The Syracuse International Film Festival 2018 will take place on October 10-14, 2018. Now in its 15th year, the festival presents films from around the world in a juried competition. There will be four top cash awards, starting at $1,000, a special music video and web series award, three of the festival’s coveted beautiful crystal Sophia Awards, and other category specific awards.
Wednesday, October 10th Redhouse Arts Center
400 South Salina Street
Admission: $40 Opening night reception starts at 5:30pm with food and cash bar.
Theater One – 7:00pm
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami Directed by Sophie Fiennes Larger than life, wild, scary and androgynous – Grace Jones plays all these parts. Yet here we also discover her as a lover, daughter, mother, sister and even grandmother, as she submits herself to our gaze and allows us to understand what constitutes her mask. The stage is where her most extreme embodiments are realised and her theatrical imagination lets loose: this is where the musical of her life is played out. The film includes Grace’s unique performances singing iconic hits such as Slave To The Rhythm, Pull Up To The Bumper, as well as the more recent autobiographical tracks Williams’ Bloods and Hurricane.
Theater Two – 7:00pm
Conan the Destroyer Directed by Richard Fleischer The wandering barbarian, Conan, longside his goofy rogue pal, Malak, are tasked with escorting Queen Taramis’ virgin niece, Princess Jehnna and her bodyguard, Bombaata, to a mystical island fortress. They must retrieve a magical crystal that will help them procure the horn that legends say can awaken the god of dreams, Dagoth.
Along the way, Conan reunites with the wise wizard, Akiro and befriends the fierce female fighter, Zula. Together the heroes face ancient traps, powerful Wizards, plots of betrayal, and even the dream god, Dagoth, himself!
Theater Three – 6:45pm
Boomerang Directed by Reginald Hudlin Boomerang is a 1992 American romantic comedy film directed by Reginald Hudlin. The film stars Eddie Murphy as Marcus Graham, a hotshot advertising executive who also happens to be an insatiable womanizer and male chauvinist. When he meets his new boss, Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens), Marcus discovers that she is essentially a female version of himself, and realizes he is receiving the same treatment that he delivers to others. The film also features Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Grace Jones, and Chris Rock. Boomerang earned over $131 million worldwide during its theatrical run. The film garnered nominations at the BMI Film & TV Awards and the MTV Movie Awards, while its soundtrack became a top-selling album. Grace Jones was cast in a role that was essentially written as a parody of herself. Of her work ethic, Hudlin said that “she was always 100% committed, and would do the absolute craziest thing at any given time. She was absolutely perfect for the role. It was written for her, and she came in very humble, very sweet.”
All Theatres – 9:00pm Live Skype Q&A with Grace Jones Have the chance to ask Grace Jones questions about her achievements after the screenings. The stream will be available in all three theaters, so all people in attendance will have the chance to ask a question live!
Thursday, October 11th The Palace Theatre
2384 James Street
An Evening with Jeremy Garelick
6:30pm Jeremy Garelick will be attending the Syracuse International Film Festival to discuss the films he and his team has produced this past year in Central New York.
Friday, October 12th The Palace Theatre
2384 James Street
Admission: $15 Silent Films showings starring Chaplin, Keaton & Lloyd accompanied by Soft Spoken Band, followed by music video competition screenings. and live music performances by Dusty Pascal, Leo Crandall, Hove Morebuks, and Dashé.
Silent Film Showings – 7:00pm
What’s Opera, Doc? (1957) Directed by Chuck Jones Elmer Fudd is again hunting rabbits – only this time it’s an opera. Wagner’s Siegfried with Elmer as the titular hero and Bugs as Brunnhilde. They sing, they dance, they eat the scenery.
A Burlesque on Carmen (1915) Directed by Charlie Chaplin This is a parody of two “Carmen”s, Bizet’s opera and a movie (1915) starring Geraldine Farrar. Smugglers come ashore. Their leader sends the gypsy Carmen to lure Don Jose (called Darn Hosiery) away so they can get the contraband to town. There are grand swordfights, deaths, returns to life.
One Week (1920) Directed by Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline Buster and Sybil exit a chapel as newlyweds. Among the gifts is a portable house you easily put together in one week. It doesn’t help that Buster’srival for Sybil switches the numbers on the crates containing the house parts.
An Eastern Westerner (1920) Directed by Harold Lloyd A young New Yorker is the bane of his Christian parent’s existence because of his constant carousing and partying at all hours. As such, his father decides to send the young man to live at ranch of his uncle in Piute Pass in the wild west to get him away from the New York temptations that lead to this unwanted behavior.
Music Video Competition – 9:00pm
Music video competition screenings accompanied with live performances from Leo Crandall, Dusty Pascal, Hove Morebuks and Dashé. Leo Crandall (Live performance) Adina E-Changing Directed by Yoni Goodman (Israel) Dusty Pascal (Live performance) Broken Lullaby Directed by Stella Rosen and Bill McGarvey Project Sandman Directed by Ben Cleeton Forget Directed by James Fazio Hove Morebuks (Live performance) King of Norway Directed by Gotz Raimund (Austria) Through the Mirrors Directed by Kathy Kasic Dashé
Saturday, October 13th Redhouse Arts Center
400 South Salina Street
- Full Day Admission: $30 Single Screening Admission: $10
- Full day of competition and invitational screenings with award ceremonies.
- Quick Links
Theater One Programs
Theater Two Programs
Theater Three Programs
Programs Theater One First Program – 12:00pm Short Film
When a traditional Shakespearean stage director dies on stage, the cast is thrown into a turmoil by the new ‘Brett Ratner’ action film replacement who is toggling to make a comeback.
Still Harlem Directed by Lynn Dow | Fiction | Runtime: 18 Minutes
Following gentrification, Becky moves to New York City to attend Columbia University and ends up renting a room from a man who yearns for Harlem’s past.
Bráška Directed by Dave Fathers | Fiction | Runtime: 7 Minutes
Aleš’ wants to hang out with a group of friends, but is responsible for his younger brother. When his younger brother refuses to leave, Aleš’ desire for acceptance in this group could come at a cost.
Hunter Gatherer Directed by Ashley Grace |Fiction | Runtime: 14 Minutes
When Rose stumbles upon the nephew shenever knew existed, she struggles with how best to help him.
My Little Life Directed by David Willing (Australia) | Fiction | Runtime: 15 Minutes
A documentary produced by Tokyo Chuo Media about Nancy Matsuyama, a rising star in the world of competitive dollhouse making.
Tension rises between two couples as they struggle to resist their temptations while on vacation at a remote villa.
Theater One Second Program – 1:45pm
Directed by Carmine Cangialosi and Jeff Fahey | Fiction | Runtime: 97 Minutes
Tom Berenger plays the lead role of John Moore, a Vietnam veteran who impulsively decides to dust off his treasured motorcycle and go on a cross-country trip.
Theater One Third Program – 3:45pm
Pottersville Directed by Seth Henrikson | Fiction | Runtime: 84 Minutes
Maynard, a beloved local businessman, is mistaken for the legendary Bigfoot during an inebriated romp through town in a makeshift gorilla costume.
Theater One Fourth Program – 5:45pm
Bikini Moon Directed by Milcho Manchevski | Fiction | Runtime: 102 Minutes
A charismatic but mentally unstable vet captures the attention of a documentary film crew who are ready to exploit her story for their own shot at independent movie fame in this very modern, urban fairy tale set amidst a fractured ideal of family.
Theater One Fifth Program – 7:45pm
The Wisdom to Know the Difference Directed by Daniel Baldwin | Fiction | Runtime: 114 Minutes
WISDOM is a story about a man’s journey to bring his sobriety full circle and help a young Latino girl kick a serious drug problem.
Theater One Sixth Program – 10:15pm
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World Directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana | Music Doc. | Runtime: 103 Minutes
A new feature documentary about the role of Native Americans in popular music history that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Theater Two First Program – 12:15pm
Short Film Program
When Heather decides to lose her virginity for her 15th birthday, Mom’s wife must convince Mom, and Mom’s ex, and Mom’s ex’s partner that it’s time for Heather to have “the talk”. Which mom is ready to help Heather make a big decision? It’s a mother-daughter story. Times four.
Baby Won’t You Please Come Home Directed by Christopher Piazza | Fiction | Runtime: 22 Minutes
Pearl Simmons (Michelle Hurst, ‘Orange is the New Black’), an aging jazz singer in brownstone Brooklyn, fights the early stages of Alzheimer’s. While she presents a strong front to her daughter Cynthia (Melanie Nicholls-King, ‘The Wire’), her sense of place and time begin to slip, and her memories of her days as a jazz singer in 1970s New York clash with the present.
The Staying Kind Directed by Isaac Deitz | Fiction | Runtime: 20 Minutes
A woman left behind during the American Civil War must break the ties to her husband before they become the demise of her son.
Kiko Directed by Jamil Munoz | Science Fiction | Runtime: 10 Minutes Kiko, a lonely retail service android, longs for the world beyond her store.
Theater Two Second Program – 2:00pm
Hunter in the Blackness Directed by Federico Muchnik | Documentary | Runtime: 32 Minutes
Seven U.S. veterans share their stories of deployment, life in country, coming home, diagnosis, dreams and nightmares, and recovery. HUNTER IN THE BLACKNESS examines post-traumatic stress and offers a message of resilience and hope.
Left on Pearl Directed by Susan Rivo | Documentary | Runtime: 55 Minutes
What happens when Boston’s 1971 International Women’s Day marchers turn LEFT ON PEARL Street in Cambridge, and seize and occupy a Harvard-owned building for a women’s center, on land sought by the largely African-American Riverside neighborhood for affordable housing?
Theater Two Third Program – 4:00pm
An exploration of the roots of American Socialism, PRAIRIE TRILOGY is an important and not to be missed documentary series from famed documentarians John Hanson and Rob Nilsson through three short films that shine a light on an original and rare man, Henry Martinson.
Theater Two Fourth Program – 6:30pm
Hudson Directed by Sean Cunningham | Fiction | Runtime: 75 Minutes
Hudson embarks on a trip with his estranged cousin to scatter his late mother’s ashes. They meet a hitchhiker along the way that wants to help them.
Theater Two Fifth Program – 8:15pm
Indoors Directed by Eitan Green (Israel) | Fiction | Runtime: 109 Minutes
“Indoors,” the seventh feature film of writer-director Eitan Green, is a movie about an Israeliness that dreams, aspires, insists, confronts, struggles and comes to the point of defeat.
Theater Two Sixth Program – 10:15pm
Kansas Ice Storm Directed by Tiffany Deater | Experimental | Runtime: 7 Minutes
To Tokyo Directed by Casper Seale-Jones (UK) | Fiction | Runtime: 95 Minutes
Challenged by her step-sister to return home, a young woman hiding from her past in a remote Japanese village, is abducted into a fantastic wilderness and pursued by a monster, with only four nights to escape to Tokyo and face her demons.
Theater Three – 10:00am
Theater Three – 11:00am
48 Hour Film Competition with Award Presentation
Theater Three First Program – 12:00pm
Utopia is a, surreal drama and an award-Winning short film about a woman who is conflicted about her identity and wakes up from a coma in Uganda. It has been screened in festivals from the U.S. to Canada, Isreal, Belgium, the U.K.
Madagasikara Directed by Cam Cowan | Documentary | Runtime: 85 Minutes
‘Madagasikara’ is the story of three resilient women fighting for the survival of their families and the education of their children against the overwhelming forces of domestic political instability, international political hypocrisy and the crushing poverty caused by both.
Theater Three Second Program – 2:00pm
The Curzon Project Directed by Jon Beer (Ireland) | Documentary | Runtime: 17 Minutes
The Curzon Project is a short documentary, which tells the story of the Curzon cinema on Belfast’s Ormeau Road which was open from 1936 and closed in 1999.
Standing Up is a feature length documentary following three unlikely aspiring stand-up comedians – an ultra-Orthodox Jew, a couch surfing custodian, and a personal injury lawyer – as they risk everything to find their voices on the cutthroat New York comedy scene.
Theater Three Third Program – 4:00pm
Little Ghost Girl Directed by Adriana Little | Experimental | Runtime: 4 Minutes
This video was inspired by Karen McCadden’s poem “Little Ghost Girl” as read by McCadden for the video. The video translates the brief and lyrical exchanges between loss and that which haunts us.
Reinventing Rosalee Directed by Lillian Glass | Documentary | Runtime: 90 Minutes
Rosalee Glass, a former Holocaust survivor takenprisoner to a Siberian gulag during WWII transforms her destiny. In her 80s she begins an acting career, in her 90s wins a Senior beauty pageant and dares to ride Alaskan Sled dogs at 100.
Theater Three Fourth Program – 6:00pm
Mr. Choi, an elderly man, barely makes his ends meet by picking up and selling recycled paper and empty bottles. Because of his blurring vision, he almost got into a car accident. Later he finds out he has cataract, but he is nowhere near to be able to afford the surgery. One day, however, he sees a gleam of hope – the price of empty bottles will increase greatly in 21 years! With expectations and hope, he goes out in the street early in the morning.
Truth or Dare Directed by Yun Xie | Comedy | Runtime: 92 Minutes
Urban romantic comedy, based on a Hongkong cyberspace writer’s novel. The story is about Alex had a strange illness of saying rude words when he saw the girl he liked.
Theater Three Fifth Program – 8:15pm
Shadow (Skuggi) Directed by Richard D. Lavole | Documentary | Runtime: 28 Minutes
On the waves of the North Atlantic, close to 900 passionate people full of expectations sail to the Faroe Islands, their desolate landscapes and their uncertain sky, to meet a rare and spectacular event: a total eclipse of the Sun.
Hegel’s Angel Directed by Simone Rapisarda Casanova (Canada) | Fiction | Runtime: 70 Minutes
Inspired by southern Haiti’s Vodou and Kanaval cosmologies, and co-written with the entire cast and crew, Zanj Hegel La (Hegel’s Angel) is a cinematic fable challenging the boundaries between fiction, ethnography and reverie. The film follows an inquisitive boy named Widley whose life, suspended between mundane activities and foreign myths, unfolds away from the turmoil of an upcoming presidential election.
Theater Three Sixth Program – 10:15pm
The Laplace’s Demon Directed by Giordano Giulivi (Italy) |
Thriller | Runtime: 105 Minutes
A glass in free fall. Have you ever thought if it is possible to calculate into how many pieces it can break into? After numerous experiments, a team of researchers succeeds in doing just this apparently impossible task.
Sunday, October 14th
Shemin Auditorium Shaffer Art Building at Syracuse University
Single Program Admission: $10
Showings at Shaffer Art Building at Syracuse University of our New Filmmakers, Imaging Disability, and Indigenous Peoples showcase films.
New Filmmakers Showcase – 12:00pm
A writer is haunted by a past filled with success. But now that people seek after his skillful craft, he finds that he can do anything but write.
Chewed Directed by Joe Blank | Runtime: 20 Minutes
A teenage girl in the midst of a high school love triangle, and the evil gum piece trying to corrupt her mind along the way.
Touch Me Right Directed by Lauren Wilson | Runtime: 2 Minutes
An exploration of sexual assault and its effects on both body image and self-perception.
Dream Girl Directed by Ananda Garrison | Runtime: 2 Minutes
Dream Girl is about the underrepresentation for people of color within the beauty industry.
The Resort Directed by Milyana Dolashka | Runtime: 13 Minutes
A young woman resentful of her indentured servitude on a remote island resort desperately searches for an escape into a world she vaguely remembers as free.
Blue Toes is a story that fights to break the rules of gender normative behavior between kids. It follows a young boy named Mickey, who is teased for liking things boys usually don't like.
Sandy Directed by Tee Rodriguez | Runtime: 3 Minutes
An animated horror short about a man and his dog.
The Dick Appointment Directed by JaLisa Arnold | Runtime: 16 Minutes
The film is a satirical comedy focusing on three black female characters – Jaz, Simone, and Drew.
Can You Dig It? Directed by Jasmin Park | Runtime: 16 Minutes
A girl tries to turn her tragic love life into a French New Wave film.
No Accommodations Directed by Mike Koslov | Runtime: 10 Minutes
A film about a father and son who run into trouble at a motel.
Odd Timbre Directed by Matthew George | Runtime: 11 Minutes
Two friends display their unique creative process of making music together
Imaging Disability in Film Showcase – 3:00pm
The documentary profiles three young people, Naieer, 17, attends a Massachusetts public high school and seems headed for a career in visual arts. Naomie, 25, who spent years at a Rhode Island vocational school that was found to be exploiting its students for cheap labor, now works in the state capital building, attends beauty school and aspires to supporting herself financially. And 34-year-old Micah studies at Syracuse University, where he works as a teacher’s assistant. He has become an advocate for the disabled.
Academy Award winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.
New Hampshire-based filmmaker Dan Habib, the producer, director and cinematographer of INTELLIGENT LIVES, will present the documentary by Skype. Micah Fialka Feldman will be present for Q&A.
“People with intellectual disabilities are the most segregated of all Americans, ” Habib says. “Only 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities are included in regular education. Just 40 percent will graduate from high school. And of the 6.5 million Americans with intellectual disability, barely 15 percent are employed.
Native American Showcase – 4:45pm
Narrated by Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner, and directed by Emmy Award winner Ric Burns, the film explores the little known, yet crucial history of the extraordinary contributions of one Native American people-the Oneidas-who during the darkest hours of the Revolutionary War became the only member of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy to side with rebelling colonists.
Three Films by Jeffrey Palmer
Palmer’s films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlinale, Berlin Independent Film Festival, PBS Online Film Festival, Winnipeg Indigenous Film Festival, Maoriland Film Festival, SWAIA Class X Film Festival, Film 2 Farm Aid Film Festival, Borneo International Film Festival, INDIANER INUIT: DAS NORDAMERIKA FILM FESTIVAL, deadCENTER Film Festival, imagineNATIVE, ICDOCS, Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec (FIFEQ), and the Annual International Festival of Ethnographic Film.
His work has also been featured in Indian Country Today, Native American Times, Art Focus and Dreamcatcher Magazine. He received awards and recognition from the Sundance Institute Creative Producers Award, Sundance Institute Native Program Lab fellowship, and Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow. He is a member of faculty in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Transmedia Film Program.
Isabelle’s Garden Directed by Jeffrey Palmer | Documentary | Runtime: 9 Minutes
Isabelle’s Garden is an uplifting story of a community coming together in reciprocity, through the hopes and dreams of a young Choctaw girl and her garden.
Grave Misgivings Directed by Jeffrey Palmer | Documentary | Runtime: 11 Minutes
Grave Misgivings explores the lasting power of Geronimo’s name and image. The distinction between his iconographic cultural presence and the life and death of the real man is explored in a young native artist’s visit to Fort Sill, klahoma, where she visits the Old Guardhouse where he was imprisoned, and his grave. Her efforts to reach the real man through real places result in a new painting, which she creates high on Medicine Bluff, suggesting that, in the final analysis, it is in iconic representation that Geronimo ‘s spirit lives.
Origins Directed by Jeffrey Palmer | Documentary | Runtime: 19 Minutes
Origins represents a grandfather and grandson’s perspectives of Kiowa (Native American) history and storytelling, which together form a visual document tracing the director’s ancestral beginnings. These perspectives range from oral narratives and historical analyses, to the director’s personal memoirs of growing up on Kiowa allotment land in southwestern Oklahoma. These generational voices lead the audience through the expansive landscape of “Kiowa Country”, surveying the origins, homelands, and ceremonial sites of Kiowa existence and identity.
Sami Blood – 6:00pm Directed by Amanda Kernell | Fiction | Runtime: 110 Minutes
Winner more than 25 international awards Sami Blood is about 78-year-old Elle-Marja (who calls herself Christina, these days) who returns with her son, Olle, and granddaughter Sanna, to Lapland, and her childhood society, to attend her younger sister’s funeral. Elle-Marja doesn’t want to be there. She does not like the Sami people, calls them thieves and liars, and even though her first language is Southern Sami, refuses to speak it and pretends to not understand it. She even refuses to spend the night at her late sister’s family home and would rather check into a hotel. (This part of Sami Blood is taken directly from Stoerre Vaerie.)
In the 1930s, 14-year-old Elle-Marja is sent with her younger sister Njenna to the nomad school. It is a boarding school for Sami children where a blonde teacher from Småland teaches them Swedish, and to know their place. Speaking Sami, even just among themselves outside of the classroom, results in beatings. Her feeling of alienation is only intensified when scientists from the State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala came to the school to measure and photograph the class naked in the presence of each other, teachers and neighborhood boys.
After threatening a group of boys with her father’s old knife because they called her racist names and slurs, they nick the edge of her ear like the Sami people do with reindeer. She changes out of her gakti and takes one of her teacher’s dresses from a clothes line.
A group of young soldiers pass her on their way to a dance and asks her to come along—it is the first time anyone who is not Sami has treated her like a human being. Elle-Marja sneaks off to the dance, and for a couple of hours she gets to experience how it feels to have the respect others and be treated with decency by them without question. That is when she decides that she will leave Lapland, go to Uppsala, and study at the university.
School staff remove her from the dance and she is given a spanking with a switch. The school refuse her request to advance her studies in Uppsala, because the curriculum for the Sami is different from that in other Swedish schools and they feel that the Sami could not cope with urban society. She runs away to town, steals some clothes and burns her gaeptie, and invites herself to stay with Niklas, whom she met at the dance. His parents ask her to leave and he will not lend her the money she needs for her school fees, forcing her to go home. Eventually, her mother gives her the money to continue her schooling.