Short Film: THE ARTIFACT, 24min., USA, Thriller/Action

Two men use digital technology to record virtual experiences. They discover that their recordings are potentially hacked and are then hunted by a woman-like artifact. Soon lines of reality and recorded experiences are blurred and in the end only one character lives.

Project Links

HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: January 2021 DRAMA & COMEDY Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
Best Film: STARFISH
Best Cinematography: MISS BOUNDLESS
Best Performances: BREAKING THE SILENCE
Best Sound & Music: PLACE DU TROCADERO

Theme of night: Need to act.

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterPLACE DU TROCADERO, 7min., France, Drama
festival posterBREAKING THE SILENCE, 27min., USA, Drama/History
festival posterMISS BOUNDLESS, 15min., USA, Drama/Family
festival posterSIDECAR, 14min, UK, Drama
festival posterSTARFISH, 19min,. USA, Drama
festival posterFARGATE, 18min., UK, Comedy
festival posterPROCRASTINATORS UNITE!!!…TOMORROW, 3min. India, Animation/Comedy
festival poster100 CANDLES, 7min., Australia, Comedy
festival posterMARRIAGEFIT, 13min,. USA, Comedy
festival posterTRUTH HERTZ, 3min., USA, Comedy

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Qiyu Zhou (MISS BOUNDLESS)

Qiyu Zhou is a Chinese film director, writer, and producer based in Los Angeles. She believes filmmaking is the most soulful language as it touches the tenderest part of the audience’s heart. Her films are marked by a fascination with redemption and the recurring themes of grief, self-forgiveness, and its aftermath. They never shy away from using explicit story exposition and daring tones to create their worlds. Qiyu is a tough cookie as she takes hard approaches to soul-purifying pieces with great entertaining values.
After graduating from Beijing Film Academy in 2010, Qiyu began her creative life as a photographer, with her work exhibited in Minneapolis and published in magazines. Now she holds two master-degrees of film directing from the prestigious American Film Institute and College of Motion Picture Arts at FSU. Qiyu was awarded as the best female director by Independent Shorts Awards. Her film, “The Koi”, was screened in more than 20 festivals including Oscar Qualified Burbank International Film Festival.

Director Statement

When grandma was at the end of her bout with leukemia, I was barely 5. She held my hands and said, “Look at those hands, they are boy’s hands.” The powerful satisfaction in her eyes was strong and genuine enough to make me believe that I should have been born a boy. 

My father was required to move to Zhengzhou for his promotion which seemed like an almost out-of-reach blessing to our small-town family. My relatives tried hard persuading my mom to leave me in the village, so my parents could start fresh in a bigger city and not lose the chance to have a boy in the future due to the one-child policy at the time. 

My mind changed that day about what I wanted to be seen as when I grew up-no less than a boy. I’d never wear dresses again and I’d always play the boy’s role during the kids’ games. I didn’t believe in gender. I would prefer to claim that I don’t have one if I could. Writing Miss Boundless was a release and an answer to my coming-of-age struggle of never being seen as “enough”. The protagonist is forced to confront her inner desire of being enough. In the end, as the character reclaims her identity, embraces who she is, I started to feel my voice. 

Short Film: MISS BOUNDLESS, 15min., USA, Drama/Family

In the late Qing Dynasty, ZHANG (17) an ambitious girl born into a noble family, desperately wants to become as powerful as her father. After Zhang’s father names her male cousin as the next heir to their influential house, Zhang struggles to prove that she is the better successor. Faced with overwhelming odds due to the female oppression of the time, Zhang discovers that sometimes in order to gain power, one must take it.

Project Links

Director Biography – Seayoon Jeong (BREAKING THE SILENCE)

Seayoon Jeong is a New York based producer, director, and writer. Seayoon has produced dozens of short films, including Broken Badge, executive produced by Academy Award nominated Michael Houseman (Gangs of New York, Brokeback Mountain). She has worked with award-winning independent filmmakers as associate producer to help finance their feature film projects, including Kilo Two Bravo (nominee for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer at the BAFTA Awards), and Growing Up Smith (Audience Award winner at the Woodstock Film Festival).

Seayoon has also directed two short films, one of which, The Last Day of Summer, was shown at multiple film festivals and won the Award of Merit at the IndieFest Film Awards. Seayoon’s current directorial short film project, Breaking the Silence has won dozens of awards at multiple film festivals, including the Los Angles Film Awards and TopShorts festival. She currently has Breaking the Silence in development as a full-length feature, and at the same time Seayoon is working on a novelization of the film in cooperation with a published novelist.

Director Statement

When I was a little girl, I often heard stories about comfort women from my grandmother, who had lived through the Japanese occupation of Korea, as well as from my parents and teachers, as the negative effects of Imperial Japan’s occupation of Korea before and during World War II continued to be controversial and profound for national morale. In addition, I sometimes watched organized protests of the small number of survivors on TV. As a result, I was fully aware of comfort women, who remained underrepresented and voiceless. However, my desire to make a movie about comfort women didn’t emerge until my grandmother’s passing five years ago.

At her funeral, it suddenly dawned on me that older people like my grandmother, who had endured the war and could offer first-hand accounts of it, were disappearing. As a result, future generations will not have the chance to learn about the hidden tragedy of the comfort women, especially in the United States, where there’s a lack of diversity in the school’s curriculum. This could lead to the important but underrepresented stories of the comfort women soon being forgotten and buried in history. This realization led me to want to make a film about the comfort women not only to leave behind a visual record that depicts them with a focus on an emotional arc in a narrative form, but also to give the voiceless a voice.

For this reason, Breaking the Silence examines the psychological and emotional effects of the comfort women experiences, including the guilt and shame associated with them, on a woman who has remained silent for nearly forty years until fate brings her to reveal the truth about her harrowing past during WWII so she can come to terms with her past and finally move forward with newfound peace.

Short Film: BREAKING THE SILENCE, 27min., USA, Drama/History

Francesca, tormented by her past for nearly forty years, finally breaks the silence to tell the truth about her past.

News & Reviews

Director Biography – Alicia Buckner (STARFISH)

 Fôlsheart Productions was established in early 2018 by U.S. Navy Veteran Alicia Buckner. New York born and raised, Alicia had a vision to create films that impact society in a meaningful and memorable way. She set out to help businesses, nonprofits, artists, and actors alike enhance their vision and message through film. Bringing out the underlying emotion that needs to be tapped into to make a lasting impact on viewers is the main priority of Fôlsheart. Fôlsheart Productions brings diverse voices together in a new light utilizing film.

Director Statement
We all have a voice, even those who don’t know it. After honorably serving my country in the United States Navy, I started FôlsHeart Productions. I made it my mission to elevate marginalized and unheard voices through filmmaking. I strongly believe in Diversity equity and inclusion in all aspects of our film productions. I also believe in cultivating a healthy and fun working environment for all involved.

Director Biography – Pierre Leon LUNEAU, Mathieu CAYROU (PLACE DU TROCADERO)

Mathieu Cayrou is a screenwriter and director. After having been a cabinetmaker, interior architect and designer, Pierre Léon Luneau began his film career in 2016. A former student of the Boulle School and the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris, he worked for 5 years at Philippe Starck then as an independent interior designer. He designed the Mokus restaurant in Paris 16th and the folding coffee table “Miss Folding”, the latter entered the collections of the National Fund of Contemporary Art (FNAC) in 2008. In 2019, he crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the sailing on the Rara-Avis, three-masted 38-meter schooner from 1957, with the association of Father Michel Jaouen (association of Friends Thursday Sunday).