Far beneath the beautiful sea, a unique whale sings a song that is all his own. Inspired by the incredible true story of the 52 Hz whale, “52 A Tale of Loneliness,” invites viewers on an underwater journey that is certain to be as unique as 52 himself.
A useless, damaged, forgotten block of marble after years of neglect, emerges as one of the greatest and most beautiful works of art.
Samira and Bahar, teenage Ghanaian siblings, have worked in the illegal human smuggling business in Agadez, Niger, for several months. The day before their passage across the Sahara, the siblings must weigh their ambitions for a better life against the dangerous journey ahead.
ÁINE is a story about raising a daughter in a world that has already defined her potential. This documentary short film follows the life of a young girl with Down Syndrome from her mother's pre-natal findings through to her present day challenges. As the family navigates unexpected turns, this little girl will sass you with her tenacity for life and her love of music.
This award winning story follows the life of a young pilot who flew in Alaska’s frontier arctic. Experience the front-seat thrills of bush planes and helicopters operating in the most dangerous conditions on earth, airborne among the magnificent mountains, glaciers and rivers that only Alaska has to offer. Includes true-life experiences of accidents, comradeship, humor and heartbreak of life in early Alaska, gone forever when dismantled into parks in the 1980’s. Based on the book Last of the Long Hunters by Mark Rose, the scene opens with an early history of the Great Land and those that lived in it through interviews with several life-long Alaskans, including Hilda Lidner, Ray Atkins and Gale Ranny to name a few. Leading up to the introduction of the authors use of a new tool of transport – the single engine airplane, but not without extracting a terrible price. Experience what it was like to growing up among the dangerous game, hunting the massive caribou herds and absorbing the greatness of the county. Pilots will gain from the flying experiences related, and every boy, man and aviator will be compelled to grapple with its final truth, concluding with a crisis encounter that forever changed the pilot's life forever. Filmed on Location in Alaska. Premiere's Spring 2020. www.alaskalonghunters.com
A fierce teenage girl joins the boy's wrestling team in an effort to regain strength and control after facing sexual trauma. Out of place and alone in her journey, Alex leans on the image of who she wants to become as she faces insults and criticism from a toxic bully on the team. At home, the truth about both her trauma and her latest struggles have been kept a secret.
In northern Kentucky there sits a gigantic replica of Noah’s ark, a 510-foot-long behemoth that towers over its surroundings. Built by a controversial fundamentalist Christian organization, “Ark Encounter” is designed as a teaching aid for what its builders say is the Bible’s literal truth — including the contentions that the Earth was created in six days and that dinosaurs coexisted with humans.
But this latter-day ark is not only about the past. In the short documentary above, it is also a colossal reminder of those interpretations of the Bible that foretell an apocalypse. And in an era like ours, when even nonbelievers may be carrying a sense of apocalyptic dread, it’s worth considering: What should you do when you believe the end is nigh?
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who fell in love with a beautiful horse named Aurora...
Expressively animated in a naive drawing-style that evokes children’s drawings and the texture of storybook illustrations, Aurora is a bittersweet story about love, friendship, and growing up.
Twelve-year-old Beans is on the edge: torn between innocent childhood and delinquent adolescence; forced to grow up fast to become the tough Mohawk warrior she needs to be during the Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis, which tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990.
A teenage girl reckons with love and loss as her mother battles a dangerous disease. A story about the enduring bond between mothers and daughters, Beautiful explores the transformative power of resilience.
An Afro-Surrealist story about a giant woman and a tiny man who through the power of touch, experience an unexpected transformation.
A mother of two goes on an underwater journey to make a profound decision that will reshape her family.
Michael is a recent graduate whose post college plan is derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City. When the bus service hires a security guard to watch over the night shift, Michael comes face to tattooed face with Pineapple, a 300-lb punk rock Samoan who challenges him with a kick in the ass to break from the loop and start living.
Dustin Clark is a musician, an artist, and a man who sees challenges as possibilities.
Dustin briefly chronicles his history with Muscular Dystrophy, what has inspired him to keep creating, his current musical process and his hopeful view of the future.
Filmmaking While COVID
Exhausted with her busy life, Noelle, a publicist from LA, can’t face another holiday season with her overly happy family. She heads to Scotland to a quiet retreat at a manor tucked away from everything. When she checks into the manor, she quickly discovers that the kids who live there create magic, in concert with the house, creating a holiday she didn’t even know she needed.
A maladjusted dad (TIM KINSELLA) is trying to heal in an experimental therapy group called Infinite Beginnings. Meanwhile, his nonbinary kid (ALLEX JORDING) is getting close with an older man (CALEB CABRERA). Their relationship feels both dreamy and concerning—depending on whose watching.
The Flame You Keep chronicles the plight of refugees across the globe, including the story of Yusra Mardini who fled from the war in Syria and became an Olympian swimmer and a Good Will Ambassador for UNHCR.
An ultra conservative woman plans to break up with her boyfriend in order to keep their rent controlled apartment to herself. What could go wrong?
A comedy that deals with moral responsibility, false religiousness and gender dynamics.
Ten year old Jo spends her days along the Shenandoah River with her best friend Selma, fishing, scrapping for metal—surviving. But when her abusive junkie stepdad dies, Jo decides, Selma in tow, to dump the body, steal the car, and set off across the country in search of her real dad, a legendary folk singer in Los Angeles.
"an enchanting, empathetic and enticing story, which combines childhood naivety and innocence with neglect, brutality and generational damage... a brilliant take on the dark side of Americana... It is a touching and sentimental exploration of childhood innocence. The central performances from the two child actors are endearing and thoughtful..."
-Programmer's Review, Edinburgh International Film Festival
Barrier-grid animation, kinegrams, or picket fence animation is an optical illusion that originated in the 1890s.
A young couple walk a fine line while thriving in an open marriage until they catch each other breaking the rules.
Jack confronts creatures both real and imaginary on an extraordinary animated visual rollercoaster created with some of the comic world’s finest artists. Jack emerges triumphant, reborn… and the lead singer of the best band around to boot.
JULIET tells the story of a transgender teenager, Serena. Extremely shy and always in the background, she has a dream of playing the female lead in her high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Serena signs up to audition, which unleashes a torrent of teasing, bullying and sabotage. Still, she musters the strength to push forward with the secret support of the most popular boy in school, who will play Romeo. However, when Romeo shames her in front of his friends to protect his reputation, Serena must find the courage to stand on her own in the spotlight and accept herself just as she is.
Corey, a small-town veterinarian with suicidal urges, keeps her depression secret from her family and friends. As her mind cracks, her cat Clyde becomes the unlikely foil in her attempts at her own life.
Winner: Best Live Action Short Film at the 35th Warsaw Film Festival (European Premiere); Performance Award at the 50th USA Film Festival
A music video for the pop group Maggie Dave, animator Cassie Shao explores the dreamworld with a blend of hand-painted and digital textures that evoke an otherworldly perspective.
Today is an important day for Zak, but everything is going horribly wrong. During his adventurous bus ride, Zak goes through a deeply personal metamorphosis.
Below the comedic surface lies a warning for all of us to not lose the importance of human connections. As Zak becomes more socially aware and appreciative of his diverse community, so do we.
In L.A. Chinatown, a young woman Nan dreams of becoming a chef at her father MEI’s Chinese restaurant. But when her father excludes her from the family business, it's time to decide where she belongs.
A man undertakes a dangerous spirit painting ritual in an attempt to save his ailing wife.
Numerous parents have been impacted by the opioid crisis in America. Struggles with substance abuse can lead to family turmoil and instability for young children. Head Start centers around the country are actively working to help bridge that gap and support those families.
"Piece by Piece" is an animated short story about one mother's journey to recovery and empowerment.
Guided by the meticulous work of Dr. David E. Martin, Plandemic: Indoctornation, tracks a three decade-long money trail that leads directly to the key players currently managing the COVID 19 pandemic.
Plandemic connects the dots between all forms of media, the medical industry, politics and the financial industry and unmasks the major conflicts of interests between those in charge.
When the going gets ruff, two rival pup scouts have to work together to investigate the mystery of their missing treats.
A group of young radicals band together armed with bongo drums and Molotov cocktails made from craft beer bottles. An act of extremism is replaced by aesthetic value. Mao’s Little Red Book is no longer in print.
Risk Factor uncovers the impact of racism in healthcare in the United States, a country with Black infant and maternal mortality rates comparable to those of developing countries. Risk Factor chronicles the experiences of three Black women who’ve suffered an infant loss in Cleveland – a city that has experienced Black infant death at six times the rate of white infants.
The River is a documentary about how communication and purpose play into the success and failures of managing the homeless encampment in Aberdeen, Washington. Director Rick Walters goes to The River Camp to live with and talk with the displaced inhabitants to search for meaning in their experience, and to find catharsis for his own battles with addiction and security. This film was made because of the ideas and inspiration of executive producer Judy Isaacson, and by the engine that runs it: producer Heather Pilder Olson. Edited by David W. Phillips. The River won the Donald E. Lacy Social Justice Award at the Studio City International Film Festival in 2020, and was nominated for Best Documentary at the LA Festival of Cinema in 2021.
Salvage questions the allure of old objects by reimagining obsolete tools as reliquaries haunted by the souls of disgruntled workers who resent their new jobs. This hybrid intersectional documentary uses magic realism to critique the inequities of gender, ethnicity, and class that underpin consumer capitalism.
1943 January, Cat Island, MS, United States. The FBI is expected at the government's secret military base to see how Japanese-American soldiers serve as 'dog baits'. Based on true events, The Shepherds of Cat Island is a story of systemic racism that takes a single, and continuous look into our prejudice and conscience.
There is a palpable rift in our country, our world, our reality. "The New Normal" is constantly redefined."Are we living in the darkest timeline?" We wonder. "The simulation is glitching." We muse. The great divide is happening between humans, between the planet, between the universe. Take a step back and reflect on where we came from and where we're going.
As a birthday surprise, a young couple visit a psychic together.
Jimmy spends almost every night in his Palace of Isolation, studying his favorite superheroes. But tonight is different. He may have just cracked the storyline for the next big budget blockbuster.
Probably not, but you never know.
Those Who Spring of Me is an independent film about a young non-verbal man with autism, Will, and his girlfriend, Tatum, who also has autism. The couple met on the job, and Will communicates through supported typing on a voice output device. They announce to his parents that they want to have a child together and they ask for permission and assistance when the child is born.
A woman walks outdoors for inspiration ... and sees the future.
Through her eyes we see humans as they move through nature now and decades later: noisier, busier, the landscape cluttered with housing and trash. Six individuals are revealed to us in the past, bound by gender and class, then re-visited as their future counterparts. Life goes on as the land changes.
Under the Dark Clouds is a 2D mixed-media fantasy animation about visiting a dream world. It uses digitally hand-drawn character animation with watercolor stop-motion and crayon drawings as a background. The Main character, Stra, tends to sleep when she wants to escape from reality. One of the main characters, Beddy, lets Stra enter a dream world, where Stra faces herself and accepts her depression. This film addresses the idea of self-acceptance, and how dreams reflect our unconsciousness.
Part music video, part magic realism, ‘Wall Piano’ shows a wall as something other than an immovable barrier. As it passes through the imagination of a group of young children, the concept of a powerful wall controlling their lives, out of nowhere, becomes something else. The idea for the short film came from 12 year-old Nada, who also featured in the film.
Women in Film Panel
In 1960s San Francisco, a once-promising catholic school girl, Celina Guerrera, sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself that sets new precedents for the time.