One of the best parts about the festival weekend is that we not only show films from great independent filmmakers, but we actually bring in a selection of special guests from the film to share their experiences with us in making the films. This year we are honored to be hosting a number of guest from a variety of our films; stay after each film for a Q&A session.
A Michigan-native, Amanda Bauer will be representing the closing night film FOREV in which she plays a main role as the character Jess. Her past work includes a role in IFC Films’ romantic dramedy The Myth of the American Sleepover and a guest appearance in the fifth season of Mad Men.
Producer and actress, Emily Best comes to Bay City to represent the film Like the Water. She is currently a managing member of The Private Theatre Corporation and has previously co-founded ABSCo, ABroad Stage Company, where she produced a bnew re-write of Jose Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot in July of 2009 directed by Pippin Parker; originated the roles of Lela inFreakish, and Bridget in Ghost Light, both staged readings of new works. Outside of ABSCo, Emily originated the role of Gertrude in the musical Oh My! (IRT Artist in Residence), played Luscinda in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s workshop of Cardeniodirected by Gregory Doran, and Thea in a site-specific production ofHedda Gabler directed by John Gould Rubin. www.emilybest.com
Brenden Hubbard is the Associate Producer for Before I Disappear. He also served as production assistant for Curfew, the Oscar-winning short film that Before I Disappear evolved from. He also served as co-producer for the documentary Mad as Hell along with a number of other short films.
David MacGregor is the writer and co-producer for the film Vino Veritas which has been nominated for HHM Jury Award for Best Screenplay. Past screenplays include Phobos (first prize in American Cinema Foundation’s screenwriting competition), Double Bind (second prize in FADE IN Magazine’s competition), The Late Great Henry Boyle (one of ten finalists in Nicholl Fellowship Competition), Big Time (optioned by Symbiosa Entertainment), Mobility Medics (premiered in Ann Arbor, MI), and Implant America (premiered in New Orleans). He has also written a number of stage plays including The Adventure of the Elusive Ear, The Late Great Henry Boyle, Gravity, and Consider the Oyster.
As a special opening night guest, Steve Mims will attend HHM with actress Ashley Spillers to represent his film Arlo & Julie, which he both wrote and directed. His film Incendiary: The Willingham Case had its world premiere at SXSW and an east cost premiere at AFI/Discovery Channel Silverdocs in 2011. Other feature-length films include Ruthie Foster: Live at Antones, which won the Blues Foundation Award for Best DVD of 2012; Lizards Times Twenty: Austin Lounge Lizards Live at Antone’s, which premiered at SXSW and was released on DVD by Blue Corn Records; The Austin Lounge Lizards: Thirty Years of Lost Luggage; and The Perfect Specimen, which premiered at SXSW and was picked up by Showtime.
As director and producer, Andrew Putschoegl will be representing the comedy BFFs. Since graduating with a degree in film production from Chapman University, Andrew has worked as a director, editor and producer on various types of projects, as well as award winning shorts and commercials. He is currently developing material for several platforms. www.ninjagoldfish.com
This is Kirsten Russell’s second time around the HHM block as she attended last year with her film Rabbit Stories, the This year, she attends as director of Universal Language, a short film that plays in Shorts Program 1 and that has been nominated for HHM Jury Award for Best Short Film.
Luke Shirock is a composer and actor, known his short film SPONGE which will show as part of Shorts Program 1, but has also worked on Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon (2015) and Old Married Couple (2011).
As lead actress as Julie in opening night film Arlo & Julie, Ashley Spillers joins director/writer Steve Mims in representing the film. Ashley won HHM Jury Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2013 for Loves Her Gun and has been nominated for best actress for her film this year. Her past work also includes Last Vegas and a number of short films.