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Entries in Traveling (6)


It’s Showtime in Vegas! My ‘Short Film Slam’ Debuts at the Sci Fi Center

My mission in 2018 is to continue bringing people together through the magic of the moving image while also providing ways for budding filmmakers to get their work in front of a wider audience. I have many plans to make that happen including putting on the Short Film Slam -- a semi-monthly screening series that showcases films from the U.S. and abroad during live screenings at my new studio and through an online members-only viewing room.

Official Selections for the 2018 Short Film Slam will be revealed starting 7PM this Friday January 12th during a kickoff screening at the Sci Fi Center in Las Vegas. The audience vote will determine the winning film(s) for each “round” of this tournament-like series. The great thing about this Vegas debut is local movie fanatics will get to watch and cast their votes on the 2018 Short Film Slam program lineup before anyone else in the country.

Another great thing about this kickoff screening is it creates opportunities for relatively little-known films to be discovered and celebrated in new places well beyond where they were made. Whether you are in Las Vegas (if so, see you at the show!) or itching for a ticket to the online viewing room, here is a sampling of the films to be featured in this month’s showcase and where they hail from.

U.S. States Represented: California, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania

Countries Represented: Lativa, France, Australia, Germany

Schools Represented: Temple University, International Film School of Paris, Montgomery Blair High School

Featured Genres: Action, Horror, Documentary, Sci-Fi, Drama, Experimental

Featured Storylines:

  • A lonely taxi driver is befriended by a passenger who tries to coax him out of his shell.
  • A backpacker wakes up in a rice paddy field in Cambodia with no recollection of how he got there, what happened the night before, or where his girlfriend is.
  • A young girl named Emily hears strange noises in her bedroom.
  • A man travels by foot, Jeep and a Harley-Davidson to paint scenes in all 64 counties in Colorado.
  • A man who lost both his legs in a childhood accident comes to the rescue of the girl he loves when she is victimized by villains.
  • An unexpected dream brings an 85-year-old lady to relive the last moments of life at the museum with her deceased husband.
  • An 18-year-old Chinese girl enters a televised competition for free plastic surgery, in an effort to look more “Western.”
  • A good robot goes to battle with an evil robot, to protect an Alien princess.
  • An estranged couple tries to ease their child’s distress.
  • A high school student explores the many sides and issues underlying America’s immigration system.

The Short Film Slam is playing Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Sci Fi Center located at 5077 Arville St. Las Vegas, NV 89118

Showtime: 7PM  Admission: $5

Which of the states, countries, schools, genres and/or stories would YOU vote for (and why?) to be represented by a film, during the 2018 Short Film Slam?


TallerPR’s Carlos Pardo Discusses shnit Film Festival Picks, Philly After-School Programs and Traveling the World

Made in Spain, the shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'El Corredor' (The Runner) is about a man whose first day jogging leads to crossing paths with one of the 300 workers he fired from his company five years ago. It won Best Short Film at the Goya Awards 2016.Which country made the best movies this year? As a presenter for the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival, I’m excited to enable a community of world cinema lovers in Philadelphia to come together and have a voice in deciding the answer to that question. Sharing in this awesome communal experience of watching films together is Carlos Pardo, a local photographer and teacher.

He is the cultural enrichment and education facility manager at Taller Puertorriqueño, a non-profit organization that works to elevate and preserve Latino culture through events such as art-education programs, socially conscious art exhibitions and book readings. Pardo, who has traveled to Colombis, Mexico, Veneuela, Chile and the Caribbean, recently welcomed the opportunity to discuss his transnational experiences and most anticipated films in the shnit CINEMAS lineup for Philly.

Here is my full Q&A with the newlywed artist who also wants to go to Europe, France, Italy, India, Thailand and Japan.

Carlo Pardo at Taller PuertorriqueñoMadlab Post: What kind of adventures or challenges did you experience while traveling abroad?

Carlos Pardo: Probably not having currency or a way to get around.

MP: How many languages do you speak?

CP: Spanish and English. I would like to learn French.

MP: Is film a universal language?

CP: [Film] is a visual art and like all art most people are able to understand it, even if you don’t like it.

MP: Which film in the shnit Cinemas lineup for Philly interests you the most?

CP: ОЧЕНЬ ОДИНОКИЙ ПЕТУХ (Very Lonely Cock), El Corredor (The Runner) and Bon Voyage.

The shnit International Short Film Festival selection 'Bon Voyage' is about Swiss sailors who encounter a sinking refugee boat while on their holiday cruise.Very Lonely Cock because when you use drawing to say what you want to say, most of the time you can say it in a different way; El Corridor, because it is part of life and I’m interested in seeing what happens; and the Bon Voyage one because of the way the world is….we wish we could help everyone but when we get to see the world for what it is right now, it’s harder to give up your freedom for someone else.

MP: Can you describe one of your favorite foreign movies?

CP: British probably, very romantic and inventive.

MP:  What is one of your favorite foods from another country or culture?

CP: Pupusas from El Salvador, or Pho, Vietnamese.

MP: What is special about Taller Puertorriqueño's after-school program?

CP: We have a great dancing group and some pretty good film makers.

Taller Puertorriqueño's new building, the El Corazón Cultural Center, is slated to open December 2016.MP: Can you share any upcoming activities that Taller Puertorriqueño has in store for locals and travelers visiting Philadelphia in 2016?

CP: A Thanksgiving for the community and the grand opening of our new building on December.

Join me in expressing thanks to Carlos Pardo for discussing the, food and culture with me!

Seats are limited for the exclusive, one-time screening of the 2016 shnit International Short Film Festival selection at 3PM this weekend (Saturday, October 15th) in Philadelphia, PA.

Men and women in the City of Brotherly Love can now GET TICKETS to see some of the world’s best films!


Nate Goes to the Movies Barefoot

A small group of vinyl popcorn snobs have hijacked this blog for the next 25 days. As our plot to ‘The Taking of April A-Z’ thickens, sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Hey dudes (and dudettes), it’s Nate M. Stevens here. Today I have a confession to make. I’ve never visited a movie theater. Ever. That is, until my recent trip to see Deadpool, Marvel Comics’ Sci-Fi/Fantasy flick about a superhero who wants revenge on the douchebag that subjected him to a rogue experiment with horrific side effects.

It’s not that I don’t like watching movies, I just usually wait until they’re released on DVD because I have a problem with “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policies; which tends to get me kicked out of a lot of public places including restaurants and retail stores. You see, I don’t like wearing shoes…or socks, for that matter.

I understand that footwear is important for most people….but….I grew up on the beach with everything I need in walking distance. I don’t even own a pair of shoes and on the occasion that I do wear them, they’re usually flip-flops I borrowed from strangers. So I’m sure you can understand how this lifestyle would prevent me from being able to enjoy one of the world’s most common activities….spending a night out at the movie theater. Still, I’ve been itching to find out if Deadpool is as good as everyone says, so I went to a showing and hoped for the best.

Buying a movie ticket went smoothly. I’m guessing the staff at the box office was either distracted with tending to other patrons or they just noticed me wearing a shirt and automatically assumed I had on shoes to match that. Suckers!

I made some friends at the concession stand. One of them was a cute gal named Ricarah Williams. I became nervous when she told me that their theater does have a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy and customers who aren’t wearing shoes probably wouldn’t be able to see a movie there. So, I told her I bought a ticket and I already washed my feet that morning; at least they don’t smell funky. Now, that would be a cardinal sin!

I also promised to not put my feet up on the seats in front of me; I heard that’s one of the crazy things people do at theaters (according to Zoe).

Ricarah said doing so is rude because "people don’t want your feet on their heads." She’s been to the movies with a friend rested their feet on the seats but it wasn’t crowded. Since they were wearing shoes, I decided to listen to her advice and keep my toes planted firmly on the floor at all times.

A cool dude named Chris Rountree tried to hook me up with his sister but I already have a girlfriend and, unbfortunately, she isn't about that polyamorous life! When I mentioned my promise to Ricarah, Chis told me that people putting their feet up on the seats doesn’t bother him. “Its fine, depending on how crowded it is in [the theater],” he says. 

Chris even does it but he keeps his shoes on. 

While he’s also witnessed both men and women putting their feet up on the seats, sometimes wearing shoes “here and there,” this movie snack expert said it's normally men who do it.

I figured it would be best to not try my luck since I didn’t have any shoes with me.

In the end, I was able to see Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds, who did a great job in his role as this vengeful and comedic superhero. While I can’t pinpoint what made this visit go smoothly without any incidents, I do wonder if my theater friends put in a good word for me or just decided to let me off with a warning. I kept my word and didn’t put my feet up on the seats, which would have brought additional, and unwanted, attention to the fact that I wasn’t wearing shoes.

How often do YOU notice people resting their feet on the seats at movie theaters?

Are there any unspoken rules YOU like to adhere to when it comes to feet and public places?


Nate M. Stevens is a microwave popcorn snob that wants to know what’s so special about Blu-Ray discs. He likes tattoos, pool parties, surfing, and bonus features.