2nd April 2014
by Adam Benzine

Despite only being 15 minutes long, Lucy Walker’s doc The Lion’s Mouth Opens was one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Sundance festival. Here, the two-time Oscar-nominee (pictured) tells realscreen why big things can come in small packages.

With the world premiere of The Lion’s Mouth Opens at January’s Sundance Film Festival, director Lucy Walker scored two notable coups.

Firstly, the launch earned her the rare distinction of having had five films premiere at the Utah festival in five years, with Lion’s Mouth following on the heels of Waste Land and Countdown to Zero (both in 2010), The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2012) and The Crash Reel (2013).

But perhaps more notably, her latest work managed to become one of the most discussed and buzzed-about films to play in Park City this year – despite the fact that it is only 15 minutes long.

The short doc garnered major news coverage from the likes of ABC News and the Los Angeles Times, and was described by Filmmaker magazine as being “the most emotionally devastating film” to play at the fest, in spite of its length. Rarely has a short made such an impact.

The documentary follows LA-based actor Marianna Palka, whose father suffers from Huntington’s Disease, a crippling neurodegenerative disorder that debilitates both the mind and body, and has no known cure. Offspring have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the disease from a parent.

The film unfolds in two simple acts, with the first slowly introducing the audience to Palka and her friends, and building tension ahead of a visit to her doctor, who hands her an envelope revealing whether or not she too carries the Huntington’s gene. The second act follows her and her friends’ reactions to the news.

Palka and Walker share mutual friends, but despite both being Sundance regulars, had failed to run into each other over several years of coming to Park City.
“She rang me up out of the blue one day and said, ‘I have a feeling I’m supposed to call you,’” Walker tells realscreen. “She said, ‘I wanted to reach out because you are a filmmaker that I love and I’m going through this thing, which I think could be a documentary.’”

When first told of Palka’s potential diagnosis, Walker admits she was unfamiliar with Huntington’s Disease. “I went home and Googled it, and I cried for about three days,” she recalls, adding, “This is a very harrowing disease.”

Walker decided to make a doc immediately, with no funding, and to film it “in the most bare-bones way” possible, with just herself acting as sound recordist, and Crash Reel cinematographer Nick Higgins on camera.

“I wanted to film before she got her result,” Walker explains. “I said, ‘We shouldn’t just film you after you get the result – you’ll never have this moment again where you don’t know – so we should film that moment, and we’ll figure out what to do before you get the result and how to film it.

“I wanted first of all to make it as a gift for people with Huntington’s Disease, and second of all as a gift to Marianna, because she was going through such a difficult time,” the British director adds.

“I know as a filmmaker that documentaries can be very helpful and can give purpose when you’re suffering horribly; the idea that your pain somehow can benefit somebody, even if it’s not you, is a tremendously consoling thought.”

Following last year’s feature doc The Crash Reel – which won Walker a SXSW audience prize and a DGA nomination, among its many plaudits – The Lion’s Mouth Opens is one of three shorts to be recently produced by the filmmaker.

In December, the director released Daredevil on a Snowmobile, a five-and-a-half-minute-long film about the death of X Games star Caleb Moore, for the New York Times‘ Op-Doc series. And at SXSW in March, she premiered David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes), a short film focusing on the British artist.

Both Lion’s Mouth and Hockney will play at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow (April 3) and runs until April 6 in North Carolina. The two-time Oscar-nominee has also been tapped to curate the festival’s annual thematic program, which will this year focus on the role of the subject in documentary film.

For all of her films, both short and long, Walker says she seeks out the resilience of the human spirit, whether via the garbage dump-dwellers living in abject poverty in Waste Land, the tsunami survivors featured in Cherry Blossom, or the recovering snowboarder at the heart of The Crash Reel.

“My films are very much about showing people in emotional circumstances, digging deep and finding the kind of grace that you can only dream of,” she offers, “truly special people.”

Beyond her short form work, the director is also penning a screenplay for Film4 on the life of the late French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir, and says she harbors ambition for further narrative work.

“I love narrative films and I think it would be really wonderful to be able to switch between both of them,” she says. “When you’re making a fiction film you have so much control but you have to work really hard for the authenticity, whereas when you’re making a documentary film, you have all the authenticity you want, but you have to work really hard to have any control over it."

That said, with the die having been cast by the events of Lion’s Mouth, she is now exploring the possibility of making a longitudinal documentary on Palka, which would follow her and her family over the course of the next decade.

“We’ve been talking about making this the first step in a film project following her and her family for years to come, which I think is a beautiful idea.
“I think I see myself being a sort of conduit for this extraordinary person,” Walker adds, “and this extraordinary story, to be observed by the outside world"


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March 1, 2014

March 1, 2014 Paley Center For Media, Beverly Hills, CA---ShortsHD™, The Short Movie Channel in high-definition announced this evening the winners of the 4th annual Shorts Awards, a celebration of outstanding achievement in short films and the most prestigious shorts from around the world. The evening, which has become a must-attend event during Oscar® week, honored the Oscar® Nominated Short Filmmakers during a special star-studded ceremony held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The Shorts Awards 2014 was hosted by Julie Moran and her husband, actor Rob Moran.

During the celebration, ShortsHD presented the Nominees Awards to the Oscar® Nominated 2014 Shorts in the Live Action, Animation and Documentary categories. At the Shorts Awards 2014, ShortsHD™ honored 6 global industry influencers with the Shorts Visionary Awards, recognizing established filmmakers, actors and organizations who have embraced the medium’s reputation for bucking trends, contributing their considerable talents to innovative short movies that embody the genre’s best qualities.

The 2014 Shorts Visionary Awards were given to the following honorees:

· Visionary Actor: Navid Negahban (Iranian-American actor and regular on Showtime’s Homeland and Fox’s 24).
· Visionary Leader in Education: Marilyn Beker (senior screenwriting professor at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and the author of The Screenwriter Activist: Writing Social Issue Movies and Screenwriting).

· Netherlands Film Fund. Acclaimed actor Rutger Hauer led the Netherlands delegation to the Shorts Awards and accepted the award on behalf of Film Funds. He is known for his roles in such major feature films including: Blade Runner, Lady Hawke, Batman Begins, Sin City and The Hitcher. He’s starred in over 5 short films and directed 3.
· EYE International. The Award was accepted by Marieke Oudejans (film and television producer from the Netherlands). Eye International is responsible for all of the marketing and promotion of Dutch films.
· UPC Netherlands. The Award was accepted by Lukas Kernell (Liberty Global’s VP of Programming). UPC Netherlands is the 2nd largest cable TV operator in the Netherlands.

· Lucy Walker for Outstanding Achievement in Social Impact Film (her films include feature documentaries The Crash Reel, Waste Land, Countdown to Zero, Blindsight, and Devil's Playground. Her most notable short films are The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom and The Lion's Mouth Opens.

The Shorts Awards also honored the following 2014 Oscar® Nominees in the Short Film categories of Live Action, Animation and Documentar:

Live Action Short Film Nominees
· “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” -Director: Esteban Crespo, Spain/Spanish.

· “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” -Directors: Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras; France/French

·“Helium” -Directors Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson; Denmark/Danish

· “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” - Directors: Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari; Finland/Finnish

·“The Voorman Problem” -Directors: Mark Gill and Baldwin Li; UK/English

Animated Short Film Nominees
· “Feral” -Directors Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden; USA/Non-dialogue

· “Get a Horse!” -Directors: Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim; USA/English

· “Mr. Hublot” -Directors: Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares; Luxembourg/France/Non-dialogue

· “Possessions” -Director: Shuhei Morita; Japan/Non-dialogue

· “Room on the Broom” -Directors: Max Lang and Jan Lachauer, voices by Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon; UK/English

Documentary Short Film Nominees

· “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” -Directors: Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed; Canada/USA/UK–English

· “Karama Has No Walls” -Director: Sara Ishaq; UAE/UK/Yemen–Arabic

· “Facing Fear” -Director: Jason Cohen; USA/English

· “Cavedigger” -Director Jeffrey Karoff; USA/English

· “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” -Director: Edgar Barens; USA/English

ShortsHD CEO Carter Pilcher commented, “This evening’s Shorts Awards brought together the top filmmakers, visionaries and supporters of short films globally.  It is an enormous honour to recognize these filmmakers who are succeeding in some of the most difficult storytelling in Hollywood.  We are pleased to be able to recognize amazing Visionaries who go the extra mile to support and expand short filmmaking and are especially excited to recognize the work of The Netherlands and its institutions in support of short filmmaking.”

In 2010, to heighten the public's awareness of short movies and the Oscar® nominees, ShortsHD™ launched the Shorts Awards in the run-up to the Oscars® in Los Angeles.  In addition to honoring each of the 15 nominees, the organization bestowed the first "Lifetime Achievement Award in Short Film" on John Lasseter and three Visionary Awards to established filmmakers who have embraced short films, including Melissa Leo (who also won Best Supporting Actress), Kenneth Branagh and June Foray. Since then ShortsHD™ has bestowed honors on filmmaking greats such as Bill Plympton as Visionary Animator and Nick Parks for Lifetime Achievement. Last year’s honorees included Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nik Powell, Matthew Modine and Joan Gratz.

The Oscar® Nominated Shorts 2014 are currently being distributed by ShortsHD™ theatrically and via iTunes and Amazon, as well as on the cable industry’s Movies on Demand platform and on satellite VOD platforms.

For more information, visit or find us on Facebook: and Twitter:

Media Contacts:    

Jason Damata - / 917-279-8706

Marina Bailey
Marina Bailey Film Publicity
(+1) 323-650-3627

New York
John Murphy
Murphy PR

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January 28, 2014 - 12:39am IST
TNN - by Linah Baliga

MUMBAI: After winning multiple awards on the festival circuit for his films and successfully establishing his film production company in Los Angeles, former Mumbai-boy Suniil Sadarangani now adds another feather in his cap.

The filmmaker/ producer has now secured a top of the line distribution deal with America's number one short film distributor, Shorts International on their national TV network. As part of this endeavour, Sadarangani's film 'In Transit' has been selected from the 3000 films on the SI network to be promoted in a unique promotional activity. Marshall Nord, President of Shorts International says, "Of the 3000 films on our US network, we selected 120 -of which "In Transit" is one of them. It has been a careful selection. This promotion is really to give filmmakers a chance to talk to the audience about their film." In Transit has also been featured by Shorts International as one of the top ten films of 2013 and available on iTunes.

Sadarangani and Stev Elam, 'In Transit's' award-winning film director (former assistant to Ridley Scott) shot for the promo which can be viewed by the American audience on the SI TV channel through the DirecTV and AT&T U-verse satellite platforms. "We're really excited. This is a great opportunity to promote my work exclusively on a platform like Shorts International because they represent the best short films globally and are the go-to company for most of the Oscar nominated and Oscar winning short films down the years. My other film 'Blind' too is part of this," says Sadarangani. Nord adds, "This is a small effort for us to allow the filmmaker to introduce their films. Hopefully, growing into something more. Promotions start December and continuing."

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October 24, 2013
SPORTS VOICE - by Steve Nicewanger

October is my favorite month of the year for many reasons, not the least of which it is the month for the Heartland Film Festival. The Heartland Film Festival hosts film makers from all over the world. The film makers bring the films, present them on the big screen, discuss the films and the art of film making with fans and professionals alike, and get an opportunity to meet other film makers. It’s a time when Indianapolis has an opportunity to put its best foot forward and show the world the next generation of film makers and the visual treasures they are creating.

Last Thursday  I was invited to attend a luncheon reception downtown at Bazbeaux Pizza in order to meet and talk with Carter Pilcher. Mr. Pilcher is the CEO of Shorts International, a London, England based company which specializes in short film production and distribution. Mr. Pilcher is also the producer and chief of SHORTSHD which is a television network which broadcasts short films across the United States and is available on DirecTV HD Extra Pack and through AT&T HD Premire Package. Mr. Pilcher is originally from Terre Haute but now resides in London. He is an internationally known expert in short films and has an extensive background in their production and distribution. More importantly, Mr. Pilcher is a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, (AMPAS), so he is one the people who selects the Oscar nominees. It would seem to be a logical progression that Mr. Pilcher and SHORTSHD would become sponsors of the short films presented at the Heartland Festival. Carter Pilcher has managed to get the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on board as a co-sponsor. Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus was also at the luncheon and is a very enthusiastic supporter of Heartland’s short film entries. Mr. Pilcher, Mr. Belskus, and Nikki Guzofsky of Fabric Media all believe that the next generation of film makers is coming from the artists who are entered in the Heartland Festival.

The films presented by Heartland Film Festival represent the finest of filmmaking in the world. Viewing these incredible movies brings us together with the people we share the earth with. The movies and the artists who create them point out and underline the common human experience. Their joys, sorrows, the challenges, and triumphs that are the marrow of life. The Heartland Film Festival is a chance for all of us Hoosiers to become part of the international community and salute the talented individuals who make these unforgettable films.

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Today, the Shenzhen Media Group and Shorts International, the parent company of ShortsHD and ShortsTV announced their groundbreaking deal to bring Chinese short movies to television audiences across the United States and Europe. This marks the first time in the history of Chinese filmmaking that award-winning Chinese short films will be available outside China.

The signing ceremony marks both the culmination of the 4th China International (KingBonn) New Media Shorts Festival, the largest short film festival in China, and an important element in the opening day of the largest cultural fair of Chinese crafts and manufacturing in China. The Ceremony took place today, May 17, in the Rose Hall of the Ninth China International Cultural Industries Fair. The Director of State General Administration of Press and Publication, Radio and Television Networks Luo Jianhui, and Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism Han Xianyuan attended the signing ceremony. In addition, the jury of the prestigious KingBonn Award for excellence in New Media Short Films, the shortlisted competitors and the Festival's distinguished guests from Germany, France, Spain and other countries also attended.

"This marks an important step for Chinese film. For the first time, independent short films made here in China by emerging film directors will be freely available to American, European and African television audiences," said Mr. Zheng, the Chairman of the Shenzhen Times Network Media Company, Ltd. "We are excited that after only 4 years, KingBonn-awarded films are gaining international recognition. This puts the KingBonn Festival in the front rank of short film festivals around the world."

The first seven films are all previous winners of a KingBonn New Media Short Film Award, and as such, are recognized as some of the best short films made in China. In addition, the two companies signed a strategic cooperation agreement pledging joint efforts to support short filmmaking in China and in the USA and Europe.

"These two agreements mark an important step forward for China. We are excited to be partnering with China's cutting edge media group," said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of Shorts International. "ShortsHD and ShortsTV will be the first networks in the Western world to begin broadcasting Chinese short films and interviews with China's emerging directors."

The groundbreaking deal for the KingBonn short films was signed by ShenZhen Times Network Media Ltd --a subsidiary of ShenZhen Media Group, for television distribution on ShortsHD in the United States and on ShortsTV across Europe.

The seven shorts include "I Am Brave", "Grandfather", "Kiss", "Moon Rabbit", "Pig Sale", "Birthday Gift " and "Happy Anniversary".

The cooperation agreement between Kingbonn and Shorts International has been initiated by Sinapses Asia Ltd (Pierre Lochon). Sinapses Asia is also Kingbonn's adviser for European relations.

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6:49 PM PDT 5/17/2013 by Clarence Tsui - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

A deal with Shenzhen Media Group will see seven award-winning short movies shown on the company's American and European channels.

HONG KONG – Award-winning entries from China’s largest shorts competition will soon be seen on U.S. and European cable networks.

According to a deal inked Friday at the China International (KingBonn) New Media Shorts Festival, Shorts International will air seven prize-winning entries from the four editions of the competition on its U.S channel ShortsHD, as well as on ShortsTV, a channel available in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Romania, Turkey and Eastern Africa.

In addition, Shorts International and competition organizers Shenzhen Media Group have also signed a strategic cooperation agreement “pledging joint efforts to support short filmmaking in China and in the USA and Europe,” according to a statement released to mark the signing ceremony, which took place in the Rose Hall of the China International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen and was overseen by central and municipal culture officials.

The seven shorts on the slate include I Am Brave, Grandfather, Kiss, Moon Rabbit, Pig Sale, Birthday Gift and Happy Anniversary. The pieces were all drawn from the past editions of the shorts festival, which just concluded its fourth year with the best short film award going to Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto by Danish filmmaker Johan Oettinger.

The festival’s international collaborators include the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, interfilm Berlin - International Short Film Festival, Seoul International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival, and Singapore Short Film Festival.


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The impact of human trafficking is being felt the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland, but it’s a crime that takes place in the shadows. However a spotlight was turned on this dark trade when the charity Unchosen recently launched a short film competition to draw attention to the misery in our midst.

The victims of trafficking are all around us, unseen and unheard, and unable to speak out for fear of their traffickers. 16 year old Hung was smuggled into the UK from Vietnam, and forced to work in an illegal cannabis factory. Rose’s family in Britain were unaware that at 13 she was lured into and caught in a secret life of sexual exploitation. And in Rina’s attempt to escape poverty in Indonesia, she became trapped in domestic servitude in the Gulf and later London.

To broaden public understanding of human trafficking, Unchosen has collated eight case studies from leading UK and Ireland charities that reflect the diverse nature of trafficking today- a reality that is much wider than sex trafficking alone. Each film should be based on one of these case studies, and will be judged in the following categories: (1) Domestic Servitude; (2) Forced Labour and Criminality; (3) Sexual Exploitation; an additional prize will be awarded for film makers under 26 years old.

The first Unchosen Human Trafficking Short Film Competition invites both professional and student filmmakers to make a 10 minute film based on one of the eight stories.

The jury which will select the winning films is so far composed of:
· Dr Kevin Bales, leading academic on Modern Day Slavery and co-founder of Free the Slaves
· Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsTV
· Gregg Helvey, Oscar nominated director of ‘Kavi’
· Rich Warren, programme manager of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival

The winning films will be taken on a road show across Britain and Ireland to raise awareness of the issue with parliamentarians, front line professionals, young people and the general public.

“We want these films to be a genuine tool in the fight against trafficking”, says Trish Davidson, the Founder and Director of Unchosen. “With films that reflect the actual reality of trafficking in the UK and Ireland we want to engage and sensitize audiences – not just shock them into shutdown. We want them to recognize the signs of trafficking so that more victims can be identified and given access to the support they need.”

Short Film television channel ShortsTV will be providing a £2000 prize to the winning film. "The Unchosen film competition will highlight dramatic and shocking stories of slavery happening right here on our doorstep. We are pleased and honoured to join with Unchosen in this important initiative to give emerging filmmakers a chance to create these heart-rending stories in film and bring them to the world," said Carter Pilcher, CEO of ShortsTV.

The Unchosen 2013 Human Trafficking Short Film Competition closes for entries on 13th August 2013. The overall winner will receive the following prizes:
· £2000 provided by ShortsTV
· Half a day’s audio time from the award-winning post-film production company ‘ENVY’.
The overall winner and category winners will also have the opportunity to have their films broadcast on ShortsTV across Europe.

Entrants should contact Unchosen on – or go to

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Cannes, April 9 2013

Chello Central Europe today announced a partnership with Shorts International, the world’s leading short movie entertainment company, to further extend the distribution of ShortsTV in Central & Eastern Europe.

As per the agreement, Chello Central Europe will distribute the HD version of ShortsTV in Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and the Balkans. The pan regional partnership is strategically aligned to meet the growing demand for modern multi-media rights and new compelling content in the region. It follows the entry of ShortsTV in Romania in March this year, and is part of the channel’s continuous ongoing growth and expansion.

“Chello Central Europe is a valued partner with a fantastic local market strategy,” said Carter Pilcher, CEO of ShortsTV. “We’ve received very positive feedback following our launch in the region with Romtelecom and it’s clear to us that modern digital platforms are increasingly seeking quality independent film content that fit viewers’ new multi-screen preferences. We’re very excited to have Chello Central Europe on board for their immense experience in the region.”

Levente Málnay, CEO Chello Central Europe said, “We are ideally placed to help ShortsTV realize its potential in the CEE region. Our team is well experienced in launching, localizing and distributing international entertainment channels on leading platforms across the CEE markets. We are delighted to be working with ShortsTV.”

ShortsTV HD is the world’s first high definition channel dedicated to short movies. The channel was launched in April 2012 and it is now available to over 8 million subscribers in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Turkey, Romania and Eastern Africa. The HD programming is separated into genre zones such as “Stars in Shorts”, “Best in Fest” and “Animation”, and is broadcast 24/7.

Asra Fareed-
Chellomedia Corporate Communications

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by R. Thomas Umstead

London-based movie network ShortsHD is hoping to shine a spotlight on the movie shorts category with a package of star-studded films that will premiere on payper- view two weeks after debuting in theaters.

ShortsHD, a 24-hour HD channel distributed on AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV, is hoping to shine a light on the category with its Stars in Shorts package, which offers seven films that are 40 minutes in length or shorter and feature such stars as Jason Alexander, Keira Knightley and Lily Tomlin, according to CEO Carter Pilcher. The Stars in Shorts film began a 100-theater run Sept. 28 and will debut via PPV on In Demand Oct. 9.

The Stars in Shorts package includes such celebrities as Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tomlin (The Procession); Knightley (Steve); Julia Stiles (Sexting); Alexander (Not Your Time); Kenneth Branagh (Prodigal); Wes Bentley (After School Special) and Judi Dench (Friend Request Pending).

Pilcher said the short-film genre - which in the past has mostly featured content from film students and upand- coming producers - has recently seen an uptick in the appearance of established actors and producers.

“The movie business is in transition - what’s happening is that movie shorts are now being seen in theaters and other platforms,” he said.

It’s also seen an increase in popularity among theatergoers in recent years. The network generated $1.7 million at the box office this past February with a run of 2012 Oscar-nominated short films, a nearly 800% improvement since 2006 when the network first offered that year’s Oscar-nominated shorts.

Pilcher said the network is talking to cable operators about distribution of the ShortsHD channel, which last year offered 4,000 short films, although no deals are pending.

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Berkeley CA's Independent News Site

September 25, 2012 7:00am
by John Seal

Ever wonder what Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench might look like in shorts? Wonder no longer: the two thespians appear together (but separately) in Stars In Shorts, a program of seven short subjects opening at Landmarks’ Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, September 28.

As you’ve probably guessed, Dench and Branagh aren’t alone — each of the program’s seven films includes at least one cinema big-shot within its cast. One might suspect such larger-than-life personalities would overwhelm the small-scale proceedings in which they’re involved, but thankfully that’s never the case.

Best of show is clearly Not Your Time, a very funny comedy headlined by former ‘Seinfeld’ star Jason Alexander. Alexander plays Sid Rosenthal, a film editor whose job it is to remove expletives from movies prior to their airline bookings. A frustrated musician with a thankless day job, Sid pitches a remake of Babes In Toyland entitled Babes in Toys R Us to some Hollywood bigwigs, who are immediately enamored with the gruesome concept.

This being Tinsel Town, however, the road from concept to greenlight is a long one, and Sid soon discovers that its sometimes just as frustrating to sell a script as not. Writer-director Jay Kamen clearly knows a thing or two about showbiz disappointment (he started his own career as a child entertainer in the Catskills), and Not Your Time provides an acerbic look at the machinations of the Hollywood sausage factory. If you’re a fan of Robert Altman’s The Player, you’ll get similar mileage from Kamen’s film.

Acerbic scribe Neil La Bute contributes his writing and directorial skills to Sexting, an eight-minute near-monologue in which Julia Stiles plays a woman who bares her soul to her lover’s wife, only to discover her confession is all for naught. La Bute also penned the slightly longer After-School Special, the story of a divorced dad (Wes Bentley) trying to pick up a single mother (Sarah Paulson) at the local playground; the film features a vicious sting in its tail which many viewers will find, to put it mildly, a little troubling.

The aforementioned Judi Dench is superb in Friend Request Pending, a delightful look at old age pensioners discovering the challenges of online social networking. Though the film drifts into comfy armchair territory, it’s still a pleasure to watch Dench and co-star Penny Ryder exchange catty remarks.

It’s a bit hard to determine precisely what’s wrong with director Rupert Friend’s Steve, but it’s clearly not Colin Firth. Superb as the title character, a high-strung Londoner who enjoys a chat and a cup of tea with anyone who’ll invite him in, Firth nails a stirring soliloquy during the film’s final scene. Keira Knightley co-stars as the woman whose kettle he chooses to latch on to, but the film is unfocussed and a bit flat. It’s not bad, just a slight disappointment.

Bringing up the rear are The Procession, in which Lily Tomlin plays a harridan driving her son round the bend on the way to a funeral, and Prodigal, featuring Kenneth Branagh as a research scientist conducting experiments involving a young girl and telekinesis. Certainly the most traditionally cinematic offering on tap, the film tries to say something profound but is overwrought, poorly acted, and utterly unbelievable. If by chance Prodigal brings up the rear in Stars In Shorts, save yourself 25 minutes and leave early.

Berkeleyside’s film writer John Seal writes a weekly movie recommendation column at Box Office Prophets, as well as a column in The Phantom of the Movies’ Videoscope, an old-fashioned paper magazine, published quarterly.

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September 23, 2012
by Bonnie Steiger

Following the highly successful showings of its annual Oscar® Nominated Short Films, Shorts HD™ now presents STARS IN SHORTS, a celebrity-packed release of short movies featuring some of the world's most recognized and celebrated stars. The program is a tour de force of award winning talent including Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Julia Stiles, Wes Bentley, Jason Alexander, Lily Tomlin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Prepare to laugh out loud, to be shocked and to love the endearingly quirky as they bring you some of your favorite stars as you've never seen them before.

The seven short movies showcased in ShortsHD™'s Stars in Shorts include:
View slideshow: Stars in Shorts

The Procession - Lily Tomlin seems to have a very fresh, new face in this short film, almost unrecognizable, but oh so lovely. She plays a mother to Jessie Tyler Ferguson's son, both going to the funeral of a girl who was a friend of Lily's daughter, but whom neither Lily nor Jessie had ever met. So, no emotional investment there. After the funeral, they get stuck in the car procession to the cemetery and stop at a red light. Now, the half of the procession behind them is following them and they don't know where they're going. This could happen to anyone, so we can all relate. But their emotionally roller coaster ride as they hunt for the burial site is something only these two comedians can pull off.

Steve - Colin Firth portrays an unusually needy neighbor to an exasperated Keira Knightley and a preoccupied Tom Mison in this intriguing and quirky movie. WIth each of Firth's unnecessary visits to his neighbors, the emotional ante is upped and his mesmerizing acting skill rivets the audience. Fifteen minutes is all it takes to get the whole story and thrill at the interplay of these characters.

Sexting - Julia Stiles gives a standout performance as a young woman fed up with her relationship with a married man in this Neil LaBute-directed comedy. I could see the payoff as soon as Stiles sat down at the cafe where a woman was sitting and drinking some iced tea. Still, a monologue of over 7 minutes, with the actress looking straight into the camera, is a thing to behold. Stiles pulled it off with a combination of whimsy and control.

Not Your Time - Jason Alexander is an aspiring Hollywood screenwriter at the end of his rope in this engaging musical comedy. We watch Sid Rosenthal as a child about to have a colitis operation, then inspired by Sammy Davis, Jr., in 'Golden Boy' on Broadway, through his musical comedy education to his disappointments in the real world of Hollywood, till he decides to put an end to it, all to a fun soundtrack, eight dancers and one singer in the style of 'All That Jazz' (1979).

Prodigal - Starring Kenneth Branagh, Travis Crim (also writer) and Jennifer Morrison. Parents of a paranormal child enact a dangerous plan to free her from the frightening grip of a clandestine organization in this suspense-filled sci-fi thriller. Another take on the protect-the-gifted-child-from-scientific-research genre. It could have even been shorter than the 25 minute running time, with its over long scene with Branagh discussing the child's future with her father, but the payoff 17 minutes in is worth the wait.

After School Special - Starring Wes Bentley, Sarah Paulson and written by Neil LaBute. A man and a woman have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground. I'm waiting to see if the stranger really has a child with him or if he's a stalker. But LaBute, ever since his debut film 'In The Company of Men' (1997), has always been full of surprises and shocks. He leaves us with a big 'Huh!?' at the end of this 9 minute story. Yes, it has a beginning, middle and end, with lots to think about after.

Friend Request Pending - Judi Dench captures your heart while trying to navigate the complicated landscape of internet dating; with Tom Hiddleston. If two 16 year old valley girls had played the parts of Judi Dench and Penny Rider, the dialogue would be the same. This is the influence social media has on all, horny teens to senior ladies living in the British countryside. And these actresses ring as true in their performances as anyone looking for love on the net. LOL.

Starts September 28 at Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco, Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, Camera 3 in San Jose, and Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa.

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BRITISH WEEKLY - Southern California’s British Accent -Since 1984™
September 20, 2012 11:58 pm

Dame Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley and Colin Firth are among the British stars of a new collection of short movies entitled “Stars In Shorts”, opening in limited release in Los Angeles on September 28th.

The seven shorts – which range from eight to 25 minutes in length – are a presentation of Shorts HD, a cable channel whose programming is categorized into one-hour and half-hour themed blocks that cover a variety of genres, including comedies, musicals, documentaries, thrillers, dramas and animation. The shorts in question here range markedly in genre and quality, but there are no real duds.

The pick of the bunch is probably The Procession, starring Lily Tomlin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as mother and son who get lost on their way to a burial in this Los Angeles-based comedy. 12 minutes long and directed by Robert Festinger.

Judi Dench impresses in Friend Request Pending, a gentle comedy of internet dating among Britain’s mature generation. The twelve-minute tale follows Mary (Dench) and Linda (Penny Ryder) who spend an afternoon discussing the pleasures, pitfalls and problems with using Facebook to try and woo the local choirmaster Trevor (Philip Jackson). Directed by Chris Foggin, this is a short, slight piece which benefits from the cozy, one-room setting and the impeccable homey authenticity of Dench, who is watchable in just about anything. The best moment comes when she allows a slighly saucy smile to crease her benign English features as he refers to her prey as ‘a real fox’.

Slightly less successful is Steve, a 16-minute comic drama starring Keira Knightley as the shrewish Scottish wife of a procrastinating writer (Tom Mison) who over the course of three days is interrrupted by her whiny neighbor, Steve (Colin Firth). First Steve complains about a non-existent water leak, then a non-existent loud party with rap music playing till 3am, and finally about their feckless postman. Knightley’s character is no shrinking violet but even she is cowed by Steve’s raging demands on the third day, to be offered a cup of tea, a plate of biscuits and some conversation. There’s plenty going on here about classic aspects of British life including the ritual of tea, getting on with the neighbors and passive-aggressive relationships but it never really comes together and ends far too abruptly. Written and directed by Rupert Friend.

Prodigal is the longest of the offerings here and centers on the atttempts of a creepy Kenneth Branagh, representing some shadowy US government agency, to take control of a young girl with telekinetic powers. In an extended sequence in a café where he first charms and then bullies the child’s father, Branagh moves from deferential to menacing in short order, and though he’s never convincing as a heavy, he does finally get to make dramatic use of those annoyingly thin lips of his. He also comes to a sticky end thanks to the young girl’s powers, unleashed with some very b-movie special effects. Also starring Jennifer Morrison (of House fame), and directed by Benjamin Grayson.

The two other most interesting pieces here are both by Neil LaBute, who proves he can be as provocative and unsettling in the short form as the long. Sexting is an eight minute, near-monologue by Julia Styles as a married man’s young mistress, confronting her lover’s wife, and After School Special, an even creepier effort starring Wes Bentley and Sarah Paulson as a man and a woman who have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground.

Jason Alexander fans will find some comic relief seeing the Seinfeld alum star in Not Your Time, as an aspiring Hollywood screenwriter at the end of his rope in this musical comedy.
25 minutes, directed by Jay Kamen.

Stars in Shorts’ theatrical release on September 28th will be followed by release on iTunes and on cable and satellite pay-per-view on Oct. 9.

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by Maggie Lange
September 19, 2012

Review: Seven Shorts Showcase Rare Performances from Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Jason Alexander, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh

This fall, ShortsHD will present a collection of several brief films unambiguously titled "Stars in Shorts." Each of these otherwise unconnected seven films features big name talent such as Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Tom Hiddleston, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Lily Tomlin, and Jason Alexander. The seven films, reviewed below, will premiere in theaters on September 28th, followed by an iTunes/Pay Per View release on October 9.

"Stars in Shorts" comes on the heels of a perceived audience demand for a showcase of bite-size movies, spurred by success of the Oscar-nominated short films program, which grew audience attendance in theaters by 800% from its launch in 2006.

Like novellas or short stories, brevity is the soul of these short films. Their length ranges from 8 to 25 minutes. In some, the economy of the film allows for a satisfying bow to tie-up the plot; in others, the short timeframe permits a lingering sense of wonder or shock to continue after the audience has a chance to digest. Most of the seven meet a pretty high standard in short filmmaking -- and a few even dazzle with inventive imagery and punchy dialogue.

Photo: 'The Procession'

The Procession, 2012
Director: Robert Festinger
Actors: Lily Tomlin and Jessie Tyler Ferguson
Mood: Hysteric and hysterical gallows humor

The premise of "The Procession" is dark comic gold: a mother and son attend a funeral of a woman they don't know, but accidentally stop at a red light during the procession from funeral to burial, blindly leading half of the mourners to a randomly selected graveyard. Tomlin plays a preposterously hilarious, self-involved snoot, who is primarily concerned about the possibility of prosciutto at the reception. With convincing joy, Tomlin and Ferguson depict a mother-son duo to perfection, acting simultaneously annoyed with each other while effortlessly mirroring the other's body language. The pair find themselves navigating between exasperation, fits of laughter, and then horror as they remember the consequences of leading carloads of loved ones away from the burial. Festinger maintains the dark humor through the 12 minute short, from the tearful beginning to the darkly glorious "Thelma and Louise" denouement.

Photo: 'Prodigal'

Prodigal, 2011
Director: Benjamin Grayson
Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Jennifer Morrison, Travis Crim, Jade Pettyjohn
Mood: Dreamlike JJ Abrams-inspired suspense

Benjamin Grayson's 25-minute short "Prodigal" comes across like a promising pilot to a breakout sci-fi series: a gifted child's parents must protect her from two different manipulative and mysterious agencies attempting to harness their daughter's strange gift. Branagh shows restrained power as one of the masterminds attempting to exploit the young child separate from her parents. A spooky, hesitant score and intriguing suspense underly the outstanding imagery and special effects in this short. The overall heart of the story is simply tragic: a tale of parents hopelessly trying to protect their fragile child.

Photo: 'Steve'

Steve, 2010
Director: Rupert Friend
Actors: Kiera Knightley, Colin Firth, and Tom Mison
Mood: British sensibilities boiled over

Rupert Friend begins his short film, "Steve," with a striking shot of a tea bag releasing its inky flavor into water. The sensitive image sets the mood for this perplexing short: the mysterious ways that calm can be invaded. It begins with a young couple arguing, a heated moment bubbling over as a tea kettle screams in the background. It's a heavy-handed metaphor, but portrayed with lovely execution. At the height of the chaos, a neighbor named Steve (Firth) rings the bell, inviting himself in. His derangement begins to seep through as he demands more than a cuppa from his upstairs neighbors. Friend expertly controls the tension in his glowering fifteen minute short.

Photo: 'Friend Request Pending'

Friend Request Pending, 2011
Director: Chris Foggin
Actors: Judi Dench, Tom Hiddleston, Penny Ryder, Philip Johnson
Mood: Delightfully sweet and snarky

This short film is a delight throughout, as two elderly women fuss about with the myriad of technological options available to contact a recent crush. Mary (Dench) and her friend Linda (Ryder) are quite tech-savvy; they understand the subtle differences between poking, private messaging, posting, and chatting. Dench is as charming as you would expect. When she slams the laptop shut after Trevor signs online, running away from the laptop, she absolutely glows; it's a "You've Got Mail" gag in the right hands to revive the moment. Dench also delivers the hilarious one liners with fresh sweetness: "Maybe I should say 'Hello,' 'Hi' is a bit mid-90s, isn't it?"

Photo: 'Not Your Time'

Not Your Time, 2010
Director: Jay Kamen
Actors: Jason Alexander
Mood: Dark Hollywood satire

Like "The Procession," Jay Kamen's "Not Your Time" has a pitch perfect grasp of dark humor. This short musical surveys the life of Sid Rosenthal (played by Jason Alexander), who dreamed of creating musicals but now censors expletives from movies before they show on airplanes. After his latest Hollywood disappointment, in which a studio executive refuses to produce his movie, claiming that they liked it too much and feared it would conflict with the release of "Toy Story 12," Rosenthal decides to kill himself -- unless someone talks him out of it. In an attempt to find someone who suggests that he keep breathing, he calls everyone he's worked with announcing his impending suicide, and finds himself in an absurd situation only Hollywood could produce. The film is packed with a series of executives, directors, and producers all played by themselves including Amy Pascal, Sid Ganis, Joe Roth, Stuart Cornfeld, Jack Rapke, Lawrence Mark, Amy Heckerling, Neal Israel, and Chris Buck.

Photo: 'After School Special'

After School Special, 2011
Director: Jacob Chase
Actors: Sarah Paulson, Wes Bentley, and Sam Cohen
Mood: Uneven, awkward

The setting of "After School Special" is the most interesting aspect of this short film from Jacob Chase: a cheesy and cheery indoor playpen at a fast food restaurant. It provides a bright and simple contrast to the uncomfortable awkwardness of the social scenarios playing out next to the jungle gym. Written by Neil LaBute, the dialogue is intentionally stilted as an edgy divorced father (Wes Bentley) tries to woo his daughter's standoffish teacher (Sarah Paulson), while her eyes are clearly more focused on her young student (Sam Cohen).

Photo: 'Sexting'

Sexting, 2010
Director: Neil LaBute
Actor: Julia Stiles
Mood: Catty and confessional

This well-executed eight minute short is essentially a monologue, as Julia Stiles plays a mistress confronting her boyfriend's wife. In a overwhelming bout of nerves and catty one-upmanship, she brags about her lover's affection for her and then whimpers about his deceptive lies. She prods, probes, instigates, pleads, whines, and breaks down. She confesses she knows this woman's gym schedules, asks about her Pilates class, and then proceeds to inquire on the possibility of her lover's impending divorce. Stiles shines, as she impressively makes her way through a six-minute shot of her rant, ending in a well-timed twist

Sara Tehrani
Marina Bailey Film Publicity
323.962.7511 - office
818.679.6162 - cell

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Photo: 'STEVE'


Article: Eric Ambler
September 19, 2012

Interview: 'STEVE' Writer-Director Rupert Friend

Professionally-trained British actor Rupert Friend is probably best known to audiences (especially fans of “chick flicks”) for his roles in the period dramas Pride and Prejudice and The Young Victoria, but in recent years he’s also honed his skills as a writer, director, and producer of short films with his production company, Beat Pictures.

His latest short, Steve, assembles an impressive array of talent, with Oscar-winner Colin Firth as an eccentric man who makes progressively bizarre unannounced visits to the flat of bickering couple Keira Knightley and Tom Mison.

Accepted into 15 international film festivals throughout 2011, Steve was also selected to be a part of the short film anthology Stars in Shorts distributed by the cable channel ShortsTV. Friend recently took the time to answer some of our questions about Steve ahead of Stars in Shorts’ theatrical release on September 28, and matched the droll wit of his film with his musings about the danger of allegories, the comforts of ambiguity, and how the project began as entertainment for a captive audience…

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how Steve was first conceived?

A: Steve began as a short story I wrote for my friends to keep in the bathroom. Reading it lasted the right amount of time for the things that happen in there.

Q: Steve marks your directorial debut. What drew you to a new role behind the camera?

A: Truthfully, it just seemed easier than trying to explain to someone else what this was all about. The character treads such a fine line, tonally. I also charged myself nothing to hire myself.

Q: How did the casting come about? Did you envision Keira Knightley and Colin Firth in their roles, or were they looking to do something a little different?

A: I sent the book to Colin (for his bathroom) because we had long shared a similar sense of humour as well as a love of books and stories. He joked that “if they ever make the film of this, you know who should play Steve, don’t you?” I took him seriously. I had always wanted to see Keira do something very naturalistic and modern day, and the idea of combining that with a slightly dark surreality also felt like territory I hadn’t seen her in before. And her [Scottish] accent was flawless and needed using.

Q: What, if anything, did you apply from your own experiences as an actor during shooting?

A: I don’t think that telling actors what to do is helpful, and neither do I think a helpless “I don’t know, you’re the actor” shoulder-shrug is any use. Somewhere in between those two is a magic thing I have experienced, rarely, as an actor, where somebody helps you to find out for yourself what to do, and then is as surprised and delighted as you are.

Q: The film starts very much in medias res with a heated argument between a man and a woman, then becomes more dry and eccentric as Steve gets involved. What were you aiming for in terms of tone?

A: There is a sense that Steve's timing couldn't have been worse, yet paradoxically, he is distracting the couple from themselves, something we are often all to reluctant to allow to happen. His entrance is very deliberately the absolute boiling point of the argument, so that his arrival is not only a punctuation point, but a release valve for the couple and the audience.

Steve himself was a challenge that only an actor as gifted as Colin could have pulled off. He needed to have the jovial familiarity of a harmless eccentric and yet be able to spin that on a sixpence when things start to go wrong. Colin was fearless in his exploration of this, and we worked hard together on imagining a life for Steve prior to the film's timespan. Some people have said that they wished the couple had given him some tea, and taken the chance to make a new friend, others are convinced that Steve kills and eats them at the end. This ambiguity is something I've always loved when reading or watching stories.

Q: Can you say anything about the film’s metaphorical slant? It almost seems like an allegory with the generic character names and Steve's cryptic chatter (mostly comprised of strained small talk).

A: Allegories are very dangerous I always think. Steve is a story about a man who came to tea…

Q: What was the inspiration for the character of Steve? Is he partly based on any busybody neighbors from real life?

A: Steve got his name from a plumber who sold a story to a newspaper about me and then called me up for a chat to see if there was anything else I wanted to tell him. Fortunately my neighbour at the time Steve was written was a gentle pothead who was far too stoned to care about tea.

Q: Do you have any further plans to write and/or direct?

A: If the right idea came along I would love that.

Stars in Shorts (featuring Rupert Friend's Steve) receives a limited North American theatrical release on September 28 and will be available on iTunes and VOD on October 9.

Sara Tehrani
marina bailey film publicity
323.962.7511 - office
818.679.6162 - cell

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Movie Premieres in Theaters September 28th
iTunes and Cable Pay Per View to follow on October 9th 2012

August 20, 2012 Los Angeles, CA - Following the highly successful release of its annual Oscar® Nominated Short Films this past February, ShortsHD today announced Stars in Shorts, a celebrity-packed release of short movies featuring some of the world’s most recognized and celebrated stars. The program, opening in theatres beginning September 28th, is a tour de force of award winning talent including Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Julia Stiles, Wes Bentley, Jason Alexander, Lily Tomlin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Prepare to laugh out loud, to be shocked and to love the endearingly quirky as they bring you some of your favorite stars as you’ve never seen them before.

The seven incredible short movies showcased in ShortsHD™’s Stars in Shorts include:

• The Procession - Starring Lily Tomlin and Jessie Tyler Ferguson. Tomlin and Ferguson are
mother and son who get lost on their way to a burial in this laugh out loud, side-splitting

• Steve - Starring Keira Knightley, Colin Firth. In Steve, Firth portrays an unusually needy
neighbor to an exasperated Keira Knightley in this intriguing and quirky movie.

• Sexting - Starring Julia Stiles, directed by Neil LaBute. Stiles gives a standout performance as
a young woman fed up with her relationship with a married man in this Neil LaBute comedy.

• Not Your Time - Starring Jason Alexander. Jason Alexander is an aspiring Hollywood
screenwriter at the end of his rope in this engaging musical comedy.

• Prodigal - Starring Kenneth Branagh and Jennifer Morrison. Parents of a paranormal child
enact a dangerous plan to free her from the frightening grip of a clandestine organization in
this suspense-filled sci-fi thriller.

• After School Special - Starring Wes Bentley, Sarah Paulson and written by Neil LaBute. A man
and a woman have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground in this Neil LaBute
penned slice-of-life starring Sarah Paulson and Wes Bentley.

• Friend Request Pending - Starring Judi Dench and Tom Hiddleston. Judi Dench captures your
heart while trying to navigate the complicated landscape of internet dating.

“Stars in Shorts brings audiences some of the most entertaining acting performances they will see this year. With all the varnish of Hollywood stripped away, this is riveting story-telling and raw talent at work,” said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsHD. “We’re thrilled to be bringing such talented filmmaking to theaters across America.”

Stars in Shorts, a collection of short movies, follows the success of the annual release of “The Oscar® Nominated Short Films”, which has become a key fixture of the awards season and charted a spectacular 800% growth in attendance since its inception in 2006. Stars in Shorts’ theatrical release will be followed by release on iTunes and on Cable & Satellite Pay Per View on October 9th, making each film available in 54 countries across the globe on mobile devices, DirectTV, and AT&T U-verse.

A list of participating theaters premiering Stars in Shorts can be seen by visiting, or by checking your local theater listings.

Fabric Media
Theo Dumont

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London/Utrecht, 5 September 2012 ShortsTV, the short movie channel, is offering you the opportunity to pitch your next short film project and receive funding of €5,000 to produce it and get it on air!


You have one take of 2 minutes and 15 seconds to sell your idea on camera. You must also provide a 45 second extract of your previous work (from either a short film or showreel with clearances) for our judges to see how well you can deliver.

The pitching sessions will be filmed in Utrecht at the Netherlands Film Festival on the 27, 28 & 29 of September from 10am until 12:30pm each day.


• You must be registered at the Netherlands Film Festival 2012
• You must have already made a short film
• You may pitch only in Dutch or English
• You will need to give us a 45 second extract of your work (all rights must be cleared) no later than 22 September. File delivery and tech specs will be sent with the time slot confirmation.
• You must hold the relevant copyright to your pitch idea in order to protect the ownership of your idea (the idea must be your own).
• You must pitch your project in no more than 2 minutes and 15 seconds.
• Your pitch to camera will be eligible for broadcast on ShortsTV throughout Europe and the United States.

Please include your FULL NAME, CONTACT DETAILS AND AVAILABILITY. A member of the team will contact you to confirm your appointment. There are a limited number of spots, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

The top pitches will be broadcast on the UPC Event Channel (channel 14) during the festival.

For more information, please contact Kim Partington on
+44 (0) 207 012 1598 or

For press enquiries, please contact Judith Huisman on
+31 (0) 6538 31316 or

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July 25, 2012 Los Angeles, CA--- ShortsHD™ (, the world’s only TV network dedicated to short movies is launching this week a special collection of short films from animation icon Bill Plympton on Animate!. Airing tomorrow, the ShortsHD™ ANIMATE! Special will feature a series of animated short films from the award-winning animator.

The special will also feature the world premiere of the ShortsHD™ documentary film: BILL PLYMPTON RESTORES MCCAY’S THE FLYINGHOUSE, a short doc featuring interviews with Plympton and Mathew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises). Plympton and his team are hard at work restoring one of the earliest animations by the father of animation Winsor McCay—his animated classic 1921 short film The Flying House, which is being voiced by Modine.

The documentary short will be followed by other Plympton classic animation films including: THE COW THAT WANTED TO BE A HAMBURGER and INGRIDPITT: BEYOND THE FORREST

The special kicks off this Wednesday July 25 at 8pm and 11pm EST/5pm and 8pm PST and repeats on Saturday July 28 at 8pm and 11pm EST and 5pm and 8pm PST.

"Bill Plympton is a cult figure amongst animators, and is known by audiences for his distinctive style and hilarious imagination," said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsHD. "We're thrilled to bring our audiences some of Bill's most entertaining films plus the inside scoop on his restoration of Winsor McCay's historic 1921 animated short—it's an amazing undertaking."

Bill Plympton is an Oscar® nominated animator. He is a cartoonist, director, screenwriter and producer best known for his 1987 Academy Award® nominated shorts Your Face and Guard Dog. Plympton’s cartoons have appeared in such magazines as Viva, Penthouse, Rolling Stone, National Lampoon, and Glamour. Plympton’s credits include a slew of animated features, documentaries, live-action features, animated shorts, compilations, music videos and commercials.

Visit Animation Magazine Coverage

Fabric Media
Theo Dumont

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Shorts International To Honor BFI For Preservation of Historic Short Film at London BFI Film Festival 2012

London UK, Los Angeles May 30, 2012---In honor of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the international celebration which marks 60 years of The Queen's reign, ShortsHD., the world's only TV network dedicated to short movies, is teaming up with the British Film Institute (BFI) to world premiere Vintage Jubilee Shorts, a series of vintage short films and documentaries from the prestigious BFI national archive film vaults. The ShortsHD. Vintage Jubilee Shorts promotion kicks off on the network on June 4 and 5 surrounding the actual dates of the Queen¡¦s Jubilee celebrations and will feature vintage docs about the Queen and Britain during her era.

To commemorate the special, ShortsHD™ is also announcing today that it will honor the BFI by presenting the organization a special 'Shorts Award' for significant contributions to the 'Preservation of Short Film' during the London BFI Film Festival in October (10-25, 2012).

Vintage Jubilee Shorts is a series of fascinating short vintage documentaries from the vaults of the British Film Institute¡¦s national archive. A collection of memorable and influential shorts made in Britain between the 1930's and 1970s, the films in the series all emerged from a vibrant public service tradition of filmmaking that started with pre-war General Post Office (GPO) and culminated in the vast post-war output of the Central Office of Information (COI). These films informed audiences in Britain and abroad about a range of issues from health and education at home to the UK's role at large with skill, imagination and filmmaking brilliance.

The June 4 and 5 ShortsHD. Vintage Jubilee Shorts special schedule will run as follows:
• 'Daily Zone' - Weekend Premiers and Weekday Repeats:
• @1pm EST / 10am PST
• @5pm EST / 2pm PST

'We are delighted to be premiering these vintage short films and docs in celebration of The Queen¡¦s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, no other channel has anything like them on TV,¨ said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsHD..' These authentic shorts have a tremendous amount of British historical appeal and it's exciting to share with our viewers this great content from the BFI's vaults. We also look forward to honoring the organization for its outstanding achievements in preserving film history at this year's London BFI Festival.¨

Marking 60 years of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will take place June 2-5. The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002. She is today queen regnant of 16 sovereign states, 12 of which were British colonies or Dominions at the start of her reign.

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

• Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
• Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
• Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
• Promoting British film and talent to the world
• Growing the next generation of filmmakers and audiences

Fabric Media
Theo Dumont

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LONDON, UK, 12 June 2012

Shorts International, the world's leading short movie entertainment company, today announced the appointment of Philip Mordecai to the newly created role of SHORTS INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT EMEA and will report to CEO and founder Carter Pilcher.

At SHORTS International he will be responsible for all SHORTSTV channel network activities and oversee all group commercial development in the regions.

Mordecai brings over 12 years of international broadcast experience to SHORTSTV. Formally he was the General Manager at MGM Channel Central Europe and oversaw the studio channel network Central European business. Prior to that he held several strategic and commercial roles at ChelloZone, SES and BSkyB.

In a statement, Carter Pilcher CEO of SHORTS INTERNATIONAL commented "Philip brings with him comprehensive experience in television that incorporates a forward-looking perspective that will greatly contribute to accelerating our growth. We are immensely thrilled to have him join the Shorts International family."

The appointment of Mordecai follows several high profile news stories from Shorts International in 2012, when they successfully launched the new ShortsTV HD channel brand across EMEA and subsequently followed it by launching ShortsTV Standard Definition, High Definition and a unique Shorts movie VoD library on UPC Netherlands digital platform in April. ShortsTV is also available in Belgium, Luxembourg and France on Numericable, and in Turkey on TTNet. ShortsHD is available to 30 million homes in the United States on DirecTV and AT&T.

For more information on the Netherlands launch, contact Judith Huisman on:
+33 (0)6.53831316 /

For U.S. enquiries please contact Marina Bailey on:
+1 323.650.3627 /

For other European enquiries please contact Kim Partington on:
+44 (0) 207 012 1585/

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LONDON, UK, 3 April 2012

Shorts International, the world’s leading short movie entertainment company, today announced the launch of ShortsTV on UPC channels 25 (standard definition) and 64 (high definition).

ShortsTV is a unique entertainment channel dedicated to short movies.

ShortsTV broadcasts 24-hours a day in 30-60 minute blocks of short films and is available on UPC in SD as part of the Royaal tier, and also in high definition in the UPC HD pack. ShortsTV, which will be subtitled in Dutch throughout the Netherlands, is the world’s first high definition channel dedicated to short movies.

Launching on the 3rd of April with a collection of highly entertaining short films, programming is separated into genre ‘Zones’. ShortsTV is dedicating the month of April to programs from Editor’s Pick, showcasing some of the brightest young stars and directors, and the terrifying Midnight Zone, featuring the short One Night about the darker side of love, lust and loneliness.

May brings new Zones, from Stars in Shorts, offering short movies with Hollywood stars such as Michael Sheen and Dita Von Teese, to Animate! featuring stop-motion and computer generated animated shorts that push the limits of imagination. Other new Zones launching then are Docs, Film School, Comedy, Shorts In Love, and Best in Fest.

Viewers can looking forward to the charms of Robert Pattinson In The Summer House, award winners Colin Firth & Keira Knightley in the emotionally charged Steve, and the contemporary dark thriller Trunk. Star Trek fans will be touched by the loving tribute to the legendary sci-fi saga with Orion Slave Girls Must Die! and discover the hilarious self-help mockumentary The Pro.

"We couldn't be more excited about bringing ShortsTV to UPC’s cable audience. The films are the cutting edge of movie entertainment," said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of ShortsTV.

Standard definition channel ShortsTV is available in 3.5 million homes on Numericable's French-language cable systems in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as in HD to 20 million homes in the United States with AT&T and DirectTV. It is also available to 1 million subscribers in Turkey with TTNet.

For more information on the Netherlands launch, contact Judith Huisman on:
+33 (0)6.53831316 /

For U.S. enquiries please contact Marina Bailey on:
+1 323.650.3627 /

For other European enquiries please contact Leif Nelson on:
+44 (0) 207 613 5400 /

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Photo: "Wallace & Gromit" creator Nick Park
Credit: Carlo Allegri / Imagenet


Movies: Past, present and future
Awards Party Coverage - February 25, 2012

The Film Independent Spirit Awards wasn't the only pre-Oscar ceremony happening this weekend: On Friday, the second annual Shorts Awards presented film slate-shaped plaques to the nominees competing in the short film categories at Sunday's 84th Academy Awards and honored "Wallace & Gromit" creator Nick Park with a lifetime achievement award.

Park was not at West Hollywood's Soho House to accept the prize, but in a video acceptance speech he said, “I’ve always loved making short films. It’s a good way to get ideas out quickly. Many see it as a stepping stone to features, but I will always go back to short films.”

An enthusiasm for shorts permeated the event, which was presented by ShortsHD, a cable network that exclusively airs short films.

“We are entering the golden age of short films,” said producer Marc Bertrand, on hand to support his Oscar-nominated animated short “Dimanche,” citing an increase in options for independent distribution, as well as the technology that makes it easy for anyone to make a film.

To honor that technology, ShortsHD this year created the Shorts Technology Awards, whose winners Friday night included the Apple iPhone 4S and the app Movie Slate by Pure Blend Software.

“I think audiences have now opened their eyes for short films,” said Norwegian director Hallvar Witzø. His 25-minute short “Tuba Atlantic” is nominated in the live action shorts category. He pointed to the success of ShortsHD’s limited theatrical run of the Oscar-nominated shorts, which had earned $1.196 million at the box office as of Friday, ShortsHD chief executive Carter Pilcher announced at the event.

“Nobody knows the directors. Nobody knows the actors. But people want to see them anyway,” Witzø said.

The event seemed to be a bit of a rally for the nominees. During a presentation of clips from the Oscar-nominated films, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” got the loudest cheers of the animated group, to which the film’s co-director Brandon Oldenburg said off-stage, “Wow, we have fans."

“I’m king here,” said Luke Matheny, attempting to describe the small celebrity status that has followed his 2011 Oscar win for a live action short. “There are a few communities where people know who I am, and the Oscar-related short film community is one of them.”

Matheny told 24 Frames that he’s “rooting for ‘Raju,’ ” a 24-minute German-Indian film, to win the Academy Award in the live action category. “I thought it had a real battleship of a plot ... and just kept making the right artistic decisions throughout the whole movie until it was over,” said Matheny, who is prepping his first feature, “Love Sick.”

The Shorts Awards also presented visionary awards to Joan Collins, Ray McKinnon, Marcy Page and Bill Plympton, as well as the International Award to Turkey, an honor earned largely because of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which takes place each fall in Antalya, Turkey.

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John Lasseter Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
The Associated Press, Saturday, February 26, 2011; 6:06 AM

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- John Lasseter's pair of Oscars have a new friend: a lifetime achievement trophy. The Pixar and Disney animation chief received the award Friday night for his dedication to the 40-minutes-or-less medium from Shorts International, an entertainment organization which promotes, distributes, broadcasts and produces short films.
"It feels fantastic because I love short films," said Lasseter. "I love the art form and what it did for me as a filmmaker. I learned so much from making short films. They're these little gems, these fantastic little ideas that are not meant to be a feature film. They're perfect unto themselves. A great short film leaves you smiling and thinking about it."

Lasseter won the animated short film Oscar in 1988 for "Tin Toy," as well as a special achievement award in 1995 for "Toy Story," the first feature-length computer-generated film. The lifetime achievement award from Shorts International may not be his only prize this weekend. He's nominated with the other "Toy Story 3" filmmakers for best adapted screenplay.

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Melissa Leo, Oscar winner, Best Supporting Actress - 'THE FIGHTER' with Director, of 'DEAR LEMON LIMA'- Suzi Yoonessi at The SHORTS Awards 2011 Party.

Melissa Leo stars in the short film, 'DEAR LEMON LIMA' directed by Suzi Yoonessi available on iTunes.


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