Our Festival

48th Festival May 4-6, 2006


Thursday, May 4, 8pm

Motherless Child-Remnants of the Subway – Fredrick Armstrong & James P. Harte, Rochester, NY

After a close-up study of decay, the viewer is taken on a “Phantom Ride” through the vacant tunnel where the now abandoned Rochester, NY subway omce ran. A lone piano and the resurrected sounds of the subway accompany the ride.

When the Moon is Full (Cuando la Luna esta Llena) – Marc Lesser, New York, NY

From a troubadour’s guitar spins the tale of Javier, a recent Ecuadorian immigrant, who longs for Olivia, the woman whom he serves from behind his deli counter every day.

Happy Birthday Yemima – Yishai Orian, Jerusalem, Israel

Yemima’s family believes that she is the reincarnation of her late grandmother. On the eve of her 28th birthday, a plumber disrupts her strange way of living.

Sirah – Cristine Spindler, Tallahassee, FL

Sirah, a young Muslim girl born in the US, wants to find friendship. To do that, she must choose between the culture that surrounds her and the one she grew up in.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci – Hidetoshi Oneda, Tokyo, Japan

Based on the John Keats poem of the same name, this is the story of a knight who encounters and falls in love with a mysterious lady, only to fail her when he discovers she is not what she seemed to be.

The Tell Tale Heart – Raul Garcia, Glendale, CA

The tale of a murderer who cannot stop hearing his victim’s relentless heartbeat. Based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe, it is narrated by Bela Lugosi.

The Counter – Lauren Wagner, Los Angeles, CA

Alabama, 1962: a small town waitress must decide what to do once a sit-in begins in her diner. Will she support the social law for segregation or stand up for the demonstrators?

Pawns of the King – Ming Lai, Alhambra, CA

A World War II fighter pilot haunted by the past is forced to confront his fears when he meets an old enemy, a US Army 442nd soldier.


Friday, May 5, 8pm

7:35 de la Manana – Nacho Vigalondo, Bilbao, Spain

One morning a woman notices something strange at the café. The waiter and customers are in total silence. No one touches his breakfast. Suddenly a song is heard.

Mute – Melissa Joan Hart, Los Angeles, CA

Eileen is seen sabotaging her elder sister Claire’s wedding. We start to realize that she and the groom have a past that has scarred Eileen in more ways than one.

A Cigar at the Beach – Stephen Keep Mills, Topanga, CA

A man withdraws to an empty beach to smoke his cigar and fantasize. An approaching storm out across the water mirrors the storm of yearning inside him as his fantasies propel him to the very edge of himself and to a surprise yearning greater than flesh or adventure.

Convivium – Michael Nakache, Paris, France

Madge and Hugo invite their friends for dinner. Old tensions surface due to the presence of Eve, who could turn this dinner into a total nightmare.

Dear, Sweet Emma – John M. Cernak, Winston-Salem, SC

As the search is given up for Emma’s husband, Tucker, we learn that Emma has a secret uncontrollable dark side.

The Legend of Black Tom – Deron Albright, Narberth, PA

When freed American slave Tom Molineaux journeys to England to fight for the bare-knuckle boxing championship of the world, he faces not only his opponent in the ring, but also an entire nation.

Karma – Chris John, Oakville, Canada

Sara has been abused all her life by her older sister, Samantha. Now everything is about to change as a journey takes them down a dangerous and unexpected road where they discover the power of Karma.

Cries From Ramah – Loren E. Chadima, Valley Village, CA

A bombing on a Tel Aviv street takes the lives of a Palestinian and an Israeli. Later, at a police station, their mothers encounter each other.


Saturday, May 6, 4pm

Wentworth – R. Stephen Suettinger, Los Angeles, CA

A neurotic misfit must choose between the fantasy girl of his dreams and her real-life flesh and blood counterpart.

Janie – Christine Shin, Los Angeles, CA

Janie, a nine year old, has a perfect life as an only daughter in a loving family. Her life gets completely shattered when Ben unexpectedly shows up.

The Butler of the Van der Waal House – Adam J. Kreps, Studio City, CA

When major changes affect the Van der Waal household, Orson, the family’s butler, must help young Master Martin deal with loss of his mother.

Sharks in the Water – David Puls, Rochester, NY

A disconcerting look at the corporate corruption and political collaboration that plagues the US.

Confessions of a Late Bloomer – Jen McGowan, Los Angeles, CA

Donny, the smallest boy in the class, is always the butt of someone’s joke. This is about to change when he accepts the school bully’s challenge to kiss Sheila, the girl of Donny’s dreams.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers – Michael Sporn, NY, NY

An animated account of the Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center. Jake Gyllenhaal (of Brokeback Mountain) is the narrator.

RPS – Michelle Schmidt, Virginia Beach, VA

Rambunctious Rochelle Schiaparelli learns lessons of love and family through a game called Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Perfect Little Pots – Daphne Raves, Tallahassee, FL

Sue did not expect that seven kids in a pottery class could make such a mess. She and her students learn a valuable lesson about art and life.

Driver’s Ed – Mike Standish & Thom Harp, Seattle, WA

High School Senior Kate must pass her driver’s test to visit her boyfriend in Seattle. Mr. Meeker thinks he can teach her how to drive.


Saturday, May 6, 8pm

Liberte Conditionelle (Suspended Sentence) – Constant Mentzas, Montreal,Canada

Waiting for his plane, a man is suddenly arrested. His examiners harass him with bizarre questions until he confesses. Caught in the crossfire of this war between absurdity and reason, will he be its only victim?

SYN – Ben Chavda, Virginia Beach, VA

A futuristic look at the value of human life.

Surly Squirrel – Peter Lepeniotis, Toronto, Canada

A discarded pizza slice becomes the Holy Grail to a pack of starving park animals. A bank heist turns into a huge gun fight between the robbers and the police. Watch what happens when these two worlds collide.

Smart Card – James Oxford,Woodland Hills, CA

A tale of a utopian future, where every aspect of your life is integrated into one system.

Vika – Tsivia Barkai, Jerusalem, Israel

After a long stay in boarding school, Vika, 12, returns home for the weekend to finds a new baby sister. As always, Vika tries to please her mother and fails.

Penny Dreadful – Bryan Norton, New York, NY

Jessica and David are an upscale couple who come face to face with the supernatural after inheriting a beautiful townhouse in New York City’s West Village. The cast includes Betsy Palmer from the original Friday the 13th.

Viola Fondente (Candy Viola) – Fabio Simonelli, Rome, Italy

Viola is an overweight, beautiful woman. Her frustrating life is pivoted on a monotonous job and a hateful husband.



Film Festival

about Us

The Rochester International Film Festival is produced and presented by Movies On A Shoestring, Inc., offering four distinct screenings each year at George Eastman Museum’s famed Dryden Theatre in Rochester NY.


3 Days. Dozens of Films. Hundreds of Film Lovers. See short films of ALL genres from filmmakers worldwide! Join us! All four distinct screenings are FREE to attend.