Copa Shorts Film Fest 2021 Program

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Nov 6-7 2021


Proud Community Partner


Supports the Arts

InMaricopa congratulates

Copa Shorts Film Fest

on their successful 5thYear

Visit InMaricopa.com/calendar

to See What’s Happening

Maricopa ARTS Council (MAC)



on a successful fifth year of bringing

recognition to local filmmaking talent.

MAC represents every ART Form

Music, Dance, Theatre, Poetry, Film, many varieties of

Visual Arts, plus "Inside the Creative Mind 11

lectures, Photography, Videography, Discussions,

and more!


' ' ''

0 o Maricopa ARTS Council (MAC) was founded by Maricopa Artists in 2013 to

';, empower the Arts and the entire Creative Community in our city. MAC is

MA iuco P ; a 501©(3) non-profit corporation, a member of the Chamber of Commerce,

·.•..,,,.,..."•.::.--'· .· and 2018-2020 grantee of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Welcome to the 5th Annual

Copa Shorts Film Fest

Copa Shorts Film Fest has opted for a second virtual festival in the interest of

public health and safety. Although we call it “virtual,” the festival includes real

and fantasy stories that will move you – to laughter, grins, giggles and guffaws.

Films highlight human and non-human beings coping with challenges

from outer space and earth. From giving birth to finding new ways of life at

many ages, the 2021 CSFF films will entertain and surprise you!

Our all-comedy film festival includes stellar comedies from previous years, as

well as new comedy films we’re showing for the first time.

To make the films accessible, as our gift to you, the entire festival can be seen

both days at your leisure. Like Cinderella, you must finish viewing prior to

midnight on Sunday, November 7 th . We also set our pricing at an extremely

affordable $10.00 per ticket for the entire festival. (That includes anyone who

wishes to see the event from your home during the two days.)

A fitting seminar with our comedy-themed films is Pat Battistini’s workshop,

“Creating Comedy from the Ordinary.” Pat has been a winner in our prior

festivals and offers his insights on how to develop a humorous film. After seeing

the workshop, you’ll appreciate our filmmakers’ efforts to provide some

laughter during a very serious year.

We’re streaming on xerb.tv again. A xerb.tv feature you can enjoy is the ability

to use the drop-down after each film plays to offer your comments. Some

filmmakers will check the comments and respond. (Filmmakers are often on

sets during weekends, but if they’re available they will respond.)

At the end of the festival showings, please use the drop-down to provide

your choice for “Audience Choice.” You’ll be voting on your favorites from this

year’s submissions only. If you consider a film “Best of the Fest,” feel free to

write in your choice.

After we tally your responses, we’ll add the Audience Choice to the Winners’

listings on the copashortsfilmfest.org homepage the next day.

Grab your popcorn and settle in for several hours of fun viewing!

Note to Parents: xerb.tv allows us to designate films 18+ that are not suitable

for younger children. You may view the films first and decide whether you

wish to allow your children to see adult-themed films.

We’re so glad you’re joining us! Enjoy the films!

Shelley Gillespie



Films are not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Adults must determine whether a film is suitable for their child.

Viewing is at your own discretion. Film listings in the xerb.tv virtual

program indicate appropriate ages for viewing (9+, 13+, 18+).


Filmmakers have allowed us to show their films. Please do not copy

or record their films, which are copyrighted by the filmmakers.

Please respect their creative work.

2021 Festival Administration

Copa Shorts Film Fest is a volunteer organization. We thank all of those

who support us and make the festival possible.

Board of Directors

Roger Gillespie

Shelley Gillespie

Gina D’Abella

Executive Director

Shelley Gillespie

Festival Director

Roger Gillespie

Original Cover Art

Mai May Tallwing

Judy Tallwing

Film Reviewers

Andrea Yang

Laurie Fagen

Matt Sugerik

Gina D’Abella

Lilyann Foster

Amanda Li

Screenplay Jury

Roger Gillespie

Shelley Gillespie

Gina D’Abella

Laurie Fagen

Andrea Yang

Lilyann Foster

ASU Interns

Amanda Li - Media

Andrea Yang – Admin

Advisory Board

Gina D’Abella

Stephen Wade Nebgen

Steve Wargo

Jason Stahl

Matthew Sugerik


We thank the following individuals, who have pledged their support

to Copa Shorts Film Fest, Inc. through their generous financial gifts.

Mayor Christian Price

Vice Mayor Nancy Smith

Council Member Henry Wade

Council Member Bob Marsh

Judith & Gary Zaimont

Mai May Tallwing

Anonymous-Benevity Fund


Central Arizona College

City of Maricopa

Arizona Commission on the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts

Orbitel Communications


Stephen Wade Nebgen, PLLC

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Who likes movies? Nearly everyone. Prior to the pandemic, almost

90%* of US residents went to the movies at some point during the

year. Now, many folks view films from home, making an even larger

audience. Virtual is the way to go now for “an abundance of caution

and safety for our festival participants.”

Copa Shorts Film Fest exists to provide a positive force for movies:

showing them, creating them, and learning how to create even

better ones to entertain and enlighten film lovers. We began CSFF

to educate and train new filmmakers.

In five years, we’re seeing students progress in their craft of movie-making

from rudimentary starts to projects with energy and

finesse. We run regular film workshops to provide filmmakers and

students with the opportunity to learn and master their craft.

Filmmaking is a worthy and, potentially, lucrative career, especially

if someone is passionate about learning and creating a film. What

could be better than using imagination to show people new aspects

of the world, deliver laughs, and provide a thoughtful analysis

of a true or fictional experience?

Your donations ensure that our educational efforts will be available

to more young filmmakers. Please consider a donation. We are a

501(c)(3) not-for-profit.

Go to: www.copashortsfilmfest.org to donate on a secure site.

Thank you! Your contribution can make a difference!



Join us for our virtual workshop

Tickets available at: https://xerb.tv/channel/csff2020-/virtual-events

This workshop is available on demand throughout our festival

Workshop - Start time, November 6th at 10:00 am

Pat Battistini

Creating Comedy from the Ordinary

In these unprecedented times, comedy is more important than

ever. Learn how to include comic elements in your work –

without slipping on a banana peel or crashing a clown car!

Pat has a broad background, including performing in improv and

comedy groups internationally. In 2019, his Copa Shorts film “Tin

Can” won both Audience and Director’s Choice Awards. In 2020

and 2021, Pat’s comedy submissions have been selected for CSFF.





All Events

Streaming virtually on: https://xerb.tv/channel/csff2020-/virtual-events

November 6, 10:00AM to November 7, 11:59PM


Welcome to Copa Shorts Film Fest 2021 - Virtually!

CSFF has only one ticket available this year: a full VIP pass for the

entire festival for only $10.00. Purchase tickets in advance to save a

virtual seat at: https://xerb.tv/channel/csff2020-/virtual-events

Once a film block shows at the scheduled time, it is then available

for repeat viewing until 11:59 PM on November 7th. See a film you

loved – over and over! Show the proud grandparents, cousins, sisters

and aunts the films in your family room.


A CSFF 2021 VIP All-Access pass

provides access to every block.

COST: $10.00

Have a question?

Please contact us at:



All ticket sales are final. No refunds

or exchanges of festival

tickets will be available.

Aspirations (Block A) Runtime: 1:13

Falafel 19:13 13+

Director: Nikita Hattangady

Two young professionals having an awful morning suddenly meet at a

cafe in London. A day that starts out terrible does not have to end that

way. Falafel is a story about dreams coming true.

Birth of a Salesman 8:45 9+

Director: Dylan Coty

A Door-to-Door Salesman struggles with the realities of the American

dream during the Covid-19 pandemic.

First Contact 5:00 9+

Director: Geoff Allen


A team of experts argue over what to do after humanity receives a message

from aliens. It doesn’t go well.

Equity 11:54 13+

Director: Keegan Luther

When an expert at finding value in startup companies loses sight of values

in his own life, he forges a radical and uncertain path to rediscover what

he lost.

Don Garbaggio 8:12 13+

Director: Steve Alleva

Three Sanitation men are really passionate about trash!

Deflated Dreamer 5:00 9+

Director: Jonason Pauley

Red loses his job at the used car lot and doesn’t know where to turn. Now he’s

looking for a new career move with some wiggle room.

Date Night 11:16 13+

Director: Zachery Hess

Two 60-somethings are totally out of their comfort zone when it comes to dating.

They decide to give romance another chance.

Challenges (Block B) Runtime: 1:18

Tesla 9:30 18+

Director: Rick Ross

An ironic look at what happens when men refuse to listen to women that ultimately

makes an appeal for us all to stop assuming and just listen.

Keeping Up With Mom 14:30 18+

Director: Rebecca Blair

As boredom sets in, 80-year-old Carol successfully goes snooping for adventure

and watches with delight, as her three daughters navigate the repercussions of

her actions.

Wee Shadows 3:04 13+

Director: Steve Goodison


Edinburgh, Scotland 1828. Two crooks are hired by a corrupt surgeon to steal a

fresh body from Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. But they find this simple task more difficult

than first thought, both in the physical and the spiritual sense.

Hold It 5:30 18+

Director: Sebastian Feichtinger

Three strangers share an elevator with two major complications, the elevator is

stuck between floors and one of the passengers is about to give birth!

Mid Life Conversations 18:38 18+

Director: Maria Filippone

When a wife realizes her husband is living out his dream as a stand up comic, she

feels that she has lost her purpose.

The World Next Door 10:00 18+

Director: Viviana Garibay

Families are always complicated, and Christmas dinner is no exception, especially

when a grandma tries to hide her secret lesbian relationship from her granddaughter.

Welcome To Our Home 7:33 18+

Director: Gregory M Schroeder

When Brad brings his liberal girlfriend home to meet his conservative parents,

tensions escalate and monsters are unleashed.

Bandwidth 5:00 18+

Director: Pat Battistini

Frank’s important job interview on Zoom goes south due to his “stay at

home” Covid precautious family using up his bandwidth.

2021 Short Screenplay Contest

Winner - “The Break-App”

When a couple is awakened by an app counting down to

their break-up, they have 13 minutes to figure out what’s

wrong and save their relationship.


Born in Toronto and raised mainly in New Jersey, with

a stint in Belgium, Alison grew up on 90s romantic comedies,

but realized that real-life romance doesn’t always

work out. She is fascinated by how technology is embedded

in our personal lives.


“The Break-App” melds these ideas with hilarious results.

Alison Zatta

Her brother Christopher filmed Alison’s screenplay, “Girl

Meets Roach,” which was shown at Copa Shorts Film Fest

in 2018.

Honorable Mention

High School Screenwriter - Nate Hunt

“Behind You” - A haunted house visit goes awry!

Love & Complications (Block C) Runtime: 1:12

Proverbial Luck 5:00 18+

Director: Dave Lojek

Germany (English subtitles) 2017

Two neighbors meet and fall in love, but their language doesn’t always translate

into what they really mean.

The Existential Crisis of Maxwell Anderson 14:19 18+

Director: Ben Steinberg

HIgh School 2018

A bright, socially-challenged high school student discovers the cure to a happy

life might be simpler than you think.

Finding Happy 12:06 18+

Director: Collin O’Brien 2019

A young professional has a difficult time adjusting to his new surroundings and

accepts prescription medicine as a last resort.

Lola 7:00 13+

Director: Ella McKeon

Middle School 2020

An unpopular girl finds a dead body while walking home from school. This event

changes her life in the most unexpected way.

A Running Start 11:10 13+

Director: Tony Armer 2018

An unemployed shoe salesman witnesses a murder while on his way to ask his

girlfriend’s father if he can marry his daughter and have a job.

Ms Rossi 5:14 18+

Director: Pat Battistini

Italy (English subtitles) 2020

While on her way to a business meeting, Ms. Rossi takes an interesting detour.

Cupids 13:00 13+

Director: Angelo Calarco

United Kingdom 2018

Two cupids need to team up in one of the greatest challenges of modern times:

getting two strangers to talk to each other!

Expectations (Block D) Runtime: 1:20

Moving Day 6:54 9+

Directors: Jonason Pauley, Jesse Perrotta

Animation/Live Action

2020 Audience and Director’s Choice

In this comedy starring puppets, a nice friend helps his buddy pack up to move.

What cherished belongings will they discover as they rifle through the boxes?

Girl Meets Roach 17:00 13+

Director: Christopher Zatta


Dumped just before Christmas, a brokenhearted young woman forms an unlikely

friendship . . . with a cockroach.

The Wolf 7:32 13+

Director: Owen Royce


The Griffins have more issues than just their online presence, but today they need

the perfect family photo to finally break 100 likes. Facebook Specialist, Fran (AKA

The Wolf) and her unique cohort Steve set out to tweak each family member’s

profile and piece together one beautiful family photo.

A King’s Betrayal 8:27 9+

Director: David Bornstein


The final 24 hours in the life of a Piñata, as told from the Piñata’s perspective.

Detective Texas Toast 7:20 9+

Director: Isaac Harmon

High School 2020

A film noir parody starring a sentient piece of toast.

Pipe Dream 4:42 13+

Director: Normann Bjorvand

Sweden 2018

Music lives within a prison awaiting a lucid and fringe dream that seeks

out hosts for its short-lived dance of the fantastic.

Diamond Game 9:52 13+

Director: Nolan Hieu Trifunovic

High School 2020

Three high school teens write a 70s cop show, but the characters they create

are self aware. One of them begins to question their masters.

Belly Flop 14:01 13+

Director: Marc Gaudioso

2017 Festival Winner

A dark comedy, set into motion when an eight-year old girl reads a headline

on a trashy grocery-store magazine cover: Mother of Quintuplets Says

She Got Pregnant from Fried Chicken!

Sunday November 7th

12:00 Noon

Runtime: 58:00

Best Of The Fest 2021

Welcome to Copa Shorts Film Fest’s “Best of the Fest.” The

films you will see are the highest rated submissions for 2021.

We’ve kept these winning films a secret so you have the ability

to form your own opinions.

At the end of the film block, you can choose the one that you

feel deserves the “Audience Choice” award.

You’ll find a drop-down on your website to make your choice.

We will announce the Audience Choice winner on our website,

Copashortsfilmfest.org - Monday afternoon.

We’ve loved seeing the creativity and technical ability of all

our comedy filmmakers’ works.

We hope you enjoy the Best of the Fest!

Copa Shorts Film Fest 2021 is proud to partner with the following

businesses to bring independent films and screenplays to Maricopa.





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