My Name Was January Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Feb. 2020 Female Toronto Film Festival

MY NAME WAS JANUARY, 25min., Canada, Documentary

Directed by Elina Gress & Lenee Son

When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

my_name_was_january_movie_poster

Director Biography – Julie Lipson (THE RIVER)

1eaa5a5a98 headshot

Julie Lipson is a screenwriter who grew up in Nevada City and now lives in LA, who has never directed her own work until… THE RIVER.

In 2017, Julie sold a television series called Excess to Universal Cable Productions and E! Network. She also recently sold a series to Super Deluxe, based on the New York Times Bestselling Y/A novel, Obedience, and wrote the one-hour pilot for the studio. Julie’s one-hour pilot, Children of the Sun, was set up at Echo Lake, where she developed the script with director Keith Gordon (Homeland, Fargo).

On the feature side, Julie’s environmental survivor thriller Rust Creek is on the festival circuit and recently sold to IFC Midnight. She has written two other features for Lunacy, most notably, The Man Who Knew Belle Starr, about a 13-year-old girl with homicidal tendencies, and the ex-con who comes into her life and changes it forever.

Julie holds an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California with a thesis in television writing. She was the winner of the graduate student script competition both years she attended USC. Before her writing career Julie graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College in Vermont with a joint major in film and English, and was awarded a Bread Loaf Writer’s Scholarship for poetry.

She grew up in Nevada City, California, was a California Junior Miss (talent) and an American Scholarship Winner for Piano Performance at the Chopin Institute in Warsaw.

JUNE 2019 Script/Story/Film Winners

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: MOTORIST, by Julie Thor Fryd
June 2019 Winner

ACTORSCI-FI 1ST SCENE SCREENPLAY: URRACA, by Eva Everett Irving
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: FATE’S PECULIAR SENSE OF HUMOUR, by N. Triton
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: GOOD INTENTIONS, by Sandy Tovray
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: TAKE A PAUSE OUT OF CRIME, by Mary C. Ferrara
June 2019 Winner

ACTOR BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: TROUBLE WITH FRIENDS, by Karen Matthews
June 2019 Winner

festival posterDO NOT SING TO ME, MY BEAUTY, 6min., Netherlands, Music

festival posterMINE, 8min., USA, Dance

festival posterFLOWERS OF MARRAKECH, 8min., USA, Documentary

festival posterCHILD, DISRUPTED, 25min., USA, Documentary

festival posterTHE CURE, 32min., Ghana, Documentary

festival posterSCATTERED,9min., Canada, Comedy

Director Biography – Emily Dean (ANDROMEDA)

D5a6d95bb1 headshot

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)

88f5ebe055 headshot

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.