Santa Fe Independent Film Festival revealed the list of the 28 feature films in the competition section of the 12th edition taking place October 14th-18th, 2020. The festival will be screen as Drive-In films at Motorama at the Downs, as well as via online screening platform.
Films include Dramarama, Jonathan Wysocki’s nostalgic, funny feature debut; The Mortuary Collection directed by Ryan Spindell; Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland; and Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power directed by Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang.
Materna directed by David Gutnik
Bound together by an incident on the New York City subway, Jean (Kate Lyn Sheil), Mona (Jade Eshete), Ruth (Lindsay Burdge), and Perizad (Assol Abdullina) live in radically different worlds, separated by race, culture, politics, religion and class. As their storylines intersect, the characters’ lives are upended by a fateful encounter underground, where their stories of personal transformation become a battle for survival.
Rustic Oracle directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau
Ivy, an 8-year-old girl, tries to understand what happened to her big sister who has vanished from their small Mohawk community. Ivy and her mother Susan embark on an unwelcome journey to find Heather which ultimately brings the pair closer together despite challenging circumstances.
The Names of the Flowers directed by Bahman Tavoosi
As Bolivia stages the 50th anniversary of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s death, Julia, an old countryside teacher is invited to share her historical story with the world: Giving a bowl of soup to the captured guerrilla in her classroom, while he recited a poem about flowers to her a few hours before his death. The invitation is withdrawn soon after, as other women step forward claiming the story of—the soup and the flower—as their own.
Small Town Wisconsin directed by Niels Mueller
Perpetual teenager Wayne Stobierski whisks his son away on one last father-son road trip after losing a custody battle. All of Wayne’s plans go comically and tragically wrong…but somehow, in the process, the trip transforms into a journey of heartfelt redemption
Puppy Love directed by Michael Maxxis
The true story of a prophetic young dishwasher with brain-damage and a homeless sex worker who are brought together through obscene circumstances and embark on a perverse, yet strangely beautiful journey through the gutter.
The Mortuary Collection directed by Ryan Spindell
On the cusp of retirement, a lonely mortician recounts tales of madness, murder and the macabre, all centered around the phantasmgorical town of Raven’s End, where nothing is as it seems.
Asking For It directed by Amanda Lundquist and Becky Scott
A millennial journalist seeks out her own brand of vigilante justice when her Internet stalker walks free from the law.
Last Rafter directed by Carlos R Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega
After risking his life crossing the Florida Straits on a raft, a young Cuban searches Miami for his missing father. When a political shift makes him America’s first Cuban undocumented immigrant, he must battle the new and bigger fear of deportation, while unraveling a past of intolerance and hate that haunts him.
Dramarama directed by Jonathan Wysocki
In 1994, a closeted teen struggles to part ways with his four high school drama friends at their final murder mystery party before they leave for college. Jonathan Wysocki’s nostalgic, funny feature debut is a poignant love letter to theatre nerds, late bloomers, and the intense friendships of youth.
Small Time directed by Niav Conty
It can be brutal enough just growing up a girl. Then add poverty, addiction, and God to the mix. Armed with a gun and a prayer, Emma and her cat bravely go where too many girls have gone before. It’s a war, and we gotta win it!
Juliana & The Medicine Fish directed by Jeremy Torrie
While spending the summer trying to process her mother’s death, Juliana, with the help of her Native American friend, uncovers an ancient secret that helps her reconcile with her father and at the same time, while their home and livelihoods are at stake, exemplifies the power of a father-daughter bond.
Our Own directed by Jeanne Leblanc
Our Own is a social suspense about Magalie, a teenager who will have no choice but to take back the reins of her own life. Against all odds.
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Known as two of the greatest writers of the past century, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams transformed friendship in their early days to unsparing critiques of each other’s work in the end. Throughout their tumultuous relationship, Capote (Jim Parsons) and Williams (Zachary Qiunto) are icons and yet anti-heroes. The two men themselves, as they lived their own life stories, embody the present more than the subjects they confronted in their works.
The Letter directed by Maia Lekow and Christopher King
Karisa’s city-life is interrupted when his Grandma back home is called a witch. Returning to his rural village to investigate, he finds a frenzied mixture of consumerism and Christianity, turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal ancestral land. As Karisa balances delicately between his familial disputes, the love for his Grandmother and her fearless spirit must overcome the imminent danger of the accusations against her.
My Dear Mother directed by Paul-Anders Simma
Tasha is an eleven-year-old Lapp girl. She is an inmate of a Russian orphanage, even though she is not an orphan. Tasha believes that her mother is dead by a drug overdose, when one day, her biological mother suddenly calls her. Her mother claims that she is now drug free, but Tasha has mixed feelings for this newfound “mother.” Tasha reaches a difficult crossroads and has to make a decision that will have an enormous impact on the rest of her life.
I Am Samuel directed by Pete Murimi
Filmed vérité style over five years, I AM SAMUEL is an intimate portrait of a queer Kenyan man torn between balancing duty to his family with his dreams for his future, in a country where his love is criminalized.
Aggie directed by Catherine Gund
An exploration of the nexus of art, race, and justice through the story of art collector Agnes Gund who sold Roy Lichtenstein’s painting “Masterpiece” in 2017 for $165 million to start the Art for Justice Fund to end mass incarceration.
Free Color directed by Alberto Arvelo
Free Color journeys together with The Master of Color, Venezuelan-born Kinetic and Optical Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, who at 94 hopes to at last create his greatest artistic challenge: An autonomous phenomenon of ‘cromosaturation’, a cloud space of color-with-no-form, over the Seine River, in Paris.
Finding Yingying directed by Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
After a young Chinese student goes missing on a university campus, her family travels to the U.S. for the first time. While unraveling the mystery of her disappearance, they discover how much her life has touched others.
Revival directed by Josefina Lyons
A meditation on aging, dance, and community, the film follows four legendary older choreographers as they strive to create dances with New York City seniors.
Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power directed by Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang
For a year our film crew had exclusive access to Margaret Atwood and her late partner Graeme Gibson. The film follows Atwood to the set of the television series, The Handmaid’s Tale, to meet lead actor Elisabeth Moss. Readers are increasingly turning to Margaret Atwood’s work as they face the rise of authoritarian politics, rapidly evolving technologies, and the slow-motion disaster of climate change.
My Blood Is Red directed by Various
A young indigenous rapper named Werá uses his lyrics to address violence against his people. On his journey, Werá is adopted by Criolo, one of Brazil’s most famous music artists and godfather of Brazilian hip-hop. Driven by beats and lyrics, the film follows Werá to the largest assembly of indigenous people in Brazil, a demonstration where protestors were repelled with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Represent directed by Hillary Bachelder
In the heart of the American Midwest, three women take on entrenched political systems in their fight to reshape local politics on their own terms.
Birddog Nation directed by Sophie Sartain
Follow the fearless women who helped flip the House in 2018 as they are schooled by activists from the Birddog Nation, including Ady Barkan and Ana Maria Archila. Through protest marches, grassroots organizing and a tactic known as “birddogging” the leaders of the Birddog Nation take the women on a deep and transformative journey.
We Are Unarmed directed by Gwendolen Cates
We Are Unarmed Chronicles the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock from the first week of September through February 23rd. Reflecting issues of politics, history, and racism, Standing Rock becomes both a warning and an inspiration as the United States moves into uncharted territory. The egregious violation of treaty rights held by Standing Rock and other tribes demonstrate the fragility of the Constitution.
NEW MEXICO FEATURES
Seekers directed by Aurore Vullierme
The Reval brothers, Audie and Leon, are Jicarilla Apaches. One is a hunter, the other a politician. They were forcibly raised in boarding schools off their ancestral land. When Leon loses tribal elections, the question of their tribal affiliation legitimacy resurfaces, stronger than ever. The uncertainty of their future echoes that of the Jicarilla tribe, fighting to restore the unity of its scattered memory.
Truth or Consequences directed by Hannah Jayanti
In the shadow of the world’s first commercial Spaceport, in the small desert town of Truth or Consequences, NM, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES follows five residents, set in a near future when space travel has begun. Combining documentary cinema, archival footage, experimental virtual reality worlds and an improvised score by Bill Frisell, the film meditates on progress, history, and how we navigate a sense of loss within ourselves and a changing world.
FUKRY directed by Blackhorse Lowe
FUKRY is a doom rom-com set in Albuquerque, NM. The feature film follows a group of Native American men and women as they go through the ups and downs of love.