Film Review: 'The Secret of Joy'
By Ellexia Nguyen | 11.03.15
“The Secret of Joy” is a fantasy short film spearheaded by award-winning Italian filmmaker Max Bartoli and his wife Fabiola Lopez Bartoli. The idea to produce this film stemmed from Max's own experience of knowing those whose lives were cut short by cancer. As a result, the husband-and-wife team enlisted the help of industry professionals to create a film to raise awareness about pediatric cancer.
With the efforts contributed by talented cast members such as Sofia Milos (“CSI Miami”), Doris Roberts (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Maria Conchita Alonso (“Predator 2”) and her actress friend Laura Bayonas, the film uses visually engaging elements to paint a story of a cancer-stricken girl who, in her dream, finds the strength to overcome a life-threatening experience.
The story unfolds with a scene of a girl named Joy (Ava Ames), dozing off as her grandmother’s voice-over narrates the journey of a fairy (also played by Ava Ames) who must travel to Avalon to bring back Camelot’s King Arthur (Jonathan Teale)... MORE
Dances With Films Review: 'Barn Wedding' Directed by Shaun Benson
By Ellexia Nguyen | 06.22.15
Shot in Guelph, Ontario, “Barn Wedding” is a dramedy that shows the unexpected surprises leading up to the wedding day of Fashion Blogger Emma (played by Emily Coutts) and her longtime boyfriend Colin (played by Brett Donahue). After finding out that she has to move her summer wedding up six months, Emma is set on having her wedding in a barn located in a snowy, rural area.
Emma’s boyfriend Colin and her best friend Jessie (played by Kelly McCormack), along with a small group of friends and family, agree to travel to the rural area to spend the weekend with Emma in a farm house near the barn. While there, Emma and Jessie exchange wistful glances unbeknownst to Colin. Beneath the happy moments of friends having a good time is a gradual build that leads us to the painful truth that drives a wedge between Colin and his fiancée Emma. Jesse’s friendship with Emma turns icy as she truly shows her feelings about Emma on the night before Emma’s wedding. As a result, Colin is placed in a situation where he has to decide to move forward with the wedding or cancel it.
“Barn Wedding” marks the directorial debut for Shaun Benson, who is an award winning actor. Mixed with elements of sexual identity, this Canadian Independent feature film explores the complex relationships between lovers and friends, showing how two best friends’ inability to be honest can negatively impact those around them. Among other things, the film shows us that we can find the most painful truth during our happiest moments. If you like stories with surprises, something that will twist you towards the end and make you re-consider how you should treat those closest to you, don’t be afraid to see “Barn Wedding.”
Dances with Films Review: 'Waste Paper'
By Ellexia Nguyen | 06.20.15
Created under the talented vision of writer/director Derrick D. Pete, “Waste Paper” is a Live Action/CGI Animation Short film that tells the story of a cartoon illustration that gets thrown in the waste basket by its Animator. It’s a visually captivating film about a “throw-away” cartoon illustration, Owiti (played by Mykee Selkin), who must find the courage to fight and free himself from the negative comments of others.
“Waste Paper” draws you in with its alluring music (scored by Lucas Lechowski), beautiful cinematography, and captivating storytelling style. The camera takes you in from the moment the crumpled, cartoon illustration lands in the waste basket and awakens in a surreal world where the other throw-away illustrations reside. “Can’t be all that special. I ended up here,” Owiti said to his new friend Desma (played by Doris Morgado). After being told in so many ways that he is a worthless, ill-conceived idea, Owiti, with the support of Desma, fights his way out of the mysterious world of throw-away illustrations. “Waste Paper” is a well-told film that sends an inspiring message to its audience. That is, no matter how often others try to cut you down with their words, push forward and remove yourself from that environment.