Sunday, August 26, 2018

HollyShorts: Jitters - Otoja Abit Interview

Photo Credit: JBN Media

Otoja Abit (pronounced O-toe-jay Abbitt), the only son of driven Nigerian parents, was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens, NY.

A celebrated athlete and honored scholar, he attended Archbishop Molloy High School and went on to a year of post graduate work at The Gunnery in CT. Otoja completed his education at St. John's University where he played division one basketball and earned degrees in Communications, Theatre Studies and a Business minor.

The "smell of grease paint and roar of the crowd" got hold of Otoja during his first ever production, William Inge's, Picnic. Consequently, Otoja committed to a pursuit of his true passions: acting, writing and directing.

After interning at The Labyrinth theatre company, his first big project was working as the assistant director on Broadway's 2011 revival of That Championship Season, directed by Gregory Mosher and starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and Chris Noth. Otoja then went on to book roles in both television and film including: a role in The Humbling, directed by Barry Levinson and playing opposite Al Pacino, HBO's critically acclaimed The Night Of, directed by Steven Zaillan. NBC's The Slap & The Blacklist, Paris in Aleta Chappelle's Romeo & Juliet in Harlem. And co-starring, as Marsha P Johnson, in Roland Emmerich's Stonewall.

Recent credits include: Marvel's Netflix "The Defenders" directed by SJ Clarkson- acting opposite Krysten Ritter. Co-creator, producer and star of the New York Television Festival's Official Selection, "Harlem Knights". And the 2018 short film "Jitters" which Otoja wrote, directed, produced and stars in.


JITTERS is an original short story focusing on the universal experience, angst. Those flutters in your stomach, raised hairs on your arm, or even that inner voice you're unable to deny is something we choose to explore in the film. Best friends know everything about each other— the good & the bad. And if one can't pinpoint those jitters in themselves, a best-friend can.

With inspiration, volunteers, and calling in many favors we have already begun production and have shot half of the project. A preview of the mood, style and look we're going for are displayed above. Your additional donations will allow our cast and crew to continue working to the best of their artistic ability, complete our film, and give us the opportunity to proudly submit JITTERS to film festivals worldwide.

Minutes before his nuptials, a neurotic young man locks himself in the back room of a church, with the best man he knows. Recalling the woman of his past, he questions his choice.

Jonny Beauchamp was born in March 1989 in New York City, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for Nerve (2016), Penny Dreadful (2014) and Black Wake (2018).

Walker Hare is an actor and writer, known for The Blacklist (2013), BrainDead (2016) and Billions (2016).

Jason Patric was born on June 17, 1966 in Queens, New York, USA as Jason Patric Miller Jr. He is an actor, known for Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), The Lost Boys (1987) and Narc (2002).

Steven Matthew Wody was raised in Maspeth, Queens, New York. He is of Italian and Irish descent. He attended Queens College, CUNY where he studied Drama & Theatre. He is a stage and film actor best known for Horror Time (2018) and the 24 Hour Play on Broadway for which he acted opposite Edie Falco at the American Airlines Theater.

Angelic Zambrana was born on February 21, 1986. She is an actress, known for Precious(2009), Fighting (2009) and Rites of Passage (2012).

Otoja Abit on the Red Carpet with JBN Journalist, Kristin Cercado.

Otoja Abit on the Red Carpet at HollyShorts.


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/Photos: 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.
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