ANIMATION SHORTS AT SLAMDANCE
Bad Mood (Italy) North American Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Loris Giuseppe Nese
The mother cares for seniors in their homes, where the ticking clock counts down the working day, between the frightening sounds of the heavy breathing that increase the fear of emptiness…
Cast: Rossella De Martino, Patrizia Scannapiecoro
Friend of a Friend (France) North American Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Zachary Zezima
A young man is sexually assaulted and subdues, punishes, then befriends his own attacker while confronting his past and the ambiguities of sexuality.
Cast: Meera Rohit Kumbhani, Isaac Kessler, Shawn Stoner
Knife Hanging From A Tree (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Jihee Nam
Lizard Ladder (USA)
Director: Ted Wiggin
Three animals caught between planes of existence, and an egg.
Molly Dane (USA)
Director/ Screenwriter: Ida Lasic
Experience the ritz and glamour of a death at the Dane’s fundraiser.
Opera (South Korea)
Director / Screenwriter: Erick Oh
Opera is a massive 8K size animation installation project which portrays our society and history, filled with beauty and absurdity.
Papa Sun (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Noah Gallagher
A visual and audio mixtape that celebrates the sun, the moon, water, and the beach.
Cast: Noah Gallagher, Nick Knezevich, Em Jiang, Chelsea Garvey
Poise (Portugal) North American Premiere
Director: Luís Soares / Screenwriters: Luís Soares, Cátia Salgueiro
A man is unable to make a choice and the world comes to a halt. Is the tension of indecision stronger than the fear of mistake?
Return to the Peach Blossom Wonderland (China, USA) North American Premiere
Directors: Haomin Peng, Yue Huang, Yuchao Luo Screenwriter: Yue Huang
Looking at a China modernized, are we back in such a wonderland described in an ancient fable, The Peach Blossom Spring, or is this high-speed train impelling us to somewhere else?
Something to Treasure (USA, Canada)
Director: Annapurna Kumar
Warm showers make me see stars.
The Land of Whim (Poland) North American Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Betina Bozek
The film is an image of a land ruled by a whim. Everything that exists on the planet is unobvious, chaotic, and changes its shapes and properties.
Director / Screenwriter: Angela Stempel
Unleash your urges! Let them take care of you.
White Horse (UK, China)
Director / Screenwriter: Yujie Xu
The bystander leaves after whispering, they say an accordion could never talk to a white horse.
EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS AT SLAMDANCE
Desert Air (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: ANDiLAND
A dark journey down the rabbit hole of a turbulent female adolescence.
Letter From Your Far-Off Country (USA/India)
Director / Screenwriter: Suneil Sanzgiri
Drawing upon a rich repository of images – from digital renderings of Kashmir’s mountains to the textured materiality of 16mm hand-processing and direct animation techniques – ‘Letter From Your Far-off Country’ maps a hidden vein of shared political commitment and diasporic creative expression, linking a poem by the Kashmiri American writer Agha Shahid Ali with interviews with the filmmaker’s father and a letter addressed to Communist Party leader Prabhakar Sanzgiri, who is also the filmmaker’s distant relative.
Mountain Lodge (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Jordan Wong
The candle, the myth, the legend. Mountain Lodge.
Morning Sickness in the USA (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Cristine Brache
The director’s grandmother shares the story of being committed to a mental hospital in 1961 after seeing a doctor for inexplicable nausea.
Cast: Juliana Brache, Cristine Brache
Passage (Germany) North American Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Ann Oren
A foley artist creates sounds for a film featuring a dressage horse and dissolves into his own imitation. Shot on 16mm film, PASSAGE is contemporary and sensual homage to the origin of cinema, with a thrilling performance from queer artist and performer Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau.
Cast: Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau
Piz Regolith (Switzerland) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Yannick Mosimann
A postmodern swiss-tyrolean ensemble ventures into remote mountainous regions, embracing the sonorous variety of local vernaculars. A poetic road movie with stunning shots and an emphatic approach to a new alpine aesthetics.
Cast: Thomas Burger, Gloria Grams, Helmuth Gufler, Ruedi Hählen
Rumi and His Roses (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Navid Sinaki
Using love letters tucked in bootleg DVD menus, a gay Iranian recounts his first relationship and its end.
Cast: Navid Sinaki
Something To Touch That Is Not Corruption Or Ashes Or Dust (United States)
Director / Screenwriter: Mike Stoltz
Fences, zooms, blastbeats and oscillators search for possibility or perforation as the walls close in.
the gospel according to them (UK) World Premiere
Director: Bury Leod
the gospel according to them, is an experimental film that explores the phenomenology of faith and its relationship to the Black body.
The Wind (United States)
Director: Miranda Javid
The rigidity of a historical fact rolls by like clouds, or maybe like cloud-computing. Digital landscapes like desktops, trash cans, and cursors flatten the sensation of what tangibly remains: the invisible pleasure of wind on skin.
Wild Heart 1981 / 2020 (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Zach Dorn
While browsing YouTube at the start of the 2020 COVID pandemic, a narrator grabs a camcorder and shares their thoughts about the video platform. The narrator lingers on a video of Stevie Nicks singing “Wild Heart” in the studio of Annie Liebovitz in 1981.
EPISODES OF SLAMDANCE
Director / Screenwriter: Boise Esquerra
A Native American country music star finally hits rock bottom and is court-ordered into wellness therapy with an offbeat group of misfits on her hometown reservation.
Cast: Kyla Garcia, Branscombe Richmond, Gary Farmer, Carolina Hoyos
Black Kung fu Chick (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Rae Shaw
A feisty young girl from South LA struggles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor with the help of her high school science teacher, a martial arts master.
Cast: Taylor Polidore, Peter Boon Koh, PJ Hubbard, Terrance Ellis
Chef Giants (USA)
Director / Creator / Screenwriter: Troy DeWinne
Two goblins behold and scold the great chef giants.
Cast: Troy DeWinne and Ethan Dirks
Dead End (Israel)
Director / Creator: Nir Berger – Screenwriters: Ofir Sasson, Nir Berger
In a post-nuclear-war Jerusalem, two teenage bickering siblings travel what’s left of the city in search of their little brother whom they lost in the bombing.
Cast: Ofir Sasson, Gaya Beer Gurevich, Yotam Perel, Guy Shahaf
Early To Rise (USA)
Director: Alec Cohen / Screenwriters / Creators: Alec Cohen, Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, Katie Sicking
On the way to a distant planet, three less-than-qualified astronauts are awoken from stasis 90 years too early and trapped inside their hibernation pods. Alone in the endless void, they can’t kill themselves, and they can’t kill each other, so they’ll just have to kill time.
Cast: Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, Katie Sicking
Hustle: Episode 4 (USA) World Premiere
Director: Matt Strickland / Creator – Screenwriter: Rekha Shankar
Two gamer best friends battle the everyday Big Bosses of “unequal opportunity” and “crappy day jobs.” In this episode, Nina’s first writing credit may spell “game over” when she realizes the publication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, while Paige battles her own self-doubt (the biggest baddie of all).
Cast: Rachel Pegram, Bowen Yang, Jordan Myrick, Morgan Phillips
Like in Movies (Japan)
Director / Creator / Screenwriter: Yoh Komaya
Life is full of twists and letdowns. Live it like a movie.
Cast: Takeo Ito, Eri Mori, Ryota Taniguchi, Hisayasu Fujii
Now is Not the Best Time (United States) World Premiere
Director: Jacqueline Dow – Screenwriter: Seth Birkan
Alisa gets a chance to win $50,000 by making a half-court shot at a Knicks game but her anxiety quickly derails her when she learns the contest is going to be on TV.
Cast: Betsy Kenney, Kenneth Kimmins, Dan Erickson, Kenneth Kyle Martinez
Quarantine Quarrels: Connecting in Quarantine (USA)
Creator / Director/ Screenwriter: Sophia Stephens
A woman struggles to maintain her sanity during the 2020 quarantine lockdown.
Cast: Sophia Stephens
Sixteen Thousand Dollars (USA)
Director: Symone Baptiste – Screenwriters: Brodie Reed & Ellington Wells
A struggling Black college grad wakes up to find that reparations have finally been paid to descendants of slaves in America.
Cast: Brodie Reed, Ellington Wells, Alice Wetterlund, Punkie Johnson
The Anxious Taxidermist Pilot (USA)
Director: Jeff Dickamore / Creators / Screenwriters: Jeff Dickamore, Aurora Florence
The story of Marie, a young woman who uses her secret passion for rogue taxidermy to cope with debilitating anxiety.
Cast: Aurora Florence, Shaun Harmon Thompson, Rachael Winegar, Alex Diaz
The Little Broomstick Rider (Italy) World Premiere
Creator / Director / Screenwriter: Matteo Bernardini
When a nine-year-old boy in 1620s Bavaria goes on trial for witchcraft, a flabbergasted court must decide the child’s fate.
UNSTOPPABLE SHORTS FROM SLAMDANCE
A$$ Level (USA)
Director: Alison Becker / Screenwriter: Santina Muha
A$$ Level is a comedic music video that celebrates life with a disability while paying homage to 90s dance videos.
Cast: Santina Muha, Lydia Hearst, Travis Coles, Amy Hessler
Best Friend (United States)
Director / Screenwriter: Cory Reeder
After moving cross-country, a young girl with Down syndrome struggles to fit into her new surroundings.
Cast: Gitane Neil, Kim Kendall, Robert Buscemi, Diana Elizabeth Jordan
Committed (United States)
Directors: Rachel Handler and Crystal Arnette – Screenwriters: Kara Moulter, Rachel Handler, Melanie Waldman
When Calvin announces that he’s proposing to Leesa…and then they’re moving to the suburbs, Rebecca enlists Dennis’s help to sabotage the proposal and keep their friends around for good.
Cast: Rachel Handler, Jaleesa Graham, Colin Buckingham, Damond McFarland
ENDOMIC (Canada, US) World Premiere
Directors / Screenwriters / Producers: Camille Hollett-French, Ipek Ensari
An exhaustive meta-analytic review documenting a mysterious “women’s” issue, otherwise known as endometriosis1 (1term used to describe a clinical etiology that thus far has only been identified in primates with a female reproductive system, an anatomical structure of decidedly lower importance in comparison to those of the male primate.)
Cast: AJ Simmons, Ipek Ensari, Rhiannon Collett, Natasha Richards
Feeling Through (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Doug Roland
A teen-in-need’s reluctant act of kindness toward a DeafBlind man becomes a night-long journey, creating a bond between them that gives the teen hope for the future.
Cast: Steven Prescod, Robert Tarango
Flying Eggs (United States)
Director: Sheldon Chau – Screenwriter: Antonio Garcia Jr.
A teenage boy in a Brooklyn apartment interrupts a man on his morning run by throwing eggs out the window.
Cast: Antonio Garcia Jr., Christopher M. Lopes
Full Picture (USA) World Premiere
Director: Jacob Reed – Screenwriters: Santina Muha, Jacob Reed, Elizabeth Reichelt, Stephen Sanow
Santina has been in a wheelchair since she was six years old. With meetings, hangouts, and classes happening virtually due to the Coronavirus quarantine, she’s experiencing something new: Choosing when (or if) to disclose her disability.
Cast: Santina Muha
Human Helper (United States)
Director / Screenwriter: Shaina Ghuraya
Human Helper is a sci-fi comedy short about a doctor’s mission to make artificially intelligent human-like helpers not ableist.
Cast: Nicole Evans, Alora Kinley, Anthony Golden Jr., Shauna Turnmire
How Much Am I Worth? (United States)
Directors: Rachel Handler and Catriona Rubenis-Stevens
This stirring documentary explores the failures of the U.S. health system through the lens of four disabled women.
Cast: Rachel Handler, Andrea Dalzell, Jaleesa Graham, Denise Castelli
I Wish I Never (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Shaina Ghuraya
This music video tackles the reality of women with disabilities in abusive relationships.
Cast: Angela Rockwood, Lucas Maschi
My Layers (Canada) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter / Producer: Susanne Serres
A dance & art short film about psychosis – from mental illness to full recovery.
Cast: Kym Dominique-Ferguson
On The Outs (USA)
Director: Jordan Melograna – Producers: Mark Stroh, David Carlson, Anna Guy, Jordan Melograna, Tina Pinedo
On The Outs follows three people with various disabilities, including vision impairment, brain injury, and mental illness, as they reenter the community from Washington State prisons.
Cast: Eldorado Fleetwood Cadillac Brown, Tyrone Gatherings, Kara Moser
Road to Zion (USA)
Director: Andrew Reid – Screenwriters: Andrew Reid, Jeremy Palmer
A Jamaican immigrant finds his life in LA shaken by forces outside his control as he struggles to understand how far he is willing to go to protect his family.
Safety Net (Australia) North American Premiere
Director: Anthea Williams / Screenwriter: Julian Larnach
Thirteen-year-old Terry is in emergency care with guardians after his mother’s arrest. Cheeky and living with a disability, he outwits one guardian while finding exactly the connection he needs from the other.
Cast: William Best, Nikki Shiels, Steve Rodgers
Director / Screenwriter: Ashley Eakin
A girl born with one arm gets set-up on a blind date with a guy who has one hand, and she is pissed!
Cast: Jordan Wiseley, Delaney Feener
Stilts (United Kingdom) North American Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Dylan Holmes Williams
A young man tries to escape a surreal dystopia where everyone wears ginormous metal stilts.
Cast: Tom Glynn-Carney, Con O’Neill, Hebe Beardsall, Amanda Hale
The Bin (Philippines) US Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Jocelyn Tamayao
A father struggles to connect with his son, who grows to love a language not native to his tongue.
Cast: Patrick Silver Padao, Brian Arda, Zernice Mae Cruz, and Juner N. Quiambao
The Butterfly Circus (USA)
Director: Joshua Weigel – Screenwriters: Joshua Weigel, Rebekah Weigel
The story of a renowned circus troupe traveling through the devastated American landscape at the height of the Great Depression, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels they discover a man without limbs in a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman, he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.
Cast: Nick Vujicic, Eduardo Verastegui, Dou Jones
The Co-Op (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Cameron S. Mitchell
A robber’s plan goes horribly awry when he realizes the store he has targeted is full of disabled people.
Cast: Josh Matthews, Emilie Krause, Emma Mitchell, David Mitchell
Director / Screenwriter: Julia Neill
A young Civil War surgeon in the Union army visits home with an unexpected companion: a soldier whose arm she amputated.
Cast: Scott Barton, Amanda Forstrom, Zack Rukavina, Evan Casey, Barbara Zablocky
Directors / Screenwriters: Emma Zurcher-Long, Julia Ngeow & Geneva Peschka
A groundbreaking point-of-view documentary exploring a non-fluent speaker’s world. 14-year-old Emma challenges societal judgment surrounding autism…one keystroke at a time.
Cast: Emma Zurcher-Long
Verisimilitude (United Kingdom)
Director: David Proud / Screenwriter: Justin Edgar
A struggling disabled actress gets a job advising a film star how to be disabled for his latest role.
Cast: Ruth Madeley, Esther Smith, Laurie Davidson, Alice Lowe
DEPARTMENT OF ANARCHY AT SLAMDANCE
ASMR for White Liberals (USA)
Director: John Connor Hammond – Screenwriter: Randall Otis
Liberal? White? Guilty as hell? Let me help you get through your tough, tough times with ASMR for White Liberals.
Cast: Randall Otis
Bare Bones (United States) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Meryem Lahlou
Who are we when we all share the same face?
Beyond Noh (USA/Japan)
Director: Patrick Smith – Screenwriter: Kaori Ishida
Thousands of masks from around the world, at 24 masks per second, brings us along a journey through culture, utility, and deviance.
Catastrophe Anthem (USA) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Christopher Hewitt
The END OF THE WORLD isn’t going to be an apocalyptic explosion. It’s going to be our minds, descending into chaos.
Cast: Tuesday Thomas
Urban Sphinx (Esfinge urbana) (Spain)
Director / Screenwriter: María Lorenzo
The eye that you see is not an eye because you see it; it’s an eye because he sees you. A tribute to all Street Artists from Valencia.
Everything You Need To Know About Pierogi (USA)
Director / Screenwriter: Jon Phillips
Everything you need to know about pierogi, and more!
Just a Guy (Germany)
Director: Shoko Hara – Screenwriter: Simon Thummet
Three women contemplate their relationship with convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez.
Life (Iran) US Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Mohammad Mohammadian
Life is an experimental super short film about time of life. The duration of this film is only 4 seconds (not minutes) because life is very short and very fast.
Peter the Penguin (UK)
Director / Screenwriter: Andrew Rutter
Nigel is on his way to meet his partner’s daughter Emily for the first time, and while he hopes to make a big impression, the impression she’ll leave on him is far more permanent.
Cast: Chris Butler, Alex Kapila, Mia Hemerling, Peter Terry
Run That Shit! (USA) World Premiere
Director: Tristan Kim – Screenwriters: Tristan Kim, Will Allyn Robinson
A Satanic cult lures a no-name rapper into stealing an enchanted chamber pot from his estranged friend and now superstar rapper, Big Tobacco.
Cast: Jerome Beazer, Shaune May, Michael Rendeiro, Jimmie Cummings
The Danger in Front (Canada) US Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Alexis Chartrand
While observing life outside his shop, a barber thinks he sees someone who is after his life and his family. Confronted with imminent danger, the barber decides to react.
Cast: Bruno Marcil, Guillaume Cyr, Guillaume Lambert
Wild Bill Horsecock (USA)
Director: Oliver Shahery
Hayes Johnson is a Prius-driving, red-light-running vegan, who sings country, shoots DIY porn…and unfortunately, a lot more. Wild Bill Horsecock dives headfirst.
Cast: Hayes Johnson
DIG (DIGITAL, INTERACTIVE, AND GAMING) AT SLAMDANCE
24,483 DREAMS OF DEATH (United States) World Premiere
Director: Chris Peters – Screenwriter: GPT-2 A.I.
An artificial intelligence (A.I.) computer watched the Mario Bava classic “La Maschera del Demonio” for six straight days, then it made its own disturbing movie.
Cast: Naomi Petit
Homage to Airway (Denmark)
Director / Screenwriter: Sophia Ioannou Gjerding
While ‘airway’ can be a reference to air travel and human respiration alike, in this context ‘Airway’ is the name of a dog.
Cast: Aoife Slevin
Inside and Outside the Wall (China) World Premiere
Director / Screenwriter: Yihan Lin
During the 14-day mandatory quarantine in a hotel room after I went back to China, I “raised” some virtual animals in my phone. Somehow, we look very alike.
To Die in the Valley I’ve Loved (USA)
Directors: Koryn Wicks & Willing Kompany
A dance performance exploring horror movies, why we love them, and the things they reveal about our culture.
Cast: Koryn Wicks