Director BIO: Frank Prinzi (IT’S A MESS)

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Frank Prinzi ASC, is an Award winning filmmaker, who has been an active member of the New York Filmmaking Community for many years. He earned his Master Of Fine Arts degree in Film and Television from New York University, working early on with Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Tom Dicillo, John Woo and Ed Burns among others. His eclectic cinematography credits range from feature films, television movies to episodic series, documentaries and commercials. Writing and directing “It’s a Mess” was a chance for him to make his own personal statement and to take more creative control as a storyteller.

 

Director Statement

 

IT’S A MESS is a fantasy but its themes are all too real: lonely, damaged, and defeated people, searching for any morsel of compassion and meaning. Finding purpose is rarely easy. If we’re lucky, we find someone to help open our eyes to it. A friendship, no matter how strange or unlikely, is still a treasured oasis for a lonely soul.
We’re all troubled by the state of our world: the glorification of greed and selfishness and the loneliness and alienation that result. Anyone who observes the world can see that it’s a mess… but it’s our mess, tragic and beautiful – something we all need to face in order to survive and change.

The technique in IT’S A MESS mirrors the story: dark, still, and quiet, with camera movement kept to a minimum. These choices seemed the ideal approach to reveal the themes of this strange little tale. IT’S A MESS is simple and classic in it’s style. No need for fireworks and overindulgent technique, just pure Cinema. The goal was to get to the heart and soul of the story with focus on the character performances and atmosphere, keeping it clear from lots of todays excessive visual and aural distractions. As Robert Bresson said,”Empty the pond to get to the fish”. I really hope you like our Film.

“There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
Would men knowing distill it out” -Henry V, Shakespeare

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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.

Short Film: SONGBIRD, 14min., UK, Fantasy

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Shy singer Jennifer thinks her dreams are coming true when a music producer approaches her at an open mic night. But her hopes are dashed after an encounter with a mysterious old woman leaves Jennifer without a voice.

After some research, Jennifer discovers the presence of magic in the world, and sets off on a journey to retrieve her stolen voice from a foreboding place known as ‘Blackmoor Woods’. Can Jennifer find her courage as well as her voice before her future is taken from her forever?

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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.

Short Film: LIFE OR DEATH DEBATES, 6min., USA, Sci-Fi

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The future’s greatest gameshow: two convicts, 120 seconds, and one chance to debate for their lives – all on live television. Tune into this weeks episode, and prepare for a wild ride. Today’s debate topic will have you reeling.

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Director BIO: Valentin Petit (THE NOISE OF THE LIGHT)

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Valentin Petit is a young French director based in Paris. He wrote several video clips for street music artists and directed a lot of commercials for famous brands such as Puma, Unicef, Adidas or Canal +. His passion for travel naturally led him to fiction, through which he was able to express a more neo-melancholic creation. He is currently developing many personal projects, among which short films that won multiple awards in French and international film festivals, like his latest experimental film: « A Portrait of Rafel Delalande ».

 

Director Statement

 

Following my previous works (Anthophobia and A Portrait of Rafel Delalande), I wanted Le Bruit de la Lumière as a crossroad between a visual experience and a film fantastic. Through this combination, I wanted to tell a story about the synaesthesia phenomenon. I discovered this feeling which some people experience in the autobiographic novel from Daniel Tammet, Born On A Blue Day.

In order to create Lou, the main character, with Guillaume (co-writer), we went a little bit further by giving her a supernatural ability to generate sound when she is touch by the light. This choice show our fascination and our inability to understand something which is so intimate and personal.

The Fantastic treatment of the story is also a way to exacerbate the connections between our main characters. Marius and Pablo are facing an opportunity which is difficult to avoid, despite their friendship with Lou. How would we react in front of such a phenomenon? Moreover, how are we actually reacting to a person who describes her synaesthesia?