2017 NDFF Official Selections

 

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Angelo Unwritten

Alice Stone;  87 min
Watch Trailer
Filmmaker Q&A
Sunday, September 17 at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Angelo UnwrittenAngelo Unwritten tells the story of Angelo, a gifted yet troubled youth, and Laura and Phil, his final set of foster parents, whom he meets after living in several foster homes. For three tumultuous years, from Angelo’s 18th through 21st birthdays, they face unforeseen challenges as they start a new chapter in their lives together as a family.

 

Bedside Manner
Corinne Botz; 18 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 16 at 11:30 AM
Screening Room

Bedside MannerBedside Manner focuses on standardized patients and the art of medicine. The film explores empathy and medical relationships through the practice of using medical actors to train student doctors. At the center of the film is the brilliant neurologist Dr. Alice Flaherty, who plays herself as a doctor, standardized patient and real patient.

 

 

Behind a Good Song
Oskar Peacock and Nemo Allen; 24 min
Shorts Block #2, Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Behind A Good SongEmbracing classic values, homegrown record label Signature Sounds forges a sustainable way forward for music in the internet age.

 

 

 

Birth of a Movement
Bestor Cram and Susan Gray; 75 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Sunday, September 17 at 5:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Birth of a MovementIn 1915, Boston-based African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly The Birth of a Nation, unleashing a fight that still rages today about race relations, media representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Birth of a Movement, based on Dick Lehr’s book The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights, captures the backdrop to this prescient clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape.


Coalesce: A City Composed
Joshua Provost; 70 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 PM
Screening Room

CoalesceA visual artist and a musician create a series of works in which paintings and musical scores form cohesive pieces intended to be experienced together. The works interpret the excitement and monotony of life in the urban desert sprawl from the diverse perspectives of the native and the newcomer. An intensely focused document of the process of creation and collaboration as four new works come to life.


Contenders
Divya Pathak; 13 min
Shorts Block #3, Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 PM
Screening Room

Contenders

Contenders follows three Indian girls, two Muslim and one Hindu, who navigate social and financial pressure as they train to become competitive boxers. For these girls, success in boxing could be the key to jobs that could provide for their families.

 

 


Deej

Robert Rooy; 72 min
Watch Trailer
Sunday, September 17 at 11:00 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Deej

Abandoned by his birth parents and presumed incompetent, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society’s obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.


Democracy Through the Looking Glass

Kevin Bowe, 76 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Sunday, September 17 at 11:00 AM
Screening Room

Democracy Through the Looking GlassThe movie bridges the Americana image of democracy with the realities of today, exploring the state of media, the consequences of a generation of political polarization, and the impact of technology on political discourse. To explore these themes, the New Hampshire Presidential Primary acted as the field laboratory to observe and document behaviors.

 

 


Emily Mason: A Painting Experience
Rafael Salazar Moreno; 19 min
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Shorts Block #3, Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 PM
Screening Room

Emily MasonPart biographical, part art documentary, this film is a deeply intimate portrait of the life, work and philosophy of the painter Emily Mason, as it relates to the history of American Art in the 20th century. This documentary traces the artist’s personal and artistic trajectory from an early age, as the daughter of Alice Trumbull Mason – a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group in the early 1930s –, her coming of age in the male-dominated era of Abstract Expressionism, her marriage to renowned artist Wolf Kahn, and her relentless pursuit and love for painting throughout the years.


Eye, Camera

Brittney Shepherd; 18 min
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Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 16 at 11:30 AM
Screening Room

Eye_Camera_1Eye, Camera follows a visual artist who, after losing her eye in an accident, sets out to install a camera inside its prosthetic replacement and confronts the ethical and existential challenges that arise because of her decision.

 



Furusato

Thorsten Trimpop; 93 min
Filmmaker Q&A

Watch Trailer
S
aturday, September 16 at 2:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Furusato

Furusato 古里 reveals the unusual relationship between a landscape and its inhabitants.

Over the course of a thousand years, the exuberant nature of Japan’s eastern coast has become interwoven in the lives of its people. Here, the earth is sacred—but now, it is tainted with the invisible danger of radiation. For those who have decided to stay, the rural scene surrounding the crippled Fukushima Daiishi nuclear power plant remains the place they call home – their furusato, or hometown, is the first place they experience as children and the last one they will see before they die. A monumental portrait of a wounded community and an unsparing look at the human cost of progress, the film illuminates the four years that followed the worst nuclear disaster of our time.

Here, no one measures in half-lives. This is about eternity and an unsettling portrait of daily life amid an ongoing cataclysm, one with repercussions far beyond Japanese shores.


Honk: A Festival of Activist Street Bands

Patrick Johnson; 7 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #2, Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

HonkHonk! is a festival of activist street bands who reclaim public spaces with their brash sound, political messages, and outrageous community oriented performances. Originating in Somerville, MA and celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival has spread to cities throughout the world.

 

 

Losing Our Religion
Leslea Mair & Leif Kaldor; 86 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Saturday, September 16 at 2:30 PM
Screening Room

Losing Our ReligionA film about preachers who are not believers and what atheists do when they miss church. This is the strange dilemma of a hidden segment of our population, a group with a secret they dare not tell lest they lose everything. They are clergy who no longer believe in God. They are trapped in a social shift that is rapidly changing our world. Losing Our Religion takes a candid look inside an upheaval in our society. The extreme personal cost to those trapped in the clergy reflects the larger move in our western world as they grapple with how to re-shape their lives, rebuild community, and answer the big question – what’s next?


Preparations for the Forest
Daniel Mooney; 10 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #2, Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Preparations for the ForestMixing underwater photography, interviews, and filmed footage Preparations for the Forest features the work of the prolific, but largely unknown, Maine artist and taxidermist David Footer.

 

 

 


Sand Men
Tal Amiran; 14 min
Watch Trailer
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 16 at 11:30 AM
Screening Room

Sand MenNeculai, Aurel and Raj all left their homes in Romania for the same reason – to seek a better life for their family. Now, in Britain, with their loved ones depending on them, they survive by creating sand sculptures on London’s streets. They try to find hope in the hardships they endure, while thoughts of their children’s futures keep them going.

 


Stumped
Robin Berghaus; 72 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Stumped

When filmmaker Will Lautzenheiser’s limbs are amputated, his life is derailed and he turns to stand-up comedy as therapy. Meanwhile, a world-famous medical team is performing transplants that restore bodies to unprecedented levels. Despite grave risks, Will agrees to undergo an experimental double-arm transplant in the hope of reclaiming his independence. Stumped explores themes of adversity, creative courage, as well as the life-changing potential of pioneering medicine.

 

 

 

The Collection
Adam Roffman; 11 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Shorts Block #2, Saturday, September 16 at 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

TheCollection_cropThe Collection is a short documentary about two friends, DJ Ginsberg and Marilyn Wagner, and their discovery of an astonishing and unique collection of movie memorabilia, comprised of over 40,000 printer blocks and 20,000 printer plates used to create the original newspaper advertisements for virtually every movie released in the United States from the silent period through 1984, when newspapers stopped using the letterpress format.

 


The End Game
Duane Sharman; 28 min
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Shorts Block #3, Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 PM
Screening Room

The End GameCoral bleaching, driven by rising sea temperatures, has grown from isolated, regional events to become a global threat. Dr. Ruth Gates is leading a team of scientists who are energized to tackle the problems that climate change presents.

 

 

The Last Pig
Allison Argo; 54 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

The Last PigThe Last Pig is a lyrical meditation on what it means to be a sentient creature with the power to kill. Deeply immersive and experiential, the film follows a pig farmer through his final year of slaughtering pigs. Through sparse, intimate musings, the farmer reveals the growing conflict of a life spent “peddling in death.” Unable to lower his “emotional blast doors” any longer, the farmer makes a fateful decision.

 


The Man in the Cowboy Hat
Janice Rogovin; 62 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Saturday, September 16 at 11:30 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

The Man in the Cowboy Hat

Carlos Arredondo, aka The Man in the Cowboy Hat, is best known for saving a life during the Boston Marathon bombing, but the story begins with the death of his own son, Alex, in the Iraq War. In 2004, three Marines came to Carlos’s house to inform him that his oldest son, Alex, had died in Iraq. Carlos’s extreme grief over Alex’s death launched him on a journey to honor his son and fight for the America he believed in. Publicly Carlos had a new purpose. Behind the scenes the story was more complex.


The Oyster Revival: Restoring Our Waters
Allison Keir, 11 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #3, Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 PM
Screening Room

The Oyster Revival


The Oyster Revival
is a story about revitalizing a tenuous relationship between man and mollusk, and the efforts being made to restore ecological balance to our coastlines. The documentary and transmedia campaign will explore the important role oysters play in maintaining a healthy ocean environment, and the various groups of people around the world advocating for their efficacy.

 

The Sensitives
Drew Xanthopoulos, 83 min
Sunday, September 17 at 1:00 PM
Screening Room

The Sensitives

A film about resisting isolation and living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCA), shown in a way that’s never been seen before. The Sensitives follows several victims suffering from the effects of MCA  including  a loving grandfather who is struck down by a debilitating illness with mysterious, environmental origins and an aging mother and her two adult sons living in self-imposed quarantine deep in the Arizona desert.


True Conviction

Jamie Meltzer; 84 min  
Filmmaker Q&A
Watch Trailer
Friday, September 15 at 7:30 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

True ConvictionThere’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by a group of exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them. They are looking to free innocent people still behind bars. True Conviction is a character-driven documentary that follows these change-makers as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, work to support each other, and campaign to fix the criminal justice system.


Unteachable
Anthony Sherin; 11 min
Filmmaker Q&A
Shorts Block #1, Saturday, September 16 at 11:30 AM

Screening Room

Unteachable_cropImagine you can’t read this. Imagine you are afraid to tell anyone. Imagine thinking it is all your fault. Imagine the only way to tell if a book is right side up is by looking at the pictures. Imagine the only way you can avoid humiliation and get through school is by being a troublemaker. Imagine being expelled over and over and passed along to different schools only to be someone else’s problem. You reach fifth grade but you have yet to read a two syllable word. You can’t spell your name. You are unteachable. Now imagine a teacher who changes everything.