Apr 152011

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Laufer Film and MadWerkz R2 Studios Produce Socially Relevant Films

The Acorn Penny: Kinshasa (Jada Young) in IDP camp (Photo Laufer Film, 2009)

Cleveland, OH (Vocus) January 6, 2010

Local Independent Production Companies Laufer Film and MadWerkz R2 Studios have entered the film festival circuit with films dealing with the socially relevant topics of genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Global Housing crisis. Both productions decided to forego traditional video in favor of the digital ultra high resolution RED™ Camera – a first use of this technology for independent film in Northeastern Ohio.

Laufer Film’s “The Acorn Penny”, a visionary short film helmed by AFI graduate Tiffany Ann Laufer, takes a unique view about a young Congolese girl who is forced to live in an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp due to the civil war in her native land. “We felt strongly that this story should be brought to the forefront, but in a way to which western audiences could relate,” said Producer William C. Laufer. “5.4 million people have died in the DRC over the past decade. With the UN spending a billion dollars a year just in the Congo, we felt this was a story that needed to be told,” Laufer said.

To that end, Director / writer Tiffany Ann Laufer uses thirteen (13) year old actress Jada Young to tell the story of Kinshasa, a young girl who is at first seen as an ordinary American youth but whose different reality is gradually revealed and whose true situation becomes arrestingly apparent. Ms. Laufer uses four magical acorns, both real and computer generated, to lead and guide Kinshasa thru this world and her adventure. Tiffany Laufer said, “I am very much inspired by Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and finding that perfect balance in magical realism is very important in capturing your audience’s imagination. We didn’t want to focus on the war in the DRC, but on the dreams that still exist in the children who have survived the atrocities.”

The film includes actual footage from Congolese refugee camps, which was provided by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees and also footage from the Cleveland Museum of Art collections archive. In contrast, “The Bubble” is a complex story which deals with the intermixed lives of four strangers on the worst time in recent economic memory, September 2008. In the footsteps of films such as ”Traffic and Crash,” ”The Bubble” tells the story of separate individuals, a young middle class housewife, an FBI special agent, and a young Bank Vice President, who are, on one day, forever tied together by one property, a home in main street America.

Written initially as a feature film, the film was quickly reformatted for a 4 day production to enable MadWerkz R2 to deliver a short for the upcoming festival circuit and the BET Television show “Lens on Talent”. “The story is very dense, with several subplots, which made its compression into the short film format very challenging,” stated writer and director, Joddy Eric Matthews. “We don’t take sides, the film tries to show the point of view of everyone, from the people who lost everything to those who perpetrated the actions that led to the crisis.” Says Producer Alexander Rivera. Both films have been submitted to film festivals such as Sundance, Cleveland, Cannes, Toronto, Santa Barbara, AFI, Athens and Seattle and BET’s Lens On Talent.


Laufer Film is an Independent Film production company based in Cleveland, Ohio and Los Angeles. Run by father and daughter team, William and Tiffany Ann Laufer, Laufer Film has produced the critically acclaimed feature film “Christmas at Maxwell’s”, the cooking show “Journey to Your Plate” with Food Network co-host Jack Hourigan and most recently “The Acorn Penny”. Tiffany’s work as cinematographer was also seen on BET in the film ‘Women’s Work’. For more information on Laufer Film, visit: http://www.lauferfilm.com. For more information on The Acorn Penny, visit: http://www.theacornpenny.com


MadWerkz R2 is one of the top animation, effects and design boutiques in the Midwest. Consisting of MadWerkz Films and The Render Ranch, MadWerkz R2 produces original content such as the short “The Bubble”, the children’s animated show ”Flight of The Fruit Flies” and the religious based DVD series “The Covenant”. MadWerkz R2 Studios is located in Cleveland and Chicago. For additional information on MadWerkz Studios, visit its website at http://www.madwerkz.com. For more info on “The Bubble”, visit http://www.madwerkz.com/films/thebubble/index.html.



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