Film Fest 2021

by THE ARTISTS FORUM

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THE ARTISTS FORUM FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE: 2021 (#theartistsforumfilmfest) returns for its sixth year with new, innovative programming. This year’s festival will showcase 42 shorts and introduce 6 feature length films for its first time, highlighting our 2021 Competition Theme: (THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION.

The 2021 Official Selections have been created by independent filmmakers originating from 17 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States


THIS YEAR’S THEME:

Filmmakers were challenged to interpret our theme: (THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION. In this case, ‘Politics’ has a broader meaning than just government and can include much wider interpretations. We’ve divided the selections into 5 programs of shorts and 1 program of 6 feature length films highlighting different aspects of our theme.


PROGRAMS:

Virtual screenings for this year’s festival are available online October 29 – December 12, 2021:

(The) Politics of Emotion I:    Defy
(The) Politics of Emotion II:   Survive
(The) Politics of Emotion III:  Oppression
(The) Politics of Emotion IV:  Darkness
(The) Politics of Emotion V:   LGBTQ+
(The) Politics of Emotion VI:  Features


TICKETS:

Programs I – V‘s short films offer 7-day streaming, available on Vimeo for $3.99 per program.
Program VI‘s individual feature films also include 7-day streaming on Vimeo for $3.99 per film.
Our discounted All-Access Festival Pass – a total of 48 films – is $34.99 for 30-day streaming.


Our annual Closing Night Awards Ceremony will be held on December 4, 2021.

Our 2021 Festival Ambassadors are The Artists Forum: AFTV Host Michael Inge and The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image: 2019 Jurors Award Winner José Carlos Teixeira.

2021 Festival Jury: Ashley Gerst, Martha Gorzycki, Henry Kanegsberg, Cary Patrick MartinLee Milby, Djordje Radovanovich, David Ranghelli, Cherie SongAnthony von Seck, José Carlos Teixeira, Amos White V, and Vitkor Witkowski

2021 Festival Media Sponsor: LinkNYC

THE ARTISTS FORUM INC., now in its 23rd year, is a New York City based non-profit arts service organization specializing in events, juried competitions, and media for artists.

Its FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE is the organization’s flagship program, and provides an unparalleled platform for emerging and mid-career filmmakers to share their stories with the world’s creative, media, and film communities.

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Facebook#theartistsforumfilmfest on FacebookInstagramTwitterYoutube, Vimeo, and Tiktok Hashtag: #theartistsforumfilmfest

2021 FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM SCHEDULE

(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION I: DEFY

DEFY: 9 shorts (124 mins) – This program presents films where individuals and communities defy social norms, reclaim their agency, and take charge of their lives.

ALEZAN

7:53 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Loïc Faquet (France)

EXPERIMENTAL – A woman in a wedding dress finds herself in a stable. As her intimacy is being disturbed, she starts wondering about the possibility to choose her own destiny. US Premiere

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RIMI

13:05 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Nischhal Sharma (India)

NARRATIVE – Rimi, a housewife stuck in a mundane domestic life, finds herself on the threshold of leaving everything behind to when a desire awakens in her. NY State Premiere

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THE EPHEMERAL ORPHANAGE

15:00 mins (2020)
Director: Lisa Barcy (US)

ANIMATION – Tattered paper dolls daydream alternate realities and explore the lives of their strict and secretive caregivers. Created with paper dolls cut from 1920’s newspaper. NY State Premiere

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CUTSTEIN

10:46 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Hamidreza Khosh-Bazan (Iran)

EXPERIMENTAL – Life of an editor who works for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and feels like Frankenstein, creating a monster. Imaging of all movie sequences have been done with a cell phone.

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STRING OF LIFE

11:35mins (2021)
Writer/Dir: Amir Shakiba & Alireza Khajehali (Iran)

DOCUMENTARY – A disabled woman saves her family from collapse. NY State Premiere

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HOME (THE GAMBIA)

5:55 mins (2020)
Editor/Director: Harry Dwinell (US)

DOCUMENTARY – The multi-faceted Gambian culture shown through film and testimonials gathered over 2.5 years explain why Gambian’s proudly call this land home. World Premiere

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HAIKU

17:17 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Martin Gerigk (Germany)

EXPERIMENTAL – Haiku | 俳句 is a symphonic audiovisual project for two Japanese performers and pays tribute to the extraordinary art of Japanese haiku poetry. NY State Premiere

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CONFLUENCE

15:00 mins (2020)
Director: ETA (US)

DOCUMENTARY – A meditation on Asian American ancestry and queer identity experiences.
East Coast Premiere

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I ELECT: POWER EVERY FOUR YEARS

26:32 mins (2020)
Writer: Bill Spring (US)
Director: Ricky J. Martinez (US)

NARRATIVE – A call-to-action for anti-racism, the power of voting, a personal side of COVID, and voter suppression awareness. NY State Premiere

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(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION II: SURVIVE

SURVIVE: 8 shorts (99 mins) – This program focuses on survival in its many forms: spirituality, the ecology, and psychological stresses relating to the pandemic and other factors.

THE STREAM XI

7:50 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Hiroya Sakurai (Japan)

EXPERIMENTAL – In XI, I consider why waterways are created. Its flow feeds crops, circulates goods, and act as transportation and societal information networks. NY State Premiere

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THIS MORTAL PLASTIK

21:18 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Jess Irish (US)

DOCUMENTARY – A personal dive into the world’s most impersonal substance – plastics. Amid lockdown, a bereaved mother journeys to better understand the landscape of single-use synthetics.

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WHAT GOD WANTS

6:25 mins (2020)
Director: Mykhailo Bogdanov (Ukraine/US)

DOCUMENTARY (Student) – A spiritual journey of a young lawyer who is searching for the true meaning of his life. NY State Premiere

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KRUNK

3:35 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Francesco Siro Brigiano (Italy)

MUSIC VIDEO – Cellist Allesio Pianelli’s first music video – A dreamlike journey in intimate Sicily.
NYC Premiere

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SURVIVERS

6:30mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Carlos Gómez-Trigo (Spain)

COMEDY – Natural selection says that only those who adapt will survive. What if humans have become stupid?

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CALL WAITING

2:36 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: CJ Barnes (US/Australia)

DARK THEMES – Sidney and Olson work overnight at a call centre. It’s dull until Sidney gets calls from a stranger who claims she’s in danger. Soon, she’s in a race stop the madness. North American Premiere

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I MAY BE WRONG

8:29 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: David Giardina (US)

COMEDY – What happens when a singer is urged by his 1930’s pals to perform in a splashy show during pandemic hysteria. NYC Premiere

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WRATH

32:07 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Brad Porter & Meg Case (US)

DARK THEMES – Amidst a mandatory quarantine, a young woman lives in isolation battling deteriorating mental health as her fear of the outside world drives her deeper inwards. North American Premiere

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(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION III: OPPRESSION

OPPRESSION: 9 shorts (107 mins) – In this program, individualism is suppressed and societal pressures make it almost impossible to overcome, begging the question “Is it all worth it?”

AMERICAN

3:17 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Julian D. Hall (US)

NARRATIVE – American takes a brisk, provocative look at what people fight for and their perspective on the choice. World Premiere

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ORBITAL SQUARES

18:00 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Moojin Brothers (South Korea)

EXPERIMENTAL – Technology obsessively searches for physical objects using inefficient eyes. Artists create virtual facial recognition systems, inviting viewers to assess data from its squares.

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SEVA

15:46 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Rippin Sindher (US)

DOCUMENTARY – From 9/11 to the Oak Creek Temple massacre, Sikhs combat xenophobia and hate groups practicing selfless service known as seva. They fight to force accurate FBI reporting.

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SEVEN FISHES

10:25 mins (2021)
Writer: Ali Keller (US)
Director: Jaclyn Gramigna (US)

NARRATIVE – So wrapped up in creating the perfect Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian American family can’t see one of them doesn’t intend to stay.

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MICKEY HARDAWAY

19:23 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Marcellus Cox (US)

NARRATIVE – A young sketch artist visits a well renowned psychiatrist as his life begins sprawling out of control after years of physical and verbal abuse. NYC Premiere

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IN PLANE ENGLISH

1:00 mins (2020)
Director: Brian Plonka (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – A marriage hits the rocks.
Repulsiveness, clearly pontificated, at 30,000 feet. NYC Premiere

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LOWER GRAND

10:00 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Jeff Dorer (US)

DOCUMENTARY – Chronicling Great Recession recovery via the secret life of a street known to many via the media. Its portals are windows on the status quo. North American Premiere

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FIVE MINUTES THE END

13:18 mins (2021)
Writer/Dir: Ramtin Kouchaki Hassankiadeh (Iran)

NARRATIVE – A woman endures many hardships from family, husband, and unjust laws. She’s found out she’s pregnant. What will she do to prevent her child from being born in Iran? World Premiere

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A NEW WORLD

15:14 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Slav Velkov (Bulgaria)

NARRATIVE – A working-class man has to choose between staying in the room where he lived all his life or defying the mysterious figure that holds him captive.

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(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION IV: DARKNESS

DARKNESS: 9 shorts (83 mins) Films in this program present a harsh look at our world and ourselves – hoping, but not always actualizing a positive outcome.

CITY OF SILENCE

15:00 mins (2020)
Director: Nicolle Marquez (US)

DOCUMENTARY – An elder man copes with a double aftermath: a ravaged island and the passing of his wife. NY State Premiere

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THE WAR WITHIN

14:59 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Javid Farahani (Iran)

NARRATIVE – A bitter, paralyzed man trades dollars from home, hoping for a US/Iran war so values will soar. It’ll make him rich and pay for a leg operation. Then, there’s his wife… East Coast Premiere

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BEHIND THE GLASS

5:00 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Pedro de la Llave (Spain)

ANIMATION – Mario thinks he is in control, knows what he’s doing, and looks down to people on the other side of the glass. But, what Mario doesn’t know is that the glass itself is not on his side.

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ROCK. PAPER. SCISSORS.

9:30 mins (2021)
Writer: John Alexander Fraser (UK)
Director: Dmitry Torgovitsky (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – A man wakes up in a world where people communicate by playing rock paper scissors. He seeks to solve this mystery. World Premiere

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FIREFALLS

12:45 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Ariel Neo (France)

EXPERIMENTAL – Firefalls explores environmental reality and depicts devastation caused by humans on Earth. How long can mankind run away from the apocalypse it caused? NYC Premiere

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THE CLOWN STATUE

10:00 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Joseph Maddalone (US)

DARK THEMES (Student) – A teenager babysitting for a family finds a disturbing clown statue in the corner of a room. She quickly learns there’s more to the statue than meets the eye. World Premiere

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PLANET M IN OUTER SPACE

5:25 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Peter Meng (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – This early film was found buried (intentionally?) in MGM’s Archives. Historians restored and unwittingly shared it publicly. The film reveals a sinister alien plot to overtake Manhattan.

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WIDOW’S END

4:42mins (2019)
Writer/Director: Jil Guyon (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – The perils of a womans isolation and climate instability meet in this split screen video set against the backdrop of a volcanic red rock quarry in southern Iceland.

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SEBASTAPOL

5:05 mins (2020)
Director: Marco North (US)

MUSIC VIDEO – Self-directed music video supporting my debut album.

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(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION: LGBTQ+

LGBTQ+: 7 shorts (108) – In this program, filmmakers from all walks of life share stories about themselves or commentaries on their communities as seen through their artistic lens.

HIDE OR SEEK

19:45mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Brian Newell (US)

DARK THEMES – Andrew introduces his boyfriend to childhood friends by playing a nostalgic, terrifying game of Hide and Seek. The game turns deadly when he discovers someone hiding in the shadows…

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AUTOIMMUNE

12:25 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Marcos Serafim (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – A non-human entity troubles distorted understandings of HIV, queerness, and disease. Gaining agency over data, it animates archival figures to speak. East Coast Premiere

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MASISI WOUJ

22:00 mins (2021)
Director: Zé Kielwagen, Marcos Serafim, Steevens Simeon (Haiti)

DOCUMENTARY – Haitian artist/activist Sanba Yonel creates tribute to Vodou gods and goddesses who once inspired a revolution. NY State Premiere

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GRIFFICA

11:30 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: C.J. Arellano (US)

NARRATIVE – A man suspects his all-too-perfect boyfriend is a demon in disguise.

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ORGAN PLAY

6:47 mins (2019)
Writer/Director: 江峰 Jiang Feng (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – What is sex and the sexual-sensual body? This film presents empathic tactile and aural experiences with sensual choreography to re-imagine and re-define human sexuality.

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DEAR ELSA: 10 LETTERS + 10 EXPERIMENTS

30:00 mins (2020)
Director: Amanda Madden (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – A filmmaker attempts to channel a ghost in pursuit of answers about sex, art, and madness. East Coast Premiere

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TO YOU MY LOVE

4:55 mins (2021)
Writer/Director: Olivia Gastaldo (US)

EXPERIMENTAL – To You My Love investigates the visual poetry of a love letter. NY State Premiere

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(THE) POLITICS OF EMOTION: FEATURES

FEATURES: 6 Features – The category presents 6 long form documentaries and narratives exploring various aspects of our festival theme with runtimes exceeding 40 minutes.

DIRECTED BY

1hr 30 mins (2021)
Writer: Steve Race & Michael K. Race (US)
Director: Steve Race (US)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – A behind the scenes look at the 72nd Academy Awards live telecast from 2000.

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EXTERNO

1hr 23 mins (2020)
Writer: Leandro Taub (Argentina/US)
Dirs: Jonathan Taub & Leandro Taub (Argentina/US)

NARRATIVE FEATURE – A revolutionary businessman tries to conquer the world with $2,000.

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HINTERLAND HIDEOUT

57:03 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Dirk Hoyer (Germany/Estonia)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Spain’s Huelva region is rough-edged with many environmental challenges. But, two immigrants from different lands set out separately to make this their home. World Premiere

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MAKING AN EXONEREE

3hr 27 mins (2021)
Writer: Cindy Dorfmann (US)
Director: Rob Dorfmann & Cindy Dorfmann (US)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 16 Georgetown undergrads re-investigate five wrongful conviction cases to help free an innocent man. NYC Premiere

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RUINS

1hr 16 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Jay Mohan (India/US)

NARRATIVE FEATURE – Nine years after an infection that destroyed most of humanity, survivors search the debris to find clues of what really transpired. NYC Premiere

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SILENCED TREE

1hr 57 mins (2020)
Writer/Director: Faysal Soysal (Turkey)

NARRATIVE FEATURE – Hayati is a small-town literature teacher and one-hit-wonder author who can’t let go of his past. After witnessing a murder he questions if standing by is as big a sin as doing it? North American Premiere

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JUDGES

Ashley Gerst

Ashley Gerst is a 2D and 3D animator living in Brooklyn NY. She holds a BFA in Digital Arts from Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA in Computer Art from School of Visual Arts. In addition to her professorial work at William Paterson, Ashley is a freelance animator working for clients such as AMC, Viacom, Fast Co., Hudson Media, and CBS.

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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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Cary Patrick Martin

Cary won 2019 Best Director & Audience Award at #theartistsforumfilmfest for his film Coffee and a Donut. He studied directing at Independent Film School and The Barrow Group, and acting at Sande Shurin Acting Studio, T. Schreiber Studio, and The American Globe Theater. Cary has produced cabaret benefits for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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Lee Milby

Lee Milby is a New York-based director and artist known for creating unique and highly conceptual videos. Featured in both domestic and international publications, Lee’s ability to bring out the individual energy and style of each artist and brand makes for timeless, original content.

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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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Cherie Song

Cherie Song is an Oakland California-based filmmaker and lawyer. Her film “Me Llamo Jesus” tied for first place in The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image: 2020 for Best Dark Themed Short. She further engages with the arts as a board member of a large LGBTQ+ film festival in Los Angeles.

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José Carlos Teixeira

José is an artist, filmmaker, researcher, and educator from Portugal. His work has exhibited internationally in prestigious museums, foundations, galleries, and film festivals, garnering him awards and fellowships. As a Fulbrighter, he earned a Master’s from UCLA, and was in residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude and MacDowell, among others.

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Anthony von Seck

Filmmaker/Director/Actor/Musician Anthony von Seck is a veteran of the Canadian film industry. His short film, “The 100th Victim,” short story “The Red Chamber” by Edogawa Rampo, had a successful festival run. Most recently, his film “Limbo” received 5 nominations, winning Best Actor (TJ Riley ) in The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image: 2020.

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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 LISTINGS

View or download our 2021 Program Schedule
Full Awards Listings forthcoming after our December 4th Awards Ceremony

MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

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