Announcing DCIFF 2023 Finalists, screening March 1-5, 2023



Narrative Features

NO NO GIRL directed by Paul Daisuke Goodman ( USA / 2022 / 1:57 mins) Eighty years ago, on the eve of war and incarceration, a Japanese American family buried a secret in their backyard garden. Three generations later, a clue is discovered – unearthing the trauma and truth of their historic past.

OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL  directed by Ellie Foumbi ( USA and Cameroon / 2021 / 1:47 mins) An African refugee’s quiet existence in a sleepy mountain town in the south of France is upended by the arrival of a charismatic Catholic priest whom she recognizes as the warlord who slaughtered her family.

CITY OF LOVE directed by Èric Boadella  (USA / 2023 / 1:27 mins) Spencer, a troubled rideshare driver in Los Angeles, goes to dangerous lengths to reconnect with the world he lost after spending 20 years in jail.

THE SMOKE MASTER directed by Andre Sigwalt and Augusto Soares  ( Brazil / 2022 / 1.44mins) Two brothers and a fistful of friends face the Chinese mafia:Three Generations Revenge relying on Smoke Master and his unique Cannabis fighting style. A Stoned Kung-Fu movie.

THE CLOUD & THE MAN directed by Abhinandan Banerjee (India / 2022 / 1.36mins) Manik, who lives in the crumbling city of Kolkata, meets someone that would change his life for good. He meets a cloud. 

Documentary Features

CANARY IN A GOLD MINE directed by Jonathan Mirin, Deanna Fleysher (USA / 2022 / 59.40mins) Writer and performer Jonathan Mirin turns the camera on himself to tell the story of the mysterious symptoms his life and production partner Godeliève began experiencing a decade ago.

DIVINE INSTINCT directed by James Gossard  ( USA / 2023 / 1.29 mins) Gary Spinosa stepped away from his growing reputation as a sculptor to work seven days a week on his art as a recluse on a farm in Pennsylvania.

FOR VEGAS directed by Robin Greenspun ( USA / 2022 / 42:39 mins) An exiled writer in a new country, a new city and a new reality: Egyptian writer Ahmed Naji examines his adoptive city as a traveler, a migrant and a seeker of truths.

JACK HAS A PLAN directed by Bradley Berman (USA / 2022 / 1.13 mins) When Jack, a man with a terminal brain tumor for 25 years, decides to end his life, his best friend documents his three-year quest to die a happy man, culminating in a permanent going-away party.

RUN RAVEN RUN directed by Michael Rainin  (USA / 2022 / 1.41 mins) Despite a historical legacy that dealt the dark cards of slavery, holocaust and poverty, music has always been the winning hand for Gypsy survival. 

Short Narrative Films

AN ANGRY KNOCK  directed by Sarbast Raza Garmiany (Canada / 2022/ 13.07 mins) Two refugee families find it hard to live as neighbors as conflict from their home country shadows their present lives.

BOSS BLOOD directed by Shelton R Johnson, Jack Johnson (USA / 2022 / 10.38 mins) A young woman who grew up with a single mother, meets a man who inspires her to strive for more out of life. 

CARDIFF directed by Sarah Smith ( UK / 2022 / 25mins) Frederick envies his fabulous gay friend Joe who seems to have a never-ending supply of paramours despite being happily married. After Frederick’s mother meddles, some carefully held secrets are hilariously exposed.

CLONE directed by Ryan M. Kennedy (USA / 2022 / 19.45) After 30 years together, Alex suddenly elects to emancipate his clone Richie, but his closest friends begin to question his true intentions.

EDEN RIVER directed by Jack Evans (USA / 2022 / 20.27 mins) Central America, 1961: Tensions rise between three sea turtle poachers seeking their fortune on the offshore nesting grounds.

EPISODE directed by Matthias Fuchez (UK/2022/ 11.39 mins) Mr Diaz hires Wei, a martial arts specialist to protect his daughter from himself should he suffer from another of his ‘episodes’.

GREGG GOT FIRED directed by Clay Dirkse and Jake Herman (USA / 2022 / 15 mins) When a chance arises to possibly win the job back that Gregg was fired from, the pressure…is on.

JULIA WUZ HERE directed by Samantha Silvay ( USA  / 2022 / 5.52mins) When her junkie parents leave Julia and her younger brother alone, a day of escapist play is followed by an uncertain future.

KAIJURBIA! directed by Bailey Oliver, Nathan Henry (USA / 2022 / 12.36 mins) A rookie kaiju’s plans for devastation are jeopardized after getting lost in the suburbs where he must deal with the most heinous monster of all: the HOA!

KITCHEN BOY directed by Ben Hands (UK  / 2022 / 10.30 mins) A young chef, Robert, is pushed to his breaking point by an infamous head-chef, and restaurateur, Andrea Carter.

MEETING AMY directed by Richard Chen  (Canada/ 2022 / 14.28 mins) Two half-siblings, who share the same enigmatic father who’s an absent figure in both of their lives, meet for the first time. 

MILLSTONE directed by Peter Hoffman Kimball  (USA /2023 /16 mins) A married couple seek out a new, experimental therapy from the only person who might be able to help them – but his process could be worse than anyone imagined. (presented in American Sign Language)

OUT OF WATER directed by Madi Stine (USA / 2022 / 12:44 mins) When a disenchanted mermaid-for-hire is mistaken for a real mermaid, she plays along to disastrous consequences.

PAYMENT IN KIND directed by David Zax (USA / 2022/ 10.15mins) To raise money for her dog’s surgery, a picture framer must quickly sell a painting –– over the opposition of the artist friend who gifted it to her. 

RINGWORMS directed by William Lee (USA/ 2022 / 13.45 mins) A young girl undergoes a crisis of commitment to her boyfriend which attracts the attention of a sinister local cult.

SPEAK IN A WHISPER directed by Chongyan Liu  ( France/ 2022/ 35mins) In the middle of what would have otherwise been a banal evening, everything Céleste has been trying to hide comes to light.

THE ACTOR PREPARES directed by Jeff Kardesch  (USA / 2022 / 4.42. mins) A renowned actor arrives on set and warms up for a scene.

THE SESSION directed by Andrew Schwarz (USA / 2022 / 17.23 mins) Jane receives a call from a strange clairvoyant who claims to have contacted Jane’s deceased mother.

THE SINGLE HORN directed by Mohamad Kamal Alavi (Iran / 2022 / 13.28 mins) A little girl goes to the amusement park to play. Everything has changed when she returns home. 

THE SPECIAL SEAT directed by Akira Okumura. Japan 2022 6.52  Ami is creating a video in her room When she reviews it, there are Impossible noises..

THE VOICE IN ISABEL FLEISS’S OFFICE  directed by Jim Haverkamp (USA / 2022 / 6:24 mins) A woman with an unusual malady receives an even more unusual treatment in this adaptation of a surreal poem by North Carolina writer Virgil Renfroe.

TO BE LIKE YOU directed by Meredith Esquivel ( USA / 2022 / 24 mins) A film within a film

WAITING directed by R. Stephen Suettinger (USA /2022 /7.56 mins) A man expects news that could change his life forever and when it finally comes, he learns that love is patient…sometimes.

WISH directed by Sana Azem (Syrian Arab Republic / 2022 / 5.05 mins) Amongst war and chaos, two best friends celebrate life’s simplest joys.

Short Documentary Films

EAST OF THE RIVER directed by Amin El Siwi, Phil Bouknight (USA / 2022 / 11.27 mins ) Remembering how Kenilworth Park in East Washington DC transformed from a landfill into a park.

544 CIVIL RIGHTS directed by Loki Mulholland ( USA / 2022 / 7.35mins ) Everyday George Sallie, who is 92 years old forgives the man who beat him in 1965 on Bloody Sunday.

AMOR directed by David Rochkind (USA / 2022 / 13.26 mins) Amor uses music to heal and move forward after her husband was murdered, raising her daughter Aria with courage, compassion and bravery.

GAME OVER directed by Saeed Mayahy, Miriam Carlsen (Turkey / 2022 /28.24 mins ) Forced to flee their country, Illegal Afghan youngsters live in Turkey where they hide from the police and work in shady jobs.

THE CAMCORDER directed by Kai Schmidt (Czech Republic / 2022 / 13.24 mins ) Aspiring filmmaker Kai is handed a Camcorder to shoot a documentary about his exchange semester at a Czech film school.

VOTE YES FOR ASHBORO directed by Oscar Cranz ( USA / 2022 / 3.30 mins ) Local resident Bob Shaffner recounts his efforts in attempting to bring alcohol back to Asheboro, North Carolina.

FREETOWN directed by Kendall Outing (USA / 2022 /8 mins) Residents of Freetown, a segregated town in Maryland founded by freed slaves share their triumphs and their legacy. 

CUBAN AMERICAN GOTHIC directed by Maria Teresa Rodriguez (USA / 2022 / 16.42 mins) The slightly surreal story of Maggie, whose Cuban parents return from the dead to help her while living alone in New York City.

WEB SERIES PILOTS/EPISODES

DAY JOBS directed by Stevie Wain and Auri Jackson ( US / 2022 /30 mins) An aspiring LA comedian secretly falls in love with the mom she nannies for, as she desperately tries to pay rent to her ex-boyfriend-turned-best friend after coming out as gay.  

KING & PAWN directed by Tyler Olsen (Canada/ 2022 / 17.6 mins) A lovable loser inherits his estranged father’s pawnshop and is forced to contend with a screwball staff, an assortment of eccentric customers, and an ever-growing list of problems as he attempts to turn a profit.

LOBSTER SPOUSE directed by Michael Elliott Dennis ( USA / 2022 / 10 mins) Faced with mounting bills, newlyweds Lobster Spouse and Brad get creative in order to pay off their debt to Butter Man.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER directed by Dina Zvi Riklis (Israel / 2 episodes/17 mins)  Anna photographs women who talk about their complicated relationship with their bodies and their deepest secrets. 

ANIMATION SHORTS

CHICK WASH directed by Bethany de Forest (Netherlands / 2022 / 2:49 mins) Chicks undergo a cleaning process

COSMO DEP directed by Kevin Osias (Canada / 2022 / 0.56 mins) A young cashier is visited by a seemingly monstrous creature, but is it really?

DIPLOMATIE DE L’ECLIPSE directed by Cesar Luton, Achille Pasquier, Selim Lallaoui, Clemence Bailly, Axel Mechin ( France / 2022 / 7.52 mins) The Sun and the Moon said humanity would vanish and so the World Council has sent its best negotiator. 

DO SPERM GET KILLED BY COFFEE?  directed by Mojiao Zhou (UK / 2022 / 2:31 mins)  The world is full of rumors and misinformation

EVICTION directed by Alexandre Paquet  (Canada / 2022 / 2.27 mins) A dive into the head of a person who receives an eviction notice.

FOOT PRINT SHOP directed by Gina Kamentsky (USA / 2022 / 3.50 mins)  The filmmaker and her mom talk about feet: her mom does most of the talking

FRIENDLY FIRE directed by Tom Koryto Blumen (Israel / 2022 /  6:14mins) A soccer game between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian boy at the West Bank barrier escalates into an uneven battle.

I (HEART) JACK LALANNE: A CARTOON MEMOIR  directed by LeAnn Erickson (USA/ 2022 / 14.20 mins) The filmmaker, a lesbian, feminist baby boomer, shares her coming out story with the help of exercise guru Jack LaLanne.

MY GRUMPY GRANDPA directed by Komi Messan Anthony (Togo / 2022 / 6.22 mins) Hugo, an 8 year old kid, is trying to escape his angry alcoholic Grandpa, who turned into a big and scary monster

NOBODY directed by Mingyuan Li (USA / 2022 / 4.05 mins) A woman comes to Paris, France to make money to support her struggling family in China.

OUR PHOTO MEMENTO directed by Samaneh Lashgari (Iran / 2022 / 6:18mins) Two photos are installed on a wall. The old lady in one notices her husband in the other so they try to get closer. 

THE RECORD directed by Jonathan Laskar (Switzerland / 2022 / 8.28 mins) An antique music instrument is obsessed with a magical vinyl record from which memories reemerge.

THE SMILE directed by Erik van Schaaik ( Netherlands / 2022 / 16 mins) When a world-famous film star is accused of eating his female co-stars, his career goes down the drain. That wipes the smile off his face!

THE STRANGER directed by Jihye Jung (Korea / 2022 / 3.36 mins) Hands are delivered to people every morning to undertake tasks

SHAKESPEARE FOR ALL AGES directed by Hannes Rall (Germany / 2022 / 2.48 mins) Shakespeare’s works are timeless

SWING TO THE MOON directed by Marie BORDESSOULE, Adriana BOUISSIE, Nadine DE BOER, Elisa DRIQUE, Chloé LAUZU, Vincent LEVRERO, Solenne MOREAU ( France / 2022 / 6:40 mins ) Little spider Temi dreams of catching the Moon and will do anything to succeed.

WELCOME TO 8TH STREET directed by Yoo Lee (USA / 2022/ 7.03 mins) Odd encounters make the new residents on 8th Street question their decision to move in. That changes when a wild turkey shows up on their block.

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