filmmakers

IndieWorks: January Recap

Last Tuesday was the January edition of IndieWorks! It was a fun lineup and an exciting way to start 2018. With 4 films, we had 50 people in attendance, made up of a thoughtful and engaged audience.  All the films of the evening focused on sex and love, or the lack thereof! The Q&A was filled with great comments and discussions!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the films and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made! (And shout-out to our guest co-host of the evening Ricki Lynée, who we hope to have back soon!)

And we hope you'll join us again for our February screening on the 13th -  featuring films focusing on the quest for intimacy and connection!

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

The Foursome (Written & Directed by Amanda Kendris & Vanessa Bontea)
When all you want for your birthday is to get it on, but sometimes it's just too hard!  

Cake (Written & Directed by Anne Hu)
Eliza, a bisexual woman, tries to explore her sexuality within her marriage with her husband Thomas by surprise ordering a seemingly human female sex robot. But the sex robot is not the cure-all she had hoped for. Be careful what you wish for.

Ace and Anxious (Written & Directed by Bri Castellini)
Emma is an asexual graphic designer with generalized anxiety disorder who learns that one of the benefits of sex is lower stress levels. She decides to test this by placing an ad on Craigslist, to see if the one thing she's never tried due to her sexuality might finally "cure" her of her anxiety.   

Teufel (Directed by Miguel Garzon Martinez, Written by Denis Ooi)
Watch the heroic story of our protagonist "Insecure Ed" as he dukes it out with his inner demons while going out on a date with the woman of his dreams.

Watch our Q&A Recap (edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a rating system of 8 categories:   StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originalityThe Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the January 2018 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Teufel"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "Cake" (Trailer below.)

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IndieWorks: December Recap

Last Tuesday was the December edition of IndieWorks! It was a lovely lineup and a wonderful way to celebrate the end of 2017. With 5 films, we had just over 50 people in attendance, made up of a super engaged audience.  All the films of the evening focused on women and revolved around similar themes, notably family and choice. Thoughtful conversations were had!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the films and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made!

Have a happy new year! And we hope you'll join us again for our January screening on the 16th -  featuring films focusing on sex & love, or the lack thereof!

See photos from the evening:

The Films of the night:

Family Rewritten (Directed by Yasmin Mistry)
Despite battling Cystic Fibrosis, Camilla, age 16, identifies as a typical middle-class American teenager until the thread that holds her family together suddenly snaps. Just months before her 18th birthday Camilla finds herself in foster care, but instead of being ashamed, she makes a conscious decision to not let her situation define her.  

Choices (Written & Directed by Rick Hamilton)
Deborah relies on chance to avoid making any choices in her life, but then faces a decision that can’t be left up to fate.

There For You (Directed by Viktoria King)
Based on a true story, a young woman finds herself torn apart after having to give away her baby to her mother-in-law.

Sundogs (Written & Directed by Elizabeth Chatelain)
A single mother and her 4-year-old daughter struggle to survive a homeless night in the oilfields of North Dakota.

Sibs (Directed by Cyntia Silver, Written by Samantha Slater)
Sophie, a struggling musician in New York, goes home for her father’s funeral and is met with the sudden reality of becoming her 13 year old, now orphaned, half-brother's guardian. A family drama about figuring out how to grow up.

Watch our Q&A Recap (edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a system rating 8 categories of StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originalityThe Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the December 2017 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Sibs"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "Sundogs"

Join us next month for our January edition on the 16th!

IndieWorks: November Recap

Last Tuesday was the November edition of IndieWorks! It was a surprising night in that we had our smallest turnout ever, in the nearly 5 years we've been doing this! We had exactly 27 people in house (not including our team). Not a bad turnout for a super cold night and a lineup of only 4 shorts; but it was still a surprise. Despite that though, we had a really engaged group for our eclectic and innovative lineup of shorts that included animation, scifi, and documentary; all playing into themes of changing societies and past vs present. Some very interesting conversations were had!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the films and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made! AND we hope you'll join us again for our December screening on the 12th - for a grouping of films that tackle stories related to family!

See photos from the evening (by Elsa Nilert):

The Films of the night:

Rudy's Hobby Shop (Directed by Jason Guzman)
Marvin Cochran, owner of Rudy’s Hobby & Art in Astoria Queens, let's us have a glimpse at the day-to-day in this once ice cream parlor, turned hobby shop. We get a chance to see what a day at Rudy's looks like, sample some the inventory and hear from customers. 

Runaway (Written & Co-Directed by Harrison Heller, Co-Directed by Tommy Kraft)
Maria is an android on the run--falsely accused of murdering her master. Pursued through the woods by ruthless bounty hunters, Maria struggles to reach the Free States and maybe discover her humanity along the way.

Meeting MacGuffin (Written & Directed by Catya Plate)
In a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has fallen apart, a group of scientists and an animated sign complete the construction of a new human race and meet a groundhog climatologist who prepares them for their mission to restore balance to the decimated Earth.

Block (Written & Directed by Brandon Buikema)
Traditional animation is combined with stop motion to create a unique, handcrafted style. This style is used to tell the story of a young writer who needs some life experience.

Watch our Q&A Recap (edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a system rating 8 categories of StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originalityThe Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the November 2017 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Meeting MacGuffin"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "Runaway"

Join us next month for our December edition on the 12th!

IndieWorks: September Recap

Last Tuesday was the September edition of IndieWorks! And it was our annual web series month, where we screen episodes from local series. We screened 6 episodes total and had over 40 people in house. Smaller crowd than usual, but considering the rainy evening, it was quite an impressive turnout! Web series month is always a special one because it's nice getting to meet characters we could tune into over and over again. And web series in general tend to be comedy leaning, so it was an overall fun night filled with a lot of laughs. Unfortunately, one of our filmmakers had to cut out before their Q&A, but otherwise the night was a real success with thoughtful discussions and lots of mingling!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the webisodes and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We know some connections were made! AND we hope you'll join us again for our Halloween Special on October 24th! 

See photos from the evening:

The Series of the night:

Pair of Normals (Created (written & directed) by Jason Hood)
Iris, an anxious Youtube psychic fresh out of a mental hospital, and Betty, a destitute college dropout who makes ASMR videos, meet and bond when they are dragged to a vlogger meetup. When they meet again in a chance encounter after both their lives have worsened significantly, Iris offers Betty a place to stay.

You Only Die Once (Created (written & directed) by Amanda B. Goodman)
A 6 episode modern horror comedy web series that tells the story of three life long best friends and vampire hunters from Astoria Queens as they face the biggest threat to their family yet.

Modern Aliens (Written & Directed by Jordan Jaffe, Produced by Samantha Slater)
The documentary periodical comedy series dedicated to unearthing alien influence in modern society. 

[Blank] My Life (Created & Written by Alex Spieth, Directed by Benjamin Viertel)
In episode 5 of season 2, Susan realizes rape culture isn't that far from home.

Seeking Sublet (Created (written & directed) by Katie Tibaldi)
A new comedy web series about two roommates in search of the perfect third roommate in New York City. Think you've had bad roommates? Tune in. Commiserating begins here.

Keep Me Posted (Created (written & directed) by Hillary Berkowitz)
WA biting look at the impact of texting and social media on our closest relationships.  

Watch our Q&A Recap (shot & edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). The perk of web series month is that the episodes can be watched online NOW to offer context to the Q&A! Find most on Youtube!

 

The award goes to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmaker of the Audience Choice Award. We've realized from past years that web series episodes always feel a bit confusing alongside all standalone films at Best of Fest, so we decided moving forward that at our specialty months we'll just award one audience-selected winner all the monetary prizes. The winner receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the September 2017 lineup, our winning series was:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Modern Aliens"

Join us next month for our Halloween edition on the 25th! 

IndieWorks: June (Year 5 Kickoff) Recap

Last Tuesday was the June edition of IndieWorks, and our first of Year 5! We screened 5 films and had over 40 people in house. Smaller crowd than usual, but considering it was the hottest night of the year so far (97 degrees!), it was quite an impressive turnout! Our first two films were dramatic pieces that explored racial and ethnic oppression in different ways. They were beautifully shot, heartbreaking and thought provoking. The second set of films were slightly more hopeful, all exploring the pain but promise of romantic relationships. The styles and genres of those ranged in eclectic and wonderfully enjoyable ways. All the pieces of the night resonated with the audience differently, and some lovely discussions were had. We had some sound snags throughout the night due to how cranked up the air conditioner needed to be for the weather (something we will work to fix for next month). But overall, the night was a big success!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the films and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts, and we hope some connections were made! AND we hope you'll join us again on July 18th. 

See photos from the evening (by Carlos Molina)

The Films of the night:

The Orange Story (Directed by Erika Street Hopman, Produced & Co-Written by Eugene Sun Park)
February 1942. President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which authorizes the forced “relocation" of 120,000 ethnic Japanese from their homes and into incarceration camps throughout the U.S. Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center.

Penalty (Directed by Aldo Iuliano/Written by Severino Iuliano & Alessandro Giulietti, Produced by Andrette Lo Conto)
A group of guys plays football in the middle of nowhere. At stake is much more than a simple victory.

The 3rd Try (Directed & Written by Alfonso Rodriguez, Represented by Actor Imana Breaux)
A lesbian couple tries to find solace after experiencing a traumatic loss.

Date & Time (Directed & Written by Craig Nobbs)
A young couple, awash in the glow of new found love, find their fragile bond tested as they go back in time and find that memory is imperfect and they may not be who they thought they were.

Sonnet 23 (Directed by Rebecca Shoptaw)
A modern reimagining of "Sonnet 23" by William Shakespeare.

Watch our Q&A Recap (shot & edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The awards go to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmakers for both Audience Choice Award & Silver Whiskers Award. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance, and the Silver Whiskers Award is judged by the CongestedCat Team based on a system rating 8 categories of StoryDialogue/WritingDirectionActingCinematographySoundEditing, and Production Value, along with a nuanced discussion focused on inclusion and originalityThe Silver Whiskers winner goes on to screen again at our end of year Best of Fest screening next April. 

The Silver Whiskers winner also receives $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the June 2017 lineup, our winning films were:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Date & Time"
    Silver Whiskers Award:  "The Orange Story"

Join us next month for our July edition on the 18th!