The “vibrantly” independent film festival Dances With Films announced its 2019 lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for its 22nd annual edition.
Opening the festival on June 13 is the drama written and directed by Michael Worth, APPLE SEED starring the late Rance Howard along with Esther Anderson, Clint Howard, Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Worth and Robby Benson. ADOLESCENCE, directed by Ashley Avis (director of upcoming film, Black Beauty) and starring Mickey River, India Eisley, Romeo Miller, Michael Milford, Elisabeth Rohm, Tommy Flanagan, Jere Burns, John Driskell Hopkins, closes the festival with its world premiere on June 23.
Dances With Films will run June 13 to 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at: Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.
“Everyone has a story, the possibilities are limitless, no boundaries to achieve or succeed, no boundaries in storytelling, there is no end in this chapter!” said festival co-founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent. “We have always been about no politics, no sh*t, no stars. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it! This has been our slogan since 1998.”
The final lineup will feature more than 200 titles, chosen from a record 3,700 submissions from all over the globe including 11 countries. The juried narrative competition section includes 16 features and more than three-dozen shorts. DWF also has a category for groundbreaking short and feature documentaries, provocative genre fare in the Midnight section, and the most exciting music videos and dance-themed films from the indie scene in the Downbeats section. The Fusion section brings together a multitude of additional features and shorts. There are a significant amount of films and shorts represented by women this year, with nearly 40% of documentaries directed and written by women.
2019 Dances With Films Lineup
OPENING NIGHT FILM
WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 121 min.
WRITER/DIR: Michael Worth
PRODS: Jody Marriott Bar-Lev, Dustin Rikert, Avi Bar-Lev, Michael Worth
CAST: Rance Howard, Michael Worth, Esther Anderson, Clint Howard, Adrienne Barbeau, Robby Benson
Prince McCoy has found himself almost to the middle of age, and definitely to the end of his rope. Losing his home, his current girlfriend of the week and his father all at the same time, he decides to go out with a bang and drive across the country to rob his hometown bank. Relying on the help of an 88-year-old hitchhiker named Carl to make the journey possible, Prince finds one man’s past is on a collision course with the other man’s future that all will take place in a small bank in Apple Seed, Vermont.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 106 min.
STORY: Mickey River and Cal Barnes WRITTEN BY: Cal Barnes & Mickey River and Chris Rossi and Ashley Avis
DIR: Ashley Avis
PRODS: Edward Winters, Larry Hummel
CAST: Mickey River, India Eisley, Romeo Miller, Michael Milford, Elisabeth Rohm, Tommy Flanagan, Jere Burns and John Driskell Hopkins
When a creative, sensitive teen from a dysfunctional family named Adam (Mickey River), meets a beautiful, enigmatic runaway named Alice (India Eisley); his entire life is turned upside down. Quickly spiraling out of control and into her complicated, seductive vortex, Adam joins Alice down the rabbit hole of hard parties, drugs, and eventually heroine. It will take Adam’s broken family (Elisabeth Rohm, Michael Milford), his best friend Keith (Romeo Miller), and unlikely mentor Shepherd (Tommy Flanagan) to help pull him back toward the light again.
90 FEET FROM HOME
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 126 min.
WRITER/DIR: Brett Bentman
PROD: Tiffany McDonald
CAST: Shawn Michaels, Eric Roberts, Adam Hampton, Thom Hallum, Steven Michael Quezada, Alexandria DeBerry and Dean Cain
A former, troubled Major League Baseball player returns home to confront his abusive step-father.
BLOWING UP RIGHT NOW
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 80 min.
SCREENPLAY: Chris Lee Hill WRITERS: Tom Morris, Jaz Kalkat
DIR: Tom Morris
PRODS: Jaz Kalkat, Aaron Webman, Tyler MacIntyre, Tom Morris, Chris Lee Hill, EXEC PRODS: Nathan Lonsdale, Johnny Kuebelka, Natalie Oman, ASSOC PRODS: Rashaana Shah, Travis Hodgkins
CAST: Danny Jolles, Sujata Day, Pete Gardner, Kelli Maroney, Maria Blasucci, Corey Jantzen
Shep and Mandy are coming up on their fifth year together. They are one of those couples you know and hate through social media because everything looks so perfect and you know it’s fake. When Mandy gets the courage to finally break things off with Shep, their day is thrown off course by an emergency alert: AN INBOUND MISSILE IS HEADING FOR LOS ANGELES. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. With LA in a panic, and freeways jammed, the couple decides to ride it out in their home, and come to terms with everything that hasn’t been working in their relationship.
CHANCE HAS NO EMPATHY
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 97 min.
WRITER/DIR: Gabriel Saint
PRODS: Gabriel Saint, Derrick Denicola, Richard Lambert, James Brent Armstrong, Lisa Goddard, Devin Denicola
CAST: Will Rothhaar, Brooke Culbertson, Nancy Linehan Charles
Chance is an artist in Los Angeles whose life is completely consumed with finding inspiration. His relationships suffer at the hands of his obsession. Chance encounters a young student, Charlie, and realizes that she is the key to ridding himself of his creative block. Chance must struggle with what it truly means to make a sacrifice for his art… even if it means endangering the muse herself.
COME, SAID THE NIGHT
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 96 min.
WRITER/DIR: Andres Rovira
PRODS: Colby Reed Miller, James Edmund Datri
CAST: Lew Temple, Danielle Harris, Nicole Moorea Sherman, Tate Birchmore, Max Page, Daniela Leon
Thirteen-year-old Sprout Grady, in the midst of coming-of-age, and on vacation with her family to their secluded retreat in the forest on the anniversary of her sister’s death, grows convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods. Embarking on a mission to vanquish it, she uncovers horrifying secrets that rock the core of everything she thought she knew.
WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 82 min.
WRITER/DIR: Roberto Carmona
PRODS: Roberto Carmona, Stephen Stanley, Annie Schlossman
CAST: Phoebe Ryan, Jake Etheridge, and Holly Twyford
A week in the life of Dakota, a talented but aimless singer, besieged by a failed relationship and struggling to make peace with her past. Desperate to prove that she isn’t a failure, she revisits her musical ambitions and embarks on a new path – albeit, not a straight one.
WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 101 min.
WRITERS: Andrew Gibson and Chris Tobin
DIR: Andrew Gibson
PRODS: Leigh Lanocha and Tim Haber EXEC PROD: Michael List
CAST: Andrew Yackel, Hannah Mosqueda, Justin Pietropaolo
Homeless and addicted, a crust punk named Bug resolves to go back home, a decision that leads him and his misfit crew down a dangerous path.
I WROTE THIS FOR YOU
WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 94 min.
WRITER: Brennan Keel Cook
DIR: Jason Zavaleta
PRODS: Matt Stoner, Stefania Pierucci, and Jason Zavaleta
CAST: Brennan Keel Cook, Melise, Serra Naiman, and Patrick R. Walker
The edges of reality are blurred as Hunter struggles to overcome the trauma of a broken relationship. Traversing the surreal landscape of Los Angeles, on a daily quest to “do good things,” he encounters a raft of obscure new relationships. Set amongst an artistic backdrop of slam poetry, I Wrote This For You explores our desire to find courage, face challenges, and continue the universal quest for hope.
WEST COAST Premiere I GERMANY, 2018, HD, 88 min.
WRITER: Michael Knoll
DIR: Steffen Hacker
PROD: Eric Sonnenburg
CAST: Esther Maaß, Judith Hoersch, Adrian Topol
As Felicitas’ life is turned upside down she does not know if her nightmares are taking over or if something bigger is trying to control her – and the only way to find out the truth about her life is her best friend Natascha, who is locked up in an asylum.
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 89 min.
WRITERS/PRODS: Mary Settle Pruitt and Stephen Wallace Pruitt
DIR: Stephen Wallace Pruitt
CAST: Herman J. Johansen, Kathleen Warfel, Davis DeRock, Laura Kirk, and Joicie Appell
Sixty-something farming couple John and Mary Lou Martin come face-to-face with mistakes from their pasts and an uncertain future as they strive to hold onto the only life they’ve ever known. Inspired by those set adrift by circumstances that leave them too old to start over and yet too young to give up, the film explores the question “Are we more than what we do?”
WEST COAST Premiere I CA, 2019, HD, 76 min.
WRITERS: Daved Wilkins, Gavin Michael Booth
DIR: Gavin Michael Booth
PRODS: Gavin Michael Booth, Daved Wilkins
CAST: Sarah Booth, Daved Wilkins
Shot in two true single takes, filmed simultaneously in two different parts of a city, Last Call, is a real time feature presented in split screen showcasing both ends of a wrong number phone call that has the potential to save a life.
NORTH AMERICA Premiere I CROATIA, 2019, HD, 80 min.
WRITER: Dragan Nikolic
DIR: Kosta Djordjevic
PRODS: Milos Ivanovic, Kosta Djordjevic, Bojana Andric, Ivana Marinic Kragic, Nina Gortinski
CAST: Kristina Jovanović, Djururdjina Radić, Mladen Sovilj, Marko Janketic, Milan Cucilovic
It is a scorching August on the streets of Belgrade. A cocky teenage girl, Aja, breaks up with her boyfriend for the umpteenth time. A little while later, while hanging out with her friends, she gets bullied and stabbed by a gang of local kids. For the rest of the day Aja struggles between taking revenge and making up with her boyfriend.
WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 87 min.
WRITERS/DIRS: Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye
PRODS: Allison Maier, Gabriel Olson, Martin Kelley, Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye, Danielle Deadwyler
CAST: Danielle Deadwyler, Catherine Dyer, Adam Boyer, Jayson Warner Smith, Brad Carter
After the disappearance of her husband, a struggling farmer in an isolated Appalachian community discovers she is a pawn in a blood-soaked revenge plot and the only way out for her and her son could mean destroying a decades-old truce.
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 95 mins.
WRITER/DIR: Jason Wiles
PRODS: Jason Wiles, Stephen Peace, Michael O’Shea Jr., Mandy June Turpin, Igor Kosenko
CAST: Jason Wiles, Lonnie Chavis, Michael Beach, Jamie McShane, Amy Carlson, Ryan Merriman, Stephen Peace
Sunny Chase had it all: a notable music career, a loving family, and many friends who were always there for him. But, after a decade on the road chasing what was once a dream, the absence from his family resulted in a failed marriage. Longing for something more, a burnt out Sunny decides to take a break and raise his kids. Now, after years of not performing and not making any money, his functioning alcohol and drug use is causing his life to unravel at a dangerous pace. To top it off, Sunny is haunted by the recent death of his best friend, Mickey. With his life at a standstill, his current wife and young daughter having just left him, Sunny is at his breaking point. His self-medication is escalating and his family and friends tell him something needs to change. But it’s through Mickey’s son, Sean, that Sunny gains the strength to try to get clear of his demons and move forward in rebuilding his life
TWO WAYS HOME
WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Richard Schinnow
DIR: Ron Vignone
PROD: Tanna Frederick
CAST: Tanna Frederick, Tom Bower, Joel West, Rylie Behr
A young woman living with bipolar disorder struggles to look after her cantankerous grandfather and his dilapidated farmhouse, all while trying to make things right with her estranged 12-year-old daughter.
WADE IN THE WATER
USA I 2018, HD, 88 min.
WRITER: Chris Retts
DIR: Mark Wilson
PRODS: Chris Retts, Mark Wilson
CAST: Tom E. Nicholson, Danika Golombek
Sure, our man has a name, but he never gives it. He works from home. His neighbors are all idiots. He doesn’t really “do” friends. But all that changes when a mis-delivered package arrives in his post office box bearing a horrifying secret — one that will set him on a collision course with a predator, the man’s disillusioned daughter, and his own dark past.
THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 85 min.
WRITER/DIR: John Cerrito
PRODS: Julia Angley, John Cerrito, Marcel Perez, Masaya Tajika
CAST: Nick Fink, Bailey Noble, Emily Tremaine, Juliette Goglia, Shane Coffey
Peter, typically unlucky in love, is overjoyed when he finds the girl of his dreams, Ellie, on a dating app. But when their seemingly perfect date ends with Peter waking up alone, he begrudgingly turns to a new dating site that guarantees it will find his perfect match. After a series of unsuccessful dates, Peter begins to notice eerie similarities between the women from the website and Ellie (who is still very much on his mind). When Peter learns the truth behind Ellie’s rejection, he discovers a world he never imagined in this unique love story with a twist.