September 2023 in Arezzo
Nahom Abraham is an Eritrean writer and director, recently relocated to Berlin, Germany. He has previously worked on several short films, including the award-winning "Home," which was featured as part of the NEFTI competition and screened at EFM in Berlinale. Additionally, his short film "Sara" had its market premiere at the Marché du Film in Cannes. Nahom's filmmaking centers around exploring how we forge connections and communicate during challenging moments in order to discover love, hope, and freedom. Currently, he is in the process of developing his debut feature-length script.
Candice wrote, directed, and acted in the short film, The Dance After the Last Dance, which screened at Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center and Sonoma International Film Festival. She wrote Generations, which premiered at OutFEST and was an official selection at HollyShorts. She co-directed the viral music videos RISE/Vulnerable Rally and Too Much with her creative partner, Gabriel Diamond. Candice won Best Dramatic Short Script for her screenplay, Magdalena, at the Woods Hole Film Festival and was a semi-finalist at the Nashville Film Festival. Her comedy pilot, Shaky Town, and her feature screenplay, Monster, were both semi-finalists at the Creative World Awards. She is a founding member of New York City's Flux Theatre Ensemble and the author of Reclaiming Eros: A Heroine’s Journey & The Heart of Eros. She recently performed her one-woman show, Portrait of the Heretic as a Young Woman, at the Rogue Festival. She's currently developing a full-length stage play and two feature screenplays. She lives in Oakland, CA. candiceholdorf.com
Connor Simpson is a director, writer, and editor originally from Alabama. After earning his MFA in Directing from Columbia University in New York, he moved to his current home in Los Angeles where he is represented by Entertainment 360 and WME. He approaches his work with a visceral, image-focused language to tell deeply subjective stories that often explore spiritual conflict and longing. He is a recipient of the Atlanta Film Festival’s Filmmaker-to-Watch Award, the Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship, the Vimeo Staff Pick Award, and is a fellow of the Transatlantic Talent Lab in Reykjavík, Iceland. Most recently, he was shortlisted for the 2023 Young Director Award in Cannes for his film, ‘I Remember it Rained,’ which held its premiere at the 51st International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Michelle Blair Wilker is a Los Angeles-writer and producer. Her work has appeared in Across the Margin, Whistlingfire, Unheard LA, Felix Magazine, Storgy, and The Huffington Post. She was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s November 2012 contest for new writers and shortlisted for the 2015 Fresher Writing Prize. In 2017, she attended The Disquiet International Literary Program, and was featured in The New Short Fiction Series. Her first book, Chain Linked Stories was published in 2018 through Post Hill Press and Simon & Schuster. The collection was featured in the Montana Book Festival. Wilker’s story, “The Ficus” was a 2018 finalist in Tupelo Quarterly’s Prose Open. She has also spent the past twenty-four years working as a TV producer. Credits include Stand Up to Cancer and The Grammy Awards. The Backburner teleplay was named a 2021 finalist in Your Script Produced! and a quarterfinalist in CineStory. Her most recent work received several accolades in 2022 and 2023.
Seth James is an up-and-coming Screenwriter based in Melbourne, Victoria. After recently turning a lifelong hobby into a more serious vocation he has had two of his Screenplays recognised. In 2022 the first draft of his World War II era Australian mystery 'Mr Manifold's Alphabet' reached the Quarter Finals of the International Page Awards. The following year, 2023, the first draft of his family drama 'Dad's Pages', which was inspired by true events, also received a Quarter Final nomination from Page, as well as selection to the Nostos Screenwriting retreat. Seth almost always has a script on the go as well as ideas for several others and is determined to improve with each piece of work. Eagle-eyed viewers can also catch him in the background as an Extra in award-winning Australian Drama 'The Newsreader' (3 episodes) as well as 'Shantarum' starring Charlie Hunnam. He also appeared in the Aussie Comedy 'Wog Boys Forever' and the upcoming Zac Efron/Jon Cena vehicle 'Ricky Stanicky'.
Stine Kyhl Øvlisen
When I was young, I was too busy living life to write anything down. I threw myself into it, so to speak. I travelled the world. Sailed the seas. And accumulated stories, people and places. These are now bursting to come out, come to life and be told. Following a fairly raggedy childhood, I boarded a boat, passed by Australia, went through the Bermuda Triangle and warded off pirates with a bazooka and only returned for a stint at the Royal Art Academy of Fine Arts, amassed a masters degree, and then took off for New York to spend almost a decade of working in the art, movie and advertising industries. The sheer amount of people in New York push you. They pull you out of bed in the morning and follow you through the night in your sleep. Despite all these people, all the opportunities, lots of friends, parties and jobs - I feared both winning and losing, the peak and the abyss, which in NY seem only a hair’s width apart. A second MFA in Cross Media Communication at Copenhagen University and a completed professional program in screenwriting at the Gotland-based Story Academy/Sweden fuelled a burning desire to tell the stories I had amassed. Stories of people fighting their way out of social injustice - psychologically as well as physically. Stories focusing on the power within. Stories from small communities we rarely see on TV. Local stories with a global significance. I live in Copenhagen, Denmark and work in both Scandinavia and US. I’m a mother of four and married to Thomas, a sculpture/painter.
All the world loves a clown, and so I did… Become one that is! Actualizing my own beloved character Okey Dokey and opening my own children’s entertainment company some 20 years ago and still going strong! I am a lifelong artist and have always worked on my writing and acting along this road less traveled! I also have 20 years experience practicing Wu Mei Kung Fu and Tai Chi. I did amass some credits worth acknowledging! My teacher and guru, William Hickey, was an inspiration, and I often remembered his wisdom through my stage productions as a writer, actor, and director, including two NYC touring troupes: “SRO Players” and “A Matinee Idol.” My directorial debut was at the Theatre Studio in NYC, directing Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Petra Van Kant,” and “Bremen Freedom.” I also appeared in the film, “It Felt Like Love,” by Eliza Hittman. Richard Brody of “The New Yorker” reviewed the film” “Lila’s relationship with her father [Ryan] is one of the wisest I have seen on the screen in a while”!