NewFilmmakers Los Angeles celebrated emerging filmmakers both near and far — with stories of a future world where memories are handled like computer files, finding love even amid utter decay, and a brother and sister who stumble upon a celestial secret that changes their lives forever.
The day began with InFocus: International Animation, a slate of animated films and stories from Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Iran, Palestine and Puerto Rico. Next came the shorts program Made In California, a selection of films shot from cities to forests to the desert. The night concluded with Made in Los Angeles, a closer look at the city in all its community, resilience, connection, love and glamor.
NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year in addition to its special InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion, and region. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects which will be considered for all upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the InFocus programming.
Here is some information on the filmmakers and their films, as well as their video interviews with NFMLA Board Chair Danny De Lillo (Twitter/Instagram: @dannydelillo).
“Poachers,” directed by Tiffany Lin
About Tiffany: Tiffany Lin is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. A 2020 magna cum laude graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Tiffany has worked extensively in live action, animation, and virtual reality. Her films have been recognized by festivals including the Student Academy Awards, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, Dances With Films and more. Through her work, Tiffany aspires to tell emotionally honest stories from unconventional perspectives.
About “Poachers,”: During the summer before they must leave for college, two best friends come across a unique business opportunity: illegally harvesting and selling succulents on the California coast.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Tiffany Lin, director of “Poachers”:
“The Tale Of The Daughter,” directed by Savannah Sivert and Taylor Hinds
About Savannah and Taylor: Savannah and Taylor met in 2016 as Savannah was pursuing her MFA at New York Film Academy and Taylor was spending night after night at open mics. Savannah converted Taylor from songwriter (with too much backstory to her songs) to screenwriter. They began their collaboration on Savannah’s thesis short film “Blue Christmas” (an official selection of LA Shorts and Portland Comedy Film Festival). Being an LGBTQ+ couple themselves, the two have taken to the dark comedy genre to make discussing tough subjects exciting to watch. Their mission is normalizing all forms of representation through absurd characterization and violence.
About “The Tale Of The Daughter”: When a stroke-ridden mother’s outstanding debt arrives for the reckoning, her estranged caretaker daughter must bear the cost in order to survive.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Savannah, director of “The Tale Of The Daughter”:
“Marry Meet Grace,” directed by Faryl Amadeus
About Faryl: Faryl Amadeus — writer, director and actor — is a native New Yorker (adopted and shipped from Kentucky, like a box of whiskey). She received a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Experimental Theater Wing. She originated the role of Bill Gates in the musical NERDS, as well as the role of Clea in FLOYD AND CLEA UNDER THE WESTERN SKY at The Goodman Theater in Chicago. Faryl has worked alongside such legends as Julie Taymor, Lynne Ramsay and Kathleen Turner.
About “Marry Meet Grace”: When a stranger appears in Grace’s life with disturbing news about her long-lost birth mother, she must fight to untangle herself from a dangerous and sinister plan.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Faryl Amadeus, director of “Marry Meet Grace”:
“After Laughter,” directed by Adrian Burks and Theodore Wright IV
About Adrian: Adrian Burks is an actor, writer, director and producer. He is the co-director/co-writer, producer, and co-star of After Laughter. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an ex collegiate-athlete, he has been a filmmaker in Los Angeles for about 9 years, in which he has appeared in movies such as the Academy Award winning WHIPLASH and the comedic cult classic FIRST PERIOD. He has also appeared in television shows such as CBS: CODE BLACK. He has also had the pleasure of working for a major.
About Theodore: Teddy is a writer, director, and graphic artist. He is the Co-writer and co-director of AFTER LAUGHTER. He has created graphic art and illustrations for various companies such as the National Football League (sole illustrator for 100 All-Time team), ACME ARCHIVES (created art and licensing for Disney star wars, marvel, lucas films). He also has literary publications for children books and comic books.
About “After Laughter,”: With the civil rights as a backdrop, an African American family witness the changing of times from 1964-1987.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Adrian Burks, director of “After Laughter”:
“All The Pretty Things,” directed by Roberto Serrini
About Roberto: Roberto Serrini is the writer, director, and editor of “All The Pretty Things. “This is his second short film and has won multiple awards including two Gold Cubes and a Silver Pencil for his directorial work in advertising. He is an avid documentary filmmaker, and is passionate about making more scripted content. His work can be seen at www.robertoserrini.com
About “All The Pretty Things,”: Instagram comes to life in Hollywood.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Roberto Serrini, director of “All The Pretty Things”:
“Nana,” directed by Tianwei Wang
About Tianwei: Tianwei Wang is a Chinese director and writer living in Los Angeles. She is an alumna of the graduate program at Loyola Marymount University and writers’ program at UCLA extension. Her thesis short, “My Spicy Grandma,” won numerous awards and has screened in 25 international film festivals. Her feature debut, “Prime Angel,” a low-budget sci-fi action thriller, was released in China and broke the box office for sci-fi streaming content. Her TV pilot “House of Chen” was selected as a quarterfinalist at the Nashville Film Festival. Her recent short, “Nana” is a crime thriller got selected into numerous Oscar-qualifying film festivals, including LA Shorts International Fest and NewFilmmakers Los Angeles.
About “Nana,”: An immigrant woman gets involved in an unexpected murder case on her first day of work.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Tianwei Wang, director of “Nana”:
“Cross,” directed by Micah Williams Kelly
About Micah: Micah Williams Kelly is a film director and animator based in Los Angeles. He has earned two American Advertising Awards for his commercial work. His past directing credits also include short films and music videos, many of which have screened in international festivals throughout California.
About “Cross”: A weary janitor’s isolated routine is disturbed when he crosses paths with a relentless boxer, leading to a bumpy encounter with unexpected results.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Micah Williams Kelly, director of “Cross”:
“The Tip” directed by Katerina Tana
About Katerina: Katerina Tana served as photographic editor on the legendary filmmaker Fred Zinnemann’s autobiography, which she credits with teaching her how to frame a shot. She began her professional acting career in the role of Arlie in the UK premiere of “Getting Out” by Marsha Norman.
About “The Tip”: In L.A., in 1968, a quintessential immigrant entrepreneur interprets a dinner ticket as a hot racing tip, only to discover mid-race that it is all a figment of his imagination.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Katerina Tana, director of “The Tip”:
“Keep/Delete” directed by Kryzz Gautier
About Kryzz: Kryzz Gautier is a queer, Afro-Latina writer/director born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Since transitioning from undocumented to documented, she’s landed on The Black List 2021, been a writer on an HBO series and on 2K Games’ BioShock 4, and has sold shows and features to studios, some of which have her attached as director. Kryzz has also been a fellow in prestigious programs like Ryan Murphy’s “Half Initiative,” Joey Soloway’s “Disruptors,” and the Sundance Institute.
About “Keep/Delete”: In a future world where memories are handled like computer files, two lovers decide to undergo a procedure and have their entire relationship wiped from their brains.
Watch the NFMLA interview with Kryzz Gautier, director of “Keep/Delete”:
Main image: A still from “Keep/Delete,” directed by Kryzz Gautier.