One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings is the acclaimed independent film directed by Michael Mohan, which made its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film is an expertly constructed ode to being free and easy, sexually depraved, drunkly confused and darkly lonely, all at the same time. On the surface, One Too Many Mornings is the humorous tale of a longtime friendship between two young men, Fischer and Peter, whose relationship has become complicated by nights of drunken debauchery. Between Fischer’s drinking problem and Peter’s troubles with his long-term girlfriend Rudy, there is an abundance of irreverent humor, but also an honest and painful view of male vulnerability.

Beneath the more obvious sense of depraved comedy, there’s a solid and confident quality to this movie that’s rarely seen in the world of young independent filmmaking. One Too Many Mornings has a fluidity that allows its characters to slip in and out of different psychological states. Sometimes they’re clearly using each other, but at other times they seem to have bonded because each completes the other in some painfully damaged, yet also wonderful way. There is a sincerity that shines through the film, a familiarity with the trials of young people trying to find their way in the face of harsh reality, and with a realization that the sense of delusion provided by depraved debauchery must ultimately be relinquished.

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

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Adam and Dog: The Joy of Discovering a Loyal Friend

Adam and Dog: The Joy of Discovering a Loyal Friend

Adam and Dog is a stunning hand-drawn, 15-minute animated short film by writer-director Minkyu Lee. This 2013 Oscar-Nominated Animated Short, and winner of last year’s Annie Award, has been one of the most celebrated independent short animations from the past year. Minkyu Lee is a visual development artist for Disney’s feature animation department, but Adam and Dog was created as a completely independent film without any major studio involvement.

The film’s story is a parable for the journey of Adam and Eve, with references and symbolism to being cast out of some form of paradise into the vast unknown. The tale about man and dog in the Garden of Eden focuses on the theme of the joy of discovering a friend, and how despite the plight of his human friend, the dog’s selfless loyalty never falters.

Adam and Dog: The Joy of Discovering a Loyal Friend

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Limbo: A Story from the Hearts and Mouths of Undocumented Young People

Limbo: A Story from the Hearts and Mouths of Undocumented Young People

Limbo is the new documentary short film directed by Eliot Rausch, created in association with Phos Pictures, which had its World Premier in New York City earlier this week. Previously, Rausch won the Best Documentary Award and the Grand Prize at the 2010 Vimeo Festival + Awards, for his short film Last Minutes with Oden. After winning the 25K Grand Prize Grant from the Vimeo Awards, Director Eliot Rausch partnered with Producer Mark Schwartz and the Dreamers of Los Angeles to create Limbo.

The emotionally moving 19-minute documentary short film exposes the lives of three undocumented students, who are living in Los Angeles without legal status. Without ever before having touched a camera, the students were gifted with a small video camera and provided with a half-day of training. They were asked to film everyday for three months. Through their lens, this is a story from the hearts and mouths of the undocumented.

Limbo: A Story from the Hearts and Mouths of Undocumented Young People

From Last Minutes with Oden to Limbo

Rausch won the Grand Prize at the first Vimeo Festival + Awards, held in late 2010, for his documentary short film Last Minutes with Oden. The film documents ex-convict Jason Wood’s emotions as he must euthanize his beloved dog, Oden, who had been suffering from cancer. Oden is a poignant, deeply touching chronicle of love between human and pet, which has been viewed on Vimeo more than 2.5 million times.

After winning the award, Rausch said that he began to feel guilty. “I think the project was exploiting the life of a friend and his suffering,” he said. So, in the months that followed, Rausch came up with the idea to use his $25,000 Grand Prize money to create a film that might empower his subjects, rather than simply chronicling their struggles.

From Last Minutes with Oden to Limbo

Update:

Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration.

Read President Obama’s announcement in the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon here.

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On My Own Path: Ode to 2011

On My Own Path: Ode to 2011

Ode to 2011 is a beautiful four-minute short fashion film directed by Gray Agent, a compilation of super-sexy video shorts with music by Massive Attack. The film was shot during Gray Agent’s 2011 West Coast thru the South tour, traveling from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin and Tampa Bay.

On My Own Path: Ode to 2011

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Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room is a gorgeous 24-minute family-friendly fantasy short film by British filmmaker Mike Le Han, which is rapidly acquiring a cult following in the U.K. and further afield.

Softly-spoken, with an unfashionable English Midlands accent, and wearing 1970s-style chest-length hair, Le Han looks like everybody’s idea of a hard-working rock band roadie. His style may appear retro, but he is clearly a very persuasive man since everyone involved in Mrs. Peppercorn donated their services. This left the production costs coming in at a miserly $50,500, all raised by family and friends. Remarkably, Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room boasts the kind of performances and production values normally found in a big-budget blockbuster.

The film is both magical and mysterious, and from the opening frame it creates a dark world where things go bump in the night and mystery lies around every corner. Mrs. Peppercorn tells of a lonely child who is forced to move by her adopted parents to a remote and spooky Cornish fishing village in the dead of winter. The story is rich in atmospherics in the way it shows how the child finds solace in a mysterious, dust-encrusted bookshop that satisfies her craving for reading and, more important, gives her a sense of belonging.

Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Stephen Murray: A Story of Incredible Suffering and Courageous Determination

Stephen Murray: A Story of Incredible Suffering and Courageous Determination

Pass The Bucket: Stephen Murray is a heart-wrenching, but very inspiring 5-minute documentary short film directed by Eliot Rausch, whose previous documentary Last Minutes with Oden was named Best Documentary and Best Video at the 2010 Vimeo Awards.

June 22, 2007 marked a day that the Action Sports world will remember for a lifetime, a day that forever changed the life of professional BMX rider and three-time U.S. Gold Medalist, Stephen Murray. During competition in the BMX Dirt Finals at the Dew Actions Sports Tour in Baltimore (MD), while in the midst of doing a double back flip, Murray had what has been described as one of the worst crashes ever seen in BMX competition. In that catastrophic tragedy, the incredibly talented 27 year-old athlete suffered career ending injuries to his spinal cord, which left him paralyzed below the shoulders.

Almost four years later, Murray’s life has changed drastically. Fully paralyzed, Stephen now lives a different reality, but he has come to view it as a platform to help others. He continues to embrace each day and in his own words, “stay strong.” In the documentary, Murray describes the accident he endured, the changes to his life as a result of it and what enables him to continue fighting. And in true Stephen Murray fashion, his strength and perseverance continues to inspire. Stay strong.

Through his Stay Strong Foundation and courageous determination, Stephen surprisingly has found a powerful way to pass the bucket. Viewers can find more information about Murray’s foundation here.

Stephen Murray: A Story of Incredible Suffering and Courageous Determination

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Last Minutes with Oden: The Experience of Loss and Grief

Last Minutes with Oden: The Experience of Loss and Grief

Last Minutes with Oden is a deeply engaging, extremely heart-wrenching 6-minute short documentary directed and edited by Eliot Rausch, in association with PhosPictures. The film tells a story about Jason Wood (Woody), an ex-convict who is saying a final farewell to his best friend, the man’s last minutes with his dog before he has to have it euthanized for health reasons. The documentary is a beautiful elegy that calls attention to certain heartbreaking moments most of us experience, and which is an incredibly powerful reminder of the importance of family and friendships in all our lives.

Last Minutes with Oden was named Best Documentary and Best Video at the 2010 Vimeo Awards, chosen from over 6500 film and video submissions.  The 2010 Vimeo Awards site can be viewed here.

Last Minutes with Oden: The Experience of Loss and Grief

5 Hours with Woody: Three years before Last Minutes with Oden

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