The Second Annual Winter Film Awards Independent Film Festival kicked off Thursday, February 28 2013 with three full days of screenings and after-parties. This year’s event offered something for everyone, highlighting the dynamic range of talent and storytelling capabilities the independent filmmaking community has to offer. Among the 58 films selected for screening was a diverse mixture of documentaries, shorts, features, animation, music videos and horror films, including 9 student films, 15 female directors and representation from over 15 countries. Industry professionals from all major NYC-based Film Distribution companies were invited to the Festival, including Sony Pictures, IFC, Skylight Pictures and The Film Desk!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!
Dan Cullen – CLIVE UNGER’S MADAME XDan Cullen (Clive Unger) a regular fixture in theaters in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia holds a BA in Theatre and a BM in Music Education from James Madison University. He has appeared in several films as an extra, but this is his first film credit.
DANA PUPKIN – QWERTY
More: http://www.danapupkin.com/dana.htmlDana Pupkin has been hooked on acting since playing a toad in a local theatre production in San Jose. With a background in producing television (E! and MSNBC), Dana has enjoyed both producing theatre and as well as acting on stage and screen in Los Angeles. Dana can be seen in the award-winng web series “Dwelling” and a handful of TV commercials. In 2011, Dana started a jewelry line (streetlightspeople.com) and one of her pieces was featured in a Maybelline ad! Dana is thrilled to have worked alongside her husband, director Bill Sebastian, on creating “QWERTY” and raising their new daughter Amelia.
|BEST ANIMATED FILM
Argentina / Animated Short / 7 minutes / English
Director: Juan Pablo Zaramella
Producer: Sol RulloniIn a world controlled and timed by light, an ordinary man has a plan that could change the natural order of things.
Juan Pablo Zaramella was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. All his independent shorts have been awarded all around the world. In 2010, Annecy International Animation Festival presented a special program with a selection of his works. His last short film “Luminaris” has won 200 international awards, including the Audience Award and Fipresci Award at Annecy 2011, and was in the Oscars Shortlist for Best Animated Short.
JONATHAN STEVEN GREEN & JAHANARA SALEH
United States / Short Film / 30 minutes / English
Director: Jonathan Steven Green / Jahanara Saleh
Producer: Jonathan Steven Green / Jahanara Saleh / Austin James Green
More: www.imaginetheshortfilm.comA physiological drama about paramedic John Morris, who has been living under a cloud of guilt after he was unable to save his daughter’s life from drowning. Through the consumption of charged-water, John begins to revisit his daughter through past memories in an dreamlike world. Through this healing process, memories that were once filled with the weight of guilt begin to speak truth. With such a change, John becomes convinced that he has the ability to change past events and make everything the way it used to be.
Jonathan Steven Green, Writer / Director / Producer of Imagine, was born and raised in Cedar City, Utah. His work has been exhibited in several film festivals across the US and has won several awards. “I am a story teller only because I have something to say, I am a film maker only because I want people to listen”. – Jonathan
Jahanara Saleh Writer / Director / Producer of Imagine, was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and came to the United States to study film at the university of Utah. She specializes in writing,directing and editing and has a unique and experimental approach to narrative film making. Jahanara’s work has been showcased in several festivals around the globe.
VERSAILLES ’73: AMERICAN RUNWAY REVOLUTION
United States / Documentary Feature / 91 minutes / English
Director: Deborah Riley Draper
Producer: Deborah Riley Draper
More: www.versailles73movie.comNot many moments in life change the course of history; break the mold; shatter the status quo and usher in a paradigm shift. But on a chilly night in November 1973, such a moment took place. For the second time in history, the Americans stormed France in an epic battle. This battle, however, would pit the lions of French haute couture— Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro against bold, innovative American designers—Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Halston, in a runway rumble for industry dominance. Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution is a funny, extraordinary and often poignant collection of memories shared by the models, designers, journalists, patrons and others lucky enough to witness the night that forever changed fashion. The cast includes Stephen Burrows, Marisa Berenson, Pat Cleveland, Grace Mirabella, Harold Koda, Alva Chinn, Karen Bjornson, Dennis Christopher, Mikki Taylor and more. With rare footage and archival photos, the before, during and after the fashionable and iconic moment of November 28, 1973 unfold and share light on a little known moment that led to extraordinary change.
Deborah Riley Draper is an awarding advertising executive and filmmaker. The Atlanta resident wrote, directed and produced Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution. Draper has two documentaries in development and two features in development. The Atlanta native is committed to bringing complex characters from the African American experience to the screen.
|BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Mexico / Foreign Language Film / 81 minutes / Spanish w/Subtitles
Director: Ivan Lowenberg
Producer: Marcelino Islas
More: www.facebook.com/lacastracionLourdes is almost 24, works at a casting agency and takes care of her handicapped father, since her mother abandoned them years ago without explanation. Strange for her age and despite the advice of her best friend Victoria, Lourdes has never had a boyfriend, not even been kissed, not anything. One day her mother returns home reopening old wounds.
Ivan Lowenberg was born in Mexico City in 1985. He has been working as director, photographer and screenwriter for various TV documentaries. In 2008 he won the Hubert Bals Fund and he is currently working on his second feature film.
|BEST HORROR FEATURE FILM
BEYOND THE GRAVE
Brazil / Horror Feature / 89 minutes / Portuguese and Japanese w/Subtitles
Director: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro
Producer: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro and Isidoro B. GuggianaIn a devastated post-apocalyptic world where the rules of reality are transformed by magic and madness, a vengeful police officer searches for a possessed serial killer in a battle of the not-so-good versus absolute evil.
Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro is a writer, producer and director. Davi produced the documentary feature series “Boundaries of Thought” and the five episodes of the on-line series “Think Thank” starring David Lynch, Wim Wenders, among others. Beyond the Grave is his debut as a feature director.
|BEST HORROR SHORT FILM
INCIDENT ON HIGHWAY 73
United States / Horror Short Film / 27 minutes / English
Director: Brian Thompson
Producer: Michael Kirk + Brian Thompson
More: www.facebook.com/incidentonhighway73On Christmas Eve of 2005 Jeff and Kelly took a trip through the desert and mysteriously disappeared. This is the account of their final hours.
Brian Thompson is an award-winning director from Campo, California. As a child, Thompson read Jaws, The Lord of the Rings and Pet Cemetery for his grade school’s reading rainbow program. These books served as the catalyst for his directing career ahead and sparked his interest in storytelling.
|BEST MUSIC VIDEO
WAITING FOR GODOT
United States / Music Video / 5 minutes / English
Director: Caitlin Pashalek
Producer: Janina Gavankar
More: www.JaninaMusic.comA high-art music video for Janina Gavankar’s single ‘Waiting for Godot’. Gavankar plays two sides of the same person, fighting with each other as they find themselves lost in a vast plane.
Caitlin Pashalek is a Montana-born multi-media artist, using her specialties in stop motion animation, production design, and photography in her directorial work. After finishing her work on Focus Features “Paranorman”, she made “Waiting for Godot” her fifth music video creation.
|BEST PICTURE (FEATURE FILM)
United States / Feature Film / 91 minutes / English
Director: Bill Sebastian
Producer: Nat Dykeman
More: www.qwertythemovie.comQWERTY tells the story of two lonely humans trying to figure out how to experience love. Before introverted word-nerd Zoe gains the courage to enter the National Scrabble Championship, she meets her emotional match in Marty, an irascible recluse. She finds him equally pitted against the opposing forces in her life – other people – including family, co-workers and a couple particularly irksome adversaries standing in the way of her dream to become the world’s 2nd female National Scrabble Champion.
Bill Sebastian directed and starred in his first feature film about an unemployed ninja when he was 19. He is much older now and less nimble. In 2007 he helmed the feature film “Midlothia,” which was critically acclaimed on the independent film festival circuit. Last year he directed 4 episodes of “Dwelling” a web-series created by Anthony Q. Farrell, writer for “The Office”, and just wrapped a lead acting role in “The Black Sea”, an independent film shot in Oregon. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and child.
LAST WALTZ OF VIENNA
Written By: Brian Lee WeaklandBased on a true story, a young chemist is drafted by Nazis to control the assets of Sigmund Freud after Hitler’s army overruns Austria in 1938. But after becoming the unwitting subject of Freud’s psychoanalysis, the chemist disobeys orders, hides assets and pulls off Freud’s daring escape on the Orient Express. “Last Waltz of Vienna” captures not only the cultural beauty of Vienna and the brutality that forever marred it but, more importantly, tells the compelling story of two men, political opposites, who leaned on each other to survive.
Brian Lee Weakland of Richmond VA, is an honors graduate of Penn State’s School of Journalism. He won the Associated Press Community News Reporter Award and Keystone Press Award for investigative reporting as a staff writer and news editor for The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania. He has taught writing courses at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of three mystery novels based upon the legends of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. He received the 2012 Screenwriting Award from the Virginia Film Office, and is a proud member of the Virginia Screenwriting Forum.
|BEST SHORT FILM
THE BOY WHO’D NEVER SEEN RAIN
Australia / Short Film / 28 minutes / English
Director: Kim Ramsay
Producer: Kim Ramsay
More: www.facebook.com/TheBoyWhodNeverSeenRainThe Boy Who’d Never Seen Rain is a strongly-observed portrait of a family facing the challenges of the Australian Outback. Years of drought and hard luck have taken their toll on the Cobblin family. Patriarch Neil views everything, everyone and any attempt to help with wounded pride and suspicion, while his wife, Rita, tries to keep up a brave face. Meanwhile, their son Danny is almost lost in the shuffle. When they face the tragedy of losing their farm, their lives begin to fragment.
Kim Ramsay is a Visionary Filmmaker from Sydney, Australia. In the past 10 years Kim has written and directed 7 short films which have screened at over 50 festivals around the world including ‘Survival of The Fittest’ a mockumentary about penguin prostitution and ‘Prudence Pecker’ a cruel romantic comedy, winning 11 awards and ‘The Boy Who’d Never Seen Rain’. It is her ultimate aspiration in life to create films to inspire, move, uplift, provoke, challenge, heal and transform humanity.
|BEST STUDENT FILM
United States / Horror Short Film / 15 minutes / English
Director: Andres Rosende
Producer: Chris Laszlo, Irene Rodríguez, Senín Porto, George T. Kimmel IVIt’s Christmas again: family, presents, parties… The worst time of the year for Steve. Driving through New York City for Christmas Eve dinner, his car breaks down and he accidentally stumbles upon a crime scene. Mistaken for the notorious cleaner, Mr. Bear, Steve has to face a difficult choice: dismember and get rid of some boides or become a corpse himself.
Andres Rosende is a Los Angeles based writer and director currently in preproduction of his first feature, a horror film to be shot in 2013. His short films have played all around the world winning numerous awards. Andres has also co-written several feature screenplays and was quarterfinalist in the Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting. He received his M.F.A. in film directing from Columbia University.
The Perspectives Award is for the film that best expresses the essential multi-cultural experience that makes New York City independent film so exciting
United States / Short Film Competition / 28 minutes / English
Director: Dae Hoon Kim
Producer: Joonhan LeeHelena, a screenwriter who screams a lot, gets into tiffs and shouting matches with her classmates, teammates, best friends, homeless people and most often with Max, a chauvinistic foreigner in her class who brashly challenges her story in her own home of Flushing, NY.
Dae Hoon Kim is a New York filmmaker who has written and directed multiple short films, and a no-budget mini-feature, BROTHERS (2011) — a guerilla style, urban-stoner comedy. In 2012 he shot footage for web documentary, working title LAR20, about young people inspired from the 1992 LA Riots to create art, and is in post production. HELENA’S FLUSHING (2013) is his most recent short film. He is currently finishing development on his proper feature debut, targeted to shoot later this year and working title WE ARE RAGGA ZOOMBIEZ!, a dark dramedy/musical about long-lost cousins starting a doomed reggae band. Dae Hoon got his MFA in film production from Tisch NYU, JD from Georgetown and Econ BA from Pomona College. He is also the founder of the Korean American Film Festival New York.
Winter Film Awards 2013 Independent Film Festival is proudly sponsored by American PrimeTime TV, Showbiz Cafe , FEARS Magazine, Footage Firm Royalty-Free Stock Footage, Jungle Software, Hunter Mountain, Pole Position Raceway, Final Draft Industry Standard Screenwriting Program and our media sponsor is ProductionHUB, Inc. an online marketplace for broadcast TV, motion picture, pro video, live event, corporate & digital media production.