These short films were shot on an iPhone! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

These short films were shot on an iPhone!

These short films were shot on an iPhone!

There’s a lot to love about Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards because they have consistently provided opportunities for people of color to learn their craft and build their careers. 

Most recently they posted the links to three short films directed by fellows selected to participate in its Global Media Makers (GMM) Spring 2022 LA Residency which was produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State GMM is an innovative mentoring initiative and cultural exchange program that fosters relationships between filmmakers and industry professionals in the U.S. and abroad. 


The shorts are a result of a collaborative workshop where GMM Fellows participating in the Spring LA Residency were paired with local Film Independent Fellows to create a short impressionistic film encompassing their personal views of Los Angeles. 


“Providing our GMM Fellows a space and time to explore our city of Los Angeles, guided by a local Film Independent Fellow, is central to the mission of the program: building bridges and fostering a dialogue amongst creative minds around the world”, said María Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education & International Initiatives, “As we started this initiative, we realized an iPhone is a perfect tool for them to freely explore the visual richness of our dynamic Angeleno community.”

This fun initiative is a great opportunity to establish a creative dialogue between international Fellows and Fellows living in Los Angeles. Previous local Film Fellows that have participated in this collaborative workshop include Andrew Ahn (Director, Fire Island) and Lulu Wang (Director, The Farewell). The local Fellows who collaborated in these shorts published today are Nicholas Naiem Bouier, Winter Dunn, Gem Little, Martina Silcock, and Katherine Fairfax Wright. They were paired with filmmakers Archana Borhade and Sriram Raja from India, and Anup Poudel from Nepal. These short films were shot on an iPhone. 

To find out more about this program and to see the three short films listed you can go to:


Birds in LA

Directed by Anup Poudel

While exploring Los Angeles, a paper swan meets others of different colors and sizes, embracing the friendship and freedom the city has to offer.



Inner Camera

Directed by Archana Borhade

As Archana, a Cinematographer, self-reflects on visiting one of the beauty capitals of the world, she turns the camera towards herself and finds self-acceptance.



To LA with Love

Directed by Sriram Raja

Sriram travels to locations where La La Land was filmed and reflects on how nostalgic the city feels in his still 35mm photographs, yet modern when captured on his iPhone.


Now in its fifth year, the Global Media Makers program is presented by Film Independent and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. More than 450 U.S. Mentors have supported the program, including Peggy Rajski (Director, Trevor), Justin Simien (Director, Dear White People), and this year’s Creative Advisors Ruth Atkinson (Story Editor), Amman Abbasi (Director, Dayveon), Shari Page (Program Director, Half Initiative at Ryan Murphy TV), Anayansi Prado (director, The Unafraid) and Avril Speaks (Producer, Jinn).


The sixth residency will take place in October when GMM will host another iPhone Collaborative Workshop. 

For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision.

In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants, and labs. Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. And year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.

 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us.


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