Film Fest 2019

by THE ARTISTS FORUM

Competitions     >    Film


THE ARTISTS FORUM FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE: 2019 was a three day event held October 17 – 19, 2019  in mid-town Manhattan.  This fourth annual event showcased 30 short films of multiple genres from independent filmmakers originating from 9 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Dominican Republic, France, India, Iran, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. The festival requires that films present innovative vision and unique perspectives in 30 minutes or less.Screenings were held October 17 and 18 from 8:30PM to 10:30 PM, and October 19 from 7PM to 11PM at the exclusive Dolby Screening Room  —  a state-of-the-art, ADA compliant screening facility at 1350 Avenue of the Americas at West 55th Street (Lobby Level) in Mid-town Manhattan.  Each year, the festival highlights a wide variety of categories, such as: Narrative, Experimental, Sci-Fi, Dark Themes, and Music Video. This year, the festival’s featured special themed category was SOCIAL JUSTICE.

THE ARTISTS FORUM FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE: 2019 was funded in part by a grant from the NYC & Company Foundation.

2019 Festival Sponsors: New York & Company Foundation, LinkNYC, and Mombucha Kombucha.
2019 Festival Partners: Dolby, Crunch, Paramount Hotel, Stewart Hotel, and MNN.
2019 Festival Jury: Stefanie Alleyne, Greg Chwerchak, Motaz Elbahaey, Martha Gorzycki, Henry Kanegsberg, Djordje Radovanovich, David Ranghelli, Jonathan Ullman, Amos White V, and Vitkor Witkowski.

THE ARTISTS FORUM INC., celebrating its 20th year, is a NY state non-profit arts service organization specializing in events, media, and juried competitions for artists. Its FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE is the organization’s flagship program. For more information about the festival, volunteering, partnerships, and sponsorships, visit our SUPPORT PAGES.

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2019 FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE

DAY 1: OCTOBER 17

ELEPHANTBIRD

15:00 min (2018)
Writer/Director: Masoud Soheili (Iran)

NARRATIVE – On a bus to Kabul, an old man travels to give a gift to his grandchild. But the main road is blocked by insurgents. The alternative path could be deadly. NY State Premiere

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OXYGEN

64:44 min (2018)
Writer/Director: Nathan Ginter (US)

DARK THEMES (Student) – After a mission to Mars goes awry, an astronaut must record her final words.

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SUNCATCHER

12:00 mins (2018)
Writers: Elisa Croft, Parker Croft, Aaron Golden Director: Parker Croft (US)

NARRATIVE. For months Kira has been living out of her car in Venice, California. Today that changes.

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DEAR APOCALYPSE

4:21 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Louis Laval (France)

MUSIC VIDEO (Student) In an apocalyptic world, a man represents its last hope. A secret organization tries to take him down.

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CHUHEDAANI (MOUSETRAP)

30:00 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Ravi Shankar Kaushik (India)

NARRATIVE – Meena, a young village girl who is married to an abusive man, comes to terms with her miserable life. But, fate adds a twist in the tale when the lecherous landlord arrives one day. East Coast Premiere

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THE SWEETEST KISS

4:20 mins (2017)
Writer/Director: Alina Maria Rancier (Dominican Republic)

EXPERIMENTAL Dripping with desire, a kiss between lovers gets a bit sticky.

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DAY 2: OCTOBER 18

TARREGA TANAZAKY

14:58 mins (2018)
Director: Román Rubert Bernat (Spain)

EXPERIMENTAL – Tanazaky travels to guitarist Francisco Tarrega’s birthplace to compose the artist’s forgotten masterpiece. For this, he decides to relive Tárrega’s childhood. East Coast Premiere

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JABARI KEATING

10:00 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Stacey Larkins (US)

SOCIAL JUSTICE – Upon making a life altering decision, Jabari Keating explores his personal reflections, life experiences, and trials and tribulations as an African American in the present day.

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ZOG: THE FIRST FEMINIST

4:17 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Benjamin Folstein (US) 

ANIMATION – Even yea unto the dawn of time… men were pigs.

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LIFELINE

10:00 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: L. Marcus Williams (US) 

NARRATIVE (Student) – Will he lose her or will she find the will to live? This film is inspired by the writer/director’s own experience as both a crisis hotline operator and a survivor of attempted suicide.

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GRASSLAND

19:15 mins (2019)
Director: Sarah Kanouse (US) 

DOCUMENTARY -This essay film uses meditative footage, collage animation, and expressive sound to excavate the layers of belief, ecology, practice, and materiality that underlie a working landscape on the Colorado high plains. NY State Premiere

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THE ELITE 8, EP. 4: THE FAST LANE

2:17 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Jeryl Parade (US) 

NARRATIVE – How does a precocious boy turned Wall Street whippersnapper become a soulful man? Through the girls & women he meets of course!

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PUPIL

14:58 mins (2018)
Writer: Meysam Muyini / Orod Barari
Director: Meysam Muyini (Iran)

SCI-FI – A man starts his day with a headache like everyone else, but suffers flashing memories seem reveal an abduction.

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BIG THINGS HAVE SMALL BEGINNINGS

3:39 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Christopher Thompson (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – A mother’s account of an artist’s youth is contradicted by his mythologized narrative in an exploration of the dichotomy between memory and myth in a post Y2K world. East Coast Premiere

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GREED INCORPORATED

3:05 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Shondra Jepperson (US)

MUSIC VIDEO – A social statement on all facets of greed residing in our country’s history – ugly politics, back-biting corporate world, exploitation, personal addictions, and selfish gratification. NYC Premiere

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DAY 3: OCTOBER 19

THE PHANTASMAGORIA OF OFFENSE: THE MALE VERSION

6:33 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Jessica Irish (US)

DOCUMENTARY – A collage history on the dangers of image suppression and censorship.

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SPECTRUM

10:50 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Christie Bednarz & Writer David Friedfertig (US)

SCI-FI (Student) – In a dystopian universe where male influence no longer exists, Emma follows a journey of self discovery from a shelter life prescribed by her mothers.

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ZED’ S DREAM

6:00 mins (2017)
Director: Julian Olariu (France)

EXPERIMENTAL – He left. Everyone said he disappeared. His room, his belongings, his documents – everything remained as if he would come back. A few days later, I felt he was still there.

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SUBWAY INFERNO

5:02 mins (2018)
Director: Peter Meng (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – Loosely based on Dante’s Inferno, this subway to another dimension reveals a labyrinth whose passages are the circles of hell. Look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

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START LIVING AGAIN

3:28 mins (2019)
Director: Ciro Ayala (Argentina)

MUSIC VIDEO – Director Ciro Ayala creates a video single from the album “Little Boat” by Swiss singer/songwriter Ajay Mathur. World Premiere

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THE SPIRIT SEAM

14:52 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Ashley Gerst (US)

ANIMATION – Pollywog and Pap-Paw enjoy life in their small coal-mining town in 1950’s Appalachia. They are inseparable until illness threatens to fracture their small family.

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BLACKBETTY – EPISODE 8: WORK WILL SET YOU FREE

16:46 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Marco North (US).

NARRATIVE – In the gruesome aftermath of a mysterious outbreak in Eastern Europe, a handful of quarantined survivors navigate loss and a sprawling conspiracy. East Coast Premiere.

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FUCKED UP POINT BLANK

4:36 mins (2019)
Director: Shayna Connelly (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – Anxiety unseats the narrator in time and place as she tries to rewrite the story in search of a less violent ending.

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COFFEE AND DONUT

11:28 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Cary Patrick Martin (US)

NARRATIVE – Pablo is a young Spanish-speaking immigrant. The film explores his journey towards self expression in an English speaking world.

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WASH ME PLEASE

5:30 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Ali Nikfar & Saeid Mayahy (Iran)

SOCIAL JUSTICE – She decided to go out and take some pictures but…

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REPERCUSSION

4:20 mins (2018)
Writer/Director: Negin Homayounpour (Iran)

NARRATIVE – A family watches a war movie. NY State Premiere

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SHENIDOM BAHMENI

4:06 mins (2017)
Director: Ali Nikfar (Iran)

MUSIC VIDEO – Traditional music from Bushehr in southern Iran.

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ON EXILE

27:00 min (2018)
Writer/Director: Jose Carlos Teixeira (Portugal)

DOCUMENTARY – Moving testimonies of Syrian and Somalian Muslim refugees in the US. The film shows intimate psychological portraits, allowing them full personal/political agency. East Coast Premiere

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IN A LANDSCAPE, DREAMING

7:00 min (2018)
Writer/Director: Ross Morin (US)

MUSIC VIDEO – A pianist’s reverie carries him through the mountains. NY State Premiere. NY State Premiere

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JUDGES

Stefanie Alleyne

Editor/Producer Stefanie Alleyne is known for her works on films Beautiful Killer, If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise, and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She received her MSW studying Community Organizing Planning and Development at Silberman School of Social Work, and empowers communities with finding their voice and sharing their message.

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Greg Chwerchak

Greg is a New Jersey native and graduate of Rice University, and has directed music videos for Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Counting Crows, System of a Down, and Nelly. His commercial spots include work for Gatorade, McDonald’s, and ESPN. His shorts, The Hook-Armed Man, The Quarry, and Sac de Merde, have screened in festivals worldwide.

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Motaz Elbahaey

Motaz is an award-winning Egyptian filmmaker. As a director, Motaz’s work has earned him numerous awards and nominations. He holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from New York Film Academy Los Angeles. Motaz is committed to creating relatable movies that stir emotions and are reflective of the world around us.

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Martha Gorzycki

Martha is an award winning animator, filmmaker and media artist, experimenting in digital animation and new media. Her work screens globally in festivals, galleries, on LED billboards, as outdoor projections and online. She has produced animation for more than 30 years and teaches digital cinema and animation at San Francisco State University.

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Henry Kanegsberg

A graduate of Ithaca College, Henry received his MBA from NYU and is a former finance and administration executive in the broadcasting, music, and publishing industries. He held senior positions with NBC, RCA Records and Random House. Currently, Henry is the chair of community organizations for the Mount Sinai Hospital System.

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George Radovanovich

George is an independent scholar with a focus on research and writings on art and cultural criticism. Originally from Serbia, George received his US citizenship in 1995 while studying at New York’s School of Visual Arts, earning his BFA in Film and MFA in Computer Arts in 1997. 

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David Ranghelli

David studied filmmaking at Brooklyn College (BA), and Comp. Lit./ Cinema Studies at NYU’s GSAS (MA, MPHIL). He taught film analysis and mentored screenwriters at Tisch School of the Arts for 12 years. He has worked at the Media and Communication Arts Dept. at CUNY for 7 years, where he also educates aspiring filmmakers.

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Jonathan Ullman

Jonathan Ullman is a New York-based independent filmmaker.  His debut feature film, Trouble In The Heights, which he wrote, directed and produced, was released by Viva Pictures and garnered two Imagen Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor.  He is currently developing a feature film about the famed Paradise Garage and DJ Larry Levan.

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Amos White V

Amos is an inter-disciplinary multimedia artist, event producer, and exhibit designer. A graduate of the College of Human Ecology at the University of Maryland, College Park, Amos bridges his passion for the arts and human relations with the formation of THE ARTISTS FORUM.

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Viktor Witkowski

Viktor is a Polish-born German-raised painter/filmmaker. After graduating from HBK Braunschweig with a combined Master’s in Studio Art, Art History, and Art Education, he immigrated to the US to earn his MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers. Currently, he travels abroad creating art and lecturing at Dartmouth’s Studio Art Department.

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PROGRAM & AWARDS LISTING

View or download our 2019 Program and full Awards Listing.

2019 WINNERS
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT: Chuhedaani (Mousetrap) (Ravi Shankar Kaushik, India)
BEST DARK THEMED SHORT: Oxygen (Nathan Ginter, US)
BEST SCI-FI SHORT: Pupil (Meysam Muyini, Iran)
BEST EXPERIMENTAL SHORT: Tarrega Tanazaky (Román Rubert Bernat, Spain)
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: On Exile (José Carlos Teixeira, Portugal)
BEST FESTIVAL THEME – SOCIAL JUSTICE: Jabari Keating (Stacey Larkins, US)
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: The Spirit Seam (Ashley Gerst, US)
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: In a Landscape, Dreaming (Ross Morin, US)
BEST STUDENT SHORT: Lifeline (L. Marcus Williams, US)
BEST SOUND DESIGN: Moein Iranpour – Repercussion (Negin Homayounpour, Iran)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sarah Kanouse – Grassland (Sarah Kanouse, US)
BEST EDITING: Jess Irish – The Phantasmagoria of Offense: The Male Version (US)
BEST SCREENPLAY: L. Marcus Williams – Lifeline (L. Marcus Williams, US)
BEST DIRECTOR: Cary Patrick Martin – Coffee and a Donut (C. P. Martin, US)
BEST ACTOR: Dan Parilis – Lifeline (L. Marcus Williams, US)
BEST ACTRESS: Katlin Leslie – Lifeline (L. Marcus Williams, US)
2019 AUDIENCE AWARD: Coffee and a Donut (Cary Patrick Martin, US)
2019 JURORS AWARD: José Carlos Teixeira – On Exile (J. C. Teixeira, Portugal)

MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

View our Festival Photo Highlights.

View or download our Official Festival Poster.

View or download our LinkNYC Outdoor Advert Graphic.

Watch our 2019 MEET the Filmmakers Interview Videos.

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