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Slate of Films
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Captured on a camera phone as it happens, FATHER UNKNOWN is the true story of a man’s struggle to face the emptiness he carries inside. Disconnected from the people closest to him and haunted by the secrecy in his family, he records his desperate search for connection on a journey with the father he's never truly known.
Director: David Quint. 70 minutes. [Documentary]
Small Town Wisconsin [Sneak Peek]
Perpetual teenager Wayne Stobierski whisks his son away on one last father-son road trip after losing a custody battle. All of Wayne’s plans go comically and tragically wrong, but somehow in the process the trip transforms into a journey of heartfelt redemption. [Adult Language]
Director: Niels Mueller. 105 minutes. [Narrative]
Young Ivy accompanies her mother on a road-trip to find her teenage sister Heather who has suddenly disappeared from their community. More than a story about loss, it's the story of a mother and daughter learning how to love and care for each other under painful circumstances.
Director: Sonia Bonspille Boileau. 102 minutes. [Narrative]
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS
Fraser Syndrome & Me
At the time of her birth, filmmaker Kyle Anne Grendys was only the 75th person to be born with the rare, recessive gene disorder called Fraser Syndrome. Having always felt alone in the world, she sets out on a journey to find her community and finally meets others just like her.
Director: Kyle Anne Grendys. 20 minutes.
I am a Chef
A soliloquy made up of quotes from chefs when they have talked candidly about their chosen profession. A job full of triumphs and trials. A job which is often viewed to be one of glamour and gastronomical delights. However, more often than not, this isn’t how it is. Voiced by Paul McGann and Sue Perkins.
Director: James Reford. 7 minutes.
Just Keep Swimming
Since 1946, scientists from the University of Washington's Alaska Salmon Program have spent every summer in Bristol Bay, Alaska, studying the largest, healthiest, and most valuable salmon fishery in the world. Their story illustrates how academia and industry can work together to manage our natural resources.
Director: Patrick Rynne. 12 minutes.
The Kaleidoscope Guy at the Market
Artist Michael Shaw, also known as "The Kaleidoscope Guy at the Market," has been selling his unique stained-glass creations at Pike's Place Market in Seattle for 25 years. This documentary delves into a deeper dialogue about these fascinating objects and their universal appeal to the human imagination.
Director: Russell Brown. 21 minutes.
ANIMATED SHORT FILMS
A CG animated film featuring an alien who is ostracized due to his differences, but eventually learns how his uniqueness uplifts himself and those around him.
Director: Nicole Yoshinaga. 5 minutes.
Dispatches from the Vietnam War: Beer, Bunkers and Typewriters
'Dispatches from the Vietnam War: Beer, Bunkers and Typewriters' is a short animated documentary that follows the surreal and existential journey of a young soldier entering war for the first time.
Director: Keith Lane. 5 minutes.
Irritable Ball Syndrome
A scientist tries to infuse life into a ball and learns how to roll with what life zaps at him.
Director: Brady Glover. 6 minutes.
Mni Wiconi: Water is Life
A short film on the environment and how the fossil fuel industry is affecting climate change. It’s a black and white hand-drawn film dedicated to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dakota Territory. The main theme is about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The intention of the film is to create social awareness regarding contamination of natural resources.
Director: Miguel Antonio Genz. 3 minutes.
A short animation about life, birth, nature, and industry.
Director: Stephan Larson. 5 minutes.
An end of days animated comedy about an amorous cricket and a starving hedgehog who wants to eat the last cricket left in the world.
Director: James Cunningham. 6 minutes.
Tyler Nix, Monster Child
Monster children Tyler Nix and Stephanie Phix face off to win control over their particular scholastic empire.
Director: Amy Neswald. 5 minutes.
EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILMS
Public restrooms are a terrifying fourth dimension, and urinals are archaic. Don't believe us? A picture is worth a thousand words.
Director: Daniel Bergeson. 7 minutes.
Of Memories and Madness
The inner voice journey of a brokenhearted man as his triggered memories of a past love slowly make him delve into a soul-crushing madness for longing and the acceptance to close that chapter and move on.
Director: Maria de la Ossa. 7 minutes.
NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
A Very Merry Eggstravaganza!!
A pair of plush penguins must try and save their baby while being chased by a vicious dog that rips apart anything that squeaks.
Director: Brian Michael. 6 minutes.
Age of Bryce
Smothered by an adoring, over-protective mom, 12-year-old Bryce Yancy Paul (Bip) is pushed to the brink of pubescent revolution. It’s time to ripen. Bloom. Break the shackles of parental paranoia. It’s the Age of Bryce. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
Director: David Feagan, Brian Elliott. 10 minutes.
Nestled between a beautiful lake and the Himalayas, Ashmina, 13, lives with her family at the outskirts of Pokhara Nepal, paragliding capital of the world. Forced to skip school, Ashmina helps her family make ends meet by working at the landing field, packing the parachutes of foreign pilots in return of small change.
Director: Dekel Berenson. 15 minutes.
Away We Go
The bond between a sister and brother remains strong through all of life's ups and downs.
Director: Owen Royce. 7 minutes.
How strange can blind dates be? Sadie may have found that answer when she learns her date isn't exactly what she was expecting.
Director: Joe Hegle. 8 minutes.
A lonely bounty hunter finds himself in a sticky situation when his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, with a recently kidnapped bounty still in the trunk. [Adult Language]
Director: Jeff Sweeney. 13 minutes.
Course of Nature
Over a round of golf, a naive entrepreneur woos an eccentric millionaire investor to secure funds for his startup—until a secret passion becomes too much to repress. [Adult Content]
Director: McKinley Carlin. 6 minutes.
A father takes his children camping and shares a story about the duende he encountered as a child. When the kids go off to find firewood they discover that their father's story may have been more fact than fiction.
Director: Dewey Noordmans. 10 minutes.
Mackenzie, a public school student, is invited to a homeschool prom by a guy who is more interested in using her as bait to reel in his prized catch—his old girlfriend Ruth.
Director: Garrett Williams. 7 minutes.
For Your Consideration
Three entitled young women meet up at an LA member's only club to make a selection-worthy short film. In an unholy fusion of wokeness and cluelessness, they build a narrative from atop the high perch of their privilege. And piece-by-piece, they almost, almost, almost give a voice to the voiceless — just without ever having any idea what they're talking about. [Adult Language]
Director: Poppy Gordon. 13 minutes.
In 1999 Novato, California, an eight-year-old girl named Jessie is enjoying what little time she has left with her best friend Lucas. The trailer park they live in will be closed, and the whole community will be forced to evacuate as a result of MTBE water contamination. For Jessie, this means facing an unwanted change and learning to say goodbye to that which tethers her to her little pink trailer.
Director: Kyung Sok Kim. 19 minutes.
Nicolas, a pensioner fond of his independence, loses his autonomy following a heart attack. This results in his son Gabriel imposing on him a robot to assist in his daily life. But Gabriel may have made a thoughtless decision…
Director: Janek Tarkowski. 16 minutes.
I Hope They Remember My Name
Struggling with depression, a famous vlogger travels to Asia and documents his search for dopamine. [Adult Language]
Director: Patrick Weiers. 11 minutes.
A young couple pushes the limits of their open marriage until they catch each other breaking their own rules. [Adult Language & Content]
Director: Eddie Shieh. 5 minutes.
Trina wants to tell the man she loves about the invisible illness she hides, but when her imagination gets the best of her, it leads her on a rollercoaster ride of rejection and the worst possible outcomes. Will she give in to her fears or will she face them, and at what cost?
Director: Michelle Bossy. 9 minutes.
In an environment where androids are met with hostility and outrage by human beings, "Kill Al" tells the story of Femtel 216 and Femtel 303, two female synthetic beings confined to work in a sub-basement of an auditing firm. [Adult Language]
Director: Walter Brandes, Renée Stork. 22 minutes.
A dying man with a dark past seeks to repair the relationship with his estranged daughter.
Director: David Mair. 8 minutes.
Maggie Gives a Speech!
After embarrassing herself a year prior, an anxious teenage girl attempts to win a high school speech competition that proves to be far more competitive than she thought.
Director: Ryan A. Contreras. 12 minutes.
A young girl projects herself as the heroic pilot Major Robinson in this short story of childhood imagination and the power of dreaming big.
Director: Andrew Klein. 7 minutes.
Maybe Next Year
It’s a normal birthday for Cassie until a startling discovery has her looking for the truth about the voice that calls to her from her birthday cards.
Director: The Duber Brothers. 7 minutes.
A young superheroine must make a great sacrifice to protect her secret identity when a caring educator takes note of her mysterious injuries and becomes suspicious.
Director: Vanessa M. H. Powers. 8 minutes.
In the 70s in the Deep South, an estranged son is violently reunited with his father against his will.
Director: Nathan Tape. 14 minutes.
It's another office affair – one of thousands. But in Office Song, the inner world of ordinary office workers and their humdrum lives bursts into life with poetry and something greater than the sum of their tedious working day is revealed. [Adult Language & Content]
Director: Marcus Markou. 15 minutes.
Old Media Studies
When a proposal for a New Media Studies major leaves him fearing for the future of the humanities, an English professor jokingly suggests creating an Old Media Studies program. But when his idea attracts the interest of a student who has every reason to turn her back on modern technology, he finds there is only one thing left to do.
Director: Stephan Clark. 13 minutes.
1 Tyrannical Governor.
1 Super Virus.
1 Bowl of Beer Cheese Soup.
Director: Ryan Becken, Brian Turek, Bryan McDonald. 8 minutes.
Out of Stock
In 1973, the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, made a joke that toilet paper was going out of stock. By the next day, stores across the country were completely sold out. This is the story of the first day of the toilet paper crisis. [Adult Language]
Director: Bryan Taira. 18 minutes.
Four couples of differing age groups and backgrounds face a similarly tenuous moment in their relationship. [Adult Language]
Director: Dylan Boom. 8 minutes.
Max Gracz, a relentless and somewhat drunken private detective, is hired for a routine job—to find the missing daughter of an influential businessman by a former acquaintance, who is the girl’s stepmother. Gracz is a contemporary incarnation of old-fashioned detectives like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. He is a bit too fond of the bottle and always seems to be getting into trouble. [Adult Language]
Director: Jan Chalupka. 40 minutes.
Quarantined with a Ghost
During a global pandemic, a woman is quarantined to her home with a ghost for a housemate.
Director: Justin & Kristin Schaak. 5 minutes.
Factory worker Rose Donnelly must stand up for her female co-workers when their supervisor ignores blatant harassment and refuses to treat them as equals to their male co-workers. Based on the We Can Do It! poster by J. Howard Miller.
Director: Tessa Germaine. 18 minutes.
Anna can't wait to escape the office party from hell. After a series of cringy coworker interactions, she's left feeling helpless and ready to go. Before she can make a run for it, an unexpected invite leads to a fantastical escape from the humdrum. Is it real? Does it matter? And where the heck is Larry?
Director: Rachel Weber. 5 minutes.
An inside look into the seedy world of a 1980s kids cereal commercial production. [Adult Language]
Director: Sean A. Skinner. 8 minutes.
The Beach Raiders
Set in the beach resort town of Grand Bend on the last night of summer, James and Mel have spent their entire summer getting into consequence free trouble. On the last night of summer Mel has her eyes set on the one thing that has eluded her all summer: stealing beer from The Growling Gator. James is only worried about what will happen next summer and of getting caught.
Director: Tyson Breuer. 8 minutes.
The Better Agenda
Cowardly Department Manager Johnny has to defend his pal Ned and the rest of the employees from the work bully, Hector. Alexis, the voice actor who dubbed all the voices in this film magically transports Johnny and Ned into a martial arts film for “confidence & courage” training.
Director: Dan Cleberg. 9 minutes.
After a life-changing accident, lifeguard Frank tries to present himself as the strong father he used to be. [Adult Language]
Director: Steve Bache. 14 minutes.
The Marriage Proposal
“The Marriage Proposal” is a film adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s one-act play of the same title. Ivan has come to Stepan’s home to ask for the hand of his daughter, Natalya. Through a series of misunderstandings, complicated by the neuroses of its protagonist, the film becomes a delightful send-up of life in a small town.
Director: Steve Cleberg. 26 minutes.
Olivia and Sarah are hoping to make a routine stop to retrieve Sarah’s favorite sweatshirt from her ex-boyfriend’s house. But when Jeff shows no interest in complying with this reasonable request, they are forced to go head-to-head with one of Chicago’s most despicable exes. Jeff takes the sweatshirt as his hostage, leaving Olivia no choice but to negotiate the terms of the hoodie’s release.
Director: Jonah Saesan. 9 minutes.
While giving a video tour of her house, a young woman describes the most significant moments of her life.
Director: John Gigrich. 8 minutes.
Under the Boardwalk
A brother finds his older sister digging holes at a deserted beach in the middle of the night for unknown reasons.
Director: Jason Park. 10 minutes.
If you think you're sick of vampires in movies—try being one.
Director: Dylan Rippe, Matthew Jacobsen. 7 minutes.
Set in the 1860s, a backwoods fur trapper on a grueling winter journey is attacked while resting at his camp. Now injured and a long way from civilization, he is forced to make the life or death decision to trust the untrustworthy. [Adult Language]
Director: Michael Kohlbrenner. 20 minutes.
Zoe & Bryn
Two young women meet and over the course of one evening develop a connection that neither was expecting. [Adult Language]
Director: Maura Smith. 25 minutes.