“AVABOT” a Return to Sci-Fi – Mitten Movie Project January 5th, 2010

The Mitten Movie Project, January 5th

Not since September 2007 has a science fiction short headlined the Mitten Movie Project. On January 5th, the Mitten Movie Project returns to form with the gorgeous space odyssey, “Avabot” by Michigan director and College of Creative Studies graduate, Jamie Surgener. Also on the bill are film festival fave, “Retreat,” by Robert Joseph Butler, a previous work by Bryan D. Hopkins (“Qing Lou Nu”) about the loss of a loved one, and the highly amusing shorts, “The Nauga: Home Alone,” “Boy Scout”, and “Roger Star.” The January Mitten Movie Project takes place on Tuesday, January 5th at 7:30 p.m. at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main Street, Royal Oak 48067).

For presale tickets and more information, go to www.facebook.com/mittenmovieproject

This month is particularly special for Travis Seppala, director of the music video, “8 21 1984,” as he is also the director of photography for the thriller, “Pipe Wrench.” “It’s definitely cool to have multiple projects that I had such a heavy hand in screening at the same festival,” explained Seppala.

Last month was a big month for the Mitten Movie Project with the 12/1 Best of the Mitten Movie Project screening and the Short of the Year Award on the line. The winner of the 2009 Short of the Year award was “The Point,” the basketball short directed by Chuck Grady. Also up for grabs were the following awards, the winners of which are announced here:

Mitten Movie Project Awards

  • Best Directing – THE POINT
  • Best Cinematography – QING LOU NU
  • Best Art Design – QING LOU NU
  • Best Editing – QING LOU NU
  • Best Sound – THE POINT
  • Best Locations – DRAGGERS & RIP SPOTS
  • Best Actor – TIE: JONNY VICTOR (FIRST DAY) & MARK WILSON (THE POINT)
  • Robert Rodriguez Award – TIE: THE POINT & LITERALLY
  • Should’ve Gotten an Audience Choice Award Award – DARK HEART

The Mitten Movie Project would like to thank the 140+ moviegoers that packed the house during the December 1st Best of the Mitten Movie Project screening, and the many sponsors that made that night possible. The MMP would also like to thank M1 Studios in Royal Oak for its DVD authoring services this month.

The Mitten Movie Project is a monthly film festival dedicated to screening independent films the first Tuesday of every month at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. Presale tickets are available for $8 by e-mailing mangilc@yahoo.com. Tickets at the door are $10 (cash only). A pre-screening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Art lobby where moviegoers can mingle with the directors, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. After the screening, a Q&A session will be conducted with the filmmakers in the theatre. An afterglow party will be held at Mr. B’s (215 S. Main Street — within walking distance of the theatre) to end the night’s activities. To submit a film for consideration in the festival, visit the MMP Facebook fan page for guidelines. Submission is free. Screeners may be sent by DVD or online link.

1/5/10 Mitten Movie Project – Independent Shorts – Program Notes

Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak, MI – 7:30 p.m.
Pre-sale tickets $8 at myspace.com/mittenmovieproject, Door $10

The Mitten Movie Project is a monthly film festival dedicated to screening independent films the first Tuesday of every month at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. Presale tickets are available for $8 by e-mailing mangilc@yahoo.com. Tickets at the door are $10 (cash only). A pre-screening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Art lobby where moviegoers can mingle with the directors, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. After the screening, a Q&A session will be conducted with the filmmakers in the theatre. An afterglow party will be held at Mr. B’s (215 S. Main Street — within walking distance of the theatre) to end the night’s activities. To submit a film for consideration in the festival, visit the MMP Facebook fan page for guidelines. Submission is free. Screeners may be sent by DVD or online link.

Final Lineup

Total running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes. In order of screening:

BARE WITNESS [trailer] – Written & Directed by Jeffery T. Schultz (01:23) (Michigan) (2010) A short tale about a man struggling with his past failures and how they affect others with deadly results. Starring Dan Mahoney Jayden Mansfield and John Anton. www.schultzstudioz.com

THE RED FLAG [trailer] – Gorilla Pictures (01:58) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Oliver Thompson. After the murder of a young 24-year-old girl, Scarlett Selet, investigators discover that the culprit had to be her boyfriend. Only one problem . . . she had three. Three stories of three suitors twist, overlap, and unfold to finally determine which one has Scarlett’s blood on his hands. www.fourseventytwo.com

THREE DONKEYS AND A FLOCK OF SHEEP [documentary] – Directed by Anthony Siciliano (01:11) (Michigan) (2009) A heartwarming documentary about donkeys and a herd of sheep.

“8 21 1984” BY THE NEXT ROMANTIC [music video] – Directed by Travis Seppala (04:00) (Michigan) (2008) Detroit alternative rock band, The Next Romantic, play at a party where a girl finds her boyfriend cheating on her and doing drugs, while partygoers get “eaten” by the house. www.myspace.com/thenextromantic

THE PLAY – EPISODE ONE [narrative] – White Knight Films (22:44) (Michigan) (2009) Tessa, a writer, asks her friend Mike, a filmmaker, to help her put on a play she’s written. Together they start the endeavor while trying to deal with their personal lives. Written and directed by David G.B. Brown. www.facebook.com/whiteknightfilms

BOY SCOUT [music video] – Directed by Adam Engler (02:54) (Michigan) (2009) A model Boy Scout, Sean Scarlett, raps about the trials and tribulations that accompany outdoor living, preference of animal companions, and merit badges. www.youtube.com/seanscarlett

PIPE WRENCH [narrative] – Directed by Shane Michaels (13:36) (Michigan) Mike and Jill must resort to stopping at a hole-in-the-wall auto repair shop during a late night drive through the country. Things turn sour when their bible thumping repairman decides he must take it upon himself to cleanse them of their sins.

THE NAUGA: HOME ALONE [narrative] (02:28) (Michigan) (2010) The Nauga is home alone. Directed by Aaron Lebovic. Cinematography by Joe Elrom. Starring Eric Rosenbloom. lebovic.aaron@gmail.com

RETREAT [narrative] – Nu-Wave Films (11:36) (Michigan) (2009) Directed by Robert Joseph Butler. Starring Lindsay Rootare and Vikki Gasko. Alexis (Lindsay Rootare) is an alienated teenager who is shy, isolated, and keeps to herself. Disconnected from her family, classmates, and environment, she gravitates to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan to get in touch with her mind and spirit. www.nuwavefilms.com

ROGER STAR [narrative] (4:41) (California) (2009) Directed by Ken Kuykendall, written by Sam Tripoli, and starring Eddie Pepitone. Roger Star is a quick glance at the San Fernando Valley’s original adult film acting coach as he teaches his pupils.

WITHDRAW [narrative] (05:22) (Ohio) A dramatic film directed by identical twin filmmakers, Michael and Daniel Carberry. Starring David Lehre. www.carberrytwins.com

RAT RACE [experimental short] – Directed by Brad Erlandson (02:40) (Michigan)

SLEEPFUL PAINLESS [narrative] – Flood Films and Media (14:00) (Michigan) (2008) Directed by Bryan D. Hopkins. Suffering emotionally from the loss of his wife, within the context of a troubled childhood, a husband dies in his sleep from self-inflicted wounds.

AVABOT [narrative] – Directed by Jamie Surgener (10:00) (Michigan) (2009) A science fiction film short about an astronaut and his robot that find danger while searching for a fabled abandoned star cruiser.

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