2011 Film Fest Petaluma

The following films were showcased in our third annual festival on April 23, 2011 at the Mystic Theatre.

Documentary Shorts, 2:30pm

 

CAMBODIAN SNACK, Garret Atlakson

Villagers in Cambodia prepare a special treat. First they catch it, then they fry it, and finally they eat it-one leg at a time. This short documentary reveals how what’s normal in place can be strange, funny, or just plain gross in another. (Cambodia, 8  min.)

 

COHEN ON THE BRIDGE: RESCUE AT ENTEBBE, Andrew Wainrib

Cohen on the Bridge: Rescue at Entebbe depicts the 1976 hostage crisis in which a plane was hijacked and Israeli Jews were held in Entebbe, Uganda, until a daring rescue by Israeli commandos.  Andrew Wainwrib’s stylized black-and-white animated documentary is a tour-de-force of riveting action and a moving tribute to those who lost their lives. (USA, 21 min.)

 

YES WE WILL, Wes Matheny & Hannah Waterbury

A young woman’s bike ride across town leads her to a laid-back hang out that culminates in an unforgettable jam session. The conformist aesthetic of suburban Healdsburg contrasts with the dissenting voice of a local singer-songwriter whose own message of hope and change is captured by SRJC film students Wes Matheney and Hannah Waterburry in this experimental music video. (USA, 10 min.)

 

BYE BYE NOW, Ross Whitaker

The phone box used to be the center of life for many rural Irish folks before modern technology rendered it obsolete. Whitaker weaves together anecdotes about the significance of the phone box to daily life with reflections upon its role as a barometer of how much we’ve changed with the times. This bittersweet documentary uses humor and warm characters to create a worthy tribute to the concrete structure that meant so much to rural Ireland. (Ireland, 12 min.)

 

PAX, Sarah Harvey & Glenn Close

What do an Iraq war veteran and a female prison inmate have in common? They have both experienced the healing power of one loving dog named Pax. After suffering a head injury in Iraq, Sergeant Bill Campbell received a service dog, trained by inmate Laurie Kellogg, who’s comfort has allowed him to cope with PTSD and reclaim his life. This emotionally powerful film documents individuals from different walks of life sharing a unique bond thanks to a very special dog. (USA, 18 min.)

 

DUCK CROSSING, Koldo Almandoz

The duck crossing may be one of the most famous motifs in film history, but tragically, the in-demand actors that make it possible never get the recognition they deserve-until now, that is, with the duckumentary that finally sheds some light on the unglamorous yet vital roles of duck film performers. Director interviews and behind-the-scenes footage reveal just how hard working these ducks really are, and why famous filmmakers like Roman Polanski have found the duck crossing to be an essential element of great cinema. (Spain, 12 min.)

 

PRAYERS FOR PEACE, Dustin Grella

A young man’s walk downtown triggers tender memories and difficult emotions about his big brother, a soldier who was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq. Director Dustin Grella’s moving narration and dynamic animation style depict the tragedy of war and his dedication to his brother’s memory in this introspective animated story.  (USA, 8 min.)

 

World Shorts Showcase, 7:30pm

 

10 ITEMS OR LESS, Ryan Phillips

While shopping at a local grocery store, a man’s attention drifts to a beautiful girl who passes him in the isle. Can the protagonist work up the courage to chat up the mystery shopper, or will he just embarrass himself? Original music and crafty camera work result in an unforgettable story of spontaneous grocery store romance from stand-out El Molino High School director Ryan Philips. (USA, 4 min.)

 

LOST AND FOUND BOX OF HUMAN SENSATION, Stefan Leuchtenberg & Martin Wallner

When a young man’s father dies unexpectedly, he embarks on a emotional journey through time and space in an attempt to understand his grief. In A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation, filmmakers Stefan Leuchtenberg and Martin Wallner craft a visually stunning animated journey into the depths of a troubled psyche. (Germany, 15 min.)

 

ARTALDE (Flock of Sheep), Asier Altuna

When a shepherd gets lost in the city, he calls out to his flock so that they might return home. But when he attracts a crowd of people, a confrontation ensues that threatens the cohesion of the herd. Beautifully shot in sharp black and white, this visual study of our animal nature probes the meaning of group behavior in modern society. (Spain, 8 min.)

 

ET TOIS? (And You?), Meliane Marcaggi

When a loving boyfriend is unable to say a few essential words, he triggers a torrent of emotions that could complicate his life in unexpected ways. Director Meliane Marcaggi stars in this wry comedy that cleverly utilizes visual jokes and witty dialogue to show how a simple miscommunication can have drastic repercussions. (France, 10 min.)

 

LITTLE CHILDREN, BIG WORDS, Lisa James-Larsson

When it’s Alex’s turn to tell his seven-year old classmates what he wants to be when he grows up, an uncomfortable discussion begins about the meaning of an unknown but loaded word. And when his teacher has to explain a concept beyond Alex’s understanding,  long repressed memories and scars are awakened. This perfectly shot and well acted drama from Sweden reveals how a glimpse of a world of suffering just below the surface might be an opportunity for both education and healing. (Sweden, 12 min.)

 

LEBENSADER, Angela Steffen

When a girl discovers an entire world in one leaf, she is taken on a magic journey into a vibrant, patterned space where reflections of self become images to behold. Angela Steffen delivers a rhythmic, colorful expression of human emotion and pure imagination in this delightful animated short. (Germany, 6 min.)

 

GAYBY, Jonathan Lisecki

The gayby boom has hit, as Jenn (straight) asks her best friend from college, Matt (gay), to be her sperm donor. Deciding to take the cheap route, they plan to make a baby the old fashioned way, setting off a chain of hilariously awkward events as they find that consummating the act proves more difficult than either thought. (USA, 12 min.)

 

AFGHAN, Pardis Parker

When a filmmaker faces discrimination in his community, he sets out to gain something positive from his experience by constructing a series of visual puns ridiculing bigotry using his camera and his vandalized car. This short drama shows the necessity of humor and friendship in the face of hatred and the relationship of creativity to self-identity. (USA, 10 min.)

 

MOORE STREET MASALA, David O’Sullivan

Baba has a song in his heart and on his lips as he longs for the sexy real estate agent across the street. Music, motion, and color make for a fun, cinematic tribute to the power of love and the magic of the movies in this extravagant bollywood-style musical. (Ireland, 5 min.)

 

GLENN OWEN DODDS, Frazer Bailey

Heading for his bus stop one day, Michael is intrigued by a line of people in front of an alley door painted red. Thus begins a chance meeting with both the girl of his dreams and God. Fate works in mysterious ways in this cleverly executed comedy from Australian director Frazer Bailey. (Australia, 16 min.)

 

Midnight Shorts Showcase, 12:00am

 

MY CUP RUNNETH OVER, Zach Smith

When a young man’s studious ways are interrupted by the forces of nature, can he take of his business before it’s too late? This rhythmic, fast-paced comedy from local TV producer and film student Zach Smith shows how overstudying, daydreaming, and too much coffee might make for an embarrassing disaster. (USA, 2 min)

 

COLD TURKEY, Gavin Keane

A sound editor working on an action movie has one day to finish the key scene-but with his producer down his neck and the landlady’s kids vexing him, he feels the pressure building. He just needs one last punch sound-but amidst the various distractions, the only way he might capture it is through great personal sacrifice. (Ireland, 12 min.)

 

SINKHOLE, Eric Scherbarth

When a smarmy little broker, ready to make a deal, finds himself in a strange and dangerous land riddled with fume-spewing sinkholes, he conquers his nerves in an effort to sway a rough loner to part with his mineral-rich land. But whether that land wants to be parted with remains an open question-until the horrors of the plot’s abandoned mines come to life and speak for themselves..(USA, 13 min.)

 

LINTSCAPE, Caitlin Craggs

As a lady does her laundry in a linty basement, things get a little weird when lintlings start communicating with each other. The lady will soon discover whether they are friend or foe as they occupy their attention on her leg hairs and eventually her face. Director Caitlin Craggs uses brilliant hand-drawn and stop-motion animation to create a world of living lint that is both disturbing and visually spectacular.  (USA, 5 min.)

 

TUB, Bobby Miller

It’s just your typical short film about a guy who can’t commit to his girlfriend, who then has fun with himself in the shower and accidentally impregnates his tub. When he is forced to deal with the consequences, will he be forced to change his ways as well? (USA, 12 min.)

 

WISDOM TEETH, Don Hertzfeldt

After Nigel gets his wisdom teeth pulled, he gives in to his friend’s seemingly innocent request to yank out his stitches, triggering unfathomable pain and hallucinations involving dinosaurs. But could it be that something is attached to the other end of one of his stitches? Nigel’s in for a big surprise in this latest absurdly sick comedy from veteran stick-figure animator Don Hertzfeldt. (USA, 6 min.)