Wednesday, August 29, 2018

HollyShorts: ASIA A - Jake Katofsky & Eric Baird Interview

Photo Credit: JBN Media
Jake Katofsky ― Producer
A recent MFA graduate of the USC Peter Stark Producing Program, Jake has associate produced feature Live Cargo, starring Lakeith Stanfield, Dre Hemingway, and Robert Wisdom, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. Jake also has three short films (Duvall et al., The Shadow, and The Bare Knuckle Gentlemen) that each look to make a big festival splash in 2018-2019.

Eric Baird ― Producer
A recent grad from USC with his Masters in Film & Television Production, Eric focused primarily on directing and producing. He was a producer on THE WASTE LAND. [Maryland International Film Festival (Best Student Film), Dances with Films, Camerimage. An associate producer on MY LOYAL AUDIENCE [Catalina Film Festival (Festival Treasure Award), Sunscreen Film Festival (Best Short Film), Santa Fe Independent Film Festival].


ASIA A refers to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA), who developed a system of tests used to define and describe the severity of a patient’s spinal cord injury to help determine future rehabilitation and recovery needs. The patient’s test grade is based on how much sensation he or she can feel at multiple points on the body, as well as tests of motor function.
  • ASIA Grade A - Complete lack of motor and sensory function below the level of injury 
  • ASIA Grade B - Some sensation below the level of the injury
  • ASIA Grade C - Some muscle movement is spared below the level of injury, but 50 percent of the muscles below the level of injury cannot move against gravity.
  • ASIA Grade D - Most (more than 50 percent) of the muscles that are spared below the level of injury are strong enough to move against gravity.
  • ASIA Grade E - All neurologic function has returned.
The idea for this film spawned six years ago when director/writer - Andrew Reid, at the age of 21, became paralyzed from the chest down. A malformation of his blood vessels resulted in a rupture which compressed his spine when he was sleeping, leaving him completely paralyzed. Andrew was told by doctors he would never walk again but with dedication and perseverance regained movement.

Today, Andrew walks again and continues to progress in strength and health. He plans for this film to shed light on recovery, disability and the human relationships that help us to overcome adversity.

ASIA A tackles the subject of sudden disability and stars London Brown (Ballers), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Paulina Bugembe (The Good Place) and Elizabeth Keener (The L Word). Just having begun its festival run this live action short is already a semi-finalist at the 45th Student Academy Awards, has been selected for LA Shorts International Film Festival and HollyShorts. ASIA A was created by director Andrew Reid, writer Roberto Saieh, and producers Jake Katofsky and Eric Baird.

ASIA A is the story of a recent spinal cord injury patient struggling to reconcile his sense of self-worth with his new reality as a paraplegic.

Andrew Reid ― Director/Writer
I am a filmmaker and storyteller originally from Kingston, Jamaica. Recent graduate with a Masters of Arts in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. My passion for storytelling spawned at the age of 21. While in Mexico, I became paralyzed from the chest down. A malformation of my blood vessels resulted in a rupture which compressed my spine while I was sleeping, leaving me completely paralyzed. I was told by doctors I would never walk again but with dedication and perseverance I regained movement. Today, I walk again with the assistance of a cane and continue to progress in strength and health. After my injury, I refused to be restricted in my success and moved to Los Angeles to develop my creative skills at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Roberto Saieh ― Writer
Roberto has an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California and, more than anything, would love to have coffee with his grandfather… even though Roberto’s the worst Colombian ever because he doesn’t drink coffee.

He has placed twice in the PAGE Awards with his feature Magdalena and his short Shine.

Jake Katofsky and Eric Baird on the Red Carpet with JBN Journalist, Kristin Cercado.


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.

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

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.
jbnfilms, jbnmediainterviews, jbnfilmfestivals, jbnpastinterviews


Post a Comment