Tell Me Why These Things Are So Beautiful – Lyne Charlebois
Lyne Charlebois (Canada), TELL ME WHY THESE THINGS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL (DIS-MOI POURQUOI CES CHOSES SONT SI BELLES), Film Feature – Produced by Oscar-Nominee Roger Frappier, this beautiful film is inspired by love letters between 46-year old Brother Marie-Victorin and 23-year-old Marcelle Gauvreau who met in 1931. Both had been close to death and share the same love of God and Nature. He becomes her teacher, later she becomes his assistant. Their friendship evolves into a deep love and unflinching honesty in all matters from botany to sexuality. This great chaste love, and the sumptuous beauty of Quebec’s flora, pushes both these main characters, as well as Antoine and Roxane, the actors who play them, to question their own relationship with love and Nature. A tightly crafted story-within-a-story perfectly blends and weaves the sub-plots of both couples amidst the changing seasons. Punctuated by Charlebois’s outstanding direction, lush cinematography and a moving soudtrack, the film creatively moves between the two worlds. A talented cast and achingly authentic performances by stars Mylène Mackay (L’Âge adulte, Nelly, Endorphine) and Alexandre Goyette (Mommy, King Dave, Laurence Anyways). Also stars: Rachel Graton (Suzanne et Chantal), Francis Ducharme (Chasse-Galerie: La Legende), Sylvie Moreau (Nelly et Simon: Mission Yeti), Marianne Farley (Au nord d’Albany), Vincent Graton (Les Barbares de La Malbaie). From Max Films. Distribution: Les Films Opale
The Platypus Guardian – Chadden Hunter and Nick Hayward
Chadden Hunter and Nick Hayward (Australia), The Platypus Guardian, Nature / Wildlife – 20x Emmy and BAFTA winning filmmaker and biologist Chadden Hunter (BBC Planet Earth) and talented Nick Hayward (Quoll Farm, The Message of the Lyrebird), skillfully bring to life the story of Peter Walsh, a Hobart resident, who is turning a personal hardship into a heartfelt mission to protect the threatened platypus population of Hobart’s waterways. Walsh’s journey began with a life-altering brain injury diagnosis. In search of solace, he found himself drawn to the Hobart rivulet, where he formed an unexpected bond with a platypus he named Zoom. Utilizing cutting-edge camera technology to shed light on the secretive life of this female platypus and the challenges she confronts in her increasingly precarious habitat. Peter’s intimate observations provide a rare glimpse into the life of these unique creatures. But when bulldozers and a flash flood jeopardize the rivulet, causing Zoom’s sudden disappearance, and he finds others ensnared and injured by plastic and rope, Walsh feels compelled to act. He initiates a grassroots conservation effort, rallying the community to rescue his platypus friends from the brink of extinction. A story that is at once heart-warming, heart-wrenching and ultimately hopeful – it unveils the enchanting world that thrives in the shadows of the city and Walsh’s race against time to safeguard it. The Platypus Guardian is what happens when enormously talented filmmakers, meet extraordinary outpourings of love and soul from a very special man with a heart of gold. A WildBear Entertainment Production, features spectacular natural history footage, capturing never-before-seen moments of the platypus in their natural habitat. Inspiring and heart warming in every way.
Sibel’s Silence (Le Silence de Sibel) – Aly Yeganeh
Aly Yeganeh (France), Sibel’s Silence (Le Silence de Sibel), Film Feature – A film that is both gritty and touching, Sibel’s Silence tells the story of 13-year-old Sibel, one of the many thousands of girls kidnapped by ISIS fighters in Iraq. After her entire family was murdered, Sibel was taken as a prisoner and forced into sexual slavery. Hana, an ophthalmologist cannot bear the atrocities committed against Yazidi women, pays a ransom, adopts Sibel and brings her to France. She tries to provide her with a normal life filled and finds it triggers traumas of her own. Sibel cannot shake the trauma, refuses to speak; her haunting memories are always present. Insightful direction by Yeganeh, he skillfully incorporates a poignant script, muted color palette and even the architecture itself to carefully craft the story and tone. Achingly authentic performances by a talented cast. An exceptional and highly nuanced character portrayal by Laëtitia Eïdo (Netflix’s Fauda, Apple TV’s Liaison) and a convincing depiction of complex trauma by Mélissa Boros. Also stars: Patrick Azam (The Last Panthers), Rusen Houssin, Kondwani Fernandes Mores, Sadettin Cecen (Si tu meurs, je te tue), Claire Gable, Marie-Bénédicte Cazeneuve (By the Grace of God), Melha Bossard (The Night Clerk), Valérie Théodore (Je vous prie de sortir). Screened at Cannes. T.B.Y. Productions. LOULL Production. Axxon Media.
Moonlight Warrior – Hong Ying
Hong Ying (China), Moonlight Warrior (月光武士), Film Feature – Renown author Ying delivers a captivating tale of heart, desires, abuse and unrequited love in Chongqing China. 14-year old Dou falls in love with Jiahui, a beautiful nurse who was caring for him in the hospital. Sadly, she is married to a mobster named Gang, who is brutal to her physically and emotionally. Dou wants to be her protector, her “Moonlight Warrior”, but before he reaches adulthood – she leaves for Japan to reunite with her mother. 20 years pass, and one day Jiahui returns, escaping Gang. Dou recalls his childhood dream and pursues her, but when Gang follows his wife, a youthful romance becomes a deadly contest. Authentic performances from Zuo Hang and Jiamei Feng lead this convincing cast – with compelling performances from supporting actors who perfectly reenact the rhythms of this colorful town. Co-stars: Bai En, Cai Heng, Liu Lei. Distribution: Parallax China
Harriet Marin Jones (France), King of Kings : Chasing Edward Jones, Doc Feature – With producers Oscar-nominee Quincy Jones and multi-Emmy winner Debbie Allen, Jones’s deft direction shows the life of Edward Jones, a charismatic African American who rose to financial prominence in Depression-era Chicago. The story of Policy Kings, love, success, violence, mafia and prison. Fascinating insights, interviews, creative graphics.
Seenu Ramasamy (India), Kanne Kalaimaane (Apple Of My Eye My Dearest), Film Feature –National Film Award winner Ramasamy’s touching film about Kamalakannan, an organic farmer who marries Bharathi, a beautiful bank manager. His strong grandmother doesn’t approve and soon tragedy strikes. Udhayanidhi Stalin (Maamannan), Tamannaah Bhatia (Tadakha), a breakout performance by talented Vadivukkarasi (Sivaji).
Hesong Zhao (China), Mine, Film Short / Asian – After a tragic accident claims her husband’s life, a grieving widow and her son are haunted by his restless spirit. Tormented by vengeful outsiders and menacing signs from beyond, her attempt to start anew is always thwarted. Secrets long buried may consume them all. Deft direction delivers a supernatural short with exceptional performances. Ma Su (Legend of Miyue)
Jorge “Jokes” Yanes (USA), Silent Partners, TV Pilot Program – Emmy-winner Yanes directs a star cast in a 1980’s Miami Mob drama. A mild mannered insurance salesman by day, vicious mob soldier by night. Classic mob with a dash of humor. Oscar-Winner Nick Vallelonga (The Green Book), Ciro Dapagio (Mobking), Garry Pastore (Duece), Joseph Donofrio (Bronx Tale), Saul Stein (Duece), Michael Villar (Skin), Anotoni Corone (OZ).
Xionghao Jin (China), The Vacation Show (仙女鸟飞过的夏天), Children & Family Program – Three city kids are sent to their grandmother’s village without iPads, their dreams of lazy days crushed by work and rules. When a sinister conspiracy ensnares them, they embark on a forbidden adventure. While the mysteries threaten to entrap them, its magical secrets ultimately set them free. Hexuan Guo, Bohan Yue, Zun Wang, Riying Huang.
Simone Vrech and Sandra Lopez Cabrera (Italy), Lombard Woman, Doc Short – The life of a Lombard woman in the seventh century, from birth to death. Exceptional research guides this tightly-woven doc, excellent scripting, poignant interviews and beautifully crafted reenactments. Lush cinematography and score follow the often harsh life of Lombard women. Sandra Lopez Cabrera with narration by Chiara Pasqualini.
Dilip Harnarayan Dixit (India), Meera, Film Feature – An uplifting story of a woman from a poor village transcending her tragedies through love and dedication and lifting thousands of women out of poverty and dependence. Compassionate direction. Based on true events. Stars: Heena Varde (Ghar Ek Mandir), Maulik Chauhan (20 hours), Sanjay Parmar (Ek Villain Returns), Chetan Daiya (3 Ekka), Reeva Rachh (Oxygen).
Yiwei Zhao (China), Letter (信), Film Short / Asian – The story of an overworked adult daughter and her father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Her inability to deal with his outbursts compounding his loneliness, pushing them apart. One day she finds letters he has written to her since birth and her world changes realizing the depth of love and care he has always had. Emotionally compelling performances by talented Fuer Zi and Yingyun Lu.
Hailey Bair (USA), Dog Days, Animation (Student) – An 8-year old Max wishes for a puppy and a magical puff of smoke brings a balloon dog to life instead. Though at first hesitant, Max soon learns to love and accept his new pet, endearingly naming him Squeaky and experiences the ups and downs of having a balloon dog for a pet. Beautifully animated with emotional nuances. A stellar thesis project.
Al Mertens (USA), Thank You, Amelia Earhart, Actress: Leading (Mary Buss as Myrtle), Liberation / Social Justice / Protest
Aly Yeganeh (France), Sibel’s Silence, Actress: Leading (Laëtitia Eido as Hana), Actress: Supporting (Mélissa Boros as Sibel), Direction, Ensemble Cast, Liberation / Social Justice / Protest
Autumn Libengood and Luke Flowers, Awaken the Dream Productions (USA), Life After, Christian, Women Filmmakers, Script / Writer
Bjørn Olav Edvardsen and Jostein Vedvik (Norway), Turn Off My Heart, Music Video, Cinematography, Original Song
Daniel Goldberg (USA), Daniel. Noah., Direction, Film Short, Script / Writer
David Laňka (Czech Republic), Hunters, Film Short
Deren Paul Abram (USA), Navajo Nation USA, Documentary Feature, Native Peoples
Eldar Sharipov (Russia), Сумо. Не то, что вы подумали/ Sumo. Not What You Thought, Documentary Feature
Evgraf Sorokin (Turkey), Mars, Experimental
Giovanni Coda (Italy), La Sposa nel Vento – The Bride in the Wind, Special Purpose Productions
Giulio Caresio (Italy), SACHA, Documentary Short
Gordon J. Clark (USA), Messages To Self, Original Score (Jarrod Radnich)
Gregory David Bart (USA), The Other Mind: AI and Psychedelics, Documentary Short, Creativity / Originality, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising, Animation
Gusta Stockler (Brazil), Let’s Keep It Between Us, Web Series
Hailey Bair (USA), Dog Days, Sound Editing / Sound Mixing (Student), Original Score (Student)
Harriet Marin Jones (France), King of Kings : Chasing Edward Jones, History / Biographical, Women Filmmakers
Ian Ebright (USA), Pinwheel Horizon, Direction, Editing, Ensemble Cast, Actress: Leading (Cassie Stires as Cyra)
Jennifer Boyd (USA), Footprints of our Ancestors: Mesa Verde National Park, Documentary Short
Jorge “Jokes” Yanes (USA), Silent Partners, Actor: Leading (Ciro Dapagio as Valentine), Direction, Ensemble Cast, Actor: Supporting (Garry Pastore as Fat Dave)
Kate Kennedy and Rossana Diez (USA), Evil Step Sitter, Animation, Film Short
Lynn Elliott (USA), The Script, Script / Writer
Marina López Ferré and Paloma Bravo Quintana (Mexico), Alas, Women Filmmakers
Matthew Kollar (USA), The Cave, Music Video
Matthew Margo (USA), ROUGH CUT, Concept, Script / Writer, Television – Pilot Program, Web Series, Viewer Impact: Entertainment Value, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising, Creativity / Originality, Humor / Humorist, Comedy Program / Series, Viewer Impact: Content / Message Delivery
Mehmet Tanrisever (Turkey), THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, Film Feature, Islamic
Michael Barder (USA), The Drive, Disability Issues (Student)
Nic Davis and Michel Shane, Shane Gang Pictures (USA), 21 Miles in Malibu, Documentary Short, Public Service Programming / PSA, Special Purpose Productions
Nick Hayward and Chadden Hunter (Australia), The Platypus Guardian, Original Score (Composed by Finn Clarke)
Nicolás Dimópulos (Argentina), TELESCOPE, Young Filmmaker – 17 and younger
Nikolay Bogomilov (Bulgaria), LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI, Actor: Leading (Vincent Molli as The Poet), Actress: Leading (Bayarma Bayarma as The Queen-Death), Film Feature
Robin Greenberg (New Zealand), Grant Sheehan: Light, Ghosts & Dreams, Documentary Feature
Seenu Ramasamy Ramakrishnan (India), Kanne Kalaimaane (Apple Of My Eye My Dearest), Actress: Supporting (Vadivukkarasi as Grand Mother)
Simone Vrech and Sandra Lopez Cabrera (Italy), Lombard Woman, History / Biographical, Women Filmmakers
Stuart Fortune (United Kingdom), Teyuna – Lost City, Documentary Short
Thomas Michael Heinemann (Germany), PAULAS DAD and the Right Button in his Head, Children / Family Programming
Venkata Krishna Roghanth (India), Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir [One Planet; One Family], Actor: Leading (Vijay Sethupathi as Punithan, Kiruba)
Vijaya Kumar R (India), Azhagiya Kanne, Asian
William Goins (USA), THE GREY SPACE, Public Service Programming / PSA
Lyne Charlebois (Canada), Tell Me Why These Things Are So Beautiful, Women Filmmakers|
Hong Ying (China), Moonlight Warrior, Women Filmmakers
Harriet Marin Jones (France), King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones, Women Filmmakers
Sandra Lopez Cabrera (Italy), Lombard Women, Women Filmmakers
Jennifer Boyd (USA), Footprints of our Ancestors: Mesa Verde National Park, Women Filmmakers
Marina López Ferré and Paloma Bravo Quintana (Mexico), Alas, Women Filmmakers
Autumn Libengood, Awaken the Dream Productions (USA), Life After, Women Filmmakers
Robin Greenberg, (New Zealand), Grant Sheehan: Light, Ghosts & Dreams, Women Filmmakers
Hailey Bair (USA), Dog Days, Women Filmmakers (Student
Tane McClure (USA), Séance Games – METAXU, Women Filmmakers