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Butterfly in the Sky, Jurassic Park, 2022 Naples Film Festival Lineup
Butterfly in the Sky opens, Jurassic Park closes 2022 Naples Film Festival Lineup

As Southwest Florida grapples with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the 2022 Naples International Film Festival will take place as planned October 27-30, screening 64 films (13 narrative features, 9 documentary features and 42 short films) from 17 countries.

The film festival begins with the Florida premiere of Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb’s documentary Butterfly in the Sky. The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, looks at the history and influence of the beloved Reading Rainbow series and one of the most adored television hosts of all time, LeVar Burton.

Closing night will feature a special presentation of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) featuring a live performance of John Williams’ classic score by the Naples Philharmonic, conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly.

Naples will present its popular “Screenings Under the Stars” with NIFF alumnus Bryan Storkel and Amy Bandlien Storkel’s The Pez Outlaw on Friday night, and Nate Boyer’s MVP will screen on Saturday night.

The 2022 Naples International Film Festival (NIFF) Official Selections:

OPENING NIGHT FILM PRESENTATION

Butterfly in the Sky
Florida Premiere
Directors: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 86 minutes
Butterfly in the Sky tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow, its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television.

CLOSING NIGHT FILM PRESENTATION

Jurassic Park (1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Country: U.S., Running Time: 127 min
A pragmatic paleontologist touring an almost-complete theme park on an island in Central America is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure allows the park’s cloned dinosaurs to run loose.

NARRATIVE FEATURES

JURIED COMPETITION

Acidman
Florida Premiere
Director: Alex Lehmann
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 90 minutes
Maggie tracks down her estranged and reclusive father, Lloyd (Thomas Haden Church), who lives in the middle of nowhere searching for UFOs—an obsession that has taken over his life. Struggling to accept who her father has become, Maggie searches for a new way to connect with her dad so she can share a life-changing secret of her own with him.

The Big Bend
Florida Premiere
Director: Brett Wagner
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 104 minutes
Two families meet for a long overdue reunion in the remote West Texas desert, and events quickly don’t go as planned. Harboring secrets and facing private crises, they explore one of the wildest places in America, testing the boundaries of marriage, friendship, and parenthood—and doing their best to survive the experience.

Disfluency
Director: Anna Baumgarten
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 93 minutes
After failing her final college class, Jane returns home to her family’s lake house and comes to terms with the confusing drama that derailed her senior year.

ADDITIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURES

Dear Zoe
Florida Premiere
Director: Gren Wells
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 94 minutes
A powerful coming-of-age story of love, loss, grief and resilience in which teenage Tess enlists the support of her biological father—a lovable slacker—and the charming juvenile delinquent next door in the aftermath of the death of her little sister, Zoe.

Food and Romance
Director: Annika Appelin
Country: Sweden; Running Time: 102 minutes
A sudden change forces Karin to reevaluate her life. With the help of friends, food and passion, she refuses to accept that life has an expiration date and takes the second chance she is given.

The Forger
Florida Premiere
Director: Maggie Peren
Country: Germany; Running Time: 116 minutes
Based on a true story of bravery in the face of evil, The Forger stars Louis Hofmann (Netflix’s Dark) as an audacious young man who poses as a marine officer and forges documents to help fellow Jews escape Nazi Germany.

Hard Shell, Soft Shell
Director: Emma Benestan
Countries: France/Algeria; Running Time: 100 minutes
Loved-up oyster farmer Az thinks he’s made it. But when an elaborate proposal goes awry and his girlfriend Jess breaks his heart, Az is forced to confront his understanding of what happiness really looks like—both hers and his own.

iMordecai
Director: Marvin Samel
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 102 minutes
Sean Astin stars as Marvin is an ambitious cigar maker trying to support his own family while still being there for his aging parents, Mordecai (Judd Hirsch) and Fela (Carol Kane). When Mordecai’s ancient flip phone breaks, he starts to take lessons on his new iPhone, opening him up to all kinds of novel experiences and adventures, making him feel like a kid again.

MVP
Director: Nate Boyer
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 112 minutes
Based on a true story of combat veterans and former pro athletes finding purpose and identity after the uniform comes off.

Playing Through
Director: Balbinka Korzeniowska
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 91 minutes
Late in her career, Ann Gregory, dubbed the Queen of Negro Golf, finds the courage to be the first woman of color to enter the USGA Women’s Amateur. She collides with Babs Whatling, a privileged white woman from the South who is searching for her own identity. This highly publicized match forever changes both them and the game.

Róise & Frank
Florida Premiere
Directors: Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy
Country: Ireland; Running Time: 84 minutes
It has been two years since Róise lost the love of her life: her husband, Frank. She is now isolated in grief, cut off from family and community. The arrival of a mysterious dog, who seems intent on connecting with Róise, heralds huge change… but is it for the better?

Shudderbugs
World Premiere
Director: Johanna Putnam
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 106 minutes
Samantha Cole returns to her childhood home when her mother suddenly passes. In place of familiar spaces and memories, Sam finds only uneasiness and confusion. Things are missing, the environment seems unnatural and the neighbor, Noah, who discovered her mom’s body is suspiciously obtuse. Isolated with these mysteries, Sam wrestles with her sanity and certainties.

Sweet Disaster
Director: Laura Lehmus
Country: Germany; Running Time: 92 minutes
Frida unexpectedly falls pregnant, and Felix, the father of her child, breaks up with her to reunite with his ex. Although some serious health problems caused by the late pregnancy force Frida to rest, she still tries to get Felix back, using methods that are absurd, exaggerated and sometimes hilarious.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

JURIED COMPETITION

Art & Krimes by Krimes
Florida Premiere
Director: Alysa Nahmias
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 84 minutes
While locked up for six years in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art—including an astonishing 30-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel and newspaper. He smuggles out each panel, piece-by-piece, with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home.

The Pez Outlaw
Florida Premiere
Directors: Amy Bandlien Storkel, Bryan Storkel
Country: U.S./Austria; Running Time: 87 minutes
In the 1990s, Pez dispensers were worth more, gram for gram, than cocaine or even gold. Steve Glew, from rural Michigan, spent 10 years smuggling Pez dispensers into the U.S. from Eastern Europe, making millions of dollars. It was all magical until it wasn’t when his archnemesis, the Pezident, decided to destroy him.

The Thief Collector
Florida Premiere
Director: Allison Otto
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 89 minutes
In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s Woman-Ochre, one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century, was cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. More than 32 years later, the painting is rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places. The Thief Collector ;unravels the layers of this infamous heist.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Lift
Director: David Petersen
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 87 minutes
Lift shines a spotlight on the invisible story of homelessness in America through the eyes of a group of young home-insecure ballet dancers in New York City and the mentor who inspires them.

The Long Rider
Director: Sean Cisterna
Country: Canada; Running Time: 96 minutes
When Filipe Leite leaves his adoptive home of Canada, the aspiring journalist embarks on an epic quest to ride the length of the Americas from north to south—entirely on horseback—to return to home his family in South America.

Path of the Panther
Director: Eric Bendick
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 89 minutes
Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, a photographer finds himself on the front lines of an accelerating battle between forces of renewal and destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.

Still Working 9 to 5
Florida Premiere
Directors: Camille Hardman, Gary Lane
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 91 minutes
Still Working 9 to 5 explores what has and hasn’t changed for women over the last 40 years since the release of the hilarious 1980 workplace comedy 9 to 5.

Take Me to the River New Orleans
Florida Premiere
Director: Martin Shore
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 115 minutes
Take Me to the River New Orleans celebrates the rich musical history, the heritage, legacy, culture and influence of New Orleans and Louisiana. A true collaboration and melting pot of influences from around the world.

SHORT FILMS

SHORTS PACKAGE #1: PASSION FOR THE ARTS

Chihuly: Roll the Dice
East Coast Premiere
Director: Peter West
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 27 minutes
World-renowned artist Dale Chihuly pursues an idea that will push glass to its physical limits.

Conducting Life
Director: Diane Moore
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 31 minutes
The remarkable journey of Roderick Cox as he pursues his dream: To secure a top conducting position with a major orchestra.

Identity: The Andrew Nemr Story
Florida Premiere
Director: Jon Cipiti
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 23 minutes
Follow international tap dance artist Andrew Nemr on his unique journey.

SHORTS PACKAGE #2: THE WORLD AROUND US

A Very Fragile Thing
Florida Premiere
Directors: Selah Eshetu, Ryan De Franco
Country: Ethiopia/U.S.; Running Time: 14 minutes
A first-person journey into the collapse of democracy and the rise of a civil war that has claimed the lives of half a million Ethiopians since 2020.

The Bathtub
Director: Sergi Marti
Country: Spain; Running Time: 19 minutes
A man is taking a bath when his cell phone suddenly rings. On the other side of the line is Clara, a girl who insistently tries to sell him a life insurance policy that will change his life.

Mamma
Florida Premiere
Director: Aslak Danbold
Country: Norway; Running Time: 15 minutes
On Christmas Eve, a mother searches for her drug-addicted daughter in a desolate cityscape.

Medea
Director: Feifei Zhong
Country: China; Running Time: 14 minutes
A woman struggles between her career and family after finding her unexpected pregnancy.

Rodrigue in Love
U.S. Premiere
Director: Johann Dionnet
Country: France; Running Time: 24 minutes
During the Avignon Festival, one of the most important theater festivals in the world, a comedic actor tries to seduce a beautiful dramatic actress by pretending to play Rodrigue in Le Cid.

SHORTS PACKAGE #3: LESSONS LEARNED

Black Slide
Director: Uri Lotan
Country: Israel/U.K.; Running Time: 11 minutes
A young and timid kid learns a helpful life lesson on the scariest ride at the water park.

Cycle Vérité
Florida Premiere
Director: Adam J. Graves
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 15 minutes
When Don sets out to recover his stolen bicycle, he finds himself drawn into a cycle of truth and deception and is forced to reconsider the meaning of forgiveness.

Frank & Emmett
Director: Carlos F. Puertolas
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 13 minutes
Two lifelong friends finally have a much-needed conversation about the only thing they’ve never talked about: One of them is a puppet.

Make Your Soul Grow
Florida Premiere
Director: KC Connolly
Country: Ireland; Running Time: 13 minutes
The true story of Kurt Vonnegut’s final letter of inspiration.

Melons
Florida Premiere
Director: Matt MacDonald
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 15 minutes
A jolly but meek grocery store manager must learn to stand up for himself after a misunderstanding brands him as public enemy No. 1.

The Interview
Florida Premiere
Director: Inga Moren Tapias
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 9 minutes
An interview between two women at opposite ends of their careers turns into a therapy session… but who is interviewing whom?

SHORTS PACKAGE #4: A SENSE OF PLACE

An Irish Goodbye
Florida Premiere
Directors: Tom Berkeley, Ross White
Country: Ireland; Running Time: 23 minutes
In rural Northern Ireland, a pair of estranged brothers reunite following the untimely death of their mother.

The Desert King
East Coast Premiere
Director: Lev Mergian
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 16 minutes
A young woman hikes into the quirky kingdom of an eccentric recluse and joins him on his adventures.

Ousmane
Florida Premiere
Director: Jorge Camarotti
Country: Canada; Running Time: 25 minutes
A newly arrived immigrant in Montreal faces a challenging situation when he meets an elderly disoriented lady at the end of his workday.

Out of Tune
Florida Premiere
Director: Portlynn Tagavi
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 15 minutes
Stigmatized since childhood by her love of the rock band Journey, Maya finds her voice in a world where she doesn’t feel “Black enough.”

SHORTS PACKAGE #5: RISKS AND REWARDS

Heart Land
Florida Premiere
Director: Lauren Ciaravalli
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 12 minutes
When a cynical New Yorker gets stuck on a layover in Kansas, she finds a romantic spark where she least expects it—a “red” state.

Progress
Director: Christopher Boulton
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 7 minutes
A builder/designer couple traces the lineage of a mysterious object.

The Right Words
Florida Premiere
Director: Adrian Moyse Dullin
Country: France; Running Time: 15 minutes
A sibling rivalry spills over from social media into real life when 15-year-old Kenza pressures her little brother, Madhi, to profess his love to a crush.

Shark
Florida Premiere
Director: Nash Edgerton
Country: Australia; Running Time: 14 minutes
A lifelong prankster may have finally met his match in his latest relationship.

Skim
Director: William Pisciotta
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 18 minutes
A closeted woman cleaning pools in South Florida is met with a risky opportunity to change her lot in life.

Volley
Florida Premiere
Director: Oliver DeFilippo
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 15 minutes
A casual game of tennis between friends becomes an awakening to the relationships and the lives they take for granted.

SHORTS PACKAGE #6: POINT OF VIEW

Babatoura
Florida Premiere
Director: Guillaume Collin
Country: Canada; Running Time: 11 minutes
Comfort food for uncomfortable times.

Bendix: Site Unseen
Florida Premiere
Director: Anthony Scalia
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 26 minutes
A documentary about a blind waiter and single father who overcomes his disability in order to provide for his family.

Hamleyed
Director: Pedro Blanco-Uribe
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 8 minutes
To be, or not to be: A young man reflects on his desire to take revenge on the world through a terrorist attack.

Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat
Florida Premiere
Director: William Joyce
Country: U.K.; Running Time: 14 minutes
When a man with a head full of dreams is beaten down by the foreman in the factory where he works, a woman in a polka-dot dress brings meaning, love and dreams back into his life.

The Status Quo
U.S. Premiere
Director: Marie-Pier Diamond
Country: Canada; Running Time: 19 minutes
In the near future, humanity does not challenge the status quo anymore—until a man opposes it and seeks the truth behind an apathetic society.

SHORTS PACKAGE #7: STUDENT FILMMAKER SHOWCASE

Agent Stout (K-12)
Director: Joshua Vennetti
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 10 minutes
Secret agent Stout races to disarm a bombas the clock counts down to annihilation.

Café Drawing (College)
Director: Junrong Zhang
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 2 minutes
A sketch character in a sketchbook tries to save herself from a splash of coffee when the artist leaves for a while.

Funeral Fever (College)
Florida Premiere
Director: Janicel Diaz
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 4 minutes
A young woman begins planning her perfect funeral after receiving a psychic reading.

Gone (K-12)
Florida Premiere
Director: Kyle Ward
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 4 minutes
As development encroaches on a farming community, they struggle with the loss of their heritage and land.

Hardcore (K-12)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Madeleine Case
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 10 minutes
When a young photographer falls in love with a drummer, she finds herself suspended between life, death, and motherhood.

The Letter (K-12)
Florida Premiere
Director: Cameran Ford
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 2 minutes
A young woman experiences the perils of waiting until the last minute to pop the prom question.

Life with Coffee (College)
Director: Sohee Jeon
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 5 minutes
A Yemeni refugee sheltering in the U.S. finds his identity as a merchant selling coffee from his homeland.

My Cat Lucy (College)
Director: Kate Vaillant
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 2 minutes
A boy is convinced that his beloved pet cat is possessed by a demon.

Reaper (K-12)
Florida Premiere
Director: Eva Ulreich
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 4 minutes
The Grim Reaper attempts to claim a lost soul.

Space Race (College)
Director: Shane Dioneda
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 5 minutes
Two competing astronauts race to claim the moon for themselves.

Swept Away (K-12)
Florida Premiere
Director: Braden Webb
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 5 minutes
A man turns into his biggest fear.

The Trip (College)
Director: Alyssa Archard
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 11 minutes
Stuck in a world she can’t escape, Jesse must confront the forces in power or live in an eternal loop under someone else’s control.

Vilomah (College)
World Premiere
Director: Tom Ingwersen
Country: U.S.; Running Time: 10 minutes
A mother celebrates her deceased daughter’s birthday… until her husband comes home.

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