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A vanguard organization set in the Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness and impact result from being ahead of the curve in the powerful integration of creativity and technology. Cinequest fuses the world of the filmed arts with that of Silicon Valley’s innovation to empower youth, artists and innovators to create and connect - driving transformations and a better tomorrow. Cinequest does this through Cinequest Picture The Possibilities and Cinequest Film Festival.

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Meet the Filmmakers - Terror (and lube) in the aisles - Friday, March 2nd

On Friday night I was treated to one of the strongest selections of twisted short films I have ever seen, Cinequest's Mindbenders. Not only were these films disturbing and extremely well produced, but the three directors I met personify everything that is great about independent filmmakers.

This game is all about self-promotion, innovation and risk-taking, and Arthur, Ehran and Richard have these qualities in spades.

Let's start with Arthur. Here's a fantastic example of self promotion. As the expectorant crowd sat, waiting for the films to start, a funny little man with a hilarious lisp burst into the theater, proclaiming the merits of his film, Filthy Food, and tossing promotional packets of personal lubricant into the audience. This spluttering, whirling dervish was T. Arthur Cottam, and as his film unspooled on the screen I laughed, then laughed harder, then cried with hysterics as he pushed the envelope in directions I didn't want to go.

Arthur is a charming medicine man, and Filthy Food is his 'wonder tonic'. However, this one works! I urge you to visit www.dirtylittleshorts.com and to wallow in the decadence within.

Ehran KoepfEhran KoepfNext up is Ehran Koepf whose film 4U was both original and immersive. As with Arthur, Ehran worked the crowd before the screening, handing out free copies of his film on DVD. Though I was taken aback at the gesture, I thought 'wow, this guy must have money to burn'. Little did I know how integral this act was to the enjoyment of the film. I have no desire to spoil the effect of Ehran's film by describing it fully to you here, except to say that empathizing with the victim of a maniac has never been easier.

I insist that you go to www.shortfilm4u.com and order a copy of the film for yourself, and then order some for your friends (this is where the fun begins).

Ehran's background is in screenwriting and 4U is his first film. Having spent time in the gears of the Hollywood machine, being a PA on Mission: Impossible II and working in the art dept. of several other features, he says that he will be focusing more on his writing in the future, but I hope he finds time for the occasional stint behind the camera. Ehran is currently A.D. on The Ethical Slut, a Bay Area production.

Brian Rohan (left) and Richard Gale (right)Brian Rohan (left) and Richard Gale (right)Finally, I come to Richard Gale, and I think I might have met one of the brightest future stars of the horror scene. Richard's film, Criticized, was not only clever and thought-provoking, but he managed to make me squirm in ways that films like Hostel and Saw could not. You know you are onto a good thing when audience members regularly have to leave your screenings; but don't think this is just an over the top splatter fest. Criticized is an intelligently intense shocker about retribution and obsession, and Richard taps into many human fears to enhance the sense of dread. His genius moment comes though, when he takes the most simple and non-threatening of objects, a paperclip, and turns it into an instrument of abject terror. In this one scene of brutality, Richard ramps up the tension to a point where the viewers feel they might burst, then ramps it up even more, finally delivering a pay off that simultaneously satisfies and repulses! I must say, this is also aided quite spectacularly by the music of Christopher Brady, another name to look out for!

Richard is based in LA and has enjoyed considerable success with this short, plus two previous productions, The Proposal and Pressure. I am happy to report that he is currently working on a feature length script for Criticized, and I for one will be standing in line to see that.

Go to www.richard-gale.com to learn more about this exciting filmmaker.          Four stars!

by Neil Baker

www.StudioMoraine.com

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About Cinequest

Colon Antonea
(Cinequest)

CINEQUEST is a vanguard organization that fuses creativity with technological innovation to empower, improve, and transform the lives of people and communities.

CINEQUEST FILM FESTIVAL: February 28 - March 12, 2017


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