Film Courage Interactive

    about Film Courage


    (The Film Courage Interactives have ceased –
    but the memories live on here).

    Film Courage has expanded with a monthly screening series in Los Angeles. In a four-hour live event the last Monday of every month, The Film Courage Interactive showcases a couple short films, an independent feature, director’s Q & A, and caps off the night with a filmmaking discussion group where people share about the ups and downs of their pursuit, epiphanies on success, and more.

    The Film Courage Interactive is a two-part event. The beginning will contain a film screening with Director’s Q&A. The second part involves an in-depth discussion among fellow filmmakers/actors/writers and the like on upcoming projects, the current state of independent film and epiphanies about the business. The goal of the Film Courage Interactive is to build an appetite for independent film and bring artists together in a collaborative setting.

    As of January 2012, we have hosted 24 Film Courage Interactives and screened over 60 feature and short films.



    Monday, January 30, 2012

    SANTIAGO (feature)

    Written and Directed Felix Martiz


    THE TERRAIN (short)

    Written and Directed Brian Durkin


    EN PASSANT (short)

    by Craig Wilson


    Watch the trailer to SANTIAGO

    Synopsis for Santiago (feature):

    Eager and naive, film student Billy (Wesam Keesh) trustingly takes on as cameraman for Miguel (Dan Lopecci), who has arranged to follow Santiago (Jesus Guevara), a notorious pimp and drug dealer, as a character study. The adrenaline-rushed adventures captured through the lens obscures the grim reality of the crime world Billy witnesses and celebrates alongside Santiago and his gang, all the while Miguel is not so easily swayed. Is he not charmed by Santiago as we all are, or does he know more than he leads on?

    Synopsis for The Terrain (short):

    After returning from war, two soldiers are recruited into a covert mission in Los Angeles and must decide how much of themselves they will leave on this new battlefield.

    The film was written, directed, and produced by Brian Durkin.  Additional producers include Todd Cattell,
    Vivian Lee and Matthew Blanco.  It stars Todd Cattell, Marisa Petroro, Brian Durkin, Brian Burnett, Sarena Khan, and Chris Stanley.  The film was shot by DP Casey Feldt.


    MONDAY November 28, 2011

    MISSING PIECES (feature)
    written and directed by Kenton Bartlett

    FIDELIS (short)
    written and directed by Jonathan Schiefer

    Watch the trailer to MISSING PIECES

    Synopsis for Missing Pieces (feature):

    This is a story about a man who’s lost everything and his misguided attempts to put it back together. Missing Pieces is an emotional enigma about love and lonelinessand a kidnapping. David (Mark Boone Jr.) tries again and again to win back the love of his life, Delia (Melora Walters), but she’s not having it. As the situation turns hopeless, David concocts a master scheme that will surely win her back and turn it around. Through interwoven, poignant vignettes, this multi-plot tale unfolds and untangles into a truly unique and heartfelt love story about finding hope when all is lost.

    More on the film Fidelis here.


    MONDAY October 24, 2011 CERISE and (test screening) TILT

    Directed by Phil Holbrook (TILT)

    Written/Directed by John T. Trigonis (CERISE)

    Watch the trailer to TILT here

    SYNOPSIS FOR TILT: Paul hasn’t connected with his daughter for over 10 years, but when their world is turned upside down by an unthinkable act, he has to decide what’s more important: doing the right thing or setting things right. TILT is about revenge & forgiveness, betrayal & redemption, and second chancessmall town style.

    SYNOPSIS FOR CERISE: Former National Spelling Bee champ is haunted by the word that took him down.  The grammatical world of former six-time National Spelling Bee champ Josh Kermes is thrown into disarray when the director of the tutoring center he works for hires a new writing tutor, Shivam Shah, who also happens to be the person who won the spelling bee Josh had lost 20 years ago. Chaos and competition ensue up, down, and diagonally in this short quirky dramedy, culminating in the ultimate showdown. It’s man against word: Will Josh finally overcome the word that took him down?



    Monday September 26, 2011 – The Great Intervention

    Written and Directed by Stephen Moramarco


    Watch the trailer to The Great Intervention


    Steve Moramarco, a single, unemployed 40-something Man-Child, thinks he has finally been discovered by a documentary film crew after years of languishing in obscurity.

    A few minutes into the film, we discover that it is his parents who are behind this, in an attempt to collect evidence for a Life Intervention.

    We follow Steve, his parents, his best friend and his former girlfriends as they all lurch towards the day that will forever after be known as The Great Intervention.

    Actor/Writer/Director Stephen Moramarco raised $5,000 on Kickstarter for the project and immediately began filming. The picture was on time and on budget.

    There was no script, just a detailed outline. Actors improvised within a structured scenario. Most of the scenes in the film were done in one take.



    Monday August 29, 2011 – The Way He Makes Them Feel:
    A Michael Jackson Fan Documentary

    Written and Directed by Joelle Arqueros, Todd Lampe
    and ErinRose Widner

     Website: The Way He Makes Them Feel


    From all over the world, meet fans of all ages, religions, backgrounds, and races who found solace and inspiration from one man – Michael Jackson. Discover the unexpected ways he influenced people’s lives beyond his power as a pop star. From inspiring fans to recycle, to helping another get through her drug-free labor by listening to his music, learn more about his real fans, who are not just the characters they have been portrayed as by the media – but genuine individuals. This insightful documentary reveals how people discovered him and are impacted by him, not only in his life – but also after his death. Their stories and sentiments will reveal not only an artist, humanitarian, and musical innovator, but simply a man, seen through the eyes of those that loved him the most – his fans. In The Way He Makes Them Feel: A Michael Jackson Fan Documentary, witness how one man inspires countless others, in so many diverse ways, and the way he makes them feel about themselves and the world.


    Monday July 25, 2011 – Homecoming

    Written and Directed by Sean Hackett
    Produced by Tim & Mary Larson
    Co-produced by Tomas Deckaj and Josh Shelton


    Homecoming is the story of Estelle Szymanski, an Army medic in search of fun while on leave in her hometown of Celebration, Florida. With her directionless yet noble friends tagging along, she reveals hidden fears about her lonely mother and finds more than she expected from her homecoming celebrations.

    As America enters a second decade of war, many soldiers feel misperceived, unrecognized, and unsure where they belong when they return. Homecoming shows a rare glimpse of a female soldiers story – a view one seldom finds in cinema. In this AMC Theatres Kansas City Best US/International Narrative Feature, writer/director Sean Hackett strays away from war film "hot topics" (injury, PTSD, politics) and instead focuses on the broader subject of what these soldiers sacrifice – their 20s. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this authentic and acute portrait shows Estelle redefining "home."

    HOMECOMING by writer/director Sean Hackett.  The feature film stars Brea Grant (Heroes, Halloween II), John Robinson (Elephant, Lords of Dogtown), Colleen Camp (Clue, Election) and British up-and-comer Tom Fox Davies.


    Monday June 27, 2011 and Tuesday, JUNE 28, 2011 – SubHysteria

    Story and Directed by Leonard Zelig
    Produced by Javier Perez-Karam, Roberto Alcazar
    and Mario Domina

    Website: Learn more about the film SubHysteria


    Sixteen people get stuck in a subway car in NYC for several days, without communication, hope, way to escape, and a fatal sensation that they are going to die.

    A raw display of human behavior when one confronts the possibility of death.


    MONDAY MAY 30, 2011 – SOUTH LOOP

    Written and Directed by John Rangel
    Produced by John Rangel and Juan Diego Ramirez

    Website:  Learn more about the film SOUTH LOOP


    In 2005, RICK TORRES quickly becomes one of the most successful realtors in his company with the help of his girlfriend TERESA.  As the sales pile up, Rick is quick to leave Teresa for a luxurious condo in the South Loop, Chicago’s emerging neighborhood.  Rick soon meets and falls hard for CYNTHIA, a recent transplant to the city.  But it is now 2007 and the real estate market plummets, affecting not only Rick’s sales but his relationship with Cynthia as well. Rick finds he could now lose everything he worked so hard for. 


    MONDAY APRIL 25, 2011 – ONCE & FOR ALL

    Written and Directed by Cory Reeder



    Rather than conventional devices, the film uses popular music as the catalyst to tell the story and utilize the film’s major theme: “Actions speak louder than words.”  The film is not a musical filled with dancing and singing ala “Moulin Rouge” or “Mamma Mia,” but more in the vein of Pink Floyd’s, “The Wall.”  The music accompanies the film and acts as a rhythmic and lyrical guide for the audience to witness the emotions the characters feel and act upon. In between the songs, you learn more about the two main characters, HIM & HER, by viewing personal moments from their home movies. You learn what instigates the demise of their relationship, how they celebrated happier times, and what made their relationship so special.


    Written/Directed/Produced by Jesse Pomeroy

    Also Produced by Markus Innocenti

    Learn more about the thriller feature WORLD FULL OF NOTHING

    Watch the trailer to WORLD FULL OF NOTHING


    In the midst of a rash of copycat suicides, filmed by the victims and later posted on the Internet, a young girl reaches out in her own video blog for help in understanding the chaos of the world around her. Her videos pique the interest of a pedophile and an FBI agent who hunts Internet predators as both set out to find the girl, perhaps before it’s too late.

    February 28, 2011 – ROLL OUT, COWBOY
    Directed/Produced by Elizabeth Lawrence, Produced by
    Warner Boutin, Edited Elizabeth Ross

    Website: Learn more about the film ROLL OUT, COWBOY
    Watch the trailer to the film ROLL OUT, COWBOY


    ROLL OUT, COWBOY is a feature-length documentary about 39 year-old Chris ‘Sandman’ Sand, a rappin’ cowboy from Dunn Center, North Dakota who struggles with his art, fame, paying the bills, and other conflicts, while traveling the country during the 2008 Presidential election.

    December 13, 2010 – Cinefist, Cinema Speakeasy, and Film Courage Present the documentary film RIDE THE DIVIDE
    Directed by Hunter Weeks, Produced by Mike Dion/Joe Cantwell

    Website: Learn more about the film RIDE THE DIVIDE
    Watch the trailer to the film RIDE THE DIVIDE

    Karen Worden of Film Courage catches up with Mike Dion and Hunter Weeks after the screening/party, once things quieted down…


    A small group of adventurous mountain bikers attempt to race the longest mountain bike route in the world traversing over 2700 miles along the Rocky Mountains from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border.


    November 29, 2010 – PARADISE RECOVERED
    Written by Andie Redwine and Directed by Storme Wood

    Mingle Media’s JJ Snyder speaks with Paradise Recovered Filmmakers Andie Redwine and Storme Wood before the event
    Interview with Mingle Media’s JJ Snyder at the Paradise Recovered screening with Piano Fingers filmmaker Nicholas Carmen

    Website: Learn more about the film PARADISE RECOVERED
      Watch the trailer to the film PARADISE RECOVERED


    A devout young woman learns about faith, living, and love from a surprising source.


    October 25, 2010 – COLD STORAGE
    Written by Tony Elwood and Mark Kimray
    Directed by Tony Elwood



    Cold Storage is an award-winning thriller directed/co-written by Tony Elwood and produced by Paul Barrett. It stars Nick Searcy (FX’s Justified/The Dead Girl), Joelle Carter (FX’s Justified/American Pie 2), Matt Keeslar (Waiting for Guffman/The Last Days of Disco), Sean Bridgers (Deadwood), and many more. The chilling, beautifully shot feature exhibits young Melissa Adams after a fatal car accident, where she is discovered by Clyde Mercer, a simple-minded mountain hermit. He takes her lifeless body back to his cabin, high in the mountains of Tennessee. Then he nurtures her as if she was alive, and in his mind – she is.

    Website: Learn more about the film COLD STORAGE
    Watch the trailer to the film COLD STORAGE


    October 13, 2010 – TAKEDOWNS AND FALLS
    Produced by Todd Hickey and Kirk Ledger
    Directed by Todd Hickey


    Takedowns and Falls exhibits a group of Pennsylvania teens and their relationships within a high school wrestling team on a journey to attain a state championship. It chronicles a season of the Central Dauphin Rams in Harrisburg, PA and highlights the sacrifice of its athletes, the commitment of their families and the dedication of its coaches. Inspired by their love of the sport and their coaches, this group of teens grows up before our eyes, in an attempt to over achieve and do the impossible. Takedowns and Falls explores themes of humility, family, friendship and teamwork via individual and team efforts to win a state title. The film transcends the sport, becoming a story about people over coming odds, and will appeal to a wide audience. Takedowns and Falls is Spellbound meets Friday Night Lights for high school wrestling, taking place in the U.S. Mecca for the sport.

    It is an expose on humanity that transcends the mat and captures life-lessons that all people can share and learn from. Audiences will witness the characters go about their days, their lives captured and portrayed honestly, on and off the mat, and finding the parallels between the two.

    Website: Learn more about the film TAKEDOWNS AND FALLS
      Watch the trailer to the film TAKEDOWNS AND FALLS


    September 27, 2010 – SPARE CHANGE
    Written and Directed by Azariah Gunn


    Trey Dice (known as Dice Man) is a successful tour musician living the lavish lifestyle he always dreamed about–while Isis Steele, his former love, struggles to overcome their failed relationship in the wake of Trey’s newfound notoriety and success. One quiet night in The City, Trey has a chance encounter with Luiz Crawls, a guilt-ridden jazz legend whose career has long since plummeted after the loss of his wife. Tormented by self-blame and desperate to free himself from emotional captivity, Luiz seizes his opportunity for redemption; forcing Trey to face hidden truths that will alter the course of his life’s journey forever.

    Website: Learn more about the film SPARE CHANGE
    Watch the trailer to the film SPARE CHANGE


    September 13, 2010 – MOTHER OF INVENTION
    Written by Joseph M. Petrick and Directed by
    Andrew Boswer and Joseph M. Petrick


    MOTHER OF INVENTION, a feature mockumentary about Vincent Dooly. Vincent is an aspiring inventor who dreams of winning an annual inventing award but has a small problem… he’s never made anything that’s worked. Now, it’s the last year he can enter the competition and he faces stiff competition from nemesis Martin Wooderson, the smug wunderkind who has a long history of winning. But this time, Vincent has a plan… and it just might change everything.
    August 30, 2010 – SHOOTING APRIL
    Written and Directed by Tod Lancaster



    Shooting April is a raw, disturbing depiction of three young guys from the YouTube Generation. To this brave new generation – and for Truman, Weasel and Doug in particular – the video camera is king. From arguments to pranks to death-defying stunts, they record it all. Even the sexual conquests of the group’s alpha male, Truman, become little more than fodder for the video camera. Then Truman’s sexual advances are rebuffed by a girl he had considered easy prey: a shy teenager named April, who genuinely likes Truman but isn’t ready to take it to the next level. Truman strong-arms the others into accepting a wager: either he convinces April to have sex with him or he owes them each a hundred bucks. With his reputation on the line, Truman has no intention whatsoever of taking "no" for an answer.

    Shooting April cast and filmmakers interview with Mingle Media’s
    Damian Pelliccone at the event

    July 26, 2010 – ONE HOUR FANTASY GIRL
    Written and Directed by Edgar Michael Bravo



    ONE HOUR FANTASY GIRL is a compelling coming-of-age drama that is like no other film of its kind. Boldly honest and thought provoking, the film introduces audiences to the world of a twenty-year-old fantasy girl: Becky Lewis, who escaped an abusive alcoholic mother at the age of 15 and has been surviving on her own in Los Angeles ever since.

    Having always struggled for money, Becky becomes business partners with Chi Trang, an aspiring musician, who convinces her to work as a fantasy girl who acts out any fantasy a guy wants as long as no sex is involved and is 100% legal. She immediately gains two frequent customers, Roger and Bobby, who end up sending Becky on an unexpected ride of her life in a web of deceit, betrayal and murder that forces her to give up her own happiness. Shaken and bruised, yet determined to make it, Becky pushes forward hoping to earn enough money to invest in real estate and make the big bucks. Her journey leads her to find an unlikely ally who, for a moment, gives her the break shes never had.

    June 28, 2010 – CHLOE & KEITH’S WEDDING
    Written and Directed by Archie Gips


    Chloe and Keith’s Wedding was first posted as a Youtube clip in 2008. The 44 second video was entitled ‘My Clumsy Best Man Ruins Our Wedding.’ The video was viewed over 70 million times, and seen on the front page of Yahoo, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and many more.


    May 31, 2010 – I AM THE BLUEBIRD
    Written and Directed by Thomas Verrette

    Awakening from an experimental surgery performed by his neurologist father, Ethan Galloway, re-enters his life suffering from temporary memory loss. His past slowly becomes familiar, though not without a few changes. His dad has remarried, his mom has become an alcoholic, and his sister is dating his best friend. When Ethan finds a photograph of himself on the beach with a beautiful girl whom he can not recall, he begins a journey to fill in the missing pieces of his past despite the apparent efforts of his friends and family to keep it from him.

    April 26, 2010 – THE WATERHOLE
    Written by Nathan Cole and Directed by Ely Mennin



    The Waterhole is the story of Miller (Patrick J. Adams), who when his small-town world begins rapidly changing around him, takes refuge in a local dive bar recently purchased by his best friend.

    March 29, 2010 – A NEW TOMORROW directed by Cary Corr



    A NEW TOMORROW is a mockumentary that skewers the Christian Right, lampoons dysfunctional Democrats, takes aim at the War in Iraq, caricatures the Bush Administration and pokes fun at how Americans vote.

    February 22nd, 2010 – THE STEVIE WONDERSHOW
    directed by Mike Pasley



    THE STEVIE WONDERSHOW is a dark comedy about STEVIE, a self-conscious man who secretly creates audacious home videos of himself. when one of his videos is discovered by KING, a manipulative co-worker, STEVIE reluctantly becomes a reality TV star. KING becomes obsessed with sabotaging STEVIE’S success at all costs and things quickly spiral out of control as STEVIE sees the dark side of human nature.


    January 25th, 2010 – EUGENE directed by Jake Barsha


    A friendless bachelor who’s confused about his sexuality, Eugene (Stuart G. Bennett) struggles to find someone decent to love him. While battling his inner demons, the miserable loner tries to help a troubled young couple, which leads to jealousy and intolerable pain. This disturbing character study, writer-director Jake Barsha’s debut feature, co-stars Ryan Reyes as a drug-addicted hustler and Megan Lee Ethridge as his beautiful girlfriend.