NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Celebrates Black History Month - February 18th

Join NFMLA on February 18th as they celebrate Black History Month at their monthly film festival.

Online PR News – 26-January-2017 – Los Angeles – In honor of Black History Month, NFMLA presents ‘InFocus: Black Cinema’. The program consists of films that cover a range of stories and cultures seeking to underscore the importance of stories that have starred, filmed, directed, or been produced by the black community. Following this first shorts programs, we have two additional short film programs, many premiering for the first time in Los Angeles including character driven films from Italy and Lithuania, a Hungarian produced thriller, and a glimpse of mother struggling with her cancer in modern day Iran. Closing the evening, we have the West Coast Premier of the feature film ‘Homestate’, a tender experiment of real life and fiction following Blaise Miller in a refined performance as the lead character on a path of redefining himself despite a lack of faith from his family.
Shorts Program #1: InFocus: Black Cinema

Wannabe - directed by Matthew Manson
New York based director/writer Matthew Manson has worked on movie sets such as Lord of War and The Believer. He is known for Spandex: A Father's Tale (2005), Wannabe (2016) and Barmageddon (2012). His short Wannabe screened at the Tribeca Festival and will have its LA premiere at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles.

The Boxer - directed by Craig Cutler
Craig Cutler is a photographer and director. His experience ranges from print campaigns for clients like American Express and Samsung, to broadcast commercials for T. Rowe Price and Nascar, to editorial assignments for publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and National Geographic. His short The Boxer screened at DOCNYC, Big Apple Film Festival, New York Shorts Festival, Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, Fargo Film Festival and Auckland International Film Festival.

Charlie - directed by Kadri Koop
Kadri Koop is an Estonian filmmaker, cinematographer and editor based in the Bay Area. She has spent all of her independent life studying and working in various parts of Europe and Asia, from her native Tallinn to Beijing, London and Havana. Having worked in TV-commercials, narrative film, and independently as a documentary filmmaker, she mixes various modes of storytelling. Kadri is drawn to character-driven stories depicting the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary paths.
Tyson! - directed by Rebecca Ocampo
Rebecca Ocampo is a director/actor/model/dancer from Los Angeles, CA. As an actress and dancer, she appeared in productions like Forever Beautiful, the Social Network, Hawaii Five-O, Greek, Entourage, and in various TV-commercials. Her directorial debut Tyson! premiered at the Rwanda Film Festival. As a producer, Rebecca is currently in development on DEAD WATERS an independent dramatic thriller set against the world of Nigerian oil piracy.
Snipped - directed by Delmar Washington
Filmmaker Delmar Washington’s directing career began at the age of 8, shooting family moments on an 8mm camera from a pawn shop. Years later, he received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California (School of Cinematic Arts) and a Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University. Delmar recently directed and produced a boxing documentary series for AT&T U-verse featuring Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez. He also wrote and produced POSTCARDS: MANDELA, a documentary about the life of Nelson Mandela, which aired on the Africa Channel and received a NAACP Image Award nomination. Furthermore, he’s worked on productions for NBCUniversal, HBO, and Comedy Central.

A Poem of Glass and Steel - directed by Ryan Clancy
Detroit based director Ryan Clancy is a current research graduate student of Journalism at Wayne State University. He is a published filmmaker, journalist and photographer with work featured in Stand Quarterly, Arch daily and Elusive magazine.

Drop Off - directed by Shawn Cortel
Director Shawn Cortel states: “I wrote this in 2014 while living in NY at the time of the protests, demonstrations, killings, and turmoil surrounding the state of African Americans and the way we are viewed. I was compelled to be involved in the movement, Black Lives Matter, but knew it best I involve myself differently. My goal is to reach a broader and unexpecting audience with an underlying theme that doesn't beat you over the head. This is the outcome.”

Shorts Program #2:

Actor/Writer - directed by Brad Clapper
Brad Clapper is a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Originally from Ohio, Brad moved West in pursuit of his dream. Brad is a director, writer, editor, and vfx/mograph artist who is fascinated by the entire filmmaking process. He has been working in the industry for six years now and has a strong background in post production. Brad's passion for creativity and desire to learn continues to push him to tell unique stories.

The Last Words - directed by Keegan Mullin
Keegan Mullin attended the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, California. His work has been showcased at numerous major festivals and was chosen as a semifinalist for the Student Academy Awards. In 2015 Keegan won the DGA Student Film Award for The Last Words.

Back - directed by Gabriele Urbonaite
Los Angeles based writer/director/editor Gabriele Urbonaite’s films, both narrative and documentary, focus on strong female characters, deal with coming of age issues, and explore themes of cultural identity, migration, and otherness. He started making short films at the age of 14, studied Philosophy in Paris, and then moved to Boston, MA to study Film Production at Emerson College, where he earned his B.F.A. with Honors in 2016. In 2012, he was selected to the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Paolo Pelosini: This Is My Last Chance - directed by Frederico Possati
Filmmaker Paolo Pelsini explains, “Born in Bologna (Italy) in 1988, I got my BA from Columbia University in Film and Media Studies in February 2016. I now live in New York where I work as a freelance filmmaker and photographer.”

The Thread - Arpad Gorogh
Arpad Gorogh studied Economics and Marketing Communication at the Budapest College of Communication and Fontys College of Communication before he then earned his Bachelor’s degree in Directing and Creative Producing from the Nederlandse Film Academie in Amsterdam. Among other things, he has worked as producer and director on Hungarian, Dutch, and German film productions. Besides, he works in the Production Department for the upcoming 2017 film Blade Runner 2049.

The Scarecrow - directed by Philip Rhys
Philip Rhys is an actor with previous experience in documentary filmmaking. The Scarecrow is his narrative short directing debut. The short film stars Golden Globe winning actress Sandra Oh, widely known for her performance as Christina Yang in the ABC-Series Grey’s Anatomy. The Scarecrow was nominated for Best Narrative Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Shorts Program #3

Soy Cubana - directed by Jeremy Ungar & Ivaylo Getov
Jeremy Ungar is the Artistic Director of 406Arts, a production company based in Downtown LA’s Brewery Artist Lofts. In 2012, alongside Guillermo Del Toro, he co-wrote the book for the stage adaptation of Del Toro’s Oscar-winning film Pan’s Labyrinth. He wrote & directed the short film I’m 23 and There’s a Fucking Monster Under my Bed for Fox Digital Studio. As a commercial director, his clients include high end design companies, film studios and exclusive hotels. Ivaylo Getov is cofounder and Technical Director of Luxloop, a creative technology studio. Besides, he works as director, cinematographer, camera assistant, photographer, writer, in lighting, and more.

The Mirror (Ayineh) - directed by Tahereh Ahmadishad & Aidin Eftekhari
Iran based filmmakers Tahereh Ahmadishad and Aidin Eftekhariis both work as directors, writers, producers, costume designers, editors and production designers. Their short The Mirror (Ayineh) was selected for the 31st Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the 36th Cambridge Film Festival, the 69th Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner Side, the Hamilton Film Festival 2016, and FIFOG 2016.

The Massacre At Black Divide - directed by Steve Makowski
Steve Makowski is director, editor, cinematographer, and producer. He creates, edits, shoots and produces visual content for distribution on the web, television, and in motion pictures. He has worked with Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Yellowtail, Lucky Magazine, Madewell, Funny or Die,, NBC, Miramax and Vh1.

The Road Between - directed by Brett Sorem
Brett Sorem grew up skateboarding in San Diego, California. After graduating from San Francisco State University, he moved to New York City. Shortly after, he formed Nocturnal Features, and completed its first film titled Pablo on Wheels at the end of 2011. Sorem is making the move soon back to the west coast to promote his film and company.

Feature Program:

Homestate - directed by David Hickey

David was raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He received a Master of Fine Arts from Texas Tech University and has been making films ever since. David is a member of the Director's Guild of America and currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife Shaneye and their daughter Grace. His film Baghdad Texas won Outstanding International Feature at the 2011 Reel World Film Festival. Homestate, which took home an audience award at the 2016 Austin Film Festival, marks David's fourth narrative feature.

Located in Downtown LA, South Park Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of NewFilmmakers LA film festival. Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened over 1750+ films from over 69 countries. The organization provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized with title supporters Sony Pictures Entertainment, DreamWorks, SAG-AFTRA and FilmLA.
For information or to reserve tickets to the NewFilmmakers LA February 18th, 2017 Film Festival, please visit