Our Festival

65th Festival June 8-10, 2023


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.



  • 20 filmmakers attended the Rochester International Film Fest this year!
  • Over 700 patrons attended this year’s fest!


Thursday, June 8, 8pm

A Colonial Trading Woman: Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse

Leslie Dann and Guido Jimenez-Cruz, USA, Documentary 15 min

A revealing look at Margaret Philipse, a colonial businesswoman and power broker who lived in the New Amsterdam region of the Hudson Valley in New York State.


Jeremy Dennis, USA, Drama 16 min

After a brutal attack destroys her unit, a wounded soldier makes a perilous journey through an unforgiving wilderness to end a war, aided by an enemy combatant she once scorned.

Bangkok Barcelona on Foot

Quim Badenes, Spain, Documentary 27 min

Lluís (Barcelona) and Jenn (New Jersey) walk 16,048 kilometers from Bangkok to Barcelona. On the way they find kindness and hospitality in the most unexpected places in the world.

The Great American Short Story

Daniel Maggio, USA, Comedy 4 min

An author enters a contest for the next great American Short Story. With the contest deadline looming, he secludes himself in a cabin and struggles to overcome writer’s block.


Jordi Calvet, Spain, Drama 15 min

A writer appears at a Madrid police station to report that he unintentionally has become the mind behind the latest ISIS terrorist attacks.


R. Stephen Suettinger, USA, Drama 8 min

A father anxiously awaits the news of his child’s birth. He travels to the hospital to meet his baby, uncertain how the baby’s mother will greet him.


Rebecca Rajadnya, USA, Drama 18 min

A Filipina immigrant grapples with the physical distance from the family she left behind and the cultural disconnect from her daughters in the United States. Balikbayan is a Tagalog word meaning “overseas Filipino/a.”


Friday, June 9, 8pm

Of Kisses and Capes

Eléna Weiss, Germany, Drama 27 min (MA)

Isi and Finn are two friends who wish to take their relationship to a more intimate level. This is a difficult endeavor because of their physical disabilities and emotional insecurities.

The Karens

Katie Goodman, USA, Comedy 8 min

When a woman is referred to as a “Karen” it has negative connotations. But what if your name actually is Karen? You might just need some support.

The Picnic Basket

John C. Richards, USA, Drama 18 min

William Burns is an elderly man in a nursing facility. One morning his caretakers prepare him for a picnic with his family whom he has not seen in 25 years.

Beloc the Blind

Dídac C. Forroll, Spain, Drama 25 min

It is Medieval times, and there have been continuous wars. Beloc was once a soldier but is now aged and blind. He travels the countryside with his homeless guide, stealing from corpses they find along the way.

Cold Feet on the Last Rodeo

Taryn Ward, USA, Comedy 3 min

After enduring a moment of failure, a delivery boy desperately seeks good fortune and a chance to get his driver’s license.

Boodie and Bambi: A Nisei Story

Mario Tahi Lathan, USA, Documentary 17 min

Love. Perseverance. Faith. This is the story of the American Dream as lived by Kelly and Mary Adachi, chronicling their story across generations and landscapes as they search for a place to call home.

View from the Bottom of the Lake

Michiko Mori, Japan, Drama 14 min

A famous mystery writer needs a housekeeper as well as help with his writing career. A young stranger arrives who is ready to do it all. How fortuitous… or is it?


Saturday, June 10, 4pm

Split Ticket

Alfred Thomas Catalfo, USA, Drama 20 min

In 1947, congressmen/future presidents Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy traveled to McKeesport Pennsylvania to debate an upcoming labor bill. This much we know from the history books. But what else happened on this trip?

The Last of the Ferrymen

Toni Kristian Tikkanen and Ville Asikainen, Finland, Documentary 15 min

The memories of ferryman Taisto Kainulainen are coupled with the modern history of the river Vuoksi, including the Winter War of 1939 which resulted in Finland ceding territory to Russia. 

Brown Elephant

Fawzia Mirza, USA, Comedy 3 min

A young Muslim woman and her family discuss a peacekeeping solution for their overly aggressive White Elephant gift exchanges.

Stalking the Bogeyman

Markus Potter and Jack Dorfman, USA, Drama 10 min (MA)

A man confronts the predator who abused him when he was seven years old. This story is based on true events.

The Snowman

Diane Catsburrow Linnet, USA, Animation 1 min

The snowman’s head came out too small. Time to fix it.

Cassette Tape

Yurugu Matsumoto, Japan, Drama 23 min

Saki’s boyfriend of three years proposes to her but now they have to tell her father,
who is anything but enthusiastic.


Waleed Bedour, USA, Drama 5 min

At a late-night eatery to get her friend traditional Egyptian food, Farida witnesses sexual harassment. She confronts the situation but doesn’t get the response she expected.


Dwayne Cameron, New Zealand, Drama 15 min

Parents Willow and David are told their newborn has a 30% chance of surviving. Sent home from the hospital and told to return the next day, the parents ponder the metaphysical space between birth and death, hope and despair.


Saturday, June 10, 8pm


Alberto Ortega, Spain, Drama 12 min

Maria hires the services of Soul Data, a company that creates digital consciousness through data generated in life. Maria is seeking a conversation with her deceased father – a conversation that reveals more than she was expecting.

Pivot Pals

Doron Drew Feldman, USA, Drama 19 min

A boy attempts to derail his mom’s relationship with her man-child boyfriend after reluctantly agreeing to spend the day with him. Too bad the boyfriend has spent his paycheck on tickets to a Steelers’ game.

The Eye begins in the Hand

Yehuda Sharim, USA, Documentary 16 min

This film is a tribute to the artwork of Ruben A. Sanchez. Sanchez has spent his life as a field worker in rural California. His art honors his family and his fellow workers.

The Space Between Us

Gabriel Diamond, USA, Documentary 6 min

An experiment in the power of bearing witness, inviting vulnerability, and sharing movement in a time of racial reckoning.

Istina (Truth)

Tamara Denić, Germany, Drama 30 min

Jelena is a photojournalist who is threatened by right-wing extremists in Serbia. After her editorial office is attacked and her daughter is threatened, Jelena decides to move to Germany, where she continues her quest to uncover the truth.

Shakespeare for All Ages

Hannes Rall, Germany, Animation 3 min

How many of Shakespeare’s plays do you recognize?

Dear Eleanor

Tina Cannaday Chapman DaCosta, USA, Drama 19 min

1941. Buddy is an airplane mechanic who enrolls to serve his country as a Tuskegee Airman. In love with Eleanor, he writes her letter after letter trying to persuade her to come south and marry him. Eleanor is afraid of racial violence in the South. Will her cousin Toni convince her to change her mind?



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.