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3:00PM - 5:00PM


Rahway International Film Festival Short Films Presentation


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

Film Lineup:

  1. "Desde el Principio" directed by Miguel J. Soliman (NJ, USA)

  2. "He Said" directed by Tara Lynn Orr (CA, USA)

  3. "Swipe Right" directed by Kendall Goldberg (CA, USA)

  4. "Lilac Hair" directed by Annie Drew Casella (NJ, USA)

  5. "ToGetHer" directed by Mar de Luna (Peru)

  6. "Pyramus & Thisbe" directed by Laura Raud (Estonia)

  7. "Spot" directed by Jamie DiNicola (NY, USA)

  8. "Annie Waits" directed by Marnie Paxton-Harris (United Kingdom)


(This film block is rated "R". Includes films containing strong subject matter, drug use, nudity, sexual content, or violence. Viewer discretion advised.)

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

*All Gala tickets, Day, & Weekend passes include admission to the Opening Night After-Party. All festival tickets include free admission to the Sunday Awards Ceremony. Come join the fun!

**Planning on attending multiple film blocks? Save & buy a Saturday/Sunday All-Access Day-Pass! Available for Advanced Sale only, will NOT be sold at the door.

***For helpful information such as tickets, directions, parking, handicap access, and where to eat/stay, please visit our Attend page.

"Desde el Principio"

*Festival Premiere*

Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 10:21

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: Spanish

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: In the darkness of a soundproof recording studio, a conversation sparks between two voice actors dealing with a shared tragedy.


Both lead actors Andrea Velasco & Eric Robledo will be in attendance.

Director: Miguel J. Soliman (in attendance)

Miguel J. Soliman is a film director from Jersey City. He is Latino-American, of Ecuadorian, Honduran, and Palestinian decent. Passionate and adventurous -- Miguel sets himself apart by being an independent, international director. His diverse work includes comedies, dramas and horror films. In addition to directing, Miguel has also written, produced, assistant directed and edited fictional narratives as well as documentaries in the US and abroad.

Writer: Nicolás Giacobone

Nicolás Giacobone is a writer and producer, known for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Biutiful (2010) and The Last Elvis (2012).

Producer: Eric Schwarz

Eric Schwarz is a New York City based producer and writer.  In addition to producing innovative short films, he has worked in the reality television, music video, commercial, and print fashion words.



"He Said"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 14:14

Country of Origin: California, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: A wealthy young woman is brought to court after a man she spent one night with contracts HIV. She knew she was HIV positive but never told him. He is suing for damages, hoping to receive enough money to cover his medical bills for life. If she doesn't pay, he may not live. It should be an open and shut case, so why isn't it?

(Contains strong subject matter and sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.)

Director: Tara Lynn Orr

Tara Lynn Orr studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and then in London and has spent most of her life in the theatre. Tara began screenwriting in 2010, after the birth of her second child and has completed several short and feature screenplays.

Writer: Chase Hinton

Producer: Philippe Brenninkmeyer

Philippe Brenninkmeyer was born in Wimbledon, England to Dutch parents. He spent his early career in London studying acting and working extensively in London theatre. In 1996, Philippe moved to New York, and won leading roles in off and off-off Broadway theater productions.


Website | Facebook

"Swipe Right"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 8:49

Country of Origin: California, USA

Language: English

Genre: Dark Comedy

Synopsis: Katie's impromptu bar hookup takes an unexpected turn, reassuring her that she is not suited for the modern dating trends.

(Contains some blood and gore. Viewer discretion advised.)


Director | Writer | Producer: Kendall Goldberg

Originally from Chicago, LA-based filmmaker Kendall Goldberg graduated with a B.F.A. in Film Production from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. She's an award-winning filmmaker with a diversified slate of shorts, one of which is currently a Student Academy Award Semi Finalist and another that was a finalist in the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at Cannes. Her short, WHEN JEFF TRIED TO SAVE THE WORLD, which premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival, stars Jon Heder (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) and acts as a proof of concept for the feature film, which will be shot August 2017. 



"Lilac Hair"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 14:50

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama, LBGT

Synopsis: A high school senior explores her sexuality behind her conservative family's back.

(Contains strong subject matter, sexual content and nudity. Viewer discretion advised.)

Director | Writer: Annie Drew Casella (in attendance)

Annie is a filmmaking student, attending the Film Institute at Montclair State University. She aspires to be a professional cinematographer, director, and assistant director in the NYC/NJ area.

Producer: Negin Sedaghat

Negin Sedaghat is a producer, production manager, and assistant director currently pursuing a B.F.A. in Filmmaking from Montclair State University. Since 2015, she has produced 11 short films. Her mind is always focused on the work at hand and she loves to get creative with her problem solving.



Short Narrative |  Runtime: 22:42

Country of Origin: Peru

Language: Spanish

Genre: Romantic Drama

Synopsis: Liam came first, Vincent came second... 
If unrequited love is like a curse, then that curse can only be broken by the person you love. Luna knows that, but how can she break Vincent's curse, when it means to put her beloved Liam under the same curse?


Director | Writer | Producer: Mar de Luna

Mar de Luna is a Peruvian filmmaker, recently graduated from the Peruvian Film School (EPIC). ToGetHer was her final year project at film school. She will soon start her MA in Barcelona Film School (ECIB). To learn more, visit


Executive Producer: Maytte Negro (in attendance)



"Pyramus & Thisbe"


Short Narrative|  Runtime: 17:09

Country of Origin: Estonia

Language: Estonian

Genre: Romantic Drama

Synopsis: In this modern adaptation of the classic Greek myth, Pyramus and Thisbe are young lovers who, despite having grown up in dismal circumstances, have managed to maintain their internal goodness. Because of their domestic situations, the lovers can only communicate through a little ventilation shaft between the toilets of their apartments.

On the fateful day when they flee from their respective homes more goes wrong than either of them could have foreseen and thus the meeting of the lovers finally takes place in quite a different way than they had hoped...

(Contains strong subject matter, violence, drug use, and sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.)

Director | Writer: Laura Raud

Laura Raud is a screenwriter and director based in Estonia. Having grown up in a multilingual family of writers and artists, she was always interested in finding a way of telling stories in a creative environment. Graduating this year, she is a Film Arts, BA student at the Baltic Film and Media School. Laura Raud was the screenwriter for “Counterpoint” (2016) which has won multiple awards at a variety of different festivals including one for Best Screenplay at RGFF in 2016.

Producer: Carina-Claudia Paas



Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 9:51

Country of Origin: New York, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama/Comedy/LGBT

Synopsis: A group of twenty-somethings circle around a stoop and share a joint when one of them gets lost in the mystery and beauty of the urban sidewalk - a mosaic of stories emerge. Spot pushes the known boundaries of diversity and inclusion in indie filmmaking.

(Contains drug use and sexually suggestive themes. Viewer discretion advised.)

Director | Writer | Producer: ​Jamie DiNicola

Jamie DiNicola is an activist, writer, filmmaker, editor and law student, hoping to utilize his skills to tell the stories that must be told. As a queer transgender man, Jamie has made storytelling the cornerstone of his queer & trans activist work. Always feeling like the outsider has had its perks; it has given Jamie the insights necessary for creating tangible and universal art.


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"Annie Waits"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 8:56

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Language: English

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: We’ve all waited for ‘the one’. The one who catches our eye, the one who keeps our interest, the one who won’t expect us to trudge down that conventional path. Annie Waits tells the story of lust and disappointment, as a twenty-something waits for her adult life to begin.

(Contains sexual content and nudity. Viewer discretion advised.)

Director: Marnie Paxton-Harris

Marnie’s extensive experience as a script supervisor makes her directorial debut both overdue and highly anticipated. Working with the likes of Tom Harper, Richard Laxton and Jeremy Web, she has become an invaluable member to the film industry and is somewhat of a hidden talent.

Writer: Chris Anastasi

Anastasi's notoriety first began when he was selected for BBC's Drama series submission 2014 and was, soon after, chosen from a high number of applicants for comedy screen writing training with the BFI. He made his name for himself as a writer with his first feature, Madness in the Method.

Producers: Mini Productions

Mini Productions is a multi award-winning London based production company specialising in film, television & theatre.


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