April 2020 New York Feedback Festival – Highlights and Videos

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
BEST FILM: THE LAST HARVEST
BEST COMEDY FILM: THE O LIST
BEST PERFORMANCES: THEO: BEYOND EXPRESSION
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE AVANT-GARDENER
BEST SOUND & MUSIC: TIME TO LEAVE

Theme of night: Looking at society’s faults.

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterTHEO: BEYOND EXPRESSION, 14min., Drama



festival posterTHE BLESSING, 5min., USA, Drama/Family
festival posterTHE LAST HARVEST, 20min., USA, Documentary



festival posterTIME TO LEAVE, 7min., USA, Experimental
festival posterTHE O LIST, 11min, USA, Comedy/Romance



festival posterTHE AVANT-GARDENER, 36min., USA, Animation/Experimental
festival posterI RESIGN, 7min., USA, Drama



festival posterWHAT IF…., 7min., USA, Documentary



festival posterTHE OUTCOMING, 7min., Comedy



The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Liann Kaye (THE BLESSING)

Liann is a Chinese American filmmaker who was born in Hawaii and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. She studied film at the University of Michigan and currently lives and works in New York City. Since 2015, Liann has served as Director of Video for Global Citizen’s international music festivals, working with artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Coldplay, and Metallica. She also independently directs music videos for artists such as Carlos Valdes (The Flash), Darren Criss (Glee, The Assassination of Gianni Versace), Theo Katzman (Vulfpeck), Allen Tate, Charlene Kaye (San Fermin), Kevin Garrett, and more. Her work has premiered at the Sprockets Music Video Festival, The LA Comedy Festival, Golden Egg, and Glovebox.

She is thrilled to be debuting her first short, “The Blessing” and looks forward to creating more narrative work about the female Asian American experience.Director Statement

Straddling two worlds as an Asian American woman has never been better illustrated than when I’m negotiating the culture clash between my Chinese mother and mid-western boyfriend.

As the bridge between two people who grew up on different sides of the world, speak different languages, and process different social cues, I have had the privilege of observing some deeply touching and often hilarious interactions.

Asian mothers are frequently stereotyped for being power-hungry, materialistic, and unemotional, while American men are often painted as career-obsessed, aggressive and overconfident. The two loves of my life do not fit either of these tropes and thus, I felt the need to write a script that subverts these tired expectations.

“The Blessing” was shot in one 10-hour day with a mostly Asian cast, and an Asian female cinematographer. It was an all hands on deck production where everyone on set could share their perspectives and help with the pronunciation of our Mandarin lines.

I’m so proud of the final product, which I view as a love story between a man and his future mother-in-law. At first glance, the two characters don’t have much in common, but their unconditional love for the same girl is what ultimately unites them.

Ratings 

Director Biography – Lindsay Katt, Heather Matarazzo, Jeremiah Kipp, Carl Byrd (THE AVANT-GARDENER)

Lindsay’s inspiration to create Film/Art/Music began as a child in the beauty of the rural Montana mountains where she grew up. Following that inspiration all the way to the surreal grit of New York City, Lindsay has worked there as a painter, performance/recording Artist, Composer, and Film Director, creating work that is both authentic, and deeply thought provoking. Her Music has been featured on MTV’s “The Real World” and “Teen Mom” and well as Programming such as ABC’s “Castle” “Alias” “Switched at Birth” or SyFy’s “Being human” with Music Videos airing on MTV and Logo.Director Statement

Making Films/Art is both a privilege and a responsibility. If
I, as an Artist, am going to ask an audience for the gift of their time, I feel I must also take seriously then, the opportunity to give back something of value in return.

Short Film: THE AVANT-GARDENER, 36min., USA, Animation/Experimental

Distinguishing itself through innovative format, and raw emotion, this “FilmTrack” to Lindsay Katt’s new Musical Record “The Avant-Gardener” is tackling new ground on the frontier of artistic visual storytelling/Experimental Film.
Captured through the lens of ten interlocking musical vignettes,
(each produced in a different style of film making) we follow the story of a young Artist’s life, through the trials and challenges of self discovery. We experience this journey through time, space, and her subconscious mind, as we are invited to explore themes of connection, purpose, and the complexity of the human spirit.

Project Links

News & Reviews

Short Film: TIME TO LEAVE, 7min., USA, Experimental

Aggressively escorted out of a bank, at the age of 16, after inquiring about opening a bank account, the narrator ( also the filmmaker) boldly confronts and examines that discriminatory moment from his past. That it, indeed, changed his perspective on race forever is what is on full display in this film. This looking back and forth at one’s own personal and social history also leads the narrator to ask whether it is fair to be seen – or treated – as a threat or criminal before we even do anything wrong? Exploring as well as highlighting the struggles and complexities around the issues of race; stereotypes, and belonging this experimental essay film demonstrates how connected those larger issues are to the personal, lived experience. Ultimately, with emphasis on the present and the future of race relations in America, the film challenges and encourages us to constantly question and reimagine our own positional privilege.

Project Links

Director Biography – Alexis Spradic (THE LAST HARVEST)

Alexis Spraic is an award-winning director and writer based in Los Angeles. Her recent documentary work includes feature BUILT TO FAIL, the untold story of streetwear’s rise from subculture to a 70 billion dollar industry, featuring Russell Simmons, A$AP Rocky, et al.produced by Peter Berg.

She is in post production on a feature documentary, POWER. Filmed in fourteen countries, it takes on the global energy crisis.

Her work as a producer and editor includes Tamra Davis’ critically produced and edited the top-rated HBO documentary, CAT DANCERS for which she won a Special Jury Prize for editing at SXSW and MAXED OUT (Showtime).

Ratings 

Short Film: THE LAST HARVEST, 20min., USA, Documentary

America’s food values are rapidly changing. We are experiencing a food revolution that is demanding better-tasting, natural and sustainable food and yet, we don’t often consider who is responsible for growing this food. The truth is, 75% of the fresh fruit consumed in the U.S. is completely dependent on hand harvesting. Without the workforce to pick the crops, growers are at risk of losing their livelihood.

The Last Harvest offers a rare glimpse into the hopes, hardships, and uncertain futures of three family growers. Harvesters face a harsh reality of tightened immigration control and inefficient guest worker programs that prevent growers from finding a workforce to pick their fields. These problems threaten our availability of fresh food and our vibrant and thriving agricultural community.

We have an opportunity to impact positive change, but first we must understand the issues. Let’s inspire a productive dialogue. Let’s work together on solutions that save family growers who live and contribute to our local communities. The future of good food depends on the choices we make today. Our hope is this is not The Last Harvest.

Director Biography – Linda Barsi (THE O LIST)

Linda Barsi is a screenwriter, director, and novelist. Linda graduated with a degree in Film from Cornell University and an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California. She has a YouTube channel with 19k subscribers where she gives writing advice and talks about mental health.

Director Statement

When Becky Harris and I decided to collaborate on a project, we realized we wanted to make a short film about something we hardly, if ever, see in TV or film: what it’s like for a woman to express her orgasm needs to her partner. But we only wanted to do that if we could simultaneously tell a great story about two characters with real wants, fears, and senses of humor. We are so proud of this film and what it’s become and hope you enjoy it.