Now in its tenth year, our annual celebration of Nebraska and Iowa filmmakers includes comedies both absurd and incisive, documentaries on grief and the power of words, experimental shorts, a sci-fi vision, and an animated memoir. This year’s guest jury — composed of mentees, artist mentors, and staff from Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program — had the challenging task of reviewing a record 104 submissions, ultimately arriving at a feature-length collection that once again demonstrates the creativity and talent at work in our region.
Jurors: Joe Addison, Tess Bowler, Josh Brown, Richard Chung, Sabina Eastman, Riley Jimenez, Ken Keys, Abi Lalul, Sophie Manzitto, Thomas McLaughlin, Sophie Newell, Abby Patterson, Maria Piperis, Buf Reynolds-Sechser, Dan Richters, Barbara Simcoe, Katie B. Temple, Anthony Zaner
Premiere & Post-Party
Join us at the Dundee Theater on Thursday, November 7 (7pm) for a special opening-night screening of the 2019 Local Filmmakers Showcase with a post-party immediately following, catered by Lola's.
When a lonely and eccentric man’s daily routine is interrupted, he finds himself in an inconvenient situation.
Shawn Gourley is the Creative Director at Edison Creative, a video production studio he helped start over a decade ago. Over the years of growth and change he has worked hard to create and champion a space specifically for passion projects within Edison. The Axiom Chronicles, a sci-fi adventure series, has been their biggest undertaking yet. Shawn works as the director and animator of the series and continues to pour into it along with other creative projects. Outside of work, Shawn enjoys devoting the rest of his time to his family. He and his wife of 7 years, whom he met while filming a short film, live in Omaha with their two young boys.
Bella is an experimental short film that integrates multiple genres of time-based media into a cohesive cinematic work. Visuals, sound, and pace drive the narrative. Figure's movements, natural environments, and inanimate objects function as signifiers to provide meaning without dialogue. This unique work also uses a mashup of video techniques which weave a spiritual and psychological journey of a young fairytale-like dancer. She moves thru a myriad of epic landscapes - labyrinths, dunes, mesas, vistas, forests - and between youthfulness and impending womanhood. Bella is a visual and conceptual experience that challenges viewers from both an emotional and psychological perspective.
Seth D. Myers is an artist, filmmaker, & educator who lives in Dubuque, Iowa. He received his MFA in New Genres specializing in time-based media from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. His award winning video work has exhibited and screened internationally at film festivals and venues that include the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is currently an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Loras College and considers himself a creative recluse.
Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary Feminist artist who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Working from a vast technical perspective, the breadth of her work includes painting, drawing, multi-media installation, film, video and performance art. Sarah's visual art, performance, and collaborative work have exhibited across the United States and in Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, and Cuba, with solo exhibitions at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos and the Bohemian Gallery & Museum of Contemporary Art in Montevideo, Uruguay. Sarah is currently the Chair of the Art Department at UNM-Taos.
A very real look at my Grandma's struggle with Dementia. Who she is now is not who she was.
Brandon Oest is an award winning filmmaker based in the midwest. His work has been shown at a number of film festivals and nationally on ABC. His first documentary, Everything Is Going To Be Fine is a very personal look at Shirley Shaw who has battled advanced dementia at the end of her life.
A young mother interviews for her dream job, but she struggles to overcome the pitfalls of intergenerational poverty.
Darcy Lueking Bahensky is a writer/director from central Nebraska. She has a B.F.A. in Film and New Media Production from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 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.
In her spare time, Darcy likes to take pictures of her daughter, listen to the Who? Weekly podcast, and arrange elaborate charcuterie boards. She is currently drinking a lot of celery juice, but it’s probably just a phase.
Darcy’s husband, Ross, is an accountant, and her daughter, Georgiana, is a child prodigy.
Missing Piece is a film about, and for, my deceased wife, Beth Broderick. It is a film about love and loss, and a journey to find oneself.
Tim Guthrie is a multi-media visual artist and filmmaker. He has been awarded the Independent Artist Fellowship Distinguished Artist - Filmmaker award from the NAC. He was also a TEDx Omaha speaker in 2018, where he discussed the film “Missing Piece.”
His films have won numerous Best Documentary awards, including the 2017 Humanitarian Award (GIFA), multiple Audience Awards, Special Juror’s Awards, and other top awards, and has shown widely, including in Wales, UK, Sweden (High Coast), Sydney (World Film Festival), Japan (Hiroshima Animation Festival), Greece (5th Annual Athens International Animation Festival), Italy (Control Arms Conference), as well screened in London, Miami, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Hollywood, and Toronto.
Writing can often times serve as a refuge and an escape. This is especially true for individuals living behind bars. Professor Peggy Jones is helping her students find their voice, while her students are helping her see the humanity in everyone.
Megan McGill is an Omaha native with a passion for storytelling. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in both Journalism and Broadcasting. She went on to work at 10/11 News in Lincoln and the Omaha World-Herald before settling in her current role at Hearst Television. Megan has covered everything from historic flooding, to local news, to Nebraska football. She has experienced life both in front of and behind the camera lens and believes that the best stories are the ones you can watch.
When searching for a human connection in an AI-dominated world, a standard technician will go to any cost to find companionship.
I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska; a somewhat-known city in a seemingly unknown region in the middle of the United States. Though many have never heard of Omaha, I take great pride in where I come from. I often say that growing up in a “big” city with a small-town feel, a city where a ten-minute drive east can take you to a historic downtown or a ten-minute drive west can take you to miles of rich farmland, has influenced me more than anything in my life. By living in a city of such duality, it has allowed me to meet people of all walks of life, race, and religions. In turn, this provided the opportunity to hear all sorts of stories as well, fueling my passion for filmmaking and telling a narrative I have given the title “the human existence story”.
My philosophy is that if the root of the story has the potential to impact someone, whether the plot be dramatic, fantastical, or science-fiction, then it is a story worth telling. In 2016, I continued to pursue my passion and dreams at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where I hope to further my storytelling ability and impact audiences for years to come.”
A classic story of lust turned to love, love turned to jealousy and a couple of birds that will put it all out on the line. This idea came from listening to the droll wonders of LibriVox.org. No birds were harmed in the creation of this video.
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.
Throughout my artistic career, I’ve known that nothing I accomplished could have been possible without the incredible support and love from my family, especially my mom. We’ve been through plenty of hardship, but prevailed stronger and closer all the same. Old Fur New Teeth is more than just a story. It is a dedication, a love letter, an ode, to my family’s experience. The motherly figure of my film is a creature of pure nature who finds herself ensnared by a cruel hunter and forced into a human skin. The hunter soon turns his cruel attention towards their children and the mother knows she must do something drastic in order to rescue them from the same snare she’s been caught in for so long. This is a story of courage and the supernatural power of a mother’s love.
Hannah Stephens is a Nebraska-born SVA alumni with experience interning for some of the most notable studios in NYC; the most prominent being Frederator Studios and Titmouse inc. Her fanciful personal work often homages to experiences growing up in a chocolate shop in small town USA as well as her love of folklore. Hannah’s upcoming thesis, Old Fur New Teeth, is a whimsically dark but also uplifting tribute to her family who has supported her artistic career since childhood.