FILM FEST PETALUMA
May 5, 2018, Mystic Theatre
Saturday Matinee Shorts (12:00pm)
Andy Huey, USA, 6 minutes
In a world where interspecies romance is quite often frowned upon, one crab will attempt to defy the odds. With love only a claw length away, and fury in his heart, he risks it all for a journey into the unknown. Santa Rosa High School student Andy Huey (Whereabouts, 2017) returns to the festival for the second year in a row with this clever stop motion tale.
Reed Van Dyk, USA, 21 minutes
When a mentally distraught young man becomes an active shooter at DeKalb Elementary, it’s up to the receptionist to talk him down. Timely, tense, and terrifying, the film was inspired by a 2013 incident at a Georgia elementary school. Nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 2018 Academy Awards.
IN A NUTSHELL
Fabio Friedli, Switzerland, 6 minutes
Swiss animator Fabio Friedli captures the world in a nutshell in this breathtaking and kaleidoscopic journey exploring the contradictory nature of life. Official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Johnson Cheng, China/USA, 11 minutes
A 12-year-old Chinese girl struggles against the odds to join the all boys youth Olympics weightlifting team. When she makes an unlikely connection with the groundskeeper for the local gym, their encounter may transform them both. Official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Ahmad Saleh, Jordan/Palestine/Germany, 11 minutes
Driven from their home by a war, two young brothers search for scrap metal in order to build their own musical instrument. Winner of Best Foreign Animation at the Student Academy Awards.
Erin Sanger, USA, 13 minutes
When a concerned family attempts to stage an intervention, an adopted mutt just might get in the way. Official selection at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
David M. Lorenz, Germany, 5 minutes
When a couple takes a holiday in Berlin everything might seem perfect on the surface but the obsession with selfies can take its toll on any relationship.
Omar Al Dakheel, USA, 15 minutes
Love is pitted against religion in this emotionally moving tale of a disabled Muslim father and his increasingly estranged son. Kuwaiti filmmaker Omar Al Dakheel offers up this well written and well acted collision of conflicting identities in the modern world.
Mika Orr, Israel/USA, 16 minutes
Nadav, a young Israeli man, moves to New York to pursue his dream of becoming a professional trumpeter. To make ends meet, he soon takes up a second vocation aiding lonely women across the city. Will that infringe on a new relationship he’s hoping to pursue?
Saturday Afternoon Shorts (3:00pm)
Annika Cafiero, USA, 6 minutes
When a young boy is told he is adopted, he sets out on a journey to discover his true identity. SRJC student Annika Cafiero employs a strange and whimsical style in this inventive story about the meaning of family.
Yilmaz Vurucu, Austria, 18 minutes
When Andreas Wagner threatens to conduct an extreme act over the internet, it unleashes a frenzy of social media trolls and trawlers. Turkish filmmaker Yilmaz Vurucu presents an original and devastating look at our relationship with modern technology… for better or worse.
GET UP KINSHASA!
Sébastien Maître, Democratic Republic of the Congo/France, 21 minutes
When a charming, young African boy is prohibited from attending school because he doesn’t have regulation shoes, he must use his wit and entrepreneurial spirit to transform his situation. In the process, he might also transform the lives of those around him. Official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Mario Furloni and Kate McLean, USA, 13 minutes
When biohacker Josiah Zayner seeks to cure himself of digestive issues by swapping his microbiome with a donor’s, San Francisco filmmakers Mario Furloni and Kate McLean document his risky and controversial journey into his own teeming, messy microbial ecosystem. Official selection at the South by Southwest and San Francisco International Film Festivals.
Tommy Pascal, France, 9 minutes
Filmmaker Tommy Pascal has created this beautifully rendered dance short reflecting the complex relationship between adversaries in armed conflict.
PINK VELVET VALLEY
Sébastien Petretti, Belgium/Scotland, 6 minutes
Despite living in the sun starved country of Scotland, Alec Calan is suffering from an acute case of Ray-Ban addiction. Welcome to Pink Velvet Valley! Official selection at the BFI London Film Festival.
JUAN GABRIEL IS DEAD
Tavo Ruiz, Mexico, 15 minutes
On the day famous Mexican singer Juan Gabriel dies, best friends Daniel and Beto will redefine their relationship. Will it unfold the way Daniel hopes? Tavo Ruiz crafts a clever and sensitive portrait of two Mexican friends coming of age.
THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK
Derin Seale, Australia, 13 minutes
When the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist, each attempts to treat the other until the session spins out of control. Nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 2018 Academy Awards.
World Shorts Showcase (7:30pm)
Jesse Kreitzer, USA, 15 minutes
Jesse Kreitzer’s gorgeously photographed portrait of a multi-generational American mining family in 1907 is atmospheric, moody, and sometimes grim. Based on the filmmaker’s own coal mining ancestry, it is also a powerful meditation on patrimony, loyalty, and love.
THE SAD MONK
Diana Frankovic, Nepal/Germany, 11 minutes
Juxtaposing the noisy, colorful, and technology-laden outside world with the quiet, spartan life inside a Nepalese monastery, filmmaker Diana Frankovic profiles Tenzin, a monk dealing with an existential crisis as he reflects on the universal pursuit of happiness. Employing gorgeous cinematography and an experimental pop score, the film has picked up numerous documentary prizes at festivals around the globe.
SECOND TO NONE
Vincent Gallagher, Ireland, 7 minutes
Frederick Butterfield has always been runner-up to his twin brother. However when Herman, his older sibling by a mere minute, becomes the world’s oldest man, Frederick finally sees an opportunity to capture first place. Vincent Gallagher’s stunning stop motion turns sibling rivalry into pitch perfect black comedy. Official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Joe Houlberg, Ecuador, 16 minutes
In a world where “A” is the only letter, a dutiful mailman makes a series of surprising discoveries. Few films are as exquisitely designed as Joe Houlberg’s clever and fantastical vision of a world limited by language. An unforgettable visual ode to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.
IT'S JUST A GUN
Brian Robau, USA, 14 minutes
Reflecting on the ease with which guns change hands as well as the devastating consequences they often inflict, filmmaker Brian Robau has crafted a story around Gabe, a 9-year-old boy on the day he finds a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. Beautifully acted and succinctly told, the film was a Narrative Silver Medal Winner at the Student Academy Awards.
Thomas Freundlich, Finland, 9 minutes
On a desolate arctic shore, a lonely fisherman discovers his prehistoric counterpart frozen in the ice and thaws him out as his newfound soul brother.
J. Adam Brown, Canada, 14 minutes
When Isaac begins his transition from male to female, Logan must deal with the atypical grief of “losing” his older brother. Canadian filmmaker J. Adam Brown offers this sensitive and moving portrait of adapting to change in the modern world.
THE TALK: TRUE STORIES ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
Alain Delannoy, Canada, 9 minutes
There are things in life you never forget. One of them, like it or not, is “The Talk”. Canadian filmmaker Alain Delannoy lovingly animates actual recordings of adult recollections in this inventive and hilarious blend of hand drawn and computer-generated images, photographs, and stop motion animation chronicling the awkwardness of one of life’s strangest occurrences. Official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Late Night Shorts (10:30pm)
DAVY JONES CAN'T FLY
Grant Anderson-Smith, USA, 7 minutes
Santa Rosa High School student Grant Anderson-Smith crafts this funny and stylish tale of a special young boy who thinks he can fly. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sonoma County Student Film Festival.
Ian Hunt Duffy, Ireland, 20 minutes
When a young girl goes missing from the backseat of her father’s car, everyone becomes a suspect in this suspenseful Irish thriller set during a traffic jam on a lonely country road. A favorite on the festival circuit, the film recently won Best International Film at the DC Shorts Film Festival.
FAMILY FOR SALE
Sébastien Petretti, Belgium, 14 minutes
Exquisitely constructed and delightfully wacky, Family for Sale chronicles a young man’s journey from childhood to adulthood as he grows up in the family sex shop.
Manolis Mavris, Greece, 19 minutes
When two strangers decide to share a cab worlds begin to collide in this dark Lynchian tale exploring parallel universes and the landscape of desire. The film recently premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.
Robin Comisar, USA, 14 minutes
When a woman becomes trapped in a Red Lobster commercial, anarchy is soon unleashed. Official selection at the Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals.
Sven Windszus, Germany, 4 minutes
Picking up animation prizes around the globe, Pure White takes us on the melancholy journey of a plastic anatomy model who must come to terms with being imperfect in a seemingly perfect world.
Alex Haney, USA, 6 minutes
Alex Haney crafts this experimental exploration of gender identity about a mixed race teen who must navigate the psychic break between who he is and the image he projects to others. Haney’s playful and thoughtful mix of camp culture, production design, and intellectual montage is reminiscent of the early films of Kenneth Anger.
Bobby Miller, USA, 9 minutes
FFP alum Bobby Miller (Tub, 2011) offers up another tense, absurd, and surreal short about a man’s existential crisis triggered by a dying squirrel in the park. The film recently debuted at the Boston Underground Film Festival where it won Best Short Film.