2020-21 Official Film Selections

The 2020-21 West Chester Film Festival is presented by our generous sponsors.

Our Film Venue is Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.

A Paper House
Wei Geng/China/Drama/16:57

There is a fifth grade girl named Jiang Ling in a village in northern China. Not long ago, a boy named Lin Jiang was transferred to her class. Jiang Ling accidentally found that there were many paper houses in Lin Jiang’s home and they were exactly the same as the houses in her village in appearance and quantity. She also found that there seemed to be some terrible connection between these paper houses and the real houses.Jiang Ling was determined to find out the secrets of these paper houses.

A Sister (Oscar Nominee)
Delphine Girard /Belgium/Female Filmmaker/Drama/16:29

A night. A car. A women in trouble. A call. 

All Her Precious JPEGS (on yellow)
Matt Whitman/NY/United States/Art Experimental/2:27

A collection of JPEGS loading

Amore, non è come pensi
Segiy Pudich/Italy/Comedy/10:41

The wife comes back home earlier than expected and catches her husband in bed with another woman. In anger, she tries to kill him, but accidentally she hits the lover. Now they need to decide what to do with the body and how to conceal it from the police that are knocking on the door…

Apple Melody
Mehdi Razi/Student Filmmaker/Sweden/Drama/29:23

After a long journey to Afghanistan, Ehsan and his family have taken refuge in a small Swedish town. Ehsan isn’t aloud to go outside by his father, to prevent him from making friends he might lose. But Ehsan sneaks out anyways and befriends 7 year old Nora. When the migration authorities comes to move Ehsan’s family, he runs away.

Ashmina
Dekel Berenson/Nepal/Drama/15:40

Nestled between a beautiful lake and the Himalayas, Ashmina, 13, lives with her family at the outskirts of Pokhara Nepal, paragliding capital of the world. The remote and traditional town is also a busy tourist destination where the locals are profoundly affected by the swarms of tourists who visit it daily. Forced to skip school, Ashmina helps her family make ends meet by working at the landing field, packing the parachutes of foreign pilots in return of small change.

Bad Hair
Oskar Lehemaa/Estonia/Drama/14:30

Insecure and balding Leo, age 35,  has closed himself in his apartment to try hair growth liquid for fixing up his looks. The liquid causes a series of grotesque metamorphoses with his skin and hair and as Leo tries to get his bodily changes under control the evening quickly turns into chaos.

blackhole.
Holly Pilcavage/Female Filmmaker/PA Filmmaker/PA/United States/Drama/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/18:12

Four storylines set in the hours before a black hole swallows earth, play out with varying congruence.

Broken Orchestra
Charlie Tyrell/PA Filmmaker/PA/United States/Documentary/Best Documentary Nominee/11:49

When the Philadelphia public-school system began losing almost all the funding for its music-education programs in 2007, hundreds of instruments in need of repair were left for dead, and community members moved to action. With this film we are introduced to a few of the innovators, educators, volunteers, advocates, and musicians behind Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, a music and art project begun in 2017 that raised awareness for the issue, helping to get those broken instruments back into Philadelphia students’ hands. Symphony for a Broken Orchestra was originally created and commissioned by Temple Contemporary at Temple University, USA. Original support for Symphony for a Broken Orchestra was provided by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Philadelphia.

Brotherhood
Meryam Joobeur/Female Filmmaker/Canada/Drama/25:03

Mohamed is a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia with his wife and two sons. Mohamed is deeply shaken when his oldest son Malik returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife. Tension between father and son rises over three days until reaching a breaking point.

Cadoul d Craciun (The Christmas Gift)
Bogdan Muresanu/Romania/Drama/23:14

On the 20th of December, 1989, a few days after Ceausescu’s bloody repression in Timisoara, a father’s quiet evening turns to sheer ordeal as he finds out that his little son has mailed a wish letter to Santa. As the kid understood, his father’s desire was to see Ceausescu dead.

Cloud Tamer
Andreas Krohn/Female Filmmaker/Denmark/Drama/28:59

When diagnosed with a serious disease, 16 year old Eigil puts his life on the line to change his mothers views on vaccination.

Cotton Cloud
Kristine Joi Gonzales/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/Philippines/Animation/Best Student Film Nominee/3:51

A story of children, cotton candies, and magical imagination.

Cyclove
Seyed Emad Karimifard/Student Filmmaker/Iran/Animation/3:30

A young boy is struggling to come back to his mistress. But at the end of this way, he is incapacitated and tired, then looking at his past created for itself. In the end, the girl returns.

Daughter
Daria Kashcheeva/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/Czech Republic/Animation/Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/Best Student Filmmaker Nominee/14:43

Should you hide your pain? Close yourself inside your inner world, full of longing for your father’s love and its displays? Or should you understand and forgive before it is too late?

Dear Aunt Noa
Dana Aliya Levinson & Michael Armstrong Barr/CA/United States/Drama/11:33

Childhood best friends Noa, a transgender environmental activist from Los Angeles, and Jerry, a struggling family-man mechanic from Ohio, reunite over cocktails. But can their bond survive the weight of a violently divisive society? Can we agree to disagree anymore? Is persuasion a dead art or should we just burn it all down?

DRIP
Brian Lipko/CA/United States/Drama/2:06

It’s the middle of the night. You have to go the bathroom. The bathroom is at the end of a long hallway and the lights won’t work. Our short is relatable, brief, effective visual storytelling. A love letter to being afraid of the dark and the movies that inspired us.

Eworth
Christopher Romano/PA Filmmaker/PA/United States/Documentary/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/16:11

Fly fishing and tour guiding is a way of life for most Belizeans. Somehow, Eworth Garbutt has figured out how to be the best at it. This film shows why.

Extra Innings
John Gray/NY/United States/Drama/Best Drama Nominees/8:34

A reporter interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past.

Fast Horse
Lola Naymark/Alexandra Lazarowich/Female Filmmaker/Canada/Documentary/Best Documentary Nominee/13:19

Fast Horse follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horseracing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles to build a team with second-hand horses and a new jockey, Cody Big Tobacco, to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede.

Fool’s Day
Cody Blue Snider/NY/United States/Comedy/Best Comedy Nominees/19:14

Fool’s Day is a dark comedy about a 4th grade class that pulls an innocent April Fool’s prank on their teacher…with disastrous results. Fearing jail time, they set out to cover up their crime before their D.A.R.E. officer shows up for his weekly lesson.

Ghazaal
Ragini Bhasin/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/CA/United States/Drama/Best Student Filmmaker Nominee/14:49
A 13-year-old Afghan refugee hustles around in a refugee camp, trying to survive the harsh circumstances.
Goodbye, Olympic
Mojtaba Poorbakhsh/Iran/Drama/18:37

Maria is a girl whom she is a champion of Kayak; she is waiting for dispatching to the Olympics Qualification which held in France. The schedule of dispatching the kayaking team will be called off because of some troubles. 

Gratitude
Louie Schwartzberg/CA/United States/Documentary/6:13

Narrated by Brother David Steindle-Rast, this inspirational short motivates us and reminds us to be grateful for the little things and find happiness in the world around us. 

Green
Suzanne Andrews Correa/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/NY/United States/Drama/Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/12:26

Green, an undocumented Turkish pedicab driver unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself.

Half Past Four
Reza Shad/Iran/Drama/7:41

A man want to know about a mystery inside an elevator between floor 4 and 5. 

Hard Shadow
Neda Khanifar/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/Iran/Drama/Best Female Filmmaker/3:20

The filmmaker’s mission is to shout this injustice with the language of images. But the thick dust of politics and it’s dark shadows not only shortened the hands of the oppressed peasants, called transgender, but also left a big obstacle in front of filmmakers who have a concern about justice and freedom.

Hollow Tooth
Samuel Kaperski/France/Drama/19:36

Jason, who has just completed a military deployment in Mali, returns to his native village. His reunion with his father and the inhabitants of the village is glacial and plunges him into a state of silent suffering, before anger takes over.

It’s Me
Vance Malone/PA Filmmaker/United States/Comedy/3:18

A young man struggles to break up with his girlfriend on her terms.

Era Yo (It’s Me)
Andrea Casaseca/Spain/Drama/11:36

Maria is a larger-than-life ‘mean girl’ who believes she can do or say whatever she wants, whenever she wants, to whomever she wants. What she doesn’t know is that, often in life, you might get what you give.

Lake of Happiness
Aliaksei Paluyan/Belarus/Drama/29:57

In a small Belarusian village where time seems to stand still, Jasja, a 9-year-old girl, has to deal with her mother’s death. Her father decides to send her to an orphanage. But one day she decides to run away, home.

Loose Ends
Brendan Prost/Canada/Drama/17:18

A woman in the midst of a devastating breakup is invited to her ex-boyfriend’s apartment to return his keys. However upon arriving, she discovers she has been stood up. Left to her own devices in his empty apartment, she decides to revel in the nostalgic trappings of a place that once felt like home. In an unexpected turn of events, she is forced to confront her present when someone suddenly returns home and finds her in this compromising state.

Maestro
Florian Babikian, Victor Caire, Theophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Navarro/France/Animation/Best Animation Nominee/1:34

Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals start a nocturnal opera, conducted by a squirrel.

Memorable
Bruno Collet/France/Animation/Best Animation Nominee/12:02

Recently, Louis, painter, and his wife Michelle are experiencing strange events. Their world seems to be mutating. Slowly, furniture, objects, people lose their realism. They are destructuring, sometimes disintegrating.

Miracle Baby
Michelle Bossy /Female Filmmaker/NY/United States/Drama/18:52

Miracle Baby is a psychological thriller about a congressman’s wife who discovers that her husband has been cheating on her. The film follows her glorious and chilling revenge as she reveals herself as the true power-partner. By night’s end, the only question left is whether she’s lost more than she gained.

Mr. Hugo
Francois Le Guen/Student Filmmaker/France/Comedy/17:13

Mr. Hugo is a daydreamer and original museum supervisor. Who could have suspected that behind this nonchalant appearance hid an mysterious artist who exhibits his works without asking permission from anyone?

Nefta Football Club
Yves Piat /France/Comedy/Best Comedy Nominee/17:06

In the south of Tunisia, two football fan brothers bump into a donkey lost in the middle of the desert on the border of Algeria. Strangely, the animal wears headphones over its ears.

Negative Space
Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata/France/Female Filmmaker/Animation/Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/Best Animation Nominee/5:30

My dad taught me how to pack.

Pappy Hour
Nell Teare/Female Filmmaker/NY/United States/Comedy/10:19

A woman must bring together her dysfunctional family to fulfill her father’s last wish.

Play
Piotr Sulkowski/Student Filmmaker/Poland/Art Experimental/Best Art Experimental Nominee/12:21

A man consumed by guilt because he did not dare to defend his mother, plays the role of a murderer and forces his ten-year-old self to face his original trauma…

Portraitist
Cyrus Neshvad/Luxembourg/Drama/Best Drama Nominee/15:41

 

A grandfather at the edge of despair is called to care for his dying granddaughter. Through art, he kindles a relationship with her that brings beauty to the darkness in their lives.

Shot by Sasha
Evgenii Bakirov/Russian Federation/Art Experimental/Best Art Experimental Nominee/7:00

For the longest time, Sasha’s been too scared to take pictures of anyone other than her closest friends and family. She knew that the only way to let go of fear is to face it – and take a shot at it! 

Shot Down: Howard Snyder & the B-17 Susan Ruth
Michael R Mazur/CA/United States/Documentary/12:28

This documentary short is based on the awarding winning book SHOT DOWN: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth written by Steve Snyder. After being shot down by by German fighters over occupied Belgium on February 8, 1944, Steve’s father Howard was missing in action for seven months but evaded capture. He was hidden by members of the Belgian Underground for several months and then joined the French Resistance to fight against the Germans. The film is a tribute to Howard, members of the 8th Air Force who fought the air war over Europe during World War II, and to the courageous Belgian patriots who risked their lives to help downed airmen. It also includes Steve’s amazing discovery of and resulting friendship with Hans Berger, the German Luftwaffe pilot who shot down the B-17 Susan Ruth, and at the same time, who was shot down by the gunners on Howard’s bomber crew.

Sister
Siqi Song/Female Filmmaker/Student Filmmaker/CA/United States/Animation/8:04

A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?

That Thing Between Us
Dave Michael Guller Gronvall-Pedersen/Denmark/Comedy/Best Comedy Nominee/25:46

The story of how citizen scientists are making groundbreaking discoveries using open hardware in their own backyards.

The Last Harvest
Alexis Spradic/Female Filmmaker/CA/United States/Documentary/Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/Best Documentary Nominee/20:14

America’s food values are rapidly changing. We are experiencing a food revolution that is demanding better-tasting, natural and sustainable food and yet, we don’t often consider who is responsible for growing this food. The truth is, 75% of the fresh fruit consumed in the U.S. is completely dependent on hand harvesting. Without the workforce to pick the crops, growers are at risk of losing their livelihood. The Last Harvest offers a rare glimpse into the hopes, hardships, and uncertain futures of three family growers. Harvesters face a harsh reality of tightened immigration control and inefficient guest worker programs that prevent growers from finding a workforce to pick their fields. These problems threaten our availability of fresh food and our vibrant and thriving agricultural community.
We have an opportunity to impact positive change, but first we must understand the issues. Let’s inspire a productive dialogue. Let’s work together on solutions that save family growers who live and contribute to our local communities. The future of good food depends on the choices we make today. Our hope is this is not The Last Harvest.

The Neighbors’ Window
Marshall Curry/NY/United States/Drama/Best Drama Nominee/20:37

THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW tells the story of a middle aged woman with small children whose life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street. It is the first foray into fiction by three-time Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, Marshall Curry.

The Note
Siavash Eydani/Student Filmmaker/Iran/ Art Experimental/3:34

The man wakes up and finds himself on the bed in the sea …

The Tides That Bind (Oscar Nominee)
Nick Natalicchio/PA Filmmaker/United States/Documentary/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/22:01

People have been sending messages in bottles for hundreds of years, in search of everything from romance to scientific data. Once found, a message in a bottle can capture the imagination and ignite a feeling of adventure. No one understands that more than Clint Buffington, who has found over 90 messages in bottles. Even more impressive, Clint has been able to track down many of the senders, which usually takes some detective work. Clint never knows where each message might take him, and he’s made some unlikely friends along the way.

The Wasted Effort
Muhammed Bozbey/Turkey/Documentary/5:05

Attila who lives alone in a small town finds one Lira one the floor while walking down the road. He then uses that Lira to buy a loaf of bread from the local bakery and heads back to his house. At his house, he starts to prepare lunch. He sits down with the lunch he made and the bread he got from the bakery. After eating about half of the bread he gets full and decides to go get some rest. A piece of bread left out in the open will get stale after one day. Attila notices he has left the bread on the table and sees that it has gone stale and decides to throw it away. As the loaf of bread gets thrown away time starts to rewind, and we then see everything that had to happen to get that loaf of bread on the table. Every detail from the bread being made in the bakery to the soil being planted in the farms. When you toss the seeds into the soil sometimes a few of the seeds get tossed out of place and end up on a road near the farm. Next to those seeds that have been tossed out of place lands One Lira from another time. 

Wake
Cartter Evans/Female Filmmaker/CA/United States/Art Experimental/Best Art Experimental Nominee/11:32

Wake is the story of Ophelia, a young woman trapped in a world between life and death. It is a stunning visual expression of her journey to break free of grief in the aftermath of her father’s suicide. She battles the shadows of her psyche as she travels through the sometimes beautiful yet terrifying landscape of her emotions.

Walk Run Cha-Cha
Laura Nix/Female Filmmaker/CA/United States/Documentary/Best Documentary Nominee/21:08

Paul and Millie Cao reunited in California after the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor. 

What is that?
Constantin Pilavios/Greece/Drama/5:30

Father and son are sitting on a bench. Suddenly a sparrow lands across them. 

What Remains
Matthieu Duval/Student Filmmaker/France/Drama/13:10

Following a military operation in Mali, Damien is subject to post-traumatic stress disorder. Back into his family, he does not feel like he belongs anymore. 

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