First Night Program
November 3, 2017 - 7:00pm
Download a PDF of the 2017 Program
Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon's grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, filmmaker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale.
ZEEZUCHT (Jonas and the Sea)
Jonas has dreamed of living in the sea all his life, but it’s impossible. Or is it?
LUCIA BEFORE AND AFTER
After traveling hundreds of miles, a woman must wait another twenty-four hours before she can get an abortion.
HOPPTORNET (Ten Meter Tower)
People who have never been up a 10-meter diving tower must choose whether to jump or climb down in this entertaining study of people in a vulnerable position.
With one eye that can only see the past and one that can only see the future, a girl is tormented by two irreconcilable realities.
In this dance film set on a desolate arctic shore, a lonely fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the ice, and thaws him out as his newfound soul brother.
DADYAA (The Woodpeckers of Rotha)
In their remote village, haunted by memories, Atimaley and Devi find themselves faced with a dilemma when a dear friend leaves without saying goodbye.
UN ETAT D’URGENCE (State of Emergency)
Two Parisian soldiers guarding an official building find an abandoned bag on the street.
ACROSS MY LAND
Father and son 'minutemen' patrol the American/Mexican border near their home in Nogales, Arizona.
The 11 films that make up the First Night Program are presented under the title “Broken Tongue,” and represent artists from 11 different nations.
I wanted to curate a program that explored the idea of legacy and just how powerful the past can be. We all know that to truly be able to navigate the complicated and challenging paths our lives often take, it is essential that we continually take stock of not just what has sustained us, but also what has challenged us.
To me, legacy is not just the formal history we leave on this earth as a record of our humanity. It is also the story of how that history influenced both the good and the bad choices we made. We are all people who speak, at times, in broken tongues. In one moment we are the harsh voices of our mistakes. In the next we are the shouts of our revelations and victories. And more often than we want to admit, we are the false voices of our own insecurities.
This program ends with Fiona Godivier’s revelatory film “Across My Land,” and with an act of violence so innocent that it is astonishing. It is a bold reminder of a difficult lesson—that our history is being written every second of our lives. Every moment is precious. The path only becomes clear when we speak honestly and compassionately and fully aware of our humanity.
—Barry Smoot. Festival Director
November 4, 2017 - 2:00pm
Carla is alone in her office. She gets a call from Raúl, a young guy who passes her cocaine. Tonight will be the last night that Raúl works as a dealer. He wants to change his life.
Attempting to remove an unresponsive badger from a dark road, a police patrol soon realizes that the anima is not dead but rather dead drunk.
WHAT COMES FROM A SWAMP
A young man struggles to care for the strange being he has kept hidden in his crawlspace since childhood. man struggles to care for the strange being he has kept hidden in his crawlspace since childhood.
A 16-year-old girl deals with the responsibility and harsh bureaucracy of having to identify the body of her mother.
Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.
IL SILENZIO (The Silence)
Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. On their visit to the doctor, she is supposed to translate what the doctor says to her mother, but she keeps silent.
When a Mars colony’s comm satellite is damaged and the commander embarks on a repair excursion, an unforeseen problem forces her son to go after her.
On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight.
WAITING FOR HASSANA
In 2014 in Nigeria, 276 teenage girls disappeared and their school was burnt. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.
The 10 films that make up the Matinee Program are presented under the title “Numbered Days,” and represent artists from 9 different nations. We are living in a time of unrest and chaos. This is not something that is unprecedented, but the global scope of the societal dysfunction we are experiencing is unique in a modern age. Currently, there are 65.3 million people, or one person in 113, physically displaced from their homes either by conflict or persecution. In 2017 alone, hate crimes have increased 20 percent in major US cities, and this percentage continues to rise.
This program is about cause and effect. It is about generational influence. It is about standing up to fear and having the courage and the humanity to choose new beginnings. I was also overwhelmed by the number of films submitted to us this year that dealt with this global conflict from the perspective of its effect on young people. We are all born into innocence. Prejudice, intolerance, hate, and greed are all learned behaviors. What drives us apart and what instills in us the capacity for these destructive feelings is simple—it is fear.
The Program concludes with Ifunanya Maduka’s beautiful documentary portrait of a young woman who chose to endure. The film details a 2014 incident in Nigeria during which 276 school girls were kidnapped by the terrorist organization Boko Haram. To tell this story, young filmmaker Maduka chose to explore the idea of hope, not defeat. We cannot let fear close our eyes. The only way for us to effect change is to understand with each numbered day we fail to speak out against what is wrong with the world, we are part of the problem.
—Barry Smoot, Festival Director
Second Night Program
November 4, 2017 - 7:00pm
On the night William and Cecile decide to break up, hey decide to do the drug MDMA together—to treat their sorrow with love.
An innocent young man from China is anxiously memorizing “his hope” in the middle of a noisy crowd in Tokyo, Japan.
ALFRED J HEMLOCK
When Emily's boyfriend abandons her in the night, her only way home is through an alleyway where she is terrorized by the mysterious Alfred J Hemlock.
STILL LIFE (Trilogy)
This trilogy of darkly comic films tackles key issues in American cultural conversation – incarceration, race, life, death, digital culture, and gender.
A DROWNING MAN
Alone and far from home, The Kid makes his way through a strange city looking for the means to get through the day.
On a Mediterranean shore, A Syrian father makes a decision that puts his daughter’s life at risk.
Wes Hurley's autobiographical tale of growing up gay in Soviet Union Russia, only to escape with his mother, a mail order bride, to Seattle to face a whole new oppression in his new Christian fundamentalist American dad.
ROBOT & SCARECROW
A love story between a robot and a scarecrow who meet and fall for each other at a summer music festival.
The 11 films that make up the Closing Night Program are from 10 different nations and are presented under the title, “Restoration." I believe that there are barbarians in our midst who will stop at nothing to cleanse the world of anyone who does not meet the expectations of their beliefs and what they perceive as the “purity” of their convictions. Millions of people are currently at their mercy.
I also know that the world is populated by a much larger majority of people who still believe in the absolute power of the human heart and soul—those who believe that we are perfect and imperfect at the same time, and that understanding our differences is the only way we will ever survive.
This program is about small moments of humanity. It is about the strength it takes to live as a person who chooses to survive and to embrace the better angels of our nature.
—Barry Smoot, Festival Director