HollyShorts Film Festival - 10 Years of Admiration for Short Films


(Los Angeles, CA, August 14, 2014) For most Southern Californians, August can be one of hottest months of the year. This proclamation is true if you were fortunate enough to attend the 10th Annual Holly Shorts Film Festival. For nine days in August, some very clever short films swiftly became a source of inspiration for aspiring filmmakers and audiences alike.


Patrons gathered at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood to pay tribute to The HollyShorts Film Festival and its clusters of skilled writers, directors and actors. The fest kicked off the week with a few words of filmmaking advice from the recipients of HollyShorts Visionary Award: producers of Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, Joe and Anthony Russo.


There were many reasons to attend opening night of Holly Short monthly festival. This month’s screening highlighted short films with very recognizable actors such as Indie film veteran Luke Wilson, Summer Glau, The Strain’s Regina King, Veep’s Tony Hale and the iconic Sophia Loren. Whether it was in front or behind the camera, there was eclectic array of stories and characters, both sharing completely different worlds; some funny, others shocking and heartbreaking with fractured people struggling to reinvent themselves.


"Trouble with Shadowy Deathblow" directed by Stephanie Laing


The curtain raiser was the dark comedy, Trouble with Shadowy Deathblow with Arrested Development alum, Tony Hale as a once hopeful scientist whose career came to an abrupt end with a disastrous experiment involving spray-on cheese.


"Human Voice" directed by Edoardo Ponti


Sophia Loren’s son, Edoardo Ponti threw his hat into the ring with an uneven short called Human Voice, which visually, marked a nostalgic return to classic Italian motion pictures. Director Renny Maslow presented his hysterical look at the new apocalypse in the short film Effed!


"Effed!" directed by Renny Maslow


Although actors Summer Glau, Regina King and Hart of Dixie’s Wilson Bethel demonstrated extraordinary range with Inside the Box, it was a smart film dominated by voiceover that seized this writer’s attention: Satellite Beach.


"Inside the Box" directed by David Martín Porras


Satellite Beach follows the special pilgrimage of the Endeavour space shuttle and Warren Flowers, a devoted and unlikely shuttle manager navigates the missions on his own accord.


When I asked writer/director Luke Wilson which came first, the shuttle or the character, he told me that he “read an article about the guy in charge; driving that route every day.” Luke said that he “was going to be that guy.” With a soft spot for idiot savants, Luke connected with the idea of man on his own mission “with his misguided communication and enthusiasm.”


"Satellite Beach" co-directed by Andrew & Luke Wilson


Having an invested interest in the space shuttle program since he was a kid in Texas, one could say that Satellite Beach was an inevitable project for Luke and his co-director brother, Andrew. They shot guerilla style and “got every shot they wanted, not really knowing how close we could actually get” to the shuttle. Luke concluded our conversation by telling me, “Film was a major source of entertainment. I can remember what movie I saw at which theater.”


I think Warren Flowers in Satellite Beach who debut at the Holly Short Film Festival will have the same effect.

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