Some lovely films won at the close of our Dramatic Shorts Film Festival a week ago. Vetted by an amazing jury – filmmaker Jacques Thelemaque, American Cinema Editors’ Marketing Director Ellen Galvin and producer Art Smith Jr. – 1st place jury award went to filmmaker Max Stossel for his short This Panda is Dancing.
The poetic film, just under four minutes, was made in response to Stossel coming to the realization that, “We’ve built an entire industry around stealing people’s time by resorting to our most base instincts.” He had been part of that industry. The short is a beautiful demonstration that, as Stossel says, “Technology is this magical thing that can be used to empower our lives.” He plays the lead – an introspective slam poet who yearns for more than a world of technology which encourages him to keep “trying to right-swipe my wife.”
Hopefully Stossel will forgive us. We can’t help but hope This Panda is Dancing goes viral.
At once disturbing and hopeful, 1st place audience award winner, Walter, follows an old Brazilian man’s failed suicide attempts. Director Breno Ferreira says his film’s theme “in a tone of comedy and tragedy, is loneliness in old age in Copacabana.”
The two other jury winning films which screen at 2018’s Audience Awards Film Festival are Minka FK’s Stray Dogs, a tragedy about a magician just trying to learn a trick, and Situational, a dark comedy “about depression, friendship and chinchillas” by Scott Simonsen.
Israel Gual’s Among the Dead® and director Dani Venen’s Charlie won 2nd and 3rd place audience awards respectively and will also show at AudFest ‘18. “Hearing that my film will be featured at AudFest is baffling. I literally had to read your email three or four times to fully process what I was reading. I feel so honored and so excited that something that I worked so hard on and am so proud of will be shown in Hollywood,” says Venen, who was a college sophomore when she made the film.