Triskele Press: Issue 1

azurelorica

Triskele Press: Issue 1 is the first of our tri-annual magazine series. It covers all of the programs of the Azure Lorica Foundation, and much more. Visit for more information: triskelepress.com

Dancing

With Jane

Austen

Page. 21

Who is

Jordan

Inconstant?

Page. 39

For The Cause

Page. 25

The World of Jane

Page. 19

Loving The

Community

Page. 49

Nerd

Civil War

Page. 7

Our

Community

Page. 13

The Brilliance of

Author Fair

Page. 23

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

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Triskele

Press

Chief Editor

Stefanie Warner

Executive Editor

Eugene Cordell

Publisher

Eugene Cordell

Art Director

Nina Reyes

Chairman & CEO

Stefanie Warner

President

Stefanie Warner

Staff Editors

Andrew Avak, Sophia Wang

Designer

Sally Duong

Vice President

Danny Gonzales

Staff Writers

Andrew Avak, Radhiya Shah

Media Manager

Diana Keeler

Corp. Secretary-Treasurer

Eugene Cordell

Photographers

Elysia Funtiveros, Daniel Irvin, Kyle

Niitsuma, Jeffrey Clark

How to Reach Triskele Press:

Events:

For the latest updates and news on Triskele Press events,

follow us on facebook.com/triskelepress

Visit: triskelepress.com

Email:

info@triskelepress.com

Call:

818.925.0322

All calls are hosted by Azure Lorica Foundation

Write to Triskele Press:

10756 Redmont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 91042

Letters to the Editor:

e.cordell@azure-lorica.org

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


Table

of

Contents

05

Press Media

23

The Brilliance of Author Fair

07

Nerd Civil War

25

For the Cause

10

Editor’s Note

29

The Importance of Indie

11

Donors & Partners

39

Who is Jordan Inconstant?

13

Our Community

43

Winners of the Fan Film Awards

19

The World of Jane

46

FanFilm Program & Details

21

Dancing with Jane Austen

49

Loving the Community

50

Azure Lorica Sucess Stories

23

3 43

05

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Triskele

Press Media

Magazine

The Nerd Civil War

Confessions by Eugene Cordell, hosting all three

Nerd Civil War Panels in both Ninja-Con 2014 and

2015, and at BentCon 2014.

Our Community

History of the relationship between the Azure Lorica

Foundation and Ninja-Con.

Blog

triskelepress.com

News and reviews of the independent entertainment

industry, and societies.

ninja-con.com

Annual anime convention, and other programs hosted

in certain west coast comic conventions.

Introducing Jane Austen

The most famous authoress and the “Janeites” behind

the society we know today.

fanfilmawards.com

Annual film and screenplay festival information.

Dancing With Jane Austen

Jane Austen Society hosts a panel about Waterloo and

the Richmond Ball.

azure-lorica.org

Business updates and official press releases from the

Azure Lorica Foundation.

Who Is Jordan Inconstant?

Feature Interview with the winner of the FanFilm

Awards 2015, for Best Film: Pirates of the Caribean:

The Edge of Oblivion.

driftplume.com

Theatrical Ensemble producing radioplays.

nocturnalnotes.com

Radioplays by Drift Plume. Romantic-Comedy Radioplays

of the year 2007.

Loving The Community

Danny Gonzales unveils the lifestyle of being a

founder of the infamous Ninja-Con.

fatependulum.com

Radioplays by Drift Plume. Supernatural-Thriller

Radioplays on demons.

tumblr.com/triskelepress

Brief and beautiful, Triskele

Press publishes sneak peeks,

press releases, and countdowns

to all the programs under the

Azure Lorica Foundation

facebook.com/azurelorica/events

All events hosted by every

program under the Azure Lorica

Foundation can be found here:

Ninja-Con, FanFilm Awards, and

deadlines for submissions in art,

film, and literature.

twitter.com/driftplume

The collected blog posts of

every radioplay episode can be

found in one network. Follow

and stay up to date.

facebook.com/ninjacon

The official events committee of the Azure Lorica Foundation, updating you on the newest festival, party, and gatherings for patrons,

volunteers, and fans alike.

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

5 © 2016 Azure Lorica. All Rights Reserved.


FanFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

Best Actor

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Nerd

Civil War

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I

It

has been almost two years since the

premiere of the Nerd Civil War at Ninja-Con

2014. The panel room was empty, the speakers

were nowhere to be found, and the new

program seemed to be a flop. Ten minutes in,

friends and some attendees filled a few seats.

I nearly lost hope, and devised an idea to have

a small circle to discuss the issue of “Fake

Gamer Girls”.

Right before the circle was complete,

the guests arrived, and with them, a flood of

people raring to speak their minds. We welcomed

cosplayers Celeste Orchid, Dust Bunny,

and two members of the Chocolate Covered

Cosplayers (C3), Ginger and Ashphord. These

ladies comprised of different ethnicities and

backgrounds, revealing an unspoken world of

hurt that no one had ever heard of in conventions.

As a subculture, many “con-goers” found

it disrespecting to seem aggressive against their

aggressors, in public view – perhaps, in humiliation

or low self-esteem. Simply, no one fights

back. But our guest cosplayers encouraged

otherwise.

Ashphord, the strongest voice among

the four, expressed her personal issues on

racism and sexism in the community. As an

African-American female, playing videogames

and cosplaying at comic and anime conventions,

she protests that the role of a female

has nothing to do with the limitation of their

representation in the community. Her color is

obstructed from practicing the same craft others

in popular ethnic groups represented in the

conventions were not due to her lack of skill or

inability to produce perfection. No! It is by the

stigma of being labeled as an invalid by bullies,

and the silence that many won’t stand up for

the equality the community deserves. Fear consumes

them, as the majority of the community

naturally believes that they are outcasts in normal

society, as is that case. But that act disables

everyone from expressing themselves freely in

an environment made to be outside of the norm.

A complete oxymoron of the niche community

the Cons were built upon.

Cynically, a mother would regard her

argument as hypocritical, as much of Chocolate

Covered Cosplayers’ work is them in skinrevealing

outfits, and very much seductive in

nature. One would obviously conclude that their

photos and media representation encourages a

demeaning status for women, as sexual objects.

But the contrary is preached. Ginger and Ashphord

are not the only ones who confirmed the

popular misconception. Though the photos are

made for a sexually empowered representation, it

is not for the sake of self-demeaning, according

to Celeste Orchid: an Asian-American Cosplayer,

Gamer, and Actress. It’s entertainment, not politics.

We, as a society, are entertained by violence

and racist jabs everyday, but it is not to be taken

extremely. As a woman, she explains that though

people say that women have an equal playing

field in the industry, reality holds nothing back

to reveal that the concept is a lie. We all play the

game, and we all have disadvantages. There are

no promises as to how successful we’ll be without

using what weapons we have to fend for our

own. She explains this with a confession in how

she flirts with male gamers to gain advantages in

experience points and seeking aid from “white

knights” – a term meaning gamers with a hero

syndrome towards female gamers.

Xander, a former player in the show

King of Nerds, joined us abruptly, as a special

appearance, to confirm this reality. Disadvantages

extend even with homophobia in the gaming

community, as the infamous “Gaymer” expresses

his complex in losing camaraderie over sexual

orientation. His testament opened a huge bridge

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

for our audience to come out of their own closets.

Some veterans are of the age-old discrimination,

and some fresh to the world of LGBT.

From lesbians to transsexuals, people from

all walks of life within the room confessed

their concerns over this exact issue. They have

been used to hiding out of fear and a so-called

“respect” for their conservative friends and

relatives; holding back their identity, as if they

were something to be ashamed of.

The discussion exploded, with attendees

standing wall-to-wall, participating in

the Nerd Civil War. It took a full hour to cover

the full spectrum of the panel’s vast topic to

a near close. Ultimately, we all resolved the

one factor of the bullying culture that we all

suffered from: standing up as a group against

bullies. If we allow a bully to convince us that

we shouldn’t stand up for that one victim, then

it is our fault that the victim remains a victim.

The cowardice is our making, not just the

bully’s. Our time ended well before we could

have had a cool down from the discussion.

The attendees were left empowered, restless,

and even enraged. All in all, the program was

a complete success. How could this be a bad

thing? At least now, people have acknowledged

where the problems stem from, and that we are

not going to be taking it sitting down anymore.

Because now, we’ll be fighting back – no longer

alone, but as a society. No more Mr. Nice

Guy.

II convention of Spring, I awaited for another

Passing by through Summer, after

Ninja-Con’s great success as the last anime

event where the Nerd Civil War can hit harder

and accurately: BentCon. This convention was

and still is made specifically for the LGBT

community to enjoy their comics, novels, films,


and all hobbies under the geek interest. Bear in

mind that I am not active in the LGBT scene,

nor have I been bullied for years, lest you consider

clients as a source of personal infliction.

My job has managed my social pressures into

equilibrium, so the consequence of inequality

hasn’t bothered me since high school. To

reflect, I am 1.5 generation Filipino, my skin

is brown, and I grew up in the 1990’s in North

Hollywood. Mind you, though I am a straight,

Christian, and am legal in my status here in

the United States, I was designated to be associated

with gang members due to my color

alone. Fighting was a fact of life for me. To be

bullied was to be caught as a tool for dealers in

the streets of LA. I had choices to make, and a

life to live.

As rough as that sounds, it did not at

all prepare me for the type of animal the LGBT

community was. My train of thought was to

gain support from a group that was politically

outside of the conservative system of California.

Racism dissipated when I grew older and

left for college. The rat game was left with the

rats, extending what depravity they demanded

to keep as their identity in the “hood”. But

to be gay, to be bisexual, and isolated from a

normal lifestyle, this in itself does not leave

when one reaches college, or when a career

is secured. Gay men and women are hindered

in our society, as a nation, from adopting,

property ownership, and experiencing the most

sacred of honored traditions: marriage. Compared

to dealers and thugs, facing a convention

filled with them was probably the scariest ordeal

I had to face. At least, in the ghetto, even

if your parents didn’t love you, the church will.

Here, at BentCon, the idea of their world was

lonelier than I could even imagine. Or is it?

Checking the program, I naturally

was not the only anti-bully campaign that

day. However, my strategy was to encourage

discussion. No guest speakers, no sensitive

speeches, just dive right into the attendees’

issues of interest. Joining me was Stefanie

Warner, CEO of the Azure Lorica Foundation.

With her, we presented the same questions and

topics from the original Ninja-Con panel. Their

reaction was nothing like we expected. They

blamed the victim first, and crushed the argument

of the self-embodied bully. One attendee

spoke out, saying, “She asked for it!” Another

mentioned that the only person to blame is

oneself, and others supported with steadfast

contempt against this challenge of acting as a

society, and to “grow some balls.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Stunned, for not only did their conviction

blasted aggression, but within myself, I

couldn’t disagree more. They were right. Why

aren’t we standing by our pride and fighting

against this self-hate? No one contributes to

this problem more than us, as self-appointed

victims.

I suddenly felt accustomed to their

stance. If I agreed that my skin and status in life

was the end for me, I would not be engaged to

my fiancé, I would not reach outside the valley

for a better occupation and lifestyle. I did not

want to be confined to be just Brown. Waking up

to this skin was not my full identity; I am more

than that. And they know that this is a reality that

everyone has to face. There is no bully.

Explaining our original stance, to

close the panel discussion in full circle, Stefanie

and I mentioned that our Foundation produces

Ninja-Con annually. This changed the playing

field altogether, as their qualm directed us to use

our influence to help improve this argument at a

larger scale. “Why don’t you make this your mis-

III

sion,” one of the attendee’s asked, challenging us

with contempt. If the problem devastates society,

why face the individual? Why not the institution?

It is, after all, what’s forcing everyone into the

corners they deem victimization.

My heart had to hold its breath. There

was a contradiction to the resolve. According to

this suggestion,there is a bully, in fact, there’s a

man: the Man. The Man that controlled my fate

as a minority, the same Man that held the keys

from kids in the ghettos from real education, real

freedom, real careers that could fix all of our

problems. He was the conspiracy that I believed

was fib. Yet, here He was: The Man was us. Stefanie

and I had access to His institution, the same

institution that pressures young girls to believe

that a man will fix all their problems, giving birth

will suffice as a fix to a failed aspiration, career,

or education. It was what made the ghetto a hell,

and it was haunting me, as they pronounced the

Nerd Civil War as a force for social change.

My knees finally shook. My integrity

as a carbon-based compound was ready to fall.

After years of rebelling against this system, I was

compelled to improve it. I am no politician, nor

was our organization made to lobby in politics.

We are entertainers, theatre folk, but entrepreneurs

that know how to market, and market with

style. I felt more like an Alan Watts than a Martin

Luther – doors weren’t made to have nailed

posts that only the priests could read. Doors are

made to open upon the toils of isolation and to

avoid suffocation. The Nerd Civil can make a

fashion campaign look fabulous, if this is what

it demands, but it is a position of leadership that

will tax everyone for constant feedback and a lot

of work. And I didn’t know if the organization

was ready for this kind of responsibility.

The panel ended. We shook hands with

our participating attendees. Thank you all. And

then Stefanie and I returned to the real world

once more.

We got in the car and drove back

home. While taking Glenoaks from the valley

back to the hills, I looked at her, and her hand

holding mine. Here she was: a mixed girl of both

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

Nerd Civil War will be returning to Ninja-Con 2016. For more information, visit: triskelepress.com.

eastern and western descent, plus size, and

going against the odds between jobs that have

mistreated her as a woman, and student loans

up to her neck. How did she make it through? I,

myself, have had my glass ceilings, but she has

social crabs pulling her in a bucket. We’ve had

our havens at masquerades and conventions

too, but when it’s time to go back to the grind;

the bashing repeats, we find ourselves having

bouts with demons before we rest for the next

day. I, as a man, can at least be expected to

fight, but her, as a woman, she’ll be mocked

for being too strong, and taken advantage of if

she’s too weak. The world can be a cruel beast.

In the months after, Ninja-Con had

solidified its first committee. Their task: to

protect members through bylaws and policies.

This first step allows us to later build a Human

Resource department that adheres to state laws

and solidify the conduct of our representatives,

staff, and volunteers.

At the same time, another program

under Azure Lorica Foundation went through

a re-branding: Triskele Press. Once a blog,

reposting media reviews from several users, it

is now an eMagazine that secures the promotion

of our community’s interests as a cultural

lifestyle.

Both of these brands are working

hand in hand to promote the interests of this

community. Lead by Vice President, Danny

Gonzales, and myself, the Nerd Civil War panel

was revived with a new topic for Ninja-Con

2015: facing demons.

With the return of Xander and Dust

Bunny, along with new guests: Lily Lovely

and Chise-chan, we opened the discussion for

the next generation of geeks. Much of it was

managing to clarify Christians in their actual

stance against the Westboro Baptist Church’s

aggressive protests at comic conventions, and

cosplaying as an artistic expression beyond the

scrutiny of the few. The panel’s attendees and

speakers exchanged hugs and affirmed their

camaraderie as a community – delivering an

exchange of understanding.

As one person, I can only attest to

my own experiences and past. Who knows

what pressures others are going through now?

Technology changes the way we interact, and

it changes us quite swiftly – today’s body

shaming may change into tomorrow’s baby

shaming, the transgender groups might divide

into denominations of societies, and the sexual

harassment problems might become family

related issues. The pain may never go away, but

no one has to face it alone. Not anymore. Nerd

Civil War is open for discussion for everyone.

And we’ll be waiting for you when you are

ready.

8


FanFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

Best Actor and Screenplay

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


Editor’s Note

I notice that my year goes by through seasons rather than

months. At Azure Lorica, we seem to have some sort of happening:

our organization’s birthday at the end of each beginning of the year,

roaring in with new ideas and proposals in the Board meetings, the

Titan called Ninja-Con in the end of Spring, followed by gatherings

and new productions into the Summer and Fall. Every one of these

things always take me back a little, and I think to myself “Is this really

happening?”

We have just finished setting up our first annual mark of

the FanFilm Awards, where we’re meeting some of the most amazing

talented individuals. I can’t write this without a smile on my face,

knowing that not only had I made new friends, but I’m seeing the arts

in action, unfolding right before my eyes -- there is a stage to showcase

just a handful of the thousands of artist looking for a place to share and

learn. There’s a bit of whimsy when they gather - the flow of ideas and

the strike of inspiration pour out, and impact a person, regardless of an

individual’s state of life. It’s an exhilarating feeling, more so, because

you can see it in the faces of others around you. This is how we begin

to build the foundations of a community, and it’s through these types of

events that the strength of independent arts breathes life.

We’ve taken the concept of our events a step further by creating

this magazine. This will be the first of hopefully many to come.

Here we have a collective of talented individuals that have volunteered

there time, to document all the happenings that Azure Lorica has to

offer. Consider this as a show-and-tell of the progress that we are

making, and the headway that we hope to continue in the arts community.

As our first issue, it is so fitting to showcase the progress that the

Fan Film Awards has made in a humble year. From independent film

reviews, to interviews of the past winning filmmakers. This is the first

time that Azure Lorica has spread it’s skills of gathering and communicating

with artists beyond the United States.

With eager and endearing pleasure, I present to you the first

issue of Triskele Press magazine. Thank you for your continuing support!

We hope to see you as the seasons change!

-Stefanie Warner,

Chief Editor

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Donors &

Partners

We thank the following Donors for their great contribution to the Azure Lorica Foundation.

2015

Danny Gonzalez | Pedro Ortiz

In-Kind: Chado Tea Room | Tea Rose Garden | Google For Nonprofit | GoDaddy

2014

Danny Gonzalez | Pedro Ortiz

In-Kind: Reuben Langdon | GoDaddy

2013

Danny Gonzales | Lea Willoya | Kim Williams | Carlos Estrada | Pedro Ortiz

In-Kind: U.S. Department of Transportation (Jonathan Klein) | Reuben Langdon

2012

Stefanie Warner | Lily Bauer | Lauren Bauer | Eugene Cordell

In-Kind: The Walt Disney Company (Marialyce Pederson) | Glendale Public Library (Patricia Zeider) |Revolution Prep (Kate Staben) | Law Offices

of Joseph F. Hart (Joseph Hart) | Google For NonProfit | OneLegacy

2011

Jennifer Manaog | Stefanie Warner

In-Kind: ICF International (Leslie Nardoni) | Corin Hooper

2010

Mrs. Teresa Del Rosario† | Corazon Docena | Stefanie Warner | June Del Rosario | Eugene Cordell

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


FanFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

Best Director and Actress

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Our Community:

The Story Behind Azure Lorica

Once upon a time, there was a

Cosplay group wanting to raise funds for

their next convention. The idea was small, but

the production grew in scale, as venue rent

cheapened during each finding. The first was

a community hall - large, though limited in capacity

and operations, the second was a theatre

- small, but all the doors opened for multiple

days’ rent, and capacity, and installations and

more. The group discussed the endeavor, and

threw their all for a grand opportunity! Suddenly,

conventions seemed petty in comparison

to a career in the arts, and so their company

ventured anew.

Today, they call themselves the

Azure Lorica Foundation (ALF). The nonprofit

organization provides community programs to

promote the arts through blogs, a theatrical

ensemble, and festivals. Its service to the

community has come out of pocket from

its Board and Leaders, and spent more than

earned in every production - aiming to impact

the community with their time and

collaborative efforts.

Beginning with Ninja-Con, founded by

Vice President, Danny Gonzales, the indie anime

conversation has made phenomenal progress in

showcasing independent artists, choreographers,

and celebrities giving back to the community

for the annual exhibition - delivering new Patrons

to support young artists, and exposing families

and people of all ages to the arts culture of Los

Angeles, California.

The idea arose between productions.

In 2012, Danny, was producing his own comedy

shows called Big Laughs In Little Tokyo, in

Downtown LA. At the time, we were just called

Azure Lorica, and we (mainly consisting of

Eugene Cordell, Stefanie Warner, and Jennifer

Manaog) were producing Plays in Pasadena

and North Hollywood. Both productions were

becoming stale, as not only did social media

make it difficult for live performance to grow

with frequent pics and tweets of spoilers, but

so did the financial mentality of society during

the aftermath of the first few years of the recession

in 2008. People spent, but people wanted

to spend where it counted. The golden hand

that answered our prayers came from none

other than Danny. He came to us with the idea

of a convention, and we were stunned, scared,

in disbelief… “Sure, why not?” Stefanie

mentioned. None of us had any better ideas at

the time, so an audacious one was better than

nothing!

There were doubts, of course. We’ve

all returned from a good time at the “Cons”,

and some of us even learned the pattern so well

that we predicted how bad it could get if and

when we attended at certain times. There came

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


a point when we all became bored of the Cons, and the pressure of

friends were the only motivation we had left to buy a ticket to anything

- it got old.

We explored our market, reviewed our experiences, and had

to rethink of why a convention would be a better idea than a theatre

production. In theatre, we at least knew the unlucky peaks of the stage,

and predict it. Stefanie directed, and Eugene and Jennifer produced

and managed tech for several Plays in both Pasadena and Noho; Danny

had done all three jobs in his comedy shows; both, managing cast and

patrons, have been fine.

But the idea of “just fine” was enough to kill the soul.

Perhaps it was the artist within that demanded the challenge? But an

entrepreneur’s dream sprouted leaves when someone said, “this is

impossible.” There were moments when we could cry over the stubborn

cynicism of the public. He said, she said, they said - beloved or

strangers, they all had a misunderstanding over what was going on.

There was no building yet, but it felt almost as though everyone had a

hammer ready to demolish any foundation we were ready to call home.

This was the sign that proved to us that we were doing something right.

Call it jealousy or fear, but when there is an opposition to something we

never thought was important, it becomes important. And so we fought

for it.

Three years in, coming to a fourth, Ninja-Con returns to the

Little Tokyo Arts District, in Downtown Los Angeles, with this same

motto every event: “For the fans, by the fans, from a fan.” This has

brought immense criticisms from others that consider themselves our

competitors, and we don’t flinch. Mostly because we think they’re silly,

but mainly because we have been there before - we were the attendees

that paid for disappointing shows, we were the press that were treated

badly, we were the panelists that were overshadowed by commercial

exploitations, and we were hurt - why would we want that to continue

in our turf? Why not come to grips that a celebrity will attend even if

we weren’t about selling DVDs? Why start a hentai panel, when an

equal rights panel would help us listen to our community better? Can’t

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

14


kids enjoy an animation feature with their grandparents anymore?

Geeks have been around for decades, it was high time we gave them the

community that represented them.

Getting technical though, we have currently found a kink,

and perhaps an old ripple, in the system. As an anime convention, we

know that this is something that can stay pure for only so long. Much

like SciFi and alien conventions, we could die as a fad someday. And

that some day can come tomorrow. So, to step up, we have been planning,

and we are listening. Ninja-Con is growing, and it might even

change like comic conventions no longer being about comic books,

but the brands that stemmed from them. Who knows? Dreadpunk just

became popular, and so did Seapunk - are we to turn away what the

fans and indie artists will turn them into? Whether a fashion, a lifestyle,

or just a hobby, Ninja-Con will make it happen.

Ninja-Con is only the beginning. Working behind the curtain,

The Azure Lorica Foundation has taken steps to insure its future productions

to serve your needs. Producing panels and stand up shows at other

conventions, we made the alternative programs people, like us, wanted.

Danny and his Ninja-Con committee make people laugh through Last

Comic Standing - allowing talents to express their common trifles through

comic relief; while Eugene and his Triskele Press committee - the publishing

press department of ALF - present Nerd Civil War. His program

consists of one main issue: to discuss social issues in the nerd community.

It’s more dramatic, in comparison to the comedic side of the organization,

but it is a very effective program to get nerds to open up, either as the self

trained victim or the skeptical bully. Neither programs rival each other,

In fact, committees have been made to solidify this. Protecting

our volunteers and members, we’ve made it a mission to collaborate

and understand the growing societies of the old and new

subcultures living under the wing of Los Angeles County. We’ve met

Lolitas, the Jane Austen Society, Fairefolk, and many more. It seems,

they hide in tea shops, camp areas, and college classrooms. They invite

their own celebrities, non-household faces who make their world better.

Even without the Cons, their fandom lives on privately, as a collective.

Perhaps, they’re better off there - we’re sure than no Bronte Society

member would like to share a stage with a Janite, or vice versa. Or we

could be wrong. The challenge is how.

Whatever the future may bring, we, us, our community won’t

go unheard. This has become the basis of the Azure Lorica Foundation.

As much as we love the traditions of our favorite theatrical industries,

we have a new generation that is moving faster than the internet.

Live Streamers have become international gaming champions, film

celebrities have Vine channels, and Radio Plays have bred a new audience.

We’ve accommodated for the Manga Readers, the Metalheads,

and Bronies, we see no reason why we cannot extend the invitation

further.

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


ather compliment the other to encompass

the purpose of understanding the community as

a whole.

When the company began, we served

just suburban families. The act was fun, as we

presented Plays after Plays after Plays in North

Hollywood. But there did come a point when

the audience demanded to be heard, and their

involvement had to come before your own

desire to produce our favorite shows. The conundrum

led further into how suburbans were

returning to the city for the same shows every

week, and how we were not ready to move to

suburbia to make their patronage easier. We

soon succumbed to the reality that we were

not connecting with parents at all, nor were the

parents staying any younger. To be frank, we

were too geek for their taste, and this formula

did not make it easy for either side to win over

this business we called theatre. The stubbornness

of both led to a failure in the system.

People may not know what they

want all the time, but it is important to test

their reaction to new ideas. In theatre, this

would be a long year’s worth process of

changing the ending and directing the lines to

sound sympathetic, perhaps with a change of

gender role, perhaps a change in costume and

timeline - who knows? It can be anything, and

it was slow. We grew very tired of it, especially

when World of Warcraft had instant gratifications

that had no consequences in having a pic

shared all over facebook.

On the other hand, the shift to festi-

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16


vals came with amazing perks. When traditions became stale, innovations

sparked inspirations. By inviting artists with new mediums, new ideas, and

new audiences, we were able to provide a real cultural experience. Exposing

kids to stunt artists in videogames, musicians for animation, and artists

from published novels. The arts had never died, it just could not sustain

itself without collaboration. The industry cannot support itself anymore.

Game developers need film makers, choreographers need composers - the

list goes on! It’s a whole world of fresh opportunity. You just need to find a

way to get it out there.

And that is where we come in. “There” is the Azure Lorica Foundation,

and “it” can have our venue, our press releases, our festivals - it is

there for you. After Ninja-Con, we’ve had the Skullgirls Fan Expo, Fate

Pendulum’s Theatrical Readings, Fighters United, etc. All of these events

brought to life an array of entertainment, from DJs, Actors, to Gamers to

enjoy. We’ve thrown barrages of events within a year, and we are not afraid

of throwing more.

As a charity organization, it is our pride to offer free admission at

certain hours in our events for the public to enjoy. As a nonprofit company,

we are more than willing to spend for you, our deserving community, the

festivals and artistic outlet we all need. And as the people behind all of this,

we thank you for allowing us to build something so beautiful together.

Without you, our foundation would’ve never have grown in service. Our

humble beginnings, in 2010, as a small NoHo theatre company, has now

bloomed into festivals for the new generation of today. We are happy to

give you the stage, the chance to meet your celebrities, and the culture

where our community can grow. The Azure Lorica Foundation is here

for you.

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FanFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

Best Animation and Director

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

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The

World

of

Jane

By: Andrew Avakyan November 19, 2015

“The person, be it

gentleman or lady, who has

not pleasure in a good novel,

must be intolerably stupid.”

—Jane Austen

Who can discuss satire and witty humor without uttering the

name Jane Austen? Jane Austen has intrigued the minds of millions and

has become a household name to readers, since the eighteenth and nineteenth

centuries. Through her clever narrative and loveable characters, she

has introduced readers to the charming and quaint lifestyles of the English

social class. Characters such as the Dashwood sisters (Sense and Sensibility)

and Emma Woodhouse (Emma) have acquainted readers to some of the

liveliest protagonists that English fiction has produced since the time of

her presence in the literary spectrum. With a knack for portraying peoples’

socioeconomic status vividly, Jane Austen takes readers into the depths of

the middle and upper social classes that the general public had not seen in

such a particular fashion, and adds a little satire to arouse readers’ curiosity.

Her depiction of established, English men and women and the lives

of the wealthy challenges the social conventions that remain prevalent

till this day. She also developed plots in a satirical manner to comically

emphasize gender hierarchy and show how the notion of marriage, as a

means for women to solidify social and economic strength, is ridiculous.

With masterful works such as Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen has been a force to be reckoned with in

the world of fiction.

Born on December 16, 1775, in Hampshire, England, Jane

began writing epistolary novels at an early age, but quickly abandoned the

letterform writing to develop her own personal style. As a child growing

up in a large family—she was the sixth

sibling, with six brothers and one sister—Jane had a flare for writing down

domestic activities observed on a day-to-day basis. She learned about the

workings of social structures through witnessing her own family prosper

by such gentrified ranks. Her parents George and Cassandra ascended

from the position of land ownership to a family business in wool manufacturing.

As a result, this rise in the social ladder, along with getting

acquainted with other well-off gentry families, gave Jane the inspiration

to narrate the socioeconomic changes that helped in developing her

fictional characters.

Although Jane’s work was known and published during her

time, her global fame skyrocketed during the late nineteenth century;

which is where the gradual progression of fan clubs dedicated to Jane

became a public ceremony, and the term Janeite first achieved notoriety

by George Saintsbury in an 1894 introduction to one of Jane’s novel

publications. This led to the revival of Jane’s work, grabbing the attention

of fans, book enthusiasts, and your average social trend follower.

Now, a Jane Austen society exists in almost every continent, some of

which include the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), The

Republic of Pemberly, and of course the Jane Austen Fan Club—their

online forum is under the webpage fanpop. Like the Janeites, the

magnitude of fan clubs has become a major theme in book culture, and

its impact remains evident through other fan-based cultures following

Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and sharing identical

textual beliefs that the Janeites uphold. The Janeite phenomenon, or

Janeitism, can be compared with today’s Trekkers and Star Wars fans as

well, arguing how Jane’s work was one of the first to build a literarybased

cultural group of its kind.

With the advancement of technology in the twenty-first century,

book publication quickly shifted its course in medium, continuing

to delight fans through media, graphic novels, and parodies of classical

literature. Today, Jane Austen fans have developed an enticing new

19

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Editor: Andrew Avak

theme that revives classical tales and puts a touch of the new into its motif. An

example of this is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, of

how the traditional literary work is brought forth from the world of convention

and is resuscitated to fit in to the zombie-infatuated world we live in today. It’s

a form of Renaissance, but with that World War Z edge to it. With technology

and the demographical range of book readers constantly changing, one may

wonder whether fans will venture into interactive, three-dimensional (3D), or

other modes of entertainment to tickle their fancy with Jane Austen’s work.

Andrew Avak is writer, editor, and proofreader,

working out of Los Angeles, California. During his adolescence,

he enjoyed reading the twentieth century classics written

by Hemingway, Saroyan, Steinbeck, but as he grew into

adulthood, he began reading English literature from Chaucer,

Shakespeare, and Milton, all the way to Orwell, Maugham,

and Joyce. In September of 2015, he published his debut

novella Eyedentify and is currently working on a variation of

short stories. During his adolescence, he enjoyed reading the

twentieth century classics written by Hemingway, Saroyan,

Steinbeck, but as he grew into adulthood, he began reading

English literature from Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton,

all the way to Orwell, Maugham, and Joyce. In September

of 2015, he published his debut novella Eyedentify and is

currently working on a variation of short stories. He currently

lives in Glendale, with his wife Alina.

It is difficult to turn a page in a romantic novel or watch a romantic

comedy without seeing a character from Jane Austen’s pages come to life.

Whether it is a book enthusiast who loves literature of the Romantic period,

fans of parody novels, or lovers of English wit, Jane appeals to the likes of

many and her presence in the literary world continues to engage eager minds.

Her artistic prose has paved the way for that delightful touch of romantic fiction

that we see over and over again in film and media. Films such as Becoming

Jane, directed by Julian Jarrold and novels like Shannon Hale’s Austenland

(now a major motion picture) continue to praise and demonstrate how influential

Jane’s overzealous form of sensibility has been. It is no surprise how the

queen of romance plays a part in the world of fiction and media till this day.

For more information, please visit janeausten.org, where you will

learn more about her biography, see destinations where her work lives on, and

download online readings of her collective work.

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

20


Dancing with...

By: Foxstreet September 28, 2015

Everyone knows of the story, and bookstores never

stop selling the 19th century masterpiece. The fans have seen

the movies, and know the lines by heart. But not everyone

knows the world behind Jane Austen’s captivating story. Far

from the romance of marriage, social politics, and Collin Firth’s

version of Mr. Darcy, the time of Pride and Prejudice was

merely a fantasy, to escape the grim reality of Jane Austen.

On September 26, 2015, the Jane Austen Society

transported us to June 15, 1815: the night of the Duchess

of Richmond’s Ball. Famously known from Byron’s Childe

Harold’s Pilgrimage and Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, two experts

in the time of the event were invited to give an unforgettable

lecture for the Society’s members: Peter Graham, an English

professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

in Blacksburg, Virginia (also known as Virginia Tech), and Fritz

Bronner, actor, producer, and director of The War Horse & Military

Heritage Foundation. Needless to say, it was an amazing

treat for Bibliophiles, Historians, and Janeites (devoted fans of

Jane Austen).

Graham’s lecture covered the history of the Grand

Ball. He presented the fashion and dances that captivated the

culture of the time, reciting excerpts from Byron and Austen,

and favorably, the Duke of Wellington. From his notes, he

shares the importance of Balls of the time, coinciding with the

Napoleonic War. It was impressive as to how diversions and

espionage improved the party scene, as much of the luster for

more elaborate parties came due to the timing of vulnerability.

Battle strategies were very well dissected throughout the day,

especially much after, with Bronner’s Greys and Glory, representing

the Royal Scots Greys: A group reenacting the capture

of Napoleon’s personal gold eagle that sat atop a flag for victory

during the day-long battle.

Waterloo was the key term to know in this event, as

the Ball and battle supplied us with several inspiring paintings,

capturing history too close for comfort; relieving us with less

imagination that one would expect. Through Grays and Glory,

Bronner’s Foundation aids in not only education through historical

reenactments, but providing healthcare for horses. Due to the

energy for the care taking of Equine Kind horses, they take only

the best riders for the reenactment battle scenes, a majority of

who were women.

It is crucial to know that the female role had much to

do about everything in Austen’s stories, and our reality feeds us

with no less than such influential prowess to boot—in the ballroom

or out in the battlefield. The Jane Austen Society is an epic

group of Literatis that know their stuff. Loving to learn and easy

to associate, this meeting felt more like a conference of history

makers, gathered to review their findings, and their endeavors

to improve our culture’s future through preservation. Romance

isn’t dead. You just haven’t met the right society yet.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,

that a single man in possession

of a good fortune, must be in

want of a wife.”

— Jane Austen, Pride and

Prejudice

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For more information about the Jane Austen Society, visit: jasnasw.org.


Jane Austen

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

22


The

Brillance Author

of Fair

By: Foxstreet October 10, 2015

As I was looking for parking for the infamous Art Night in

Pasadena, I stumbled upon the Author Fair. Hosted in the grand Pasadena

Central Library, the Author Fair took over every wing, room and floor,

and theatre that the historic property had to offer.

Larry Venderveen has performed his theatrical monologue

rendition about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s biography at the Pasadena Central

Library for a few years. His personal contact with the Fitzgeralds’s living

relatives has revered his work as a powerful redemption for the legacy of

both Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This opened doors to something that the general pubic had

never seen. It allowed people to explore every corner with a friendly face

and sit with their newly published books to explore. Small Press and

Self-Publishers extended an open hand to welcome each potential patron

to read their covers and pages, and even signatures—pronouncing their

pride and honor as Authors, Coauthors, Publishers, and the unexpected—

of activists, filmmakers, and musicians.

Swimming between the bustling crowd, I found myself floating

from table to table (whichever was open), starting up discussions with

writers about their books. I was enamored by a sea of booths, and the

temptation was too much to handle—reaching the next aisle was all I

could’ve asked for, once I learned the Author’s/Publisher’s name. Not to

say that the intrigue in them was far from my interest, as their enthusiasm

reflected what adventure could have been between their novels’ tantalizing

pages. I wish I could’ve taken a peek, but the night was too young,

and I hadn’t even reached the second floor, third floor, or the theatre and

outdoor cafe serenade.

Dan McLaughlin is a local Pasadena Librarian, whose written

works on the history of Pasadena, reveals the drastic cultural changes of

its rich heritage, spanning from the popular to its most unpopular progressions.

By the end of the night, I must say, I had learned almost all of

the vendors’ names. Although I was too distracted to speak to the public,

I was happy to learn that children were very much apart of this fraction

of Art Night. The city was filled with music and open doors, raining with

fresh faces, bringing life to the Old Town, Playhouse District and the colleges

year-round. But I must admit that, out of all the festivities, the Author

Fair was my favorite. Publishers and authors showed off their merit

and cause, allowing readers to find their work where most commercial

bookstores would not. Their superior quality to Target’s million copies

of the book Kardashian Konfidential was a breath of fresh air. Amazon

couldn’t provide this kind of presentation on good days, and the intimacy

to comfort most loyal readers on the bad ones.

Author Fair is one of a kind and a real introduction to the world

of the Bibliophile. Meet the writers behind the books, the soul between

the chapters, and the adventure through their pages. Support the Pasadena

Central Library for more events like this. Author Fair happens twice a

year and is free to the public. For more information visit: cityofpasadena.

net/library.

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For

The

Cause

The Azure Lorica Foundation will be six years old by January

26, 2016, and it is still growing. Just when the organization believed that

it was enough when they produced Ninja-Con, in 2013, its Ninja-Con

Committee fortified the future of the festival, as no longer a one-man production,

by 2015. From a Board, to the new Committee, and the returning

Volunteers, the nonprofit thought more years would be needed to expand

as far as it has. For now, Azure Lorica seems solid. What else was there

to build, with an annual convention, and a willing operations team?

Between the years of forming the Committee, much of the vision

for the Azure Lorica Foundation was redirected back to its original

mission: to produce the arts for the public. This began the reconstruction

of the old Azure Lorica ensemble. But there was a minor detail that made

us worry. Times have changed. When live shows were novelty and a

ticket meant the world in the early milennia, a YouTube video nowadays

is enough to procure your future in today’s industry. If we were to return

as an ensemble, we had to either get into stand up comedy and musicals

or go home! We needed to think. And think fast.

As a nonprofit corporation producing festivals, we thought

about how to match that grandeur on stage. Naturally, we needed to

be extravagant, but if it didn’t need us to spend as much, why we’d be

in a better position! YouTube was saturated and filled with mainstream

selections. As much as we could benefit in being part of a ready-made

community, we needed something as traditional but as innovated as theatre.

As ironic as it sounds, this is where we turned to podcasting.

The production was well seasoned, and we were able to produce

a few episodes in a matter of weeks. The honeymoon stage of the

production was great, but soon the press releases need to be published,

and then that needed attention. This was the birth of Drift Plume and

Triskele Press. While Drift Plume produced radio plays - downloadable

episodes for our listeners, Triskele Press would publish press releases and

write content for the blog. The job wasn’t so hard, until the scales became

serious.

For one, Triskele Press had to build up their team - from

bloggers, to now an emagazine publishing group - producing not only

online content of photography, videos, and stories of “500 words or

less”, but now a refined version of what looks like a Quarterly Journal.

To improve, our photographer needed to be an advertisement team, our

bloggers be Editors, and our artists now designers. The idea was fantastic,

who wouldn’t want this kind of upgrade? But the toils in between

the reconstruction is fraught with peril, especially when the deadline is in

four months.

Secondly, Drift Plume is taking human resources by the reigns,

and making policies and operation improvements for it’s ensemble.

There’s no need to build a squad when the challenge is in the mind. Discipline

is like fire, the challenge is not to snuff the blaze, but to channel

the light. With proper practices, the Ensemble can act as the society and

culture of the new Ninja-Con.

One might think that this is ridiculous. That a philosophy

practiced is just a promise meant to be broken. This is just politics, and

it won’t take long to break in the heat of battle. What good is it going to

do?

The deal in this business is not build promises. It is to be a testament.

When radio began as an industry, it created a new home culture.

When movies began, it made a new city culture. We are no different. If

a company does not prepare for such changes, then they are a disservice

to their community. One may not realize this, but this is common, and a

Ninja-Con announced it was going for a two day show.

If anyone knows how production works in festivals and conventions,

then you’d see how this was a feat. Ninja-Con is Azure Lorica

Foundation’s largest project. It’s an animal that could take over your life,

if you’re not careful. Much like taming a cat, you had to learn from experience

in how to feed it, how it loves you back, and what benefits it has

for everyone that meets you…and Ninja-Con. Being a two day venture,

the cat has become a tiger. And unlike a small pet with sharp claws and a

mischievous nature, this beast can break your neck with it’s teeth.

Progress has sacrifices necessary to fulfill it’s promises, and

we had to pull harder with a press release this big. Drift Plume excels

in singing, making costumes, and building stages and trains and castles.

Triskele Press can write and market, and make your dimes look like platinum!

And working with Ninja-Con, the emerald city for geeks, the work

ahead of us was not going to be easy.

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


practice that builds any community. Romantics, after all, did not populate

as idealists without a small society to grow with.

In doing this, the we are expecting something bigger in the

future. Something great, something beautiful, and if we’re right, this

something can be for everyone to share. For now, we will be building the

foundation. We invite what challenges may come. It’s already made

a stronger community for us, and because of them, nothing can stop us.

The Arts are important, and it is the cause we stand by as a charity, as a

community, as the Azure Lorica Foundation.

Photo: Cosplayers at Ninja-Con 2015

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

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The Importance of

By: Andrew Avak November 25, 2015

Indie

Sometimes less is more, especially

when it relates to independent films. Over the

last three decades, we’ve seen a massive rise in

films being produced with a flare for cognitive

aesthetics, rather than the vanity of Hollywood

glamour. The subjective term for independent

or indie films is when the production is completed

at a low budget or has not been financed

by a major blockbuster enterprise. Examples

of such production empires are Paramount or

Warner Brothers. However, films can also be

distinguished as an indie film based on the

level of thought and artistry depicted by the

film crew and how influential the film’s message

is conveyed to the audience. By definition,

independent films focus on substance

and style and the intent in which the artist’s

personal vision is illustrated onto the screen. In

2014, we witnessed a conglomeration of films

like The Imitation Game, Boyhood, Whiplash,

and many others, where the scale of innovative

brilliance was uncanny thanks to their high

budget, but more importantly, the thematic intent

signified in the film. One of most euphoric

films that year, Birdman, not only won Best

Picture (along with Best Director, Best Original

Screenplay, and Best Cinematography), but

also exemplified the superfluous manner of

cinema in which independent films embody.

Cinematic marvels can come from

all facets of entertainment, and the big blockbusters

are no longer the only films that carry

a large financial support to allure moviegoers.

People have different definitions of a good

film. There are some movie fans that enjoy

seeing CGI, and there are those who get a thrill

out of watching and hearing loud explosions,

while others go see a film for the purpose

of witnessing something bigger (metaphorically

speaking). If you’re like me, you go to

the theaters to see a film with rich dialogue,

artistic cinematography, phenomenal acting,

and a poignant musical score to accompany

the work. Sure, a little action here and there

would be nice, but only if it appropriates itself

with the theme or plot. Nothing is worse than

to witness an extraordinary action scene, or

a moment of overzealous emotion, splurging

onto the screen without a thematic purpose.

Luckily, films like Birdman appealed to indie

film fans for its drama, comedy, but also to its

methodical action and a dash of fiction for the

fans who enjoy suspending their disbelief for a

few hours.

You never know until you see it

My first experience with an independent

film was at the age of fourteen—as I bought

a VHS copy from a long forgotten music and

film store named Warehouse—when I watched

Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. That video

tape has long vanished, but I still remember the

title in crimson letters standing out, four sketched

men in suits in the lower foreground, and a

fragmented picture in the top of two extended

arms, with weapons defensively pointed at each

other. The film had a $1.2 million budget, which

is small even for the 90’s, but it had a great cast,

which included Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi,

Tim Roth, and several other favorites. It was the

first time that I watched a film and distinguished

one of the fundamental traits of an effective indie

film, and that was dialogue and camera angles.

It would be downright naïve to simply describe

indie with two basic elements, however, for the

sake of emphasis I’d like to add that that was

what allured me to the film. It had great music—

Grateful Dead’s “Stuck in the Middle” playing in

the background while Michael Madsen proceeds

to amputate an officer’s ear—and the wonderful

direction of Tarantino capturing unique scenes

and executing with meticulous detail, that may

have been missed by a less skillful director. Right

in the beginning scenes, we see an example of

raw dialogue that defines indie films, where we

get a three-and-a-half minute take of Mr. Pink

(Steve Buscemi) engaged in a socio-economic

discussion with the rest of the gentlemen sitting

around a table, on what constitutes the waitress

from earning a tip if the service was unsatisfactory.

Congruent to the subject of dialogue, the

debate between Mr. Pink and the remaining crew

over the etiquette of tipping and the justification

of leaving nothing for the waitress was portrayed

as though the audience was in the scene, sitting

right beside the actors in a heated discussion.

Tarantino’s touch of the unexpected, ambiguous

dialogue—not knowing where and which way

the plot’s angle dictates—introduced an impeccable

mode of direction that has made the film a

classic within indie circles.

The importance of an indie film does

not always have to be great, in order to leave an

impression. Often a great film emerges onto the

screen that is merely appreciated for its merits

in a certain area of expertise (e.g. acting,

direction, cinematography). However, when

all areas of film are handled with mastery and

great detail, regardless of size of the budget, it

leaves the mark that compels the audience to

ponder the universal message of the film strives

to achieve, leaving those in wonder, even as

the ending credits have begun and the film has

finished.

Sadly, that is not the case with most

films and their method of admittance to the big

screen. So many great films with a potential

to become a cult classic get turned down due

to budget issues or lack of funding. However,

this is an exciting time because indie film fans

are beginning to see more films get released

frequently, in comparison to former generations.

Every year, a fresh new film gets released

that aims to ponder the metaphysics, challenge

social issues, or address political upheaval

without being turned down due to greedy notions

of profit, or for fear of financing the next

box office disaster.

There is hope for all indie cinemas

Who says that indie simply revolves

around films? To the remaining lot that succumbs

to the fate of denial by major production

companies, streaming sites such as Netflix

and Amazon Prime have become their saviors,

taking the leftover scripts under their wings

and preserving the essence of films that may,

perhaps, demonstrate a successful prospect.

A few years ago, Netflix began purchasing

scripts that were stored away and forgotten. But

Netflix acquired the rights and brought to life

works that have won numerous Emmy Awards

including House of Cards, Orange is the New

Black, and Narcos, the drama series that has

been receiving promising reviews for an Emmy

in theforthcoming year. By the same rights,

Amazon Prime acquired Transparent (winner of

5 Emmys), paving the way for production companies

to reevaluate their method of production

approval. With so many noteworthy films and

shows, rich with dialogue and direction, Netflix,

Amazon Prime, and other global enterprises

are now taking the time to review soon-to-be

films and mini-series compilations.

After realizing its potential, Netflix

has now begun their own production, where

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they accept scripts directly (as opposed to buying

them from third parties), and produce independent

films with the rights of their agency. A

Netflix original that has been catching the eye

of viewers this year is Beasts of No Nation,

a drama about the civil war and turmoil in

Africa, and how a orphaned youth (Abraham

Attah) is trained by a vicious warlord, played

by Idris Elba, to recruit the young child into

his group of guerilla fighters. With an “A”

level actor like Idris Elba, who’s starred in

such films as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

and Pacific Rim, the film has produced a great

cast, a sound production, and a recipe for

socio-political appeal (due to current social

and economic issues in Africa). Beasts of No

Nation is one the first Netflix originals that has

executed a stronghold film receiving immediate

praise by critics, and has gotten the attention of

the Academy, perhaps, clinching in for a nomination

and a chance to become the first streamed

motion picture that has never hit theaters to

receive an Oscar. Some independent films have

even gone so far as to be acquired and transformed

into a series or mini-series, preserving

its cinematic elements; without being dismissed

and terminated because it cannot be made into a

major motion picture. Today, Netflix encourages

films to be delivered to its enterprise directly,

rather than being sent to Paramount, Disney, etc.

To screenplay writers, this prospect may seem

more feasible due to its longevity, of how a series

has the advantage of airing for multiple seasons

and playing in production for years, where a film

appears in the box-office for a shorter period of

time.

Whether is it on the big screen or

in the comfort of your home, the impact of an

indie film is far more grand than the digital effects

behind a blockbuster production. As long

as the key elements of an indie film are there,

you no longer have to have a multi-billion

dollar production company to finance a film.

The content and fabric of the material is what

makes a film stand out from other competitive

movies. Check out indiewire.com to learn more

about indie movies, television, and independent

filmmaking.

Pirates of the Caribbean to The Edge of

Oblivion

July 3, 2015

By: Reyaan Shah

In Jordan Inconstant’s short film “Pirates of the Caribbean to The Edge

of Oblivion”, central character Jack Sparrow has a tough time accepting that he has

been fired as captain of his ship and crew. In fact, Sparrow is completely surprised

when the character of Barbossa fires him and announces that he will be the one to

take his position. After hearing this unfortunate news, Sparrow flees and spends his

time getting drunk alone and trying to figure out how to leave the island. However,

he soon encounters two pirates that look oddly identical to himself. He gets into a

fight with one of them and then becomes the leader of the remaining pirates. After,

he orders his pirates around and tries to strike up a deal with a lady he believes

shares a common interest with him. While there are many possibilities, the most

reasonable would be that he is planning his revenge against Barbossa.

Aside from such an interesting and unique plot, the film is amazing for

many reasons including the breathtaking scenery. Inconstant does a fantastic job

of including beautiful ocean and sky views. Also, there is great use of lighting and

angles to highlight important and noteworthy scenes. Additionally, the costumes are

extremely appropriate for all characters and their personalities. However, the costumes

are not what define the characters at all. In fact, the characters all do a spectacular

job in the way they act and commit to their roles. Specifically, it amazed me

how the actors were able to stay in character throughout the intense fighting scenes

where their every moves and expressions were captured. Their acting enhances the

overall quality of the short film and makes it much more enjoyable to watch.

The brevity of this film is both beneficial and consequential. For one,

the fact that the film is only around nine minutes long is beneficial to the viewer

because they get to see something that is concise and to the point. Additionally, the

short length of the film helps the viewer stay entertained and eager to watch. However,

the downfall to the time is that there is less room for detail. Also, the viewer

can potentially be left feeling upset because of their desire to see more. Nonetheless,

this film could be two hours or two minutes but it will leave you anxious to

see what happens next. Jordan Inconstant did an amazing job with his short film

“Pirates of the Caribbean to The Edge of Oblivion”.

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99 Homes

October 17, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 52 min

The hardest part of making political commentary in a narrative

film is being subtle about it. Having one’s opinion on display in a

dramatic film and making sure that it doesn’t come off as preachy or

overt from any angle is incredibly important and equally difficult to pull

off.

For the most part however, Ramin Bahrani’s new film “99

Homes” does an effective job of keeping its message about the housing

crisis and capitalism as a whole in a strictly “show not say” manner. Still

an independent director, this film additionally sports quite the cast of

mainstream actors compared to much of his previous work.

“You are to vacate these premises today.”

And that is exactly the sentiment the film begins with. Rick

Carver is a real estate shark simply doing his job, going from house to

house to deliver sad news to sad families: their houses belong to the

bank now. The interesting part, however, is that Carver feels little for the

news others might dread delivering. Shortly after evicting a young man

named Dennis, as well as his mother, Carver decides to hire Dennis to

clean out recently foreclosed properties with him- the point at which the

seedy underbelly of the government’s involvement in the housing crisis

gradually reveals itself.

This exposure would mean little if not portrayed in an honest

and informative manner, and director Ramin Bahrani for the most part

succeeds in this regard. Bahrani does an excellent job of putting on

display the government’s shady tactics (such as, using Dennis to clean

out appliances, so the government pays to replace them), as opposed to

merely referencing them. This film’s issue doesn’t quite lie with how

subtle Bahrani is with his commentary, but rather how the film has a

slight tendency to lose its message in the midst of needless thriller clichés

towards the film’s end. It is understandable for a film this informative

to not have very much meat on its plot bone, but it is still certainly

unfortunate that the film’s message has to suffer as a result.

Thankfully, the performances more than make up for this

drawback. Andrew Garfield gives quite the surprising performance as

Dennis Nash, proving once more, that losing his accent is nowhere near

a problem for him. Michael Shannon provided quite the impressive

performance as a cavalier, self-interested, and arguably sociopathic Rick

Carver- the polar opposite of Garfield’s character. While these two actors

are for the most part the film’s only legs to stand on, they are more

than sturdy enough to last.

The sick feeling left in most every viewer’s stomach will likely

be the best indication of this film’s success. “99 Homes” ultimately

does a great job of showing what is wrong with the government’s role of

seizure in the housing crisis instead of simply telling.

Forev

August 4, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 28 min

[8/10]

[6/10]

One thing most people can likely agree on is that the romantic

comedy genre needs a bit of a refresher. Thankfully, it seems as though

the independent crowd has actually taken to the genre’s reinvention,

whether through the addition of a far more original style and presentation,

or perhaps just with the application of that good ol’ indie quirk.

The latter is certainly more the case with Molly Green and

James Leffler’s Forev. The film, somewhere between road trip comedy

and love story, presents the series of unexpected events that can occur

when a simple joke between two neighbors about getting married

becomes a full on reality. Despite a script that can read quite bare and

stretch quite thin, our three main actors (plus some very welcome

supporters) do well to make the whole experience relatively enjoyable

nonetheless.

“You guys are idiots.”

Simplicity and focus is certainly the name of the game in

Forev. It is certainly admirable that the film chooses not to deviate from

its central plot in a genre that constantly suffers from uninteresting and

forced subplots. This being said, there is unfortunately not very much

meat on this film’s only bone. Thankfully the film’s neighbors-turnedlovebirds

(played by Noël Wells and Matt Mider) outdo themselves,

almost always, pushing the script to the point of “awkwardly hilarious”

instead of “hilariously awkward”.

Despite what this film lacks in substance, Molly Green and

James Leffler’s directorial efforts certainly pay off in the way of cinematography.

Forev strangely succeeds in creating a very immersive atmosphere,

most notably during the many roadside and desert scenes where

lighting proves to be no issue. In addition, the film’s very focused shots

and seamless transitioning from fixed to moving camera placement give

the whole package a very squeaky clean feel.

It’d be cruel not to mention the quirky supporting characters

that join our main crew of three on their journey, one very subtle way in

which Forev will certainly please its audience. From the endlessly weird

AAA mechanic (played by Timmy L’Heureux) to the bearded nomad

(played by Chuck McCarthy), the supporting cast at work here does well

to provide a multitude of memorable moments in an otherwise relatively

sparse script. And that’s not all. If you remember internet sensation

Kelly, Liam Kyle Sullivan makes a very subtle voice-over cameo here.

It’s a shame more than anything that this film’s rare focus for

a romantic comedy works to its detriment. There are several moments

in which Forev proves to be something quite special. Thankfully, the

film’s cast of hilarious and talented actors are able to power through the

script to yield an overall pretty enjoyable time.

Grandma

October 12, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 18 min

[9/10]

There is no denying that all athletes will begin losing their

skills and all singers will begin losing their voices with age. It’s nothing

to be too upset about as it’s purely natural and moreover their legacies

are bound to live on. This said, a film will come around every now

and then that proves that similar simply cannot be said for an actor or

actress.

Such is the case with “Grandma” pretty undeniable proof

that an actress not only retains her acting prowess with age, but only

continues to grow in her acting ability. With a relatively simple road-trip

narrative that allows for a colorful cast of characters along the way, Lily

Tomlin is able to prove her worth right alongside the younger actors that

won’t be replacing her anytime soon.

“You need to be able to say ‘screw you’ sometimes.”

Quite the activist in her heyday, Elle Reid is now an older

woman who is still recovering from the loss of her longtime partner to

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cancer less than two years ago. When her teenage granddaughter Sage

stumbles to her door pregnant and needing money for an abortion however,

the the film quickly turns from sad and withdrawn to a weird and

unlikely charming road-trip to collect the much needed 600 dollars. It’s

a film that cares quite a bit about not really caring, illustrating that

the way to get things done is only by telling it like it is.

Through this trip, the two encounter faces old and new that come together

to create quite the variegated array of characters and personalities.

This array consists of a trans-gendered tattoo artist played by Laverne

Cox, a coffee shop owner played by Elizabeth Pena, and lastly Sage’s

unruly boyfriend who refuses to admit that the baby is his (resulting

in quite the whooping from her Grandma). The cast and each of their

introductions into the film are all executed incredibly naturally, illustrating

that there are several ways in which a director can still make this

narrative format feel fresh.

Young actress, Julia Garner certainly does a fine job in her role as the

misguided Sage, but the spotlight undeniably lies on Lily Tomlin and

everyone knows it. Her first lead role in 27 years, Tomlin’s return to

center stage is as entertaining as it is earned. There is also quite a bit to

be said about the chemistry between these two actresses, resulting in an

interestingly charming and hilarious final product despite the intense

amount of grit underlying in the narrative.

“Grandma” is a simple movie that doesn’t quite reinvent the wheel. This

said, it is an endlessly cute display of a very unlikely bond resulting

from pretty dire circumstances. The precision in which characters are

introduced and pulled off by their respective actors is enough to justify

the wheel being left alone this time around.

cancer less than two years ago. When her teenage granddaughter Sage

stumbles to her door pregnant and needing money for an abortion however,

the the film quickly turns from sad and withdrawn to a weird and

unlikely charming road-trip to collect the much needed 600 dollars. It’s

a film that cares quite a bit about not really caring, illustrating that

the way to get things done is only by telling it like it is.

Through this trip, the two encounter faces old and new that

come together to create quite the variegated array of characters and

personalities. This array consists of a trans-gendered tattoo artist played

by Laverne Cox, a coffee shop owner played by Elizabeth Pena,

Hungry Hearts

Cotober 11, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 49 min

[7/10]

Psychological thrillers might be the most effective genre of

film when it comes to stories and questions plaguing the viewer’s head

for days after viewing. One must however be a little cautious, as this

effect can be easily watered down if a director isn’t careful enough and

their psychological thriller slips ever so slightly into the horror genre.

Such is somewhat the case with “Hungry Hearts”. It is a film

that begins light and cheeky with two lovebirds, one from a foreign

country, of course, accidentally meeting in an embarrassing situation and

soon after falling in love, tying the knot, and having a child. Soon after

however, the film slowly creeps into more sinister territory and gives

into its inner darkness come its second half.

“My wife doesn’t really trust doctors.”

And this distrust is important to note as it provides this film

with its main conflict. Upon our lovebirds, Mina and Jude, discovering

that Mina is with child, Jude is ecstatic that she can marry him and that

she no longer needs to move back to Italy for work. However, it is only

upon handling Mina’s pregnancy and ultimately raising her child that the

two begin to encounter their biggest issues. There are thousands of ways,

many of them published, to properly raise a child, but Mina’s sworn

method of avoiding medicine and placing the child on a vegan diet in

pursuit of absolute purity is certainly not one of them.

The concept of such an obsession tearing two parents apart

is certainly one director, Saverio Costanzo, tries to be very careful

with, and this is to some avail. The manner in which Mina’s character

is portrayed is far more paranoid and delusional, as opposed to overtly

psychotic, which is refreshing. This said, the aforementioned tendency

for films like this to slip into horror mode definitely kicks in towards the

film’s end, carried out for one example by unsettling wide angle fish-eye

shots over the child, representative of Mina’s point of view. Choices like

these (of which there are several more) paint her character as demonic

and evil, whereas every other aspect of the film does well to avoid this

cliché.

The excellent performances of Alba Rohrwacher and

Adam Driver make it all the more heartbreaking that directorial

choices like the previous example are prevalent in the film’s intense

second half. For all the film’s cinematography might do however to

paint Mina and Jude as “psycho” versus “innocent straight man”, the

Rohrwacher and Driver are very much able to hold their own and make

their performances feel as genuine as possible.

Just because this film falls victim to becoming more horror

than psychological thriller towards the end, credit is deserved in that it

doesn’t turn into any sort of fright fest. “Hungry Hearts” remains stellar

in concept and pretty great for the most part in execution.

In Lieu of Flowers

Cotober 11, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 30 min [6/10]

When it comes to comedy, simplicity can sometimes be the

key to a hilarious bit or joke. Romance on the other hand isn’t always so

easy to accomplish in a simple manner, as complications are bound to

ensue. Who even knows what could happen when you try to accomplish

both at the same time in the simplest way possible?

Thanks to “In Lieu of Flowers”, that question can pretty much

perfectly be answered. The film is a pretty straightforward love story

between two people who have lost and how they help each other heal.

There isn’t an ounce of thematic complexity in sight here. What this film

may be proof of however is that there doesn’t really need to be.

“I think I’m okay.”

Eric and Rachel are two attractive adults who meet at a support

group for people who have lost. While Rachel is trying to recover

from the death of her husband, Eric is struggling with his own loss: a

loss of love rather than of life. It’s a false equivalence that thankfully

does not go unacknowledged in the film, and actually makes for quite a

bit of conflict for the characters and possible discussion for the viewer.

But bear in mind, this would be solely discussion and far from analysis,

as there is little deviation from the film’s linear plot into anything more

complex.

A directorial debut for William Savage, the shot composure

and scope of the film are executed surprisingly well. Savage also

however was responsible for the film’s script, and the result is dialogue

that stretches as thin as it possibly can to cover what seems like as many

awkward silences as there are lines. If awkward was the direction this

film is going in, that is by no means an inherently negative decision.

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This said, it would be hard to deny that this effect is less by choice and

more by consequence of a malnourished script.

Despite the little that these actors are given in the way of

dialogue, they are still however able to pull through with some pretty

convincing performances. Most of this is a result of the feeling of loss

which can very adequately be conveyed without dialogue, a circumstance

used quite well by our main two actors Spencer Grammer and

Josh Pence. The supporting cast can also be commended for their

impressive comedic timings, especially Melissa Rauch who plays a

character entirely different but equally as endearing as her character on

The Big Bang Theory.

Simplicity does at times prove to be a cruel mistress at certain

segments of “In Lieu of Flowers”. That said, this is definitely a film

that wraps itself up in a pretty satisfying package come its conclusion,

displaying as best as it can that the decision to stay on the stripped down

side was merited.

Indie Game: The Movie

Cotober 12, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 43 min

[9/10]

The best documentaries are the ones that make the viewer

want to do something. The film doesn’t necessarily have to be persuasive

to any real degree. It doesn’t even need to offer the viewer any

efforts he or she can participate in. All the film needs to do is convince

the viewer that doing nothing simply won’t do.

In the case of “Indie Game: The Movie”, it isn’t particularly

clear what the correct action to take is for the audience. The film puts on

display the extreme stress and physical and mental exertion of independent

game developers. Is the solution to buy more indie games? Is the

solution to fight the larger studios? One could argue that the mark of a

good documentary is its ability to spark such questions.

“This is my identity.”

“Indie Game: The Movie” follows the development cycles of

two independent games and additionally offers a third indie developer’s

reflection on his own development cycle. All of the stories involve intense

stress and fear that the release will not be successful. Perhaps this

film’s greatest narrative strength however is its ability to illustrate the

very personal territory in which much of the games’ elements originate.

It is particularly heartbreaking to listen to developer Edward McMullen

explaining how his cute and innocent game Aether actually stems from a

deep loneliness felt throughout his childhood.

The most impressive thing about this documentary is the

amount of risk involved. Much of the film consists of interviews with

the developers and their fears that several years of work will have been

for nothing if their games do not succeed. It is very important to note

however that these interviews were conducted in real time, and there

was certainly a possibility that the games would flop. When the games

finally release towards the end of the film to critical success, it is not a

byproduct of the film in any way as the film only premiered following

the release of each game.

Another important aspect that a documentary must keep in

check is its tone. Since documentaries are grounded mostly in fact, statistics,

and non-fiction narrative, it is often not very difficult for the film

to lack a certain warmth. In the case of “Indie Game: The Movie”, the

film only occasionally becomes cold and strictly factual, almost entirely

during Jonathan Blow’s reflections on the development of his own indie

game “Braid”. These segments are still certainly very entertaining and

informative, but unfortunately not quite with the extremely genuine tone

of the other two stories.

This is regardless a very small price to pay for a film that strikes a terrific

balance of informative and emotional. The stress and emotional

torture that these independent developers go through is quite difficult

to imagine, but there is certainly something to be said for a film

that is able to humanize such an unusual topic and make its audience

feel the need to act, however that may be.

It Follows

Cotober 19 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 47 min

[9/10]

The independent film community is here to save the horror

genre and several films as of recent have been proof. It’s incredibly

pleasing to see neat and original ideas being presented in wake of the

“found footage” style craze that doesn’t seem to want to end any time

soon.

The original idea on display in “It Follows” might sound a

bit out there at first, but there is a lot of neat metaphorical weight to the

concept. “It” is a figure that walks slowly towards its victim. It never

runs, but it never ceases walking either. If it catches its victim before he

or she passes “It” onto another person, its victim is dead. While that’s all

fine and simple, the way in which “It” is passed from victim to victim is

the heavier and more interesting aspect of this film.

“You don’t believe me do you?”

Jay is an attractive teenage girl who unfortunately falls prey

to “It”. This occurs through her having intercourse with her boyfriend

in the back of his car, thus passing the curse onto her. At this point it is

clear that “It” is sexually transmitted, an interesting metaphor for similarly

transmitted diseases. The only difference is that Jay has one real to

end her curse: to sleep with someone else and pass the curse onto them.

Aside from this terrific core concept, the film shines a bright spotlight

on the main cast of suburban teenagers, providing the terrifying horror

film with the charm of lockers and passing periods.

As terrific and terrifying the concept of this film is, perhaps

the aspect of the film more eye catching is the film’s terrific shot composure

and cinematography. “It” is a slow-moving stalker and this film as a

result adapts to be a slow-moving piece. Jump scares and cheap frills are

traded for slow-moving cameras and shots big enough to allow the audience

to gradually notice “It” in the distance as opposed to the film cuing

the audience through audio or any sort of editing, making for an all the

more terrifying experience.

And quite impressive this cast is. Maika Monroe does a

terrific job as the ordinary girl running for her life as death creeps every

towards her. Another interesting surprise for this film however is the

unexpected complexity of two of Jay’s friends played by Olivia Luccardi

and Keir Gilchrist. While Luccardi’s character is a nerdy best friend who

is a joy to watch, Keir’s character in particular has had a crush on Jay

since childhood- and knowing the rules of “It”, he has decent enough

reason to step up to the plate and play along.

The rules are a somewhat less consistent than they might

ought to be however, and “It Follows” as a result will definitely leave its

audiences scratching their heads for a little bit. This said, it takes no time

to forget all the specifics and just marvel at how impressive the indie

communities attempts to redefine the horror genre are.

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La Belle et la Bête

July 29, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 36 min [8/10]

In Jordan Inconstant’s film “La Belle et la Bête” or “Beauty

and the Beast”, the life of a young prince takes an unexpected turn after

an encounter with an old beggar woman. A beggar woman asks the

prince for shelter but he refuses because of her unattractive appearance.

This decision propels the beggar woman to cast the prince into a beast

who can only return to his original form when he learns to love. The

beast is given the perfect opportunity to reverse the curse when he meets

a woman named Belle who stumbles upon his castle while looking for

her father who has gone missing. However, things take an interesting

turn when Belle finds that her father has been taken prisoner by the

beast. Belle decides to stay in the place of her father in return for his

freedom, but is not excited for her life as prisoner. For those who have

never seen “Beauty and the Beast”, the ending is not something you

want to miss!

While the plot captivates the audience and leaves them on the

edge of their seats, the film is notable for many additional reasons. The

actors display strong performances through their use of emotion and

intensity throughout the entirety of the film. The strong acting performances

can be seen anywhere from the accents of the paintings to the

spookiness of the beggar woman to the impatient tantrums thrown by

the beast! Additionally, Inconstant embellishes the film with the use of

different types of lighting, music, and angles. In fact, there was use of

many different angles during the wolf scene in order to convey a dramatic

and worried feeling. Also, the film includes music with different

tones to underscore the importance of a scene which can be seen through

the prince’s transformation. Other special effects such as pixie dust and

bright lighting can be seen at the dramatic ending of the film.

This film qualifies as an accurate representation of the original

“Beauty and the Beast” Disney movie. While Inconstant uses talking

paintings instead of talking candles, wardrobes, and clocks, the film

follows uses the plot of the original story. However, Inconstant does

an incredible job of giving the film a unique and personal touch unlike

anything people have seen before. Between the spectacular acting and

special effects this film is not something you want to miss. Overall,

Inconstant’s version of “Beauty and the Beast” will leave you satisfied

and entertained!

The Babadook

October 10, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 33 min [7/10]

In an age of dime-a-dozen “found footage” horror movies

clogging the mainstream, it’s understandable to have given up hope for

the genre. This said, the past year or two has seen the indie film community

coming the a genre’s rescue yet again, this time with some really

innovative ideas for horror.

Jennifer Kent’s “The Babadook” is a great example of the

genre dropping most of the horror-film elements one might be conditioned

into thinking are vital to the genre. Despite this however, the

simple Australian indie flick proves that a lack of gore and jump scares

can still make for a good- if not great- horror film.

“You can’t get rid of the Babadook.”

The horror in this film takes an interesting approach, preying

less on the viewer’s obvious fears and more on the viewer’s nostalgia.

“The Babadook” depicts a mother, Amelia, on the brink of collapse at-

tempting to raise her impossible son, Robbie. Upon discovering a book

containing the character of “The Babadook” in the basement one night,

Amelia decides to read it to her son. Unfortunately however, Robbie

begins to see the character all around the house and at school, the two

both begin to lose their minds.

Details in this film’s approach to horror make it all the more

surprising that this is Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut. A great example

is the terrifying demon who his rarely seen, an aspect of the film that is

often sloppily executed in such films as the most recent Insidious and

Sinister entries. A shortcoming however in her approach is her characters

and their occasional lack of rational motivations. Without spoiling, there

are many decisions made by the two primary characters that could not

possibly spell out a positive outcome, and it can become frustrating to

constantly see Amelia or Robbie walking into danger seemingly without

a clue.

As for these two, the roles of Amelia and Robbie are acted

quite exceptionally by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman. While Essie

Davis is consistently impressive and Noah Wiseman is certainly better

than the average child actor, but their chemistry with one another is

where the two actors really shine. There is something about a character

slowly losing his or her mind that allows an actor to show their

versatility, and these two are certainly no exception.

While certainly not perfect, it’s hard to think of a film in

2014 with as many scares as this directorial debut. “The Babadook”

as well as other films like “It Follows” have been on fire in the last two

years, and if the horror genre needs saving, indie flicks like these are

probably gonna be the ones to do it.

The Kid with a Bike

October 13 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 27 min [8/10]

One can argue that a film lives or dies by the performance of

its child actor. While this is definitely not always the case, the argument

becomes a lot more valid when the child is playing the film’s primary

character. It’s pretty easy to assume little of a child’s ability to play a

dynamic and ever-growing character, but that may just make it all the

more impressive when they succeed in the venture.

Such is absolutely the case with “The Kid with a Bike”, the

moving story of a young boy who’s father wants nothing to do with

him, and the ordinary hairdresser who decides to take him in and provide

him with the necessary care. It’s a film where its child actor gets to

shine free of any discernible stigma holding him back.

“I can’t look after him.”

Cyril is a boy who it doesn’t seem like anyone really wants to

deal with. Dropped in a boy’s home by his father who promises to come

back for him when he’s “ready”, it’s no real surprise that he lashes out

and isn’t always on his best. Pedaling around the city and always getting

into some sort of trouble, an owner of a local parlor named Samantha

sees his need of direction and decides to take him in. Faced with Cyril’s

sheer unruliness as well as her unfortunate knowledge that his father

doesn’t want anything to do with him, Samantha illustrates the level of

strength and endurance needed that can stem from a simple good deed.

What sets this film apart however from any other film with a

similar theme is that there is absolutely no sap in sight here. The film

has no music apart from one short orchestral piece that plays at the beginning

and end of each of the film’s three acts as a means of transition.

While this allows for a much more realistic atmosphere to be created, the

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film can often come off as cold and distant as a result. This is not usually

an issue, although there are certainly moments of the film that pack an

emotional punch but feel a little bit off for their lack of any real warmth.

This same lack of warmth is found in the performance of

Cecile de France as Samantha, although in this case it’s for the better.

The French actress plays her character in a way that is far from motherly

and unconditionally forgiving- because the young business owner that

Samantha is would have no real reason to be. The same can be said of

the 11 year-old Thomas Doret who gives one of the most impressive

performances of any child actor in quite a while. He can be at times

painful to watch for how difficult and unappreciative he is, but all the

discomfort really proves is how good of a job he is doing.

“The Kid with a Bike” is an interesting piece as a result of

this. With an act-format more like that of a stage play, the film is less of

a full-fledged production and far more a medium to display the incredible

acting talents of these two actors. This said, simplicity certainly

pays of in this regard.

The King of Kong

October 18 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 19 min [7/10]

Competitive gaming can easily make for the most entertaining

subject for a documentary, especially when a world record is involved.

This said, it is important that such a documentary is able to overcome

an existing stigma against video games in order to appeal to the widest

audience possible.

Whether or not “The King of Kong” succeeds in that regard

really depends on who you ask. For the film’s intended audience, the

surprisingly dramatic story of a man who dared challenge the Donkey

Kong high score of world record holder and hot sauce tycoon Billy

Mitchell is definitely one that hits hard. For anyone else however, it’s a

little bit more up in the air.

“I gotta try losing sometime.”

The story here isn’t at all complicated. Billy Mitchell is the

best Donkey Kong player in the world- and perhaps nobody knows

this as much as he does. Steven Wiebe on the other hand is a middle

school science teacher with a Donkey Kong machine in his garage. The

contrast between “rockstar” and “everyman” is certainly present with

these two individuals despite never being overtly stated. While Wiebe

desperately yearns to challenge and defeat Billy Mitchell at his turf,

the narrative and structure of this film brings far more emotion to the

surface.

This emotion is simply that of a man who has been down on

his luck for the vast majority of his adult life. The innocuous Steven

Wiebe is still determined to prove his worth by training in his garage

to work his way up to the top, despite the many hoops he has to jump

through along the way due to his lowly “everyman” status. Billy Mitchell

on the other hand is portrayed hilariously as the unsubtle villain of

the film. Stoic and cavalier as ever, Mitchell is a man who refuses to

lose and thinks little of any Steven Wiebe sob story thrown his way.

Perhaps this film’s most amusing success is the simple fact that it is

impossible to tell whether or not Billy Mitchell is playing a character of

any discernible irony.

And all of these positives reign very true for a member of this

film’s target audience: people who occasionally play games but have

little interest of knowledge of competitive gaming. For those however

who subscribe to the belief that video games are entirely a waste of time,

“The King of Kong” in all its underdog sentiment will likely not change

any minds. Similar can be said of viewers who are more actively involved

in modern competitive gaming- although this audience will likely

instead find the arcade culture and number-score competition somewhat

antiquated for its far more modern tastes.

If “The King of Kong” had a slightly better idea of how to

overcome existing stigmas regarding video games, it would have a

very easy time resonating with any viewer. This said, the film succeeds

overwhelmingly in its attempt to bring to the surface incredibly relatable

sentiments of inadequacy and determination against all odds.

The Young Kieslowski

August 3, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 34 min [8/10]

Due in part to the recent explosion of John Green novels and

their respective film adaptations, quirky young adult films for the mainstream

have been on the rise in recent years. One could argue that perhaps

a solid character study may be easier to pull of when the characters

themselves are of a younger age. Regardless, it comes as no real surprise

that directors of the independent persuasion might see an advantage to

taking part in this trend.

Kerem Sanga’s The Young Kieslowski is no real exception.

The film chronicles two college students and each of their vastly different

actions and coping mechanisms while in the midst of an accidental

pregnancy. It is certainly not a plot that breaks any real new ground,

and actually finds itself a little bit on the blander side of the young

adult trend at its brief description. However, through clever choices and

resoundingly comical and original characters, The Young Kieslowski

quickly becomes something special- infinitely greater than its plot

description may imply.

“What do you think is gonna happen to us?”

Endlessly quirky and incredibly relevant, the film’s screenplay

reads somewhere between a satirical news article and an Urban

Outfitters coffee table book. Sanga’s hilarious and mostly unpretentious

two lead characters (played by Ryan Malgarini and Haley Lu Richardson)

drive the seemingly predictable plot forward with an incredibly

satisfying spontaneity. What should be an audience member’s disinterest

in such a dime-a-dozen subject matter is instead an incredibly real

will for both characters to find happiness in the situation, whether or not

in each other.

Unlike Kerem Sanga’s previous film, the $4,000 black and

white thriller Trigger Finger, The Young Kieslowski is riding on a significantly

higher budget with resoundingly apparent results. On display

here is not only a full color film, but one that is meticulously crafted and

beautifully arranged. At times Sanga’s direction gets a little bit to his

head, such as the very awkward black and white monologue that breaks

the tension of a dinner table conversation towards the middle of the film.

On a more technical level, one of the film’s early shots is a prolonged

walking shot in which the microphone sits stationary while the characters

on the other hand draw forward, resulting in a small but very real

removal from the film’s atmosphere. While Sanga still has a little further

to go in the way of art direction and cinematography, he has struck an

incredible improvement with this film.

In addition to the film’s two lead teenagers in trouble, The

Young Kieslowski is supported by the wonderful talents of Joshua Malina

and Melora Walters, the latter having quite the track record. These

two supporting actors provide particularly heartbreaking performances

as parents trying to be as supportive as possible in the midst of their own

35

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


dealings with terminal lung cancer. This subplot rarely forced, and in

fact does very well to provide the film with a slightly darker tone that

sets it apart from other young adult films.

It is very easy to call The Young Kieslowski “just another

young adult movie” or even “just another accidental pregnancy comedy”,

and there would certainly be truth to those statements. This being

said, in the grand scheme of young adult cinema, there are hardly many

films anywhere near as genuine in their message and unpretentious in

their dialogue.

Tig

October 10, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 35 min [8/10]

A combination of “funny” and “tragic” has never been very

easy to strike in a film, usually leading to fans of one side disappointed.

One could argue that a documentary has the greatest ability to strike this

balance. After all, the best example of comedy and tragedy wrapped up

as one can be found only in reality itself.

And “Tig” may very well be the best example of translating

that concept to film. Rarely cheesy or emotionally manipulative, the

documentary chronicles the series of unfortunate events in comedienne

Tig Notaro’s life, all leading up to one of the most acclaimed comedy

sets of all time. It’s unimaginable tragedy that results in similarly unimaginable

comedy.

“Good evening, hello. I have cancer.”

It’s important to note that the description above is only representative

of this film’s first half- and what a first half it is. Notaro is first

diagnosed with a bacterial illness after collapsing on set. Only a week

later however, her mother is killed in a tragic accident. It only takes a

few more months however before the final tragedy hits: her diagnosis of

stage 2 breast cancer. But “Tig” is not a movie about cruel nature of life,

but rather how incredibly resilient a human being can be.

And resilient Tig Notaro is. Only a few days later, the comedienne

steps out on stage and begins her set with the simple quote above.

Her set continues into a collection of stories- funny and sad- that pushes

the limits of how much humor can be found in the situations most would

rather shove under the rug. It was a set that, as the film depicts exceptionally,

had the crowd in tears and several other comedians in awe of

her achievement.

The film certainly has downtime however, and the second

half is where most of it can be found. It would be unfair to not admit

that the segments of Tig’s “crush” on a co-star of hers aren’t quite as

exciting and engaging as those regarding her comedy or her cancer. This

said, it takes reaching the end of this film to realize that there is a time

and a place for the serious stuff, and for “Tig” to put the comedienne’s

emotional and romantic life on display shows that she is just as human

as the rest of us, despite being a superhero in every other way.

But for how much the second half’s content exposes Notaro’s

sensitive side, many of these segments are still undeniably pockets of

stasis that could have flowed better. Regardless, “Tig” is an absolute

must for those who love to see an individual get back on their feet when

it seems most impossible.

Two Days, One Night

October 14, 2015

Runtime: 1 hr 35 min [9/10]

There is something to be said about a film that can thrill its

audiences without the prevalence of an action-packed narrative. “Argo”

is a great example of a mainstream film that had viewers on the edge of

their seats despite a gunshot at no point ever even being fired.

“Two Days, One Night” however takes this idea further into

that extreme. Nothing about this film is overtly thriller-like. A woman

who has recently been laid off needs to convince the majority of her coworkers

to vote to keep her on the job in lieu of a staff-wide bonus- and

she only has two days and one night to do it.

“Put yourself in my shoes.”

And despite nothing painting this film as thriller-like on the surface, the

film is still bound to receive the edge-of-seat reaction that any other action-packed

thriller might. Sandra is faced with an incredible challenge

in convincing her co-workers that her continuing to have a salary to

support her family is anywhere near more important than all of their bills

effectively paid for an entire year. It’s a treacherous task with a ticking

clock, which fits the bill of a thriller quite nicely.

It is important to note however that the use of the word thriller is only

in regards to the edge-of-seat feeling the audience is bound to have with

this film. The film moves in a very similar manner to the Dardenne

brothers’ previous film “The Kid with a Bike”, albeit significantly more

dynamic. This is very fortunate as merging the simplicity of that film

with a more dynamic and snappy pacing is quite the winning combination.

One could however almost argue that every winning aspect of this film

is put to shame by the moving performance of Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.

The terrific actress is able to play her role in such a manner that

the viewer will not just sympathize with her in her worst moments,

but will rather feel her pain in an almost surreal way. It could be that

the fear of being laid of resonates with the general public, but whatever

the reason, Cotillard does a fine job of bringing such a situation to life.

Despite the film moving in some odd directions towards the film’s

conclusion, “Two Days, One Night” is quite the thrilling feat. With a

variegated cast of co-workers and a great performance by Sandra’s supportive

husband, this is a film that gives its all and rarely ever fails.

Editor: Reyaan Shah

Reyaan (Rey) Shah is a high school senior in Coppell, Texas.

Although primarily planning to study Mathematics in college, Rey

is passionate about writing about music and film of the independent

and mainstream persuasion alike, having written numerous

independent film reviews for Triskele Press. In his spare time, he

leads a team of young aspiring journalists in writing indie music

news and album reviews for his website Popchata.com, a venture

he plans to pursue further into his higher education alongside his

mathematics studies.

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

36


anFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

est Film and Cinematography

37

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


FanFilm Awards 2016 Nominee:

Best Actress, Animation, Cinematography

and Fan Representation

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

38


Who

Jordan

is

Inconstant?

For a fan, making fan films is one of the most immersive

experiences one can do. We find ourselves in the atmosphere of original

films, and it’s an incredible opportunity. Furthermore, the advantage of

fan films is visibility. They get a loyal audience from the original work.

Therefore, this causes many thousands of views on the net. Thus, one can

enjoy this pub to show his original projects thereafter.

How is the creative process for you, as an Actor, Director, Writer, and Producer?

Pour un fan, réaliser un fanfilm est l’une des expériences les

plus immersives que l’on peut faire. On se retrouve dans l’ambiance des

films originaux, c’est une chance incroyable. Par ailleurs, l’avantage des

fanfims est la visibilité. Ils touchent un public déjà fidélisé par l’œuvre

originale. Par conséquent, cela entraine plusieurs milliers de vues sur le

net. On peut ainsi profiter de cette pub pour montrer ses projets originaux

par la suite.

In the films of the saga «Pirates of the Caribbean», we come

back very often about the past of Jack Sparrow, be it about the mutiny

generated by Barbossa or how Jack escaped the island. I thought that the

public would like to see that, just like me. There really matter to make

a prequel . In addition the short format lent itself well. I wrote the story

according to the means that I had that it remains credible. Forget the

waterfalls, boat ... The fact fighting to regain a blockbuster without the

means of Hollywood studios is very informative and interesting. I was

inspired by the film “ Cast Away,” Robert Zemeckis or Tom Hanks is

seen alone on an island. The challenge for this fanfilm was to make the

movie interesting even though there is only one character : Jack .What is

an independent filmmaker’s life like? What inspires you to make more?

Au cours des films de la saga “Pirates des Caraïbes”, on revient

très souvent sur le passé de Jack Sparrow, que ce soit à propos de la

mutinerie générée par Barbossa ou la façon dont Jack s’est échappé de

l’ile. Je me suis dit que le public aimerait voir cela, tout comme moi. Il

y avait vraiment matière à faire un préquel. De plus le format « court

métrage » s’y prêtait bien. J’ai écrit l’histoire en fonction des moyens

que je disposais pour que celle-ci reste crédible. Oubliez les cascades, les

combats de bateaux... Le fait de reprendre un blockbuster sans avoir les

moyens des studios Hollywoodiens est très instructif et intéressant. Je me

suis inspiré du film « seul au monde » de Robert Zemeckis, ou l’on voit

Tom Hanks seul sur une ile. Le challenge pour ce fanfilm était de rendre

le film intéressant malgré qu’il n’y a qu’un seul personnage : Jack.

What is an independent film maker’s life like? What inspires you to make more?

As an independent filmmaker, I do not realize that short films.

To save my life I ‘m also an editor and freelance cameraman. Therefore

I work on various productions (videos, makings of, corporate videos

etc ...). I invested what I earn in my projects, involving some personal

sacrifices...I like the kind of film, when there is a universe, like those of

Tim Burton. Through my various short films , I try to go from one gender

to another , fantasy, sci-fi, adventure etc ... In fanfilms we take an existing

universe by attaching it as much as possible , but when the film is

original must be invented. Creating a universe is really exciting. I attach

great importance to the makeup and costumes, which promote to create

own incongruous characters in these genres but are their strength.

Were you always doing film? When did this passion begin?

En tant que cinéaste indépendant, je ne réalise pas que des

courts métrages. Pour gagner ma vie je suis aussi monteur et cadreur

freelance. De ce fait je travaille sur divers productions (clips, makings

of, vidéos institutionnelles etc...). J’investis ce que je gagne dans mes

projets, ce qui implique quelques sacrifices personnels...J’aime les films

de genre, lorsqu’il y a un univers, comme ceux de Tim Burton. A travers

mes différents courts métrages, j’essaie de passer d’un genre à l’autre,

fantastique, sci-fi, aventure etc... Dans les fanfilms on reprend un univers

déjà existant en s’y attachant le plus possible, mais lorsque le film est

original il faut l’inventer. Créer un univers est vraiment passionnant.

J’attache beaucoup d’importance aux maquillages et aux costumes, qui

favorisent à créer des personnages incongrus propre à ces genres mais

qui font leurs force.

Currently my new short film “ YO SOY PEDRO “ circulates

festival. Meanwhile, I just finished shooting a fanfilm of Star Wars, it

should come out late 2015 , together with the episode in September I

also prepare a short original film, a story of superheroes that we should

turn this autumn. I have a passion for cinema from an early age. Telling a

story through images and with a point of view is something very interesting.

Later I followed studies at ESRA in Paris (School of Audiovisual

Production). Thanks to this I was able to improve myself technically,

essential thing to make films.

Actuellement mon nouveau court métrage « YO SOY PEDRO

» circule en festival. Parallèlement, je viens de terminer le tournage

d’un fanfilm de Star Wars, il devrait sortir fin 2015, en même temps que

l’épisode sept. Je prépare aussi un court métrage original, une histoire

de superhéros que l’on devrait tourner cet automne. J’ai la passion du cinéma

depuis mon plus jeune âge. Le fait de raconter une histoire à travers

des images et avec un point de vue est quelque chose de très intéressant.

Par la suite J’ai suivie des études à l’ESRA à Paris (Ecole Supérieure de

Réalisation Audiovisuelle). Grace a cela j’ai pu me perfectionner au point

de vue technique, chose essentielle pour réaliser des films.

39

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

40


From the mutiny of Bootstrap Bill, to the joke of gathering turtles, Pirates of the Caribbean: Edge of Oblivion had details only fans

recognized. How much of a Pirates of the Caribbean fan are you?

I think it is important to put some nods to the saga, for true fans

and to link the short film to the original film. I’m a big fan of “ Pirates

of the Caribbean “ and more generally cinema. I have a little geek side,

I have several movie costumes and accessories (eg Spiderman , Batman,

Darth Vader etc ...). I love cosplay and to get under the skin of these

characters like Jack Sparrow is very exciting. To embark on a fanfilm ,

I think we really love the original movie and think the expectations of

fans.

Je pense qu’il est important de mettre quelques clins d’œil à la

saga, pour les vrais fans et pour lier le court métrage au film original. Je

suis un grand fan de « Pirates des Caraïbes » et de cinéma plus généralement.

J’ai un petit côté geek, je possède plusieurs accessoires et costumes

de cinéma (par exemple : Spiderman, Batman, Darth Vader etc...). J’aime

le cosplay et pouvoir rentrer dans la peau de ces personnages comme

Jack Sparrow est très excitant. Pour se lancer dans un fanfilm, je pense

qu’il faut vraiment aimer le film d’origine et penser aux attentes des fans.

How was playing as Captain Jack Sparrow? Do you think you played the role better, in comparison to the original?

The work that realized Johnny Depp to embody Jack Sparrow

is inimitable and really stunning. He’s an actor I greatly admire. Let’s

say the suit helps to get into the character’s skin. In addition, the various

elements that comprise it (wig, mustache, makeup, etc. ) favor the resemblance.

I think we should avoid over-hitting . The character Jack made a

lot of facial expressions and gestures in different films, but there are also

many passages where it is placed. My short film I preferred to choose

this option. Being alone on an island and having lost everything, Jack

must be, I think , a little less hectic .

Le travail qu’a réalisé Johnny Depp pour incarner Jack Sparrow

est inimitable et vraiment bluffant. C’est un acteur que j’admire

beaucoup. Disons que le costume aide à se mettre dans la peau du

personnage. En plus, les différents éléments qui le composent (perruque,

moustaches, maquillage, etc.) favorisent la ressemblance. Je pense qu’il

faut éviter de sur-jouer. Le personnage Jack fait beaucoup de mimiques et

de gestes dans les différents films mais il y a aussi plusieurs passages où

il est plus posé. Dans mon court métrage j’ai préféré choisir cette option.

Etant seul sur une île et ayant tout perdu, Jack doit être, je pense, un peu

moins agité.

How was working with a live Parrot?

One might think that the parrot is cute ... Think again ! An AC

clamp parrot ... very strong! There were 3 in total, each specialized for

action. This has been a very rewarding experience to witness the work of

the trainer and his animals. I keep very good memories.

Were the ship and island real? How much of the movie is CGI?

The ship mutiny sequence early in the film is a true three-masted

“ L’Etoile du Roy”. We shot the sequence in Saint Malo , in Brittany

in France . For desert island, we left the Seychelles on the island of “

Denis Island “ to find the idyllic scenery of the original saga. Turn on

an island can quickly be binding, wear the costume heat was very hard.

Similarly to transport material in the tropical forest ...

On pourrait croire que le perroquet est mignon... Detrompez

vous! Un perroquet ca pince...très fort ! Il y en avait 3 au total, chacun

spécialisé pour une action. Cela a été une expérience très enrichissante

d’assister au travail du dresseur et de ses animaux. J’en garde un très bon

souvenir.

Le navire pour la séquence de mutinerie au début du film est

un véritable trois mats : « L’étoile du Roy ». Nous avons tourné cette

séquence à Saint Malo, en Bretagne en France. Pour l’ile déserte, nous

sommes partis aux Seychelles sur l’ile de « Denis Island », afin de retrouver

les décors idylliques de la saga originale. Tourner sur une ile peut

vite être contraignant, porter le costume par la chaleur était très dur. De

même pour transporter le matériel en pleine forêt tropicale...

Do you find making Short Films fulfilling? Do you have any words of encouragement for film makers aspiring to reach your level of art?

If I were to encourage young filmmakers, I will tell them to

never get discouraged and continue to believe in their dreams. We must

have confidence in yourself and the project to motivate his team. Making

a film is a very complicated job that requires will and determination, to

complete his project is already something great.

Si je devais encourager de jeunes cinéastes, je leur dirai de ne jamais se

décourager et de continuer de croire à leurs rêves. Il faut avoir confiance

en soi et en son projet pour motiver son équipe. Réaliser un film est un

travail très compliqué qui demande de la volonté et de la détermination,

pouvoir terminer son projet est déjà quelque chose de formidable.

Where can we find more of your work?

You can find my other shorts and track their festival selections

on my website: http://jordaninconstant.com/

or my Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/TirakLine

Vous pouvez retrouver mes autres courts métrages et suivre

leurs sélections en festival sur mon site : http://jordan-inconstant.com/ ou

mon Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/TirakLine

How much of your movie has special effects?

41

There are many plans with special effects in the film. Filming

scenes with the parrot and sword fighting were shot in “ Le Touquet “ in

France. So that there is no connection problem, it had to make matepainttings

mate to add palm trees. Similarly for sequences where there is more

Jack Sparrow , we used the technique of “ overlap in the image .” This

requires preparation and discipline on the set for the effect to work.

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

Il y a de nombreux plans avec des effets spéciaux dans le film.

Le tournage des scènes avec le perroquet et du combat à l’épée ont été

tournés au « Touquet » en France. Pour qu’il n’y ai pas de problème de

raccord, il a fallu faire des mate painttings pour rajouter des palmiers. De

même pour les séquences où il y a plusieurs Jack Sparrow, nous avons

utilisé la technique de « recoupe dans l’image ». Cela demande de la

préparation et de la rigueur sur le tournage pour que l’effet fonctionne.


How does creating Short Films satisfy you? Why not Featured/Longer Films?

For the story I had to tell I think the length of the film is

good. Moreover, the film is more longer and it requires a large budget ...

Between filming and post-production , it took me two years of work to

make this short film. With a longer movie would have been more complicated

with the risk of not completing it.

Pour l’histoire que j’avais à raconter je pense que la durée

du film est bien. De plus, plus le film est long et plus cela demande un

budget conséquent... Entre le tournage et la post-prod, il m’a fallu deux

ans de travail pour réaliser ce court métrage. Avec un film plus long cela

aurait été plus compliqué au risque de ne pas le terminer.

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

42


Winners

of the Fan Film

2015

Awards

Best Actress and Cinematography: Awaken

43

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


Best Film, Director, & Actor: Pirates

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

44


Best Screenplay: La Cosecha

Best Animation: Star Trek Bats

45

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


and Details

Fan Film

Program

TIME FILM/SCRIPT CONTENT

11:00 AM Si Lunchai, & The Beach Boys Children

11:30 AM The Cold Heart Children

12:00 PM Aquaman In “The Cast Of The

Angler” [see info]

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

Children

12:45 PM Final Fantasy: Seek Revenge Children

1:15 PM Force-Full Imagination Children

1:45 PM Star Wars: A Toy Story [see info] Teens

2:15 PM Knights Of The Old Republic: Legacy Of The

Force [see info]

2:45 PM Star Wars Legends: Legacy Of The Force [see

info]

Teens

Teens

3:30 PM El Bosque Negro Teens

4:15 PM The Shadow Teens

4:45 PM Horla, Elemental, Moustache From The

Moon

Teens

5:00 PM The Detectives Of Noir Town Teens

5:30 PM Knight Rider: Game Of Pretend Teens

6:45 PM Halloween: The Rebirth Of Michael [see info] Adults

7:15 PM American Horror Story: Unto Us A Child

Is Born

Adults

7:30 PM Crow Prophecy Teens

7:45 PM What is Crime Without Crime Alley [Batman]

Teens

8:00 PM South Park: The Melentock Pickle Teens

8:15 PM Star Wars: Scum and Villainy Teens

8:30 PM Star Wars: The Redemption of Skywalker Teens

9:00 PM AWARD CEREMONY

ALL

Hosted by Bonnie Gordon & Xander Jeanneret

Special performance by Library Bards!

46


General Information

General Information and History

History

The FanFilm Awards is a film and screenplay festival and

award ceremony, produced by Azure Lorica Foundation. FanFilm Awards

2016 is its first anniversary from the original FanFilm Awards, premiered

at NinjaCon 2015.

The festival hosts both a local and online film festival. The

online festival are published via blog at fanfilmawards.com, under the

category of “online film fest”. The local festival is premiering at the LA

Artcore Brewery Annex, an art studio within The Brewery Art

Colony the largest lived in and working art colony in the world: 660 S.

Avenue 21, Los Angeles, CA 90031

FanFilm Awards is founded by Eugene Cordell, Cofounder of

Azure Lorica Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3 charity organization for the

arts, and Triskele Press, a publishing press

program under Azure Lorica Foundation.

For more info, visit: azurelorica.org

The concept was brought into the Board of Director’s attention,

when a few articles about fanfilms were published in triskelepress.com.

The niche was still young, and the filmcommunity was growing within

the comic convention scene. When CEO, Stefanie Warner, proposed that

a live program for a fanfilm competition should be held in NinjaCon

2015, Eugene Cordell produced results that were not anticipated. Filmmakers

from around the world submitted countless entrees, and the program

was too small to contain their demand. This lead to further planning

for a returning program to premiere as its own festival.

The original prize was a full year’s worth of free marketing

assistance from Triskele Press. This year, the other Committees of Azure

Lorica are providing the following: NinjaCon’s Committee with Street

Team Promos, Drift Plume with Local Live Script Readings, Triskele

Press with eMagazine Advertising. All of which link back to

fanfilmawards.com .

Film & Screenplay Festival, and Award Ceremony

Film & Screenplay Festival

February 27, 2016 | 11am-8pm

We will be opening the doors by 10:30am. The Festival is open

to the public by admission. Industry and Press Members may bring a different

guest with their complimentary pass included in their Membership.

A welcome speech will be made by 11am, and the first screening will

begin right after. Q&A will begin right after each screening and reading.

Please visit us for details of each program:fanfilmawards.com/program .

Photography and Videography is permitted only during Q&A session and

Live Reading performances. RECORDING FILM SCREENINGS ARE

PROHIBITED.

Each screenings and readings are set as separate sessions under

a General Admission pass. After each session, attendees with General

Admission passes will be required to exit the screening room. This will

give us time to prep for the next session. Patron’s Admission allows attendees

to stay for the entire event (11am11pm).

Award Ceremony

February 27, 2016 | 8pm-11pm

Award Ceremony will be hosted by Bonnie Gordon and Xander

Jeaneret. Hosts will be announcing winners of the FanFilm Awards,

distributing the awards, and giving the stage to the award winners to give

their speech. After the ceremony, we will host a small party, until our

closing announcement.

Judges

Stefanie Warner

Theatre Director, Scriptwriter, Freelance Graphic Designer,

Campaign Manager, and founder of Drift Plume – the official Ensemble

Committee of the Azure Lorica Foundation. Stefanie grew up in the

world of classic manga and comics, such as DC, Marvel, and Viz, and is

a great aficionado of English literature and Modern Art. A graduate of the

Art Institute, she is a brand developer for several companies in industries

of film, books, and education.

Danny Gonzales

Festival and Convention Producer, Stand Up Comedian, and

founder of NinjaCon – the official Production Committee of the Azure

Lorica Foundation. Danny is strongly connected within the comic convention

scene. Growing up with anime and videogames, his intrigue for

the current subcultures and industry celebrities allow him to connect

agencies and talents easily through any live productions he produces or

hosts.

Eugene Cordell

Theatre Producer, Web Developer, Publisher, and founder of

Triskele Press – the official Publishing Committee of the Azure Lorica

Foundation. Eugene is an avid believer in making dreams come true.

From the groundup, his hobbies are building businesses and

nonprofits from simple ideas to legal monoliths.

Diana Keeler

Producer, Editor, and Educator, Diana is the Manager of Digital

Production at Occidental College. With a passion for media arts, she has

given back to the community and its future generation as a teacher and a

versatile artist producer in film and festivals alike.

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TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


Prizes

Street Team

The NinjaCon Committee is a strong marketing force, travelling

from one comic convention to the next. Their Committee divides

into teams of two, gravitating to two events at once, each month. In

support of the FanFilm Awards, they will be promoting the winning films

through their booths. From flyers to bookmarks, sharing films have

never been so inviting.

Live Readings

eMagazine Publishing

The Triskele Press Committee strategically implements content

for the winners of the FanFilm Awards, through online media. When

looking for one’s work, it’s never easy to be established when no one

talks about it. Luckily, Triskele Press has a network of blogs

and bloggers ready and willing to build up the filmmakers’ piece. Once

the posts have been published online, and the social networks have

shared the articles, a eMagazine is published to allow schools, libraries,

and professional media cite the filmmakers’ and screenwriters’ interviews,

reviews, and articles in the publishing market.

The Drift Plume Committee are an intense theatre ensemble,

attracting crowds to their stage. In support of the FanFilm Awards, their

Committee will be taking the winning script of this year’s festival, and

premiere live readings at the Pasadena Central Library. They will be

inviting producers and agents, and the general public for these live

readings of the full script, followed by a Q&A. It is a traditional method

for professional collaborations that has never gone out of fashion.

Lock/Jaw

Lock/Jaw is the Los Angeles based nerd punk foursome full of pent up

nitro energy that’s earnest, loud, in your face, fun. They have released

two EP’s and are currently under the indie label Entelodon records. They

include: Nate Filichia guitar/lead vocals, Memo Hernandez lead

guitar, Michael Huezo bass and Henry Huezo drums. You can find their

music at: lockjaw69.bandcamp.com

Xander Jeanneret

Xander Jeanneret is an actor, voiceover artist, and reality personality

living in Hollywood, CA. He was a fan favorite finalist on the

hit TBS show, King of the Nerds (Season 2), and returned to host behind

the scenes segemnts of Season 3. Xander also provided the voice of the

“Announcer” on the hit indie fighting game, Divekick, the English voice

for the main character of “Shogo” in the live action Japanese movie

“The Final Judgement”, the old man “Delani” in the anime “The Mystic

Laws”, and for “Zampa” in the MMORPG “DragonNest.” You can catch

Xander performing at comic and pop culture conventions across the

country with his band partner Bonnie Gordon (ABC’s The Quest) as the

nerdy parody band The Library Bards! (Follow @LibraryBards on all

social media)

Bonnie Gordon

Although recently seen on many different screen projects and

web series, Bonnie is most recognized for her time on ABC’s inventively

Guest of Honor

fun fantasy/reality show, The Quest (now streaming on Netflix!) If her

face doesn’t seem familiar to you, then perhaps her voice will… From

video games to anime, some of her voiceover credits include Street

Fighter V (Rainbow Mika), Ikki Tousen (Soujin); Akiba’s Trip (PS3);

Guided Fate Paradox PS3 (Frunetti/Misery); Demon Gaze for PSVita

(Comit, Chronos, and Pluto). Bonnie’s most recent project includes her

best friend, Xander Jeanneret, from TBS’s King of the Nerds! Together

they’ve created The Library Bards – a nerd parody bandthat takes top 40

hits and transforms them into nerdy, geektastic tunes. Her future plans

include living off of cheese plates and world domination.

Library Bards

‘Library Bards’ are an edgy nerd humor parody band. Both

original songs and covers encapsulate the spirit of the modern nerd,

while embracing comedy andshamelessness.

For more information and watch Library Bards music videos, please

visit: librarybards.com

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

48


Loving the

Community

By: Danny Gonzales

“For I know the plans I have for

you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you

and not to harm you, plans to give you hope

and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Growing up in a Christian household

has always got me thinking of what and

why was I made for. For numerous years, I

have been hiding behind corporate cubicles

and using my voice in call centers instead of

the presences of a stage. I speak as if i knew

what i wanted to do as a kid. I would always

try to tell myself to be a photographer, a game

designer, information technology or even join

the military. None of that stick to me like bees

to honey. I feel more myself as a producer or

performer. I have been juggling my talents and

living a so called “normal” life for the last 6

years. Let me tell you. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster.

Most people ask me “How can you

manage to attend to events and have a social

life with all the things you do?” My time to

dedicate for social life is really easy to be honest.

I take advantage of all the events i attend

to and use that time to network. Supporting an

event that someone is running and meeting the

people that are there is like knocking 2 birds

with 1 stone. Not that I’m a very abusive to

animals but I’m sure you understand. My one

of many rules that I apply to myself is “an extra

mile for a smile”. I always do my best to attend

many events, meet with new and old friends

while still managing the events that I operate. I

could easily say enjoy the event and hope a lot

of people will make it. I feel that it’s important

for a physical presence is needed in order for

the community to know that you exist. Community

participation is very important as a

performer and producer. One of my comedian

friend, Caitlin Macatee, called me out on her

comedy set performance during 2015 Anime

California in Anaheim, CA. She caught me hugging

girls and bro hugging guys that I know and

she yells out “Dude!” What the hell Danny! You

know everyone. That’s like the 9th person you

just hugged in the last few minutes.” Like I said,

I take the time to say hi to everyone i know. It

makes me happy to the smiles on their faces like

a forty-niner finding a good piece of gold in the

mines.

My schedule is usually open during the

weekdays. Weekends however is a whole different

world. Southern California is known to be the

center hub for events, conventions and festivals

happening at every weekend. Aside from that, i

get invited to meet-up and random get togethers.

I usually create a calendar that helps me plan

out my weekends and i also rely on the facebook

event page. About 80% of the time i am on

facebook double checking on event pages since i

have so many things on my plate. I volunteer at

church as a head PC tech and as a youth leader

for a ministry called God’s Army. For some

events i do rely on the support of my crew to go

in my place since the events i get invited is usually

on a first come first serve bases. I do try my

best to make it at every events that i can. When I

do go to an event that is being run by the person

i know, I make it a habit to find them, shake their

hand and tell them “What a great show! Keep it

up!” Just a few worlds of gratitude is what fuels

a producer to keep going. Sometimes constructive

criticism is need but only at the right place

and at the right time.

Would it be easy for me to clone

myself? Of course not. Have you seen the movie

“Multiplicity”? On a serious note though, the

life of a producer maker and an event supporter

enthusiast works as a double edge sword. Great

side is meeting very talented people and networking

with new people that share the same

ambition and spirit. The downside of that is that

it take a small toll when it comes with finance,

health and alone time. A lot of hours driving to

different areas can cause a lot of wear and tear

on your only source of transportation. Its really

hard on me since i live in Anaheim and commuting

to Los Angeles is a bit far. People are

tell me to move to LA already. Is in the works,

it’s just a matter of time. Health wise is really

important. Eating out a lot and not taking in the

right amount of nurturance can make your body

a bit sluggish. Bad eating habits can affect you

as a performer and won’t allow you to perform

at your best. I have had bad comedy sets when

i don’t eat right and i have seen it in my videos.

Being able to regroup alone is also important

so you as a producer stay true to what you want

to do and not to be mislead by others. Need to

seek your inner desires and clear your mind

for your end goal. Another tip that has helped

me allot is seeking spiritual help from the

Lord. As i mentioned earlier, I did grow up in

a Christian household and I thank God for the

strength and willpower to do what i can and

keep my conscious clear to help others. I really

rely on him since i manage what i do on the

weekends and on top of my 40 hr work week. I

guess one of the minor obstacles that i have not

yet overcome is love. It would be nice to have

someone to aid me like my board (Eugene and

Stefanie). God will provide the right one in the

near future. While I’m still in the present, got to

work toward the future.

49

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016


Azure Lorica

Sucess Stories

Founded January 26, 2010

North Hollywood | May 6, 2010

Theatrical World Premiere of

Journey Seekers: A Steampunk Adventure,

by Eugene Cordell and Stefanie Warner

North Hollywood | Aug. 14, 2012

World Premiere of Press Program, covering

Feel Good Film Festival

Pasadena | Sep. 25, 2012

Theatrical Local Premiere of

Captain Clay, by Lauren Bauer

Downtown Los Angeles | Jun. 4, 2013

Exposition World Premiere of

Ninja-Con, by Danny Gonzales

Downtown Los Angeles | Jun. 5, 2014

Exposition Returning Premiere of

Ninja-Con, by Danny Gonzales

Glendale | Oct. 19, 2014

Online World Premiere of

Triskele Press, by Eugene Cordell

Pasadena | Dec. 9, 2011

Theatrical World Premiere of

Fate Pendulum: Project Italy,

by Eugene Cordell and Stefanie Warner

North Hollywood | Apr. 6, 2012

Theatrical World Premiere of

Captain Clay, by Lauren Bauer

Feb. 20, 2013 | Downtown Los Angeles

First Fiscal Sponsored Production:

Big Laughs In Little Tokyo, by Danny Gonzales

Nov. 16, 2013 | Long Beach

Exposition Local Premiere of

Ninja-Con: Skullgirls FanExpo,

by Danny Gonzales

September 5, 2014 | Long Beach

Theatrical Local Premiere of

Fate Pendulum: Project Italy,

by Eugene Cordell and Stefanie Warner

August 5, 2015 | Long Beach

Online World Premiere of

Nocturnal Notes Radioplay,

by Stefanie Warner

Downtown Los Angeles | Jun. 6, 2015

Exposition Returning Premiere of

Ninja-Con, by Danny Gonzales

Today, February 2016

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016

50


Art by Nina Reyes

Submissions Now Open. Send Your Fanscripts and Fanfilms to fanfilmawards.com!

TRISKELEPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2016