Macon Film Festival Announces 2014 Official Selections

The Macon Film Festival board of directors have announced their official selections for the 2014 festival.  Categories are Narrative Feature, Narrative Shorts, Animation, Documentary Feature, Documentary Shorts, Music Video, Music Documentary, and Student Shorts.

The complete listing of official selections are both domestic and international, including selections from Austria, France, Canada, Lebanon, Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Australia, Netherlands, India, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. All films will screen twice during the festival, except for the special screenings, which will only screen once.

NARRATIVE FEATURE

Birthday Cake / USA (Director: Chad Darnell) - Feature length sequel to the multi award-winning short film GROOM'S CAKE. A mockumentary following the three days leading up to the first birthday party of a child with two gay parents: television actor Steven James and his screenwriter husband, Daniel Ferguson. A movie about the family we are born into and the family we create.

Congratulations! / USA (Director: Mike Brune) - Veteran Detective Dan Skok of the Missing Persons Bureau lands the case of his career - a six-year old boy who disappears inside his own house. What should be a traditional investigation becomes an absurd and comic exploration of a man whose profession is a perpetual search.

Desires of the Heart / India/USA (Directors: James Kicklighter & Rajesh Rathi) - Dr. Kris Sharma is a psychiatrist from India practicing in Savannah, Georgia when he meets Madeline, a local artist with a mysterious past. But as their relationship begins to blossom in America, Kris is summoned home to marry the woman chosen by his parents. But as he begins to make decisions about his future, he discovers centuries old secrets that may seal the fate of his destiny.

Il Rosa Nudo / Italy (Director: Giovanni Coda) - An experimental film inspired by the life of the French 'Pink Triangle' deported Pierre Seel. At the very young age of seventeen, Sell was arrested by the Nazis during the war on charges of homosexuality and sent to a concentration camp. In 1982 he was the first homocaust survivor to denounce the atrocities he witnessed.

The Last of the Great Romantics / USA (Director: Duncan Skiles) - Cameron Hill is plumbing the depths of heartbreak, loneliness, and despair. Or so he informs the loyal viewers of his video blog after being dumped by his girlfriend Marla. Wearing Marla's old pink terrycloth bathrobe, Cameron is completely disconnected from the real world until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his new neighbor Kate, but their relationship is put to the test when Marla returns and wants Cameron back.

The Space Jockey Pursuit / USA (Director: Brian Titshaw) - Space Jockey is Hollywood’s next big blockbuster and the producers want to cast an unknown. And no one is more unknown than Alvin Bernstein. A strict method actor, Alvin always commits himself completely, and in this case literally. For the past year, he has lived in a mental institution doing character research. But to break into Hollywood, Alvin must first break out of the nuthouse. He finds an accomplice in his brother Tom, a recent college graduate. Tom is uncertain about his future. His father wants him to take over the family's failing automotive business, but Tom wants something different.

Tu Seras Un Homme / France (Director: Benoit Cohen) - Leo is 10 and wise beyond his years. A solitary dreamer who seeks refuge in books. When the carefree 20-year-old Theo steps into his life, it forces Leo out of his shell. Despite their age difference, the two becomes best friends, helping each other face up to their responsibilities.

 

NARRATIVE SHORTS

Alice /  USA (Director: Candy Li) - A young French girl, Alice, comes out of an Expressionist painting and forms a friendship with the lonely elder security guard, Tom, who has been longing for his missing daughter.

Boxes / USA (Director: Jason Winn) - Boxes examines homelessness through the eyes of two young boys whose parents have lost their sense of family. But in the end, their parents learn what's important and restore our hope in them, and therefore, in ourselves.

Consumed / United Kingdom (Director: Tariq Nasir) - Consumed observes one woman's overpowering addiction. The kind covered up with charm and hospitality... until night comes. Until guests go to sleep. Until this woman's needs cannot remain unaddressed.

Crossroad / Australia (Director: Mehran Rows) - Ethan, a loving father and husband, risks destroying himself and his family as he deals with an addiction that will change everything.

Discover Kasper / USA (Director: Seth Christian) - the story of how a sad, quirky man breaks out of his comfort zone in search of not only his identity, but friendship. As Kasper oddly finds hope through a toy firefly, the relationship reveals a truth about himself and the world.

Drain / USA (Director: Eric Otten) - A young woman is desperate to save her father in the dry, post-apocalyptic world where water is running out...

El Lado Frio de la Almohada / Spain (Director: Herminio Cardiel) -  A couple who just met is going to share a bed and its pillow that same night...

Exposures / USA (Director: Jonathan P. Gribbin) - Harper Lowell is a photographer who peaked early in his career with a controversial photo. The source of his success led to his eventual downfall and status as a pariah. His search for his next big picture drives him into insanity.

Flicker / United Kingdom (Director: Bouha Kazmi) - A fragmented story of loss and self-discovery, following a vulnerable drifter girl as she treads desolate hollow ground.

Flip Fantasia / USA (Director: Cady McClain) - A short film about love and death, Flip Fantasia follows four young urban men through the after effects of a wild night out in NYC and the emotional process of letting go.

Grace / USA (Directors: Faye Viviana & Haley Sims) –  In an artistic depiction of the beauty found in the grittiness and struggles of life, the day of a prostitute and a ballet dancer are juxtaposed against the poignant sound of 'Amazing Grace', illustrating the way in which we ultimately persevere with grace.

Ham / United Kingdom (Director: Robert Ford) - Cover me in mayo, cover me in cheese, make a sandwich out of me, Linda.

Lapsus / France (Director: Karim OUARET) -  Terry is a psychologically disturbed predator whose sinister playground is a laundromat. Terry thinks he is the hero of a comic gangster that is reading : Terry Lawrence, Gentleman Gangster. That is when his memory playing tricks on him. Terry is a victim of an unknown phenomena that literature considers as a Lapsus Memoriae : a slip of memory.

Morales / Spain (Director: Roger Villarroya) - Morales doesn't pay attention in class and his teacher's patience is running out. If he continues to have that lack of discipline, he will be punished without recess for the rest of the course.

Only Fair / Austria (Director: Peter Rautek) - The short film Only Fair travels through the history of mankind. During this journey, man has increasingly distanced from nature and lost the sense for what really matters in the end. But fatal actions of the past do not remain unpunished - stress, diseases, addiction, greed, power and fear are hard on our heels. Is it only fair that one little mistake could erase mankind forever from the blue planet? Or is the question rather when we take this final step? Will the world be a better place after creations crowing glory has vanished?

Picture Show / USA (Directors: Jonathan Hicks & Robyn Young) - An elderly couple, confined to their home for years, venture out for one last date in hopes of rediscovering the romance of their youth. Recreating their first date at the Picture Show, they return home only to face the reality of their impending mortality. Set in the midst of a small, aging Southern town, the story is simple, yet sweet, and examines the lives of often forgotten, but immensely profound characters.

Plan B / USA (Director: Lawayne Bontrager) - An elderly couple down on there luck have to resort to some creative financing.

Restitution / USA (Director: Justin Miller) - Still recovering from the recent loss of a child, architect Preston Sanders discovers that his wife has cloned their son without his consent.

Rose, Mary, and Time / United Kingdom (Director: Hardeep Giani) - a story of second chances. Barney is married - unhappily. He lost the love of his life around six years ago - she was murdered. Through the magic contained within a clock he inherited, and with the help of an old Indian shop keeper, Barney finds himself back in time, with the opportunity to save her... but life isn't always as easy as that.

Searching for Signals / USA (Director: ByronErwin) - the disturbing story of a boy named Cameron that is mourning the loss of his mother, who died by the hand of his violent father. No longer able to keep the abuse a secret, Cameron’s life comes crashing down around him when the authorities move in on their little home.

Sticks & Stones / USA (Director: Chloe Dahl) - This is a true story about a fourteen year-old girl named Emma. Just like any other girl, Emma has a crush; only this crush is on a girl named Alice. Although Emma is a great kid, no matter how hard she tries, she is socially rejected and bullied by her peers. Never the less, her attempts to fit in are relentless.

The Bash / USA (Director: Tyson FitzGerald) - A gay couple leaving a midnight screening in a seedy area of town get gay bashed and then turn the tables on their attackers and fight back.

The Redwoods / USA (Director: Anderson Boyd) - While confined to an institution for troubled youth Evan and Christopher find themselves in the throes of young love. Through their bond the two lovers find refuge and meaning within the stifling walls but the machinations of Peggy, the staff psychiatrist, may threaten all that they know.

The Watch / USA (Director: Roger Franks) - a powerful story detailing how the past and the present can be connected by a simple item.

Til Death / USA (Director: Jason Tostevin) - A short horror comedy about four unhappily married husbands who wake up to a gruesome surprise the night after killing each others' wives - 'Til Death.

Trois Nuits Et On Mort / Canada (Director: Stéphane Dirschauer) - When his estranged sister shows up at the doorstep of his downtown Toronto bistro, Patrick only wishes for one thing - to get her on a bus straight back to Quebec. Her chaotic existence and wild ways spell disaster for them all.

 

ANIMATION

Baxter / USA (Director: Ty Coyle) - The story revolves around a raccoon and a candy store. Baxter, the obsessive-compulsive raccoon, breaks into Granny's Sweet Shop to clean, color coordinate, and reorganize the disorderly candy store.However, Baxter's compulsiveness to clean everything ultimately leads to the destruction of the shop itself. In the end, Baxter is so upset he breaks the last remaining unbroken jar of candy.

Building a Relationship / USA (Director: Brittany Portman) - Red Brick, a dilapidated red brick building, is part of urban blight. Steele N. Glass is a magnificent structure that adorns the skyline and stands next to Red Brick. Red Brick is infatuated with Steele and wishes to win her. Watch Red Brick as his transformation unfolds in this Eco romantic film short. Ah...love is in the air!

The Mega Plush / USA (Director: Matt Burniston) - As night falls over the city, an epic showdown is about to take place. The evil Monkey Foot clan has been laying a trap for Mega Bear, one of the four heroes who makeup The Mega Plush, four vigilante plush toys with an attitude.

Light Me Up / USA (Director: Derek Dolechek) - Meet the Wattsons, a family of light bulbs that work in an antique shop. Frank and Linda run a business of managing all the bulbs in the store. When they ask their son, Louie, to take over, they find out he has bigger dreams of traveling across the street to be a spotlight in the local theater.

Sole Searching / USA (Directors: Aaron Cullen, Erica Bardin) -Sole, a lone white sock, sets out to make the journey of his life as here counts the horrible day when his other half named Mate went missing. What lies outside the sock drawer is a scary mystery but one this right tube must face to find his love.

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

A Fragile Trust / USA (Director: Samantha Grant) - The shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked the New York Times and the entire world of journalism.

Bittersweet / Netherlands (Director: Marieke Niestadt) - Female boxer Diana Prazak always want to fight the best in her league, therefore she accepts the invitation by the number one in the world Frida Wallberg to fight her for the WBC world title in Stockholm. Lucia Rijker, former 6x world champion, coaches Dianato prepare her physically and mentally for the toughest fight of her life and her biggest and most paralyzing fear: losing. In Stockholm they are confronted with the picture-perfect Frida and her glamorous and extended entourage. The brutal fight however, takes a dramatic turn. Diana is left to consider if she truly got what she wished for.

Landfall: The Eyes of Sandy / USA (Director: Andrew Pearson) – The resurgence of the Long Beach Island Communities and Stafford Township, New Jersey following the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

Linar / Russian Federation (Director: Nastia Tarasova) - Linar doesn’t have a heart. The boy can’t grow up without it. Linar embarks on a journey to another country in search of a heart. It is a long and gradual initiation ceremony for a boy to wait for the heart transplantation and to get accustomed to a new organ. One by one his guardians accompany Linar from death to adult life. In two years Linar comes back to his huge Motherland, where hundreds of children are waiting for new hearts.

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Herd in Iceland / Iceland/USA (Director: Lindsay Blatt) - For over 1,000 years, Icelandic law has made it illegal to import horses onto the island. For that reason, Icelandic horses are a pure breed, isolated by oceanic borders. During the summer months, the horses live a remote and wild existence,grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Every September, they are rounded up by local farmers and directed across the rugged terrain to reunite with their owners. It's a breathtaking tradition that unites the country. HERD IN ICELAND, a film by Lindsay Blatt and Paul Taggart, documents the annual horse round-up. The result is a unique and moving portrait of Iceland's people, horses, and stunning landscape.

Humanexus / USA (Directors: Katy Borner, Ying-Fang Shen) - The human race has long searched for meaningful interpersonal connections. Tools and technologies have made it easier to reach out and share ideas, but each presents a new, unforeseen challenge. We must always ask: 'Is this what we want? What do we want?'

I’ll Be Fine / USA (Director: Micha Hilliard) - A family, their home, and the trials of living with a nineteen-year-old son who has autism. In the past, Tim's behavior was deeply upsetting. Rarely did a day pass without confrontation. His parents,Richard and Rebecca, awaited the school bus with tense shoulders and baited breath. Tim is doing better now. Years of experience have helped him to bring his behavior under control. His progress, however, is still tenuous to his parents. They remember his earlier behavior and fear that he could regress.There is a delicate peace in their home, but Tim's autism constantly threatens to undermine it all. Love alone holds their family together as they face everyday exhaustion and an unknown future.

Jungle Warfare College / USA (Director: Jesse Veverka) - When people think of India they think of spiritual awakening, “the world’s largest democracy,” lush jungles and the towering Himalaya. But inside this country of 1.1 billion is an ongoing insurgency that tests the limits of India’s constitutional democracy. Chhattisgarh, a new state formed in 2000 is the center of a Maoist uprising that has continued since the 1960’s. “Jungle Warfare College” is a documentary short that shows a cross section of this conflict and Brigadier BK Ponwar who vows to fight it.

Soaring on Invisible Wings / USA (Director: Jamari Perry) - Her entire life Jamari Perry has watched her mother struggle with Lupus. Now, an adult, she wonders how to best help her aging mother, all the while knowing that she has a 10% chance of getting this chronic illness. There is no cure for lupus. An autoimmune disease, it can attack any organ of the body.Primarily a disease of African American women, until recently there was very little information about lupus. It is called a quiet disease because its effects vary from person to person and its painful symptoms are sometimes invisible. Soaring on Invisible Wings follows Jamari's journey into the lives of four women and their families as they grapple with an incurable disease and uncover the courage to keep living.

 

MUSIC VIDEO

Dark Comedy / USA (Directors: Jeremy Oliver Miller, Lawayne Bontrager) - The story of a domestic violence victim who gets by with a little help from a friend.

Eve / USA (Director: Nicholas Goodman) - Who is Eve really, but the essence of all women?

Found / USA (Director: Shawn Ketcham) - A personal struggle of one wanting to be a good person but still finding faults in oneself.

From One Island to Another / Sweden (Director: Paul Jerndal) - What could seem to be the largest contrasts sometimes are not. By taking the audience from a Swedish Island to the island of Manhattan through buildings, design and fashion, the contrasts are suddenly erased. And finally it seems like very similar places.

Hey Amariah / USA (Director: Bobby McCullough) - Death On Two Wheels, a rock-n-roll band from Atlanta, visits the historical Grant's Lounge to get day drunk and ends up having a vision of themselves becoming the next legendary band to hit the stage.

Never Be That Tough / USA (Director: Nancy Jean Tucker) - You could lose everything and it will still be alright.

Switzerland / USA (Director: Brady Bigalke) - compares the internal battles in one's self to the historical battles in World War II.

Under Cold Bright Stars / USA (Director: Jeremy Rourke) – This animated video uses archival imagery, paint, light, photographs and time. The lyrical words materialize and evaporate, the sun rises, the moon sets, we go into the woods, go deeper into them, come out of them, go into a stone house and see the faces of folks eighty years in the past.

Upon Your Enemy / United Kingdom (Director: Dan Shipton) - Doll invites three military generals to dine at her disused mansion as a means to get revenge for her war-scared face. Her dual personality leads us through the video as she feeds the generals a blood filled meal, ending in a visual depiction of how war dines on the young and innocent-quite literally.

 

MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Brothers Hypnotic /Netherlands/USA (Director: Reuben Atlas) - For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, 'brotherhood' is literal:they're all sons of anti-establishment Chicago jazz musician, Phil Cohran. They grew up in the same house, in a family of 24 siblings, on a strict diet of jazz, funk, and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM. Now grown, as they raise eight brass bells to the sky-- whether playing in the streets of New York City, collaborating with Mos Def or Prince, or wowing Atlantic records-- they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether their fathers' principles really are their own.

Open Mic Night After the Apocalypse / USA (Director: Mike James) – The story of three independent filmmakers who invited seven indie rock bands from LA --and their biggest fans-- out to the edge of the Mojave desert to film a one-of-a-kind musical, spiritual experience.

Scarred But Smarter / USA (Director: Eric Von Haessler) - Von Haessler spent three years looking for reasons why his favorite band, Drivin N Cryin, hadn’t enjoyed more national success. With the help of fellow fans Peter Buck, Darius Rucker, Ed Roland, Ty Pennington and others – he uncovers the fascinating, behind – the – scenes story of a band that has spent the last 28years both creating great music and making questionable career moves. Along the way he finds that Drivin N Cryin is a true rock & roll success.

When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & The Theremin / USA (Director: Robert Nazar Arjoyan) - Glamorously eccentric and enigmatic Theremin master Armen Ra recounts his dynamic journey in this life-spanning documentary that mixes rare concert performances, candid interviews, and archive material with the magical power of music that canal chemize ancient sorrow into timeless beauty.

 

STUDENT SHORTS

A Call / USA (Director: Len Chi) - A fugitive's botched crime. An officer's pursuit. Two characters search for righteousness but in their own vastly different ways -shining light on the true natures of each.

A Tibetan Marriage / USA (Director: Lu Liu) - This is a story about a Tibetan Polyandrous Marriage. Gongbu spent a couple of years in the city and changed his mind about the idea of a Tibetan marriage. He doesn't want to share the wife with his younger brother anymore. Will he be able to achieve what he wants?

Border Patrol / United Kingdom (Director: Peter Baumann) - Carl and Franz are all ready to get off work and watch the big match against Austria when they make an unwelcome discovery. So, deal with it, or make it someone Else's problem?

Deep Emotion / United Kingdom (Director: Justin Litton) - Deep Emotion is an exploration of people's perceptions of student filmmakers and short films in general. Both hilariously funny and thought-provoking, the twin narratives ofthe film and its audience provide a playful discourse between the sublime and the ridiculous.

The Dress / USA (Director: Alvaro Congosto) - Jamie loves Laura from the bottom of his heart, but he also has another passion: No, it's not dresses,it's photographs. Jamie is obsessed with the image of a girl, and unfortunately, that girl is not Laura. In a visually striking journey through his deepest obsession, Jamie will discover what is so fascinating about images that he can't find in real life.

Echoes / Lebanon (Director: Diane Bou-Chedid) - After finding the tapes of her deceased father, the young woman decides to visit his place and collect his memories through his echoes.

Lost Swag / USA (Director: Rachel Foley) - After a social networking faux paus with the girl of his dreams, straight edge Will unravels and finds himself chasing after a cop, and swagger.

Peach Creek Show / USA Director: Jeremy Tuttle) - In the 1950's rural town of Peach Creek, Georgia, Deputy Wilbur Moss struggles to put on a funeral for his father, following his father's death in a moonshine explosion.

The Promise / USA (Director: Nongkhran Meecharoen) - An old man struggles to take care of his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Although she can't remember him, she still feels his love for her.

The Spectator / United Kingdom (Director: Mirco Valenza) - A thief breaks into an apartment but,when the owner unexpectedly returns home, he becomes witness to a series of unsettling events that call for his intervention.

Until the Dust Settles / USA (Director: Alexander Gangi) - A father and his two sons reconnect while traveling through the heart of the American Dust Bowl in 1932.

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About the Macon Film Festival

Founded in 2005, Macon Film Festival is an annual event held in the heart of historic downtown Macon. Surrounded by a rich musical and southern culture, the organization celebrates independent films while promoting filmmaking for entertainment, inspiration, education, and economic development. The 9th annual Macon Film Festival will take place February 27 - March 2, 2014. Join Macon Film Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our website, maconfilmfestival.com.

Contact: Terrell Sandefur, Terrell@terrellsandefur.com(478) 319-0243

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AuthorTerrell Sandefur