2023 Official Film Selections

The 2023 West Chester Film Festival is presented by our generous sponsors.

Our Film Venue is Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center.

A Routine
Shayan Habibi/Iran/Drama/6:08

A man driving on a road seed someone who stands by the road and asking for some gasoline. He gives him gasoline from his tank but after starting the car, he notices that the tank is empty. He buys his own gasoline and goes on.

Mehrdad Hasani/Iran/Drama/17:09

The nine year-old effeminate boy, Shahrokh, humiliated and pushed away by his family and friends makes up his mind to adjust himself to his new identity and comes out to the people of his village. Having been through a variety of ordeal, Shahrokh, dressed in girl’s clothes, shows up in the class before his classmates.

All In Favor
Santiago Requejo López-Mateos/Spain/Drama/13:59

What begins as an ordinary board in a traditional apartment building to vote the renewal of the elevator, turns into an unexpected debate about the limits of pacific coexistence.

Black Side
Uri Lotan/Israel/Animation/11:13

Eviah, a young and timid kid on the brink of puberty and his best friend sneak into the Black slide, the most terrifying ride in Aqua Fun. There Eviah will gain insight to prepare him for events about to unfold at home.

Mahdie Mohammadi/Iran/Drama/7:34

During the last months of Pahlavi Regime and near to the victory of revolution in Iran in 1978, the majority of opposed soldiers tried to escape from army force and unfortunately most of them were killed or arrested and sentenced to death, but people supported them bravely, without any fear. 

Check the Locks
Eric Larson/NY/United States/Drama/15:24

Following a nervous breakdown, a woman retreats to a friend’s cabin in the woods  — only to discover that her coping mechanisms are mysteriously turning against her.

Dragon Poets of Boston
Gordon LePage/ME/United States/Comedy/8:23

Two underemployed dragons have a revelation when they audition for a podcast. 

Zoel Aeschbacher/France/Comedy/17:34

A teenager in search of recognition, a worker ready to do anything to hit the jackpot, a senior executive at the end of his career who wants to prove to himself that he is still alive. Three characters who are losing speed on the competition highway…

Feeling Through
Doug Roland/CA/United States/Drama/Oscar Nominee/18:17

Feeling Through, the first film to star a DeafBlind actor, is a coming of age story that follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. From an awkward meeting between strangers emerges an intimate bond, and a journey that forever changes Tereek.

Elham Aminian/Iran/Animation/12:56

Phobia and fear of a little girl named Fobi from spiderse who turns into an unknown love along the story . way This love is created because of the glass gifts made by the neighbor spider . In the end story Fobi’s befriends the old artist spider and overcomes her fears.

From Here to There!
George Atkinson, Alan Ciechalski/United Kingdom/Comedy/29:10

From Here To There! is a Science Fiction Romantic Comedy about a young man named Casper who builds a teleportation device based on the concepts of ‘Port and Starboard’ that can take him anywhere in the world. He attempts to use his creation to garner the affections of his crush “Ellen” but she’s just not that into him. In their small adventure, things go wrong and malfunction with the teleporter and they eventually travel to Edinburgh where Casper learns what love is about, and the importance of valuing himself and his creation!

From Trash to Treasure
Iara Lee/CA/United States/Documentary/25:07

From erosion to overgrazing to enduring poverty, the people of Lesotho—a highland country surrounded by South Africa—face a variety of difficult challenges. Yet grassroots communities in the country also exhibit tremendous resourcefulness and creativity. In particular, a wealth of artists have mastered a talent for resurrection, developing the skill to creatively turn negatives into positives: Designers who turn discarded trash into beautiful jewelry, clothes, rugs. Filmmakers who turn tragedy into artistic expressions of resilience and compassion. Musicians who write songs to save the environment.  In this short, Cultures of Resistance Films profiles a variety of these inventive creators, introducing viewers to a fascinating cast of local residents who are using art as a means of communicating a communal desire for positive change.    

Edwin FrankO/CA/United States/Drama/21:57

The film begins with a look at the generation’s past, a snapshot of Giovanni’s father dancing with a woman back in the 1980s. This is an example of his “Fuego,” the purpose or passion in one’s life. The story that Gio tells about his Fuego is framed around his friends, Eddie and Joel in a bar on New Year’s Eve, leading up to midnight.  Gio starts off with a trip to a nightclub with his brother Francisco and his long-time girlfriend, Nadine to a salsa dancing lesson. He sees the instructor, Camila, and the spark ignites inside of him before even being asked to join. Gio takes a liking to salsa dancing and maybe even Camila herself.  The truth comes out that Francisco and Nadine were never students of Camila and Francisco was leading Gio with a lie that Camila was asking about Gio when he was too busy with work and couldn’t attend the lessons at the club that week. Gio feels betrayed and doesn’t want anything to do with Francisco, even if it means not backing up his brother when he’s about to take the biggest step of his life on New Year’s in front of the whole family. We return back to the present as Gio’s tale ends. Gio chooses to work on New Year’s, not spending the night with Francisco or Camila, but instead with Eddie and Joel to tell this story. Moments before midnight, Gio sneaks away to check his Instagram feed and sees that Francisco is newly engaged to Nadine, popping the question this evening. He deeply regrets not being with his brother and family tonight as he watches other happy couples and family celebrate the new year.  The festivities end with Francisco making a last-minute appearance at Gio’s bar to celebrate his engagement. The two have a heart-to-heart conversation which really shows what Gio should have been focusing on all this time while searching for his Fuego, the importance of family. Not wanting to waste any more time, he also makes amends with Camila first thing in the new year, demonstrating that moment of happiness that he sought after for the majority of the past year.

Grump in the Night
Kris Theorin/PA/United States/Animation/4:47

One stormy night, a man is awoken by strange noises downstairs and soon finds himself facing off with a TV-loving poltergeist.  Created by Kris Theorin in just over four months, this film made extensive use of motion capture in order to create the kinetic animation seen throughout the film. 

D. Mitry/NY/United States/Drama/17:10

As the war starts in Ukraine, six years old Nina is sent to her grandma’s remote village. In the shack outside, Nina discovers a badly wounded Russian soldier.

Justin Grubb, Annie Roth/MO/United States/Documentary/18:59

In a small rural town in Pennsylvania, the refuge of a rare salamander and the only source of clean drinking water for 700 people is threatened by the installation of a fracking waste injection well, prompting community members to band together and mount an epic fight for the rights of their people and nature.

Holding Moses
Rivkah Beth Medow/CA/United States/Documentary/16:50

A Broadway performer becomes a mother, braiding rhythm and grief and time and joy on her path to connect with her profoundly disabled son.  Randi is visually striking and presents as very masculine of center, which defies most people’s image of a mother. Her story blends parenting, family, queerness and disability; it is one rarely told in our culture. We made this project over the last year with an incredible team and generous feedback from parents of disabled children, the disabled adult community, queer families, and fellow filmmakers. With our screenings we seed conversations that explore letting go of the child a parent imagined they might have and help shift the shame narrative around the stunning challenges and surprising gifts that come with the birth of a disabled child. 

How She Didn’t Die
Antonio Tibaldi/Switzerland/Drama/27:06

A mysterious European woman has set a life-changing plan in motion – but she needs a stranger’s help to pull it off. She meets a young man and makes him a disturbing offer. Can she convince him to accept?

I Mustache You
Shara Ashley Zeiger/NY/United States/Comedy/13:35

“I Mustache You” is a whimsical magical realistic comedy, inspired by Buster Keaton, Looney Tunes, and NYC about Abby, a woman with social anxiety, OCD and agoraphobic tendencies who receives an invitation to love, self acceptance, and the outside world.

I Think I Like It Here
Charlie Tyrell/Canada/Comedy/10:11

Following a breakup, a woman packs up the things in her apartment. 

Ice Merchants
João Gonzalez/Portugal/Animation/14:33

Every day, a father and his son jump with a parachute from their vertiginous cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they produce daily.

Anders Walter, Pipaluk Kreutzmann Jørgensen/Denmark/Drama/16:44
Ivalu is gone. Her little sister is desperate to find her.  Her father does not care. The vast Greenlandic nature holds secrets.  The search for Ivalu is on.
Chin-Che Chen, Yun Cheng, Ya-Chieh Chang/Taiwan/Best Student Film Nominee/Animation/7:12

In the third world war, many countries used nuclear weapons excessively, which almost destroyed the world. Under the pollution of nuclear radiation, almost all organisms were affected, resulting in fusion and mutation, and only a very small number of life survived . The protagonists will launch an endless battle against mutant species for the future of mankind.

Last Chance
Eszter Angyalosy, Dániel Szőke/Hungary/Drama/27:32

Dodi decides to participate in a longboard dancing competition. But there are two problems with his plan. First, being in his late forties, he is much older than his competitors. And on top of that, he has no idea how to ride a longboard. He befriends a teenager, Sandra, who is willing to teach him. Although the two don’t seem to have much in common, while practicing together, they realize they both use longboarding to cope with their unsolved issues. And they can help each other to take their first steps toward healing. 

Ryan Hammaker/PA/United States/Drama/2:38

Sunflowers sway as bees hover, the youthful blue eyes of an innocent young girl open. A moment of pure bliss shifts… decades later she’s alone in a mansion reflecting on that moment in time.  Her memory drifts back into her youth as she prances a field of flowers. As the memory fades her last breath graces the air. 

Nafas Nakesh
Milad Nasim Sobhan/Iran/Drama/14:37

To exert more tyranny and suppression, the ruling power has done something to its dissenters that they exhale smoke when they breathe, and the agents must take into custody such people wherever they find them. Unaware of the law, a man meets one of the dissidents and it changes the course of his life, until he decides to immigrate to a better land with the dissident for a better life.

Night Ride
Eirik Tveiten/Norway/Drama/15:46

It is a cold night in December. As Ebba waits for the tram, an unexpected turn of events transforms the ride home into something she was not expecting.

Nuisance Bear
Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden/Canada/Documentary/13:55

Churchill, Manitoba, is famous as an international destination for photographing polar bears.  We’ve seen the majestic images and classic wildlife series captured here – but what do these bears see of us? Through a shift in perspective ‘Nuisance Bear’ reveals an obstacle course of tourist paparazzi and wildlife officers whom bears must navigate during their annual migration.

Juan Pablo Zaramella/Argentina/Animation/10:00

A journey through the conflictive relationship between a man, his social environment and codes.

Phone Call
Zoe Kim/NY/United States/Comedy/4:58

Why everyone with a Korean mom needs to go to therapy.

Projecting at The Ford
Michael Lynch/PA/United States/Art/Experimental/15:34

This film features a series of projection installations of NC Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth-related paintings and photography, as well as those of artists Karl J. Kuerner and Shay Allen,  projected in place at their original sites, in and around Kuerner farm in Chadds Ford Pennsylvania, and the Howard Pyle Studios in Wilmington Delaware. With voice-over by Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth, and Karl J. Kuerner.

Hèctor Romance Martínez/Spain/Drama/17:37

A father desperately searches for his daughter Joe, missing from the building where he works. His loss will reveal a terrible past, which has remained silent until today.

Carlos Segundo/France/Drama/15:26

In Natal, the Northeast of Brazil, the country is preparing to launch its first manned spaceship into space. A couple lives with their two children near the space center, the husband is a mechanic while the wife is a cleaning lady, who dreams of other horizons.

Sander Joon/Estonia/Animation/15:57

Father and his son are losing the folkrace. In order to win, a boy turns himself into a car tire. Loosely inspired by the director’s childhood, Sierra pulls us into the surreal car racing world.

Trevor Hancock/GA/United States/Comedy/3:20

During his weekend cabin getaway to find solitude, Brett finds himself at odds with an obnoxious neighbor that won’t seem to give him peace. As the getaway progresses, Brett becomes less stable and begins to have certain diabolical thoughts about achieving the peace he so desperately seeks.

The (Other) 700 Club
Araque Blanco/Spain/Documentary/10:01

At the intersection of Broadway and Thornton St in Brooklyn, a loose community of delivery workers gathers every day to hang out and share their experiences while waiting for their next job.   The (Other) 700 Club opens the door to a microcosm of street philosophers that discuss about their own beliefs, goals and motivations.   A poetic reflection on the reality of the high speed capitalist system in which we are trapped, but at the same time keeps us moving in order to survive.

The Book
Farzad Foroughi/Iran/Drama/6:14

During the pursuit of a writer in the streets of Tehran, a security officer encounters various crimes and delinquencies that are taking place.

The Killjoy
Harald Rom Kveseth Spjelkavik/Norway/Drama/15:21

A sound designer needs to finish her project before the deadline runs out. But a noisy neighbour makes this a challenge when she has to work from home.

The Lone Wolf
Filipe Melo/Portugal/Drama/23:44

One night on Viva FM’s late night show, host Vitor Lobo gets a phone call from an old friend.

The Mushroom Man
Douglas Gahm/Canada/Drama/22:27

This documentary profiles the life saving work of American Hero and West Chester resident Raymond Rettew who was the first person in the world to mass produce penicillin, changing the course of modern medicine. The documentary highlights Rettew’s amazing discovery, as well as the involvement of his beloved town West Chester and it’s people. More importantly it gives incite into the man through heartwarming interviews with his two children, as well as other experts and members of the West Chester community. This is a story that’s never been told and is about passion and the dedication of a brilliant chemist who took his work producing spawn for the mushroom industry and turned it into a ground breaking discovery which saved thousands of lives during the end of World War II. As producers we are dedicated to giving this story the important historical perspective and role it deserves in American history.

The Present
Farah Nabulsi/State of Palestine/Drama/24:20


On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his daughter, Yasmine, set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping? 

The Toms
Thomas Verdi/PA/United States/Comedy/9:18

Set in a world run by people named Tom, Tim is an outcast.

The Treatment
Álvaro Carmona/Spain/Comedy/8:58

A clinic offers what you’ve always wanted… for a low price.

Bea de Silva/Spain/Comedy/12:37

Tula is the cleaning lady at a private school for girls. During her workday, she meets the headteacher’s fourteen-year-old daughter in the toilet. The girl is going to tell Tula her secret. Tula will have to decide whether to help her or not.

Unlucky Charms
Kris Theorin/PA/United States/Animation/4:47

Late one night, a bored cashier collects all three toys from a box of Magic Munchos and unwittingly unleashes the ancient evil that lies within… 

Voices Long Forgotten
Sharon K. Baker/DE/United States/Documentary/19:28

A look at the hamlet of Polktown, Del and the US Colored Troops who came from there, buried nearby.

Walls Beneath Our Feet
Antti Suniala/Finland/Art/Experimental/4:56

Circus short film Inspired by the Pasila Street Art District in Helsinki exploring urban life from unexpected angles.  Collaboration between contemporary circus group Race Horse Company, music producer RRKK and the Helsinki Urban Art.

Dania Bdeir/France/France/15:55

A Syrian migrant working as a crane operator in Beirut volunteers to cover a shift on one of the most dangerous cranes, where he is able to find his freedom. 

Dave Flores/CA/United States/Comedy/13:00

In a comedy short sprinkled with the undead, blood and prop weapons; ZOMBELLINI is about a student thesis that goes south when their zombie extras turn out to be real zombies. Madness ensues as everyone tries to get into the set. Once the dust settles, the surviving cast and crew must try to stay alive while the Director tells everyone, the show must go on. When the many different personalities of a student set clash, there are deadly repercussions. 

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