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5@5 Breakout

"Brighter than the lightning, you go as far as you go. You got to be what you know." Often referred to as "digital natives," today’s youth filmmakers display talent that extends far beyond their fluency in technology—it is evident in their storytelling, their innovation, their creativity, their fearlessness. This year’s collection of peer-reviewed, youth-produced short films spans genres from animation to documentary, comedy to sci-fi, and showcases an international cohort of storytellers eager to forge new paths for the future of film: Seeing Things in Black and White (Ashley Lee, US 2020, 3 min), Baskethood (Tsz Shun CHOW, Hong Kong 2020, 9 min), Migrantes (Ian Duncanson & Ethan Swope, US 2019, 11 min), The Painter (Vivian Blantz, US 2020, 3 min), Golem (Theo Taplitz, US 2020, 1 min), I'll Be There (Kallista Palapas, US 2019, 11 min), It's Nicer Here (Kane Parsons, US 2020, 10 min), For Your Memory (Katrina Kwok, US 2020, 3 min)
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5@5 Kilburn Towers

"I am a street watching the people walk as I listen to conversations glisten as they start to talk." In this documentary shorts program, we present a collection of true-life tales from Bay Area directors about extraordinary individuals. In Peter Spirer’s Sacheen, Breaking the Silence (US 2019, 25 min), Sacheen Littlefeather tells the real story about the courageous moment she refused the Oscar® on behalf of Marlon Brando at the 1973 Academy Awards® and raised awareness for Native American people. Harris Cohen’s Phyllis: A Self Portrait (US 2020, 10 min) is an inspirational portrait of Phyllis Thelen, a 93-year-old working artist and force of nature. Caregiver: A Love Story from Kevin Gordon & Jessica Zitter (US 2020, 23 min) challenges viewers to acknowledge the growing strain placed on family caregivers and to envision a new approach in caring for the dying. In Deanne Fitzmaurice’s Small Footprint (US 2019, 4 min), we meet the Goepels who are an inspiring s
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5@5 Living in Chicago

“Will you show me someone who may treat me kind, or is this world I live in just a frame of mind?” The urge to test the bonds of old friendships and feel out new tenuous connections make for some very thoughtful and uplifting stories. A shark and a dinosaur find some common worldviews when two costumed sidewalk sign-spinners meet at a fateful intersection in Jason Satterlund’s charming Signs (US 2020, 16m). A woman pitching a TV pilot finds that the memory of a physical trauma can have some incredibly bad timing in Heather Jack’s very touching Avalanche (US 2019, 13m). Infidelity and suspicion have a tense dance between two construction workers on the scaffolding of a highrise in Topping Out (New Zealand 2020, 15m), the directorial debut of actress Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table).
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5@5 Night Fever

“Listen to the ground. There is movement all around. There is something goin’ down. And I can feel it.” Characters face circumstances that range from challenging to harrowing in this collection of shorts that is both provocative and playful. In Tom Schroeder’s irresistible The Birth Order Experiment (US 2019, 9m), remember back to the days of groovy ‘70s animation and hip professors with their filmed academic studies. John Wick has nothing on Godefroy Ryckewaert’s The Collector (France 2019, 8m) as he pursues an overdue bill in this remarkable action-packed dance floor throwdown. Karolina Esqueda’s Ode to the Beans (Oda a los frijoles) (US 2020, 4m) manages to turn an autobiographical found footage essay into a clever, perceptive take on her culture and an essential food item.
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DocLands Shorts: Nothing But the Facts!

From remote lands and welcoming cultures, from immigration to innovation—we give you nothing but the facts in this program of DocLands short films! After a near-death experience, an Icelandic photographer and former kayaker discovers a newfound passion for surfing and a new perspective worth living for with the birth of his daughter in Chris Burkard’s Unnúr (US 2019, 16 min). Set in one of the most remote and inaccessible volcanic island chains in the world, a scrappy Russian marine biologist encounters sea lion chaos, joyous raptures, and ultimately a greater hope for the earth in Taylor Rees’ From Kurils with Love (US 2020, 24 min).
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Love & Teamwork: Animation for All

Looking for a small dose of comfort and cheer to counteract the darkness of your news feed? There’s no age restriction on appreciating this charming collection of uplifting animated shorts that highlight the power of love, friendship, and collaboration. It’s also a fun way to share the pure joy of film and storytelling with your youngest family members. When a feisty fox and a pushy pigeon battle over an ice cream cone in The Fox and the Pigeon (Michelle Chua, Canada 2019, 6 min), they find an unexpected common enemy and a shared mission to save their dessert—and their own story. Based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson, The Snail and the Whale (Max Lang & Daniel Snaddon, UK 2019, 27 min) tells the tale of a tiny snail who is desperate to see the world beyond its small seaside home. When the little mollusk is invited to hitch a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale, the unlikely pair embark on an amazing global adventure. In The Most Magnificent Thing (Arna
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¡Viva los Niños!

MVFF’s ¡Viva el Cine! initiative continues its annual celebration of Spanish-language and Latin American films and stories with this festive collection of shorts for families and younger viewers. These kid-centric animated, narrative, and documentary films are a visual feast for both Spanish and English speakers alike. Spelliasmous (Ben Garfield, Cuba/UK 2018, 3 min) takes to the streets of Cuba, where the magic of Harry Potter is alive and well for three wand-wielding friends. In the animated Ailín on the Moon (Claudia Ruiz, Argentina 2018, 5 min), a mother’s patience is tested by her young daughter. For two brothers, a birthday gift of a new watch leads to an anxious countdown to a special moment in time in 11:40 (Claudia Ruiz, Argentina 2018, 12 min). In the mountains of Colombia, an aspiring young bike racer goes to great lengths to cheer on his cycling idol in Champiñon (Luber Yesid Zuñiga Ordoñez, Colombia 2017, 8 min). With animated silhouettes agai
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