Carter Pilcher – Chief Executive of Shorts International

It’s time to start talking Oscars.  This week on Film School we’ll be talking about the Academy Award nominated films in the short form categories, Live-Action, Animated and Documentaries.  Joining us will be Carter Pilcher. Carter founded Shorts International in 2000. Coming from a background in both investment banking and law, Carter has made Shorts International the world’s leading short movie Entertainment Company, functioning as distributor, broadcaster and producer. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars.

Oscar Nominated Short Doc – Open Heart, director Keif Davidson


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

OSCAR WEEK on Film School!!

Their hearts ravaged by common strep throat turned deadly, eight Rwandan children leave their families behind to embark on a life-or-death journey to Sudan for high-risk surgery. Resilient cardiologist Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza fights to save their lives, alongside larger-than-life Dr. Gino Strada who also must fight to save his hospital. Director Kief Davidson has had international success from the award-winning feature-length documentaries, KASSIM THE DREAM and THE DEVIL’S MINER. KASSIM THE DREAM, about a former child soldier turned boxing champion of the World, premiered at the Tribeca film festival and won over 10 international film festivals, including AFI, IDFA and Silver Docs. Keif joins us to talk about his Academy Award nominated Short Documentary film.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Review with Filmmaker Magazine founder and editor, Scott Macaulay


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

Filmmaker Magazine ( is a quarterly publication magazine covering issues relating to independent, documentary and foreign films. Founded in 1992 by Scott Macaulay, Karol Martesko-Fenster and Holly Willis, Filmmaker Magazine includes interviews, case studies, financing and distribution information, festival reports, technical and production updates, legal pointers, and filmmakers on filmmaking in their own words. Editor-in-Chief Scott Macaulay‘s experience as a working independent producer informs coverage of behind-the-scene aspects of the creative, technical and business realities facing today’s filmmakers. Scott Macaulay calls in to talk about the best and brightest films coming out of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

John Dies at the End – director Don Coscarelli


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

It’s all about the Soy Sauce—a new street drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can’t. Director Don Coscarelli joins us for a lively conversation about comedy, horror and sci-fi film making in a rousing follow-up to his cult classic, Bubba Ho-Tep.

“What may be the most freewheeling and imaginative film of Coscarelli’s checkered career, loaded with tripped-out mood and nicely balanced between humor, horror and an underlay of genuine sweetness.” – Andrew O’Hehir,

“John Dies at the End is joyously heterodox in its method, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mélange of sci-fi, black comedy, and action, with disquieting body-horror sight gags that at times recall David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch.” – Dana Stevens,



Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills towns of Western Massachusetts.

Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work—through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus. Childhood fears and ideals, adult anxieties and desires, the influences of pop-culture all combine to form who we are, and for Crewdson, motivate his work. Director Ben Shapiro stops by for a conversation on a remarkable artist and his insightful film.

Director Ben Shapiro will be appearing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday, January 24th for a 7:30 PM screening of Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters.



DIRTY ENERGY, director Bryan Hopkins


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

On April 20th, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and spewing 200 million barrels of oil into the ocean. DIRTY ENERGY gets the inside story from Louisiana residents themselves—people whose jobs and health are directly impacted by one of history’s worst environmental disasters—and whose voice quickly faded from American television screens. The film explores the human cost of having millions of gallons of oil and toxic dispersant in the ecosystem, and exposes the management failure of BP and the U.S. Government in the clean up, which will affect the world’s oceans and rivers for generations. Director Bryan Hopkins will join us to talk about the aftermath and consequences of a slow-motion disaster that continues to this day.

Film School Picks for the Best Films of 2012

Film School picks for the best films of 2012.

Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson

How to Survive a Plague – David France

Silver Lining Playbook – David O. Russell

Holy Motors – Leos Carax

The Law in These Parts – Ra’anan Alexandrowizc

Middle of Nowhere – Ava DuVernay

Rust and Bone – Jacques Audiard

Lincoln – Steven Speilberg

The House I Live In – Eugene Jarecki

The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlan

In The Family – Patrick Wang

Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino

Beauty is Embarrassing – Neil Berkeley

Brooklyn Castle – Katie Dellamaggiore

The Ambassador – Hans Brugger

The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev

The Invisible War – Kirby Dick

Hello I Must Be Going – Todd Louiso

Searching For Sugar Man – Malik Bendjeloul

5 Broken Cameras – Emad Burnat

The Waiting Room – Peter Nicks

The Gatekeepers – Dror Moreh

Island President – Jon Schenk

The Imposter – Bart Layton

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – Alison Klayman

Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best – Ryan O’Nan

Central Park Five – David McMahon, Ken Burns and Sarah Burns

Portrait of Wally – Andrew Shea

Safety Not Guaranteed – Colin Trevorrow

Only The Young – Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippett

Tchoupitoulas – Bill Ross and Turner Ross

King Kelly -Andrew Neel

The Flat – Arnon Goldfinger

The Kite – Prashant Bhargava

This list is subject to periodic updates because, to my undying shame, I have not yet seen; Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Footnote, Take This Waltz, The Deep Blue Sea, The Comedy, Oslo, August 31st, Sister, Queen of Versailles, The Sessions, This Is Not a Film, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Not Present, Sleepwalk With Me, Barbara or Mea Maxima Culpa.

ONLY THE YOUNG, director Elizabeth Mims


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

ONLY THE YOUNG follows the story of three teenagers that live in a small desert town in Southern California – a town dominated by foreclosed homes and underpasses, unfilled swimming pools and skate parks. These kids must find things to do in a place that offers nothing – yet in the course of observing their day-to-day lives, we see them discover friendship, first love, heartbreak, and what it means to be young. Co-directors Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ delicate, ethereal filmmaking and ONLY THE YOUNG’s innocent yet rebellious subjects collectively embody the very essence of adolescence. Elizabeth Mims will join us for a conversation on the challenges of capturing youth in bloom.

“A sketchbook of a documentary filled with adolescent bodies groping, lurching and skateboarding toward burgeoning adulthood.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Only the Young captures the lyricism of late childhood and the bewilderment of the road ahead. (It) is a lush beauty of a documentary whose youth face the danger of un-coolness.”  – Sarah Fisch, Village Voice

 “Directors Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet let their subjects meander, and instead unify their movie through tight control of tone, winding up with an elegiac portrait of teen America. “ – Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post