We’re just past the halfway point of the festival, but we still have so much more to show. With today’s events, we get some of the best in shorts from the realms of television, action and even student films! Below will be some of the highlights from today’s offerings, as well as an interview with one of the filmmakers! All the films showing today are available on BitPix, with tickets to future in person dates available through HollyShorts!
Melons – Brian Huskey and Martin Mull headline an excellent cast for this comedy about a mild-mannered grocery store manager who gets unfairly accused of harassing a customer. As things escalate, it gets more and more out of control, in a way that is truly delightful. Writer/director Matt MacDonald delivers an excellent film that strikes at the heart of internet discourse in the modern day, while still managing to be heartfelt,
Chorus – A music teacher who missed his wife’s call on the day of September 11th is the focus of this film, as the teacher must process her goodbye as well as work with his teenage son to get through their pain. Daniel J. Egbert’s starring Tate Ellington and Charlie Shotwell is story of heartbreak, bonding and moving on in a way that is beautiful to watch.
Hidden Valley Place – Bartley Taylor directs this short co-written by Julia Cooperman about Cassie, a house-sitter for an LA couple while they’re away. As Cassie gets used to things at this place, she makes a discovery that changes everything. Rosa Procaccino, Maxi Witrak, Corey Landis, Samuel Spanjian and Jared Edgar McKnight all give excellent performances in this thrilling piece.
Spider – Directed by Minami Goto and written by Yutaka Kamada, this film takes place in feudal Japan, where a woman whose sister was harmed during a burglary attempts to take revenge, finding herself in a house with two strangers to the town, both of which could be the culprit, and both who are adamant in their innocence. Yuka Nakamura, Akuta Morino, and Ryuhei Higashiyama are all incredible in the film, which is tense and filled with some great action fighting once the scramble begins to take place.
Off Fairfax – Rell Battle and Erica Eng (writer and director, respectively) bring an incredible and very unique film to the stage with Off Fairfax. Starring Battle, Teddy Ray and Michael Blaustein, it tells the story of local LA citizen investigator who finds himself attempting to solve a murder after he and his friends find themselves at a local diner. It’s a fresh take on the popular true crime genre, and one that shows a glimpse into a premise that would work very well long-form.
Today’s interview is with Off Fairfax‘s Rell Battle, who was kind enough to dedicate some time to talking about his project and speaking with us. Thanks to Rell for answering our questions!
Off Fairfax was one of the most interesting entries this year, and we were lucky enough to be able to speak with Rell Battle, the creator of the piece. Thanks to Rell and everyone involved with the film!
Q: Tell us more about your film. How did it come to be?
The project spawned during the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020. Fairfax and Beverly in the Hollywood area was a hotbed for social unrest during that time. I’d walk a block over from my apartment on Hayworth and watch all hell break loose pretty much everyday. A lot of questions and conspiracies would be discussed from within the crowd and those questions became the basis for the story.
Q: What was your budget?
The budget for our project was about 35k but the favors we asked for would be an immeasurable amount.
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from making the film?
The biggest take away for me personally as a writer is how much you can get done when it’s a labor of love. Most of the crew read the script and provided their talents because of the story, even though this wasn’t making anybody rich. That sacrifice from professions definitely pulled on the ol’ heart strings.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?
The biggest challenge is always the money, and getting certain shots in the light. Those things never change.
Q: What is next for you?
We’re in the process of selling the project. Our director, the talented Erica Eng, just shot a project for the Disney’s Director’s initiative, she’s about to blow. Luckily we had her direct OFF FAIRFAX while she’s still affordable.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend or watching online! We’ll be back tomorrow with more coverage from the 18th annual HollyShorts Film Festival!