Our Festival

61st Festival May 9-11, 2019


MOAS Promo

Viewer discretion advised: Films may contain Adult themes, content or language. Those likely best suited to Ages 18+ have been marked MA for Mature Audience.


Thursday, May 9, 8pm

The Traffic Separating Device

Johan Palmgren, Sweden 15 min

(Documentary) Installed in the busy streets of Stockholm, a device meant to keep cars away so buses can pass freely meets mixed results and opinions.

For A Better Life

Yasmin Mistry, USA 10 min

(Animated Documentary) Sold to a foreigner for $100 at age 5, Fekri suffered abuse and confusion until finding refuge and a way to reconnect with family. (MA)

Moved to Tiers

Avery Herzog, USA 11 min

(Live Action/Animation) A couple comes to life in a bakery and finds a way to escape a humdrum existence, creating its own version of happily ever after.

Tash Kømyr

Evgenii Chistyakov, Kyrgyz Republic 29 min

(Drama) Two teens earn a living the hard way—selling coal they extract from a nearby mine. Despite rough conditions, they dream of a better life. (MA)

Why We Push

Nathan Sengillo, USA 22 min

(Documentary) Skateboarders from across Rochester, NY, explain how a passion for the sport and a sense of community enriches their lives. (MA)

The Right Choice

Tomisin Adepeju, UK 10 min

(Sci Fi/Dark Comedy) With help from The Adviser, a couple answers three seemingly harmless questions in order to create their “perfect” designer baby. (MA)

To Remember Me By

Rahoul Daswani, India 15 min

(Narrative) Young Anand searches Mumbai’s historic camera district hoping to revive memories jammed inside an 8mm film camera.


Friday, May 10, 8pm

The Scorpion’s Tale

Jhosimar Vasquez, USA 22 min

(Drama) Greed, revenge and death all collide in this taut crime drama which asserts that, in life, perhaps nothing is what it seems to be. (MA)

Double Exposed

Julie Buck, USA 4 min

(Documentary) A filmmaker reflects on Super 8 films from her childhood (shot by her grandfather) to shed light on what remained unseen. (MA)

40 Meter

Samuel Flückiger, Switzerland 14 min

(Documentary) Kurt drove trains for 40 years and witnessed railroad death firsthand. This is an intimate portrait of a sturdy man navigating trauma. (MA)

Him & Her

Nathalie Lamb, Germany 8 min

(Animated Drama) What if a magical tree house could somehow illustrate our fantasies and desires? And give us reason to reflect on our personal foibles?

Written in Stone

Sangsun Choi, South Korea / USA 18 min

(Documentary) This documentary sheds light on the lives of child workers in India who toil alongside family members in a stone quarry village.

L’Homme et le Poisson

Lewis Leon, Canada 4 min

(Animation) Set against the backdrop of a vast frozen tundra, a grizzled fisherman gets his comeuppance—from an eerily familiar fish.


Javier Kühn, Spain 15 min

(Drama) Two women come face-to-face in a Las Vegas hotel room. While Elsa was hired for the job, Mrs. Taylor explains the family secret which brought them both here. (MA)


Kim Seul-ki, South Korea 21 min

(Comedy) Will she get the part? Or won’t she get the part? Follow a young actor as she makes every effort to master her emotions.


Saturday, May 11, 4pm

The Third Part (La tercera parte)

Alicia Albares, Paco Cavero, Spain 16 min

(Dramatic Comedy) Sergio is dying from marrow cancer. His doctor and the rest of the medical team work to make his last dream come true.


Catharine Parke, Canada 9 min

(Drama) Overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of being a teen in high school, Arielle takes refuge in a dangerous habit—which doesn’t go unnoticed. (MA)

Martin Hill: Camera Man

Joanne Hock, USA 30 min

(Documentary) A curator with a passion for iconic Hollywood film cameras, Martin Hill spent 40+ years collecting cast-off film equipment from motion picture studios.

Welcome to the Ball

Adam Vincent Wright, USA 5 min

(Drama) An effervescent child learns sign language in hopes of striking up a new and enduring friendship with a neighbor.

Man of the Land

Eddie Thomas, UK 11 min

(Drama) After a visit from his son and granddaughter (in which the son urges him to give up the farm), vascular dementia sets in for a proud land owner.


Ana Maria Ferri, Spain 9 min

(Narrative Fantasy) Since Carla left, Coco and Sergio are now inseparable. One day Coco leads Sergio to Carla’s favorite shop, with a sway all its own.


Ben Hartley, USA 12 min

(Dramatic Performance) A young enslaved man is given a pathway from slavery to freedom through literacy lessons carried out under the cover of darkness.


Saturday, May 11, 8pm

Parting Shot

Özgür Cem Aksoy, Turkey 11 min

(Dramatic Comedy) At a Turkish funeral, a man fumbles to explain his own loss. When the Hodia leading the proceedings intervenes, a complicated but comic discussion unfolds.

Alone in New York

Jonathan Wilhelmsson, Sweden 2 min

(Narrative) A disillusioned businesswoman considers what her life might be like if she was the only inhabitant of New York City.

The Widow

Brendan Young, Australia 29 min

(Drama) Set in 1965, a Sicilian widow fights for her life when members of the local Calabrian mafia try to seize control of her murdered husband’s produce business. (MA)


Raúl Koler & Emiliano Sette, Argentina 15 min

(Sci Fi/Animation) Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil (devoid of emotion and fulfilling their own destiny) test humanity in a struggle that casts their targets as winners and losers. (MA)

All My Guardian Angels

Bernabé Rico, Spain 15 min

(Drama) A sports bag is abandoned on Christmas Day. Its contents undertake a journey of survival as it’s handed off by nocturnal beings: its unsuspecting guardian angels.


Prashant Singh, India 21 min

(Drama) A young boy and his grandfather share a special bond. When they’re separated, the boy struggles to understand what’s going on around him. Produced by Tej Sisodia.

Two Balloons

Mark C. Smith, USA 9 min

(Animation) Two adventurous lemurs navigate their dirigibles halfway around the world to a place where happenstance and fate threaten to disrupt their reunion.


Honorable Mention

These films may not have screened at the fest, but they certainly held their own. Shorts which earn an “Honorable Mention” have made it into Final Judging and meet high standards of excellence in filmmaking, acting, screenwriting, set design and more.

Honorable Mention

  • AD LIB-IMPROVISATION by Joon-seok Heo
  • BOMBORA by Augie Meleo
  • A BOY’S FEAR by Samson Ali
  • EDI ORCA by Andrew Gladstone
  • ENCORE by Sonny Steckel
  • A FAREWELL by Yifei He
  • MITINA LYUBOV by Svetlana Filippova
  • MOTH by Alexey Frenkel
  • NIGHTMARE OF GAZA by Farah Nabulsi
  • NO ONE KNOWS by Tao Zhang
  • THE PARKER by Brian O’Neill
  • THE PUPPET MASTER by Cal Brunker
  • SALIX CAPREA by Valeriu Andriuta
  • SPACE COWBOY by David Gunson
  • TOMISLAV’S DIARY by Vinko Laotovic


Certificate of Merit

Films issued a “Certificate of Merit” did not move on to Final Judging, but they showed strengths of their own and were recognized for demonstrating mastery over one to three key aspects of filmmaking. Examples: a unique or compelling storyline, strong editing, exceptional set design, etc.

Certificate of Merit

  • BENNIFER by Ryan McGlade
  • CLEAN ICE by March Mercanti
  • FIRST DISCO by Helen O’Reilly
  • GOOMBA’S by David Williams/Aisha Noox
  • HEATHER HAS FOUR MOMS by Jeanette Buck
  • HELEN by Ji Hyun Kim
  • THE HEROIN PROBLEM by Beth Cefalu
  • IN THE WIND by Nakorn Chaisri
  • IT’S A MESS by Frank Prinzi
  • JUDGEMENT by Matthew Plourde
  • JUNIPER by George Martens
  • KITCHEN SINK CLASSIC by Lauren Shein
  • LET MERCY COME by Andrew Serban
  • THE MACKEREL by Insoo Moon
  • MANIA by Ryan G. Kell
  • MS JACKSON by Nate Bellavia
  • NORMAL by Joshua Little
  • OBSCURER by Kiera Faber
  • OLOWE AND I by Christina Ruloff
  • PAPERCOP by Steve Figueiredo & Sean Patrick Kelly
  • PERFECTLY NATURAL by Victor Alonso-Berbel
  • PLAY by Vangelis Liberopoulos
  • POSITIVE ACTION by Alasdair McWilliams
  • ROAD TO HER by Jee-hoon Cho
  • ROOTS GROW TOGETHER by Hart Ginsburg
  • RUNNING FOR LIFE by Minghua Shi & Minghui Shi
  • THE STORY OF BIN by Tian Guan
  • THE UNCLOUDED REALM by Ilana Meeker & Elena Najjab
  • WELCOME FRESHMAN by Bradley Bethel
  • YES BUT NO by Maria Dioni



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.