Short Film: THE WEB OPERA Episode 3, 13min., USA, Music Short

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With THE WEB OPERA, composer Michael Roth has assembled a team of progressive artists to create something completely new – an episodic through-sung web series based on true events, a groundbreaking and unique experiment in music, film, and new opera. THE WEB OPERA tells of a group of college freshmen and the invasion of privacy that forever changes a young man’s life. THE WEB OPERA also encourages and supports via its website suicide prevention and the fight against cyber abuse.

* – As of January, 2020, THE WEB OPERA has been honored as an official selection by 14 festivals: the LOS ANGELES EXPERIMENTAL DANCE & MUSIC FILM FESTIVAL (upcoming screening/February, 2020), New York’s IndieBOOM Festival (Winner, Best Music), INDIE SHORT FEST/LOS ANGELES, Australia’s INTERNATIONAL SHORTS FESTIVAL, LA’s INDEPENDENT SHORTS FESTIVAL, the WEB SERIES FESTIVAL GLOBAL, LOS ANGELES CINEFEST (semi-finalist, Best Web Series), ROME INDEPENDENT PRISMA AWARDS (semi-finalist, Best Web Series), and SHORT, TIGHT & LOOSE GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL COMPETITION (Award of Excellence-Original Concept), in addition to Awards of Merit from the ONE REELER SHORT FILM COMPETITION and the BEST SHORTS COMPETITION, Honorable Mention from LA’s EXPERIMENTAL FORUM, and online presentations for both the LIFT OFF SESSIONS in the UK and New York’s LIFT-OFF GLOBAL NETWORK ONLINE FESTIVAL.

Featuring performances by Reuben Uy, Adam Von Almen, Stephanie Cecile Yavelow, Molly Connor, Joyce Lai and Loren Battley, directed by Kate Jopson, with texts by Kate Gale and additional texts by Michael Roth, filmed by DP Dana Fytelson with dazzling visual graphics by Lisa Glenn Armstrong, Yiyi Shao, and Christopher Gaal/Crazybridge Studios, and filmed as if seen via the cameras and webcams in a laptop, iPhone, or iPad, this story about the violation of privacy invites the viewer to violate the privacy of the characters themselves while viewing it.

Composer Randy Newman calls THE WEB OPERA ‘groundbreaking … a great 21st century opera, full of fine things and remarkably accessible. It is also an important story told very very well.’

And THE WEB OPERA has a mission – inspired by the real life tragedy of Tyler Clementi, THE WEB OPERA is presented online to encourage all who view it, via the website, to support organizations working for suicide prevention and against cyber abuse. The first three episodes are online now, episodes four and five will be complete within the next year or so. To view all three episodes, to support the filming of episodes four and five, and for information regarding THE WEB OPERA’s mission, please visit http://www.thewebopera.com

More detailed synopsis (some spoilers):

In Episode One, a college freshman (FG97 – all of the characters are referred to by their e-mail addresses) is installing software for his new webcam when he receives a message from his new roommate, Violinist98. Online, he investigates his roommate to get more information about him, all the while communicating about it with his friend across the hall, June99.

In Episode Two, Violinist98 is practicing violin and then, distracted, he seeks solace online from a forum; eventually he receives a friend request from Bookstore90, a man he’d met the day before, and arranges a date with him for the next night. He informs FG97 via text that he needs the room.

In Episode Three, FG97 visits his friend June99 during Violinist98’s date. Via his webcam, hoping to have a look at Bookstore90, whom FG97 finds suspicious, they have a quick look at the date and discuss this with June’s roommate and two of her roommate’s friends. Having looked, they see something they can’t unsee – and FG97 informs others online about it in a tweet that Violinist98 reads later that evening – as he stares at the webcam.

News & Reviews

Short Film: FREE FALL, 3min., USA, Music Short

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In a lonely and dangerous place, where the world seems to be literally crashing down, two people are able to find each other and connect, if only for a brief moment.

News & Reviews

Short Film: TAKE ME THERE, 3min., USA, Dance

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Created as part of the Experimental Film Virginia residency and festival program in Cape Charles, Virginia, with dancers from Italian Dance Company Equilibrio Dinamico, Take Me There is a dance film about self-discovery. A dancer ventures out into the unknown — excited, determined, and ready for the adventure that awaits. Journeying in forward motion along train tracks, we see the lead character find friends and, ultimately, a romantic, intimate connection. Was this what she was searching for all along?

Take Me There depicts strong women, queer relationship, and characters outside of their ‘performative gender roles’ to be somewhat adrogonous and powerful. A band of misfit queers journeying together.

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Short Film: HIS PARTY, 4min., USA, Dance

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“His Party” is a short film following six women in a 1950’s home setting. This movement infused short film explored the trope of Romantic Paternalism, a past societal norm deeming women as fair, gentle creatures to be gently handled and cared for, through exploring the isolated roles of women in the 1950’s. Amidst the controlling, dictator-like masculine energy of the household, the women scramble and writhe in their restrictive areas of the home while attempting to maintain an imposed level of cheeriness and normalcy.

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Director Biography: Lawrence Fung (COHORT 707)

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Born in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong, architectural lines, fashion, martial art films, and international culture has always been a significant influence on Lawrence.

Spending his adolescence years in the Southwestern State of Arizona, Lawrence picked up Breaking as a past-time passion while pursuing a degree in Finance and Supply Chain Management. He even started a dance crew called “Pocket Change” where they would compete in battles across the nation. Upon graduation, he suffered from a severe back injury which led him into obtaining a Pilates teacher training certificate and ultimately curing his pain and developing an interest in teaching.

However, the mundane business career and demanding Pilates clientele building had made him questioned his purpose in life. As a result, he invested majority of his earnings on traveling, self-improvement books, snowboarding and surfing, camera equipment, and higher education.

Following dance, photography and film has become a new found passion for Lawrence. During the summer of 2017, he had the opportunity to work with Harper Bazaar Magazine and Cosmopolitan Magazine in Hong Kong where he tremendously improved on both shooting fashion portraits and making lifestyle videos. He also gained professional experience working in studios and on location, collaborating with MUAs, stylists, and hair stylists, professional models, as well as working with name brands such as Burberry, Prada, Christian Dior, etc.

In the fall of 2017, his first film “Parallax” was selected to be shown at the 5th Annual Dance Short Festival at the Suns Studio in Tempe. His second film “Uprooted” won the Audience Choice Award at the Moving 24FPS PHX event at Arizona State University. Shortly after in the Spring of 2018, “Angel’s Playground”, a film that combined travel and dance was selected to be shown at Dance Fest at Phoenix Art Museum. “Dance in California” was selected to be a featured short film for the prestigious drone and camera stabilizer company DJI in summer of July. Around the same period, Voyage Phoenix, an online lifestyle magazine also published an article featuring Lawrence as an aspired upcoming artist.

Now as a grad student studying dance, Lawrence plans to fuse his passion for travel, dance, photography, film, and fashion into a series of showcases, short films, and performances in order to create an unique sensorial experience for a wide range of audience.

For more information, please visit http://www.krakenstillandfilm.com

Short Film: COHORT 707, 6min., USA, Dance

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What does a society cling to when its structures exist only in remembrance of unity? Cohort 707 depicts women who face this question in the shelter of a fallen community. When dirt becomes home, the only things worth valuing are hunger and fear which keep these women alive along with the strength they find in one another.

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