Fish Hook And Eye

Love, personified as a femme fatale, guides the audience through the stages of falling in love. 

Fish Hook And Eye screened at NFFTY 2017 and took home the Art In Motion Audience Award. 



Chloe Aktas is a director and actor.  She is a graduate from the Kanbar Film and Television Institute at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (2015).  

In 2016, her short film Mutt was a finalist for the 43rd Student Academy Awards. Out of over 1600 submissions, Mutt was chosen as one of seven finalists in the narrative category. 

In 2014, her film Fish Hook and Eye won at two Tisch film festivals: 1st place in the "New Visions and Voices" festival and Viewers Choice Award for the "Fusion Film Festival" which celebrates women in film and new media. In 2013, she was one of eight students chosen to attend the Tisch Special Programs, BBC Academy training program in London, U.K. where she interned for BBC Radio 1. Further, from 2014-2015 she interned at Protozoa Pictures, Darren Aronofsky's production company. In addition to her film training, she am a graduate of the high school conservatory acting program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Chloe continues to work as an actress and appeared as a recurring guest-star on season seven of The Walking Dead

A Brief Interview with Chloe:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I made this film because I wanted to tell a love story in my own voice. I think that as we grow our idea of love shifts. It was important for me to create a piece that showed my interpretation of love at that moment in my life. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

There were so many magical moments. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful animation that Katelyn Rebelo created and also letting Lyndsey Bourne take the reins with the voice over. 

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a short film right now! We are going to film this summer in North Carolina. 

Find Chose and Fish Hook And Eye online: 

Chloe's Website:
Instagram: @chloealev --


Fish Hook and Eye

Fish Hook And Eye

Directed by Chloé Aktas

Love, personified as a femme fatale, guides the audience through the stages of falling in love.

Fish Hook And Eye screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Art In Motion Screening and took home the Audience Award. 

A little about Chloé Aktas in her own words: 

I'm a director and an actor.  I'm a graduate from the Kanbar Film and Television Institute at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (2015).  

In 2016, my short film Mutt was a finalist for the 43rd Student Academy Awards. Out of over 1600 submissions, Mutt was chosen as one of seven finalists in the narrative category. 

In 2014, my film Fish Hook and Eye won at two Tisch film festivals: 1st place in the "New Visions and Voices" festival and Viewers Choice Award for the "Fusion Film Festival" which celebrates women in film and new media. In 2013, I was one of eight students chosen to attend the Tisch Special Programs, BBC Academy training program in London, U.K. where I interned for BBC Radio 1. Further, from 2014-2015 I interned at Protozoa Pictures, Darren Aronofsky's production company.In addition to my film training, I am a graduate of the high school conservatory acting program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I continue to work as an actress and appeared as a recurring guest-star on season seven of The Walking Dead


A Brief Interview with Chloé Aktas

Why did you decide to make this film?
I made this film because I wanted to tell a love story in my own voice. 

I think that as we grow our idea of love shifts. It was important for me to create a piece that showed my interpretation of love at that moment in my life. 

What was your favorite part about making it?
There were so many magical moments. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful animation that Katelyn Rebelo created and also letting Lyndsey Bourne take the reins with the voice over. 

What are you working on now? 
I'm working on a short film right now! We are going to film this summer in North Carolina. 

For more on Chloé:
Instagram: @chloealev


Rough Waters

Submerged in the darkness of her depression, Katie struggles to stay afloat the rough waters in her life, but uncovers what matters most in her journey to recovery.

Rough Waters screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Friday Night Shorts Screening. 


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Claire Imler is a high school senior who found a passion in filmmaking after joining her high school's film program her sophomore year. She will be attending Chapman University next year as a film production major, with hopes of emphasizing in Cinematography. She will also be going to Vietnam this summer to make a documentary with 12 other student filmmakers. 

Troy Charbonnet is currently a high school senior in Orange County and will be attending Chapman University in the fall, majoring in film production. He hopes to direct more projects in the future and will be going to Vietnam this summer to make a documentary.

A Brief Interview with Claire and Troy:

Why did you decide to make this film?

When we first heard Katie’s story, it was so impactful and inspiring to us, so we decided to share her story in hopes that it can help others who are struggling through the same things. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

Making this film was such a blast. We started with Katie’s interview, then decided what b-roll shots we wanted based on what she said. It was a very easy-going, relax process while making the film, which is something that isn't too common to hear in the filmmaking world! And although we did have moments that weren’t as fun (i.e camera breaking while shooting underwater or being stuck in LA traffic for 4 hours) we enjoyed the whole process, learned a lot, and were happy with the result! 

What are you working on now?

We both will be going to Vietnam this summer with 12 other student filmmakers to make documentaries! We also are both starting at Chapman University in the fall as film production majors. 

Find Claire, Troy & Rough Waters online:                                                                         

Instagram Troy: @troycharbonnet --
Instagram Claire: @claire.imler -- 

Atlas World

A malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld.

Atlas World screened at NFFTY 2017 and took home the Best Music Video Jury Award.


Morgana McKenzie is an award-winning director and cinematographer. Her short films have screened at over 100 festivals and won over 35 awards. Her music video “Atlas World” has won nine awards including Best Music Video at NFFTY 2017, and Best Director and Best Film from the young filmmaker division of TIFF. In 2014 Morgana was awarded the Best Emerging Female Filmmaker award by NFFTY.


A Brief Interview with Morgana:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I get nightmares, constantly. The type that cause me to jolt upright a few times in the night. But given how very visual and fantastical they are, I wanted to do something constructive with the ideas I was getting. I knew I wanted to do a music video as my next project, so I started to develop a story around interesting locations, the visuals in my dreams, and a dress made of severed fingers. After many drafts, I came out with Atlas World! It was a truly weird experience developing the script.

What was your favorite part about making it?

Hands down working with the kids in my cast. The three leads I casted were two 14 year olds, and one 10 year old, but in many ways they were mature beyond their years. Throughout shooting I got to see them grow, and it was a very personal experience given how close we got. They are so talented, and in many ways carry the film on their backs. But, they were also cool and hilarious kids, so every shoot was guaranteed to be a blast (even when it was 2am in a cave)!

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m in pre-production for my next short film "Wild (Indomptable)”, a supernatural short film set in rural 1930s, mixing a period-piece look with bold visuals inspired by Suspiria and Neon Demon.

Given it’s complex set builds, production design, and period setting, the film’s budget is way out of my reach at the moment, so I’ve started a Kickstarter to raise the funds needed. There is no fallback, no safety net for this film in terms of funding, so plainly speaking failed Kickstarter = no film (I know we can all cringe at that thought). The majority of my crew are creatives working on a volunteer basis for their belief in the project, even the owners of our farm location are planting a cornfield JUST for this film. We’re all excited and on board, and I hope you will be as well.


Find Morgana and Atlas World online: 

Website Atlas World:
Twitter: @MorganaFilms /
Instagram: @MorganaFilms /

The New Europeans

The European refugee crisis was at its highest in August 2015. Three young Danes travel to the island of Lesbos to meet the refugees as they arrive. 

The New Europeans screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Human Race Screening and took home the Audience Award. 


The film is directed by Johannes Skov Andersen and Aske Salling. Johannes is a former student at Station Next and founder of the youth media project UP – Ungdomsproduktion. Aske is began as videographer and journalist in UP back in 2013. 

 From left to right: Peter Martin Kappel, Aske Salling and Johannes Skov Andersen. 

From left to right: Peter Martin Kappel, Aske Salling and Johannes Skov Andersen. 

A Brief Interview with Aske and Joahnnes: 

Why did you decide to make this film?

This is a film about the most important political topic for many year. It is not just a story about refugees – It is a story of how the globalisation looks from a distance and how it feels when it comes close. Aske and I (Johannes) sat on a café discussing how to cover the refugee crisis from a perspective that is relatable for young people. All of a sudden we came up with the idea of bringing our good friend Peter down there to experience the crisis on close hold. Instead of talking about how much 3000 people a day costs the European Union, we would like to meet the 3000 people – and we did. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

Being on the island of Lesbos was a really intense experience. In-between the dramatic scenes of refugees arriving, we had a great time with the volunteers and the young refugees. Despite that, it was such a pleasure to work with our extremely talented composer and sound designer Carl Gustav Nordentoft (, who started composing even before we went to the island – and did not finish until the final cut was made. 

What are you working on now?

We are currently editing a documentary about the american society. Besides that we have a lot of other documentary projects in the idea fase we hope starts shooting soon. 

Find The New Europeans online: 

Website UP - Ungdomsproduktion:
UP - Ungdomsproduktion on Facebook:
UP - Ungdomsproduktion on Youtube:
Twitter: @ungdomstv --

Ok, Call Me Back

Craving companionship, a woman leaves a voicemail late at night. Objects take on new meaning in a lush world of gendered icons.

Ok, Call Me Back screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Art In Motion Screening and took home the Best Experimental Film Jury Award. 



Emily Ann Hoffman is an award-winning animator, filmmaker and artist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, awarded for her short film Ok, Call Me Back, (also awarded Best Experimental Film at NFFTY 2017 and an official selection of LAFF 2017), as well as a screenwriting mentee with the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program. Her previous short film, The Emily & Ariel Show won a Best Experimental Animation award in Mallorca, Spain; was screened at festivals internationally (including NOFF and LAFF nationally); and is featured on online platforms such as Vimeo Staff Picks, Boooooom and Fandor. She has recently emerged from an Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she wrote, animated and directed a short film Nevada, currently in post-production. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015.

"This film evolved from a series of short poems and jokes I had written in a period of longing. I wanted to tell a story of female desire in a safe space, for the woman who’s experienced the humor and frustration of loneliness and lust. This film assures it’s audience that it’s okay to experience and explore desire, and it’s okay to ask for help in doing so — it’s part of our humanity. 

I like to explore issues of gender roles, norms, and what it means to be a feminist today. We’re entering a period in which we see traditional gender identities blurring, morphing or dying. I hope my film shares a message of sex positivity and confidence. Too often female sexuality is only depicted through the male gaze. In response to this, there’s a misunderstanding sometimes in regard to feminism in which the “strong, independent, woman” gets conflated with a cold, solitary and asexual woman. I believe there is strength in vulnerability, and strength in understanding and acknowledging desires for companionship. The modern feminist can absolutely be strong and independent, but this doesn’t make her void of desire and emotion."

A Brief Interview with Emily Ann: 

Why did you decide to make this film?

I initially made this film for the Sundance Ignite "What's Next?" Challenge and because I wanted to try something new -- I had never made a film in live action before. I had been looking a lot at the work of female photographers Maisie Cousins, Juno Calypso and Prue Stent/Honey Long and was fascinated by the way they subverted traditional (i.e. male gaze) portrayals of the sexual female. I wanted to explore how I could create a an artistic, experimental film that still felt accessible and relatable. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

I honestly had so much fun making the entire piece -- the artist in me had a blast with production design -- but the best part was probably playing with fruits, vegetables and batteries! I had a really incredible DP, Russell Peborde, who didn't have much insight into the project before our shoot day. I was a little embarrassed to smother an eggplant in coconut oil at first, but he's very professional (and talented) so he went along with it and we had a lot of fun. I can't say I'd ever shoved a battery in a banana or a cucumber before that day, but it was oddly satisfying. 

 What are you working on now?

I'm just wrapping up post-production on a stop-motion animated film Nevada, about a young couple who's romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap. Next up, I'm writing a feature about a young woman who gets bed bugs. It's a dark comedy in which a female bed bug and a human woman are living in parallel patriarchal societies and have to join forces to take down their oppressors. It will be a mix of animation and live-action. 

Find Emily Ann & Ok, Call Me Back online:                                                                         

Emily Ann's website :                         
Instagram Emily Ann: @emilyannimation --
Twitter Emily Ann: @emilyannimation --


"Akoma," defined as "The Heart," is a post-Civil War Era drama surrounding two courageous young women in a fight for love and freedom that could cost them their lives.

AKOMA screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Cinematic Journey Screening. AKOMA is also in the Official Selection of Cinetopia Film Festival 2017 and won the Grand Prize at Film Challenge Detroit in 2016.


Co-founder of Lunar Flame Pictures, Alex Gasparetto has a certificate in Film Production from the Motion Picture Institute and a six year background in Digital Media. His directorial debut in 2014, a short film titled, “Asphyxia,” has showcased in a variety of local festivals including Trinity International Film Festival in Detroit where he was presented with the Best Artist Award in 2015. More recently, his film “Akoma” took home the grand prize at the Click on Detroit WDIV Film Challenge. His films exemplify true visual story-telling and most often center around strong female leads making him a filmmaker to keep an eye on.

"When ‘AKOMA’ presented itself as my next project, I immediately felt very scared to take it on. Upon further analysis I thought to myself, “Who was I going to grow to be if I let my fear dictate what I do?” It became one of those "take-the-leap" moments."



"AKOMA quickly became the most ambitious film we’ve set out to make. It has been the best example of what I set out to do: tell challenging stories. During Sundance 2017, I was opened up to the idea that the filmmaking process might be a great way to expand our own capacity for empathy towards one another. I hope this film can reach a broad audience, and establish the idea that a strong heart, full of love, can absolutely drive out hate within our society." 

A Brief Interview with Alex: 

Why did you decide to make this film?

I wish I could say that it was my idea to make this film. It was initially pitched to me by Lucie as a conversation between two women, but that’s not even close to what I got. The reason the screenplay got written in the first place was because Lucie and her best friend actress Leah Ruff had not acted opposite each other in over 12 years; and never before on screen. She had developed the actor’s itch and we had the power to cure it ourselves by developing a new project.

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part about making AKOMA had to be the feeling I got hiring a cast/crew of nearly 50 members composed of students currently in film school up to union professionals. It was also the first time I had wrestled with the screenplay enough to break it down into it’s smallest components, which gave me a thorough understanding of the importance of each moment as well as the big picture. 

What are you working on now?

This summer I am serving as a director of photography on some projects, including one that will hopefully break some silence around rape culture, called ‘Carpenter'. Additionally, Lucie and I are developing a horror short, and a drama in both short and feature formats about a woman who overcomes the deepest depression of her life with the help of her 10 year old daughter. Our projects are likely to be developed further after our wedding in August!

Find Alex & AKOMA online: 

Website Lunar Flame Pictures:
Website AKOMA:
Instagram: @lunarflamepictures --


What do our memories become? They are alive inside, even when the reality is dead. The fleeting quality of love forces a girl to question if her relationship ever truly existed, or if it was all in her head.

Reflections screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Art In Motion Screening and took home the Best Animation Jury Award. 



Morgan Gruer is a multidisciplinary Designer, Animator, and Art Director based in New York City. Her work spans a variety of industries and media, including concept development, 2D animation, brand identity, package design and illustration. Morgan graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Communications Design and previously studied Studio Art at Skidmore College. Her work has been featured by Vimeo, The Creators Project at VICE, NFFTY, The National Society for Arts & Letters, Gizmodo, and Packaging of the World. She has worked with clients such as Ed Sheeran, Céline Dion, Bea Miller, and Gatorade.

A Brief Interview with Morgan:

Why did you decide to make this film?

Reflections was a personal story that I felt I needed to create in order to close a specific chapter of my life and move on to the next one. What began as a reflection upon numerous past relationships morphed into a story about one specific one that I had been unable to let go of. The cathartic process of this film acted as an outlet for me to package up my thoughts and feelings about this subject, and release them out into the world.

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part about making this film was the collaborative nature that it encouraged. It was created on a shoestring student budget, and would not have been possible without the help of my incredibly kind, patient and talented friends. The actors, dancer, and sound designer are all close friends of mine, and I am very I’m lucky to be surrounded by a circle of so many creative people. 

The sound design for Reflections was an especially fun process; I contacted Spaer, one of my close friends, about creating the music once I had the story loosely written out, and he exceed all expectations. He knew the stories and relationships that inspired this song without me having to explain every detail, and succeeded in creating a song that expressed everything I was feeling and more. Even though the story came before the music, I wanted Spaer to have fun in his process, and be open for creative interpretation. 

What are you working on now?

At the moment, I’ve been busy with freelance commercial work, writing ideas for new short films, and in the beginning stages of discussing a possible VR collaboration with a fellow NFFTY alumni. I’m continually striving to experiment with new forms and media, make work that I feel passionate about, and use art as a vehicle to connect people.

Find Morgan & Reflections online:                                                                         

Morgan's website :                            
Spaer's website (sound design / band member Psymon Spine):

Hell You Talmbout

Seattle's Northwest Tap Connection, a race and social justice-oriented dance studio, responds to the deaths of unarmed black lives at the hands of police officers, using dance as passionate protest in a call to say their names, see their names, and feel their names.

Hell You Talmbout screened at NFFTY 2017 at Closing Night and took home the Audience Award. 


"With each passing day, we find it more urgent than ever that citizens in Trump America need to hear the voices of these children. The taps of their shoes are like the walks and talks of those chained and silenced - but at the very same time, an embodiment of revelry and resilience. Hell You Talmbout is a cry to say their names, see their names and feel their names, and it's a declaration that the list of lives lost to police brutality ends today."

Denzel Boyd is an artist, designer and activist based in Richmond, VA. His work transits through the fields between art and graphic design practices with a focus on typography, print design, art direction and social design. He enjoys finding a harmony between order and chaos through thorough experimentation of digital and analogue processes Most recently, his work have been commissioned by the National Youngarts Foundation and his work recognized at the MOMA PS1 in Brooklyn, NY.  His design practice involves discovering ways to envision and invent instead of advertise and conform. He holds a undergraduate degree in graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University. 


Tyler Rabinowitz is a producer/director and an alumnus of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he was named one of Variety Magazine's 2015 "Students to Watch.” Tyler is a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts, and a TED speaker. Tyler works as a producer/director on music videos for popular recording artists. Previous clients include Universal Music, Republic Records and Crush Music, as he brought visuals to life for platinum-selling talent such as Train and Matt Nathanson, as well as YouTube star MAX. Most recently, Tyler co-produced "The Mess He Made" (Dir. Matthew Puccini), a short film starring Max Jenkins about the fifteen minutes a man waits for the results of his HIV rapid test. It made its world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. Previously, Tyler has worked for Warner Bros., Sesame Workshop, Avy Kaufman Casting, and the National YoungArts Foundation. His work has garnered millions of views on YouTube, been on exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and has screened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. 

A Brief Interview with Denzel & Tyler:

Why did you decide to make this film?

Denzel: As we enter this rather dark period in modern politics, it may seem trivial to discuss the arts as a vehicle for change. However, yet more than ever it is vital to defend the right to free expression, and use art to help make change happen. I wanted partake in utilizing the National YoungArts Foundation's commissioned support as a platform to amplify the artistic and political voices of Seattle's Northwest Tap Connection. Likewise I was left inspired after witnessing the youth dance group performance, caught on camera following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. It became clear to me and my collaborators to use our resources to stimulate not just a moment, but rather a movement towards radical transformation of ideals and consciousness.

Tyler: We were trying to figure out how we were going to show up for the Black Lives Matter movement. We were compelled to show up with our camera. We didn't tell this story, the story told us. The Facebook live video we came across of Northwest Tap Connection's dancers spoke to us: "Drop what you are doing and support these brilliant kids. Put their passion on the screen."

What was your favorite part about making it?

Denzel: Working closely with a experienced filmmaker (Tyler Rabinowitz), tap dancer (Joseph Webb), and choreographer (Shakiah Danielson) truly made this a edifying experience to create a work that captured the social transformation we all yearned for.  In addition, the starring Northwest Tap Connection showed me that there is so much to be learned from witnessing a body of people in action.

Tyler: I don't know how clear we were on what we were making in the moment. We had a strong collaboration going, a framework for the end product and we knew that it all centered around this dance. I could never pinpoint what genre this was. Was it a narrative? Well, there was no script, no dialogue, no "objective" in the scene. How about a music video? Sort of, but there's more to it than that. Experimental? Potentially, but not entirely. Could it be a documentary even though there's no traditional sit-down interviews or B-roll? 

Partway through the edit I asked dancer/actor Joseph Webb to write a letter to these kids. What he wrote became the voiceover that threads through the piece, woven together with sound clips from the Facebook live video broadcasted by Diamond Reynolds, Philando Castile's girlfriend, and from nine-year-old Zianna Oliphant speaking to the Charlotte City Council. I realized that this is a documentary of emotions. It is a documentary of the hearts, souls, passion, purpose, anger, frustration, and resilience of the dancers at Northwest Tap Connection, and of their uplifting choreographer/instructor Shakiah Danielson - who inspires these kids to demonstrate the unwavering compassion they don't always receive. There's not a day that goes by where I don't ecstatically tell someone all about this school, these dancers, Shakiah and their incredible instructors, and their artistic director Melba Ayco. They've touched our lives.

What are you working on now?

Denzel: Currently I have been facilitating  a series of events funded by research grant, to extend the life of the short film. To date, my collaborators and I have hosted a public screening & panel discussion, as well as a social movement workshop to engage our community in the spirit of healing, liberating and educating. 

Tyler: When I'm not directing or producing music videos, I'm developing a film with the support of my mentors through the Sundance Ignite Fellowship. The film inspired by the life of my grandfather, and a journal in which he wrote his life story in right after being diagnosed with ALS and knowing he'd soon lose the ability to write. I'm always open to exciting new collaborations, especially if the project has a social impact, so if anyone has an idea please don't hesitate to reach out!

Find Denzel, Tyler & Hell You Talmbout online: 

Website Hell You Talmbout:
Denzel's website: 
Tyler's website: 

StéLouse - Shivers n Gold (feat. Mascolo)

An electronic musical experience emotionally exploring a lonely statue's path to self-discovery through interpretive dance choreography.

Shivers n Gold screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Centerpiece screening. 


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"As a filmmaker who strives particularly with music as my own medium of go-to "script", Shivers N Gold is built to represent the music first and foremost, but secondly to also express the loneliness and discrimination of others followed by overcoming intimidation and control. The gold statue, our protagonist, struggles against the antagonistic stone statues, serving as an example of who we all are in times of self-doubt, when trusting your inner-self is the only way to prevail."

Kody Kurth is a 20 year old Denver, CO based film director, DP & editor at Profectum Media, LLC. While running a co-owned production company, he also works as a music producer and graphic designer. His main focus in filmmaking revolves around music videos, documentaries, and experimental narratives.

A Brief Interview with Kody:

Why did you decide to make this film?

As an aspiring electronic music producer, I met StéLouse at one of his live shows in Denver, CO, and hit it off with him after realizing we shared a lot in common creative interests. In a studio session together, I heard Shivers N Gold and immediately proposed a music video concept involving dance (one of my favorite mediums to film) combined with the use of the color gold to represent the song visually. After discussing my ideas with the singer, Mascolo, I learned more about the lyrics and message of overcoming loneliness and self-doubt. Using these elements, I hired Andrew Han, our choreographer, to come up with the dance and create something both visually entertaining while also communicating our story emotionally. After collaboratively finalizing the choreography, we decided to make our characters statues that come to life in an abandoned warehouse, to further push our theme of loneliness. Making this music video was important to me because it champions music that I connect to creatively and emotionally, and its a story that I know most people experience at some point or another in their life, especially in a time in our world when being yourself is more important than ever.

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part about creating this music video was having worked so hard with my team throughout the lengthy process of pre-production and numerous choreography meetings (every other week for a few months) and finally seeing our dancers painted and outfitted in stone and gold, performing the dance for the first time on set. Watching our ideas come to life on screen through the director's monitor was an overwhelmingly exciting experience that felt incredibly special.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently working on 4-5 new music videos with an array of artists in numerous genres. I'm also touring with StéLouse (the artist of Shivers N Gold) to capture his experience on the road through documentary filmmaking at music festivals like Lightning in a Bottle, Electric Forest, and much more. I also hope to start co-writing an experimental Terrence Mallick inspired narrative with my film colleagues about the struggles of relationships when they cling longer than their true love lasts. As of right now, filmmaking is my full-time career, and making projects that I can be both passionate about and effectively impact people positively around the world is living the dream!

Find Kody & StéLouse - Shivers n Gold (feat. Mascolo) online: 

Website Profectum Media:
Facebook Profectum Media:
Website StéLouse (Musician/Artist):

Tooter Anon

If you smelt it, you must have dealt it. 

Tooter Anon screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Bring The Kids screening. 



My name is Isabella Cuevas Pierson. I’m a 20-year-old filmmaker/photographer from Washington. I enjoy making narratives and music videos.

A Brief Interview with Isabella:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I had recently seen the Maltese Falcon and loved it. I figured it would be a fun project to poke fun at noir films. It was easy to get my family on board with the idea. We had a lot of fun making it together. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part was shooting it. The actors are my sisters and cousins. When we’re all together it’s tradition to make a short, which usually ends up being a comedy. There was a lot of improvisation and laughing on set.

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on a larger project to shoot over the summer. A drama/thriller, somewhere from 5 to 15 minutes. I’m very excited about it. I’m trying to step away from shorts (as much as I love making them) and focus on bigger scale projects.

Find Isabella & Tooter Anon online: 


When The Leaves Fall

A young boy seeks to cure his brother's terminal illness when he overhears the doctor's diagnosis. 

When The Leaves Fall screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Northwest Is Best screening. 



Tommy Tang is a videographer and photographer at the University of Washington's Media and Communications program. His documentaries on social issues and underrepresented communities have screened on FUSION TV and at Slamdance, NFFTY, STIFF, and BSDFF.







A Brief Interview with Tommy:

Why did you decide to make this film?

It was created for a Super 8 Filmmaking contest sponsored by Kodak. I was inspired by the short film Falling Leaves from 1912, but I felt that the original had an ending that wasn't true to life so I changed the story to fit a modern-day setting and to tell a more ambiguous message.

What was your favorite part about making it?

The child actors, Timothy and Isaac, were great fun to work with. Their intelligence, enthusiasm, and playfulness made filming a treat.

What are you working on now?

I am writing and directing feature-length thriller film called Contraband that will be shot entirely in Washington. It is currently in pre-production and will be released by early 2018.


A bullied teenage boy journeys into the night wanting to avenge his brother's death, only to find himself locked in a moral dilemma that will change his life forever. 

Stereotype screened at NFFTY 2016 at Closing Night. 



Jordan McGibney is currently working as a freelance Director, Producer and Editor within the UK. Starting out as a photographer and graphic designer with a passion for theatre Jordan combined his skill-sets and began to train in Film. Working through the BFI Film Academy and NFTS Talent Campus Jordan went on to create a number of films including the multi award winning short film ‘Stereotype’. With a focus on creating thrilling stories with deep social and political themes he has worked in a number of genres and will be taking on his first feature in 2018. 


A Brief Interview with Jordan:

Why did you decide to make this film?

Within my city there has been a huge increase in knife crime that has affected hundreds of families. Rather than make a film that just showed the horrific nature of these acts, I wanted to tell a story that showcased the good spirit of people.

Everyday communities are stereotyped because of the actions of the few yet there are so many inspirational stories of forgiveness, heroism and love that we don’t see in the mainstream media.

Stereotype was a film close to my heart and I wanted to send a message out to anyone that no matter what you are going through the biggest strength you have is the power of choice.

What was your favorite part about making it?

Working with the actors to create some really intense scenes was probably my favourite part about making the film. I cast a lot from the Television workshop in Nottingham and it was great to see them take the script and really add to it. We did several pre-scenes, rehearsals and eventually rounded it down to what we thought was realistic. When we were on set it was great seeing them collaborate and find new choices in the moment.

One of my other favourite parts was collaborating with Mike McLoughlin and Gyorgy Laszlo to create the world. We wanted the film to have an international feel so that anyone could relate to the story. We chose these bright colourful sets combined with pools of top lighting to create this dark mood. I feel with the work they both did, the locations became an extra character in the film. It was my first time working with such experienced crewmembers and they taught me a lot about the art of filmmaking.

What are you working on now?

I currently have a few projects on the go however my main focus is a prison drama I am hoping to shoot this summer. With all the cut backs going on in the UK we are seeing record high attacks and suicides within the system. I’d like to open up a greater discussion about the importance of education and a fuller understanding of mental health within the prison system. If anyone would like to collaborate or support this project please drop me an email via

Crossing Brooks County

Those who cross the United States - Mexico border in Brooks County, Texas often face devastating consequences. This film paints a portrait of life and death 70 miles north of the border.  

Crossing Brooks County screened at NFFTY 2016 at The Human Race screening and took home the Audience Award. 


 From left to right: Kaley Belval, Nina Lindberg and Eric Cotton 

From left to right: Kaley Belval, Nina Lindberg and Eric Cotton 

Kaley's bio: 

Kaley Belval is currently a Graphic Designer for the Idaho Mountain Express in Ketchum, Idaho. She designs advertisements and works on the layout of the paper, as well as uploading content to the paper's website and helping to integrate video into the newsroom. She is also the Production Coordinator for the Family of Woman Film Festival, which brings films made by/about women from all over the world in order to "think globally and act locally". Belval was an Associate Producer on the PBS film, Munich '72 and Beyond immediately after graduation from Ithaca College. She is originally from Woodbury, CT and has a Bachelor of Arts in Documentary Studies and Production with minors in Women's & Gender Studies and Honors.

Eric's bio: 

Eric Cotton is the Assistant Editor and Archival Associate Producer for Insignia Films in New York City. After recently completing a three-part, six-hour series on WWI for The American Experience on PBS, Cotton is now working on a one-hour piece about the SeaLab experiments of the 1960s. SeaLab (WT) is also set to air on The American Experience on PBS. He is currently coordinating post production activity for the film, as well as conducting all of the archival research. Cotton also recently worked for Ark Media in New York City as an archival associate producer for the PBS series Finding Your Roots. Cotton is originally from Naples, New York. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2015 with a major in Television and Radio with a concentration in Documentary Production.

Nina's bio: 

Nina Lindberg is currently the Video Production Coordinator for the Colgate University Athletics Department in Hamilton, New York. Lindberg manages all of the department’s live and pre-produced video requirements.She produces season preview videos, athletic department features and handles assorted photography assignments. She is also directs all live board shows for the Class of 1965 Hockey Arena. In addition to her work at Colgate, Lindberg has also worked with the NCAA Digital and Social department at the FCS Division 1 Football National Championship Game in Frisco, Texas and the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Lansing, New York, native is a 2015 graduate of Ithaca College, majoring in documentary studies and production.


Why did you decide to make this film?

Kaley: We decided to make this film, originally, as part of a class our junior year at Ithaca College. After completing the course, we chose to continue it as our thesis project because we found the story too important to stop working on. Immigration is not something that any of us were directly affected by, but it has become something we are extremely passionate about. We wanted to help others learn more about it as well, especially in light of all the current talk about undocumented immigration.

Eric: We decided to make this film because we felt that it was an extremely important story to tell. With today's political climate, it is easy to get lost in all of the statistics and name calling and forget that these are real people who are risking their lives to come here to try to improve their circumstances. We decided to make this film to try to bring the focus back to the humane issues surrounding undocumented immigration.

Nina: It was the Brooks County community that ultimately inspired us to create this film. From the mayor, to the sheriff's department, to local ranchers, the majority of people of Brooks County truly cared about the lives of those crossing the border. Regardless of political ideals, they cared about their safety and they understood that these people were not criminals but often criminalized. This film forced us to take a step back from the political drama portrayed in mainstream media and recognize the incredible humanitarian effort taking place in the small Southern Texas County. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

Kaley: My favorite part about making Crossing Brooks County was learning about each person’s individual perspective that we came in contact with. Although we definitely did not agree with the perspective of some people that we interviewed, it helped to understand where the other side was coming from and just how greatly immigration impacts everyone. It gave me a new perspective on my own privileges, as an American citizen, as well as the issue of immigration as a whole.

Eric: My favorite part about making this film was getting to meet so many warm hearted people. From the sheriff's department to the family members of immigrants to the ranchers, everyone really opened themselves up to us and made us feel welcomed.

Nina: My favorite part about making this film was getting to know everyone involved. We were able to build a trusting relationship with many of those featured in the piece because they knew we had their best interest at heart. With that in mind, they really opened up to us. They invited us into their homes, introduced us to their friends and family, and really made us feel welcome in their community.

What are you working on now?

Kaley: I am currently working as a graphic designer for the Idaho Mountain Express, designing ads as well as page layout for the paper (and working on integrating video production into the newsroom too). I am also the Production Assistant for the upcoming 10th Annual Family of Woman Film Festival, helping with all of the technological needs for the screenings and events. This past year, I worked as an Associate Producer on the documentary Munich ’72 and Beyond, which was aired on PBS and was an official selection of a number of film festivals.

Eric: I'm currently an Assistant Editor and Associate Producer with Insignia Films. After spending the last year working on a three part, six hour series titled The Great War, I have begun working on a new project about early saturated diving experiments conducted by the US government in the 1960s. Both of these projects are being made for PBS's American Experience.

Nina: I am currently the Video Production Coordinator for Colgate University Athletics. I create content such as short features, hype videos, PSA's, and highlight packages for our website, social media, and video boards at our ice hockey and football facilities

Find Kaley, Eric, Nina & Crossing Brooks County online: 


From Here Nor There

An outsider experiences what it is like to be integrated into two different inner circles and must choose the lifestyle that is best suited for himself.  

From Here Nor There screened at NFFTY 2016 at Closing Night. 



Alex is a cinematographer and director based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently in post-production with his thesis film from NYU where he graduated in 2015. He is also in development stages with several other shorts. Alex is attracted to all things bizarre, surreal, and unexplained in cinema and the real world.





A Brief Interview with Alex:

Why did you decide to make this film?

There were several themes, techniques, and images, that I had studied and come to love over my time at NYU and this film was an opportunity to culminate all of that during my study abroad program in Prague. For example the opening scene is based on a painting by Gustave Caillebotte entitled "The Floor Scrapers" which originally struck me for its composition and lighting but ended up having a more profound influence on how I dealt with class and social groups in the film. Also, the idea that characters were talking in four different languages yet still understanding each other was not only a logistical solution to having an international cast, but an idea I had wanted to execute for a while. My favorite moment of the film (which I had written before I knew a Mexican would be playing opposite a Slovak and speaking in their native tongues) is when Pavel asks Andros, "Do you understand me?" and Andros responds, "Yes but I don't know why" and after a beat Pavel answers, "We often don't". I think that moment sums up why I wanted to make this movie - to contrast inclusion and empathy with exclusivity and independence. And lastly, I love this movie called "Johnny Suede" where a pair of suede shoes fall out of the sky and crash on top of a telephone booth that the main character happens to be in. The shoes perfectly fit and he becomes Johnny Suede. Since then I have tried to fit in things randomly falling from the sky in most of my work, and when it happens in 'From Here Nor There', it always gets a great reaction in screenings. More laughs than I expected, but a reaction nonetheless and I'll take it.

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part of making 'From Here Nor There' was working with 35mm film for the first time. We were allotted so little film for our projects, it was so stressful, I think it was 12 minutes worth. I ended up personally buying an extra roll so I had 16 minutes but I knew I still needed more for the length of my script. My movie happened to be the last one on the schedule to go into production out of the ten films we were making that semester. So every time we went into production for another film I almost bargained and made deals with the other directors for them to give me their leftover scraps of unexposed film if they had any. By the time I went into production I might have had 19 minutes or so. We shot no master shots and hardly a second take. The actors hated it. But the sound of film spinning thru the camera really put the pressure on and I think we all thrived in that environment. We ended up making a 9 minute 30 second movie with 19 minutes of film in two days. Luckily there was a rainstorm in the second half of the second day, so the cast and crew had to take shelter in a couple of vans for an hour or two and in that time we re-wrote the ending because we had lost too much time. The light ended up being amazing after the rainstorm and we were rushing to finish before the sun went down, crew members running thru muddy fields, freshly loaded magazines from the leftover scraps, maybe 45 seconds worth of film at a time. And then in the middle of one of the last takes when we had planned for two more shots, the film had run out. And everybody was like, "okay, I guess that's it..." That process was so different and fun but I told myself I would do exactly the opposite on my next film, which I ended up doing, shooting on two digital cameras at once. But when I look back I realize the film process restrained me and brought the best out of me.

What are you working on now?

To pay the rent I am working as a cinematographer in the corporate/commercial world since I graduated film school in 2015. As a cinematographer I am in development with several shorts and a feature that may come into fruition later in 2017. As a director I have my thesis film in post that was shot in the beginning of 2015 - let's just say that, "we're tryna find the story in post" and that's a bit of  an understatement. It's called "Shining Path, Bright Future" about two unhappy best friends on a weird night out on New Years Eve in New York City. But even more importantly, I have one true goal on my mind these days and that is to write a short film, that takes place in the aesthetically gorgeous modern house I grew up in. It is currently on the market, and I will be very hard on myself if it sells before I get the chance to make something beautiful in there.

Find Alex & From Here Nor There online: 


Looking Down

Riley has to make a decision that will determine the course of her entire life. 

Looking Down screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Opening Night screening and received the Audience Award. 



Joe Staehly is a 23 year old director and DP who specializes in visual story telling. He’s been shooting silly videos with friends since he was 10 years old. Then, he made it his career. His work has appeared on MTV and he has worked for a variety of clients and artists including Maybelline, Draft Kings, Notre Dame, and G-Fuel. He loves conveying emotion through video, and working with original creative concepts. He wants every new project to be better than his last, so he continually pushes himself to always create new and interesting stories.

A Brief Interview with Joe:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I decided to make the film for my senior thesis at Drexel University. The concept of small choices creating large impacts through out life has always intrigued me and it was something I wanted to explore by making this film.

What was your favorite part about making it?

My favorite part of making Looking Down was all of the traveling I had to do in order to create Riley's adventure sequence. We went to some really awesome spots throughout Minnesota and Los Angeles that I otherwise never would have experienced.

What are you working on now?

I have a few commercials and music videos in the works right now that I'm really excited to get started on!

Find Joe & Looking Down online: 


Grey Space

An insomniac enters an abstract void where he reconnects with his deceased wife.

Grey Space screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Art In Motion screening, and won the Art In Motion Audience Award at NFFTY 2016 as well.


Jordan Rosenbloom is a director, editor and producer from Ottawa, Canada. His films have screened at festivals worldwide, including the Cannes Film Festival, Hollyshorts, NFFTY, and WorldFest Houston. Jordan has consulted in script development for The Weinstein Company, Nine Stories Productions, and Amazon Studios, and edits and produces content for Def Jam/Universal Music.

A Brief Interview with Jordan:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I wanted to communicate ideas with very little dialogue, and I wanted to build an abstract space that mirrored my characters’ hopeless states of mind. I challenged myself to shoot on 16mm film, and I wanted to create a piece that was motivated by framing, music and mood. 

What was your favorite part about making it?

I really enjoyed conceptualizing the look of the piece, in attempting to marry its themes with its imagery. I loved editing the film as well, which really was a process of discovery and experimentation. I enjoyed working closely with my composer Katy Jarzebowski. 

What are you working on now?

I am currently in pre-production on my next film Waiting, while working as a script/story consultant for Amazon Studios and editing/producing content for Def Jam Recordings. 

Find Jordan & Grey Space online: 


Cuddle Up To Me

In Portland, Oregon, there is a shop for those that seek human touch and a warm embrace. Meet Samantha Hess, professional cuddler, and the people who frequent her shop. 

Cuddle Up To Me screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Northwest Is Best screening. 



Nach Dudsdeemaytha is an independent producer and project manager. He works out of his humble production office at This is a Spoon Studios in Vancouver, where he produces, directs, and edits narrative content, documentaries, and corporate videos. 




A Brief Interview with Nach:

Why did you decide to make this film?

On a routine bus ride to school one day, I picked up the local paper to read -- that day, the front-page feature was about a cuddling business in my hometown. It really caught my attention; I had never heard of any business like it, at least not in North America. I had so many questions I wanted to ask. I was in a documentary class at the time and was looking for a documentary subject for a film… that newspaper article could not have come at a better time!

Some preliminary research led me to Samantha Hess in Portland, who called herself the “pioneer” of the (relatively new) professional cuddling industry. My original idea for the short documentary was to focus on the subject of touch in general. I spent some time researching about the science behind platonic touch, and its psychological effects. I reached out to professors, researchers, and professionals in the field of touch to schedule interviews with them, Samantha being one of those people.

However, as time went on, I became more engrossed in Samantha’s life story, and how she decided to pursue cuddling as a professional career. Sam introduced me to some of her clients, each with their own unique story of how they came to meet Sam. With the help of my good friends Wes Chew & Kelcie Hudson, and our professors, we decided to take a short trip to Portland to capture Sam’s story, and their stories of her clients.

What are you working on now?

I recently finished production on a Storyhive-funded webseries called Inconceivable, directed by my business partner and NFFTY alumni, Joel McCarthy. It’s inspired by (hilariously) true events from Joel’s life that may or may not involve a baby. We are in post-production full-time; the series is slated to release this summer.

As of February 17th, I will also have finished a film I co-wrote and produced called Cypher, a story about the underground rap battle scene in 1997 LA. It was made in part of the Crazy 8s Film Competition in Vancouver, where chosen filmmakers get 8 days to shoot & edit their film.

Find Nach & Cuddle Up To Me online: 


Junk Mail

98-year-old Mary reminds us that people her age are sometimes forgotten, but still very much alive. Call your grandma.

Junk Mail screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Friday Night Shorts screening. 


Nffty Q&A.jpg

Charles Frank is a director, editor, and co-founder of Voyager Creative. He makes films that are empathetic, humanistic and heart filled. His two proudest pieces of work, Junk Mail and My Baby You’ll Be, have reached over 10 million people online, and have been featured in The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Upworthy, among others. In 2016, he was honored at the SHOOT New Directors Showcase, and has directed for brands such as Miller Lite, Hasbro, and Future of Storytelling. He has also edited documentaries for Dick's Sporting Goods and The New York Times Op-Docs. Through all of his work, he strives to connect audiences to the subjects on screen, but also to one another. 

A Brief Interview with Charles:

Why did you decide to make this film?

I was working on a day-in-the-life doc shoot about a girl from Afghanistan studying at Lafayette College. As part of it, we followed her with a group of friends down the road to this nondescript building. To our surprised, we opened the door to a large group of elderly woman cheering and warmly greeting the familiar faces of their Lafeyette College volunteers. We only spent a couple hours there, but it was by far the most memorable part of the shoot. We decided one day we’d come back and spend some more time there… so we did!

What was your favorite part about making it?

Most documentary subjects are intimidated by the cameras and strangers interrupting their everyday life. But at the senior center, and particularly with the main subject, Mary, we were so happily welcomed in. It seemed as if everyone was incredibly confident in who they were, and had no reservations about sharing and being open on camera.

What are you working on now?

I just finished up working on my first feature documentary serving as an editor – it should be coming out within the next couple of months! Other than that, I’m pitching on a few different documentary series, and slowly chipping away at a longer term doc story about these two brothers I grew up with… I’m not yet sure where it will take me, but that’s the fun part!

Find Charles & Junk Mail online: 

Instagram: @voyagercreative --

How We Are Now

Peter, a retired actor, lives with his partner of sixty years, Douglas. As Douglas approaches his eighty-third birthday, they offer an intimate view into how old age affects their live: from getting our of best in the morning to how they think about the future. 

How We Are Now screened at NFFTY 2016 in the Come As You Are screening. 


Born in Milan and raised in London, Andrea is an ambitious and versatile filmmaker, with a particular interest in the absurd, the grotesque and the darkly comic.

After graduating with a BA in Theatre & Performance from the University of Warwick, he was accepted on an MA course at The London Film School. During his time at the school, Andrea wrote and directed several shorts, both fiction and documentary, which have since been shown in major film festivals around the world. 

Home Education is his graduation project. He is currently working on the feature version of the script.

A Brief Interview with Andrea:

Why did you decide to make this film?

As someone who has always been afraid of physical decline, old age is a phase in life that fascinates me. In old age, the future becomes increasingly uncertain and we can’t make the same long-term plans we do when we’re younger because the majority of our life is behind us.

I felt that this philosophical aspect of old age is very rarely, if ever, tackled in documentary and yet it’s such an essential part of our lives to confront and explore. If you come to terms with it earlier then I think that you can see the value in being elderly. 

The film explores the subject closely and our contributors were incredibly willing to show us very intimate details in their life that a lot of people in their position might have been frightened or embarrassed to reveal. In their humour and profound reflection, they demonstrated that though physical decline and lifestyle changes are a large part of growing old, we can face them with great positivity by looking ahead and adapting to our situation.

What was your favorite part about making it?

Peter and Douglas, our subjects. Their humour, honesty, affection and the love they had for each other were quite overwhelming and we became close friends during and after shooting the documentary. They became like a second set of grandparents. Sadly Douglas passed away last year but we were given the very moving task of designing the booklet for his funeral, which was a very emotional experience.

What are you working on now?

I am now writing the feature script for my latest short film 'Home Education', a darkly-comic psychological thriller set in the English countryside. I am also preparing to hopefully shoot a documentary in Afghanistan later next year, following two girls and how since the fall of the Taliban regime they have been able to receive an education and are now in university.

Find Andrea & How We Are Now online: 

How We Are Now Website:
Twitter: @HowWeAreNowFilm --