ALMOST PARIS (1:49), USA, Los Angeles, CA (SC PREMIERE) WINNER AUDIENCE CHOICE
Director: Domenica Cameron-Scorsese
Producers: Wally Marzano-Lesnevich and Michael Sorvino
Synopsis: Almost grown-up. Almost sorry. Almost love. In the wake of the mortgage-lending crisis, a former banker returns to his hometown. Faced with his family and childhood friends— and seeing the impact of his actions— our hero learns to show up and give back to those he loves in ways that are priceless.
BEN AND ARA (1:24), USA, Los Angeles, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Nnegest Likke
Producers: Samone Norsworthy and Joseph Baird
Synopsis: Ben, a passionately agnostic PhD student, falls behind in his dissertation and is surprised to find a muse in Ara, a devout Muslim. Ben and Ara soon fall in love but grapple with differences in their core beliefs and lifestyle choices. They discover that when two cultures touch each other, the consequences can be magical and tragic.
CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN (1:40) Staten Island, NY (SC PREMIERE) WINNER BEST ACTRESS
Director: Priscilla Anany
Synopsis: After a dubious affair with a neighbor’s spouse, ESSUMAN (33) becomes pregnant with his highly anticipated male child. Through a difficult delivery NUKU is born with a cleft lip prompting his father to reject the baby. Nuku is further diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Essuman is determined to find healing for her son leading her to go from hospital to hospital and then to dubious medicine men and pastors who take advantage of her.
FAMILY POSSESSIONS (1:50) Columbia, SC
Director: Tommy Faircloth
Synopsis: A young girl, Rachael Dunn, inherits the mansion of her estranged grandmother Albertha Dunn. Rachael and her family move into the house to start a new life but once there, strange and unexplained occurrences begin to happen. Rachael uncovers a secret that had been hidden from her and she soon realizes that some family secrets should remain...buried.
FARE (1:15) Fort Mill, SC (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Thomas Torrey
WINNER BEST DIRECTOR; WINNER BEST ACTOR
Synopsis: A driver for hire finds himself transporting the man who is secretly having an affair with his wife.
SATURN RETURNS (1:40) Vancouver, BC, Canada (SC PREMIERE) WINNER BEST FEATURE
Director: Shawn Tolleson
Synopsis: Five college friends on the cusp of 30 reunite for a wedding weekend. When the long-lost sixth friend - the former best friend of the groom and soul mate of the bride - shows up uninvited and unexpected, they are each forced to reexamine their lives and choices.
GARDENERS OF THE FOREST (14:32) Orange, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Ceylan Carhoglu and Nicole Jordan Webber
Synopsis: For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants. Today, there are around 600 elephants left in Laos. If the Laotian elephants become extinct, not only does it mean a loss of one of the largest mammals on earth but also the loss for Laotian history and culture. This documentary will explore how the Chinese market, deforestation, and tourism all play a role in the imminent extinction of elephants in Laos.
LOVE BITE; LAURIE LIPTON AND HER DISTURBING BLACK & WHITE DRAWINGS
(34:00) Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom (SC PREMIERE)
Director: James Scott
Synopsis: Sundance award-winning editor James Scott’s documentary directorial debut Love Bite chronicles artist Laurie Lipton’s life and prolific body of black & white work spanning over fifty years. No one on the planet has drawn more than Laurie Lipton. With millions of tiny strokes of her humble pencil, Laurie’s haunted images seek answers to some of the most uncomfortable themes in our culture - fear, politics, sexuality, murder, mayhem, greed, and indifference. But what compels her to live a life of isolation drawing is neither black nor white.
ROBERT SHAW: MAN OF MANY VOICES (1:11:00) Chicago, IL (SC PREMIERE)
WINNER BEST DOCUMENTARY
Directors: Peter Miller and Pamela Roberts
Synopsis: Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices is more than a remarkable story about the unbelievable rise of a great symphonic conductor from a background of pop music and very little formal training. It is also a moving tale of a man wrestling demons while still creating choral music that towers as the gold standard even today. It is a film the New York Times has called “poignant and compelling.”
THE RED GRIFO (19:30) Hilton Head Island, SC
Director: Guy Smith
Synopsis: Motoring through the New York countryside Darren Frank is flagged down by an excited driver claiming to own a car just like the one he is driving. Owning a super-rare Italian car gets Darren plenty of second looks, but not many of them are still on the road.
TRIGGER: THE RIPPLING EFFECT OF GUN VIOLENCE (57:03) Atlanta, GA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: David Barnhart
Synopsis: In the United States more than 30,000 people are killed every year by gun violence and more than 100,000 are wounded. The traumatic impact of gun violence can be seen in almost every community.
VOICES FROM VIETNAM: REFLECTING AT THE WALL (26:46) Blythewood, SC
Director: Ray Smith
Synopsis: This documentary tells stories about being at war, coming home and the challenges of resuming life as told by Veterans of the Vietnam war which ended 50 years ago. The memories are still fresh and the pain continues.
3000 (19:59) Athens, Greece
Director: Antonis Tsonis
Synopsis: When Leon’s best friend Ari shares tragic news about his battle with cancer, unemployed and desperate to help, Leon secretly decides to become a criminal to pay for more cancer treatments. Against the backdrop of contemporary Athens, Greece, Leon’s actions to save his best friend have irreversible consequences.
COMING TO TERMS (12:07) Barcelona, Spain
Director: David Bertran
Synopsis: Having to face the death of their father, Eddie and Sally try to do their best in understanding the concept of death. At their tender age of 8 and 10, they fully rely on their religious father’s teachings. When life in Heaven seems ideal, they make a decision that nobody could have expected.
IN A ROOM AT THE EDGE OF INFINITY (11:20) Greenville, SC
Director: Geoffrey Gunn
A therapist tries to help a young man suffering from a strange form of insomnia.
N MEMORY (14:34) Glendora, CA
Director: Robert Kirbyson
Synopsis: In a seemingly utopian future, an elderly woman struggles to accept that it seems like it's her turn to die.
MIA (13:50) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Felix Martiz
WINNER BEST SHORT
Synopsis: A moody atmospheric retelling of the classic latin folklore tale 'La Llorona', in which a grief struck woman waits for the return of her dead child.
MY LUCHADOR (12:51) Charlotte, NC
Director: Shea Sizemore
Producer: Chip White
Synopsis: An aging Luchador finds himself behind a computer working in a cube. His successful and loving wife helps him find his way.
RECONCILE (21:30) Boulder, CO (SC Premiere)
Director: Marcus Lucas
Synopsis: A jaded man sets out for America to find his lost inner peace by meeting the last living soul that connects their estranged families which have been anguished for decades.
THE LAND OF EXODUS (10:52) Los Angeles
Director: Skinner Myers
Synopsis: Obed, a Mexican street kid with hopes of making it to America, leads a recently kidnapped American teenager to the Mexico/United States border.
TWICE UPON A TIME (13:45) Wykcoff, NJ
Director: Iliana Guibert
Synopsis: After five years, WTC widow Isabel is still mourning her husband's death. Since the loss she's consumed herself with her career and raising their son Eric Jr. but children grow up and now Eric Jr. is off to college leaving Isabel an empty nester. Her concerned friends persuade her to join an on line dating site but things are not always what they seem.
UNDER A STONE (23:40) New York, NY
Director: Bill Klayer
Synopsis: A woman returns to her hometown for a family obligation. She reunites with her brother, but they clash in how they cope with their awful past.
WE CAN’T DIE (25:53) Menifee, CA
Director: LuAnn Nicosia
A down and out screenwriter, who has lost all hope, makes a decision to give up writing. One night, in desperation, he tosses all his scripts in a box to throw out. Later that night, as the clock ominously strikes midnight, he soon discovers that sometimes stories have a life of their own.
BEST STUDENT FILM
ICARUS (19:59) Dodge College, Orange CA
Director: Tom Teller
Synopsis: When a Mars colony's comm satellite is damaged, Emilia Riley embarks on a seemingly harmless repair excursion. A shuttle malfunction cuts connectivity to the ground and Chris, her son, makes the knee jerk decision to go after her.
RAJAM (13:44) Dodge College, Orange CA
Director: Amanda Renee Knox
Synopsis: A Syrian woman living under strict Sharia Law is accused of adultery, imprisoned and sentenced to death by stoning.
AT EASE (13:30) Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA
Director: Jacob Kirby
Synopsis: Following an absence of three years, an on-leave Marine returns home to make amends with his ex-girlfriend on her wedding day.
ECHOES OF A NOTE (7:00) UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC
Director: Chris Mathews
ONE DAY ON CARVER STREET (3:38) Carolina Home Schooler, Myrtle Beach, SC
Director: Azure Allen
Synopsis: Using hand drawn animation at 12 frames per second, One Day on Carver Street tells the story of Charlie's Place and its owner, Charlie Fitzgerald. Charlie's Place was a stop on the famous Chitlin' Circuit, and hosted the hottest musicians of the day.
ROCKET (28:54) Dodge College, Orange, CA
Director: Brenna Malloy
Synopsis: Rocket tells a bittersweet fairy tale set in the world of 1950's dirt track racing. With a legacy traditionally passed down from father to son, Annie Pankratz strives to build a destiny all her own.
THE WITCHING HOUR (12:39) Dodge College, Orange, CA
Director: Riley Geis
Synopsis: On Halloween, a fearful young boy is taken by the spooky girl next door on a haunted night of mischief and adventure.
BROKEN (16:35) UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC
Director: Wren Culp
Synopsis: A young soldier returns home from the Civil War carrying a terrible secret that threatens to estrange the only family he has left: his mother.
LONG JOHN (17:03) Rochester Institute of Technology and Animation, Rochester, NY
Director: Joe Bellavia
Synopsis: During a frigid winter, John discovers the warmth and beauty of long underwear--but will it be disastrous for his love life?
SWIPE RIGHT (8:49) Dodge College, Orange, CA
Director: Kendall Goldberg
Synopsis: After Katie is stood up, she resorts to an impromptu bar hookup, which goes horribly wrong very quickly.
SPLASH (4:30) UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC
Director: Gavin Lankford
Synopsis: Adventures at bath time! Bath toys band together to save themselves after being left behind by the boy.
FLYING (3:45) Kansas University, Lawrence, KS
Director: Jacob Hood
Synopsis: A woman learns to fly again after grieving the loss of her son.
HOT CHOCOLATE (3:17) UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Director: Kim Nguyen
A short animated film about a little girl who had recently moved to a foreign country and was trying to adjust to her new life.She woke up one day, realized that her roommate had used up all of her cocoa mixes, so she had to go out to get more.
LE SOI (4:17) UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC
Director: Catherine Salisbury
Synopsis: An abstract animated short featuring a single ballerina struggling with the inner conflict of self-doubt and personal growth.
KULAK (1:48) UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC
Director: Isaac Phillips-London
By: Marcia Chandler Rhea, Charleston, SC
Synopsis: Steve Remick, a covert government operative, is forced to reexamine his career path when a routine mission turns deadly, endangering the lives of his wife and newborn son.
By: Ron Podell, Laramie, Wyoming
Synopsis: A female assassin, nicknamed "The Tarantula" due to her penchant for killing her targets like a spider, desperately wants out of the business.
CLEAR BLUE SKY
By: Michael Brazda, Durham, NC
Synopsis: A curious writer is sucked into a criminal conspiracy when a loaf of white bread falls from the sky and kills a man who looks just like him.
By: Margaret Ford Rogers and Dane Krogman, Charleston, SC
Synopsis: A promising young muralist falls into the web of a sophisticated snuff film ring.
By: Jonathan Fear, London, United Kingdom
Synopsis: Rome’s most decorated Centurion is ordered to secure the Emperor's legacy but a renegade General stands in his way, forcing him to swallow his pride and side with a beguiling enemy spy to succeed.
REACH FOR THE SKY
By: Eric Carlson, Williamsburg, VA
Synopsis: In 1964 a 26 year old industrial arts teacher accepts a teaching job in a small rural Missouri high school where he defies the status quo and motivates a group of poor performing students to build an airplane that he promises to fly.
ROBERT SMALLS GREAT ESCAPE
By: Bernard Smith, Mandeville, LA
Synopsis: Robert Smalls Great Escape is the dramatic and personal true-life story of a young slave, ROBERT SMALLS, who in the midst of the Civil War, risks it all to bring his family to freedom by absconding with a Confederate warship.
FAMILY POSSESSIONS (Feature)
IN A ROOM AT THE EDGE OF INFINITY (Short)
LONG JOHN (Student)
SATURN RETURNS (Feature)
SWIPE RIGHT (Student)
THE WITCHING HOUR (Student)
WE CAN'T DIE (Short)