Dances With Films NYC Announces Full Film Lineup for 2023 Festival

ADVANCED CHEMISTRY

 

Dances With Films announced the film lineup for the return of what has become LA’s largest purely indie film-focused film festival over the past 26 years to New York City (November 30-December 3) for the second time featuring a film lineup nearly three times the size of last year’s NYC debut. DWF alum Dylan K. Narang’s Tapawingo is the Opening Night selection, and Nicholas Gyeney’s psychological thriller The Activated Man will make its world premiere in the Closing Night slot.

Among DWF NYC’s lineup of 136 films, including 20 narrative features, 9 documentary features, 19 television and streaming pilots, and 88 short films (73 narrative and 15 documentaries), are an impressive number of world premieres. All screenings will take place at Regal Union Square (850 Broadway).

Among the 64 world premieres are Gyeney’s The Activated Man, Etana Jacobson’s Advanced Chemistry, Kevin Interdonato’s The Bastard Sons, Michael Groom’s Between The Lights, Isaac Hirotsu Woofter’s Bound, Sara Katarina Burke and Aaron Andrew Keene’s Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, Ryan Moore’s Influence, Michelle Bossy’s Nobody’s Home, Brendan Boogie’s Tallywacker, Micah Khan’s The Zombie Wedding, Justin Best’s Sheryl, and Wynette Yao’s District Of Second Chances. Hanna Vastinsalo’s Palimpsest will make its North American Premiere at Dances With Films NYC.

After becoming the leading beacon for true indie films and filmmakers in Los Angeles over the past 26 years, this will mark Dances With Films’ return to New York City for the second year. Dances With Films’ Founders and Directors Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent, said, “This year’s theme is “the color of imagination” and that imagination, by its various definitions, exemplifies what Dances With Films will be highlighting this December. We could not be more excited to return to NYC and debut so many wonderful films and help provide a platform for all our indie filmmakers and their projects under the spotlight of this great city.”

Thursday, November 30 will feature the Opening Night presentation of DWF alumni Dylan K. Narang’s Tapawingo. Previously at DWF with his feature All I Need (2016), Narang’s Tapawingo is a lighthearted coming-of-age comedy stars Jon Heder as an eccentric young man who lives with his mother and works in a mailroom. However, when he must pick up his boss’ son from school, he discovers the kid is the subject of relentless bullying. at school, Naturally, he assembles a team of misfits to ensure the boy’s safety, but the good deed takes an unexpected turn when they discover that the network of bullies they are guarding against wields more power and influence than they initially thought. The film also stars Gina Gershon, Billy Zane, John Ratzenberger, and Amanda Bearse.

As part of DWF NYC’s dedicated programming of horror, thrillers, and genre films, the Closing Night selection also comes from the film festival’s Midnight section. Sunday, December 3, Nicholas Gyeney’s The Activated Man will make its world premiere as it officially closes the film festival. In the film, a man, struggling with the grief from losing his best friend and beloved dog to cancer, begins to have strange visions only he can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it’s real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and he becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known as ‘The Fedora Man’. To survive, he must face his fears and confront ‘The Fedora Man’ as he uncovers dark secrets from his past, while finally embracing who he really is, and what he is meant to do.

Additional feature films making their world premieres are Etana Jacobson’s Advanced Chemistry about a scientist whose attempt in the lab to help his lesbian best friend stop cheating on her wife backfires when the wife falls for him. Kevin Interdonato’s The Bastard Sons is a story of revenge by a group of men, when the man who raised them – the family boss – is murdered. Michael Groom’s British romantic drama Between The Lights follows a skeptical scientist who falls for a reluctant medium, leading them on an odyssey of love, loss and discovery that turns her world upside down. Isaac Hirotsu Woofter’s Bound focuses on a young introvert who flees with her pet pocket squirrel to New York in order to escape her drug-dealing controlling stepfather. Making it’s North American Premiere is Vardan Tozija’s M. A multi-national production including

Macedonia, Croatia, Kosovo, France, and Luxembourg, the film centers on a young boy who lives in the forest under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows until an encounter with a kind-hearted, helpless boy may open up a whole new world to him.

Also making their world premieres at DWF NYC are Sara Katarina Burke and Aaron Andrew Keene’s Can’t Seem to Make You Mine about a recent parolee who tries to make amends with his ex and become a father to his little boy while staying with a stripper he met on a pen-pal website. Ryan Moore’s Influence focuses on a struggling female filmmaker who kidnaps a famous social media influencer to convince them to play the lead role in her latest project. Michelle Bossy’s Nobody’s Home follows the mind-bending journey of a young man after he is released from the psychiatric hospital with his girlfriend who may or may not be telling him the truth about what he is experiencing. Brendan Boogie’s buddy comedy Tallywacker takes us on a trip with 2 bandmates whose relationship gets tested when one of them gets a gig touring with a major rock star. Micah Khan’s outlandish comedy The Zombie Wedding illustrates the challenges one can have at a New Jersey wedding when the groom is a zombie, and the bride is not. Another film in the Midnight Features section making its world premiere is Justin Best’s Sheryl about a woman who goes on a bloody quest to create the perfect face after she’s dumped by her serial killer boyfriend for not being “hot enough”.

Highlights among the documentary section include one feature-length film making its world premiere, and a second making its U.S. Premiere. Making its world premiere is Wynette Yao’s District Of Second Chances, which follows the journeys of three men – all sentenced to life in prison during the 1990s – who have the possibility of being released and starting a new life thanks to sentencing reform. Making its U.S. premiere will be Emilio Di Stefano’s Denim Hunter. The road movie documentary follows a man whose obsession with really old jeans leads him through the deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada as well as up the snowclad Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Marc Saltarelli’s Studio One Forever is the untold story of America’s iconic gay disco, a kaleidoscopic excursion into LGBTQ+ history through the lens of Studio One and its adjoining live music venue, The Backlot during the 70s and 80s. Hoag Kepner’s Torched – The Story of Austin Torch tells the story of the Austin Torch, a wild and fiery group of women/non-binary athletes in Austin who are trying to legitimize and professionalize their fringe sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

The television, web series pilots, and episodics also have a healthy number of world premieres. Those include Federica Marchese and Vinusha Sundaresan’s Chinese series pilot The Blind Zone about a faceoff between two teenage sociopaths after they set their eyes on the same target, David Antonio Martin’s absurd comedy The Selectman where two men are trapped in a picturesque world where the forces of learned behavior, arrested adolescence, and the quest for power forever collide, and Henk Pretorius’ British animated series pilot Travel Fox which follows the inquisitive Travel Fox and Bogie the Tortoise as they race across the world, chasing rainbows in search of a legendary pot of gold.

Additional world premieres include Jon Da’s Ülom: The Primary Experiment is centered on a desperate scientist who undertakes a labyrinthian experiment he believes will locate his missing daughter. Jonathan Chao’s Xander teams a lonely high school student with a Genie. However, the student might lose his new best friend if he makes his one wish. Making its North American premiere will be Aaron Lewis’ Moments, a gripping 9-episode digital series, offering intimate glimpses into characters on the brink. Clarissa De Los Reyes’ Hot Angry Mom about a people-pleasing mom who must face her rage, as a video of her epic meltdown goes viral, and Dana Marisa Schoenfeld’s East about a New York City Corporate attorney who suddenly loses her job and catches her boyfriend cheating, forcing her to reevaluate everything and  pursue her childhood dream of being an actress.

Highlights among the short films showcased at DWF NYC include the world premiere of Luke Black’s I Keep Bumping Into Candy Maldonado in which a man keeps bumping into the famous baseball player who is his childhood ideal each day until he’s inspired to make some life changes.

Rj Collins’ thrilling Dropping follows a young woman going through the rigorous “dropping” training which may just turn into a fight for survival. Actor Cynthia Gibb takes a turn behind the camera, directing Lux Freer, about a non-binary teen whose humiliating job of delivering a pizza to bully and aspiring prom queen Arabella Astor’s mansion sets in motion a plot to upend the social stratosphere at her high school. Nazrin Choudhury’s Red, White And Blue stars Brittany Snow as a single parent forced to cross state lines in search of an urgent and necessary abortion. Eleanor Morrison’s You Need To Process This stars Mary Holland and Matt Peters as a married couple who must discuss a sexual assault.

DWF NYC will also present a series of filmmaker panels focused on current real world issues faced by today’s indie filmmakers at The Stand (116 E. 16th Street) Panels will include “Distribution: Navigating the Marketplace as Well as Forecasting the Future”, which will be moderated by Scott Macauley (Filmmaker Magazine), and is slated to include executives from Magnolia Pictures, IFC, and STX Entertainment, “Making the Sale: The Producer/Sales Agent Dynamic” moderated by Kate Erbland (Indiewire), and includes Carylanna Taylor (Head of Sales Film Sales Corp), Josh Braun (Founder & President, Submarine), and Jason Ishikawa (Sr. Exec. & Co-head of Sales, Cinetic Media), and “The Casting Director/Producer Dynamic” moderated by Michael Sladik (SAGindie New York), and includes casting directors Shayna Markowitz, Bernie Telsey, and Paul Schnee.

For more information about the Dances With Films NYC film lineup, events, passes, and tickets, go to: https://danceswithfilms.com/.

 

The 2023 Dances With Films NYC official selections:

 

OPENING NIGHT SELECTION

Tapawingo

Director: Dylan K. Narang

Country: USA; Running Time: 109 min

An oddball becomes the bodyguard for a misfit teenager and finds himself in the crosshairs of the town’s family of bullies.

 

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

The Activated Man                                                                World Premiere

Director: Nicholas Gyeney

Country: USA; Running Time: 115 min

As Ors Gabriel struggles with the grief from losing his best friend and beloved dog to cancer, the trauma brings on strange visions only Ors can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it’s real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and Ors becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known as ‘The Fedora Man’. Through torments and terror, Ors must face his fears and confront ‘The Fedora Man’ as he uncovers dark secrets from his past, while finally embracing who he really is, and what he is meant to do.

 

 

ADDITIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURES

 

Advanced Chemistry                                                            World Premiere

Director: Etana Jacobson

Country: USA; Running Time: 96 min

A scientist injects his lesbian best friend with a compound he’s created to make her stop cheating on her wife (who is bi), but when the wife finds her new monogamous fixation suffocating, he injects the wife too, which backfires when she falls for him.

 

The Bastard Sons                                                                 World Premiere

Director: Kevin Interdonato

Country: USA; Running Time: 90 min

Life for a crew of organized criminals is disrupted when Vincent Damiano’s father, the family’s boss, is murdered. Vincent’s ‘bastard’ brothers (UFC legend Frank Edgar, Chicago Med star Malik Whitfield), a group of orphaned souls he raised together, have an idea of who killed their father…his partner Rome (TV/Film veteran Al Sapienza). In a valiant and calculated attempt to regain the business and enact vengeance on Rome over the course of one day, the Bastards wage an all-out war to get their pound of flesh.

 

Between The Lights                                                              World Premiere

Director: Michael Groom

Country: UK; Running Time: 104 min

When skeptical scientist Alice falls for reluctant medium Jay, she’s taken on an odyssey of love, loss and discovery that will turn her world upside down. Between the Lights is a romantic drama with a liberal dose of the supernatural, in which we visit our characters over three consecutive Christmases. It is set within the ancient walls of York and the stunning natural beauty of the Lake District.

 

 

 

Bound                                                                                     World Premiere

Director: Isaac Hirotsu Woofter

Country: USA; Running Time: 101 min

To escape her drug-dealing controlling stepfather, a young introvert flees to NYC with only her pet pocket squirrel. After successfully reinventing herself, she realizes she must confront her dark past, to truly be free.

 

Can’t Seem to Make You Mine                                            World Premiere

Directors: Sara Katarina Burke, Aaron Andrew Keene

Country: USA; Running Time: 102 min

A man who was just released from prison tries to make amends with his ex and become a father to his 6-year-old son while staying with a stripper he met on a pen-pal website.

 

Daruma

Director: Alexander Yellen

Country: USA; Running Time: 104 min

Patrick (bitter wheelchair user) must enlist the help of his cantankerous neighbor (double amputee veteran) to transport the daughter he never knew he had to live with her maternal grandparents on the other side of the country.

 

Grounded

Director: Justin Chan

Country: USA; Running Time: 84 min

William Lee, a 30-something Chinese-Filipino American, introduces his Caucasian girlfriend to his overbearing, immigrant parents when a mysterious cosmic force takes hold of their day.

 

Home Free

Director: Aaron Brown

Country: USA; Running Time: 98 min

In 1997, a group of college misfits invite an unhoused professor to crash on their porch.

Home Free is a Trojan horse, a bold coming-of-age comedy aimed at reaching a mass audience, but also intended to be a catalyst for serious social change sharply focused on one of the most pervasive problems across America—the homelessness epidemic. Humor is our spoonful of sugar.

 

Influence                                                                                World Premiere

Director: Ryan Moore

Country: USA; Running Time: 83 min

A female filmmaker struggling with her career and her mental health reaches a breaking point and decides to kidnap a famous social media influencer in an attempt to coerce them into playing the lead role in her latest project.

 

Katie’s Mom

Director: Tyrrell Shaffner

Country: USA; Running Time: 111 min

A heartfelt comedy influenced by The Graduate but told from the perspective of a protagonist inspired by Mrs. Robinson. Set in modern-day Pasadena, California. Nancy Rosenfeld (Dina Meyer), a nurturing mom and recent divorcée, whose beloved Jewish/Christmas mashup holiday celebration with her adult children is derailed when she falls for Alex Rojas (Aaron Dominguez (Only Murders in the Building), her daughter’s charming new boyfriend. Their electrifying affair upends her status quo and sets her on a path to becoming who she was meant to be.

 

M                                                                                             North American Premiere

Director: Vardan Tozija

Countries: Macedonia/Croatia/Kosovo/France/Luxembourg, Running Time: 99 min

In a secluded forest, young Marko lives under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows. Marko seeks solace in his cherished picture book, finding comfort and answers within its pages. One day, an encounter with a kind-hearted, helpless boy named Miko, brings a glimmer of warmth and connection into Marko’s isolated world. As his curiosity grows, Marko yearns to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the confines of the wilderness. But, a cruel turn of events grants him his wish sooner than he expects…

 

Nobody’s Home                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Michelle Bossy

Country: USA; Running Time: 83 min

When Luca is released from the psychiatric hospital where he and his girlfriend Theodora live, she escapes with him. To remain in control, she takes him to his childhood home, the root of his trauma. Time lapses. Consciousness is distorted. A dead body is discovered. Theodora insists Luca committed the murder in his sleep. Is she telling the truth? A knock on the door suddenly diverts them. Angelica and Jeremy show up, high on acid. Theodora invites them in to test Luca’s loyalty. Her jealousy increases to the point of danger. In the end, nothing is what it seems. Everyone has darkness inside.

 

Palimpsest                                                                             North American Premiere

Director: Hanna Vastinsalo

Country: Finland; Running Time: 109 min

Two elderly roommates are selected for a medical trial that makes them younger. Given a second chance at life, with the memories of their past life intact, they realize that growing young is not just fun.

 

Space Baby

Director: Rex Dean

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Three friends fight fascist Nurse Nancy to rebuild the holy grail and get a new soul for the earth. Each friend is different. 8-year-old Sam (“Mental Man”) is a mad scientist and inventor; 6-year-old Sophia (“Nature Girl”) is a caretaker of the earth; 300-year-old Blue (a great ballplayer like Satchel Paige) was the keeper of the holy grail in Africa before he and his siblings were captured as slaves. With help from a squadron of ladybugs, they fight the “greed, intolerance, and just plain cruelty” that Nurse Nancy and her demonic crow inhabit. A story of courage, friendship, and love.

 

Tallywacker                                                                           World Premiere

Director: Brendan Boogie

Country: USA; Running Time: 90 min

A rock and roll buddy comedy about 2 bandmates whose relationship gets tested when one of them gets a gig touring with a major rock star.

 

The Zombie Wedding                                                           World Premiere

Director: Micah Khan

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

A young Cumberland County, NJ couple decides to go through with their wedding – during the Zombie Apocalypse. Unfortunately, he’s a zombie and she’s not. Both families are fearful, but the humans’ behavior is brutish. When the Zombies begin feeling brain-deprived, the ceremony takes a turn for the weird. Weekly World News reporters are there to cover this wild wedding – while trying to get out alive!

 

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

 

44 Lights: Music from Ground Zero

Director: Barbara Blackburn Tuttle

Country: USA; Running Time: 68 min

A musical journey to healing in the aftermath of 9/11. A story of pain, loss, and ultimately rebirth through music.

 

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam

Directors: Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus

Country: USA; Running Time: 97 min

This award-winning documentary is a decade-long follow-up of the underdogs who put their blood, sweat, and tears to overturn a 100-year-old policy, proving in the process that “a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world,” to quote Margaret Mead).

 

Brothers Broken

Directors: Geoff Levin, Lily Richards

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

This is the story of brothers Geoff and Robbie Levin, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the 60’s music scene including Jerry Garcia, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin. The brother’s band PEOPLE! had the hit record “I Love You” in 1968 and toured with The Who; then Scientology entered their lives destroyed their band and split up the brothers. After 46 years Geoff despite losing his children and friends to the cult, left the church and reunited with his brother and band. It’s a tale of breaking free from a modern-day prison of belief.

 

Denim Hunter                                                                        U.S. Premiere

Director: Emilio Di Stefano

Country: Sweden; Running Time: 87 min

In the road movie documentary Denim Hunter, we meet Viktor – a regular guy from Sweden but with a burning passion for really old jeans. The film follows Viktor on his wild journey through the deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada as well as up the snowclad Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where he hunts for denim treasures in hazardous run-down gold mines from the 1880s. On his journey, Viktor comes across an array of unlikely desert characters, like Indiana Jeans, Dynamite Dan, and Redneck-Mike. In various ways, they all lead Viktor from one failure to the next.

 

The Depths of My Despair

Director: Elizabeth Lawrence

Country: USA; Running Time: 68 min

The Depths of My Despair is a visceral rabbit hole toward the authentic self. Filmmaker Elizabeth Lawrence takes an emotional, first-person detour inward. Oscillating through saneness and psychosis; debris and lucidity, the film stares at depression dead-on.

 

 

 

 

 

District Of Second Chances                                                World Premiere

Director: Wynette Yao

Country: USA; Running Time: 76 min

District of Second Chances follows the journeys of three men from Washington, D.C., all sentenced to life in prison during the 1990s. Now, because of sentencing reform, they have a rare chance at release and new lives.

 

Meet Me Where I Am

Director: Grant Garry

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

Meet Me Where I Am explores the topic of grief through individual stories of loss, love, and hope. The film aims to normalize grief in our culture and explores how we can actively participate in helping others through grief. By accepting grief and its impact, we hope to help individuals find new meaning as they move forward with their grief.

 

Studio One Forever

Director: Marc Saltarelli

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

The untold story of America’s iconic gay disco, a kaleidoscopic excursion into LGBTQ+ history through the lens of this groundbreaking club. From 1974-1994, Studio One and its adjoining live music venue, The Backlot, became symbols of hope and community for gay men during tumultuous times. Amidst the rise of gay rights, disco’s heyday, and the devastating AIDS crisis, the club offered sanctuary from rampant homophobia and police oppression.

 

Torched – The Story of Austin Torch

Director: Hoag Kepner

Country: USA; Running Time: 66 min

Torched tells the story of the Austin Torch, a wild and fiery group of women/non-binary athletes in Austin who are trying to legitimize and professionalize their fringe sport of Ultimate Frisbee in a historically male-dominated sports industry. As we follow the Torch on the road and at home during their 2022 season, we realize that though the Torch might not always win, they never really lose, because it’s more than a team: it’s a movement.

 

 

MIDNIGHT FEATURES

 

Sheryl                                                                                     World Premiere

Director: Justin Best

Country: USA; Running Time: 72 min

After she’s dumped by her serial killer boyfriend for not being “hot enough”, a beauty-obsessed woman goes on a bloody quest to create the perfect face, all while navigating her new relationship with the cop investigating the murders.

 

Wild Eyed and Wicked

Director: G.S. Foxwood

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Lily Pierce is sick of being haunted. She decides to reconnect with her estranged father, a disgraced history professor, and learn how to draw upon a time of steel and blade when armor-clad knights rode out and dueled their monsters to the death.

 

 

TELEVISION AND WEB SERIES PILOTS

 

A Killer Service
Director: Gio Randazzo

Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min

The hapless daughter of an incarcerated con-artist finds she has inherited a substantial debt to a dangerous crime boss. Forced into a corner, Elliott discovers how to take control of her life while helping empower other women.

Awesome
Director: Paul Munger

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

Every night, 20-year-old Joy gets a glimpse of the future. But with a dad on parole, a pill-popping boyfriend, and a recent lay-off, that doesn’t mean she can stop it from being shitty. That is until she foresees an event that will ruin the lives of her loved ones forever. She’ll have to figure out how to change her future–or live with the consequences.

 

The Blind Zone                                                                      World Premiere
Directors: Federica Marchese, Vinusha Sundaresan

Country: China; Running Time: 32 min

Battle of wits and violence ensues when the separate worlds of two teenage sociopaths collide after they set their eyes on the same target.

 

East
Director: Dana Marisa Schoenfeld

Country: USA; Running Time: 32 min

When Ella Goldman, a New York City Corporate attorney, gets engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Josh, she is ecstatic to embark on the next stage of her life. With a wedding to plan and a blossoming career, Ella thinks she has it all. But when she suddenly loses her job and catches her boyfriend cheating, her world comes crashing down. This devastating turn of events forces her to confront the truth about her life – and what it is she really wants. Convinced that this is a “wake-up call,” Ella pursues her childhood dream of being an actress.

Events At Hemlock Manor
Director: Katie North

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

At its core, this is a series about underdogs: a ragtag group of spooky weirdos with nowhere else to go. Hemlock Manor is not only a year-round haunted house with a terrible business model; it’s also a home. But what do you do when the thing you love is in trouble? You fight for it. Even when that means throwing a baby shower for a group of rich ladies who thought “the historic Hemlock Manor” was a charming country villa, not a haunted house open in July.

 

For Years to Come
Director: Micah Stuart

Country: USA; Running Time: 27 min

An irreverent and heartfelt romantic dramedy about a gay man who falls in love with his dead mother’s hospice nurse, while struggling to reconnect with his elderly father…who’s secretly a porn director.

 

Hit Man: Secrets Of Lies
Director: Elias Plagianos

Country: UK; Running Time: 19 min

A reflective hitman from New York City travels to small towns around the country trying to find meaning in his seemingly inconsequential life as he fulfills his contracts and eliminates his targets.

Hot Angry Mom
Director: Clarissa De Los Reyes

Country: USA; Running Time: 34 min

A people-pleasing mom must face her rage, as a video of her epic meltdown goes viral.

 

I Could Eat
Director: Rick Bedrosian

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

A new TV/Web Series showcasing the cuisine & music that unites diverse cultures. Host, Rick Bedrosian (“George” in a Beatlemania stage show for 7 years, leader of Celtic music powerhouse, Hair Of The Dog, since 1993 and an international tour guide) spans the globe seeking out the finest food and the most interesting music makers.

 

L.I.F.E.: It’s Wonderful
Director: Dathan Smith

Country: USA; Running Time: 22 min

L.I.F.E. is an anthology series set in the near future where citizens receive a hand-delivered card notifying them the day they will die. Rose feels trapped in her new “home”. Emilia feels trapped by her daughter’s recent news. Bob is forced to deliver a card he has been dreading since joining L.I.F.E. Corp. as Diane adjusts to her new job.

Moments                                                                                North American Premiere
Director: Aaron Lewis

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

Moments is a gripping 9-episode digital series, each under 13 minutes, offering intimate glimpses into characters on the brink. Driven by black trauma and mysticism, it unravels mind-reading and hidden truths through therapist Dr. Winston. An enigmatic narrator, Rutina Wesley, introduces time travel, adding layers of self-discovery. Moments hints at an expanded episodic journey, diving deeper into characters’ histories and relationships, while authentically addressing themes of healing and transformation within the mystical. Boasting a stellar ensemble cast and profound storytelling.

 

 

 

 

Morse Code
Director: Travis Nicholson

Country: USA; Running Time: 37 min

In the eccentric community of modern-day East Nashville, Simon, a talented but flawed thirty-something indie folk singer finds himself at a crossroads as he struggles to strike a balance between family and career.

Off The Menu
Director: Daniele Sestito

Country: USA; Running Time: 37 min

“Chef” is a perfectionist, Italian cook who works for an unordinary institution. Typically stern and grandiose, a new side of Chef is revealed when he is forced to make a meal that’s beyond his grasp.

Q Train
Directors: Dionne Van Den Berg, Samantha Tran

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

A Brooklyn based DJ explores the queer dating scene.

 

Roboto
Directors: Mari Madrid, Keone Madrid

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

Ky loses his entire career as a highly successful choreographer when AI takes over the dance industry and the world by storm. This throws Ky into suicidal ideations until Mikah, a bright and optimistic 12-year-old boy, decides to disregard the latest craze of dancing with Roboto and instead asks Ky to choreograph for his school performance. While at first Ky reluctantly decides to help the kid, he begins to find a bit of light in his life again. And when it’s revealed that Mikah had a battle with cancer Ky’s perspective is completely shifted.

 

The Selectman                                                                      World Premiere
Director: David Antonio Martin

Country: USA; Running Time: 26 min

In the wake of Selectman Joseph Allenby’s untimely death, this absurd comedy begins amid a memorial service in the small town of Picasquiddy, Maine. Subverting the idyllic nature of small-town New England, our protagonists are trapped in a picturesque world where the forces of learned behavior, arrested adolescence, and the quest for power forever collide. As two unlikely successors emerge as candidates for the Board of Selectmen, the town’s fate hangs in the balance. Does anybody have what it takes?

Travel Fox                                                                              World Premiere
Director: Henk Pretorius

Country: UK; Running Time: 5 min

Get ready for a wild adventure in Travel Fox, the pilot episode of an animated series tailor-made for curious kids. Follow the inquisitive Travel Fox and Bogie the Tortoise as they race across the world, chasing rainbows in search of a legendary pot of gold. But here’s the twist – instead of gold, our friends discover something even more precious: a treasure trove of unique characters and unforgettable experiences.

 

Ülom: The Primary Experiment                                           World Premiere
Director: Jon Da

Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min

In Ülom, one can find anything, even meaning. A desperate scientist undertakes a labyrinthian experiment he believes will locate his missing daughter. Journeying ever deeper into the labyrinth, he must confront an invasive, fictional reality. Remember: what feels real, is real. Ülom is here.

 

Xander                                                                                    World Premiere
Director: Jonathan Chao

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

When lonely high school student Luke befriends Xander the Genie, he’s forced to consider if making his one wish is worth losing his new genie best friend.

 

 

NARRATIVE SHORTS

 

(In)Convenience

Director: Alexandra Greenspan

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

#Pizzagate                                                                              World Premiere

Director: Danny Piñeros

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

The 1971 Kitchen Grand Brie

Director: Ian Beckman

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Bisected                                                                                 World Premiere

Director: Danny Piñeros

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

Black Silk                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Patrick Michael

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Blight                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Markus Hoeckner

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Bloodworm                                                                            World Premiere

Director: Kai Wen

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Bounce House

Directors: Callie Bloem, Christopher Ewing

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Burraco                                                                                  World Premiere

Director: Isabella Tagliati

Country: Italy; Running Time: 14 min

 

Candice

Director: Tyler Martin

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

 

 

Career Day

Directors: Jason Robinson, Chris Hooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Chauncey                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Reilly Anspaugh & Daniel Rashid

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Cheol                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Yeajoon Cho

Country: USA; Running Time: 19 min

 

Church Camp

Director: Andrew Bourne

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

The Chat                                                                                 World Premiere

Writer/Dir/Prod: Artie Brennan

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Clownfish

Director: Clayton Henderson

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Dear Owner

Director: Jing Ai Ng

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Delta                                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Coleman

Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min

 

Detox

Director: Alex Hanno

Country: USA; Running Time: 19 min

 

Dropping

Director: Rj Collins

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Echoes Of My Father                                                            World Premiere

Directors: Junko Kajino, Ed M Koziarski

Country: USA, Japan; Running Time: 18 min

 

The Electro-Rocker

Director: Chris Edgar

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Entrainment

Director: Bill Prokopow

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

Esperance To Fremantle                                                      World Premiere

Director: William Sebastian Turner

Country: Australia; Running Time: 18 min

 

Everything Goes Dark                                                          International Premiere

Director: Alex Casimir

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Fate Vs. Elena                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Laura Sedlak

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

 

From The Dark                                                                      North American Premiere

Director: Erika Sanz

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Hot Soda

Director: Nello Digiandomenico

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

How To Disappear                                                                World Premiere

Director: Milton Woods

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

I Keep Bumping into Candy Maldonado                            World Premiere

Director: Luke Black

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

In The Quiet                                                                           World Premiere

Director: Merle Dandridge

Country: USA; Running Time: 5 min

 

Interracial Couple In A Cheerios Ad

Director: Christine Lakin

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

The Invaders

Director: Erin Doyle Cooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

Itch                                                                                          World Premiere

Director: Mohammad Anwerzada

Countries: Pakistan/Canada; Running Time: 9 min

 

Letters To the Wind                                                              World Premiere

Director: Terrence Shu

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

 

 

Lux Freer

Director: Cynthia Gibb

Country: USA; Running Time: 21 min

 

Man Baby                                                                               World Premiere

Director: Aaron Murtagh

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Music For A While                                                                World Premiere

Director: Kelvin Z. Phillips

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Nearly Never                                                                          North American Premiere

Director: Peter Franklyn Banks

Country: UK; Running Time: 15 min

 

Newbie

Director: James Skinner

Country: UK; Running Time: 8 min

 

Portrait Of a Cowboy

Director: Devon Wycoff

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Pretty As a Picture                                                                World Premiere

Director: Ryan Nielsen

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

The Pros And Cons Of Killing Yourself                             World Premiere

Director: Ravi Steve Khajuria

Country: Canada; Running Time: 21 min

 

Piano Man

Director: Jay Zaretsky

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Purgy’s

Director: Robbie Bryan

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Rattled                                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Adam Linkenhelt

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

Red, White And Blue

Director: Nazrin Choudhury

Country: USA; Running Time: 23 min

 

Revelation                                                                              World Premiere

Director: Libe Barer

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

Room 107                                                                               World Premiere

Directors: Steve Anderson, Leandro Imaz

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Sane Men

Director: Jess Fritz

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Skateboard                                                                            World Premiere

Director: Peyton Michelle Edwards

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Sonshine                                                                                International Premiere

Director: Corey Podell

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Speak Up Brotha!

Director: Wes Andre Goodrich

Country: USA; Running Time: 15 min

 

Sugar                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: Alyssa Brayboy

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Three Ways Out                                                                    World Premiere

Director: Lizzie Morgan

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Tips Up!                                                                                  World Premiere

Director: Leah Claire Borrie

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Tossou                                                                                   World Premiere

Directors: Melisande Mclaughlin, Sika Stanton

Country: USA; Running Time: 3 min

 

Used Chairs For Sale                                                           World Premiere

Director: Dylan Paffe

Countries: USA/Canada; Running Time: 14 min

 

We Love You Ray                                                                 World Premiere

Director: John Hays

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

You Need To Process This

Director: Eleanor Morrison

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

 

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

 

13 Driver’s Licenses

Director: Ryoya Terao

Countries: USA/Germany; Running Time: 27 min

 

Brothers For Life                                                                   World Premiere

Director: Alon Juwal

Country: Israel; Running Time: 17 min

 

The Dancer: The Beautiful and Tragic Life Of Gerard Alexander

Directors: Ryon Horne, Tyson Horne

Country: USA; Running Time: 35 min

 

Family Trip                                                                             World Premiere

Director: Sean Dunne

Country: USA; Running Time: 26 min

 

Finding Fate

Director: Beth Toni Kruvant

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

 

How I Roll                                                                              World Premiere

Directors: Brianne Berkson, Miguel Gluckstern, BriGuel

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love                                   World Premiere

Director: Susan Morgan Cooper

Country: USA; Running Time: 34 min

 

Kristin Dan Kuching Kuchingnya

Director: Michael Kam

Country: Singapore; Running Time: 6 min

 

Living Loud                                                                            World Premiere

Directors: Carin van der Donk, Isabella Vega, Sarah Teale

Country: USA; Running Time: 40 min

 

Paper Boats

Director: Jessica Pons

Country: USA; Running Time: 5 min

 

Rebirth                                                                                   World Premiere

Director: Olivia Burgess

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Revealing The Impossible                                                   World Premiere

Directors: Tony Chong and Marlene Millar

Country: Canada; Running Time: 29 min

 

 

This Is Why We Train: The Sea Girt Beach Patrol            World Premiere

Director: Kevin Nulty

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Tracing Imperfection                                                            World Premiere

Director: Chehade Boulos

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

Where Is America the Beautiful?

Director: Fr3der1ck

Country: USA; Running Time: 30 min

 

 

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

 

Bastard                                                                                   World Premiere

Directors: Haley Elise Pehrson, Gretta Wilson

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

The Custodian

Director: Colin J. Mason

Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min

 

D.O.D.

Director: Paul Davis

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

Dedly Wagons                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Martin Balaguer

Country: USA; Running Time: 4 min

 

Good Girls Get Fed

Director: Kelly Lou Dennis

Country: USA; Running Time: 21 min

 

Hevel                                                                                      World Premiere

Director: David Grace

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

Inner Demons                                                                        World Premiere

Director: Jasmine J, Johnson

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

The Mantis

Director: Wylie Rush

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Mattress Express

Director: Noah Morse

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

Night Shift

Director: Karlee Boon

Country: USA; Running Time: 28 min

 

Pee Pee Platter

Director: Jon Conklin

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

The Spirit Became Flesh                                                      World Premiere

Writer/Director: Jesse Aultman

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

The Worm                                                                              World Premiere

Director: Cameron A. Tubbs

Country: USA; Running Time: 14 min

 

 

 

 

 

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