History of Avalonia Festival: Avalonia Festival I live event was held Saturday, December 9, 2017, at Rhodywood Studios in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. and was subsequently named one of FilmFreeway’s Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals by participating filmmakers, that we would go on to receive several more times. We are very proud of and thankful for this honor!
Avalonia Festival II: 4/20 took place place Friday night April 20, 2018 at 7pm again at Rhodywood.
Avalonia Festival III took place December 7, 2018 at the historic Courthouse Center for the Arts in West Kingston, RI near The University of Rhode Island.
For those keeping score at home, in 2018 we experimented with having the festival twice in the same calendar year. In 2019, we decided to go back to the once a year schedule for our original Avalonia Festival of Short Films, Web-Series, Trailers, & Film Photos etc knowing that we had a big announcement to come…
In 2020, we are adding Avalonia 7 Theater Festival to our line-up! From now on, Avalonia 7 Theater Festival will take place every year in the early Summer, while our original Avalonia Festival of Short Films, Web-Series, Trailers, & Film Photos etc will continue every December!
Avalonia Festival proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world’s best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.
Let’s relive and celebrate the magic of our first Avalonia Festival! Award Winning Films and Photography were shared for the audience, complimentary refreshments were served, media from neighboring states interviewed filmmakers, and attending filmmakers participated in Q and A’s with the audience.
As part of the festivities, Avalonia Award Winning Filmmakers Christopher Annino (Waves) and William Lepczyk (Concretopia) both discussed their works with the audience.
Here’s William Lepczyk of Marbiline with his “Avalonia Festival Sight & Sound Award” winning film Concretopia, an amazingly designed execution and merger of Cinematography and Audio Design.
Annino also lead a group of reporters from Mystic News to cover the event!
Avalonia Festival I featured a special Award Presentation for filmmaker and activist Dr. Judith Lynn Stillman.
This award is named in honor of the 19th century African-American activist, abolitionist, philanthropist and Rhode Islander who championed the arts, fought through hard times, and was a leader and role model for all people who value human rights.
“Christiana Carteaux Bannister, a woman of African-American and Narragansett Indian heritage, had already achieved success as a hair stylist (and wigmaker) in pre-Civil War America. Carteaux Bannister was born Christiana Babcock in Rhode Island circa 1820. After moving to Boston in the 1840s, she became a skilled hairdresser (or “hair doctress,” as stylists were known at the time). Following a failed marriage that gave her the last name Carteaux, she went into business as Madame Carteaux.
Carteaux ended up operating several salons in Boston, and one in Worcester, Massachusetts; she also produced a line of hair care products. Her businesses did so well that when she wed her second husband, Edward M. Bannister, in 1857, she was able to support him as he pursued a career as a painter. Carteaux also used her financial acumen to support worthy causes, such as raising funds for the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, which was made up of African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
Rising racial tensions prompted the Bannisters to move to Rhode Island after the war, but Carteaux Bannister was able to open another salon in Providence. Her charitable actions continued as well: in 1890, she founded the Home for Aged and Colored Women (which still operates under the name Bannister Nursing Care Center). A century after her 1902 death, a bust of Carteaux Bannister was dedicated in Rhode Island’s State House.” – Sara Kettler from Black History Month: 5 African-American Entrepreneurs
We think that Christiana Carteaux Bannister’s spirit and tenacity lives on through the worthy recipient of her award this year at Avalonia Festival, Dr. Judith Lynn Stillman, known for her diverse talents in the performing arts, music and education, including her work with genocide education and Refugee Artistry.
Judith Lynn Stillman, the Artist-in-Residence and a Professor of Music at Rhode Island College, enjoys a distinguished international career as pianist, composer, choral conductor, music director and artistic visionary, focusing upon using the arts as a voice for social justice. judithlynnstillman.com
“With great appreciation for her continued support of all people through the arts, and for representing Rhode Island with style, class, hard work and talent, we will honor the wonderfully active Dr. Judith Lynn Stillman at Avalonia Festival.” — Mike Messier, Director, Avalonia Festival.
Avalonia Festival I Awards are as follows:
[A few films have earned Special Recognition Awards with “titles of Awards” that were not listed on our initial entry forms; these Special Recognition Awards aim to complement the established categories we are also presenting. We greatly thank all submitting filmmakers for your time and talents! PLEASE SHARE, RETWEET, INSTA, REDDIT, whatever you like!]
Let’s start with a bang with Mis Entrañas, our Winner of Best Music Video 180 (3 Minutes & Under) submitted by our friends at Al tun tune .
Collapsing by Brian Ratigan of non-films is a Winner of a special Award for Avalonia Dream 1 Minute Movie.
Best Dramatic Short Film (11 Minutes & Under) goes to first time filmmaker Sam Kolber with his narrative RELOAD.
Zig Zag – Sophia’s Tragedy wins a special tribute award, The Joe Jafo Hard Rockin’ Music Video Avalonia Award by Minnesota’s Amber “Danger” Johnson. Joe loved hard rock and was a great friend, guitarist, and Actor. Joe’s music lives on in the videos he left behind including the title track from his album Suburban Diary:
We know Joe would love the humor and musical excellence in Danger’s video:
El Amor by Daniel Alejandro and his team is Our Winner for Best Music Video Short (11 minutes & Under). This dynamic performer has many great videos at Daniel Alejandro
Life takes on its early challenges for our protagonist in Guantanomo Baby, Winner of our Comedy 180 (3 minutes & under) category, by Dieter Primig
Feeling inspired? Enter Avalonia Festival IV here:
Certainly, infant-hood is something we can all relate to – if not quite remember!
Here’s our Winning Dramatic 1 Minute Movie 14:00 starring YUSUKE HONDA from Director KAZUYA ASHIZAWA who says, “This is my first directed film. I hope this work will be a starting point for future careers.” We think it will be! Contact Kazuya Ashizawa
14:00 Director Kazuya sent us these nice words about his film’s Award & a brief Q & A:
“I am sorry that I could not come from Japan due to the shooting schedule.
Tonight, thank you for seeing my work “14: 00”. I am very honored.
I am looking forward to seeing you again next year.
Cheers to a wonderful festival!”
Q: Is this work fiction?
Kazuya: No, it is a documentary. I learned that he will hold a recital near Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which caused a major accident in 2011. I took him for three months to the recital.
Q: Has his recital been successful?
Kazuya: Yes, that was a wonderful performance.
He began to be nervous from around a month before the recital and he was in the worst state on the day of recital. I was convinced that he will come back without playing at all, but as soon as he sat on the chair he turned into a different person.
In this work, I drew a picture of his tension.
Stroke by Jiani Zhao and Emanuele Romano is our Animation Award Short Film Winner this year is also our choice for Maurice Messier Award.
Logline: One day in a hospital room, a man recalls his experience of having a stroke in his home. Started with a strong headache, consequently the symptoms of the stroke alternate with peculiar vision he has regarding himself and the reality around him.
Our Winner for Dark Comedy 1 Minute Movie is The Other Identity by Jeff Vande Zande, which really is a wonderful take on many film genres.
A special award goes to Pollyanna from Roman Gubin for Best Underground 1 Minute Movie for this inspiring performance by “Josie” as the lead.
All things are possible. With that in mind, we are very touched and motivated by the efforts of Director Bo Bigelow, Falmouth, Maine, USA who created our Winning Documentary Short (11 minutes & Under) in honor of one his children: Tess is Not Alone. Mr. Bigelow also runs his own film festival: Rare Disease Film Festival
We are pleased to announce Avalonia Festival Best Poster for Inseparable , designed and submitted by Director Michael McClendon in collaboration with Pesh Patel, who provided the graphics. The Actresses Francine Locke and Taylor Lyons provide great glares that match their performances in the actual piece.
Inseparable is also our winner for Best Preview – Fiction. This certainly looks to be an engaging film!
The film Dreamer by Malik Al-zuhairi is the winner of Avalonia Artist’s Courage Award for truth in filmmaking and dedication to art. Please take the time to watch this important film
Producer Craig Downing submitted The Receptionist on behalf of his team for our winning Comedy Short Film (11 Minutes & Under). There were several great comedies entered into Avalonia Festival, and ultimately the witty repertoire between his Actors took the nod. Password: made_by_virtual_assistants
Zoorini by Steve Vasiliou is a wonderful celebration of many animals and Winner of Animalia 1 Minute Movie. Animals going about their everyday business in peace and harmony. Zoo(animal in Greek)+Irini(peace) =”Zoorini”,
an amusing one minute film showing paradise beyond our selfish existence. Here are stills from the film:
Yes, Avalonia Festival features films starring animals! Our Feline 1 Minute Movie Award Winner comes to us from Saeed amin javaheri with his heartfelt film Troubling
For our Avalonia Poetic Film Award, we present Home is a Privilege by Anne Patricia Murray , who describes her work “as an emotional response to the life of a nomadic artist in parallel to the current mass exodus of refugees from Syria who are now barred from entry into the United States because of a recent executive order created by President Trump. The artist, rejected by her family because of her beliefs, took the initiative to create art in different parts of the world, enabling her to understand and experience the emotional stress of not having family to rely on, not having a real home for the past several years, moving from one artist residency to the other, searching for the meaning in the word home. This work is intended to inspire some understanding from the public of the trauma and feelings surrounding displacement, whether by force or by necessity, and the acceptance, that home is a place accessible to only the privileged few.”
With a similar topic, in SHAME by ALBERTO REY GARCIA, Ahmad, an innocent Syrian child travels with his father (and a hundred more refugees) on a dinghy to Europe. He sees his dreams of getting to the promised land broken after the sinking of the dinghy. We are awarding Alberto’s powerful animation with the special recognition of Universal Courage Award Avalonia Festival 2017.
We are proud to name a special award for International Romantic Comedy to filmmaker Marius Conrotto of Barcelona and his team from Croissant , a film about love and a kind of destiny. You never know what you’ll wake up to! We hope to share the film soon!
For more brotherly love, and love of meditation, let’s enjoy PLUCK TRICK by Siva Kumar, winner of Best Comedy 1 Minute Movie.
From Director D.K. Odessa of Durham, North Carolina, USA, we honor Gull II with Best Performance Art 180 (3 minutes and under). The short is currently on the festival circuit, so D.K. has shared some stills of this great short featuring his wonderful lead Gini Brown.
For Best Dark Comedy 180, Kyle Anthony Smith brings us Hair of the Dog, an insightful and non-preachy take on the nature of addiction. Viewer discretion is advised.
Need to lighten your mind? We’ve awarded a special Comedic Mischief Award to I.H.F.Z. lead by Director Charles H. Hinton (a.k.a Prince Charles), a self made filmmaker who enjoys harnessing all the mad, zany, funny, violent and sometimes political voices inside his head, and without warning, flinging them on to the screen. There’s something about I.H.F.Z. that reminds of us are own backyard, Zombie film-making roots and it’s just a whole lot of fun:
For Best Preview – Non-Fiction we are proud to honor a very unique vision from Outlier Moving Pictures . Inspired by Polaroid stills and short poems by Jack Cochran, The Cost of Living is the first film produced by Jack and film-making partner Pamela Falkenberg.
Best Traditional Animation 180 goes to the cerebral Aaron Weinstein’s The Myth of a Standing Ovation of Rescue Dog Films
Speaking of dogs, Our Life With Dogo Aregentino, submitted by Italian Director Manuel Rocco on behalf of Dogodelbiancomanto , is our winner of Canine Short Documentary.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Australian student filmmaker Annie Liana Scott and her film Nadia for Best Canine Short Narrative from Avalonia Festival 2017 for this whimsical adventure.
We are honoring Brown University Student Miranda Pla and her interview subjects as a collective with a very special University Courage Award for Miranda’s brave film on the subject of bullying titled The Stronger Ones.
Best Motion Graphics Animation 180 goes to Sinformist by Jade Yuchun Chao , who discovered her love for 2D illustration and design at the age 14 in Taiwan. She went on to major in 3D animation in her undergraduate years and motion graphics in her graduate studies. Jade currently works as a freelance designer in New York. We hope to share her film soon!
HUNG BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE EARTH wins our Award for Best One Actress Short Film (11 Minutes and Under) is Congratulations to Producer Dario Patrocinio , Writer/Director/Actress Noemi Rossano and the whole cast and crew! Preview:
Our ThoughtCrime category, named in honor of George Orwell’s 1984, brings us the thought-provoking winner of ThoughtCrime 180: Synergy by Farid Salamé of Lebanon.
ThoughtCrime is a unique category for Avalonia Festival, in honor of George Orwell. In Mr. Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Thought Police (Thinkpol) are the secret police of the superstate Oceania, who discover and punish thoughtcrime, personal and political thoughts unapproved by the Party. The Thinkpol use criminal psychology and omnipresent surveillance (telescreens, microphones, informers) to search for and find, monitor and arrest all citizens of Oceania who would commit thoughtcrime in challenge to the status quo authority of the Party and the regime of Big Brother. Orwell’s concept of “thought policing” derived from the intellectual self-honesty shown by a person’s “power of facing unpleasant facts”; thus, criticizing the prevailing ideas of British society often placed Orwell in conflict with ideologues, people advocating “smelly little orthodoxies.” Filmmakers entering this category are to be applauded for their courage.
With that in mind, our ThoughtCrime 1 Minute Movie Award goes to JASON DeFREITAS of Porcelain Bomb and his film Other News , which features what we would see as a modern day Max Headroom for the distorted generation.
Our ThoughtCrime Short Film Award Winner (11 minutes & under) is METHOD by The Galvin Brothers of Douglas, Massachusetts, USA. Logline: A young actor returns to confront his mentor; someone whose influence shaped his mind for both of their fates.
Jeffrey Lee DuPree’s Santa Klawn Concept Art is a winner for Avalonia Christmas Arstistry. Congratulations Jeffrey!
We have a special award for Best One Actress Horror Film for the incredible team of Writer/Director Sara Eustaquio and her fierce young Actress Jaimie Marchuk in Mirror We first saw this film on a big screen in person at our friend Skip Shea’s event Shawna Shea Film Festival
We were blown away and had to Award Sara and Jaimie ourselves!
We have a tie for Best 1 Minute Documentary with two highly relevant films of international importance. At 7. and 8. July 2017 the leaders of the 20 richest countries of the world met in the city of Hamburg/Germany. The major of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz announced the meeting as a “Festival of Democracy”. Over 30.000 police officers where in the city to protect it. Up to 100.000 people came to Hamburg to protest against it.
Lars Kollros and Alexandra Zaitseva accompanied the week of protests with their cameras. This 60 seconds short film shows how the democratic Federal Republic of Germany reacted on protest while the G20-Summit in Hamburg. 60 seconds democracy website
You can learn more and support Lars’s efforts here: Lars’s project page!
RIP Recycling Interred People by Steve Vasilou is our 2nd Winning 1 Minute Doc. Funerals are big business. In some countries like Greece, graves are reused over and over again. R.I.P. can be reinterpreted as Recycling Interred People. In many cities, this process yields 8 million euros profit per year for local government. The bureaucrats turn a cold shoulder when confronted by grieving families who have to endure and watch their kin be buried, then unburied (skeletons with intact clothes) and have their remains thrown away or put into a little box. The funeral debate is an international, religious and social issue. This film takes the viewer on a historical journey and contrasts it with the present. Life becomes death. Our material world turns to rubbish. Rest in Peace has become as difficult as Life in Peace.
Award Winner for Animation 1 Minute Movie goes to the enchanting The Painter by the highly skilled Giang Do of Singapore. This is Giang’s website whenpenguinsfly
Award Winner for Performance Art 1 Minute Movie goes to Salt Skull by Manu Gomez of Belgium.
We love our Award Winner for Fantasy 1 Minute Movie: Rabbit Girl from Studio Asparagus which shows a fantastic world through the eyes of a book seller. Thanks to Riccardo Bernasconi , Francesca Reverdito and the whole Studio Asparagus team.
Aleksandra Dimoska directs and Vince Breheny writes a truly unique character study, and winner of Best Performance Art Short for Merv Nickleman Beneath The Lyrics.
Use the password ” Avalonia ” to watch Aleksandra and Merv’s film right here!
Ready for some Horror? Our winning Horror 1 Minute Movie is titled Something is Wrong from Director Teo Jansen based on an idea by Mauro Croche.
Here is a very special Early Selection Award Winner on the theme of Avalonia itself; from Itai Hagage we are proud to present Below 0.
The animated short is about a meteorologist who narrates his experience in the Arctic through a voice recording; and how his life is linked physically and spiritually to nature. More info on Below 0
Enter this year’s Avalonia Festival here!
Another selection for Avalonia Themed Photograph is this piece by G’son Biswas of Bangladesh in the series Tainted Tales which deals with sadhus, bhakts, mavericks and other non/spiritual people from bangladesh. It features close up portraits of the people which eccentrically focuses on the life experience of the people highlighted through their facial structure, pattern and expressions. The series contains portraits of people from various spiritual ‘mazar’/’darga’ (culturally involved religious places) and baul sects. Each of the people are individualistically engaged in their own realm of belief, thought and ideology.
Ashley Shea directs and performs a Violet Venable monologue from “Suddenly Last Summer” by the legendary Tennessee Williams. Winner of Avalonia Festival’s Best One Actress or Actor Monologue 180 Category (for pieces 3 minutes and under). The monologue was filmed and produced by Chris Esper of Stories in Motion
Back to the darkside is our winner for Horror 180, what I would call a traditional anxiety horror titled Cloth by Emmanuel Delfin
Here is the film poster and 30 second trailer for Rendez-vous
Winner of Sci-Fi 1 Minute Movie is The Ghost Boat by Octavian Repede which is an eerie tale of an abandoned ship which reminds attuned viewers of the real life story known as The Philadelphia Experiment. Octavian currently has his film entered in more festivals and is not able to share the piece online right now, however, he has provided this still:
Back on the sea, Writer/Director Henry P. Gravelle and Actor Jack Shea win for Best One Actor Monologue Short (11 Minutes and under) for the sea tale that is the Captains Monologue.
Our ocean trilogy, continues with Waves, submitted by Connecticut’s Christopher Annino, on behalf of his team. This lovely contemplation on time, love and loss is our Winner for Avalonia Themed Romance
Sci-Fi Short Film (11 minutes & under) Winner is the wonderfully fun, Dr. Who-esque, María Fernanda in time by Director Xavier Pijuan Sala. Xavier has chosen to share the film’s teaser with us here:
Writer/Director Ken Williams and associates submitted The Final Fairytale which reminds us that there is always time for a story in our “Storyteller Award” winning film.
Our live event also featured a special presentation of Avalonia Ambassador of the Arts Award to Tony Demings and the patrons of our host venue Rhodywood.
Avalonia Festival founder and Distance from Avalon creator Mike Messier discusses his own work with Vicky Richards on Frames Per Second.
And why the name Avalonia, you might ask?
A selection from the fantasy novella Distance from Avalon by Mike Messier may provide…
CHAPTER 24 – So Why Avalon?
And Distance answers.
“Well, while King Arthur might argue differently, our New England lineage traces to Avalonia. Avalonia, a continent lost is the mists of time, as if dissipated by magic. And I collect lost things.
Relics. Diamonds in the rough and mere clay yearning to be molded into vases. And with this palette, I give you Avalon, our humble tribute to the once and future Avalonia. For I believe we’ve recreated a little bit of that old Avalonia magic right here.”
Shadow, “And why relive the past?”
Heartbreak, “To get it right.”
Joe, “And re-created magic? Sounds like a bit of a hoax.”
Distance takes this seriously. “Ah, my man, to re-create is to create. To morph is to provide. Creation is a celebration.”
And Heartbreak curls into Distance’s lap like the friendliest cat.
Heartbreak speaks, “A celebration of self. And self is a reflection of all. All that is and all that will be. Creation is all that there is.”
Thanks to all filmmakers, whether selected as an Award winner or not, for making Avalonia Festival I a success!
You can enter this year’s Avalonia Festival here!