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Trailer: ‘Max the Hero’

New York TV Festival Offers Development Deals to Winner

Above: Animated short "Max the Hero" has been selected as on of the finalists for the New York TV Festival.

It's always nice when films and/or filmmakers I like go on to bigger and better things. So I have two updates for you.

First, I want to mention screenwriter Kirsten Elms. I met her back in 2000 when I programmed her short film "Green Fly" as part of my student showcase "Film School Confidential." I was impressed because she was a woman working in the horror genre. Now that's something I had to support. I've followed her work ever since then and read a number of her scripts and been impressed with her talent. She's been working as a screenwriter for the past decade but unfortunately her best scripts have been passed over by producers and studios. But "Variety" just announced that her script for "Hair of the Dog" will be made by F. Gary Gray. And Elms has another script deal in the works that's even more exciting but she can't yet discuss it. I'll be keeping tabs on it though.

Next, I wanted to mention a short animated film I saw at the Comic-Con International Film Festival (CCIFF) in 2009 when I was a judge. The film was "Max the Hero" and featured the voice talent of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys. It was one of the handful of really outstanding films I saw that year. So I was pleased to find out that animator/filmmaker Mike Salva had entered the film in the New York TV Festival and had it selected as one of the 35 finalists. The attraction to entering this festival is that the winner could walk away with $25,000 and a potential pilot development deal with a cable network. Not bad. Here's the trailer for "Max the Hero." Check it out and show your support by sharing it with others and "liking" it. Then you can feel a part of its success if it goes on to get a TV development deal.

Video

Trailer: Max the Hero

Web movie: Max the Hero

Above: Trailer for the animated short "Max the Hero"

The NYTVF was founded in 2005 with the goal of "providing a platform to elevate the work of artists creating for the small screen." Now an annual fall event, the festival showcases original TV pilots and helps to make them available to the decision-makers of the industry. I watched the other entries and while most of the live action pilots were painful even in 60 second doses, there were a few other films that stood out. "Bush Cooking" served up a fresh global spin on cooking shows; "I, Confess" and "It's All Elementary" looked like solid animated comedies; and "Training Day" could be a decent reality show. Then there were trailers for comedies like "Hello Dum Dum" or "Gentrification" that were funny but had you wondering how long could they maintain the gag if it got picked up as a series.

I wouldn't have heard about this NYTVF if I hadn't been a judge at the CCIFF. But being a judge provided the opportunity to see "Max the Hero" and to follow it on its journey to hopefully bigger and better things. The NYTVF has admirable goals and I'll be interested in following it in the future... and following some of its finalists. I do want to plug the CCIFF again, though, because it is so underappreciated and it highlights some exceptional work. I wish more people would check out the films at the CCIFF because each year I see some gems. This year I saw "Marwencol" and am hoping that goes on to bigger success as well. It is scheduled to play on PBS in the spring so I'll be singing its praise again when it airs.

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