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5@5 A Better Future

"Give my children sunny smile. Give them moon and cloudless sky. I demand a better future." That’s exactly what the kids (or animals) are all striving for in these family-friendly shorts. The future of the neighborhood lemonade stand is what’s at stake in Anya Adams’ Lemonade Mafia (US 2016, 9 min). In Ned Wenlock’s Spring Jam (New Zealand 2016, 6 min), a young stag lacking big antlers uses some musical improvisation to make an impression during mating season. When his grandson challenges him on the soccer field, an elderly man looks to his past for new inspiration in Hannes Thor Arason’s Footsteps (Iceland 2017, 15 min). Hedgehog’s love for his cozy home sparks an unexpected standoff with his forest neighbors in Eva Cvijanovic’s animated Hedgehog’s Home (Canada 2016, 10 min). In Godelieve Eijsink’s poignant documentary Jesser and the Sugarcane (Netherlands 2016, 15 min), a Nicaraguan boy dreams of becoming a farmer in hopes of avoiding the
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 3:00 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 10:00 AM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 4:00 PM
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5@5 All the Madmen

“To the far side of town where the thin men stalk the streets while the sane stay underground.” Assembled here is an unforgettable collection of the fantastical and disturbing. Sophie Linnenbaum’s Pix (Germany 2017, 9 min) breaks down the fourth wall in our nostalgia-fueled photo-obsessed culture. Cameo Wood’s Real Artists (US 2017, 12 min) takes us into a job interview of the future. A daughter’s return home is not all that it seems in Natalie Erika James’ creepy Creswick (Australia 2016, 10 min). Leslie Bibb and Sam Rockwell star in the b&w film noir The Dark of Night (US 2017, 10 min) from director Robin Wright (House of Cards). The sensual and sinister history of the bathtub in movie culture gets an incisive exploration in Jennifer Proctor’s Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix (US 2017, 9 min). Oscar’s allegorical Napalm Mayhem (Netherlands 2016, 4 min) is pro
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 9:30 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 4:15 PM
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5@5 Cygnet Committee

“Words of strength and care and sympathy-I opened doors that would have blocked their way, I braved their cause to guide.” Films about human connection, in all its tender and tenuous forms, ground this special group of shorts. Annabelle Attanasio (TV’s Bull) directs and stars in Frankie Keeps Talking (US 2016, 7 min) about how liberating a bad date can be. A birthday greeting to their daughter opens old wounds for a couple in Arian Vazirdaftair’s Not Yet (Iran 2016, 15 min). A young Latin-American girl caught in refugee limbo must adjust to a new life and uncertain future in Monica Santis’s moving Towards the Sun (UK 2017, 20 min). Economic difficulty and industry in transition in the Louisiana bayou force some hard decisions for a family in Nailah Jefferson’s atmospheric Plaquemines (US 2016, 20 min). And the charming complexity of father-daughter love is perfectly encapsulated in J.R. Heffelfinger’s Seconds (Puerto Ri
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 3:45 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 6:15 PM
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5@5 Festival Faves

Highlights from the MVFF40 shorts programming
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 8:15 PM
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5@5 Future Legend

Today’s youth filmmakers are tomorrow’s future film legends, and this eclectic and inspired collection showcases some true up-and-coming talent. In a dazzling array of almost two dozen short films, young artists from around the Bay Area and the country (and Turkey!) share their original stories and singular views of the world. The program is the result of a unique peer jury process that takes place each summer during CFI’s Summerfilm series, in which teen participants in the Behind the Scenes program graduate into the Young Curators program, where they view, discuss, and curate from more than 100 films submitted from around the globe, all produced by young filmmakers ages 18 and under. Their selections include nearly every genre of filmmaking, from deeply personal narratives to fun fantasies, musical explorations, poetic visual essays, social commentary, and more: One 12-year-old student filmmaker pays loving tribute to her own grandmother in a story of a young woman coping with her gr
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 12:15 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 11:00 AM
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5@5 Golden Years

“Look at that sky, life's begun. Nights are warm and the days are young.” Come celebrate the history of MVFF in this marvelous retrospective of rarely screened short films. You know Barry Jenkins from his Moonlight (MVFF 2016) triumph, but he first came to MVFF with My Josephine (US 2003, 9 min), a paean to cultural integration and love in a laundromat. Filmmaking legend Agnès Varda has had a long history with MVFF (including this year’s Faces, Places) and her documentary Oncle Yanco (US/France 1967, 18 min) is a tribute to her Sausalito-based artist relative and also a love poem to Marin. And we’re proud to showcase a brand-new 16mm restoration of the avant-garde classic The Bed (US 1968, 20 min), shot on Mt. Tamalpais by James Broughton, one of the honorees at the first MVFF in 1978. Don’t miss it!
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 4:45 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 9:30 PM
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5@5 It's No Game

“Silhouettes and shadows watch the revolution. No more free steps to heaven. It's no game.” The stakes are often high as sports and physical expression dominate this eclectic set of timely shorts. Jeannie Donohoe’s Game (US 2016, 15 min) depicts a new high school student’s uphill battle in trying out for the varsity basketball team. Mari Walker explores why a secret midnight Swim (US 2016, 11 min) is a liberating moment for one shy teen. Racial tension in a tennis match spills over into an unlikely confrontation in Daniel Lee’s Fault (US 2017, 10 min). One hard-driving Bay Area mom and her quiet son learn some lessons on the competitive yoga circuit in Dan Damman’s Awarewolf (US 2017, 9 min). The beautifully dynamic choreography is just one marvelous element in Max Sachar and Natasha Dorlee Johnson’s slipstream dance piece Take Your Time (US 2017, 5 min). And a highly anticipated soccer playoff match converges with one an
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 9:15 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 2:30 PM
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5@5 Life on Mars?

“Now she walks through her sunken dream to the seat with the clearest view, and she's hooked to the silver screen.” Four different countries and four remarkable cinematic stories unified by characters finding courage in the face of life’s unexpected hardships. Based on the haunting Stephen King short story, Tom Barbor-Might’s All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (UK 2017, 20 min) explores the inner life of a woman mourning the loss of her son. In Tom Teller’s spectacular Icarus (US 2016, 20 min), an astronaut team on Mars goes into action when one of their members gets into a perilous jam. Santosh Sopan Davakhar’s visually stunning Adnyat (India 2017, 15 min) is like a fever dream of the magical and macabre as a young child faces some bitter truths about his place in society. And finally, the heartbreaking errand a young high school girl must undertake is the central premise of Alireza Ghasemi’s Lunch Time (Iran 2017, 15 min). 
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 9:15 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 5:30 PM
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5@5 Station to Station

“Here are we, one magical moment. Such is the stuff from where dreams are woven.” Join a twisted group of stop-motion, 2D, and multimedia animation spinning yarns of devious angst, alien and monster cosmos, and many appendages. In José Luis González and Dano Johnson’s The History of Magic: Ensueño (US 2016, 6 min), a young girl cycles through multiple fantastical deaths to a timely tune. Two films by masterful stop-motion director Brett Foxwell exemplify meticulous craft through detailed log shaving in WoodSwimmer (US 2017, 3 min) and his gorgeous machinery and armature creatures in Fabricated (US 2017, 3 min). Matt Reynolds’ Hot Dog Hands (US 2017, 6 min) is a hilarious and disturbing tube-steak journey into another dimension, followed by Stéphanie Cadoret’s My Man (Octopus) (France 2016, 9 min), where a woman is pulled into the depths by her needy mollusk mate. Quadrant Part 2 (US 2017, 2 min), by David Lauer and Woodrow White, is the second
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 9:30 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 9:00 PM
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5@5 Tumble and Twirl

“Another day, but even in springtime, it’s a rich slice of life." In this shorts program we present a collection of true-life tales about extraordinary individuals. In Nicholas Coles’ Isis Hair Salon (US 2016, 5 min), hair stylist Carrie Banks has unwittingly been thrust into the war on terror, and she’s fighting back one braid, weave, and extension at a time. Marian Hubler’s Bread & Roses Presents (US 2017, 9 min) profiles the iconic 43-year-old organization that brings hope and healing through live music and the performing arts to isolated audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. In Fire & Light (US 2017, 10 min), director Dana Johnson introduces us to four young siblings with autism who find an unusual path to healing: fire dancing. In John Picklap’s Between the Sand (US 2016, 10 min), artist Jean-Paul Bourdier travels into cover
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 12:15 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 4:00 PM
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A Ciambra

Writer-director Jonas Carpignano’s debut Mediterranea (MVFF 2015) chronicled the plight of African immigrants making their way to the filmmaker’s Italian homeland. With his sophomore effort, the filmmaker focuses on one of Mediterranea’s supporting players, crafting an entire drama around Pio (Pio Amato), a teenaged Romani hustler in a small southern Italian community. Along the way, A Ciambra becomes a particularly gripping, neorealist coming-of-age tale as this resourceful boy tries to assert himself as the man of the house after his father and older brother go to jail. Poverty, crime, and family are Carpignano’s central themes, and A Ciambra meticulously documents Pio’s sometimes perilous quest-especially when he’s forced to turn to thievery. As in Mediterranea, Amato (an untrained actor) exudes effortless charisma, making us care deeply about his character’s dilemma and hope that he can somehow find a better life. A supporting cast that includes s
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 6:00 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 11:45 AM
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An Act of Defiance

FOCUS: HIDING & SEEKING In this riveting historical drama, 10 political activists (including Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of Black and Jewish supporters) face a possible death sentence for conspiracy to commit sabotage after they are arrested by the apartheid South African government during a raid in the town of Rivonia during the summer of 1963. Bram Fischer (exceptionally played by Peter Paul Muller), a sympathetic lawyer, risks his career and freedom to defend these men, attempting to hide the fact that he, too, frequently convened on the farm where they were arrested. With An Act of Defiance, Dutch filmmaker Jean van de Velde (The Silent Army) captures a dark period in South Africa's recent history, skillfully balancing a nail-biting political thriller with spectacular courtroom intrigue while paying tribute to the legendary figures who fought to end segregation and corruption in their country.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 2:30 PM
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 6:30 PM
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After the War (Dopo la guerra)

FOCUS: HIDING & SEEKING Italy in the '70s and early '80s was roiled by left-wing groups that committed acts of terrorism to further their goals. Many convicted militants fled to France, benefiting from President François Mitterand's decree barring their extradition. Annarita Zambrano's compelling debut dramatizes the disruption faced by one family when the policy changed and extraditions commenced in 2002. For 16-year-old Viola, it's a matter of one day gossiping with her pals in volleyball and being on the run with her father Marco the next. At first, there's a thrill to the situation-hiding out, getting new identities, a stealth interview with a journalist-but when she discovers they're being uprooted to Nicaragua, conflict develops between father and daughter. A parallel story set in Italy shows Marco's sister and mother trying to go on with their lives in the wake of returned scrutiny into Marco's activities. With suspense and emotional acuity, After the War depicts the
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 9:30 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 6:15 PM
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The game Go is among the most complex in the world. Played with small black and white stones on a 19-by-19 grid, there are-famously-more possible sequences of play than there are atoms in the visible universe. Treated as an art in parts of East Asia, the game is said to be mastered only by those with finely tuned instincts and intuition. Could a computer program replicate those qualities? The technology company Deep Mind sought to find out, developing AlphaGo in the hope that it could defeat the best players in the world. In March 2016, a thrilling match-up along the lines of Deep Blue vs. Garry Kasparov pitted the program against Korean Go champion Lee Sedol in a five-game series. Filled with fascinating personalities-from the brilliant but exceedingly humble Sedol to the breathlessly enthusiastic commentators that cover the big match-AlphaGo creates a surprisingly gripping man-against-machine narrative that may just have you cheering the outcome of a quiet, contemplative board
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 11:30 AM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 12:00 PM
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Andre: The Voice of Wine

California wine drinkers, raise a glass to Andre Tchelistcheff! A Russian émigré who came to be known as the dean of American wine, Andre would leave a legacy deeply entwined with the California wine industry and its rise to international legitimacy. Director Mark Tchelistcheff, Andre’s grandnephew, crafts a cinematic portrait that is very much like the man himself: at once dramatic, poetic, humorous, and inspiring. The child of an aristocratic family who narrowly escaped Russia’s revolution and civil war, Andre lived a life of singular purpose. Equal parts scientist and artist, the winemaker revolutionized the US wine industry through his work in helping Napa’s Beaulieu Vineyard move into the post-Prohibition marketplace. Andre’s epic journey through the upheavals of the early 20th century and into a career that influenced the world’s most important winemakers is explored here in personal interviews that reveal a philosophy a
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 6:45 PM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 1:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 6:15 PM
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Arrangiarsi (Pizza... & the Art of Living)

From the Bay Area to Italy, Matteo Troncone searches for the meaning of life in this engaging, intimate documentary. Is it any surprise to discover that pizza is the answer? Writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and star Troncone begins his fascinating and philosophical first-person travelogue with no job, no relationship, and no home. While living in his VW van on the streets of Mill Valley, he decides there is only one thing to do: trace his roots to Naples and learn how to make pizza. Once there, he discovers the art of Arrangiarsi, the process of arranging yourself to make something from nothing. We meet a colorful crew of characters, from street artists to pizza makers, who find a way to live and love in the most joyful ways, regardless of circumstance. This delightful documentary combines a healthy smattering of foodie passion, intense Italian history, and quirky Neapolitans to tell the tale of one man’s journey to find himself, and the greatest pizza on earth.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 5:30 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 11:30 AM
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 3:15 PM
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The Ballad of Lefty Brown

Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) spent his life riding Montana’s scenic ranges, in the company of men who would become dime-novel heroes. His own legend burns not so bright. People wonder how the likes of new US Senator Edward Johnson (Peter Fonda), Governor Jimmy Bierce (Jim Caviezel), and lawman Tom Harrah (Tommy Flanagan) could put up with the garrulous, incompetent old coot. But this apparent fool courageously risks his own life to seek justice for a fallen friend, never wavering in his determination even as deadly forces array themselves against him. Pullman, the sophisticated star of Independence Day and Lost Highway, gets in touch with his inner-Walter Brennan to deliver a masterful performance of a man whose hayseed persona masks his true nature. But while this absorbing Western offers a finely-etched character portrait of an underrated cowpoke, it also delivers thrilling, action-packed drama. A superb gallery of supporting characters includes the gorgeous Montana wilde
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 7:00 PM
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Beyond the Supernova

For a whole generation, Surfing with the Alien remains the essential rock instrumental album of the 1980s, defined by the piercing sonic soundscapes of guitarist Joe Satriani’s technical virtuosity. Now, on that record’s 30th anniversary, ZZ Satriani chronicles his father’s 2017 concert tour through Japan and China with this loving tribute to a musician still at the top of his game. Fronting a hard-driving ensemble, Satriani proves he’s the master of sweeping solos, pulsing rhythms, and intricate fingerwork. But we also see him in his more meditative moments-discussing his influences, his love of collaboration (Steve Vai makes an appearance), and the struggle between the private person and the master showman. His craft is serious, but his rehearsals are playful and we’re given intimate access to a legend free of pretense and self-seriousness. With stylish flourishes and boundless affection, ZZ, in his directorial debut, celebrates a musical icon who has never tired of
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 4:00 PM
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