New Machine

#screensparks: 5th katra film series grand finale lands at alamo drafthouse in brooklyn

Uncanny Valley from Federico Heller

The 5th Annual Katra Film Festival Grand Finale event takes place in Brooklyn this year, featuring 14 finalist short films that screened as part of its monthly program. The Katra Film Series, which was founded in 2012 by New York filmmaker Geoffrey Guerrero, screened over 119 works from emerging directors in the past year.

This year’s Grand Finale screenings are held at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday, January 25th and includes short films from award winning filmmakers such as Judd Ehrlich’s Notes from Liberia. Ehrlich, who co-directed the film with Ryo Murakami, has previously won an Achievement Award for his 2013 short Magic Camp at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Also screening is Three Fingers from Paul D. Hart. Hart’s short won the Grand Jury Prize Tennessee First Narrative Short at the Nashville Film Festival and was nominated for Best Narrative Short at the Austin Film Festival.

After wowing festival goers at the London Sci-Fi Film Festival in 2016 with his short Uncanny Valley, Argentinian director Federico Heller returns to screen the film again in New York. Heller’s short, which is being developed into a feature film, tells a grim tale of a future generation addicted to a VR existence.

Brooklyn native Avtandil Chachibaia also screens his new animated short Bear. Chachibaia is a Student Academy Award Finalist and a recipient of the National Board of Review Grant.

The Katra Film Series is developed in association with Rhino Films. Digital Ocean and Everyone Matters. Guerrero said the the 2016 Grand Prize Winner “will be awarded a one-on-one meeting with Producer Stephen Nemeth from the Academy-Award nominated The Sessions and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, along with prizes from RED Digital Cinema Camera, Pond5, Backstage, International Screenwriters Association, Museum of the Moving Image and more.”

To learn more about the event click here or to purchase tickets, click here.

The 2016 Finalist Films are:

Notes from Liberia – Directed by Judd Ehrlich & Ryo Murakami

Tracing the journey of the late Japanese cinematographer Ryo Murakami to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Plantation in Liberia. Under the cover of night, Ryo trespasses onto the plantation grounds and enters a scarcely seen world.

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Three Fingers – Directed by Paul D. Hart

An intimate, censorial representation of trauma through the point of view of Jesstine, a mother, wife and Marine veteran. Reaching great depths of despondency, her life and her family unravels until the moment she has nothing left but one final choice.

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Other People’s People – Directed by James Fauvell

An ensemble comedy about the intersecting and competing loves, lies and indiscretions of three couples in Brooklyn, NY.  Starring Caitlin Fitzgerald from Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Catherine Curtin from Orange is The New Black, Peter Mark Kendall from The Americans, and Christian Coulson.

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47 Secrets to a Younger You – Directed by Ryan Blackwell

A comedy about working moms, everyday disasters and middle-aging not so gracefully.

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Uncanny Valley – Directed by Federico Heller

In the slums of the future, VR junkies satisfy their violent impulses in online entertainment. An expert player discovers that the line between games and reality is starting to fade away.

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Stitched – Directed by Heather Taylor

A sheltered woman, reeling from the death of her mother, shows her sister how far she will go to be heard.

Chocolate Cake – Directed by Benjamin Shweky

A nostalgic tale about a boy who doesn’t quite fit in. Instead, he finds all the company he needs in his mother’s delicious chocolate cake.

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Solace – Directed by Marvin Van Buren

A college dropout forms an unlikely bond with a homeless man after an encounter with violence.

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All I Want – Directed by Venika Mitra

This is the story of a purposeful, single-minded and unwavering pursuit of a street urchin Ratan to buy one mango.

27 Dimensions – Directed by Cass O’meara

Miriam and Lenny are frustrated online daters who have finally found their perfect mates – at least on paper.

Redheads Anonymous – Directed by Daniel Seth

To win a Redhead Scholarship, Molly and her three ginger pals must find out: what does it mean to be a redhead?

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The Bear – Directed by Avtandil Chachibaia

A moral fable about a revenge-seeking bear who nobly forgives the humans for their wrongdoings.

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Fortress – Directed by Amir Arison (from NBC’s Blacklist, making his directorial debut)

April and Kalev meet at an Italian restaurant after agreeing to go on their first on-line date. Is this unlikely match destined for disaster, or is something bigger at play?

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Kelly & Jason – Directed by Bidemi Akanbi

Jason is ready to take the relationship to the next level but Kelly has other things on her mind.
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