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.

When did you last watch an Iranian film? Or better yet, where is the last time you saw or learned anything about Iran? Odds are the news is where most Americans encounter any stories about Iran and usually, it’s not good news. Well, filmmaking is quite alive in Iran and the stories they tell are not what’s on the newscaster’s minds. They are mostly about the lives of everyday Iranians who experience the joys and sorrows of working hard and getting to tomorrow. Included in IRAN: Axis of People is a documentary about an Iranian girl who just wants to ride her bike on the city street but is reprimanded again and again for doing so as a girl. Gando is another documentary that relates the story of a girl who went to the river to fetch some water but encountered a crocodile?! This is evidently a regular problem for this village. Then there are several stunning animations about the worlds we humans have created around us. Iran truly is an axis around which stories of everyday people’s lives rotate. Films on this reel include…

ONE NICE DAY – An elementary school teacher is given the opportunity to give away one new bookbag to a student in his class. To decide, everyone writes a name on a piece of paper and tosses it into a bag. The teacher will pull out the winner. Little did he know… the fix was in! 🙂  (2014 / 3 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Sousan Salamat / live-action / Persian w/English subtitles)

BORDERLESS – Delaram is a teenage girl who was born with Down syndrome. She is very aware of being treated differently by others and feels that there is a border between everyone she encounters. Delaram has come up with a unique coping mechanism to maintain happiness in her life. The imagination can be a powerful tool. (2020 / 13 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Behrad Sahebgharani / live-action / Persian w/English subtitles)

GANDO – In the Sistan and Baluchistan provinces of Iran running water is scarce. Villagers must go to local ponds and rivers to get what they need on a daily basis. Once you are on the river bank you must be very careful because gando (Iranian crocodiles) live there as well. This documentary tells the story of a nine-year-old girl named Hawa who lost her arm one-day getting water. It’s also a story about, despite the gando being a threat, the villagers respect the gando because they believe they help bring the water.  (2020 / 8 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Teymour Ghaderi / documentary / Persian w/English subtitles)

WOODEN SWORD – Two young boys meet on a park bench while waiting for their fathers to return. Little do they know their fathers have not formed a friendship similar to what they just have. Is what they see next might stay with them forever. (2019 / 7 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dirs Behzad Alavi, Sousan Salamat/ live-action / Persian w/English subtitles)

THE ROTATION – There is a war between two tribes over claiming the sun in the sky. As a result of that war, the sun is annihilated and the volcano erupts. Those two tribes perish and a new sun is made by lava. Several centuries pass and the new tribes continue to war over their claim to the sun in the sky. The sad cycle continues.  (2020 / 7 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Hazhir As’adi / animation / no dialogue)

RAINBOW – A young flower vendor working a street corner comes across something that is not his. The events that follow show his regret and misunderstanding of other people’s intentions. (2020 / 11 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Mohammad Khalili/ live-action / Persian w/English subtitles)

A GIRL FROM PARSIAN …is an insightful documentary about a group of young Iranian women who wish to ride their bikes and the resistance they encounter from men of all ages. (2019 / 20 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Parinaz Hashemi Mobarakeh / documentary / Persian w/English subtitles)

THE ELEVENTH STEP – A little lion cub, born in a zoo, lives in a cage that is only ten steps long. On the eleventh step he bangs his head against the bars, but one day the zookeeper leaves the cage door open….  (2020 / 11 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Maryam Kashkoolinia / animation / Persian w/English subtitles)

RAYA – Raya’s family is having a dispute with the landlord and eviction is on the horizon. She and several of her friends also have a problem with a teacher at school and they decide to take matters into their own hands. Raya learns the hard way how not to deal with problems she might have with other people. Thankfully she demonstrates this knowledge shortly after. (2019 / 14 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir Sepideh Berenji / live-action / Persian w/English subtitles)

 

This compilation of four films has multiple, thought-provoking topics to think about, and hopefully after, talk about. They include the struggles of young, Afghani women being musicians in a time when it looks like the Taliban will be coming back to power. Other films from the Netherlands and Argentina follow families who are dealing with children on gender journeys unfamiliar to them. The last film, 2nd Class, is quite relevant to what is happening here in our own country when it comes to reacting to white supremacists. The reel includes the following films…

SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX – A young teenager develops a close friendship with his older sister’s boyfriend, and must confront the depth of his feelings when the couple announces that they will be moving away. (2017 / 18 mins / Netherlands / dir Reinout Hellenthal / live-action / Dutch w/English subtitles)

ORCHESTRA FROM THE LAND OF SILENCE – You’ll defeat the beast with the power of music. Zohra – the first female orchestra of Afghanistan. Girls are preparing for their journey to play a concert in Europe. We see their everyday reality in contemporary Afghanistan through the eyes of 16-year-old girl Marzia. After arriving in Europe unexpected thing happens and four members of the orchestra decide to run away… (2020 / 30 mins / Afghanistan, Slovakia / dir Lucia Kasova / documentary / English, Persian and Slovak w/English subtitles)

THE NAME OF THE SON (El Nombre del Hijo) Lucho, a 13-year-old trans boy, doesn’t usually share much time with his father. When he goes on vacation with him and his younger sister, the new closeness puts their relationship to the test. (2020 / 13 mins / Argentina / dir Martina Matzkin / live-action / Spanish w/English subtitles)

2ND CLASS (2ND CLASS – 2021 Special Jury Award Best Short Live-Action Film!) This is a story about an elementary school teacher who is violently attacked one night by a neo-Nazi. After healing enough to return to the classroom she finds out that the man who attacked her is one of her student’s fathers. What does she do? And why? This film demands a conversation after viewing. WARNING: Graphic scene with profanity. Recommended age 13+ (2018 / 13 mins / Sweden / dir Martina Matzkin / live-action / Swedish w/English subtitles)

 

Community: A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Sometimes you might feel a part of this group and other times not so much. Life in school, with family or even as part of a world community can be challenging at times. In this compilation of shorts, you will see how others try to live in a community that isn’t exactly a natural fit. A Norwegian man creates a song about his favorite Indonesian food. What follows is nothing short of bizarre. Then there is Zara and her zombie family who have all the best intentions but are unaware of other people’s levels of disgust. Finally, when one friend cheats off another’s test, how willing should he be to turn him in? Include on this reel are…

MATHILDA AND THE SPARE HEAD – A girl tries hard to be the smartest student for her mother finds out a brain can only handle so much! (2020 / 13 mins / Lithuania / dir Ignas Meilūnas / animation / in Lithuanian w/English subtitles)

CRAMMING – Close friends Alex and Yan Bo, eighth-graders, cram for a test in a prestigious prep school. Once they’re accused of cheating off of one another, their friendship is threatened. (2020 / 15 mins / USA / dir Dan Perlman / live-action / in English and Spanish w/English subtitles)

LEARNING TO FLY – A young girl, upset that her mom won’t teach her how to ride a bike, meets a young boy who agrees to help her and they spend the day riding and talking about life. (2020 / 10 mins / USA / dir Nicolas Alayo / live-action / in English)

FAMILY BONDS tells the story of the little fox Hugo and his unconventional family to which love is more important than heritage. (2019 / 17 mins / Germany / dir Maria Schmidt / animation / no dialogue)

A SPECIAL GIFT: A Troublemaker’s Story – Lili, Stretch and ZéGordo (aka the Troublemakers) decide to surprise their friend Rosita by decorating her school for the neighborhood’s annual Christmas dinner, but they didn’t expect to deal with Stinky who is a jealous kid and is willing to spoil the decorations and the event altogether. (2019 / 7 mins / Mozambique / dir Nildo Essá / animation / in Portuguese w/English subtitles)

HELP I’VE GONE VIRAL! – A short documentary about Audun Kvitland who makes a love song about an Indonesian food dish called Nasi Padang after having been on vacation in the country. The song goes viral and is immediately heard by millions after he posted it on Youtube. Kvitland is invited back to Indonesia not knowing what to expect, but immediately after landing, he is greeted by a hallway of drummers at the airport. From then on he undertakes a funny, quirky and unexpected journey where people are united across cultures, languages and traditions over food and music. (2020 / 20 mins / Norway / dir Audun Amundsen / documentary / in English, Norwegian and Indonesian w/English subtitles)

ZARA AND THE OTHERS: Miss Miss – Zara has never heard of a “Miss-competition”, she only knows the girls in class say it’s a way to decide who the prettiest girl is. When Zara’s wacky dad brings a bucket of fresh moose poop to the event, things take an unexpected turn… (2020 / 13 mins / Norway / dir Nils Johan Lund & Bjørn Sortland / animation / Norwegian w/English subtitles)

 

 

In a province in the middle of the Mongolian steppe, 11-year old Amra lives a traditional nomad life with his mother Zaya, father Erdene, and little sister Altaa. While Zaya takes care of the flock, Erdene works as a mechanic and sells Zaya’s homemade cheese at the local market. Their peaceful routine is threatened by the encroachment of international mining companies, digging for gold and devastating the natural habitat. Erdene is the leader of the last nomads opposing them and tries to unite and convince his comrades not to accept the compensations the companies have offered. But after Amra’s father dies in a tragic car accident, his mother wants to give up the nomad life and trade the steppe for the city. But Amra refuses and tries to carry on his father’s David vs. Goliath fight with his cleverness and the tools of an 11-year-old boy.

Let’s Get Animated
Animation is like magic. An animator takes a non-living thing then, voila!… provides the illusion that it now has life. Just how the illusion is accomplished varies greatly from each different filmmaker. This year matchsticks will be very much brought to “life”, the game of chess will be played in a very unique way and a filmmaker returns with her latest story told with clay-paint. These films may animate YOU to make some of your own magic!
Multi-national / In English or with English subtitles / 70 min / All Ages

Film lineup is subject to change without notice.

6:1
Sometimes where you play checkers can become part of the game!
Russia, 2018 / no dialogue / Sergei Ryabov / 3 min / Animation.

The Kite
The Kite deals with the issue of death, but it does so in a simple metaphorical and symbolic way on the relationship between the little boy and his grandpa. It explains that none of us are here forever and that all living creatures must die, but also to show that death doesn’t mean the end of our journey.
Czech Republic, 2019 / no dialogue / Martin Smatana / 13 min / Animation.

Angel’s Trumpet

An animated world where hummingbirds taste the nectar of wind instruments which surprisingly affects their birdsong.
Estonia, 2019 / no dialogue / Martinus Klemet / 2.5 min / Animation.

The Elephant’s Song
The sad but true story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, set to a tune sung by her friend, an old farm dog. Their story is portrayed in colorful, handcrafted animation, created frame by frame with clay-on-glass and oil pastel animation.
USA, 2018 / in English / Lynn Tomlinson / 7.5 min / Animation.

The Fisherman in Spring
A fisherman eagerly awaits the arrival of spring. Looking for any sign of seasonal change feels interminably long…. Until he spots a blossom!
Iran, 2018 / no dialogue / Seyed Hassan Soltani / 10 min / Animation.

Chess
This is a chess game that is played like no other! Pieces battle one another in very untypical ways leading to quite a messy (and fun) outcome.
Russia, 2019 / no dialogue / Alexey Pochivalov / 6.5 min / Animation.

Matches
As a seven year old boy is interviewed matchsticks come to life to represent the stories he is telling.
Hungary, 2019 / in English with English subtitles / Géza M. Tóth / 11 min / Animation.

Matilda
Matilda can’t get to sleep and starts playing with her bedside lamp until the lightbulb finally burns out. She finds herself plunged into darkness! She soon overcomes her fear and, using her torch, starts exploring her room in this new light, and discovers all the magic of the night.
France, Belgium, Spain, 2018 / no dialogue /Irene Iborra, Eduard Puertas / 7 min / Animation.

My Grandfather is Hiding
A grandfather explains to his grandson that he’ll have to take care of his flower garden after he dies. There follows a touching and poetic discussion about losing loved ones and the marks they leave behind.
France, 2018 / no dialogue / Anne Huynh / 7 min / Animation.

Waters of March
Waters of March is the classic song written by Tom Jobim and performed by jazz singer Stacey Kent. The delicately rendered animated drawings move at a rollicking pace transitioning back and forth from real to abstract images telling the ever changing story of loss and hope.
Canada, 2019 / in English / Elizabeth Lewis / 3.5 min / Animation.

Marguerite Tram
Old tram that nobody uses and its driver diesel. One day, an old woman rides the train and wants to go to a station that no longer exists.

An animated world where hummingbirds taste the nectar of wind instruments which surprisingly affects their birdsong.
Estonia, 2019 / no dialogue / Martinus Klemet / 2.5 min / Animation.

The Elephant’s Song
The sad but true story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, set to a tune sung by her friend, an old farm dog. Their story is portrayed in colorful, handcrafted animation, created frame by frame with clay-on-glass and oil pastel animation.
USA, 2018 / in English / Lynn Tomlinson / 7.5 min / Animation.

 

 

 

 

BE STRONG. BE KIND. 2020
Empathy allows us to understand and share the feelings of others. Some people have it while others… well let’s say they might need to practice. The stories on this reel hopefully inspire you to see/feel things in another way. They include the extraordinary measures a whale tries to help a songbird, two friends from Fruitistan who didn’t realize they weren’t supposed to like each other and tiger still waiting for his stripes.
Multi-national / in English or with English subtitles / 75 min / Ages 8+

Film lineup is subject to change without notice.

A Tiger With No Stripes
A little tiger decides to take a long journey in search of his stripes.
France-Switzerland, 2018 / no dialogue / Raul ‘Robin’ Morales Reyes / 9 min / Animation.

Apples and Oranges
In the land of Fruitistan, there live two kinds of people – the ‘Applers’ and the ‘Orangees’. Their preferences for apples or oranges divides them from birth into competing societies that belittle and disparage each other. Lines start to blur when two twelve-year-olds Tulip (an Appler) and Daisy (an Orangee) become friends without knowing each other’s background.
India, 2019 / in English or with English subtitles / Rukshana Tabassum / 23 min / Live Action

The Bird and the Whale
The Bird and the Whale is a story about a young whale struggling to find his voice. After straying too far from his family to explore a shipwreck, he discovers it’s sole survivor, a caged songbird. Together they struggle to survive lost at sea.
Ireland, 2018 / no dialogue / Carol Freeman / 7 min / Animation

The Little Doctor

Inclusion Makes the World More Vibrant
A little boy helps his blind mother experience an art gallery in a surprising and unusual way.
Australia, 2017 / in English / Genevieve Clay-Smith / 3 min / Live Action.

Good Heart
In one primeval forest lives a family led by a mother who is strict, wild and at times unhappy. Things change for the better when a puppy is brought home.
Russia, 2018 / no dialogue / Evgeniya Jirkova / 5 min / Animation.

Babou
The school yard can be a challenging place to just be yourself. Sometimes it takes one a brave soul to find the courage within.
France, 2018 / no dialogue / François Narboux / 2 min / Animation.

Athleticus: Course de demi-fond
Flamingos and a tortoise are having a running race around the track. Sometimes a little ingenuity can go a long way.
France, 2018 / no dialogue / François Narboux / 2 min / Animation.

Bearing
It’s tough keeping up with your mom!
Czech Republic, 2019 / no dialogue / Daniela Hýbnerová / 2 min / Animation.

My Sister
A child’s imagination can be stronger than any illness. When a sister gives her younger sibling a pair of special glasses we find out whether this is true.
Portugal, 2017 / no dialogue /André Miranda / 4 min / Live Action-Animation.

My Time
A 12-year-old girl has her first period in class right before giving a presentation. Out of several options she could take, the one she chooses might surprise you.
UK, 2018 / in English /Giulia Gandini / 6 min / Live Action.

What’s My Superpower?
Nalvana feels like all of her friends have some type of superpower. Is she the only kid in town without a special talent? The answer was right in front of her all along.
Canada, 2019 / in English /Justin Heymans / 10 min / Animated.

Beit Byoot
Jameela, a friendly girl wants nothing more than to fit in with the other girls in the playhouse. They bully her attempts to join them. That’s when she meets odd Yasmine and ultimately, must choose between true friendship and being an outcast or having fake friendships and fitting in. The ending may surprise you.
Qatar, 2019 / in Arabic with English subtitles /Mayar Hamdan / 7 min / Live Action.

There are some films you finish watching and your only response is, “What was THAT?! Let’s watch it again!” Those films are BIZARRO!. You will ruminate on why slugs have no legs.. what it might look like if letters on signs succumbed to gravity and wonder why is Teddy Roosevelt in this film?! Filmmakers think of some pretty crazy but wonderful things. 

Multi-national / In English or with English subtitles / 72 min  / Age 13+ 

 

Magic Carpet Ride 2020
Jump on the PCFF magic carpet and get ready to ride! Every year we explore the cinematic wonders of the world from many different countries. No genie needed! The stories this year include giraffes giving some sound basketball shooting tips to an elephant, a group of forest animals having their own Tour de France and a squirrel conductor preparing for a nocturnal opera. This year’s reel will transport you from as close as New York City to as far away as Russia.

Multi-national / in English or no dialog / 70 min /All Ages

Film lineup is subject to change without notice.

Maestro
Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals start a nocturnal opera, conducted by a squirrel.
France, 2019 / no dialogue / Illogic / 2 min / Animation.

A Town Called Panic – The County Fair
Cowboy and Indian use time travel to figure out where Horse left the tickets to the County Fair. Sounds weird and confusing? You bet it is… and very funny!
France-Belgium, 2019 / in English / Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier / 26 min / Animation.

Athleticus: Gardien de gymnase
When giraffes offer you basketball shooting advice, you take it! Especially if you’re shooting with a trunk.

France, 2019 / no dialogue / Nicolas Deveaux / 2 min / Animation.

Last Day of Autumn
Forest animals gather one last time before winter arrives to have a friendly bike race through the woods.
France-Switzerland-Belgium, 2019 / no dialogue / Marjolaine Perreten / 7.5 min / Animation.

My Volcano
My Volcano tells the story of a difficult friendship between a volcano and a kid who lives on a volcanic island.
Netherlands, 2019 / in English / Sarah Pannekoek / 2.5 min / Animation.

Flipped
FLIPPED explores the absurdity of a world where the roles of kids and adults are switched.
UK, 2018 / no dialogue / Hend Esmat, Lamiaa Diab / 5 min / Animation.

He Who Tamed the Clouds
At the top of a canyon the old Indian Flying Shadow teaches the young Nayati the ancient art of smoke signals.
France, 2015 / no dialogue / Nicolas Bianco-Levrin / 4.5 min / Animation.

Slurp
A grandmother’s eating style inspires her grandson to become a problem solver.
France, 2017 / no dialogue / Florent Hill / 4 min / Live Action.

Inclusion Makes the World More Vibrant
A little boy helps his blind mother experience an art gallery in a surprising and unusual way.
Australia, 2017 / in English / Genevieve Clay-Smith / 3 min / Live Action.

Jules & Jett Fly a Kite
A brother and sister robot solve problems and have adventures together. And like with most siblings, sometimes they get into trouble along the way.
USA, 2019 / in English / Tony Dusko / 1.5 min / Animation.

The Imaginary Friends Shop
Edgar, a mysterious artisan who owns a little hidden shop, meets the sweet Lucie, a little girl with dreaming eyes and a curious request.
Italy, 2019 / no Dialogue / 6 min / Animation.

 

More Than A Selfie 2020
How many selfies do you take and like? You are so much more than one image could capture. This shorts compilation shares stories of developing or accepting one’s own identity. The stories from around the world include a young woman who is torn wanting to do well at school but at what cost…? A girl who hates her name until she finds out who it’s from and a young man with a talent for photography… with film! These stories (and others) might expand the way you identify with the world around you.
Multi-national / in English or with English subtitles / 74 min / 13+ (profanity, parental alcoholism)

Film lineup is subject to change without notice.

A Million Eyes
A gifted young photographer, grappling with his mother’s alcoholism, sets out to capture something he loves.
USA, 2019 / in English / Richard Raymond / 24 min / Live Action.

Post No Bills
On an urban city wall plastered with posters Noodle Boy must face his fears and make his way through a series of obstacles and challenges in order to save Miss Fortune from the city’s clean up crew.
Canada, 2018 / no dialogue / Robin Hayes / 6 min / Animation.

She Who Wasn’t Tamed
Hanie, a highschool student tries her best to not to disappoint her parents and her teacher at the poetry competition. After meeting Ghazal her priorities change significantly.
Iran, 2019 / in Farsi with English subtitles / Saleh Kashefi / 15 min / Live Action.

Dela
Dela is a beautiful little girl with a mind of her own. She lives with her dad, a cook, on the magical island of Itaparica in Brazil’s Bay of All Saints. Dela does not understand why the kids at school make fun of her name and her hair. But she is determined to sort it out.
Brazil-South Africa, 2019 / in Portuguese with English subtitles / Bernard Attal / 8.5 min / Live Action.

Invincible Boy
A wildly imaginative boy’s mission to become a superhero is challenged when his optimistic view of the world begins to crumble.
USA, 2019 / in English / Julian Park / 20 min / Live Action.

Represent
A young man’s world is turned upside down during a school field trip to the art museum.
USA, 2019 / in English / Chris Heck / 6 min / Live Action.