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.
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
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?
a film by Debra Granik
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
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: America’s Drone Wars
a film by Robert Greenwald
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
a film by Daniel Anderson
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.
a film by Gil Cates, Jr.
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
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.
NARRATIVE SHORTS [Program One]
“Life Is Short(s)”
Bragg N East
a film by Rob Underhill
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.
a film by Spencer Gillis
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
In this sweet, beautifully acted comedy, a young man inherits a troubled, run down, terribly managed hotel. And he doesn’t want it.
a film by Venetia Taylor
Venetia Taylor, a former YES Film Festival Audience Award winner, captures a slice of human nature as only she can.
Grange to Garage
a film by William Johnston-Carter
A laugh-out-loud mockumentary about a California farmer who struggles to stay in business raising organically grown, free-range automobiles.
NARRATIVE SHORTS [Program Two]
“Shorts and Shenanigans”
By Any Means A-Veilable
a film by Charlotte Schioler
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
a film by Daina Papadaki
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.
a film by Mandira Chauhan
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.
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
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
a film by Fabrice Bracq
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
Josh doesn’t understand backpacking. Mum doesn’t understand Skype, and the consequences cannot be un-seen. World premiere.
a film by Boman Modine
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.