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Short Documentary
20 minutes
Director: Adam Newport-Berra
Year: 2015
Country: USA
Thu 12:20 PM RUSH , Sat 09:50 AM RUSH , Sun 9:20 PM RUSH , Mon 6:20 PM RUSH

In the woods of upstate New York, an oak tree is lovingly turned into a post and rung stool. Beautifully photographed in a natural workshop, this contemplative film presents an up-close look at the traditional process and detailed art of hand-hewn precision woodworking. 

Director’s Statement: Adam Newport-Berra 

In the woods of upstate New York, an oak tree is lovingly turned into  shot Greenwood with friends Tom Bonamici and Derek Lasher over the course of two fall days in 2014. Our friend Zach Klein was kind enough to let us use Beaver Brook, his property in upstate New York. My goal with this film was to make it a study on observation, and the beautiful yet complex dynamic between man and nature. 

Plays with:

Gotta Have Heart 
Short Documentary
25 minutes
Director: Sandi Perlmutter
Year: 2015
Country: USA

When Edd met Joe, he told him that his heart hurt; Joe thought he was being metaphorical. In this touching love story, we meet a sweet, cantankerous New York couple facing incredible obstacles just to keep retired ballet dancer Edd alive. Fondly remembering their 23 years together, they recount Edd’s near death experiences, failed attempts at fixing his heart, and their hope for a miracle. Gotta Have Heart is an intimate portrait of devotion and survival. 

Director’s Statement: Sandi Perlmutter 

This film initially was about my next-door neighbor Edd, 65, who wanted a heart transplant so he could dance ballet again. After my first interview with Edd and his partner Joe, I realized the larger story was the complicated act of staying together for 23 years. I hope audiences will look at their own relationships with a new appreciation of what sustains this challenging, transformative achievement. 

The Bionic Man 
Short Documentary
9 minutes
Director: Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari
Year: 2015
Country: USA

Les Baugh lost both of his arms when he was a teenager. Engineers at Johns Hopkins are trying to give them back to him, only better. Les tests an amazing robotic prosthetic that he can control with his mind. 

Directors’ Statement: Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper

Les can make a fire and drive a car. He can swim. What’s incredible is that he can do those things with no arms. What’s more incredible is that one day, Les may have mind-controlled robotic arms so he can open a jar of peanut butter or crack open a beer. We wanted to find out what it was like to be the real bionic man.


The Soul of a Tree 
Short Documentary
17 minutes
Director: Mari Walker
Year: 2016
Country: USA

World Premiere

A reverent tribute to world famous woodworker, George Nakashima. George crossed paths twice with a man named Bill Vaughn from Eden, Idaho—once when he was interned on Bill’s family’s farm during World War II, and again decades later, when Bill discovered George’s seminal book on woodworking, The Soul of a Tree

Director’s Statement: Mari Walker 

Bill Vaughn’s story never left me since I interviewed him eight years ago. His gentle empathy towards Japanese-American internees during Word War II affected me deeply, but it was his connection with George Nakashima and how much Bill’s life had changed since reconnecting with George that made me want to tell this story. I wanted to make a film that not only spoke about the necessity of resilience, but also about chance encounters and how one person’s life can deeply affect another. 

Verbatim: The Ferguson Case 
Short Documentary
17 minutes
Director: Brett Weiner
Year: 2015
Country: USA

Unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Using actual court transcripts from the case, this provocative short documentary presents the infamous incident in a new light, re-enacting the Grand Jury testimony of two key witnesses: Dorian Johnson (Keith Stanfield), and police officer Darren Wilson (Brian Geraghty). 

Director’s Statement: Brett Weiner 

I wanted to share the story of the encounter between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown by using voices of those who lived it, using their own words, juxtaposing key excerpts from the depositions and with actors to re-enact the testimony. I thought perhaps if we have a better sense of the “who, what, where and when,” we may come a small step closer to understanding “why.” 
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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018

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