Warner Bros is giving a voice to burgeoning underrepresented filmmakers. The studio hosted a short film festival to cap off its Emerging Film Directors Workshop, where each member of the inaugural class showcased their work in front of industry professionals last Thursday on the WB lot in Burbank. The event was the culmination of a nine-month fellowship, in which participants where given a budget of $100K to make a short film through a process that mimics WB’s feature process from script to the final cut.
For WB, the hope is that the program can serve as a stepping stone for filmmakers from unique backgrounds who have their own stories to tell like participant Kristin Burke, who had been waiting for this opportunity like this for some time. Not so far removed from the business, Burke worked as a movie costume designer 25 year, but had been harboring the desire to direct since childhood. Burke felt the time for the transition was right and applied for the program without telling anyone, not even her below-the-line agents at the time. She said her acceptance to the program served as a reassurance that she made the right decision.
“Each of these films and the talented directors behind them is unique, thoughtful and provocative,” said Toby Emmerich, President and COO, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “The level of creativity and dedication brought by Justin, Kristin, Xu, Elaine and Alexis is awesome, and we’re excited for them to continue honing their craft and telling great stories. I’m proud that Warner Bros. is helping to give voice to the next generation of filmmakers through our Film Directors Workshop.”
Here’s the list of shorts shown during the presentation:
Urban Myth: Nest by Kristin Burke: A young mother discovers a homeless woman is nesting in her house in this horror short.
Sensumby Alexis Korycinski: A husband with a secret penchant for S&M who gets into a car accident and undergoes an experimental new procedure that lets him control his pain level.
Luna by Xu Zhang: A drama set in an upscale Shanghai brothel, where a famed prostitute/undercover Communist spy plays a dangerous gambling game with an unexpected guest—a secret assassin and undercover Communist posing as an official with the government.
Resurrect by Justin Floyd: A film director gruelingly pushes a washed-up actress to her physical and mental breaking point to get the best performance of her career in this neo-noir short.
Good Morning by Elaine Mongeon: A young woman cares for her ailing father amidst a zombie infested world.