OFFICIAL SELECTION – About Want and Need

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Since Will has lost his wife his relationships are completely moribund. Now he tries to get over his loss by projecting his problems onto Gertrude, his bird. But the new relationship does not seem to result in any improvements. Will projects his fears onto the helpless bird that just doesn’t seem to be open for this kind of mental training.


Key Cast: Steve Hudson, Louis Friedemann Thiele

Key Crew: Sarah Heinrich, Liv Scharbatke, Tobias Müller, Hanna Binswanger, Nicole Rothermel, Carol Ratajczak, Alexander Richter, Tim Markgraf, Sebastian Zeeden, Elias Kremer, Kiana Naghshineh


You can view About Want and Need at Cinema Preview in San Francisco August 25th. For the complete lineup and tickets click here.






Sarah Heinrich, born 29.01.1985 in Kaiserslautern, began her career as a hairdresser to get closer to the desired profession as a theater makeup artist. Along the way, she discovered her love for puppets and finally for Character Animation. After a one-year internship at the Berlin postproduction company FX Factory she began her studies at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in 2010.
From puppet animation and hand drawn animation she finally arrived in the world of 3D animated films, where she has been now for 5 years.
She allways followed her passion for expressing emotions, acting and gestures.
With attention to detail, she completed her studies with her diploma film “About Want And Need”.

Director Statement

“About Want and Need is a story about loss and the art of letting go. There are many strange and abstruse ways to deal with a loss. Instead of going to therapy himself, Will prefers to treat his pet chicken Gertrude.

Good material to turn it into a short animation in which I can focus on acting and character animation.”

Adventures in Filmmaking

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By Nicole De Meneses

When it comes to the adventurous and often spontaneous world of video production, beginner auteurs and even season pros can get bogged down and side tracked by technical and business related issues that can distract from the creative process. Pull My Focus was created to provide tips and tricks to guide would-be creators through the trials and tribulations of filmmaking with cost effective, DIY solutions.  

Frank Dellario and Manu Smith, the force behind Pull My Focus, leverage their over 20 years of experience in the “biz” while keeping up to date on current film making techniques and trends. Constantly being bombarded by questions from friends and peers on recording dialogue properly and how to create film transitions, they were compelled to share their knowledge with the film community but in a fun and creative way through humorous videos.

They cite The Electric Company as one of the shows that have influenced the tone and presentation of their videos. The Electric Company was an educational children’s television series from the 70’s that used sketch comedy, cartoons, and songs to entertain their audience. One of the things that set Pull My Focus apart from other YouTube channels is their infectious sense of humor. You will be hard pressed to watch one of their videos and not crack a smile while learning a great deal in the process.

The other element that sets them apart from the YouTube pack is their years of working experience on film sets and in studios.  Frank got his start working as a PA while he attended The School of Visual Arts in NYC in 1987. He worked his way into the grip/electric department and has over 10 years of key and dolly grip experience. He also has 1st AD experience as well. He created a trade magazine called FilmCrew in 1992. Frank’s willingness to share his film knowledge has been a huge part of his life. FilmCrew published from 1994 to 2000 and had subscribers all over the world, with technical and fun articles geared to the film crew community.

Manu started working as a recording engineer in Brooklyn in 1990. In 1993 he opened up his own studio and teamed up with Frank to as one of the pioneers of Machinima Animation. Machinima uses the graphic engines of computer games to create animation in real-time. Manu did all the audio and coding needed for their early productions. The transition into editing was a natural fit. Assembling pictures to create a sequential story the same way he would assemble audio to create a track proved to be kismet.

The way the Pull My Focus team collaborates and works with one another is their biggest strength and greatest asset. Their skills complement each other in a yin-yang fashion. They write and shoot their own segments, Frank focuses on preproduction and production, and Manu focuses on editing and audio. Frank creates and assembles the shots for his segments and then sends them to Manu to finish. They have worked together for over 20 years. We should all be so lucky to have a creative partnership that rivals most marriages.

Some great behind-the-scene photos from a recent shoot: 


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In full military uniform, Chad Tyler is welcomed back to his Midwestern hometown by new and old friends alike. From the bus stop, Chad works his way through his old stomping grounds, getting reacquainted with a drink at each stop and catching up on old times. Along the way Chad is joined by Camille who idolized him when he was a star on the high school baseball team. As his one-man parade winds its way through town, the enthusiasm for Chad’s service and glory days soon fades as he’s reunited with more ‘friends’ from his past.

Key Crew: Douglas Mueller, Ryan Barton-Grimley

Key Cast: Ryan Barton-Grimley

You can view Repatriation at Cinema Preview in San Francisco August 26th. For the complete lineup and tickets click here.






Prior to completing Repatriation, his feature directorial debut, Douglas Mueller’s narrative filmmaking style can be seen in Prairie Love (Sundance ’11, Film Movement Distr.), where he storyboarded and production designed the frigid, almost-fantasy world; or in his award winning short film Four Corners (Periphery Project LLC, Distr.) set in the dusty isolation of the desert.

He’s currently in post-production on his documentary feature debut, a visual journey in cinema verité style, chronicling the critical restoration of California’s cherished Carmel Mission.

Shot on, now obsolete, Kodachrome film, Doug made an experimental documentary about the final Space Shuttle launches. Until chemical photography hobbyists crack the processing code for this iconic filmstock, the project waits, undeveloped, in his freezer.

In 2011 his short 16mm experimental documentary about a baroque keyboard tuner, Carey Beebe, Intermezzo 1 premiered at the Academy accredited, Nashville Film Festival. Mueller’s short documentary Dan, Tom and Ray- a silent film documentary short- screened at a number film festivals in California and the Mid-West.

Doug actively produces commercial works, non-profit documentaries and short-form internet films for organizations, most recently with Restorative Justice Partners Inc and funding through a Packard Foundation Grant. He and his wife were $1,000 winners of the Trend Micro video contest. Mueller was Production Designer for the 2010 thriller The Truth, distributed by Gravitas Ventures, Showtime and Maverick Entertainment Group.

Studying for his BA in film at CSUMB, he developed a documentary The BBC; 2002, which won the ‘2003 Edgar Kennedy Award for Arts, Culture, Humanities, Performance Event under the Volunteer/Student Category’ as well as ‘Monterey’s Best Freedom of Expression under the Volunteer/Student Category.

Director Statement

I was very attracted to films that bucked common structures regarding the main character. Stories like A “Christmas Carol,” or John Cheever’s “The Swimmer,” have protagonists, who in some ways change very little and the story is structured, not around their motives, but the actions and opinions of those around the protagonist. This gives the secondary characters a lot of responsiblility as the ensemble is tasked to move the story all while reflecting a consistant change on the protagonist.

I was also focused on making the atmosphere in Repatriation reflect my experience growing up in a remote, medium sized town in the mid-west and the moment I began writing it, I envisioned Dubuque, Iowa as the backdrop. I was born in Dubuque, but never lived there but I knew its beautfiful brick downtown area would give Repatriation a familiar, if not recognizable setting. Basing the film in Iowa gave me reasonable access to the talented Chicago theater community. One motivation for this film was to have a lot of opinions- I’d grown frustrated with indepenent films only having three characters so having a mix of resonating locations and quality performances through a long journey was achieved.


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A depressed man decides his life would be easier if he listened to the infomercials and replaced his brain with refried beans.

Key Crew: Eddie Hustleby, Alexandra Marske, Kelcey Lorenzo, Andy Fronczak, Haley Reed, Kaitlyn Ryan, Jennifer Chan

Key Cast: Billy Ward, Michelle Gernon, Tyson Prince, Paul Green

You can view Black Communion at Cinema Preview in San Francisco August 26th. For the complete lineup and tickets click here.






Eddie Hustleby is a writer, actor and filmmaker who has completed both fiction and non-fiction films. He has a love for challenging media and humor as a means of self-defense.

Black Communion is a strangely personal film, that takes a non-literal approach to many of the problems people face as they learn to adapt and change to better exist within the communities they inhabit. The production of the film was especially satisfying to me because my friends and classmates who helped create it really believed in it from the beginning to the end and put in more hours than I ever could have asked for to make the film as great as possible. This meant a lot to me, considering it was a non-typical film, that took a lot of risks and (I hope) challenged the type of student films currently being made.

Freelancer Club

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This online 6-month immersive club trains you how to find work, set etiquette, how to market yourself, effective networking strategies, and more.

A dedicated production and technical professional will guide you through a hands-on immersive six-month course. You will learn how to find jobs, get on set, build your resume, proper set etiquette, how to appropriately reach out to potential clients, how to build your client list, create a strategic plan of action, leverage previous jobs for better jobs, effective marketing techniques, how to get jobs in other cities, create and build your brand.

Participants will be responsible for producing marketing materials in this course and attend outside events.

* No experience required.
* Meetings are twice a month for two hours and include bi-weekly drop in sessions by appointment with the instructor.
* Join us for the online launch January 11th.

Location: ONLINE 
All meeting times are PDT

To guarantee a spot there is a $50 non-refundable deposit Pay Here.
One-time payment is $500 due January 11th.
Installment plan $100 a month for 6 months, starting January 11th.

6-month Membership also includes:
Free application to compete in Pitch Tank 2018

Must be 18 years and older to join.