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Electric Jesus directed by Chris White
Electric Jesus directed by Chris White

The Waco-based Deep in the Heart Film Festival returns for its 5th edition with a film lineup of 133 films (5 features, 128 shorts and music videos), including a celebratory return to theaters as part of its hybrid presentation July 22-31, 2021.

Deep in the Heart FF will open with Chris White’s comedy about Christian music, Electric Jesus and then close the film festival with Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone’s festival-hit documentary Vinyl Nation, about the love of records. Brett Bentman’s thriller Outlaw’s Buckle will make its world premiere as a special Spotlight Screening. Deep in the Heart FF will also present the always ambitious lineup of themed short film programs the film festival has become noted for over the past five years.

Deep in the Heart FF co-founders and directors Samuel Thomas and Louis Hunter, said, “Last year was an important step in our film festival’s continued growth as this city and area’s primary presentation of new film discoveries, but it will be incredibly exciting and fulfilling to welcome film fans back into the theater and give our filmmakers that interaction with audiences that is so vital to their development as artists. This year we won’t just be returning to our theater seats. We will also continue to present our films online, virtually, and reach out to Texas audiences in order to introduce them to these films and the filmmakers responsible for them as well. The sense of fun and love of cinema that Deep in the Heart FF has been known for since our very first year never left, even during a challenging year, but our voice and ability to spread the gospel of our films and what we do has become stronger and made us quite a force to be reckoned with.”

White’s Electric Jesus, which will open the film festival’s in-person first weekend on Thursday, July 22 at the famous Waco Hippodrome Theatre (724 Austin Avenue), is a comedy set in the Christian Rock world of the 80s about a teenager who connects and starts to travel with a Christian hair metal band made up of older kids from his church. The film also stars Brian Baumgartner (The Office) and Judd Nelson. White and additional cast and crew are expected to attend.

Friday, July 23 will feature the world premiere of Bentman’s Outlaw’s Buckle as the film festival’s Spotlight Screening selection. The Texas-based production about a serial killer facing off against a group of deputies in pursuit during a storm will make its world premiere at the film festival. Bentman and members from the filmmaking team will be on hand for the screening.

Closing out the in-person opening weekend will be Smokler and Boone’s popular documentary Vinyl Nation. Screening on Sunday, July 25, the film, which looks at the revival of record-playing culture via “Record Store Days” and the handing of the baton from one generation of collectors and enthusiast to the next generation will include a record collector’s event to go along with the screening and Q&A.

Two discussion-point documentaries will fill out the feature film roster with Eden Wurmfeld and Margaret Munzer Loeb’s Chasing Childhood and Nicol Ragland’sTrans Pecos sure to inspire a debate-filled lobby at Hippodrome, as well as at the festival’s after parties and lounge. Chasing Childhood takes a close look at how American children are faring under the weight of overburdened schedules of extracurricular activities and expectation to “succeed” in the academic world. The film follows education professionals and reformed helicopter parents who seek to find a better and more practical balance to the lives of children. Trans Pecos is a Texas-centric exploration of the issues of land and water rights in this state, while painting an honest portrait of what is to come if we allow oil interest to supersede public good. The film is unflinching as it uncovers the truth in Far West Texas and one pipeline reflecting the beginning of the invasion of one of the last American frontiers.

Since it’s inception, Deep in the Heart FF has had a strong focus on programming short films and curating themed programs that go far beyond basic “drama” or “comedy” programs. This year’s themed short film programs run the gamut from “Seeing is Believing” which will put forth films dealing with “Secrets, lies, deceptions, and discoveries. What exactly is the whole truth?” to “Wants and Needs” that focuses on “Obsessions, desires, and some dang 3-ply toilet paper in the employee bathroom”. Other programs include “Relationships 101,” “Altered States,” “Heart of Texas,” and “Oddities.” Of course, there will also be the yin and yang of “Family Friendly Films” on one hand, and “Horror” on the other.

The first week in July, the Deep in the Heart Film Festival will roll out additional details regarding plan for red carpet entrances, and filmmaker appearances, filmmaker panel discussions, script readings, parties, and other events that will underline the “festival” within the Deep in the Heart Film Festival.

2021 Deep in the Heart Film Festival Official Selections

OPENING NIGHT SELECTION

Electric Jesus
Director: Chris White
Country: United States, Running Time: 107 min

Set in the summer of 1986, Electric Jesus follows a teenager and his experience traveling with an aspiring Christian hair metal band made up of older kids from his church. Following a blistering performance at a church camp talent show, the band is taken under the wing of a flashy Christian Rock promoter with a plan to get them a recording contract and make Jesus famous. However, complications arise when a pastor’s daughter stows herself away in the band’s RV and starts to emerge as their muse, head-turning opening act, and the teenager’s first love.

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

Vinyl Nation
Directors: Kevin Smokler, Christopher Boone
Country: US, Running Time: 92 min

A deep dig into the crates of the vinyl record resurgence to discover what an old technology says about our relationship to music and each other during a divided time in America.

SPOTLIGHT SCREENING – World Premiere

Outlaw’s Buckle
Director: Brett Bentman
Country: United States, Running Time: 80 min

During a terrible storm, a serial killer faces off with deputies in hot pursuit of a stolen belt buckle.

ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS

Chasing Childhood
Director: Eden Wurmfeld, Margaret Munzer Loeb
Country: US, Running Time: 85 min

Overprotected and over-directed, American children are wilting under the weight of well-meaning parents. In the pursuit of keeping them safe and creating an impressive resumé of extracurricular activities to wow admissions boards, over-parenting smothers children across socioeconomic classes and leads to anxiety and depression. Chasing Childhood follows education professionals and reformed helicopter parents who seek and offer solutions for developing more confident, independent young people while restoring some joy and freedom to childhood.

Trans Pecos
Director: Nicol Ragland
Country: US, Running Time: 75 min

Trans Pecos is a timely intervention weaving together the issues of land and water rights, while painting an honest portrait of what is to come if we allow oil interest to supersede public good. It is a cautionary tale meant to inspire people from every walk of life to take action and work toward change that can happen if informed citizens and those in power hold oil and gas companies accountable. A documentary that uncovers the truth in Far West Texas and one pipeline reflecting the beginning of the invasion of one of the last American frontiers.

SHORT FILMS AND MUSIC VIDEOS

SHORT FILMS

ALTERED STATES

A Grievance with Gravity
Director: Kelli Horan
Country: United States; Running Time: 12:26 min

In order to stay tethered to the Earth, Zoe wears bricks and blocks to weigh her down. Why? Gravity doesn’t affect her. While she tries her best to live a normal life, she constantly feels like an outcast. Then, she decides to open herself up to the world and celebrate her different-ness!

Asparagus 2
Director: Yuma Slowbinder
Country: United States; Running Time: 5:09 min

The next great American asparagus movie. A doctor informs his patient that when he thinks he’s eating asparagus he is actually smoking an entire pack of unfiltered Cuban cigarettes. Upon learning this the patient must reckon with his own subjectivity, with no help from at all from his doctor.

Casiopea
Director: Fernando Manso
Country: Spain; Running Time: 14:00 min

Casiopea is the journey to life itself. A captivating adventure that unravels the eternal question of humankind: What happens before/after life?

Doffice
Director: Leclercq David
Country: Belgium; Running Time: 20:00 min

An old guy works into the same office, every day. But one day, a young colleague arrives and puts his world upside down.

Exactly as They Are
Director: Philip Heinrich
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:13 min

Amidst a late night of deliveries, a struggling bike messenger is tasked with a bizarre delivery: a lunchbox of uncanny origins. After tonight, her life will never be the same. Exactly as They Are is an urban fantasy brought to life through a blend of character study, the uncanny, and classical stop-motion puppetry effects.

Faces
Director: Iván Sainz-Pardo
Country: Spain; Running Time: 9:00 min

A love story in the times of programmed obsolescence.

In White Places
Director: Keith Powell
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:35 min

Chester has just moved into the neighborhood.

It’s Okay
Directors: Justin Giddings, Ryan Welsh
Country: United States; Running Time: 9:02 min

In the style of Black Mirror, It’s Okay follows a couple as their life takes an unexpected turn in this futuristic, Sci-Fi short.

Transfer
Director: Sage Mears, Aaron Pagniano
Country: United States; Running Time: 11:11 min

Max has the most important interview of his life.

DEMO DAY

Falling Sparrow
Director: Justin Wang Powell
Country: United States; Running Time: 14:59 min

A young woman sets out to take her family’s sword back from her murderous uncle.

Gail
Director: Katie Lemon
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:00 min

A recently widowed woman who used to take partner dancing classes with her husband must decide whether to remain stifled by her grief or find the courage to dance on her own.

He Left Instructions
Director: Zeke Farrow
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:00 min

Death brings family together.

Lead Belly
Director: Sean Glynn
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 20:00 min

Homeless ex-soldier Mark has PTSD and is haunted by tragedy from his time in combat, causing chaos for ex-wife Emma. When Mark goes missing, Emma is desperate to find him and help Mark fight his demons.

Masterclass
Director: Nancy Sullivan
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 8:29 min

A group of drama school students eagerly await their Masterclass from a prolific West End star. But just how far will she go to get the results she wants for her art, and who will she destroy on the way?

Not Just Another Day
Director: Ricky Rhodes
Country: United States; Running Time: 15:56 min

In 2015, Lionel Tate was one of the 142,000 Black Americans arrested for marijuana possession. Facing a felony conviction, homelessness, and crippling debt, he strives to rebuild his life with his family, but all black Americans remain at risk of unequal criminalization from marijuana laws in our country. Meanwhile, legal cannabis is sold medicinally and recreationally across the country and has boomed into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

NYR
Director: Jonathan Leveck
Country: United States; Running Time: 2:46 min

Calling upon a wellspring of self awareness, a man seeks to master an achievable goal.

Ride or Die
Director: Zeke Farrow
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:57 min

Zeke made a Doomsday escape plan and it was pretty lousy.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

At the End of the World
Director: Fon Davis
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:08 min

In an apocalyptic future, a lonely government worker finds solace in a still hopeful soldier during the very last World War. But their future together is threatened when the soldier is sent back into battle.

Fishbowl
Director: Deborah Shearer
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:46 min

After moving from California to Virginia because of a military relocation, a young boy named Casey must once again adapt to middle school life in unfamiliar territory but along the way find comfort in an unexpected friend.

Fraser Syndrome & Me
Director: Kyle Anne Grendys
Country: United States; Running Time: 19:43 min

Filmmaker Kyle Anne Grendys, is only the 75th person to be born with the rare, recessive gene disorder called Fraser Syndrome. Having always felt alone in the world, she sets out on a journey to find her community and finally meets others just like her.

His Eyes Are Blue
Director: Agatha Ryan
Country: United States; Running Time: 14:23 min

Set on a utopian ranch in the Texas Hill Country, His Eyes Are Blue traces the growth of a snarky teenage boy as he struggles to write his college admissions essay.

Home Of My Memories
Director: Javier Méndez Lafón
Country: Mexico, United States; Running Time: 6:05 min

A kid finds his passion through the experiences of his grandfather.

Night Shift
Director: Nicole Solis, Al Fontanilla
Country: United States; Running Time: 4:08 min

Night Shift follows a curious and bouncy little girl as she awaits the presence of someone in the midst of the night. As she waits, she is whisked away by an ethereal Moon Woman for a magical night of play and together they dance among the clouds of the night’s sky.

The Organized Life
Director: Patrick Yu Wang, Nguyet Nghi Duong
Country: United States; Running Time: 2:29 min

“The Organized Life” is a 3D animated short film that presents the relationship between mother and son through the son solving the issue of not being able to control himself from organizing everything in life.

The Ribbon
Director: Polla-Ilariya Kozino
Country: Germany; Running Time: 4:25 min

A young girl suddenly finds herself in a beautiful imaginary world. As she explores this enchanting place, the long ribbon of her dress gets caught, holding her back. As she pulls on the ribbon to break free, a completely unexpected journey begins.

White Night
Director: Issam Taachit
Country: Algeria; Running Time: 7:12 min

The events of the movie take place at the top of the high Aures Mountains. In those mountains and in the cold winter, the snow masses that accumulate on a tree fall, to roll on the mountain until it reaches the bottom, in front of a warm house. It is divided into three balls forming a snowman, some beautiful events happen with a snowman and a girl in that house.

FAMILY TIES

A Democratic Proposal
Director: Chandana Prasanna
Country: Sri Lanka; Running Time: 18:18 min

Just after a proposed suitor and his family had visited and left, Kanchana’s whole family start to try and pitch her the marriage proposal. Kanchana, who didn’t like the idea of seeing proposed suitors in the first place, is annoyed, but find it hard to argue with the elders who aren’t ready to listen to her. Amid one-sided arguments and emotional blackmailing from her family and relatives, she tries to build up some courage and figure out a way to escape.

Ángelito
Director: Carlos Estrada
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:30 min

After his father’s death, Ángel seeks reconciliation and the chance to learn more about his family through the help of his grandfather and Day of the Dead.

Dawn on the Blanco River
Director: Rylan McCoy
Country: United States; Running Time: 6:17 min

A father tries his best to guide his son while dealing with his own past.

Endless Pain
Director: Natalie Lehnart
Country: Germany; Running Time: 12:30 min

A life with endometriosis is plagued with pain and the incomprehension of others. Julie tells the story about her fight with the disease, that she has had to fight since her childhood. Her painful memories are accompanied by animated scenes of her experiences.

Mama’s Ashes
Director: Caspar Commijs
Country: Spain; Running Time: 19:05 min

Under pressure of his stepfather Estevan, Jurriën travels to Spain to disperse his recently deceased mother. The rebellious teenager has a different wish, but how far does he have to go to bring his mother’s ashes safely back home?

The Maroon Bomber
Director: Joshua M. Thomas
Country: United States; Running Time: 9:57 min

Four siblings walk down memory lane with the family’s old, beat-up Ford truck. Their love is tested when the truck acquires a new, controversial, accessory. Will they still love their old friend?

Natal
Director: Luisa Maria Gonzalez
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:23 min

Set within a Mexican-American household during Christmas Day, Natal tells the story of Carlos, a young boy’s first encounter with heteronormative gender roles, and the confrontation between his father and uncle, who disagree on the implications of masculinity.

Nene
Director: King Louie Palomo
Country: Philippines; Running Time: 16:42 min

Nene is in her eighties, an accomplished and retired painter. Her daughter travels from the city to see her with her grandson, and unknown to her family Nene attempts to finish the final painting of her lifetime.

FRIDAY NIGHT HORRORS

Bloodshed
Director: Paolo Mancini, Daniel Watchorn
Country: Canada; Running Time: 12:37 min

Ridden with guilt after the untimely death of his wife from a rare blood disease, grief-stricken Getty turns his hobby shed into a bloody altar of worship and brutal sacrifice in his relentless search for Redemption. As he descends into madness, many will bleed…BLOODSHED. It’s where you bleed.

Dark Passage
Director: Roshni “Rush” Bhatia
Country: United States; Running Time: 1:00 min

A part time drivers last ride of the night maybe the last ride of his life.

The Farmhouse
Director: Garreth Carter, Will Douglas
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 13:18 min

After the recent disappearance of a girl in a nearby village, Janet sneaks out with friends. When things turn bad, her father comes to her rescue, only for her to find out that her father is not what he seems.

Hear Hear
Director: Emmet O’Brien
Country: Ireland; Running Time: 5:20 min

A one-shot horror film about finding your voice.

House Hunting
Director: Patrick Andrew Higgins
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:00 min

Hunters sneak inside our homes to steal our most private moments and anonymously post the video for all the world to see.

Hyder
Director: Ali Alkhafaji
Country: United States; Running Time: 6:57 min

A man’s Arab imaginary friend refuses to let him sign divorce papers.

ISS Titanic
Director: Christopher Satola
Country: United States; Running Time: 1:00 min

Hiding in a car in a cargo room of the first human voyage into the space, moments after the fatal system failure, two lovers need to face the final moments of their lives.

Koreatown Ghost Story
Director: Minsun Park & Teddy Tenenbaum
Country: United States; Running Time: 14:52 min

In this supernatural horror tale based on a Korean ritual starring Margaret Cho and Lyrica Okano, a woman entertains a macabre offer that would let her pursue her dreams, for better or for much worse.

Movie Night
Director: Matt Rosenblatt
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:18 min

On their first date a couple watches a bootleg movie.

No One Is Coming
Director: Matthew Barber, Nathaniel Barber
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:40 min

A young woman awaits the return of her boyfriend at a secluded cabin only to discover that she may in fact not be alone.

The Occult Son
Director: Patrick Murphy
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:16 min

A couple’s morning is interrupted when a witch moves in next-door during a solar eclipse.

Two-Headed Beast
Director: Nate Southard
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:00 min

Siblings Marissa and Marcus believe some strange things, and they can’t wait to teach their new friend Sullivan all about them. Mom will be home soon, but there’s still time to learn and play.

HEART OF TEXAS

Adam’s Job Interview
Director: Brian McAughan
Country: United States; Running Time: 5:15 min

Adam gets used to Zoom interviews.

Bittersweet
Director: Dylan Hensley
Country: United States; Running Time: 11:24 min

An elderly Texas couple reflect on their lives living on the family farm as growing industries and infrastructure dissolve what’s left of country living and their memories of the home they must leave behind.

Bound
Director: Danielle Wheeler
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:54 min

A young girl is lured from her troubled home by a mysterious stranger that seems to have all the answers.

Changing Tides
Director: Joshua Ulmer
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:15 min

A girl’s life is seen through pieces of her memories. With each passing memory, we see snippets of her childhood innocence as well as her carefree spirit in her teenage years.

Manos de Oro (Hands of Gold)
Director: Merced Elizondo
Country: United States; Running Time: 33:25 min

Sergio, a former mechanic, is in the middle of a crippling battle with arthritis. When the opportunity to fix an old family-friend’s truck arises, Sergio begins a downward spiral towards denial and self-destructive behavior in an attempt to regain his identity as a working man with purpose. As a result, his struggling relationship with his son is put to the ultimate test.

Red Flag
Director: Elijah Alderfer
Country: United States; Running Time: 5:05 min

Red Flag is a quirky comedy about a couple on a first date. Neither one of the two, however, thinks that they are deserving of the others time.

Tejano Night
Director: Alexander Rosales
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:00 min

While out of town at a family gathering, a young Latino is forced to tag along with his cousin to a local Tejano Bar after butchering his Spanish at dinner.

When You Clean a Stranger’s Home
Director: Sharon Arteaga
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:00 min

A cinematic essay where Abby, a first-generation high school student describes what her and her mom learn about people when cleaning their homes. House decor and items left around convey a privilege that unveils Abby’s imagination, jealousy, and frustrations.

Wolves Inside
Director: Samantha Ireland
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:07 min

1897 in West Texas, a woman, and her granddaughter encounter a dangerous stranger who is seeking revenge. In one fateful night, they must all come to face the wolves that walk among them and the ones inside themselves. Told through the eyes of women from different walks of life, Wolves Inside explores the conscious choices people face while fighting with their animalistic compulsions in a brutal and unforgiving world.

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

The Bee Farmers
Director: Steve Utaski
Country: United States; Running Time: 6:57 min

A short doc profiling a one-of-a-kind program based in the Pacific Northwest that rents bees to residential customers which in turn are used to pollinate farms around the US.

Beef Stew
Director: Nikos Kallipolitis
Country: Greece; Running Time: 10:39 min

Nontas, a failed actor, has given up his career and is working part-time in an escape room. Tony the slimy owner of a restaurant in the countryside, lives far from his shadowed past; a past that has heavily affected Nonta’s life. The story of two men as a 3-course meal. Appetizer: a gluttonous bear. Main course: a greedy rabbit. Dessert: Beef stew: sweet as revenge…

Behind the Mask
Director: Simon K Matthews
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 10:53 min

Two actors enter a mental, physical and emotional dick-swinging contest, leading to the inevitable reveal of their worst selves. Urgh, actors.

Cold Mind
Director: Harrison Dove-Green, Austin Smith
Country: United States; Running Time: 15:55min

After surviving a massive cave-in, a coal miner must face his inner demons in order to free himself, all with a canary at his side. Filmed deep within Beckley Coal Mine in West Virginia.

Conference Room Three
Director: Natasha Straley
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:21 min

James goes in for an interview.

Flypaper
Director: Sam Bench, Seth Bench
Country: United States; Running Time: 11:14 min

A detective’s plan backfires as he attempts to get a confession from his seemingly corrupt former partner.

Quiet on Set
Director: Jeanette Buck
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:46 min

An actress assaulted on a film set during the filming of a sex scene, must choose whether to pursue accusations or complete the film that could start her career.

She Used to Laugh
Director: Greg Berman
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:00 min

Under the familiar glow of the spotlight, Jay wrestles with a past relationship in the only way he knows how. While Jay takes the small crowd of the legendary Kibitz Room in Los Angeles on a comedic journey of love and loss, we begin to notice how much of his own past Jay has yet to confront.

Years Ago
Director: Jason Habel
Country: United States; Running Time: 24:00 min

A businesswoman’s life is turned upside down when her new boss turns out to be the man who assaulted her twenty years before.

ODDITIES

A Girl’s Night In
Director: Timothy Haug
Country: United States; Running Time: 1:20 min

A girl enjoys a night at home.

Asynchron
Director: Robin Schüllenbach, Jens Kipper
Country: Germany; Running Time: 7:30 min

One job, one decision, two points of view.

Endangered
Director: Alex Wroten
Country: United States; Running Time: 18:00 min

The world of easy-going teenager Roger Burns flips upside-down after he’s seduced into a late-night swim with his girlfriend and contracts a rare, endangered parasite. All Roger wants to do is get back to adolescent frivolities and basketball, but everyone from his parents, to his doctors, to animal rights groups, have their own opinions about what he needs to do with his life.

F*cking Ghosts!
Director: Jason Cook
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:00 min

A parody film trailer about a family that buys a new home that is haunted by horny ghosts.

Fruity
Director: Selwin Vervoort
Country: Netherlands; Running Time: 1:12 min

Travelling through the thoughts of Lucas, a man who is afraid of losing his masculinity after eating a pink fruit. This dialogue-free movie is about insecurity, it’s juicy and a bit erotic.

Late Night
Director: JJ Pollack
Country: United States; Running Time: 6:54 min

When his guest comes on a bit intoxicated, a controlling late night TV host struggles to run his show smoothly.

My Dinner with Werner
Director: Maverick Moore
Country: United States; Running Time: 17:50 min

Inspired by the real-life, insane “friendship” between acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog and controversial actor Klaus Kinski, My Dinner with Werner is a wildly bizarre story about a 1987 dinner date with a murder plot as the main dish.

The New World: Variations on Stay-home Activities
Director: Hong Ning, Zhao Xiaofeng
Country: China; Running Time: 1:45 min

In 2020, most residents on the planet were forced to live indoors for days and months due to the epidemic, which has influenced our usual work and life to some extent. In this isolation, people tend to create ways of self-entertainment and take limited exercise at home. As a result, a large amount of ordinary people emerged on the Internet and started to show the interesting bits of living indoors in their own way.

The Quiet
Director: Radheya Jegatheva
Country: Australia; Running Time: 10:00 min

When an astronaut ponders on the quietude of space, he comes upon a startling self-realization. The truth is written in the stars, but what will he uncover?

Un-heard
Director: Jason Habel
Country: United States; Running Time: 5:00 min

A lame cover-up causes some serious daddy issues for a five-year-old girl.

Yellow Ribbons
Director: Caleb Gritsko
Country: United States; Running Time: 12:21 min

Cassie struggles against a vivid world of distorted memories to silence her inner demons and save her father.

(You’ll Make It In) Florida
Director: Phil Chernyak
Country: United States; Running Time: 19:35 min

When a magazine ad comes to life, a depressed English teacher (and her dog) embark on a wild ride through the wonders of the Sunshine State.

RELATIONSHIPS 101

1NS
Director: Fiona Campbell, Ella Exley
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 9:06 min

It’s the near future and a one-night stand for two Londoners, Jamie and Milo, turns into a bittersweet date inside a safe room, after a routine government lockdown causes the partygoers to spend the day together.

2 weeks
Director: Victoria Negri
Country: United States; Running Time: 8:52 min

When 20-something-year-old Tanya begins to realize she’s asexual, the highly charged sexualized world she lives in as an actress and partner begins to fall apart and feels more and more like an unbearable nightmare.

Aurora
Director: Paulina Manseau
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:28 min

A woman navigates a surreal landscape encountering memories of the past.

Cannibals
Director: Gustavo Garcia Sierra
Country: Spain; Running Time: 6:46 min

Eva arrives at Carlos’ home after they broke up their relationship. Carlos appears to be upset for this, and the situation progressively becomes strange and complicated.

Honor
Director: Lauren Noll
Country: United States; Running Time: 15:46 min

Laine faces expulsion from BYU with her graduation around the corner after her roommate hears her in bed with a woman and turns her into the Honor Code. Upon being invasively questioned, Laine is granted a troubling option to save her degree, forcing her to choose between her heart and her faith.

How to End a Conversation
Director: Gregory JM Kasunich
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:30 min

A heartbroken man unable to stop calling his ex enlists a therapist to help him lift the weight of his past relationship off of his shoulders… literally.

The Little Death
Director: Justin Harrison
Country: United States; Running Time: 18:03 min

A doting, young married couple riding the emotional wave of infertility & miscarriage.

Manasanamaha
Director: Deepak Reddy
Country: India; Running Time: 16:00 min

A young man muses on the nature of love, recounting three relationships from his past. The girls in his life resemble three different seasons, namely Chaitra (Spring), Varsha (Monsoon) & Seeta (Winter).

Meet Cute
Director: Jason C. Brown
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:40 min

Meet Cute is a short romantic comedy in which two strangers connect at a funeral home, while attending services for their deceased family members.

SEEING IS BELIEVING

Beth
Director: Frankie Stewart
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 12:26min

A true story of one asylum patient’s struggle as her focus on returning home does not go as she planned. A period piece that highlights the travesty of those resting in unmarked graves from barbaric treatments.

Full Picture
Director: Jacob Reed
Country: United States; Running Time: 11:56 min

Santina has been in a wheelchair since she was six years old. With meetings, hangouts, and classes happening virtually due to the Coronavirus quarantine, she’s experiencing something new: Choosing when (or if) to disclose her disability.

In My View: Perspectives on a Surveillance Society
Director: Taryn Reneau
Country: United Kingdom, United States; Running Time: 15:59 min

Inspired by the extraordinary access citizens of the United Kingdom have over their own data, including one’s image on CCTV, in contrast to a lack of access in the United States, IN MY VIEW was born to contrast perspectives of citizens with rights to those without. Striking differences in perspective between citizens under surveillance in London versus those in Los Angeles beg the question: Why do citizens of the UK have rights to their data that we, in the U.S., do not?

The Reunion
Director: Laura Galt
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:57 min

At a 40-year High School reunion, two attendees must face the consequences of a painful breakup from long ago.

Stalling It
Director: Caroline Ward, Jemma Moore
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 6:52 min

Five toilets, three bridesmaids, one pregnancy test, one nosey neighbor… zero ideas of what to do next. It’s 1988, Sammy, Bethan and Jo are bridesmaids. We join them in the midst of the time-honored female tradition…the joint bathroom break.

Sundown Trail
Director: Luke Guidici
Country: United States; Running Time: 13:59 min

In a post-apocalyptic world where toxic mushrooms have made the air deadly to breathe, a timid boy must learn to trust a thieving bandit in order to save his dying father.

Swear By the Sword: Swords and Sidearms
Director: Benjamin N. Redic II, James Drake Coleman
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:59 min

A set of rivals must battle to decide which is stronger. Swords or Sidearms?

Where The Mountains Grow
Director: Gino Ricardo Green
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 19:53 min

Tommy is sick; sick of waiting rooms, of tests and of being asked how he’s doing. But the arrival of an unexpected visitor presents the chance to undertake what is meant to be a once in a lifetime journey.

WANTS AND NEEDS

The Cause of Death
Director: Timothy McCarthy
Country: United States; Running Time: 15:46 min

Working as an obituary writer, David is very familiar with death. That is, until Death himself shows up to try to give David new perspective.

Dance With Me
Director: Gabriel Diamond
Country: United States; Running Time: 5:20 min

Imagine putting on a blindfold on a busy street corner and inviting strangers to dance with you. That’s what Gabriel Diamond did in Berkeley in 2018. Two years later he finally got the courage to revisit the footage and create this touching short documentary about the potential of strangers to meet in unique ways using the power of dance and trust.

Ex Patria
Director: Scott Cobb
Country: United States; Running Time: 7:30 min

Ilyana offers a last souvenir to Erica on the final day of their year junior year abroad, sparking a discussion of values and identity with their futures on the line.

Megan’s Shift
Director: Zeke Farrow
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:52 min

It’s never too late to give up.

Positive
Director: Lauren Lox
Country: United States; Running Time: 6:30 min

A woman experiences a wave of emotions as she waits in anticipation for the sign that could change the rest of her life.

Pumpkin Shoot Out
Director: Joy Marzec
Country: United States; Running Time: 9:50 min

A confident leader of the Second Amendment Sisters proves to herself that a gun is her best bet in an unpredictable world.

Sea at Night
Director: Kim Fabienne Hertinger
Country: Germany; Running Time: 26:00 min

“Meer bei Nacht” (Sea at Night) tells the story about a man, whose disease took away his self-determination, reputation and social support. His tendency to get lost in memories of his past, leads him to a momentous decision.

Tesla Psycho
Director: Devon Ryan
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:40 min

This test drive is psychotic…in more ways than one. Tesla cars have an insane and ludicrous mode but this driver takes it into psycho mode…and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.

WHERE I’VE BEEN, WHERE I’M GOING

4622 Stillwater Circle
Director: Kati Rehbeck
Country: United States; Running Time: 11:18 min

Sadie spends a summer afternoon around her hometown in Wisconsin, while an old flame tries to find a new spot in her life.

Apocalypse Notes
Director: Pierre Gaffié
Country: France; Running Time: 8:07 min

What would happen if, like polar bears, music was about to disappear? If all of a sudden, all the melodies in the world are already composed? if no new song could be invented? How would mankind react? That’s what Thomas, a young and enthusiastic musician is about to say to Jeanne, his fiancée.

The Book of Ruth
Director: Becca Roth
Country: United States; Running Time: 14:10 min

Margo, Dan, Jordan, and Lizzy visit grandmother Ruth for Passover. Later that night, Lizzy finds Ruth watching a midnight news story about Anne Frank’s death. Lizzy then confesses to have known a related secret for years and Ruth is left with some explaining to do.

Maybe This Year
Director: Natalie Lynch
Country: United States; Running Time: 3:11 min

Film is a musical parody of “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret. We can all agree that 2020 was a pretty sucky year. We are cautiously optimistic that maybe this year won’t suck.

Plot 9
Director: Stacie duPerrouzel
Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 11:46 min

While Alice seeks an escape from the world, she discovers a homeless man sleeping in the greenhouse on her Mum’s allotment. Will the need for human connection overcome her initial prejudice and fear and enable them to help each other?

Scarlet
Director: Lottie Graham
Country: United States; Running Time: 15:44 min

Two unlikely strangers meet on a desert road.

Sidestep
Director: Natasha Straley
Country: United States; Running Time: 10:52 min

A woman finds herself torn between the bustle of her New York life and the quaint dance floors of her home in Texas.

Vegetarian’s Lament
Director: Eric Maierson
Country: United States; Running Time: 00:54 min

The true story of a vegetarian’s struggle in the Czech Republic.

Voices from the Sit In
Director: Ted Fisher
Country: United States; Running Time: 26:46 min

Voices from the Sit In is the true story of a protest, told by those who lived it.

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