Short Film Review: THE ASTRONAUT. Directed by Damian Apunte

THE ASTRONAUT is an very sweet 5 minute short film that takes us into the world and imagination of 7 year old AURA. Her hero is Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic women to go to space. Aura also wants to go to space one day  and she uses the Lighthouse that is close to her home as inspiration. Perhaps one day it will turn into a space shuttle, she can hop on board and fly into space.  

Besides a brief cameo by her Abuelita (grandmother), the actress Nora Harriet, who plays Aura, is the only performer in the film. Told in a narrative structure, the audience learns of Aura’s vivid imagination, and her passion for anything space. There is a strong theme of dreams & female empowerment through out and one can’t help but feel inspired themselves when watching too. How children get into things and feel love for it. Whether it’s dinosaurs, dressing up dolls, or with Aura – space. How that passion can lead to so many things. Kids use their imagination to explore their loves and find their inner selves. Many times their actions and feelings are traits that adults should do more too. We can look up to kids and they can teach us a lot. There is an innocence to that feeling Aura has, but she’s still a person with conflicts and emotions. Aura has asthma and there seems to be an absence of her parents. She’s already lived life a bit, understands that it’s not always happy and rosy. But she still has that flame to live and be the best person she can be.

What is touching about this film is that it has a timeless feel to it. We know that she loves Ellen Ochoa, who rose to prominence and fame in the early 1990s. So we assume that the film is set anytime in the last 30 years, but we do not know the exact date. There is an unique art direction in the home that gives us a feeling that this could be anytime and anywhere.

Great short film. Perfect in its length. A film for everyone with unique and original direction.  

by Eli Manning.

Winner of Unity & Inclusion Award for NASA’s International Cinespace contest and premiered at Houston Cinema Arts Festival.
Official Selection for Culver City Film Festival and Santa Monica International Film Festival.

Director Biography – Damian Apunte

As a first generation Ecuadorian raised in the Asheville, NC, Damián viewed the world in an unconventional way. His intrigue of the unique beauty in the darkness influences Damián’s aesthetic vision through his reflective storytelling. Additionally, his discovery of existentialism paired with life changing assaults shaped his compassion for the human soul. This compassion is something he strives to share with the world by making films that make you feel. His lifelong quest is to find out “who got the hooch?”

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Film Festival:

  • Erika Martinez – Producer
  • Taius Greenidge – Producer
  • Nora Harriet – Key Cast “Aura”
  • Ofelia Rivera – Key Cast “Abuelita “

POETRY Reading: Ruins of Memories by Badradeen Mohammed

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

Performed by Val Cole

Ruins of Memories by Badradeen Mohammed

On a sunny autumn day

I was leaning on a plastic chair in front of my house

With sweat dripping from my body

Caused by the high temperature

And resentment for the intensity of my anger

Suddenly, without realising I found myself standing up

So fascinated by the landscape

The breathtaking beauty and charm

This was magnificence and harmony which I had not found in any instance of my life

A cluster of white clouds and in just moments fantastic coloured

Were formed in red-dark and others were black and grey

Added to the sky was like a page, draped in lothario blue

Like a masterful painting, fine

Drawn by skilled artist

Which did not leave any room for error

Everyone was running down looking for a shelter to escape the heavy rain

I did not move a finger


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NOVEL Reading: Standoff, How The Cold War REALLY Ended, by Rick Karlsruher

Novel Writing Festival

Chapter Transcript: Stumbling into History
A Few Months Earlier

Genre- Satire/comedy – 69,000 words

Logline- What if everything you were told about how the Cold War ended was a lie? Standoff has been called, “Dr. Strangelove on acid”.

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Watch the RECREATION DOC Shorts Festival – Jan. 19/20 event

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See the Full Lineup of Films:

Directed by Royce Akifumi Wilmot
24 years since first attending a NASCAR race, Akinori Ogata chases his dream of one day racing in the Daytona 500. Moving his family halfway across the world in the process, he races locally in the lower series of NASCAR, working for his big break. His sons have graduated high school, and they and his wife have moved back to Japan. Alone in his small race shop, he prepares his limited late model stock car for the biggest local race of the year.

BEYOND THE ROPES, 38min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Jalen Robinson
BEYOND THE ROPES: The 40+ Double Dutch Club Documentary showcases how taking a “break from adulting” to jump double dutch, hula hoop and play old childhood games can be an exciting, affordable way to tone, burn calories and improve physical, mental and spiritual health while encouraging and inspiring women in an often overlooked age group to relive positive childhood memories and create new ones!

This week’s FilmFreeway Discount Codes: 50% off codes to use.

ENVIRONMENTAL Film & Screenplay Festival
50% off code: environment50

LA FEEDBACK Film Festival
50% off code: feedback50deal

50% off code – romance50

Toronto COMEDY FIlm & Screenplay Festival
50% off code: torcom

50% off code: 50students

HORROR Underground Film Festival
50% off code: underground50

1st Scene & Short SCREENPLAY Festival
50% off code: firstscene50

DIVERSITY Film & Screenplay Festival
50% off code: 50diversity

50% off code: documentary50

Toronto LGBTQ+ Film Festival
50% off code: lgbt50

FAN FICTION Film Festival
50% off code: fanfiction50

50% off code: actions50

50% off code – 50offexperimental

TELEVISION Screenplay & Web Series Festival
50% off code: television50

50% off code: 50thriller

UNDER 5 MINUTE Film Festival
50% off code: under50

50% off code: style50

New York SCIENCE & NATURE Festival
50% off code: nature50

ANIMATION Feedback Film Festival
50% off code: animations50

FEMALE Feedback Film Festival
50% off code: female50

50% off code: mystery50