2022 Shortsfest Films

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AERONAUT

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Ten-year old Kevin, has  grown up with a tyrannical father. He dreams of becoming a pilot and leaving it all behind him.

(LEON GOLTERMAN, NETHERLANDS, 2 MIN) US PREMIERE

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ALLOWED

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8pm, 4/8

Weeds aren’t just weeds. They’re like friends. During the first wave of COVID-19, plants and flowers are allowed to grow wild. Using 3D animated photos, ALLOWED lyrically re-examines our relationship with urban plant life in the urgent context of biodiversity loss and climate crisis.

(ZILLAH BOWES, UK, 4 MIN)

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ANXIOUS BODY

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Living things, artificial things, geometry shapes, and lines. When these different things encounter each other in this animation, something new is born.

(YORIKO MIZUSHIRI, JAPAN/FRANCE, 6 MIN)

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ASTEL

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

Astel, 13, accompanies her father every day in the bush. Together, they look after their herd of cows. Until one day, they meet a shepherd and changes come to Astel’s peaceful life.

(RAMATA-TOULAYE SY, SENEGAL/FRANCE, 24 MIN) US PREMIERE

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AUNTIE

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

The day after meeting a crew of 20-somethings at a South Asian happy hour, 39-year-old Hena is thrown into their group text.

(FAWZIA MIRZA, US, 7 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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BEITY

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

Roula is a rich woman living in a lavish house in Batroun, Lebanon. Today is the first day of winter break, and she anxiously awaits her daughter’s return home. 

(ISABELLE MECATTAF, LEBANON/US, 15 MIN)

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BELLE RIVER

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Spring flooding in Mississippi hits record highs. In Louisiana, the residents of Pierre-Part are preparing for the worst. Barring an unexpected turn of events, local authorities will soon be forced to open the floodgates of the Morganza Spillway in order to save the cities of New-Orleans and Bâton-Rouge from further uncontrolled flooding. Faith and resilience are the two best weapons they still have in the face of uncertainty.
(GUILLAUME FOURNIER, SAMUEL MATTEAU, YANNICK NOLIN, US/CANADA, 12 MIN)

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BOOBS

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

A young woman is confronted with the birth of paper breasts on her body. Exploring a woman’s love-hate relationship with her body and her femininity in ways both comic and dark, this animation highlights the powerful symbolism that breasts evoke for everyone.

(MARIE VALADE, CANADA, 7 MIN)

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BOTTLE CAP

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

Size matters to a fiddler crab – claw size, that is. And it’s a problem for Shelton. When a plastic bottle cap stands in for his worthless digging claw, Shelton believes himself to be a god. But this kind of glory will come at a horrible cost.
(MARIE HYON, MARCO SPIER, US, 5 MIN) US PREMIERE

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF US

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

When you are in a relationship for a long time, it can begin to feel like you are no longer an individual but part of a superorganism. This animation invites viewers to consider the decisions we make and the differences between our choices.

(ETGAR KERET, POLAND, 7 MIN)

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A CARTOON OF A CAT SLEEPING

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

A 7-minute comedy which unfolds entirely in one shot. As the story gets more and more chaotic, one big question looms: Will the cat ever wake up?
(RANDALL SCOTT CHRISTOPHER, US, 8 MIN)

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CAT AND BIRD

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Two opposing animals– cat and bird – have an encounter. They meet, sniff one another, and get familiar with each other.
(FRANKA SACHSE, GERMANY, 8 MIN)

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CAT AND MOTH

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Meet Ditto, a fluffy white cat. The universe seems out to get her as she tries to find the most comfortable spot to take her nap.
(INDIA BARNARDO, CANADA/UK, 7 MIN)

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CHARLOTTE

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

In 1971, folk singer Lena Black released her song, “Charlotte.” Fifty years later, a pop singer, T.Y.M., releases a cover. This animation follows the fall-out of this pop song on the lives of the Black family, including Lena, her daughter Diane, and her 11-year-old grandson, Eli.
(ZACH DORN, US, 12 MIN)

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CHILLY & MILLY

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

Eleven years after filming a documentary about his family, director William D. Caballero returns home to revisit scenes with his parents. Chilly, William’s father, is a diabetic with kidney failure while Milly sees herself as a caretaker. Watching the documentary, Chilly and Milly discuss their life together, including their successes and setbacks.
(WILLIAM DAVID CABALLERO, US, 9 MIN)

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CONDUCTING LIFE

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

Filmed over seven years, CONDUCTING LIFE follows the journey of conductor Roderick Cox and his quest to succeed in the highly competitive field of orchestral conducting, a profession that has traditionally overlooked musicians of color.
(DIANE MOORE, US/FRANCE, 31 MIN)

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CRUMB

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

For one man, all there is to obsess over is the seemingly endless barrage of food crumbs, loose cat litter, and floor dirt. But when an important tool in the management of those crumbs is taken away, an inevitable journey inwards begins. .
(JOSH COHEN, US, 6 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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DADDY’S GIRL

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

A young woman’s charming but overbearing father helps her move out of her wealthy, older boyfriend’s apartment.
(LENA HUDSON, US, 10 MIN)

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DEAR MAMA…

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

It’s 1996 in South L.A., Tanisha mourns the loss of her mom. Her dad, Nate, wants to leave the past behind. When they hear of Tupac’s death, their confrontation reaches a boiling point.
(WINTER DUNN, US, 14 MIN)

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DEERWOODS DEATHTRAP

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

While on a trip to Cape May, New Jersey in 1971, Jack and Betty survived an accident that not many other humans have: they were hit by a train. Not only did they survive, but their 4-year-old son, infant daughter, and elderly mother survived the crash as well. Fifty years later, they return to the scene of the accident to recount their conflicting memories.

(JAMES P GANNON, US, 9 MIN)

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THE DIAMOND

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

Stefan is lonely with a blinding ambition to make friends. One day he stumbles upon a diamond in the woods. Unable to reach it, the solution presents itself in the form of an even smaller man.
(VEDRAN RUPIC, SWEDEN, 14 MIN) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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DISPLACED

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

Driven by the ambition of keeping their beloved sport alive, two local players in post-war Kosovo wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them the only possession of their club: their tables.

(SAMIR KARAHODA, KOSOVO, 15 MIN)

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DON VS LIGHTNING

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

When Don, an elderly Scottish grump, finds himself the victim of multiple lightning strikes, he begins to worry that his quiet, orderly life may never be the same again.

(BIG RED BUTTON, UK, 13 MIN)

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DRESS UP

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

On the eve of her sister’s wedding, Karina brings her “best friend” home to meet the family. When the groom-to-be joins them, she is reminded of her family’s expectations and her queer anxieties begin to unravel in a film that blurs the line between fiction and reality.
(KARINA DANDASHI, US, 13 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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DRUMMIES

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

This documentary tells the story of the underground, highly competitive glitzy world of primary school drum majorettes, a sport that meets at the intersection of cheerleading and marching band processions. In the heat of a slow summer holiday, we follow a team that anxiously awaits for COVID regulations to be lifted to allow them to go back to the sport that shapes and defines their lives.
(JESSIE ZINN, SOUTH AFRICA/US, 14 MIN)

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EGÚNGÚN (MASQUERADE)

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

Salewa must return for her mother’s funeral in Lagos. At the funeral she runs into an important person from her past and is forced to go in search of her own peace in this meditation on home, memory, and the many versions of ourselves that haunt us.
(OLIVE NWOSU, NIGERIA/UK, 14 MIN)

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ENJOY

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

Unable to honestly verbalize his problems, Michael searches for a way out of his spiraling depression. It’s not until his fractious relationship with a student comes to a head that he’s finally able to see a reason for hope.
(SAUL ABRAHAM, UK, 18 MIN)

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ERRATUM

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Florence, a teacher and researcher, uncovers with astonishment an anachronistic engraving – in modern French – on a Gallo-Roman fresco she just dug up. When she realizes this engraving is really from antiquity, her rationality is put to the test.
(GIULIO CALLEGARI, FRANCE, 19 MIN)

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F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

A queer Black aspiring Baltimore rapper must outwit his vengeful day-job boss in order to avoid getting fired after accidentally eating an edible.
(HARRIS DORAN, US, 13 MIN)

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FANMI

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

Heartbroken following a break-up, Martine receives the unexpected visit of her mother, Monique. Too engrossed in her own sadness, Martine doesn’t notice right away that her mother is hiding something. but a bad feeling starts to take hold of her. During this short stay, these two very different women will have one last chance to get closer to one another before they run out of time.
(SANDRINE BRODEUR-DESROSIERS, CARMINE PIERRE-DUFOUR, CANADA, 14 MIN) US PREMIERE

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FARRUCAS

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

Four teenagers from a marginal suburb in Almería, Spain, will see their self-confidence and friendship put to the test.
(IAN DE LA ROSA, SPAIN/US, 18 MIN) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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FOOTSTEPS ON THE WIND

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Noor and her little brother, Josef, journey far away from home, orphaned from a devastating earthquake.
(MAYA SANBAR, UK/BRAZIL/US, 7 MIN)

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FOR LOVE

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

An illegal immigrant, Nkechi, lives happily in the shadows with her partner Martha. But when immigration officers turn up unexpectedly, they have to make difficult decisions about their future together.
(JOY GHARORO-AKPOJOTOR, UK, 12 MIN)

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FREEDOM SWIMMER

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

The story of a grandfather’s perilous swim from China to Hong Kong parallels his granddaughter’s own quest for a new freedom in this animated documentary
(OLIVIA MARTIN-MCGUIRE, FRANCE/AUSTRALIA, 15 MIN)

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FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

A young indigenous Bunong woman and her older brother spend one last day in their rural village in northeastern Cambodia before an impending move to the capital city in search of a more prosperous life.
(POLEN LY, CAMBODIA/GERMANY, 24 MIN) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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GOODBYE JEROME!

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Having just arrived in paradise, Jerome sets out to find his wife Maryline. In the course of his search, he sinks into a surreal and colorful world in which no one seems to be able to help him.
(GABRIELLE SELNET, ADAM SILLARD, CHLOÉ FARR, FRANCE, 8 MIN)

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HANGING ON

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

This creative documentary spotlights the strengths found in Oulton, Leeds, an old coal-mining community comprised of over 60 houses that’s now been sold to private investors. Through a combination of audio interviews and artistic visuals, we discover the stories of these residents and their ongoing campaign to save their homes. .
(ALFIE BARKER, UK, 10 MIN)

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HUELLA

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Daniela Garcia, a Dominican flamenco dancer stuck in a job she hates, learns one day that her grandmother, Leonora, has passed. The death unleashes generational trauma that manifests in Dani’s life, like a haunting curse.
(GABRIELA ORTEGA, US, 14 MIN)

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I LIVE HERE

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

A skeptical white man interrogates a non-compliant Black university student named James about whether he lives in their shared building or not.
(TYLER EVANS, CANADA, 11 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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IF I GO, WILL THEY MISS ME

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Lil’ Ant’s 12 year old imagination is boundless. He is fascinated by Pegasus, the Greek mythological creature. He dreams of flying like him and sees a mysterious group of airplane people and yearns to fly with them.

(WALTER THOMPSON-HERNÁNDEZ, US, 13 MIN)

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IN NATURE

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

You may not be aware of it, but homosexuality isn’t just a human story.

(MARCEL BARELLI, SWITZERLAND, 5 MIN) US PREMIERE

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JENSEN

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

After years of writing songs for the band Jensen, named for original frontwoman Nina Jensen, Georgia’s singing lead vocals at a big gig. But everyone — especially Alden, her bandmate — seems to want her to be… well, more like Nina. Every moment leading up to the show, from soundcheck to makeup, is haunted by the presence of Nina — who was also Georgia’s best friend.
(CHLOE SARBIB, US, 14 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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L’AMOUR EN PLAN

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

After 20 years of living together, Carine, Fabrice and their son Simon have a well-ordered daily life. While Carine is restricted to household chores, Fabrice spends his time watching television. This animation portrays family members who each occupy a different space and whose eyes no longer meet.
(CLAIRE SICHEZ, FRANCE, 15 MIN) US PREMIERE

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THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

She was once as famous as Jackie O. And then she tried to take down a President. This archival documentary portrays the unlikeliest of whistleblowers: Martha Mitchell, a Republican cabinet wife who was gaslighted by the Nixon Administration to keep her quiet.
(ANNE ALVERGUE, DEBRA MCCLUTCHY, US, 39 MIN)

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MEMOIR OF A VEERING STORM

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

It is a morning in September. A storm is about to break. Α mother drives a girl to school in the morning and picks up a woman at the end of the school day. Anna, a 15-year-old girl, sneaks out of school, and with the help of her boyfriend, they visit a hospital. There, she has to face an event that will jolt her into adulthood.
(SOFIA GEORGOVASSILI, GREECE, 14 MIN) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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MUM IS POURING RAIN

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Tenacious 8-year-old Jane is sent to spend Christmas at her grandmother’s. Against all odds, the holidays turn out to be an adventure. As she opens up to new friends, she’ll find that life can be a feast, if she lets it.
(HUGO DE FAUCOMPRET, FRANCE, 30 MIN)

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MY GRANDMOTHER IS AN EGG

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

Pre-arranged marriage is a traditional practice in East Asia, selling a young girl to another family to be raised as a future daughter-in-law.. This animated film documents the personal and larger phenomenon of women’s oppression
(WU-CHING CHANG, UK/TAIWAN, 8 MIN)

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MY MOM’S EGGPLANT SAUCE

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Filmmaker Shaina Feinberg’s mom Mary had an abusive relationship with her own mother. She also happens to make a delicious eggplant ragout. Shaina explores the connection between this recipe and a traumatic experience revolving around Mary’s first marriage. While filming this short documentary, Shaina and Mary’s own relationship seeps through.
(SHAINA FEINBERG, US, 10 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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NALUJUK NIGHT

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Every January 6 from the dark of the Nunatsiavut night, the Nalujuit appear on the sea ice. They walk on two legs yet their faces are animalistic, skeletal, and otherworldly, as viewers will see in this up-close look at an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying Labrador Inuit tradition.
(JENNIE WILLIAMS, CANADA, 13 MIN)

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NAYA

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

Naya, a wolf that walked from Germany to Belgium Is the first wolf in Belgium in 100 years, suddenly making headlines – until her presence takes a mysterious turn in this voyeuristic documentary examination of the relationship between humans and wildlife.
(SEBASTIAN MULDER, NETHERLANDS, 25 MIN)

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NUISANCE BEAR

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Churchill, Manitoba is famous as an international destination for photographing polar bears. Through a shift in perspective this documentary reveals an obstacle course of tourist paparazzi and wildlife officers whom bears must navigate during their annual migration.
(JACK WEISMAN, GABRIELA OSIO VANDEN, CANADA, 15 MIN)

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OUSMANE

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

Ousmane, a newly arrived Burkinabé immigrant living in Montreal, sees his life take a turn when he meets an elderly, disoriented lady, Edith, at the end of a long workday. After learning about Edith’s terrible living conditions but not fully understanding what the task entails, he naively decides to take on the role of her caregiver as if she was his own mother.
(JORGE CAMAROTTI, CANADA, 25 MIN) US PREMIERE

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PARACLETE

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

In this dark comedy about disappointment, lies, faith, and hope, Ricardo is set to play Jesus in a small-town biblical reenactment. While he is crossing the countryside in a hurry to make it on time something disappointing happens.
(MATIAS MAUMUS, TOMAS MAUMUS, ARGENTINA, 14 MIN) INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

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SATURDAY NIGHT

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

This documentary essay offers a poetic and bittersweet snapshot of aging in an urban environment, as viewed through the lens of dance.
(ROSANA MATECKI, CANADA, 15 MIN) US PREMIERE

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SHARK

PROGRAM 10 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/9

Completing the trilogy of wickedly dark comedy shorts that began with SPIDER and BEAR, Nash Edgerton finds a perfect match in Rose Byrne as Sofie, a woman who loves pranks just as much as Jack, Edgerton’s on-screen alter ego. Alas, the couple’s quest to outdo each other may lead to the most outrageous calamity of all.
(NASH EDGERTON, AUSTRALIA, 14 MIN)

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SHE DREAMS AT SUNRISE

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

Gerry has a monotonous, daily routine led by her optimistic great-nephew and caretaker. Although he tries to make Gerrysmile, she’s rarely in the mood.
(CAMRUS JOHNSON, US, 11 MIN)

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THE SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

In this animated adaptation of an Inuit traditional story from the North Baffin region, a young shaman in training must face her first test — a trip to the underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill.
(ZACHARIAS KUNUK, CANADA, 21 MIN)

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SIERRA

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Loosely inspired by the director’s childhood, this animation pulls viewers into a surreal car-racing world and the story of a father and his son. In order to win, the boy turns himself into a car tire..
(SANDER JOON, ESTONIA, 16 MIN) US PREMIERE

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SKIN & BONE

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

After taking a job on a secluded farm, a drifter begins having haunting visions of men trapped inside the bodies of animals.

(Eli Powers, US, 18 MIN) World Premiere

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SKYWARD

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

Two young birdwatchers, Mya and Arjun, feel the pressure of climate change and the biodiversity crisis greatly. Although they feel isolated and judged by others, they are determined to stand up for what they believe in in this documentary about coming of age in the age of climate chaos.
(JESSICA BISHOPP, UK, 19 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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SMILE

PROGRAM 11 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 11AM, 4/10

GroM wakes up one morning to find that his mouth is stuck in a sour face. His friend LobO comes visiting and together they embark on a journey to find GroM’s smile.
(JONAS FORSMAN, SWEDEN, 7 MIN) US PREMIERE

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SOFT ANIMALS

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

Two ex-lovers cross paths at a train station in this animation.
(RENEE ZHAN, UK/US, 3 MIN)

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SOLAR ECLIPSE

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

Saaghi and her two friends have come to the largest park in Teheran to take pictures of the once-in-a-century total solar eclipse. As the teenagers’ wanderings lead them to a remote part of the park, Saaghi sees something that should have stayed hidden.
(ALIREZA GHASEMI, RAHA AMIRFAZLI, IRAN/FRANCE, 14 MIN)

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SOME STILL SEARCH

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

A drama featuring first-time immigrant actors, this story of a family torn apart by an ICE raid follows the simultaneous experiences of a woman in detention, and the 5-year-old boy she’s left behind. Their separation gives rise to an unexpected relationship when a stranger is faced with parenting her child. We feel the proximity of the immigration system to the characters, and witness them make decisions about the positions they’re in: choices grounded in their spirit, in the very human thing that makes them individuals.
(NESARU TCHAAS, US, 15 MIN)

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SOTAVENTO

PROGRAM 8 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 2PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/9

Every night Matías and Salvador wait for the call of their grandfather who narrates the fabulous deeds of the fisherman Sotavento. One day, in the morning, they decide to return home and become lost in the woods as the mythical Sotavento intervenes.
(MARCO SALAVERRIA, VENEZUELA/CUBA, 11 MIN) INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

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STRANGER THAN ROTTERDAM WITH SARA DRIVER

PROGRAM 7 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/8

In 1982, the completion of Jim Jarmusch’s sophomore film STRANGER THAN PARADISE hinged on producer Sara Driver’s willingness to smuggle one of the world’s rarest and most controversial films across the Atlantic Ocean.
(LEWIE KLOSTER, NOAH KLOSTER, US, 10 MIN)

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SUCCESSFUL THAWING OF MR. MORO

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

Mr. Moro finds out that his ex-partner Adrian, who has been cryopreserved for the past 43 years, will be thawed and brought back to life. When the staff from ScandiCryonics arrives to pick up the cryocontainer with Adrian’s body, Milo realizes he might not be ready for Adrian to return.
(JERRY CARLSSON, SWEDEN, 14 MIN)

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TOGETHER

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

Two anonymous strangers meet in a motel room by the sea.
(ALBERT SHIN, SOUTH KOREA/CANADA, 12 MIN) US PREMIERE

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VIDEO VISIT

PROGRAM 4 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/7

Each week, scores of people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to see their incarcerated loved ones via a free video call. This documentary portrays the family members and the librarians who must negotiate daily with the Department of Corrections in their efforts to keep families connected.⁣
(MALIKA ZOUHALI-WORRALL, US, 23 MIN)

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THE VICTORIAS

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

Every day at the Tenement Museum in New York, “costumed interpreters” took turns performing as Victoria Confino, a 14-year-old Sephardic Jewish immigrant living in 1916. When the Vickies (as the performers were known) were laid off during the pandemic, they mourned the loss of a unique connection to a long-dead woman and to each other.
(ETHAN FUIRST, US, 15 MIN) WORLD PREMIERE

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WARSHA

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

Mohammad is a crane operator working in Beirut. One morning he volunteers to take on one of the tallest and notoriously most dangerous cranes in Lebanon.
(DANIA BDEIR, LEBANON/FRANCE, 15 MIN)

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WE SHOULD GET DINNER!

PROGRAM 1 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 7PM, 4/5 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 7PM, 4/8

This chaotic comedy about bottled-up anger and relationship boundaries begins when Abby runs into Sean, her ex-stepbrother, who she has not spoken to since their parents’ ugly divorce. Sean is looking to move on with his life, while Abby is looking for someone to walk her down the aisle. What happens to people who drift from your life? What happens if they come back? What do you want to say to them, if anything at all? And what if it’s not how you expected it to be?
(ELIZA JIMÉNEZ COSSIO, LEXI TANNENHOLTZ, US, 10 MIN)

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WHITE DEVIL

PROGRAM 5 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/7

An interracial couple weathers quarantine rather comfortably until the death of George Floyd upends their routine and their cozy brownstone becomes a hellscape. This horror satire tells the tale of a Black woman held captive with whiteness as it mutates into a monstrosity.
(MARIAMA DIALLO, BENJAMIN DICKINSON, US, 15 MIN)

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THE WINDOW

PROGRAM 2 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/6 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/9

One year after Beirut’s port explosion, Basma returns to the country despite fleeing in search of her safety and well-being. Mariam, her former partner, is hosting a dinner at their old apartment to celebrate her recent marriage to a man. Together they struggle to find closure while avoiding discussion of the trauma they share.
(SARAH KASKAS, LEBANON, 16 MIN) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

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WOMEN OF VIRTUE

PROGRAM 3 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 8PM, 4/6

Etel, a 9-year-old girl who lives in the Hasidic community in Paris, gets her period for the first time. Etel is blessed, until she finds out that in her religion, women are considered impure when they have their period.
(STÉPHANIE HALFON, FRANCE, 30 MIN)

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YOU AND ME BEFORE AND AFTER

PROGRAM 6 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/8

Hannah and Rachel are sisters with baggage. Today, they have agreed to get their first tattoos together. Stuck side-by-side in the chair with nothing to do but talk, they are forced to confront a shared history that’s as painful as it is hilarious.
(MADELEINE GOTTLIEB, AUSTRALIA, 12 MIN) US PREMIERE

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ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT)

PROGRAM 9 • WHEELER OPERA HOUSE — 5PM, 4/9 • CRYSTAL THEATRE — 5PM, 4/10

Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, this documentary explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ circles the intersection of tradition, language, land and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
(BRIT HENSEL, US, 9 MIN)