On April 4th, the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival opens up to showcase and celebrate comedic short films. This festival now it its fifth year looks to have screenings, industry panels, red carpet events, and cash prizes awarded to directors of the winning comedic films. There is even the coveted “Commie Award” that is given out by the panel who they believe deserves recognition. Past winners of the “Commie Award” are Bobcat Goldthwait and Missi Pyle. This year, the award recipients will be Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele” show.
I was able to talk with Jeannie Roshar, who is the festival director, and actor Gary Anthony Williams, who is the artistic director. As soon as the conversation began I knew that these two were perfect to host and produce a festival that is centered on comedy. Williams and Roshar have a great chemistry and I would love to see them acting together in a comedic film.
They started this festival to bring all lovers of comedy to one spot and look out for the next artist or actor who should get a chance to be discovered. Winners of certain categories will be able to meet up with some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as managers and studio executives. With prizes like these I asked them about the number of entries they received for this year’s fest. Gary said that there were a lot of funny short films. For those who might not know to be called a film short the length of the movie cannot exceed 30 minutes.
Some of the aspiring directors or actors might not have the high price camera equipment to shoot a great looking short film. When I asked Jeannie if they cared about the footage she said, “We care if it is funny. We have had films play that may have been shot on an iPhone. We have had films play that had probably had $70,000 to $80,000 budget. We are looking for comedy voices. Certain things have to be in place. People can forgive a bad picture better than they can forgive bad sound.”
In regards to those aspiring actors and directors I asked Gary if he saw any one film or talent that stood out from the rest. Gary told me, “I can honestly say there are so many of them. Like we just watched the film where there is this little girl in it, who is as dynamite as anything you will ever see.”
Jeannie followed up Gary by telling me, “We see some great stuff too from groups. They put out a ton of great content.”
Talking with the two of them, it seems that not only will the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival be funny as ever, but there is some excellent talent out there for directors to discover. For more information on the festival you can go to their website. If you want get a small taste of what you will experience at the festival, make sure you click here to listen to my interview with Jeannie Roshar and Gary Anthony Williams.