Tag Archives: festivals

Our Next Stop: Macon, Georgia

We have just been notified that “The Sheol Express” has been selected to compete for some good ol’ fashioned southern lovin’ in the 2012 Macon International Film Festival in Macon, Georgia. We are honored to be screening with a diverse pool of short and feature films, and we look forward to bringing “Sheol” to the South. Please stand by for more information about screening times and locations!

Everything is (Still) Classier in French – Unfortunately

How can you fault them when they reject you in French?

RE : Présentation du film : THE SHEOL EXPRESS
Au comité de sélection de la Cinéfondation du prochain Festival de Cannes (11-22 mai 2011)

Madame, Monsieur,

J’ai le regret de vous annoncer que le film ci-dessus mentionné n’a pas été retenu par le Comité de Sélection de la Cinéfondation.

Avec mes meilleures salutations,

Georges Goldenstern
Directeur de la Cinéfondation

Film Festival Resources

We’re beginning the long, hard trek into film festival submission territory.  My friend Gregg Helvey, director of the Academy-Award winning “Kavi”, sent me an Excel spreadsheet with over 300 festivals to consider, and I’m working from information on http://www.britfilms.com/festivals, and http://www.indiewire.com/festival/browse/.

Check these sites out if you’re submitting to a festival!

Palm Springs ShortFest Wrap-Up

Hello to all of our faithful, devoted blog followers.  I know that you’re all hungry for an update!  I thought that it would be valuable to summarize our experience at the Palm Springs Shortfest last month, because there’s so little information out there about what festivals really are like.  I sent a draft of this to Mike, and I said that it felt too scattered, to which he responded “well, from what I hear the entire experience was very fragmented, so perhaps that’s appropriate!”  Yes.  That’s exactly what I was doing, Mike, thank you! read more »

We’ve Submitted to Palm Springs!

Big news!

We just sent in our application for the 2010 Palm Springs International ShortFest, the biggest exhibition, competition, and marketplace devoted to the short film!  This marks a huge milestone in “The Sheol Express”.  After hearing people say, for several months, that we’ve got a good movie on our hands, it’s nerve-racking to send it off to someone else to evaluate it!

Palm Springs is a very important festival for us because it’s not only the largest exhibition of short films, but also has attached to it one of the largest short film markets attached to it.  Markets are where buyers – people who are looking for content – come to find that content.  We’d love to sell “The Sheol Express” to a cable network or someone similar, in order to gain exposure for the film, and possibly pave the way for a feature film.  Getting into Palm Springs and attending the filmmaket will be an important part of that!

We submitted an in-progress version of the film, something that’s common for film festivals to receive for applications, because films want to exhibit as soon as possible after they’ve finished – meaning that even though we will complete the film in April or May, we’ve submitted in in March, so we can premiere in June.  Hopefully.

Perry and Bryce have been working feverishly on the visual effects, and we’ve got about half of the matte paintings in the film done.  We focused on the ones that were integral for the story.  Vlad has done the first pass of coloring, and we have Joy’s rough sound mix, paired with the almost-final mixes of the score!  Everything is so close… but seems so far at the same time!

Here’s a little taste of the work that they’ve been doing…

Araboth Ferry

You may remember the other “evolution of a shot” images that we posted during production for this shot… perhaps it’s a good time to bring those back!

Pretty cool, huh?

Also, for the festival submission, we updated the synopsis, which you can find updated under the links at the top of the site, or below.

Now we begin the wonderful waiting game, as we approacah “around or about May 25th”.  Cheers!

Our new synopsis:

Tired of traveling the underworld, Owen Turner boards The Sheol Express, a fantastical train that ferries souls to their final resting place at the End of the Line. En route, Owen meets Rachael, a visionary who proclaims the existence of Araboth, an alleged paradise near the second-to-last stop before the End of the Line. Contesting her claim is the charismatic peddler Diggory Venn, who is as critical of Rachael’s radicalism as he is devoted to sensory pleasures. Scoffing at Rachael’s outlandish beliefs, Diggory encourages Owen to kick back, forget about Araboth, and enjoy the ride to the End of the Line. As The Sheol Express plows through the night, Owen wavers between the guarantee of a final resting place and the possibility of a better life: if he leaves the train before the End of the Line and Araboth is no more than Rachael’s wishful fantasy, Owen risks wandering the world alone. But if Araboth is more than a delusion, he stands to reclaim a hope he lost long ago.

Sheol is a wasteland without water, inhabited by souls condemned to travel from town to town along the railroad servicing The Sheol Express, a mysterious train bound for the End of the Line. The End of the Line, they say, is the final resting place for souls weary of wandering the parched frontier. To board, passengers must forfeit their citizenship and are never heard from again. This closure is precisely what Diggory, the train’s charismatic peddler of luxury wares, purportedly longs to embrace. He entices Owen with promises of material pleasures at the End of the Line, endeavoring to make the best of an otherwise meaningless afterlife. He’ll have nothing to do with Rachael and her zealous belief in Araboth, an alleged paradise teeming with everything that Sheol lacks: water, light, and green. Although Owen wants to believe Rachael’s radical claims, he can’t shake his suspicion that she might be making it up. As Diggory is eager to point out, Rachael has no real proof of Araboth. Can Owen leap into the unknown, sacrificing comfort and stability for the hope of a better life? Should he?

Hope is a human phenomenon, as necessary as it is absurd. In “The Sheol Express”, writers and directors Michael Koehler and Ryan Patch explore the connection between hope and intellectual integrity. Hope is found where certainty is not: it dwells in the most unlikely of places, in the hearts of people who are themselves confused, in the folds of hypocrisy and doubt that pervade postmodernity. Raised in religious families but educated at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Koehler and Patch approach the possibility of truth from a unique perspective. Their encounters with other cultures and deep, personal struggles with faith inform what is not just a social question, but a spiritual one: what place does truth have in our relative world? In 27 minutes, they bring audiences face-to-face with the same question that faces Owen: what, if anything, is Araboth? Where is it today? And finally, what are we – as individuals weary of our endless routine – willing to risk to find out?