Tag Archives: film fest

Our Favorite Films from West Chester Short Film Festival

Recently, a small team from Star Wipe Films (the indie filmmaking side of DUO), attended the West Chester Short Film Festival in West Chester, Pennsylvania to attend the screening of our short film, Distilled, as well as to take part in a great little festival.

The festival organizers and volunteers were lovely, hard-working folks and the audiences received all of the films very warmly.

We really enjoyed many of the films shown and so I wanted to highlight a few of those, so that maybe you can check them out yourself!

First up is Bis Gleich (Til Then). This film was so heartwarming, it was no surprise that it won the People’s Choice ABisGleichward.  When so many independent films star actors in their 20s and 30s (ourselves included), it’s refreshing to see two superb older actors.

Here’s the write-up that made me want to see it in the first place.

Albert and Marta, both in their late 70s, live across the street from one another in a bustling section of Berlin’s Mitte.
Every day, the two neighbors meet – each in their perspective windows – at nine am to watch the world unfold below them.
One morning, the clock strikes nine but there is no sign of Albert.

Tapping into a well of courage, Marta crosses social and personal boundaries and makes a trip to the other side of the street.
What she finds there, unleashes a youthful energy within herself. With this newfound strength, she comforts and surprises her dear neighbor and friend.

Next is Snow Boat.

This film was a really great submission from some students at Savannah College of Art and Design. It’s an animation and a silent film with a bittersweet flavor to it. We were fortunate enough to have it in our screening group so we got to watch it twice during the weekend. We also got to hang out with one of the filmmakers who had traveled from Austin, Texas to come to the screening.

Watch the trailer here:

Our third highlighted film is a comedy called Somos Amigos (We Are Friends.) This was another film in our screening group, about the difficulties of having friendships in a workplace. The actors had great comedic timing which made this film enjoyable both times we watched it. Here’s the trailer but I think the film is best summed up in the first line of its plot outline. “What would you do if you had to fire your best friend?”

Baghdad Messi is a bittersweet vignette about a boy living just outside Baghdad who even though he is missing a leg, just wants to watch and play football (soccer), and be just like his favorite player, Messi. What I loved about this short film was watching the close relationship between the boy and his father. So many times we see fathers and sons at odds with one another but this father and son have such a sweet relationship in a very rough part of the world. The entire cast did a fantastic job, but the 10 year old boy who starred in the film was especially remarkable.

Here’s the trailer:

Finally, I want to tell you about The Voorman Problem. This short film delighted the audience with its humor and very original story. It’s no wonder it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short, especially with the talents of both Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander. I don’t think the trailer quite does it justice, but check it out nonetheless.

The festival screened so many wonderful films, we felt very fortunate to be a part of it. Although you cannot currently view our film Distilled online, you can watch some of our other short films on our Star Wipe Films website.

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DUO Film to Screen at the Cannes International Film Fest

So, it seems like we are blowing the DUO horn a lot lately, but hey, we’re screening at the Cannes International Film Fest!  Here is the press release:

BALTIMORE FILM HEADING TO CANNES

“Welcome to the Neighborhood” by Star Wipe Films
selected for the Cannes International Film Festival

Washington, DC (April 23, 2013) | “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, the entry by Star Wipe Films representing the city of Baltimore at the Filmapalooza Film Festival in Hollywood, was selected as one of the top 15 films for submission to the Cannes International Film Festival.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood” won several awards at the 2012 Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project including top honors as “Best Film”. With top honors came the opportunity to screen as part of the Filmapalooza Film Fest 2013.  The film received honors at Filmapalooza for “Best Actor” and “Best Use of Character”.  Selected in the top 15 of the 115 city winners at Filmapalooza, the film will represent the 48 Hour Film Project at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes International Film Festival.

Brian Pennington, director of Star Wipe Films, will be attending Cannes. Says Brian, “This is every filmmaker’s dream; to be screened at Cannes and to mingle with filmmakers from around the world.”  “Welcome to the Neighborhood” will be included in the screening of the 48HFP selections on May 22 as part of the Short Film Corner.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood”, was created in only 48 hours by Star Wipe Films, the independent film channel of DUO Media Productions headquartered in Brookeville, Maryland.  Star Wipe Films has participated in ten 48 Hour Film Projects over the last ten years in the cities of Baltimore, D.C., and Atlanta. The team has won many awards over the years for cinematography, directing, writing, acting, costume, graphics, special effects, audience favorite, and runner up for “Best Film”, but this was the first time winning top honors. This film is one of over 4,000 films from 115 cities around the world that competed in 2012.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood” is available for viewing at www.StarWipeFilms.com.

So what is the team working on now? In addition to preparing for the 2013 48HFP for D.C. and Baltimore, they are in pre-production on a new independent short film, “Apocalypse Rock”. Visit www.apocalypserock.com for details, and to follow the production.

DUO Honored at Filmapalooza in Hollywood

by Jim Pennington

Under our “fun” moniker, Star Wipe Films, our film “Welcome to the Neighborhood” was honored with two awards at the Filmapalooza Film Fest in Hollywood.  Here is the press release.

BALTIMORE FILM HONORED IN HOLLYWOOD

“Welcome to the Neighborhood”  by Star Wipe Films
honored at the Filmapalooza Film Festival

Hollywood, California (March 10, 2013) | “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, the entry by Star Wipe Films representing the city of Baltimore at the Filmapalooza Film Festival in Hollywood, was honored with two awards. Doug Powell, who portrayed Louis Ledbetter, a busybody, was awarded “Best Actor”. Star Wipe Films was also awarded “Best Use of Character”.  The winners were announced at a red carpet screening on March 10 at the historic Chinese Theatre, the former Grauman’s Theatre Complex.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood” won several awards at the 2012 Baltimore 48 Hour Film contest including top honors as “Best Film”. With top honors came the opportunity to screen as part of the Filmapalooza Film Fest 2013.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood”, was created in only 48 hours by Star Wipe Films, a team of filmmakers who have participated in ten 48 Hour Film Projects over the last ten years in the cities of Baltimore, D.C., and Atlanta. The team has won many awards over the years (including runner up as “Best Film”), but this was the first time winning top honors. This film is one of over 4,000 films from 115 cities around the world that competed in 2012.

David Garner, executive producer, attended Filmapalooza and joined filmmakers from around the world including Cape Town, Hong Kong, Prague, Osaka and Dubai.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood” is available for viewing at www.StarWipeFilms.com.

DUO Film Screens at Filmapalooza in Hollywood

by Jim Pennington

Under our “fun” moniker, Star Wipe Films, we will be screening our film “Welcome to the Neighborhood” at the Filmapalooza Film Fest in Hollywood.  Here is the press release.

BALTIMORE FILM TO SCREEN IN HOLLYWOOD

“Welcome to the Neighborhood”  by Star Wipe Films
to screen at the Filmapalooza Film Festival

Baltimore, Maryland (March 8, 2013) | “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, the entry by Star Wipe Films to the 2012 Baltimore 48 Hour Film Fest, will represent the city of Baltimore at the Filmapalooza Film Festival in Hollywood, March 6-10. “Welcome to the Neighborhood” won several awards at the 2012 Baltimore 48 Hour Film contest including top honors as “Best Film”. With top honors comes the opportunity to screen at the historic Chinese Theatre, the former Grauman’s Theatre Complex, as part of the Filmapalooza Film Fest 2013.  Filmapalooza 2013 is the 48 Hour Film Project’s 11th annual screening and awards ceremony.

“Welcome to the Neighborhood”, was created in only 48 hours by Star Wipe Films, a team of filmmakers who have participated in ten 48 Hour Film Projects over the last ten years in the cities of Baltimore, D.C., and Atlanta. The team has won many awards over the years (including runner up as “Best Film”), but this was the first time winning top honors. This film is one of over 4,000 films from 115 cities around the world that competed in 2012.

The winners will be announced at a red carpet screening and awards party on Sunday, March 10.  The top 12 films will screen at the Cannes Film Festival in the Short Film Corner.

David Garner, executive producer, will attend Filmapalooza and will join filmmakers from around the world including Cape Town, Hong Kong, Prague, Osaka and Dubai.  The guest speaker is Director Dennis Dugan, whose films have grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide.
For more information about “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, and to see the film, visitwww.StarWipeFilms.com.

For more information about Filmapalooza visit: www.filmapalooza.org

About the 48 Hour Film Project
The 48 Hour Film Project is the oldest and largest timed film competition in the world. The 48 Hour Film Project’s mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. The tight 48-hour deadline puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers, emphasizing creativity and teamwork and “doing” instead of “talking.” The emphasis is also on building communities of local creative people – facilitating making new connections, showcasing skills, and celebrating what creativity and teamwork can accomplish in just one weekend.

2012 – A great year for DUO

by Karen Gill-Pennington

Wow!  What a year!  As we close out 2012, I wanted to take a look at the past year and highlight some of our successes and who made each one possible.  I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but it’s just too exciting not to share some of the great things (and some of the not so great things) that happened this year.

To begin, we were very excited to find we had won two of the prestigious Telly Awards.  For the Public Relations category we entered our PSA “Rockin’ The Rage,” and won a silver, which is actually the top prize, not a gold!  For our animation, “Fundamentals of Solidworks EPDM,” we won a bronze, the first of many awards for this project.  (See the section on the TIVA Peer Awards below for more on this.)

Our indie film side of things, Star Wipe Films, participated in the DC 48 Hour Film Project, in which we got to work with two amazing new actors, Doug Powell and Allie Heidel.  Unfortunately, due to some perfectionist issues, we were about 25 seconds late turning in the final product which left us ineligible to win anything besides the Audience Favorite Award.  Our holiday film, “Last Friday in April,” did indeed win the coveted Audience Favorite Award and land a spot in the Best of DC screening, largely due to excellent writing by Eric Nolle, a show stealing performance by Doug Powell and a very dedicated crew.

After the excitement and disappointment of not making it in on time, we decided to redeem ourselves by participating in the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project just a few weeks later.  And redeem ourselves, we did!  After working with another great crew and stellar cast, including Doug Powell and Allie Heidel again, as well as a favorite from years past, Claire Bowerman, the night of the awards ceremony we took home many awards.  With our comedy, “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” we won Best Use of Character, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Writing, Runner-Up Best Directing, Audience Favorite and Best Film which also won us $1000 worth of gear from CPM Camera Rigs!

Just a month later we decided to try out a fairly new film race in town called The 29 Days Later Film Project.  Our director/DP, Brian Pennington, wanted to try out some different filmmaking techniques with this one, including relying heavily on GoPro HD cameras.  After some glitches in casting, our stunt coordinator, Jason Krznarich, helped us find some awesome female stunt actors to fill the roles of the attacked runners.  Hannah Scott, Jenna Hellmuth and Jason as the attacker really brought some great performances on two miserably hot days.  The final film, a thriller called“Yellow Jacket,” landed us third place and many other awards including Best Directing, Best Editing, Best Acting, and Best Cinematography.

Rounding out the year was the TIVA-DC Peer Awards Gala, where hundreds of DC’s best video professionals gathered at the National Press Club for an evening of awards, delicious food and knee-slapping jokes served up by local movie reviewer and celebrity, Arch Campbell.  DUO Media Productions accepted five awards that evening, all voted on by the best judges anyone could ask for, our fellow peers.  A Silver Award for “Fundamentals of SolidWorks EPDM” in the category Public Relations/Marketing (under $25K). Another Silver in the Independent Short category for“Rare Finds.”  In the category Motion Graphics – 2D/3D Animation (under $10K), we took home a Silver (thanks in part to Chris Pennington) for “SOPA/PIPA Saving Innovation” and a Bronze for“Fundamentals of SolidWorks EPDM.”  Finally, we were glad to accept a well deserved Gold Award on behalf of Doug Powell for his exceptional performance in our 48 Hour Film Project, “Last Friday in April.”

As we move on to 2013, we can look behind and say, “That was our best year yet!” but we are also looking forward with anticipation of the things yet to come.

Happy New Year!