2020-2021 

MANHATTANHENGE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 WINNERS & OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

 

 

US NARRATIVE FILMS

 

FINALIST

Broken Down

Directed by

Jessy Cale Williamson

Harold, a guilt-ridden agoraphobic, must overcome the confines of his self-imposed prison to save a boy who has risked everything to help him. Broken Down is a powerful drama that explores how the journey to conquering the demons within begins by letting the heart reach out to others in need.


 

SEMI-FINALISTs

 

A NEW YORK STORY

Directed by

Director Paul Schwartz

In the tumultuous summer of 2020, four entwined New Yorkers tell stories of how their lives have been shaped by the protests, the pandemic, and the unforeseen consequences of both.


To Be You

Directed by

Chad Eddy

After Howard falls in love with a beautiful Ghanaian woman he meets online, he is unexpectedly informed by a mysterious outsider that she may not be who he thinks she is.

RUINS

Directed by

Jay Mohan

RUINS is the first pandemic related film that is told in the rebellious "TELL BUT DON'T SHOW" format. It is a futuristic story of six hospital employees told as found footage. Nine years after an infection that destroyed most of humanity, the survivors search among the debris to find clues of what really transpired. The excavation team finds a secure video package that tells the story of some of the staff in a hospital fighting the pandemic. The film portrays the trials and tribulations they face during complete chaos around them.

 

 

 


 

 

FOREIGN FEATURE FILMS

 

 

FINALIST

 

 

Zu den Sternen

Directed by

Director Nicolai Tegeler

Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall Singer Marco
Hoffmann has reached the height of his popularity.
Suddenly, the ex-frontman of the East German rock combo DIE KOSMONAUTEN is accused of being by his former band colleague Volker Hinze, that "IM singer" who betrayed him to the Stasi at that time.
Hinze demands a meeting, otherwise he threatens his evidence
to the press and destroying Hoffmann's life like him
destroyed his life.
Although Hoffmann assures his innocence, he still relies on the conspiratorial Meet with Hinze.
Between the former "blood brothers" a bill arises on life and
Death.


 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS

 

The Song of Se

Directed by

Pierre-André Le Leuch

In a small town of the Celtic coast, an old legend is haunting the inhabitants. Young men disappear at sea.
Is it the devil's work ? Or an evil creature's from the ancient world ?
Leon and his friends decide to investigate, even if it means going down the abyss.

Exist, Not Exist: Zero Tolerance For Silence

Directed by

Hee chul Kwon

Min Shik, Hi Ae and Hyun Joo are good friends back in elementary school. Hi Ae loved Min Shik first but he married Hyun Joo and Hi Ae married a guy that she doesn't love.
Three of them went on a trip on a single car. Hi Ae drove and had an accident that killed Hyun Joo. Min Shik is a writer and Hi Ae is his agent trying to control him. Min Shik blames Hi Ae for his wife's death and falls into a deep hole of silence for 10 years that he couldn't write a word.

Romance

Directed by

Giorgi George Tkemaladze

Henry is a 20 year-old American studying Georgian folk music.
He is gay and has a strange habit. At night he likes to sing in the park for his amusement. One night, this strange habit gets him into an adventure where he will be a hostage, victim, fiance, sweetheart, knight and participant in a strange exotic tradition and finally the gay boy’s humanity character saved one girl’s life.

 


 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

Solitary

Directed by

Jack Linsdell

 

 

Clouds

Directed by

Director Velton J Lishke

 


 


 


 


 


 

SHORT FILMS

FINALIST

Anagnorisis

Directed by

Arturo Dueñas Herrero

A new doctor has just arrived at a nursing home, where he meets a patient tormented by a past which he cannot remember. This doctor will help him do it, without anticipating the consequences.

 

 

 

 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS

Chai 

Directed by
Arshum Rouhanian

With the grand opening of their chai stand, Iranian siblings, Sanam and Reza are faced with the unexpected competition from their neighbors' hot chocolate stand. Soon enough, their conflict becomes much more than just selling the most drinks. Sanam, the older sister, takes this feud into her own hands.


 

 

Somnambular Tremors

Directed by

Antonio Arecibo

A short film of a horror feature anthology work in progress.
Synopsis: When people wake up from bad dreams, only to wake to living nightmares.

 

 

Thoughts and Prayers

Directed by

Lisa Gold

To do today: Eat breakfast, go to work/school, get shot. Yawn.


 

Sonia Loves, Sonia Doesn't

Directed by

Natalia Beliaeva

One day, spent in the expectation of the upcoming happiness: walking around the town, shop after shop, two sisters check on the chosen long ago presents for Sonia the doll's birthday. It's just a bit longer to wait and they'll be together at last.
Despite the danger of Sonia leaving for another girl before the day X and the adult world destroying a child's dreams, everything in this story will be different.


 

Visiting

Directed by

Bo Wen

Visiting is a short narrative about the relationships between different generations of a Chinese immigrant family at a time of loss. A grandson needs to go back to his family to be with his sick grandfather for his last hours. At the same time his girlfriend is pregnant yet he is not ready to be a father.


 

THE AXE

Directed by

Lanna (Svetlana) Rybakova

Sergei sells knife sharpeners in the Moscow metro and notices schoolgirl Katya. A strong attraction leads him to follow the little girl and carry her into the entrance. Sergei comes to his senses only in the train, alone with his fragmentary memories and dumb witness of his adventures – the axe. Arriving home, Sergey is trying to understand whether he became a murderer or a victim of some his own imagination’s game.


 

ANOTHER DAY

Directed by

Stuart Black, Satinder Gill

When the morning sunlight awakens Emma, she thinks it will just be another ordinary working day. She's unprepared for the fateful turn events will take - and how they will change everything for her. Another Day is a short film about loss and denial.


 

LASTCALL

Directed by

Mathieu Baillargeon

Life in a ordinary café is disrupted by the intrusion of a weird and authoritative woman who starts manipulating the customers as if they were puppets. In spite of themselves, they become both spectators and actors in a somewhat macabre drama. In this café turned into a stage, the life of a man from his birth to his death is (being) told. The story of his fate, bound to choices that are not always choices


 

HOUSEHOLD DEMONS

Directed by

John Gray

A young boy is forced to deal with the entity that possesses his mother.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

Absence

Directed by

Richard Marx


 

The Cupcake Chronicles Vol. 1

Directed by

Kevin Byrnes


 

Dust

Directed by

Serena Giordano


 

Chains 2 Break

Directed by

Theresa C. Gilford


 

The Girl In Question

Directed by

Mark Kessell, Ruth Lingford


 

Justin and the Werloobee

Directed by

Ken Yoffe & Ellen Weisberg, John Vo


 

Dinette

Directed by

Daniel Moya


 

Hacked

Directed by

Uldouz Wallace


 

Walking Rebel

Directed by

Albert Rudnitsky


 

ОVERTIME

Directed by

Leila Salakhatdinova


 

Silent Movie

Directed by

Melo Viana


 

Bitch, Popcorn & Blood

Directed by

Fabio Soares


 

Captain

Directed by

Anna Sterkhova


 

Mari & Roni

Directed by

Nicholas Ortiz


 

Adulting

Directed by

Nicholas Ortiz


 

Manasanamaha

Directed by

Deepak reddy


 

The Audience

Directed by

Théo Mahy


 

Ladies, Have We Progressed? 1920's-2020's

Directed by

Millicent Binks

 

Cookie

Directed by

Masataka Ishizaki

 

 

God Glitch

Directed by

Gideon van Eeden

 

 

Confidant

Directed by

Debra Markowitz

 

 

TMARAMRLT

Directed by

Egor Barkanov

 

 

Ramrajya (City Of Dreams)

Directed by

Manish Indoria Aka Malang

Apples to Affleck

Directed by

Ruffy Landayan

HORROR FILMS

FINALIST


 

Koreatown Ghost Story

Directed by

Minsun Park & Teddy Tenenbaum

In this supernatural horror tale based on a Korean ritual starring Margaret Cho and Lyrica Okano, a woman entertains a macabre marriage offer that would let her pursue her dreams, for better or for much much worse.


 

 

SEMI-FINALISTS

Love, Death and Therapy 

Directed by
Pamela Scott

At her first meeting with a new psychiatrist, Midge realizes it's a great fit...until it's not.


 

 

The Lonely Road

Directed by

Darren Hawkins

Phoebe Jones is a paranormal investigator, on the eve of moving to a new town she visits her cousin, Leanne Summerfield. Leanne is a psychic and a sensitive and has grave fears that Phoebe is heading into trouble. Will Phoebe take her advice? Or will the things that Phoebe has been hunting come looking for her?

 

 


 

COMEDY FILMS

FINALIST
 

Stroke of Luck

Directed by

Christian Frelinghuysen

Young Nathan has pulled a damaging prank at his school in the city and is sent to his father's farm to work it off. But Nathan finds much more than he bargained for when he gets there, including Sarah, a very charming, independent farm hand, a bizarre crime ring, and a horse that only he can hear talk. Cameo by John Popper - lead singer of the band Blues Traveler.

 

 

 

 


 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS

Buffalo Scientists

Directed by

Nick Venuti

An ex-teacher, now convenience store clerk, is working late when the store is robbed by masked men who turn out to be two of his former high school students. The bizarre reunion leads to an even more bizarre adventure into the night.


 

School of Idiots

Directed by

Dean Morgan

Comedy like Cheech and Chong and the Three Stooges





 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

2022 Reasons Why I Don't Date

Directed by

Christopher W. Hurst


 

Dyed in the Wool

Directed by

Bill Sorice

Bag Your Face

Directed by

Keith Eyrich


 

Apples to Affleck

Directed by

Ruffy Landayan

 

 

 

 


 

BEST STUDENT FILMS

FINALIST


 

The Man Dressed in Orange

Directed by

Elvir Ali

Sulaeeman, a former political prisoner diagnosed with a mental disorder, is pushed into society when his brother forces him to attend a job interview. Once outside, he must not only overcome the strange, new, and unfamiliar aspects of the world, but also his former self.


 

 


 

SEMI-FINALIST


 

Noel Live

Directed by

Matt Ferguson

“Noel Live” follows Noel, a man with a mysterious case of short-term memory, who has lost everything. As he seeks to kill the man who took everything from him, he finds himself with a choice: forgiveness or revenge. Which will he choose? The film is told using reverse chronology and inspired by Christopher Nolan’s movie “Memento.” The movie stars James J. Crawley, Samuel Luttrell, Nora Dooley and Alex Geurin. It's written and directed by Matt Ferguson. Cinematography is by Christopher Davis. Music is by Jóhann Jóhannsson.


 

 

 

 

 


 

DOCUMENTARY FILMS

FINALIST


 

In China

Directed by

Les Owen

In 2012 the governments of The United States and China took part in a cultural exchange called "Friendship and Cooperation Through Music" by co-sponsoring a concert tour with their respective premier military bands. The United States Army Band and The People's Liberation Army Band of China jointly toured China to demonstrate the benefits and possibilities of improved relations based on common interests. The film goes into depth about the music and the friendships and bonds created between the musicians from both countries.


 


 


 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS

Nomad Meets the City

Directed by

Anji Sauvé Clubb

Former herder Tumurbaatar works tirelessly as a garbage truck driver in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, striving to better his daughter's education and compete in the modern economy. Torn between life in the city and his home and family in a countryside town, the pressures of distance and separation take a toll. A doctor in the countryside, his wife, Tungaa, maintains her roots and helps tend the family herd, as Tumurbaatar’s visits home reveal fault lines in their marriage and identities. They both speak romantically about retiring as true nomads, but she sees what he does not: his nomadic roots are already lost to the city. In spite of it all, they cling fast to dreams for their children to lead lives they cannot.


 

The Legacy

Directed by

Jens Klingebiel

What traces do we leave behind after death? Climate change, extinction of species, environmental pollution - the last few decades have clearly shown that the earth is at its limit. And some people wonder if this is what they want to bequeath to future generations. This film is the legacy of such a person. After a cancer diagnosis, a man is facing the end of his life. And he decides to invest the money he has saved in a project that is dedicated to these issues. A film that takes stock of how we humans deal with the environment and nature. .


 

Last Call for Tomorrow

Directed by

Gary Null, Valerie Van Cleve_Co-director

Last Call for Tomorrow, reflects on the crisis' facing all life on Earth.

We are witnessing the 6th Mass Extinction of our planet. We are loosing about 200 species a day. Humanity has killed 83% of all wild mammals and half of all plants. Of the birds left in the world, 70% are poultry chickens and other farmed birds.
Global industrial pollution is killing over 9 million people a year, through bad air and water

 

 

SHAKESPEARE: The Truth Behind the Name

Directed by

Robin Phillips

WHO CREATED THE GREATEST WORK OF IAMBIC THUNDER IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? “SHAKESPEARE: The Truth Behind the Name” answers that question in this fun yet important film. It is a costume-filled journey into literary history’s greatest mystery: Who really wrote the works of Shakespeare?


 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

60 Miles a Day

Directed by

Mister Emma, Didier Minne


 

Second Chance

Directed by

Matthew White, Brian Gerlach

Hometown Proud

Directed by

Naida Osline, Tyler Stallings


 


 


 


 


 

EXPERIMENTAL FILMS

FINALIST

New York Minute

Directed by

Lynn Bianchi

This work continues Lynn Bianchi’s relationship with New York City and its inhabitants - her home and inspiration since 1968. New York Minute was developed and created during lockdown - the year of loneliness and isolation - yet Lynn never felt lonely because the city was right outside her window - still alive and forever hopeful. A love letter to New York, this work is an abstraction of one day in the city - from dawn till dusk - moments that last a minute, or maybe a lifetime.


 

SEMI-FINALIST


 

Luna in Caelo - Fear to Die

Directed by

Daniel Dávila

During 2020, on the 20th anniversary of the edition of "Miedo a Morir" (Fear to Die), the second album by the chilean band Luna in Caelo, the health emergency caused by COVID-19 is unleashed in Chile. Daniel Dávila, guitarist and audiovisual producer, decides to resignify the title of the album, based on the experience of long months of confinement and anguish, making experimental films during his quarantine, and creating a visual interpretation for music with an atmospheric and cinematic vocation.


 


 

 

 

 

 


 

WEB SERIES

FINALIST


 

FRITURES /FRY-UP

Directed by

Jonathan RIO

Thirty years ago, Archibald created his famous friterie "Le Lys d’Or" and wants to pass it on. His niece Éléna dives headlong into the business. Determined to innovate to revive the friterie's fortunes, each day (each episode) she comes up with a far-fetched, chaotic idea to shake her uncle out of a rut. These two are definitely not made to work together. A clash of personalities, worlds, and generations... It's a recipe that never fails to sizzle!


 

 

 

 

 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS


 

Fish on a stick

Directed by

Jan Linhart

Host and professional weirdo Jan Tukan takes you on a bizarre trip into the abyss of "uncomfortable comedy": In this mix of pseudo Late Night, Sketches, Standup and Pranks one will not find any punch lines, only socially unpleasant situations.


Metta da fein - Pilot

Directed by

Carlo Beer, Urs Berlinger

Wonderfully monotonous peace reigns in the most beautiful village in the world until farm animals with severed legs are frequently discovered. The small community is thrown into turmoil. While some villagers believe in an old cruel legend, the village policeman Aldo tries to solve the mysterious case. The brutal murders increase - and with them the distrust of the villagers. The series of murders comes to a bitter end when disaster strikes at the village festivities.

 

DIE AT HOME (MUÉRETE EN CASA)

Directed by

Enrique Bencomo, Enrique Aranguren

A dystopian future in Mexico City, where COVID19 virus gets out of control and massively infects the city. Solo and Sola, two survivors search for a reason to move on in this desolate city.

 

CHECK, PLEASE ! FIRST SHIFT

Directed by

Elea Clair

Julie is a French immigrant who just moved to NY to pursue her American dream and starts working in a small chaotic restaurant. It's her first shift and nothing goes as expected. In addition to the customer’s weirdest requests, Julie also has to deal with a co-worker animosity. It sucks to be the newbie.


 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

Beds

Directed by

Ellpetha Tsivicos


 

The Usual

Directed by

Shelby Hiltunen, Kori Frederick


 

Bizi Txarra / The Bad Life

Directed by

Oliver Mend, Rose of Dolls


 

Alternative

Directed by

Alexey Solodov


 

Clutter Luck

Directed by

Eric Hackler, Gian Carlo Durland

Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor

Directed by

Keith Edward Barnfather

Audition Life - Canst Thou Not Hear Me?

Directed by

Brooke Hayley Martin

BEST DIRECTOR

FINALIST

 


 

The McHenry Trial – Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie

Directed by

Ken Sagoes

A young and brilliant academic phenom who not only passes the bar exam at age 14 but finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge when few believe he is innocent. He faces a shrewd law firm, an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor who is preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS


 

Somnambular Tremors

Directed by

Antonio Arecibo

A short film of a horror feature anthology work in progress.
Synopsis: When people wake up from bad dreams, only to wake to living nightmares.


 

The Lonely Road

Directed by

Darren Hawkins

Phoebe Jones is a paranormal investigator, on the eve of moving to a new town she visits her cousin, Leanne Summerfield. Leanne is a psychic and a sensitive and has grave fears that Phoebe is heading into trouble. Will Phoebe take her advice? Or will the things that Phoebe has been hunting come looking for her?



 


 



 

BEST ACTOR

FINALIST


 

The McHenry Trial – Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie

Directed by

Ken Sagoes

Actor: Bob Rumnock -Judge

A young and brilliant academic phenom who not only passes the bar exam at age 14 but finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge when few believe he is innocent. He faces a shrewd law firm, an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor who is preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win.


 

SEMI-FINALIST


 

RUINS

Directed by

Jay Mohan

Actor: Gracie Piper

RUINS is the first pandemic related film that is told in the rebellious "TELL BUT DON'T SHOW" format. It is a futuristic story of six hospital employees told as found footage. Nine years after an infection that destroyed most of humanity, the survivors search among the debris to find clues of what really transpired. The excavation team finds a secure video package that tells the story of some of the staff in a hospital fighting the pandemic. The film portrays the trials and tribulations they face during complete chaos around them.


 

The Lonely Road

Directed by

Darren Hawkins

Actor: Gianna Aspencade

Phoebe Jones is a paranormal investigator, on the eve of moving to a new town she visits her cousin, Leanne Summerfield. Leanne is a psychic and a sensitive and has grave fears that Phoebe is heading into trouble. Will Phoebe take her advice? Or will the things that Phoebe has been hunting come looking for her?

 


 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

As I Die

Directed by

Jessica Marcela Torres

Actor: Franchesca Valdez


 

Confidant

Directed by

Debra Markowitz

Actor: Eddie McGee


 

TMARAMRLT

Directed by

Egor Barkanov

Actor: Pete Lynch


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

BEST TRAILER

FINALIST


 

Intense Battles Reloaded

Directed by

Matthew Silva

The ultimate revamp of the old original "Intense Battles" from Ryanium Films 6 years ago and continuation of the original short film "Contracted". Shortly after John and Levi finished taking down Ross and his gang, John receives a phone call pertaining a new contract. Everything John once knew may come to an end if he doesn't put a stop to this malicious mad man.

 

 

 

 


 

SEMI-FINALISTS


 

The Transformers: Regeneration

Directed by

Jack Hussey


 

SHAKESPEARE: The Truth Behind the Name

Directed by

Robin Phillips


 

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