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The Winner Of The Inaugural Shadow & Act, AvenueTV Fantastical Short Films Contest Is…

The Winner Of The Inaugural Shadow & Act, AvenueTV Fantastical Short Films Contest Is...

After more than a couple of months worth of submissions, the time has come to finally select a winner of the contest. A total of 29 films are in contention for the grand prize – $500 cash (plus it’ll be featured on AvenueTV) – and, as promised last week, the winner of that award would be announced today, Monday, January 13, 2014. 

First, from AvenueTV and myself, thanks to everyone who was bold and willing enough to submit their work for the contest. We plan to do this again in the near future, so for those who wanted to submit for this round, but had nothing ready, but may have films completed before the end of the next contest, you will have an opportunity to do so.

The goal of the contest, as previously emphasized, is to encourage black filmmakers to explore the more fantastical cinema genres – genres in which, for a number of reasons, black films are lacking – science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, horror, and others that would fall under the “speculative fiction” umbrella.

And with that, I’m glad to announce that the winner of the first S&A/Avenue TV Fantastical Short Films contest is… Haitian filmmaker Amiral Gaspard’s 20-minute supernatural tale The Good, The Bad, The Apprentice (Le bon, le méchant et l’apprenti).

Amiral was born on December 20, 1982 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Self-taught in the fields of art, such as drawing, photography and computer graphics, and fascinated by audio-visual technology, he decided to sharpen his abilities by attending the Ciné Institute in Jacmel – a program I’ve profiled here on S&A in the past, which provides Haitian youth with film education, training and production support, which began as a film festival in Jacmel.

Held for three years, Festival Film Jakmèl showed hundreds of films from around the world, free of charge, to tens of thousands of local audiences, with a written mission being to “use the power of cinema, integrated educational programming, technical film training and production funding, to entertain, educate and empower Haitian youth, to create a movement that grows an industry in national cinema and arts, which creates jobs, stimulates regional economies and drives sustainable long term development.” 

The Institute’s programs are: Ciné Lekòl – a film school offering training in fiction documentary and commercials; Ciné Services – an income generating production center for film school students and graduate; Ciné Klas – daily educational film screenings in partnership with national public schools; and Ciné Klub – weekly public screenings of world cinema. 

When the earthquake struck almost 4 years ago, the Institute’s students were on the ground, shooting and uploading footage onto social networking sites for the rest of the world to see, and they continued releasing video footage covering the aftermath.

Amiral was a student at the Institute from 2011 to 2013, where he studied film, and The Good, The Bad, The Apprentice was his graduation project. 

Currently Amiral tells me that he’s working in media production in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“We are delighted with and proud of Amiral Gaspard’s winning entry ‘The Good, The Bad, The Apprentice,’ which will be featured on AvenueTV for the next two months,” said Monique A. Williams, AvenueTV, Content Curation. “AvenueTV features the very best in television and web originals targeting urban audiences; Gaspard’s short effectively represents the content we seek and ultimately share with our audience. While it is no secret there is a lack of quality sci-fi, fantasy, and horror shorts and webseries featuring people of color, we are encouraged by the enthusiastic interest, support and wide variety of submissions for this first partnership with Shadow and Act. We’re especially excited about the strong focus on editing technology, clear story-lines, and high-caliber performances displayed by this year’s entrants.  We look forward to seeing continued investment in this genre in the future.
Once we’ve gathered ourselves, examining what we learned from this first contest, and decide on how to structure the next one, a call for entries announcement will be made at that time, which shouldn’t be too long from today.
Without further ado, here’s Amiral’s winning short film, The Good, The Bad, The Apprentice
The other 28 films submitted follow on the next page of this post, so if you have yet to watch them, or want to revisit, if only for comparison, click to page two (and thereafter):
1. Dragon Fruit, directed by Emiliano Styles. Synopsis: After being set up on a blind date by a mutual associate, Kyle Hunter (David Ashley) and Tamara Johnson (Tiffany Snow) decide to spend their third outing hiking in a canyon in Los Angeles. As they continue to get to know each other, they soon come to the striking realization that only one of them is who they claim to be.

2. Life-Line, directed by Uriah Riedel. Synopsis: Walking home at night is not a good idea, so one woman finds out.

3. The Slap, directed by H. M. Coakley. Synopsis: A single mom with a unique deformity and a bad temper catches her teenage son in a peculiar position after leaving him alone in a luxury hotel room for several hours. The situation leads her to say some funny things, one of which she actually delivers on.

4. Redemptions End. A web series created by Claudius PetersSynopsis: In desperate need of money, three friends think they have no choice but to steal freshly buried bodies and attempt to sell them on the black market, now they wish hadn’t. Here’s episode 1: 

5. Bad Blood, by Bryce Marrero. Synopsis: Samuel Marcel, A hot-headed ex-Black Panther, goes undercover in a corrupt hospital to find out the truth surrounding his father’s mysterious death.

6. The Collector, by Ade Adepegba. Synopsis: A Debtor who cannot pay his debts is relentlessly pursued by a Debt Collector who never fails to collect. 

7. Walking With Gods, created by David Banner, directed by Ndosi Anyabwile. Synopsis: It all begins when Aket Heru, son of a celestial king is cursed. Aket’s jealous older brother, Liel, becomes aware that their father will ignore natural order and install Aket as king, upon his death. Angered, Liel invokes the evil spirit Setus. Setus fools Liel and destroys the family, but keeps Aket for entertainment. Aket’s memory is erased and he is forced to travel through the ages not knowing his true God like power. Setus plays an evil game and Aket murders his girlfriend, Lisa. After the murder, Aket’s true power awakens. Aket must now fight to restore his full power and break the curse. In order to do so, Aket now Alex Light, must believe in his godly power and embrace his true destiny.

8. Sweet Child Of Mine, by Tarik Jackson Goldie. Synopsis: The brains of a trio of female crooks finds out she’s pregnant.

9. The Assignment, by Michael GraysonSynopsis: Analyst Tom Jenkins gets called on to participate in a ‘Top Secret’ company assignment.What he doesn’t know is he’s about to take on the assignment of his life. GlobalDyne Systems is back yet again, delivering it’s own version of the pink slip in this short about corporate espionage and retribution with a twist at the end that’s sure to shock.

10. Few and Far Inbetween, by Nialla LeBouef. Synopsis: When two teenagers sneak into a beautiful but abandoned mansion they unknowingly conjure up the spirit that remains there. Influenced by Czech new wave cinema and magical realism the two worlds collide in this dreamy short.

11. Hope, by Tamika Lamison. Synopsis: A grieving/suicidal man goes on what plans to be a tragic journey but discovers unexpected Hope along the way.

12. The Shadows of Strangers – “The Story of a Mistress“ (web series, episode 1), by The Robinson Brothers. Synopsis: Naomi discovers her boyfriend would not leave his other family for her, so she decides to seek revenge.

13. Spotlight by Steven Caple. Synopsis: A conventional tap dancer is about to end his last night performing at a whole-in-the-wall theatre. As he’s gearing up for his final routine and about to hit the stage. He’s surprised with an unexpected visit from his long time, more flashy and eccentric competitor, his Alter Ego. His old-fashioned ways our challenged when his inevitable urge starts to steal the spotlight of his last performance.

14. Transporter, by Damon Colquhoun. Synopsis: A new breed of criminals have created a network of human traffickers. In that network, nothing is more valuable than a transporter. Transporter, a sci-fi thriller, tells the story of an introverted Harlem teen on a mission to escape his dysfunctional family and their monstrous family business. However, his manipulative mother is convinced that he has what it takes to be the transporter she covets.

15. Buster Jones: The Movie details the adventures of an African-American minor league basketball star that is also trained in the martial arts. After his cousin Bootsy is murdered by weapons dealers from Asia, Buster finds himself thrown into a turbulent battle with an organized terrorist ring. These pursuits lead Buster to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles where he finds himself plunged into the ultimate fight to save the fate of the free world. Directed by Dylan Hobor.

16. Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy by Briaan L. Barron. Synopsis: Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy is a mixed-media documentary short that explores the esoteric aesthetic of Steampunk, and more specifically how people of color are engaging the aesthetic in creative ways. The intersection between past and future, technology and maker culture, and identity all appear in this unique science-fiction genre, and many artists of color are using it as a venue to inventively interact with historical narratives of slavery and oppression. A combination of digitally-animated hand-drawn images, photographs, and live-action footage give a short-form introduction to this subject.

17. Deceit by Mark KaiyareSynopsis: A thrilling Drama places you in the home of TED, 29 as he walks into their bedroom and locks the door. It’s too clean, with a sense of structure and order. SHEILA, his wife, seems to prep for bed. He approaches her standing close but with a noticeable distance. Sheila seems disturbed, struggling to keep calm. Ted has never lost control of anything in his life until now.

18. Silent Hunger by Stanford GibsonSynopsis: Silent Vampire thriller produced for the 48 Hour Film Project during 2012. The poor and unskilled labour force are starved by the more affluent in society while the Government demands its pound of flesh from all citizens. Like the un-dead, the poor will one day rise.

19. Inheritors by Chidi Ozieh. Synopsis: A live action adaptation of Robert Garrett’s successful comic book of the same name. The movie is produced by Rubic House LLC & Xmoor studios and is directed by Chidi Ozieh. The story follows a highly decorated undercover detective Jude Jefferson who is on a personal mission to apprehend a serial killer who also happens to be the mayor’s son. Unknown to him, this encounter will become a defining moment of his life. 

20. The Last Summer (a silent film) by Sam Afua Kessie. Synopsis: The end of summer is near. BEVERLY and SOPHIA, (both 16), have been best friends since third grade. Skipping the last day in camp, they run through fields without a care in the world, a final sense of freedom before all their dreams come to a bitter end. Their plan of going to the same university is crushed when Sophia is rejected from the University of Creative Arts and Sciences, but Beverly is accepted with a full scholarship. Before they get a chance to express final words and feelings, they are drawn to a mysterious charm bracelet, which leads them down a dark path and puts their friendship to the test.

21. Dark Matters by Monique Walton. Synopsis: Dark Matters tells the story of a girl coming to terms with her identity through an obsession with alien abduction and UFO sightings. While working at her day job, Curshauna meets a customer who makes her question her ethnic, cultural, and maybe even planetary origins.

22. Minutes To Midnite by Ryan Khan. Synopsis: A B-movie, noir, fantasy, crime drama unfolds when ruthless Trinidadian gang member, Snake, kills his leader, Mr. Tiger. Shortly afterwards, Snake receives a message that someone named Anansi Spider is going to “take care of him.” Following a near-death experience at the hands of a wicked woman, Snake receives a call from Anansi Spider, warning him that his life is in danger. Snake grapples with whether or not to trust this mysterious man, and, ultimately, makes a deadly decision.

23. The Angels’ Playground by Zernul Shackelford. Synopsis: The line between good and evil becomes blurred as a young girl is interrogated about the mysterious death of her father, an Ordained Priest. However, the motives of the persons who have her in custody are as unclear and mysterious as the death itself.

24. Villains by Lawrence Lee Wallace. Synopsis: Villains is an 8 episode Sci-Fi story set in a halfway house for people with various addictions, gambling, sex, drugs, ect. “Big Guy” is brought in as a John Doe; he is disoriented, does not remember who he is or where he comes from and is withdrawn and paranoid. Later he discovers skills he can’t explain, fighting and weapons skills and then ultimately a mysterious supernatural power. “BG” becomes closer to Ana, Jimmy and Phil the other patients at the halfway house and together they go on a journey to help him in finding out who he is and where his amazing and deadly powers come from, in return he protects them from different enemies This mystery produces and draws other supernatural beings to the halfway house making this an exciting, dramatic and sometimes funny experience.

25. Chains, directed by Sharon Lewis. Synopsis: Chain, with the support of her lover Fric the water carrier, grows a flower in her barren underground community of Arete. Before anyone is allowed to see this miracle, they are charged with the crime of “wasting” precious water, punishable by Judicial Suicide.  Munk who oversees the roulette type punishment is shocked to find out that water was not used to grow the flower and in the end comes to believe that perhaps miracles do exist for those who live below.  Maybe their place in the chain of humanity is equal to those who live above.

26. Anneo’s Song from writer/producer Said Yenga Kakese Dibinga and director Tim Russ. Synopsis: Two bounty hunters chase a fugitive unaware that the fugitive is being set up by a hybrid name Anneo to be lunch for young Lycaons (werewolves).

27. Hag of Champagnolle Creek by Rhemona Moore. Synopsis: A Hag returns to Champagnolle Creek, Arkansas. A long forgotten superstition about sweeping after dark leaves unsuspecting locals subject to the Hag’s night terrors. The first victim is a local blues singer, Uncle Hub.

28. Strain by Dalila Kee. Synopsis: Julia and Eric wake up to the usual issues of their strained relationship. They have no idea of the bigger problems that they will soon face.

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mary ellen

The owners of the website have imposed a password on the winning film! can someone ask them to please keep it available for a little while?


good job my friend!

the robinson brothers

Shout out to the winner director nice work and thanks to shadow and act for having the contest. I really enjoyed watching my fellow directors work, keep filming everyone.


First I want to congratulate and greet each participant who participated in this contest and also to thank Shadow and Act for organizing it. I want to say, no matter the winner, the main thing is that we dared and we will continue to learn, experiment and come up with new ideas and impress the world with our talents. The film "the bad, the good and the apprentice" is a model for me. I can see my weaknesses, my strengths and what I need to improve. Keep on doing guys, people are waiting to see our films, challenge yourself, listen to the comments and learn from them.
At the end, I want to thank everyone who have participated in the movie, from people who lent us their home, the actors, the team, to the teachers for their advice and suggestions.


First, I would like to thank Shadow and Act for holding the contest, I know it takes a lot of time and energy to see projects like these though. Also, I would have to agree with Carey Carey, a recording of the panel's decision would have made for a great podcast, a podcast with a "Siskel and Ebert" type rating system for the entries… even better. Also, congratulations to Amiral Gaspard. It doesn't take a genius to see why the panel chose his film. Technically his film is clean. Lighting, camerawork, and sound design all work well together in his film. Most of the entries were lacking in one or more of these areas. But where his film is far superior than the rest is his storytelling. His theme was clear, it had a beginning, middle and end, and a active protagonist. Most of the protagonist in the entries had no goals, they just wandered through events aimlessly, causing unmotivated conflicts with things and people.

I hope Shadow and Act continues this quarterly because it has the potential to become something great, a training ground for black filmmakers all over the world. Some of the feedback I read in these forums are "expensive," and could only be obtained in film school, which I pay for like a dummy! Shout out to all the filmmakers who participated because it takes a lot of courage to put something out there!

Ryan C. Khan

Well look at ting…Forget to check in for the year and competition done! Congrats to the winning filmmaker and to all the others that participated in this competition. For me, I was actually glad to find some love for one of my first short films and was happy for all the feedback….so I don't consider it a loss…just no bonus cash. Added to that I am happy it was a Caribbean film as well. I made a new penpal too…right CC? Lol…been meaning to get around to your blog and will keep in touch….otherwise keep filming everyone, peace!


Slam bam thank you maam and close the door on your way out.

I am suggesting that the ending to this months long affair was woefully anti-climatic. There was no special shout-outs or thank yous to any of the other films, nor was there any mention of the films that were in the running for the grand prize. To that point, it would have been nice to know what specific aspects of the winning film took it over that top. Having said that, it would have also been nice to know how each of the staff members voted. I mean, I can't help but believe this film was not a unanimous decision?

Speaking of this film, not taking anything away from it, but I believe a film in a foreign language (with subtitles) has somewhat of an unfair advantage. It's very difficult to judge an actor's performance ( i.e, realness, sincerity, honesty, pace, delivery, believability, etc) when one doesn't understand the words they're saying. Consequently, the actors in this film all get a pass.

I guess, in short, it would have been nice to know what specifically the voters were looking for and which films, other than the winner, were knocking at the door. You know, give the drummers some, even if they ain't the lead singers.

And, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, based on what I've come to know about the man from the years I've been reading him, this film was not Sergio's first choice? So come on Shadow and Act, open the door and tell us all the news. As it stands, it smells like SLAM-BAM thank you maam and politics may have again ruled the day. Yes, that's right, I am suggesting that as long as the winning criteria is not fully defined and the votes (and voting process) remains a secret, the "best" film will…

Lawrence Lee Wallace

Congrats! Great film!


Excellent winner. A simple story full of atmosphere.

Mark and Darla

The day is almost over, who is the winner, stop milking this it is not the oscar.


Go Florida State! They are down by 11 at the half.

Anyway, when can we expect the announcement of the winner?

Hey, as witnessed by my numerous posts, I am all up in this contest so I'm gonna put my money where my mouth is. If Tambay will accept it, I'd like to match the $500.00 winning prize in the next contest. My only requirement is I have a vote on the winning film.

Now back to the game…. GO FLORIDA STATE!




So when will you announce your winner? I'm really curious to see who going to win this thing, and on a side note np Robinson Brothers, I really enjoyed you guys film.

Elle BeEss

Villains! My vote is for Villains. Very cool.

The Robinson Brothers

I didn't know the contest was push back, but that's a good thing. I want to thank all the people that voted for me and my bro, and I also wanted to thanks Abayomi for the feed back and kind words, and a shout out to CC. I haven't been on here in a long time and I was reading all your old comments this morning. Not sure if it to late but yeah you can give me feed back on our film as well. I thought you already done it at first. I kinda have a idea what you don't like about it, when you were talking to Abayomi but I wouldn't mind hearing it from you. So go for it, let me know.

As a film maker me and my bro learned how to take the good with the bad, it can be upsetting at time, when you put your blood sweat and tears into something you love just to have someone tell you, sorry you f#@$ up start over lol, but at the sametime it makes you fight even harder on your next project.

Mark and Darla

My Favorites are:
Hag of Champagnolle Creek
Dragon Fruit
Bad Blood
The Slap
Minutes to Midnite

Can only pick one ‘Dragon Fruit’

After watching the short film, what stand out to me is the beginning and middle deceitfulness, what comes at the end is unexpected.

Here you are enjoying the scenery, smiling at the couple flirtation….aah they are falling in love…the female cough once, twice, think nothing of it…then she start coughing and hacking uncontrollable falling to the ground distress….the guy say the name Charles and stares crazy….saliva forms out the female mouth, she dies with her eyes open…wtf. Damn she must have made Charles real mad.

Is there a part two? I need more.

As the saying goes today a screenplay has fifthteen pages, a movie has fifthteen minutes to capture the viewer attention, to me this short film did it, in eight minutes and forty seconds.


**There's a flag on the play. The umpire steps to the mic **

"15 yard penalty on the Hag team. We've reviewed the short and determined there was too many hypers on the field. The film " Hag of Champognolle Creek" is not ready for the playoffs by any stretch of imagination. If the team's captain/director wants to submit a protest, she can do so. If not, let's play ball. 1st down from the 20 yard line"

Darel Tidwell

I voted for Hag of Champognolle Creek

Tonya Simmons

My vote is for Hag of Champagnolle Creek!! Good job!!!

Shanna Stroud

I am putting in my Vote for Hag of Champagnolle Creek! Great Sci Fi Movie !!

Tanya Lewis

I vote for the short film "Hag of Champagnolle Creek. I will tell you I was scared for them. I wouldn't even sweep my floor.

Gladys Winston

I vote for the Hag of Champagnolle Creek.Scary and creepy; keep you trying to figure it out.

Darlene Greene

I vote for the film, "Hag of Champagnolle Creek"

Darlene Greene

The mystery that surrounds the idea of an old superstition saying is personified well as the story line unfolds. A bit of sci-fi mixed with an urban setting. Fantastic film- headed to the Cannes Film Festival!!


21. Dark Matters


Hag of Champagnolle Creek #27


I vote for #27 HAG!! I LOVED IT.


I Vote for #27 The Hag

Marcus Montgomery

My vote for best short film is: The Hag of Champagnolle Creek

Joni Martin

I vote for #27, The Hag of Champagnolle Creek!!

Meredith Coleman

I vote for the The Hag of Champagnolle Creek great movie and writer

Diana. Whaley

I vote for Hag of champagnolle creek.
Loved it very well done by all involved.

Thank you.


I vote for #27 – HAG of Champagnolle Creek! All day every day!

S Cozad



#27 – The Movie HAG, has a very different and special vibe. It has a quirky sense of dark horror mixed with a personal humor. There's just something its nostalgia. Got my vote!



Nicole Mackney


Leon L. Wilson

I vote for Villains. Good job ya'll.

Eric Davis


Dilip Gurung

Add me,bollywood films actor.i am ready


I see S&A will drag this contest out a little longer, I was hoping to see the winning film today, but since no film was pick I guess I'll give my vote on who I think should win.

I've seen all of the films even the two new ones I miss this morning, and it came down to 3 film for me.

1. Few and Far Inbetween – It was shot well, love the location and the film just look beautiful , but wasn't much dialogue and I didn't really understand the story.

2. The Shadows of Strangers – Now I remember getting into a small argument about this film. I myself love the way this film is shot, and I find the editing to be different from the normal style of editing. The way the character voice play over top of the scene as if we are hearing what she's thinking or her having a conversation with herself is, I thought it was unique. The music is great, I love how they made there own version of "moonlight sonata". I thought the actress did a great job as well, also the story. If i had to say something bad about the film because nothing is perfect, I would say the location could have been better, and maybe cut 1 or 2 mins off the film.

3. Transporter – Now the Transporter, this film have a great CG opening scene that's looks awesome and I know a think or two when it come to computer effect so I know they work hard on this scene. Great Direction but I didn't connect to none of the characters. I still don't know the reason why the main character wanted to help that young lady? I didn't find anything special about her. Not saying she's a bad actress, I just didn't see why he wanted to save her then all of the other girls I'm sure they moved in and out of that house. To me the best thing about the Transporter was the opening.

So if I had to pick the winning film out of those 3 it would be The Robinson Brother the Shadows of Strangers -"The Story of a Mistress". I've seen more of these guys work and I like what I'm seeing. The 2nd episode to Shadow of Stranger " The Story of Bella" was excellent! You guys are on the right track and you two have my VOTE!



Hear, hear.


'Record/Play' is the best film by miles. They might not be 'in competition' but their film is on the site and I guess they have their reasons for not taking part – bigger fish to fry – like Oscar. But they deserve to win and it's good for S&A if they win and everybody that's seen the film knows it's the truth. So my vote is – 'Record/Play'. I'm voting for the best film – not my desperate friend's film.


Ryan C. Khan —> " I want to keep the comment section as free of unnecessary comments as possible. Also, any comments posted that have nothing to do with the films in the contest, will probably be deleted as well. So focus!" ~ Editor, Tambay O.

*lol* … well Ryan, I think he's talking to us. Our conversations have been… well… a little unfocused and many have nothing to do with the films in the contest. So I have to respect the man's spot and his desire to keep this post clutter free.

Tambay, I was wrong. Delete all my mess at your pleasure. But I am voting for the following. STEAMFUNK: Excellent! Five Stars.

SPOT LIGHT: Best editing. Best "action". Nice short story. Different.


MINUTES TO MIDNITE: The contest's criteria: "Fantastical, meaning, science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, and I'd consider action and dark, twisted …."

Well, it's safe to say Minutes To Midnite captured all of that in 15 minutes. In fact, in my opinion, it was simply the best short B-movie, noir, fantasy, crime drama that I've seen in quite some time. The "thriller" edge was there. The narration was tight. The attention to details were unsurpassed by any other short in this competition.


The Angel's Playground


Angels Playground. Chilling story.

Jeff Garretson

I vote for .. The Angels Playground .. starring THE Chris Swenson!

noel tengdin

angels playground……loved it

Rich Watson

I vote INHERITORS by Chidi Ozieh!! Well done visually and leaves me wanting more.
Great work!!

Sean B. J.

I really hope INHERITORS wins… It is WELL done!

Homer Sartain

Definitely voting for "The Angel's Playground" Chilling ! ! ! !

Chrishawn Speller

I vote for Zernul Shackelford's "The Angel's Playground."

Tito Thomas

I vote for Zernul Shackelford's "The Angel's Playground!"


This Guy Is Voting For Villains!


My vote goes to 'Villains'


I vote for the inheritors!! Great job!!


I vote for Villians!


I vote for Villains!





Sifu Cliff



I vote for the Last Summer

Kusi A

I vote for Inheritors



Carol Neil

VILLIANS has got my vote! -THe story and cast got my attention.

Carol Shayna

I'M voting for Villians. Can't wait to see the other episodes…..keep them coming!!!

Erick Jones

I'm voting for Villians I'm really digging it.

Carl Raymonds

VILLAINS was good. Got my vote. Gonna go watch the other episodes now…


Sweet Child of Mine. That shit was funny!

Marc Edwards

I vote for Inheritors! This is the most intense short film I've ever seen.

Not Part Of The Family Behind Inheritors

I vote for Carey Carey's film.

jose figueroa

the inheritors for sure looks pretty dawm good!

Demetrius Angelo

I would like to cast my vote for Inheritors by Robert Garrett and X-Moore Studios


I vote for Inheritors to Win!

Grethe Holby

I vote for INHERITORS!


Minutes to Midnite




Minutes to midnite

Donald Brown

Inheritors should win. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I want more!


I vote for Inheritors.

J. E. Tyler

The Inheritors was a great story. I'm completely locked in. I want to know what happens next. keep up the great work!


I love Inheritors and it should win for the story and the visuals.

Kwame Opoku

I vote for Inheritors to win.

Jean Hyun

I vote for Inheritors. <3




While we await the decision of Tambay and the S&A 5, I think it's time to revisit jury instructions.

Well, maybe I shouldn't say the crew has been instructed to do, or say anything, but I believe it's fair to examine the jury pool with a wide lens. I mean, it's safe to say movie watching is a subjective experience, each person has their personal likes and dislikes which plays to their groove zones.

Tambay, for instance, is a film critic with filmmaking aspirations, who has frequently shared his love of the fine details of cinematography. He has even shared the type of camera he presently owns. Consequently, keeping the above in mind, his "eye" will be quite different than the average moviegoer.

Sergio, on the other hand, has no love for CGI, guns, comic books or movies with fast cars. He's your basic nuts and bolts kind of guy. In other words, he's old school to the bone and not easily impressed.

The rest of the crew is a mystery (they don't give much of their background), so who knows what tickles their fancy?

Having said all the above, it's safe to say, one man's garbage is another's treasure, and "the best", "good", "entertaining" and "winner"… are all very subjective.

So, I thought for sh*ts and giggles, I'd lend my voice to the jury pool. That's right, I've watched all the short and I'm bout to render my verdict. Of course I have to do this in an non-traditional fashion, cus, you know, as I've said many times, I deplore film critics speech.

Without further ado, from your uncle next door, here's my opinions on the contest's winners and losers.

I think I'll start with one that's getting loads of hype.

INHERITORS: I suppose if I was into reading comic books, this might have pulled me in, but since I haven't read one in 2 decades, this snoozer failed on many levels. First, if the lead actor fails me, so goes the movie. In this case, the lead in this comic book adaptation was not convincing and gave the appearance of overacting. So what's left, eyes changing colors and a shaky camera? Well, that does not do it for me, so "Sandman, come and get this one"

The Last Summer: Have you ever had a cold that took away your sense of smell? And then, when you ate one of your favorite dishes it seemed to be missing something? Well, that's the feeling I had while watching The Last Summer, something was missing so it lost that loving feeling. Granted, it was a silent movie, but it shouldn't be totally silent of emotional impact. Look, 2 girls find a mysterious bracelet. Okay, then one finds herself locked inside the bracelet – story over. Next.

STEAMFUNK: Excellent! Five Stars.

SPOT LIGHT: I call this one of my sleeper favorites. The editing was fantastic. The transitions between scenes and cameras shots were smooth. They showed the skills of an editor/director who pays attention to details. The tap dance scene could not have been executed any better… and it was very entertaining. Ol' boy has skills. And this film fit my image of a "short". They set the story (quickly) , gave us the meat, then closed the show. Perfect!

WALKING WITH GODS: Okay, everyone doesn't have the voice of the "Cola Nut" man Geoffrey Holder, nor the baritone sound of Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) but if one is the narrator, they should have a captivating voice. This was not the case in Walking With Gods. Aside from the narrator's "guy down the street" voice quality, his dialog was too fast paced. And, it was fighting for my attention with the visuals images. In fact, I hollered at the screen "Hey man, slow down, this is all new to me and you're not helping matters one bit". Kudos for the images but I never got the message.

BAD BLOOD: They should name this short "BAD ASS". I mean, someone has to tell me why I had to see the crack of her ass as she jumped up and down on ol'boys Johnson. I mean, what did that have to do with the story? I know T&A sells, but I know where to get my freak on. But the worst was yet to come. Listen, I've had a few people die in my family, and I've been to a few grave side burials, but I've never seen the doctor who signed the death certificate preside over a burial service. And, didn't the grave robbing son dig the most perfect hand dug hole you've ever seen? WOW! On second thought, this film should have been titled "JUST BAD".

HOPE: I am a softy for inspirational message flick, so Hope gets a favorable nod from me. But don't get me wrong, the film is deserving on several fronts. First, no naked ass, no guns, dope or zip fools were showcased as cheap forms of entertainment. Also, the acting was believable, which allowed me to walk with the grieving man down his memory lane. How about that scene at the 3 minute mark? He's standing in the bedroom in deep thought, thinking about hiss baby, she appears in the mirror over his right shoulder, but…. she is not "in" the room. That was some good stuff. All along he's contemplating suicide, then he meets someone who gives him hope and says the wise words "Life is like a toll we have to pay to get to the other side". Come on now, that's some good stuff and this film is a keeper.

MINUTE TO MINUTE: Great opening… slow pan across an older looking stained covered book, as the pages slowly turn. We hear the wrinkle of the paper as the narrator draws us in. It's animation which slowly dissolves to live action. Okay, I am all in. Then I noticed the length of this "short'. Wait a minute, riddle me this, when is a short not a short? Answer: When the suppose to be short is 30 minutes long. Hey, I didn't have 30 minutes to invest in this film so I stopped with the boys riding in that old school car, with one of them doing something naughty to the woman riding in the back seat. Y'all will have to tell me what I missed.

Oh lord, look at the time, I haven't completed my list of the good, and bad, and oh so bads. However, it's time for me to say sleep tight.


Inheritors should win.


I vote for Inheritors to win!

Kevin Davis

You all did a great job and I vote for The Robinson Brothers. I hope you guys win, I like your short the best, and good luck to all the other film makers.

Karen Wright

I vote for Inheritors to win

Jacqueline Oliver

I want Inheritors to win!! Great short. Left me wanting more.


INHERITORS all the way.


Minutes to Midnight!

Mary Lewis

I love Inheritors to win. Great film.

mr cardenas

My name is Mr Cardenas,my wife was having affair with a senior secretary in her office. I love this woman so much that i would not want to share her with any body. i told her to retire from the job and i would take care of all her needs but she would take it because she is been embraced by everybody in her office, this normally leads to quarrel every-time. i tried all i can to please her and she will promise to be good , some days later she will turn back to her normal way.
i was nearly loosing out, i could not focus in my job, my whole life was full of sorrow and i was thinking i should kill the other man my self and put an end to all this until i saw a testimony from a blog on how DR EDIONWE could cast a love spell to bring lovers back no matter what is behind the disappointment. so i decided to write him via email. edionwesolutiontemple@yahoo. com and now all my wishes are exactly as i wanted. She told me everything that has happened secretly in the past and i forgave her as DR EDIONWE instructed me to and she loves me and care for me as i ever wanted. i know there are many spells that do not work but i want to assure all you out there no matter what you have been trough to have faith and believe that this is the final solution to your problem.
Even if my job is taking most of my time, the little free time i have , i will share the good news to everyone in the world because i know that with love brings happiness and hope for a long life.

J. Sheffield

I loved Inheritors! I want to see more! My vote is with them.


I vote for my boyz The Robinson Brothers!


INHERITORS should win


I vote for Inheritors!

Stevie Wallace

I vote for The Story of Mistress.

Billy Lee,


Vic Castaneda


Heidi Walcott

Fun twist to local Folk law!




I vote for INHERITORS to win!


Inheritors all the way!




The Story of a Mistress, I've seen you guys show this off at the Creative Alliance a while ago. Good work guys. I vote for you.

B. AbdulMusawwir

19. Inheritors..that was nice.

Sarah Thompson

INHERITORS. Simply amazing.


Inheritors is a mind blowing experience (and that is real) I vote for Inheritors to win!


Carey I don't think their film wasn't all that bad as you say, I just watched it. I thought it was very creative how they kept the whole scene in that one room and that actress who deliver that monologue was on point, and if you think about the reason she was in that room, it really connects to the ending of the short. I don't want to let anything out.

Chace Thibodeaux

I love The Inheritors.

Dante Steven

Hey what up rick and jonny cool short. You two got my vote, don't worry about the hater. just keep filming and doing yall thing. Story of a mistress is hot!


Okay, raise your hand if you like being pimp slapped. You know, that disrespectful backhand one lays upon another's face when they don't respect their "mark", but desires to dupe them for personal gain. Who among us likes being someone's special kind of fool?

Well, if no one raised their hand, somebody has to tell me why The Shadows of Strangers – "The Story of a Mistress" by The Robinson Brothers is getting so much hype?

Come on now, is it me or was that "short" nothing to shout about? Really… one camera, one woman staring in our face crying about being a willing fool… is not great storytelling, nor was it visually stunning. So, would the press agents for that film please take their foot out of my ass. I am not tryin' to be anybody's huckleberry.

Hey, I mean, I could have given them the benefit of doubt if the short was accompanied by a fitting music score or special sound effects or sumtin' to pull me in, but this film… notta, nothing moved my emotions.

That reminds me… hey Robinson Brothers and the crew, next time consider using the following old school jams to engage the viewers. The first one was played on the TV show "A Different World". Listen and learn a little something.

A Fool For You … but it's over now, by Miles Jaye-

or Chain Of Fools by Aretha Franklin –

Roderick Paulus

I'm voting for Inheritors.


The Robinson Brothers shadows of a stranger


I vote The Shadows of a Stranger.

N Steven Harris

Inheritors is the HOTNESS!! Very well done by XMoor Studios and Rubic House!!


Interesting. Grabs you early. Keep up the great work!


Great short Robinson brothers, I hope you guys win.

Natalia KIng

The Shadows of Strangers – “The Story of a Mistress“ (web series, episode 1), by The Robinson Brothers.

Shawnyell Backus

I voted for The Story of the Mistress by The Robinson Brothers! Love the short alot! Good luck you two!!!

Robin woody

I vote for the Robinson brothers. Good luck guys!

Mazuba Kapambwe

I vote for The Last Summer by Sam Kessie! Looks great


Inheritors for its mesmerizing visuals


Definitely the Inheritors!!!


The Last Summer by Sam Kessie




The Last Summer by Sam Kessie


Minutes to Midnite it is.


The Last Summer by Sam Kessie!!


My choice is "The Last Summer". Nice job!


The Last Summer by Sam Kessie


I vote for "The last summer" by Sam Kessie. Good Job!!!!



Renaldo Matadeen

Ryan Khan – brings a good Caribbean vibe and story out there. My vote's for that guy.


The Last Summer by Sam Kessie. Picking things from the floor tsk*tsk*

Nana Akua

The Last Summer by Sam Kessie! Takes me back to my childhood days

Shea Best


Oliver Milne

My vote is with "Minutes to MidNite" a piece of B-movie goodness that is!

Mark and Darla

May the best film win, they are all watchable.


This film is top sam, you've done it again. The Last Summer is good.


I vote for #20 "The Last Summer". Great job Sam, and to all the other entries as well.


I vote for Minutes to Midnite! Big up!


I vote for Minutes to Midnite! Big up!


Enjoyed all the films, I vote for Minutes to Midnite by Ryan Khan, telling of folklore stories is unique to the Caribbean, Ryan brings a new modern twist in this tale that draws the viewer in, relatable to any audience.


Trini's vision to the world!


Hey guys I got your email and check out your short film story of a mistress. Excellent work! I vote for the Robinson bros.

Kennedy Franklin

I vote for my boyz the robinson bros.


Great contributions! I shall vote for Minutes To Midnight. The story is very imaginative and I love how animated the characters are. It was shot in the beautiful island of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, and is a reflection of its culture and folklore.


Sam, a big hug for you . " The last summer" film is very nice, more of those.
Auntie Muriel

Akwasi Adu Gyamfi

I love this film by Sam Kessie, " The Last Summer". Well done


I enjoy watching all the films and good luck to all the directors. so if i have to vote for one film, it would be The story of a mistress.

Dionne Ham

The Last Summer by Sam Afua Kessie is awesome…creepy! I'll never look at a charm bracelet the same again.

Gracilyn Jackson

Rick you and your brother did a good job on story of a mistress. That how us girl really feel sometime. I hope you guys win.

Morgan Duncan

I've seen your post on facebook, good short guys. I vote for The Robinson Brothers.

Phoebe appa

Last summer 😘

Nana Adjubi Kete

What a nice film, "The Last Summer ? I wish my mum was alive to tell me again "I told You, never to pick strange things that does not belong to you"
Well done Sam.


I vote for The Robinson Brothers. Good luck fellas.

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

I am voting for The Last Summer by Sam Afua Kessie. I thought it was visually very good, and I actually felt scared…I'm a scaredy cat, what can I say.

Jason B.

All these films were pretty cool!!! My Favorite was INHERITORS because it's more my style. I happened to read the comic and I think we need more Black Superheroes… the visual effects were pretty sick too!!


The Last Summer is stunning! Suspended atmosphere, vintage look, loved the acting, and choosing not use voices makes it scary and uncanny.


Love Inheritors! Amazing visuals and great direction by Chidi Ozieh.

Emil B. Garuba

The Last Summer takes me back to those late 70's/early 80's horror flicks where the killer is just lurking behind the trees, waiting to pounce. Camp Crystal Lake might not be far away from this field. Loved the mystical element of the bracelet too, reminded me of the box from Hellraiser for some reason. Touch it and die! Nice work.

Madeleine Sims-Fewer

Loved The Last Summer. Lovely colour palette, and really atmospheric!

Nathan Hughes-Berry

The Last Summer is fantastic! Beautifully shot and very well done.


I love "The Inheritors", the visuals were well done and the storyline compelled me to keep watching. Great job!

Christopher Perry

Jonny and Rick (The Robinson brothers) I have nothing but love for you guys. You two are going to put Baltimore on the map. I enjoy watching you guys work, and no body on here is on yall level. You guys are great Directors, editors, writers, music composers and do there own CG effects. Look at their studio opening at the beginning of The Shadows of Strangers. They made that sh%*. I'm still amazed that two black guys that never went to college for film can do the type of stuff I've seen from you guys. Mannnn keep doing your things, and when yall make it, don't forget about me. Hahahaha.


I like The story of a Mistress, I showed that to a few of my girls and we all agree, that guy should have got shot at the end. lol


Inheritors, I really enjoyed the visual effects… I got the opportunity to read the comic at a convention and admired the story. Seeing it as a movie I'm rather impressed, good job!

Max Linis

Inheritors is a great piece of short cinema. Very well directed and shot and the VFX are stellar! I vote for Inheritors to win!

Judy simpson

I've been watching Jonathan and R.M. Robinson work for a long time. These guys are it! I know they will have a bright future. I love your short and I vote for The Robinson Brothers. good lucky guys.

Oh and I've seen one of your short film on Magic Johnson network ASPiRE as well. Good job it's only a matter of time before "Shadow and Act" start writing about "The Robinson Brothers" next big movie! lol


Very creative short movie.


The Last summer for sure-reminds me of all those crazy times I'd get something from school only for my mum to snatch it from me due to her superstitions lol


The last summer!


The Last Summer for sure- Reminds me how mum told us never take other people stuff… something bad could happen. Afro-superstition!


Hey BIG shout out to The Robinson Brothers. I love the way you guys films. I can't wait to see more of your work! I vote for them.


Loved watching all of these films, but the stand out for me was "Deceit". Very different, very entertaining. Looking forward to seeing more strange, new, and intriguing shorts from other indie film makers!

Lottie Cross

Great work! love what you are doing.

Ronald Bennett

Steamfunk by Briaan L. Barron…All I can say is WOW!!! Ms. Briaan is doing things that the Movie Festivals are putting out. She is bringing real culture to the screen…A job well done

Chris hopper

#16 Steamfunk by Briaan L. Barron is Inspiring in that it re-invents cultural history by intertwining little known historical facts of all cultures from the "point of view of the oppressed (Mirroring the recent works of Tarrantino). The Artistic use of animation makes this piece both adult and child friendly. Informative, creative, and educational! BRAVO!!!'

Frank Wilson

Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy……… A great piece…. makes you think….. Miss Barron is a gifted young lady.


Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy. Amazing talent!


Spotlight by Steven Caple. Loved it.


I would recommend Rise of Oliria, except it's a book. :( Maybe one day a movie producer would pick it up


I absolutely loved Dragon Fruit!


The Shadows of Strangers – The Story of a Mistress was very good. I love how they only use one actress and it work so well. Editing is very top notch and the music was fantastic. Going to check out their other work on youtube now. Great work, guys!

Jineara hampton

The Robinson Brothers are Excellent examples of what directors should be!


I love The Robinson Brothers…. and R.M.Robinson is sexy lol and I love their film.


This is brilliant! If you havent seen this you probably smell bad!

Mark Stansberry

"The Shadows of Strangers" was SUPERB……really had me going, waiting for her to shoot the poor jerk….and then the nice twist at the end…would be really cool to see drawn out as a feature , and get that same twist at the end…..the Robinson Bros. don't disappoint..!!!

Natalia KIng

All movies are great and I am amazed by all the talent. My favorite, however, is The Shadows of Strangers – “The Story of a Mistress“ by The Robinson Brothers. I have been following their work for a long time now, since at least 2006. Very talented and creative group. I hope they win!


I'm a huge fan of The Robinson Brothers!!! I think they are one of the best and I love the The Shadows of Strangers, one of my favorite short films!!!!


I thought that "Few and Far in between" was beautifully done.


Great work! The TRANSPORTER definitely stands out. Great effects and visuals. Solid performances.



Its Claudius from REDEMPTIONS END (full disclosure and what not) its really good such different takes on story telling. I am definitely someone who is often left wondering where the non romcom online content is within our community. Ive seen interesting stuff so far and i particularly liked the premise and visuals that accompanied TRANSPORTER. A really cool concept and really well delivered in 10 mins ( which is not easy)



I've been a fan of The Robinson Brothers. I hope u guys win! Btw love the story of a mistress you guys rock!


What I like about Transporter is its seriousness on the subject of oppression, escape, its unique and memorable characters that we can relate to in one way or another, its cleverness and visual imagination.

Steve Bartlett

These are fantastic! Wow! To me, Transporter really stands out. The story, the acting and low light shots made it intense and had me "on the edge of my seat".


Wow!!! All are great movies.
On a technical stand point, I got to give it up to "Transporter".
The lighting on that film dragged me into the scenes, which is what I expect from any film.

@Von Rollen: I watched it again and I think you are right. She does look very familiar.
Perhaps an 80's drama or something…..

Von Rollen

I'm really diggin' "Transporter"!!!
A well made film, with a pretty trippy ending… kudos!!
I know I've seen that actress before, just can't place where I've seen her.
I'm pretty sure I've seen her on television… anyone got an idea???


Shout out to the Robinson Brothers. I was really feeling The Story of a Mistress, great direction, music, acting, and editing. Good job fellas.


Spotlight by Steven Caple Jr. is amazing! The production of this short film was innovative and inspiring!

Hank West

I gotta go with Sweet Child of Mine, the director is a visionary


Really liked Redemptions End. Nice storyline and good performances.


I rock with that Spotlight. That's Hoofin

CC Marie

"Spotlight" by Steven Caple Jr. is my fave!

John Carter Jr.

All the films were ok, the only one I thought was really different was the one with the pregnant robber, Sweet Child of Mine and that one Robinson brothers did

Bob Rose

This is a great short, I've seen it several times, both on the net and at various film screenings around maryland. The Robinson Brothers are talented guys, this short proves it.

Dankwa Brooks

THE ROBINSON BROTHERS are personal friends of mine and dem boys are bad! They really know their stuff and it's only a matter of time before they emerge on larger stage!

The Real Film Critic

A friend of mine told me about this contest, I really enjoy watching you all films. I just wanted to say this contest inspired me today, to get up off my butt and make my own short film, and to me there are two films that really caught my eye. Few and Far Inbetween, by Nialla LeBouef I love the look and location of your short even though I was a little lose with your story, but The Robinson Brothers web series The Story of a Mistress, WOW. That was the best short I've seen on here. That young actress was AWESOME! The dialogue really hit close to home for me. Now I'm curious to see the next episode. I'm rooting for you guys.

Rei BlueGreen

Sweet Child of Mine Woot!

Ron Smith

There all fanatastic selections thus far, but my favorite was the one with the hot girls in wigs, "Sweet Child Of Mine". That Director has a bright future.


Them Robinson Brothers always amaze me. The Story Of a Mistress was excellent! Keep up the good work guys and I love the ending.


Walking with Gods!!! Hot!

Douglas Williams

HOPE is phenomenal! Great writing, directing and acting.


Dragonfruit – wow – I wasn't expecting that ending, well done. That said, that's the last thing I need to see — another reason not to go on a blind date :)


As always, Emiliano Styles' work never fails to captivate. "Dragon Fruit," like "Color the Night," incorporates saturated colors in the visuals and nuanced performances. As the film unfolds, one finds themselves ensnared in the story. Well done!


Love Redemption's End. Top notch quality!! Nothing in the UK like it!!!


Redemptions end was dope !


That's great. Let us screenwriters know if you ever decide to incorporate a screenplay competition into the mix.


I'll be honest, Im quite skeptical of storylines involving black characters and I question the acting abilities or "lack of ability " more than often displayed. The exposure to sterotypical characters is overwhelming but I have to say I was impressed with redemptions end. I thought it was original and interesting.


"Films must tell stories about black people/people of African descent". Did you mean any genre of film STARRING Black folks because if not the story telling will be limited?


Very nice! I did not expect the ending!

C.J. Jenkins

Dragon Fruit was pretty fly. Nice curveball!


Dragon Fruit: Very interesting
Life Line: Couldn't Get thru it
The Slap: Hilarious!! Cheesy in just the right way
Redemption's End: I'm familiar with this one. Good stuff!

Looking forward to more entries!

Monica Johnson

Excellent job on Dragon Fruit!! Great reminder that sometimes when you see someone for who they REALLY are…it often times is TOO late!!

david ashley

CONGRATS! It gets better everytime I watch it! To Tiff Snow, it was just business…lol

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