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The American Pavilion Announces 2024 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase

2023 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase winners

The American Pavilion announced today the 36 short films selected for its 2024 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, sponsored this year by the non-profit Gold House.

From the press release:

The 2024 showcase features 36 official selection films in four showcases – Student Short Films & Documentaries; Emerging Filmmaker Short Films & Documentaries; Emerging Filmmaker LGBTQ+ films, and an Alumni Showcase.

The 2024 selections include International films from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sevap/Mitzvah), China (A Roadside Banquet), Panama (Ojue), Colombia (Bogotá Story), the United Kingdom (Under the Blue), Mexico (Balam), and Ukraine (Ukrainians in Exile). Female directors are again well represented with more than half of the films directed or co-directed by women.

A few of the esteemed artists who contributed to this year’s films include two-time Oscar winner Janusz Kaminski (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) and Liev Schreiber (Spotlight, Ray Donovan) as Producers of Ukrainians in Exile, World Cup winner Kelley O’Hara as Executive Producer of Ripe!, Oscar winner Nicolas Brooks as Producer, VFX Supervisor (What Dreams May Come, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club), and Valerie Delahaye (Deadpool, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Now You See Me, The Avengers) as Executive Producer and VFX Producer on the Student Film Two Breaths and Oscar and BAFTA Award Winning Sound Designer Ben Wilkins (Whiplash), who mixed Zasady (The Rules).

Emerging showcase winners will be chosen by a jury that includes agents, managers, producers, industry members, and a team from Gold House. Gold House will present the inaugural Cultural Impact award to a filmmaker across the showcase’s categories whose work exemplifies excellence in multicultural narratives or underrepresented perspectives.

The winning films will be announced in Cannes at The American Pavilion during the festival and will be screened at the American Library in Paris on May 28.

The complete list of selected films follows:


2023, 23:16 min., USA, Drama, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Writer/Director: Katerina Munis
Producer: Marjan Mona Koffa, Sabrina Ehlert, Nana Adwoa Frimpong
Cast: Katerina Munis, Gigi Puana, Alberto Frezza
Inspired by ancient Greek myth, young refugee Lux fights to escape a detainment camp under the shadow of her mysterious & cruel sister, Arsinoe. Daedalus is a virtual production, created in an immersive, cutting-edge XR world using XR technology and Virtual LED Stages.

2023, 4:12 min., USA, Animation, University of Southern California
Producer/Writer/Director: Yoo Lee
Cast: Frank Thon, Robert Werner
A young fly gets trapped in the fly trap in the stop-motion studio only to have the existential realization that it spent its entire life chasing after the wrong thing.

2023, 13:08 min., Panama, Drama/Comedy, New York Film Academy
Writer/Director: Fernando Alberto Broce
Producer: Mariel Garcia Spooner, Darlene Darma
Cast: Ingrid de Ycaza, Melanie Martinez, Mia Alejandra de Leon, Eustiquio Broce, Eustiquio Broce, Jr., Ana Alejandra Carrizo, Irene Acevedo, Andres Morales, Adriana Linares, Adrian Scott
A Panamanian fashion designer living in the US, who is embarrassed about her culture, is forced to bring her dad with dementia (who is convinced that he is still in Panama) to her most important exhibition.

2022, 4:18 min, USA, Comedy, Orange County School of the Arts
Producer/Writer/Director: Jordan Held
Cast: Caleb Malis, Noah Granados, Sydney-Lake Bradley, April Duckett-Bradley, Jordan Held
A young man must face his fears to make a personal purchase.

2022, 16:03 min., China, Drama/Fantasy/Coming-of-age, AFI Conservatory
Writer/Director: Peiqi Peng
Producer: Ziqi Gao
Cast: Sarah Zhai
Eleven-year-old Chinese girl Mai turns into a feather duster at her baby brother’s first birthday party, soon after learning her parents only ever wanted a boy.

2023, 4:34 min., USA, Animation, School of Visual Arts
Writer/Director: Ollie Yao, Heather Yun
A child in the forest must reconcile with a fiery new part of themselves that’s difficult to accept before their world is left in flames.

2024, 19 min., USA, Drama/Fantasy, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Writer/Director: Kateryna Kurganska
Producers: Kateryna Kurganska, Timur Guseynov, c. Craig Patterson, Don John
Executive Producers: Danny Rosner, Kateryna Kurganska, Mark Bender, Nick Brooks, Rusty Ippolito, Valerie Delahaye, Wayne Schulman
Cast: Maia Ann Pu’uwai, Romeo Garcia
After a man-made disaster decimates an evergreen island, a stranded 11-year-old Ava must find the tenacity to leave behind her home with the help of an unlikely friend.


2023, 8:10 min., USA, Documentary, Florida State University
Producer/Director: Keith Cohen
Working dogs around the world save and protect lives in a myriad of ways. Facility and therapy dogs are among this group of courageous canines.

2023, 15 min., USA, Documentary, Florida State University
Director: Tristan Owen
Producer: Hollis Rosenkranz
Colorado Search and Rescue volunteers highlight the true cost behind Search and Rescue and what motivates their sacrifice.


2023, 15:30 min., Subtitles/Spanish, Colombia/USA, Drama
Writer/Director: Esteban Pedraza
Producer: Diana C. Patiño Martinez
Cast: Catalina Rey, Victor Tarazona
In 1992, as Colombia faces an era of drug violence, car bombs, and daily power outages, a young mother in Bogotá receives an internship opportunity in the US. Eventually, she must decide between her dreams and her family.

2024, 12:21 min., USA, Suspense/Drama
Director: Andrew Reid
Writer: Vee Saieh
Producer: Carmen Quiros, Marie Alyse Rodriguez
Cast: Tania Mejia, Veronica Falcon
When a storm knocks out the power to her iron lung, a polio survivor and her caretaker sister find themselves in a race against time to find a new way for her to breathe.

2024, 11:28 min., USA, Comedy
Writer/Director: Jean Liu
Producer: William T. Phoenix, Jean Liu
Cast: Zine Tseng, Ran Wei
Hannah’s first week in the US isn’t going as expected. Rejected by everyone she meets, it seems nobody has time to practice English with her. When she is propositioned by a couple looking for a phone sex participant, she uses the conversation as an opportunity to expand her vocabulary.

2023, 3:46 min., USA, Animation/Drama
Writer/Director: Lilian T. Mehrel
Animator/Animation Director: Danielle Rhoda
Producer: Lilian T. Mehrel, Danielle Rhoda
Cast: Elisa del Genio
A little girl’s love for her bedridden Papa inspires a town in lockdown to make music out their windows.

2023, 7:29 min., USA, Animation
Director: Jumai Yusuf
Writer: David Bickel, Michael Bickel
Producer: Todd Feldman, Michael Bickel, Jean Liu
Nate and John first meet in the sixties when John, a surly teenage hippie, is forced by his father to get a haircut. Nate, a young Black barber’s assistant, obliges. From this seemingly ordinary beginning, an unexpectedly deep and enduring friendship slowly blossoms between the two men over decades’ worth of visits to Nate’s barber chair.

2023, 20 min., Bosnia and Herzegovina, Period Drama/War
Writer/Director: Sabina Vajrača
Producer: Kerim Mašović, Sabina Vajrača
Executive Producer: Diana Sanela Jenkins
Cast: Helena Vuković, Adnan Hasković, Muhamed Hadžović, Magdalena Zivaljic-Tadic, Frano Maskovic, Sanela Krsmanovic-Bistrivoda, Rijad Gvozden
During WWII in Nazi-occupied Bosnia a Muslim woman risks everything to save her Jewish friends. Inspired by a true story.

2023, 19:42 min., USA, Family Drama
Writer/Director: Tamika Lamison
Producer: Tamika Lamison, Chris Beal, Dominique DeLeon, Carol Shine, Ben Ephraim
Co-Producer: Ben Ephraim; Consulting Producer: Cleve Lamison
Cast: Ellis Hobbs IV, Jordyn McIntosh, Tamika Lamison, Mustafa Shakir, E Roger Mitchell, Mark Totty, Kellen Boyle
Based on a true story & set in the 70s during the Atlanta Child Murders, a young brother and sister with a love of comics, face a series of impactful events that cause them to question the meaning of heroes, villains, and Superman.


2023, 12:30 min., USA, Documentary
Director: Shannon Morrall
Producer: Alyssa Katalyna, Shannon Morrall, Kent Anderson
Cinematographer: Luke Becker-Lowe
With an avaricious appetite, no native predators, and rapid reproduction rates, the invasive lionfish is one of the planet’s greatest eco-disasters. In this short documentary about sustainability and activism, a community of passionate Floridians uses creative removal methods to save the waters they love.

2023, 6:15 min., Ukraine, Documentary
Director: Janek Ambros
Writer: Anya
Producer: Janek Ambros, Janusz Kaminski, Liev Schreiber
2 time Oscar winner Janusz Kaminski presents a woman in Ukraine tells us her story and the hopes she has of other countries taking care of those who were forced to leave her country.


2024, 12:31 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Logan Thomason
Writers: Logan Thomason, Shawn Ryan, Connor Trees
Producers: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Lance Prosise, Logan Thomason, Jack Day, Tessa Smith, Lexi Donovan, Tea Morales, Jeanette Penley
Arlo, a trans teenager who’s been living on his own for two years, comes face to face with a missing poster of himself that uses his deadname and a school picture taken years before he transitioned. Is his past calling? Will he answer?

2023, 17:39 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+, University of Southern California
Writer/Director: Jay Liu
Producer: Dalton Zongshian Lu, Allegro Yang
Cast: Glen Wong, Ray Kam
Alex is an activist who moved from Hong Kong to the US in fear of political persecution. As he is trying to rebuild his life, his ex-boyfriend Brandon unexpectedly visits him and suggests getting back together. This rekindles unresolved desires and threatens to derail Alex’s plans.

2023, 17 min., Subtitles/Spanish, USA, Drama/LGBTQ+
Writer/Director:  Daniel Eduvijes Carrera
Producer: Miguel Angel Caballero
Executive Producers: Luis Enrique Marquez, Veronica Terán
Cast: Cristian Urbina, David Ty Reza, Rocío López, Eric Flores
After being rescued by a stern vaquero on the streets of East LA, gay goth skater Fernando must put an end to closeted young love, leading to personal transformation and a newfound connection to familia. A coming-of-age drama, EL PAISA bridges disparate Latine subcultures to celebrate unifying notions of family, heartache and Queer identity.

2024, 22:30 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ+, New York University Tisch School of the Arts
Writer/Director: Eddie Yukun Long
Producer: Shirley Sui
Cast: Angel Jin, Taylor Goodwyn
Sadie, a translator who struggles to find the most accurate translation of words, tries to clarify her own emotions and visions as she helps Parker, an indie videographer, to translate her documentary.

2024, 7:49 min., USA, Dramedy/LGBTQ+
Director: Tara Jenkins
Producer/Writer: Nate Bartoshuk
Cast: Beto Ruiz, Nate Bartoshuk, Maureen Kedes, Effie Cacarnakis
When Julio’s conservative parents make an unexpected visit, he and his boyfriend Robbie must hastily disguise their queer home as a straight-bro mancave to hide the true nature of their “roommate” relationship.

2024, 8:22 min., USA/Drama/LGBTQ+, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
Director: Matt Pittenger
Writer: Abby Nuccio
Producers: Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer
Cast: Abby Nuccio, Kristen Howard, Maddie Walton, Lily Thornhill, Jaxon Robinson, Amauri Roe, Teagan Nichols-Marcy
The fact that Abi has two moms shouldn’t set her apart from any other teenage kid, but when the high school father-daughter dance posters start to go up all over school, Abi can’t help but feel like an outsider. Based on a true story by writer Abby Nuccio, “Mom(s) pulls on all the right heartstrings.”

2024, 18:10 min., USA, Drama/Coming-of-age/LGBTQ+
Writer/Director: Tusk
Producer: Cookie Walukas, Tusk, Gerard Rodríguez, Laura Fernández-Hormigo, Frank Lucas
Executive Producer: Kelley O’Hara, Kameryn Stanhouse, Luke Anderson
Cast: Raina Landolfi, Rita Roca
Nothing says “it’s complicated” like breaking your crush’s arm.

2024, 12:31 min., USA, Comedy/Thriller/LGBTQ+, Second City Film School
Producer/Writer/Director: Jerry Hsu
Cast: Phil Guison, Hannah Ingle, Claire Favret, Katharin Mraz, Bobby Quagliato, Kat Zheng
After being accepted into the ‘Ivory Estates’, a queer Asian man moves in with his new fiancé and discovers that he’s the only person of color in the neighborhood— among the estates’ other secrets.


2024, 10:10 min., Mexico, Animation, University of Southern California
Writer/Director: Guillermo Casarin
Producer: Julia M. Quiceno, Joshua Powell, Guillermo Casarin
Cast: Manuel Chan Ulicab, Alma Cristina Balam Xiu
While on a camping trip with her father, Itzel, a young girl gets lost in the jungle and must reconnect with her Mayan heritage in order to escape and find a way back to her father. 
2022 Award Winner Student Documentary Showcase (Bad Hombrewood)

2023, 15 min., USA, Sci-Fi/Drama
Director: Miguel Angel Caballero
Writer: Luis Antonio Aldana, Miguel Angel Caballero
Producer: Helena Sardinha, Rafael Thomaseto
Cast: Laura Patalano, Luis Antonio Aldana, Nico Greetham
In a near future where Artificial Intelligence in the workforce is a societal norm, Tita, an injured and elderly fieldworker, reluctantly hires an artificially intelligent humanoid substitute worker to fill in for her picking strawberries and unexpectedly attracts the curiosity of the creators of this technology when their AI workers are unable to do her back-breaking work. 
2020 Award Winner LGBTQ+ Showcase (Acuitzeramo)

2024, 14:30 min., USA, Drama
Writer/Director: Thiago DaDalt
Producer: Dru Miller
Cast: Piercey Dalton, Amy Argyle, João Bounassar
Follow Eve, a housewife and mother who unexpectedly becomes homeless in downtown Los Angeles. The film sparks conversations surrounding the harsh realities faced by those living on the streets, challenging common misconceptions of mental health struggles as mere drug abuse or laziness.

2021, 14;06 min., USA, Comedy
Director: Andrea Maxwell
Writer: Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan, Matthew Gallagher
Producer: Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Diane Z. Zollicoffer, Matthew Gallagher, Andrea Maxwell
Cast: Ray Abruzzo, Dan Lauria, David Barrera, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan
Past and future unravel when former child stars are thrust back into the spotlight threatening to reveal their darkest secrets.

2023, 3:59 min., USA, Comedy
Producer/Writer/Director: Monique Sorgen
Cast: Kelly Vrooman, Nick Creegan
Melanie tries to get her fake fiancé to come to dinner with her so she can keep up the ruse about how she’s getting married, thus forcing her married friends to hang out with her as her bridesmaids.

2023, 5:58 min., USA, Samurai Adventure/Animation
Producer/Writer/Director: Ryan C. Lopez
Cast: Josie Hung, Justin Bruce Lee, Simon Santos, Psalm Masaya
When Okami, a young Warrior witnesses her Brother’s murder at the hands of a merciless Ruler, with the help of Piero and Akari she must decide whether she will take her revenge, or if she will absolve The Ruler and begin anew.

2023, 11:00 min., USA, Comedy/Drama
Director: Erin Brown Thomas
Producer/Writer: Olivia Haller
Cast: Olivia Haller, Hunter Stiebel, Ciarra Krohne
Two people on a first date mask and ignore their insecurities until an event forces them to say what they’re really thinking.

2024, 15 min., United Kingdom, Drama
Producer/Writer/Director: Linda Ludwig, James Curle
Cast: Steph Parry, Ed White, Nicola Walker, Paul Cawley, Akbar Kurtha
Bruised, hungry and only halfway through her late shift, a lonely and disillusioned police officer forms an unlikely connection with an appreciative and thankful criminal.
2018 Award Winner Emerging Filmmaker Showcase (Man of the Hour)

2024, 9:50 min., USA, Comedy/Drama/LGBTQ+
Director: Aubree Bernier-Clarke
Writer: Audrey Dundee Hannah
Producer: Aubree Bernier-Clarke, Audrey Dundee Hannah, Amin El Gamal
Cast: Audrey Dundee Hannah, B.J. Minor, Becky Poole
Two friends make a pact to explore who they are beyond the “masks” of neurotypical and gender-binary expectations.

2023, 8:54 min., USA, Experimental/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Producer/Writer/Director: Amanda Renee Knox
Cast: Taylor Owen
Sound Design: Ben Wilkins, Ryan Vaughan
In a dystopian world, what are the rules for survival? 
2018 Award Winner Student Showcase (Night Call)

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