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2018 Film Streams Local Filmmakers Showcase

90 min

Series Lfs

Viewers of our twelfth annual celebration of regional talent will be treated to an animated parable, a trippy music video, a loose collage set to sunny tunes, narrative dramas about child slavery and a stand-up comic’s fateful return, a barrelful of hearty comedies, and documentaries on remarkable people from Nebraska. The twelve featured films were among 48 submissions overall.

Curators: Maranda Allbritten, Celeste Butler, Dan Crane, Peter Fankhauser, Erin Foley, Amy Haney, Jamie Hardy, Joey Lynch, and Sarah Rowe.

We Are Aurora2

We Are Aurora - Sarah Bailey

Dir. Mitchell Lyon / Aurora NE / 4 min

Statement

We Are Aurora is a series of short documentaries about people who call Aurora, Neb., home. Episode 2 features Sarah Bailey, an amazing person and a good friend. We meant for our sole canvas to be the Nebraska prairie at sunset. Once the conversation started, though, I knew we’d need to capture a whole lot more. Sarah’s profession and hobbies are varied, but a singular passion drives everything she does. We can all learn a little something from Sarah about embracing the life we have right in front of us.

Bio 

Mitchell Lyon has spent his entire life making short films for fun and profit. Mitchell grew up in Lincoln and then Aurora, Nebraska, before moving to Denver, Dallas, Chicago and then back to Aurora, of all places, to pursue a career in filmmaking. He lives there with his wife, two sons, and about 5,000 other fascinating and creative people. 

18004 The Headliner Still006

The Headliner

Dir. Tony Bonacci / Omaha NE / 15 min

Statement

I wanted to make a film about standup comics because I’m obsessed with that world. I am in pre-prouction on “The Headliner” feature film.

Bio 

I’m a 35 -year-old filmmaker living and working in Omaha, Neb.  I’ve been making music videos and short films for nearly 17 years now. I love comedy, rock ‘n’ roll, and food.

Kap Film 2

Kap

Dir. David M. Weiss / Omaha NE / 8 min

Statement

A form of modern day child slavery still exists in Haiti. It’s called restavek, and over 300,000 children live under these conditions. When I first learned about restaveks, I knew I had to tell this story. I decided to create it in a narrative form so I could tell it from the child’s perspective. I want to raise awareness and compel others to help these children, who have so few advocates. 

Bio 

David’s approach to film and production is rooted in art and design. He uses color, light, and movement to evoke emotion within the audience. He has worked on award winning commercials for the NCAA, First National Bank, Ace Hardware, and Boys Town to name a few. His documentary and narrative films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals from Hollywood to Montreal, bringing a fresh perspective on filmmaking. 

Closeness1

Closeness, “End of the Maze”

Dir. Mike Machian & Closeness / Omaha NE / 5 min

Mike Machian bio 

Mike Machian likes to point his camera at things and show you an angle you never noticed.

Closeness Bio

Todd Fink (born Todd Baechle) and wife Orenda Fink converged first on tour, then in love and now in music. CLOSENESS, the couple’s first group together, is the result of two incredibly talented musicians melding in life and in art

Both halves of this new project have work spanning a variety of venerated musical outfits. Todd is most notably the frontman of The Faint, while Orenda is best known as one-half of the slick Azure Ray, and has credits including Moby, Bright Eyes, Paul Kalkbrenner, Eric Bachmann, Delerium, Sparklehorse, and Isaac Brock.

In an amalgam of their previous work, CLOSENESS emerges with an electronic but shadowy southern gothic sound. Todd’s high-energy, cool and synthetic voice lifts and energizes Orenda’s mystical and warm-hearted aura.Their debut work, which Todd recorded, produced and mixed in his home studio, is ripe with dreamlike scenarios, skirting the edge of otherworldliness. Pulsating rhythms boom and break around futuristic vocals from both. Together, they create a unified archetype that is moody, therapeutic and deeply inspired by the most basic questions about life, meaning, love and death.

Atat Still Lighter

As Thick as Thieves

Dir. Jordan Isaac Smith / Omaha NE / 10 min

Statement

In the middle of the night, a cat burglar (J. Isaiah Smith) breaks into the house of a young couple! This smooth criminal thinks he has everything in the bag, but in reality has yet to learn what kind of relationship he’s burgled his way into. If only the three of them can find the money! The Husband (Frankie Ali), and the Wife (Trishonna Helm (Trends)) already have problems of their own. Watch them unfold in this ridiculous comedy!

Bio 

With an unusually positive outlook on life, Jordan seeks to inspire people with his confidence, as he challenges himself to be a better artist, as well as a better man everyday. Jordan is often known by his wide range of abilities; He is an Stage/Film Actor,  Film Director/Producer/Editor/Screenwriter/Composer, Singer, Song Writer, Saxophonist, Drummer, Photographer, Swing Dancer, Comic Book Artist., and most recently a Stage Playwright. One would think he’s merely a “Jack Of All Trades”, but he truly has a unique way to use them all to the fullest of his ability. In As Thick As Thieves he was most excited to bring  a number of his abilities to the table.

Seeing With Sound

Seeing with sound  

Dir. Brendan Sullivan / Omaha NE / 5 min

Statement

Dmitrii “Dima” Shaposhnikov, 13, of Omaha, Neb., excels at the piano despite being completely blind. Shaposhnikov, who moved from Russia to Nebraska with his family in 2013, reads his school work and sheet music in braille, and speaks several languages.

Bio 

Brendan Sullivan is an award-winning visual journalist for the Omaha World-Herald. He enjoys meeting new people and the opportunity to share their stories through compelling photographs and multimedia productions. Sullivan has a degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University. Before coming to the World-Herald in 2014, he worked at the Gwinnett Daily Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Deseret News.

Pinch Of Love

Secret ingredient: a pinch of love

Dir. Brendan Sullivan / Omaha NE / 7 min

Statement

After 22 years, Dixie Quicks Public House in Council Bluffs, Iowa closed its doors in January. Owner Rob Gilmer decided to close the restaurant and the RNG Gallery after his husband, René Orduña, died in November 2016, two months after being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. Watch as Gilmer and longtime friends and customers describe Orduña’s impact and the legacy he left.

Bio 

Brendan Sullivan is an award-winning visual journalist for the Omaha World-Herald. He enjoys meeting new people and the opportunity to share their stories through compelling photographs and multimedia productions. Sullivan has a degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University. Before coming to the World-Herald in 2014, he worked at the Gwinnett Daily Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Deseret News.

Now Or Forever1

Now or Forever

Dir. Darcy Lueking Bahensky / Holdrege NE / 17 min

Statement

“Now or Forever” is the story of a young, expectant bride who wrestles with her own expectations on the day of her wedding. The idea was conceived when I was preparing for my own walk down the aisle. I think it’s hard for anyone to imagine how that day is going to feel until you actually live it. You worry that your emotions will betray you, and in a small town setting, that means risking humiliation in front of a host of friends and neighbors.

Bio 

Darcy Lueking Bahensky is a writer/director from Oxford, Neb. She has a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Film and New Media Production, and she completed the Professional Program in Screenwriting from UCLA. In Los Angeles, Darcy worked for CAA, FOX, and Broadway Video before returning home to Nebraska, where she works as a freelance television commercial writer.

Darcy’s husband, Ross, is a CPA and her daughter, Georgiana, is…. well, she’s just a baby. They reside in Holdrege, Neb., with their freakishly humanlike Maltese, JoJo.

Still 1

To Kill a Stoat  

Dir. Hannah Stephens / Bennington NE / 4 min

Statement

Irish folklore is far darker than what most would think. Contrary to the fairytale characters and beings that are more common in modern media today, the fae folk of the original tales are starkly different. Although sometimes helpful, the faeries were more often mischievous, vengeful, and thought to better be left alone. To Kill a Stoat is a homage to an old Irish superstition that stoats or weasels were dark fearies in disguise, carried ceremonies for their dead, and were even venomous like snakes! Because of this, it was thought to be dreadfully unlucky for a person to harm or kill a stoat. I thought that the simple premises of a modern trapper forgetting these long headed warnings of danger would be a fun way to exercise my growing skills as an animator and to share a small bit my family’s culture as well. 

Bio 

Hannah Stephens is a Nebraska-born animator currently preparing for her thesis year at The School of Visual Art in NYC. The inspiration of her work is rooted in the stories and love of fantasy shared in her family. The prominent place of Irish folklore in her early childhood and works of J.R.R. Tolkien set the wheels in motion for her lifelong love of the genre. Her mother and chocolatier, Melissa Stephens of The Cordial Cherry, had emboldened her love of all things whimsically dark and today is her biggest inspiration in her career. Hannah’s next film, currently in preproduction, will star a motherly character similar to her own, that overcomes fears and unleashes her true self in fable-like fashion.

Avery Unmerry Early November1

A Very Unmerry Early November

Dir. Danielle Trausch / Lincoln NE / 10 min

Statement

“A Very Unmerry Early November” was produced at The Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The cast and crew consisted of all students at UNL. The film can only be described as a slapstick comedy Christmas thriller and centers around a Christmas-loving couple putting up Christmas decorations. They soon receive an unexpected visitor who sees that they will be punished for their early efforts. A very unmerry slapstick chase and confrontation occur with the couple having to make a difficult choice.

Bio 

Danielle Trausch is a film student at the The Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film. She wrote, produced, and edited “A Very Unmerry Early November” with a team of 22 other film school peers. 

Joe 2

I'm Just Saying...

Dir. Joe Vonnahme / Omaha NE / 3 min

Statement

A man vents on issues he believes to be detrimental towards today’s and future generations’ idea of self-worth and success.

Bio 

Joe Vonnahme is an Omaha-based filmmaker. “I’m Just Saying...” is his second short film as director/writer/actor. He is currently shopping around two feature-lengthed scripts to anybody who will read them. 

1 Tri Color Prism On Chriss Face

Stinson Prism Incense*

Dir. Diane Degan / Omaha NE / 43 min

Statement

Observing and recording in the midst of the action as a part of it. Selector of key emotions and expressions defining the inner connection of the subject in it’s environment. Editing in the camera with Cinema Verite style. As a journalistic account for example of a cat’s learned behavior or capturing the 60’s lifestyle of people and places while on location and traveling as this lifestyle directed. I followed it filming while life action was in play. 

Bio 

Visual Artist Living in Omaha, Nebraska. Exhibiting since 1960; A.A.O. Awards Joslyn Art Museum Biennials, two Solo and one Four-Person Invitationals Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, Mid-America Sioux City Art Center, Iowa, Annual. Sheldon Memorial, Lincoln, Nebraska San Francisco, California, City Purchase Award and Invitational C.M. Russell Museum, Montana, Ten State Bicentennial Dana College, Parnassus Gallery, Blair, Nebraska, Two Person Brooklyn, New York, Visual Individuals United Group Traveling Exhibitions: Iowa State, Doane College, Crete, Nebraska, University of Portland, State University of New York DIANE DEGAN works in Line Drawing, Painting, Photography, Murals in Public Places, Film Documentaries, Environments, Omaha Magic Theater. Limited Edition Artist Books currently available at the Bookworm (Loveland Centre) in Omaha, Nebraska. Her works are in Public and Private Collections; San Francisco, Omaha, Dallas, and New York City. 

*Stinson Prism Incense will be presented as a stand-alone installation in the Dundee Theater Linder Microcinema during the Premiere event post-party.

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