HIGHLIGHTS – NOVEMBER 2019 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
BEST FILM: BLESSING
BEST DOC PERFORMANCES: DOLLMAKER
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE SALTY GENERATIONS
BEST MUSIC: PHOTOS IN THE RAIN

Theme of night: Persistence

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterWE, 9min, Mexico, Animation/Documentary festival posterNOBRE ARTE, 9min., Brazil, Documentary
festival posterPAINFUL SILENCE, 8min., USA, Documentary festival posterPHOTOS IN THE RAIN, 10min, USA, Documentary
festival posterTHE SALTY GENERATIONS, 7min., USA, Documentary festival posterDOLLMAKER, 8min., Finland, Documentary
festival poster#WELAGENTE, 5min, USA, Documentary
festival posterEMERGENCE, 3min., Australia, Documentary
festival posterBLESSING, 6min., USA, Documentary

The 11th event in Los Angeles in 2019.
1 more festival event in 2019.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Olivier Hero Dressen (THE PASSPORT)

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Olivier “Hero” Dressen is a Belgium director based in Shanghai since 2012. He have been drawing since He was a kid and directed animation films on digital and 16mm films. He also love to mix different techniques such as photography, drawing, graphic design,
video, etc. His primary directing style is characters driven and storytelling. Commercials, Music Videos, and Shorts his career as a director started in 2000.

In 2012 I began a side career as a photographer for portraits, fine art, fashion and editorial magazines.
Now I am currently based in Asia but also work overseas.

Director Statement

Michael and I met through a mutual friend several years ago. Our passion for film and film making led to a creative partnership still strong seven years later. Our first collaboration was “The Passport” which was produced and shot within three weeks of finalizing the script. “The Passport” addresses our idea of identity and memory.  “We are what we remember” illustrates the fragile balance between our existence and the fear of loosing who we really are. This project is personal to myself in particular, as I experienced a degree of memory loss in the past, and realize the importance of how precious and fragile our memory really is.

Regarding my cinematic inspirations and influences, Memento and Drive are two films who really set the tone for me. Memento because of the movie’s subject and his main character’s quest and Drive for the colors, mood, esthetics and music. The film score, as a music video director and part-time musician, I really wanted to express emotion through the music and aim to create a poignant connection between the character, the score and the audience. As I financed, produced and directed this movie myself, the post production process was quite a challenge. I spent a lot of time on a rough edit, both image, sound and visual effects using a variations of post production tools and techniques. From Adobe Creative Cloud Suite to Cinema 4D and Substance painter and even ADR for some sequences. I went back to some of the locations with a sound kit capturing water drips or ambiance noises in the streets of Shanghai etc to give it more depth and realism.

I also learned a new 3D software for this project, Substance Painter was used for some of the 3d texturing process. I found it to be a very intuitive software which allowed me to paint and create a very 3 dimensional texturing. My idea was to create an advanced draft version as close as possible to my vision and seek help from experienced and high end specialists back in my country of birth, Belgium. And thanks to a talented group of people we managed to complete the film and get it to the level it is now.
Our film is finally starting to hit festivals around the world and we hope that our audience will also be inspired and equally passionate for this film.  Our next challenge is to produce a feature film together as we don’t want let Bryan Boise rest for too long.
Michael and I are currently based in Shanghai, China. We continue to collaborate on film projects, which we hope will come to life across screens worldwide in the near future.

Director Biography – Joseph Picozzi (SERIAL KILLER SUPERSTAR)

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Joe Picozzi is an award winning director, writer and producer. In 2015, his short film I WANT TO BEAT UP CLARK PETERS screened worldwide, most notably winning a silver College Television Award (College Emmy) from the Television Academy Foundation. Joe is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he recently completed his latest short film, SERIAL KILLER SUPERSTAR.

Director BIO: Sigal Erez (WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?)

Director Statement

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

The movie has powerful narrative, action, and perhaps most importantly an extremely relevant message, not only about the Holocaust, but about the forgotten bond between Blacks and Jews. A bridge is formed to close a huge gap between generations who do not know about each other’s history. We also see how ignorance remains today about stereotypes.

My hope is that we will realize that we are all noted on a list much higher than a tangible one; that each one of us is a divine soul in God’s eyes. When the intention is purely from the heart, miracles happen.

An extraordinary D.P. named Daron Keet agreed to shoot the film with top film equipment and a great crew for less than his usual compensation. Daron Keet: “Working with female directors is great because they are not afraid to ask questions and advise… I would love to work with Sigal Erez on any film.”

An A-list post production house led by Marcel Lehrer felt a strong connection to the film subject. He and his team (Paul Ratajczack, Mark Ettel, Hall Cantrell, Scott Radke, Patrick Sullivan) worked after hours on all aspects of the post production. From original score to sound design, they worked without being compensated.

My son Jacob, a 13 year old, operated the drone for a scene at the end of the film.

I am both grateful and emotional when I think of the many challenges and sacrifices my son and I made, but at the end we had angels coming our way.

I strongly believe that until now women were lacking opportunities. There were assumptions that women, for example, cannot direct big action movies. Or that women can only do a soft love story. My goal, and I’m sure most women would agree, is that we are not limited. We’re able to tell all kinds of stories. And we should be given an equal opportunity to create and to do so.

This story to me is about bringing two people together, who otherwise, wouldn’t meet each other. In life, it’s those surprising encounters that help us break stereotypes, preconceived notions, and show us at the end of the day that our basic, most important factor in life is love and kindness.

I believe Women in Film is an excellent platform for a creator like myself. My stories are very diverse. They reflect the many cultures, religions, and people that are influential in my life and who I have been exposed to. With an international family, several languages are spoken at our dinner table, and our looks are very diverse. We are adamant about not creating categories, not judging, and always being with an open heart to meet a person and judge their character based on our own experience with them.

I want to be an impactful storyteller. I want to make movies about extremely various subjects. I will make Women in Film proud.

Thank you for your consideration,
Warmly,
Sigal Erez

Director BIO: Ellie Harvie (SCATTERED)

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For the past 25 years Ellie Harvie has made a living as a TV and Film actress in Vancouver. She came through Theatre (Vancouver Playhouse School) and, with strong roots in local improv (Vancouver TheatreSports League) and the stand-up scene (Yuk-Yuks, Lafflines), comedy is her forte. From playing Morticia, in “The NewAddams Family” to Candace/Mrs. Bubkes in “Some Assembly Required” and the hundred other titles in between, she is a pro in front of the camera. In that time she has learned, watched and waited to make the transition to directing, backed with a huge wealth of knowledge and experience. A director on the board of UBCP/ACTRA, Ellie has huge regard for all the members of the sister unions, as well as the producers. Together we all make up this thriving, growing industry. Having achieved her goal of being a well respected actor in the city, her goal is now to be one of Vancouver’s best looking directors. Scattered marks her directorial debut.

Director Statement

When you hit a certain age you start to lose people. Cremation and scatterings are no longer sacred events in your imagination. They become a part of the nitty gritty of life. I remember buckling my father’s urn into the front seat of my car, which he had sat in a thousand times. What appealed to me about the script was normalizing the experience of scattering ashes. Because it is normal. We hold death at such a distance in this culture. Like a part of life, death and all its rituals are imperfect, flawed and finite.

Director BIO: David S Armstrong (PLEASURE PALS)

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David S Armstrong has been an editor and director in Los Angeles for 22 years.
Commercials (partial list): Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Titleist, Chevy
TV Series (partial list): Deadliest Catch, Wipeout, Undercover Boss, currently Survivor.

Director Statement

Despite the US being a multicultural country, minority groups are often subject to discrimination, ranging from racist comments to violent hate crimes. I created a Pixar-style animated satire that illustrates the prejudice that others experience through the eyes of the most discriminated-against toys on the planet: sex toys.

I had to learn about 11 computer programs to complete this project on my own; Writing, directing, modeling, animating, compositing, sound mixing, editing and voice over…I did It all…and it’s been an exhausting three-year ride.

I hope you’ll enjoy and share. Maybe one day we can all put an end to Toyscrimination.