I’Mpossible – This program celebrates stories of unique, fun, and ferocious folks who are rejecting stereotypes and living their authentic selves. Historic prejudices, gender journeys and coming-of-age are all explored.
ADJUSTMENT – The nine year-old Shahrokh, humiliated and pushed away by his family and friends, makes up his mind to “adjust” himself to his new identity even if it inflames the behaviors of those around him. (2022 / 17 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir. Mehrdad Hasani / Persian w/English subtitles)
CORVINE – An eccentric boy has trouble fitting in at school due to his obsession with crows. It really becomes too much until one day a connection is made that will change his life. (2022 / 10.5 mins / Canada / dir. Sean McCarron / no dialogue)
FOR THE SECOND TIME – Sareh, is a school girl who comes from a religious family. She loves acting but her family has other thoughts about the role of girls in society. Secretly preparing herself for a student theater production she is determined to let nothing get in her way. (2022 / 18 mins / Islamic Republic of Iran / dir. Leila Akhbari / Persian w/English subtitles)
INTO LIGHT – When a child reveals who they truly are on the inside, how does a parent set aside their own expectations to help them become their most authentic self? Set against the Northern landscape of Yellowknife, Sheona McDonald’s new documentary, Into Light, captures a season of change as a mother and child navigate the complexities of gender identity together. As elemental changes parallel this extraordinary journey, the return of brighter days uncovers a confident and social little girl with an encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs, a deep love of animals, and a parent who fully embraces this magical person. (2021 / 19 mins / Canada / dir. Sheona McDonald / in English)
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE – The amazing Molly takes us on a journey through her own mind and into the world of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (2022 / 3.5 mins / United Kingdom / dir. Alexander Amelines / in English)
RACHEL – Animator Rachel Reid talks about how to be an animator and encourages others to follow their dream. (2022 / 3 mins / USA / dir. Toko Shiiki / in English)
UNSUNG WOMEN: Alice Guy – This is an episode of Unsung Women, a stop motion series that points out with humor the invisibility process that women have undergone through history. We all know Lumière and Méliès, the great inventors of cinema! However, at the same time, there were pioneering women directors, such as Alice Guy-Blaché… A name that remained unknown for a long time, Alice Guy-Blaché was an incredible cinema pioneer whose name had been forgotten… until today! (2021 / 3 mins / France / dirs. Julie Gavras, Mathieu Decarli / in English)
UNSUNG WOMEN: Oona Musha – This is an episode of Unsung Women, a stop motion series that points out with humor the invisibility process that women have undergone through history. Ah, Japan… With its well-behaved geishas in silky kimonos, and its samurais busy with swordplay… Confronted with these imposing stereotypes, the onna-musha are not well known, yet these women had a very particular function: warfare. (2021 / 3 mins / France / dirs. Julie Gavras, Mathieu Decarli / in English)
UNSUNG WOMEN: Viqueen – This is an episode of Unsung Women, a stop motion series that points out with humor the invisibility process that women have undergone through history. Archaeologists were perplexed: how can a tomb of a great Viking warrior contain such a small skeleton? It only took a DNA test to reveal the obvious: this grand burial is that of a woman! (2021 / 3 mins / France / dirs. Julie Gavras, Mathieu Decarli / in English)
A story about five young people who neither feel male nor female, but rather position themselves somewhere in between. Everyday they are confronted with being different, yet they are proud to be who they are. The young people portrayed in this film all have their own struggles and together they create a compelling story about acceptance.
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)
France was the number two country from which we received submissions this year. (U.S. was #1, can you guess #3? The answer is at the end of the film synopsis!) With so many good ones to choose from we NEEDED to have a French film reel this year. The language is common between them but the styles run the gamut. Some highlights include two eight-year-olds who decide to embark on their own Montreal adventure, earthworms singing about their role in what could be your backyard, and a kingdom where “fashion rules the day”…until Ridicule arrives! Film on this reel include…
SONG OF AUTUMN (CHANSON D’AUTOMNE) is one of a series of animated shorts that are inspired by the poems of Paul Verlaine. Young filmmakers who have just graduated from French animation schools interpret Verlaine’s poems in film. PCFF is showing three of these films this year. (2020 / 3 mins / France / dir. Jean-Baptiste Marchand / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
WEDNESDAY (MERCREDI) Iris and Leo are waiting for their school bus, just like any other day. This morning, however, it does not arrive. Facing no rules but their own, the two eight-year-olds embark on an urban adventure, one they shall never forget, roaming the streets of Montreal. (2020 / 10 mins / Canada / dir. Lisa Delhom & Jérémy Paquet / live-action / in French w/English subtitles)
DOLIUM PÉPLUM – Recreating battle is one of the oldest games children play. In this short film from France, a vineyard is the setting for two epic forces to fight to the bitter end. (A little irony for U.S. viewers with the red vs. blue costumes.) A super creative short film with make-it-yourself costumes, weapons and battle accoutrements, you will sense the influences of classic battles depicted from Braveheart, Henry V, Kurosawa and even a little Monty Python. 🙂 (2020 / 9 mins / France / dir. Théo Nodet / live-action / in French w/English subtitles)
THE JELLYFISH (LA MEDUSE) – In an ocean infested by plastic, a little being leaves his reef and goes on an adventure on a jellyfish… (2019 / 4 mins / France / dir. Mélanie Peltier / animation / no dialogue)
THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS (L’ORDRE DES CHOSES) -An unintelligent insect, at the lower level of the food chain, survives its position as prey in the forest. But suddenly, the established order is overthrown. The insect provokes a sequence of accidents that build upon the other. (2019 / 4 mins / France / dir Luce Grosjean / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
WORMS OF EARTH (TERRE DE VERS) – Naked, slimy and rampant bros; No legs, no teeth, and no toes; We dig with no mischief, your burden we relief; We’re at your service, there is no artifice; The Earthworm team is here, as tight as musketeers. The lyrics say it all! (2019 / 8 mins / France / dir Hélène Ducrocq / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
LUPIN – A young wolf ventures out of his burrow for the first time, while his mother is busy hunting. Lost and frightened, he finds shelter in a garden. Jeanne, Gaston and Louis, the hunters’ children, find him and decide to bring him back to his home in the woods. (2020 / 11 mins / France / dir Hélène Ducrocq / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
CONQUISTADOR is one of a series of animated films that are inspired by the poems of Paul Verlaine. Young filmmakers that have just graduated from French animation schools interpret the poems into their visions on film. PCFF is showing three of them this year. (2020 / 3 mins / France / dir Jérémie Cousin / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
THE FAITHFUL FISH (LE POISSON FIDÈLE) – What would you do with a sculpin (a non-edible fish) that keeps biting on to your hook? Three children on vacation near a lake in Maine try and try and try to catch another fish. (2019 / 8 mins / Belgium / dir Atelier Collectif / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
PROMENADE SENTIMENTAL is one of a series of animated films that are inspired by the poems of Paul Verlaine. Young filmmakers that have just graduated from French animation schools interpret the poems into their visions on “film”. PCFF is showing three this year. (2020 / 3 mins / France / dir Emily Tronche / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
À LA MODE – In a kingdom tormented by fashion crazes, a queen and her court must always keep up with the new trend. If not, an abominable monster will consume them: the Ridicule. But with the arrival of a disarmingly natural cowboy, this nation of fashion victims laughs, and a simple question arises: what if the Ridicule isn’t what we think? (2020 / 9 mins / France / dir Jean Lecointre / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
ATHLETICUS: One Rink for Two – Flamingoes are rehearsing their figure skating number when the ice rink is invaded by a troop of elephant hockey players. The winner of this power play will find their time on the ice trunk-ated! (Ouch!) (2019 / 3 mins / France / dir Nicolas Deveaux / animation / no dialogue)
VANILLE – Vanille, a young Parisian girl who recently arrived in Guadeloupe, dives into an adventure tinged with mystery, meeting picturesque characters and a magic flower. These are holidays that promise to be rich in twists and turns! PCFF’s first film ever from Guadeloupe! And it’s soooo good! (2020 / 30 mins / France & Guadaloupe / dir Guillaume Lorin / animation / in French w/English subtitles)
Once again PCFF is delighted to offer a Spanish language shorts reel. The films of CineEspañol come from Spain, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. A super creative mix of narratives that include a sister who will stop at nothing to bring joy to her brother’s life, a detective team that will remind you of Roger Rabbit, and a live-action film that might make you wonder if he really needs THAT chair…?! Films on this reel include…
BLUE & MALONE: Impossible Cases – Berta visits the old theater where her grandmother used to work on the eve of its demolition and finds out it’s not completely abandoned. Mortando Malone and Big Blue Cat, her old imaginary friends, are there to help with an impossible case — to recapture her capacity to dream. (2020 / 20 mins / Spain / dir. Abraham López / live action & animation / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
WILD LEA – Lea is a strong, lonely, and floral cat who discovers the complexity and the perks of friendships after falling from a tree. A very caring ragdoll named Ciro tends to her injuries and introduces Lea to his family of fixed-broken things. Unlike Lea, they have a fear of going anywhere outside the home. The day would come when they would need to overcome that fear to help their friend. Super imaginative animation where forks, toilet paper and napkins come alive! (2019 / 9 mins / Colombia / dir. María Teresa Salcedo Montero / animation / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
THE SIZE OF THINGS (El tamaño de las cosas) – Diego lives with his father in a house without things, without furniture, without anything. One day he finds a chair deep in the woods. Diego takes the chair back home but the father disagrees and orders him to return it. At night, the father recognizes the boy ́s feeling of disappointment and allows Diego to bring the chair again. Diego returns to the forest but something has happened, something really big. He can ́t bring the chair this time. (2019 / 12 mins / Colombia / dir. Carlos Felipe Montoya / live action / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
THE CHIMAI AND THE STORM – After a great storm, a very old Chimai (spiritual healer) tends to the damage created in the forest and the toppling of a massive tree. She finds an unexpected surprise and a great power is revealed. (2020 / 8 mins / Argentina / dir. David Bisbano / animation / no dialogue)
CROCODILE (Cocodrilo) WINNER 2021 Audience Choice Award Best Short Live-Action Film- As on every other afternoon, Alicia prepares a cup of tea and watches her favorite YouTube channel: VictorGaming, a role-playing video games channel. Victor, the YouTuber, is answering questions from his fans. Alicia has a very important thing to say to him. (2018 / 5 mins / Spain / dir. Jorge Yudice / live-action / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
MARIA CAMILA’S GIFT – In a park, nine-year-old Maria Camila gives any passerby a piece of paper with something written by her. Immediately after reading it, people begin to impersonate different animals. What power does María Camila have to transform them? (2019 / 12 mins / Mexico / dir. Andrés Molano Moncada / live-action / in Spanish w/English subtitles)
Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. Rejected by the Confederate army and taken for a coward by his beloved Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack), young Johnny Gray (Keaton) is given a chance to redeem himself when Yankee spies steal his cherished locomotive (“The General”). Johnny wages a one-man war against hijackers, an errant cannon and the unpredictable hand of fate while roaring along the iron rails.
Demolishing stereotypes without wrecking their cars, the Speed Sisters are the Middle East’s first all-female car racing team. With high-octane talent and the marketing savvy to draw attention to their camera-friendly lineup, this diverse, engaging, real-life group competes throughout the West Bank in Palestine’s makeshift motor sports circuit. They navigate Israeli checkpoints and restrictive societal expectations to evolve into potential role models for a new generation of young Arab women.
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 impressions of life’s limitations.
Ten-year-old Fernando is a precocious boy living in a small Brazilian town in the 1930s with faithful friends and a strict yet loving family. His desire to tinker, explore and experiment constantly lands him in trouble. A resolution to this perpetual cycle of penance presents itself when a “twin Fernando” arrives unexpectedly. He willingly serves Fernando’s time (detention, grounding in his room, even attending school) while Fernando lives a life of indulgence, fishin’ n’ forts. All goes well, until it doesn’t!
“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.