Fifth Annual Festival

2006 FILMS: FEATURE FILMS | DOCUMENTARIES | SHORT FILMS 

documentary
feature films | documentaries | short films

Bullets in the Hood: Bed-Stuy Story 
Documentary
Filmmaker: Terrence Fisher, Daniel Howard
22 minutes 
Thu 3:20 PM , Fri 6:20 PM , Sat 9:50 AM , Mon 12:20 PM 
Plays with: Clear Cut:The Story of Philomath, Oregon
 
Terrence Fisher, a teen living in a housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, had seven of his friends shot and killed by a gun. Terrence is not a gang member or a drug dealer. He is just a normal teenager who likes making hip-hop with his friends. What could he do to stop gun violence in Bed-Stuy before losing another friend, or his own life? He and a fellow teen filmmaker picked up a camera to tell the story about gun violence in their neighborhood. This documentary contains images that could only be captured by someone who has spent his entire life in the projects and experienced fear and sadness of gun violence in his everyday life.  [language, violence]
www.dctvny.org/bullets/index.html 

Burning Man:Beyond Black Rock 
Documentary 
105 minutes
Filmmaker: Damon Brown
Sat 9:00 PM , Sun 3:00 PM , Mon 6:00 PM 
Plays with: Joyride
 
Burning Man has evolved from a fringe counter-culture event into a global community of artists and social revolutionaries. Shot over a period of 18 months, the film goes behind the scenes of Burning Man – exploring the philosophy that fuels it, the tireless efforts that drive it, and the transcendent experience that makes it a worldwide cultural force. Granted unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Burning Man organization, the journey of the founders, organizers, artists, and participants is documented as they conceive, plan, and create a city unlike any in the world, unveiling the full scope of the Burning Man community in all its complexity and diversity. For seven days and nights, the temporary city of Black Rock, Nevada stands as a community free of commerce, bound by a social contract of tolerance and cooperation, and dedicated to the transforming power is art and self-expression. And then it disappears…without a trace. 
www.beyondblackrock.com
 

City of Mermaids 
Documentary 
16 minutes
Filmmaker: Leah Wolchok
Fri 9:10 PM , Sun 12:10 PM , Mon 3:10 PM 
Plays with: Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus 
City of Mermaids is a story of preserving a Florida roadside attraction, told through three generations of mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs. The film traces the rise and fall of an aging water park eclipsed by Disney and now struggling to survive. Is there a place for mermaids in the modern era of post-feminism? By interweaving the lives of former and current Weeki Wachee "Girls," Mermaids documents the now rare world of old Florida kitsch through the individual’s stories at this beautiful and bizarre underwater theme park.
http://www.cityofmermaids.com 

Clear Cut:The Story of Philomath, Oregon 
Documentary 
72 minutes
Filmmaker: Peter Richardson
Thu 3:20 PM , Fri 6:20 PM , Sat 9:50 AM , Mon 12:20 PM 
Plays with: Bullets in the Hood: Bed-Stuy Story
 
In the rural logging town of Philomath, every high school graduate has their college tuition paid thanks to the generosity of local lumber baron Rex Clemens. But when a new school district’s superintendent arrives from Chicago, the administrators of the scholarship become concerned over the increasingly "liberal" direction of the schools. The conflict between the old-time loggers and the "urban immigrants" escalates dramatically, and the scholarship administrators deliver an ultimatum: either the superintendent leaves or the scholarship is withdrawn, leaving the town's children without money for college. Director Peter Richardson returns to his home town of Philomath to document this division in his community. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
http://www.clearcutmovie.com 

Conversation Between Mother & Daughter, A 
Documentary 
7 minutes
Filmmaker: Angelica Adams
Thu 3:30 PM , Fri 6:30 PM , Sun 12:30 PM , Mon 12:30 PM 
Plays with: Inlaws & Outlaws 
A daughter’s raw and personal discussion about her sexuality with her mother is presented in an experimental format. The mulit-layered soundtrack uses an actual recorded phone conversation, while a collage of images draws the viewer into this voyeuristic journey.
http://www.equityfoundation.org

Darwin's Nightmare 
Documentary 
107 minutes
Filmmaker: Hubert Sauper
Mon 3:00 PM
 
Darwin’s Nightmare is a clear-eyed examination of the underbelly of Globalization and was named Best Documentary at the American Film Institute/Discovery Channel SilverDocs Festival and the European Film Awards. Feeling more like sci-fi/horror than documentary, the film is the stranger-than-fiction tale of two relentless killing machines: the Nile Perch which, over the course of a few decades, ate through everything that used to live in Tanzania's Lake Victoria; and the foreign capitalists who introduced that non-native fish in order to sell it to European consumers. Losing out to both of these were the local Tanzanians who once lived off the lake's bounty, and now, literally, are left with bones and rotting carcasses. When things take an even stranger turn, thanks to an astounding third-act revelation, the relentlessness becomes a cautionary tale it may not be too late to heed. Darwin’s Nightmare is a clear-eyed examination of the underbelly of globalization. Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Feature Length.
http://www.darwinsnightmare.com 

Death of Kevin Carter, The 
Documentary 
27 minutes
Filmmaker: Dan Krauss
Thu 12:40 PM , Fri 3:40 PM , Sun 9:40 PM 
Plays with: Family Portrait, Positively Naked 
Each day Kevin Carter, left the security of white South African suburbia to capture nightmarish images that provoked outrage and contributed to the global condemnation of apartheid. Yet Kevin's most evocative image came from Sudan where he photographed a starving girl being stalked by a vulture. Back in Johannesburg, Kevin rejoiced as Nelson Mandela was elected president, but he soon found himself haunted by the decisions he made as a photojournalist—and as a human being. Winning the Pulitzer Prize was vindication that his work had been worthwhile, but it did little to ease Kevin's torment. Only weeks after being bestowed with the honor, Kevin carried out a terrible act of desperation—an act that, 10 years later, seems to embody the anguish of an entire nation: whether to be a witness or a savior. Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Short Subject. [violence]
http://www.kevincarterfilm.com 

Enron:The Smartest Guys in the Room 
Documentary 
110 minutes
Filmmaker: Alex Gibney
Fri 9:30 AM , Sun 9:00 PM
 
Enron  is the inside story of one of history’s greatest business scandals. Top executives of America’s 7th largest company walked away with over one billion dollars while investors and employees lost everything. This film is based on the best-selling book, The Smartest Guys in the Room: the Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, by Peter Elkin and Bethany McLean. Enron features insider accounts and incendiary corporate audio and videotapes, revealing the almost unimaginable personal excesses and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The film exposes the avarice of Enron’s traders and their bosses and its shocking and profound domino effect that may shape the face of our economy for years to come. Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Feature Length. Also nominated for the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards Best Documentary, the 2005 International Documentary Association’s Best Documentary and the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize.
http://www.enronmovie.com 
 
Escape Velocity 
Documentary 
28 minutes
Filmmaker: Scott Ligon
Thu 6:20 PM , Sat 9:20 PM , Sun 3:20 PM , Mon 9:50 AM 
Plays with: Feliz Gravitas, Suzuki Speaks 
Scott Ligon’s animated film explores the connection between Attention Deficit Disorder and creativity. Using his own life in self-deprecating, humorous examples, he forms a stream of consciousness and multi-layered narrative that emulates the day to day A.D.D. experience.
http://www.ligon-art.com 
 
Family Portrait 
Documentary 
28 minutes
Filmmaker: Patricia Riggen
Thu 12:40 PM , Fri 3:40 PM , Sun 9:40 PM 
Plays with: Death of Kevin Carter, The , Positively Naked
 
In 1968, photographer and journalist Gordon Parks wrote an article for Life magazine about race and poverty in the United States, basing his story on the true life struggles of one family living in Harlem. The article touched so many people that Parks and Life were able to purchase the family a home in a healthier environment. 37 years later, we look at how that family continually struggled, how two members of the family survived, and how the human spirit shines in even the darkest corners of civilization. 

Favela Rising 
Documentary 
78 minutes
Filmmaker: Matt Mochary, Jeff Zimbalist
Thu 9:20 PM , Fri 9:50 AM , Sun 9:20 PM , Mon 3:20 PM 
Plays with: God Sleeps in Rwanda 
This film documents a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela (Brazilian  squatter settlement) united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro’s most feared slum. Through hip-hop rhythms of the street and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage “drug soldiers” and sustained by corrupt police.  Chronicling the rise to greatness of the AfroReggae movement, the film shows how the music and culture of Brazil's underclass transform into a catalyst for grassroots social-change. Co-Director Jeff Zimbalist says “The film celebrates the strength of the human spirit to assert itself  in the face of human rights violations, social injustice, and unexpected adversity.” 
http://www.favelarising.com 

Feliz Gravitas: The Story of Issac Newton
Documentary 
7 minutes
Filmmaker: Noah Phillips-Edwards
Thu 6:20 PM , Sat 9:20 PM , Sun 3:20 PM , Mon 9:50 AM 
Plays with: Escape Velocity, Suzuki Speaks
 
Described as a “PBS parody”, this film focuses on Sir Isaac Newton and his discoveries and inventions. Noah Phillips-Edwards’ other 2006 aiff film, Oil: The Hummer Diaries won the middle school category of the Launch student film competition (p. and p.  ). Phillips-Edwards is the youngest filmmaker to have a film as an aiff official selection in our regular (non-Launch) competition. 

God Sleeps in Rwanda 
Documentary 
29 minutes
Filmmaker: Kimberlee Acquaro, Stacy Sherman
Thu 9:20 PM , Fri 9:50 AM , Sun 9:20 PM , Mon 3:20 PM 
Plays with: Favela Rising
 
In the 1994 Rwandan genocide as many as 1 million lost their lives in 100 days. With the focus of killing on men, the country was left nearly 70% female. This handed Rwanda's women an extraordinary burden and an unprecedented opportunity. Stepping into roles traditionally held by men Rwandan women changed their world. In a culture that historically prohibited women from performing even the most rudimentary of tasks, they are now becoming heads of households and business owners, mayors, legislators and ministers of state. The movement is not just political but also deeply personal The film won the Best Short Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Golden Gate award for best of documentaries, shorts, animation and others at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Short Subject.
http://www.godsleepsinrwanda.com 

Hand Of God 
Documentary 
95 minutes
Filmmaker: Joe Cultrera
Fri 9:40 AM , Sat 12:10 PM , Sun 3:10 PM , Mon 6:10 PM
 
A unique look at Catholic clergy abuse, told from the perspective of a survivor (Paul Cultrera, director Joe Cultrera’s brother) and his family. It burrows into hiding spots where comfort was found, trust was built and vulnerability created. This is a poetic look into one man’s journey from potential priest to scathing critic. It is about family and community - and how intimate family life is also filled with silences. Its abstract visual approach reflects the internal struggle of someone holding hard to old secrets. In balancing faith and anger, the subjects survive with their humor intact. The film never descends into expected depression. This is an engaging portrait of one family’s attempt to regain its footing above a crumbling corporate belief system.
http://www.handofgodfilm.com 

Hello, Thanks 
Documentary 
8 minutes
Filmmaker: Andy Blubaugh 
Thu 9:10 PM , Fri 12:10 PM , Sat 3:10 PM , Sun 6:10 PM 
Plays with: Say I Do
 
This experimental film documents filmmaker Andy Blubaugh’s failed attempts at looking for love in personal ads. Crafted over the course of a year, Hello, Thanks is equal parts diary and documentary—covering the filmmaker’s experience of making the film as much as his experience of looking for love. As imagery and sound was collected, the focus of the film shifted until it became what it is now: an open-ended question about the efficacy of looking for romance through words. Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. [adult subject]
http://www.hellothanks.com 

Inlaws & Outlaws 
Documentary 
109 minutes
Filmmaker: Drew Emery
Thu 3:30 PM , Fri 6:30 PM , Sun 12:30 PM , Mon 12:30 PM 
Plays with: Conversation Between Mother & Daughter, A 
Marriage from the inside. And out. As the gay marriage debate rages on, this documentary sidesteps the pundits to reveal the extraordinary stories of ordinary couples trying to make sense of the state of modern marriage. Whether gay or straight, everyone is put on the same level playing field and asked everything they know about marriage. There's the story of two Mormon women, secretly college sweethearts until one follows the path her parents have chosen for her and marries -- with her beloved serving as her bridesmaid. There's the ex-Marine who has no idea what a happy relationship looks like until he stumbles across his future partner one night at a bar. Whether loving inside or outside of marriage, struggling to get in or suing to get out, this film cleverly weaves a collective narrative that tests our preconceptions, and explores the hallowed institution with candor, humor, and poignancy.
http://www.inlawsandoutlaws.com

Losing Lusk 
Documentary 
7 minutes
Filmmaker: Vance Malone
Thu 9:00 PM , Fri 3:00 PM , Sat 9:30 AM 
Plays with: Real Dirt on Farmer John, The
 
A boy was born in Lusk, Wyoming, in the least populated county, in the least populated state in the nation. This is the story of what that boy left behind and took for his journey.  This experimental documentary is a personal, impressionistic narrative that comments on the notion of big box retailers, globalization, and the death of rural communities. The film questions the implications of this fundamental shift, and hints that if these changes continue unchecked, the social landscape in rural America could be irrevocably altered. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
 
Make it Funky!  
Documentary 
110 minutes
Filmmaker: Michael Murphy
Fri 9:00 PM , Sat 3:30 PM , Mon 10:00 AM 
Rollicking piano. Infectious horns. Hypnotic drum beats. Put them all together and you’ve got the exuberant sound of the New Orleans music! Join the ashland independent film festival for a film/dance screening of Make It Funky! The film features a world class lineup of artists in a night of celebration of New Orleans culture and is a raucous tribute to the musical heritage of the Crescent City. It is chock full of blazing performances, fiery archival footage and red-hot conversations with the remarkable men and women who created it. This rocking documentary was filmed just prior to hurricane Katrina and was quickly recognized as a celluloid memory to help preserve this endangered international heritage. The New Orleans beat is so infectious many audience members will want to dance. At the Arm, Chairs will be set up for people who want to watch with an unobstructed view, but there will also be plenty of room to get up and move to the music. Turn it up!  Let the good times roll and help keep this important culture alive and well.  All profits from the Arm benefit screening of Make It Funky! will help improve the lives of victims of Katrina through the humanitarian organization FilmAid International. (
www.filmaidinternational.org). Around the world FilmAid also assists people living in refugee camps, often having fled violent conflicts and upheaval in their home countries. Make it Funky!  The film will also show at the Varsity Theatre Saturday and Monday.
 
Note of Triumph, A 
Documentary 
40 minutes
Filmmaker: Eric Simsonson
Thu 3:40 PM , Fri 10:10 AM , Sat 6:40 PM 
Plays with: Soul of Justice
 
On the evening of VE Day, May 5th, 1945, Norman Corwin presented a radio program which galvanized and electrified the nation. The broadcast, On A Note of Triumph, marked the end of a long national struggle. Today, Corwin is 93 years old and teaching a regular schedule of classes at USC. Although he has always had his admirers and still collects a regular steady stream of honors, few outside the radio industry are familiar with this visionary from the ‘Golden Age of Radio’.  This film recounts the course of On A Note of Triumph, demonstrating the lasting effect it has had on our culture. It also takes a close look at a man who continues to hold the banner for a rare mix of high journalistic standards and artistry. Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Short Subject.
 
Positively Naked 
Documentary 
38 minutes
Filmmaker: Arlene Donnelly Nelson, David Nelson
Thu 12:40 PM , Fri 3:40 PM , Sun 9:40 PM 
Plays with: Death of Kevin Carter, The , Family Portrait
 
85 HIV + souls, no apologies, no clothes. When contemporary artist Spencer Tunick is commissioned to create one of his nude photographic installations for the 10-year anniversary cover of POZ magazine, the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS publication, 85 HIV positive people pose nude together in a downtown Manhattan restaurant with the intention of celebrating survival, encouraging disclosure and combating stigma. A previously ostracized group of strangers finds the opportunity, in an art installation, to band together as a community that has learned to thrive instead of perish, with strength, humor, and heart. Positively Naked celebrates the preciousness of life and the transformative power of art.  Spencer Tunick’s photographs of Positively Naked and other indoor installations from Grand Central Station to Selfridges Department Store in London will be exhibited at Houston’s Custom Framing and Fine Art during First Friday Art Walk   [adult content]
http://www.positivelynaked.com 

Real Dirt on Farmer John, The 
Documentary 
82 minutes
Filmmaker: Taggart Siegel
Thu 9:00 PM , Fri 3:00 PM , Sat 9:30 AM 
Plays with: Losing Lusk
 
John Peterson is a farmer, artist, and innovator cast in rural Illinois. Filmmaker Taggart Siegel has documented John’s struggle to redefine his family farm for over twenty years. Against the backdrop of the farm debt crisis of the 1980s, John is threatened with murder and his home burned to the ground, largely due to the misunderstanding of his colorful approach to life.  He defies all odds and conventions to transform the Peterson family farm to one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  farms in the United States. John creates an extended farm “village” where people and art can thrive alongside agriculture. Farmer John won the Grand Jury Prize at five festivals including San Francisco International and seven Audience Awards including Slamdance. “Unbelievably special...told with insight and humor.” - Al Gore.  “I love this film and have found myself talking about it almost daily since I saw it. Farmer John is a compelling and complex character whose story will open your heart, break it, and then fill it with a redemptive vision. Along the way, you’ll get an education about the joys and curses of farm life and the issues farmers are grappling with.” - Nina Utne, Utne Magazine
http://www.therealdirt.net 

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus 
Documentary 
82 minutes
Filmmaker: Andrew Douglas
Fri 9:10 PM , Sun 12:10 PM , Mon 3:10 PM 
Plays with: City of Mermaids
 
This is a lyrical road trip through the American South – a world of churches, prisons, coal mines, truckstops, juke joints, swamps and mountains. Along the way, we encounter various musicians from an old time banjo player to the sounds emanating from a mountain gospel church. The film is a collage of stories and testimonies, almost invariably of sudden death, sin or redemption: Heaven or Hell, with no middle ground. All the while, a strange, Southern Jesus looms in the background.  ‘Alt Country’ singer Jim White reflects upon exactly what it is about this baffling place that inspires musicians and writers, at the same time working through his own preoccupations with his muse – or, as he puts it, ‘trying to find the gold tooth in God’s crooked smile.’“An amazing piece of work.”  - David Byrne of Talking Heads "A portrait of rural America as beautiful as it is bizarre." - Seattle Times 
http://www.searchingforthewrongeyedjesus.com 

Shakespeare Behind Bars 
Documentary 
92 minutes
Filmmaker: Hank Rogerson
Sun 12:00 PM
 
A Shakespeare company is formed behind bars at Kentucky’s Luther Luckett Correctional Complex. Marking their seventh year as an acting ensemble, the inmates cast themselves according to their lives and in relation to the crimes for which they are serving a prison sentence. For one year, this cast, comprised of convicted felons, rehearses and performs The Tempest. Just as in Shakespeare’s day, men play all the female roles.  Twice a week, the inmates work with a volunteer director who pushes them to find their own truth within each part. They swear that the roles “pick them”, and this proves to be uncanny, as many of the men experience powerful epiphanies while exploring their characters. 
http://www.philomathfilms.com 
 
Sir! No! Sir! 
Documentary 
84 minutes
Filmmaker: David Zeiger
Thu 12:20 PM , Fri 9:20 PM , Mon 6:20 PM 
Plays with: Flag Day, One Weekend a Month 
In the 1960’s, an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. It didn’t take place on college campuses, but in barracks, aircraft carriers and navy brigs. It penetrated elite military colleges and spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. By 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, “infested the entire armed services.” Yet today, few people know about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam. The Vietnam War has been the subject of hundreds of films, both fiction and non-fiction, but this story–the story of the rebellion of thousands of American soldiers against the war–has never been told in film. By the Pentagon’s own figures, 503,926 “incidents of desertion” occurred between 1966 and 1971 and entire units were refusing to go into battle in unprecedented numbers. Local and national antiwar GI organizations demonstrated against the war at every major base in 1970 and 1971. Nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. 
http://www.sirnosir.com 
 
Smitten 
Documentary 
27 minutes
Filmmaker: Nancy Kelly
Fri 12:20 PM , Sat 3:20 PM , Sun 6:20 PM , Mon 9:20 PM 
Plays with: Trout Grass
 
Enter the world of an unusual art collector whose goal is neither about interior decorating nor increasing social status, but about discovery. At age 85, Rene di Rosa is constantly trolling for the emerging, unknown artist. He says, “It is my greatest pleasure. Without it, I can’t function.”  Many of the unknowns whose work di Rosa collected have become very well known.  The former San Francisco Chronicle reporter turned Napa Valley vintner started buying art in the 1960s. Unlike many collectors who use a curator to purchase art for its investment value, di Rosa buys all the art himself, in celebration of the artists of the Northern California region. His collection currently has over 2,000 works of contemporary art by 800 artists. It is considered the largest and most notable collection of Northern California art in the country. The collection is at times colorful, figurative, humorous, rebellious, political, and radical. Located off the Carneros Highway at the southern end of the Napa Valley, the 217-acre di Rosa Preserve: Art & Nature is a non-profit art and nature destination. 

Soul of Justice 
Documentary 
63 minutes 
Filmmaker: Abby Ginzberg
Thu 3:40 PM , Fri 10:10 AM , Sat 6:40 PM 
Plays with: Note of Triumph, A 
A story of race, identity and responsibility - the life of Thelton Henderson, a 70 year old African American federal judge. Henderson’s experience as the son of a domestic worker, to his appointment as the first black attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and later to his appointment to the bench as the only black federal judge. Judge Henderson’s ruling that Proposition 209, which outlawed affirmative action in California, was unconstitutional resulted in calls for his impeachment in Congress. He established U.S. dolphin-protection rules for tuna fishing resulting in the "dolphin safe" label. His effort to reform health care in the California Department of Corrections found neglect and mistreatment of California's prisoners that violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In February 2006 he appointed a federal receiver and ordered that everybody up to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "shall fully cooperate." This film explores the universal concern of making principled decisions in difficult times.
http://www.soulofjustice.org 

Southbounders 
Documentary
87 minutes
Filmmaker: Ben Wagner
Thu 3:10 PM , Fri 6:10 PM , Sat 9:40 AM , Sun 9:10 PM , Mon 12:10 PM 
Plays with: Pirate
 
Olivia has lost her confidence. She decides to confront her fears and hike the 2170 mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, alone. She tries to stay to herself, but the gregarious Slackpack won't give her any peace. She also begins reading register entries left at each shelter by another hiker, Rollin. Soon the three are traveling together - enduring the challenges and rewards of life on the trail. As the months pass Olivia and Rollin finally give in to their growing attraction. But, tensions grow from her desire to rush to the end of the trail, and his seeming aimlessness. Months pass. The trees are bare of leaves. The hikers' hair has grown long and the men have grown beards. Southbounders follows characters as they explore the complexities of their lives, while giving audiences a glimpse into the world of long distance hiking. It's a story of solitude and perseverance, an adventure through America's rich and unspoiled soul.
http://www.southbounders.com 

Street Fight 
Documentary 
83 minutes
Filmmaker: Marshall Curry
Thu 12:10 PM , Fri 3:10 PM , Sat 6:10 PM , Sun 9:40 AM , Mon 9:40 AM
 
Street Fight follows the bare-knuckles race for mayor of Newark, NJ between Cory Booker, a 32-year old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School grad, and Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent twice his age. An urban David and Goliath story, the film chronicles Booker's struggle against the city's political machine, which uses harassment and voter intimidation to hold onto power. The battle sheds light on important American questions about democracy, poverty and race. In a surprising twist for an election between two African-Americans, the incumbent accuses his Ivy League-educated opponent of not being really black," forcing voters to examine how we define race in America. " Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary: Feature Length.
http://www.marshallcurry.com 

Suzuki Speaks 
Documentary 
45 minutes
Filmmaker: Tony Papa
Thu 6:20 PM , Sat 9:20 PM , Sun 3:20 PM , Mon 9:50 AM 
Plays with: Escape Velocity, Feliz Gravitas
 
This special presentation captures the passion, vision and inspiration of world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki. In Suzuki Speaks he shares his view of the human animal and our place in the Universe. It is a perspective beyond the current paradigms shaped by scientific thought, the media and global economists. The film's motion graphics weave a tapestry that transforms Dr. Suzuki's thoughts into a complete sensory experience, literally creating new worlds and new ways of seeing. He delivers a most powerful message on the relationship between the four 'sacred' elements, and their influence on the 'interconnectedness' people feel individually, with each other and with the rest of the world. Earth + Air + Fire + Water = Life
http://www.avantipics.com 

Trout Grass 
Documentary 
50 minutes
Filmmaker: Ed George
Fri 12:20 PM , Sat 3:20 PM , Sun 6:20 PM , Mon 9:20 PM 
Plays with: Smitten
 
This 10,000-mile journey follows bamboo’s transformation from a vibrant species of grass into a split-cane fishing rod. A bamboo broker travels to China each year to painstakingly sort through thousands of poles to find bamboo specifically suited to making a first-class split cane fly rod.  In Montana, master-builder Glenn Brackett taps into “the power of unseen hands” in his rustic shop while converting this hardy piece of grass into a stunning and responsive river antenna. Out on Rocky Mountain waterways, master storytellers Thomas McGuane and David James Duncan (The River Why) put their cane rods to the test. Coursing from the verdant hills of Southern China to the majestic streams of Montana, Trout Grass is a story of passion, international partnership and the discovery of place in the natural world. 
http://www.troutgrass.com 

Trudell 
Documentary 
80 minutes
Filmmaker: Heather Rae
Thu 9:40 PM , Sat 9:40 PM , Mon 3:40 PM 
Plays with: Santiago
 
Cast includes: Indigo Girls, Kris Kristopherson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Redford and Sam Shepard. A veteran of Vietnam, John Trudell was chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 until 1979. His tenure included the Alcatraz occupation where he was the official spokesman, appearing on national news regularly. Nixon’s FBI observed that he was “extremely eloquent and therefore extremely dangerous.”  In 1979, Trudell led a march to the FBI building, where he burned an American flag. Less than 24 hours later, his home on the Shoshone Paiute reservation mysteriously caught fire. His pregnant wife, her three children and his mother-in-law were all killed in the blaze. The devastated Trudell withdrew from public life and began writing. With the help of Jackson Browne, he recorded the album AKA Graffiti Man. Bob Dylan called it “the best album of 1986.”  Since then, with the signature sound of slide guitar, wailing countertenor of tribal vocals and his gravelly drone, John Trudell has delivered his message of active personal responsibility to the earth, all of its inhabitants and our descendants. 
http://www.trudellthemovie.com 

Wordplay 
Documentary 
90 minutes
Filmmaker: Patrick Creadon
Thu 3:00 PM , Fri 6:00 PM
 
Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times is also known to millions as National Public Radio's "Puzzle Master." Shortz has spent his entire lifetime studying, creating, and editing puzzles, and has built a huge following along the way. In Wordplay we also meet his die-hard fans -- including President Bill Clinton,"The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart, filmmaker Ken Burns, and the Indigo Girls-- and discover why over 50 million Americans do crosswords every week. Also enter the community of the world-class crossword solvers at the 28th annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament . Competitors travel from all over the world to attend, and vary in age from teenagers to octogenarians. Over the course of one long, snowy weekend, almost five hundred competitors will battle it out for the title "Crossword Champ". It is based on both speed and accuracy, and one wrong (or blank) square guarantees that someone else will be taking home the trophy. Wordplay debuted at the 2006 Sundance Festival and was immediately signed by The Independent Film Channel Pictures Distribution Company. It will open theatrically across the country this summer.
 

features
feature films | documentaries | short films

 
A Dios Momo 
Feature 
109 minutes
Filmmaker: Leonardo Ricagni
Fri 6:40 PM , Sun 6:40 PM , Mon 10:10 AM
 
In Uruguay, an 11-year-old street boy named Obdulio sells newspapers for a living but cannot read the words he sells. He finds a magical “Maestro” in the night watchman of the newspaper’s office. Not only does his tutor teach him how to read and write, he also manages to convey an un­der­standing of the importance of language, and introduces him to the world of books. This charismatic mentor also teaches him the real meaning of life through the lyrics of the “Murgas” during the mythical nights of the irreverent and provocative Uruguayan Carnival. The satirical lyrics are accompanied by ritual drumming during carnival processions, parades and celebrations. [subtitles]
http://www.adiosmomo.com 

Art School Confidential 
Feature 
102 minutes 
Filmmaker: Terry Zwigoff 
Thu 6:00 PM
 
The script for Art School Confidential was adapted by artist-writer Daniel Clowes from his cult comic strip and the film is produced by John Malkovich.  The cast includes: Jim Broadbent, Steve Buscemi, Anjelica Huston and Malkovich. Art School Confidential tracks an art student who reveals his desire to emulate his idol, Picasso, and become the greatest artist of the 21st century. Anxiously emerging from the hell of high school he flees his suburban home for an East Coast art school, where transformation, he imagines, is just a brushstroke away. Max Minghella (Bee Season) stars with Sophia Miles (Tristan & Isolde) and Ethan Suplee from TV’s My Name is Earl.
http://www.sonyclassics.com/artschoolconfidential/

Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, The 
Feature 
100 minutes
Filmmaker: Auraeus Solito
Fri 3:20 PM , Sat 6:20 PM , Sun 9:50 AM 
Plays with: Cuilin Dulach
 
Maxi is youngest child of widower Paca. Like nearly everyone in their Manila slum, Paca and his sons survive outside of the legal economic grid -- selling stolen cell phones, placing bets, etc. Occasionally teased but mostly accepted as a girl in a boy's body, Maxi dropped out of school to be surrogate "wife," cooking, cleaning and fussing over everyone. Maxi dutifully infuses everything he does for them with love, living as a young lady in the absence of their deceased mother. We follow Maxi through his world of shopping, reenacting beauty pageants and more.  Then he falls in love with a handsome rookie cop who takes him under his wing – platonically – and the story unfolds.  “With its vibrant cinematography, simple scoring, and vast emotional scope, Auraeus Solito's directorial debut as a dramatic filmmaker seems itself like a flower amid the grit of most contemporary cinema.” N. Bird Runningwater, Sundance Institute Programmer for Native American Initiatives.  [subtitles]
 
Blue Butterfly, The 
Feature 
96 minutes
Filmmaker: Lea Pool
Thu 3:30 PM , Fri 3:30 PM , Sat 12:00 PM , Sat 3:30 PM , Sun 12:00 PM
 
Starring William Hurt and inspired by a true story. Ten year-old Pete Carlton is diagnosed as terminally ill and his determined mother will stop at nothing to ensure her son’s dream. Pete seeks refuge by observing the miniature world of cocoons and insects that he collects. Given only months to live, Pete’s one wish is to catch the most beautiful butterfly on earth. The legendary Blue Morpho - a magnificent creature found only in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. His mom convinces Alan Osborne, a renowned entomologist and Pete’s hero, to take them to the jungle. However, since the Blue Morpho season is almost over, Alan and Pete have only a couple days. Blue Butterfly is part vision quest, part coming-of-age tale and part testament to the power of love to redeem and heal. Shot on location in Central America, the film uses amazing footage of rain forest creatures.
http://www.bluebutterflythemovie.com 

Deja Vu 
Feature 
117 minutes
Filmmaker: Henry Jaglom 
Sun 3:40 PM 
Cast includes: Vanessa Redgrave
    
Deja Vu is a film about the powerful pull that strangers can feel toward one another, how one's orderly life-plans can be suddenly and totally disrupted by mysterious feelings of connection and belonging that seem to defy all logic and circumstance. Filmed on location in Israel, France and England.
 
Devil's Miner, The 
Feature 
82 minutes
Filmmaker: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
Thu 9:30 PM , Fri 3:30 PM , Sat 12:30 PM , Sun 6:30 PM
 
14 year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12 year-old brother Bernardino work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico, which date back to the sixteenth century. Through the children’s eyes, we encounter the world of devout Catholic miners who severe their ties with God upon entering the mountain.  It is an ancient belief that the devil, as represented by hundreds of statues constructed in the tunnels, determines the fate of all who work within the mines. Raised without a father and living with their mother on the slopes of the mine, the boys must work for the clothing and supplies vital to their education. Basilio believes only the mountain devil’s generosity will allow them to earn enough money to continue the new school year. Without an education, they have no chance to escape their destiny in the silver mines. [subtitles]
http://www.thedevilsminer.com

Fateless 
Feature 
140 minutes
Filmmaker: Lajos Koltai
Fri 12:00 PM , Sat 12:00 PM , Sun 6:00 PM
 
“The Pianist and Fateless rank among the best non documentary cinematic treatments of the Holocaust yet produced.” A.O. Scott, New York Times.  This film chronicles a boy’s experience in German concentration camps and his attempts to reconcile himself after the war. Upon his return to his native Budapest fourteen-year-old Gyuri Koves’ former neighbors and friends urge him to put the ordeal out of his mind. The boy is left to ponder the meaning of his experience alone. The 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Imre Kertész "for writing what upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history.” World-class cinematographer Lajos Koltai’s European work includes the Oscar ®-winning Mephisto, as well as three other Oscar®-nominated productions.  His American films include Home For The Holidays and Being Julia. Fateless is his directorial debut.  With the delicacy of the light and the painterly composition of the frames, the visual beauty of Koltai's Fateless is unmistakable. It portrays a survivor's conviction that there are aspects of the experience itself that can only be described as beautiful.
http://www.fateless.co.uk 

Festival in Cannes 
Feature 
99 minutes
Filmmaker: Henry Jaglom 
Sun 12:40 PM 
Cast includes: Anouk Aimée, Peter Bogdanovich, Greta Scacchi, Maximilian Schell, and Ron Silver. 
Festival in Cannes introduces us to the obsessed lives of the actors, actresses, writers, directors, producers, executives, movie stars, agents, managers, and wannabes - all of whom are drawn together for two weeks each May in this ultra-romantic setting. Festival in Cannes stars Anouk Aimée (Fellini's La Dolce Vita and 8 ½). 

Going Shopping 
Feature 
106 minutes
Filmmaker: Henry Jaglom 
Sat 12:40 PM 
Cast includes: Lee Grant and Rob Morrow.
 
In Jaglom’s latest, Holly is a successful clothing designer with her own boutique who, in the course of a tumultuous Mother's Day weekend, is confronted with deceit, elation, desperation, kleptomania, rebellion, addiction and passion while under pressure to pull off the biggest sale of the year.
 
Hank Williams First Nation 
Feature 
92 minutes
Filmmaker: Aaron James Sorensen
Sat 6:00 PM , Mon 12:00 PM
 
A remote Cree community takes on a certain charge when one of its own sets out on an ambitious (and somewhat loopy) adventure. 75 year-old Martin Fox decides abruptly one morning that before he dies he must visit the grave of his long time hero Hank Williams. Martin sets out for Tennessee on a Greyhound, accompanied by a 17 year-old nephew sent along as a guide. As the two travelers gain human-interest-story-of-the-week status in the U.S. press, the news trickling back home provides a unifying spark to the little community, and the variety of colorful characters that make it their home. Shot on the Woodland Cree First Nation in the Peace River Country of Northern Alberta, this is an endearing look at a good-hearted and good-humored people and the unique charms and challenges that surround them.
http://www.hwfn.com 

Hollywood Dreams Rough Cut Screening w/ Henry Jaglom @ the Historic Ashland Armory  Feature 
Filmmaker: Henry Jaglom 
Sat 6:00 PM 
Rough Cut Film - approx. 70-90 minutes.

“Henry Jaglom is The Definitive Independent, one of America’s most important filmmakers.”  Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
This rare event will be the first time an audience has seen footage from the soon to be released Hollywood Dreams. After a screening of a “rough cut” screening of the film, 2006 aiff Artistic Achievement Award recipient Henry Jaglom and the film’s star Tanna Frederick will welcome audience feedback and share their process in creating the film. Also in attendance will be co-star Zack Norman, known for performances in Jaglom’s earlier films as well as featured roles in Romancing the Stone and Cadillac Man. It will offer the unique opportunity to give feedback to a filmmaker that may impact the final edit. “As Hollywood movies get worse and worse, Henry Jaglom just gets better and better!” - Roger Ebert
“Henry Jaglom is one of the most original directors around and his movies demand involvement – give yourself over to them and they take you over completely. They are to be cherished.”  Jules Fieffer, National Public Radio
 
Last Summer In The Hamptons 
Feature 
108 minutes 
Filmmaker: Henry Jaglom 
Mon 12:40 PM 
Cast includes: Roddy McDowall and Martha Plimpton.
 
Last Summer in the Hamptons concerns three generations of a large and brilliant theatrical family spending the last weekend of their last summer together at the decades-old family retreat which economic circumstances have finally forced them to put on the market.
 
Neo Ned 
Feature 
97 minutes
Filmmaker: Van Fischer
Thu 12:30 PM , Fri 9:30 PM , Sat 6:30 PM , Sun 9:30 PM 
Plays with: Transaction 
They say opposites attract. What about an Aryan Brother who falls for a Black woman in a mental institution who thinks she's Adolph Hitler? What starts out as an impossible connection of opposites slowly turns into a wild, emotional story of love, romance, and disillusionment revolving around two people who shouldn't be together. After meeting them you'll know they should never be apart. [adult content, language, violence]
http://www.neoned.com 

Phantom of the Opera @ The Historic Ashland Armory 
Feature 
Sat 12p
 
World-class theatre organist Dennis James will perform the original score of Phantom of the Opera live, accompanying a fully restored version of the 1925 landmark silent film. James recently performed the score of Phantom with the prestigious Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The original film version of the renowned classic, starring Lon Chaney as the Phantom, was one of the first horror films ever created and is still regarded as the grandfather of the silent-film genre.  This special aiff event will transport you back 80 years to experience the birth of the Saturday afternoon movie. You will feel the drama of this classic film created not by actors’ lines, but by their facial expressions and the incredible film score, performed on an electric theatre organ replete with all the appropriate sound flourishes. The modern instrument may recreate the sounds digitally, but the impact of a live score, a world class performer and a newly restored film will combine for a one of a kind film festival event. Organ provided by: Piano Studios and Showcase
 
Satellite 
Feature 
100 minutes
Filmmaker: Jeff Winner
Thu 6:10 PM , Sat 9:10 PM , Mon 9:10 PM 
Satellite is a romantic fable about a young couple who give up everything they have in order to find something better. Kevin and Ro meet and fall in love in a weekend. They swear to never lie to each other and to dare each other to do the things they're avoiding or are afraid of. They quit their jobs, sell their possessions, and begin stealing to make ends meet. And they would be incredibly happy except Ro has a secret, which threatens to destroy the relationship. Featuring music by the band Calla.
http://www.satellitethemovie.com 

Say I Do 
Feature 
90 minutes
Filmmaker: Ron Vignone
Thu 9:10 PM , Fri 12:10 PM , Sat 3:10 PM , Sun 6:10 PM 
Plays with: Hello, Thanks
 
Ben and Sydney set out to have the perfect wedding—they just never planned on it being by the side of the road. When Ben spontaneously changes the route to the place where he and Sydney are to be married, his decision takes them down a road neither was prepared to travel. To make matters worse, his best friend is along to film the day, eager to capture every moment. As things heat up and plans fall apart, their relationship is put to the test, giving them a wedding day like no other. An unflinching and comical exploration into the true essence of marriage, Say I Do asks important questions about a journey to happy-ever-after and the detours along the way. 
http://www.sayidothemovie.com 
 
Smoke Signals 
Feature 
88 minutes 
Filmmaker: Chris Eyre 
Fri 6:00 pm 
Honoring the Indigenous People who still call this Home: A Tribute to Filmmaker Chris Eyre with Smoke Signals
  
This special screening of Eyre’s classic debut film Smoke Signals honors the “First Nations” of this land we live on and welcomes Chris Eyre, an award-winning filmmaker and Klamath Falls native, back to Southern Oregon. Eyre also directed another 2006 aiff film, A Thousand Roads. 140 years ago, the Takelma people (called “Rogue Indians” by white immigrants), the natives of what is now Southern Oregon, were forcibly removed from their homeland of thousands of years. After suffering near genocide, then concentration camp life, they were marched in harsh conditions to the coast, then to Siletz, near Newport, Oregon. They were “merged” with many other Oregon tribes and called the “Confederated Tribes of the Siletz” where they are officially recognized today.  Agnes Baker Pilgrim is the oldest living female member of the Takelma. Her grandfather, Chief George Harney, was the first elected chief of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. She is a world-renowned spiritual leader and keeper of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony which she brought back to the Rogue Valley after 140 years. Baker Pilgrim will welcome Eyre home. Steiger Butte, one of the most revered Drums on the West Coast Pow Wow circuit, will sing as the audience enters and then perform an honoring song for Eyre. Most of the members of the group are from the David family of the Chiloquin Tribe from near where Eyre was raised.
“Two Big Thumbs Up,” Siskel and Ebert;   “One of the Best Films of the Year” (1998) – Rolling Stone.
Sherman Alexie based the screenplay for Smoke Signals on his book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It is the story of two Indian boys on a journey. Victor is the stoic, handsome son of an alcoholic father who has abandoned his family. Thomas is a gregarious, goofy young man who lost both his parents in a fire at a very young age. Through storytelling, Thomas makes every effort to connect with the people around him; Victor, in contrast, uses his quiet countenance to gain strength and confidence. When Victor's estranged father dies, the two men embark on an adventure to Phoenix to collect the ashes. Along the way, Smoke Signals illustrates the ties that bind these two very different young men and embraces the lessons they learn from one another. Smoke Signals won the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award and Filmmaker's Trophy, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
SUPPORTED BY: SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY’S NATIVE AMERICAN PROGRAMS
 
Spirit Bear 
Feature 
92 minutes
Filmmaker: Stefan Sciani
Sat 12:20 PM , Sun 12:20 PM 
A modern-day folk tale come to life. Based on the true story of nature versus bottom line politics. Simon Jackson is a charismatic teen who’s passionate about the environment and spends much of his time alone in the B.C. wilderness. Attacked during one such trip, Jackson is rescued by a rare white Kermode Bear. When he discovers that these white bears are endangered and their habitat is targeted for clear-cutting, Jackson turns into a passionate and vocal political activist.  The 15-year old takes on the powerful forestry industry and the provincial government, eventually mobilizing people across the world and forming the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. The outcome of this David vs. Goliath fight is the protection of more than six thousand square kilometers of Princess Royal Island. It’s one of the largest land protection battles ever won. The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition is the world’s largest environmental network of young people with over 5 million members in 30 countries.
Ages 8+
http://www.spiritbearyouth.org 

Undeserved, The 
Feature 
105 minutes
Filmmaker: Brad Coley
Thu 6:30 PM , Fri 12:30 PM , Sat 9:30 PM , Sun 3:30 PM
 
On the surface, the town of Athens, Vermont, might seem like any rural New England hamlet that's home to salt-of-the-earth locals and a progressive school for at-risk and gifted students. Look beneath the placid exterior, however, and you're apt to find any number of less-than-saintly activities.  Screenwriter turned filmmaker Brad Coley plunges viewers into a world where everyone an Hispanic college-bound prodigy, his perpetually screwed-up best friend, a lecherous teacher, the pretty blond girl who suddenly leaves town—harbors dark secrets. Like a New England version of Twin Peaks this drama slowly turns a quaint portrait of northeastern living into an American Gothic nightmare where the mysteries keep unraveling layer upon layer until the dramatic conclusion.  [adult content, language, violence]
http://www.undeserved.net 

shorts
feature films | documentaries | short films


Absorbed
Short Film
12 minutes
Filmmaker: Clint Bowers
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program

Southern Oregon University student Clint Bowers returns for the second year with production in the Locals Only Program. How does one man react when personal tragedy and ideology collide? In this thought provoking short, Maynard Wilkes is pushed to his breaking point after a tragic incident with a loved one. His life is thrown into chaos, and his personal reaction to this controversial issue is shocking. http://www.clintbowers.com

Binta and the Great Idea 
Short 
30 minutes
Filmmaker: Javier Fesser
Fri 9:00 PM , Sat 3:00 PM , Sun 9:30 AM , Mon 9:00 PM 
Plays with: Tama Tu, Thousand Roads, A
 
Binta is a 7 year old girl who lives in a small charming village on the Casamance River in southern Senegal. She goes to school. Her cousin Soda does not have the same good fortune. She is not allowed to learn about the things of the world. Binta admires her father, a humble fisherman who, concerned about the development of mankind, is determined to carry out an idea that has occurred to him. [subtitles]
 
Cuilin Dulach 
Short 
10 minutes
Filmmaker: Nora Twomey
Fri 3:20 PM , Sat 6:20 PM , Sun 9:50 AM 
Plays with: Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, The
 
Cu­l­n Dulach lives in a small town in the west of Ireland. He is the apple of his mother's eye, yet his father shows him little affection. Everywhere he goes, people stare at him. Cuilin strives to fit in as best he can but that can be a difficult thing to do when your head is on backwards! The magic of the ancient Irish language, still spoken in remote parts of the West, make this film a cultural experience as well as morale fable. A traditional County Clare, slow aire score composed and performed by Irish music great Martin Hayes.  [subtitles]
http://www.cartoonsaloon.ie 

A Day at Mt. A
Short
5 Minutes
Filmmaker: Niilo Snyder
Fri 12:40 PM , Sat 10:10 AM , Sun 10:10 AM, Family Program

The Launch’s elementary school winner, A Day at Mt. A is included in the AIFF's Family Program. A Day at Mt. A chronicles a class trip to Mt. Ashland and was made by then 4th grade students Niilo Snyder and Henry Cislo from Walker Elementary School in Ashland.  
 
Flag Day 
Short 
7 minutes
Filmmaker: Kristy Higby
Thu 12:20 PM , Fri 9:20 PM , Mon 6:20 PM 
Plays with: One Weekend a Month, Sir! No! Sir!
 
This year, in Camden Maine, Tom Sadowski got tired of hiding the death the Iraq war is bringing us. He planted flags, one for each dead soldier, in his yard…and now the flags are moving from one yard to the next, a visible reminder of the number, rising daily, of the dead. 
http://www.calhounstudios.com/flagday/flagday.html 

Joyride 
Short 
5 minutes
Filmmaker: John Cernak 
Sat 9:00 PM , Sun 3:00 PM , Mon 6:00 PM 
Plays with: Burning Man:Beyond Black Rock
 
World class animation with a message. Hundreds of channels, remote control, all-day news, special alerts, on-screen ticker tapes, snippets and sound bites, spin, slant, warnings, precautions—24 hours, 7 days a week of information overload. Are we becoming a “don’t let them think while we take advantage of the situation” society or are we just waiting to take the train into our own hands?
http://www.outofourmindsstudios.com 

Darling Darling
Short Film
14 minutes
Filmmaker: Matthew Lessner
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program

Harold (Michael Cera of Emmy® winning Arrested Development) is faced with the daunting task of picking up his date for the high school dance. Amidst the rubble and decay of modern American suburbia, Harold must do his best to make a good first impression on the eccentric Mr. Darling against a series of somewhat unforeseen events. Director Matthew
Lessner was raised in Southern Oregon.

Keep Towing That Line 
Documentary
8 minutes
FIlmmaker: Tim Lewis, Laurel Sutherlin
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program

A moving account of the 2005 civil disobedience campaign to save the extraordinary old growth forests of SW Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains from the largest logging project in US Forest Service history. Recently deceased, legendary local activist Joan Norman provides an inspirational narrative of her experience as an elderly woman who spent two weeks in jail for trying to stop logging crews from entering the Biscuit salvage area.

The Legend of the Scarecrow (La Leyenda del Espantapájaros)
Short 
11 minutes
Spain
Filmmaker: Marco Besas
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM, Shorts Program
 
Based on a Spanish folk tale, this surreal animation carries a romantic quality through its Spanish voice over. A scarecrow wonders why the birds that constantly cross his path refuse to be friends with him—that is until the story is explained to him by a blind bird. From there this scarecrow decides to change his life. [subtitles]

Luck
Short Film
5 minutes
Filmmaker: Nisha Burton
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program
        
The high school winner of the aiff’s The Launch student film competition, Luck, a short film by a Sophomore at Ashland High School. The film is a visual journey into the meaning of “Lost and Found.” Nisha Burton attended the Idyllwild Academy of the Arts Film School near Los Angeles during the summer of 2005 where she studied Directing and all aspects of film making. For Luck, she wrote the script, cast the actors, operated the camera, directed the shoot, did all the editing – and all of this in two weeks. In addition to attending A.H.S., Nisha is currently taking the Film Field Production Class at Southern Oregon University.

The Magic Lion
Short
7 Minutes
Filmmaker: Charles Githinji
Fri 12:40 PM , Sat 10:10 AM , Sun 10:10 AM, Family Program
The Magic Lion is a short animated film about an African boy who goes on a quest to save the life of his gravely ill grandfather. He is in search of a mysterious village where there are healers who can make a special medicine. On the way he encounters a strange lion, caught in a trap, a lion that takes him on an adventure. The Magic Lion  is about a boy who travels from the city to a village in the countryside to get a special medicine for his grandfather. On the way, a lion, caught in a net, confronts him. The boy cuts the lion free, and the lion repays the kindness by carrying the boy on his back to the village. The boy gets the medicine, and the lion disappears. The grandfather recovers, and only he and the boy understand that the lion was magical.

Moongirl
Short
9 Minutes
Filmmaker:
Fri 12:40 PM , Sat 10:10 AM , Sun 10:10 AM, Family Program
The latest creation from Portland’s Laika Entertainment, featuring music from the band They Might Be Giants.  One night, the moon goes out while Leon and his pet squirrel Earl are out fishing on the bayou. Cursing the darkness, the boy fishes on, only to snag a giant fish-of-stars that carries him and his pet to the moon where they meet Moongirl. Shy Leon can’t understand why he has to help this snappy, glow-eyed girl repair the moon or learn how to operate its controls. When the shape-shifting Gargaloon monster steals his bait jar, in this mystical story, he and Earl skillfully win it back and discover their greater purpose. "Moongirl" was recently awarded the Short Film Special Jury Prize at the Ottawa International Film Festival and the Grand Owl Award, Best Animation at the Fantasy Worldwide International Film Festival, Toronto. It also won the Best Animated Short Film at the Los Angeles International Children's Festival.

Oil: The Hummer Diaries
Short Film
5 minutes
Filmmaker: Noah Phillips-Edwards
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program

The middle school winner of the aiff’s student film competition, The Launch. Former Ashland Middle School student Noah Phillips-Edwards, made his short film Oil: The Hummer Diaries, as an 8th grade school assignment. The “narrative piece” says Phillips-Edwards is about “where oil comes from and how we use it.”  The high level of Phillips-Edwards animation and humor are evident in this work as well as his other official 2006 aiff selection, Feliz Gravitas: The Story of Isaac Newton (p.  ).

One Weekend a Month 
Short 
12 minutes
Filmmaker: Eric Escobar
Thu 12:20 PM , Fri 9:20 PM , Mon 6:20 PM 
Plays with: Flag Day, Sir! No! Sir!
 
Megan McDermott is busy getting her kids out the door when her phone rings. This single mom's world and the lives of her two children are changed forever when the caller lets her know her National Guard unit is being mobilized to Iraq. With so many Guard and Reservists being sent to war since the invasion of Iraq, the film personalizes a moment in time that resonates across our nation. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. 
http://www.refugefilms.com/OWAMPage.html 

Pirate 
Short 
10 minutes
Filmmaker: Marion Lee
Thu 3:10 PM , Fri 6:10 PM , Sat 9:40 AM , Sun 9:10 PM , Mon 12:10 PM 
Plays with: Southbounders
 
One afternoon in the early ‘80s eight-year-old Roxy’s family is having a “P” party. The guests arrive in a variety of costumes: from priests to plumbers, princesses and pirates. Seen through Roxy’s point of view, the characters struggle to understand the safety of family life, as Roxy is transformed by what she sees. [adult content]

Ride of the Mergansers
Short
11 Minutes
Filmmaker: Steve Fir,am
Fri 12:40 PM , Sat 10:10 AM , Sun 10:10 AM, Family Program

The Hooded Merganser is a rare and reclusive duck found only in North America. Every spring, in the Great Lakes region, the wary hen lays and incubates her eggs in a nest high in the trees. Just 24 hours after hatching, the tiny ducklings must make the perilous leap to the ground below to begin life in the wild. This age-old rite is rarely observed by humans. 'Ride of the Mergansers' brings this hidden drama to the screen.  Filmed entirely in northern Minnesota, 'Ride of the Mergansers' offers a rare glimpse into the secret world of the Hooded Merganser. This short documentary is an unexpected and heartwarming blend of natural history, humor, and suspense. You'll be entertained, educated, and inspired - and come away with a newfound appreciation of the phrase 'leap of faith.'
 
Roseburg Blast
Documentary
27 minutes
Filmmaker: Victor Dailey
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program
ABC National Correspondent Barry Serafin was a teenage in Roseburg at the time of “the blast.” He narrates this documentary about the event that shook his house and the life of his town in one of the worst disasters in the history of small-town America. Late August 6th, 1959, a delivery truck loaded with six-and-a-half tons of dynamite and a blasting agent, drove into the core of this Southern Oregon town and parked.  A few hours later, at 1:14 a.m., a small fire broke out nearby, and within minutes the truck itself exploded.  Rescue workers rushed to the scene to respond to the original fire, only to be the first casualties of the explosion itself. When the firestorm was finally controlled, 13 people were dead and 125 injured. Out of this catastrophe came ordinary heroes: people who gave everything, sometimes even their lives, to save their family, friends, and their home town.


Ryan
Short 
14 minutes
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM, Shorts Program
Filmmaker: Chris Landreth

One of the pioneers of Canadian animation, Oscar ® nominee, arrogant, an artist unable to create, fallen angel, shy, broken, Ryan is an animated tribute to Canadian animator Ryan Larkin. Thirty years ago, at the National Film Board of Canada, Larkin produced some of the most influential films of his time. Including the Academy Award ® Nominated Walking. Today, he lives on welfare and panhandles for spare change in downtown Montreal. How could such an artistic genius follow this path? In Ryan, we hear the voice of Ryan Larkin and the people who have known him, but these voices speak through strange, twisted, broken, and disembodied 3D generated characters. 2005 Academy Award® Winner for Best Animated Short Film.

Santiago 
Short 
6 minutes
Filmmaker: Paolo Borraccetti
Thu 9:40 PM , Sat 9:40 PM , Mon 3:40 PM 
Plays with: Trudell
 
The violence of a regime cannot kill a man and his ideals. Set in Argentina in 1978 during the military regime, Santiago Marchi, a university professor, is kidnapped and imprisoned for opposing the regime. He resists the violence of his captors by drawing images to maintain his sense of dignity and freedom. The drawings become his legacy for future generations. [subtitles, violence]
 
Summer Son
Short Film
17 minutes
Filmmaker: Matt Silas
Thu 12:00 PM , Mon 9:30 AM, Locals Only Program
Filmed on location at Lake of the Woods, Oregon, this story follows a young boy as he struggles through his summer vacation with his father. Tension builds daily as he begins to project his feelings of animosity toward his stepmother. When communication lines break down completely, the boy must do something drastic in order to get his parents' attention. Cast includes Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors. 

Tama Tu 
Short 
18 minutes
Filmmaker: Taika Waititi
Fri 9:00 PM , Sat 3:00 PM , Sun 9:30 AM , Mon 9:00 PM 
Plays with: Binta and the Great Idea, Thousand Roads, A
 
A battalion of young Maori (indigenous New Zealander) WWII soldiers impatiently wait for nightfall to bring a cease to the gunfire, while holing up in the ruins of a war-torn Italian home. Forced into silence, they keep themselves amused as any boys would, with jokes and laughter. As they try to ignore the reminders of war around them, a sign brings them back to the world of the dying. [subtitles]

Thousand Roads, A
 
Short 
40 minutes
Filmmaker: Chris Eyre
Fri 9:00 PM , Sat 3:00 PM , Sun 9:30 AM , Mon 9:00 PM 
Plays with: Binta and the Great Idea, Tama Tu
 
This signature film of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian offers a rare chance to see the film without traveling to Washington, D.C. or New York. It follows contemporary Native Americans: a Mohawk stockbroker, ''hunting'' in the steel and glass canyons of Manhattan; a young Inupiat girl, journeying to a new life in Barrow, Alaska; a Navajo gang member, tending sheep alone on the mesas of New Mexico; and a Quechuan healer who journeys across the Sacred Valley of the Incas in an attempt to save a sick child. With epic-sized settings that include the crest of the Andes, the ice floes of Alaska, the mesas of New Mexico and the concrete canyons of Manhattan, A Thousand Roads takes viewers on a memorable Native journey. The narrator weaves a stream-of-consciousness, "Good morning, Indian Country. Wake up and shine. Breathe in the tundra, the grassy plains, the winds off the water and the sharp mountain air. Greet the day! It's a great day to be alive." 
http://www.7arrowssignature.com 


Transaction 
Short 
15 minutes
Filmmaker: Jacques Thelemaque
Thu 12:30 PM , Fri 9:30 PM , Sat 6:30 PM , Sun 9:30 PM
 
Plays with: Neo Ned 
Warmth and compassion arise in an unlikely place when a man welcomes a woman into his motel room. He pays her to give him something he can't find elsewhere. Their experience suggests that what is illegal or taboo may not always be immoral; sometimes, it may even be necessary. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.  [adult content]

Undressing My Mother
Short 
5 minutes
Ireland
Filmmaker: Ken Wardrop
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM

An intimate look at a Dublin woman's physical form provides a passageway into her mind. As the camera pans across different across her body, she relays memories that correspond to each individual part. This film explores how some of our memories are rooted in anatomy, how we never lose those memories, and how that the mind and body are merely pieces of one organism. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. [adult content] 

Victoria Para Chino
Short 
14 minutes
Filmmaker: Cary Fukunaga
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM, Shorts Program

On May 14, 2003, an abandoned truck trailer was found near the town of Victoria in South Texas. When police arrived, they discovered more than 75 Mexican and Central American immigrants inside. The passengers, ranging in age from 5 to 91 years old, had endured more than four hours inside the unventilated trailer in what had become a botched attempt to cross the U.S. border without documentation. This student film is a fictionalized account of this tragic event. Honorable Mention recipient at the Sundance Film Festival.

West Bank Story
Short 
22 minutes
Filmmaker: Ari Sandel
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM, Shorts Program
 
A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands in the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with a Palestinian cashier, Fatima, despite the animosity between their families' dueling restaurants. The couple professes their love for each other, triggering a chain of events that forces all to find common ground in an effort to rebuild, planting a seed of hope. Can the couple's love withstand a 2000 year old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chic pea in the Middle East? Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.

What's Love Doing in the Mountains?
Short 
28 minutes
Filmmaker: Yunus Emre Firat
Thu 6:40 PM , Fri 9:40 PM , Sat 3:40 PM, Shorts Program

Hasan, a young farmer who lives in a small village in western Turkey, asks permission to marry his lover, Ayse. Her father decides to test Hasan's courage and manhood by sending him to the mountains in search of the "yellow beauty."  Although Hasan doesn't believe in such traditions, he feels that he is obligated to prove his love for Ayse. On his journey, Hasan encounters characters that challenge him to succeed and in the end he learns to listen to his heart. [subtitles, violence]

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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018
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