Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Screening of Short Films

Schedule of Films to be screened on November 12th

Lady in a Box, 12 minutes
In this dark comedy loosely based on the Schiavo case, Sarita Choudhury stars as a bedeviled lawyer trying to stop an American family's absurd feud over a macabre heirloom. The short was licensed for international broadcast by the Mini Movie Channel (US/Europe), PropellerTV (UK), and Ouat Media (Canada).

Writer/director Jeff Stanley teaches at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Dramatic Writing, where he earned his MFA, and served as a guest teacher in Croatia at The Imaginary Academy summer film and theatre workshop sponsored by the Soros Foundation. He co-wrote and will direct Jane Henry: A Comedy Short, which has been optioned to Peter Farrelly, Charlie Wessler & GreeneStreet Films. Screenwriting awards include the Laurel Entertainment Award for Screenwriting Excellence, the New York Picture Company Award for Best Dramatic Screenplay, and finalist showings for the Nicholl Fellowship and the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Stanley has also appeared as a guest writer in New York Times.

My Tale of Two Cities, preview, 13 minutes
In the tradition of Super Size Me and Roger & Me, My Tale of Two Cities is a poignant and funny film about coming home, and how people, and cities, reinvent themselves. St. Elmo's Fire screenwriter and TV writer/producer Carl Kurlander did go home again, only to find that his hometown of Pittsburgh, which had built America with its steel, produced Andy Warhol AND consecutive superbowl victories, and invented everything from aluminum to the Big Mac, was struggling in a new age. As Pittsburgh is the real-life home of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Kurlander asked his neighbors -- from Steeler great Franco Harris to philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry -- how his hometown could once again become "The City of Champions. Dealing with issues of family, community, and place, Kurlander finds that each neighbor makes a difference in determining how a city--or as this movie seems more timely than ever-- a country, comes back. My Tale of Two Cities premiered at the 2008 Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

Carl Kurlander worked in Hollywood for two decades as a screenwriter and television writer/producer under contract for Columbia, Paramount, Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, Orion, and Disney Studios, and writing and producing over 150 episodes of television for NBC, Fox, and CBS. He also wrote “The F Word: How to Survive Your Family” with Louie Anderson. Kurlander is a recipient of the MCA-Universal Studios Scholar Award and a graduate of Duke University. He co-founded and is the Executive Producer of the non-profit Steeltown Entertainment Project and is currently a Visiting Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Gloves, preview, 14 minutes
Set against the backdrop of the New York City Golden Gloves, the world’s largest boxing tournament, four semifinalists battle each other and their own obstacles for a chance at a better future for themselves and their families. Directors Joshua Durham, Sam Mestman, and Matt Mochary document each competitor’s run to see which heavyweight will live out his potential in the title match. The Gloves premiered at the Ninth Annual 2008 New York International Latino Film Festival presented by HBO.
After graduating NYU film school in 2002, Sam Mestman co-founded the indie film collective Blatantly Subtle Productions, through which he directed, shot and edited dozens of short films for regular screenings across New York City. His screenplay Time Square Hustle was a 2005 semifinalist for the Sundance Feature Filmmakers Program, and shooting will begin this year. Mestman has edited for television, commercials, documentaries and fiction projects. The Gloves is his feature-length directorial debut.
Prior to directing The Gloves, Josh Durham served as Producer and Assistant Editor on the HBO film Addiction. His current documentary film projects include Lil Poison, a feature-length film due out in 2008 and a surfing documentary shooting on four continents. Durham taught film at the New York Film Academy and at Princeton University, and has worked in every genre of film including docs, fiction and commercial.
The Gloves is the second film directed and produced by Matt Mochary, CEO of Mochary Films. His first film, Favela Rising, which he co-directed with Jeff Zimbalist, was named Best Feature Film at the 2005 International Documentary Association Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards.

In this narrative story of homecoming, Linus, now a priest, returns to the old stomping grounds, ostensibly to officiate the funeral of one of the gang, but really for a deeper purpose. His search for his childhood friend is hindered by the very people he asks to help him. Eventually he finds the familiar face, and things are as they were, even if they are somewhat different.

Linus Director and Executive Producer Zac Whinnem is the Supervising Producer of GameplayHD, a 24-hour video game channel. He's produced for CBS, ABC, ESPN, Lifetime, VH-1, and at the NBC Olympics, where he won two Emmys for his work on the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

The Silly Side of Serious, 40 minutes
Global Awareness Project (GAP), in collaboration with Hart Media, journeys all the way to Ecuador and back home to South Carolina to explore a world of service work and the ideas that motivate those who keep it spinning. Uncovering some of the fun ways we can answer questions about what it means to live in our present day global community, this interview driven film brings out the kid in audiences of all ages. GAP collaborates with seven other non-profit organizations in the United States and South America, along with teachers and volunteers, to produce a promotional story for service related organizations.

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