Saturday, May 31, 2014

Investments: The Series

In this hyperkinetic, addictive and thoroughly hip web series, two siblings named Jay and Jaliyah are determined to avoid getting stuck in the system. They run away from a foster home and into the hands of a nefarious politician, known on the street as Mr. Robby, who promises to invest in their lives if they'll only do one, little—deadly—favor for him. They do it, and life is great.

For a while. But several years later, when Jay has one too many drinks and reveals his sordid past to his girlfriend, Sasha, things quickly spiral out of control; now the siblings need to decide how much more they're willing to do to avoid Robby's backlash and protect their high-flying lifestyle—their investment. 

With an electrified theme song by hip-hop artist Dox of Aquavibe, and acting performances-as-case studies in how to connect with your scene partner, this web series exudes more than a splash of the "it" attitude needed to build a following. We're doing our part by bringing it into the Festival—an urban offering in our broad lineup. You can watch the trailer here: Investments: The Series Trailer

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Ricky, a young painter from Brooklyn on the front of the Hipster Movement, is getting his first taste of success. But happiness evades him; his life flounders amidst unhealthy family dynamics, confusion over an artistic movement that lacks moral absolutes, and burdens of past heartaches kept secret. These heartaches, long tucked in his subconsciousness, are dredged to the surface when his teenage sister, Sailor, confides in him her unwanted pregnancy.

Overnight, his work grinds to a halt—his creative flow corked by demons he would rather ignore—while his little sister incessantly pleads for help. Thus begins an intimate journey into a troubled family's dynamics.

As a discussion of unwanted pregnancies, Rooftops leaves more questions than answers, but the film digs deep when it comes to family relationships—how unresolved baggage is often passed down to the next generation, which hardly has the life experience to sift through what is sound advice versus what is an older person's inner, and veiled, projections. In the midst of such dysfunction and selfishness, teenaged Sailor is left blowing in the wind and fending for herself. Rooftops is the product of a brother-sister collaboration between Megan and Josh Mayes, who are based in New York.

The overall effect is powerful: fine acting and cinematography lend Rooftops all the soulfulness and aesthetic one would hope for in a film that employs the motif of the tortured artist. You can watch the trailer here (parental discretion is advised): Rooftops Trailer

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Dry Rain

The Dry Rain tells the story of Laura and Jack, a married couple separated by fate. Laura has been in a coma for over a year and Jack, overwhelmed by the situation, is about to make the hardest decision of his life.

Just when her life appears over, Laura wakes up, but she does so within her subconscious—a place where a struggle between two worlds is about to take place.
Created as a thesis short for New York Film Academy, this exquisite film by Guillem Gutierrez Saura delivers magical realism in a modern sense; without veering from the possible, it's simultaneously neurophysical in explanation, and elevating. 

The Dry Rain subtly suggests that as much as we might understand the material world, we don't begin to understand what lies beyond it. You can watch the trailer here: The Dry Rain Trailer

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Anka Nowicki (Alexa Yeames), a college junior in Philadelphia, suddenly inherits her parents' billboard company; now she must run the business over the summer while debating whether to drop out of school. To ramp up her marketing campaign, she affixes "Available" on one of her properties.  

Enter Ralph Moretti (Gordon Palagi), a local pizza delivery driver and community college flunkie. When he reads "Available," he's thinking something entirely different—now Anka has two big decisions to make. 

Written, directed and produced by Michael Gibrall, who bases himself in Virginia, this Mid-Atlantic film offers a cleverly absurd twist to the romantic comedy genre. The result is both engaging and lots of fun. 

You can watch a preview here: Available Preview

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


When a mysterious young woman stumbles onto the property of a reclusive and burned-out widower, the pair enters a remarkable realm of magic and self-discovery. She has no recollection of her identity, but she possesses untapped powers. He firmly knows who he is, but as much as he wants his family life back, the dream is beyond his capability.

Who is she? Can he help her? What will they accomplish together? 

Shot in Ojai, California as a Chapman University final project, this student film by NHFF helmer
Jason Pangilinan reveals its Southern California roots with a big screen feel and a wonderful level of Hollywood polish. It's hardly surprising that Home is also a pitch for a feature film. 

You can watch the trailer here: Home Trailer