Dasha, a young biologist, prepares to defend her Ph.D. on the Baikal seal. Her Ph.D. advisor is skeptical about Dasha’s love for animals, and her mother only cares about the girl not missing night prayers. A story about a conflict between science and religion, love and suffering, between what Dasha wants and what others push her to do.
AniFab judge's aggregate score for Amber's Halfway Home is 6.9 out of 10 left with these comments, "Reached out to this filmmaking team. Amber's Halfway Home resonates with the core of the work of the World Animal Awareness Society. It is recommended this project become serialized.
Director StatementThe number of stray animals in Mexico is a serious problem today; as of today there are more than 25 million homeless dogs and cats in the country. These animals face hunger, thirst, disease, extreme temperatures, human abuse and fights with each other.
Although there are associations dedicated to the rescue and rearrangement of these beings in new homes, most of them have a whole life in a shelter, when they are lucky. Or an execution, when they end up in euthanasia kennels and aren't adopted fast enough.
Many of the animals in these institutions are rejected, either for their physical characteristics or for their behavior derived from past abuse and trauma. Ignored in favor of their purebred counterparts, who are bred and sold as merchandise.
The Stragglers focuses on two animals in a shelter in a specific city. But unfortunately, the phenomenon that their stories illustrate exists in almost every city in the country and in the world.
AniFab judge's aggregate score for Left Behind is 6 out of 10 with one judge leaving the following comment, "It is so important to have these voices sharing stories of animals from around the world. I am recommending Left Behind for selection in July."
AniFab judge's aggregate score for Firefalls is 9.8 out of 10 with one judge stating, "This movie needs to be seen! Stunning."
Ariel Neo is a visionary new voice in filmmaking. Over the past two years, she has broken into the international scene with Flying Through the Water and Rainslide, which have both won multiple awards in festivals and competitions. Her latest short film, Firefalls, promises to be even more influential as Neo hones her style and skill, presenting a dramatic, wordless narrative which uses archetypal imagery and symbolism to make the tragedy of climate change come alive before our eyes.
In addition to her broad conceptual vision, Neo is devoted to detail. She prepares every aspect of filming: scouting her own locations, designing costumes, creating props, and storyboarding the action. Neo began her creative journey as an oil painter, and her paintings, impressive and richly colored images rendered on four to seven-foot round canvases, make appearances in her films, acting as totems that reinforce the significance of her cinematic work. Where words fail, these images shepherd us into new understanding by setting a tone full of reverence and beauty. In turn, her films explore and dramatize the themes that Neo’s artwork has always sought to capture: the beauty and diversity of nature, the joy of creativity, and her grave distress at what is happening to our environment. In fusing together art and film, she strives to make something new, an immersive and active art installation that reaches out and enwraps the viewer, creating an atmosphere that is immediate and suspenseful and yet introspective. This unique vision is what sets Neo apart and promises an exciting future.
Field cut his teeth working for Zero Point Zero Production on such programs as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. His directorial debut, Let ‘Em Know You’re There, received an Austin Film Society Grant and was broadcast on PBS affiliates across the country. The short documentary received a 2019 Mid-Atlantic Emmy. Next, Field produced, shot and edited The Shake-Up, a feature documentary about the 2013 New Mexico Behavioral Health Crisis. The film was used as an educational tool across the state of New Mexico and received a 2020 Rocky Mountain Emmy. Other credits include The First Rainbow Coalition (Additional Editor / PBS, Independent Lens) and Phi Slama Jama (Editor / ESPN.)
Director StatementInitially, ‘Sheep’ was supposed to be reference material for a larger piece. My close friend John had invited me out to see the work he was doing with Jennif, a 68 year old woman with bad hips, a mean bark, and a big heart. John told me he and Jennif transport sheep around Athens and Atlanta, dropping the herds off at residential and commercial properties so the animals can graze on invasive plant species. Intrigued, I joined Jennif, John, and Katie-Jennifs’ rambunctious pooch-for a day of suburban sheep herding. As the day progressed, I put down my stills camera and began capturing the day with my cell phone, as I was missing too many special moments by taking photographs. After reviewing the footage, I threw together an assembly, and screened it for some friends and family. The reception was overwhelmingly positive.
At the superficial level, ‘Sheep’ is a day in the life of suburban sheep herders. At a much deeper level, the piece is a lyrical look at a sustainable solution for a problem that’s plagued Southerners since the days they were crowning Kudzu Kings and Queens a regional festivals. The film presents images of sheep grazing in front of an industrial back drop. The animals chewing away at residential backyards as gas-powered tools buzz next door.
At one point sheep were prominent in American and Georgian society. However, since the 1940s sheep numbers have dropped from 40 million to “about 7.5 million in the United States and fewer than 10,000 in Georgia.”* As sheep can consume close to five pounds of leafy greens daily, sheep and other livestock should be considered by public and private entities going forward.
Hopefully, audiences can watch this meditative film and experience a holistic solution to a problem southern communities face. Honestly, I’d be happy for the viewers to simply have a moment of relaxation as they witness these intelligent, sweet and silly animals go to town on some ivy! Even if sheep herding isn’t the large scale solution to the management of invasive species, I really just love the idea of animals having roles in our communities, that doesn’t involve the consumption of their milk and meat.
communicate such a simple idea so eloquently. It is the honor of the whole #Anifab family to be able to share this short little gem. Nice work Teresa!"
In her free time she goes birding, takes photos, she sings and plays guitar. She's been spending the past months on creating "Spark Bird. A birdwatcher's first ever journey." an animated short film. She's in love with animation which has just discovered a year ago. She looks forward to work on more animated features and shorts along with a team of people in animation studios.
#AniFab judge's aggregate score for Spark Bird is 7.4 out of 10 with comments from one judge, "I am so blessed to be able to see such wonderful art by very talented young people, loved Spark Bird. Thank you Laura, your journey is just beginning."
Todd Kortte is an Actor and Producer in Los Angeles with a passion for the underwater world. He also has a background in roller coaster design/them park ride design and has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Creative.
Todd combined his storytelling them park background with his Hollywood acting experience and brought it to the underwater world. He placed 4th in the world in the Underwater World Shootout in Germany in 2018. He is the only American to make the top 5 finalist in the underwater video category. Todd has several viral videos, is a 5-time video winner of the So-Cal Shootout, and has achieved over 10 million minutes of online stream time with his work.
Todd is also a Pro Team Member for Kraken Sports, and participates regularly with Oceans Defenders Alliance in Southern California to remove lost fishing nets off the coast of California.
In the hope of giving others the tool to capture our underwater world and share it online for the world to see, Todd teaches underwater videography, and GoPro underwater classes with Bluewater University.
#AniFab judge's aggregate score for Bleeding is 7.8 out of 10 with one comment reading, "I enjoyed watching Todd's take on his experiences with the Hammerhead's in the Galapagos. I want to encourage Todd to make more docs like this and to continue his filmmaking always with animals as part of his subjects. It is the hope of AniFab to develop a long term meaningful relationship with this filmmaker."
2021 Official #AniFab Monthly Selections
Animalis Fabula Film Festival official monthly selections have the opportunity to compete for monthly attention as well as inclusion in the annual live / virtual film festival in Austin, Texas and the end of year fundraising benefit for animal welfare.