Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival

Winter 2014 Selections & Winners

Winter 2014 Winners

“Attack Of The Killer Trees” Dir. Valerie Giuili          ( Block 1   Tickets )

A routine workday turns ugly for this bumbling lumberjack, as he unwittingly wanders into a forest full of vengeful plant life. Will Louie Lumberjack escape the wrath of horrifying carnivorous trees or will he meet his gruesome demise?

“Bar” Dir. Jon Hartman          ( Block 3   Tickets )

A thirsty traveler stumbles upon a bar in the woods, but nobody seems eager to let him in.

“Black Raven” Dir. Aleksander Sakowski          ( Block 4   Tickets )

In a future suffering from decay, federation mercenaries seek to reclaim a device stolen by the Black Raven; a genetically engineered creature specialized for espionage.

“Claire-The Next Ones To Come” Dir. Jessica Benzing & Maximilian Gerlach          ( Block 1   Tickets )

An archaic arena somewhere in-between past and future.
This is tradition, honor and duty or to put it simply with Mad Max: Two men enter, one man leave!

“Danny and The Wild Bunch” Dir. Robert Rugan          ( Block 5   Tickets )

A children's book author is told that her new manuscript needs to be 'darker', but when her revisions piss off the characters in the book, they come back to make some changes of their own.

“Dead Over Heals” Dir. Jose Matheu          ( Block 4   Tickets )

After decades of working only around bodies, Eunice the mortician can't connect with people and she can't get laid. One night, alone and insecure, Eunice plays out her romantic fantasies when she comes across a 'gifted' corpse.

“Experience” Dir. William Maxfield & Jordan Kalms          ( Block 1   Tickets )

Experience follows four college sophomores over the span of twenty-four hours, as they participate in the various activities of university life. However, unlike common depictions of American undergraduate life, Experience is interested in looking at the human aspects of what it's like to be a college student today.

“Fat Rabbit” Dir. Adam Petke          ( Block 6   Tickets )

The rapture is upon us. Guided by faith and vague instructions the glorious saviors have come from the ground to carry us all home. One couple however, struggles with their ascension when the creature they summon is less than they expected.

“Frog’s Legs” Dir. Katie Tamboer          ( Block 1   Tickets )

A dopey frog must escape from a crazy, one-eyed witch who wants to cut off his legs for a beauty potion.

“Hair” Dir. Bryce Marrero          ( Block 2   Tickets )

A comedy exploring the relationship between a obliviously dorky hair stylist and her self-centered beauty pageant-obsessed younger sister.

“Hanky-Panky” Dir. Lindsey Haun          ( Block 2   Tickets )

A blind date between an autistic napkin expert and a free-spirited Bohemian goes surprisingly well thanks to the efforts of two eccentric napkins.

“Happy Halloween, Christmas Whore” Dir. Matthew Diebler & Jacob Gillman          ( Block 6   Tickets )

On Halloween night, a pair of salty teenage girls invites over the neighborhood's year-round Christmas themed prostitute in hopes of winning her approval.

“How It Feels” Dir. PM Romero & Scott Montgomery          ( Block 3   Tickets )

How it Feels takes place in a country bar where love is love and everyone deserves a chance at happiness. It doesn't matter who you are, you want to find love and you can find love.

“I M Possible” Dir. Prasad Narse          ( Block 1   Tickets )

I M POSSIBLE is an animated short film inspired by my father's struggle during his last moments. The story follows a basketball star, Christopher, who has spent a year of his life on a wheelchair after a disastrous accident. But after a frustrating spell of sedentariness, he is now determined to play basketball again on his disabled legs. A grueling challenge awaits him on the court.

“In The Street” Dir. PM Romero & Scott Montgomery          ( Block 5   Tickets )

In the Street tells the story of LA street violence and of the poverty that occurs when people can't escape the lives they were born into.

“Infection” Dir. David Adesman          ( Block 2   Tickets )

Puberty is rough.. Karen isn't what you might call a normal young girl. When she isn't being home schooled, or locked up in the house with only her controlling mother, she's being forced to compete in beauty pageants that she is never able to win. But when her body begins to change, her and her mothers worlds begin to twist and enmesh.

“Karma” Dir. Sixing Su & Majun Chen          ( Block 2   Tickets )

Hou and his pregnant wife opened a garage besides a mountain road. Cunning Hou spreads nails to puncture tires to attract business. Almost every car driving down this road got punctured tires and had to be repaired at his garage.

“Last Supper” Dir. Param Gill          ( Block 5   Tickets )

Last Supper is about two romantic and ambitious lunatics, Fumnanya (Eddie Griffin) and Andy (Josh Meyers) who escape a mental institution with a video camera and set out to make a movie about their romantic quest to find a princess and be rewarded with a magical kiss. The duo encounters various obstacles, not the least of which is that their 'princess' turns out to be a burned-out prostitute (Najarra Townsend) who wants to commit suicide. She enlists Fumnanya and Andy to help her, only to have her suicide plans turn out to be a disaster and her pimp Rocco (Dave Vescio) emerge as a menacing threat. But along the way, the trio ends up becoming overnight sensations on YouTube, as followers speculate whether the whole thing is a clever hoax or a moving if unorthodox attempt at redemption.

“Lure” Dir. Kyle Robinson          ( Block 4   Tickets )

A young couple head out for dinner and a fun night on the town. They walk through a rough part of the city and a purse thief changes their evening plans. The boyfriend gives chase after the escaping thief to confront him and capture what belongs to them.

“Meet The Zillas” Dir. Moreen Littrell          ( Block 1   Tickets )

MEET THE ZILLAS is a campy and absurdist short film set in Zillatown, a wedding-obsessed town where everyone wants to marry but not everyone is allowed.

“Patient One” Dir. Erykah Del Mundo          ( Block 3   Tickets )

A doctor tries to cure his wife from a disease, little does he know it's something supernatural.

“Sheila Scorned” Dir. Mara Gasbarro Tasker          ( Block 4   Tickets )

When Sheila Johnson accidentally messes up a major illicit deal, local kingpin Barry and his goons kidnap her from the club where she dances. Unfortunately for Barry and the men, Sheila also happens to be a shit talking, ass kicking psychopath with a plan of her own. And there's nothing she hates more than men on a power trip...

“Son Shine” Dir. Katrelle Kindred          ( Block 2   Tickets )

Son Shine, follows the story of 12 year old Hakeem Brown on the heels of his thirteenth birthday. Known in his neighborhood as the good kid, Hakeem is a honor student and an obedient son. However, things begin to change for Hakeem as he becomes aware of the political climate in his South Los Angeles Neighborhood during the announcement of the Rodney King verdict. Watching his neighborhood erupt into flames from his bedroom window, Hakeem disobeys his parents by joining the chaos of the riots. Now face to face with the realities of the uprising, Hakeem has to make the decision to be a part of the solution or to become a part of the problem.

“Sugar Coated” Dir. Chris Parson          ( Block 6   Tickets )

Lolita, a fashion movement imported from the streets of Harajuku, Tokyo, has a thriving group of followers in Los Angeles. We follow four Lolitas and investigate their motivations for taking on the extreme style; from self expression, to the questioning of identity and body image.

“Sumer” Dir. Alvaro Garcia          ( Block 3   Tickets )

For unknown reasons, the Earth's ionosphere has weakened dramatically during the course of the last century.

All animal and plant species perished decades ago. All that remains is one small group of humans who attempt to resist the hostility and hardness of the external environment from SUMER, the last hive city in the world.

“The Bigfoot Hunters” Dir. Matt Hausmann          ( Block 4   Tickets )

The president of the USA has been kidnapped by Bigfoot! Now, a group of misfits must bond together and form an alliance to eliminate their worst fear and save mankind.

“The Birthing Field” Dir. Robert Thorpe          ( Block 4   Tickets )

Matt and Angie are starting over. They are escaping to San Diego and the confines of their overbearing parents. In Arizona, while changing a flat tire, without warning they are abducted. They awake to find themselves chained to a room with no idea where they are. They are told that from now on they must get pregnant or die. They must make a decision to either succumb to imprisonment or fight back and risk losing everything.

“The Courier” Dir. J. Mackye Gruber          ( Block 6   Tickets )

What if you discovered that you are an active participant in atrocities beyond your worst nightmares?... That your silence and inaction have lead to violence and death?... Ignorance is no longer bliss and a fat pay check.   The Courier explores a karmic theme with a twist. Joseph George Mendicino plays Joey - a seemingly nice guy who consciously disguises his identity to do his job. We meet him on the day that his beautiful girlfriend questions his activities and their karmic import, suggesting that he may be a silent cog in a ghastly machine. Then when an unexpected event forces him to reconsider everything, he is given unexpected powers to make amends with startling consequences.

“The Luft Gangster: Memoirs Of A Second Class Hero” Dir. Mike Rott          ( Block 6   Tickets )

In many ways, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson (USAF) was fighting a fierce battle before, during and after his days as a Tuskegee fighter pilot (Red Tail) in World War II. Jefferson, 92, was shot down during a mission and spent nine months in Stalag Luft III, a Nazi P.O.W. camp and location of 'The Great Escape.' When liberated by Gen. Patton's 3rd Army, Lt. Col. Jefferson unknowingly became an eye witness to the atrocities at the Nazi Concentration Camp.....Dachau. It's a fascinating account of bravery, perseverance and character. When he wasn't fighting for his country, Jefferson was battling racism in his country.

“The Nihilists” Dir. Johannes Persson          ( Block 2   Tickets )

A woman runs through the forest. A rifle shot echoes and barely misses her head. A neatly dressed man consults a map when a young woman shows up. What at first glance looks like two people connected by forbidden love turns out to be wrong. They share another secret.

“The Quija Board” Dir. Ben Gelera          ( Block 2   Tickets )

Two young women move into an apartment. During their unpacking they discover an old Ouija Board. Thinking it would be fun and entertaining for themselves and their boyfriends they decide to play it. Believing the strange things that are happening is only by coincidence do they finally realize the truth, there is no escaping when the Ouija Board has you.

“The Ramona Flowers Tokyo” Dir. Bouha Kazmi          ( Block 1   Tickets )

A mysterious masked stranger and a boy form the centrepiece of a gathering of elderly society women who yearn for their youth and the exquisite command of their lure.

“Thoreau Less Traveled” Dir. Christopher M. Halligan          ( Block 3   Tickets )

What happens when humans detach themselves from their true nature? Technology cog Henry is violently detached from the social main frame only to find himself alone in the woods. Through nature and writing, he realizes his folly, and decides to give back. But is it already too late?

“Tugger The Ship” Dir. Kevin Bertazzon          ( Block 3   Tickets )

PETER PILOE the PILOT and his crew are chased through the galaxy by alternate versions of themselves in a space-faring tow truck designed by a nine-year-old girl.

“Valiant” Dir. Robin Phillips          ( Block 3   Tickets )

Set in a distant nuclear war-torn future, where European kings control their empires from the skies, 'Valiant' is the story of a band of wanted air pirates, The Valiant Three, who set out on dangerous quest after finding a lost child princess who may hold the ticket to their freedom.

“Witness This!” Dir. Mitchel Gaby          ( Block 1   Tickets )

A man finds himself in a unexpected situation in his apartment. He goes to unfamiliar places where it becomes deeper and darker. the events which unfold eventually becomes too chaotic for the man to bare as he struggles through the insanity of it all.

Best Film Audience Award

“Meet The Zillas” Dir. Moreen Littrell

Best Actor Audience Award

(3 Way Tie)

Allius Barnes “Son Shine”

Derek Hines “Thoreau Less Traveled”

Paul Major “The Bigfoot Hunters”

Best Actress Audience Award

Laine Rettmer “Sheila Scorned”

Best Narrative Short

“The Courier” Dir. J. Mackye Gruber

Best Narrative Feature

“Last Supper” Dir. Param Gill

Best Documentary Short

“Sugar Coated” Dir. Chris Parson

Best Documentary Feature

“The Luft Gangster: Memoirs Of A Second Class Hero” Dir. Mike Rott

Best Student Film

“Valiant” Dir. Robin Phillips

Best Animation

“Sumer” Dir. Alvaro Garcia

Best Experimental

“Black Raven” Dir. Aleksander Sakowski

Best Music Video

“The Ramona Flowers Tokyo” Dir. Bouha Kazmi

Best Foreign Film

“Karma” Dir. Sixing Su & Majun Chen

Best Script

“Baby Boomers” by Nick Walker

Best Director

“Last Supper” Dir. Param Gill

Best Actor

Eddie Griffin “Last Supper”

Best Actress

Najarra Townsend “Last Supper”

Honorable Mentions

“Danny and The Wild Bunch” Dir. Robert Rugan

“In The Street” Dir. PM Romero & Scott Montgomery

“Little Kingdoms” by Kim Doose

“The Archivist” by Adam Stangeby