MASSIFF 2020

ONLINE EDITION

Block 1

Lockshop -11min

Patty Maestranzi's family has run the same two-room lockshop in South Boston for nearly a century. Small shops like hers used to line the neighborhood. Now, her Lockshop is among the last.

Dir. Cara Feinberg

Miyamoto and the Machine: The Story of KenKen - 39min

Enter a world where puzzles matter. From Tokyo to New York, from the classroom to the puzzle page to the tournament floor, Miyamoto and the Machine takes you into the brain of the inventor and the players, all while the machines of business and technology crash into Miyamoto's philosophies of artistry and humanity. Miyamoto believes each handcrafted puzzle tells a story, and if you look hard enough between the rows, columns and cages of KenKen, you can find the story of the sensei who started a global phenomenon.
dir: Dan Sullivan

City As Canvas: Above The Free Walls -1hr5min

City as Canvas: Above the Free Walls is a feature-length documentary exploring the legal graffiti art movement along the Modica Way, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Above the Free Walls reintroduces to the public audience the idea of a legal graffiti world. This film utilizes the graffiti art movement and form, along with street arts, public arts, graffiti arts, personal in-depth interviews, and never-before-seen works to address this visual adventure..

Dir. Weiying Olivia Huang

Block 2

 

The Temporary Place - 18min

A young man named Jonah finds himself inside of a virtual world. Upon awakening, an extraterrestrial being guides him through the past, present and future to explain the significance of their encounter.

dir: Garrett McNamee

Alternate Ground- 1hr32min

When a teenage boy is found after disappearing overnight, his unexplained behavior causes concern within the family, and a lack of medical answers leads to a revelation of alien abduction.

dir: Daniel Groom

Block 3

 

Rhinestone Blue - 7min

An aging cowboy sets out to compete for the grand prize in a small town talent show. When his plan goes awry, he’s left to win something much more meaningful.

dir: Aisha Schliessler

That Is All - 1hr47min
While trying to navigate life as he enters his 30s, Ryan slips further into loneliness. A chance meeting with a friend's boyfriend, Sam, changes that trajectory, and as they grow closer, Ryan must come to terms with who he is, and what that means for him and the life he's been living.

dir: Mark Weeden

Block 4

 

Best Evidence- 10min

A Chinese filmmaker is arrested while documenting a protest on the Boston Common. Accused of assaulting a police officer, he hopes a video of the incident might protect him.

dir: Alexander Bilodeau & Wei Dai

Finding Courage - 1hr20min
A former journalist for the Chinese Communist Party (YIFEI WANG), living in exile in San Francisco, struggles to settle into life in America while working to heal her family’s wounds from their tragic past. She is seeking justice for the murder of her sister at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Rare undercover footage of a meeting with the director of the labor camp where Yifei’s sister was killed reveals shocking admissions of torture, slave labor, corruption, and a general disregard for human life pervading the camp system today. Exclusive interviews with former Chinese Communist Party officials provide a unique insight into the hidden world of terror that many Chinese citizens live without ever knowing that life can, and does, exist with freedom outside their world.

dir: Kay Rubacek

Block 5

With Dad - 29min
WITH DAD is a short nonfiction film that documents the work of photographer Stephen DiRado, specifically during the period of his father’s mental decline and eventual death from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009. The film includes interview footage of DiRado, footage of DiRado handling prints of his work, high-resolution digital scans of DiRado's work and contemporaneous digital video footage, shot by Stephen's brother, Chris.

dir: Soren Sorensen

Six Locked Doors The Legacy of Cocoanut Grove - 1hr

Six Locked Doors explores the events leading up to the deadliest nightclub fire in American history on November 28, 1942 at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts, and the ensuing consequences of a tragedy that left 492 people dead..

dir: Zachary W. Gravaes-Miller

Block 6

 

Permeable - 19min

A desperate mother returns from her new habitat to save her young son from dying in a polluted world. While the mother plans to save the child through a mys- terious way, the father insists on medical treatment for the boy and a life in a contaminated world.

dir: Li Wang

Woman of the Photographs - 1hr29min
One day, middle-aged photographer and retouching artist Kai encounters Kyoko, a beautiful woman and model with a huge and ugly scar on her body. She asks Kai if he can erase the scar in her photographs of herself and create a perfect and flawless body by his retouching skills. Kyoko is fascinated by her new perfect looks in her photographs. At the same time, she is hesitant to show the world and her fans her ideal figures as in her photographs or to show her real self, scars and all. She is torn between the two selves and falls into confusion. Kai feels that only he can salvage Kyoko from her anguishes, and he is determined to love her at all costs, even if it means death to him. “WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS” is a film that depicts the fascination and the passion in this encounter between two people awakening for the first time, to love and empathy.

dir: Takeshi Kushida

Block 7

 

NINE - 8min

A history of the one of the first Women’s Crew teams to petition for the right to organize in 1973, after the passage of TITLE 9. This is their story.

dir: Jane Musky

 

De Rien (It's Nothing) - 13min
 

dir: Nicolas Mourgère

'Til Debt Due Us Part - 1hr19min

In this documentary, filmmaker Frankie Frain and his wife Nina examine the high cost and often needless complexity of modern weddings.

dir: Frankie Frain, Nina Szulewski

Block 8

 

The Reaper - 19min

A hitman reassesses his moral values after making a mistake on the job.

dir: Teddy Pryor

Woe - 1hr24min
A brother and sister stumble upon their father's secret one year after his death. They soon learn that his secret may not be his alone.

dir: Matthew Robert Goodhue

 

 

Block 9

 

Retract - 15min

A young woman deals with an endless amount of street harassment throughout her day until she can't take it anymore.

dir: Alexandra Spieth

 

The Process- 1hr44min
Sindile and his two best friends push the limits of their patience while maneuvering through their hometown and its local rap scene.

dir: Jake Fay

Block 10

Just Friends -11min

A trans boy works up the courage to come out to his childhood friend despite Patty’s desire for things to remain the same.

Dir. Spencer Barrett

Hail Mary - 9min

A girl with cystic fibrosis sneaks out of the hospital to go to her high school prom.
dir: Joe LaRocca

 

Six Weeks to Twelve Years -1hr11min

After the death of their abusive father, two estranged twin brothers must travel to their patriarch's coastal Maine home to sell off the bequeathed property and reconcile with their past. Shot in a free-flowing and raw documentary style, and featuring a lush, curated soundtrack by The Glow, LVL UP, and Tyler Burkhart. Six Weeks To Twelve Years straddles the line between the hilarious and the uncomfortable.

Dir. Christopher Nicastro

Block 11

 

Daniel - 12min

Daniel the main character is stuck in a rental house in upstate New York waiting for someone to arrive.

dir: Antonio De La Cruz

Get Up Eight- 22min

When a girl with a haunted past is faced with the decision to relapse or continue working on her sobriety, she must decide if she will end up like her father or break the cycle of addiction once and for all. This is the premise of Get Up Eight, a short semi-autobiographical student film written, directed, and produced by Gabrielle Rosson for Bridgewater State University as part of her senior honors thesis project. The objective was to tackle the topic of generational addiction to break stigmas and raise awareness about addiction and recovery. It's overall message is: Fall down seven times, Get Up Eight. No matter what--just keep going!

dir: Gabrielle Rosson

American Hate - 26min

Based on a true story of an Indian immigrant couple whose lives are shattered by an unexpected hate crime in Olathe, Kansas fueled by anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric after the 2016 election.

dir: Daniel Brea

September- 15min

Clara, a successful young businesswoman, does a pregnancy test after a passionate weekend with a working collegue. The positive result confuses her a lot. At first overwhelmed by her extreme and contradictory feelings, she finds a deep assent with herself as the day progresses.

dir: Konstantin Rall, Zeehyun Soh

Junkie- 20min

When tragedy strikes a young man struggling with drug addiction, he finds genuine inspiration to change in the most unexpected of places.

dir: Alyssa Botelho

 

Family Routine - 21min

A short fiction film about an unemployed Egyptian youth with an artistic talent appeared from a young age, suffering the concerns of fear of societal punishment, by pursuing frequent nightmares of him and because of this he is fighting a struggle with himself in order to forget his old talent passion and during his routine for a crucial day followed by a bureaucratic job interview does not relate to the field of his talent, we see the articulated moments of his life that were the basis for forming the features of his personality and also a source of his internal concerns.

dir: Ahmed Hamed

Block 12

 

Bholi - 12min

Bholi has dreams in her eyes and faith in her heart. She knows she can conquer the world. She knows it is important. She believes that her education will make her dreams come true and will make the difference in her family as well as her own poor life. She trusts her uncle who holds her hand with a promise to give her the wings to fly.

dir: Amitabh S Verma

 

The Music- 19min

A hitman cleaner decides that he has erased his final crime scene.

dir: Mark Battle

The Day You Long For - 15min

A surreal drama set on Christmas Day. Sebastian spends this festive season in the hospital after being involved in a car accident. He tortures his mind and soul by reliving the moments that led him down the path of self-destruction to the present moment. Sebastian ventures on a psychedelic journey to seek redemption by entering the world of his subconscious, reliving his memories within his dreams in order to find a way to forgive himself for the mistakes he made and move on.

dir: Benoit Ganesan

On The Whistle- 20min

A suburban basketball star struggles to impress the uncompromising coach at his new inner-city school.

dir: TJ Noel-Sullivan

 

 

Threshing Floor- 19min

A lonely man, plagued by visions, takes a risk to reconcile time he has lost and the time he still could lose.

dir: Andrew Jukes

 

Out of Place - 20min

“Out of Place” is a dual narrative film that explores both the disconnection and the connection between two immigrant lives in the United States. A young aspiring Chinese pianist and a Mexican house painter, unaware of them being neighbors, go through a day of disillusionment in symphony. Their stories, in its core, are to examine a universal longing to belong and the unfortunate reality of feeling still, out of place.

dir: Peier "Tracy" Shen

Block 13

 

T.I.O.L.I. Revolt: We're Not Going To Take It (Or Leave It) - 9min

The regulars of Nantucket's Take It Or Leave It are met with a crisis when a new policy is put in place.

dir: Andrew Cromartie, Janet Forest

 

Matched- 3min

A young woman explores an apartment during a blackout with nothing more than a box of matches. But she’s not alone...

dir: Zack Kron

 

65º - 5min

All couples fight. Sometimes it goes too far.

dir: Jon Root, Rachel Rosenbloom

 

 

 

Firstborn- 6min

A man attempts to sacrifice his son, but isn't prepared for what he summons

dir: Erica Stockwell-Alpert

 

The Body- 12min

A hit man and his potential protege are tasked with burying a body in the countryside but the seemingly simple job takes an unexpected turn.

dir: Adam Weber

 

 

 

Strange Times in Wapakoneta - 16min

Wapakoneta, Ohio is gripped with fear following a series of mailbox bashings throughout the small town. Two brothers, who own competing local newspapers, square off to break the biggest story the town has ever seen.

dir: Ben Fraternale

 

Stuck- 14min

"George and Helen Simon are a NY advertising couple who buy a sex machine to spice up their lives but it comes with a crazed delivery boy who gets stuck in it on the night of their dinner with George's clients"

dir: Steve Blackwood

 

 

Block 14

 

The Keeper - 14min

A lonely widow yearning for connection, meets a collector of art at a speed dating event. Surrounded by a world of desperation, they make a palpable connection, but what they are looking for in each other is vastly different.

dir: Bob Celli

 

 

Empty Windows- 14min

A little boy with schizophrenia, miraculously survives a murder suicide attempt at the hands of his mother. Haunted by the past, he stops taking medication to confront his demons.

dir: Andrew Rosenstein, Joseph Rosenstein

 

Meek Lover Creek - 12min

A reluctant killer meets eager prey in this meditative short film

dir: Joshua Gaestel

 

Stay for Tea- 20min

An elderly Polish-American man, in the final stage of his life, experiences a reversion to the past. As his memories evaporate, he contends with being haunted by what he believes are ghosts. Haunted by the spectre of his ethnic identity, he receives a message from a special visitor.

dir: Paul Bronisław Kmiec

 

Face Your Fears- 15min

A young woman terrified of the dark discovers a supernatural game that can cure her fears, if she faces them first.           dir: Neil Stevens

 

 

Block 15

 

The Tooth Racket - 7min

A tooth fairy from Southie has had enough of a little girl who keeps slipping fake teeth under her pillow -- and his mob boss’ll break him in two if he doesn’t get a real tooth this time. He’s back again, only to discover another fake, and won’t leave without the goods. When the girl wakes up, he finds himself in a whole new ballgame, and he may just be out of his league.

dir: Karisa Bruin

Someone Good Will Find You- 8min

A well-intentioned Chinese immigrant father tries to teach his son, David, how to “make it” in America. When David becomes enamored by a Superman costume in a store window, his father sees an opportunity to impart to him the importance of hard work, thrift, and delayed gratification. But when the time comes for David to reap the rewards of his efforts, it turns out that the lessons he’s learned transcend those his father intended.

dir: Leelila Strogov

The Fall of a Sparrow - 15min

Nicole is 12, black, and has lived all her life in the haunted apartment that Lily, white and pregnant, wants to buy for her new family. This taut, 2-character ghost story, set on the day they meet, explores the emotional depths of their rivalry and unlikely friendship, examines the silent costs of gentrification and asks the question: who really owns the spaces in which we live?

dir: Jose Rivera

Wednesday- 10min

Iris and Leo are waiting for their school bus, just like any other day. This morning, however, it does not arrive. Facing no rules but their own, the two eight year-olds embark on an urban adventure, one they shall never forget, roaming the streets of Montreal.

dir: Lisa Delhom, Jérémy Paquet

 

Block 16

Dear Georgina - 14min

A Passamaquoddy elder tries to sharpen the blurry outlines of her identity.

dir: Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip

 

Pielago - 1hr50min

Piélago is the highest surface of the ocean, from it emerges the island of Gran Canaria forming part of the Canary Islands. In her there is a musical culture that by the distance does not manage to cross the borders of the sea that surrounds it, from the first years when the music arrives at the island through the maritime commerce the culture is superior to the rest of the country but still until the Arrival of the internet all bands and soloists immerse their music in the depths of the ocean. Musicians, journalists and promoters have their own experience creating a narrative journey through the research of SaoT ST, an individual artist in charge of carrying out this project.

dir: Carlos Cabrera Suárez

Script Finalists

Feature:

 

Italian Without a Cause by Lucia Braccalenti 

 

Snakehead by Sophia Ciampaglia

 

The Symbol by Jami Tennille 

 

Arich's Suspension by Farah Rose Smith 

 

Land of Light by Nichilas Batchelder

 

Young Boy by Rachel Jacob

 

Grynszpan/Thompson by Writer Hal LaCroix

 

Broken Toys by Joseph Deegan

 

Cursed by Roy Zafrani

 

Cape Cod Treasures by James Aloysius Crotty

 

Burgers and Bow Ties by Guthrie Roy Hartford

 

Protector of the Emerald City by Kevin J. Howard 

 

Liar’s Town by Mel Barrett 

 

My Name is Max by Raisa Norberg

 

Dive by Erin Foreman

 

He is Risen by Matthew J. Avant

 

Fall River, Mass by Brendan Aureli

Short: 

 

Punish Me by Michael Dukakis

 

Josie's Date with Death by Lisa Marie Tedesco 

 

Second Best by Elizabeth Page 

 

Putting the Pieces Together by Guthrie Roy Hartford

 

Purple Line Express by Johanna Falzone

 

Revolution by Timothy Porter

 

Kate’s Ballad by Rory O'Connor

 

Spinach by Stuart Schulz

 

Ocean Child by Laura Koons, Marilyn Swick

 

Hurricane by Mitchell Graham Colley

Tourist Trap by Gio Forienza

Last Thursday by Kevin Machate

 

© 2020 by MassIFF    

MassIFF is a 501(c) non-profit organization

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon