Friday, June 10, 2016

Etheria Film Festival -Official Short Film Selections--Saturday June 11th Santa Monica California

I was contacted through Twitter about this event and contacted the people in charge and told them if they would like some help with some press or links to some of the films , I would be willing to help.
They in turn sent me the press release and some films to review.
Let's move onto the films presented for the Short Films Selections:
I enjoyed each of the films here such a mix of films and genres the listings of each individual film

Etheria Film Night 2016 Main Showcase Lineup
The Etheria 2016 main lineup showcase screens only the absolute best new genre films directed by women. These carefully and painstakingly curated short films represent truly outstanding new female genre directing talent. All of the 2016 main lineup selections to screen on June 11, 2016 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California for an audience of industry professionals and genre fans. The 2016 Etheria Main Showcase selections are:
Etheria Film Night 2016 Special Sneak Peek Feature Screening:
The Love Witch

(I was not sent a link to review this film, maybe in future)

Directed by Anna Biller (120:00) (Supernatural Exploitation) (USA) (35mm)
A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her in this tribute to 1960s Technicolor thrillers.

Etheria Film Night 2016 Official Short Film Selections:

Genghis Khan Conquers the Moon
Directed by Kerry Yang (17:00) (Science Fiction) (USA)
In Genghis Khan’s last days, an encounter with a wizard sends him to the moon. Just as the medieval anti-hero thinks he’s made his greatest conquest, he finds himself on a spiritual quest realizing the absurd clash between one man’s need and the silence of the universe.

 This was a beautifully shot film with an interesting backdrop of being in the middle of a desert with Genghis Khan. With two travelers in tow behind him with a man rope bound on his wrists ,who makes the bad choice of debating Genghis.
 Meeting of the wizard has some great work by both Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa(above) & James Wong(below-right)they play well off of each other. The cinematography , directing , costumes , actors, set design & the music all add to the magic of this film.

Bionic Girl
Directed by Stephanie Cabdevila (14:30) (Fantasy/Sci-Fi) (France)

French with Subtitles
  In this absurdist musical, a scientist afraid to face the outside world creates her own android clone replacement.

This one starts with a song , musical number of the woman telling a class of medical students her reasoning to why she made a clone of herself. Then one of the students sings out of key she kicks the class out.
 Leaving her alone with her own clone was probably not the best idea as the clone over powers her mind and takes control.
 This is an interesting story with some twists and a battle between the two for control. Am quite amazed how well this little film turned out.

Directed by Christine Boylan (13:00) (Western) (USA)
When a devastating tsunami destroys the west coast, a cowgirl roams the now lawless Malibu hills looking for justice.
This was a really well shot film and had an interesting feel to it as well, a female with revenge on her mind maybe not as intimidating as you would like to think.

The shot above was taken at the American Film Insitute(AFI) as the film got funded through the institute.
Here are some words from Christine Boylan about it from the films Facebook page after her first short film:

"I've been selected by the AFI Women's Directing Program to make a new short.

At the end of June, I'll be directing a piece I've written, based on my Popcorn Fiction Story "Hoss," about a tough cowgirl facing down a couple of bad guys. It's a classic western story with deep character dynamics - the choice between despair and hope, revenge and forward motion. It's set against the backdrop of a devastating climate event that wipes out the flats of the west coast, leaving the Malibu hills a lawless territory."


Directed by Olga Osorio (15:00) (Science Fiction) (Spain)
Andrea is trapped in a temporal loop. Will she be able to break it?
This is one of those films that for every action there is a reaction, or simply a different state of mind.I love these kinds of films where every second of the film matters as if your own life depended on the survival of our lead.
 This is a beautifully shot piece as well as has some really good suspense throughout and the ending will leave you wanting more.

Directed by Toy Lei (4:47) (Action/Thriller) (USA)
A middle-aged contract killer must reconcile her life between her ruthless clients and her young, unquestioning son who wants to be just like her.
Breaking down some traditional roles of what a woman's character is supposed to be like, very much like Hoss(also on the night's viewing) this has a single mother who tells her only son that she is a boxer, when in fact she is a hit woman--contract killer.
Some real grit and stylish fighting near the end makes me wish it was longer the lead was good and the story reminded me of "Gloria"(John Cassavettes)in a way.

The Stylist
Directed by Jill Gevargizian (15:00) (Horror) (USA)
Claire is a lonely hairstylist with an unnerving desire to escape her disappointing reality. When her final client of the evening arrives with the request to look perfect, Claire has plans of her own.
 This is one that slowly and methodically creeps you out and when it gets to where it means to be it is also somewhat heartbreaking.
In an ending nothing short of Hitchcock's Psycho in an opposite fashion of the woman Claire feeling remorse for what she has done not like Norman who was still insane--she is,  but does show remorse a slight difference and so true in it's ability to show that side of a twisted mind, great work here by all involved.

Hard Broads
Directed by Mindy Bledsoe (10:00) (Dark Comedy) (USA)
Three women have to transport a celebrity’s body without anyone knowing she’s dead.
A dead body and a need to get the body back to it's proper home so others will think it was an accident, they do their best puppeteer work to get her home.
This is an odd one on the same avenue as "Weekend at Bernie's" in a darker tone but still dealing with a corpse and not wanting others to know she has passed.
The Puppet Man
Directed by Jacqueline Castel (9:08) (Horror) (USA)
A supernatural killer stalks a young woman and her friends in a seedy, neon-lit dive bar in this short film featuring horror legend John Carpenter.
 Starting out a young group of people enter a bar to find out it's closed, but yet with a bit of convincing($100.00) the bartender agrees to open for them.
He then locks them in and plays a little song on the old jukebox in the bar "The Puppet Man" having called a cab earlier on John Carpenter(Director--Hallowe'en(1978)-Christine, Escape from New York)also allows the filmmakers to use one of his songs in the film.

Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond (15:09) (Horror) (UK)
It’s 1982. Twelve-year old Doug is drawn into the lurid world of VHS horror as he explores the mysterious disappearance of his father.
  It is a story of a man that leaves his family , but doesn't really he has just been put into one of the man horror movies that he owns on VHS. The film in question is called Bad Dad.
It has a bedroom scene that reminded me of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" but this is a cool, creepy little film.

Check out the 2016 TOUR and WOMEN UNDERGROUND selections.

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