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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.

Announcing the narrative and documentary shorts in competition


A Cure
USA/2012/11:30/directed by Matthew Herbertz
Pulled out of school when her mother finds out her sexual interest in other girls, Sarah is forced by her mother to undergo reparative therapy.

A Short Film About Safekeeping
USA/2012/17mins/directed by Mark Hitz
A young girl protects herself from the rush of time using an empty film camera.

 A Bird In The Hand 
UK & Ireland/2012 /8mins/directed by David Brown
Alan, blessed with an unusual appearance and walk, and bullied by everyone he meets, find his true self and along the way finds true love.

USA/2012/24mins/directed by Francisco Lupini                              
Pepa, a Spanish spitfire hairdresser and aspiring mystery writer, must put her amateur detective skills to work in order to discover the true father of her unborn baby.

Russian Federation/2012/ 9mins / directed by Vadim Viner
Cabbagemincer knows a lot about how to shred the cabbage and is a great admirer of women’s feet.

Chance Encounter
USA /2013/5mins/Eric Richardson-Hagans                         
A cop comes across a dangerous criminal during what he thinks will be a routine stop.

Italy/2012/16mins/directed by Andrea La Mendola                                                  A personal view of narcissism and madness inspired by the ancient Greek myth, Narcissus and Echo: a man’s girlfriend is brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances.

Granny Baby
Canada/2012/9mins/directed by Eva Colmers                          
Jack is excited to pick up his new baby sister and mother from the hospital where he bumps into an old, confused Granny.  Jack wants to help the elderly lady, but how?

Heads Up
USA/2012 /13mins/directed by Alex Merlin                                          
An edgy, comedic story of two long time friends, partners in crime, and the extreme situation that arises at the weekly poker game.

Germany/2012/19:30/directed by Marco Gadge                                  
Shadows are all Commissioner Stern sees: the darkness he comes from is too powerful to escape.

LIFELESS #BeingKindaDeadSortaSucks
USA/2012/28:46/directed by VP Boyle
A musical about eight high school grads who accidentally spill Extra-Strength-Blue-Plummer-Gel into their party punch and wake up undead.

USA/2012/23mins/directed by Bambadjan Bamba                                         
A young immigrant assimilating to life in America in a home dominated by a stoic and unwavering African father.

Return to the World of Dance
U S A/2012/7mins/directed by Dan Boord, Marilyn Marloff & Luis Valdovino.                                                                              
An instructional guide for those perplexed by the post modern condition. If it is big, if it is orange and if it is ugly– is it contemporary art?’

USA/2012/11:08/directed by Joe Cecchini                                                     
A chance encounter between old friends and an extraordinary story.

UK and Japan/2012/4mins/directed by Kacey Morrow                 
Two tourists traveling alone and worlds apart, unknowingly hold an inescapable connection.

The Curse of Eleanor Crabtree
Australia/2012/James Cowen                     
The twisted tale of a curious, compassionate woman who longs for true love and to escape the oppressive clutches of her bewitching twin sister.

 The Gift
UK/ 2012/15mins/ directed by Andrew Griffin                                          
A troubled couple live an isolated life. Childless, the wife appears neurotically consumed with IVF treatment. A stork brings both hope and tragedy.

The Wound
USA/2012/18mins/David Garrett                                                           
A woman tries to recuperate from abdominal surgery at an idyllic coastal home when one morning her surgical wound comes to life…

This is Caroline
USA/2012/16mins/directed by Danny Abel                             
The story of how an accident, misinterpreted as a suicide attempt, forces a girl to acknowledge real feelings of loneliness.

Titans of Newark
USA/2012/24mins/directed by Mike Marino                    
Bored with their retirement, the Greek gods of ancient lore decide to toy with the destiny of an out of work accountant in New Jersey.

USA/2012/14mins/ directed by Wenhwa Ts’ao
As a veteran struggles to adjust to civilian life, her experiences in the war come back to challenge her on one fateful night.

Switzerland 2012/14:38/directed by Anthony Jerjen                              
To avoid bankruptcy, a magician named Leonard decides to perform the biggest and most dangerous trick of his career, despite the advice of his manager.

Italy/2012/ 30mins/directed by Antonio De Palo                                            
A  child with Down Syndrome sneaks into the small-town theater to witness rehearsals for a show inspired by Marcel Marceau.

What’s Eating Pee Wee Wong?
USA/2012/27mins/directed by Phree Swearingen
A trip to the wild west where Pee Pee Wong (Andreas Beckett), the world’s ex-top gunslinger abruptly meets his past.


Eviction Defenders
USA/2012/9:12mins/directed by Paul Abowd      
Washington DC and activists are trying to prevent the authorities from evicting someone from her home.

Mr. Stokes Mission
USA/2013/30mins/directed by Sam Hampton                
In 1951 John Stokes helped organize a walkout by over 400 fellow African American high school students in Farmville, Virginia to protest segregated school conditions.

USA/2012/14:16mins/directed by Chris Portal, Merri Lisa Trigilio & Laura Wagner.                            
Can Jacob Guevara, the reigning champion, defend his title in the fiercest shuffleboard competition west of Austin?