Friday, September 1, 2017
St. Paul’s Square, 120 East J Street & 1st Street, Benica, CA 94510
TIMES TO BE UPDATED SOON, PLEASE CHECK BACK
Saturday, September 2, 2017
The Historic Majestic Theatre, 710 1st St, Benicia, CA 94510
TIMES TO BE UPDATED SOON, PLEASE CHECK BACK
Sunday, September 3, 2017
The Historic Majestic Theatre, 710 1st St, Benicia, CA 94510
TIMES TO BE UPDATED SOON, PLEASE CHECK BACK
INFORMATION FOR FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
Gala begins at 6:30
Films begin at 7:00
Ben Reingold, United States, High School, 10 min.
A high school student with a physical disability auditions for an A Capella group and finds that she’ll need more than her good voice to be accepted.
Daniel Lachman, United States, Film School, 10 min.
Over the course of a first date, a man and woman in their mid-20s discuss the notion of romance in the 21st century and reminisce about an earlier time period, but their night takes an unexpected turn.
Close Your Eyes..Well
Ali Albayati, Iraq, Art in Film, 12 min.
Hamoody is a teenager who plays the violin, but he lives in a garbage dump with a dream that someday he will play in a concert. So, his little sister works to make his dream come true by enlisting other children living in the dump. (Arabic w/English subtitles).
Kate Isenberg, United States, Animation, 7 min.
Stewball, a bipedal horse, is being stalked by Death, from his dreams to his cubicle job. Stewball writes a letter to Death, asking why he’s being followed; Death replies, inviting Stewball to meet in the park. There, Stewball plays with a girl who reveals an unexpected perspective on life.
Hsiao Hsuan Liu, United States, Short Short, 6 min.
A man wakes up in a car crash and finds himself lost in a world where no one else exists.
Tytus Bergstrom, United States, Smartphone, 4 min.
Fantasy about playing hooky from work, and a little surprised to see what follows when leaving the house.
The Invisible Mammal – The Bat Rescuer, Kristin Tieche, United States, Eco-Sustainability, 10 min.
We meet Corky Quirk, founder of Nor Cal Bats, an organization that provides care for injured bats and educational programs for libraries, schools, nature programs, fairs and other events throughout the northern California region. Corky highlights issues facing bats and highlights their importance to the ecosystem. The Yolo Causeway, near Woodland, CA is featured as human-made habitat for a large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2017
Doors Open at 10:00
10:30 – 12:00
Swimming in the Desert
Ron Alvaro, United States, Eco-Sustainability, 15 min.
In the drought-stricken town of Agua Dulce, in the California High Desert, a ten year old girl challenges her grandfather, a cranky retired firefighter, to follow a crazy plan to bring water back to the dry river.
We Live in the Lake
Mark Pedelty, United States, Eco-Sustainability, 3 min.
A song and music video created for the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance in order to raise awareness around sedimentation issues and the Alliance’s restoration projects. Lake Pepin is a naturally-occurring lake, and the widest part of the Mississippi River, located approximately 60 miles downstream from Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Emilia Stålhammar, Sweden, Eco-Sustainability, 15 min.
The streets of Kampala, Uganda are chaotic and dangerous, especially for cyclists: traffic, endless queues, pollution, motorcyclists and cars attack from every angle. Political and cultural mores are also obstacles. But urban planner Amanda Ngabirano has a big dream for a cycling lane in her city.
The Endless River
Mohammad Mohammadian, Iran, Eco-Sustainability, 3 min.
A young man is sitting next to a drought-stricken river, watching the barren land while fantasizing about fishing. Aroused from his daydream, he coughs, comes back to his senses, rises up and walks along the river.
The Cherry Tree
Matthieu Boivineau, France, Eco-Sustainability, 26 min.
(Le fruit de temps) Throughout many cycles of the four seasons, this majestic cherry tree has witnessed a family’s important moments of life and generational changes. And like the family, its roots are deep and its branches strong. This film is a poem about the passing of time, an ode to nature and a reflection of our changing identities. (French w/English subtitles)
Frontera Invisible (Invisible Border)****
Franc Planas, Spain, Eco-Sustainability, 28 min.
The story of entire communities trapped in the middle of the longest war in the world (between rebel FARC forces and the government of Columbia and corporate-sponsored paramilitary groups). Here, “palm oil fever” to produce ‘green’ fuel has displaced peasants and indigenous people, razed natural habitats and concentrated the land in the hands of “Los Ricos”. (Spanish w/English subtitles)
1:30 – 3:30
ABC World News: The Journalism Formula,
Josh Silva, United States (Walnut Creek, Ca) High School, 6 min.
A documentary covering the formula which ABC World News Tonight with David Muir uses in their newscast. It highlights the trivial nature of mainstream nightly news and how low it has sunk concerning relevant content.
Austin Rodgers, United States, High School, 12 min.
Alex, an ex-druggie, is faced with an ultimatum when his mentally-handicapped brother’s institution director informs him of troubling news.
Ho Ho Ho ***
Caden H. Hollander and Magnus Fulton, United States, High School, 30 min.
Santa Claus is dead. The North Pole is in chaos until it is discovered that Santa had a long, lost son. While training this boy to be the next Santa, the Grinch’s son seeks revenge for the treatment of his father.
All About Emily
Valentina Casadei, France, Film School, 7 min.
(Å Propos d’Émilie) An immigrant housekeeper is continually bullied by an aging bourgeois for no apparent reason. Forced to endure these abuses in order to avoid being sent back to Cuba, she makes a discovery that changes her point of view. (French w/English subtitles)
Tamara Bunker, United States, Film School, 9 min.
Valentina, torn between love and career, is reluctantly persuaded by her Abuela to have a quinceañera party on her 30th birthday to help her find a man. On the same day, she gets offered her dream job.
The Bus Trip
Sarah Gampel, Sweden, Film School, 14 min.
Sarah is invited to show her film in Israel as part of a film festival bus trip. She is hoping for political discussions and friendship but the conversation stops each time she brings up the occupation of Palestine. So instead, Sarah talks to her dead dad over a noisy phone line.
Sabrin Transversal, Germany, Film School, 8 min.
A lonely unemployment office worker, Ute, meets easy-going but jobless, Jens, in a “Cuddle Group”. While she tries to get a closer connection with him, he just enjoys the group experience. Will this encounter have a future? A short sequence about searching for an escape from loneliness. (German w/English Subtitles)
The Next Rembrandt
Anjo Kantelberg, Netherlands, Art in Film, 24 min.
By studying the work of painter Rembrandt van Rijn using algorithms, “face detection” technology and a 3D printer, The Next Rembrandt was brought to life. The documentary follows the creative process of this painting in both the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries. A team of data scientists, developers, engineers and Rembrandt experts present the complex boundaries between technology and emotion. How far can we go in art with today’s technology?
Elias Djemil, Quebec, Canada, Art in Film, 8 min
Sarah wants to dance and, like any artist, wants to create. This film tells the story of her creative transition from darkness to light.
4:30 – 6:30
Deborah Kelly, Australia, Art in Film, 4 min.
Reclining nude female figures from the western canon of art history escape from centuries of servitude and the colonial heteropatriarchy to form a revolution.
Berlin Tableau, Günter Steinmeyer Bemoans 100 Friendly Places
Thomas Schumacher, Germany, Art in Film, 40 min.
(Orte die gut sind) Steinmeyer gives a pointed depiction of Berlin that, despite the blog’s name, draws attention to places and situations that aren’t always pleasant or “friendly”. He subtly distorts reality with invention and exaggeration. His blog entries tend towards irony, bordering on derision: perhaps a dig at the city he loves. From brief escapes to lengthy excursions to the edge of the city, Steinmeyer has cycled to many places but, so far at least, he’s always returned. (German w/English subtitles)
Say What ! A Geriatric Proposal
Jeremy Weinstein, United States, Animation, 6 min.
At a post-concert reception, a young jazz musician tries to survive aggressive grannies and other terrifying beasts.
Lookin’ for Love
A L Palmer, Germany, Animation, 1 min
A fly goes “lookin’” in all the wrong places until….
Meng Zhou, United Kingdom, Animation, 4 min.
The filmmaker believes animation is more than the illusion of motion and change; it is a poetic synthesis of all art forms, where worlds of ideas and sciences aim to move the human ‘anima’ or ‘psyche’ to represent the totality of the human mind: the conscious and the unconscious.
Pedro Solís, Cataluña, Spain, Animation, 11 min.
(Ropes) María’s routine at school is altered by the arrival of a very special child. As they play games with ropes, they become close friends. (Spanish w/English subtitles)
The Third Script
M Javad Khajavi, Singapore, Animation, 6 min.
Inspired by the beauty of the art of calligraphy and mystical literature from Persia, this film is metaphor for the unexplainable secrets of the universe.
Saman Hosseinpuor, Kurdistan, Short Short, 4 min.
In the apartment of an older couple, the husband is asleep and the wife is doing housework. The wife tries to change the fish bowl’s water but it slips out of her hands and falls on the ground. They’ve run out of water and there’s no water for the fish. There must be a solution.
Memento Mori-Next Level
Viktor Butok, Ukraine, Short Short, 4 min.
Death comes to unlucky gamer… (Ukrainian w/English subtitles)
Lawrence Ribeiro, United States, Short Short, 2 min.
Rush hour is about to take on a new meaning. Two cars race on the streets and freeways of Los Angeles, side by side, unleashed. It’s a chase of muscle and speed: no CG, no rules, no stops, just high-speed action like no other.
The Kid and the Hitman
Melinda Darlington-Bach, United States, Short Short, 5 min.
A mysterious meeting in a darkened movie theater leads to an unusual and unexpected relationship.
Anthony Brady, United States, Short Short, 3 min.
A man struggles with a breakup.
Seeing Beauty Beyond Eyes
Toby Crispy, Hong Kong, China, Smartphone, 26 min.
A devastating critique of the incredible waste of the fashion industry: how it continually pushes new trends, which in turn, encourages us to keep chasing, keep buying and keep abandoning our clothes unnecessarily and unconsciously. Fortunately, it offers a solution. (Cantonese w/English subtitles)
Pradip Savaliya, India, Smartphone, 3 min.
The story of a young boy from a small, traditional Muslim village who is chasing a dream. He seeks out a remote spot to secretly practice his craft.
Dancing Day, I Don’t Wanna Go to Work
Tytus Bergstrom, United States, (Richmond, Ca) Smartphone, 4 min.
In his fantasy about playing hooky from work, our protagonist is a little surprised to see what follows when he leaves the house.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
Doors Open at 10:30
Sapmi – The Way of Being
Arttu Nieminen, Finland, Eco-Sustainability, 15 min.
This film offers a nonverbal poetic journey through the mental landscape of the Sápmi. An anthropological dive into the cultural nuances and everyday life of the sámi, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. It reveals the serenity, freedom, feeling of space and force as experienced in Sapmi.
You Can Build a Garden
Mark Pedelty, United States- Eco-Sustainability, 3 min.
An entertaining and engaging music video about rain gardens. A fun educational video that will make you sing and dance.
Ali Hart, United States, Eco-Sustainability, 33 min.
Spotlight California follows a Californian comedian and filmmaker as she travels across the state investigating the California we don’t see on postcards. She meets people taking on the drought, water contamination in farm country, air pollution and potential gas price manipulation. Finding refuge in moments of levity along the way, the filmmaker takes us on a California road trip unlike any we’ve experienced.
Dan Goldes, United States, Eco-Sustainability, 5 min.
Activist Karen Topakian has been arrested dozens of times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. What drives her to repeatedly put her body on the line? In turn lighthearted and moving, Karen’s story speaks to the need for Americans, now more than ever, to exercise this important First Amendment right.
Marc Chung Protects His Address
Michael Chan, United States, Film School, 10 min.
Marc recounts a story to his friends about the events that led up to purchasing a pellet gun to protect his address. He suspects a man is committing fraud under his address. The suspect shows up at his door and flees after being caught that he’s been lying. Marc shows up at the police station to file a report but is denied due to insufficient evidence (WARNING: This comedy contains strong language.)
Millennium: Eternal Sunrise
Elena Aksenova, United States, Film School, 11min.
In the fantasy world of Charani, an 11-year-old girl, who has recently lost her beloved mother, an ancient legend may help to resurrect her. She journeys to the enigmatic mountain summit to meet with a magical Romani (Gypsy) Man with a Millennium box. According to the legend, this immortal man appears there once in a millennium. Charani has to decide if she is ready to exchange her future life for the ability to recast her past.
Alireza Ghasemi, Iran, Film School, 15 min.
A 16-year-old girl deals with the responsibility and harsh bureaucracy of having to identify the body of her mother. The teenager struggles to identify her deceased mother; while the officials try to stop her; her visit has other intentions.
Merve Cirisoglu Cotur, United Kingdom, Film School. 7 min.
The happy life of a Syrian kid alters instantly with the sudden war and he finds himself in a state of struggle. The war changes not only lives, but also the role of his box; first as a carefully built toy house, then as a place to take shelter in a refugee camp full of dangers and finally as a boat that sails for a journey towards hope.
Steve Socki, United States, Animation, 4 min.
Animated abstract shapes and gestures dance together playfully with bird-like motion. This animation was developed from hand-drawn pastel art, based on motion studies of birds, and the moving patterns. The film is a non-narrative story, focusing on the timing and the motion, choreographed with abstract shapes and textures – interacting playfully with each other and woven together with impressionistic music.
I Don’t Like Her
Javad Daraei, Iran, Film School, 20 min.
Eli has been involved in a personality dualism and regardless of her constant disagreements with her father she still seeks her true nature.
Dean Parker, United States, High School, 21 min.
A high school senior girl finds that there’s more value to her than meets the eye after being photographed by one of her classmates. Images is a story about finding your true self-value. How attractive you are is the only way to be accepted, but in the end of the day what matters and what will make the lasting impression is who you truly are on the inside.
From Dogs to Wolves
Azure Allen, United States, High School, 10 min.
Human stories are as numerous as stars in the sky. This is the story of a young man struggling with the space between the domestic magic of childhood and the sometimes unbearable wilderness of adulthood, who loses his way and finds himself homeless on the streets of San Francisco. This is what happens when dogs become wolves.
Jack Campise, United States, Art in Film, 6 min.
A painter attempts to develop as an artist despite constant backlash to his changing style.
The Bigger Picture
Daisy Jacobs, United Kingdom, Art in Film, 7 min.
The life-size animated tale of two sons, one ageing mum, and no end in sight. Film shows the story through a myriad of motions and rich texture.
By the Name of Boston
Grant Kolton, United States, Animation, 2 min.
William Boston lives in the desert and doesn’t care for many things though he does have one friend, a scorpion named Chester. This animation includes motion graphics and mixed media/live-action.
The Longings of Maya Gordon****
Asaf Yecheskel, Israel, Art in Film, 57 min.
The tragic-comic portrait of the artist Maya Gordon as elderly wandering Jewess seeking a home and expressing the yearning in her outstanding work. This is an original and intriguing film combined with art, people, scenery, and history.
Atoosa Ghaffari, Iran, Animation, 6 min.
The Story is about a recycle bin who is a hotdog lover. Fun, clever animation with a mixture of human and trash can characters and good music.
The Old Man and The Pears
Jing Sun, United States, Animated, 5 min.
A weak and hungry old man begs for a pear from a fruit peddler, but the peddler refuses and rejects him. A little boy bravely steps forward and spends his last coin to buy a pear for the old man. Finally, a magical form of justice emerges from the ground.
Cup of Tea****
Jitendra Rai, India, Short Short, 3 min.
A young photographer stands at the edge of a lake as she takes pictures of the beauty surrounding her. She notices a young village kid smiling at her. Suddenly, she’s jolted back to reality when the young delinquent picks up her bag and makes a run for it. She chases him through the beautiful landscape as he whips through jungles and open fields and villages. Just when hope seems to be at an end, she finally finds the kid, and what she sees overwhelms her and melts her heart.
We the People
Jeremy Weinstein, United States, Short Short, 2 min.
We the People explores the American Spirit through the diversity of its people. Series of photo shots of American individuals.
A Share of Share
Kaveh Jahed, Iran, Short Short, 2 min.
In a tent in refugee camp, a father protests a problem his son has created that for their ration of food.
Karina Bedkowska, United Kingdom, Short Short, 5 min.
When Karina’s grandmother died, the only thing she inherited was her grandmother’s clothing. She tried it on and noticed their similarities. It was like calling the ghosts. Karina was looking for her female roots in Ukraine. In this documentary ‘HERE’ (Tutka in Ukranian) Karina visits Ukraine trying to learn how much of her family history is a part of herself.
Sergi Marti, Spain, Smartphone, 3 min.
John comes home after a long vacation and gets a surprising reception. Comedy and unpredictability.
Manpreet Singh, Canada, Smartphone, 3 min.
Unseen Memories unravels a compilation of thoughts through the eyes of a young girl. The wonderful world portrayed by her father contradicts the harsh reality.
Amreen Ghouse, Canada, Smartphone, 4 min.
12 year-old Haris is on a mission to collect money to buy a teddy for his beau aka Lola for her birthday. Something he sees later makes him change his mind.
Korean Dog Meat Expose****
James Hyams, Korea, Smartphone, 15 min.
In this in-depth investigative documentary, we expose the current conditions in dog farms in South Korea using raw, undercover footage shot via smartphone. This movie has graphic footage that reveals the reality dogs are face in a Korean dog farm. (WARNING: Includes disturbing images of dogs being mistreated)
**Program subject to change**