Short film review: ‘And I Miss You Like A Little Kid’ hits you square in the chest.

And I Miss You Like A Little Kid

From microaggressions to unapologetic emotional manipulation, And I Miss You Like A Little Kid sees a new relationship between strangers Jason and Clarissa begin during the pandemic. It isn’t long before power becomes the focus, and masterminded carelessness drive one of them to their breaking point.

Watching Jason endure ceaseless emotional abuse is visceral. It’s an interesting angle from the typical toxic grooming gender dynamic. Filmed in lockdown adds another layer, the relationship compiling with the isolation that was already a monster when Jason was alone. And I Miss You Like A Little Kid takes you by surprise, over and over.

Teri Reeves plays Clarissa with an edgy, ferocious energy. I loathed her. It is essential to understand this is a compliment. She is great.

Chris Zylka‘s vulnerability is award-worthy. The performance reminds me a lot of Cooper Raiff in Sh*thouse. It is not often we see the softer side of men. Zylka brings freshness. His sadness and overwhelming confusion are palpable.

As someone who had three separate college roommates that were cutters, And I Miss You Like A Little Kid is especially challenging to witness. I had forgotten the impact of catching someone bleeding with a knife in one hand, bleeding from the wrist or forearm, or inner thigh. But, in this film, Jason’s ability to recognize his breaking point is the catharsis necessary before the audience loses all hope. And I Miss You Like A Little Kid hits hard and leaves scars. It will take me a long time to shake. Writer-director Benjamin Hosking strikes a raw nerve and presents us with a clear artistic voice. Whatever comes next, I’ll have my eyes and ears waiting.


And I Miss You Like a Little Kid (TRAILER) from Benjamin Hosking on Vimeo.


Audiences can see the film today at  AFI Film Festival Conservatory Showcase 6. It will screen in a block with other short films beginning at 3:45 PM at TCL Chinese Theater. 
The entire film festival will run Wednesday, November 2-6th, 2022.

AND I MISS YOU LIKE A LITTLE KID is a short psychological drama displaying the spiraling and abusive domestic relationship of Jason (Chris Zylka, The Amazing Spider Man (2012), 90210, Hannah Montana and Cougar Town) and Clarissa (Teri Reeves, The Punisher on Netflix, ABC’s Once upon a Time, Hulu’s Battleground and NBC’s Chicago Fire) in Covid-era Los Angeles.


Film’s website: https://www.andimissyoulikealittlekid.com

Instagram: @andimissyoulikealiitlekid

Facebook Page: And I Miss You Like a Little Kid


 

Short film review: ‘Shepherd’s Song’ – Quietly healing nature with nurture.

Shepherd’s Song

When Jenya Schneider lost both her parents by age 18, she was pushed to find meaning and hope in her life. That came in the form of a flock of sheep.

Abigail Fuller’s short film Shepherd’s Song contemplates Earth’s interconnectedness through the eyes of California grazier Jenya Schneider. Climate change threats in the west frequently come in the form of severe droughts and wildfires. Jenya and her partner Jack have chosen a cyclically beneficial lifestyle for the Earth, their clients, and themselves. Four hundred ewes, recycled fencing, and unrelenting passion comprise their venture. Grazing becomes a service to the land, and the sheep produce wool and lanolin. The science behind grazing done right shows the value to the ecosystems it serves. It’s healing the land.

A beautiful score by Serena Goransson moves from subtle to soaring as the film progresses. It feels perfect. Carmen Delaney’s mix of handheld and drone cinematography gives the audience an idea of the landscape scale against Jenya and Jack’s figures through the mountainous grasslands. It is stunning. SHEPHERD’S SONG is part climate film, part nature film, and all heart. We can all learn a whole lot from Jenya and Jack. They are showing the world how to repair the damage we’ve done, one area of grassland at a time.


SHEPHERD’S SONG is now available to view on The North Face’s Youtube channel 
Genre: Eco, nature climate Documentary

The North Face is partnering to release the film on their YouTube channel on October 13th. The film’s director Abigail Fuller was the recipient of The North Face’s “Move Mountains Filmmaker Grant” for women filmmakers.


 

Fantastic Fest 2022 review: ‘GIVE ME AN A’ for autonomy, damnit.

GIVE ME AN A

A wild ride of an anthology reacting to the overturning of Roe v Wade through horror, dark comedy, and sci-fi. Created by an all-female filmmaking team, this 17-segment series focuses on the visceral gut reactions of each filmmaker to expand conversations about women’s reproductive rights and the importance of bodily autonomy and also addresses the issues of a democracy that does not protect the needs of the majority of the population.


A kickass self-aware cheer squad presents this all-female-created feminist horror anthology. Each of the shorts is introduced by a call and response board, football game style, featuring the title on one and writer(s)-director(s) on the other. This phenomenal group of films made me want to scream, “Hell yeah!” But it also scared the shit out of me.

The Voiceless
A terrifying body horror short is a supernatural and bloody physical manifestation of body autonomy.

DTF
A dating app couple has a straightforward conversation but during foreplay. Hilariously respectful and legal chat about consent and expectation. This one turns the tables on reality.

Good Girl
This short is a direct takedown of religious indoctrination that women exist to produce children. It features Catholic school girls in a warped version of sex education class.

Our Precious Babies
This laugh-out-loud short, backed up by a laugh track, is a sitcom version of a fertility facility. It speaks to the extremism since the overturning of Roe and what could be coming next.

The Walk
A young woman attempts to make it to the front door of an abortion clinic only to be swarmed by frenzied protestors.

Medi-Evil
The cultivation of women’s bodies like that of a beehive was a visceral and disturbing watch. It made me squirm.

Sweetie
This complex short tackles the familial fallout and generational effects of forced birth.

Abigail
Alyssa Milano plays Abigail Adams reading her letters to her husband and his colonial cronies. Who knew she was such an eloquent badass?!

Plan C
This one is a mock commercial for government-approved birth control. It’s a real nightmare that simultaneously tackles abuse. Molly C. Quinn is riveting.

Hold Please
A secret support group for women I wish existed in real life. It’s a visual and emotional powerhouse.

God’s Plan
A pregnant woman is pulled over and threatened with a ticket. The dialogue is ripped from the headlines.

Crone
A woman harassed in her car has vengeful fantasies. Or maybe they’re flashbacks.

Crucible
Reality competition show spoof. Jackie Tohn hosts a show the men are less than thrilled about the “prize.” This is a vicious reality check, and I want to watch this show. Who’s your Daddy?

The Last Store
Ten years into the future, Gina Torres stars as a store owner with a particular set of skills, hounded by a local cop. It made my palms sweat.

Traditional
This sci-fi short brings conspiracy theories surrounding IVF to gestation.

GIVE ME AN A: The Cheerleaders
Writer-director-creator Natasha Halevi leaves us with the film’s creative finale, featuring our beloved cheer squad (oh, and some dudes.) A choreographed dance from Stephanie Landwehr is deliciously sinful.

directors

Natasha Halevi, Meg Swertlow, Bonnie Discepolo, Danin Jacquay, Erica May Wright, Monica Moore-Suriyage, Caitlin Hargraves, Megan Rosati, Hannah Alline, Avital Ash, Mary C. Russell, Valerie Finkel, Loren Escandon, Francesca Maldonado, Kelly Nygaard


 

 

TIFF 22 short film review: Sophy Romvari’s ‘IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS’ pulls the run out from underneath you with its intimacy.


IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS

Filmmaker Sophy Romvari features a young woman named Becca Willow Moss as she embarks on a unique journey of self-discovery with others. IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS has the audience eavesdropping on phone conversations. The voices on the other end of the line each desire something different. The men seem to seek romance, while others lean more sexual. Her other calls engage an entirely different demographic; the elderly. These chats revolve around memory, singing, reassurance, and pure love.

Becca has a knack for discovering what motivates each person. She describes herself to people as a multi-faceted artist. A label I covet myself. She is the most genuine and gentle communicator. She is giving and authentic. I remain completely enamored by her.

The cinematography is 90% comprised of closeup shots of mannerisms, objects in the room, Becca’s hair and clothes, and her face as she speaks and listens to those she calls. Combined with the fact that the 11-minute run has us solely inside Becca’s apartment lends to the intimacy already created by her words. It’s a brilliant choice, frankly.

Romvari had me thoroughly engrossed from the very beginning. I could have easily watched a feature-length version of Becca and her callers. Therein lies the irony of IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS. As we get comfortable with the narrative structure, Romvari steps in, via voice only, and asks Becca what she thinks the project’s meaning might be. Her answer takes you aback. While we enjoy the film for unconsciously selfish reasons, Becca has her own motivation that I did not expect. Undoubtedly one of the best short films at TIFF22. It’s about the universal need for human connection. Everyone needs someone to listen. Everyone needs to feel seen.


Short Cuts Programme 06.
Sophy Romvari
CANADA | 2022 | English
11 minutes


Fri, Sep 16
IN-PERSON
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
5:30pm


Sat, Sep 17
IN-PERSON
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
9:05am


 

Film at Lincoln Center announces Currents for the 60th New York Film Festival (September 30–October 16, 2022). #NYFF60

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES
CURRENTS FOR THE 60th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

Opening Night João Pedro Rodrigues‘s Will-o’-the-Wisp 

New York, NY (August 18, 2022) – Film at Lincoln Center announces Currents for the 60th New York Film Festival (September 30–October 16, 2022).

“Each Currents lineup is an attempt to distill the spirit of innovation and playfulness in contemporary cinema, and this is, by design, the most expansive section of the festival,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director, New York Film Festival. “There are familiar names here—including multiple filmmakers who will be known to NYFF and FLC audiences—as well as some electrifying new talents, all testing and stretching the possibilities of the medium.”

The Currents slate includes 15 features and 44 short films, representing 23 countries, and complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices. The section presents a diverse offering of short and feature-length productions by filmmakers and artists working at the vanguard of the medium.

The Opening Night selection is the João Pedro Rodrigues (The Ornithologist, NYFF54) film Will-o’-the-Wisp, a “musical fantasia” about a young prince who shocks his riotously wealthy royal family by becoming a volunteer fireman—both to battle climate change and, it seems, to douse his own dormant desires amidst a bevy of beefcake firefighters. Others include the North American premiere of Human Flowers of Flesh, Helena Wittmann’s depiction of an enigmatic reconfiguration of space and time as Idi (Angeliki Papoulia) follows a crew of French Foreign Legionnaires, fascinated by their male rituals and camaraderie; and the world premiere of Heinz Emigholz’s Slaughterhouses of Modernity, a quiet observation and historical excavation, focusing on creation and destruction in cities and provinces in Argentina, Germany, and Bolivia.

Noteworthy filmmakers whose works will appear in this year’s Currents include Bertrand Bonello with Coma (Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize), a sui generis work of pandemic-era interiority, tracking the anxiety and estrangement of a teenage girl (Louise Labeque, from Bonello’s Zombi Child, NYFF57) who appears to live alone during COVID lockdown; Alain Gomis (Félicité, NYFF55) with Rewind & Play, a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism using newly discovered footage from the recording of a 1969 French television interview of the legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk; artist Mika Rottenberg, whose first feature and collaboration with Mahyad Tousi, Remote, follows the daily routines of a quarantined woman (Okwui Okpokwasili) in her sealed-off, ultra-modern apartment; Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf) with Queens of the Qing Dynasty, which charts the budding friendship of a suicidal teen and a volunteer immigrant hospital worker; Alessandro Comodin (Happy Times Will Come Soon, ND/NF 2017) with The Adventures of Gigi the Law, a slippery, often funny, occasionally surreal slice-of-life portrait of a good-natured, contemplative policeman in a small village in northern Italy; Lebanese visual artist Ali Cherri with The Dam, a debut feature about a bricklayer in northern Sudan that straddles the line between nonfiction naturalism and supernatural mysticism, and merges ancient and contemporary worlds; Abbas Fahdel (Bitter Bread, NYFF57) with Tales of the Purple House, focusing on the experiences of Nour Balllouk, a Lebanese artist living in the house she shares with director Fahdel (her husband, who stays off-screen) in the dramatic mountainous countryside outside of Beirut; and Jonás Trueba (Every Song Talks About Me, 20th Spanish Cinema Now) with You Have to Come and See It, portraying a reunion between two couples for a concert and drinks after they have been kept apart from each other for months by the pandemic and major life changes, which paints an alternately rapturous and neurotic impression of contemporary Western living.

Notable award-winning features in this year’s Currents include The Unstable Object II (winner of the Main Prize at FIDMarseille), Daniel Eisenberg’s dynamic triptych that patiently observes people working at three factories around the world, continued from a project started in 2011; Ruth Beckermann’s Mutzenbacher (Berlinale Encounters Award for Best Film), a playful yet charged project featuring a vast group of men, who volunteered to appear on camera, perched on a floral pink couch in a cavernous abandoned factory, discussing a work of infamous erotica; Gustavo Vinagre’s loose-limbed comic marvel Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter (Berlinale Teddy Award), set during a vibrant São Paulo afternoon amidst a peculiar pandemic that affects people’s short-term memory; and Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós’s Dry Ground Burning (Cinéma du Réel Grand Prize), a lightning rod dispatch from contemporary—and maybe future—Brazil, an astonishing mix of documentary and speculative fiction that takes place in the nearly post-apocalyptic environs of the Sol Nascente favela in Brasilia.

World premieres of shorts are abundant in this year’s selection, with new works from Alex Ashe, Mary Helena Clark, Sarah Friedland, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mark Jenkin, Josh Kline, Mackie Mallison, Angelo Madsen Minax, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Dani and Sheilah ReStack, Kim Salac, Joshua Gen Solondz, Courtney Stephens, and Jordan Strafer.

Additional notable voices in the visual arts featured as part of the Currents program include Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar with Aribadawith Aribada, a space between documentary and dreamlike imagery of Colombia’s coffee region; Ellie Ga with Quarries, a potent, digressive triptych of palimpsestic imagery that uncovers various histories of humans’ relationships to stone; Sophia Al-Maria’s oneiric jaunt through an alternative art history, Tiger Strike Red; Fox Maxy’s compelling montage F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now, which documents the artist’s homecoming to Mesa Grande, California, ancestral lands of the Mesa Grande band of Iipay/Kumeyaay/Diegueño Mission Indians in what is now called San Diego County; Eva Giolo with The Demands of Ordinary Devotion, a catalog of moments that captures the elegance and banality of creation; and Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel with Watch the Fire or Burn Inside it, a work of noise, pyromania, and rage against a world of concrete. New works are also presented by Meriem Bennani, Lloyd Lee Choi, Sara Cwynar, Charlotte ErcoliArne Hector with Luciana Mazeto, Minze Tummescheit and Vinícius Lopes, and Simón Veléz.

Artists returning to NYFF include Ute Aurand, Alexandra Cuesta, Riccardo Giacconi, Simon Liu, Pablo Mazzolo, Jamil McGinnis, Diane Severin Nguyen, Lois Patiño, Nicolás Pereda, James Richards, Ben Russell, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Tiffany Sia.

Three of this year’s Currents shorts are paired with features from the section: Bi Gan’s A Short Story, preceding Remote; Pedro Neves Marques’s Becoming Male in the Middle Ages, preceding You Have to Come and See It; and Elisabeth Subrinand’s Maria Schneider, preceding Rewind & Play.

Radu Jude (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, NYFF59) revisits the history of the battleship Potemkin—as a comic dialogue between a sculptor and a representative from Romania’s Ministry of Culture, in The Potemkinists, which will screen with a to-be-announced Revivals program.

Finally, this year’s Currents shorts program features a restoration of the Edward Owens film Remembrance: A Portrait Study, depicting the filmmaker’s mother and her friends, arrayed in feather boas and pearls, drinking beer, smoking, gossiping, and posing leisurely in Owens’s ethereal chiaroscuro frames and extravagant superimpositions. Owen’s film will also screen as part of a shorts program in the Revivals section, with information forthcoming in the Revivals announcement.

The Currents selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, includes Florence Almozini, Aily Nash, Rachael Rakes, and Tyler Wilson. Nash and Wilson are the head shorts programmers for NYFF. Shelby Shaw and Madeline Whittle are programming assistants for short films, and Micah Gottlieb, Marius Hrdy, Almudena Escobar López, Vikram Murthi, Maxwell Paparella, Mariana Sánchez Bueno and Matthew Thurber are submissions screeners. Violeta Bava, Michelle Carey, Leo Goldsmith, and Gina Telaroli serve as NYFF program advisors.

NYFF60 Currents feature films are sponsored by MUBI, a curated streaming service for award-winning cinema.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 30–October 16, 2022. An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues an enduring tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, the New York Film Festival will offer festival screenings in all five boroughs of New York City in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Staten Island), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) (Brooklyn), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (Bronx), Maysles Documentary Center (Harlem), and the Museum of the Moving Image (Queens). Each venue will present a selection of films throughout the festival; a complete list of films and showtimes will be announced later this month. NYFF60 tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on September 19 at noon.

FLC invites audiences to celebrate this milestone anniversary by reflecting on their NYFF experiences with our NYFF Memories survey and by taking part in our Letterboxd Watch Challenge.

Please note: Masks are required for all staff, audiences, and filmmakers at all times in public spaces at FLC indoor spaces. Proof of full vaccination is not required for NYFF60 audiences at FLC indoor spaces, but full vaccination is strongly recommended. Visit filmlinc.org/safety for more information. For health and safety protocols at partner venues, please visit their official websites.

 

Festival Passes are on sale now in limited quantities. NYFF60 single tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on Monday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members and Pass holders prior to this date. This Friday, August 19, is the last day to secure pre-sale access by becoming a Member––save 30% with the code NYFF60. Support of NYFF benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its nonprofit mission to promote the art and craft of cinema. NYFF60 press and industry accreditation is now open and the application deadline is August 31. NYFF60 volunteer call is now open

 

 

Currents Features:

Opening Night

Will-o’-the-Wisp
João Pedro Rodrigues, 2022, Portugal, 67m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Transgressive queer auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’s outré “musical fantasia” begins in the year 2069, when Portugal’s King Alfredo recalls from his deathbed his erotic exploits and social activism as a fresh-faced, curly-haired prince in the early years of the 21st century. The young man shocks his riotously wealthy royal family by becoming a volunteer fireman—both to do his part for a rural landscape prone to devastating wildfires and, it seems, to douse his own dormant desires amidst a bevy of beefcake firefighters. Rodrigues’s delirious and delicious anything-goes style has never felt more joyous than in this curiously hopeful, sexually frank confection that engages in questions of climate change, racial and economic inequity, and governmental inadequacy, while also indulging in bawdy humor and song-and-dance flights of fancy. A Strand Releasing release.

 

The Adventures of Gigi the Law
Alessandro Comodin, 2022, Italy/France/Belgium, 98m
Italian and Friulian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Gigi, a good-natured, contemplative policeman in a small village in northern Italy, spends his workdays making inquiries into minor infractions, checking on residents, listening to his car radio, and flirting with a pretty new colleague. Yet even in this uneventful town, there is a dark undercurrent of melancholy, indicated by a wave of recent suicides on the local train tracks. Alessandro Comodin follows his breakthrough shape-shifter Happy Times Will Come Soon with a slippery, often very funny slice-of-life portrait that drifts into occasional glimmers of surreality. Comodin’s brilliantly expressive use of off-screen space unsettles even as it amuses, creating a world whose contours are just barely discernible, whether cloaked in a nighttime thicket of trees or against the bright sun-dappled countryside.

Coma
Bertrand Bonello, 2022, France, 81m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Director Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama) is among his generation’s most accomplished makers of disquieting imagery; his latest, a sui generis work of pandemic-era interiority, functions as an alternately humorous and horrifying sketch of our current existential miasma. This unsettling film tracks the anxiety and estrangement of a teenage girl (Louise Labeque, from Bonello’s Zombi Child) who appears to live alone during COVID lockdown and gradually begins to experience the dissolution of boundaries between her real and imagined zones. Utilizing an array of media—computer animation, Zoom chats, internet video, stop-motion dolls, surveillance footage—the filmmaker constructs a dreamlike limbo that increasingly feels ruled by some invisible supernatural realm. Created as a personal communiqué to the director’s 18-year-old daughter, Coma expresses, poignantly yet without sentimentality, a father’s fears in passing a troubled world along to his child.

The Dam
Ali Cherri, 2022, France/Lebanon/Sudan/Germany/Serbia/Qatar, 80m
Arabic with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Maher (Maher El Kahir) works as a bricklayer in northern Sudan, not far from the massive hydroelectric Merowe Dam located on the Nile. He spends his off hours laboring over another, more mysterious building project: a towering creature he’s making out of mud. In his debut feature, Lebanese visual artist Ali Cherri has constructed his own indefinable work, a riveting film that straddles the line between nonfiction naturalism and supernatural mysticism. Co-written with Bertrand Bonello and Geoffroy Grison, The Dam metaphorically evokes the destruction caused by the dam’s creation, while also situating the lives of Maher and his fellow workers against the political backdrop of former Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir’s 2019 military deposition. Cherri merges ancient and contemporary worlds in this meditative film about displacement, illusion, and mythmaking.

Dry Ground Burning
Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós, 2022, Brazil, 154m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
A lightning rod dispatch from contemporary—and maybe future—Brazil, this astonishing mix of documentary and speculative fiction takes place in the nearly postapocalyptic environs of the Sol Nascente favela in Brasilia. Here, fearsome outlaw Chitara (Joana Darc Furtado) leads an all-female gang that siphons and steals precious oil from the authoritarian, militarized government, while her sister, Léa (Léa Alves da Silva), recently released from prison, is brought into the criminal enterprise. Working together as directors for the first time, Queirós and Pimenta (who served as cinematographer on Queirós’s ethnographic sci-fi Once There Was Brasilia) effortlessly combine dramatized narrative with electrifying captured footage, which integrates the characters into rallies against Bolsonaro and fervent religious services. Presiding over it all are the regal Furtado and da Silva, playing alternate-reality versions of themselves, the fully liberated stars of an epic, hopeful vision. A Grasshopper Film release.

Human Flowers of Flesh
Helena Wittmann, 2022, Germany/France, 106m
English, French, Portuguese, Tamazight, and Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Director and cinematographer Helena Wittmann creates distinctive and unexpected cinematic experiences, dissolving narratives into environments that move to the inexpressible contours of human communication and physicality. In her second feature, following the revelatory, bifurcated Drift, she limns the interior world of Idi (Angeliki Papoulia) by focusing on the external, sensual landscape surrounding her. Fascinated by the male rituals and camaraderie of a crew of French Foreign Legionnaires, Idi follows them on a journey across the Mediterranean, which Wittmann depicts as an enigmatic reconfiguration of space and time, connecting the past and present, body and spirit, earth and water—including, in one remarkable moment, a complete submersion into the sea’s mysterious depths. Human Flowers of Flesh features a cameo from Denis Lavant, in tribute to Claire Denis’s thematically evoked Beau travail, yet Wittmann’s film moves to its own meditative, differently embodied rhythms.

Mutzenbacher
Ruth Beckermann, 2022, Austria, 101m
German with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
In this playful yet charged project from Austrian filmmaker Ruth Beckermann (The Waldheim Waltz, NYFF56), a vast group of men, from teenage to nonagenarian, have volunteered to appear on camera, perched on a floral pink couch in a cavernous abandoned factory, discussing, and in some cases reading aloud from, a work of infamous erotica. Published anonymously in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself, graphically details the sexual awakening of a teenage girl. In the voices of these men, who are variously befuddled, defensive, and eager, the book’s explicit content becomes at once absurd, neutralized, and purposefully dislocated. Beckermann uses this controversial text as a catalyst for a surprising, humorous, and nonjudgmental treatise on contemporary male sexual attitudes toward women, fantasy, pornography, and the ever-moving targets of morality.

Queens of the Qing Dynasty
Ashley McKenzie, 2022, Canada, 122m
English, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
After the latest in a series of suicide attempts, 18-year-old Star (Sarah Walker) wakes up in the hospital and remains dazed and disaffected as doctors and nurses try to rehabilitate, or at least break through to, them. The only person there who is able to penetrate Star’s consciousness is a volunteer named An (Ziyin Zheng), a kind-souled Chinese immigrant who becomes a lifeline for the similarly genderqueer but otherwise radically different Star. Ashley McKenzie’s follow-up to her breakthrough addiction drama Werewolf takes Star and An’s budding friendship as an anchor for something much stranger and more complex than a simple tale of recovery against odds. Instead, this is an aesthetically audacious two-hander constructed of insistent sonic landscapes and visual textures that convey the almost metastatic nature of love. McKenzie’s strategy of expressing her characters’ intense interiority forces normal definitions of space and time to expand and contract.

Remote
Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi, 2022, U.S., 89m
English, Korean, Persian, Spanish, Croatian, Hindi with English subtitles
Mika Rottenberg’s expansive, often giddily absurd video and installation art in part interrogates our increasing reliance on technology and connection to what we used to call reality. In her first feature, she collaborates with filmmaker Mahyad Tousi on a film she has described as “Jeanne Dielman during a pandemic in the future.” Remote follows the daily routines of a quarantined woman (Okwui Okpokwasili) in her sealed-off, ultra-modern apartment, a paradise of vibrant colors, thriving plant life, and virtual screens. While some unknown global crisis unfolds outside her window, she joins a watch party of women from around the world keen on the same South Korean dog-grooming show, eventually falling down a rabbit hole playing an inexplicable interactive game with them. Rottenberg and Tousi’s film finds new cinematic language to express the desire for physical contact in our increasingly isolated, mediated, and highly consumer-driven environments.

Preceded by:
A Short Story / Po Sui Tai Yang Zhi Xin
Bi Gan, 2022, China, 15m
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
With his signature long-takes and tightly controlled mise-en-scène, Bi Gan weaves a darkly surrealist fairy tale that follows the odyssey of an anthropomorphic feline across the empty cities and fog-bound exurban spaces of contemporary China. In his encounters with a strange cast of characters—a scarecrow, a robot, an amnesiac, a little girl—Black Cat is on a quest to answer a single question: What is the most precious thing in the world?

Rewind & Play
Alain Gomis, 2022, France/Germany, 66m
English and French with English subtitles
In December 1969, Thelonious Monk arrived in Paris for a concert at the tail end of a European tour. While there, the legendary jazz pianist was invited to appear on a television interview program, where he would perform and answer questions in an intimate, one-on-one studio stage. Using newly discovered footage from the recording of the interview, versatile French-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis (whose dazzling music-tinged drama Félicité played in NYFF’s Main Slate in 2017) reveals the troubling dynamic between Monk and his white interviewer, Henri Renaud, and how Monk stands his ground despite being antagonized by Renaud’s trivializing approach. Gomis’s gripping film is a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary; a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism; and, above all, a chance to see one of the monumental geniuses of 20th-century music at work.

Preceded by:
Maria Schneider, 1983
Elisabeth Subrin, 2022, France, 25m
English and French with English and French subtitles
Actresses Manal Issa, Aïssa Maïga, and Isabel Sandoval recreate a 1983 French TV interview with Maria Schneider, which takes a turn when she’s asked about the traumatic filming of Last Tango in Paris with Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando a decade before. Taken together, they not only perform Schneider’s words and gestures, but inhabit them through their own identities—along with all those silenced, before and after.

Slaughterhouses of Modernity
Heinz Emigholz, 2022, Germany, 80m
German with English subtitles
World Premiere
Contemporary cinema’s preeminent chronicler of architecture and its intersection with the ever-present crisis of 20th-century modernity, Heinz Emigholz returns with an alternately mournful and sly treatise on how the presence—and, in some cases, absence—of municipal and communal building architecture is inseparable from capitalist ideology. Focusing mainly on cities and provinces in Argentina, Germany, and Bolivia, Emigholz’s latest film is a work of quiet observation and historical excavation. From slaughterhouses in Salamone to the flooded former spa city of Epecuén to the newly built Humboldt Forum in Berlin, the film demonstrates the effect of capital on public spaces, where creation and destruction go hand in hand, and as always, Emigholz makes the journey one of intellectual force and cinematic beauty.

Tales of the Purple House
Abbas Fahdel, 2022, Lebanon/Iraq/France, 184m
Arabic with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Iraqi-French filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, whose Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (NYFF53) captured everyday experiences of his homelands citizens in the years before and after the U.S. invasion, has returned with another extraordinary, expansive cinematic vision combining images of mundane observation with social and political upheaval. Filmed over more than two years, Tales of the Purple House centers on the experiences of Nour Balllouk, a Lebanese artist living in the house she shares with Fahdel (her husband, who stays off-screen) in the dramatic mountainous countryside outside of Beirut. As she works on her latest paintings, communes with stray cats, and bonds with Syrian refugee neighbors, the nation struggles with turmoil, from the breakout of the COVID pandemic to citizens protesting the corruption of the political elite to ongoing violent attacks from neighboring Israel; meanwhile, the vibrant beauty of their home and its surroundings provides solace and regeneration. With the simplest of brushstrokes, Fahdel’s meditative film captures the creation of art amidst pain, the ongoing hope for revolution, and the struggle to live in the present while constantly bearing witness to the past.

Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter
Gustavo Vinagre, 2022, Brazil, 84m
Portuguese with English subtitles
A warm, bittersweet queer utopia bursts from the sidelines of Bolsonaro’s Brazil in Gustavo Vinagre’s loose-limbed comic marvel. Set during a peculiar pandemic that affects people’s short-term memory, the film follows a trio of 20-somethings—roommates Isabella (Isabella Pereira) and Pedro (Pedro Ribeiro), and Pedro’s visiting, same-age nephew, Jonata (Jonata Vieira)—as they explore a vibrant São Paulo one sunny afternoon. Lightly but movingly drawing parallels between the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s and the governmental treatment of disease today, Vinagre’s film nevertheless provides an ultimately hopeful, even joyous picture of the marginalized, an alt universe of people living both online and IRL, indulging in fantasy and pleasure, and maintaining humor despite the specter of death, past and present. Winner of the Teddy Award for Best LGBTQ-themed Feature at the Berlin Film Festival.

The Unstable Object II
Daniel Eisenberg, 2022, U.S./Germany/France/Turkey, 204m
U.S. Premiere
Continuing a project he began in 2011, filmmaker Daniel Eisenberg presents a dynamic triptych that patiently observes people working at three factories around the world: a prosthetics manufacturer in the German city of Duderstadt, a glove maker in the southern French commune Millau, and a jeans plant in Istanbul. Each discrete section of the film presents a place with its own distinct process and scale of production, yet taken together, they create an indelible image of a global workforce, one that never loses sight of the humans at the center, despite the industrial machines they are often seen operating. Eisenberg’s stationary camera pays close attention to both the individual and the collective, showing the rigorous labor as well as the intricate design and craft that go into every detail, encouraging a rich, active viewership. Winner of the Grand Prix of the International Competition at this year’s FIDMarseille Film Festival.

You Have to Come and See It
Jonás Trueba, 2022, Spain, 64m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Jonás Trueba paints an alternately rapturous and neurotic impression of contemporary Western living in his small-scale yet endlessly rich new feature. Two couples reunite for a concert and drinks after they have been kept apart from each other for months by the pandemic and major life changes. During two movements, in winter and summer, set in Madrid and in the countryside, Trueba allows us to eavesdrop on conversations that subtly reveal their emotional and intellectual lives, personal resentments and fears, and ruminations on our modern political limbo. Trueba’s gentle, clear-eyed film is both a cosmopolitan fable and a return to nature, buoyed by a chorus of living artists and philosophers—pianist and composer Chano Domínguez, cultural theorist Peter Sloterdijk, poet Olvido García Valdes—whose words and music are as integral to the overall experience as the characters’ enveloping dialogue.

Preceded by:
Becoming Male in the Middle Ages / Tornar-se um Homem na Idade Média
Pedro Neves Marques, 2022, Portugal, 22m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Two couples, two quandaries of parenthood and age: a straight couple struggle with infertility and its possible environmental causes, while Vicente undergoes an experimental procedure to implant an ovary in his body so that he and his partner, Carl, can have a biological child. With delicate touches of science fiction, director Pedro Neves Marques explores the bleeding edge of the biopolitics of reproduction and the normative boundaries of the natural and the artificial.

Currents Shorts

 

Program 1: Field Trips
TRT: 78m

Flora
Nicolás Pereda, 2022, Mexico, 11m
World Premiere
A metacinematic reflection on the nature of representation and the ongoing drug war in Mexico, Nicolás Pereda’s Flora revisits locations and scenes from the mainstream 2010 narco-comedy El Infierno, exploring the paradoxes of depicting narco-trafficking on film—its tendency both to romanticize and to obscure. To screen is both to project and to conceal.

Underground Rivers / Los mayores ríos se deslizan bajo tierra
Simón Veléz, 2022, Colombia, 19m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Omens abound in Simón Veléz’s Underground Rivers, which follows the quotidian journey of a young woman from Medellín’s center to the verdant forests beyond—all captured on grainy, desaturated film stock. Archery, fortunetelling, and even an acting audition figure in this loose itinerary, which eventually circles back to the film’s unsettled beginnings.

Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It / Il faut regarder le feu ou brûler dedans
Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel, 2022, France, 18m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
As water-bombers fight wildfires scorching the island of Corsica, a young woman learns to embrace the flames in an act of resistance. Part mordant karaoke video, part eco-terrorist manifesto, Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It is a work of noise, pyromania, and rage against a world of concrete.

Aribada
Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar, 2022, Germany/Colombia, 30m
Emberá Chamí with English subtitles
In Aribada, the scintillating color and dreamlike imagery of Colombia’s coffee region become a vivid landscape—a space between documentary and mythology, where Las Traviesas, a group of trans women from the Emberá people share knowledge and reinvent rituals. Here, Aribada, a half-jaguar, half-human monster awakens to the formation of their utopic alliance informed by the power of the jais (spirits).

Program 2: Fault Lines
TRT: 78m

Quarries
Ellie Ga, 2022, U.S., 40m
North American Premiere
In the wake of her brother’s paralysis, artist Ellie Ga traces a psychogeography from New York to the Aegean Sea to Kenya to Lisbon, threading narratives about agency in the face of being forgotten. What results is a potent, digressive triptych of palimpsestic imagery that uncovers various histories of humans’ relationships to stone—from prehistoric tools to stonemasonry. Quarries unfolds through sifting juxtapositions and stories of resistance in unlikely places.

45th Parallel
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2022, U.K., 15m
World Premiere
Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s 45th Parallel analyzes the contradictions of borders and the laws that govern the liminal space of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a municipal building constructed in 1904 that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. This peculiar site becomes the stage for an investigative monologue about the 2010 shooting of an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican by a U.S. Border Patrol agent and America’s remote murders-by-drone in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan.

Tiger Strike Red
Sophia Al-Maria, 2022, U.K., 23m
U.S. Premiere
Remixing the collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Tiger Strike Red is an oneiric jaunt through an alternative art history that finds playful linkages between classical marble sculpture, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, representations of Judith’s beheading of Holofernes, AI art, and an 18th-century South Indian automaton depicting a tiger mauling a British colonial soldier.

Program 3: Action Figures
TRT: 68m

Fingerpicking / Diteggiatura
Riccardo Giacconi, 2021, Italy, 18m
Italian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Voiceover narration written by an artificial neural network guides us through the workshop of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli in Milan, one of the oldest puppet theaters in the world. Here, artisans and performers build and manipulate their multitude of phantasmagoric creations, grotesque and uncanny facsimiles of human and animal life.

Glass Life
Sara Cwynar, 2021, Canada, 20m
U.S. Premiere
A swirling constellation of images—press photos, ads, animal pics, fashion shots, Instagram profiles, emojis, book covers, sports footage, selfies, cartoons, and clippings from an art history textbook—unfurl under the bird’s-eye gaze of Sara Cwynar’s Glass Life, which performs a vivisection of contemporary digital culture, plunging us deep into the hermetic pleasures and traps of the infinite scroll.

F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now
Fox Maxy, 2022, U.S., 11m
U.S. Premiere
Fox Maxy’s vertiginous montage documents the artist’s homecoming to Mesa Grande, California, ancestral lands of the Mesa Grande Band of Iipay/Kumeyaay/Diegueño Mission Indians in what is now called San Diego County. An exuberant mixtape of songs; portraits of friends, family, animals, and landscapes; and documents of confrontations with tribal cops, F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now is an exhilarating, joyful, and relentless disruption. No more drama.

IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS
Diane Severin Nguyen, 2021, U.S./Poland, 19m
A militant K-pop opera set in Warsaw, artist Diane Severin Nguyen’s IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS poses post-socialist theatrics enacted by a new generation whose influences span from Mao to Blackpink. Meshing revolutionary writings with collaboratively choreographed sequences featuring a young Vietnamese girl and a dance troupe of Polish teenagers, Nguyen’s film is a euphoric and paradoxical conflation of socialist and capitalist iconographies and post-Cold War diasporas.

Program 4: Vital Signs
TRT: 71m

Exhibition
Mary Helena Clark, 2022, U.S., 19m
World Premiere
Pivoting between two stories of women and their relationships with objects—a Swedish woman’s marriage to the Berlin Wall, and a suffragette’s hatcheting of Velásquez’s The Toilet of Venus—Mary Helena Clark’s Exhibition is a maze-like tour through images and artifacts, a dense cryptography of the forms and objects that hold us in.

Remembrance: A Portrait Study
Edward Owens, 1967, U.S., 16mm, 6m
As a gay African-American 18-year-old filmmaker, Edward Owens was a marginal figure in the New York avant-garde of the late 1960s. One of his four completed films, Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967) depicts the filmmaker’s mother and her friends, arrayed in feather boas and pearls, drinking beer, smoking, gossiping, and posing leisurely in Owens’s ethereal chiaroscuro frames and extravagant superimpositions. A program of Edward Owens’s films will also screen in the Revivals section to be announced at a future date.

Restored by Chicago Film Society, The New American Cinema Group, Inc./The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and the John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant Program and the Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER
Jordan Strafer, 2022, U.S., 21m
World Premiere
A private jet over the Atlantic Ocean, in which a family transports their ailing patriarch, becomes the stage, alternately, for ebullient musical theater and morbid fantasies. With its opulent production design, sinister soundscapes, and its flair for the grotesque, Jordan Strafer’s PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER is a psychodrama in miniature.

NE Corridor
Joshua Gen Solondz, 2022, U.S., 35mm, 7m
World Premiere
Accumulated over three years, Joshua Gen Solondz’s film is a crowded collage of gurgling paint, jagged splices, errant sprocket holes, and puzzling images that conjure the densely material frames of the late queer avant-garde filmmaker Luther Price. A messy assemblage in purples and oranges, NE Corridor is at once a visceral explosion of color and a tortured object.

Qualities Of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold
James Richards, 2022, Germany, 18m
U.S. Premiere
James Richards’ Qualities of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold is a descent into a maelstrom of images and objects—from glitched medical optics, photos from the archive of Horst Ademeit, who documented the impact of radiation on his body, to Richards’ own collection of erotic objects, drug paraphernalia, and other ephemera that swim in a dark techno-pharmacological miasma.

Program 5: After Utopia
TRT: 75m

Adaptation
Josh Kline, 2022, U.S., 11m
World Premiere
The setting for Josh Kline’s Adaptation is the contaminated canyons of a flooded New York City in the near future—here rendered with resolutely analog special effects, including matte shots and scale models. Amid the ruins, life and work continue, as the city’s remaining relief workers adapt to the strange beauty of their newly transformed home and the consequences of a slow, preventable apocalypse.

urban solutions
Arne Hector, Luciana Mazeto, Minze Tummescheit, and Vinícius Lopes, 2022, Germany/Brazil, 16mm, 30m
Portuguese and German with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A German artist on a picturesque journey to Brazil ruminates on the country’s lush floral beauty and its orderly architectures of civilization and security, as apartment complex doormen reflect on their experiences as caretakers, security guards, and confidants for the rich. Shot in vivid 16mm, urban solutions builds a complex, multi-perspectival portrait of the country’s class inequities, in which insurgent energies of the colonial past begin to break through its pristine surfaces.

Life on the CAPS
Meriem Bennani, 2022, Morocco/U.S., 34m
English and Arabic with English subtitles
Interweaving live action and computer graphics, and blending the aesthetics of documentary, music video, surveillance, and viral videos, Meriem Bennani constructs a rich, disorienting vision of a dystopian future on CAPS, a fictional migrant enclave located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Featuring a score by Fatima Al Qadiri, Life on the CAPS is a vibrant and intricately layered audiovisual commentary on the meaning of data, diaspora, and collective resistance.

Program 6: Inside Voices
TRT: 77m

Bigger on the Inside
Angelo Madsen Minax, 2022, U.S., 12m
U.S. Premiere
Outer and inner space collapse in Angelo Madsen Minax’s cosmic essay film, which diffracts feelings, memories, and longings during a blurry sojourn in a remote cabin in the woods. Looking at the stars, flirting with guys on dating apps, taking ketamine (or not), and watching YouTube lecture videos, Minax draws a warped cartography of desire and distance.

The Sky’s In There
Dani and Sheilah ReStack, 2022, U.S., 11m
World Premiere
In Dani and Sheilah ReStack’s intimate album of sensations, the camera becomes a communal tool, weaving between domestic scenes with children, friends, animals, and collaborators, miniature art worlds, and abstracted natural formations. Threading these scenes with their trademark strategies of feral domesticity, these quotidian spaces of play and repose become models of transformation, experience, and care.

Lesser Choices
Courtney Stephens, 2022, U.S., 8m
World Premiere
The bleached palette and home-movie aesthetics of Super 8 footage provide the image track for this testimonial about an illegal abortion in Mexico City in the 1960s, delivered in voiceover by the filmmaker’s mother. In its account of this intimate and disorienting memory, Lesser Choices summons a time of profound uncertainty—a moment from an era without rights—and offers a warning to the present.

Diana, Diana
Kim Salac, 2022, U.S., 10m
English and Tagalog with English subtitles
World Premiere
In this fractured double-portrait, artist Kim Salac superimposes the story of Princess Diana onto images and narratives drawn from their mother’s life. Through palimpsests of voices and images, the artist’s own dance performances, and archival interviews with the princess just before her divorce, Diana, Diana meditates on iconography and celebrity, globalization and colonization, and women’s shared struggle for autonomy across class lines.

It Smells Like Springtime
Mackie Mallison, 2022, U.S., 16m
Chinese, English, and Japanese with English subtitles
World Premiere
Through family conversations, home movies, still-lifes, and portraiture, Mackie Mallison’s It Smells Like Springtime explores the complexity of Asian-American identity and experience in dialogue with the artist and jeweler Ada Chen and a riotous cadre of kids. Together, they grapple with their ties to their family’s homelands, the paradoxes of representation, and their sense of belonging.

Into The Violet Belly
Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, 2022, Belgium/Germany/Iceland/Malta/Denmark, 20m
Vietnamese and English with English subtitles
World Premiere
Interweaving family lore, mythology, science fiction, and digital abstraction, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi’s film follows the collaboration between the artist and her mother, Thuyen Hoa, who fled Vietnam after the end of the American War via a near-calamitous sea journey. Oscillating between voices, visual registers, and timescales—was it seven months or seven thousand years?— Into The Violet Belly offers up an image of its multiplicitous structure: a massive digital swarm, tiny avatars of migrating bodies, swimming in an infinite blue.

Program 7: Ordinary Devotion
TRT: 73m

The Demands of Ordinary Devotion
Eva Giolo, 2022, Belgium, 12m
U.S. Premiere
Flipping a coin, pumping a breast, hand-rolling pasta, winding a Bolex: The Demands of Ordinary Devotion is an accumulation of small gestures, ordinary affects, and cryptic rites—a catalog of moments that captures the elegance and the banality of creation, which Eva Giolo documents through juxtapositions of rich 16mm images and precise sonic events.

Renate
Ute Aurand, 2021, Germany, 16mm, 6m
North American Premiere
Ute Aurand’s delicate portrait of her friend and fellow filmmaker Renate Sami is rich with quiet micro-events, intimating a wealth of shared histories, songs, and readings (including an untranslated passage from the Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker’s Stillleben), and evoking the fragile beauty of the present.

Lungta
Alexandra Cuesta, 2022, Mexico/Ecuador, 10m
Alexandra Cuesta’s enigmatic film derives its title from the mythical Tibetan creature (literally, “wind horse”) that symbolizes the air or spirit within the body. Combining sound artist’s Martín Baus’s distorted aerophonic score with blurred 16mm footage, Lungta foregrounds the material substructure of the filmic process while invoking the history of Muybridge’s earliest experiments in chronophotography, which gave motion to still images for the first time.

The Newest Olds
Pablo Mazzolo, 2022, Argentina/Canada, 35mm, 15m
U.S. Premiere
Through his deft hand-processing and manipulation of 35mm film stock, Pablo Mazzolo creates a kaleidoscopic landscape study of sites in and around the transborder agglomeration of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Transforming this space into a pulsating environment of liquid terrain, volatile abstraction, and an ever-changing color palette, The Newest Olds also draws on archival sound and field recording to reveal the two cities’ energies of uncertainty and unrest.

Devil’s Peak
Simon Liu, 2022, Hong Kong/U.S., 30m
North American Premiere
In Devil’s Peak, Simon Liu’s frenetically associative montage and shimmering images map a twisted psychogeography of Hong Kong. What emerges is a dizzying portrait of a metropolis bustling with jagged contrasts: between the shiny objects of capitalist futurism and the past’s ghostly whispers, between gestures of resistance and forces of suppression.

Program 8: Time Out of Mind
TRT: 76m

Against Time
Ben Russell, 2022, France, 23m
A fractal almanac, Ben Russell’s Against Time begins in reverse as a means of moving forward. An homage to the late filmmaker Jonathan Schwartz, and filmed between the Carpathian Mountains, Vilnius punk clubs, a Belarusian Independence Day celebration, and Marseille, it hovers in a limbo of drone and fog, then descends into stroboscopic clusters of moments and movements.

In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun
Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2022, Germany, 18m
Japanese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Borrowing its title from the memoir of early Japanese suffragette Hiratsuka Raichō, In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun plunges deep into an oceanic vortex of saturated color and fleeting archival images, conjuring moments from the history of Japanese women’s movements in a headlong montage of bodies in protest, pulsating into abstraction.

What Rules The Invisible
Tiffany Sia, 2022, U.S., 10m
U.S. Premiere
Through archival travelogue footage of Hong Kong and family stories from her mother, Tiffany Sia explores Hong Kong’s tangled colonial histories in What Rules the Invisible. Appropriating and reframing the home movies’ voyeuristic images, the filmmaker finds small disruptions, returned gazes, and the ghostly residue of past resistance left undocumented.

The Sower of Stars / El sembrador de estrellas
Lois Patiño, 2022, Spain, 25m
Japanese with English subtitles
Intricate composite patterns of tiny, dazzling lights break through the inky blackness of night in Lois Patiño’s dream-like Tokyo nocturne. Narrated in dialogue by disembodied voices meditating on the qualities of color, light, and silence, The Sower of Stars is a minor-key city symphony in which the dense metropolis, viewed from afar, becomes a quiet atmosphere of twinkling electronics, snaking reflections, and liquid stars.

Program 9: New York Shorts
TRT: 87m

Same Old
Lloyd Lee Choi, 2022, U.S., 15m
Mandarin Chinese and English with English subtitles
In post-pandemic Manhattan, a Chinese immigrant works nights as a delivery worker, until his world begins to unravel: his e-bike is stolen, and with it his livelihood. In inky night scenes and desaturated neon, director Lloyd Lee Choi captures the precarity of life on the city’s social and economic margins.

Trust Exercises
Sarah Friedland, 2022, U.S., 25m
World Premiere
Experimental dance and corporate management workshops intersect in Sarah Friedland’s Trust Exercises, which connects three spaces—a rehearsal studio, a company team-building retreat, and a bodywork session—in which participants learn to move together. In these complementary zones, the business and social worlds merge in the complex orchestration of rhythm and play.

29 Hour Long Birthday
Mark Jenkin, 2022, U.K., 6m
World Premiere
British filmmaker Mark Jenkin (whose latest feature Enys Men is part of this year’s Main Slate) mails this postcard from a melancholic holiday in New York and its environs, rendering the city in grainy monochrome Super 8 and a familiar urban soundtrack of jackhammers and traffic hum. In voiceover, the filmmaker relates his experiences of celeb-spotting and visiting movie locales, buying overpriced essentials, and counting MAGA bumper stickers on Long Island.

Magic Ring
Alex Ashe, 2022, U.S., 16m
World Premiere
Slipping between planes of consciousness and existence, filmmaker Alex Ashe’s Magic Ring is a work of both subdued tenderness and wry comic surrealism in which an armed pursuit in Brooklyn results in a series of out-of-body experiences: a mystical encounter in a book shop, a chat with an ancestral spirit, a whole life flashing by in an instant.

Little Jerry
Charlotte Ercoli, 2022, U.S., 11m
Channeling the pure chaos of Jerry Lewis and the Three Stooges with jerky rhythms and discomfiting smashcuts, Charlotte Ercoli’s Little Jerry tells the deranged showbiz tale of the frenzied, dysfunctional, jealous relationship between a puppet comedian (played by viral video icon Douglas Levison) and his jittery, incompetent assistant, who is also his son.

as time passes
Jamil McGinnis, 2022, U.S./Turkey, 14m
Turkish, English, and Persian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
as time passes assembles images and memories in a lyrical film-diary through which director Jamil McGinnis traces and retraces linkages between his mother’s home city of Lüleburgaz, Turkey, and his home in Crown Heights. Remixing home movies, original 16mm footage, and appropriated film and video clips, the film maps a deeply rooted landscape of shared emotion and existence.

Screening with a to-be-announced Revivals program
The Potemkinists / Potemkiniștii
Radu Jude, 2022, Romania, 18m
Romanian and Russian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Radu Jude revisits the history of the battleship Potemkin—the source story for Sergei Eisenstein’s classic 1925 work of Soviet montage—as a comic dialogue between a sculptor and a representative from Romania’s Ministry of Culture about cinema, monument-making, and art’s conflicted role in the continual revisionism of history.

 

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Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

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Bentonville Film Festival 2022 reviews: Short films ‘Anniversary’ & ‘The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night’ celebrate sisterhood in all its messy glory.

ANNIVERSARY

Laugh out loud funny short film Anniversary finds two best friends and next-door neighbors getting glam together in preparation for what Carla thinks is a surprise 25th-anniversary dinner with her husband.

This unapologetic and unfiltered look at friendship is hysterical. The film possesses timeless energy. The costumes are bright, and the camera work is notably fun. Actresses Johnnie Mae and Lin Tucci have magical chemistry. Director Lain Kienzle highlights the importance of female bonding. In the end, it’s pure delight.


The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night

Three very different sisters collide during holiday festivities. Seeking the approval of her eldest and feistiest sister, Noor hopes her partner Luz makes a good impression. 

The cinematography and editing are super fun. Instagram-style stories add a modern touch. It is what I do with my siblings during game nights. The cast is spectacular. For a short film, these characters are lush and eclectic. Director Fawzia Mirza and writer-producer Kausar Mohammed absolutely nail the family dynamic. The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night will make you laugh, cringe, and nod your head knowingly. Bentonville Film Festival 2022 audiences will love it.


 

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 capsule reviews: ‘January,’ ‘The Year Between,’ and short film ‘Girls Night In’

January

The visual aesthetic of Tribeca 2022 film JANUARY feels like it was actually filmed in 1991, using a mixture of super 8 footage, archival footage, and inspired cinematography. Performances are solid. The soundtrack is outstanding, highlighting gorgeous framing. The lack of urgency overall was challenging to overcome. I wasn’t sure if I felt connected enough to give a damn. This is from an arts academy grad. It was refreshing to see young female ambition in the character of Anna.

At the 52-minute mark, I was suddenly at attention. I wish this had come sooner in both the narrative and the score. Ultimately, January keeps your attention with its unique editing and intriguing, sometimes dizzying, cinematography. At times, I could not decern who was filming, whether it was archival or handheld footage from the cast. It’s a weirdly meta experience in that way. JANUARY is a coming-of-age story of a life torn between art and war.


The Year Between

Alex Heller wears all the hats in Tribeca 2022 film The Year Between. As a writer, director, producer, and star, she’s a spectacular nightmare. As Clemence, she is perfectly punchable. Even if it doesn’t sound like it, this is a compliment. As Clemence, she is a hellacious person. An entitled brat with zero social graces. Come to find out that she is undiagnosed bipolar. Through horrible life choices, Clemence slowly climbs her way out of her pity party to ingratiate herself into her family’s hearts. Navigating jobs, drugs, therapy, medication, relationships, and self-actualization, The Year Between goes hard in every aspect. Heller is unapologetic in style. The voice is loud and clear, and I look forward to what comes next.


Girls Night In

When a masked man threatens to ruin a girls’ night, Becca and Delaney attempt to best the intruder against all logic. This satirical short is an ode to the Bechdel Test and horror fans everywhere. Skylan Benton, as Delaney, is dressed similarly to Drew Barrymore in Scream and has an unmissable Alexis from Schitt’s Creek vibe going on in her tone. Becca (Jess Adams) is the more overtly cautious of the two girls, but everything changes, including her wardrobe, once challenged. Spot the cliché and hilarious quick-change by removing her glasses, a classic 90s reference. This is another example of how writer Landon LaRue and director Alison Roberto are true genre fans, beyond the lighting shifts and Davey Oberlin‘s throwback score. The addition of unapologetic Gen Z chatter infuses another layer of funny. Girls Night In will be a hit with not only horror fans but all Tribeca 2022 short film enthusiasts this year. 


 

Cleveland International Film Festival 2022 short film review: ‘CANDIDATO 34’ chronicles the world’s most extraordinary run for public office.

CANDIDATO 34

Bryan Russell is the first person in the world with Down syndrome to ever run for public office. CANDIDATO 34 is a documentary short chronicling Bryan’s extraordinary story in the days before the 2020 congressional election in Peru, as he attempts to convince a reluctant public that he is capable of being a congressman, and an important voice for change. Candidato 34 will make its World Premiere in the FilmSlam-Spanish Language Cinema Shorts Program starting March 31st at the 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival.


As the first person in the world with Down Syndrome to run for public office, Bryan Russell represents so many marginalized groups everywhere. Bryan’s team, including his parents, pour their hearts into his campaign, supporting his dreams and ideas. Let me clarify something immediately; his parents are present as cheerleaders and coordinators. Bryan is an accomplished young man. He is charming, eloquent, raw, and relentlessly determined. These characteristics become abundantly clear in his ability to campaign like any other candidate. As someone who has worked on political campaigns in the US, Bryan does it with more honesty and savvy than many career politicians. He has an understanding and perspective of often ignored individuals. Win or lose, Bryan Russell is a passionate catalyst for change in Peru and throughout the world.

As a Mother of a neurodivergent son, Bryan is a hero. My most prevalent anxiety as a parent is the future. Bryan possesses the confidence and self-awareness I wish for my child. In 38 minutes, Candidato 34 filled me with hope and possibility. This little film speaks volumes about representation, kindness, and perseverance. Bryan Russell is an inspiration to my family. I hope this film spreads far and wide. There are a lot of people that would benefit from the experience. 

 

CANDIDATO 34 – TRAILER from Ryan Marley on Vimeo.


About the Filmmakers:

Ryan Marley (Director) is a filmmaker and television director best known for his work in documentary, factual and kids TV. He has been nominated for 3 Canadian Screen Awards and has directed over 25 series and documentaries. He most recently directed all 4 seasons of the groundbreaking documentary series “Employable Me” which tells the stories of job seekers who prove that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. They might only need help in undergoing the proper training such as Reskilling. The series won the Diversify TV Excellence Award at MIPCOM 2017 & 2020, a 2018, 2019 & 2020 Rockie Award, an NYTVF Award and was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards. His documentary “Sitting Tall: The Patrick Anderson Story” examines the background and career of Patrick Anderson, arguably the greatest wheelchair basketball player of all time, as he prepares for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It was featured at the 2021 Awareness Film Festival and The 2021 New York Shorts International Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. Ryan splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.

Katie Lafferty (Executive Producer/Producer) has been chasing character-driven stories since graduating from Carleton University with a Journalism degree in 2002. Since then, she has produced some of Canada’s biggest shows including sports documentary series “Tessa & Scott,” and the groundbreaking series “Employable Me,” which tells the stories of job seekers who prove that having a physical disability or neurological condition shouldn’t make them unemployable. The series won the Diversify TV Excellence Award at MIPCOM 2017 & 2020, a 2018, 2019 & 2020 Rockie Award, an NYTVF Award and was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards. Her latest feature-length documentary Candidato 34 is being produced in association with Lionsgate’s unscripted division, Pilgrim Media Group.

About Hitch Films:

Hitch Films is a creative team with extensive experience telling compelling stories about people around the world. We are a passionate team of award-winning documentary filmmakers bringing to light the amazing stories and struggles of incredible people with disabilities, and from marginalized communities, who are fighting prejudice and perception to gain independence and respect.


Credits

Ryan Marley – Director

Katie Lafferty – Executive Producer/Producer

Craig Piligian – Producer

Gretchen Stockdale – Executive Producer

Paul Boynett – Executive Producer/Writer

George Wright – Executive Producer/Editor

Michelle Asgarali – Associate Producer


37 minutes, Canada, 2021

DCP Image: 1.85:1, 4K, Color, Sound: 5.1 mix


Short film review: John Stuart Wildman’s ‘SWEAT OF HIS COW’ is the sexy absurdity we all secretly desire.

SWEAT OF HIS COW

From the depths of someone’s lost VHS tapes is this story of an impossibly gorgeous doctor lawyer who runs out of gas next to a barn where an impossibly sweaty man is milking a cow. A sexy relationship ensues where they learn that gas is just the beginning, milk is always the end.


Thoughts I had while watching the award-winning short film, SWEAT OF HIS COW...

“Is this a lost VHS from someone’s basement? Oh, this score is very softcore porn goodness. Does this film star Milky White from Into The Woods?! Amazing. These hair flips are luscious, and now I’m laughing. Wow, this is a softcore porn videos inspired rom-com! And also, WOW! John is really sweaty and also a proper beefcake. Should I be watching this? Am I allowed to watch this? My god, this is hilarious wordplay.”

Celena Rea nails every line with total commitment. She has a commanding presence, accentuated by specific hair, make-up, and costume choices. Also, she does her own stunts. Her chemistry with writer-director John Stuart Wildman as Sweaty Man is electric. He knocks it out of the park. I knew John was charming, but, damn. Casting directors pay attention. John could easily carry leading roles in literally every genre. Shout out to Chris Gardner for his comic timing as Saxophone Player.

I couldn’t love this weird, little film anymore. There’s not a dull moment in its 5-minute runtime. Sweat Of His Cow is easily something you’d see produced by Funny Or Die or SNL, but better. I want a series of Sweaty Man shorts about his sexual encounters. And, I’m not sorry about it. This film is now burned into my brain forever.


You can watch Sweat of His Cow screening virtually at the Sarasota Film Festival now!

(And you should.)

https://www.sarasotafilmfestival.com/film/sweat-of-his-cow/


SXSW 2022 short film review: ‘THE VOICE ACTRESS’ is an elegant ode to the unseen legends.

Kingyo, a veteran voice actress working in Tokyo, possesses a unique ability to see the soul in all things, living and inanimate. The voice acting world is changing and she must find a way to reconcile her way of living with the modern industry. As Kingyo prepares for an upcoming audition, she seeks inspiration from the world around her and from her pet goldfish, Asatte. In the face of professional and personal adversity, Kingyo looks decidedly inward for strength through empathy and kindness.

Urara Takano plays Kingyo, a voice actress whose passion for her work is clear to the audience from the very beginning. In 15 minutes we get an emotional journey worth every second of screen time. Competing with a new generation proficient in self-promotion, how does a dedicated veteran compete? The Voice Actress gives us a peek behind the curtain that is the boys club of entertainment, while simultaneously putting us inside the mind of an accomplished performer. Writer-director Anna J. Takayama gives Takano space to bloom. I would happily watch a feature on this character. There is a purposeful beauty to the costumes, especially the use of the color red. The undeniable quirkiness from Takano makes you fall in love with her. It’s no wonder the short garnered SXSW22’s Mailchimp Support the Shorts Award.


 

SXSW 2022 short film capsule reviews: ‘Roommates,’ ‘Gay Haircut,’ & award winner ‘Glitter Ain’t Gold’

Roommates


Synopsis: Students Izzy and Sophia get placed as dorm-mates because they’re both disabled. They reach common ground via vodka shots and getting personal, christening their first day of college with a night of adventure.


Simultaneously awkward and natural, this is an awesome and important ten minutes about accessibility, perception, and power. Stay for the credits!

·      Writer/Director: Ashley Eakin

·      Writer: Kelsey Johnson

·      Cast: Kiera Allen (RUN), Kelsey Johnson


Gay Haircut

Synopsis: For a stand-up comic, a drastic life change can mean losing one’s entire act. Bisexual comedian Krista has decided her relationship with a trans woman is worth coming out over—but will she commit to an entire rebrand with one gay haircut?


A seemingly simple change with a lot of weight attached. In 7 minutes we get an entire journey about identity filled with some quirky weirdness.

·      Director/Producer: Jude Harris

·      Writer/Producer: Krista Fatka

·      Cast: Krista Fatka (Shaky Ground, Night of the Living Karens), Zach Holmes (JACKASS FOREVER, Too Stupid to Die, Tosh.0Ridiculousness)


GLITTER AIN’T GOLD

*Winner*

SXSW 22 Special Jury Recognition for Directing and Community Filmmaking

     Synopsis: Sixth-grader Jibril and his reluctant best friend Tawanda hustle up some cash and journey to the flea market to buy Jibril’s first chain, in hopes that it will catch the eye of his crush Marlana and divert her attention away from his sworn enemy Rashad.


Writer-director Christian Nolan Jones brings to life a coming-of-age short that dives into the universal feeling of acceptance. Set in the 90s, two best friends Jibril and Tawanda are on a mission to purchase an item that will catch the eye of his crush. Glitter Ain’t Gold perfectly captures middle-school angst. The costumes and overall aesthetic were spot on. Our two young leads Alfred R. Lewis III and Priah Ferguson are stellar. This might as well have been a documentary with their natural ability to captivate the audience. Each beat is authentic. Glitter Ain’t Gold is a tight treatment for s feature or series.

·      Writer/Director: Christian Nolan Jones

·      Executive Producers: Common, Corey Gamble

·      Cast: Priah Ferguson (Stranger Things, THE OATH, Atlanta), Alfred R. Lewis III (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Bunk’d)


 

SXSW 2022 short film review: Is ‘RADICAL HONESTY’ merely an expression or a way of life?

Radical Honesty

At the tail end of a great date, Jack and Rachel bond over a shared interest in deconstructing traditional relationship structures. When Jack reveals the reality of his “radical” open relationship, things take a turn for the absurd in this short film about the co-option of the language of liberation for means of manipulation and control.


At 41, I cannot imagine navigating a new relationship at this precise moment in time. I remember when Match.com first became a thing and how weird I thought it sounded. Then I recall attending four weddings in the years that followed, each couple had met through Match. RADICAL HONESTY, a 7-minute short film, tackles the complexities that Gen Z and Millenials face day-to-day. Performances are natural and the opening camerawork is fun. It is no surprise that the idea of radical honesty is something we experience more and more now. With the push of social media platforms, everyone is encouraged to share an opinion. Yes, this leads to awareness, self-discovery, and connections across the globe, if we’re talking upsides, only. My Xennial self also understands this to be a potential trap. C’est la vie.

I am excited to see this short get an expansion into series form (which is currently in the works). I anticipate having further investment into the world of Jack and Rachel, and whomever they intend to take along on their “journey of truth.” It’s bound to be a hot mess, in the best way possible. Radical Honesty is a great pairing with Hannah Marks‘ film Mark, Mary, and Some Other People. Modern dating is complicated by a lot more than just email and actually showing up these days. Director Bianca Poletti, and actress and screenwriter Allison Goldfarb nail this idea.


Check out the teaser trailer for the film’s aesthetic.

To learn more about how you can watch Radical Honesty and SXSW22 in general, click here!


Director: Bianca Poletti

Screenwriter: Allison Goldfarb

Principal Cast: Allison Goldfarb, John Hein, Melanie Alexa Buenrostro

Executive Producers: Jacki Calleiro, Mindy Goldberg, Bianca Poletti

Producer: Shayna Gianelli

Cinematographer: Corey C. Waters

Editor: Nina Sacharow

Production By: Epoch Films, Disco Pants Inc

SXSW 2022 is coming. Here are some films to add to your watch list in this year’s hybrid festival.

It’s here and boy is it happening. This year’s hybrid edition of SXSW 2022 has it all. Here are a handful of films we’re excited about this year.


Linoleum

When a satellite falls from orbit and crashes into the home of a dysfunctional family in suburban Ohio, the father seizes the opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut by re-creating the machine as his own rocket ship. While his wife and daughter believe he is experiencing a midlife crisis, surreal events begin to unfold around him, forcing him to reconsider how interconnected their lives truly are…

We’ve been living through hell these past few years and could all use a bit of whimsy. Linoleum provides us the opportunity to reconnect with our inner child while simultaneously dissecting the family dynamics. Plus, I think a lot of people forget how incredibly talented Jim Gaffigan is as an actor. Look out for this one.


The Cellar

A woman must confront an ancient and powerful entity after her daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new home.

Shudder has already picked this title up before its SXSW22 premiere. Becoming the best streaming platform for all things genre-related, when they see potential in a film they snap it up ASAP. An old mansion, a new family, a disappearance, The Cellar has my attention.


DIAMOND HANDS: THE LEGEND OF WALLSTREETBETS

It was the perfect storm. A global pandemic. An app aspiring to democratize trading. A group of Reddit users stuck at home with stimulus dollars to burn. And a video game company on its last legs. DIAMOND HANDS is the incredible true story of how an army of retail traders rallied around GameStop to rock our financial system. This is the legend of r/WallStreetBets.

Everyone watched in awe and confusion as GameStop stock began to skyrocket. The fallout was disastrous, but the idea that a bunch of dudes on Reddit were able to completely disrupt the market is pretty much my favorite (anti)capitalist giggle from 2020.

MSNBC Films and NBC News Studios will premiere “Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets,” on MSNBC Sunday, April 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET, following the global premiere at SXSW on March 13. “Diamond Hands” is produced by NBC News Studios and ZCDC Films. The film is set to stream later this Spring on Peacock. 


Hypochondriac

A young potter’s life devolves into chaos as he loses function of his body while being haunted by the physical manifestation of his childhood trauma.

If you’re looking for some kick-ass casting, look no further than Zach Villa in Hypochondriac. Unrecognizable from his American Horror Story seasons, Villa plays the writer-director Addison Heimann‘s words with care. The film is based on Heiman’s own experience with mental health.


The Cow

Synopsis: Upon arriving at a remote cabin in the redwoods, Kath and her boyfriend find a mysterious younger couple already there — the rental has apparently been double-booked. With nowhere else to go, they decide to share the cabin with these strangers until the next morning. When her boyfriend disappears with the young woman, Kath becomes obsessed with finding an explanation for their sudden breakup— but the truth is far stranger than she could have imagined.

If you go to IMDB the plot for the film is still under wraps, so SXSW22 fans are in for a treat. I’ve always been a Winona Ryder fan and with Stranger Things revamping her genre status, I cannot wait to see what is in store in this mysterious-sounding plot.


Mickey: The Story of a Mouse

Mickey Mouse is one of the most enduring symbols in our history. Those three simple circles take on meaning for virtually everyone on the planet. So ubiquitous in our lives that he can seem invisible, Mickey is something we all share, with unique memories and feelings. Over the course of his nearly century-long history, Mickey functions like a mirror, reflecting our personal and cultural values back at us. “Mickey: The Story of a Mouse” explores Mickey’s significance, getting to the core of what Mickey’s cultural impact says about each of us and about our world.

When I was 19 years old, I moved to California on a whim in hopes of working at Disneyland. During my amazing time performing there (those details are top secret via the stack of NDA’s you sign as a cast member), I had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting a special individual. When Walt Disney opened Disneyland he presented the world with Mickey Mouse, live and in person. I met that man backstage and had my photo taken with him. The impact Mickey Mouse has had on generations of children and adults is unfathomable. Mickey: The Story of a Mouse will undoubtedly touch a massive audience. As I share Mickey with my own small children now, I can still picture my first meeting with a character so magical I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement. He never gets old, pun most definitely intended.


The Prank

Synopsis: Ben is your typical high-school overachiever. He’s organized, careful, goal-oriented and extremely dedicated to school. His best friend, Tanner, couldn’t be more opposite. She is a lackadaisical, messy, slacker, who lives in the moment. They aren’t popular, but they don’t seem to care that much because they have each other. Ben has a stern, mean and cruel physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler. She has been teaching at the school for decades and has a reputation for being the hardest, coldest, strictest faculty member. She fails Ben’s entire class unless a student who cheated comes forward. When no one does, Tanner and Ben hatch a plan to ruin he life and frame her for murder on social media.

Social media is such a catalyst for action, terror, and weirdness these days that anything is possible when it is involved. But, it’s this cast that caught my eye. Rita Moreno, Connor Kalopsis, Ramona Young, Keith David, Kate Flannery, and Meredith Salenger will get my butt in a seat. Also, who didn’t have a teacher in high school everyone loathed?


The Unknown Country

An unexpected invitation launches a grieving young woman on a solitary road trip through the American Midwest as she struggles to reconcile the losses of her past with the dreams of her future.

I was first introduced to Lily Gladstone in Certain Women. Her ability to captivate with but a glance is something that is rare. The Unknown Country tackles a beautiful mix of anxiety, grief, and identity, all in a unique road trip movie. It’s a film we’ll be talking about all year.


Sissy

**WORLD PREMIERE**

WRITERS/DIRECTORS: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
STARRING: Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Daniel Monks, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett, Shaun Martindale, Amelia Lule, April Blasdall, Camille Cumpston

Synopsis: Cecilia and Emma were tween-age BFFs who were going to grow old together and never let anything come between them, until Alex arrived on the scene. Twelve years later, Cecilia is a successful social media influencer living the dream of an independent, modern millennial woman… until she runs into Emma for the first time in over a decade. Emma invites Cecilia away on her bachelorette weekend at a remote cabin in the mountains, where Alex proceeds to make Cecilia’s weekend a living hell. #triggered

Listen, girls are mean. We hold grudges and we play dirty, those are just the facts. When friendships are disrupted, those scars last a lifetime. With social media affecting the way we lead our daily lives, SISSY sounds like a perfect storm for great horror.


SOFT & QUIET

Playing out in real time, Soft and Quiet is a runaway train that follows a single afternoon in the life of a female white supremacist as she indoctrinates a group of alt-right women, and together they set out to harass two mixed-raced sisters.

Any film that has the audacity to play out in real time has my attention. I am hardwired to loathe these main characters so I am hoping that some horrible fate befalls them. The plot is socially relevant even if I wish it weren’t. I’ll be paying close attention to how writer-director Beth de Araújo brings her first feature-length film to life.


Radical Honesty

At the tail end of a great date, Jack and Rachel bond over a shared interest in deconstructing traditional relationship structures. When Jack reveals the reality of his “radical” open relationship, things take a turn for the absurd in this short film about the co-option of the language of liberation for means of manipulation and control.

At 41, I cannot imagine navigating a new relationship at this precise moment in time. I remember when Match.com first became a thing and how weird I thought it sounded. Then I recall attending four weddings in the years that followed, each couple had met through Match. RADICAL HONESTY, a 7-minute short film, tackles the complexities that Gen Z and Millenials face day-to-day. I’ll be watching with popcorn in hand knowing that it’s one hell I don’t have to keep in check these days. (*knock on wood) Check out the teaser trailer for the film’s aesthetic.

Radical Honesty Teaser from Bianca Poletti on Vimeo.


Slash/Back

Synopsis: Pangnirtung, Nunavut: A sleepy hamlet nestled in the majestic mountains of Baffin Island in the Arctic Ocean, wakes up to a typical summer day. No School, no cool boys (well… except one), and 24-hour sunlight. But for Maika and her ragtag friends, the usual summer is suddenly not in the cards when they discover an alien invasion threatening Pang. But these teenagers have been underestimated their whole lives, and using makeshift weapons and their horror movie knowledge, they show the aliens you don’t fuck with the girls from Pang.

Slash/Back is an unexpected coming-of-age film. With some Stranger Things vibes, it tackles tradition, boredom, boys, and aliens. Wait until you see this young cast kicking ass and taking names.


Pirates

New Year’s Eve 1999. Three life long friends drive through London in their tiny Peugeot 205, pumping a UK Garage set from the stereo and arguing about their Avirex jackets and Naf Naf imports. As the eighteen-year olds step into adulthood, they know their lives and friendships are on the brink of change. Determined to end the century on a bang, they drive from place to place in a desperate search for tickets for the best millennium party EVER. In their efforts to end up somewhere, they end up closer together.

I know I’m aging myself but I was 19 on New Year’s Eve 1999. I lived this chaos and hopefulness. Anything was possible during the course of one evening. I’m here for the nostalgia and some solid shenanigans.


Jethica

Hiding out in New Mexico after a freak accident, Elena runs into Jessica, an old friend from high school. When Jessica’s stalker suddenly shows up at their door, they must seek help from beyond the grave to get rid of him, for good.

Wild and collaborative filmmaker, Pete Ohs brings an exciting edge to the indie scene with Jethica. Shot during the pandemic in 2021 and edited live on Twitch, SXSW22 audiences are surely in for some unexpected twists and turns.


The Voice Actress

Kingyo, a veteran voice actress working in Tokyo, possesses a unique ability to see the soul in all things, living and inanimate. The voice acting world is changing and she must find a way to reconcile her way of living with the modern industry. As Kingyo prepares for an upcoming audition, she seeks inspiration from the world around her and from her pet goldfish, Asatte. In the face of professional and personal adversity, Kingyo looks decidedly inward for strength through empathy and kindness.

A peek inside the recording booth and inside the mind of a working voice actress. Urara Takano puts a face to the performers we don’t talk enough about. Written, directed, and edited by Anna J. Takayama, we are invited into the world of a veteran voice actress and how she copes with forces beyond her control.


For more information on this year’s SXSW Film Festival click here!

Stayed tuned for Reel News Daily coverage as well as guest posts from Steve Kopian at Unseen Films. We’re making our schedules and doing all we can to bring you everything we’ve got. Stayed tuned!


Sundance 2022 short film review: ‘Long Line of Ladies’ is an intimate look into celebrating tradition and womanhood.

Long Line of Ladies

A girl and her community prepare for her Ihuk, the once-dormant coming of age ceremony of the Karuk tribe of Northern California.


A journey of tradition and self-discovery, Long Line of Ladies is a Sundance 2022 short film that allows us to peek behind the curtain of a once lost ceremony in the Karuk tribe.

The openness of the Karuk culture and the lack of toxic masculinity are so refreshing to witness. The entire community comes together to support each young lady as an individual. They are gentle and ceaselessly encouraging. The deep connection to traditions and nature is mirrored in the ceremony. After fasting, a young lady is blindfolded on a journey through the woods for 4 days, then emerges to perform a dance. The meaning and emotion behind it made my heart swell. It symbolizes her journey into womanhood so perfectly. This intimate portrait of cultural tradition will live with me for a long time. As a mother of a little girl that will soon be five, Long Line of Ladies inspires me to seek out a way to honor what has mostly been deemed an embarrassing or awkward transition. It makes me want to do better for the next generation. 

Long Line of Ladies – Teaser from Rayka Zehtabchi on Vimeo.


Directed by:
Rayka Zehtabchi & Shaandiin Tome

Produced by:
Garrett Schiff, Pimm Tripp-Allen, Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis and Dana Kurth

Run Time: 
22 minutes


ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS: 

Rayka Zehtabchi 
is an Academy Award-winning director and producer working in both documentary and fiction. In 2019, Rayka became the first Iranian woman to win an Oscar for her film “Period. End of Sentence.,” which can be seen on Netflix worldwide. In all her projects, she brings a naturalistic approach to her storytelling, striving for honesty and intimacy on screen.

Shaandiin Tome is a recognized writer, director, and cinematographer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her award-winning break-out short film Mud (Hashtł’ishnii) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. She aims to bring resonating imagery in a blend of convergence with story, illustrating her perspective as a Diné woman.



Online Screening
Thursday, January 20 @ 8:00 AM PST to Sunday, January 30 @ 10:59PM PST


To find out more about the entire Sundance 2022 lineup, click here!


 

Sundance (2022) short film review: ‘Warsha’ is pure cinematic joy.

WARSHA

Warsha follows Mohammad, a Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut. One morning he volunteers to take on one of the tallest and notoriously most dangerous cranes in Lebanon. Away from everyone’s eyes, he is able to live out his secret passion and find freedom.


Circumstance drowning out his authenticity, Mohammad takes a risk at his construction job in the short film Warsha. Handheld and tight cinematography force the viewer into the vibrating chaos. But it’s the wide shots that astound in their scale and shared panic and awe. You will not see where this short is going.

Khansa plays Mohammad with a captivating vulnerability. Warsha introduces the entire world to Khansa, a multi-disciplinary artist redefining masculinity in the Middle East. I had chills watching his transformation. What brilliant casting. Writer-director Dania Bdeir has given Sundance audiences a short film that defies gender stereotypes. Its celebratory nature will leave you breathless.


To find out more information on Sundance 2022, including screening times, click here!


Sundance 2022: Some of what we’ll be watching at this year’s festival, and it’s a lot.

Having switched from in-person to completely virtual, audiences of Sundance 2022 will have the opportunity to see a plethora of entertainment that will terrify, tantalize, and remind you of why we love storytelling so much. From horror to drama, television series to shorts, documentaries to VR experiences, we’ll be watching as much as our eyes can consume from January 20-30th. Things are finding distribution left and right, with is always great news. That means even if you miss something during the festival, it will most likely be coming to a theater or streaming platform very soon.

There is something for everyone. Genre favorite filmmakers, writers, actors, and wearers of all the hats,  Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, are bringing their latest film Something In The Dirt. Cooper Raif‘s newest Cha Cha Real Smooth is one we’re stoked for. His debut feature Shithouse was one of the most accurate films about college life I’ve ever seen. The shorts lineup this year is bound to blow you away. Do not overlook them, I beg you. There are feature documentaries on Kanye West and Princess Diana, the rise of TikTok, and Slave to Sirens (the first and only all-woman thrash metal band in the Middle East).

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the amazing content we’re excited about this year.


 U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Cha Cha Real Smooth / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Cooper Raiff, Producers: Dakota Johnson, Ro Donnelly, Erik Feig, Jessica Switch, Cooper Raiff) — A directionless college graduate embarks on a relationship with a young mom and her teenage daughter while learning the boundaries of his new bar mitzvah party-starting gig. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Vanessa Burghardt, Evan Assante, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann. World Premiere.

Besides Raiff being an obvious phenom, I suspect this one will hit harder for those with children on the spectrum. I’m particularly excited for Vanessa Burghardt’s performance, as she is on the spectrum herself. Representation matters, across the board.

Dual / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Riley Stearns, Producers: Nate Bolotin, Aram Tertzakian, Lee Kim, Riley Stearns, Nick Spicer, Maxime Cottray) — After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Sarah commissions a clone of herself to ease the loss for her friends and family. When she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempt to have her clone decommissioned fails, and leads to a court-mandated duel to the death. Cast: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Beulah Koale. World Premiere.

This plot sounds like something out of West World and Doctor Who. Did I just mention those because of Paul and Gillan? Happy coincidence.


U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

I Didn’t See You There / U.S.A. (Director: Reid Davenport, Producer: Keith Wilson) — Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on freakdom, (in)visibility, and the pursuit of individual agency. World Premiere.

I fell into advocacy for those with disabilities when my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I have a feeling that this film will give me a deeper understanding of not only my son’s perspective on society but the ever-present need for awareness and empathy.


WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Brian And CharlesU.K. (Director: Jim Archer, Screenwriters: David Earl, Chris Hayward, Producer: Rupert Majendie)  — A story of friendship, love, and letting go. And a 7ft tall robot that eats cabbages. A comedy shot in documentary format. Cast: David Earl, Chris Hayward, Louise Brealey, Jamie Michie, Lowri Izzard, Mari Izzard. World Premiere.

Prediction: Brian And Charles will be one of the most endearing films of the entire festival. This unlikely buddy comedy is sure to capture everyone’s heart.

 

Leonor Will Never DiePhilippines (Director and Screenwriter: Martika Ramirez Escobar, Producers: Monster Jimenez, Mario Cornejo)  — Fiction and reality blur when Leonor, a retired filmmaker, falls into a coma after a television lands on her head, compelling her to become the action hero of her unfinished screenplay. Cast: Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon. World Premiere.

As a writer, I’m selfishly looking forward to this. There’s always a bit of myself in my fiction, and who wouldn’t want to become an action hero?


WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Calendar GirlsSweden (Directors, Screenwriters, and Producers: Maria Loohufvud, Love Martinsen) — A coming-of-golden-age look at Florida’s most dedicated dance team for women over 60, shaking up the outdated image of “the little old lady,” and calling for everyone to dance their hearts out, while they still can. World Premiere.

Dancing since the age of three, this 41-year-old is looking for a few new role models.

 

Nothing Compares / Ireland, U.K. (Director: Kathryn Ferguson, Producers: Eleanor Emptage, Michael Mallie) — The story of Sinéad O’Connor’s phenomenal rise to worldwide fame and subsequent exile from the pop mainstream. Focusing on Sinéad’s prophetic words and deeds from 1987 to 1993, the film reflects on the legacy of this fearless trailblazer through a contemporary feminist lens. World Premiere.


NEXT

Something In The Dirt / U.S.A. (Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Screenwriter: Justin Benson, Producers: David Lawson, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson)  — When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives. An ever-deeper, darker rabbit hole, their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city, and each other. Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead. World Premiere. Fiction.

Genre fans will recognize these household names for their spellbinding skills. I’ve yet to watch away from their films without chills or an audible “WTF.”

The Cathedral / Italy, U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ricky D’Ambrose, Producer: Graham Swon) — An only child’s account of an American family’s rise and fall over two decades. Cast: Brian d’Arcy James, Monica Barbaro, Mark Zeisler, Geraldine Singer, William Bednar-Carter. North American Premiere. Fiction.


MIDNIGHT

Hatching / Finland (Director: Hanna Bergholm, Screenwriter: Ilja Rautsi, Producers: Mika Ritalahti, Nico Ritalahtit) — While desperately trying to please her demanding mother, a young gymnast discovers a strange egg. She tucks it away and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks everyone. Cast: Jani Volanen, Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Saija Lentonen, Reino Nordin, Oiva Ollila. World Premiere. Fiction.

 

PIGGY / Spain (Director and Screenwriter: Carlota Pereda, Producers: Merry Colomer, David Atlan-Jackson) — Sara deals with constant teasing from girls in her small town. But it comes to an end when a stranger kidnaps her tormentors. Sara knows more than she’s saying and must decide between speaking up and saving the girls or saying nothing to protect the strange man who spared her. Cast: Laura Galán. World Premiere. Fiction.

Speak No Evil / Denmark (Director and Screenwriter: Christian Tafdrup, Screenwriter: Mads Tafdrup, Producer: Jacob Jarek) — A Danish family visits a Dutch family they met on a holiday. What was supposed to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unraveling as the Danes try to stay polite in the face of unpleasantness. Cast: Morten Burian, Sidsel Siem Koch, Fedja van Huêt, Karina Smulders, Liva Forsberg, Marius Damslev. World Premiere. Fiction.


KIDS

Maika / Vietnam (Director and Screenwriter: Ham Tran, Producers: Jenni Trang Le, Duy Ho, Anderson Le, Bao Nguyen) — After a meteor falls to earth, 8-year-old Hung meets an alien girl from the planet Maika, searching for her lost friend. As Hung helps her otherworldly friend search, the alien inadvertently helps Hung make new friends and heal a broken heart. But danger lurks everywhere… Cast: Phu Truong, Diep Anh Tru, Tin Tin, Ngoc Tuong, Kim Nha. World Premiere. Fiction.


INDIE EPISODIC PROGRAM

The Dark Heart / Sweden (Director: Gustav Möller, Screenwriter: Oskar Söderlund, Producers: Anna Carlsten, Caroline Landerberg) — Sweden: in a mythological landscape, search parties roam through forests of spruce, secret conversations are whispered in open fields, and verbal duels fought on narrow country roads. A story of family feuds, inheritances, and forbidden love. Cast: Aliette Opheim, Clara Christiansson Drake, Gustav Lindh, Peter Andersson. World Premiere. Fiction. 

Sweden’s true crime game is above and beyond. The US had already remade series like The Killing and The Bridge. Sundance 2022 audiences can dive headfirst into The Dark Heart. The series is a five-part psychological drama-thriller about how an old family feud clashes with a young, forbidden love story, leading to a tragedy with a deadly outcome, ultimately solved by a private investigator who gets obsessed with the case. The story is based on journalist Joakim Palmkvist’s book “The Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator”, which delves into the story about how a mysterious missing person’s case is investigated and solved by a local Missing People-volunteer involved in the searches.


INTERNATIONAL LIVE ACTION SHORT FILMS

Warsha / France/Lebanon (Director and Screenwriter: Dania Bdeir, Producer: Coralie Dias) — A Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut volunteers to cover a shift on one of the most dangerous cranes, where he is able to find his freedom. Cast: Khansa. World Premiere.

Once in a blue moon, a short film takes your breath away and Warsha might be that film in 2022.


U.S LIVE ACTION SHORT FILMS

Huella / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Gabriela Ortega, Producers: Helena Sardinha, Rafael Thomaseto) — When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine. 


U.S. NONFICTION SHORT FILMS

Long Line of Ladies / United States (Directors: Rayka Zehtabchi, Shaandiin Tome, Producers: Garrett Schiff, Pimm Tripp-Allen, Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis, Dana Kurth) — A girl and her community prepare for her Ihuk, the once-dormant coming of age ceremony of the Karuk and Yurok tribes of Northern California. World Premiere. DAY ONE


For Sundance 2022 full line-up, tickets, and more click here!


 

Short film review: ‘Shadow Bird (Sonsi)’ enchants from beginning to end.

SHADOW BIRD (SONSI)

Every morning, eight-year-old Nadi wanders somewhere between the conscious and the unconscious, to meet her dream-etched Shadow Bird. A second character unfailingly follows – the mysterious Timekeeper, who has a clock fitted inside his heart. Every day upon his arrival, the sleepy village would wake up. But one morning neither the Shadow Bird nor the Timekeeper arrive…and Nadi ventures alone into the deep, mysterious woods in search of them.


If you’re looking for something akin to the world of Guillermo Del Toro films, look no further than the Indian short film Shadow Bird (Sonsi). Boasting twenty-four minutes of extraordinary lighting, lush colors, and dazzling cinematic dynamics. These elements are carefully curated by writer/director/cinematographer Savita Singh. I was immediately consumed by Shadow Bird’s glorious sound editing from Ajit Singh Rathore and Anmol Bhave. The score from Tajdar Junaid tops off this elegant folklore tale. The cast is phenomenal. We’re plunged into this dreamlike world with the calming narration from Rasika Duggal. Young actress Aarohi Radhakrishnan portrays Nadi with the perfect amount of precociousness and innocence. Jameel Khan, as Time-Keeper, brings yet another magical element to Shadow Bird. There’s something so whimsical about his facial expressions and voice. What a stunning treatment for a feature. I could watch this over and over, it’s simply that enchanting. This is one of those films that reminds us of why we go to the cinema. It is art.


Shadow Bird, the latest film by groundbreaking director Savita Singh has qualified for the 2022 Academy Awards and is in consideration for nomination in the ‘Best Short Film’ category.

This builds on the National Award the film received in India for Best Cinematography (Non-Feature Film), the highest recognition for cinema in India. ‘Shadow Bird’ qualified for the Oscars by virtue of winning the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival, the only Oscar-qualifying film festival in India. It also won ‘Best Short Film’ at the Lady Filmmakers Festival in Beverly Hills, CA.


WINNER: BEST FILM

Bengaluru International Short Film Festival 2021

WINNER: BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

67th National Film Awards

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM

Lady Filmmakers Festival 2021

 

NOMINEE: BEST SHORT FILM

NYIFF New York Indian Film Festival 2021

 

OFFICIAL SELECTION

Montecatini International Short Film Festival 2021

 

IFFSA Toronto 2021

Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival 2021

Dharamshala International Film Festival


DOC NYC (2021) short film reviews: ‘Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker ‘ & ‘Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma’

Coded: The Hidden Love of J.C. Leyendecker  

This is what most short films aspire to be– a brief 30 minutes that conveys a story so completely it feels like a much longer narrative. An exposition on the homoerotic imagery within the art of J.C. Leyendecker, Coded excels at blending what is essentially an art history lesson with its present-day significance and with a deeply romantic love story to boot. As someone who is always here for a story about true love, this one left an impression that is unlikely to fade.


Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma

Overflowing with cool-kid energy, this short film dazzles and delights. A tribute to the Black ABCs and growing up in New Jersey, Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma excels in quickly establishing a sense of place. This is a film about black people that is made for black people, i.e. Art that deeply respects its subject. The colors and angles of the shots are gripping, trippy, and mesmerizing. Viewing was akin to walking through an art exhibit: what do all the disparate clips mean? You get the sense of it but it’s mostly vibes.


For more info on DOC NYC 2021 click here!


Soho International Film Festival short review: ‘KLUTZ.’ is a creative and thought-provoking meditation on grief.

Zowie lost her sister and is falling down on the job of life. Can’t love. Won’t go out. Refuses to work properly. But she stumbles upon an accidental superpower: when she falls, when she feels pain — gravity bends so that she can see her sister again. However, the space-time-continuum giveth, the space-time-continuum taketh away, and the next time she hurts, her sister is gone. Frustrated and depleted, Zowie is torn between moving on or withering on the vine. So, in a whiskey-fueled dream-state, she makes a choice: to fall one last time. On purpose.


Grief is a personal journey. When your person gets ripped from your orbit, all bets are off. “Coping” can mean destructive behavior in the form of alcohol, binge eating, even self-harm. Or, grief can manifest itself into the most creative outlets. In Zowie’s case, pain and darkness are where she’s become comfortable. It’s also where her sister appears to her, bringing her momentary joy. In Klutz, Zowie must learn to evolve within her preconceived notions of sadness.

Grief has no timeline. No one can tell you how to process it. It’s not their place. Klutz manages to pull you into Zowie’s emotional orbit. The dialogue is dynamic and thoughtful, at times mired in anguish, while others were playfully silly. I was lucky enough to watch Klutz three times, catching more and more cleverly repeated images each viewing. I adored this short on a personal level. As someone who has lost one of my people, I lived inside this narrative. Klutz is relatable and poetic. It’s a beautifully insightful little film.


Showings – select to order tickets:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Language:
    English
  • Country:
    United States
  • Premiere:
    NEW YORK Premiere
  • Note:
    Death
  • Director:
    Michelle Bossy
  • Screenwriter:
    Elizabeth Narciso
  • Producer:
    Malka Wallick, Mara Kassin, Howard Wallick & Freda Rosenfeld, David Selden & Julie Wallick, Elizabeth Narciso, Scott & Susan Shay
  • Cast:
    Malka Wallick, Mara Kassin, Sanjit De Silva, Geneva Carr, Angel Desai, Wai Ching Ho, Florencia Lozano, Geoffrey Owens



Blood In the Snow (2021) Shorts reviews from Super Channel weekend.

Here are some of the short films showing on Super Channel this weekend at  BITS 2021…


Giant Bear (*shown alongside Don’t Say Its Name)
Gorgeous animation of the desolate and snowy tundra. One man comes face to face with a legend. The Inuit vocal track will consume you. This one left me with a lot of emotions.


The Death Doula
A man’s past interferes with his ability to usher a client into the afterlife. This nuanced story presents questions of morality and anguish. Beautiful and costumes sets help ease the viewer into a lulled sense of safety. It is incredibly unique.


Watershed
The world’s water supply is poison. A soul survivor stumbles across a young Mandarin girl who may have figured out how to create clean water. Danger lurks off of every overhanging eve. With powerful visuals, Watershed is an awesome treatment for a feature or series. I need to know what happens next.


Part of A Series of Web Bites:

Creepy Bits- Chapter 1- “Baby Face”
Is a young Mom seeing things on the baby monitor? This is still a fear for me. Are those dust particles or spirits gliding across my screen?! This one goes much further. It’s unsettling.


Narcoleap: S2
Thanks to a “previously on Narcoleap” recap, we get the concept of the show, immediately. And it’s cool. Director Kate Green, who also created the series, gives us drama, complexity, and a ton of great characters. As you keep watching, the show gives you a genuine Quantum Leap feel, but you also catch a Dollhouse vibe through its humor and sci-fi aspects. This is a full-on production. How has this not been picked up by Syfy or CW already? This is my formal push. It deserves a wider audience.


GHOST- A Primitive Evolution
Radio signals connect two post-apocalyptic survivors. This is both a short film and a music video. I have to say, this song rocks. Loved the bridge. I would watch this in longer form. There are solid concepts here and a very cool final shot.


Midnight Lunch Break
Becka is a mouthy shock jock radio host who gets an in-studio visit from a masked listener on Halloween. This one is laugh-out-loud hilarious. At 5 minutes, it’s such a tease, I wanted to see more!


The Revenge of the Snowflakes
A woman’s success is spoiled by online trolls. She takes her boyfriend along in a tongue-in-cheek revenge moment turned violet. This short was great but it was clear there is so much more to the story that we don’t get to see. I wanted a feature to back up the 5 minutes… Which is a great thing.


We All Dream (*being shown with Motherly at 9 pm this evening)
A young girl’s apparent sleepwalking poses a constant danger to her family. All is not what it seems. This is wildly fun and creepy. It produced a slow grin I couldn’t wipe off. Give me more of this story ASAP.


Disquietude (screening with Tin Can Sunday night at 11:30 pm.)
Grab your headphones or crank up the audio for this one featuring a musician. It’s vital to the plot. Trapped inside an anechoic chamber with only her music and thoughts, each infinitesimal sound becomes exacerbated to the nth degree. This would drive anyone mad. It’s perfectly panic-inducing.


You can check out the second half of BLOOD IN THE SNOW (2021) in person

November 18-23 at The Royale Theatre

Tickets are on sale now!