Arts & Entertainment

Livingston Grad's Short Film to Debut at NY's Tribeca Film Festival

James Weber, Executive Producer of Aphasia Credits: James Weber
Aphasia the Film @ Tribeca Film Festival Credits: James Weber
Robin Rose Singer as "Emily" in Aphasia Credits: Shawn Greene
Robin Rose Singer as "Emily"  Credits: Shawn Greene
Frankie J. Alvarez as Austin in Aphasia   Credits: Shawn Greene
Shoestring Production Company Credits: Shoestring Production Company

FAIRFIELD, NJ — More than 40 short films will make their world premieres at the annual New York Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 15-26—and one of them, “Aphasia,” was produced by 2002 Livingston High School graduate James Weber, whose Shoestring Production Company is located in Fairfield.

According to the festival website, “The winners of the Best Narrative Short and Best Documentary Short Awards will have the chance to qualify for consideration at the 2016 Oscars.”

Pre-sale tickets for the Festival go on sale Tuesday at 11 a.m., specifically for American Express Card members, and will open to the public on April 6. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival program includes 60 short films from 18 different countries, which were each selected and categorized from 3,076 total submissions.

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According to the Tribeca website, getting tickets for any New York show can be chaotic, let alone getting tickets for the Tribecca Film Festival. To this end, this year, for the first time ever, the festival is making some of its films available online just three hours after their premieres, with “Aphasia being one of only seven films that were chosen to be part of this “FML” Tribeca Online Festival. The seven films in the “FML” program deal with wearable tech, online dating, homeland security and the issues of living a digital life and will all be available online.

Weber’s “Aphasia,” is a short narrative about the price of plugging in that was officially selected to debut in the “FML” category at the spring festival. “Aphasiawill also be screened at Cannes Short Film Corner on the Riviera.

The film is a science fiction drama, in which the main character, 26-year-old Emily, comes face-to-face with the consequences of her dependency on technology. Shoestring Production Company, a full-service digital marketing and media company that Weber founded in 2010, teamed up with the film’s leading actress Robin Singer’s A Small Fire Productions on the film. Singer is best known for her work in Little Kisses (2007) and The Minions (2014).

“This thought-provoking program curated for a contemporary audience that lives online, ponders ‘Does technology rule, or rule us?’” said Weber, whose company cannot wait to share the film with the world.

The 12-minute, 19-second short film is set in 2018 and explores the way people might use technology in the near future. Singer, who plays the digital-obsessed Emily, said she came up with the idea for “Aphasiawhen she was out on a Friday night and noticed that the majority of the people in the room were texting, posting pictures or checking emails on their phones.

“I looked around the room and thought, if this is the generation that still remembers life before the Internet, what will the next generation look like?” Singer said about the occurrence. “No one was even talking to each other.”

Directed by Luke LoCurcio and Executive Produced by Weber, “Aphasiawas shot in various locations in Brooklyn and Tribeca, using RED Epic, GoPro, Canon 5D and even the iPhone 5.

Weber said he opened up his own production company in Fairfield, NJ within a year of graduating William Paterson University TV and Film School in 2009. According to Weber, the company specializes in film, video, web design, social media marketing, SEO and branding.

“Shoestring Production Company was born with the vision of bringing affordable marketing and media services to businesses, while maintaining top-of-the-industry quality,” according to the company website. “We believe that these marketing and media services go hand-in-hand to arm our clients with everything they will need to grow.”

According to Shoestring, films like “Aphasiaare extremely important because they bring the brand to life through visuals. However, Shoestring also said the company owes its success to the strength of its team members, who are said to be innovative, creative, friendly and highly trained in technology.

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