1:00pm Shorts Program: Dance Revolutions

Crackdown (1 min)
Filmmaker: Mervi Junkkonen
Origin: Sweden
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: A film inspired by the pursuit of dreams of Sleeping Beauties and Nutcrackers. A morning when a dancer’s body gets down to the crackdown.

She/Her (11 min)
Filmmaker: Sonja Wyss
Origin: Netherlands
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: She/Her is a film about the balance of power and the deep underlying emotions of a mother-daughter relationship: the uncertainties, manipulation, dependence and ultimately love.

Just Kim (8 min)
Filmmaker: Susanna Kosonen
Origin: Finland/Jamaica
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Description: Documentary film Just Kim offers a portrait of Kim-Lee, a young dancer from Jamaica. From a young age she learned homosexuality was a sin, and that she liked girls. Kim-Lee’s mother threw her out of the house because of her sexuality, and she has faced discrimination and threats of violence on a daily basis. Despite the adversities, she still wants to make a life and a difference in Jamaica, and change society through art. Through humor, optimism, and dance, Kim-Lee recounts her experiences growing up in one of the world’s most homophobic countries.

Gimp Gait (5 min)
Filmmaker: Pioneer Winter
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A dance-based experimental and physically integrated film, Gimp Gait is a solo for two – surrogates to one another. It includes exploration of the subjects’ private and public lives – how the perspective of the viewer may attempt to control or shape or have some sort of power over who they are. The title of this work discloses its origin: ‘gimp’, a slur meant to mark a weak or handicapped person and ‘gait,’ the manner or style of a person’s walk. The subjects do not hide these from you – do you have a good view? Can you notice every part of their bodies – both the similarities and differences? This is Marjorie, and she wants you to witness her. This is Pioneer, and he is performing Marjorie’s power.

Lucky 13 (13 min)
Filmmaker: Louise Bartolotta
Origin: USA
Description: Thirteen year old Goldie struggles with puberty, ballet, and race.

Invisible Point (5 min)
Filmmaker: Tanin Torabi
Origin: Iran
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Dance is prohibited in Iran. Yet, there are still many dancers dancing with passion. They bear the restrictions to dance.

Sotto (10 min)

Filmmaker: Ina Ferlan
Origin: Slovenia
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: A short experimental documentary about human senses – what happens when one of them is missing and all others merge to replace it? Sotto explores the intensity of these senses through the perception of a disabled dancer.

Dancing with Monsters (10 min)
Filmmaker: Isabella Freilinger
Origin: Austria/Germany
Description: How do we react to violence and brutality? Do we become victims or perpetrator ourselves? Zarah does neither. She becomes a dancer. Zarah grows up in a world where dancing is forbidden and gunfire is a constant audible reminder of war. She dreams about becoming a super-power-ninja-ranger and protecting her family, while she goes on dancing forbidden dances in the decaying living room. Years later Zarah is still dancing relentlessly to for once escape the violent memories of her childhood.

2:30pm Shorts Program: Family

The Red Thunder (7 min)
Filmmaker: Alvaro Ron
Origin: Spain/USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Sarah (Allie Grant, “Weeds”), a nerdy teenager, needs her mom’s brand new car to go on a date with Danny (Miles Heizer “Parenthood”), the boy she is in love with. Her mom, Dr. Thun (Karen Strassman, “Silicon Valley”), an absent minded podiatrist is concerned about Sarah driving the dangerous streets of downtown Los Angeles. She tells her daughter she may need her car if one of her patients has an emergency, but Sarah doesn’t buy it. After all Dr. Thun is just a podiatrist… Sarah receives a message from Danny asking if she is going to pick him up and she decides to disobey her mom and steal the car. Little does she know the vehicle is actually part of a secret Dr. Thun keeps and this discovery will change Sarah’s life forever…

A Meal with Dad (15 min)
Filmmaker: Brittany Alsot
Origin: USA
Description: Haunted by a past that never was, Justine gets a lesson in cooking and family ties from an unexpected source. Based on the brain’s ability to incorporate new information each time it calls up a memory, this film explores the healing possibilities for–an individual and a family–of revisiting and reinterpreting past experiences.

Filmmaker Brittany Alsot will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Fertile Myrtle (4 min)
Filmmaker: Julie Orser
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Description: One woman’s absurdist struggle through the uncertain and frustrating path of infertility told in cutout animation.

Filmmaker Julie Orser will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Feeling Wanted (14 min)
Filmmaker: Yasmin Mistry
Origin: USA
Description: Charell, age 6, woke up to find herself alone. She made breakfast, dropped her baby sister off with a neighbor, and walked to school. With a dad incarcerated for murder, a mom on drugs and a childhood in foster care, Charell knew it was time to break the cycle.

Filmmaker Yasmin Mistry will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Voicing Silence (3 min)
Film maker: Lucy Lee
Origin: United Kingdom
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: How do you move forward when events from a distant past continue to cast their grim shadow on the present? Can breaking the silence ever bring a much longed for quietude? Voicing Silence is one woman’s attempt to find her words that have remained muted for so long.

Bloodmoon (26 min)
Film maker: Wen-Ti Wu
Origin: Taiwan
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: Bloodmoon is a beautiful film about a young woman who feels chained by marriage and her mother-in-law’s push for her to have a child.

4:15pm Shorts Program: Coming of Age

Just Another Day (4 min)
Filmmaker: Jasmine Hart
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: This stop motion animated short was made to raise awareness about depression in Asian American youths and highlight the stress many go through, not only from expectations at school among peers and instructors, but even from their family life.

Filmmaker Jasmine Hart and Voice Actor Jerry Gonzalez will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Cycologic (15 min)
Filmmakers: Emilia Stålhammar, Veronica Pålsson, Elsa Lövdin
Origin: Sweden/Uganda
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: When one’s traveling the streets of Kampala one does not only face a chaotic and dangerous traffic environment, but also struggles to go through endless queues, pollutions, motorcyclists and cars attacking you from every angle which is a energy-consuming dilemma. Politicians seems to have given up but there are a few people who strive to show that there are alternative ways of movements. The urban planner Amanda Ngabirano’s biggest dream is to have a cycling lane in her city. An impossible task, according to most people, but not according to Amanda.

Flora (11 min)
Filmmaker: Alexandrina Andre
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Flora, a transgender woman, is exposed to prejudice when she uses the women’s bathroom for the first time during a visit to a small cafe.

The Dressing Room (9 min)
Filmmaker: Shannon McInnis
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A young girl growing into adulthood relates a dress-buying experience to a representation of her transition.

Filmmaker Shannon McInnis will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Dyab (20 min)
Filmmaker: Mazin M. Sherabayani
Origin: Iraq
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: 12-year-old Dyab is a Kurdish Yazidi boy living at Arbat refugee camp, after the horrendous attacks by the Islamic State on their villages at Shingal Mountains (Sinjar). However, Dyab’s dream is, to become a filmmaker and actor and tell the stories and sufferings of his people to the outside world.

Parting (23 min)
Filmmaker: Sitora Takanaev
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: One year after her twin sister’s death, 11-year-old Mai receives a fortune cookie that contains a meaningful message. As she tries to handle her relationship with her grief-stricken parents on the eve of her 12th birthday, she finds more of these fortune cookies that contain a message that she tries to connect to her life.

Filmmaker Sitora Takanaev will be available for post-screening Q&A.

6:15pm Shorts Program: Fittings

Strings Attached (6 min)
Filmmaker: Katie Theel
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A woman feels chained to domesticity, desperate for freedom from her married life.

The Clitoris (3 min)
Filmmaker: Lori Malépart-Traversy
Origin: Canada
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Women are lucky, they get to have the only organ in the human body dedicated exclusively for pleasure: the clitoris! In this humorous and instructive animated documentary, discover its unrecognized anatomy and its unknown herstory.

Filmmaker Lori Malépart-Traversy will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Dollface (18 min)
Filmmaker: Layne Marie Williams
Origin: USA
Description: Dollface tackles the institution of marriage. Examining both the good and the bad, the film endeavors to explore everything from the societal, religious, and racial pressures surrounding the mystery of marriage to those that are self-inflicted, imagined, and even truly desired, through the characters of Dot and Max, a contemporary interracial couple faced with the curse of ultimate incompatibility. What if marriage has lost its touch? Are there human beings in this world who are fundamentally just not meant to be in each other’s lives forever? And are Dot and Max two such people?

Filmmaker Layne Marie Williams will be available for post-screening Q&A.

@Me (9 min)
Filmmaker: Kristin Peterson
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: An amateur stand-up comedian seeks company digitally after bar close on a winter’s night. She engages the world through social media and her phone, but fails to connect fully with her surroundings and, ultimately, herself.

Filmmaker Kristin Peterson will be available for post-screening Q&A.

The Fall (12 min)
Filmmaker: Qihui Gong
Origin: China/USA
Description: The Fall explores hair, the condition of baldness, and wigs.

Sista in the Brotherhood (21 min)
Filmmaker: Dawn Jones Redstone
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: A black tradeswoman faces discrimination on a new jobsite and must choose between making a stand or keeping her job.

8:00pm Shorts Program: A Night in the Life

Game Master (8 min)
Filmmaker: Mikaela McParlan
Origin: USA
Description: Haley is about to play her first game of Dungeons and Dragons, but she finds someone in the way of her fun.

Filmmaker Mikaela McParlan will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Labyrinth (18 min)
Filmmaker: Diego Hauenstein
Origin: Switzerland
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Description: Elena and Pascal meet up at the carnival. A night of folklore and madness which takes up the entire city. But their relationship has seen better days. As the two of them stumble through the night, they seem to become strangers to each others.

Fix This (13 min)
Filmmakers: Betty Allen and Andi Woodward
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Best friends struggling to maintain the balance between their web development job and their beer delivery service, exhaust their closest relationships and are left with a couple six-packs, two bikes and one last night to make things right.

Filmmakers Betty Allen and Andi Woodward will be available for post-screening Q&A.

Raynaud's Phenomenon (14 min)
Filmmaker: Lionel Nakache
Origin: France
Premiere Status: US Premiere
Description: In the middle of a film set during shooting is a car from the 1960’s. Inside it, Léa the leading actress is concentrating on preparing her role. An extra takes advantage of a break in shooting to get into the car. She shows Léa her hands : they have turned white from the cold. There is a name for this: Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Venice (4 min)
Filmmaker: Venetia Taylor
Origin: Australia
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Josh is in Venice, Mum is in Sydney. Josh doesn’t understand backpacking, Mum doesn’t understand Skype.

Your Day (33 min)
Filmmaker: Ginger Gonzaga
Origin: USA
Premiere Status: Chicago Premiere
Description: Jack (Jason Ritter) and Jane (Ginger Gonzaga), a young couple, spend the day at a hotel, seemingly to celebrate Jane’s birthday, until we later find that they are there for a VERY different reason…