Film Review: PRIEST TO PRIEST

 Bright and filled to bursting with childlike wonder, PRIEST TO PRIEST embodies the simplicity of religion when viewed through innocent eyes. Recently made a man of the cloth, a nine-year-old priest offers his advice in confession to a veteran priest having a crisis.

What our older priest’s crisis? He can’t quite find the christian charity of spirit necessary to deal with a bigoted, narrow-minded member of his congregation. Turns out, both priests have something in common- all the saintliness in the world can’t stop human beings from wanting to rid the world from evil- even if the methods are less than holy.

PRIEST TO PRIEST is a delightfully enjoyable film, comically bright, light and fun while still hitting the poignant heartfelt moments out of the water, this is a wonderful family film that all will love. Well done, to director Diana Losen- very well done.

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

PRIEST TO PRIEST, 9min., USA, Family/Drama
Directed by Diana Losen

A nine-year-old priest seeks a mentor to help him defeat the antichrist, a devious middle-school bully.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

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Interview with Festival Director Warren Workman (Family Film Festival)

The Family Film Festival will take place this summer at the Covey Center for the Arts. They will be screening films and producing 3 short films the week prior to the award program. Come join in the fun with the entire family in Provo, Utah.

http://www.familyfilmfest.org/

 Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Warren Workman: At the Family Film Festival we are cultivating an environment for young filmmakers to learn the skills it takes to tell great stories through cinema. By providing a venue for them to learn the skills and watch films by great filmmakers, we provide a well rounded experience to help anyone dive into the family friendly filmmaking genre.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

Expect a different vibe at the Family Film Festival than you are used to. You will see a lot of young children running around in the lobbies and cheering and laughing along with your film. We provide a relaxed atmosphere while showcasing films in our posh theater to audiences of all ages.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We are looking for family friendly films so if it would fall in the G-PG or TV-G to TV-14 area then we are the festival for you. The films are selected by a committee of parents and kids that are looking for films that entertain, inspire, and educate audiences without alienating younger viewers.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

Not at all. We work with several festivals and see that each film is viewed by multiple members of a selection committee. However some films just don’t make sense for all film festival. A film probably wont get accepted to a horror genre film festival if it is a feel good family comedy. Filmmakers would see a higher acceptance rate if they submitted their projects based of what the festival is looking for. Its always a good idea to see if the festival is a good match for the film before submitting.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

Provo City asked us to help bring a film festival that would resonate with their younger family demographic. Having young children ourselves we have found it difficult find events that cater to the entire family. We are excited to present and event that is fun for everyone no matter their age.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

We have had a tremendous response! We had 50 submissions come through in our first week since we opened our call for submissions. Almost every single one of the films and screenplays submitted is exactly what we are looking for and we are excited to start programing a wonderful first year.

Where do you see the festival by 2020?

We would love to see the event grow into a week long festival tradition bringing grandkids and grandparents into the same theater to provide a unique educational experience.

What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Other than the annual watching of “It’s a Wonderful Life” I have probably seen “Sound of Music” more than any other film.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

If a film can connect with me on an emotional level, thats what makes a great film to me.

How is the film scene in your city?

We currently have 21 films/series being filmed in Utah County right now. It’s super busy here if you in the film business.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Film Review: CACOPHONY (USA) Animation/Drama

Played at the December 2016 Best of Family/Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

CACOPHONY, 2min, USA, Animation/Drama

Directed by AiHsuan Shih

Through the eyes and ears of a young girl, the viewer can escape the harsh sounds of the urban environment and find solace in a serene inner world.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

Coming to us by Melody Shih, Cacophony is hard to look away from. Filled with bright colors, high contrast, rich textures and expertly crafted blend of artistic styles, this is a movie to capture the soul of an artist.

 

Our hero, an introvert in a crowded metropolis, deals with the high-octane, high-stimulus noise and visual clutter around her. Sounds pop, honk and tweet incessantly and synesthetically in every direction. Somehow, despite the vibrancy and high-color world outside her, we find our way inside her. Whether we are seeing her mind’s eye, or her metaphorical spirit it is left for the viewer to decide. Regardless, the effect is masterful. The internal world of our hero is serenely still, with contrasting dark undertones against brilliant, effervescently bright simple designs. Like music made visual, like liquid made light, our hero reverts into themselves before the hum of the outside world draws her out to real life.

 

If you appreciate art or experimental cinema, find a way to see Melody Shih’s Cacophony, a beautiful tribute to the people who may see the world differently- as energy, as sound and light and texture. And if you do not love experimental film, see this anyway, as it may change your mind.

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

Film Review: STUTTER (USA) Drama/Family

Played at the December 2016 Best of Family/Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERSTUTTER, 13min., USA, Family/Drama
Directed by Ivo Huahua

A strong-willed widower with a heavy stutter is determined to win the respect of his son by speaking to the boy’s class on Career Day.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

Directed by Ivo Huahua, Stutter is a powerful poignant piece with much to unpack. In the wake of his wife’s’ death, our Hero, a master gardener with a severe stutter, must try to reconnect with his teenage son who shares the difficulty. Determined to come to his sons’ parent career night, we see our hero go to lengths to work on his diction. It is with a tangible feeling of relief we see him succeed. And yet, victory in front of his son’s class proves much harder. And confronting the children who bully his son for his speech, (and their parents) proves equally challenging.

 

Ultimately, what sets this movie apart is its’ stunning ability to show love, compassion and pride through the lenses that is the tense and often turbulent relationship between a father and his teenage son. It holds a huge emotional weight for such a small piece. It expertly and subtly weaves grief, embarrassment, resolution, pride and triumph into a 13 minute piece and leaves you feeling as though you have carried a weight that has been lifted off you.

 

In this way, we must nodd to Huahua, for the excellent job that has been done in Stutter. For a movie where the characters struggle to be heard, it has so very much to say.

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

Film Review: WHAT’S WEARING MUMMY (UK) Family/Comedy

Played at the December 2016 Best of Family/Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERWHAT’S WEARING MUMMY, 15min, UK, Family/Comedy
Directed by Oliver McMillan

What’s Wearing Mummy? tells the story of two little sisters, Sofia and Matti, who believe their mother has been taking over by aliens due to her suspicious behaviour, and will do anything in their power to get mummy back.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

Whats Wearing Mummy,  directed by Oliver McMillian, is a step back into a time when our lives were alight with the wonder and magic of youth. Enter the imaginative world of two young sisters, Mattie and Sofia, their sense of adventure being nurtured by their stay-at-home-dad. This film, which has a well balanced mixture of comedy and suspense, takes the audience through a supernatural mystery as seen through the eyes of childhood.

 

After witnessing the disgruntled scene of their mother coming home late from work to find them not ready for bed, and their father feeding their appetite for spooky science fiction, Sofia and Mattie agree that something must be up with mom. They sneak through the bathroom, where they discover strange things- like their mothers recently discarded face mask- and jump to the conclusion that she is definitely being possessed by some sort of evil alien.

 

They attempt to catch their mother off guard and get the alien out of her, scenes that are often cushioned in the background by their perpetually high-stress mother taking out her frustration on her husband. When Sofia and Mattie enlist their father to help them catch their mother and get the alien out of her, he agrees to help, with surprising results.

 

This is one of those magical films that comes together through the strong moral core- that compassion and thoughtfulness can diffuse anger, and that childhood is not something that can only be enjoyed while a person is young. Whats Wearing Mummy invites and reminds us to enjoy childhood all over again, as both a viewer and a participant, whether through a movie or by actually interacting in the lives of young people.

 

A charming family story with a happy ending, this delightful film has a nice twist. Our heros, Sofia and Mattie aren’t totally wrong that something is up with their mom. Her recent behaviour might actually be related to a new development in all their lives. But what is it you ask? This reviewer can’t possibly spoil the surprise. You’ll have to watch and see.

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

Film Review: THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT (USA) Animation/Comedy

Played at the December 2016 Best of Family/Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERTHE GRAVEYARD SHIFT, 2min, USA, Animation/Comedy
Directed by Lara Arikan

It’s long past midnight when the tired and jumpy waitress decides to go and investigate the ominous noise she hears right outside the roadside coffee shop she’s working at.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

Coming to us from Laura Arikan, Graveyard shift is a quick comic splash of fun, sprinkled with some horror. Sweet and largely silent, Graveyard Shift is a great example of the trite cinematic rule of “Show, don’t tell!”. A young girl, bored and alone at the night shift at her truckstop cafe is terrified to find her small coffee shop filled with Zombies. But no, they don’t want her brains. They want coffee.

 

It is not totally clear if coffee magically cures the zombie truckers, or if it is a metaphor for the long and solitary transport job putting its’ patrons into sluggish grey stupors, but it is likely the latter. No worries though, because this quick two minute animation delivers enjoyment whichever way you interpret it! A delightful cinematic romp into imagination, now comes with a caffeinated kick.

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

Film Review: BIRTH WEAVING LIFE (Japan) Animation/Documentary

Played at the December 2016 Best of Family/Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERBIRTH WEAVING LIFE, 6min., Japan, Animation/Documentary
Directed by Arisa Wakami

This is a documentary animation on the very beginning and the mystery of life, told from the point of view of a mother.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

Welcome to the incredibly personal stories of three women as they recount the birth of their children. Each tale exquisitely told from a unique voice and animated differently, Birth-Weaving Life will make you laugh and hit you right in the “feels” with it’s honest emotional portrayal of new parenthood being a time of panic, pain and fear, but also utter joy.  

 

Each story is set against simple artistry that nevertheless creates effective storytelling, masking the intimacy of childbirth with the colorful visual metaphor. Waves and Rollercoasters are used to describe something that is hard to imagine if one has not been there.

 

These film is a collaboration piece, making it a rich tapestry of human experience. Most beautifully, perhaps, is the tender honest and authenticity that can be felt through the subtitles and transcends the different language it is spoken in. This film recounts an essential human experience that speaks across any social barrier.  

 

Birth- Weaving Life is a beautiful and poignant look at child rearing from inside the mind of the mother- the fear, the worry, the pain and the incredible, unmatchable happiness that accompanies the creation of life.

WATCH AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO: