The 29 film pitches competing to become Distribution and Outreach REELPITCH Challenge Finalists were viewed over 23,000 times! There are 3 Audience Award Finalists and 2 Jury Finalists that will move onto the the REELPITCH Finals Round. Voting opens Aug 23, 2016 at 12:00pm MDT (America/Denver) and voting closes Aug 29, 2016 at 12:00pm MDT (America/Denver.) The Filmmakers have given us the inside look at what went into their entries. Click on the image or on the film name to view (and vote) for the entries. Remember, you can vote for as many films as you like, once a day, for the duration of the contest. Happy viewing!
Audience Award Finalists
“From Italy, Silvia Cremaschi makes her directorial debut with The Room, a short film examining the inner world of emotion and fear of change through the surreal “dreamlike” story of a young woman in a mysterious shape-shifting room. Anna, the protagonist played by Sara Drago, is a very creative person, but little by little, interacting with her interior voice (interpreted by Gigio Alberti) she discovers that creativity was a way to escape and not a way to change.
A professional set designer by trade, for her first film as co-writer (with Fabrizio Bozzetti) and co-director (with Stefano Etter), Silvia Cremaschi sought a challenge that would play to her strengths, and an ever-changing room provided just that.
The research about a set design that could be an actor in itself is strongly supported by the light design, thanks also to the photography of the cinematographer, Giorgio Carella. The special effects by Equal Design complete the atmosphere, enriched by the direct sound recorded by Sandro Broggini, the sound design by Matteo Mariano and the very poetic Original Soundtrack by Federica Vino. The editing by Sami El Kelsh contributes to the accelerating rythm of the shifting room, representing the emotions flowing faster and faster.”
“My name is Christopher Eppes. I am a 2015 Eastern Michigan University graduate. While there, I majored in Electronic Media & Film Studies with a minor in marketing. Since I was a kid I’ve always been creative. I went to The Detroit Waldorf school during my k-8 years which fostered much of my creativity. Originally I wanted to be an animator. However, during my college years I realized my love for live action cinema and decided that aspect of entertainment suited my skills best.
It has been a little over a year since I have graduated and I have completed my first short film titled Conundrum. The short tells the story of a man who let go of his college sweetheart. However, 5 years later he realizes it was the biggest mistake of his life and he tries to regain her affection over dinner. However, his love interest now has a secret of her own. I wrote, Directed and aided in the cinematography for this project.
Conundrum was definitely a fun project to work on. I had an outstanding crew and cast who were committed to the project which allowed filming to run smoothly. Without being connected to such great people, this project would not have been possible.
Becoming a finalist in the REELPITCH challenge means a lot. I’m thankful for such awesome contests that allow us filmmakers to have maximum exposure to the world. I have looked through the other filmmaker’s work and to say I’m inspired would be an understatement. There is so much talent to witness in this contest alone. I can hardly imagine what other talent is out there waiting to be discovered. It would be a true honor to collaborate with others in this field. Even if my project doesn’t take first or second place, hopefully the exposure my project has received will be beneficial in a networking aspect.”
“I was born and raised in Oxford, MI. I come from an excellent family who taught me what it means to work hard and pursue your dreams. Since I was 6 years old I have been obsessed with film. I will be making films until my last breath.
The film, No Sunday West Of Newton, is an effort to bring audiences back into the old fashioned rough Old Testament world of the West. The western is America’s film genre, we started it and it is our job to keep it alive. Myself, along with some of the best filmmakers I have ever worked with have a goal to take the true story of gunfighter James Riley and bring it to life in a sweeping epic adventure Western film. A story of fatherly love and brotherly hate. We will explore characters that sometimes have to become the worst part of themselves in order to achieve the better outcome. Our feature script is ready to go and we are just right now hoping the short film helps us build our audience and we can get ourselves to produce the feature film!
Becoming a finalist in the REELPITCH challenge truly means a lot to me because our short film was no easy undertaking. From my pocket to generous family and friends pockets we came up with just enough money to shoot at Old Tucson for three days at a graciously discounted price. All that being said, our films greatest achievement was fulfilling Wyatt Lamar Bell’s dream of becoming a Western movie star. Wyatt at the time of filming was the four year old son of our horse wrangler’s Jesse and Bethany Bell. He was perfect for the part of young Riley in the film and we could not have been more blessed by the little boys heavenly heart and beautiful smile. Back in March of 2016, Wyatt passed away in a tragic ATV accident at the age of 4. I never understood why the film was able to happen, why me, a 22 year old senior in College was able to come up with all of the tools necessary to pull this short film together. It wasn’t until I was standing there in a room full of 300 people honoring this four year olds vibrant life, that I realized film is not just about making something we get to watch in a theatre, it is about making people’s dreams come true. We joined together at the end of the ceremony singing hymns reminding us of how Wyatt is truly in a better place and looking down on us hoping that without any hesitation we will continue fighting hard to make movies and other peoples dreams come true. Wyatt fully embodied and displayed a truly relentless heart for people, and being able to get any help to continue this film in honor of Wyatt will be greatly appreciated.”
“I am so excited about our short from The Edge making it to the finals for the REELPITCH Challenge! When I saw the quality of the other work submitted in our category, I was really proud and thrilled for the film to be one of the finalists. It is wonderful to see that there are groups out there who support independent filmmakers and help to give exposure to short films and documentaries.
The Edge: Bruce Anderson – Natural Humanship is a documentary that details the work of Bruce Anderson, native of Trinidad and Tobago, and the programs that he has developed over a lifetime of work with horses and people. Filmed in Trinidad, the Bahamas and the US by James O’Connor, Dylan Quesnel and The Art of Storytelling and produced by The Marley Project, inc. and Julianne Neal, the 4K documentary includes equine round pen work, awe-inspiring horses of all breeds, and life-changing testimonials from former and current clients. Nature’s View, Anderson’s system of Natural Humanship, involves a step by step process that can be applied to a variety of situations and circumstances, including equine training, equine assisted learning and therapy, law enforcement training, management and educational workshops and individual self improvement sessions. Anderson also explores environmental and societal issues facing the world today and gives his solution of the AlphA mindset through his work. Far from being a doomsday prophet, Anderson provides an alternative philosophy of “People Helping Horses: Horses Helping People” while addressing basic human needs for survival. The Edge takes a look at Anderson’s life travels, from the Caribbean islands through England and Canada, finally landing in the Southeastern United States, painting a backdrop for the formation of his character; the foundation of his work. The film also delves into his work in the Abacos with Milanne Rehor and Nunki, the last horse in the line of Spanish Colonials descending from the breed brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus. Anderson’s work with Wild Horses of Abaco has spanned 2014 through the present and continues through cloning efforts in order to restore the breed on the current island Preserve. The film concludes with a call to action that should not be ignored: the further we as humans move toward the edge of climate change, societal crises, and personal dilemmas through mental imbalance, the more we must acknowledge our basic needs for survival… and do something to change mindsets. Enter the horse… The film trailer was an official selection for the 2015 EQUUS Film Festival in New York and was a selection for the Winners Tour throughout 2016, with features at EFF Camden, EFF Ocala, EFF Baltimore, EFF France and EFF Santa Fe. The trailer received the Prix de Finalist award at the Deauville Green Awards Festival in France in June, 2016. The documentary short (40 minutes) has been accepted as an official selection for the 2016 EQUUS Film Festival in November. There are plans for completion of a 90 minute edit in 2017.
The Art of Storytelling (AOS), is an international agency specializing in well-crafted, engaging stories designed to hold the attention of audiences and transform relationships. James O’Connor is the Creative Director of the company and Director of The Edge. Julianne Neal, the film’s Producer, is the founder of JA Media Connections, LLC, and the Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for The Fairfield County School District. She is Executive Director of The Marley Project, Inc, a 501 (c)(3) with an education focused mission founded by Bruce Anderson. JA Media Connections and The Art of Storytelling have continued to partner to bring quality projects to an international audience through a variety of projects.
We have been thrilled with the reception that the film trailer has received over the past year. With opportunities for screening in NYC and all of the EQUUS tour stops over the past months, we have had a variety of audiences, from both “horse people” and folks who just want to hear a good story. James and Dylan have done such a fabulous job of capturing Bruce’s work and presenting it in a way that allows people to have a glimpse of the power of the horse. Bruce’s mission over the past decades of his work has always been to show people how much horses can help them. The exposure that this REELPITCH challenge has provided is phenomenal and we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception!”
Congratulations and good luck to the finalists! The audience and the jury choice from the finals round will each win $10,000 and the FilmStro prize. Second place audience choice and honorable mention jury choice each win $2500. Additionally, the audience and jury winners will screen at The International Audience Awards Film Festival at the Laemmle Theater in North Hollywood, April 1 – 3, 2017.
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