Author Archives: DC Independent Film Festival

Announcing our High School Film Competition Finalists

COUNTDOWN (USA/2015/6:51mins/Narrative) Directed by Valeria Hansen
Michael Gemelli sees countdowns above people’s heads that indicate how long they have left to live.

DOMAR: TO TAME   (USA/2015/6:47mins/Documentary) Directed by Benjamin Ades
Portrait of a horse tamer from Uruguay.

INCUBUS (USA/2015/5:42mins) Directed by Jacob ChangRascle
After a boy finds a mysterious key, the day takes a turn for the worse.

JUVENILE JUSTICE: THE ROAD TO REFORM   (USA/2015/8mins/Documentary) Directed by Gandhi Brigade Youth Media
It was a turbulent spring of 2015 as protesters and rioters took to the streets of Baltimore.

LUCIDITY (USA/2015/5mins/Narrative) Directed by Ellis Kauffman, Eli Idunate, Meredith Morran and Paxton Tye
The line between dream and reality is often blurred.

MY TIGER AND I (USA/2015/3:59mins/Narrative) Directed by Josh Leong
A tale of loss and loyalty.

PICKING UP THE PIECES  (USA/2015/27.27mins/Documentary) Directed by Joshua Tebeau
The perspectives of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors as they rebuilt their lives after the Second World War.

SOMETIMES, MAYBE         (USA/2015/5:41mins/Narrative) Directed by Cole Bacani
While packing for college one evening, Anna stumbles upon a mysterious letter.

THE RINGING (China/2015/5:24mins/Narrative) Directed by Zhe Chen                                                                            A  short story about domestic violence and its subsequent influence on a child’s growth.

THE CLASSROOM (Brazil/2015/2:32mins/Animation) Directed by students from NAVE Recife – Cícero Dias Technical School
Just a regular day in the classroom.

THE WORM (UK/2015/5mins/Narrative & Animation) Directed by Alex Rafael Rose
A boy’s doodle comes to life and wreaks havoc all over his house and body.

WOUND – A FILM DIARY (U S A/2015/3mins/ Experimental) Directed by Lauren Loesberg                                A film about the director’s relationship with ambition and pressure.

YOUNG (UK/2015/12mins/Narrative) Directed by Jack Hochschild
The elder of two orphaned teenage sisters has a child.

Announcing our 2016 Shorts

Announcing the Short Films screening at DCIFF 2016

(UK/2015/19:27mins) Directed by Victor Perez
A pregnant married woman struggles to tell a much older man that their affair is over.

(Iran/2015/10mins) Directed by Majidreza Dehghani Tafti
The cold relationship between a unlikely married couple takes a turn for the better…

(USA/2015/12:30mins) Directed by Chris King
A young military wife gets news that her Marine husband has been severely wounded in combat.

(USA/2015/14:23mins) Directed by Richard T. Fields
A young man’s journey to reconnect with his estranged father.

(USA/2015/12:56mins) Directed by Jeremy Mackie
In the middle of an ill-conceived road trip, two siblings bounce between hope and despair.

CI: A TEDD Talkumentary
(USA/2015/20mins) Directed by Martin Sweeney
Real-life Silicon Valley innovator Michael Fertik plays a start-up superstar in this satirical mockumentary film.

(USA/2015/19mins) Directed by Gordy Hoffman
A heartbroken girl spiraling through life stumbles upon the true nature of her existence after stealing the vest off of a service dog.

(USA/2015/10mins) Directed by Ellen Hemphill and Jim Haverkamp
A widow, alone at home, sees something heavenly fall into her backyard. A redemptive tale, written and narrated by novelist Allan Gurganus.

(Latvia/2015/15:33mins) Directed by Uldis Cipsts
A rich rock star spends to make his good-looking concubine… ideal. When he wants her smarter, the possibility of a brain transfer arises.

IMAGINAPPED (USA/2015/14mins) Directed by Stian Hafstad
When her imaginary friend is kidnapped, Olivia (8) has to team up with the hyperactive boy next door in order to get him back.

(USA & France/2015/14mins) Directed by Rebekah Fieschi
A dark comedy in the spirit of classic MGM and Universal horror from the 1920s/30s.

MI CASA, SU CASA (France/2015/ 15mins) Directed by Sara Verhagen
When Celine returns from a holiday, a certain Bartleby welcomes her with open arms to… HER home? To HIS home?

(UK/2015/10mins) United Kingdom) Directed by Detsky Graffam
Sam Smith is woken by the late-night delivery of threatening notes.

(Canada/2015/18:47mins.) Directed by Scott Brown
The search is on for Enzo Ball, the Miman audio-offender.

(USA/2015/23:39) Directed by Timothy Voelker
Desperate to end his quarter-life crisis, Leroy Alpenvice attempts to sell his soul to the devil.

(Ireland/2015/22:24mins) Directed by Peter McQuinn
Pianist Thomas Croydon ‘s attention is diverted by the young gardner in the estate’s grounds.

(USA/2015/17mins.) Directed by Mike P. Nelson
A screenwriter struggling to complete a ninja script must confront the death of the love of his life in order to move on with his own.

(USA/2015/6:35mins) Directed by Beverly Tan
A poet relives a love story.

(USA/2015/11mins) Directed by Shane Andries
Stereotype, victim, or perpetrator? ‘The Visit’ is an upside-down look at present day racial realities.

(USA/2015/18:44mins) Directed by Lisa Ford
Russell and Kitty are growing up with a mentally ill parent. When a foal is born on a neighboring farm, Kitty believes it is magical.

(Spain/2015/29mins) Directed by David Victori
A boy and his father are emotionally and physically separated on the day earth intermittently loses gravity.

Announcing our 2016 Documentaries

Announcing the Documentaries screening at DCIFF 2016

Details and screening times coming soon. Keep checking back in this week as we continue to announce all the 2016 DCIFF Finalists.

(Australia/2016/77mins) World Premiere.
Directed by Ebony Butler
How an African dictator has been able to commit mass murder and still get a regular audience at The White House and 10 Downing Street.

(Qatar/2015/44mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Christina Paschyn
For more than 200 years, the Crimean Tatars struggled to free the Crimean Peninsula from Russian domination. By 2014, many believed their long battle was coming to a good end. They were wrong.

(USA/2015/16mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Bill Claps
“Artspeak”, the often incomprehensible language used by many curators, writers, and critics, has alienated much of the art-viewing public. The film follows New York artist Bill Claps discovering everyday people’s thoughts and feelings about contemporary art as he develops a video installation.

(USA/2015/24mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Michelle Grace Steinberg
After decades struggling to protect her ancestors’ burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco’s sprawl, a Native woman and her allies occupy a sacred site. A film exploring the quest to preserve one’s culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.

(Iran/2015./4:53mins) World Premiere.
Directed by Mohamen Hosein Abedini
A contemplation on fishing without machines.

(USA/2015/28:50mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Lee Quinby and Sam Hampton
An exploration of the passionately creative and carefully crafted impulses of New York City poet David Mills.

(USA/2015/31:50mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
A richly animated personal narrative that tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment.

(UAE/2015/9:59mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Fayssil Bin Sahli
Ahmed is a passionate young stop-motion artist. Ahmed wants to pursue his dream, but finds it difficult to do so because of his father’s views on his art.

(USA/2015/57mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Rick Goldsmith
Basketball super-star Chamique Holdsclaw’s roller-coaster attempts at recovery from near-suicide reveal an uphill battle against the stigma of mental illness. Ms. Holdsclaw played for the Washington Mystics from 1999-2004.

(Israel/2015/81mins) DC Premiere.
Directed by Jake Witzenfeld
Challenged by their sexuality, outcast by their nationality; here is a new generation of Palestinians in Tel-Aviv during the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014.

(UK/2015/88mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Karen Guthrie
A portrait of loyalty, broken dreams and redemption told by its director – reluctantly-dutiful daughter Karen, who takes you under the skin of the household she returns to for this long goodbye to a parent.

(Turkey/2015/60mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Binnur Karaevli and Faith Kaymak
The story of Ara Guler, legendary Armenian-Turkish photographer, through a culmination of his retrospective exhibition in Istanbul.

(USA/2015/24mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Jonathan Rattner
January, the Alaskan Interior, 56 mushing dogs, 4 humans, 5 hours of sunlight. This observational work – examines the interior worlds of its subjects and explores how to write with limited light.

(South Korea/2015/73mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Dae-Hyun Kim
The Story of The Kim Sisters, an iconic trio who were the first Asians to perform in Las Vegas, and make a strong appeal to America.

(Portugal/2015/108mins) US Premiere.
Directed by André Banza
Biographical documentary on Anselmo Ralph, currently one of Africa’s major musical artists: On the road, at home, recording new songs in the studio, interacting with fans and visiting his Angolan roots.

(Canada/2015/4:36mins) US Premiere.
Directed by Allen Myers
For nearly a hundred years, Worley Mountain has been the source of a wild Christmas tree harvest that spans two weeks in late October before the snows come in.

Announcing our 2016 Feature Films

Thrilled to announce the Feature Films screening at DCIFF 2016

Details and screening times coming soon. Keep checking back in this week as we continue to announce all the 2016 DCIFF Finalists.

AMERICAN BRED (USA/2016/109mins.) World Premiere
Directed by Justin Chambers
Lead Cast: Michael Lerner, Eva Tamargo, Andy Martinez Jr.
In present day Detroit, the influence of organized crime has diminished. One of the lasting crime syndicates begins to unravel when lies, mystery and betrayal devour the trust which holds them together.

BACK TO THE NORTH (China/2015/120mins.) US Premiere
Directed by Liu Hao,
Lead Cast: Nan Sheng, Su Yijuan
A young textile factory worker is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Concerned that her parents will become a ‘lost family’ after her death, she takes action.

LET’S RAP (Canada/2015/104mins.)
Directed by Neil Huber
Lead Cast: Rachel Wilson, Brendan Gall, Randal Edwards
A hapless brother and sister with a gift for pop-culture infused banter embark on an ill-conceived quest to get their own talk show, encountering romance and sabotage along the way.

LIKE A CAST SHADOW (Sybille) (Germany/2015/87mins.) East Coast Premiere
Directed by Michael Krummenacher
Lead Cast: Anne Ratte-Polle, Thomas Loibl, Dennis Kamitz
Sibylle witnesses the suicide of a woman her age. Devastated, something inside of her has been set in motion that seems to endanger everything which she has defined herself by.

DRIVING WHILE BLACK (USA/2015/94mins.) DC Premiere
Directed by Paul Sapiano
Lead Cast: Dominique Purdy, Sheila Tejada, John Mead
Dimitri delivers pizzas for a living, but is offered a job driving a Hollywood tour bus. Will he ever get to the interview? A serious comedy about the police hassle this young black man faces while driving.

FOOLS (USA/2015/87mins.) DC Premiere
Directed by Benjamin Meyer
Lead Cast: Mary Cross, Michael Szeles
Two strangers brush hands on a train and move in together days later, fabricating the history of their love as they go along.

HAZE (USA/2015/106 mins.) DC Premiere
Directed by David Burkman
Lead Cast: Kirk Curran, Mike Blejer, Jeremy O’Shea, Kristin Rogers and Sophia Medley
A college freshman’s desire to join the best fraternity is compromised when his brother launches an anti-hazing crusade. HAZE is a dark, raw look into a secret world of intoxication, ritual savagery, and into the hearts of two young men, each driven by a need for acceptance and brotherhood.

INTERNET JUNKIE (Mexico, Argentina, Israel/2015/92mins.) US Premiere
Directed by Alexander Katzowicz
People live asphyxiated in front of their computers, unable to live with the people that surround them, trying to find a pinch of love in the fantasy of the net. Outside the virtual world, they do not exist.

NEPTUNE (USA/2015/101mins.) DC Premiere
Directed by Derek Kimball
Raised in a church by the island’s insular priest, Hannah has led a sheltered life. The sudden disappearance of a classmate challenges her dictated, narrow stream of experience and the discovery of a wider world begins.

ONE SMART FELLOW (USA/2015/44mins.) DC Premiere
Directed by Timothy Busfield and Tommy Lohmann
Lead Cast: Belle Shouse, Laura Innes, Timothy Busfield, and Melissa Gilbert
The stupidest man decides to pick the most beautiful day to do the stupidest thing.

TRAIN STATION (Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, UAE, UK, USA /2015 / 97mins.)
East Coast Premiere
Directed by: Xavier Agudo, Ryan Bajornas, Surya Balakrishnan, Nicola Barnaba, Petras Baronas, Juliane Block, Leroux Botha, Julia Caiuby, Gregory Cattell, Therese Cayaba, David Cerqueiro, Diane Cheklich, Violetta D’Agata, Felix Alexander Dausend, Hesam Dehghani Giovanni Esposito, Todd Felderstein, Ingrid Franchi, Yango Gonzalez, Vania Ivanova, Yosef Khouwes, George Korgianitis, Joycelyn Lee, Craig Lines, Athanasia Michopoulou, Daniel Montoya, Omer Moutasim, Marc Oberdorfer, Tiago P. de Carvalho, Aditya Pawar, Tony Pietra Adam Ruszkowski, Andrés Sandoval, Guillem Serrano, Marty Shea, Nitye Sood, Wilson Stiner, Amirah M. Tajdin, Dzenan Tarakcija, Adrian Tudor, Kresna D. Wicaksana, Rafael Yoshida, Bruno Zakarewicz, John Versical – A Collabfeature Production
When a mysterious train accident forces a man to change his plans, he is confronted with a series of choices. Each decision he makes leads to a different scenario, each one filmed by a different director with a different cast.