Synopsis: 1. Help / Mehdi Hosseinzade / Iran / Animation / 4 minutes
“Finally, a car stops to help the dog, but help in a special way…”
2. Odd/Even / Ya-Ting ‘Itchy’ Yang / USA / Student / 16 minutes
“In the near future, people live in either odd-numbered years or even-numbered years.”
3. Deep Down / Zack Scott & Skylar Schanen / USA / Drama / 20 minutes
“While grieving, Alice has a lot more to sort through than just her mother’s wardrobe.”
4. Let’s Guess / Fatemeh Karbasi / Iran / Debut / 18 minutes
“She is not quite ready to vacate her apartment. He is there to move in…”
5. A New Era of Cowboy / Steph Martinez / USA / Drama / 10 minutes
“The first openly LGBTQ cowboy in the American Rodeo circuit must come to terms with his future.”
6. A Stable Holiday / Jess Elfring-Roberts / USA / Made in Illinois / 10 minutes
“Fun with sappy seasonal love films, with a twist.”
7. From the Painter’s View / Goli Zarei / Iran & Canada / Drama / 16 minutes
“A six-year-old boy paints a home with no walls. Why? Their guesses are all wrong.”
8. Suzy and the Peanut Problem / Charlotte Rose Kalm / USA / Young Student (9 yrs) / 7 minutes
“A young farmer, radioactive peanuts, and a racoon/corn monster. What can it mean?!
1. HELP / “A dog crashes into a car while crossing the road, and the driver continues on his way regardless of the injured dog. During the time that the dog is lying on the side of the road, several other cars pass by without paying attention to the injured dog, until a car stops to help the dog. But he helps the dog in a special way.”
2. ODD/EVEN / “In the near future, people only wake up in either odd-numbered years or even-numbered years and hibernate in “The Capsule” during the inactive period. A promising young actress escapes from her devoted yet toxic partner on the last day of 2043.”
3. DEEP DOWN / “Deep Down follows Alice Moran, a sophomore in college returning home to help her kind father and tightly-wound sister go through their recently deceased mother’s possessions. Alice is grieving and looking for release from the world, and she finds it in her old friends who never left town. With her ex Sebastian having his own plans of rekindling their relationship and repressed family drama boiling to the surface, Alice has a lot more to sort through than just her mother’s wardrobe.”
4. LET’S GUESS / “The story is about a young girl who is about to emigrate from Iran, but fails to vacate her rental apartment on time, while her contract has ended. The new tenant arrives and wants to bring his stuff in. So, she has to unwantedly spend a day with a stranger young man…”
5. A NEW ERA OF COWBOY / “The first openly LGBTQ cowboy in the American Rodeo circuit must come to terms with his future and his family as the world seemingly falls a part around him.”
6. A STABLE HOLIDAY / “Skeptic of sappy seasonal films, Sarah finds herself in the center of a holiday love movie with a twist.”
7. FROM THE PAINTER’S VIEW / “A six years old boy, Siavash, has won a painting award and his parents are trying to analyze his interview with TV about the painting. In the painting there is a home with no walls. Now everyone is trying to find a reason for it, but none of them are right.
From the Painter’s View is my third short film, and like all my projects, it focuses on the importance of family. And the main idea for “From the Painter’s view” comes from my society and how parents behave with their children. This is what me and my generation have been damaged from. How parents impose their own ideas of education on their children’s mind, without taking into account their individuality and unique perspectives. For me, this theme also reflects the current social and cultural situation in my country, Iran. Like the family portrayed in the film, I believe that Iran is facing a similar situation, where an unknown political entity is destroying social patterns and individual psyches, and no one is able to do anything about it. I hope to shed light on the challenges that we face as a society, and the need to recognize and address these issues in order to create a brighter future for ourselves and future generations.”
8. SUZY AND THE PEANUT PROBLEM / “A young farmer named Suzy is trying to raise her daughter on her own when she notices something is amiss in her corn field. She tries to call the authorities but they dismiss her. The next day she starts drinking coffee but faints at the realization that her corn field has been turned into a corn maze. She wakes up in the corn maze where a corn monster has taken her to force her and her young daughter to grow peanuts for him. He explains that he had been a raccoon that had eaten radioactive peanuts that mixed with the corn turning him into a corn monster. Regular peanuts will make him stronger which is why he needs Suzy and her daughter to grow them. That night Suzy gets an idea, runs to her daughter’s room and tells her the plan. They wake up and tell the corn monster he should get some rest. While he takes a nap, they pull the corn off of the corn monster turning him back into a raccoon as he disappears into the corn field forever.”
1. HELP / “My artistic career started with photography, and I was drawn towards the world of motion pictures. So I chose to study animation. During my studies and after graduation, I started producing experimental animations and motion graphics, and currently I am also working on producing motion graphics and advertising animations.”
2. ODD/EVEN / “Ya-Ting “Itchy” Yang was born and raised in Taiwan. She finished her MFA degree in Film & TV production at USC at the end of 2022. Itchy is a recipient of the George Lucas Family Fund for Diversity. Her goal as a writer/director is to collaborate with an international crew to make films featuring culturally diverse casts.”
3. DEEP DOWN / none provided
4. LET’S GUESS / “Fatemeh Karbasi was born in 1989 in Tehran, Iran. She studied at university of Soore and has B.A degree in Movie Edition and M.A degree in Cinema. She has 13 years working background including editing several TV Shows, Series, and movies. She was 1st assistant editor in 7 movies including Rooze Balva, Mordehkhor, Pig Gene, African Violet, etc. She is a member of Iranian Cinema Editors Guild. As a film director “LET’S GUESS” (2023) is her first short movie which she produced it for her final thesis of university of Cinema.”
5. A NEW ERA OF COWBOY / “Steph Martinez is an actor / director living and working in Los Angeles.
As an advocate for more women in the film industry, alongside Julie Phillips, Steph is one third of the female centric production company, Hot and Bothered. The second season of their series, BOTHERED is scheduled to be released on IndieFlix this Summer. Steph reprised the role of Tessa, Eddie and Jenn’s love interest, and directed all 10 episodes . Continuing to hone their craft, Steph is enrolled at Studio 24 Seven with Mark McPherson and repped by MakeLA Prod Mgmt, Aqua Talent, and One World Model and Talent.
A few of Steph’s recent projects:
Lifetime’s “Sins in the Suburbs” premiered this year as one of their “Movies of the Week”. Steph plays the local bartender, Marisol and first victim in this suspense thriller. Lifetime is producing another film called “Rooming with Danger” where Steph plays the killer’s former roommate.
“Bee-Man” is a hilarious pilot where Steph plays Grace, Bee-Man’s co-lead and gay best friend, directed by Jon Lee Brody.
Avocado, a short film where Steph plays an amateur dominatrix looking to reconnect with her boyfriend, is currently in the film festival circuit all over the U.S..
Steph can also be found in several web series’ and short films premiering this year. Including “The White Room”, “Pool”, “10 Rabbits”, “Derek Deloy the Pool Boy”, and “Next”.
Steph just wrapped on a commercial for Behr Paint where they got to portray a character almost identical to themself, queer and handy. In addition, they are the face and voice of various companies including The Positive Report, The Collective Agreement, and Cupre.
As a director, Steph just wrapped on a short film called “A New Era of Cowboy”created by Jacob Seidman and starring Ryan Bertroche about an openly gay rodeo cowboy going through a death in the family and a career ending injury.
As an lgbtqia+ film maker and advocate, Steph sees the importance of diverse visibility in film and entertainment, as well as the power of creating more lgbtqia+ focused roles in film. When directing a queer centric peice, their main focus is giving it heart. So many shows and movies portray the stereotypes and capitalize on the traumas of queer life. Steph’s goal is to break the mold with their art. “This is any other story, they just happen to be gay”. Giving a piece “heart” means showing the world and the media that us queer folk are just like everybody else. We love, we hurt, we cry, we persevere.”
6. A STABLE HOLIDAY / “Jess Elfring-Roberts (she/they) is a queer filmmaker and improv comedian from Chicago.”
7. FROM THE PAINTER’S VIEW / “Goli, also known as Maryam Zarei, is an award-winning theatre director and filmmaker born in Iran. She holds a BFA in Theatre Directing and an MFA in Theatre Practice. Goli began her career in 2008 with experiments in radio theatre live performances, and has since won several awards for her works in radio theatre and radio drama. Goli is particularly interested in experimental theatre and explores different qualities of sound in each of her directing pieces. Her first film, “Magralen,” premiered in the Generation Kplus competition of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival and has also been screened in other prestigious film festivals where it has received awards and nominations. In 2022, she completed her second film, “Bone,” and her third film, “From the Painter’s View.” Goli has decided to use her childhood and family name for her artistic work, honoring her memories and roots.”
8. SUZY AND THE PEANUT PROBLEM / “Charlotte is a 9.5 year old who loves bunnies, potatoes, and making movies. She’s a fourth grader in central Illinois where she enjoys reading because when she reads she can pretend she’s a fire breathing rock star. When she grows up, Charlotte hopes to make movies featuring characters with dark pasts, dark futures, and surprising endings.