Home / News / Film / Cannes Film Festival / 2018 Cannes: American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Finalists

2018 Cannes: American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Finalists

Female directors are once again well represented in The Showcase, with more than half of the films directed by women.

Today The American Pavilion announced its 2018 lineup for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. The impressive program features 27 short documentary and narrative films by up-and-coming filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world, all of which will screen at The American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival.

Since 1989, The American Pavilion has offered opportunities in Cannes to film students from around the world. The 2018 Emerging Filmmaker Showcase will provide an opportunity for emerging filmmakers to have their works seen by Cannes Festival and Film Market attendees. Prizes will be awarded to filmmakers and the top twenty-seven films will be screened in a special “Emerging Filmmaker” showcase at The American Pavilion in Cannes.

The showcase encompasses five sections, including: Student Short Films, Student Documentaries, Emerging Filmmaker Short Films, Emerging Filmmaker Documentaries, and Emerging Filmmaker LGBTQ Showcase films.

The films in this year’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase focus on themes as diverse as the sexual violence, Alzheimer’s, bullying, holocaust, father/daughter stories, falling for Mr. Wrong, women entrepreneurs, online dating, coming to terms with sexual orientation, the impact of social media, werewolves and zombies to name a few. A variety of stars are featured, includingJamie McShane, Marlyne Barrett, Elizabeth Guest, Mary Kate Wiles, Maya Kazan,Charlotte Ritchie, Ed White, Shawn Ryan, Candi Milo, Scott Cooper Ryan, Bernard White, Meera Syal, Doug Tompos, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Petersen, Ido Samuel, James Babson, J. Michael Trautmann, Shani Atias, Leif Gantvoort, Bart McCarthy, Ioanna Meli, and more.

Student filmmakers hail from schools across the United States, including: School of Visual Arts, Santa Monica College, Chapman University Dodge College of Media Arts, USC, Yale School of Drama, Florida State University, UC Berkeley School of Journalism, Brooklyn Film College, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Art Center College of Design, AFI Directing Workshop for Women, and The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp.

“This year’s showcase promotes a wide selection of themes, cultural diversity amongst the films and filmmakers and I’m excited that again this year, more than half of the finalist films are directed by women,” said Monika Skerbelis, Programming Director.

Emerging showcase winners will be chosen by a jury that includes agents, managers, producers, and festival programmers and will be announced at The American Pavilion during this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Here is the full list of American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase finalists at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.


2017, 20:24 min., USA, Documentary, UC Berkeley School of Journalism

Producer/Writer/Director: Brad Bailey

Cast: Hale Zukas, Judith Heuman, Zona Roberts

Born with cerebral palsy, Hale Zukas is the grandfather of disability movement, started in Berkeley, California. Every morning, he still wakes up for the fight to live independently with dignity, strength, and courage.

2017, 13 min., USA, Florida State University, Documentary

Producers/Directors: Nicholas Markart, Tyler Knutt

Cast: Judith LeBlanc, Lewis Grassrope, Ray Taken Alive, William Brown Otter, Margaret Landin

Native Americans from Standing Rock speak out on the pipeline, the repetition of history, and their roles as water-protectors in a struggle for modern sovereignty.

2018, 13:20 min., Documentary/Sports, USA/Mexico, Brooklyn Film College

Director: Brian Adamkiewicz

Producer: Rebecca Frances Scotti
Cast: Emilio Fernandez, Nathaniel Rabinor

Shown through the eyes of an 8-year-old American-Mexican boy, Build Ramps Not Walls documents a bi-national skate community in Mexico seeking a positive response to the negative rhetoric between Mexico and the USA after the 2016 presidential elections.

2017, 4:57 min., USA, Documentary, Art Center College of Design

Producer/Writer/Director: Ellen Houlihan

Cast: Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark, a 21-year-old race car driver from Ventura, California dreams of racing in NASCAR one day. As a confident and driven woman in a male-dominated career field, she is an empowering example of a woman defying the odds and resisting any challenge she encounters on and off the track.


2018, 7:43 min., USA, Drama/Thriller, The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp

Director: John Ainsworth

Co-Directors: Monica Jeon, Olivia Ingram, Sarah Whalen

Writers: Sarah Elizabeth Whalen, Brad Griffith

Producers: John Ainsworth, Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer

Cast: Marguerite Williamson, Reed Wylie-Chaney, Jolie Orban

Without warning or any explanation, all kids on earth have woken up to an overtaken planet. The kids retreat to live in the forest until they receive a signal that the threat has receded… but has it truly? Can the kids get along with each other long enough to survive the destruction of earth?

2017, 5:41 min., USA, Comedy, University Nevada Las Vegas

Writer/Director: Tyler Yarbro

Producer: Melissa Del Rosario

Cast: David Kurtz, Spiro Siavelis, Kevin Fitzpatrick

A family’s nutcracker Christmas dinner is interrupted when the narrator unveils their darkest secrets.

2017, 3:25 min., USA, Animation, School of Visual Arts

Writer/Director: Jodi Chamberlain

Producer: Jimmy Calhoun

Cast: Lisa O’Hara

She just wants to enjoy a snack, but when this salty old sailor is attacked by a beast many times larger than her boat, she must think and act fast in this spaghetti-western sci-fi monster movie about wit, grit, and cunning.

2017, 17:39 min., USA, Drama/Action, Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

Writer/Director: Amanda Renee Knox

Producers: Phabillia Afflack-Borja, Miriam Anwari

Cast: Marlyne Barrett, Rachael Holmes, Delaney Williams, Matthieu Jean-Pierre

When on a routine patrol, a Black female cop living in and patrolling Inglewood gets called to a disturbance she is forced to make an unprecedented life altering decision.

2017, 18:27 min., USA, Comedy/Dramedy, Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

Writer/Director: Kendall Goldberg

Producer: Michael Stanziale

Cast: Candi Milo, Ryan Stiffelman, Shawn Ryan, Jon Heder, Jeremy Shada

When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.


2018, 9:54 min., USA, Documentary

Producer/Director: Jennifer Manner

Writer: Dr. Wendy Leonard

Healthcare spending is out of control. What if we could get better biomedical data, spend pennies on the dollar, and get results in a fraction of the time? Zebrafish, a proven but under-recognized and underutilized biomedical research model, can do that. Zebrafish are human avatars.

2018, 10:05 min., USA, Documentary

Director: David Freid

Producer: Mor Albalak

An American paper trail. When there’s a gun crime in America, there’s only one place to go to trace the gun back to its owner: Martinsburg, West Virginia. That’s where the ATF’s National Tracing Center handles roughly 8,000 active traces per day


2017, 17 min., USA, Family, Drama, Fantasy

Director: Michael Swingler

Producers/Writers: Michael Swingler, Carl Petersen

Cast: Carl Petersen, Christopher Franciosa, Cole Sand, Helen Sadler, Micah Fitzgerald

A little boy challenges a villainous bully to a game of marbles in a bizarre and fantastical world where marbles are as precious as gold.

2017, 9:55 min., USA, Romance

Producer/Writer/Director: Annabelle K. Frost

Line Producer: Cherryl Siena Espinoza

Cast: Mary Kate Wiles, Billy Beck, Scott Cooper Ryan, Larry Clarke, Fran Bennett, Terri Ivens, Evan Arnold

A naive elevator operator becomes smitten when she meets a winsome new tenant in the spring. She falls deep in love over the summer only to hit troubled times in the fall. Frozen by her predicament, she withdraws through the winter. Will she find love before spring returns?

2017, 14:59 min., USA, Drama/Action/History

Writer/Director: Valerie McCaffrey

Producers: Brian Kelly Jones, Jennifer Tung, Stefan Simon

Cast: Ido Samuel, J. Michael Trautmann, Dallas Hart, Hunter Doohan, James Babson, Clayton Haymes, Stefan Simon, Robert Arce, Connor Linnerooth, Matt Otstot, Windy Hamilton, Tara Soojian

Signing his own death wish, a concentration camp prisoner sabotages the construction of the V-2 bomb against the Nazis, while American soldiers struggle to advance against the Germans during “The Battle of the Bulge”, Hitler’s last chance for winning the war.

2017, 12:39 min., USA, Drama

Producers/Directors: Pamela Guest, Elizabeth Guest

Writer: Pamela Guest

Cast: Elizabeth Guest, Lawrence Michael Levine, Kristen Slaysman

In 1971 a young actress goes on her first audition with surprising, life-changing results.

2018, 17:51 min., United Kingdom, Drama/Mystery/Comedy

Directors: Linda Ludwig & James Curle

Writer: Tom Palmer

Producers: Tom Palmer, Linda Ludwig, James Curle

Cast: Charlotte Ritchie, Ed White, Oliver Chris, Richard Durden, Tom Palmer, Harriet Green, Tom Stourton, Natasia Demetriou

Gemma receives a mysterious invitation to the birthday party of an enigmatic millionaire, Jeremy. She must pass herself off as Jeremy’s old friend and mingle with his glittering guests. But Gemma cannot help but wonder who Jeremy is and why he has tasked her with such a peculiar job – there’s something more to him than meets the eye.

2017, 9:55 min, Family/Drama, USA

Director: Lorette Bayle

Writer: Jacqueline K. Ogburn

Producers: Nicolas Emiliani, Stephanie Nilles, Lorette Bayle

Cast: Madison Calderon, Leif Gantvoort, Anthony Jensen, Rachael Markarian, Thomas Ashworth

Scarlett-Angelina is a little girl who knows how to take care of herself, much to the dismay of the small-time crook who kidnaps her.


2017, 20:25 min., USA/Israel, Drama

Director: Michael Horwitz

Writer: C. Ashleigh Caldwell

Producers: Todd Felderstein, C. Ashleigh Caldwell

Cast: Shani Atias, Jack Pitchon, Jonathan Arkin, Danny Boushebel, Kenzie Caplan, Sima Galanti

A female Israeli soldier forms an unlikely connection with a Palestinian boy over social media.


2017, 12:26 min., USA, Drama/Horror

Writer/Director: Elaine Mongeon

Producer: Julie M. Anderson

Cast: Maya Kazan, Jamie McShane

A young woman and her father adapt to terrifying challenges they never expected.


2017, 10:45 min., USA/Tonga, Documentary/LGBTQ

Directors: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson

Producer: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

A brave young transgender woman sets off on a journey to become her true self in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga – with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way.

2018, 7:26 min., USA, Drama/Romance/LGBTQ

Writer/Director: Doug Tompos

Producers: Risa Bramon Garcia, Steve Braun, Doug Tompos

Cast: Doug Tompos, Adrian Gonzalez

In the afterglow of sex, a generation gap opens between two men as they struggle to define trust in the age of open marriage and NSA hookups.

2017, 9 min., USA, Comedy/Drama/LGBTQ, Yale School of Drama

Director: Emma Weinstein

Writer: Emma Weinstein, Stella Baker

Producers: Emma Weinstein, Alix Masters, Michael Breslin, Stella Baker

Cast: Stella Baker, Moses Ingram

Through race, sexuality and dolphin suicide, this 9-minute short looks at the erotic and messy intimacy of childhood best friends trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

2018, 9:30 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ, Young Actors’ Theatre Camp

Director: Jim Fall

Writer: Jeremy Pitzer

Producers: John Ainsworth, Shawn Ryan, Valerie Dohrer

Cast: Jeremy Pitzer, Ava Vukic, Sean McCrystal, Riley Blum, Karen Moore, Matt McCoy, Shawn Ryan, Brad Griffith

Sam strives to be accepted but worries he will be rejected for being himself. He loves pretty gowns, fancy makeup and sneaking into the local drag show. He soon realizes the only thing holding him back is himself.

2018, 21 min., USA, Drama/LGBTQ, Santa Monica College

Director: Bishal Dutta

Writers: Bishal Dutta, Matt McClelland

Producer: Olivia Shapiro

Executive Producer: Scott Carper

Cast: Bart McCarthy, Ioanna Meli, Sean McBride

An aging, closeted gay man with Alzheimer’s struggles against his strong-willed daughter to hold on to the memory of the long lost love of his life.

2018, 24 min., USA, Documentary/LGBTQ

Director: Jessica Congdon

Producer: Eric Holland

Cast: Crista Luedtke

A tireless entrepreneur jump-starts the transformation of a neglected vacation town, until her ambition pushes her to the brink.


2017, 11:45, USA, Comedy/LGBTQ

Writer/Director: Priyanka Mattoo

Producers: Priyanka Mattoo, Ursula Camack, Meghan Malloy

Cast: Meera Syal, Bernard White, Max Jenkins, Ravi Patel, Sujata Day, Gabe Delahaye

A sheltered Indian couple visits their son in the U.S. for the first time and bungles their apartment rental, ending up in close quarters with their hosts, a gay couple and their dog.

2017, 6:25 min., USA, Comedy/Musical/LGBTQ, University Southern California

Writer/Director: Jason Phillips

Producer: Adrian Vega Albela Osorio

Cast: Matthew Manhard, Finley Polynice, John Skoubis, Kate Enggren

Before Brian Mills leaves for his first year at Princeton University, he must come to terms with his sexual orientation and be honest with himself after some guidance from his trusted barber.


The American Pavilion, celebrating its 30th year as the epicenter of American hospitality and communication at the Cannes International Film Festival, brings together both professional and emerging filmmakers along with industry executives from across the globe. A sought after destination for information, orientation, and recreation, it accommodates the needs of its members, guests and sponsors in a dynamic business environment. With its impressive array of amenities and services, AmPav provides an opportunity to relax in very comfortable surroundings.

The American Pavilion boasts the Roger Ebert Conference Series which offers insightful and provocative panel discussions and in-conversations with filmmakers, talent and top leaders; a restaurant and bar that provide fast service with a smile throughout the day and is open to all festival badge holders after 6:00pm most evenings; a coffee bar; free WiFi and charging stations; a media terrace with a panoramic view of the Riviera; the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase; the Culinary Program featuring chefs from across the US and Canada; The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program; and public and private rental for parties and receptions.

For more information, please visit: www.ampav.com

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

Check Also

PGA Awards: ‘Green Book’ wins Producers Guild Top Prize

Green Book (Universal) The 30th Producers Guild of America has chosen Peter Farrelly’s 1960s road …

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: