Short Film Review: PERISTENCE, 12min., Canada

In the award winning short film, PERSISTENCE, there is a character named Sean. He’s an average white male in his early 30s. He likes a girl that he works with named Brooke. He’s smitten. So he attempts to court her. He tries his “charm” on her and feels that they could be really good together. After being turned down by Brooke for a date, he doesn’t let that dissuade him. He feels that eventually she’ll see the error of her ways and soon enough she’ll say yes. He is determined to get this girl. Perhaps if she’s see how much he likes her, then she will eventually like him.

This premise sounds like a lot of Hollywood romantic comedies in the last 90 years! Guy meets girl at work. Guy likes girl. Guy goes above and beyond to get girl. Eventually she says yes to a date, realizes how great a guy he is, fall in love, and live happily ever after. How many times have we watched a film like this?

  • The Notebook
  • There’s Something About Mary
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love
  • Passengers
  • Twilight
  • The Graduate
  • New York, New York
  • Love Actually
  • Say Anything
  • 50 First Dates

I just named 10 films on the top of my head without even trying. And I’m sure there are at least 50 more. Think about all of the high school films from the last 25 years. Tons of stalking is normal scenarios. And we can do another list in the 100s of the TV shows with creepy stalking.

And this is what PERSISTENCE is all about. “Normalizing” the creepy guy courting girl concept and showing things from the stalkee perspective. Bottomline, writer/director Krista Barzso is telling a story about abuse. Her character (Brooke) is having a nice first date. She’s happy and excited about the moment. Perhaps this date will lead to something more, or perhaps not. The date gets spoiled because Sean arrives with one more attempt to “get” his girl. Now he’s showing up in random public situations because he feels that’s what he needs to do to finally land Brooke.

PERSISTENCE is a perfect 12 minute short film. It tells us a scenario that we’re all familiar with and flips it on his head. And it doesn’t spoonfeed the emotions to the audience. It gives us enough so we can come up with our own conclusions. It shows the film from three unique perspectives. Sean, the abuser. Brooke, the one who is being stalked and abused. And Alex, Brooke’s date who is seeing things from the audience’s perspective – that Sean is fucked up. Sean’s not technically breaking any laws, but he’s definitely doing a criminal act.

Nicely directed by Neil Schell who balances the reactions from all three characters and gives them each a deep emotional journey and arc. Schell starts the film from the stalkers point of view as Brooke and Alex enter the coffee shop in that way a first date couple do. Happy but not totally comfortable with each other yet. Generally a normal person would see this and leave them alone. Not Sean. He’s determined!

All that said, this is Krista Barzso’s film. She wrote a terrific script, which is probably a personal story for her. She’s smart enough to make sure that it’s not just written from Brooke’s perspective as the other two male characters are fully fleshed out. Alex seems like a good guy, so this isn’t a male bashing film. Sean is just a bad apple who doesn’t know quite yet (or might not ever) that his core is rotten. I’m not giving Sean a pass for his behaviour, but perhaps his character is the micro story to the macro problem of men (and women too) getting praised for these types of actions. And it needs to stop.

Bravo Krista. We can’t wait to see what you do next. And you’re an excellent actor too!

by Eli Manning

Project Links

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:


Short Film Review: LIGHT, 5min., Sci-Fi/Experimental

“LIGHT” is an amazing film.

First, we need to talk about HOW this film was made.

Directed by Karla Santa Anna, with the help of Midjourney (, an AI-powered program that uses state-of-the-art technology to generate images. In laymen’s terms — This is an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) movie. And trust me, this is only the beginning. You’ll be seeing many more of these types of films in the future.

Karla Santa Anna chats about this process on the WILDsound podcast, and it’s fascinating. All you need to do is watch the film and see the amazing images that were captured with this program that fit the story and overall themes. It must be noted that Karla simply didn’t tell the A.I. to make this film, then lay back in her computer chair for a siesta. There is creative work involved. A lot of it is Karla’s specific communication with the program and then her figuring out what images created worked, didn’t work, and needed tinkering. With anything that succeeds in life there needs to be a plan in effect.

Plus, there is a terrific sound design that gives this film that extra touch of brilliance. Again, Karla uses 2023 materials and takes advantage of Moby’s music track program ( where he allows his music to be sampled for free to Independent, non-profit, and student filmmakers for their short films or videos. Moby’s music with a beautifully written voice over performed by Marlene Gordon takes “LIGHT” to the next level of short films.

So WHY was this film made?

In Karla Santa Anna’s words – “The world is upside down.”

And her summarization is that we all need to find the “LIGHT” in our hearts. To do the right things for the betterment of this world. Of course, that idea could sound a bit fluffy or idealistic to many. But watch this film and you will understand the message and reasoning.

“LIGHT” is a film that should be watched by everyone. Because spiritually it’s a message for the future. And creatively it’s a film of the future.

By Eli Manning

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Deadline Today – LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival

LGBTQ+ Toronto Film Festival

Submit via FilmFreeway:

A very insightful experience! The Feedback video was a gift and the entire team was extremely professional and helpful throughout the process.

This festival is designed to showcase the best of LGBTQ+ stories from around the world today! We accept screenplays (short, TV Pilot, feature) and short & feature films.

Film Festivals:

Festivals occur every single month. We accept an assortment of shorts & feature films from around the world today monthly. We are proud to announce that we will be using the audience feedback format where all accepted films receive a video of people talking about their film at the festival. Excellent video to use for promotional purposes too.

Screenplay Festivals:

We are proud to showcase 2-5 winning LGBTQ+ screenplays at our festival every single month!! Go to the site and watch the winning readings each month.

All entries receive full feedback from the industry. Accepted…

View original post 115 more words

Watch Today’s Festival: MUSIC Shorts Film Festival (Films from 8 different countries)

Experimental Film & Music Video Festival

Watch the Festival Today:

A showcase of the best MUSIC based shorts from around the world today. Films from Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland.

Sign up for the free 7 day trial and check it out at . Then it’s only $4.99 a month to watch a brand new festival every single day.

See the Full Lineup of Films:

FASTER, 5min., Russia, Music
Directed by Arina Rozova
The story is about a girl who is in the eternal pursuit of success and status. Work brings her money, sports – a beautiful body, parties – avoiding loneliness. Alcohol, drugs, strange men…All in a circle. Maybe it’s time to stop?

I DON’T SMOKE AND I DON’T DRINK, 3min., Hong Kong, Music Video
Directed by Tyson Yoshi
As a singer-songwriter, TYSON said that due to his appearance, style, and tattoos on his body, people generally…

View original post 415 more words

HIGHLIGHTS: March 2023 Female Film Festival Showcase

FEEDBACK Female Film Festival

Showcase of the best FILMS in the world today.

Audience Award Winners:
Best Short Form Short Film: MY FATHER
Best Long Form Short Film: THE CRY OF A SPARROW
Best Performances: THE SERVICE
Best Cinematography: ZYKLUS XX
Best Sound & Music: EXTRA LARGE
Best Direction: YATRA: The Journey

Watch the Audience Feedback Video for each film:

Directed by Ami Vitale
Zacharia Mutai was devastated the day he lost his best friend Sudan. Sudan was someone he spent years with, someone he knew better than his own children, someone he loved. This death was tragic, but not a surprise.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

RAILS, JAILS AND TROLLEYS, 71min,. Canada, Documentary
Directed by Henna Mann
Rails, Jails and Trolleys (August 2022) documents history’s…

View original post 413 more words

HIGHLIGHTS: March 2023 SCI-FI/FANTASY Film Festival


Showcase of the best FILMS in the world today.

Audience Award Winners:
Best Fantasy Film:
Best Performances: LIFE REBORN
Best Cinematography: DARK CELL
Best Sound & Music: FEEL GOOD
Best Student Film: THE THINGS I FEEL
Best Direction: CROSS

Watch the Audience Feedback Video for each film:

LIFE REBORN, 12min., Panana
Directed by Marcel Barragan
LUCAS (Marcel Barragán) and his daughter CLARISA (María Alexandra Sanz), recreate a wonderful trip to space as NASA crew members. Clarisa is very ill at a terminal point. The objective of this trip is to connect with a Magical Universe for her salvation, and in a great adventure, they succeed!

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CROSS, 20min., South Korea
Directed by Minhye Zang

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

THE THINGS I FEEL, 12min., Australia
Directed by Jean Ngooi

View original post 288 more words

HIGHLIGHTS: March 2023 Toronto Documentary Festival

Documentary Film Festival. Los Angeles & Toronto

Showcase of the best FILMS in the world today.

Audience Award Winners:
Best Feature Film: The Ones Left Behind: The Plight of Single Mothers in Japan
Best Long Form Short Film: SWIM THROUGH
Best Short Form Short Film: CNTRL
Best Spiritual Film: HOW TO THRIVE
Best Sound & Music: BEYOND THE BEAT
Best Human Interest Film: I CAN FLY
Best Direction: GEARHEADS
Best Culture Film: WE ARE GURUNG

Watch the Audience Feedback Video for each film:

HOW TO THRIVE, 96min., Australia, Documentary
Directed by Duy Huynh
Is there a secret formula to happiness? Positive psychotherapist Marie McLeod takes 7 people on a transformative journey to learn the secret formula to happiness The film’s premise is; if we offer the science of happiness to people experiencing struggle; what difference would it make? Is happiness a learnable skill and can…

View original post 862 more words

Watch Today’s Festival – BLACK & WHITE Shorts Film Festival

Watch Today’s Festival – BLACK & WHITE Shorts Film Festival

A showcase of the best black & white films from around the world today !

Sign up for the free 7 day trial and check it out at . Then it’s only $4.99 a month to watch a brand new festival every single day.

Check out a new and original film festival every single day. There is also a library of over 200 award winning films to watch anytime.

ALSO Watch today for the next 20 hours (then deleted forever):

STUDENT Shorts Film Festival

Make sure to check it out.

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

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

FANTASY/SCI-FI Film & Screenplay Festival
TOP 100 Best Reviewed Festival on FilmFreeway!
50% off code: scififantasy50

50% off code: 50thriller

50% off code – 50lalgbt

50% off code: chicagofestival

HORROR Underground Film Festival
50% off code: underground50

FAN FICTION Film Festival
50% off code: fanfiction50

50% off code: 50students

LATINO Filmmakers Film Festival
50% off code – latinx50off

Toronto DOCUMENTARY Feature & Short Festival
50% off code: torontodoc50off

Toronto LGBTQ+ Film Festival
50% off code: lgbt50

LA FEEDBACK Film Festival
50% off code: losangeles50

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

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

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

FEMALE Feedback Film Festival
50% off code: female50

Festival for DRAMA Film Festival
50% off code: drama50

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

50% off code: style50

50% off code: crime50

50% off code: actions50

50% off code – romance

UNDER 5 MINUTE Film Festival
50% off code: under50

50% off code – 50offexperimental

ENVIRONMENTAL Film & Screenplay Festival
50% off code: environment50

ANIMATION Feedback Film Festival
50% off code: animations50

WILDsound Film & Screenplay Festival
TOP 100 Best Reviewed Festival on FilmFreeway!
50% off code – wild50

Feature Film Review: The Ones Left Behind: The Plight of Single Mothers in Japan

A documentary that is not only informative, but also engaging and entertaining. “The Ones Left Behind: The Plight of Single Mothers in Japan” is a film about the contradictions in rich first world societies. Why is there so much poverty in such a rich country like Japan? Why does Japan have some of the highest levels of child poverty among developed nations? And why are the Japanese people themselves unaware of this? When you’re doing well in the world you tend to have your head in the sand, or are simply too selfish to even care.

Filmmaker Rionne McAvoy, is an Australian born martial artist who works as a professional wrestler living in Japan (no, we’re not making that up!) for the last 17 years. He comes from this film from an outsiders/insiders point of view. He understands the Japanese culture and ideology, but he’s also looking at it from the perspective of a foreigner. He sees the beauty of Japan, which is fitting because it makes him the right person to do a documentary about the ugliness of it.

The beginning moments of this excellent feature documentary sets the stage of perception vs reality. Told through excellent narration and images of Japan, the film talks about how most people perceive Japan to be – The acute business acumen. The progressive technological landscape. The perception of how Japanese people think, feel, and take in the world. Most look up to Japan if you bring it up in daily conversation. We are constantly influenced by their culture in the Western world. As I am writing this, my 4-year-old son is across from me playing Nintendo. Japan is in our everyday life.

Then Rionne spends the rest of the documentary contradicting that perception through various interviews with mothers, daughters, and sons living in Japan who feel “left behind” from that Japanese culture salesmanship of what they are selling to the rest of the world. And what amazing interviews he got. There is another perception, perhaps true, pure fiction, or something in between, that the Asian culture doesn’t share their feelings, especially feelings of frustration and/or a “poor me” attitude. They are too proud of that type of language. That is certainly NOT true with the interviews Rionne produced. In fact, there are so many amazing segments with the various families he showcased that this could be a TV series. An episode for each family.

I’m so curious how this film is being received in Japan and their thinking that a Caucasian Australian made it.

Of course this film has an easy parallel and thematic to the Western world, and of the USA especially. There is so much bullshit going on in these rich and powerful countries. And this film shows that it’s not just North America who has these problems.

Simply said, this is a well made film. Can’t wait to see what Rionne McAvoy does next. Perhaps an allegory of sportsmanship, façade, and pure entertainment seen through the lens of professional wrestling. The best story of the last year in film, TV, or the like has been the “The Bloodline / Samy Zayn” angle in the WWE. An ongoing conflict of what family and loyalty actually is, mixed with humor, difficult dilemmas, and of course great wrestling matches. I’m sure there is even better stories going on in the very popular Japanese wrestling circuit that we don’t even know about here in America!

By Eli Manning

Directed by Rionne McAvoy

Produced by F.J. Fox & Ayuri McAvoy

Watch the Audience Feedback Video of the Film: