Shortsfest 2019 Carbondale Programs


Shorts Program A

Saturday, April 6 | 5:15PM  | 82 min. | Crystal Theatre

Life in Miniature


Kath Holden is an artist of the everyday. Inspired by the world around her, Kath’s creations are whimsical yet keenly observed, and a far cry from the genteel museum pieces that her contemporaries are producing. A proud Yorkshire woman, Kath reflects on her life and art as she carves a place for herself in the precious world of miniatures. (Ellen Evans, UK, 5 min.)

The Minors


A slice-of-life film about a grandpa and his grandsons. (Robert Machoian, USA, 10 min.)



Fourteen-year-old Crowley has gone through a lot in his young life. His older brother Yancie died in a car accident, and his parents are now divorced. But Crowley isn’t about to let life get the better of him—he’s got a dream to make come true. He wants to be a good rodeo rider, just like Yancie. (Andre Hörmann, Germany, 15 min.) North American Premiere



West London, 1979. Margaret Thatcher is in power and racial tensions are running high in the UK. Lucky (28), a second-generation British Indian, thinks his younger brother, Sunny (17), is getting bullied by skinheads. When he finds out the truth is far from what he expected, he’s forced to cope with new filial responsibilities, rethink his priorities and question his own insular views about the world he occupies. (Iesh Thapar, UK, 16 min.) International Premiere



When a young American woman decides to become a gestational surrogate to a couple from China, her insecure husband tries to torpedo the arrangement. (Henry Loevner, USA, 13 min.) World Premiere



On Colombia’s Pacific Coast, a mother teaches her daughter how to swim. It is an essential skill in this remote region, where livelihoods are made on the sea and where rising tides, made worse by climate change, have swept entire villages away in recent years. The girl, named Dulce, learns to overcome her fears and join the community of women who harvest the mangrove cockle, or piangua, for a living. It is a coming-of-age process that helps her understand both her cultural and natural surroundings, from the mud of the mangrove swamps to the powerful tides. (Angello Faccini, Guille Isa, Colombia/USA, 11 min.)



Fran likes to think about dying, it’s comforting to her. She imagines a different death every day and doesn’t need anything more. But her routine is unexpectedly interrupted by some enticing attention paid to her by a good looking co-worker. She made him laugh and now he wants more – a movie date, a slice of pie, a conversation. But if dating him means learning to live, she’s pretty sure she can’t do that. (Stefanie Abel Horowitz, USA, 12 min.)

Shorts Program B

Saturday, April 6 | 7:30PM  | 83 min. | Crystal Theatre



The two best rescue workers in the region are ready for their new mission. Yet despite their professionalism and determination, it will not go as planned… (Léo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert, Oscar Malet, France, 6 min.)



In this innovative documentary, a family recreates itself using stop-motion animation. The film tells the lifelong struggle of Marj, the matriarch of the Bagley clan, to find happiness. Marj battles infidelity, broken noses, dysfunctional relationships, giant birds and a fateful game of cards with her grandchildren. Through a combination of interviews and recreations, her family reflects on the legacy of a woman whom they realize they may not understand. (Taylor Stanton, USA, 14 min.)



In a veritable fireworks display of digital self-portraits, hundreds of quaint, embarrassing and dreadfully disturbing selfies were arranged in a unique short film composition. Single photos, artistically reworked, consolidate to form a ghastly grin that outshines the abyss of human existence. (Claudius Gentinetta, Switzerland, 4 min.)



When electricity is first brought to 1960’s rural Ireland, an imaginative young girl believes the new power in her home is in fact the work of a Faerie; a magical creature of folklore who she reasons must control ‘the Light’. Ignoring her Grandmother’s warnings, she attempts to capture their surprise guest and unwittingly causes a blackout, ultimately summoning the sinister creatures of her Grandmother’s stories who haunt the surrounding countryside; the true keepers of the Light  – The Wiremen. (Jessica Patterson, Ireland, 10 min.) International Premiere



Shaun doesn’t fit in. It’s not that he wants to be alone, but somehow, he always feels separate and isolated from the happy world around him. Whilst waiting for his parents in a busy pub, Shaun struggles valiantly to join in with the admirably confident people in the crowd, but the more he tries, the more things in the pub go awry. Shaun finds himself confronted by the painful memories that made him who he is. His feelings, memories and desires overwhelm him, and by the end of the evening he is ready to explode. (Sam Gainsborough, UK, 8 min.)



A solitary fox finds itself improvising fatherhood for a freshly hatched baby bird. Two paths cross and a family is formed, until fate reminds each of the life it is meant to lead. (Sam Guillaume, Fred Guillaume, Switzerland, 11 min.) International Premiere



In the beginning was the Stain. A paintbrush reveals a being of gouache, opens him, transforms him, twists him, completes him. From this accelerated evolution arises a conquering being…  (Donato Sansone, France, 5 min.)



A man thinks back upon his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently? (Siqi Song, China/USA, 8 min.)



The splash of water is like a bomb, about to break the tranquility of the pool. (Jie Shen, China, 9 min.) North American Premiere



Luna is a vibrant young Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. From the day she witnesses a rocket launching into space on TV, Luna is driven to reach for the stars. In the big city, Luna lives with her loving father Chu, who supports her with a humble shoe repair business he runs out of his garage. As Luna grows up, she enters college, facing adversity of all kinds in pursuit of her dreams. (Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas, USA/China, 8 min.)

Shorts Program C

Sunday, April 7 | 5:15PM  | 81 min. | Crystal Theatre



A guy makes a bad first impression when he meets his girlfriend’s family as they gather at her grandfather’s deathbed. (Tim Wilkime, USA, 11 min.)



In this short documentary examining one day in the life of a 50-year-old couple, Blind Krzysztof goes skiing with Wiola, his wife and guide. They prepare for skiing in the early morning. Krzysztof mounts bluetooth kits on the helmets that will connect them to each other. They go to the top of the mountain in a chairlift, and the higher they go, the more we learn about their life. At the same time, weather conditions are changing; mist thickens on the mountain slopes. When Wiola and Krzysztof finally reach the summit, they must find each other and connect in the surrounding fog. (Aleksandra Maciejczyk, Poland, 18 min.) North American Premiere



Taina, 52, is preparing a perfect weekend with the family, since her son Eetu, 23, is visiting with his girlfriend Noora. Nothing goes as planned. The more Taina tries to entertain everyone, the less comfortable they feel. The youngsters leave earlier than expected, and husband Tero escapes to his man cave. Taina takes out her disappointment on a department store’s client service, when a surprising question stops her. (Kirsikka Saari, Finland, 15 min.)

Everything You Wanted To Know About Sudden Birth* (*but were afraid to ask)


The true story of how the Berkeley police department, the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, an Academy Award winner and Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame are all connected by “Sudden Birth,” one of the most unintentionally hilarious and disturbing educational films ever created.  (Scott Calonico, UK/Germany, 11 min.)



Mohamed is a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia with his wife and two sons. He is deeply shaken when his oldest son Malik returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife. Tension between father and son rises over three days until it reaches a breaking point. (Meryam Joobeur, Canada/Tunisia/Qatar/Sweden, 25 min.)

Shorts Program D

Sunday, April 7 | 7:30PM  | 80 min. | Crystal Theatre



All in My Family tells a heartfelt, cross-cultural autobiographical story of Chinese-born filmmaker Hao Wu, who creates a thoroughly modern LGBTQ family with his gay partner in the US, only to face the dilemma of how to introduce his partner and two children to his very traditional parents and relatives back in China – some of whom don’t even know he’s gay. (Hao Wu, USA, 40 min.)



Over the past 15 years, hundreds of refugee children in Sweden have withdrawn into Resignation Syndrome, a sort of “willed death,” remaining in a coma-like state for months or even years. The families of these children have been subject to severe trauma in their home countries, followed by the anxiety of a lengthy asylum process and an uncertain future. Intercut with sweeping Swedish landscapes, “Life Overtakes Me” follows three families for over a year. Viewers are immersed in their lives as the anguished parents struggle to care for their sick children. (John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson, USA, 40 min.)