1. Heathers (1988) dir Michael Lehmann
2. Some Like it Hot (1959) dir Billy Wilder
3. Desperate Living (1977) dir John Waters
4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) dir Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
5. Happiness (1998) dir Todd Solondz
6. Harold and Maude (1971) dir Hal Ashby
7. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999) dir Trey Parker
8. Sitcom (1998) dir Francois Ozon
9. Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) dir Miranda July
10. Bringing Up Baby (1938) dir Howard Hawks
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Award-winning comedy director Q. Allan Brocka joins Comedy Ninja’s competition jury.
A film and television director, Mr. Brocka is acclaimed for creating his popular Eating Out comedy feature franchise. On the television side, he created the television animated series “Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in the World” for Logo. He also wrote and directed Boy Culture the feature based on the critically acclaimed novel by Matthew Rettenmund. Brocka’s uncle was Lino Brocka, the late famous director in the Philippines and a leader and advocate for LGBT rights.
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We’re more than thrilled to have Naomi Grossman as part of our crack team of celebrity jurors here at Comedy Ninja Festival 2014! We recently corresponded with the multi-talented Grossman as she asnwered some of our biggest questions for us.
You’ve said that the role of Pepper was kept under wraps, even to those auditioning. What was your reaction when the role was fully revealed to you?
“Fully revealed…” Hmmm. Maybe an hour or so before shooting the 9th episode? Pepper was constantly evolving for me… After I was cast, I learned about how I’d look physically, which obviously informed the character mentally and emotionally. Although I assumed just like everyone else that I’d cut my sister’s baby’s ears off! The only information I got was what was on the page… but obviously with a show like “American Horror Story,” even THAT you can’t count on! Plus, I only got the sides that I was actually in… so sometimes they’d deliver a script that was nothing more than a single page of “Pepper goes pee.” In fact, it was shortly after that that Pepper disappeared… and I didn’t know where I was either! For all I knew, I’d really screwed up on set! It wasn’t until I was back in the makeup chair, with this new, evolved role, involving pages and pages of actual, intelligible dialogue that I was able to truly wrap my head around it’s scope.
Did you feel as if taking on the role of Pepper was a significant departure from the kind of work you did in your stage shows and short films?
Actually, no. I felt like I’d been preparing for her all along! Obviously I’d primarily done comedy on stage, not horror/drama on television– but aside from the genre & medium, the character work was the same. She’s a big, over-the-top character, not unlike those I used to at the Groundlings. And with all those prosthetics, I was able to exaggeratedly move my face just like I’m used to doing on stage! Sometimes our lives are comedies, sometimes they’re dramas. This just happened to be a character I’d normally do in a comedy, now in a drama.
How difficult was the experience of acting with one eye?
Surprisingly difficult. You’re blinded out of that eye, which is disconcerting. Particularly when you have to hit marks and climb windey staircases and do choreography, without running into expensive equipment or Oscar winners. Besides, they say acting’s ‘all in the eyes,” but when you only have one eye, that eye has to work that much harder.
Do you have a preference between writing, producing and performing?
I prefer performing. That’s how I got into writing and producing– to create my own performance opportunities. As it turns out, I personally think I’m a better writer than I am performer; and happen to be a real type-A, control-freak, which is often the sign of a good producer. So I don’t like to limit myself– though it’s always nice when I get to luxuriate in my trailer just as “talent.”
You recently gave us your top ten favorite comedy films. It was interesting to see such classics as “Airplane!” alongside comparatively recent films such as “Borat!” What exactly do you look for in a comedy film, and what might connect films of such distant eras, in your mind?
Ummm, they’re funny? That’s it. Regardless of their “era,” those films are unanimously outrageous and character-driven, with crude, unexpected story-lines– all marks (for me) of a good comedy.
We’ve seen a lot of new developments in the comedy world in the past few years. Does any new or upcoming content in the comedy film/television/special scene interest or excite you particularly?
I think what Sacha Baron Cohen was doing with “Ali G” and “Bruno” and “Borat” was ingenuitive. I just wish they’re weren’t so many laws and lawyers and people hungry to sue each other or I think we’d get to see more of that. I also love that “Book of Mormon” has revived musicals, and attracted a new younger, hipper audience to the theatre. For a long time it was just staid, old Rogers & Hammerstein.
What are your future plans? New roles? New show? Any particular ambitions going forward?
All of the above! My solo shows generally take about nine months to make– it’s like birthing a baby, really. So I don’t enter into that lightly. Particularly since I’ve been doing so much traveling– right up until Halloween I was at a different haunted house or horror con every weekend, nationwide. I really need to be home, and able to hermit to create something new. I have loads of upcoming events– both personal appearances at comic cons and bookings to do my solo shows to look forward to in 2014! And well, “American Horror Story’s” just been renewed for a 4th season, which would be nice too
What’s your take on Ninjas? Yay or nay?
YAY ALL THE WAY!!!
For more Naomi, check out Naomigrossman.net! In the meantime, check out one of her hilarious short films below!Read More »
Comedy Ninja is proud to announce that veteran comedy actress and director Amy Hill will be joining the celebrity jury of the inaugural 2014 Comedy Ninja Film and Screenplay Festival.
Amy Hill is an American actress whose television credits include “Gray’s Anatomy,” The Office,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld.” She might best be remembered for her groundbreaking role as “grandma” in “All American Girl” with Margaret Cho now available on DVD. She co-starred with Mike Myers in “Cat in the Hat” and with Adam Sandler in “Fifty First Dates.” Hill’s voice work includes “King of the Hill.” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Jackie Chan Adventures.” “American Dad” as well as on Nickelodeon’s animated series “Kung Fu Panda.” She recently recurred in acclaimed HBO series, “Enlightened” with Laura Dern.Read More »
November 27, 2013
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Nico Todd, 323-388-3183, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
L.A.’S COMEDY NINJA FILM AND SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY JURORS FOR IT’S 2014 FESTIVAL
COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival on Wednesday announced the jurors for their first annual comedy film festival, which runs from May 30-June 01, 2014 in downtown L.A.
The competition jury consists of acclaimed comedian/actress Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story: Asylum), comic filmmaker/actor Ross Patterson (FDR: American Badass!, Poolboy: Drowning out the Fury), prolific comedic actress Amy Hill (50 First Dates, Couples Retreat) and award-winning television and film director Allan Brocka (Eating Out, Boy Culture).
The 2014 COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival is slated to begin Friday, May 30, and it will run through Sunday, June 01, in downtown Los Angeles. It will be headquartered at The Japanese American National Museum Theater (The Tateuchi Democracy Forum), which is located at 100 N. Central Avenue. Besides showing a bunch of rib-tickling comedy features, shorts and webisodes, the unmissable event will feature hysterical performances by stand-up comedians, a rocking opening night kick-off party, a screenplay competition and much more!
“I’m thrilled with our jurors for the first annual COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival. We’ve assembled a diverse and hugely talented team that represents some of the funniest folks working in film comedy today. I want to thank them all in advance for helping to nurture up and coming comedic talent,” said Festival Director Chuck Parello.
COMEDY NINJA “HI-YAH!” Awards will be handed out in all categories at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 1st, 2014 at The Japanese American National Museum Theater.
For more information on the COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival go to http://www.comedyninja.orgRead More »
1. FDR: American Badass
2. Poolboy Drowning Out the Fury
4. Animal House
5. Black Dynamite
8. Wedding Crashers
9. The Comedy
10.Darnell Dawkin’s Mouth Guitar Legend
A prolific filmmaker and comedy actor, Ross Patterson has come onboard to be one of four competition jurors for the COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival.
Patterson started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 16 using a fake ID to enter clubs in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, he has appeared in over 20 films (The New Guy, Accepted, The Darwin Awards, Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story, Garden Party) and was nominated in 2008 for a MTV Movie Award for Best Spoof. In 2011, he won best comedy at the New York Television Festival for his pilot, St. James St. James Presents: Delirium Cinema.
Ross has also written, starred, and produced six films, $50K and a Call Girl: A Love Story, 7-Ten Split, (with actress Tara Reid), Screwball: The Ted Whitefield Story, Darell Dawkins Mouth Guitar Legend, Poolboy: Drowning Out The Fury (with actors Kevin Sorbo and Danny Trejo), and FDR: American Badass! (with actors Barry Bostwick and Lin Shaye).
Ross is currently prepping numerous projects, including a film he is slated to direct called Hellen Keller vs Nightwolves.Read More »
Naomi Grosssman’s Top Ten Funniest Films!
3. Naked Gun
5. This is Spinal Tap
6. Beavis & Butt-head Do America
8. The Royal Tenenbaums
9. There’s Something About Mary
10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Famed as American Horror Story’s Pepper, Naomi Grossman will be one of the four celebrity jurors at the first nascent Comedy Ninja Film Festival in 2014.
A multi-talented comedic artist, Naomi wrote, produced, and starred in her second hit solo show, Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust, and other Human Oddities, which enjoyed a twice-extended, sold-out run and rave reviews (“Recommended” by LA Weekly). It was then reprised at the world-famous fringe theatre festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it received more critical praise (4 stars: The Scotsman, Broadway Baby, Fringe Review) and a transfer to London’s West End (Leicester Square Theatre). It later went on to have a successful run at the New York International Fringe Festival.
Naomi’s first solo show, Girl in Argentine Landscape, also received critical acclaim (LA Weekly, “Pick of the Week”) and earned her an LA Weekly Theatre Award nomination for best solo performance. Naomi toured with Girl to Chicago’s Single File Festival, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival, and screened a subtitled video-version on the big screen in Argentina.
A former member of the esteemed Groundlings Sunday Company, as well as alumna of Improv Olympic, Naomi continues to write, produce, and star in comedic shorts under her “Red Meat Entertainment” banner, which have screened at the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, the TriMedia Film Festival, the Connecticut Film Festival, the Dam Short Film Festival, the Faux Film Festival, the Los Angeles Comedy Festival, the Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Festival, the Action On Film International Festival, and the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Naomi also made a cameo in the feature film, Table for Three.
A graduate of theatre from Northwestern University, Naomi has acted in several of Chicago’s illustrious, long-running, cult comedies: Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack and Shannen Doherty Shoots a Porno at the Torso Theatre, as well as Attack of the Killer B’s and White Trash Wedding and a Funeral at the Factory Theatre.Read More »
Los Angeles, CA – Margin Films’ COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival, which will take place in downtown L.A. from May 30-June 01, 2014, is pleased to announce a new section for their fun-filled comedy blowout: the Horror-Comedy Short Film Category!
The horror-comedy has long been a subgenre for inventive filmmakers to explore the best and worst of emotional extremes. Films like Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Evil Dead 2, Dead Alive, The Re-Animator, Shaun of the Dead and Cabin in the Woods allow viewers the opportunity to both shriek and howl with laughter in equal measure. And now we’re looking to celebrate the freshest new talents this subgenre has to offer!
Along with our regular honors, we will be giving out COMEDY NINJA HIYAH! Awards for Best Horror-Comedy Short Film (to be judged by a soon-to-be-named well-known horror-comedy filmmaker) and for Best Performance in a Horror-Comedy Short Film.
The Horror-Comedy Short Film Category will be guest-curated by horror filmmaker Christian Ackerman, whose recent horror-comedy short Hell’s Belles won 15 awards and played at over 20 film festivals.
Of course, we’re still on the hunt for gut-bustingly funny films and screenplays that don’t involve ghoulish imaginings for the main divisions of our festival! So delay no further, Submit Today!
COMEDY NINJA Film and Screenplay Festival Submission Deadlines:
Regular Submission Deadline is February 3, 2014
Late Submission Deadline is March 20, 2014
WAB Extended Submission Deadline is April 20, 2014
Notification Date for selected films and Screenplays is April 30, 2014
Please visit and follow us at these links for more information:
http://www.linkedin.com/company/3228535Read More »