Jimmy Carter and Willie Nelson White House Staff Photographer, Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library
[JIMMY CARTER ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT] Jimmy Carter and Willie Nelson White House Staff Photographer, Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival announced the complete lineup of 110 films, honorees, and special events for its 29th edition – a virtual/drive-in presentation taking place October 9-17. The festival will be headlined by drive-in screenings of Mary Wharton’s JIMMY CARTER, ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT on Opening Night, Laura Gabbert’s OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES with the Centerpiece slot, and Julia Reichart and Steve Bognar’s 9-TO-5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT on Closing Night.

Friday, October 9 will feature the Opening Night presentation of Wharton’s JIMMY CARTER, ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT. The film focuses on the surprisingly significant role that music played throughout Carter’s life and in his work, including the vital support he and his campaign received from popular artists to give him a crucial boost during the Democratic primaries.

HSDFF’s Centerpiece presentation of Gabbert’s OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES will take place on Tuesday, October 13. The visually stunning masterpiece documents the collaboration between world renowned chef Yotan Ottolnghi (Jerusalem Plenty) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as five visionary pastry makers endeavor to construct an extravagant food gala.

The Closing Night screening will take place on Friday, October 16 with the presentation of Reichart and Bognar’s 9-TO-5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT. The film looks at the group of fearless women who employed outrageous humor to attract the press and shame their bosses into change. The movement, taking the name “9 to 5”, became a national sensation and inspired Dolly Parton’s iconic song and the hit film that followed.

HSDFF will screen it’s three “gala” selections at a pop-up drive-in located at Hot Springs Mall (4501 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR).

The 2020 HSDFF Career Achievement Award will be presented to legendary filmmakers Alex Gibney and Dawn Porter. The 2020 HSDFF Impact Award will be presented to Iyabo Boyd, (Filmmaker and Founder of the collective Brown Girls Doc Mafia) and Oscar nominated producer, Diane Quon.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival will also present the world premieres of three feature films. Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss’ MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY focuses on an oftentimes overlooked aspect of the country’s immigration issues, the remains of missing people. The documentary profiles two families as they try to find their loved ones in Brooks County, Texas. Also making its world premiere will be Nathan Willis’ RAP SQUAD. The film profiles Arkansas students at Helena West-Helena’s Central High School who turn to hip-hop and spoken word as an outlet for their civic frustration and a means to heal their local community.

Larry Foley’s INDIANS, OUTLAWS, MARSHALS AND THE HANGIN’ JUDGE looks at gun violence, racial strife, police brutality and American Indian rights through the eyes of a charismatic federal judge in the 19th Century who sentenced scores of felons.

Additional highlights include an updated cut of Diedre Fishel’s WOMEN IN BLUE, which follows three female police officers in Minneapolis and their efforts to transform the police department there. The updated version will include recent events following the murder of George Floyd. Daniel Lombroso’s WHITE NOISE, produced by The Atlantic, is an exposé of the alt-right movement that intimately profiles three infamous personalities—Richard B. Spencer, Mike Cernovich, and Lauren Southern. The film displays hypocrisy and dysfunction within the movement and alt-right ideology seeping into American mainstream politics. Jessica Earnshaw’s JACINTA, a Tribeca Film Festival Albert Maysles Award winner, follows a young woman in and out of prison as she attempts to break free from an inherited cycle of addiction, incarceration, and crime. Alice Gu’s THE DONUT KING has won awards at multiple film festivals including SXSW, Bentonville, and Sun Valley. The film tells an engrossing story of Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy, who reshaped the Donut Industry as we know it.

HSDFF will also present a sneak peek/work-in-progress screening of Lucas Sabean and Peter Hutchison’s DEVIL PUT THE COAL IN THE GROUND, a meditation on the suffering and devastation brought on by the coal industry and its decline.

“Now more than ever it is important that HSDFF is a place where everyone feels welcome, where we honor our tradition of gathering around documentaries, and where storytellers take centerstage,” says Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival’s Director of Programming, Jessie Fairbanks. “We are thrilled to present some of the strongest titles of 2020 to the Hot Springs audience. I am especially pleased to present a program where filmmakers of color represent 47% of our feature films and over 50% of the total films presented are directed by women. We are also proud to showcase several regional titles, elevating local directors and the idiosyncratic culture of the South. The films in our 2020 program will inspire viewers, challenge perceptions, and illuminate the urgent realities of this turbulent year,” says Fairbanks.

2020 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Official Selections

Opening Night Selection
JIMMY CARTER, ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT
Director: Mary Wharton
Country: US, Running Time: 96 min

This fascinating documentary charts the mostly forgotten story of how Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others. Low on campaign funds and lacking in name recognition, Carter relied on support from these artists to give him a crucial boost in the Democratic primaries. Once Carter was elected, the musicians became frequent guests in the White House.

Centerpiece Selection
OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES
Director: Laura Gabbert
Country: US, Running Time: 76 min

Laura Gabbert’s visually stunning masterpiece documents the collaboration between world renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi (Jerusalem Plenty) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as five visionary chefs create edible art emblematic of the decadence of Versailles. Exploring the intersection between food, culture, and history, this sumptuous film is an eye-popping explosion of 3-D printed cakes, chocolate swans, and Jell-O sculptures. Exquisitely crafted, this drool-inducing documentary invites you to savor the finer things in life.

Closing Night Selection
9-TO-5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT
Directors: Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar
Country: US, Running Time: 89 min

Academy Award-winners, Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, are back with another profound film on the American working class. This time their camera tracks a group of secretaries in the 1970s who band together to form a national movement. Harnessing their outrageous office experiences, these women use humor and unexpected strategies to fight for better pay, professional opportunities, and an end to sexual harassment. Their work energized the nation and inspired the iconic song and award-winning film.

ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS

ALEX GIBNEY RETROSPECTIVE

CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER (2010)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 117 min
An in-depth look at the rise and fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, including interviews with the scandalized, former politician.

ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 110 min
Profiling the sordid Enron corporation, this film offers an insider look a their dramatic demise and serves as a chilling reminder of who really suffers when corrupt companies fail.

FINDING FELA (2014)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 119 min
A high octane, sonically explosive profile of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti, the iconic performer and historic figure who created a musical movement that still resonates today.

GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY & THE PRISON OF BELIEF (2015)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 119 min
Profiling eight former members of the Church of Scientology, this investigative documentary explores the inner-workings of one of the most contentious institutions in modern history.

NO STONE UNTURNED (2017)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 111 min
An in-depth investigation into an unsolved 1994 massacre, where six Irishmen were murdered while watching the World Cup at the local pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland.

TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE (2007)
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 96 min
Alex Gibney’s Academy Award-winning exposes details the USA’s torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.

SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARIES

BOYS STATE
Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
Country: US, Running Time: 109 min
A thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up.

CATE BROTHERS: ARKANSAS ROCK AND SOUL ROYALTY
Director: Benjamin Meade
Country: US, Running Time: 70 min
Raised in the heart and soul of the music scene in Northwest Arkansas, this documentary follows the legendary sound of the Cate Brothers.

DEVIL PUT THE COAL IN THE GROUND
Directors: Lucas Sabean, Peter Hutchison
Country: US, Running Time: 82 min
A gripping documentary detailing West Virginia’s complicated relationship with coal and a community’s enduring pride in an industry with an uncertain future.

INDIANS, OUTLAWS, MARSHALS AND THE HANGIN’ JUDGE
Director: Larry Foley
Country: US, Running Time: 90 min
Exploring the history of the 19th century, the stories documented in this film resonate today: gun violence, racial strife, police brutality and American Indian rights. This is a true tale of a charismatic federal judge who sentenced scores of criminals in rural Arkansas.

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
Director: Dawn Porter
Country: US, Running Time: 96 min
Congressman John Lewis was a national treasure. This lovingly constructed and nuanced portrait, probes Lewis’s humanity, his unwavering faith in America, and his infectious humor.

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (World Premiere)
Directors: Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss
Country: US, Running Time: 81 min
This documentary profiles two families as they try to find their loved ones in Brooks County, Texas, a place infamous for missing migrants.

PROPER PRONOUNS
Director: Megan Daniels
Country: US, Running Time: 65 min
Four ordained ministers navigate their public roles as transgender clergy, reading the gospel, leading masses, and advocating against transphobia in North Carolina.

RAP SQUAD (World Premiere)
Director: Nathan Willis
Country: US, Running Time: 60 min
Arkansas students at Helena West-Helena’s Central High School turn to hip-hop and spoken word as an outlet for their civic frustration and a means to heal their community.

US KIDS
Director: Kim A. Snyder
Country: US, Running Time: 95 min
Two years after a tragic mass shooting, the kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reflect on their national campaigning for gun control.

US DOCUMENTARIES

CRAZY NOT INSANE
Director: Alex Gibney
Country: US, Running Time: 117 min
An examination of the research by forensic psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis who investigated the psychology of murderers.

CURED
Directors: Patrick Sammon, Bennett Singer
Country: US, Running Time: 82 min
The riveting documentary details the scientists who recommended and encouraged gay conversion therapy and the activists taking them down.

THE DONUT KING
Director: Alice Gu ;
Country: US, Running Time: 94 min
The self-proclaimed Donut King is the stunning tale of Cambodian refugee, Ted Ngoy, who reshaped the donut industry into the pink boxed, glazed phenomenon of ‘mom & pop’ shops that took over the west coast in the 80s and 90s.

DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL
Director: Ursula Liang
Country: US, Running Time: 87 min
A conversation across racial lines fray after a Chinese-American police officer kills an unarmed Black man in a stairwell in Brooklyn, New York.

GENERATION GROWTH
Director: Mu Sun
Country: US, Running Time: 97 min
One teacher is on a mission to change the way schools teach and how kids eat by growing a vegetable garden in class.

JACINTA
Director: Jessica Earnshaw
Country: US, Running Time: 105 min
A profound and deeply moving family portrait that explores the cyclical nature of addiction and generational trauma.

LANDFALL
Director: Cecilia Aldarondo
Country: US, Running Time: 93 min
An urgent and complex portrait of Puerto Rico today; an island recovering from Hurricane Maria and an economic crisis while being fed superficial messages of togetherness

MEDICINE MAN: THE STAN BROCK STORY
Director: Paul Michael Angell
Country: UK, Running Time: 96 min
Amazonian cowboy Stan Brock forgoes wrestling snakes and wrangling wild cats to tackle America’s healthcare crisis, founding a charity that provides free healthcare to the marginalized.

PUBLIC TRUST
Director: David Byars
Country: US, Running Time: 95 min
A riveting exposé looking at America’s breathtaking public lands and the covert efforts of extractive industries to pillage these resources for profit and economic gain.

THE SIT IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW
Director: Yoruba Richen
Country: US, Running Time: 77 min
In 1968, Harry Belafonte guest hosted The Tonight Show. Featuring interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dionne Warwick, and Robert F. Kennedy, this rich portrait of the legendary performer will make you laugh and cry.

THROUGH THE NIGHT
Director: Loira Limbal
Country: US, Running Time: 72 min
A 24-hour daycare center nestled in New Rochelle, NY serves as a vital lifeline for working class, single mothers struggling to stay afloat.

TRANSHOOD
Director: Sharon Liese
Country: US, Running Time: 96 min
The lives of four transgendered kids —ages 4, 7, 12, and 15—share personal realities of how gender expression is reshaping their American families.

UPROOTED – THE JOURNEY OF JAZZ DANCE
Director: Khadifa Wong
Countries: USA/UK/Canada/France, Running Time: 94 min
A feature length documentary on the lineage and future progressions of jazz dance.

WHITE NOISE
Director: Daniel Lombroso
Country: US, Running Time: 94 min
A bold and frightening exposé of the alt-right movement that intimately profiles three of its infamous personalities – Richard B. Spencer, Mike Cernovich, and Lauren Southern.

WOMEN IN BLUE
Director: Deirdre Fishel
Country: US, Running Time: 82 min
Minneapolis Police Department’s first female chief attempts to reform an institution plagued by allegations of bias and excessive force, while addressing gender discrimination.

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARIES

CODED BIAS
Director: Shalini Kantayya
Countries: China/South Africa/UK, Running Time: 90 min
When an MIT Researcher realizes facial recognition software has not been programmed to identify black faces and is actively being used by law enforcement around the world, a race begins to secure judicial oversight for AI technologies.

THE LAST ICE
Director: Scott Ressler
Country: US, Running Time: 83 min
Rising temperatures melt the Arctic ice linking Greenland and Canada, impacting indigenous communities and inspiring environmental exploitation by predatory industrial interests.

THE LAST OUT
Directors: Sami Khan, Michael Gassert
Country: US, Running Time: 84 min
With their dreams set on signing with the major leagues, three Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk everything to train in Central America.

MAMAKROM
Director: Joseph Pelegreen
Country: US, Ghana, West Africa, Running Time: 83 min
In the developing country of Ghana, a school revolutionizes the educational system with a charitable partner focused on sustainability and empowerment.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENEZUELA
Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos
Country: US, Running Time: 120 min
The villagers of Congo Mirador, a lake community in Venezuela, struggle to stay afloat amidst rampant political corruption and staggering pollution sinking their homes.

OVERLAND
Directors: Revere La Noue, Elisabeth Haviland James
Countries: US/UK/Italy/UAE/Azerbaijan/Mongolia/South Africa, Running Time: 104 min
This stunningly beautiful film bridges modern day practices with tradition falconry, following three colorful individuals and the birds they work with to hunt, race, and connect with nature.

THE REASON I JUMP
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Country: UK, Running Time: 82 min
Cross cutting between the experiences of five non-speaking autistic individuals from around the globe, this beautifully realized sensorial experience offers a portal into a new world.

THE VIEWING BOOTH
Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
Countries: Israel/US, Running Time: 72 min
Maia Levy, a young Jewish-American woman, takes a seat in a small viewing booth to participate in an exercise designed to explore the psychology of the viewer in the digital era.

THE WALRUS AND THE WHISTLEBLOWER
Director: Nathalie Bibeau
Country: Canada, Running Time: 89 min
One man takes on his former employer, a famous marine park, in hopes of saving his beloved walrus, Smooshi.

SHORT FILMS

PROGRAM #1: SOUTHERN LENS

ALL THE POSSIBILITIES…
Directors: Marsha Gordon, Louis Cherry
Country: US, Running Time: 16 min
Unsung artist Vernon Pratt interconnected art and mathematics. After 35 years in a crated, his most ambitious project of 256 panels has its first exhibition.

HISTORY IN PIECES (World Premiere)
Director: Bronson Crabtree
Country: US, Running Time: 5 min
Born and raised in Arkansas, Kent Westbrook dedicates his time collecting arrowheads, axes, stones, and broken pots exclusively made in the state.

OF CONCRETE AND SKIN: THE STORY OF THE ELAINE MASSACRE MEMORIAL
Director: Nolan Dean
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
Details the construction of the Elaine Massacre Memorial commemorating African-American men, women, and children slain by white mobs and government troops in 1919 Phillips County, AK.

THE PAINT WIZZARD
Directors: Jessie Auritt, Jessica Wolfson
Country: US, Running Time: 17 min
In Austin, Texas lives the delightful Millie, a housepainter working out of her sunshine yellow motorhome who, at 58, decided to fully step into her transgender identity.

VOTE NEIL
Director: Honora Talbott
Country: US, Running Time: 19 min
Neil Rafferty, a former marine and newly politicized activist, battles to become the first openly gay man elected to the Alabama State Legislature.

PROGRAM #2: HSDFF SCREENING COMMITTEE SELECTS

DAFA METTI
Director: Tal Amiran
Country: UK, Running Time: 15 min
Undocumented Senegalese migrants share their stories of struggle and longing while illegally selling miniature souvenirs beneath Paris’ shimmering Eiffel Tower.

FROM KURILS WITH LOVE
Director: Taylor Rees
Country: US, Russia, Running Time: 24 min
One researcher’s odd adventure traveling to and studying the changing environment of the active volcanic chain in the Kuril Islands.

MIZUKO
Directors: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo
Country: US, Japan, Running Time: 15 min
With lush animation, a woman contemplates her terminated pregnancy and the decisions that shape us. An intimate, poetic visualization of a private meditation on life and faith.

TRAIN ROBBERS (North American Premiere)
Director: Martin Walther
Country: Norway, Running Time: 20 min
A coming of age story about a group of young boys who cause all sorts of trouble when they steal beer from a local train depot.

USA V SCOTT
Directors: Ora Dekornfeld, Isabel Castro
Country: US, Running Time: 16 min
Geographer Scott Warren awaits a felony trial and potential 20-year prison sentence for providing food and water to migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexican border.

PROGRAM #3: SPORTS!

A PRAYER FOR JOSHUA JACKSON
Directors: Ryan Heffernan, Grayson Schaffer, Kahlil Hudson
Country: US, Running Time: 22 min
A tragic speedway accident cuts Joshua Jackson’s promising racing career short. Severely injured, doctors advise he will never race again, but childhood dreams don’t die easily.

AFTERLIFE
Director: Ryan Rundle
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
Swimmer Mihail Alexandrov reconciles trepidations over his pending retirement while training for his final shot at making the 2020 US Olympic Team.

ARKANSAS HIGH COUNTRY – A CYCLIST’S JOURNEY TO PERSONAL GROWTH
Director: Jonathan Childs
Country: US, Running Time: 17 min
Cyclists Ernie and Scotti Lechuga tackle the Arkansas High Country, a 1,000-mile bicycle route covering steep climbs, rough terrain, and inclement weather across open Arkansas.

CONNECTION
Directors: Tracy Nguyen-Chung, Ciara Lacy
Country: US, Running Time: 8 min
A young angler and conservationist trains for her upcoming fishing competition in hopes of using sport to deliver her message.

THE 24
Director: Clay Pruitt
Country: US, Running Time: 29 min
Climbing aficionados from all over the globe ascend onto Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas for the world’s only 24-hour climbing competition—widely known as Hell.

PROGRAM #4: LARGER THAN LIFE

MAALBEEK (North American Premiere)
Director: Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis
Country: France, Running Time: 15 min
Faint memories, dotted lines, and distilled images reimagine one woman’s experience during a terrorist bombing.

MY FATHER THE MOVER
Director: Julia Jansch
Country: South Africa, Running Time: 13 min
Deep in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa, one man teaches local kids to tap into their superpowers through a euphoric African electronic dance style known as Gqom.

NANCY’S WORKSHOP
Director: Aïcha Diop
Country: Canada, Running Time: 20 min
On Sundays, a hairstylist opens her salon to teach young Black girls how to style their hair as a form of empowerment and self-love.

PATTY, ARE YOU BRINGING WEED IN FROM JAMAICA?
Director: Matthew Salton
Country: US, Running Time: 9 min
Set in the late 60’s, the outrageous, psychedelic adventure of a bright-eyed girl in her 20s smuggling 900lbs of Jamaican weed into the US.

THE SHAWL
Director: Sara Kiener
Country: US, Running Time: 7 min
A fabulously eccentric gay male couple reminisce on their early days together and highlight one particularly magical evening watching Stevie Nicks perform at Jones Beach.

ZERO ZERO
Director: Eva Grace Bor
Countries: UK/Zimbabwe, Running Time: 14 min
This intimate portrait details the legacy of racial identities in Zimbabwe after a family is assigned a new race during British occupation.

PROGRAM #5: PURE IMAGINATION

BROKEN ORCHESTRA
Director: Charlie Tyrell
Countries: US/Canada, Running Time: 12 min
With hundreds of broken musical instruments in dire need of repair within the Philadelphia public school system, a community coalition steps in to take action.

ICE BALL (North American Premiere)
Director: Nathaniel Schmidt
Country: Australia, US, Running Time: 14 min
Every year, over 50 people gather at the remote home of Will Steger to participate in the age-old tradition of seasonal ice cutting.

MEMOIRS OF VEGETATION
Director: Jessica Oreck
Country: US, Running Time: 2 min
Do you know where castor oil comes from? This stunning stop-motion story of the castor bean is a bite size kernel of botanical history.

ONCE THE DUST HAS SETTLED (US Premiere)
Director: Hervé Demers
Country: Canada, Running Time: 15 min
Asbestos was once home to the largest mine of its kind; today it is a collapsing pit, surrounded by a ghost town that was once a thriving hub of industry.

TĀ MOKO – BEHIND THE TATTOOED FACE
Directors: Mick Andrews, David Atkinson
Country: New Zealand, Running Time: 12 min
Two Maori descendents attempt to unite their community through rediscovering tā moko, an ancient practice of face tattooing nearly erased at the hands of colonization.

TO CALM THE PIG INSIDE (ANG PAGPAKALMA SA UNOS)
Director: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Country: Philippines, Running Time: 19 min
A meditative look at the emotional and physical wreckage left behind a typhoon that devastated a small coastal town in the Philippines.

WELCOME TO A BRIGHT WHITE LIMBO
Director: Cara Holmes
Country: Ireland, Running Time: 11 min
A soaring look at the creative process and exquisite artistry of Belfast-based dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty as she explores her award winning show “Hope Hunt”.

PROGRAM #6: FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY

BURNT TOAST
Director: Timothy Racca Morrish
Country: US, Running Time: 17 min
Anyone’s image can appear on toast thanks to Galen P. Divelly III, creator of the novelty “Selfie Toaster,” that burns custom-designed images onto toast.

COBY AND STEPHEN ARE IN LOVE
Directors: Luka Yuanyuan Yang, Carlo Nasisse
Country: US, China, Running Time: 30 min
A contemplative and warm love story between a legendary San Francisco nightclub dancer and her artistic partner, 20 years her junior.

EDDY’S WORLD
Director: Lyn Goldfarb
Country: US, Running Time: 19 min
98-year-old toy inventor Eddy Goldfarb reflects on his love of making games and toys for generations.

THE STARR SISTERS
Directors: Beth Einhorn, Bridey Elliott
Country: US, Running Time: 15 min
Adult sisters Patte and Randa Starr heal the pains of their traumatic childhood by crafting a life focused solely on being happy and expressing joy.

PROGRAM #7: PAIRED WITH FEATURES

BEYOND NOH
Director: Patrick Smith
Country: US, Japan, Running Time: 4 min
A rhythmic reel of 3,475 masks from cultures across the world.

BUG FARM
Director: Lydia Cornett
Country: US, Running Time: 14 min
In Central Florida, four women from different walks of life come together to work on an insect farm fostering thousands of crickets, superworms, and roaches.

DOWNSTAGE
Director: Stephanie Owens
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
11-year-old Aedan prepares for his first competitive dance solo, while reflecting on the social stigma he faces as a black, male dancer.

GUN KILLERS
Director: Jason Young
Country: Canada, Running Time: 11 min
A hypnotic portrait of a Canadian couple who melt down illegal firearms confiscated by the police as part of a communal effort towards greater gun control.

KACHALKA
Director: Gar O’Rourke
Country: Ireland, Ukraine, Running Time: 9 min
A panoramic portrait of a Soviet-era scrap metal gym in rural Kiev offers a look at one of the world’s most unusual hardcore gyms.

KAPAEMAHU
Directors: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
Country: US, Running Time: 8 min
This vivid short film tells the story behind four sacred stones on Waikiki Beach moved and mishandled by foreigners in a modernized city.

NUXALK RADIO (US Premiere)
Director: Banchi Hanuse
Country: Canada, Running Time: 3 min
In Bella Coola, one radio station operates as a community center and school in hopes of educating and sustaining the Nuxalkmc language and culture.

ON FALLING
Director: Josephine Anderson
Country: Canada, Running Time: 14 min
Featuring a cast of all female athletes who discuss the physical and emotional challenges of their sport, extreme off-road cycling.

TALL TALES WITH TRUE QUEENS
Directors: Kristina Budelis, Leandro Badalotti
Country: US, Running Time: 10 min
Grab a front-row seat at the Drag Queen Story Hour where Storytime is reimagined with drag performers

TIGER AND OX
Director: Seunghee Kim
Country: South Korea, Running Time: 8 min
Captures a candid discussion between a single mother and her daughter concerning Korean stigmas of “fatherless” families, leading both to understand each other better.

VIEWFINDER
Director: Melody Gilbert
Country: US, Running Time: 5 min
For the past 23 years, Michael has taken a daily photograph. As he faces potential memory loss, he ponders what will become of these treasured images.

PROGRAM #8: FAVORITES FROM OTHER FESTS

ALL CATS ARE GREY IN THE DARK
Director: Lasse Linder
Country: Oostenrijk, Running Time: 19 min
Interested in growing his cat family, Christian breeds his beloved cat Marmalade in this eclectic story of fatherhood.

THE CHURCH FORESTS OF ETHIOPIA
Director: Jeremy Seifert
Country: US, Running Time: 9 min
A stunning portrait of Ethiopia’s sacred Church Forests—protected enclaves of old-growth biodiversity that have been saved from the nation’s relentless push toward farming and agricultural development.

FLESH
Director: Camila Kater
Country: Brazil, Spain, Running Time: 12 min
Five women share their life experiences in relationship to their bodies, from childhood to old age, in this daring and evocative mixed-media animated short.

HUNTSVILLE STATION
Directors: Jamie Meltzer, Chris Filippone
Country: US, Running Time: 14 min
A raw and intimate portrayal of the first moments of freedom for the formerly incarcerated.

IN THE WAKE
Director: Natasha Nair
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
A portrait of the intricate craft of handweaving and the women keeping the skill alive in India.

TEARS TEACHER
Director: Noemie Nakai
Country: Japan, Running Time: 11 min
A teacher travels across Japan to encourage adults to cry more as a form of therapy and self-realization.

UMBILICAL
Director: Danski Tang
Countries: US/China, Running Time: 7 min
A mother and daughter share past traumas while colorful shapes provide images of their feelings and sensations.

THE UNDOCUMENTED LAWYER
Directors: Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci
Country: US, Running Time: 19 min
Lizbeth Mateo is a Los Angeles-based attorney who specializes in immigration and deportation cases, all while living and practicing law as an undocumented citizen herself.

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