In one short film, a Czechoslovakian refugee finds herself in a position to help others fleeing persecution from their government. In another, a young black boy wanders around Los Angeles. And in a third, a married couple fights over the most mundane of things.
What do all of these projects have in common? They are all directed by women and as of Saturday, they will all be available to watch on the apps and social networks of TNT as part of season two of TNT and Refinery29’s Shatterbox. The initiative is a short-film series that gives female a directors a platform on which to tell their stories.
The eight short films also will make their debut at a special screening at the Toronto International Film Festival from Sept. 6-9, and will have a presence at Refinery29’s experiential event, 29Rooms, in New York. taking place Sept. 13-16.
In Toronto, TNT and Refinery29 will take over the rooftop at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Sept. 8 for the initiative’s launch event, including an invite-only screening of the films followed by a cocktail reception hosted by Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT and Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29 and PromaxBDA board member.
“My mission at TNT has always been to seek out, empower and provide opportunities for female storytellers to bring their creative visions to life,” said Aubrey in a statement.
This year’s class of directors includes Black-ish and Grown-ish’s Yara Shahidi, Love and Community’s Gillian Jacobs, Academy Award-nominee Jessica Sanders, A.M. Lukas, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee‘s Allana Harkin, Gilly Barnes, Ivy Agregan and Janine Sherman Barrois, showrunner and executive producer of TNT’s Claws.
TNT will promote Shatterbox via an ad campaign titled “You Don’t Know the Half of It” (see spot above), which was produced to raise awareness about gender disparity in Hollywood. The campaign launches Thursday on TNT’s social and digital platforms and will also play in Toronto.
At 29Rooms, Refinery29’s annual festival of culture and creativity, attendees can dive into an immersive cinematic experience that allows them step into frames from the new season.
“With each of the Shatterbox films and the premiere of the ‘You Don’t Know The Half of It’ campaign, we are continuing our mission to create platforms for female-driven storytelling, shine a light on new creative voices and innovate the ways that we push culture forward with meaningful content,” said Emmerich, also in a statement.
Shatterbox launched in 2016 and featured the directorial debut of Chloe Sevigny and her short film, Kitty, which premiered at Cannes; Kristen Stewart’s short film, Come Swim, which debuted at Sundance; and Anu Valia’s short film, Lucia Before and After, which went on to win the Sundance jury prize in the short film category.
To date, there have been more than five million views of these films across Refinery29’s platforms.
Trailers for each of this year’s selections are below:
One Cambodian Family Please For My Pleasure
This film about a Czechoslovakian refugee who reaches out to help victims of the Cambodian genocide is directed by A.M. Lukas — aka Anna Martemucci—and stars Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom).
Grown-ish‘s Yara Shahidi directs this modern take on French impressionist film, The Red Balloon. In Shahidi’s version, a boy (D’Kristian Lamar) wanders through Los Angeles, considering the difficulties of adolescence and of being black in America today.
In this film written and directed by Allana Harkin, a writer and producer on TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, a godmother (Lauren Ash) keeps her promise to provide spiritual guidance to her godchild even if she’s not so great at providing it to herself.
Are You Still Singing?
Gilly Barnes directs this short about a woman, Joy Fields (Joey Allen) who ends her marriage only to find herself financially struggling and trying to keep herself afloat by become a telegram singer.
Community and Love‘s Gillian Jacobs directs this short in which Nancy (Ahna O’Reilly) learns more than she expected when she pays a visit to her late grandmother’s home. Also starring Jacobs’ Community co-star Danny Pudi and Jefferson Mays.
End of the Line
Academy Award-nominee Jessica Sanders (documentary short Sing!) directs this film, which premiered at Sundance in January, starring The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg and Stranger Things and Love‘s Brett Gelman, about a man who adopts another tiny man for companionship.
This high-tech, high-action short is directed by Ivy Agregan and stars Jamie Chung and Shiva Negar.
In this short directed by Claws’ Janine Sherman Barrois and starring Rebecca Naomi Jones and Carl McDowell, marital problems can sometimes be solved with just a little snack.