POLITICAL Festival SHORT Screenplay: The Worst of Times, by D.J. Broderick

Mary and her lawyer sit in jail, trial over, awaiting their fate. With the shadow and sound of the guillotine blade falling, she bemoans the unfairness of it all. My husband and I did nothing illegal. Well, you’re a widow now. But it was the politicians’ fault. Another shadow and another sound reveals their fate.

But why a revolution now? None of the people out there did anything before. I’m afraid your constant denial that anything was wrong didn’t help.

So, as the two are escorted to meet their maker, we learn what really was, or is, the worst of times.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Marie: Val Cole
Lawyer: Sean Ballantyne
Crowd/Robert: Geoff Mays

April 2022 Festival – Highlights and Videos

Showcase of the winning 2022 Feature Film at the POLITICAL Feedback Film Festival.

HOT MONEY, 118min., USA,
Directed by Susan Kucera
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark and his son Wes Clark Jr. take us on a journey through the complicated realities of our financial system and its profound exposure to climate change. Hot Money outs the whole game, the whole charade, the whole crapshoot of the money system with all the humor and intelligence of a New Yorker cartoon. Combined with the wisdom of international business experts and academics, Hot Money is rich with historical context. It severs the knot of economic and political forces that may lead to societal collapse.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Project Links

Director Biography – Susan Kucera

Susan Kucera has been working in film since her youth, first as a camera assistant studying the Athabasca Glacier creating educational short films with her father, Glaciologist, Dr.Richard Kucera, for Encyclopaedia Britannica Film Corporation, then as a screenwriter and director of documentaries.

She produced, wrote, directed, and filmed Trading on Thin Air starring Nation Magazine’s Alex Cockburn (2009). She wrote, filmed, directed, edited, and co-produced For the Love of Tango starring Broadway’s Forever Tango, Jorge Torres (2014). She directed and filmed Improv(e) (2011) a documentary short highlighting the work of the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and the teens from John C. Fremont High School in LA. She directed, filmed, and edited award-winning Breath of Life, starring Richard Dawkins (2014). Susan is director and cinematographer of the film Living in the Futures Past, a collaboration with Academy award-winning Jeff Bridges. The film has won multiple awards including the New York Film Festival and the UN gold medal for Outstanding Achievement in International Communications which best exemplifies the ideals and goals of the United Nations.

Susan lives in Hawaii and Washington State. She enjoys small-scale farming and hiking in between her time filming. Susan’s documentaries have been featured in the U.S, Canada, and the UK on National Geographic, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Shaw, NHK, KCET, LINK TV, Time Warner, and schools and universities as well as translated for and featured on platforms in China, Germany, and Argentina.

Director Statement

I met General Clark and his son Wes Jr. while filming Living In the Future’s Past then met the General again at a speaking engagement two years later and the kernel of a film planted itself in my mind – a conversation between a father and son on how climate change will affect our financial system. It seemed logical to follow up to the introspective Living In The Future’s Past with a nuts and bolts view of how the machinery of our money system contributes and reacts to climate change. We lined up a broad and diverse cast of experts who’ve spent their lives doing the work. What we could see emerging was an easy to understand story whose depth is masked by its light-hearted breeziness. The Covid 19 pandemic cut short our filming and I turned to a New Yorker cartoonist to visualize concepts so somebody like me, who doesn’t have an MBA or ever worked in finance, can be simultaneously entertained and enlightened about one of the prime forces driving our world – debt.

Hot Money is an important film for right now as America stands on the brink of conflict. Many people lack context interpreting the world and this documentary delivers it. Conversations taped more than a year ago about wildfires making homes impossible to insure and the ripple effect that will roar through the financial system seem as startlingly prescient as the scenes describing populist breakdown in a country like Venezuela and how it can happen here. Hot Money offers a glimpse into our future and a chance to avoid the dangerous course we are on. To solve a problem we have to understand it.

March 2022 Festival – Highlights and Videos

Showcase of the best FILMS in the world today.

Audience Award Winners:
BEST SHORT FILM: COMMON GROUNDS?
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: COUNTY
BEST FEATURE FILM: BLOODY PETROL

Watch the Audience Feedback Video for each film:

COMMON GROUNDS?, 30min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Raed Truett Gilliam

In an age of hyperpolarization, the UVA Center for Politics documentary “Common Grounds?” examines the political climate on a college campus, at the Grounds of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson. Through interviews with students from across the political spectrum, and a group dialogue between some of these students, the film asks a simple question: “Can tomorrow’s generation find common ground?”

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!



COUNTY, 26min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Fahim Hamid

The biggest secret in politics is the smallest office you could possibly run for. “County” is a documentary about County Committee—the fundamental building blocks of our democracy that our Parties don’t want you to know about—and the activists in NYC fighting to unveil and reform a corrupt system.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!



BLOODY PETROL, 52min., Netherlands, Documentary

Directed by Reza Azadi

From Nov. 16th till Nov 21th, 2019, only within less than a week ,the ruling government in Iran, massacred over 1500 citizens in the streets of several country’s cities Regretfullv word’s mainstream media reaction to such massacre was complete silence.and international media didn’t cover a bit of such a human massacre.This documentary tries to showcase a small portion of that massacr,e nothing less than a genocide.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!


Feature Film: BLOODY PETROL, 52min., Netherlands, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

BLOODY PETROL, 52min., Netherlands, Documentary
Directed by Reza Azadi
From Nov. 16th till Nov 21th, 2019, only within less than a week ,the ruling government in Iran, massacred over 1500 citizens in the streets of several country’s cities Regretfullv word’s mainstream media reaction to such massacre was complete silence and international media didn’t cover a bit of such a human massacre.This documentary tries to showcase a small portion of that massacre nothing less than a genocide.

Project Links

Director Biography – Reza Azadi

My name is Reza Azadi. Im 51 years old originally from Iran,where i was a professional actor. In 2000 i moved to the Netherlands, where i have made 4 documentary film sofar.
Holocaust ,,, myth ?! 2007

Black Spring 2009

The Literature of the Miracle of the Third Millennium 2011

God’s Still Sheviring 2013

Short Film: COMMON GROUNDS?, 30min., USA, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

COMMON GROUNDS?, 30min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Raed Truett Gilliam
In an age of hyperpolarization, the UVA Center for Politics documentary “Common Grounds?” examines the political climate on a college campus, at the Grounds of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson. Through interviews with students from across the political spectrum, and a group dialogue between some of these students, the film asks a simple question: “Can tomorrow’s generation find common ground?”

Project Links

News & Reviews

Director Biography – Raed Truett Gilliam

Raed is a dedicated storyteller with a global outlook. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, his life has been one long cross-cultural experience, sparking in him a desire to tell stories that build empathy and understanding.

He is graduating in May 2022 with a Foreign Affairs degree from the University of Virginia, where he was privileged to direct, film, and edit the first ever student-produced documentary for Dr. Larry Sabato’s UVA Center for Politics, “Common Grounds?” Produced during the pandemic, the documentary that investigates the political climate among students at UVA and brings into dialogue students from across the political spectrum.

Director Statement

It was summer of my junior year of high school, and not very long after I had started working on my college applications, that the Grounds of the University of Virginia became the stage for the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (August 11-12). That was the event that Biden used to launch his presidential campaign, and it all started right at the heart of our campus.

A few years on, the ripples are still felt in a tense and divided political college climate. As an intern at the UVA Center for Politics, founded by Dr. Larry Sabato, I suggested that we create a short, student-produced documentary interviewing students from across the political spectrum. Do students at the university Thomas Jefferson founded want to find common ground? What would that look like? This film seeks to start a conversation.

I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, in a society plagued by sectarian divisions. The US political scene was a new context, a new experience of the same old human instinct to build walls and shun people of “other tribes”. The hardest part about building a bridge is deciding to start.

It is my hope that, through this documentary, audiences can walk away thinking about what kind of person they want to be, and what conversations they want to seek out and maybe even initiate! That’s why the film’s title is a question: do we want to find common ground on these Grounds?

Short Film: COUNTY, 26min., USA, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

COUNTY, 26min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Fahim Hamid
The biggest secret in politics is the smallest office you could possibly run for. “County” is a documentary about County Committee—the fundamental building blocks of our democracy that our Parties don’t want you to know about—and the activists in NYC fighting to unveil and reform a corrupt system.

Project Links

Director Biography – Fahim Hamid

Fahim Hamid is a Bangladeshi-born and Brooklyn-raised filmmaker who started out as an actor. After getting involved in social and political activism in NYC, he began making commercials and documentary videos for campaigns and organizations. “County” is his first film.

Director Statement

“County” is the culmination of my experiences with political organizing in New York. I hope for it to shed light on a fascinating but oft-overlooked aspect of our democratic system.

February 2022 Festival – Highlights and Videos

Showcase of the best FILMS in the world today.

Audience Award Winners:
BEST FEATURE FILM: TRACK AND TRACE: YEAR ONE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
BEST SHORT FILM: THE LONG GOODBYE
BEST DOCUMENTARY: DEAR HONG KONG
BEST HUMAN INTERNET FILM: BLACK LOVE

Watch the Audience Feedback Video for each film:

THE LONG GOODBYE, 7min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Heidi Neff

This is a personal documentary of Election Day 2020 to Inauguration Day 2021.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!



DEAR HONG KONG, 19min., Hong Kong, Documentary

Directed by Katusha Jin

Dear Hong Kong is a film about the separation between people caused by cultural differences in Hong Kong, mainland China, the East and the West. The film shows the opposite views of two friends of the director: one who was born in Hong Kong and chose to leave, and another who was born in mainland China and is trying to build a life in Hong Kong. It looks at people who reflect on their relationship with Hong Kong, how they’ve been affected by the city, as well as their thoughts about identity and the meaning of home.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!



BLACK LOVE, 10min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Darrell Anthony Reynolds

What does love mean to you? Now, what does black love mean to you? Can you tell me what is black love?

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!



TRACK AND TRACE: YEAR ONE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, 59min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Chad Cogdill, Tricia Fulks-Kelley

As a pneumonia epidemic took hold in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, the rest of the world didn’t know what awaited it. Within weeks, it was determined the province had a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

WATCH HERE – The audience feedback video of the film!

CLICK HERE and see full info and more pics of the film!


Short Film: THE LONG GOODBYE, 7min., USA, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

This is a personal documentary of Election Day 2020 to Inauguration Day 2021.

Project Links

Director Biography – Heidi Neff

Heidi Neff is Professor of Art + Design at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, where she was granted a sabbatical to work on animations for the Spring semester of 2020. Despite headaches of online teaching, small children, and a love/hate relationship with technology, Heidi makes apocalyptic animations with a hand-drawn/hand-painted aesthetic. Heidi earned her MFA from University of Iowa and her BFA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She makes her home in Maryland with her husband, Paul Chuffo, and their two children, Max and Maya.

Short Film: DEAR HONG KONG, 19min., Hong Kong, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Dear Hong Kong is a film about the separation between people caused by cultural differences in Hong Kong, mainland China, the East and the West. The film shows the opposite views of two friends of the director: one who was born in Hong Kong and chose to leave, and another who was born in mainland China and is trying to build a life in Hong Kong. It looks at people who reflect on their relationship with Hong Kong, how they’ve been affected by the city, as well as their thoughts about identity and the meaning of home.

Director Biography – Katusha Jin

Katusha Jin is a director, writer, and producer from the U.K. Although primarily known for her film work, she has also worked in the theatre and editorial scenes. Katusha grew up in a trilingual and multicultural environment, which cultivated her interest in collaborations between artists of diverse backgrounds. In her spare time, she participates in art exhibitions, produces music, and conducts research on the effects of cultural identity, parenting, and education on mental health.

Director Statement

Dear Hong Kong is a film about the separation between people caused by cultural differences in Hong Kong, mainland China, the East and the West. The film shows the opposite views of two of my friends: one who was born in Hong Kong and chose to leave, and another who was born in mainland China and is trying to build a life in Hong Kong. This documentary is a look at our complex relationships with the city, as well as our thoughts about identity and the meaning of home.

Short Film: TRACK AND TRACE: YEAR ONE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, 59min., USA, Documentary

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

As a pneumonia epidemic took hold in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, the rest of the world didn’t know what awaited it. Within weeks, it was determined the province had a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. saw its first case of the novel virus on January 20, 2020, after a Washington state man traveled from Wuhan. It soon began spreading across state borders as hospitals readied for the worst and global health officials declared it a pandemic.

This month-by-month chronicling of America’s first year of the pandemic highlights what experts were faced with when it came to the misinformation, the mismanagement and the politicization of the virus.

Project Links