ACTION Best Scene Screenplay: Lost Coyote, by Gustavo Freitas


Guillermo – 7 – TED POWERS
Marquito – 9 – DANIEL JONES


Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Fraser, Andy Camp, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch


Director BIO: Maryam Pirband (SILENCE)

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Alliance Of Women Directors O America (AWD),Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA) of House of Cinema; IYCC Higher Institute of Cinema; International Stunt & Action Federation (ISAF); Arasbaran Art and Culture Center, Film Club of Tehran; Art and Experience Cinema,Iranian youth cinematographer institute, Institute and Society of Iranian Youth Film Makers

Azusa Pacific University USA- Master in Screenwriting
Azad University, Tehran-Central Campus,IRAN
B.A. in Economics-Commercial

Society of Iranian Youth Film Makers
One-Year Course in movie Directing

Youth Filmmakers association of Iran
Three- year course in movie Directing

Abadi Stunt School
One-Year Course in Stunt Performance and Design

Two-Year Course Business English (Cambridge)

Short Film: SILENCE, 7min., USA, Action/Drama

F2a404d1ad posterA young deaf mother has a hard job,She cleans out side of high buildings when she is on ropes. One day some thing strange happens to her ,she saves a human.

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A young deaf mother has a hard job,She cleans out side of high buildings when she is on ropes. One day some thing strange happens to her ,she saves a human.


Director BIO: David Bradburn (BEFORE YOU WOKE)

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David is a writer, director and producer of independent films in Chicago. He started Fork the Man Productions to create films and connect independent filmmakers in Chicago. Bradburn’s films include “Superhero Me”, a finalist in the 2012 Beverly Hills Film Fest Writing Competition, and the soon to be finished “The Coming of Age” which was written by Northwestern University’s Film Department Chair, Dave Tolchinsky. Bradburn’s successful launch into Chicago’s independent film community most recently landed him assignments with Kenmore and FOX.


Director Statement


I’ve made over a dozen short films and worked on several more. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m sure it probably is. I’ve done this amidst working full-time as a teacher, running a boutique production company and doing freelance work. This explains better the feeling of exhaustion than the equally palatable feeling of not getting enough done. Back to shorts, as much as I want to make features, and the feature scripts I have completed or am working on; I just can’t get away from the short form. Let’s be practical here, part of that is because I can afford to make a short film here and there whereas a feature budget has been elusive. But, more importantly I like the snack of a story that the short form gives us. It can be, if done right, a knockout punch as opposed to the steady beating that a good feature can be. The short can be just enough to ignite a conversation, to promote targeted change that can often be lost by the time the credits roll on a feature or worse yet after a weekend binge of our latest favorite show. And from the production side, at the end of the day (or two or three) we have the film in the can. “Before You Woke” is no different.

I have been wanting to make an action film for some time and some of the scripts I’ve been tinkering away at are of the same genre. I set out to write a piece I could shoot in a day and only have to spend a few grand on while still setting up a situation to tell a story. So with those parameters in mind, I sat down to write. I banged out some clunky dialogue and some action beats. The beats worked more than the dialogue did, but that was largely because the story hadn’t yet told itself to me. This isn’t always how it works but in this case it did. I sat with the story and reread the dialogue. I had no story, just an interesting (if only to me) action sequence. But the story told itself to me.

I come from a mixed family. I myself am not mixed (at least as far as I have been able to tell), but my family is. From a very young age I learned how race itself is only skin deep, but culture is learned or birthed or embedded in our core. I learned that our acceptance of things is not the universal acceptance of things and that though some don’t respond to the colors they see others most definitely do. This, to the surprise of far too many plays out most often in race and gender. And this has been the heritage our nation has tried to repeatedly force upon its people– both the ideology and the consequences.

Back to the story itself, I had the action arc and something of a narrative. I knew the story was of an African-American woman and a White man. He had captured her and had held her hostage and was going to beat her. Their paths crossed more by happenstance than purpose. He was sent to retrieve something she had. He got it but was looking for payback for the amount of work he had to do to get it. She needed to, as a matter of survival, escape. Whereas he is out for revenge, she is out for survival. The opportunity to survive is what is driving her.

For so many of us, we wait. There are times when there is wisdom in the “wait and see” approach, but often it just an elaborate and arrogant justification to sit around and do nothing, or even worse to wait until we can blame others for our circumstances.

Moments we decide to act, to wrestle our destiny away from the control of others back to where it belongs–with us–those moments change the potential power of our lives into a kinetic energy that effects change.

Often our inaction is our demise. This is a story about that. This is a story about a moment in one woman’s journey to become. It is one moment in our journey of becoming.

“I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. “ MLK

Director BIO: Rachel Econ (WIDOW)

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Eccentric, fowl-mouthed, and a little grungy, writer and director Rachel Econ strives to bring powerful female centric action stories onto the screen. Born in Harrogate England, but raised in southern Arizona, Rachel has always found herself surrounded by history. A lover of adventure, the macabre, and a good gun fight, Rachel grew up on old Hollywood movies and 90’s action flicks. The scorching summers of her desert hometown of Tucson allowed for plenty of time for the movie binges and novel benders that fueled her love cinema and a good story eventually leading her to graduate from Loyola Marymount University with her BA in Film and Television Production. When she’s not writing or in production, Rachel is an avid crafter always looking for something to create.


Director Statement


Widow has been a project I’ve been developing for several years, not only as a short but as a feature as well. I wanted to create an action drama with strong female hero, someone with the strength and tenacity to take justice into her own hands. I’ve always been fascinated by human tenacity, strength, and desire. We often forget what strength and power we have in our own will. When put the test some of us can go above and beyond, do whatever it takes to fight for what they love. Since the early days of humanity we’ve admired the hero’s tale. We gained strength from their extraordinary feats and learned lessons from their ups and downs. We may not be fighting monsters or a gang of outlaws but we struggle in our own ways every day.

I’ve seen many western dramas with female leads, but never female heroes. I’m tired of the idea in these films that these women need a man to get their revenge, to teach them to hold a gun, and hold their hand through the journey. I wanted to create a female hero that I always wished I had to look up to as a young woman. A woman who at the end of the day doesn’t need someone to lead her story, because she writes every page herself.

Widow was a collaboration of many strong an powerful women, people from different states, and all walks of life. My producer Hazar is a muslim woman, and without her constant support and work this project would have never been possible. My editor Laura saved the day both in post-production but in production as well when she took the helm as Assistant Director when duty called, but yet none of this film would look the way it does without the brilliant work of my cis-male cinematographer. I believe working together to create films that inspire and entertain is what we need going forward to help foster a world where boundaries don’t define us but inspire us to unite and work together to defeat them.