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1:00PM - 3:00PM


Saturday, October 22, 2016

1:00-3:00pm: Screening + Filmmakers Q&A

Hamilton Stage


Rahway International Film Festival Short Films Presentation


Showcasing works that inspire empathy, equality, and awareness through film, RIFF has got it all. With shorts films ranging from documentary to animation to drama to comedy, these films from all over the world will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think. 

Shorts Block #1 Lineup:

  1. "Must Hurry!" directed by Christopher J. Cullen (NJ, USA)

  2. "East of Hollywood" directed by Chris Caccioppoli (NY, USA)

  3. "Reinventing the Reel" directed by Michael J. Gorlick (Canada)

  4. "The Girl and the Gondola" directed by Abbe Robinson (U.K.)

  5. "Never Been Sicker" directed by Claire Fishman (NJ, USA)

  6. "Under the Heavens" directed by Tyrik Washington (NY, USA)

  7. "I've Just Had a Dream" directed by Javi Navarro (Spain)


Following the films, there will be a Filmmakers Q&A with the attending Directors, Crew, and Cast.  


*All festival tickets & day passes include free admission to the Opening Night After-Party & Saturday Lobby Networking Hour, which will offer a complimentary light buffet and cash bar. Come join the fun!

"Must Hurry!"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 4:00

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: English

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: When someone is in a hurry, it is usually important no matter what the reason and sometimes that reason can be another person's entertainment. 


Director: Christopher J. Cullen (in attendance)

Chris Cullen is a New Jersey based SAG actor and filmmaker.  His first film he directed was the award winning short film, A Changed Life in 2010.  He wrote and directed the following award winning shorts: Cherchez La Femme, A Day of Work and Love and Hate Relations: The Altercation. Chris has also produced and wrote several other short films.

Writer | Producer: Jeffrey Sutton

Jeffrey Sutton graduated with Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Theatre Performance and TV/Film Production at Michigan State University. Since moving to NYC in 1995, he has worked as an actor in numerous film, commercial and theatre productions in NYC and around the country. As a Film Maker he has made over a half dozen independent films in the metropolitan area. Most recently he made the award winning films, Must Hurry! and Flights, which have screened in film festivals nationwide.



"East of Hollywood"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 28:04

Country of Origin: New York, USA

Language: English

Genre: Mockumentary Comedy

Synopsis: Ken Chang is ready for the American dream... the only problem is that he’s just too American. In order to land a role on a network TV Show, Ken undergoes Actor “Orientalification” to prove that he can be Asian enough to make it in Hollywood. Shot as a mockumentary, East of Hollywood follows Ken as he takes Mandarin lessons, learns martial arts, and even attempts to thicken his accent so he can land a role.


Director | Writer: Chris Caccioppoli (in attendance)

Chris Caccioppoli's inspiration resides somewhere between the epic poems of antiquity and the off-color sitcoms of the 21st century. Part classicist and part comedian, his absurd yet relevant material has been showcased everywhere from National Lampoon to the Massachusetts State House, making both frat boys and congresswomen laugh and think...and possibly binge drink. Chris has won dozens of awards as a filmmaker, including the 2016 American Movie Award for Best Produced Screenplay and is currently working on a feature version of East of Hollywood.


Film Website


"Reinventing the Reel"


Short Documentary |  Runtime: 20:00

Country of Origin: Canada

Language: English

Synopsis: "Reinventing the Reel" is a documentary short about contemporary independent filmmakers' attempts to change the portrayal of LGBT characters in film. The film begins with a historical perspective of the big-studio Hollywood treatment of LGBT characters, and then shows how that portrayal has changed, and why is important that it continues to change. 


Director: Michael Gorlick



"The Girl and the Gondola (La Ragazza e la Gondola)"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 11:42

Country of Origin: United Kingdom | Filmed in Italy

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: 10 year old Carla dreams of becoming a gondolier like her father. However, 900 years of Venetian tradition and the disapproval of her parents stand in her way.

Director | Writer | Producer: Abbe Robinson

Abbe Robinson studied Film Production at the International Film School, Wales, and has worked as an Assistant Director in Film and TV for over 15 years. Her recent short film La Ragazza e la Gondola (The Girl and The Gondola) was shot in Venice and has so far screened at many film festivals worldwide, winning a number of awards and special mentions. Abbe also produces the annual Light Night Leeds arts festival and has worked as a Programmer for several UK film festivals including Bradford International Film Festival, Take One Action Film Festival, SHOUT Film Festival and Aesthetica Short Film festival.  Abbe is currently working on several short film projects and also two feature film scripts, and hopes to be shooting one of them next year.

"Never Been Sicker"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 14:59

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Zoey is a college student tortured by a phobia of vomiting. Her bleak routine of panic attacks and isolation is interrupted by Ellie, a colorful new roommate. But when Zoey discovers Ellie is a suffering bulimic, she must make a choice — devise a plan to get Ellie kicked out of the dorm, or face her worst nightmare to save Ellie's life.

Director | Writer | Producer: Claire Fishman (in attendance)

Claire Fishman has been a storyteller all of her life. A graduate of the Montclair State University film program, she has screened her work at several festivals across the country, and her music video Hair Lockets won the Best New Media award at the Trenton Film Festival in 2014. As a writer, she is drawn towards stories about young people battling with themselves, and how they find hope in their situations.



"Under the Heavens"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 9:00

Country of Origin: New York, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: "Under The Heavens" examines the effects of police brutality on the mental and spiritual psyche of a young African-American male, who feels his American dream has become a nightmare due to the recent killings of black people by the police. 

Director | Writer: Tyrik Washington (in attendance)

Tyrik “Keyz” Washington is a seven-time NY EMMY award nominee and 2014 EMMY award winning producer. Tyrik was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Hails from a diverse family of community activist, musicians, actors, and academic scholars. Tyrik is a self-taught music prodigy, who began to explore his musical talents at the age of three. A proud 1998 graduate from The Juilliard School Of Music (MAP) and a product of the black Pentecostal musical experience, mixed with the best of Jazz and Hip-Hop greatness. In 2008, Mr. Washington launched his own production company, New Day Music Group, Inc. and NDMG Films. Tyrik and NDMG are currently creating projects in the continuation of their mission, which is “to be creative-conduits of substantive entertainment for all people of the world”.



"I've Just Had a Dream"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 7:25

Country of Origin: Spain

Language: Spanish (with English subtitles)

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Irene is eight and she just woke up from a horrible dream.

Director: Javier Navarro

Javier Navarro Montero is a screenwriter, director and film producer from Valencia (Spain). He studied film directing and screenwriting at ACE (Spanish Short Film Agency) and Valencia Cinema School. At 2014 he directed the short film "I've just had a dream" which has won more than 180 awards, most of them are internationals and the short has been projected at over 650 film festivals worldwide. Now he is preparing his next work, entitled "The mirror and the bed."

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