Short Film: Micro, by Ovni Vaca Studio

Micro, the smallest dinosaur in the world, begins his life alone in an unknown land. Little by little, he must face the dangers and discover the place where he belongs in this world where everything is bigger than him.

 

  • Script Type:
    Student, Screenplay
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Coming of age, dinosaurs
  • Number of Pages:
    6
  • Country of Origin:
    Argentina
  • Script Language:
    English, Spanish

Feature Film: Kopy Kat, by Joe Leone

Logline:
A struggling but determined artist invents a forbidden new way to make cash, and is subsequently ostracized by the art community.

Synopsis:
Katherine, known as Kat to her friends…and bill collectors, has had enough. Her beautiful impressionist-inspired landscapes, portraits and still life paintings just won’t sell. Anywhere. Having milked all of her art world connections into absolute dust, she is at a crossroads: go home to her parents with her pallet between her legs, or do something bold. When a friend jokingly suggests she should just make a copy of a piece of modern *art* selling for ten thousand dollars in a chic downtown gallery, Kat takes it to heart. She recreates this all white painting with a single word,”éclat,” written in one corner. Kat then sets up shop right outside the posh establishment on the night of a big showing there, with a large price tag on her replication proclaiming “$1,000 – or best offer.” As the gallery owner and security guards attempt to escort the staunch Kat away, one eccentric (wealthy) art enthusiast spots Kat’s work and finds it charming and brilliant: “I’ll take it!”

Having tasted her first morsel of financial success in months, Kat’s appetite is whetted and she decides to try it again. Another direct counterfeit on canvas and Kat is recognized as that “copy chick.” Within no time, a certain notoriety begins to follow her around (in no small part thanks to social media). She has found her niche. However, the original artists begin to threaten Kat with legal action. Kat’s contract lawyer friend strongly admonishes her, telling her to heed these serious warnings. Yet Kat, undaunted, keeps replicating pieces all over town. Now the dough is rolling in and Kat is starting to develop something of an ego. She brazenly copies one work and opts to sell it…for the same exact price as the original. While all of this is transpiring, Kat meets Len, a cute and genuine gallery owner. He values Kat as an artist, but quickly tires of her illicit shenanigans.

Meanwhile, Kat has created such a name for herself now in the underground world, that the above ground world wants a piece of her too. She is contacted about doing a show at a prestigious gallery. The thing is, to avoid controversy and potential lawsuits, they need for her to show her own work. Not a problem for Kat – this is all she ever wanted in the first place. The night of her show brings out some press and big names in the art community. Everyone eagerly awaits to see Kat’s authentic work…and they hate it. There is just no “edge,” as one bored critic puts it. Just as her career is on the verge of careening into absolute oblivion, Kat gets another idea. “What got me here in the first place?” With the reluctant help of Len, Kat makes some copies of her own work, and finagles a last ditch effort gallery showing. Here she displays her original pieces, along with the copies, at minimal prices. A handful of critics read a little too deeply into her work and once again, she is heralded as a genius. Yet Kat knows that she is not; the modern art world is so capricious and elusive, it’s almost impossible to know who is talented and who is a complete hack. With her head firmly on her shoulders again, Kat is ready to try it all over again. She loves making art, no matter what.

Writer Biography

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Joe Leone hails from Westchester County, NY, and resides in Brooklyn. He graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in theater arts. He has written over two dozen feature screenplays, including two comedies for Triangle Entertainment. Currently in production/pre-production are Meant to Be Broken (DC Dogs), Rio Urban Legend: Witch’s Moon (EVP Films), Layers of Lies (Sonram Productions), Scherbo (Ekstasy Films), Underground (LuminouStudios) and American Dream (Dev Pinn Productions). Joe is also a copywriter at New York magazine.

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Writer Statement

This unique tale essentially asks the question: “What is art/what is original?” We all know that artists heavily borrow from their predecessors…but to what end? When does ‘inspiration’ become outright thievery? The impossible-not-to-love heroine of this story learns a lot about the art business, and herself in the process, as she experiences firsthand the drastic ups and downs of success.

Short Film: Gaslighting, by Tina Matzat

The short film is about a dangerous form of manipulation often occurring in close relationships in which one overpowers the other by manipulating her/his perception through lies, confusion, unjustified guilt-shaming and distraction. Through this the victim is kept down and conditioned on the gaslighter. At the end the protagonist emancipates in a surprising way.

Project Links
Writer Biography

22.11.1985 Born in Thuringia, Germany

2005 Moved to Berlin to study Information Sciences at the University of Applied Sciences (Graduation in 2009)

2010 – 2012 Internships in publishing houses led to a management position as a conference producer

2013 – 2016 Wrote a novel (180 pp.) and a couple of short stories (psychological and metaphysical themes) plus worked as a freelance texter & private tutor

Since 2017 German & English teacher for adults (courses at private language schools) and working on a sci-fi feature script called ‘3025’

2017 Directed & produced the short films ‘Gaslighting’ and ‘Amazing’ (post-production underway), both based on own screenplays

September 2017 Presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Quantum Physics (Berlin) with the title ‘Science in Fiction’ (presenting the scientific theories and philosophical themes underlying the plot of ‘3025’)

Spring 2018 (planned) Directing a short film called ‘5D’

Short Film: 1924, by Guram Megrelishvili

Screenplay Synopsis

Varden Kipiani is a man who was born and raised in Ghvankiti. Just like many of Georgians, he has been good at singing and writing poems since childhood. Varden’s father was a typical Autumn Aznauri and classic example of being over-patriotic during feasts, whose heroism doesn’t go beyond toasts. Since his childhood, Varden has seen how his father stressed his Georgian, national spirit, on the one hand, and how he remained conformist towards the Russian Tsar, on the other hand. At the same time, Varden’s father had idealised the “Great Georgian Poets” as a collective face of something very special (quotations from their poems, made-up stories from their lives). Varden has been raised in this kind of environment, which meant conformism towards the super powerful state, on the one hand, and the desire to take an example of idealistic poets, on the other hand, has been impacting both his conscious and unconscious worlds.
Varden was raised with the hope and desire that one day he would become a great poet too. In the beginning, he was too shy to even reveal this timid desire but with time this changed; his poems were praised at a couple of places and he became ambitious.
Meanwhile, Varden moved to a town from his village. His new profession – a railway worker – became the reason of him being ashamed but then it became a source of living for him. He used to imagine his life in a different way but being a railway worker was the only source of feeding himself. Varden’s “poetic talent” was not encouraged. The audience who could listen to his poems included only several depot workers and his own family members. But the time changed. There appeared people who started talking about workers’ rights in the country. Bolshevik agitators reached the railway too. One of them heard Varden’s poet at a small gathering. He disliked Varden’s narrow national vision, but he still praised him and told him it was people like Varden who should create poems and be famous, and not some “Ilias ” and others. This occasion had an immense impact on Varden. The person had fully transformed and the man, who spoke about nationalism yesterday, became an active Bolshevism supporter today. His attitude had also changed towards the Georgian poets, whom he considered as icons before.
The only poet Varden still continued loving (because he was from Imereti and because his heart loved him and the brain could do nothing against it) was Akaki Tsereteli . He even saw the great poet several times in the street but he was not brave enough to approach him. The only thing he managed to do was to send his poem to him, where he presented himself as great as Akaki. (“You are the eagle of Skhvitori and I’m the hawk of Ghvanketi. You are a poet and I’m a poet too; you are Akaki and I’m Vardeni)
Varden became an active supporter of the underground Bolsheviks. He got married and returned back to his village. At first glance, Varden had a happy family, but not having a baby created a small gap between the couple. Varden was promoted at the railway. This period coincided with restoration of Georgia’s statehood. The audience of Varden’s poetry remained very small. On the one hand, he was a poet of feasts and on the other hand, he secretly wrote chants to the proletariat and his poems were passed from hand to hand.
The system changed again in the state. Georgia lost its independence. The Bolsheviks came into power. Varden’s popularity had even decreased and terror covered the whole country, including Varden himself. Varden was afraid that one day he could become a victim of terror. He also was afraid that he could lose whatever he had achieved – reading his poems publicly at the party gatherings, his photograph being published at the village newspaper and at the honour board of railway workers with the caption Varden Ghvankiteli (His real Aznauri surname Kipiani turned out to be hampering for him). Deeply down in his heart, Varden always knew this was not what he had been dreaming about and what he was excited about when he was reading his favourite Akaki, but losing even this would be a big trouble for him.
Varden eventually fully surrendered and became a slave of terror, and even more – he became an advocate of bloody punishments.
But the strict hand reached everyone. Several of Varden’s childhood friends were executed. Varden’s godfather, who was the first person to read Varden’s poems, was also executed. The whole village turned into spies. Varden lost his motivation for writing poems because he would also be executed if he wrote “anything wrong”. All of these were concluded with a person who was famous for his cruelty in entire Imereti being appointed as chief Chekist of the Terjola municipality. The Chekist liked Varden’s wife. Varden realises this difficult situation but he tries to ignore all of this as this “ostrich position” is crucial for his physical survival. The wife is also frightened. She silently asks for help from her husband who tries to deal with his fear and hopelessness with drinking and reading his poems at a feast table. The couple can’t have a child. The woman raises a Georgian shepherd dog, which once attacked the drunken Chekist when he was trying to enter Varden’s home and sexually abuse the woman. The Chekist forced Varden to kill their beloved dog right in front of his wife’s eyes. This event marked a watershed in the couple’s relationship and Varden also changed – he internally opposed to the regime.
Varden’s wife gets into an affair with the Chekist. She does this voluntarily as he surrenders to powerfulness since her husband can’t protect her. Co-villagers start laughing at Varden behind his back. The devastated person only thinks about existence and excuses himself as he managed to physically survive.
The regime of strict order is finally established in the country. There is no hope. But there still are people who can raise voice against the regime. This person is Catholicos-Patriarch Ambrosi Khelaia (his life is presented as a separate storyline in the script. Back during the Tsarism era, he was offered a “warm place” in return for his silence but then-monk Ambrosi did not refuse his principles, for which he was exiled to Russia for several years). Ambrosi’s letter to the Genoa International Conference is an unpleasant surprise for the Bolsheviks. In the country where people are so frightened they don’t dare even to think, there is the person who writes a public letter about Georgia’s statehood.
The Patriarch is arrested and proletariat members from across the country are brought to the court hearing. One of the speakers at the hearing is Ambrosi’s spiritual child Archimandrite Evsevi (Evsevi has its own storyline in the script. He first become a monk before he takes of his cassock in 1921 and grabs a gun. To make the process even more comic, he puts on a cassock again only to attend the hearing as a church member and in this outfit he blames Ambrosi for stealing and robbery). The Chekist wants to spend more time with Varden’s wife so he puts Varden’s name on the list of the hearing attendants as the “faithful poet of the proletariat”.
The court hearing lasts for several days. The prosecutor accuses the Patriarch of all kind of filth, but no one dares to protect him. Even bishops and priests prefer to stay silent. The only person who stands up for the Patriarch and even takes a dragger out to defend him is Varden. Varden was broken by pressure and fear but a human was still alive in him. Bravery and the final words of the Patriarch (whom Varden reviled himself before) had a big impact on Varden. The person has changed in seconds. His inner protest grew stronger and gained power. With a cool head he would probably never dare to even say a word but on that fateful day Varden revived as a person.
Varden is sentenced to banishment. The man has regained his dignity and his wife’s respect. The woman decides to accompany his husband in exile. Varden is still afraid but this is a different fear, it does not destroy his dignity and personality.
The couple sit in the same train as the 1924 rebels do. In Kutaisi, everyone is given bread. This is a big relief after a multi-day starvation. There are a nursing mother and her newborn in the carriage too. Varden gives a piece of fretwork to his old friend from the railway and asks him to bring some water for the baby. The former co-worker talks to the “people’s enemy” with a cold face.
Somewhere in between Shorapani and Argeta, the train stops and the passengers inside the carriage are killed with a machine-gun, which fires bullets in rapid succession for as long as the trigger is pressed.
Patriarch Ambrosi Khelaia was not executed. He died in prison in 1927. Varden’s incident played the key role in the Catholicos’ case. The Bolsheviks could not turn his court hearing into circus. They could not make the country laugh at Ambrosi Khelaia (as it was planned initially). Varden’s name was forgotten. The history kept his name only with Akaki’s reply: “Keep writing, my Varden, keep writing, and put an arrow through an enemy; if you can’t become a poet, you will learn how to write, at least!”

Writer Biography

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Guram Megrelishvili (1980)

Published books:
2002 – „10+2“ (Publishing house “Tobalisi”)
2003 – „You“ (Publishing house “Geo Print”)
2008 – „Multi usage bottles (Publishing house „Bakur Sulakauri Publishing House” http://sulakauri.ge/)
2010 – „City Of Human“ (Publishing house “Diogene” http://diogene.ge/ka)
2011 – „Model 18/12“ (Publishing house “Diogene” http://diogene.ge/ka )
2012 – „First aid agency of the treasoned husbands and perfidy wives (Screenplay) (Publishing house “Diogene” http://diogene.ge/ka)
2012 – „How to germ boys” (Screenplay. Special Prize of UN Woman. Publishing house “literacy” http://www.literacy.ge
2012 – „Severs and delicates” (Publishing house “Literacy“)
2013 – „Anti globalists“ (Publishing house “Saunje“)
2014 – „Rich countryman” (Publishing house “Intelekti“)
2014 – „A few words about love” (Publishing house “Intelekti”)
2014 – European Patriarche (Publishing house “Intelekti”)

Scripts:
2008 – „Sunglasses by Quentin – script
2010 – SeaZone – script
2013 – Attitude Theory – script
2014 – The nest – script

Awards:
2002 – Especially talented young writer. (President’s State Grant)
2003 – Especially talented young writer. (President’s State Grant)
2011 – The best Novel of the year 2011 (State Award named after Guram Rcheulishvili)
2012 – Elect of the UNO (Award Initiated after Ban Ki Moon in Drama)

Short Film: Blooming Cactus, by Thea Marti

5edc09fb6a posterSharbat gets a cactus plant as a present from her grandfather. As the drought strikes the village, the despair of its inhabitants reaches its peak. The water is gone. The faith is lost. The cactus will never bloom. And her grandpa is dying. With an empty jar in her hand, tenacity in her eyes and strong faith in her heart, Sharbat approaches the only place of worship of the village. And though she does not belong to the same religion, she is firmly determined to pray for the rain.

Writer Biography

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Thea Marti is a Rome-based Ukrainian filmmaker and a founder of an audiovisual start up PhD Films, which has been included into 100 talented creative projects of Lazio Region 2018 and funded by “Migration Policies Fund –Year 2012” of the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.
After obtaining her MA in Japanese Language and Literature at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, she moves to Italy, where she obtains a 5-year scholarship from Lazio Region for her second master degree in Film and Audiovisual Studies at the University of Rome.
In 2009 a young filmmaker wins her first award from Istituto Luce Cinecittà for her directorial debut La Nazione Felice. During the following years she attends Film Studies courses at Oxford Brookes University, Birkbeck College of the University of London and Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 within the international MA framework. At the same time she works as a production assistant for the cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky in Paris and obtains a research scholarship for her MA thesis dedicated to Intermediality and Mexican collective imagery in Luis Buñuel and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s movies. During her MA research at Cineteca Nacional de México she holds a presentation on Maya Deren’s experimental films, the topic of the previous research in her bachelor thesis.
The international filmography of Thea Marti counts more than 30 independent projects, including short films, short documentaries, video art, videoclips and trailers. Some of her works have been distributed by Minerva Pictures Group. Her short film “Balloons”, awarded for the best screenplay at CinePalium Fest in Apulia, will be produced in April 2018 by Sun Film Group.