June is starting out as a very eventful month for independent film in Pittsburgh. As I reported earlier, the Art On Film series at the Three Rivers Arts Festival begins today with the premiere of the documentary Gerhard Richter Painting. As if that wasn’t enough, on Saturday and Sunday the Hollywood Theater in Dormont will play host to the 2012 Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival (PIFF), an event featuring micro-budget and no-budget films from all over the world.
The entries include 40 short and feature-length films representing everything from traditional narratives to documentaries to music videos. On Sunday night, prizes will be given for Best Feature Documentary, Best Feature Narrative, Best Animation, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Comedy, Best Short, Best New Media and Best Music Video, as well as the Audience Choice Award. See a complete schedule of films and their summaries below:
SATURDAY June 2, 2012
Short Film Block One 10 am to 12 pm
I Am Rupert Caldwell (13m, U S A) Narrative Short
Submitted by Garrett Lee
Rupert wakes up in a hospital with a wheelchair and no memory. After his
wife Kathy brings him home, Rupert has trouble reconnecting with his old
THE COUCH (10m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Rubens Marinelli Neto
10‐year‐old boy doesn’t understand why the people don’t talk to him during
his mother’s funeral. Suddenly he notices a strange character among the
guests changing his perception about death.
Give Up The Ghost (18m, U S A)
Narrative Short Directed by: Jeffrey Hersh
Chris was part of a ritual with his friends to meet once a year at the train tracks where
their friend Jono died. However, this year he’s the only one who shows up. Together, with
the ghost of Jono, they will visit each of the friends and find out why they didn’t show.
Mind thinks Heart knows (12m, U S A) Narrative Short Directed by: Michael
Reisch Through his great fear of commitment and intimacy, Roy locks himself out of
his apartment, out of his life.
Easy Street (24m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Russell Greene
A young, Southern lawyer goes to New York for a job interview with the
country’s most eccentric and intimidating Federal Judge.
Dream Lover (15m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Mattson Tomlin
The story of Selene, a good dream who becomes self aware, and makes the
conscious decision to evolve into a nightmare.
Who I Am (4m, U S A) Music Video
Directed by: Dawn Young
Music video shines a light on an increasingly prevalent and heart breaking
disease in which the victim gradually forgets personal history, how to
function in society and how to survive. ‘Who I Am’ is performed by Jon
Pousette‐Dart and Jaime Kyle
The Game (5m, Poland) Animation
Directed by: Marcin Janiec
Somewhere between life and death a thrilling chess match takes place. The
stake is high ‐ a gateway to the world of living. And the sole referee of this
exciting tournament is a figure no one wish to meet in their path.
1986 (3m, U S A) Music Video
Submitted by: Tony Reames
1986 is a song off of the Jahah project Nostalgia RED. The song features The Lex and
is inspired by events that took place in 1986.
Murgi Keno Mutant (15m, Bangladesh) Animation Directed
by: Nayeem Mahbub
In the near future, Bangladesh is terrorized by killer mutant chickens. A team of
kung-fu fighting chefs must hunt the killer chickens in order to keep chicken on
Feature Films 12:30 pm to 4:45 pm
Erroll Garner No One Can Hear You Read (52m, U S A) Feature Documentary
Directed by: Atticus Brady
A music documentary chronicling the life and career of this jazz legend Erroll
Ordinary Joe (79m, U S A) Feature Documentary
Directed by: Carlo Gennarelli
Meet Joe Sciacca, a beer drinking, blue‐collar roofer and Vietnam War veteran from
Long Island, New York. Contrary to appearances this ‘Ordinary Joe’ has a life
purpose that proves to be anything but mundane. Driven by complex motives, Joe
annually returns to Vietnam, traveling its back alleys and country roads seeking out
the poor, diseased and disabled, delivering to them his own brand of aid and hope.
Donkey Love (84m, Canada) Feature Documentary
Directed by: Daryl Stoneage
Funny, shocking and controversial, Donkey Love is a documentary that
introduces the unknown tradition of Colombians having sex and falling in
love with donkeys.
Short Film Block Two 5pm to 6:40pm
1937 (18m, Russian Federation) Narrative Short
Directed by: Svetozar Golovlev
A young couple is going to a village somewhere outside Moscow to baptize their
Dream (16m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Patrick Altema
A depressed student and his struggle to get over his girlfriend. Given experimental
pills to help curb his depression‐induced insomnia He dreams of himself in another
place and time.
Three Guys and a Couch (22m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Adam Ward
Three Guys and a Couch is a comedy based in Los Angeles about three guys who are
struggling to make ends meet and are forced to rent out the couch in order to keep
from being evicted from their apartment.
EL OSO (7m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Sam Sero
A film about the greatest male prostitute of our generation.
AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL (10m, U S A) Narrative Short
A man and a woman have an awkward encounter at an Indoor playground in this
Office Romance 2.0 (10m, United Kingdom) Narrative Short
Directed by: Leon Chambers
An affair enters the digital age.
The Birds Upstairs (9m, U S A) Animation
Directed by: Christopher Jarvis
Frustrated attempts to bear children overwhelm the lives of an aristocratic, avian
couple in the early nineteenth century.
Pillow Girl (8m, U S A) Experimental
Directed by: Ronnie Cramer
The visual portion of the film makes use of the over 200 covers, with one
illustrated figure morphing into the next every two seconds.
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (105m, Canada) Feature Narrative
Directed by: Rob Heydon
Ecstasy is a romantic comedy, a transformational love story from the love of
Ecstasy to the ecstasy of Love.
The Last Act (87m, U S A) Feature Narrative
Directed by: Ronald Quigley
A Man well past his prime and caught up in the economic downturn is told he is
dying. Against his better judgment he decides to get involved in criminal activity
with a younger criminal and a ne’er‐do‐well ex‐boxer. All goes well at first but
things become complicated when his accomplices get caught.
SUNDAY June 3, 2012
After I Pick the Fruit (93m, U S A) Feature Documentary
Directed by: Nancy Ghertner
A documentary that follows the lives of five immigrant farm worker women
over a ten‐year period as they labor in the apple orchards and fields of rural
western New York.
Short Film Block Three 11:45am to 12:50pm
Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland (27m,
Poland) Documentary Short
Submitted by Ellen Friedland
Beneath the earth throughout Poland lie the mass graves of tens of thousands
of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
A Five Minute Warning (9m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Chris Santucci
Elly and Frank wait in an empty apartment for Sean, Elly’s ex, in order to murder him.
Only Frank figures out a little too late that he’s actually the ex.
Protect The Nation (16m, South Africa, Germany) Narrative Short
Directed by: C.R. Reisser
When faced with the unexpected kindness of a stranger, a young boy begins to
question himself. Does he have the courage to do what’s right?
Mira’s Night (4m, U S A) Animation
Directed by: Elyse Kelly
One summer’s night, a little girl changes the sky forever.
Live outside the Box (4m, Taiwan) Animation
Directed by: Shu‐Hsuan Lin
Simon is a workaholic without any social contact. Gradually his world becomes
smaller and smaller and even at the very end, there is nothing left in his world but
only his work.
Titarius D.O.A (4m, U S A) Music Video
Music Video for the song D.O.A by the band Titarius.
Messenger (15m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: David Salazar
Set in a post‐apocalyptic world, a young boy leaves his home in hopes of improving
upon the world of lies that he experienced with his parents. He happens upon a
group of nomads before realizing that he can never fully achieve the happiness he
had always dreamt of.
The Horror of Barnes Folly (89m, U S A) Feature Narrative
Directed by: Jonathan Rach
When a misunderstood MONSTER stumbles into the small backwoods
hillbilly town of BARNES FOLLY, it is up to DEPUTY JOHNSON an inept, newly
transplanted cop from the big city, to ease the terrified town and bring the
Monster to justice.
No One Will Know (86m, U S A) Feature Narrative
Directed by: Raj Reddy
A once happy, young couple must work together to cover up a murder at their
own engagement party.
Take A Seat: Sharing a Ride Across America (57m, U S A) Feature Documentary
Directed by: Dominic Gill
The film follows British adventurer Dominic Gill as he journeys across America on a
tandem bicycle with the help of ten companions, all of whom are physically disabled.
Short Film Block Four 5:15pm to 6:25pm
Inner Earth (22m, U S A) Documentary Short
Directed by: Greg Passmore
Travel around the world to explore this mysterious, and still vastly uncharted,
subterranean world. Audiences will uncover an abundance of natural,
ecological, and archaeological jewels which lay hidden within the worlds
deepest, darkest and most astonishing cave.
The Louder The Better (14m, U S A) Narrative Short
Directed by: Michael Toscano
Max Cotton is a right wing radio personality desperately fighting for ratings.
When one of his listeners shoots an IRS agent on the air, he is thrown into a
crisis of existential guilt, but the media powers that be have other ideas.
Carbon for Water (22m, U S A) Documentary Short
Directed by: Evan Abramson
In Kenya’s Western Province, most drinking water is contaminated. The wood
many Kenyans use to boil this water to make it safe is increasingly valuable.
Bloodtraffick (11m, Austria, Hong Kong) Narrative Short
Directed by: Jennifer Thym
In a world torn by a war between vampires and angels, a human vigilante on the
hunt for her missing sisters is lured into the den of a vampire.
The Forest Prince and the Pig Man (Hitchhiking in America) (70m, U S A)
Directed by: Craig Constantine
Jump into the cars of strangers with Billy Jack, a lonesome traveler with a black hat
and a guitar, as he thumbs from coast to coast. Then embark on a parallel journey,
this one through time, as we trace the never‐before‐told history of bumming rides.
ALL in the GAME (74m, U S A) Feature Narrative
Directed by: Gary Ugarek
An up and coming East Baltimore gang involved in the drug trade sets their
sites on city wide control and domination of everything, no matter who or
what gets in the way.
*There will be a Q&A after each short film block and after
all feature films.
According to a 90.5 Essential Public Radio interview with the festival’s founder, Ronald Quigley, admission goes for the unheard price of $7 per day, $14 (I’m assuming) for both days. I’d say that’s worth it.