HollyShorts 2015 Continues To Shine

Monday, August 17, 2015

The 11th edition of the HollyShorts Film Festival continues this week at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Actors, Kate Cobb and Kevin Bigley walk the red carpet on opening night.

Actors, Kate Cobb and Kevin Bigley walk the red carpet on opening night.

HollyShorts kicked off the event with a star-studded opening night this past Thursday, August 13th, with screenings of short films starring Rose McGowan, Jason Patric, Sharon Lawrence, Rose McIver, Beth Grant, Robert Forster, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Lawson, Portia Doubleday and Carly Chaikin.

Due to this years large attendance the films showed simultaneously on two screens.

Among the standouts on opening night were Chris Ekstein’s “The Weight of Blood and Stone” and “Dissonance” by Bryan Cox.

Eli Roth’s preview of “The Green Inferno” provided the appropriate jumps in what seems to be an exciting thriller due for release this September.

Aussie actor Harry Hains sports his "Lawrence of Arabia" look at HollyShorts.

Aussie actor Harry Hains sports his “Lawrence of Arabia” look at HollyShorts.

The opening night energy was evident in the lobby of the Chinese as filmmakers, celebrities and their guests mingled before and after the showings.

A large crowd showed up later to party at the OHM Nightclub with the festival providing an open bar and music from DJ Amani Experience.

Among the film programs coming up this week are Documentary Shorts, today at noon. Sci Fi Fantasty Films tonight at 7:30. Women In Film on 8/18 at 2:30pm, Coming of Age on 8/19 at 2:30pm and Films That Inspire The World  on 8/21 at 7:30 pm.

Upcoming HollyShorts Seminars include, “Music Videos:The Experimental Sandbox” and “Forging a future for Female Filmakers.”

Sutaja Day works the carpet at HollyShorts 2015.

Sutaja Day works the carpet at HollyShorts 2015.

HollyShorts is the largest annual gathering of short form movies in Los Angeles with over 400 pieces of short form content being showcased in competition.

If you’re interested in short films, this is the Hollywood festival that is not to be missed.

For a full schedule of remaining events visit:http://www.hollyshorts.com

Photos © Nicholas Scarpinato

UPDATE: AUGUST 21, 2015

The HollyShorts Award winners were announced and presented last night in front of a standing room only crowd at OHM nightclub in Hollywood.

Here is a list of winners:

The Grand Jury Award Presented by Company 3 went to Moon Molson for his short THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST.

Best Director went to Annie Silverstein for SKUNK.

Best Animation went to THE OCEANMAKER by Lucas Martell

Best VFX went to DISSONANCE by Till Nowak

Best Film Shot in LA presented by FilmLA went to TOM IN AMERICA by Flavio Alves

The Louisiana Film Prize a $10,000 prize for Best Screenplay went to THE IMPORTANCE OF SEX EDUCATION by L. Elizabeth Powers

The Evil Slave $10,000 Best Screenplay Award went to LUNCHBOX BRIGADE by Kyle Thiele

You Tube Icon Freddie Wong To Be Honored By Hollyshorts 2015

Hollywood, CA: August 10, 2015

YouTube icon Freddie Wong, the filmmaker behind the online phenomenon web series Video Game High School, will be honored with the 2015 HollyShorts Trailblazer Award at next Thursday’s HollyShorts Film Festival’s opening night celebration.

The event takes place on August 13 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater.

Wong will be honored with the Award for his outstanding accomplishments as a filmmaker freddie_wongand YouTube pioneer. Wong and RocketJump’s videos have amassed more than 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube with over 1 billion views of their content. Season 3 of their Video Game High School web series drew over 85 million views. RocketJump is in the process of creating a long-form series for Hulu with Lionsgate.

Wong joins an impressive star-studded evening at HollyShorts opening night, which will feature short movies starring Rose McGowan, Jason Patric, Sharon Lawrence, Rose McIver, Beth Grant, Robert Forster, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Lawson, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, and many more. HollyShorts is the largest annual gathering of short form movies in Los Angeles with over 15,000 anticipated attendees for the week-long event (August 13-22) and over 400HollyShorts logo 2012 (2) pieces of short form content being showcased in competition. Actress Victoria Summer will be presenting the Award to Wong on Thursday.

Freddie Wong is the co-founder of digital entertainment company RocketJump. He co-created the award-winning web series Video Game High School (VGHS) that aired its third and final season, breaking crowdfunding records for a web series by raising $900K last year. RocketJump has entered into a content partnership deal with Lionsgate and signed a deal to bring RocketJump’s next series to Hulu.

Commented Daniel Sol, co-founder, HollyShorts: “Freddie Wong exemplifies a HollyShorts Trailblazer, what he’s been able to accomplish with VGHS and his shorts is just astounding. Numbers don’t lie, with over 1 billion global views on YouTube, Freddie and RocketJump are this generation’s new storytellers and we are proud to honor them at HollyShorts, this will be an epic night to remember.”

HollyShorts past honorees include The Russo Brothers, David Lynch, Eli Roth, Joe Carnahan, Paul Haggis, Matthew Modine, Bill Plympton among others.

“Almost Kings” Delivers

Movie Review:

Across many small towns in America, teenagers live simple lives. Fueled by hormones, boredom and alcohol, their agenda is simply to party. Phillip G. Flores’ first crack at a feature film, “Almost Kings,” effectively and realistically portrays these lost young souls.

The story, based on the book “Bug” by Max Doty, concerns a smart but awkward high school freshman named Ted, (Lorenzo James Henrie) who lives with his abusive, paralyzed father Ron (Billy Campbell – “The Rocketeer”) and his older brother Truck (Alex Frost – “Elephant”), the golden-boy star receiver of the high school football team and leader of “The Kings,” a local gang of young troublemakers.

Before long Ted is invited to hang out with The Kings and soon learns of their secret agenda: to have sex with as many freshman high school girls as possible. Hoping to impress them, Ted reluctantly agrees to join their contest and helps invite his female classmates to their parties.

Fueled and validated by his pending membership in the gang, Ted is especially excited that his secret crush, Kallea (Hayley Ramm), is finally showing some interest in him.

Ted however must pass the King’s final test by taking a different freshman girl’s virginity in order to become a full fledged member. Torn by his feelings for Kallea and, perhaps, wanting to save himself for her, Ted lies to his buddies and doesn’t go through with it, his doubts about belonging to the Kings starting to surface.

When Ted also discovers that his brother is cheating on his pregnant fiancé, Lizzie (Portia Doubleday – “Youth in Revolt”), he reveals the secret. Furious, Truck decides on revenge for his little brother and sets up a trap. Even family has a price to pay if they betray the Kings.

After a final, violent showdown with Truck, Ted, badly beaten, manages to save Kallea from being raped by the Kings. He and Kallea escape, and the boy realizes he must cast out everything he has believed in–everything that is rotten in his world. Though his budding relationship with Kallea may or may not have run its course, Ted becomes a man by his own actions, not through the gang mentality of his once beloved Kings.

Ably directed by Flores, “Almost Kings” is a captivating look at the teenage wasteland that small town America often cultivates. With impressive performances from its young cast, this film is a raw, “fly-on-the-wall” look at lives lost before they’ve even reached adulthood. Despite it’s air of desperation, “Almost Kings” has a strong, empathic voice and a finely tuned lightness, ultimately leaving us with hope, not only for its lead character, but also the talented cast and filmmakers.

Reviewed at the Starz Denver International Film Festival, November 11, 2010