Image by mohammad alizade

WMMINTL ALUMNI (2021)

Upwards & Onwards

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HARKER JONES

COLE & COLETTE

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

HJ: That there is a real can-do feeling to it. It feels like a real community.

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

HJ: Yes, it's been in 43 film festivals overall and won several awards.

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

HJ: The short script won a contest, which is what led to it being produced. I'm plotting out a feature version as I type this!

 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense?
HJ: I sold another script, called One-Hit Wonder, that was produced and has been accepted into 18 film fests so far, winning some awards along the way, including Best Narrative Short at the Culver City Film Festival. My novel Until September has sold almost 1,000 copies. And I was asked to be a judge for a film festival!

 

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?
HJ: I'm repeating myself from the first question, but I love the feel of community. It's very supportive and inclusive. Like: We can do it!

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TONY MOULEART

THE FOUNTAIN PEN

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

TM: I enjoy seeing the films and meeting the filmmakers.

 

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

TM: My short film "The Fountain Pen" went through the WMM development process and went on to a very successful film festival run winning four awards.

 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense?

TM: I completed a new short film "School Days are Happy Days" that won the Silver Award at the Nickel & Dime Monthly Film Festival. My short film "The Fountain Pen" finished it's festival run by winning Best Comedy Short at the Sherwood Players InternationaI Film Festival. I recently shot two music promos and a commercial.  I'm working on my feature script "Bike Helmet Harry" in a rewrite class at Writers Boot Camp.

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?
TM: Meeting like minded filmmakers, networking with them and eventually working with them.

WMM: What WMM production services have you used?
TM: Insurance services, equipment rental, color correction & grading.

WMM: Any links you want to share? 

The Fountain Pen Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0JYMHGizRg

The Fountain Pen Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/FountainPenFilm

Missus Jones Promo: https://vimeo.com/634010843/dfec0b7b08

TreatYourSoulCo Commercial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiWisDBBFSw

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GREGORY BLAIR

IT AIN'T ALL BLACK AND WHITE ... UNLESS IT IS

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

GB: I loved the Q&A, actually. Whit was a great moderator and provided great comments and questions and the whole experience very warm and welcoming. 

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

GB: Not many, but we did get awards from The Planet 9 Film Festival and The L.A. Underground Film Festival.

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

GB: I’m just glad people enjoy its snarky humor. And, for anyone who missed it, you can watch on YouTube for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EZ9Dd0ZcyU

WMM:Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense?

GB: Lots of new projects completed and on the horizon. Full rundown here: http://www.2writers.com/Gregory_2021Review.htm

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?
GB: The people: I’ve been to a few other WMM events and it’s always nice to be surrounded by motivated, creative people; that kind of belonging, camaraderie and collaberation is what WMM is really all about.

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STEVEN LAMORTE

POWERPUFF GIRLS
MEMORY LANE
NO RESERVATIONS

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

SL: Networking and sharing work with other community members.

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

SL: Yes, many!

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

SL: Very well received all over, but audience was nicest at WMMINTL. We've been winning awards in a lot of places but WMM gives the warmest reception we've gotten anywhere in the country!
 

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

SL: Ability to screen work for large groups of strangers who give kind supportive feedback.
 

WMM: Have you used any WMM production services?
SL: Yes! Insurance and distribution!

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BRIAN WALLACE

STAY GREEN
THE BRIEFCASE

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

BW: Several things, starting with the fact that some of the best films I have seen each year have been screened at WMMIntl. It's aways been a very supportive environment, and from where I sit, attendance has been climbing steadily. The filmmakers I've been able to meet each year have always been accessible, and a few collaborations have even come out of it. While the Q/As at the end of each block are necessarily short, Whit and Eric always ask very insightful questions and lead the discussions so well. And the bar down the street doesn't hurt.

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

BW: Yes, every movie we have screened has been selected at other fests around the world. Our most popular one has been the mockumentary "Stay Green," which WMMIntl selected in 2020. It has been in nearly a dozen festivals, winning awards in half of them, and has since gained distribution through the online streaming platform Opprime.tv.

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

BW: I attended a festival in London this past December, and spent nearly as much time talking about WMMIntl as I did my own film. Many of the better films I encouraged to submit to you for 2022. So if you get a higher than average influx of submissions from the UK this year, and you like them, you can buy me some fish and chips. ;)

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

BW: We're in the process of absorbing new collaborators into our group, including an Emmy-winning sound designer (who we first met at WMMIntl in 2019). We have written a web comedy series, shot a pitch trailer for it, and are actively pitching it (www.badagentshow.com). 

 

In addition, we shot another mockumentary in February, similar to "Stay Green," which has already screened at three festivals. It has yet to screen at a live fest in L.A., however, and we will likely submit it to WMMINTL for 2022. It won't feel like it really happened until we see it on your screen (though we know there is no guarantee of that). 

 

We also had plans to shoot a short comedy (with Whit, in fact) before Covid shut us down. That is still on the burner, and as soon as we formalize our expanded group, I plan to reach out to everyone to see who is still on board and get that done.

 

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

BW: Our Fancy Movies team has often talked about the fact that while we never want to have the worst movie in a festival, we never want to be the best thing in it either, and the caliber of films showcased at WMMINTL will always ensure that someone is raising the bar of aspiration for us year on year.  

WMM: Anything else you want to share with us?

BW: We're really trying to get some attention for the web series we're pitching--not just funding, but also collaborators who think they might want to be a part of it. It'll be the most ambitious thing we've pulled off yet, and lots of help will be welcome. Check out our pitch page! https://badagent.godaddysites.com/premise

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DOMINIC OLIVER

BAKED ZITI

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

DO: The camaraderie. The result of people helping each other achieve their goals and dreams.
 

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

DO: Yes, several, including Ojai, Burbank International (BIFF), Garden State…
 

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

DO: Finalist for Best Comedy Short at Burbank International. www.bakedzitimovie.com

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

DO: Always a new project, one to film soon and one we haven’t released yet due to the pandemic, and because that one needs representation.

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

DO: The members – some have become our dearest friends, including a few who left that I met there – and the Board has been super.

WMM: What services of WMM have you used?

DO: We find the insurance invaluable and a great selling point to possible new members we’ve brought in or have encouraged to join.

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SHILA VOSOUGH OMMI

WAKE UP SLEEPING BEAUTY

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

SVO: The tribe that makes up the WMM film making collective! Los Angeles is dauntingly huge and it can easily feel impersonal. It was especially delightful to go to the festival and see the same faces I’ve grown to know and love through the years of hanging with the WMM film making folks.
 

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

SVO: Before I submitted our project to WMMINTL, our film had already won in categories like Best Director, Best Actress, Best Female Empowerment Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects at various Film Festivals including Toronto International Women Film Festival, Paris Film Festival, Stockholm International Film Festival, New York International Women’s Film Festival, Show Some Spark Movie Awards, Best Film Awards, and Virgin Atlantic Cinema Festival, among others.
 

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

SVO: Sometimes seeming failures are hidden opportunities. Our feature film, ‘Wake Up Sleeping Beauty’, did not make it into WMMINTL. I was so shocked. Because I knew the team, I worked up the audacity to call and ask why it wasn’t selected. The festival was aware of the unsual circumstances our film was made in. It was originally a play commissioned by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and because of Covid, they allowed me to turn it into a film, but if and only if none of the actors were ever in the same room together. So I turned my living room into a green-screen studio, and I had each actor come in on a different day, and read the lines to them while giving them eyelines and directing them. To this day, none of the actors have met one another in person. It was quite a feat of special effects done by my brilliant creative partner, Hitoshi Inoue. Needless to say, I was really shocked that WMMINTL had passed on it.

It turned out that because of the sheer high number of amazing films submitted, WMMINTL didn’t have the space to show our film. Whit Spurgeon suggested that I cut it into a short film in order fit the screening schedule. Turning an hour and forty- minute feature into a 15 minute short was the most challenging thing I have ever done, and it gave me new found respect for short film makers. And it turned out that now, thanks to Whit’s advice, I have two films to submit to festivals. So that was definitely a success that came from what felt like an awful failure. 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

SVO: I am on Apple TV's international spy thriller "Tehran." I had a small yet significant role in Season 1 and I am so grateful that the writers believed in me enough to write a very intense character arc for me in Season 2. Also, one of my favorite actresses joined our cast for this season - Ms. Glenn Close. I can't wait for you all to see it! You can also catch me in another Apple TV series, the heartwarming anthology "Little America." It's right up there in quality with "The Morning Show" and "Ted Lasso."

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

SVO: [Editor's Note: Shila exhaustively listed members from our community so it's safe to say her favorite thing about us is us, the members and what is considered our core Los Angeles community. :) ] 

WMM: What services of WMM have you used?

SVO: Many! Often! 

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DR. REBEKAH LOUSIA SMITH
& Helen Alexis Yonov

THE GESTURE AND THE WORD

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

Networking with local, like minded filmmakers who live in my home town of LA.
 

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

Yes so far it's screened at over 100 festivals and has won 62 awards.
 

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

I wanted my film to get a huge amount of exposure in LA. based festivals since its shot in LA, I'm from LA and the cast are all based here too.

 

Also, the film is now available to stream for free on Omelteo.com, a very prestigious platform for short films The Gesture and the Word | Romance Short Film | Omeleto
 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 
Yep I'm working on the feature length version of THE GESTURE AND THE WORD and also writing another feature film script THE BURDEN AND THE LIGHT.
 

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

The caring and supportive community.

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TEHANA FATIMA WEEKS

COIN

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

TFW: I love that WMMINTL is warm, welcoming and inclusive. It has a small town homey feel to it. The directors and their team really care about every film and filmmaker. They genuinely want to get to know you and your team. Moreover, they cultivate a supportive environment in which creators are comfortable and open to making quality connections.

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

TFW: In addition to WMMINTL, COIN was accepted into the Los Angeles Lift Off Film Festival, the Studio City Film Festival and was awarded a Bronze Remi Award by World Fest Houston. COIN is also available to stream on the HuemanTV platform as well as on the GenreTV Roku Channel. It is being distributed by The Hudson Sterling Firm.
 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

TFW: In 2021, I was an Associate Producer for the feature film My Divorce Party starring Desiree Staples, Laith Ashley and Rumor Willis. I also had the pleasure of directing the We Make Movies Film Challenge winning project Mama Wanna with Felicia Hom.

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

TFW: The people who make WMM Int'l happen and the people the event attracts make it one of the best film festivals in the world!
 

WMM: What services of WMM have you used?

TFW: Festival Director, Eric Michael Kochmer, was the associate producer and editor of COIN. He was able to use We Make Movies facilities to edit and we recorded ADR for the film in a WMM studio space. Most of the COIN team was comprised of WMM Members. We Make Movies also provided the insurance for COIN. As a WMM Challenge winning project, Mama Wanna was funded by WMM. Because we shot during the pandemic, WMM was kind enough to cover the additional costs incurred to follow COVID-19 protection measures and maintain a safe set. We Make Movies also provided insurance. My Divorce Party also made use of WMM consultations.

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DAVID BEATTY

THE WASTELAND - THE SILENCE OF MEMORY

THE PORTRAIT OF A SKELETON
THE WASTELAND

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

DB: Seeing movies in a theater with an audience.

 

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

DB: I recently shot The White Room (with Whit) and look forward to submitting an episode to WMMINTL. I will also be shooting Waiting for Rain, another WMMs production.

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

DB: I'm extremely thankful for all the creative people I have met over the years and hopefully continue to collaborate and create with them and this (for me) was possible through all the live events we used to have on Wednesday nights. 

WMM: What services of WMM have you used?

DB: I have recommended many people, even just yesterday, to WMM's production insurance.

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HEIDI SCHOOLER

MILLICENT & ME AND THE APPLE TREE

WMM: What do you most enjoy about the WMMINTL Film Festival?

HS: I love the atmosphere that is in the air that is exciting; that we are all part of a filmmaking experience because we are getting our stories out there to an audience. The energy before, during and around the WMMINTL Film Festival is inspiring!
 

WMM: Has your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL appeared in other festivals?

HS: Yes!! Especially this year's season of short films, leading into this new year: (2021-2022) = it has been seen in many festivals! So far, it has appeared in the Kapow Film Festival, the Niagara Falls Int'l Short Festival, the Hong Kong Indie Film Festival, the Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift, the Paris Independent Film Festival, & the London Indie Short Festival (before the holidays!). 

Awards include: London Indie Short Festival- NOM. as a Semi-Finalist for Best Narrative Int'l Short;

Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift - NOM. as a Finalist for Best Actress in Short & Best Comedy in Short; Hong Kong Indie Film Festival- NOM. as a Semi-Finalist for Best Actress in Short;

Niagara Falls Int'l Film Festival- NOM. as a Semi-Finalist for Best Actress in Short, & Best Comedy Short; Kapow Film Festival - NOM. as a Semi-Finalist for Best Musical Short.

WMM: Is there anything in particular about your film/project that you brought into WMMINTL that you would like to share with us?

HS: Yes! "Millicent & Me and The Apple Tree" was fully born out of a LIVE event from a Performance Night several years ago at WMM! It solely occurred out of my initial idea of the lively mouse puppet (Millicent), to be added to a few songs I wanted to share with the community, but became a fully-produced, short film project with the confidence of the WMM community giving me the feedback that I used in order to perfect what I wanted to do on-screen, as a whacky & fun musical short! I just want to officially say "Thank You!" to everyone for listening to or viewing a LOT with regards to Millicent, while I was figuring all of the details out! I am very GRATEFUL!

WMM: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and your WMMINTL Film Festival fans? What have you been up to? New projects, goals, awards, inspirational thoughts, random nonsense? 

HS: In this new year, I am going to post updates on my separate IG page for the film - @millicentandmeandtheappletree ! Most recently, in October, I was humbled & thrilled to have the chance to work as an actor on a great feature film, directed by WMM member, director/writer/actor Bron Theron, in Michigan. It's a suspense ghost-themed feature film called "Half Dead Fred" and stars some very cool & talented actors: Corin Nemec, Jordan Christopher Michael, & Jason London. It's set to be released in 2022. I was also involved as an actor in a suspenseful drama called "Cypher" that's on the Roku Channel, and I've been doing some super funny voiceovers. 

Goals: Just to keep being inspired by seeing or participating in fulfilling, creative, and/or artistic projects. I have some zany ideas ahead in mind, and even if they are considered a little whacky, I feel they will still have a positive impact on a certain audience. This year, I'd like to finish a few of the funny, more comedic ideas I had started in the last few years, and not had the chance to finish!

 

Inspirational thoughts: 2022 will definitely be better than 2021! Right? It can ONLY get better! Hang in there with whatever you are working on! Just like Millicent says at the end of "Millicent & Me and The Apple Tree": "Uhhh, somebody else's dream is starting..." - BE the next person who is "living the dream" you are starting!! I guess I'm trying to say, let's keep living our dreams no matter what is happening or coming in:  Omicron? No Problem! No in-person festivals (for now again)... Okay, online it IS for me! What ELSE ya got? I will NOT be stopped, so... Just keep going forward, no matter what!  

Random nonsense?: Let's always keep a sense of humor & wonder in whatever we're doing...

WMM: What's your favorite thing about WMM (outside the festival)?

HS: Getting a chance to meet fellow filmmakers and actors, directors, producers, writers, and every aspect of filmmaking-type of person in our field and profession, and collaborating on exciting new projects! I truly have loved working with this collective of Industry people on several projects together - it almost gives a feel of a repertory of sorts; & have met and made some of my closest friendships through this group! Very grateful! Also, in the past, I loved that I learned to do many different other aspects of the Film Industry by being affiliated with WMM as a group! I had the opportunity to learn to be a "scripty" originally, am now producing more efficiently concerning future projects, have second AD'd, & also greatly expanded in the area of my writing, etc. 

WMM: What services of WMM have you used?

HS: I have used the Insurance services - fab deal! Checked on my color & sound with the production staff - ran it by them, to get their opinion, and as producer, shared my info with the director of "Millicent & Me and The Apple Tree". I was aided in putting my credits up at the end of my film, & was very grateful for this, and was set up (by production staff) for film festivals by having my film be made into a DCP.