Friday, September 21, 2018

HollyShorts - Last Dance Cast Interview



Photo Credit: JBN Media
Sophia Warren, Josh Litman, Tamar Pelzig and Greg Lucey - From Left to Right.

Josh Litman is an award-winning writer and director, known for "Actors Anonymous," "After Rachel," and "The Cookie Monster."

A creator at heart, Josh's love of the arts is what drives him. Born in London, Ontario, Canada in 1989, Josh was first introduced to the world of dramatic arts when in Grade 6 he played Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Flash forward to college and he's completed an honors degree specializing in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. A bit of a detour, sure. But what can he say? He loves getting into people's heads.

Academia aside, he still managed to cultivate his passion via writing, directing, producing, and acting in numerous short films, plays, and two seasons (25 episodes) of a comedic web-based TV series in his spare time. With the confidence gleaned from these creative endeavors, he found himself back on track, embarking on the next important phase of his life: Making the move to Los Angeles, California following a dream-fulfilling admission to USC's School of Cinematic Arts for Film and Television Production.

His films have won several awards and screened at festivals across the map, including the Pasadena International Film Festival (PIFF), Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (BNFF), Hamilton Film Festival (HFF), Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival, LA Thriller Film Fest, Roseville Festival of Film and Animation, and more.

Josh's award-winning films include: "After Rachel," "The Cookie Monster," "A Case of Pyrophilia," "The Suit," "Elevator," "Red Light," and "Death by Hot Wings." Most recently he was a writer on the feature adaptation of James Franco's "Actors Anonymous" starring James Franco, Eric Roberts, Emma Rigby, Horatio Sanz, Scott Haze, and Jake Robbins. The film is set to be released in 2016.

Born in the old city of Jerusalem Israel, to a father who is an artist and a mother who is a psychologist, Tamar Pelzig began her acting career in the prestigious Cameri theatre in Tel-Aviv, at the young age of 14, acting in the show 'Murder' (by Hanoch Levin), which was highly regarded and the winner of the Israeli 'Tony' that year. She studied at the performing arts high school 'Thelma Yellin' in the theatre department, and was a recipient of a certificate of excellence for her studies there. Her acting career continued to take off with numerous leading roles on stages and screens, such as starring in Israel's leading network's prime time TV series 'The Institute', directed by Uri Barabash (Beyond the Walls), the TV series 'Itamar and I', Acting & modeling for different commercials, beauty and fashion campaigns, and even dubbing for the Israeli 'Charlie Brown' cartoon. In 2002, she moved to New York City to further her training at the Broadway Institute 'Circle In The Square Professional Conservatory'. 

Among her teachers there were Broadway veterans Terese Hayden and Jacqueline Brooks who cast Tamar in their original production of 'Touch Me' in Center Stage after she graduated. She was reviewed by Indie Theatre Now as 'Alluring and slyly sexy' for her performance. Following the production, Tamar continued to dedicate her craft to further training and acting in many theatrical productions, most noteworthy was her role of the mentally disturbed Poo Schumer, in the Off-Broadway production of 'Turkey Day' at Theatre at St. Clement's, which awarded Tamar with the Best Actress Award at the Strawberry Festival in 2009. In addition to her work on stage, Tamar also continued work in Film & TV; Playing the role of 'Eve' in Eve, Lucy Blair in 'Thinly Veiled', 'Celebrity Ghost Stories' (Biography Channel), leads in shorts and pilots and others. 

In 2011 Tamar co-founded and was an original cast member of the NYC theatre company 'The Orphans'. Assuming the creator role lead her to other producing experiences such as producing the play 'Hooters' in the Kraine theater in NYC and producing and starring in a promotional video for Janjoon Jewelry. She is based in Los Angeles, but often travels to NYC and Israel for work. Some of her recent TV & Film work includes a recurring role in Astronaut Wives Club' (ABC), Modern Spies (BBC), leads in AFI films 'Fugue', 'Supernova' and 'Shabbat', 'A Case Of pyrophilia', national commercials for various brands, and the Linkin Park music video for 'Final Masquerade' which was viewed more than 38 million times online. She is also the designer and maker behind the brand Janjoon Jewelry, which can be seen in different museums and stores all across California, and is currently in the development stages of an hour long TV drama series with a team of talented and prolific writers in Los Angeles.

Greg Lucey is an actor, known for Sleepwalk (2018), Celluloid Dreams (2014) and Last Dance (2017). Known for: "The Toy Soldiers," "Battle for Skyark," "Celluloid Dreams" "Mr. Monster," "Child of the '70s," and "A Case of Pyrophilia."



"Last Dance" is a short thriller about a reformed and retired hitman who is forced to return to the underworld when his family is attacked during his granddaughter's birthday party. Despite suffering brain damage, he has to track down the assailant and find his granddaughter, whom he struggles to communicate with, for a last chance to connect with her.


ABOUT THE CREW
SHIN YIN HIYU ― Producer

Shin Yin Hiyu graduated with an M.F.A. from The Peter Stark Producing Program, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, in 2014. Prior to that, she had been a full-time producer at MediaCorp TV Singapore since 2008, writing and directing both scripted and unscripted programs, for MediaCorp Channel 5, Singapore's main free-to-air English language entertainment and lifestyle channel, and has produced and directed over 20 hours of episodic broadcast television. She was recently awarded First Prize for Scripted Series at the 36th College Television Awards for MISS MUSTARD GLADE, a web-series that she produced for the SUBWAY Fresh Artists™ Program 2013. She was also awarded the Peter Stark Filmmaker Award while at USC for her directorial effort in MAKING WATER, which won Best Film of 2013.

XING-MAI DENG ― Cinematographer
Xing-Mai Deng, also known as Mye, is a Los Angeles based cinematographer originally from Beijing. He spent most of his childhood traveling between China and the U.S., consuming cinema from every screen he came across. Eventually, he turned those countless hours of viewing into a lifelong pursuit – making movies. Xing-Mai has been shooting films as a cinematographer since 2010. He is currently finishing his Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

MICHAEL SANAIHA ― Assistant Director
With seven years of industry experience and studying under three veteran assistant directors with the DGA, Michael brings a lot to the table. Communication, professionalism, and proper organization are some of the fundamentals he stands behind and implements in every production he has the privilege of working with. His appreciation towards the art his directors provide serves as the passion that ignites his own creativity for crafting a flawless movement in the day-to-day execution of the production process. Working closely with the director, producers, and cinematographers helps to create the smoothest environment on set, allowing cast and crew to thrive. "It's the writer's ship, the director's course, and the assistant director's crew. Make them realize the worth of the ship, the stability of the course - that is my responsibility as Assistant Director."

ERIC BAIRD ― Production Designer
Eric is in his first year at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in the production program. Originally from Connecticut, he’s been writing and making films for the past 5 years and long had an interest in production design and its significance in making films look and feel professional. He’s extremely excited to be part of the Last Dance team. This will be his second film working with Josh Litman as Production Designer.

RUI CUI ― Editor
Raised in Beijing China, Rui earned double Bachelor's Degrees in Digital Media Art and TV Production from the Communication University of China. While in school, Cui worked as a producer and director at the Student TV Station. He successfully produced and directed several TV programs on campus every semester.

His thesis film, "Indifferent City," a fantasy film, which analyzes the inner world of an autism patient, won the Audience Award at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, Seattle, WA.

Today, Cui is a MFA Candidate of Film and TV Production at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Cui specializes in film directing, editing, and visual effects. He strives to make films that have both a compelling story and a unique visual style.


A darkly comedic neo-noir revenge thriller about a former assassin who has to rescue his granddaughter after she is brutally abducted from her birthday party.



Josh Litman, Sophia Warren, Tamar Pelzig and Greg Lucey with JBN Journalist, Americo Galli.

Josh Litman, Sophia Warren, Tamar Pelzig and Greg Lucey on the Red Carpet at HollyShorts.

THE JBN TEAM INTERVIEW WITH JOSH LITMAN, SOPHIA WARREN, TAMAR PELZIG AND GREG LUCEY.
JOURNALIST: AMERICO GALLI
LOCATION: HOLLYSHORTS, THE CHINESE THEATER, HOLLYWOOD, CA 
 AUGUST 9TH - 18TH
INTERVIEW: AUGUST 12, 2018


Video: Erik Werlin. Audio/Edit: James Vallesteros (@jamesvallesteros). Sound: Edward Chung.

ABOUT HOLLYSHORTS
HollyShorts Film Festival is an organization devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panel and forums. The Oscar Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival showcases the top short films produced 40- minutes or less. Categories include Short Animation, Short Live Action, Short Documentary, Music Video, Webisode, Commercials, TV, and Digital Microbudget.

HollyShorts takes place August 9-18, 2018 at the TCL Chinese Theater, Harmony Gold Theater and other locations in Hollywood. Nearly 400 short films will compete for the festival’s top prizes. Last year HollyShorts finalists included 3 out of the 5 Live Action Oscar nominees and the winning short Silent Child from Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton. This year, HollyShorts received an all-time record 5,000 submissions from over 80 countries. The competition will feature Live Action, Animation and Documentary Shorts as well as web series, student shorts, music videos, TV pilots, and VR. The festival also features a screenplay competition where the winning short gets greenlit, shot and shown at next year’s festival courtesy of Seattle Film Summit.
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