Directed by Michael Sladek USA / 2017 / 14:12 minutes World Premiere
All Against the Sea is an atmospheric short film about a desperate man who takes his troubled wife on a kayaking trip in New York City's formidable Jamaica Bay, as what goes unsaid threatens to drown their relationship.
Directed by Amanda Zackem USA / 2016 / 14:45 minutes
Pulitzer-prize winning Journalist, Author and Activist Chris Hedges, discusses modern day consumerism, totalitarian corporate power and living in a culture dominated by pervasive illusion.
An Exquisite Task
Directed by Beck Underwood USA / 2017 / 4:45 minutes
Set in an old barn slated for teardown, a vintage doll, a mysterious barn spirit and some mischievous farm critters, come together in this stopmotion short about motherhood, creativity and letting go.
Directed by Paul Spaulding USA / 2017 / 14 minutes SUNY New Paltz World Premiere
Amy Trompetter breaks boundaries and expectations through the art of puppetry. She encourages all ages to participate and perform in public. Through this short journey well get a glimpse of her life, efforts, and the cultural importance of puppetry.
Cee Cee and the Ex-Calibahhh
Directed by Joy Buran and Noelle Melody USA / 2017 / 1:26 minutes
Cee Cee and the Ex-Calibahhh is part of the growing collection of very short bedtime stories for adults, called Cee Cee's Bedtime Stories. Recorded at a bar, Cee Cee candidly recalls the days of her wild youth.
Cocked and Locked
Directed by Merav Elbaz USA / 2016 / 8 minutes East Coast Premiere In Hebrew with subtitles
An Israeli soldier learns that power is just an illusion.
Directed by Bill Plympton USA / 2017 / 5:37 minutes
The sixth film in Bill Plympton's Oscar-nominated Guard Dogseries, in which our plucky hero has a new occupation: patrolling our airports sniffing for illegal drugs. You know that's not going to end well.
Crick in the Holler
Directed by Ursula Ellis USA / 2017 / 17:41 minutes Columbia University World Premiere
In this Southern gothic drama set against West Virginia's 2014 Elk River chemical spill, an industrious first-generation college student charged with the care of her rebellious younger sister, instead becomes consumed by an issue with their water supply.
Directed by Patrick Letterii USA / 2017 / 8:48 minutes World Premiere
Daykwon, 14, a cocky, foul-mouthed kid from the Rockaways, goes to his first big commercial audition. Upon meeting Stacy, a forthright child actress in the waiting room who calls him on his arrogance, Daykwon lets his macho facade down and develops his first real crush.
Directed by Fenglin Chen USA / 2017 / 4:40 minutes The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
A romantic relationship blossoms between a man and a woman when they first meet in a delicatessen. Their desires get projected onto the foods, turning them alive, into uncanny mutated human limbs and organs. It's a supermarket love story that plays with food as a metaphor of sensual desires
Directed by Tingting Liu China,USA / 2017 / 4:38 minutes
First Bloom is an original chinoiserie animated short film that tells the story of the budding love between a eunuch servant and a princess in ancient China. Consisting of more than 4000 frames that took more than 3500 hours, First Bloombrings traditional Asian-styled watercolor painting to life.
The Foster Portfolio
Directed by Danielle Katvan USA / 2016 / 19 minutes
Based on the original short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Foster Portfolio is an offbeat, mid-century tale about a rookie investment counselor who discovers that his penniless client is hiding a million-dollar inheritance in order to conceal a mysterious double life.
Good Guys With Guns
Directed by Jordan Ancel USA / 2017 / 5:00 minutes East Coast Premiere
Too many good guys with guns try to stop a robbery, but no one knows who the good guys are. In an armed America, who can tell?
Directed by Kirsten Lepore USA / 2017 / 2:45 minutes
This short breaks the fourth wall in an uncomfortable yet hilarious way.
How to have a Romantic Date - Cartoon Box #4
Directed by Joost Lieuwma The Netherlands / 2017 / 0:22 minutes
A woman and a man are having a date. This will be a night that they remember for a very long time.
I'm in Here
Directed by Willy Berliner USA / 2017 / 12:30 minutes Columbia University
A man finds a family of strangers in his house and has an extremely difficult time asking them to leave.
Directed by Joy Buran and Noelle Melody USA / 2017 / 4 minutes
In Winter is an animated music video for the Kingston, NY-based band Matt Pond PA. Based on the Norse mythology of Skadi, a giantess from Thyrmheim, where the snow never melts, and Njord, a god from Noatun, a bright, warm place by the sea.
After spending nine nights in each other's homes, Njord loathes the howling of wolves in her world and Skadi despises the songs of swans in his. They are in love but they're totally different, and it's not going great.
It's Just a Gun
Directed by Brian Robau USA / 2016 / 13:35 minutes Chapman University
When a young boy named Gabe finds a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, it will set in motion a series of events that will change him forever.
Directed by Franz Maria Quitt Austria / 2017 / 7 minutes In Swiss German with subtitles
A short film about the daily ritual of a Tyrollean farm boy and his grandfather.
Directed by Ninaad Kulkarni USA / 2017 / 2:50 minutes School of Visual Arts
KCLOC is a 3D animated documentary on the perception of time. A selection of brief interviews, provide the voices for ten meticulously designed CGI clock characters, in a variety of real-world settings, as they respond to a single question: "What does time mean to you?"
Directed by Thomas Lennon USA / 2017 / 40 minutes New York Premiere
What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely made up of men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade?
Knife Skills follows the hectic launch of Edwin's restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant's founder, who is also dogged by his past. They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.
The Language of Ball
Directed by Ramón Rodríguez USA / 2017 / 8:45 minutes
Ahmed is a young teenager from Yemen, whose only sense of security and comfort is basketball. One day, during his morning routine of shooting around alone on the court, he is approached by a Latino teenager, who challenges him to a game of one-on-one. This game leads the two on an adventure through various neighborhoods and cultures throughout the city and by the end of their exhilarating journey, we get the sense that the world is a bit better because of it.
Directed by Matthew Gentile USA / 2017 / 13 minutes American Film Institute New York Premiere
Based on True Events that took place in 1875 in Indian Territory, Lawman follows Bass Reeves, the first African-American deputy U.S. Marshal, and his arrest of outlaw, Glen Huddleston. As he brings him towards the encampment, a battle of wills arises between them.
Directed by Laura Beckner USA, France, Germany / 2017 / 19minutes East Coast Premiere In English and French with subtitles
After splitting up with her fiancé, a heartbroken Claudia hooks up with a hipster on the rebound. Eager to leave her previous love in the past, she follows him to an artist retreat in France where they encounter a wild European couple. One night, Claudia becomes an unwitting participant in their hedonistic escapades.
Directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan Miller USA / 2017 / 13:50 minutes
An autobiographical short documentary about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his mail-order-bride mom, and their adventurous escape to America.
Directed by Maxime Pillonel Switzerland / 2016 / 9:25 minutes University of Art and Design (ECAL) East Coast Premiere In French with subtitles
Two robbers try to hold up a gas station. They point their guns at the cashier but he fails to react the way they expect.
Directed by Matthew Dixon USA / 2016 / 17:53 minutes East Coast Premiere
Max Lin had been architecture's celebrated young star. Perched on the cutting edge of form and function, her stunning, sculptural designs challenged the conventional limits of buildings as art. A year ago, her career derailed. Under the weight of brilliance, expectation, endless delays, and the eyes of her own face staring back at her from the cover of Architectural Digest, she cracked. But she's back. Having locked herself away for the last 72 hours, racing to finish the model of what will be her greatest design, she steps back for the final look. It's perfect. And then, from inside, she hears the whisper that every artist fears.
Directed by Kyle Morrison USA / 2017 / 23 minutes
JC Hall is a social worker in the South Bronx who has been given the opportunity to create a music studio in the old storage room of a 'second chance' high school. When one of the students who helped him build the studio is murdered in front of the school, JC and his after school program decide to hold a show in his honor. The film follows the group for over a year as they prepare for the show, all while processing their grief, overcoming individual obstacles and working towards graduating high school in a district where 49% of kids live below the poverty line.
Directed by John Sheedy Australia / 2017 / 16:30 minutes New York Premiere
Now in his third school, 10-year-old Tom, who feels he was born in the wrong body, is having trouble settling in and finding acceptance from his newfound peers, but a school dance is about to revolutionize it all.
My Nephew Emmet
Directed by Kevin Wilson, Jr. USA / 2017 / 19:25 minutes New York University
On a dark night in 1955, a Mississippi preacher tries to protect his 14 year-old nephew, Emmett Till from two racist killers out for blood.
New Year's Eve at Sunny's
Directed by Bob Giraldi USA / 2016 / 16:45 minutes
On the brink of suicide, a young man returning from the Vietnam War may find salvation in a young woman he meets on New Year's Eve.
Oh Dusya, My Marusya
Directed by Alexey Belkin Russia / 2017 / 5:40 minutes
A quest for traditional music and folklore takes the audience on a wondrous journey through beautiful Russian landscapes. It might just be, all about that tea.
Outside Hearing In
Directed by Dylan Reitz and Savannah Winchester USA / 2016 / 7:05 minutes
Previously content to be on his own, Calvin discovers his ability to hear the soundtracks of lives far beyond his own doorstep. The cacophony of life's sounds is at first unbearable, but when Calvin finds a way to tune into them individually, he begins to find the noises, stories, conversations, and rambling, comforting and familiar. To share his gift, Calvin sets out to build his own radio tower in order to transmit the intangible, with those that need reminders that they are not alone.
The Pain Body
Directed by Gerson Oratmangoen The Netherlands / 2016 / 11:45 minutes US Premiere In Dutch with subtitles
The Pain Body follows how three young lives are intertwined by a senseless act of violence. Inspired by events that happened in 2013 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Directed by Patrick Smith USA / 2017 / 4 minutes
Satan's boulder busting destruction is halted by a stubborn foe, testing his shape shifting abilities. Scored to an old phonographic gospel recording, Pittari uses hand drawn imagery to illustrate the relentless resistance to Satan's gritty penetration.
The Poet and the Professor
Directed by Ariel Kavoussi USA / 2017 / 21:30 minutes New York Premiere
In New York, a young aimless writer named Ariel bounces back and forth between two equally dysfunctional affairs - one with her depressed married philosophy professor, and the other with an old angry cinematographer.
Directed by Rob Shaw USA / 2016 / 3:43 minutes
The Portlandia Rats are back! Once more featuring the voices of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and brilliantly directed by BENT's one and only Rob Shaw.
Prince of Smoke
Directed by Matthew Gelb Cuba / 2017 / 24 minutes New York Premiere In Spanish with subtitles
Young Cuban tobacco farmer and cigar maker, Hirochi Robaina, follows in his famous grandfather's footsteps as he fights climate change and torrential rains to bring in the harvest and preserve the 171 year-old family legacy. In his time, Hirochi's grandfather, Alejandro Robaina, grew the largest and most perfect tobacco leaves prized by the legendary cigar brand Cohiba and acclaimed by Fidel himself.
Directed by Eric Schuman USA / 2016 / 14 minutes East Coast Premiere
Russ lives and works at a motel with his parents. When a seemingly sick girl and her mother come through, Russ becomes fascinated and tries to befriend the girl.
Directed by Tamara Fisch USA / 2017 / 14:45 minutes New York Premiere
It's New Year's Eve, and Frankie, Jake, Brian, and Nina are gathered for a low-key celebration of board games and wine. As the evening progresses, tensions bubble to the surface: Brian and Nina have just had a baby and haven't had sex in months, and Frankie is sniping at Jake about, well, pretty much everything. When the baby cries, it gives everyone an excuse to take a break from the awkwardness. Frankie and Brian then have a moment alone, and her life is turned upside down. And as the evening continues around her, she knows that nothing will be the same.
The Realm of Deepest Knowing
Directed by SeungHee Kim South Korea / 2017 / 3:30 minutes
During a struggle. one digs beneath the surface of the other to reach the deepest place of his heart. It lightens up the darkness as they fulfill each other in a sense of oneness.
Directed by Jon Bunning USA / 2017 / 15 minutes
A look at the powerful connection between a pair of outdoor ping pong tables in the heart of New York City and the unlikely group of people they've brought together, from homeless people to investment bankers to gangbangers.
The Talk: True Stories About the Birds and the Bees
Directed by Alain Delannoy Canada / 2016 / 8:50 minutes
There are things in life you never forget. One of them, like it or not, is "The Talk".
Adults share memories of when their parents first tried to explain sex to them. Using actual recordings of these recollections and a mix of hand drawn images, photographs, computer generated images, as well as stop frame animated toys and props. The memories of several individuals have been thoughtfully recreated in order to best present the awkwardness of one of life's strangest occurrences.
Directed by Kim Hardy UK / 2017 / 3:45 minutes East Coast Premiere
High stakes drama in the world of finance unfolds, as our hapless hero, Tobes, struggles with the consequences of a terrible mistake.
TV in the Fish Tail
Directed by Iesh Thapar USA, INDIA, UK / 2017 / 13:30 minutes Columbia University New York Premiere In Hindi with subtitles
Fourteen-year-old Tinley and his best friend Kobai live in an isolated Himalayan village. As new technology extends its tentacles into this remote place, the two boys prepare themselves for the miracle that will improve their lives. More than anything, the anticipation of getting a TV, is most appealing.
The villagers prepare for the lights to be turned on. Most are thrilled yet some skeptical about new developments imposing on their way of life.
Meanwhile, Tinley and Kobai veer away from the celebration to visit the newly built powerhouse, but their excitement is soon met with unforeseen consequences.
Wednesday with Goddard
Directed by Nicolas Ménard UK / 2016 / 4:30 minutes
A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair.