Dirty Bomb
Dirty Bomb

The 2018 lineup for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase will feature an impressive program features 27 short documentary and narrative films by up-and-coming filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world, all of which will screen at The American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival.

The showcase encompasses five sections, including: Student Short Films, Student Documentaries, Emerging Filmmaker Short Films, Emerging Filmmaker Documentaries, and Emerging Filmmaker LGBTQ Showcase films.

In a second year partnership with KCETLink Media Group, a leading national independent nonprofit public broadcast and digital network, three of the films from the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase will be featured in the FINE CUT broadcast television series, which will begin airing in the fall on  KCET independent public television in Southern California.

A flagship program for Los Angeles’ KCET public television since the late ‘90s, the Fine Cut festival was founded by actor Jack Larson, best known for his portrayal of photographer/reporter Jimmy Olsen in the 1952-1958 television series “Adventures of Superman,” on the idea that public television was an excellent platform for providing critical visibility to student and emerging filmmakers.

The films in this year’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase focus on themes as diverse as the sexual violence, Alzheimer’s, bullying, holocaust, father/daughter stories, falling for Mr. Wrong, women entrepreneurs, online dating, coming to terms with sexual orientation, the impact of social media, werewolves and zombies to name a few. A variety of stars are featured, includingJamie McShane, Marlyne Barrett, Elizabeth Guest, Mary Kate Wiles, Maya Kazan,Charlotte Ritchie, Ed White, Shawn Ryan, Candi Milo, Scott Cooper Ryan, Bernard White, Meera Syal, Doug Tompos, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Petersen, Ido Samuel, James Babson, J. Michael Trautmann, Shani Atias, Leif Gantvoort, Bart McCarthy, Ioanna Meli, and more.

Female directors are once again well represented in The Showcase, with more than half of the films directed by women.

Student filmmakers hail from schools across the United States, including: School of Visual Arts, Santa Monica College, Chapman University Dodge College of Media Arts, USC, Yale School of Drama, Florida State University, UC Berkeley School of Journalism, Brooklyn Film College, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Art Center College of Design, AFI Directing Workshop for Women, and The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp.

“This year’s showcase promotes a wide selection of themes, cultural diversity amongst the films and filmmakers and I’m excited that again this year, more than half of the finalist films are directed by women,” said Monika Skerbelis, Programming Director.


2017, 20:24 min., USA, Documentary, UC Berkeley School of Journalism
Producer/Writer/Director: Brad Bailey
Cast: Hale Zukas, Judith Heuman, Zona Roberts
Born with cerebral palsy, Hale Zukas is the grandfather of disability movement, started in Berkeley, California. Every morning, he still wakes up for the fight to live independently with dignity, strength, and courage.

2017, 13 min., USA, Florida State University, Documentary
Producers/Directors: Nicholas Markart, Tyler Knutt
Cast: Judith LeBlanc, Lewis Grassrope, Ray Taken Alive, William Brown Otter, Margaret Landin
Native Americans from Standing Rock speak out on the pipeline, the repetition of history, and their roles as water-protectors in a struggle for modern sovereignty.

2018, 13:20 min., Documentary/Sports, USA/Mexico, Brooklyn Film College
Director: Brian Adamkiewicz
Producer: Rebecca Frances Scotti
Cast: Emilio Fernandez, Nathaniel Rabinor
Shown through the eyes of an 8-year-old American-Mexican boy, Build Ramps Not Wallsdocuments a bi-national skate community in Mexico seeking a positive response to the negative rhetoric between Mexico and the USA after the 2016 presidential elections.

2017, 4:57 min., USA, Documentary, Art Center College of Design
Producer/Writer/Director: Ellen Houlihan
Cast: Jessica Clark
Jessica Clark, a 21-year-old race car driver from Ventura, California dreams of racing in NASCAR one day. As a confident and driven woman in a male-dominated career field, she is an empowering example of a woman defying the odds and resisting any challenge she encounters on and off the track.


2018, 7:43 min., USA, Drama/Thriller, The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: John Ainsworth
Co-Directors: Monica Jeon, Olivia Ingram, Sarah Whalen
Writers: Sarah Elizabeth Whalen, Brad Griffith
Producers: John Ainsworth, Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Marguerite Williamson, Reed Wylie-Chaney, Jolie Orban
Without warning or any explanation, all kids on earth have woken up to an overtaken planet. The kids retreat to live in the forest until they receive a signal that the threat has receded… but has it truly? Can the kids get along with each other long enough to survive the destruction of earth?

2017, 5:41 min., USA, Comedy, University Nevada Las Vegas
Writer/Director: Tyler Yarbro
Producer: Melissa Del Rosario
Cast: David Kurtz, Spiro Siavelis, Kevin Fitzpatrick
A family’s nutcracker Christmas dinner is interrupted when the narrator unveils their darkest secrets.

2017, 3:25 min., USA, Animation, School of Visual Arts
Writer/Director: Jodi Chamberlain
Producer: Jimmy Calhoun
Cast: Lisa O’Hara
She just wants to enjoy a snack, but when this salty old sailor is attacked by a beast many times larger than her boat, she must think and act fast in this spaghetti-western sci-fi monster movie about wit, grit, and cunning.

2017, 17:39 min., USA, Drama/Action, Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts
Writer/Director: Amanda Renee Knox
Producers: Phabillia Afflack-Borja, Miriam Anwari
Cast: Marlyne Barrett, Rachael Holmes, Delaney Williams, Matthieu Jean-Pierre
When on a routine patrol, a Black female cop living in and patrolling Inglewood gets called to a disturbance she is forced to make an unprecedented life altering decision.

2017, 18:27 min., USA, Comedy/Dramedy, Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts
Writer/Director: Kendall Goldberg
Producer: Michael Stanziale
Cast: Candi Milo, Ryan Stiffelman, Shawn Ryan, Jon Heder, Jeremy Shada
When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.


2018, 9:54 min., USA, Documentary
Producer/Director: Jennifer Manner
Writer: Dr. Wendy Leonard
Healthcare spending is out of control. What if we could get better biomedical data, spend pennies on the dollar, and get results in a fraction of the time? Zebrafish, a proven but under-recognized and underutilized biomedical research model, can do that. Zebrafish are human avatars.

2018, 10:05 min., USA, Documentary
Director: David Freid
Producer: Mor Albalak
An American paper trail. When there’s a gun crime in America, there’s only one place to go to trace the gun back to its owner: Martinsburg, West Virginia. That’s where the ATF’s National Tracing Center handles roughly 8,000 active traces per day


2017, 17 min., USA, Family, Drama, Fantasy
Director: Michael Swingler
Producers/Writers: Michael Swingler, Carl Petersen
Cast: Carl Petersen, Christopher Franciosa, Cole Sand, Helen Sadler, Micah Fitzgerald
A little boy challenges a villainous bully to a game of marbles in a bizarre and fantastical world where marbles are as precious as gold.

2017, 9:55 min., USA, Romance
Producer/Writer/Director: Annabelle K. Frost
Line Producer: Cherryl Siena Espinoza
Cast: Mary Kate Wiles, Billy Beck, Scott Cooper Ryan, Larry Clarke, Fran Bennett, Terri Ivens, Evan Arnold
A naive elevator operator becomes smitten when she meets a winsome new tenant in the spring. She falls deep in love over the summer only to hit troubled times in the fall. Frozen by her predicament, she withdraws through the winter. Will she find love before spring returns?

2017, 14:59 min., USA, Drama/Action/History
Writer/Director: Valerie McCaffrey
Producers: Brian Kelly Jones, Jennifer Tung, Stefan Simon
Cast: Ido Samuel, J. Michael Trautmann, Dallas Hart, Hunter Doohan, James Babson, Clayton Haymes, Stefan Simon, Robert Arce, Connor Linnerooth, Matt Otstot, Windy Hamilton, Tara Soojian
Signing his own death wish, a concentration camp prisoner sabotages the construction of the V-2 bomb against the Nazis, while American soldiers struggle to advance against the Germans during “The Battle of the Bulge”, Hitler’s last chance for winning the war.

2017, 12:39 min., USA, Drama
Producers/Directors: Pamela Guest, Elizabeth Guest
Writer: Pamela Guest
Cast: Elizabeth Guest, Lawrence Michael Levine, Kristen Slaysman
In 1971 a young actress goes on her first audition with surprising, life-changing results.

2018, 17:51 min., United Kingdom, Drama/Mystery/Comedy
Directors: Linda Ludwig & James Curle
Writer: Tom Palmer
Producers: Tom Palmer, Linda Ludwig, James Curle
Cast: Charlotte Ritchie, Ed White, Oliver Chris, Richard Durden, Tom Palmer, Harriet Green, Tom Stourton, Natasia Demetriou
Gemma receives a mysterious invitation to the birthday party of an enigmatic millionaire, Jeremy. She must pass herself off as Jeremy’s old friend and mingle with his glittering guests. But Gemma cannot help but wonder who Jeremy is and why he has tasked her with such a peculiar job – there’s something more to him than meets the eye.

2017, 9:55 min, Family/Drama, USA
Director: Lorette Bayle
Writer: Jacqueline K. Ogburn
Producers: Nicolas Emiliani, Stephanie Nilles, Lorette Bayle
Cast: Madison Calderon, Leif Gantvoort, Anthony Jensen, Rachael Markarian, Thomas Ashworth
Scarlett-Angelina is a little girl who knows how to take care of herself, much to the dismay of the small-time crook who kidnaps her.

2017, 20:25 min., USA/Israel, Drama
Director: Michael Horwitz
Writer: C. Ashleigh Caldwell
Producers: Todd Felderstein, C. Ashleigh Caldwell
Cast: Shani Atias, Jack Pitchon, Jonathan Arkin, Danny Boushebel, Kenzie Caplan, Sima Galanti
A female Israeli soldier forms an unlikely connection with a Palestinian boy over social media.

2017, 12:26 min., USA, Drama/Horror
Writer/Director: Elaine Mongeon
Producer: Julie M. Anderson
Cast: Maya Kazan, Jamie McShane
A young woman and her father adapt to terrifying challenges they never expected.


2017, 10:45 min., USA/Tonga, Documentary/LGBTQ
Directors: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Producer: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
A brave young transgender woman sets off on a journey to become her true self in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga – with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way.

2018, 7:26 min., USA, Drama/Romance/LGBTQ
Writer/Director: Doug Tompos
Producers: Risa Bramon Garcia, Steve Braun, Doug Tompos
Cast: Doug Tompos, Adrian Gonzalez
In the afterglow of sex, a generation gap opens between two men as they struggle to define trust in the age of open marriage and NSA hookups.

2017, 9 min., USA, Comedy/Drama/LGBTQ, Yale School of Drama
Director: Emma Weinstein
Writer: Emma Weinstein, Stella Baker
Producers: Emma Weinstein, Alix Masters, Michael Breslin, Stella Baker
Cast: Stella Baker, Moses Ingram
Through race, sexuality and dolphin suicide, this 9-minute short looks at the erotic and messy intimacy of childhood best friends trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

2018, 9:30 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Jim Fall
Writer: Jeremy Pitzer
Producers: John Ainsworth, Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Jeremy Pitzer, Ava Vukic, Sean McCrystal, Riley Blum, Karen Moore, Matt McCoy, Shawn Ryan, Brad Griffith
Sam strives to be accepted but worries he will be rejected for being himself. He loves pretty gowns, fancy makeup and sneaking into the local drag show. He soon realizes the only thing holding him back is himself.

2018, 21 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ, Santa Monica College
Director: Bishal Dutta
Writers: Bishal Dutta, Matt McClelland
Producer: Olivia Shapiro
Executive Producer: Scott Carper
Cast: Bart McCarthy, Ioanna Meli, Sean McBride
An aging, closeted gay man with Alzheimer’s struggles against his strong-willed daughter to hold on to the memory of the long lost love of his life.

2018, 24 min., USA, Documentary/LGBTQ
Director: Jessica Congdon
Producer: Eric Holland
Cast: Crista Luedtke
A tireless entrepreneur jump-starts the transformation of a neglected vacation town, until her ambition pushes her to the brink.

2017, 11:45, USA, Comedy/LGBTQ
Writer/Director: Priyanka Mattoo
Producers: Priyanka Mattoo, Ursula Camack, Meghan Malloy
Cast: Meera Syal, Bernard White, Max Jenkins, Ravi Patel, Sujata Day, Gabe Delahaye
A sheltered Indian couple visits their son in the U.S. for the first time and bungles their apartment rental, ending up in close quarters with their hosts, a gay couple and their dog.

2017, 6:25 min., USA, Comedy/Musical/LGBTQ, University Southern California
Writer/Director: Jason Phillips
Producer: Adrian Vega Albela Osorio
Cast: Matthew Manhard, Finley Polynice, John Skoubis, Kate Enggren
Before Brian Mills leaves for his first year at Princeton University, he must come to terms with his sexual orientation and be honest with himself after some guidance from his trusted barber.

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