NewFilmmakers LA is in the Valentine’s Spirit With Love Themed Films

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In the name of love on February 7th, 2015, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) celebrates Valentine's Day during its monthly film festival at the AT&T center in Downtown LA. To kick-off the event, there will be a pre-reception and to top-off the night, in the filmmaker lounge, there will be an after party with a full bar and appetizers.

Short Film 'The Other Sister' by Nicholas Bouier

Over the years, NewFilmmakers LA has developed an extensive network of talented filmmakers and an audience that enhances the entire entertainment industry. - Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Executive Director, Los Angeles, SAG-AFTRA

‘Tis the season for Award ceremonies. Amongst the celebrated feature films, one can find a pattern: the presence of love. “Boyhood” shed light on motherly love and the dynamics of sibling relationships, while “American Sniper” concentrates on brotherly love and patriotism. The love for pursing a passion despite the challenges was portrayed through “Birdman.” And the ultimate love story of the season, “The Theory of Everything” where, at a personal and professional level—emotionally, mentally, and physically—love stands up to a physically debilitating disease and ultimately triumphs.

Love is often at the foundation of many stories, something NewFilmmakers LA film festival brings to the forefront in its upcoming film festival on February 7th, 2015. The screening features twelve short films revolving around three categories: Love and Laughter, Love and Consequence, and Love and Loss.

Details on the featured short films can be found below.

“Love and Laughter” category

THE BRIGHT SIDE - Directed by Sarah Wilson Thacker

With a nation on the brink of war in December of 1941, a young theater performer who dreams of becoming a Hollywood star lets go of his past fears to try to win over the girl of his dreams.

Twenty-four year old Thacker—the film director and writer— has had her productions featured at various film festivals, including Sunscreen Film Fest, Newport Beach Film Festival, Independents Film Festival, Gasparilla Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. “The Bright Side” is the result of creative collaboration between Thacker and a number of accomplished artists in the film industry. Film composer, Giuseppe Vasapolli, who has worked on such projects including 2014 MTV Movie Awards and The Oscars Red Carpet Live 2014, contributes his talent to this short film.

Actor Alexander Carroll, who plays one of the main characters, can be seen on ABC TV’s new television program “Agent Carter.” Meanwhile, “Spiderman 3”, “Night at the Museum 2”, and “Superhero Movie” are just a few of the major motion pictures that costume designer Michael Philpot has worked on prior to “The Bright Side.”

DOS CARAS - Directed by Francisco Bendomir

Sergio discovers that his girlfriend's grandmother is hiding an old Russian jewel in her house which really catches his eye.

Argentinian filmmaker, Bendomir, fulfilled the role of director, writer, and composer for “Dos Caras” (Two-Face). Animation in the short is credited to the established Argentinian Can Can Club, whose clients include Kelloggs, Domino’s Pizza, Nintendo, Axe and Hewlett Packard (through MTV Networks L.A.), and VH1. “Dos Caras” was an official selection at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Festival Internacional De Cine En El Desiert. It was screened at the Shorts That Are Not Pants Film Festival and the Frederick Film Festival. Additionally it was a Best Short Filmmaking Finalist at the Skepto International Film Festival, and awarded Best Script at the BUtiful (Young International) Film Festival.

HEAVENLY PEACE - Directed by Andreas Wessel-Therhorn

John and Jason have broken up. A Christmas cherub appears, flying back and forth between their two residences, and with clever manipulation, reunites them in time for Christmas.

Established film-industry professional, Wessel-Therhorn, has worked on productions, such as “Tarzan”, “Hercules”, “The Emperor’s New Groove”, “Space Jam”, “Curious George”, “Fat Albert”, and “Fantasia/2000”. “Heavenly Place” features actor Daamen J. Krall who has contributed his talent to a plethora of feature films that include “The Lego Movie”, “Now You See Me”, “The Great Gatsby”, “The Simpsons Movie”, “Night at the Museum”, “Dead Silence”, “Double Jeopardy”, “Mad Love”, “Father of the Bride”, “Lilo & Stitch”, “Babe”, “The Lion King”, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

In the music and sound departments, Luigi Pulcini (Drag Me to Hell, Priest, Deliver Us from Evil, When in Rome, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas) works his magic. In visual effects, Andrea Simonti—whose resume boasts major motion pictures “The Prince of Egypt”, “Hotel Transylvania”, “Shark Tale”, and “Space Jam”—brings even more talent to this short film.

BEREAVEMENT - Directed by Natasha Kermani

Three cats. One dog. A cockatoo. Uncle Herman. Eternity. A dark comedy about closure.

Kermani’s independent films, which star Mark Linn-Baker (The Good Wife, Law & Order, Ally McBeal, Family Matters, Spin City, Step by Step, Full House) and Lauren Ashley Carter (Premium Rush, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Woman), has thus far been screened at LA Shorts Fest, New Jersey Film Festival, and the Chesapeake Bay Film Festival.

“Love and Consequence” Category

THE OTHER SISTER - Directed by Nicholas Bouier

A young woman fresh from prison learns that her kid sister is in debt to loan sharks and must aid her before time runs out.

Director, Bouier, a Masters student at The American Film Institute Conservatory, was recently selected as a filmmaker by “Film Independent” for Project Involve. The short film stars Eva La Dare who has worked and performed with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Mike Myers, Ricky Martin, Ray Romano, Aretha Franklin, Will Smith, Shakira, Christina Aguilera and Usher.

Additionally, Dare has lent her skills to the small screen in "According To Jim", "Malcolm In The Middle", "Spin City", "Everybody Loves Raymond", "General Hospital" and the video-game "Resident Evil 5.” Dare’s experience in feature films includes “Thank You for Smoking” and “Idlewild.” Adrian Quinonez, who co-stars in the short, can be seen in his previous works such as “CSI NY”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Bones”, “iCarly”, “Criminal Minds”, “Brothers and Sisters”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “The Outsiders.” Producer Robert Powell (Brothers, No Country for Old Men) has worked on productions that have earned Emmys, Spirit Awards, Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and major international film festival selections.

PEOPLE LIKE US - Directed by Ramon Ayala

A meditation about the nature of love, youth and the unknown forces of the universe. An improvised film found in the mysteries of European sci-fi, romantic poetry and pop culture aesthetics.

Ayala began his career in the filmmaking in 2008 and ever since has been focused on film directing. He is a director with RCRFilms—a Spanish award-winning production company. “People Like Us” was produced by Story: We Produce, a production company based in Mexico and Spain, and whose clientele include Samsung Galaxy, Sony, Old Spice, and Audi among others.

TOBACCO BURN - Directed by Justin Liberman

Based on an oral history from the works progress administration’s collection of slave narratives, Tobacco Burn is a revenge story set thirty-five years before the civil war at the height of American slavery.

Co-writer and director, Liberman has worked on commercials for major companies, including ESPN, Procter & Gamble, American Express, and Macy’s. The recent Columbia University MFA graduate, previously shadowed as a director for Allen Coulter on “Boardwalk Empire.” Liberman’s latest production, “Tobacco Burn”—a Columbia University Thesis Film—was made possible with the backing from fans through KickStarter. Liberman’s classmate at Columbia, Alvaro Valente, who produced “Tobacco Burn” has also experienced success in the biz. Valente received international recognition at various festivals, twice at Sundance Film Festival.

GUEST ROOM - Directed by Joshua Tate

A young woman with Down Syndrome grapples with questions of intimacy, identity, and motherhood after an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend.

A strong supporter of disability rights, Tate, directed and wrote “Guest Room”, which stars Lauren Potter from the television series “Glee.” Alongside Potter are actresses Ren Hanami (Air Force One, Parenthood, Private Practice, The Big Bang Theory, Without a Trace, Grey's Anatomy, The Young and the Restless, ER, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful), Che Landon (The Mindy Project, Night at the Museum, Damages, Law & Order, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, August Rush), and actor Jaret Sacrey (Jane the Virgin, CSI: NY, Law & Order: LA, Criminal Minds).

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Kimberly Patrick (Fruitvale Station, Epic, Herman) who recently contributed to “Tomorrowland”— a feature film starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Judy Greer—fulfills the role of sound editor.

“Love and Loss” Category

MY BOYS - Directed by Aaron Silverstein

About a mother, cold and unfeeling, and the tragic affects her neglect and abuse have on her children.

Silverstein almost single handedly carried out all of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the production, having done the directing, writing, music (assisted by Mitchel McKenzie), cinematography, film and sound editing, and production management. “My Boys” was produced by Christine Sohail, who has worked on other short films and music videos (for The Dead Ships and The Good Night Son).


Could there be anything worse than having been falsely declared dead and being about to be buried alive? Yes, there could be: You could witness your own funeral beforehand!

Schlegel’s short film was awarded the Best Screenplay, Prix Interculturel, and Best Production: Panther Prize at the International Festival of Film Schools in Munich. Additionally, the production was recognized at L.A. Comedy Shorts Festival for “Best Student Comedy Short”, Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Festival Minsk for “Audience Awar“, Camerimage Film Fest for “Bronze Frog“, Euroshorts European Short Film for “Best Fiction.“ Furthermore, this short is scheduled to be screened at the Rome Independent Film Festival in April of this year.

TIDES - Directed by Risto Tuominen

A woman must face the past in the midst of a new marriage when her ex-boyfriend dies in combat and wills his sperm to her.

“Tides” was awarded the Sloan Film Summit grant, as presented by Film Independent. Tuominen, with 12 years of industry experience, teams up with casting director, Ramani Leah (Spring Breakers, Palo Alto, House of Cards, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, Hell’s Kitchen, Supernanny, Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, Wipeout), and production designer Patricia Klawonn (Revenge, Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class, I Am Number Four, Brothers, Anger Management, Armageddon, Batman Forever, Samantha Who?) among other artists to bring “Tides” to the silver screen.

SOME LIFE OUTLIVED - Directed by John McCracken and Danny Finn

Abby and Rhys reconnect after 6 years apart, but Rhys makes a confession to Abby that causes her to question everything she thought she knew.

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles is proud to host the world premiere of John McCracken and Danny Finn's new short, a sci-fi romantic drama. "Some Life Outlived" stars Jamie Welsh and Ryan Welsh, the latter of whom is known for his leading roles in such TV series as Bite Me and Save Point, as well as his work in a vast array of other shorts and features. Like Welsh, John McCracken's filmmaking talent has also been informed by his extensive career in the world of television, having produced many notable industry-centered TV documentaries, a number of which focused on genre works such as Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows. Danny Finn has also amassed considerable experience after having worked on such high profile projects as: Her, Entourage, The Bling Ring, How to Get Away with Murder, Muppets Most Wanted, Ruby Sparks, and Wilfred.

This is the second directorial collaboration from Finn and McCracken, the first having been 2013's "At the End of the Night," which NewFilmmakers Los Angeles was thrilled to screen in October of that year.

Located in Downtown LA, AT&T Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA). Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened over 950+ films from over 59 countries. NFMLA boasts over 30,000 supporters locally. The organization provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized with title supporters Sony Pictures Entertainment, TheWrap, SAG-AFTRA, Variety Magazine and LA Weekly.

For information or to reserve tickets to the NewFilmmakers LA February 7th, 2015 screening, please visit

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Annie Rothstein
NewFilmmakers LA
since: 08/2013
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