Thursday, May 28, 2015

Agave is Life

This highly educational film transports you from the hustle-bustle of everyday life, sending you instead on a journey of discovery. Watch Apaches in traditional dress illuminate the desert night as they dance and sing by a bonfire, explore historical aspects of Mexico and the southwestern United States, and imagine yourself sipping a Salty Chihuahua at an off-the-beaten-track, South of the Border resort. These are some the experiences you will gain from watching Agave is Life.

Produced and directed by Meredith Dreiss, who bases herself in Austin, Texas, this documentary is everything an educational film should be—plus a splash of lime.

You can watch the trailer here: Agave is Life Trailer

Monday, May 25, 2015

American Standard

In this gripping and deeply moving production, nursing home resident Edward Bracket lives the final chapter of his life in utter desolation. All he has left is a photo album and vague, dreamscape memories of his past. He's been in this place for years, pining for a daughter to come take him to the watch tower, up on the mountain, a place where he says time stands still. He waits with the kind of patience one hones over the years, but sadly, no one ever arrives.

It has become an American standard to put our elderly in nursing homes—so notes this film team led by Justen Lander (co-producer, director and writer) and Santo Marabella (co-producer). Lead actor Bruce McLean delivers this message with devastating clarity in what is, incredibly, his only IMDB credit, bearing the full weight of abandonment and loneliness in his role. The character Bracket's trembling and wistful voice could nearly shake the mountain he yearns to climb, and his inner strength might convince you he will do it, and that he might ascend it right now, whatever the consequences.

You can watch the trailer here:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Todd and Anne: Water in the Pot Episode

In this superbly acted and directed TV pilot, a promising relationship kicks into high gear when Todd and Anne move in together, but they quickly discover how hard it is to balance careers, affections and the nettlesome details of everyday life. A visit to Todd's parents only makes matters worse.

The production team is entirely from Atlanta, Georgia, where the episode was shot, and given the impressive production values, this is no doubt a badge of honor for the Peach State. Writer/director Jeffrey Engelson demonstrates high attention to detail in Todd and Anne, and if this series gets its deserved chance on broadcast TV or cable, audiences will get hooked.

You can watch the trailer here (parents, there is a little language):

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The David Dance

Away from the microphone, David is soft-spoken, timid and shy, but as his on-air alias, Danger Dave—the host of "Gay Talk" in Buffalo, New York—he's the prototypical voice of an American talk radio show: on the offensive, brave, witty, and every listener's confidant.

His sister, Kate, is a thrice-divorced banker with a yen for classical music and cats. Together, though outwardly successful and quite fulfilled in their own ways, both siblings suffer from a secret, yet vast, sense of upper middle class doom. They've fallen short of expectations. Their lives have nowhere tangible left to go.

So, when Kate decides to adopt an orphan in Brazil and asks David to be a father figure, they're both pushed to the limit. How will David ever reach his goals and, better yet, self-actualization, with this sudden new burden literally thrown in his lap, and when he has many inner torments of his own? Director Aprill Winney does beautiful work in this searing portrait of a gay man in a complex, evolving world.

You can watch the trailer here:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Moving On

In an era when communications technology alternately separates and brings people together, the age-old experience of getting dumped by your lover sure isn't what it used to be. In yesteryear, etiquette required a painful, face-to-face chat. Today, one might only get an equally heartbreaking, but also rude and insulting, text message.

Co-directed and co-written by LA-based helmers Marcia Fields and Mike Spear, Moving On escalates this phenomenon to yet another level: what if, instead of dumping a guy, a gal could simply outsource the job—while sipping Iced Caramel Macchiato with her girlfriends? That's the premise of this inventive, tongue-in-cheek and sharply barbed short film. 

You're (most cordially) invited to visit the film team's website and watch a preview: Moving On Trailer

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Grandpa's Debtor

In this wry, Georgian comedy, a family of swindlers hunts down wealthy targets by combing newspaper obituaries. It's a good little business unless someone with equal cunning wises to their game. 

Filmmaker Beka Sikharulidze, in his directorial debut, demonstrates the explosive potential of subtlety in Grandpa's Debtor. When the family's patriarch confronts a deceased man's grandson over a modest sum of money allegedly owed, no questions or defenses arise. Instead, the would-be victim deftly shifts the focus—incredibly, to the deceased. But can a person who lies in his coffin actually expose a fraud, and through it, the pettiness of a swindler's existence?

You can watch the trailer here: 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


When Amelia finds herself on the outside of a relationship with her live-in boyfriend, Lazlo, he suggests a tortuous pact: why don't they live next door to each other, remain best friends, and openly reveal their continued relationship to any new love interests who come along? What could possibly go wrong? Thirsty for love and feeling the pressure of a thirtysomething who's suddenly, unwillingly, unattached, she hesitantly agrees.

The elegant but odd agreement provokes deep introspection in Amelia as she escapes into reading, gardening, and reveries of what was and might have been. The result is a woman who is both next door to her ex-beau and worlds apart. Filmmaker Kathleen Davison, a certified female filmmaker who has apprenticed under such luminaries as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Frank Darabont, Glen Morgan and James Wong, creates a sense of mystery, longing and strangeness in the world of Effloresce. In doing so, she reveals how modern arrangements, when draped over biology and expectations, can never quite cure the hurts they're meant to resolve, and why someone who yearns to love and be loved might need to continue her search.

You can watch the trailer here: Effloresce Trailer

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Croissant Man

Croissant Man is the charming and whimsical story of a depressed croissant who's trying to find meaning in the superficial world of bourgeois pastries. Filmmaker Tulica Singh, a student at USC School of Cinematic Arts, marshals her prodigious talents as a producer, director, writer and lead actor to produce what is, in total, a remarkable work of fantasy and imagination. 

If you love something off the beaten track and appreciate an off-center but intimate take on life, then you must check out Croissant Man, a delicious little indie treat. 

You can watch the trailer here: Croissant Man Website