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Meet the Filmmaker: Amanda EK, “The Supermarket”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

A: My creative partner with Glass Cactus – Jesse Livingston – and I have been developing a TV series and submitting our pilot to fests and contests. Last summer we decided we’d like to make a short film (Second Surface – nominated for Best Experimental Short & Best Mobile short at IndieX Fest) as a way to back up our screenwriting projects, and as a way to stay creatively focused during the pandemic. Over the winter we decided it best to work remotely, which led me to teaching myself the basics of Final Cut Pro and turning an idea I’ve had to use my childhood Polly Pocket toys to show a variety of raw and heartfelt pandemic stories. As a synesthete, I’m drawn to filmmaking because it gives me an opportunity to express my cross-sensory experiences in ways that aren’t possible to convey in writing alone.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

A: The first episode of my Pandemic in Pollyville web series, “The Supermarket,” will be screening at the EFP. This will be its first live screening. I’ve been submitting it, along with other films in the series, to local and international film fests. Episode 9, “The First Date,” was just nominated for Best LGBTQ short and Best Web Series by Indie Shorts Fest. Eventually I’d like to host a screening of the entire series, with future plans for a gallery exhibit where each film is playing on separate old TV sets, and possibly a comic book version of the series.

Q: What else are you working on?

A: I have five more episodes of The Pandemic in Pollyville in the works, as well as a TV show that I’m writing and pitching with Jesse Livingston. Individually, I’m also pitching a memoir about the effects of growing up in evangelical purity culture, co-producing a Low Orbit podcast episode on Christian Rapture stories, co-editing a religious trauma anthology, writing a monthly erotica column for Out Front Magazine, and offering one-on-one creative coaching sessions.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

A: While filming, I treat the Polly dolls like actors. They need coaxing and direction in order to get the right pose and facial expressions out of them…and to keep their damn masks on.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

A: For more information about me and my work, you can head to my website AmandaEKwriter.com. I’m most active on instagram @amanda.ek.writer and @glasscactus_prods, and you can watch all of our films on our Glass Cactus YouTube channel.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

A: I’m excited to get to know other local filmmakers via the EFP as I seek to expand my community of like-minded creatives.

The Supermarket will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Bradley Haag, “The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

BH: It’s been so long since I started, I’m not even sure anymore. I know it has something to do with getting my friends together and turning our absurd fantasies into something that exists beyond our own imaginations.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

BH: You’re going to see an alcohol-induced fever dream / Karate Kid rip-off called “The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster” that was produced for the 2020 Four Points Film Project, which is like the Denver 48 but you get an additional 24 hours to complete and competes against the whole world. The required elements were that it be a Martial Arts film that included the character of Andy Wright, School Psychologist, use a sugar packet as a prop, and someone should speak the line “It’s crazy how that always happens.”. It screened at the 2021 Colorado Short Circuit Film Festival and won “Best Comedy Short”.

Q: What else are you working on?

BH: Other than getting that JCVDDV BD/DVD done, I’m trying to get a feature film made. I’ve made so many shorts. So. Many. Shorts. I’d like to have something at least 90 minutes long in my portfolio before I reach the grave.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

BH: One weird thing? How do I narrow it down? Ummm… we sacrifice the blood of an innocent before each production. Is that weird?

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

BH: You can look deep inside yourself and believe in yourself! Or you can go to nebulusvisions.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

BH: It was a mistake to screen this film and you’ll regret it. Seriously though, thanks for providing at platform for local indie filmmakers to screen their work.

The Legend of Drunken Brewmaster will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Rebekah Fieschi, “The Unvisited”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

RF: I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love movies. Books, movies, imagination and storytelling were always a big part of my life. At 9 years old Titanic made a huge impression on me and a friend and I wrote a (terrible, two page, dialogue-only) sequel (we called it Titanic 2, even though the boat wasn’t in it, and, yes, Jack came back to life). Then, at eleven I saw Edward Scissorhands and something clicked in my brain telling me that movies don’t just pop into existence, that they’re made by people who first have to imagine them. Since I was always very visual and imaginative and I struggled in school because of dyslexia, understanding that it was possible to capture these visual thoughts and communicate them to other people through film blew my mind. I decided then and there that that’s what I wanted to do, even though I had no clue how.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

RF: The Unvisited is visually inspired by the Hammer movies and the Addams Family. It’s a fantasy/comedy about an old couple in a spooky mansion that enjoys sharing the twilight of their lives but yearns to be visited by their neglectful daughter before it’s too late. There’s such an emphasis on our differences lately that it’s easy to forget that we are more alike than not. I wanted to make a simple, silly and relatable film everyone could enjoy. In a lighthearted way, the film explores themes of growing older, the fear of dying alone and the desire to be reunited with one’s family.
It has screened in a few festivals in France, it just screened at the Queens World Film Festival in New York, it won the Best Fantasy Short award at Sick Chick Flicks and it will be screening at one of Hollyshorts’ monthly screenings. After that, I will be looking to distribute it on a platform which will allow the most eyes on it as possible.

Q: What else are you working on?

RF: I am working on a few works of prose (because the downsides of dyslexia can be overcome). I’m also working on a short film about a six-year-old kid who misunderstands a conversation she overhears and becomes convinced that her half-sister lives in the sea and she becomes determined to find her. And, I am developing my first feature film which is a psychological horror/thriller.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

RF: I can’t think of anything that’s not weird about me or my movies.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

RF: My website: www.horromance.com (where ways to watch my previous films can be found)
Instagram: @horromance or @rjffieschi
Twitter: @horromance or @theheadlessbeki

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

RF: I think it’s awesome to give local filmmakers the opportunity to screen their film. I’ve screened at the Bug before and know it’s a great place to watch movies, have your film be seen by an actual audience and exchange with other filmmakers. I actually met Kathi Baerns, the co-lead in The Unvisited, at the Bug during the Colorado Independent Women of Film Festival.

The Unvisited will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Shane White, “The Raven”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

SW: I’ve loved stop motion since I saw “Nightmare Before Christmas” when I was 5 and started making animated films in junior high by quickly hitting record on and off on my parents old cassette tape style video camera. I’ve always wanted to be an animator.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

SW: “The Raven” was produced by local production house “Burn Studios” as a Halloween special for their ongoing web series “The Nug Nation” created by Mikey Peterson. Our hope at the studio is for the show to gain a wider audience so we can make more episodes!

Q: What else are you working on?

SW: In addition to the “Nug Nation” show we also have a series “Hemp in History” with episode 2 posting by the end of the summer.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

SW: I was new to the studio and asked the producers at Burn to allow me to make “The Raven” as a means to learn how to animate the Nug puppets for future episodes. I ended up with a film they were happy with and wanted to release.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

SW: Visit thenugnation.com and find Burn TV, Burn Studios, and The Nug Nation on social media. Or my personal Instagram @shanewhitenoise

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

SW: EFP is very important and they deserve all of your money.

The Raven will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Jamey Hastings, “Rocky Mountain Flyathlon: Run. Fish. Beer.”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

JH: I think it’s twofold. I love to hear, see, read, and tell stories, and I love the collaboration that comes with working on a film with a cast and crew you trust. There’s something magical when a script you write comes to life, but it only gets there when you open it up to layers upon layers of interpretation by other artists. That’s where the good stuff happens.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

JH: Rocky Mountain Flyathlon: Run.Fish.Beer is a short documentary about an event that screams “Colorado.” I heard about it from a friend and we decided it’d be fun to document. This is it’s first public screening.

Q: What else are you working on?

JH: I’m currently in pre-production on a horror short called, “The Dollcatcher,” a terrifying Twilight Zonesque jaunt in the woods.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

JH: I mean… The bin of porcelain dolls in the living room being created for “The Dollcatcher” is pretty weird.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

JH: You can visit: youmayclap.com or vimeo.com/jameyhastings. You can also follow my You May Clap Productions Facebook page.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

JH: I love EFP and am so happy to see it’s return! I have met so many of my favorite film collaborators just by showing up, watching films, and chatting.

Rocky Mountain Flyathon will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Nick Fiorella, “Numerus Duo”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
NF: From a young age, I have always been into making videos and creative projects. Once I had the tools to edit, I really became obsessed. I haven’t looked back from there 🙂

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
NF: Numerus Duo is about a young Catholic school girl who encounters foul spirits. It has screened at 24 film festivals so far. It has won 24 awards, including Best Film at the Chicago Horror and Super F$%ked Up Film Festival. Best Dark Comedy at the Atlanta Horror Film Festival. It’s been nominated for 17 awards.

Q: What else are you working on?
NF: I just finished a sci-fi script called ‘as·cen·sion’. I am going to film it at the Sand Dunes. Super excited. It will be about 4 minutes long.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
NF: Not sure if this is weird, but I am always incorporating special effects into my films 🙂

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NF: facebook.com/numerusduo Please like our Facebook page and stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes content.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
NF: Thank you so much for screening Numerus Duo! This will be the first time I (Nick Fiorella) have watched the film in theaters! lol All the film festivals have been virtual, so I am really looking forward to this. Ready for a beer with some other film-makers 🙂

Numerus Duo will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Hector Quijano, “Gaia”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
HQ: I became a filmmaker to create and explore worlds which are virtually confined within our imagination. As spectators and illusionists, we can believe in something more allegorical than our own reality.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
HQ: Gaia is a personal love letter to mother nature through the exploration of psychedelics. It has screened at various festival domestically and internationally and has received two awards. I hope to continue receiving exposure and network as a filmmaker with this film.

Q: What else are you working on?
HQ: Currently I am in the pre-production stage of a new surreal short film titled Lenses, which entertains the idea of characters in different eras that can see each other simultaneously through different types of lenses.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
HQ: My niche, I believe, is surreal narrative.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
HQ: www.vimeo.com/hqcinematics

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
HQ: Thank you to the Emerging Filmmakers Project for exposing filmmakers, not only to general audiences, but to other filmmakers and artists alike. Networking is one of the most important elements of indie filmmaking.

Gaia will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Dan Treanor, “UKTENA – The Trailer”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
DT: I have always loved movies. At a very young age my father would take me to the Chief Theater in downtown Pueblo, (my home town), and the bug was hatched. I have followed that passion ever since. When I got back from Viet Nam, I’m dating myself, I got a couple of degrees on the GI Bill. One of the degrees was a Masters in American History. This lead to gigs as a historical advisor, background artist and musician on sound tracks (harmonica). I worked on Dances With Wolves, Far And Away, Glory, Gettysburg, Avenging Angel, and How The West Was Lost. I also created the soundtrack for Damon Runyon’s Pueblo – a Golden Globe winner. In 1992 I produced a documentary – Gettysburg – In Hell or Glory. A “Telly” winner and in rotation on several PBS stations across the country. At various times I have worked as a cameraman, props, and location sound. I am basically a self taught film maker. I learned a great deal working on major films as well as low budget/no budget projects. UKTENA was a 2 year project. Myself and my son had always dreamed about doing our own film. We are both huge fans of the Kaiju genre. We decided to go for it. David is a fantastic artist and the suit he created for UKTENA is a work of art. He is also a great suit actor. I have been a professional musician most of my life and I was able to bring some of Colorado’s top Blues, R&B and Roots musicians into the movie as ACTORS! It really worked.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
DT: For the EFP you are going to see the latest trailer we created for UKTENA – The Horned Monstrosity. The story is based on the Native American myth – Uktena the Horned Serpent. After eons of confinement in a long forgotten cave, Uktena is unleashed on Rocky Flats City. He is brought back to life because of modern man’s insatiable lust for wealth and power. Uktena is back and he’s pissed. The story unfolds over a 3 day period. We pay homage to the Kaiju classics – Godzilla, Gorgo, King Kong, etc., but we add our own little twist of message and humor. The world premiere will be Sunday, June 20th. Great venue – Flipside Music performance center – 2231 S Platte River Drive 80223.
It will start at 2pm and it is a ticketless, open to the public event. Most of the cast will be there and after the movie a jam session featuring many of the cast members will ensue. Mike Reid and Rollins Productions will provide the screen (full theater size), projector and sound. We have submitted the film to several festivals and we hope to hold it in more venues up and down the Front Range. We would love to show it at the ‘Bug’ once some of these Covid restrictions are lifted. We are looking at presenting a package – the movie, followed by a musical show featuring many of the cast. We have begun to reach out to venues with this package idea and have gotten very positive feedback. It would be a unique evening of movie and music!

Q: What else are you working on?
DT: Outside of getting ‘UKTENA’ off the ground I am presently editing another Colorado feature – Beneath The Fields. All Colorado crew and cast – teenage slasher style. It’s going to be a good one. I am also working on a script/screenplay for a space/time machine opera. Hope to start shooting the later part of summer.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
DT: I could tell you so many weird things about me – LOL, but I’ve always felt that music and movies are in lockstep with each other. The process, how they are created, the beat, the groove, the mood, the emotion, the presentation – they are the same. Making a movie is like making a song. that is my approach.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
DT: I’m working on putting together a WIX site for UKTENA and I have a website – www.dantreanorband.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
DT: The EFP is a great way to meet and network with other artist. My friend Ben Makinen turned me on to the Bug and the EFP and I feel fortunate that he did. Looking forward to meeting new people and learning more about this thing we call film making. The learning never stops.

UKTENA – The Trailer will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Jane Darling, “Joyride”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JD: I love movies, all kinds. And I like creating stories. They go together.

Q: What are we going to see at EFPalooza? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JD: Joyride is a personal woman’s story. A woman is driving around in her car with chattering voices in her head – and then they start to appear as different versions of herself. The hot topic is her pregnancy scare and unsure of who the father is. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The entire story takes place inside the car. It was filmed entirely using a green screen in a garage. This is the first public screening for this film.

Q: What else are you working on?
JD: I am working on a science fiction web series about a guy who gets left behind to die on a destroyed world and is discovered about 100 years later and then revived.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JD: They always have surreal, fantasy, or science fiction elements.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JD: www.spiropictures.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about EFPalooza or The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JD: I am thrilled and honored to be in the film festival. It’s a terrific showcase of Colorado films. I love being part of the event because I meet other filmmakers and often see unique innovations in their films.

Joyride will screen Saturday, March 21st at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre as part of the Saturday Evening Shorts block during the 2020 EFPalooza Film Festival.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Sheila E. Schroeder, “Scary Lucy”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
SS: I became a filmmaker because I had something to say and I found film to be the best way to share those stories with others. My films reflect my passion for telling stories with and about girls, women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ communities and the elderly.

Q: What are we going to see at EFPalooza? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
SS: Scary Lucy, is the second film created through Project DU F.I.L.M. (film initiative linking mentors). Created in 2015 Project DU F.I.L.M. brings together University of Denver students and alumni to work alongside Denver filmmaking professionals as we work to change the face of filmmaking in front of and behind the camera. Our stories focus on diverse populations and deliberately make room for diverse crews. 
Directed by local filmmaker, Marteene Diaz, the film stars local Denver comics Christie Buchele and Janae Burris. After seeing a hideous statue dedicated to her comedic idol, Lucille Ball, a risk averse comedienne battling a recent breast cancer diagnosis makes it her mission to destroy Scary Lucy. The film has screened across the globe, from Melbourne to Cambridge, UK to Atlanta in over 25 different festivals and venues.

Q: What else are you working on?
SS: I will be filming a new short, Hunting Season, in summer, 2020. In this short film critiquing the impact of toxic masculinity, a comedienne finds herself caught in the crosshairs when she takes a job entertaining a bar full of deer hunters.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
SS: The film is loosely based on a true story of a statue known as Scary Lucy. Google it and see for yourself!

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work
SS: http://scarylucythemovie.com/
https://www.facebook.com/huntingseasonthemovie/
https://www.facebook.com/projectdufilm

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about EFPalooza or The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
SS: You all rock! Thanks for your unwavering support of film and filmmakers!

Scary Lucy will screen Saturday, March 21st at 3:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre as part of the “A Decade of Colorado Independent Women of Film” block during the 2020 EFPalooza Film Festival.