BLACK CONFLUX directed by Nicole Dorsey
BLACK CONFLUX directed by Nicole Dorsey

The 44th Atlanta Film Festival + Creative Conference (ATLFF) which was originally scheduled to take place in the spring, but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will now take place from Thursday, September 17 – Sunday, September 27, 2020. The festival shared the lineup of creative works, feature-length and short films selected from a record-breaking 8,500+ submissions for the 2020 event.

“We are committed now more than ever to presenting a 2020 Atlanta Film Festival that represents the talent, passion and resilience of the city of Atlanta,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of ATLFF. “While we are disappointed that we are not able to share the stellar lineup announced today as we originally planned in the spring, we are grateful to our sponsors, filmmakers, and supporters for their enthusiasm and dedication that have made it possible for the festival to move to September. We recognize that this is an already busy time of year, and hope to collaborate with as many existing events and organizations as possible to present a 2020 event that truly represents all that Atlanta has to offer.”

The selected works include 38 feature length films, 86 short films and 24 creative media that will be presented during the 11-day festival.

Among the works announced today, there are 20 narrative and 18 documentary features, 14 short film blocks, as well as music videos and virtual reality experiences from the creative media category. Fourteen films are slated to have their world premieres at the festival.

With diversity in programming being a cornerstone of ATLFF, this year’s selections have continued with that tradition. In 2020, 55 percent of the selected works are directed by female filmmakers, and more than half are directed by filmmakers of color. These numbers are up 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from 2019.

Works from 118 different countries were submitted for the 2020 festival, and 40 countries are represented in the chosen lineup. ATLFF also recognizes the cultural and filmmaking importance of its home state, and with that, approximately 20 percent of the works have ties to the state of Georgia.

Specialty tracks of New Mavericks, which celebrates female excellence in film, ¡CineMás!, which focuses on Latin American culture, and Pink Peach, which features films with LGBTQ stories and characters, all return in 2020.

“We are thrilled that for the fifth year in a row, a record number of diverse and incredibly talented filmmakers and artists submitted works to our festival,” Escobar continued. “Our selections bring the most compelling visual storytelling the world has to offer to Atlanta, while also representing the rich diversity of the city itself.”


directed by Nicole Dorsey
Canada, 2020, English, 100 minutes
15-year-old Jackie is a model student, but the legacy of a broken home has her surrendering to adolescent temptations. Continually plagued by the failures of the women of her family, her mindset gradually shifts as she actively decides to escape a seemingly inevitable future. Dennis, socially inept and isolated by his inability to connect, escapes the reality of his solitude by imagining a fantasy world in which visions of adoring women surround him. These seemingly separate lives converge in this haunting exploration of womanhood, isolation, and toxic masculinity.
[New Mavericks]

directed by Bill Crossland
USA, 2019, English, 107 minutes
Frank, a romantically inexperienced high school teacher with muscular dystrophy, pretends to be dating his best friend so her parents won’t find out she’s gay. But when his able-bodied childhood crush moves back to town, his desire for a real relationship is unexpectedly awakened.
[Pink Peach]

directed by Mickey Reece
USA, 2019, English, 81 minutes
Contentious sisters Alma and Elizabeth are taking some quiet time in their family’s cabin. Their issues are dredged up by the reappearance of Wesley, a man from their youth. Whilst staying next door, his odd behavior leads local weirdo BJ to suspect there’s something supernatural to blame. Soon the seed of doubt starts to take root in Alma. Has Wesley returned from his globe-trotting adventures a vampire, or are Alma’s delusions overtaking her reality?

directed by Chris Bailey
USA, 2020, English, 80 minutes
Suffering from schizophrenia, a former basketball star is triggered down a dark path when he discovers his championship ring is missing. With the help of a young boy in the neighborhood, he scours the streets of Detroit for it, only to find himself stuck in a time warp and unable to come to grips with life as it is now.
[World Premiere]

directed by Mario Furloni & Kate McLean
USA, 2020, English, 80 minutes
An aging pot farmer suddenly finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest, fighting against the threat of eviction as the impact of the legalization of the cannabis industry rapidly destroys her idyllic way of life. Shot on off-the-grid pot farms during the actual harvest, this emotional thriller is embedded with a deep and empathetic authenticity.
[In Competition]

directed by Joshua Leonard
USA, 2020, English, 74 minutes
With less than a month until the birth of their first child, Jackie and Elliot embark on a madcap mission of self-discovery in attempt to rid themselves of the inherited dysfunction of their own upbringings. This crusade will push them to the edge of sanity, forcing them to do battle with themselves, each other, their friends and even their families. And when the smoke clears, they’ll either be the world’s greatest parents… or they’ll be institutionalized.

directed by Anna Sofie Hartmann
Germany/Denmark, 2019, German/Danish/Polish/English, 87 minutes
i[New Mavericks]

directed by Maureen Bharoocha
USA, 2020, English, 90 minutes
Melanie is a baker in a small town, struggling with debt and a major case of the blahs caused by her failed marriage. When her ex demands half her grandmother’s bakery in their divorce, Melanie has no other choice but to take her best friend Danny’s advice – to enter the Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship. It just might work if Melanie can toughen up and take down the reigning champ, Danny’s arch nemesis, Brenda “The Bonecrusher” Smith!
[Georgia Film] [New Mavericks]

directed by Robert Machoian
USA, 2020, English, 84 minutes
David desperately tries to keep his family of six together during a separation from his wife. They both agree to see other people but David struggles to grapple with his wife’s new relationship. Now living with his father, his mental health begins to deteriorate and paranoia consumes his sense of hope, forcing him to confront personal demons in order to save his family and future. [In Competition]

directed by Sasie Sealy
USA, 2020, Mandarin/English/Cantonese, 87 minutes
In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma is eager to live life as an independent woman. When a local fortune teller predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma goes all in at the casino, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck and the target of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang and soon finds herself right in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.
[New Mavericks]

directed by Héctor Valdez
Dominican Republic, 2020, Spanish/Creole, 80 minutes
Cándido and Braulio are twin brothers growing up near the border of Haiti in the Dominican Republic. While Braulio helps their grandfather sell coal in the border market of Malpaso, Cándido leads a lonely existence secluded in his home due to his albinism. Their life takes an unexpected turn for the worse after their grandfather’s sudden death, and Braulio will now need to look after his brother by making ends meet in Malpaso. All the while Cándido dreams of the return of their absent father.
[Cinemás] [In Competition]

directed by Morgan Ingari
USA, 2020, English, 101 minutes
Seeking direction and purpose, Milo rashly decides to become a surrogate and egg donor for Roger, an older gay man she meets in a bar. However, as Milo becomes increasingly attached to Roger, she starts leveraging the pregnancy as a means of staying embedded in his life, gradually alienating herself from her friends when they try to address her erratic behavior. As Roger draws lines in the sand, Milo must figure out how to navigate the intensity of entering into a surrogacy with a stranger.
[In Competition] [World Premiere]

directed by Prarthana Mohan
USA, 2019, English/Hindi, 92 minutes
15-year-old Bindu, desperate to escape her high school bullies, forges her mother’s signature to test out of school. When she discovers she must pay a hefty fee by the end of the day in order to take the test, Bindu is forced to interact with the students she is so desperate to escape from.
[New Mavericks]

directed by Jonathan Cuartas
USA, 2020, English, 86 minutes
Dwight and Jessie find themselves at odds over care for their frail and sickly younger brother Thomas, who only lives off human blood. Leaving a trail of corpses in their wake, Dwight wrestles with the ramifications of what it takes to keep his brother alive. As Dwight begins to distance himself from his siblings, the relentless Jessie will do whatever it takes to keep the family together.
[In Competition]

directed by Mamadou Dia
Senegal/USA, 2019, Fulah, 107 minutes
Tokara wants to marry his cousin, the beautiful Nafi, bringing their fathers into conflict with one another. Nafi’s father is a high-ranking clergyman while Tokara’s father is a candidate for Mayor of the small town in Senegal they all call home. Initially, the fathers’ fraternal struggle seems to be all about the happiness of their children, but gradually it transpires that Tokara and Nafi are pawns in a bitter dispute about tradition, progress and the true nature of Islam. Can their family ties help them overcome these ideological differences?
[In Competition]

directed by Shahrbanoo Sadat
Afghanistan/Tajikistan/Denmark/France/Luxembourg, 2019, Hindi/Russian/Urdu, 100 minutes
In the late 1980s, 15-year-old Qodrat lives in the streets of Kabul and sells cinema tickets on the black market. He is a big Bollywood fan and he daydreams himself into some of his favourite movie scenes. One day, the police bring him to the Soviet orphanage. The political situation in Kabul is changing. Qodrat and his fellow orphans want to defend their home.

directed by Casimir Nozkowski
USA, 2020, English, 86 minutes
Charles Young (Brian Tyree Henry) is an introverted video editor trying to recover from a broken heart. Perceiving a betrayal of trust as a sign his girlfriend Isha (Sonequa Martin-Green) is leaving him, Charles preemptively blows up his relationship and sequesters himself at home. When Charles accidentally locks himself out of his apartment, he is quite literally forced out of his comfort zone and must interact with the neighbors he has long avoided. With no shoes, no money, a phone running low on battery, Charles finds himself embarking on a transformative odyssey within his own community.
[Georgia Film]

directed by Juan Camilo Pinzon
Colombia, 2019, Spanish, 91 minutes
Four quirky retired sailors transform an old shipyard into a home, intending to spend the last of their days there together. When one of them dies, they learn he was the rightful owner of their property when his estranged daughter, Martina, arrives to collect her inheritance. Finding that her father left behind a mountain of debt that prevents her from selling the shipyard, Martina signs the three tenants up for a soccer competition in order to win enough money to pay off their debt. This unlikely family must do the impossible in order to save their home.

directed by Shatara Michelle Ford
USA, 2019, English, 82 minutes
Renesha and Evan’s relationship is put to the test after Renesha is sexually assaulted and Evan drives from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit. Part psychological horror, part realist drama, TEST PATTERN is set against the backdrop of our national discussion about an inequitable health system, #metoo, and race relations in America.
[In Competition] [New Mavericks]

directed by Zach Lamplugh
USA, 2020, English, 83 minutes
A paranormal comedy that follows a hopelessly millennial reporter on the most important assignment of his career: Bigfoot. But after following a prominent cryptozoologist into the Appalachian foothills, he’s forced to answer the question “is a good story worth dying for?”
[Georgia Film]


directed by Mo Scarpelli
Ethiopia/Italy/USA, 2019, Amharic, 86 minutes
Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have been displaced from their Ethiopian farmland by the massive construction of a condominium. Now living on the divide between a new and ancient world, they are reminded that their country’s big dream of “progress” is not for them. Land developers come knocking while ferocious hyenas lurk in a dark forest. Faced with these threats, Asalif transforms into a lion (“anbessa” in Amharic) to fight back. His newfound power takes him to places he never imagined inside and out of the condo until finally, he must shed the lion persona to find his own strength inside. The film vibrantly mirrors its subject’s imagination to paint an urgent and caring portrait of those cast aside by the processes of modernization.

directed by Martin von Krogh
Afghanistan/Sweden, 2020, Dari/Pashto, 80 minutes
A film about a cinema, the passionate people working there, and their unrelenting love of film in a harsh conflict-ridden city. CINEMA PAMEER explores everyday life in a country torn apart through a cinema in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan – a place for escape, inspiration, and refuge in a city still trying to find its footing after decades of war, poverty, and religious fundamentalism. This feel good story follows the well-meaning denizens of the cinema in their everyday struggle to provide a safe haven for their countrymen.
[In Competition]

directed by Varda Bar-Kar
Mexico/USA, 2020, Spanish/English, 93 minutes
FANDANGO AT THE WALL follows Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra founder/conductor Arturo O’Farrill to the remotest regions of Veracruz, Mexico, where he meets and jams with the masters of son jarocho. Son jarocho is 300-year-old folk music rooted in the land that combines Indigenous, Spanish and African traditions. After Arturo’s inspiring journey to a place where time seems to stands still, he and his orchestra join the masters of son jarocho at the music and dance festival Fandango Fronterizo which takes place simultaneously on both sides of the United States-Mexico border, transforming an object that divides into one that unites. Fandango at the Wall reveals a Mexico seldom depicted and shows how art and culture can bring our countries and people together.
[Georgia Film]

directed by Elizabeth Coffman & Mark Bosco, S.J.
USA, 2020, English, 97 minutes
A lyrical, intimate exploration of the life and work of author Flannery O’Connor and how her distinctive Southern Gothic spin on Bible-thumping prophets and murderous Misfits influenced a generation of artists and activists. With her family home at Andalusia (the Georgia farm where she grew up and later wrote her best known work) as a backdrop, a picture of the woman behind her sharply aware, starkly redemptive style comes into focus. Including conversations with those who knew her and those inspired by her, FLANNERY employs never-before-seen archival footage, newly discovered personal letters and her own published words alongside original animations and music to celebrate the life and legacy of an American literary icon.
[Georgia Film]

directed by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor
USA, 2020, English, 92 minutes
Set in a blue-collar New England town, FOR THE LOVE OF RUTLAND explores small town America as a complex microcosm of our current national and global reality. An attempt to bring new life to an economically struggling, overwhelmingly white community – through refugee resettlement – unleashes deep partisan rancor within the city’s small population of 15,000. After a lifetime of being invalidated for her poverty and addiction, Stacie emerges as an unexpected and resilient leader in a community divided by class, culture, and the toxic politics of today.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

directed by Pailin Wedel
Thailand/USA, 2019, Thai/English, 76 minutes
A Thai-Buddhist couple struggles to find closure after cryopreserving their two-year-old daughter Einz. After her death from brain cancer, her family stores her remains in an American lab, her head and brain now resting inside a tank in Arizona. The girl’s father, a laser scientist, yearns to give Einz the opportunity to experience a rebirth inside a regenerated body. He instills this dream inside his son, a 15-year-old whiz kid named Matrix, who wants to be a part of reviving his little sister. But what the boy later discovers will rattle the family’s radical hope in science.

directed by Pete Murimi
Kenya, 2020, English/Swahili/Luhya, 70 minutes
Filmed vérité style over 5 years, I AM SAMUEL is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future.
[In Competition]

directed by Sam Ellison
Mexico/USA/Haiti, 2019, Haitian Creole/Spanish, 76 minutes
A lyrical portrait of two Haitian migrants, Robens and James, who find themselves stranded at the US-Mexico border with no way forward and no one to depend on but each other. The quiet, unexpected tenderness of their friendship shines in the eye of an incomprehensible geopolitical storm, even as the two men drift towards drastically different futures and as a new border wall rises on the horizon. This is a film about longing: for a place to fit in, for a stable life, for connection and companionship. It isn’t about crossing borders; it’s about how it feels when you can’t get across. It’s about what happens when you end up in a totally unexpected place and you have to start over.

directed by Anabel Rodriguez Rios
Venezuela/United Kingdom/Brazil/Austria, 2020, Spanish, 99 minutes
Once upon a time, the Venezuelan village of Congo Mirador, floating on stilts just inches above the deep Lake Maracaibo, was prosperous, alive with fishermen and poets. In recent years, it has decayed and disintegrated, rotting beneath pollution and neglect—a small but prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself. Director Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’s striking and mournful ode to her country bears first hand witness to the irreversible consequences of government corruption, while simultaneously capturing the resilient spirit of those most directly affected by Venezuela’s profound economic and political crises.
[Cinemás] [New Mavericks] [In Competition]

directed by Sung-A Yoon
Philippines/Belgium/France, 2019, Tagalog/English/Ilongo, 90 minutes
In the Philippines, women get deployed abroad to work as domestic workers or nannies. In order to do so, they frequently leave their own children behind, before throwing themselves into the unknown. In one of the many training centers dedicated to domestic work that can be found in the Philippines, a group of trainees are getting ready to face both homesickness and the possible abuses lying ahead. During role playing exercises, they alternatively play both the roles of the employee and that of the employers. Bordering on fiction, OVERSEAS brings to light the question of modern servitude in our globalized world, while emphasizing these women’s determination, their sisterhood, and the strategies they find to face the ordeals that awaits them in the near future.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

directed by Elegance Bratton
USA, 2019, English, 84 minutes
Director Elegance Bratton offers an intimate and strikingly raw portrait of New York City’s underground community of pier kids, introducing us to Krystal, Desean, and Casper, three homeless queer black youth searching for stability in a harsh city. As they reconcile the love of chosen families with the cold complexities of biological ones, their struggle to find stable housing takes center stage, leading them to risky ventures and inhibiting them from passionate pursuits. Filmed over five years at the pier, on the streets, and in the ballroom scene, PIER KIDS is a sweeping, empathetic, and emotional look at the struggles of queer youth after they’re expelled from their homes.
[Pink Peach]

directed by Gustav Ahlgren & Emelie Jönsson
Sweden, 2019, Swedish, 80 minutes
At the height of fame and fortune, internationally acclaimed opera singer Siv Wennberg aka Siv the Diva suffered a gross betrayal and disappeared from the public eye. She is an uncompromising artist who refused to adapt to the norm of how a female artist should behave. And for that, she has had to pay dearly. She is now 77, has no family, no money and no fame. In the opera community she is an outcast. Some 30 years later she’s back, looking for revenge. A story about feminism, love and never ever giving up.

directed by Willem Baptist
The Netherlands, 2019, Dutch, 70 minutes
In a world where fantasy meets reality, Tengkwa leads a band of Dutch show wrestlers and tries to train a new generation of super heroes. With slim chances of fame and glory and little money to speak of, only the most die-hard of them will succeed. RING OF DREAMS tells the story of fighting for your dreams against the odds of our dreary daily lives.

directed by Bo McGuire
USA, 2020, English, 93 minutes
A poet composes a cinematic love letter to his grandmother as his homophobic aunt and drag queen uncle wage war over her estate in Hokes Bluff, Alabama. SOCKS ON FIRE is a transgenerational docudrama told through a series of stylized reenactments spun with family VHS footage and colorful interviews. The film documents the fluidity of identity, personality, and performance in the director Bo McGuire’s hometown among his Mama’s people.
[Pink Peach] [In Competition]

directed by Lance Oppenheim
USA, 2020, English, 83 minutes
Behind the gates of a palm tree-lined fantasyland, four residents of America’s largest retirement community, The Villages, FL, strive to find happiness and meaning. Referred to as the “Disneyland for Retirees,” this planned retirement community offers residents a utopian version of the American yesteryear. While most residents have bought into its packaged positivity, we meet four residents living on the margins, striving to enjoy their golden years. By turns biting, tender, and surreal, the film demonstrates that no matter our age, we are always becoming. With strikingly composed cinematography, SOME KIND OF HEAVEN challenges our stereotypes around aging, emboldening its characters to live as vibrantly as possible in the time they have left.
[In Competition]

directed by Stephen Robert Morse, Nick Hampson
USA, 2020, English, 94 minutes
Set in the heart of the American South, SOUTHERN GOTHIC examines both the 1983 and 2018 investigations into the racially-motivated murder of African-American man Timothy Coggins in Griffin, Georgia. A multi-layered story of one town in two different eras, it highlights how one era enabled this crime to go without punishment and how the other attempts to bring justice decades later. Featuring a 360-degree view of all people involved within the case, SOUTHERN GOTHIC asks audiences to become the juries themselves; questioning their presumptions of guilt, innocence, and authority.
[Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

directed by Sharon Liese
USA, 2020, English, 96 minutes
Filmed over five years in Kansas City, TRANSHOOD follows four transgender kids – beginning at ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 – as they redefine “coming of age.” These trans kids and their families allow us into the intimate realities of how gender is re-shaping the family next door in a never-before-told chronicling of growing up trans in the heartland. The film is a nuanced examination of how families tussle, transform, and sometimes find unexpected purpose in their identities as trans families.
[Pink Peach]

directed by Cat Rhinehart
USA, 2019, English, 90 minutes
Filmmaker Cat Rhinehart spends one year closely following comedian Ralphie May, leading up to his planned weight loss surgery. Initially intended to be a weight loss documentary, what is captured instead is a raw and intimate portrait of a family dealing with addiction, a wife coming to terms with her inability to change the person she loves, and a tragically flawed comedian breaking down during one of the last years of his life.


Candid conversations about the ties that bind.
Documentary Shorts

DÍA DE LA MADRE | directed by Ashley Brandon & Dennis Hohne, USA, 5:36
A band of juveniles embarks on a 24-hour spree of breaking into houses and causing a ruckus.

ÀI BÀBA (LOVE DAD) (愛爸爸) | directed by Connie Huang, USA, 6:13
A film revealing an intimate recording between a mother and her 7 year old daughter talking about divorce.
[New Mavericks]

NO CRYING AT THE DINNER TABLE | directed by Carol Nguyen, Canada, 15:40
Filmmaker Carol Nguyen interviews her family to craft a portrait of love, grief and intergenerational trauma.
[In Competition]

WATER CHILD (MIZUKO) | directed by Kira Dane & Katelyn Rebelo, Japan/USA, 14:45
Inspired by a Buddhist ritual for grieving abortions, a Japanese-American woman reevaluates what it means to end her own pregnancy.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

THE HEART STILL HUMS | directed by Savanah Leaf & Taylor Russell, USA, 28:44
A documentary short, following five women as they fight for their children through the cycle of homelessness, drug addictions and neglect from their own parents. Unique, yet undoubtedly familiar to many; a story on fear, sacrifice and the unconditional love between a mother and her children.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition] [World Premiere]

Nobody’s perfect, laugh it off!
Comedy Shorts

SIXTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS | directed by Symone Baptiste, USA, 17:12
A struggling black college grad wakes up to find that reparations have finally been paid to descendants of slaves in America. With this new found capital, he must decide how best to spend his newfound money, totaling a mere $16,000.

MONEYBAG HEAD | directed by Patrick O’Brien, USA, 15:20
Dennis is searching for human connection despite having a head that looks like a literal bag of money.

COFFEE SHOP NAMES | directed by Deepak Sethi, USA, 7:58
Three Indian people imagine their personas as their “coffee shop names,” the names they give baristas because their real names are hard to pronounce.

DADDIO | directed by Casey Wilson, USA, 17:15
A dad and daughter comedically grapple with grief in different ways – from questionable hair perms and hot tub hangs to sleeping in closets and embracing the extremes of laziness. Unfortunately, based on real life events.
[New Mavericks]

RICHARD NIXON: GETAWAY DRIVER | directed by Kevin Daniel Lonano, USA, 5:47
Drunk on power and tripping on LSD, President Richard Nixon recounts his role as the getaway driver for JFK’s second shooter.
[Georgia Film]

UNFINISHED BUSINESS | directed by Mary Dauterman, USA, 6:52
A male stripper has an unusual experience on the job.

THIRSTY | directed by Nicole Delaney, USA, 11:59
A mosquito falls in love with a man after she tastes his blood.

A feast for the eyes served in three courses.
Narrative Shorts

NIMIC | directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Germany/United Kingdom/USA, 11:35
A professional cellist has an encounter with a stranger on the subway which has unexpected and far-reaching ramifications on his life.

CHEWING GUM (CHICLETE) | directed by Philippe Noguchi, Brazil, 19:20
Irene is one of the exiles of a fantastic island populated by young people of curious eating habits, whose only connection with the world outside is a boat of supplies. An unexpected event makes her the protagonist of a strange collective catharsis.
[Cinemás] [In Competition]

ELECTRIC SWAN | directed by Konstantina Kotzamani, France, 40:30
Buildings are not supposed to move. But in Buenos Aires, a building sways and the ceiling shivers, causing a strange nausea that devours its residents. Those who live on the top are afraid they’ll fall – the ones who live beneath are afraid they’ll drown.

Memoirs of moving on.
Narrative Shorts

HE LEFT INSTRUCTIONS | directed by Zeke Farrow, USA, 13:00
Estranged sisters Christine and Kristin reunite at their brother’s apartment after his sudden death. The instructions he left for them will bring them together.

GOODBYE GOLOVIN | directed by Mathieu Grimard, Ukraine/Canada, 14:02
For Ian Golovin, the death of his father is the chance at a new life outside his native country. As he prepares to leave and bid farewell to his sister, he is forced to face his decision — why he is always blindly moving forward and what he is leaving behind.
[In Competition]

DRIFTING (漂流) | directed by Hanxiong Bo, China/USA, 16:25
Yan is an illegal second child born during the One-Child policy. To avoid government punishment, Yan’s parents hid their oldest daughter in the countryside and raised Yan as a girl. Now a young adult, Yan struggles with his gender identity and being treated an outcast in a conservative society. His sole escape is drifting his father’s old taxi through abandoned parking lots.

SON OF A DANCER ( ابن الرقاصة) | directed by Georges Hazim, Lebanon, 20:49
Grieving the loss of his mother, Majed attempts to reconcile his memory of her with the discovery of her past as a belly dancer.
[Pink Peach]

JARVIK | directed by Emilie Mannering, Canada, 19:29
As the summer is coming to an end, Léa needs to breathe but her brother’s mechanical heart constantly reminds her that life hangs by a thread.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

T | directed by Keisha Rae Witherspoon, USA, 13:51
A film crew follows three grieving participants of Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model R.I.P. t-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead.
[In Competition]

Snapshots of lust and longing.
Narrative and Documentary Shorts

MINI DV | directed by Shauly Melamed, Israel, 9:56
Through self-made video recordings, filmmaker Shauly revisits his childhood cinematic attempts and discovers the recordings he made with friends hid his biggest secret.
[Pink Peach]

GOD | directed by Greg Brunkalla, USA, 13:30
A daydreaming college student’s sexuality comes into question when his fraternity becomes obsessed with a poem and its poetess.

ANNA | directed by Dekel Berenson, Ukraine/United Kingdom/Israel, 15:20
Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love.

DICK PICS! (A DOCUMENTARY) | directed by Hannah McSwiggen & Russell Sheaffer, USA, 12:18
Dick Pics! gathers men from all walks of life and asks them one of the most important questions of the modern era: “What in god’s name compels you to send pictures of your penis to non-consenting others?”

DIRTY | directed by Matthew Puccini, USA, 10:50
Marco cuts class to spend the afternoon with his boyfriend. Things do not go as planned.
[Pink Peach]

BKS | directed by Alexa-Jeanne Dubé, Canada, 10:37
The portrait of a breakup told through ASMR.
[New Mavericks]

A cinematic balm for the soul.
Documentary Shorts

AFTER THE SILENCE (APRÈS LE SILENCE) | directed by Sonam Larcin, Belgium, 23:20
In order to flee his country, David had to leave behind the man that he loves. Now seeking refugee status, David must speak for the first time about a life he was forced to keep hidden.
[Pink Peach] [In Competition]

19.91 | directed by Emilia Sniegoska, Poland, 24:25
A meaningful friendship blossoms between a 19 year old German girl and a 91 year old Polish Holocaust survivor.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK (NACHTS SIND ALLE KATZEN GRAU) | directed by Lasse Linder, Switzerland, 18:16
Christian lives with his two cats Marmelade and Katjuscha. As he is yearning to become a father, he decides to fertilize his beloved cat Marmelade by an exquisite tomcat from abroad.
[In Competition]

COBY AND STEPHEN ARE IN LOVE | directed by Carlo Nasisse & Luka Yuanyuan Yang, USA/China, 30:41
Coby, a 92 year old retired nightclub dancer, and Stephen, a filmmaker 20 years her junior, have found an unlikely love in each other through matching outfits, dance, and art. As their last dance performance in Las Vegas approaches, Coby and Stephen prepare a final routine.
[In Competition]

Sleep is for the weak.
Narrative and Animated Shorts

BENEVOLENT BA | directed by Diffan Sina Norman, Malaysia/USA, 9:00
A devout woman’s lust for virtue thrusts her family into a sacrificial slaughter of biblical proportions.

VALERIO’S DAY OUT | directed by Michael Arcos, USA, 8:30
A young jaguar goes on a killing spree when he escapes from his enclosure at a zoo. After he’s captured, sedated, and relocated, he makes a video diary for his significant other, Lula.

STUCCO | directed by Janina Gavankar & Russo Schelling, USA, 17:28
An agoraphobic woman finds a suspicious, hollow wall in her house.

TERROR FERVOR | directed by Phoebe Parsons, Canada, 6:00
The vices of seven characters take the viewer on a psychedelic fever dream that is hard to classify and hard to forget.

TIC | directed by Ben Nicholas, Canada, 15:09
Alan is an online shopping addict and devoted product reviewer. He also happens to be a murderer. He leaves some killer reviews.

HAND IN HAND | directed by Ennio Ruschetti, Switzerland, 3:41
Two Politicians shake hands. The situation gets out of hand.

CHANGELING | directed by Faye Jackson, United Kingdom, 9:30
A new mother becomes increasingly mesmerized and appalled by the strange transformations happening around her baby. She instinctively hides them, unaware they are building towards a final metamorphosis – her own.
[New Mavericks]

Fun-sized films for the young and young at heart.
Kids Shorts

RUNAWAY RADISH | directed by Grace Hayes-Dineen, USA, 3:16
A Daikon radish comes to life one day and is chased through the farmer’s market, causing chaos.
[Georgia Film]

THE KITE | directed by Martin Smatana, Czech Republic/Slovakia/Poland, 13:03
The friendship of a little boy and his grandpa extends far into the sky above their flying kite.
[In Competition]

ARCHIE | directed by Ainslie Henderson, United Kingdom, 4:24
A new day brings sunshine and hope for Archie who goes on a journey to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

MASTER MOLEY BY ROYAL INVITATION | directed by Leon Joosen, United Kingdom, 33:09
The story of a young Mole and his adventure to pick a rose from the Queen’s Garden, not knowing that this simple act will change, not only his life, but the life of all Moles.

Technicolor trips beyond the boundaries of convention.
Animated Shorts

FOREIGN EXCHANGE | directed by Corrie Francis Parks, USA, 5:45
A multitude of mini-universes collide in this tiny world built with money and sand.
[In Competition]

KAPAEMAHU | directed by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, & Joe Wilson, USA, 8:28
The hidden history of four mysterious boulders on Waikiki Beach—and the mystical transgender healing spirits within them.
[Pink Peach] [In Competition]

UMBILICAL | directed by Danski Tang, China/USA, 6:53
An animated documentary exploring how a mother’s abusive relationship shaped the filmmaker’s experiences in boarding school.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

PURPLEBOY | directed by Alexandre Siqueira, Portugal/France/Belgium, 13:55
Oscar is a child who sprouts in his parents garden. Nobody knows his biological sex but he claims the masculine gender. Will he manage to have the identity recognition he desires?
[Pink Peach]

HI, CROWS | directed by Zehong Zhu, United Kingdom, 4:51
A girl performs in front of a group of crows. She thinks she needs to make her audience happy, but is faced with self-doubt.
[New Mavericks]

INTERMISSION EXPEDITION | directed by Wiep Teeuwisse, The Netherlands, 8:21
During a sunny holiday, a flock of tourists struggle to let go of their busy city lives. The absence of daily tasks leaves them lost in an uncomfortable and frightening place.

2.3 X 2.6 X 3.2 | directed by Jiaqi Wang, United Kingdom, 3:47
A filmmaker discusses the certainty of hope and uncertainty of disease through a Kareau, a wooden figure meant to drive away the bad spirits.
[New Mavericks]

GRAY BODY (جسم خاکستری) | directed by Samaneh Shojaei, Iran, 4:59
Waiting for their appointments, the patients are far less calm than the doctor

INTO THE FLAME | directed by Sean McClintock, USA, 5:51
As Floyd tries to process the disappearance of his cult-obsessed wife, a moth burrows his way into his ear, setting off a series of visions and ultimately, the adventure of his life.

CLOSE(D) | directed by Elaine Song, United Kingdom, 3:49
After finding her favorite restaurant has closed, a girl realizes the special connection she had with the place and its food.
[New Mavericks]

SH_T HAPPENS | directed by Michaela Mihalyi & David Stumpf, Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, 13:10
Mutual despair leads an exhausted caretaker, his frustrated wife, and a totally depressed deer to absurd events, because… shit happens all the time.
[In Competition]

Earthly tensions heightened by the supernatural.
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts

THE PREGNANT GROUND | directed by Haolu Wang, United Kingdom, 24:02
After a traumatic stillbirth, a woman starts to believe the ground below her apartment is pregnant.
[New Mavericks]

ABDUCTION | directed by Paul Komadina, Australia, 16:00
After waking up in a field with no memory of how she got there, Mathilda reckons strange visions and marks on her body with the trail of judgement and cruelty that follows.
[World Premiere]

THE TAIL (KUYRUK) | directed by Yiğit Hepsev, Turkey, 10:03
After an existential encounter with his neighbor, Ekrem rethinks his morning routine – cutting off the second head which grows from his neck every night.

WHITE ECHO | directed by Chloe Sevigny, USA, 14:01
After participating in a game of Ouija with a group of friends, Carla is confronted by the supernatural powers she only used to claim to possess.
[New Mavericks]

SWEEP AWAY HUNGRY GHOSTS | directed by Zhang and Knight, United Kingdom, 8:19
The wishful reverie of a young Asian man as he struggles to come to terms with his deceased father’s gender identity. Imbued with themes of traditional Chinese filial piety, the film explores the shifting role of the parent and the uncomfortable space between sex and gender.
[Pink Peach]

ARABIAN ALIEN | directed by Meshal Aljaser, USA, 14:59
Saad, a married Muslim man facing an identity crisis, finds a way to cope with his depression after a space Alien is introduced into his life.
[Pink Peach] [In Competition]

Women making their own ways.
New Mavericks Shorts

BLOCKS | directed by Bridget Moloney, USA, 11:04
An existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit plastic toy blocks.
[New Mavericks]

THE WALKING FISH | directed by Thessa Meijer, Japan/The Netherlands, 18:59
A sea-creature transforms into a human girl. Her sole desire is to become a perfect individual, but she finds herself overwhelmed with her ambitious pursuits. Will she ever be content?
[New Mavericks]

MARCY LEARNS SOMETHING NEW | directed by Julia Kennelly, USA, 15:52
Feeling run down by the usual cycle of self-improvement programs, a widow tries going to a dominatrix workshop.
[New Mavericks]

BLACKHEADS | directed by Emily Ann Hoffman, USA, 7:46
A woman copes with bad therapy, heartbreak, and blackheads.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

SUZE | directed by Korlei Rochat, Switzerland, 19:30
In a fury of violence, Suze meets the man of her dreams. After a passionate night together, Suze will find out she is allergic to her new friend.
[New Mavericks] [In Competition]

A transcendental medley of exceptional cinematic psalms.
Experimental Shorts

UNREST IN IRAN | directed by Alexandra Tahereh Kaucher,USA/Iran, 4:47
A stream-punk collage film examining the state of Iran and U.S. involvement in Iranian history.

MY MOTHER RESENTS ME | directed by Victoria Linares Villegas, Dominican Republic, 6:44
Victoria, an only daughter, tries to decipher her mother’s resentment towards her by parsing through old photographs and new footage.
[New Mavericks] [Pink Peach] [Cinemás]

HIS EYES BEHIND MINE | directed by Qin Ziwei,USA, 5:45
A boy, lost in his insecurity and loneliness, has his first romantic exchange with a stranger through text. The unfamiliar feeling for the man turns into a selfish kind of love. Yet he is unaware of the retaliation coming after him.
[Pink Peach]

CHOR(E)S | directed by Danielle Deadwyler, USA, 12:58
With a Bankhead bounce as clarion call, a single woman choir(us) labors a cacophony of chor(e)s: from the domestic to the limits of being left ‘lone.

TO ALL THOSE | directed by Josh Weissbach, USA, 6:47
A city symphony in miniature, dedicated to anyone who has gotten lost in thought while stuck on the midwinter train- to all that unfolds in those private reveries.

BE KIND, PLEASE | directed by Ace McColl, USA, 3:30
An intimate look into a daughter’s relationship with her father, told through compiled voicemails and damaged analog tapes.
[Georgia] [New Mavericks] [World Premiere]

SONG OF CLOUDS | directed by Ankit Poudel, USA, 14:59
A haunting visual fever dream; a meditation on the afterlife; the journey to the other-world and what gets left behind among the living.

OH MY HOMELAND | directed by Stephanie Barber, USA, 3:50
A minimal gesture akin to the practice every portrait painter or mother recognizes as ineffably powerful. A film about identity, love, power, patriotism and the transcendent potential of art through the viewing of a face receiving adoration.
[New Mavericks]

Georgia makers leaving their marks.
Georgia Shorts

MAKING SAMANTHA | directed by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper, USA, 10:23
This combined documentary and music video shows the bringing together of 27 trans actors to tell the story of one trans woman and what it means to love and be loved.
[Pink Peach] [Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

PETTING ZOO | directed by Daniel Robin, USA, 11:03
In 1974, the local TV news station came into the filmmaker’s childhood home to document and learn about Jewish rituals. A narrative evolves about the formation of American Jewish identity, and transforms into an analogy for the current rise in anti-Semitism and nationalism in America and the world.
[Georgia Film]

AROUND THE BLOCK | directed by Kevon Pryce, USA, 15:08
An ambitious teenage boy is awarded the opportunity to get out of the Bronx, but finds that the city won’t allow him to leave.
[Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

BLISS IS ORANGE | directed by Jenna Kanell, USA, 6:10
When the chip implanted in her wrist lights up green, Claire discovers that someone nearby is the love of her life.
[New Mavericks] [Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

CON FUERZA | directed by Andrés Eduardo, USA, 9:00
A young Venezuelan refugee woman living in Colombia struggles through the pain of leaving home with the help of some local folk characters.
[Cinemas] [Georgia Film]

BROWN WITH BLUE | directed by Christian Nolan Jones, USA, 22:00
The relationship between a young man and woman slowly deteriorates as they struggle to come to grips with a past decision.
[Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

I DO NOT SLEEP | directed by Beppy Gietema, USA, 16:08
After her mother waits too long to bury her brother, Kitty must decide whether to honor the living or the dead.
[New Mavericks] [Georgia Film]

THREE MEN NAMED MANTAS | directed by James Mackenzie, Lithuania/USA, 11:04
After a one night stand, a pregnant American attempts to track down the father of her child in Lithuania.
[Georgia Film] [World Premiere]

Up and coming of age.
Narrative Shorts

PAPERBOY (BLAÐBERINN) | directed by Ninna Pálmadóttir, Iceland/USA, 10:25
A small town paper delivery boy peeks through his neighbor’s window and connects with a traumatized woman.
[In Competition]

BYE BYE, BODY | directed by Charlotte Benbeniste, USA, 9:53
When Nina fails to meet her goal in the final week of weight loss camp, she makes a deal with the devil that leads her to see her body anew.
[New Mavericks]

FISH HEAD | directed by Grace Tan, Australia, 10:00
An alienated teen on the cusp of womanhood must find solace in an alternate coming of age, where lines of gender dissolve by the surrounds of the sea.
[Pink Peach] [World Premiere]

HOMEGOING | directed by Carlton Daniel Jr., USA, 13:30
Working as a mortician as his father’s funeral parlor, Junior cycles through an unsatisfying daily routine. A night out with friends forces him to see the world as it truly is.

BROKEN BIRD | directed by Rachel Harrison Gordon, USA, 9:58
A biracial girl caught between two worlds prepares for her Bat Mitzvah and adulthood.
[New Mavericks]

LONELY BLUE NIGHT | directed by Johnson Cheng, USA, 15:05
An awkward family reunion at a business dinner leads a Chinese mother to realize the consequences of leaving her daughter in the care of an American homestay family.
[In Competition] [World Premiere]


Sit back and enjoy our primetime hour on life, love and pursuit of glory.

BROTHERS FROM THE SUBURBS | directed by Patrick Wimp, USA, 14:35
The highs and lows of three black teenagers coming of age in an affluent, suburban, white, private school community.
SHORT TERM RENTAL | directed by Steve Figueiredo & Sean Patrick Kelly, USA, 5:01

After his marriage comes to an abrupt end, John is left with a vacancy in his heart…and his apartment.

PRETTY PEOPLE | directed by Shelby Blake Bartelstein, USA, 10:10
When Rachel’s casual and unexpected hook-up sparks Greg’s feelings of jealousy, they’ll be forced to say what’s on their minds.
[New Mavericks]

TOUGH LOVE | directed by James Mackenzie, USA, 13:05
Nikki is committed to finding a unicorn: someone – male, female, non-binary – who she’s madly attracted to, understands her approach to sexuality, and is actually a good person.
[Pink Peach] [Georgia]

BEST SELLER | directed by Nora Kirkpatrick, USA, 14:06
When the reigning queen of the Home Shopping Network is killed live on-the-air during a hair drying demonstration gone wrong, her three venomous, power-hungry disciples enter into a cutthroat competition for her coveted time slot.
[New Mavericks]

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