Announcing with Vim: DCIFF 2020 Narrative Feature and Documentary Finalists

Narrative/Fiction Features

Faith Based (USA/2020/90mins) directed by Vincent Masciale. Lead Cast: Jason Alexander,  Lance Reddick, Margaret Cho, David Koechner, Luke Barnett, Tanner Thomason. When two friends realize all “faith based” films make buckets of cash, they set out on a mission to make one of their own.

Love Type D (UK/2019/95mins) directed by Sasha Collington. Lead Cast: Maeve Dermody,  Rory Stroud, Tovah Feldshuh, Oliver Farnworth, Natacha Basset, Lucy Bayler, Tim Berrington.  After being dumped for the 12th time in a row, 27-year-old Frankie discovers that she has a ‘loser in love’ gene that predisposes her to chronic rejection for the rest of her life. 

Soumaya (France/2019/105 mins) directed by Ubaydah Abu-Usayd and Waheed Khan. Lead Cast: Soraya Hachoumi, Sonya Mellah and Islem Sehili. After fourteen years of employment at an airport, Soumaya learned overnight that she had been dismissed and discovered the reasons for her dismissal on television that same evening. She chose how to respond (based on a true story).

The Dance (El Baile) (Venezuela/2019/80mins) directed by Rino Arreaza. Lead Cast: Irene Esser, Gabriel Agüero.  Stephanie Cardone and Djamil Jassir.  Ivanna returns to Caracas pretending to be a flamenco dancer to meet Vicente and extract information about his father, the swindler that she has been hired to kill. 

The Dark End of the Street (USA/2020/70 mins) directed by Kevin Tran. Key Cast: Brooke Bloom, Lindsay Burdge, Anthony Chisholm, Jim Parrack, Jennifer Kim, Daniel K. Isaac, Scott Friend. In an idyllic suburban community someone is killing people’s pets.  A film that explores the insecurities, fears and anxiety surrounding everyday middle-class lives.

Sema (Speak Out)  (Dem.Rep. of Congo/2019/45mins) directed by Macherie Ekwa Bahango. Lead Cast: Sandra Bonve and Armande Mahabi.  Two women from different backgrounds are changed forever by rape and must find the strength to make a difference for themselves and their children. Written and performed by survivors of sexual violence. 


Medicating Normal (USA/2019/76mins) directed by Lynn Cunningham and Wendy Ractliffe.  Fifty million Americans are physiologically dependent on prescribed psychiatric drugs that are tested and promoted by huge profit driven corporations. Long term use can often lead to worse outcomes.

The Ringmaster (USA/2019/90mins) directed by Molly Dworsky and Dave Newberg. An aging chef from Minnesota has his life turned upside down when a relentless filmmaker from Las Vegas tries to make the chef’s onion rings world famous.

Up From the Streets (USA/2019/103 mins) directed by Michael Murphy.  New Orleans music and its extensive influence around the world hosted by Oscar nominee and 6-time Grammy Winner Terence Blanchard . With Afro-Caribbean influence to Mardi Gras Indians and Second Line parades, New Orleans is home to a unique mesh of cultures. 

Hoy Boys (USA/2020/1:15mins) Working class twin brothers Tom and Frank Hoy became White House News Photographers for The Washington Post and The Evening Star. Their iconic photographs provide a lens through which we view the complexities of the past and the chaos of the current media landscape.

Life In Synchro (USA/2020/53mins) directed by Angela Pinaglia. Synchronized ice skating was founded in 1956 as one of the few sports without a male counterpart. The film follows Emily, a Team USA skater, and 66-year-old Heidi who found her passion for skating later in life.

Documentary Shorts 

Charon (USA/2019/12mins) directed by Cullen Parr. Myron Dyal, a California artist who has temporal lobe epilepsy, creates art inspired by the visions he has during his seizures. 

Sex + Ice Cream (USA/2019/5:57mins) directed by Melissa Lane.  A short documentary about a young woman finding her identity through art.

The Holocaust is Over, Bitch (Israel/ 2019/13.24mins) directed by Ella Altman.  Ella falls in love with Lulu: When Lulu disappears, Ella decides she will get her back with a song.

The Imperfect Machine (USA/2019/10mins) directed by Steve Summers. Looking back at his great uncle’s life and war photography, the filmmaker explores his own relationship with images, memory and the devastating condition of dementia.

Our Alexandria by Robin Hamilton (USA/2019/17mins)  Two artists from Alexandria, Virginia revisit a town’s segregated past and tell the story of family, friendship, loss, and love through their historical dollhouses.

Watching the Pain of Others (France/2019/ 31 mins) directed by Chloé Galibert-Laîné. A young researcher tries to make sense of her fascination for the film “The Pain of Others” by Penny Lane. A deep dive into the discomforting world of YouTube and online conspiracies.

Where My Girls (USA/2019/21mins) directed by Mads Engel. Three queer women reflect on the creativity, community, and hustle required to make it in a hip-hop culture that has left them to their own devices.