Big Crow

Big Crow


Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Big Crow

Directed by Kris Kaczor
Documentary Feature
United States | 69 min | 2021


“Big Crow” is a story about the power of hope in the most destitute place in America – South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. By age fourteen, SuAnne Big Crow had become one of the state’s best basketball players. By age seventeen, her wisdom, leadership, and determination had made her a household name across the Great Plains. Thirty years after her tragic death, SuAnne’s spirit has proven legendary; everyone you meet on “the Rez” has a story about how SuAnne’s pride in her people continues to galvanize the Lakota in their fight to reclaim their language and save their culture.

Through never-before-seen VHS coverage of her games and home videos and extensive interviews, we examine who SuAnne was on and off the court. “Big Crow” chronicles how this young Lakota leader crossed racial divides to propel her culture into a better tomorrow. We see SuAnne’s continued influence on her alma mater, the 2018-2019 Pine Ridge Lady Thorpes, as they fight for another Class A state championship. One current player is said to play just like SuAnne. On the Rez and on the court, everybody’s looking for the next SuAnne. Will we find her?



AWARDS

Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021

The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022

The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022

The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022

The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022

The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022

The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022

REVIEWS

“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada

“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic

“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada

“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner

“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine

“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press

“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio

“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee

“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director

“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest

“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness

“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio

“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times

“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif


About a decade ago I was reading Ian Frazier’s book “On the Rez” and a single passage haunted me since. “I had thought that Oglala heroes existed mostly in the past. But a true Oglala hero appeared in the late 1980s, in suffering Pine Ridge, right under everyone’s nose, while the rest of the world was looking the other way: SuAnne Big Crow.”

Heroes are hard to come by and many are lost to history. SuAnne Big Crow was a high school basketball star in the 80’s, who wanted to help save her dying culture. In our time spent with the Lakota, we discovered the profound depth of this untold story. SuAnne is a modern-day hero and source of hope to her Native people. This film is the result of eight years of working with and gaining the trust of the Oglala Lakota. The intention is to continue her message and memory, in service of preserving their sacred culture.

Big Crow - Poster

Big Crow - Kris KaczorKris Kaczor
Director

Kris Kaczor is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker focused on unlikely heroes. A graduate of The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, Kaczor’s directorial debut “Divide In Concord” won Best of HotDocs, was championed by filmmaker Michael Moore, and continues to air nationally on PBS. He is currently the director of photography for Ron Howard’s latest documentary on José Andres and World Central Kitchen.

Film Information


Director: Kris Kaczor
Country: United States
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 69 min
Rated:  PG-13

Credits


Producer: Walter Matteson, Kevin Bayson, Inila Wakan
Writer: Cecelia Big Crow, Inila Wakan
Key Cast: Chick Big Crow, Cecelia Big Crow, Tiny DeCory, Doni DeCory, Rayette Provost, SuAnne Big Crow, Bryan Brewer, Joel Thunderhawk, Shayla Bravo, Chancey Witt, Toby Carlow

Connect With This Film


The American Experience 2021

American Experience 2021, The


Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


The American Experience 2021

Directed by Manfred Richard Schreyer
Documentary Feature
United States | 97 min | 2022


Filmmaker Manfred Schreyer traveled over 19,000 mi in 2021 in a van across the USA to produce a documentary and time capsule to identify in interviews what we as Americans hold as truth; what we believe, what we think we know, and who we are.



AWARDS

Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021

The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022

The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022

The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022

The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022

The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022

The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022

REVIEWS

“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada

“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic

“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada

“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner

“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine

“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press

“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio

“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee

“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director

“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest

“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness

“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio

“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times

“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif


Be who you are meant to be!

The American Experience 2021 - Poster

The American Experience 2021 - Manfred Richard SchreyerManfred Richard Schreyer
Director

Born in Germany, Manfred immigrated to the USA in 1987 and had a colorful career as the owner of a consulting company, large telemarketing company, pastoral ministry, music venue owner, music festival organizer and freelance photographer.

During the Covid-19 crisis in 2021, Manfred decided to identify during a 19,000 miles journey across America what we as Americans hold as the truth, how we arrive at the truth and what we know in a film time capsule.

Film Information


Director: Manfred Richard Schreyer
Country: United States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 97 min
Rated:  PG-13

Credits


Producer: Manfred Richard Schreyer

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Amerikatsi

Amerikatsi

Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Amerikatsi

Directed by Michael Goorjian
Narrative Feature
Armenia | 119 min | 2022


As a young boy, CHARLIE escaped the Armenian genocide by stowing away in a trunk bound for the United States. His family was not so lucky. Despite his tragic start, as an adult, Charlie has managed to maintain his child-like wonder for the world. However, like so many refugees and orphans, there’s a hole in Charlie’s big heart.
Our story begins in 1947, as Charlie repatriates back to Armenia only to be greeted by the harsh reality of Soviet Communism. The soul of Armenia has been suffocated beneath the iron curtain. Almost immediately Charlie is arrested and sentenced to prison for the absurd crime of wearing a tie. To further ensure that he doesn’t influence other prisoners with his “cosmopolitan” ways, Charlie is placed in solitary confinement.
Just as he appears to be succumbing to the terror of his situation, Charlie discovers that the prison wall outside his cell window had been damaged during a recent earthquake. And through a hole he can see into a nearby apartment building…
The Armenian couple who live in the apartment, TIGRAN and RUZAN, become Charlie’s only connection to the outside world. Every chance he gets he watches them, living vicariously through the details of their private lives, sharing meals with them, laughing, crying, singing and dancing with them. All the while discovering the Armenian culture he never knew.
Charlie begins to care deeply for Tigran, sympathizing with this Soviet Armenian who has been forced to suppress his passion for music, food, art and life. But then, in an unexpected twist of fate, Tigran discovers that Charlie has been watching him, to Charlie’s surprise, Tigran does not report him, but instead allows Charlie further into his world.
Through these two prisoners of circumstance, our belief in love and magic is revived. In the end, although not in the way he expected, Charlie ultimately finds what he came to Armenia in search of … a homeland.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


Films about Armenia have mostly focused on the Genocide, which is crucial. But as a people, there is so much more to who we are! Our music, our food, our passion, our “over-the-top” generosity, our love for life. Amerikatsi celebrates and shares this side of Armenia with the world, a side which since my boyhood, I have longed to know and reconnect with.
In many ways, the main character Charlie’s dream of returning to his homeland reflects the dream of not only the Armenian Diaspora, but hundreds of millions of people throughout the world who long to connect to their native land. For many, especially in America, we feel that far- away-land pulsing in our blood, calling for us to return. But, like Charlie, the reality of our ancestral homeland doesn’t always turn out to be what we imagined it would be. The connection we long for is always just out of reach, as if residing on the other side of a prison wall.
On a final personal note, after recently completing our production in Armenia, I have to say, just being there, I felt the “prison wall” inside of me crumble. I felt inspired and hopeful. Which is my wish for everyone who sees Amerikatsi—to walk away with a sense of hope and connection, something very much needed in the world today.

Amerikatsi - Poster

Amerikatsi - Michael A. GoorjianMichael Goorjian
Director

Michael Goorjian is an Emmy Award winning actor, writer, and filmmaker born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michael won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in the television movie David’s Mother alongside Kirstie Alley. He is also well known for playing Neve Campbell’s love interest, Justin, on the Golden Globe winning series Party of Five, as well as Heroin Bob in the cult classic SLC Punk. Most recently he starred alongside Robert De Niro in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. Other film & television credits include: Newsies, Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., Forever Young with Mel Gibson, Leaving Las Vegas, Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman, Broken with Heather Graham, The Invisibles, Lucifer, Covert Affairs, Lie to Me, House, Alias, Monk, CSI, Without a Trace to name a few.
As a stage actor/choreographer, Michael has won numerous awards, including; an L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Lead Actor in Modigliani, and a LA Critics Choice Award for choreographing the world premiere of Reefer Madness the Musical. Most recently Michael appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theater in their 2017 World premiere of Imaginary Comforts by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket).
As director, Michael achieved international acclaim for his award-winning feature film debut, Illusion, in which he starred along side Hollywood- legend Kirk Douglas (as well as some other guy named Bryan Cranston). Soon after, Michael began collaborating with the publishing company Hay House to helm a number of productions, including; The Shift starring Wayne Dyer. Michael’s debut novel, What Lies Beyond the Star was released world-wide in 2016.

Film Information


Director: Michael Goorjian
Country: Armenia
Year: 2022
Language: Armenian, English, Russian
Runtime: 119 min
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Michael Goorjian
Producers: Sol Tryon, Arman Nshanian, Patrick Malkassian, Serj Tankian, Vartan Barsoumian
Editorr: Michael Goorjian, Mike Selemon
Cinematographer: Ghasem Ebrahimian
Music: Andranik Berberyan

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Principal Cast

Out and About

Out and About

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Dec 7th 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Out and About

Directed by Peter Callahan
Narrative Feature
United States | 83 min | 2022


Inside the mind of a middle aged man as he tries to come to terms with his life over the course of an afternoon walk through his hometown.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


“Tall Tales” is set in 1945, shortly after World War II. This historical backdrop makes it possible to remember our past and to reflect to our present at the same time. We wanted to include issues in our story that might still have relevance today, issues that still cause pain to our society, some of these issues might be more painful universally at the moment than in a country with no war for over 73 years.
Domestic violence, post-traumatic syndrome, or simply, two people trying to trust each other – these issues and challenges are present in our lives today. Just as they were present in 1945. Some things don’t change. Things that suppose to change. Things we should have learnt to deal with by now.
I truly hope that even a thriller full of twists and turns, that tells the story of a sweeping romance after the war while heavily paying hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and his films, can achieve change. By talking about these issues in a universal way. With the hope that one day we’ll learn to deal with them.

Out and About - Poster

Out and About - Peter CallahanPeter Callahan
Director

Peter Callahan was born and raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. A high school dropout, he drove a taxi for several years before returning to school, eventually earning a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. His feature, “Against the Current”, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and won jury prizes at the AFI Dallas Film Festival, The Williamstown Film Festival, and The Verona Film Festival in Italy. Distributed by IFC Films, it stars Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Mary Tyler Moore. His first feature, “Last Ball”, was the only U.S. film selected for the 2001 San Sebastian Film Festival new director’s section and won several awards around the world.

Film Information


Director: Peter Callahan
Country: Unites States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 83 min
Rated: R

Credits


Writer: Peter Callahan
Producers: Ivon Visalli, Konstantin von Krusenstiern
Co-Producer: Amy Aguero
Cinematographer: David Tumblety
Music: Jano Manzali

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

Why We Walk

Why We Walk

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Nov 30th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Classic Cinemas
2799 Cranston Rd, Beloit WI

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Why We Walk

Directed by Eric Bishop
Documentary Feature
United States | 55 min | 2022


WHY WE WALK follows the journey of three Black men, from across the globe, united to empower and de-stigmatize urban communities of color and their participation in the great outdoors. After years of city exploration, The Urban Hikers strive to introduce the power of walking to a community that has historically been underrepresented in this space.

Inspired by the story of the revolutionary abolitionist John Brown, The Urban Hikers embark on a life-changing backpacking pilgrimage from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia- the birthplace of the Civil War- to the nation’s capital in Washington, DC.

The Appalachian wilderness serves as a stage to address underlying racial identities and cultural differences within the collective. As tensions rise and provisions dwindle, the team must learn to work as one in order to reach their destination — Mile 0.



AWARDS

Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021

The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022

The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022

The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022

The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022

The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022

The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022

REVIEWS

“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada

“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic

“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada

“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner

“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine

“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press

“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio

“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee

“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director

“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest

“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness

“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio

“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times

“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif


As a storyteller, I seek to discover and present the fine line between real life and the transcendent.

My aim with WHY WE WALK is to demonstrate that humanity has the ability to grow and come together through exploration and dialogue.

We are made to walk, and to move forward.
Through hardship and death, Martin has developed a keen sense of the preciousness of every moment of life. This is something I also learned to appreciate after my mother’s prolonged battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the nineties. Like Martin, my experiences living with illness and death transformed my priorities in life. Living through this, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. I’m making Dear Audrey as a tribute to Audrey, Martin and his family. As we collectively pause during this new COVID era, we reset what’s important and turn with urgency towards living. In this spirit, Dear Audrey is a timely gift, a reminder of the choices we make, the families we create, and an invitation for all of us to take better care of each other.

Why We Walk - Poster

Why We Walk - Eric BishopEric Bishop  
Director

Eric Bishop is an American documentary filmmaker. In 2016, Bishop graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Integrative Media & Film Studies.

Upon graduating college, the aspiring filmmaker worked part-time as a Lyft driver to supplement his freelance career. In an act of serendipity, Bishop met Vanny Mwamba, the future subject of his directorial debut film, as a passenger in his vehicle. In that brief, yet fateful car ride a spark was ignited.

Soon after, Bishop was invited to join Vanny and his group, The Urban Hikers, on their weekly hikes throughout downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. After years of routine urban exploration, Bishop participated with and documented the Hikers’ on their epic backpacking odyssey through Appalachian wilderness in 2019.

Ultimately, their curious friendship has solidified into a life-long one. Their collective purpose remains focused on bringing more folks into the righteous practice of walking and exploration —something that is needed now more than ever.

Film Information


Director: Eric Bishop
Country: United States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 55 min
Rated:  R

Credits


Co-Director:  Dean Crockett
Writer:
Eric Bishop
Producers: The Urban Hikers, Eric Bishop
Animator: ]oe Walsh
Sound Score:  Crutch of Memory
Sound Mix: Ben Sloan

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Dear Audrey

Dear Audrey

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Nov 23rd, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Dear Audrey

Directed by Jeremiah Hayes
Documentary Feature
Canada | 89 min | 2021


Acclaimed activist filmmaker Martin Duckworth has devoted his life to peace and justice. But now he’s put down his camera to fight for the most important cause he’s ever faced—caring for his wife, Audrey Schirmer, through the final stages of Alzheimer’s. Martin tirelessly embraces each new chapter with grace and resilience, demonstrating his unconditional loyalty as he finds new reasons to love her each day.
Dear Audrey intricately weaves together the couple’s gritty yet tender reality, and takes us back to their adventures, from the front lines of the anti-Vietnam War protests to the hippie counterculture movement, with excerpts from Martin’s films and Audrey’s stunning photography.
The film is a powerful testament to Martin’s love and devotion, which deepens over the decades.
While Audrey gradually fades away—and as their autistic daughter Jacqueline struggles with her mother’s illness—Martin commits everything he’s got to making their lives creative and meaningful.



AWARDS

Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2021

The Best Feature Documentary Award
Indy Film Fest, 2022

The Cercle d’or for Best Feature Documentary Award
Sherbrooke World Film Festival, 2022

The Grand Prix Documentary Award
Rising Sun International Film Festival, 2022

The Silver Award for Best Feature Documentary
Tokyo Film Awards, 2022

The Dr. Sydney K. Shapiro Humanitarian Award
Phoenix Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing of a Documentary Award
Madrid International Film Festival, 2022

The Excellence in Editing Award
Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2022

The Best Editing Award
Brussels World Film Festival, 2022

REVIEWS

“Truly a rare moment in Cinema… This film is a marvel”
Mélikah Abdelmoumen & Marc Béland, CBC Radio Canada

“An Exquisite Gem. Tenderness, wonder, & dignity…
a beautiful film about beautiful people”
Richard Propes, The Independent Critic

“Anyone who watches Dear Audrey will undoubtedly conclude
that Hayes is a masterful filmmaker”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

“Touching… luminous… truly magnificent”
Caroline Levesque, CBC Radio Canada

“Dear Audrey, a riveting documentary…
that stands as a powerful paean to passion and perseverance”
Evelyn C White, The Halifax Examiner

“…so many amazing lessons, stories, emotions with pain
and celebration intertwined”
Darren Wiesner, Hollywood North Magazine

“It’s impossible to watch this documentary, (a People’s Choice Award winner), without being overwhelmed by its sweetness and generosity”
Silvia Galipeau, La Press

“…an at once ethereal reflection on the enduring power of love,
and unblinking revelation of life’s steel-cold realities”
Chris Cook, Gorilla Radio

“The central force of Dear Audrey is the eternal, almost implacable force of love that binds people together through the most difficult times”
Dorothy Woodend, The Tyee

“Dear Audrey celebrates the very best the human heart has to offer, with such compassion, artistry and grace”
Terre Nash, Oscar-winning director

“A Stunning Love Story You Won’t Soon Forget!”
Indy Film Fest

“This love story will bring you joy, hope, tears and humility…”
Dr. Jen Hammersmark, Mind Your Madness

“…a beautiful homage to Audrey, to the couple’s
love and their family”
Nantali Indongo, CBC Radio

“Beautiful, touching … ‘Dear Audrey’ is a testament to
what Audrey was and what she remains forever”
Rob Wilson, The Bobr Times

“Poignant and could not be more authentic”
Amandine de Chanteloup, Le Collectif


My very first job after film school was with Martin Duckworth. It was 1991 at the National Film Board of Canada and I was the assistant editor on Martin’s film about the first Gulf War, Peacekeeper at War. From the beginning, Martin’s uncompromising resolve to speak his truth through his films inspired me. We remained in touch ever since, but it wasn’t until four years ago, (after his wife Audrey Shirmer’s diagnoses with Alzheimer’s), that our friendship started to grow. Every few weeks, I would go to their house and film them together with their autistic daughter Jacqueline. At each visit, I was moved by this families’ raw and uncompromising authenticity of character. I had no doubt that this would resonate on film. In the following years, I also learned of the many adventurous and sometimes tragic events of Martin’s fascinating life story.
Even though Martin faced a near-death car accident in Mexico and witnessed carnage while filming on the front lines of war-torn countries around the world, he remained optimistic.

Through hardship and death, Martin has developed a keen sense of the preciousness of every moment of life. This is something I also learned to appreciate after my mother’s prolonged battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the nineties. Like Martin, my experiences living with illness and death transformed my priorities in life. Living through this, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. I’m making Dear Audrey as a tribute to Audrey, Martin and his family. As we collectively pause during this new COVID era, we reset what’s important and turn with urgency towards living. In this spirit, Dear Audrey is a timely gift, a reminder of the choices we make, the families we create, and an invitation for all of us to take better care of each other.

Dear Audrey - Poster

Dear Audrey - Jeremiah HayesJeremiah Hayes
Director

Jeremiah Hayes is both a Canadian Screen Award and Gemini Award winning director, editor, and writer whose filmmaking is honored by a prestigious Peabody Award. He is most noted as co-director, co-writer and the editor of the film Reel Injun, for which he won the Gemini Award for Best Direction in a Documentary Program at the 25th Gemini Awards in 2010. Hayes is also recognized for his work editing Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, for which he won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Editing in a Documentary at the 6th Canadian Screen Awards in 2018. Reel Injun went on to win a Peabody Award for Best Electronic Media in 2011 and Rumble won the Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. In 2020, Rumble received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. In 2021, Reel Injun is featured in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures core exhibition of the Stories of Cinema.

Film Information


Director: Jeremiah Hayes
Country: Canada
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 89 min
Rated: PG

Credits


Writer: Jeremiah Hayes
Producers: Jeremiah Hayes
Key Cast:Martin Duckworth

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Hoopties

Hoopties

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Nov 16th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


HOOPTIES

Directed by Jeremy Berger
Documentary Feature
United States | 63 min | 2020


Three teams of racers desperately try to finish a 24 hour race in cars that cost less than $500.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


From the very first time I saw the cars of the 24 Hours of Lemons, I knew that I had to make a film about them. Like so many outsiders to the world of Lemons, the cars were a visual punch, an ecstatic celebration that drew us in. What I was not prepared for, and ultimately what led me to fall in love with the racers involved, was the support and care the community had for the sport and each other. I chose the subjects because they were different from each other in their background, and yet the same in their love of the sport, the time shared with other racers, and an enthusiastic DIY attitude that was as as inspiring of awe as it was action. I couldn’t NOT turn a camera on these people.

Hoopties - Poster

Hoopties - Jeremy BergerJeremy Berger
Director

Jeremy Berger has directed several documentary shorts. ‘Hoopties’ is his feature directorial debut.

He is also an Emmy nominated editor and colorist, working in the worlds of broadcast television, advertising, independent film and documentary.

Film Information


Director: Jeremy Berger
Country: United States
Year: 2020
Language: English
Runtime: 63 min
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Producer: Renee Berger

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God's Petting You

God’s Petting You

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Nov 9th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


God’s Petting You

Directed by Jamie Patterson
Narrative Feature
United Kingdom | 90 min | 2019


God’s Petting You is a dark and twisted comedy that explores the depths and depravity of the Brighton underworld. Charlie, a down on his luck heroin addict, falls in love with a struggling sex addict, and together they hatch a hair-brained scheme to steal a small fortune from a criminally inclined porn star.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


“Tall Tales” is set in 1945, shortly after World War II. This historical backdrop makes it possible to remember our past and to reflect to our present at the same time. We wanted to include issues in our story that might still have relevance today, issues that still cause pain to our society, some of these issues might be more painful universally at the moment than in a country with no war for over 73 years.
Domestic violence, post-traumatic syndrome, or simply, two people trying to trust each other – these issues and challenges are present in our lives today. Just as they were present in 1945. Some things don’t change. Things that suppose to change. Things we should have learnt to deal with by now.
I truly hope that even a thriller full of twists and turns, that tells the story of a sweeping romance after the war while heavily paying hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and his films, can achieve change. By talking about these issues in a universal way. With the hope that one day we’ll learn to deal with them.

God's Petting You - Poster

God's Petting You - Jamie PattersonJamie Patterson
Director

Jamie Patterson is a prolific British filmmaker who co-owns Brighton- based production company Jump Start Productions. In 2017 Patterson wrote and directed Tucked, a British drama set in the world of drag queens. The film premiered at Outfest Film Festival 2018 in Los Angeles, where it won the ‘Audience Award’ and ‘Best International Narrative’.

Patterson’s subsequent feature film Tracks had its world premiere to a sold-out crowd at London’s Raindance Film Festival. Written and directed by Patterson, this ‘interrailing comedy’ about a couple who take a trip by rail around Europe, was shot in some of the biggest tourist destinations on the continent, including London, Paris, Nice, Rome and Venice. The romantic comedy will be released on Hulu this year. His new film Justine was nominated for the Bifa Raindance Discovery Award and has been picked up by Curzon Home Cinema.

Previously Patterson directed sci-fi thriller Caught which premiered at Portugal’s renowned Fantasporto Film Festival, receiving the ‘Critics Choice Award’. Patterson’s other films include 2017’s Fractured, which won a record-breaking six awards including ‘Best Director’ at the British Horror Film Festival.

Patterson’s new film The Kindred has its world premiere at this years Frightfest Film Festival. He directed his first feature film at the age of 21.

Film Information


Director: Jamie Patterson
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2019
Language: English
Runtime: 90 min
Rated: R

Credits


Writer: Jamie Patterson
Producers: Jamie Patterson, George Webster, John Summers, Henry Summers, Dom Machan
Cinematographer: Paul O’Callaghan

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Principal Cast

Glob Lessons

Glob Lessons

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Glob Lessons

Directed by Nicole Rodenberg
Narrative Feature
United States | 101 min | 2021


While performing two-person low-budget children’s theatre out of a minivan across the frozen Upper Midwest, two aimless thirtysomething strangers — a repressed gay man and and an enigmatic woman with a wild streak — struggle to overcome their fears of inadequacy and intimacy in order to survive that lonely tundra called life.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


As a young girl growing up before access to the internet in North Dakota, my first exposure to the theatre was onscreen, watching Mary Martin perform as Peter Pan. The first play ever in person was when I was four, which also happened to be Peter Pan. I distinctly remember the wires in my brain crossing, trying to make sense of how something I had only ever seen on screen was now in front of me, supposedly live. Afterwards, I immediately set to work trying to put together my own production, which I decided would be filmed in front of a live audience. While I had the kids at daycare hard at work making tickets and costumes out of paper, I ultimately cancelled the production due to my mother being unwilling to dangle me off the balcony so I could fly.
That was the first time I tried to combine the literal high-flying act of live theatre with the permanency and reach of film, as I desire the best of both in each other. I’ve chased the precision of film in the theatre and GLOB LESSONS has been my chance to try to bring the startling aliveness of the theatre to film.
My collaborator Colin Froeber and I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and became best friends after being paired together in drama class to write a sketch duraing our sophomore year of high school in 2002. We quickly realized that our brains worked almost frighteningly in sync, and we began making short films together on Colin’s old DV camera. These weird, soundless productions set to music (we couldn’t figure out how to get good sound, so we gave up) brought us the most joy of our young lives, but when it came time for us to graduate and look beyond the isolated scope of the tundra we grew up on, we did not see a path forward to making movies.
Theatre, however! Doing a play is the same process in kindergarten as it is on Broadway. I ended up acting onstage in New York City and Colin and I were reunited in 2013, after he returned from doing a two-person traveling children’s theatre tour out of a minivan … very much like the one our characters are on.

Glob Lessons - Poster

Glob Lessons - Nicole RodenburgNicole Rodenburg
Director

Originally hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, Nicole Rodenburg is an actor, writer and director based in New York City. Her work onstage has been described by the New York Times as “priceless.” She’s known for her work developing new plays with our most groundbreaking and lauded contemporary playwrights, starring in Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Flick (dir. Sam Gold), as well as Baker’s latest play The Antipodes (dir. Lila Neugebauer), Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale and, most recently, Ming Peiffer’s hit play Usual Girls at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Her screen credits include the starring role in What Children Do, alongside John Early and Josh Ruben, Lifetime’s Amish Witches, Inside Amy Schumer, The Shivering Truth, Tenderly, TIC, Good News For Modern Man, and The Girl’s Guide to Depravity. Glob Lessons, written with her longtime collaborator Colin Froeber, is her directorial debut.

Film Information


Director: Nicole Rodenburg
Country: Unites States
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 101 min
Rated: R

Credits


Writer: Nicole Rodenburg, Colin Froeber
Producers: Nicole Rodenburg, Colin Froeber, Reilly Myklebust
Cinematographer:Dean Peterson
Original Music: Matthew Ricketts

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Principal Cast

48 Hour Film Fest Project

The 48hr Film Horror Project – Madison

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 6:30 PM, 2022

Location Change: Classic Cinemas

2799 Cranston Rd, Beloit WI

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande

Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


The 48 Hour Film Horror Project – Madison

Various Directors

Narrative Shorts

USA | ~ 90 min


Do you like to be scared? Do you like to laugh? Do you love Hitchcock? Bring on the fake blood and the rumbling undercurrent sound effect and get ready.

48 Hour Filmmaking With A Scary Twist!!

The 48 Hour Film Horror Project is similar to the flagship competition we all know and love – except all of the genres are horror-themed.

These are the short films line up for good old fashioned witching:
Prosperity
Anthesis Necrosis
Warden of the Flower
Nature Preserves
The Friendzied
The Disappearance of…
Hellscape
Soothsayer
Leaf
Bittersweet
Painted Smiles


48 Hour Film Fest Project - Poster

You and What Army

You and What Army

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Oct 19th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


You And What Army

Directed by Jim Menza
Narrative Feature
United States | 90 min | 2022


Brother filmmakers borrow money from a loan shark to shoot their first film.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


“Tall Tales” is set in 1945, shortly after World War II. This historical backdrop makes it possible to remember our past and to reflect to our present at the same time. We wanted to include issues in our story that might still have relevance today, issues that still cause pain to our society, some of these issues might be more painful universally at the moment than in a country with no war for over 73 years.
Domestic violence, post-traumatic syndrome, or simply, two people trying to trust each other – these issues and challenges are present in our lives today. Just as they were present in 1945. Some things don’t change. Things that suppose to change. Things we should have learnt to deal with by now.
I truly hope that even a thriller full of twists and turns, that tells the story of a sweeping romance after the war while heavily paying hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and his films, can achieve change. By talking about these issues in a universal way. With the hope that one day we’ll learn to deal with them.

You and What Army - Poster

You and What Army - Jim MenzaJim Menza
Director

Jim Menza is a director, writer, producer, editor and actor who has spent most of his adult life in the entertainment industry. After spending two years on a successful sitcom, he set out on a forty-six State tour as the on-air host and writer of the ABC FAMILY CHANNEL’S TV show; THE SUMMER DRIVE-IN THEATRE. His films include DUSTING CLIFF SEVEN, which he also wrote, and NICE GUYS… which he wrote, produced and starred in. Jim wrote directed, produced and edited the feature films PATIENT – official selection of the Angel Citi Film Festival, FOOLISH THE WISE – official selection of The California Independent Films Festival, BLOOD, BAGGED – distributed by Fenix Films, THE LIST – Feature Film Winner of the Key West Independent Film Festival, SIGNED IN BLOOD – official selection of the Dances With Films Film Festival, SLIGHT OF LIFE – official selection of the DeReel Australian International Film Festival, EXECUTION – winner of the Haunted Horror International Film Festival, RID, and BLOODY WINGS, winner Best Guerrilla Feature The Temecula Independent Film Festival, official selection MAC Brazilian Film Festival 2015. His NOVELS include CLIPPED, LOONIES and DAREDEVIL the man without fear.

Film Information


Director: Jim Menza
Country: Unites States
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 90 min
Rated: P-13

Credits


Writer: Jim Menza
Producers: Jim Menza, Rocco Menza, Kevin Marquette, Mark Murphy
Cinematographer: Jim Menza
Editor: Jim Menza

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

Tall Tales

Tall Tales

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Oct 12th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Tall Takes

Directed by Attila Szász
Narrative Feature
Hungary | 112 min | 2019


Shortly after the end of World War II, a con man on the run finds himself in a passionate love affair that may well cost him his life.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


“Tall Tales” is set in 1945, shortly after World War II. This historical backdrop makes it possible to remember our past and to reflect to our present at the same time. We wanted to include issues in our story that might still have relevance today, issues that still cause pain to our society, some of these issues might be more painful universally at the moment than in a country with no war for over 73 years.
Domestic violence, post-traumatic syndrome, or simply, two people trying to trust each other – these issues and challenges are present in our lives today. Just as they were present in 1945. Some things don’t change. Things that suppose to change. Things we should have learnt to deal with by now.
I truly hope that even a thriller full of twists and turns, that tells the story of a sweeping romance after the war while heavily paying hommage to Alfred Hitchcock and his films, can achieve change. By talking about these issues in a universal way. With the hope that one day we’ll learn to deal with them.

Tall Tales Poster

Tall Tales - Attila SzaszAttila Szász
Director

I Graduated at the University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) in Budapest. Film critic-turned-distributor-turned commercial director for many years, he wrote and directed the 30-minute short “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” in 2005, followed by four feature-length movies “The Ambassador to Bern” (2014), “Demimonde” (2015), “Eternal Winter” (2018) and “Tall Tales” (2019).
His films have screened at over 200 film festivals winning 90 awards combined, received critical acclaim and became audience favorites.

Film Information


Director: Attila Szász
Country: Hungary
Year: 2019
Language: Hungarian
Runtime: 112 min
Rated: P-13

Credits


Writer: Norbert Köbli
Producers: Tamás Lajos, Ábel Köves
Cinematographer: András Nagy
Composer: Attila Pacsay, Gergely Parádi
Editor: László Hargittai

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

Fall Shorts Surprise 2022

Fall Shorts Surprise 2022

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Sep. 28th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Location Change: Classic Cinemas
2799 Cranston Rd, Beloit WI

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Fall Shorts Surprise

Various Directors TBA
Including a Beloit Native and BIFF Alums.
Narrative & Documentary Shorts
US & International | ~ 90 min


SWEET DISASTER tells the story of FRIDA. German-Finnish, painting therapist and 40-y.o. Two events change the usual course of her life. She gets unexpectedly pregnant and FELIX, the father of her child breaks up with her to re-unite with his ex who is suddenly back. FELIX admits that it is not the best timing, however it does not prevent him from leaving. FRIDA cannot accept FELIX’ decision. Although some serious health problems caused by the late pregnancy force her to rest, she tries to get FELIX back with the help of absurd, exaggerated and sometimes absolutely comic actions.



“Not since Toni Erdmann have cliches around German humour been so artfully disproven.”
(Pauline Rieux, Raindance Film Festival)

“…but it’s written and directed in such a way that makes this tragedy into more of an amusingly wistful melancholy, effectively blending genres and making something totally unique. …As far as romantic comedies go, Sweet Disaster is one of the most original and imaginative ones in recent memory.”
(Jack Walter, Loud and Clear Reviews)

“Frida is a really crazy fun character. Outstanding performance by Friederike Kempter. …See for yourself!”
(Sabine Willkop, SWR Fernsehen)

“Light-footed Drama narrates our imperfect life. The conflicts in generation gap, relationships and parenting are transcended to precise scenes full of empathy for the characters.”
(Heiner Dahl, ARD)

“It’s truly heart-warming and funny!”
(Julia Lehmann, SR1)

“…one of the best films of the year… Sweet Disaster by Laura Lehmus stars the quirky, funny, and loveable Friederike Kempter who leads a formidable cast in this hilarious, poetic and heartfelt comedy.”
(Pendance Film Festival)

“Sweet Disaster is as cute and funny as it is dramatic and heartbreaking. Directed by the gifted Laura Lehmus.”
(Adam Mast, The Independent)

“For a long time no one has told a story as quirly and peppy about unfaithful men and abandoned pregnant women. Laura Lehmus hits in her debut feature film an blithe keynote, overplaying elegantly the hidden minorkey. She charms the audience with animations and surreal inspiration without slipping in to artificial gimmic. The real-life position of single moms remains constanty precent.”
(Peter Gutting, programmkino.de)


I’ve always been skeptical of the phrase “dysfunctional family” since all families would seem dysfunctional if one were able to observe them closely enough. In creating RELATIVE, my goal was to contrive a scenario that would allow me to lift the veil on the complex bonds that exist between members of a modern American family — showing the deep love and affection between them on the one hand and the resentments and jealousies roiling just under the surface on the other. I also wanted to capture the inherent sadness of how families evolve and ultimately “disintegrate” (to quote Fran Guinan’s character) over time.

RELATIVE asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister. While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strove to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.

Fall Shorts Surprise 2022 | BIFF Year 'Round

Laura Lehmus, Director | Sweet DisasterLaura Lehmus
Director

Laura Lehmus was born in 1972 in Finland. She studied fine arts at F+F School in Zurich & audiovisual media at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.

After a long stopover in Berlin and Helsinki, in 2019 Laura finally settled in Düsseldorf from where she works as director, on-air producer and art director for film and TV, among others for ARTE, Nickelodeon, YLE, Solarfilm Helsinki.

Her short film ALIENATION has won several awards such as the German Short Film Award (2015) – Lola Award in Gold in the category Animated Film. It became one of the three most successful German short films in 2016 (FFA Filmförderungsanstalt). SWEET DISASTER is Laura’s feature film debut, scheduled for festival release in late 2021 and German theatrical release in autumn 2022.

Film Information


Director: Laura Lehmus
Country: Germany
Year: 2022
Language: English, Finnish, German
Runtime: 90 min
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Ruth Toma
Producers: Markus Kaatsch, Nina Poschinski, Michael Grudsky, Christian Becker, Oliver Schwabe, Laura Lehmus, Eva Habermann
DOP: Anne Bolick
Music: Boris Goltz
Editing: Andreas Menn

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

Sweet Disaster | Laura Lehmus, Director

Sweet Disaster

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Oct. 5th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Sweet Disaster

Directed by Laura Lehmus
Narrative Feature
USA | 90 min | 2021


SWEET DISASTER tells the story of FRIDA. German-Finnish, painting therapist and 40-y.o. Two events change the usual course of her life. She gets unexpectedly pregnant and FELIX, the father of her child breaks up with her to re-unite with his ex who is suddenly back. FELIX admits that it is not the best timing, however it does not prevent him from leaving. FRIDA cannot accept FELIX’ decision. Although some serious health problems caused by the late pregnancy force her to rest, she tries to get FELIX back with the help of absurd, exaggerated and sometimes absolutely comic actions.



“Not since Toni Erdmann have cliches around German humour been so artfully disproven.”
(Pauline Rieux, Raindance Film Festival)

“…but it’s written and directed in such a way that makes this tragedy into more of an amusingly wistful melancholy, effectively blending genres and making something totally unique. …As far as romantic comedies go, Sweet Disaster is one of the most original and imaginative ones in recent memory.”
(Jack Walter, Loud and Clear Reviews)

“Frida is a really crazy fun character. Outstanding performance by Friederike Kempter. …See for yourself!”
(Sabine Willkop, SWR Fernsehen)

“Light-footed Drama narrates our imperfect life. The conflicts in generation gap, relationships and parenting are transcended to precise scenes full of empathy for the characters.”
(Heiner Dahl, ARD)

“It’s truly heart-warming and funny!”
(Julia Lehmann, SR1)

“…one of the best films of the year… Sweet Disaster by Laura Lehmus stars the quirky, funny, and loveable Friederike Kempter who leads a formidable cast in this hilarious, poetic and heartfelt comedy.”
(Pendance Film Festival)

“Sweet Disaster is as cute and funny as it is dramatic and heartbreaking. Directed by the gifted Laura Lehmus.”
(Adam Mast, The Independent)

“For a long time no one has told a story as quirly and peppy about unfaithful men and abandoned pregnant women. Laura Lehmus hits in her debut feature film an blithe keynote, overplaying elegantly the hidden minorkey. She charms the audience with animations and surreal inspiration without slipping in to artificial gimmic. The real-life position of single moms remains constanty precent.”
(Peter Gutting, programmkino.de)


I’ve always been skeptical of the phrase “dysfunctional family” since all families would seem dysfunctional if one were able to observe them closely enough. In creating RELATIVE, my goal was to contrive a scenario that would allow me to lift the veil on the complex bonds that exist between members of a modern American family — showing the deep love and affection between them on the one hand and the resentments and jealousies roiling just under the surface on the other. I also wanted to capture the inherent sadness of how families evolve and ultimately “disintegrate” (to quote Fran Guinan’s character) over time.

RELATIVE asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister. While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strove to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.

Sweet Disaster Poster | Laura Lehmus, Director

Laura Lehmus, Director | Sweet DisasterLaura Lehmus
Director

Laura Lehmus was born in 1972 in Finland. She studied fine arts at F+F School in Zurich & audiovisual media at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.

After a long stopover in Berlin and Helsinki, in 2019 Laura finally settled in Düsseldorf from where she works as director, on-air producer and art director for film and TV, among others for ARTE, Nickelodeon, YLE, Solarfilm Helsinki.

Her short film ALIENATION has won several awards such as the German Short Film Award (2015) – Lola Award in Gold in the category Animated Film. It became one of the three most successful German short films in 2016 (FFA Filmförderungsanstalt). SWEET DISASTER is Laura’s feature film debut, scheduled for festival release in late 2021 and German theatrical release in autumn 2022.

Film Information


Director: Laura Lehmus
Country: Germany
Year: 2022
Language: English, Finnish, German
Runtime: 90 min
Rated: PG-13

Credits


Writer: Ruth Toma
Producers: Markus Kaatsch, Nina Poschinski, Michael Grudsky, Christian Becker, Oliver Schwabe, Laura Lehmus, Eva Habermann
DOP: Anne Bolick
Music: Boris Goltz
Editing: Andreas Menn

Connect With This Film


Principal Cast

Provo

Provo

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Sep 21st, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Fri Mar 1, 2019 – 7:30 pm | La Casa Grande
Sat Mar 2, 2019 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s


Provo

Directed by Emma Thatcher
Narrative Feature
USA | 87 min | 2022


A self-destructive ex-Mormon finds out her abusive father is on his deathbed and road trips to Utah to reckon with her past.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

https://cinemafemme.com/2022/02/26/relative-qa-with-wendy-robie-twin-peaks-clare-cooney-emily-lape-melissa-duprey-and-more-february-27-130-pm-cst%ef%bf%bc/

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


I’ve always been skeptical of the phrase “dysfunctional family” since all families would seem dysfunctional if one were able to observe them closely enough. In creating RELATIVE, my goal was to contrive a scenario that would allow me to lift the veil on the complex bonds that exist between members of a modern American family — showing the deep love and affection between them on the one hand and the resentments and jealousies roiling just under the surface on the other. I also wanted to capture the inherent sadness of how families evolve and ultimately “disintegrate” (to quote Fran Guinan’s character) over time.

RELATIVE asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister. While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strove to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.

Provo Poster

Provo - Emma ThatcherEmma Thatcher
Director

I’m a Chicago based filmmaker, actor, and photographer. After studying acting at NYU, I began producing, writing, directing, and editing my own work. I’ve made dozens of short films, including “Soomin”, which won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival.

I love my Provo crew, my sisters, country music, and the Western Sublime.

Film Information


Director: Emma Thatcher
Country: USA
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 87 min
Rated: R

Credits


Writer: Emma Thatcher
Producers: Sarah Franke
Executive Producer: Sophie Thatcher, Ruby Que

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Principal Cast

The Mirror Games | William J. Stribling, Director

The Mirror Game

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Fall 2022

Wednesday, Sep 14th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



The Mirror Game

Directed by William J. Stribling
Narrative Feature
USA | 87 min | 2021


Two old friends. One big ask.

Filmed covertly (and safely) over five nights in a Las Vegas hotel room during the global pandemic, The Mirror Game is the story of a friendship pushed to its limits. Childhood friends Rose and Abe both find themselves in Las Vegas on the same weekend, but when Rose asks Abe for a life-changing favor, the evening takes a turn for the unexpected, and the two spend the night trying to beat the odds.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


I’ve always been skeptical of the phrase “dysfunctional family” since all families would seem dysfunctional if one were able to observe them closely enough. In creating RELATIVE, my goal was to contrive a scenario that would allow me to lift the veil on the complex bonds that exist between members of a modern American family — showing the deep love and affection between them on the one hand and the resentments and jealousies roiling just under the surface on the other. I also wanted to capture the inherent sadness of how families evolve and ultimately “disintegrate” (to quote Fran Guinan’s character) over time.

RELATIVE asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister. While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strove to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.

The Mirror Game movie poster | William J. Stribling, Director

William J. Stribling, Director | The Mirror GamesWilliam J. Stribling
Director

William J. Stribling has seen “Weird Al” Yankovic in concert 18 times and counting. Perhaps less importantly, he works in Los Angeles as a director and screenwriter.

He directed the award-winning films Bear with Us (feature), Down in Flames: the True Story of Tony “Volcano” Valenci (short), Lies I Told My Little Sister (feature), Beyond Belief (short), and The Archetypes (short), all of which enjoyed successful film festival runs.

Bear with Us, which he co-wrote with Russ Nickel, spent a year garnering awards on the festival circuit before securing distribution with Comedy Dynamics in 2017. Bear with Us stars Christy Carlson Romano and Cheyenne Jackson, and is currently streaming and on DVD.

Stribling directed the Streamy-nominated web series “Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party” for the YouTube channel Shipwrecked Comedy, as well as several short films. In 2022 he will direct the latest Shipwrecked Comedy web series, Headless, a modern adaptation of Sleepy Hollow.

Stribling’s first feature film, Lies I Told My Little Sister, was a “Geena Davis Selection” from her inaugural Bentonville Film Festival and subsequently released on DVD and streaming by ARC Entertainment.

For Adaptive Studios, Stribling co-created and directed a comedy/sci-fi series called Stellar People, starring Rory Albanese (multiple Emmy-winning writer/producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). The show will be available online in the near future.

He also works closely with the Latinx band Making Movies as a music video director and creative consultant.

In 2020, Stribling’s sci-fi/action/comedy short film “The Speed of Time” was released on DUST. The film stars John Hennigan (WWE star) and Sean Marquette (ABC’s The Goldbergs).

Stribling is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with degrees in Film & TV Production and Dramatic Literature. He also has a masters in screenwriting from Chapman University. But he credits any success to the clown camp he attended over the summers as a kid.

Film Information


Director: William J. Stribling
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 87 min
Rated: R

Credits


Writer: Marissa Flaxbart
Producers: Michael Tennant, Marissa Flaxbart, William J. Stribling
Key Cast: Teya Patt, Michael Tennant, Kenny Ridwan

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Relative | Michael Glover Smith, Director

Relative

BIFF YEAR ’ROUND Spring 2022

Wednesday, May 18th, 6:30 PM, 2022
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Zoom Q&A Following!



Relative

Directed by Michael Glover Smith
Narrative Feature
USA | 97 min | 2022


“One of the first great films I’ve seen in 2022…impeccably cast, superbly directed and utterly captivating”
— Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com

RELATIVE is a comedy/drama about three days in the life of a modern American family. Karen Frank (Wendy Robie) and her husband David (Francis Guinan) are retirement-age progressive activists who have lived in the same Victorian home in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood for 30 years. It’s the house in which their four children grew up and where two of their children, adult sons Benji (Cameron Scott Roberts) and Rod (Keith D. Gallagher), still live. On the eve of Benji’s graduation from college, daughters Evonne (Clare Cooney) and Norma (Emily Lape) return home from out-of-state for a weekend celebration. Evonne brings her daughter, Emma (Arielle Gonzalez), and newly separated wife, Lucia (Melissa DuPrey); Norma arrives alone, with thoughts of wasted potential as she reconsiders her suburban life; Rod, an unemployed burnout, pines for Sarah (Heather Chrisler), the “cam girl” ex who left him years ago; and all Benji wants to do is escape the party to rendezvous with Hekla (Elizabeth Stam), a free-spirited actress he met the night prior. As David and Karen announce the potential sale of their home, each member of the Frank family finds their bonds with the others being tested – and strengthened – in surprising ways.



“RELATIVE Q&A with Wendy Robie (TWIN PEAKS), Clare Cooney, Emily Lape, Melissa DuPrey and More!”

Cinema Femme Magazine

“Grand Jury Award for Chicago Indie RELATIVE and WALKING DEAD star Roberts”

SCREEN Magazine

“At the Siskel Center, Rogers Park is Tuesday’s Star”

Chicago Reader

“A Family is at a Crossroads in Exclusive Trailer for Michael Glover Smith’s RELATIVE”

The Film Stage


I’ve always been skeptical of the phrase “dysfunctional family” since all families would seem dysfunctional if one were able to observe them closely enough. In creating RELATIVE, my goal was to contrive a scenario that would allow me to lift the veil on the complex bonds that exist between members of a modern American family — showing the deep love and affection between them on the one hand and the resentments and jealousies roiling just under the surface on the other. I also wanted to capture the inherent sadness of how families evolve and ultimately “disintegrate” (to quote Fran Guinan’s character) over time.

RELATIVE asks what it means to be a parent, a child, a brother, a sister. While my previous three films deal with romantic relationships between characters in their 20s and 30s, RELATIVE primarily examines parent-child relationships and sibling bonds across three generations of the same family. I strove to stretch myself as a writer/director by creating characters of diverse ages and tried to mine each of their lives for emotional and psychological truth. Thanks to the best ensemble cast with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working, I believe the end result shows, in a manner that I hope is universal and timeless, both the difficulties and the rewards that come with being a relative.

Relative, Film Poster | Michael Glover Smith, Director

Michael Glover Smith, Director | RelativeMichael Glover Smith
Director

Michael Glover Smith wrote and directed the independent feature films COOL APOCALYPSE (2015), MERCURY IN RETROGRADE (2017) and RENDEZVOUS IN CHICAGO (2018), all of which won awards at festivals across the U.S. and were the subject of rave reviews.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper wrote that “Smith has a deft touch for creating characters who look and sound like people we know” and RogerEbert.com’s Matt Fagerholm has called him “one of the Windy City’s finest filmmakers.” His films have screened at Rooftop Cinema Club in Los Angeles, Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn and the Gene Siskel Film Center and Music Box Theater in Chicago.

He was a recipient of the Siskel Center’s Star Filmmaker award in 2017 and made Newcity Chicago’s “Film 50” list in 2018 and 2020 for being one of fifty individuals who “shape Chicago’s film scene.” He teaches film history at several colleges and is the author of FLICKERING EMPIRE (Columbia University Press, 2015), an acclaimed nonfiction book about film production in Chicago during the silent era.

Film Information


Director: Michael Glover Smith
Country: USA
Year: 2022
Language: English
Runtime: 97 min
Rated: 

Credits


Writer: Michael Glover Smith
Producer: Clare Cooney, Aaron Wertheimer
Executive Producer: Brian Hieggelke, Jan Hieggelke
Key Cast: Wendy Robie, Francis Guinan, Clare Cooney, Cameron Roberts, Emily Lape, Keith Gallagher, Elizabeth Stam, Melissa DuPrey

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Principal Cast