iff2021-program-cover

OPENING NIGHT

presented by Made In Her Image

Balletafterdark-os

Ballet After Dark tells the story a young woman who found the strength to survive after an attack. She created an organization that is helping sexual abuse and domestic violent survivors find healing after trauma through dance therapy. The short documentary premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. It can currently be streamed on BET and Showtime networks.

Directed by B. Monét

B. Monét is a writer and director who holds an MFA from New York University. She was named the 2017 Horizon Award Winner, is a Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation grant recipient, and was named a Sundance Women’s Financing Intensive Project Fellow for her first feature, Q.U.E.E.N.

Endure-OS

"Endure" is a story about a girl who loves to play basketball.  She lost her best friend and wears her sneakers as a tribute to her in all her basketball games. Two boys who are jealous of her talent steal her shoes, and she has to be brave and confront them to recover them.

Directed by Jessica Ramirez

Jessica Ramirez is a director and cinematographer from Chihuahua, Mexico. Growing as a Latina who loves action and adventures, she rarely saw girls that she could relate to in the media. Therefore, her mission is to capture and direct films that tell the unheard stories of the intrepid and driven women in minority communities.

 

*Arizona Artist

Powerofhope-os

14 year old Director Kalia Love Jones presents “The Power Of Hope” When her mother falls ill, an aspiring architect grapples with feelings of helplessness, but moved by the words of Michelle Obama, she finds the will to persevere and bring her dreams to life.

Directed by Kalia Love Jones

Fourteen-year-old Kalia Love Jones is an ambitious animated filmmaker with a goal of empowering others. She is devoted to her passion and confident that she can make a positive difference in the world by inspiring more young women to pursue their filmmaking dreams.

Kalia lives in Los Angeles and has always loved the filming industry. She looks up to influential female figures, such as Ava DuVerney, Rebecca Sugar, and Michelle Obama, and spends hours every day drawing, crafting, and studying films so she can make unique animations of her own. With her motivation and strong support from her parents, Kalia was able to launch her first captivating production called “The Power of Hope." She even co-wrote the film’s song and funded the project on her own to prove to her dad how serious she really was about it.

“When her mother falls ill, an aspiring architect grapples with feelings of helplessness, but moved by the words of Michelle Obama, she finds the will to persevere and bring her dreams to life.”

Kalia is not afraid to take risks with her films to deliver powerful messages that prove anyone can push through obstacles in life and reach their goals. This may be the beginning of Kalia’s career, but she is certainly already showing girls of all color and ages that they can achieve greatness by carrying hope and believing in themselves.

Tippytippytop-os

Directed by Lathenia Janae

Lathenia Janae a dynamic and multi-hyphenated award winning fine artist and experimental director who is currently completing her BA in Intermediate art from Arizona State University.    Reining from the Southwest, her multi-hyphenate experience of growing black in the Sonoran desert have allowed her to develop and curate a myriad art forms and styled that move and shift to honor the African diaspora.  When you can't find her roller skating, you'll usually see her advocating for vegan animal rights and figuring out ways to empower her community through her art and voice.

*Arizona Artist

thebeautyofblackhair-os

Directed by Lathenia Janae

Lathenia Janae a dynamic and multi-hyphenated award winning fine artist and experimental director who is currently completing her BA in Intermediate art from Arizona State University.    Reining from the Southwest, her multi-hyphenate experience of growing black in the Sonoran desert have allowed her to develop and curate a myriad art forms and styled that move and shift to honor the African diaspora.  When you can't find her roller skating, you'll usually see her advocating for vegan animal rights and figuring out ways to empower her community through her art and voice.

*Arizona Artist

Ideaofme-os

A young woman becomes emotionally detached in her relationship as she struggles with depression and fear of intimacy.

Directed by Bri Williams

Brianca Williams, a Queer Afro-Latina grew up filmmaking and writing at a very early age. The Nashville native started out gifting her presence in TV production in Atlanta. While there, she also developed entertainment platforms for Women of Color to celebrate sexuality unapologetically through artistic expression. After making her way to LA, she was accepted into the Hillman Grad Intensive TV Writers class and landed a position as Lena Waithe's personal intern. Since then, Brianca has written a few pilots that she is manifesting to develop with Hillman Grad in the future.

Nofacebenny-os

A young black man wants to reveal the truth about his traumatic childhood to his significant other, however, he must find a way by facing his inner demons to do so.

Directed by Ciara Boniface

Ciara Boniface is a 22-year old director and writer currently based in Los Angeles. Ciara graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.A in Media Arts and honors as Summa Cum Laude. In February 2018, Ciara won a nationwide search for the ‘Next Visionary Filmmaker’ -- an award presented by Walt Disney Studios, Nissan, and Wrinkle in Time director, Ava DuVernay.

Ciara has directed and written a total of sixteen short films. Ciara strives to shine a light on social and Southern-based issues in her work while providing representation for Black women in the horror/ thriller sphere. In 2019, Ciara's short film Skintight launched on Gunpowder and Sky's horror platform ALTER, an online space aimed at giving a voice to emerging horror filmmakers. Ciara is currently in the process of producing the feature film version of Skintight, which will be her very first feature production.

Idreamedadream

Directed by Malakai

Malakai is an award winning director and philanthropist who has made it her mission to be a disruptor by telling world-building and fantastical narratives that turn archetypes of the Black diaspora on its head. She most recently directed all the episodes of GHOST TAPE, the QCODE/Automatik scripted podcast co-created by Nia DaCosta and Aron Eli Coleite and starring and executive produced by Kiersey Clemons. Her award winning short film SOULS, produced by Emmy-award winning producers Anna Hashmi, Stephen Love and Marquita Bradley and starring Tabitha Brown has amassed international and national festival acclaim. Malakai was one of the 2019 ATT Hello Lab Directing fellows, where her short film, POSTMARKED, executive produced by Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani and starring Loretta Devine and Rob Morgan was distributed by Direct TV. Malakai is attached to direct the adaptation of Victoria Schwab’s THE NEAR WITCH with Stephen Love producing and Marcus Scribner attached to star.

Malakai has also made it her mission to build worlds for the next generation. Her 501(c)3 non-profit, Made In Her Image is a movement based towards social equity within film, media and technology by empowering  young women and non-binary youth of color. Made In Her Image was awarded for its work within the fields of diversity and creating a pipeline of learning and educational empowerment with the 2020 SXSW Community Service Award.

*Arizona Artist

Tahara-os

At the funeral for a Hebrew school classmate who took her own life, two best friends find themselves distracted by the teenage complications of lust, social status, and wavering faith.

Directed by Olivia Peace

Olivia Peace (she / they) is a queer black interdisciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan living in Los Angeles. Their artistic style has been referred to lovingly as “a hat on a hat… but like in a good way, you know?” They are heavily informed by hip hop, B-movies, and a family history of  bipolar disorder. They believe that style helps to facilitate agency in people and so they set out to create work that’s replete with style.

After garnering critical and institutional praise for their 2017 short film “Pangaea,” Olivia landed a fellowship with the Sundance Institute in the year-long Ignite Fellowship Program. They spent 2019 working on their feature film debut, Tahara while still a full time MFA student at USC. Tahara premiered in January at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival to rave reviews. Currently, Olivia is hard at work putting together their next feature film.

Olivia remains committed to discussing and exploring critical imagination and radical optimism in the face of loss and change. They believe that in order to discuss the turmoil of what’s going on outward, one must look inward. And so their work looks inward, often in some mashup form of animation and always with subtitles.

Pinkbar

FRIDAY NIGHT

bodyterrrorsong-os

"Body Terror Song," a haunting tune by the beloved folk punk band, AJJ, accomplishes the impossible - cutting at each of our own personal mental health issues, while giving voice to a host of myriad disorders and maladies. The animated video depicts a twisted collage of morphing characters and imagery that mirror the feelings of anguish and isolation illustrated by the song.

Directed By Jed Rosenberg

Jed I. Rosenberg is a Pittsburgh-born filmmaker, who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles. He graduated from NYU-Tisch in 2008 and learned to approach filmmaking with a DIY mentality. He writes, directs, produces, shoots, edits, and animates - not always in that order. He's an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and a music video-maker for artists including Talib Kweli, K'naan, R.A. the Rugged Man, Pharoahe Monch, Open Mike Eagle, billy woods, and AJJ. Currently he's directing a documentary about Gary Young, the original drummer for the band Pavement.

*Arizona Artist

Homeward-OS

A woman leaves her home with only a suitcase in her hand. Exile is a lonely place, a search of a lost feeling of belonging, of identity and security. Nothing but a portrait on the wall to remind you where you came from, but it will not tell you who you are. Objects become a true companion when the searching road is the only place that feels like home.

Directed by Shirley Neeman

*International Selection from Israel

BitchinBibles-OS

Chaos ensues when two 1970s Bible salesmen witness a murder at a client's house.

Directed by Jillian Ruvalcaba

Jillian Ruvalcaba is a senior studying Film and Television Production at USC's School of Cinematic Arts with a Comedy Performance minor. She is also currently apart of a USC sketch comedy troupe, The Suspenders, as a writer/performer and head of video production. Her passions include directing comedies, acting, writing sketches, and quoting Back to the Future.

saguaro-os

“Saguaro” an ode to the beauty of the desert and the grandeur of the ancient saguaro cactus. Las Chollas Peligrosas share healing magic of laughter and dance in the natural habitat of the Saguaro itself. This video is a montage of scenes that depict the beauty of the desert and the power of joy in moments of hardship.

Directed by Max Anderson

Born and raised in Arizona, Max graduated from the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, and has since collaborated with countless brands to help clarify their message, and drive business.
Max is a video marketer and owner of Picnic Tree Productions, specializing in empowering companies of all sizes to tell their story through video.
He has a passion for everything Arizona and feels most at home when near a camera and a campfire.

*Arizona Artist

Estacionarios-OS

Two youngsters enter a house when their owners are absent. Amanda is a girl with nothing to lose. Javier stays by her side and helps her in her task. They both think they know what they are looking for, but the unfamiliar and lonely places remind them of a denied perspective on their existence. Their eyes meet while contemplating death at the same time, and what emerges from that break-in will change their lives.

Directed by Jesus Galeana De Luis

*International Selection from Mexico

Jesús Galeana De Luis nació el 27 de Julio del año 1996 en la ciudad de Puebla. Desde la adolescencia se interesó por las artes, especialmente en la música y el cine, experimentando con composiciones musicales y video clip. En el año 2014 ingresa a la Licenciatura en Cinematografía de la Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Audiovisuales en la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, durante los años de estudio en la universidad realizó distintos cortometrajes como director y es ahí donde también se interesa y práctica en el ámbito de la cinefotografía. En 2014 realiza el cortometraje La Búsqueda donde comprueba aspectos del lenguaje cinematográfico, en el año 2015 dirige el cortometraje Circuito Cerrado Menta l inspirado en el arte surrealista, en 2017 dirige 11 AM cortometraje donde puntualiza en la dirección de actores, en ese mismo año y el año del 2018 se desempeña en puestos como la gerencia de producción y asistencia de dirección en proyectos escolares, también realiza la dirección de cinefotografía del video musical Kairos, en el año de 2019 dirige el cortometraje Estacionarios y continua involucrándose en la cinefotografía en videoclips y cortometrajes. Actualmente se encuentra desarrollando su proyecto de tesis.

BLACMAN-OS

"Blac Man" For me, this project was about 1) articulating the frustration our generation feels and 2) linking that back to our shared history of struggle as Black people in Amerikkka.

Directed by Chuck Sterling

I'm a web-based content creator, focused on the production of visually stimulating and emotionally impactful work. Currently based in Phoenix, Arizona. Graduate of Arizona State; BA in Film and Media Production.

*Arizona Artist

Mrynot-os

I first saw Tony “Tone” Royster (aka Mr. Y Not) and Positive Movement Entertainment (PME) perform at a party during the summer of 2016. They were amazing, and I was convinced that there was a story to be told. After a few years of back and forth, I’m thrilled to have finally made that happen.

Tone has an incredibly magnetic personality. He oozes charisma, energy, and positivity. Not to mention he’s a kickass drummer! His demeanor is especially notable given all he’s been through. Despite his circumstances, Tone has built one of the most recognizable drill teams in the city. PME’s goal is to inspire young people to express themselves through drumming, all as a means to decrease gun violence in Philadelphia.

As a Philadelphian myself, I feel that Tone is a personification of our city. It’s my honor to provide an outlet for him to tell his story.

I know as soon as things are back to normal, one of the first things we’ll hear is the sound of PME marching through the streets. Until then, I guess this will have to do.

Directed by Tim Harris

Tim is a documentary and commercial filmmaker from Philadelphia. He is passionate about telling heartfelt and honest stories that have a lasting impact on the audience. His most recent short documentary "Going Forward" debuted via The Atlantic Selects, and has been selected to Oscar-qualifying festivals. He lives in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia with his wife, Carly, and their son Paul.

NativeDrunk-OS

"Native Drunk" is a heavy, narrative focused piece about alcoholism, and how it's a slow suicide. We had the concept, and vision long before we had the actual song, and it's a blessing we got to see it through with an amazing team of people. This is contemporary Diné art.

Directed by Deidra Peaches

*Arizona Artist

Thelastqueen

An Hawaiian Woman brought up on Mainland USA, retraces her roots, and tries to understand and connect her contemporary LGBTQ+ survivor life, to the legacy of her blood line to the Royal Hawaiian Family. (Note: some Hawaiian Language)

Directed by Kaye Tuckerman

KAYE TUCKERMAN Originally from Sydney, Australia, Kaye has carved a niche internationally as a sought after director, performer, and designer. Her performing career has seen her headline some of the worlds biggest stage productions. Credits include: Summer - the Donna Summer Musical (Broadway), Les Miserables (Asia/Africa), The Boy From Oz, Mamma Mia!, she has performed at Madison Square Garden for the NBA, and alongside Jennifer Hudson and the Dropkick Murphys with the Boston Pops. She has won multiple awards for her solo performances, and can be seen onscreen in 'The Matrix', Netflix 'The Characters', Network USA 'Royal Pains', as well as many shorts, web series and independent features such as the award winning ‘The Actor’, ‘The Prime’, ‘Vandal’, and the soon to be released ‘Crossroads of America’. As a designer based in Nairobi, Kenya, she was nominated for an African Academy Award for her work on 'From a Whisper', other work can be seen in campaigns such as Nike Write the Future (Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Cinematographer. Emmanuel 'Chivo' Lubezki) and Nokia Sub Saharan Africa (Dir. Steve McCurry), features such as 'I am Slave', and numerous documentaries for Discovery, National Geographic and Raw TV. Gaining her degree at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Alumni Hugh Jackman), and directing qualifications at the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art - Sydney (Alumni Cate Blanchett), Kaye was the Creative Producer/Director of The Australian Dance Awards for numerous years, Creative Director for Inglot NYC directing and designing multiple photo shoots, and fashion events, Casting Associate for Disney's The Lion King' (Australia), and Casting Director for Sydney Dance Company. She has directed multiple theater productions throughout Australia and Asia, and most recently has directed the short films: 'Fragile', ‘Trumped’, ‘Nanas Room’, ‘Nil by Mouth’, 'Choice', 'Famousland',
'On my Shoulder', 'JOE', ‘#Femclap’. Highlights of multiple commercial shoots include: Lavazzon Designs, Saskia DeVries Jewelry, Sons of Christiania Clothing, Bella Models, as well as the music videos for Exotik Robotz, and the Hawaiian Documentary ‘The Last Queen’. Kaye is currently writing her first feature film, and looking forward to future collaborations with powerhouse filmmakers. www.kayetuckerman.com

Pinkbar

SATURDAY NIGHT

Steve-os copy

"Sydney Sprague’s music video shoot is not going well. Her label, directors, and managers are trying their best to shape her into whatever mold they’ve collectively chosen. Sydney decides to take the shoot into her own hands, literally.” Director, Dick Dorado. Director of Photography, Alexander Miller. Art Direction, Michael Carter. Set Design, Rhodes Creative

Directed by Dick Dorado

*Arizona Artist

playingwiththedevil-os

"Playing with the Devil" The five heroes of our French-UK pop band perform a live gig in front of a crowd of adoring fans, happily rocking out in the limelight before things start to get strange. The band’s instruments and members of the crowd gradually morph into bizarre objects and creatures as the choreographed chorus is performed against a psychedelic backdrop. The band are then swept away by an enormous golden wave teeming with jewels and other riches. They find themselves sailing across a golden ocean in an unlikely pink inflatable, journeying across unchartered waters before spotting a strange land on the horizon. They find themselves stranded on a surreal island in a dreamlike parallel world.

Behind the playful imagery and the fresh pop sound, Playing with the Devil is a song about integrity that expresses the singer’s desire to stay faithful to who she is. It was written to remind us of the risk you run when you wear another mask for money or fame.

By following the metaphorical “devil” down a greed-driven path, reality becomes a ridiculous farce for the 5 musicians. The characters in our music video narrowly avoid drowning in the waves of gold and jewels before reaching the safety of their small paradise island. Perhaps they've already made the choice to abandon wealth, status and fame to follow their dreams? Or perhaps this is their version of hell?
This is a paper-collage stop-motion clip entirely animated from hand-drawn faces, cuttings from vintage magazines and coloured paper backdrops.

Directed by Amy Winterbotham , Pierre Paturel

Peter The Moon is a director, artist and film-maker working in Lyon, France. He is one of the founders of the Scalpel Productions collective, a team of artists specialising in stop-motion and animated videos.

Peter the Moon is also a musician and his connections with the French music scene have led him to direct and produce numerous music videos for independent bands, as well as filming live performances. He has also directed some fictional short films.

Amy Winterbotham is the singer of the Midnight Cassette and is also an illustrator and graphic artist. This was her first animation working with Scalpel Productions.

Leassecret

When Lea and her father move in to their new condominium unit, she suddenly acquires the power to go through walls and closed doors. She doesn’t tell anyone about it— not even her mother who works as a nurse in London. At school, Lea tries out her newfound power to no avail. Taking note of her strange behavior, Teacher Cynthia reaches out and soon discovers that Lea’s power is actually the ability to survive through the harrowing trauma of sexual molestation from her own father. This short animated film is based on the acclaimed children’s book that aims to raise awareness on child sexual abuse, and empower victimized children to seek help and tell their stories.

Directed by Rico Gutierez

Rico studied Painting at the Otis/Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, California and Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has pursued a career in television and film and is now best known in the Philippines for directing various types of TV programs-- from drama/fantasy series to documentaries, reality shows and musical variety shows. He has also directed 'Survivor Philippines', 'Lip Sync Battle Philippines', 'Power of 10' among other international franchise programs. He currently directs a weekly fantasy TV series and "Amazing Earth" a top rating local infotainment show featuring nature documentaries from BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. He is currently in production for an action TV series. Rico was also a TEDx Philippines speaker in 2011, where he talked about the untapped role of television in empowering its viewers.

FUCKINGDOWN-OS

"Fucking Down" is latest music video directed by Spanish filmmaker Amanda Lago for musician Fatal Tiger, produced by Lapiscina. The video explores the struggle we face in accepting ourselves by portraying and engaging with the most extreme aspects of our personality.

Set in a futuristic dystopian era with a strong retro aesthetic, Fucking Down presents us with several women of different ages surrounding the singer in a somber hotel room. Though similar in appearance, each reflects a unique trait spanning across the whole spectrum of human emotions. From playful and kind to brutal and fierce, the singer finds herself at their complete mercy with almost no control over their actions.

A carefully constructed and purposefully repetitive choreography illustrates this scenario, with each cycle featuring slightly different movements - some more exaggerated and violent and some more restrained and controlled. This reiteration gives the protagonist the chance to react differently each time and learn more about herself, leading her to predict patterns in her own behaviour and gradually accept herself.

Directed by Amanda Lago

Amanda Lago is a Spanish award-winning director based in Madrid. She is a writer, director, composer and editor, with her work spanning across commercials, series, short films, fashion films and music videos. Conveying relationships, experiences and feelings in all her work, she is gifted with the great ability to translate human emotions into cinematic language and sees in filmmaking a way to share her own unique view of the world.

Fucking Down is the second production directed by Lago in collaboration with Fatal Tiger. Lago’s previous works have won awards internationally, including Best Song Soundie 2017, and have been been selected across several international film festivals, including Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Fashion Film Festival Milano, LA Fashion Film Festival and Video Art and Experimental Film Festival in New York.

Thebrownlist-OS

THE BROWNLIST is a smart, satirical comedy that explores race and what it means to be “diverse” in the entertainment industry. It’s the story of a girl blessed with two races but seemingly not enough of either to fit in. 

Created by Ursula Taherian 

Her Mom is a Christian-practicing white girl, her Dad is a Muslim-practicing Afghan, she is a yoga-practicing Halfghan (with a mezuza outside her door just to cover all her bases). Ursula Taherian is a creative multi-hyphenate, most recently writing, producing and starring in the multiple award-winning short film, The Brownlist, a satire about race and how the media views “diversity.” Her subsequent pilot script, A Little Race-Ish, earned her recognition in several competitions and eventually landed at CBS where she now works as a writer on the new Chuck Lorre sitcom, The United States of Al.

Thingsareweird-os copy

"Things Are Weird"

Directed by Esteban Obregon & The Kaleidoscope Kid

Dustinthewind-OS

There always be a development and change in the society. Some spaces and people are not derive benefit from that action. This project is intended to present the personal perspective toward the social economic inequality issue as the young generation in Thailand. The story of the video concerns the crashing space between the commercial space and the working-class in the city, personal background story about the working-class people and the personal feeling related with the social problem issue.

Directed by Jiratchaya Pattarathumrong

Requiem-OS

"Requiem"

Directed by Mikey Campbell

Mikey Campbell (Director/Editor/VFX Artist/Producer) is a local Arizona filmmaker that has been curating new and original projects for the better part of the last decade. Film making isn’t only his passion but his day job. He has been called many titles from, creative director to digital media producer but the job is always the same, create engaging content that clients are excited to share. He started his career fresh out of film school (Glendale Community College), working for the Outdoor Channel and being a lead editor for three different wildlife/outdoor television series. He recently worked as the Digital Media Producer for a local marketing company called Find Your Influence and got his fill of “Influencer Marketing” and all the intricacies that go along with that fascinating world. Now he is partners at a local production company called HUB 1111. HUB has its hands full with everything from merchandise, art galleries to luxury cars. Although this is how Mikey pays the bills he hasn’t forgotten his roots and why he loves film, and that is to create narrative content that stimulates audiences and tells an original story. He of course has dabbled with short films and music videos his entire career and takes what he’s learned
from the previous project and expands on it on the next.

*Arizona Artist

Sheis-OS

A young, African American, LGBTQ couple struggle in their relationship. Although their love for each other runs deep, unhealthy tactics are being used for means of control.

Directed by Deonna Weatherly

Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Deonna Weatherly is a recent graduate earning her masters degree at Indiana University in Media, Design and Production.

Majority of her photo, video, and film works are inspired by art and story telling with themes including but not limited to race, gender, and sexuality. She specializes in narrative film making and documentary styled projects.

She has worked as a photographer/videographer alongside many organizations including the Indiana Daily Student newspaper (IDS), Bloom Magazine, Blueline Media Productions, Big Ten Network (BTN), Indiana University's Media School, The African American Arts Institute and many smaller projects.

COLONIZINGSPACE-OS copy

Directed by AM Frison

Aaron Michael Frison, also known as Coultrain, combines music,
performance, video, and writing into a cross-disciplinary exploration of modern folklore. ‘Colonizing Space’ is his 2nd short film.