Director Biography – Frankie De Leonardis (FLOATING)

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Frankie De Leonardis is an Italian/Argentine director living in Barcelona. He’s been on the industry since 1997, mainly on tv title design and advertising direction. He’s won several awards including NY Advertising Festival (2011), European BDA Promax, ADCE, Laus for his work in advertising and title design.

Director Statement

This is my first ever cinematic project. It’s been a lifetime dream to become a director but life went some other way. I decided it was time to follow one’s dream and invested everything into this shortfilm.

The film talks about acceptance, denial with a bit of humor. It also talks about things being different than what you expect. A russian astronaut being gay with a loving husband and a child to return to is a small detail that is unthinkable in the current policies of Russia. Sometimes things are just not what you expect and that does not mean they are wrong.

The production and post production was extremelly hard. Most space films, and series, do not make their characters float for a long period of time or they just don’t do it at all. That’s because it is a huge challenge, expensive and hard. We achieved these goals in just two days of shoothing, and four months of post production.

All the Best,
Frankie De Leonardis

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Director Biography – John Carlin (ECHOES

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John is the director of horror shorts ‘Exposure’ & ‘6 Feet Under’ and the award winning Sci-fi-Fi ‘The Way Back’. ‘ECHOES’ is the fourth collaboration with the writing team of Paul Skillen and Aaron Gray. John has been working as a director in the television industry for 17 years and directed the Irish language drama ‘Seacht’ for BBC and TG4. He also wrote and directed 12 episodes of the factual drama series Marú for TG4. Most recently he filmed, edited and directed the factual documentary series Ireland’s Great War for BBC and RTE.

Director Statement

ECHOES was first developed back in 2015 when the writers, Paul Skillen and Aaron Gray finished a feature length script called THE SILENCE. The decision was taken to produce a concept short film thematically based on the ideas within the feature film and ECHOES was born.

What I found interesting with the story was the unique take on human weakness – our ability to destroy our own kind for personal gain. The film is based around the idea that “spheres” have been sent throughout the galaxy by an alien life-form as a defence mechanism. These spheres have been located on planets that form a ring of protection around their own extra-terrestrial planet as they fear the consequences of humans finding them. These spheres are capable of heightening the destructive side of any human that comes into immediate contact with it, leading to rage, insanity and ultimately death to all those that encounter it.

I have previously worked with Paul and Aaron on three short films (EXPOSURE, 6 FEET UNDER, THE WAY BACK). We have a common interest in telling dark tales that have a deeper meaning. We have similar tastes in horror and science fiction and always work as a team to deliver a twisted story that can be read on different levels.

My own inspirations in preparing for ECHOES were varied and included “TAPE” by Richard Linklater ( a claustrophobic tale of 3 old friends meeting up in a motel room) to Paul W.S. Anderson’s dark sci-fi/horror “EVENT HORIZON”. What interests me are character arcs that all move in different directions to each other. This is something that is evident in ECHOES.

When developing ECHOES as a short film it became clear early in the process that we were attempting something bigger than we had tried before. We had to design and build a complete “space train” set, something that was going to eat up a huge chunk of our budget. It was integral to the story and needed to be something that could be a working set yet still give us a sense of confinement and claustrophobia. The next important question I had to ask was how could I best tell the story visually – what could I bring that would lend itself to the character’s plot of losing control. I decided to shoot the film with a slightly unconventional approach – using three different methods.
The first was the filming method. I shot the early scenes on a mixture of tracks, sliders and tripods. This created a sense of stability. As the story progressed I gradually began adding more and more handheld camera work until the final scene that is completely handheld. This gave the illusion that everything was gradually losing control.

I imitated this same technique in the second method by applying the similar approach to the actors. As with my first method I gradually allowed the actors to re-act rather than deliver exact lines over the duration of the film. All the early scenes were verbatim from the script but as the film moved on the dialogue got looser. This gave the feeling of naturalism that I was looking for and something the actors relished.

The final visual aid I used to create the impression of loss of control was the grade. I applied a grade that gradually gets “sicker” as the film moves through the scenes – each scene slightly greener and more distorted than the last.

Due to the cost of the set build we had to condense our shoot into 2 days. We shot scenes at a fast pace giving the entire film more energy. The actors and main crew stayed in the carriage for long periods of time. We actually felt like we were on the journey we were replicating.

What I hope audiences get from ECHOES is something that changes their opinion – something that starts one way but gradually twists their perception. I also hope they feel claustrophobic – there is intentional reason why we stay on board the shuttle throughout – to keep our audience captive and a part of the journey. They should hopefully question the meaning of the sphere and who Goudine is, why she isn’t affected. These are the questions that Sa’im would also ask and that’s who the audience should be rooting for. He is the lynch-pin of the story. Someone who has to make the decisions, who has to understand what or who is good or evil.

Director Biography – Rebecca Gardiner (TRANSMISSION)

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Rebecca is a film maker with a passion for intense and immersive storytelling. She is completing her masters in film specialising in directing and writing.
She creates compelling tales with cores of truth and dramatic sensibilities within the horror, science fiction, action, fantasy and thriller genres as she loves the visual freedom and complexity of sight, sound and emotion these genres allow.

Rebecca has taken on the challenge of creating the types of films and characters that she wants to see, creating powerful and multifaceted female lead characters within genre films that tackle matters which are relevant to the world today within futuristic setting that remain relevant to current issues.

Rebecca is currently refining her first feature script which she is looking forward to bringing to life.

Director Statement

With Transmission I wanted to tackle several aspects I personally find lacking in the film world. Strong female leads and tackling the sci-fi genre being a female writer and director.

I wanted to express my opinion of how we abuse our planet in a genre I find extremely exciting and challenging, Science fiction is often overlooked as not being as “worthy” as straight dramas, but any genre must have a core of truth and dramatic sensibilities if it will speak to audiences.
With all this in mind I set myself some rules, started writing and thus Transmission was born.

Transmission is about how we have destroyed our home and must find a new place, or resources to survive. But what they find on this new planet is a world that rejects us, fights us of as though we are a virus.

Right now Transmission only lives in this short film version, but I believe that it could be a quality production in either feature film or TV series delivery. My personal aim at this point is to take my short script and expand it into a feature length script to begin that development process.

I want the the short to have a life of it’s own in the sci-fi festival route as well as many of the women in film festivals. My hope is once created the short would even be able to stand up against the more dramatic fare that get play at the “big” festivals.

Once it has lived that life, I plan to use it as a taster for expanding the world to a larger scale.

Science fiction is an often underrated as a filmic art form, a point in case is The Martian winning best comedy at the golden globes. Yet it is a genre with a rabid and widespread fan base really to grab up new content that comes their way. I should know, I am one of them.

I want my home country to break from our current rut of horror or drama films, to look back and embrace our passion and freedom in making films, where we made the wildest films out there, and made them well. And I want to be one of the ones out front making these films.

Director Biography – Didac Gimeno (SATURN THROUGH THE TELESCOPE)

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Graduated in Veterinary Sciences in 2011, I have worked as a veterinarian mainly in the fields of cardiology and in clinical practice with exotic animals. In 2014 I graduated in Film Direction in the Cinematography and Audiovisual School of the Community of Madrid (ECAM) with the highest mark in my speciality.
Oscillation (2014), my end-of-course short film, has been selected in around fifty international festivals and has won several awards and nominations, among them, the Best University Short-film Award in the Nocturna Madrid Festival; the Lunartis Award in the Videmedeja Film Festival, Serbia; Spanish Radio and Television Corporation (RTVE) Award in the Hispasat 4K Festival; the nomination for the Silver Méliès in the Imagine Fantastic Film Festival or the nomination for the Gold Panda in China for the most innovative short-film.
“Saturn through the telescope” (2018), my last short-film, has won the aid for audiovisual creation from both the Malaga Film Festival and the Community of Madrid. Nowadays, it is at the distribution stage.

 

Director Statement

This shortfilm is about the desire of watching something that scares but fascinates you at the same time. Here, Max, a ten years old boy, discovers the pulsion of seeing a horror movie.
Altough is a fantastic genre shortfilm, it is deeply autobiographic. I remember when I was a kid and I ran out of bed at night for seeing horror movies on the television, even knowing I would had nightmares after. However I was fascinated by its disturbing but beatiful images, so that supposed the begining of my love for cinema.

Director BIO – Roth Rind (THIS IS FINE)

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Director Statement

Life is a movie made up of a million narratives. It’s genre defined by the dramatic interactions we encounter, wrapped in adventure, fear, heartbreak, love, crisis, success and failure. It’s theme is forever constant, and yet fluid. It’s a journey where the only guide is a faded map and ‘x’ marks the ever-shifting spot. It’s penned in black with a mantle of red notes where the character seeks the knowledge of what matters most.

The call sheet varies from day-to-day where some characters play the featured and others support the play. They span the spectrum of color, age and physique, but their role is not defined. They are the masters of sentiment both for self and patrons, unpredictable but clear. The cast list welcomes new faces seeking a purpose, and inevitably says farewell to favorites that have reached ‘The End.’

In a flash the movie is over with a final image of the lead riding off the edge of the setting sun… but when the credits roll and the lights come up to the remnants of popcorn seeds and candy wrappers, a mark remains. A mark of warmth, of sadness, of absolution, and of understanding. This mark is carried by the players who brought it to the silver screen and the audience who dared to pay the ticket price.

So let’s make a movie with a story of life in hopes that together we leave a mark that lasts.

Director BIO: Sophie Black (SONGBIRD)

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Sophie graduated from the University of Creative Arts in 2010, then spent the next few years working in the art department of independent productions.

She produced subtle sci-fi Stop/Eject (which screened at Raindance 2014, before making it onto the long list for Best British Short at BAFTA), and directed Night Owls, (which screened at London Short Film Festival in 2016 and won 17 awards at smaller festivals), as well as building a career as a producer and editor of corporate films. She was recently selected as a participant of the 2018 BAFTA crew.

Director BIO: Jacob Langsner (LIFE OF DEATH DEBATES)

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Jacob Langsner is a Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Langsner is currently a student at Stanford University. Beyond filmmaking, he studies ethical philosophy, creative writing, and political science. He is a published poet, having pieces in the “Stanford Daily Magazine”. Langsner also participates in the Stanford Storytelling Project. Langsner is considering an “Ethics in Society” Honors thesis, which will explore morality, ethics, and justice in the context of modern storytelling.

To date, Jacob Langsner has directed and produced over twenty short films. These projects range from experimental to documentary and dramatic narrative. Langsner’s films have received critical acclaim from multiple festivals and competitions. His documentary “Going Home” premiered at the 2018 Sonoma International Film Festival, where it was selected to open the festival. That film also received an IMPACT Documentary award. Langsner’s experimental film “How to Ride a Bike” also premiered in 2018 at FilmOneFest. That same year, his experimental film “Touched” was exhibited at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center. Five of Langsner’s dramatic shorts have been selected to premiere at the All-American High School Film Festival (2015-2018), and one at the Scout Film Festival (2017). Langsner also received two Gold Medals at the Skills USA Digital Filmmaking 24-hour competition (2015 & 2016). In 2016, Langsner was selected for the Harvard Prize Book Award for academic excellence in concert with his artistic pursuits.

As an emerging filmmaker, Langsner participated in the “Motion Picture Producing and Directing” program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (Summer 2018). This program was held in partnership with Universal Studios; Langsner was one of the youngest people to direct a short film on Universal’s New York Backlot.

In 2018, Langsner also spent time managing the Instagram page for the Scout Film Festival as an invited filmmaker. Other film and writing endeavors include: participation in the Cherubs National High School Institute for Film and Video at Northwestern University (2016); participation in the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio at the University of Iowa (2016), and the study of speculative fiction and media psychology at Brown University’s pre-college program (2015).

Langsner began his artistic career with a major in Theatre at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts: a nationally acclaimed Grammy-winning arts magnet high school in Nevada. Langsner acted in over 10 plays and musicals, including leading roles as Orpheus in Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice”, and as Lee Baum in “The American Clock”, by Arthur Miller. Early in his high school career at the Las Vegas Academy, Langsner pioneered the creation of a new “Video Production” major. He graduated as Valedictorian, and as the first double major in Theatre and Video Production.

 

Director Statement

 

I wrote, directed, and shot “Life or Death Debates” at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Summer production program. This film is a final testament to the breadth of knowledge I acquired at USC. It is an exercise in drawing the most impact from the fewest resources: one stark location, three actors, and six hours to shoot.
The content is inspired by my studies in philosophy during my freshman year at Stanford. As I begin to cement a plan for establishing a college major, I intend to marry my passions for filmmaking and philosophy, ultimately examining the crucial intersection between storytelling and ethics. As “Life or Death Debates” is a heartfelt goodbye to the brilliant professors and fellow filmmakers at USC, it is also an excited hello to the coming years of artistry and intellectual engagement.