Slamdance details lineup as festival returns to Park City
Festival starts Jan. 20
Slamdance Film Festival, the film festival and organization “by filmmakers, for filmmakers,” on Wednesday announced the full lineup for its 28th edition hybrid festival. Known for challenging the status quo, Slamdance and its artist-led community have long held a reputation for discovering talent, often overlooked by the mainstream, that go on to change the entertainment industry. In 2022, the festival returns to its original home in Park City for its physical festival from Jan. 20-23, bridged with an accessible and robust program of virtual screenings that will be available from Jan. 20-30.
“We are anti-algorithm. That’s always been true, but it’s more urgent than ever as we continue to celebrate truly unique voices that defy simple classification and transcend analytics,” said Slamdance President and co-founder Peter Baxter. “This year our programmers gravitated towards films that embody the true DIY spirit of guerrilla filmmaking and push the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling. The Slamdance team is honored to introduce everyone of these storytellers, who are changing the media narrative and elevating the art form of independent film.”
Dedicated to fostering a community for independent emerging artists, the feature competition lineup boasts 23 premieres, including 13 World, 6 North American, and 4 U.S. debuts. Chosen from over 1,124 submissions, this year’s competition lineup hails from all corners of the globe, including Germany, Australia, Iran, Canada, China, Italy, Poland, and the UK among others. All competition films are feature-length, directorial debuts without U.S. distribution, with budgets of less than $1 million USD – a feature that has been unique to Slamdance since its founding in 1995.
As always, all films in the lineup were selected by a team of Slamdance alumni via a blind submission process and are programmed democratically. This year it received 8,168 total submissions, of which 1,579 were features. Narrative Features, Documentary Features and Episodes sections are eligible for the Audience Award while all films and projects are eligible for the George Sparks Spirit of Slamdance Award and the AGBO Fellowship, the former of which is voted upon by filmmakers at the festival.
The prestigious AGBO Fellowship will continue in 2022. Founded by Slamdance alumni Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War), the AGBO Fellowship provides a $25,000 cash prize, mentorship from the Russos and their team, and office space, enabling a filmmaker to continue honing their skills and pursuing their craft. The 2021 fellowship was awarded to Agnieszka Polska for her debut feature “Hurrah, We Are Still Alive!”
In addition to the competition films, Slamdance has also announced the selections for its 4th annual Breakouts section, featuring films by seasoned directors — nearly 50% of whom are alumni of the festival — who demonstrate a determined vision of filmmaking that is distinctly their own. These artists continue to push the boundaries of filmmaking, creating their own genres and forms, and Slamdance is proud to give them a platform to share their work with audiences all over the world.
Building on the legacy it started last year, Slamdance has expanded the Unstoppable program. Now in its 2nd annual edition, this inclusive program showcases films by or about creators with visible and non-visible disabilities. Programmed exclusively by alumni who themselves have visible and non-visible disabilities, this program aims to eliminate the prejudices and gate-keeping that have historically kept disabilities from being represented in the entertainment industry. Launched last year with a series of short films, Slamdance Unstoppable is now including feature films in its 2022 program.
The festival is proud to announce a brand new addition to its unique storytelling program – Blockchain Fairy Tales (BFT). Presented by Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab, BFT is an immersive storytelling experience that invites participants to step into an enchanted world powered by collaborative storytelling, play and world-building. Leveraging Blockchain Technology from the eco-conscious Tezos platform, this two-hour project subverts the current value system of cryptocurrency and uplifts shared community values, collectively questioning: what if happily ever after is not guaranteed? BFT is available both online and in-person in Park City, with participants able to see their collective ideas come to life on the silver screen and become part of a real blockchain ledger, allowing future participants to use these festival-created artifacts to continue the tale.
As always, Slamdance will have an exciting shorts program, showcasing more than 79 films from filmmakers around the world. Shorts in the Narrative, Documentary and Animation sections are eligible for the 2022 Oscar® Qualifying Shorts competition. And returning for its 3rd year is an Episodes category showcasing episodic work in any style, genre and format intended for broadcast.
In addition to showcasing the best in new filmmakers, Slamdance is also pleased to present DIG, a showcase of innovative digital, interactive, and gaming artwork. DIG provides a platform for independent artists who create out-of-the-box media to bring their ideas to life in novel and uncompromising ways. These pieces will be featured at Slamdance events and virtual spaces throughout 2022.
2022 Slamdance features programming includes:
Actual People – (USA) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Kit Zauhar; Producers: Kit Zauhar, Andrew Nadkarni, Jason Wang. During her final week of college, Riley goes to great lengths to win the affections of a boy from her hometown of Philly, and ends up confronting her escalating anxieties about her love life, family, and future.Cast: Kit Zauhar, Scott Albrecht, Audrey Kang, Vivian Zauhar, Henry Fulton Winship, Isabelle Barbier, Fraser Jones
Goodafternoon Sweetdream – (South Korea) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Bang Seung Hyeon. Following her father’s death, Ye Won hangs out with her friends, but her mind is elsewhere.Cast: Son Ye Won, Kim Woo Kyeom, Sung San Hee, Yang Min Ju, Bang Seung Hyeon
Hannah Ha Ha – (United States) World Premiere. Directors/Screenwriters: Jordan Tetewsky, Joshua Pikovsky; Producers: Roger Mancusi, Emily Freire. A woman living with her father is pulled in different directions by her older brother who returns closer to home and imposes his lifestyle choices on the family. Cast: Hannah Lee Thompson, Roger Mancusi, Avram Tetewsky, Charlie Robinson, Jake Stern, Petr Favazza, Peter Cole, and Chuck Fazzio
Honeycomb – (Canada) World Premiere. Director/Producer: Avalon Fast; Screenwriters: Avalon Fast, Emmett Roiko. Five girls stray from society on the hunt for something more special…. you can find them if you follow the sound. Cast: Rowan Wales, Sophie Bawks-Smith, Jillian Frank, Destini Stewart, Mari Geraghty, Jaris Wales, Henri Gillespi, Max Graham
Love Tasting – (Poland) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriters: Dawid Nickel; Producer: Marta Habior. A group of lost (and nowhere near found) high school friends are waiting by the pool for junior prom. After just one week of this utterly horrible phase of human life — the teenage years — nothing will be the same again. Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Mikołaj Matczak, Michał Sitnicki, Nel Kaczmarek, Kuba Wróblewski, Agnieszka Żulewska
Snow White Dies at the End – (North Macedonia, Cyprus) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Kristijan Risteski; Producer: Darko Popov. In a society where almost everybody farts backwards, six stubborn, proper-farting citizens pay a harsh price for being resolute to staying true to their own values. Cast: Natasha Petrovic, Verica Nedeska, Sashko Kocev, Deniz Abdula, Ivica Dimitrijevic, David Janakiev, Valentin Kostadinovski
The Civil Dead – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Clay Tatum; Screenwriters: Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas; Producers: Mike Marasco, Kasandra Baruch. A misanthropic, struggling photographer just wants to watch TV and eat candy while his wife is out of town, but when a desperate old pal resurfaces, his plans are thwarted, with spooky consequences. Cast: Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas, Whitney Weir, Budd Diaz, Robert Longstreet
Therapy Dogs – (Canada) World Premiere. Director: Ethan Eng; Screenwriters: Ethan Eng, Justin Morrice; Producers: shy kids, EP: Matthew Miller, Matt Johnson. Two best friends set out to create the ultimate senior video for their graduating class of 2019. Cast: Justin Morrice, Ethan Eng, Kevin Tseng, Kyle Peacock, Mitchell Cidade, Sebastian Neme, Andrew Michalko, Jayden Frost
Ultrainocencia – (Spain) North American Premiere. Director: Manuel Arija; Screenwriters: Manuel Arija, David Climent, Pablo Molinero; Producer: Alma Prieto. Does God exist? Two blessed and rather bold test subjects, Orión and Adán, intend to prove it in a scientific experiment run by a mysterious religious organisation. Cast: Sergi Lopez, David Climent, Pablo Molinero
Yelling Fire In An Empty Theater – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Justin Zuckerman; Producer: Ryan Martin Brown. A young woman moves to New York and becomes entangled in her roommates’ tumultuous relationship. Cast: Isadora Leiva, Kelly Cooper, Michael Patrick Nicholson, Ryan Martin Brown, Colin Burgess, Krista Jensen
Doggy Love – (Iran) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Mahmoud Ghaffari; Producers: Mahnaz Jarchi. Aslan is in love with Yassi. Together, they run an underground dog shelter in Iran. Cast: Aslan Taheri, Yassaman GhaedPanah
Ferroequinology – (UK and USA) North American Premiere. Director: Alex Nevill; Producers: Keith Haitkin, Alex Nevill. Two artists enthralled by the uncanny lure of locomotion set out on journeys across America, capturing slow travel in today’s increasingly fast-paced society. Cast: McNair Evans, Andrew Cross
Forget Me Not – (USA). Director: Olivier Bernier; Producers: Olivier Bernier, Tiffany Conklin, Patrick Solomon, Ana Lucia Villela, Estela Renner, Luana Lobo, Marcos Nisti. The inclusive revolution starts in the classroom. A family fights to have their son with Down syndrome included in the country’s most segregated school system. Cast: Olivier Bernier, Hilda Bernier, Emilio Bernier, Thomas Hehir, Sue Swenson, Sara Jo Soldovieri
Fury – (Poland) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Krzysztof Kasior; Producer: Adam Slesicki. Aleksandra Rola is a Polish MMA champion with a complicated backstory preparing for the World Championships in Las Vegas. Cast: Aleksandra Rola, Konrad Płaza
Imperfect – (USA). Directors/Producers: Brian Malone, Regan Linton. A professional company of actors with disabilities defies expectations by taking center stage in Chicago the musical. Cast: Regan Linton, Megan McQuire, Leonard Barrett Jr., Laurice Quinn, Lucy Roucis, Adam Johnson
New Jack – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Danny Lee, Noah Lee; Producer: Grant Hyun. Dealing with the repercussions of an extreme & dangerous career, faded professional wrestler New Jack navigates his way through life after the spotlight. Cast: Jerome Young
Sylvie of the Sunshine State – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Sasha Levinson; Screenwriters: Jonathan Sanford, Sasha Levinson; Producers: Katie White, Jonathan Sanford, Chris Brown. Second grader Sylvie navigates the absurdities and emotional turbulence of her eccentric, multigenerational Jewish matriarchy, a dad who lives far away and life gone virtual, seen through the lens of her filmmaker single mom. Cast: Sylviana Bellanca, Sasha Levinson, Aimeee Sherman, Jon Sherman, Phyllis Fratkin
Underdog – (USA). Director: Tommy Hyde; Producers: Aaron Woolf, Kyra Schaefer. The curiously optimistic tale of Doug Butler—a hardscrabble Vermont dairy farmer who risks losing the only home he’s ever known to chase his dreams of dog mushing in Alaska. Cast: Doug Butler
Be Right Back – (Germany) World Premiere. Director: Frauke Havemann; Screenwriters: Frauke Havemann, Peter Stamer, Matthias Wittekindt; Producers: Frauke Havemann, Eric Schefter. With the appearance of a mysterious stranger, the absurd everyday life of four people living in an abandoned vacation resort in the woods comes apart at the seams. Cast: Iris Boss, Inga Dietrich, Effi Rabsilber, Jack Rath, Poul Storm
Facing Monsters – (Australia) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Bentley Dean; Producers: Frank Chidiac, Susanne Morrison, Chris Veerhuis, Sonya Rifici. Facing Monsters is a feature length documentary that digs deep into the psyche of West Australian ‘slab wave’ surfer Kerby Brown, a man whose connection with the ocean runs as deep as his love for his family Cast: Kerby Brown, Cortney Brown
Killing the Eunuch KHAN – (Iran) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Abed Abest; Producer: Shahrzad Seifi. A serial killer uses his victims to kill more victims. Cast: Ebarhim Azizi, Vahid Rad, Misagh Zare, Iman Basim
Paris is in Harlem – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Christina Kallas; Producers: Christina Kallas, Josh Mandel. On the eve of New York City’s controversial “No Dancing” Law getting repealed, the lives of several strangers are forever changed by a shooting at a historic jazz bar in Harlem. Cast: Vandit Bhatt, Leon Addison Brown, Ellie Foumbi, Laura Pruden, Lauren Sowa, Souleymane Sy Savane, Steve Vause, Chris Veteri
Retrograde – (Canada) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Adrian Murray; Producers: Adrian Murray, Sennah Yee, Priscilla Galvez. A minor traffic citation spirals into an all-consuming obsession for a neurotic young woman. Cast: Molly Reisman, Sofia Banzhaf, Bessie Cheng, Meelad Moaphi, Dean Tardioli, Erik Anderson
We Are Living Things – (USA, China, Italy) North American Premiere. Director: Antonio Tibaldi; Screenwriters: Alex Lora, Antonio Tibaldi; Producers: Fan He, Andrew K. Li, Alex Lora, Antonio Tibaldi. Two immigrants living on the fringes of American society hit the road in search of the truth about a shared UFO abduction. Cast: Jorge Antonio Guerrero, Xingchen Lyu, Zao Wang, O-Lan Jones, Paul Cooper, Manuel René Del Carmen Ordaz, Alfonso Rey, Allison Tibaldi
Iron Family – (USA). Director: Patrick Longstreth; Producers: Patrick Longstreth, Anne Longstreth, Chad Faries. A creative young woman with a vision rouses her family to perform an original play for their community. Cast: Jazmine Faries, Chad Faries, Kate German, Greg Banks, Holly Harvey, Faith Peterson, Amy Brzoznowski, Carroll Ann Swanson
Poppy – (New Zealand). Director/Screenwriter: Linda Niccol; Producers: Robin Laing, Alex Cole-Baker. A young woman with Down syndrome is forced to employ secret strategies to achieve her ambition of becoming an apprentice motor mechanic. Cast: Libby Hunsdale, Ari Boyland, Seb Hunter, Kali Kopae
Straighten Up and Fly Right – (USA) World Premiere. Directors/Screenwriters: Kristen Abate, Steven Tanenbaum ; Producers: Kristen Abate, Lindsey Cordero, Armando Croda, Steven Tanenbaum. In a funk, Kristen, a physically disabled New York woman, walks dogs for a living but dreams of being a writer and as her life unravels, she must make a choice to fall apart or straighten up. Cast: Kristen Abate, Steven Tanenbaum, AJ Cedeno, Mehret Marsh, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Marianna McClellan, Kerrryn Feehan, Lawrence Jansen
The Severing – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Mark Pellington; Producers: Mark Pellington, Dana Marshall, Nina McNeely. “Pina” meets “Saw”… A dance film for the body. Cast: Nina McNeely, Courtney Scarr
(Cathedral) – (USA) World Premiere. Director: James Bascara. A first-person journey through a canyon from dawn to dusk, following a trail of ants.
Charlotte – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Zach Dorn. A pop song transforms the lives of an enigmatic folk singer and her family. Cast: O-Lan Jones, Devin Schlatter, Phoebe Jane Hart, Chase Padgett, Michael Goldfried, Paul Strickland
Crumbs Of Life – (Poland) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Katarzyna Miechowicz; Producer: Agata Golanska. Absurd adventures of three people inhabiting the same small town by the sea.
Dad Tax – (USA) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Ida Lasic. An experimental tribute film to the artist’s relationship to their father and how they contradict each other and yet blend together.
I’m Here – (Poland). Director/Screenwriter: Julia Orlik; Producer: Agata Golanska. An elderly man looks after his paralyzed wife.
Muerte Murciélago – (Spain) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Carlos Saiz; Producer: Maria Soler Chopo. Used to living as an adult from a very young age, Muerte Murciélago, the only child born in a town of infertile men, imagines a future beyond the town limits.
Oldboy’s Apples – (USA). Director/Producer: Brad Hock; Screenwriters: Brad Hock, Sami Graf. Beyond the hedge, beneath the well, ancient spirits sing their song to reawaken the mystery of the hidden apple.
On Time Off Time – (Japan). Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Hirotoshi Iwasaki. Juxtaposed movements resonate with each other, filling the conflict between continuity and fluctuation.
Ontbinding – (Belgium) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Dries Bogaert; Producer: KASK. A society of pink creatures live on top of a tower in peace under one unwritten rule: Wait your turn in line to the top. But one citizen refuses to comply.
Open One’s Mouth – (Japan). Director: Akane Murata; Producer: Kei Oyama. Joy and anxiety, daily elusive emotions and the subtleties of interacting with people are sensuously depicted in this contemporary Japanese painted animation.
Plantarium – (Poland) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Tomasz Ducki; Producer: Ewelina Gordziejuk. There is an unusual garden in a dark cave cultivated by a lonely man. One day, while he is pruning the plants, he finds a little boy in a pot.
Sensual Pill – (Greece) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Sam3. A satellite time-lapse narration, using Google Earth facilities to travel worldwide.
Somebody Take the Wheel – (USA) US Premiere. Director: Kenzie Sutton. A monotonous cycle highlights the absurdity of everyday life.
Tap Runner – (UK) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Paolo Chianta. In a dystopian future, it’s one man’s job to check taps for leakage and wastage – but he is not permitted to fix them.
A Few Things I’m Beginning to Understand – (USA). Director/Producer: Xenia Matthews. Surf the glittering channels of Xenia’s mind in this highly saturated, musical spectacular where she and an old friend begin making sense of the issues between Xenia and her boyfriend, Keke. Cast: Xenia Matthews, Keir Martin
A Table Is As Good As Nine Lives – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Christina Leonardi; Producers: Christina Leonardi, Scott Sweitzer. An Italian family prepares for Sunday dinner, unearthing generations of memories and traditions. Cast: Philip Leonardi, Irene Leonardi, Dana Lombardi, Len Lombardi
Freedom Swimmer – (Australia, France, UK, HK). Director/Screenwriter: Olivia Martin-McGuire; Producers: Brooke Silcox, Ron Dyens, Olivia Martin-McGuire. A granddaughter asks her grandfather to recount his journey from China, swimming to Hong Kong in the 1970’s.
Gladiolus – (Iran) World Premiere. Director: Azadeh Navai; Producer: Nathan Meier. An ode to a flower that once enjoyed prominence in Iranian culture, Gladiolus tells the story of its ubiquitous role in life’s important ceremonies and how it became a victim of its own popularity by the same nation.
My Parent, Neal – (USA). Director: Hannah Saidiner. An animated reflection on Hannah’s parent’s gender transition and the evolution of their relationship.
No Soy Óscar – (USA, Mexico). Director: Jon Ayon; Producer: Emily Ruth Smith. A first-generation Latinx father journeys through unrecognizable, unceded lands in the border regions between the U.S. and Mexico in search of the place where Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his young daughter, Angie Valeria, drowned. Cast: Jon Ayon, Willie White, Lupita Alonso
Telos or Bust – (USA). Director: Brad Abrahams; Screenwriter: Kai Wada Roath; Producer: Matt Ralston. The spiritually enlightened citizens of Mt. Shasta, CA believe that deep inside their namesake mountain is an ancient city called Telos, inhabited by perfect, immortal beings.
The Ritual to Beauty – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Producer: Shenny de Los Angeles. Three generations of Dominican women explore their relationship to relaxing their hair. Cast: Shenny de Los Angeles, Cheny Bright, and Eugenia Marina Belliard Rojas
The Space Between You & Me – (UK, USA) World Premiere. Director: Lily Ahree Siegel. Two Korean-American adoptees navigate their transracial identity through meeting their birth mothers.
The Sticklet Weaver – (USA) World Premiere. Director: James Hollenbaugh. Outsider artist Brent Brown reveals a lifetime of mental health challenges and his ability to overcome them by creating a world of cardboard puppets.
Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying – (USA). Director: Jonathan Haff Mehring; Producers: Jonathan Haff Mehring, Joe Bressler. Two Palestinian youths seek freedom through skateboarding while growing up under occupation in the West Bank. Cast: Omar Hattab, Yasmeen Foqha
DEPARTMENT OF ANARCHY
Geneva Jacuzzi’s Casket – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Chris Friend; Producer: Hunter Lee Hughes. Los Angeles 2066AD: The Pleasure-U BioDrone, Kate Shaw’s only assistant, has contracted an undiagnosed mental-disease. Cast: Geneva Jacuzzi
It’s Coming It’s Real – (USA) World Premiere. Directors/Screenwriters/Producers: Alexia Oldini, Steven Gray. A politically charged fever dream montage for “It’s Coming It’s Real” by Swans.
Little Berlin – (France). Director/Screenwriter: Kate McMullen; Producers: Paul Waters, Sophie Martin, Nicolas d’Autryve. When the Iron Curtain cuts his tiny German village in half, Peter the bull gets separated from his 36 cows. Based on a true story. Cast: Christoph Waltz
Platform – (Germany) North American Premiere. Directors/Screenwriters: Steffen Köhn, Johannes Büttner; Producers: Patrick Jasim, Phillip Kaminiak, Paola Calvo. Is yesterday’s science fiction today’s social documentary? Real stories from gig-workers in the delivery sector intertwine with Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk classic Snow Crash. Cast: Roberto Anjari Rossi, Kumar Muniandy, Boris Dikelo, Tyrone Raymond, Yasmin El Yassini, Jan Koslowsky, Lola Abrera
Return of the Action Man – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Scott Peters; Producers: Roy Chung, Ryan Chung, Michael Figge. A mild-mannered computer programer is spirited away to another world where he encounters a strange cult of religious zealots. Cast: Shun Sakaguchi, Ronnie Clark, Robert Brinkerhoff, Michael Figge, Brandon Corn, Larry Parrish
Scarlet Red – (Belgium). Director/Screenwriter: Toon Loenders; Producer: Geert Van Goethem. A retro-futuristic reinvention of the Edgar Allen Poe story, “The Masque of Red Death.” Cast: Danny Jordens, Jules Jordens, Peronella Van Castel
Visitors – (Japan). Director/Screenwriter: Kenichi Ugana. Three friends visit the home of their band member who’s cut contact with them, and find him behaving strangely. Cast: Shiho, Saki Hirai, Haruki Itabashi, Ryuta Endo
What’s My Name? – (UK) North American Premiere. Director: Arthur Studholme; Screenwriters: Cosmo Wellings, Arthur Studholme; Producers: Uncle Shortbread, Rafe Studholme. A man forgets another man’s name at a party. Cast: Harrison Charles, Cosmo Wellings, Helen Belbin, Simon Kane
Winter Insect, Summer Flower – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Tee Jaehyung Park, Gbenga Komolafe; Producers: Ava Doorley. A trans woman’s journey through the seasons, as she breaks away from her physical shell. Cast: Pierre Davis, Indigo Tolbert
Your Houseplants Are Screaming – (USA). Director: Benjamin Roberds; Producer: Katie Gregg. The tables are turned when a plant monster grows a human houseplant in a torturous room of gore and existential dread. Cast: Benjamin Roberds
Chameleon – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Ima Iduozee and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Composed of several choreopoems, Chameleon (A Visual Album) reimagines grief as a powerful tool for reimagining the Black body as a spiritual site able to conjure environments of unexpected, dynamic, emotional complexity.
Difficult Donuts – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Trevon Jakaar Coleman. A film about memory, collective and personal, and navigating surrogate spaces.
Compositions for Understanding Relationships – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: David De La Fuente. An animated love letter.
Fireflies – (Brazil). Director: Léo Bittencourt; Screenwriters: Léo Bittencourt and Ricardo Pretti; Producers: Júlia Murat and Léo Bittencourt. As the city of Rio de Janeiro falls asleep, visitors come to Flamengo’s Park. The night side of a modernist icon. Cast: Daniel dos Santos de Andrade, Elisa Lucinda, Gabriel Fernando de Castro, Gleiton Matheus Bonfante, Lino Besser, Lourival Júnior, Niana Machado, Nico Arawá
Paper Bag Test – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Trevon Jakaar Coleman. Exploring alleyways through camera exposure and examining technological, geographic, and social exclusion, this film uses the “Paper Bag Test” and camera exposure principles to address the language and conventions of cinematographic technology/technique and its implications.
Show Me Other Places – (Sri Lanka, USA). Director/Screenwriter: Rajee Samarasinghe; Producer: Rajee Samarasinghe. Navigating through a multitude of spaces from the natural world to man-made environments as well as virtual planes, traditional relationships between the creator, the tool, and the subject are questioned, shattered and reconstructed. Cast: Delini Malka Samarasinghe
Terrain Behind the Eyes – (South Korea, USA). Director: Sohee Kim. Strata of landscape, of tactile terrains, flow in their own time creating a poetic and meditative space.
Beyond Is The Day – (Poland). Director/Screenwriter: Damian Kocur; Producers: Damian Kocur, Michał Sadowski. Somewhere in Europe, somewhere in Poland, lives Pawel – a simple man working on a small river ferry close to his village. One day he notices somebody swimming in the river. Cast: Paweł B., Mohammad A. Issa
Blind Spots – (Germany). Director/Screenwriter: Luis Schubert; Producer: Luis Schubert. The shooting of a sex scene triggers a conflict between an intimacy coordinator and a director on a film set. Cast: Julia Effertz, Leon Ullrich, Sarina Radomski, Lia von Blarer, Etienne Bissuel
Bracha – (Israel). Director: Mickey Triest, Aaron Geva; Screenwriter: Batel Moseri; Producer: Ayelet Imberman. Bracha turns up on her anxious mother’s doorstep in the middle of the night holding a mattress over her head, but an argument ensues. Cast: Batel Moseri, Orna Banai
CD-Trip – (USA). Director: Michael Biggs. The surrealistic cyber-adventure that will become your nightmare. Cast: Karley Parker, Aaron Kramer, Sage Paterson, Geoffrey Leonard
Chiatura – (France) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Toby Andris; Producer: Joanna Sitkowska. After the death of her husband in a mining accident, a cable car operator launches a personal battle against the entire city. Cast: Darejan Khachidze, Darejan Kharchiladze
Cosboi – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Gosha Shapiro; Producers: Zoey Pressey, Eli Raskin. A genderqueer teen experiments with their identity in a series of anonymous car rides. Cast: Sonny Golden, Sherry Kear, James Chiong, Hope Raymond
Dear Maslow – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Elizabeth Godar. A young woman writes a rueful letter to an ex. Cast: Chelsea Debo
Fish Fingers – (Switzerland) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Lars Mulle. Summer is ending at the public pool “Rössli” and it’s hard to let go. Cast: Aurelio Ghirardelli, Monika Varga, Vreni Brun, Brigitte Gautschi, Greta Massie
Foulmouth – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Taylor Thompson; Producer: Trey Braheem. All bark and no bite, Lee is cursed with the mouth of a sailor. Cast: Brian DeMarco, Darrin O’Connell, Blake Sheldon
From Water Comes Melon – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Micah Vassau; Producers: Micah Vassau, Ian McClerin. As Mother Nature’s ice cream melts, the last watermelon washes ashore, forcing a woman to choose between love or inescapable doom. Cast: Miyako Abe, Tomoko Hiraoka, Lanajandra Delrãyon
I Suppose I’m An Inconvenience – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Cory Snearowski. A wonderful man who frequently inconveniences others has an epiphany when he recognizes someone from a billboard. Cast: Christopher Hoffman
In the Jam Jar – (Canada) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Colin Nixon; Producer: Étienne Hansez. Joan’s musings on death silently echo with those of her son Dan in this tribute to maternal love. Cast: France Castel, Alain Goulem, Martin Stone
Jamal – (Indonesia) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Muhammad Heri Fadli; Producers: I Putu Yudhistira. Nur is shocked by the sudden return of her husband, looking lifeless after spending a few months in Malaysia as a migrant worker. Cast: Maezatinnuri, Iq Oja, Wazil Habibi, Bunga Yuliana, Mahrup, Munasip, Yayan Hanapi, Endang, Fadhil Atahillah, Mulyadi, Cindya, Risqi, Salsabila
Kafkas – (UK) North American Premiere. Director: Nick Blake; Screenwriter: Robin Blake, Nick Blake, Marianne Wiggins; Producer: Caroline Dreesmann. In the small hours of the night, a young woman cold-calls men with the surname Kafka in search of a soulmate. Cast: Patsy Ferran, Stefanie Martini, Juan Cely, Mercer Boffey, Sam Douglas
Meat – (Uganda, UK) North American Premiere. Director: Asher Rosen; Screenwriters: Ezra Mugisha, Innocent Niyonzima, Bizimana Hussain, Florenz Mariserena, Asher Rosen, Luke Reilly; Producers: Ian Prior, Ezra Mugisha. When an indigenous woman is torn from her home, she must do anything she can to feed her young son. Cast: Bizimana Hussain, Tuyi Mariserena, Florenz Mariserena
Places – (Lithuania). Director/Screenwriter: Vytautas Katkus; Producer: Klementina Remeikaitė. Two childhood friends are spending their last days in the places where they grew up, trying to postpone their farewell to the district which is changing.
Ratking – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Eric Colonna; Producers: Anthony Lucido, Brian White, Eric Colonna. On days you wake up not feeling like yourself, it’s good to go to the beach. Cast: Natasha Sill, Joey Hirsh, Henry Gerse, Tyler Hammond
See You, Garbage! – (Canada). Director/Screenwriter: Romain Dumont; Producers: Patrick Francke-Sirois, Isabelle Grignon-Francke. See You Garbage! is a dramatic comedy that resembles a revolutionary tale. An attempt to explore the encounter between the well-coated contempt of the political class and a sudden awareness of its people. Cast: Caroline Dhavernas, Steve Laplante, Guillaume Laurin, Hamza Meziani, Hamidou Savadogo et Ralph Prosper
The Bugs and The Slugs – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Greyson Horst; Producer: Lucy Smith-Williams. A human boy embarks on a journey of sexual discovery on an alien planet. Cast: Daquane Cherry, Manny Dunn
The Event – (USA) World Premiere. Directors: Frank Mosley, Hugo De Sousa; Screenwriter: Hugo De Sousa; Producers: Chelsea Bo, Sean Drummond. It’s 2 a.m., and Vince just wants to know why. Cast: Hugo De Sousa, Frank Mosley, Jennifer Kim
Tsugumi – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Shiyu Hu; Producers: Cindy Wu. Tsugumi has a murder plan, which lures her into the repetitive endless cycle of life. Cast: Kyoko Okazaki, Terumi Shimazu, Hidetoshi Imura, Shinichiro Shimizu, Lam Lo, Jizhong Zhang, Akari Harada
True Story: I Feel – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Matthew Law; Producers: Matthew Law, Rob Smith, Grasie Mercedes, Lashaun Clay. A Black therapist attempts to persuade his patient, who has a history of violence, into saying how he really feels. Cast: Matthew Law, Lashaun Clay
Broken Hearts – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Alessandra Lichtenfeld; Screenwriters: Alessandra Lichtenfeld, Max Kaplow; Producers: Maggie M. Bailey, Edna Diaz, Annika Horne, Alessandra Lichtenfeld. When a sheltered teenager with congenital heart disease befriends a young rebel set for a heart transplant, she breaks free from her overbearing New Age parents and lives like she never has before. Cast: Maye Harris, Ellie Adrean, Emily Panic, Bryan Felber
Denzel – (UK). Director/Screenwriter: Michael Gamarano Singleton; Producers: Michael Gamarano Singleton. Denzel follows the dating life of a young man on his journey to self-acceptance. Cast: Karl Queensborough, Melissa Collier, Chris Kyriacou, Jordan Persaud-Walters, Ellie Goldstein
Freebird – (Canada, USA). Directors: Michael Joseph McDonald, Joe Bluhm, Nicholas Herd; Screenwriters: Michael Joseph McDonald, Joe Bluhm; Producers: Louis Pilotte, Stefanie Bitton, Jordan Hart, Michael Joseph McDonald, Jennifer Nadeau, Mariana Duran. Freebird is the coming-of-age story of a boy with Down Syndrome who learns to navigate the world with a loving mother, an absent father, a classroom bully, and a life-long crush.
Noche del Infierno (Hell Night) – (USA). Director: Andrew Reid; Screenwriters: Jesenia Ruiz, Roberto Saieh; Producers: Jake Katofsky, Gia Rigoli. Three freshman pledges must denounce cultural stereotypes and survive a magical test to gain entry into the most prestigious Latina sorority. Cast: Natalia del Riego, Cathryn Dylan, Carolina Riesgo, Vivian Lamolli, Kelly Lamor Wilson, Veronica Mclean, Caitlyn Jacquemart
Illustrating Sam Newton – (Australia) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Lily Drummond; Producers: Lily Drummond, Payton Hogan. An outgoing New York City art student falls for an introverted photographer who happens to be deaf – and living on the other side of the world. Cast: Jeremy Lowrenčev, Shabana Azeez, Thuliswa Magwaza, Eva Frick, Nick Shanahan, Paris Montgomery
Ipseity – Marisa’s Story – (USA). Directorr: Nicholas Stachurski. The portrait of a mother on a difficult and visceral journey, re-defining beauty, sacrifice and our uniquely human ability to define our own destiny. Cast: Marisa Kimmel, Drew Kimmel, Abraham Kimmel
JamieSonShine – (USA). Directors: Phoebe Jane Hart, Jamieson Hart; Screenwriter: Phoebe Jane Hart; Producers: Phoebe Jane Hart. Through a blend of animation and home videos, Phoebe explores her relationship with her older brother Jamie, who lives with schizophrenia. Cast: Jamieson Hart, Carole Hart, Laurence Hart, Rose Hart, Phoebe Jane Hart
My Brother is Deaf – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Peter Hoffman Kimball; Producers: Bracken Kimball, Peter Hoffman Kimball. A sweet five year-old learns that his younger brother is deaf and joins with his family in discovering how to embrace and support him. Cast: Lincoln Kimball, Bennett Kimball, Bracken Kimball, Paige Kimball, Anne Bennett
Oreo: The Trilogy – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Cashmere Jasmine; Producers: Bree Jones, Caitlin Arcand. What happens when you have to prove your culture in black jeopardy, and give up on whiteness all together, then deal with all the crazy that happens in between.
Roommates – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Ashley Eakin; Screenwriters: Ashley Eakin,Kelsey Johnson; Producers: Paul Feig, Laura Fischer, Kesila Childers, Erica Fishman, Elle Roth-Brunet, Jesy Odio. When two disabled college students get placed together as dorm roommates, they embark on a quest to experience a hangover. Cast: Kiera Allen, Kelsey Johnson, Harrison Cone, Nicholas Duvernay
Selahy (My Weapon) – (Jordan, USA). Director/Screenwriter: Alaa Zabara; Producers: Pierre Bagley. The story of a young, deaf, Arab girl, born in the ravages of a war zone, whose only weapons are her hearing aids and an old video camera. Cast: Malak Nassar, Mohammad Nizar, Samira Asir, Jamal Meri
Signs and Gestures – (UK) US Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Itandehui Jansen; Producers: Reece Smith. A blind florist goes on a date with someone she met through a dating app. Cast: Grace Whitford, Craig McCulloch, Jack Allen, Rebecca Robin, Charles O Brien
Silent World – (UK) North American Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Charlie Dennis; Producers: Micheal Newton. A creative exploration and amplification of the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of Signkid, a deaf-rapper in London. Cast: Kevin Walker (Signkid), Sophia Roberts, Christianah Hodding, Ryan Pendley, Sarah Flowers, Temica Thompson, Paul O’Neill, Sokari Erekosima, Beth Berg, Tim Heath
South – (USA). Director/Screenwriter: Kyle Gibbins; Producers: Kyle Gibbins, Patrick Cone. An artist on the spectrum speaks with clay. Cast: South Walker, Missi Walker, Stuart Walker, Lexie Walker, Katie Walker, Natalie Conway, Duane Coleman
Sparkles – (Australia). Director: Jacqueline Pelczar; Screenwriter: Tina Fielding; Producers: Cody Greenwood. Courtney, a 30-something-year-old with Down syndrome, runs away from her small country town to the city, and befriends an Outback drag queen along the way. Cast: Gary Cooper, Tina Fielding, James Broadhurst
The Multi – (USA) US Premiere. Directors: Storm Smith, Mikail Chowdhury; Screenwriter: Natasha Ofili; Producers: Natasha Ofili, Mikail Chowdhury. An isolated Black Deaf woman has constructed a world of order to keep a childhood trauma buried deep in her psyche, but an unexpected turn of events forces her to confront demons from her past. Cast: Natasha Ofili, Lakishia Grant, Jonah Platt
2022 Episodes programming includes:
Devonte – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter: Josh Kahn; Producers: Josh Kahn, Charlie Fritschner, Aron Phillips. After signing a 145 million dollar contract, controversial superstar-quarterback Devonte Mitchell confronts the overwhelming demands and internal demons that come along with playing professional football in his hometown of Chicago. Cast: Julian Parker, Tyrone Phillips, John Leen, Nick Friedell, Jeff Mangurten, Nolis Anderson, Tommy Westbrook
Hidden Kingdom – (US, Colombia, Dominican Republic) World Premiere. Directors: Sunny Lee, Jacqueline Davis; Producers: Emily Backerman. An unconventional and intimate documentary web series that explores the lives of 5 different New York dancers. Cast: Karon “Robin” White, Smarlin Fabian, Yamini Kalluri, Kouadio Davis, Régine Bellinger
Inappropriate Jokes Well Told Presents: “A Priest Walking Through The Woods At Night” – (USA) World Premiere. Director: Mario Garza; Screenwriter: Mario Garza, Hugo Bierschenk, Dean Woodhouse; Producers: Julia Elaine Mills. A short, cinematic interpretation of the jokes we shouldn’t tell. Cast: Ned Record, William Knight
Space Wizards Must Die – (USA) World Premiere. Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Grier Dill. A Space Wizard must fulfill an age-old prophecy to defeat an evil entity before it destroys the galaxy. It’d be a shame if his wizard squire were to #%$! it all up. Cast: Eric Yearwood, Alex Meyers, Brett Glass
The Ember Knight Show: “Getting Mad” – (USA). Director: Bobby McCoy; Screenwriter: Ember Knight, Bobby McCoy; Producers: Ember Knight, Bobby McCoy, Mikey Santos, Clara Murray, Dino Stamatopoulos. When today’s guest suddenly cancels, host Ember Knight falls backwards into a claymation F%$! You City. Cast: Ember Knight, Haley Dahl
Wipe Me Away – (Canada). Director: Eric Picolli; Screenwriters: Florence Lafond, Eric Piccolli; Producers: Philippe Allard, Marco Frascarelli, Mathieu Paiement, Eric Piccolli. In Montreal, neglected children Mélissa, Eddy and Karine live in the same building and have to deal with a crushing environment of debauchery, violence and stealing to survive. Cast: Charlee-Ann Paul, Malik Gervais-Aubourg, Sarah-Maxine Racicot, Julie Perreault, Jean-Nicolas Verreault, Schelby Jean-Baptiste, Anglesh Major, Roberto Mei
Witchsters – (USA). Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Charla Lauriston. In this mockumentary, witch Michelle has to skip lunch with her sister Maya so she can deal with the aftermath of using her magic on her mortal boyfriend Jeremiah. Cast: Jemima Lauriston, Sasha Compere, Jerah Milligan
2022 DIG: Digital, Interactive and Gaming selections include:
Be Your Own Dentist – (USA). Director: Jon Sims; Writers: Katya Zamo, Jon Sims; Producers: Jon Sims, Producer Entertainment Group. Embark on a serene, but horrifying journey of self discovery and oral surgery with drag icon Katya Zamo. Cast: Katya Zamo
Bystanding: The Feingold Syndrome – (Canada, Germany, Israel). Creator: Nim Shapira; Writer: Lior Zalmanson; Producers: Nim Shapira, Roi Lev, Max Sacker, Loulia Isserlis. What prevented people from jumping in the river and saving rowing champion Jasmine Feingold? Step into their shoes and discover their deepest confessions. Cast: Tsahi Halevi, Yiftach Klein, Michael Moshonov, Kais Nashef, Nelly Tagar, Orli Zilberschatz
Dislocation – (Croatia, France). Creators/Writers/Producers: Veljko Popovic, Milivoj Popovic. Dislocation takes a look at an absurd moment of disbelief and fear. It examines the internal processes that develop and offers a visual depiction of a person forced into extreme circumstances – a moment of dislocation.
Greenwood Avenue: A Virtual Reality Experience – (USA). Creator: Ayana Baraka; Directors: Tarik Jackson, Spade Robinson, Talibah Newman; Screenwriters: Spade Robinson, Suzen Baraka, Ayana Baraka; Producers: Ayana Baraka, Osahon Tongo, Kenya Uhuru. “Greenwood Avenue: A Virtual Reality Experience” brings us into the 1920’s world of a 14-year-old Black girl experiencing first love & devastating loss in America’s Black Wall Street. Cast: Heaven-Leigh T. Pettis, Irma P. Hall, Danette Wilson, Jerome Jones, Guinea Bennett Price, Earnest Kellum IV, Reynada Robinson, Qualan Brown
Harold Halibut – (Germany). Creators: Onat Hekimoglu, Ole Tillmann, Fabian Preuschoff, Daniel Beckmann, Ilja Burzev; Writers: Danny Wadeson, Onat Hekimoglu, Ole Tillmann, Fabian Preuschoff. Harold Halibut is a handmade narrative game about friendship, and life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean. Cast: Andrew Nolan, Pat Garrett, Leila Berzins, Sally Beaumont, Edwyn Tiong, Chris Young, Tim Bick, Tiffany Bennicke
Hydrocosmos – (Italy) US Premiere. Creator/Writer: Milad Tangshir; Producers: Francesca Cinalli. A comet brings water to a planet on a remote corner of the universe. Cast: Francesca Cinalli, Aldo Torta, Giuseppe Saccotelli, Paolo De Santis
Incomplete – (USA, UK). Creator/Writer/Producer: Dalena Tran. Has the future already happened? Incomplete invites us to traverse an endless choreography of bodies in perpetual free-fall and updating images that reflect a world in constant change.
Little Pakistan – Future Histories – (USA, Pakistan). Creator/Producer: Sana Akram. An Ensemble of Meanings across Space, Time, and Generations.. Maharaja’s children.
Brave bunch in India. – (Poland) North American Premiere. Director: Tomasz Stankiewicz; Writers: Tomasz Stankiewicz, Monika Kowaleczko-Szumowska; Producers: Monika Kowaleczko-Szumowska, Zofia Pregowska. The true story of 10-year-old Wiesio, one of a thousand Polish children who were saved from the hell of World War II by an Indian Maharaja, Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji. Cast: Wiesław Stypula, Stefan Szumowski, Zosia Szumowska
Montegelato – (Italy). Director/Producer: David Rappe. Hundreds of cinematic sequences define a three-dimensional collage of the Monte Gelato waterfalls of Rome as they have been filmed in more than 180 productions including films, TV series and commercials.
Patch – (China) North American Premiere. Directors: Wei Huang, Yufei Chen, Juan Hu; Screenwriters: Juan Hu. The short film is made to recall the bodily memories of the pandemic and BLM protests in 2020.
The Mississippi – (USA) North American Premiere. Director: Keely Kernan; Producer: Dan Frank. The Mississippi is an interactive documentary that explores the relationship between the river and the lives and livelihoods of those living along its shores.
We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On – (UK). Director/Producer: Sam Crane; Writers: Sam Crane, William Shakespeare. What happens when you try to perform Shakespeare inside Grand Theft Auto? Cast: Sam Crane, Mark Oosterveen
Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church invites the public to enjoy a Christmas Concert in the Mountains.
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