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ELECTRIC LOVE (1:19) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: Four couples traverse the modern dating scene in Los Angeles utilizing popular dating apps.There's two sides to every story. What makes 'Electric Love' special for me is the amalgamation of different voices and perspectives wrapped into one - no matter gender, sexual preference, or choice of dating app. Still, we're all so consumed by our own lives, it's easy to forget how eerily similar we are to one another.
IN THE ORCHARD (1:41) (USA) Arcadia, CA (SC Premiere)
WINNER (BEST FEATURE, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST DIRECTOR)
Synopsis: This is a film about people having to cope with serious and debilitating traumas. How do you move on when your life has been so damaged and thrown into such chaos that the familiar world that once had protected you becomes something you don't even recognize anymore? When you don't know where you are, how can you have any idea of where you are headed?
THE IRON ORCHARD (1:52) Hideaway, TX (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: A good Texas story is hard to beat. Classics like “Giant”, ”Paris, TX” and more recently, “No Country for Old Men” follow solitary characters as they pass through vast, mysterious landscapes. These extraordinary films reflect a mythic side of Texas that has marked cinema forever. Oil has played a significant role in the myth of Texas.
THE PRICE FOR SILENCE (1:52) (USA) Mendham, NJ
Synopsis: After the death of her father, a troubled woman returns home to confront the family who paid for her silence.
WEIGHT (1:28) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: A 280 pound 27-year-old diabetic decides to join a gym and eat healthy after being rejected by the girl of his dreams because she doesn’t want to be with a man who might die young from a heart attack like her father.
ELEPHANT PATH (57:00) (USA) Ithaca, NY (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: An indelible tale of friendship and commitment set against the luminous beauty of the Central African Rainforest. Together, elephant behavioral biologist, Andrea Turkalo, and indigenous tracker, Sessely Bernard, will be tested by the realities of war and the limits of hope for the majestic animals they have committed their lives to study and protect.
HILLBILLY (1:25) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere)
Synopsis: In "hillbilly" directors Sally Rubin and Ashley York show the evolution of the uneducated, promiscuous `hillbilly' stereotype in film and television, linking it with corporate exploitation of Appalachia’s natural resources and the outcome of the recent presidential election.
THE NEED TO GROW (1:35) Los Angeles, CA
(East Coast Premiere)
WINNER (Best Documentary Feature)
Synopsis: NTG delivers alarming evidence on the importance of healthy soil - revealing not only the potential of localized food production working with nature, but our opportunity as individuals to help regenerate our planet’s dying soils and participate in the restoration of the Earth.
WHILE I BREATHE, I HOPE ( 1:15) USA, New York, NY
Synopsis: n 2014, Bakari Sellers–one of the youngest sitting members of the South Carolina House–campaigns to be the first African American elected to statewide office since the 1870s. He runs for Lieutenant Governor, the second highest office in the state.
CARE & CURE (21:00) USA Orange, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: This film explores traditional Chinese medicine in the United States through the lens of an American alternative medicine practitioner. Ruth McCarty provides life-changing care for children facing difficult diagnoses, as she struggles to find a place for her practice within the world of Western medicine.
EMPIRE ON MAIN STREET (23:45) USA Guernerville, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: A tireless entrepreneur jump-starts the transformation of a neglected vacation town, until her ambition pushes her to the brink.
LAST DANCE AT JOHNSON’S BARN (17:45) USA Colorado Springs, CO (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Since 1952, generations of North Dakota families have attended dances at Johnson's Barn. The barn is an icon on the prairie - so integral to the community fabric that scarcely a family in the region can't trace a courtship or marriage back to the barn. But when the farm's owner, Brian Johnson, falls ill, he and his family face a heartbreaking decision.
NO SANCTUARY (16:56) (USA) Winston-Salem, NC (SC PREMIERE)
Winner (Best Documentary Short; Susan A.K. Shaffer Humanitarian Award)
Synopsis: On June 19th, 2015, several family members of the “Emmanuel 9”, as they have come to be known, stood before a court and surprised the entire nation when they outwardly forgave Roof at his bond hearing. Though each family member reacted differently to the shooting and the trials, there was a unifying theme between them all: each individual life was unexpected and indefinitely changed forever.
THE CONQUEROR (12:17) USA Philadelphia, PA (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Cleaner by day, pro-boxer by night, Jerome Conquest lives in the city of 'Rocky' and comes from one of Philadelphia's most dangerous neighborhoods, Strawberry Mansion. When Conquest loses his best friend, Calvin, to street violence, he turns to boxing as a way to improve his life, which begins a story of redemption, not only for him but for his struggling community.
A DRAWING (5:30) (USA) Albany, IN
Synopsis: A young boy misses the chance to say goodbye to his dying Mother. Through a deep desire he wills himself to try to see her again.
BLUE NOTE (2:40) (USA) Anderson, SC
Director: David Donar
Synopsis: A guitarist finds inspiration from above.
HUGGINS (14:34) (USA) Ventura CA, (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:A musically young gifted bunny, Huggins, is thrilled to begin his schooling at Great Pond Music Academy in the Fourth World, and settles in to his new life with the help of Netty, his Hedgehog Housemother.
L’HOMME ET LE POISSON (4:08) (CANADA) Toronto
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of a vast, frozen tundra; a grizzled fisherman gets his comeuppance from a vindictive, yet familiar fish.
MERAKI (5:53) (USA) Orange, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Escaping from a deadly battle, a wounded warrior discovers a long-forgotten shrine and the ancient spirit that lives there.
NIGHT LIGHT (7:52) (USA) Orlando, FL
(SC PREMIERE) Winner (Best Animation)
Synopsis: A wide-eyed, newborn sea turtle named Fin finds himself on the illuminated beaches of Miami. It is a perilous time to be a hatchling, with hazards of artificial light and debris present at every turn. With the help of Abueluna, his caring, celestial guide, Fin will make the daring trek from his cluttered nest to the open seas.
AKEDA (17:50) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (AFI)
Synopsis: An orphan boy has his humanity tested when his film director encourages him to give a violent performance that will blend fiction with reality.
AMAL (15:00) (USA) Northridge, CA (California State)
Synopsis: An American doctor in war torn Syria attempts to bring back an injured girl, but is stopped by U.S. immigration.
ATHENA (20:33) (USA) Orange, CA (Dodge College)
Synopsis: When a famous screenwriter’s secret writing software realizes that she deserves artistic credit for her work, she turns on her creator to get what she wants.
AMERICAN LETTERS (19:28) (USA) Powell, TN (Dodge College)
Synopsis: A mailman in rural East Tennessee who struggles to make a human connection with others is forced to reconsider his involvement in the life of his co-worker when he suspects she might be in a toxic relationship with her spouse.
HOMECOMING (6:30) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (California State) (SC PREMIERE) Winner (Best Student Film)
Synopsis: When a college sophomore returns home to share some important news with his parents, things don’t go exactly as he had expected… until they do.
MCCARTHY (20:00) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (Dodge College) (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Ivan McCarthy, an aging Hollywood paparazzi, has his morals tested when he finds an opportunity for a photograph that could devastate a young star's career.
THE LIBERTY (22:08) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (Dodge College) (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: On the eve of the 'Grand Reopening' of the family's shuttered movie palace, Lily struggles to uphold the dreams of her idealist father (Harry) while facing the reality that the theatre cannot be maintained.
RIVERMENT (19:11) (USA) Washington, DC (American University) (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: A former Civil Rights activist fears for the safety of her granddaughter who is determined to follow in her footsteps.
AFTER WORK (20:56) (CAYMAN ISLANDS) George Town
Synopsis: Bob goes to work looking forward to getting a promotion, and it all goes downhill from there. On the road to nowhere, he encounters some colorful characters, loses his credit card and his dignity, but finds something to look forward to after all.
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (34:00) (FINLAND) Helsinki (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Two days before her retirement Anja makes a decision: She will not leave her work in a rental cars parking hall deep under the ground, a place where she has worked for 45 years like a queen bee, nursing cars and the mechanics around her.
BLACK DISPATCH (19:01) (USA) Charlotte, NC (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Sable, a Confederate engineer's house slave, risks everything by stealing military plans, in hopes of delivering them to the Union Army and earning her and her family’s freedom.
BOB AND EDGAR (11:54) (USA) Arlington Heights, IL (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: Bob and his dog Edgar go fishing, go for walks, and hang out, until a pair of surprise visitors reveal more about their world and Bob’s identity.
CASEY229 (14:00) (USA) New York, NY
Synopsis: Pam comes to confront her husband’s mistress, only to find out things are not what she has imagined them to be.
DETAILS (13:13) (USA) New York, NY
Synopsis:A smart, beautiful woman falls in love with a man she meets, but memories from her past threaten the relationship
GRANDPA (11:00) (USA) Boiling Springs, SC (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:A man wants to enjoy one final perfect day before his memories fade away forever.
HISTORY DAY (15:47) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (WORLD PREMIERE)
Synopsis:Vernon Taylor is a Vietnam veteran who is deeply disgruntled and disturbed by today’s youth. In Vernon’s eyes, today’s youth is spoiled, self-absorbed and unappreciative of his generation’s sacrifices.
KIKO (24:00) (USA) Los Angeles, CA
Synopsis: Kiko, a recent college dropout supervises day laborers at a factory, among the temp workers is Maria, an old high school acquaintance. As their friendship grows he finds out that her dreams of college were never realized after discovering that she wasn’t born in the US.
LUCHA: Fight, Wrestle, Struggle (19:10) (MEXICO) Ciudad de Mexico (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:After the death of his father, a Mexican luchador (pro-wrestler), Jorge returns to the gym where he grew up, facing the violence and memories he long tried to forget.
MEMORY BOX (11:22) (USA) St. Louis, MO
Synopsis:A man's visit with a loved one leads to a shattering revelation.: MEMORY BOX tells a character-driven story about a father and his son that prompts viewers to think more deeply about the power and mystery of memory.
MOLLY (10:00) (USA) Atlanta, GA (WORLD PREMIERE)
Synopsis:He’s just your average, middle-aged divorcee looking for his first fix. Today he meets Molly.
MOON RABBIT (14:25) (JAPAN) Tokyo (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:Seven-year-old Rio visits her grandparents in Japan for the first time. She observes the beauty and unfamiliarity of the household, sensing a distance between her American family and the Japanese relatives. When her mother, Seiko, reveals an open secret during tea, the children are excused from the room and something happens behind closed doors.
NIGHTINGALE (11:23) (USA) Fords, NJ (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:The world is in the midst of nuclear war and all anybody can do is hunker down in a safe place. As terrifying and depressing as that may sound it's also really boring.
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE DADS (4:46) (USA) Brooksville, ME
(SC PREMIERE) Winner (Best Comedy)
Synopsis:Two middle-aged dads just want to spend a quiet day with their daughters at the park. But when an obnoxious group of teens drive by, too fast and too loud, it spurs these aging, disgruntled dads into a self-righteous act of passive-aggression.
PATH OF DREAMS ( 24:58) (USA) Long Beach, CA
Synopsis:In poetic Japan, Ono no Komachi, a beautiful poetess, strikes a tantalizing bargain with Shosho, a charming and eager suitor. If he comes to write poetry with her for 99 nights, she says they will have the possibility of creating a love more beautiful than poetry. Only on the 99th night, will she take as her lover.
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN AT DAWN (19:55) (USA) Los Angeles, CA (SC PREMIERE)Synopsis:A #MeToo inspired story. The put-upon wife of a charismatic art dealer in 1920's Paris witnesses the empowering and intoxicating love of a gifted artist and his bewitching muse. https://vimeo.com/289390216
PUSHING SKILLS (17:00) (USA) Los Angeles CA (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:A street-smart hustler uses his invention to give people extraordinary skills for few hours but finds himself in trouble when the wrong people hear about it.
QUIET THINGS NO ONE SEES (16:00) (SWEDEN) Stockholm (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: A social commentary on the low-income class of the U.S. seen through the eyes of an 18-year old Hispanic girl trying to keep her father on healthcare.
RACHEL’S PITCH (12:33) (USA) Marion, SC
Synopsis: In this satirical portrayal of the entertainment industry, join Rachel Jensen, a quirky but ambitious young filmmaker, as she attempts to pitch her ideas to Mr. McKnight, an intimidating big-time producer.
SAFETY NET (17:18) (USA) Canton, OH (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis:How far would you go to hold on to the American Dream? This short narrative film follows Jerry Harris, a 35 year old black man, as he tries to save his home from foreclosure just before his wife gives birth to their first child.
TIN CAN (20:00) (USA) Santa Clarita, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Winner (Best Short) Winner (Audience Choice)
Synopsis:J.C. came to America as an illegal immigrant when he was just a child. Now, as an adult, he's still an illegal alien but has managed to persevere and prosper working as a rodeo clown. However, after a series of unfortunate events, J.C. finds himself down on his luck and in search for a new happiness.
THERAPY BRO ( 20:00) (USA) Montvale, NJ
Synopsis:A bartender and his friend decide to embark on voyage of self-discovery when they decide to give each other therapy.
UNEARTHED (14:27) (USA) Charleston, SC
Synopsis:What does it take to do the right thing? This is a story about a man who must confront the answers to this question when he unearths something that could make or break the future of his family.
UNORGANIZED CRIME (29:28) (USA) Los Angeles, CA
Synopsis:Under-appreciated 'family' member Gino Corso is finally given an opportunity to prove himself worthy of New York's fifth largest crime syndicate. What transpires is a humorous tale of a family seeking common ground, and a loving wife torn between loyalty and survival.
YOU DIDN’T FORGET (14:00) (SLOVENIA) Postonja (SC PREMIERE)
Synopsis: "An elderly woman's day is turned upside down when she sets out to find her missing husband, who's been struggling with memory loss."
INVISIBLE PRISONS (USA) Los Angeles, CA
Writers: Lawrence Nelson and Hoyt Richards
Synopsis:After suicide attempt, a troubled teen finds himself in a mental health facility where he rejects any help and believes that there’s no benefit to living but when a brazen young bulimic girl arrives, he discovers the one thing he never considered – falling in love.
THE LADY PIRATE (USA) Los Angeles, CA
Writers: Theresa Anne Carey
Synopsis: A bittersweet romance based on the true story of Irishwoman Anne Bonny and Englishwoman Mary Read, and their swashbuckling adventures in the final days of the Golden Age of Piracy, which leads them to discover a treasure more precious than gold.
LAST OF THE BURLY GIRLS (CANADA) Toronto
Writer: John Pisano-Thomsen Winner ( Best Screenplay)
Synopsis:It's 1995 and 92-year-old Letty Kowalski Baxter has been recently moved into a rest home by her son, Earl, after discovering her incapacitated in her home with a broken hip. When cleaning out her house, Earl's daughters discover a trunk in the attic full of racy memorabilia and unseen photographs from their grandmother's past.
NEVER GOODBYE (USA) Culver City, CA
Writer: Edina Kishonthy
Synopsis:It is 1974. Brezhnev and Nixon tout friendlier relations between the U.S. and the USSR, but behind the scenes the arms race never stops, and the Cold War rages on. Margaret Fulton, free-spirited American art history student, uses an exchange program launched in the spirit of détente to travel to Leningrad, but her secret mission is far from her official research topic of Soviet women artists.
ROBERT SMALLS (USA) Charlottesville, VA
Writer: John Harris
Synopsis:Robert Smalls leads a daring escape from Charleston Harbor during the Civil War
SWEETGRASS VILLAGE (USA) Charleston, SC
Writer: Margaret Ford Rogers
Synopsis:When Thomas Sulley moves to a retirement community, he's ready to start life anew. But can he? The residents of Sweetgrass Village may be young at heart but their demons continue to haunt them.
TAKE THE SHOT (USA) Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Writer: Jim Norman
Synopsis:A black family with an athletically gifted daughter is forced to move from Houston to North Dakota because of a corporate promotion. Family, race and gender issues are tested in the culture of the family's new and temporary move.
BEST COMEDY NOMINATIONS
After Work (Short)
An Autobiography (Short)
Bob and Edgar (Short)
Electric Love (Feature)
Passive Aggressive Dads (Short)
Rachel’s Pitch (Short)
Therapy Bro (Short)