HIGHLIGHTS – AUGUST 2020 COMEDY Short Film Festival


Theme of night: Unique surroundings

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterIF YOU LOVE HER, LET HER GO, 6min., France, Comedy/Relationship

festival posterWHAT DO WE DO?. 3min., US, Comedy

festival posterPOGONOPHOBIA, 16min., Ireland, Comedy/Drama

festival poster6 FEET CLOSER TO YOU, 3min., US, Comedy/Musical

festival posterSO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?, 4min., Canada, Comedy/Relationship

festival posterMIXED RECEPTION, 5min., UK, Comedy

festival posterDESIGNATED RIDER, 12min., USA, Comedy

festival posterUBER THOUGHTS, 2min., USA, Comedy

festival posterFEDERAL APPROVED PARENT, 8min., USA, Comedy/Drama

festival posterMANN OVERBOARD, 7min., USA, Comedy/Web Series

festival posterBRAZZY JAZZY, 5min., USA, Comedy/Web Series

festival posterONE ACTOR SHORT Episode 3, 9min., Comedy/Webs Series

festival posterHOW DO THEY BONE?, 9min., Comedy/Web Series

festival posterCHICKEN, 10min., USA Comedy/Web Series

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Tom Ryan (POGONOPHOBIA)

Tom Ryan is an Irish filmmaker currently based in the UK. Having learned his trade working on indie movie shoots in New York, Tom returned to Ireland and made his first feature film as a writer/ director ‘Trampoline’ at the age of 25 for EUR1000 and which was later sold to Amazon Prime Video.

After the success of ‘Trampoline’ Tom began work on his next project ‘Twice Shy’ – a road trip movie following a young couple travelling from Ireland to the UK as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. ‘Twice Shy’ had great success on the festival circuit which included a screening at the Cannes Film Festival along with earning Tom a Rising Star award in LA and a Best Young Director award in Australia. ‘Twice Shy’ as a critical and commercial success upon its theatrical release in the summer of 2017. Dublin Film Critics Circle hailed Tom as a ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ in 2017.

Director Statement


I fell in love with Pognophobia and the characters within as soon as I read the first draft of the script. As a director I am always looking out for characters with heart, who are doing their best to get through their day whilst facing personal issues known only to them. When considering a project to direct it is always important that I try to imagine the project from the point of view of the audience. When reading Pogonophobia I did so with that mindset and connected with the material immediately. The main character of Cyril is so wonderful and complex while at the same time strangely relatable as I feel that everyone has personal insecurities that they feel embarrassed by. It is almost a rarity to see such a decent character with a heart of gold on screen these days. Also, to have the antagonist of the tale be the mindset of the protagonist is such an interesting approach to a short film like this. Cyril is ultimately his own enemy as he is lacking the confidence to be himself and follow his heart. It is my job as director to successfully translate him to the screen and tell this story in such a short time frame which I feel will be a fantastic challenge that I am very excited about.

Short Film: POGONOPHOBIA, 16min., Ireland, Comedy/Drama

Might sound funny, but there are people out there dealing with this bizarre affliction. CYRIL is one of those unfortunate few. He does not go out much, in fact he hardly leaves his apartment at all any more. In this golden age of hirsutism, the risk of having a beardy encounter is just too high.

His job as a computer games’ tester allows him to work from home and lose himself in a virtual reality. He feels safe in his tiny world and rigid routine. His cousin, SADIE, tries to get him out more, but he dodges her invitations. He does, however, know that something must be done….

Helping him talk through his issues is RITA, an online psychologist who specialises in unusual phobias. She is fighting her own battle in chemotherapy. She challenges Cyril to face his fear, but something is holding him back.

An act of hooliganism at Grand Canal Dock will change all that. When a late night shopping expedition turns into an aquatic survival situation, Cyril will find he owes his life to a bearded man called RAMAN. This transformative experience will enable Cyril to see whiskered men as people, not monsters, and give him the courage to grow a moustache for Movember.

Project Links

Director Biography – Ilan Zerrouki (IF YOU LOVE HER, LET HER GO)

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Ilan Zerrouki is a French director and post production supervisor. He comes from 3D animation and has done visual effects supervision on many clips, commercials and short films. In 2012 he managed the post production of the animation short film “Goutte d’Or”, which won several prizes among the world.
Je l’aime alors je la quitte is his second fiction short film written, directed and produced.

Short Film: 6 FEET CLOSER TO YOU, 3min., US, Comedy/Musical


173147d1e4 poster“6 Feet Closer to You” is an original song made in quarantine, about quarantine. The music video (a Zoom) is a time capsule in itself for this “quarantune.” With their signature humor and relatability , this Philadelphia-based comedy band explores what new love could look like during a global pandemic and shows that we can still have a little fun with social distancing.

Project Links

Director Biography – Sam Cadman (MANN OVERBOARD)

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Sam Cadman is the co-creator of cult comedy series Trigger Happy TV (Rose-D’Or winner, CH4, Comedy Central) and an award-winning commercial director in both the US and UK (Cannes, Clio, LIA, AICP, British Arrows). Known for capturing natural, spontaneous and improvised performances, his work is also held in the permanent collection of MOMA.

Director Statement

Mann Overboard is a comedic pressure-cooker from a passionate and super-talented NY cast. Filmed over two days, in and around the city, it’s a fresh observation on a fast-changing world – threesomes, edibles, the active sex lives of retirees – Doug needs to wake up fast if he doesn’t want to be left behind.

Short Film: MANN OVERBOARD, 7min., USA, Comedy/WebSeries


361f48562c posterDOUG MANN is coasting through an easy NY life until, in a single day, he loses everything. From the discovery of his wife’s threesome to an exploding toilet on a beaten-up boat, Doug Mann is quickly drowning in a world he no longer recognizes, a world where the women around him are thriving, while his life falls apart at the seams. Dumped mercilessly into a colorful community of unconventional liveaboards in a Bronx marina, this grounded, character-driven, ensemble comedy follows the peaks and troughs of a catastrophe that may prove to be the slap in the face Doug Mann has long needed.

Director Biography – Katrina Cebreiro (FEDERAL APPROVED PARENT)

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Hey! I’m Katrina. I graduated with my B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts and went on to receive my MFA in Screenwriting. Though, I am not immune to typos. Just the opposite actually. I have been working in the industry for 8 years. I started with internships at a NBC news station and CBS radio station (at the same time). And then I went on to work at Conan, TMZ, Daniel Hoff Agency and Warner Bros. I pursued my dream of filmmaking on the side for so long but now I’m pursing it full-time! I literally won’t stop until I get there so watch out for me!

Director Statement

I’m so passionate about telling stories. It’s the one way we can connect with each other and take turns telling each other’s stories so that we can to create a better, more compassionate society.