Documentary

Gavin MillerGavin Miller’s documentary Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of the Children is a heartbreaking flashback to a disaster that ruined homes and separated families.

Miller interviews victims of Katrina throughout the classrooms and halls of Ruston Jr. High School in Ruston, Louisiana. The film opens with Briea, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. She gives a solemn and impactful interview about half of her family and friends being lost in the disaster and how she can no longer return home.

Miller crafts a diverse atmosphere of experiences, interviewing children from New Orleans, students of the junior high, teachers and the principal. Each backstory is different, those affected describing stressful situations, loss and heartbreak.

Human connections have helped these kids adapt, but the evacuees of the hurricane struggled to fit in with the students at their new school. Some children find the way the evacuee children talk humorous. But as they are interviewed together, they agree that they are all the same age and like the same things.

The female teachers of Ruston Jr. High School keep their interviews professional and explain the help provided to the children. But, underneath some maternal instincts, there is an unsettling feeling about their own families and their safety throughout the disaster.

Miller creates a personal atmosphere with each interviewee. The viewer really feels as if they are witnessing the moment, listening to their story, asking questions about their family and homes, wondering where they will be months from now and wondering if they will ever move back to New Orleans.

The documentary’s greatest strengths are beautiful stories of how heartbroken people are making the most of their situation, living day to day with the clothes on their backs, food on their stoves, good company and new friends.

You can watch Gavin Miller’s new documentary in its entirety here.

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Sundance: Short Film Lineup Released

by Jordan McGuire on December 11, 2014

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From over 8,000 submissions, there were sixty short films released in the 2015 Sundance lineup. Categories include U.S. narrative, international narrative short films, documentary short films and animated short films.

Here’s the full list of shorts:

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

Actresses / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Hersh) — The film follows the relationship between a young, aspiring actress and an established off-Broadway star.

A.D. 1363, The End of Chivalry / U.S.A., New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Jake Mahaffy) — A little-known historical catastrophe leads to the definitive end of the era of chivalry and questing.

Color Neutral / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Reeves) — A color explosion sparkles, bubbles, and fractures in this handcrafted 16mm film. Jennifer Reeves utilizes an array of mediums and direct-on-film techniques to create this exuberant, psychedelic morsel of cinema as material.

Dog Bowl / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gordy Hoffman) — A heartbroken girl spiraling through life stumbles upon the true nature of her existence after stealing the vest off of a service dog.

Hugh the Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: Zachary Heinzerling, Screenwriters: Zachary Heinzerling, Jesse Soursourian) — This fable, inspired by the artwork of Hugh Hayden, follows a fictitious hunter of the Scottish Highlands on a daylong quest to capture the elusive red grouse.

A Million Miles Away / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jennifer Reeder) — Melancholy as survival strategy: A woman on the edge of failing and a pack of teenage girls simultaneously experience a supernatural coming-of-age. The transformation unravels to the infectious beat of a heavy metal anthem rearranged as a lamentation.

Mulignans / U.S.A. (Director: Shaka King, Screenwriters: Shaka King, Kristan Sprague) — mulignan(s) /moo.lin.yan(s)/ n. 1. Italian-American slang for a Black man. Derived from Italian dialect word for “eggplant.” See also: moolie. Source: Urban Dictionary and pretty much every mob movie ever.

Myrna the Monster / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ian Samuels) — A heartbroken alien dreamer from the moon transitions into young adult life in Los Angeles just like any other 20-something.

Oh Lucy! / Japan, Singapore, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Atsuko Hirayanagi) — Setsuko, a 55-year-old single so-called office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, “Lucy,” by her young unconventional English-language teacher. “Lucy” awakens desires in Setsuko she never knew existed.

Pink Grapefruit / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Mohan, Screenwriters: Michael Mohan, Chris Levitus) — A young married couple bring two of their single friends to Palm Springs for a long weekend. It does not go as planned.

Rabbit / France, U.S.A. (Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Screenwriters: Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, Brady Corbet, Mona Fastvold) — A therapist working in tandem with a correctional facility’s Pet Partnership Program entrusts a small rabbit to a female prisoner. In the confinement of her cell, will the inmate be able to transcend her circumstances and connect with the animal?

SMILF / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frankie Shaw) — A young single mother struggles to balance her old life of freedom with her new one as mom. It all comes to a head during one particular nap-time when Bridgette invites an old friend over for a visit.

Stop / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Reinaldo Marcus Green) — A young man’s livelihood is put to the test when he is stopped by the police on his way home.

Superior / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Erin Vassilopoulos) — A stranger passing through town sparks a teenage girl’s desire to distinguish herself from her identical twin sister. As one sister struggles to break free, the other insists on preserving their distinctive bond.

There’s more!

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