2016 Feature Films and Short Films

By on August 4, 2016

FEATURES

Autumn Fall

Ingvild should have known Jeppe would be trouble from the word gå (Norwegian for “go”).

The old thespian shows up drunk as a skunk at the theater she directs, railing from the cheap seats about how her actors can’t act. Soon Ingvild finds herself at Jeppe’s apartment nursing his hangover, learning of his illustrious career, and, before long, making love to him. Little does she know they share an almost preternatural affinity for a reason: they have a history. Jan Vardoen’s bittersweet, beautifully acted drama goes down as easy as a lingonberry-filled krumkake.

  • Showtime(s): Friday 9/23 @ 8:00pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Drama, Romance, 95 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nomination: Best Supporting Actress: Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen
  • Cast: Helge Jordal, Ingeborg Raustøl, Bjørn Sundquist, Hege Schøyen, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen
  • Writer, Director, and Producer: Jan Vardoen
  • Recently Screened At: Austin Film Festival, Macon Film Festival (Best in Show), International Independent Film Awards (Platinum Winner), Magnolia Independent Film Festival (Best Feature, Best Director)

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Beach Town

Inspired more by films like People on Sunday (1930) than Frankie and Annette, Beach Town is a rock and roll beach movie of the mind – a quiet, unabashedly atmospheric look at the lives of young people whose art is ineffably linked with their surroundings in a low-rent coastal community.

Beach Town features an upbeat summertime soundtrack and was shot entirely in Seattle in glorious, Super 16 color film.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday, 9/24 @ 4:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Narrative, Drama, Beach Drama, Music 72 minutes
  • Cast: Maya Briller, Ahren Buhmann, Mel Cafe
  • Writer, Director, and Producer: Erik Hammen
  • Recently Screened At: Seattle International Film Festival, Bellingham Music Festival

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Best and Most Beautiful Things

Michelle Smith is a legally blind young adult affected by Asperger’s syndrome.

She is also unusually thoughtful and intelligent, and lives under the care of a supportive mother who sends her to a renowned school for the blind. Michelle thus faces both daunting challenges and great expectations. This sensitive doc by Garret Zevgetis follows Michelle as she deals with her unique place in the world in ways that are often daring, shocking, capricious, and funny. Though it is one extraordinary young woman’s story, the film’s lessons about the importance of both testing limits and coming to terms with them are universal.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 4:00pm – Delta College Planetarium, and Sunday, 9/25 @ 4:30pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Documentary, 91 minutes
  • Cast: Michelle Smith and family
  • Director: Garrett Zevgetis
  • Producer: Ariana Garfinkel, Jeff Consiglio, Garret Zevgetis, Jordan Salvatoriello
  • Recently Screened At: SXSW (World Premiere), IFFBoston (Special Jury Award), Hot Docs

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Black Mountain Poets

Jamie Adams’ tale of two inept con women posing as superstar poets comes to us from the absurdist fringe of British comedy.

On the run for petty theft, Lisa and Claire have a chance encounter in the wilderness with the famous Wilding sisters. They end up stealing the sisters’ car along with their identities, arriving in their stead as guests of honor at a poets’ retreat in the Black Mountains. There they take turns delivering daft, off-the-cuff verse and competing for the attention of hunky poet Richard. If you love the improvisational humor of The Office and the dysfunctional train-wreck humor of Absolutely Fabulous, this one’s for you.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 2:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room, and Sunday, 9/25 @ 2:00pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Drama, Comedy, Romance 90 minutes
  • Cast: Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells, Tom Cullen
  • Writer & Director: Jamie Adams
  • Producer: Jon Rennie
  • Recently Screened At: Edinburgh International Film Festival, SXSW

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Borealis


Jonah’s gambling habit has left him with a massive debt and a gift for deception.

He lies compulsively to his creditors, his long-suffering girlfriend, and his teenage daughter Aurora. Rather than confront Aurora with the growing seriousness of her vision disorder, he persuades her to skip town with him on a road trip to see the Northern Lights. Jonah’s on the lam from his bumbling loan sharks, from Aurora’s diagnosis, maybe even from himself. Producer/writer/star Jonas Chernick applies a light comic touch as Jonah tries to make it to the Borealis while regaining his daughter’s trust and saving his own skin.

  • Showtime(s): Sunday, 9/25 @ 7:00pm – State Theatre
  • Narrative, Drama, 95 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Feature Film, Screenplay, Actress (Joey King), Supporting Actor (Kevin Pollak)
  • Cast: Jonas Chernick, Joey King, Kevin Pollak
  • Director: Sean Garrity
  • Producer: James Fler, Mark Gingras, Erla Glesby, Andrew Hunt, Phyllis Laing, Michael Paszt, Kevin Pollak, Jonas Chernik, Liz Jarvis
  • Writer: Jonas Chernick

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Cheerleader

Films about the cliquish world of high school girls typically veer toward an attitude of bemused detachment.

They rarely try to get inside their subjects’ heads, which are assumed to be unburdened by deep thoughts. Watching Irving Franco’s Cheerleader is like reading the homecoming queen’s diary. There are moments of vacuity and narcissism but also of pain, longing, and insight, as cheerleader Mickey seeks to make her boyfriend jealous by getting with the school’s notoriously nerdy nice guy.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 6:00pm – State Theatre, and Sunday 9/25 @ 12:00pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Drama, Romance, 69 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Cinematography & Screenplay
  • Cast: Catherine Blades, Chris Bert, Rachel Beyda
  • Writer & Director: Irving Franco
  • Producer: Nathan Marcus
  • Recently Screened At: Florida Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival

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Chicago Rot

After years of rotting in Joliet, Les, a wrongfully imprisoned street legend known as “The Ghoul,” is released into a mad search through Chicago’s back alleys for the man who slaughtered his mother and robbed him of his soul.

Aided by enigmatic benefactors, he must delve beneath the city into a modern labyrinth of gutters whose tendrils have grown deep while he was gone. What unfolds is a desperate tale of brute force tragedy set in the supernatural underworld of Chicago, where heroes are reduced to horror-shows, villains dream of their own demise, and good and evil prove to be antiquated concepts.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday, 9/24 @ 8:30pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Drama, 103 minutes
  • Cast: Brant McCrea, Shira Barber, Dave Cartwright Jeremy Vranich, Jojo Baby
  • Director: Dorian Wieinzimmer
  • Producer: Jeremy Vranich
  • Writers: Dorian Wieinzimmer, Brant McCrea
  • Recently Screened At: FilmQuest (World Premiere)

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Claire in Motion

“If a tree falls in the forest …” Any kid can complete the old thought experiment.

When Claire’s husband Paul takes a routine hike in a routine forest and doesn’t return, she’s faced with a more troubling conundrum: do even our closest loved ones exist when we don’t see them? Paul’s disappearance reveals a world of his that Claire never knew, much of it centered on a charismatic young artist named Alison. As Claire and her pre-teen son Connor seek clues to Paul’s whereabouts, the mystery of what became of him is overtaken by that of who he was. Bay City native Betsy Brandt stars in this affecting drama co-directed by Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday, 9/24 @ 8:30pm – State Theatre
  • Narrative, Drama, Suspense, 80 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Actress (Betsy Brandt) & Best Supporting Actress (Anna Margaret Hollyman)
  • Cast: Betsy Brandt, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Zev Havworth, Chris Beetem, Sakina Jaffrey
  • Co-Writers, Co-Directors, Producers: Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell
  • Recently Screened At: SXSW (World Premier), Seattle International Film Festival

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Creedmoria

This coming-of-age story set in Queens, New York, in the 1980s follows Candy, a waifish teen who hides her vulnerability behind a veneer of toughness.

She’s got a job at the local burger joint and a boyfriend with bedroom eyes and an Elvis sneer. It has all the makings of a John Hughes comedy, except for Candy’s abusive mother, her two troubled brothers (one sexually confused, the other institutionalized), and the collection of psychiatric patients who roam Candy’s neighborhood like town criers. A retro romp with a modern twist from writer-director Alicia Slimmer.

  • Showtime(s): Thursday, 9/22 @ 7:00pm – State Theatre
  • Narrative, Comedy, 90 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Feature Film, Soundtrack, Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Ryan Weldon)
  • Cast: Stef Dawson, Rachel de Benedet, Ray Abruzzo, Steve Cavanaugh, James Kelley, Ryan A. Weldon, PJ Brown
  • Writer, Director, & Producer: Alicia Slimmer
  • Recently Screened At: Brooklyn Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Dances with Films

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Delinquent

Like a lot of teenage boys, Joey worships his father, Rich, who happens to be a career criminal.

Joey yearns to follow in his dad’s footsteps, so he’s thrilled when Rich invites him to serve as lookout for the crew on a heist. Things go very wrong, leaving Joey burdened by guilt and paranoia. As the cops close in and the criminals begin to break ranks, Joey is torn between loyalty to his father and a desperate need to cleanse his conscience. Kieran Valla’s haunting crime drama features a standout performance by up-and-comer Alex Shaffer as Joey.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 8:00pm – State Theatre, and Saturday 9/24 @ 2:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Narrative, Drama, Suspense, 97 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Feature Film, Cinematography, Best Actor (Alex Shaffer), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Dillon)
  • Cast: Kim Director, Erin Darke, Bill Sage, Alex Shaffer
  • Director: Kieran Valla
  • Producer: Daniel Marks, Levi Smock, Alvaro Baquero Benedetti, Kieran Valla
  • Writers: Levi Smock & Kieran Valla
  • Recently Screened At: Brooklyn Film Festival (Best Actor, Best Narrative Feature)

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Donald Cried

With sudden passing of his grandmother, Peter Latang returns to his hometown and encounters his long lost, childhood friend, Donald Treebeck.

What begins as a simple favor, turns into a long van ride into their past.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 4:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room, and Sunday, 9/25 @ 4:30pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Dark Comedy, 85 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Feature Film & Best Actor (Kris Avedisian)
  • Cast: Jesse Wakeman, Kristopher Avedisian, Louisa Krause
  • Writer & Director: Kristopher Avedisian
  • Producer: Kyle Martin, Sam Fleischner, Allison Carter, Matt Anthony, Steve Skoly, Sean Lamb, Jesse Wakeman, Kyle Espeleta, Kris Avedisian
  • Recently Screened At: SXSW, Sidewalk Film Festival, Rooftop Films NYC

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Gutboy: A Badtime Story

In a fairy tale world of ugly puppets, a mermaid and a policeman’s daughter wrestle for the affection of a skinless fisherman and for the skin the girls have traded since birth.

Along the way strings get tangled and brains get swapped till no one’s sure who’s who. There’s a lot of wrestling in Gutboy, and more people get skinned in a day than Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs skinned in a whole week. There’s also a prostitute chorus, an alarmingly fecund hag, a cannibalism scene more joyous than anything this side of Romero, and much more. Someday scholars will debate whether the collective fates of Plop the clerk, Kug the cop, and Besto the capitalist anticipated the decline of the Western security-industrial complex. For now, as long as films like this one continue to be made the world will be okay.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 10:15pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Narrative, Dark Comedy, 71 minutes
  • Cast: Will Cooper, Megan Daniels, Dan Fenaughty, Misty Foster, Anthony Herrera, David Homyk, Nick Reed, Pearl Rhein, and Marybeth Schroeder
  • Writer & Director: Nick Grant
  • Producer: Gabe Grant

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The Hollywood Shorties

The prospect of little people playing professional basketball might seem a tad oxymoronic.

But in the 1980s a group of 4’9”-and-under Hollywood actors scored a gig entertaining crowds at Lakers halftime shows with their hoop skills. At first it was a lark, with the Shorties’ bouts against the Lakers cheerleaders punctuated by interludes of naughty hijinks. But a lot of these guys had game, and soon the team faced a crisis of identity: were they athletes or entertainers? Ryan Steven Green’s stellar doc chronicles a group struggling to reach its full potential and to be taken seriously by a society grappling with its own representations of difference.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday, 9/24 @ 6:30pm – State Theatre
  • Documentary, 85 minutes
  • Cast: Tony Cox, Martin Klebba, Jimmy Briscoe
  • Writer & Director: Ryan Steven Greene
  • Producer: Ryan Steven Greene & Craig Evans
  • Recently Screened At: SXSW, SF Doc Fest, Little People of America National Conference

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Mad

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What happens if sibling rivalry escalates right into adulthood, even as the siblings are expected to take responsibility for an aging and troubled parent?

They lock her up in a psych ward, as sisters Casey and Connie do to their mother Mel. Casey is an underemployed loner who trolls the local bars for sleeping partners. Connie has a job and family but is equally messed up, as a work scandal threatens to land her in jail. And Mel’s recent suicide attempt betrays a plea for attention from her self-involved daughters. Robert Putka’s dark comedy-drama rides on the question of whether its three principals can reach some rapprochement before killing each other.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 6:00pm – Delta College Planetarium, and Sunday, 9/25 @ 2:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Narrative, Drama, 83 minutes
  • Cast: Jennifer Lafleur, Maryann Plunkett, Eilis Cahill, Mark Reeb
  • Writer and Director: Robert G. Putka
  • Producer: Mark Reeb, Kevin J. Hughes, Mike Blanchard, Robert G. Putka, Joe Battaglia, Ellis Cahill
  • Recently Screened At: Slamdance (World Premier), Boston Underground Film Festival

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Neptune

Hannah is an orphan raised by a devoted, domineering priest on a small island off the coast of Maine.

She seems destined for a life of religious service until she witnesses the sudden, senseless drowning of a classmate, testing her faith and jarring her sense of self. As summer approaches Hannah seeks work and solace with the dead boy’s fisherman father, Herb, who helps Hannah cut loose from her parochial moorings and introduces her to the life of the sea. Derek Kimball’s somber and dreamlike debut recalls the early Terrence Malick, with a revelatory lead performance by Jane Ackermann as Hannah.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday, 9/24 @ 12:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room, and Sunday, 9/25 @ 4:30pm – State Theatre
  • Narrative, Drama 101 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nominations: Best Feature Film, Cinematography, Actress: (Jane Ackermann)
  • Cast: Jane Ackermann, William McDonough, Tony Reilly
  • Director: Derek Kimball
  • Producer: Derek Kimball, Matthew Konkel, Alan Baldwin
  • Writer: Matthew Konkel, Derek Kimball, Matt Brown, Douglas Milliken
  • Recently Screened At: Slamdance, Atlanta Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival

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Operator

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Tech geek Joe Larsen thinks anything can be quantified, even feelings.

When his company is hired to program the ultimate customer service bot, they bring Joe’s emotionally intelligent girlfriend Emily in to do the voice acting. Joe sets about coding what is most comforting in Emily’s voice and manner, and soon finds himself relying on his digitally-distilled cyborg Emily to soothe his panic attacks and provide him with companionship. Logan Kibens’ comedy follows Spike Jonze’s Her and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina in subtly exploring the dynamics of intimacy in a cybernetic age.

  • Showtime(s): Saturday 9/24 @ 6:30pm – Delta College Planetarium
  • Narrative, Comedy, Drama, 90 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Christine Lahti)
  • Cast: Martin Starr, Mae Whitman, Nat Faxon, Cameron Esposito, Retta, Christine Lahti
  • Director: Logan Kibens
  • Producer: Aaron Cruze, Logan Kibens
  • Writers: Logan Kibens, Sharon Greene
  • Recently Screened At: SXSW, Traverse City Film Festival, Bentonville Film Festival

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Tear Me Apart

British director Alex Lightman’s first feature is a dystopian fantasy with Biblical and primordial echoes.

In the aftermath of some unnamed apocalypse, in a near deserted coastal landscape, two brothers forage for food and await the return of their long absent father. Their traps and fishing lines empty, one brother resorts to killing and cannibalizing any man they happen upon. Into their midst wanders a young woman, perhaps the last on Earth, also seeking her father. Around this orphaned and limboed triad, this dramatic set piece opens onto foundational questions of sexual desire, fraternal love, taboo, and survival.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 8:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Narrative, Romantic Horror, 85 minutes
  • Cast: Alfie Stewart, Frazer Alexander, Jennie Eggleton
  • Director: Alex Lightman
  • Producer: Alex Lightman, Tom Kerevan, Ern Herrmann
  • Writer: Tom Kerevan
  • Recently Screened At: Austin Film Festival, Raveena Nightmare Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Bronx International Film Festival

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Who Is Lydia Loveless?

Lydia Loveless is a rock and roll prodigy from Columbus, Ohio, who began making records and touring when she was barely out of her teens.

With her tiny frame and her voice as big as all outdoors, she’s assembled a band of veteran musicians whom she leads with confidence and charisma despite her relative youth. Gormen Bachard’s film combines interview and performance footage to give insight into the exacting creative process of a musical savant. It also goes beyond the typical music documentary in asking how great music continues to be made at a time when traditional mechanisms of music sales and marketing have collapsed.

  • Showtime(s): Sunday, 9/25 @ 2:00pm – State Theatre
  • Documentary, Music, 108 minutes
  • Cast: Lydia Loveless, Todd May, Benjamin Lamb, Jay Gasper, George Hondroulis, Joe Viers
  • Director: Gorman Bechard
  • Producer: Gorman Bechard, Colleen McQuaid
  • Recently Screened At: IFFBoston, NHDocs

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Yallah! Underground

Across the Arab world a loose network of young musicians combines traditional Arabic music with rock, rap, and electronic sounds, evading both the orthodoxies of the older generation and the bland internationalism of mass culture.

Farid Eslam’s documentary surveys some of the Arab underground’s most powerful musicians and gives voice to their social and political aspirations. It follows the musicians through the years leading up to and following the Arab Spring, as their naïve hopes for democracy and freedom give way to the realities of theocracy and sectarianism.

  • Showtime(s): Friday, 9/23 @ 6:00pm – Masonic Temple Red Room
  • Documentary, Music, 85 minutes
  • HHM Jury Nomination: Best Soundtrack
  • Cast: Zeid Hamdan, Mali Waleed Yassin, Walaa Sbait, Karim Adel Eissa, Ibrahim Farouk, Mayaline Hage
  • Writer & Director: Farid Eslam
  • Producer: Farid Eslam, Dana S. Wilson, Dina Harb, Jeffrey Brown
  • Recently Screened At: Munich International Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Filmfest München, San Francisco Independent Film Festival

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MICHIGAN SHORTS:
Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 10:30am
Delta College Planetarium

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Immerse

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Let the natural light and sounds take you on a journey through five Italian cities.
  • Documentary, Local, Student 8 minutes
  • Writer, Director & Producer: Patrick Mallett

Painting Pilfinger

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A forgotten hero searches for salvation through a friend who may or may not be real, as an unlikely relationship with a stray dog blossoms into a chance to rediscover purpose in a painting of his mysterious companion.

But newfound hope may have painful consequences.

  • Narrative, Drama, Local, 12 minutes
  • Cast: Bradley Silvius
  • Writer & Director: Bradley Silvius
  • Producers: Martin Faber, Raquel de Paula Silvius
  • Recently Screened At: Made-in-Michigan Film Festival (Best Original Score), Best Shorts Competition (Award of Merit), The IndieFEST Film Awards (Award of Recognition)

Pucker Up

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Frank Maxwell, a lazy call center employee, has coasted through his entire career.

When a new boss steps into the picture, Frank tries to do all he can to make his new boss like him, even if that means going to the extremes.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Local, Student, Delta College Film Capstone, 8 minutes

Natasha

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A teen is misunderstood by everyone.

At least he has Natasha.

  • Narrative, Drama, Local, Student, Delta College Film Capstone, 8 minutes

Crook’d

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Career criminals Loretta & Harold think they’ve hit the jackpot at large home in the dead of winter until Jackson shows up looking for his aunt.

Loretta assumes her identity, but there may be more to the story in this whimsical film about deception.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Local, Student, 16 minutes
  • Cast: Ben Reitemeier, Danielle Cohn, Michael Hartung
  • Writer & Director: Jules Washabaugh
  • Producer: Will O’Donnell

Morbus

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The inception of a virus from the bacterium of deep sea creatures is released among the public which transforms them into the living dead.
  • Narrative, Horror, Local 2 minutes
  • Director: William Mosqueda

The Scorpion Tail

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Daughter of a crime family takes matters into her own hands in this Film Noir thriller.
  • Narrative, Drama, Local, 6 minutes
  • Cast: Taylor Swaim, Ashton Grobbel, Luna Alexander, Claudia Marsh, Bob Moyer
  • Director: Sterling Adgate
  • Writer: Ron Belleville, Bob Colman, Taylor Swaim
  • Producer: Daniel Belleville

The Quiz

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A cultured couple foolishly decides to take a relationship quiz on their honeymoon.
  • Narrative, Comedy, Local 8 minutes
  • Cast: Alex Alexandrou, Charly Bivona, Robert William Ford
  • Director: Joshua Courtade
  • Writers: Joshua Courtade, Jason Lowe
  • Producer: Tom Greenberg

SHORTS PROGRAM 1:
Friday, Sept. 23 @ 2:00pm
Delta College Planetarium

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My Luchador

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The Mexican wrestlers known as luchadors only remove their masks in defeat.

The one in Shea Sizemore’s touching comic short still wears his mask even though he’s aged out of the ring and into an office job. A cubicle’s no place for a luchador, but with the help of his loving wife he might just get back out on the mat.

  • Narrative, Drama, 13 minutes
  • Cast: Cedric Guthrie, Rachel Jefferys, Aaron Chavis, H. Blake Edwars
  • Writer & Director: Shea Sizemore
  • Producer: Chip White
  • Recently Screened At: Pensacon Short Film Festival (Best in Show), North Carolina Film Awards (Founders Award), Myrtle Beach International Film Festival (Best Short)

Rotatio

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One of art’s great gifts is its power to help us move past (or better, through) our traumas.

Among painstaking ticks of a Sharpie marker, artist Shannon May McKenzie hides and reveals details of a critical life event in this cathartic performance filmed by Ian McClerin.

  • Documentary, 4 minutes
  • Cast: Shannon May Mackenzie
  • Directors: Ian McClerin, Shannon May Mackenzie
  • Recently Screened At: Slamdance, AFI Docs, Indie Grits, Florida Film Festival


The Border

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In the wake of global chemical warfare, a military fortress in Northern England serves as a last bastion of civilization.

Snipers kill outsiders to protect the stronghold from a mysterious virus transmitted by contact. But when Captain Thomas meets a familiar face at the border he is led to question the whole scenario.

  • Narrative, Drama, 23 minutes
  • Cast: Matt Hyde
  • Writer & Director: Norman Tamkivi
  • Producer: Alessandro Wingfield
  • Recently Screened At: Los Angeles CineFest, GoldenSun Short Film Festival (Best Drama)

Tampoon

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Cultural critic Camille Paglia contends that men spend their whole lives struggling to emerge fully from the chthonian abyss that is woman.

Sean might well agree after an overactive tampon in Miranda’s vajayjay reels him in like a 30-pound walleye.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Student, 7 minutes
  • Cast: Alexandra August, JJ Dunlap
  • Director & Producer: Jeanne Jo
  • Writers: Jeanne Jo, Nick Musurca
  • Recently Screened At: Slamdance, Hollywood Comedy Short Film Festival, Another Hole in the Head (Best US Short)

The Disappearance of Willie Bingham

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Good news: it’s the future, and Australia in its infinite humanity has abolished the death penalty.

Bad news: instead those convicted of capital crimes must give an arm and a leg, and then some. The “disappearance” of the title is literal in Matthew Richards’ film about a man who’s not what he used to be.

  • Narrative, Drama, 13 minutes
  • Cast: Greg Fryer, Kevin Dee
  • Director: Matthew Richards
  • Writer: Michael Fawcett
  • Producer: Brendan Guerin
  • Recently Screened At: Melbourne International Film Festival, Fantasia Internation Festival, Grossman Fantastic Film and Wine Festival (Best Short)


C.T.R.L.

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Being a character in someone else’s video game could get tiresome very quickly, but if you’re paired up properly with a potential love interest it could also be a lot of fun.

Watch Sophie and Tom losing control and loving it in this delightful short from U.K. filmmaker Mariana Conde.

  • Narrative, Sci-Fi, Dance, 3 minutes
  • Cast: Helena Dowling, Matthew Biancheri, Jack Everson, Moe Bargahi
  • Director: Mariana Conde
  • Writers: Mariana Conde, Stuart Grant, Donna Mabey
  • Producer: Donna Mabey, Stuart Grant
  • Recently Screened At: Rincon International Film Festival (World Premiere), LA Femme Film Festival (Honourable Mention in Shorts), Los Angeles Spotlight Film Festival (Best Music Video)

I Wanna Be in All Your Movies

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Aaron and Joey are on hiatus again.

Joey’s served as muse and co-star of Aaron’s short films through the course of their mercurial romance. Now Aaron’s demoted her to a bit part in his first feature. This making-of film with a love story subplot asks if these two will rebound and finally take leading roles in each other’s lives.

  • Documentary, Romantic Comedy, Comedy, 15 minutes
  • Cast: Joey and Aaron
  • Director & Producer: Josh Freed
  • Recently Screened At: The Film Shop: Breakthrough Series

Something to Say

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Chances are that on any given night somewhere in the world there’s a great rock band playing its last gig.

Hugs are shared, tears are shed, and petty grudges are set aside as the band lays into its first licks. From this film’s opening shot of a lone guitarist sitting on an amp outside the graffiti-scarred entrance of a Madrid club, you can tell it’s going to be one of those nights.

  • Narrative, Foreign Language, Spain, 17 minutes
  • Cast: Tony Moreno, Lluvia Rojo, Fran Panadero, Edu Molina, Javier Mediavilla
  • Writer & Director: José Ángel Lázaro
  • Producer: Mario Madueño, José Ángel Lázaro, Sara Rollón
  • Recently Screened At: Spanish Short Film Festival, Silicon Valley Film Festival

The Urge 2: It Lies Within

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The vampire never really has a chance in this one.

Maybe it’s the townspeople’s faith that does him in, or his habit of passing gas right before he takes his meals, or the fact that small animals are strangely attracted to his buttocks. Whatever it is, by the end of Chris Angus’s animated short you’ll almost feel sorry for the old bloodsucker.

  • Narrative, Animation, 8 minutes
  • Writer, Director, & Producer: Christopher Angus
  • Recently Screened At: International Film Festival (International Award of Excellence), New Animation International Film Festival (Best Animator), Independent Horro Movie Awards (Best Humor)

SHORTS PROGRAM 2:
Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 4:00pm
State Theatre

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Dog Days

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It’s a hot summer night by a lonesome reservoir in London.

A man and a woman stroll past one another and exchange pleasantries. The water looks inviting – will these two strangers take the plunge? George Taylor’s gorgeous film is steamy and refreshing all at once.

  • Narrative, Romance 12 minutes
  • Cast: Melanie Gray, Ivanno Jeremiah
  • Writer & Director: George Taylor
  • Producer: Will Willson
  • Recently Screened At: London Short Film Festival, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival


Susie Sunshine

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Smart girls are electric and sexy girls are fiery, but nice girls just exude sunshine.

That may sound like a slogan from an old etiquette film, but in this futuristic fantasy from Chelsea O’Connor it’s the formula for success of a ruthless corporation that’s figured out how to harness women’s powers until they burn out. But Susie’s got other ideas.

  • Narrative, Drama, Sci-Fi 18 minutes
  • Cast: Jessica Howell, Melisa Marie Elias, Jeff Corbett, Geoffrey Wade
  • Writer & Director: Chelsea O’Connor
  • Producer: Chelsea O’Connor, Elizabeth Engle, Jessica Howell, Marisa Ruby
  • Recently Screened At: Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival (World Premiere, Best Narrative Short), Sarasota Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival


Killer Friends

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Why do we let irritating people into our lives? And having done so, how do we remove them?

We can drop hints till we’re blue in the face, but they keep coming back like the Terminator. Sometimes there’s only one solution, as a group of friends decide in this darkly comic short from Zach Noe Towers and Tina Carbone.

  • Narrative, Comedy, 11 minutes
  • Cast: Zach Noe Towers, Dave Racki, Jenna-Lee Carreiro, Peggy Sinnott
  • Directors: Zach Noe Towers, Tina Carbone
  • Writer: Zach Noe Towers
  • Producer: Tina Carbone, Jenna-Lee Carreiro, Zach Noe Towers
  • Recently Screened At: St. Louis International Film Festival, Dances with Films, Cleavland International Film Festival


Hum

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Some of us may look forward to a life of labor-free automation, but what about the robots?

In this charming Pixaresque short from animator Tom Teller, a robot assembled from industrial detritus is liberated from a life of dishwashing drudgery with the help of a friendly hummingbird.

  • Narrative, Animation, Student, 9 minutes
  • Cast: Adam Della Maggiora, Brodin Plett, Jackie! Zhou
  • Writer & Director: Tom Teller
  • Producer: Tom Teller, Logan Day
  • Recently Screened At: LA Shorts Fest, BendFilm Festival, Athens Animfest

Boy Toys

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What healthy American child doesn’t enjoy torturing her dolls?

Dolls are among the few groups in our society that don’t enjoy basic rights. Carson and Ken are about to learn it the hard way in this comedy from Canada via the Twilight Zone.

  • Narrative, Comedy, 6 minutes
  • Cast: Annika Elyse Irving, Brock Couch, Stefan J. Blab, Dylann Bobei
  • Writer, Director, & Producer: Trevor Kristjanson
  • Recently Screened At: REEL PRIDE Film Festival (Audience Choice Award), Shart International Comedy Film Festival (People’s Choice Award), Fargo Film Festival

Canary

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A shady young couple strolls into Midge’s gas station in the Pennsylvania coal country.

They take a liking to her knickknacks, her paintings, and her pet canary. Later, Midge finds the bird deceased, and when she ventures out to dispose of its carcass she discovers it’s not just canaries that get caged in this neck of the woods.

  • Narrative, Drama, Thriller, 11 minutes
  • Cast: Catherine Curtin, Patrick Murney, Izzie Steele
  • Director: Marie Schlingmann
  • Writers: Marie Schlingmann, Samantha Buck
  • Producers: Samantha Buck, Laura Heberton
  • Recently Screened At: IFFBoston, Montclair Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival


Alzheimer’s: A Love Story

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Greg was a charming and talented gentleman when he was struck by Alzheimer’s.

In this sensitive portrait we watch as Michael, Greg’s partner of four decades, struggles to connect with Greg in the face of this tragic disease and to assure that Greg’s final days are redeemed by an awareness of Michael’s undying love.

  • Documentary, 16 minutes
  • Cast: Michael Horvich, Gregory Maire
  • Directors: Gabe Schimmel, Monica Petruzzelli
  • Producer: Amanda Le
  • Writers: Michael Horvich, Gabe Schimmel
  • Recently Screened At: Rhode Island International Film Festival (World Premiere, First Place Alternate Spirit, Best GLBTQ Short), Outfest LGBT Film Festival, Humboldt Film Festival (People’s Choice & Best Documentary)


The Life and Times of Tom Thumb

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A rags-to-riches story centered on a guy with a giant thumb for a head, featuring Chinese finger traps, penile extensions, Taxi Driver monologues, and an emotional arc running from hope to desperation to redemption in 12 minutes flat.

Filmmaker Ryan Fox shows what can be accomplished with a thumb-shaped mask, a tiny crew, and an outsized gift for comic absurdity.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Student, 12 minutes
  • Cast: Sam Radue, Tim Higgings, Bobby Ciraldo
  • Writer, Director, & Producer: Ryan Fox
  • Recently Screened At: Los Angeles Short Film Festival, Boston Underground Film Festival, Milwaukee Twisted Dreams Film Festival

SHORTS PROGRAM 3:
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Masonic Temple Red Room

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Anglers

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Fly fishing and serial killing don’t seem like professions that call for similar skill sets, but who knows?

Take a little film with the beauty and grace of A River Runs through It, throw in a bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and you might arrive at something like this sly French short.

  • Narrative, Drama, Suspense, Foreign Language, France, 12 minutes
  • Cast: David D’Ingeo, Simon Boutin, Roman Villedieu
  • Writer, Director, & Producer: Yoann Garel

This Is How I Want to Remember H.E.R.

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A young black boy is given a different kind of education when his cousin from the inner city moves in with his suburban family.
  • Narrative, Short, 26 minutes
  • Writer, Director: Kali Baker-Johnson
  • Producer: Shannon Losinski
  • Cast: Jabree Webber, Alexander Shulman, Khairi Christopher

Rye Manhattan

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Emile should have chosen a bar with a more distinctive name, maybe “Semolina” or “Pumpernickel.”

As he waits for his date at the Rye Tavern and calms his nerves with Jack Daniels and onion rings, an exchange of texts sends him on a chaotic footrace through Brooklyn.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Romantic Comedy, 7 minutes
  • Cast: Matt Cohen, Stacie Capone, Abby Holland
  • Director: Michael Goldburg
  • Writers & Producers: Michael Goldburg, Dave Chan
  • Recently Screened At: Iron Mule Film Festival (Audience Award – Best Film), Middle Coast Film Festival, Long Island International Film Expo


The Curator

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After an injury dashed Clyde Doepner’s dreams of playing Major League baseball, fate brought him in contact with the Minnesota Twins owner, who hired him as the League’s first full-time curator.

That was four decades ago and Clyde’s still at it. In Andrew Putschoegl’s doc, Clyde shares some of the treasures he’s collected along with his reflections on the game he loves.

  • Documentary, 12 minutes
  • Cast: Clyde Doepner
  • Director & Producer: Andrew Putschoegl
  • Recently Screened At: Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival


Aftermath

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A young woman wakes up alone with a hangover in a strange apartment.

There’s a vinyl of Beat Happening’s Jamboree, which is always a good sign. When a man arrives back with breakfast, conversation moves from awkward small talk to what happened the previous night and whether it matters. This short from German director Ralf Beyerle broaches big questions with a light comic touch.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Foreign Language, Germany, 10 minutes
  • Cast: Iris Becher, Sebastian Schwarz
  • Writer, Director & Producer: Ralf Beyerle
  • Recently Screened At: Beeston Film Festival (World Premiere, Best Comedy), Los Angeles CineFest, “Der phantastische Trashfilm” Festival (Winner Audience Choice Award)

Omma

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There’s no love like a mother’s love. Some children starve for lack of it.

But what of the mother who’s abandoned by her child? In John Sanvidge’s somber and understated film, Miss Su languishes for the boy who called her “omma,” which is Korean for “mom.”

  • Narrative, Drama, 9 minutes
  • Cast: Chujo Seo
  • Writer, Director, and Producer: John Sanvidge
  • Recently Screened At: One-Reeler Short Film Competition (Award of Merit)


Tongue Stabs Cheek

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Hobo prophets deliver soliloquies of love and death with Shakespearean grandeur.

God rolls his dice in a shack on the edge of town where fish heads hang from the rafters and a metronome marks time and an old TV set dances with snow. In this one anything can happen, and it frequently does.


The Magician

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This magician can’t saw a lady in half but he can toss a sword in the air and split open her gown.

He can’t pull flowers from a hat but he can make them emerge from a knight’s nose. He’s a conjurer, like every magician going back to the medieval wizards, like the artist who conjures a rich world from layers of 2-D figures in this extraordinary animated short.

  • Narrative, Animation, Fantasy, Music, 8 minutes
  • Animator, Director: Thom Lu
  • Original Music, Producer: Andrew Rubin
  • Writers: Andrew Rubin, Thom Lu
  • Recently Screened At: Los Angeles Cinefest, Phoenix Comicon (Best Animated Film), Sidewalk Film Festival

Kaddish!

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Chance meetings at highway rest stops never go well in the movies.

This one involves a happy-go-lucky black Jew and a murderous neo-Nazi psychopath. Things look grim until a stroke of old-fashioned mysticism crosses us over into George Romero territory in this enchanting comedy-horror musical from France.

  • Narrative, Comedy, Horror, Foreign Language, France, 6 minutes
  • Cast: Steve Achiepo, Alexandre Pivette
  • Writer & Director: Emeline Castandeda
  • Recently Screened At: Motor City Nightmares, Silver Scream Fest (Best Musical), Berlin Short Film Festival