Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Iron Mule is now partnered with!

The Iron Mule has joined forces with the website to spread short comedy film magic across the globe!  Starting in January, 2012, the Iron Mule will have a designated slot for an film at each monthly screening in NYC.  In return, winning films from the Iron Mule will be automatically considered for hosting on the iThentic site.  iThentic hosts and produces all sorts of wonderful webseries (not just comedies) and is a showcase for some great short films from around the world.  Check them out now at  And you'll be able to meet some of the team at our January 7th show at 92YTribeca.

Welcome, -- here's to the beginning of a beautiful friendship!*

*which may or may not involve fighting Nazis.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Notes from our December 3rd Screening

The crowd was out in force for another Iron Mule extravaganza on December 3rd at 92YTribeca.  Jay and Victor welcomed the crowd and then welcomed special guest judge, editor of Popular Photography, Miriam Leuchter.

Jay and Victor welcome the crowd
(photo by Tom Henning)
Jay and Victor welcome Miriam Leuchter
(photo by Tom Henning)
As a photographer, Miriam expressed her bias for nice-looking comedy films and planned to judge the night's selection on that merit.

First up was Dano Johnson and Tate English's Iron Mule classic holiday film White Blood Cell Saves Christmas.  We show this film each December and it never fails to please.  Following this was a longer film, Their Eyes Were Watching Gummy Bears, directed by Raafi Rivero.  The film tells the story of a college student on his last day at Princeton as he struggles to stay together with his girlfriend.  This was a very nicely shot film, to Miriam's delight, and Raafi was on hand to discuss the movie and his other work.

Raafi Rivero
(photo by Tom Henning)
Next up were two films; episode 1 of the web series Enter the Dojo by Matthew Page, and Adam Lerman's Help Wanted, also a beautifully shot film, and DP Josh Miller took to the stage along with director Adam Lerman for a brief interview.  This film was part of a 24-hour film challenge and Adam and Josh talked about the process of making the movie in such a short time frame.

Adam Lerman and Josh Miller
(photo by Tom Henning)
Next up was P.M.O., a hilariously dark Canadian political thriller by Daryl Cloran, followed by episode 2 of Enter the Dojo.  Matthew Page, the director and star of the movie, lives in New Mexico, so he couldn't attend the screening, but cast member Julie Lopez happend to be in NYC and she spoke with us about the series and her other work with Matt (including Delivery Date, which she co-starred in, and we showed at a previous Iron Mule).

With these strong (and nice-looking) contenders in mind, the audience and judges convened to vote for their favorite films.  But before we announced the winners, it was time for Shark Bite, our "Wanna be a Star" film, starring audience member Neslihan Özdemir and directed by Dan Simon.  Dan is an Iron Mule regular who has screened several films at our festival.  Neslihan is a faithful audience member who had never appeared on camera before and really shined in her role.

Neslihan Özdemir, star of Shark Bite
(photo by Tom Henning)
Dan Simon, director of Shark Bite
(photo by Tom Henning)
Then it was time to announce the winners, and bringing home both audience and judges' prize was Enter the Dojo!  Julie accepted the prize, a signed copy of Miriam Leuchter's new book on behalf of Matt Page.
Julie Lopez, proud winner (on behalf of Matthew Page)
(photo by Tom Henning)
Then it was off to our after party for celebrations into the wee hours.  Iron Mule will return on January 7th, so if any of you want to get your New Year off to a fabulous start, get your tickets now at!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Notes from our November 5th Screening

Iron Mule was back in action on November 5th, with a new lineup of films.
The audience awaits the show!
The show began with a brief update of what hosts Jay Stern and Victor Varnado have been up to (Jay is busy editing his feature film, and Victor wrote for a comic book that just came out), which was followed by an interview with the night's guest judge, comedy writer Gary Apple.  Gary mentioned that he was mostly looking for quality in the night's lineup of films and Jay and Victor promised to deliver.

Victor and Jay

First up, from Canada, was Naomi Ward's movie The Wedding Gift -- a story of the lengths a man will go to in order to get out of an engagement.  This was followed by the Robin Reed / Will Shepard film Mommy Wars: Battle for the Playground.  Robin, who also starred in the film, was on hand to discuss her inspiration for the film (a nasty run-in with Brooklyn mommies at a restaurant she worked at).

The next block of films began with Bertie Peek and Fergus Dingle's (yes -- those are their real names -- they're British) CIA, one in a series of three shorts involving ice cream.  Following this was Nelson Cheng and Kate VanDevender's Will & Fiona, about a man who thinks he's just having dinner with a colleague, only to discover that he's on a date.  Nelson, who also co-starred in the movie, was in town from LA, and discussed how he came up with the project and also talked about his current work as a documentary filmmaker.  You can read his version of the evening's events here.

Victor and Jay with Nelson Cheng
Our third block of films was Bertie Peek and Fergus Dingle's Standoff, followed by our old friend Kevin Maher's Andrew 12-Sided Dice Clay.  Kevin was on hand to discuss his work, and promote his Kickstarter campaign, in which he's hoping to raise money to turn this short into a web series.  Take a look at his film and donate a few bucks!  This is the kind of series that no corporate entity will back, but the world needs to see it come to life!

Victor and Jay with Kevin Maher
Our final film of the evening was Frederick Soligan's The Girl Across the Hall, a charming movie about a stalker that relies purely on visuals to tell its story.  Fred (we call him Fred) has just moved to NYC from Boston and was at the show to discuss his movie and plead for editing work (anyone out there hiring?).
Fred Soligan: hire him!
The final film of the evening was our "Wanna Be a Star" film Lemon Tart, written and directed by Melinda Prom and starring lucky audience member Ben Roesch.  It was Melinda's first film (she's normally a theater director) and also Ben's first role on camera.  They clearly had a lot of fun, and, for the record, Ben looks really great in a hat.

Then Gary Apple came back to the stage and announced the audience winner and judges' pick.  It was a tough decision, but The Girl Across the Hall took home both awards.

Following the show, the filmmakers and audience went to the 92YTribeca cafe for the after party, that closed the venue and continued off in another Tribeca location until the wee hours.

Thanks to all who made it out, and we hope to see you back at 92YTri in December!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gary Apple to Guest Judge November 5th Screening

We're excited to announce that writer Gary Apple will be joining us as guest judge at our November 5th screening!  Here's some info about Gary. (We left out his Nobel Prize since physics and comedy writing have very little to do with one another.)

Gary Apple is a professional comedy writer who has written for everything from greeting cards to television. He has worked on the writing staffs of four prime time sitcoms and has also written for many animated programs, including an episode of The Simpsons. As a playwright, his four one-act plays published by Samuel French have received hundreds of productions throughout the country. Gary is a current member of the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, where he’s developing musical comedies.

Gary created and ran the popular website for 12 years before selling it to a media company.  He’s currently developing a new site called, which he hopes will become the most offensive store on the internet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Notes from our October 1st Screening

The Iron Mule was excited to be back after a month hiatus with a slew of short comedy films from across the English-speaking world.

Here's our happy audience filing in before the show.  We don't have the photographic evidence, but we can assure you that they were even happier after the show.

Jay and Victor began by filling in the audience about what they've been up to.

Jay and Victor fill the audience in about what they've been up to. 
Victor has a comic book he wrote for Marvel coming out in November and promises to bring a copy for us to look at at the November 5th show.  Jay is in the throes of editing his romantic musical comedy feature film The Adventures of Paul and Marian and showed another clip from the film.  If you weren't there, you weren't lucky enough to see this top-secret Iron-Mule-exclusive clip, but here's a tantalizing still.

Next, Victor and Jay introduced special guest judge Nick Nadel.  Nick is a writer, blogger, and raconteur who has been coming to Iron Mule screenings since before the invention of YouTube.  Remember those days when you couldn't just watch short films on the internet?  Nick talked about how much he prizes storytelling, and about how really good storytelling unfortunately isn't a given in short comedy films.  He was looking forward to seeing how our filmmakers would fare under his watchful eye.

Speaking with Nick Nadel

And then it was on to the films.  First up was a movie from Australia: Iron Mule alum William Crook's Night Shift of the Vampire, which details a particularly annoying night shift at a convenience store as seen through the eyes of the vampire who works there.  We followed that up with a new film from also-returning New York team Alexandra Eitel and Dan Simon, Alison's Problem with Women.  This movie tells the story about a woman who just can't connect with women and would rather hang out with the guys.  We interviewed Alexandra and Dan about their working relationship (she wrote and acted, he directed) and Victor noted how effectively Dan was able to simulate locations they couldn't afford to shoot in through smart and subtle sound design.

with Alexandra Eitel and Dan Simon

After the interview we checked in with Nick Nadel, who mentioned that while he enjoyed both films, he doesn't really like a movie which doesn't show the actual interior of a Forever 21.  Victor also mentioned that he discovered he is allergic to pears.  He ate one before the show, and his throat was starting to close up.

Next up were two more films.  First, from the UK, Scott Imren and Grant Fulton's delightfully silly and tense film Maltempi, about a amazingly poorly run product recall by a toy company.  It begins with a character shouting "lick the monkey!" and, not to spoil it, delivers on the promise.  Then we screened Elliot Lobel's Andrew: The Story of a Closet Monster, a touching story of a boy and his relationship with the not-very-scary monster in his closet.  This film was made with stop motion animation, and Jay and Victor spoke with Elliot about how he made this film, which took seven months to shoot.

with Elliot Lobel
Before introducing the next films, Victor noted that he was feeling considerably worse and in addition to his throat closing up, was now lightheaded.  So a good Samaritan in the audience unexpectedly threw a packet of Benadryl at him, luckily missing his head.  Victor thanked the audience member and complemented her on her arm.

Next up were our last two films in competition.  First was Domestic, another Australian film, written by Brett Snelgrove and directed by Katie Hide.  This film documents an argument between a couple that turns into a martial-arts battle between the sexes.  It drew as many gasps from the audiences as laughs, who were delighted by its combination of humor and brutality.  And rounding out the evening was David B. Levy's incredibly inventive and strikingly personal film Grandpa Looked Like William Powell.  David told the story of his relationship with his grandfather, who he hardly knew, through animated drawings superimposed over his grandfather's high school autograph book.

Jay and a now-recovered Victor (thank you Benadryl!) interviewed David about his process for making the film, and we were all surprised to hear it was shot on an iphone.  Ah, technology, how wondrous you are.

Then, while audience and judges votes were being tabulated, we premiered this month's "Wanna Be a Star" movie Garbage Dump, directed by Ryan Guitarman and starring Iron Mule audience member Ally Cunningham.  In true "Wanna Be a Star" fashion, the movie was completed at 4:00pm on the day of the show.  But last minute or not, the film didn't disappoint, with some of the finest sock puppet acting you're liable to see on the big screen.

We then chose next month's star from the audience, and the prize went to long-time fan Ben Roesch!  He'll be starring in Lemon Tart to be made by a director TBD (although one of the programmers was seen plying a certain theater director with glasses of wine at the after party so we suspect we'll have one in place really soon).

Then it was time for awards.  Although it was really tough to choose a favorite, when votes were tallied Andrew: Story of a Closet Monster won both audience and judge's prizes.  Great job Elliot, and thanks to him and the other filmmakers who contributed to such a great lineup.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nick Nadel to guest judge the October 1st Iron Mule!

We are excited to have writer / producer Nick Nadel join us as guest judge at our upcoming Iron Mule screening.  Here's some info on Nick -- come and join us on October 1st and you can meet him in person!

Nick Nadel is a writer/producer who has worked for everyone from The Onion to Martha Stewart. He blogs about comic books and nerd stuff for AMC, WeTV, MTV, TruTV, and more. Check out his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @nicknadel. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bruce McCall's "Love in the Time of Dendur"

Our new friends from (more on that later!) are creating a series of shorts featuring the artwork of brilliant writer/artist Bruce McCall.

If you don't know Bruce McCall's work, you really should.  He's a long-time contributor to The New Yorker and started out with National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live back in the 1970's.  His books and drawings are just fantastic.  Go immediately to for more.

You can find out more about iThentic's series and support their Kickstarter campaign here.  The folks at iThentic are up to some fun stuff and they need the support of short comedy film fans like YOU!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Notes from our May 7th Screening

Hello, and welcome to another Iron Mule recap! Last Saturday night, hosts Jay Stern and Victor Varnado were on hand to welcome the audience into spring with more great short comedy films.

We kicked off the show with the last in Steve Delahoyde's beloved "Regrets" series, "Band," about one aging fan's complicated relationship with the Dave Matthews Band. After that came Morgan Miller's, "There's a Dead Crow Outside," an animated look at the roadkill circle of life. Morgan joined Jay & Victor to discuss his process as a draw-and-scan animator and why so many animators still stick to hand-drawing.
Victor and Jay interview Morgan Miller
Next up, Jay introduced our first British film of the night, Chris and Ben Blaine's hilariously simple "0507," which follows a forgetful fiance and his last chance to prove himself, using his girlfriend's iPhone. From nearly as far in the opposite direction, "51st & Baltimore," by Kansas City native Philip Collins, explores how one young man misses out on the girl of his dreams, but also the life of misery that would've followed. Philip chatted with Jay & Victor about his film student days in Missouri, his future projects, and the advantages of going to a school that doesn't do grades.

Jay gives thanks Philip Collins for coming by giving him a box of Lemonheads.
Our second British film, Leo Burton's mini-epic "The Duel At Blood Creek," features several pairs of dueling Englishmen who have accidentally converged on the same spot to settle their scores. Rounding out the night, we ended the competition with two animated films: Dean Fleischer-Camp & Jenny Slate's, "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On," a hit at Sundance about the title character and his tiny, unusual life; and Leah Shore's "BOOBatary," a cartoon look at one secretary's industrious bosom. Leah, Jay, and Victor spoke about Leah's newest project: a documentary narrated by Charles Manson.

Jay thanks Leah Shore for coming with a box of Red Hots.
After the audience put in their votes for their favorite film, Victor shared a sneak-peek at the pilot for his upcoming reality show, "The World of LARP." Still in post-production, the show explores the world of Live-Action Role Players, and will hopefully be coming to a television screen near you soon. And for our final screening of the evening, we presented this month's Wanna Be A Star? film, "Hot Tamale," directed by Ramona Floyd and featuring audience member Christiana Little as a woman struggling with her addiction to the candy of the same name. Christiana also chose the star of next month's film, Cindy Capitani, who will be featured in a new short entitled, "Scissors," to be directed by Michael DeMirjian.

With all the votes counted, producer Lin Sorensen announced the evening's winners: "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On," won the Audience Award, and "The Duel at Blood Creek," picked up the Judges' Award. Congratulations to all our filmmakers, and we look forward to seeing you at our next show, June 4th, for more short-form hilariousness!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Iron Mule Feature Night Screening #1: Comfort and Joy

And now, a random recap of last night’s fantastic film night.  (The crowd ALONE was fantastic – Hey, British Film Meet-Up peeps! – and very sorry we lost one woman to the Glasgow accent.)
The crowd arrives.
Jay and Meg introduced the show by sharing some Scottish Jokes courtesy of an insensitive 1931 collection, to which Sinclair Lewis and Clarence Darrow were purported to have contributed.
Meg is shocked as Jay reads insensitive Scottish jokes.

"Comfort and Joy" was preceded by an encore screening of the Iron Mule classic short "Cry for Bobo" by director David Cairns, also from Scotland (and who was thrilled to be opening for the great Bill Forsyth).  This movie exposes the truth behind anti-clown prejudice, and how lack of opportunity forces one clown into a life of crime.

And now on to the main event! Bill Forsyth’s “Comfort and Joy” is ostensibly a Christmas movie, but you won’t think of it that way because there is nothing “Christmas-y” about it:  safe to say it will never become another “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 

Alan Bird is having a mid-life crisis.  He has every good guy’s fantasy of a bad-girl girlfriend, and everyone’s fantasy of a mid-life crisis car, but that’s where his mid-life crisis stops.  Once he witnesses crowbar-wielding thugs rough up a Mr. Bunny ice cream van, he stops having his crisis and instead turns his attention to the chaos of the ice cream truck wars. 

In addition, Alan’s mid-life crisis becomes the exact opposite of everyone else’s: usually it’s serious guys who have to learn to “lighten up” and have fun; Alan, however, needs to “darken down” and get involved… in a gentle version of a mob Apalachin conference.  

We all learned some terrific new slang:

“keep your pecker up” = roughly “keep your chin up.”  Your pecker is your nose. It is.  No, seriously, that’s what it means.

“breeches buoy” = nautical term for a primitive rescue device to transport people to ships
“Comfort and Joy” is a genuinely sweet movie – not in a cynical loser-takes-all Hollywood sense – and you should not be surprised to realize what a cynical, superjaded New Yorker you have become.  Don’t believe me?  Watch how many times you leap to conclusions and assume the worst of our hero: 

- Oh, no!  This must be the story of a patsy who lets women walk all over him until he learns how to slap them around and show them who’s boss! 

- Oh, no!  He’s secretly a child molester! 

- Oh, no! …

You get my drift.  Yet every time you assume the worst, your assumptions are confounded.

This movie gives you so many tasty characters to remember:  Colin the doctor, Dickie Bird the DJ, Hilly Zandeman the station manager, Mr. Bunny, Bruno and Paulo Colinari, Mr. McCool, Uncle Luigi, Trevor Marinetti and Charlotte, Rufus the weekend radio host nobody likes, Andrew (Lily’s secret crush), Miss Wilson in the Weston Infirmary, Katie Pollack a/k/a Heather with the recipe for success, Archie and Amos (Amos and Archie) the ice cream makers, Maria the cake shop owner, Mimi the giant panda, the dentist who looks exactly like George C. Scott… who don’t you love?

Although it’s such a gentle movie that when things get bad, they only get so bad, it does a great job of showing how, when things get bad, the people around you will do things and says things to make it just a little bit worse.

MOVIE TRIVIA:  Charlotte, the cutie on the ice cream truck, is CP Grogan, lead singer of Altered Images “Happy Birthday.”  She was in another of Bill Forsyth’s movies, the awesome “Gregory’s Girl.”  The scar on the side of her face she got in a bar fight (she was a non-combatant) when someone threw a broken bottle.
Thanks to 92YTri’s awesome programmer, Cristina Cacioppo, and to Miriam, Ken, and Tom for their steadfast support of “Iron Mule” and J&M projects, as well as The NYC British Film & Telly Meetup Group for coming out to support the very *first* installment of the new “Iron Mule at the Movies” series.  Photos thanks to the mighty Tom Henning!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Signe Baumane's "Rocks in My Pockets"

Our friend Signe Baumane is making an animated feature film.

Who is Signe Baumane?  You mean you didn't see the many films of hers we've screened at Iron Mule?  Or you didn't click that link above?

Besides being a world-class animator of funny, edgy, hilariously disturbing and haunting films, Signe is a fixture of the New York animation scene, championing the work of animators big and small.  She has curated DVDs of their work and routinely runs screenings in New York.  Signe has also brought many us many wonderful animated films for Iron Mule, some of the best animation we've shown, in fact.

Signe also writes one of the best blogs you'll ever read about the frustrations, heartbreak, and occasional joys of being an independent filmmaker trying to raise money to make movies and bring them to an audience.

Now Signe is raising money for “Rocks in My Pockets,” a feature animated comedy about depression.  We know that doesn't sound funny.  But in Signe's hands it's bound to be funny and unique.  Signe says the film "might be interesting for depressed people and for psychologists but also for people whose relatives are depressed and what not, so it means about 99 per cent of population.”

The world needs more Signe Baumane movies so support this project if you can.  If you can't take a look at her work online and spread the word to people with money!

You can check out Signe’s website for “Rocks in My Pockets” here, and donate to the project here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Notes From Our February 5th Screening

Despite the frigid rainy ickiness outside, it was "On with the show!" inside the 92Y Tribeca last Saturday, as a packed house piled in for another great night of short comedy films with Iron Mule.
Jay Stern and Victor Varnado - photo by Tom Henning
We started off the night with a sneak peak at prolific host Victor Varnado's latest comedy concert film, "Tell Your Friends," which will hopefully be coming to a theater or cable channel near you soon.  Then Victor and host Jay Stern introduced our guest judge for the evening, Michael Galinsky.  Mike shared the trailer for his latest documentary, "Battle of Brooklyn," a 7-years-in-the-making document of the controversial Atlantic Yards project.  It wasn't very funny, but fortunately Mike was, so he was allowed to stay.

Those documentary chops came in handy as many of the night's films were also documentaries, both of the traditional and the mocking variety.  The first block of films began with an installment of Steve Delahoyde's Regrets series, "Hobbies," in which a beleaguered birdwatcher explains how his addiction to novelty pastimes has yet to give his life meaning.  Next month, we'll have another in the same hilarious series, titled "Kid."  Then came Michael DeMirjian's "Sounds of Summer Camp," a kind of music video culled from hundreds of hours of NFL summer training footage.  Michael talked with Jay & Victor about his time as an editor for Fox Sports and how he made cutting football and NASCAR footage fun.
Michael DeMirjian with Victor and Jay - photo by Tom Henning
Our next block started with "Just About Famous," a documentary about celebrity impersonators by Nick Kovacsev and Matt Mamula, who's previous film, "Potato Sac," was an award-winner in 2003.  Finishing up the block was Nat Towsen's "Coke Bottle Blues."  Nat, sharply dressed for the occasion, was on hand to discuss his monthly variety show, The Moon, which the film was made for, and why it's nice to wear a blazer when you've made a film about drinking a coke and burping.

Nat Towsen with Victor and Jay - photo by Tom Henning
Next, we welcomed back another Iron Mule alumnus, Kyle Gilman, who returned with the sequel to his 2005 award-winner, "Two Night Stand," which has about a gazillion hits on YouTube.  The latest film, "Two Night Stand Two," follows the same two characters who, after 6 years, have started mysteriously waking up in bed together again.  Jay & Victor spoke to Kyle about his work as Hal Hartley's editor, and the history of his own films, many of which have shown at Iron Mule over the years.

speaking with Kyle Gilman - photo by Tom Henning
For our final film in competition, we welcomed back last month's double award-winner Stephen Neary, with his Valentine's-Day-friendly music video, "Let's Make Out."  Stephen told the audience about making the film in his spare time at work and his next animated project, "Dr. Breakfast."

Stephen Neary - photo by Tom Henning
As the audience's votes were tallied for their favorite film, we unveiled the latest in Iron Mule's audience participation series, the Wanna Be A Star? competition.  Each month, we ask the audience to shout out a title, and then draw an audience member's name to star in a film with that title made for the next month's show.  This month's film was, "Bacon," directed by Lin Sorensen, and the audience winner and star was Morgan English, who was not only featured in the Ken-Burns-style documentary as the Narrator but also edited the film as well!  Morgan also drew the name of next month's star: Janet Kalish; she'll be starring in "Year of the Rabbit," to be directed by host Jay Stern.
with Morgan English and Lin Sorensen - photo by Tom Henning
When all the votes were in, Guest Judge Galinsky announced the winners: for the Audience Award, Steve Delahoyde's "Regrets: Hobbies," and for the Judge's Award, Mike DeMirjian's "Sounds of Summer Camp"!  Congrats, Steve and Mike, and we look forward to seeing more of their films in the future.
Guest Judge Michael Galinsky announces the winners - photo by Tom Henning
Join us next month, for the next Regrets film, "Kid," new animation from Laurie Rosenwald featuring excerpts from David Sedaris' diary, and the premiere of "Year of the Rabbit"!

Iron Mule producer Lin Sorensen at the after party

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seeking a junior editor- NY

Low budget Doc series seeks junior editor.

You will be working with the director and will be overseen by a senior editor. You will be his hands and have your own input as well. Excellent position for someone who has plenty of ideas and skill but has not landed their first big fish.

Experience with action a definite plus.

PAY $1000 / wk
Starts immediately
6 to 8 weeks

Please send resumes and links to reels to

Monday, January 17, 2011

New feature ZENITH opens this week in NYC!

Our old friend Ray Privett is opening a new visually stunning and imaginative feature this week in at the Kraine Theater NYC, with releases following across the country.  Full details are here.

And Ray is offering $7 tickets for the NYC screenings for anyone using the code IRON MULE!

Come out and support a real independent film, screening at a unique downtown venue.

Congratulations on the opening Ray, and here's to a successful nationwide launch!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Notes from our January 8th screening

It was a blustery January evening outside, but in the 92YTribeca screening room on January 8th the audience was warming up with the expectation of a night of short comedy films.  Jay got the show off to a start by describing a frustrating start to his year; someone stole his credit card number online and used it to buy 2010's straight-to-DVD Lost Boys: The Thirst.  The thief wasn't very clever because he mailed the DVD to Jay's billing address and Jay was able to get a new credit card before any significant damage was done.  So the story has a happy ending.  Just as long as Jay doesn't actually watch the movie.

Victor then told a story about the start of his year, but we'll spare our readers by not recounting it here.  Really.  It's pretty gruesome.

Jay and Victor then welcomed special guest judge, illustrator, author, and animator Laurie Rosenwald. Laurie is a long-time Iron Mule contributor and she started off the night by showing two animations she made in collaboration with David Sedaris.  We'll be showing more of that series at our March 5th show.
Jay, Victor, and Laurie Rosenwald
Then it was time for the films in competition.  First up was Sylvia Apostol's animated film about a boy who gets revenge on the tooth fairy in A Faery's Tale, followed by comedian Joe DeRosa's short made for, The Jesus Fix, a film about a man who has nothing to complain about compared to Jesus.  Joe was at the show and had a brief interview about translating his stand up material to the screen before having to leave to go do stand up elsewhere.
Jay, Victor, and Joe DeRosa

Joe DeRosa waves goodbye to Jay and Victor as he leaves the screening to perform standup somewhere.
The next film in competition was the longest film of the evening, Adam Hall's musical extravaganza Sudden Death, about about a plague gripping Los Angeles in which people infected burst spontaneously into song and dance before dying.  Two dashing researchers struggle to find a cure while falling in love and incessantly singing about it all.  The film features John Larroquette in the pivotal role of a sort of Deep Throat of the Coast Guard.

Then it was on to our last block of films in competition.  First up was Eric Knobel's "I-can't-believe-I-saw-that" movie Root Beer.  One of the great pleasures of the evening was the moment when the audience broke into a fit of laughter at a certain point of this movie that built and didn't stop until it was over.  Who would be brave enough to follow this movie?  None other than our Romanian friend Mirel Bran with his one-minute film Hitchcock Reloaded (in French rather than Romanian this time).  The final film of the block was Stephen Neary's Cowboy Chicken, an animated tour-de-force about a chicken in the wild West who just wants to be a chicken but is forced against his will to become a hero.  We interviewed Stephen about how he made the movie, breaking the code of animators by appearing in your own movie, animation in general, and his other work.  Stephen will be back next month with another movie called Let's Make Out.
Stephen Neary, the creator of Cowboy Chicken
Victor, Jay and Stephen Neary

Before closing out the night, we welcomed old Iron Mule friend and film distributor Ray Privett, who showed a trailer of his upcoming movie Zenith, which opens on January 19th in NYC and then will screen across the US followed by a release on DVD and VOD.  We're not sure what Zenith is about (even after seeing the trailer), but it certainly looks good, and we were intrigued by Ray demanding that we view it as a comedy.  Make sure to watch for this movie at a theater near you!
Victor, Jay, and Ray Privett
Last up was our monthly "Wanna be a Star" movie in which we randomly select a member of the audience to star in a movie that is then shown at the following month's show.  Back in December, Amy Wolf was chosen to star in the movie Under the Robe.  This pitch-perfect movie about way too many audition experiences was written by Lin Sorensen and directed by Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Galluci.  Giuseppe's English wasn't great, but that just made him a more charming interview subject following the world premiere of his movie.
Giuseppe Galluci
Then it was time for guest judge Laurie Rosenwald to announce the winners.  Both the judges' and audience's awards went to Cowboy Chicken!  And the prize was none other than Jay's copy of Lost Boys: The Thirst!

Jay (holding the prize of Lost Boys: The Thirst) and Victor
Then on to the after party in the 92YTribeca cafe and the secret after after party where more food and drink was had by all.  We have another great month planned for February and look forward to seeing fans old and new then.