Indie Short Fest

Viaticum

Liz Newey, a recovering alcoholic, is in the midst of her early morning recitation of the Twelve Steps, when she’s interrupted by a phone call. Her father, Frank Newey, estranged for twenty-three years, is on his death bed in a Toronto hospital.

Torn, Liz arrives at her morning waitressing shift but ultimately decides to ask her boss for three days off. She needs to tackle “Step Nine”- make amends – of the AA program. Her boss and AA sponsor, Edith understands all too well.

At the hospital, Father Warren, a young inexperienced priest with a past, offers Frank the sacrament of Viaticum, the giving of the last rites. Frank reluctantly agrees but is more concerned about the priest helping him to complete a letter to his daughter Liz.

Liz, riddled with disturbing childhood memories, including that of the suicide of her older brother, drives on determined to see her father before he passes.

A near accident derails her and she finds herself seated at a roadside bar. As Liz contemplates the drink before her, the priest tries to complete the last rites but Frank, staring at mortality, interrupts and asks the priest to hear his confession. The struggle against time for both father and daughter is real.

Regrettably, Father Warren does not succeed in completing the sacrament. As Liz hurries to her father’s hospital room, a deflated Father Warren, exits the hospital only to be brutally attacked by a druggie. The sacred viaticum case is scattered about and the letter to Liz tumbles from the priest’s jacket pocket.

Liz, alone with her deceased father attempts to make peace with him but peace is elusive. She numbly exits the hospital and surprisingly finds all that she emotionally sought.

Logline

When Liz Newey learns her estranged father is dying she comes to realize that the anger she’s harboured has fueled her alcohol addiction. She soon discovers that only forgiveness can set her free.
Directed by Lara Daans (Canada)

Plastic Guru

A man finds himself in a dark basement, gagged and tied to a chair. His phone, left on the floor away of reach, continues receiving social media notifications. While the frustration of the man for not being able to access his phone grows, we start seeing a connection between him and the band playing a rock song in a white studio… (Music video for Francesco Luz, independent rock artist)
Directed by Ari Takahashi (Italy)

Cowboy

Having grown up in a home with an abusive father, the eccentric loner promises himself to be an example for his future son. However, life is ready to test whether his promise is unbreakable.
Directed by Raimondas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania)

My American Dream

A young Chinese immigrant returns home in NYC Chinatown to his family for the first time in three years on the Chinese New Year’s Eve, hoping to repair the relationship with his father, but only finds that his father has never changed.
Directed by Fritz Frauendorf and Lincoln Fu (USA)

Burner

A victim of domestic abuse is offered an intriguing solution to her suffering: access to an underground app that allows users to anonymously trade murders.
Directed by Mukilan Thangamani (Australia)

Colour Me Free

The animated movie “Colour Me Free” is a symbolised narrative influenced by the plight of civilians caught up in war. Through no fault of their own, these people are trapped in their cities, targeted by both sides as acceptable collateral damage, or even as human shields. This movie explores how these survivors are forced to question their allegiances, as expressed by colour, as their base human need to survive takes precedence. While no specific location is depicted, the use of coloured tiled patterns and a desert setting depicts a middle eastern reference. The visual medium used is a cross-over between animation and computer game, which makes an ironic reference to the repeated game-play of senseless war. The symbolic references in this movie are intended to raise questions in the viewer’s mind, and remind them that with some empathy and assistance, the human spirit can survive and grow.
Directed by Gray Hodgkinson (Singapore)

Spiral Walk

A woman tries to remove all society imposed beliefs by jumping into an internal journey through the Sahara desert.
Directed by Sebastian Sabal Bruce (USA)

Wholeheartedly

Carmen, the Mexican mother of a five-year-old kid living in Los Angeles, tells us the story of the separation with her husband, American with alcoholism problems.
Directed by Theo Francocci (USA)