Katie Murphy Amphitheatre (FIT) – 3:15pm
Friday, October 16th
Short Film Corner 2

17 min | Romance, Musical | United States | 2015
US Premiere
By Benjamin Pollack


“hopefulROMANTIC” is an original musical film about one man’s emotional journey through love, heartbreak, and healing. It’s a universal story about loving, letting go, and holding onto faith that there’s somebody for everybody. It may sound like a somewhat familiar story….but what makes “hopefulROMANTIC” unique, is the way in which it is told. The nearly dialogue-free narrative is articulated solely through Matt Zarley and Andy Zulla’s soulful pop score. Is it a music video? Not really. Is it a musical? Sort of. “hopefulROMANTIC” is best described simply as a love story….with music as its guide. Matt Zarley (The Romantic) co-stars with Chuck Saculla (The Boyfriend) , Jolie Jenkins (The Best Friend), and social media/pop culture icon, Star Trek’s George Takei (The Mentor).


Benjamin Pollack is an award-winning director/screenwriter/editor with an MFA in Filmmaking from the American Film Institute.

As a feature film director, Pollack won Best Director at the Los Angeles Independent Television Festival (ITV Fest) for his directorial debut, the independent comedy/horror feature Dark Room Theater. The film also won Best Comedy Feature at the First Glance Film Festival in Philadelphia, and was nominated for Best Narrative Feature and Best Horror feature at the Rome International Film Festival and Shockerfest, respectively.

Pollack has directed and edited over 60 music videos, including his newest video “Hopeful Romantic” and “Trust Me” for Matt Zarley, the #3 recording artist in London.

A member of the WGA, Pollack’s feature screenplay, Dead After Tomorrow took the Best Horror Feature Screenplay Award at Shriekfest, the Los Angeles Horror/Sci-Fi Film and Screenplay Festival, and Best Screenplay at the prestigious Eerie Horror Film Festival. His comedy screenplay Blue Suit Assassins was a finalist in the Slamdance Film Festival and the Beverly Hills Film Festival. His screenplay Welcome to Chinatown was a finalist at the SoCal Independent Film Festival, the Great Lakes International Film Festival, the Eerie Horror Film Festival, and took 2nd place at the Golden Brad Awards.

In addition to writing and directing, Pollack is an accomplished film producer. He has produced films at AFI with actress Amanda Seyfried (Letters to Juliet, Mamma Mia, Alpha Dog) and at Film & Music Entertainment with veteran producer, John Daly (The Terminator, Platoon, The Last Emperor). Pollack also produced the multi-award-winning feature, The Garage, and was the sole producer of his original feature film, Dark Room Theater.

As an editor, Pollack has been nominated for two ACE Eddie Awards. He edited the feature film Played, starring Val Kilmer and Gabriel Byrne, and he also edited the aforementioned feature The Garage, which screened in over 80 festivals and received over 50 awards and nominations.

While at AFI, Pollack held a seat on the Fellows Advisory Council for two years, and served on AFI’s Curriculum Review Committee. He was awarded two prestigious production grants for each of his thesis films, the FotoKem Award and the Fuji Filmmakers Award, and was nominated by AFI’s Faculty for class valedictorian. He holds a seat on the AFI Alumni Steering Committee.

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