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Meet the Filmmaker: Henry Cavalier, “Special Delivery”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
HC: My passion for filmmaking began in middle school where I would come up with random stories and tell them to my friends. Apparently they were entertaining because my friends were always asking for more! Near the end of middle school I was introduced to the greatest technological achievement in consumer videography at the time – the Mini DV camera, and I began to record random stories and scenes throughout high school and beyond. To make a long story short, I have always had a desire to tell stories and to make them entertaining. I believe that film is a great medium to visually tell a story and I am blessed that passion has stayed with me through the best and worst of times in my life.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
HC: You will be watching Special Delivery, which I consider to be the funniest, cringiest action short film ever shot in Denver. Not all projects filmmakers create come out as intended. Sometimes they turn out to be shit like Special Delivery and we decide to save ourselves from embarrassment and never let anybody see it. I have no future plans for Special Delivery. It’s a flop and not a good representation of my best work, but I hope that other filmmakers can watch it and learn from my mistakes as it’s a great lesson in the filmmaking process. It will live on my hard drive forever after the screening, unless I ever decide to teach at a film school, where it would likely be used as a case study in much of the core curriculum.

Q: What else are you working on?
HC: I am currently putting the finishing touches on a short film that I worked on with the late actress Stacy Farrar. Due to the tragedy of her and her son’s passing occurring after the first day of filming almost 7 months ago, production was instantly halted and it was until only recently that our close cast and crew came together to finish the film in her honor. We hope to screen the film in her and her son’s memory at a future EFP event.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
HC: My wife says I act a lot like a neurotic Woody Allen or Larry David, and… she’s right!

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
HC: For more information about me and to get in touch regarding production assistance/collaboration, email me at epicskymedia@gmail.com. For information specifically about film scoring, which is something I also specialize in, please visit www.epicharmony.com.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
HC: I would like to thank the EFP for giving little-known filmmakers like me a venue for showcasing their work and for supporting local, independent film. I wish I had heard about EFP over 10 years ago! If it weren’t for you, I not only would have had the opportunity to screen my film, but also to network with other like-minded people and see the wonderful talent that Colorado has to offer. Keep it up guys!

Special Delivery will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 21st at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Thomas Crandall, “A Moment.”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
TC: I became a filmmaker because I really like how intimate and involved the process is. I could give the canned answer “I love telling stories”, but I don’t really know what that means for me. I like people, and I enjoy putting all of myself into sharing someone’s life perspective. Although it’s terrifying, I love having that final, tangible product at the end and sharing someone else’s story, and a part of myself, with others.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
TC: I made A Moment. in about 48 hours for a New Year’s Vimeo Weekend Challenge. The theme was New Year’s Resolutions, and so I made this short film about a girl I really liked, and how I made a choice (or didn’t) which I regretted and wanted to re-explore. It screened online and to my surprise, ended up winning the challenge. I’m so glad people connected with the story. The film also screened at Pikes Peak Art Council’s “Show Us Your Shorts” and at the Denver Animated Pixelshow earlier this year. I hope to continue sharing the film with audiences and may consider doing more, similarly personal stories like this as part of a future series.

Q: What else are you working on?
TC: I shot a feature my friend wrote/directed over the summer called JULY RISING, and will be shooting the rest of pickups before Christmas. I also edited the teaser and trailer, and will be editing its BTS featurette. The film is a coming of age story about a young girl on a farm in northern California. You can follow at https://www.facebook.com/julyrisingfilm/, and see some of our content we’ve release at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/july-rising-film-farming#/. I’m also developing an idea for a short documentary centering around the question, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”, in which I plan on interviewing young children (elementary school age) and seniors to gain insight into how time and age may affect your dreams and ambitions.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
TC: I am VERY self conscious and was especially self conscious about this story, but being alone in my house, I only had my Mom to help me. So, I asked her to make sure my eyes were in focus, then leave me alone to record the interview. It was strange.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
TC: I am still in the process of building a website, so right now the best place to see my work is my vimeo page, vimeo.com/thomascrandall.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
TC: This will be the first time I screen with EFP, and I can’t wait to screen with other amazing, local filmmakers. Thanks for all your work. I can’t wait to share my film with the EFP audience, y’all are so supportive.

A Moment. will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 21st at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Josh Boehnke, “(Because in the end) It’s Only Helium”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JB: I love storytelling, and learning and reflecting about life through the things we create and the stories we tell. It’s also just fun. Who wouldn’t want to make a movie?

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JB: (Because in the end) It’s Only Helium, is a short drama about moving on from grief and heartbreak, and the processes that we’re willing to go through in order to find clarity and resolution. It’s kind of got that “Eternal Sunshine” mentality, not that I would ever try to compare it to that film. It was finished right after most of the festival deadlines in Colorado this year, so it’s only had a few minor screenings. It’ll hopefully be screening more in 2018, here in Colorado.

Q: What else are you working on?
JB: I’m working on learning and studying. Right now, I’m trying to get on set as much as I can, and shoot as much as I can to stay sharp. And I guess I should say, the right type of sets and shoots that are going to help me grow as a filmmaker. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some commercials recently, meeting and working with a few people that came in from out of state. We worked on a Verizon commercial a few weeks back, and I learned so much just by being there and absorbing, just those little things. I’m also hoping to write more, and write better. I’ve realized that no matter who you meet or what resources you have, none of it matters unless there’s a script, an idea. That’s the blood and oxygen of all this. Beyond that, we’ve made a few short little videos that are posted online. I just finished up a short little video about two high schoolers and their first kiss, called First, of course.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JB: I’m really not a big fan of bacon.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JB: You can check out my work and some of my buddies work here:
https://vimeo.com/user39180818
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2mmlQNpjpuEKuFv2ZGXGDg

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JB: It’s so important to have organizations like EFP supporting and embracing local filmmakers, so thank you for screening us!

(Because in the end) It’s Only Helium will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, December 21st at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Olivia Abtahi, “Father Sun”

Father Sunwww.oliviaabtahi.com

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
OA: I remember watching a show called “AHHH! Real Monsters” when I was a kid and they had a projector that hooked into your brain to show everyone else what you were thinking and seeing. I was totally obsessed. When I learned that the machine wasn’t real, I realized that filmmaking was the closest I’d ever get to showing people exactly what I was thinking and feeling. It’s one of the few portals I have into my brain to share with others.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
OA: Father Sun is the story of a Navajo community getting solar energy on their community building. In Navajo/Diné culture, the sun is the father of creation, and powers our spiritual and physical lives. With solar energy, we see a community’s God powering their daily lives in a very tangible way.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
OA: Anyone who loves being transported should definitely attend– doesn’t matter if you’re a filmmaker or someone who’s never been to a film festival before. These are stories that we might not see on the big screen that still speak to our daily experiences of living in this region.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
OA: I try to make all of my narrative films with the restrictions I have. Budget, location, access to props, etc. I write to the resources I already have, not the ones I want.

Q: What else are you working on?
OA: I’m working on a new short film called Female Character.

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

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
OA: Thanks so much for considering me!!

Father Sun will screen December 3rd at 6:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmakers: Jason Heath and Jacob Kedzierski, “The Battle of the Broken Spoons”

The Battle of the Broken Spoons

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JH: To avoid jail.
JK: The voices in my head told me to.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JH/JK: The Battle of the Broken Spoons is our documentary and this is it’s maiden voyage!

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
JH/JK: I would imagine that cinephiles, fans of all arts, scholars and the like, would most enjoy the festival…. but that’s not to discredit the layperson.

Q: What else are you working on?
JH: A series for Netflix.
JK: Wrapping up the ‘Streets of Denver’ analog street sign collage, and various future film projects.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JH: I’d kinda rather be in the Wu-Tang Clan.
JK: I collect paper napkins.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JH: Barefoot and Independent on any social platform.
JK: www.jkedz.com or @thestreetsofdenver on instagram

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JH/JK: It’s a pleasure just to be nominated!

The Battle of the Broken Spoons will screen December 3rd at 12:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Natalie Villa, “With the Power of a Thousand Suns”

With the Power of a Thousand Sunshttp://natalievilla34.wixsite.com/natalieannevilla

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
NV: I have always been in love with the movies. I really loved how you could get sucked into the world they created and make people see something in a new way. I became a filmmaker to create these worlds and hopefully change at least one person’s point of view.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
NV: We are going to see With the Power of a Thousand Suns, a short documentary showing Roxanne Mena’s journey after learning of her recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis. It has screened at a couple of other places including the Ridgway Moonwalk Film Festival, where it won best amateur film and audience choice. It also screened at the Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival, where I received the best short documentary film award.

I’m hoping to use this film as a showcase my work and hopefully gain new filmmaking opportunities.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
NV: I think anyone would enjoy attending the festival. It’s a great place to see the amazing work local filmmakers are doing. Plus you can probably learn something you might not have known anything about!

Q: What else are you working on?
NV: Currently, I am writing a short stop motion film with my sister. We hope to be shooting by spring next year. I also am working to create video content for a regional arts organization.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
NV: Weird thing about my movies – I cast either one of my siblings, mom or dad in everyone of my films. You’ll even see them in this documentary 🙂

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NV: You can find more information about me and my work at http://natalievilla34.wixsite.com/natalieannevilla.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
NV: Thank you for what you do and for screening my film!

With the Power of a Thousand Suns will screen December 3rd at 8:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Hyapatia Lee, “Native Strength – Pilot Episode”

Native Strength – Pilot EpisodeNativeStrength.xyz

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
HL: As a child, I fell in love with live theater. I had been in 72 productions of plays and musicals by the time I graduated from high school. Telling stories in a variety of ways fascinated me. The medium of film opens up so many more possibilities for the creative mind to share their vision. When I first directed and produced films in the 1980’s we had to edit film by hand, send celluloid out to the lab for color correction, and basically fly blind during many steps of the process. Now that everything is digital, I have hands-on control from conception to delivery. This really opens up the creative process for me and I can’t wait to get more of my ideas on the screen.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
HL: This is the pilot episode of my Native Strength series. It is on TV in DC, Virginia, and Milwaukee. I am currently working on the sixth episode. The series is based on my Native Strength books, a traditional indigenous system for maintaining mental health and integrity. I discovered this system when traveling and studying with traditional leaders in Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Hawaii and all across North America. This is the path to an indomitable life, where one is not thrown off balance by man or nature. This is how to find your happiness from within. The teachings are said to have come from the Star People many thousands of years ago and were given to us in hopes that we would learn to grow past the need for war.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
HL: In my opinion, anyone who is alive would benefit from the festival. This is a reflection of life and provides varying viewpoints to give one a new perspective. When we can look at life differently, it is often easier to find answers to what is troubling us or discover things to explore that we never knew existed.

Q: What else are you working on?
HL: My company, The Lee Studios, has two sit-coms and two movie franchises in conception. At least one of these sit-coms will be animated. The Native Strength series is still in production and my executive producer has requested that I double my output. My company is expanding and I am very excited.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
HL: Just one? There are so many! Ok, the weirdest, I got my start in the adult movie business. Please keep in mind that was many, many years age. I am a grandmother many times over now and The Lee Studios will not be making any sexually suggestive material. About Native Strength? The information comes from the aliens and is given to us in Medicine Wheels that are like the circles the aliens in the movie Arrival used to communicate.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
HL: NativeStrength.xyz is a hub for information on the Native Strength series. I invite people to follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/HyapatiaLee) for frequent updates on our projects.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
HL: Thank you for showcasing independent filmmakers and giving us a chance to expand our audience! It is so encouraging to have someone give us a chance, show us some support, and encourage us on our uphill battle to get our creative works noticed in a world where money and power dominate. I am always amazed at how many wonderful filmmakers we have that haven’t been “discovered” yet. It is your hard work that encourages us to pick up the camera and record our vision. My life is enriched every time I attend a film festival and see what brilliant minds who are not restrained by bureaucracy have created.

Native Strength – Pilot Episode will screen December 3rd at 4:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Nicholas McNaughton, “Places Like This”

Places Like Thishttp://www.vimeo.com/nickmcnaughton

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
NM: I started out as a combat videographer in the Air Force, but I have always loved listening to, watching and telling stories. I love the creative process of putting together a documentary, and I try to choose stories that will continue to push me not only as a filmmaker, but also as a human being. With each story I tell there is an opportunity to grow in almost every facet of my life.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
NM: I will be presenting my documentary short, Places Like This. It is the story of ten veterans on an Outward Bound expedition in Colorado, learning to use their time in the wilderness to overcome the challenges of life after service. We premiered at the 2016 San Diego International Film Festival, and it was also screened at the 2016 Southern Colorado Film Festival, U.K. International Veterans Film Festival, 2017 G.I. Film Festival in Washington D.C. as part of their “Cinematic Salute to the Troops”, Rainier Independent Film Festival and G.I. Film Festival San Diego. I have given it to Outward Bound to use however they can to highlight this amazing resource and encourage other veterans to explore courses like this to assist them in their lives after service.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
NM: I think most people would enjoy attending the festival. It is a great opportunity to come out and see some independent films by local filmmakers, often telling the stories of people in our community. I think most of the people screening their films are telling these stories purely out of their love for filmmaking and telling stories, and the festival gives people an opportunity to connect with others that share that love, network, and watch some great local films.

Q: What else are you working on?
NM: I currently have two documentaries in the early stages of development. The first is almost fully funded and explores the evolution of the American dream, where we are as a country today and how we got here. The second is a story about a veteran researching the correlation between time spent in the outdoors, its chemical effect on our bodies and how we can use this to help veterans and other people dealing with traumatic events of their past.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
NM: I love hot sauce, and put it on almost everything.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NM: Most of my work is on my Vimeo page, Nick McNaughton

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
NM: I am extremely appreciative of organizations like The Emerging Filmmakers Project. I think it brings together a group of people that absolutely love what they do and gives them an opportunity to share their stories, connect with other local interested parties, and continue to stoke that fire that gets us out there creating. Its one thing to “connect” online, but there’s just something about getting together in a room full of passionate storytellers and having real conversations about the challenges, joy and art of filmmaking.

Places Like This will screen December 3rd at 8:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.