NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) Film Festival - LGBT Cinema - June 24th, 2017

Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) on Saturday, June 24th, as we present another month of incredible independent cinema featuring a spotlight on LGBT Film.

Online PR News – 31-May-2017 – Los Angeles, California – Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) on Saturday, June 24th, as we present another month of incredible independent cinema. The first shorts program features films that come from all over the United States, as well as one film from Croatia and one film from Belgium. The second shorts program of the night focuses on LGBT stories of love, connection, and reconciliation. Finally, the last shorts program revolves around LGBT conflicts of identity, community, and family, portraying tales of self-acceptance and struggle. The two shorts programs illuminate a wide range of the LGBT experience, and showcase the depth and diversity of the LGBT community. With this month’s series, NFMLA seeks to give a greater voice to the LGBT community, on, off, and behind the silver screen.

Shorts Program #1

Long Term Parking-Lance Oppenheim
A native of South Florida, Lance Oppenheim is a director whose work has been featured in The Harvard Crimson, the Atlantic, The New York Times, the Smithsonian Institution, and PBS. Driving around LAX one day, Lance passed by an airport parking lot with over 70 motor homes. His short, Long Term Parking, focuses on this parking lot and the community which has grown around it. According to Lance, “I hope this film will help expand and challenge traditional views of what constitutes a home in 21st-century America. Because as unconventional as their living situation may be, the residents of this airport parking lot told me their homes afford them something we all seek: freedom.” Long Term Parking has been awarded the Vimeo Staff Pick, as well as his other short documentaries, The Off Season and Quicksand.

The Letter-Brian Ross
The Letter is the latest film to come out of Brian Ross’s directorial vision. The film traces the path of a suicidal, heartbroken New Yorker who meets a strange woman and dog, a meeting which stirs something within him. A longtime industry professional, Ross has written for MTV, USA, VH1, and NBC. Currently, Ross works as the head writer on AXS Live, while also acting as a producer for Rob Dyrdek’s Ridiculousness. In his creative work, Brian draws on his southern roots, growing up in Kentucky, as a means of fueling his passion for storytelling. As such, The Letter is a testament to Brian’s unique voice in storytelling and a glimpse into his perspective of the world.

The Beast-Daina Pusic
Daina Pusi is an up-and-coming director hailing from Croatia. After obtaining her degree in directing from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, Pusic moved to the U.K. to further her studies at the London Film School. In 2013, Daina won the Jelena Rajkovic award for “best Croatian filmmaker under the age of 30”, culminating in her film The Beast. The Beast explores the tense relationship between a mute mother and her daughter, a relationship which is shaken up one day when a bat flies into their home. Pusic has also directed another short Rhonna & Donna and is currently developing her first feature film. Pusic represents a new generation of up-and-coming directors from Eastern Europe who are leaving their mark on the film industry.

The Lonely Whale - Sophie Tabet
Although born in New York City, Sophie Tabet did not return to the city until she moved there in 2007 to study film at NYU. Since 2007, Sophie has sought to expand artistic and creative collaboration through projects such as LANDED NY. Her film, The Lonely Whale, follows a young woman as she attempts to find her place within the universe. The woman’s life is flipped upside down one day when she suddenly receives a camera with magical abilities. Through this camera, the woman discovers the hidden intricacies and nuances of life, drastically altering her view on life. When discussing her creative vision, Tabet’s cites her family as the main source of inspiration behind her work.

About the Boy Who Ate an Oakwood Chair - Pieter Goethals
What if you had to eat a chair to prove something? That’s the question Pieter Goethals hopes to answer in his comedic short About the Boy Who Ate an Oakwood Chair. The film was made on a shoestring budget and was completely crowdfunded. The film also beautifully displays Belgium. Goethals asked multiple strangers to lend their homes; all of them said yes. About the Boy Who Ate an Oakwood Chair is the latest addition to a long line of shorts directed by Goethals including Scarecrow Boy, Corn Field, and Lonely Flyer.

Shorts Program #2 - InFocus: LGBT Stories of Love

Cocoon- LiYing Mei
Cocoon is a coming-of-age story about a young girl who discovers her mother’s affair with another woman, and in doing so, goes through her own sexual awakening. Directed by Mei LiYing, the movie is part of an ongoing conversation occurring in China regarding the LGBTQ community. The movie is a blend of fact and fiction, closely following LiYing’s own adolescence amidst a rapidly changing China. Besides Cocoon, LiYing is also writing for a project as part of Warner Bros.’s Emerging Director Program. Through her film Cocoon LiYing hopes “the audience would feel the burden that a child can bear when he/she holds the secret for the adults”.

Outside the Lines - Josh Jacobs
Despite his degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale, Josh Jacobs chose to pursue his passion for filmmaking. A native of New England, Jacobs began directing films while growing up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In 2012, Jacobs was invited to study at FAMU, the national film institute of the Czech Republic. His film, Outside the Lines, looks at the power of insecurities and priorities in destroying friendships. Outside the Lines is Jacobs’s latest work since he began directing in 2006, and wonderfully showcases the talents of this aspiring director.

Sign - Andrew Bolger
Throughout the years, Andrew Keenan-Bolger has filled several different roles within the media and entertainment industry including actor, director, author, and producer. His work has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the Associated Press. Moreover, Andrew has been in several Broadway plays, including his latest role as Jesse Tuck in Tuck Everlasting. Andrew also commands a strong internet personality as evident through his web series Submissions Only. In Sign, Andrew explores the relationship between two men, one deaf and one not, utilizing music, sound, and sign language to capture the depth and tension of their relationship.

Two Women - Marcelo Brennand
In Two Women Marcelo Brennand draws inspiration from Retrato Imorais, a book by Ronaldo Correia. The film focuses on two friends who soon blur the lines between friendship and love. As the two grow older, differing experiences cause them to question the true meaning of faithfulness. Prior to Two Women, Marcelo received his Masters from the New York Film Academy. His other works include It was Just a Dream and Brazil Politics Unveiled, which he directed under Zefiro films. Like many other directors, Marcelo has also expanded his creative experience by working in production and writing.

Shorts Program #3 - InFocus: LGBT Stories of Conflict and Struggle

The Was - Tui Asau
Tui Asau is a veteran of the film and entertainment industry, and has worked in producing and acting both onstage and on screen. Asau transitioned into the industry following an injury which ended his collegiate football career. Tui initially worked as an actor, starring in Lunar Effect, 90210, and The Son of An Afghan Farmer. In The Was, Asau develops his directorial voice, weaving a story through the eyes of a group of misfits and outcasts who must navigate their way in the world. Although born in Montana, Asau grew up in the Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, and the Cook Islands. Asau credits his family for developing his passion for the arts, and for supporting his dreams of acting and directing.

Demons - Jesse Klein
Descending from Montreal, Jesse Klein graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Following his time at Concordia, Jesse moved to Austin to pursue his Masters in Film and Video production at the University of Texas at Austin. In his free time, Jesse also publishes in The Recording, as well as writing and producing a variety of short films. Prior to Demons, Jesse also directed Shadowboxing his first feature length film. Demons follows a serial killer on a quest to find love and companionship. Currently, Jesse continues to reside in Austin, Texas, where he does the majority of his writing, producing, and directing,

Garbage - Taylor Robinson
Hailing from West Texas, Taylor Robinson has worked to apply her love of storytelling with other organizations. She has worked with many faith-based organizations such as Radical and Compassion International, as well as other groups such as the United States Olympic Committee. Taylor also co-founded Arc Light Stories, which focuses around live storytelling. Currently, Robinson resides in Alabama where she runs his production company Six Foot Five. Garbage follows the friendship between two millennials who face their inner demons on a hazy night in East Los Angeles. In her work, Robinson seeks to flush out the raw emotional base of human connection in his creative work.

Good Boy - Christopher Coats
Christopher Coats has worked in numerous aspects of the film and entertainment industries including network television shows, nationwide commercials, and independent feature films. Additionally, Coats has also directed over a dozen music videos and four short films. His film, Good Boy, depicts the reunion between two friends, while simultaneously commenting on obstacles faced by the LGBTQ community. The film was shot in the deserts of Morongo Valley, CA and premiered in 2015. Along with Good Boy, Coats has worked on films such as Stronger and Dog Walker. Coats hopes to develop Good Boy into a full feature length crime thriller. As Chris claims, “With Good Boy, I aim to explore the world, characters, and unique vision I have for Mohawk while still creating a taut, powerful short film that stands on its own”.

Located in Downtown LA, South Park Center is the Presenting Venue Sponsor of the NewFilmmakers LA Film Festival. Founded in 2007, NFMLA has screened 1750+ films from over 72 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 June 24th, 2017 Film Festival, please visit