5x5 archives

the fiveXfive new york state of mind dv project: past projects

Back in the fall of 2002, VISIONFEST co-founder, Mark Doyle, first proposed his idea of creating a sidebar festival event that would pay tribute to the city of New York. Just two months earlier, the film festival had handed out a special prize called "The New York State of Mind" award to the short subject film, Once About Water Towers, by Stephanie M. M. Lucas. The award, which was designed to honor any work that, in some way, paid homage to the city of New York, was right on the money that year, as its honored film unfolded with hauntingly moving images of New York, accompanied by the narrations of several women, talking about growing old in the place they had always lived, and reminiscing about their own, personal 'city' memoirs. But festival organizers feared there might hardly be enough eligible entries each year to warrant the annual assignment of such award, so they opted to combine the spirit behind that award with Mark Doyle's proposed project initiative. A month later, the FiveXFive New York State of Mind DV Project, was started.

A special festival committee was immediately put in place to select five, established, New York-based filmmakers. Each filmmaker was assigned to shoot, edit, and finish a five-minute digital short, within a five-day period, in one of the five New York City boroughs, thus prompting each filmmaker to capture a slightly different reality of New York City. The filmmakers were each given a digital camera package with respective sound, grip, and lighting gear, and an adequate post-production facility, provided by that year's primary FiveXFive sponsors: LVR, Mad Dog Films, and Hit & Run Prods. Each of the shorts had to adhere to a specific set of guidelines that demanded that each would feature prominent locations and landmarks of the targeted borough and a strictly "narrative" approach (eliminating the tendency for creating experimental or music video-type projects).

The five selected filmmakers were chosen on the basis of several variable considerations, beginning with their professional track records, their commitment to the project, and ultimately, their availability for the production process and for the actual screening date of the shorts, which would be scheduled on the festival’s closing night. As more editions of the FiveXFive would unfold, the guidelines would vary slightly, particularly in the "theme" department, which has explored myriad subjects, such as the 2003 New York City blackout, international terrorism, and the employment of an "apple" ( perhaps the single, most obvious, iconic symbol of New York) as a key element or prop to be featured in each of the shorts.

On behalf of the entire VISIONFEST staff and the Domani Vision Film Society, we extend our gratitude to the participating filmmakers and to the sponsors of our past three FiveXFive Projects, who have allowed us to bring you these very special and very unique digital shorts, each depicting an individual vision, but together forming a collective "New York State of Mind."


2011 project

  • EASY PREY by Tara Parian - Digital Short Directed by Jeremiah Kipp
  • IT'S NOT SATURDAY by Annette Beatrice - Directed by Martha Pinson
  • IT WAS A GIRL by Max King - Directed by Mickey Paula
  • SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER by Sara Bovolenta - Directed by Maggie Low
  • SO AWKWARD by Matthew Stevens - Directed by Debra Sophia Pingitore



2010 project


The 5x5 New York State of Mind Digital Project for 2010 required that participating filmmakers only feature 'speaking roles' for characters of their opposite gender.  Thus, a male director could only feature female characters in speaking roles and vice-versa.  The selected filmmakers are all VISIONFEST alumni and the 5 digital shorts were all shot using the Canon EOS 7D camera.  The approximate running time for each short is approximately 5 minutes sans opening and end titles and longer versions of these shorts will be available for other forums.  Following is a listing of each short, appearing in the order shown at the June 27, 2010 premiere:



 BEMVINDO by Alexandra Roxo

The story of a young Brazilian man's arrival in New York City. After a discouraging first few days, Rafael is left penniless, homesick and desperate. He begins to lose hope until an unexpected friendship with a Haitian immigrant reignites his resolve to succeed in America and gives him hope for the future.


Watch the behind the scenes "making of" a low budget movie about a low budget movie director who hires a sound guy, a DP, and a PA who don't know what they are doing, and they try to make a film that nobody knows what it's about.  The shoot runs overtime and it's only a matter of time before the actresses run out before the film does.
  DAVID by Elizabeth Van Meter

A woman, suffering from fainting spells and haunted by the past, plunges into the wormhole of her mind where she experiences moments of comfort, isolation, humor, and deep longing that always lead back to David.  Is her everyday existence the dream and is her true reality, that which she's created in her mind's eye, built to cope with fear and loss?

 ONE LAST QUESTION by Justin Sullivan

Two roommates disagree when their houseguest's night-before-the-job-interview karaoke singing draws her reliability into question.


Mary is a sufficient serial killer who lives and murders people in Brooklyn, New York.  She has become bored and lonely, and has lost the connection that she used to feel to her victims, until she becomes the target of somebody else's disturbing behavior.



2005 project

  • The Big Apple by Michael Hartel
  • A Pain In The Apple by Lolly Daskal
  • New York Newlyweds by Roy Frumkes
  • Conjugal by Frank Lewallen
  • Apple's Cherry by Jesse Scolaro

2004 project

  • The Slightest Inconvenience by Tom Ellis
  • Blackout by Eli Kabillio
  • The Tape by Ethan Spigland
  • Blackout by Ilya Chaiken
  • The Heist by Jeff Mazzola

2003 project

  • The Jester's Bell by Larry Brand
  • The Quiet Borough by Roger Majkowski
  • Saturday by Lorna Thomas
  • Free Will aka I Love New York But I'm Still Leaving or The Spirit of New York by Will Keenan
  • Hard Cold Facts by Scott Saunders

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