Tuesday, September 30, 2014


During the Urbanworld Film Festival, we attended one of their "Shorts Program 6" that included the following films.  One of the films below actually won Best Narrative Short.  The film that won was good but not my favorite of the seven short films below.  After the films, there was a short Q&A with the filmmakers of which you can see the pictures below.


Anatomy of Assistance
Directed by: Corey Bowles
http://urbanworld.org/films/anatomy-of-assistance
The favorite of mine, the intricacy in connecting the characters together is amazing.  The lead that plays Talia does a phenomenal job as a headstrong teen.  With the ending coming full circle, the short keeps the audience engaged from beginning to end.


Barrio Boy
Directed by: Dennis Shinners
http://urbanworld.org/films/barrio-boy
This love at first sight short actually opened the shorts program and was not what I expected.  The narrative by the lead, acting and dialogue was impressive.  The Director who was in attendance indicated it was part of a longer feature he hopes to do, and I wouldn't mind waiting for it.  The only local filmmaker in attendance, the film was filmed in Brooklyn not too far from where the Director grew up.


Isaiah's Birthday
Directed by: Shawn Gerrard
http://urbanworld.org/films/isaiahs-birthday
Touching story of a father, Kevin trying to be closer to his son that doesn't know him.  The actor that plays Kevin was in attendance along with the Director.  They spoke about the difficulties of finding the right boy to be cast as the son.  Eventually they used Kevin's nephew who has no experience acting but performed well in the short.


One Past
Directed by: Juli S. Kobayashi
http://urbanworld.org/films/one-past
With a slight bit of horror element to it, this supernatural tale of two close sisters struggling to move on when one's a ghost and the other lost without the other.  The short was entertaining, with the ghostly sister, Director Juli S. Kobayashi, as well as another actor in attendance for the Q&A.  They discussed some of the difficulties filming including having to move locations in short notice after being denied at their location of choice.


Pitahaya
Directed by: Albert Espinosa
http://urbanworld.org/films/pitahaya
I really enjoyed the performance by the young male lead with his narrative of the day that changed his life.  The film from Spain is about a boy's courage and dream as his class visit Mercabarna, a market in Barcelona.  As a father, the only objection I have with the film which is more of an indication of our current society is having the strange man befriend the boy and helping him after the boy's embarrassment.


Present Trauma
Directed by: Mark Manalo
http://urbanworld.org/films/present-trauma
With America constantly in deployment the last decade or so in its war against terror, this story really resonates as to the trauma some soldiers face coming home.  Well acted and written, this is another story I wouldn't have mind being made into a full feature film.  Keith (Patrick John Flueger) is a marine with a lot of ghosts being the only survivor of his band of brothers that survives an ambush.


Woman In Fragments
Directed by: Quan Zhou
http://urbanworld.org/films/woman-in-fragments
This was the film that I wanted to see the most and I wasn't disappointed.
Heartfelt performance by Akemi Look who was in the Q&A, the story touches anyone with an elderly parent.  During the Q&A, she talks about her dancing background which she had to give up due to an injury but jumped at the chance when she was offered this.  The theater had a few hiccups in getting the subtitles to display for the short but for those who stayed was well rewarded.

Despite the focus of Urbanworld Fim Festival, I was surprised by the overall quality of films from various ethnicities that were shown.  One of the things that makes Urbanworld Film Festival great is the access to the filmmakers who attend the festival in which you can interact with and discuss about what you have just seen.  Here are a few photos from the Shorts programs as well as from the Addicted panel red carpet event.

Short Program 6 Q&A


Addicted Panel Red Carpet



 

Various Red Carpet






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