4:30pm Shorts Program: Becoming (ASL Interpreters Present at this Program)

The films in this shorts program are subtitled in English. ASL interpreters will be available for the introduction at the beginning of the program and for post-screening Q&A with filmmakers.

Any Other Day (7 min)
Filmmaker: Marysela Zamora
Origin: Costa Rica
Description: Fabiana and Sebastian play various characters while looking at the mother of a little bird named Tutti.

Filmmaker Marysela Zamora will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Summer with Monkey King (12 min)
Filmmaker: Ewing Luo
Origin: China
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A 5-year-old Chinese girl’s dream to become a ‘boys-only’ superhero.

I.D. (2 min)
Filmmaker: Dana Jacobs
Origin: USA
Description: A reflection upon the struggles that people in the LGBTQ community face when growing up and eventually coming out as queer. Even though the United States has progressed toward marriage equality, it is still hard for young people to openly express who they are.

Filmmaker Dana Jacobs will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Of Origins, Part 1: Hannah (9 min)
Filmmaker: Irit Reinheimer
Origin: Germany/USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Of Origins is a series of short experimental documentary films about the lives and afterlives of a group of Jewish feminists in Germany in the early and mid-20th century. This first installment describes a love rooted in its own time and place, neither apocalyptic nor nostalgic. HANNAH uses archival footage, home movies, and rotoscoping to orient the viewer in queer bond forged across time.

Hear Me (17 min)
Filmmaker: Nicolas Coquet
Origin: France
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Marisol is a young woman with hearing loss that she has had since childhood. Raised by her mother who has always denied her deafness, she now lives the life that her mother has built for her. When she meets the deaf community, she discovers how deafness can become part of her own identity, feeling empowered to become the woman she always wanted to be.

The Blind of the Cathedral (18 min)
Filmmaker: Nadine Asmar
Origin: Lebanon
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: In front of a cathedral, fate led to Hala and Bachir’s meeting. At first sight, they share nothing in common: she is a 15-year-old student, she is Muslim and she sees. Whereas Bachir is 27, he plays the lute, he is Christian and blind. In a country ruled by hatred and conflicts, division and exacerbated sectarianism, and just before the burst of the civil war, two souls meet. Hala and Bachir will go through an adventure that will empower their innocent love. But a dark fate awaits them…

6:00pm Shorts Program: Nature/Culture

Deer Queen (7min)
Filmmaker: Brooke Thiele
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: We are in the deep Northwoods, where the powerful and fragile Deer Queen reigns. We see a small cabin, filled with trophies of the hunt. On the ground outside the cabin, there is a dead deer. A Hunter emerges from inside the deer. Her quarry is a seductive and dangerous Crane, whom she stalks (and pines for) because the Crane has the freedom to fly away.

Filmmaker Brooke Thiele and Editor Andrew Swant will be available for a post-screening Q&A.

Meeting with the Leaf (14 min)
Filmmaker: Fazlollah Tari
Origin: Iran
Description: An elderly lady, whose husband has passed away a long time ago, believes that his soul has been reincarnated in a mulberry tree that has grown up next to his grave.

Xylophone (9 min)
Filmmaker: Jennifer Levonian
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: When a woman impulsively steals a goat from a petting zoo, her morning routine turns into a madcap romp through her neighborhood. An adorable, heartwarming animated film!

Umami (6 min)
Filmmaker: Youngbin Song
Origin: USA
Description: While serving an ignorant customer who discriminates against him, a skilled Chinese sushi chef sacrifices his pride and the respect of his apprentice son in order to keep his job.

Artemis (4 min)
Filmmaker: Heather D. Freeman
Origin: USA
Description: An (unfortunate) driver witnesses what happens to a stag’s spirit and body after it is struck by a car. A beautifully animated film!

Gardening at Night (12 min)
Filmmaker: Shayna Connelly
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: The period between knowing death is near and death’s arrival forms an unbearable state of regret, sadness and anticipation for Samantha. She is powerless to help Anne, who on the eve of her death, has not come to terms with her fate and remains angry and afraid.

Filmmaker Shayna Connelly and Actress Janelle Snow will be available for post-screening Q&A.

The Great Escape (6 min)
Filmmaker: Wei Keong Tan
Origin: Japan/Singapore/USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Using time-lapse photography paired with hand-drawn images, The Great Escape is a film about two men and their olive tree.

The Orange Story (18 min)
Filmmaker: Erika Street Hopman
Origin: USA
Description: February 1942. President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which authorizes the forced “relocation” of 120,000 ethnic Japanese from their homes and into incarceration camps. Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center. His belongings, his business – everything must be sold or left behind, except what he can carry in one large duffel bag. Up against a wall, Koji receives only one low-ball offer for his store, which he has no choice but to accept. The lone bright spot during this turmoil is the friendship Koji develops with a precocious nine-year-old girl. On the day of his departure, however, Koji is saddened to learn that even this friendship has been tainted by the larger forces of fear and wartime hysteria.

Filmmaker Erika Street Hopman will be available for post-screening Q&A.

8:00pm Feature Film: Woman on Fire

Filmmaker: Julie Sokolow
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A portrait of courage under fire, this documentary film celebrates NYC’s first openly transgender firefighter. For Brooke Guinan, fighting fires runs in her blood – both her father and grandfather served in the FDNY. But as a transgender woman, her path to service has not been without obstacles. Transitioning from male to female in what is still an overwhelmingly macho profession proves a challenge for her coworkers and her family, while her boyfriend reckons with the impact of Brooke’s newly public profile on his parents.

Filmmaker Julie Sokolow and Film Subjects Brooke Guinan and James Baker will be available for a post-screening Q & A.

10:00pm Closing Night Party Details

Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon, 1132 S Wabash, South Loop Chicago

Sponsored by Eleven04 Productions