Irvington Theater Presents As iFF “Film as Dream” International Short Film Festival on November 3rd
As iFF you need to sleep to dream, the All Shorts Irvington Film Festival (As iFF) will screen its eighth international film event on Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 pm at the Irvington Town Hall Theater (followed by a festive after-party for all festival ticket-holders and filmmakers). The program, “Film as Dream,” honors the human imagination with 11 outstanding short films from Australia, England, Iran, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Scotland, Turkey, and the United States.
Official selections are chosen from hundreds of submissions by filmmakers around the world. Some have won prizes at other international film festivals such as Cannes; four are New York premieres, and two are world premieres that will be seen on the big screen for the first time ever at As iFF.
Judged and curated by a jury of film professionals, the program includes animated and narrative live action shorts that illustrate timeless storytelling — from the immediate and real, to the untethered stories weaving through our dreams (for tickets and information, visit: www.asiffestival.com).
Presented in two sets with a short intermission in between, the films range from four to 15 minutes. Audience members vote for their favorite at the end of the evening. Jury prizes are awarded in a variety of categories by As iFF’s Advisory Board (comprising award-winning film editors, animators, writers, actors, directors, and producers).
Since its 2015 debut, As iFF has gained a worldwide following; filmmakers and patrons travel from abroad to attend each one-night-only, sold-out event in the majestic, 430-seat, historic theater overlooking the Hudson River. The selection process has grown increasingly competitive, and As iFF is now recognized globally as a sought-after festival by renowned and up-and-coming filmmakers.
Among the official selections is “Pianoforte,” directed by award-winning Hastings-on-Hudson filmmaker Peilin Kuo, and written by longtime Irvington resident Todd Gordon (who is also the film’s executive producer). “Pianoforte” traces its genesis to a chance encounter between Kuo and Gordon at a local café, Antoinette’s Patisserie in Hastings. Born in Taiwan, Kuo, who has lived in New York since 2002, was seeking a script doctor for her feature film project, “A Thousand Deaths – The Story of Anna May Wong.”
Gordon had come to screenwriting after many years in the corporate world, and was looking for a more experienced filmmaker to shepherd his short script through production. (Gordon’s first completed script won two screenwriting competitions; “Pianoforte” is his first script to become a film.)
Filmed locally, viewers will recognize the Irvington Town Hall Theater (reconfigured as a New York City apartment building), Irvington Hardware, and Hastings’ Square Peg Gallery. Antoinette’s Patisserie and Suzanne’s Table in Irvington provided catering. Supporting actor Marie-Louise Miller and the film’s editor, Joe Gutowski, both live in Hastings.
In “Pianoforte,” a newly arrived tenant, already near the end of her emotional rope, finds her neighbors strange and difficult, retreating to her apartment for refuge. Her neighbors rob her of that peace. Director Kuo explained, “We’ve taken these circumstances and turned them into a psychological drama with a dark sense of humor.”
The film depicts how people crave connections — to friends, neighbors, even strangers. “It can seem like no one cares who we are, although sometimes we’d rather keep that to ourselves anyway,” said Kuo. “I’m intrigued by this duality. ”
Neo-noir is the style “Pianoforte” aims for, where elements such as anxiety, disillusionment and panic drive the look. The sets are stark and high-contrast, reflecting the lead character’s state of mind. Echoing the film’s title, which means “soft-loud” in Italian, Kuo enlists sounds as a further instrument of torment.
The score uses excerpts from Quartet No. 1 by John Corigliano (Best Original Film Score Oscar winner for The Red Violin); Corigliano was a music consultant on “Pianoforte.” The film stars Jennifer Kim (whose numerous film and TV credits include The Bourne Legacy and Spider-Man: Homecoming).
As iFF is sponsored by ITHT Arts Champion, Pamela Eskind, Real Estate Associate Broker (William Raveis Legends Realty Group). Supporting sponsors include Lockard & Wechsler Direct, Houlihan Lawrence, and Bridge Street Properties.