Sunday, March 29, 2015

San Francisco Film Award Winners: March 2015

The San Francisco Film Awards are excited to present our April 2015 award winners.   This month, we held private screenings of hundreds of exceptional films from around the world. This month we added a few new categories (horror, black and white and action), in order to celebrate the vast number of films that were submitted in the "short" category.  These changes enabled us to celebrate more of the films whose exceptional quality are the hallmark of the San Francisco Film Awards. 

Quality and creativity are celebrated in three levels of awards: Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Honorable Mention.  Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Honorable Mention or no award.
Best of Show honors are granted to the top scoring entry for each season. Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking. Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level.  Honorable Mentions are awarded to filmmakers that have potential want to encourage them to continue making films. The number of awards granted fluctuate based on the total number of entries received.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Best in Show:

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution A Story of Revolution (14:29) - US/Syria/Turkey
A short film about the conflict in Syria as experienced by a 32 year old rebel commander, Mowya, and a 24 year old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film clearly and concisely shows why Syrians are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been torn apart by war. 

Short Film

Award of Excellence:

The Time of Tango (4:45) Frederic Hontschoote - France        An old man sits lonely in a tango ball filled with young dancers. He is bored, until arrives a woman of his age.

My Mom's Motorcycle (6:19) Douglas Gautraud - US
A look into how objects can connect us to people places and ideas.


Barefoot (13:33) Galih Sakti - Indonesia
During colonial times in Java, a Dutch boy named Vincent makes friends with a mysterious native girl in the forest near the Dutch plantation. The girl always sings a beautiful, yet sad song, and has never worn any shoes. She becomes Vincent's only friend.

Song of the Songs (12:55) Dimitar Radev - Bulgaria
Two old men remember their common past. They have lived their whole life in their native village. They were in love with the same woman since childhood. They stole her from her wedding, but only one of them could marry her. The other one lives all his life with his dream.

Cinema (28:00) Magdalena Wleklik, Tomasz Lechicki - Poland
A homeless man (Pawel) finds a used film projector in a garbage dump. He recalls his past when he was young, had a girlfriend and big plans for the future - he wanted to have his own cinema. Pawel decides to take the projector with him and because of its heaviness he asks for help his friend - Arnold from the dormitory for homeless people. Arnold helps him, glad of the profits they will get from selling the scrap. Disappointed, he finds out that Pawel wants to keep the projector and try to activate it instead of selling it.

1440 and Counting (13:41) Tony Gapastione - US
A burned-out, retiring teacher is confronted by a desperate man from her past. She’s packing up her classroom and her life, but when she discovers one of her beloved students is in great danger, her life turns upside down within minutes. 

Award of Merit:

Benny & Eve (10:48) CHRISTY O HARRIS - US
 Two people moving through New York City, themselves and each other, find that what is possible is not always available. Their story, one of love and longing, is expressed through music and the subtleties of gesture, within a small patch of a cityscape whose background influences the story as much as contains it.

Blazing Sun (24:00) Fred Castadot - Belgium
 Under the leaden sky of a summer day, Eric goes to work to defend a great issue. But, blinded by stress, Eric is forgetting the most important thing...

My Old Grandmother (3:00) Hadi Moussally - France/Lebanon
When time flies and life is boring, the only thing we wait for is death. For Myassar, my grandmother, days go by and blend into each other and all that is left to do for her is… wait. A picture will make her relive memories and, little by little, her emotions will guide her story. 

A True Reflection (8:08) Jayden Cummins -  Australia
A True Reflection is a short film written and directed by Jayden Cummins, and shot by Steve Christo, that explores what happens when four characters - who each see something different in the mirror - are faced with an adverse situation.

VIDEO CALL (18:51) Debal Basu - India
The film is in the form of a video chat between a widow, living alone in a big old ancestral house, and her only daughter, living abroad with her husband and daughter. The mother wants her daughter to come back and settle in homeland; the daughter wants to, but situations don't permit. They are together only in a virtual reality. The daughter is worried by the fact that the old ancestral house, located in a prime area by the river Ganga, has become a soft target of estate mafia. During the video chat the mother goes out of the screen in response to door bell. The daughter is panicked at what appears to be a long absence. Who knows what happens to her, when real estate mafia are around? 


Honorable Mention:

Immobile Home (14:05) Kira Hesser - US
An odyssey for advice from a family who has too much of it.


Night of the Hipsters (3:25) Mauro Flores, Jr. - US
On a night of terror, Dick and Barbara run into a house overrun by... hipsters! A lost movie trailer from the dawn of video rentals. (fake comedy trailer)

Le Pardon (6:00) Margarethe Baillou - US
 Set in late 19th century New Orleans, featuring Mario Brassard and Nicole Barré, short film LE PARDON portrays an unusual dialog between a man and a woman: he is only heard, and she is only seen. A fictional ghost story, written and directed by Margarethe Baillou, LE PARDON is a tale of forgiveness and the art of listening as well as the filmmaker’s hommage to the Crescent City.

Choice (17:05) Shangyuan Liao -  US
Charles is a very good teenager, but he has a very bad memory. So, his parents and teachers are always puzzled by his grades, and himself. He likes a girl named Caroline who is the top student in his class. But he is too inferior to unbosom himself.

Into the Mountain (28:57) Chuang,Shiang-An - Taiwan
A-Hui decided to commit suicide after losing his wife in an accident. He brought a relic of his wife, and determined to fulfill his promise of taking her up to the top of a mountain. On his way up, he bumped into a high school girl - Hsin who wanted to threaten her father with her own life, and a Native Taiwanese young man - Hao who was hunting.


Feature Film

Award of Excellence:

The Other Kind (1:53:51) Rosalyn Rosen - US
A former county judge, his Bible toting wife, and their two adult children set out on a mission to rural Texas, intent on saving the youngest of their brood, an eccentric poet who believes Charles Bukowski lives inside his head. But the tables turn when a chilling family secret is exposed and reality is turned upside down.

Homogen (1:34:00) Isabelle Courville - Canada
Nine episodes, nine characters, representative of a generation of homosexuals discuss the realities they face, from their « coming-out » to dealing with stereotypes, bullying and of course, finding love. Homogen delivers an intimate portrait of the Quebec gay and lesbian community where youth, parents, allies and dissidents can find real answers to their questions, without shame, judgment or taboo. The series elevates the personal experience to a universal level. In fact, it makes a difference by showing that in the end, there is no difference, after all.

Award of Merit:

Gomorraland (1:36:52) Duccio Giordano - Italy
There are those who say the battle against the Camorra has been won; unfortunately it hasn't. The Mafia is now the real "Made in Italy", since there's no more art to speak of.

The Ninth Life of Gualdino (1:00:51) Filipe Araújo - Portugal/France
 By the end of an incredible life full of adventure, misfortune and surreal accomplishments, a self-taught drummer, exalted to jazz legend among the community for having introduced to the stage dozens of inexperienced young people acclaimed today in the music industry, suffers a stroke. At first, half of his body is paralyzed, but his stubbornness is overpowering. The mission is ambitious: to regain full movement, play the drums once again, introduce one last singer and return to Paris, where he played with Nina Simone and lived under a bridge.

Ain't About the Money (1:23:10) Charles Konowal - Canada/US
Ain’t About the Money is a documentary celebrating the blues and it’s origins. Big Dave McLean and his associates take us into blues territory, capturing the passion in conversation and song. The film takes a look at the blues scene through the artists that live it and gives the audience a unique and personal perspective on the world of blues.



Award of Excellence:

 ESCAPES (1:30:00) Mercedes Gaspar - Spain
After China's father death, China gets involved in a trip which will help her to find the human being's essence. A travel in which she will discover that running away is not the way


Kijabe Hospital (7:40) Cameron Quon - US/Kenya
Kijabe Hospital is one of the largest training and referral hospitals in Kenya, Africa. The facility is made up of volunteer long-term and short-term overseas physicians who train African doctors to serve their home countries. 

Winter's Journey (26:00) Susanne Boeing - Germany
Walter is waiting at the last station of his journey through life. His family and friends all know what is best for him. But in the end they have to understand that his ending belongs only to him.



Award of Merit:

L4 Lupus (1:24:00) Damien Dematra - Indonesia 
Atikah tries to do everything to take care of her sister despite of her busy life and they go to many places she could take, but lupus has strike Mutiara’s brain and it get worse. Mutiara dies and Atikah thinks that there is no point in living as a doctor. She gives up on life and devastates. Adam knows that she needs him most. He offers her comfort and love, and for the very first time, Atikah finally opens her heart to a man... only to learn that lupus will forever become a shadow in her life. 



Award of Excellence:

Obama and Me (43:57) Damien Dematra - Indonesia
Turdi, a former nanny of Barack 'Barry' Obama while he was living in Jakarta, Indonesia, has been a controversial and mysterious figure because he is the living witness of Little Barry and his family's daily activities. Only after a national search, was he finally found with a new identity as Evi on a street of Jakarta, in the place where no one could ever think of.

We Can Be Gay Today (1:00:48) François Message, Nathalie Sibille - France/Lithuania
With 62% of its population declaring themselves against an LGBT parade, Lithuania is the most homophobic country in Europe. This film follows the Lithuanian Gay League for the organization of the first open pride parade of the country.

Snowflake (15:00) Francesco Roder - Italy/US
Aurore is dying. Her illness has confined her to a bed and Claire is at her side, waiting for the inevitable end to come.


Award of Merit:

Quinceañera (12:46) Tania Romero - US
 A short film about Dani, a young girl who questions her sexual orientation on the cusp of her Quinceañera birthday party. Her mother Inez, eagerly makes preparations and wants Dani to conform to the traditions of their Latino heritage. The film explores the topics of acceptance, mutual understanding, and love.

Undetectable (16:00) Armand Petri - US
Adam, a gay man living with undetectable HIV, must confront the guilt tormenting him in his dreams after betraying and infecting his now dying ex-lover, Raphael. As Adam sets out to reconnect with Raphael on the anniversary of their diagnosis, he discovers that they have both been living nightmares of their own.

 0 Feet Away (10:00) Frank Clark - US
Looking for a good time, Chase stays home one night searching for a hook-up, using one of the many apps on his phone. What starts off as a flirty conversation with Stealth, ends up getting creepier, until there's not much more than zero feet between them.

Honorable Mention:

Born Wrong (8:15) Rob Daglish  - UK
 "Born Wrong" is an experimental film about my family coping and reacting to my brother going through a sex change. The film is a visual snap shot of the emotional turmoil one feels when making such a transition, as well as the emotions of those closest to them.

Here Without You (6:32) Britany Sparrow - Canada
Sam and Kyle spend their lives apart, one living at home and one living on the road. They put on a brave face to the rest of the world but when they are confronted with an empty bed at night their true feelings emerge.


  Horror Films

Award of Excellence:

Dark Corridors (15:53) Alexander Falcon - US
'Dark Corridors' is an original short suspense thriller/horror about an ordinary guy, college student Mark, who is trapped in extraordinary and dangerous situation.

Mr. Dentonn (9:00) Ivan Villamel Sanchez - Spain 
 On a cold winter night, Laura reads his brother David the story of a strange creature that attacks children. Suddenly, a shiver runs Laura's body, feeling a strange presence in the house. It’s him.


 Award of Merit:

Tolerance (3:30) Aidan Moran - United Kingdom
A nice quiet drive in the country can really put a strain on your relationship.



Honorable Mention:


Romantic Comedy

Award of Excellence:

Snail (12:30) Deborah Attoinese - US
ISSAC gets the wake-up call of his life when ANNA, his beautiful new neighbor, breaks into his apartment. To his surprise, he fall in love with her. When Anna leaves in a hurry, Issac, desperate to find her, is forced to come out of his shell.

Janne of Love (25:22) Vilma Kartalska, Radko Savov - Bulgaria 
Janne of love” is a humorous investigation of the communicational problems, cultural differences and prejudices of contemporary Europeans. Bulgarian, Finnish and English language “get along, hide real intentions and clash” just like the characters, pointing out the invisible borders in a globalized world.

R & J (10:00) John Robert Hurley - US
Fair Verona sits on the verge of becoming a slaughterhouse. A bloody summer wherein two rival butcher families, Montague and Capulet, do battle for ultimate dominance in the streets of Brooklyn. The feud escalates when the heirs of the combatant families fall in love and secretly wed one another, releasing the power of love, and tempting fate.

 Award of Merit:

Spidora (15:30) Fred Olen Ray -  US
After receiving a series of anonymous Shakespearean sonnets, Spidora (Megan Sheehan), a Side Show performer who plays the 'Girl with the Body of a Hideous Spider' at Dr. Grave's (Jerry Lacy) Museum of the Weird, finally agrees to meet her secret admirer (Bobby Quinn Rice) at the urging of her fellow workers. In the dark dressing room after the last show her true self is revealed. 

The Window (7:43) Jill Pauletich-Ragan - US
An old lady sits in front of her picture window, alone, watching the people pass by until an old man comes along and decides to woo her from the sidewalk. But this is no ordinary old man with courting skills that ups the ante. 

Honorable Mention:


Black and White Films

Award of Excellence:

The Quiet Escape (4:05) Ed David - US
This is a visual essay, a love/hate letter to New York and Cities in General. What we desire and despise of them. Just like that ex-girlfriend or boyfriend you love but you're better off never seeing again, or at least only once in a while.


None But the Fool is Always Right (13:21) Paolo Fulvio Mazzacane -  Italy
The crazy one is just a common man, like many others. Dominated by anti-progress outbursts and by tenuous victim complex and faded out memories, he talks randomly without any common thread, sitting down in a real or imaginary space, on edge between an excessive sense of reality and a complete detachment from it. Are his arguments the mere result of a surge of his insanity?

 Award of Merit:

Silent Hall of Fame (25:00) Kinga Kowalczyk, Alex Staykov, A. Reid  - US 
The purpose of the film is to let the public know about Silent Hall of Fame and its efforts to restore the legacy and bring belated recognition to distinguished silent film personalities who have not been rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A Dubious Night (16:17) Nelson Oliveras - US 
At a local tavern, unhappy citizens share their hopes and dreams. Soon they become aware they have never left their home town.


Honorable Mention:

Molyneux (12:11) Mallikarjun Chakraborty - US
 A doctor tried an unsolved human behavioral experiment with one of his patient. The patient succeeded to solve the puzzle exploring one more unsolved behavioral paradox. 


Action Films

Award of Excellence:

 UNMISTAKEN (8:00) Carlos Dorsey - US
Where Love clashes with Duty. That's where we find Marley, a female assassin who has fallen in love with a man who delivers and determines her next targets. And today, that target is her.

The guardian Gods who protect the four quarters suddenly revolt against human beings!
To save the world, a Godslayer, Kaguraoka Himiko, takes action.


 Award of Merit:

STUNT FIGHTER (11:07) Erica Robert Pallo - US
Professional stunt woman Salome grapples with the choice between her devotion to a physically demanding, highly rewarding profession, and her potential for motherhood. Sal is at the top of her game. She has a successful stunt career, a supportive boyfriend who is also in the same business, an adorable dog named Jackie Chan, and lots of opportunities lined up for the future. When an unexpected pregnancy is confirmed just before performing a high-risk stunt, Salome must confront her limited options as a woman who is also a stunt fighter.  



Award of Excellence:

Fanette (14:00) Sebastien Chamaillard - France
Julien , new recruit « Skin Center », makes customers without any sale !!! After a disastrous first test day Jean-Luc his boss threatens to fire him if he did not made a sale the next day. Julien henceforth to 24h to sell a sofa at all costs !!

The Who, What, and Why We Won't Work (9:10) Trevor Caskey, Alex Gardels - US
A first date summons memories of relationships past for a young man.

Valiant (29:29) Robin Phillips - US
Three wanted air pirates embark on a dangerous quest after after discovering a lost child princess who may hold the ticket to their freedom

 The Parting Shot (14:39) Anirban Roy - US
In this defiantly unsentimental comedy noir, we see these two uncouth characters transforming their liability – their age – into a weapon. Unleashing a series of attacks and reprisals on each other, they make life hellish for everyone around them.

 Award of Merit:

“Testudon”, one of the most famous foolish film festivals, made a foolish anthology film about “Japan” with 26 directors. 

Honorable Mention:

 Assistants (13:23) Courtney Arnett - US
Three Hollywood personal assistants strive for their own version of success while running the lives of their bosses.



Award of Excellence:

Slit Mouth Woman in L.A. (1:43:00) Takeshi Sone, Kazuya Ogawa, Kay Hiro, Akira Hirose - Japan/US
The rumor of ‘Slit mouth woman’ is blasting in LA. Clair sees the nightmare of her every night. She met the professor of the urban legends research and talk about the phenomenon.

Award of Excellence:

Let's Play Ghost (1:47:00) Damien Dematra - Indonesia
 Something evil will come out if they say Let's Play five times. Disbelieving the warning, while playing Truth or Dare game they challenge Rhonda to say it. Feeling disturbingly invited, the ghost appears and begins to ask them to play, one by one, and finally, they become her toys.





Award of Excellence:

Buring From the Inside (1:03:41) Marsia Tzivara - Germany/Greece
‘Burning from the inside’ is a socio-political documentary, coming out from the streets of Athens and Berlin. Using the rise of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn as the main axis, it exposes the fascist structures and the social disintegration witch invaded Greece, from the perspective of the Greek immigrants in Germany. Giving their own fight against the Nazi outburst, the Greeks collaborate with German comrades and try to create a ‘voice’ which speaks about the constant violations of human rights in Greece, as well as the role of Germany as the ‘queen of Europe’.

LAMBANI (20:23) Aanand DK - India
Lambani is a Documentary film About Lambani Culture.

Award of Merit:

Against the Grain: A Filmmaker's Lament (4:32) Patrick Shanahan -  US
 At first glance this short documentary, Against the Grain, may appear to be a narrative short film, though this is Patrick Shanahan speaking from his own real life experiences. Cinematographer Beau Vorous and director Patrick Shanahan wanted to create a film with poetic, short film aesthetics and at the same time, tell a true story of one struggling film maker’s opinion on filmstock and the encroachment of digital media.

N’kisi Concorde (1:08:24) Nikki Sass - US
N’kisi Concorde, a documentary feature, investigates the lives and work of two Detroit-area outsider artists and visual storytellers, Olayami Dabls and Dmytro Szylak, whose extraordinary installations reflect the power of the imagination unbound by artistic conventions or popular tastes. Though unrelated by work or acquaintance, these artists are united by the power of their singular visions to stimulate lively public engagement and to color the cultural landscapes of their communities.

Honorable Mention:

I Remember MoMi (13:31) S. Kramer Herzog - US
S. Kramer Herzog's true story about his father's best friend (Momi Kaufman), who became his surrogate father, what he taught him about life and how to live life on life's terms. This is a very uplifting and feel good documentary.

GELATOlogy (34:12) Seth Chandler - France/Italy/US
A film about the art, passion, science, history, and business of artisan gelato.

The Illusionist (54:03) Kagan Olgunturk -  Turkey
Sermet Erkin has been working as a stage artist since he was very very young. He was educated by the biggest illusionist ever lived.  His respect to his work and his idealism should be a good example to everyone. Although its not easy for him to be on stage lately he is still doing his best to be on stage and performing.



Award of Excellence:

Above & Below Galápagos National Park (34:18) Florian Fischer, Michael Kugler - Ecuador/Germany
This film from the young film makers crew 'Behind the Mask' tells about Florian's 14 days dive expedition to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. In this travel and wild life documentary Florian takes the audience to the different spots of his trip and shows the beauty and the biodiversity of the ecosystem - 'Above & Below Galápagos National Park'.

Award of Merit:

 Aurora Borealis - 250 Miles Above the Earth (4:32) Randy Smith -US
The Aurora Borealis as seen from the International Space Station, 250 miles above the Earth.  A time-lapse from over 6000 4256x2832 high-resolution images.  Images and astronaut audio files used in this film were provided courtesy of NASA.

Honorable Mention:

Mist (4:47) Allan Brown - Canada
For the better part of the 20th century the rivière St. Maurice in Quebec was considered one of the most polluted rivers in Canada; the most toxic concentration of which went through the 42m falls in the city of Shawinigan. Here, we see the falls and the mist with a vocal mix oscillating between a Greek chorus and a school for “chemistry as a second language” listing a small portion of the toxic or benign chemicals, end products, by products and other compounds that may or may not have made their way into the river, but nonetheless contributed to the river’s noxious reputation.




Award of Excellence:

Love (3:55) Ratziel Bander - US
A homeless woman's dancing dream.

The Trouble with Aoibhe (10:01) Ross Carey - Ireland
In 1987, a well-meaning young woman finds herself a local outcast, unable to collect for her local church due to her notorious "holiday to England".

Tea By the Lake (5:52) Florian Fischer, Michael Kugler - Germany
There are many told stories about the Green Lake. One is about the Ghost of Green Lake. The people living in the area around the lake believe: Early in the morning the ghost can be evoked by drinking green tea at the lake shore. 

Award of Merit:

 NAKED PROBLEMS (15:20) A.R. Kara - US
Pablo Picasso's epic enigma, "The Demoiselles of Avignon," solved at last! An actor, a dancer and a poet reveal the urgent seduction hiding in plain sight for over 100 years in Picasso's spellbinding masterpiece.

Frank Calls (9:00)  Guillermo Martin Sepulveda - Australia
 Frank misses Kat stalking him so he decides to call on her. Kat eagerly awaits his arrival. Her ex-husband Bobby has other ideas. When Kat finally understands the rules of the game of desire that Frank is playing she wins his affections. (Just under the surface the film is a critique on white male power, race and the nature of desire).

Jukebox Rebel Baby (25:05) Tyler Onassis - US
A look at the life, love and legend of a Hollywood icon.



Honorable Mention:

With the Blink of an Eye (5:37) Ali Orokzai
An animated tale about the fleeting nature of life.


The Art of Decay (8:17) Jillian Acreman - Canada
 The Art of Decay explores the tragedy of the body ageing faster than the spirit.



Science Fiction 

Award of Excellence:

RETCON (5:16) Bensalem Mitchell  -  UK
A thriller with a sci-fi edge. What if you seemingly had the ability to take back what you've done? Could everything be repaired, or are you digging your own grave?

Bea and Alan live in a bunker. She wants to have a child. He does not. They manage to live as comfortable as they can, trying to understand each other, sheltered from an apocalyptic world. Their food resources are not going to last much longer. Soon they will have to face their biggest fear: going outside the bunker.

Brothers (14;23) Harald E. Beran Jahn - US
In a catastrophic near future, a group of three brothers steal food in order to survive until one plan goes wrong, causing the kidnapping of one.

Award of Merit:

Mining Moon (29:00) Brian Morelan - Canada
Agent Akowi goes deep undercover to expose renegade weapon sales from a remote lunar mining outpost. As she infiltrates a dangerous universe of deception and slavery, will her sympathies for the plight of the arms dealer's slaves compromise her mission?

One Year Later (23:49) Andreas Persson - Sweden
One year has passed since Oliver Heanes, a Meta human and former member of the super hero team known as "the Outcasts" was the center of a Meta human terrorist attack that destroyed an entire school, killing over two-thousand students. Following that event, special police force S.C.P (Secure, Contain, Protect) started to hunt down every known Meta human including the Outcasts themselves. Everything has been quiet since then, until now when rumors have started to appear of another meta killing the innocent.  

Honorable Mention:

Come Sweet Earth (1:11) John Celona - Canada
An entity arrives from a distant galaxy and is hungry, very hungry.




Disability Issues 

Award of Excellence:

HIDDEN GENES (24:33) Ariel Revel - Israel
Sarah, discovers during matchmaking she has a sick brother in an institution. Yael, a physician scientist, found a cure for his condition but their mother Rebecca refuses. Sarah ponders whether to treat him at the price of annulling her engagement.

Ironies of Life (9:24) Ignacio Sepúlveda - Spain
“Ironies of life” talks about the ironies that we experience on a daily basis. In them lies the spice of life. These ironies are signs that make us think, change and evolve.

12.29 (1:30:00) Oktay Altunnar - Turkey
It is not one’s own choice to have a body with disabilities. However, it is a choice that one improves what is available, produces and expresses his/her productivity rather than his/her disability. Instead of pitying the disabled individuals and considering them as people in need of help just because there are certain deficiencies or differences in their bodies, we should demonstrate their superior thriving in life to the entire society.

Alma (10:00) Mauro Flores, Jr. - US
Agoraphobic Alma's entire world is her sister, Becky, but when Becky decides to move out of home they share... Alma refuses to let her go.


Award of Merit:

Out of Focus (51:05)  Shahriar Siami Shal -  UK
This is a film about Afshin Naghouni, an Iranian-British disable painter who has fallen down from seventh floor of a building during an escape from Iran polices’ attack to a birthday party in Tehran and his spinal cord severely injured. He came to Britain Seventeen years ago for treatment then stayed in this country, got married and now he works as a professional painter but in a wheelchair.

Across Still Water (13:15) Ruth Grimberg -  UK
Losing his sight to an incurable disease 32 year old John must take the next steps in accepting that one day he may go blind completely. Camped in the dark night of the city and guided by schoolboy Ben, John considers his future and casts his line for carp at the bottom of London’s hidden lakes.

Asthetics of Anxiety (3:30) Bayan Sardari , Ehsan Abbasi - US
"Aesthetics of Anxiety" walks the line between commercial fashion film and short narrative film. It brings story and intrigue to an original macrame clothing collection by Bayan Sardari by drawing a surreal parallel to a spider and its prey. The intricacies and craftsmanship of the dress are reflected in the web motif, and the designer gives life to her design in the tension between predation and self-sacrifice.

Honorable Mention:

Alternating Current (1:03:23) Dan Hereford - US
Groundbreaking, fearless and controversial! This film is sure to change your perspectives about bipolar disorder: a condition that has shaped world history and continues to wreak havoc on the world today. It explains universally misunderstood aspects of the disease and illustrates the immense costs bipolar disorder inflicts upon humanity.



Award of Excellence:

Coyote and the Rock (9:38) Aaron Gaude, Reka Temple -  Hungary
It is a story about generosity. The adventures of Coyote: the Wolfman; Iktome: the Spiderman; and Iya; the Rock take us to the spectacular and magical world of Native American folklore.

Telling A You (5:00) Margarethe Baillou - US/Bermuda
Set on the island of Bermuda in the 1960s, animated short film TELLING A YOU captures the romantic “meet-cute” of a man and a woman colliding at a street corner. While this may not appear noteworthy, his memory lovingly recalls every detail of the incident, thus turning a seemingly ordinary moment in time into an extraordinary moment in two people’s lives. Written, directed and produced by Margarethe Baillou, TELLING A YOU is the filmmaker's personal hommage to Bermuda.

Honorable Mention:

Loreto and Geraldine appear to be two different women, but at the same time, they are one single person. Isolated in the imaginary space of her psychic ghosts, guided by her unconscious in a plausible and unreal city, haunted by the presence of an order of nuns who seem to be catching and overwhelming her, Geraldine meets Loreto, always in the same place, to commit a macabre and cathartic ritual

Award of Merit:

Honorio, an old man living in a big city has a mission: he wants to feel last time the sun. But this will not be easy. Pollution, building height and proximity between them, means that the sun does not reach the streets. It only gets the city for a few minutes a day, between two buildings. For more difficulty, that little light shines right in the middle of a crosswalk that is constantly transited by vehicles at full speed.

 Contorted (6:11) David North - Germany
A dark animated short.

Metamorph0sis (14:59) Frédéric Even, Louise Mercadier - France
As he wakes up one morning, a man feels changed, as if he were not able to live among other beings anymore. His family members cannot bear his presence any longer and try to get rid of him for good.

San Francisco

Award of Excellence:

Mandorla (1:30:00) Roberto Miller - US/France
Mandorla follows Ernesto, a visual artist and seeker stuck in a corporate job, who is drawn by dark magical visions to a medieval French city. There he seeks an elusive banker to help him unlock an obscure dream that threatens his job, family, and sanity. 

San Quentin Inside (5:37) S. Kramer Herzog - US
Award winning filmmaker S. Kramer Herzog's documentary “San Quentin Inside”, presents a rare inside look at sports in prison.



Award of Merit:

This is California  (0:51) Emmanuel Foissotte, Angela Yu   - US
The day I realized that beauty and surprises are not at the end of the world, but right in front of my eyes. After living in California for 4 years, I want to share the beauty of California, the place I call home, with the rest of the world.

The Maestro (6:28) Dave Bundtzen - US
A woman at a cross road in her life finds direction by listening to her neighbors music.

Weekend with Zio (38:05) Steve Carrera - US
Short documentary about the weekend that I spent with Artist Zio Ziegler in San Francisco. He was hired by Venture Capitalist company, Sherpa Foundry to do a mural inside of their corporate headquarters. Throughout the process, Zio gives an insightful look into his motivations as a painter, his overall philosophy as an artist and what he strives to accomplish day in and day out.

Honorable Mention:

Rebel Without a Cause (5:01) Jae Hyeong KO - US
I think we have purpose for birth, but I don't know what is my purpose. I just keep going the rule which is society system. I don't know what is right, but I always follow the rule. Here, my character starts to feel emptiness from these problem. He starts to confuse. He starts to rebel without a cause.

Max Helms: Curse of the Relic (24:00) Hutt Wigley - US
 San Francisco, 1938; The corpses of deceased gangsters are discovered all over the city... Weeks after they've died! Max Helms is a hard-boiled private eye. Polly Bixby is his sassy-but-resourceful secretary. When a stolen African relic ends up in their laps, Max and Polly discover an underworld of gangsters-turned-occultists led by notorious German mob boss Gustov Heinrich. Will Max and Polly stop Heinrich's evil plans in time?


Faith or Spiritual

Award of Excellence:

SLEEPING DEATH (15:15) David Casademunt -  Spain
Irene, a six year old girl, wants to go to see her mother who’s very ill. But Silvia, her older sister who’s fifteen, has orders of not going to the hospital whatever happens. Retain her little sister will be a hard task cause the little one believes having the remedy to heal her mother: something she has read in a fairytale.

SPOOF (11:33) Brandon Chappell - US
A young rabbit named SPOOF and his moose friend, Max , are confronted by an evil fox that hates rabbits. SPOOF must learn to overcome his fear of the fox through love. A story about the dangers of seeking revenge. 

Dreams of Naha (36:40) Juan Carlos Colin -  Mexico
K´ayum and Marios´ dreams interpretation from patriarchs such as Chan Kin and Antonio is a gift which make us grasp the spirit of life in this very ancient Lacandon community. We now know how they have survived in the jungle, before completely forgotten now surrounded by different and intrusive groups. The Lacandon Mayans learned the jungle language where they still fight for their existence.

Hearing in the Bardo (10:00) Isaac McCardle - UK/Nepal
Through capturing the landscape and Sherpa people of Nepal from an intimate perspective, the film focuses on the Tibetan Buddhist belief in reincarnation, blending the boundary between documentary and fiction. It deals with themes of loss, attachment, family and the transient nature of life, death and rebirth.

Award of Merit:

The Ambassador of God (1:33:00) Francesca Stonum, Mark Schwab - US
From the humblest of beginnings Brother Anthony became a well-known metaphysical teacher, guru, healer and radio talk show host to thousands. But his life took a few turns that all of us can learn from and be inspired by.


 Student Filmmaker

Award of Excellence:

Timmy II (8:52) Imran Khan - US / Singapore
An absurd fast-paced comedy about a robot with an identity crisis who undergoes plastic surgery only to make his life even worse.


After Rachel (18:35) Josh Litman - US
A recently widowed man attempts to hide the reality of his wife's death from his hostile, Alzheimer's-ridden father-in-law.
Nothing But Time (23:00) Morena Henke - Switzerland/US
The filmmaker meets a young homeless man in New York City. She wants to follow him during his daily life to find out more about his way of living that is so different from her own. He doesn't mind, he just doesn't like the mic. So the mic is set aside. A gentle encounter in a rough environment.

The Sonata (28:51) Durim Kryeziu - Kosovo
“The Sonata” is a film based on the well Leo Tolstoy novel “The Kreutzer Sonata”. Every intervention which is pressed into this has been for a intention only to explain the plain logic perception for circumstances in Kosovo. The love which holds two very different characters in everyday bases starts to build unsatisfying problems which these character attack each other drawing lines with questions such as: “What is love?”, “What is marriage?” “How long do they last?” Can they be treated with time, years, months, days, and hours. These come to be explained from each characters point of view.

PERCENTAGE (20:00) Muzappar Osman - US
From a good person to a bad person, maybe it's just a matter of a single choice you make.  

Cara (8:34) Huanglizi Sun - US
A dramatic look into the trials and tribulations of teenage pregnancy. A very disconnected teenage girl Cara finds out she’s pregnant and attempts to go about life like nothing has happened. She remains impeccably stubborn and her secret stays safe until her mother catches on and changes the entire situation. 

Award of Merit:

Dead Bird Don't Fly (14:58) Charlie Sporns - Canada/US
Forced into an American high school by her parents, an isolated foreign student becomes attracted to her only friend, her female English tutor.

Romanian (23:51) Artur Boruzs - Romania
A project, born as a solution to the contemporary existential dystopia, whose finality is consisted mostly often in neuro-psychic disorders, brings to life the myth of the cave, not only to the intercession’s initiator, as Platon suggested, but to all those who wish a moment of harmony. Thereby, the cave from Româneşti turns, from the primary place of culture’s origins,into a space of therapy through art.

It's a Seussical Life! (20:13) David Startup - US
'It's a Seussical Life!' is a fantastically fictionalized tale of the life of Dr. Seuss, as inspired by the works of the author himself. In a world where everyone speaks normally, one man – Theodore Seuss Geisel (Joshua David Bishop) – is born with a unique quirk: everything that he says comes out in rhyme.

Honorable Mention:

The Order (17:00) Yu-Jen Chen - Taiwan 
 The story is about a man Vincent, his girlfriend Miranda has been kidnapped by Vincent’s brother George. George ordered Vincent to kill the other girls if he want to save his girlfriend. Vincent felt guilty and painful, but he cannot reject George’s order. Until one day, Vincent cannot take it anymore and he decides to fight George.

Sakura Kids (9:43) Ji Li -  US/China
Johnny went to U.S for seeking his bussiness. He never thought that he would met his first lover, Mindi, at the Enchanted house. However, both of them were already step in their marriages. They have to fig out how to moving forward, and, give a goodbye for their memory love time.  


New Filmmaker

Award of Excellence:

Sugarhiccup (16:59) Lisa Donato - US
A neurotic journalist searches through digital clues trying to decipher a mysterious message left by her fiancé who has suddenly disappeared.

Spit (16:10) Mtume Gant - US
Spit is the story of Jeremiah Monk One Sinclair. A NYC Hip Hop artist who has never reached any real success, has thus reached the end of his rope and has decided to call it quits. A POV styled film, we enter the body of Monk One as travels his world and seeing through his eyes the loss of passion, love and vocation for the music, life and city he once knew.

Shots (8:28) Harrison Chambers, Brad Roller - US
After narrowly escaping an attempted murder and kidnapping, an estranged man and boy take shelter in a safehouse. Thinking they are out of danger, they discover their true relationship, but is it too late?


Award of Merit:

  The Lockfish's Tale (16:51) Annie Micayla, Rose Fadem-Johnston - US
 The Pilot Fish's Tale follows the journey of a tenacious young goldfish named Lock on her quest to become a dragon. 

A Dill Pickle (12:40) Claire Tatin -  France
Sonia, a lonely and sensitive personality, finds by chance the man who shared his life 6 years ago. He is a man apparently changed : richer, more confident, determined, more handsome. Only there is a big gap between them. Resentment , bitterness , desire, fear, anger , passion, despair appear in veiled terms.

El Beso del Astronauta (7:38) Marius Conrotto Díaz -Denmark/Spain
A young couple in bed before having sex. The discuss about if they should do it with the light on or the light off


Honorable Mention:

A Savside Story (28:27) - Camen Islands
A musical short about life, death and the search for more.

Dolly ka b'day (18:00) Babita Ashiwal - India
Its Dolly’s birthday today and all the girls in her class are very excited about it. Dolly has promised to treat them at the McDonald’s. Nobody has ever been there before.