Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Teenager Mary Roberts is a frequent eyewitness to crimes in her town—so she says. The department tasks a rookie police detective, John Stark, with handling Mary and her incessant "helpfulness." They spend many, tense hours in an isolated interrogation room as Stark relentlessly probes her contradictory stories. 

Until he pulls out the truth. She can't believe what she's saying; it's not at all what they expected. 

This superbly crafted short film by Stefanie Black, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker with roots in neighboring Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, is an impressively taut psychodrama that takes you on a complete journey, and reveals so much, in only ten minutes. You can watch the trailer here: Storytelling Preview

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Violinist

Sebastian, a ten-year-old boy, wants to be a violinist like his grandfather, Peter. His father, Will, forbids it because he believes Sebastian won't amount to anything and will become a failed artist like his grandfather. 

One day at school, Sebastian sees a flyer for an upcoming concert; he shows it to his grandfather. Together, they conspire behind Will’s back to practice for the concert. Perseverance and relationships are severely tested. 

This refreshingly truthful film isn't your typical protege story. Director Pablo Nicolas Raganato is after something more intimate: instead of glorifying success, the film celebrates love in spite of it, and in doing so, Raganato subtly but powerfully shakes the foundations of what men in a family are pressured to do and asks, instead, what they ought to do. 

The Violinist comes to us from Miami. For a preview of this fine student short, you can visit the film's website: The Violinist Website

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Last Shot

A bartender is closing for the evening when his last customer orders a shot. Never one to refuse a sale, the bartender agrees to serve him, but grows uncomfortable when the man proceeds to dedicate each shot—five in all—to people who share one thing in common:

They’re dead.

The stories grow more unsettling. A man draws a gun. And the last shot may be a deadly one. 

This neo-noir short by director Greg Popp comes to New Hope via Glencoe, Illinois, where the filmmaker is based. A loaded film with an indie edge, Last Shot combines Chicago style with the bravado and danger often associated with the Windy City. You can view the trailer here (parental discretion advised): Last Shot Preview

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Be With Me

Autism. The painful diagnosis is familiar to many parents today. According to recently released CDC statistics, 1 in 68 children in the United States are diagnosed, and it's even worse for boys—1 in 58. Be With Me is the real life story of a mother who fought back; she refused to accept such a debilitating life sentence for her son.

The story of Be With Me began in 1996, when Lori and Jim Cairns could see their 2-year-old son, JR, slipping away. The diagnosis: mild to moderate autism and mental retardation. Doctors predicted JR would be institutionalized by age 17.

The family was crushed and overwhelmed: at the time, autism remained poorly understood, few local resources were available, and the wider medical community considered recovery, as a practical matter, impossible. But inspired by the groundbreaking book, Let Me Hear Your Voice, Lori pursued a then-new therapeutic approach called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Lori brought various ABA experts to Arizona to help JR and invited parents of other diagnosed children into her home to watch the therapists work with her son. 

The results were astonishing. You can watch the trailer here: Be With Me Preview