Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival

Winter 2012 Selections & Winners

“A Man of Limited Emotional Means” Dir. Alejandra Valera        

Nine-year-old Bell adores his unreliable father, Jackson. When his parents divorce, Bell must become Jackson's friend, cohort and at times caregiver -- often with disappointing results

“A Tiny Portal” Dir. Stephanie Gumpel             

A lonely young woman forms an unlikely friendship with her elderly neighbors and discovers they have a secret power that could be the answer to her problems.

“A Wash In The Sounds Of Birds” Dir. Nicholas Watts         

Anty, a troubled soul in a Mod suit, and Anny, a punkstress all in red, battle an unhinged gang while walking through a tunnel.  Frances, adorned in shiny plastic, comes to their aid before the fireworks ensue.  Who will be the last standing?

“Anastasi” Dir. Noam Kroll            

This experimental, abstract art film tells the story of a young woman haunted by her own lack of identity.

“B.B.S.B.-Locolotion” Dir. Yuki Ogura          

The music video of a Japanese punk cover band, Basket Ball Street Boyz.

“Bad Blood” Dir. Bryce Marrero           

A hot-headed black-power advocate goes undercover in a corrupt hospital to find out the truth surrounding his father's mysterious death.

“Blackwood” Dir. Natasha Johns-Messenger           

When Lena's estranged mother dies she is forced to take care of Pippa, the daughter she has never known. As they travel to Blackwood together in the sweltering Australian summer Lena attempts to rid Pippa from her life, but is confronted with motherly instincts she never knew existed.

“Blindfolded” Dir. Eric Choi           

A recent victim of an abusive kidnapping battles to overcome a psychological trauma which prevents her from removing her blindfold by carrying out the death wish of her suicidal caretaker.

“Boss Man” Dir. Ian Hamilton          

Harvest after harvest, the Tres Trabajadores (Pequenyo, Grasa, and Flaco) have worked their hands to the bone, only to be taken advantage of by their big Boss man, owner of Boss Man Onions, a farm in southern Oregon. With protest sign in hand, the three chase down Bossman telling him of all the ways he's wronged them in the past and that he must now pay the dues he owes them or suffer the consequences.

“Brainiac” Dir. Steven Wilson          

Daniel, an introverted inventor, attempts to charm his neighbor, Sheila, by creating a mind-reading helmet that helps her see her own thoughts. Daniel soon discovers that Steve, Sheila's manipulative ex-boyfriend, has repurposed the helmet for his own insidious intentions. Daniel must save Sheila from Steve's brainwashing conspiracy.

“Broken Things” Dir. Hollis McLachlan          

When you break your own heart, no one is left to pick up the pieces.

“Cain” Dir. Enzo Williams           

Brother's Cain and Daniel are both good guys raised by the neighborhood priest. Alonzo, their childhood nemesis blames Daniel for pointing him to the police that landed him in jail. Out on bail, Alonzo seeks revenge and the only person in his way is CAIN

“Devil’s Temptation” Dir. Neryong Ci           

A customer enters a company, The Land of the Free, and is guided by a mysterious employee who lures him into signing a consent letter in place of a drink that promises ultimate freedom.

“Disruption” Dir. Giulio Poidomani           

Disruption is the story of a depressed comic book designer who believes that Heaven is a better place to live for his family.

“Dot Got Shot” Dir. Carlos Ramos Jr. & Honey Lauren           

New York detective, Dot Forman, is suffering from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of a bullet that is lodged in her head.

“El Duelo” Dir. Jennifer Nicole Stang           

A day in the life of El Javi, guitarist and songwriter.

“Epizodist” Dir. Igor Aleksov          

This is a short and poignant story about the life of the main heroine Anna and her hellish journey from dream to become a film actress, through communist torture, to the monastic quarters. A story of double standards, hypocrisy and cruelty of the past and present.

“Esperanza” Dir. Tony Tucker          

A group of friends find out they brought back more than souvenirs & foggy memories from Cancun.

“Famous” Dir. Evan Lai           

A group of friends enter a local 'American Idol'-style contest only to discover at the last minute that the contest is for Hip Hop bands.

“God’s Amnesia”  Dir. Christos Christodoulou & Stelios Constantinou          

When, in a hospital room, a woman asks to see her child, she is asked to follow the typical procedure. As every attempt fails, she convulses deeper and deeper into the forgotten trails of her subconscious, bringing to the surface fragmented memories which threaten to constitute, at any given moment, a tragic picture of reality. Sometimes, when faced with the possibility of the unbearable, our need for redemption leads us to a realization that transcends the confines of rational human perception.

“Gold N’ Honey” Dir. Valerie McCaffrey           

A young girl is left with her siblings and she decides to steal a gold necklace to feed her family.

“Heads Up” Dir. Alex Merkin           

'HEADS UP' is an edgy, comedic story of two long time friends, partners in crime, and somewhat surrogate siblings who love each other to death. When suspicions of trust and loyalty arise at the weekly poker game the situation erupts in an extreme way - because nobody fights like siblings do!

“Heaven Sent” Dir. Gavin Hignight          

Having been left for dead, a woman awakes on the beach at the edge of the ocean. Her journey to find the truth about the incident the night before leads her to one suspect... her husband. That's when things take a strange turn.

“Homebody” Dir. Kate Marks           

Nell's feet hang over her tiny bed, she can't squeeze through her little front door, her miniature meals leave her hungry and the small gun she keeps shooting herself with leaves only a minor scab. Homebody: a fantastical film about a giant housing crisis.

“Horrific” Dir. Robert Boocheck          

A Texas goat rancher must defend his double-wide trailer from a mysterious predator.

“I Cut I” Dir. Dino Dumandan           

I Cut I is an intimate exploration of a young woman's desire to cut herself for pleasure.

“I’ve Only Just Begun” Dir. Elias Koskimies           

March 2012. Law that banned 'homosexual propaganda' was signed in St. Petersburg, Russia. August 2012. Venuz Vulgar started his long journey to St. Petersburg to save his friends. I've Only Just Begun is raging, beautiful, violent and poetic statement about LGBT-discrimination.

“Illusive Fields” Dir. Katharine O’Brien          

An aging playboy throws a party to celebrate the first weekend in his new Hamptons home, but his young party guests begin suffering a series of bizarre accidents.

“In His Shadow” Dir. Attila Korosi          

There is only one man who can possibly challenge the great Riddick...his own brother, Attila...

“L.A. Aboriginal” Dir. Bayou Bennett & Daniel Lir           

A film about the life and background of dynamic artist, Dave Tourje, who was influenced by the energetic L.A subcultures of skateboarding, surfing, gang culture, motocross and hot rods.

“Legacy” Dir. Adam Floeck           

Legacy is the story of one boy's difficulties to live up to his family's expectations when the burden of his heritage is suddenly thrust upon him.The film centers around a boy named Theo, who is burdened with a family aviation heirloom that he fears he can never live up to. In an attempt to overcome his struggle, he climbs to the top of the aviation mountain, dressed in the family flight suit, with the hat of his great-grandfather in his hand. In his failure to muster up the courage to take his first leap,  he is plagued with an even more difficult task, when a fan boy of his follows him up the cliff and is suddenly blown off the edge.

“Legitimate” Dir. Justin Dittrich          

During a 'legitimate rape', the female reproductive system sets out to 'shut the whole thing down'. Material provided by Todd Akin.

“Life’s Wish” Dir. Michael Moeh          

A down-on-his-luck artist finds his life turned around when he finds a magic cellphone that grants wishes.  He soon has everything he wants in life until it makes a change he can't live with.  Unable to undo his wish, he must discover the origins of this powerful device and make the wish that he needs.

“Lost In Civilization” Dir. Sam Kloos          

Modern citizen at his weakest moment confronted by his inner demons created and imposed by society.

“Love Me” Dir. Erica Hill & Nick Noyes         

North Dakota native, Curtis Kulig writes 'Love Me' across the walls and rooftops of his adopted home town, NYC.  Loved by everyone from grandmothers to skater kids, Kulig's 'Love Me' is quickly becoming a NY icon by virtue of being everywhere one turns in the city that never sleeps.   This short doc gives the viewer a brief glimpse into how 'Love Me' started and where it is going.

“Lucy” Dir. Eric Iglesias           

Tony is a teenage boy that will all of the sudden find himself orphaned, and in need of a place to live.In the process, helped by his friends, he will ultimately run away, to find his path to a distant brother he has never met, in hopes of finding the shelter and safety.

“Lucy Falls” Dir. Danielle Burgio           

A strong willed, small town girl in an abusive relationship, has an epiphany through the help of her 6 year old friend and changes her life.

“Malea Beloved” Dir. Vincent McLean           

A young woman travels a twisted maize of violence and deceit to numb her pain and conceal the scars of her past.

“My Mother’s Hero” Dir. Michael Aragon           

Maria is a middle-age woman living with her two kids and abusive boyfriend. The relationship has taken a horrible turn for the worst on the very day she plans to escape with her kids.

“No Hay Nada Mas” Dir. Giovanni Solis          

Forced into living in a motel after their house has been foreclosed, A father and his children struggle to stay together amidst the pressure of their difficult realities.

“Nothing About Nothing” Dir. Daniel Levi          

One man buries another man alive. Oddly, the man being buried alive is calm, whilst the man doing the burying is anxious even though he is in the position of power. It is an exploration of faith versus fear.

“Ozaka Bondage-Bukkake Rondo” Dir. Lucien Ludwig Noe         

A world with only one existing Radio Station, zero percent Unemployment and wealthy households.
In a central monitoring room: Men in white suits, which have the ability to provide conformity by pressing a button

“Pillow Girl” Dir. Ronnie Cramer           

Originally a sound-art work created for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver by musician/artist Ronnie Cramer, who scanned the covers and inside pages of a number of lurid, vintage paperbacks, then ran the collected image and text data through a variety of synthesizers. The resulting sound files were then processed and remixed into the soundtrack for Pillow Girl film; the visual portion of the film makes use of the over 200 covers, with one illustrated figure morphing into the next every two seconds.

“Queen Of The Night Aria” Dir. Harry Hall          

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT ARIAA highly original, comic interpretation of the popular Aria from 'The Magic Flute' by Mozart.This outrageous version utilizes Puppetry, hilarious subtitles and sound effects to illustrate thisclassic tale,while still maintaining the dignity of Mozart's timeless music.

“Resistance” Dir. Blake Borcich          

Two frightened women seek shelter underground. A wounded intruder also seeks safety below. But where is the danger least - outside or within?

“Safe Room” Dir. Matt Carmody           

When a  man decides to break into a jewelry store, things don't go as planned - and nothing is what it seems.

“Sanjourno Must Die” Dir. Jim Lujan          

An ex Euro disco DJ finds himself in hot water with a crime syndicate when he is entrusted with a suitcase with valuable contents.

“Shadows and Illuminations” Dir. Robert Lemelson          

Shot over the course of 12 years in Bali, Indonesia, Shadows and Illuminations follows the life course of a older Balinese man, Pak Kereta, as he struggles with the continuous intrusion into his consciousness of what he terms shadows or spirits. The film documents his painful personal history of trauma, loss and exposure to toxins, and draws on his other family members memories and interpretations of how to understand his struggles and distress.  Central questions of how to interpret his  experiences, and to what role a psychiatric diagnosis and the meanings such a label entails are explored and implicitly problematized throughout the course of the film.

“Shave It” Dir. Fernando Maldonado & Jorge Tereso           

In a jungle where giant bulldozers shave the vegetation, a monkey finds a razor and decides to use it. With a human appearance, he moves to the city and sets out to climb society's ladder.

“Six Feet Deep” Dir. Konstantinos Sampanis          

After his best friend (Danny) is brutally murdered and the case is closed as a drug crime, Vince decides to begin his own investigation discovering that Connolly, the main detective in the case, is associated with a known skinhead gang. Convinced that Connolly had something to do with Danny's death, Vince infiltrates the gang to find the man who pulled the trigger. He will soon realize that finding the truth won't be easy and that justice comes with a big price.

“Small Potatoes” Dir. Justin Rogers          

When an impoverished boy learns he might lose his job at the mine he hatches an enterprising plan to make some money and help the people of his village.

“Southern DysComfort” Dir. Patrick Ryan McEveety           

Reared and mentored by black nanny Annie Mae, Michael Alton Lowder, a bisexual male from the South,  navigates his way through a fairytale of excess surrounded by dysfunctional upscale family and friends.

“Space Team” Dir. Carlos Rivera          

B/W Somewhat Silent short that pokes fun at early silent sci-fi films.

“Ssexess I” Dir. Frank Blume          

A feast of orgiastic lavishness observed in the full 360 degrees. The secret place of the female orgasm is exposed in the area of knowledge, the dark chamber.

“Stigma” Dir. Phill Schwartz          

Peter's view of the world changes when he receives life altering news.  Feeling his humanity like never before, Peter sets out on a journey of self discovery and acceptance.

“Story Of The Eye” Dir. Nicole Jefferson Asher          

An operatic, feminist re-interpretation of Georges Bataille's classic 1920's transgressive novella, 'Story of The Eye'.  (Yeah, you read that right, it's all sung....)

“Storybook Wedding” Dir. Mark Bethune           

A groom's plan to accuse his bride-to-be of marrying him only for his money backfires when she reveals the only reason he is rich is because of her loving attention over the years, making true on the saying, 'behind every successful man is a smart woman'.

“Stranded” Dir. Nicol Dippenaar          

Jan Wilimse, a tourist from South Africa is on an adventure in California with his girlfriend when an unfortunate accident occurs, Jan must fight against the all odds to save his girlfriend from prosecution.

“Sugarcoat” Dir. Meejin Hong         

Desire as seen through a melting crayon reveals a tapestry of temptations.

“Survivor Type” Dir. Billy Hanson          

A disgraced surgeon stranded on a deserted island with no food and only a handful of supplies must go to great lengths to stay alive for rescue that may never come.

“The Coffers” Dir. Eric Wilson           

'The Coffers' is a short-form narrative cinema conferring the lamentable exploits of a dominant corporate leader, his efforts to lead his son toward a more fulfilling future, and a capricious friendship that hangs in the balance.

“The Director” Dir. Jesper Skouboelling          

An alternative film to show my skills as a director with an ironic twist to achieve attention.

“The Fears Of Young Caroline” Dir. Talisha Elger           

A short movie which focus' on childhood fears and the loss of sexual innocence.

“The Little Girl” Dir. Timothy Wayne Folsome          

A pastor is kidnapped by a desperate man and forced to commit a horrible sin in order to save his pregnant wife.

“The Naked Leading The Blind” Dir. Wim Vanacker         

A dissection of the human condition on a hot summer's day blurred by alcohol, late night television and smoldering spirituality. ...and suddenly everything became clear to him. Words filled with wonder and possibility. There are consequences as a result of such sudden awakenings. Love and marriage. Serve and observe. Open your eyes and you will see. Love through a blind man's eyes.

“Thunder May Have Ruined The Moment” Dir. Peter Monro           

A film that offers up thick psychotropic visuals and hazy moss grown memories seamlessly melded into a barrage of twisted imagery and nature based decay.

“Trauma Team” Dir. Ben Hansford          

Four young medical prodigies are forced underground and become vigilante doctors by forming a renegade clinic to help desperate patients who have nowhere else to turn.

“Treading Water” Dir. Katie White          

When Marion's father passes away she inherits the position of caretaker of her estranged mentally unstable sister, Franny.

“Treasure Dogs” Dir. Kasey Amato           

Two boys, mysteriously cast adrift at sea, come upon a small island. They begin to learn how to survive, but just when things seem like they might be alright, a startling find puts everything in jeopardy.

“Un Regalo (A Gift)”   Dir. Paul Avellino          

Un Regalo (A Gift) is a dark comedy about Sarah, an 11 year old girl who's unique perspective allows her to see the beauty in things that others cannot.

“Vallum” Dir. Chase Wright        

A turn of the century teen imprisoned within oblivion desperately fights to escape.

“Waiters At Midnight” Dir. Gilchrist Macquarrie          

When Entertainment Everywhere chooses Simon's-by-the-Sea restaurant for a special live New Year's Eve broadcast, Hollywood glitz and working-class reality collide. A conflicted and rebellious group of waiters, Alex, Blanca, and Tim, struggle to keep their heads above the reality TV mudslinging.

“Wasteland” Dir. Graham Travis           

Wasteland tells the story of Anna and Jacky, old school friends who have not seen each other in many years. They are reunited on one passionate, emotional, and sexually adventurous night in Los Angeles. Featuring powerful performances by the lead actresses, and breathtaking cinematography, Wasteland is a unique adult movie that blends a deep and heartfelt storyline with intense and unforgettable hardcore sex scenes.

“We Present: Episode 9” Dir. Tyler Shaw          

Prepare yourselves. You are about to step into another world.

“What About Your Friends” Dir. Ameona Almund           

The life of one woman changes over night after her friends claim they were planning her surprise birthday party.

“What It Takes” Dir. Rick Davitt & Mark Powell           

Four consecutive California water polo championships, an undefeated season, and the team captains graduating leads Mater Dei High School's coach to send his young team in search of leadership through fabled U.S. Navy SEAL training.

“White Elephant” Dir. Paul Karpenko          

The amulet gave him everything he'd ever wanted: strength, freedom, safety. But it also gave him one thing he never asked for. Eternal life.

“Zombies In Silverlake” Dir. Drew Bell & Karen Sharpe           

Zombies in Silverlake is the beginning of the end for Silverlake, Los Angeles. Its day three of the sickness and victims must be saved! Zombies must be smashed! And how will our heros stay alive?

Best Narrative Short

“Epizodist” Dir. Igor Aleksov

Best Narrative Feature

“Wasteland” Dir. Graham Travis

Best Documentary Short

“What It Takes” Dir. Rick Davitt & Mrk Powell

Best Documentary Feature

“Shadows and Illuminations” Dir. Robert Lemelson

Best Student Film

“Bad Blood” Dir. Bryce Marrero

Best Animation

“Boss Man” Dir. Ian Hamilton

Best Experimental

“The Director” Dir. Jesper Skouboelling

Best Music Video

“Gold N’ Honey” Dir. Valerie McCaffrey

Best Foreign Film

“The Fears Of Young Caroline” Dir. Talisha Elger

Best Script

“Scarecrow Man” by Alex Saveliev

Best Director

“Epizodist” Dir. Igor Aleksov

Best Actor

Gideon Emery “Survivor Type”

Best Actress

Lily Carter “Wasteland”

Best Film Audience Award

“Southern DysComfort”  Dir. Patrick Ryan McEveety

Best Actor Audience Award

Michael Alton Lowder “Southern DysComfort”

Best Actress Audience Award

Lynne Newton “Southern DysComfort”

Honorable Mentions

“The Deal” by Brian Fox

“The Man Who Killed Sandra Wallace” by Anders Nelson

“The Big Idea” by David Schroeder

“Season Of Change” by Charles Conrad Laulette

“A Class Reunion” by James Kelley

“Dead Dolores” by Michael Yagnow

Winter 2012 Winners