Experimental/Dance/Music Festival – Today’s Testimonial

Olgierd Minkiewicz
Olgierd Minkiewicz

Great opportunity for every filmmaker to get an honest and undisturbed feedback about their projects. Fantastic venue (one in downtown Toronto), and Matthew Toffolo (the MC and moderator) was always on point. He truly cares about the filmmaker and understands how to talk to the audience. Overall a wonderful experience, and I had an amazing time in Canada.

5 Star Review

Director Biography – Darren Durlach, David Larson (R.A.W. TUBA)

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DARREN DURLACH – Darren is a film/TV director that co-founded Early Light Media, a production company based in Baltimore, to take his experience in documentary storytelling to organizations that hope to communicate more effectively and memorably with their audiences, as well as develop editorial documentary films that add value to the world.

Over the past decade, Darren has had the opportunity to tell stories spanning the world from a Super Bowl in Indianapolis to the devastation in Haiti to the first inauguration of President Obama, all while working in broadcast and most recently as Senior Multimedia Producer at The Boston Globe. In 2014 he directed The Boston Globe’s first television documentary, 5 Runners, about the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.

Darren has had the honor of being named the Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year three years in a row in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by the National Press Photographer’s Association while working for WBFF in Baltimore and has been awarded 23 Emmys© by Chesapeake Bay and New England NATAS. At The Boston Globe, he was awarded the prestigious George Polk award from Long Island University with a team of investigative journalists for his contribution of a short documentary on the leniency Massachusetts judges show toward accused drunk drivers, as well as six national Edward R. Murrow awards.

Most fulfilling have been the opportunities to teach. Most recently Darren was a featured speaker at ‘Video Playground’ in Denmark and has guest lectured at Harvard Extension School. Darren has had the honor of teaching visual storytelling in 18 states for various organizations and thrives on meeting passionate people with the shared goal of raising industry standards for the betterment of society. Darren believes there is no more effective way to communicate the human experience than to tell a story.

DAVID LARSON – Dave is a disciplined director, photographer and an intuitive storyteller who uses the human experience as a canvas for creative expression. As a director of both narrative and documentary projects, Dave looks to balance his technical savvy and gorgeous cinematic images with his ability to find the relatable truth within real moment-driven stories making his work connect on deeper levels. Dave’s film making talents have garnered him many industry awards. Most recently, his short film “Throw,” pulled in a Vimeo Staff pick and numerous prestigious film festival awards including the Festival Directors Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride.


Director Statement


This is an important story for anyone who dreams of improving their life situation. It was a true honor for Richard to trust us with his story and the greatest award we could win is his approval of this interpretation of his life. He loves it, so we’re happy.

Short Film: R.A.W. TUBA, 28min., USA, Music Documentary

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This film is about a Baltimore child who experienced intermittent homelessness but went on to become a world-class symphony musician and professor. As a child, Richard Antoine White (R.A.W.) slept wherever he could, sometimes in abandoned rowhomes where he was chewed on by rats during his sleep. Now in his 40s, he still has the scars across his abdomen. But despite enormous challenges, he went on to become the first African American in the world to receive a Doctorate in Music for Tuba Performance (D.M. not to be confused with the less rare D.M.A.), and not just from anywhere, from one of the most prestigious music programs in the US. Richard is now not only a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico, but he’s also the principal tubist of the New Mexico Philharmonic, which is in and of itself an Olympian-level accomplishment.

The Baltimore School for the Arts, a rare gem in the education world for it’s extraordinary track record of success, is where his life changed from a self-described “yo boy” with little direction to becoming obsessed with Tuba and ultimately following his dreams out of poverty. The director of the Baltimore School for the Arts met Richard on a chance encounter and after a one-in-a-million audition he set off on a course that changed his life forever.

“The only thing that will stop me from being successful is death.” ~ R.A.W.

News & Reviews

Director Biography – Christian Frosio, Michele Bernardi (OPEN THE WINDOW)

Christian Frosio is an Italian songwriter, author, arranger and producer of his songs.

For more info: http://www.christianfrosio.com

During the eighties he worked on the Pimpa TV series, created by Altan, and several episodes of La Linea di Cavandoli. He has made several animated videoclips for the Three Allegri Ragazzi Morti, the lights of the power plant, Prozac +, 24 Grana and others. He also collaborated with the Maicol & Mirco and Igort cartoonists.
Some animated short films, such as Djuma, Senza Testa, Pina, ambulanti and the last Mercurio are scheduled and competed in the most important international animation festivals, among the most famous in Annecy, Zagreb, Melbourne, up to those of Amsterdam, Tallinn and Istanbul and Rio.
Recently he has collaborated in the creation of advertising spots for Barilla Mulino Bianco, Chicco, Ikea Germany, Istat and Pomellato Nestlè and animated a series of spots for the Rai3 Viva la Crisi transmission.
For La tempesta film – Rai cinema I made the animated titles for Asino Vola by Marcello Fonte and Paolo Tripodi and Fraulein by Catrina Carone. For the Ayrton Senna Institute he animated a commercial on the unforgettable of Formula1.


Short Film: OPEN THE WINDOW, 3min., Italy, Music Video

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The room of a hospital, two women waiting. The invitation to the soul to let go, the invitation to react for who remains.

A woman on a hospital bed, at the end of her life, is struggling to survive.
Another woman is waiting during those final moments.
In what is the close separation between the two figures, scenes of dailylife emerge in a dreamlike vision, in wich abandonment and loneliness are already announced, but even the prospect to be able to react. The hope is the vision of a new birth, the opposite of death that, at the same time, is linked to: birth is already a separation and in itself a death.

Project Links

Director Biography – Michelle Prebich (CEMETERY SONG)

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Michelle studied Film Production, Theatre and Fine Art At Cal-State Long Beach with a B.A. in Narrative Film Production and a minor in Theatre. Her thesis film “A Serious Talk” was shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2012.

Michelle directed and collaborated with sister animator and designer Justine Prebich with an experimental stop motion short. “Comfort Me with Absinthe” It won best animated short in the Albuquerque Film And Music Experience in 2016.

Michelle and Justine once again collaborated on “Tools of War” an animated short exploring science fiction and the dystopian future in 2018.

Michelle is also an artist and illustrator who runs her business “Bat in Your Belfry” out of Southern California.

She and her sister Justine continue to work on projects together.

Director Statement

Cemetery Song’s visuals is a blend of imagery Inspired of romantic era gothic imagery and the surrealism of Magritte paintings. Places that inspired the video include Colma outside of San Fran, and Lafayette cemetery In New Orleans.

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of those that came before us. I think it’s important to take a moment to reflect on mortality and I find that the serene beauty of old cemeteries is the perfect place to find that. Cemetery Song explores the power of memories, existential dread and finally a peaceful acceptance as these ghosts are now, you shall be too.

Cemetery Song is directed and edited by Michelle Prebich with animation and production design by Justine Prebich. Music by Fellow Robot.

Short Film: CEMETERY SONG, 4min., USA, Music Video/Animation

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An animated reflection on mortality, “CEMETERY SONG” explores a day in the life of inhabitants of a cemetery as they explore the power of memories, existential dread and finally a peaceful acceptance.

Project Links