Introducing LA Shorts Fest Competing Filmmaker Alana Waksman

February 5, 2015

Who are you and what’s your filmmaking background?

My name is Alana Waksman and I graduated from USC’s MFA Film & Television Production last May. I’ve written and directed several short films, and during my time at USC, I co-directed the feature film Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha under the guidance of James Franco. I have also worked as a producer and in production and post production sound.

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing my first feature film, which I also plan to direct. The story I’m developing has some similar themes as BLACKOUT.

What are you promoting?

Screenshot 2015-02-05 14.52.19

Still from “Blackout”

BLACKOUT is a short film I directed, written by David Haskell. The film is the result of collaboration with a lot of very talented classmates from USC, as well as incredibly honest and heartfelt performances by Lyndsey Lantz, Mackenzie Phillips, and Don Jeanes. The story is about Taylor, a 27 year old alcoholic musician, who is faced with the choice of continuing her life on a self destructive path or taking a step towards recovery. It won Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the Women’s Independent Film Festival and has screened at the LA Shorts Fest, Holly Shorts Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival West, and the REEL Recovery Film Festival (LA and NYC). It will also be screening at the DGA at the First Film Festival in Los Angeles in April.

What do you want the audience to take away from your films?

I have always been interested in the things that hold us back and keep us from going after what we most want in life. This is a story about alcoholism, but it is also a story about dealing with pain. Life presents challenges for all of us. We all have addictions, just some are less dangerous or less obvious than others. This film does not aim to give any easy answers, but rather recognizes the struggle. My hope is that for anyone who relates to what Taylor is going through in this story, whether or not they are or have been addicted to alcohol, it provides some company in the pain, and strength to push through, or consider pushing through, to the other side.

What are your wildest dreams for your filmmaking career?

My wildest dreams I hope are not so wild. I want to keep making films about stories that matter. I want as many people to see the films as possible. I hope my films will make a difference. My intention is that they will open audiences’ eyes to something in themselves or in the world, and they will bring new understanding, compassion, and company in experiences that are the most difficult.

What currently inspires you?

I’ve recently come across a poet named R.M. Drake and I’ve been really touched by the honesty of his work.

What’s your best advice for an aspiring filmmaker?

Don’t give up.

Vote for Alana’s film BLACKOUTcompeting in the LA Shorts Fest Showcase over 10:00.

For more information on Alana Waksman, visit

For more information about BLACKOUT, visit

Follow Alana’s career at The Audience Awards.

The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films. 


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