Hosted in conjunction with The New School for Drama, the SAG Foundation Short Film Showcase is an innovative series that celebrates short films by talented emerging filmmakers and offers union members an opportunity to engage with working writers and directors in an intimate setting. The Short Film Showcase encourages and empowers actors to create their own work in a supportive environment. Short films from our showcase have been previously nominated for an Academy Award, and shown at prestigious festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival, Manhattan Film Festival and many more.
This special edition showcase screening is followed by a 1 hour panel discussion on filmmaking and navigating the film industry. The panelists include the four short film filmmakers along with independent filmmaker Chiemi Karasawa (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me!) and will be moderated by Film Fatales founder Leah Meyerhoff.
The Short Films:
“Notes on Forgiveness”
Talented but troubled student sets out to trap a brilliant professor with a disturbing past and discovers that morality is a slippery slope, desire knows no boundaries, and winning often comes with a hefty price tag.
On the weekend of Halloween, an unsettling encounter with a dead Possum forces a grieving young couple to reconnect.
"It ain't exactly heaven...and it ain't exactly hell."
New Orleans, home to streets lined with glorious oak trees and weed-choked lots, Victorian mansions and tumble-down shotguns. The birthplace of Jazz, where music lives everywhere and a church stands on almost every corner. Where Mardi Gras is a whole month of celebration and on any day at any time of the year an impromptu parade for the departed can march on by. In one Creole family these rituals and traditions provide strength to Cecily, a desperately sick old woman, and weigh as a heavy burden on Lena, the daughter who has reluctantly come home to care for her. On the last day of Cecily's life, Lena will discover a secret world where the gifts of forgiveness and redemption may be found, in the place where life and death meet for one final celebration.
Hannah is only six years old but her mom calls her a big girl. Sometimes big girls don’t go to school. Sometimes they have to tell the truth and other times they should tell lies. Being a big girl means Hannah has to do things even when she doesn't want to.
Elizabeth Burris (Notes on Forgiveness)
Elizabeth Burris obtained her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Louisiana State University in accounting in 2010. She earned a Master in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans in Film Production in 2014. She was awarded the Nims Scholarship in 2012 for her thesis project. She hopes to utilize both of these fields of study in the movie making industry. She was born in Franklinton, Louisiana and now resides in New Orleans.
Chiemi Karasawa (COM ’90) is an award-winning documentary Producer who has worked in film, television and commercial production for over 20 years alongside such notable directors as Spike Jonze, Jim Jarmusch, Larry Clark, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears and Martin Scorsese. She began her career as a Script Supervisor in film and television, and then began her own company in 2007, Isotope Films, which focuses on developing and producing non-fiction content. Her award winning documentaries include: Oscar Nominee, Emmy-Award winner “THE BETRAYAL: NERAKHOON” directed by Ellen Kuras, “BILLY THE KID” (SXSW, LAFF, Edinburgh, Melbourne Film Festival Winner 2007, HBO 2008), “HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION” (Venice Film Festival 2010) directed by Sophie Huber, and most recently “ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME”, (2014 IFC/Sundance Selects) marks her directorial debut. Karasawa has been a speaker on Documentary Producing at NYU, The New School, and The Woodstock Film Festival, and has been on the jury selection committee for The Spirit Awards as well as the Tribeca Gucci Fund.
Karasawa graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a B.S. in Film and Broadcasting.
Laura Medina (Brokedown Paradise)
Laura Medina was born and raised in New York; received a B.A. in Political Science from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and an M.F.A. in Filmmaking from New York University. She embarked on her 20+ year (and counting) career in the entertainment industry in New York, continued in Los Angeles, and now lives and works in New Orleans. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America, with credits on independent and studio feature films, short films, TV pilots & series, documentaries and other media productions as Producer, Director, UPM and Assistant Director.
In 2011 she was invited to join the film faculty at the University of New Orleans. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film & Theatre, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in producing, directing and production. This semester she was appointed to serve as the Graduate Program Coordinator.
While teaching the next generation of filmmakers, Laura has continued to develop as a filmmaker as well. She produced and directed the short film Brokedown Paradise, as a collaborative project at UNO. The film premiered at the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival in October, 2014. She also directed another UNO-based project, To The Limit, which is currently in post-production. This 4-minute film is designed to be an introductory university level editing exercise and will be beta-tested at UNO in fall semester of 2015. She remains active in working on professional productions as a Producer and UPM , most recently steering the New Orleans unit of the tv series “The Originals” during their once a season visits to New Orleans from their base in Georgia.
Lisa Melodia (Big Girl)
Lisa Melodia is a filmmaker living in New York City. Her debut short film, Confidante, starring Gaby Hoffmann, screened at film festivals across the country including Mill Valley, Seattle International, and Athens International. Her latest short, Big Girl, began its 2014 festival run at Cleveland International, Maryland, Palm Springs International ShortFest, and Nantucket. Lisa is currently developing her first feature film, set in her borough of Queens.
Eleanor Wilson (Possum)
Originally from Adelaide, Australia, Eleanor currently resides in New York. She is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, and a member of Film Fatales and the Urban Artists Collective. Possum is Eleanor’s directorial debut and has played at many festivals throughout the US, winning the title of Best Short Film at the Nitehawk Film Festival in New York, and the Emerge Film Festival in Maine. Her acting can be seen in the recent indy features Things I Don’t Understand, The Confabulators and The Carrier, as well as numerous shorts and the Australian ABC TV series’ The Librarians and Very Small Business. She won the award for best Lead Actor in a short film for Possum at the 2014 Lady Filmmakers Film Festival. In 2014, she co-founded the Picture Farm Film Festival, and served on the jury of the Lighthouse International Film Festival. She has just finished her latest short Everything All At Once. www.eleanor-wilson.com
Leah Meyerhoff's debut feature film I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS premiered in competition at SXSW 2014, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival, Best Score at the Nashville Film Festival, Honorable Mention at the Woodstock Film Festival, and additional awards from IFP, SFFS, Tribeca Film Institute and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. It was the opening night film in Austin, Brooklyn, Santa Cruz and Lausanne and has since screened in dozens of festivals worldwide, including Edinburgh, Munich, Jerusalem, Sydney and Poland. I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS was acquired by Gravitas Ventures for domestic distribution and will be released theatrically in 2015. Meyerhoff's previous short films have screened in over 200 film festivals, won a dozen awards, and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She was one of eight filmmakers chosen to participate in the IFP Emerging Narrative Labs, IFP Narrative Finishing Labs and the Tribeca All Access Labs. She was also one of ten filmmakers chosen to participate in the Emerging Visions program at the New York Film Festival. She has been featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times and starred on the docudrama Film School on IFC. Meyerhoff is the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker collective based in New York with ten local chapters around the world, dedicated to the creation of more films by and about women. She holds a BA in Art-Semiotics from B rown University and an MFA in Directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.