2019 Festival Selections
ARC Film Festival Partner Film
GEORGIA PARRIS / U.K.
Shot in one take, Abandon follows Ciemmie, an ambitious dancer in her early thirties when she finds out she’s unexpectedly pregnant. She’s forced to put her emotions and anxiety aside for the final day of rehearsals of her most demanding show yet. Her understudy eagerly waits for an opportunity to step out. Watch trailer.
ARC Film Festival Partner Film
MARIE-THERESE HILDENBRANDT / AUSTRIA
Abjective is a fashion film exploring abject and abjection. The abject, a term formed by Julia Kristeva, is transported by the ambiguous object of hair, that can be seen on the one hand as an object of desire but in this case, leads to a break out of crisis triggered by the disgust. The sound level that is once more emphasizing on the inner crisis the main character is undergoing underlines the disruption of the perfect family. Watch trailer.
PAULA CURY MELO / DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / U.S.
In director Paula Cury Melo’s home country of the Dominican Republic, sexual education is almost nonexistent, teen pregnancy rates are staggeringly high, and abortion is illegal in all circumstances. Adrift seeks to expose layers of social issues including disregard for women’s rights, toxic masculinity, domestic violence, and a political system coerced by religion. Watch trailer.
AJO / SHE
MORE RAÇA / KOSOVO
To escape an early marriage arranged by her father, Zana has to make a courageous decision. Ajo was considered for 2019 Oscar nomination in the Short film category, Foreign Films. Watch trailer.
FREIDA LEE MOCK / U.S.
The intensity of the 1991 Senate hearing for the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court by looking at Anita Hill’s personal story of sexual harassment. Watch trailer.
VICTORIA FISTES / GREECE
Ernest is a nine-year-old boy who happens to be blind since birth. A curious interview with him granted us the opportunity to feel life from his perspective and share it with the world. Through this short animated film, we attempt to illustrate how Ernest experiences intangible concepts, such as colors, dreams, and memories.
PERNILLE FISCHER CHRISTENSEN / SWEDEN, DENMARK
Teenaged Astrid Lindgren, who later went on to write the popular Pippi Longstocking series, leads a carefree life with her family in the forests and fields of rural Sweden. Restless and eager to break free from the confines of her conservative upbringing, she accepts an internship at a newspaper where she attracts the attention of its married editor. What happens leads her to newfound courage that later forms the foundation for her vast and beloved body of work. Watch trailer.
BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS
INKA ACHTÉ FINLAND / NORWAY / INDIA
Teenager Ved comes from a violent home in the Mumbai slums. When he joins a project aiming to foster healthy masculinity, he begins to realize there may be a brighter path for his future than the one paved by his abusive, controlling father. This is a coming-of-story set in the aftermath of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang rape and the rise of the #MeToo movement. Will Ved’s generation of boys be the first who actually likes girls?
EMMA WEINSTEIN / USA
Drama Comedy LGBTQ The day before Charlie leaves for college, her relationship with her best friend Nina explodes as they figure out how to say goodbye. Candace explores questions of race, queerness, and identity through the messy intimacy of young female friendship.
DEANNA MILLIGAN / CANADA
A young girl must travel on her own across a remote West Coast island in order to get help for her family but is challenged by her deepest fears and the mysterious ways of the ancient old growth forest.
OLIVIA MARTIN McGUIRE / AUSTRALIA
China Love takes us on a wild journey into the warmth of the family web in China into the hearts of our characters and into their personal dreams with an understanding of why and where these aspirations come from. The project explores China’s new position as a globalized country from its restrictive and highly traditional past. Watch trailer.
CUANDO TE VAS
ISABEL CAROLINA MONTES / USA
Camila returns home on a break from college to find her crass and cranky Cuban grandmother hasn’t been taking her pills. After they spend a funny and wistful day together, Camila begins to understand how someone so full of life could be ready to end it. Watch trailer.
AMANDA STRONG / CANADA
Accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shape-shifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighborhood of Ontario, Canada. Watch trailer.
DOORS OF PERCEPTION
arc film festival partner film
CAROLINE SCHWARZ / USA
In a world where everything is black infinity, a nameless person has to overcome the temptation of the visible to be free. The limitation of perception causes the fear of the unknown. The unknown seems unimaginable. Does truth lie in the visible? Watch trailer.
GWAII EDENSHAW AND HELEN HAIG-BROWN / CANADA
Haida Gwaii, 1800s. At a seasonal fishing camp, two families endure conflict between the nobleman Adiits’ii and his best friend Kwa. After Adiit’ii causes the accidental death of Kwa’s son, he flees into the rainforest, descending into madness and transforming into Gaagiixid-“the Wildman.” When the families return in the spring, they discover Adiits’ii has survived the winter. Can he be rescued and returned to his humanity? Watch trailer.
SAMANTHA WHITE / FRANCE, UK
arc film festival partner film
OLGA OSORIO / SPAIN
EGGS & SOLDIERS
IMELDA O’REILLY / USA
FREIDA LEE MOCK / USA
G-DOG goes within the vast family of Homeboy Industries and show how intimately its success derives from the personality of its founder, Father Greg Boyle. Boyle refers to himself as G-DOG, but the Jesuit priest has a gift for connection: taking a street-level approach to his ministry. Watch trailer.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
DONNA WHEELER / USA
A differently-abled prodigy musician in an oppressive family seeks to break free and pursue her prodigious musical gifts.
SASHA FRIEDLANDER & CYNTHIA WADE / USA
Tragedy is witnessed on an epic scale as a tsunami of toxic mud displaces over 60,000 people in Indonesia and leaves a flowing geyser of gritty goop scarring the ecosystem. The film sees the fight for justice through the eyes of Dian, a 16-year-old whose family was displaced by the disaster. Watch trailer.
EMMA HUIBREGTSE / USA
JANEK / BASTARD
MURIEL NAIM / USA, ISRAEL
Inspired by real events and roughly based on the Director’s grandfathers’ story of the intricate relationship between a Christian and a Jewish boy in 1942 Poland during the Holocaust. The goal is to review the trauma, pain, and identity crisis of the Jewish boy, along with a wide-eyed approach to the Christian family, looking into the other side’s feelings in a human, more personal way. Watch trailer.
LANA VLADY / ITALY
Young sprinter Maria has to face the greatest race of her life in order to reunite with her best friend and find a long-lost connection to her mother.
SHIVA NOURI / IRAN
Set in a park, The Labyrinth has several stories of very different people who are all involved with other in an abnormal way–A young drug dealer knows there an old dealer who is angry with her, two young graffiti painters know there is a watchman to stop their illegal activities and young man has a date. A strange phone call will get them all involved. Watch trailer.
LE GRAND BAL
LAETITIA CARTON / FRANCE
The French documentary is an evocation of a festival of traditional and French and European dances which takes place each summer in the French community of Auvergne, the Grand Bal de l’Europe. The film tells the ball through its dancers, musicians the stories and meetings that are made and undone. Watch trailer.
CATHARINE PARK / CANADA
Overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of high school, Arielle finds refuge in a dangerous habit – until her best friend discovers her secret. At its heart, LifeLines is a story about two friends struggling to cope with a crisis that could destroy their relationship. Watch trailer.
LONG DISTANCE TRAIN
LYDIA FARNA / USA
An animated short about a living person and a ghost girl balancing their long-distance relationship.
FOSTER WILSON / USA
The night before he says ‘I do’; Dave commits a cardinal sin: His doubts about tying the knot go viral. Alone at the altar, Dave must confront his own cold feet, a Greek chorus of bridesmaids, and the bride herself – all to save his marriage before it’s even begun. Watch trailer.
arc film festival partner film
OLGA OSORIO / SPAIN-GALICIAN
JULES KOOSTACHIN / CANADA, CREE
OChiSkwaCho is a sacred being, known to many Indigenous people as a spiritual messenger. Kokoom, an elderly (spiritually ailing) two-spirit woman has to decide whether to stay with her grandchildren or follow the OChiSkwaCho. Watch trailer.
CIDNEY HUE / USA
PLURAL OF BLOOD
MARY-LYN CHAMBERS / USA
JESSICA PLUMB / USA
Featuring an emerging young scientist from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Renewal is a heartwarming story of transformation and restoration. Supported by HHMI and Tangled Bank Studios, this short film is part of the “Think Like A Scientist” series. This short is also a follow-up story to a feature film by the same Producer, Return of the River, chronicling the largest dam removal in history. Watch trailer.
PAOLA BERNARDINI / BRAZIL , USA
In this dark comedy, we follow a young woman who has secluded herself in her palatial estate from any human interaction. When she hires a handyman in the hopes of relieving her lack of companionship, she finds herself overwhelmed with attachment to this man which quickly snowballs when she attempts to leave the estate. Watch trailer.
FEYROUZ SERHAL / SPAIN
The football World Cup kicks off today and the people of Beirut are eager for the big-awaited event. While life moves on normally on such a day, the signal of the first match seems to be disrupted by strange audio waves. The frustration in the air builds up giving way to a bigger live event. Watch trailer.
JENNIFER SCHWERIN / USA, 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.