Director Biography – Aaron Goldenberg (DEREK PLANS)

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Aaron Goldenberg began acting at a young age, and quickly found corresponding passions in directing and editing. In his 20’s, he took a break from acting to direct & edit full time for clients such as PBS and various independent projects with churches and local filmmakers. He now lives in Atlanta, GA as a full time actor.

Director Biography – Oshri Cohen (SPRING TOWN BLOSSOM)

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Oshri Cohen was born on January 11, 1984 in Israel.
He is an actor, known for McMafia (BBC 2018), Beaufort (2007 nominated for best foreign film at the American Oscars) and Homeland (2011).

HE participated in more then 50 tv shows, films and theatre production along the year and now he is making his first steps as a director.

imdb:
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1025983/?ref_=vp_vi_nm#actor

Director Statement

Rolling around in the city with my wheels and smartphone in times where everyone are quarantined made me wonder: does the city miss me as much as I miss her?
So I started to shoot . Then words came in.

Director Biography – Lola Rùi (ECCLESIASTES)

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Lola Rùi is an actress, screenwriter and director. She studied acting with Jorge Eines and Susan Batson. In theater, she starred in “Mary Magdalene” opened at the historical 13th Street Repertory Theater in New York City. As a film actress, she received several awards at international film festivals including best actress at the “21st Bare Bones International Independent Film Festival” and “Best Shorts Competition” for her role in the short film “The Door” (2018, USA), and best actress in fantasy-thriller film at “Actors Awards” and “Best Actors Award” for her role in the short film “Family” (2019, Spain). As a director, she garnered more than twenty international awards at festivals in United States, Canada, India, Germany and Italy, with the short film “The Door” (2018, USA). She was a jury member in the IX Iberoamerican Short Film Festival (FIBABC). Recently she has written, directed and co-starred in the short film “Ecclesiastes” (2020, USA).

Director Statement

Ecclesiastes story was born one day while I was watching TV news. Suddenly, an image caught my attention, laboratory rats stuffed into cages. One of them was out of its cage held by a scientist with a syringe in the other hand. I noticed how the small animal opened its eyes and tried to escape from the man with small and quick movements while he injected the syringe content into its back. At the same time, the reporter ́s voice announced great news: Science was very close to discovering eternal youth. At that moment, I thought that milestone would lead to the discovery of eternal life in a next step. Our temporal space perception is what makes us aware of death causing fear sometimes so man has always tried to seek the secret of immortality. But this new, instead of making me feel happy, stirred me up inside. Many mixed feelings. There could be less to overcome the fear of dying, and on the other hand, many questions arose in my head, but with each question my own answers made me feel more uneasy.

At that time, I started writing Ecclesiastes script. I felt that sharing my feeling through a film was the only thing that could protect me from my own fears. After a few lines of the script, my feelings of anguish didn’t stop. One day, my young goldendoodle Larry, lying next to me, gave me the answer, calming my fears with just a glance, and clarifying how the end of the Ecclesiastes story should be. It happens that animals give us wise answers about life and death beyond the contribution they have made to human being with their own lives. We just have to admire them.

Once the script was finished, it was time to start it. A science fiction short that had to be done on a low budget was something that could be very difficult at first, but finally thanks to an incredible team that trusted me and the project, we managed to advance with the available resources, with a lot of imagination, passion and a lot of work.

Director Biography – Doug Werby (MOTORBIKE THIEF)

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Director Doug Werby has a true talent for authentic performance and beautiful imagery is at the heart of each project. He started directing comedy commercials and returns to it from time to time. He can both direct and edit, which makes him a true silver bullet. His keen sense of timing and appreciation for the human condition (comedic and otherwise) shines.

His personal mission statement is to provide intensely creative and collaborative filmmaking, a desire that was sparked as an early child following in the footsteps of celluloid heroes. For this creativity, doug has received commercial awards and recognition from the Clio’s, D&AD, multiple Telly Awards including the 20th Anniversary Gold, Halo and Ad Club.

Director Statement

I love what I do which is telling stories through moving images. With extensive experience in commercial production and post, my hope is to build on all this knowledge while challenging myself creatively to produce original narrative works like No Tricks and Motorbike Thief. My mission is to provide intensely creative, collaborative filmmaking that informs and inspires. I love film. dougwerby.com embiggenfilms.com

Director Biography – Txemi Pejenaute (TAKE IT)

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Bachelor of cinema at the University of Navarra. He has worked as an assistant director in film, television and theater in Spain. He has recently written and directed his first play “Desde el cerco (Dance of Death)”. In 2019 he also has directed his first short film “Take it” and the art installation “Look” during the film workshop mentored by the iranian filmaker Asghar Farhadi in Navarra (Spain).

Director Statement

“Take it” was a surprise. It was hidden in the bottom of my mind, waiting. It was needed to came to the isolated but also full of life valley of Baztan (in the mountains of Spain) and be moved by the contagious filmmaker Asghar Farhadi to take her out. It was worth it.

Director Biography – Sunny Wai Yan Chan (GODSPEED)

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Sunny is born and raised in Hong Kong. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in Surveying at The University of Hong Kong, he decided to pursue his dream in animation. He is currently an animation student based in the United States, studying Master of Fine Arts in Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design, focusing on 3D character animation and layout.

Director Statement

Through Godspeed, I want to bring the audience close to the internal thoughts of the main characters – Emma, the mother, and Wayne, the son. The motivation for me to create Godspeed is that I want to show the kind of love that is less direct and less obvious. Whenever we feel frustrated towards our family because of the lack of expressive love, we must re-evaluate ourselves and learn to care about love that is more than superficial. Love exists in all kinds of ways.

Director Biography – Gray Hodgkinson (COLOUR ME FREE)

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Gray Hodgkinson is an animator and associate professor of animation and game design at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Gray has been developing animation education for 20 years, and has been instrumental in creating links between tertiary institutes and industry in New Zealand and internationally. Gray has presented papers and workshops on animation research and pedagogy at Melbourne, Germany, the U.K., Portugal, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea. Starting with a degree in Fine Arts (Graphics) in 1983, and a Masters in Design (2005) Gray has sought to use media technology to explore creative opportunities. In recent work, Gray has been exploring the narrative potential of game engine technology and VR. Together with his education career, Gray continues to produce original works that deal with meaningful topics and convey stories of significance.

Director Biography – Lisbet Byler, Grace Wagner (AFRAID)

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First-time directors, Lisbet Byler and Grace Wagner, reside in Lancaster, PA where they work for MAKE films, a film company producing commercial and original content. At MAKE, Grace works as Coordinating Producer and Lisbet as Studio & Marketing Manager. The two bonded over their shared love of true crime podcasts and dogs (dachshunds in particular). Lisbet and Grace hope to continue to make films that impact, inspire, and captivate audiences.

Director Statement

AFRAID gives viewers a real life glimpse into the anxieties women face everyday. In AFRAID, Anna’s anxieties are personified as a hooded figure to show what she is dealing with mentally. For Anna, her anxieties are as real as the hooded figure. In the end, viewers are left wondering…was there someone in Anna’s car? Or, was it all in her head?

Director Biography – Sofia Streisand (ONE TWICE A DAY)

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Sofia’s career path and her background provide a unique segue into the film business. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and started working in theatre at the age of 14. She has worked virtually every backstage job. Her career developed quickly and by age 25, she had already produced and directed a number of theatrical productions in some of the most prominent Russian theaters. She then accepted a position to head the Production Department at the Mikhailovksy Opera theatre, the second biggest opera house in St. Petersburg. She has worked internationally in some of the most prominent theatrical venues including the Metropolitan Opera (NY), the LA Opera, the Mariinsky theatre (Russia), the Coliseum theatre (UK) etc. and has directed one of the best selling musicals in St. Petersburg (“Master and Margarita”) as well as other successful shows. But when Sofia moved to Los Angeles she discovered a new passion – for filmmaking – and decided to start from scratch. She received 2 diplomas of excellency (Producing and Directing) at UCLA. Her film “The Gift of the Magi” (written, produced and directed by Sofia in 2018) received immediate attention by the creative community and has already won several awards. Sofia is a member of AGMA, Alliance of Women Director and Women In film. In her free time Sofia produces and directs festive and theatrical events of all kinds and scale.

Director Biography – Erin Collins (THUNDERBIRD)

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Born and raised in Fort William FN Ontario, Erin Collins began working with Wapikoni in May 2017, in order to further explore film from an Indigenous perspective. Having recently graduated from the film production program at Confederation College, Erin is passionate about filmmaking and hopes to pursue a career in postproduction.