I'm thrilled to be counted among the year's best at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles's "Best of NFMLA Awards." The Duel has been nominated for Best Short Film - Documentary, an honor I couldn't be more proud to share with my friends at the RISK! podcast and my unbelievable cast & crew. Now...what to wear on the red carpet?
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Since 2007, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles has been providing a home for artists to share their creative voice in an environment that supports truth in cinematic storytelling. In addition to their monthly film festivals, DocuSlate, a entire day of documentaries, was added to their yearly programming in 2016 to increase awareness and widen opportunities for representation of true stories and personal narratives on screen. Last December I enjoyed sitting down with NFMLA Board Chair Danny De Lillo for a discussion about my creative process behind The Duel, and the unique challenges inherent in “translating” someone else’s truth. As an artistic custodian of my own family experiences which have been transmuted into past works, making these connections during our discussion was illuminating for me, and helped me better appreciate the delicacy required for handling something as fragile as memory itself, especially when it belongs to someone else.
About: "NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) is a non-profit designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world, providing the Los Angeles community of entertainment professionals and film goers with a constant surge of monthly screening events."
With finals week at USC (mercifully) behind me, at last, I have the free time to share these photographs from NewFilmmakers Los Angeles: DocuSlate. Earlier this month, I was honored to share the screen with director Ellie Wen's Single Mother Only Daughter, a lovingly-crafted portrait of her relationship with her mother. Stitching new connections between analog memories culled from a collection of VHS tapes, diaries and photographs, Wen traces the synchronous orbits of two lives circling closer together with age. The film's foundation sourced from a recorded phone conversation between the two, Wen's husband, Greg Katz, auspiciously began filming her end of the line, capturing her moments of realization & revelation with their shared past.
Naturally, I found a kinship with Wen's work, as many of my directorial efforts are traced along similar lines of connecting the past with the present, and the web of dreams/memories that form between its many points. Both The Duel and Single Mother Only Daughter attempt to reconcile childhood mysteries with an adult life that refuses to shake them free, perhaps motivated by a duty to forgive or better understand their parents. Film is one of the rare art forms in that respect, as it grants the artist the ability to fold time in on itself, summoning new strength in re-examining the power of memories and the role they continue to play in shaping their future.
Executive Director Larry Laboe and the incredible staff at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) have been cultivating & providing an invaluable resource for LA's film community for the past decade. I consider my upcoming screening with their new DocuSlate program as a homecoming of sorts, as NFMLA was the first Los Angeles-based festival I submitted my work to coming out of film school. As my latest offering, The Duel, nears the end of its festival run, I'm honored to be welcomed back into the same community that has provided me with so much support over the years, and look forward to sharing my new works with them for years to come.
DocuSlate, presented by NewFilmmakers Los Angeles in partnership with the International Documentary Association, will be held at the South Park Center on December 2nd. From their website:
"Each year, NFMLA receives thousands of submissions. Programming selections are based not only on the merits of a project but are designed to fulfill the criteria in regard to our mission, considerations for the Best of NFMLA Awards, and to ensure that NFMLA delivers diverse and original content consistently to the standard that we have upheld for the past 10 years."
"We are especially affected by the overwhelming flood of incredible documentary projects of important topics & unforgettable stories that we have been unable to place due to the limited festival programming slots available. As a result NFMLA is pleased to present DocuSlate, an entire day dedicated to documentary films."
The program starts at 10:30 and lasts all day long! Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/newfilmmakers-los-angeles-nfmla-annual-docuslate-december-2nd-2017-tickets-39670529622