2015 Films


Finders Keepers 4

Finders Keepers

a film by Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel
USA, 84 mins.

In 2007, a severed human foot was discovered in a used barbecue smoker bought at a North Carolina auction. The foot was sort of misplaced by the amputee, John Wood. It was subsequently found by Shannon Whisnant, who claims that the foot now belongs to him. And then the whole thing goes viral. And ends up in court. These two directors masterfully capture this stranger-than-fiction  tale about two personalities you will never forget.


From This Day Forward

a film by Sharon Shattuck
USA, 79 mins.

When director Sharon Shattuck’s father came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother, Marcia, to accept, not to mention the small Michigan town they live in. When Sharon returns home to plan her wedding, she takes up the camera and boldly and intimately explores the radical changes her family has been through.

Lion Ark

Lion Ark

a film by Tim Phillips
Bolivia, USA/91 mins.

A shocking undercover investigation leads to a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia. But the circuses defy the law. The team behind the investigation return and track down the illegal circuses. More action drama than documentary, Lion Ark follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue, as the team risks personal danger and heartache in an effort to collect and airlift 25 formerly captive lions to freedom — many of these lions had never before seen the sky.


Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

a film by Jeanie Finlay
UK/89 mins.

Who was that masked man? He looked and sounded exactly like Elvis. When he appeared on the scene two years after Elvis’ death, there were many who believed that this man, who called himself Orion, might be the real Elvis who never truly died the day in August of 1977. Orion recorded 11 albums and performed to packed houses, and when you hear this music you might ask, like so many have, is this The King? If not, who is he?


Stray Dog

a film by Debra Granik
USA/98 mins.

Ron “Stray Dog” Hall lives in Southern Missouri where he owns the At Ease RV Park. Every year, Stray Dog joins thousands of bikers on a cross-country ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. With his new wife, Alicia, on the back, this lovingly complicated character hurtles down America’s highways, staving off post-traumatic stress and haunting memories while forging deep bonds along the way, and wrestling with what it means to forgive. By the director of Winter’s Bone.

Tyke Elephant Outlaw

Tyke Elephant Outlaw

a film by Stefan Moore and Susan Lambert

Tyke, a circus elephant, went on a rampage in Honolulu in 1994, killed her trainer in front of thousands of spectators and died in a hail of gunfire. Her break for freedom – filmed from start to tragic end – traumatized a city and ignited a global battle over the use of animals in the entertainment industry. Former trainers and handlers, circus industry insiders, witnesses to her rampage, and animal rights activists weigh in on what made Tyke snap.

Unmanned ADW

Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars

a film by Robert Greenwald
USA/56 mins.

This film investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad, with more than 70 interviews with drone strike victims and their families, investigative journalists, and top military officials – and one former American drone operator. The film raises the question: are U.S. drone strikes actually creating more terrorists in the world?  Robert Greenwald’s film War on Whistleblowers won the Audience Favorite Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 YES Film Festival. WARNING: contains graphic images.


The Shattered Vial

The Shattered Vial

a film by Daniel Anderson
USA/105 mins.

The setting of his science fiction drama by Columbus director, Daniel Anderson, is a landscape newly recovered from humanity’s near extinction. And the rules have changed. An expensive, life-saving antiviral is the only thing keeping city-state’s high and low caste populations alive. Against the backdrop of this polarized society, five people from all walks of life navigate the fragile system. As their stories interweave, the foundation of the city begins to shift. World premiere.

The Surface

The Surface

a film by Gil Cates, Jr.
USA/90 mins.

Two strangers, both at the end of their ropes, suddenly meet in the middle of Lake Michigan. Mitch (Sean Astin) is hell bent on suicide when he comes upon the debris from a crashed, one-engine airplane and the pilot, Kelly (Chris Mulkey), struggling to stay afloat and alive. As they confront the secrets that brought them there, both men have the chance to save each others’ lives … if they choose to. Stunning cinematography of the vast beauty of Lake Michigan.



a film by Chris Modoono
USA/82 mins.

Gil Zabarsky plays Ethan Collins, a fifth grade teacher on a downward spiral after his wife leaves him. In a last ditch attempt to save his marriage, Collins casts his 10-year-old students in a wildly inappropriate play in the hopes that this will win back his wife.  And because he has tenure, he can’t be fired for this outrageous scheme. Zabarsky’s performance is deadpan hilarious, and the delightful pre-teen cast is beyond precocious.  You will walk out smiling, guaranteed.

“Life Is Short(s)”

Bragg N East

Bragg N East

a film by Rob Underhill
USA/24 mins.

Rob Underhill, a YES Festival favorite director, is back this year with the gritty  faith-oriented story of lives without hope in inner-city Raleigh, North Carolina, and a local cop who decides to make his work less about guns and more about love. Based on a true story.

West Orange, NJ: On the set of


a film by Spencer Gillis
USA/13 mins.

Three men meet in a strained, chance encounter at a local recycling center, and share a carefree moment of friendship before a sobering return to reality.



a film by Austin Schuld
USA/27 mins.

In this sweet, beautifully acted comedy, a young man inherits a troubled, run down, terribly managed hotel. And he doesn’t want it.

The Palace

The Palace

a film by Venetia Taylor
Australia/2 mins.

Venetia Taylor, a former YES Film Festival Audience Award winner, captures a slice of human nature as only she can.

Grange to Garage

Grange to Garage

a film by William Johnston-Carter
USA/15 mins.

A laugh-out-loud mockumentary about a California farmer who struggles to stay in business raising organically grown, free-range automobiles.

“Shorts and Shenanigans”

By Any Means A-Veilable 2

By Any Means A-Veilable

a film by Charlotte Schioler
France/15 mins.

A Danish woman, fueled by her obsessive fear of getting cheated, embarks on a mission to find an apartment in Paris. Her search takes a more serious twist  when she decides to return to one apartment wearing a hijab.

5 Ways 2 Die 2

5 Ways 2 Die

a film by Daina Papadaki
Cyprus/15 mins.

How many ways are there for someone to die? In this black comedy, Makis, an everyday man, decides to find out. Where? How? Why? Now add a level of difficulty…he has to keep it a secret from his wife.


Failure Groupies

a film by Mandira Chauhan
USA/13 mins.

This comedy is about an intrepid group of suburban post 9-11 tweens who fail a group school project and set up a hilarious covert spy mission to get their temperamental teacher fired.

Mending Pinocchio

Mending Pinocchio

a film by Alicia Estes

In search of the perfect 5th grade talent show act, Rolly Banks breaks into the workshop of an eccentric puppet maker. And she narrowly misses being caught by Melvin, the reclusive creator of the wooden marionettes.


Boogaloo and Graham

a film by Michael Lennox
Ireland/14 mins.

When two young brothers in 1970’s Belfast are given two baby chicks to care for, they are so excited they declare themselves vegetarian and the chicks never leave their sides (or shoulders).  Then their parents announce that big changes are coming to the family.

Time 2 Split

Time 2 Split

a film by Fabrice Bracq
France/5 mins.

A time-honored story about a couple with a child who decide it is time to separate, and what their lives look like once they do. But the way this story is told is cinematically new and entertaining. As is the ending.



a film by Venetia Taylor
Australia/4 mins.

Josh doesn’t understand backpacking. Mum doesn’t understand Skype, and the consequences cannot be un-seen. World premiere.

Merry Xmas

Merry Xmas

a film by Boman Modine
USA/7 mins.

Dick Van Dyke plays a father who breaks the news of his impending divorce to his super busy children just in time for the holidays. This way-too-fun comedy also stars Valerie Harper as his wife, and Matthew Modine, and Glenne Headly as the kids.


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