Director Biography – Jill D’Agnenica (A DOG’S STORY)

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Jill D’Agnenica is an award winning filmmaker and visual artist working in Los Angeles as a director and editor. She’s had the pleasure of editing drama series including How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), Lucifer (Fox), Pretty Little Liars (Freeform), Stitchers (Freeform), Switched at Birth (Freeform), Undercovers (NBC), Hollywood Heights (Nickelodeon), Dirt (FX), and The Division (Lifetime). Jill made her television directorial debut on Freeform’s Switched at Birth in 2017.

The Los Angeles Times called Life Inside Out (Jill’s first feature film) “a gentle, poignant drama whose heart and head are squarely in the right place” with “tender direction by Jill D’Agnenica.” Life Inside Out premiered at the 2013 Heartland Film Festival where it won both the Crystal Heart Award for Narrative Feature and Best Premiere. It went on to be screened at 21 festivals, receiving 16 awards, including 5 Best Feature and 4 Audience Awards. After a limited theatrical run, it now streams on AmazonPrime.

Jill holds a BA in history from UCLA and an MFA in Visual Art from Claremont Graduate University. She is a member Film Independent, Film Fatales, the Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.

With her myriad of experiences as a director, editor, and producer on music videos, PSAs, indie shorts and features, Jill enjoys opportunities to contribute as a guest lecturer, panelist, and mentor to fellow filmmakers and artists.

Director Statement

“A Dog’s Story” had its genesis with a series of humorous sculptures that my friend and frequent collaborator, artist Margaret Adachi, did of unhappy and angry pooches in dead end jobs. Like all of her various animal sculptures, they were anthropomorphized stand-ins for Margaret, this time aged out of work life and feeling irrelevant.

I call her “Margaret Adachi: Genius” because she is so, so quirky and funny and smart. I asked Margaret to write a back story for one of her sculptures which became the narrative for “A Dog’s Story” and together with our friend and collaborator, cinematographer Guido Frenzel, we hatched a plan for how we wanted to portray that story in film, landing on the character of The Dog giving a slide lecture, like a Ted Talk.

Guido wanted to shoot the entire movie with a 50mm lens “like Ozu” and the one-walled set I built in my studio had just enough room for him to get the wide shot we wanted.

We had a blast, setting up and shooting in one long night, laughing and chatting through each of the shots, since I decided to record all the sound in post.

I knew hitting the right tone with music would be absolutely essential to the telling of the story and also no small feat. To our absolute great good fortune, musician Goh Nakamura agreed to compose the score for the movie and it is perfection.

I am delighted that my friends and I got to play together to create “A Dog’s Story.”

Short Film: A DOG’S STORY, 7min., USA, Comedy

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“A Dog’s Story” is an absurdist short that tells the tragi-comic tale of an old dog who contemplates his bleak future after being laid off from his security job. The Dog has made a slide presentation of his current predicament and how he got here — an all-too-frequent story that many of us have also experienced in this new competitive economy where jobs are being replaced by automation and being too old can leave you marginalized.

Project Links

Director Biography – Eric Dyson (APPY DAYS)

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A native Angeleno, Eric Dyson has been immersed in film & television his entire life. While studying at Brooks Institute of Photography, Eric spent a lot of hours working in the world of musical theater. After graduation, his first job was with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. “One of my most memorable experiences was running a video camera while Steven used toy dinosaurs to map out shots for Jurassic Park. ” Not long after, he became a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600. As a member of local 600, Eric has over 40,000 hours of on set experience. With credits that include A Wrinkle In Time, Snowfall and Crazy Ex Girlfriend to name a few. During his many years of camera work, Eric has developed a keen eye for what it takes to build a scene with strong visuals; all the while mastering the art of working inter-departmentally to get the day’s work completed.

Eric’s directing credits include short films, music videos, trailers and documentary work.

Short Film: THE GET TOGETHER, 12min., USA, Comedy

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A wholesome middle-aged couple from Rhode Island have been invited over to a very successful and eccentric Hollywood record producer’s house with his much younger wife to plan the wedding of their children. As the two couples start to get to know each other, their difference seem to melt away with the help of accidentally injected edible marijuana. They slowly begin to expose their own marital problems and confide and seek comfort in each others partners. One thing leads to another and they find themselves on the verge of “The Great Switcheroo” when the unexpected happens resulting in confusion, hilarity and absurdity.

Project Links

COMEDY Best Scene Reading: Princess Pals, by Jenn Barlow, Lindsey Jean Roetzel

When the cameras stop rolling and the princess dresses get put away, life in YouTube kids fantasy land isn’t quite what its cracked up to be. Aspiring actors trying to make it in the biz, Jessica and her other Princess Pals are just trying to get through each day without quitting their oh-so-wonderful jobs, pretending to be princesses. If the Office TV Show were set at Disneyland, and Disneyland was run by a retired porn guru, this would be Princess Pals. But at least it’s a steady paycheck, right?

CAST LIST:

NARRATION JULIE C. SHEPPARD
Jessica – 6 – DIANA FRANZ
Samantha – 6 – SARAH DESOUZA-COELHO
Richard – 2 – THOMAS FOURMIER

 

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

COMEDY Best Scene Reading: LATE FEES, by Darren Coyle

A forty-something tries to change the past to change his present.

CAST LIST:

Narration – JOLLY AMOAKO
Kassie – 8 – KATELYN VARADI
Bert – 9 – THOMAS FOURNIER
Jody – 1 – DELPHINE ROUSSEL
Eric – 1 – LOGAN FORSYTH

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch