Each year, so many great documentary shorts come our way that it’s impossible to fit them all into the opening slots for our documentary competition features. This feature-length “X Real” program was created to showcase some of our favorites. Don’t be surprised if any of these are being discussed come Oscar®-time next year. They are that special and that good.
Directed by: Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Mike Attie
USA, 2019, 13m
Counselors in Philadelphia spend their shifts at an abortion funding-assistance organization taking nonstop calls from women in the worst situations of their lives. And thanks to the Hyde Amendment, organizations like these don’t have the resources to help all who are in need.
Directed by: Henry Roosevelt
USA, 2020, 15m
In English and French with English Subtitles
In 1944, the rural French town of Sainte-Mère-Église, with a population of around 3,000, was “milestone zero” for arrival of 150,000 allied troops. For the last 75 years, people of all countries, races, and faiths have gathered to commemorate those whose sacrifice changed the world; however, with few veterans remaining, who will preserve their legacy? Winner of the Best Documentary Short at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Directed by: Matthew Killip
USA, 2020, 16m
For 30 years, John Shepherd has transformed his grandparents’ rural home in Michigan into a laboratory of sorts. He has had one goal in mind: make contact with extraterrestrial life. His thinking was that he should broadcast into space the most universal of languages—not mathematics … music. A touching and funny look into a true eccentric and seeker.
Directed by: Tom Carroll
USA, 2020, 11m
Charlie is a pain in the ass. His massive car collection would be fine if he didn’t live in Los Angeles, where he needs to shuffle them from lot to lot every few days to accommodate parking. How does a society discern between hoarding and preservation? Charlie would say it’s a matter of context.
Directed by: Kyungwon Song
USA/South Korea, 2019, 6m
In Korean with English Subtitles
Through stop-motion animation and an interview with her parents, a filmmaker explores a traditional Korean meal honoring her ancestors with unexpected results.
Directed by: Daniel Robin
USA, 2019, 11m
In 1974, a local news station came into the home of a “normal” suburban family to learn about Jewish rituals. The narrative that was created speaks to how our culture views others. From the director of “My Olympic Summer” (FFF 2008) and “The Rabbi and Caeser Chavez” (FFF 2011).
Directed by: Christine Turner
USA, 2020, 8m
African-American artist Betye Saar reflects on her racially driven work that started with the civil rights movement, and how her art and society have evolved since then. She’s creative, cheerful, and deeply humble. A portrait of a lovely person whose work is still just as relevant today, from the director of “You Can Go” (FFF 2017).
Directed by: Aaron Inman
USA, 2020, 22m
In Vietnamese with English Subtitles
In Nha Trang, Viet Nam, Tống Phước Phúc has made a deal with God—a deal that requires he devotes his entire life to collecting aborted fetal tissue from the local hospitals, naming them, and giving them a proper Christian burial.