2019 Atlanta Film Festival Lineup Announced

Written by Matt Rodriguez

The Atlanta Film Society has announced the lineup for its 43rd Annual Atlanta Film Festival. This year, the festival received a record-setting 8,414 submissions from over 120 countries across the world, up from 7,600 submissions in 2018. The 2019 festival will run from Thursday, April 4th through Sunday, April 14th and is expected to showcase 180 films across shorts, features, and other creative media.

“In our 43 years, we have made enormous strides in providing not only top-notch film programming, but also hosting special presentations and educational events that enrich Atlanta’s film and arts community,” said Christopher Escobar, Executive Director of the ATLFF. “Year after year, we are even more thrilled to showcase our remarkable slate of films and welcome exceptional filmmakers into Atlanta’s booming film industry, which has no doubt grown each year in tandem with the festival.”

Festival badges are available now at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com. Individual tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 22. Additional announcements will be made as programming is added to the 2019 ATLFF lineup.


Directed by Willem Bosch
Netherlands, 2019, Dutch, 93 minutes
After losing her beloved mother Vera in a tragic accident, 14-year-old Sam has taken on the responsibility of looking after her father and two little brothers. One morning as she rushes to school, a speeding truck causes Sam’s to meet a similar untimely end. With the help of her oddball guardian angel Martin, Sam is soon reunited with her mother in the afterlife. Though Vera is overjoyed to see her daughter again, she has no intention of allowing their reunion to be permanent. Vera is adamant that her daughter must return to the world of the living; Sam is determined to bring her mother back with her.
[Family Friendly]

Directed by Marília Hughes, Cláudio Marques
Brazil, 2018, Portuguese/German, 82 minutes
Dora, raised by her mother in Germany, is visiting her enigmatic Brazilian grandmother for the first time. Soon she will come to learn that this is not a vacation, but a relocation. She will not be returning to Germany, not even to say goodbye to her friends. While desperately trying to find a way home, Dora discovers the beauty of Brazil and the incredible history behind the women of her family.
Directed by Darya Zhuk
Belarus/USA/Russia, 2018, Russian, 93 minutes
Evelina dreams of leaving behind her life in post-Soviet Minsk to become a DJ in the USA. But it is not so easy to leave Belarus in 1996; Evelina must prove that she has a permanent job in order to obtain a visa. Desperate, she purchases a fake employment letter. But when Evelina accidentally lists the wrong phone number on this letter, she must travel to a backwater village to convince the number’s owner, a family in the midst planning a wedding, to lie on her behalf. The more time she spends with these strangers, the more she realizes their values are precisely what she is trying to escape from.
[New Mavericks]
Directed by Zahir Omar
Malaysia, 2018, Chinese/Bahasa/English, 101 minutes
Tailo is a cab driver who runs a small and mildly profitable extortion ring. When Sailo, his wild card younger brother, decides to branch out on his own he inadvertently unleashes a trail of destruction. Suddenly Tailo’s livelihood is under threat by both cops and crime lords and he must pull out all the stops to clean up Sailo’s mess and protect those who matter most to him.
Directed by Paz Leon
USA, 2019, Spanish, 78 minutes
Lara is a modern dancer who lives for her craft but is insecure about her talent. When she is offered a scholarship to join a prestigious foreign dance company, she finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. The opportunity is everything she has ever wanted, but a budding romance and and a health scare in her family give her pause. Lara comes to realize that in order to pursue her dream she must not only leave the only home she has ever known but the people who give her home meaning.
[New Mavericks], [CineMás]
Directed by Amber McGinnis
USA, 2019, English, 93 minutes
Dee is stuck in a boring job and a broken marriage in International Falls, a snowbound border town at the end of the road. Harboring a secret dream of a stand up career, Dee encounters Tim: a burned out touring comedian who feels trapped by the very life Dee desires. As these two lost souls form an unlikely friendship, they’ll be forced to face the harsh but funny truths of their lives.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
Directed by Inés María Barrionuevo
Argentina, 2018, Spanish, 104 minutes
Still reeling from the death of her husband, Julia travels to Argentina with her daughter Emma in tow to fix up and sell her husband’s family home. Julia and Emma’s grief has created a rift in their relationship as they process their loss in conflicting ways. Emma is desperate to hold onto the memory of her father, while Julia is eager to move on. When Julia runs into Gaspar, a friend from their former life, the trio attempt to overcome their loss by forming a new type of family.
[Pink Peach], [New Mavericks], [CineMás]
Directed by Jonothon Mitchell
USA, 2019, English, 74 minutes
Recovering from the death of his mother, 17-year-old Rodney dreams of escaping his small southern hometown to follow in her footsteps as an award-winning pageant queen. Despite an onslaught of bullying and abuse from his family and peers, Rodney calls upon a unique cast of southern characters to help him take the crown in a teen drag pageant in Atlanta.
[World Premiere], [Pink Peach], [Georgia]
Directed by Tonia Mishiali
Cyprus/Greece, 2018, Greek, 96 minutes
Elpida has spent her life enduring an oppressive marriage. When a doctor’s visit reveals that menopause is fast approaching, Elpida finds herself forced to confront the reality of her situation. Can she break free from the only life she has ever known in order to pursue her deep desire for love and affection? Feeling both trapped and desperate to explore an untapped side of herself, Elpida begins to seek refuge in a fantasy world of vindictive violence. Soon, reality and fantasy start to blur.
[New Mavericks]
Directed by Ruckus Skye
USA, 2019, English, 87 minutes
Miles from the nearest power grid, Lemon Cassidy scratches out a humble living in an isolated Appalachian farming community. Her life is tossed into chaos when two men from the oldest family on the mountain hold her son hostage until she can settle a debt her missing husband owes to their cold-hearted matriarch.
[World Premiere], [Georgia]
Directed by Sara Zandieh
USA, 2019, English, 88 minutes
Nousha continues to sabotage her relationships, much to the frustration of her parents. She is, after all, their only hope for a real Persian wedding. Under this pressure, Nousha meets Alex Talbot—a bisexual artist, activist and DJ living in an old warehouse. Their relationship progresses quickly, ultimately coming to the moment when Nousha’s parents discover that she and Alex are living together before marriage. Chaos unfolds, leading to a wedding that is anything but simple.
[Pink Peach], [New Mavericks]
Directed by Pradeepan Raveendran
France/India/Sri Lanka, 2019, Tamil/French, 89 minutes
In the spring of 2009, Sri Lanka’s decades long civil war is entering its most violent phase. Siva, a young Sri Lankan refugee living illegally in France, has lost contact with the family he was forced to leave behind. Haunted by the trauma of the war that devastated his childhood and obsessed by the flow of images on the Internet, Siva sinks into a waking dream that propels him into the heart of the battlefield.
[World Premiere]
Directed by Liz Manashil
USA, 2019, English, 75 minutes
In 2016, David Bowie’s death creates a rift in time and space. June and Edward are in the midst of an argument when Edward suddenly falls into the wormhole created by Bowie’s death, vanishing without a trace. In 2040, June continues to mourn the loss of Edward while facing the dark reality of her approaching 60th birthday, when she will be locked away along with the rest of her society’s senior citizens. Unwilling to disappear, June begins to plan her
escape when Edward suddenly reappears in her life. June has spent 24 years without Edward, but for Edward it has been mere moments.
[New Mavericks]
Directed by Ali Jaberansari
Iran/Netherlands/United Kingdom, 2018, Farsi, 102 minutes
A bodybuilding champion turned personal trainer finds secret excitement in his life when he takes on a new, young client. A beauty clinic secretary who lacks confidence in her physical appearance creates a digital persona to seduce men she feels she could never have. A dispirited religious singer tries his luck performing at weddings to increase the chances of finding the love of his life. This is a bittersweet tale of three disenchanted characters yearning for love in a city that does not embrace them.
Directed by John Cerrito
USA, 2019, English, 85 minutes
Peter, typically unlucky in love, is overjoyed when he manages to find the girl of his dreams, Ellie, on a dating app. But when their seemingly perfect date ends with Peter waking up the next morning alone, he begrudgingly turns to a new dating site that guarantees it will find his perfect match. After a series of unsuccessful dates, Peter begins to notice eerie similarities between the women from the website and Ellie (who is still very much on his mind). When Peter learns the truth behind Ellie’s rejection, he’ll discover that dating life in the digital era is much more complicated that he could have imagined in this unique love story with a fantasy twist.
[Pink Peach]
Directed by Eibe Maleen Krebs
Germany, 2018, German, 95 minutes
Looking to fulfill a voluntary year of social service, Christoph accepts a position as personal nurse to the terminally-ill Sven. Desperate to avoid any kind of emotional connection in the face of death, Sven initially rejects Christoph’s offer of friendship and support. As Sven’s health begins to worsen, he begins to let Christoph in, eventually trusting him enough to share his last wishes. Christoph must overcome his own uncertainty in order to help Sven shape his fate.
Directed by Jacqueline Olive
USA, 2019, English, 90 minutes
When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina, the trauma of the past bleeds into the present. Despite inconsistencies in the case, local officials quickly rule Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched and begins a painstaking fight for justice for her son. A few hundred miles away in Monroe, Georgia, a group of reenactors, including the daughter of a former Ku Klux Klan leader, annually dramatize a 1946 lynching to memorialize the victims and to encourage the community to come forward with information that might bring the perpetrators to justice. Woven together, the stories explore the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today.
Directed by Aslihan Altug
Turkey, 2019, French/Wolof/Turkish, 70 minutes
Seven years ago, Amina left her daughter behind in Senegal in search of a better life for them both. Now, working as a dress model for a textile company in Istanbul, Amina dreams of being a real model one day and of returning to her child. But as an African woman, she must overcome the daily challenges of an immigrant’s life in Turkey while she attempts to reconcile the disparate world between her reality and her dreams.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
Directed by Giovanna Giovanini, Rodrigo Boecker
Brazil/Germany/Scotland, 2018, Portuguese/English, 85 minutes
Diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a fatal brain disease, Susana is a professional Brazilian swimmer and mother of three training for a spot in the Paralympic Games. Faced with the conflicting demands of rigorous training and a complicated family life, Susana must grapple with her solitary condition and choose between her athletic aspirations and familial duties in a race for fulfillment before her time runs out.
[New Mavericks], [CineMás]
Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
United Kingdom, 2018, English, 96 minutes
Fourteen years after the suicide of their son and brother, Evelyn, his family decides to walk the length of the UK and try to talk about him – something they had failed to do in over a decade. In this poignant portrait or grief, Academy Award® winning director Orlando von Einsiedel turns the cameras on himself, as he and his parents and siblings embark on a journey in remembrance of Evelyn. Part quest film, part road-trip, part memoir, EVELYN seeks to address the past, in order to find some peace in the present, and look to the future.
Directed by Adán Aliaga, Alex Lora
Spain/USA, 2019, Spanish/English, 83 minutes
The Fourth Kingdom is the kingdom of plastics, a redemption center in NY where undocumented immigrants and underdogs struggle to claim their share of the American Dream. Reckoning with this distant promise, denizens Ana, Walter, Eugene, Pierre, and René find comfort in each other’s company and otherworldy entertainment in the plastic that abounds. Dreams don’t die if the journey continues, regardless of origins and destinations.
Directed by Zhang Hao
USA/China, 2018, English/Chinese, 83 minutes
Each August, Steve Wong welcomes new students from China as they begin their studies at North Carolina State University. He offers them a ride home and a home-cooked Chinese meal, in return they take part in a bible study. Surprised by this unexpected aspect of studying abroad, a Chinese film student turns his lens toward the Chinese Christian community that has sprung up around his new school. Weaving through the complex relationships forged between Wong, his fellow converts and their more hesitant counterparts, this film follows various new students as they balance the pressures of religion, community, and belonging.
Directed by Cynthia Wade, Sasha Friedlander
Indonesia/USA, 2018, Indonesian, 81 minutes
In 2006, international drilling company Lapindo carelessly unleashed an unstoppable toxic mudflow into East Java—burying dozens of nearby villages and displacing tens of thousands of Indonesians in the process. Galvanized by tragedy, 16-year-old survivor Dian transforms into a politically active teenager and voice for her community, organizing her neighbors as they fight for justice in the wake of one of the world’s largest man-made environment disasters. From Academy Award® winning director Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander, this gripping documentary examines the perseverance of the human spirit amidst social and environmental strife.
[New Mavericks], [Pink Peach]
Directed by Tomer Heymann
Israel/Germany, 2018, Hebrew/English, 106 minutes
Meet Jonathan Agassi, a gay Israeli porn star with a worldwide following. Diving into his fantastical life, this intimate documentary explores the highest highs and lowest lows of one of the world’s most famous adult entertainers. Behind the veil of fame, Agassi shares a loving yet complicated bond with his mother and an estrangement from his father that boils beneath the surface. The freedom of sex, the allure of drugs, and the confines of family ultimately force Jonathan to confront the harsh realities of his extreme lifestyle.
[Pink Peach]
Directed by Tim O’Donnell, Jon Mercer
USA/Switzerland/United Arab Emirates, 2018, English, 89 minutes
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir broke records and barriers on her way to become the first Division I athlete to play basketball while wearing hijab. When a controversial ruling ends her chances at playing professionally, she re-examines her faith and identity as a Muslim American.
Directed by Renko Douze
Netherlands, 2017, Dutch, 55 minutes
When a nursing home has to deal with budget cuts and empty rooms, management comes up with a novel solution: lease the empty apartments to young people looking for a place to live. Some elderly residents don’t like this solution at all and would prefer to be left alone, but others, longing for change, welcome their new neighbors’ youthful energy. Whether they’re for or against the change, things are about to liven up in this humorous and heartfelt look at the power of bringing together the young and the old.
Directed by Cyril Aris
Lebanon/USA, 2018, Arabic/French/Italian, 74 minutes
An ailing old man’s fragile heart must be protected at all costs, so his family decides not to tell him that his beloved daughter has suddenly died abroad. His wife, aware of the family’s deceit, is left to grieve their daughter’s death for them both. What follows is a heavy, lyrical portrait that is brightened by the warming rays of loved ones’ smiles.
Directed by Sahra Mani
Afghanistan/France, 2018, Farsi, 90 minutes
When Khatera, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, opposes the will of her family and the traditions of her country to seek justice for years of sexual abuse from her father, she sheds light on the faulty Afghan judicial system and the women it rarely protects. One woman’s obstinate battle to make her voice heard demonstrates the power of action over fear in this harrowing feature documented by a young Afghan director.
[New Mavericks]
Directed by Jon Kasbe
Kenya/USA, 2018, Swahili, 76 minutes
In the Kenyan bush, a small-time elephant poacher fights to stay on top while forces mobilize to destroy the ivory trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline. Filmed over three years, this rare and visually arresting film places the viewer at the epicenter of the conservation divide.
Directed by Pietra Brettkelly
China/France/New Zealand, 2019, Chinese/French/English, 97 minutes
The world of fashion is incredibly exclusive, but no tier is more elite than that of haute couture. It’s a restrictive group that can only be joined with the express permission of an official French fashion organization. If they don’t approve you, you can’t use their label. Chanel, Givenchy, Dior – the designers who have traditionally been recognized by the group are predominantly male and mostly white Europeans. Enter Guo Pei, a female independent designer from China. Once unheard of, Guo rocketed to stardom when Rihanna wore her infamous yellow ball gown to the 2015 Met Gala. Now Guo has been invited to present a collection in Paris and could rise the ranks to secure the coveted haute couture label her ethereal work demands. At the intersection of new visions and old ideals, one radical, but traditionally overlooked, designer is determined to forge a path on hallowed ground. If you don’t know her name yet, you will soon.
[New Mavericks]
Directed by Moze Mossanen
USA/Canada, 2019, English, 84 minutes
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, nearly 40 airliners carrying over 6,500 passengers were forced to land at a tiny airport in Gander, Newfoundland. With thousands stranded and nowhere to go, the small but mighty Canadian community of Gander came together to house, feed, and care for the passengers or “come from aways” who soon became more like family than strangers. Through firsthand accounts and real life footage, You Are Here documents the immense kindness, clever resourcefulness, and heartfelt humor Gander showed their unexpected guests. Witness the remarkable true story that inspired the hit Broadway musical Come From Away.
Documentary Shorts
Memoirs of past burdens and future hopes collide in the present.
Valley of The Rulers (Dolina Vladara) | directed by Efim Graboy, Serbia/Israel, 25:38
Reconciling suffering and acceptance, residents go about their daily routine in a distant nursing home on top of a mountain in Serbia – the closest place to heaven.
Protect | directed by Hugues Hariche, USA, 17:25
An exploration of communities along the Georgia and South Carolina coast, where societal and environmental breakdowns are instigating valiant acts of human resistance.
[World Premiere], [Georgia]
When Pride Came To Town (Bygdehomo) | directed by Julia Dahr & Julie Lunde Lillesæter, Norway, 17:49
After leaving his rural hometown to escape homophobia, Bjørn-Tore returns decades later to participate in its first Pride parade.
[Pink Peach]
Edgecombe | directed by Crystal Kayiza, USA, 14:36
Revealing the deeply personal truths of three local residents, their collective stories examine the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in rural Black communities.
My Dear Kyrgyzstan | directed by Noam Argov, USA, 13:00
A Kyrgyz man takes it upon himself to transform his abandoned Soviet mining village into an international tourism destination.
Motomiya | directed by Alexandra Debricon, USA/France/Japan, 13:06 Travelling through fast paced Tokyo together, young student Raquel’s explosive love for life reminds older Motomiya that joy can be found in even the smallest of tasks.
[World Premiere]
Experimental Shorts
Astounding and unconventional avant-garde works.
Sailli – “The Light” | directed by Haansol Rim, USA, 3:00
The portrait of the existentialist struggle of seeking individuality (the Light) in a homogeneous world, only to be confined again in a never ending nightmare.
[World Premiere]
The Real Thing | directed by Julianna Villarosa, USA, 2:45
Using physical media (16mm, VHS) destroyed by Coca-Cola, this film contrasts the famous “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” ad with The Coca-Cola Company’s most recent scandal: unconscionable water privatization in Chiapas, Mexico.
[World Premiere], [Georgia]
Winners Bitch | directed by Sam Gurry, USA, 6:57
It takes a lot to be a woman of distinction; Virginia Hampton was an all breed American Kennel Club judge from 1963-2002. She was a doting mother, breeder of Collies, and proponent of the Akita. Two of those things are lies.
Boys Beware | directed by Callahan Bracken, Canada, 1:05
Repurposed archival footage that explores the lasting impacts of a heteronormativity society on young queer people.
[Pink Peach]
Two Parts Black | directed by Cleon Arrey, USA, 5:42
An attempt to depict the two worlds I navigate; the world my family has created for me and the world that exists beyond my mother’s door.
Cosmos Obscura | directed by Kate Balsley & Irina Escalante-Chernova, USA, 4:00
The universe is at once known and unknowable. New patterns, rhythms and metaphors are born from old ones, and familiar celestial bodies are refracted into strange and unusual forms. (Contains flashing images.)
Orchid Mantis – “Tired in the Morning” | directed by Joseph Skillas, USA, 3:00
A digital and analog collaborative collision with avant-garde artist Orchid Mantis. [Georgia]
Traces with Elikem | directed by Ariana Gerstein, USA, 7:00
Races performed and captured by scanner and monitor surfaces. Light reflects and passes through, layers slide past and sometimes meet, punctuated by sounds vibrating and percussive.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
We Were Hardly More Than Children | directed by Cecelia Condit, USA, 9:15
An epic tale of an illegal abortion as lived by two women on a perilous journey through a world that cared little for their survival.
[New Mavericks]
Fucked Like a Star | directed by Stefani Saintonge, USA, 8:00
Inter-splicing macro footage, we bring the viewer into the perspective of a lovelorn soldier ant, a pause in her day: the mythical dreamlife of an ant.
Teardown | directed by Kate E. Hinshaw, USA, 4:06
Through lush colors and phantasmagoric imagery, this piece depicts a story of divorce, gentrification, and the fraught familial relationships that surfaced from the destruction a home.
Sojourn | directed by Jonathan Lewis, USA, 13:10
While on a self- enlightening journey home, a young black man struggles with confronting deep mental and emotional hurdles surrounding race.
Family-Friendly Animated Shorts
Kid-sized shorts for the young and young at heart.
The Pig On The Hill | directed by Jamy Wheless & John Helms, USA/Serbia, 6:00
When Pig’s free‐spirited, rambunctious new neighbor, Duck, plunges himself into Pig’s quiet, orderly life, Pig learns that having friends is what he has been missing all along.
[Family Friendly]
Limbo | directed by Jennifer Stachovic, USA, 5:21
A lonely ghost girl, longing to cross over, befriends a mysterious phantom limb.
[New Mavericks], [Family Friendly]
The Good, the Bad, and the Puppy | directed by Louisa Lawler, USA, 3:35
In this homage to spaghetti westerns, a young woman sets out to find her dog who ran away from home to play poker.
[New Mavericks], [Georgia], [Family Friendly]
“Busy” | directed by Dawoon Kim, USA, 2:00
A girl tries to do her homework but her sister keeps interrupting her.
[New Mavericks], [Georgia], [Family Friendly]
Quarantine | directed by Astrid Goldsmith, United Kingdom, 12:55
A troupe of Morris-dancing badgers are forced to confront the animal quarantine compound which has been built above their burrow.
[World Premiere], [Family Friendly]
One Small Step (冲破天际) | directed by Andrew Chesworth & Bobby Pontillas, USA/China, 7:40
An ambitious young girl aspires to become an astronaut with the support of her humble father.
[Family Friendly]
Henrietta Bulkowski | directed by Rachel Johnson, USA, 16:16
A determined young woman, crippled by a severe hunchback, will stop at nothing to see the world.
[New Mavericks], [Family Friendly]
Local Shorts
A medley of Georgia makers and minds.
Gwilliam’s Tips For Turning Tricks Into Treats | directed by Brian Lonano, USA, 3:30
This is what you wanted! Gwilliam is back and offers some tips for getting special treats this Halloween.
Meat Eater | directed by Jared Callahan, USA, 2:15
A woman in the woods makes her escape.
[Georgia], [World Premiere]
Nobody’s Darling | directed by Robyn Hicks, USA, 13:59
A film about a young woman who, in order to make her way to California after the suicide of her father, turns to prostitution. Along the way, she meets an older widower and, together, they find common ground.
[Georgia], [New Mavericks]
Cracks | directed by Molly Coffee, USA, 5:00
The Girl is a whiskey drinking punk-rock welder who works hard and plays hard, but after a sudden violent sexual incident, she struggles with who she thinks she is.
[Georgia], [New Mavericks]
Being With Elephants | directed by James Martin, USA, 11:59
Throughout the Siana region of the Maasai Mara, local rangers must monitor and react to the shrinking elephant corridors in order to prevent future collisions of man and beast.
Gatito | directed by Kristina Arjona Adler, USA, 8:19
A quiet story of a little Hispanic boy who decides to be a cat for a day, and his traditional father who attempts to support him.
[Georgia], [World Premiere], [CineMás]
Gryphon Animo | directed by MT Maloney, Spain/USA, 10:32
To save his ailing sister, an unlikely hero must journey afar to pluck a feather from the mighty Gryphon in this parody of the classic fairy tale.
dear, dreamer | directed by Kristian Melom, USA, 10:31
This is a story about the power of telling stories, especially when young people are listening. A portrait of the life and work of rising literary star Jason Reynolds.
[Georgia], [World Premiere]
I Snuck Off the Slave Ship | directed by Lonnie Holley & Cyrus Moussavi, USA, 20:00
Lonnie Holley, a “self-taught African American artist” and dimensional traveler, attempts to sneak off the slave ship America.
Comedy Shorts
Comedies with a touch of calamity.
Possessions | directed by Zeke Farrow, USA, 17:43
Zeke decides to sell everything he owns and finds out that some possessions are easier to get rid of than others.
[World Premiere]
Career Day (Taksvärkkipäivä) | directed by Mika Tervonen, Finland, 8:07
Father daughter squabbles take on a whole new magnitude when a hitman brings his daughter to work for career day.
Sheep | directed by Jonathon Pawlowski, USA, 23:53
Sandy has a difficult time finding acceptance in the one group where everyone is welcome: a suicide cult.
[Georgia], [World Premiere]
Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul | directed by Adamma Ebo, USA, 15:21
The aftermath of a huge scandal leaves the leaders of a southern baptist mega church out on the side of the road– literally.
[New Mavericks], [Georgia], [World Premiere]
The Toll Road | directed by Tom Riley, USA, 19:50
On the eve of their ninth anniversary, a sweet but naive young couple face a boorish adversary who threatens to ruin their big day.
[World Premiere]
Egg Day | directed by Grasie Mercedes, USA, 9:55
A dark comedy short about the egg retrieval process during a couple’s IVF.
[New Mavericks]
The Orgy | directed by Sam Baron, United Kingdom, 14:43
A romantic comedy about a heartbroken man who throws caution to the wind and goes to his first orgy.
Narrative Shorts
Solitary meditations pressing at the barriers of isolation.
Spoon | directed by Brantly Jackson Watts, USA, 10:17
Rachel hires a stranger to help her reconnect with a past lover in a seedy motel room. Shot on Super 16mm using one long take, SPOON explores intimacy between two outsiders seeking companionship without judgement.
[New Mavericks], [Georgia]
Tender | directed by Anthony J Lucido, USA, 15:18
What are you? A boy. What do you eat? My mom makes most the food. How big’s your mom? Pretty big. Not as big as me though.
[World Premiere]
Sometimes, I Think About Dying | directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz, USA, 12:17
Fran is thinking about dying, but a man in the office might want to date her.
[New Mavericks]
Koreatown | directed by Grant Hyun, USA, 12:00
Kyeong, a male escort working at a karaoke bar in LA, uses his youthful charm to create the illusion of love and intimacy for the women who hire him. A new client will cause him to re-examine his understanding of sexuality and objectification.
Things That Happen in the Bathroom | directed by Edward Hancox, USA, 13:00
In the intimate sanctuary of the bathroom, a lonely young queer yearns for love and learns how to survive heartbreak.
[World Premiere], [Pink Peach]
Evelyn x Evelyn | directed by Eric Pumphrey, USA, 13:10
After the loss of their child, an African American couple descends into despair.
[World Premiere]
Narrative Shorts
Unsteady foundations and uprooted lives.
Liberty | directed by Faren Humes, USA, 17:00
Alex and Milagros deal with great life upheaval as they prepare to dance at their community’s redevelopment groundbreaking ceremony.
[New Mavericks]
God Never Dies (Dios Nunca Muere) | directed by Barbara Cigarroa, USA/Ireland, 14:33
A Mexican farmworker struggles to raise her two children in home full of migrant workers. When a new caravan arrives on the cramped lot they live on, Paula allows herself, and her children, to imagine the home is theirs.
Green | directed by Suzanne Andrews Correa, USA, 12:27
Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.
Feathers | directed by A.V. Rockwell, USA, 19:45
Elizier, an emotionally-dejected new enrollee at The Edward R. Mill School for Lost Boys, must overcome memories of a tragic past and the present hazing by his peers in order to tackle larger issues dominating his young life.
The Servants (Les Serviteurs) | directed by Marwan Khneisser, France/Lebanon, 25:00
A group of carefree revelers reunite in an ancient and remote seaside villa. The villa’s caretaker and his family struggle to keep their dignity despite being subjected to humiliations by their hedonistic guests. Their encounter will rekindle memories of a bitter and violent past.
Narrative and Animated Shorts
An outlandishly fun collection curated for those who prefer to stay up late.
Father Figurine | directed by Matt Kazman, USA, 18:00
When the wealthy patriarch of a family dies, they discover a rather unusual request in his will…
[World Premiere]
Your last day on earth (Tu último día en la tierra) | directed by Marc Martínez Jordán, Spain, 13:00
A Fox-dressed man breaks the spacetime limits with only one goal: to spend some time with his wife. But bellow this recreational act there’s a far more complex and ambitious plan.
Under Covers | directed by Michaela Olsen, USA, 7:22
On the night of a lunar eclipse, we uncover the sweet, salacious, and spooky secrets of a small town. From a pigtailed psychopath to naughty nuns and everything in between, this stop motion animated film conjures a comforting thought: that weird is relative.
Hedge | directed by Amanda Bonaiuto, USA, 6:05
A singularly comical/surreal vision of a family visiting a funeral home.
[New Mavericks]
Suicide By Sunlight | directed by Nikyatu Jusu, USA, 17:06
Valentina, a day-walking black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, is forced to restrain her bloodlust to regain custody of her estranged daughters.
[New Mavericks]
Dead Birds | directed by Johnny Kenton, United Kingdom, 33:00
A failing teenage badminton player is visited by a mysterious Saint who offers her unlimited talent if she’ll complete three easy, little tasks for him.
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts
Otherworldly tales from alternate dimensions.
The Slows | directed by Nicole Perlman, USA, 22:00
In an enlightened future where humans no longer need to procreate, one woman risks her life to investigate the mystery of motherhood.
[New Mavericks]
What Do You Know About the Water and the Moon (水 母) | directed by Jian Luo, USA, 16:20
During an attempted abortion, a girl gives birth to a live jellyfish.
[New Mavericks]
Dominant Species | directed by Joseph Sackett, USA, 19:00
10 aliens in human host bodies learn how to be men.
[Pink Peach]
In Full Bloom | directed by Maegan Houang, USA, 10:40
Cecile, an older Vietnamese hoarder, has her life upended when a mysterious black hole opens up in the floor of her house and threatens to take away all her precious possessions.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
The Masseuse | directed by Tan Ce Ding, Malaysia, 20:00
In a world where cutting edge robots are coveted, a fledgling human technician is torn between pursuing his feelings towards an outdated android and placating his abusive, android-aversive father.
Holy Moses | directed by Eli Powers, USA, 15:00
A peculiar miracle binds together a pregnant nun in 1960s Ireland and a Texas gas station attendant 25 years later.
Narrative Shorts
Bold works and bolder heroines reckon with the world around them.
In Defense of Wonder | directed by Francesca Mirabella, USA, 14:27
A woman in her early 30’s retreats to the countryside to try and escape her anxiety and depression. But a casual encounter with a much younger man leaves her in even more distress.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
Boy (Garçon) | directed by Isabelle Schapira, Belgium, 16:13
Today, Tatiana, 17, is not going to school. She has a far more important event planned with her friends : saying goodbye to the boy she’s not ready to leave yet.
[New Mavericks]
Mercury | directed by Kyla Simon Bruce, United Kingdom, 14:03
Bambi drives pregnant best-friend Al on a pivotal journey to hospital to have her baby.
[New Mavericks]
Hot Dog | directed by Alma Buddecke & Marleen Valin, Germany, 07:41
Hannah, in a love-hate relationship with her vagina, chronicles how her sexuality has changed over time. Like that one moment when she discovered the vibration function of her PlayStation controller.
[New Mavericks]
Masculine/Masculine | directed by Sam Bailey, USA, 11:01
Two best friends, desperate to prove their womanhood, spend their day in search of men to sexually conquer.
[World Premiere], [New Mavericks]
The Boogeywoman | directed by Erica Scoggins, USA, 18:00
In the fever of her first period, a curious teenager is drawn to her small town’s local legend, only to find that she and the “Boogeywoman” share a strange connecton.
[New Mavericks]
Animated Shorts
Wondrous animated illusions exploring the vast expanses of self.
Simbiosis Carnal | directed by Rocío Álvarez, Belgium, 10:08
A poetic journey through the history of desire and sexuality where the female pleasure, long ignored and repressed, takes pride of place.
[New Mavericks]
Untravel | directed by Ana Nedeljkovic & Nikola Majdak Jr., Serbia/Slovakia, 9:25
The girl lives in a gray, isolated country, enclosed by a huge wall. She has never travelled anywhere, but has always dreamt of leaving forever for a perfect world called “Abroad”.
Too Tame! (Zu Zahm!) | directed by Rebecca Bloecher, Germany, 7:00
Seven protagonists, stuck inside a music box, attempt to escape their cliché daily routine.
Carlotta’s Face | directed by Valentin Riedl & Frédéric Schuld, Germany, 5:00
Watching herself in the mirror, Carlotta each day views the face of a different woman.
The Lost Sound (失われた音) | directed by Steffie Yee, Australia, 2:00
Inspired by the poem ‘On Ç’ by Hiromi Itō, a woman looks at the matrilineal inheritance of linguistic tones in her family, mourning the parts of languages that become extinct through semantic evolution.
[New Mavericks]
The Day I Got Into My Head | directed by Floriane Montcriol, France/Belgium, 14:44
Weary of her work and motherhood, nearly depressed Sarah discovers a mysterious door in a far-off corner of the hospital and embarks on a bewildering journey.
[New Mavericks]
Homesick | directed by Hila Einy, Israel, 7:20
A crisis in a young woman’s life forces her to return to her parents’ home. Her reappearance shakes the delicate balance in the family nest.
Sister (妹妹) | directed by Siqi Song, China/USA, 8:02
A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?
Narrative Shorts
Identity and insecurity amongst the outliers.
The Tiger (Tiikeri) | directed by Mikko Myllylahti, Finland, 10:21
On a winter evening Tiger has to take the first steps towards independence.
Thin Ice (Glad IJs) | directed by Joosje Duk, Netherlands, 10:30
The lost-and-found booth attendant of a local ice skating rink grows increasingly nervous upon noticing a man with a suspicious backpack on the other side of the rink.
Tsar Bomba | directed by Oskar Rosetti, Switzerland/France, 14:00
Irina, a hard-working single mom, is torn between motherhood and duty when she begins to suspect her son may have been involved in an assault
Manila is Full of Men Named Boy | directed by Andrew Stephen Lee, Philippines/USA, 21:05
An estranged son buys a child to impress his father. However, when the patriarch embraces the new child as his favorite, the son begins to question who is more deserving of attention.
Blackwood | directed by Kalu Oji, Australia, 12:26
A comedy-drama exploring an African Australian experience in a small town through the perspective of mother and son.
[World Premiere]
Sirene | directed by Zara Dwinger, Netherlands, 26:00
15-year old Kay lives a boy’s life in between roaring motocross bikes. When Melody sails into town, their flourishing friendship lures Kay towards a dormant feeling. A film about confusion, friendship and becoming who you are.
Documentary Shorts
Fleeting portraits of the young and intrepid.
Listen (Luister) | directed by Astrid Bussink, Netherlands, 15:00
Sometimes all you need is a listening ear. The Child Helpline has one for you, but what burdens do children have to share with a complete stranger?
[Pink Peach]
Kamali | directed by Sasha Rainbow, United Kingdom/India, 23:43
A single mother fights for her daughter’s empowerment in India through skateboarding.
[New Mavericks]
Share | directed by Barna Szász & Ellie Wen, USA, 13:00
An 18-year-old Instagram influencer attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.
[Pink Peach]
Ivry | directed by Jake Oleson, USA, 9:26
A young boxer guides his protégé through his past growing up in the South Side of Chicago. Prisoner of Society (სოციუმის პატიმარი) | directed by Rati Tsiteladze, USA, 16:00 Intimate journey into the world and mind of a young transgender woman, who has been locked away from the outside world for the past decade.
[Pink Peach]
605 Adults 304 Children | directed by is Michael Mahaffie, USA/Guyana, 13:40
An immersive and intimate documentary filmed entirely by The Peoples Temple in Jonestown. They built a utopia that no one wanted to leave. 605 Adults and 304 Children never did.
Narrative Shorts
Volatile predicaments, uncertain futures, and tenuous connections.
Nursery Rhymes | directed by Tom Noakes, Australia, 5:00
Why is a Metalhead singing Old MacDonald on the side of a rural highway?
Brotherhood | directed by Pierre Brouillette-Hamelin, Canada, 25:00
Deeply shaken by his oldest son’s return from Syria with a mysterious new wife, a hardened Tunisian shepherd grapples with rising tension that threatens to tear his family apart.
The Orphan (O Órfão) | directed by Carolina Markowicz, Brazil, 15:00
Jonathas has been adopted, but it doesn’t take long until he is returned because he is “different” from the other kids.
[Pink Peach]
The Fisherwoman (La Pescadora) | directed by Lorena Durán, Dominican Republic/USA, 10:55
After realizing their project was not welcomed by the resident fishermen in town, a group of female villagers in the Dominican Republic must defend their newly built fish-farm.
[World Premiere], [CineMás]
Miller & Son | directed by Asher Jelinsky, USA, 21:28
A transwoman mechanic lives between running her family’s auto shop during the day and expressing her femininity at night, until an unforeseen event threatens the balance of her compartmentalized life.
Skin | directed by Guy Nattiv, USA, 20:00
In a small supermarket in a blue collar town, a black man smiles at a 10 year old white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.
The Coin (硬币) | directed by Siqi Song, USA, 6:40
In the Chinese New Year, finding the hidden coin inside of dumplings means having a blessed year ahead. When a young woman loses her years worth of coins on a train, her life in a new country begins with a search to find them.
The Minors | directed by Robert Machoian, USA, 10:00
A slice of life film about a Grandpa and his Grandsons, the future and the past.
Directed by Ben Strang | USA, 2018, English, 17:18
After his father mysteriously disappears at sea, Daniel has a hunch about what happened.
A Guide to the Apocalypse
Directed by Adrian Graf | Switzerland, 2018, English, 04:32
An audiovisual guide for the survival of five man-made scenarios of how the world could end.
The Cocoa Fondue Show
Directed by Andrew Wyatt Arnold | USA, 2018, English, 15:37
Hollywood starlet Cocoa Fondue’s new variety show is her shoo-in to fame, but the ghosts of her past are about to crash her party.
[Pink Peach]
Delivery Girl
Directed by Kate Krieger | USA, 2019, English, 20:26
Not the narrative of one woman’s journey, but of many. We follow Trish Donahue’s struggle with her identity in a fiercely Catholic household as she leads a double life.
[Pink Peach]
Who You Are
Directed by Joel Jay Blacker | USA, 2019, English, 11:34
The accidental invention of an asshole AI spells trouble for a tech startup in the late 80’s.
Bagdad, Florida
Directed by Matthew Fifer | USA, 2019, English, 17:02
The story of three friends who shotgun South and meet the “real America.” Set the kitchen table, a red meat vegan dinner for two.
[World Premiere], [Pink Peach]
Meeting A Monster
Directed by Gabriela Arp
USA, 2018, English, 9:57
Angela King relives the memories and motivations of the eight years she spent inside the white power movement, and the path she took to get out.
My Africa
Directed by David Allen
Kenya/USA/United Kingdom, 2018, English, 9:17
Narrated by Academy Award-winning and Kenyan-raised actress Lupita Nyong’o, “My Africa,” transports viewers to the untamed rangelands of northern Kenya, where a community is reknitting the bonds that have long enabled people and wildlife to coexist.
The Evolution of Testicles
Directed by Ryan Hartsell
USA/Ireland/England, 2018, English, 8:55
Two parts humor, one part emotion, this salty-sweet VR piece starring Chris O’Dowd raises awareness about testicular cancer through laughter and inspiration.
Blue Bird
Directed by Parnaz Rad
USA, 2018, English, 02:37
A lone bluebird tries to escape from the caverns of a withered heart. The scars of the heart tell a lifetime of stories.
Plomo: Journey of a Bullet
Directed by Giulia Jiménez Tani USA/Venezuela, 2018, Spanish/English, 02:50
You are the bullet fired by a GNB policeman into the middle of a protesting crowd in Caracas, Venezuela. Inspired by true events.
[Georgia], [CineMás]
Tower of Babel by the Sea (海邊的巴別塔)
Directed by Feng Wei-Jung Taiwan, 2018, English, 14:14
Enticed by the devil, a man tries to build his Tower of Babel to reach to the realm of the gods, yet in the process, he loses his health and his life. As pollution spreads like a pandemic, man is cursed, and nature is caught in a spiral of death. Inspired by Goethe’s Faust.
Flight of the Unwanted
Directed by Thomas Nybo Bangladesh, 2018, English, 05:40
Enter the chaotic world of Rohingya refugees being forced from their homes in Myanmar into crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Home with América
Directed by Alvaro Morales
Peru/USA, 2019, English, 12:00 Gladys, an undocumented immigrant living in L.A., left her native Peru 22 years ago. Gladys explores her connection to a place that she cannot return to without risking the life she’s built in the US. [World Premiere], [CineMás]
Ashanti, Takeira, Jessy’ka – “Know Your Worth”
Directed by Paras Chaudhari | USA, 2018, English, 5:22
Bunnies – “The Problem with Link Think”
Directed by Opertura (Aya Yamasaki & Jason Brown) | USA, 2018, 2:04
COEDS – “Too Cool for School”
Directed by Andrea Garcia | USA, 2018, English. 3:24
[World Premiere], [Georgia]
Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway – “Lives”
Directed by Hayk Matevosyan | USA, 2018, English, 4:06
Dave Keuning – “Restless Legs”
Directed by Russell Sheaffer | USA, 2018, English, 3:06
Dillon & Diamond D – “Femme Fatale”
Directed by Janice Chun | USA, 2018, English, 4:36
Emel Mathlouthi – “How Many (Kaddesh)”
Directed by Marion Petegnief, Sami Battikh | France, 2018, Arabic, 4:35
Father ft. Kwabs – “Velvet”
Directed by Iggy LDN | United Kingdom, 2018, English, 4:01
[World Premiere]
Flamingo Shadow – “Taxi”
Directed by David Matysiak | USA, 2018, English, 4:12
Golden Vessel – “Bigbright”
Directed by Harry Deadman | Australia, 2018, English, 4:17
[World Premiere]
Hurray for the Riff Raff/ Alynda Mariposa Segarra – “Pa’lante”
Directed by Kristian Mercado | Puerto Rico/USA, 2018, English/Spanish, 8:34
Ina Wroldsen – “SEA”
Directed by Thor Brenne | Norway, 2018, English, 4:55
Local H – “Innocents”
Directed by Felix Piñeiro | USA, 2018, English, 6:14
Off Bloom – “Not Sorry”
Directed by Sara Samsøe | Denmark, 2019, English, 3:36
Pig Destroyer – “Mt. Skull”
Directed by Joe Stakun | USA, 2018, English. 2:13
[World Premiere]
Tech N9ne x Navé Monjo – “Levitation”
Directed by Morgan Cooper | USA, 2018, English, 6:22
[World Premiere]
The Tumbling Wheels – “Sleepwalking”
Directed by Sasha Solodukhina, Emily MacKenzie | USA, 2018, English, 4:48
Tispur – “Dewhorn”
Directed by Brandon Kapelow | USA, 2018, English, 6:38
We The Lion – “Go Go Go”
Directed by Daniel Higashionna, Mikael Stornfelt | Peru, 2018, English, 2:12
WHOAA – “Candy Love”
Directed by Mike IAMEYEPHOTOS, WHOAA | USA, 2018, English, 4:26
Young Fathers – “Lord”
Directed by Rianne White | Scotland/United Kingdom, 2017, English, 3:41
Young Won Han Bok (영원한복)
Directed by Crystal Jin Kim | USA, 2019, 4:00
[World Premiere], [Georgia]

About the author

Matt Rodriguez

Owner and Chief Editor of Shakefire.

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