Director Biography – Emily Dean (ANDROMEDA)

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Emily Limyun Dean is an Asian-Australian-American currently based in Los Angeles. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts First Class Honours in History from the University of Sydney, and studied Animation at California Institute of the Arts.

Emily began making short films at age 12 and storyboarding professionally at age 15. In 2012 her short film Forget Me Not was nominated for an Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for best animated short, and was included in the Australian National Film and Sound Archive’s Permanent Collection.

Emily trained in the Story Department at Pixar Animation Studios, and has since worked in the Story Department at Warner Bros on The Lego Batman Movie (2017) The Lego Movie Sequel (2019) and Scoob (2020). In 2017 Emily worked alongside renowned cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung (Oldboy, The Handmaiden, It) as a Visual Consultant on the live action sci fi thriller, Hotel Artemis, directed by Drew Pearce (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and starring Jodie Foster. In 2017 Emily also wrote and directed her live action debut, the sci-fi drama short Andromeda.

Emily is represented by Verve and managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Director Statement

Diverse, female-driven, action-adventure genre stories are my jam!

Director BIO –  Myriam Kamel (MY BROTHER)

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Myriam is a Canadian from Tunisian descendants with a bachelor in film production from Concordia University in Montreal. She’s interested in culture differences between the Maghreb and the West and the way these differences affect relationships and families. Khouya (My Brother) is her first short film and shows the difficulties of growing up in the middle of two opposite cultures, and sharing your experiences with your family as a child of immigrant. While Maghreb culture favors family and community, the West favors individualism and free will. Myriam wants to create a film genre that will illustrate the struggles that people of her generation go through while trying to balance those values in their everyday life.

Director Statement

Khouya tells the story of children of immigrants who grew up at home under strict rules and traditional ways of thinking, and were confronted to the open-minded values of north-American societies; such as freedom, independence and libertinism.

In a society that openly features sexuality and allows for diverse opinions to be shared, it is hard for those of us who were raised in conservative households, to juggle with these opposed values and to make our own sense of right and wrong.

This issue personifies through the character of Youness, who chooses to live the American way, and who consequently has to deal with his brother’s disapproving look. Khouya portrays how an environment can challenge one’s beliefs; it shows two brothers growing apart despite being raised under the same roof, and the drama of having to hide your lifestyle from your family for fear of being shamed and judged.

This short film is a social drama targeting millenials and portraying issues of identity and self-affirmation.

Director Biography – Letia Solomon (GOD TOLD ME)

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Based in Los Angeles, CA, Letia Solomon graduated from the University of California Riverside with a degree in Chemical Engineering and worked as a Materials Engineer in Aerospace for four years. In lieu of working, she started her career in entertainment as an actress. In 2015, she wrote, produced, and starred in her first short film “Untold” which was centered on domestic violence and screened at the 2015 Black Woman Film Network Summit in Atlanta, GA and the 2016 SE Manly Short Showcase in Los Angeles, CA. Her interest in filmmaking blossomed and she founded L. Solo Productions in 2015 to house her creative ventures. Letia went on to complete a directing course at the New York Film Academy in Burbank, CA and wrote and directed two more short films. One of which, “Elevate” won for Best Student Film in the 2017 Philadelphia Independent Film Awards. Also in 2015, she created the LA Film & Arts Showcase to showcase the works of new and experienced filmmakers and artists within the Los Angeles area. In 2016, she took on another business venture partnering with Lightsup Entertainment to create the African World Film Festival in Detroit, MI which highlighted films on people of African descent. She is currently attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for a Masters in TV & Film Production. Woman of many talents, she enjoys acting, directing, producing and entrepreneurship.

Director Statement

In the lack of comfort, we are forced to come face to face with our truths.
Accept, Release, and Make Art.

Director Biography – Kefei Li, Connie Qin He (WATERMELON: A CAUTIONARY TALE)

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Kefei Li (Oct 8.1995) and Connie Qin He (July 25, 1994) are student from Ringling College of Art & Design.

Kefei Li is an animator and illustrator from in Beijing China. She is a recent graduate from Ringling College of Art& Design who specializes in 3D animation and visual development. She inspired by every little thing in life, finding interesting element from the ordinary thing and represents it in a different perspective.

Connie Qin He is a story artist and 3D generalist who was born in Shanghai, China. She graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2018 majoring in Computer Animation. Connie is very devoted to story development for animation where her goal is to touch the audiences’ hearts by creating relatable and appealing characters.

Director Statement

We believe that animation is an art form that connects with the audience no matter their race or nationality. Everyone is able to understand animation without barriers which allows you to create a more powerful and deeper influences than any other art form. Watermelon: A Cautionary Tale is a story that all people can understand , relate to and hopefully enjoy. We feel that the film will reach many audiences and see things in a way they haven’t before.

Director Biography – Lucy Joan Barnes (FOR WANT OF A NAIL)

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Having received a Diploma in Art and Design from Ravensbourne College Lucy decided to follow a path towards theatre, graduating from Rose Bruford College with a degree in Theatre Stage management. This progressed into a career in theatre and drama school education spanning 12 years, teaching her how to interact with actors on and off set to build relationships and get the best performance possible.

After many years of working in this area, and having the opportunity to work with some incredible artists such as Brian Cox, Fiona Shaw, Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons, Lucy heard the siren call of film and decided to leave everything behind to study for an MA in Fiction Directing at Edinburgh University.

Graduating with a distinction, her graduate short film “Lucid” was nominated for “Best Drama” at BAFTA NEW TALENT AWARDS 2016 and has been shown at several festivals. Since then Lucy has gone on to work on a further 5 features films in a variety of roles focused on production and direction.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Park Chan-wook, Mary Harron and Jim Jarmusch her style focuses on highlighting the beauty within darker subject matter through the visual composition of the scene and sensitive directing of the actors to build an empathic link to the audience.

Director Statement

While reading the script, the first thing that struck me was ”I never knew that was part of OCD”.

I was aware not all OCD sufferer’s live in minimalist white houses they clean obsessively every day, but I wasn’t aware of the voice within their mind that never seems to turn off.

Can you imagine constantly having the voice of your nagging mother in your head, except it’s not your mother… it’s you, and when you put your headphones on… it’s still there!

The truth is unless you deal with OCD, it’s very hard to imagine what it’s like for someone else.

For Want of a Nail takes the viewer completely into the mind of Marty, what he’s going through and why he has created an almost unobtainable standard.

One could observe Marty at the beginning of the film as almost arrogant, but by the end, I want the audience to empathise and understand his actions, instead of judging them.

​One of the biggest challenges was the exposition, I’ve spent years working on “Less is more”, but the point of this film is to let the audience know exactly what is going on in his mind.

Marty still has a subtext and doesn’t share everything with us, there is a dark place inside, that he will never show to anyone..even us.

With most of the film being voice over narration, I had  to visualise how, and why Marty is moving around his house during his everyday routine. Every tiny kinetic action, from washing his body (with vo commentary) to how he types. All of Marty’s physical actions have a reason or a drive behind them.

The voice over was recorded a few days before shooting and played during filming to ensure all timings were correct and his actions, match his thoughts.

Ratings

Director Biography – Annabelle Frost (GROWING UP)

Annabelle Frost started her theatre career as an acting student at Boston University, Northwestern University and the Practical Aesthetics program through NYU. Always interested in directing, she channeled her education into directing plays like “No Exit”, “Moonchildren” and “Beirut”.

She moved into film halfway through Northwestern and directed the short “Morocco” and the music video “Momma” (winner of The Bronze Award at Worldfest Flagstaff). A few years later, she attended the American Film Institute where she directed another award-winning short, “Side Show” (winner of The Platinum Award at Worldfest Houston, nominated for Best Student Film at Vail Film Festival and Ashland Independent Film Festival, Official Selection at Mill Valley and Silverlake film festivals).

After AFI, she joined the hit television show “CSI” working for Producer/Director Richard J. Lewis. She shadowed him for seven episodes from prep through post, and directed many of the insert shots with C camera.

After her time on “CSI”, she transitioned to Post Production. She produced 6 pilots, and then made the leap to series on Fox’s primetime hit “Gotham”. As of Season 3, she is a Co-Producer.

She very much enjoys all the creative work that comes with producing “Gotham”, including her time shadowing Executive Producer Danny Cannon on his episodes, and her continued contribution as an Insert Director. Her recent mini-scene for Episode 221 aired in front of the main title card on May 16th, 2016.

Between Season 2 and Season 3, she directed a new short film entitled “G[r]o[w]ing Up” – a feel good piece depicting an elevator service operator’s struggle to fall in love – that will be heading out to film festivals upon completion.

Annabelle is pleased to report she has been accepted into the Warner Bros. Directing Workshop for 2017, and is on the roster to direct an episode of “Gotham” this season.

Director Biography – Samantha McDanel (PAGEANT PERFECT)

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Samantha McDanel has a Bachelors Degree with honors from University of North Texas in Media Arts. She served as an active member and Social Chair in UNT Short Film Club where she also held different roles in multiple film productions that the club produces each semester. Samantha’s main focus is writing, directing, and video editing, and she is currently working toward her professional certification in AVID Media Composer. Her goal is to be a top film editor for major motion pictures, but her dream in life is to become an established director and woman filmmaker. She also works with makeup and practical FX in film and photography and is well-known in the Denton community for this work. Samantha would like to learn as much as she can about every aspect that goes into making a film to better herself as a director, creator, and leader.

Director Statement

This film was a simple idea at first, but the more I sat and worked on it, it quickly became a much bigger and a true passion project to me. The story and the characters mean so much to me. It’s filled with themes, some that may not be immediately caught, and a complicated relationship between a mother and daughter. I knew that I could bring this story to life with the right team working with me and the perfect cast. I am so proud of how this film turned out.