This year’s festival classic comeback is almost 70 years old! A sea monster is taking out ships in the Pacific so an expedition is formed led by an expert harpooner. The plot thickens like squid ink when Captain Nemo appears. (No relation to a clown fish!) James Mason, Kurt Douglas and Peter Lorre star.
Just at a time when Russia is behaving like the Soviet Union of yore PCFF IS premiering THE ASPHALT SUN. This film is an amazing time capsule with its re-creation of an era when Brezhnev was President, people schemed ways to defect to the west, consumer goods were scarce and skateboard culture was just arriving. If you couldn’t afford a skateboard, you made one!
The film follows 15-year-old Artyom’s tumultuous relationships with friends, family and a young woman he adores but is unable to express his feelings for. Skateboarding becomes his sanctuary while he tries to navigate his life to a place of confidence and resolution.
Great acting, outstanding cinematography and a narrative that anyone who was, is, or will be fifteen might relate to.
In this charming film for the entire family, introverted Zoë (12), the youngest of three siblings, is struggling to find her own voice at school. At home, she is closest with her father. When Dad suddenly burns out on his bank job and inexplicably decides to become an actor, the rest of the family thinks he’s having a breakdown.
His wife, a type-A executive at her family’s chocolate factory, is most concerned. But Zoë believes her dad is an amazing actor waiting to be discovered and vows to help him however she can. Spiced with innovative animation, this contemporary dramedy about a family that reinvents shows the importance of following your dreams in spite of the doubts of others.
An unbeatable team of five teenage friends, the Peppercorns, unites to find out who is behind the kidnapping of a missing oceanographer who has discovered a means of getting rid of plastic waste in the ocean. A race against time begins to save her life and their future.
PCFF 2021 WINNER Special Jury Award Best Narrative Feature!
Jack raves about his younger brother Gio, whom he believes to have superpowers. As he grows older he realizes that his brother is special in other ways. In a moment of uncertainty, Jack decides to deny having a brother from his classmates. But he failed to take into account that a brother like Gio is a personality impossible to deny to anyone. The consequences are a hard lesson learned in this poignant, humorous coming-of-age-story full of clashing emotions. Will Jack dare be as natural as his brother? Based on a true story.
We are delighted to be able to re-present this Festival Flashback from five years ago!
Cathy’s tenth birthday is tough enough without her eccentric father giving her an egg as a gift along with a warning: “Be there when it is born so the bird recognizes YOU as its mother.” After a game of hide-and-seek goes awry, Cathy’s friend Margaux unknowingly becomes the “mother.” Unfortunately for the bird and Margaux, her parents believe Margaux is unable to care for this pet from her wheelchair. It takes a duckling, a great friend, and a temporary flight from home to alter everyone’s understanding of life’s limitations.
THE CLUB OF UGLY CHILDREN (Netherlands, 2019)
This action-packed thriller unfolds in a dystopian world led by a new president whose motto, “Keep it Clean,” means rounding up kids who don’t meet his view of ideal looking citizens. Paul, his big sister, and their band of friends refuse to simply stand by. They mobilize with energy and ingenuity in this pulse-racing tale that will have you cheering from the edge of your seat! A stark warning against the rise of the far-right and the power of activism and social media.
Youth Filmmaker Show
Two countries, one teen and her journey discovering that home does not need to be a place.
USA, 2019 / In English and Spanish (w/English subtitles) / Sharleny Gonzalez (age 15?) of Real to Reel Film School – Lynn, MA / 2 min / Documentary
Ceci N’est Toujours Pas Une Pipe (Ceci N’est Toujours Pas Une Pipe)
There is excitement in the museum as an artist gets ready to present his ultimate work… with a desire of vengeance…
Belgium, 2019 / In French (w/English subtitles) / Twelve kids ages 15-17 of Camera-Etc Film School – Liege, Belgium / 7 min / Animation
How to Make a Movie
The title says it all. Just ask Google!
USA, 2019 / no dialogue / Gabe Schmidt (age 17) of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy – Cincinnati, OH / 5 min / Documentary-ish
I Forgive You
A young girl ruminates over the loss of a friend by suicide and comes to terms with her anguish and anger.
USA, 2019 / In English / Anna Hughes (age 17?) of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts – Woonsocket, RI / 4 min / Documentary
A gong is sounded and has multiple effects on different people.
Japan, 2019 / In English / Akito, Zeniti, Clara and Leticia (ages 15-17) of Gunma Kokusai Academy, Nippaku Gakuen and Colégio Pitágoras Brasil Ota – Gunma, Japan / 4 min / Experimental
Magical Dreamweavers are attacked by jealous humans In a mythical time of the past.
USA, 2019 / no dialogue / Brooke Boulet (age 17?) of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts – Woonsocket, RI / 2.5 min / Animation
A strange creature stalks a secluded home in the woods. Ominous acts just might occur…!
USA, 2019 / in English / Nathaniel Bento (age 17?) of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts – Woonsocket, RI / 6.5 min / Narrative short
Reel It In
A high school field trip where cell phones need to be collected before attending. How can a teen survive?!
USA, 2019 / in English / Casey Lockledge (age 14), Bea McDowell(age 13), Isaac Russell(age 16), Zack White (age 15) of Light House Studio – Charlottesville, VA / 7 min / Narrative short
A zombie musical erupts when going for a milk run.
USA, 2019 / in English / Nathaniel “Bertie” Sackson (16), Ana Burman (14), Chantrea Anderson (17), Emma Kaufman-Horner (14), Mallory Greene (15), Max Mongosso (17), Omara English (16), Sidney Musselman (15), Ian Phillips (17),Yutong Dai (12), Ouyang Xuanjie (14), Bryan Guzman (17), Sarah Apple (16) of Light House Studio – Charlottesville, VA / 7 min / Narrative short
Work in Progress
A teenager experiences the frustration and joy of the creative process while sketching her main source of inspiration, her cat.
USA, 2019 / in English / Brianna Giarusso (age 17?) of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts – Woonsocket, RI / 4 min / Narrative short
Hold My Hand
Hold My Hand is a character study about loneliness at sleepaway camp. The film has no dialogue and is made out of only visual moments. It is an honest character based movie about being homesick, a feeling that everyone possesses.
USA, 2019 / in English / Eli Berliner (age 15) of Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY / 4.5 min / Narrative short
With the hope of winning a free, custom-made suit, a young man distributes tuxedo rental coupons to his peers, discovering newfound confidence.
USA, 2019 / in English / Andrew Gerstenblatt (age 17) of Barrington High School – Barrington,RI / 4.5 min / Narrative short
Families in Flight
Regional conflict across the globe has forced many families to unwillingly leave their homes. These are stories of families on the move in an effort to survive. Stories include a boy from Syria who tries to reconnect with his traumatized mother. Another film is of a Syrian family that gets separated en route to Germany. You might view a “refugee/immigrant” in a very different way after experiencing their stories.
Multi-national / In English or w/English subtitles / 70 min / Age 10+ / (real life-threatening and life-taking stories from refugees)
Film lineup is subject to change without notice.
Ten year old Adnan has fled Syria with his mother after their family were killed and their neighbourhood destroyed. Now settled in the UK, he must use all his creativity to break through her PTSD or risk losing her forever.
UK, 2019 / in Arabic with English subtitles / Steven Chatterton, Mark Arrigo / 15 min / Live Action.
199 little heroes: Rania from Syria
Rania lives in one of the biggest refugee camps in the world in Za’atari, Jordan. Her parents and her siblings share a small container. Not all the children in the camp go to school but Rania does. It helps alleviate her pain of living where she is. She wants to become a civil engineer and longs to return to Syria.
Germany-Jordan, 2018 / in Arabic with English subtitles / Gessie George / 8 min / Documentary.
Nestled in Kashmir valley lies a small village on the India-Pakistan border always caught in the crossfire between the two warring nations. One night an eight year old girl ‘Nooreh’ discovers that the gun battle rages when she sleeps and the bloody duel stops when she keeps her eyes open.
India, 2018 / in Kashmiri with English subtitles / Ashish Pandey / 22 min / Live Action.
Traces of Little Feet
Amir is a ten-year-old boy from Syria. He and his mother arrived in Germany as refugees one year ago. Their experience on getting to Germany could be seen as just as perilous as staying.
Germany, 2019 / in Arabic and German with English subtitles / Murad Atshan / 17 min / Live Action.
A Celebration is a short drama about 8-year-old Ada who tries to convince her newly immigrated mother to celebrate Thanksgiving by cooking a turkey. However, when Ada sets to celebrate Thanksgiving like a “true Canadian”, she discovers what it means to be an immigrant family.
Canada, 2019 / in English and Turkish with English subtitles / Mahsa Razavi / 11 min / Live Action.
The Girl at the End of the Garden
A slapstick comedy about an unhappy young girl whose life is turned upside-down when she finds a mysterious runaway with psychic powers in her back garden.
Ireland, 2019 / in English / Bonnie Dempsey / 14 min / Live Action.
The film ROCKY employed boxing for the hero’s quest. KARATE KID had karate. GOOD GAME introduces a first for PCFF by setting the film in the world’s fastest growing spectator sport, e-Sports! It’s hard to deny a “sport” that has become a billion dollar industry worldwide. Universities are now giving scholarships to entice gamers there way and the Olympics are now considering them! …? Cenk is living a directionless life working odd jobs by day and a gamer for hire at night for B-league teams. He gets invited on to a premiere team headed for success but can he handle the pressure?!
Turkey / 2018 / In Turkish with English subtitles / 115 min / Ages 13+ (profanity, a short scene of fighting)