Four Premieres Featured in Program of Indie Shorts from Regional Filmmakers

As part of its ongoing Emerging Filmmakers Showcase, The Lindsay Theater and Cultural Center (formerly The Tull Family Theater) will host screenings of films from five local directors and production companies on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m.

The Red Carpet event will feature shorts created by LivCre8 Productions (Lydia Zagorski of Beaver County), Carpio Pictures (Franklin Carpio of Pittsburgh), IO Films (Kevin Hejna of Pittsburgh), Bit Sized Productions (Benjamin Carlucci of Pittsburgh), and Goat Milk Fudge Productions (P.J. Gaynard of Pittsburgh). Showcase events, a staple at The Lindsay, are designed to encourage exchanges between local filmmakers and the public, and are free to both.

The shorts selected for Excelsior: An Evening with LivCre8, Carpio Pictures and Friends are: 

Affinity (10 minutes, a premiere from LivCre8 Productions & Goat Milk Fudge Productions, directed by P.J. Gaynard). The story of an extra terrestrial (Halios) who comes to Earth to help spread empathy throughout humankind.

Aromis: The Beginning (3 minutes, a premiere from LivCre8 Productions, directed by Benjamin Carlucci/Bit Sized Productions). Aromis is thrust into battle to overcome cursed beings who threaten to take over the souls of the innocent.

Eos Six (11 minutes, a premiere from Carpio Pictures & LivCre8 Productions, directed by Franklin Carpio). Eos, a rogue agent, is captured by the mob lords during her investigation into their undercover program and must fight her way out.

Fallout (8 minutes, a premiere from IO Films, directed by Kevin Hejna). A tale of 24,120 days without the sun.

The Darkest Hour (10.5 minutes, from LivCre8 Productions & Goat Milk Fudge Productions, directed by P.J. Gaynard). A woman visited by darkness must choose to give up on her dreams or fight for the light within.

The Good Ol’ Days (5 minutes, directed by Franklin Carpio/Carpio Pictures). Restaurant employees take a different tack for enforcing pandemic policies.

The Rough and Tumble (7 minutes, directed by Franklin Carpio/Carpio Pictures). A glimpse into the life of a private investigator. 

Zagorski, an actor, filmmaker, producer and founder of LivCre8 Productions, has received several nominations for best female lead actress for the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project. She thrives on pushing the boundaries of indie filmmaking and enjoys collaborating with other filmmakers to bring inspirational stories to life.

“I started writing screenplays in 2020 to create more opportunities for others and myself in film,” says the Communication, Liberal and Fine Arts graduate of Community College of Beaver County, who espouses the motto “Where there seems to be no opportunities, create some.”

“Creating films takes a village,” she adds. “Everyone has a place and there’s a place for everyone. Teamwork is the way any of us become successful.” 

Her collaborators for this Red Carpet screening are:

  • Carpio, a native of Cuena, Ecuador, and a Pittsburgh resident for two years, is a grip (setting up rigging for cameras and lighting) for features and TV shows like Yellowstone, American Rust, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Pale Blue Eye and A League of Their Own. A member of the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, he holds a degree in entertainment design, has directed six shorts and is advancing his first feature film.
  • Henja, a film studies graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, has directed 12 short films and two web series. He won two directing awards (Pittsburgh Uncut Film Festival, Washington PA Film Festival) and with collaborator Jerry Pietrala, he wrote Retail Purgatory, third-place winner for Best Feature Comedy Script at the 2014 Indie Gathering Awards. Working with Gaynard, he produced Lost Dog, winner of the Best Film Award at 2015 Haunted Oaks Film Festival.
  • Gaynard, who landed in Pittsburgh after stints in upstate New York, Boston and Los Angeles, is a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 4 has served as writer, director, producer, cinematographer and lighting designer, and in the classroom as lead instructor and program director of the Community College of Allegheny County Film Technician Program. Ranked in No. 23 in the book The Top 100 Indie Filmmakers In The World Part II, he earned a BFA in Film, Video, and Animation from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Humanities/Humanistic Studies from CalState Northridge. Producer of Pittsburgh’s 48 Hour Film Project, he’s screened award-winning works at dozens of film festivals, from Buffalo to Austin. 
  • “Bennty” Carlucci has earned international and national recognition, producing over a dozen shorts screened on the festival circuit. A three-time winner of Pittsburgh’s 48 Hour Film Project, his latest short screened at Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner in May 2022 after advancing to the top ranks of global competition at Filmapalooza. His first feature, Galatea, screened at the acclaimed Austin Revolution Film Festival, where it won Best Director, Best Screenplay, and the Margaret Ann Garza Actress of the Year award. 

The hourlong screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers.While admission is free, those attending are asked to RSVP at The Lindsay’s ticketing page to ensure seating for all.