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Knoxville Film Festival ready for 4 days of events

knoxville film festival

KNOXVILLE – Secret City Films and Dogwood Arts are thrilled to release the Knoxville Film Festival schedule of events, films, and workshops all taking place September 19-22, 2013 at Downtown West Regal Cinema 8.

  23 blast
23 Blast will be a free Sneak Peak at the Knoxville Film Festival

crackerjack the movie
Crackerjack, the movie, will be screened at the festival

short term
Short Term will be screened on September 18

The mission of the Knoxville Film Festival is to recognize and celebrate the art of independent cinema. It exists to provide a stimulating gathering in which the lovers and creators of independent cinema come together to see and discuss interesting works from local, regional, national, and international filmmakers.

The Knoxville Film Festival [KFF] is in its first year. However, its history dates back nearly a decade. In 2004, East Tennessee filmmaker Keith McDaniel held the first Secret City Film Festival [SCFF] in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. With steady growth of SCFF over the years, McDaniel moved the film festival from Oak Ridge to Knoxville working with Regal Entertainment Group. With further growth of the festival imminent, McDaniel met with Lisa Duncan, executive director of Dogwood Arts, a non-profit that has been successfully promoting the arts and hosting the Dogwood Arts Festival in East Tennessee for over 50 years. After nine years, the Secret City Film Festival would become the Knoxville Film Festival, Knoxville's only established, multi-day film festival.

Knoxville Film Festival is produced in partnership by Dogwood Arts and Secret City Films.

75 independent films will be screened over the 4-days including feature and narrative documentaries and shorts, a Tennessee Film competition, 7-Day Shootout competition, Battle Cry of Freedom student competition, children’s programming, workshops, and special guests.

Tickets are available for purchase at and at Downtown West Regal Cinema 8 during the festival.
• Individual Film Block tickets, $10
• Festival Passes, $75
• Student Festival Passes, $50
• VIP Reception Tickets, $35
• VIP Festival Passes, $100

Workshops and children’s programming are all free of charge, but first-come, first-served seating.

Tickets are also available for a special conversation: Sci-Fi, Special FX, Magic & More: An Evening with Acclaimed Screenwriter Michael Miner for $10. Please join us on Saturday, September 21, 2013, 5-6:30 pm for a special night with science fiction/special FX screenwriter, Michael Miner. Host Paul Francis, FX guru of Lucas/Francis Studios, will moderate an interactive interview with a question & answer session with acclaimed screenwriter Michael Miner. They'll discuss his 30+ year career in the film industry, writing for special FX, Sci-fi, magic and other fantasy stories. Michael is best known for his work on Robocop, Deadly Weapon, Anaconda: Blood Orchid, Book of Stars and LawnmowerMan 2. The interview will feature clips and commentary from these five films.

In recognition and commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, the 2013 Knoxville Film Festival presents The Battle Cry of Freedom Student Filmmaking Competition. This film competition is open to currently-enrolled college and high school students. The competition will have two divisions: college and high school. The subject matter of the films must focus on the human issues and events, both political and personal, created during The Civil War in the United States 1861 – 1865. The films can be no longer than 20 minutes and no shorter than five minutes. The film’s presentation can be either documentary or original narrative in style. Tennessee Film competition recognizes the films produced in Tennessee and the filmmakers from Tennessee. Sponsored by Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission.

The 2013 Knoxville Film Festival 7-Day Shootout gives filmmakers 7 days to make a 7-minute film. The 7-Day Shootout provides ample time to let your creativity flow to write, shoot and edit a MASTERPIECE! The 7-Day Shootout will take place August 21-28, 2013. All films submitted by the deadline, will screen at the 2013 Knoxville Film Festival on Saturday, September 21 at Regal Downtown West Cinema 8. Films created for the 7-Day Shootout in previous years have gone on to screen and WIN at other film festivals! Tennessee Film competition recognizes the films produced in Tennessee and the filmmakers from Tennessee. Sponsored by Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission.

Children’s programming, taking place Saturday, September 21 from 10:00-11:45am is free to the public and features a new program called Peg + Cat, provided by East Tennessee PBS.

Workshops are free to the public, but seats and capacity are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Festival is sponsored by Regal Entertainment Group, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Land Rover of Knoxville, Eon Entertainment, Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission, Dogwood Entertainment, Carson Newman University, Talent Trek, and Roane State Community College.

Media Partners are Metro Pulse, East Tennessee PBS, Comcast, Lamar Outdoor, WDVX, and WUTK.

More information can be found at or you can follow on Twitter @knoxfilmfest / #KnoxFF and on Facebook at


So, You Want To Make a Feature?
Saturday, Sept 21st, 10:00 am – THEATER 2
Independent filmmaking is tough enough, but making an independent feature is a whole new ballgame. Join several of this year’s Knoxville Film Festival narrative feature producers and directors as they share the stories of how their films got made.

Real to Reel: Making Documentaries
Saturday, Sept 21st, 10:00 am – THEATER 3
What makes a great documentary? How do you choose your subject? How do you get funding? How to you cut hours and hours of footage down to tell a great story? These questions and more will be answered and discussed by some of this year’s Knoxville Film Festival documentary filmmakers.

Saturday, Sept 21st, 12:00 noon – THEATER 3
Every film director has a different style of working. Every film set has a different “feel”. But one thing is a constant – actors need to “act” like a professional. Learn the “ins and outs” of auditioning, preparing for a role, set protocol, working with cast and crew and all the other information a well-prepared actor needs to know to work on a film set.

Filmmaking Fundamentals
Saturday, Sept 21st, 2:00 pm – THEATER 3
Do you know about the “180 Rule”? Do you know how to record really good audio on location? If not, this workshop is for you. If you are a beginning filmmaker or a seasoned professional who just wants a refresher course, these questions and more will be answered in this workshop by those who can provide you with the tools and information to make your next film something special.


Thursday, September 19
Presented By Land Rover of Knoxville
VIP Reception
6:00 – 8:00pm
Opening Night Film :: Theatre 1
8:00 – 10:00pm
Short Term 12

Friday, September 20
FILM BLOCK 1 :: Theatre 1
12 Noon – 2:15pm
Things My Father Never Taught Me
Inner Child
Trust, Greed, Bullets & Bourbon
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 2 :: Theatre 2
12 Noon – 2:15pm
Nuts N Bolts
Fragile Things
The Star
Alex Dreaming
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 3 :: Theatre 1
2:30 – 5:00pm
On The Train
Fear and Loathing in Apartment B
Mama Needs a Ride
The One Who Loves You
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 4 :: Theatre 2
2:30 – 5:00pm
The Race That Eats Its Young
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 5 :: Theatre 1
5:30 – 7:30pm
Shoot The Moon
Red River Moon
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 6 :: Theatre 2
5:30 – 7:30pm
The Children Next Door
Where’s The Fair?
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 7 :: Theatre 1
8:00 – 10:15pm
Filmmaker Q&A – Local star, Wes Jackson, will be present

FILM BLOCK 8 :: Theatre 2
8:15 – 10:00pm
Good People Go To Hell, Saved People Go To Heaven
Filmmaker Q&A

Saturday, September 21
Children’s Programming :: Theatre 1
10:00 – 11:45am
Presented by East Tennessee PBS

FILM BLOCK 9 :: Theatre 1
12:10 – 2:30pm
Where We Started
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 10 :: Theatre 2
12:10 – 2:30pm
Jujitsu-ing Reality
Simple As That
Character Face: A Clown Fantasy
Granny’s Got Game
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 11 :: Theatre 1
2:45 – 5:00pm
State Debate
Dreams of the Wayward
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 12 :: Theatre 2
2:45 – 4:45pm
Performance from Wah Lum Kung Fu School of Knoxville
Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 13 :: Theatre 1
5:30 – 7:00pm
A Conversation with Michael Miner, hosted by Paul Francis
​Presented by Larsen & Adrian Jay, Dogwood Entertainment

FILM BLOCK 14 :: Theatre 2
5:00 – 7:00pm
Mile High Pie
The Kid
CowJews and Indians
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 15 :: Theatre 1 & 2
7:30 – 10:30pm
7-Day Shootout Filmmaking Competition Film Screenings

Sunday, September 22
FILM BLOCK 16 :: Theatre 1
11:30 am – 2:00pm
Senior Drivers
Madison Harris
The Roosters – Series 1
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 17 :: Theater 2
11:30 – 1:45pm
Noah’s Arc: The Rebirth of a Jazz Singer
The Possum Drop
Losing Our Sons
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 18 :: Theatre 1
2:15 – 4:45pm
The Ruins
45 RPM
Filmmaker Q&A

FILM BLOCK 19 :: Theater 2
2:15 – 4:30pm
Battle Cry of Freedom Student Filmmaking Competition Film Screenings
​Sponsored by Roane State Community College

FILM BLOCK 20 :: Theatre 1
5:15 – 7:30pm
Light Me Up
23 Blast Sneak Peak - Free! Sponsored by Carson Newman University
Filmmaker Q&A – Dylan Baker will be present

Awards Presentation :: Theatre 1
8:00 – 9:00pm


Directed by Nic Beery/North Carolina/9 mins.
Character Face takes us to the Venice, Florida Arena, where for thirty years Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus held their winter quarters and also ran their Clown College. Abandoned today, former Ringling Clown Nancy Osborn Berman visits and once again the arena becomes a place of wonder and magic, if only for a brief moment.

Directed by Maranda Vandergriff/Tennessee/10 mins.
While serving a life sentence for the murder the social leader Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Ray escaped from Brushy Mountain Prison in 1977.

Directed by Melanie Addington/Mississippi/4 mins.
Mile High Pie takes a look at the famous mile high meringue at Ed & Kaye's in Benton, Arkansas.

Directed by Nic Beery/North Carolina/17 mins.
From his humble roots in Kinston, NC, to touring with the likes of jazz great Stanley Baird, jazz singer Noah Powell was on a trajectory of musical heights. His passionate, soulful voice was inspiring and moving. While achieving professionally, Noah’s personal life was heading in a downward spiral. Noah was an addict and heroin was his drug of choice. Noah became a convicted felon and spent 18 months behind bars. Noah’s future looked bleak. Noah’s Arc is the powerful and honest story of one man’s struggle to re-build his life and start again.

Directed by Kari Branch/Texas/12 mins.
A film about hope, partnership, and the gritty determination of West Texans during one of the worst droughts in history. An artist, a philosopher, and herd of goats carve out a life mixed with hard work and humor, deep in the heart of Texas.

Directed by Doug Block/Tennessee/36 mins.
Told through the eyes of a child, this hard-hitting film takes us on a young family's journey to overcome years of experiencing domestic violence and the atrocity of one horrific incident that shattered their lives. Raised in households ripped by domestic violence, Penny and Brad vowed, when they fell in love, to end the cycle. After a ten-year marriage plagued by waves of mounting brutality, all in front of their four young children, Brad’s outbursts culminated one indelible night in 2006 when he ruthlessly attacked Penny with a gun and machete and murdered her best friend. The Children Next Door opens five-and-a-half years later as the family continues to struggle with the impact of the violence that shaped their lives.

Directed by Zach Slocum/Tennessee/16 mins.
Filmmaker Zach Slocum enters the cage to discover what makes Mixed Martial Arts one of the fastest growing sports in the world. With no prior experience, he has only nine weeks to prepare for the fight of his life.

Directed by Mindy Keeley/North Carolina/28 mins.
A whimsical documentary that reveals the age-old tale of outsider influence on a community but with a curious twist, The Possum Drop is a film that will leave the viewer rooting for the underdog. The traditions of this rustic artsy town in the Blue Ridge Mountains are being threatened by exterior forces. The town's New Year's Eve festivities of the past 18 years could be coming to an abrupt halt because the organization PETA wants to stop the annual Possum Drop. One resident has said, 'the Possum Drop is the best thing that has ever happened to this town'. The Possum Drop is an occurrence where the folks in Brasstown lower an opossum during their New Year's Eve countdown and celebration.

Directed by Timothy Kane and Annika Iltis/Tennessee/36 mins.
This project is a documentary film about the Barkley Marathons - an annual nonstop 100-mile footrace across the raw terrain of Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee. Each year only 35 participants are accepted to compete, and they must finish five 20-mile loops in 60 hours. The course is so difficult that, in its 25-year history, only 10 runners have finished.


Directed by Marc Halberstadt/Iowa/90 mins.
My Jewish family lost its home to the Nazis. I decide to return the reparations to the occupiers of our home in Germany, and I go to Germany to get our home back. In Germany, I suddenly realize I'm a hypocrite: here I am, complaining about the property taken from my ancestors, when in America I'm living on and profiting from the land taken from the Native Americans. And then I have an idea: If Germany owes me for sixty five years of back rent, and I owe the Native Americans for sixty five years of back rent, why not let the Native Americans collect directly from Germany and cut out the middleman? Four Native Americans go to Germany to execute the 'assigned claim.'

Directed by Amy Finkel/New York/80 mins.
Furever is a feature-length documentary that explores the dimensions of grief people experience over the loss of a pet. It examines the sociological evolution of pets in the U.S. today, particularly their position in a family unit, and how this evolution is affecting those in the veterinary profession and death care industry. With interviews from grieving pet owners, veterinarians, psychologists, sociologists, religious scholars, neuroscientists, and the many professionals who preserve a pet's body for their devastated clientele, or re-purpose a pet's cremains in unique ways (taxidermy, cloning, mummification, freeze-drying, and many more), Furever confronts contemporary trends, perspectives, and relevant cultural assumptions regarding attachment, religion, ritual, grief, and death, and studies the bonds that form between humans and animals, both psychological and physiological.

Directed by Holly Hardman/Massachusettes/87 mins.
Set against a backdrop of hurricane devastation and apocalyptic fear, Good People Go to Hell, Saved People Go to Heaven penetrates the complex world of evangelical Christianity along America's Gulf Coast. The film follows a cross-carrying fundamentalist preacher, an impassioned youth choir leader and her family, as well as a compelling array of their born-again brethren. Unnervingly authentic, the film explores the deep and often desperate reasons evangelical believers have for embracing their religion. The result is a film of stunning candor and vital insight into the paradoxical world of evangelical compassion, fear, love, and intolerance.

GRANNY’S GOT GAME Directed by Angela Alford/North Carolina/74 mins. 'Granny's Got Game' is a documentary feature film about a senior women's basketball team in North Carolina. These six fiercely competitive women in their seventies battle physical limitations and skepticism to keep doing what they love. The film follows them for a year as they compete for another National Senior Games championship. After two decades together, these women are more than a team...they are a family.

LOSING OUR SONS Directed by Ilya Feoktistov/Massachussettes/70 mins.
A searing true story from America's heartland, Losing Our Sons tells of two American families whose lives intersected through a shattering act of violence. Melvin Bledsoe, a small business owner in Memphis, watched with pride as his son Carlos went to Tennessee State University in Nashville to better his life. Daris Long, an ex-Marine, felt honored that his son, Andy, chose to follow in his footsteps by joining the military. But when Carlos Bledsoe murdered Andy Long in Little Rock, Arkansas, both fathers had to face a new kind of nightmare. As Melvin followed the trail that led Carlos from Nashville to Yemen and then to Little Rock, Daris confronted an American government that seemed in denial about what happened to his son.

Directed by Mimi Chan/Flordia/92 mins.
Step into the extraordinary life of Pui Chan, a Chinese immigrant who overcame challenges in early childhood… and eventually made a life for himself.… One that would touch the lives of many others around the world. It all started with a simple dream… and today, the dream lives on. This family-authorized biography follows the path of a young boy who learns the value of hard work and perseverance through kung fu training, escapes the harshness of political oppression, bravely ventures out on his own, and embraces opportunity in a new land. Watch Pui Chan from the beginning, as an eager martial arts instructor in 1960s Boston, Massachusetts, open his own Kung Fu school, and start to spread the tradition, always maintaining the original fundamentals and values he learned as a boy.

Directed by Jeffrey Ford/Ohio/84 mins.
The simple question, 'What happened to the World's Fair?' launches a journey that uncovers the sorted past, present, and future of the United State's role in the largest global event in human history - The World's Fair.


SHORT TERM 12 - OPENING NIGHT FILM – Thursday, Sept 19th, 8:00 pm
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton/California/96 mins.
SHORT TERM 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty- something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility – Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. She and Mason also struggle to help Marcus (Keith Stanfield) – an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18 – manage through the difficulty of having to leave the facility. Grace comes to find – in both her work and the new teenager in her care – surprising sources of redemption. And while the subject matter is complex and often dark, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places.

23 BLAST Directed by Dylan Baker/Kentucky/101 mins.
When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe, protected life or to summon the courage through playing football to step back into the world. 23 Blast is based on the true story of Travis Freeman. In the prime of his youth, he is unexpectedly stricken with an infection that destroys his optic nerve; he becomes blind overnight. Under the influence of parents who love him, a physical therapist who challenges him, a coach who inspires him, and a best friend who he cannot bear to leave behind, Travis shows us what true bravery is by competing on the gridiron, helping his team advance to the State playoffs

Directed by Bryan Coley/Georgia/98 mins.
Executive producer, Jeff Foxworthy narrates this Southern tale that follows Bill “Crackerjack” Bailey IV (Knoxville native Wes Murphy), a lovable loser who is skilled in avoiding the responsibilities of manhood. He lives in a trailer. He collects Dinky Baby Dolls to sell online. And the only diamond that he gets near is not on the finger of his live-in girlfriend, Sherry. It is, instead, a softball diamond, which is CJ’s drug of choice. Faced with losing his true love or confronting the curse and his impending fatherhood, CJ does what any man would do – play ball!

45 RPM Directed by Juli Jackson/Arkansas/97 mins.
The film follows Charlie Clark, a struggling artist who seeks a connection between her artwork and her deceased father’s music. By trying to track down a rare copy of her father’s only cut on a 45 record, Charlie finds herself out of her element in Memphis with no leads. Louie Traxler, a record store owner and an obsessive collector, sees a chance to do what he does best. The two of them hit the road in a rumbling vintage Pontiac, scouring the South in search of the elusive 45 that hails from the heyday of ‘60s garage rock.

ALEX DREAMING Directed by Dane Dakota/Tennessee/74 mins.
Despite mental illness, a Vietnam veteran builds a successful career. Amid depression, post -retirement Alex McCloud meets his dream woman, is nominated for a ten million dollar Presidential Award, and is pursued by killers. He narrates from beyond the grave.

Directed by Bruce Barnett/Kentucky/80 mins.
A recent widow takes her two daughters Zoey and Max to the mountains to reconnect with nature and each other. The two sisters get lost in the Appalachian wilderness after their mother is mysteriously killed. They endure wild animals, hunger, and the elements before finding Cecil's cabin, the man who killed their mother. A stepson Travis helps the girls escape down the Red River in a canoe. Max is lost and Zoey and Travis come upon a pagan party and believe they are rescued. Out of the darkness, Cecil grabs Travis and Zoey into the forest to finish them off. They get away and run until Cecil catches back up with them just as they think they have reached safety.

Directed by Katharyn Grant/Colorado/95 mins.
Gloria returns to small-town south after failing to make it as performer in New York. She moves into a boarding house across the hall from a con man who convinces her he used to be the manager of a famous singer.

THE ROOSTERS Directed by Andy Tippitt/Tennessee/97 mins.
Coach Cade Buda, a financially desperate 5th grade math teacher and aspiring comic book writer, receives a visit from two ex-Marines that changes all their lives. These friends, Sarge and Mother, have also reached wit's end and approach Coach about using his renegade comic book stories to develop a series of scams that would net them millions!

Directed by Scott Kawczynski/New York/85 mins.
Five years after a simple heist goes awry, a group of thieves reconvene at a cabin in upstate New York, hoping to recover the diamonds they initially stole. David, fresh out of prison and filled with angst from the failed heist, meets up with the rest of the crew: Tyler, deep in gambling debt, Samantha, his beautiful old flame, Owen, the quiet Irishman safe cracker, and Circe, the granddaughter of their mob boss. Tensions rise as allegiances are broken, backs are stabbed and the dirty past is dredged up as the group searches for the diamonds, and answers.

Directed by Chris Hansen/Texas/105 mins.
When Will and Nora – both married to other people – meet at a motel one night, their initial attraction moves quickly into a flirtation. But over the course of the night, as their flirtation becomes something more, they are forced to confront their reasons for crossing a line they know they shouldn’t cross.


AVARICE Directed by Rachel M. Taylor/Tennessee/15 mins.
A little girl is awakened one morning by a magical Light. She pursues the Light until something darker and more mysterious catches her attention in an ominous forest. Faced with the decision between the Light and the darkness, she discovers the consequences of her choices while journeying through a strange and fantastical world.

Directed by Norman Magden/Tennessee/13 mins.
An infamous mythical figure exploits his legend by performing an extraordinary show in the heart of a major city at an anonymous cafe for the undead.

Directed by Erik Thein/Indiana/5 mins.
When a story writer writes his own life into his stories, he struggles to provide himself with the same happy endings he is willing to provide his characters.

Directed by Justin Hannah/Kentucky/17 mins.
The year is 1954, and a lonely young woman yearns for the return of the man who left her alone. When an encounter at a consignment shop leads to the discovery of an ominous box, it seems that happiness may finally be within her grasp. However, a glimpse into another world reveals that all may not be as clear as it once seemed....

Directed by Chris Roberts and Hayley Huckaba/Tennessee/9 mins.
A vegan werewolf, a conscientious vampire and an insecure swamp monster, share an apartment with a normal human and try to overcome their paradoxical personality traits.

Directed by Rachel Richards/Canada/11 mins.
Brothers Lemonte and Oscar, latchkey children since their mother became gravely ill, struggle through daily life as they deal with their loss in different ways. Oscar, the younger of the two, is noticeably concerned for his mother's well being and asks his brother when she will wake from 'hibernating'. Oscar sees his mother as a slumbering bear in her room, he is scared to approach her, but knows he must if he is to find out if she is alright. Lemonte, a realist, hides behind a wall of anger and aggression, often lashing out at Oscar. The boys' worlds eventually collide as they are both forced to come to terms with the reality of their mother's illness.

Directed by Jerod Hollyfield/Tennessee/10 mins.
Billy is a disabled grocery store bagger with increasingly self-destructive delusions that inhibit both his personal and professional life. Dissatisfied with his job and eager to impress a local waitress, Billy abuses personal boundaries and common perceptions to achieve what he believes he deserves. However, when a coworker reaches out to Billy, he must decide to accept genuine friendship or maintain the ideals on which he built his life.

Directed by Christopher Raines/Tennessee/16 mins.
Mike and Kelly meet online and go on their first date together. At various moments throughout the date, their inner child comes to life conveying the insecurities, humor, and emotionality that we as adult sometimes hide when we are in new and uncomfortable situations. Will they each be able to move beyond their own inner child to achieve something greater as adults?

LIGHT ME UP Directed by Ryan Walton and Derek Dolecheck/Oregon/9 mins. Meet the Wattsons, a family of light bulbs that work in an antique shop. Frank and Linda run a business of managing all the bulbs in the store. When they ask their son, Louie, to take over, they find out he has bigger dreams of traveling across the street to be a spotlight in the local theater.

Directed by Jon-Michael Brown/Tennessee/10 mins.
Madison Harris is a typical 6-year old girl. When she notices that her new teddy's face has a deformity, she is devastated. Dad scrambles to replace the stuffed teddy with a 'normal' one. Mom then takes Madison to receive the perfect, new teddy. Everything is copacetic until she is confronted with her 'deformed' teddy's fate. Something knots and pulls in her belly. Even while considering the ordeal her parents have already been through to please her, she knows she must do something. Partnered with her neighborhood friend, Ralphie, who has his own deformity of sorts, the pair set out to face the obstacles and conflicts of the adult world. In the very end, Madison learns normal is largely a relative concept, and that no teddy deserves to be thrown away. But most of all, she sourly learns that sometimes Mommy and Daddy are wrong!

Directed by Matt Florio/New Jersey/19 mins.
Franky and Elmo are the Don's go-to guys. So it is only fitting that he would trust them with a very important job: pick up his mother and take her out to run errands. It seems simple enough for two mobsters used to handling more difficult tasks. Unfortunately for them, she is not nearly as nice as the Don says she is.

MARY Directed by Zach Turner/Arkansas/23 mins.
Divorced and alone, Craig meets the ethereal Mary, who might be the girl of his dreams. Now he just needs to find out if he's awake. A dark comedy with a twist of magical realism.

Directed by Sam Comer/Tennessee/6 mins.
A group of swingers gets together for a night of partying, when things go very, very wrong.

ON THE TRAIN Directed by Lee Harris/Canada/8 mins.
John, an uptight businessman, is hoping to have a quiet, relaxing trip on an overnight train. Instead, he has his patience tested when he gets stuck sitting beside a loud, eccentric man named Kurt who is craving nothing more than someone to talk to.

Directed by Gary W. Hayes/Canada/14 mins.
A relaxing morning for Fred and Esther turns into chaos when they realize they have forgotten to pick up their youngest grandchild. With Esther behind the wheel and Fred holding on for dear life, getting their grandson to his doctor's appointment on time becomes the least of their problems.

Directed by Alexander Gaeta/California/27 mins.
Marcy Meyers is down on her luck. Faced with piling bills, the remnants of a failed marriage, and now an imminent home foreclosure, she places all of her hope onto a national game show that promises a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win it all.

STATE DEBATE Directed by Erich Rettstadt/Michigan/24 mins.
STATE DEBATE follows high school seniors Blake Johnson and Dakota Lamont as they sing, dance and debate their way through state finals in an exhilarating homage to 1950's Technicolor musicals. Representing rural Harbor Village, the duo is closer than ever to capturing the coveted state trophy and accompanying college scholarship, but will Dakota's romantic intentions cost Blake a ticket out of the confines of his conservative hometown?

Directed by Martha Williams/New Jersey/10 mins.
The whistling high-desert, a lost house, a terrible world and a kidnapping gone awry. Sandy West takes control when one of her cohorts looses control.

Directed by Nikola Todorovic/California/15 mins.
A young man tries to reconnect with the girl he once loved after discovering she has given up on her acting career and entered the adult entertainment industry.

Directed by Burleigh Smith/Australia/7 mins.
Melvin gives useless dating advice to his three-year-old son. He teaches him to dress well, act with confidence and spend time in the right places. Everything goes horribly wrong, until Melvin meets Mary, an attractive single mother. After a clumsy romantic advance, Melvin is shot down and forced to reconsider his role as romance expert.

Published August 29, 2013

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