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.
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.
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.
Yusuf takes on the job of transporting refugees in his refrigerated meat truck, believing this is the only way he can find money to save his daughter's life. When the refugees are brought to him, he realizes that some are children who may not survive the cold of the truck, but he still keeps on with the job, gambling with their lives.
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.
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.
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
Four Couples in South Korea finds their "late coming of ages" in between 20s and 30s. One wonders about family, one wonders impossible dream, one wonders about opportunity in sports career, and one wonders about stability and his endeavor. All of them face huge conflict with life opportunity, and turning point. Would they get over these conflicts at the end?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.