6X Real

6X Real

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6X Real

Each year, so many great documentary shorts come our way that it’s impossible to fit them all into opening slots for our documentary competition features. This outstanding feature-length “X Real” program was created to showcase some of our favorites. As we’ve seen numerous times in recent years with such films as “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” and “How Do You Measure a Year?” don’t be surprised if these are being discussed come Oscar® time next year: they are that special and that good!

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6X Real: Competition Documentary Short

Barefoot Empress

Directed by: Vikas Khanna

USA/India, 2022, 15m

In Malayalam with English Subtitles

A 96-year-old woman in Kerala defies tradition and becomes the oldest person to attend first grade in her village, despite the jeers of other students. Produced by Doug Roland (“Feeling Through,” FFF 2020).

6X Real: Competition Documentary Short


Directed by: Lydia Cornett

USA, 2023, 7m

Butchering is hard work; there is also an art to it. Four meat processors in Jeromesville, Ohio, demonstrate how it’s done.

6X Real: Competition Documentary Short

Margie Soudek’s Salt and Pepper Shakers

Directed by: Meredith Moore

USA, 2023, 12m

A film editing teacher makes a video of her grandmother’s obsession with salt and pepper shakers, then edits in interviews and clever special effects in a tutorial.

6X Real: Competition Documentary Short

Breaking Silence

Directed by: Amy Bench and Annie Silverstein

USA, 2023, 18m

In English and ASL with English subtitles

A deaf man and his daughter find common ground after her incarceration, as he begins to advocate for deaf inmates, and she for imprisoned women. From co-directors Annie Silverstein (“Skunk,” FFF 2015) and Amy Bench (“Bad at Dancing,” FFF 2016).

6X Real: Competition Documentary Short

CANS: Can’t Stand

Directed by: Matt Nadel and Megan Plotka

USA, 2022, 19m

Black trans women in New Orleans fight to repeal Louisiana’s Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) law which forces those convicted to register as sex offenders.

6X Real: Competition Documentary Short

Imelda Is Not Alone

Directed by: Paula Heredia

USA, 2023, 32m

In Spanish with English subtitles

An advocacy group helps a young El Salvadorian woman who faces 20 years in prison after giving birth to a child in an outhouse latrine.