BARE BONES FILMS 2022

INDIE AUTEUR FEATURES














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INDIE AUTEUR AMBASSADORS COMPETE FOR THE ROBERT RODRIGUEZ INDIE AUTEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD

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BAD ANIMAL
REMSY ATASSI-Writer/Director/Original Music Composer/Producer

85:00 Minutes

SEMBRÉ is a rising star in the Chicago music scene. His first record, BAD ANIMAL, was a critical and commercial success. MARLENE, a talented indie artist in her own right, is Sembré's manager.

Everything changes when a new producer shows up with a major record deal, forcing Marlene and Sembré to confront their past while navigating fame in the underground Chicago music scene.

REMSY ATASSI-Writer/Director/Original Music Composer/Producer
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Bad Animal is a love letter to the Chicago DIY music scene. Artists don't come here for money and fame. They come here to build something together: community.

I've been making videos, photos, and art with musicians in Chicago for almost a decade. It's from these experiences in my 20s stumbling through late-night basements and alleys, meeting wildly talented and wonderfully strange folks that this film came into focus. My greatest hope was that we could shine a light on this world full of artists we love, a place we knew might not always be around.

But I had no idea things would change so quickly. The stark challenges of the past year have hit working artists so hard. I fear that our beloved music community will be radically transformed forever. I see it happening on a daily basis.

"Unknown" musicians represent the best in us. They are truth-tellers, dreamers, and radicals who aren't afraid to moonlight their dreams. They are an inspiration. Their artistic contributions are the soundtracks to our lives (and our movie).

BIO
Remsy Atassi is an award-winning writer/director, and cinematographer born in Toledo, Ohio and based in Chicago.

Remsy's first feature BAD ANIMAL was a featured Project We Love on Kickstarter and premiered at the Tucson Film & Music Festival. Remsy is also a co-founder of the Chicago visual art project Emulsion Lab, which focuses on creating music videos and original films with a distinctly lo-fi style.

With his production company RA IMAGING, Remsy's directed & photographed campaigns for clients including Grubhub, Bosch, Dodge, Porsche, FedEx, Magna-Tiles, the Obama Foundation, and legendary comic artists Alex Ross & Bill Sienkiewicz while producing countless non-profit and corporate productions. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, Forbes, Billboard, Pitchfork, Vice, and the Chicago Reader.

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BITTER TASTE OF GINGER
BRANDON C. LAY-Writer/Director/Dp-Cinematographer/Editor/Producer

75:00 Minutes

Ginger, a recent widow, takes up autoerotic asphyxiation to work up the nerve to kill her abusive mother-in-law, Ginny.

BRANDON C. LAY-Writer/Director/DP-Cinematographer/Editor/Producer
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

The most impactful lucid dreams are the ones that cling to us so fervently that they leave indelible imprints on our psyche as tangible as our memories. Ingmar Bergman is quoted as saying "I am living permanently in my dream, from which I make brief forays into reality. Such is the waking life of our film Bitter Taste of Ginger.

Possibly described best as a 75-minute assault; this Juvenalian satire is an art-house genre film that's been molested by internet culture to the point that it might be best positioned as a hopeful, future cult-classic of the early 2020s.

"It's down there somewhere. Let me take another look, says the Coen Brother's through Jeff Bridges as The Dude in The Big Lebowski while he has his head repeatedly submerged in toilet water. Tarkovsky says, "if you look for meaning you'll miss everything that happens." Best idea is to just go for the ride.

BIO
Brandon C. Lay is an award winning filmmaker and founder of Living Proof Pictures, known for character and dialogue driven dramas featuring dynamic female leads at their center.

His early work in film goes back as far as 2006 however it wasn't until 2014 with the debut of the micro budget feature Macie on a Good Day that Brandon began creating the films for which he and his production company are best known. Brandon lives in historic Bethlehem in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania where he films all of his work with his team of Regular Players and the surround filmmaking community.

Brandon's 6th feature Bitter Taste of Ginger is currently making waves on the underground and indie film circuit. It has made an Official Selection at over 20 film festival since it's premiere Sept 25th 2021 and has been nominated and won a myriad of awards for both he and his team. 2022 comes with it two major projects the continued work on his 7th feature A Memory of Chopin and the episodically released fantasy novel He Had a Dog Named Chicken: From the Tales of Viv & Pickle available on patreon which helps to fund the work at Living Proof Pictures: www.patreon.com/livingproofpictures

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CULTURA
BELINDA DEE DEE GARCIA BLASE-Writer/Director/Producer/Actor
EDDIE CARDENAS-Producer

60:00 Minutes

DRAMA-Episode 1-TV Series

A generation spanning drama regarding a Phoenix lowrider community.

BELINDA DEE DEE GARCIA BLASE-Writer/Director/Producer/Actor
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT:

Live to help those who can't help themselves, and do it with passion or not at all.

BIO:

Long before writing a script, Dee Dee Garcia Blase was an activist and advocate for undocumented immigrants.

She lobbied and conducted coalition building for comprehensive immigration reform before late Arizona Senator John McCain passed away. She was focused on getting out the vote, writing opinion editorials and press releases defending a humanitarian approach to fellow man. She raised awareness and shined the spotlight with her radio show programs on numerous Latino artists, filmmakers, actors, producers, and musicians. 2016 was a game changer as she knew no amount of lobbying / activism would change a broken system and turned to writing and producing her first film during the Trump era.

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DOWN THE ROAD
ERIK MARGOLIN-Writer/Director/Editor/Original Music Composer/VFX
KAREN FLATHERS-Producer

84:00 Minutes

When a paperboy goes missing in the local woods, it's up to his friends to find answers. Following a mysterious trail of clues, they venture into the heart of the unknown, and unearth something much deeper.

ERIK MARGOLIN-Writer/Director/Editor/Original Music Composer/VFX
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ERIK'S VIDEO MESSAGE

IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Film has always been my great passion in life. It is my favorite storytelling medium for how collaborative it is, combining so many different artistic fields (photography, sound, music, performance, etc.) into one, and how immersive and powerful that can be.

This film represents a dream come true for me, and has also been the greatest learning experience of my life, teaching me way more than just the art of filmmaking. I can't begin to express how excited I am to share it with the world!

BIO

Erik Margolin has been passionate about making films since he was in middle school, winning his first award for a short he made in his senior year of high school.

Immediately after graduating high school, he was accepted into the Inner City Filmmakers (ICF) summer program, which included classes held at USC, Warner Bros, Universal Studios, and Fox. At the program's end festival, his ICF short was awarded "Best Sound" by MPSE.

He then studied film at California State University Northridge (CSUN) where he earned a BA in screenwriting. This project (his first feature film) represents the culmination of years of study, practice, and determination.

He is also a freelance composer whose music has been featured in productions all across the world.

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HIDEOUT
YEN KUANG CHEN-Writer/Director/Producer/Editor

120:00 Minutes

Drug dealer Guo-hao hopes to make enough money so that he and his girlfriend can leave their life of crime behind. One day, he is contacted by Michael, a drug broker with an offer to buy a batch of rare cocaine.

Guo-hao teams up with long-time buddy Da-wei to borrow money from local crime boss Uncle Ma to complete this deal.

On the day of the exchange, however, Michael is found dead and the drugs are already gone. The owner of the cocaine threatens to kill Guo-hao if he fails to come up with the drugs or money. At the same time, Uncle Ma dispatches his henchmen to recover the loan.

YEN KUANG CHEN-Writer/Director/Producer/Editor
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT:

Hideout is my first feature-length film. I tried to present this crime story in a very realistic way. Accordingly, whether it is the shooting technique, composition, performances or dialogue, the aim was to be simple, direct and plain, so as to increase the sense of realism for audiences when watching the film.

Though this film is categorized as a crime thriller, its core revolves around the complexity of human psychology, such as love, trust, pretense, deceit and betrayal. This is also the source of my creative inspiration.

My focus when writing the script was always on big twists and reversals. That is why Hideout has a seemingly simple plot yet an unexpected ending. Tiny details in the film provide the key to subsequent developments in the story.

BIO

Chen Yen Kuang was born in Taiwan, Taipei. With a background in graphic design and photo-editing, he is a self-taught filmmaker.

Hideout is his feature debut. He served as the screenwriter, director, editor and producer of this film.

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MILLENNIAL WITH A CANE
L. TANNER SMITH-Writer/Director/Editor/Actor/Producer

88:00 Minutes

A young-adult MS patient joins an "invisible illness" support group, which helps her cope with her disease.

L. TANNER SMITH-Writer/Director/Editor/Actor/Producer
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR STATEMENT:

I was in a bad place because of Multiple Sclerosis, and nothing was helping me until I decided to turn it into art. When I wrote the first draft of this script, I knew I had to make it into a feature film. I wanted to put everything into it, everything I wasn't used to, a budget, fancy equipment, a big experienced crew...then the pandemic happened and that shut all of that down. But I learned something too: it's not about what you have...it's about what you do with it. So, I made this film with minimal crew, a good camera and mic, a sense of humor, a heart, and some greatly dedicated actors to help make it happen. The result is this film that I couldn't be any more proud of--a film that tells people EXACTLY what they can do with their toxic positivity. ;) Thank you.

BIO:

L. Tanner Smith is a filmmaker with a BA degree, a chronic illness, and a dream to make many films until death. He started making films during his small-town childhood, continued his craft in Digital Filmmaking at the University of Central Arkansas, and is still making films even after being stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. Smith now lives in Overland Park, Kansas and is active in the Kansas City film scene. With support from his friends & colleagues, Smith is making the transformation from small-town dreamer to indie filmmaker complete.

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NUTS! THE MUSICAL
BENJAMIN DEAN WILSON-Writer/Director/Producer/Original Music Composer

92:00 Minutes


Two brothers, Sam and Isaac Piper, manage their dying father's pest control company. When spraying the home of former child star, Zack Thompson, they unwittingly stumble into an outrageous conspiracy. Coincidentally, Sam's newly-invented pest control chemical is in popular demand. Depending on who gains control of this chemical, it could bring fame and fortune, jeopardize the conspiracy, or simply provide a sensational high.

BENJAMIN DEAN WILSON-Writer/Director/Producer/Original Music Composer
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

The goal was simple, to make a feature film as monumental as Lawrence of Arabia with less than half the budget of Slacker. We set out, equipped with a 16mm news camera from the 1970's and a spirit of resourcefulness. In the tradition of Monty Python, troupe members play multiple characters, both person and puppet. The result, a dark musical comedy with 13 songs and a plot so outrageous it could only be described as Nuts!

BIO

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Benjamin Dean Wilson lives to tell stories. He has told them with music, with film, and now, with Nuts! The Musical, he tells them with both.

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OBJECTIVE
RICARDO MORENO, JR.-Writer/Director/DP-Cinematographer/Editor

60:48 Minutes


A man searches for his kidnapped daughter through the underworld of sex trafficking


RICARDO MORENO, JR.-Writer/Director/DP-Cinematographer/Editorr
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DIRECTOR STATEMENT

Hello! My name is Ricardo Moreno, I am a Latinx filmmaker. My career started when I was eight years old. I picked up my father's camcorder and started making films of my family. My goal is to become a commercial filmmaker working with major studios to create big films.

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SHE'S OUT OF HIS MIND
EMMETT LOVERDE-Writer/Director/DP-Cinematographer/Editor/VFX/Producer

80:00 Minutes

Roland's girl problems are all in his head. Which is another problem.

While in Las Vegas attending the wedding of an unrequited love interest a young man magically comes face to face with every woman he has ever loved and lost. He does a little romancing, some soul-searching, and ends up finding some answers along the way.

EMMETT LOVERDE-Writer/Director/DP-Cinematographer/Editor/VFX/Producer
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IMDB.COM

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

I hope you enjoy "She's Out of His Mind."

BIO

Emmett Loverde is a cinematographer, film editor, director (film and stage), screenwriter, playwright, artist, and the author of one book and the author/illustrator of another. He is also an actor and a former teaching artist with the Virginia Avenue Project of Santa Monica, California.

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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOBY BLACKWOOD
JOE AHERN-Writer/Director/Producer/Actor
DOUG MELLARD-Co-Writer/Producer

77:00 Minutes

A conspiracy theorist YouTube personality goes missing during the pandemic, and two friends try to find him without leaving their homes.

JOE AHERN-Writer/Director/Producer/Actor
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

In May of last year, we thought we would make our first feature as the world lay frozen. Because we wanted to be as responsible as we possibly could, we had to find a creative way to tell a story that could be filmed with an extremely limited crew and a budget that barely exceeded $20,000. This, obviously, led to many challenges, but 2020 tended to prepare everyone for nothing but challenges.

Our on-set crew rarely involved more than three people (all in a bubble together) and our film only featured two scenes that had actors physically together. With all the obstacles in our way, and unforeseen speed bumps that continued to pop up, much of the film came together in what felt like kismet. We were thrilled with the amount of talent we were able to bring on board our tiny project because people simply wanted to help out with what they saw as a very ambitious film. Each person in our small group of friends involved had to wear many hats to bring our film to life, and we are really proud of the end result.

In all honesty, we don't know how we made this film during a pandemic with a crew consisting mostly of three. The full story behind the making of it often felt like fiction, and we hope to share those details with the world someday. The Disappearance of Toby Blackwood helped get us through the nightmare that was 2020, and it's our sincere hope that it brings some much-needed laughter and joy into 2021 and beyond.

Thank you!
- Joe Ahern, Doug Mellard, Katie Middleton, Sara Flynn Fletcher

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THE AWAKENING OF LILITH
STEVEN ADAM RENKOVISH-Writer/Director/Editor/Producer
BRITTANY RENEE SMITH-Producer/Actor

82:00 Minutes

A woman finds herself in the midst of a dark mystery after the unexplained loss of a loved one. Her mind begins to unravel as her sense of reality begins to slip away.

STEVEN ADAM RENKOVISH-Writer/Director/Editor/Producer
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IMDB.COM

 

DIRECTOR STATEMENT

Director Statement
Grief is universal. At some point, we will all face it. It's how each individual processes it that interests me, because over the course of my life, each period of grief that I have experienced has been vastly different, with varying degrees of weight.

The Awakening of Lilith explores this idea of the weight of grief - how some of us long to forget it the minute we feel it, the very second it shows its face, and how others almost see it as a comfort. Because grief tethers us to our loved ones for eternity, every time that we grieve for them, they are there, in some way or another.

In this film, the character of Lilith suffers from the mysterious loss of a loved one. The pain is so great that she has chosen to live inside of it. I wanted to explore what that would look like, and how and why one comes to that place. That eternal night of the soul - not quite day and not quite night. Candlelight is abundant in the film. Burning and flickering in what is clearly midday or at the dead of night - Lilith does not differentiate between the two, such is the complexity of her grief.

I hope that the experience of watching The Awakening of Lilith will initiate a conversation that needs to be had. I hope that, through the character of Lilith, people may see a bit of themselves. That is my hope.

Making this film with a cast and crew of people that I love dearly has been a life-changing process for me. We have brought you a film that we are very proud of for many reasons. We hope that you will enjoy it, learn from it, and maybe see the shades of grace that are planted throughout.

Thank you for watching. Please stay through the end credits to hear the original song, "Elegy for Lilith", written and performed by Brittany Renée - the actress who plays Lilith in the film.

BIO

Steven Adam Renkovish resides in South Carolina. His love affair with the arts began as a young man and continues to this very day.

Adam is a film critic, as well as a screenwriter and filmmaker. He has written for The Easley Progress and Examiner.com, as well as his own site, HalloweenRetro101.

Adam's award-winning films have been accepted to many film festivals, including the Tryon International Film Festival in Tryon, NC.

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YOU AND WHAT ARMY
JIM MENZA-Writer/Director/Producer/Editor

90:00 Minutes


Brother filmmakers borrow money from a loan shark to shoot their first film.

JIM MENZA-Writer/Director/Producer/Editor
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IMDB.COM

 

BIO

Jim Menza is a director, writer, producer, editor and actor who has spent most of his adult life in the entertainment industry. After spending two years on a successful sitcom, he set out on a forty-six State tour as the on-air host and writer of the ABC FAMILY CHANNEL'S TV show; THE SUMMER DRIVE-IN THEATRE. His films include DUSTING CLIFF SEVEN, which he also wrote, and NICE GUYS... which he wrote, produced and starred in.

Jim wrote directed, produced and edited the feature films PATIENT official selection of the Angel Citi Film Festival, FOOLISH THE WISE official selection of The California Independent Films Festival, BLOOD, BAGGED distributed by Fenix Films, THE LIST Feature Film Winner of the Key West Independent Film Festival, SIGNED IN BLOOD official selection of the Dances With Films Film Festival, SLIGHT OF LIFE official selection of the DeReel Australian International Film Festival, EXECUTION winner of the Haunted Horror International Film Festival, RID, and BLOODY WINGS, winner Best Guerrilla Feature The Temecula Independent Film Festival, official selection MAC Brazilian Film Festival 2015.

His NOVELS include CLIPPED, LOONIES and DAREDEVIL the man without fear.