ISA Presents: Kick-Start Your Career with a Short Film

International Screenwriters' Association • 1 year ago

Industry pros discuss the importance and benefits of short film, how to go about making a short and what to do after your film is completed.  Our panelists will discuss their experience in production, finance, film festivals, screenwriting, and promotion from their own unique perspectives and discuss question such as:

  - What is the purpose of your short film?
  - How can a short film help you in your career?
  - How can you make your short film stand out?
  - Why you need a killer script before you go shoot your short?
  - How do you plan a strategy to release your short film and get distribution?


Jonathan Martin is the Founder & Director of the award-winning production company, Bohemian Industries, and the lauded film festival, FilmQuest. A film director, producer, writer, editor, and production designer, Jonathan’s talents also expand into art direction, graphic design, live event producing, entrepreneurship, public speaking, hosting, and more. Jonathan's productions have won over 250 awards since 2011, while playing over 275 film festivals around the globe. Jonathan is also a champion and mentor to up-and-coming talent, with FilmQuest being a major resource that has allowed him to build a large network of established Hollywood veterans and tomorrow's superstars across the entire globe. As a designer, his design for Utah's new flag was officially adopted as Utah's commemorative flag for 2021.

Clarissa Jacobson is the writer, producer, and creator of the multi-award-winning horror/comedy short, Lunch Ladies.  The film garnered forty-three wins and gold standard distribution all over the world.  She also created and starred in the follow-up short, A Very Important Film, which received distribution as well.  Her book - I Made A Short Film Now WTF Do I Do With It (a guide to film festivals, promotion, and surviving the ride) - is available at Amazon and her website and her feature screenplay – Land of Milk and Honey – is currently under option with La Rue Films to be produced by Elizabeth Avellan.  Clarissa is Co-Founder of Rebel Minx with creative partner, Shayna Weber.

Joan Macbeth is the co-creator of the digital series Honestly Charlotte, based on her award-winning short film of the same name. She previously was co-writer and executive producer on the documentary My Shanghai, and worked with LA producer Michael Gruskoff (My Favorite Year, Young Frankenstein) on the script adaptation of Jennie Shortridge’s novel, When She Flew.  An optioned screenwriter, Ms. Macbeth prefers to write female-driven feature scripts and has received top awards in several writing competitions. She is an alumna of the ScreenwritingU ProSeries and Writers Bootcamp in Los Angeles, and administers the VIWFF Screenwriting Competition for Women in Film and Television Vancouver.

Nathan Laver is a director, editor, creative, and lover of most living things. BRONTOSAURUS! LA emerged from his vision of the future of advertising and production, one where marketers work directly with creators. His experience includes nearly a decade inside a global agency, and twice that as an independent filmmaker, making short film series for big brands like Jack Daniel’s and heartfelt documentaries for local nonprofits like Project Place in Boston. Currently, Nate is in post-production for the ISA’s Shoot Your Short film “iNFLUENCE,” directed and edited by him and written by Rachel S. Thomas-Medwid.

Shayna Weber is the Sr. Manager of Production & Events for the ISA.  She started out working in casting and talent management before settling into a career as a producer, during the rise of unscripted television, where she developed, produced, and directed a number of projects.  Her roster of shows includes: “So You Think You Can Dance,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Weakest Link,” VH1’s “Band’s Reunited,” “Brew Dogs,” “She’s Got The Look,” Disney’s “Code 9,” and the Miss Universe Pageants.  Shayna also produced the award-winning, horror/comedy, Lunch Ladies, and directed, A Very Important Film, both of which have received distribution.  She is Co-Founder of  Rebel Minx with creative partner, Clarissa Jacobson.

Our Partners at the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival empower writers and artists across the globe through inspiration, opportunity, recognition, and growth. Now, in the 17th year of the competition, Cinequest presents screenwriters with virtually countless networking opportunities, increased industry visibility, and the chance to win extraordinary acclaim and prizes. The Competition welcomes screenplays and teleplays of all genres and lengths and provides unique opportunities for writers to be discovered, have their work produced, win CASH prizes, and further inspire their creative fervor.

Our Partners at the #1 TV & Film writing school, Script Anatomy, have helped thousands of writers develop and hone their craft. Alums have nabbed hundreds of writing fellowships and staffing spots on shows like Selena, Dave, Lovecraft Country, The Handmaid’s Tale, Dead to Me, Mrs. America, This is Us, The Chi, and more… Don’t miss Script Anatomy’s Screenwriting Craft Festival this November 5th-7th -- a 3-day weekend of workshops focusing on Character, World Building, Structure, Theme, Scene Work and Dialogue on Zoom! A festival pass gets you all 6 workshops for the price of 4 and includes access to an evening Cocktail Hour, Showrunner Panel, and pre-recorded “In the Biz” talks with Special Guests. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to up your writing game. Script Anatomy has generously offered one spot at the festival to a lucky attendee! More info on Script Anatomy's Screenwriting Craft Festival:

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition has partnered with the ISA to recognize exceptional screenwriting by women. VIWFF is an annual film festival in Vancouver, B.C. that champions women and gender-diverse filmmakers, writers and creators. The festival is hosted by Women In Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV), a member-based not-for-profit organization and member of WIFT International, working toward gender-based balance in the film and television industry. More info: