LOS ANGELES, CA, December 10, 2017 — The festival kicks off with a series of family friendly shorts with stories ranging from a mask maker that obsesses over making the perfect mask for dolls that come to life to a mosquito on her first hunting trip with her mother.
The final shorts program program of the evening, part of the Festival’s InFocus program, features films from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, with stories exploring the influence of politics on human destinies to what happens when an old woman demands an open marriage from her husband.
In between the two shorts programs is the comedy feature film, ‘Quality Problems’, starring Jenica Bergere (Shameless) and Chris Mulkey (Whiplash, Captain Phillips)
Terry: The Serious Actor – Directed by Madeline Stephenson
In the golden days of silent film in Hollywood, things were not always what they seemed.
Madeline studied filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in both LA and Florence, Italy. In 2012 she studied directing under Mary Lambert and Jan Eliasberg as an undergraduate at NYU.
Mosquito: The Bite of Passage FF – Directed by Brian Rhodes & Teng “Eric” Cheng
A mosquito on her first hunting trip with her mother desperately tries to confess that she doesn’t’t like blood.
Brian attended the MFA program at USC School of Cinematic Arts and now works as a director, writer and storyboard artist for companies such as Blue Sky Studios (Fox Animation), Netflix and FX.
Eric attended USC School of Cinematic Arts, and there completed his third animation, Higher Sky, which went on to win the Student Academy Award in 2012.
Currently Eric works as a director and storyboard artist for companies such as Dreamworks and Avi Arad’s Dragon entertainment and others abroad in China.
Immersion – Directed by Connor Bland
Set in the not-so-distant future, a gamer’s mind gets lost inside a unique virtual reality.
Connor received his B.F.A. in animation at DePaul University and is currently a M.F.A. student at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Christopher Walken’s Coffee Shop – Directed by Leah Dubuc
An animated and completely improvised commercial for a coffee shop run by renowned actor Christopher Walken.
Bosatsu – Year of the Dragon – Directed by Siddharth Ahluwalia
Bosatsu is the Sino-Japanese translation of the Sanskrit term
Finishing Touches – Directed by Sarah Weaver
Mask Maker lives alone in a tower at the center of a small town and obsesses over making the perfect mask for dolls that come to life.
Cups & Robbers – Directed by Jim Simone
Just another restaurant robbery, until they forget to lock the door.
Jim has been a First AD on films, commercials and promos for over 15 years, working on projects like The Evil Within (with Dina Meyer), Secretary (with Maggie Gyllenhaal) and P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! (with Steve Guttenberg). Cups & Robbers is his directorial debut.
SUPER – Directed by Jacob Michael Keller
Two boys meeting for the first time, strike up a friendship thanks to an unlikely common interest and two wild imaginations.
Having taught, coached, and fostered a love of storytelling through a multitude of after-school arts programs, Jacob has experienced first hand the joy kids bring to the creative process. After completing his degree in Directing for Film at California State University Sacramento, he set out with a goal to create quality family entertainment.
Contigo – Directed by Julia Quiceno
A girl reconnects with her love for writing by a magical intervention from her father.
Quality Problems – Directed by Brooke and Doug Purdy
Family To-Do-List: Throw perfect eight-year-old’s birthday party, find wandering grandpa, and deal with cancer in the left boob.
Brooke’s worked as a copywriter in radio for fifteen years for companies like Pepsi, AT & T, KFC and Campbell’s Soup, optioned several screenplays which allowed her to buy a house in Burbank CA, where a great deal of Quality Problems was also shot.
Doug has acted in film, television and on the stage and has trained with industry veterans like Janet Alhanti and Arthur Mendoza. His credits include Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters and Monk.
The Simon’s Way – Directed by Edgar Baghdasaryan
This is tragicomic story about the influence of politics on human destinies.
Starting out in 1990 with his debut film “Games”, Edgar has continued making films, with his latest one, “The Simon’s Way”, already having claimed over a dozen awards.
The Little Truth – Directed by Stefan Mandachi
Italian Romeo and German Julia are together for three years and they live in L.A. They meet in a bar.
Is SUMIYATI Going To Hell? – Directed by Meshaal Al jaser
Layan a 7 years old Saudi Arabian girl asks her mother if their Indonesian maid is going to hell.
Meshaal’s short film “Under Concrete” was premiered by MBC, the largest broadcasted channel in the Middle East and North Africa. Meshaal was also one of 10 filmmakers chosen by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture to debut at the “Saudi Film Days” festival. Is SUMIYATI Going To Hell? came to be one of the final films chosen by Paramount Pictures for screening at their studios as well as the Ace Theatre in Los Angeles.
Cahide’s Open Marriage – Directed by Ali Kemal Guven
What happens when an unconventional, 70 year old woman demands open marriage from her husband?
A man of many talents, Ali has written and directed seven short films, written a novel, as well as poems. He’s also completed a one-year filmmaking program at New York’s Digital Film Academy and in 2014 he received his B.A in Media Arts at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus.
Additional event information is available at http://www.nfmla.org
Founded in 2007, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. NFMLA’s programs annually serve approximately 120,000 patrons in the Greater Los Angeles area. NFMLA has screened over 2,500 films from 75+ countries, highlighting local and international talent.