Two worlds are blending into one in this 13-minute all-female thriller short.
In one world, a daughter is trying to manage both her life and the life of her mother, a silent and passive spectator who is seemingly struggling with her mental health. In the other world, an orphan is dealing with her own caretaker, her aunt, who is hiding her battle with depression from her niece.
Both teens are doing their best in their situation, and both teens appear to be struggling and lost. But the one will end up making a dramatic decision on behalf of her elder — or maybe both elders.
I AM CLOSE BY is no short of suspense, when the two worlds finally collide we’re left wondering who these people are for each other. Are they a memory of a past? Or are they part of a parallel reality, showing them something that could have happened?
The short is well written, despite their entanglement, the two plots are somewhat linear and are easy to follow. The acting is essential and believable; it doesn’t add much to the film, which is actually a good thing since it leaves lots of space for the other elements of the film — sound, cinematography, set design — to create the stillness and suspense much needed in this genre of films.
The direction is simple yet effective.
A thriller short with a plot twist that will surely leave you astonished and with lots of questions.
Directed by Mihai Mihaescu
When Ana, a small company employee, receives a phone call from the hospital asking her to pick up the amputated foot of her mother, a series of unfortunate events start to unfold. She soon finds out that her ex-boyfriend has been dating her best friend, and that her company is going through a reorganization.
These things will lead Ana to make a drastic change in her life.
Your Mother Doesn’t Have to Know this was written, directed, and produced by Mihai Mihaescu. The short film lacks morale, the director doesn’t seem to want to convey a strong message and fails at presenting a personal point of view of Ana’s story. The film is almost a mere statement: in life, things will happen, and you will have to deal with them.
The cinematography doesn’t help the narration of the film.
An important scene between Ana’s best friend and her ex-boyfriend is almost all shot behind the shoulder of the man. And at the climax of the film — the company meeting where the manager addresses the company reorganization — almost all the shots are super close-ups, which create a bit of a disconnection between the employees and the audience.
However, the dialogues are both realistic and convincing, and the sound of the film is good.
It's worth noting that the addition of a soundtrack would have helped the film become more cohesive.
A dramatic film that refuses to take sides.
Directed by Rory Knox
Written, directed, and produced by Rory Knox, Gray Matter is a story about second chances.
The dramatic feature film is about heroin addict Richard — played by Knox — struggling to stay sober and to keep his relationships alive after the loss of his wife. The film shows the complexities in the relationships around a person who struggles with addiction.
There is no real plot in this film. The scenes are not directly connected one to the other, but are rather a sort of collection of thoughts and feelings of the people around Richard, struggling to understand him and to find the best way of helping him, whilst keeping up with their own lives and problems.
Each character has their own vision of Richard’s addiction. The brother, for example, is sick of being abused and mistreated and would have given up on him early on if it weren’t for his girlfriend, who convinces him to give Richard another chance. On the other hand, his best friend Jasmine cuts ties with him early on, after a violent incident.
The film is a bit hard to follow, the writing is disconnected, and most of the time the dialogues seem ad-libbed. The cinematography doesn’t add much to the film.
The best part of this film is a montage of underwater shots, accompanied by beautiful music and a voice explaining all the deepest feelings of Richard. The shots seem to want to break from reality and give the audience a sense of the peace Richard is seeking through the drugs.
Ultimately, this film shows us that the change can only happen when the person who is suffering decides it’s enough, and decide to accept the help.
This moving story encourages us to let go of the past and embrace the future.
The S.S. Robin is an original story of an Italian family from Brooklyn, the DeLuca family, who becomes the foster family of a black 3-year-old girl, Robin. The 127-page long script is set in the early 70s in Sunset Park, an Italian-Irish catholic neighborhood in Brooklyn.
DeBiase is great at creating the atmosphere so typical of Brooklyn, with all its layered immigration waves and the rivalry between immigrants.
All of the character’s voices are very specific and the dialogues are realistic. The neighbor Cathy, an old-school Karen, is a fantastic rival to warm and loving Rosie, the mother of the DeLuca clan.
It’s nice to watch how this family was able to create, within a very white/catholic neighborhood, their own tiny multicultural community, distancing themselves from the bigots.
The subplots too are very well developed. DeBiase’s writing is accurate and each character is very well written. The three children have all great personalities and good story arcs: 12-year-old artist Anna who struggles with the nun at her catholic school, 14-year-old Christopher who is obsessed with becoming a newscaster, and popular 16-year-old Johnny who is later called to serve in the Vietnam war, are all really fun to read and would be great for actors to play.
All of DeBiase’s characters have a purpose, they are all there for a reason. Nothing is left to chance. The story is incredibly human and moving, as well as very inspiring. This is a multilayered script that gives all characters the opportunity to develop their own story.
It’s just a pity that we don’t really have a true story arc for Robin, or a strong personality behind her character. Robin fades a bit behind the prevalent personalities of the five DeLucas.
Her presence is almost a pretext for DeBiase to tell the story of this beautiful family — which is not an issue per se — but considering that Robin gives the name to this script, I would have appreciated a deeper character development for the little foster girl.
Overall, a deeply moving script that’s definitely worth being produced into a film.
Crying is a 28-minute experimental film directed by Alexandre Mahutte.
The film is a long shot of a girl crying, shot in slow-motion. The film doesn’t have sound and is shot in black and white.
These elements make me think that the director, Alexandre Mahutte, doesn’t want the audience to have any understanding of what is happening to the performer. The speed is reduced so much that it’s very difficult to empathize with the feelings of the performer. The emotion of the actress is restructured to the point that we don’t know if the person is yelling, crying, laughing, in pain, or feeling disgusted.
Only towards the end, the performer seems to be wanting to say something to the audience, with the speed back to normal.
I fail to understand the reason for making this film a 28-minute film, which seems a bit long for this type of experimental film. The film itself is thus difficult to watch entirely because of this.
However, the actress is very expressive and does a good job of keeping her emotions cryptic up to the very end.
A visually nice and moderately captivating experimental short film.
Influencer is a demoralizing coming-of-age drama with a pinch of dark humor that critiques the narcissism of a ruthless and affectless society in the era of Instagram.
The 101-page script, written by Isaiah Andrés Galarza, starts with 7-year-old Zoey being tucked into bed and fantasizing about becoming a model just like her mother. She then goes on to ask her mom to tell her a story she already heard hundreds of times: the night her mother and her estranged father met.
Zoey, now 20, has lost her mother and is about to lose her home too. Spiraling into self-destructive behavior, the only thing that keeps her grounded is clinging to her childhood dream: becoming a model.
Just like the society she grew up in, Zoey is inherently broken. A metaphorical Edward Scissorhands who is “an incomplete child [that] grows up doomed to be alone” – as she tells her friends. So with no money to her name and with only one person willing to help her – her sweet-natured personal trainer friend Wolster – only a stroke of luck can really save her.
But as Seneca said, “Luck doesn’t exist. There is only the moment when talent meets opportunity”.
So when Zoey, who has indeed been blessed with her mom’s good genes, is presented with the unparalleled opportunity to compete with other influencers for a chance to win a modeling contract, why won’t she be able to turn that opportunity into luck? Because the element missing in Seneca’s quote is the element of choice. Finding herself in front of a dilemma, Zoey will inevitably go down the darkest of all paths.
This beautiful and cynical script describes perfectly how our world, dominated by fame and money, brings out the worst in people. The underprivileged will keep being underprivileged until they will have a chance to twist their fate around. But at what cost?
A really enjoyable social media satire that will make you lose faith in humanity.
An unfortunate turn of events for two 19-year-olds in HUNGRY EYES, the short horror script by Jason John Cicalese.
The 5-page script is one long stream-of-consciousness monologue by a 60-year-old optometrist who, after taking a bite of a surprise dish his wife prepared for his birthday, becomes obsessed with one simple thing: tasting the best eyes available in town.
The monologue is very well structured, the first page introduces the main character, the second page exposes his mission, and soon enough we find out the real reason for the abduction of the two teens.
Not short of blood and violence, the appeal of this story is in the irony: an optometrist who’s so in love with his job that he can’t stop savoring the subject of his work!
The cooking scenes leave lots of room for a possible director to experiment, it would be so fun to watch this sort of peculiar horror cooking show!
Elegant writing makes this terrifying and splatter script an amusing and entertaining read.
t's Always Been You! is a feature film directed, written, and edited by Andrew McCardle. The movie’s opening scene shows a sophisticated and perfectly-choreographed sequence shot, where the past – shown in the perfect vintage color, the vibrant wardrobe, and vintage shops – and the future – represented by the extensive use of mobile phones and virtual assistants – blend together to create the present time.
The uplifting music, mixed with the street sounds of Brooklyn, created an undeniable nostalgia.
The film is an indisputable homage to Spike Lee’s work, but it never quite deals with the themes ever-present in Lee’s films, such as social disparity and political injustice.
However, what McCardle does well is using the beautifully-shot walk-and-talk scenes as an expedient to address the lack of communication we are headed towards, as a society. “I can’t understand what you’re saying”, screams one character to another, while the street preacher, who seems to embody the real thoughts of the writer-director, offers his sermons to his phone.
An intelligent and well-meaning direction, that seems to want to tell us to forget about the past, forget about the future, and just connect to the here and now.
Butterfly by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel is a short script of eleven pages and three characters.
The theme is clear from the very first page: climate change due to current habits will drag humanity to the edge of an Earth that soon won't be the same.
It's set in 2124, in a new configuration of New England, called New Island, where the entire New England no longer belongs to the land of the United States of America, and the protagonists are Macky, Ket (a boy and a girl both teenagers) and Niem, a government employee.
There's floating, pandemics, deaths, seclusion. he majority of these scenarios are happening already in our world, and we can only get worse if we keep living like this, above all considering the most recent events.
The aspect we liked the most about Butterfly is that there's no pessimism in the script despite the tragedy but resignation. And it doesn't have the taste of hopelessness. For the author, there's no turning back possible: this is what our future will look like (realistic vision of what could happen, not pessimistic.).
The dialogues are true to life and have a good rhythm. The actions help the plot without interfering with the pace of the reading. The structure is organized, and the story is well developed.
We also appreciated the title, meaningful and respectful of the metaphor of the script.
ChMY FUNNY VALENTINE is a 14-page short script written by Kevin Overton. There's no doubt it was fun for him to create it as it was a lot of fun for us to read it. After a slow introduction, the pace becomes faster. The reader is nicely led to finding out who's the mysterious character Mr. Allen Collins might be. And this happens at a very nice rhythm. So much so that 14 pages seem less.
Besides the fact that who among us hasn't dreamed about destroying their therapist metaphorically, the best part is the dialogues. Very realistic, and most of all very funny. The two characters alternate themselves in a perfect dance (or perhaps war?) of words.
The reveal of the identity of Mr. Collins comes with a surprise. But at that point, the reader is deeply immersed in the dialogues (they're so well written that they make you act while reading them) that it makes sense whatever Mr. Collins identity is.
A funny comedy with a good knowledge of screenwriting techniques.
2nd DATE by Jaik Andino is a young comedy that tells the story of two best friends and their daily battles to find love.
The script has 130 pages, and the reading flows quickly among the adventures that the two young protagonists Jaik and Wyatt have to face in the present and what happened in the past, precisely in 1993, when they were inseparable schoolmates.
The script appears very detailed. The author personally chooses the music that would be used, thus helping the reader identify with the reading and the protagonists' lives.
The plot is simple but can be shared by everyone. Who among us hasn't tried everything, even resort to professional help to be able to get a second date, going from adventure to adventure with the best friend on the side?
A script that embraces the genre of comedy but at the same time leaves a message that makes us reflect on the condition of young people, how difficult and delicate the school period is (the one told in the flashback), and how much it signs the future.
The second act ends with an unexpected twist that keeps the tension high until the end of the script.
But despite traveling as far North as possible, unexpected outcomes with the law, pleasant and less pleasant surprises, if in life you are a Jaik and you have a Wyatt. Every difficulty can be faced with positivity, hope, and definitely fun.
Michael Obiora writes, directs, and performs the 14-minute short film KARMArcus.
The short movie is about an actor and yoga teacher (a very realistic professional pairing) who is particularly full of himself. Thanks to a sensitive and honest casting director, he will finally understand that downsizing his personality could positively affect his private life and career.
Despite the theme of lack of self-esteem hidden by an attitude of over self-awareness being something prevalent in our young society, KARMArcus is a real comedy.
Its comic intent succeeds from the first images thanks to Obiora's skills. Without falling into the trap of the speck and without trying to wink to suggest laughter to the viewer, he manages to direct the audience towards his goal right away.
The entire cast is well-chosen, and it works. The actors are all suited to their role and very good.
The writing is clean, as is the cinematography. You don't feel the lack of crazy directorial tricks because the cast and script alone reach the goal of delivering 14 delightful minutes of a pleasant, professional, and well-acted product.
More than a movie, Sanctuary Dream by Grant Carsten is an experience for the audience. It purposely bothers, creeps, disgusts.
From the very beginning, a question is asked: are the characters so mean, or is the protagonist (whose name we'll find out only later on) that perceives them so aggressively due to his illness?
He is a beautiful, autistic young boy that reminds us of an angel, and his traits make us feel his pain even harder.
The photography is sometimes cold, sometimes blurry, rarely warm. Even if the red tones are used, it is a cold palette, coherent with the dry atmosphere that leads the characters' choices.
The camera follows the characters without letting them breathe at all. It gets close to their bodies, pushes them, and invades their space, making the experience extreme. The characters' anxiety is, therefore, the audience's discomfort.
At exactly half of the movie, we find out it was not only in the protagonist's mind, It was not his only perception: the other characters are awful. Because when he finally meets some human beings with a human being's soul, the screams fade out, as well as his pain and the one of the audience. And it's not random that right then, we also find out the protagonist's name.
So the answer seems to be Love. But is it enough when it comes in a little bit too late? Can it soothe something that has been hit for most of the time?
Sanctuary Dream is a problematic movie, not easy to shoot, not easy to act, not easy to watch. But it's undoubtedly a brave movie.
Cascadia is a 109-page feature script written by Tim Millette.
The story develops in the 90s, and there are many themes it deals with: from the love story between Rose and John to the passion for mystery of a group of scientists, from Ira Blackstone's love and respect for nature to Sheriff Crenshaw's dedication to his work, sympathetically unwilling to believe what his eyes don't see.
A lot happens in these 109 pages, and the vicissitudes of the protagonists are told by Millette with great precision, excellent grammar (which unfortunately many writers pay little attention to lately), extreme mastery of screenwriting techniques, and only a couple of typos (another aspect to which is often given little importance but which enriches and not a little a well-developed plot and structure).
A setting that at times recalls the atmosphere of Stranger Things, a narration studied in detail that helps the reader to see the landscapes, to savor the beauty of the colors of wildflowers and the white of the mountains, to hear the sounds of the wilderness and to get lost in its grandeur, as Millette's opening over black phrase recalls.
It's a well-written story with credible characters and never predictable dialogues, always measured and on point. It's a contemporary story whose crucial theme is perhaps nature and its majesty and, above all, the irrelevance of humanity in front of it, in front of the world (in front of the worlds).
We hope to see John, Rose, and the others come to life on screen soon... because they deserve it, and so does Tim Millette's vision.
“A 21st century" Breakfast Club ", ready to discover and announce a whole new generation of actors”.
This is part of the synopsis presented by author David Adam Seader for his award-winning and multiple selected screenplay DEATH OF JEREMY.
The genre that better describes the script would be drama and suspense.
But it would not be wrong to call it "horror" as well. Not a classic horror, with splatter scenes, monsters, and zombies, but an introspective and metaphorical horror in which humanity is completely managed by a few government members who have created a secret school to train a small number of select young people who will have the task, through computers, of literally choosing what good means and what bad means; to decide the future of humanity and the planet; to allow a few men of power to manipulate people's lives as if they were their puppets; to decide what type of world we will live in.
It does sound scary, doesn't it? Well, perhaps because it's not far from the reality we are experiencing right now.
The script flows nicely and the characters are very well described. The dialogues are not trivial and the actions, especially in the first half of the script, are well described.
Despite the fear that what's pictured could one day become real, or even worse, that is actually already happening (which could be totally an option since very often reality overcomes fiction), the script is also a pleasant journey in the 90s.
A question that may arise while reading the screenplay is the following: what would happen if guys as cool as the protagonists of Strangers Things (but in a teenage version of them) ended up in the best episode of Black Mirror? To find out, we just have to hope to see The Death Of Jeremy on screens soon.
BEYOND THE WALL is a short film directed by Azer Agalarov and written along with Leyla Begim.
This 22-minute-long movie is a hymn to nostalgia. But here, "hymn" is intended as a celebration, and "nostalgia" is expressed with a positive meaning.
As can be seen from the opening of the film, which the director entrusts to a sentence by Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian philosopher, neurologist, psychiatrist, and founder of speech therapy, the journey of the human being (which in the case of this short film is the journey of a painter towards his past), will inevitably have to go through the tunnel of pain for something that no longer exists except in the memories accumulated by each individual.
But being something inevitable, it should, in fact, not be a source of pain, as is the case with life itself. Hence, despite the nostalgia, despite the inevitable pain that it entails, it is impossible not to experience these feelings that should therefore be considered harmless.
The genre of the film is hard to define. It could be defined as experimental despite the realism of the story of images and content.
But the dance inserts (beautifully choreographed and performed by Alec Agalarov and Faye Anderson Agalarov), the time jumps, the constant use of music that vanishes only on the credits (to represent perhaps an overlap between real life and the movie itself) put this film in the experimental genre.
The cast and the actors' work (Turkay Jafarli and Elchin Jabrailbayov) are perfect and testify to the dedication and love that lies behind this short film.
Drected by Dave Tourjé & Christopher Sibley
John Van Hamersveld CRAZY WORLD AIN’T IT it’s a short documentary film.
A very precious work every artist should watch.
It’s a colorful glimpse into the kaleidoscope that is John Van Hamersveld’s seminal art career, viewed through the eyes of many artists and innovators he has influenced. John Van Hamersveld CRAZY WORLD AIN'T IT conveys a universal message of encouragement to anyone coming of age as an artist in a challenging world to accomplish this in.
In John Van Hamersveld CRAZY WORLD AIN’T IT, you can appreciate the story of this artist directly and also throught the artists interviewed who shared the essence of their work and you can reflect on how the world and the work of an artist has changed since the seventies to today with the advent of digital and the congestion of the world of images.
Artists to be interviewed were really well chosen by the directors. From each of them you can learn something very important and different points of view on how to be an artist.
The cinematography of the documentary John Van Hamersveld CRAZY WORLD AIN'T IT is very refined and full of colors as is the world of art.
The music that builds the sound design well underline “the journey” of John Van Hamersveld from his origins to his work today.
The directors of this documentary are: Dave Tourjé and Christopher Sibley.
Born in 1960 and raised in NELA (Glassell Park, Highland Park, Eagle Rock), Tourjés work is a reflection of the multi-cultural DIY sensibilities of NELA. His work is known as a contemporary hybrid of low and high art, reflecting his real-life immersion in surf and skate, the LA punk and music scene, graffiti and other subcultures that thrived in the NELA of the 70’s and 80’s. In 2011, Tourje was the subject of the short documentary "L.A. Aboriginal" which won 7 Best Short Film awards internationally and in 2013 he was the Executive Producer on the feature film "Curly" which won 5 Best Feature awards internationally.
Chris Sibley is a producer and director, known for John Van Hamersveld Crazy World Ain't It (2020), Healing Hands Documentary (2020) and Ophelia (2016).
John Van Hamersveld CRAZY WORLD AIN'T IT won as Best Sound Design at June Florence Film Award Monthly Competition 2020.
Congratulations to alla cast and crew.