American Pavilion Celebrates Diversity in 2019 with Extraordinary Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Films

The Two Gay Geeks received this press release from the American Pavilion and Chicart PR.

There are some exciting films celebrating diversity that will be hosted at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. We will have special representation at Cannes this year by Patricia Chica.

Let us know what you think about these films in the comments section below.


29 Films to be Showcased Telling Global Stories Including 17 Female Directors, 6 Documentaries and 11 Timely LGBTQ Topics to Debut on the Croisette!

Los Angeles, CA — The American Pavilion,, celebrating 31 years as the epicenter of American hospitality and communication at the Cannes International Film Festival, is thrilled to debut a richly diverse 29 incredible new films between the five showcases – Student Short Films, Student Documentaries, Emerging Filmmaker Short Films, Emerging Filmmaker Documentaries and Emerging Filmmaker LGBTQ Showcase Films as part of their Emerging Filmmaker Showcase series. Prize packages for these showcases are sponsored by film industry veterans such as KCET Media Group’s FINE CUT Festival of Films, Final Draft, Write Brothers Movie Magic Screenwriter, Jungle Software, International Documentary Association, Screening Services Group, Simple DCP, Michael Wiese Productions Books, and ESE Film Workshops Online. Beloved screen icons featured in this year’s showcase series films include: M. Emmet Walsh (“Blood Simple,” Blade Runner”), Wallace Langham (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Social Network”), Michelle Davidson (“House of Cards,” “Halt and Catch Fire”), among others.

“We have such great diversity amongst the films and international filmmakers, with more than half of this year’s films directed or co-directed by women. Our showcases offer a voice to filmmakers from around the globe and that is something we are simply thrilled to be able to offer,” states AmPav founder Julie Sisk.

Four student films this year are showcased as winners of the KCET Fine Cut Series:

“One Small Step” directed by Aqsa Altaf, University Southern California
“Al Imam” directed by Omar Al Dakheel, University Southern California
“Raccoon and the Light” directed by Hanna Kim, California Institute for the Arts
“Where I Was Born” directed by Jungmin Cha, California Institute for the Arts

This year’s showcase includes incredibly diverse themes including: dealing with victims of communism; social issues permeating throughout South Korean culture; a Muslim woman takes a stand for justice through a progressive practice of Islam; journey to the largest record store in the world; a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, former WW2 spy, songwriter and Grandma pursues a career writing Death Metal music; after the justice system fails her, a woman’s journey to turn #metoo into #nomore; a nonverbal autistic teen finds his voice; dark jazz in a dark sociopolitical climate visualizes a transformed, brighter future; An Asian American soldier thrown into a Nazi camp as his family back home are forced into the Manzanar American Japanese concentration camp; A young man’s transition; a Hasidic man who steps out of his daily life; a woman cancer patient sets out to find an unrequited love for her husband; A young man is diagnosed as HIV; A teenager tries to come out to his father and gain acceptance; Aftermath of human rights violations in the LGBTQ community; A Syrian refugee and an Irish Tourist spend a night together; A Crisis Negotiator talks a jumper off a ledge; the struggle of intersex people; and marriage & drag queens.

Emerging Filmmaker Documentaries:

Death Metal Grandma
2018, 13 min., USA, Documentary
Director: Leah Galant
Writer: Leah Galant, Sean Weiner
Producer: Sean Weiner, Elizabeth Pauker, Christine Wexler, Clifford Miu, Linhan Zhang
Cast: Inge Ginsberg, Lucia Caruso Pedro DaSilva
Death Metal Grandma follows the story of 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, former WW2 spy and famous songwriter Inge Ginsberg as she decides to pursue a new career: Death Metal.

My Grandfather’s Memory Book
2018, 5 min., USA, Documentary/Animation
Director/Writer/Producer: Colin Levy
Cast: Colin Levy, Ron Levy, Byron Levy
A personal reflection about an unusual sketchbook that captures a lifetime of memories, connecting three generations through drawings, writings and dialogue.

Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Short Films:

10 Syllables [Un-Con-Scious/In-Tox-I-Ca-Ted/Fe-Male]
2019, 16 min., USA, Drama
Writer/Director: Emily Skyle-Golden
Producer: Ryan Golden, Alphonse Polito, Tyler Bourns
Cast: Evan Faunce, Jasmeet Baduwalia, Riley McKinney
After the justice system fails her, Parker sets off on an inspiring journey to turn everyone’s #metoo into #nomore.

2018, 16 min., USA, Drama
Director: Thiago Dadalt
Writer: Thiago Dadalt, Dru Miller
Producer: Thiago Dadalt, Dru Miller, Ekin Ergen, Bruna Nogueira, Andre Chesini
Co-produced: Dawnella Trammell
Line Producers – Tuna Erturk, Mehmet Gungoren, Damaris Pinheiro
Cast: Robert Solomon, Piercey Dalton
When a nonverbal autistic teen’s family is falling apart, he must find his voice to keep them together.

2018, 5 min., USA/Canada, Animation/Music
Writer/Director/Music: Carolyn Downie
Dark jazz in a dark sociopolitical climate with a vision of a transformed, brighter future

Kommando 1944
2018, 16 min., USA, Drama/War/Social Justice
Writer/Director: Derek Quick
Producers: Derek Quick, Lucy Quick, Nicholas Nathaniel
Cast: Daniel Joo, Jeff Seid, Bejo Dohmen, Louie Chapman, Aramis Merlin.
An Asian American soldier is thrown into a Nazi work camp on a farm in Germany as his family back home in America are forced into an American Japanese Concentration camp in Manzanar California.

Let’s See How Fast this Baby Will Go
2017, 15 min., Australia, Drama/Comedy/Biography
Writer/Director: Julietta Boscolo
Producer: Eva Di Blasio
Cast: Liv Hewson, Tara Morice
Pregnant and in labor, a teenager decides to buy a new car to take her to the hospital and ultimately take control of her life for the first time. Based on Gloria Harrison’s true story of the same name as first heard on This American Life.

Sorry, Not Sorry
2018, 7 min., USA, Comedy
Writer/Director: Monique Sorgen
Producer: Monique Sorgen, Darryl Pugh Jr.
Cast: Jessica Oyelowo, M. Emmet Walsh, Wallace Langham
A couple’s one-upmanship reaches unbelievable heights after a man eats his wife’s plums.

2018, 16 min., United Kingdom, Drama
Writer/Director: Richard Prendergast
Producer: Rachel Prendergast
Cast: Jolie Lennon, Benjamin Hartley, Maisie Prendergast, Gaynor Fraser, Evie Prendergast, Mick Fryer-Wesley, Willow Major
A car. A family. An unwanted destination.

Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Student Short Films:

Empty Skies
2018, 18 min., USA, Drama, Ohio University School of Film
Writer/Director: Wenting Deng Fisher, Luke Fisher
Producer: Patrick Reasonover, Matt Edwards, Victoria Hills, Michael Arter, Curt Chatham
Cast: Arthur Welch, ViviAnn Yee, Shu Lan Tuan, Gabriel Tsai, Zhan Wang
A boy and his new friend hunt their village’s last sparrow for a reward to save his sick Grandma during Communist China’s Great Leap Forward (1958-1961).
Note: 2018 Student Academy Award finalist

Esta Es Tu Cuba (This Is Your Cuba)
2018, 20 min., USA, Drama/Historical (subtitles), Chapman University
Director: Brian Robau
Writer: Dan Klein
Producer: John Sayage
Cast: Mauricio Alemany, Amber Rivera, Roy Sanchez, Isabella Gandulla
In the wake of Fidel Castro’s rise to power, over 14,000 unaccompanied children fled to the United States in hopes of a better life. Inspired by their stories, Esta Es Tu Cuba follows Anton, a young boy who is thrust into adulthood as revolution tears his family apart.
Note: 2018 Student Academy Award winner; 2019 TV Academy College TV Awards winner

One Small Step
2017, 13 min., USA, Drama, USC
Director: Aqsa Altaf
Writer: Travis Rush
Producer: Alexandra Christenson, Derek Tonks
Cast: Charlie Reddix, Destiny Toliver, Avanna King
A 9-year-old girl attempts to juggle the responsibilities of school and her younger siblings after her mother goes missing.

Raccoon And The Light
2018, 4 min., Animation, USA, California Institute of the Arts
Director: Hanna Kim
A raccoon finds a flashlight in the woods.
Note: 2018 Student Academy Award winner

2019, 14 min., USA, Drama, Orange County School of the Arts
Director: Adrian Delcan
Writer: Gavin Conlon, Adrian Delcan, Tim Jaehyung Park
Producer: Isabel Mansour, Gavin Conlon
Cast: Tim Jaehyung Park, David Pulido, Pia Smith, Keith Giles, Triniti Rowe,
When a humanoid robot is assigned to look after a trouble making orphan, the two grow to form a touching friendship.

Where I Was Born
2018, 5min., USA, Animation, California Institute of the Arts
Director: Jungmin Cha
Through short, humorous vignettes, one presents a critique of the diverse social issues permeating throughout South Korean culture.

Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Student Documentaries:

Al Imam
2017, 19 min., Documentary, University Southern California
Director: Omar Al Dakheel
Cast: Ani Zonneveld
Despite controversy and threats, a Muslim woman takes a stand for justice through a progressive practice of Islam.

The Flip Side
2018, 8 min., USA, Documentary, Florida State University
Producer/Writer/Director: William Stead
Cast: Doug Allen, Michelle Allen, Taylor Hammersla
Journey to the largest record store in the world to discover whether the vinyl record can escape its seemingly inevitable extinction.

Hold The Sun In Your Hands: The Erika Jacoby Story
2019, 8 min., USA, Drama, Harvard-Westlake School
Director/animators: Talia Abel, Xenia Bernal, Ian Kim, Alejandro Moses, Hank Schoen, India Spencer, Eva Suissa, and Michael Zambrano
Producer: Cheri Gaulke, Samara Hutman
Cast: Erika Jacoby
Hand-drawn animation illustrates Holocaust Survivor Erika Jacoby’s memories of surviving Auschwitz.

Emerging Filmmaker Showcase LGBTQ Films:

Birthday Girl
2019, 6 min., USA, Drama/Youth/LGBTQ, The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Jim Fall
Writer: Jim Fall, Nathan Adloff
Producer: Shawn Ryan, John Ainsworth, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Skylar Ellis, Kenny Johnston, Halsey Williamson, Maddie Thorpe, Elizabeth Nelson, Judge Cantrell, Seith Weinfeld, Isa Martinez-Moore, Karen Moore
On her birthday, Brynn (formerly Brian) is surprised by her mother and friends. Will her father show up to the party or continue to miss out on seeing his daughter grow up?

Black Hat
2018, 15 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ
Director: Sarah Smith
Writer: Phillip Guttmann
Producer: Yaniv Rokah, Loriel Samaras, Phillip Guttmann
Cast: Adam Silver, Shelly Kurtz, Sebastian Velmont
At first blush, Shmuel is a pious Hasidic man leading a fairly simple life. By day he dutifully prays at the local synagogue and manages a busy dry cleaner. But when his wife and daughters leave town for a few days, Shmuel will step out of his daily life and into a more complex world lit by the night. When he misplaces his black hat along the way, Shmuel’s two lives will interconnect in a way he never expected.

Elwood Takes A Lover
2018, 16 min., USA, Comedy/Drama/LGBTQ, University of Southern California
Director: John Ira Palmer
Writer: Youthana Yuos, John Ira Palmer
Producer: Gracie Corapi, John Ira Palmer
Cast: Sarah Lilly, Warren Sweeney, César Carmona, Alex Egan
Cancer patient Hannah fears her husband Elwood will have no one to care for him after she’s gone. Long suspecting Elwood had feelings for another man in his youth, Hannah sets out to find his unrequited love in hopes of reuniting them.

Heads Up
2019, 6 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ, Florida State University
Writer/Director: Alex McFry
Producer: Billy Kalstrom
Cast: Thomas Bretz, Larry Kastner, Bijan Adili, Xia Orozco
When another random hookup leaves Ethan with more than he bargained for, he’s forced to face the unfortunate realities that come with anonymous, unprotected sex: HIV. Once he is diagnosed, his life is flipped upside down as he learns to cope with his diagnosis and the stigma the virus carries.

2019, 8 min., USA, Drama/Youth/Coming of Age/LGBTQ, The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Writer/Director: Shawn Ryan
Assistant Directors: Monica Jeon, Sadie Scott, Emily Doran
Producer: Shawn Ryan, John Ainsworth, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Tucker Gold, Kelton Jones, Sadie Scott, Emily Doran, and Karen Moore,
Maya Mendoza, Katy Denebeim, Xaia Leith, GraceAnn Lesser, Leia Figueroa, Chiya Newman, Monica Jeon, Spencer Davis, Caryn Thomason, Paityn Stephan, Eliza Aiken
Fourteen-year-old Henry Murphy is trying to come out to his father just before Christmas. What will happen when Henry asks Santa for the most important thing — acceptance?

Hiding In Daylight
2018, 15 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ
Director: Cheryl Allison
Writer: Gregory G. Allen
Producer: Carina Rush, Gregory G. Allen, Cheryl Allison
Cast: Judy McLane, Julee Cerda, Jim Newman, Gary Hilborn
After a gay purge, four best friends are surviving by living in fake marriages to each other. They secretly meet once a week to see their true spouse and play a “game” where they reminisce about their former openly gay lives. After 3 years of weekly gatherings, they must determine if their clandestine meetings are worth risking their lives. In one night, emotions run high, friendships begin to unravel, and everything changes in an instant.

Irish Goodbye
2018, 18 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ
Director: Adetokumboh M’Cormack
Writer: Adetokumboh M’Cormack, Matt Feit
Producer: Adetokumboh M’Cormack
Cast: Abubakr Ali, Jack Lowe
Strangers from opposite ends of the earth: Nizar, a Syrian refugee and Eric an Irish tourist, meet in the City of Angels and embark on a journey of trust, abandonment, tragedy and privilege. The consequences of their encounter will stay with them long after the night is over.

2019, 11 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ
Director: Ayman Samman
Writer: Ayman Samman
Producer: Mico Saad, Ayman Samman
Cast: Ayman Samman, Mico Saad, Rasha Mohamed
A depressed Crisis Negotiator is called upon to talk a Jumper off the ledge.

2018, 2 min., USA, Animation/LGBTQ, NYU Tisch
Writer/Director: Zale Zheng
Driving alone through a snowy night, a man starts to think of his late lover Leon.

A Normal Girl
2018, 13 min., USA, Documentary, LGBTQ
Director: Aubree Bernier-Clarke
Producer: Pidgeon Pagonis, Shawna Lipton
Cast: Pidgeon Pagonis
1.5% of people are born with anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male
1.5% of people are born with anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male. It is common practice for doctors to perform genital surgeries on intersex infants—often with disastrous results. A Normal Girl brings the widely unknown struggles of intersex people to light, through the story of intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis.

Queen For A Day
2019, 4 min., USA, Comedy/LGBTQ
Producer/Writer/Director: Savannah Rodgers
Cast: Michelle Davidson, Joe Carey
Queen for a Day is a short comedy about marriage and drag queens.


About the American Pavilion

The American Pavilion, celebrating its 31st year as the epicenter of American hospitality and communication at the Cannes International Film Festival, brings together both professional and emerging filmmakers along with industry executives from across the globe. A much sought-after destination for information, orientation, and recreation, it accommodates the needs of its members, guests and sponsors in a dynamic business environment. With its impressive array of amenities and services, AmPav provides an opportunity to relax in very comfortable surroundings.

The American Pavilion boasts the In Conversation and Industry in Focus both which take place in the Roger Ebert Conference Center, which offer insightful and provocative panel discussions and in-conversations with filmmakers, talent and top leaders; a restaurant and bar that provide fast service with a smile throughout the day and is open to all festival badge holders after 6:00pm most evenings; a coffee bar; free WiFi and charging stations; a media terrace with a panoramic view of the Riviera; the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase; the Culinary Program featuring chefs from across the US and Canada; The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program; and public and private rental for parties and receptions.

For more information, visit
Twitter: @AmPav
Instagram: @The_American_Pavilion

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