WINNER: Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor
I Am Still Here (1:43) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Mischa Marcus
Producer: Stephanie Bell
Synopsis: I AM STILL HERE is the story of 10-year old Layla, who was stolen from her family and thrown into America’s child sex industry. Stories of courage drawn from interviews with trafficking survivors are the foundation for the fictionalized account of Layla’s journey as she confronts the monsters of her past and embraces the hope of her future.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 8pm
WINNER: Best Feature Best Comedy
Love is Dead (1:31) (FRANCE) Paris, France (SC Premiere)
Director: Eric Capitaine
Synopsis: Mathias Lonisse is a young entrepreneur, proud founder of "Love is Dead" a business providing a peculiar service to its customers as it offers to take care of their break-ups for them. One day however, Mathias successful business backfire as his own mother asks him to break up with his father for her.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 7pm
Nothing To Do (1:28) (USA) Arlington, VA (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: Nothing To Do is the story of 50 year old Kenny, an aimless DJ at an oldies station in Philadelphia. He's called to a hospital in Washington D.C., where he’s informed that his father Irv, due to many complications, is at the end of his life. Something Irv has kept from his children. It’s suggested that Kenny and his father discuss hospice.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 7:30pm
The Man from Outer Space (1:15) (USA), Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Ben Hall
Synopsis: A screenwriter begins imagining himself as the main character in his science fiction script about an astronaut from the future who crash lands on a desolate earth.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 8:45pm
City of Joy (1:14) (USA) , New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Madeleine Gavin
Synopsis: In Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, an area waging one of the longest conflicts in history and ravaged by sexual violence - we discover The City of Joy. This ultimately uplifting film centers around Jane, a student in the first class at a center where women who have suffered unimaginable abuse come together to create a revolutionary community of leaders.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 10:30am
Forgive, Don’t Forget (1:10) (USA), Lynchburg, VA (SC Premiere)
Director: Brad Bennett
Director: Jonah Guelzo
Director: Austin Journey
Director: Paul Ufema
Synopsis: During Japan's surrender at the end of World War II, numerous swords were confiscated by American officers. In order to better understand the past and build a bridge between cultures in the present, a filmmaker attempts to return one of these surrendered swords to its original owner
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 2:45pm
Poisoning Paradise (1:15) (USA) Kiwaii/Oahu (SC Premiere)
Director: Keely Brosnan
Director: Teresa Tico
Synopsis: Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, whose communities are surrounded by experimental test sites for genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides sprayed upwind of their homes, schools, hospitals, and shorelines. Discover what’s at stake for Hawaii from local activists, scientific experts and healthcare professionals as they expose the effects of environmental injustice on a local population. Join the international debate about pesticides that is raging around the world, as well as the people’s movement to hold corporations and governments accountable for poisoning planet Earth.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 11:30am
WINNER: Best Documentary (Feature)
Purple Dreams (1:12) (USA) Charlotte, NC (SC Premiere)
Director: Joanne Hock
Synopsis: Purple Dreams reveals an extraordinary ARTS in Education success story. This inspirational documentary shadows six at-risk black high school students on an emotionally powerful three-year journey of transformation in a racially biased City. With access to the Arts and academic mentors, our at-risk youth have the potential to break the cycle of poverty in a single generation.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 2:30pm
Almost Cured (30min) (ISRAEL) Haifa, Israel (SC Premiere)
Director: Tom Dierolf
Synopsis: “After the first touchdown, the crowd was a little less racist, and after the second touchdown, they were Almost Cured”. Almost Cured is an honest, personalized account about racial integration in a small North Carolina Appalachian community during the thick of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in 1963.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 4:30pm
Bud’s Odyssey (26min) (USA) Burbank, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: The epic WWII survival story of 1st Lt Robert "Bud" Kingsbury.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 2:30pm
Just Wrong (20min) (USA) Washington, DC (SC Premiere)
Director: Teresa Bruce
Synopsis: Wrongful convictions devastate more than the lives of innocent people jailed for crimes they didn't commit. Crime victims also suffer when they find out the real perpetrator isn't behind bars. This short doc chronicles all sides of wrongful convictions from five people who lived to tell their stories and share their thoughts on reform.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 10:35am
Parched (17min) (USA) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Christy Westad
Director: Elijah Guess
Snynopsis: Chief Saiti is responsible for over 1,000 people in the sixteen villages she oversees in rural Malawi. Access to clean water has always been a problem, one that typically falls to the women of the villages to solve. Young girls and women must walk upwards of six miles each day to fetch the water needed for their families to cook, drink and bathe. https://vimeo.com/205094641
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 9:30am
WINNER: Best Documentary (Short)
To Breathe Free (17min) (USA) Atlanta, GA (SC Premiere)
Director: David Barnhart
Synopsis: To Breathe Free follows the 5-year journey of a Syrian family fleeing the war in Homs to the refugee camps in Jordan and starting a new life in Washington, D.C.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 10:10am
400 Miles (30min) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Felix Martiz
Synopsis: 400 MILES is a story of forgiveness. Raul, a young man, gets word that his father—with whom he’s had an estranged relationship for years—is on his deathbed.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 11:45am
Catch and Kill (11min) (USA) Greenville, SC
Director: Geoffrey Gunn
Synopsis: A young reporter hungry for a big break gets her chance when an anonymous source contacts her with information about a congressman's extramarital affair.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 2:00pm
WINNER: Best Short Film
Crab Trap (25min) (USA) Charlotte, NC
Director: Shea Sizemore
Synopsis: Crawling back from the edge of society, Thirsty tries to prove he’s a
“changed man” to his sister in order to gain access to his daughter
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 1:15pm
Dear Kate (15min) (CANADA) Calgary AB Canada (SC Premiere)
Director: Ilona Elizabeth McCrea
Synopsis: Lorna's attempt to reach out to her estranged daughter reveals some stark truths, in this drama about a retired vocalist who finds comfort and companionship through memories.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 4:00pm
Eggs & Soldiers (20min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Imelda O’Reilly
Synopsis: A single Irish Dad forgets the tree on Christmas eve. Ned the older son's humanity is challenged when he risks everything to give his younger brother Marco a real Irish Christmas.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 4:30pm
Expectant (15min) (USA) Fort Mill, SC (World Premiere)
Director: Benjamin Sliker
Director: Matthew Bumby
Synopsis: Expectant tells the story of Joanna, who desperately wants to fill a void in her life with a child. That second chance comes from an unexpected source – the sky. The short film follows Joanna as she accepts and deals with the consequences of her sudden unusual pregnancy and the strangers who show up out of nowhere offering to help.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 9:40am
Frank Embree (8min) (USA) Culver City, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Skinner Myers
Synopsis: Frank Embree. 9:55AM. Fayette, Missouri. July 22nd, 1899.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 1:45pm
North and Nowhere (12min) (USA) Portland, OR (SC Premiere)
Director: Scott Ballard
Synopsis: A girl, a gun and a last chance.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 9:30am
Reality Disorder (30min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Gerard Bianco, Jr.
Synopsis: Nikki and Gerard, two struggling independent producers in New York City, are desperate for a hit series. After a promising meeting with a television network, they set off to make a reality show with Gerard's rich playboy cousin.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 12:30pm
God’s Country (20min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Alex Kuciw
Synopsis: Living on acres of isolated farmland, a young housewife is pushed to the brink with no way out.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 9:55am
Uncle Silas (15min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Sayra Player
Director: Rebecca Brillhart
Synopsis: During her brother's visit to meet her newborn, Maureen witnesses firsthand the tailspin of self-destruction he is on. This may be her last chance to save him.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 2:10pm
Sanvean (16min) (USA) Culver City, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Elizabeth Yoder
Synopsis: Tuck in an unhealthy grieving pattern, Sanvean’s mother, Margo, has adopted debilitating ways to hold on to memories, which bring her to a breaking point.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 10:50am
Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times (UK) London, UK (SC Premiere)
Director: Marcus Markou
Synopsis: Two strangers meet at five key turning points over the duration of their lives. Initial conflict gives way to compassion and eventual friendship.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 4:20pm
In a Dream (17min) (USA) Culver City, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Edina Kishonthy
Synopsis: KATE, a young office worker and aspiring pet portrait painter, is determined to find a mysterious man who keeps appearing in her dreams at night.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 12:00pm
Melting Pot (12min) (USA) Findlay, OH (SC Premiere)
Director: KC Allen
Synopsis: When a widower falls in love with a younger woman, the only thing standing in the way of true happiness is a loving family.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 11:15am
It’s Just a Gun (14min) (Dodge) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Brian Robau
Synopsis: When a young boy named Gabe finds a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, it will set in motion a series of events that will change him forever.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 12:45pm
Citizen (17min) (Dodge) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Robert Bracker
Synopsis: Andrea, a female Border Patrol Agent's 8-month pregnant sister gets deported and Andrea must choose between her job and her family.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 9:10am
Marty and Stacy’s Pixelated Dream Show (19min) (Dodge) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Paul Mowry
Synopsis: A romantic web developer builds an online fantasy world to win the girl of his dreams.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 9:05am
Distress (18min) (Dodge) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Lane Lyle
Synopsis: Aralyn Thanderson, the impoverished orphan, must overcome starvation, troll roads, questionable environmental policy, immigration reform, and knights with a misogynist agenda in order to save the Prince from the magical tower and receive a sizable cash prize.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 4:10pm
Pickle (22min) (Dodge) Orange, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Grant Moore
Synopsis: After accidentally freezing the family dog to death, Oscar attempts to make good with his soon-to-be stepson by driving the family pet’s ashes across the country.
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 10:00am
WINNER: Best Student Film
Night Call (18min) (Dodge) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Amanda Renee Knox
Synopsis: When on a routine patrol, a Black female cop living in and patrolling Inglewood gets called to a disturbance she is forced to make an unprecedented life altering decision.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 1:10pm
WINNER: Best Animation
KCLOC (3min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Ninaad Kulkarni
Synopsis: KCLOC is a 3D animated documentary on people’s perceptions of time
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 9:08am
Human Town USA (8min) (USA) Newbury Park, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Julie Greiner
Synopsis: Hugh The Human leads a tour of his beloved home, revealing the magic and mystery of life in Human Town.
Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 9:00am
Karma (4min) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Zhaoyu Zhou
Snynopsis: A boy meets a fish in a mysterious forest.
Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 9:00am
An Idea (7min) (USA) Morelia, Mexico (SC Premiere)
Director: Juan Paulin
Synopsis: All sorts of things can happen in the search of an idea
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 9:00am
Anxiety (4min) (USA) New York, NY (SC Premiere)
Director: Allison Jones
Synopsis: Anxiety is a short animated film that explores the thoughts and emotions that come with anxiety and panic attacks, looked at through the eyes of me, the filmmaker
Screens: Feb 24, Saturday, 9:08am
BEST COMEDY NOMINATIONS
LOVE IS DEAD (Feature) WINNER
THE MAN FROM OUTER SPACE (Feature)
NORTH & NOWHERE (Short)
REALITY DISORDER (Short)
IN A DREAM (Short)
MELTING POT (Short)
MARTY AND STACY’S PIXELATED DREAM SHOW (Student)
CIVIL FORFEITURE (USA) Abbeville, SC
Screenwriters: Shelley Reid and Alda Gentile
Synopsis: When a Long Island businesswoman is abused and robbed of twelve thousand dollars by three Georgia law officers, she spearheads the national movement against civil asset forfeiture abuse.
DAY OF RECKONING (USA) St. Augustine, FL
Screenwriter: Lorraine Portman
Synopsis: A science fiction action story about a resourceful but sheltered young girl who must convince people that the new order needs to be brought down. A government imposed system of controlled zone living, which is not as it appears, pits Madelyn against a childhood love, and she must save her sister while fighting to restore freedom.
DEAD DROP (USA) Los Angeles, CA
Screenwriter: Nancy Duff
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Scout Sawyer is forced to go on the run when her father's secret agent identity is exposed. Following her dad’s clues to a safe house in Washington, Scout teams up with an unorthodox agent to uncover the biggest secret of all: her mom is still alive and working for the enemy.
THE SALT BOX (USA) Simpsonville, SC
Screenwriter: Robert J. Rogers
Synopsis: An elderly gentleman tells a story to a four year old boy about the Civil War. He tells it with such detail and clarity, it almost sounds as if he was there. Thomas, a Union soldier, is shot by a blue-eyed, fiery redhead, Mary, for reasons she believes are just. As Thomas works her farm in shackles, he challenges Mary about the war, and in particular, the inhumanity of slavery.
THE SPIRIT OF COLUMBUS (USA) Williamsburg, VA
Screenwriter: Eric Carlson
Synopsis: In 1964, Ohio housewife and amateur pilot Jerrie Mock races professional aviatrix Joan Merriam Smith in a daring and dangerous attempt to become the first woman to successfully fly solo around the world.
ELECTRIC JESUS (USA) Greenville, SC
Screenwriter: Chris White
Synopsis: During the summer of ‘86, a devout teenager becomes a roadie for an up-and-coming Christian hair metal band—only to learn that there is more to life than just saving the whole damn world.
WHERE’S MAMA (USA) Mandeville, LA
Screenwriter: Bernard Smith
Synopsis: To stop the crime and drug-dealing in a small Mexican village, the village mothers take matters into their own hands and kidnap the drug lord’s mother as hostage, which leads to the unexpected consequences of spiraling the world to the point of nuclear war.