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LA comedy Shorts Winners announced

Started by funny people, for funny people, The 2nd Annual L. A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, a four-day celebration of comedic short films, came to a hilarious conclusion Sunday evening at Elevate Lounge in Downtown Los Angeles.

“All we wanted to do is make it ok for America to laugh their butts off at things that are short and funny. We did it. Now this country is safe again. You can thank us later. No. Wait. Thank us now.” said Festival Artistic Director Gary Anthony Williams.

No sophomore slump here, the second year featured sold-out screenings and jam-packed parties. “It was quite sentimental actually, watching folks from around the World chuckle and chortle at great short films, seeing cupcakes shoved in their faces by men in little shorts, and watching them lob ping pong balls into cups of beer,’ says Jeannie Roshar, Festival Director.

Hosted by the famed Sklar Brothers, Randy and Jason, the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival celebrated the seriously gifted actress Missi Pyle, who received the 2nd Annual COMMIE AWARD in recognition of her comedic genius, presented by her friend and co-star Brooke Dillman – one of the funniest comedic actresses that nobody knows.

Awards were also handed out to the winning filmmakers and screenwriters who competed for over $30,000 in cash and prizes in the following categories: The Funny or Die Best-of-Fest Grand Prize, Atom.com Best Comedy Short Film (30 minutes or less), Best Comedy ‘Shortie’ Short (5 minutes or less) and Atom.com Best Animated Comedy Short (30 minutes or less), as well as the Audience Choice Award.

Among the many fantastic shorts that were featured last year, a number of films and filmmakers were presented with some exciting opportunities such as the Atom.com winner A Bit of Counseling, which went on to air on Comedy Central; the filmmaker of the Best-of-Fest winning film Captain Coulier has a pilot in development; the filmmakers from Darryl From OnCar are now writing for Nickelodeon and the director went on to direct episodic TV, and Fremantle Media signed deals with three filmmakers. In addition, several agencies have already expressed interest in this year’s winning screenplays.

“We were very impressed by the inaugural festival,” said Roshar, “but now we really think we have outdone ourselves. So our 2009 selves feel bad but our 2010 selves feel real smug!”

Presenters and attendees included Aisha Tyler (CSI, The Ghost Whisperer), Dave Koechner (The Office, Funny Or Die), Jason & Randy Sklar (Cheap Seats, Wild Hogs), Cedric Yarbrough (Reno 911!), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911!), Debra Wilson (MadTV), Michaela Watkins (SNL), Nicole Parker (MadTV), Jordan Peele (MadTV), Karen Maruyama (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Larry Joe Campbell (Weeds, According to Jim), Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) and Tara Strong (Powerpuff Girls), Tom Kenny (SpongeBob Squarepants), Jill Talley (The Boondocks).

Winners for the 2010 Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival are:

Best Comedy Shortie-Short

Traffic Signals, directed by Lori Elberg and Tanya Bershadsky
A guide to road rage for the hearing-impaired.

Atom.com Best Comedy Short

Blood From a Stone, directed by Bill Palmer
Before Jason Bourne insisted that action cinema start taking itself seriously, there was a time when muscle-bound macho men would break arms, sever limbs and spit one-liners without ever hesitating to muse about rules, consequences or ethical behavior. That time was the 1980s. Those men had names like Arnold, Sly, Dolph and Chuck. PG-13 was not in their vocabulary. And you can bet your ass, it's not in Sean Sharpstone's either.

Atom.com Best Comedy Animated Short

The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger by Bill Plympton
Seduced by advertising, a cow is tragically led into the hands of butchers and carnivores.

Funny or Die Best-of-Fest

The Action Hero's Guide to Saving Lives directed by Justin Lutsky, starring Patrick Warburton
When lives are on the line... When there's danger at every turn... When clichés run amuck... Sometimes the best thing to do is call Mulligan! Ace Mulligan! Starring Patrick Warburton, “The Action Hero’s Guide To Saving Lives” is a laugh-out-loud action-comedy that takes you behind the scenes of Ace Mulligan’s perilous and not-always-successful mission to stop the bad guys, get the girl, and save the day. It’s not always easy being an action hero.

L.A. Comedy Shorts Audience Award

A Short Film, by Rick Williamson, starring Marty Klebba
The epitome of a short western film; short actors, short horses and long credits.


The Winners of the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival Screenplay Competition presented by Movie Magic Screenwriter, are:

LA Comedy Scripts Best Comedy Short

Cuckoo by Kristi Barnett
One man, many clocks... no bird. Arthur Bunt has a space on his Wall of Clocks and the clock that's going there won't play ball.

Movie Magic Screenwriter Screenplay Competition Best Comedy Feature

Super Fun Time Happy Pizza by Dennis Xenos & Rob Nardecchia
Jack Jackson runs the streets of Newtonbrook as the town's number one pizza delivery driver. But Jack's world is flipped upside down when an old high school classmate, Sharlene, returns home after 18 years and introduces Jack to Trevor... his son! Suddenly, Jack is caught in a tug of war with Sharlene's lesbian partner, Coyote, for only one can claim the title of Trevor's dad. Meanwhile, the town of Newtonbrook is thrown into peril by the diabolical plan of wealthy local businessman, Don Lorenzo Wong. Now Jack and Coyote must put their differences aside and join forces in order to not only save Trevor and Sharlene, but the town of Newtonbrook as well.

LA Comedy Scripts Best Half-Hour Comedy TV Pilot

Upstate by Charlie Robinson
A New York City politico loses his job in a scandal and is forced to take a job upstate where he quickly learns the meaning of community.

LACSFF (www.lacomedyshorts.com) is a four-day, non-stop celebration of comedic short films held at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles. The Festival prides itself on introducing the newest and hottest comedic talent to the industry in a fun-packed weekend of screenings, parties, industry panels and a star-studded red carpet awards event.

Daily coverage by Kim Deisler

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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