Sponsored Projects

Film Independent Fiscal Sponsorship

New and innovative work, fiscally sponsored by Film Independent.

The Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists, supporting a diverse slate of projects at every stage of the filmmaking process – from development to distribution and beyond.

Support Film Independent's creative community and help bring these projects to life by donating below.

The 3,000 Project

Wisconsin, one of the most incarcerated states in America, abolished parole in 1998 changing the fate of 3,000 parole eligible inmates in its prison system overnight, sparking an inferno of activism and debate surrounding this population from the high offices of government to the streets of Milwaukee as the state grapples with solutions to curb its alarming rate of mass incarceration.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Keith McQuirter

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3:35 to Boston

A military wife and mother struggling to balance all the pieces of her life breaks down when she realizes that the life she had planned for herself may not be possible.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Producer/Actor: Kay Barnes

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A Bus to the Stars

Three homeless friends who live on a bench, are waiting for a bus that will take them to the city of Angels, where dreams come true.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Executive Producer: Coxy Chiara Rodoni
Producer: Gabe Godoi
Cinematographer: Andrès Garzas
1st AD: Adam Hahn
VFX: Dan Punshon Smith

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A Couple of Secrets

A wild 24-hour first date entangles two quirky, broken individuals, each concealing a deep, dark secret.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director: Nicholas Pallos
Producers Andrea Monier, Talia Bella, Steven Step (EP)

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"A" For Alpha

After Harrison starts to experience some insecurities in his relationship, he finds himself in an identity crisis trying to figure out what it means to be a man.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Producer: Kelley Kali
Producers Reggie Lochard, Eric K. Thomas

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A Little House in Aberdeen

A woman reflects on her past and wonders about her future - while she happens to be having an abortion. This is a story about a person apart from the procedure as captured during her in-clinic abortion, casually, vulnerably, and in real time.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Producer/Writer/Actor: Emily Goss
Actor: Laur Allen
Editor: Shayan Ebrahim

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A Lo-Fi Blues

An aging blues musician, convinced his late wife is trapped in a song, believes she’s been kidnapped by a group of lo-fi hip-hop producers in Oakland.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Screenwriter: Ed Ntiri
Producer: Winnie Wong
Cinematographer: Melinda James
Music and Community Culture Consultant: Jason G. Ragonton
Advisor: Andre Torres

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Africa: Untold

Meet Africa’s game-changers: The innovators, educators and pioneers, reimagining and reshaping the continent’s future.

Project type: Documentary Series
Series Director/Creator: Bruce Donnelly
Producer: Fermin Rojas

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After Antarctica

After Antarctica is a feature-length documentary that follows polar explorer Will Steger’s life journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes in the polar regions of our planet. Now, thirty years after his historic coast-to-coast expedition across the coldest continent on Earth, Steger is not only known for being the first in history to complete this historic feat – he is also the last.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Tasha Van Zandt
Producer: Sebastian Zeck

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After This

Terminally-ill Annie and the two loves of her life - her partner Liam and their dog Whiskey - retreat to the mountains for what seems like a relaxing weekend away. In reality, it's their last weekend together.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Lizzie Germann
Writer/Producer: Kaitlyn Clare
Director of Photography: Laura Jansen
First Assistant Director: Liz Holland
Co-Executive Producer: Philip Anderson

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AHMAD ZAHIR: The Voice of Afghanistan

AHMAD ZAHIR explores the extraordinary life of Afghanistan’s most revered musician, the “Elvis of Afghanistan,” who rockets to stardom in the 60s and 70s – a time when women in Kabul wear mini-skirts, foreigners flock to Afghanistan on the “hippie trail,” and progressive change swept the country.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Sam French
Producer: Mo Scarpelli

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Alaska Is a Drag

Tough, but diva fabulous, Leo, aspiring drag superstar, is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. He and his twin sister are trapped in the monotony of fist fights and fish guts. Out of necessity, Leo learned to fight back, which catches the attention of the local boxing coach. When a new boy moves to town and wants to be his sparring partner, Leo has to face the real reason he's stuck in Alaska.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Shaz Bennett
Producers: Diane Becker, Jean-Pierre Caner, Melanie Miller

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The American Songbook

Their lives are filled with struggle, triumph, bravery and courage. Experience the stories and songs of everyday heroes who are fighting for their dreams.

Project type: Documentary Series
Director/Producer/Cinematographer: David Rochkind

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An All American Affair: The True Story of Maxene Andrews

Maxene Andrews, of the famed musical trio “The Andrews Sisters”, lived parallel lives. In the eyes of the American public, she was a beloved icon of 1940s patriotism. In private, she had many secrets that would have shocked America and destroyed the sisters’ careers and legacy.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Directors/Producers: Amanda Spain & Sandra Alvarez

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Anti-Venom for a Snake

Set in 1993, a New York City drag queen suffers from AIDS as she mourns the loss of her soulmate, both by reliving past traumas and conquering current ones.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Cameron Kostopoulos
Writer: Gerardo Garcia
Producer: Valerie Tan
Producer: Alex Jiang

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A Reason To

When a Filipina college student reunites with an old friend, she is confronted with a hazy, intimate memory, realizing they may have nothing in common anymore.

Project type: Narrative Short
Project status: Development
Writer/Exec Producer/Leading Role: Sari Arambulo
Director: Cole Bacani
Cinematographer: Joseph Yao
Producers: Brendan Bennett, Porschia Adler
Associate Producers: Ellis J. Sutton, Eddie Leavy
Editor: Kirsten Hoang

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A Persian tale set in the dead of winter about a 11-year-old girl who discovers the underground, illegal ballet group of post-Islamic revolution Tehran and rewrites her own destiny.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Sophia Kiapos
Producer: Liz Cardenas
Producer: Chelsea Winstanley
Director of Photography: Senda Bonnet
Production Designer: Shamim Seifzadeh
Costume Designer: Liz Krause
Choreographer: Tara Ghassemieh

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Children train horses during fire season on the plains of Eastern Montana.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Wyatt Maw
Producer: Julie Hook

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Asteroid! The Chicxulub Crater Story

While searching for oil a geologist encounters never-before-seen results. He is alone in his belief — that he has found the giant impact crater created by the very asteroid that not only destroyed the dinosaurs, but also laid the foundation for mankind itself. In his struggle to bring this to the world, Glen learns that he has discovered far more. For him, the crater proves to be the very place where science meets God.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Producer: James Guyer
Writer: Kevin Bernhardt
Legal & Sales: George Rush
Line Producer: Jim Bigham

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The Bears on Pine Ridge

The Bears on Pine Ridge is a documentary film that follows heroic citizens on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as they battle both a catastrophic youth suicide epidemic and a lawless non-Native border-town that is plaguing the reservation with alcohol addiction.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Noel Bass
Executive Producer: Sonny SkyHawk

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Bertie the Brilliant

A young boy takes on chores and small jobs around his neighborhood to raise money for a ticket to a magic show; but when his grandmother loses her job, he is faced with a difficult decision.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: Gabriela Garcia Medina
Producer:Vicki Syal
Producer: Moana Sherill
Producer: Dylan Costa
Co-Writer/Production Designer: Joshua D. Sankar
Cinematographer: Bongani Mlambo
Choreographer: Reina Hidalgo
Editor: Dominique Pieb Espinosa
Cast: Terri Hoyos, Cheryl Umaña Bonilla

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Set in Southern California in the late 1970s, Bind is a film about a teenage girl who tries to come to terms with her abusive father during a road trip to the desert.

Project type: Narrative Short
Project status: Production
Director/Writer: Inka Rusi
Producer: Sara Fenton
Director of Photography: Richard Van
Executive Producer: Nina Menkes
Co-Producer & First AD: Tanja Rusi

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A close friendship between two girls is eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school. Based on a true story.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Karishma Dev Dube
Producer: Mary Evangelista
Cinematographer: Shreya Dev Dube

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Black Hat

A seemingly pious Hasidic man living a secret double life misplaces his black hat one night which will cause his two separate lives to collide in a way he never imagined.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Sarah Smith
Writer/Producer: Phillip Guttmann

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Hunted by soldiers after a military coup, Peru’s First Lady must drive her very pregnant nanny to a hospital down a treacherous road in the Andes.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Carlos Graña
Producer: Tim Gagliardo
AEC: Director of Photography: Pablo Diez

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Blank Verse Films

Blank Verse Films is an upstart film studio that produces poetry videos. All our videos are online for free on our Youtube channel.

Project type: Interactive Media Organization
Founder/Artistic Director: Mike Gioia
Co-Founder/Development Director: Ted Gioia

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The Bond

When an incarcerated pregnant woman goes into labor, she must fight to stay connected to her baby in a system built to keep them apart.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Jahmil Eady
Producer: Selena Leoni
Producer: Reina Higashitani
Cinematographer: Gionatan Tecle
Editor: Zheyu Liang

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Box of Rain

What do you do when you’re seventeen, suicidal, and believe that the only thing the world has to offer you is violence and pain? You get in your car and drive across the United States to go see the Grateful Dead of course...at least, that’s what you do if you’re lucky. And without a doubt, I was very lucky.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Lonnie Frazier
Producer: Francisca Zapata
Editor: Elizabeth Kopetka

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In the early weeks postpartum, Rose finds herself unraveling as she struggles to breastfeed her newborn son, Miles. As her baby continues to lose weight, she is faced with an unconventional choice when her best friend Maddie offers to nurse her baby.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Jennifer Kushner
Producers: Sue-Ellen Chitunya

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Bringing It Home

Kay, a middle-class female war veteran returns home in 2008 to find an Iraqi refugee family as her new neighbors. Reticent to engage and unlikely friends, Kay soon discovers that the Iraqi mother and former mid-wife holds the key to her potentially fatal, mysterious illness, forcing the two women to try and understand their different perspectives on war, motherhood, and more, as they each readjust to a new life.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Producer: Ellen Pittleman
Producer: Francine McDougall
Writer/Director: Sabine El Gemayel
Writer: Laura Durkay

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Caught in the throes of a depressive fugue, young Lynn resorts to debauchery to find joy — only to discover that happiness is a much more complicated proposition.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Elegance Bratton
Director/Writer: Jovan James
Producer: Chester Algernal Gordon
Director of Photography: Zamarin Wahdat
Editor: Kristan Williams Sprague

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A young Native girl discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who lost her dad in the middle of the dangerous but beautiful Sonoran desert.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Jefferson Stein
Producer: Liz Cardenas
Producer: Russell Sheaffer
Executive Producers: Bear Larry Wilson, Camillus Lopez

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Carlos Through The Tall Grass

A brilliant young man has doubts about going off to college when he realizes how much all the needy, felonious, desperate and deranged people in his dysfunctional world depend on him.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Rick Dominguez
Producer: Patti McCarthy
Co-Producer/Casting Director: Jennifer S. Holmes
Director of Photography/Associate Producer: David Hebrero
Cast - Carlos: Miguel Angel Garcia

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Three childhood best friends reunite for a camping trip on the island where they went every summer as children, throwing into stark relief how much their lives have diverged.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Tyler Rabinowitz
Writer/Actor: Sam Digiovanni
Producer: Jeremy Truong
Producer: Luca Piccin
Cinematographer: Oren Soffer
Casting Director: Freya Krasnow

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Chilies With Nostalgic Flavor

Basma, a drama therapist working in Jordan, is torn between two difficult choices: getting married to the man she loves or pursuing her dream of going back to her hometown of Gaza during the war.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Producer: Asma Bseiso

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The Chosen One

After impulsively shaving off his beard and sidelocks, a young Hasidic man experiences a nightmarish transformation that leads him right back to where he started. Over the course of one painful night, Efrayim Eisenstein will come to realize that it's much easier to shave your beard than to shed who you are.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: Elazar Fine
Producer: Kale Davidoff
Producer: Jake Bridgman
Director of Photography: Nicholas Bupp
Editor: Harrison Jeffs

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A heartbroken woman stows away to her estranged lover's lake house where she becomes entangled with a teenage girl.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Lara Jean Gallagher
Producers: Davis Priestley, Aimee Lynn Barneburg

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A Coalfield Christmas

On Christmas Eve, a teenage girl visiting her old-school grandma in Kentucky gets an unexpected lesson on how to show compassion for others during the holidays.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Julia Maddox
Producer: Mark Lamb
Cinematographer: Prabhat Gurung
Cast: Carol Niswonger

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Computer Love

A sheltered teenage girl begins cheating on her app-arranged boyfriend with her family’s robot. After they're caught, she must decide between running away with her new love or erasing his memory.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Producer/Writer: Joseph Picozzi
Producer: Beidi Wang
Producer: Connor Williams
Science Advisor: Seth Neel

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Conscience Point

Exposing a painful, quintessentially American geography, Conscience Point unearths a deep clash of values between the Native American Shinnecock and their elite Hamptons neighbors, who have made sacred land their playground.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Treva Wurmfeld
Producer: Julianna Brannum

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After her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, a straitlaced college transfer comes of age in the wild chaos of a legendary student commune. Her identity wavers when she volunteers as “virgin sacrifice” for her co-op’s black mass party and her “Friend of Christian Camp Past” witnesses.

Project type: Narrative Short
Creator/Writer/Lead: Zoë Smurr
Director: Jocelyn Cooper

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The Cross

In the wake of devastating personal tragedy, a man embarks on a seemingly impossible mission to carry a giant wooden cross across the United States.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Sam Russell
Producer: Eric Cook
Editor: Niels Pagh Andersen

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When a divorced middle-aged city bus driver crosses paths with a beautiful young trans wouldbe starlet, their attraction for each other becomes an unexpected lesson in rediscovery.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Jeffrey L Relf
Producer: James McNinch
Cinematographer: Andrés Garzas
Cast: Arisce Wanzer as Crystal
Cast: Trymaine Alfred as John Max

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Dating Now

A young black woman navigates everything from f*ckboys to ghosting to thirst traps on her misadventures through the dating world of 2017.

Project type: Web Series
Writer/Producer: Tasha Henderson
Producer: Brett Takeshita

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Dear Luke, Love, Me

When Penny's queer-platonic significant other Luke "ghosts" her after an inseparable 13-year-long relationship, she must find closure on her own.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Producer: Guilermo Diaz
Writer/Producer: Mallie McCown
Producer: Elizabeth Nick Eversman
Cinematographer: Rinny Wilson

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Death and Bowling

Two transgender men meet at the funeral of the esteemed captain of the Lavender League, a community bowling club for older lesbians. Grief and desire seep together as the death of a queer matriarch transforms a community left behind.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Editor: Lyle Kash
Producer/First AD: Ariel Mahler

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Death of Nintendo

The story takes us into the colorful pop-culture world of these four 13-year old friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty. Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi and Gilligan go on a journey of self-discovery together as they play games and wrestle with new dilemmas – puppy love, circumcision and other horror stories.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Producer: Valerie Castillo Martinez
Director: Raya Martin

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Derek Changes His Mind

Traumatic Brain Injury survivor Derek Dabkoski enrolls in a dangerous and experimental stem cell surgery to hopefully repair the damaged area of his brain as he and his wife Nadia, who has lived in the US for 30 years without ever being granted a green card, expect the birth of their first child, a daughter named Carmen.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Derek Dabkoski
Co-Director/Producer: Ian McClellan
Cinematographer: Im Joong Kim

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1979 - James Do, a drifter, finds himself in the mystical Sedona. He meets a young GURU and her devotees who opens his mind to a new path.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Sharmila Ray
Producer: Matt Keene Smith
Director of Photography: Kinsey

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Discovering Brooklynn

After reconnecting with a woman from a past she prefers to forget, Brooklynn, a self-assured perfectionist, is torn between remaining true to her homophobic upbringing or expressing her stifled sexuality.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Aliya Brooks

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The Disruptors

A social media agency gets a new client; a corporation who wants to run for president.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Isabel Steuble-Johnson
Director: Amy H C Wilson
Co-Producer: Léa Barisset
Writer: Emily Carlton

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Don't Ever Let Go

Mia and her brother Alex find a powerful stone that thrusts them into different paths while bringing them closer then they've ever been.

Project type: Narrative Animated Short
Writer/Director: Fabian Molina
Producer: Ariel Mahler

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Two women struggle with self-knowledge as they desperately seek love and validation from men, who in turn can’t even love or validate themselves. Downstaged explores our culture’s intrinsic patterns of toxic masculinity, suppressed trauma, self-doubt, and internalized homophobia as some of the catalytic reasonings behind people’s motives.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Project status: Development
Director/Writer/Producer: Blake Nolan Brown
Producer/Writer/Actor: Ana-Julia Cavana
Producer: Renata Gheller
Director of Photography: Travers Jacobs

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Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary

Never before seen archival video reveals the untold story of an underground LGBTQ nightclub that became a political and creative center for a community besieged by AIDS and discrimination. As club owners Paul V. and Mr. Dan prepare for the Dragstrip 66 finale, patrons, staff, and celebrities reflect on their memories and impressions as the beloved nightclub comes to the end of its historic run.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Phil Scanlon
Co-director/Co-producer: Paul Vitagliano

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Emerging Artists LA

Emerging Artists LA offers access to the film festival experience FREE to filmmakers and film aficionados alike. Submitting a film is free and attending the festival is free and that’s the way we’d like to keep it!

Project type: Film Festival
Curator/Program Director: Erica Mountain
Curator/Art Director: Carla Harris

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The Errand

When a young girl hitchhiking is picked up by a middle-aged man, who ends up taking whom for a ride?

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Amanda Renee Knox
Producer: Lara Aslanian
Producer: Amanda Renee Knox
Writer: Mira Olsson
Cinematography: Nick Ramsey

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Everything Stays

Max, a high school senior, has led his younger cousins through childhood; but as the summer after graduation winds down, his cousins have one last chance to tie him down in Illinois, forcing max to decide what’s more important: his family or his future?

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Cole Bacani
Producer: Lily Norris
Producer: Norrie Palmer
Executive Producer: Jason Y. Lee
Cinematographer: Brian M. Tang

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Eye for an i

After losing his sister to a stray bullet in a gang-related shooting, societal pressures from his environment of Compton, California push Jeremiah to respond.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: James Grisom
Producer: Letia Solomon
Co-Producer: Allison A. Waite
Co-Producer: LaDarius Torrey

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Fashion Reimagined

A film about fashion’s impact on the environment and the designer who’s doing something about it, “Fashion Reimagined” follows Amy Powney of London brand Mother of Pearl who decides at the height of her career that she can no longer participate in her industry’s destructive cycle. Instead, she sets off to produce a sustainable collection from field to finished garment, a pioneering journey across three continents that tests her strength and belief in humanity.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Becky Hutner
Director of Photography/Editor: Daniel Goetz

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Fewer Than 20

A gender-fluid god returns to Earth to journey through modern Nigeria- a tumultuous version of what they used to know. Looking to restore gender parity, they follow the lead of the country’s luminaries: Nigerian women.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Oluwaseun Babalola

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Filmmakers First Fund

Filmmakers First Fund is a Los Angeles-based film fund and studio space dedicated to artists with full-length narrative and documentary film projects in the early stages of development.

Project type: Organization
Founder: Martin Marquet
Founder: Rebecca Gang
Founder: Gale Harold

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Finding Kevorkian

In 1997 Two estranged sisters come together to drive their terminally ill mother across the country for her to end her life.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Kim Putman
Producer: Brooke Gaston

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Fire Department Inc.

A suburban firefighter’s labor union finds itself under a different kind of fire when the Village Mayor announces he’s privatizing their department to save money. What results is a five year long legal battle with the potential to change labor law for the entire country.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Colin C. Hughes
Producer: Caley Shannon
Executive Producer: Michael X. Flores
Cinematographer: Brendan Deane

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First Feature

Intrepid student filmmaker Thomas Reilly-King (affectionately known as TRK) will do anything to complete his first feature film, aptly titled Enduring Destiny. Searching for fame in a production spanning several years, the unflappable writer/director/actor calls in every favor and spends every last dime to realize his vision and bring his hero’s story to the big screen.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Project status: Post Production
Director/Producer: Curtis Matzke
Producer/Cinematographer: Ben Sherman

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Flash Before the Bang

A sports drama based on a true story, a coach and a group of eight boys from the Oregon School for the Deaf overcome tremendous odds and defy expectations to win the 1986 Oregon State Track and Field Championship.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Jevon Whetter
Producers: Delbert Whetter, John Eraklis

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A filmmaker tries to fix her problems with her evangelical father in a screenplay with a happy ending. When her plan backfires, she quits writing lines, starts to listen, and becomes a character in her own film.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Writer/Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Katy Scoggins
Unit Production Manager: Jamie González

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Force of Blue

One officer’s effort to change a community, one player at a time.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Jeffrey Williams
Producer/Cinematographer: Jon Cermin

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In this surrealistic tragicomedy, Joy, 35, visits an offbeat fertility clinic to freeze her eggs after a series of romantic misadventures…only to discover that she is pregnant.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Maya Albanese
Producer: Valerie Steinberg

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From The Shadows

A shadow trail leads into a black hole, where a child disappears every 8 minutes. From The Shadows is a rocky journey through the Indian subcontinent’s most trafficked route, unveiling a sisterhood of survivors and stories of resilience.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Producer/Director/Screenwriter: Miriam Chandy Menacherry
DOP: Ranu Ghosh
Co-Producer: Aliya Furniturewala
Co-Producer: Sheena Matheiken
Co-Producer: Anand Ramayya
Co-Producer: Hege Dehl
Consulting Producer: Claire Aguilar
Consulting Producer: Alysa Nahmias
Impact Producer/Screenwriter: Triparna Banerjee
Editor: Anuja Thakkar

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The Girl In the Backroom

When you sacrifice everything to be a “voice for the voiceless” and you’ve been a political activist for your entire life, then at age 79 you get to be the snarky grandmother who takes down the guy that no one else could touch.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Francine Graff
Line Producer: Jonathan Graff

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Girl With Child

In a small town in Ecuador, teenager Diana runs away from an institution for troubled girls with her toddler. The goal: to pick up her younger sister from their abusive childhood home and start a new life.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director: Maria Abraham
Producer: Luz Agudelo Gipson

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God & Salsa

A grief-stricken therapist determined to help a suicidal teen regains her faith in the process with the help of her Salsa instructor and pastor.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Jess Thomas
Writer/Producer: Anayancy Thomas

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Going Nowhere

A camera team follows a group of wannabe filmmakers who travel to shoot an apocalypse feature on a farm in Kentucky as they desperately eke out meaning in the time of COVID-19.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Actor/Writer: Izzy Shill
Producer/Actor: Felipe Dieppa
Producer/Actor: Diana Irvine
Editor: Drigan Lee
Actor: Geoff Marslett

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The Golden Cage

A mother and son drive towards opposite sides of the Mexico-US border wall to reunite after decades apart.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Francisco Lopez
Producer/Writer: Mitchka Saberi
Producer: Gareth Kelly
Co-Producer: Joey Szalkiewicz
Director of Photography: Alex Gorman
Sound Mixer: Adam Cox

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Good Times at Mike Kelso's

A club-dancing enthusiast grabs life by the ovaries when her disinterested gynecologist delivers news about a threatening diagnosis. Inspired by the filmmaker’s true-life experience of being misdiagnosed with cancer and losing a uterus… ouch!

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: V.C. Rhone
Producer: Kate Rees Davies
Producer: Pamela M. Staton
Director of Photography: Jenny Baumert
Composer: Edith Mudge

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The Graduates

The Graduates is a narrative feature film that takes place in the aftermath of a school shooting. It follows the three individuals closest to one of the victims; his father, his best friend, and his girlfriend, as his class readies to graduate one year after his death.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Hannah Peterson
Producer: Taylor Shung

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Great America

A border vigilante, at the US/Mexico border, detains immigrants crossing illegally. His world is torn apart when an undocumented man and his daughter break into his house.

Project type: Narrative Short
Project status: Post-Production
Director/Writer: Angelita Mendoza
Producer: Alicia Herder
Director of Photography: Victor Capiz

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The Hakawati Project: The Syrian Crisis

The Syrian War has impacted the lives of millions,but the media around the crisis rests largely in the hands of those who view it from the outside. As a result, the narratives are theirs. The Hakawati (storyteller, Arabic) Project is a 2 month comprehensive filmmaking lab aiming to foster the creative expression and sharpen the filmmaking tools of those impacted by the Syrian crisis, and offer alternative narratives to the ones mainstream media amplifies.

Project type: Interactive
Co-Founder/Project Director: Sona Tatoyan
Co-Founder: Jennifer Robinson
Producer: Raffi Niziblian
Project Manager: Anna Kamay
Producer of Labs: Nare Mkrtyan
Consultant: Jennifer Kushner

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The Hanapepe Massacre Mystery 1924

A Filipino sugar cane workers' strike in Hawai'i in 1924 becomes explosive, leading to the deaths of 16 strikers and four police deputies. A fog of fear and reprisals in its aftermath grips Filipinos, as surviving strikers are arrested, tried and many jailed or deported. The young Higher Wage Movement is crushed during this tumultuous beginnings of Hawaii's labor history. Suppressed for 95 years, this virtually a forgotten history must be told.

Project type: Documentary Short
Director/Exectuive Producer: Stephanie J. Castillo
Co-Executive Director: Randall Francisco
Producer/Lead Researcher: Christopher Ballesteros

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A wide-eyed art handler and a naïve young art student receive a surreal introduction to the absurdity of the fine art world while delivering a racially charged work of art.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Chester Vincent Toye
Executive Producer: Hank Willis Thomas
Producer: Anne Alexander
Cinematographer: Adam Gundersheimer

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Happy Pills

A bipolar girl breaks up with her psychiatrist.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Erica Cantor
Producer: Emma Flanders
Actor: Emma Raimi
Actor: Robin Roth
Director of Photography: Adam Birch

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A humble virtuoso walks unwittingly towards death while traveling the world playing his last concerts, reflecting on his life musically, professionally, personally, and spiritually. Trumpet legend Roy Hargrove is celebrated through priceless footage of his final days and treasured memories from music industry legends.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Eliane Henri/Poplife Productions
Cinematographer: Robert Benavides

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HIBM: Her Inescapable Brave Mission

Celebrated UN humanitarian battling a debilitating disease will attempt a twelve-day Grand Canyon mission on horseback and whitewater raft that will include extreme tests of strength, endurance and danger to shatter stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities. Time is of the essence as her body’s muscles waste away, weakening her every move.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Celia Aniskovich
Producer: Liz Yale Marsh
Producer: Wendy Eley Jackson
Executive Producer: Sam Pollard

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Holy Water

When a spiritual man is faced with a possible illness, his belief system is questioned and he’s forced to step into his authentic self in order to heal his emotional pain.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Sebastian LaCause
Producers: Roxanne Morrison, Jai Rodriguez

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I Am Tyra

Tyra Patterson spent 23 years behind bars for a wrongful murder conviction. I Am Tyra explores the extraordinary journey of Tyra Patterson through her writing, and follows her as she tries to restore justice for Alexis Martin - a sex trafficking victim, who is serving a life sentence in Ohio for allegedly conspiring to kill her pimp when she was 15.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor: Laurence Mathieu-Leger
Producer: Ebyan Bihi
Producer: Rosella Tursi
Executive Producer: Cathrine Gund

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The Imperfect Picture

In a world obsessed with perfection, an eclectic woman realizes that life is better imperfect.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Coxy Chiara Rodoni
Producer: Meagan Judkins
Co-producer: Tre'Shonda Sheffey

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In One Split Second

A small crime creates ripple effects in a neighborhood that brings devastating consequences, pushing race relations further in reactionary fallout.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Chloe Owens
Producers: Tamara Rhoads, Markus Linecker

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In Vain

In a desertified landscape, on the brink of environmental catastrophe, a genderless being drifts into a society in crisis, whose troubles are all too easily pinned on the arrival of this “unknown”.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Anastasia Eleftheriou
Producer: Nathaniel Draper
Writer: Moritz Pfeifer

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Ivar Tunnel: Shook Ones

A ping from a neighborhood watch app reveals what a young black woman had feared: She is not welcome here.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Akilah AK Walker
Producers: Diana Gonzalez-Morett, Leon Pierce Jr.
Cinematographer: Michelle Clementine

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I Was a Simple Man

Like marionettes on a toy stage, the ghosts of Masao’s past haunt the countryside in this tale of a Hawai‘i family facing the imminent death of their eldest.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Christopher Yogi
Producers: Sarah Kim

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Jimmy in Saigon

Jimmy in Saigon explores the mysterious life and death of James Austin McDowell, a Vietnam veteran who died at age 24 in 1972 as a civilian in Saigon. Painting an elegiac portrait, director Peter McDowell uncovers family secrets surrounding Jim’s drug use and sexuality, getting to know his brother who died when Peter was only 5 years old.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Peter McDowell
Producer: Lucia Palmarini
Producer: Peter Schulman
Executive Producer: Dan Savage
Composer: John McDowell

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A proud Black woman must confront the racial implications of her genuine love for the classic-rock band, Journey.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Portlynn Tagavi
Writer/Lead Actress: Erika Hamilton
Producer: Mel Jones
Cinematographer:Kalilah Robinson
Line Producer: Alexis Sterling

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Three kids from the hood find an alien spaceship and take it on a joyride. Now they must decide to help the world that never cared about them, or escape into the unknown.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Raymond Carr

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Juke Box Hero

This #metoo / #timesup feature about an aspiring rock star fights a mental breakdown along the road to stardom while pursued by a dysfunctional romantic. Drawn together and torn apart through humor, heartache and hope, the two grapple with the healing power of friendship and the damage wrought by demons of childhood.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Sherrie Richman
Writer: Christopher Kawika Brown

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The Keepers of the Pigs

Meet Sharon and Sharon; two women on a mission to rescue hundreds of mistreated guinea pigs. From the UK, LA to Peru follow their humorous and heart-warming adventure as they also set out to discover the forgotten history of these curious creatures in the first major documentary about guinea pigs.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Sharon Walia

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Two strangers’ lives collide in a bar, leading to a pivotal family dinner that could hold the key to their liberation.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: RB Vigneshwar

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Lady Buds

Six women emerge from the shadows of the California cannabis industry to go legal. As farmers, entrepreneurs and activists, these modern-day superheroes battle government bureaucracy, corporate interests and risk financial ruin in order to fight for the industry they helped create and for the survival of their community.

Project type: Documentary
Director/Producer/Writer: Chris J. Russo
Consulting Producers: Sarah Olson, Stephen Israel
Producer: Michael J. Katz
Executive Producer: Shauna Harden
Cinematographer/Producer: Christian Bruno
Editor/Writer: Tamara Maloney

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La Fábrica de Ideas

Without power for six months following Hurricane Maria, and dependent upon importing materials from overseas for their public elementary school students, a small mountain community in Puerto Rico begins to transition towards autonomy by transforming an abandoned building next to the school into a solar-powered factory where they will build the items they once imported.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Gabriel Coss
Producer: Emma Crow-Willard

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Lara's Kitchen

After 60 years of marriage Amir (87) and Lara (78) both of the Druze faith, get divorced following a foolish argument. According to Druze belief, they are forbidden to see or speak to one another until the day they die. Lara moves across the street with her son and family to start her life anew, while Amir stays at home to cope with his solitude.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Co-Director and Writer: Yaron Yarkoni
Producer: Baher Agrabiya
Co-Director and Writer: Liat Dahan Yarkoni
Co-Writer: Hamed Sharoof

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Last Taxi Dance

In a ballroom called Paradise, in the aftermath of World War II, a beguiling Hawaiian singer dances with a returned American soldier and debates the dignity of the American dream. But when his dance tickets run out, she is left with a harsh choice – for when the dancing stops, this man will die.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Brayden Yoder
Producer: Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy

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The Legacy of Cloudy Falls

Following the eccentric tenants of a kitschy apartment complex in Niagara Falls.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Nick Butler

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Let the Church Say

In a time of racial upheaval and a multitude of woes affecting marginalized communities, a young, African American filmmaker journeys to the heart of the Black experience to find the answer to a daunting question: Is the Black church dead?

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Rafiq J Nabali
Producer: Joe Howell
Producer: Mahalia Latortue
Producer: Nancy Howard

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Let Your Sisters Be

When sisters Alex and Claire learn of their abuser’s death, they journey to a New Zealand settlement to witness his burial.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Aileen O'Sullivan
Writer/Producer: Mary Sewell

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Leveling Lincoln

Leveling Lincoln brings back to the forefront the first case in the Northern USA, where a school was torn down in the quest for equal rights in education. Mrs. Taylor vs. The Board of Education of New Rochelle, NY – 1961, was a landmark case brought by Lincoln School parents. Many still remember and speak on camera of this pivotal case, their childhood after the case, and how it relates to today’s educational struggles.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Arden Teresa Lewis
Producer/Assistant Director: Tinks Lovelace, Bag O' Bones Collective

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The Liberator

A gay Holocaust researcher struggles to convince his boyfriend’s grandfather, a Dachau liberator, to reveal his untold story of gay pink triangle survivors. By lifting their voices and the memories of a secretive Holocaust liberator, this film depicts the power of empathy and healing to crush hate.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Patrick Fritz
Producer: O'Shea" Myles
Producer: Kyle Wilson
Director of Photography: Jeff Caroli
Production Designer: Myra Barrera
Editor: Raymundo Archila

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Light In Dark Places

A mother makes a shocking discovery when she’s left to pack up her daughter’s house after a tragic car accident.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Laguaria Davis
Producers: Valeria Lopez, Steak House

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A grandmother risks her own life to protect her granddaughter during a heat wave.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Ian Lyndon
Producer: Jonathan Biebl

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Little Adam Example

The desperate imagination of a child of war draws into his reality a new form of his arms, equipped with guns. But the figure steps into reality to transcends out of this darkness. By searching for something among the ruins of the war, he wants to shape a new form of his being.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Animator: Ahou Alagha
Character & Set Designer/Modeler: Ramin Parvin
Sound Designer: Hossein Mahdavi
Composer: Foad Ghahremani

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Little City Gardens

Little City Gardens is a nonfiction feature that presents the magnetism and beauty of a farm that existed in San Francisco. It’s a story about connections to land, place, and each other told through the poetic visuals of a working urban farm. It’s a moving portrait about the powerful and compassionate relationship between people and land found in the most unlikely of places.

Project type: Documentary Feature
DirectorProducer: Ben Grossman
Producer/Consultant: Caitlyn Galloway

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Little Drummer Boy

A homeless drummer boy, who romanticizes over a neighborhood girl, fights the path of a changing, gentrifying city in his attempt to show his affection.

Project type: Narrative Short
Project status: Development
Director/Writer/Producer: Ellis J. Sutton
Producer/Assistant Director: Tom Muhl
Director of Photography: Yorgos Tzoytzoyakos
Production Designer: Lizeth Salgado
Composer: Stevie Thompson

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Living Art

Living Art follows the life of Mara Clawson, a brilliant visual artist battling a life-threatening genetic disease. As she prepares for the largest gallery show of her young career, Mara inspires everyone around her to help create a world full of love and kindness.

Project type: Documentary Short
Director/Writer/Producer: David Rochkind

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The Untitled Baltimore Documentary Project

In battle-weary Baltimore, a young, charismatic politician captures the hearts and hopes of the citizenry when he runs for mayor and wins; will he be the leader that can finally heal the city’s pain, or will he just bring more heartbreak?

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Gabriel Francis Paz Goodenough
Producer: Dawne Langford

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The Lore of Alice

This is a film about a witch pretending to be a babysitter.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Donaldo Prescod
Producer: Rebecca Hamm

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A twelve-year-old girl runs away from home in rural Nevada and crosses paths with a charming man who lures her into prostitution.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Erin Cantelo
Producer: Toby Louie

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Love, Barbara

Love, Barbara is a short documentary about Barbara Hammer’s legacy as it lives on though her partner of over 30 years, Florrie Burke. As the Executor and Arts Administrator of the Hammer Estate, Florrie not only carries out Barbara’s legacy, but also gets to experience it in new ways through the genius of Barbara Hammer’s art and archive.

Project type: Documentary Short
Director: Brydie O'Connor
Producer: Myriam Schroeter
Producer: Ani Schroeter
Director of Photography: Maria Rusche
Editor: Matt Hixon

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Love's Labours Lost

Love’s Labours Lost is Shakespeare’s only comedy where the women reject their suitors – a group of downright dangerous men in power. Our pointed satire, filled with dark humor and wit, will center the marginalized voices of Shakespeare’s female characters and highlight how little patriarchal oppression has changed in over 500 years.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: Nick Musleh
Producers: Kristen Uno, Lydia Hunter

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Lumpia With a Vengeance

The LUMPIA-armed avenger reappears in Fogtown and teams up with high school student Rachel to prevent a crime syndicate from selling drugs masked as food in this action comedy.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Co-Writer/Director/Executive Producer: Patricio Ginelsa
Editor/Executive Producer: A.J. Calomay

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An Indian divorcée, struggling to raise her daughter, is forced to confront her violent and painful past at a dinner gathering with old friends

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Jacintha Charles
Producer: Lisa Yadao
Producer/1st AD: Harly Crandall
Director of Photography: Jussi Hayha
Production Designer/Art Director: Emma Scully

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Mary Woronov Cult Queen

Mary Woronov chronicles her colorful career spanning from her work with Andy Warhol to Roger Corman that sealed her reputation as a “Cult Queen”.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer/Editor: Francesca Di Amico
Producer/Cinematographer: Claudia Unger

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Modern Slave

A young girl coerced into sex-trafficking must escape the emotional cage her “Romeo Pimp” has trapped her in before she loses what little hope remains to live and dream.

Project type: Narrative Short
Co-writer/Director: Spencer Currie
Co-writer/Producer: Dan Sima

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Molly, Molly, Molly

After a long hiatus, three childhood friends, now adults, come together to punctuate the end of summer in the best way they know how; in a pool. In what at first feels like a carefree reunion quickly goes south as debates over Ada’s now missing cat exposes underlying fissures in their friendship.

Project type: Narrative Short
Producer: Kylie Juggert
Writer/Director: Bryce Baxter
Director of Photography: Megan Eleanor Clark
Casting Director, Actor "Charlie," and Assistant Producer: Kayla Hanson

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Monica is the intimate portrait of a woman who returns home to the Midwest for the first time in 20 years to take care of her dying mother. Exploring universal themes of abandonment, aging, rejection, hope and forgiveness, we are led into Monica's world through an introspective and riveting journey of our shared human condition.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Andrea Pallaoro
Producer: Gina Resnick
Producer: Eleonora Granata
Producer: Christina Dow
Executive Producer: Christina Sibul
Executive Producer: Karen Tenkhoff
DP: Kate Arizmendi
Costume Designer: Patrik Milani
Production Designer: Andrew Clark
HMU Department Head: Chelo Acosta-Conley

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A quarterfinalist in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, this drama feature with a sense of humor is about a lone transgender teen who helps a feisty undocumented Asian woman escape deportation, and they form an unlikely friendship that helps them heal their relationships with their own families.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Tricia Lee

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Mo Show

Mo Show paints an unexpected picture of Chattanooga, Tennessee, through the eyes of a young black filmmaker who guides us through the personal stories of the folks in his world. From his Confederate-flag-flying neighbor to the Iraqi refugee across town, Mo wants to connect every part of his still-segregated southern city.

Project type: Documentary Short
Co-director/DP/Editor: Annie Huntington
Co-director/Producer: Clay Thomas

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In an era of giant Maxi Pads and Phil Donahue, misfit teen Moxie finds her fit with a group of college political activists. But when she becomes pregnant by the rebel leader, she faces her own fight — arguing for her abortion at a time when women’s liberation is coming into its own.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Marya Mazor
Producers: Christina Sibul, Karen Tenkoff

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Moving Out

A family drama about the complexities of faith, community, and parent/child relationships.

Project type: Narrative Short
Producer/Director/Screenwriter/Story: Rachel Earnest
Producer/Editor/Story: Ashley Monti

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My Baby is a Bike Helmet

After a miscommunication leads her coworkers to believe that she is pregnant, a seemingly barren waitress allows the fantasy to overtake the reality and finds herself navigating an ever-growing web of lies as she gets closer and closer to her imaginary “full term.”

Project type: Narrative Short
Co-Directors/Producers: Arden Grier, Roxanna Dunlop
Writer: Julia Dixon

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The Naked Gardener

Through multiple testimonials, The Naked Gardener showcases sexual misconduct and non-profit mismanagement perpetrated at the Pepperfield Project. This film provides a platform for silenced voices and catalyzes individual and organizational accountability towards a cauterized end to patterns of injustice.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Editor: Ian Carstens
Composer: Jaci Wilkinson

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NECESSITY: a documentary in two parts

Comprised of Necessity Part I: Oil, Water and Climate Resistance and Necessity Part II: Rivers, Resistance and Oil by Rail, NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through North America. Home to much of the world’s precious freshwater resources, the state is also the site of expanding oil industry infrastructure. The film follows indigenous activists and non-indigenous allies in their resistance to the pipelines traversing native lands and essential waterways.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Jan Haaken
Co-Director: Samantha Praus

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Nevertheless Film Festival

Nevertheless Film Festival elevates the work of women in film, as every film in the program is required to have at least 50% of designated leadership roles filled by women. The roles include director, producer, editor, cinematographer, screenwriter, production designer, sound mixer, and music supervisor/composer.

Project type: Interactive
Founder/Festival Director: Meredith Finch

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New Wave

New Wave is a coming-of-age story which celebrates the trail-blazers who rebuilt community and forged a vibrant music industry more influential than the one they left behind in their homeland post Fall of Saigon.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Elizabeth Ai
Co-producer: Anh Phan
Co-producer: Tracy Chitupatham

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Nihunavea: My Heart, My Center

Nihunavea bears witness to the complex struggles of reclaiming Native California Indian cultural heritage, spirituality, and Tribal Sovereignty. Set shortly after the Tejon Indian Tribe’s decades-long struggle for sovereignty through Federal Reaffirmation, Sandra Hernandez—an enrolled member and elected official of the Tejon Indian Tribe—forges a path through government agencies, museum institutions, & academia as she works to revitalize the Kitanemuk language, repatriate artifacts, and strengthen the foundational core of her Native identity: family & community.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Project status: Development
Director: Colin Rosemont
Director: Sandra Hernandez
Producer: Devlin Gandy

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Nora (Nora's Mother + Nora's Husband)

Nora's Mother and Nora's Husband follow the already-produced Nora to create a trilogy of films that weave together to consider the existential vis-a-vis the banal. These queer fever dreams are a stylized, stylish look at a pivotal moment in which three complicated characters consider a single, simple question: Who am I? Inspired by Shakespearean soliloquies and TikTok rants, Nora… explores the vulnerability and narcissism of publicly sharing a private reflection.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer/Actor: Neil D'Astolfo
Producer/Editor: Erika Kramer
Producer: Kevin Bender

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The kidnapping of her son by Argentina’s dictatorship, and her forty-year search for him, transforms Nora Cortiñas from conservative ‘housewife’ into a trailblazing social activist, inspiring a new generation to take hold of their future and seek justice for the past.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Jayson McNamara
Producer: Daniel Joyce
Producer: Rebecca Bennett

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Not Far From Here

A Nigerian-Italian girl secretly witnesses a white Italian boy she grew up with commit a hate crime, and wrestles with whether to speak up or not when the boy shows up to her home the next day.

Project type: Narrative Short
Producer/Co-Writer/"Renzo": Will Graziano
Director: Aqsa Altaf
Producer: Jenna Lex
Producer: Isabel Moretti
Producer: Tomasso Pizzamiglio
Co-Writer: Daphne Di Cinto
Co-Writer: Alanna Bennett
Script Consultant: Angelica Pesarini

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Not Going Quietly

When 32-year-old father Ady Barkan is diagnosed with ALS, a terminal illness that will soon paralyze his entire body, he decides to use the time he has left to confront the politicians who threaten his health care and America’s democracy. As he loses his ability to speak, he sets out across the country with his wife, 2-year old son, and a motley crew of activists to launch the most unlikely political movement in a generation.

Project type: Feature Documentary
Director: Nicholas Bruckman
Producer: Amanda Roddy

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Now and Never

A woman in the midst of an anxiety attack is confronted with questions about her own existence by two characters, who happen to be voices in her head.

Project type: Narrative Short
Producers: Kavi Ladnier, Rohi Mirza Pandya, Anita Hodges
Director/Screenplay: Kymberly Harris

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No Word For No

Youth in Indonesia are poised to become the majority of their country’s population by 2020. Despite unprecedented death tolls in the wake of environmental disasters, they remain resilient. No Word for No explores the question: how are the young people of Indonesia preparing to face the challenges ahead?

Project type: Documentary Short
Director/Producer: Andrew Morrison
Director of Photography: Auden Bui
Editor: Colton Loftin
Master Dalang: Ki Midiyanto

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The Nurse

A nurse hits her bottom in a traumatic profession and an abusive alcoholic marriage. This low point quickly puts her in collision with a side of herself--she would never dare to meet.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: James McNinch
Creative Producer: John Henry Davis
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Lindsay Relf
Director of Photography: Jason Lehel

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One Magenta Afternoon

The lesson is love: when Pop Pop and his grandson, Les, play jazz, they summon six queer spirits and tumble through their memories.

Project type: Narrative Short
Producer: Vernon Jordan III
Cinematographer: Brian Emilio Rojas
Producers: Cynthia Francillon and Matthew Keene Smith
Executive Producers: Jamal Parker and Tarell Alvin McCraney

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Oscillation Transia Film Festival

Oscillation Transia Film Festival is a non-profit traveling event, exploring the intersection of solar energy application and environmental awareness through the art of film.

Project type: Film Festival
Festival Director: Jess Giacobbe
Festival Engineer: Austin Krause

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At a dance for Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII, a quiet teen relies upon her zoot suit alter-ego to win the girl.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Alexis Sterling
Writer: Kendra Arimoto
Producer: Cori-Anne Greenhouse
Cinematographer: Kalilah Robinson

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A group of dedicated Public School Teachers roll up their sleeves and fight for their students’ lives – plus their imaginations and school supplies – as they question the value of their life’s work and mentor a naïve new English Instructor – all during parent-teacher conference week.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Angela Garcia Combs
Co-Producer: Meredith Riley Stewart
Co-Producer/Creative Advisor: Asher Huey

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Please Hold

In the near future, a young working-class Latino is thrust into a fully automated and privatized jail after being arrested by mistake.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: K.D. Davila
Co-Writer/Co-Producer: Levin Meneske

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The Plural of Blood

When one incident triggers a storm, we realize we are more connected than we think.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Mary-Lyn Chambers
Producer: Roxy Shih

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Portrait of a Young Man

A high school boy's struggle with identity and an eating disorder, as his family attempts to heal past wounds and nurture future hope.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Brandon Shenk
Producer/Editor: Yining Xu
Executive Producer: Iman Zawahry
Co-Producer: Yu Ying Chien
Cinematographer: Vanon Li
Production Designer: Yudi Zhang
Director of Graphics: Yizhou He

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The Prisoner

A teenage migrant escapes a detention center and confronts his past traumas, hopes and fantasies of living in the promised land - America- but it isn’t the America he was expecting.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Editor: Justin Ferrato
Producer: Daniel Maldonado

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Professor Doctor: Shamanism in the Anthropocene

In 2015, the tiny West African nation of Togo was named “unhappiest” in the world by the World Economic Forum, yet Togolese subsistence farmer, Vodun (“Voodoo”) priest, and aspiring rapper known as “Professor Doctor” manages a high-level of happiness through an interconnectedness with the land. However, decades of clearcutting and erratic climatic patterns have devastated crop yields and biodiversity rates; the distressing reality of climate change threatens to eradicate every aspect of Prof Doc’s identity.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Colin Scott
Director/Producer/Lead Researcher: Abby Snyder

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Proof of Loss

When a fire takes their home, a father and daughter must find a way to salvage what remains: each other.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Producerr: Laura Zak
Producers: Katherine Fisher, Sheri Bradford

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Reaching New Heights: Fazlur Rahman Khan and the Skyscraper

Story of the American structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, known as the ‘Einstein of structural engineering’ and ‘father of modern-day skyscrapers.’ Khan, a Muslim immigrant, built the iconic Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago. His pioneering innovations literally transformed the landscape of America’s largest cities and paved the way for supertall skyscrapers worldwide.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Laila Kazmi
Cinematographer: Ryan Purcell
Graphics and Animation: Begoña Lopez
Associate Producer: Arnila Guha Nolok

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A teenage boy is dropped off to work on a school project with a classmate. The strangers are forced to connect and a harsh reality is revealed.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Major Dorfman
Producer: Creighton Dorfman
Producer: Grace Merriman
Producer: Justin Gonçalves
Producer: Will Pinke
Cinematographer: Cinematographer

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In rural Pennsylvania, a teenage couple’s — James and Lizzy — relationship is interrupted by Aaron, the guy James almost hooked up with four months ago. Red explores being queer in conservative towns during hard times with empathy rather than disdain.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director/Producer: Scott Sullivan
Producer: Annalea Fiachi

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The Residents of 8265 Oakland Ave.

The Residents of 8264 Oakland Ave is the story of a queer, chosen family, in Milwaukee, whose home is bought out to be a strip mall.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director: Rhea Bozzacchi
Actor/Producer: Molly Ragen
Cinematographer: Mike Maliwanag
Production Designer: Courtney Johnson

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The Rest of My Life

George Martin is a spirited and witty 75-year-old man who’s dying of prostate cancer. Shot over five years of highs and lows in the Martin family, this film culminates with George’s death and the filmmaker’s simultaneous discovery of her own pregnancy, thereby highlighting the mysterious links between death, love, grief, and new life.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Mary Gerretsen
Executive Producer: Matt Bosack
Executive Producer: Mark Harris
Associate Producer: Wesley Yiin
Editor/Assistant Editor: Rachelle Hoppel

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Restarting The Motor City

Restarting The Motor City is a documentary about how post-bankruptcy Detroit is transforming the innovators and creators who are making it happen, and the obstacles they must overcome to free themselves from the shackles of 20th-century thinking and work together to create a city of the future.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Melissa Dowler
Producer/DP/Editor: Tom Dowler
Executive Producers: Shane Kelly, Ted Serbinski

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Return from Tomorrow

A young man unexpectedly dies. Guided by a brilliant being of light, he is transported to hell, heaven, and other dimensions in between. He is returned back to life into his body against his will. Though transformed by his encounter with infinite love, he struggles to accept his fateful return to earth and the responsibilities that come with it.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Producer: James Guyer
Writer: Kevin Bernhardt
Line Producer: Jim Bigham
Legal & Sales: George Rush

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Rewiring Juvenile Justice

Armed with innovative brain imaging technologies and the emerging field of neurolaw, scientists set a course to advocate for evidence-based juvenile criminal policy.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Helena Cortes
Producer: Bria Cole

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A young ex-convict struggling with new freedom pursues redemption at all costs when given a job from his neighbor.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Rashad Frett
Executive Producer: Mark Manson
Producer: Pierre Coleman, Ramfis Myrthil
Cinematographer: Sam Motamedi
Lead Actor: Melvin Mogoli

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Rise Up Animation

Rise Up Animation is dedicated to increasing diverse talent in the animation industry by providing BIPOC with industry advice, portfolio feedback, resume feedback and the tools needed to turn their dreams into reality.

Project type: Organization
Founder: Monica Lago-Kaytis
Founder: Trent Correy
Founder: Bobby Pontillas
Founder: Frank Abney

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Salma's Home

Three Arab women living in modern day Jordan must put their differences aside and work together in order to survive. Tangled in a family drama after Bakri dies, his two wives and his adopted daughter navigate his inheritance, finding out that the only way forward is to try and make peace with each other.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director: Hanadi Elyan
Producer: Nathan Bennett

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Scars Unseen

A documentary series about the triumph of the human spirit, following six men and women who have overcome domestic violence.

Project type: Documentary Series
Co-Director/Producer: Meredith Yinger
Co-Director/Director of Photography: Natalie Perez

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Scenes From Our Marriage

Co-stars Ela’ (Clarke Peters) and Legbani (Yolonda Ross) burn up the stage in a new racially fueled Broadway play. But when trust is violated, fact and fiction become blurred as the couple wrestles with what it means to love and succeed as black artists in show business.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Executive Producer: Yolonda Ross
Producers: Sasha Solodukhina, Adaptive Studios, NightFox Entertainment

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Sadie, a 17-year-old ferry deckhand has her day turned upside down when she tries to delete a love-confessing text message before outing herself to the crew.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Lindsey Ryan
Producer: Samantha Scolarici
Co-Producer: Danny Ryan
Executive Producer: Katherine Doyle
Associate Producer: Eden Strassburg
Cinematographer: Ming Hu
Colorist: Elodie Ichter
Cast - Sadie: Pauline Chalamet

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Season of the Witches

Season of the Witches is a psycho-social crime thriller following three American PhD students volunteering in post-hurricane Puerto Rico who accidentally kill a local playboy in a revenge scheme gone wrong. When the “doing good on the Island” women try to cover up the murder, they are pursued by a local detective with demons of her own, raising the stakes on what it means to be loyal and good.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Deborah Riley Draper
Writer/Producer: Sherri Daye Scott
Executive Producer: Mikki Taylor
Executive Producer: Cheryl Polote-Williamson

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Seeing Diane Arbus

A movie theater projectionist with dwarfism has a fateful, frightening reunion with the famously voyeuristic photographer, Diane Arbus.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: Lindsay Zibach
Producer: Natalie Heltzel
Executive Producer: Ian Gibson
Director of Photography: Favienne Howsepian
Production Designer: Madelyn Wilkime
Editor: Stacy Pietrafitta

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To tame her mischief, a single mother enrolls her nine-year-old daughter in private painting lessons in Kathmandu until she suddenly catches a mysterious illness. When doctors are unable to pin down a diagnosis, her strong-willed mother turns to a local shaman who reveals shared trauma that leads mother and daughter down a path of redemption.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Nani Sahra Walker

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An episodic comedy about a group of lovable idiots trying to make it in Hollywood while surviving on the streets of L.A.

Project type: Narrative Series
Director/Co-creator: Drew Rosas
Co-creator: Nick Sommer

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She Said/She Said

She Said / She Said is a character driven dramedy based in the Los Angeles live storytelling community. A storyteller suffering from writer's block finds her unique voice and comes to terms with her abusive childhood when she hears a younger woman tell a story eerily similar to her own.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Sara Alize Cross
Producers: Matt Chupack, Don Ohmer, Matt Michienzie

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SHIFT Creative Fund

The SHIFT Creative Fund is a grant program designed to support up-and-coming independent filmmakers by bringing their creative visions to life. SHIFT developed the Creative Fund to allow filmmakers to take their narrative short film projects from script to screen.

Project type: Organization
Program Manager: Grace Amodeo
Director of Marketing: Taylor Corrado
CEO: Kai Pradel

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Shouting Into the Wind

When the California WaterFix, an estimated $18 billion proposal to divert fresh water to Southern California, was introduced it seemed inevitable despite the high price tag and public opposition. Shouting Into the Wind introduces the union reps and political figures behind the proposal and the vocal residents who pushed back.

Project type: Documentary Short
Director/Producer: Elizabeth Bayne
Journalist: Jessica Grainger

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Silk Road

When an opportunistic Indian graduate student finds a bag full of drugs, he decides to sell them on the deep web to make a quick buck. Little does he know that a brilliant Indian American DEA agent is working around the clock to hunt him down.

Project type: Narrative Episodic
Director: Pradeep Katasani
Producer: Amar P

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Three women whose lives are shattered by ISIS travel intertwined journeys on two continents to find their shared destiny in fighting back.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Anna M. Bofarull
Producer: Azadeh Khatibi
Producer: Marian Matachana
Cinematographer: Lara Vilanova
Editor: Diana Toucedo

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Snake River

Snake River is a Rock and Roll drama series about the unlikely rise of Luke Weaver, a middle-aged depressive whose talent for self-sabotage is second only to his ability to make great music.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Prodcuer: Bobby Field
Producer: Ashley Krick
Director of Photography: Zach Voytas

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Someone You Know

Three women break the silence & stigma surrounding later abortion by sharing their complex stories.

Project type: Documentary Short
Producer: Asha Dahya
Co-producer: Sarah Moshman
Editor: Prakshi Malik
Animator: McGregor

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Something to Live For

A pregnant Palestinian woman, whose husband died in the Israeli prison, wants to avenge his death. Under Hamas’ guidance, she plans a terror attack in Israel. The premature birth of her son makes her reconsider, but will Hamas let her off the hook?

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Adva Reichman
Producers: Nahd Bashier, Nicholas Benjamin

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Sonny Boy

A once promising playwright returns home to make amends with his dying father while picking up the pieces of a broken dream.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Project status: Development
Director: Kristen Hansen
Producer: Heather Brawley
Producer: Antonio A Ayala
Writer/Actor: Nick Maccarone

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Threatened by the forces of nature, a prehistoric outcast must use a newly awakened power to save her people: the ability to speak. But is the world ready to hear what she has to say?

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Nich Esposito
Producer: David Fieman

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A seemingly happy woman is thrown for a loop after an unexpected run-in leads her to a startling realization.

Project type: Narrative Short
Co-Director: Brandi Nicole Payne
Co-Director: Jen West
Director of Photography: Alexxiss Jackson
Production Designer: Lauren Yisrael
Intimacy Coordinator: Camille Monae

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Stan Bitters Modern Primitive

Locations like the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs show how Stan’s work is a staple of the Mid Century Movement from a California artist working since the 1950’s to today. The film is a study of contrasts, Stan, a reserved man, whose work, much like Jackson Pollack’s, is the culmination of physical battle with his preferred medium, clay.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Francesca Di Amico
Director of Photography/Producer: Claudia Unger

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Stateville Calling

Elderly prisoners cost taxpayers billions and are the least likely to reoffend, which is why senior citizen activist Bill Ryan - who already helped to end the death penalty in Illinois - wants to set them free.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Ben Kolak
Producer: Yana Kunichoff

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The Stolen Children

Upon adoption, filmmaker Elizabeth Jacobs was the only baby out of her fellow adoptees to not receive a single piece of information about her family background. Now, twenty one years later, she returns to Cambodia for the first time since childhood in order to uncover the truth about her adoption, as she is determined to find out why, and why her.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Elizabeth Jacobs
Producer: Breanna Lynn
Assistant Director: Phoebe J Yung
Director of Photography: Britney Bautista
Sound Technician: Shorif Suhel
Cinematographer: Corey Clark
Sound Technician: Noah Penkrat
Cinematographer: Shalyn Delhaes
Gaffer: David Fernandez
Executive Producer: Darsh Thakker
Executive Producer: Avi Zephyra

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Stronger Than The Bullet

Stronger Than The Bullet is a non-partisan documentary project following three generations of women - in three states - as they fight for voting rights during the 2020 election. Embedded, we witness the inspiring stories of communities struggling for representation in an election year where not only democracy itself is on the line - but people may literally be dying to vote. Each generation has a timeless tale to tell, revealing a hard truth - we have been here before.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Gilda Ann Brasch
Executive Producer: Paula Munoz Vega
Executive Producer: Monica Ramirez
Executive Producer: Autumn Udell

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The sun sets too often on pregnant women in Nigeria who face an inescapable reality - to live or die. In Sunset, we follow some women on a journey to remove the veil of Nigeria's dichotomic healthcare system.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Adaku Uwandu
Producer: Ife Olatunji
Cinematographer: Gilliam De La Torre

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Survival Skills

Meet Jim. A police cadet fresh out of the academy who gets in over his head when he tries resolving a domestic abuse case outside the legal system. Good luck, Jim.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director: Quinn Armstrong
Producer: Colin West

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Swearing is a dramedy short film about GOD, SEX, and GROWING UP.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Mary Bronaugh
Producer: Natalie Galdamez
Cinematographer: Cole Bacani
Editor: Joseph DeRose
Leading Role/Executive Producer Sari Arambulo

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Through intimate first-hand accounts, refugees describe their near-impossible journeys of hope from their African homes to European cities. Alongside, social and other aid workers provide a framework for challenges new immigrants often face as they attempt integration.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Daniel W Smith

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Two pretentious Upper East Side New Yorkers are blackballed from the local theatre scene and decide their only recourse is to travel to Fargo, ND and start a theatrical revolution.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer: Noam Tomaschoff
Writer/Executive Producer: Chelsea Frei
Producer: Matthew Cooper
Director of Photography: Arlen Konopaki

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After an unexpected one night stand, two women at very different stages of their lives, share an even more intimate morning after.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Felicia Pride
Producer: Regina Hoyles

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That's The Password In This Town

On the eve of her high-school graduation, rebellious teenager Sarah acquires a gun to exact revenge on a man that raped her years prior. Sarah must reconsider her choices when she discovers this man is now the single parent to a baby daughter.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Marfisia Bel
Producer: Esteban Zuluaga
Director of Photography: Brody Anderson

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There Is No Line

A documentary short exposing an unsettling truth: The United States no longer welcomes the “tired, poor, huddled masses” we’re telling to “get in line” for the American dream. There is no line anymore, not for them.

Project type: Documentary Short
Director: Sharon Boeckle
Executive Producer: Matt Cameron

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This Beautiful and Terrible Thing

After being arrested in an FBI sting and labeled a domestic terrorist amidst the Ferguson protests, a once-promising student, father, artist, and activist leader comes home to his life and family after 6 years of federal incarceration. With over a decade of intimate footage, this film bears witness as Olajuwon questions the tactics and label of “Black Identity Extremist” used to put him away and learns to reconcile his tumultuous past with his hopeful future.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Robert T. Herrera
Producer: Aaron Bowden
Producer: Damon Davis

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This Crooked World

This Crooked World is a deliciously playful thriller that follows two women and the nefarious characters pursuing them across the US-Mexico border. It draws inspiration from Fargo, Snatch, and Thelma & Louise.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Producer: Lisa Donmall-Reeve
Producer: Tom Wilton
Director: Maria McIndoo

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This Is Your Song

On the night of their wedding anniversary, a bohemian theatre actress and a beatnik inspired writer confront the strife of their relationship, dreams and the city they once loved.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Hassan Said
Producer: Masha Karpoukhina
Writer: Lourdes Figueroa
Cinematographer: Peggy Peralta

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Three (Extra)Ordinary Women

Pearlette, Tammy and Terry are Three (Extra)Ordinary Women of color who collectively have overcome poverty, abuse, systemic racism, and political occupation. The film will explore their life stories and how the parallels between the Palestinian occupation and Jim Crow in the United States have equally disenfranchised people of color. Braving their biggest physical obstacle yet – climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro– will show women of color can accomplish anything.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Cionin Lorenzo
Co-Producer: Pearlette Ramos
Executive Producer: Sheena Wiley
Executive Producer: Frank Anderson

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Thus: The Conclusion

An experimental long-form visual poem about a solo female traveler reflecting on the principles of human existence through a woman’s lens. Her fragmented memories are juxtaposed with natural imagery captured from Iceland and Africa. The two polar opposite locations visually represent the cognitive dissonance in us all.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/WriterProducer/Editor: Aimee Jennings

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The Tiger and the Protected

A single mother dreams of her son getting out of poverty by pressuring him to excel at basketball, but when he’s hit with a felony assault charge, she’s forced to re-examine her parenting.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Producer: Phoebe Wong
Writer: Jeff S. Gordon

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To the Land

To the Land follows three friends and their small organic farm located on the California Coast. Over the course of a year, Brisa Ranch faces challenges and setbacks that put not only their friendship and farm at risk, but the very land they call home.

To the Land is a cinema verité portrayal of the struggles and joys found on the land and the resilience of those who grow the food that feeds our country.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Katie Bancroft
Producer: Libby Hart

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Too Soon: The Comedy of 9/11

They say Tragedy + Time = Comedy. In the aftermath of 9/11, humor remained America’s most vital tool against fear, anger, and pain. Too Soon is the twenty-year chronology of how comedy stopped completely, slowly regained its footing, and finally grew bigger and more powerful than ever, allowing all of us to unite and heal in the process.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Writer: Nick Scown
Producer: Julie Seabaugh

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Trace the Line

A poet and a visual artist grapple to understand the world around them while practicing physical-distancing during the tumultuous year of 2020.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director: Alejandro Miranda Cruz
Producer: Noel Miranda
Cinematographer: Greg Hatton
Cast: Matthew Charles
Cast: Brooke Leland

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True Believer

The 2016 election reaffirmed the power of American Evangelicalism. Many, including pastor J, are still dumbfounded. How could a divorcee who bragged about grabbing women garner support from a community predicated on piousness? The answer goes beyond Trump. Decades ago, conservative leaders conspired to seize political power. T​rue Believer​ is a feature documentary that reveals the remarkable tale of how a religion was hijacked for political gain, and​ especially as we look toward 2020,​ unpacks the present-day crisis many evangelicals are facing now that their faith is largely responsible for electing Donald Trump.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Kristen Irving-Jordan
Producer: Katie Doering

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While we all carry our individual burdens, we don’t have to do so alone. TRUE. TALK. DOCS. bring awareness to those things we bury deep or hide from others (especially on social media), while highlighting those achievements that we feel more comfortable sharing.

Project type: Web Docuseries
Director/Producer: Mary Gerretsen

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Ugly Pretty

A fish-out-of-water in “Small Town,” Pennsylvania finds herself in over her head when she has an affair with a local married man and becomes an accessory to a murder. In the end she risks it all to save the lives of two innocent children. Nothing ever happens in a small town… until it does.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Hollis Sherman-Pepe
Producer: ShaunPaul Costello

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Pritanka Agrawal (30) is 100% American -- politically active, foul mouthed, and completely independent. After her mother dies, she goes to India to scatter her ashes with her mother’s extended family.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Urvashi Pathania
Producer: Ayesha Nadarajah
Cinematographer: Vanon Li
Editor: Pratyush Dubey

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Until Justice Rolls Down: Bill Moore and the Freedom Walkers

In 1963, a white civil rights activist is murdered while on a Freedom Walk to deliver a letter to the governor of Mississippi. Within a week, a diverse group of Freedom Walkers attempts to complete the walk and are arrested. Forty-five years later, a woman commits to walk the same path and ensure the letter is finally delivered, alongside the surviving Freedom Walkers.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Writer: Laura Cross

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The Untitled Pageant Documentary

A documentary film that explores beauty pageant culture through the lens of a former contestant.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Mandi Reno-Matarrese
Producers: Joseph and Phillip Matarrese

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Facing social and political instability in the US, and also in some of their home countries, four foreign university students from four different countries struggle internally and externally with their own versions of the American Dream as they pursue their degrees in Utah—can they forge a life here?

Director/Producer: Ya-Chi Yang
Producer: Mengxu Pan
Writer: Sonia Albert-Sobrino
Co-producer: Miriam Albert-Sobrino
Editor: Stan Clawson

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Walk With Me

Walk With Me follows my husband Charlie’s journey living with early onset Alzheimer’s. We see him as the father, the creative, the husband, the patient, and his authentic self, as he lives life with a diagnosis most people are afraid to talk about. Together, we will meet other women and men also trying to navigate their lives anew and we will explore the next frontier of brain research both in America and abroad.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Co-Director/Producer: Heidi Levitt
Cinematographer: Lisa Rinzler
Producer: Vanessa Perez
Producer/Lead Subject: Charlie Hess
Executive Producer: Alex Gibney

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We Burn Like This

Amidst rising anti-Semitism in Billings, Montana, Rae, a 22 year old Jewish girl and descendant of Holocaust survivors uncovers issues of self worth, addiction, and buried childhood trauma which she must learn to face and heal.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Alana Waksman
Producer: Jeri Rafter
Producer/Editor: Marshall Granger
Director of Photography: B. Rubén Mendoza
Sound Designer: Diego Perez

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Weeping Rocks

As we near the “Sixth Extinction” of our planet, the evidence is clear: the insect population faces global obliteration, and humanity needs to be prepared. Weeping Rocks is a documentary that focuses on the critical role small organisms play in our fragile ecosystem and the frontline workers who have quietly dedicated their lives to tracing, studying, and cultivating these often overlooked creatures. “Love them or loathe them, we humans cannot survive without insects.”

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director: Karlis Bergs
Producer: Jackii Chun
Cinematographer: Alexey Kurbatov

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Weight of the World

Weight of the World is a televised anthology series with fictional present-day storylines whose dialogue is solely derived from the original transcripts of the federal Workers’ Project Administration (WPA) interviews of formerly enslaved African-Americans during 1936-1938. This is American documentary theatre on screen.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer/Writer: Michelle Renee Jackson, MDiv
Co-Producer: Mark Herzog

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We Just Want To Be

In 1960s California, an L.A. clinic opened its doors to offer conversion therapy to worried parents of LGBTQ children. Doctors wondered if identity was flexible, and designed a project to see if gender and sexuality were the results of nature or nurture. While seeking the truth in this story behind their own identities, two unlikely friends, come together to investigate the ongoing harm of conversion therapy shapes the lives of trans youth today.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Directors: Sé Sullivan & Mauro Sifuentes
Producers: Sé Sullivan & Mauro Sifuentes
Consulting Producer: Marc Smolowitz

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Were You Gay In High School?

A short film about two queer women recalling their awkward, closeted high school days of kissing boys and straight-girl crushes.

Project type: Narrative Short
Co-writer/Director: Niki Ang
Co-writer/Cinematographer: Karen Du

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What Color Is Blue

What Color is Blue is about the internal impotence that we, as queer youth, feel while facing the people, politicians, and organizations that do not want us to exist.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Cinematographer: Carman Spoto
Producers: Carman Spoto, Quinn Dougherty

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What Kind of Woman

A young woman’s life is flipped upside down by secrets from her mother and she is forced to become the parent instead of the child.

Project type: Narrative Short
Writer/Director: Elizabeth Block
Producers: Daniel McGilvray, Debbie Brubaker

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Whisper Back

Inside a run-down diner on pleasure moon Huvi, a romantic psychodrama plays out between two waitresses and an odd stranger who may not be of this world.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer/Producer: Sonja Kelly
Director of Photography: Andrés Solórzano
Editor: Michael Tang

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Who the Hell is Johnny Otis?

When a high school counselor told him to quit his Black friends, Loannis Veliotes dropped out, took his drum set on the road, and became Johnny Otis–a decades long innovator and promoter of Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll. Calling himself “Black by persuasion,” Johnny Otis tore through taboos against white and Black musicians playing together and wrote dozens of R&B and rock hits along with books and articles promoting Black liberation.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Producer: Doug Harris
Director: David Zeiger
Director of Photography: Jerry Henry
Archival Producer: Evangeline Griego
Director of Archival Research: Rich Remsberg
Editor: Lindsay Mofford

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Wild About '88: The Rise of Arizona Basketball

A legendary coach and a talented team of outsiders transform the sleepy desert city of Tucson, Arizona into a crazed college basketball mecca.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Sean P. Malone
Director/Producer: Brad Malone
Producer: Isaiah Leslie
Producer: Mustan Dawood

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Wild Animal

A young, transient MMA fighter is forced to choose between court-ordered Equine Therapy and the familiar path of self destruction, after a traumatic brain injury threatens her promising career.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Director/Writer/Producer: Joseph Marconi
Producer: Lysette Urus
Director of Photography: David Vollrath
Associate Producer: Chance Housley

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When a young girl is called upon in court as the sole witness in her father's sexual assault case, she must choose between telling the truth or protecting her family.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director: Mishal Mahmud
Producer: Nidhi Kulkarni
Producer: Aishy Vimal
Cinematographer: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Sound Recordist: Renia Akamatsu

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The Yellow Wallpaper

When a depressed young writer in the late 19th century is restricted by her well-intentioned physician husband to a summer of bed rest in a remote country estate, her isolation — and marriage — sets in motion her descent into madness.

Project type: Narrative Feature
Writer/Director/Producer: Kevin Pontuti
Producer/Lead Actor: Alexandra Loreth

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On her way to visit her sick father, an adrift young woman, Riley Varick, hits a deer on the road and is forced to confront and accept her actions as a prerequisite for her father’s inevitable demise.

Project type: Narrative Short
Director/Writer: Ani Schroeter
Producer: Myriam Schroeter
Cinematographer: Alexander Dynan

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Yoshi: Wake Up With Me

After learning about the death of his mentor on Facebook, Yoshi walks 8,800 miles to connect with her family and friends. But along his journey Yoshi discovers the courage to look inward and rectify his own past.

Project type: Documentary Feature
Director/Producer: Momo Lee Aoi

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