The official selections for the 2016 Macon Film Festival competition have been announced.
The complete listing of official selections will compete in the following categories: Southern Documentary, Music Category, Documentary, LGBT, Narrative Shorts, Narrative Feature and Student Shorts. The selections are both domestic and international, including selections from Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the USA. All competition films will screen twice during the festival.
EAT WHITE DIRT / USA (Director: Adam Forrester) – Eat White Dirt weaves the story of Tammy Wright, a 37 year old addicted to eating kaolin, with that of scientists, local historians, a physician, an artist, and other practitioners of earth-eating. Each is connected by their own unique kinship with kaolin, or ‘white dirt.’ The film focuses on this practice within the American South while also referencing its global perspective.
FARMER/VETERAN / USA (Director: Alix Blair) – After three combat tours in Iraq, Alex Sutton attempts a fresh start hatching chickens and raising goats on 43 acres in rural North Carolina. Alex embraces life on the farm with his new love Jessica, but cycles between a state of heightened alert and “feeling zombified” from a cocktail of prescriptions meant to stabilize his injured mind.
HOTEL CLERMONT / USA (Director: Heather Hudson) – This film honors the Clermont: a place all Atlantans know of, but few know. The hotel intrigues all walks of life. Part of the fascination is due to its basement tenant: Atlanta’s oldest strip club. The residents who rented rooms in the hotel upstairs occupied even further-outlying corners of Atlanta society. It is their stories we aim to tell.
YAZOO REVISITED: INTEGRATION AND SEGREGATION IN A DEEP SOUTHERN TOWN / USA (Director: Rae Morris) – History of race relations and the 1970 integration of the public schools in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the hometown of the filmmaker’s father, the late writer, Willie Morris.
BRANCHES/ USA (Director: James Kicklighter) – When a young girl answers the siren song of a boy, she loses and finds herself in the forest.
CAB ELVIS / USA (Director: Andrew Franks) – Dave Groh, a cab driver who dresses like Elvis, finds himself not only in a battle with the city of Seattle but also the dark side of Elvis.
HAMMEL ON TRIAL ‘AN ARTIST IN AMERICA’ / USA (Director: Vic Campos) – Documentary short on legendary NYC musician/artist/punk poet/anti-folk hero Hamell on Trial who has defied any easy categorization in a career that is now entering its 30th year. Along with live performances, it’s time to see and hear what everyone has been talking about.
NATHAN EAST: FOR THE RECORD / USA (Director: Chris Gero) – a film that takes viewers behind-the-scenes as one of the most influential bass players in modern music recorded his debut solo album. The film chronicles Nathan’s career from when he hit the road at age 16 with Barry White, his session and touring work across musical genres, and membership in the legendary jazz quartet Fourplay.
SWEET DILLARD / USA (Director: Jim Virga) – From the first day of class to a national competition, Sweet Dillard provides an inside look at one of the nation’s best public high school jazz bands.
THE BIRTH OF AN ARTIST / Ukraine (Director: Natasha Babenko) – Handicapped 17 year old Dasha as she lives her ordinary day: waking up, taking bath, dressing up, eating, playing with her little brother and doing what she does the best – painting with her toes. Dasha was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Dasha’s day is full of struggle but she manages to emerge herself into a world of hope.
KANDAHAR JOURNALS / Afghanistan/Canada (Director: Louie Palu) – Arriving in Kandahar, Afghanistan as the war’s violence spirals out of control, photojournalist Louie Palu is unaware that he will spend the next five years covering the conflict. Kandahar Journals is the story of Palu who reflects on the events behind his psychological transformation after covering frontline combat from 2006 to 2010.
LEGS: A BIG ISSUE IN A SMALL TOWN / USA (Director: Beatrice Alda & Jennifer Brooke) – When a very large and controversial piece of art gets publicly displayed in a small town, opinions start flying and feisty people take legal action. Experienced through the eyes and voices of one small town’s colorful residents, both newcomers and established folk reveal struggles to fit in, to have a voice, to be respected, to be heard.
MIND/GAME: THE UNQUIET JOURNEY OF CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW / USA (Director: Rick Goldsmith) – Basketball super-star Chamique Holdsclaw’s roller-coaster attempts at recovery from near-suicide reveal an uphill battle against the stigma of mental illness.
THE REBOUND / USA (Director: Shaina Allen) – For the Heat Wheels, Miami is a city of opportunity, second chances, and a call to win – against all odds. The Rebound is an account of Heat Wheels’ quest during the year following defeat at the national championships. A story of unwavering resolve and a testament to our ability to overcome life’s toughest challenges.
THE SAMARITAN / USA (Director: Kevin McAfee) – Desperate to escape a communist country, a man defects and leaves everything behind him to seek freedom. Once free, he now needs help to free his family but does not know how to get it. Soon he will meet the young lawyer Eddie Roush who will be willing to take a chance to help this man and free his family.
YOU SEE ME / USA (Director: Linda J. Brown) – Filmmaker Linda Brown’s father embodied 1960s masculinity. But when a devastating stroke leaves him vulnerable and dependent, Linda decides to confront the silence surrounding his troubled and violent past. The result is an engrossing journey about the danger of carrying unresolved grief to our graves.
BULLIED TO DEATH / Italy (Director: Giovanni Coda) – BULLIED TO DEATH depicts a 24 hour performance against homophobia through the real stories of teenagers worldwide that experience severe bullying episodes at school, from their own families and on the web, as a result of their coming out about their sexuality.
DAWN / United Kingdom (Director: Jake Graf) – As dawn creeps across London, two outcasts meet, more afraid of themselves than each other. As the veil of night is lifted, the pair is forced to look at themselves and face the reality that life is sometimes what you make it, and that in the light of day, it takes more than the eyes to see inside a soul.
EASY: A THREE-MINUTE LOVE STORY / USA (Director: Robert Guthrie) – Two high school guys are in love. One’s Christian, one’s Jewish. A father disapproves, the other’s parents are thrilled. Who cares that it’s not perfect? They got this.
HOW TO BE ALONE / Israel (Director: Erez Eisenstein) – “Listen to me: there is life without love. Loneliness is the soul’s forgotten desire. You don’t need anyone. Don’t search, don’t hope, don’t dream; and only then, perhaps, you too will learn how to be alone.
RSVP / USA (Director: Shannon Beeby) – A gay widower attempts to fulfill his husband’s final request: To spread his ashes on his hometown beach, in the company of the family that disowned him.
UNCONDITIONAL / USA (Director: Kent Igleheart) – The single largest group of homeless youth is LGBT. Kicked out or run away because of who they are. This is the story of one.
A KING’S BETRAYAL / USA (Director: David A Bornstein) – The final 24 hours in the life of a Piñata, as told from the Piñata’s perspective.
ACROSS THE TRACKS / USA (Director: Michael Cooke) – Two African American sisters grow up in racially charged 1960s Georgia. But one is born with fair skin and when schools integrate in their small town, she decides to change her destiny – by passing for white.
ALMOST HOME / USA (Director: BJ Golnick) – After years of battle on the front lines of Afghanistan, a Marine returns home to mend a broken relationship with his dying father. He carries with him the haunting memories of war and a promise he kept to a fallen brother in arms. If he can make things right with his father, maybe he can find peace within himself.
THE BARRY & RO SHOW / USA (Director: Jordan Liebowitz) – Married TV stars Barry and Ro try to shoot a promo for their 1970’s variety show.
BEAT AROUND THE BUSH / Canada (Director: Brianne Nord-Stewart) – A short adventure comedy that follows UNA, a 75 year old widow recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, who struggles to stay optimistic as she tries her hand at achieving her very first orgasm ever. Fortunately, her two best friends, GOLDIE and BEATRICE, are there to cheer her on.
BOTTOMLESS / USA (Director: Veronquie Vanblare) – A Belgian woman seeks citizenship in the United States, and finds that her experiences are bottomless.
BUMBLEBEES / USA (Director: Jenna Kanell) – Despite being told as a child he would never speak or walk, Vance accomplished what doctors thought was impossible. But now he has a new challenge: dating.
COUGAR / USA (Director: Jane Merrow) – A young man meets an older woman in the bar with interesting results.
COWBOYS / Spain (Director: Bernabe Rico) – Martin is a finished actor, both professionally and personally. He’s divorced, has no friends and a son he hasn’t talked to for more than a year. But one fine day he’ll get a working offer his agent will not let him pass: to be companion of a 5-year-old boy in a costume contest at the Amusement Park.
DUO / USA (Director: Karl E. Landler) – When Melanie begrudgingly agrees to give Marcel, a French mime who doesn’t speak English, a ride to his audition in Las Vegas, they both have to overcome their differences to prevent this trip from being a disaster.
EL CHEVERE / USA (Director: Tony Reames) – Down south they only whisper his name. A stranger comes to town to stop a mythical creature known only as “El Chévere”.
HEART LAND / USA (Director: Sheri Mann Stewart) – An estranged mother and daughter who have lost touch with their roots rediscover the meaning of family and love.
HELLO CHARLES / USA (Director: Hamish Grieve) – The film tells the story of George, a young man who has arrived at a low moment in his life after years of mistakes and bad choices. About to make another really bad decision George gets a rather unexpected visit from Charles, his imaginary friend from childhood.
HUX / USA (Director: Mageina Tovah) – Hux, longing to connect, rebels against the lonely isolation of her autism. Braving the confusing, chaotic world of others, her attempts at interaction are repeatedly thwarted – by her powerful aversion to stimuli, and by an epidemic that decimates the population. But when all seems lost, Hux finds one final chance to connect.
IN MEMORY / USA (Director: Robert Kirbyson) – In a seemingly utopian future, an elderly woman struggles to accept that it seems like it’s her turn to die.
IN THE CLOUDS / Argentina (Director: Marcelo Mitnik) – The difference between how we think romance should work and how it actually does is at the comedic heart of IN THE CLOUDS, an exploration of cultural disagreements about intimacy, love, and marriage proposals in the age of YouTube.
IT HAS TO BE YOU / USA (Director: Conrad Rothbaum) – One night at the Lindenwood Diner, three shots ring out. Six people. One crime. Everyone has their own perspective.
JACKDAW / USA (Director: Travis Champagne) – A father mourns on the one-year anniversary of his wife’s disappearance.
LAND OF EXODUS / USA (Director: Skinner Myers) – Obed, a Mexican street kid with hopes of making it to America, leads a recently kidnapped American teenager to the Mexico/United States border.
LITTLE STICKER / USA (Director: Michael Jackson Chaney) – An ordinary icon takes on new meaning as a couple wrestles with different methods of grieving over a tragic loss.
THE MOTHER LOAD / USA (Director: Nicole Kemper & Grant McGowen) – The web series follows Carrie, a by-the-book first time parent, as she stumbles through the first year of her baby’s life. She finds camaraderie and support in her best friend, Astrid- a parent with two kids, who’s “embrace the chaos” philosophy often conflicts with Carrie’s drive to do everything right the first time.
THE PERFECT HOUSEGUEST / USA (Director: Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter) – A house is visited by a clean, organized, well-mannered guest.
PRACTICE / USA (Director: Mark Maloney) – Love needs time to flower, but when desperately single Abby meets desperately undersexed Chandler, their relationship buds, blooms and wilts within six minutes.
SEAGULLS / United Kingdom (Director: Martin Smith) – When a young showman visits a new town he struggles to fit in. We follow Ryan as he attempts to bond with a group of local boys. The film explores the subtle differences in the lives of these teenage boys and how cultural bonds that are deeply ingrained are never far from the surface.
SUPER DOG / USA (Director: Lawayne Bontrager) – A sweet movie about a young boy with post traumatic stress disorder who struggles to let his imaginary dog go. A unique twist reveals what caused his disorder while intertwining supernatural and spiritual influences.
WINTER LIGHT / USA (Director: Julian Higgins) – When an aging college professor confronts two hunters trespassing on his property, he begins an escalating battle of wills that will test his faith in everything he holds dear. Adapted from a short story by acclaimed author James Lee Burke, WINTER LIGHT is a modern-day revisionist Western set in the frozen wilderness of Montana.
ZERO GRAVITY: HOW KIDS FEEL ON SNOW DAYS / USA (Director: Hank Williams) – Encapsulating the feeling kids have on snow days.
AUTUMN FALL / Norway (Director: Jan Vardoen) – Ingvld works as a lightning technician at the National Theatre but dreams of writing for the stage. However she can’t stand actors. She still manages to entangle herself with two thespians, one a notorious hell raiser and she embarks on an exciting, scandalous, and ultimately very dangerous journey that changes her life forever.
ENCLAVE / Serbia/Germany (Director: Goran Radovanovic) – Ten years after the war in Kosovo and unfolding through the eyes of a lonely lad, this is a poignant and intense coming-of-age story that shows young boys in their struggle to follow the blood feuds of their parents and questions whether co-existence is possible between two communities.
JASMINE / Hong Kong/United States (Director: Dax Phelan) – A year after his wife’s murder, once-successful Hong Kong businessman Leonard To is still reeling from the tragedy. Having lost his job, friends and all sense of order in his life, Leonard becomes obsessed with a mysterious stranger he sees at his wife’s grave, believing him to be responsible for her death.
JERICO / United States (Director: Seckeita Lewis) – Jerico and Jarvis set out on the morning of the signing of the civil rights act of 1964 with aspirations to capture a newly available promotion. With the dangers of the Jim Crow South, a simple trip to work becomes a fight for survival. JERICO is a dramatic comedy that satirizes the dogma of our American history in an effort to overcome racial division.
MANIFEST DESTINY / United States (Director: Anthony Parisi) – This musical comedy weaves together both sharp satire and heartfelt storytelling into a grand adventure. The film follows gruff explorer William Clark and his naturalist companion Meriwether Lewis as they blaze a trail to the Western waters. Along the way they encounter the lovely Sacagawea, battle the elements, and find that President Jefferson has some surprises up his sleeve.
REMITTANCE / Singapore (Director: Patrick Daly & Joel Fendleman) – REMITTANCE follows Marie, a foreign domestic worker from the Philippines as she struggles to cope with demanding employers, long hours of work, and separation from her family. Breaking from the conventional image of maids as labor, the story explores the transformations Marie goes through as a woman dealing with conflicting obligations and aspirations.
THE RAINBOW KID / Canada (Director: Kire Paputts) – Eugene, a young man with Down syndrome, sets out on a life altering journey to find the end of the rainbow.
THE APOLOGY SERVICE / USA /University of North Georgia (Director: Luke Pilgrim) -Set in the near future, Jackson is the top “apologist” at a personalized apology firm. Jackson is a loner with his only companion being a quiet robot named AL-X or Alex. Along the way Jackson becomes overwhelmed by romantic daydreams of a friendly co-worker. This shatters his identity and causes him to question his career choice and his reclusive lifestyle.
BIRD DOG / USA / New York University (Director: Katrina Whalen) – Rose is happy at home hunting birds with her family. When she rises to her brother’s dare and swallows a dove heart, she worries that the heart in her belly will sprout into a fully formed dove. The conviction that she is carrying a bird alters the hunting experience, and drives her to confront her fears about growing older.
CONFESSION: 5pm OR BY APPOINTMENT / USA / Savannah College of Art & Design (Director: Joseph Brennan) – A young Catholic priest is approached by his lover in the confessional to discuss where the relationship is headed.
KARKASS CARTS / USA / New York University (Director: Ben Nelson) – When the Birch brothers inherit a failing funeral home from their decaying father, they must resort to sinister means in order to save the family business.
RIDGELAND / USA / Savannah College of Art & Design (Director: Taylor MacDonald) – A restless young man lives aimlessly in a rural town, wanting desperately to escape his dead-end life. As he escapes to the North, life catches up.
About the Macon Film Festival
Founded in 2005, Macon Film Festival is an annual event held in the heart of historic downtown Macon. Surrounded by a rich musical and southern culture, the organization celebrates independent films while promoting filmmaking for entertainment, inspiration, education, and economic development. The 11th annual Macon Film Festival will take place July 21-24, 2016.
Passes are now available on the festival website http://www.maconfilmfestival.com or at this Ticket Derby link: http://www.bit.ly/MFF_2016
Media: To receive a press pass, please email Terrell@TerrellSandefur.com