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Rochester Independent Global Film Series
A celebration of world cinema, the first edition of the Rochester Independent Global Film Series was held in Rochester, New York in March of 2020 just before the world paused for the global pandemic. Now, we are accepting submissions for the second edition, and we are looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to during the last six months.
Home of Eastman Kodak and nicknamed "The World's Image Center", Rochester has a long history of supporting the performing arts and is the birthplace of numerous renowned artists including Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-nominated actor John Lithgow, Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster, actress Kristen Wiig and soprano Renée Fleming.
Silent film star Louise Brooks spent the last years of her life in Rochester writing her memoir, “Lulu in Hollywood.” Known for her independent spirit and displeasure for pretentiousness, she is one of the influences behind the event. The other influence is Susan B. Anthony, a women's rights activist who played a key role in the women's suffrage movement. She moved to Rochester with her family in 1845 and was partly responsible for women being granted the right to vote in the United States.
The second edition will take place virtually on March 13 - 14, 2021. Please check back here for direct links to watch the films. Below is the lineup.
Rochester Independent Global Film Series 2021 Lineup
Young People Section
Don't Dis My Ability, Canada
Directed by Elliot Hedley
Filters of Life, United States
Directed by Angleica Rubio
Physical Thoughts, United States
Directed by Anne Hollowday
Nana the Happy Face Spider's - Happy, Sad, Happy Day!, United States
Directed by David Oglesby
Great Atchafalaya Basin, United States
Directed by Mark Knight
College FKA Calhoun at Yale, United States
Directed by Robert Menefee
Directed by Kimberley Wells
Frozen in Time, Lithuania
Directed by Simona Viackute
I Sogni (Dreams)
Directed by Mo Scarpelli
Naan But You, Singapore/Hong Kong
Directed by Paulo Reyes
Directed by Giorgi tkemaladze
Directed by Iván Sainz-Pardo
Coin Catcher, United States
Directed by Mitchell Lucas
Contemporary Italian Filmmakers Section
Il Nostro Tempo (Our Time)
Directed by Veronica Spedicati
Dimmi chi sono (Tell Me Who I Am)
Directed by Luca Caserta
Come la prima volta (Like the First Time)
Directed by Emanuela Mascherini
La Slitta (The Sled)
Directed by Emanuela Mascherini
L’Attesa (The Wait)
Directed by Angela Bevilacqua
Ragazzi Soli (Lonely Boys)
Directed by Alberto Nigro
First Edition 2020 Lineup Revealed
This festival truly embraces independent filmmaking. We asked for stories told from the heart- a story that you were so passionate about, you picked up a camera and just started shooting because you had to tell it. Whether you have a production company, a distribution company or if you are representing yourself, we just wanted to be moved by your story. And you definitely delivered!
Our first call for global submissions resulted in 90 films from 25 countries! As we are independent filmmakers ourselves, we decided to start this film series after our own experience over the last few years submitting projects to film festivals. We wanted to offer a platform for independent filmmakers without the representation of big production companies to have a place to show their films.
Hands down, the worst part was having to send rejection letters. Due to time constraints, we couldn't possibly show everything. In order to accept as many submissions as possible this time around, we are expanding to make the event a two-act festival by adding an intermission.
Here are the 12 compelling films that made the 2020 lineup. Infinite thanks to all the filmmakers that submitted their projects.
Broken Treasures (Italy)
Directed by Sondra Sottile
A young boy finds an old treasure chest in the rocks near the Castle Ovo of Naples. With courageous determination, he journeys through the streets of Naples looking for someone to give value to his broken treasure.
A Most Fantastical Swiss Adventure (USA)
Directed by Nathan Cronk
It is 11:00am in the village of Latsch, Switzerland where Martina will embark on a journey of remembrance, heroism and courage in order to find the exact spot in which her grandfather created a snapshot so many years ago.
Directed by Rene Smaal
Re/cycle is a film made in the style of surrealism, in the sense that only 'found' elements were used, and that it defies interpretation based on ordinary cause-and-effect time sequence.
Directed by Orson Cornick
Choker is a unique narrative take on one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and shows how deaf people have become to the cries of wildlife suffering in their habitat that we are destroying.
Directed by Joan Bentosela
A bickering French family on a road trip stops at a gas station. Murielle, the mother, insists on having the car washed and she never sees her family again.
Panic Attack! (USA)
Directed by Eileen O'Meara
This 3-minute short explores anxiety, obsession, and one woman’s slippery hold on reality.
A hand-drawn animation from the point of view of a woman having a
panic attack, director Eileen O’Meara wanted the transitions between reality and her imagined fears to be seamless, so there are no edits -- it is one continually transforming drawing.
Minor Key (Spain)
Directed by Iván Sáinz-Pardo
Minor Key is the moving story of a husband and father who cannot accept the death of his wife that happened years ago and instead lives in a state of denial listening to their song over and over.
Directed by Iván Sáinz-Pardo
This hilarious film is a sign of the times and tells the story of a guy just trying to order a pizza and quickly learns that the woman on the other end of the phone works for a restaurant run by Google and knows his entire search history and life story.
Slaughter (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Directed by Saman Hosseinpuor & Ako Zandkarimi
Ghasem, a husband and father, is forced to butcher and sell his cow to make ends meet, but his son is attached to the animal who he considers a family pet and lets the cow escape to freedom. Ghasem fights to retrieve it and is faced with a moral decision.
Brave Little Army (Canada)
Directed by Michelle D'Alessandro Hatt
The first film of a trilogy, Brave Little Army is a story of sisterhood and how a group of grammar school girlfriends continues to protect each other and stay together through tough times.
Directed by Anagha Komalankutty
Set on a scenic, desolate palm tree-lined path, two girls explore the metaphoric meaning of the apple. The first apple inspired man to become aware of his vulnerabilities. Will the second one reverse the effect?
Caught in Quicksand (USA)
Directed by Marty Novitsky and Uladzmir Taukachou
Set above the Dead Sea with stunning video captured by drones, a man tells his harrowing story of being caught in quicksand and how it taught him an important life lesson.
Films must be no longer than 20 minutes (including credits) and have been completed after January 1, 2019. Submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway.
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