Back to All Events

The Storyteller’s Purpose: Shorts Program

  • Courtyard Theater 1060 River Street, Suite 110 Santa Cruz, CA, 95060 United States (map)

The Storyteller’s Purpose: Shorts Program

(Program time 72 mins)

The Storytellers Purpose.jpg

White Face

(Narrative Short, 21 mins)

Scheduled to attend: Either Mtume Gant (Director), Justine Stock (Executive Producer)

Synopsis: New York actor Charles Rodgers hates his skin and all the hardship that comes with it. Feeling trapped by his race, Charles believes he has found the solution to his problems - change his appearance to embody "Whiteness" - erase all that he has ever been and join the group that believes he should be a part of. But is this ever possible?

Director: Mtume is a Director hailing from NYC. A graduate of NYC's Laguardia HS & The Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase he has worked heavily on stage, screen & TV, most notably as a cast member of the HBO show OZ. He made his directorial debut in 2015 with SPIT which went on to win over half a dozen awards & screened at nearly two dozen festivals across the US.. His latest film White Face premiered this past April at Ashland Independent and has gone on to be programmed over a dozen times since.


Faces of Santa Ana

(EarthVision Environmental and Social Justice Film, 13 mins)

Scheduled to attend: Daud Sani (director), Wendy Campbell (producer), Laura-Lynn Rivera (editor), Brian Peterson (subject in film), Vanessa Peterson (subject in film)

Synopsis: “Faces of Santa Ana” is a film about Brian Peterson, a talented, impassioned painter living in Santa Ana, California. He walks the streets befriending homeless individuals in his neighbor. Once trusted, he paints their portraits, sells the portraits and puts those funds into an account for that individual. He uses the money to help with medical needs, blankets, walkers, or other necessities. In an era where the subject of ending homelessness has been wide-sweeping, yet often ineffectual, Brian's one-on-one interaction with each homeless person he helps is proof that love and compassion on a personal level works.

Director: Daud Sani is an award winning cinematographer and director based in Los Angeles. He has spent years cultivating a distinctive style for his work having shot feature films, commercials, music video, shorts, and non-scripted content. Being a unique blend of cinematographer and director, Daud is able to help others execute their vision with exact precision while at the same time knows how to work independently when needed. From narrative to documentary, Daud’s work has been featured in over 20 film festivals including The Los Angeles Film Festival, The Napa Valley Film Festival, and The American Documentary Film Festival.


The Wizard Oz

(Documentary Short, 22 mins)

Synopsis: Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, known simply as "OZ”, is a self-described wizard who created a life for himself that is truly stranger than fiction. His tale conjures stories of unicorns, mermaids, a serial killer and the most cryptic magic of all, love.

Director: Danny Yourd is an award winning director and creative producer. He produced Sundance-winning documentary Blood Brother and Almost Holy which premiered and sold at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Danny’s short film, Elgin Park, has screened at over 45 film festivals all over the world. His work has been featured on National Geographic, Apple, Independent Lens, Devour, Vimeo Staff Pick, Netflix, Gizmodo, Colossal and many others. Danny is currently a creative at Animal and an executive at Animal Media Group.


Woody's Order!

(Documentary Short, 16 mins)

Scheduled to attend: Ann Talman (star, producer)

Synopsis: For the first time, actress Ann Talman performs her solo show for its muse: her brother with cerebral palsy.

Director: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger are Ironbound Films, the directors of WOODY'S ORDER! Their last documentary THE ANTHROPOLOGIST premiered at DOC NYC, screened at 50 film festivals, hit theaters via Argot Pictures, and enjoys a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. EVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE premiered at Tribeca, hit theaters via Magnolia, aired on CNN, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Their PBS documentary THE NEW RECRUITS and Sundance hit THE LINGUISTS were both nominated for Emmys.