SHORTS PROGRAM 2: Before Midnight (Part One)

Sunday, April 30th at 9:30 pm at The Music Box Theatre in Chicago.

Program Description: This program is PART ONE of our Before Midnight program (AKA Midnight Program before Midnight). We’re excited about the trippy brilliance of these five filmmakers’ work that come from all over the country.  



Q&A with Shorts Program 2 filmmakers on April 29, 2023, 8 PM Central on our YouTube Channel.

Dog Lady – dir. Jessica Liu

An empty nester must learn to find herself when her beloved canine goes missing. Director Jessica Liu and Alfredo Plascencia (storyboarder and dog handler) will be in attendance.  Chicago premiere! (trailer)

Jessica Liu (she/her)

Jessica Liu is an award winning filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a selected fellow of the 2023 Deutsche Bank, Frieze LA Film Awards with Ghetto Film School and Endeavor Content and was highlighted as a Comedic Creator to follow in Whohaha ‘s 2022 Comedy Call Out. Her film “Prom Time!” was awarded the “Women’s Empowerment” Award at the Anaheim Film Festival and hand-selected by Emmy winner Kate Hackett for mentorship at the Cinema Femme 2021 showcase.

The City of Los Angeles selected her film “OrangeDreams” to represent the Girls Play LA campaign – to encourage young girls to participate in recreational activities.

Her work is playful and fresh, combining magical realism with grounded character explorations. She often explores the world of misfits , female desire and coming-of-age at any age.

Her films have been screened internationally, domestically, and digitally – Museum of Creative Minds, Shanghai, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Dances with Films, and Amazon Prime).

As a graduate of UCSC with double majors in Film and Feminist Studies – Culture, Power, and Representation, she strives to honor authentic perspectives through fresh and exciting storytelling.

Deer Girl – dir. Giovanna Molina

A reclusive researcher attempts to film a deer decomposing in a forest, until a teen girl interferes. Director Giovanna Molina will be in attendance, Chicago premiere! (trailer)

Giovanna Molina (she/her/hers)

Giovanna Molina is a writer, director, and editor from Brooklyn, NY. She is a Sundance Ignite 2022 Fellow and graduate of UCLA’s Directing MFA program. Giovanna is supported by the Edie and Lew Wasserman, Streisand Sony, Hollywood Foreign Press, and Graduate Opportunity fellowships. She completed a BA in Film and Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellow. Her work explores the darker narratives of girlhood.

Albion Rose – dir. Tiffany Tenille

Following the arrival of an unwanted guest, a tightly-knit bond between two sisters is put to the test when their idyllic playdate takes a dark turn. Director Tiffany Tenille and crew will be in attendance. Chicago premiere! (trailer)

Tiffany Tenille (she/her)

Tiffany Tenille is an actress, writer, and filmmaker who finds beauty in seemingly idyllic worlds with an undercurrent of darkness. Her work often reflects the redemptive coming-of-age journey of young women on the cusp of mental collapse, explored in her latest project, Albion Rose, a short film awarded “The Future of Film is Female” post-production grant. Originally from Chicago, Tenille earned her BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Her feature film debut, Jezebel, in which she played the titular role, was acquired by Ava DuVernay’s distribution arm, Array, following high acclaim at SXSW and is now streaming on Netflix. As the proud founder of her newly minted production banner Petticoat, Tenille is fiercely committed to illuminating the complexities of womanhood and celebrating the purity of Black women. Furthermore, Tenille’s exceptional talent as a writer has been recognized as she recently advanced to the Quarterfinalist round of the 2023 ScreenCraft Short Film Screenplay Competition for her upcoming film, A Woman’s Body.

Herly – dir. Rachel Rambaldi

HERLY is a dark comedy/drama about siblings who experience the same childhood wounds and the very different life paths they choose. Chicago premiere!

Rachel Rambaldi (she/her)

Rachel Rambaldi (she/her) is a first-generation Italian writer/director based in Los Angeles. Growing up in Los Angeles and her homeland of Italy allowed her to stay connected to her roots which have significantly impacted her artistry and perspective. Rachel’s latest short film, Cream or Sugar,(co-written with Sar Artoonian) digs into human identity within colonial structures and premiered at OUTFEST Film Festival 2022. Her storytelling focuses on the human experience through dark comedy and satire. The essential ingredient to Rachel is that her work bares the human spirit. Her background also includes self-expression art facilitation within the autistic, non-verbal community. At the Legacy Center, a non-profit organization that focuses on elevating standards for the neuro-diverse community, she founded and facilitated an art program that functioned from 2017-2020. Working with people who needed access to communication devices to express themselves deepened her listening ability. This opportunity gave her a unique insight into another layer of humanity which ultimately strengthened her collaboration process with actors. Rachel believes life experience makes you a stronger storyteller and has always pushed herself personally and creatively outside her comfort zone to gain new perspectives.

While writing and directing her films, she has also produced micro- documentaries and commercial spots for Samsung, ADL (Anti-Defamation League), and the Gender Cool Project with Chicago-based creative agency Swissa Creative, inc. She’s a self-taught 35mm film photographer with a self-portrait published in F-STOP magazine in 2020. In 2016 Rachel was the only student in her college class to direct a thesis on super 16mm film. Self- starting has been her foundation since she discovered photography at twelve years old. She feels creating opportunities to do what means the most to you is the greatest investment.

She has recently wrapped on “Herly,” a proof of concept about siblings and cults that she co-wrote, starred and directed.

Ages of Man – dir. Claire Leona Apps

Are you sitting uncomfortably? An anthology fiction short where three men find themselves in vulnerable positions with three women. This comedic horror drops the audience in the middle of stories about invisible labor. Director Claire Leona Apps will be in attendance with producer: Martina Silcock. Chicago premiere! (trailer)

Claire Leona Apps (she/her)

Raised in Asia and educated at the London Film School, British-Canadian award-winning writer/director Claire Leona Apps’s debut feature “And Then I Was French,” released in 2018, is a psychological thriller compared by critics to Andrea Arnold and David Lynch. Apps is known for her cross-cultural perspective and for using dark comedy to challenge ideas about society as we know it.

Previous writing and directing credits include “Gweipo”, “Aceh Recovers”, “Girl Blue Running Shoe” and “Ruminate.” Her work has been screened on the BBC, shown at The Great North Museum and premiered at prestigious festivals such as St. Louis International Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Cinefest Sudbury, and East End Film Festival. She is a BAFTA LA newcomer. Claire has worked with outstanding actors such as Francesca Annis, Rebecca Hall and Olivia Poulet.

LIVE Q&A moderated by Numa Perrier

Numa Perrier is a Haitian-American actress, artist, director, writer, and producer. She is a co-founder of Black&Sexy TV. Her debut feature film, “Jezebel,” premiered at SXSW in 2019 and received accolades from the American Black Film Festival and the Indie Memphis Film Festival.