Solving & Evolving

Director(s): Multiple directors
Country: Multi-national
Language: In English or w/English subtitles
Multiple Film Types | 2020, 2021 | 80 mins
Recommended for ages 13+ (Parental Guidance: Self harm/suicide are topics in OUT OF THE DARK; There is one significant cuss word in the first ten seconds of HOW TO BE AT HOME.)

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Everyone encounters an obstacle now and then. How you overcome obstacles and the lessons learned are the common themes that films share in SOLVING & EVOLVING. Have you ever been truly homeless? Did you ever experience feelings of depression? How can you play soccer when your own Dad is opposed to just the idea of you playing? The films on this reel will get you thinking about these questions and more!

NUMBER 10 – Awa, who was born in Europe to Senegalese parents, explores what it means to be a woman in a patriarchal family. Eventually, she and her dad take their dispute to the soccer field where she shows him what she’s fighting for. (2020 / 14 mins / France / dir. Florence Bamba / in French w/English subtitles)

SMUDGED SMILE – Zoe, a seemingly joyful teenager struggles with depression, trying to maintain the happy image that everyone knows and loves. Director, Ella Greenwood stated, “…with Smudged Smile I wanted to show that people can have depression, without a major event needing to take place to make them ‘sad’. I wanted to show that it can feel like it’s taking away who you are, as our lead character Zoe goes from being able to handle anything, to not being able to handle much at all. She has a loving family and friends around her, does well in school, has her 16th birthday party to look forward to, but she still starts struggling with her mental health despite all of this….” (2020 / 20 mins / UK / dir. Ella Greenwood / in English)

THE BEST ORCHESTRA IN THE WORLD – Ingbert the sock auditions for a position as a double bass player in the Vienna State Orchestra. Although the selection committee is thrilled with his performance, something is holding them back. Opposition to inviting him comes from the most surprising of soles. (2020 / 14 mins / Austria / dir. Henning Backhaus / in German w/English subtitles)

CURRENT (Strom) – One night, the wind disappears, and the wind turbine keeper goes on a quest to bring it back. On his journey, he encounters people who help him discover why his life has felt as stagnant as his turbine’s propeller blades. (2020 / 18 mins / Germany / dir. Katharina Schnekenbühl / in German with English subtitles)

GRADUATION – An egg-shaped robot convincingly conveys how an accelerated and very competitive academic world can break an individual down. Just when it appears all hope is lost, kindness is exhibited along with piquing one’s curiosity about Herman Hesse’s book DEMIAN. (2021 / 6 mins / Democratic People’s Republic of Korea / dir. YANG Sun-jung / no dialogue)

HOW TO BE AT HOME – Lean into loneliness — and know you’re not alone in it. Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman reunites with poet Tanya Davis to craft tender and profound animation on the theme of isolation, providing a wise and soaringly lyrical sequel to their viral hit How to Be Alone. (2020 / 5 mins / Canada / dir. Andrea Dorfman / in French w/English subtitles)

OUT OF THE DARK: Akeem – How do you fight an enemy you cannot see? This is the story of Akeem Rollins, known for his viral slam poetry piece “Suicide Note,” and how he faced the greatest challenge of his life and found strength he never knew he had. (2021 / 4 mins / USA / dirs. Sarah Klein, Tom Mason / in English)



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