“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”

wins awards for

Best Musical Performance

Best Original Score

Best Production Design – Short

at the

Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival

in Los Angeles

The top picture is me sitting with the three framed awards “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” won at the Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival in Los Angeles Sunday night.

I’ll get to that, but let’s rewind a bit, and start at last Saturday’s screening for my musical short film adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story.

I arrived at the Skiptown Playhouse just off Melrose Avenue in East Hollywood about 10 minutes before the screening of the shorts block that included “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”, having touched down at LAX only a few hours earlier. As you can see, the Skiptown Playhouse gives off a very Indie Burlesque-chic / Downtown vibe, something this New York off-off-Broadway veteran is very comfortable with. The film festival featured a high quality selection of Indie shorts and features from filmmakers from all over the world. Many came from even further away than New York, like Montreal, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome …

The couple in front of me, I later learned, came from Amsterdam. I quietly and surreptitiously sneaked a few shots from the beginning of P&P’s screening, including of the logo of Ed’s and my production company, and my first scene…

At the conclusion of my Edgar Allan Poe musical, one woman blurted out “Wow!”, which felt even better than the applause. We met later and hit it off very well (not only because she liked P&P so much) – her feature film ended up sweeping the feature length film awards in the festival – I’ll share more on all that further down this post.

After “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” concluded that screening block of shorts I got up on stage for a Q&A with two fellow filmmakers who shared the bill; at left Jean-Luc Servino, all the way from Rome, who presented his whimsical short “I Fell in Love with a Balloon”; and next to him Will Grave, from London, whose achingly lovely “The Last Jack O’ Lantern” required the carving of something like 90 pumpkins to produce. All our films rely heavily on music.

The next day I participated in an Actor’s Panel. That’s Olga Montes next to me. She’s the “Wow!” lady. Her husband and co-star in the movie Scarpedicemente, John Vamvas, is at right.

Jonathan de la Torre and his co-star in the metaphysical mystery/romance “Cartas Para Axél”, Pedro Pano.

Olga, John, Pedro, Me, Jonathan, Heidi Schooler and festival director Vincenzo Carubia.

Sunday evening was the awards ceremony gala.

We got champagne and dinner.

There was burlesque entertainment.

Vincenzo flanked by Skiptown Theater co-managers Danny and Michelle.

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” won some awards.

This one goes to Mariana Soares da Silva.

My short film block mates Jean-Luc and Will and actors co-panelists Heidi and Pedro also won awards.

John and Olga’s film swept most of the feature length awards, winning Best Picture, Screenplay and lead actors for both of them, among others. It played the festival before I arrived, but I look forward to seeing it soon.

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 40 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.
This entry was posted in Cinema Scope, Live! On Stage, Notes in the News, Poe Musicabres and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. This is fabulous Danny! Awesome article about the Skiptown Intern’l Festival & Wonderful meeting you! :-)!
    I got a gig after the festival! (so sorry for delay in reaching out) – This wknd I’ll be making sure to send you my film & request your link to see your FABO film!! I’m so glad we met, and look forward to keeping in touch!!

    Liked by 1 person

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