About the Showcase:
Since 1989, The American Pavilion has offered unparalleled experiences in Cannes to film students and emerging filmmakers from around the world. AmPav’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase provides an opportunity for filmmakers to have their works seen by Cannes Festival and Film Market attendees. Finalist Films will be screened at The American Pavilion.  Each of our five categories of exceptional and diverse 2023 films (Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, LGBTQ+ Showcase, Student showcase, High School Films Showcase and Alumni Showcase) will be showcased to our American Pavilion audiences followed by a live filmmaker Q&A.  Jury Award prizes will be awarded to filmmakers.




Monday, May 22 – 12:30pm to 2:30pm


Trailer | Instagram

2022, 8:05 min., USA, Documentary, Florida State University
Producer/Director: Thomas Edward Hindy
Director of Photography: Samuel Benitez
Cast: Eden Schroeder
An ambitious college student, EDEN SCHROEDER, is paralyzed from the chest down in a swimming accident and learns to live with her disability.  


Facebook | Instagram

2021, 11 min., USA, Documentary, Low Key Arts
Writer/Director: Gabriel Henk 
Producer: Low Key Arts
Cast: Stanley Ray Stevenson
Antique store owner, Stanley Ray Stevenson, has a collection that would rival many museums, but many of his objects paint a complex portrait of American History from the civil war to the present.


Trailer | WebsiteInstagram | Instagram

2022, 24:55 min., USA, Documentary, University of Southern California

Director: Josh Greene

Producer: Aslan Dalgic, Ela Passarelli
What happens when your passion conflicts with your heritage? A Jewish surfer confronts the dark, antisemitic history of the sport he once loved. 



Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


2022, 15 min., USA, (Subtitles), Drama, Santa Monica College

Writer/Director: Alci Rengifo

Producer: José Gutiérrez, Katia Arami

Executive Producer: Salvador Carrasco

Cast: Shahrooz Mahmoodi, Afshin Katanchi, Zina Torab, Wayne Hodges, Rana Ghiassi, Nakta Pahlevan, Ali Azizian
Iran in 1971. Two young students from opposite ends of society meet by the sea in a time where revolution hangs in the air. Bijan, the son of aristocrats close to the regime of the Shah, prepares to leave for college and feels the pressures of a future already decided by his powerful father. He meets Layla, a girl from the wrong side of Tehran, who forces him to question everything. Their bond will challenge class and social divisions in a world soon to disappear. 


Trailer | Website | Website | Instagram

2023, 18.06 min., USA, Drama/Social Justice, University of Southern California 
Writer/Director: Jacqueline Elyse Rosenthal 
Producer: Robin Wang, Marian Cook, Josh Powell
Cast: Jill Renner, Bailey Humiston, Bradley Layne Beachum, Avis Murphy, Gary Daniel Mosher, Ivan Ellis, Natalie D. Woodard, Madeline Rae Heyman, Beth Fraser
The true story of a young collegiate woman who tried to find justice for three years for her shelved rape kit—only to become the key witness in the Senate hearing to end the rape kit backlog. Can she trust the system that betrayed her? 


Trailer | Website | Instagram | Twitter

2021, 15:20 min., USA, Subtitles, Drama, University California Los Angeles

Writer/Director: Zahida Pirani
Producer: Zahida Pirani, Mauricio Piratova, Ran Yan 
Cast: Eli Zavala, Idalia Limón, Jose Febus, Eduardo Gonzales, Jayden Toledo, Vanessa Ortiz
Nelly lives alone with her elderly father. The only way she makes ends meet is by working as a street vendor from dawn to dusk. She has learned not to trust anyone until one day she is forced to take a leap of faith or be resigned in her position forever. 


Trailer | Website | Instagram

2023, 20 min., USA, Action/Fantasy, University of Southern California

Writer/Director: c. Craig 
Producer: Mitchell Graham Colley, Anthony Gaitros, Letia Solomon, Alexa Villarreal, Brandyn Johnson

Cast: Kapri Ladd, Tremari Limbrick, Tika Sumpter, Notlim Taylor

When one of the last free children of Junkyard Paradise has her brother stolen away from her, no Ragamuffin army or vicious beasts will stop her from getting him back.  





Tuesday, May 23 – 3:30pm – 6:00pm


2022, 15 min., USA, Documentary/LGBTQ+, Chapman University

Producer/Director: Isabella Miller, Gabe Braden
: Ambrosia Starling
Logline: An activist drag queen in rural Alabama is forced to keep her identity secret as she fights for human rights in a race against the systematic erasure of her own history.


Trailer | Instagram

2023, 14:50 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+
Writer/Director: Logan Vaughn 
Producer: Laurie Bernhard, Ria Pavia, Mayon Denton, Robert Arnold
Cast: Phillip James Brannon, Calvin Leon Smith
A man, unsettled by his imminent life-changing decision, suspects his terrifying dream and his husband’s daunting parallel encounter might be a signal from God to cancel a long awaited arrival. 


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2021, 4:36 min., Australia, Documentary/LGBTQ+

Producer/Director: Nicole Sullivan

Cast: Jazmin Theodora
Jazmin is a positive person, a psychic and tarot card reader. All her life she has tried to stay true to herself, paying no mind to those who wanted to tear her down. At 83, she plays an active part in her community, and her psychic abilities attract people from all around Australia. 


Trailer | Website | Instagram

2022, 8:41 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+

Director: Andy Vallentine
Writer: Andy Vallentine, Danny Vallentine
Mike Diaz, Cameron Hutchison, Siddharth Ganji, Garrett Clayton, Matthew Postlethwaite
Cast: Matthew Postlethwaite, Garrett Clayton
Based on the largest collection of queer love letters from WWII, The Letter Men is a window into the untold true story of two gay men desperately in love but torn apart by war.


Trailer | Website | Instagram

2023, 7:48 min., USA, Comedy/LGBTQ+ 

Director: Andrea Maxwell
Writer: Tammy Lynne Stoner, Andrea Maxwell 
Theresa Gallagher, Diana C. Zollicoffer, Andrea Maxwell
Executive Producer: Greg Tally, Tammy Lynn Stoner
Cast: Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Sheri Mann Stewart, Puppett, Phylliss Bailey Brooks
No amount of sweet tea and vodka will ease the tension when Nana Dara makes the big announcement to her step-children: the flamboyant, Bible thumping Miss Debbie and her “sister who’s a mister”, Edna (“Eddie”). 


Trailer | Instagram | Instagram


2022, 24:50 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+
Director: Erin Brown Thomas
Writer: Hans Obma 
Producer: Elle Shaw
Post Producer: Gabrielle Fernandez
Cast: Hans Obma, Dexter Farren Haag, Zina Badran, Marco Da Silva, Kojo Attah, Caleb Conner, Yessica Sanchez Thurnherr, Roshni Rathore, Lex Quarterman, Trev Fleming
From the cliffs of Wales, to the basement of MI6, to a Wisconsin farmhouse, “A Question of Service” follows Joseph, an MI6 interpreter…who may or may not be a Russian spy. 


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 8:21 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Shawn Ryan, Hannah Madgett and Hannah Baer
Writer: Shawn Ryan, Hannah Madgett, Diana Glogau 
Producer: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer, John Ainsworth
Cast: Brooke Sanders, Claire Marquette, Ethan Politzer, August Petersen, Mackenzie Brown, Judge Cantrell
When Hailey and Jordan’s friends push them into a game of spin the bottle, they have no idea that their worlds are about to turn upside down. What is said to be a pivotal moment in each teenager’s life turns into a momentous occasion for these two lovebirds. Your whole life can change in just seven short minutes. 



2021, 17:41 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+ 

Writer/Director: Meghan Lennox 
Producer: Meghan Lennox, Julianna Gelinas Bonifacio
Executive Producer: Christian Papierniak
Cast: Britt Lower, Clara McGregor
Kate, a painter who hasn’t created new work in years, finds inspiration when she happens upon an adult ballet class and quickly becomes infatuated with her teacher, Laura. As their lives intertwine, Kate is shocked to discover a side of Laura she struggles to embrace. 


Trailer | Website

2021, 23:53 min. USA, Drama/LGBTQ+

Writer/Director: Astor Kim-Stark
Producers: Mona Xia, Sage Sokol-Lanting, Damon Laguna
Cast: Danell Leyva, Kyler O’Neal, Ashton Grooms, Raven Miles
A stealth trans woman has a run-in with the Unicorn Gang.


Wednesday, May 24 – 10am to 11:30am


Trailer | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


2023, 14:51min., USA, Drama

Writer/Director: Dusan Brown 

Producer: James Kexian Lee, Joyce Kelly-Brown 

Cast: Dusan Brown, Daniel Chernish, Rolando Boyce, Staci Ashley and Dante Brown

When an enterprising teen is left with a $130,000 debt by his unscrupulous, late father, he must play poker to either make the money back and save what’s left of his family… or die trying.


 Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram

2022, 8:48 min., USA, Animation/Documentary

Writer/Director: Jaime Sunwoo
Producer: Alex Griffin, Jessica Simon, Jaime Sunwoo
Cast: Jaime Sunwoo
After discovering old diaries and notebooks, artist Jaime Sunwoo examines her shapeshifting penmanship and wonders why she’s never had a consistent style. Through playful paper puppetry and animation, she reflects on what handwriting means to her personally, its significance throughout history, and its relevance in our computerized world.




2022, 10:11 min., USA, Thriller 

Writer/Director: Zoey Martinson
Producer: 20th Digital, Korey Jackson, Anne Troup
Cast: Marchant Davis, David Costabile
Evan is on house arrest in a haunted house. Or so he thinks? 


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2022, 7:30 min., USA, Comedy 

Writer/Director: Julie Sharbutt 
Producer: Whitney Wolanin 
Cast: Julie Sharbutt, Jackie Welch 
When a phone scammer makes one last late night call, the woman on the other end gives her much more than she bargained for. 


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 24:10 min., USA, Documentary  

Director: Nicholas Markart
Producer: Steve Hilfiker
Cast: Rhonda McCullough, Bernie Mac, Papa Yaw Annan Addo-Boateng, Marilyn Aponsah Annan, Stefan Brixner, Andrea Budde, Chasta Posey, Dr. Bettina Heidecker, Dr. Nadera Sweiss
Bernie Mac’s widow, Rhonda, takes us on a deeply personal journey through the life and legacy of the beloved comedian and the impact that sarcoidosis had on his rise to fame. Patients from the USA, Germany and Ghana describe their fight. 




Wednesday, May 24 – 3:30pm to 5:30pm


Trailer | Website | Instagram

2022, 12:50 min., USA, Coming-of-Age/Dramedy

Writer/Director: Kameishia D. Wooten 
Producer: Janae Greene, Meagann Pallares, Victoria Brown 
Cast: Marajanai Kirby, Nandi Chapman, Maxcianna Saintilus, Keith Arthur Bolden 
Three very different friends find renewed connection as they await pregnancy results at their Los Angeles High School. 


Trailer | Instagram

2022, 19:35 min., USA, Drama

Director: Shicong Zhu 

Writer: Ella Rouwen Chen 

Producer: Ella Rouwen Chen, Brielle Yuke Li 

Cast: Ella Rouwen Chen, Rod Menzies, Jocelyn Liu, Claire Liu, Cooper Reynolds
A Chinese theater student in America risks losing her first role due to her accent. Determined to succeed, she vows to eliminate it at any cost.


Trailer | Website | Instagram | Twitter


2022, 18:56 min., Nigeria, Drama

Producer/Writer/Director: Goga Clay 

Cast: Tope Tedela, Elma Mbadiwe 

Ibinabo, a young husband and father-to-be, lives an unremarkable but exemplary life. He strives to prove himself to his boss, but gets caught up in the horrors of the October 2020 protests against police brutality. 


Trailer | Instagram

2022, 10:47 min., Canada, Drama

Writer/Director: Nathalie Therriault 
Producer: Nneka Kidada Croal, Fabian Aspell Morales, Nathalie Therriault 
Cast: Ashley Cartwright, Hanna Moon 
Two seven-year-olds negotiate their after school life without adult supervision which slowly chips away at their innocence. 


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram

2023, 18:40 min., USA, Drama

Director: Thommy Kane, Bojan Vanovac
Writer: Thommy Kane
Producer: Susan Hollander, Bojan Vanovac, Laura Whiteley
Cast: Jacob Moran, Laura Whiteley, David Afflick, Joe Vingi, Courtney Rush, Denise Monteiro
Young Tristan (Jacob Moran) desperately needs new shoes, but his mother struggles between feeding her drug addiction and providing for her child.


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2022, 16:15 min., USA, Drama

Writer/Director: Anne Hu 
Producer: Anne Hu, Gilana Lobel, Oliver Brooks, Rachel Liu, Chenney Chen, Gabriella Murillo
Cast: Anne Hu, Dawn Ying Yuen, Elizabeth Gao, Audrey Liao
When a Taiwanese American woman prepares lunches from her childhood, she struggles to forgive herself for pushing away her immigrant mother.


Trailer | Website | Facebook

2022, 9:20 min., Sweden, Coming-of-Age/Drama
Director: Christian Zetterberg 
Writer: Christian Zetterberg, Albin Abrahamsson 
Producer: Liselotte Persson 
Cast: David Ramirez Knezevic, Lucas Andreasson 
After a heated training match with the team, twelve-year-old Viggo and Noel go home to challenge each other’s limits and masculinity. A sudden stop to an innocent game questions what a male friendship is allowed to be.



Thursday, May 25 – 10am to 12pm


Trailer | Website | Instagram | Twitter

2022, 8:10 min., USA, Drama, Saint Ann’s School

Producer/Writer/Director: Eli Berliner
Cast: John Gialitis, Sam Lazzara, Abigail Gampell
A young pianist makes a startling discovery while painting that changes his relationship to music forever.




2022, 8:59 min., USA/UK, Documentary, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

Producer/Director: Charlotte Quintanar

Cast: Paula Carnell, Nick Tew, Amanda Mahaffey

Leading bee experts explain the causes for declining bee populations around the world and offer approachable solutions individuals can take to support their local pollinators.  


Trailer | Website | Instagram | Twitter

2022, 4:48 min., USA, Documentary, John Marshall High School

Producer/Director: Kyle Ward
Cast: Brandon Masi, Erica Masi, Meredith Masi, Barbara Hees Masi, Christopher Masi, Walter Randig
In Pflugerville, Texas, a community is faced with the challenge of unprecedented devolvement. As housing developers and commercial companies start to inch closer and closer to the farmland, the farmers are forced to wonder how long it will be until their way of life will disappear. Most of the farmers are left with land that has been used for farming over multiple generations. To them, the thought that a housing community would be built on the land they have farmed makes them despondent. Once the land is built on, there is no getting it back. It is gone forever.


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 10:12 min., USA, Comedy/Drama, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp

Writer/Director: Elizabeth Popov 
Producer:  Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer, John Ainsworth
Cast: Chase Nakayama, Myari Adams, Chris Phalen, Hannah Ballew, Leo Dibbelt, Laurel Ames 
Max is nervous for his big date with Aimee… but what could go wrong? Uncontrollable hiccups, that’s what! While the evil Lord Hiccup torments the poor boy, Max’s friends try ever increasingly drastic measures to cure him! 


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 12:48 min., USA, Coming-of-age/Comedy/LGBTQ+, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Suzan Jones, Spencer Davis
Writer:  Jacob Manning 
Producer: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer, John Ainsworth
Cast: Sam Shenkman, Jazzy Liston, Mason Bradshaw, Kaleah Taylor, Jacquelyn Packard, Riley Brown, Spencer Davis
A gender non-conforming camper struggles to balance the conflicting advice of their ID and Super Ego in order to face their greatest fear… asking their crush to the dance.



2022, 6:30 min., USA, Animation, Orange County School of Arts

Producer/Director: David Du
Original Music Score Composer:
Matthew Blam
A mayfly is an insect that only lives for one day. This film revolves around a curious little mayfly and his adventure through life. It’s a deep take on the meaning of life and finding purpose, told in a sweet and simple story.


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 11:46 min., USA, Comedy/Drama, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Maxim Bouffard, Frances Capel 
Writer: Frances Capel 
Producer: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer, John Ainsworth
Cast: Sofia Alverde, Sydney Alvelda, Natalia Cruciani, Madden Wincentsen, Chase Nakayama,
Amelie Pan
A coven of witches run an operation at their school turning spells for quick cash. 



2022, 9:55 min., USA/Korea, Animation/Documentary, Harvard-Westlake

Writer/Director: Ian Kim
Producer: Harry Kim, Kay Park, Sophie Kim
Original Score: Abe Effress
Cast: Yong-soo Lee
An animated documentary about the life story of Lee Yong-soo, one of 11 remaining known survivors in Korea of the Japanese WWII-era Comfort Women system of human trafficking and sexual slavery.


Trailer | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023, 8:40 min., USA, Drama, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp

Director: Max Coddington, Jai Kamra
Writer:  Nathan Adloff
Producer: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer, John Ainsworth
Cast: Jude Biggers, Teagan Nichols-Marcy, Dylan Arie, Sylvia Imbens, Lee Cummings, Caitlyn Gorman
A camp is in lockdown after a dead body is discovered and Nicholas cannot seem to find his younger brother. Five best friends start a journey into the woods to solve the case.


Trailer | Instagram

2022, 11:15 min., USA, Drama, Orange County School of the Arts
Writer/Director: Carrington Holritz
Producer: Melissa Holritz 
Cast: John Kerry, Alan Maxson, Naiia Lajoie 
An ornithologist loses his lifelong research to a strange and unusual bird. As he seeks to identify its obscure species and origin, the line between nature and nurture becomes hazy.


Thank you to our Prize Award Sponsors:

Simple DCP
Screening Services Group
Final Draft
Michael Wiese Productions Books
ESE Film Workshops Online
Write Brothers Movie Magic Screenwriter
International Documentary Association (IDA)