NewFilmmakers LA Film Festival Highlights Horror

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To celebrate Halloween, NewFilmmakers LA Film Festival is shining a special spotlight on sci-fi, horror and thriller genre films by emerging filmmakers from around of the globe on October 17th, 2015 at the AT&T Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Short film Open 24 Hours (Directed by Henry Chaisson)

On October 17th, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles is thrilled to present its latest red-carpet screening and in celebration of Halloween, these programs will spotlight the thriller, horror, and sci-fi genres. Details on the featured short films can be found below.

Chance and Circumstance program

The Harsh Weather Sweepstakes - Directed by Jay Drose

A middle-aged, successful infomercial host becomes obsessed with winning the lottery.

Drose wears the hat of not only writer, but also and producer of this surreal short, which examines the idea of success, how people measure it, and what lengths they will go to achieve it. Though he is just beginning his career, Drose has worked on major films, such as “Act of Valor” and has directed three of his own films. NewFilmmakers LA film festival is hosts the world premiere of “The Harsh Weather Sweepstakes.”

Yakuza No. 2 - Directed by Susumu Kimura

A middle-aged Yakuza wants to quit and have a new life with his girlfriend. However, he has to figure out something first--how to get out of his apartment.

Using no dialogue, writer/director/editor Kimura seamlessly tells the tale of a man who must come to terms with who he was before he is free to become someone new.

Typically an editor on short films, this is Kimura’s second position directing a film he has also written. Kimura is flanked by his cinematographer Kristin Fieldhouse, who has worked on many films including, “The Incredible Hulk,” “Total Recall,” and “The House at the End of the Street.” “Yakuza No. 2” was also honored at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival this year.

Slide - Directed by Mark Totte

A day in the life of a 67-year-old hotel maid struggling with the mundanity of her routine life.

Written, directed, shot, and edited by Totte, “Slide” beautifully illustrates the complex series emotions that come with depression and highlights the consistent internal battle to improve oneself.

Not only is Totte a narrative film director, but he has also worked in television, working on Food Network as well as Oxygen Network. NewFilmmakers presents the world premiere of “Slide.”

Omessa - Directed by Charlene Favier

Discovering a lump in her breast, Anna goes to a gynecologist who expresses deep concern. For Anna, it's the moment to return to Corsica, to face her history, her inheritance, and her father.

An independent film written, directed, and produced by women, “Omessa” delves into the subject of breast cancer.

Favier has been directing shorts for over five years, often playing the role of the writer/director. “Omessa” has been praised around the world, including LA CineFest, Kinolet Film Festival in St. Petersberg, and Roma CinemaDoc.

Selling Paradise - Directed by Ryan Lumley

This short intimately tells the story of a salesman who swims to the bottom of a motel pool everyday, and never wants to swim back up.

Created as a thesis film for his BFA from the University of Colorado, Lumley weaves a tale of true desperation as a depressed salesman grasps onto his last straws of sanity. With a somewhat experimental flavor, the film illustrates the nearly indescribable feelings of being lost in life without any hope for direction.

NewFilmmakers hosts the “Selling Paradise” world premiere.

Open 24 Hours - Directed by Henry Chaisson

A contract killer gets more than he bargained for after a pit-stop at the convenience store.

An all-star cast keeps audiences engaged with “Open 24 Hours” and its quirky humor. The film stars Chad Todhunter (True Blood, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Brad Leland (Hancock, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), who portray a wonderfully creative and humorous take on a contract killer getting caught by the law.

Meanwhile, Chaisson has been busy as “Open 24 Hours” is one of four films he has wrapped this year. This film has enjoyed many laurels including, National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), Beverly Hills International Film Festival, and LA Indie Film Fest.

Inhuman Transgressions program

La Fin - Directed by Francois Nolla, Les Derniers & Hugo Hubert

An exquisite, French art-house ready tale of a suburban couple driven to post-apocalyptic cannibalism.

Dark and dangerous, “La Fin” touches on the possessive qualities of relationships and how a power struggle can often develop in desperate situations.

“La Fin” has been honored at many festivals internationally, including LA Underground film Fest, THESS International Short Film Festival, Dragon Con Independent Short Film Fest.

Dogwood - Directed by Andrew J. Hebert

During the American Civil War, two Union soldiers are captured by a satanic cult that convinces them they have until midnight to make a Faustian deal with the Devil.

NewFilmmakers hosts the world premiere of “Dogwood,” which is Hebert’s third film and undergraduate thesis film for NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Locksmiths - Directed by James Kwon Lee

Two robbers, posing as locksmiths, unknowingly break into the home of a killer who is in the middle of hiding his latest victim.

Writer/Director Lee, crafts a tale that is truly chilling. Lee has collaborated on over fifteen short films and one television show, working in the filmmaking process as a director, writer, and cinematographer.

“Locksmiths” keeps audiences in suspense with its eerie conflict. Two burglars accidentally face off with a scarily psychotic man, Tadashi, played by Yuki Matsuzaki (Letters from Iwo Jima, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Last Samurai). This film was honored at the Asians On Film Festival 2015 and won four awards.

You Are the Canvas - Directed by Jean-Paul Frenay

A stand against present technological social norms through various introspective and sarcastic tableaus. This experimental film offers a scathing, almost grotesque critique of the various norms this tech-obsessed era has adopted.

“You are the Canvas” was created for OFFF festival, the leading international festival of digital culture. The film has also received laurels from Festival Spasm, Interfilm - International Short Film Festival Berlin, and Shorts Attack.

We Sit. We Drink. No Guns. - Directed by Matt Hielsberg & Nicci Thompson

In a post apocalyptic world, a man trying to survive comes across the last bottle of whiskey on earth.

Co-directors Hielsberg and Thompson weave a clever and sometimes even humorous tale about the end of the world. Their story focuses on an interesting perspective where the greatest struggle of the apocalypse is not just staying alive, but truly surviving, mind and body.

The film also received laurels from Cannes Short Film Festival in 2015.

There Is No Escape program

Luna & Lars - Directed by Anna Zlokovic

“Luna & Lars” is a dark, magical realism short story of love and loss all within the confines of an old attic.

“Luna & Lars” utilizes stunning stop-motion animation to create a fantastical world for puppets.

“Luna & Lars” has been honored at WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, Temecula Independent Film Festival, Downtown Film Festival of Los Angeles, and many others.

300,000 Kilometers/Second - Directed by Stéphane Réthoré

Paris, 1956. Lucien Lacroix, inventor, has resumed the research of his late father and created a watch that permits the wearer to travel in time.

This French film has an almost steampunk flavor as science and fantasy mesh and mingle together with the invention of a time-travel watch.

“300,000 Kilometers/Second” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in 2015 and won an award for Outstanding Styling at The Short Film Awards in 2014.

Cocktail - Directed by Rob Silcox

A man on the run stops in for a drink in the wrong bar.

This scifi short makes its world premiere with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, complete with zombies. Director, Silcox, has worked on over eleven films since 2012, most often working as a cinematographer, but also as a director.

Exit Chip - Directed by Joshua Thornton-Allan

Edward wants to leave everything behind, without leaving anyone behind.

An interesting and almost romantic take on death and remembrance, “Exit Chip” comments on the fleeting amount of time each of us has on earth and poses the question: How will you leave your mark and will it be enough?

Though this is director, Thornton-Allan’s first credited film, his cast is well seasoned. Actress Jane Booker, who voices Edward’s mother, was in “Finding Neverland” and “Priest of Love.” Actress Sarah Schoenbeck, Mae, appeared in the TV show “4 O'Clock Club” as Lizzie.

Gear - Directed by Joe Ksander & Kevin Adams

A young girl flees the city with the help of her only ally -- an old broken down construction robot.

Directors Ksander (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Pacific Rim, Night at the Museum) and Adams (Hercules, Emperor’s New Groove, 9) create a scifi world reminiscent of a police-state straight out of Orwell’s 1984. With jaw-dropping special effects, “Gear” immerses audiences in an extremely futuristic world, complete with friendly robots. Along with cinematographer Benjamin Kitchens (Law Abiding Citizen), the team took their film to San Diego Comic-Con International 2015.

Drink - Directed by Emily Moss Wilson

Drink is a sci-fi cautionary tale that follows Alice and her two sons, Clint and Billy, as they flee their home in the middle of the night.

Director Emily Moss Wilson, who has worked on blockbusters such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Valentine’s Day, and New Years Eve, is supported by producer Benjamin Grayson (Thor, Saving Mr. Banks). The film has been recognized in festivals across the country, including, Dances With Films Festival, Indy Film Fest, and LA Shorts Fest.

Carved - Directed by Mary Russell

An inmate's satanic soul starts possessing innocent people on the road to Las Vegas.

A satirical take on stereotypical horror films, “Carved” mimics the played-out slasher genre in a fun and humorous way.
Located in Downtown LA, AT&T Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA). Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened over 1000+ films from over 63 countries. The organization provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized with title supporters Sony Pictures Entertainment, TheWrap, SAG-AFTRA, and FilmLA.

For information or to reserve tickets to the NewFilmmakers LA October 17th 2015 screening, please visit

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Kimberly Kornahrens
NewFilmmakers LA
since: 08/2013
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