Film Festival Schedule

The 2018 White Light City Film Festival received nearly 50 submissions from filmmakers in 13 countries. The talent and passion for storytelling that all of these filmmakers exhibited is impressive and inspiring!

The schedule for the films selected for this year’s White Light City Film Festival is detailed below. Please note that specific film screening times will be added after judging has been completed.

Download a printable PDF of the schedule here or scroll down for all the details.

DAY 1 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2018

Workshops • WLCFF Kickoff Party • Friday Night Fright Film

All Friday film festival events will be held at film screenings will be held at Milady Coffeehouse in the May Brothers Building, 105 E 6th Street, Fremont, NE 68025. Please note that this schedule is subject to change without notice.

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11:00am – 12:30pm

Workshop: Promoting Your Film

Instructor: Dana Reeves
CEO & Marketing Strategist, Reeves Media Group, LLC
Vice President, The Digg Site Productions
Producer, Things That Go Bump In The Night: The Spooky Pinball Story Documentary

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1:00pm - 2:30pm

Workshop: Film Industry Insights

Instructor: Kevin McMahon
Kevin has worked on more than 250 television series as a director and director of photography, as well as a number of feature films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. He was also a key team member of the movie, 12 Days of Giving, which was filmed in Fremont, Nebraska. Of particular note: Kevin is a key cast member and can be seen in the film Darcy, screening in our festival on Saturday.

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3:00pm - 4:30pm

Workshop: Distribution

Instructor: David Weiss
David’s approach to film and production is rooted in art and design. He uses color, light, and movement to evoke emotion within the audience. He has worked on award winning commercials for the NCAA, First National Bank, Ace Hardware, and Boys Town to name a few. His documentary and narrative films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals from Hollywood to Montreal bringing a fresh perspective on filmmaking.

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7:00pm - 9:00pm

Film Festival Kickoff Party

Please join us this year as we honor Marianne Simmons with a tribute to her late husband, Ray, for the work they have both done throughout the years for our community, and for getting many cherished buildings in Fremont listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Their dedication and love for Fremont and its residents has made The White Light City a name we will never forget.

Friday Night Fright Film: Annabelle

Director: John R. Leonetti
Genre: Feature Film

Based on the terrifying doll from The Conjuring, John has found the perfect gift for his wife, Mia-a beautiful, rare vintage doll. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. (2014)

Nebraska Connection: This film was edited by Tom Elkins, an Omaha-based film editor who is known for his work on Inferno (2016), Annabelle (2014), and The Haunting in Connecticut (2009). He also edited (along with Oscar-winning editor Dan Hanley) “Inferno,” and the “Da Vinci Code” sequel from Ron Howard. Elkins first got into the editing trade while working alongside Howard’s now semi-retired editor Mike Hill, who also lives in Omaha.

Rated R. Viewer discretion is advised.

DAY 2 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2018

Festival Film Screenings

All Saturday film screenings will be held at Midland University in Eppley Auditorium, E 8th St, Fremont, NE 68025. Please note that this schedule is subject to change without notice.

Endor

Directors: Faustus McGreeves, Aaron Gum
Genre: Feature Film

Terror comes in the form of helplessness. What happens when the one you would turn to for safety is the one putting you in danger? Endor is a horror/adventure drama about a couple that get stranded in a small township of Eastern Nebraska and witness a grisly murder. Without any way to get help—no phone, no car, and no one to trust—they must attempt to survive the night while a maniac is hunting them down. Filmed in three Nebraska locations: Fremont, Omaha, and Springfield.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Comedy Advice

Director/Writer/Producer: Kent Masloskie
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

A brand new comic seeks advice from a road-weary, veteran comedian.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Darcy

Director/Producer: Emery Childress
Genre: Short – Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Innovative

In a dystopian future, an addict finds a priceless jellyfish which brings back a mysterious killer from his past. Darcy’s cast includes Fremont native Kevin McMahon.

Viewer discretion is advised.

DD-214

Director/Producer: Jared Drake
Genre: Short – Documentary

Why are U.S. veterans, the very people that are fighting for our freedom, having so much difficulty transitioning back into theirs?

Director Statement: The purpose of this film is to look at veterans in a different light. Too often people view military vets as people with PTSD who are suicidal, injured, or homeless. One of the biggest causes of this is because of the lack of help and the misunderstanding of the transition from military life to civilian life. In their first year of military discharge, veterans are required to take a transition class; but speaking as a veteran myself, I can say that these classes are nothing more than a check in the box and are hardly helpful. As a community, if we can understand the real struggles of veterans and the struggles associated with starting a brand new life, it will allow us to readjust resources that are available to make this transition smoother. The main take away I want the audience to have is that, although veterans typically enter the civilian world with more emotional baggage than others, they are still human beings like everyone else and sometimes need more support and understanding than what is currently being offered for their service and their sacrifice.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Tasteless

Director/Producer: Jeff Curulli, Matt Ritter
Genre: Feature Documentary

Back in the 1980s, a series of controversial books aptly titled Truly Tasteless Jokes swept the nation with their crude, controversial and oft-hilarious zingers. With comedy that pushed the boundaries of racism and gender, the Truly Tasteless books are a testament to how comedic culture has transformed over time. The film explores the evolution of comedy through the lens of the iconic Truly Tasteless books.

Tasteless examines how the series author, Ashton Applewhite, went from a crude joke author to a feminist activist; how comedy has evolved since the 1980s, and how the dirty jokes of our past stand in today’s social climate.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Deux Main (With My Own Two Hands)

Director/Writer/Producer: Michael Barocas
Genre: Short – Family/Animation

Deux Main (With My Own Two Hands) tells the story of the life of a man through his hands and the ones around him…

Director Biography – Michaël Barocas: Michaël Barocas is a 39-year-old film director. He’s been doing short films, commercials, music videos, and documentaries for the past twelve years. Before that, he studied producing and directing in a movie school in Paris (ESRA) where he graduated in 2000. Michael is currently developing his first feature film.

The Waiting Room

Director/Writer/Producer: Debra Markowitz
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

A woman waiting for her husband to arrive in heaven, is surprised when he shows up with his second wife.

The Waiting Room cast includes Emmy award winning actress and former Rockette, Jennifer Jiles, and Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, Ciarán Sheehan, as well as supporting actors, Heather Brittain O’Scanlon, Justin L. Wilson and Noelle Yatauro.

Director Biography – Debra Markowitz: Creator of the Nassau County Film Commission and still holding the position through 29 years and three administrations, Debra is also one of the Founders of the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) celebrating its 20th year in July 2017.

She is also the author of the Karmic Wind Trilogy (Naked in the Rain, Sarah and Caleb and Karmic Wind), and is an award winning writer, director, producer and casting director. She has been featured numerous times in the press and on television for the multiple hats she wears and has been listed twice on the Long Island Press’s Power List: One of the Top 50 Long Islanders that Control our Lives. She was awarded an Outstanding Advocate for the Arts from the Long Island Arts Alliance, and received the George Estabrook Award for Outstanding Public Service from Hofstra University. Her other directorial projects include: Chosen, By Blood, Leaving and The Last Taxi Driver.

Garage Sale

Director: Faustus McGreeves
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

Miles shows up to a garage sale being held in the heart of the winter to seek forgiveness.

We The People

Filmmaker: Faith Liu
Submitter: Maureen Quinn
Genre: Short – Documentary

We The People has screened at the Desert Rocks Film Fest (Hesperia, California); Cinema New York City Film Festival; and the Oasis Film Festival Best Shorts Screening Series.

Kap

Director: David M. Weiss
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

A form of modern day child slavery still exists in Haiti. It’s called restavek and over 300,000 children live under these conditions. This is a fictional story of one such boy who must deal with forgiving his mother for giving him away and living under the harsh reality of being a servant. In his search for mental escape he turns to making a kap, which means “kite” in Creole. Unfortunately his moment of flight is soon dashed and once again, like so many other restaveks, he can only dream of flying away.

Director Statement: When I first learned about restaveks, I knew I had to tell this story. I want to raise awareness and compel others to help these children, who have so few advocates.

from the Second Wave to the Tidal Wave

Writer: Pam Maus
Genre: Feature Documentary

from the Second Wave to the Tidal Wave is the writer’s personal story, told through the voices of others who, like her, came of age and went off to college just in time to be swept up into the Second Wave Feminist Movement. Landmark legislation of 1960’s outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and unlocked the doors to social justice. Now all they had to do was open them. Christine Lesiak of Lincoln, Nebraska is one the three subjects featured in this film.

PastAAAHHH!

Producer: Sage Reiger
Genre: Short – Horror / Suspense

Sarah, an outcast, horror nerd, and fan of the paranormal, must lead a group of fellow classmates in the fight for their survival against murderous teleporting plates of spaghetti noodles.

PastAAAHHH!’s producer, Sage Reiger, is a Fremont resident!

Big Booom

Director: Marat Narimanov
Genre: Short – Family/Animation

The history of humanity and of our planet in four minutes. An eco-friendly statement developed in a single shot that has it all: humor, action and tragedy.

Director Statement (edited): When I first read the old Hindu doctrine about the creation of our universe, I noticed it was pretty much like the Big Bang theory. The Hindu concept tells that the existence and non-existence (dissolve) phases of the universe follow each other an infinite number of times. The universe is born from the seed and returns to that seed after the cycle is finished. In Hindu, the grand cycles are called the Brahma’s breath.

So, my journey into the world of this animation film started with that ancient Vedic theory and with the word “Breath”. I made this film because I wanted to see how it happened and how it might end. And to see the period from beginning to end as an entire process, and from the point of view of some distant witness, that has nothing to do with this world, but just observes it. That’s why I’ve edited the film in “one-shot” without any cuts or even zoom-in/outs.

As for the story, the main idea was to interpret the well-known scientific theory of evolution in a not-very-scientific way. In a way that resembles the well-known story, but is a bit different, a bit unscientific, and childish. It’s like a story of evolution perceived and retold in short and simple form by a kid. For me, that kid’s view is very important, because children don’t care about complicated issues. They care only about the life they see around them, and they want it to be simple, friendly, nice and shiny. Like an ordinary happy drawing with a house and green grass and a yellow sun in the corner. I am sure that this view of things is the best one (it’s a pity we, grown-ups, don’t have it), because only this approach may let the human race save the planet and survive. With that childish story and the visual aesthetics I managed to solve the main problem – make the film fun, and at the same time, deliver an important message: That humans are powerful enough to put an end to the planet and even to the universe, but shall we do that? The universe will be reborn and will live forever, but it could go on without us. Of course, nobody knows how the universe will end, but I decided to depict this very end – the destruction by humans, the earth’s inhabitants, to encourage people to think about the possible role humanity plays in the future of our world—the world we live in right now and that we might NOT live in someday if we don’t stop pollution and wars and greed.

Chip McDougal: Neighborhood Watch

Filmmaker: Vincent Arrigo
Genre: Short – Family/Animation

Chip McDougal is the leader and sole member of the Neighborhood Watch. He’s here to keep the neighborhood safe, happy and secure. Even if no one wants him to.

2 by 2

Director: Mark Playne
Genre: Short – Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Innovative

“End of the world in 32 minutes – all aboard – all aboard!”

Han and Yan, two macho mountain shepherds whose pastures are divided by a national border, are in the middle of an age long battle of antagonism when a time-traveling spaceship crash lands, demolishing their border fence. The ship’s attendant announces that the end of the world will occur in 32 minutes and that the finest representatives of each species should queue ‘2 by 2’. Noah has returned in his space-ark. It dawns on Han and Yan that their only chance of survival is to work together, come up with a scam and trick their way onboard…

Interesting note: The film’s dialogue is in Turkish with a 100% Turkish cast, yet the British director only speaks a few words of the language.

Director Statement (edited): The film, 2 by 2, is a metaphor for conflict worldwide—past, present and future. It is a comedy confronting a genocide.

During the same week that the Armenian Holocaust started in eastern Anatolia, Charlie Chaplin released his iconic film The Tramp, in Hollywood. Today, the attempted extermination of an entire people in 1915 is barely known or remembered. Chaplin’s film made him the most famous person on the planet and his character of the Tramp is still one of the most recognizable images of all time. The contrast struck me. One man’s work remembered and one and a half million lives forgotten.

I wondered, if Chaplin was making films today, how he’d have approached such a project?

Chaplin said: “Humor … heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity.”

Comedy can be the best way to get close to a subject and touch on the unmentionable. When I watch 2 by 2 now, I see not only Chaplin’s and Gilliam’s influence, but also the effect of a childhood diet of Douglas Adam’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’—so I guess the style of this film is an homage, by design and accident, to these three brilliant British storytellers.

The film, 2 by 2, is dedicated to the Armenian, Marie Avakian (1916-2017). I was blessed to meet her. She was an amazingly kind soul who recited her family’s experience of the 1915 massacres to me. It was a tale of how her mother, pregnant with Marie, was saved from the bayonet of a Turkish soldier—by her Turkish neighbor.

Her family’s story defies preconceived loyalties, and is a demonstration of love and humanity that is too easy to forget during troubled times. It is a reminder of how we, as people, are divided by history, politics, wars, and borders, yet as humankind, we are all connected as one. That wherever we might find hatred, the power of love is always in existence. In troubled times we need to be able to see it, feel it, and fight for it. Love can conquer all.

Franciszka

Director: Elias Djemil
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

In 1943, a revolt broke out at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Among the resistants, a famous polish ballerina.
It is said that she disarmed a cruel SS officer with the simple grace of a ballet movement.
Only her story has survived until today.
Her name was Franciszka Mann.

Director Statement: Looking for the universal poetry of humanity is a lifelong search. Project by project I pursue this goal; each encounter, film and photograph brings me closer. We all have our own aspirations, ambitions, and responses to the world. We all are on a path to find our own truth, one that aligns with our values, culture and vision. With my camera, I have the privilege of meeting a lot of people. As I look at them through my lens, I seek this universal poetry.

Every person is a poem waiting to be heard.

Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

Director: Bernard McCoy
Genre: Feature Documentary

This documentary tells the deeply personal story of General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and the only active duty six-star general in U.S. history. Pershing commanded 2 million U.S. troops who helped win the Great War and established America as a global superpower.

Black Jack Pershing: Love and War reminds us of the historic lengths Pershing went to serve his country even as he battled deep personal tragedy in his life. This personal view of Pershing reframes his critical role as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Five years of archival research was conducted, examining Pershing’s personal papers, and interviewing historians and Pershing family members for the documentary. The project also reveals the extraordinary sacrifices Americans made at home and abroad during the first World War.

The Four Loves

Director/Writer/Producer: Stefan Meylaers
Genre: Short – Documentary

The Four Loves is a beautiful and original musical and visual tribute to love. Inspired by the famous book by CS Lewis, the international acclaimed Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn made one of his most successful works of art based on the four types of human love: Agape, Eros, Philia and Storge. With the musical translation by the Belgian composer/pianist Stefan Meylaers, the story of The Four Loves seems to be completed.

This artistic documentary, accompanied by the integral performance of the four-part piano composition by the composer himself, gives a moving insight into how both artists have been able to shape our reason of existence: LOVE!

Director Biography – Stefan Meylaers: Stefan is a Hollywood Nominee & Carnegie Hall Artist. He is active as a pianist, composer, instructor and producer, and is associated with the Stedelijk Muziekconservatorium in Hasselt, and is regularly invited as a guest lecturer and jury member. Various nominations at home and abroad, such as in Hollywood, New Dehli and Saint-Tropez, are on his name. He recorded several CDs including “Cinematic Dreams” and “Stefan Meylaers, Portrait of a composer 1 & 2”. He has written music for important competitions such as the Dexia Classics and has given performances worldwide. He has already twice performed, both as composer and solo pianist, in Carnegie Hall and in the Concert Hall of the United Nations. In 2016, Stefan composed the impressive and acclaimed concert spectacle “The Journey, a story about time” performed by more than 150 musicians. Under his wings as producer and composer he created the short films “Oculus” (with Leah Thys and Ivan Pecnik), “Veraf” (with Matteo Simoni and Ella-June Henrard) and the music video “Haiyan”. He also wrote the music for the short film “In A Landscape”. In 2017 he created Pasión, an international production about passion.

A.E. Wells – A Man and His Park

Director: Donnie Dodge
Genre: Short – Documentary

A young man from Wisconsin fought through tragedy and war to help build a community in Nebraska. Using his vast wealth and love of his brother, he created one of the greatest parts in the history of the state.

Director Biography – Donnie Dodge: A resident of Oakland, Nebraska, the film’s director, Donnie Dodge, is a professional firefighter and part-time sports photographer who turned his sights toward history. With a background in radio production, a new camera and a lot of free time, Donnie is on the path to becoming a documentary filmmaker.

Jessica Dol – Saying Goodbye

Director: Donnie Dodge
Genre: Short – Documentary

Omaha DJ Jessica Dol says goodbye to the Omaha Radio station that she worked at for 16 years.

Director Biography – Donnie Dodge: A resident of Oakland, Nebraska, the film’s director, Donnie Dodge, is a professional firefighter and part-time sports photographer who turned his sights toward history. With a background in radio production, a new camera and a lot of free time, Donnie is on the path to becoming a documentary filmmaker.

DAY 3 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2018

Virtual Reality Experience + Student Films + Bonus Films

All Sunday film festival activities will be held at Milady Coffeehouse in the May Brothers Building, 105 E 6th Street, Fremont, NE 68025. Please note that this schedule is subject to change without notice.

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12:00pm - 1:30pm

The VR Experience with Omaha Virtual Reality

We’re so excited that Omaha Virtual Reality is bringing a true virtual reality (VR) experience to The White Light City Film Festival! Try out VR for yourself and immerse yourself in one of the games that will be available to play for free.

Student Films

Join us to watch the film projects our students created this year during the four (4!) Film It Camps held by The Digg Site Productions. This year’s student projects include a commercial, stop-motion films, and a music video!

The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported our Film It Camp programs through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.artscouncil.nebraska.org for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head

Director/Producer: Ben Lancaster
Genre: Feature Film

The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head is a quirky comedy about the unlikely friendship between the frozen head of Walt and Peter, a low level theme park employee.

During his yearly thaw to oversee the direction of his company and guard his creative legacy, Walt demands to be finally allowed up to see his park, Walt Disney World. When management scoffs, he recruits Peter to kidnap him for a day in the Magic Kingdom.

Electric Ladybug

Director/Producer: Carolina Gonzalez
Genre: Short – Drama/Socially Conscious

A group of neighbors in Harlem have advocated for over two years to gain access to an abandoned lot and turned it into a community garden. The garden had become an agent in community building, healthy eating, environmental education, public safety and neighborhood life. In 2015 the Department of Housing Preservation and Development requested a proposal for housing from developers for building affordable housing in 181 vacant lots including this garden. Now the community has to come together stronger and more organized than ever; to demonstrate the importance of the new space and to ensure that the development of affordable housing and the preservation of our treasured community green spaces don’t come at the cost of the other.

This short documentary, shot over the course of 4 years, shows the evolution of an empty lot as it becomes a garden. New to the city of New York, the director witnesses how a community is formed as she explores the relationship between the human condition, the context of the city and the urban landscape.

12 Days of Giving*

Director/Writer: Christine Conradt
Genre: Feature Film

Filmed entirely in Fremont, Nebraska, 12 Days of Giving is the story of a man who wins a small fortune decides to share his winnings by acting as a Secret Santa to people in a small town. One of the characters chosen is a boy whose father is deceased. The man grows fond of the Boys mother and begins to fall in love with her…

Director Biography – Christine Conradt: Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Christine Conradt is an L.A.-based screenwriter, producer, director, and script consultant. After earning a BFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts program, she worked briefly in development before launching her screenwriting career. She later went back to grad school and received an MCJ from Boston University where she focused on cybercrime and juvenile delinquency.

Please Note: 12 Days of Giving is being shown at The White Light City Film Festival as a one-time educational screening on Sunday. This is part of our nonprofit, non-commercial day that includes no admission fee, no donations, no advertising, and no commercial sponsorships accepted for Sunday events. Seating is limited to enrolled students, faculty, alum, and their guests.

Student Intern Statement: Working on this film was an engaging process. The experience was motivating and inspiring. I couldn’t believe I was able to get hands-on experience working on a real film set in Nebraska!

ENFO Film Commissioner Statement: Seeing the impact of students getting this kind of opportunity is absolutely inspiring. It helped strengthen their learning skills, broaden their perspectives, and enlightened and educated them in ways that will stay with them for life. Collaborating with the Director and Producer helped inspire our student interns to become responsible, focused, and motivated to stay involved in their career field.

17 U.S.C. § 110(1) permit

* Awaiting digital link from producers. If not received in time, we will show another Nebraska-based film.

Marianne Simmons’ Favorite Film: Pride & Prejudice

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Genre: Feature Film

Join us to watch Marianne Simmons’ favorite movie from 1940, Pride & Prejudice, starring Greer Carson and Laurence Olivier.

Synopsis: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to live nearby, the Bennets have high hopes. But pride, prejudice, and misunderstandings all combine to complicate their relationships and to make happiness difficult.

Film Festival Awards

Celebrate with us as we announce the winners of The 2018 White Light City Film Festival in the following categories:

  • Feature Film
  • Feature: Documentary
  • Short: Documentary
  • Short: Family/Animation
  • Short: Drama/Socially Conscious
  • Short: Horror/Suspense
  • Short: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Innovative

White Light City Dedication to Marianne Simmons

Join us for the ceremonial White Light City Dedication and flipping of the switch for “Lights On” in Historic Downtown Fremont (7:30pm at Milady Coffeehouse.)

We Love Our Sponsors & Donors!

The White Light City Film Festival would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and donors.
We are grateful beyond measure for their support!

Platinum Sponsors

Thom & Barbara Christensen

Dale & Fern Olson

Gold Sponsors

Robert
Patterson

Silver Sponsors

Steve & Patti
Carr

Dave & Cynthia
Christensen

Jane & Bill
Dugan

Ruth
Dunklau

Vince & Kerstin
O'Connor

Ramona & Randy
Sanders

Marianne
Simmons

Ishma
Valenti

Participating & Individual Sponsors

Bill & Nancy
Heatherly

Stacy & Ken
Heatherly

Julie
Hindmarsh

Kevin
McMahon

Dana & Joel
Reeves

Joanne
Thietje

Carol & Tom
Waring

David
Weiss

See Our Film Schedule

The White Light City Film Festival (WLCFF) is a unique film festival held in Fremont, Nebraska that celebrates film professionals as well as filmmakers and films connected to Nebraska. Produced by The Digg Site Productions, the festival focuses on supporting and contributing to a growing film industry and culture of filmmaking in Nebraska.

The 2018 White Light City Film Festival received nearly 50 submissions from filmmakers in 13 countries. The talent and passion for storytelling that all of these filmmakers exhibited is impressive and inspiring!