfred Rembert Preview

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Set in present-day Iraq, Refuge tells the story of Nabil, who moves to Baghdad with his two young sons after the kidnapping and murder of his wife Mariam. Nabil has trouble finding employment in the city, which is full of other internally displaced Iraqis. One of these new arrivals is his neighbor, Tariq. 

Tariq’s face haunts Nabil – his eyes are so familiar, much like the eyes he glimpsed through a keffiyeh on the day his wife was taken from him. As Nabil’s dreams grow more intense, he becomes convinced that his intuition is correct - Mariam’s killer is living in his building, mere feet away from his two vulnerable sons.  

Directed by Michelle Steffes and co-written by Rebekah Score and Paul Luebbers, this American film is delivered with a heightened sense of verisimilitude, making a story that deals with the machinations of modern-day Iraq all the more compelling. At the same time, Steffes, Score and Luebbers display oceans of heart for a place in which hope and love for your fellow man ultimately rein supreme.

You can watch the trailer here: Refuge Preview

Friday, May 10, 2013


Ten-year-old Autumn (Reagan Frankhouser) lost her father several years before the story begins, and her family and she are still struggling to find equilibrium. The girl's mother Kate and her teenaged sister Amanda are too caught up in their own concerns to pay her much attention, so Autumn throws herself with desire and determination into her favorite pastime, taking photographs, and finds solace in the company of a father figure. But wandering the neighborhood and capturing strangers on camera has its risks, as she soon discovers. Will she remain safe, and if so, will she use that safety to realize her potential as an artist?

The cinematography is this locally produced film makes excellent use of the textures one can find in historic Bucks County, as one might expect in a film so immersed in photography, but there's much more at work than aesthetics here. Director Susan Barry displays a remarkably delicate and sensitive touch as she explores the inner world of an awkward girl whose inability to find answers for big questions propels her to observe and record the people around her. And the biggest strangers she needs to figure out are her own parents. 

Recently featured in a Bucks County Herald Story, Autumn is a film with New Hope roots that easily holds its own with our national and international offerings. Frankhouser's acting is right on the money and the story is poignant. You can watch the trailer here: Autumn Trailer

Monday, May 6, 2013

Out of Print

Books have long been essential to human civilization.

Out of Print draws us into the realm of the written word, illuminating the turbulent but exciting journey from the book through the digital revolution. We live in an age where writers, publishers, and readers are all in flux, booksellers are closing, students are confronting new challenges, and librarians and teachers are seeking new responsibilities. 

Storytellers Ray Bradbury and Jeffrey Toobin, novelist and Authors Guild President Scott Turow, Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Harvard University Library Director and Digital Public Library of America enthusiast Robert Darnton, and other book world luminaries are interviewed in this essential new documentary by director Vivienne Roumani. Narrated by Hollywood legend Meryl Streep.

You can watch the trailer here: Out of Print Trailer

Friday, May 3, 2013


In Kayip (The Loss), Turkish filmmaker Mete Sozer tells the story of a man who, after a painful breakup with the love of his life, waits at a cafe for a lifetime in hopes she will walk in again. Produced in Belgium, Turkey and Los Angeles as a student project, this short film is at times surreal and at times vulnerable, and it's always fine aesthetically. Watch the actress (Ozge Ozpirincci) in the preview and you will see that Sozer has a subtle sense for authenticity and detail.

You can watch the trailer here: Kayip Trailer

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For Closure

Emotionally and financially bankrupt, Michelle is out of options, so she's forced to call upon the one person she can't fathom facing — her mother. All she can do now is swallow her pride and pray that the loss of her house may finally lead her home. 

Written by Laura Camien, who plays the leading role, and directed by James Felix McKenney, this sensitive, intimate short from Florida portrays a woman's relationship with her mother in a heartrending and contemporary way. Foreclosure is all around us now, and what are the emotional consequences? Does it repel people away, or can it bring a daughter and her mother closer together?

Find out what these filmmakers have to say by coming out to see For Closure. You can watch the preview here:

La Vie en Gris

When Valerie, a young American actress in Paris, struggles with her role in a Moliere play, her older, French director insists she come to his home to work things out. His attempt to seduce her becomes entangled with her cynicism over a broken heart and the subtle, vindictive behavior of his Japanese wife. Cultural confrontations ensue, revealing more about love and life than either of them could have expected. 

Filmed in Paris by New York-based student helmer Stephanie Sellars, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, La Vie en Gris (Life Through Gray-Colored Glasses) adds a requisite touch of Frenchness to NHFF's indie lineup.

You can watch the trailer here: La Vie en Gris Trailer

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Road Back

The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine, in association with Project AWARE, produced this powerful, dramatic short film to raise awareness about teen anxiety and depression. The film follows the stories of Allie and Christian, high-achieving teenagers who are severely pressured at home and school. Maine high school students created the movie, and when you have gifted, young artists emoting about situations that adults often overlook, the effect is all the more searing.

Based on the true-life experiences of teenagers, The Road Back explores the stigmas attached to mental health issues. By sharing these thoughts and concerns, the film's creators hope adults and young people alike will be better equipped to recognize the signs of anxiety and depression and find help, because research shows that the sooner an individual receives support, the better the outcome. 

Watch the trailer here:


Friday, April 26, 2013


Based on Mikhail Lermontov's classic Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time, this arresting film by Moscow-based auteur Khrushch Roman is a smoky, contemplative journey into the human soul.

Our hero is dying on a rickety cart. The scene around him: nothing but desert. But the life he has led has been anything but barren. Hasn't it? A bon vivant and debauche who has lived only for the moment, he is suddenly grappling with questions that long evaded him: what is life all about, and because it only ends in death, are its trials and pleasures even worth the effort?  

His past indifference to everything except himself, when contrasted with the surrounding, windswept sands that he will join soon enough, make him appear, on reflection, at best a greenhorn and a show-off. Pechorin deems this unacceptable. So, unable to lift his body a single piad, he will instead raise his spirit by choosing the final action of an intelligent, and indeed outstanding, man: to judge oneself without mercy. 

Winner of Best Feature Film at the 2012 London Film Awards, Roman's brilliant adaptation is worthy of Lermontov's original. Watch the trailer here:

Spaghetti for Two

When a likeable but lonesome man steps out for lunch, the outside world lurks menacingly: in his imagination, the plaza swarms with would-be crooks, hussies and criminals. What should have been a routine stroll develops into a dark odyssey, triggering a troubled conflict within himself and against the world.

German filmmaker Matthias Rosenberger has exhibited this quirky and beautifully produced short at over 60 festivals so far, and we're joining the fun because we love Spaghetti for Two. Check out the Spaghetti for Two Website and watch the trailer here:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mr. Bellpond

This wonderfully strange and whimsical tale is another example of fine student filmmaking at New Hope Film Festival. Amy and A. Todd Smith co-wrote, produced and directed Mr. Bellpond as a Brigham Young University undergraduate student project, and their institution must be delighted by the outcome.

The main character is consumed with guilt and melancholy after his beloved wife disappears. The only thing that could disturb this once-celebrated playwright's world of sadness? News of his wife's whereabouts, which comes in the form of extortion.

Mr Bellpond must get this information, so he delves into his dark genius, once more, to compose a final masterpiece before the greedy tormenter burns whatever evidence that would lead Bellpond to his wife. 

New Hope Film Festival 2013 will kick off with this film on Friday, July 12. Watch the trailer here: Mr. Bellpond Trailer

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kingdom of Shadows

When a modern day researcher gains possession of a lost silent film, he becomes obsessed with the film's long-dead star, but things only get weirder from there. Producer/director Kevin Corcoran hails from neighboring Delaware County, and delivers a Pennsylvanian's respect for the past with a delightfully fresh twist.

Magical realism and mystery abound in Kingdom of Shadows, a film where past and present intertwine. You can watch the trailer here:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life in Pictures

Hip, artsy and extremely catchy — we can't stop watching this music video at New Hope Film Fest! — Canadian pop artist Herman Wang's Life in Pictures has all the ingredients of a hit. You may note an influence from 1980s new wave music, and Richard Blade might want to take note, but this youthful, Toronto-based synthpop band is interpreting the genre in a fresh way, which is exciting for music fans.

We love the special effects in this NHFF Official Selection music video, and the group has something important to say about our modern world's obsession with two-dimensional, photographic imagery, but even after the final credits have rolled, the music stays with us. And Wang's piercing eyes.

Visit the Delica-M Facebook Page and watch the teaser here:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


U game?

Socially awkward Christie Farina takes camera in hand on this journey into the world of fantasy gaming. Go with the filmmaker as she discovers a world of spectacle, imagination, and a touch of eroticism. Gaming culture is on full display here, from national conventions to Live Action Role Play weekends, Dungeons and Dragons tabletop meetings, Society for Creative Anachronism battles, Renaissance festivals, World of War craft events, steam punk parlors, and bad faerie masquerade balls.

Unlike any film about gamers that you've ever seen, Gamers is a sympathetic and endearing look at the world of geeks and fans. This film does not present a hackneyed “nerds are funny” or “losers are sad” message, nor is it a film that says “gamers are people, too.” It's a journey into the imagination. 

Gamers gives voice to an underground subculture that exists all around us. In recognition of its grassroots potential, we're offering a 50% discount on tickets for anyone who shows up in fantasy gamer garb. You can learn more about this high-energy, unapologetic and often fascinating indie at the Gamers Website. 

Watch the trailer here: Gamers Trailer

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Produced as an undergraduate project in 2012 at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Harvest is the story of a world-weary farmhand who encounters a supernatural event that forces him to reappraise his worldview. Writer, producer and director Reid Carrescia, who is based here in eastern Pennsylvania, brings a spiritual edge to independent filmmaking, and does so with a Keystone State sensibility and a keen eye for composition.

Local students who want to advance their own filmmaking crafts ought to come out to the Festival and meet Carrescia, who plans to lead a Q&A after the student film show in which Harvest is scheduled. You can watch the trailer here: Harvest Trailer

Monday, April 15, 2013

When Time Becomes a Woman

On the windswept, ancient banks of the Dead Sea, a man named Zad (Zaid Baqaeen) and a mysterious woman (Najwan Baqaeen) meet for the first time. Zad is a revolutionary whose past exploits, in hindsight, seem selfish and unimaginative — and this realization racks his soul.

She, in turn, is disillusioned by the gulf between his reputation, which she had long admired, and the humble reality standing before her. So she beseeches him to reflect, and in doing so, time becomes a woman, and a woman becomes time, and she becomes nothing less than a mirror through which Zad can see his own consciousness.

When Time Becomes a Woman is an intentionally minimalist film that focuses on dialogue and substance as opposed to any production technique that might distract an audience from the spoken word. Yet there are many twists and unexpected revelations; to a sensitive ear, there is nothing static about this presentation. There is movement in the breezes that sweep in from the sea, carrying dialogue, and thought, with them. In this remarkable and poignant first feature film, Jordanian director Ahmad Alyaseer tackles heavy material, in an unconventional way, on a shoestring budget — and succeeds, brilliantly.

You can watch the trailer here: When Time Becomes a Woman Trailer

Sunday, April 7, 2013

No Horizon Anymore

From summer to winter and back again, No Horizon Anymore takes you on a journey few have experienced. Fewer than 2,000 people have spent the austral winter at South Pole Station, but producer/director Keith Reimink transports you into this wondrous world where, with plenty of gorgeous footage and a touch of reality TV, he follows members of the winterover crew.

After a last sunset, the crew succumbs to six months of darkness. Certain levels of "toastiness" set in as routines are interrupted and limits are tested.

The only cure for claustrophobia: an unattainable, outside world. With rare footage of the austral winter at 90 S, this fascinating documentary is a must see for polar enthusiasts and adventurers alike. 

You can watch the trailer here:  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Legend of Love

1890. The Deep South. Tension between whites and blacks is high in the shadow of the Confederacy's defeat. The young, American nation is industrializing, leaving many landowners who are bound to the old order feeling afraid and insecure. Racism and class warfare are dominant themes in society.

In the midst of this cauldron, Eve, a second generation freed slave, falls madly in love with Adam, the only son of a ruthless plantation owner. Adam's affections are reciprocal; they're determined to be together. The stage is set for a Legend of Love.

Filmmaker John Quashie has tackled heavy topics in this riveting and spiritual drama. Because he's based in modern-day Brooklyn, the verisimilitude of his work, and the immediacy of it, is all the more remarkable. Take yourself back in time with Legend of Love, and it will bring you forward to the present.

You can watch the trailer here (parental discretion advised): Legend of Love Trailer

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Vision of Paolo Soleri

Architecture is the most public art form, says filmmaker Lisa Scafuro, whose graceful, probing and socially relevant new documentary, The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert, covers the life and works of a truly special architect. 

Paolo Soleri first immigrated to the United States to apprentice under Frank Lloyd Wright, but eventually struck out on his own after his personal vision began to take form. For decades, Soleri urged mankind to change its way of thinking and let go of the perception of The American Dream. "It is a myth," he boldly stated. It's a myth, he explained, in the sense that it's been thrust upon the world instead of rising organically from nature: the ideal of materialism and hyper-consumption, he thought, resulted ultimately in wastefulness and a lack of fulfillment. But he was no run-of-the-mill anarchist. As an alternative to consumer culture, he called for a radical change in attitude and focused his own, considerable actions on the conservation of land, energy, and natural resources.

Now in his nineties, he continues to work toward these ideals under star-filled skies at his base in the Arizona desert. Yet Soleri's vision remains largely unrealized. Given the zeitgeist of global crisis, Soleri's life's work has become increasingly relevant to world dilemmas, and his ideologies have become — prophetic.

You're cordially invited to join the film's Facebook Community and watch the trailer here: The Vision of Paolo Soleri Trailer

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Announcing NHFF's 2013 Lineup

New Hope Film Festival 2013 proudly announces 111 official selections, an all-time high.

"Safe" (Julietta Boscolo, Australia)
Representing 17 countries and Antarctica, our world class lineup includes 9 feature films, 15 documentaries, 4 Mid-Atlantic category films, 12 music videos, 12 screenplays, 24 short films, 34 student shorts and the festival's first webisode.

Final numbers for each category are subject to filmmaker deadlines and playback disk quality control checks. The program guide and schedule will be launched in June. For the latest updates, follow the Festival on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


April is looking to check the baggage from her last relationship — literally. However, while waiting in line at a peculiar type of baggage counter where people go to check their emotional luggage, she encounters Dylan, a young man who's fighting to reclaim his lost luggage. 

In Baggage, director and producer Ivan Kander of Silver Springs, Maryland envisions the world's first service that specializes in losing your luggage, then adds a delightful twist. If you're a frazzled frequent flyer in the travels of life, this 10-minute dramedy is your anodyne.

Join their Fan Page on Facebook and watch the trailer here: Baggage Trailer

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Dream Girl

This uptempo and infinitely catchy new music video comes to New Hope via Los Angeles, thanks to writer/producer Carlos Hurtado. Open your heart and join the fun! The video stars Jose Angel Parilli, who delivers Hurtado's vocals with soul and vitality, and bombshell supporting actress Magali Trigos.

Spread the word to your family and friends! This brand-new pop gem ought to be playing in cars and MP3 players everywhere. Here's the preview:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grow Up Already!

After getting dumped by his girlfriend Winnie, Andy Mott is determined to win her back. There's only one problem: he has a lot of growing up to do.

Grow Up Already! is a comedic yet heartfelt short film that pokes fun at the current Judd Apatow-inspired motif of "man-child grows up to find love" by taking the standard plot to an extreme.

Straight from America's movie capital, L.A., and directed by Richard Keith, this short film stars Johnny Simmons (Scott Pilgrim, Jennifer's Body), Odette Annable (Cloverfield, House MD), Jim O'Heir (Parks and Rec), Frances Fisher (Titanic), and Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl, American History X). 

You can watch the trailer here: 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ben & Elaine

Facing death by apocalypse, with nuclear strikes, tsunamis, earthquakes and other calamities raging over the planet, Ben and Elaine face an even more pressing concern — relationship problems!

Learn how a young couple can juggle so many balls at once in this delightfully offbeat student comedy from New Hope's neighboring state, New Jersey. Directed, produced and acted by Travis Maiuro and M. K. Costa.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Elegy for a Revolutionary

Director Paul van Zyl explores the distinction between activism and domestic terror in this searing portrait of a young, idealistic man who falls unwittingly into an extremist group that operates in late apartheid-era South Africa. Elegy for a Revolutionary is based on the filmmaker's personal, true story of the African Resistance Movement, making this short film all the more riveting and thought-provoking. 

With a country divided and loyalty strained, two men are forced to choose sides — and suffer their fate. This Official Selection 2013 balances on the edge between right and wrong while asserting one certainty: betrayal knows no limits. Visit the Elegy for a Revolutionary Website and watch the trailer here: 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Directed by Julietta Boscolo, this short film from Victoria, Australia asks whether you can let in love if you lock in the past. It tells the tale of Mia, who is 31 and eternally single. Mia can never get past the second date because she's too scared to answer any questions about her past.

Until she discovers the Secrets Safe. The Secrets Safe "listens" to Mia's secrets, then encases them in a cement block, to be kept silent forever.

Marked by rich cinematography and a stirring performance by lead actor Adrienne Pickering, this fine example of female eye filmmaking is so layered and interesting, you can come back to it again and again and always be rewarded. Now an Official Selection 2013. You can watch the trailer here (some parental guidance suggested): Safe Trailer