Director BIO: Kaitlyn Fae

Director Biography

Directors headshot

Kaitlyn Fae was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned a degree in English in 2012. Since graduating, she has written for a number of magazines. She is currently writing the libretto to an opera, ​Los Californios, a comedy set during the Californian Civil War.

Director Statement

“To create anything is an act of self-love, because to create is to bring the self into the physical.”

Director BIO: Heath Harris

Director Biography

Heatherheadshot

Heath Harris was born and raised in the Cayman Islands. She
began her entertainment career working on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games while earning her undergraduate degree at NYU. Since then Heath has worked with various global youth entertainment labels. She currently studies directing at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and is an active member of BAFTA’s Newcomers Program.

Director BIOS: Sara Zia Ebrahimi & Lindsey Martin

Director Biography

Directors

Sara Zia Ebrahimi is a curator of film, visual art and new media and for over a decade has produced film screenings and exhibits in the Philadelphia area. A MFA graduate of Temple University, her short films have screened internationally and been awarded grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures, Rooftop Films and the Leeway Foundation. In Spring of 2015 she released her first web series, Bailout, which she wrote and directed.

Lindsey Martin is a filmmaker and animator living in Ohio. Her work tends to be humorous takes on the inner workings of families going through crisis, often embracing the absurd. She has screened nationally and internationally including the Slamdance Film Festival, the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Brooklyn International film festival as well as various conferences and symposiums around the U.S. Lindsey received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from Temple University. She is currently working on her first feature film, Little Wilderness.

Director Statement

Set in the winter of 1980 during the Iran Hostage Crisis, The FBI Blew Up My Ice Skates tells the story of Haleh, an eight year old girl whose purchase of a pair of ice skates from a Sears catalog becomes subject to international politics. This 5 minute animated film uses humor to humanize a story from the Iran Hostage Crisis, fictionalizing the real life events that occurred to an Iranian American family under heavy surveillance.

The Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1981) marked a significant shift in Western views toward Middle Easterners from one of an antiquated, exotic Other to one of irrationality and violent fundamentalism. The actions of a few extremists were compounded to represent the beliefs and desires of millions of people worldwide. The rise of Ayatollah Khomeini to power and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran was told as a story of unified extremism, rather than an unfortunate outcome of several splintered social movements and years of community organizing that had been taking place.

The shift in perception has led to increased levels of fear, resulting in increased surveillance domestically and increased militarization abroad. In a climate of fear, there are increasingly less opportunities to consider diplomatic solutions. The “enemy” becomes an inhuman other and with that dehumanization comes the absence of stories of individuals, a lack of representation of the wide spectrum of beliefs, and the punishment of the many for the actions of a few.

The effects can be found in the foreign policy decisions which have resulted in thousands of people on both sides paying the price of their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq while the U.S. government tries to bomb people into submission. There are strong echoes in the recent backlash against welcoming Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the U.S..

The film was made using a technique called cut out animation. Original animations using this process were cut from paper sources such as newspapers, magazines, and advertisements and photographed frame by frame. Although the process has been digitized, the method is still the same. What makes this technique significant, is the way the it maintains tension between old and new. By using images from the late 70’s and early 80’s for the backgrounds, and applying those to a personal story of profiling, surveillance, and cultural identity, we are forced to reconcile with conflicts happening during the Iran Hostage crisis, and now.

The role of artists in social change movements is to raise questions about how we exist together by offering a different way to look at our day to day. This film is an attempt to raise questions about the unfortunate, and in this case absurd, effects that a climate of fear can create.

Director’s BIO: Lisa Baron (HEDDA NEEDS HELP)

Short Film playing at the November 2017 FEMALE FEEDBACK Film Festival

Director Biography

Lisa

Lisa Baron pursued film in NYC after receiving a Masters Degree focusing on Spanish Cinema and has since made her directing debut in 2016, directing a Pilot, Guccies and her first comedic short film, Hedda Needs Help co-written with Malin Barr. Lisa started as a comedic actress and improviser, studying at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop and Upright Citizens Brigade. After focusing on sketch comedy for 4 years, Lisa wanted to pursue more structured narratives that still have traditional sketch-comedy back-bones, which we find in Hedda Needs Help. She also works in Admissions for a prestigious performing arts conservatory based in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

Director Statement

Hedda Needs Help focuses on Hedda, an aspiring poet in New York City that has an opportunity to get her foot in the door with a well-known poet and publisher, Mr. Albert Stein. With this short film, we wanted to create a protagonist that shows the sense of naivety and child-like optimism in many young artists when moving to the Big Apple. As she literally kills her one chance to impress Albert Stein, we watch her go through the film without any real consequences, trying to embody stereotypes placed on women, and failing time and time again.

Similar to the film industry that co-writer, Malin Barr and myself, find ourselves constantly, Hedda is a character in the center of a male-dominated world. “Fake it until you make it” has a whole new meaning in this film, while Hedda tries to fit into female archetypes that never work for her.

It was incredibly important for us to maintain strong sketch comedy style throughout the short film format, which can often have abstract narratives and dialogue. Therefore, in addition to the amazing improvisor, co-writer and actor, Malin Barr, we casted our film with hilarious comedic actors such as Nick Fondulis (30 Rock), David Gibson (Quantico) and comedian, Saurin Choksi (FuseTV). We hope this film can reflect underlying themes about young ambition and female sexuality in a light-hearted and quirky way.

Director’s BIO: Holly Voges

Short Film playing at the November 2017 FEMALE FEEDBACK Film Festival

Director Biography

Holly voges director photo

Holly worked as a programmer and liaison for various film festivals around the country including: True/False, Sundance, Tribeca and Rooftop. Prior to this she experimented with stop- motion animation and collaborated with VR artist, Oscar Raby, on a short documentary. In 2016 Holly, along with her creative partners, purchased the rights to the novel “The Changeling”, by Joy Williams. FELL is an adapted excerpt from the novel and her directorial debut. Originally from Missouri, Holly currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Director Statement

FELL is based on one paragraph within Joy Williams’ novel “The Changeling” but to me, this small paragraph carries great weight. A woman discovers the pups her dog has birthed posses incomprehensible powers; they can change from animal to human form. Preferring the children over the dogs, she does what she believes will make it impossible for them to change to back to their animal-selves. Only later, when it is too late, does she begin to understand the tenuous grasp she had over their magic. My intention in creating FELL is to illustrate and speak to the prevailing illusion throughout human consciousness that the natural world exists for our interests alone. Like the fables of the past, this cautionary tale aims to entertain while illuminating aspects of the self and society that require reflection.