Short films by the moviemakers of tomorrow are some of the most creative comedies, cutting-edge animations and gripping dramas of today. Produced by KQED, each episode allows viewers to see, for the first time, works by emerging filmmakers who could become the next Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola.
Psycho Killer (#1007H) Duration: 29:52 STEREO TVPGV
INTERVIEW - Germany
An ambitious reporter might have the scoop of his life in an interview with a possible serial killer named Tillmann. What motivates the killer to do what he does? Just as important of a question - what motivates the reporter to ask the question? An even more important question - what's inside the box Tillmann brought to the interview? An intense face-to-face thriller unravels more than one dark secret on both sides. Edited and directed by Sebastian Marka. Principal cast: Antje Widdra, Stephan Grossman, and Florian Panzer.
THE PIANO TUNER - France
A piano prodigy shuns his career after a horrible audition and becomes a piano tuner, pretending to be blind to get better business. He becomes exposed to the intimate details of his clients' lives unbeknownst to them. One day he finds himself welcomed into a crime scene, and his charade becomes an edge-of-your-seat game of life and death. Written and directed by Olivier Treiner. The film won the French equivalent of the Academy Award for best short French film in 2012. Principal cast: Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Gregory Gadebois, and Daniele Lebrun.
When Sparks Fly (#902H) Duration: 27:24 STEREO TVG
WHITE NIGHT - Canada
What does it look like when your heart skips a beat? Set in a black and white city, this stunning film captures the precise moment of connection between two strangers attracted to each other with such magnetism that nothing can keep them apart. Director and editor Arev Maoukian shows how CGI can be used for purposes other than just aliens and robots. Love is the most amazing special effect. Principal cast: Michael Coughlan and Megan Lindley. The beautiful music was composed by Samuel Bisson.
DIPLOMACY - USA
The US Secretary of State and Iranian Foreign Minister don't trust each other. Their antagonistic relationship has reached a boiling point. As the diplomats dig in their heels, it falls upon their interpreters to keep the meeting on track. The art of negotiation is used creatively and humorously when politics gets mixed with mutual attraction. Written and directed by Jon Goldman. He based the film on his previous job which required translating movie scripts from French to English. Principal cast: Michelle Forbes, Navid Negahban, Omid Abtahi and Nazanin Boniadi.
AS THE RAIN WAS FALLING - France/Belgium
A storm breaks. A woman takes shelter under an archway where a man is also waiting for the rain to subside. Everything stops for a moment when their eyes meet. It may be raining, but the temperature starts to rise and sparks start to fly. Written, directed and produced by Charlotte Joulia. Principal cast: Laetitia Reva and Bernard Yerles.
MOORE STREET MASALA - Ireland
A shop clerk falls for the sexy real estate agent across the street. He sells her lunch. She steals his heart. There is only one way for him to express how he feels...we're going Bollywood! Dublin's famous Moore Street market is shaken to its core with a spectacular dance finale featuring over 300 dancers rivaling Slumdog Millionaire. Love is a big production - as if we needed proof. Written, directed and edited by David O'Sullivan. Principal cast: Deva Naidu and Anna Wilson.
- KQED Plus: Thu, Dec 12, 2013 -- 12:30am
Last Flight (#1011H) Duration: 28:51 STEREO TVG
NORTH ATLANTIC - Portugal/England
Golf-Tango-Tango ... is anybody out there? A surprised air traffic controller on a remote island receives a transatlantic call for help from a lost plane. As the night and events unfold, it is clear that their new-found friendship will not last through the night. Their conversation is one the air traffic controller won't ever forget. Written, directed and produced by Bernardo Nascimento. Principal cast: Francesco Tavares and Clive Russell.
YURI LENNON'S LANDING ON ALPHA 46 - Germany/Switzerland
Undocked from the mother ship, cosmonaut Yuri Lennon begins his harrowing journey through space. His journey takes him out to the far reaches of space to investigate mysterious transmissions emanating from Alpha 46. He is confronted with an extraordinary paradox, which may lead to the end of the world as we know it. An amazing movie done in one shot capturing the claustrophobic feeling, the extreme isolation and danger of spaceflight. Written and directed by Anthony Vouardoux. Principal cast: Marc Hosemann.
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Love Fool (#1109H) Duration: 25:07 STEREO TVG
0507 - England
Who says technology makes your life easier? There's an app for everything except when it comes to your boyfriend's stupidity. Directed and edited by Chris and Ben Blaine. Principal cast: Fraser Millward and Cariad Lloyd.
LUNCH DATE - England
Getting dumped always hurts...even more so when your boyfriend sends his fourteen-year-old brother to break the news to you. Annabelle believes everyone is a half - a half that is looking for its other half to make a whole. What if you never find your other half? Written and directed by Sasha Collington. Principal cast: Sasha Collington and Alexis de Vivenot.
GEMOLOGY - Spain
Erick is a young gemologist who works for a company that specializes in classifying diamonds. He and his colleagues spend long hours analyzing the imperfections of these precious stones, until one day he believes he has found the perfect diamond despite evidence to the contrary. He loses his job, but comes to the realization that imperfections are what give character and make something special and unique. This goes for diamonds... and for people. Written and directed by Rick Limintani. Principal cast: Alex Barahona and Rebecca Cobos.
My First Crush (#903H) Duration: 29:28 STEREO TVG
THE CRUSH - Ireland
Ardal Travis is in love. There's just one small problem - him. He's only eight years old and the object of his affection is his beautiful teacher Miss Purdy. He also has a bigger problem - Pierce. He is Miss Purdy's fiancee. As the saying goes, all is fair in love and war. There's only one thing Ardal can do - challenge the interloper to a duel! Written and directed by Michael Creagh. The film was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award. Principal cast: Oran Creagh (the filmmaker's son), Olga Wehrly and Rory Keenan.
BIG GIRL - Canada
A battle of wills develops between nine-year-old Josephine and her mother's new boyfriend - a "lowly" bartender. No longer the sole object of her affection, she challenges this new interloper to a winner take all competition. He may be man enough for her mother, but is he man enough to take care of them both? A bittersweet tale of modern family politics written and directed by Renuka Jeyapalan. Principal cast: Samantha Weinstein, Kris Holden-Ried and Patricia Fagan.
- KQED Plus: Thu, Dec 19, 2013 -- 12:30am email reminder
Cry for Love (#1108H) Duration: 28:38 STEREO TVPGL
DIVISION OF GRAVITY - England
Kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises. With every goodbye you learn. Love can take your breath away as well as break your heart. A woman lets her heart reveal lessons of a love lost. The fragility of love is captured eloquently and gorgeously by director Rob Chiu. Principal cast: Rebecca Calder and Max Wrottesley.
NEW YEAR - Germany
The morning after celebrating New Years' Eve is going to define the relationship between Michael, Anna and Fabian. It's the start of the New Year. It's time for things to change. Written, directed and edited by Thomas Hartmann. Principal cast: Alexander Merbeth, Ann-Cathrin Schaible and Jan Taubert.
FALLING APART - Holland < br />Frank is a quiet, ordinary man with an extraordinary problem. His life is no longer subjected to the laws of gravity. Frank's life is turned upside down, figuratively and literally. Finding love is hard enough as it is when you're shy. His unusual situation forces him to resort to desperate measures. Written and directed by Jasper Wessels. Principal cast: Stijn Koomen and Tamara Bosma.
Love Comes Crashing Down (#1009H) Duration: 28:06 STEREO TVPGL
SORRY, DESTINY - Bulgaria
You have a feeling in your bones. After countless failed connections and dashed hopes, your heart is telling you this could be the day you meet your soul mate. There's just one little problem ... what if your soul mate doesn't speak the same language as you? Directed by Neda Morfova. The infectious song is "Sitting on the Fence" by Bulgarian pop star Milenita. Principal cast: Radina Kardjilova and Dimitar Nedelchev.
SEPARATIONS AGENCY - Ireland
Breaking up is hard to do. A guy wakes up one morning to find out his girlfriend has dumped him, with the news being delivered in the strangest possible way. A singing barbershop quartet's smooth and professional delivery does nothing to soften the blow. Directed and written by Shane Morton. Principal cast: Oddie Braddell, Vincent Fegan, and The Jolly Sunbeams.
THE SCREAMERS - Spain
There are times in all our lives when you just want to scream. There are other times that are filled with awkward silences. Some situations contain both. This is one of them. Written, produced, edited, and directed by Roberto Perez Toledo. Principal cast: Fran Rodriguez Castillo and Ruth Armas.
CRAZY GLUE - USA
A simple story about love and glue, but not just any glue. This special glue has extraordinary bonding properties for a husband and wife whose relationship has lost its magic. Produced, edited, and directed by Elizabeth Orne. Principal cast: Will Brill and Katya Campbell. < br />CONNECTION - Australia
After Dan and Natalie meet on a dating website they decide to go a step further and have a video date. Romance seems destined, but fate has other plans. The modern day fable exposes the disadvantages of matchmaking using the latest technology. Written and directed by Jennifer Leacey. Principal cast: James Mackay, Kate Mulvany, and Dan Krige.
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Color My World (#1003H) Duration: 26:37 STEREO TVPG
NULLABOR - Australia
A brash young punk and a laid back old codger travel across Australia's Nullabor - the longest stretch of straight road in the world - perfect for passing that slow motorist beside you. But in this vast and barren landscape, sometimes all you're left with is each other. So, be careful what you wish for. Directed by Alister Lockhart and Patrick Sarell.
MAXIMALL - France
A young worker is the last to leave his work at the big box retailer. What he doesn't realize is every evening the shopping carts release their pent up anger after a day's worth of abuse from annoying customers. Unfortunately, he will face the brunt of their wrath. He learns the hard way that materialism will trap us all. Animated by Axelle Cheriet, Hadrien Ledieu, Nawel Rahal, and Axel Tillement.
GRAFFITIGER - Czech Republic
A lonely graffiti tiger prowls the streets of the urban jungle looking for his lost mate. On his journey he learns the city is full of dirty streets with walls covered with dangerous graffiti. Libor Pixa's witty and creative film blends 2D drawn animation with live action. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award.
The Golden Years (#1001H) Duration: 25:06 STEREO TVG
THE BIRTHDAY CIRCLE - England
Two young children defiantly claim independence in their own home, but are implored by their frustrated elders to consider external care. This unique film places mature dialogue literally in the mouths of babes making for an uncomfortable, but illuminating look at the cruel irony of aging. What results is a role reversal dark comedy of brutal honesty. Directed and produced by Philip Lepherd. Principal cast: Matthew Marsh, Orson Lepherd, Rafe Lepherd, and Rosemary Smith.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT - England
It's not everyday you fall in love, but in 70-year-old Arthur's case he can and does. When he spots Ruth in the retirement home, he knows in his heart he has finally found his soul mate. Directed by Michael Davies, the short film shows that you are never too old to fall in love. Principal cast: John Hurt, Phyllida Law, and Barry McCarthy. Love at First Sight won the top prize at six film festivals and was shortlisted for a 2012 Academy Award.
DANNY & ANNIE - USA
In a simple analogy, the old Brooklynite Danny Perasa says that marriage is like color TV. Once you have it, you never want to go back to black and white. He has been married to Annie for 25 years. The couple recounts their life together from their first date (on which Danny proposed) to Danny's final days with terminal cancer. This remarkable couple personifies the eloquence, grace, and poetry that can be found in the voices of everyday people. Directed and animated by brothers Mike and Tim Rauch.
Modern Times (#1008H) Duration: 28:09 STEREO TVG
DAS TUB - New Zealand
Lost in the frozen depths of the ocean, a German submarine crew find themselves encountering objects stranger than they can fathom. The truth turns their world topsy-turvy leaving them literally and figuratively in over their heads. A satiric homage to the classic German feature Das Boot. Directed by James Cunningham.
WATCHING - England
A young man sits alone in a cafe spying on the cute waitress not knowing that he himself is being watched. When a stranger approaches him and strikes up a conversation, he is given an opportunity that could change his life forever. Opportunities present themselves for the briefest of moments. If you miss them they don't come back, but is the risk worth it? Directed by Max Myers. Principal cast: Ian Hart, Charlie Cattrall, and Susannah Fielding.
ABOVE THE KNEE - Canada
Jack's restrictive suit and tie career has never been a good fit for him. His home and love life is also in a rut. A radical shake up is in order. When he breaks the mold at work by dressing differently, all of his relationships miraculously improve and actually sets his colleagues free to also express themselves. Director, writer, and producer Greg Atkins tackles sexual politics and the tyranny of gender conformity with a wry comedic touch. Principal cast: Stephen Bogeart, Naomi Sniekus, Allen Altman, and Victoria Adilman.
Mind Benders (#1004H) Duration: 26:09 STEREO TVG
COLOUR BLEED - England/Poland
A young creative and idealistic girl dreams of brighter days in a dim Eastern European city. Her fate is inextricably sealed when she crosses paths with a scheming and enigmatic old woman, who harbors a dark secret. A cold act of cruelty will fracture the very foundations of a city. Directed, written, produced, and edited by Peter Szewczyk. Peter has contributed his talents to the feature films Harry Potter, Shrek, Star Wars, Ice Age and Avatar. This is his directorial debut. Principal cast: Anna Barry and Milla Karkkainen.
WEST OF THE MOON - USA
The memory of a long lost love triggers an old man to recall the odd set of circumstances that led to his having a grenade as a heart and a monkey inside his head. A wildly inventive and visually amazing film inviting comparisons to the work of Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton. The film is directed by Brent Bonacorso and based on the book of children's essays entitled The Colored Monster Has No Mouth by Roger Omar. Principal cast: Jacob Whitkin, Michael Garbe, Amber Noelle, and Christopher Tomafelli. West of the Moon won the top prize at five film festivals in 2011.
EGG BREAKERS - Germany
A game of one-upmanship gets out of hand. In a surreal landscape two creatures learn that if eyelids were lips at the same time, they would also be able to lay eggs ... say what?! Animated by Emanuel Strixner.
Love Is Complicated (#1002H) Duration: 26:56 STEREO TVPG
AFTER THE CREDITS - Australia
Love means never having to say you're sorry ... yeah, right! We've seen it a hundred times before - boy meets girl and they live happily ever after. What all those Hollywood romantic comedies don't show you is what happens after the movie credits end. We all know it's a completely different story. Real love means having to say you're sorry over and over and over. Written and directed by Josh Lawson. Josh makes a cameo in the film as the rude passenger. Principal cast: Toby Schmitz and Robin McLeavy.
ANYTHING FOR YOU - USA
What starts out as a simple lunch date, ends with two women revealing their deepest secrets. Lynette can't help fantasizing about cheating on her husband and believes she has found the perfect solution to her dilemma. Shocked and dismayed, her best friend Gail is forced to drop a bombshell of her own, one that will change their friendship forever. Produced and directed by Laura Belsey. Principal cast: Kathleen McElfresh and Corena Chase.
Dead Last Option (#1105H) Duration: 29:05 STEREO TVPGV
TRUE LOVE - Australia
A woman has suffered years of psychological and physical abuse at the hands of her husband. When he starts focusing his rage on her daughter, she snaps and kills him. She never thought she had it in her to kill somebody. Now does she have it in her to bury the evidence? The original and unpredictable thriller that will have you guessing up to its shocking climax. Directed by Robert Braiden. Principal cast: Niki J Price and Jamie Dunn.
CURFEW - USA
At the lowest point in his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his 9-year-old niece. Years may exaggerate the distance separating brothers and sisters, but blood ties run too deep and cannot be ignored. Written, directed and edited by Shawn Christensen. Principal cast: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek and Kim Allen.
You Should Be Paranoid (#1111H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVPGV
OUT OF ERASERS - Sweden / Denmark
A woman becomes the victim of a strange "scribble" infection whose only cure is to physically erase the virus. Hysteria results when the town's eraser factory goes up in flames. After struggling to keep safe from the virus's reach, she must deal with the possibility that things will never be the same. A creative and arresting live action/animation blend which updates classic cold war paranoia with contemporary obsessions with viral attacks. Written, edited and directed by Eric Rosenlund.
88:88 - USA
Val has lost control of her life and has cut herself off from family and friends. She feels they are all in denial about the events happening in the world today. Despite her pleas, her warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Realizing she must take a stand, she has only one remaining option - fight back. What starts as the ramblings of a crazy woman turns in to an intense and suspenseful validation of her fears. Directed by Joey Ciccoline. Principal cast: Rachel Kahne.
The Company of Men (#1005H) Duration: 28:25 STEREO TVPG-VL
BREAK A LEG - Canada
Are you a folder or a crumpler? While eating breakfast in a cafe, a hit man asks his next victim this unusual question. The tightly wound assassin simultaneously threatens and regales his companion about his startling beliefs about human behavior. Only when he gives his ultimatum do we learn the shocking identity of his next casualty. Written and directed by Jesse Shamata. Principal cast: Chuck Shamata, Gage Munroe and Conrad Bereschneider.
THE CANDIDATE - USA
A man's worth can be judged by the caliber of his enemies. In the cutthroat world of big business, no truer words have been spoken. Burton Grunzer, a hyper-aggressive and confident dealmaker, lives in the pressure cooker of a Fortune 500 company. A bumbling co-worker is protected by someone high up and his blunders in the board room are damaging Burton's reputation. As luck would have it, Burton is contacted by a secret organization called the Society for United Action. Intrigued, he agrees to meet with a representative from the society with an interesting proposition. If you could kill off your most aggravating co-worker and get away with it, would you? Directed by David Karlak. Principal cast: Tom Gulager, Thomas F. Duffy, Robert Picardo, Meghan Markle, and Vyto Ruginis.
Biting The Hand That Feeds (#1113H) Duration: 28:36 STEREO TVPGV
MATCH HEAD - England
Ten-year-old Meg has burnt down the foster care home that she lived in. As part of her punishment she is ordered to attend counseling sessions in the hope that these will cure her addiction to fire. When ex-arsonist George turns up to show Meg the dire consequences of his obsession, sparks start to fly and the counselor realizes maybe this wasn't such a good idea. A very dark comedy directed and produced by Ian Barnes. Principal cast: Eve Barnes (the filmmaker's daughter), Steven Elder and Zahra Browne.
SHOPLIFTING - Australia
Pete is teaching his youngest son the art of shoplifting. However, as the song goes, "the times they are a-changing." His eldest son takes up internet fraud instead and with the new security panels being introduced in department stores for the first time, Pete suddenly has to fight to keep control of his family, his career and his life. A twisted tale written and directed by Neil Triffett. Principal cast: Gary Samolin, Ivan Bradara and Nathan O-Rourke.
That's Just Love Sneakin' Up On You (#1006H) Duration: 26:30 STEREO TVG
TABLE 7 - USA
A couple with relationship issues has an intimate conversation in an Asian restaurant, unaware that their every word is secretly being monitored. Directed by Marko Slavnic and Andrew McDonald. Principal cast: Ray Rosales, Stephanie Lozos and Isaac Kim.
CATAPLEXY - USA
Sidney suffers from cataplexy, an unusual medical condition where he becomes literally paralyzed when he is overcome with emotion. Rather than take that chance, he relies on impersonal sexual encounters to meet his physical needs. One night he is embarrassed to discover the call girl at his front door is an old friend from high school. The film was done as part of a competition where the film went from concept to screen in just 72 hours. Directed by John Salcido. Principal cast: Dave Tenenbaum and Michelle Noh.
CROSSWORD - Ireland
Heather is single with very few friends except for the barmaid in the pub she frequents after work everyday. Her favorite pastime is doing crossword puzzles. On the eve of her 40th birthday, she has a strange experience when all the answers to the day's crossword seem to be around her. Is it magic, coincidence or something else? In a crossword -- just like in life -- when lines meet and paths converge it is not a matter of luck, but rather part of a greater plan. The film was directed by Vincent Gallagher. Principle cast: Louise Lewis, Mark O'Shaughnessy, Maire Hastings, Andrew Bennett, and Kevin McDonough.
We're Desperate (Get Used to It) (#1013H) Duration: 28:56 STEREO TVPGV
CHECKMATE - England
Jan learns that staying in an asylum can make anyone crazy. He challenges his evaluator to a game of chess to prove that he should be released. The stakes could not be higher in this tense battle of wills. Written, edited, and directed by Navarro Aydemir. Principal cast: Gergo Danka, Shakyra Dowling, Daniel Wiltshire, Sibel Unver, Alex Murphy, and Adam Cunningham.
NORTHEAST FRONT - Mexico/USA
In a city held hostage by drug cartels, a hard-working single mother supports her kids all on her own. Her son has gotten in trouble and as a result she must to pay off his debt to a drug dealer. Suddenly up against an unthinkable threat, she does everything in her power to keep her family safe and alive in this heart-stopping true story. Written, edited, and directed by Angela Torres Camarena. Principal cast: Evangelina Sosa, Luis Felipe Tovar, Edgar Orozco, and Octavio Lowry.
A DOCTOR'S JOB - Peru/USA
In order to make ends meet, a stubborn but caring emergency room physician has to moonlight as a taxi driver. His pride and ethics are challenged everyday. He is used to life and death situations in the hospital, but when they bleed over into his taxi job, things get really hairy. Will this be his worst day on the job or the answer to all of his prayers? Written and directed by Julio Ramos. Principal cast: Miguel Iza, Luis Menezes, and Christian Ojeda.