"Hello, my name is Frank. I have Tourette’s.” This is the nametag that Frank (Garrett M. Brown) wears constantly in the film of the same name to explain to strangers why he sporadically bursts into profanity and occasionally barks like a dog. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work very well, and he’s still frequently ostracized for something that he can’t help.

How do you find happiness? What do you do about regret? What would you do if you had a chance to change a single mistake in your life? These are some of the questions explored in the quirky and fun Welcome to Happiness, which screened at Dances With Films on Sunday.

I rather enjoyed Echo Lake, which has me a bit worried. The film, which screened at Dances With Films earlier this week, was explained to me as having an unlikable protagonist, and without a happy ending. Well, I rather liked and, furthermore, identified with, the protagonist. And, though the ending isn’t exactly tied up with a ribbon and bows, I found it happy in its own small way, or at least satisfying.

Parallax is the story of a man trying to create the Internet, sort of. Taking place in the 1980s, he uses television sets and radio waves to build a revolutionary, new communications device that will connect everyone to everyone else. In the meantime, he himself becomes more and more isolated, as he withdraws into his obsession with making his dream a reality.

The basic plot synopsis for Actor for Hire, which premiered at Dances With Films this week and was written/directed by Marcus Mizelle, goes something like this: A bald actor, down on his luck and struggling to find work in L.A., buys himself a wig and suddenly finds everything starting to go his way. This is technically accurate, but there’s much more to it than that. Actor for Hire is a funny, real, and often an uncomfortable look at what it takes to make it in the business.

For pretty much anyone who’s reading this, chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve wanted to be a superhero. Having superhuman powers would be amazing, of course, but the appeal is more than that. It’s the confidence they project, the respect they command, and the unflappable nobility that they exude that makes superheroes so cool, and that makes us long to be them.

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Writer/director Hisonni Johnson made a splash in 2013 when he premiered Grayson: Earth One, an online pilot that centered on a gritty version of Nightwing. It asks the question, “What if Dick Grayson was never adopted by Bruce Wayne but, instead, fended for himself on the streets of Gotham and Blüdhaven?” Since then, it has won top prizes at Dragon Con, Phoenix Comic Con, and recently at the GeekFest Film Fest.

Now, there’s Episode -- or, technically, Episode 1.5, since the story is now branching out and finding other Robins in Gotham and what their lives would be like if they never encountered the Batman. So, in honor of the Dynamic Duo, let’s look at both episodes!

Shevenge, an 11-minute film which screened at the Dances With Films festival on Saturday evening, is the tale of three women and the men who wronged them. Each of them spins an elaborate revenge fantasy, which the three of them proceed to act out in their collective imaginations.

The captivating and otherworldly artwork of Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger has, for years, influenced, terrified, and enthralled the world around him with his dark and often erotic paintings and designs. Bursting (sans chest in this case) into the global spotlight with his Academy Award-winning work on the sci-fi horror classic, Alien, in 1979, Giger himself has remained a mysterious and intriguing figure to his fans for some time, but with the upcoming release of Icarus Films’ definitive documentary, Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, director Belinda Sallin invites audiences into the personal home and artistic soul of Giger like never before.

The main focus of the trailer, posters, and most other publicity for Kill Me Three Times is star Simon Pegg. So, the first thing you’ll probably notice upon watching the actual movie is that his name appears dead last in the opening credits, as “and Simon Pegg,” the way they do with major celebrities in minor character roles. In truth, this is an ensemble piece, and though Mr. Pegg’s role is significant, it’s not the focal point of the film.

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