This film presents only a small portion of what can be found in the poetry collection titled Suburban Zen: Tiny Stories, Poems, Humorous Reflections & Deep Thoughts.
A desperate teenager snatches a rich woman's handbag but in a bizarre twist of fate discovers her life is not as rosy as it seems and that they have more in common than he realizes.
To be Black and a police officer in the United States' third largest local law enforcement agency, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), is to take an oath to serve while facing racial disparities within the department itself. Black Before Blue holds space for a forum of intimate conversations between twenty-one Black retired and active police officers as they unveil racial and gender discrimination they've experienced in the department.
Their assimilation into the blue brotherhood came with hurdles that were setup by their counterparts, and anchored by bigotry. As a result, these Black officers struggled in the hiring process, experiencing disproportionate promotion opportunities despite having qualifications in alignment with their colleagues, and they frequently experienced increased disciplinary sanctions when compared to their peers. Black women in particular often experienced careers riddled with discriminatory consequences related to both their gender and ethnicity— a "double-edged sword."
As the officers' stories of the past parallel those of present day, they express their frustrations about recent viral incidents of police brutality and the resulting worldwide civil unrest, concerned that history could repeat itself. From recalling the days before squad cars were racially integrated to anecdotes about their white colleagues' frequent use of the n-word, these emotionally honest stories expose the truth about what concerned them about the department, and give insight into what inspired them to see their journeys through.
The scenery seen from the window from the running bus makes you escape from your daily life for a while. The moment the scenery looks different, we travel to a new world.
After her abduction, Amelia Chen fights to stay alive against an insatiable captor with a fetish. Created for the Asian American Film Lab 2021 72 Hour Shootout under the theme: Be a Hero.
Five unique individuals take us on a journey where their achievements shine beyond preconceived ideas of what is possible.
In 2014, the citizens of Toledo, Ohio, had to go without running water for three days when a bloom of toxic algae entered the drinking water plant from Lake Erie. This should have been a wake-up call for politicians, big agriculture, and citizens everywhere that freshwater resources are at risk of becoming toxic worldwide. THE ERIE SITUATION explores the confluence of science, public sentiment, politics, and the powerful farming lobby as Ohio wrestles with how to confront the drivers of toxic algae. What's at stake? Who's at risk? And will volunteer measures be enough to confront this growing crisis, both in Ohio and beyond?
A 7-year-old girl in a wheelchair feels very lonely sitting in her room. Her only friend is a little ant in a formicarium. She falls asleep and gets into an alternative reality with the four elements superheroes. Her abilities become limitless here. She enjoys life, flies and fight with the enemy. She returns home happy, strong and self-confident.
Forgive Me, an animation by Michael Covello and Elizabeth Schneider, is a darkly-comic fever dream born out of the current ecological anxieties of our times. Constructed of traditional and digitally drawn imagery, it depicts the struggles of the emotionally vulnerable and socially adrift Sherman as he quests to overcome a toxic, sinister force in his life that could be real or imagined.
Two life-long friends sit together to have a much-needed conversation. Their friendly dialogue takes a turn when they address head-on the one thing they’ve never talked: one of them is a puppet.
In this Covid-era Italian thriller, Roxanne, a gruff middle aged pipe organ restorer struggles to control her obsessive attraction to her new 20 years old mute assistant.
Roz Pichardo is more than a domestic violence and gun violence survivor, she’s a warrior. Despite of - or because of - being thrown off a bridge by an abusive ex-boyfriend, the unsolved murder of her brother, and the suicide of her identical twin sister, she’s able to channel her trauma into service by helping the often-forgotten people of North Philadelphia.
From giving comfort to families of murder victims to saving the lives of over 500 men and women in active opioid addiction, Roz knows that her healing and her survival depends upon healing others.
Two childhood friends freely explore their suburban town until a bizarre and unsettling encounter fractures the duo, leaving them alone to cope in dissonant ways.
A cricket wants to achieve the dream in an abandoned quarry.
Has the future already happened?
This may be a reverie of our increasingly virtualized world that is submerged into a directional flow of information and disparate impressions that takes shape as a slow-burning anxiety; a rupture in linear time.
Conceptually using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and composed of a single take, «Incomplete» invites us to traverse an endless choreography of bodies in perpetual free-fall and updating images that reflect a world in constant change.
A passionate astronomy student disengages from her college curriculum upon the discovery of an illusive artifact.
Shot and produced on location in Columbus, Ohio
TRT: 36 min | Color | Digital | 2.35:1 | 23.98 fps | English
Format: ARRI Alexa Classic | 5.1
Genre: Live Action Short, Narrative Drama, Science-Fiction
Ethiopia Blue Nile has flowed wild and untamed through the landscape. It is the life blood of the local tribes and a haven for all the wildlife. But this powerful force of nature is under threat. The impending completion of Africa's largest hydro electric dam is about to flood 280 kilometres of the river. We join explorers Charlie Head and Ben Peters will travel these waters facing the dangers and splendour to record and forever preserve 'The Last Descent'. Starring Benjamin James Peters and Charlie Head
In a world without human beings, stray shopping carts search for purpose and companionship. This is a story about a cart, a scrap metal flower, and its search for a mate.
The seller decides to sell his three-wheeler, but when the buyer arrives, he quickly realizes the unit is destined for greater adventures.
Pianist Beyza Yazgan takes a surreal journey to imagined landscapes and feelings that are evoked by the music she is performing. The story represents transformation, freedom and the circle of life.
Otonashi a philosophical
journey through inner and outer worlds of experience of the human being - an audio-visual
meditation of futuristic transmutations on the Japanese Hannya Shingyō.
In the last 25 years, the independent comics community made deliberate efforts to be inclusive and elevate under-represented voices. This is the story of how the community has changed over those years and evidence that if you want to change a culture, you need to change its stories, starting with the storytellers.
Pretty Metal is a dramedy about a rising female pop group who reinvent themselves as a heavy metal band to achieve stardom. The film explores the themes of redemption, control, and family.
A music video for the song "Roll It" by Handsome Jack where the band's touring van has broken down and they decide to give it one more ride, as they "roll it" to the junkyard.
Five next-door neighbors eavesdrop on pedestrians passing outside of their apartments. One morning, they overhear something that disrupts their daily routine.
Nehemiah, a Black dancer trapped in a pandemic lockdown in Cleveland, receives a call to join a mostly white dance troupe to create a silhouette-based dance seeking solutions to police brutality.
While a man is in the midst of an existential crisis, a mysterious young girl appears and leads him into a future he can’t imagine for himself, forever altering the course of his life.
A 40-minute documentary that captures the transformational story of how idealistic college students and black activists teachers came together in a small Midwestern town to find their humanity and the common ground to fight as one in the freedom struggle that would define a nation and alter the course of history.
U-Trip is the story of a day in the life of Berlin’s metro. Trains and stations become the meeting point of a vast array of characters drawn from the rich and tattered fabric of 21st century Berlin.
A short documentary that follows Five Star Theatricals and Teatro Frida Kahlo, two non-profit theaters in southern California as they attempt to reopen amidst the Covid19 pandemic. With the threat of surging coronavirus cases and bureaucratic hurdles, how will they save the art form that has sustained them both financially and emotionally?
Residents of and visitors to the Tularosa Basin, site of the first detonation of an atomic bomb, contribute to the production of public memory as they offer advice, reckonings, and plaintive cries about making "the journey of the dead." Made in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the detonation of nuclear weapons in Japan and the US and the 340th anniversary of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Made in resistance to nuclear colonialism.
YONLU is a fiction film based on the real story of a 16 year-old boy who, aided by the internet, won over the world with his talent for music and art. Fluent in five languages, YONLU had a network of virtual friends on all continents. However, no one suspected he was also taking part in a forum for potential suicides.
A diverse group of middle-school students go on the journey of a lifetime when they compete in a nationwide competition sponsored by MIT to code satellites aboard the International Space Station.
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.
There is a drama for every childbirth. An omnibus of animated documentaries that visualize experiences about childbirth.
The 1st chapter, titled "Birth on the Other Side of the Mountain," is the story of a female who grew up together with nature in an island village and aims to be a midwife, as she ponders childbirth, life, and being alive.
The 2nd chapter, titled "There, There, My Baby," is the story of a childbirth in which the mother spoke with the baby during its entire stay in her womb. An elderly woman recounts events that were pleasant and happy.
The 3rd chapter, titled "My Own Way to Become A Mother," is the story of a young girl who grew up without knowing of the existence of her mother, as she gathers the pieces of her mother and becomes a mother herself.
A mother of two goes on an underwater journey to make a profound decision that will reshape her family.
Navit drives together with her dad to sell their cow Cindy to an Arab meat dealer. While Navit is convinced that her dad thinks she is a pro dairy farmer, she realizes he uses her in a different way.
The short man makes artificial limbs for himself, gets tall, coming out of his house, We see that everyone is short.
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.
Jason is a desperate man visited by his Reflection. It warns Jason of his impending death, unless he does exactly what his mirror image tells him. His Reflection turns out to be his Intuition. The problem is, they've never worked well together...
The old man wants to run away from the nursing home
Filmmaker Q&A Part 1
Filmmaker Q&A Part 2
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.
Fragments is a short film which documents a young girl’s journey to understanding her biracial identity, broken home and the effects this has on her.
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.
Independent Filmmaking Roundtable
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.
In an abandoned attic, dictaphone robot REC desperately tries to connect to тхе bird that stops on its window. Using his play button to say something, he finds himself shocked by the content and scares the bird away. He rushes to make her come back, to record over his "own voice" before his battery leaks.
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
Live DJ Set 4/17
Live DJ Set 4/18
Music Video for The Black Sorrows
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.
Can you dance if you are not perfect? Rona lost her balance and her voice in a car accident, and she discovers in 360° that the tingling answer- freedom is in your head!
A story about two Gemini brothers' journey on the earth. The Older brother wants to enjoy the trip himself, but his younger brother always follows him and makes a lot of troubles.
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 Ursa Minor falls out of the sky in a storm, he must embark on an adventure to find his way home through the unfamiliar world he has fallen into - with the help of a new friend along the way.
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.
On the barrier island of Sapelo, two brothers are growing up in the last remaining enclave of the Saltwater Geechee people. Their greatest joy is exploring the island like their adoptive mother, Cornelia Walker Bailey, did as a child. As Sapelo’s storyteller and elder matriarch, she works to preserve what remains of this unique community established by her ancestors.
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.
“Song Sparrow" is about immigration. People of different color and race and culture, old and young, embark on journeys, eager to find some place they can call home, or just some place they can live in. Many brave perils more formidable than the ones they ran for in the first place. It is not always weathering storms till and onto shores of calm and prosperity; many a time storms keep them company on and off shores. They dream of better lives while in reality having little choice.
It is about a real event which happened in Austria in August 2015, where flesh and bone of human and animal become intermingled.
This short movie may inspire the viewer to ask: "is it better to go or stay", or more accurately: "is it worse to stay than to go? Is a large chunk of humanity entrapped by events befallen their lands many centuries before they were even born?
" Song Sparrow" uses dolls to pose these questions. It is no less disturbing even though dolls have no life in them. But an attempt is made to show the situation faced by those that have no choice but to put their lives in peril to escape perils of staying, and to trade staying within chaos for a chaotic escape.
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.
Short biopic of Australian sign, showcard and ticket writer Barbara Enright. This is the fourth short film in the 'When Better Letters Met' series.
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.
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