Hilarious 1977 Halloween Educational Safety Video

We are one day closer to Halloween, and today we have an amazingly entertaining Halloween educational video from the year 1977. I tried to show this to my kids, and it creeped them out more than anything. Now I'm not sure if they want to go out trick-or-treating this year! Costumes definitely aren't as creepy and disturbing as they used to be.

The following videos were released by Tucson, Arizona-based filmmaker Jason Willis. He released the actual video in its entirety, as well as a short edited version that is wonderfully cut to the theme song of The Munsters.  Here's what said about it:

"It had been so long that I could scarcely remember a thing about my involvement, and mostly questioned whether or not it would turn out that I was even really in the damn thing after all. But as of today, for the first time in 30 years, I can confirm that: yes,
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Sundance 2013 Short Film Awards Reviewed

Vol. I Issue 7

Sundance programmed 65 short films selected from 8,102 submissions. The Academy only goes through about 160 films to arrive at the 10 nominations; one might say winning at Sundance is harder than winning an Oscar. Every year when I watch the Sundance shorts I wonder if they just run out of energy when they get to the end. With over 100 films to choose from for every one of the slots, I am always amazed by the choices. (I also feel that way about the documentary films selected.)

If you submitted one of the 8,102 films you might feel you were robbed or, if you’re honest and critical, you might feel that at least the winners should have been programmed. You can always make another short and try next year or submit your short to one of the over 200 festivals in the world that run short films. Many of the winners are on the Web so take a look at them and see what you think.

I feel this year’s Sundance 2013 Short Film Award winners are a mixed bag if one is looking for works that will launch careers, entertain and have artistic merit, which I always insist on when I am teaching. This group of films, except in one case, gets two of the three: two are wonderful career launching works, five are very entertaining and three have artistic merit. Its great to be “art” but I think it is better to be entertaining “art.” I have written about all of the films which I had the good fortune of seeing on the web-in all but one case.

Oddly, getting one of the films proved really challenging. The filmmakers decided not to post to protect it from Academy rules (The Academy requires a film first qualify before being shown.) on the web. Or to even post it with a password which the Academy permits prior to the film qualifying for award consideration. Sundance did not even have a web version of this work. So they sent a copy over via messenger which I appreciated. I think if a work is out, it makes a lot of sense to have it on the web (with a password) so that critics and festival programmers, etc. can see it.

I am glad I did get to see it.

Short Film Grand Jury Prize – The Whistle

The Whistle is a special work. It has a large cast, lots of locations and is a successful bigger short film. Telling the story of Marcin, it is both entertaining and moving. Marcin is a lowest-leagues football (soccer) referee who lives in a small town near Krakow, Poland, and who dreams of better times. At his mother’s urging, he decides to change his life and find himself a girlfriend and a better job. He succeeds. The film is unique among this selection of award winners because it does not depend on any gimmicks, plot twists or narrative surprises. The film is well directed, shot and edited. The filmmaker handles the soccer matches and action sequences well. Marcin is able to handle the soccer players’ aggression and, to my delight, the filmmaker holds the action at a realistic level.

While this film is not the audience winner as are some of the other films, it is very deserving of the grand prize.

Director: Grzegorz Zariczny 16 minutes

Production Company Link:

Short Film Jury Award, Us Fiction – Whiplash

Whiplash is the story of a jazz percussionist in a high school setting with a faculty member who, while musically talented, should have opted for a career in Marine training (as one can imagine it from movies) instead of being a teacher. This conductor from hell is abusive, a liar and unusually cruel to his students. Whiplash is the name of the jazz composition the band is playing. This short was written as a “calling card” aimed at attracting backing for a feature-length version of the story. Jason Reitman is an executive producer of this short.

Without revealing more about the narrative, this is an exceptionally realized work. Perfect in every regard except its humanity. The directing and pacing is spot on. Camera and the tech credits first rate, professional. The performance by J.K. Simmons (“Up in the Air”) is first rate. As the parent of a jazz playing high school trumpet player, I must confess that if this character was my son’s teacher I would have him arrested for child abuse. Of course, this is only a movie. The filmmakers got me. Well done. Let’s hope they have the sense to not turn it into a feature or a television series if the longer work follows this concept.

This film is not available on the web.

Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction – The Date

In this student film from Finland, Tino’s manhood is put to the test in front of two women when he has to host a date for Diablo, the family’s stud cat.

The Date, a wonderfully realized short fiction film from the Elo Film School Helsinki, is a stand out. This four actor, two cat, one location work (an apartment) deals with a mother (Mirka) and her daughter (Päibvi) bringing in their female cat to mate for the first time with the young man’s (Tino) cat. This is a process Tino has been through before. As they drink tea and eat cookies the cats are having a great time, very loudly in the back ground. The mother talks about the cats having sex in somewhat graphic terms. The teens try not to react. Afterwards the two young people go out on the balcony and she talks about her concern for her cat and the cat’s sexual experience for this first mating. Tino, the young man, is a perfect foil. Despite his youth he handles this in a very mature fashion. This film is deserving of its prize.

It’s great to see a student film where the focus is on execution of a clever and simple idea. A cat date. This is also perfect. While one might quibble about some small things, the filmmaker shows control, excellent coverage of scenes, executing humor, making a film that has characters that seem real and no violence. I think the director should have not had his characters smoke and perhaps use the “F” word for the sake of getting a young audience, rather than an older teen audience. It would be nice for middle-schoolers to see this work and to see it on television/cable. Jenni Toivonlemi has made a work that is truly international and a great portfolio film.

Directed and written by: Jenni Toivoniemi 7 minutes

This work is not available (at press time) on the Web.

Company Link:

The Short Film Jury Award Documentary – Skinningrove

This short documentary narrated by British photographer Chris Killip shows his unpublished images that chronicle the time he spent among the residents of a remote English fishing village, Skinningrove. It feels like a home movie or very minimal despite the distinguished reputation of filmmaker Mr. Almereyda or the subject. Because of the slow pacing it is doubtful it will get much broadcast or cable exposure. The work is all shot in one location, Mr. Killip is speaking but we never hear the filmmaker nor is there any interaction between them. While the photographs are striking, they are shown without a critical context and no information is provided by the filmmaker about Mr. Killip so we must evaluate the images as shown without a critical context. This makes the work very challenging. It is a shame the filmmaker does not share Mr. Killip’s biographical information or his critical reputation. (He is a tenured professor at Harvard.)

Director: Michael Almereyda 15 minutes

Link to Mr. Killip’s web site:

Short Film Audience Award – Catnip: Egress to Oblivion

This mocumentry while sure to be a crowd pleaser is a one note film. It’s a shame. Had the filmmaker seen one film by Marc Lewis (Cane Toads: An UnnaturalHistory) for example, the film could have been great. Less is more.

Directed by Jason Willis 7 minutes

Short Film Special Jury Award – Until the Quiet Comes

Directed by: Kahlil Joseph about 4 minutes

This music video by Kahlil Joseph is beautifully shot, performed, choreographed, cast. It was shot in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts, Los Angeles. The narrative comes from the music. The film is silent and reactive to the music. It’s eye candy with a serious subject.


Short Film Special Jury Award, Acting – Joel Nagle, Palimpsest

Kathleen Wise and Joel Nagle in Palimpsest

A successful house tuner provides clients with a unique form of therapy that examines subtle details in their living spaces. This is a perfect short film. A very simple idea done with skillful filmmaking, a wonderful cast and nuanced directing it is magical and full of surprises. Let’s hope it is put in for Academy consideration. Tyburski was robbed.

Palimpsest stands out as one of the Sundance star films it is beautifully directed and acted and succeeds doing all of the things a short film should accomplish. The film’s male lead Joel Nagle won a jury award for his amazingly nuanced performance of a home audio tuner. This work resonates both as a work of art and an audience pleaser. The other lead actor in the film Kathleen Wise also should have taken an award. She is unknowingly being upset by the sounds her home makes. What a delightful and original concept for a short film. Let’s hope it launches a theatrical career for its director, Michael Tyburski and its two stars.

Director: Michael Tyburski 17 minutes

Link: Not available.

Website for film/filmmaker:

Short Film Jury Award, Animation – Irish Folk Furniture

This stop action animation short is a straight narrative documentary about some dressers.

Perhaps more than we’ll ever want to know about Irish traditional dressers. It’s an interesting choice since it is not drawn or computer generated. Not very “flash” but, with the use of the voice over interviews by, I assume, the filmmaker, the work is sensitive and deceptively simple in its approach. It is an excellent work that some audiences will find challenging.

Animation and Camera: Tony W. Donoghue 8 minutes


Credits: Editing by Jessica Just for SydneysBuzz


Block Doc Workshops in Los Angeles February 2013 Ida Doc U

The International Documentary Association will be hosting Documentary Funding and Documentary Tune-Up Workshops with Block on February 9/10.

Mitchell Block specializes in conceiving, producing, marketing & distributing independent features & consulting. He is an expert in placing both completed works into distribution & working with producers to make projects fundable. He conducts regular workshops in film producing in Los Angeles and most recently in Maine, Russia and in Myanmar (Burma).

Poster Girl, produced by Block was nominated for a Documentary Academy Award and selected by the Ida as the Best Doc Short 2011. It was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and aired on HBO. He is an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Carrier, a 10-hour series that he conceived & co-created. Block is a graduate of Tisch School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, a founding member of BAFTA-la and has been teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 1979. Currently Block teaches a required class in the USC Peter Stark Producing Program.

©2013Mwb All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved. All information and designs on the Sites are copyrighted material owned by Block. Reproduction, dissemination, or transmission of any part of the material here without the express written consent of the owner is strictly prohibited.All other product names and marks on Block Direct, whether trademarks, service marks, or other type, and whether registered or unregistered, is the property of Block.
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Film Festival Coverage Guide: 2013 Sundance

Here is a complete listing of the films that were shown/covered by the team comprised of Nicholas Bell (Nb), Jordan M. Smith (Js) and Eric Lavallee (El). We’ll be populating this page up until March.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Afternoon DelightJill Soloway: Nb (★★ 1/2): Review

Ain’T Them Bodies Saints – David Lowery: El (★★★ 1/2), Nb (★★★ 1/2): Review // Interview

Austenland- Jerusha Hess: Nb (★): Review

C.O.G.- Kyle Patrick Alvarez: Js (★★ 1/2), Nb (★★ 1/2): Review

ConcussionStacie Passon: El (★★★), Js (★★★ 1/2), Nb (★★★): Review // Interview

Emanuel And The Truth About FishesFrancesca Gregorini: Js (★★★), Nb (★★★ 1/2): Review

FruitvaleRyan Coogler: El (★★★), Js (★★★★★), Nb (★★★★): Review // Interview // Video

In A World… – Lake Bell: El (★★★): Review

Kill Your DarlingsJohn Krokidas: El (★★★), Nb (★★★): Review

The LifeguardLiz W. Garcia: El (★★ 1/2): Review

May In The Summer
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Doubling Up: Coogler’s “Fruitvale” and Hoover’s “Blood Brother” are the Toast of Sundance 2013

Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale and Steve Hoover’s Blood Brother were the big winners at the 2013 edition of the Sundance Film Festival – both picked up the Audience awards and Grand Jury Prizes in their respective categories. Here’s the complete list of 2013 Sundance Film Festival Award winners:

Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic: “Fruitvale,” directed by Ryan Coogler

Grand Jury Prize, Documentary: “Blood Brother,” directed by Steve Hoover

World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic: “Jiseul,” directed by Muel O

World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary: “A River Changes Course,” directed Kalyanee Mam

Dramatic Audience Award: “Fruitvale,” directed by Ryan Coogler

Documentary Audience Award: “Blood Brother,” directed by Steve Hoover

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: “Metro Manila,” directed by Sean Ellis

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: “The Square,” directed by Jehane Noujaim

The Best of Next Audience Award: “This Is Martin Bonner,” directed by Chad Hartigan

Directing Award, Dramatic: Jill Solloway, “Afternoon Delight

Directing Award,
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Fruitvale Takes Grand Jury Prize At Sundance 2013

Yesterday at Park City, the awards were handed out with one of the hotly buzzed titles of the festival taking two major prizes.

The intense drama Fruitvale won both the Audience Award and U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, which reminds of when Precious won both in 2009, a year before it went on to become a Best Picture Oscar nominee.

The Ryan Coogler‘s film tells the story of the hours leading up to New Year’s Day in 2009, when the 22-year-old Oscar Grant was pulled off a rowdy Bart train at the Fruitvale station and was shot in the back, dying from his wounds.

The former chairman of 20th Century Fox, Tom Rothman said when presenting the prize:

This will not be the last time you guys walk to a podium.

Well, this statement suggests that history may well be getting ready to repeat itself.
See full article at Filmofilia »

"Fruitvale," "Blood Brother," "Metro Manila" Among Sundance Film Festival Winners

Ryan Coolger's "Fruitvale" and Steve Hoover's "Blood Brother" dominated the 2013 Sundance Film Festival awards! "Fruitvale," the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year old Bay Area resident shot in the back by Oakland transportation police, won the Grand Jury Prize (dramatic). Meanwhile, "Blood Brother," a documentary by Steve Hoover about Rocky Braat who went to India as a disillusioned American tourist and became an ally of children living with HIV/AIDS, took home the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.

But what I'm very excited about is "Metro Manila" from BAFTA and Oscar-nominated director Sean Ellis. Shot in my homeland of the Philippines and using our dialect, Tagalog, entirely, "Metro Manila" is about Oscar Ramirez (Jake Macapagal) and his family who flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines in order to seek a brighter future in Manila.

Here's the full list of winners of 2013 Sundance Film Festival:

Grand Jury Prize,
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

It's About Time This Was A Thing

It's About Time This Was A Thing
Park City, Utah -- Everyone's favorite Internet meme – the cat video – has hit the big time.

Behold the Catdance Film Festival, a one-night celebration of camera-worthy cats that was held Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.

The five short films that were featured went beyond the typical surprised-kitty or cat-threatens-dog fare popular on YouTube. The Catdance films, culled from submissions by cat lovers across the country, told creative, feline-focused tales. There was the story of an aging Internet cat who can't cope with the loss of fame and "A Cat's Guide to Caring for a Human."

"Humans are inherently lazy," reported the latter film in a `50s-inspired instructional style. "Left to their own devices, they will sleep well past the break of dawn."

Other films included "Catalogue," where a couple orders a bedspread from a catalog and is surprised to see that the cat shown in the photo was shipped with the comforter.
See full article at Huffington Post »

AFI Fest 2012 Announces Lineup For World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight And Shorts Selections

AFI Fest 2012 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced the remaining sections and films that will screen in the festival.s World Cinema, Breakthrough, Midnight and Shorts programs. AFI Fest, which annually presents the best of world cinema in the movie capital of the world, will take place November 1 through 8 at the historic Grauman.s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

World Cinema showcases the most anticipated and prize-winning international films of the year, Breakthrough highlights work discovered only through the submission process and Midnight.s selections are always haunting. Both World Cinema and Breakthrough feature a number of films making their North American or U.S. Premieres, including The Angels. Share, Greatest Hits, Laurence Anyways, Nairobi Half Life, Pieta, White Elephant and Zaytoun.

Two of the shorts in competition are from AFI Conservatory.s recent class of
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2012 AFI Fest Load Up in Petzold, Haneke, Mungiu, Reygadas, Assayas, Miguel Gomes and a pair from Seidl

Today, AFI 2012 announced its complete lineup, after previously debuting its New Auteurs, Young Americans, Galas and Special Screenings we finally get a look at the Midnight, Breakthrough, Shorts, and deliriously good World Cinema Selections.

The Shorts section, with almost too many to count, features new work from Nacho Vigalando, Nicolas Provost, and even Shia Labeouf (Cannes selected), among many others. The four Midnight titles all played in Tiff 2012’s Midnight Madness selection, and here we see John Dies at the End making a stop here after originally premiering at Sundance. They’ve nabbed three North American premieres in their Breakthrough section, including Kid from Fien Troch, Nairobi Half Life from David Tosh Gitonga, and Oh Boy from Jan Ole Gerster. But AFI has managed to really impress with it’s World Cinema selections. Just as they nabbed Cannes premiere Holy Motors for their Special Screenings, they’ve nabbed several high
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2012 Arizona Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

To celebrate their 5th anniversary, the Arizona Underground Film Festival has expanded to a whopping nine nights on Sept. 21-29 for a cinematic event the likes of Tucson has never seen before!

The shenanigans kick off with the opening night film The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, an experimental Italian feature directed by Davide Manuli and starring Vincent Gallo as the hero and the villain to a strange young boy, then end with the closing night film Jason M. Solomon’s nostalgic documentary 7 Years Underground: A 60′s Tale, which profiles the legendary Cafe Au Go Go in NYC that hosted such up-and-coming acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin and more.

In between those two films lies a twisted carnage of movie mayhem, including Spencer Parsons’ demented homage to ’70s mystery cartoons Saturday Morning Massacre; Michael Melamedoff exploitative semi-doc The Exhibitionists; Stephen Amis’ Australian WWII sci-fi
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

See also

Credited With | External Sites