We've viewed around 100 films so far this season and have accepted about 1/3 of those submissions. Here's a quick look at some of the films that will screen at FFF2010. Take a good long look, because tickets go on sale next week and we're sure you'll want to know what to expect.
111 DEGREES LONGITUDE, dirs. Yuri Makino and Cindy Stillwell
Directors Yuri Makino and Cindy Stillwell’s documentary crosses the 111th meridian to speak with two very different women in two very different parts of the U.S. With one in Tucson, AZ and the other in Bozeman MT, they each share their stories and questions about life’s expectations, family, and what it is that is keeping them in their respective locations. The similarities between them and indeed, humans on the whole, become apparent.
3-IRON dir. MATT KAZMAN
Synopsis: In this dark comedy, Frank is a meek, passive man who gets no respect from his wife and his overactive, borderline-violent 8-year-old son, over whom he has no control. His escape is golf, but this Saturday his routine is interrupted when he accidentally discovers his wife's affair with a sweaty neighbor. For the first time in his life, he reacts in an aggressive way, unintentionally gaining his son’s attention and admiration in the process.
389 MILES "LIVING THE BORDER" dir. Luis Carlos Romero-Davis
Synopsis: A human journey, a story documented by director Luis Carlos Romero-Davis who grew up in the shadow of the Mexico-Arizona border. It presents the raw, daily life of human beings compromised economically, and the potential rewards for those who exploit them. There is no purely good side or bad, only the steel wall or a strand of rusty barbed wire and the complex web of human emotions and issues forged by them—survival, human trafficking, rape, corruption, evil and grace in many disguises.
THE ART OF CHER LYN: A HEALING JOURNEY, dir. Kurt Lancaster
Synopsis: An exploration of visual artist Cher Lyn and her spiritual paintings based on her vision quests. Explores her abusive past and how she uses painting as a form of 'medicine' in order to bring healing to herself.
CHASE THOMPSON, A FILM BY CHASE THOMPSON, dir. Vincent Lin
Synopsis: When up and coming filmmaker Chase Thompson is hired to direct a lackluster romance film, the foolhardy director takes it as an opportunity to fire the crew and turn the film into his own zombie slaying masterpiece, starring himself. When studio executives notice their film isn't the one being made, Chase must decide which film is the one he truly wants to direct.
CLEMENCY, dir. Joseph Albanese
Synopsis: Arthur Poe (Cris D’Annunzio) is a sadistic killer who likes to torture his victims. In 1993, he was captured and subsequently convicted by the state of Virginia for several gruesome murders. Poe received a sentence of death. Years later and days before his execution, the newly elected governor granted Poe clemency based on a testimony given by a forensic psychologist during Poe’s murder trial. The testimony convinced the governor that Poe deserves psychiatric care rather than death. Many are outraged by the governor’s act of leniency. A reporter (Maury Morgan) takes on Poe in an interview seeking to shed light on the emotionally charged topic. What she learns can never be forgotten or forgiven.
THE COW WHO WANTED TO BE A HAMBURGER dir. Bill Plympton
Synopsis: Award-winning animator Bill Plympton's newest animated short, THE COW WHO WANTED TO BE A HAMBURGER is the tragic story of a bovine seduced by advertising led down the path of butchers and carnivores.
CRAVEN dir. Robert Fullerton
Synopsis: Alex Petrov, once a Russian hockey prodigy, left his family as a young man to come to Canada to live his dream. Now, 20 years later, he is just another immigrant, popping pills and pimping his glory days as he tries to sell people security systems. He shares a house with his two teenage kids who live in their own world and they all try to forget the woman that was once there.
DEL:100 , dir. Craig Volk
Synopsis: Del:100 is a visually haunting documentary short that highlights the career of centenarian journalist Delores Plested. Born in 1908, Del witnessed and reported on many of the major events of the 20th century. Her life experiences included writing for the New York Times and The Ladies Home Journal in the 1940s, observing the Hindenburg dirigible before its tragic crash and meeting many celebrities. Later, she was a trail blazing female reporter in Colorado who covered Eisenhower, Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover when Ike had his summer White House in Denver. Del also covered Jackie Kennedy’s Aspen holiday with John-John and Caroline. Her amazing life is celebrated in her own words and accompanied by poetic cinematography and a jazz score. Del:100 offers to the viewer a poignant account on the amazing life experiences of this bold woman.
DELUSION, dir. Alexander Markov
Synopsis: An artist attempts to put his fantasies on canvas. The artistic process opens him up to new and unexpected ideas and this awakening gives him a new life. In his new world there are no borders between the real and imagined worlds.
DREAMING OF HAIR, dir. Dara Elerath
Synopsis: A text-based animation inspired by a poem of the same name by writer Li-Young Lee. Animated by Dara Elerath and narrated by the renowned artist and puppeteer Michael McCormick. The poem is about waking up and finding your lover's hair in your mouth. The imagery and visuals use are done in a Kinetic Text style that evokes the sensuality and romance inspired by the poem.
FAITH HEALER, dir. Adam Hirsch
Synopsis: An engrossing thriller, the story of an alleged healer, Jefferson Bull Fermor, who sat for two interviews of a documentary before unexpectedly fleeing. Shortly after, the filmmakers found an old box, the contents of which allowed them a glimpse into his mysterious life.
FIRST NIGHT, written & directed by Julius Galacki
Synopsis: First Night is a neurotic comedy that finds a couple in bed after having sex for the first time with less than stellar results.
FLUORESCENT GRAY, dir. Leo Age
Synopsis: Something bad is happening in a marriage that no one wants to confront.
HILLMON'S BONES, dir. Ernesto R. Acevedo-Muñoz
Synopsis: Three University of Colorado professors journey to uncover a mystery regarding the identity of a body buried in Lawrence, Kansas in 1879. A young widow, a decades-long lawsuit, suspected insurance fraud, two grave exhumations, six separate trials, two unusual Supreme Court rulings, and uncertain identities culminate in a riveting tale chronicled in the documentary Hillmon's Bones.
KEEPING THE KIBBUTZ, dir. Tessa Moran
Synopsis: Chronicling the changing kibbutz through the eyes of some of its most devoted members, Keeping the Kibbutz examines the challenges faced by a community in transition. While some members faced heartbreak, others found new opportunities, and the kibbutz marched toward an inevitable end. A story about nostalgia, the effects of communal living and the hope for what lies ahead, Keeping the Kibbutz captures the lingering ghost of a movement left behind.
MARS, dir. Geoff Marslett
Synopsis: The discovery of life on Mars places a robotic expedition and a manned mission in a race to the Red Planet. On the way we discover that love - biological, spiritual, and even mechanical - can flourish in all kinds of ways.
MY FATHER'S SON, dir. JorDan Fuller
After picking up his son Carlos from a Mexican orphanage, Miles and the boy head out on the road for the States. Struggling to connect and unable to speak each other’s language, their new beginning is quickly wrecked as they become stranded in the desert overnight. Finding themselves blood-related strangers, they must now face the past and any possibility of a future together.
QUESTION, dir. Dara Elerath
Synopsis: A short, experimental poem-collage based on the work of May Swenson, created and narrated by Dara Elerath. This was as elf-directed learning project. All skills and techniques used were created by the artist's own experimentation and problem solving. This project has led to subsequent projects and the discovery that there is a deep affinity for this particular art form.
ROCK DOVE, dir. Christopher Burke
Synopsis: Recently released from prison, Rodney Sinclair, sets out to reconnect with his family, and start living the life he has always longed for. It has been 10 years since he has seen his daughter, but he is determined to get to know the woman she has become. As he begins to put his life back together, Rodney is faced with a life long obsession that threatens to unravel him.
TELEFONE, dir. Jeffrey Bliss
Synopsis: Two isolated individuals desperately search to make connections. Amidst their loneliness, mysterious gift boxes containing rotary telephones begin appearing around them. Upon spinning the dial, the callers are transported to favorable experiences with the people they love and miss. However, the increasing number of calls overwhelms a maniacal switchboard operator. Connections become confused and ultimate destruction is never far away.
TO THOSE WHO WAIT dir. William Norton
Synopsis: Simply put, a waitress and bartender, longing to close, are frustrated by lingerers looking for love.
TWO MEN, TWO COWS, TWO GUNS dir. Pardis Parker
Synopsis: Two Men, Two Cows, Two Guns is an unpredictable comedy short from Canadian filmmaker Pardis Parker. This is a delightfully odd short containing sharp dialogue and hilarious action that unfolds at a breakneck pace.
urFRENZ, director Jeff Phillips
Starring Lily Holleman, Gayla Goehl, and Najarra Townsend, urFrenz is a feauture-length drama that convincingly reflects the all-too-real downside and functionality of social networking sites and their impact on teens, families, and society. Director Jeff Phillips teams up with producer Jana Winternitz to re-create the chaotic and often silent world of cyber-bullying. When lonely young Catharine (Holleman) thoughtlessly posts a rumor about an old friend (Townsend) on the fictional social networking site UrFrenz, it starts the ball rolling on a catastrophic spiral into the dark side of cyber-bullying and social pressures that teens face every day, both online and at school. urFrenz highlights the relationships between parents and children, demonstrating through a series of escalating events the digital generation gap and the harsh realities of online socialization for teens.
WEIGHTLOSS, dir. Roman Arriola
Synopsis: This is a documentary about Alex Anaya trying to lose weight. He hires a strange trainer, Travis, who creates more problems than solves. Alex has a reason for losing weight, and her name is Priscilla, a girl that jogs in front of his house every sunset. Alex puts all his effort into losing weight, but somehow it always seems to rain on his goal.
WICKED BAD, dir. Brandon Barker
Edward, 16, is not entirely discreet about his foray into Devil worship. Fed-up, Edward’s militant older brother hires George, an irreverent out-of-work actor, to masquerade as the devil himself, all to teach Edward a valuable life lesson. Through much trial-and-error, George convinces the boy that he is indeed the Devil incarnate. Hilarious yet unintentional advice helps Edward get the girl, revenge upon his brother, and ultimately a deeper understanding of what he really wants out of life. Unexpected results unfold as the larger-than-life actor quickly becomes the father figure Edward never intended.
WRECKED dir. Luke Ralston
Synopsis: Be careful about talking on a cell phone while driving. This short animation follows a man humorously forced to confront his own mortality after suffering a devastating car accident. Encountering a few new characters and arriving at some unwanted conclusions before he is ushered into the afterlife. Enjoy this cautionary animated tale from dir. Luke Ralston.
WRESTLING WITH MY FATHER, dir. Charles Fairbanks
Synopsis: Wrestling with my Father features my father sitting on bleachers, facing the camera. We hear a whistle and he tenses up, reacting physically to the action that remains offscreen, hidden to us. He plants his feet, sways his hips, leans, grabs, and grimaces, wrestling - or is it dancing? - with the object of his gaze.