EVENT – Shorts Go Beyond: “Stories in New York”


On February 7, EnMaze Pictures will present Shorts Go Beyond: “Stories in New York”, a collection of seven short films that reflect the diversity, charm, character, and characters of this city of 800 languages and 8.4 million lives.

Hopping between comedy, romance, drama, and documentary, the program’s “seven narratives, seven microcosms” are universal but are markedly New York stories.  Everybody wonders if he or she could fall in love, but in New York the what-if romance happens only on the train.  People have unexpected life histories, but in New York they almost seem fantastic.  There is always some commotion happening in public, but in New York it involves people dressed up in character costumes.

Curator Bingqiao Zhou says, “Living in New York, we feel the heartbeat of the city everyday…We’ve always wanted to gather the one thousand New Yorks in one thousand people’s eyes and to share them as widely as we can”.  Paring down from hundreds of short films, seven were chosen for their “unique focus and angle,” Zhou tells us, also noting the variety in the directors’ backgrounds.


While EnMaze’s ambitious and successful 5-city North American tour last October that showcased young Chinese filmmakers educated and trained in the United States might have given the impression that they are primarily focused on Chinese filmmakers, Executive Editor Ting Li explains that EnMaze wants to be “recognized as a storyteller who delivers universal content because [they] believe that amazing stories should not have boundaries”.  With this afternoon of films, many which have screened at domestic and international film festivals and awards, EnMaze certainly found the right place for amazing stories.

Tickets can be purchased here, but EnMaze has provided two tickets for Beyond Chinatown’s readers.  For a chance to win the pair of tickets, email us at beyondchinatown@gmail.com with the subject line “Stories in New York”, “like” or leave a comment on the Facebook post, or retweet the Twitter post.  We’ll pick a name randomly and will contact the winner on Thursday, 2/5. [Updated]

Saturday, February 7, 1 – 4 PM
Anthology film Archives, 32 Second Avenue
$8/early bird price (ends 2/1), $10/regular

Let’s take a look at the films and meet the directors:

“Love Express”
Dir. Patrick Chen Xihao| Romance| Chinese| 18min

One night, commuting home from the city, Ryan finds himself sitting across a mysterious and heart broken young woman…could you ever fall in love on a train?

Patrick Chen is an inspired writer and self-taught filmmaker living in New York City. Born as a Chinese-American and surrounded by the immigrant lifestyle, he transformed his complicated childhood into art. He followed the path as a filmmaker and incorporated his stories onto film.


“Odysseus’ Gambit”

Dir. Alex Lora| Documentary| English| 12min

Saravuth Inn is a Cambodian-American chess player that sacrifices himself in the hopes of finding a better position on the board of life. (A Sundance Official Selection)

Alex Lora is a winner of a New York Emmy®, finalist for the Oscars®-Student Academy Awards, and winner of a Gaudi® Catalan Academy Award after being nominated on three occasions.  His films have been screened twice at Sundance Film Festival as Official Selections and have received over 100 awards.  Additionally, he was a Fulbright Scholar at City College of New York and was listed as one of the top 10 promising Spanish directors to watch in Variety‘s Cannes Edition of 2014.


“Fate of Fruit”
Dir. Sa Hwa (Sarah) Kim| Drama| Korean| 8min

When senior widower Don is partially paralyzed with a stroke, living with his divorcee son Joe may no longer be an option.

Sarah is a writer/director/editor. Born on the oceanside harbors of Busan, South Korea and raised in Los Angeles, she lives in NY and enjoys making films with nature, children, the elderly and themes of death, though not in that order. She received her B.A. for Directing from the UCLA School of Film, TV & Theater and M.F.A. for Media Arts Production in New York. She has previously worked as a screener in the programming committee for AFI (American Film Institute) film festival, Sundance NHK award and Sundance documentary fund, program coordinator for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and more recently in the programming committee for Korean American Film Festival New York.


“Abbie Cancelled”

Dir. Jessica Sue Burstein| Comedy| English| 18min

When their mutual friends cancel at the last second Amanda and Amir are forced to play dinner party with reluctant hosts Karen and Grayson, who are clearly undergoing relationship issues. (A Sundance Official Selection)

Jessica Sue Burstein is an award-winning writer director actor producer working in film and TV for the past 10 years.  She is a former Co-President of CineWomen NY and has her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. While at MTV On-Air Promos, Jessica won Promax awards and special recognition in Dig-ital Arts Magazine. After MTV, Jessica worked as a Sr. Writer/Producer/Director at Blue Room, a creative services agency in New York City. She is a Sr. Writer/Director for Syfy at NBC Universal and is writing her third feature film based on her short film “Chicken”.


“Gowanus 83”
Dir. Michael E. Wood| Comedy| English| 12min

An ex-con gets into the wrong cab, and will have to survive a wild ride involving kidnapped Sikhs, Jewish cops, the Black mafia, and two of the dumbest criminals in Brooklyn.

Michael E. Wood spent his childhood building robots and playing bike tag in the streets of Brooklyn. He went on to study Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University where his senior thesis, “Camera Stabilization with a Stewart Platform”, won the Enoch J. Durbin prize in engineering innovation. After graduating from college, Mike decided to move back home to Brooklyn to pursue his passion for filmmaking. Mike has worked in the film industry for the last 4 years as a freelance videographer, commercial PA, editor for a commercial production company, and as an intern for Spike Lee’s production company, 40 Acres and a Mule. Mike is currently pursuing a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he has written and directed 6 short films, including his latest, “Cross Your Heart” and “Gowanus 83”. He’s currently developing his thesis film, a feature length comedy.


“Black Birds”
Dir. Youngki Jin| Drama| English&Spanish| 8min

Latino illegal immigrants who wear character costumes go to work in Time Square in order to earn more money.

YoungKi Jin is a Writer/Director born in Seoul, South Korea. After studying film at Jeonju University, he worked as a writer and Assistant director for Korean Production Company. He is studying for his MFA in Film directing at The City College of New York. He has made movies related to family problems such as how characters can sustain and love their families.


Dir. Jess dela Merced| Drama| English| 8min

As racial tensions intensify between sneaker heads camping overnight in line for a coveted new sneaker, a big fight breaks out…

San Francisco native Jess dela Merced is a writer/director with a recent MFA from the New York University Graduate Film Program where she received the 2012 Spike Lee Fellowship as well as the Lorraine Hansberry Arts, Performance, and Media Award. In 2011 she was selected for a unique writing internship created by Chris Rock at Comedy Central. Her thesis film “HYPEBEASTS” was written under the mentorship of Spike Lee and is a finalist in this year’s NBC Universal’s Short Film Competition. She is a 2014 SF Film Society Filmhouse resident and has been selected as one of IFP’s Emerging Storytellers. She is currently in development for her first feature film “Chickenshit”.