Director BIO: Hollis Sherman-Pepe (TO QUIET MY MIND)

Director Biography

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Hollis is an award winning filmmaker and actress working professionally for over a decade. TO QUIET MY MIND is her much anticipated directorial debut. Hollis has always pushed her own boundaries while remaining honest in her artistic pursuits. Directing this film, Hollis feels she has truly found her voice.

Sherman-Pepe’s vision is unmistakably her own. TQMM is a visually and auditorily compelling piece that maintains a clear narrative. This film is an exciting benchmark for her production company Farmers Daughter Productions and the start of what is sure to be an exciting resume as a director.

Director Statement

To Quiet My Mind is my directorial debut. I wanted to make a mixed media micro short. The film was written with actor Ryan McKenzie in mind for the lead role, knowing that he is a painter as well as a talented actor. I utilized his portrait painting as the lynch pin for the film.

Stepping into the protagonist’s eyeball, I made the portrait come alive, accomplishing this with a slow, long dolly push, green screen, and other visual effects. I chose to project the “film within a film” directly onto my actor’s face. This projection segment was a successful way to maintain practical camera effects within my movie.

The auditory experience was an chief aspect for me. Sound effects made to sound similar but not of the actual noise – children on a roller coaster yelling rather than the screams of war, the crunch of eating crackers rather than the crunch of rock beneath army boots.

The topic of imagination and memory is a fascination of mine. People value their memories as facts. However, memories are not fact. Memories are what we choose to recall. What we value from the actual situation becomes the memory itself. Imagination fills in the gaps. Imagination can also paint a vivid picture of a circumstance in which we were not even present. Imagination makes other peoples’ stories relatable to our own human experience.

Balancing the cerebral nature of TO QUIET MY MIND with a meaningful narrative was important to me. I am very grateful to my extraordinary team and am thrilled to share this piece.


Director BIO: Jonathan Remple (BREATHE)

Director Biography

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Formerly a producer for PBS’ Independent Lens, Jonathan produces documentary content with the international production house What Took You So Long? He has filmed in over 30 countries for organizations such as the United Nations, Google, VICE, Virgin Records, and PBS. Breathe is his first independent short film.

Director Statement

Both Rebecca and I are eager and available to speak on the topic of addiction and therapy, both at film festivals or online. We have spoken in public forums in the past and are creating educational materials to pair with the film so that young people can be led through workshops on self care and identifying addiction.

I’ve created similar educational materials through my work as a Producer at PBS’ Independent Lens. I hope that young people can come away from the short film feeling inspired to search for their passion and spark a conversation on the healing effects of natural therapies.

Director BIO: Hilarion Banks (RYKER)

Director Biography


Hilarion was born in Arlington, Texas on July 21st 1985. The brother of Akasha, Serapis, and Polaris Banks; he and his siblings started making backyard movies when Hilarion was only 9. His parents, two Theatrical producers well known in Texas, were happy to nurture their children’s’ passion for film. When Hilarion was only 18 he tried his hand at feature film making with “Extended Family” a father/son movie with a paranormal twist.

In 2007, Hilarion attended UCLA’s theatre, film, and television program and received a bachelor’s in film production. After UCLA, Hilarion moved to New York and has been exclusively shooting, producing and directing exclusively while still collaborating with brother Polaris.

Director BIO: Anaelle Morf

Director Biography

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Anaëlle Morf recently graduated from the film studies section of Ecal (University of Art and Design) by presenting her fictitious film « Jewish Blind Date ». She would like to continue to make films that showcase her authenticity, humour and spontaneity.
She’s passionate about travel and languages and seeks to bring her unusual experiences together in documentary and fictional films.

Director BIO: Garmamie Sideau

Director Biography

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Garmamie Sideau is an independent filmmaker, public affairs consultant and combat sports commentator/researcher. This Canadian artist is involved in various visual storytelling projects and he also works as a web communications and marketing advisor for clients in the public, private and not for profit sector. For the last 5 years Garmamie has been working on a long form documentary on the development of Judo and Ju Jitsu in Ethiopia.

Director Statement

Stupid smartphone therapy is an experimental journey of a daughter and father’s vacation abroad and their mutual and unhealthy relationship to their smartphones.

This unhealthy relationship to their smartphones is augmented by variety of personal and social themes such as: parenting, workaholism, a bi-racial cultural identity, the social need to belong and the value of self-defence.

Both daughter-father duo are confronted by a crisis as they’re transplanted from various key landmarks in Berlin, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. The smartphone role is key to their understanding of themselves and their lives.

Director BIO: Kostas Petsas (CITY OF MY HEART)

Director Biography

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A visual storyteller, co-founder of Arte Cinematica in Greece. He has a long term experience in producing storytelling wedding films, mastering the art of anamorphic lenses and creating corporate videos. “Ciudad de mi corazón” is the first attempt to do a personal narrative, conceived, written and filmed all in one week in Madrid.

Director Statement

I believe that mixing different forms of art, such as poetry, photography, music and video can enhance the storytelling process and produce a higher emotional impact. “Ciudad de mi corazón” is an attempt to do a short narrative in the form of what could be considered as “street cinematography”. This is a personal narrative, conceived, written and filmed all in one week in Madrid.

News & Reviews

Director BIO: Jelle Bleyenbergh (THE FLOW)

Director Biography

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With completed studies in both Film and Journalism, director Jelle Bleyenbergh has always held a great interest in moving pictures. He currently works as an editor/cameraman in a production company. He’s also not afraid to take up the pen for screenwriting and to accept the challenging role of a film director.

Director Statement

In May 2017, I traveled to Iceland with three friends from film school and a load of camera equipment. Four people and our gear, all crammed up into this tiny car, driving around the south coast and beyond. You can imagine the fun we were having, even through wind and rain – and we got plenty of that!

All of us challenged each other to write a little screenplay, and we would aid one another into making it into a real film.

To come up with a story, it wasn’t hard to look at myself being in this amazing country. But mostly, I looked inward. How would this breathtaking environment, full of landscapes and waterfalls, influence me? And how would that influence translate to a short but clear story arc?

So, ‘The Flow’ – known as ‘Further’ during production – would be a story about needing guidance or direction, and ultimately about letting go of that. We live our lives by rules and following directions, but when you can truly open your eyes and see the world, you might see that you can live a better life without them.

What better way to represent the need for guidance than a compass, held firmly by the main character, as he’s forced to leave his regular mode of transportation and get to his destination by basic means. That’s the beauty of film without dialogue: you’re looking at purely visual means to tell your story.

Production was amazing, because we could all settle for shooting guerrilla style – even my actor, Stefán, whom we had a great time with. All we needed was the environment and 100% passion by everyone involved. ‘The Flow’ is far from perfect, but it shows how you can effectively make a little film for fun and still have something to tell the audience. That is all the guidance I could ever hope to offer.