2020 festival selections
unifrance film selections
KCTS Presents Five UniFrance Short French Films selected for our 2020 Festival available online November 20-22.
Films in this showcase came to CASCADIA through UniFrance, the organization in charge of promoting French cinema throughout the world, and L’Agence du court métrage. Unifrance was created in 1949 as a non profit organization by French state authorities, in order to ensure that France’s cultural exception would have the financial means & the tools to promote its cinema production in the world. For 70 years now, UniFrance has been using its experience of the international marketplace to support French films worldwide. Though its action, French cinema has become a brand in itself among cinema lovers & influencers from all over the world and France’s film production is today the 2nd most exported one after the US.
Showcase Tickets $10
ONE-HALF OF EVERY TICKET GOES TO SUPPORT THE PICKFORD
La Traction des Poles
DIRECTED MARINE LEVÉEL (FRANCE)
France’s New Rurals, a group of young, ambitious workers who are electing to live in the picturesque pastures of France’s countryside, take center stage in this love story between a farmer whose prized breeding hog has escaped and his close friend who has returned from a long stint abroad. (Trailer not available.)
MARDI DE 8 à 18
(Tuesday From 8 To 6)
DIRECTED CÉCILIA De ARCE (FRANCE)
Névine, a secondary school monitor, is fully committed to her somewhat thankless day job, dealing with teachers, administration and students. Logan, a pupil she is fond of, insists on getting a cap back from lost and found. She has no idea of the consequences of her gesture. (Trailer not available.)
Moutons, Loup et Tasses de Thé
(Sheep, Wolf & A Cup Of Tea)
DIRECTED MARION LACOURT (FRANCE)
At night, while family members indulge in curious rituals before sleeping, a child invokes a wolf from the bottom of a box hidden under his bed. Disturbing sheep then besieges the door of his bedroom… (Trailer here).
DIRECTED ALICE DOUARD (FRANCE)
Mathilde, aged 9, enjoys her last day of summer holidays at the seaside with her group of friends.
Her father falsely interprets one of their games. (Trailer not available.)
DIRECTED ÉVE-CHEMS DE BROUWER (FRANCE)
It’s summertime, by the Mediterranean Sea. Garance joins her sister to look after her children. But for a few months now, something alters her appearance. Close to the water and the waves, she meets again with a man that she once knew. (Trailer not available.)
Narrative & Documentary Film Shorts
#3 normandy lane
DIRECTED BRENDA STRONG (U.S.)
Army wife and young mother Sarah Winston’s life is inextricably altered when a series of visitors arrive on her doorstep. The short film “#3 Normandy Lane” is written by John Farmanesh-Bocca and is the directorial debut of Brenda Strong, whose acting credits include “Desperate Housewives,” “Supergirl,” Seinfeld,” and “13 Reasons Why.” (Trailer Not Available)
A NORMAL GIRL
DIRECTED AUBREE BERNIER-CLARKE (U.S.)
1.5% of people are born with anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male. It is common practice for doctors to perform genital surgeries on intersex infants—often with disastrous results. “A Normal Girl” brings the widely unknown struggles of intersex people to light, through the story of intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis. Trailer not available.
BLOOD & GLORY
DIRECTED SATINDER KAUR (U.S.)
“Blood and Glory” is a drama about the friendship between two homeless veterans living on the streets of Los Angeles. Jackie, a dreamer and a hustler trying to get her life back on track, takes care of her battle buddy Rosa, who suffers from debilitating PTSD. The two confront adversity, discrimination, and even Mother Nature itself in their attempt to find work and get through the day. Written and directed by Satinder Kaur, a U.S. Army veteran. Watch trailer.
CHALK OF CHAMPIONS
DIRECTED JACKIE OMANOFF (U.S.)
One of the best-kept secrets in the math world is … chalk. But not just any chalk: Hagoromo, a Japanese brand so smooth, so perfect that some wonder if it was made from the tears of angels. This story follows some of the brightest minds in math from top universities as they talk about hoarding this magical chalk and the hysterics once Hagoromo abruptly went out of business.
DIRECTED MERYL JONES WILLIAMS & JANE STILES (U.S.)
When Dom teases Beth to join her on her daily drug route, she tags along happy to spend the day biking through old New York City haunts with a long-lost sister. Drawn back to each other, they avoid going home, even if it means rupturing an unspoken truth that lies between them. Watch trailer here.
DIRECTED LAURA NERI (GREECE)
No two losses are alike, yet grief can create its own sort of kinship. This is the story of the unlikely rapport that develops between a damaged woman recovering in a hospital and a lonely little boy. Watch Trailer.
DIRECTED GAYATRI BAJPAI & NIRAV BHAKTA (U.S.)
On the eve of her wedding anniversary, empty-nester Sujata Chopra attempts to find some joy in her broken marriage, until she learns about the passing of her childhood companion’s spouse on Facebook. Having been disconnected from this woman for over 30 years over a misunderstanding, Sujata finds the courage to reach out to send her condolences. They reconnect, sparking friction when Sujata’s controlling husband, Dr. Chopra, finds out.
RICCARDO CHE RIMBALZO SULLE STELLE
(Riccardo Who Bounced From Stars)
DIRECTED LANA VLADY (ITALY)
Because of Riccardo, Lisa’s chick decided to take a flight from the fourth floor. Now Marianna will have to explain to her 7-year-old daughter that there is something in the world called “death.” (Trailer not available.)
THE SHALLOW END
DIRECTED CYNTHIA SILVER (U.S.)
A group of teenaged girls jockey for power in the savage summer society of a community swimming pool during the summer of 1984 in this coming-of-age film about navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence and social pressures. Watch Trailer.
DIRECTED B.J. BULLERT (U.S.)
“Space Needle: A Hidden History” traces the creative inspiration for the Needle’s shape back to a work of art. The story unfolds like a mystery to create a new origin story of this icon of the Pacific Northwest region. The narrative connects dance, art, and architecture, and explores the creative legacies of architect Victor Steinbrueck and Seattle-born African-American dancer Syvilla Fort. Watch Trailer.
THE SPIRIT SEAM
DIRECTED ASHLEY GERST (U.S.)
This film combines a mixture of animation mediums to tell the story of a little girl, Pollywog, and her Pap-Paw. Located in an Appalachian coal-mining town in the 1950s, the film takes the audience through the daily life of both characters where they experience the simple pleasures of rural Appalachian life: catching fireflies, fishing, catching frogs, and birthdays. Pap-Paw and Pollywog inseparable until illness threatens to fracture their small family. Watch Trailer.
DIRECTED SHAINA FEINBERG (U.S.)
Two sisters in a bathroom channel their rage and get ready to take that rage out into the world…or not. (Trailer not available).
TUMBLING TOWARDS HOME
DIRECTOR: IMELDA O’REILLY (IRELAND)
An Irish immigrant moves to New York in 1989 to study acting. Actor and writer Malcolm Adams works through his grief from the passing of his mother and of his friend and fellow actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Trailer not available).
KAKSI RUUMISTA RANNALLA
(Two Bodies On A Beach)
DIRECTOR: ANNA PAAVILAINEN (FINLAND)
A woman wakes up on a beach wrapped in plastic, half-naked and in high heels. “Not again,” she sighs and decides to find out who is behind this. She persuades an older woman who has been pushed to the margins of society to accompany her on her revenge trip. (Trailer not available).
DIRECTOR: JENNIFER SCHWERIN (U.S./CHINA)
A female Artificial Intelligence robot finds herself caught between developing her own AI to its full potential and her coding, which programs her to please, with devastating consequences. Designed for sophisticated tasks, she aspires to develop past expectations but is thwarted by her human host, who pushes her buttons. Watch Trailer.
DIRECTOR: JULES KOOSTACHIN (CANADA)
Twelve-year-old identical twins Tapwewin “Truth” and Pawaken “Totem” cut their hair for the very first time in a coming-of-age ceremony. In Cree culture, and in many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, hair represents a sacred connection to AsKi, the Earth. Growing the hair is a manifestation of the growth of spirit. Director Jules Arita Koostachin is a documentary filmmaker and the twins’ mother. Watch Trailer.
WOMEN OF JOURNEYS
DIRECTED ELLI SMITH & DARRELL HILLAIRE (U.S./LUMMI NATION)
A meditative exploration of the 2019 Paddle to Lummi Canoe Journey landing and protocol as experienced by through the eyes of the women involved. A re-envisioning of America’s past and future as it pertains to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Watch Trailer.
DIRECTOR: MARIE CLEMENTS (CANADA)
Dylan, a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic, is caught in an ambush in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His capture and interrogation by a Taliban Commander releases a cache of memories connected to the love and death of his Inuit cousin, Asana, and binds him closer to a Pashtun family as they escape across treacherous landscapes and through a blizzard that becomes their key to survival.
student / emerging directors
DIRECTOR: SANDY JEGLUM (UNITED KINGDOM
“Concerning Contraception” is a short documentary that reveals what we know, and more importantly what we don’t, about the mood side effects of hormonal contraception. (Trailer not available).
DIRECTED MARZIYEH RIAHA (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN)
According to the laws of Iran, Bahareh must have her traditional, chauvinistic husband accompany her to driving lessons so she and her instructor will not be alone.
F*CK BOY MANIFESTO
DIRECTOR: GRACIELA GARCIA (U.S.)
Alex, a young woman in college, fights to understand college romance, and how to cope with boys who too often disappoint. As she wades through cigarette smoke, tiny hats, Carhartt jackets, and false promises, Alex turns to you, her audience, to help her understand how to navigate this tricky landscape.
DIRECTED JOANNA BRODAWKA-ZYGMUNT (POLAND)
Andrzej Szopa, one of the youngest residents of the House for retired Polish Artists in Skolimów (colloquially called the Actors House), shows us around this institution revealing the realities of its inhabitants.
DIRECTOR: SABINA VAJRACA (U.S.)
In the middle of the Bosnian War, a teenage math-wiz is given a way out of the bloodshed when his math club gets an invitation to compete at the 1995 International Math Olympiad in Canada.
WAITING BY THE PHONE
DIRECTED OLIVIA JENSEN (U.S.)
A woman grieves her dead sister keeping her memory alive by taking care of both her and herself.
DIRECTOR: COURTNEY QUIRIN (CANADA)
“Guardian” chronicles the work of wildlife stewards amid sweeping legislative rollbacks of environmental protections in Canada. Part hermit, part biologist, Guardians live on boats, fulltime, in one of the last pristine frontiers of the world to monitor salmon, the backbone of the ecosystem, economy, and culture along British Columbia’s coast. Watch Trailer.
IRON JAWED ANGELS
DIRECTED KATJA VON GARNIER (U.S.)
An American historical drama film directed by Katja von Garnier and starring Hilary Swank as suffragist leader Alice Paul, Frances O’Connor as activist Lucy Burns, Julia Ormond as Inez Milholland, and Anjelica Huston as Carrie Chapman Catt. These defiant activists take the women’s suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote. Watch Trailer.
QUEEN OF HEARTS
DIRECTOR: DEBORAH SHAFFER (U.S.)
At 88, trailblazing artist Audrey Flack is a provocateur and a rebel, an example, and an inspiration. Now, she returns to her canvas for the first time in decades, revealing her longtime struggles as an artist and mother to find her rightful place in the art world. “Queen of Hearts” is a moving portrait of a woman who is still testing, still experimenting, still searching. (Trailer not available)
100 KILOS D’ETOILES
DIRECTED MARIE-SOPHIE CHAMBON (FRANCE)
Sixteen-year-old Lois has only one dream, to become an astronaut—but it looks like her weight might be an obstacle. However, friends Amélie, Stannah, and Justine—three teenagers who also know about tough breaks—just might help her overcome it. Watch Trailer.