(Screening times will be posted by the second week October.)
Command and Control
a film by Robert Kenner
At a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980, a worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile. This nonfiction thriller is a minute-by-minute account of this long-hidden story. Putting a camera where there was no camera that night, Kenner uses stunning original footage shot in a decommissioned Titan II missile silo. Eyewitness accounts — from the man who dropped the socket, to the man who designed the warhead, to the Secretary of Defense— chronicle nine hours of terror that prevented an explosion 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima.
The Guys Next Door
a film by Amy Geller and Allie Humenuk
Erik and Sandro, a gay married couple, enlist their good friend Rachel to be the surrogate mother for their babies. Rachel, who is in her 40s, is married to Tony and they have three children. Eventually, Erik and Sandro — who are fascinating and engaging as young parents — have two daughters through Rachel. Spanning over three years, this very delightful story tackles, with candor and humor, some of the most pertinent issues of our time: gay marriage and parenting, surrogacy as a path to having children, and the uncertainties of nature vs. nurture.
a film by Shane Christian Eason
If you’ve been curious about the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in Key West, your wait is over. This crazy funny, heartfelt film will take you right into Sloppy Joe’s bar, where Hemingway drank in the 1930s, and where all the “Papas” gather each year for the contest. They are portly, with long Hemingway-like beards, and stories and personalities that won’t quit. The competition itself is legendary, and when the Papa wannabes take the stage, they will do almost anything to win the coveted Papa title and a lifetime membership into that exclusive Society.
The Two Dollar Bill Documentary
a film by John Bennardo
That $2 bill you have stashed in the back of a drawer. Or neatly folded in your wallet “for luck.” How much do you know about it? Did you know $2 bills are still being printed? One woman blogs the interactions she has with vendors whenever she spends a $2 bill. A beekeeper intentionally doles out hundreds of twos a week through his honey business. Another man paid his entire $400 rent in twos. Some people think the bills are bad luck, others, magic. An up-close-and-fun look at this quirky currency and the whole society of people who use them.
When Elephants Were Young
a film by Patricia Sims
Narrated by William Shatner, this film explores the heart-wrenching plight of elephants in captivity through the story of young man named Wok, and his elephant Nong Mai, who beg on the streets of Bangkok. Then, an opportunity comes to release Nong Mai to the wild, through Thailand’s unprecedented Elephant Reintroduction Foundation — which gives elephants a chance to be themselves, with no tricks to perform, no longer walking in chains. This is a Special One Time Screening at the festival in support of World Elephant Day, the annual global awareness day that director Patricia Sims founded in 2012 to bring the world together to help elephants.
And Punching the Clown
a film by Gregori Viens
Hapless satirical songwriter Henry Phillips (Henry Phillips) is lured to Los Angeles by renowned TV producer Jay Warren (J.K. Simmons) to make a show about the life of a struggling performer. When Jay sees Henry bomb at a local club, he is convinced that this story must be told. But as a major TV network gets involved, Henry must decide whether his legacy will be to make jokes, or become the butt of them. Henry is a YES Comedy Showcase favorite and packs the house regularly here. Henry will conduct a Q-A after the film.
a film by James Raue
In this witty comedy-mockumentary the country’s top suicide prevention specialist loses five clients to suicide in a one week. He becomes obsessed with proving they were murdered. He arranges for a documentary crew to follow him around as he attempts to prove his clients were actually murdered by a rival psych who wants the top spot for himself. In festivals worldwide, this film won Best Comedy, Best International Film, Best Director, Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best International Film.
NARRATIVE SHORTS [Program One]
“The Stars Align”
[in screening order]
Dark As Night
a film by Stephen Newton
Part whodunnit and part phantasma, this film is about one harrowing summer night, when Bear Logan loses his way and enters a grisly nightmare with no exit point. Torn between his loyalties to a friend and his own moral code, Bear must make a decision that places his own life in jeopardy.
a film by Asher Grodman
This film stars Eli Wallach, in his final performance before his death in 2014, as a Holocaust survivor who teaches a preoccupied young man how life can change in a moment. And if this is so, why do we trade away thousands each day, never looking up from the device in our hands?
a film by Dustin Lowman
This award winning film, directed and produced by Dustin Lowman, a Columbus native, stars Jason Stout as a former marine battling with PTSD as a result from his deployment in Iraq. His struggle takes him to his breaking point, and only then does he realize help has been there all along.
a film by Alicia Estes
Without any playmates of her own, Polly becomes enamored with Daisy, her whimsical imaginary friend who resides in the woods behind her house. Polly continues to play with her friend against her mother’s strong objection. In this case Mother might be right.
a film by Kristin Peterson
Two young sisters, cute as buttons, have a dog walking business. But as they go from door to door at their neighbors’ houses, their real agenda is something else indeed.
To The Top
a film by Tizian Büchi
Maxime and Anna head out for a hike in the mountains, but along the way awaken memories of past summers when they still felt in love.
a film by Hannah Cheesman
Who knew that buying cheese could be such a struggle of wits, strength and maybe response for one young woman? Or bring such a chuckle?
a film by Bryan Patrick McCulley
Johnathan Gorman plays a wealthy man who, in search of true love, visits a psychic in hopes of learning more about his future.
NARRATIVE SHORTS [Program Two]
“Films from the Heart”
[in screening order]
Give Into the Night
a film by Sonejuhi Sinha
After the death of her grandmother, and the arrival of her grandfather from India, a little girl is fearful of what the future might bring. A touching slice of family life.
Like a Butterfly
a film by Eitan Pitigliani
Ed Asner stars in this story of the secrets only a wise old man knows. Nick is a young man whose only dream is to become successful. One day he discovers that he is sick and his world suddenly crumbles. But only when everything seems to be lost, an unexpected meeting with an old Hollywood star changes his way of looking at life.
a film by Rob Underhill
Rob Underhill, whose films have screened in over 200 festivals worldwide, including Cannes and every year of YES FF (Wolf Call, Dar He, Bragg N East, The Carrington Event) does not disappoint in this story about Will, a recent college graduate, who is self-medicating with alcohol and supporting the habit with his earnings as a tutor. After a typical night of binge drinking, Will receives his newest assignment — an African-American boy, Thomas, played by Timmy Richardson (Justice in Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong”). Thomas is in on the precipice of failing. The subject is Hemingway.
“Tales of Tenacity”
[in screening order]
Para los Niños
a film by William Johnston-Carter
An undocumented migrant father struggles to provide a better life for his children in the harsh tomato fields of northern Alabama. William Johnston-Carter, winner of 2015 YES Film Festival Best Short Film, draws this story from his volunteer work as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the nonprofit organization Impact America.
a film by Annie O’Neil
All his life, he wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, the 500-mile ancient pilgrimage route across Spain. Then he got cancer. And the doctors said no. So Phil re-creates the Camino path in his own backyard. As he walks, Phil changes his relationship to cancer, and the results are extraordinary.
One in a Thousand
a film by Diane Mason
For one hundred million years, giant sea turtles have crawled ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. This film tells the story of one nest on Florida’s West coast, and the human sentinels who watch over the sea turtles and help the little hatchlings make it safely out to sea.