Papa Voodoo

Papa Voodoo to Screen at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood

Aug. 10, 2021

A short film by three UNLV MFA alumni has been selected to screen in the prestigious independent film festival Dances with Films in Hollywood from August 29th to September 12th. The festival will return to live screenings after being virtual last year due to the pandemic.

Papa Voodoo, a short film directed by Kyle Ensrude is about a young boy who encounters a mysterious stranger and is given the tools to get back at his adolescent tormentor. The young boy must decide how far he is willing to go for revenge. Papa Voodoo was produced by May May Luong and Brandon Mowles while the three were M.F.A. candidates in the Writing for Dramatic Media program at UNLV. All three are proud that many members of the film crew call Las Vegas home.

“I liken the film to a fairy tale – it’s full of the same sense of mystery and danger we’ve come to expect from folk stories, with an ambiguity about the nature of this magical figure that permeates every scene,” Ensrude said. “It’s a story about a little boy who, in an effort to preserve his innocence, unwittingly threatens to destroy it.”

The Covid-19 pandemic put a number of things on hold and the premiere of the film was no exception. Although the filmmakers had an option to submit and screen the film at film festivals that were held virtually in 2020, they opted to wait until film festivals returned to in-person screenings. The film will hold its World Premiere at Dances with Films as part of the Competition Shorts 3 on Sunday, August 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood. Dances With Films is one of the highest attended film festivals in Southern California with more than 20,000 attendees each year.

“Papa Voodoo is a labor of love that brought together the UNLV and local Las Vegas film community,” said Luong. “We are thrilled to be able to screen this extraordinary film at Dances with Films, a film festival known for championing independent filmmaking, innovation and creativity.”

Tickets can be purchased at

View the Trailer for the film at:

Download the full press kit with images at:

For more information on Dances with Films: