You're Not Alone: Narrative Shorts Program
Program run time: 98 mins
(Narrative Short, 4 mins)
Synopsis: Winner: Audience Award 2017 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Deafblind Couple is a short cinematic ode to the sensation of touch and the feeling of intimacy with another human being. A man and woman who can neither see nor hear wake up in bed next to each other, communicate, and rekindle their relationship through touch alone. Through the use of experimental sound design and increasingly intimate cinematography, Deafblind Couple illustrates the simultaneous deep isolation and true moments of connection between its two characters.
Director: Esteban Pedraza directed his first short film, "People I Know,” which won an award in the UK presented to him by Tony Blair in 2010. He pursued a degree in Film through Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and graduated in 2013 after co-directing a TV pilot, “The Saggy Saddle,” under mentors Gary Shimokawa and Rudd Simmons.
In 2011 he began his creative partnership with fellow NYU student, Aaron Pryka and they formed Movie Time Picture Company. Movie Time premiered a short documentary series in 2014 called "The Songwriter,” in Esteban’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. The series can now be seen at YouTube.com/thesongwriterseries.
Their latest short film, "Deafblind Couple," won the Audience Award at the 2017 Ann Arbor Film Festival and played at Woods Hole, Cucalorus, and Tallgrass International Film Festivals among others.
Esteban and Aaron are both co-writers, co-directors and producers on "In Reality," an upcoming film by director, Ann Lupo. In 2016, "In Reality" took part in the prestigious IFP Screen Forward Labs and IFP Film Week. In May 2016, the project successfully raised over $45,000 on Kickstarter in order to fund the final phase of production. Afterwards, "In Reality" attached the production company Pretty Matches (Sarah Jessica Parker) as executive producers.
Dogs & Tacos
(Narrative Short, 16 mins)
Synopsis: High school junior Alma Pantaleon arrives at her after-school work shift at a local South Los Angeles taqueria. Instead of tacos-and-burritos-as-usual, things get complicated when she finds herself stuck babysitting a former boyfriend's younger brother, who's no longer the "sweet little boy" she remembers.
Director: Steve Bachrach was born in San Diego, CA, near the international border. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (Political Science) and later an Interdisciplinary Masters in Film and Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts. Steve's subsequent trajectory as a writer-director took an unexpected turn soon after, when he was approached by Virginia Preciado, Principal of South-Central Los Angeles' Jefferson High School, to establish a filmmaking program at the school. What he'd thought of originally as a short-term experience evolved into 17 years of inner-city art instruction and community activism, graduation rates double the rate of the school at large, 20 student films exhibited at The Sundance Festival, a few thousand quality relationships, and numerous awards. Steve also maintains a residence in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where he founded an after-school program, "La Chozita", for indigenous Mayan elementary and secondary school students in 1997.
"Dogs & Tacos", a collaboration with former students Abraham Osuna, Ceindy Mata, and Carmela Perez, marks his return to full-time filmmaking. Steve is a Feature Film Program Fellow of the Sundance Institute with the upcoming feature project "Pueblo Venenoso", also in partnership with Carmela, Abraham, and Ceindy. "Pueblo Venenoso" shares both protagonist and setting with "Dogs & Tacos".
For a Good Time
(Narrative Short, 20 mins)
Synopsis: FOR A GOOD TIME is the story of Jane who, grieving over the loss of her mother, has a meltdown in a flower shop. Out of options and out of her mind, she decides to call a number written on the wall. The person who answers is the last one you'd expect, and just the one she needs. Beginning with documentary footage and ending with fiction, FOR A GOOD TIME is a comedy born of a tragedy, and fable about a bathroom stall meeting that lasts forever.
Director: Aemilia Scott is a filmmaker living in Los Angeles and Chicago. She studied History and Photography at Columbia University. Then, she moved to Chicago and performed professionally with Second City, iO, and the critically acclaimed satirical curch, Best Church of God. On television, you can see her on Chicago Fire, Sirens, and Married. Her first film, BEST IF USED BY, was an official selection of Clermont Ferrand, Aspen Shortsfest, Palm Springs International, Rhode Island International, Seattle International, and Cleveland International Film
Festivals, among others. It won a BAFTA honorary mention at Aspen, an Honorary Mention at USA Film Fest Dallas, an Honorable mention at REGARD Quebec, Best Screenplay and Audience Award at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, and BEST SHORT of 2013 by New Filmmakers Los Angeles.
FOR A GOOD TIME is Aemilia’s second film. It is loosely based on experiences of her own life, drawing from a small amount of documentary footage of a very sad event, and building from it from an urban fable and an offbeat comedy. The film looks at how we deal with tragedies in our lives, and how sometimes all we need is a change of perspective in order to truly have a good time.
(Narrative Short, 7 mins)
Attending: Eitan Loewenstein (plus guest)
Synopsis: A troubled couple puts the future of their relationship in the hands of a garden.
Director: Eitan Loewenstein lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife, three children, and yippy dog. Eitan graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in electrical engineering before breaking his parents' hearts by going into the entertainment industry. He's worked on the production side of TV shows, for a film production company, won a few awards nobody's ever heard of, written/directed several shorts, and has appeared as an actor in a few TV commercials. He is currently developing a few feature films which he hopes to shoot soon. Need more Eitan? Visit EitanOfFilms.com or Twitter at @AnotherEitan
Kill Your Dinner
(Narrative Short, 12 mins)
Synopsis: Things have been tough between Rhys and his dad Lawrence since the divorce. But after meeting a new woman and discovering his "spiritual" side, Lawrence comes up with a brilliant plan to reconnect with his son: to kill and eat a cow together. It going to be a really meaningful experience.
Director: Bryn Chainey is a British-Australian director and screenwriter based in Sydney. His short films have explored family, mortality and the imagination, and screened in over 150 festivals including Berlin, Palm Springs and Edinburgh. At the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival a jury led by Stephen Daldry awarded Bryn the emerging director prize for his absurdist short, Jonah and the Vicarious Nature of Homesickness. Aside from film, Bryn has exhibited photographic and mixed media pieces at galleries in Germany and Italy, and worked closely with indie bands across Europe on music videos and live visuals. In 2014 he co-founded the Pustnik Screenwriters Residency which is hosted in Romania. His feature screenplay Nothing Else Mattress received a World Production Award at the 2015 Torino Film Lab and is currently in development with the support of Screen Australia.
La femme et le TGV
(Narrative Short, 30 mins)
Synopsis: Elise Lafontaine has a secret routine -- every morning and evening for many years, she has been waving at the express train that passes her house. One (faithful) day, she finds a letter from the train conductor in her garden and her lonely life is turned upside down. She engages in a promising correspondence through poetic and thoughtful letters where the two anonymous writers share their worlds with each other. But Elise fairytale is cut short when the train line permanently detours for a shorter route to Paris. Not willing to do without her daily delight, Elise prompts a daring escape from her comfort zone and sets out to find the train conductor. LA FEMME ET LE TGV is inspired by true events and stars actress Jane Birkin in the leading role.
Director: Born 1989 in Zurich, Timo von Gunten is the founder of BMC Films and works as a screenwriter and director out of Switzerland.
(Student Short, 9 mins)
Attending: Tamara Bunker (writer, actor, producer), Joe Basile (production consultant)
Synopsis: Valentina, torn between love and career, is persuaded by her Abuela to have a quinceañera party on her 30th birthday to help her find a man. On the same day, she gets offered her dream job.
Director: Tamara Bunker is the writer, actor, and one of the producers of “Treintañera”. She was born in Mexico City of an English mother and a Mexican father. Before moving to Los Angeles, she studied theatre in Puebla, Mexico. She then went on to London, UK, to study special effects makeup, along with acting for film. After graduating with an MFA in Acting in LA, she has worked on a few projects including directing the short film “Sheep, Goats & Cows”. She is currently turning “Treintañera” into a feature, and writing the script for her next short film.