The 2000 Lineup

FRIDAY NIGHT – FEB. 4
6:00PM – 8:00PM

Ah L’Amour – written and animated by Don Hertzfeld
A brief, twisted look at the trials and tribulations of a single person looking for love. Winner of World’s Funniest Cartoon at the 1998 World Animation Celebration/HBO Comedy Arts Festival (2 min.) 

Shoes Off – written and directed by Mark Sawers
A timid, lonely man decides to take a chance on love. But first he must find out who his dream girl is – and all he knows about her is what her shoes look like… This well-written, superbly-shot film won Best Short Film at The 1999 Cannes Film Festival. (13 min.) 

A Feeling Called Glory – directed by Coreen Mayrs
This captivating, beautifully photographed film is a delightfully morbid and life-affirming story about a quirky summer friendship between two oddball adolescent girls who have unique and opposing outlooks on coping with loss … and each other. Coreen’s screenplay won the Kodak Canada Vision Award. (29 min.) 

Epiphany Rules – written and directed by Paula Kelly
This is a tightly-written, wonderfully-directed story of three people living on the margins, whose fates collide in a cloud of unrequited love and loneliness. Trevor is the middle-aged survivor of his first heart attack whose fantasy life has begun to replace the real world; Candace is an inner-city prisoner-of-war in her own home who will do anything to escape; and Riel is the charismatic hustler who offers them both instant gratification as a substitute for love. In only 25 minutes, Ms. Kelly has drawn three definitive characters, caught up in a strong plot line, that perfectly sums up what French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard observed years ago: “A film should only be the length it needs to tell the story.” Paula Kelly’s film brings Godard’s illuminating truth to light. (25 min.) 

Human Remains – written , photographed and directed by Jay Rosenblatt
This highly-acclaimed film illustrates the banality of evil by creating intimate portraits of five of this century’s most reviled dictators. The film unveils the personal lives of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco and Mao Tse Tung. We learn the private and mundane details of their everyday lives – their favorite foods, films, habits and sexual preferences. Their personalities and psychological make-up are revealed through the details they convey. There is no mention of their public lives or their place in history. The intentional omission of the horrors for which these men were responsible hovers over the film. Human Remains addresses this horror from a completely different angle. Irony and even occasional humor are sprinkled throughout the documentary. The film is based entirely on fact, combining direct quotes and biographical research. The use of foreign voice-over and British translators give the film a BBC type documentary style and adds to the verisimilitude of the film. Winner of 25 major film awards worldwide, including The Sundance Jury Award, The Florida Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, The British Film Festival Best American Film, and The Hamptons International Film Festival Best Short Film. (30 min.) 

20-MINUTE BREAK
8:20PM – 10:15PM

Lily and Jim – written and animated by Don Hertzfeldt
An achingly pathetic blind date between two hopelessly naive, neurotic romantics goes from bad to worse. Winner of 20 awards worldwide, including Best of Festival Grand Prize – USA Film Festival. (13 min.) 

The Underdogs – written and directed by Glenn Friedel
This romantic comedy follows the adventures of three friends and housemates just after they finish college. Johnny, the protagonist, can’t commit to either his girlfriend, his shrink or the rest of his life. K, his best friend, is a pot-smoking eccentric whose idea of a career is renting out skates at the local rink, and Sadie is a talented painter who falls for her beefcake model, an Ardold Schwarzenegger wanna-be. Can Johnny commit? Can K face a day without cannabis? Can Sadie just paint her model? Set against this backdrop, Underdogs is sexy, witty, intelligent, and a wonderful first effort by a very young and very talented cast and crew, most just out of film school. Officially selected by the New York International Independent Film Festival, New York Times film critic Jason Levine wrote: “Underdogs is hilarious and sincere. A great debut!” (101 Minutes) (Adult language) 

SATURDAY – FEB. 5
NOON – 1:40PM

Bambi Meets Godzilla – written and directed by Marv Newland
A cult favorite since its inception in 1969, the title says it all. (2 min.)
Son of Bambi Meets Godzilla – written and directed by Eric Fernandez
Thirty years after these two icons met, a high-tech rematch is unavoidable… (2 min.) 

Hate Mail – written and directed by Mark Sawers
What’s a writer to do when his neighbors won’t leave him in peace? How about some hate mail? This critically-acclaimed, beautifully shot film takes a witty, twisted look at urban angst. Mr. Sawers’ film was an Official Selection at The Berlin International Film Festival, and also garnered a Genie Nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama. (16 min.) 

Second Date – written and directed by James Genn
This off-beat and compelling snapshot of urban reality explores the awkward moment when two people meet up again after an alcohol-fueled, one-night stand. The film covers the kind of late-20th Century awkwardness for which Emily Post would have had no answer. Strangers before that event, they’re strangers still, but Diane has to return to Jason’s apartment for her glasses that she left behind. The questions the film explores are does their strained meeting – and his suggestion that they go for coffee – constitute a second date? And what are the “signals” we look for in one another? Shown in three countries at numerous festivals, the film recently won Second Best Canadian Entry at The Canadian International Annual Film Festival. (10 min.) 

Araby – written by Dennis J. Courtney and Joseph Bierman. Directed by Dennis J. Courtney
Based on the short story by Irish author James Joyce, Araby is the bittersweet tale of a young boy’s confused affection for his friend’s older sister. Taught by Jesuits in turn-of-the-century Dublin, and raised in a strict Catholic family, the boy worships his love from afar. When she finally notices him, the girl expresses her sadness in not being able to attend the enchanting Arabian bazaar. The boy nobly sets out to attain a gift for the girl but instead meets with a harsh revelation. The boy’s romantic quest through the streets of Dublin becomes a religious pilgrimage, merging the sensual with the sacred. Chosen as one of the six finalists at the 1999 Student Academy Awards, and an Award Finalist at the 26th Annual Student Academy at Notre Dame University. (21 min.) 

My Grandma’s Boyfriend – written and directed by Lisa Hayes
This is a documentary that explores love after 80. When Verna met Patrick, she was a 70-year-old widow and he was a 73-year-old separated Irish Catholic. All it took was a spot dance, a bottle of wine, and one year to bring them together. Ms. Hayes film clearly shows that age is only a number we’re stuck with, and that life and love can both be as fresh and as ageless as we’ll allow them to be. Awarded The Prize of The Ministry of Labour – Ekotopfilm ’99. (11 min.) 

In the Space of God – written and directed by Anita Bloom
Ever have that moment in your life, a turning point – when a work of art, or a line in a poem or a play or a book, or a scene in a film – that changed your life? In Anita Bloom’s visually-told tale, Chloe, feeling the smallness of her life, cannot escape a haunting sense of emptiness. Then one day she impulsively buys a sculpture that moves her in ways that will change her forever. Bloom recently graduated from the prestigious American Film Institute, which produced her film. (25 min.) 

Bicycle – written, photographed and directed by Jonah Kaplan
What begins as a leisurely day out on the bike abruptly escalates into a fast sprint through the tangled traffic of the streets of New York as shown through the point of view of the cyclist. Winner of the Sydney Film Festival Audience Vote Award. (6 min.) 

20-MINUTE BREAK
2:00PM – 3:40PM

Pandora’s Box – written and directed by Anita Modak-Truran
This exquisite film manages to brilliantly capture the pastiche – the look and form – of silent movies, as well as the short black and white films of the 1960s. Both visually and through its use of period songs on the soundtrack, the film builds up a memorably wistful and tender atmosphere. Michael Wilmington, film critic for The Chicago Tribune, wrote: “Pandora’s Box conveys an anguish and yearning which becomes quite moving.” (7 min.) 

The Innocents – written and directed and edited by Katherine Griffin
This award-winning, coming-of-age first film follows two girls, Jane and Maggie, who form an unlikely friendship in a small Indiana town during the summer of 1961. They find in each other their first true friend as they embark together on an adventure that will forever change their lives and the way they see the world. Their journey is sparked by the discovery of Jane’s mother’s diary, which tells of her illicit love affair for a man in the early 1940’s. The Innocents is a social drama with a light feel and deep undercurrents and themes about friendship and family secrets. It also serves as a commentary on the black and white issue of the early sixties. Winner of The Silver Award for Dramatic Feature at the 1999 Atlanta City Film Festival. (104 min.) 

20-MINUTE BREAK
4:00PM – 5:30PM

Dream A woman walks into the subway station. Suddenly a man comes up to her and starts singing an operatic aria to her. While listening to his song, she starts day-dreaming. In her dream, she is sitting in the subway car and the car flies to the moon. This recently-completed film has already shown at over a dozen film festivals, and has won the Juror’s Award at The Louisville Film Festival, The Juror’s Award at The New York Exposition of Short Film and Video, and Short Video Winner at The Telluride Indiefest (2 1/2 min.) 

I Am – written and directed by Joseph H. Biancaniello
This modern-day slice of life tells the tale of three young friends who share a house – two of whom, Jake and Laurie, who live together, and the third, Mike, who also shares Laurie, his best friend’s girlfriend, behind his back. A faithful Catholic, Mike, torn between his faith in God and his lust for Lauire, keeps confessing the same sins every week. Mike’s priest, tired of his refusal to repent, tells him he can’t absolve him of his sins anymore. So what’s a good Catholic to do? Tell Mike the truth? Move out? Run off with Laurie? Become a Presbyterian? (Only kidding…) This sure-handed, well-acted film is rich in conflict and uncertainty. Just completed in September, Joseph’s last film, Dessert?, won Best Comedy at the 1999 New York International Short Film Festival. (24 min.) 

Water Cure – written and directed by Michael Annus
What is our relationship to water and, more importantly, to our environment? Michael Annus, currently a film student at the University of Iowa, contemplates this in his first film, a thought-provoking rumination on who we are, where we came from, and where we’re headed. (6 min.) 

Smiles – A Clown Story – written and directed by David Watkins Jr.
So you think being a clown is easy? Well it’s not in the clown-eat-clown world that Jackson, Mississippi, filmmaker David Watkins Jr, envisions in his first film. Sometimes even the good clowns get fed up. And that’s exactly what happens to Smiles, when the pressures of getting ahead at her corporate clown headquarters, begin to impose on her good intentions. Ultimately, Smiles must choose between keeping the job she loves or sacrificing it to be a good person. (30 min.) 

Let Me Tell You a Story – written, directed and starring Marlene Rhein
This sharply-written, fast-paced comedy follows the adventures of five women (all played by Ms. Rhein), who each describe a night of unfilled desires while unsolicited passion ignites in the background. Rhein, who has had a distinguished career as an international music video director, directed the late 2Pac Shakur’s last music video All By Myself. Her film, just completed, has recently shown at the Sarasota Film Festival. (9 1/2 min.) 

Confederation Park – written, photographed and directed by Bill Brown
Lubbock, Texas, born Brown drove his car and 16mm camera to Canada and found out that Canada’s not sure it wants to be a country, which is partly what this film is about. From its insistent opening shot of a St. John’s, Newfoundland, street, it dares the viewer to be patient, to share, rather than to just “watch.” It’s also an essay on terrorist bombings and bad weather and that whole mysterious field of physics that deals with the undetectable forces that holds things together. A ground-breaking, thoroughly original and illuminating film in every way, Confederation Park pushes cinema forward, both literally, visually and conceptually, with an independent spirit that soars. (32 min.) 

20-MINUTE BREAK
5:50PM – 8:00PM

DIRECTOR’S FORUM – Joseph Biancaniello (I Am), Bill Brown (Confederation Park), Dennis J. Courtney (Araby), Glen Friedel, (The Underdogs), Nathan Garfinkel (filmmaker and member, Magnolia Film Director’s Advisory Board), Mike Gioscia, Kurt St. Thomas, (Captive Audience), Jon Graves (producer, The Innocents), Patrick Holway, (line producer, The Innocents, I Am), Anita Modak-Truran (Pandora’s Box), Marlene Rhein (Let Me Tell You a Story), Ron Tibbett (Swept Off My Feet), David Watkins Jr. (Smiles – A Clown Story), (30 min.) 

Captive Audience – written by Mile Gioscia – directed by Mike Gioscia and Kurt St. Thomas
For “Jack the Ripper,” a disc jockey on a rural New York state radio station, it seemed like it would be just another night on his midnight to six am shift – some music, some commercials, some callers requesting songs he hated, a fat doobie, and no change for the cigarette machine. But Howard, a disturbed, gun-toting intruder changes all that when he holds Jack hostage until he fulfills his mysterious “request.” Life histories, glory days long past, and tragedies unfold in the close quarters of 99 Rock-FM as Jack and Howard bond over their shared failures and disappointments, as Captive Audience builds to its conclusion and Howard’s tragic request. Winner of The Board of Directors Award at The Nashville Independent Film Festival, and winner of Best Film, Best Screenplay and Jury Award at Planet Indie, Toronto’s Independent Film Festival. (71 min.) (Adult language) 

20-MINUTE BREAK
8:20 – 10:00

Billy’s Balloon – written and animated by Don Hertzfeldt
Ever pop a balloon for kicks just to hear the BANG? Ever let one go, you know, to watch it soar into outer space? Ever wonder what happened to it? Ever just bang on your balloons when you were a kid? Sure you did. So did Billy. Now it’s time to get even… Billy’s Balloon is cult filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt’s latest animated short, a recklessly funny and unbelievably dark and twisted look at a little boy and his balloon. The film has won 21 awards worldwide, including the 1999 Slamdance Film Festival Grand Jury Award, the New York Animation Festival’s Best Short Film Award, and the Matita Aniimation Festival’s Grand Prize in Italy. Billy’s Balloon has also been placed in Official Competition at The Cannes Film Festival. (5 min.) 

Run Lola Run – written and directed by Tom Tykwer
Lola, a flame-headed Berlin hipster, has 20 minutes to race through the city and get her hands on 100,000 German marks, or her boyfriend will be murdered. She experiences three alternative destinies triggered by split-second differences in an explosive chain of events. Winner of the Audience Award at The 1999 Sundance Film Festival, and winner of Best Picture at The Seattle Film Festival. “Dazzling! Blows away all traces of the mundane!” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times. “Exhilarating and energetic! A hyperkinetic firecracker of a film! – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times. “Deliriously exciting! Lola’s like a human stun gun!” – Peter Rainer, New York Magazine. “A landmark!” – Owen Gleiberman – Entertainment Weekly. (81 min.) 

AWARDS PRESENTATION
10:00PM – 10:30PM