NAFF IX to pack work week punch


Unlike the past couple of years, even though you know exactly where to head and find all the pertinent information, we’re actually sharing with you the schedule for the ninth annual New Art Film Festival in plenty of time for you to see who’s whats will be appearing – where else? – at the Art Theater, 126 W. Church St., in downtown Champaign, IL, on Monday, October 29. And, unlike the entire history of the NAFF up until now, this edition will play like a single two-and-a-half hour marathon with a 15-minute break built into the program courtesy of content manager Luke Boyce of Shatterglass Studios in Champaign. Your humble editor will step up to the mic and speak his peace at the beginning and end of the evening, of course, when he is guaranteed to thank all those who help anchor the NAFF in place every year for our neighbors and film artists to enjoy. They include our new Art contacts, head programmer Dora Valkanova (a past NAFF photographer) and Art Film Foundation executive director Porshé R. Garner, as well as our old friends Jason and Lisa Cerezo of ThirdSide in Champaign, for providing upkeep on our Web presence and cool graphics to enhance our public presence. Look and listen closely for NAFF cameos to surface very soon in our lovely local media and make sure you have us marked on whatever you use to save the dates these days for our free community event. Are you in, dearest viewers? Well, then! Expect to shake off your Monday blues from 7 to 10 p.m. on the 29th while we celebrate the cinema that we produce in Champaign, Urbana, and beyond. Onward!

~ Jason Pankoke



New Art Film Festival – Complete Schedule
@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL
October 29, 2018, 7 p.m.-10 p.m.


Dedicated to Richard Alan Greenberg (1947-2018)
and Thomas Rickman (1940-2018)


7 p.m. – Introductions
+ Film Block 01 [Ages 13+ recommended]

THE CONTEST (comedy)
2018, 7 min., Directed by Andrew Stengele for Pens to Lens/CUFS, Champaign, IL
Starring Andrew Stengele and Bishop Stevens
Two men challenge each other to a lifting contest at the gym. Written by Rayane Marzouqi.

I’M NOT EVIL (comedy)
2018, 6 min., Directed by Andrew Nygard for Pens to Lens/CUFS, Champaign, IL
Starring Ryan Luzzo, Eve Foley, and Quinn Fisher
Death, otherwise known as the Grim Reaper, is a skeleton-like man who wears a long black cloak and is pure evil … or, is he? Written by Quinn Fisher.

THE CLOWN (comedy)
2018, 4 min., Directed by Andy Due, Rubber Chicken Films/RL3 Productions, Charleston, IL
Starring Andy Due, Jacque Crossett, and Toine Perry
A clown, a ballerina, a strongman, and the tale of unrequited love, insincerity, and juggling. A scene from the sketch comedy series, THE ANDY DUE SHOW.

2018, 17 min., Directed by Grant Czadzeck, New Orchid Productions, Champaign, IL
Written and hosted by Matt Candeias
Dunes is the story of ecological succession, how one plant community gradually replaces another. Join us as we explore the concept on the shores of Lake Michigan.

STILL (drama | musical)
2018, 6 min., Directed by Nic Morse, Protagonist Pizza Productions, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Starring Ryan Luzzo and Danyelle Monson
When an ex-marine meets a wondering writer for the first time, they share a together a beautiful dream about love and dancing in its purest form.



2018, 10 min., Produced by Kaitlin Southworth, Tim Hartin, and Alison Davis Wood, Office of Public Affairs/DIA, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Featuring Endalyn Taylor
Professor of Dance Endalyn Taylor has toured the world with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and performed on Broadway in the original cast of “The Lion King.” Raised on the south side of Chicago, Taylor left home at age 16 to become a principal dancer at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Recently, Taylor traveled back to New York with a group of her Illinois students to perform a piece she choreographed at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She encourages her students by telling them “never underestimate the power of you … never forget that what you have that no one else has is your unique perspective.”

2018, 8 min., Directed by David Gracon
This social project was conceived by the students of the International Relations Department at Precarpathian National University located in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. The aim was to present social problems and issues with ordinary citizens in the city center and to have a discussion. They discussed strategies to address community issues and to make the city more livable for its citizens.

STUCK (drama | fantasy)
2018, 11 min., Directed by Andrew Gleason and Thomas Nicol for Pens to Lens/CUFS, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Starring Neenah Williams, Silvana Bennardo, and Julia Robbins
A girl is being followed by a dark figure and tries to get help. Written by Gwen Kaiser.

2018, 6 min., Directed by John Isberg, Swede Films, Urbana, IL
Starring Stewart Michael, Tiffany Jolley, and John Isberg
A musician on the road has one last show before heading home.


8:30 p.m. – Intermission



8:45 p.m. – Film Block 02 [Ages 17+ recommended]

WHAT’S IN THE CARDS (teaser | thriller)
2018, 1 min., Directed by Colin Gabriel Price, Priceless B Movies, Champaign, IL
Starring Colin Gabriel Price, Michael Murphy, Melissa Price, Grant Morenz, Katherine Bokenkamp, CJay Wallace, and Cody Prough
A gritty and grounded take on an infamous character from DC Comics, WHAT’S IN THE CARDS serves as an origin fan film for The Joker.

WORDS (drama | experimental)
2017, 17 min., Directed by Jarrod Finn, Malachi Entertainment, Urbana, IL
Starring Kimmy Schofield, William Rose II, Dominique Allen, and Cara Maurizi
Focusing on Jordan, a twenty-something writer, WORDS is a deeply personal, emotional story that does not sugarcoat the everyday battle that is clinical depression and anxiety disorder.

LIFESAVER (drama | fantasy)
2018, 10 min., Directed by Dushan Ranasinghe, Illini Film & Video, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Starring Katherine Bokenkamp
A young, seemingly average woman realizes she has the power to save people’s lives through her dreams.

SOY BOY KWON-DO (comedy)
2018, 2 min., Directed by CJay Wallace and Cody Prough, Red Lens Productions, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Starring Cody Prough and CJay Wallace
Wilted Flower, a.k.a. Trent, is trying to fix the world one informational video at a time!

GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE KNIGHT (fantasy | animation)
2018, 4 min., Directed by Thomas Nicol for Pens to Lens/CUFS, Champaign, IL
Starring Eva Gleason, Nathon Jones, and Bishop Stevens
Lizzie’s father has given her a teddy bear to help ward off bad dreams. Written by Ozella Green.



2018, 7 min., Directed by Andy Due, Rubber Chicken Films/RL3 Productions, Charleston, IL
Performed by Andy Due
A spoof of 1950s & 60s “How to” films, aimed at teaching you the flaws in your nocturnal habits. A scene from the sketch comedy series, THE ANDY DUE SHOW.

ESSENCE (teaser | horror | experimental)
2018, 5 min., Directed by Jeff Kacmarynski, Refractive Error Media, Champaign-Urbana, IL
Starring Pamela Adam and Jacob Ault
When a woman discovers a hidden, cosmic realm that grants desires, in her home, she helps those in need, and looks for a way to bring back her deceased son. A psychedelic sci-fi thriller in the tradition of STALKER, SOLARIS, NAKED LUNCH, and LOST HIGHWAY, also starring legendary cult movie actress Lynn Lowry.

SWAN SONG (thriller | experimental)
2016, 11 min., Directed by Max Pitchkites, Bloomington, IN
Starring Cliff Dennis, Seth Tucker, Bryan Ott, and Wynter Zabrina
A mentally unstable violinist is about to perform for the last time before moving on to a professional career in music. But right before the concert, he decides to become a completely new person.

PROJECTIONS (romance | experimental)
2015, 5 min., Directed by Paul A. Brooks, Into the Night Motion Pictures, Los Angeles, CA
Starring Phillip Kelly and Deneen Melody
A man and woman see each other for the first time and envision a life together. Director Paul Brooks is a native of Normal, IL.

GREEN AND HORNY (educational | musical)
2018, 3 min., Directed by Joe Taylor, Studio Extraño, WI
Starring Bill Kephart and Julia Megan Sullivan
GREEN AND HORNY is a cheesy music video about the larval stage of hornworms, a.k.a. manduca sexta. It was done for National Geographic to be used in a “late night” test show that ran on Nat Geo Wild. Director Joe Taylor previously lived in Oakwood, IL.


As always, titles and sequence are subject to change without notice.

The 2018 New Art Film Festival is presented by C-U Confidential and sponsored by the Art Theater, ThirdSide, and Shatterglass Studios.

NAFF logo design (revised) is by ThirdSide, Champaign, IL



[Updated 10/18/18, 11:45 a.m. CST]

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