Date/Time for Seven Minutes to Closing Screening at 2017 Kansas City FilmFest

The 2017 Kansas City FilmFest has given Seven Minutes to Closing the honor of being alongside seven other shorts as part of the ‘Human Nature‘ block at Cinemark on the Plaza on Saturday, April 8 at 5:45pm.

Tickets are available now!

kansas city filmfest, seven minutes to closing

Here’s the line-up for the ‘Human Nature’ block:

Deer God – Tomorrow Mingtian
Old Guan, a native Oroqen hunter, goes into the woods to shoot “donkey deer” before his family leaves for America.

Bolos – Peche Roberts
The youthful folly of wanting to grow up too fast, as a girl and her little sister try to collect accoutrements from the once Wild West. The short/narrative music video is set to a reorganization of composer Antonín Dvořák’s popular 12th String Quartet. The piece, written on a visit to the United States in 1893, incorporates impressions of the country’s melting-pot folk music and its various ethnic influences. The film blends Cowboy Pop culture and Southwestern American Indian motifs and design. It was filmed on location in Panguitch (“Big Fish” in Paiute), Utah, an hour northwest of the famous Monument Valley.

Native – Stephen Kinigopolous
While on a ceremonial walkabout a young boy must defend his tribe against a mysterious force.

Msala (Son) – Joshua Herum
Showcasing a little-known tribe in north-east India called the Uchoi, this film follows the steps of a young boy in search of his father. The audience will experience a bit of traditional Uchoi culture and dress. This is the first time Kokborok, the native Uchoi language, will have been featured in an American film festival.

Cat – Eric Lindstrom
CAT follows a young woman on a walkabout of sorts. She struggles with the visions and voices in her head, wrestles with god, discovers friendship and transforms the way she sees herself. The film’s haltingly quiet visual style conjures the character’s psychotic episodes, against the backdrop of breathtaking Oregon sites. Putting a sympathetic face to schizophrenia, ultimately, CAT is a story of acceptance and hope.

Adherence – Mav Bloc
Over the course of one day in an inpatient psychiatric ward, we witness the intertwined stories of a man on the verge of discharge, an Orthodox Jewish woman whose newborns have strained her marriage, and a man whose treatment at the hands of the mental health system has devastating consequences.

Seven Minutes to Closing – April Abeyta
Two strangers connect in the final minutes before an asteroid impacts and destroys earth.

Promise – Tian Xie
Deep in Yunnan, China, simple peasant parents have raised a smart boy. But life for the family has become impossible financially, so the parents take jobs in a distant city. Promising to return on the new year, they leave their only son to live on his own. Loneliness sets in and the boy stumbles upon a lost piglet. He raises the pig as a member of his family. As the new year gets closer, the boy is forced to make a difficult choice: sell the pig and make a special dinner for parents , or keep his best and only friend.

Hope you can make it!

The Boys Accepted to 2017 Arizona Student Film Festival

Last year I was blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with budding director Tanner Charnstrom. I was pumped to get word that The Boys, about two teen brothers deciding they’ve had enough of being tossed around by the whirlpool of foster care, has been accepted to the 2017 Arizona Student Film Festival and will screen as part of the Phoenix Film Festival on April 8 at 9am at Harkins/Scottsdale/101. If you’re in AZ, go check out Tanner’s great work!

the boys, short film

Seven Minutes to Closing selected for 2017 Kansas City FilmFest

I am excited to announce that Seven Minutes to Closing has been officially selected for screening in the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest, held at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza April 5-9, 2017. Information on the actual date and time of the film’s screening coming soon. So proud of the team!

Being accepted into the Kansas City FilmFest is particularly special, because it was at a Kansas City Women in Film and TV event at the festival last year that the script for Seven Minutes to Closing was awarded the Audience Choice Award. Hopefully I’ll be able to head out to KC again next month to enjoy the festival, as well as have another experience with burnt ends.

Thank you Kansas City FilmFest!

Seven Minutes to Closing has been accepted to the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest.

Seven Minutes to Closing on REELYDOPE Radio

Seven Minutes to Closing director April Abeyta and I had the opportunity to join Dap on a recent episode of the Bay Area-based media and culture podcast, REELYDOPE Radio.

In the first half, April and I discuss our our respective writing/filmmaking backgrounds, how we came about developing the script, and the film’s production process itself. In the second half of the show, Dap tosses harder questions our way and we dive into indie filmmaking.

Stick to the end to find out some special tidbits about the social habits of trees and our favorite films.

Presenting the Latest Still of ‘Seven Minutes to Closing’

Today I’m excited to present the second official film still of Seven Minutes to Closing. The image features Sayo (Noreen Lee) struggling to digest the news of the planet’s upcoming demise.

Seven Minutes to Closing is a short film about two strangers meeting and connecting in the final minutes before an asteroid impacts and destroys earth.

The film was written and produced by me. Directed by April Abeyta. Produced by Ephraim Walker. It features Trestin George (Fruitvale Station, Murder in the First) and Noreen Lee (Steve Jobs, The Purple Onion).

We’re currently raising funds to help with production and distribution. In exchange for contributions, we’re offering streams and downloads of the film, copies of the script, and an invitation to a private screening. Please consider contributing to our film. We have just 13 days left in our campaing.

You can keep up with film by signing up for our newsletter, or you can follow along via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Latest on ‘Seven Minutes to Closing’

This morning I’m excited to share that Seven Minutes to Closing is completely finished! We locked the film on Monday and promptly submitted it to several festivals. There are several more festivals we’ll be submitting the film to over the coming months. You know the festival game can be treacherous, so we’ll see what happens.

Today, I’d like to share the Seven Minutes to Closing official movie poster, designed by Rachel Proctor. Also, below you’ll find the film’s first official still.

Lastly, there are but 18 days left in the Seven Minutes to Closing Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. We’re steadily making progress and are very thankful for everyone who has donated or helped spread the word about the campaign. If you’re interested in helping us produce this movie, please visit our campaign page. Our goal is to get to 50% funded by the end of this week. Thank you!


‘Seven Minutes to Closing’ Website Launched!

I’m happy to share that SEVEN MINUTES TO CLOSING‘s website has been launched! On the site, you can learn more about our cast and crew and sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest.

SEVEN MINUTES TO CLOSING is a short film about two strangers meeting in the final minutes before an asteroid impacts and destroys earth. It’s a story about how the need for human connection, especially during traumatic circumstances, trumps the social and cultural differences that otherwise keep people apart.

The film features Trestin George (FRUITVALE STATION, OLDE E, FIG), Noreen Lee (THE PURPLE ONION, STEVE JOBS) and newcomer Luke Myers.

I’m the writer on the project and am co-producing the film with Ephraim Walker, who worked as a Consulting Producer on the indie hit FRUITVALE STATION and was recently named President of Production at the independent production and distribution company D Street Pictures.

We finished shooting the short film last month and are in the midst of post-production. A rough cut is finished and we’ve been meeting with sound designers and color correctionists.

You can also follow SEVEN MINUTES TO CLOSING on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Here’s a link to take you right to the newsletter sign-up page.


“Artist of the Month” at Above the Line Artistry

So grateful to Above the Line Artistry for singling me out to be their June spotlight artist.

Above the Line Artistry is a group of filmmaking and screenwriting professionals that was established to encourage collaboration, mentorship and to help push projects forward.

As the group’s “Artist of the Month” for June, I answered a handful of questions about what I’m currently working on, my creative process, the tools I use when I’m creating and what and who I find inspiring. You can check out the post here.

Thank you Samantha Kolesnik and Vaness Wright, the administrators of the group, for highlighting my work and creative process.
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 9.41.40 AM

SEVEN MINUTES TO CLOSING wins Audience Award at KCWIFT/KCFF Staged Reading

A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of visiting Kansas City for the Kansas City FilmFest. My short script, SEVEN MINUTES TO CLOSING, was a finalist in the 2016 Kansas City Women in Film & TV Short Screenplay contest and as such was awarded a staged reading in front of an audience at the festival.

I’m ecstatic to share that the script won the Audience Award. It was gifted an impassioned performance by Kansas City talent Frank Oakley III, Johanna Lee and Davis DeRock and a smooth narrative reading by Christal Watson. Sending out an emphatic, heartfelt thank you to the actors and reader, who gave life to the script.

Congratulations to Mariana Serapico, who won the grand prize for Best Screenplay with her script THE GRANDAD PROJECT. And my compliments to Marjory Kaptanoglu‘s script RUN, MY DEAR, which won the prize for Best Female Protagonist.

While at the festival, I was able to attend a Women Making Movies Brunch Panel featuring Andrea Sporcic Klund, Kerri Yost, Cynthia J. Popp, Karen Bernstein and Michelle Davidson. I also got the opportunity to learn from Angelo Pizzo (RUDY, HOOSIERS) in a screenwriting panel. Time for watching movies was relatively limited, but I did catch DRIVING WHILE BLACK, a hilarious film by Paul Sapiano featuring Dominique Purdy.

During the short bouts away from the festival, I experienced BBQ burnt ends at the historic Arthur Bryant’s, caught to catch up with a couple of writing friends, and saw lots of tulips.
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Recap of the Hollywood Inclusion Crisis Panel

Earlier this month I participated in a panel hosted by Berkeley Media Review, UC Berkeley Delta Kappa Alpha and Filmmaking at Cal. The Hollywood Inclusion Crisis panel was created in response to the #OscarsSoWhite response to the lack of inclusion in Hollywood. The panelists included Ephraim Walker (Creative Producer on FRUITVALE STATION, from Oakland), Cecil Brown (UC Berkeley African American Studies, Author), Andrew Barlow (UC Berkeley Sociology), Da Carla (Director, Actor, Performance Artist), Kristine Stolakis (Documentary Filmmaker), and myself. I was asked to discuss the lack of representation of people from the LGBTQ community.

I believe that the overall lack of inclusion in films is not just socially damaging, but it’s bad business. Movie goers want to see different people and stories and we’re over having white actors play people of different races (I’m looking at you, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT and GODS OF EGYPT). A UCLA report from earlier this month has found that movies featuring a diverse cast do better at the box office.

The overall response from most of my fellow panelists was to encourage screenwriters and filmmakers to take matters into their own hands. Focus on producing quality work that represents the wide diversity of our country and world and don’t wait for Hollywood to catch up. Equipment and film education is easily accessible so there is really no excuse to not make your own films nowadays. With The Academy being an average 94 percent white, 77 percent male, and 63 years of age, it’s not likely that the Hollywood gatekeepers will shift their thinking any time soon. We have to produce the kind of content we want to see.