Second Annual Festival

  

2003 FILMS: FEATURE FILMS | DOCUMENTARIES | SHORT FILMS 

short films
feature films | documentaries | short films

 

Ants
Short
14 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Cory Claffey-Koller
Thu 3:20p, Fri 6:20p, Sat 9:20p, Mon 12:20
Plays in: Family Shorts

Burt McGuire is a father and proud do-it-yourselfer, but he does them both badly.  So, it's not surprising that when he discovers an unsightly anthill in his front lawn, he goes on an unsuccessful attack.  Naturally, the ants fight back. Boy, do they!  Along with his 9-year old son, but without common sense, he faces an army of forty thousand.

Apples and Oranges
Short
14 minutes
Filmmakers:  Kristian Broms
Thur 3:20p, Fri 6:20p, Sat 9:20p, Mon 12:20p
Plays in: Family Shorts
  
Cezanne's Still Life with Apples and Oranges becomes the centerpiece of the relationship between Henry Olsen, a lonely night guard in an art museum, and Bianca Shepperd, a young art student who comes each night to study an copy the famous painting.  In this lovely film, we come to see the depth of Henry's appreciation of Bianca and her art.

Book and the Rose, The
Short
29 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Jeff Bemiss
Sat 9:40a, Sun 9:40a
Plays in: Family Program

A sensational, nuanced film with a captivating story of two people who fall in love through the shared love of a book and the ideas that flow from it - do they dare meet and what would happen if they do?  As the filmmaker puts it: "It's about how love and beauty fit and don't fit together."  Set in 1942 and wonderfully cinematic, it's a film that stays with you.

Bounty
Short
16 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Dominic Cianciolo
Thur 9:00p, Fri 9:00a, Sat 12:00 noon, Sun 3:00p, Mon 6:00p
Plays in:  Shorts Program

A man's life for $200, gold is at the end of a trail of cold-blooded betrayal and vengeance, but in this Western the payout is different and far bigger than money or revenge.  It has the look and strut of a classic Western but lets the characters veer toward a new sensibility. (Some violence)

Case Studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders
Short
7 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Mitchell Rose
Thu 3:00p, Fri 6:00p, Sat 9:00p, Sun 9:00a, Mon 12:00 noon
Plays with: Bug

You never know what you will get from Mitchell Rose, who brought us Modern Daydreams at the last Festival.  This mockumentary will have you falling out of your seat with laughter as it irreverently discusses sleep disorders.  For the first (and probably last) time, you will see bedtime tossing and turning transformed into a nocturnal ballet.  Definitely not a yawner.

Dancing with Ernesto
Short
Filmmaker:  Tracy Moenkhaus
Thu 9:00p, Fri 9:00a, Sat 12:00 noon, Sun 3:00p, Mon 6:00p
Plays in:  Shorts Program

Is it a love story or a descent into madness?  Are they the same thing?  The ultimate tale of a woman who finds a perfect kind of love - so why do her friends stage an antic "intervention" to tear Ernesto from her arms? A satire on female frustration with men in which love is what we make it. Ah, hell, Ernesto's a doll. I don't care if you love him; he's a damed doll.

Daughter
Short
14 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Eduardo Rodriquez
Thu 3:20p, Fri 6:20p, Sat 9:20p Mon 12:20p
Plays in:  Family Shorts

What's worse than a horrifying nightmare?  Waking up to find an even worse reality.  Want a cinematic journey that will blow you away?  Stylistically, Daughter stands up to the best horror films you have ever seen.  As the writer puts it, it is "guaranteed to leave gaping wounds in your subconscious."  The end is beyond stunning. (Graphic and horrifying images)

Donuts
Short
26 minutes
Filmmaker: Brian Bauman
Fri 9:40p, Sun 12:40p, Mon 3:40p
Plays in: Shorts and Students

Quirky, peculiar, and very well made, Donuts is the kind of film you cannot turn away from. When a father gets lost on his way to drop the kids off for school, they stumble into a world where real and surreal seem indistinguishable. There's a David Lynch quality about this compelling film,in which donuts and car mechanics have never seemed so sinister.
     
Dottie: The Little Girl with the Big Voice
Short
11 minutes
Filmmaker: Dawn Westlake
Sat 9:40am, Sun 9:40am
Plays in: Family Program

Dottie may be the smallest kid in her kindergarten class, but she has one very special power: she's able to positively change the workd around her using her "quite large, very giant and incredibly humongous" voice. This funny animated short encourages us to speak up for what we believe and reminds us that caring and tolerance can make a difference.

Downsizing
Short
18 minutes
Filmmaker: J.Brad Wilke
Plays in: Shorts Program

Thurs 9:00pm, Fri 9:00am, Sat 12:00 noon, Sun 3:00pm, Mon 6:00pm
Some corporations like to refer to themselves as a "family." This film shows a family behaving like a modern corporation--namely, one going through the process of "downsizing." When parents decide that they have to reduce expenses, one child out of their three must go. The way this is decided will tickle your cynical funny bone - or scare you children.

Eterntity
Short
9 min
Filmmaker: Steve Moreau
Fri 12:00 noon, Sat 3:00pm, Sun 6:00pm, Mon 9:00pm
Plays with: Monsoon Wife

This beautifully photographed film is a spiritual experience. Transcending the reality of a crippling condition, the love between father and daughter creates a miracle. Like any miracle, it cannot be explained or adequately understood...but merely accepted. But unlike other miracles, this one can be passed onto others again and again - perhaps, for an eternity.

Faithful
Short
15 minutes
Filmmaker: Marzena Grzegorczyk
Fri 9:00pm, Sat 9:00am, Sun 12:00noon, Mon 3:00pm
Plays in: Documentary and Students

A crackling thriller: strong characters, superb acting, believable twists, breathless wonder at what comes next and, at 15 minutes, about 90 minutes too short. A gripping tale of suspicion,love, betrayal, family, deceit, and misplaced trust. It may well be the beginning of a brilliant career by this filmmaker and, for us, a chance to hear a voice that unites the visual wonder of American filmmaking with the emotional depth of European film.

Field, The
Short
12 Minutes
Filmmaker: Mark Hager
Sat 9:40a, Sun 9:40a
Plays in: Family Program

A young boy tries to make sense of the world as nuclear war between the US and Russia looms on the horizon.  Imitating what they see on TV, the boy and his friends innocently play at war while nations prepare for it.  The Field is a quiet film that speaks loudest with the beauty of its images and the quality of ideas that float before us in muted black and white.

Fourteen
Short
18 Minutes
Filmmaker: Thomas Southerland, Jr.
Thu 12:00noon, Fri 3:00p, Sat 6:00p, Sun 9:00p, Mon 9:00a
Plays with: OT:Our Town

Fourteen-year-old Meredith has taken a vow of silence as part of her newfound Christianity and is taking it very seriously.  We see how her conviction is challenged when she gets together for Thanksgiving dinner with her extended family.  Unwilling to go along with it, they taunt her and tempt her and eventually alienate her until someone who understands Meredith is finally able to get through to her.  Beautifully filmed, this is a movie that says a lot by saying little.

Fueling the Fire
Short
22 Minutes
Filmmaker: Tanja Mairitsch
Fri 9:40p, Sun 12:40p, Mon 3:40p
Plays in: Shorts and Student

How much of what you see can you believe?  This movie starts building tension from the moment it begins and doesn't stop until well after it's over.  Fueling the Fire is the gripping story of an incident at a gas-station convenience store, as told through three different points of view.  Just when you think you know what happened you relaize that perception is not reality.  This a well-made and well acted gem.

Gaydar
Short
20 Minutes
Filmmakers: Terry Ray and Larry LaFond
Thu 9:00p, Fri 9:00a, Sat 12:00noon, Sun 3:00p, Mon 6:00p
Plays in: Shorts Program

Is he or isn't he?  Finally science has the answer-but, oh, what a tangled web we unweave.  A "gaydar" gun can settle years of office gossip, but what new problems might it sew along the way?  A campy out-and-out comedy about being in or out of the closet, a silly virago that has fun with stereotypes and looks...well...FABulous.

Gift, A
Short
16 Minutes
Filmmaker: Loren Semmens
Sat 9:40a, Sun 9:40a
Plays in: Family Program

After receiving a BB gun for his birthday, Billy's innocent play takes a turn for the worse - and he sees first hand the drama of cause and effect.  In this powerful film we watch as a boy discovers that life-changing moments often come at great expense.  Lushly filmed and beautifully acted, A Gift resounds with truth and grace.  This is superb filmmaking.

Hitchhiker, The
Short
2 Minutes
Filmmaker: John Mark Maio
Thu 9:20p, Sat 12:20p, Sun 3:20p, Mon 6:20p
Plays with: Mergers & Acquisitions

Yep, you read it right - this film is two minutes long.  It's difficult to create a fully formed story in just two minutes, but The Hitchhiker manages to do just that.  This is hilarious pantomime of a situation that involves only a car, a driver, a hitchhiker, and a cup of coffee.

Hunger
Short
12 Minutes
Filmmaker: Jennifer Perchalla
Thu 3:20p, Fri 6:20p, Sat 9:20p, Mon 12:20p
Plays in: Family shorts

In this black and white film, it's World War II and an elderly couple is forced to provide room and board to a Nazi officer and his pampered white cat.  It's bad enough that the Nazi soldier gets the best food and drink, but even his cat gets to eat better than the two hosts...but not for long.

Indefinitely
Short
19 Minutes
Filmmaker: Marc Pilvinsky
Fri 9:40p, Sun 12:40p, Mon 3:40p
Plays in: Shorts and student

After being fired from his day job editing television commercials, Riley is forced to shoot wedding videos.  As the bride and groom interviews begin on his first video, one thought pervades Riley's mind: the groom doesn't deserve this bride.  By the third round of meetings with the couple he realizes there's only one thing he can do - destroy the wedding.  A romantic comedy in the tradion of Rushmore and The Graduate, this is one script we're especially glad is going to feature length.

Key, The
Short
20 Minuets
Filmaker Darrin Dickerson
Thurs 9:30, Fri 9:30, Sat 12:30, Sun 3:30, Mon 6:30
Plays with: Drowned Out

Filmed with ethereal beauty, The Key is the stroy of life as seen though one man's eyes.  Gabriel tells of a bizarre encounter he had as a child and how his life was changed from that day forward.  It's a look back to explain where he is now and how he got here with the help of a strange amulet and the mysterious woman who gave it to him.

Interview, The (L'Entretien)
Short
20 Minuets
Filmaker:  Kathleen Man
Thurs 9:00pm, Fri 9:00am, Sat 12:00 noon, Sun 3:00pm, Mon 6:00pm
Plays in: Shorts Program

Magritte, Satie, Kafka and dadaism all color this black and white film, shot in Paris, in French.  At the heart of a job interview is being someone your're not.  Once hired, the outside world fades into illusion; who you once were is not more.  With its steady, inexorable desent into the business district of Paris, Its graceful dehumanization beguiles and lulls you.  But we do get medical AND dental and the 401-k is...

Learn to Speak Body: Tape Five
Short
6 minutes
Filmmaker: Mitchell Rose
Thurs 12:20pm, Fri 3:20pm, Sat 6:20pm, Sun 9:20pm, Mon 9:20am
Plays with: The Month of August

This is another irreverent and somewhat warped view of life from the creative brain of Mitchell Rose, who last delighted Festival-goers with Modern Daydreams.  In this case he demonstrates how our body language speaks volumes.  Do you want to tell someone that your "privates" are unavailable?  Just watch.  You will laugh as you learn.

Little Red Light
Short
7 Minuets
Filmaker:  Ben Weber
Fri 3:40pm, Sat 4:00pm, Sun 3:00pm, Mon 6:00pm
Plays with: Karaoke Fever

A husband wants to take his new video carera for a test spin in the bedroom but encounters "creative differences" with his wife.  A homespun charmer reminiscent of sex, lies & videotape.  It has so much fun that you want to join in.  With its pacing and relentless good spirit, it makes a fluffy, quirky film.

Nisei Farmer, The
Short
12 Minuets
Filmaker:  Dean Yamada
Thurs 12:30 pm, Fri 3:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Sun 9:30pm, Mon 9:30pm
Plays with: Taste it All and Drive-in Movie Memories

When Hank Kateyama, a Northern California Japanese-American farmer, is offered $20,000 compensation from the US government for his WWII internment it stirs up both memories of the past and strains of the present.  Subtle and simple steps peer into the pain and choices of a man who cannot express himself.  A rich, yet delicate short film inspired by the internment of his own father during WWII.

Penny Game, The
Short
18 Minutes
Filmaker:  Connie Di Cicco
Thurs 3:20pm, Fri 6:20pm, Sat 9:20, Mon 12:20pm
Plays in: Family Shorts

If you are Sam, a scrawny 12-year-old, and you have a crush on the beautiful (and older) lifeguard, Cherry Moss, what do you do to get her attention and prove your manliness?   You play "The Penny Game" against the big brutes.  This is a fun film of high hopes and lowdown battles in the deep end of the pool.

Perihelion
Short
27 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Denis Kwong
Fri 9:00pm, Sat 9:00am, Sun 12:00noon, Mon 3:00pm
Plays in: Documentaries and Students

A unique subject and strong metaphors make for a well-done glimpse into the lives of young astronomers.  Based on a true story of students of astrophysics.  This portrait of the pain, drudgery, exhilaration, and personality quirks of a vivid and winning constellation of characters feels real yer never strays for the ficitonalized stories it weaves.  Makes you realize Jody Foster's star astrophysicist in Contact counldn't carry the astrolable of those who actually chart the stars.

Post
Short
6 Minutes
Filmmaker: David Waingarten
Fri 12:40p, Sat 3:40p, Sun 6:40p, Mon 9:40p
Plays with: Five Years

This is the poignant remembrance by a young woman of when and how she lost her innocence and trust in people.  When a childhood friend disappears, a bit of this woman's childhood disappears as well.  Post shows that there always comes a time when we must realize that the world is not really a safe place - even for a child.

Sorrows of Youth, The  (Die Leiden Der Jugend)
Short
16 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Brian M. Plow
Fri 9:00p, Sat 9:00a, Sun 12:00 noon, Mon 3:00p
Plays in: Students and Documentaries

This film, led by a gorgeous soundtrack, follws the attempts of a young man to woo one librarian over the objections to love itself by the other librarian.  A creative, intriguing concept that tells a simplistic yet haunting tale of youth and disappointment.  A good example of the diversity of voices and willingness to take chances that drives independent film.

Saudade
Short
21 MInutes
Filmmaker:  Alessandro Soares
Thu 3:20p, Fri 6:20p, Sat 9:20p, Mon 12;20p
Plays in: Family Shorts

This sweet film tells the story of Luke Walther, a photographer who freezes time within photos of people departing on trains.  Before he can leave for the big city and new career opportunities, he needs to fulfill a promise made years before and thereby unfreeze the life of a young girl who is unable to move on.

Taste it All
Short
27 Minutes
Filmmaker: Richard Liukis
Thu 12:30p, Fri 3:30p, Sat 6:30p, Sun 9:30p, Mon 9:30a
Plays with: The Nisei Farmer and Drive-in Movie Memories

A gallery owner tells a painter none of her works sold, and that when she paints four that he can actually sell, he'll return the others.  It's not quite that easy; nothing in the film is.  Taste it All takes shape as a painting does, one brushstroke at a time.  It's a mesmerizing tour de force of music, editing, acting, image, and mystery that is both absorbing and likeable.
(Some violence)

Today You Are a Fountain Pen
Short
20 Minutes
Filmmaker: Dan Katzir
Sat 9:40a, Sun 9:40a
Plays in:  Family Program

Today You Are a Fountain Pen is a touching vignette of a young boy about to have his Bar Mitzvah who can't seem to get the one thing he really wants.  With warmth, compassion and a secret he has kept for years about growing up during the holocaust, his grandfather (Len Lesser, Uncle Leo in Seinfeld) gently teaches him what it really means to become a man.

Two in the Head
Short
26 Minutes
Filmmaker: Conrad Gonzales
Fri 9:40p, Sun 12:40p, Mon 3:40p
Plays in: Shorts and Student

John Carlisi is a hit man who lives by simple rules: no women, no children, and never meet the buyer.  However, when promised an extraordinary amount of money he breaks his own rules and agrees to hit a woman and meet the buyer.  When John smells betrayal he shakes things up and then the question becomes: who will walk away alive.
(Violence and adult language)

Two Paths
Short
22 Minutes
Filmmaker: Michael Sloane
Thu 3:30p, Fri 6:30p, Sat 9:30p, Sun 9:30a, Mon 12:30p
Plays with: The Movie Hero

This is the remarkable story of two half-brothers who never knew about each other until a series of fateful events set them on two separate paths aimed toward each other.  Their journeys help to illuminate the dark recesses of the families' secrets.

Unearthed
Short
8 Minutes
Filmmaker: Christina Spangler
Thu 8:50p, Sat 12:40p, Sun 3:40p, Mon 6:40p
Plays with: No Sleep 'til Madison

This film explores the secret life of a potato who is suddenly able to see.  With its new vision, the world becomes very clear and the potato undergoes a revelation about life and death as a tuber.  Filmed in stop-motion with bizarre characters and vivid colors, Unearthed is horrifying one moment, hilarious another.  You'll never think of a bag of chips the same way again.

 documentaries
feature films | documentaries | short films

 Artist Response to 9.11
Documentary
Filmmakers: David Decker and Dana Plautz
Thu 11:50a, Fri 9:40a
Plays in:  Community program free events with Troubled Waters

Evoking more hope than despair, this documentary captures the feelings in the artist community that swept across the country within hours and weeks after the tragedy - and illustrates the important role that artists play in our society.  Twenty artists talk about how they dealt with the attacks of September 11th, with inspirational footage and art gathered from around the nation and world.

Bike Like U Mean It
Documentary
46 Minutes
Filmmakers: Rusty Martin & Susan Kirr
Fri 12:30p, Sat 3:30, Sun 6:30p, Mon 9:30p
Plays with: Walking the West

This documentary follows the colorful characters in the Austin, Texas cycling world, who contrast starkly with the conservative Texans they live among.  Refreshing, heartfelt and sometimes absurd, Bike Like U Mean It goes behind the scenes of some of the most active biking organizations in Austin, and shows us how cycling can be a political statement. At the center of it all is the unassuming and quirky Amy Babich, a mathematician and bike shop owner who has become Austin's ever-present cycling spokesperson.

Bloom
Documentary
15 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Bob Hurst
Fri 9:00p, Sat 9:00a, Sun 12:00 noon, Mon 3:00p
Plays in:  Students and Documentaries

The dreamy, painful world of Alzheimer's is evoked in scenery, memories, and relationships.  Unexpressed love and loss are still clearly evident as a family drives the afflicted mother one last time to her favorite spot. The film reveals itself gently in the odd clunky rhythm of a poem not yet polished, with evocative scenes, phrases, and settings where  you can smell the outdoors and still feel the burdens of a life.

Collector of Bedford Street, The
Documentary
34 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Alice Elliott
Thu 6:20p, Fri 9:20p, Sun 12:20p, Mon 3:20p
Plays with: Crazy White Foreigner (Farang Ba)

If you think New York is too big to care about an individual, think again.  Despite being developmentally delayed, 60-year-old Larry Selman is a great success at soliciting donations for charities.  But what will happen to Larry when he must rely on the charity of others?  After seeing this touching film, you will feel better about humanity. This film is a 2002 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject.

Collecors at Large
Documentary
25 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Patti Lewis
Thu 6:30p, Fri 9:30p, Sat 9:30a, Sun 12:30p, Mon 3:30p
Plays with: Extras and In Smog and Thunder

See Santa as you've never seen him before!  Out of Portand comes a whimsical yet entirely accurate look at what is takes to be a collector of pig paraphernalia, artificial grapes, weird candles, insects and - yes- Santas.  It's documentary film at its best as we wonder at how far collectors go - and how much we share with them.  Delightful, insightful, and just lots of fun.

Crazy White Foreigner (Farang Ba)
Documentary
60 minutes
Filmmaker: John Sullivan
Thu 6:20p, Fri 9:20p, Sun 12:20p, Mon 3:20p
Plays with: The Collector of Bedford Street

This incredibly inspiring film is the true story of raw courage and determination in a most unlikely package.  Craig Wilson is a nerdy-looking middle-aged American corporate attorney who lives in Thailand and whose passion is amateur boxing.  What he must overcome in order to step into the ring would put the fictional Rocky Balboa to shame.  You can hate boxing and still love this film. (Brief nudity and short scene of graphic medical prodedure)
Filmmaker travel sponsored by Anne Decker and Noreen Hulteen.

Dream in Hanoi, A
Documentary
91 minutes
Filmmaker: Tom Weidlinger
Thurs 2:50pm, Fri 6:40pm, Sat 9:40pm, Sun 9:40am, Mon 12:40pm
Plays with: Edmund's Island

An Oregon theater company plans to put on A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Ashland, that's not a challenge. But in Vietnam, the casts, cultures, languages, and politics of America and Vietnam clash like the former adversaries they are. This is a story that runs the gamut of emotions and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Drive-In Movie Memories
Documentary
58 minutes
Filmmakers: Don and Susan Sanders
Thurs 12:30pm, Fri 3:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Sun 9:30pm, Mon 9:30am
Plays with: The Nisei Farmer and Taste it All

Just as music conjures memories, this film reawakens recollections of those magical drive-ins, and gives younger viewers a view through the knothole in the fence into that all-but-vanished phenomenon. Vividly documented through choice interviews, footage, stills, and innovative editing, it recalls that drive-ins were the independent film houses of the 1950s along with their garish refreshments, theme parks, etc. Drive-In Movie Memories in more than nostalgia--just good, solid filmmaking.

Drowned Out
Documentary
75 minutes
Filmmaker: Franny Armstrong
Thurs 9:30pm, Fri 9:30am, Sat 12:30pm, Sun 3:30pm, Mon 6:30pm
Plays with: The Key

The people of Jalsindhi, India have three choices: move to city slums, move to a bleak resettlement facility, or stay at home and die by drowning. In Drowned Out we see why they have little choice but to choose the latter. Narrated by bestselling author Arundhati Roy, this powerful and moving documentary chronicles the struggle between the tribal people who have lived along the River Narmada for generations and the politicians who want to finish the fundamentally flawed, 50-year Narmade Dam project at all costs.

Edmund's Island
Documentary
13 minutes
Filmmaker: Mark Freeman
Thurs 2:50pm, Fri 6:40pm, Sat 9:40pm, Sun 9:40am, Mon 12:40pm
Plays with: A Dream in Hanoi

Edmund, a homeless man who hawks newspapers and makes everyone feel good in the morning, is the clearest, freshest, most compelling character we've met in a movie in awhile. The documentary puts up no walls but invites us to join an uncanny individual--and before long,we feel pretty good, too. It's worth having a film festival just to meet Edmund.

Extras
Documentary
25 minutes
Filmmaker: Ida Gearon
Thurs 6:30pm, Fri 9:30pm, Sat 9:30am, Sun 12:30pm, Mon 3:30pm
Plays with: In Smog and Thunder and Collectors at Large

This documentary of location shooting in New Zealand for the TV shows Xena and Hercules focuses on what Bruce campbell (Evil Dead) calls the "widgets." These are the easily replaceable unkowns who for little money, no recognition, and vast stretches with nothing to do fill out the scenery as tramps, trolls spear carriers, peasants, and anything else that makes a low-budget production seem like a land of wonders. It gets as silly as pretending to be demonic gospel singers, but the extras keep their Kiwi pluck and seriousness.

Heart of the Sea: Kapoliok'ehukai
Documentary
57 Minutes
Filmmakers: Lisa Denker and Charlotte Lagarde
Fri 12:20p, Sat 3:20p, Sun 6:20p, Mon 9:20p
Plays with: Signs of Life

This film should be inspirational to all.  Rell Sunn was the first woman professional surfing champion, but her greatest successes were of the spirit.  You will be impressed by how Rell approached life's obstacles with grace and optimism, and you'll be moved by what she had to go through in the process.  The surfing phenomenal but what follws is even more powerful.
Filmmaker travel provided by Noreen and Ron Hulteen

Karaoke Fever
Documentry
91 Minutes
Filmaker:  Arthur Borman & Steve Danielson
Fri 3:40, Sat 6:40 Sun 9:40 Mon 9:40
Plays with: Little Red Light

A fresh and sincere look at six contenders for a $15,000 karaoke prize and title as the best for that year, it offers what few films in any genre can: people you care about and understand.  With a low tech and non-judge\mental approach and footage of everyphase before, during and after, it invites us to join in; not to laugh or sum up.  May remove the bad taste of the Gwyneth Paltrow/Hollywood version.

OT: Our Town
Documentry
76 Minuets
Filmaker:  Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Thurs 12:00 noon, Fri 3:00pm, Sat 6:00pm, Sun 9:00pm, Mon 9:00am
Plays with: Fourteen

Today's Compton, California, is a far cry from the Grover's Corner, New Hapshire, of 65 years ago.  So how do teacher and students put on Thornton Wilder's Seemingly irrelevant Our Town in a high school that has had student riots but no theatrical productions for over 20 years?  You will be riveted to your seat watching them try.

Quartzite's Fall:  A Wilderness Tale
Documentary
22 Minutes
Filmmaker: Kristin Atwell
Fri 9:00p, Sat 9:00a, Sun 12:00 noon, Mon 3:00p
Plays in: Students and Documentaries

As we swirl around the exhilarating and frightening Class 5+ rapids of Quartzite Falls, Arizona, to the soundtrack of Ani DeFranco and native American vocals, we're shocked to learn of its callous destruction by vigilantes who thought they were "improving" the river.  Peter Coyote's narration, however, doesn't offer easy outrage.  Superb work, highly resonant to our own Southern Oregon.

Sherpa - Unsung Heros
Documentary
89 Minutes
Filmmaker:  Win Whittaker
Thu 6:10p, Fri 9:10p, Sat 9:10a, Sun 12:10p, Mon 3:10p

Sherpa-Unsung Heros goes behind the scenes at the Himilayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in India, the first and finest Sherpa climbing school in the world.  Focusing on the women who strive to become a part of high-altitude expeditions, this documentary chronicles their arduous training program while providing a rich history od the Sherpa: high-mountain people hired to do the laborious and dangerous work involved with high-altitude climbing.

Signs of Life
Documentary
43 Minutes
Filmmaker: Dominique Mertens
Fri 12:20p, Sat 3:20p, Sun 6:20p, Mon 9:20p
Plays with: Heart of the Sea

Oral communication is the main way for people to understand each other.  Consequently, the hearing-impaired have historically been poorly understood by people with normal hearing.  "Signing" has made a big difference for the community of the hearing-impaired. This film shows, however, that there is still a vast gulf between those who can hear and those who cannot.

Troubled Waters
Documentary
54 Minutes
Filmmaker: Beth and George Gage
Free Showings Thu 11:50a, Fri 9:40a
Plays in: Community Program Free Events with Artist Response to 9.11

Interviews with a truly diverse group of people, from former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt to Native American activists, shed light on the issue of decommissioning U.S. dams that are unnecessary and harmful to their rivers.  Fairly presenting opinions from both sides, Troubled Waters shows that decommissioning old and useless dams should be less about politics and more about common sense.

Walking the West
Documentary
57 Minutes
Filmmaker: Myles Murphy
Fri 12:30p, Sat 3:30p, Sun 6:30p, Mon 9:30p
Plays with: Bike Like You Mean It

A New Zealander and an Irishman - both naive, idealistic, and inexperienced in the wilderness - quit their jobs, cash in their savings, and walk the 2,626 mile Pacific Crest Trail. Walking the West follows these men, and the odd trekkers they encounter, on an epic journey from Mexico to Canada.  Most fascinating is how the combination of the exquisite beauty of the trail and the hardship of walking 21 miles a day for four and a half months produces profound changes to the men, both physically and emotionally.

 feature films
feature films | documentaries | short films

 Bug
Feature
90 Minutes
Filmmakers:  Mat Manfredi and Phil Hay
Thu 3:00p, Fri 6:00p, Sat 9:00p, Sun 9:00a, Mon 12:00 noon
Plays with: Case Studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders

Can a child squashing a roach in a parking lot jeopardize the flight of an airplane days later?  This tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the power of coincidence will make you a believer.  This is a wonderful romp involving quirky yet familiar characters who will have you smirking and occasionally cringing in your seat. (Some strong language)

Face the Music
Feature
97 minutes
Filmmakers: Jeff Howard and Laura Caulfield
Thurs 3:10pm, Fri 6:10pm, Sat 9:10pm, Sun 9:10am, Mon 12:10pm

After a rock band loses their gig as the local watering hole and is dumped by their label, the lead singer fakes his death in hopes that sales will catapult throught the roof: after all, artists are worth more dead than alive, right? He soon gets a chance to record the way he always wanted, but to have musical integrity he has to live a lie--that he's not Dan, but his cousin, Danielle. A simple fun spoof of the music biz: Bosom Buddies meets That Thing You Do.

Five Years
Feature
90 minutes
Filmmaker: Brett Wagner
Fri 12:40p, Sat 3:40p, Sun 6:40p, Mon 9:40p
Plays with: Post

A brother's return after five years in prison turns the idyllic life of a young couple inside out.  This is a wonderful character study of ordinary people whose family secrets and sacrifices transform inner turmoil into outward struggles. Can family bonds survive the exposure of personal truths.  Writer-director Brett Wagner shows himself to be a great new talent. (Strong language, brief nudity, and some short scenes of violence)

Grown Men
Feature
95 Minutes
Filmmaker: John Gaspard
Fri 12:10p, Sat 3:10p, Sun 6:10p, Mon 9:10p

Old friends regale each other with tales from their lives, and in the process reveal what it means to be a grown man - and demonstrate how far they have to go to become one.  Funny, sexy, sad, bizarre and uplifting, these five interlocking stories come together to show us what grown men can get themselves into.
(Some strong language)

In Smog and Thunder
Feature
46 Minutes
Filmmaker: Sean Meredith
Thu 6:30p, Fri 9:30p, Sat 9:30a, Sun 12:30p, Mon 3:30p
Plays with: Extras and Collectors at Large

Ken Burns, modern master of the PBS Documentary, is skewered when a fictional battle between LA and San Francisco (and their allies) is given the full Civil War treatment.  Accurately mimicking Burns' ponderous style while discussing battles on freeways and pit stops at convenience stores juxtaposed against faux historical images.  Fans (or harsch critics) of the format will enjoy this movie.

Living and Dining
Feature
91 Minutes
Filmaker:  Ed Gustin & Doug Stone
Thurs 9:10pm, Sat 12:10pm, Sun 3:20pm, Mon 6:20pm

Employees of a tourist town restaurant struggle with low expectations and resentment of the rich when the place is about to go bust.  The characters question their purpose, but the tame cinematography and unfocused drama suggest they're not going anywhere.  Maureen Stapleton adds a touch of class to class warfare on the last two days of battling over butter/no butter in the mashed potatoes.

Mergers & Acquistions
Feature
90 Minuets
Filmaker:  Mitchell Bard
Thurs 9:20pm, Sat 12:20pm, Sun 3:20pm, Mon 6:20pm
Plays with: The Hitchhiker

Del Richards is a 35 year-old underachieving corporate worker whose like hasn't lived up to his ideals.  His world starts to unravel further when his mother, an aging hippie, must go to into a home; a rival corporation tries to consume his company; his brother turns on him; and his girl friend seems to be too good to be true.  When all goes to hell, Del's values are tested and his true colors are revealed. 

Monsoon Wife
Feature
92 MInuets
Filmaker:  Marlin Darrah
Fri 12:00 noon, Sta 3:00pm, Sun 6:00pm, Mon 9:00pm
Plays with: Eternity

The exotic sights and sounds (even "smells"} of today Cambodia seem to storm our senses as we experience the life of an American expatraiate in that distant land as he comes to grip with the unsavory loss of a peoples' innocence.  At the same time, he must sort out feelings about his former American fiance' and current "Monsoon Wife."

Month of August, The
Feature
93 Minuets
Filmaker  Rex Piano & Mark Maine
Thurs 12:20pm, Fri 3:20pm, Sat 6:20pm, Sun 9:20pm, Mon 9:20am
Plays with: Learn to Speak Body

This delightful fim reminds us that love can happen while we are making other plans.  Two buddies keep making a mess out of pursuing women, until one of them meets August--a quirky waitress who seem, at first blush, like Ms Wrong.  Somehow, she grows on him, and she'll find a way into your heart as well.

Movie Hero, The
Feature
88 Minuets
Filmaker:  Brad T Gottfred
Thurs 3:30pm, Fri 6:30pm, Sat 9:30pm Sun 9:30pm, Mon 12:30pm
Plays with: Two Paths

Ever thought you were in a movie?  With impeccable comic timing, Jeremy Sisto (Billy Chenowith on Six Feet Under) insists he is--so he's nuts, but we're watching, so we know he's right, especially when he picks out Peter Stormare (who fed Steve Buscemi to the woodchipper in Fargo) as the villian.  Twisting the all-too-familiar to be fresh and funny, it questions our place in the movies we watch.  Any movie lover will love the MOvie Hero.

No Sleep 'til Madison
Feature
89 Minuets
Filmaker Erik Moe, Peter Rudy and David Fleer
Thurs 8:50pm, Sat 12:40pm, Sun 3:40pm, Mon 6:40pm
Plays with: Unearthed

Owen Fenby (the hilarious Jim Gaffigan) is at a crossroads in his life; at 30 he hasn't been able to move on as all his friends have.  11th annual pilgrimage to the Wisconsin State High School Hockey Tournament that adult like gets in the way.  With superb comedic timing, No Sleep 'til Madison is one of the funiest films at this year's Festival.

Rapture, The
Feature
100 Minutes
Filmmaker: Michael Tolkin
Thurs 5:30pm and 6:00pm

An audacious film about faith, The Rapture is a contemporary fantasy that keeps its feet unnervingly planted in reality even as reality starts to collapse.  Mimi Rogers, in a strinkingly accomplished performance, stars as Sharon, a telephone operatoer who spends her off-hours engaging in casual group sex to blot out her boredom.  By chance, she becomes aware of a small Christian sect whose members believe that they have found a child with the gift of prophecy who has seen the upcoming end times.  Slowly but steadily, Sharon Sinds herself drawn to this group, and one night she abruptly turns a corner, renounces her old life, and embraces fundamentalism with passion.  She marries one of her former lovers, Randy (David Duchovny), who takes up Sharon's evangelical fervor to atone for his past as a hired killer, and they have a daughter.  All seems peaceful until Randy is unexpectedly murdered, and Sharon takes her child to the desert to await the rapture that will bring the chosen to heaven.  The film neither supports nor scoffs at Sharon's views, and the superb performances add immeasurably to a film that presents the unbelieveable (and unthinkable) at face value, maiking it seem oddly plausible in the process.

Utopian Society, The
Feature
100 Minutes
Filmmaker: John Aguirre
Thu 12:10p, Fri 3:10p, Sat 6:10p, Sun 9:10p, Mon 9:10a

Six college students from diverse backgrounds are thrown together on a final project - to creat a Utopian Society on paper.  They can't stand each other but as they break through their own walls they discover that its really their differences and secrets that bind them together.  Well acted and nicely shot, The Utopian Society is the Breakfast Club all grown up.
(Adult Language)

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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018
info@ashlandfilm.org

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