FILM FEST PETALUMA
May 6, 2017, Mystic Theatre
Saturday Matinee Shorts (12:00pm)
Miles Levin, USA, 2 minutes
While playing war in the forest, young Max makes a discovery that prompts a simple question: “Are our youth desensitized to violence?” SRJC student Miles Levin returns to the festival for the fourth year in a row after successful screenings of Ten Grahams (2014), Superhero Hotline (2015), and The Berninator (2016).
Terence Nance, France, 15 minutes
Terence Nance (The Oversimplification of Her Beauty) reworks the classic Romeo & Juliet tale in this modern and self-reflexive homage to the French New Wave. Winner of Best Narrative Short at the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival.
THE PINE TREE VILLA
Jan Koester, Germany, 13 minutes
Two friends, Lion and Bird, explore a mysterious, uninhabited villa to discover why it is not in a state of decay in this stunningly original animated short. Official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Tim Wetzel, USA, 3 minutes
In this local mini-doc, Master Tattooist Shotsie Gorman recounts a bizarre encounter that inspired him to become a tattoo artist. A quick and entertaining film that portrays the quirkier side of tattoo culture.
Hiwot Admasu Getaneh, Ethiopia, 13 minutes
A young, rural Ethiopian girl’s sexual awakening is depicted in this daring and beautifully shot coming-of-age story from the African continent. Official selection of the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals.
Ivan Barge, New Zealand, 11 minutes
When a glamour photographer accidentally runs over a child’s pet, he does his best to make things right. This subversive and irreverent festival favorite from down under was an official selection in last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
NOWHERE LINE: VOICES FROM MANUS ISLAND
Lukas Schrank, Australia, 15 minutes
This powerful and timely animated documentary chronicles the story of two asylum-seeking men detained in Australia’s Manus Island Offshore Processing Centre during the 2014 riots. Winner of Best Documentary Short at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Connor Macheras, Griffin Malone, & Andy Huey, USA, 4 minutes
Santa Rosa High School filmmaking trio Connor, Griffin, & Andy have crafted a tale about a young boy’s outing into the woods in this clever homage to Wes Anderson.
Pablo Polledri, Argentina, 9 minutes
Pablo Polledri offers a simple yet effective illustration of free market market capitalism in this smart, funny, and ultimately frightening animated short. In competition this summer at the 2017 Annecy Festival of Animation.
ON THE RUN
Gianguido Spinelli, France, 12 minutes
In this classic French comedy about the lengths a man will go to hide his mistress from his wife, he races across town with complete abandon in order to keep his marriage intact. The result is a fast-paced and well crafted film that hilariously hits all the right beats.
Saturday Afternoon Shorts (3:00pm)
J.C. Wallace, USA, 6 minutes
SRJC student Jarrod Wallace uses a single, well designed take to examine one’s final moments above ground before going six feet under.
Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson, Iceland, 21 minutes
This Icelandic coming-of-age story follows a group of young boys eager for rebellion and experimentation with girls. With superb performances, gorgeous cinematography, and a contemporary punk score, the film expertly traverses the landscape between childhood and adolescence.
Eileen O’Meara, USA, 3 minutes
Eileen O’Meara’s humorous hand-drawn, stream-of-conciousness animation explores how easily the mind digresses when anxiety and obsession are at play.
Sean Meehan, Canada, 14 minutes
When a fur thief is overtaken by a hostile Native American tribe, he’s forced rely on quick thinking and ingenuity to avoid a painful and protracted death. Based on a short story by Jack London, this critically acclaimed short film is both atmospheric and intense, featuring stunning production design and a surprising series of final twists.
Tamás Köszegi, Hungary, 8 minutes
This innovative animation, told exclusively through photocopied images, captures an illicit romantic rendezvous in a completely original way. Official selection at the 2016 Palm Springs International Shortfest.
Fateme Ahmadi & Asmita Shrish, Nepal/China/South Korea, 15 minutes
This gorgeously photographed slice of life drama from earthquake-hit Kathmandu follows young Chandra as he escorts his grandfather to the hospital in an all-day journey. Quiet and restrained, the film questions what the future holds for young people in a land of stark contrasts.
Michael Cusack, Australia, 13 minutes
After all is said and done… all that is left are memories. A man cleans out his childhood home in this stunning and heartfelt autobiographical short from stop motion animator and FFP alum Michael Cusack. In competition this summer at the 2017 Annecy Festival of Animation.
THE POINT SYSTEM
Conner Bell, USA, 9 minutes
Conner Bell (Chop) returns to Film Fest Petaluma with a faux documentary about a mother who monetizes every aspect of her children’s lives, including affection. This smart hybridization of film genres is at once compelling and horrifying as parenting is taken to the extremes.
Marc Briones & Alan Carabantes, Spain, 3 minutes
Picking up someone in the subway proves more challenging than expected in this darkly comic animated favorite from the festival circuit.
World Shorts Showcase (7:30pm)
Louie Poore, USA, 3 minutes
SRJC student Louie Poore tells an endearing tale about a determined young boy who sets out to prove he can fly. His family and friends soon realize there are no limits to childhood imagination.
Marc Wilkins, Switzerland/Greece/Turkey, 23 minutes
A couple‘s compassion is put to the test when they come across a sinking ship of refugees while on a pleasure trip across the Mediterranean. Shortlisted for the Oscar, this powerful and timely film won Best Live Action Short at the 2016 Palm Springs International Shortfest.
Gerhard Funk, Germany, 7 minutes
East and West collide in this dynamic animated meditation on creation and mythology. The result is a unique sensory experience that has wowed festival audiences the world over.
Emir Ezwan, Malaysia, 12 minutes
Visual artist Emir Ezwan examines the idea “money never sleeps” in this dreamy and exquisitely designed one-take wonder that follows a RM10 bank note as it traverses through the hustle and bustle of Malaysian nightlife.
BORN OF STONE
Emilio Bellu, Italy, 16 minutes
With breathtaking cinematography and a stunning, surreal score, filmmaker Emilio Bellu profiles Sardinian artist Pinuccio Sciola’s unique ability to make stones sing. The result is a powerful and exquisitely crafted documentary that challenges our perception of what is alive in the natural world.
John Fortson, USA, 20 minutes
This award winning comedy riffs on the growing power of online reviews and explores the real life repercussions of constantly being judged by others. Official selection of the Palm Springs International Shortfest.
Stefan Plepp & Christine Kabisch, Germany, 11 minutes
When a teacher is blackmailed by his student, he is forced to use methods from his past to conjure up a solution. The mysterious lead character (deftly played by director Stefan Plepp) guides us through an unnerving game of cat and mouse in this taut and tense thriller.
Alejandro Damiani, Uruguay, 6 minutes
This timely political comedy explores the effects of a new immigration policy at the hands of a tyrant with too much power. Uruguayan VFX studio WecanFXit crafts a spectacular effects-laden satire that pokes fun at our current political situation with our southern neighbors.
Late Night Shorts (10:30pm)
Ken Davis, USA, 1 minute
After ordering a camera online, a girl unexpectedly discovers that something else came with her package. Sonoma State University student Ken Davis shows what can get packed into the 1-minute form in this brief thriller.
Guillaume Foresti, France, 20 minutes
When an architect makes a hugely consequential error on a building site, his attempted cover up becomes the least of his problems. Unsettling and austere, Gone is a morality tale with mysterious and metaphysical consequences.
EYE LOVE YOU
Nikiel Suchit, USA, 3 minutes
A darkly comic animated tale about a young boy who befriends a cyclops with surprising results.
Lily Baldwin, USA, 15 minutes
Filmmaker and dancer Lily Baldwin crafts the unsettling story of a young mother who comes down with an alien illness. The result is a haunting and surreal experience unlike any other. Official selection of the Palm Springs International Shortfest.
DOWN BY LOVE
Jose Corral, Spain, 14 minutes
A gangster (voiced by Stephen Dorff) finds himself in a conflicting situation when he becomes infatuated with a Russian girl in trouble. This wholly original hybrid of 3D and stop motion animation offers a gripping and stylish neo-noir love story.
HER FRIEND ADAM
Ben Petrie, Canada, 17 minutes
A young couple becomes entangled in an argument when a boyfriend’s jealous impulse tests their relationship like never before. This darkly comic tale of romantic doom won a special jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
POMBO LOVES YOU
Steve Warne, United Kingdom, 12 minutes
This stunning stop motion film takes us on a visually intensive journey through the surreal recesses of a man’s mind as he’s haunted by demons from his life as a 1980s TV character. Official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
Craig Foster, Australia, 9 minutes
No one wants to work late on a Friday night, especially when it’s a full moon. Director Craig Foster utilizes impressive special effects in this clever and intricately designed horror/comedy.