Congratulations and thank you to the filmmakers for their awesome artistry featured in Auntyland Film Festival’s inaugural festival, March 8-31, 2022.
To attend the film festival, RSVP at https://filmfreeway.com/AuntylandFilmFest/tickets. A password will be sent so one may watch the films on Vimeo from March 8-31 on: https://vimeo.com/auntyland.
Filmmaker talkback Q&A sessions will air live on StreamYard on March 8 at the following times:
Romance, Culture & Comedy
Filmmakers Bios, March 8-31, 2022
Beverly Bonner (STEAMED!) Ms. Bonner is a cult horror movie actress, theatre extraordinaire, and comedian. She is known for her starring roles in Basket Case (1982), Frankenhooker (1990), and Basket Case 2 (1990). STEAMED! was her directorial debut. Sadly, we recently learned that Ms. Bonner passed away. No cause of death was revealed. But the news was confirmed by her former director, Frank Henenlotter, of the horror series Basket Cases.’ Frank wrote on Facebook: “I’m on the phone with Beverly (Bonner) a few weeks ago and she’s gushing nonstop about how much she loved directing her short film STEAMED, and how she is already writing the script for her next one.” Rest in Eternal Peace, Queen.
Tiffany Bradley (Carnival Queens) is the founder of Colored Criticism, a place for people of color to be seen and heard in the arts. Her focus is on intersectional, interpersonal, and interdisciplinary art. During the COVID-19 crisis, she convened #ArtOffPause, a Livestream series for artists and curators working in affected communities. Tiffany’s film work has been shown at Guild Hall of East Hampton, Brooklyn Community Foundation, and Rush Arts Foundation. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Westchester Magazine, Colorlines, Racialicious, and the Americans for the Arts blog. Tiffany has worked in audience development at the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, Race Forward, Americans for the Arts, and Fractured Atlas. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Brown University, studied abroad at American University in Cairo, and was a Fulbright scholar in Museum Studies at the University of Haifa.
Eileen Caniling (Basurero)Basurero is Eileen’s directorial debut. She is a Filipino-American filmmaker who has been described by mentor Anna Thomas (Screenwriter Frieda, IFP Founder) as “an artist whose stories magically come to life like in a painting.” A graduate fellow of the prestigious American Film Institute and a recipient of grants like the Women in Film Scholarship Award, the AFI William J. Fadiman award for best screenplay in her graduating class, and the ABC/DISNEY Talent Development Grant. Eileen has worked in the ranks of film and TV for fifteen years and it has always been her dream to direct her own films. Born in Baltimore, Eileen grew up as the only Asian in her class in conservative Richmond, Virginia. Her passion is Filipino Diaspora stories, the un-layering of the Filipino face along with the complex nuances of colonial psychology and the Filipino- identity.
Danielle Chu (hold—fuel—when—burning) Danielle 大敏 Chu, sometimes credited as dd. Chu, dd. chu (she/they) is a researcher, archivist, and filmmaker with an interest in exploring the usefulness and limitations of a visual archive, as well as the collisions and solidarities between diasporic mythos. They have collaborated on films that have premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, and IDFA, as well as programs that have aired on Arte and PBS, among others.
Lenore Thomas Douglas (Weep Not) A Boston University alum, Douglas worked at the Today Show for Matt Lauer & Al Roker. ‘Weep Not’ marks her directorial film debut loosely based on the 2018 two-time NAACP nominated one-woman theater show, ‘Journey this’,’ created and starring Cheray O’Neal, which she also directed. Other writing credits include Xbox-produced short film, ‘Miracle of Phil’ which premiered at Comic Con. She recently acted opposite Wes Bentley in the Terrance Malik produced-film, ‘After The Fall’. twitter: @weepnotfilm
Pat Doyen (Creole Love Call) makes, preserves, programs, and writes about films and other media arts. She works independently and as part of the Arsenic Cookie Film Collective in Baltimore, MD. By day she is a film archivist with a passion for home movies and orphan films. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and she has taught hand processing and filmmaking workshops for both children and adults. She is a contributor to “The DIY Guide to Film & Video” published by Parcell Press and editor of the recent book “Hell Yeah! Heavy Metal Parking Lot @ 30”.
Cheri Gaulke (Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color) is a pioneer in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles. Her work has been presented in film festivals internationally, in galleries and museums, and in alternative settings including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples. Initially known as a performance artist, her work addressed themes such as the body, religion, sexual identity, and the environment. Gaulke’s art continues to be a vehicle for social commentary, and as a way to tell the stories of individuals and groups under-represented in society. As an educator, Gaulke has mentored hundreds of award-winning youth videos. Her recent film, Gloria’s Call, has screened in over 40 film festivals and won Best Documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival amongst other awards.
Kristin Reiber Harris (City Trees) Ms. Harris is an artist, animator, and educator with a passion for sharing the treasures and insights of the natural world. She specializes in producing and animating media exploring science with art, producing over 100 short form animations. Her life’s work is a direct result of her growing up on an old farm in Northern Virginia. Harris’s films have been included in numerous film festivals around the world. She is a member of NYWIFT and Women in Film & Video Washington DC. She received a BA in Fine Arts from UCLA and an MFA from George Washington University.
Tiffany Jiang (Exhausted) is a Chinese-American documentary filmmaker and designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Documentary Media Studies at The New School. Prior to this, she studied narrative filmmaking at the Northwest Film Forum and helped out on local film sets around Seattle, WA. Tiffany’s creative work has been featured by Pioneer Works, The International Center of Photography, and POV Docs.
Vivian Lee (The Healing Game Part 2) Vivian Lee works at the intersection of art and science. She is an artist, filmmaker, photographer, musician, and designer. She worked as a creative associate at Narrative Network, a video production manager at the Museum of Chinese in America, (MOCA), and currently works as a senior product designer at DesignMap. The Mount Holyoke College graduate is a New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum. Follow her on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/vivian-e-lee or IG at lee22v.
RayMartell Moore (A Ring) is an actor, model, producer, and filmmaker. A Ring is his directorial debut. He’s known for his work with the Finding Me films and series. Season two, which he executive produced. RayMartell is focused on doing more collaborative projects. He is also creating virtual reality short stories. Nearly finished editing his 22-minute scene from a book adaptation of “The Wind-Up Bird” by Haruki Murakami also starring Monique A. Robinson. You can follow his work and journey on Instagram, @raymartell.
Catherine Murphy (Voluntary Teachers / Maestras Voluntarias) is the founder & director of The Literacy Project, a multi-media documentary project on adult literacy in the Americas. As an independent producer, Murphy’s work has focused on social documentaries, producing and field producing documentaries for independent directors including Matt Dillon, Saul Landau, and Eugene Corr. She subtitled Dorothy Fadiman’s Stealing America and The Greening of Cuba by Jaime Kibben. She served as an archival researcher for Susanne Rostock’s biography of Harry Belafonte, Sing Your Song.
Her directorial debut was the documentary MAESTRA, which was released in 2012 and picked up for distribution by Women Make Movies. MAESTRA enjoyed robust educational distribution since its release. “Voluntary Teachers / Maestras Voluntarias” was pulled from Murphy’s own archives during the Covid pandemic and released to tell the backstory of her previous film.
Robin Noonan-Price (Tell Me About Orange) earned her M.A. in Film and Video Production from American University. By day, Robin works as a full-time producer/director for Fairfax County Public Schools where she produces MEET THE AUTHOR, a distance learning program that promotes literacy and gives students, nationally, direct access to some of their favorite writers. She is a five-time Emmy Award Nominee, a five-time Telly Award winner, and has earned three TIVA-DC Peer Awards, as the producer of Meet The Author. Since 2010, Robin has been working with local DC metro filmmakers on short films in various capacities. She is the director of Tell Me About Orange. Robin is currently preparing to direct another short film in the spring of 2022.
Melisa Resch (The Line) Ms. Resch is a writer, director, and producer based in the Los Angeles area, is known for John Wick: Chapter 2, The Line, and The Last Two Lovers at the End of the World. She was a creative executive at Freedom Road Productions, Executive Assistant to COMMON. She holds a Masters of Science, in Digital Cinema. Twitter @melisaresch
Ebony R. Roberts (United We Heal) With a degree in Communications/Broadcasting from the University of Pittsburgh, Ms. Roberts, and her sisters combined their love of travel and production to create a web series called ‘Global Lipstick’ that showcased their carefree, comedic spirit as well as their creative genius. While working on her independent production company, Ebony took a job at QVC, the home shopping channel, where she is an Associate Producer on the studio broadcast team. During the year 2020, in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Ebony became inspired to use her creative energy to promote unity in the Black community. That creative energy spawned ‘United We Heal.’ Whether it’s producing, directing, or writing, Ebony intends to make her mark on the television and film industry by constantly striving for excellence.
Nandini Sikand (One, if by land) Ms. Sikand is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and Odissi dancer. Her documentary and experimental films have screened and won awards at over 100 domestic and international film festivals and aired on PBS. She has been awarded grants from The Jerome Foundation, the Center for Asian American Media and she is a two-time awardee of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Sikand is an Assistant Professor of an interdisciplinary film and media studies program at Lafayette College, PA. Sikand’s career as a filmmaker has spanned 18 years and has explored subjects such as nationalism, breast cancer, identity politics, music in the diaspora, and sex work. She has served on the board of directors of Women Make Movies, a non-profit feminist media distribution organization from 1997 to 2006. In television, she has worked as a producer and director on projects for Channel Four: UK, Ovation, HBO, Oxygen, and The History Channel.
Donna Bonilla Wheeler (The Girl Next Door) is a Peruvian-American U.S.-based writer, director, and filmmaker, with original screenplays that are Nicholl Fellowship semi/quarter-finalists, Austin 2ndRounders, Slamdance Lab selects, Sundance Lab finalists, IFP No Borders selects, STOWE Story Labs projects, CineStory quarterfinalists, and DTLA Film Fest screenplay award winners, among others. She created and is developing the CannesMIPTV Finalist series, CLASH. Her feature and short films sold at Cannes, at Berlinale, and screened at festivals in North America, South America, and EU, as well as SVOD / AVOD platforms domestically and internationally. Donna is a Cannes/MIPTV Producer-to-Watch, Alliance of Women Directors Board member and Industry Support Fellow, Film Fatales member, #Startwith8Hollywood mentee, #ReadLatinxWriters mentee, Women in Film mentee, Sundance Institute Collab member, and Outfest Directing Shadow. Donna is a co-founder and ongoing Board Member of the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, CA, and founder of the Alliance of Women Directors’ #MentorLatinaDirectors Initiative. She also writes and directs branded and commercial content for a variety of global clients.
Tilsa C. Wright (Star Boy) Wright is the creator and co-director of Star Boy. Wright is a self-published author of several books on romantic relationships. She transformed her book, Star Boy into her first animation film production that has been featured in several film festivals. A proud Jamaican, Wright graduated from Kingston’s famed Camperdown High School. The Brooklyn resident who also attended City College Fort Lauderdale is passionate about sharing stories for film lovers.
Danielle Vishlitzky (Haunted) Danielle Vishlitzky graduated from Smith College in 2020 with a degree in Film & Media studies. The following pandemic-filled years have brought many a misadventure her way, but she finds solace listening to podcasts and spending time with her cat. These days she can be found hiking and shooting 16mm near her home in Western Massachusetts. She hopes to keep exploring experimental filmmaking and the ways in which the spaces around her are haunted. Her instagram is: dani_vish
Film Synopses, Block Themes
Block 1: Arts, Society, Experimental
Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color. The first documentary to explore Alma Thomas’ life as a Black woman artist who re-started in her 60s, received national attention at 80, and whose work is now sought-after by collectors everywhere. Director, Cheri Gaulke. Submitted by Jon Gann. 20:00
Creole Love Call. An imaginative, short film that uses all home movie archival images from the Prelinger collection to celebrate women and girls. This film was part of an open initiative by the Seven Tones Project for filmmakers and musicians to create short films based on Duke Ellington’s music. Director, Pat Doyen. 3:20.
Weep Not. Remembering an early childhood trauma after the death of her best friend and grandmother, Journey must make a decision before it’s too late. Director, Lenore Thomas Douglas. 13:07.
United We Heal. Through choreography and spoken word, anti-Black racism and Black pride is explored and moved forward to joy, freedom, and triumph. Director, Ebony R. Roberts, Submitted by Short & Sweet Films. 13:46.
hold — fuel — when – burning. Magical in an experimental way. Urban sights and sounds filter through a window and fire escape on the Lower East Side of New York City during the Covid-19 pandemic’s first wave. Director, Danielle Chu. 10:42
Exhausted. An imaginative short film that will make you feel the weight of targeted hate crimes as we watch an Asian woman tirelessly wipe off her makeup. Director, Tiffany Jiang. 2:26.
Haunted. A spooky walk in the woods with a howling wind exploring the feeling of being haunted by people, places, and memories. Danielle Vishlitzky. 3:11.
Block 2: Romance, Culture, & Comedy
A Ring: The Short Film. After a rocky relationship, a young Black couple meets to amicably call it quits. But circular conversation blasts off and how mother and father began is revealed. Director, Ray Martell Moore, Submitted by Monique A. Robinson. 12:28.
Star Boy. An animation film about a Caribbean love triangle between a star Cricket player, his wife, and pregnant girlfriend. Co-Directors, Tilsa C. Wright and Stephen Williamson. 9:06.
Tell Me About Orange. A sweet coming-of-age story about a blind teenager who struggles to express his love for his best friend, a girl. Maybe love is truly blind. Director, Robin Noonan-Price. 6:43.
The Girl Next Door. A gifted harmonica player is trapped in a small town until a free-spirited singer moves next door. Will the prodigy choose music over holding her difficult family together? Director, Donna Wheeler. 19:00.
Carnival Queens. A work-in-progress where Caribbean American women of all ages and sizes dance their determination at Brooklyn’s famed West Indian Day Parade. Director, Tiffany Bradley. Submitted by Colored Criticism. 10:14.
Steamed! A comedy tinged with wacky humor and horror. The directorial debut of Beverly Bonner, star of Frank Henenlotter’s “Basket Case” horror film series. STEAMED! follows Louise Campbell (played by Bonner), a take-no sh*t stand-up comedian who can stand toe-to-toe to any challenge—that is, except a green stalker with a LOT of balls. AND she can’t just laugh it off when the bodies start piling up around her. Submitted by Jacob Baron. 20:00.
Block 3: Global, Environment, Activism
Basurero. Based on a true story of a Filipino fisherman, an Inside look at the inhumane politics behind drug-users, sellers, and the search for psychic and emotional value in the world. Director, Eileen Cabiling. 15:00.
One, if by land. Undocumented immigration journeys from Mexico, China, and Mozambique raises the question of impossible dreams. Nandini Sikand. 13:45
City Trees. An environmental love letter to the wonderful trees in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, NY. Director, Kristin Reiber Harris. 4:24.
The Healing Game Part 2. Japan and Brooklyn’s children recover from two separate natural disasters – Japan’s Tsunami, 2011 and Brooklyn/New York City’s Hurricane Storm Sandy, 2012 and the healing power of baseball. Directors, Vivian Lee and Sylvia Lewis. 9:00. Submitted by Vivian Lee
The Line. A queer woman of color experiences defining moments as she escorts patients through lines of angry protestors at a women’s health center that performs abortions. Director, Melisa Resch. 12:14.
Volunteer Teachers / Maestras Voluntarias Cuban Aunties recall their experiences as the first volunteer teachers in a pilot literacy campaign on this island nation. English subtitles. Director, Catherine Murphy. 17:36.