Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012 films: Peekaboo

Peekaboo by Damien Power
Australia (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 10 Minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Nov 10th.  6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

On the train home from the Easter Show, an over-tired little girl is hyped-up by a stranger, who plays a game of peekaboo with her, until her mother begins to feel disturbed by the interest he’s showing. A short time later, the girl disappears in a car park and her desperate mother searches. A glimpse of the man from the train fires her imagination, with devastating consequences.

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Melbourne International Film Festival
Melbourne, Australia
July 2011 (Film Festival)
Australia/Pacific PREMIERE

Sydney Film Festival - Dendy Awards
Sydney, Australia
June 2011 (Film Festival)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Films: Choreography for Plastic Army Men

Choreography for Plastic Army Men by David Fain
Pasadena, CA (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 5 Minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Nov 10th. 3:15pm
Tickets $10.00

A Stop-motion animated piece starring a variety of plastic army men strutting their stuff to the instrumental track 'Ohayoo Ohio' by the band 'Pink Martini'. Shot in the film maker's garage during various bouts of unemployment.

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Director Statement
Having spent my childhood during the 1960's rising early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and build elaborate scenarios comprised of Lincoln Logs and plastic Cowboys and Indians (only to obliterate them shortly thereafter with a volley of marbles) it should be no surprise to anyone that I ended up with a career in animation.

While my working life has evolved from Stop-Motion student films to Flash oriented web cartoons to currently editing animatics for an animated cable series, one of the few constants has been the influence of toys on all of the above. While it is generally NOT the type of animation I do to pay the bills (although it has been) it is the thing I always seem to return to, and find the most natural.

Having just passed the half century mark I possess more toys now than at any other time of my life. And I'm not talking a pristine selection of ultra rare mint in the blister pack collection of memories from my childhood. These toys have been played hard, often times chewed by pets and missing limbs, gleaned mainly from swap meets, garage sales and thrift stores. Selected for either their sheer weirdness or the fact they can potentially be drafted into service as actors in my next production they fill my garage and hypnotize my friend's children.

I remember reading somewhere Czech animator Jan Švankmajer claimed the objects he used in his films "spoke" to him; that they told him how they should be moved. It's the same way between me and the toys.

Production Notes
"Why Army Men?"
I have a lot of toys (see Director's Statement) and one day while looking at a batch of classic green army men I noticed if you took the time to arrange them in the proper order they formed sequences that described dance moves. Simultaneously a favorite band, Pink Martini, was offering up a number of tracks from their latest album to their fan base in a contest to create music videos. One contest rule stood out in my mind, "No violent imagery, please". Somehow it just seemed the right thing to do, to give these warriors a new lease on life where they didn't have to fight anymore. Being inspired (and unemployed) I took to the garage and started sequencing plastic dancers. And filming them.

Then I got a job. So the time in the garage became less and less and the contest deadline came and went. But even so, the dance went on. In August 2011 I finally finished. Although I also possess Cowboys, Indians, Cops, Firemen, Spacemen and Aliens, the army men worked the best.

Generally speaking the only alteration made to these figures is the removal of their weapons. They range in size from 5 inches to 2 millimeters.

Black Maria Film Festival - Director's Choice Award February 2012
Los Angeles Animation Festival - Music Video Finalist March 2012
Indie Spirit Film Festival - April 2012
Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival - Schull, Ireland May 2012
Pineapple Underground Film Festival - Hong Kong June 2012
Anima Mundi Animation Festival - Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo, Brazil July 2012

2012 Films: Anima Mundi

Anima Mundi by Katherine Balsley

Running Time: 4 Minutes
Screening Time: Friday Nov 9th. 5:15pm
Tickets $10.00

“Anima mundi,” a latin phrase meaning “spirit of the world,” has been a fundamental principle of philosophical thought for centuries, representing the vital life force that animates all matter in the universe. This experimental piece combines thousands of individual images of flowers, both wild and cultivated, to create a unique, fluid aesthetic, celebrating the beauty of the natural world. All images were taken at the Schlitz Audubon Center in Bayside, Wisconsin, and the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012 Films: My Peach

My Peach by Vito Valenti
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 5 Minutes
Screening time: Friday Nov 9th. 5:15pm
Tickets $10.00

A young couple are excited to attend an upscale wedding in Chicago, on the way there, they stop to visit an uncle. He is happy to see them but they remain largely unaware that he has concerns of his own.

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2012 Films: The Water Street Experiment

The Water Street Experiment by Darren Alexander Cole
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 20 Minutes
Screening Date: Friday, Nov 9th. 7pm
Tickets $10.00

This educational, live Documentary that follows Elvis Thao and his band (The Creatives) on their 1year and ½ musical journey into sound as he forms his new band, and seeks to accomplish the making of his newest and most current album project “The Water Street Experiment”. In this viewing you will experience live in-studio sessions and rehearsals, along with artist and producer interviews plus shows and all the struggles and accomplishments that come with the territory. Engage with us on the life and times of The Creatives.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Films: Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale

Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale by Ross Bigley
Milwaukee (World Premiere)
Running Time: 13 Minutes
Screening Time: Nov 10th, 2012. 6:45pm. Juried Selection
Out of Competition. Tickets $10.00.

The Stranger (Bai Ling) is walking through the Badlands on a mission, but is briefly stopped by the dirty stinking cowpoke, Dutch Dalton (Dan Katula). He's looking to ambush her and take anything of worth from her, but she outsmarts him and leaves him wounded. From there she makes it to the small town of Rock Ridge, run by the hard fisted saloon owner Taggart (Tom Reed). Once The Stranger steps foot in the saloon and begins asking questions about her father she encounters violence, and silence, that is until Mei (Cyn Dulay) a Chinese saloon girl steps forward with ansers to the mystery. And what the Stranger learns shakes her to her very core, but Taggart will do anything to keep those secrets quiet. Plus Dutch returns looking for payback.
Yellow Hill: The Stranger's Tale is a story of regret, lost time with a parent that's served up with a healthy dose of action and revenge.

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Excerpt from Bai Ling's video interview:
What was it about the story that grabbed you?
It's a part of history never told on screen, its something very important because people need to acknowledge and remember that history and those difficulties in life in order to move forward. To appreciate and to be proud of who they are. As a Chinese person I feel responsible, and my with heart as an actress to have the power and voice to tell that story. In the movie I say a line, "I used to be a woman, but a man taught me to be a man". You can see that there is a lot of sadness there. It’s a story about revenge and justice, about life during that time. I relate to The Stranger because I feel myself that I am a Stranger, in a strange land, a strange culture, a strange life. She had an innocent dream and brought to America by her parents, and her father basically sold her. I think, personally to me, that anything that is strange is interesting and intriguing because there is a lot of mystery and a lot of coincidence happening in life, and a lot of beautiful, beautiful surprises. I somehow understand the Stranger's journey as a woman.

Also, she really kicks ass. I'm very proud and very happy to be a producer, this film is going to be amazing. We are going to show you and you will see how facinating it is, its a film, its history, but its fun. A lot of dept, a lot of great characters that you've never seen before. I'm very proud and I want to make it happen!

2012 Films: Missed Connections

Missed Connections by Susan Kerns & Kara Mulrooney
Running Time: 14 Minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Nov 10th. 6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

Missed connections become connections made in this romantic comedy based on personal ads. Featuring Busby Berkeley-inspired dancers and a fanciful score from the tomorrows of yesterday, 'Missed Connections' transports viewers to a space where dreams of love come alive!

In the spaceship-shaped 1960s-era supper club 'The Gobbler,' outdoor superstore employee Sandals musters the nerve to ask lovely long-time customer Farmer to dance. Golden Fox reunites with Plant Manager, and this time, it's animal. Appletini, the irrepressible and oft inebriated red-head, captures the hearts and desires of not one, but two police officers. And a car accident turns into a love connection for opposites Car Crash and Hottie on a Bike.

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Milwaukee Film Festival
Milwaukee, U S A
September 2011 (Film Festival)
North America PREMIERE

2012 Films: Split Time

Split Time by Fabrice Bracq
France (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 3 Minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Nov 10th. 6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

A man and a woman in their mid-thirties. Attractive, single and day-dreamer, they cross each other a million times without ever meeting.

Yet, they are meant to be together.

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Paris Court Devant
Paris, France
October 2012 (Film Festival)

Healdsburg International Short Film Festival
Healdsburg, U S A
September 2012 (Film Festival)

Venice, U S A
August 2012 (Film Festival)

Allevard-Les-bains, France

Los Angeles, U S A
July 2012 (Film Festival)
North America PREMIERE

Paris, France
June 2012 (Film Festival)
Western Europe PREMIERE

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Films: Love and Germophobia

Love and Germophobia by Tyler Spindel
L.A. (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday, Nov 10th. 6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

If your girlfriend had the flu, would you still kiss her? What about if she might have viral Meningitis? For David (TJ Miller), the answer is simple. Absolutely not. Unfortunately, David's girlfriend (Kelly Stables) doesn't see it this way.

Love and Germophobia was shot in 2 days in downtown Los Angeles on the RED camera.

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Montreal Comedy Festival "Just For Laughs"
Montreal, Canada
July 2012 (Film Festival)
North America PREMIERE

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 Films: Nostalgia

Nostalgia by Jared Stepp
Milwaukee (World Premire) 
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Screening Time: Friday Nov 9th. 7pm
Tickets $10.00

Four years after watching her husband slip away in a hospital bed, Anita is trying to move on with her life by selling boxes of his old things at a local antique store. After coming across a crumpled wedding photo and a box of old LPs, Anita impulsively purchases a record player to revel in her nostalgia. To her shock, playing the couple’s favorite song conjures up more than just memories – it also brings back the spirit of her husband for one last dance. But will she allow the desire to relive her past to destroy her life in the present?

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2012 Films: The Best Present

The Best Present by Craig A. Knitt

Wisconsin (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 8 minutes
Screening Tme: Saturday, Nov 10th. 6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

This film is a heartfelt holiday tale with a slightly dark twist.

Charlie seems to be stuck in a drunken rut and nothing is able to shake him from it even his adorable little daughter Sally. When Sally asks for a special present for Christmas the answer she receives isn't what you might expect. What could possibly make Charlie see the light?

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Films: Underpass

Underpass by John Lindquist
Sweden (World Premiere)
Running time: 5 minutes
Screening Time: Saturday Nov 10th.  6:45pm
Tickets $10.00  

On an ordinary night an ordinary women ends up in an extraordinary and traumatic situation.

This film was shoot during one night in December in Stockholm, Sweden 2012.

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2012 Films: Devil's Day Out.

Devil's Day Out by Patrik Beck
Milwaukee (World Premiere)
Running Time: 6 Minutes
Screening time: Friday Nov 9th. 7pm
Tickets $10.00

The Devil is teaching his son how to drive a car, but the son resists. The Devil needs to convince his son of the importance of image.

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2012 Films: Johnny & Die Leichtigkeit

Johnny & Die Leichtigkeit (Johnny & The Lightness) by Steffen Boseckert
Germany (World Premiere)
Running time: 18 mins
Screening time: Saturday, Nov 10th. 6:45pm
Tickets $10.00

Do you remember the guy who dressed in black for the poor and beaten-down? This story is about one of these guys he wrote about.

Johnny used to be one cool kid but for a while his deep thoughts discourage him from approaching the unknown lady he fell in love with. He gets angry about his desperate situation and grabs a pen to distract himself.

His story introduces Cat, a young and attractive woman with a straight character. Soon they find each other at Johnny's' place and matters run their course. When Johnny goes overboard all of sudden, she understands her role as a fictional compromise and takes over the story. Cat teaches Johnny a lesson for life to make him face his real desires.

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2012 Films: Scenen (Act 1 Scene 1)

Scenen (Act 1 Scene 1) by Hans Montelius
Sweden (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running time: 12 minutes
Screening time: November 10th. 6:45pm.
Tickets $10.00

A director and playwright battles his inner demons of jealousy as he tries to write a play for his girlfriend and his brother, but as the writing and rehearsals progress the demons take over.

Act 1 Scene 1 won the award for Best International Short Film at the Uruguay International Film Festival and was the official selection at the Oscar qualitying Bermuda International Film Festival.

On June 3rd, the film will have it's opening in LA at Dances with Films. Dances with films is a festival for independent filmmakers and they will screen the film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre next to the Hollywood walk of Fame.
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Official selections
- Dances with Films (Hollywood Premiere)
- Uruguay International Film Festival (Best International Short)
- Bermuda International Film Festival
- Sofia International Film Festival
- Taos Shortfest
- 60 N
- Big Island Film Festival
- Sacramento International Film Festival
- Arizona International Film Festival
- Palm Beach Film Festival

Hans won "Best Film" two years in a row with "Mannen med Kulorna" in 2009 and "Leka med Dockor " in 2010.

2012 Films: Soul Chamber

Soul Chamber by Mark G.E.
Milwaukee (World Premiere)
Running time 11 minutes
Screening time:Friday Nov 9th. 7pm
Tickets $10.00

A surrealist tale of a father who becomes corrupted as he betrays his daughter. Removing her soul, he places it in a chamber and displays it and her doll-like body for profit throughout the countryside. For the daughter it is a journey of becoming herself and rising above betrayal through forgiveness.

Primarily in the silent genre, the film pays homage to earlier seminal film work. The story is told with images by surrealist artist J. Karl Bogartte whose work is in the Milwaukee Art Museum collection, as well as known world wide. The music was composed by Sigmund Snopek III and played on an original pipe organ. Many of the people involved with the film are well-known from the art and music scene. The father is played by Francis Ford, well known photographer and artist. The puppets were created by New York artist Tine Kindermann, who recently sang a duet with Iggy Pop and plays the musical saw in Villa Delirium. The film is narrated by Victor DeLorenzo of the folk-punk band, the Violent Femmes. The landlord is played by Keith Brammer from Die Kreuzen. The Woman of Ill Repute is Stonie Rivera from Psychobunnies.

Directed by Mark G.E., who may be best known for his documentary on the making of Wisconsin Death Trip by Academy Award winner James Marsh.


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