HIGHLIGHTS: November 14, 2020 (Los Angeles)


Theme of night: Death and Rebirth

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

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterFEEL AT EASE (Sinta-se a Vontade), 7min., Brazil, Dance
festival posterMUSICAL CHAIRS: A BATTLE ROYALE, 3min., USA, Music Video

festival posterID, 6min,. Australia, Dance

festival posterSPARE ME, 4min., USA, Music Video

festival posterSHADOW, 3min., USA, Dance

festival posterINVISIBLE THREADS Part 1, 4min., UK, Experimental

festival posterEMBRACE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19, 3min., USA, Dance

festival posterASTRONAUT SPACEMAN, 4min., USA, Animation Music Video

festival posterA REASON TO FIGHT, 5min., USA, Dance

festival posterTOUCH, 13min., Malaysia, Experimental

festival posterTUMULT, 9min., USA, Dance

festival posterLIFE IS A TWO WAY DREAM (Eallin lea guovttesuorat niehku), 9min, Norway, Experimental

festival poster#METOO, 13min., Netherlands, Dance

festival posterDANCE OF THE ANGEL, 2min., USA, Animation/Experimental

festival posterALABASTER, 9min, USA, Poem/Animation

festival posterGOLD, 5min., USA, Experimental

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Daniel Finkelman (BENAYA’S DIARY)

Daniel Finkelman is a director, producer and founder of
Sparks Next, a boutique production house based in New York.
Daniel has produced and directed a variety of feature length films,
shorts, Music Videos, documentaries, and commercials.
He has received industry wide recognition in the Best
First Film category at the Independent Spirit Awards
for producing “Menashe,” which premiered at the Sundance and
Berlinale film festivals in 2017.
Daniel’s latest film “The Vigil,” which he Executive Produced, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2019.

Director Statement

Cecelia Margulis, a musician and composer, met Benaya’s mother a few years after her sons passing. Having lost so many of her own family to the Holocaust as well as being the proud grandmother to an IDF soldier, Cecelia was deeply moved and inspired by the writings of this young soldier.
Resolved, Cecelia dedicated her own creative talents to memorialize Benaya in song and film.
This artistic play of light, shadow, and dance, set to an original composition is a living tribute to Benaya and the young heroes of the IDF who proudly embody the Jewish legacy of survival and thriving in their homeland unto the present.

Director Biography – Sarah Cole (EUTERPE: THE LOST MUSE)

Sarah Cole is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has worked on over thirty student films in her time at CU, and is looking forward to graduation and moving to Los Angeles. Her last film won a Virgil Grillo Award after being voted on by the class and reviewed by a panel of judges.

Director Biography – Erwin Julierstersen Kopeng ((SIC) – INFINITE ECHO)

Erwin Julierstersen Kopeng, born 1988 in Bandung, Indonesia, completed his study with major in 3D animation at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore in 2011. He then started his career in Singapore’s film & media industry as animator-compositor at Moving Bits. In 2016 he joined Invisible Artists as motion designer. As he decided to seek new challenge & solidify his qualification, he moved to Ludwigsburg in winter 2017 to pursue postgrad study at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. His graduation project is a music video for the band [SIC] titled “Infinite Echo”. He now pursues a career as senior art director.

Director Statement

The greatest Sufi mystic and poet Rumi once wrote, life is a balance between letting go and holding on. It is indeed fundamental human vulnerability, that we remain trapped by our images of happiness and our fear of loss, the unknown, as well as grieving of lost past. However it is necessary to continue our path of a fulfilling life by accepting change, the pain and sadness of letting go. There is a time to hold on and then there comes a time to let go and release. This would allow us to experience the vastness of our unlimited consciousness, thus making room for possibilities far beyond anything we could imagine.
Despite the profound wisdom of letting go in life, most of us deeply resist it, fearing the ensuing disappointment. This is the struggle that “Infinite Echo” aspire to depict. The apocalyptic
scenario serves as metaphor, that is inspired by many eastern mythologies, in which they recognize that destruction or letting go of things is necessary to give space for new creation. This project also explores our interconnectedness with the natural world and universe at large. Just like our universe is ever-changing and evolving, our attempts to hold onto things is proven futile. In that sense destruction is as much part of the divine as creation.

Short Film: (SIC) – INFINITE ECHO, 4min., Germany, Music

A luminous matter containing remnants of life is drawn towards a supermassive black hole, setting off an unnatural cosmic reaction.

Based on song written by [SIC] titled “Infinite Echo”, this portrayal of a hypothetical cosmic event centres on a luminous glass-like sphere in the mould of planet. Five satellites orbit the sphere, each showcasing the remnants of life on Earth. Taken as a whole, these celestial bodies depict how humanity is at the mercy of the universe – symbolised by the black hole.


Norwegian-Mexican Victoria (32) and German Julian (26) met at the film music audition at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in 2017. Soon after their studies started, they commenced collaborating on film scores. Julian, as a jazz musician and Victoria with her songwriting background would soon find out they worked very well together, and so, writing scores eventually evolved into writing songs. [sic], Songs in Cinema, is the name they go under when they write songs and [sic]-studios is their film score collaboration. [sic] represents the unification of two quite different creative minds, making big cinematic songs out of small ideas.

Director Biography – Zeynep Akcay (KAM)

Zeynep Akcay is an animated filmmaker & scholar of Turkish origin. Focusing on the narrative strategies in different forms of animation, she is currently teaching at the Animation Program of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. After completing a BA degree in Istanbul Turkey, determined to be an animation artist, she moved to Montreal, Canada. Her studies continued concurrently with professional experience in animation and post-production companies. She moved back to Turkey to work as a lecturer in İzmir while completing her practice-based PhD, for which she made an interactive animated film for preschool children. She presented at international conferences and served as jury member in festivals; namely, 28, 29 & 31th SAS Conferences, Animafest Scanner IV, 4th Under The Radar Symposium, 9th AnimaSyros International Animation Festival, 4th Contact International Student Film Festival, and was one of invited filmmakers at “Le Voix des Femmes Festival” in Liege, Belgium.

Director Statement

Kam started as a response to the increasingly conservative affirmations about the female body surrounding Turkish women. Drawing from women’s power in the shamanistic culture, dancer Sevinc Baltali’s improvisation was transformed with this film into a visceral expression of the anger & the rebellious energy of the female body.

Short Film: KAM, 3min., Australia, Experimental

“Kam”, meaning “Shaman” in old Turkish, is a long exposure pixilation/2D animation film expressing the primal, potent energy of the female body.

The film transforms dancer Sevinc Baltali’s improvisation into a fierce and exuberant dance flow to the formidable music of “Amolvacy”, an experimental band from New York.

Project Links

Director Biography – Phillip Kaminiak (CASS & LEX)

A 1982 born german / polish cinematographer, who graduated from „Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin” in 2013. His short films and documentaries were screened at film festivals all over the world. His debut feature Film „The Woman behind the wall“ was nominated for the prestigious german „Grimme“ TV Price. After his second world wide screened feature film „The Weather Inside“ he realized more than 150 Commercials and music-videos until today and realized another TV Feature, coming along with the cinema production „Die Zerstörten“ in 2018.

Director Statement

„I wanted to express this kind feelings in this film through movement and dance, being inspired from a film scene of polish Filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (1981), my long year friend and collaborator Kiani Del Valle choreographed a dance sequence with a real-life couple, which didn’t have any dance experience before, reflecting on their relationship through movement.“