Dances With Films, the iconic Los Angeles based Film Festival today announced their 2016 Narrative Feature & Short Film Competition programs for its 19th Festival edition. Dances With Films (DWF) is known as an important showcase of emerging directors, producers, actors and this year’s edition will surpass the true cinefile’s dreams.
The 2016 fest will include a vast selection of richly imaginative films, showcasing 16 narrative features and 31 short films. The 47 competitive films line-up with a record 47 premieres – 22 World, 3 North American, 1 US premieres, 15 West Coast, 2 California, 1 Los Angeles, and 3 Southern California. This year’s competition films feature acclaimed casts including: Ione Skye (“Say Anything”), Randall Park (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Annette O’Toole (“Superman III”), John Glover (“Smallville”), French Stewart (“3rd Rock From the Sun”), Nick Mancuso (“Stingray”), Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville”), Jay Ellis (“The Game”), Chris Weihl (“What Boys Like”), Lucy Russell (“Batman Begins”), Greg Powell (“Contagion”), Camille Sullivan (“The Butterfly Effect”), Gabrielle Rose (“If I Stay”), among others.
“Shining light on these exceptionally talented artists, who will almost all be here for their screenings is an exciting part of the DWF experience. With so many local and international voices to be heard, we’re very proud of our diverse slate,” states Leslee Scallon, Festival Co-Founder.
2016 marks continued expansive growth with a 30% increase in submissions for DWF as they celebrate their 19th “fiercely independent” festival season presented over 11 days, beginning with an opening night party on June 2nd and culminating in the closing awards ceremony & after party on June 12th, all centrally located in the Hollywood & Highland complex.
“As time evolves, so does the creative process and we’re in the age of film where there are no more borders to filmmaking which is never more apparent than with our global collaborations in this year’s line-up,” shares Michael Trent, Festival Founder.
Dances With Films is known as a unique and exhilarating discovery festival for introducing breakthrough filmmakers. Some have referred to it as a “summer camp” for filmmakers because of its awesomely friendly spirit and continual efforts helping filmmakers forge relationships that will last long after the glimmer of the fest is over. Dances With Films is proud to present the best of unknown filmmakers pushing the boundaries of filmmaking with innovation and unique talent.
Dances With Films 2016 Film Festival season 19 will take place from June 2nd-12th, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at: Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.
NARRATIVE FEATURES PROGRAM
BAD, BAD MEN (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER: Allen C. Gardner
DIRECTORS: Brad Ellis, Allen C. Gardner
PRODS: Gabe Arredondo, Brad Ellis, Allen C. Gardner, Adam Johnson, Sean T. Faust
CAST: Allen C. Gardner, Drew Smith, Matt Mercer, Gabe Arredondo, Adam Burns, Matthew Gilliam, Nathan Ross Murphy, Maria Waslenko
SYNOPSIS: After being taunted by a cocksure “big shot” at a coffee shop, a timid young man enlists his two best friends to help him track his newfound bully down and put him in his place. They do just that, but misguided machismo then fuels an ensuing battle of wills.
THE BIRDWATCHER (US PREMIERE)
WRITER: Roslyn Muir
DIRECTOR: Siobhan Devine
PRODS: Alexandra Raffe, Carol Whiteman, Siobhan Devine, Ines Eisses, Roslyn Muir, Alexandra Raffe
CAST: Camille Sullivan, Gabrielle Rose, Matreya Fedor, Jakob Davies and Garwin Sanford
SYNPOSIS: The Birdwatcher is the story of Saffron, a single mother of two, who after being diagnosed with cancer, embarks on a journey to re-connect with her estranged birth mother in the hopes of finding family for her children.
CREEDMORIA (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Alicia Slimmer
PRODS: Alicia Slimmer, Clifton Leaf, Doneen Lombardi, Derek Anthony Welte, Machi Davis, Silvia Galombik
CAST: Stef Dawson, Rachel de Benedet, Ray Abruzzo, Steve Cavanaugh
SYNOPSIS: Candy injects the “fun” in her dysfunctional life. When your brother is found by a neighbor naked and drunk, you’re stuck with a caveman of a boyfriend, you have a dickhead boss, and the madness of everyday life competes with your mother’s need to appear “normal,” you have to peek between the cracks to find the warm rays of hope. But, maybe normalcy is just a construct for other people. And, maybe breaking out of the institution is more important than fitting in. After years of trying to save those she loves, it’s time for Candy to save herself.
DINNER WITH THE ALCHEMIST (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER: Jenna St. John
DIRECTOR: Kevin Good
PRODS: Kevin Good, Jenna St. John, Barry Gribble, Erin Goldstein
CAST: Dan Istrate, Dionne Audain, Megan Graves
SYNPOSIS: In the early 1900s, a wealthy alchemist, Jacques St. Germaine, travels to New Orleans to seek help from the legendary voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. When a spate of murders are uncovered, Jacques and the quarreling locals butt heads as they try to discover the identity of the killer. Featuring a cast of characters pulled from actual police reports, Dinner with the Alchemist weaves historical fact and imaginative storytelling into a mysterious supernatural drama.
HEROES DON’T COME HOME (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Jake Hulse
PRODS: Kelly Henshaw, Mike Haas
CAST: Andrew Casanova, Tyler McElroy, Roberty Schorr
SYNOPSIS: Deep in the woods of Maine, a broken promise made after the September 11th attacks forces two friends to confront the teenagers they were and the men they’ve become.
THE HOMEFRONT (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Fidel Ruiz-Healy & Tyler Walker
PRODS: Sofia Rosenzweig, Jordan Michael Blake, Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, The American Standard Film Co.
CAST: Rachel Povse, Gerry Eddins, David Laurence, Lindsey Van De Kirk, Jack Wirt
SYNOPSIS: Eight years into the invasion of the United States: An isolated southern family stays at home, safe from the combat, struggling to keep up an illusion of normalcy while food and supplies diminish. Their uneasy peace is threatened by the rumblings of war on the radio, and the arrival of their estranged uncle who has fled the front lines. As the invasion bears down on their home, the family’s quest for routine becomes more desperate and absurd. An idiosyncratic dark comedy about the crumbling nuclear family.
I LIVE FOR YOU (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER: Brandon Zinn, Monika Wesley
DIRECTOR: Monika Wesley
PRODS: Brandon Zinn, Mark Amin, Cami Winikoff, Tyler Boehm, Kevin Johnson, Isabella Tugman
CAST: Hannah Telle, Rob Hook, Eric Davis
SYNOPSIS: Leaving his father’s funeral, Sean discovers a note about an older half-brother named Henry that he never knew. When Sean arrives at Henry’s house, he meets Kate, the mysterious man’s stepdaughter. She is beautiful, disarming and instantly captivating. Kate informs Sean that Henry is a dangerous criminal who sells drugs on the streets of Downtown LA. She agrees to help Sean find his brother, but not without fair warning. As Sean spends time with Kate, he begins to fall for her, but nothing is really as it seems. As Sean gets closer to uncovering the truth, he wonders whom it is that he should really suspect.
MIKAEL (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Kordo Doski
PRODS: Kordo Doski, Jose Moreno Brooks, Nameer Al-Durrah, Michael Ciulla, John St. Valery
CAST: Kordo Doski, Jose Moreno Brooks, Randall Park, Sitara Hewitt, Mivan Shaban, Adil Abdolrahman
SYNOPSIS: Far past his prime at age 33, Mikael pursues his lifelong dream of a professional soccer career. Left with one option, he travels from Los Angeles to Kurdistan Iraq, his ancestral home, in an effort to redeem his once prodigious potential and heal his soul.
MISFORTUNE (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER: Xander Bailey & Desmond Devenish
DIRECTOR: Desmond Devenish
PRODS: Desmond Devenish, Scott Lautanen, Roger Steilen, Sarah Kinga Smith
CAST: Desmond Devenish, Xander Bailey, Jenna Kanell, Kevin Gage, Steve Earle, Nick Mancuso
SYNOPSIS: When a young man down on his luck learns about the parole of his father’s killer, it ignites a cat and mouse chase through the treacherous desert, in search of a priceless set of diamonds. As events spiral out of control, the prospects of a criminal fugitive lifestyle become an inevitable reality.
POP-UP (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Stuart McBratney
PRODS: Stuart McBratney, Becks Abramovic, Eduard Schneider
CAST: Clara Voda, Eugene Gilfedder, Greg Powell, Ellacoco Hammer, Brenton Prince, Evan Olman, Maria Ploae, Laura Vasiliu
SYNOPSIS: “Pop-Up” tells three interweaving stories about people affected by one random event: An unemployed father finds a camera containing a single photo of a woman’s face. Smitten, he tracks her down. A Romanian immigrant attempts to overcome heartbreak by giving away home-made pop-up cards to everyone she knows. And a sleep-deprived theatre director seeks deadly revenge on a scathing critic.
ROAD TO THE WELL (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Jon Cvack
PRODS: Jon Cvack, Tim Davis, Nick Mathews, Brittany White
CAST: Laurence Fuller, Micah Parker, Marshall R. Teague
SYNOPSIS: Three old friends are reunited after two of them become involved in a seemingly random murder, journeying up to the Northern California Sierra in order to bury the body.
THE SALTON SEA (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Veena Sud
PRODS: Chad Ostrom, Shana Fischer Huber
CAST: Jamie Anne Allman, Diarra Kilpatrick
SYNOPSIS: A driver, an alcoholic, has been driving aimlessly for weeks in the desert. She hits something on a remote road…. Is it human or animal? Did it die? Instead of checking, she flees the scene. Someone sees her, a young Hitchhiker who’s been wandering these desert roads for years. The Hitchhiker blackmails the Driver into giving her a ride to the sea – and thus begins the odyssey of two troubled women on the run through a deserted land as broken, as parched and as in need of redemption, as they are.
SINGAPORE SLING (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
WRITER: Neto DePaula Pimenta
DIRECTOR: Marcus Sigrist
PRODS: Neto DePaula Pimenta
CAST: Cinthya Hussey, Samuel de Assis, Angelica di Paula, Neto DePaula Pimenta
SYNOPSIS: Two estranged former lovers reconnect 12 years after their sudden break up for a friendly brunch, with their current mates in tow. Will their past infringe in their present and jeopardize their future?
SHORTWAVE (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Ryan Gregory Phillips
PRODS: Robert Klieger, Anthony Mancilla, Lindsay Lanzillotta, Thomas McDaniel, Ryan Gregory Phillips
CAST: Cristobal Tapia Montt, Sara Malakul Lane, Juanita Ringeling, Jay Ellis, Kyle Davis, Nina Senicar
SYNOPSIS: Josh and Isabel Harris, after suffering the loss of their only child, relocate to a secluded hillside research facility with the hopes of repairing their broken family. After years of trying, Josh and his research partner, Thomas, have a breakthrough involving a cryptic shortwave radio signal and its universal origins. Something within the signal resonates with Isabel and she begins experiencing seeming hallucinations and visions of distant memories. Upon further investigation into the phenomenon, the scientists fear for Isabel’s health while Isabel fears the signal has attracted something sinister to their new home.
VIRTUAL REVOLUTION (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR/PROD: Guy-Roger Duvert
CAST: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hagele, Maximillien Poullein
SYNOPSIS: 2047. 75% of the population spend all their time online, and don’t care about reality anymore. Nash is a Hybrid, sharing his time between reality and virtual worlds. He is also a killer, paid by multinational companies to track down and eliminate terrorists who threaten the system. His new investigation takes him from the most opulent parts of Neo Paris to its dirtiest slums, but also through different virtual worlds he needs to log into. But when he finds himself in the middle of a dangerous game between the multinational companies, the terrorists, and Interpol, choices have to be made…
WE GO ON (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER: Andy Mitton
DIRECTOR: Andy Mitton
PRODS: Andy Mitton, Jesse Holland
CAST: Annette O’Toole, Clark Freeman, John Glover, Giovanna Zacarius, Jay Dunn, Laura Heisler
SYNOPSIS: Miles Grissom lives with a fear of death that keeps him alone, afraid, and stuck in life. When he comes into some inheritance money, he offers a reward to the first person who can show him a ghost, a demon, a past-life memory – anything to prove we go on after we die – in hopes that having certainty will let him live without fear. He sorts through the thousands of responses to arrive at three viable candidates: a professor, a medium, and a worldly entrepreneur. Charlotte, Miles’s protective mother, joins him on his quest, and they embark on an adventure through Los Angeles – one that will spiral into a nightmare.
20 MATCHES (CALIFORNIA PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR/PROD: Mark Tapio Kines
CAST: Nina Rausch
SYNOPSIS: A young woman, her face illuminated only by match light, tells the story of an Austrian serial killer who murdered 20 immigrant women – one per year.
ATOMIC COUPLE! (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Rodrigo Espinosa
PRODS: Constanza Castro, Domenica Castro
CAST: Jessa Zarubica, Bobby Reed, Ben Solenberger, Art Napiontek
SYNOPSIS: Maggie Adams, a once promising nurse, is forced to confront the realities of her marriage when nuclear war breaks out and sets off a series of unexpected events that offer her a glimmer of hope to returning to who she yearns to be.
THE BOY WHO CRIED FISH (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Dalia Musaad
PRODS: Anabelle Munro, Jason Daks, Dalia Musaad
CAST: Breeda Wool, Jacob Hopkins
SYNPOSIS: Miranda’s life falls into pieces when her son, Adam, wouldn’t take off her blue bra. After accidentally watching a violent incident on Television, Adam carries the burden of what he saw to face a similar situation. As a single mother of a child in the spectrum, Miranda finds a way of coping when she understands how the personal intertwines with the universal.
A DISTANT SHOT (CALIFORNIA PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR/PROD: James Paul
CAST: Kolja Slezacek, John Paul Franke, Pavol Greco, Sárka Ullrichová
SYNOPSIS: Czechoslovakia – 1958 – how a defining moment can affect a family, a country, and one man’s lifetime seen through the eyes of a Czechoslovakian track runner on the day of the biggest race of his life.
A SNIFF, A LICK, & A TASTE (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: David Ledwith
PRODS: Daniel Galuppo
CAST: Belle Adams, Michael Gmur, Alex Ameen
SYNOPSIS: After escaping prison, two unlikely characters try to survive in the wild.
BEAUTIFUL DREAMER (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: David Gaddie
PRODS: David Gaddie, Quentin Little
CAST: Jo Armeniox, Natalie Smith, Theis Weckesser, Caroline Bednar, Lynn Cohen
SYNOPSIS: Facing a terminal disease, a mother uses space travel and relativity to stretch her last two years over the lifetime of her baby daughter, visiting for only one night every seven years. Mother and daughter must negotiate to build a relationship despite the longing and estrangement that mark the moments they are able to share.
THE FINAL SCENE (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Sonny Valicenti
PRODS: Rick Valicenti, Barb Valicenti, Gavin Boyd, Sonny Valicenti, Christine Weber, Mark Baker
CAST: Sonny Valicenti, Ren Bell, Nora Wyman, Quincy Miller, Daniel Blinkoff, Georgia Cohen, Christine Weber
SYNOPSIS: The Final Scene experiences the break up of legendary 50’s comedy duo Martin and Lewis.
FLESH AND BLOOD (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Merlin Camozzi
PRODS: Tim Lewis, David Oh, Ben Haigh, Merlin Camozzi
CAST: Clint Jordan, Hannah Telle, Charlotte Alexis White
SYNOPSIS: When a fast-moving virus threatens to turn her father into a violent monster, 18 year-old Max must lead him and her younger sister, Ellen, through a perilous mountain range in hope of finding a cure on the other side.
FUTURE BOYFRIEND (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Ben Rock
PRODS: Emily Bell, Ron Morehouse
CAST: Emily Bell, Ron Morehouse, French Stewart, Pat McNeely, Dominic Mora
SYNOPSIS: Stuart and Kaylie are enjoying their third date when Stuart reveals a secret that threatens to derail their budding romance. Is he telling the truth or is it science fiction?
GET THE F K OUT OF PARIS (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Greg Emetaz
PRODS: Greg Emetaz, Sarah Arlen, Rachel Carey, Jean-David Béroard
CAST: Sarah Arlen, Holly Mae Haddock, Jean-David Béroard
SYNOPSIS: A text message turns a depressing laundry night into a mad dash for survival.
THE GIFT (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Tarique Qayumi
WRITER/PRODS: Tajana Susanna Prka
CAST: Zohal Sajjadi
SYNOPSIS: A young teenage girl is arranged into a marriage where books and toys get cast aside for domestic duties. However, when she is all grown with a daughter of her own will she follow tradition and marry her daughter off or give her a different option?
HOW I KILLED PISTOL ROGERS (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Ashlea Patterson
WRITERS: Gary Wilkerson Jr., Ashlea Patterson
PRODS: Spencer Frankeberger
CAST: Jessica Saul, Shanee Kiera Buckner, Arielle Raycene, Raechelle Egan, Katie Bottomley
SYNOPSIS: Frankie Applebee is a dreamer. And she totally deserves to be second in command to Pistol Rogers, the most popular girl in school. She’s like sure of it. But when the rules change and Frankie’s dream crumbles, her passion turns to vengeance and she crushes everything in her path, landing her in a place she never dreamed of.
IN PURSUIT (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Kevin Mead
WRITERS: Kevin Mead, Christina Strain
PRODS: Constanza Castro
CAST: Chelsea Edmundson, Sean Patrick McGowan
SYNOPSIS: A young couple moves cross-country to start a new life. But the moment they arrive, their car gets commandeered in a police chase. They set out on a quest to get it back, but the journey forces them to re-examine their relationship and figure out if they’re still chasing the same things… Can they recover what they had, or can they start over with nothing but each other?
JADA (LOS ANGELES PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Doug Roland
PRODS: Doug Roland, Michelle Luchese
CAST: Kaycie Bowens, JaCoby Breaux, Tanya Alexander, Doug Roland
SYNOPSIS: Jada is 7 years old. Jada lives alone on Venice Beach. By following her through a day in her life, the story of who she is, why she is there, and the identity of the man who has come looking for her unfolds.
MONSTERS (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Steve Desmond
WRITERS: Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman
PRODS: Michael Sherman, Aaron Billet, Ryan Lewis, Joe Russo, JR Arinaga, Jason Michael Berman, Steve Desmond, Heather Parra
CAST: Caitlin Carmichael, Ione Skye, Christopher Wiehl, Joey Luthman
SYNOPSIS: Jenn lives in an underground bunker with her family, protected from the monsters that now ravage the world. This is the day that she goes outside…
MONTY AND THE RUNAWAY FURNACE (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Joe Taranto
WRITERS: Joe Taranto, Amanda Stienhoff
PRODS: Vinnie Taranto, Reece Snyder, Tom Leach
CAST: Charlie Dierkop, Erik Passoja, Marissa Tait, Biff Wiff
SYNOPSIS: A kind, old maintenance man is in love with the furnace that powers the factory he works at because he thinks it’s his deceased wife and he has to save it from the new owner who wants everything replaced especially the furnace that reminds him of the previous owner, his dead father.
MOVE ME (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Gabe Crate
PRODS: Kerri Parker, John Salcido
CAST: Catherine Parker, Danny Jacobs, Aidan Bristow, Caroline Macey
SYNOPSIS: While hiking in a forest, a couple find an inexplicably immobile stranger with an antique plaque chained around his neck that reads “Human Contact Moves Me.” Upon touching him they discover that he is only able to move while in physical contact with another person. Though initially skeptical, the couple accept him into their lives, soon realizing that they may have found him for a reason.
MURMUR (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Aurora Fearnley
WRITER: Simon James Cookson
PRODS: Jude Goldrei, Maria Forsstrom, Sophie Reynolds
CAST: Lucy Russell, Olivia Morgan, Andrew Squires
SYNOPSIS: A young woman makes a dawn escape from a commune she has grown to distrust.
NEXT STOP (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Charlie Hamilton
PRODS: Charlie Hamilton, Karl Janisse, Jahte Le
CAST: Matt Murray, Tommy James Murphy, Alanna Bale, Serje Basi, Steven Love
SYNOPSIS: After trying a new hybrid strain of weed that combines 2 powerful sativa’s, James is transported into another dimension where nothing he knows makes sense. After befriending a young woman eager to help him, he’s thrust into a situation where he must protect her from her dangerous boyfriend while trying to figure out how to get back home.
POP (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Karen McPherson
PRODS: Karen McPherson, Bronny L
CAST: Simon Conlon, Briar Seyb-Hayden
SYNOPSIS: “POP” follows the misadventures of Bruno the clown who has lost his mojo and lust for entertaining. Bruno performs a dismal show at a child’s birthday party. Feeling burdened by his failing career, he begins to lose sight of the fun that is meant to encapsulate his work. However, when a visit to the hospital emergency room taints his already mundane life, a serendipitous new light is shone on his profession, revealing the positivity that performance can give to the world.
SELFIE (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTORS/PRODS: Michael Winokur, Iana Simeonov
WRITERS: Michael Winokur
CAST: Megan Brotherton
SYNOPSIS: A casual text from her boyfriend brings a woman to her knees. Selfie–it’s not as easy as you think.
SAMT (SILENCE) (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Chadi Aoun
PRODS: Chadi Aoun, Afac
SYNOPSIS: Silence is the only sound in the city of Ghabra. Any form of expression is met by death.SAMT is the introduction to a dysfunctional society that is about to implode.
SNAKE BITE (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Tim Hyten
WRITERS: Tim Hyten, Nick Sherman
PRODS: Tim Hyten, Hunter Hampton, Macgregor, Nick Sherman, Sara Chesney
CAST: Andrew Fox, Luke Darga, Holden Goyette, Gabe White
SYNOPSIS: Out for backwoods adventure, four boys find their friendship tested when one is bitten by a snake. But which is more dangerous – the notoriously fast-working venom of the Black Widowmaker, or the extreme measures they hope will save him?
[SOLITARY] (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Derek J. Pastuszek
PRODS: Cedric Gamelin, Fabrizio Muscia, Halee Bernard
CAST: Kofi Bamfo
SYNOPSIS: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Facility: STATE SUPERMAX.
Location: SEGREGATED HOUSING UNIT (SOLITARY CONFINEMENT).
Inmate/Cell No.: SHU-#B1-67.
H/W: 6′ / 170.
Category: SECURITY LVL 3 (HIGH THREAT).
SOME GIRLS’ MOTHERS (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
DIRECTORS: Dayla Kennedy & Colin Kennedy
WRITER: Dayla Kennedy
PRODS: Brooklyn Reynolds Gross, Dayla Kennedy, Colin Kennedy, Jefferis Gray
CAST: Georgie Grieve, Stacy Cunningham, Skye Popov
SYNOPSIS: Ten-year-old Grace, a budding musician and new wave fan, spends every afternoon at a friend’s house supposedly practicing piano, but secretly borrowing ‘80s records from the mother’s collection. When the mom returns home early one day, Grace senses a kindred spirit, but wonders if she should come clean about her thieving.
SPACE FOR RENT (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Henrik Sundgren
WRITERS: Michael Govier, L.J. Johnson
PRODS: Stephen Kovalcik, Rebekah Sindoris, Michael Govier, L.J. Johnson
CAST: Michael Govier, L.J. Johnson
SYNOPSIS: Space For Rent is a sweet comedy about a woman who finds a man living in her closet.
TATTOO YOU (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: S.R. Bindler
WRITER: Lisa Kenner Grissom
PRODS: Noam Dromi, Lisa Kenner Grissom
CAST: Jenica Bergere, Christina Kirk
SYNOPSIS: Tattoo You tells the story of two women from the same town, yet with very different backgrounds, who re-connect in the bathroom at their 20th high school reunion. Their troubled past breaks the cool veneer of the present. Some scars don’t fade away.
TEAR JERKER (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Amy Adler
WRITER: Sam Joans
PRODS: Anna Margarita Albelo
CAST: Sam Joans, Florence C. M. Klein, Pamela Mitchell, Akende Munalula, Lex Vaughn
SYNOPSIS: Elliot can’t cry and he needs to. He’s recently been dumped by his ex-girlfriend, who has decided she wants to exclusively date “real” men. His mother is descending deeper and deeper into the progression of her Alzheimer’s disease. And the testosterone he takes regularly seems to have made his body forget how to grieve. “Tear Jerker” is a portrait of a transgender guy faced with difficult life circumstances trying to find new ways to express old and familiar feelings.
TREND (WEST COAST PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Wu, “BruteSea” Hao-Wei
PRODS: Caster Wang, ChiaHsin Lin
CAST: Cleo Chien, Jia Bo Zhong
SYNOPSIS: “Have you been under surveillance constantly?” In the Great Digital Era as of 2015, the mobile device, which digitizes every possible dimension of human behavior through a firmware that far surpasses the utmost capacity human intellect can carry, has formed an unstoppable trend to take over the world. Despite the smartphone is encroaching the human brain in an irreversible manner, the Mankind stays “phubbing” like an overdosed addict that could not help but keep feeding never-ending data, until the genesis of new species. Yet, far before that, unprecedentedly, the nomophobia has worsened the deviation of human behavior.
TWINSBURG (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Joe Garrity
PRODS: Kate Charlotte Hodges, Kyle Parker
CAST: Joe Garrity, Phil Garrity, Kate Charlotte Hodges, Tess Hodges
SYNOPSIS: In a Midwestern town founded by identical brothers, thousands convene for the world’s largest gathering of twins. Jerry, sentimental about his fading twin identity, reunites with his reluctant brother Paul for a weekend of revelry and reconnection. At turns playful and painful, their childhood tradition strains to find a place in their newly changing lives.
WHEN A FLAME STANDS STILL (WORLD PREMIERE)
WRITER/DIR: Michael Mike Canon
PRODS: Randy Kulina, Zack Meyer, Cynthia Manzo, Michael Mike Canon
CAST: Adam Tsekhman, Addi Gefen, Anita Borcia
SYNOPSIS: While anti-Semitism is on the rise in Nazi Germany, a young couple takes on a cultural practice that prohibits them from making physical contact . . . and as they yearn for each other’s touch, they express their love in ways they never could have imagined.
DWF Festival Passes and ticket information can be found at www.danceswithfilms.com.
About Dances With Films
Starting humbly in 1998, DWF was designed as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrow’s talent today. With mostly World and West Coast Premieres, DWF provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit. Choosing films based solely on merit and discoverability, DWF remains the most devoted champion of fresh and creative voices, mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors or producers. For the past 19 years, DWF has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers – from Hoboken, NJ to Xiang, China – that fight year after year to see their dreams realized. Last year, 15 features were picked up for distribution at the festival. Now, with over 12,000+ festival attendees plus 2.5 million impressions per month on www.danceswithfilms.com, DWF remains the indie heartbeat of Hollywood.
At the core of DWF is the narrative competition section, comprising both features and shorts. DWF is comprised of 16 competition features and nearly 3 dozen competition shorts. In addition, DWF presents some of the most groundbreaking documentaries and cutting-edge music videos from the indie scene. All of this on top of the Fusion series, which brings together a multitude of amazing additional features and shorts.
Notable Dances With Films alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Gina Rodriguez, Bryan Cranston, Will Scheffer, Mark V. Olsen, Jesse Eisenberg, Mike Flanagan and John Hawkes, among others.
DWF’s Advisory Board includes: Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman and Steve Wegner.
2016 Dances With Films Film Festival Sponsors include: Movietickets.com, The Lot, SagIndie, Final Draft, VER, OHM Night Club, Lucky Strike, as well as the Loews Hollywood Hotel.