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Commodity City
Short Docs 1: About Work
Documentary Short
10 minutes
2017
Director(s): Jessica Kingdon
China, USA
 
Thu 12:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sat 09:50 AM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sun 9:20 PM Varsity 2
Mon 3:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere 

Yiwu International Trade Market— aka Commodity City—is the largest wholesale consumer market in the world. Christmas decorations, fake flowers, and other cheap merchandise leaves China to end up in dollar stores everywhere. is documentary observes the daily lives of vendors who work in the Yiwu Markets, exploring moments of tension between commerce and individuality, between the goods for sale and the humans who sell them. Subtitles 
Director's Statement

When I read about Yiwu Market, I was attracted to the scale, aesthetic, and contextual layers operating there: all of these things were both distant yet relevant to my life. As an American consumer I give little thought to my relationship to the people producing the goods I buy from abroad, and being of mixed Chinese ethnicity, my relationship to China poses an open question. 
Playing with ...
Short Docs 1: About Work
Documentary Short
16 minutes
2017
Director(s): David Freid
Canada, Mexico, USA
Thu 12:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sat 09:50 AM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sun 9:20 PM Varsity 2
Synopsis
Originally proposed as an international peace park with Mexico, Big Bend, Texas has a unique relationship with its southern neighbor. For the past 40 years, Mike Davidson has been ferrying tourists across the Rio Grande for a little taste of Mexican life—but now a great big divide threatens the park. A visitor’s guide to America’s great big border wall. 
Director’s Statement

A lot of people have an opinion of the wall, but few have experienced life along the border. When you’re down there, you quickly realize that drawing a neat line between our two countries isn’t easy. Personally, I don’t believe that building a wall is an answer. But I didn’t want to make a partisan film that doesn’t attempt to explore something outside of my own preconceptions. We knew if we wanted to learn more, others would too. 
 
Short Docs and Stories: About Family
Narrative Short
15 minutes
2017
Director(s): Jeannie Donohoe
USA
Fri 10:10 AM Varsity 3
Sun 12:40 PM Varsity 3
Mon 3:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Synopsis
AJ Green makes an instant impression at varsity basketball tryouts. Coach (former NBA player Rick Fox) takes notice, and so do the other players—especially the point guard, whose starting slot is threatened. the high school team is second best in the state, but this year Coach plans to win it all. AJ has talent, heart, and drive... as well as a big secret. Will AJ make the team once the truth is discovered? 
Director's Statement

I wanted to tell a story about pursuing dreams and playing at the top of your game. Sometimes this requires pushing past limitations and expectations. AJ challenges the rules and takes risks and Coach ultimately acknowledges the talent and drive unconditionally. the relationship between Coach and AJ speaks to a willingness to reward ambition, hard work, and equal talent with equal opportunities. 
Short Docs and Stories: About Family
Documentary Short
13 minutes
2017
Director(s): Wes Hurley, Nathan Miller
USA
Fri 10:10 AM Varsity 3
Sun 12:40 PM Varsity 3
Mon 3:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Synopsis
An autobiographical  film about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his mail-order-bride mom, and their adventurous escape to America. Struggling to survive in the USSR during the turbulent years of perestroika, Elena and her son escape into the world of pirated American movies. But soon the movies are not enough and Elena decides to discover America for herself. 
Directors’ Statement 

Life in Russia, especially for gay people, is still very much a mystery to the rest of the world. Now more than ever the story is relevant with its themes of immigrant quests for the American Dream, government corruption, social oppression, Russia-U.S. politics, violence against women, and gay/trans rights. But despite the heavy subject matter, the story of my mom and I coming to America is as hopeful and positive as any Hollywood happy ending. 
Short Stories 1: In the Light of Day
Narrative Short
10 minutes
2017
Director(s): Erica Milsom
USA
 
Thu 6:30 PM Varsity 5 RUSH
Fri 6:30 PM Varsity 5 RUSH
Sat 3:30 PM Varsity 5 RUSH
Sun 12:30 PM Varsity 5 RUSH
Mon 3:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Mon 6:20 PM Varsity 2
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere 

Set in Northern California in the late 1960’s, So Much Yellow depicts the car ride that changes a family forever. is heartbreaking story follows a young girl’s perspective on the day her little brother, who has Down syndrome, is taken away from her to live in an institution. Featuring real-life brother and sister Kayline and Otto Gavenda. 
Director’s Statement

The story evolved many times over 10 years until I thought what that day would be like from the point of view of a young sibling. As I wrote down one of that girl’s thoughts, “I didn’t want you to think that nobody fought for you,” I realized why I hadn’t been able to let this story go. This was the core of our  film. If a story is hard to find, then it’s probably the most important one you can tell. 
Short Docs 1: About Work
Documentary Short
35 minutes
2017
Director(s): Ben Knight
Nepal, USA
Thu 12:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sat 09:50 AM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sun 9:20 PM Varsity 2
Mon 3:00 PM Varsity 1 RUSH
Synopsis
In the mist-shrouded mountains of Nepal’s Hongu River valley, the Kulung people carve their lives out of the land and practice an ancient form of animism structured around the god Rongkemi. Here you will find a wiry, unassuming man named Mauli Dhan Rai, who is believed to be chosen by the gods for the perilous rite of honey harvesting. Subtitles
Directors' Statement:

This project was a dream come true for me, honestly. In this age of freakishly short attention spans and reality TV-style editing, it was really important to me to tell this story in a way that was (hopefully) immersive for a willing audience and respectful to the Kulung culture. I felt a sense of responsibility to the people who gave us their trust to tell their story in a way that didn’t feel exploitive or overly dramatized. 
Short Docs 1: About Work
Documentary Short
13 minutes
2018
Director(s): Charles Poekel
USA
 
Thu 12:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sat 09:50 AM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sun 9:20 PM Varsity 2
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere 

Tom Noddy couldn’t find his calling, so he created it. From Woodstock to The Tonight Show, he’s found happiness in the briefest of entities—the soap bubble. A charming, whimsical, witty film about an unconventional raconteur; the pride of the artist and the longing for recognition. With beautiful bubbles. From the director of Christmas, Again (AIFF2015). 
Director's Statement

What attracted me to Tom’s story was how he discovered his unique talent, how he remained true to himself in doing so, and how he continues to inspire childlike wonder night after night, year after year, decade after decade.
Short Docs 1: About Work
Documentary Short
18 minutes
2017
Director(s): Dana Nachman
USA
Thu 12:20 PM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sat 09:50 AM Varsity 2 RUSH
Sun 9:20 PM Varsity 2
Synopsis
Oregon Premiere

There are many days when Brandon Anderton cannot get out of bed. But on the days he can, he creates mosaic masterpieces in the sand, only to see them washed away by coastal tides hours later. Brandon’s art is transformative—saving him from a dark place of unending chronic pain and lifting him out into a place of hope and inspiration. From the director of Batkid Begins (AIFF2015). 

Director's Statement

I saw an article on Brandon when I was on Twitter one night. The image of one of his sand mandalas immediately caught my eye and I was completely taken with his story. I found it very inspiring and visually compelling and felt like it would make a great film! I think anyone who comes in contact with Brandon can’t help but be inspired by him, no matter what their struggles are, big or small. 

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