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.
Ambitious young soccer players from China, Brazil, the United States, Palestine, and Norway have been training for months to take part in the Norway Cup, a top-level international tournament. With rapid-cut editing and an uplifting soundtrack, the film follows several of these players—all about 14 years old—from their home country, where they train for the last time and pack their bags, to the Norwegian capital Oslo, where they settle into in their lodgings, play matches, and hang out with teammates. We see them talking with their parents, trainers, and friends, and grabbing their chance to shine on the field.
But it’s not only about winning or losing in this chronologically structured documentary. All these teenagers have arrived with their own social and cultural baggage, and some are worried about their family or the situation back home. Friendships deepen, euphoria alternates with disappointment, and there are raging hormones and inevitable moments of defiance. Each teen’s story is their own, but they’re all part of the collective tension and excitement of this massive event.
Collection short synopsis:
People with a passion so strong, they live, practice, or focus more effort towards their goal than anything else they know. Get inspired, do stuff! This reel includes a muralist that wants to inspire creative action, two Palestinian boys needing one more soccer card for their collection and a flamingo that gives it his all on gymnastic rings. What’s your passionate pursuit?
Multi-national / In English or w/English subtitles / 75 min / Age 10+ / (one scene full of profanities)
Film lineup is subject to change without notice.
A man runs out of gunpowder tea and goes through one heck of a time trying to get more!
France, 2019 / no dialogue / Romane Faure, Nathanael Perron, Léa Detrain, Benoît de Geyer d’Orth, Pei-Hsuan Lin, Anne-Lise Kubiak / 5.5 min / Animation.
ATHLETICUS: Anneaux en gymnastique artistique
A pink flamingo manages a great score on the gymnastic rings…? Something is fishy here!
France, 2019 / no dialogue / Nicolas Deveaux / 2 min / Animation.
During the 1990 World Cup, two young Palestinian boys are looking for “Maradona’s legs”; the last missing sticker that they need in order to complete their world cup album and win a free Atari.
Germany-Palestine, 2019 / in Arabic with English subtitles / Firas Khoury / 20 min / Live Action.
My Letter to the Oil Men
Papilou is a fourteen year old boy in Nigeria that lives on the edge of a heavily polluted piece of land. His backyard contains thousands of liters of crude oil due to a leak in a pipe. It affected the food grown around him. It forced his now separated family to move to the city. Papilou wants the oil pollution to be cleaned up. He writes a letter to Shell Oil who is responsible for the pollution. A protest has to start somewhere.
Netherlands-Nigeria, 2019 / in English / Xander de Boer / 15 min / Documentary.
During the fall of the Soviet Union the thirteen-year-old Nana comes from America to a small village near Budapest, where she meets Gau, a boy her age whom she befriends immediately. When her visit to Hungary comes to an end, the friends have to say a painful goodbye. Oceans apart, Gau hatches a plan to reunite with Nana… using a catapult?! Love has no bounds.
Hungary, 2019 / in Hungarian with English subtitles / Balázs Szövényi-Lux / 27 min / Live Action.
You can outgrow the bedroom you grew up in but you really never leave it behind.
Australia, 2019 / no dialogue / Matthew Koh / 4 min / Animation.
Five Minutes to Sea
The mother issues her decree: before you get back in the water, you have to take a break and sit quietly for five minutes. For the little girl, these five minutes feel like hours. Time slows down all around her as she watches bathers enjoy a day at the beach.
Russia, 2018 / in Russian with English subtitles / Natalia Mirzoyan / 7 min / Animation.
199 little heroes: Cynthia from Burundi
12 year old Cynthia lives in the poorest area of Burundi. Both parents died from Malaria. Her days start with fetching water without having any breakfast. She walks miles to school daily to seek an education with hopes of becoming a member of Parliament some day.
Germany-Burundi, 2018 / in Kirundi with English subtitles / Lina Luzyte / 12 min / Documentary.
Spirit: A Martian Story
NASA sought evidence of life on Mars. That search begins with water, and the search for water begins with the study of the rocks and the soil. That was the historic mission of the rovers SPIRIT and OPPORTUNITY. This is SPIRIT’S story.
USA, 2019 / in English / Stimson Snead / 10.5 min / Animation-Documentary.
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)
Aylin, age 17, finds herself caught between worlds: A world of accepting her mother’s death or not. A world of struggling to survive as a Turkish family in Germany or returning home. Most importantly, a world of facing her fears at school to succeed or to remain in violent isolation. She finds answers in the story of Hördur (the horse): an Icelandic pony is never allowed to return once it leaves its homeland. By developing the courage to challenge her status in the world, Aylin develops a bridge to self-discovery, and like Hördur, never looks back.
Reading the title might make you clap hands with your neighbor in time to the well-known chant. This wonderful documentary explores this rhythmic rite of passage, usually between young girls, in the US and around the world. Contemporary and historical footage are intertwined creating what some admiringly refer to as “hand graffiti,” “jazz of the streets” and “percussive poetry.” As it swings between games and interviews with young girls, LET’S GET THE RHYTHM has a beat; its incandescent musicality brings this hand-clapping universe to life!
“T-Rex” is an intimate, true coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. in 2012, women’s boxing debuted at the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold from the USA is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, just 17 years old and by far the youngest competitor. From the hard knock streets of Flint, Mich., Claressa is undefeated and utterly confident. Her fierceness extends beyond the ring as he protects her family at any cost, even when their instability and addictions threaten to derail her dream. Claressa does have one stable force in her life. Coach Jason Crutchfield has trained her since she was just a scrawny 11-year-old hanging out at his gym. Jason always wanted a champion, but never thought it’d be a girl. Her relationships with her coach and her family grow tense as she gets closer to her dream, but Claressa is determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning a gold medal could be her only chance.
Dylan, age 12, copes pretty much on his own in small Western Australian town while his father is in a state of oblivion following the death of Dylan’s mother. One day at school he discovers an odd gift: the ability to craft a paper plane that flies longer and faster than any of those of his peers. So begins this charming and near-irresistible crowd-pleaser that follows Dylan as he folds his way toward the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan (and more importantly, emotionally closer to his father).
This suspenseful story carries a strong warning about the Internet as it is evolving today. When one computer-savvy teenager unwittingly cracks a security code to an international site that most people use every day…havoc ensues. With ingredients of uncommon-nerd heroes, Takeshi Murakami-designed internet avatars and of course, teenage crushes: This film will keep you glued to your seat, laptop, Smartphone …
Kenji, a teenage math prodigy, is recruited by his secret crush for the ultimate summer job – passing himself off as her boyfriend for four days during her grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. But when Kenji solves a 2,056-digit math riddle sent to his cell phone, he unwittingly breaches the security barricade protecting OZ: a globe-spanning virtual world where millions of people and governments interact through their avatars, handling everything from online shopping and traffic control to national defense and nuclear launch codes. Now a malicious AI program called the Love Machine is hijacking Oz accounts, growing exponentially more powerful and sowing chaos and destruction in its wake.
This intriguingly intelligent cyberpunk/sci-fi story is a visual tour-de-force, especially the amazing world of OZ: a hallucinatory pixel parade of cool avatar designs, kung fu jackrabbits, toothy bears and a bursting rainbow of colors.
“A stunning mixture of hand-drawn and CGI visuals in an endlessly colorful world filled with grotesque, razor-sharp toothed avatars. Its thematic ambition and dazzling visual style ultimately make it one of the more rewarding anime efforts to reach these shores!” – Hollywood Reporter
“A whirlwind of a film! Further proof Japan does grown-up children’s stories better than the United States!” – The New York Times
Enjoy this inside look at the nuts and bolts of Indy racing cars, as large and loud as life. Mario Andretti and his son Michael race in competition with cameras mounted on their cars, capturing the speed and heart-pounding thrills of racing in a way few films have ever attempted. Paul Newman is the narrator, but the stars are the cars. “Super Speedway” and many other experiential films were the first to be shown regularly in IMAX venues.