Audience Awards Film Festival

at Infinity Film Festival, Beverly Hills

2018 Audience Awards @ Infinity Film Festival: Beverly Hills

 
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A Femme Fatale Could Save Ash Trees from an Invasive Killer by Aaron Lemle

Two Penn State scientists from different disciplines collaborate to save the American ash tree population by entrapping the invasive Emerald Ash Borer with a high tech electrified decoy.

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Alternative Math by David Maddox

A well meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post-fact America.

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An Object At Rest by Seth Boyden

An Object at Rest follows the life of a stone as it travels over the course of millennia, facing nature's greatest obstacle: human civilization.

 
 
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Around the Dinner Table by Cassandra Nicholson

Four different families deal with the aftermath of another unarmed young black man being killed by a cop in their hometown. They discuss how they'll recover from - and perhaps one day help fix - the situation at hand.

 
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Automatic Fitness by Alejandra Tomei

Automatic Fitness It is a labyrinthic poetry on the human automatism. A reflextion about our daily relationship with money and time. It is about the stranglehold of everyday madness and the automatisms, in which we are forced to live, work, breathe, think and exist. It's a parodie of this already aged so-called "modern way of life".

 
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BALLOON by Mitchell Slan

Penny and her therapist battle her phobia of balloons through psychological experimentation. However, it's not the balloon itself... it's the clown-like serial killer it represents.

 
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Behind Closed Doors by Bianca Armbruster

A slice of life, romantic comedy about a modern couple’s Saturday morning habits. Lana and Carter strive for independence, challenge the balance of equality and are comfortable being their whole selves, awkward, unkempt, imperfect and occasionally appalling; but sometimes there are just some things best left, alone.

 
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Behind the Bars by Max Rothman

Throughout the course of his life, poet Edward Smyth Jones faces an uphill battle through the oppression that the institutions of the world hold against men of his race. As the obstacles surmount and things begin to seem hopeless, he turns to the written word to find solace in his experience - finding meaning in his struggle and passing down the story of his life in order to teach future generations how to find comfort in a life hindered by inexplicable prejudices. 

 
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BLACK (F)ISH by Carla Lee

"Black(f)ish" is a comedy short about many frustrations members of marginalized communities face: being "The Only" in a group, not being seen or heard, those around us being so committed to their preconceived viewpoints that they are unwilling to consider our actual experiences. 

 
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Blue Ventures by Gabriel Diamond

Ten years ago, in a coastal village in Madagascar, Alasdair tested an elegantly simple model that put Blue Ventures on the map. He encouraged residents to take charge of their local fishery by cordoning off a small section of their octopus-fishing area for a designated period of time.

 
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Bridge Music by Andrew Porter

In 2004, Joseph Bertolozzi recorded the sounds of the Mid-Hudson Bridge in New York State using those sounds to compose Bridge Music, making the bridge the largest percussion instrument in the world. The music contains no other tones than those of the bridge itself. 

 
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BRIX AND THE BITCH by Nico Raineau

 Trapped in a seedy and illegal fight club, one woman's only chance for escape is to win a brutal brawl against the one person she refuses to harm. 

 
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Cable Tie by Max Paterson

Tied up, slapped, then abandoned. There is a lot of thing going through the teenage boy's head, and some come out in the form of a wish, a wish gone wrong.

 
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Connected by Ziggy Livnat

Connected is a visual and musical celebration of our planet's oceans. The film delivers a sense of wonder about the diversity of marine life, moving the viewer to appreciate the complexity of the undeerwater world. At the same time, viewers must pause to consider their personal role in shaping the health of our oceans, especially in how we consume and discard plastic. 

 
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Cootie Contagion by Joshua Smooha

Warning: Code Red! It’s a Cootie Outbreak! The disease is spreading and Matt’s at risk. Matt likes Becca, his infected science partner. Cootieologist Connor has warned Matt about the dangers of girls and will quarantine Matt if necessary. Matt has to stay away from Becca’s birthday party, or it could be the end of boy-kind as we know it.

 
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Dancing With U  by Marc Richter

 A young man is faced with constant challenges. A town full of savages, bullying in school, a dysfunctional family to come home to, being overweight, betrayed by friends, cheated on, laughed at, talked about. But one person can help him see he has what it takes to change the world. 

 
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Deana's Story Dementia and the Middle Class by Zach Jordan

Nearly 50 million people worldwide suffer from Dementia. It's a global crisis for the middle class. Families are hurting. Deana was diagnosed with Dementia at age 50. As her family struggled to deal with the emotional and financial impact of caregiving, Deana's daughter Cassandra created a foundation to help middle class families affected by Dementia. 

 
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Defying Plastic by Talia Schizzano

Plastic Pollution is everywhere and the facts are overwhelming. It may feel impossible to get away from plastic these days. The solution to reversing plastic pollution is complex, but it can be simplified by taking a few easy steps in our every day lives. 

 
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Digits by Alexander Engel

Dude loses the last two digits of this girl's number. Tries every combination to find her. It's a comedy.

 
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Dollar King by Drew Pollins

Danny, Devin and Duke have planned the perfect crime: robbing the Dollar King on Halloween, its busiest night of the year. They've got pig masks to conceal their identities and squirt guns, spray-painnted black to inspire fear. They'll be in and out in 90 seconds. There's just one problem: these three losers are so incompetent they couldn't steal their way out of an iron refinery. 

 
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DRYLAND by Liv Colliander

Reeling in the aftermath of her mother’s suicide attempt, a young swimmer works through her trauma in the water while desperately trying to break the wall of silence at home.

 
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ELEFANT by Erik Axelsson

A short animated film aimed to raise awareness about poaching.

 
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Fade - Freedom Aganist Dark Enemies by Charity Smith

A short that showcases the pain, stagnancy and the release of accepting your past and the realization that only you control your destiny and your FREEDOM.

 
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Filtering a Plastic Ocean by Rory Banyard

Filtering A Plastic Ocean highlights the dangers of microplastics in our oceans - sea-borne plastic that has been broken down into tiny pieces - and profiles a pioneering low-cost solution to removing this toxic material from our beaches and seas. 

 
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Fitness Blok Program by Brent Noll

A short fitness routine inspired by treadmill videos.

 
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Flats by Talena Sanders

An experimental Super 8 film transferred to digital.

 
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FOLLOW ME by Anthony Schatteman

Eighteen-year-old Jasper is madly in love with his art teacher. Overcome with confusion and longing, Jasper takes to following his teacher and his new girlfriend wherever they go. 

 
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Fried Barry by Ryan Kruger

Fried Barry is a heroin junkie, that spends his days in a abandoned building walking around tripping from his latest hit, going through his ups and downs and reliving his old memories.

 
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Generations by Anthony Florez

An examination of Native identity as seen through the eyes of a mother and her children on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation of Northern Nevada.

 
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Giraffe by Janne Schmidt

When Elsa is hired by a call center company, after a somewhat remarkable job interview, she can start off immediately. However, after a short introduction a certain problem occurs. Elsa and her team cannot satisfy the unusual request from the caller and the sales volume starts to decrease rapidly. After many attempts she thinks she might have the solution.

 
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Grey by Kent Donguines

A woman and man from opposing worlds have the veil between them lifted. Through experimental dance, they are able to experience each other's worlds and create a realm of their own.

 
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Gyrecraft by Alexander Groves

A short film about crafting objects at sea, in the past with whale’s teeth and the future with caught plastic melted with a machine harnessing the sun. Gyrecraft is an exploration into maritime crafts which exists in every coastal or island culture around the world each with its own unique identity, utilising what the sea provides. 

 
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HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Carsten Kurpanek

Happily Ever After is a romantic comedy about hopeless romantic, Annie. In a quest to not end up like her parents, miserably together, Annie puts her dates to the test when things start to get serious. If she and her date can recreate movie magic, Annie knows they'll live "Happily Ever After," just like Harry and Sally. But can she really fake true love?

 
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Headdress by JJ Neepin

JJ Neepin is a female Indigenous filmmaker. With the help of photographer Nadya Kwandibens, JJ plans to recreate her great-grandfather’s portrait. The headdress is a powerful symbol with great meaning.

 
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High Hope - The Future of Dungeness Crab by Benjamin Drummond

Dungeness crab is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries on the West Coast. As ocean acidification changes the chemistry of our oceans, scientists and fishermen are just beginning to understand how it will impact this important species.

 
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Hinowu Hand Games by Danny DeLeon

This short documentary was filmed by Danny deLeon at the 2016 Hand games tournament in Lincoln, CA sponsored by the United Auburn Indian Community. The game is described by the different participants and tribal spokespeople for the tribes. It explains the importance of the hand game tournaments and preserving culture.

 
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Honest in Thought and Deed by Matthew Palmer

Honest in Thought and Deed offers a brutally honest account of (and challenge to) racism in law enforcement.

 
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I Think It's Pretty Obvious by Michael Acosta

Recent exes, Jason and Tess, are stuck inside of their apartment during a Zombie Apocalypse. With no food or water, they must decide who ventures outside to get it.

 
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Jessica Clark Racing by Ellen Houlihan

Jessica Clark, a 21-year-old race car driver from Ventura, California dreams of racing in NASCAR one day. As a confident and driven woman in a male-dominated career field, she is an empowering example of a woman defying the odds. 

 
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Ka Pua by Erin Lau

Inspired by the saying: Aia no ka pua i luna (The flower is still on the tree). The proverb means that no matter a person's age, he or she still retains their beauty. "Ka Pua" takes a glance into the life of 93-year-old Elizabeth Lau, as her beauty is reflected through her values and sense of aloha.

 
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Layers of Fear by Hsin-Ying Liu

Layers of fear is a short animation that explores the boundary between real world and dreams in the mind of a child as he's experiencing a typical childhood trauma and how his dreams are influenced by it. 

 
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LEECHES by Payal Sethi

In the chaotic 'old city' of Hyderabad, 18-year-old Raisa hatches a dangerous and improbable plan to save her younger sister from becoming a one-day bride. 

 
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LIMBO by Louisa Taabni

The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. 12+1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…

 
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Little Lamb by Heidi Douglas

1829. Louisa is a convict trapped in the living hell of a British prison in faraway Van Diemen's Land. She ignores warnings from her prison mate and places her hopes for freedom in becoming the servannt of the mysterious Mr Black. 

 

Melon Head by Andy Fortenbacher

A romantic comedy about Gordon -- a dimwitted chubster with pure intentions, who follows some god-awful advice and tries to impress the woman of his dreams by scaring the crap out of her.

 

Mohamed The First Name by Zairi Malika

Mohamed is the most popular name in the world but it is not easy to carry it in West. Mohamed, a boy of 10 years old tells why he doesn’t like his first name. His parents remind him the origin of this first name, the first-name of the Prophet of Islam which spreads a message of love and peace around the world.

 
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Moon Child by James Mills

Three generations of women come together to tell the story of Vina Schmitt, grandmother, mother, and self-proclaimed “Moon Child” of Oceanside, California. Sexually and physically abused by her stepfaather as a child, Vina’s forced loss of boundaries led her to pursue a life of hard living filled with surfing, skating, and booze that extended far into her mothering years. Now a grandmother, Vina’s daughter and granddaughter recollect the ways in which Vina’s life story and mental health has impacted their own, and wonder if the intergenerational trauma can be healed.

 
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Musician by Aleksei Borovikov

Young pianist Dima is preparing for audition in a prestigious music school. But before the performance he finds that his parents separated and decides to save his family.

 
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Nice 14.07.16 by Gisele Nour

Based on the 2016 terror attack in Nice, France, this autobiographical-inspired animated short film explores the immediacy and shock of violence, and its conversely lingering impact. This narrative is a glimpse into the disparity between a holiday and a haunting.

 
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Overcame the Sun - Cloudy Busey by Julian Clark

A disastrous re-entry to earth forces an astronaut to find himself.

 
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Phenomenality by Lucas Jatoba

This is the story of a man who drowned… and came back from the dead to sleep with the world’s most iconic supermodel, Twiggy. A big wave pioneer who “died more times than Jesus”, a man who constantly risked his life to find life, to find the edge or reason and overcome it. His name is Ric Friar and this is a story of ‘Phenomenality’. And like all good movies there was sex, death, bar brawls, and a heap of shit. 

 
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Princess Jack by Lesley Johnson

Jack is not your typical 10-year-old boy. His closet is jam-packed with dresses, his room stacked with hats and wigs, and every surface is covered with makeup. Princess Jack is a short documentary that gives a glimpse into Jack’s world, an autistic boy whose life is filled with fairytales. This film is an intimate portrait of a unique and intelligent child, immersed in his own world, and fully supported by his caring family, dance instructors and sewing teacher.

 
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Protect by Deidra Peaches

In July 2016, Indigenous and other community organizers and advocates caravaned across the United States to gather stories from Indigenous communities at the forefront of work for a just transition from toxic to clean energy. Participants of all ages traveled thousands of miles to learn from front-line struggles to protect lands, air, waters, and health. This film is a living document of their journey.

 
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QAMANIQ by Florence Pelletier and Caroline Côté

In August 2017, a team of 3 women aged 25 to 30 embarked on a quest to discover their own boundaries in an immense, wild and remote territory. They covered 100 km in a few days through the Kuururjuaq National Park, along Mont d'Iberville and crossing the famous Koroc River. They became the first women to achieve an unrivalled running distance in the wilderness environment of the Kuururjuaq National Park.

 
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Dedicate Diving Free by Adrien Nisan

Jacques de Vos is an underwater photographer who spends most his time freediving with orcas. Helped by his crew, this South African became an expert in finding these incredible creatures in the ocean and spending a few seconds swimming with them underwater. 

 
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Rosalita by Luciano De Azevedo

Which evil returns its roots seeking the first love of his life and trying to build a perfect family, cursed are the worshipers of God...

 
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Rough Waters by Claire Imler

Submerged in the darkness of her depression, Katie struggles to stay afloat the rough waters in her life, but uncovers what matters most in her journey to recovery.

 
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Save me A Dance by Maxime Guérin

Antoine, 17 years old, wakes up with a hangover but no memories. He can't recall why Pauline is lying in his bed. She remains silent even though she knows a bit more than he does.

 
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She's Revolutionary by Brittany B. Monét Fennell

Tarana Burke, civil rights activist and creator of the #metoo movement was featured among other female activists as the Time Person of the Year for 2017. The film explores Tarana’s life as a survivor, activist and mother and how she found the confidence to start a movement telling other survivors they are not alone. 

 
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Sink or Swim by Michael Cameneti

How would you choose to live your life truly knowing your days are numbered? Devin Broadbent is reminded of his mortality on a daily basis. Battling cystic fibrosis, Devin lets us take an inside look into the diseases that effects him both physically and mentally and his process of living with it.

 
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Situational by Scott Simonsen

After being prescribed his third antidepressant, Charlie returns home only to have his Craigslist roommate Miles toilet flush his pills and kidnap him to see a sunrise over the ocean. Tension mounts as the fast talking road trip drives us to the bottom of Charlie's pain and to the impending sunrise on the coast, where life could begin or end, literally... And then there are chinchillas.

 
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Skull and Bone by Victoria Rivera

In a neighborhood plagued with a violent past, one man reflects on its deeply rooted history, its cultural impact and the importance of keeping ancestral traditions alive. They carry stories of resilience and survival and celebrate life, as the precious, fleeting gift it is.

 
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SLACKER by Lindsey Hagen

Slacker takes you beneath the crust at Moab’s illusive Fruit Bowl; revealing the truth that lies just beneath the surface at the annual GGBY Thanksgiving celebration. This grassroots gathering brings together all walks of life, seething with passion for life and aerial expression. At it’s core we find key member Terry Acomb who’s dedicated his life to the progression of slacklining. Having discovered the location and set it’s first lines, Terry works to educate and inspire the new generation to challenge and support one another in what he considers to be America’s greatest playground.

 
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Still I Rise by Gabriel Diamond

A visual and musical interpretation of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s electrifying poem "Still I Rise." Juxtaposing Angelou's timeless words with imagery of struggle and change from the past to the present, "Still I Rise" prompts us to ask ourselves: What side of the divide do you stand on? Where will you forge common ground?

 
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Stray Dogs by Minka FK

The sun beats down. Frank waits for the bus. His ice cream melts. A stranger asks to borrow his phone. Stray dogs roam the streets.

 
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Such and Such by Ashley Seering

The story of Such and Such, a boutique farm that provides fresh produce and humanely raised pork to some of the best restaurants in St. Louis, MO.

 
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Territory by Eleanor Mortimer

The rock of Gibraltar is shared between two primate species: people and monkeys. The monkeys populated the upper rock long before the latest human inhabitants, the British, arrived, and now, 300 years on, there are tensions between the two. Attempts to expel the monkeys from the town with peashooters are in vain, as the animals rise to the challenges of the new game. This leads the government to resort to more drastic tactics.

 
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The Invisible Mammal - The Bat Rescuer by Kristin Tieche

Corky Quirk is the founder of NorCal Bats, an organization that provides care for injured bats and educational programs for libraries, schools, nature programs, fairs and other events throughout the region. Corky has been working intensely with native California bats since 2005 and has educated thousands of people. She works with injured and orphaned bats, returning them to the wild and keeps a captive colony of non-releasable bats for use in education. 

 
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The Melancholy Man by Samantha Aldana

An unexpected love story between the world’s saddest man and the world’s saddest woman.

 
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The Plastic Vagabond by Noé Sardet

Horsea plasticus, a toy seahorse is lost at sea. He takes us on a wild journey through the plastisphere, meeting fellow drifters, and a team of scientists during an expedition. He goes through an existential crisis as he discovers the massive extent of micro-plastic pollution in the world ocean! Overcoming many obstacles, he continues his quest and encourages humans to take action!

 
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The Present by Jacob Frey

The Present is a graduation short by Jacob Frey from Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. It is based on a comic strip by Fabio Cavalcanti.

 
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The Quiet Man by Keith Rivers

Don, Nancy and Vicki have formed a wonderfully complicated friendship dealing with love, loss, and dementia. Throughout life, the only constant is change and friendship helps get you through tough times, at any age.

 
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The Road to Motherhood by Sofie Peeters

Life can be a rat race. We get up, get dressed and before sunrise, we're on our way to work. Time is money. Yet we don't seem to realize that we are actually stuck: we are standing still in traffic. Alone. What does this tell us about our Western society? About ourselves? What does it mean when we don't even have time for something as significant as childbirth? Even a baby that comes into this world has to do it fast and efficiently. In Belgium, less than 20% of childbirths remain a natural process. More than 80% has medical interventions (Induction, episiotomy, C-section,...). We make a schedule, we speed it up, we force it. 

 
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The Setup by Patrick Higgins

The Setup tracks the psychological and physical toll of living with undocumented status, under a controversial and imperiled federal program called DACA.

 
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The Sunshine Boy by Naaman Azhari

Inspired by real events, the film follows a mother's realization behind her son's mental state moments before a tragedy.

 
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The Swan Girl by Johnny Coffeen

When an artist is mysteriously held captive in an art studio, he sculpts complex figures to atone for his past mistakes. Premiered at David Lynch's Festival of Disruption and won a Student Academy Award.

 
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The Wayward Wind by Steve Delahoyde

A wayward traveler is encouraged to settle down.

 
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THIS IS AMERICA by William Anderson

Unaware of the struggles in today's world for African-Americans, John has a eye-opening wake-up call that shifts his perspective forever.

 
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This Panda Is Dancing by Max Stossel

In the Attention Economy, technology and media are designed to maximize our screen-time. But what if they were designed to help us live by our values? 

 
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Throw Away Culture by Nikki Dodd & Rory Moon

Plastic is all around us. From packaging for our food to synthetic fabric for our clothes, plastic has become an inescapable reality. A significant portion of this plastic winds up in the ocean, where it not only threatens marine life, but human health too. When did we become so addicted to plastic? And what can we do to break our addiction?

 
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Tom in Couchland by James Just

A stoner dude is sucked into the couch and must battle crazy couch creatures in search of his remote.

 
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Turquoise by Michael Redhouse

The beauty of Native American jewelry is in the relationship of Grandmother and Granddaughter. Megan shares her story of how she connects to her Grandmother and her culture through turquoise.

 
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United By Water by Derrick LaMere

The 5 tribes of the Upper Columbia River unite on the water in traditional canoes for the first time since the Grand Coulee Dam flooded their traditional waterways 76 years ago. 

 
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W. Kaman Bell Doesn't Want to Fit In by Jackie Lay

Comedian W. Kamau Bell struggled with his identity growing up. As a self-described “nerd,” he favored martial arts over basketball and rock over hip-hop. This struggle carried over into adulthood and his early efforts at standup comedy. At one point, he even considered giving up comedy entirely. It was at this crossroads that Bell stumbled upon a Rolling Stone article, which became the catalyst for him finding his own voice. 

 
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WeMatter by Sherrie Quannea

#WeMatter is a short film that strives to highlight the growing epidemic of police violence against people of color. We hope that by focusing on the human aspect of the issue--the hurt, frustration annd often the feelings of hopelessness, the importance of changing a system that allows these actions to flourish, can be thwarted. We hope that our film not only elicits an emotional response and encourages conversations of change, but inspires action

 

 
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Why Not Now John Henry by Ben Proudfoot

A docubiopic of young Harlem entrepreneur John Henry, who asked "Why not now?" and went from doorman to dry cleaner to dealmaker.

 
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ZAYA by Susanne Serres

Zaya follows its titular character who is a contemporary dancer and has just realized her love for her dance partner Nadege. But first she must realize her love for herselff, overcoming her fears and opening up about who she is to her mother. #LoveIsLove