Director Biography – La’Chris Jordan (JANUARY 14th)

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LA’CHRIS JORDAN is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker who has received over 60+ awards, grants and honors for her writing. Recently, she was a grant development winner at the Stowe Story Labs and a finalist for the SAGindie Fellowship for her feature ROSES IN THE WATER. She was a winner in the Script Lab’s Screenplay Contest for her historical pilot PINEY RIDGE which was also a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival, a finalist for the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Fellowship, and a semifinalist for the Sundance Episodic Lab and the MACRO Episodic Lab powered by the Black List.

In 2019, La’Chris made her directorial debut with JANUARY 14TH which won Best Short and Best Director at the Top Indie Film Awards. The short is currently on the film festival circuit, gaining acceptance at prestigious festivals across the country such as the Pan African Film Festival, Miami Independent Film Festival and Indie Short Fest, among others. La’Chris is currently in pre-production for her second short film THE RIDGE which was a semifinalist in the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition.

As a playwright, La’Chris was named ‘One of the 50 Playwrights to Watch’ by the Dramatists Guild and a Semifinalist for the extremely competitive Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Program at Juilliard.​ A former journalist and graduate from the University of Washington, La’Chris is the founder of BlackCinemadb.com, an entertainment and online movie database of over 700 films from the African-American and African diaspora. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

Director Statement

JANUARY 14TH was inspired by my parent’s 30+ year marriage. They were best friends who had journeyed through heaven and hell together. To say they were in love would be an understatement. They were soulmates. The only time I saw my father cry was when my mother passed away in 2008.

January 14th was their wedding anniversary.

Making a film in commemoration of their relationship began in 2018. The script had gone through several incarnations before I settled on the version you are seeing today. The film was shot over two days in Los Angeles with a small, but talented crew. The cast was made up of local actors who we selected through a meticulous and rigorous audition process. Chemistry between all the actors, above any previous experience, was what we were looking for. The budget was small, but we focused on capturing the soul of the story despite the limitations.

In essence, JANUARY 14TH is an exploration of the day-in-the-life

Director Biography – Mike Gallant (TERRA BEACH)

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Director Mike Gallant grew up in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and moved to Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 17 to attend film school. In 2015, he took a crew of his friends and colleagues to Cancun, Mexico, where he shot his first feature “The Duchess of Cancun.” After making his mark as a professional editor and videographer and writing/directing many award-winning shorts, this film is his directorial debut. Mike has now become a full-time feature film editor in Canada, working on projects like “Clash”, “I’ll Take Your Dead” which stars Aidan Devin (Suicide Squad), “Don’t Click”, “Still The Water”, “The Oak Room” which stars RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad), “Purple Don’t Cry”, and the HBO Max film, “Vicious Fun” which stars David Koechner (Anchorman). His main goal is to direct/write a feature film for a major production company.

Director Statement

I chose to make this film, “Terra Beach”, because my wife of Mexican decent endured incredible hardships at a young age to find a better life in both the U.S. and Canada. One of the main characters, “Dominica”, has similar experiences when she and her sister are attacked in a hate crime on a space station in 2069. Mitch, the main character and a stranger to Dominica, witnesses the hate crime and offers to help track down Dominica’s attackers. Fortunately, my wife has not been the subject of such abuse, but knows things like this do happen to people around her. My relationship with my wife heavily informs the bond created between Mitch and Dominica. I also worked hard to keep “Terra Beach” both a-political and morally murky – hoping the results are stronger for it. Noel G (Training Day, The Fast and The Furious) brought an incredible nuance to his performance and beautifully portrayed a good father who wants to do a bad thing. This was a labour of love and the most rewarding project I have ever been a part of.

Director Biography – Stimson Snead (SPIRIT: A MARTIAN STORY)

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Award-winning director, illustrator, and ten-year veteran of the indie scene. With multiple stage musicals, short stories and comic strips also to his name.

Some describe him as an open-minded team leader who lends his signature style to projects with grace and good humor while still respecting the ethos that informs the source material. Although others have described him as a ticking time bomb of insanity and social anxiety, ready to go screaming off the deep end at any-

Director Statement

The story of SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY is an extraordinarily inspirational one. It resonates on a gut level to all of us working in and following the science and space community. That this effect is so often lost on the laymen is a fact we’ve resigned ourselves to.

But the online comic XKCD: SPIRIT by Randall Monroe, succeeded in driving home just how meaningful this story was. Becoming an instant internet meme shared by young and old alike.

It has been a pleasure of the filmmakers to translate that comic to film in order to share the inspiration of SPIRIT: A Martian Story, with the world!

-Stimson Snead

Director Biography – Lenore Thomas Douglas (WEEP NOT)

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A Boston University Alumn, Lenore Thomas Douglas worked at the Today Show for Matt Lauer & Al Roker. ‘Weep Not’ marks her directorial film debut loosely based on the 2018 Two Time NAACP nominated one woman theater show, ‘Journey this’,’ which she also directed.

Other writing credits; Xbox produced short film, ‘Miracle of Phil’ which premiered at Comic Con. She recently acted opposite Wes Bentley in the Terrance Malik produced film, ‘After The Fall’.

twitter: @weepnotfilm

 

Director Statement

 

This film is a love letter to family and owning your truth.

Director Biography – Piotr Sulkowski (PLAY)

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Graduate of the Film School in Lodz, Poland – MA Filmmaking degree (2016). The Film School in Łódź is one of the top rated film schools in Europe, and a leading Polish academy for training actors, directors, photographers, camera operators, and television production professionals. Also, a graduate of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw.

Scholarship recipient of the “Young Poland” Program (2015) – the grant awarded by the Polish National Center for Culture and offered to young artists having already accomplished outstanding achievements in Arts. Winner of honorable awards, including Wiesław Nowacki Prize for the most promising young filmmaker (2015), and the award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN), granted to art students with outstanding achievements.

Winner of many awards at national and international festivals for films: Play, Miruna, The Conversation, and The Detail.
“…tales of love and death. These classical themes are treated with the graveness of an adult and yet with the curiosity of a child. His somewhat disturbing films bear witness of a quest for Truth – dark as it may be.
In his probing of the human soul and its profound reasons, the scenery or the setting reflects the characters’ state of mind, while the refined framing, depth of field, juxtaposition of images and camera movements suggest a parallel reality, close to the realm of dreams…” M. Berthelius – film critic

Director Statement

“Play” is an attempt to rebound the mechanism in the thought of the unconscious. The infinite changes that process a trauma or tragedy until what happened becomes acceptable. For this reason, I wanted to exaggerate suffering, to the point of absurdity. Afterall, isn’t this how we experience our fears in dreams? And to what extent, are our dreams borrowed from pop culture messages? In my film, paradise is nothing more than finding yourself in an advertisement for Pepsi… leaving it up to the viewer to decide if the proposed finale is a happy ending or, perhaps… a horror story.

Director Biography – Jay Mohan (I RESIGN)

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Jay Mohan is a filmmaker based out of Dallas, Texas. As a new comer to the Dallas movie making arena, he started making films only from 2018. Within a short span of time he has made three short films covering multiple aspects of human life that has received worldwide recognition. As a computer engineer and software business owner by profession, he started down the path of filmmaking due to sheer passion. His enthusiasm to create stories covering wide variety of human emotions while his characters are faced with common diabolical yet heart wrenching hurdles make him stand out. As a story writer, director and cinematographer, he dreams of painting frames that will touch human emotions.

Director Statement

“I Resign” is a story that was inspired by a conversation of an engineer friend of mine, who had to jump jobs due to discrimination. There was no solution for the mental agony he faced at that time, which I felt warranted that the world should know. The question that I wanted to explore – “What if this happened to a naive, introvert”? This is the exploration of a human mind that has seldom been explored.

Director Biography – Noah Berlow (WHAT IF…)

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Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker Noah Berlow is a visual storyteller who straddles two worlds—the world of entertainment and the world of serious documentaries that educate, raise consciousness and help bring about change.

Winner of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award at Ithaca College in 2014, Berlow has over 400 titles to his credit directing, producing and editing including feature length documentaries
and dramas that have appeared on Netflix, BBC, VH1’s Palladia TV, and BET.

Noah Berlow Documentary Credits
https://vimeo.com/album/4598710
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The body of Berlow’s work was recognized by the Ithaca College Alumni Association when he was the first person from the Park School of Communications since David Muir of ABC News to be selected to receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Berlow is most proud of his films that educate, raise consciousness and help bring about social change.

In March, 2019, his short film “if…” helped the Illumination Foundation in Orange County, CA, to raise $1M to help the homeless. In another outstanding success, working with HIVOS, Amnesty International, and the Guardian Newspaper, Berlow produced and edited a documentary feature on female genital mutilation (FMG) in Kurdistan entitled Our World: Dropping the Knife – Kurdistan. The film was picked up by BBC Arabic TV and broadcast to an estimated audience of 30 million viewers. The film successfully helped to outlaw FGM in Kurdistan.

Despite being known in L.A. as a go-to filmmaker for music videos and behind the scenes VH1 and Palladia TV documentaries featuring musicians like Sully Erna, Alter Bridge and Slash and directing upcoming stars like LORDE and Drake for a Rolling Stone online interviews, emotionally difficult material is not new to Berlow.

Berlow worked full-time in the Research & Education Department of Steven Spielberg’s SHOAH Visual History Foundation editing testimonies of Holocaust survivors for documentaries and educational shorts. Berlow’s credits at the SHOAH Foundation include editing the Foundation’s Award Winning Documentary, Recollections: Eyewitnesses Remember the Holocaust, which won the BAFTA Award for the Best Learning in the Secondary Education Category in 2007.

He is the Co-Founder and President of his film production company, Immortal Cinema International, Inc., and he is the Co- Founder and Chairman of a non-profit foundation VETERANS IN CINEMA FOUNDATION 501(c)3 ,whose mission is to help veterans find employment in the film and entertainment industry.

Director Biography – Maxim Varen (THE OUTCOMING)

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Maxim Varen is a director, writer, actor and ice skater. He was born and raised in Ukraine and has traveled all over the world in varies ice skating shows as a performer for 3 years. Though that experience he discovered a way to express himself through the art of visual storytelling and it set him on the path to making storytelling his future. He moved to the USA in 2017 to pursue his career as a filmmaker and promote diversity and tolerance through his films.

Director Statement

Throughout my childhood I had a fear of being rejected by my friends and family because of my sexuality. Growing up in a conservative country, where homophobia is widely spread, made it challenging for me to come out to my family. It took me 3 years of living abroad to finally accept myself for who I am and find enough courage to tell my mother about myself. I wrote The Outcoming to show the importance of feeling accepted and how terrifying a thought of rejection can be for a teenager. I chose comedy as the medium because I like the idea of addressing a heavy issue in a lighter way which permits the audience to look at the story from a fresh perspective, and receive the message.

Late Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Jan. 2020 LA Feedback Film Festival

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A young girl waits to get picked up from soccer practice when an unexpected stranger arrives.

  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 10, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    850 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    4:3
  • Film Color:
    Color

Director Biography – Michael Dolha (HAYLEY)

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Michael Dolha was born on August 20, 1996 in Transylvania, Romania. He is a film director based in Los Angeles, California who graduated the New York Film Academy with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and has worked on over 50 productions including feature films, short films, commercials and music videos. He is best known for the short film Hayley (2019).