With a Camera and a Vision, Short-Films are the Gateway for Powerful Storytelling
Home of the short film, streaming platform Argo releases a playlist on Up-and-Coming Directors

It’s true enough to be a prerequisite, but every great director starts with a short. Short films are one of the world’s most powerful storytelling tools, but can be almost impossible to discover and for filmmakers to get the support they need. Yet past the humble budgets and countless festival submissions with no promise of profitability, lies the chance to be discovered and the hope to create more. That chance justifies any level of investment or risk to get there. The harsh reality is, the film industry tends to discount the increasingly-popular medium, running the risk of advancing directors and limiting their audience. 

Then came Argo. When Arcadiy Golubovich set out to create a platform that supports, streamlines and monetizes short-films across the globe, he set out to build a platform where filmmakers come first. Argo aims to change the distribution and recognition of some of the world’s most outstanding works- giving them a platform for representation with low barriers to entry.

We’re proud to be partnering once again with the home of the short-film streaming platform in honor of the latest 4 film playlist release: “Up and Coming Directors”. The curated playlist champions the films of 4 Up-and-Coming directors ranging from documentary, to narrative, and animation. 

Join the directors on March 29th at 12PM EST for an in-depth conversation on the life and making of a short. Register here!

MEET THE DIRECTORS:

1. Kalu Oji (Filmmaker, Blackwood)

Kalu Oji is an Igbo-Australian Brown and visual artist based in Naarm/Birraranga.

His work primarily explores notions of identity, in particular the African-Australian experience. Firmly established as one of Australia’s new generation of emerging filmmakers, Kalu graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and TV). 

His graduate film, Blackwood, is a short film portrayed through the lens of a novelist and her teenage son living in a small Australian town. The film received international acclaim, picking up the Filmmaker to Watch Award (Atlanta Film Festival), Luggi Waldleitner Award for Best Screenplay (Filmschoolfest Munich), and Best Cinematography (Flickerfest). Kalu’s most recent film, The Moon and Me, received post production funding from The City of Melbourne, and just had its world premier at the Oscar Qualifying, Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. 

2. Mariam Dwedar (Documentarian, Made in Palestine)

Egyptian-Filipina cinematographer Mariam Dwedar is a filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. Mariam has contributed to Peabody Award and Webby Award-winning projects, filmed on field productions around the world covering a range of topics. Mariam was also recently recognized by DOCNYC- America’s largest documentary festival – as one of “40 under 40” rising stars in documentary filmmaking. 

Her debut film, Made in Palestine, is a documentary short set in Hebron on Hirbawi Textiles, the last remaining factory in Palestine that produces the traditional Palestinian scarf known as the kuffiyeh. The film is a portrait of the Hirbawi brothers who now run the factory 50 years after its establishment by their father Yasser Hirbawi. The brothers share the challenges that come with manufacturing, and the history behind the internationally-recognized symbol of the Palestinian people.

3. Steffie Yee, (The Lost Sound)

Steffie Yee is an animator, director, and designer working in Sydney Australia (unceded Gadigal land) and in the Hunter Valley region of Australia (unceded Wonnarua Land). Steffie’s work is recognisable by its distinctive tactile visuals of strata-cut animation, a form of stop-motion animation created by slicing open and photographing plasticine sculptures.

Steffie’s work has appeared in the form of live visuals at music festivals, broadcast on ABC TV, and in music videos for major artists such as Sam Smith, The Free Nationals, Justin Bieber, TOKiMONSTA, The Naked and Famous, and more. 

Her animated short film The Lost Sound is inspired by the poem On Ç by Hiromi Itō, which highlights Hiromi’s experience of gradually losing a language. The film is narrated by Hiromi herself, to the rhythmic animation of strata-cut plasticine, coloured pencil, paper and ink. 

Steffie’s work has screened at world-renowned film festivals, including the Atlanta Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, and Palm Springs ShortFest, where The Lost Sound received two nominations for Best Short Animation and Best Student Animation.

4. Zain Duraie (Filmmaker, Give Up The Ghost)

Zain Duraie kick-started her career after graduating from Toronto Film School as a trainee at Philistine Films with acclaimed filmmaker Annemarie Jacir. Duraie began developing her feature film screenplay abroad, which was selected to be developed with the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Academy and in parallel with its selection at Meditalents Residence and Torino Film Lab. 

Her film Give Up the Ghost is a 15-minute exploration of a married Arab couple who have trouble conceiving, and the emotional tension that grows between them. As the story unfolds, we dive into main character Salam’s inner conflict as a result of outer societal pressures. This is not exclusively an Arab story, but one that examines the pressures that women face in bearing children. 

The film was nominated for the “Robert Bosch Film Prize 2019,” has been officially selected at the prestigious La Biennale Di Venezia 2019 “Orizzonti Shorts competition, and won the Golden Prize for Best Short at the EL Gouna Film Festival. Most recently, the film has won the Vimeo Staff Pick award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  

With a Camera and a Vision, Short-Films are the Gateway for Powerful Storytelling
Home of the short film, streaming platform Argo releases a playlist on Up-and-Coming Directors

It’s true enough to be a prerequisite, but every great director starts with a short. Short films are one of the world’s most powerful storytelling tools, but can be almost impossible to discover and for filmmakers to get the support they need. Yet past the humble budgets and countless festival submissions with no promise of profitability, lies the chance to be discovered and the hope to create more. That chance justifies any level of investment or risk to get there. The harsh reality is, the film industry tends to discount the increasingly-popular medium, running the risk of advancing directors and limiting their audience. 

Then came Argo. When Arcadiy Golubovich set out to create a platform that supports, streamlines and monetizes short-films across the globe, he set out to build a platform where filmmakers come first. Argo aims to change the distribution and recognition of some of the world’s most outstanding works- giving them a platform for representation with low barriers to entry.

We’re proud to be partnering once again with the home of the short-film streaming platform in honor of the latest 4 film playlist release: “Up and Coming Directors”. The curated playlist champions the films of 4 Up-and-Coming directors ranging from documentary, to narrative, and animation. 

Join the directors on March 29th at 12PM EST for an in-depth conversation on the life and making of a short. Register here!

MEET THE DIRECTORS:

1. Kalu Oji (Filmmaker, Blackwood)

Kalu Oji is an Igbo-Australian Brown and visual artist based in Naarm/Birraranga.

His work primarily explores notions of identity, in particular the African-Australian experience. Firmly established as one of Australia’s new generation of emerging filmmakers, Kalu graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and TV). 

His graduate film, Blackwood, is a short film portrayed through the lens of a novelist and her teenage son living in a small Australian town. The film received international acclaim, picking up the Filmmaker to Watch Award (Atlanta Film Festival), Luggi Waldleitner Award for Best Screenplay (Filmschoolfest Munich), and Best Cinematography (Flickerfest). Kalu’s most recent film, The Moon and Me, received post production funding from The City of Melbourne, and just had its world premier at the Oscar Qualifying, Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. 

2. Mariam Dwedar (Documentarian, Made in Palestine)

Egyptian-Filipina cinematographer Mariam Dwedar is a filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. Mariam has contributed to Peabody Award and Webby Award-winning projects, filmed on field productions around the world covering a range of topics. Mariam was also recently recognized by DOCNYC- America’s largest documentary festival – as one of “40 under 40” rising stars in documentary filmmaking. 

Her debut film, Made in Palestine, is a documentary short set in Hebron on Hirbawi Textiles, the last remaining factory in Palestine that produces the traditional Palestinian scarf known as the kuffiyeh. The film is a portrait of the Hirbawi brothers who now run the factory 50 years after its establishment by their father Yasser Hirbawi. The brothers share the challenges that come with manufacturing, and the history behind the internationally-recognized symbol of the Palestinian people.

3. Steffie Yee, (The Lost Sound)

Steffie Yee is an animator, director, and designer working in Sydney Australia (unceded Gadigal land) and in the Hunter Valley region of Australia (unceded Wonnarua Land). Steffie’s work is recognisable by its distinctive tactile visuals of strata-cut animation, a form of stop-motion animation created by slicing open and photographing plasticine sculptures.

Steffie’s work has appeared in the form of live visuals at music festivals, broadcast on ABC TV, and in music videos for major artists such as Sam Smith, The Free Nationals, Justin Bieber, TOKiMONSTA, The Naked and Famous, and more. 

Her animated short film The Lost Sound is inspired by the poem On Ç by Hiromi Itō, which highlights Hiromi’s experience of gradually losing a language. The film is narrated by Hiromi herself, to the rhythmic animation of strata-cut plasticine, coloured pencil, paper and ink. 

Steffie’s work has screened at world-renowned film festivals, including the Atlanta Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, and Palm Springs ShortFest, where The Lost Sound received two nominations for Best Short Animation and Best Student Animation.

4. Zain Duraie (Filmmaker, Give Up The Ghost)

Zain Duraie kick-started her career after graduating from Toronto Film School as a trainee at Philistine Films with acclaimed filmmaker Annemarie Jacir. Duraie began developing her feature film screenplay abroad, which was selected to be developed with the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Academy and in parallel with its selection at Meditalents Residence and Torino Film Lab. 

Her film Give Up the Ghost is a 15-minute exploration of a married Arab couple who have trouble conceiving, and the emotional tension that grows between them. As the story unfolds, we dive into main character Salam’s inner conflict as a result of outer societal pressures. This is not exclusively an Arab story, but one that examines the pressures that women face in bearing children. 

The film was nominated for the “Robert Bosch Film Prize 2019,” has been officially selected at the prestigious La Biennale Di Venezia 2019 “Orizzonti Shorts competition, and won the Golden Prize for Best Short at the EL Gouna Film Festival. Most recently, the film has won the Vimeo Staff Pick award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  

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