Films

FEATURE FILMS

1489

Dir. Shoghakat Vardanyan // 2023 // Armenia // 76 min

When Shoghakat’s brother disappears during the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, she picks up her camera and doesn’t put it down for two years.

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1489​

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 7:15 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 3:30 pm / The Globe

Dir. Shoghakat Vardanyan // 2023 // Armenia // 76 min

When the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict broke out, 21 year old Soghomon’s mandatory military service was nearing its end, but he was still called up to the frontline. When a week into the war he goes missing in action, his sister Shoghakat’s first instinct is to pick up her phone and start filming. The resulting film, 1489, traces Shoghakat and her parents’ agonizing journey over the next two years to make sense of what has happened to their beloved Soghomon. Refusing to look away and unflinching in the face of intense grief, Shoghakat crafts a raw and rare piece of first-person cinema, laying bare the human cost of geopolitics. 1489 is a powerful and vulnerable film that speaks to the depths of the camera’s ability to not only capture trauma but also to process it. (GH). This film contains discussions of death and war.

Q&A with director Shoghakat Vardanyan

23 Mile

Dir. Mitch McCabe // 2024 // USA // 78 min

One Michigan filmmaker’s quest to give a real political voice to the people of their state during a year of upheaval.

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23 Mile

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 4:15 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 3:00 pm / Big Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 10:00 am / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Mitch McCabe // 2024 // USA // 78 min

2020 was the year that the unprecedented became precedented. While many may prefer to forget the outbreak of COVID-19 and the most polarizing presidential election in American history, Michigan filmmaker Mitch McCabe reminds us there’s good reason to take a closer look. McCabe crisscrosses the state, talking to people at political rallies and events, and gathering testimonials from folks who may actually have more in common than the media or politicians would lead us to believe. From militiamen to Black Lives Matter activists to working mothers, interview subjects confront the contradictions inherent in our political and economic situation in real-time, and often emerge with opinions that might make you rethink who is on whose side. There’s still a country here, 23 Mile argues, but one that exists without the consensus of its people. (JB)
TRAILER

Q&A with director Mitch McCabe

A Band of Dreamers and a Judge

Dir. Hesam Eslami // 2023 // Iran, France // 80 min

Under a starry sky in Iran, a group of men search for treasure in the hopes of becoming rich and finding happiness along the way.

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A Band of Dreamers and a Judge

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 10:00 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 2:30 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Hesam Eslami // 2023 // Iran, France; 80 min

Legend has it that the mountains of Northern Iran hold numerous treasures that can make a man rich in an instant. A tight-knit group of friends, undeterred by the risks, sets out to uncover these hidden gems, defying the watchful eyes of the police. While law enforcement are on the lookout for illegal excavations, filmmaker Hesam Eslami captures this daring pursuit through a keen observational eye. Many have tried their luck and failed. Will these men succeed? What starts off as an “innocent” adventure into the mountains, goes south when Eslami is implicated and accused of being a “digger” himself. As the line between reality and fiction blurs, A Band of Dreamers and a Judge unfolds into an unforgettable exploration of the extraordinary lengths one will go for a chance at striking it big. (KM)
TRAILER

Q&A with director Hesam Eslami

A Photographic Memory

Dir. Rachel Elizabeth Seed // 2024 // USA //87 min

A filmmaker ventures into the archives of her photographer mother to construct a personal story of love, loss, and finding someone in the work they leave behind.

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A Photographic Memory

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 6:45 pm / The Blue Note
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 5:45 pm / Jesse Auditorium
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 7:30 pm / Missouri Theatre

Dir. Rachel Elizabeth Seed // 2024 // USA // 87 min​

Filmmaker Rachel Elizabeth Seed was only 18 months old when her mother, renowned photo-journalist Sheila Turner-Seed, unexpectedly passed away. Driven by a desire to uncover what she left behind, Seed embarks on a journey to meet with people whose lives were touched by her mother. Using audio and photographic archives from her mother’s career, A Photographic Memory is an investigation into the archive in search of remnants of a loved one, reconstructing their image in an attempt to get to know them. Sheila’s intimate interviews with famous photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks, and Bruce Davidson among others are brought to life via Seed’s reimaginings, further immersing us into Sheila’s world. (KM)
TRAILER

Q&A with director Rachel Elizabeth Seed

Agent of Happiness

Dirs. Arun Bhattarai & Dorottya Zurbó // 2024 // Bhutan, Hungary // 94 min

Across Bhutan, government appointed Happiness Agents go door to door measuring people’s happiness, while seeking their own fulfillment.

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Agent of Happiness

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 7:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 9:45 am / The Blue Note
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 12:30 pm / The Blue Note

 

Dirs. Arun Bhattarai & Dorottya Zurbó // 2024 // Bhutan, Hungary // 94 min

Amber and Gunaraj, Happiness Agents for Bhutan’s Centre for Happiness, journey through the country conducting surveys to measure people’s happiness levels. Using a series of over 100 questions, the agents attempt to mathematically calculate the contentment of the nation. Amber, a hopeless romantic yearning for both love and citizenship, documents the satisfaction of others while grappling with his own personal struggles. Through encounters with everyday people, from rural farmers to urban dwellers, the film questions how we quantify happiness and challenges the social constructs surrounding it. With a deeply empathetic lens and an eye for humor, co-directors Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbó (The Next Guardian, T/F 2018) offer an insightful exploration of human aspirations, societal norms, and the pursuit of fulfillment amidst personal and national challenges. (EP)

This film contains discussion of suicidal ideation. 

Q&A with co-directors Arun Bhattarai & Dorottya Zurbó

Alien Island

Dir. Cristóbal Valenzuela Berrios // 2023 // Chile, Italy // 87 min

A Twilight Zone-esque investigation into rumors of an island of friendly aliens during the 1980s military dictatorship in Chile.

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Alien Island

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:15 pm / The Globe
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 12:45 pm / The Globe

Dir. Cristobal Valenzuela Berrios // 2023 // Chile, Italy // 87 min​ 

Chile, 1984: A military dictatorship is in full power after the traumatic instability of the 1970s, and UFO sightings over Santiago both disturb and excite the populace. Against this backdrop, a group of radio enthusiasts receive a message from a sailor stationed at a lighthouse. His account of a fireball plunging into the ocean and other odd sightings become the linchpin of a narrative that transports us to an enigmatic island off the coast of Chile, rumored to be inhabited by human-like aliens. Through the interplay of black-and-white dramatizations and archival footage, Cristóbal Valenzuela Berrios’ arresting feature animates and then peels back the layers of a complex conspiracy. With shades of Lynch and The Twilight Zone, this equally sinister and playful cinematic plunge into the unknown invites viewers to navigate through a labyrinth of secrets and revelations. (LA)
TRAILER

Q&A with director Cristóbal Valenzuela Berrios

Allo la France

Dir. Floriane Devigne // 2023 // France, Switzerland // 78 min

A mischievous and playful road movie through “peripheral” France in search of the country’s remaining phone booths.

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Allo la France

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:30 am / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Sunday, Mar 3 / 2:30 pm / The Globe

Dir. Floriane Devigne // 2023 // France, Switzerland // 78 min​

Floriane Devigne is obsessed with phone booths. She has collected nearly 2000 photographs of them over eight years and the more this public service disappears, the more her fascination grows. Fuelled by playful curiosity, she takes us along for the ride in this mischievous road movie to visit the last remaining booths scattered throughout the countryside, in France’s so-called “dead zones”. Along the way, strangers call in to talk to Devigne, seizing the opportunity to reminisce, confess, or wax lyrical. These conversations, interwoven with chance encounters and archive, build into a polyphonic portrait of the evolution of modern society. Reflecting on the role of communication and the disappearance of public utilities, Allo La France is a charming and thought-provoking investigation into the inevitability of progress and the complexities of globalization. (CT)

Q&A with assistant director Benjamin Mercui

As the Tide Comes In

Dirs. Juan Palacios & Sofie Husum Johannesen // 2023 // Denmark // 89 min

A Danish island’s community of 27 residents face climate change’s fury, holding tight to their normal lives despite harsh weather and rising tides.

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As the Tide Comes In

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:15 pm / Missouri Theatre
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 8:45 pm / The Globe
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 3:30 pm / Jesse Auditorium

Dirs. Juan Palacios & Sofie Husum Johannesen // 2023 // Denmark // 89 min

As the Tide Comes In offers a glimpse into the lives of the 27 residents of Mandø, an island off Denmark, as they confront the existential threat posed by climate change and rising seas. Immersing us directly into this isolated community, the film tracks Gregers, the island’s last farmer, as he clings to his ancestral land with his loyal dog; Mie, the eldest resident, as she gathers friends to celebrate her 100th birthday; and Niels, as he monitors the island’s declining bird population. Despite the looming threat, the film interweaves moments of dark humor throughout, from Gregers’ unconventional quest for companionship, auditioning for a reality dating show, to a storm interrupting a bingo game over the radio waves. Through intimate portrayal and candid moments, the film not only emphasizes the urgency of Mandø’s predicament but also highlights the enduring strength of its community bonds. (EP)

Q&A with co-directors Juan Palacios & Sofie Husum Johannesen

Background

Dir. Khaled Abdulwahed // 2023 // Germany // 64 min

A refugee in Germany attempts to bridge the divide with his father in Syria through reconstructing his journey.

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Background

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 7:30 pm / The Globe
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 10:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Khaled Abdulwahed // 2023 // Germany // 64 min

Khaled Abdulwahed is a Syrian refugee living in Germany, while his father, Sadallah, remains in Syria and is unable to join him. The distance between them cannot be physically breached but in this beautiful and aching exploration of the cruelty of borders, Abdulwahed attempts to bridge their divide through cinema. Through their fuzzy phone calls, we learn of Sadallah’s past in East Germany sixty years prior, as an exchange student studying at university. Abdulwahed searches for Sadallah’s image in the archive and literally retraces his father’s footsteps from Dresden to Merseburg, meticulously manipulating the photographs. He intricately cuts out his father’s figure, and composites him into the images from his own contemporary reality, erasing the physical distance between them. A film filled with love and yearning, Background attempts to reach across the impossibilities of geography and history, seeking closeness despite the distance. (CT)

Preceded by short “The Medallion”

Q&A with director Khaled Abdulwahed

Behind Closed Doors

Dir. João Pedro Bim // 2023 // Brazil // 66 min

Unearthing a secret recording of a government meeting, archival images and audio interplay in this exploration of politics and propaganda in 1960s Brazil.

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Behind Closed Doors

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 5:45 pm / Big Ragtag

Dir. João Pedro Bim // 2023 // Brazil // 66 min

A chilling glimpse into the fragility of democracy, this archival documentary presents a recording of the Presidential cabinet of Brazil deliberating over the suspension of the country’s new constitution, a document they themselves enacted in the early 1960s, in response to criticism of the regime. Though their discussions were recorded, they remained concealed for decades, a testament to the regime’s grip on power. The words of the ministers are contrasted with government propaganda touting “Order and Progress” in support of nationalism and obedience, reminiscent of American TV ads from the same era. The banality of evil is on full display as the film remixes history, dissecting propaganda in order to indict a criminal dictatorship with its own rhetoric. In an era witnessing the resurgence of authoritarianism, it offers a cautionary tale beyond Brazil’s local politics in 1968. (CB)
TRAILER

Preceded by short “On the Battlefield”

Q&A with director João Pedro Bim

Boyz

Dir. Sylvain Cruiziat // 2023 // Germany // 73 min

An intimate portrait of three 20-year-olds as they navigate the often complex and confusing passage between teenhood and young adulthood.

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Boyz

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 9:30 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 6:00 pm / The Blue Note
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 3:30 pm / Big Ragtag

Dir. Sylvain Cruiziat // 2023 // Germany // 73 min​

Gen Z college students Maxime, Julian, and Vilas spend their days partying, listening to music, and hanging out. Maxime is preparing to move across the world to spend an exchange semester at school in Singapore, and the friends look to make every minute together count. The crisp, cold evenings the trio enjoy in Munich are infused with the warmth of group gatherings, the bright revolving colors of discotheques, and quiet moments of self-reflection. Lyrical and intimate, director Sylvain Cruiziat follows his younger brother Maxime and his friends as they navigate the often complex and confusing passage between teenagehood and young adulthood–trying to understand who they are, what they want, and what their future holds. Boyz is a nuanced and rousing observational portrait of coming of age and how these young people view their place in the world. (MS)

Q&A with director Sylvain Cruiziat

Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano

Dir. Cyril Aris // 2023 // Lebanon, Germany // 87 min

After the 2020 explosion in Beirut, a film crew confronts a crucial decision: pursue the production of their film or yield to the devastation surrounding them.

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Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 1:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 8:15 pm / Big Ragtag

Dir. Cyril Aris // 2023 // Lebanon, Germany // 87 min

In the wake of the catastrophic explosion that ravaged Beirut’s port on August 4th, 2020, the city grapples with immense tragedy. Among the many caught in the chaos, filmmaker Mounia Akl and her crew face a pivotal decision – forge ahead with production of their film, Costa Brava, Lebanon, or succumb to the desolation around them. Cyril Aris’ Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano unfolds as a poignant tale of the crew’s resilience amid ruin. Aris captures their compelling struggle, revealing the crew’s unyielding spirit as they seek purpose and healing through their craft, navigating not only the disaster but also the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, power outages, and torrential downpours. As he guides us through this journey, he paints a vivid portrait of a shattered Beirut, the capital of a nation beset with economic crisis and political instability. (EP)
TRAILER

This film contains images of blood. 

Q&A with producer Myriam Sassine

Daughters

Dirs. Angela Patton & Natalie Rae // 2023 // USA // 111 min

Four young girls prepare for a Daddy-Daughter Dance in a DC jail, a rare opportunity for physical connection with their incarcerated fathers.

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Daughters

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 3:45 pm / Jesse Auditorium
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 10:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 3:20 pm / Missouri Theatre

Dirs. Angela Patton & Natalie Rae // 2023 // USA // 111 min​

In the last decade, hundreds of US prisons have stopped allowing in-person visits, which has further eroded the familial bonds that the system already impacts. Children may go years without hugging an incarcerated parent. Daughters chronicles an eight-year journey of four young girls, intimately showcasing the impact of mass incarceration on father-daughter relationships through the lens of the 12-week Date with Dad program. Reuniting fathers and daughters for a single afternoon at a dance inside prison walls, the program aims to strengthen family ties and promote life skills for potential reintegration. While their fathers participate in a vulnerable therapy group to prepare, Aubrey, Ja’Ana, Raziah, and Santana candidly share their hopes and disappointments in poignant vignettes. In this deeply affecting reflection on the dehumanization of mass incarceration, Daughters reveals the emotional cost of separation from a loved one and the increasingly urgent need for criminal justice reform. (LK)

Q&A with directors Angela Patton & Natalie Rae

Flying Lessons

Dir. Elizabeth Nichols // 2024 // USA // 84 min

A tender portrait of an outsider artist fighting for tenant’s rights on the Lower East Side in New York City.

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Flying Lessons

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 6:45 pm / Big Ragtag 
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 12:30 pm / The Blue Note
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 3:15 pm / The Blue Note

Dir. Elizabeth Nichols // 2024 // USA // 84 min

When Elizabeth Nichols receives an eviction notice from her fraudster landlord in the Lower East Side, she is introduced to her neighbor, Philly Abe, a prolific artist and muse who has lived in the building since the 80s. Inviting her into her apartment, Philly now becomes Nichols’ muse in this beautifully observed exploration of the human cost of gentrification. Nichols’ camera is clearly fascinated by her fiery-haired subject, and intimacy grows between the two as we hear the back and forth between Philly and the filmmaker. Moving between modern day and the art videos of Philly’s past, Flying Lessons captures a disappearing generation of artists and outsiders who called New York City home, reflecting on the diminishing space for radicals under modern capitalism. Nichols’ debut feature is a vulnerable and tender portrait of an intergenerational friendship and what it really means to be a neighbor. (CT)

Q&A with director Elizabeth Nichols

Girls State

Dirs. Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss // 2023 // USA // 96 min

Missouri teen girls spend a week building a government from the ground up, but as they start to notice differences with their male counterparts, discontent emerges.

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Girls State

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 4:15 pm / Jesse Auditorium
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 2:30 pm / Jesse Auditorium
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 12:30 pm / Missouri Theatre

Dirs. Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss // 2024 // USA // 96 min

Every summer, teenage girls from across Missouri spend a week building a government from the ground up. Coming from different ends of the political and socioeconomic spectrum, they all share a passion for reimagining the future of America. The filmmakers behind Boys State (T/F 2020) return to the world of teen politics to capture the 2022 program – the first time in history that Girls State and Boys State take place simultaneously on the same campus. With rumors of Roe v. Wade being overturned in the real world, the stakes feel higher than ever for these ambitious and dedicated young women. As the days unfold and rumblings from the Boys program make their way across campus, discontent begins to emerge over the disparities between the two. An exhilarating portrait of our political landscape and the pivotal issue of gender equality. (CT) Presented by Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy

Q&A with directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss

Gwetto

Dir. Michaël Andrianaly // 2023 // France // 52 min

A group of undocumented men working at a car wash pass the time as they wait for their luck to change.

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Gwetto

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 9:30 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 3:15 pm / The Blue Note

Dir. Michaël Andrianaly // 2023 // France // 52 min​

In Tamatave, Madagascar, a group of young undocumented men work at a car wash. Jelco, Justin, Rabetsy and Mamy have come from across the country seeking employment in the city, hoping for a brighter future. Instead, they are faced with discrimination and a boss who exploits them with low wages and long hours. While waiting for their ID cards, they pass the time by playfully teasing each other, sharing meals, and reflecting on the violence that is never far from their neighborhood. Michaël Andrianaly (Nofinofy, T/F 2020) observes the rhythms of their daily lives with an intimate and lingering lens. Circumventing traditional narrative, Andrianaly immerses us in the world of these men, painting a cinematically rich portrait. A beautifully rendered hangout doc, Gwetto gives voice to the often ignored “economically displaced” population of Madagascar. (CT) 
TRAILER

Preceded by short “Todisoa and the Black Stones

Q&A with Michaël Andrianaly

I Like It Here

Dir. Ralph Arlyck // 2022 // USA // 88 min

At age 78, filmmaker Ralph Arlyck weaves a rumination on mortality, community and the passing of time in this personal essay film. 

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I Like It Here

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 4:45 pm / The Globe
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 9:45 am / Big Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 12:30 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Ralph Arlyck // 2022 // USA // 88 min

Ralph Arlyck has never denied his urge to pick up a camera and document his life on film. Now, as he approaches his 80s, he delicately stitches this archive together to craft a compelling reflection on mortality, community, and the passage of time. Like having a conversation with an excellent interlocutor, I Like It Here meanders through a life well-lived; guiding us through portraits of Arlyck’s loved ones as he ponders on the undeniability of aging and death. Layers of time and connection unfold as footage shot across multiple decades interplay with each other; blurring the firm boundary between past and present. From an influential figure in American independent documentary, this gentle and personal essay embraces the beauty of everyday life, reminding us of the simple pleasure of being alive. (CT)
TRAILER

This film contains discussions of suicide.

Q&A with director Ralph Arlyck

Ibelin

Dir. Benjamin Ree // 2024 // Norway //104 min

A young man with a degenerative disease finds community and companionship in the online realm of World of Warcraft.

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Ibelin

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 9:45 pm / Missouri Theatre
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 7:00 pm / Jesse Auditorium
C: Saturday, Mar 2 / 9:30 am / Missouri Theatre

Dir. Benjamin Ree // 2024 // Norway //104 min​

Mats Steen was born with a degenerative muscular disease, and playing video games from his wheelchair was one of his only forms of solace. In the eyes of his family, his life was one of isolation and loneliness. However after his death at age 25, messages started pouring in from his online friends, reflecting on the huge impact he had on their lives. Through these messages, they learned about Ibelin, Mats’ charismatic alter-ego inside World of Warcraft, and his complex identity as agony uncle, trusted confidante, and complicated playboy. Weaving together narrated entries from Mats’ blog, interviews with his digital companions, and reconstructed scenes inside the animated game world, Ibelin is a touching and innovative portrait of a young man who found an enriching community and human connection in the virtual realm. (CT)

K-Family Affairs

Dir. Arum Nam // 2023 // South Korea // 86 min

A filmmaker turns the lens on her family to interrogate the history of democratization in South Korea and their place in it.

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K-Family Affairs

A: Saturday, Mar 2 / 6:00 pm / The Globe
B: Sunday, Mar 3 / 1:00 pm / Big Ragtag

Dir. Arum Nam // 2023 // South Korea // 86 min

K-Family Affairs is a heartfelt exploration of South Korea’s rich political history and the intricate dynamics of family life. Debut filmmaker Arum Nam, sheds light on her parents’ journey as part of the esteemed 386 Generation, celebrated for their contributions to South Korea’s democratization movement. However, Arum’s unwavering faith in her parents and the democracy they championed is shaken after the traumatic Sewol Ferry disaster in 2014 implicates her father, a prominent government official. As Arum focuses the camera on her parents and navigates through the aftermath of this tragedy and subsequent political turmoil, she embarks on a soul-searching journey to understand her generation’s role in shaping justice and democracy. Through an intimate and affectionate lens, Arum captures the essence of her parents’ lives and her own reflections, painting a complex picture of familial bonds and societal responsibilities. (EP)

Q&A with director Arum Nam

Look Into My Eyes

Dir. Lana Wilson // 2023 // USA // 107 min

A group of psychics in New York City conduct sessions with their clients while revealing their own personal struggles, setbacks, and desires.

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Look Into My Eyes

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:00 pm / Jesse Auditorium
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 7:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 7:15 pm / The Globe

Dir. Lana Wilson // 2023 // USA // 107 min

Against the backdrop of New York City, a group of psychics conduct readings for their clients, attempting to reach into the beyond to provide answers to their questions. Coming from different walks of life and with varying approaches to their vocation, what they all share is the gift of creating space for their clients to feel deeply, free from judgment. From the aspiring actor, attuned to departed loved ones, to the pet psychic who avidly watches Jeopardy!, we are invited into the personal lives of these mediums, revealing that isolation, dread, and personal struggles extend beyond their clientele. Lana Wilson (After Tiller, T/F 2013) navigates humor, tenderness, and turmoil with a skillful eye for human emotion. Whether you are a believer or not, Look Into My Eyes is a deeply poetic, empathic exploration of the therapeutic effect of being truly seen by another. (KM)

This film contains discussions of death, suicide and miscarriage.

Q&A with director Lana Wilson

Magic Mountain

Dirs. Mariam Chachia & Nik Voigt // 2023 // Georgia, Poland // 74 min

A portrait of the remote Abastumani palace, nestled high in the Georgian mountains, where tuberculosis-stricken patients live in seclusion.

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Magic Mountain

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 4:30 pm / The Blue Note
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 12:30 pm / Big Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 6:00 pm / Big Ragtag

Dirs. Mariam Chachia & Nik Voigt // 2023 // Georgia/Poland // 74 min

The Abastumani palace, aged and crumbling, houses patients with the most severe cases of tuberculosis. Mariam Chachia, a Georgian filmmaker, discovers the sanatorium after her own diagnosis with tuberculosis. Despite a home-based recovery, the haunting allure of the sanatorium lingered, inspiring her to craft this patient, observational film. Over the course of five years, with co-director Nic Voigt, they explore the sanatorium, uncovering the resilience of its long-term residents, who attempt to defy illness and despair through medication, games, cigarettes, and camaraderie. Chachia immerses us in this secluded world, listening to the experiences of the sanatorium’s inhabitants, and sharing her personal journey through poetic voiceover. Daily life remains unaltered until news arrives of the palace’s sale and impending demolition, ultimately unveiling the building’s ties to Georgian history. (EP)
TRAILER

Q&A with directors Mariam Chachia & Nik Voigt

Nofinofy

Dir. Michaël Andrianaly // 2019 // France // 73 min

After he loses his barber shop, Romeo sets up shop with varying success in different pockets of Toamasina, Madagascar.

Screens as part of True Vision Award.

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Nofinofy

A: Saturday, Mar 2 / 10:45 pm / Big Ragtag

Dir. Michaël Andrianaly // 2019 // France // 83 min​

Barbershops are places where care and conversation are exchanged. At Romeo’s barbershop in Toamasina, Madagascar, men and women alike congregate to discuss what’s happening in their lives and in the life of the country. “My hair is removed and I become handsome,” one customer proclaims, while another cries asking his mother when it’ll be over. After Romeo’s barbershop is torn down due to bureaucratic meddling, he’s forced to set up shop in different and obscure parts of the city. Thankfully, his clients and community always know where to find him. Director Michaël Andrianaly thoughtfully captures the peaks and valleys of Romeo’s quest to find a permanent set-up in turbulent times. Nofinofy is a documentary about the intimacy of touch and the dignity and honor in working with one’s hands. (KM)
TRAILER

Q&A with Michaël Andrianaly

Obsolete

Dir. Sumira Roy // 2023 // India // 64 min

Passing time behind their Mumbai tenement balcony, an elderly couple waits for a response on their appeal for euthanasia.

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Obsolete

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 7:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 11:00 am / Big Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 8:15 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Sumira Roy // 2023 // India // 64 min​

For Narayan and Iravati Lavate, an octogenarian couple living in Mumbai, the longing for a peaceful death under their own control seems eminently reasonable. But obstacles abound, namely, the illegality of euthanasia and its taboo within Hindu culture. As their request to be euthanized, a first in the subcontinent, gets caught up in Modi’s bureaucracy, the neighborhood around them churns with the noisy hustle and bustle of life, a life they feel increasingly detached from. They’re forced to question: why must the desire for death come with the same suffering as that which accompanied life? With an acute observational eye and beautiful mise en scene, Obsolete refuses the impulse to turn away, and looks firmly at two elders entwined in their desire for a dignified passing. (DR)
TRAILER

Preceded by “The Lady with Lipstick”

Q&A with director Sumira Roy

Seeking Mavis Beacon

Dir. Jazmin Jones // 2024 // USA // 102 min

Two DIY investigators examine the disappearance and legacy of one of the most influential Black women in technology, Mavis Beacon.

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Seeking Mavis Beacon

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 10:00 pm / Jesse Auditorium
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 3:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 9:30 am / Missouri Theatre

Dir. Jazmin Jones // 2024 // USA // 102 min​

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, a best-selling educational software that helped define the digital age, made its titular character a household name. However, Renee L’Espérance – the Haitian-born woman modeling as Mavis Beacon, has never been heard from on the record. Determined to recenter L’Espérance’s voice, director Jazmin Jones and co-investigator Olivia McKayla Ross embark on a personal odyssey in search of the missing historical figure. The e-girl detectives – buoyed by their vibrant friendship, curiosity, and transformative justice frameworks – painstakingly search online and across the country for resolution, interrogating their own methodologies in the process. Through the blending of myth and memory, Seeking Mavis Beacon disrupts traditional documentary form while posing critical questions regarding exploitation, Black representation, and the right to be forgotten in the digital realm. (AT) Presented by Show Me Quality Consulting. 

Spermworld

Dir. Lance Oppenheim // 2024 // USA // 84 min

The desire to procreate, and the complications that arise, inform this incisive look into the online world of private sperm donation.

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Spermworld

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 7:15 pm / Jesse Auditorium
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 2:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
C: Saturday, Mar 2 / 12:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Lance Oppenheim // 2024 // USA // 84 min​

The world of private sperm donation takes center stage in Lance Oppenheim’s second feature about the online portals facilitating off-the-record baby-making. With the rules of the game undefined and few, if any, legal protections in place for those who partake, Spermworld takes us across America, to encounter donors and recipients as they exchange the “goods” but also the emotional baggage that comes with procreation. We meet Ari, who has fathered over 120 children yet continues to yearn for his mother’s approval; Atasha, who reluctantly accepts her partner’s line of work while hoping for her own positive pregnancy test; and Steve, whose altruism is challenged when he develops feelings for a recipient. An incisive and assured portrait of the human desire to connect in an increasingly alienating world. (KM)

This film contains discussions of miscarriage.

Q&A with director Lance Oppenheim

sr

Dir. Lea Hartlaub // 2024 // Germany // 103 min

Using the giraffe as a starting point, this essay film weaves a tale that goes beyond the anthropomorphic to address the nature of humanity.

MORE

sr

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 1:30 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 9:15 am / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 5:30 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Lea Hartlaub // 2024 // Germany // 103 min

One of the first recorded images of a giraffe appeared in the drawings of the ancient Egyptians, who named it ‘sr’. In the 1990s, veterinarian Motke Levinson purchased four giraffes on behalf of two zoos. Upon their arrival in the same container to a port in the Red Sea, they were divided. Two were sent to an Israeli zoo while the others were sent to a Palestinian zoo. Living outside their natural habitat, their survival became an uphill battle at the zoos, and within years, they perished. This is just one of many stories that director Lea Harlaub ponders on. From the wall paintings of ancient Egyptians to exotic animal exports and modern-day safari tourism, this essay film takes us on a hypnotic journey to weave together the history of this majestic animal with the history of humanity. (KM)

Q&A with director Lea Hartlaub

Shorts: Absent Presence​

Various Directors; 86 min

Expanding the possibilities of visual representation, these shorts explore new methods of image-making to unearth the personal and the political.

MORE

Shorts: Absent Presence

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 1:45 pm / The Globe
B: Sunday, Mar 3 / 8:45 pm / Big Ragtag

Various Directors // 86 min

Expanding the possibilities of visual representation, various forms of filmmaking converge and coalesce to articulate our relationship with architecture, nature, images, current events, and our subconscious. The program harkens back to early memories of a meaningful triumph, revisits the burning of a historical building in a new way, and sparks an excitement to discover the healing that can be found in the natural world. Elsewhere, individuals recall their nightmares after the onset of a recent war, while another revisits their relationship to their craft. Finally, the story of an ex-CEO serves as a reminder of the fickle nature of capitalism. (KM) 

Roberto Baggio | Dir. Henrique Cartaxo // 2023 // Brazil // 7 min​

A filmmaker investigates his childhood memory of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup win, reflecting on capitalism and pop culture through a moody 90s aesthetic.

Ardent Other | Dir. Alice Brygo // 2022 // France // 16 min

As a medieval cathedral burns, throngs of people gather to bear witness. As their gazes take center-stage, this 3D animated short highlights the human desire for meaning.

Friends on the Outside | Dir. Annabel Moodie // 2023 // Scotland, UK // 10 min

Through phone calls and footage of nature, this short weaves the story of a man who discovers a love of foraging while incarcerated.

Dreams About Putin | Dir. Nastia Korkia // 2023 // Belgium, Hungary, Portugal // 30 min

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, thousands of people began dreaming about Putin. In this visually thrilling film, those dreams come to life through 3D animation.

Headshot | Dir. Dominic Yarabe // 2023 // USA // 8 min

A meditative essay film ruminating on image-making and the historically fraught relationship that Black Americans have with the camera and the land.

Nortel | Dir. Evan Gareth Hoffman // 2023 // Canada // 15 min

A high-energy, eye-popping, and toe-tapping trip through modern capitalism–featuring inept CEOs, driven social media influencers, the benefits of skin care, and Canadian phones.

This program contains nudity. 

Shorts: Impossible Solution​

Various Directors; 67 min

These short films contemplate identity, community, and the innate human longing for connection, each employing unique storytelling to illuminate these universal themes.

MORE

Shorts: Impossible Solution

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:30 am / The Blue Note
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 7:45 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Various Directors; 67 min

Embedded within this program are an array of storytelling approaches and diverse techniques, each offering a distinct lens through which to explore the themes of identity, community, and human connection. As this program unfolds, the films interweave these themes into a rich tapestry of narratives, inviting us to delve into the intricacies of the human experience. From the movements of experimental choreography to the vibrant art strokes that animate the frame, and the immersive worlds of fictional reenactments, these films showcase a spectrum of creative expressions, each contributing to the multifaceted exploration of our shared humanity. (EP)


This program contains nudity


Amma ki Katha | Dir. Nehal Vyas // 2023 // India, USA // 21 min


A creative and incisive look at how history is written and rewritten as a filmmaker unpacks the myth-making of her homeland, India.


L’Esquisse | Dir. Tomas Cali // 2023 // France // 9 min


Animated strokes blend with live-action, when an immigrant artist encounters a new muse who helps them make meaning in a new country. 


Four Holes | Dir. Daniela Muñoz Barroso // 2023 // Cuba, France // 20 min


Filmmaker and subject find common ground in this humorous portrait of Pepe, the mastermind behind a DIY golf course on the outskirts of Madrid. 


Two Sun | Dir. Blair Barnes // 2024 // USA // 5 min


A mood piece with its own rhythm, this evocative film explores the relationship to the self and our ever-evolving understanding of identity.


Contractions | Dir. Lynne Sachs // 2024 // USA // 12 min


Intimate confessions, paired with experimental choreography outside a woman’s clinic in Memphis, offer a glimpse into post Roe v. Wade America.

Shorts: Random Order

Various Directors; 80 min

The short films in this collection delve into the interplay of time, threading its influence on love, loss, and memories/recollections

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Shorts: Random Order

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 3:45 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Sunday, Mar 3 / 6:00 pm / The Blue Note

Various Directors; 80 min

A mixture of mediums spanning archive footage, VHS tapes, cell phone interfaces, and abstract visuals amalgamate in this collection, touching on memory, reflection, and mourning. As time progresses, relationships emerge, flourish, transform, and fade, ultimately becoming fragments of both history and memory. One grandma builds on her weightlifting career, while another filmmaker employs experimental techniques to reconstruct family memories. A 1993 soccer match and WhatsApp exchanges serve as platforms for initiating intimate conversations with family. Mass exodus in Russia leaves the rooms of a building abandoned, while the existence of an art piece outside a NYC building is questioned. (EP)


Strong Grandma | Dir. Cecilia Brown, Winslow Crane-Murdoch // 2023 // USA // 15 min


A 95 yr old weightlifter reflects on love and loss as she prepares for her final competition in this delightful short.


Tilted Arc | Dir. Baxter Stein // 2023 // USA // 14 min


An archival excavation of the meaning of public art told through the controversy surrounding Richard Serra’s commissioned sculpture for the New York Federal Plaza.


Familia | Dirs. Picho Garcia & Gabriela Pena // 2024 // Chile // 20 min


An innovative, funny, and heartfelt exploration of the weight of expectations told through family Whatsapp messages and instagram stories.


Empty Rooms | Dir. Zhenia Kazankina // 2023 // Russia // 6 min


Following a mass emigration from Russia, a poignant love letter emerges in the abandoned home spaces of friends and family.


I Would’ve Been Happy | Dir. Jordan Wong // 2023 // USA // 9 min


A filmmaker uses glazed ceramic tiles and architectural inspiration to reconstruct his childhood home as a means of processing his parents’ divorce.


Junior Tu Papá | Dir. Daniel Díaz // 2024 // Colombia, UK, USA // 16 min


Phone calls, fútbol heroes, and Colombian history meld together in this rumination on family ties, cultural memory, and diasporic connection.

Shorts: Static Flow

Various Directors; 83 min

From artists exploring their identities to tracking the steps of a military man, this shorts program brings together the full spectrum of the human experience.

MORE

Shorts: Static Flow

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 4:30 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
B: Sunday, Mar 3 / 9:45 am / The Blue Note

Various Directors; 83 min

From artists exploring their identities to tracking the steps of a military man, the full breadth of human experience and emotion comes together in this program. Folklore and crocheting become avenues to unpack the past and make sense of identities, while the heaviness that persists in a town forces residents to reckon with their history. Night shift hotel workers let it all out under the protection of anonymity, and an army man is implicated through an archive of evidence spanning 16mm to CCTV. Using different modes of artistic expression, these films unpack our deepest desires to be seen and heard. (KM)

This program contains nudity.


Personal Mythologies | Dir. Susan O’Brien // 2024 // USA // 4 min

Painter Dominique Castelano reflects on her trans identity through folklore from her native Philippines in this visually rich portrait.


Night Audit | Dir. Ryan Ross // 2024 // USA // 15 min

Empty hallways, check-in desks and liminal spaces are the background for hotel employees to reflect on the ups and downs of working the night shift.


Queen’s Crochet | Dir. Hanna CHO // 2023 // South Korea // 36 min


A filmmaker takes on the biggest crocheting challenge of her life and reaffirms her queer identity in the process.


I Am The Immaculate Conception | Dir. Frank Eli Martin // 2023 // UK // 17 min

In a Rural Irish village, residents grapple with faith and an underlying darkness in the aftermath of a divine event four decades ago.


POV Memory | Dir. Igor Smola // 2023 // Azerbaijan, Singapore // 13 min

Shadowing a soldier through a patchwork of archive and surveillance material, this evocative film examines the evolving existentialism around self-imaging and memory.

The Other Profile

Dir. Armel Hostiou // 2023 // France // 82 min

After a French filmmaker discovers a duplicate Facebook profile of someone masquerading as him online, he ends up on a thrilling journey across DR Congo to search for the culprit.

MORE

The Other Profile

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 5:00 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 5:15 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 8:30 pm / The Blue Note

Dir. Armel Hostiou // 2023 // France // 82 min

Armel Hostiou is a French filmmaker whose work is rooted in capturing images, but when his own image is duplicated and used to create a fake Facebook account in his name, he needs answers. He traces the profile to Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo and enlists the support of local artists to help him track down the person masquerading as him. What starts off as a straightforward journey to discover the truth, morphs into a rabbit hole of dead-ends and mistaken identities. The Other Profile is an entertaining and suspenseful mystery that goes beyond the average docu-thriller and invites the audience to reflect on our relationship to social media, post-colonialism, and authorship of creative work. (KM)
TRAILER

Q&A with director Armel Hostiou

There Was, There Was Not

Dir. Emily Mkrtichian // 2024 // USA, Armenia // 90 min

A richly textured tapestry telling the story of Artsakh through the daily lives of four women fighting to save their homeland.

MORE

There Was, There Was Not

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 7:30 pm / Big Ragtag
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 10:45 am / The Globe
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 3:00 pm / Willy Wilson @ Ragtag

Dir. Emily Mkrtichian // 2024 // USA, Armenia // 90 min​

Artsakh declared independence in 1991 but has long been the subject of a territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In this richly textured tapestry, filmmaker Emily Mkritchian weaves the story of Artsakh through the daily lives of four women. Beginning in 2018, when the region had held a tentative peace for three decades, Mkritchian introduces us to her four subjects; Sveta, a minesweeper, Siranush, an aspiring local politician, Gayane, the owner of a women’s center, and Sose, a judo champion. In 2020, when conflict breaks out again, their lives are irrevocably changed. A rare document of a war unfolding in real time, Mkritchian’s camera refuses to look away as reality transforms in front of our eyes. Chronicling the nation’s history through collective memory, There Was, There Was Not resists Artsakh’s erasure; a beautiful tribute to a place that no longer exists. (CT)

This film contains images of war, explosions and bombing.

Q&A with director Emily Mkrtichian

This is Going to Be Big

Dir. Thomas Charles Hyland // 2023 // Australia // 100 min

A neurodiverse teen cast navigates the challenges of adolescence while preparing for their first high school, time-traveling musical.

MORE

This is Going to Be Big

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 7:00 pm / The Blue Note
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 11:00 am / Missouri Theatre
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 6:15 pm / Jesse Auditorium

Dir. Thomas Charles Hyland // 2023 // Australia // 100 min

This Is Going To Be Big follows a group of neurodiverse high school students in Australia as they audition, rehearse, and stage their biennial production; an original school musical centered around Australian singer John Farnham. Told from the teenagers’ perspective and documenting their experiences with autism, anxiety, and acquired brain injuries, the film traces their journey alongside their families and school staff as they navigate the challenges leading up to opening night. Focused on four teenagers – Chelsea, Elyse, Halle and Josh – the film captures their preparations for roles in the musical, forging friendships, overcoming stage fright, and creating lasting memories along the way with warmth and heart. First-time feature filmmaker Thomas Charles Hyland takes us on an emotional and relatable exploration of following your dreams, unveiling the role creativity plays in building identity. (EP)  Presented by Boone Supported Living

Q&A with director Thomas Charles Hyland

Three Promises

Dir. Yousef Srouji // 2023 // Palestine, USA, Lebanon // 61 min

A filmmaker excavates the hidden childhood home movies recorded by his mother during the tumultuous early 2000s in the West Bank. 

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Three Promises

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 4:15 pm / The Blue Note
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 12:30 pm / Missouri Theatre
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 5:00 pm / The Globe

Dir. Yousef Srouji // 2023 // Palestine, USA, Lebanon // 61 min

In the early 2000s, Israel’s military retaliated against the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank, resulting in a years-long siege. Suha, married and a mother of two, coped by picking up her camera to document her family’s day-to-day experience. With her children struggling to sleep, bombings in the near distance, and the reality of the situation seeping closer and closer, the family is faced with a tough decision. Nearly two decades later, her son discovers her hidden archive of home movies. Three Promises tells the intimate story of a Christian family, in lockdown, facing the hardest decision of all: leave your home behind to protect your family, or risk it all to stay in the place you love? This film speaks to a mother’s love, the meaning of home, and survival amidst the worst circumstances. (KM)

This film contains images of bombings and explosions.

Q&A with director Yousef Srouji

Tokyo Story

Dir. Yasujirō Ozu // 1953 // Japan // 136 min

An elderly couple visits their children in Tokyo, only to find themselves neglected, as familial bonds and generational divides unfold in this quietly tragic film.

Screens as part of True Vision Award.

MORE

Tokyo Story

A: Sunday, Mar 3 / 9:30 am / Big Ragtag

Dir. Yasujirō Ozu // 1953 // Japan // 136 min

In Tokyo Story, the elderly couple Tomi and Shukichi journey to Tokyo to reunite with their grown children. As the family navigates the inevitable passage of time and shifting dynamics, Director Yasujirō Ozu delicately explores the intricacies of familial relationships, masterfully capturing the quiet tragedy of aging parents realizing their diminishing place in their family’s life. Through subtle yet profound storytelling, the film becomes an exploration of generational conflict and the universal experience of heartbreak against the backdrop of postwar Tokyo, portraying the enduring bonds of family life in a rapidly changing world. This timeless masterpiece was selected by Michaël Andrianaly, as part of his True Vision award, as a film that had an influence on his own filmmaking practice. The film will be presented in 35mm. (EP)
TRAILER

Union

Dirs. Stephen Maing and Brett Story // 2024 // USA // 104 min

A David vs. Goliath story following the formation of the Amazon Labor Union, as Amazon workers unite to fight for their rights.

MORE

Union

A: Thursday, Feb 29 / 10:00 pm / The Blue Note
B: Friday, Mar 1 / 1:15 pm / The Blue Note
C: Saturday, Mar 2 / 8:30 pm / Jesse Auditorium

Dirs. Stephen Maing and Brett Story // 2024 // USA // 104 min​

Union delves into the gripping story of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), a collective of former and current Amazon workers in Staten Island engaged in a battle against one of the world’s corporate giants for the right to unionize. With unprecedented access, Directors Brett Story (The Hottest August, T/F 2019) and Stephen Maing (Crime + Punishment, T/F 2018) chronicle their journey, highlighting the ALU’s audacious tactics and unwavering resolve despite immense challenges. With a multitude of strong personalities, led by union leader Chris Smalls, tensions inevitably emerge, revealing the complexities of union organizing. From covertly recorded Amazon-led anti-union meetings to tense encounters with law enforcement, the film exposes the taxing path to worker empowerment amidst unrelenting corporate opposition. (EP)

Q&A with directors Stephen Maing and Brett Story

Yintah

Dirs. Jennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell & Michael Toledano // 2024 // Canada // 125 min

Wet’suwet’en leaders unite in a battle against the Canadian government, corporations, and militarized law enforcement to safeguard their territory from gas and oil pipelines.

MORE

Yintah

© Amber Bracken

A: Friday, Mar 1 / 7:00 pm / Missouri Theatre
B: Saturday, Mar 2 / 9:30 am / The Globe
C: Sunday, Mar 3 / 12:00 pm / Jesse Auditorium

Dirs. Jennifer Wickham, Brenda Michell & Michael Toledano // 2024 // Canada // 125 min

This gripping debut feature from Michael Toledano, Jennifer Wickham, and Brenda Mitchell, unfolds as Wet’suwet’en activists confront fossil fuel corporations, the Canadian government, and militarized police to stop the construction of gas and oil pipelines on their territory. Taking its title from the Wet’suwet’en word for “land”, the film chronicles the decade-long struggle led by leaders Howilhkat Freda Huson and Sleydo’ Molly Wickham, as they endure assaults from all directions. By constructing homes and establishing a healing center along the proposed pipeline route, they assert their right to defend their territory. Deeply embedded within the communities, the filmmakers chronicle the confrontations with outsiders through frenetic and exhilarating footage, taking us straight to the heart of the resistance. Yintah presents this urgent tale of modern colonization as a global-scale thriller and a rallying cry to keep fighting. (EP)

This film contains images of animal blood.

Q&A with directors Michael Toledano, Jennifer Wickham & Brenda Michell

SHORT FILMS

Amma ki Katha

Dir. Nehal Vyas // 2023 // India, USA // 21 min

A creative and incisive look at how history is written and rewritten as a filmmaker unpacks the myth-making of her homeland, India.  (Plays in Shorts: Impossible Solution)

Ardent Other

Dir. Alice Brygo // 2022 // France // 16 min

As a medieval cathedral burns, throngs of people gather to bear witness. As their gazes take center-stage, this 3D animated short highlights the human desire for meaning. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

Contractions

Dir. Lynne Sachs // 2024 // USA // 12 min

Intimate confessions, paired with experimental choreography outside a woman’s clinic in Memphis, offer a glimpse into post Roe v. Wade America. (Plays in Shorts: Impossible Solution)

Dreams about Putin

Dir. Nastia Korkia // 2023 // Belgium, Hungary, Portugal // 30 min

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, thousands of people began dreaming about Putin. In this visually thrilling film, those dreams come to life through 3D animation. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

Empty Rooms

Dir. Zhenia Kazankina // 2023 // Russia // 6 min

Following a mass emigration from Russia, a poignant love letter emerges in the abandoned home spaces of friends and family. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

Familia 💖💎

Dirs. Picho García & Gabriela Pena // 2024 // Chile // 19 min

An innovative, funny, and heartfelt exploration of the weight of expectations told through family Whatsapp messages and instagram stories. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

Four Holes

Dir. Daniela Muñoz Barroso // 2023 // Cuba, France // 20 min

Filmmaker and subject find common ground in this humorous portrait of Pepe, the mastermind behind a DIY golf course on the outskirts of Madrid. (Plays in Shorts: Impossible Solution)

Friends on the Outside

Dir. Annabel Moodie // 2023 // Scotland, UK // 10 min

Through phone calls and footage of nature, this short weaves the story of a man who discovers a love of foraging while incarcerated. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

Headshot

Dir. Dominic Yarabe // 2023 // USA // 8 min

A meditative essay film ruminating on image-making and the historically fraught relationship that Black Americans have with the camera and the land. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

I Am The Immaculate Conception

Dir. Frank Eli Martin // 2023 // UK // 17 min

In a Rural Irish village, residents grapple with faith and an underlying darkness in the aftermath of a divine event four decades ago. (Plays in Shorts: Static Flow)

I Would've Been Happy

Dir. Jordan Wong // 2023 // USA // 9 min

A filmmaker uses glazed ceramic tiles and architectural inspiration to reconstruct his childhood home as a means of processing his parents’ divorce. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

Junior Tu Papá

Dir. Daniel Díaz // 2024 // Colombia, UK, USA // 16 min

Phone calls, fútbol heroes, and Colombian history meld together in this rumination on family ties, cultural memory, and diasporic connection. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

L'Esquisse

Dir. Tomas Cali // 2023 // France // 9 min

Animated strokes blend with live-action, when an immigrant artist encounters a new muse who helps them make meaning in a new country. (Plays in Shorts: Impossible Solution)

Night Audit

Dir. Ryan Ross // 2023 // USA // 15 min

Empty hallways, check-in desks, and liminal spaces are the background for hotel employees to reflect on the ups and downs of working the night shift. (Plays in Shorts: Static Flow)

Nortel

Dir. Evan Gareth Hoffman // 2023 // Canada // 15 min

A high-energy, eye-popping, and toe-tapping trip through modern capitalism–featuring inept CEOs, driven social media influencers, the benefits of skin care, and Canadian phones. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

On The Battlefield

Dirs. Theresa Delsoin, Lisa Marie Malloy, J.P. Sniadecki, Ray Whitaker // 2024 // USA // 13 min

While walking through the former site of the housing projects in his hometown of Cairo, Illinois, a sound recordist uncovers an auditory archive. (Plays Before: Behind Closed Doors)

Personal Mythologies

Dir. Susan O'Brien // 2024 // USA // 5 min

Painter Dominique Castelano reflects on her trans identity through folklore from her native Philippines in this visually rich portrait. (Plays in Shorts: Static Flow)

POV Memory

Dir. Igor Smola // 2023 // Azerbaijan, Singapore // 13 min

Shadowing a soldier through a patchwork of archive and surveillance material, this evocative film examines the evolving existentialism around self-imaging and memory. (Plays in Shorts: Static Flow)

Queen's Crochet

Dir. Hanna CHO // 2023 // South Korea // 36 min

A filmmaker takes on the biggest crocheting challenge of her life and reaffirms her queer identity in the process. (Plays in Shorts: Static Flow)

Roberto Baggio

Dir. Henrique Cartaxo // 2023 // Brazil // 7 min

A filmmaker investigates his childhood memory of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup win, reflecting on capitalism and pop culture through a moody ’90s aesthetic. (Plays in Shorts: Absent Presence)

Strong Grandma

Dir. Cecilia Brown & Winslow Crane-Murdoch // 2023 // USA // 15 min

A 95 yr old weightlifter reflects on love and loss as she prepares for her final competition in this delightful short. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

The Lady with Lipstick

Dir. Francesca Coppola // 2023 // Italy, Switzerland // 9 min

Archival family footage evolves into a testimony as the director’s grandmother reflects on life, womanhood, and the post-war changes in her town’s landscape fifty years later. (Plays Before: Obsolete)

The Medallion

Dir. Ruth Hunduma // 2023 // UK //19 min

A filmmaker reflects on her family’s history, artfully interweaving archival footage with her mother’s memories of Ethiopia’s Red Terror. (Plays Before: Background)

Tilted Arc

Dir. Baxter Stein // 2023 // USA // 14 min

An archival excavation of the meaning of public art told through the controversy surrounding Richard Serra’s commissioned sculpture for the New York Federal Plaza. (Plays in Shorts: Random Order)

Todisoa and the Black Stones

Dir. Michaël Andrianaly // 2013 // France, Madagascar // 26 min

Michaël Andrianaly’s first short film tells the story of Vohitrambato, a village whose inhabitants have had their land taken by a mining project. (Plays before: Gwetto)

Two Sun

Dir. Blair Barnes // 2023 // USA // 5 min

A mood piece with its own rhythm, this evocative film explores the relationship to the self and our ever-evolving understanding of identity. (Plays in Shorts: Impossible Solution)