Alina | Rami Kodeih, Director

Alina

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Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th

 


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande



Alina

Directed by Rami Kodeih
Narrative Short
USA | 24:51 min | 2019


As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend’s three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Dorota Puzio, Rebeca Robles (BETTER THINGS), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).


Alina, poster | Rami Kodeih

ALINA is about a group of women in the Warsaw Ghetto who try to smuggle a three-month-old baby to safety before the Nazis send her to a concentration camp. It’s inspired by true events and, in many ways, is a tribute to our own mothers, who saved our family from war and an anti-Semitic regime.

The story of women taking action in the face of persecution and fascism is a timeless one, and it is an honor to share it with you.

We made this film with the help of family, friends, and a wonderful cast, including Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY) and Edin Gali (MAD MEN). We all thank you for considering this film.

Warmest regards,
The Filmmakers of ALINA

Rami Kodeih, director | Alina

Rami Kodeih
Director

Rami is an LA-based writer/director. His award-winning narrative shorts and documentaries have screened worldwide, including the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, BFI, Aspen Shortfest, and Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. He is an alumnus of the Sundance Feature Film Program and Berlinale Talents. Rami is currently developing a feature film with XYZ Films (MANDY, THE RAID) and Scythia Films (THE WITCH), as well as a one-hour TV drama, inspired by his own experiences as an immigrant and displaced child of war, for AMC Networks and Participant Media.

Film Information


Director: Rami Kodeih
Country: USA
Year: 2019
Language: English
Runtime: 24:51 min.
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Nora Mariana Salim
Producers: Rachelle Owen, Joshua Owen, Rubber Duck Films, Dorota Puzio, Nora Mariana, Rami Kodeih

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Better Than Neil Armstrong | Alireza Ghasemi, Director |

Better Than Neil Armstrong

Short Slot 3


Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th

 


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande



Better Than Neil Armstrong

Directed by Alireza Ghasemi
Narrative Short
Iran| 20 min | 2019


Four kids start their journey to the moon with the mission of finding a mysterious place called The Redland but the gates of Redland are being guarded by a mischievous snake.


Better Than Neil Armstrong, poster | Alireza Ghasemi, Director |

I first visited Ukraine in 2012, while traveling across Europe in a van. It was an important step for me personally as my grandmother was born in Khust, a small Ukrainian border town. She witnessed how Ukraine, like the rest of Eastern Europe became a part of the USSR, and then later gained its independence, which is now once again threatened. When I went, I was fascinated by the mixture of Eastern and Western traditions, by the people, and was heartbroken by Ukraine’s poverty and the rampant corruption that plagues its institutions.

In the nightclubs of Odessa, on a hot summer evening, I witnessed events similar to the ones depicted in Anna. These clubs are notorious for being hot spots for the type of men and women who seek others while harboring secret agendas. The men ogle women as if they were the pieces of meat hanging in Anna’s workplace. The women size up the men according to the perceived value of their shoes.

The men, hoping to take advantage of the women’s despair and desire to move abroad, try to seduce them with promises of a possible relationship. The women, pretending to be unaware of the obvious scheme, make promises of their own and scam free drinks, expensive dinners, and gifts from the men. The savviest and most determined women will, in turn, seduce naive men with promises of love and everlasting marriage, only to quickly divorce them once they set foot in their new home country. So, each side attempts to take advantage of the other and more often than not fails at it but then returns the next evening for more of the same. For underneath the cynicism and objectification there is the driving force of hope, that on one of these evenings an interaction will lead to something deeper and more meaningful – a real connection based on genuine feelings, a relationship that will lead to a better life.

After observing what went on at the nightclubs of Odessa I discovered the existence of the “love tours” that are depicted in Anna and found the subject compelling enough to return to Ukraine six years after my original visit, and capture it on film. In Anna the backdrop is wintry and cold, but regardless of a country’s regions everyone ultimately harbors dreams and aspirations. These international dating events, which have been organized since the fall of the Iron Curtain, continue to take place, with groups arriving in Ukraine many times a year. The mass parties in which men are usually outnumbered 1 to 10, now take place almost exclusively in East Ukraine, the industrial and more impoverished part of the country.

Ironically, Svetlana Barandich who portrays Anna, participated in such an event more than 20 years ago. And, an actress that we auditioned for the role of the translator told us that she was recently hired as a translator for one of these events. She said that, similarly to the corresponding scene in Anna, she would make up conversations and that “All men and women were always Leo,” for it was the only astrological sign for which she knew the English word.

This is an important story of hope and despair, one which I have attempted to capture as authentically as I could.

Alireza Ghasemi, Director | Better Than Neil Armstrong

Alireza Ghasemi
Director

Alireza is an Iranian Filmmaker. In addition to receiving his Master’s degree in Film Directing from the Art University of Tehran, he’d spent an exchange year at Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Germany. He has made several short films which had brought him numerous awards, including the globally admired short “Lunch Time,” which earned him a nomination for short film Palm d’Or of Cannes Film Festival 2017. In addition to his many cultural activities, in 2015, he founded and directed the Globe International Silent Film Festival. In cooperation with the Arte channel at atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, Alireza had lately finished the short film “Arezo.” He continued his path, developing his feature-length film in Cannes Cinefondation Residency.

Film Information


Director: Alireza Ghasemi
Country: Iran
Year: 2019
Language: Persian
Runtime: 20 min.
Rated: G

Credits


Writer: Alireza Ghasemi
Producers: Hasan Najarian, Mohammadreza Mesbah

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Out of Stock

Out of Stock

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Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th

 

Don’t miss the moderated Q&A session with filmmakers from:

 


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande



Out of Stock

Directed by Bryan Taira
Narrative Short
USA | 18 min | 2020


In 1973, the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, made a joke that toilet paper was going out of stock. By the next day, stores across the country were completely sold out.

This is the story of the first day of the toilet paper crisis.


Out of Stock - Poster

Signing on to direct this film was an easy “yes” for me. The team behind this female written, directed, and produced short film set out to create a story on screen that reflects the diverse world we live in, while staying true to our comedic roots. The comedic timing each performer brought to set was just *chef’s kiss.* And we are proud our cast and crew represent a variety of individual backgrounds, including African American, Middle Eastern, LGBTQ, Latinx, and Asian.

Out of Stock - Bryan TairaBryan Taira
Director

Bryan Taira is a Japanese-American film director, born and raised in Carpinteria, California. His imagination for highlighting social and economic issues are portrayed through contradictory genres. As a storyteller and artist he strives to cultivate a connection between humanity and the natural world through various mediums. Recently graduated from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Bryan looks forward to creating and collaborating on more films.

He has a tendency toward dark comedy as a vessel for highlighting inequality and injustices.

Film Information


Director: Bryan Taira
Country: USA
Year: 2020
Language: English
Runtime: 18 min.
Rated: PG13

Credits


Writers: Meg Greene, Alex Schultz
Producer: Mariah Hall

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Reprise

Reprise

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Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th

 


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande



Reprise

Directed by Stanley Xu Ruiyang
Narrative Short
Taiwan | 14 min | 2019


A man and a woman who run into each other on the filming set were actually lovers in the past. As they play the roles of a couple in the movie, they think about the relationship they had.


Reprise - Poster

After my first collaboration with producer Addy Raja (NORA, premiered August 2018 at BFI IMAX, TEDxNHS), we were eager to work with each other again. In early 2019 we were brainstorming ideas for the Uncertain Kingdom grant which was open to projects that specifically dealt with the uncertainty around UK’s future. Being passionate about climate change activism, we took this as our main theme, blending in Raja’s medical background as an NHS doctor, to create SAMARITAN – a dramatic sci-fi-esque short film about a Brexit-style vote, where citizens and politicians fight over the decision to leave or remain on planet earth. Whilst we did not receive the grant money, we were so passionate about getting this project made that we self-funded the production utilising the profits from our corporate work.

Rather than focus on an overly preachy narrative, the goal of SAMARITAN was to facilitate conversation around climate change. As artists we felt it our small contribution to use our voices to raise questions around this daunting topic, hopefully sparking conversation within audience members after the end credits roll.

Once production was complete, we were fortunate enough to have our project accepted to the Climate Story Lab (Doc Society, Exposure Labs, BFI Network), where we attended a 5 day intensive conference about utilising creative projects to combat climate change. Since then SAMARITAN had gone on to screen at BAFTA & BIFA qualifying films festivals and was a Semi-Finalist at the Academy Award qualifying Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Reprise - Stanley Xu RuiyangStanley Xu Ruiyang
Director

Stanley Xu was born and raised in Singapore. Graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film & Media Studies, he is currently pursuing a MFA in Filmmaking (Directing) at Taipei National University of the Arts. His short films have travelled to renowned international film festivals such as Busan, Hawaii amongst many others. Drawing inspirations from his observations of everyday life, he hopes to explore and capture the nuances of the human condition using moving images.

Film Information


Director: Stanley Xu Ruiyang
Country: Taiwan
Year: 2019
Language: Chinese
Runtime: 14 min.
Rated: PG

Credits


Writers: Wen Lian-shin
Producers: Wen Lian-shin, Anthony Koh

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Still There

Still There

Short Slot 3


Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th

 


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande



Still There

Directed by Tom Pardoe
Narrative Short
USA | 12 min | 2019


Have you ever felt stuck? Depressed? Numb? Emotionally and/or physically void of life? Nothing left but just a shell of a person with nothing left to live for? But then that one spark, that one person, that one word triggers something in you. That it brings you back to reality. That is what STILL HERE is about. Find out why a 75 year old mother is admitting her 45 year old son to an assisted living center. Find out if something triggers him back to reality. A story of Inspiration and hope.


Still There

Everything you do in the film industry leads to your next project… all roads lead to future collaborations… or so they say. “Rent Do” is exactly that and more. I met writer/producer/actor Jonathan Dubsky on my feature film “The Scarehouse”. He had a small part in that film but we became friends and loved discussing cinema. Jonathan switched from acting to crew on a music video that I directed that starred Sarah Booth (also in The Scarehouse). I’ve heard Jonathan’s ideas for shorts and television shows over the years and liked what he was creating. It was great to see Jonathan spend more time turning from actor to actor/creator (along with Daniel), which I believe is crucial; for actors to put themselves and their abilities out into the world. I was thrilled to be asked to direct “Rent Do”. I don’t get to do a lot in the comedy world, I’m known as the “horror” or the “heartbreak” guy. BUT I love comedy and what better way to flex those creative muscles than with a short! They also asked Sarah to star alongside the two of them. A match made in heaven – a casting trifecta I knew would be fantastic. Then we were able to round out the cast with Montreal’s best and brightest film and tv characters actors – a real treat.
There is a lot I could say about the production of the film but I feel like these are things everyone has to say about the creation of their baby. I think I’d rather spend the remainder of this note speaking to the heart of collaboration and working amongst friends. Talented folks in all departments from my frequent cinematographer, Karl Janisse to my one and only composer Adrian Ellis joined us for “Rent Do”. I strive to create projects with people who carry no ego, want to do the work and always go the extra mile. I want to create projects where, budget be damned, it is going to happen and it is an all hands on deck collaboration. “Rent Do” is just that – the film will speak for itself with your programmers, however, the experience of making it was a fantastic one. Jonathan and Daniel will be credited writers and producers you see in theaters and on television in the near future, this project is only the beginning. My direction is just one small part of the team and world they created for me to play with. We look forward to seeing how “Rent Do” plays for the audience it was made for.

Sincerely,

Gavin Booth

Still There - Tom Pardoe Tom Pardoe
Director

Tom Pardoe has been Directing/choreographing for the stage since junior high school, and performing in over 40 musicals across the globe, Tom has now been discovering that his venture into film directing is really getting his attention. Tom has directed ALMOST THERE by Doug Dangerfield (student film) and CHILD OF THE 70S by Michael Vaccarro (web series, seasons 3,4,5) and assistant directed RACELAND by Scott Bloom (short feature film)

Film Information


Director: Tom Pardoe
Country: USA
Year: 2019
Language: English
Runtime: 12 min.
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writers: Chuck Saculla
Producers: Chuck Saculla, Leah Mangum
DOP: Matthew Roseman
Editor:
Matthew Roseman

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