2010

Short Film Award
Documentary Feature
United States
Runtime:
1 hour(s)
1 minutes
Director:
Rod Murphy

REIFF 2010

Crippled with bipolar disorder, Mickey Mahaffey, a Baptist preacher, abandons his family and faith to search for mental and physical healing and for the strength and honesty needed to repair the wounds left behind in the wake of his childhood.

During 12 years of long distance walking, sleeping outside in the wilderness and on the streets among the homeless, Mahaffey thinks hes found a way to cope with what ails him--living a simple life in direct contact with nature. An epic walk from North Carolina brings him to Mexico and thus begins an intimate, decade-long relationship with the indigenous Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons.

This rarely documented Native American tribe has lived in the remote canyons for centuries, isolated and largely uninfluenced by the world around them. Mahaffey's genuine interest in their culture resonated with the Tarahumara and he was, in turn, welcomed into their community and invited to participate in their rituals -- a cultural bridge rarely crossed by outsiders. Mickeys daughter Stephanie has spent most of her life defending and justifying her father's choices. His quest for a deeper, yet simpler, spiritual life was constantly at odds with what Stephanie's family and friends expected from a father. But Mickeys search for himself could not be derailed by what people thought of him. His path went from being a preacher to living homeless, to being committed to a mental institution, to finally dancing with Tarahumara Indians at the bottom of a remote canyon in Mexico's Sierra Madre.

Avery Crounse Award
Narrative Short
United States
Runtime:
50 minutes
Director:
Alex Gaynor

REIFF 2010

Wid Winner & the Slipstream is a coming of age story of Wid Winner, an auto parts store worker whose life never lived up to his own expectations. After one particularly disenchanting day, Wid's store is robbed by a traveling scientist named Kenneth who is convinced he can build a time machine. Together, the two lonesome men embark on a cross-country road trip in search of glory, redemption and a chance to not be forgotten.

Juror’s Award
Animation
China, United States
Runtime:
4 minutes
Director:
Sijia Luo

REIFF 2010

A little chicken is late to school, but her excuse is too wild to believe: getting kidnapped on the way to school. Believe it or not, this chicken is a really good actress and Kung fu master! After her explanation, you have to believe that her adventure is actually true. She was kidnapped by chickens first, then gunmen, then aliens and finally Jesus saved her life and sent her to school.

Juror’s Award
Narrative Feature
United States
Runtime:
1 hour(s)
22 minutes
Director:
Chris Brown

REIFF 2010

Filmmaker Chris Brown has been compared to director John Cassavetes for his ability to peel back the skin of his characters in a way that feels both disturbingly intimate and deeply real.

In Brown's latest, finely-crafted feature, Fanny, Annie & Danny are three troubled adult siblings brought together by their horrific mother for the Christmas holiday. Like just about everything in Brown's work, what seems commonplace on the surface becomes riveting in the details. We first meet Fanny, an obsessive-compulsive who lives in a group home and works at a candy factory about to go bankrupt. Fanny brings this secret to the Christmas dinner, where she reconnects with her self-absorbed sister Annie and their too-perfect-to-trust brother Danny. Mother Edie hosts the party with an iron fist, insisting at an ever-increasing pitch that everyone have fun.

Their Vietnam vet father may act like his emotions died with his friends on the battlefield, but director Brown continually lets his audience glimpse the last few pulses of compassion the broken man has for those around him. As with a tsunami building strength silently offshore, we sense the impending climax without knowing exactly when or where it will hit--or how hard.

Juror’s Award, Juror's Award
Narrative Feature
United States
Runtime:
1 hour(s)
30 minutes
Director:
Steven Crowley

REIFF 2010

Andy Meyers, the subject of the film, has decided he wants to end his life in front of a camera for the world to see. His depression and array of ailments from his bout with diabetes have driven him to the edge. His idol, Bud Dwyer, who also killed himself in front of cameras during a press conference, gained much notoriety for his suicide, and Andy feels this is his only chance "to be somebody". Andy recruited his counselor-turned-filmmaker to document the suicide and also his last day. Andy's last day consists of walking his dog one last time, a short visit to the ocean, a Chinese food dinner, sex with a hooker, eating a lot of candy and death. However, things take an unexpected turn when the hired crew decides they cannot witness Andy killing himself. The crew quits production, leaving the director and producer/investor in a major bind. Can they finish the film without the crew? Does Andy Meyers kill himself?

Juror’s Award
Narrative Short
United States
Runtime:
13 minutes
Director:
John Holt

REIFF 2010

As Christmas approaches in the small rural Kentucky town of Fancy Farm, the townsfolk are brought together as an unknown evil terrorizes the community. Faced with the senseless slaughter of friends and family, these brave hunters take to the forest in search of the unknown. Produced by the award-winning A Goodsize Productions, this jump-a-minute romp is a thrill ride of carnage that will leave you wanting more.

Juror’s Award
Experimental
United States
Runtime:
5 minutes
Director:
Jack Truman

REIFF 2010

The story of a 60-something woman and her backyard outhouse.

Honorable Mention
Documentary Short
United States
Runtime:
34 minutes
Director:
Kathryn McCool

REIFF 2010

Setting off with a borrowed video camera, Kathryn McCool drives alone through the American South to meet reclusive musician Cast King and attempts to find the America she had, as a youth, re-created and photographed in her own backyard in rural New Zealand. Comparing what she finds with what was for so long imagined, this film is about a journey into her borrowed culture. Was reality going to make mockery of her painstakingly conjured up South? Sand Mountain is a road movie that drives into personal territory as well as the back roads of Alabama.

The meeting of Cast King offers a dignified portrait of this somewhat exploited figure; it is also an attempt to locate and connect with the essence of the South its musical heritage, its people. To this end the film is every bit as interested in the sublime and sometimes eccentric portraits of the people that are encountered on the way. Her camera is always attuned to iconographic America: the diners, motels, gas stations...

Ultimately the film conveys nothing specifically, but what appears in the midst of this generous silence are moments of emotion - of sadness, loss, resilience and pride as they are merely witnessed by the filmmaker. The dignity is without manufacture; it is a short story given to the filmmaker by the people. In the end, under the weight of reality, we see the filmmaker's daydream begin to fade. America is contextualized against something bigger than the myth of popular culture.

Narrative Short
United States
Runtime:
18 minutes
Director:
Michael Frost

REIFF 2010

The Harvey Girl From Shanghai is a fictional short documentary about a film Orson Welles started to make with Judy Garland but was stopped mid-production. Told through a series of vintage interviews, missing footage and television reenactments, this short film explores a legendary Hollywood murder that may or may not have happened.

Animation
Canada
Runtime:
9 minutes
Director:
Lyle Pisio

REIFF 2010

Loneliness, Desire, Love, Hesitation, Mis-communication, Fear, and Loss with a touch of alcoholism for comic relief. Trevor and Martha see each other across a dingy bar and fall in love. The couple's shyness is only overcome in a mutual dream where their shadows dance together. Inspired by the song "The Empress" by the Montreal band BRIGA, the film is about the first hesitant motions of meeting and the fragility of falling in love.

Pages