3pm - Shorts Program: Rising Up

Women take the spotlight in these films, sharing stories about rising up against injustice.

The screening will be followed by a talkback with filmmakers.

Good Girls Don't (15 min)
Director: Ana de Lara
Origin: Canada
Description: A comedic short film about a Filipina-Canadian girl who defies her mother’s warning that she will turn into a boy if she plays basketball. (Spoiler Alert: She doesn’t!)

Andromeda (15 min)
Director: Emily Dean
Origin: USA
Description: Andromeda is a sci-fi short film about an android who, through her friendship with a little girl, becomes alive.

What Remains (13 min)
Director: Emily Harmon
Origin: USA/Germany
Description: A mother fights to save the remaining 10 percent of a 12,000 year old forest, facing off against an energy company determined to cut down the remaining trees in order to mine coal.

Your Hair Is Cute (4 min)
Director: Cíntia Taylor
Origin: Netherlands
Description: Your Hair is Cute is a poetic monologue about the subtleties of everyday racism.

Like Dolls, I'll Rise (29 min)
Director: Nora Philippe
Origin: France/USA
Description: 200 one-of-a-kind Black dolls, a work of powerful original poetry, and never-before seen archival materials combine to tell a story of love, survival, and identity.

4:45pm - Shorts Program: Transitions

A coming of age program, these short films follow characters through moments of transition.

The screening will be followed by a talkback with filmmakers.

The Distance (3 min)
Director: Kiki Lam
Origin: USA
Description: The Distance is a short experimental film about the moments of struggle and beauty in long-term relationships.

Lavender (10 min)
Director: Meg Duncan
Origin: Australia
Description: Lavender tells the story of Poppy, a seventeen year old girl who, when confronted by her sister’s sadness, and the disappointing reality of finally kissing her crush, learns to find empowerment in sisterhood.

Mrs. McCutcheon (17 min)
Director: John Sheedy
Origin: Australia
Description: Having always felt they were born in the wrong body and now at their third school, 10-year-old Tom is having trouble settling in and finding acceptance from their newfound peers – but a school dance is about to revolutionize it all.

Hedieh (15 min)
Director: Sahar Sotoodeh
Origin: Iran
Description: Hedieh, a 14 year old girl escapes from the school service and her friend was forced to explain the reason behind it.

Paris You Got Me (9 min)
Director: Julie Boehm
Origin: Germany
Description: “Art may change the inner as well as the external world“. That’s how our protagonist Ksenia experiences it. The street artist George lures her into his magic world of art illusions. An artistic dance about the realization of your dreams.

Tokyo Lovers (19 min)
Directors: Mayumi Yoshida and Nach Dudsdeemaytha
Origin: Canada/Japan
Description: Two strangers bonding over heartbreak, and how their odd friendship helps them regain their dignity in big city Tokyo.

6:30pm - Feature Film: Crystal Swan

Director: Darya Zhuk
Chicago Premiere
Origin: Belarus/Germany/USA/Russia
Description: In 1990s Belarus, a wanderlust young DJ is derailed by a typo in a forged US Visa application, forcing her to a backwater factory town where she is determined to fake her way to the American dream.

Watch Trailer Here!

Director Darya Zhuk will be available for a post-screening talkback.

Crystal Swan is subtitled in English. ASL interpreters will be available for the post-screening talkback.

Please be advised that this film depicts sexual violence.

8:30pm - Shorts Program: Beyond Barriers

A program about breaking barriers, whether cultural, social, or physical.

The screening will be followed by a talkback with filmmakers. ASL interpreters will be available for the talkback. The films in this shorts program are subtitled in English.

Beyond the Barrier (3 min)
Director: Martha Mapes
Origin: USA
Description: A young boy and girl find a way to remain friends in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Alice's Garden (10 min)
Director: Jenny Plevin
Origin: USA
Description: Meet Venice Williams, executive director of Alice’s Garden, a community garden in Milwaukee. Venice shares her connections with rivers and water, and shows how the garden is using innovative water solutions that are a model for other communities nationwide.

Mauerrufe (Wall Calls) (9 min)
Director: Katharina Bintz
Origin: Germany
Description: A park in summer. Every day a woman comes with her children to call her husband. In the park she is well, for one or two hours. She may not be able to see her husband, but she can hear him. A wall separates the two.


Miss Black Germany (12 min)
Director: Elisha Smith-Leverock
Origin: Germany
Description: “Being German doesn’t equal being white.” What does it feel like to grow up in a society whose beauty standards are so different from your own? Challenging what it means to be beautiful in the Western world, Miss Black Germany documents the stories, hopes, dreams and fears of four contestants participating in the first Miss Black Germany pageant.

Counter//Balance (7 min)
Director: Anuradha Rana
Origin: USA
Description: This short experimental films weaves together footage filmed over the course of a year as choreographer and dancer, Anita Fillmore Kenny, works with dancer Kris Lenzo and musician Jamie Fillmore to craft a short piece that examines the absence of presence, as they meditate on the loss of loved ones and the process by which we come to terms with, and celebrate, an unyielding emotion.

Obini Batá: Women of the Drums (14 min)
Director: Damián Calvo
Origin: Cuba/USA
Description: Twenty-five years ago a group of dancers formed Obini Batá and challenged the tradition of all-male drummers by becoming the first women to perform with the Batá drums in Cuba. Obini (the Yoruba word for Women) thus shaped the history of one of Cuba’s most influential instruments, but there were many who thought women playing the drum was scandalous, and it became a struggle to gain wider acceptance. This short film by Damian Calvo gives us an intimate portrait of Obini Batá during rehearsal inside their home base at the Cine Cervantes in Havana Cuba.


The European Dream: Serbia (15 min)
Director: Jaime Alekos
Origin: Serbia/Spain
Description: The European Dream: Serbia is an investigative documentary by journalist Jaime Alekos about the tortures of Hungarian police to the refugees and migrants they catch trying to cross their border and the harsh living conditions in which they survive in Serbia awaiting an opportunity to enter the EU.