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Meet the Filmmaker: Ashley Matkowsky, “Partners”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
AM: I knew since I was little that making films was what I was made to do, simple as that I guess. Some things you just know.

 

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
AM: We will be viewing Partners, my first short film about a notorious woman bank robber who is finally caught and interviewed before she serves her time in jail. It has screened at The Independent Women of Film Festival back in February and I have entered it into a few other local film festivals as well.

 

Q: What else are you working on?
AM: I’m working on my next two short films as we speak on top of a local political ad. My second short film, SEKUND, will be in production in the Fall as my third short film, Gangsters, which I am also adapting to a feature, is being finalized and polished.

 

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
AM: You’ve gotta be weird to be a filmmaker. I can’t think of anything specifically “weird” but I do have to say I enjoy making films as real as possible, cinema verite.

 

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
AM: I have a facebook page and a youtube channel that I update every time I make something new.
Partners will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, May 18th at The Bug Theatre.

 

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Meet the Filmmaker: Kyle Woodiel, “My Body Sings Electric “Keep it Simple Stupid”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

KW: I truly just enjoy every single process of making a film; from initial planning to completion.

 

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

KW: We’re seeing a music video titled “Keep It Simple Stupid” by Denver band My Body Sings Electric. It is currently public to view on YouTube.

 

Q: What else are you working on?

KW: I’m currently in pre-production to produce another indie short film; ‘Canvas.’

 

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

KW: I almost always wear a Colorado Rockies Baseball hat while on set.

 

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

KW: You can find more of my work at my production company’s website; cameraspeeds.com

 

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

KW: I really appreciate the opportunity to screen a film on an actual screen in front of the community.

 

My Body Sings Electric “Keep it Simple Stupid” will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, May 18th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Olivia Abtahi, “The Reason I Jump”

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 the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
OA: This film is an adaptation of The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, a 13 year old’s tale of his experience with autism. It screened at CIWF but I don’t have any other plans for it.

Q: What else are you working on?
OA: I’m shooting my next short film the first weekend in May. It’s about a female protagonist that gets into a fight with her male narrator.

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: 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!!

The Reason I Jump will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Andrew Olas, “Detective Meredith Hitler, Secret Private Investigator”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
AO: My first attempt at state university failed when i found myself (more often than not) skipping class to write novels. About a year later i took a film class at a community college, and on day 1 i knew i had discovered my true calling. I just want to make films that people enjoy.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
AO: Detective Meredith Hitler, Secret Private Investigator is a Sci-fi/Noir/Comedy about a 1930s-esque detective, set in a futuristic world from the perspective of the 1980s. It has screened once at Denver Comic Con and once at the Rooster Cat Cafe. Eventually I’d like for it to be my job application to Adult Swim.

Q: What else are you working on?
AO: Much of my time lately has been spent finishing my first feature length screenplay which i plan on submitting to the Academy Nicholls Fellowships in a few weeks.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
AO: I taught myself to speak backwards when I was 8. Also, in each of my films I credit my friend Paul, even if he had nothing to do with it. In “Meredith Hitler” he is credited as “Invisible Mime.”

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
AO: I’ve got a couple silly things on youtube, but you wouldn’t be interested in any of that. Well, unless you enjoyed Meredith Hitler, in which case I guess maybe you would. Check out “ThuhManeMan15” if you dare to be stupid.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
AO: Many thank yous to the EFP for selecting this film, as well as to the busy, busy Arthur Martinez for convincing me to submit.

Detective Meredith Hitler, Secret Private Investigator will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Michael O’Connell, “Triangle”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
MO: I became a filmmaker because the entire process of getting an idea and bringing that idea to fruition is the most satisfying thing I could ever do.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
MO: You will see my film Triangle. It’s an absurdist comedy about a young man who goes to a band tryout and meets a conductor who has lost his mind. It has screened previously at Show Us Your Shorts with the Pikes Peak Film Forum. I hope to put it through some Midwest film festivals because while I’m a Colorado native, a majority of the cast/crew are from that area.

Q: What else are you working on?
MO: I’m currently in post-production of my next short film entitled ‘Selfish.’ It’s a drama/thriller that explores the concept of self-interest.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
MO: Well this film is weird by itself but I’ve been told that not being a coffee drinker is weird since most filmmakers thrive on coffee. I’m more of a tea guy.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
MO: You can visit my website at: ocvideoproductions.com or go to my vimeo profile at: vimeo.com/michaeloconnell

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
MO: I just think it’s a great thing to promote local creative talent and support the arts.

Triangle will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Jeremy Mercer, “Lured”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JM: Growing up I obsessed over films and how they were made. I probably watched more behind the scenes footage than actual movies. The magic of filmmaking and the collaborative nature of it all always fascinated me. As I grew older I never thought it was something I could really pursue myself, but a few years ago I had an epiphany of sorts. I told myself that if this is something that I love and that I’m passionate about then why waste life not pursuing it.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JM: It’s a project with a specific message that I haven’t seen represented in other films. I’ve seen countless videos and shorts about the dangers of the internet, but not quite like this. Lured has screened at the Northeast Wisconsin Horror Film Festival and I’m currently looking into get it shown in a few more festivals before the end of the year.

Q: What else are you working on?
JM: I’m currently finishing pre production on another short that I will be filming in the next few months and I’m also working on completing a feature script.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JM: The film is based off of a popular YouTube video that caught my attention late one night. The idea for this script hit me right away and I knew that this was going to be the basis for my next short film.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JM: I have a website, www.jeremymercerfilms.com, where I post my short films and any updates on upcoming screening or future films.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JM: I am very excited to check out The Emerging Filmmakers Project, this is my first time attending, and I’m grateful to be a part of it! I cannot wait to meet more local filmmakers and to share my work with you all!

Lured will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Maureen Maloney, “Transitions”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
MM: At the time I chose to pursue filmmaking I was actually in grad school studying biology. Several of my mentors were pushing the idea that there needed to be more science communicators, and it resonated with me. I was watching a lot of documentaries, and really felt like it was THE way to educate people. Then I met another female grad student who was making a documentary, and it hit me that it was something I could do. After that I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar, and my interests became more human rights focused.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
MM: Transitions is a short documentary about Miriam Suzanne, a trans woman, and her experience going through the bureaucratic steps of legal transition. It premiered online as part of the America Heard webseries, which aims to show the diversity of political perspectives around the US.

Q: What else are you working on?
MM: I’m currently a grad student at the University of Denver in the International and Intercultural Communication program, and complete my degree in June. I am shooting a documentary about a local tattoo artist as part of a Documentary Production class with Sheila Schroeder.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
MM: My first job as a camera person was a complete disaster. I bought my first video camera after taking a 4-day filmmaking bootcamp. Before I even opened the box a friend had recommended me to someone, and I was immediately hired to shoot National Geographic Adventurer-of-the-year Andrew Skurka at the end of his 6,875 mile hike around the western US. Unfortunately I had to hike with Andy a few days, and he was in such better shape than me. I was dying, and I missed some important footage without realizing it. The person who hired me was really angry and mean to me. I’m glad to say that he has since forgiven me and apologized.

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

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
MM: I’m so grateful to EFP for providing this opportunity for new filmmakers like me to show our work, get feedback, and see other work being done. The Denver film community is so welcoming and supportive, but it can still be daunting to put yourself out there. The EFP really helps.

Transitions will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.