2019 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST – What to see the rest of TCFF

We’ve past the halfway point of the film fest… but we still have three full days filled with GREAT films! S0 here are the Daily Schedule for the rest of the film fest, but before that, here’s a fun recap video from yesterday:


Thursday, October 24

12:15p.m.: Science Fair, Cristina Costantini & Darren Foster

Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international science fair. Only one can be named “Best in Fair.”

12:30p.m.: Wade in the Water, Mark Wilson

Our man receives a mis-delivered package that tears open old wounds sending him down a dark path that will change his life forever.

 

2:45p.m.: The Truth About Marriage, Roger Nygaard

Why is marriage so difficult? Filmmaker Roger Nygard (TREKKIES) seeks to answer that question as he follows three unusual couples, who were filmed at their weddings, then many years later to see what happened after the honeymoon stage.

This is the second screening of the doc, read our review.

5:00p.m.: The Short History of the Long Road, Ani Simon-Kennedy

When tragedy strikes, teenage Nola must confront the reality of life on the road alone, learning to own her grief, her past and her new destination.

5:30p.m.: Gay Chorus Deep South, David Charles Rodrigues

In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South.

7:25p.m.: Leona, Isaac Cherem

“Leona” is an intimate, insightful, and moving film that tells the story of a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.

8:00p.m.: Motherless Brooklyn, Edward Norton

Ed Norton’s directing debut. Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna.

Motherless Brooklyn

9:45p.m.: Fireflies, Pranjal Deka

Fireflies’ is the story of resilience of Jahnu’s jounery to being Jahnavi, a transwoman, standing against the tide to be herself in a remote village in Assam of India.


Friday, October 25

12:15p.m.: Nighthawks, Grant S. Johnson

Wide-eyed Midwest transplant Stan (Chace Crawford) agrees to play wingman to his calculating and privileged roommate Chad (Kevin Zegers) as they embark upon an exploration of glittering New York nightlife, whose darkest secrets are held captive by an elite band of millennials known as Nighthawks.

5:00p.m.: CRSHD, Emily Cohn

End-of-the-year celebrations are underway at a small liberal arts college in Ohio. The night’s main event? A CRUSH PARTY. The rules? Submit your crush and they get an invite.

5:10p.m.: Amplify Her, Nicole Sorochan & Ian MacKenzie

Amplify Her explores the rise of female artists against the backdrop of the global electronic music festival scene from Burning Man (Nevada) to Rainbow Serpent (Australia). Imagined and brought to life by more than 21 female creators across North America, this lush and visually dynamic world blurs the line between fiction and reality while demonstrating the power of letting women tell their own stories.

7:10p.m.: Raising Buchanan, Bruce Dellis

In suburban Phoenix, 40-year-old Ruth Kiesling is not exactly living the dream. She’s a donut shop employee with anger issues. Ever the opportunist and desperate for money, she “steals” the body of President James Buchanan hoping to ransom him for a nice windfall but she’s surprised to discover that no one seems particularly interested in getting him back.

7:30p.m.: Olympic Dreams, Jeremy Teicher

In the highly exclusive Athlete Village at the Olympic Winter Games, Penelope (Alexi Pappas, “Tracktown”), a young cross-country skier, befriends Ezra (Nick Kroll, “The League,” “Kroll Show,” “I Love You, Man”), a volunteer dentist, after a disappointing finish in her competition. Penelope and Ezra share a special but limited time together.

9:30p.m.: Blind, Marcel Walz

Faye (Sarah French), a former actress that lost her vision due to botched laser eye, struggles to put her life back together while living alone in her dream house in the Hollywood Hills. Supported by her friend Sophia (Caroline Williams), she starts opening up to Luke (Tyler Gallant), a personal trainer who is mute and can only communicate through his cell phone. When a masked stranger named “Pretty Boy” (Jed Rowen) shows up, Faye will realize that she isn`t as alone as she thinks.

9:45p.m.: In Fabric, Peter Strickland


Saturday, October 26

9:40a.m.: Mary Jane: The Woman of Weed, Windy Borman

MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED follows female ‘ganjapreneurs’, who we call Puffragettes (as in Pot + Suffragette), as they navigate the highs and lows of the legal US cannabis industry.

10:00a.m.: Netizens, Cynthia Lowen

After their lives are overturned by vicious online harassment, three women seek justice from the internet.

11:50a.m.: We Are Gathered Here, Joanna Bowzer

When groom-to-be Ben’s wild ex-girlfriend Jules bursts into his home to declare her love for him on the eve of his wedding to Lisa, Ben is suddenly faced with a decision he didn’t realize he had to make. What appears to be an easy choice on the surface is anything but, as Ben grapples with the fact that this night will determine the course of his life.

12:30p.m.: Speed of Life, Liz Manashil

In 2016, June and Edward are in the midst of an argument when Edward suddenly falls into a wormhole created by David Bowie’s death. In 2040, June continues to mourn the loss of Edward while facing the dark reality of being locked away along with the rest of society’s senior citizens. Unwilling to disappear, June begins to plan her escape when Edward suddenly reappears in her life.

2:00p.m.: Well Groomed, Rebecca Stern

WELL GROOMED travels a year in the humorous and visually stunning world of competitive creative dog grooming alongside the women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. Check out our review.

2:40p.m.: The Chunta, Genevieve Roudané

In a small town in Mexico, once a year, men transform into women and become the Chuntá. Follow two gender-bending gangs of dancers as they face off in a struggle between queer identity and powerful traditions.

4:15p.m.: Waves, Trey Edwards Shults

Two young couples navigate through the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love.

4:30p.m.: Saint Frances, Alex Thompson

After her decision to end an unwanted pregnancy, 34-year-old Bridget reluctantly agrees to nanny the bright and rambunctious Frances, forming an unexpected bond with her and her parents.

7:00p.m.: Premature, Rashaad Ernesto Green

On a summer night in Harlem during her last months at home before starting college, 17-year-old poet Ayanna (Zora Howard) meets Isaiah (Joshua Boone), a charming music producer who has just moved to the city. It’s not long before these two artistic souls are drawn together in a passionate summer romance. But as the highs of young love give way to jealousy, suspicion, and all-too-real consequences, Ayanna must confront the complexities of the adult world whether she is ready or not. Emotionally raw, intimate, and honest, “Premature” is at once timeless and bracingly contemporary in its portrait of a young woman navigating the difficult choices that can shape a life.

7:15p.m.: The Kill Team, Dan Krauss

A young American soldier in Afghanistan is disturbed by his commanding officer’s behavior and is faced with a moral dilemma.

9:25p.m.: Swallow, Carlo Mirabella-Davis

Hunter (Haley Bennett) is a newly pregnant woman, living an idyllic, stay-at-home life with her picture-perfect husband (Austin Stowell). But when she finds herself compelled to eat a small marble, she is catapulted down the path of a new obsession for consuming dangerous objects that threatens her seemingly have-it-all life. Her husband and his mother (Elizabeth Marvel) notice the change, and begin to tighten their control over Hunter, forcing her to confront the dark secret behind her strange compulsion.

A unique and unpredictable journey from Carlo Mirabella-Davis, “Swallow” is a compelling blend of domestic thriller, medical mystery, and satire. It plays as a warped fairy tale that uses its style and tension to pose real questions about women’s bodies, guilt, repression, and agency.


Download 2019 TCFF Schedule Grid


FREE EDUCATIONAL EVENTS!!

How many film festival offers FREE educational events!! Well TCFF does, and there are also a variety of fantastic panels featuring acclaimed filmmakers!

Saturday, October 26th, 1-2pm “HER” Panel – Unique Voice of Women Filmmaker

Every year more and more women enter the film industry and stand up to have their voices heard. Come hear from the local filmmakers who are changing the game for themselves and all women in film.


Saturday, October 26th, 3-4pm   FROM THE TRENCHES – Minnesota Film Ecosystem from Below-the-Line

Our local crew members work tirelessly to make our films into reality. Come hear from our MN-based crew members as they discuss the current landscape of filmmaking in Minnesota and present a positive and constructive way forward towards industry growth.


2019 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST arrives this week! What to see Wednesday-Sunday

Hello FC readers, it’s Ruth here!

TWO MORE DAYS until TCFF arrives on Wednesday, and I’m so excited for this 11-day of great films, insightful educational events and awesome after-parties! Not only can film fans watch a variety of films, both studio fares and indies, we also get to learn from filmmakers and network with actors, directors, producers, etc.

CHECK OUT THE DAILY SCHEDULE!

So. Many. Great Films! These are what TCFF has in store this week from Wednesday, Oct. 16 – Sunday, Oct 20. I’ll post the daily schedule for next week sometime this weekend.

If you missed my last post on TCFF,  I talked about that there are more than 60 percent of 2019 program are driven by female filmmakers and a bunch of films about environmental responsibility, the fest’s social justice cause this year.

Now behold the DAILY SCHEDULE. If you still haven’t got your tickets yet, well, what are you waiting for??

Wednesday, October 16

It’s tradition that TCFF opens with a bang… and for its 10th anniversary, it does not disappoint!! Two very strong films opens the film fest, plus special guests coming to the WORKING MAN screening!

6:00p.m.:  JoJo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

 

8:30p.m.: Working Man, Robert Jury
Special guests: Talia Shire – Actor, Peter Gerety – Actor, Robert Jury – Director


Thursday, October 17       

12:45p.m.: When We Were Apollo, Zachary Weil

1:00p.m.: Chameleon, Marcus Mizelle

2:45p.m.: Well Groomed, Rebecca Stern

3:10p.m.: CRSHD, Emily Cohn

5:00p.m.: Shorts – In All The Wrong Places, Various Directors

One of the films is Master Servant, which I helped produced. Check out a clip from the film here.

5:15p.m.: Current Revolution, Roger Sorkin

7:00p.m.: The Aeronauts, Tom Harper

7:15p.m.: Max Bishop, Jack Beranek

9:25p.m.: Last Call, Gavin Michael Booth

9:35p.m.: Greener Grass,  Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe 


Friday, October 18

12:30p.m.: Juice: How Electricity Explains the World, Tyson Culver

12:45p.m.: Salvage, Amy C. Elliott

2:30p.m.: Raising Buchanan, Bruce Dellis

2:45p.m.: Killbird, Joe Zanetti

5:10p.m.: The Soviet Sleep Experiment, Barry Andersson

7:10p.m.: The Truth About Marriage, Roger Nygard

Special Guests: Roger Nygard – Director, Billy Sullivan – Producer, Composer

7:20p.m.: Inside the Rain, Aaron Fisher

9:30p.m.: Greywoods Plot, Josh Stifter

I featured Josh on the blog in January when he talked about The Good Exorcist, that he shot as part of the reality show for El Rey Network. Check out the trailer for his new movie:

9:40p.m.: Wade in the Water, Mark Wilson


Saturday, October 19

9:30a.m.: Youth Unstoppable, Slater Jewell-Kemker

9:45a.m.: Screenagers, Dr. Delaney Ruston

11:30a.m.: Like Harvey Like Son, Rudy Harris

11:45a.m.: Food Coop, Tom Boothe

2:00p.m.: Chameleon, Marcus Mizelle

2:15p.m.: What Lies West, Jessica Ellis

Special Guests: Jessica Ellis – Writer/Director, Sean Carroll – DP/Producer, Jennifer Milliman – Producer, Actors – Nicolette Ellis, Anna K. Peterson

4:15p.m.: Shorts – Age of Innocence, Various Directors

4:25p.m.: Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach

6:30p.m.: A Perfect 14, Giovanna Morales Vargas

7:25p.m.: International Falls, Amber McGinnis

Stay tuned for my interview with Amber!

9:10p.m.: The Field, Tate Bunker

9:45p.m.: Puppet Killer, Lisa Ovies


Sunday, October 20

10:00a.m.: Science Fair, Cristina Costantini & Darren Foster

10:10a.m.: Warrior Women, Elizabeth A. Castle & Christina D. King

12:00p.m.: The Wall of Mexico, Zachary Cotler & Magdalena Zyzak

12:20p.m.: 8 Seasons of Art, Phil McGraw

 

2:30p.m.: Go Back To China, Emily Ting

Stay tuned for my interview post with Emily. Her first film Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong is available on streaming, including Amazon Prime.

3:15p.m.: Oildale, David Mueller

5:00p.m.: Shorts – Documentaries, Various Directors

5:40p.m.: The Protectors, Ben Hughes

7:10p.m.: A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick

8:00p.m.: Into the Void, Wayne H. Johnson, Jr.


Stay tuned for the Daily Schedule for the rest of the film fest!

Download 2019 TCFF Schedule Grid


FREE EDUCATIONAL EVENTS!!

How many film festival offers FREE educational events!! Well TCFF does, and there are also a variety of fantastic panels featuring acclaimed filmmakers! Click on the image below to learn more about our educational offerings.

Here is one I’m looking forward to this week:

Sunday, October 20th 3-4pm:
SCRIPTWRITING MASTER CLASS Jeffrey Hatcher (Scriptwriter) The Good Liar, Casanova, The Duchess.


GET YOUR TICKETS!

To buy tickets, learn more about TCFF, events, or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org

Ticket prices are $13 for General Admission & $20 for Spotlight Films. Festival Passes can also be purchased as follows: Silver Pass – $55 (5 pack of non-Gala tickets); Gold Pass – $90 (10 pack of non-Gala tickets); Platinum Pass – $130 (12 pack of non-Gala tickets + 2 Gala tickets); Spotlight Pass – $100 (6 tickets to any Spotlight Film).

The passes are such an incredible deal!! Get it soon so you can order your tickets right away. Trust me, it’s SO worth it!!

PLUS… All tickets guarantee admission to that evening’s afterparty in the TCFF Lounge located onsite at The Shops at West End.

THANKS to Can Can Wonderland, our lounge is now TCFF Can Can WonderPark!! It’s designed to give festival goers a space to network, relax and discuss film, so come on down and join us during the fest!


Stay tuned for reviews/interviews with various filmmakers!

2019 TWIN CITIES FILM FEST features WOMEN series + ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY films

It’s one of the most wonderful time of the year!! For film fans like me, for the past 10 years TCFF has brought so much joy and excitement since its inception in 2009! I still can’t believe it’s been ten years since it all began, I guess time flies when you’re having fun, and I’m so honored and privileged to have been a tiny part of it from the start.

There are many things to love about TCFF, as I have blogged about here, and one of them is that they champion issues important to me. TCFF 2019 marks its 10th anniversary with a special focus on both female filmmakers and films that advance this year’s social justice cause: environmental sustainability.

Celebrating Women at the 2019 TCFF!

About Women. For Women. By Women.

Check out the HER series category on TCFF website… more than 60 percent of 2019 program are driven by female filmmakers. There are documentaries exploring the world of plus size models (A Perfect 14) and the rise of female artists against the backdrop of the global electronic music festival scene (Amplify Her), a thriller about three women seek justice from the internet (Netizens), there’s something for everyone highlighting female storytelling.

All of these are so intriguing to me … I love films that gives me new insights and take me to a place (physically and metaphorically) I’ve never been before.

AMPLIFY HER looks especially intriguing to me as it combines animation and film, and it explores real female musicians in a genre I’m not familiar with: electronic dance music. The film explores how these artists navigate the challenges of the music world and find their own unique voices.

 

Of course as a newbie filmmaker, I definitely want to see Seeing is Believing: Women Direct, where four diverse women share the story of how they became directors, what motivates them, how they lead, and how they overcome obstacles to create the most optimal working environment and work that makes a difference.


Speaking of female filmmakers, I’m happy to announce that the historical drama short I helped produce last year, MASTER SERVANT, will be part of the 2019 lineup!

Master Servant tells the story of an ambitious, young railroad executive comes face to face with his own moral decay in his blind pursuit of wealth and status among the Social Elite.

Thanks to my friend and colleague Julie Koehnen, the writer/director of Master Servant, for inviting me to be a part of the journey in bringing the short film to life. We shot the film at the historic James J. Hill house in St. Paul, which is fitting given the story was inspired by true events of the Gilded Age and the Industrial Revolution. It’s such an honor to have its premiere at TCFF once again, just like my previous short Hearts Want back in 2017. Check out a clip from the film:


One of TCFF 2019’s spotlight films is also by a female filmmaker, Alma Har’el, who’ll be attending the screening on Monday, Oct. 21st. From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on his own experiences, award-winning filmmaker Har’el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue) brings to life a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health. Fictionalizing his ascent to stardom, and subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har’el casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased, Manchester by the Sea) as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon.

 

And here are four more films by female directors to check out:

 


Changemaker Films at the 2019 TCFF!

This year’s social justice cause is absolutely important and oh-so-timely: environmental sustainability. There’s a variety of films that promise to entertain and inspire us to care about the earth we live in… Food Coop tells the story of a historic coop supermarket that booms in the middle of an economic crisis, and Salvage explores a city dump in Yellowknife, Canada, while Juice: How Electricity Explains The World highlights how darkness kills human potential and electricity nourishes it.

There’s always something new to learn about our mother earth, and with climate change being one of the most important issue of our lifetime, these films will sure have some teachable moments in an entertaining way.

Youth Unstoppable certainly brings to mind 16-year-old Swedish climate change warrior Greta Thurnberg. It proves that one is never too young to fight for something one believes in. Its director, Slater Jewell-Kemker, can also be described as a climate change warrior herself. She was just 15 when she began documenting the untold stories of youth on the front lines of climate change.

Now, Sustainable Nation tells the story of three innovators who are taking valuable lessons learned from Israel’s water shortage to the rest of the world. Humans have lived without electricity before, but nobody in the world could ever live without water. We live in an increasingly thirsty planet where water is getting more and more scarce, so I’m definitely intrigued by this film.


Download 2019 TCFF Schedule Grid


TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE!

To buy tickets, learn more about TCFF, events, or to donate, visit twincitiesfilmfest.org

Ticket prices are $13 for General Admission & $20 for Spotlight Films. Festival Passes can also be purchased as follows: Silver Pass – $55 (5 pack of non-Gala tickets); Gold Pass – $90 (10 pack of non-Gala tickets); Platinum Pass – $130 (12 pack of non-Gala tickets + 2 Gala tickets); Spotlight Pass – $100 (6 tickets to any Spotlight Film).

The passes are such an incredible deal!! Get it soon so you can order your tickets right away. Trust me, it’s SO worth it!!

PLUS… All tickets guarantee admission to that evening’s afterparty in the TCFF Lounge located onsite at The Shops at West End.


Stay tuned for an awesome list of studio and indie films playing at TCFF!

TCFF 2017 Reviews: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri + Blue Balloons

It’s just two days left in TCFF and I’m playing catch-up with posting reviews! You might’ve noticed I’ve got to post a couple of things in a day at times… too many films too little time (both to watch and to review!)

Well, below are couple of reviews from Day 6 and 7.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
review by Andy Ellis

It’s described as a dark comedy, but writer and director Martin McDonagh’s newest film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, has a lot more to offer. The film, led by Frances McDormand who plays Mildred who causes some small town chaos by using three billboards to ask local officials why they haven’t found her daughter’s murderer and rapist yet.

A subject such as this must be treaded upon carefully, and it’s done very well here. The humor comes from the fact that none of the characters hold anything back. Mildred has has no problem telling the local priest how she really feels, or anyone else for that matter. Sam Rockwell shines as Dixon,  a small-minded Sheriff’s Deputy with a short temper ends up costing him dearly in one key scene. If there’s a character who keeps his calm the best in the story it’s Willoughby, played by Woody Harrelson, the main target of Mildred’s billboard messages.

It’s also a film with a lot of heart in it as well, and it helps round out the characters. One scene causes causes Mildred to switch moods so fast you’ll realize that beneath that pissed-off no-nonsense barrier is a mother that just wants her daughter back. And this role may even earn McDormond some awards recognition, and then same goes for Rockwell.

The rest of the cast rounds out the story pretty well, too, with each one getting their own chance to shine—and they do. Lucas Hodges plays Mildred’s son Robbie who isn’t all on board with his mom’s methods, and Abbie Cornish plays the Sheriff’s wife Anne. Caleb Landry Jones has great scenes as Red Welby the owner of the billboards, and Peter Dinklage has a very small but memorable role. John Hawkes plays Charlie, Mildred’s ex-husband, and Samara Weaving steals the show a couple times as Penelope, Charlie’s young girlfriend.

This film is a great mix of everything, and throws more than a few a surprises in there as well. The acting is superb and it’ll leave you wanting more. Now if only more films would grab a hold of you like this one did.


BLUE BALLOONS
Review by Ruth Maramis

This is one of the films with a Minnesota connection that I actually didn’t know much about. So I pretty much going in blindly about the story, other than the fact that the story deals with a terminal illness.

Right from the start, this film feels deeply personal. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but Blue Balloons is an honest, realistic story about a family gripping with the complexity of cancer. Written, directed and produced by Emily Troedson, who also acts as the eldest daughter Claire of the Kippson family, the story is told from her perspective. I like that it paints the day-to-day life of the family in a matter-of-fact, candid way… especially in the way Claire is questioning her faith and her existence in a devout Lutheran community.

Chari and Emily in Blue Balloons

The film’s pacing is a bit slow and really tries your patience at times. I have to say some of the acting by the supporting cast aren’t convincing (crying with no tears visible??), but overall it’s a well-crafted piece with genuinely poignant moments as well as interesting artistic choices. I wish there were more mother-daughter relationship being explored here, though I think the dynamic of the family is portrayed pretty well.

Chari Eckmann as Joanne

I connected most with Emily’s character and she did an amazing job juggling so many roles in the film. Being a daughter who dealt with an ill mother at a young age, there are parts that was hard to watch for me. I also have to commend Chari Eckmann‘s performance (as the cancer-stricken Joanne), her emotional transformation and deterioration throughout the film is believable.

Glad to see so many talented writer/director like Emily having their films at TCFF! I sure hope she continues to make films in the future.


There’s more films and festivities to be had at TCFF!

 

A film blogger’s journey into indie filmmaking – writing/producing ‘Hearts Want’ short film

It’s been forty plus years in the making. No, no, it didn’t take me 40 years to write the script, though if I had written something as an infant I might’ve been a literary genius by now.

Some of you know my life’s been consumed by my short film project lately. Well, I had just launched the Kickstarter campaign to help fund the film, so I thought I’d share the journey of how I got here…

It feels as though I’ve been wanting to make a film for as long as I remember. Even in grade school, whenever the recurrent question ‘what do you want to be when we grow up?’ came up, I always proudly answered that I wanted to be a screenwriter. Yep, even long before I knew what a screenwriter was! For some reason, I had always had this longing to follow my late dad’s footsteps, who worked in the Indonesian film industry long before I was born.

Life has an interesting way of working out. So no, I didn’t end up going to film school or anything remotely close to it. I had been a longtime film fan, but I didn’t even start blogging about film until well after I graduated college. Little did I know that this wee film blog finally led me to realize my lifelong dream!

How it all began…

Thanks largely to Twin Cities Film Fest and being a press member with a couple of PR companies, as a film blogger I had the privilege to interview various indie filmmakers. There’s nothing more gratifying and inspiring to learn from filmmakers who love making films and passionate about the craft. Whilst blogging about film, I’ve also been writing all kinds of film concepts, but nothing has been fully fleshed out until the one I started writing about a year and a half ago…

The journey of making Hearts Want truly has been a whirlwind… and it’s not over yet.

So yeah, the reading became the catalyst for this short. I still can’t believe how far we’ve come since the script reading back in January… and how well the two-day shoot went despite barely having any pre-prod time. When people say your first film is made w/ your blood, sweat and tears… well they aren’t kidding. This is a passion project w/ a capital ‘p’ and it’s a personal one for both Ivan and I. My hubby is not only the exec producer, he’s also a prop master, stage hand, behind-the-scenes photographer, video editor (for our Kickstarter video)… all that on top of juggling his full-time day job and lending emotional support during the most stressful times of making a film.

The people who’ve inspired me…

As I mentioned in my Kickstarter page, I’ve been a long champion of #WomenInFilm and am constantly inspired by female filmmakers who’ve thrived in a male-dominated industry… powerful filmmakers such as these…

and this…

I’ve also been blessed with meeting fellow directors in person whose work have inspired me… Emily Ting who directed Already Tomorrow In Hong Kong, Ashlee Jensen who co-wrote/directed Project Eden Vol I, Pamela Romanowsky who directed The Adderral Diaries, Rebecca Weaver who wrote/directed June Falling Down, and Kate Nowlin who wrote and starred in Blood Stripe, just to name a few. (Also shout out to Remy Auberjonois, Kate’s husband and Blood Stripe‘s director who narrated my script reading! I’m forever grateful to them for having inspired me to finally take the leap and make my first film!

My own film also wouldn’t have been made without the help of my two producer friends, Kirsten Gregerson and JoJo Liebeler

With Kirsten & JoJo at the script reading in January

… as well as my two amazingly-talented leads Sam Simmons and Peter Christian Hansen who’ve stuck by me despite all the various setbacks during pre-production…

I also have to thank Noah Gillett, another actor from the script reading who also reprised his role in the film.

… and of course, my phenomenal MN-based crew!! Thanks Jason & co! Check out the bio of our cast/crew on Hearts Want‘s IMDb page.

I also want to shout out to people who’ve lent support during filming, from helping with the company move, catering, being extras and help with networking, etc. I appreciate you Noah Gillett, Shawn Dunbar, Becky Kurk, Dani Palmer, Emily Fradenburgh, Whitney Khan, Holly Peterson, and Briana Rose Lee.

Special thanks to my dear friends Julie Tan and Vony Bedford for coming to set and be extras on day 1. Vony’s cutie-pie daughter Chloe is ‘Brigitte’ in the film (you’ll see who she is when you watch it) 😉

But the journey isn’t over yet…

If you’re familiar at all with the filmmaking process, principal photography is only half the battle. As I learned in my crash course, filmmaking is always more difficult and more expensive than you ever thought it would.

So yeah, consider helping us cross the finish line, even if it’s just helping spread the word that would mean a lot to us. The ultimate goal is still to make a feature film of Hearts Want, so if you help support us now, you’d also help bring us closer to making that huge-but-not-impossible dream a reality! 😀

Would you consider making a pledge or spread the word about the campaign?