Director Biography – Luai Akl (EPIPHANY)

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Basically, I am an Architect with a cinematic background as i worked as a “Photographer, Cinematographer, Assistant Director, Art Director, Set designer”, and took a directing and cinematography courses to finally follow my passion as a director

Director Statement

How kids are strongly affected “psychologically and emotionally” by their parent’s actions, and the whole environment around them!

Director Biography – Dana Saint (SAND IN THE SKY)

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Gnarly Bay, Inc. makes videos…gnarly ones. Dan Riordan and Dana Saint are two ambitious filmmakers that started Gnarly Bay shortly after high school. Over the years, they have grown to do bigger and better work each year.

Dana Saint has made an effort to document his life, and make personal films along side the client work at gnarly bay. Over the years, he has produced many films that invoke a sense of curiosity, including A Story For Tomorrow, Choice, and Stop LooK GO to name a few. This year, he is proud to release SAND IN THE SKY, which is narrated by his son Oliver.

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.

Screenplay Movie: Paying The Night Differential, by Paul Weidknecht

The story is about two New York mobsters who have to deal with the ghost of an associate they’ve ‘taken care of’ who keeps showing up for work at a no-show job they created.

Visual Design & Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Produced by Matthew Toffolo

Matt Barnes
Manny Pacheco
Sean Tabares

Director Biography – Michael Pizzano (SAY NO TO DRIFT WALKING)

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A native New Yorker, Michael has been obsessed with movies since birth. The son of an architect and structural engineer, he threw a major curveball at them when he decided to pursue filmmaking as a career. His work has been screened at various film festivals across the country, most notably Workplace Woes: Scavengers Among Us, a web series pilot that was accepted into seven festivals and won Best Ensemble in a Short at Chain NYC Film Fest.


Director Statement

Just say NO to drift walking! Only together can we take a stand.

Director Biography – Fabian Cardenas (MIDWAY HOME)

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Fabián Cárdenas is a film director, producer, actor, writer and the founder of Cinema 360 Films. He is known for the award winning short film Desde el Alma (2013) and Freddie of Wynwood (2015), a short film that was selected by the Miami International Film Festival and will be airing on PBS in 2018. His experiences as an actor and involvement in theatre as a director, writer, producer and actor, for more than 20 years in the United States and Latin America, bring depth and variety to his filmmaking. He has worked with both local and international professionals on his own projects and in other film, television and theatre productions and brings a solid lineup of talent and expertise to any project. Mr. Cárdenas is a storyteller at heart; willing to mold any medium and tell compelling stories.

Director Statement

FILM: MIDWAY HOME by Parranda Productions, directed by Fabian Cardenas

The genesis of the project (where the idea came from).
Midway Home was produced for the 2018, Producers Guild of America Make Your Mark Weekend Shorts competition. As such, it had to be created, produced, edited and submitted within 51 hours. The criteria or genesis was to pay tribute to producer/director/actor Sidney Pollack.

Why is the project important?
Since part of the criteria was post war, we thought the timely subject of post-traumatic stress disorder would be appropriate and provide an audience with the challenges faced by our service men and women.

Why you’re the only one who can tell this story (what do you bring to the table that is unique to this project?). Our EP, Frank Richards is an Army veteran, familiar with cases of PTSD.

What are your cinematic aspirations and influences? Ready to do something Oscar-worthy. And achieve recognition for our work as a production company and for our loyal and talented team.

What are the visual and technical approaches you took that make the film unique?
By way of an odyssey or montage, we present a visual and realistic suffering of PTSD.

What is your hope for the audience’s response?
That the audience is reminded, that although some service men and women were fortunate to return home alive, their lives as they see it, will never be the same. Viewers will hopefully empathize and support funding for mental and general healthcare of our veterans.

Has the film been screened at any film festivals?
Midway Home has not been screened, only judged at many festivals. In addition to the below mentioned wins, Midway Home is also an Official Selection, Finalist or Semi-Finalist at 13 other film festivals.
WINNER – BEST FILM, Independent Online Film Festival, February 2019
WINNER – BEST FILM, Direct Short Online Film Festival, December 2018
WINNER – BEST DIRECTOR, Fabian Cardenas, RedWood Film Festival, January 2019
WINNER – BEST DIRECTOR, Fabian Cardenas, Palm Tree Film Festival, January 2019
WINNER – BEST ACTRESS, Heidy Torres, RedWood Film Festival, January 2019
WINNER – BEST EDITOR, Michael Anderson, MP Film Award, January 2019