Festival Program

We are very excited for the 2018 GIDC film festival season! Submissions are NOW OPEN from February 1st to May 15th, 2018.

Don’t forget to check us out on Withoutabox or FilmFreeway for important dates and deadlines.

In the meantime, feel free to browse last year’s festival program of amazingly moving short film documentaries and narratives.


Each screening runs approximately 90 minutes plus a Q&A with the filmmakers!

10AM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 1: Documentaries

For The Birds by Miku Otagiri
James Cataldi, the Birdman of Inwood, NYC will take on anybody and anything to protect the birds who depend on the garbage-ridden North Cove. He goes toe to toe with several tons of garbage, MTA workers, developers, City Hall, more garbage, and now, his own body. All because he is determined to save that one little nook of the web of life for the future.

Under the Same Sky by Yoyo Li
During the Chinese government’s national campaign on ‘equal’ education, discover the different reality of a city versus a countryside boy as they both go to school.

Capoeira – Live the Game by Eric Joddy Matthews
Capoeira – Live the Game is a short documentary based on the lives of Anthony Santo Domingo (Mentor & Instructor of the Live the Game program) and Demetri Tye (Capoeira student). The documentary speaks to their difficult upbringings and how studying Capoeira helped them to overcome a lifetime of social issues such as bullying and violence.

Fold, Embrace, Expand: From Damascus to Chicago by Colleen Cassingham
A newly arrived Syrian refugee family learns to adjust to their new life in Chicago while missing and mourning their homeland.

Cycle of Change by Sarah Frei
Moved by the lack of opportunity for women and youth in her community Reina, a young woman from El Salvador, ventures to Guatemala to study pedal-power technology in hopes of finding her life purpose and changing the lives of the people in her community.

Samsara by Sairam Sagiraju, Amoghavarsha and Ricky Kej
Launched by the Prime Minister of India at the United Nations COP 21 summit in Paris, Samsara is a short musical film dedicated to the Republic of Kiribati. Kiribati is suffering the worst effects of Climate Change. This is a film showcasing the beauty and culture of this doomed island nation, and a strong reminder to this world- Climate Change is REAL. Climate Change is affecting us NOW and our actions are affecting people on the other side of the world!

Faces of Santa Anaby Daud Sani
The story of an inspired painter, Brian Peterson, whose journey of love started with the befriending of a homeless man in his neighborhood of Santa Ana but grew into something greater than he had ever imagined.



10AM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 2:Narratives

Broken by Sam Van Zoest
A young man confesses to his girlfriend that he has been sexually abused by a girl.

Breaking and Mentoringby Chandler Perry and Andrew Harrison
An abandoned boy and his bear befriend a burglar.

#WhereIsBeauty by Angela McCrae
#WhereIsBeauty follows the journey of NINA, a visual artist dealing with the pressures of social media and self-identity. Frustrated by homogeneous selfies and false depictions of beauty, she searches for beauty in it’s most raw and natural form and captures the experience with her mobile phone. Inspiration turns into transformation when NINA meets LEA, her latest muse, creating the final chapter in her voyage to self-discovery.

Lost and Found by Elizabeth Licht
Lost and Found is a short animated film that demonstrates visually and through music, the impact complex trauma may have on the development of a child as she progresses into young adulthood.

Tunnel Vision by Kiyoka Rhodes
A mother, who is a victim of abuse, risks taking an opportunity that will either make or break her seemingly picture perfect family.

Fireplace by Samah Safi Bayazid
A little Syrian kid is stuck between a rock and a hard place.(…ity) Identity by Marcela Lopez Pazos
Visual account of remote and ancestral ways of life, preserving traditions and ancestral knowledge in check with its environment for the sole joy of adding value to it and rediscover life.

Tent by Balazs Szovenyi-Lux
After leaving his country in a time of anarchy and war, a young man creates a special Tent where he hopes to find shelter with the girl he loves. Their young love is soon disturbed when the Tent is discovered by the people from the town. In memory of the victims of intolerance and discrimination.

Our Canada, My Story: Thomas Poulsenby Salima Stanley-Bhanji
Thomas Poulsen shares about his performance career as a dancer and actor and his life as a person with disabilities. Poulsen, whose mobility was significantly affected by cerebral palsy, passed away after the filming in January 2017.



12PM: Workshop with Ron Newcomb on the Business of Filmmaking in Post Production and Marketing


1:30PM: Lunch Break (Ask about our GIDC/DCBX Local Restaurant Partners)



2:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 3:Documentaries

Buang Bayi – Behind the Baby Hatch by Corine Tiah
BUANG BAYI – Behind the Baby Hatch is a 15-minute documentary focusing on baby abandonment in Malaysia.Baby hatches have appeared as a solution, providing a haven for mothers to give up their babies anonymously. BUANG BAYI delves into the socio-cultural reasons of baby abandonment, explores the baby hatch as a solution in alleviating the problem and discusses what can be done to resolve this issue.

It Takes Two Hands to Clap by Nadya Shah
A group of folk musicians from Pakistan visit small towns in America as part of a larger muslim cultural engagement project.

Our Canada, My Story: Ali Dualeby Salima Stanley-Bhanji
“If I had stayed in Somalia, I believe I would not be alive today,” shares Ali Duale, a refugee who fled Somalia in 1990. Duale, who lived with his wife in a Kenyan refugee camp for seven years, now calls Halifax, Nova Scotia home.Duale learned English and became a firefighter with Halifax Fire and Emergency Services. A practicing Muslim, Duale describes his desire to give back to the country who accepted him and gave him a second chance.

Life Through A Lensby Jeff Levenson and Ronete Levenson
Life Through a Lens follows Robert’s journey with APBD and how he has chosen to face it. Robert’s hope is to empower those living with the challenges, physical and otherwise, brought on by APBD and all debilitating diseases, to know and harness optimism and possibility in life.

Calvin’s Story by Quinn Wilson
After coming out to his parents as gay, this young black man has been surviving homelessness on the streets of Chicago for years. We learn about his story, life, and aspirations to be a message therapist.

Kinabuhi by Danny Cooke
Kinabuhi is a story about Filipino Coconut Farmers struggling to survive a Way-of-Life exploited by industrial agriculture and crippled by disasters like Typhoon Haiyan. Over 60% of Coconut farmers in the Philippines live in extreme poverty, despite the ubiquitous resource which is the country’s top commodity.

[enviro] MENTAL by Joe Murdie
[enviro] MENTAL is a documentary short showcasing one mans journey to becoming more environmentally friendly in an effort to show New Zealand and the world that everyone can make a difference and contribute to change.

Teaching Peace by Michael Boulter
For more than 20 years Colman McCarthy, a self-described vegan, pacifist, and anarchist, has been teaching peace in schools across the D.C.-Metropolitan area. His subversive message and teaching style has inspired, provoked, and transformed the lives of students and faculty lucky enough to know him.



2:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 4:Narratives

Roti by Dylan Gunaratne
While dining in a restaurant, Derek and his traditional Indian parents get reacquainted with his close childhood friend Alexis, who is now Alex.

Tattoo You by S.R. Bindler
When two women from the same town, yet with very different backgrounds, 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.

Shards by Serena Berry
Caught between two worlds, a young inner city kid is forced to navigate his way from gangster life to manhood using the only tool he has – his art.

Taste of Love by Pakin Ange Regis
After an ambiguous snapchat video featuring Bilal and Adil, rumors start spreading about the two friends. To save their reputation, each of them needs to find a girlfriend. Their hunt for a date doesn’t quite go as expected…

Signs Everywhere by Julio Ramirez
A man’s daily attempt to disconnect from reality, leads him to discover that it isn’t just homeless people who are begging for help in the world.

Ravage by Leon Lee
Step into an terrifying, upside down world where injustice and cruelty reign. A woman in China has been separated from her daughter by the authorities, and has been detained for her beliefs deep inside a Chinese labour camp, notorious for its murderous treatment of prisoners. Through a fissure in the wall she hears agonizing cries and the sound of footsteps coming towards her. Will she be able to stand her ground or will they break her heart and soul completely?

Witnesses by David Koch
Stephane, a freelance war photographer, is covering the Syrian conflict. She follows the daily existence of a young couple: Farah, a schoolteacher, and Omar, a doctor. During fighting, Stephane takes a photo of Omar- a photo that could make headlines in the western media.Omar, convinced that the publication of this photo will put his life at risk, asks Stephane not to send it off. But given the urgency, Stephane has already forwarded her photos to her press agency in France: it is too late, the photo is released, altering the lives of both Stephane and Omar.



3PM: Workshop with Paul Marengo on Fundraising for Film



4:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 5:Documentaries

Off the Record: Justice Denied to Child Sex Abuse Survivors by Valerie Gibson
The film exposes the hidden injustices suffered by survivors who seek legal redress against their perpetrators. Too many matters that favor abusers over the abused occur outside the courtroom and the public eye. Survivors describe the behind-the-scenes dealings that obstructed their paths to justice and impeded their personal recoveries.

Saba: The Unspoiled Queen by Nick Zachar
Can you imagine how far we could go if everyone came together to protect our natural world? Saba: The Unspoiled Queen shows that when a community comes together to protect their home, anything can be done.

Women Prayed and Preyed Upon by Kankana Chakraborty
A 30 minutes Docudrama on Violence against Women. It highlights the irony that men who prey upon women are the ones who pray to GODDESSES.It is recorded in different Indian Languages with English Subtitles.

The Greater Evil by William R Coughlan
Lilith Delaney has snagged a plum assignment with the campaign team of Victor Balch, a brash but popular candidate for Presidency. Though initially seeing it as just another job, Lilith gradually falls under the candidate’s spell until she catches a glimpse of his horrific true nature.

Flying Rivers by Tyler Mifflin and Alex Mifflin
In Sao Paulo, Brazil a record-breaking mega-drought has crippled the city and deforestation is thought to be one of the leading causes of the water shortages. The Brothers travel to the Amazon to bring home the powerful message of what happens to the water cycle when too many trees are removed, and meet with innovative farmers and indigenous communities who are trying to protect forests while maintaining high productivity and combating the growing threat of forest fires.



6:30PM: Open Panel Discussion “Impacting the World Through Film” with Outlast Film Camp Founder LeTerrian Officer- McIntosh


7:30PM: Dinner Break


8PM: VIP Networking Event Overlooking DC (**Special Event Prizes)


10PM: VIP Screening of Pipeline: Feature Film by GIDC Founder Emily Aguilar


12AM-8AM Discover DCBX Party with 8 Ballrooms of Dancing VIP Night



Each screening runs approximately 90 minutes plus a Q&A with the filmmakers!

9AM: Registration Opens


10AM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 6:Documentaries

What does the Tiger Say? by Yoon Jiah
What happens when puberty hits? The tiger has gone away and dreams disappear.

Inauguration Day by Nathaniel Lezra
A short documentary examining the Washington DC street protests during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Meeting the Modern Goddess of Nepalby Ashley Kwon and Bogun Kim
A Korean American high school student visits Nepal and meets a teenage girl named Sajani, a former Kumari who was once selected at a prepubescent age to be revered as a Hindu goddess. Meeting Sajani in person, the student realizes the significance of the Kumari tradition to the Nepalese people’s existence and their daily lives. She learns to broaden her perspective on the common western criticisms about the Kumari tradition as commitment of child abuse and human rights, and contemplates the issue of cultural relativism and tolerance.

Three Boats by Irina Patkanian
To date, over 4.8 million refugees have fled Syria alone. About 1.5 million people crossed to Europe by sea since January 2015. More than a third of them are children.

The Gathering by Micki Dickoff
The Gathering tells the story of Witness to Innocence, the largest organization of death row exonerees in the country. These innocent men and women, some having spent decades on death row for murders they didn’t commit, come together once a year to share their thoughts and feelings, fears and dreams with the only people who really understand what they experienced.

Anastasia Lin: The Crown by Kacey Cox
After being crowned Miss World Canada 2015, China-born actress and human rights activist Anastasia Lin discovers that local authorities have threatened her father in an effort to silence her criticisms of the Chinese government. And when China is named host of the Miss World Finals, Anastasia must confront the possibility that she’ll be banned from competing unless she complies.



10AM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 7: Narratives

La Oposicion by Zoey Martinson
La Oposicion explores immigration policy under the new Trump administration. When officers for the Department of Homeland Security are ordered to aggressively monitor immigration targets in the USA, they start to question their own culpability in the new system.

Polis Nea by Pierluigi Fernandi
A little boy soon discovers that this wonderful home, which he had never even heard of, just once belonged to his grandfather.

1/2 Nelson by Ruben Languren
A young man grieving the recent loss of his mother, goes to a party in hopes of rekindling an old flame, but things take a dark turn when an uninvited guest shows up.

El Camino Solo by Shawn Telford
A traveler stuck in the middle of nowhere finds unexpected help.

The Whole by Ramon Hamilton
Enter the prison within the prison, aka solitary confinement, through a film that pushes the boundaries of traditional storytelling by offering an innovative, psychological, raw experience that draws from real stories and is made alongside those who have lived it. Cast and crew have spent a combined 7 years in solitary confinement, and together, we bring you The wHOLE.

The Pirate Captain Toledano by Arnon Shorr
The Pirate Captain Toledano is the world’s first film set in the little-known world of Jewish piracy in the Caribbean. It brings to life the story of refugees from the Inquisition who found a way to strike back against Spain.



12PM: Workshop TBA


1:30PM: Lunch Break (Ask about our GIDC/DCBX Local Restaurant Partners)



2:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 8: Documentaries

Little Warriors by Sam Miro
Little Warriors is a documentary film about a youth group in Indianapolis, who in 2016-17, successfully inspired their City County Council to adopt a youth-driven Climate Recovery Resolution.

The Curious End to the War Against Ourselves by Andrew Purchin and Michael Reinhold

Invisible by Matthew Gannon
This documentary explores the plight of the 3.5 million Americans who experience homelessness each year and calls on Congress to act on their behalf. In creating it, first-time student director Matt Gannon hopes to prompt people to stop and think about the issue of homelessness, in order to spark real and tangible change.

Girls Like Us by C. Dallas Golden
A bright, young Tanzanian woman, finds mentorship and a sense of purpose through her new-found passion of computer science, through the organization Apps & Girls.

The Poacher by Nicholas Jones
John collects wild produce that has recently become in demand through the gentrification of East London and the influx of trendy restaurants. These popular restaurants are after the freshness of locally handpicked food and John ‘The Poacher’ knows where it’s to be found. John has the skills to identify wild food, trap animals and fish, skills most of of us have long forgotten.

The Sandman by Lauren Knapp
A doctor walks the line of his own morality as he participates in executions, while personally opposing capital punishment.

Cycologic by Emilia Stålhammar, Veronica Pålsson and Elsa Löwdin
When one is traveling the streets of Kampala, one does not only face a chaotic and dangerous traffic environment, but also struggles to go through endless queues, pollutions, motorcyclists and cars attacking you from every angle, which is a energy-consuming dilemma.
Politicians seems to have given up but there are a few people who strives to show that there are alternative ways of movements. An impossible task, according to most people, but not according to Amanda.



2:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 9: Narratives

Life Prescribed by Kyle Couch
The true story of one man’s fall into prescription pain-killers and the war it waged on his soul and marriage.

The Boy In The Mirror by Fernanda Schein
A man suffering of multiple personality disorder tries to make his cold-hearted sister a remarkable birthday present while he struggles to stay connected to reality.

The 99th Encounter by Linman Wu
When we are in love with someone, we are motivated to follow every trace she left behind. We might go to her favorite places, we might read her favorite books, etc. Those days we were young and innocent, are the precious memories we will never forget. Her smile, her sorrow, her every emotions, become our own impulse that passes through our nerves. On the 99th encounter, an unexpected event leads to an unexpected ending.

The Cage by Lydia Lane
One bad decision will alter the course of Courtney’s life forever.

Perception by Andy Cruz
A young boy, the son of a Mexican immigrant, can draw anything from his memory to perfection. Yet he perceives the world differently and he shows this in his art.

Mother’s Cry by Lisa Russell
Mother’s Cry is a poetry-based short film on climate change by Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lisa Russell, featuring renowned youth poet, Savon Bartley.

Take a Deep Breath by Evan B. Hisey
An eight year old boy copes with a devastating event which threatens to tear his family apart, while his artful creations prove to reveal more than just paint on a canvas.



3PM: Workshop TBA


4:30PM: Impact Short Film Screening Session 10:Narratives

It Girl by Simon Lex
A chance encounter with a missing girl is the ideal catalyst for young Ian’s quest to become insta-famous.

Margaret by Manan Singh Katohora
After dealing with a series of extreme characters during a speed-dating event for senior citizens, an elderly woman meets a charming, exotic gentleman.

Streetwrite by Blanche Baker
Streetwrite, a movie musical about freedom of speech that asks the question, “How can speech be free, if only those who pay can speak?”

9 Seconds by Ross Godwin
In a world where the naive die young, a girl must grow up quickly to survive.

Full Service by KPage Stuart Valdes
Abike, a Nigerian born oil industry executive and Christian, is driving to a friend’s country house when she realizes her tank is needling towards empty. She pulls into the only station she can find where she is greeted by Scott, a local who inherited his business from his grandfather. Scott has never met anyone like Abike, which leads him to make a stream of assumptions about her based on stereotypes and unexamined racial biases. Full Service explores the effects of globalization on local economies and culture, our propensity to stereotype others, and the fact that we are all more complex than we seem.

Dignity of Risk by Prateek Bando, Jeremy Ley and Joseph Ibrahim
Professor Joe, a geriatrician, is faced with a difficult decision when he finds that his elderly patient, Mr Jones, can no longer live safely at home. He decides to put Mr Jones in an elderly home to protect him from all the risks around him, but soon finds himself uneasy about his decision.

My Name is Lamar by Dale E. Turner
This is 60-year-old Lamar Phillips’ first day working at the local pizzeria. Lamar is recently retired but promised the owner, his best friend, he’d occasionally help out as an employee. While Lamar is cleaning the dining area, he is met with a racist provocation from an unlikely source. He painfully draws upon past racial encounters to create a solution for the present.



6:30PM: GIDC Awards Ceremony: Red Carpet Event


8PM-8AM-Evening Dance Shows at DCBX + Farewell Party