Film and Video

Strife 2014 – A short film I Produced, Wrote and Directed for the Make Your Mark 51 hour film contest by the Producers Guild of America, which made it into the Semi Finalist round out of 500 entrants.

Here is the assignment brief for context:



To avoid disqualification, it is recommended that you closely review the Official Rules & Regulations for Make Your Mark – A Short Film Competition Presented by the Producers Guild of America and Cadillac. Please ensure that you adhere to all guidelines and specific requirements detailed (in particular, Section 7) prior to submitting your film and forms.


MAKE YOUR MARK, a Short Film Competition Presented by the Producers Guild of America and Cadillac, is characterized by a specific assignment, requiring films to include certain story and thematic elements. The degree to which each film organically incorporates the elements of the assignment will dictate judges’ evaluation of the films’ EXECUTION OF ASSIGNMENT.

The PGA and Cadillac are pleased to honor producer Saul Zaentz in this competition.

“Passion is [the] immeasurable, indescribable factor that separates movie from movie. Passion moves freely across borders, speaks every language and flourishes in every culture. The movement of passion is the most gratifying satisfaction in any moviemaker’s life. This happens when you see and hear people all over the world share their laughter, their crying and their sudden gasps at identical screen moments.”

— Saul Zaentz

Drawing on the spirit of Saul Zaentz’s words above and the signature elements of his filmography, this phase of MAKE YOUR MARK will tap into the power of passion in storytelling. Your short film must incorporate the following specifics:

Setting (choose one)

· Cocktail Party

· War Time Era

Elements/Props (choose three of five; one element must play a significant role within the story)

· sheet music

· stick of gum

· ice

· camera/photographs

· passport

Theme (choose one)

1) Passion as Conviction: In Zaentz’s films, a character’s passion often places them at odds with authority, be it political (The Unbearable Lightness of Being), cultural (Amadeus) or institutional (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). Typically, this action alters and enriches the world of the characters, though often at great personal cost.

2) Passion as Genius/Obsession: Characters in Zaentz’s films are often possessed of extraordinary skills or charisma, which they employ in the driven pursuit of a larger or exalted goal. Consider the missionaries of At Play in the Fields of the Lord, the lovers of The English Patient, Allie Fox in The Mosquito Coast and the central pairing of Amadeus. (Salieri may not have a genius for music, but he surely has one for vengeance!) Often, Zaentz’s stories turn on the fine line between passion and obsession.

Vehicle integration is not mandatory. If a vehicle is represented, it must be either a Cadillac or an un-badged/generic vehicle. Drinking and driving must not be represented.