29th Annual Film Festival – Film Synopsis

Amy & I directed by Bastiaan Rook.  Short.  8 minutes.  Netherlands.  When Amy and her boyfriend have a nice dinner in a restaurant where they first met, it turns out there’s some pressure on their relationship.

Angela directed by Benjamin Berger.  Short.  17 minutes.  Chile.  Martín is released from prison after seven years. Estela, his ex-wife, receives him with the news that Angela, his daughter, will come to visit them. Neither of them knows anything about her and, however, her possible arrival will reveal what they hide.

Baggage directed by Chris Beier.  Short.  29 minutes.  A woman attempts to smuggle contraband from Mexico into Texas.

Bridge to the Other Side directed by KT Curran.  Feature.  100 minutes.  RGV.  In a world that’s falling apart, a grieving widow struggling with her own grief and self-destruction, fights to save young people struggling with a mental health crisis. Embedded with the fire department, she’s battling the men who don’t want her there, the clients who fight her tooth and nail, and her own wounded psyche.  https://www.facebook.com/BridgetotheOtherSidethemoviehttps://www.bridgetotheothersidefilm.com/.

Carlitos Chupacabra directed by Felipe Esquivel.  Animated Short.  13 minutes.  Narrated from an innocent perspective, this story tells of the adventure that Carlitos and Lupe go on shortly after they meet.

Facies directed by Carlos Moriana & Raul Cerezo.  Short.  15 minutes.  Spain.  Spain, 1692. The Spanish Inquisition is in decline, and as a result, their followers are more ruthless than ever. One of the inquisitors has been trying to find the perfect torture device for years. He wishes to inflict pure pain and show the world the horrible consequences of following the Devil. He might be able to thanks to “The Demeanour”, a horrific torture chair created by his engineer.

Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase.  95 minutes.  https://www.facebook.com/femmefronterahttps://www.femmefrontera.org/.

-Homesick directed by Valeria Contreras.  Narrative Short.  “Homesick” is a modern-day tale of two star-crossed lovers, separated by a global pandemic and the U.S.-Mexico Border. This film focuses on the love and bond that unites people and communities across borders—and the heartbreak that exists when that unity is broken.

-Barter directed by Ziba Karamali & Emad Arad.  Narrative Short.  A short about a family whose fundamental relationships have been replaced with a chain of anomalous ones. A film that, despite most of the well-known Iranian shorts and features, not only talks about Iran but also about a subject that involves every society.

-Seeds directed by Morningstar Angeline & Ajuawak Kapashesit.  Narrative Short.  Without parents to guide them, Loretta and Raven reflect on the love their parents modeled and the grief of their loss. While one finds catharsis in their mother’s old VHS camera the other struggles with a potential pregnancy.

-Shipping Them directed by Ryan Rox.  Narrative Short.  A non-binary day-dreamer pines for the life of the girl next door, but soon finds out the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

-Lioness directed by Molly E. Smith.  Narrative Short.  Barricaded in a motel room, a mother’s determination and primal instincts kick in to protect her child’s innocence.

-Blue Veil directed by Shireen Alihaji.  Experimental Short.  In the wake of 9/11 and after losing her mother, Amina, a Muslim teenager, struggles with the gaze of Islamophobia from surveillance to the 24-hour news cycle until she discovers and begins sampling her mother’s record collection.

-Mommyland directed by Aijian Chen.  Animated Short.  A young woman wakes up to find herself lying on a small glowing island, an amusement park called Mommyland, exploring various rides such as a roller coaster, carousel, and distorted mirrors, which all remind her of her fears and anxieties about pregnancy.

-La Bi-Vencia directed by Mariana Gongora-Reyes & Analaura Cardenas.  Documentary Short.  Drawing on images from a non-existent border between Santa Elena, Chihuahua, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. La Bi-vencia explores the reunion of a ghost town next to the Rio Grande that was abandoned after 9/11.

Heart Valley directed by Christian Cargill.  Documentary Short.  19 minutes.  United Kingdom.  After a chance article on him in The Guardian newspaper in 2021, Wilf’s perspective on life struck a chord with millions in the height of lockdown. He has never left his valley, eats the same meal every day and works his farm alone, where his family of over one hundred black-spotted sheep rely on him. And yet, he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Honey  and Clover directed by Andrea Maxwell.  Short.  14 minutes.  RGV.  Past and future unravel when former child stars are thrust back into the spotlight threatening to reveal their darkest secrets.

House directed by Hannah Martinez.  Short.  10 minutes.  The story follows Liza, a woman dealing with severe compulsions and a strained family relationship as she tries to leave her house. She realizes she can’t when the house starts falling apart. Liza tries to put the pieces back together as her house and mental state crumble.

Human Trash directed by Aitor Almuedo Esteban.  Short.  17 minutes.  Spain.  A boy is thrown into a trash container from the future. In his frantic search for the exit, he runs into a misterious man, who will make him doubt the origin of his own existence.

It’s Quieter in the Twilight directed by Billy Miossi.  Documentary.  83 minutes.  In an unremarkable office space, a select group of aging engineers sacrificed promotion, postponed retirement, and dedicated their lives to stay with the longest running and farthest reaching mission in NASA’s history. Fighting outdated technology and time, Voyager’s flight-team pursues humankind’s greatest exploration.  https://www.facebook.com/itsquieterfilmhttps://www.itsquieterfilm.com/.

L.A. Book of Friends:  Fabian “Spade” Debora directed by Sergio Torres.  Documentary Short.  7 minutes.  Ex-gang member Fabian contributed to the L.A. Graffiti Black Book, along with 150 other Los Angeles-based street and graffiti artists. The project was inspired by a 17th-century manuscript in Getty’s collections named Liber Amicorum (Book of Friends).

Lodo directed by Alessandro Gentile.  Short.  20 minutes.  RGV.  An incident at a cemetery drives a series of supernatural events that leads to an unforeseen encounter for a boy.

Misophonia directed by Angel Alvarez.  Short.  7 minutes.  A dedicated office worker crippled with an extremely sensitive auditory condition is desperate to survive a troubling workday!

Numb directed by Carlos Moreno Jr.  Short.  20 minutes.  RGV.  Getting through at any cost may cost Lola everything; her medical license, her two young daughters, and faith in herself.

Outside is Free directed by Antoni Sendra.  Short.  17 minutes.  A cyclist suffers a training accident. Badly injured and unable to move, he is trapped in the mountain. The appearance of a dog will mark the fate of his survival.

Pepe Serna:  Life is Art directed by Luis Reyes.  Documentary.  61 minutes.  Groundbreaking Mexican-American character actor Pepe Serna finally takes the spotlight in Luis Reyes’ joyous ode to Serna’s life and the hundred-plus charismatic scene-stealing roles that paved the way for generations of Chicanx actors in Hollywood and beyond.  https://www.facebook.com/PepeSernaLifeIsArt.

Petals directed by Marie J. Magdaleno.  Short.  3 minutes.  RGV.  A love story like no other.

Pete Hates the Dodgers directed by Maceo Montoya & Tomas Montoya.  Short.  10 minutes.  Pete is surrounded by Dodgers fans who infuriate him to no end, and none more than his die-hard Dodger fan father. But Pete’s Dodger-hating is put to the test when Jenny, the new girl at work, invites him to watch the first game of the 2017 World Series.

Pig Brother directed by Harko Wubs & Stefan Demming.  Short.  9 minutes.  Germany.  They come from the darkest dungeons of society, into the spotlights of the studio, straight into your living room: Five pigs in the ‘factory farming’ are chosen to live in the Pig Brother house. The public’s favorite will stay alive, the others will yet go to the slaughterhouse. How will these pigs board the adventure?

(Plastik) directed by Philip Rom.  Short.  3 minutes.  Malaysia.  A child looks through a telescope she made out of a plastic bottle and experiences glimpses of our plastic-polluted future.

Polvo directed by Catarina Sobral.  Animated Short.  8 minutes.  Portugal.  A foreigner comes to a new city. He doesn’t speak the language of the locals or look like them. He has several arms, like an octopus. He seems to approach others and even offers them his arms that always grows back. Until one day…

Ricochet directed by Jeff Adachi & Chihiro Wimbush.  Documentary.  76 minutes.  RGV.  When a young woman is shot by an undocumented immigrant on Pier 14 in San Francisco, the incident ignites a political and media furor that culminates in Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. In the eye of this storm, two public defenders fight to reveal the truth.  https://www.facebook.com/RicochetDochttps://www.ricochetfilm.com/.

Senility directed by Isaiah Iran Navarro.  Short.  41 minutes.  RGV.  A priest losing his faith, must mend a fractured relationship with his son in order to save their town from a demonic entity.

Soledad directed by Julio Cesar Gonzalez.  Short.  15 minutes.  RGV.  Alma is a hardworking and devoted wife struggling to maintain a happy marriage. She reaches her breaking point after a long day of work and is forced to decide between taking her life or her husband’s.

Spectral Wind directed by Luke Van Garza & Elizabeth Lloyd.  Short.  12 minutes.  RGV.  To prove the existence of a paranormal phenomenon, a parapsychologist must convince his psychic wife, who has quit her line of work due to a traumatic experience, to help him one last time.

Surviving Sex Trafficking directed by Sadhvi Siddhali Shree.  Documentary.  71 minutes.  RGV.  With 45 million sex trafficking victims worldwide, only 1% manage to escape or be rescued. SURVIVING SEX TRAFFICKING examines the ongoing struggles of those survivors as they desperately fight to break free of their past, heal their bodies and minds, reconnect with a world of hope, and reclaim their lost humanity.  https://www.facebook.com/survivingsextraffickinghttps://survivingsextraffickingfilm.com/.

Tattoo Culture in South Texas directed by Eli Elan Gonzalez Jr.  Documentary Short.  60 minutes.  RGV.  A look at three different south Texas cities and how tattoo culture started and evolved in their respective cities.

The Light directed by Iago de Soto.  13 minutes.  Spain.  19th century. In a small coastal village, Olalla and her family prepare for the night of “The Truce”. There is only one rule: no lights should stay on tonight. Olalla, unlike her parents, does not believe in superstitions. And she doesn’t think They are coming either…

The Other Ones directed by Rene Salinas.  Documentary Short.  11 minutes.  Jimmy James came to the Esperanza Community after googling “Texas homeless camps.” He had been living on the streets of Houston for about three years, and he arrived in Austin to find an encampment of roughly 150 people living in tents and temporary shelters on a sprawling, flat slab of asphalt off U.S. 183.

The Southern Front directed by Carlos Evaristo Flores & Patricio J. Salinas.  Documentary Short.  40 minutes.  RGV.  A civic-minded community in Laredo, Texas organize to protest the construction of a border wall.

The Wereback directed by the Estrada Brothers.  Short.  6 minutes.  Along the southern US border, a truckload of undocumented migrants will experience an unspeakable horror when the full moon rises.

Useless directed by Raquel Guerrero.  Short.  8 minutes.  Spain.  Tito, a neighborhood boy that everyone is always teasing, wants to prove his worth. His friends force him to commit a robbery to complete the initiation ritual.

Yo Soy Sally la Loca! Directed by David Aguilar Rodriguez.  Short.  18 minutes.  Sally Garcia as she goes to desperate lengths to get her long-term boyfriend back, even as she nearly destroys her own family in the process.