FirstGlance Short Film Festival

About us

Since our inception in 1996, we have become one of the fastest growing truly independent film fests in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Welcome to our 19th year of producing film festivals! Our 19th Annual FirstGlance Film Fest Philadelphia (Philadelphia’s Independent Film Festival since 1996) Call for Entries Opens soon! 16th Annual FirstGlance Film Fest Los Angeles coming to Regal Cinemas, LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles April 15-17 2016. Named five times as one of the “Best Film Festival Investments” and “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by Movie Maker Magazine and “One of the Festivals for the Rest of Us” by Time Magazine, FirstGlance has become a leader in mid-sized film festivals. Applauded by filmmakers and attendees as one of the best programmed festivals, FirstGlance accepts all genres and shows an amazing mix of short and feature length films, the best indie films on the festival circuit, before they hit theaters. Audiences vote for “Best of the Fest” and are invited to come mix and mingle with filmmakers, cast and crew at great after parties. FirstGlance Film Fests brings indie filmmakers and audiences together all year long too! With our short online contests, and our “Show Us Ur Shorts” mixers and screenings, FirstGlance Film Festivals works to get filmmakers the attention they deserve. FirstGlance Film Festivals offer filmmakers great prize packages, VOD distribution opportunities, and a personal touch not matched by any other festival. With over 94% of feature films acquiring distribution after screening at FirstGlance Film Fests, it’s a great event to get your film more exposure and audience. Come see what makes FirstGlance unlike any other indie film festival and thank you for your support.

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Dates & Deadlines

2018

Elizabeth Whitaker began taking ballet in 2016 as a way to improve her performances as a musician. Blind since birth, she often found herself frustrated by the visual aspects of stage presence, and saw dance as a way to improve both spatial awareness and kinesthetic memory. Her teacher, Lauren McCarty Horak, teaches her how to dance ballet. Through this journey, “Without a Mirror” explores the power of dance, and how our own limitations can either hold us back or set us free.
Sometimes we can't explain, why we do the things we do. When a missing scientist, misled girlfriend, sketchy real estate agent and friend from the past cross paths. Watch the mystery unravel. "THE SISTER"
Carlos is a boy who has a great talent for playing chess, but he does not know how to handle the pressure. This causes him to move away from the game. Twenty years later, Carlos is reunited with his former teacher, who convinces him to return to compete in a tournament. Carlos will learn about the true passion for the sport and what it entails.
Two women bond after the shared experience of having their first babies. They experience joy and jokes over how nuts it is that you push a baby out of your body and then they just are alive. But when one woman reveals her birth had complications, she's able to find support in the arms of a complete stranger because sometimes, they're the only ones who understand.

In My Eyes

Director: Tim Doran

“In My Eyes” is an inspiring story about a kid with Cerebral Palsy going to college. However, the anxiety that he brings along with him is weighting him down.
An overly empathetic surgeon strains under the pressure of his career and marriage. One night he meets his adorable new neighbor. Can she be the answer or will he become imprisoned to the very thing he thought would set him free.

Petnap

Director: Josh Sathre

A THC-fueled joyride into the revenge-filled world of catering, E-List Hollywood, and puppy ransom.
What happens when a seemingly ordinary priest is confronted by a seemingly ordinary man? While reading the Bible on a particularly windy day, Father Harris is confronted by a tall stranger, one who makes him question his beliefs and motivations. And all in a quest for the truth, however horrifying. Not even a helpful woman can save this priest, who must make a choice. For not all sins can be forgiven.
“A scientist trapped by herself on an outpost near Jupiter after the death of her companion begins to imagine, or realize, that she is not alone after all.
Jo is working as a trainer at the Fitness Company MIND YOUR BODY. His consciousness is slipping into the body of a customer and he is doing their sportsprogram for hem. During this session Jo is not allowed to make any contact to the customer’s environment. Otherwise the exchange of consciousness could be disturbed.
A conflicted man named Bill takes out his frustrations on a co-worker, which results in a confrontation revealing a devastating truth. Bill is left to examine his own life and actions soon after.
Pepper has given up her acting dreams and returned to her hometown, now working as a full-time waitress in a rundown diner. Showing up for her New Year's Eve shift, Pepper deals with an unwanted proposal, a group of shiftless misfit coworkers more concerned with bathroom bong breaks and an unraveling backroom love triangle, and an ex who shows up with a long lost surprise. When the diner is robbed, the heist goes awry. Two people are shot, more than one mystery is solved, and Pepper is left to clean up the mess.

2017

Breaking up is hard to do, especially on the day he decides to propose.
THE JACKET follows a reclusive man named Vincent on his strenuous journey to reach out to a woman he fell for after finding, what he believes, is her lost jacket.
On a long hike during the last week of summer vacation, four friends discuss the ups & downs, and ins & outs, of their high school experience.
A recently divorced man takes an indigent woman with a secret into his home.
Scott Campbell is a realtor who knows how to talk to people. But when his car goes off the side of a mountain road, his life gets turned upside down, and his communication skills are put to the ultimate test by the only lifeline he has: his "intelligent" assistant, Kiri.
A man recalls his journey along the Pacific Crest Trail while attempting to reintegrate into the society he left behind.
A superhero father must get his son into the fortress, "Paradox City" before the ruthless supervillain gets ahold of him.
An innocent game opens old wounds and sends a loving couple on a downward spiral.
Set in NZ in 1980, this delightful short, tells the fictional story of a teenage misfit’s farcical struggle to form a punk band at high school. It’s a roughneck ride through the battlefield of youthful identity - fraught with awkwardness and ambition in equal measures.
"The AfterMath" is a short film based on the ironic intersection of the lives of three men. Joshua, an Iraq War marine veteran, is struggling with an overwhelming obsession with recent police killings of young black men. Idris, a newly admitted law school student, is floating on cloud nine as he prepares to propose to his girlfriend. Sammy, a newly sworn in police officer, prepares for his first official day on the force, as he and his deaf wife, Asanti, learn they are pregnant. These three men's lives are thrown into a tailspin in a span of less than twenty-four hours.
Fran’s the newest hire at Friend inDeed, the latest app serving lonely, needy, high-strung New Yorkers. Open-minded and down-to-earth, Fran is faced with a paradox: she has to be friends with her clients without actually befriending them. She'll be fine as long as she avoids the company’s Three Forbidden Fs of Friendship: No Flaking, No Fucking, No Freud.
Soon after Jane’s arrival in the city, she begins to see people she thinks she knows from her past. She calls them her ghosts. Why is she seeing them? What do they want from her? And, what does she want from them? 'Ghosts of New York' is a short film that looks at the sometimes-difficult task of letting go of the past and trusting one's self to take that next step forward. The film follows one young woman as she recounts her own journey and tries to answer the question, 'does she believe in ghosts?'
The two children of a celebrity chef are transported to a land where the Queen is under a terrible spell; the more she eats, the hungrier she gets.
Lou Hanson has spent the last 20 years locked away inside his apartment listening to talk radio. He wonders whether he's stopped living, or if there is any reason left to live.
After his brother is killed in the line of duty, a disgraced cop takes a job as a private investigator to make ends meet. But when new evidence emerges six months later, he must turn to the only source who may lead to his brother's killer: an unhinged pharmacist.
Lisa Hoehn has an unusual job: she makes a living ghostwriting online dating profiles for a large and diverse set of clients, eager to put their best foot forward in the labyrinthine world of social media. When filmmaker and wedding videographer Matt Cusimano meets Hoehn, they find common ground in the exhausting lifestyle of working in the relationship industry and reflect on self-curation and romance in the digital age.
A detective interrogatory reveals the mystery behind the most famous deaths of the recent history.
Cassandra Andreadis is a professional fashion photographer with a secret. A ghost has haunted her almost her entire life, and in an attempt to find peace, she is about to undertake a journey to the place where her story began. Finding herself amongst extended family in a strangely foreign place, Cassandra begins to see things through a different prism. Against the closed world of her own people, she witnesses the awful truth of another hidden life leaking out onto the darkened streets around her. When Cassandra meets an impossibly young woman caught up in the world of human sex trafficking, she understands she can no longer be the bystander. Now, Cassandra is about to risk everything to make this one thing right, and in so doing, will uncover a web of evil that stretches across the globe.

2016

With a moody, dramatic tone, No Fare unfolds on a bus late at night. Larry, the lonely bus driver, travels a familiar route with an eclectic group of regulars on board. But things change when Jennie, one of the regulars, goes beyond routine chit-chat to console Larry.

TAPE

Director: Sierra Parr

A young unstable man ends up stranded in purgatory where he meets five victims of suicide with a secret they cannot share.
Keith and his dog Chuckles are finally ready to shoot their masterpiece. But agreeing on what to shoot ... well, that could be a problem. This film is an official selection of the 2015 Fort Myers Film Festival and 2013 filminute.com festival.
Morgan, sorority girl and inadvertent registered sex offender, finds that having to report her status to her neighbors really puts a kink in her dating plans.
Two road construction workers flag for non existent vehicles on a remote, desert intersection. The monotony of their day is smashed by the violent arrival of an object from the sky.
One week from retiring, security guard Hank Goodman stares at blank monitors, and a bleak future. Trapped in his little booth, Hank yearns for adventure -- and true love. He’s smitten with Donna, who parks in his lot each day, but so is the dastardly Rizzo. Will the cosmos conspire to help out poor Hank?
Spark and Fade is a story about high schooler Ian’s romantic pursuit of his childhood pal Fiona which leads to cataclysmic consequences with her drug dealer boyfriend Brad. The situation puts Ian at odds with Brad leading to perilous consequences. A web of drugs, lies, and irresponsibility puts Ian and Fiona's relationship to the test. Friendship runs deep.
1977 Mackenzie and Banks, two Americans cops encounter an alien that has just crash. The police take him for a disguised movie actor and decided to bring the Hollywood studios.
A Star Wars fanatic decides to sell his toy collection to keep his overbearing girlfriend happy and salvage their relationship. An unbelievable adventure with his toys makes him realize that he doesn't need to change for anyone.
In the future, an infinite, universal machine mind has taken root to bring order to humanity, placing everyone on Earth in efficiently run containment camps. Now a small band of freedom fighters must find a way to break the oppressive grip of our own creation.
OITNO is a parody of both 'Orphan Black' and 'Orange is the New Black'. The main character, Sarah Manning, is sent to a minimum security women's prison (Dyad Institute Prison) after several run-ins with the law. From the moment of entering the prison 'mini van', her experience is unlike any other she's had. As the prison driver reveals herself to Sarah, Sarah sees the spitting image of herself (possibly her long lost twin?). But, that theory is debunked when a detective joins them in the mini van who is also a mirror image of Sarah. In a panic, Sarah gets out of the car only to find a fourth version of herself when it is revealed that she is, in fact, a clone. The Dyad Institute Prison (or, D.I.P.) is a special prison just for the Lyda Clones of Orphan Black.
Two women struggle to survive after the collapse of society.
In order to save enough money to move out three friends take on a summer job as custodial aids at their local school. But boredom from mopping floors and changing lightbulbs takes its toll on them and the self proclaimed leader of the group decides he needs some excitement. Thus begins the planning and execution of an elaborate heist in the school.
You're either internet famous or you're not. Teen vlogger, Gretel Martin has one goal- get as many views on her web show, "Sweet Truth" as possible. Armed with cameras Gretel an her tech savvy best friend, Hansel chase a story into the local woods that they soon grow to regret.
When Woods Ulmann becomes convinced that he's been visited by extraterrestrial beings, his marriage, mental health, and career begin to fall apart. Due to the psychological damage stemming from the experiences, Woods obsessively attempts to capture 'proof' that these terrifying events have actually happened.
"Knights of New Jersey" is a comedic, behind-the-scenes look at the daily grind, humiliations and petty politics endured by a group Renaissance Faire actors pursuing their dream. Despite a series of increasingly painful humiliations and mishaps, these friends pursue a world of make believe where virtues like courage, honor and leadership are real.
A government Document waxes philosophical about its life journey as it waits to be shredded. It looks back on its creation as a policy paper, its hopes, dreams and ambitions. Coming in close contact with the heights of power, its pride grows until the Document expects more from life than its early humble hopes. With the announcement of the policy contained within the Document, it revels in the bright lights and attention, only to find that the good times end too soon. No longer useful and designated for destruction, the Document finally realises it was never any better or worse, more important or less, than anyone else. And that in the end we're all just fodder for the shredder.
When a young boy is sentenced to a brutal execution his only hope is a retiring salvage officer.
Two-stroked: A Love Story is a short documentary that looks to capture the romantic nature of moped subculture, focusing specifically on a ragtag group of friends apart of the moped community in Boston and the special relationships they share with their not-so-trusty steeds. The film aims to shed light on the sometimes quirky, most times unconventional love/hate relationship between the moped and its rider. Two-stroked: A Love Story explores the meaning of that special feeling as love: the love of antiquated franken-vehicles, the love of basic motor mechanics and wrenching with friends, the love of the grit and grime that accompanies said wrenching, the love of long rides with nowhere to go, and the love of the pure freedom one gets with a tank of gas and a 50cc engine. 
Austin (copywriter) and Scoot (art director) get off to a rocky start before they are given their first creative brief.
A troubled young man is haunted by a violent and malicious reflection of himself when he peers into the mirror. Desperate for help, he turns to his trusted psychiatrist in order to confront his issue, only to be sent further into his nightmare than ever before.

Serena

Director: Omar Said

Single mother, Serena, life turns upside down when her teenage son uncovers her only secret and lie.
CRIME/DRAMA Angela is young American artist, married with her first love Sergey, a foreign man, at a young age. While she is struggling to sell her art to a gallery, her life get perturbed by the Detective Jonson. The detective reveals that Sergey is investigated: for rape of a minor.
A mysterious young man with the ability to time travel attempts to solve the disappearance of a loved one.
Samer, a displaced Syrian barber, has taken refuge along with his young family in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Despite filling his time with meaningful work, caring for his family and improving his living conditions, the daily distractions cannot diminish his desire to return home.
A young farmer in self imposed isolation must come to grips with a personal tragedy or be consumed by it.
Two out of work Butlers discover a way to earn money, by taking their skills directly to the people.
James, a kindhearted and well to do young man, and Anya, a young woman, working to rebuild her life after overcoming addiction, fall into a promising romantic relationship. Her inability to trust anyone is outweighed by his persistence to love the very things that Anya does not see in herself. Unaware of the remorse that motivates her life, James tries desperately to bring her back from the edge. This was my final project for a narrative film production class at the University of Texas at Austin. Our task was to tell a three-act story with little to no dialogue, within a time specified by the professor.
When Tommy Kelly returns to his South Philadelphia neighborhood after 6 years in jail, things are not what they seem...
Part documentary, part pulp action film, all love and pure passion: "Moto Borgatoro" follows curmudgeon/savant mechanic Peter Boggia and the birth of his custom 1979 Moto Guzzi Le Mans into creation. Mind you this film is not your normal bike build movie by design; no grinder sparks, no silhouette shots, no dramatic music. Been there seen that. This one is pure adrenaline, and hopefully tightens your pants like riding the bike would. The film has received praise from the limited amount of industry people given the opportunity to experience. Filmmaker and Moto-enthusist alike claim that it's got "Fellini roots with Tarantino fruits". We love praise that rhymes. Love bikes, hate bike, or know nothing about them, this film is juicy enough for anyone to quickly fall in love with Peter and his bad-ass machine.
When an isolated and lonely man witnesses a possible abuse situation next-door, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and his whole life quickly spirals out of control.
Say Hello is a reunion of two childhood acquaintances whose lives become entangled on their individual quests of adulthood in the 21st century. Living most of her life through observation and data she collects, Maggie is a happy-go-lucky, borderline Aspergers genius in need of a friend. Formerly over-privileged socialite, Alexis is on the curb with no check from Daddy nor man to support her. With Nowhere to Go, Alexis Turns to Longtime cyber stalker, Maggie, For a place to stay. Produced by Rachel Reyes
80 year old Margaret spends each day visiting her local train station. It's become a very important place in her life, but why? The staff are aware of her and give something significant in an envelope, hoping she'll no longer return. What's in the envelope?
The President has been kidnapped by Bigfoot, now a group of misfits must forge an unlikely alliance to save mankind and combat their greatest fear.

Pieces

Director: Dan Sunley

​ A young woman unearths a supernatural presence at her recently deceased grandmother’s home when she finds a single jigsaw piece and a note that reads “FINISH IT”.
Two friends find a magical bong that takes them into fairy tales, it must be smoked at 4:20 or else terrible things will befall them.
Two young soldiers Harrison and Joonie, witness the horrors of the corrupt Atlas Police Force during one of their first missions together.