by Tim Gordon
The Short Film program is the premiere exhibition of shorts across fiction, nonfiction, and animation, globally. From the start, the Institute has supported short filmmaking in all forms and styles, which now includes an impressive roster of artist alumni: Andrea Arnold, Lake Bell, Damien Chazelle, Destin Daniel Cretton, Jay and Mark Duplass, Debra Granik, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Sterlin Harjo, Todd Haynes, Shaka King, Lynne Ramsay, Dee Rees, Joey Soloway, Taika Waititi, and many others.
U.S. FICTION SHORT FILMS
The Dalles / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Angalis Field, Producers: Madison Odenborg, Stacey Streshinsky) — Cam is used to seeing the same customers while working at his family’s cherry stand. After a handsome cyclist passes through and asks for directions to a local cruising site, Cam takes it as an invitation to follow him. Cast: Joshuah Melnick, August Ackley. World Premiere. Available Online.
The Family Circus / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Andrew Fitzgerald, Producer: Josh Cohen) — A Vietnamese-American family’s plan to cover up a drunk driving accident begins to unravel when their emotional baggage spills out in front of the police. Cast: Elyse Dinh, Michael Ironside, Scott Subiono, Michael Nguyen Manceau, Blake Dang, Christian Seavey. World Premiere. Available Online.
A Folded Ocean / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Ben Brewer, Producer: Emily Murnane) — A couple gets lost in each other. Cast: Anabelle LeMieux, John Giacobbe. World Premiere. Available Online.
Headdress / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire, Producer: David Spadora) — When a queer Native is confronted by a non-Native wearing a ceremonial headdress at a music festival, he retreats into his mind to find the perfect response from various versions of his own identity. Cast: Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire, Sean Reidy, Rachel McKay Steele, Sami Griffith, Austin Pohlen. World Premiere. Available Online.
Help Me Understand / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Aemilia Scott, Producers: Paul Feig, Laura Fischer, Kesila Childers, Erica Fishman, Amy Geist) — Six women come to a consensus. Cast: Dana Powell, Dierdre Friel, Rachael Harris, Nicole Michelle Haskins, Kate Flannery, Ken Marino. World Premiere. Available Online.
I AM HOME / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Kymon Greyhorse, Producers: JoJo Threehairs, Ernest Hill) — As time goes on and the world around us shifts, we adapt and change. Although we might look different, deep down we are still the same. We are made from Mother Earth – mud, wood, love, and patience. Cast: Tiara Folsom. Available Online.
I Have No Tears, and I Must Cry / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Luis Fernando Puente, Producer: Rollins Wimber) — Maria Luisa is ready to escape immigration limbo, but when her green card interview takes an unexpected turn, she faces the anxiety of losing the life she had planned. Cast: Alejandra Herrera, Enoc Oteo, Cherie Julander. U.S. Premiere. Available Online.
In the Flesh / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Daphne Gardner, Producer: Zach Fleming) — Tracey is just trying to jerk off with her bathtub faucet like normal when some old memories dredge themselves up, the pipes explode with dirty water, and she starts leaking black goo. Cast: Edy Modica, Mo Stark, Rob Malone. Available Online.
Mirror Party / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Bridey Elliott, Screenwriter: Angela Trimbur, Producer: Josh Ascalon) — Two friends role-play a breakup conversation. Cast: Angela Trimbur, Bridey Elliott, Billy Scafuri. World Premiere. Available Online.
Nocturnal Burger / India, U.S A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Reema Maya, Producer: Michael Y. Chow) — Somewhere between fantasy, trauma, paranoia, precaution, and the promise of a burger, a night gets catapulted into an investigation of child abuse at a dysfunctional police station in Mumbai. Cast: Bebo Madiwal, Millo Sunka, Trupti Khamkar, Shrikant Mohan Yadav, Somnath Mandal, Pushpendra Singh. World Premiere. Available Online.
OURIKA! / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Xenia Matthews, Producer: Stephanie Malson) — The long-dead Ourika, a Senegalese girl enslaved by a French aristocrat, is awoken in the eerie space between life and death, between body and soul, where she finds her way back to life and into liberation. Cast: Evesha Harry, Joilet Harris-Lawton, Lynn-Catherine Daniels. Available Online.
Power Signal / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Oscar Boyson, Screenwriter: Erin DeWitt, Producers: Jordan Drake, Alex Coco) — While trying to navigate a city that won’t provide him a bathroom, a delivery worker discovers an unearthly presence infecting women all over New York. Cast: Babs Olusanmokun, Will Brill, Brooke Bloom, Angela Sarafyan, Tennessee King, Muhamed Gueye. World Premiere. Available Online.
Rest Stop / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Crystal Kayiza, Producers: Jalena Keane-Lee, Brit Fryer) — On a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, Meyi, a young Ugandan-American girl, realizes her place in the world through her mother’s ambitious effort to reunite their family. Cast: Leeanna E. Tushabe, Alicia Basiima, Khalid Semakula, Robert Wanyama, Margaret Bisase, Olivia Nantongo. Available Online.
Ricky / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Rashad Frett, Producers: Pierre M. Coleman, Ramfis Myrthil, Simon TaufiQue) — An ex-offender struggling with new freedom pursues redemption at all costs when given a job from his neighbor. Cast: Parish Bradley, Maliq Johnson, Simbi Kali, Karen Chilton, Reese Antoinette, Shanice Marcia. World Premiere. Available Online.
Sunflower Siege Engine / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Sky Hopinka) — Movements of resistance are collapsed and woven together, from reflections of one’s own body in the world today, to documentation of Alcatraz, the reclamation of Cahokia, and the repatriation of the ancestors. World Premiere. Available Online.
Take Me Home / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Liz Sargent, Producer: Minos Papas) — After their mother’s death, a cognitively disabled woman and her estranged sister must learn to communicate in order to move forward. Cast: Anna Sargent, Jeena Yi, Joan Sargent. World Premiere. Available Online.
Tender / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Samm Hodges, Producers: John Magaro, Matt McLaughlin, Jimmy Miller, Devin Tusa) — A missing wallet threatens to destroy a teenager’s life. Cast: Will Brill, Louisa Krause, Alexander Hubble, Daina Griffith. World Premiere. Available Online.
Troy / U.S.A. (Director: Mike Donahue, Screenwriter: Jen Silverman, Producer: Evan Jonigkeit) — Troy has loud sex. Troy has loud sex 24/7. Troy shares a wall with Thea and Charlie. Troy is ruining their lives… Or is he saving them? Cast: Adina Verson, Michael Braun, Florian Klein, Dylan Baker, Dana Delany. Available Online.
The Vacation / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Jarreau Carrillo, Producers: Marttise Hill, Julius Pryor) — A Black man attempts to take a vacation. Cast: Drew Harris, Jarreau Carrillo, Ohene Cornelius, Trae Harris. Available Online.
Walk of Shame / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Dane Ray, Producers: Robert Tutiven, Julia Baylis, Sam Guest, Maya Solo) — A mourning widow suspects a stranger in town is wearing her late husband’s Army jacket. She cautiously stalks the man into the night in an attempt to find closure. Cast: Shannon Plumb, Chris Thomas. World Premiere. Available Online.
We Were Meant To / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Tari Wariebi, Screenwriter: Christina K. Licud, Producer: Jordan Vernon Tyner) — In a world where Black men have wings and their first flight is a rite of passage, Akil must defy fears, insecurities, and societal barriers while discovering his perfect launch into manhood. Cast: Tim Johnson Jr., Amin Joseph, Karimah Westbrook, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Skye Barrett, Luke Tennie. World Premiere. Available Online.
Weapons and Their Names / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Melina Valdez, Producers: Raymond Knudsen, Paula Andrea González-Nasser) — Unable to process her grief after the death of her stepfather, a teenage girl escapes reality by shooting guns in the woods. Cast: Cecilia Rene, Greta Hicks, Greg Poppa, Lilia Karst, Maxwell Fox. World Premiere. Available Online.
When You Left Me On That Boulevard / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Kayla Abuda Galang, Producers: Alifya Ali, David Oconer, Udoy Rahim, Samantha Skinner) — Teenager Ly and her cousins get high before a boisterous family Thanksgiving at their auntie’s house in southeast San Diego in 2006. Cast: Kailyn Dulay, Melissa Arcaya, Elle Rodriguez, Whitney Agustin, Gina May Gimongala, Allan Wayne Anderson. World Premiere. Available Online.
INTERNATIONAL FICTION SHORT FILMS
AirHostess-737 / Greece (Director and Screenwriter: Thanasis Neofotistos, Screenwriter: Grigoris Skarakis, Producers: Ioanna Bolomyti, Dimitris Tsakaleas) — An air hostess collapses on flight, convinced that her problem is her new braces. However, her colleagues know the plane is carrying her mother’s dead body to her hometown. Cast: Lena Papaligoura, Konstantina Koutsonasiou, Haris Alexiou. U.S. Premiere. Available Online.
AliEN0089 / Chile (Director and Screenwriter: Valeria Hofmann, Producers: Augusto Matte, Daniela Camino, Pascual Mena) — While a gamer uploads a testimonial video to denounce the harassment she suffers in a video game, a stranger enters her home and hacks her computer, blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds. Cast: Mariana di Girolamo. World Premiere.
Azheh / Iran (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Hadi Rezayati Charan, Producer: Mahdi Rezayati Charan) — A boy lives in a border village with Azheh. After Azheh’s death, the boy tries to fulfill her will to be buried in his homeland. Cast: Pakray Khoshdel, Arshiya Zeinali, Alireza Dashtiyari. World Premiere. Available Online.
Baba / Canada (Directors: Anya Chirkova, Meran Ismailsoy, Screenwriter and Producer: Maziyar Khatam, Producer: Anya Chirkova) — A middle-aged Iranian man makes a desperate bid to keep his apartment as his relationship with his son unravels. Cast: Amir Zavosh, Maziyar Khatam, James Choy, Sina Djamshidiat. International Premiere. Available Online.
Claudio’s Song / U.K. (Director: Andreas Nilsson, Screenwriter: David Kolbusz, Producers: Lee Groombridge, Tanya Sokolova) — A young man faces the wrath of criminals targeting people who are famous on the internet. Things take an unexpected turn when their scheme fails. Cast: Zaza Chanturia, Georgiy Palovotskiy, Alex Avakumov, Nina Naboka, Didier Mallet. Available Online.
Evacuation of Mama Emola / Indonesia (Director: Anggun Priambodo, Screenwriter: Prima Rusdi, Producers: Reno Fitriny Junirman, Edwin, M Zaidy Amiruddin, Meiske Taurisia) — An incarcerated man is allowed a temporary release with a woman prison officer to evacuate his mother — who is trapped in a village during an earthquake that might lead to a tsunami — bringing them to an unexpectedly exciting experience. Cast: Ricky Malau, Siti Fauziah. International Premiere.
Hawaiki / New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Nova Paul, Producer: Tara Riddell) — At the edge of the playground close to the forest, the children of Okiwi School made a refuge they call Hawaiki. Hawaiki has spiritual and metaphysical connections for Māori as the children create a space for their self-determination. World Premiere. Available Online.
It’s Raining Frogs Outside / Philippines (Director and Screenwriter: Maria Estela Paiso, Producer: Gale Osorio) — A girl’s childhood home attempts to destroy her, using her own personal history, but she resists. Cast: Alyana Cabral. Available Online.
The Kidnapping of the Bride / Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Sophia Mocorrea, Producer: Sarah Valerie Radu) — Luisa from Argentina and Fred from Germany are confronted with their social roles at their wedding. The German tradition of kidnapping the bride shakes the couple’s equality. There is no room for love in this role-play of marriage. Cast: Rai Todoroff, David Bruning, Tatiana Saphir, Anne Kulbatzki, Michaela Winterstein, Niels Bormann. World Premiere. Available Online.
Mulika / The Democratic Republic of Congo (Director and Screenwriter: Maisha Maene, Producer: Leo Nelki) — An “afronaut” emerges from the wreckage of his spaceship in the volcanic crater of Mount Nyiragongo. As he encounters the people of present-day Goma in the city, he begins to understand how to change the future for his people. Cast: Sefu Weber-Kal, Faustin Biyoga, Ibrahim Twaha, Sarah Bahati. U.S. Premiere. Available Online.
The Newt Congress / Switzerland, Germany (Directors and Screenwriters: Matthias Sahli, Immanuel Esser, Producer: Filippo Bonacci) —The Newt Congress takes place at a conference building surrounded by nature where participants have come together to optimize the exploitation of giant talking newts. Adapted from the novel War with the Newts by Karel Čapek. Cast: Ursula Bienz, Tobias Bienz, Wiebke Mollenhauer. North American Premiere. Available Online.
Pro Pool / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Alec Pronovost, Producer: Patrick Francke-Sirois) — Newly graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and civilization, Charles-Olivier struggles to find a job in his field and must rely on a clerk position in a pool shop. Feeling down, he navigates his gig as best he can. Cast: Louis Carrière, Alexis Martin, Sylvie de Morais, Sébastien Rajotte, Oussama Fares, Louis Girard-Bock. Available Online.
Sèt Lam / France, Réunion (Director and Screenwriter: Vincent Fontano, Producer: Martin Mauvoisin) — In an insular city, a young girl is paralyzed by the fear of her loved ones disappearing. Her grandmother tells her the tale of Edwardo, the first one of his kind to have fought death. Cast: Françoise Guimbert, Nicolas Moucazambo, Nadjani Bullin, Sihame Saïd Ouma. World Premiere. Available Online.
A Short Story / China (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Bi Gan, Screenwriter: Xiao Hui Zhai) — An anthropomorphic feline wanders across empty cities and exurban spaces of contemporary China. Black Cat is on a quest to answer a single question: What is the most precious thing in the world? Cast: Zhuo Tan, Yong Zhong Cheng, Guo Hua Chen, Li Run Xie, Li Zhou Xie.
Simo / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Aziz Zoromba, Producer: Rosalie Chicoine Perreault) — In order to prove his popularity to his older brother, Simo sneakily infiltrates his brother’s gaming channel and uses a suspicious object to help increase the viewers. His actions have the effect of a bomb on the whole family. Cast: Basel El Rayes, Seif El Rayes, Aladeen Tawfeek. International Premiere. Available Online.
Sweatshop Girl / Mexico (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Selma Cervantes, Screenwriter: Indra Villaseñor Amador, Producers: Solange Alonso Caballero, Bruno Gaeta, Jim Stark, Natasha Dupeyron, Yago Muñoz) — Inés works as a seamstress in a sweatshop where pregnancy tests are periodically administered. When she becomes pregnant, she is sure that her condition will get her fired. She does everything she can to keep it a secret. Cast: Yalitza Aparicio Martínez, Mariana Villegas, Juan Pablo De Santiago, Amorita Rasgado, Juan Carlos Medellín. World Premiere. Available Online.
Thriving: A Dissociated Reverie / Canada (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Nicole Bazuin, Screenwriter and Producer: Andrea Werhun, Screenwriter: Kitoko Mai) — A surrealist exploration of dissociative identity disorder (DID) based on the lived experience of a Black, nonbinary, disabled artist and former sex worker. Cast: Kitoko Mai, Dustin Hickey, Myfanwy Charlesworth, Morgan Bargent, Grace McDonald, Andrea Werhun. World Premiere. Available Online.
Unborn Biru / Norway (Director and Screenwriter: Inga Elin Marakatt, Producer: Per-Josef Idivuoma) — A pregnant widow steals silver from a dead body in order to survive and feed her daughter. But the silver is cursed and has consequences for all of them, including the unborn. Cast: Maret Sofia Jannok, Katja Omma Simma. World Premiere. Available Online.
White Ant / U.K, India (Director and Screenwriter: Shalini Adnani, Producers: Sara Bonakdar, Michael Graf, Kaarthekeyen Santhanam, Mrunalini Havaldar) — A man is summoned from Mumbai to his village to deal with a termite infestation threatening to destroy his childhood home. Cast: Denzil Smith, Harish Kesariya, Pushpa Madam Singh Chauhan, Sushannt Sapare. World Premiere. Available Online.
ANIMATION SHORT FILMS
BurgerWorld / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Maddie Brewer, Producers: Domitille Adebimpe-Collardey, Joseph Carnegie, Sierra Martin-Persi) — Two coworkers at a derelict fast food franchise accidentally discover a yonic meat portal to another realm — a “burger” world, wherein they’re the only ones who can liberate an oppressed vegetable populace from the all-controlling hand of big meat. Cast: Maddie Brewer. World Premiere. Available Online.
By Water / U.S.A. (Director: Iyabo Kwayana, Producers: Chris Hastings, Maori Karmel Holmes, Nevo Shinaar) — An unlikely hero’s journey into his own memories becomes a vehicle for reconciliation and healing for himself and his sibling. Available Online.
Christopher at Sea / France, U.S.A, U.K (Director and Screenwriter: Tom CJ Brown, Screenwriter: Laure Desmazières, Producers: Amanda Miller, Hanna Stolarski, Emily-Jane Brown, Nick Read, Pierre Boivin, Constance Le Scouarnec) — Christopher embarks on a transatlantic voyage as a passenger on a cargo ship. His hopes of finding out what lures so many men to sea sets him on a journey into solitude, fantasy, and obsession. Cast: Jocelyn Si, Andrew Isar, Florian DesBiendras. Available Online.
The Flying Sailor / Canada (Directors and Producers: Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis, Producer: David Christensen) — Two ships collide in a harbor, an explosion shatters a city, and a sailor is blasted skyward, where he soars high above the mayhem and toward the great unknown. Available Online.
fur / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Zhen Li) — A crush gone moldy… North American Premiere. Available Online.
Garrano / Portugal, Lithuania (Director, Screenwriter, and Producers: Vasco Sá, David Doutel. Producers: Agnė Adomėnė, Rodrigo Areias) — A Garrano horse is forced to pull a heavy load under a blazing sun. A young boy named Joel discovers a man who is about to set a forest on fire. Available Online.
In the Big Yard Inside the Teeny-Weeny Pocket / Japan (Director and Screenwriter: Yoko Yuki, Producer: Koji Yamamura) — When it shrinks, it expands. It floats and it sinks. It separates but connects. When I think I’m watching them, they’re actually watching me. Cast: honninman. Available Online.
Inglorious Liaisons / France, Belgium (Director and Screenwriters: Chloe Alliez, Violette Delvoye, Producers: Jean-François Le Corre, Mathieu Courtois, William Henne) — On the night of a big party for Lucie, Maya, and their friends, Jimmy has also come. Everyone knows he is here for Maya, but does she have the same feelings for Jimmy? Cast: Evmorfia Spanoudis, Hélène Bolenge Boteku. U.S. Premiere. Available Online.
Oxytocin / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Jeron Braxton) — Cash for organs and anything for love. Cast: Jeron Braxton. World Premiere. Available Online.
Pipes / Switzerland (Directors: Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, Sujanth Ravichandran, Producers: Gerd Gockell, Jürgen Haas) — Bob is a plumber hired to fix a broken pipe. He lands, to his surprise, in a gay fetish club. Cast: Tom von Arx, Dave Striegel. North American Premiere. Available Online.
The Sea on the Day When the Magic Returns / South Korea (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Jiwon Han) — Sejin once had the power to have anything she wanted just by thinking about it. Now she has lost her magic. Hours before her interview to be a tourist interpreter, Sejin heads to the weary sea to save her father. Cast: Hyunmin Joo, Yeonju Lim, Keum-san Kwon. International Premiere. Available Online.
Well Wishes My Love, Your Love / Sweden, Malaysia (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Gabriel Gabriel Garble) — Newly orphaned and freshly wounded from a loss, a boy lends his companion a prosthetic arm for the day. The companion records the limb being exposed to textures and materials. What will become of the limb and the video recordings? Cast: Gabriel Gabriel Garble. Available Online.
NONFICTION SHORT FILMS
Bigger on the Inside / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Angelo Madsen Minax, Producer: Lyle Ravi Kash) — Through snowy stargazing, flirting with guys on dating apps, taking ketamine (or not), and watching YouTube lecture videos, outer and inner space collapse – to draw a warped cartography of desire and distance. Available Online.
Call Me Mommy / Ireland (Director: Tara O’Callaghan, Producers: Aaron McEnaney, Louise Byrne, Ross Killeen) — Uncovering the multifaceted life of Sinead, a middle-aged single mother, and online sex worker. North American Premiere. Available Online.
Kylie / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Sterling Hampton) — A young Black ballerina expresses her passion and pain as a dancer in the ballet community while performing in the inner-city neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Available Online.
Life Without Dreams / U.S.A. (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Jessica Bardsley, Producer: Caitlin Mae Burke) — Set in the outer space of consciousness, where the surfaces of far-out planetary bodies form the terrain for an exploration of 24/7 capitalism, insomnia, and the disappearance of darkness. Available Online.
Liturgy of anti-tank obstacles / U.S.A., Ukraine (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, Producers: Soo-Jeong Kang, Daniel Lombroso, Oleksandra Sorokhan) — In western Ukraine, sculptors who used to make religious statues are retraining for different skills. They now build anti-tank obstacles to help fend off the Russian invasion. Available Online.
Margie Soudek’s Salt and Pepper Shakers / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Meredith Moore, Producer: Jonna McKone) — An artist and visual effects instructor connects with her aging grandmother, Margie, through collecting, art-making, and obsessing as a way to enhance reality. World Premiere. Available Online.
Parker / U.S.A. (Directors: Sharon Liese, Catherine Hoffman, Producers: Sharon Liese, Funmi Ogunro, Samantha Hake) — Three generations of a Kansas City family are finally unified when they do something that countless other Black Americans could not — choose their own last name. World Premiere. Available Online.
Shirampari: Legacies of the River / Peru (Director and Screenwriter: Lucía Flórez, Producer: José Miguel Pérez) — In one of the most remote places in the Peruvian Amazon, an Ashéninka boy must overcome his fears and catch a giant catfish using only a hook to begin his adult journey. Available Online.
Under G-d / U.S.A. (Director and Producer: Paula Eiselt, Producer: Darcy McKinnon) — The Dobbs U.S. Supreme Court decision sparked a national Jewish response. Inspired by the lived experiences of Jewish women, lawsuits are currently being launched by rabbis, Jewish organizations, and interfaith leaders to challenge the overturning of Roe v. Wade. World Premiere.
Will You Look At Me / China (Director, Screenwriter, and Producer: Shuli Huang) — As a young Chinese filmmaker returns to his hometown in search of himself, a long-overdue conversation with his mother drives them into a quest for acceptance and love. Available Online.