Director Biography – Cameron Currin (KUSHKATA)

F0b293767b headshot

Cameron Currin is an up and coming self taught Director, Cinematographer, Writer and Editor. His first short film “Kushtaka” was filmed in Kodiak AK, but he has worked on other productions including several Youtube channels, a locally broadcasted television crime series, and more. He is an active duty member of the United States Coast Guard, and looks forward to working on more productions as his retirement draws near.

Director Statement

Thank you for looking at my profile. If you would like to speak with me, you can email me at cameroncurrin180@gmail.com. If you are interested in what I am currently up to, follow me on my website http://www.cameroncurrin.com

I look forward to a future of interesting and creative productions, and would love to discuss or help others live out their passions too.

Director Biography – Francis Galluppi (HIGH DESERT HELL)

F3877fe0de headshot

Francis Galluppi is a filmmaker with a dark, unsettling tone that runs through most of his work. At a very early age, he would remake scenes from his favorite films using In-camera editing. He later began playing drums in a punk band, and developed a strong “do it yourself” mentality. With that mindset, he is a self-taught filmmaker who has written, directed, produced, edited, and scored all of his own films.

Director Biography – Romén Rivero (NIGHT OWLS)

C2d5ec9162 headshot

Romén Rivero was born in Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, in 1979. Without specific studies in cinema, he read filmmaking books and watched dvd’s special features as his only “film school”.

Romén is passionate about fantastic and horror genre since his childhood and has written, produced and directed three indie shorts related to this genres, including Volver a Casa (Coming Home, 2004) a post-apocalyptic drama; Thánatos (2008) a symbolist-surreal fantasy that brought his first director award in his homeland; and Noctámbulos (Night Owls, 2018) a horror neo-noir tribute to the 80’s cult classics, shot with a $500 budget, a dslr camera and without crew. Noctámbulos (Night Owls) has won 10 internationals awards including Best Foreign Language Short at the Hollywood Horrorfest 2019 in Los Angeles; and has more than 80 official selections in more than 25 countries up to date. Highlighting its official selection at the Macabro Film Fest 2019 (one of the MovieMaker’s 30 Bloody Best Genre Fests in the World in 2019); the HorrorHound Film Fest 2019 (Indianapolis); the Atlanta Horror Film Fest 2019; and the just 10 shorts selection of the Texas Frightmare weekend 2019.

Also, he shot a 30 minutes indie drama in 2016, Babemba, semi-finalits at film festivals in Italy and Latin America; and wrote several unproduced short film and feature scripts. Currently he’s working on his feature debut, Night Birds, wich expands the Noctámbulos (Night Owls) story.

Director Biography – Bessy Adut (THE ESCAPE ROOM)

F6ac16de05 headshot

Bessy is a film director, producer and screenwriter resides Los Angeles, California. She holds an MFA in Film Directing from CalArts as a Fulbright Scholar and a BA in Film & Television from Istanbul Bilgi University. Most recently she graduated from UCLA Professional Screenwriting program developing two feature screenplays. She has a passion for satirical comedy and likes to have diversity in her work.

She was a screenplay grant winner in Turkey, she wrote and directed “Tolerance” and “Strange Little Girl” screened in several international festivals in Los Angeles “Pasadena Art Center Film Festival winner”, New York “Brooklyn Art Film Festival” and Istanbul “Akbank Film Festival winner”. She directed and hosted an international documentary “Mysteries of Cinema” and “Inside the Lens” for V1VFX Studios. She has worked as a freelance Assistant Director, Script Supervisor and Production Assistant in commercials, independent films and Television formats. She also taught “Film Production” and “Film Editing” classes in University. She worked as a freelance videographer/photographer mostly for art events and promo videos.

She started her own business in 2015 and opened “Queen B. Film Hive” for all kinds of Film & Television productions. Her dream is to bring her original screenplays come to life and direct movies in Los Angeles. She directed and produced two short films in 2018 “Escape Room: Proof of Concept” for feature screenplay “Shadows in the Room” and a sequel filmed at Warner Bros studios won an audience award “Mask of Revenge” After working on a short film for over a year, she sent it out to film festivals and earned success. Her next dream is to attend Sundance Film Festival and one of Sundance Labs. She recently was interviewed by Shorts.tv about her distributed film escape room to be in the filmmakers spotlight in Europe and US.

Director Statement

We all have inner monsters to chase and traumas to deal with. The reason I chose horror as a directorial feature debut genre is because I grew up watching and loving horror films. I came a long way to make one. Flew to Los Angeles, learned Film Directing from the professionals, then developed my screenwriting skills. Worked on film sets as a script supervisor, assistant director. Wrote, directed and produced several short films and documentaries until I felt the confidence to make my bloody first horror film ESCAPE ROOM and now ready to give my 100% to my first feature film SHADOWS IN THE ROOM as soon as I get the greenlight. It’s been a hassle to make this film happen and I am hoping everyone cast & crew who put enormous, time and effort will enjoy the acceptance and awards from film festivals with me as it’s a much needed motivation for all of us on our career paths and to rewake our team spirit.

From screenwriting to fundraising, production to post production it’s been an overwhelming and exhausting experience for me as a director with limited resources however I believe, I finally made a film that surpasses all my previous short films and will earn the recognition it deserves.

Director Biography – Christopher Kadima (THE DUMPSTER ROOM)

4e3f2487bf headshot

Born and raised in France, Christopher Kadima moved to the United State at 20 years old on a basketball scholarship. After a foot injury, he ended his basketball career and started to study film at the Brooklyn College Film Program in New York. Prior The Dumpster Room, he directed two short films, Demoniac, and Before The Fight

Director Statement

It was a really exciting experience to write and direct this film. We shot it over one night which is not a lot of time with a crew of four persons but we made the best out of it.

It is amazing all that can happen in one night, such as our location being surrounded by cops helicopter and cars as one of the neighbor called the police because they heard screaming in the garage during the scene where the lead actress gets attacked by the monster. Lucky enough their were cool cops and let us go on even tho the place was covered with fake blood!

It was a great learning experience. I’m really grateful to have had the chance to work with an awesome team, everyone was really involved in the project.
The most challenging part of making the film was the editing as my laptop kept crashing every 15min. But with a lot of patience and time the film finally came through.

I’m hoping to have the opportunity to show my film to some live audiences and get feed backs, good or bad. I think that it is one of the beauty of being a filmmaker is to see the reactions and comments of an audience.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Christopher Kadima

Director Biography – Gabriel Galand (I’M SORRY)

C9fdc05ce1 headshot

Gabriel Galand is an award-winning writer/director from France with experience in commercial and narrative filmmaking in various countries, including the United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland and now Canada. Coming from a background of cinematography, Gabriel’s films mix different genres with cross cultural issues such as death, dealing with loss and other social subjects. After more than a hundred and forty selections in the festival circuit, Gabriel’s work landed distribution deals in North America, Europe and East Asia. Now pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production at the University of British Columbia, Gabriel is conducting research on the feature-length screenplay he’s currently developing.

 

Director Statement

 

Written by Aaron Gomez, and made in a day, the short is a visceral found-footage film which deals with filicide, which is to say, when parents murder their own children. On the one hand, it borrows from the found footage sub-genre with the grizzly confession of a guilt-ridden mother. On the other hand, it uses a kind of high-key investigative journalism style to project the alternate reality. As the film plays out, the audience must decide whether they believe in what she has to say or the alternate reality in which she is a cold-blooded murderer. The short is also our team’s first film made in North America and in English, but with hidden tones from a culturally diverse crew and cast, from Mexico and France to Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

What makes the project stand out is its VHS effect. The idea came in several stages. At first, we discussed with the writer the idea to set it in a different time, late 90s or early 00s. His script was already a found-footage and I noticed that there were no internet or smartphones so I thought that it was a good opportunity. Our budget was tight (1k) but the writer was adamant that he felt we shouldn’t need to show the actual camera in the film so pretending it was a VHS didn’t require extra production design so it was a good option. Last but not least, one of our producers, Fernando Flores, is an animator, and offered to work on FX for free and that was just too good an opportunity to pass!

Aside from its retro VHS aesthetic, the film benefits from its genre approach into the difficult subject that is filicide. Focusing on the grim reality of a mother confessing to having killed her only child, the narrative also offers a daunting prospect where the child returns to life to haunt her. With her child back and alive, and the community believing all is well, she must now face the consequence of her actions and this time decide whether to kill her son again. Finally, The film was made as part of our studies at VFS, the Vancouver Film School. Although the writer, animator and myself have made shorts before, the other two producers, Celia Villanueva and Adrian Valmonte are first time filmmakers and we are all eager to have the film selected and screened around the world!

Gabriel Galand
Director of I’m Sorry
http://www.gabrielgaland.com

Director BIO: Matt Burkett ({APOLLYON})

Director Biography – Matt Burkett

Quitting his job of 13 years, Matt Burkett went back to school to finish his degree in film editing. He currently freelances as a video editor, visual effects artist, and content creator—responsible for the online show, “MONSTROSITIES,” which covers all areas of “tokusatsu” (Japanese sci-fi & fantasy films/TV).

Director BIO: Jennifer Nicole Stang (THE WHISTLER)

Director Biography – Jennifer Nicole Stang

C5e23dd4ff headshot

Director/Writer, JENNIFER NICOLE STANG was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has lived in England, Canada, the U.S., and Spain. Jennifer founded her film production company, Round Table Pictures (Formerly Heart Anchor Productions), with her brother, Emmett, in 2011. With her company, Jennifer has directed award-winning music videos and short films, and has produced videos for clients such as Sotheby’s International, USC, and Jamie Nichols for Celebrate Dance, which is one of the “top 5 dance shows” in Los Angeles. Her short film, El Lago (The Lake) has received various awards, including Best Fantasy Film at the Mexico International Film Festival, and 1st place at the Honolulu Film Awards. El Lago is also featured on GAIA TV and Cinemakers. Jennifer directed Livvy Stubenrauch (young Anna from Disney’s Oscar-winning film, FROZEN), in her short film Les Nuages (The Clouds), which is part of The Dream Series on YouTube. Jennifer has also produced the web series, Englishman in L.A. starring Ashley Fink (Glee), Eddie Jemison (Ocean’s 11, 12, 13) and Cameron Moir (Non-Stop). The series received rave reviews from In Touch Magazine and Broadway World, and now streams on Amazon Prime. Jennifer is currently co-producing a feature film with Dark Matter Studios.

 

Director Statement

 

The Whistler is a tale about purity and sin, good versus evil, growing up and changing, purification, losing a loved one, and fear of mortality. This story is about an evil entity that leads children away from their homes to prevent them from becoming sinners. The story begins with a teenage girl, Lindsey, who wants to evade growing up and the responsibilities that come with it, namely, babysitting her younger sister, Becky. While taking care of her sister, Lindsey innocently falls asleep on the couch, thinking that her sister has gone to bed. However, when Lindsey wakes up she discovers her sister is gone! Soon after she discovers that someone may have taken her sister and may be after her as well… The Whistler was originally inspired by the original tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning, which is about a stranger that arrives in the town of Hamelin who, after not receiving payment from leading the rats away from the town, decides to get back at the townspeople by taking their children away and leading them over a cliff to their death. “The Whistler” character is an evil entity, who, some hundred years ago, stole the children of the town of Blackwood Falls to “save their souls”. Like the Pied Piper, the Whistler leads the children away from their town by whistling to them, as the piper had led the children with his instrument. The Whistler, unlike the Pied Piper, however, has different motivations. The Whistler wishes to rid the children of their sins and so they can be eternally baptized. Those that are pure are spared death, and those who have sinned are cast to the bottom of the falls where they die a horrible death.The culture of the United States, in particular, largely springs from puritanical beliefs that have seeped into every day routines, government system, and societal behaviour. The behavioural aspects include a long list of what to do and what not to do, what to believe and what not to believe, and how to be a “good Christian” to one’s neighbour. We all know about the Salem witch hunts, and although it is a dramatic representation of this society, it is historically accurate and explains the extent as to how far these people went to follow their own rules, abiding by the religious doctrine of the age. Although times have changed, you see the effect in today’s culture. Americans, nowadays, seem to want to break away from these puritanical roots. What has the young generation been taught, what do they want to hold onto, and what are they looking towards? Indoctrination within a society truly creates the world around us. Our character, Lindsey, meets face to face with fears strongly presented by society: what it means to be a grown up, and what it means to be good. Lindsey’s mother tells her she is a grown up now. Is that true? What does that mean? Is the mother’s definition of Lindsey representative of the truth? When do we reach this expected level of maturity? And what is it, specifically, that defines maturity? In some societies growing up is an age factor. In some cultures it is 13 years old, in other cultures 18, sometimes 21. Does being the “right age” make Lindsey competent enough to take care of her sister? This is also a decision made not by Lindsey, but by her parents. Although they are confident that she is capable, Lindsey is not convinced. Afraid of the next step, afraid of failure, are thoughts that teenagers have all the time: Will I get into college? Will I know what to do with my life? Am I capable of making money? The idea of becoming an adult, whatever that signifies to an individual, can be daunting. The intention of The Whistler is to discuss the theme of childhood vs. adulthood. Society is changing and ideologies are changing as well. What once was the norm now seems barbaric (i.e., Medieval public hangings, chopping off heads), and ideologies continue to change throughout the centuries, even decades. The idea of “waiting for marriage” is not as popular as in the 1950’s, for example. The sexual revolution in the 1960’s gave way for other ideas of thought on the matter. And those individuals taught their own children a different perspective from what they themselves were taught. Although parents are still not encouraging their children to engage in sexual activity, it is not as taboo as it used to be, and yet the current still runs strong in today’s society. The fears of STD’s and teenage pregnancies are very strong. Lindsey’s fears of doing the right thing are very present in her mind. One part of her desires to stay pure and virginal, as is taught in her house and in her Sunday school, the other part of her wishes to experience what everyone seems to always be talking about: sex. If there are two threatening ideologies, constantly fighting against each other, which route should she take? Red pill or blue pill? In this story, we know that Lindsey is a virgin. We understand that through the texts with her boyfriend and her conversation about virgins with her younger sister, Becky. Lindsey says she is not a virgin, that she is an adult. Does this mean that not being a virgin indicates she’s an adult? Does she suddenly become an adult if she experiences this societal “ritual”? Not only does the idea of sex play a role in Lindsey’s life, but she has to consider the other factors that come along with growing up: responsibilities. Lindsey sees babysitting her younger sister as a burden for which she is not willing to be responsible. Her reluctance comes from a fear of trusting herself and the changes that happen on the way to becoming an adult. Dr. Robert Firestone, PHD states there are five major aspects to growing up: symbolic separation from parents, fantasy as defence mechanisms, threat of one’s loneliness, responsibilities, and death anxiety. We explore these five aspects in this film. Lindsey becomes separated from her parents and her sister half-way through the film, when fear overcomes her.I have made the lead character in the script female for a purpose. Throughout history there has always been an element of vulnerability when it comes to female characters. In the world, a woman is perceived as the “weaker” sex, and although that may sound archaic to some cultures, the fact remains that men are typically physically stronger than women. And by this statement, I refer to everyday civilians (not female bodybuilders or athletes!) Does a male presence still represent the age old archetype of strength and stability? It is an interesting dynamic to explore. And adding that layer to the story, helps for a more frightening horror. The more vulnerable an audience feels, the more frightened they will be, if they live vicarious through the characters on the screen. They say if you give the same script to five different directors, you’ll end up with five completely different films. There are many ways to interpret story, represent themes, and inject a unique style into any film. And since there is no way to completely visualize the end product of this film, I will describe as best I can, how I see this film come to life, how I intend to shoot it, and how the post work will be approached as well. And being that this is a horror, I will be considering details, creatively and technically, with the intent to create the most frightening film possible. Appropriate camera composition is imperative in order to accentuate essential details to the story in the film, and will inform the audience where to look, making them wonder if there is something sinister lurking in the corners. Careful composition will create a realistic environment that has the audience live vicariously through the characters. Movement will also be essential in building the tension the characters are experiencing. Using tracking shots and Steadicam movements to amplify the anticipation before a scare will create a world that is frightening to both the characters and the audience. The audience must share in these moments of anticipation. Depending on the scene, Steadicam or hand-held will be necessary to create the fear in Lindsey. Hand-held will possibly be used while Lindsey runs through the woods to express the chaos and distress of the moment. Most of the shots will be from Lindsey’s point of view, as the story is told solely through her. On my previous projects I have worked with digital cameras, and find the work flow to be consistently fast and fluid. If working with a digital camera, anamorphic lenses would be ideal. They increase the depth of field, which is preferable for a horror, revealing shadows in the background, therefore setting up scares more effectively. Although reduced light enters the film plane, the depth of field is essential to the story as well as the wide-screen big picture image. Some zoom lenses may be used to create occasional push-pull effects to accentuate either a moment of realization, dizziness, or heightened fear. Editing ultimately creates the proper tension used to give the audience an effective scare. If there is too little anticipation before a scare, the effect is unsuccessful. Elongating the anticipation before a scare is key, and the editing creates a musicality and flow to the story. The editing must let the story breathe without adding superfluous moments that may take away from building tension. Lighting is also important in creating mood and proper feel. It is the balance of light and dark that creates tension in a frame. Focusing on what to light and what to keep in shadows is important. Continually having the audience guess as to what lies in the shadows is crucial. What they cannot see leads to a heightened sense of fear. The film will start with up-key lighting to show the normalcy of Lindsey’s world and the very normal and common situation she is in, and then progress to low-key lighting to accentuate the darkness and insecurity that Lindsey begins to discover within herself. The colours of the film will help to enhance the environment and emotional state of the characters. Cool colours will create a sense of isolation and uncertainty, which I would like to establish especially in the scene in the woods. The colour of light will delineate the mood as well. This will add to the desired emotional effect from the audience. Since the film is about purity and sin, the colour scheme will be very specific. The clothes that the Whistler lays down for the children is white, signifying purity. In the beginning of the film Lindsey wears a red shirt, signifying puritanical sin. The colours in the home can reflect this as well. The production design will be most essential to this story. Lindsey’s house represents the house of original sin, and sin in general. The Whistler tries to get Lindsey to leave the “house of sin” to remain pure, leading her into the woods, towards the falls to be eternally baptized. Visually, we can play with images of purification. The falls, for one. Water is a symbol of Christian purification. The themes of original sin, good vs. evil, and purity can be alluded to in the subtle images within the house and possibly in the woods as well. Original sin can be suggested via paintings, in objects in the house, representing serpents, and apples, “magical” items such as tarot cards, subtle images that the audience may not even be aware of while watching the film. These images will subconsciously infuse the audience with a sense of religion, strong archaic images that stand the test of time, and that also give the audience a sense that this house isn’t a “normal”, every-day house. Sound design is what creates the actual scares in horror films, and the mix is critical in achieving them. For example, in The Woman in Black (2012), the mix is kept low and loud sounds are kept high in the mix, placed seconds before a visual scare to give the audience a jolt before the frightening image hits them, which is done to escalate the degree of the visual shock. The sound design is what will help create the atmosphere of each location as well, such as the crickets at night in the backyard, and the eerie whistle of the evil entity. The sound will also be mixed to explain the characters’ perspective as to where a noise may come from. Many types of sounds add to creating paranormal entities. This is partly what makes them real to the character as well as to the audience. Creaking floors, wind blowing outside, and unusual sounds will create the idea that something lurks in the corners, enhancing the frightening environment, and enhancing the fact that “The Whistler” is very real indeed. The score will have a traditional feel, as the film is about themes as old as time (purity, sin). The style of the soundtrack will be similar to that of Woman in Black and to John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy. I would like to give the soundtrack a hint of a fairytale vibe, but a fairytale gone wrong. I have worked in the industry as a performer, cinematographer, and as a director, focusing mainly on music videos and short films, most of which are award-winning. My short film, The Lake, garnered a number of awards including Best Fantasy Film at the Mexico International Film Festival and 1st place at the Honolulu Film Awards. The Lake is also featured on GAIA TV and Cinemakers. My short film, The Devil’s Snare, also received a number of nominations from various festivals. The Devil’s Snare is an existential horror film about a man who has a conversation with the Devil one night about the notion of soul existence. It was inspired by old Vincent Price films and told in a way that was inspired by the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Horror films have always fascinated me and The Whistler, in particular, is an exciting story filled with captivating themes. The Whistler also has a lot of visual elements to play with and explore to make the most visually terrifying film possible. And this is only a taste of what the feature will be…

Director BIO: Eli Weinstein (LOVE AFTER DEATH)

Director Biography – Eli Weinstein

6c7e77b3e2 headshot

Eli has been an assistant director since 2013, working on projects such as People Of Earth, The Strain, Milton’s Secret (ft. Donald Sutherland), and Falling Water. He’s also worked on several films for the Canadian Film Centre, and American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada. This is his directorial debut.

Director Statement

Love After Death is film about the nature of love, and an exploration of whether relationships are intrinsically tied to our mortality. This film is a passion project that I have been developing since attending film school and Humber College in 2013, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with the world.

This film was made possible with the help of ACTRA Toronto through their Co-op program.

Director BIO: Katherine Oostman (THE STRANGER)

Director Biography – Katherine Oostman

Mfa 59

Katherine Oostman was homeschooled, studied at Oxford and worked the Sochi Olympics. She concerns herself with the dramatic, philosophical, and futuristic, so a debate about morality in space is her ideal. Call her if you’d like to engage in one. She fosters a compulsive tendency toward climbing any mountain in front of her (both literal and figurative) and creates high-concept photography in her spare time (the more glitter or metaphors, the better). She’s currently pursuing a career in creative development. Her education includes two bachelor degrees in Media Communication and Creative Writing, a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from FSU, and a self-proclaimed masters in fort-building.

 

Director Statement

 

There’s something fundamentally haunting about psychological thrillers. They chill, not because they’re gruesome, but because they manifest immersive nightmares from a simple doubt and speak to morality through visceral physicality. Everyone has knocked on the actual or proverbial door of reconciliation, everyone has hurt someone they love. Mistakes are a fundamental element to human nature, but so is forgiveness – if allowed. However, in The Stranger, Blake is faced with the realization that, because of her mistakes, no one believes her. Not even her mother. This is one of my greatest fears: to hurt someone I love so deeply that not only do they distrust me, but they replace what we had with a delusion because of the damage I caused.