“Chipper” a short film produced by Jayson Warner Smith screening at the 2023 Atlanta Film Festival

Jayson Warner Smith’s short film “Chipper” has been selected by The Atlanta Film Festival and will screen on April 27th. “After receiving a mysterious letter, a wayward son returns to his childhood home to wrestle with a dark family secret.”

ATLANTAMarch 27, 2023PRLogChipper, a short film directed by Shaun MacLean and executive produced and starring Jayson Warner Smith, will be screened at The Atlanta Film Festival on April 27th at 7pm.

Now in its fourth decade, the Atlanta Film Festival, one of only two-dozen Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the U.S., is the area’s preeminent celebration of cinema.

Log-line: After receiving a mysterious letter, a wayward son returns to his childhood home to wrestle with a dark family secret.

Executive Produced by: Ryan Wiedmayer (Weird Brothers Productions) & Jayson Warner Smith (JackBrit Films)
Co-Executive Produced by: Robert Mello (Weird Brothers Productions)
Produced by: Shaun MacLean & Jesse Scimeca
Directed by: Shaun MacLean
Written by: Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye (The Devil to Pay, Becky)
Director of Photography/Editor/Colorist: Jesse Scimeca
Cast: Jayson Warner Smith (The Walking Dead, Rectify), Brad Carter (Ozark, Yellowstone), Brittany Deneen, Kathrine Barnes and Rick Andosca

In 2016 in his hometown of Atlanta, Jayson reached out to local writers looking for a short film script he could produce and star in. While grateful for the career he was having, including a two season stint on both The Walking Dead and SundanceTV’s (now AMC+) Rectify, Smith wanted casting directors to see him in a different light. Frustrated with being type cast, he wanted to show that he could play more than villains, creeps and porch-dicks.

Jayson was shocked when his friends Lane Skye and her husband Ruckus Skye said they’d like to help. Ruckus and Lane were and are no small potatoes in the Atlanta film scene. Their film The Devil to Pay with Danielle Deadwyler has been burning up Netflix and Becky with Kevin James has become a cult favorite. “I was amazed when they offered to help. Here were two great writers offering to write a film for me. I was so grateful.”

When they all met to brainstorm, the writers started with the question, “What scares you?”

“They wanted to know what scared me and I just blurted out, my parents getting old. I was kind of shocked that I said it. Up until that time, I hadn’t thought much about it”

Two weeks later, Ruckus and Lane returned with a script entitled Ashes to Ashes which has now become Chipper.

“The script was in my life for several years and had a few false starts and then I just kind of let it go. It just wasn’t meant to be. Then in March of 2020, my mom had her first stroke. Dead solid in the middle of locking down. Everything stopped and she became the center of my world. With all this time on my hands, I pulled the script back out and … I am sitting there reading it, fighting back tears because it was happening for real to me right then. Art was imitating my life.”

While ultimately the film is drastically different from Smith’s real life, something about the script hit him hard and he had to make the film.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/771290161

EPK: https://www.slideshare.net/secret/8SksDBVlwBdBV4

The film was shot over three days in Covington Georgia in June of 2022 with an entirely local group of creatives, cast, crew and financing. Even while under covid protocols of SAGAFTRA, the team was able to bring the entire project in under its budget of $20k. This included all aspects of production and post. The film was financed mainly by Weird Brothers Productions (Ryan Wiedmayer and Robert Mello) with about a quarter of the budget coming from friends, family and other angels.

The New Six Episode Short Comedy, “A Barman’s Aperitif,” from Four Dogs Production Company, released on YouTube on Valentines Day

 “A Barman’s Aperitif” is a six episode short form Comedy Web Series filmed entirely on an iPhone 11 Pro max, inspired by Lady GaGa’s “Stupid Love’ Music Video, also filmed on an iPhone Pro. “A Barman’s Aperitif” was written in 2020 and filmed mid pandemic in 2021. It was originally a personal project for Film Festival Submissions.

Michael said, “I sat down at my computer one night and started writing a story. I had written a few short stories previously that I put on film and my intentions were the same. Little did I know that I would turn this into a short form comedy web series. One episode became two and so on, until I had written five episodes. But something was missing, and I ended up writing the penultimate sixth episode.”

It is the story of an aging, inappropriate, alcoholic Barman, who finally realizes his dream of buying a bar with the help of his sister. He turns the passage of making a cocktail and drinking it, into a situation of history, clarity and a little bit of irreverence, through his personal life stories, including people he’s met in life, patrons; and his staff who freely spread their opinions of him behind his back in behind-the-scenes interviews. And there is a twist. It is an unapologetic; suspend your disbelief, broad alcoholic comedy. It is this man’s life seen through the eyes of cocktails and the one person who unfortunately found a way in assisting him in telling his stories.

Four Dogs Production Company
Michael Pierce
(760) 271-0997



  • Television

New Animated Short, The Bridge, Spotlights Life-Saving Power of Pets

 Grammy-winning musician Lou Reed’s haunting 1972 hit, “Perfect Day,” and an animated, gritty New York cityscape set the scene for a beautiful love story in The Bridge, the bittersweet short film from nonprofit PAWS NY spotlighting the mental health benefits of pets. Written and produced by Klick Health and animated by Lightfarm Studios, the film debuted today on YouTube.

The four-minute film tells the story of a lonely New Yorker having suicidal thoughts and an abandoned dog experiencing parallel lives of rejection, until their paths repeatedly cross and a quiet bond begins to grow. The Bridge uses a raw, edgy illustrative style with distorted proportions, and blue and gray undertones to express the main character’s inner turmoil and mental state until the film’s climax on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Inspired by a true story, The Bridge explores how the characters’ connection ends up saving both their lives. Co-writer and Klick Health “Maker” Bernardo Romero conceived of the animated short after losing his own dog and hearing the heartwarming tale from a stranger on the New York subway.

“I hope The Bridge will serve as a catalyst for more life-changing encounters between pets and people, and will help PAWS NY in their fundraising efforts so they can continue ensuring these important, but often overlooked, life-saving bonds form,” Romero said.

“Our goal with this film is to get people talking about the positive impact pets can have on our mental health,” said PAWS NY Founder and Executive Director Rachel Herman. “Mental health issues are prevalent this time of year, due to the post-holiday blues and darker, colder days, but studies show having a pet can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness all year long. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep these life-saving connections alive.”

The mission of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) NY is to help New York City’s most vulnerable residents remain with their pets by delivering critical programs and services through a community of partners and volunteers. As a 501(c)3 organization, our programs help keep pets in their homes while protecting and promoting the human-animal bond that is so physically and psychologically valuable to our clients. Thus, our motto: helping people by helping pets. To learn more, visit www.pawsny.org.

Kimberly Green
212-203-4760 ext. 304



  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Business
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Mental Health
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  • Society
  • Television

Cultivation of Short Duration Varieties (SDVs) of Rice for Straw Management

The cultivation of Short Duration Varieties (SDVs) provide extended window between Kharif harvesting of paddy and wheat sowing for Rabi, thereby giving sufficient time to the rice farmers for in-situ management and removal of excess paddy straw. The varietal trait for height is inherent in self-pollinated crop like paddy. The dwarf varieties have less production of straw as compared to the tall varieties.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) and State Agriculture Universities (SAUs) have developed high-yielding short duration Basmati rice varieties including Pusa Basmati 1509 (115 days), Pusa Basmati 1692 (115 days) and Pusa Basmati 1847 (125 days) and non-basmati category, aromatic rice varieties PR 126 (120-125 days), Pusa Sugandh 5 (125 days) and Pusa 1612 (120 days).These early maturing varieties mature about 20-25 days in advance which enable farmers for straw management and preparation of the fields for wheat sowing.

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is implementing National Food Security Mission (NFSM) to increase the production and productivity of foodgrain crops including rice. The various interventions such as cluster demonstrations on direct seeded rice, line transplanting, stress-tolerant varieties etc., distribution of quality seeds of high-yielding varieties including Short Duration Varieties& hybrids, micro-nutrients, soil ameliorants, plant protection chemicals, farm equipments and machinery are implemented to increase rice production and productivity.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri  Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.



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A Short Tale of Mending One’s Heart


You are set free by hope. It is there when you need it and soothes your troubled soul. Hope can take many forms, but it is a reminder that life can continue even after a loss. It is critical to find hope. Finding the motivation to move on in life after a devastating loss can always be a difficult endeavor for anyone, to the point where one should seek out hope by any means possible.

The work of Lee H. Johnson will be on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair this month in Germany. Her book, “Hope’s Lantern,” explores the experience of loss, grief, and facing the world without a loved one. The story is about a young boy named Harry who experiences loss, disappointment, and heartbreak. As he holds onto hope, seeking to hold on to the thoughts of a better tomorrow, akin to the brightness and warmth a lantern provides to others.

The story can be described as short and sweet, with a few sad moments. However, the lessons it can teach its readers can help anyone go through life with a lighter heart. The author’s loving heart for children becomes as clear as day through her works.

“Hope’s Lantern”

Written by | Lee H. Johnson

Kindle | $2.99

Paperback | $12.99

Hardcover | $21.99

Those interested in this book can find copies of it online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or they can attend the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair for a physical copy along with the opportunity to interact with authors of varying calibers.

About the Author

The author’s lovingly deep devotion to children lends this special gift, characterized by nature’s influence on surrounding beauty. She has taught Sunday school, Daily Vacation Bible School, and Christian Education in the past, holding young minds captive.