A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL (1hr 28min) (USA) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE) WINNER
Director: Aimee Long
Synopsis: A young Chinese-American cop unravels after accidentally shooting an innocent African-American man through a wall.
ELECTRIC JESUS ((1hr 47min) (USA) Greenville, SC
Director: Chris White
Synopsis: ELECTRIC JESUS is a wistful coming-of-age music-comedy reminiscent of THE COMMITMENTS, THAT THING YOU DO, and SING STREET—a rock-and-roll movie about a band that never quite makes it. While the screen band’s music is a weird mash-up of 80’s hair metal and Sunday school, ELECTRIC JESUS wears its heart on its sleeve, ala THE BREAKFAST CLUB, LADY BIRD, and ALMOST FAMOUS.
NIGHT INTO DAY (1hr 18min) Los Angeles, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Ben Hall
Synopsis: James and Katie Shaw, a couple in the middle of a divorce, are caught together on the outskirts of a nuclear attack in Los Angeles. With chaos reigning outside and the threat of nuclear fallout, the two decide to stay put inside their damaged apartment and wait for rescue only to be antagonized by outside forces,
ONE MOMENT (1hr 55min) New York, NY (WORLD PREMIERE)
Director: Deirdre O’Connor
Synopsis: One Moment is a humorous, heartwarming story of middle-age siblings struggling to manage their own lives while also caring for their recently widowed aging father. Welcome to the "Sandwich Generation."
INVITATION TO THE DANCE (40min) Greenville, SC WINNER
Director: Sarah Shoemaker
Synopsis: Invitation to the Dance introduces Lena Forster and her adult special needs ballet class. Filmmaker Sarah Shoemaker follows five students through a year of dance and life, offering viewers the opportunity to glimpse a perspective frequently overlooked, to listen to voices frequently unheard, and to witness the experiences of those who are impacted by the dancers. The film seeks to explore questions about life, community, and our ability to appreciate both the gifts and the limits of each of us.
NAVIGATING THRU (1hr 27min) Acton, MA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Lindsay Taylor Jackson
Synopsis: Navigating THRU follows the journey of several women as they hike 2,200 miles along the Appalachian Trail.
THE HILLS I CALL HOME ( 57min) Carmel, ID (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Ashton Gleckman
Synopsis: The Hills I Call Home is an exploration into the town of Beattyville, a rural settlement located deep in the heart of the American Appalachian Mountains. Though it's one of America's poorest towns - it's home to a tight-knit community who binds together to push through hard times.
MR. MYRTLE BEACH (14min) Myrtle Beach, SC
Director: Joel Allen
Synopsis: A look at the history of Myrtle Beach through the lens of Jack Thompson.
PRODOGTV (23min) Greenville SC (SC Premiere) WINNER
Director: Randall Owens
Synopsis: A docuseries about professional dogs
ROOTS OF LACROSSE (24min) Pebble Beach, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Shelby Tsiower:iohsta Adams and Joanne Storkan
Synopsis: Many lacrosse players and coaches often don’t know that the origins of the game of lacrosse has its roots in North American Indigenous nations. This short documentary provides a brief history of the sacred and cultural aspects of this sport, originally played for the Creator, as well as for the health and welfare of the people. The movie also defines the three types of North American, Indigenous lacrosse: Iroquois, Great Lakes, and Southeastern.
THOUGHTS & PRAYERS (18min) Highlands Ranch, CO (SC Premiere) WINNER HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Director: Hope Ballard
Synopsis: Gun violence has been heavily prevalent in the lives of young adults such as the filmmaker, Hope Ballard. This film documents Hope's personal journey as she works with a civil rights expert, a father of a Columbine victim, and a gun enthusiast in search of answers to the gun violence crisis in America.
DUTY & HONOR
A BAND TO HONOR (1hr 17min ) Las Vegas, NV (WORLD PREMIERE)
Director: Warren Hull
Synopsis: A Band to Honor is a documentary feature film that uses archival footage, photographs, and personal interviews to tell the story of 21 young naval musicians. These individuals were among the 1,177 USS Arizona members who lost their lives when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
BASTARD’S ROAD (1hr 35min) Crofton, MD (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Brian Morrison
Synopsis: With remarkable honesty, insight and humor, Marine veteran Jon Hancock's 6000 mile journey is uniquely positive. It’s about changing the ways one relates to traumatic memories. It’s about beginning the healing process.
THE GIRL WHO WORE FREEDOM (1hr 30min) Wheaton, IL (SC PREMIERE) WINNER (DUTY & HONOR)
Director: Christian Taylor
Synopsis: The journey from occupation to liberation, to acceptance and forgiveness to gratitude and pride, is explored through interviews with French survivors and American veterans in this powerful, personal film that tells stories handed down over two generations.
ALINA ( 25min) Brentwood, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Rami Kodeih
Synopsis: As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend's three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Dorota Puzio, Rebeca Robles (BETTER THINGS), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).
BANDWIDTH (5min) Santa Clarita, CA (SC Premiere)
Director: Pat Battistini and Robert Francke
Synopsis: Frank's important job interview on Zoom goes south due to his "stay at home" Covid precautious family using up his bandwidth.
CALF ROPE (29min) Landisville, PA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Bradley Hawkins
Synopsis: During the summer of '66, a former rodeo champion and cattle auctioneer from Oklahoma bonds tightly with his young grandson from suburban Pennsylvania while teaching him a few tricks from his previous trades. Shot entirely in rural Pennsylvania, Calf Rope captures the intense love that grandparents often share with their grandchildren and the legacy that lives on long after they have gone.
DIRTY LITTLE SECRET (14min) Santa Barbara, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Dale Griffiths Stamos
Synopsis: Nick thinks he can breeze through these therapy sessions with the court appointed psychologist, Dr. Dana Reynolds. After all he's Nicholas P. Berenger - he's charmed or bought himself out of worse situations than this. But soon he realizes that Dr. Reynolds may have something on him, and it's not pretty.
EXIT ZERO ( 40min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Page Cooper Anderson
Synopsis: A set of dysfunctional twins, down on their luck, inherit a house they hope to sell for ready cash only to discover it is inhabited by their dreadful dead relatives. A new plan is hatched that promises a way to make a living off of the dead.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION (14min) Brooklyn, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Poppy Gordon
Synopsis: Determined to party at Sundance, three entitled young women meet up at an LA member's only club to make a selection-worthy short film. In an unholy fusion of wokeness and cluelessness, they build a narrative from atop the high perch of their privilege. And piece-by-piece, they almost, almost, almost give a voice to the voiceless — just without ever having any idea what they're talking about. But they are perfectly positioned to make it happen.
GOING MY WAY (16 min) Los Angeles, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Rob Margolies
Synopsis: When a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, receives devastating news about her health, she decides to live the remainder of her life on her own terms – possibly foregoing the wishes of her family.
GRACELAND (14min) Los Angeles (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Bonnie-Kathleen Ryan
Synopsis: Anna Camp stars as a southern mom whose life is all-shook-up when her fourth grader claims to be reincarnation of the king of 'rock-n-roll
HALLWAYS AND DOORS (18 min) Los Angeles, CA (WORLD PREMIERE) WINNER
Director: J. P. Brennan
Synopsis: After a dedicated LAPD officer kills a woman's husband during a domestic disturbance call, his life is shattered. The only person who can save him from ending his own life is the widow of the man he killed.
HUNG UP (13min) Lubbock, TX (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Damon Osteen
Synopsis: Shattered Texan Latina bull rider Patty “Duke” (Melissa Jackson, THE NEXT THREE DAYS), risks paralysis to ride again. Co-starring Kevin Kane (THE IRISHMAN) and Catherine Curtin (STRANGER THINGS).
JAVELINA RUN (19min) Austin, TX (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Lisa Belcher
https://youtu.be/sUbDhf4ynmw: Two idiot ranch hands pretend to be fugitive train robbers to get attention from the ladies at an old west saloon.
LESS HEAT IN ARIZONA (25min) Pittstown, NJ (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Tom Wardach
Synopsis: seasoned thief, Stan, pulls together two mismatched men for a big payoff heist. Slade, is ruthless and dangerous; his unwilling partner, Lee, is a timid, desperate accountant. During the commission of the crime, their true intentions come to light with wildly unexpected results.
LIKE DAUGHTER, LIKE MOTHER (19min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Clyde Baldo
Synopsis: A mother and daughter navigate the world of online dating together.
LUNCH HOUR WITH THE PRESIDENT (6min) Atlanta, GA (NORTH AMERICA PREMIERE)
Director: Pamela Perrine
Synopsis: A married couple's conversation over morning coffee, shifts from political to heartwarming, when a grandfather shares his excitement about the gift to his grandson, that gets more exposure than he ever imagined.
MEND (22min) Acworth, GA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Shannon Eubanks
Synopsis: After the loss of his wife, Marv Waters is stuck in a lonely routine meant for two. But what he doesn't see is that the purpose and community he craves exist just outside his front door.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY (17min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Clyde Baldo
Synopsis: What would you do and how far would you go to keep a loved one?
NOW YOU SEE US (11min) Brooklyn, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Romina Schwedler
Synopsis: A COMING OF a certain AGE STORY!
Two actresses "of a certain age" compete fiercely for a role in a TV commercial, but as their audition approaches, the lifelong rivals discover that they are in the presence of a much larger threat: A society that finds them invisible!
ODDLY POPULAR (28min) Capistrano Beach, CA (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Fred Gallo
Synopsis: Four fortuneless females have a hard time navigating daily life. Things get even more complicated when an accidental text inadvertently lands them their own reality show.
PATIRI IN THE PROMISED LAND (26min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Page Cooper Anderson and Dana Schoenfeld
Synopsis: A young immigrant from Zimbabwe, befriends a bookstore owner in hopes of forming an alliance that could help her remain in her country of choice. Her own lies create an outcome she could never have predicted.
PLOT (16min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Jeremy Folmer
Synopsis: Tensions rise in the RiverPoints Community Playroom, as thirteen diverse Garden Club members slog through a never-ending bi-annual meeting run by the self-appointed leader Wang Fang. Interspersed between the meeting and its sudden unexpected turn are interviews with the gossipy New Age couple, the Frenchman and his alcoholic wife, the Old timers, the Millennial newcomers, and others.
RENT DO (15min) Verdun, QC CANADA (WORLD PREMIERE)
Director: Gavin Michael Booth
Synopsis: Rent Do follows Rich, Winnie and Pete, roommates and reluctant best friends. When each one is unceremoniously fired on the same day, they’re forced to start job hunting. But after Winnifred takes matters into her own hands, all three are forced into hiding. Paying rent becomes the least of their concerns.
RETIREMENT DAY (12min) San Antonio, TX (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Cedric Thomas Smith
Synopsis: After 30 years of employment, Joe retires from his job so that he can spend the rest of his time with the love of his life, Eva.
SILENT NOTES ( 11min) New Canaan, CT (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Kiki Tsakalakis
Synopsis: A misunderstood, deaf, white young man longs to join a black Baptist choir that he secretly admires, in hopes of becoming part of the community.
SWEATBOX (11min) Mt. Pleasant, SC
Director: Nate O’Mahoney
Synopsis: Two children are trapped inside during a lethal heatwave when a criminal arrives, begging for shelter.
THE ASTRONAUT ( 10min) Wilmington, NC (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Joey Connolley
Synopsis: An imaginative child must overcome the loss of his father before moving out of the memory-filled house they shared.
THE MUSHROOM HUNTRESS (10min) Brookesville, ME (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Jim Picariello
Synopsis: after Leigh is cut off from her cold, wealthy mother, and witnesses the arrest of her loving-yet-scheming father, she attempts to support herself by capitalizing on her love of wild mushrooms. But while foraging along the forest floor she discovers a shocking family secret.
THE SANDS OF TIME (14 min) Lutterworth, UNITED KINGDOM (NORTH AMERICA PREMIERE)
Director: James Hughes
Synopsis: A Time Portal in the Sands Brings a Young Couple Together
THE VIOLIN (8min) New York, NY (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Jon Rosenbloom
Synopsis: Matthew Rhys (The Americans, A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood) portrays a recent divorcee in a nuanced film about music, regret, and hope in a cruel world.
WRITER’S BLOCK ( 20min) Charlotte, NC (SC PREMIERE)
Director: Danel Hamby
Synopsis: Every filmmaker has heard the phrase, "Write what you know," but
what happens when it's taken too far? A filmmaker suffering from
writer’s block on his murder mystery feature film takes the advice
“write what you know” too literally.
VICTIM NO. 6 (22min) New York, NY (WORLD PREMIERE)
Director: Nancy Menagh
Synopsis: It's 1975 in New York City, which has been unaffectionately dubbed "Fear City" by the Council for Public Safety. Donna stands in front of a derelict newsstand, smoking a cigarette and reading the headline: "The City Slasher Trashes Another Victim. Who Will be Next?"
BEST STUDENT FILM
APPLEBAUM (16min) Athens, OH (Ohio University)
Director: Edward Loupe
Synopsis: A dying man and his nurse have one last conversation. It changes her life forever.
BORN TO SEE (14min) BROOKLYN, NY (Brooklyn College CUNY)
Director: Kristina Usaite
Synopsis: Overwhelmed with giving him independence, the mother of a blind boy struggles with their first separation and watches the world she built for him shatter.
FISH OUT OF WATER (15min) Vaughan ON CANADA (Ryerson Univ.)
Director: Alyssa Asaro
Synopsis: Fish Out of Water follows the story of 12-year old Henry, a non-verbal boy with Cerebral Palsy. While facing a difficult transition into school and with his brother growing more distant, Henry comes in contact with an alien.
OASIS (10min) Westchester, NY (Chapman Univ.)
Director: Matthew Wassong
Synopsis: in the near future, Earth has completely run out of fresh water. In a world of dehydration and desperation, a curious young man and a mysterious woman both go to great lengths to get the one thing everyone needs to survive.
OUT OF STOCK (18min) Vista, CA (Chapman Univ)
Director: Bryan Taira
Synopsis: n 1973, the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, made a joke that toilet paper was going out of stock. By the next day, stores across the country were completely sold out.
ROSIE (17min) Trabuco Canyon, CA (Chapman Univ.)
Director: Tessa Germaine
Synopsis: n 1943 America, factory worker Rose Donnelly must stand up for her female co-workers when their supervisor ignores blatant harassment and refuses to treat them as equals to their male co-workers. Based on the “We Can Do It!” poster by artist J. Howard Miller.
TAKE CARE (17min) Winston-Salem, NC (UNCSA)
Director: Cameron McCormack
Synopsis: Tasked with raising her younger siblings, a teenage girl must decide whether to pursue a social life or continue as a caretaker in the wake of her mother’s addiction.
THE CAKE (10min) Los Angeles, CA (NY Film Academy, LA)
Director: Meital Cohen Navarro
Synopsis: A woman in her 80’s discovers a letter from her late husband which reveals a secret he has kept from her for over 40 years. The secret involves her best friend whom she has known most of her life. She decides to confront her friend over a Sunday afternoon tea, despite the many years that has passed. In the end, their regular afternoon tea takes an unexpected turn.
THE PUNISHMENT (12min) Bradenton FL (Screen Academy of SCOTLAND) (WORLD PREMIERE) WINNER
Director: Chris Sexton Fletcher
Synopsis: A grief-stricken father hunts down the boy responsible for the events which led to his son’s murder but finds himself unable to escape the consequences of his own violent actions.
THE STORY OF MY GRANDMA (26min) Nantong Jiangsu CHINA (Commonwealth Univ. of China)
Director: Zhang Xiaoyu
Synopsis: Rebellious Tiantian left for her grandmother, Orchid Qiu, who lives thousands of miles away in a southern town. In the old house, estranged grandma and granddaughter gradually become familiar with each other. However, after a quarrel, Tiantian accidentally broke an old wedding photo. This accident broke the peace of the old house.
TOOMSBORO (15min) Orange, CA (Chapman Univ.)
Director: Liam Tangum
Synopsis: Two brothers in a small Georgia town find a large sum of money in a crashed car and have different ideas about what to do with it.
IDENTITY CRISIS (7min) Costa Mesa, CA (Chapman Univ.)
Director: Natalie Nichols
Synopsis: A cyborg named Scott is looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, but not all is well in this futuristic city when he finds his own picture on a wanted poster....
IN OUR NATURE (5min) Winston-Salem, NC (UNCSA)
Director: Echo Wilson
Synopsis: An animated documentary exploring humanity’s relationship with nature through a world of interviewed “animals.”
ROCKY ROAD (6min) Winston-Salem, NC (UNCSA)
Director: Madison Crisp and Victoria Sosa
Synopsis: Rocky Road is the story of a socially anxious foster child, Maní, connecting to her community through her adopted mother’s ice cream stand. As she grows up, Maní learns the importance of family, community, and self-confidence through her foster mother’s teachings.
SHIMMERY ( 3min) New York, NY (School of Visual Arts, NY)
Director: TzuYi Yang
Synopsis: Shimmery is a surreal, narrative animation whose style combines 3D and 2D graphic elements. A gentle beast searches for light in a dark forest taking the audience on an exploration of addiction at its essence.
TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE (6min) Oakland, NC (SCAD) WINNER
Director: Alyce Vest
Synopsis: A little girl is excited to discover more about her adoption story.
ALONG THE WAY – Rockville, MD
Writer: Alejandro (Alex) Leopardi
Synopsis: This is a son of an immigrant story. This is a high school senior story. This is a story of struggle, tears, and triumph. Julian, a first-generation Latino and the first in his family who may actually graduate high school, has excelled in education, but with his head buried in the books, Julian has had almost no time for socializing. Now, with the stress of both his education and his mother’s constant pressure to succeed weighing heavily on him, Julian decides to escape by partaking in the “normal” high school experience.
AMIRA – New York, NY WINNER
Writer: Bob Celli
Synopsis: A career soldier, having lost faith in the military, struggles with a ghost from his past and a troubled marriage as he attempts to save a young Arab girl from the cruelties of war.
CONNECT – Toronto, Canada
Writer: John Pisano-Thomsen
Synopsis: It's 1989. 19-year-old want-to-be artist, Kip Evers uncovers a disturbing secret kept by his mother for 20 years: the man known all his life as his father is NOT his biological father. Betrayed and sick of being forced by his parents to study business, Kip runs away to New York City to access a trust left by his bio father, pursue his passion in art, and to find some meaning to his life.
LITTER BUG – Cazac FRANCE
Writers: Izzy and Vic Vaughan
Synopsis: Illegal deforestation, excessive trash deposits and an infestation of flies causes the disintegration of an offshore waste disposal facility and an engineer must evacuate her team before the island collapses.
ONE WAY OUT – Raleigh, NC
Writer: Alyxandrya Prynce
Synopsis: After drinks and dinner at a local bar in Chicago, an unsuspecting mid 20's couple, Karyn and Marcus, enter a train station headed home. Having targeted them before they even left the bar, a psychopath named Benjamin begins twisting their reality and toying with their minds.
THE SHADOW OF FRANKENSTEIN – Given, WV
Writers: John Johnson and Adam Stover
Synopsis: As a boy, Karl Beckert is introduced by his father to Captain Walton from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Karl witnesses an accident where he meets Frankenstein and informs his decision to become a doctor. Karl begins his studies in London and meets Anton Bauer, a fellow student, who introduces Karl to Lily, with whom he falls madly in love. Lily dies tragically. The idea of resurrecting Lily becomes a fixation for Karl. He begins to study reanimation at night. Karl discovers Shelley’s Frankenstein.
ZERO LEGACY – Cazac FRANCE
Writers: Izzy and Vic Vaughan
Synopsis: In a future world where the proof of reincarnation means a strict ‘one in, one out’ policy on life, a midwife uncovers a life insurance scam as she learns her own child is at risk of mandatory culling.
BEST COMEDY NOMINATIONS
Bandwidth (short film)
Electric Jesus (feature film)
Exit Zero (short film)
For Your Consideration (short film)
Graceland (short film)
Javelina Run (short film)
Less Heat in Arizona (short film)
Like Daughter, Like Mother (short film)
Now You See Us (short film)
Oddly Popular (short film)
One Moment (feature film) WINNER
Out of Stock (student film)
Plot (short film)
Rent Do (short film)
The Cake (student film)
Writer’s Block (short film)
BEST ACTOR NOMINATION
Danny Aiello (One Moment, feature film) WINNER
Clyde Baldo (PATIRI in the Promised Land – short film)
Jarrod Crawford (Hallways and Doors – short film)
Anthony Robert Grasso (Monarch Butterfly – short film)
Daniel Hall (Dirty Little Secret – short film)
Kenny Leu (A Shot Through the Wall – feature film)
BEST ACTRESS NOMINATON
Jeanine Bartel (Exit Zero – short film)
Jordan Gosnell (Like Daughter, Like Mother – short film)
Jane Hajduk (Dirty Little Secret – short film)
Deborah Kuhn (Monarch Butterfly – short film)
Devi Morgan (Like Daughter, Like Mother – short film)
Cooper Shaw (Hallways and Doors – short film) WINNER
BEST DIRECTOR NOMINATON
Page Cooper Anderson (PATIRI In the Promised Land – short film)
Dana Marissa Schoenfeld (PATIRI In the Promised Land – short film)
Clyde Baldo (Monarch Butterfly – short film)
Aimee Long (A Shot Through the Wall – feature film)
Dale Griffith Stamos (Dirty Little Secret – short film)
Chris White (Electric Jesus – feature film) WINNER