Shortsfest 2018 Films

Wouter Jansen - Aria - Still 4

ARIA

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30PM | Wheeler Opera House

In present-day Athens, 17-year-old Aria, who is working at Jimmy’s local kebab place is waiting for a driving lesson with her father. When he finally arrives, it is not to go for a drive. On the contrary, he confides in her the care of a young Chinese immigrant who speaks neither Greek nor English.

 

(Myrsini Aristidou, Cyprus/France, 13 min.)

 

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ATLANTIC CITY

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

Junior and Pony are homeless day laborers drifting through San Antonio, Texas. Their mutual hardship has forged a friendship as strong as brothers. But Pony is fixated by an Atlantic City postcard he carries.

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It is the last connection from his estranged mother from twenty years ago. When Pony asks for help finding her, Junior feels betrayed, causing Pony to split from his friend. Alone, and needing money to head north, Pony accepts a job from a local thug, Jimmy, who operates out of a skating rink. It’s here Pony encounters a kindred spirit, a fifteen-year-old runaway girl who claims the rink as her own. When he tries to help her, things spiral out of control.

(Miguel Alvarez, USA, 15 min.)

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ATELIER

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

A young woman comes to a remote island to get away from it all, taking refuge at a modern studio utopia. Her stay is jarringly interrupted by a sound artist, and tension between the contrasting personalities rises as differing lifestyles and expectations clash. Meanwhile nature and mysterious sheep close in on the labyrinthian house.

 

(Elsa María Jakobsdottír, Denmark, 30 min.) US Premiere

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#BAREWITHME

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30PM | Wheeler Opera House

Madde, 30, is out shopping with her best friends Aura and Julia, when she suddenly sees a dark figure from the past: her ex-BFF Elsi. Traumatized and panicked, Madde tries to hide. 

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However, her friends won’t let her, and she is forced to make peace with her past. It’s Elsi’s turn to listen.

(Ulla Heikkilä, Finland, 9 min.) International Premiere

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BEESWAX

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 8 | 2:30PM | Wheeler Opera House

Pops is a font of manual knowledge in old-world practices often inscrutable to his granddaughter, Anna. His self-sufficiency leaves little patience for a young dependent in his life while the maintenance of a cherished accordion keeps him cloaked in the pain of the past. 

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When the demands of raising a young girl break both his concentration and the instrument, he’s recalled to life in the present. Reminded of what they share, Pops has an opportunity to both mend his relationship with Anna and pass his skillset. But before they can succeed, they’ll need to make a small-time heist and Anna revisits a recent foe in the process. The cross-generational pair persists so that the squeezebox may breathe again.

Director: Cristoforo Magliozzi  |  Run Time: 7 min.  | USA World Premier

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BLACKJACK

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

Leila, who is singularly androgynous, works at a casino in a predominantly male environment. A croupier at night, she returns to her hotel room early each morning. 

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Camil has just arrived at the hotel, and spends his days alone, disappearing in the morning and returning at nightfall. They are neighbors, and gradually, a mutual and silent attraction develops.

(Lora Mure-Ravaud, Switzerland, 22 min.) North American Premiere

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BLIND MICE

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

Upon his release from prison Walter falls back in with his old gang of hustlers. In this con within a con, will he be the one left holding the bag? 

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Mixing the anthropomorphic menagerie of humanity found in the cartoons of the 1930’s with the fatalist allegorical themes of film noir, Blind Mice tell a tale of societies divisions.

(Nicholas D’Agostino, USA, 9 min.)

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BOTANICA

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

A garden-center employee fears of his possible infertility. While the pregnancy wish of the love of his life is growing, shame starts to take a hold of him. 

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He senses them growing apart, but nourished by an artificial arena, he makes a very unusual decision and swallows his pride in order to let their love overcome.

(Noël Loozen, Netherlands, 14 min.) US Premiere

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BRIAN & CHARLES

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 3 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

Brian and Charles tells the story of an unlikely friendship forged in isolation. After a particularly harsh winter Brian, faced with depression and isolation, addresses the melancholy by building a robot named Charles. 

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After a while tensions begin to rise between pair, partly due to the fact that Charles keeps eating Brian’s cabbages. Things soon come to a head and Brian is forced to make a decision he may soon come to regret.

(Jim Archer, United Kingdom, 12 min.)

The-Burden

THE BURDEN

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00PM | Wheeler Opera House

A dark musical enacted in a modern marketplace, situated next to a large freeway. The employees of the various commercial venues are portrayed as animals and have to deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns. For them, the apocalypse is a tempting liberator.

 

(Nikki Lindroth Von Bahr, Sweden, 14 min.)

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Careful How You Go

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A darkly comedic three part short film about malevolent women.  

 

(Directed by: Emerald Fennell, United Kingdom; Run Time: 12 min.)

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The Caregiver

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

After a short home-leave in India, Raj returns to his 85-year-old employer only to find out he’s been replaced by a Filipino caregiver named Joy. While trying to earn back his job and home, Raj realizes that the truth has many faces.

 

(Ruthy Pribar, Israel, 12 min.) North American Premiere

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Caroline

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.

 

(Celine Held, Logan George, USA, 12 min.)

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Carro

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Josue, an undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in Boston, has been working as a cleaner for close to three months. He had agreed with his wife who stayed back home that he would return. 

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After finding a Fernando Pessoa book in a school he was cleaning, Josue is inspired to buy a car in order to make the most of his time left in America–without telling his wife.

(Gustavo Rosa, USA/Brazil, 12 min.)

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Cat Days

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Jiro, a little boy, feels sick. His father takes him to see the doctor. She diagnoses a harmless condition, but it shakes the core of the boy’s identity. 

 

(Jon Frickey, Germany/Japan, 11 min.)

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Coyote

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Coyote shows a tragic coyote, who loses his family during an attack by wolves. Tormented by fear, anger and grief, he feigns the support of a demon in the desert. 

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The demon opens up a parallel world in which the coyote has a second chance to avenge his family. However, the coyote represses the past and gets haunted by delusions. Unable to stand the emotional strain, the devil gradually takes possession of him. When the coyote returns to his own real world he must carry a shadow of the demon.

(Lorenz Wunderle, Switzerland, 10 min.) North American Premiere

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The Climb

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Kyle is feeling depressed and a weekend bike ride with his best friend, Mike, should help. Fresh air. Camaraderie. Exercise. But Mike has something to say that might ruin the ride.

 

(Michael Covino, USA, 7 min.)

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Counterfeit Kunkoo

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In a country where marital rape is not a legal crime, it took a lot for Smita to escape an abusive marriage. She lives in a one room apartment in Mumbai, earning her living by making imitation mangalsutras (necklace worn by married women). 

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But the recent tranquility of her life is shaken when the doorbell rings. Smita finds herself fighting beasts of a different kind as she discovers a strange pre-requisite to renting a house in middle-class Mumbai. Counterfeit Kunkoo is an exploration of the idiosyncrasies that come with life, the battles one must fight, and whether winning or losing those battles matters at all.

(Reema Sengupta, India, 15 min.)

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Damiana

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Deep inside the jungle, a group of teenage girls are being kept under supervision. Despite abandonment and hostility, Damiana hopes she can get in touch with her father. 

 

(Andrés Ramírez Pulido, Colombia/Brazil, 15 min.) US Premiere

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The Day the Dogs Disappeared

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

When the French bulldog of the Haese family disappears, Anna tries to protect her loved ones against an undefined threat. 

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While procedures of the National Security Agency enter into force, a sense of fear is slowly creeping into their lives. What was once familiar, gradually becomes uncanny.

(Boris Kuijpers & Ruth Mellaerts, Belgium, 20 min.) International Premiere

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The Day of Your Day

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Blaise is 10 years old. Blaise is in love. Blaise loves to eat. Blaise is going to die. At least, that’s what he thinks.

 

(Achiepo Steve, France, 22 min.)

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My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes” is as provocative an examination of life as it sounds. Prompted by his father’s death, director Charlie Tyrell pursues a deeper understanding of his emotionally-distant father in this documentary short. 

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By starting with what he left behind: a rather kitsch collection of pornography on VHS videotapes. Tyrell presents an indiscriminate look into one’s material possessions as a way of understanding the complex nature of family relationships and their challenges.

(Charlie Tyrell, Canada, 13 min.)

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Death Metal Grandma

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

97-year-old Holocaust survivor, Inge Ginsberg, rose to fame as a songwriter for legendary musicians such as Doris Day, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole.

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Death Metal Grandma follows Inge Ginsberg’s journey to break out as a performer of death metal music and as she prepares for an America’s Got Talent audition. The short documentary interweaves the rich personal history of Inge’s life as she attempts to merge her personal lyrics with the contemporary genre of death metal.

(Leah Galant, USA, 13 min.)

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Discharged

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A couple who have sold their infant are in a hospital waiting for the money to be transferred into their bank account.

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They pursue the matter from a nurse who has been the mediator of this deal and they realize that the buyer family has cancelled the deal because of the infant’s respiratory problems. Now they must return half of money that they received beforehand and have given it straight to their creditors.

(Azadeh Moussavi, Iran, 15 min.) International Premiere

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The Driver Is Red

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Set in Argentina 1960, this true crime documentary follows the story of secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he hunted down one of the highest ranking Nazi war criminals on the run. 

 

(Randall Christopher, USA, 15 min.)

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The Earth is Humming

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In Japan, there is an old saying “sonae areba urei nashi”, which means, “be prepared and have no regrets.” Situated along the circum-Pacific volcanic belt, Japan has several volcanic regions frequently affected by earthquakes and Tsunamis. 

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In the event Tokyo experiences a magnitude seven quake in the next 30 years, an estimated 23,000 people would die and more than seven million would be driven into emergency shelters. Such an incident would cause economic damage of 95 trillion yen, or roughly the equivalent of the national budget.

(Garret Bradley, USA, 14 min.)

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Emergency

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A group of young African American and Latino guys come home to their worst nightmare: an unconscious white girl on the floor of their apartment. 

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They have no idea who she is or where she came from. Now they must decide what’s more dangerous: calling the cops or finding an alternative solution.

(Carey Williams, USA, 12 min.)

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Fauve

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.

 

(Jeremy Comte, Canada, 16 min.)

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The Full Story

Short Program 6 | Saturday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Toby is selling his childhood home, but the empty house is full of memories. Fleeting happiness, a world shattered by divorce and all the rage and helplessness of being a child—can he piece together the full story before closing the door on a life?

 

(Daisy Jacobs, United Kingdom, 7 min.) US Premiere

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A Gentle Night

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In a nameless Chinese city, a mother, with her daughter missing, refuses to go gently into this good night.

 

(Qiu Yang, China/France, 15 min.)

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Hair Wolf

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, Janice, the shop owner, prepares to leave for the day, as Eve, a young hairstylist, braids the hair of her boyfriend, Damon. Cami, a salon regular, bursts into the store and breathlessly recounts a horrifying experience she has just had.

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One by one, the salon residents undergo a terrifying metamorphosis as Rebecca grows stronger, draining them of their conviction in black power and leaving Cami in a fight for black lives. (Mariama Diallo, USA, 12 min.)

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Hedgehog’s Home

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In a lush and lively forest lives a hedgehog. He is respected and envied by the other animals. However, Hedgehog’s unwavering devotion to his home annoys a quartet of insatiable beasts. Together, they march off towards Hedgehog’s home and spark a tense and prickly standoff.

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Exquisitely directed by Eva Cvijanović and based on the classic story by Branko Ćopić, a writer from the former Yugoslavia, Hedgehog’s Home is a warm and universal tale for young and old that reminds us there truly is no place like home. (Eva Cvijanović, Croatia/Canada, 10 min.)

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Home Shopper

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Penny and her husband, James, have what probably appears to be a happy functioning relationship in middle America. Nice little house, finely manicured lawn, two cars for the household and a roast in the oven, but as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

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One fatal day Penny’s obsession with the Home Shopping Channel finally takes its toll on the marriage. This ultra-dark comedy is about the tenuous nature of relationships and how misguided obsession and unspoken feelings can be a deadly combination. (Dev Patel, Singapore/USA, 16 min.)

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Hybrids

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

When marine wildlife has to adapt to the pollution surrounding it, the rules of survival change.

 

(Kim Tailhades/Florian Brauch/Romain Tirions/Matthieu Pujol/Kim Taihades/Yohan Thireau, France, 7 min.)

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Intercourse

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A couple wakes up in bed together; they start making out and he wants to take things further, but she’s not in the mood. A passing joke about paying for her to change her mind turns serious and afterwards, they have a hard time coming to terms with how this has changed their relationship.

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In the darkly humorous Intercourse, director Jonatan Etzler holds up a mirror to the skewed power structures in our society and how they can affect our most intimate relationships and our ability to talk about them. (Jonatan Etzler, Sweden, 10 min.)

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Jeom

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A father and a son both have the same big birthmark on their butt. Believing that the two birthmarks are connected, the son scrubs his father’s birthmark to remove it, but he just can’t get rid of its trace.

 

(Kangmin Kim, USA, 4 min.)

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Juck [THRUST]

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A hybrid between documentary, dance and fiction, Juck depicts the all-female dance group who made a name for themselves in 2013 with a video that became a viral hit all over the world.

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The word “Juck” is Swedish for “hump” and their groundbreaking appearance pushed the boundaries for how we are used to seeing the female body. The film poses the question: what is femininity? (Olivia Kastebring/Julia Gumpert/Ulrika Bandeira, Sweden, 17 min.) North American Premiere

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Judith Loves Martha

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Ms. Judith Godwin is one of the rare women from the 1950’s American Abstract Expressionist Movement. In 1948, Ms. Godwin, an 18-year-old college student in Virginia, was captivated by a newspaper clipping of the choreography of Martha Graham.

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After inviting the Graham Company to perform at her school, Ms. Godwin was asked to chaperone Ms. Graham on her campus visit. This story unfolds Judith’s memory of her first inspiration and the lasting influence Martha Graham has had on her work. (Anna Gaskell, USA, 10 min.)

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Landline

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Landline is a documentary about the only helpline in the UK for gay farmers. Through a series of recorded telephone conversations and reconstructive visuals, the film uses the helpline as a lens through which to view the experiences of LGBTQ people in the British farming community.

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Candid, intimate and shocking, Landline is a snapshot of a group of people bound together by circumstance but so often isolated from each other. (Matt Houghton, United Kingdom, 12 min.) North American Premiere

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Layam

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Shai used to be a tough commander and Kedem used to be his tormented rookie. Things change.

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(Assaf Machnes, Israel, 17 min.) US Premiere

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Lonesome Willcox

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Willcox, Arizona is a country music town that isn’t what it used to be. The town has a single radio station, run by one employee who lives at the studio, and is seen as an outcast by many of the townspeople.

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This unlikely champion of country music has a troubled history with the music that he plays every day, but he’s keeping it alive for the old folks and looking for redemption over the airwaves. (Ryan Maxey & Zack Wright, USA, 12 min.)

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Loser Leaves Town

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 8 | 12:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

11-year-old luchador Jose, isolated from everyone around him, retreats into a fantasy world to connect with a part of himself he feels slipping away. When he encounters a tough 12-year-old girl, he finds his sanctuary world being infiltrated by the real one.

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As he deals with a tumult of withheld pre-teen emotion, Jose must decide which world is his true path. (Mark Nickelsburg, USA, 12 min.) World Premiere

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Lost Property Office

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Edward Hopper is a meticulous and thorough custodian of a large city transit’s Lost Property office. Alone, in the basement office, he’s kept company by a tiny toy robot and an old gramophone, both of which he has lovingly restored after finding them lost and broken at train stations.

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Rather than abandon his beloved Lost Property office and all its forgotten relics he has cared for, he decides to re-appropriate them. What emerges from the darkened basement is wondrous and whimsical. (Daniel Agdag, Australia, 10 min.)

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Magic Alps

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

When an Afghan refugee arrives in Italy with his goat to seek asylum, an Italian immigration officer finds himself in a difficult position because he doesn’t know what to do with the animal. Based on a true story.

 

(Andrea Brusa &Marco Scotuzzi, Italy, 15 min.) North American Premiere

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Manivald

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Manivald, a fox, is turning 33. Overeducated, unemployed and generally uninspired, he lives with his overbearing, retired mother and spends his days learning piano while she makes his coffee and washes his socks. It is an easy life, but not a good one.

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Their unhealthy co-dependence is about to collapse when the washing machine breaks down and Toomas, a sexy and adventurous wolf repairman, arrives to fix it, and them. (Chintis Lungren,Croatia/Canada/Estonia, 13 min.)

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Marlon

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

14-year-old Marlon is visiting her mother in jail for the first time since her imprisonment. The young girl, protected by her family and relatives, stubbornly believes that her mother is still her childhood heroine.

 

(Jessica Palud, Belgium/France, 20 min.)

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Matria

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Ramona lives with her husband, with whom she barely talks, and works in a cannery run by a despot manager. Faced with the challenges presented by her daily routine, Ramona tries to take refuge in the relationship that unites her to her daughter and granddaughter.

 

(Álvaro Gago, Spain, 20 min.)

Anna Margaret Hollyman appears in Maude by Anna Margaret Hollyman, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Yuta Yamaguchi.  All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Maude

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job until she’s shocked to meet the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be…until she gets caught.

 

(Anna Margaret Hollyman, USA, 10 min.)

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Milk

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A young employee of a rural dairy farm is experiencing anxiety regarding her unexpected pregnancy. She finds it difficult to ignore her feelings as she is surrounded by pregnant cows on the farm whose milk she helps to collect after they give birth.

 

(Heather Young, Canada, 14 min.)

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Mother’s Day

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

An annual bus service that takes children to visit their mothers in prison explores the impact of mass incarceration on a generation of youth.

 

(Elizabeth Lo &  RJ Lozada, USA, 9 min.)

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Negative Space

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A tribute to a father who taught his son how to pack.

 

(Ru Kuwahata, France, 6 min.)

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Nevada

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A young couple’s romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap in this stop-motion animated comedy.

 

(Emily Ann Hoffman, USA, 12 min.)

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Nursery Rhymes

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

On the side of a rural highway, a bizarre encounter with a metal head takes a profound turn.

 

(Tom Noakes, Australia, 5 min.) World Premiere

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Nuuca

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Over the last decade, an oil boom in North Dakota has seen the state’s population double with primarily male workers flocking to the region. With this dramatic increase, has come an influx of drugs, crime and sexual violence.

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On the Fort Berthold Indian reservation alone, rates of sexual violence have increased 168%, with Indigenous women most affected. Juxtaposing the ravaged yet starkly beautiful landscape with personal testimony from young Indigenous women living on the reservation, Nuuca is an evocative mediation revealing the connections between the rape of the earth and the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls. (Michelle Latimer, USA/Canada, 13 min.)

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The Passage

Short Program 3 | Wednesday, April 4 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Phil, wide-eyed and mute, is on the run after escaping captivity. His childlike ineptitude keeps getting him into trouble, and the agents who’ve been hired to recapture him are always one step behind. The result is a series of globe-trotting misadventures and surprising new friendships.

 

(Kitao Sakurai, USA, 22 min.)

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Personal Truth

Short Program 7 | Friday, April 6 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Inspired by “Pizzagate,” the director re-examines a conspiracy from his youth and uncorks a sometimes funny, sometimes serious meditation on skepticism.

 

(Charlie Lyne, USA/United Kingdom, 18 min.)

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Premonicion

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Javier arrives in a small town looking for a job. In this place he faces a farming community led by Chivo, a stubborn man who doesn’t trust him and won’t allow him to work with them. Guided by strange dreams that haunt him at night, Javier will fight against Chivo’s prejudices to win his place in the community.

 

(Leticia Akel, Chile, 13 min.)

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Possum

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Seven-year-old David is sick of being left behind. He convinces his lumberjack Father into taking him through the rugged bush of New Zealand, but his 11-year-old brother Nathan, doesn’t think David’s up to the challenge.

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That night in the forest hut, Dad’s workmate, Toko, tells a tall tale of a notorious possum named Scar, setting David’s nerves on edge. After a rough sleep in a tent, terrorized by night creatures, Nathan drags David into the bush to hunt the possum from Toko’s story. Scar is not like any other possum. David will need to face his fears to prove himself in his brother’s eyes. (Dave Whitehead, New Zealand, 15 min.)

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Poles Apart

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Poles Apart tells the story of an unlikely meeting between Nanuk, a tough female polar bear, and Aklak, an enthusiastic male grizzly bear, brought together by their changing habitats.

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The lack of food in a melting Arctic has left the solitary Nanuk desperately hungry. When the hopeful and eager Aklak crashes into Nanuk’s world, she has to decide if the naïve grizzly bear is her food or her friend. (Paloma Baeza, Singapore, 12 min.)

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Rouff

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Rouff is sad, he only has three legs and is alone. Then he folds Pete from the paper he is drawn on. This is not only the beginning of a wonderful friendship, but also the meeting of two kinds of animated film – 2D and 3D. Rouff and Pete’s quest for the fourth leg is an adventurous story, not only for children.

 

(Markus Eschrich/Benjamin Brand/Johannes Engelhardt/Markus Eschrich/Johannes Lumer/Julius Rosen, Germany, 7 min.)

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Salamat From Germany

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Desperate to escape Lebanon and settle in Europe, Lillo buys himself a Syrian passport and is ready to appropriate the Syrian identity to obtain asylum. However, what he might not be ready for yet, is everything that comes along with being a Syrian refugee today.

(Una Gunjak & Rami Kodeih, Lebanon/France, 17 min.) North American Premiere

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Salon

Short Program 5 | Thursday, April 5 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Made as the result of a conversation with Werner Herzog on a park bench in Cuba and shot in the small town of San Antonio De Los Banos, Salon examines a local woman’s unusual motives for visiting the beauty salon every day.

 

(Bob Gallagher, Cuba/Ireland, 2 min.)

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Sam Did It

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Sam loves his job working in a morgue, almost as much as he loves his celebrity idol, Alfred Molina. So, when Alfred Molina arrives on Sam’s cold hard slab (possibly a victim of some nefarious seals), Sam’s world is thrown into chaos and despair.

 

(Dominic Burgress, USA, 10 min.)

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Solar Walk

Short Program 4 | Thursday, April 5 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Solar Walk shows the journey of individuals and their creations on through time and space. Any meaning of action is only existent from the perspective of the individual, but never mandatory when looking at it from the perspective of a solar system.

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It’s about the melancholy of accepting chaos as beautiful and cosmic. Passion for creation is projected through the unique and playful texture of the animation craft itself. (Réka Bucsi, Hungary, 21 min.) North American Premiere

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Still Water Runs Deep

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Within his family, a Nigerian father is the patriarch and protector of his flock. Still Water Runs Deep follows a man who leads his household with a stern hand and assertiveness, but when his estranged son goes missing his reluctant search turns into an emotional journey to find him, shaking the core of his steely resolve and revealing his most intimate being.

 

(Abbesi Akhamie, Nigeria/USA, 15 min.) US Premiere

tesla

The Tesla World Light

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

New York, 1905. Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla makes one last appeal to J.P. Morgan, his onetime benefactor. The Tesla World Light is a tragic fantasy about the father of alternating current, inspired by real events such as the inventor’s run of bad luck as a businessman and his affection for a pet bird, which he loves “like a man loves a woman.”

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Tesla’s words to the banker form the backdrop of this moving film about the man who blended science and art in his attempts to create the utopia of unlimited energy for all. (Matthew Rankin, Canada, 8 min.)

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An Uncertain Future

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In Austin, Texas, two expectant mothers—one undocumented and one US citizen—must contend with increased ICE raids and mounting hostility towards immigrants under President Trump.

 

(Ilana Sosa & Chelsea Hernandez, USA, 11 min.)

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Undiscovered

Short Program 11 | Sunday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Undiscovered follows Sasquatch on his quest for a good photo of himself. His attempts to jump into a photo before scaring away the hikers who are taking them are thwarted by the usual suspects—food in his teeth, closed eyes, mussed-up hair, an out-of-focus shot—resulting in deleted photos every time.

 

(Sara Litzenberger, USA, 3 min.)

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Volte

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Zuzia, 12, has been training vaulting for two years and has extraordinary role topping the acrobatic pyramid. She is “flyer” lifted by the stronger and more experienced “base” vaulters.

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Another intensive season begins. During training sessions, it becomes apparent that the girl has lost some of her grace and lightness. At first the coach blames the “base” but they admit that Zuzia is too big to lift her. It became clear that she is “just growing” and her role is given over to a younger girl. (Monika Kotecka & Karolina Poryzala, Poland, 14 min.)

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War Paint

Short Program 2 | Wednesday, April 4 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Kiyanna, a bright yet reserved teenager, experiences the complexities of being both black and female on the eve of a Fourth of July celebration in South Los Angeles.

(Katrelle Kindred, USA, 17 min.)

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Wave

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

A man wakes from a coma speaking a fully formed but unrecognizable language, baffling linguistic experts from around the globe. As he tries to navigate his way through the world, online bullies become the hardest thing he has faced yet.

 

(Benjamin Cleary & TJ O’Grady Peyton, Ireland, 14 min.)

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Weekends 

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Set in Toronto in the 1980’s, “Weekends” is the story of a six-year-old boy shuffling between the two homes of his recently divorced parents, both of whom are adjusting to their own separate lives. The situation becomes more complicated when a new man enters Mom’s life, an unsettling presence in the child’s new and unfamiliar surroundings.

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Combining intimate domestic moments with vivid dream imagery, “Weekends” aims to sincerely capture the exciting, bittersweet, and surreal aspects of childhood in expressive hand-drawn animation. (Trevor Jimenez, USA, 16 min.)

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While I yet Live

Short Program 6 | Friday, April 6 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Five acclaimed African American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, talk about love, religion and the fight for civil rights as they continue the tradition of quilting that originally brought them together.

 

(Maris Curran, USA, 15 min.)

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Wicked Girl

Short Program 9 | Saturday, April 7 | 5:15 PM | Wheeler Opera House

8-year-old S. is a little Turkish girl with an overflowing imagination. She is keen on nature and animals. As she is in hospital, she is looking back on happy holidays in her grandparents’ village, but dark and terrifying memories emerge and, little by little, begin to make sense.

 

(Ayce Kartal, Turkey/France, 8 min.)

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Wild Wild West: A Beautiful Rant by Mark Bradford

Short Program 8 | Saturday, April 7 | 2:30 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Where do artists come from? An answer explored through paper, percussion and one provocative artist.

 

(Dime Davis, USA, 6 min.)

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Wren Boys

Short Program 10 | Saturday, April 7 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

In his sermon on St. Stephen’s Day, a priest from County Cork recalls the now-outmoded wren hunting tradition. Boys on the cusp of manhood would be sent out to kill a wren, and later the parish would gather for the burial of the bird.

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The tradition symbolized the burial of the past, promising a fresh start in the new year. Later that day, Conor drives his nephew to prison to visit a battle-worn inmate. Their visit is one born of a new 21st century Ireland, which casts a critical eye on tradition. But within the prison walls, progress operates at a different pace; and runs alongside the threat of violence. (Harry Lighton, United Kingdom, 11 min.)

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Zion

Short Program 1 | Tuesday, April 3 | 8:00 PM | Wheeler Opera House

Zion Clark weighs a mere 88 pounds and is three feet, two inches tall, yet he is 19 years old. He was born without legs due to caudal regression syndrome. His birth parents abandoned him at the hospital and he has spent almost his entire adolescence in different foster homes. He is one of the strongest and most positive young men that you’ll ever meet.

 

(Floyd Russ, USA, 10 min.)

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