APHONIA

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 12 min
Directed by: Marta Z. Nowak

The daily routine of a boarding school for deaf children is disturbed by the arrival of a new student, who doesn't know sign language. A deaf girl helps him find his way into the new world. Their special friendship will soon be put to the test. The film features deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

BEAR

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 19 min
Directed by: Morgane Frund

An amateur filmmaker who has filmed bears for years, contacts a film school looking for someone to edit his images into a film. A student comes forward. But when she digitises his archive, she discovers that the recordings are not only of bears. A discussion ensues about the power of a gaze and its voyeuristic violence.

BLACK GIRLS PLAY: THE STORY OF HAND GAMES

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 18 minutes
Directed by: Joe Brewster

BLACK GIRLS PLAY: THE STORY OF HAND GAMES takes a historical look at the significant effect that Black girls have had on popular culture and Black musical aesthetics. Tracing back centuries, through an examination of African Culture, the film takes a deep dive into the use of hand games and other artistic communications to combat cultural language that was forbidden. The cultural aesthetics of hand games have permeated modern American culture and Black girls are often left uncredited for the impact that they have left on society. PLAY looks to examine this often forgotten world.

CAN'T HELP MYSELF

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre:
Running Time: 19 min
Directed by: Anna Ansone

Estere spends her days by the sea selling ice cream. Trying to find peace, she listens to meditation podcasts and self-help audio-books. Meanwhile, strangers caressed by the summer sun look for the same in tarot cards, fortified drinks, and the Bible. Estere starts to repeat their chit chat, slowly beginning to believe what they are saying. A mournful passage of time where those you’ve met by chance and those you’ve long forgotten are destined to meet.

CIVIC

Program 1a: LA Stories

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 19 min
Directed by: Dwayne LeBlanc

CIVIC is a short film that follows Booker on his first trip back home to South Central, L.A. after several years of self-imposed exile. Without any clear motive, or even a warning, Booker returns to the place that holds his origins and the people who shaped him. Framed almost exclusively inside of his car, CIVIC tracks Booker’s fleeting and fragmented encounters around his old streets. Booker spends most of his time with his childhood best friend, Tee. They ride around to liquor stores and lingering in parking lots after closing time. Closeness and distance ebbs and flows between them as they talk about their lives, old and new. The repaved ground between them allows Booker to dive deep into the past, seemingly letting go of the tension in the present. However, we soon realize Booker is avoiding his responsibility to his family members across this trip. Just as he plans his disembark from L.A., he has an unexpected encounter that helps to reframe his perspective in the world. CIVIC is an introspective film, giving life to the wordless exchanges, the mundane and the familiar shorthand of unfettered Black life.

CUXBALL

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 12 min
Directed by: Dave Paige

Sam finds something in the dirt.

DAVEY'S LULLABY

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 9 min
Directed by: Adam Deyoe

A spirited, middle-aged man with Down Syndrome faces an uncertain future when his mother, who lovingly cares for him as he struggles with bouts of dementia and growing physical infirmity, is no longer able to help him.

DUST TO LIGHT

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 12 min
Directed by: Erika Houle

Dust to Light is a 12 minute documentary about what is really going on under the surface when we are cleaning. The film listens as four Zen practitioners reflect on the transformative process of cleaning when it is approached as a meditation rather than burdensome chore.

HOW NOT TO DATE WHILE TRANS

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 12 min
Directed by: Nyala Moon

HOW NOT TO DATE WHILE TRANS is a break-the-fourth-wall, dark comedy that follows the dating life of a black trans woman and the problematic men she meets along the way. Andie searches for romance and self-love but ends with heartbreak.

HOW TO DEAL WITH FAME

Program 1a: LA Stories

Genre: Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 21 min
Directed by: Tiffany Ike

When a masculine-presenting actress gets cast as the leading lady in a play where her character dresses the opposite of her, her mother’s arrival for the performance reminds her of the womanhood she lacks.

I ONCE WAS LOST

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 11 min
Directed by: Emma Limon

One night in 2008, my father, John, got lost in a Boston suburb.

IN THE SHADOWS OF PALMS

Program 1b: LA Stories

Genre: Documentary, Drama
Running Time: 12 min 24 sec
Directed by: Mischa Meyer

IN THE SHADOWS OF PALMS is an intimate portrait of three lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles. A father, mother and son each tell their individual stories of struggle in the concrete jungle, and the creative ways they find hope in this cinematic documentary.

INGLORIOUS LIAISONS

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 11 min
Directed by: Chloé Alliez, Violette Delvoye

Tonight is the night for Lucie, Maya and their friends. Even Jimmy came : he is here for Maya and everybody knows it. But at the moment when everything is supposed to happen, Maya and Lucie finds out they have hidden feelings for each other, tender and confused, who trouble to find their place in this evening punctuated by alcohol that flows freely, the compilations that rock and the hormones that boil.

IT'S A DATE

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre:
Running Time: 5 min
Directed by: Nadia Parfan

IT'S BASIC

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1 hr 17 min
Directed by: Marc Levin

IT'S BASIC looks at several Basic Income pilot programs launched in the US that test the effects of giving everyday people an extra $500 to $1,000 monthly, with no strings attached. The film presents an unbiased account of the benefits, criticisms, and outcomes of giving money to people in need. It explores a simple idea: Can unconditional cash payments be the most effective way to stem poverty in America? This concept has been up for discussion many times throughout history and we highlight recent events that explain why it is happening now. Multi-award-winning Director Marc Levin is at the helm, with commentary by Michael Tubbs, and interviews with program recipients and participating mayors across the country, the real-life challenges of trying to get by are at the heart of the film.

LET IT OUT

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 2 min
Directed by: Scott Talbot

A man suffering from depression finds something unexpected at his lowest point.

LILY'S MIRROR

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 17 min
Directed by: Linnea Frye, Adam Pinney

Lily is out on a dinner date with her boyfriend Bart, expecting a proposal, when he unexpectedly chops off her hand. As Lily works on recovering, she begins to feel phantom pains where her hand used to be, so her doctor gives her a therapeutic mirror box to help with the discomfort. However, as she begins to use the box, she realizes there's a side effect: she can see real phantoms in the mirror. Specifically, she begins to see the obituaries of multiple dead women who experienced recent and mysterious deaths come to life. As Lily learns these women's stories, their lives and deaths begin to intertwine in a journey of self-discovery, female empowerment, and the quest for justice.

METHOD SAMPLING: HOW TO BUILD THE FUTURE TOGETHER

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 56 min
Directed by: Josh Nesmith, Matt Boman

Method Sampling is the principle used by an Oakland, CA globetrotting orchestra which fuses hip-hop and classical music to magical effect. JooWan Kim, its Korean born composer, believes that any paradigm shifting change only happens by sampling and reframing differences and sparking innovation. To test his hypothesis, he meets a disabled choreographer who revolutionized modern dance, a self-taught Black mycologist who wrote the first books on Cordyceps cultivation, and a tiny house builder with a shipbuilding background who looks at houses as inverted boats. In addition, he meets the Italian Critical Theorist, Fabio Vighi, to explore how Method Sampling may allow society to overcome the challenges it faces today.

MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Comedy
Running Time: 1 hr 32 min
Directed by: Michael Lukk Litwak

MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE is a Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions and one space-cult.

NEON RAGE

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 13 min
Directed by: Alejandra Parody

Camila, a young aspiring-and-struggling illustrator, meets Madison, a teenage girl, when Camila is hired by Madison’s (very) wealthy family as her tutor. Unlike Camila, Madison is confident, popular, and has never experienced rejection. Though Camila initially dismisses the teenager as vapid and out-of-touch, they connect over their shared struggles as artists at heart. Camila becomes seduced by Madison’s can-do-attitude and naïve drive. The short interaction ultimately sparks a new fire inside of Camila. There’s a low key, slice-of-life feel to the story. It moves us to reflect on the themes of wealth, privilege, and what it takes to be successful.

PALESTINE 87

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 13 min
Directed by: Bilal Alkhatib

During the First Intifada, Atef is chased by the Israeli army and finds himself trapped in an entrance of a house. The owner, an old lady, hides him in her bath. Atef is surprised that there is another person inside, who helps him not to be arrested.

Program 1a: LA Stories

Genre:
Running Time: 40 min
Directed by:

This program paints a cinematic portrait of Los Angeles, touching on themes of homecoming, womanhood, the artistry of dance and music, and the challenges faced by teachers amidst pressing social issues. CIVIC is a short film that follows Booker on his first trip back home to South Central, L.A. after several years of self-imposed exile. Without any clear motive, or even a warning, Booker returns to the place that holds his origins and the people who shaped him. Framed almost exclusively inside of his car, CIVIC tracks Booker’s fleeting and fragmented encounters around his old streets. Booker spends most of his time with his childhood best friend, Tee. They ride around to liquor stores and lingering in parking lots after closing time. Closeness and distance ebbs and flows between them as they talk about their lives, old and new. The repaved ground between them allows Booker to dive deep into the past, seemingly letting go of the tension in the present. However, we soon realize Booker is avoiding his responsibility to his family members across this trip. Just as he plans his disembark from L.A., he has an unexpected encounter that helps to reframe his perspective in the world. CIVIC is an introspective film, giving life to the wordless exchanges, the mundane and the familiar shorthand of unfettered Black life. HOW TO DEAL WITH FAME When a masculine-presenting actress gets cast as the leading lady in a play where her character dresses the opposite of her, her mother’s arrival for the performance reminds her of the womanhood she lacks.

Program 1b: LA Stories

Genre:
Running Time: 47 min
Directed by:

IN THE SHADOW OF PALMS is an intimate portrait of three lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles. A father, mother and son each tell their individual stories of struggle in the concrete jungle, and the creative ways they find hope in this cinematic documentary. WHEN WE FIGHT In the second largest school district in the United States, 98% of teachers vote to authorize a strike. Watch as one of the largest educator strikes in modern U.S. history unfolds in real-time, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it, from union leaders to classroom teachers. From strike vote to contract vote, When We Fight goes behind the picket lines, documenting how and why teachers strike.

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre:
Running Time: 1 hr 22 min
Directed by:

A vibrant showcase of LGBTQ+ narratives filled with humor, wit and love, even amid the complexities of war and identity conflicts. IT'S A DATE THAT DARK DAY City councilor Victor mysteriously disappears in Sao Paulo during a day that turns night because of meteorological phenomena and smoke from forest fires. Weeks go by, and Fabio grows closer to Louise. He is a trans man and a caregiver for the elderly. She is ill and living far from her family in France. While aiding Louise (a cis woman), Fabio's relationship with her matures into understanding, affection, and exchange. He becomes her rock. Fabio's memories and dreams offer a closer look at his coming-of-age and his dilemmas about sexuality and gender. The story unfolds in a country with a polarized society and under political and financial turmoil. While Fabio must overcome the recent end of a romantic relationship, Louise feels the pangs of loneliness and her near death. Now Fabio and Louise have each other to rely on and learn to say their goodbyes. “That Dark Day” has won the “Silver Rabbit” award - Audience’s Choice for Best Brazilian Short Film - at MixBrasil Festival of Diversity Culture 2022 INGLORIOUS LIAISONS Tonight is the night for Lucie, Maya and their friends. Even Jimmy came: he is here for Maya and everybody knows it. But at the moment when everything is supposed to happen, Maya and Lucie finds out they have hidden feelings for each other, tender and confused, who trouble to find their place in this evening punctuated by alcohol that flows freely, the compilations that rock and the hormones that boil. UNNAMED Zainab is a successful girl who supports her family financially, but considers herself a boy in spirit, and now she has decided to undergo gender transition, but in addition to her family's opposition and the society's inappropriate view of this issue, she has more difficulties There is something more important to come. she, who played in the country's national volleyball team for a while and is now in the Bartar league, if she does this, she will be removed from professional volleyball forever due to her short stature compared to men, and not only will she lose her professional future, but also her livelihood and her family who are under her care will be in trouble. CUXBALL Sam finds something in the dirt. HOW NOT TO DATE WHILE TRANS is a break-the-fourth-wall, dark comedy that follows the dating life of a black trans woman and the problematic men she meets along the way. Andie searches for romance and self-love but ends with heartbreak.

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre:
Running Time: 1 hr 19 min
Directed by:

Through the lens of mental health and self-discovery, these short films delve into the intricate tapestry of the mind, exploring subjects such as disability, meditation, alienation, and the power of human connection. APHONIA The daily routine of a boarding school for deaf children is disturbed by the arrival of a new student, who doesn't know sign language. A deaf girl helps him find his way into the new world. Their special friendship will soon be put to the test. The film features deaf and hard-of-hearing children. DUST TO LIGHT A documentary about what is really going on under the surface when we are cleaning. The film listens as four Zen practitioners reflect on the transformative process of cleaning when it is approached as a meditation rather than burdensome chore. DAVEY'S LULLABY A spirited, middle-aged man with Down Syndrome faces an uncertain future when his mother, who lovingly cares for him as he struggles with bouts of dementia and growing physical infirmity, is no longer able to help him. CAN'T HELP MYSELF Estere spends her days by the sea selling ice cream. Trying to find peace, she listens to meditation podcasts and self-help audio-books. Meanwhile, strangers caressed by the summer sun look for the same in tarot cards, fortified drinks, and the Bible. Estere starts to repeat their chit chat, slowly beginning to believe what they are saying. A mournful passage of time where those you’ve met by chance and those you’ve long forgotten are destined to meet. THE GIFT OF COLOR Deeply rooted in their routine of avoidance an adolescent teen and their grandmother unexpectedly find themselves on a path of self-reflection and acceptance. I ONCE WAS LOST One night in 2008, my father, John, got lost in a Boston suburb. LET IT OUT A man suffering from depression finds something unexpected at his lowest point.

Program 6: Female Gaze

Genre:
Running Time: 1 hr 20 min
Directed by:

Exploring the concept of the female gaze, these films navigate the realms of horror, social conflicts, black culture, and class, offering unique insights through the lens of both female and male directors. BLACK GIRLS PLAY: THE STORY OF HAND GAMES Black Girls Play takes a historical look at the significant effect that Black girls have had on popular culture and Black musical aesthetics. Tracing back centuries, through an examination of African Culture, the film takes a deep dive into the use of hand games and other artistic communications to combat cultural language that was forbidden. The cultural aesthetics of hand games have permeated modern American culture and Black girls are often left uncredited for the impact that they have left on society. PLAY looks to examine this often forgotten world. NEON RAGE Camila, a young aspiring-and-struggling illustrator, meets Madison, a teenage girl, when Camila is hired by Madison’s (very) wealthy family as her tutor. Unlike Camila, Madison is confident, popular, and has never experienced rejection. Though Camila initially dismisses the teenager as vapid and out-of-touch, they connect over their shared struggles as artists at heart. Camila becomes seduced by Madison’s can-do-attitude and naïve drive. The short interaction ultimately sparks a new fire inside of Camila. There’s a low key, slice-of-life feel to the story. It moves us to reflect on the themes of wealth, privilege, and what it takes to be successful. PALESTINE 87 During the First Intifada, Atef is chased by the Israeli army and finds himself trapped in an entrance of a house. The owner, an old lady, hides him in her bath. Atef is surprised that there is another person inside, who helps him not to be arrested. LILY'S MIRROR Lily is out on a dinner date with her boyfriend Bart, expecting a proposal, when he unexpectedly chops off her hand. As Lily works on recovering, she begins to feel phantom pains where her hand used to be, so her doctor gives her a therapeutic mirror box to help with the discomfort. However, as she begins to use the box, she realizes there's a side effect: she can see real phantoms in the mirror. Specifically, she begins to see the obituaries of multiple dead women who experienced recent and mysterious deaths come to life. As Lily learns these women's stories, their lives and deaths begin to intertwine in a journey of self-discovery, female empowerment, and the quest for justice. BEAR An amateur filmmaker who has filmed bears for years, contacts a film school looking for someone to edit his images into a film. A student comes forward. But when she digitises his archive, she discovers that the recordings are not only of bears. A discussion ensues about the power of a gaze and its voyeuristic violence.

THAT DARK DAY

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 29 min
Directed by: Daniel Guarda

City councilor Victor mysteriously disappears in Sao Paulo during a day that turns night because of meteorological phenomena and smoke from forest fires. Weeks go by, and Fabio grows closer to Louise. He is a trans man and a caregiver for the elderly. She is ill and living far from her family in France. While aiding Louise (a cis woman), Fabio's relationship with her matures into understanding, affection, and exchange. He becomes her rock. Fabio's memories and dreams offer a closer look at his coming-of-age and his dilemmas about sexuality and gender. The story unfolds in a country with a polarized society and under political and financial turmoil. While Fabio must overcome the recent end of a romantic relationship, Louise feels the pangs of loneliness and her near death. Now Fabio and Louise have each other to rely on and learn to say their goodbyes. THAT DARK DAY has won the “Silver Rabbit” award - Audience’s Choice for Best Brazilian Short Film - at MixBrasil Festival of Diversity Culture 2022.

THE ACTIVATED MAN

Genre: Thriller, Drama
Running Time: 1 hr 55 min
Directed by: Nicholas Gyeney

As Ors Gabriel struggles with the grief and pain from losing his best friend and beloved dog, Louie, to cancer, the shock from the trauma brings on strange visions only Ors can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it's actually real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and Ors becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known to many as ‘The Fedora Man’. Through torments and terror, Ors uncovers dark secrets from his past, forcing him to embrace who he really is, and what he is meant to do. But, with escalating visions of ‘The Fedora Man’, Ors must face his fears as he spirals downwards, testing the very limits of his sanity.

THE GIFT OF COLOR

Program 5: Life, Unscripted

Genre: Drama
Running Time: 10 min
Directed by: Daniel Nathan Nunley

Deeply rooted in their routine of avoidance an adolescent teen and their grandmother unexpectedly find themselves on a path of self reflection and acceptance.

THE HIDDEN POWER OF PURPOSE

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 1hr 9 min
Directed by: Elliot V. Kotek

The Hidden Power of Purpose," narrated by Debbie Allen, bridges inspiring stories of individuals who have found purpose in their lives with the insights of leading scientists whose work affirms that living with purpose improves health and longevity.

THE PROBLEM WITH PEOPLE

Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 1 hour 41 min
Directed by: Chris Cottam

Two distant cousins who’ve never met - one in NYC, the other in the smallest town there is in Ireland - come together to finally put an end to a generations-long family feud. It doesn’t go well. The Problem With People, set in beautifully lush Irish countryside, is a heartwarming comedy about family, world peace ... and sheep.

UNNAMED

Program 3: Queer it Up!

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 13 minutes
Directed by: Iranmehr Salimi

Zainab is a successful girl who supports her family financially, but considers herself a boy in spirit, and now she has decided to undergo gender transition, but in addition to her family's opposition and the society's inappropriate view of this issue, she has more difficulties There is something more important to come. she, who played in the country's national volleyball team for a while and is now in the Bartar league, if she does this, she will be removed from professional volleyball forever due to her short stature compared to men, and not only will she lose her professional future, but also her livelihood and her family who are under her care will be in trouble.

WHEN WE FIGHT

Program 1b: LA Stories

Genre: Documentary
Running Time: 34 min
Directed by: Yael Bridge, Yoni Golijov

In the second largest school district in the United States, 98% of teachers vote to authorize a strike. Watch as one of the largest educator strikes in modern U.S. history unfolds in real-time, highlighting the stories and leadership of some of the women who led it, from union leaders to classroom teachers. From strike vote to contract vote, WHEN WE FIGHT goes behind the picket lines, documenting how and why teachers strike.

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