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Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival

International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival

Appearing on FilmFreeway's prestigious, "Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals" list!

October 6th thru 10th

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Welcome to the home of “Stories Aching To Be Told.” We are a technologically advanced oasis of creativity, nestled in a 105-year-old classic cinema in Arlington (Boston), MA. We’re a live event with an online platform, so enjoy a local feel while your film enjoys a global reach. We’re brewing our next batch of magic, and you could be the ingredient that makes this year’s festival another smashing success!
Our prizes include showcases for Worldwide Buyers at Cannes, cutting-edge, artist-friendly websites and apps, and prominent placement on a new crowdfunding platform, amongst other amazing gems.

Our amazing Sponsors and Marketing Partners include Acorns, a new investment app that lets people automatically invest spare change from debit and credit card purchases, Designware, the world’s first visual editor for both websites and Apps, Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding platform that launches 24-hour campaigns,  The Lonely Seal Company Group, which includes this festival, Lonely Seal Streaming and Lonely Seal Releasing, Final Draft, the world’s premier screenwriting software, PageCraft, screenwriting workshops, coaching and services, and The Regent Theater, providing 105 years of cinema bliss. Our sponsors help us help you thrive far beyond our festival dates, so, explore our Films, Screenplays, Music, Outreach, Archives, Prizes and Reviews, then submit your awesomeness!


Wednesday, October 6

12:00-2:15 PM October Artlinks Presentation
Please join us as Leland Stein, co-owner of the theatre traces the history and the amazing staying power of this cultural gem, including managing it through the pandemic. He will let us in on how performers and performances are selected and scheduled, what other art events may interact with performances and audiences, his thoughts and plans about the future.
12:00-12:15 Networking.
12:15-1:00 Presentation and Q & A.
1:00-1:30 Networking and announcements.

1:35-2:15 – Short Film Showcase
The Secret Walls (France 14:25 – freely inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy) Engulfed in theatrical machinery and caught up in the beguiling cogs of time, a man plunges into a maelstrom of faces.
New Dutch Herring (Netherlands 12:40) A lonely fishmonger has to choose between his beloved herring cart and being reunited with his family.
Extra Innings (USA 8:34) A reporter interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past.

3:00-3:45 PM Meet & Greet
Meet with our festival director and staff, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to meet each other.

4:00-6:30 PM Film Accessible & Zero Gravity [Block 1]
The Magic Swan Geese (35:05) A six-year-old deaf and mute girl is obsessed with the dream of becoming a ballerina.
Two Different Eyes (S. Korea 10:50) Two different views of being a person with a disability from eyes with significantly different vision.
Serendipity and Me (USA 3:57) A look at the life of a young autistic actor, and the effects isolation and the 2020 pandemic have had on her.
2nd Act: Danny J. Gomez (USA 5:00) Danny journeys from surviving Hurricane Katrina and a life-altering accident to becoming a professional actor.
Pushing The Boundaries (USA 5:00) Jason Goulet suffers a catastrophic injury his senior year of high school which is witnessed by his football coach, who happens to be his father.
Don’t Dis My Ability (USA 10:04) Four individuals with disabilities who share their strengths and determination against adversity in order to be accepted and appreciated for who they are.
The Amazing Adventures of Awesome (UK 6:15) A hand-animated film about a young autistic girl at the heart of a quiet revolution.
Zero GravityDocumentary (USA 1:14:00) This documentary is about a diverse group of middle-school students go on the journey of a lifetime when they compete in a nationwide competition sponsored by MIT to code satellites aboard the International Space Station.

7:00-8:30 PM 2021 A-Town Teen Award Winners [Block 2]
Best Film – Sol Yudowski “Ink”
Best Actor – Luca Rugerio “Washed Up”
Best Production Value – Angelina Santiago “Photo Project
Best Writing – Sonya Panariti “Home Is…”

8:45-11:00 PM Opening Night Showcase [Block 3]
The Stranger (USA 12:59) Blake left home years ago. Now, she is returning to make amends with her mom, but finds a stranger claiming to be her sister living in the house.
Voices (USA 7:02) A telepathic intelligence operative is interrogated by her handler for connecting with the minds of targets.
Remembrance (Australia 15:00) A thief who downloads memories and information to sell to the highest bidder is cornered by a mysterious woman who wants information of her own.
Alternate Ground (USA 1:32:00) When a teenage boy is found after disappearing overnight, lack of medical answers suggests an alien abduction.

Thursday, October 7

2:30-6:00 PM Lonely Seal Happy Hour [Block 4]
Indian Space Dreams (UK 1:16:42)
Scientists at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have been working since 2001 to build and launch Astrosat. If successful, it will allow astronomers to study black holes as never before and get closer to understanding how our universe is formed. But as things start to go wrong, they soon discover the enormity of the challenge they have taken on. Filmed over 5 years, we follow these astronomers on this ‘topsy-turvy ride’ to space.
Symbiosis (Italy 3:15) SYMBIOSIS explores the relationship between musicians and their instruments.
Escapement (Columbia 3:35) Escapement has an optimistic message that invites people to reflect and take control of their lives. Inspired by the unexpected series of events caused by COVID-19 the video focuses on the fact that each individual has the power to choose their own path.
The Secret Walls (France 14:25 – freely inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy) Engulfed in theatrical machinery and caught up in the beguiling cogs of time, a man plunges into a maelstrom of faces.
Body Hi (USA 21:55) Body Hi is a reimagined coming-of-age story. This is for the people who won’t be satisfied by the external means of achieving one’s best life–who bloom by digging deep, deep within.
Sapelo – (Switzerland 1:31:11) Sapelo journeys within a unique American island to tell the story of its matriarchal griot, Cornelia Walker Bailey, and her adopted sons coming of age in the last remaining enclave of the Saltwater Geechee people.

6:30-8:30 PM Short Film Showcase #1 [Block 5]
Ms. Rossi (Italy 5:00) While on her way to a business meeting, Ms. Rossi takes an interesting detour.
Check, Please! First Shift (USA 7:02) Julie is a French immigrant who just moved to NY to pursue her American dream and starts working in a small chaotic restaurant. It’s her first shift and nothing goes as expected. It sucks to be the newbie.
New Dutch Herring (Netherlands 12:40) A lonely fishmonger has to choose between his beloved herring cart or being reunited with his family.
Garage Romantic (New Zealand 12:35) A big dreamer from the small town of Togliatti, Russia ponders life while building a rocket powered sled made from discarded trash.
Strange (UK 2:49) A glimpse into an autistic author’s life exploring friendship, trails and the use of unique coping strategies.
Xiety (USA 2:54) This film explores the ways anxiety may feel for those who suffer from it through a visual journey in Val’s mind.
Javelina Run (18:48) Two idiot ranch hands pretend to be fugitive train robbers to get attention from the ladies at an old west saloon.
Harmonia Solid (USA 10:23) A woman discovers an area rug that disposes of literal and figurative trash in a magical way.
Chapter Two (UK 9:22) A new book club member starts to notice some eerie similarities between the novel’s creepy, cat-loving protagonist and the group’s creepy, cat-loving host.
The Dark Web (USA 27:25) A desperate father explores the depths of the notorious Dark Web to acquire a new heart for his sick son.

8:45-11:00 PM Thursday Night Showcase [Block 6]
The Big Nobody (USA: 13:53) A directionless hipster and her clueless cameraman pregame for the best night of their young lives.
The Game Is Up: Disillusioned Trump Voters Tell Their Stories (USA 1:59:11) A GOP congressman-turned right wing shock jock; a rising star in the Young Republicans; a party-loyal Ohio farmer; a US Army Veteran & hardcore ‘MAGA’; and three evangelicals all recount their evolutions away from being Trump supporters.

Friday, October 8

12:00-1:30 PM Stories Aching To Be Told 1 [Block 7]
Alive (USA 10:00) A hybrid, experimental documentary which explores the issue of modern-day slavery perpetrated by the fast fashion industry. Through art, dance, and anthropology, Alive seeks to start the conversation of our individual role in the world, and our responsibility to fix its issues.
The Grass Ceiling (Ireland 15:00) Three successful female athletes explore what drives them to play, how the punishment, effort and joyful reward in sport reveal something essential in the human spirit that is often elusive for women; how being physically courageous, unapologetically competitive and deeply passionate can unlock a freedom to really occupy your own skin.
One All The Way (USA 24:27) Three elderly New Jersey men search for the world’s greatest Hot Texas Weiner, but along the way, discover what has happened to their hometown, Paterson, New Jersey.
The Last Vaquita (UK 13:20) With the Vaquita Porpoise on the brink of extinction, two brothers who collaborate as wildlife artists leave their studio behind and head to a small fishing town in Mexico. They experience the front-line fight between ocean conservationists Sea Shepherd and the poachers, backed by the Mexican cartel, who are devastating countless marine species.
As We Are (USA 24:43) When Evan Bertrand was diagnosed with autism, doctors told his mother, Andrea, to go home and mourn the loss of a “normal child.” Instead, she and her son went on to discover his gift for music together. Twenty years later, Evan and Andrea are putting on the biggest concert of his life, just as they are.

2:00-3:30 PM Theatre The Theatre Of Sound 1 [Block 8]
Casteless Collective (India 1:30:00) On June 6th 2018, a band consisting of musicians from various backgrounds and social situations came together as a collective for their debut show. Over 7,000 people attended.

4:00-6:00 PM Lonely Seal Happy Hour – The Theatre Of Sound 2 – Featuring Songbirds [Block 9]
Enjoy a drink while you discover our Song Finalists. You may even meet those who are in attendance.
Philip Curcuru – Brooklyn Charlie, a song by the The Atomik Age Project
Eden Neville – Half of Me
Michelle Rose – Ghosted
Richard Stavros – Children Of The Streets: Scott’s Story –  I’ve Gotta Go Home
Songbirds (USA 51:58) The Songbirds guitar museum hosted the world’s largest collection of vintage guitars. Covid-19 forced the museum to permanently close. This documentary film explores the final hours and cultural impact of this special collection.

7:00-8:15 PM Short Film Showcase #2 [Block 10]
I Used To Dance (USA 5:00) A poetic deep dive into a woman’s loneliness during the pandemic and her longing for connection on the dance floor.
Ghosted (Music Video – USA 4:45) A twisted dream, or a date night gone bad?
Peeps (Australia 17:39) Take a peek into the inner world of a turbulent teenage friendship group on their after-school shopping trip.
Egyptian Cotton (Music Video – USA 3:13) Aptly named as a nod to Wren’s Egyptian-American roots, “Egyptian Cotton” is an ode to the advice she once received from a close friend: “If you’re the coolest one sitting at a table, you’re at the wrong table.”
Video Games (Music Video – USA 2:24) A boyfriend is distracted by his video games, while his girlfriend deals with three very different situations.
Sad Girl Karaoke (USA 19:10) This started as a sketch, turned into a live show, and now a short film.
The Plumber (USA 6:12) As curfew approaches, an everyday heroine risks it all in a smuggling operation from Nazi-occupied Poland.
Extra Innings (USA 8:34) A reporter interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past.
How Marvin Went to Jail (USA 5:03) A man is thrust into a mission of self-discovery, when he’s forced to cope with the conclusion of his relationship.

8:30-10:00 PM Friday Night Showcase [Block 11]
We Don’t Play (USA 4:44) SouthBayCutz is a new wave in the south bay (East Side San Jose, CA) of young, innovative Chicano Hip-Hop.
The Young King (USA 4:55) A drag king on her way to reconnect with her father,  gets ready.
Queer Isolation (Canada 11:19) Noelle, a young Vietnamese-Canadian transgender woman, is forced back into the closet when she moves back in with her parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes I Am – The Ric Weiland Story (USA 1:02:12) Narrated by Zachary Quinto and produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (World Of Wonder), the story of Ric Weiland’s life and legacy can be measured in incredible milestones. He was one of the first employees at Microsoft and helped focus and organize their early successes. He never felt comfortable with his wealth – he didn’t feel that he deserved it –  so he he turned to philanthropy. Out and proud since the 70’s, Ric was a champion of gay rights. During his life, he donated more than 20 million dollars to fund more than 60 non-profit organizations. His efforts to establish representation and resources for the LGBT community still have a profound impact today.

10:00 PM-12:00AM Festival Party [Block 12]
Eat, drink and enjoy.

Saturday, October 9

10:00 AM 12:00 PM Screenwriting Career Strategy Seminar [Block 13]
This seminar is specifically designed for screenwriters. Topics include career advancement strategies, the do’s and don’ts of development, writing partnerships, getting representation, copyright facts, financing and other gems you need to know to help you thrive.

12:30-2:45 PM LGBTQIA Focus [Block 14]
The Art of Sin (Norway 1:00:00) Struggling with his sexuality, Ahmed Umar was forced to leave his home country of Susan, which is one of seven countries that still practice the death penalty for homosexuality. In Norway, Ahmed Umar has affirmed his sexual identity, becoming the first openly gay man from Sudan, he is also one of the most successful up and coming young artists, exhibiting throughout galleries in Norway, and internationally.
Gay Body of Music (USA 31:34) * Filmmaker/Pianist Daniel Beliavsky will perform briefly after the film, and host a Q&A.
“I want to create a gay body of music. Once it exists, it exists. No one can deny it. It’ll be there forever, to encourage other people that this is alright to do.” – David Del Tredici.
Gay Body of Music) follows Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer David Del Tredici (b. 1937) through his transformative and uninhibited commitment to writing what he calls “gay music,” a repertoire that celebrates the joys and honors the struggles of his life as a gay man. In his music, Del Tredici courageously and provocatively embraces his sexuality while confronting the fears and concerns shared by gay people of his generation–those of violence, marginalization, loneliness, and the need to be heard above the din of the normative. The film explores the urgent questions that emerge where biography, social history, and music intersect.

3:00-4:30 PM Pod Of Seals Career Strategy Seminar with Hammad Zaidi [Block 15]
This seminar is designed to help you shave years off your journey in the entertainment industry, by instilling you with key insight that others won’t tell you. Pod Of Seals host Hammad Zaidi is the founder of the Lonely Seal Company Group, which consists of entertainment, social cause, and media-related companies committed to making the world a more magical place. These include Lonely Seal Releasing, an international film, and television, distribution company,  The Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival, a Top 100 Best Reviewed Festival, Lonely Seal Releasing, an International film, TV and new media distributor and sales agency, and Lonely Seal Streaming, which launches in late 2022. Hammad is a certified buyer at the world’s most significant film festivals and film sales markets, including Cannes, Berlin, Hong Kong, etc, and he is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. In addition, Zaidi is a founder at Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding platform that focuses on 24-hour campaigns, and he is an early investor/co-owner of Industry Corporation, which created Designware.
Zaidi has also been a jury member, advisory board member, panelist, filmmaker advisor, program curator and screener at several film festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance, and Flickerfest in Sydney, to name a few. Hammad has also been an adjunct professor and guest lecturer at several universities, like UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Chapman, The Watkins Film School in Nashville, Avila University, The University of Kansas, UMKC, and San Diego State, among others. Hammad Zaidi received his Masters of Fine Arts from the UCLA School of Film and Television Producers Program.

{ A Ticketing Convenience Fee of $4.00 will be added at Checkout }

7:30 – 10:00 PM New England Ska Summit – A World Premiere Happening [Block 16]
The premiere screening event featuring the history & future of Ska music throughout the world with LIVE! Music On-Stage.

Sunday, October 10

8:30-9:30 AM Meet & Eat [Block 17]
Kick off the final day of our festival with food, drink and great conversation.

10:00 AM-11:40 PM Cinema Earth Session 1 [Block 18]
Eyre & Sea (Australia 19:10) Here, in a town with a population of 3, lives Alan. In a life shaped around the natural world, an unlikely relationship with a colony of pinnipeds, has fundamentally changed him.
Australia Burns: silence of the land (Australia 1:20:00) In 2019-20 Australia experienced a catastrophic bushfire season. This documentary focuses not only on the fires and their devastating effect on Australia’s unique wildlife and eco system,  but whether climate change played a role.

12:30-2:15 Cinema Earth Session #2 [Block 19]
A Fallow Year (USA 18:39) The Farm School, a teaching farm in western Massachusetts created around a concept of connecting people to land with kindness and integrity, asks deep and hard questions about race and justice that do not have easy answers.
Kiss The Ground (USA 1:25:00) By regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate. Hosted by Woody Harrelson.

2:30-4:30 PM Stories Aching To Be Told #2 [Block 20]
Spirit To Soar (Canada 45:24) The film looks at how seven First Nations high school students who had either died or gone missing from 2000 to 2011.
Good Girl Rose (Singapore 12:38) Rose, a Filipino domestic worker helps her troubled boyfriend.  But, helping comes at a high price.
Shadow Of The Moon (China 19:01) Loli, an ambitious 12-year-old, dwells in a run-down urban village in South China. After losing both her parents, she is forced to live with her dreadful grandma and take care of her two younger siblings. Hoping to leave her troubled family behind and move to the city, she attempts to win over the heart of a kind woman who wants to adopt a child.
Subservient (Iran 11:26) This is a sequentially planned, long-take film, where story structure is of greater importance than dialogue.
Moustafa & Maram (Canada 30:00) “Moustafa & Maram” explores what it means to be Muslim in America.

4:40-6:00 Stories Aching To Be Told #3 [Block 21]
Peek-A-Boom (Lebanon 5:00) Surrounded by her loving family on her birthday, an event occurs that shapes Mira’s life forever.
The Dolls Game (Iran 24:58) A clown working in an amusement park tries to get his salary from his employer to pay his lawyer, to get his daughter back.
A New York Story (USA 49:00) In the tumultuous summer of 2020, four entwined New Yorkers tell stories of how their lives have been shaped by the protests, the pandemic, and the unforeseen consequences of both.

7:00-8:00 PM – Awards Ceremony [Block 22]