If you see Joey Ciccoline around town, give him a whomp on the back. His short film "88:88" placed among the top 10 entries in YouTube's Your Film Festival, out of some 15,000 contestants. The top prize may have gone to a Spanish short — David Victori's "The Guilt" — but Ciccoline scored an invitation to Dubai from the festival and got his film shown at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
Perhaps even better, he got a huge international audience for his first completed short film, shot last fall and finished this year. Viewers at this year's Nashville Film Festival will likely remember his short thriller, which watches raptly as a seemingly delusional woman (Rachel Kahne) sets about a series of curious household tasks that take on more and more urgency. Its effective visuals rely less on digital (which Ciccoline says he deliberately shied away from) than on well-done mechanical effects, including ingenious application of what the director-editor terms "a heavy-duty keyboard stand."
It's an impressive calling card for Ciccoline, 32, who grew up in Middle Tennessee and wrote the film with his old Franklin High School buddy Sean Wilson. "Now when I meet people, they know about seeing it," says the filmmaker, whose previous work includes music videos and a comedy web series. So far, the film has had more than 169,000 views on YouTube.