2011 Films (Synopses at Bottom)
Synopsis: Fleeing an abusive relationship, a young German woman moves to America, only to be swindled out of her savings. While working for Jewish baker and trying to get her life back on track, she receives a mysterious phone call from Marlene Dietrich. She immediately suspects her new boyfriend, but he denies it. Trying to find the source of the phone call, she forms an unlikely friendship with a lonely woman who claims to have known Marlene, and she realizes that maybe, just maybe, she can learn to trust again.
2. Machiavelli’s The Prince (short feature – Canada)
Synopsis: After the death of his father, a man must learn how to maintain his power and enlists the aid of two very unique forces.
3. Tasmin (short feature – Israel)
Synopsis: A young Muslim girl struggles to reunite her family.
4. Hooligans at War (documentary- USA)
Synopsis: Hooligans At War is a non-political documentary film that chronicles the everyday lives of soldiers in war torn Afghanistan. Throw on your combat boots and follow Hooligan Platoon as they conduct combat operations and experience the dangers, and the reality of being away from home for many months at a time.
5. Chasing Che (documentary Iran) -
6. Ikilem (feature Canada)
Synopsis: Gafur-an extreme Muslim who was brought up to view all aspects of earthly life as an investment in the afterlife. He runs into a streetwalker who looks exactly like his wife. After a period of spiritual struggle, Gafur considers this a sign from God and decides to take on the mission of ‘saving’ this woman from her perverted and sinful life.
7. Charcoal Burners (documentary Poland) -
8. Paradise Recovered (feature USA)
Synopsis: Esther Harris, a committed member of a fundamentalist Christian sect, questions her childhood faith after experiencing the world through the eyes of two fellow employees at a local health-food store.
9. Words (short feature India)
Synopsis: Words, directed by Anup S Bhandari, is a story about Juliet (Miriam Liora Ganz) and Owen (Russell Harvard), a deaf man, who meet at the iconic Bethesda Fountain in the snow covered Central Park. Their conversation begins awkwardly but over the next few days, she comes up with interesting ways to communicate with him. The friendship slowly appears to blossom into romance but the difference between silence and words may be more than it seems. The film uses American Sign Language and makes references to the works of popular deaf icons – Beethoven’s musical masterpiece “Moonlight Sonata” and Chuck Baird’s painting “Music for the eyes”. The characters names are a reference to Beethoven and his real life love Giulietta Guicciardi, to whom Beethoven dedicated the Moonlight Sonata.
10. Shepherds of Helmand (documentary USA)
Synopsis: In 2008, an all-volunteer group of National Guard Soldiers from Oregon deployed to Afghanistan to train the Afghan National Army. Their mission was to be a first-of-its-kind ‘counter narcotics’ battalion sent into the deadly Helmand Province to interdict the opium trade. The mission quickly breaks down and the Oregonians find themselves split up and isolated on remote patrol bases along the Helmand river. At a patrol base called ‘Attal’ (Afghan for warrior) the men suffer daily attacks from a determined enemy committed to over running the base and killing everyone inside it. Relying heavily on footage and photographs taken by the men who were there, Shepherds of Helmand takes viewers deep into an Afghanistan rarely seen by the outside.
11. A Gasp for Clean Air (documentary USA-Alabama)
Synopsis: Alabama residents thought we had the air quality issue ‘under control’ in Birmingham, but now you hear a different side of the story.
12. Homeless Conductor (animation Taiwan)
Synopsis: This short animation is about a homeless man who used to be a great conductor of a famous orchestra, but no one cares about him anymore. One night, he tried to fight against this loneliness and he picked up the old baton he made. With a deep breath, he starts to conduct, and suddenly a miracle happens…
13. Tanks for Nothin’ (animation USA)
Synopsis: A 1950s American tomboy is enthralled with her older brother’s Christmas gifts. The animated short begins in black and white with a stylized 50s aesthetic. She’s caught up in a series of vivid color fantasies, inspired by her brother’s boyish/adventurous gifts. The story takes a turn when she opens her own lackluster gifts, a very ‘girly’ tea set, doll and buggy. She responds to her brother’s jeering by once again appropriating one of his gifts in order to carry out her imagined vengeance.
14. Bouncing Cats (documentary USA)
Synopsis: Bouncing Cats is the inspiring story of one man’s attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop culture with the focus on break-dance.
15. Beekeepers (feature USA) -
16. Triangle of Death (documentary USA)
Synopsis: This is the story of Marines in Iraq’s forbidden triangle of death. Join the Marines of 2/24 as they take you on a journey through one of Iraq’s deadliest regions known as The Triangle Of Death. Feel what it’s feels like to survive through a tour of duty during the largest combat engagement since the Vietnam war. Struggle through all the hardship of daily life in a combat environment through a country without law and order as the Marines struggle to keep order. They must survive all that is thrown at them fire fights, car bombs, roadside bombs, snipers, the Marines are relentless. They will only expect mission accomplishment of securing The Triangle Of Death for the first Iraqi election. The Marines of 2/24 have bolted the hardships of their deployment onto the Corps ethos of unremitting toughness, and they secured The Triangle of Death for Iraq’s first election.
17. Secret Friend (short feature Brazil)
Synopsis: A reclusive, elderly widow, Anna Marshall (Harris), lives in quiet desperation following her husband’s death until she begins receiving daily phone calls from a silent stranger. At first Anna finds the calls intrusive, but as the calls continue unabated Anna finds herself waiting for her phone to ring with growing anticipation prompting her to reach out to her silent prankster. An odd and mysterious friendship evolves between the two as Anna shares her life experiences with startling honesty. Empty days are given new hope, but when the calls abruptly end a devastated Anna is compelled to surprising action to fill the unbearable void.
18. Where the Sun has a Mustache (documentary USA)
Synopsis: Escape into the surroundings of Bahadursinh Jhala, servant to Prince JayBapa. (Jayasinhji Jhala).
Living in Dhrangadhra, Gujarat, India, Bahadursinh and his family share foreign yet familiar moments with us. These scenes and songs meld with the pulse of Gujarati life, and allow the viewer to have an experience of their own.
19. The Escape (short feature USA)
Synopsis: An executioner tries to save his only son.
20. One Revolution (documentary USA)
Synopsis: One Revolution opens as dawn breaks atop Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Briefly, glimpses of the mountain frame Chris Waddell as he transfers to his specially designed handcycle. The air tingles with promise as Chris begins the fifth day of his ascent. Etched within every movement he makes is the weighty knowledge that this will be his last chance to transcend disability, last chance to transcend sport, last chance to have the world see that people like himself not as something less, but equals and possibly as something more–as someone with something to contribute. If he makes the summit the world will know his message, if he fails he will be just another guy in a wheelchair.
21. Fighting Okan (feature Japan)
Synopsis: Say Saeki thinks her marriage is fine until her husband hands her a ‘divorce paper’. Accidentally, she discovers boxing as a way to cope with all her stress. During the boxing lesson, she starts having a big dream; -to become a professional boxer. Her fighting has just started…
22. Neal (short feature USA) -
23. Iranium (documentary USA) -
24. Animation; a Palette of Possibilities (documentary USA)
Synopsis: This short film is a fascinating collection of stories, anecdotes, and insights from some of the best animators in the world today. Mary Poppins, Petes Dragon, The Black Hole, Sleeping Beauty, Roger Rabbit, Mulan, and The Princess and the Frog, are just some of the animated films they have helped bring to the screen. Academy Award nominee Joe Hale, versatile artist Ron Dias, and others talk about their life work and give advice and encouragement to children thinking about a career in hand drawn animation.
25. Writing Christmas Cool (G)-Feature Alabama Showcase (Dothan). How do you make Christianity “Cool” to the broadest range of people and personalities? The answer that comes from seven high school students is “Writing Christmas Cool.” http://www.kenosismediaministries.com
26. The Coloring (G) Short Feature – Alabama Showcase (Dothan) – dir. By James L. Thompson, Jr. Filmed in Dothan in June, 2010, this short feature answers the question “Does Love come in all colors?” http://abuzzfilmworks.com/Projects.html
27. Holy Plow (G) Documentary – dir by Adam Carboni.-Alabama Showcase. A group of experienced farmers are dedicated to preserving the historical art form of horse and mule plowing in order to show people how life used to be on the farm. Filmed at the 4th AnnualAlabama Horse and Mule Plowing Contest atLandmarkPark inDothan,Alabama. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1817703/
28. Making More Off of Less (G) Documentary – dir. by Andrew Reed. Alabama Showcase (North Alabama) This 20 minute documentary highlights the struggles of small farmers. The general public is unaware of modern farming technologies, and how difficult it is for farmers to even stay in business. https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1623922430461
29. Bottom of a Glass (PG) Short Feature diir. by Xavier Neal-Burgin –Alabama Showcase. In the blink of an eye our protagonist loses everything he’s loved. With nothing to live for he fills his life with a collection of self-deprecation to fill the empty void. His life seems lost until someone comes along to remind life is worth living even after tragedy. A 2011Cannes Film Festival Choice.
30.Five Minutes Each (G) Animated – Serbia/Montenegro dir. by Vojin Vasovic
31. Quirk of Fate (G) Feature –Germany-Christmas is the time in which many people believe in miracles. http://www.mjm-pictures.com/qof_trailer.htm
32. The Girl and the Fox (G) Animated –USA A girl pursues a fox stealing her chickens and a friendship ensues.
33. The Drop (G) Short Feature –USA dir. by Marvelyne Engel. Can you imagine taking a young man, newly blinded, and having him dropped off in an unknown location – miles from his destination – with the responsibility of finding his way back with out asking for assistance? This is the true life story portrayed in ‘The Drop.’
34. Umkhumbi Wethu (G) Short Feature – South Africa dir. by Garon Campbell. Isaac desperately wants his son to get an education but with a growing lack of respect for his father, Thandani wants only to ignore and defy him. With no money and a palpable coldness between them, Isaac must prove himself as a man and a father. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837700/
35. Candy Shop (G) Short Feature dir. by Brandon McCormick – Judges Special Award. On the surface, this is a fairytale reminiscent of Hansel & Gretel and suitable for the entire family. The film is meant not only to raise awareness of the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun the city of Atlanta, but to provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard. www.whitestonemotionpictures.com
36. My Anniston; Edward Wood (G) Documentary dir. by Stan Arthur – Alabama Showcase . Edward Wood is a an 84-year-old African American man, a veteran of the US Navy and the American Civil Rights Movement, and one of a few who personally witnessed the 1961 Freedom Riders Greyhound bus burning by an angry mob of Ku Klux Klan members in Anniston, Alabama. Wood tells his inspiring, spiritual and often humorous life story from his living room, as well as locations around Anniston that were the scenes of both violence and victory in the struggle for equal rights for African Americans in the deep Jim Crow South of the 50′s and 60′s. My Anniston Edward Wood is 60 minutes of very compelling stories in the great tradition of American oral history.