POLITICAL Festival Best Scene Reading: My Cold Dead Hands, by Michael Dunker

After the federal government passes a law to confiscate all military assault rifles in the United States, they create a task force to carry out these collections. In the onslaught of these interactions, a school shooting survivor refuses to accept the law citing if he had a gun, he could have stopped it.

CAST LIST:
Narration: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
VICTOR: Allan Michael Brunet
RAY: Geoff Mays
KELLY: Kyana Teresa
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December 2021 Festival – Highlights and Videos

Festival Awards:
Best Film: ALTERNATURE MATH
Best Documentary: FAKE
Best Satire: I AM THE CANDIDATE
Best Direction: THEE WHO HESITATES…..
Best Sound & Music: RADIX 2
Best Cinematography: THE GAME THE DOUBT

Watch the Audience Feedback Videos of the films:

ALTERNATIVE MATH, 9min., USA, Comedy

Directed by David Maddox

A well meaning math teacher finds herself trumped by a post-fact America.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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FAKE, 8min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Alan J. Chriest

Fake news is not new – but now it’s digital. From click-bait headlines to cyber disinformation, we are easily manipulated. What do we gain and what do we lose by our unquestioned beliefs that control our actions?

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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I AM THE CANDIDATE, 3min., USA, Satire

Directed by Joseph Messer

Political Satire.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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THEE WHO HESITATES…., 8min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Kelly Perine

On April 24th, 2021, I got my 2nd vaccination shot. It came with a tinge of hope as I’d been locked down like the rest of the world for over a year. Now mere months later, with the Delta variant running rampant, the vaccination rates of African-Americans have slowed and we’re on the brink of another shutdown and outbreak. Why? In “Thee Who Hesitates…”, I explore my own journey to getting vaccinated and pondered the question of why African-Americans and people of color are still hesitant to get theirs. Even as the disease continues to spread.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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RADIX 2, 6min., Japan, Dance

Directed by Cristiano Leone

RADIX, conceived and directed by Cristiano Leone, is an audio-visual project that promotes a dialogue between contemporary creation and historical heritage.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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THE GAME THE DOUBT, 25min., Iran, Drama

Directed by Hamid Reza Mahmoudi

After a couple of years of effective efforts, Reza became a writer of the artist. He had to leave his country due to a lot of restrictions, which were an obstacle to achieve his dreams and his goals. Therefore, he made a pivotal decision which led to unexpected events and a lot of problems for him.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video

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Director BIO: Chris Farina (WE’RE ALL ZOMBIES)


I’ve been wandering around manifesting films all my life. I have had many adventures, and the stories all have energy and life. I’m also a ballerina and other artsy things, but i have yet to call myself an artist. I suspect many sensitive souls will identify with that hang up. Hey, that’s a pretty nice picture of me. That’s unusual. And I throw glamorous parties.

Director Statement

Nothing is as it seems, and once you see the truth, you can’t unsee it. Why is that, when magic is an invisible force? i don’t know, either. Love and light.

Short Film: RADIX 2, 6min., Japan, Dance

RADIX, conceived and directed by Cristiano Leone, is an audio-visual project that promotes a dialogue between contemporary creation and historical heritage.

RADIX 2 stars the Basque choreographer and dancer Iratxe Ansa and the Italian dancer Igor Bacovich.

Through this artistic video, Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich pay homage to the cultural heritage of two anti-fascist intellectuals, the Spanish poet of Italian origins Rafael Alberti and his wife, the writer Maria Teresa León.

Having fled Franco’s Spain, the Alberti’s arrived in Rome following a long period in exile. During their time in Rome, Rafael Alberti wrote the poetic anthology Roma, peligro para caminantes, while Maria Teresa León wrote her vibrant autobiography, Memoria de la Melancolía.

In the short movie, the dancers (couple in life and art, just like Alberti and León) recite some verses extracted from these two works, evoking both the severe pain of a life in exile and the hope for a new beginning in the city that had just welcomed them: Rome in the 1960s. Both città Eterna (Eternal city) and città Sparita (Vanished city), Rome in the 1960s is the fierce city depicted by Fellini, in which the excessive baroque architecture coexists with ruins covered with inscriptions of love and politics.

The soundtrack is conceived for the occasion by the Spanish composer Marc Álvarez, who pays tribute to the orchestral compositions of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota, restoring a lifeline that connects ancient Rome to the tempo of the 1960s.

In RADIX 2, the Baths of Caracalla are not only a magnificent setting: they become protagonists of the video as the dancers, whose bodies blend with the spaces of the ancient Palestre, the Caldarium and the Frigidarium, spreading like shadows over the roman mosaics and reinhabiting the openings that once hosted majestic statues.

The words of Rafael Alberti and Maria Teresa León, evoked by the dancers within this setting, acquire a powerful symbolism. The Baths were built by the emperor Antonino Caracalla who in 212 AD issued the Constitutio Antoniana, an edict that granted Roman citizenship to all the inhabitants of the empire.

In a time of political crisis, marked in recent weeks by the tragedy of the Afghan exiles, RADIX 2 is a tribute to all the people who are forced to leave their country and to those who live a form of exile for having chosen to defend their ideals.

Director BIO: Kelly Perine (THEE WHO HESITATES….)

Since graduating from Pomona College in ’91 with a Film Studies degree, then attending UC Irvine in ’98 where he received an MFA in drama, Kelly has been a mainstay on television. He is recognized everywhere he goes from his starring roles on The Drew Carey Show, One On One, Seinfeld, Between Brothers, and Knight Squad. Kelly understands the actor’s process, knows how to pull a performance out of even the most shy actor, and loves being around creative and talented people more than he loves bacon.
Kelly often teams up with fellow Pomona grad Bry Sanders and the directing duo known as “The Sanderine Brothers” have created some of the most unique fare being produced today. Their film “Downward Hiro” won numerous Best Short Film awards and the feature script for the project has garnered glowing Black List reviews and is currently being shopped around. But for “Thee Who Hesitates…”, Kelly solos the helm and navigates a personal narrative on why he believes that getting vaccinated at this point in America’s history is especially critical for communities of color.

Director Statement

We find ourselves at an inflection point in our world’s history. The world is trying to find a way out of a once in a 100-year pandemic. Covid-19 has shut the planet down for a year, plus. And as we try to find a way to the other side, misinformation and disinformation are leading the United States to the brink of a self-perpetuating calamity. In the United States, where vaccines are available to everyone, many people in every community are choosing not to get their shots. Why? And as with all negative forces, the African-American community and communities of color are the hardest hit.

I hope you’ll watch “Thee Who Hesitates…” and it starts a discussion about getting vaccinated. A discussion, unfortunately, I know will be going on for some time to come.

Short Film: THEE WHO HESITATES…., 8min., USA, Documentary

On April 24th, 2021, I got my 2nd vaccination shot. It came with a tinge of hope as I’d been locked down like the rest of the world for over a year. Now mere months later, with the Delta variant running rampant, the vaccination rates of African-Americans have slowed and we’re on the brink of another shutdown and outbreak. Why? In “Thee Who Hesitates…”, I explore my own journey to getting vaccinated and pondered the question of why African-Americans and people of color are still hesitant to get theirs. Even as the disease continues to spread.