April 26 - 30, 2006
at Push Push Theater

$5 per screening
$10 All Day Pass
Tickets Available 30 minutes prior to show at Push Push box office first come.

Opening Night Shorts Program
Wednesday April 26, 2006
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Dir. Jeff Dell - USA - 5 min.
Two children exploring a playground becomes a shocking contrast to disturbing scenes of War.

Dir. Christina Paschal - USA - 25 min.
A homeless 'family' exists in one of Atlanta's hippest shopping districts. Sharing their stories is an army veteran with survival skills, a man who yearns for his fiance, a musician who sleeps in a tent, and an alcoholic with a heart of gold.

Dir. Leslie Dektor - USA - 17 min.
The circus ring allows us to see the lives and feelings of the unique performers.
How does it mirror you own life?

Dir. Jonathan Skurnik - USA - 8 min.

Ukrainian Immigrant, Eugene Sheiman runs a manual elevator in a NYC office building. Eugene was a journalist in Kiev and has published a novel in Russian. Now that he's an American citizen, the Elevator Operator reveals his big dream.

Dir. Robert Bregman - USA - 17 min.
Ellito Gerad has a dream to become a hip hop star despite the fact that he's White and Jewish.

A complete history of WRAS, demonstrating why 88.5 FM is one of the biggest college radio stations around.

Wednesday Opening Feature - 9:30 PM
Dir. Neil Abramson - USA - 85 min. - (English)

Bob Smith USA is a hilarious new documentary that provides a view into American culture through the eyes of seven men named Bob Smith. The filmmakers traveled across the United States documenting the lives of these Bob Smith’s. Despite their common names, the men vary greatly in profession, age and religion - from a septic tank repairmen to a yoga instructor; from twenty-eight to eighty-eight years of age; from Evangelical Christian to Evangelical Atheist. As each man’s story unfolds in his own words, intimate portraits are drawn, creating a poetic, nonjudgmental and highly entertaining account of American life.


Thursday April 27, 2006:

Dir. Corina Gamma - USA - 52 min. - (English)
A compendium of conversations and interviews with women who are currently residing in the downtown Los Angles Skid Row. The women who participated in the film are either homeless, at the periphery of it, or in a transitional situation. They share their stories of poverty as they are trying to navigate through the various bureaucracies of government programs. Many are trying to overcome personal dilemmas, either resolving past experiences or escaping them altogether. Some of the documented conversations reveal that “homelessness” is more than just a physical situation, but also a condition of poverty, ultimately becoming a state of mind.

Thursday - 7:15 PM
Dir. Jill Freidberg - Mexico - 62 min. (Spanish/English subtitled)
Award-winning Seattle filmmaker, Jill Freidberg (This is What Democracy Looks Like) spent two years in southern Mexico documenting the efforts of over 100,000 teachers, parents, and students fighting to defend the country’s public education system. For over 20 years, global economic forces and a series of corrupt leaders have been dismantling public education in Mexico, but always in the constant shadow of popular resistance. This is the story of that resistance - the story of hundreds of thousands of public schoolteachers whose grassroots, non-violent movement took Mexico by surprise, and who have endured brutal repression in their struggle to defend public

Thursday - 8:30 PM
Dir. Paul Mariano - USA - 57 min. - (English)
Also Ran examines the bizarre world of the 2003 California Governor recall election, an election that was unprecedented in California history, and soon became a circus with a list of 135 candidates that included a porn actress, and Austrian bodybuilder and director Paul Mariano himself. Also Ran follows Paul as he launches his candidacy, fights to be heard above the din of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cacophonous campaign, and tries to make Gray Davis realize that his only hope for remaining in offices lies with Paul who runs as Davis’ surrogate. The film offers a vivid and insightful look at the populist origins of the recall process and the way in which moneyed interest co-opted that process and turned its populist purpose on its head.

Thursday - 9:45 PM
Dir. Franny Armstrong - UK - 85 min. (English)
McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humbled McDonald’s in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history. When McDonalds sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris, they had no idea that it would turn into the longest trial in English legal history. The “McLibel Two” represented themselves against McDonald’s multi-million dollar legal team. Every aspect of the corporation’s business was cross-examined; from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children. Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise - especially the British Government. McLibel is about the importance of freedom of speech now that multinational corporations are more powerful than countries. Filmed over ten years by no-budget director Franny Armstrong, this is the David and Goliath story of two people who refused to say sorry. And in doing so, changed the world.


Friday April 28, 2006

Friday - 3:30 PM
Dir. J. Michael Seyfert - Cuba - 58 min. (English/Spanish)
Cuba stands pummeled by an unworkable socialism and a voracious consumer appetite. What began more than forty six years ago seems spent - patriotism or death are simply not enough. Cubans want other choices, other points of view, and they can’t wait any longer. But defeating the autocracy also means Cubans will need to relinquish much of their collective conscience in order to chase individual profit and person freedom.

Friday - 4:45 PM

Dir. Jeff Adachi - USA - 65 min. (English)
From silent film star Sessue Hayakawa to “Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle”, “The Slanted Screen” examines the portrayal of Asian men in film and television, and how new filmmakers are now re-defining age-old stereotypes. The film asks why and how these stereotypic portrayals continue to persist, and why the roles for Asian American men are diminishing while the Asian American population is increasing.

Friday - 6:00 PM
Dir. Arthur Crenshaw - USA - 66 min. (English)
"The Sandman's Garden" examines the life and art of Lonnie Holley, a self-taught African American artist living in Birmingham, Alabama. We follow Lonnie as he builds a sculptural environment out of discarded materials and found objects. Growing up poor and black in the 20th Century American South, Holley worked to overcome prejudice, deprivation and pain by using art to explore his life and ideas. The camera catches the artistic process and the artist's unique and extremely powerful story.

Friday - 7:30 PM

Dir. Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest - Mexico - 60 min. (English/Spanish)
Walking the Line offers a harrowing view of the chaos, absurdity, and senseless deaths along the U.S. - Mexico border through private citizens who are taking the law into their own hands. A shift in border policy forces migrants to cross the unforgiving desert where thousands die. Those who do make it through the landscape often encounter volatile civilian militias with semiautomatic weapons and four-wheel drives who pledge of ‘defend our borders’ no matter what is moral or just.

Friday - 8:45 PM
Dir. Franny Armstrong - India - 75 min. (English, Hindi, French, Italian)
Three choices. Move to the slums in the city, accept a resettlement site or stay at home and drown. The people of Jalsindhi in central India must make that decision fast. In the next few weeks, their village will disappear under water as the giant Narmada Dam fills. Best-selling author Arundhati Roy joins the fight against the dam and asks the difficult questions that forces the Indian government to listen. “Drowned Out” follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six year Supreme Court case. It stays with them as the dam fills and the river starts to rise.

Friday - 10:30 PM
Dir. Rupert Murray - UK - 89 min. (English)

What if you lost all your memories - of family, friends, experiences, relationships, ambitions, hopes and fears? Would you find yourself again or lose your mind? This feature documentary tells the true story of Doug Bruce - a goodlooking, successful, Brit living in New York - who wakes up on a New York subway to find that not only does he not know where he is - he also has no idea who he is. From the emotion of ‘meeting’ his family to the awe and wonder of seeing his first sunset; the giddiness of falling in love to the awkwardness of being with old friends, the audience makes the journey of emotion and discovery with Doug as he encounters his life for the ‘first’ time.


Saturday April 29, 2006

Saturday - 12:00 PM
Dir. Randall Wilson - USA - 76 min. (English)
The Hessians Motorcycle Club terrorized Nevada and the West Coast throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. This feature marks the first time an independent film crew has been allowed unlimited access to an outlaw motorcycle club of this magnitude. From interviews with important ‘family’ members, to vintage news footage and press clippings, we come face to face with the men who wanted to make a name for themselves by raising as much hell as possible.

Saturday - 1:30 PM
Dir. Keith Wilson - USA - 72 min. - (English)
On an early spring morning in May of 2004,  Elisia and Carrie Ross-Stone -- two lesbian grandmothers (from Mars Pennsylvania!),  began a harrowing 3800 mile journey -- on bicycles -- from San Francisco to New York City.  Riding across mountain ranges, through deserts  and across prairies, we 'follow the two athletic and youthful grandmothers as they struggle through the mud-slinging of election year politics and amid hateful protests and even death threats. Tired of all the regressive hate mong-ering and motivated by the threat of a federal anti-marriage amendment, Carrie & Elisia set out to prove that they are not alien life forms who wreak havoc on society and destroy "traditional families."   Using their own  family as an example, they meet face-to-face with politicians and regular folks living in the heartland to show that their life is not so different from the lives of other American families. 

playing with:
Dir. Jen Gilomen - USA - 30 min.
In a time when LGBT families are debated and attacked in the media, courts and Congress, five young people give you a chance to walk in their shoes - to hear their own views on marriage, making change, and what it means to be a family.

Saturday - 6:00 PM
Dir. Jonathan Skurnic - USA - 55 min. (English)
"Spit it Out" is a funny and poignant portrait of Jeff Shames' successful efforts to come to terms with his stutter and his family legacy of denial. Jeff's father is intolerant and cruel towards his son's imperfections, while his mother is unable to acknowledge her own childhood stutter. As a teen Jeff turns to alcohol and drugs to mask his shame, and marries an alcoholic who interacts with the outside world for him. After his wife gets sober, Jeff discovers the stuttering self-help community and embarks on a healing journey of self-acceptance and forgiveness.

Saturday - 7:30 PM
Dir. Zeb and Elisa Haradon - USA - 77 min. (English)
Shot in the months between September 11, 2001 and the start of the war against Iraq, this disturbingly humorous film documents the true story of The Open Mind Forum, a messianic group of Salt Lake City ex-Mormons and the radical faith that binds them together in the wake of September 11th. The group anxiously awaits the implementa-tion of NESARA - a secret law they believe was thwarted by the Bush administration. Apparently, NESARA will abolish the IRS, remove George Bush from office, expose him as a reptilian alien, and install a UFO-flying Jesus as America’s new leader.
No, we’re not kidding...

Saturday - 9:00 PM
Dir. Chris Kelly and Robert James - Ireland - 84 min. - (English)
This hilarious doc follows the adventures of two Northern Irish filmmakers as they journey around Ireland trying to survive on a diet consisting of nothing but Guinness. The lads initial enthusiasm for the project is soon dampened when good natured drunken banter gives way to unrelenting hunger pangs, chance encounters with psychopathic killers, fights with go-go dancers, weak bladders, and continual bouts of drunken squabbling.

Saturday - 10:30 PM
Dir. Rick Minnich - USA - 80 min. (English)
Hillbillies haven’t died off; they’ve simply become neo-hillbillies. Three families of musicians in Southwestern Missouri give new meaning to the word “hillbilly.” Float down the backwaters, soak up some old time religion, savor a washboard duel, and bask in the neon lights of the pseudo-hillbilly showtown Branson. Lean back and merge into hillbilliness in this musical romp through the Ozark Mountains.


Sunday April 30, 2006

Sunday - 1:30 PM
Dir. Kevin Henry - USA - 72 min. (English)
In 1926, a sixteen-year old boy hopped his first train from Oklahoma to California, beginning a ten year odyssey mark by life changing experiences. He kept his stories from those Depression years to himself until the eve of hs death, when he made a tape recording for posterity. Seventy five years after that first train ride, his grandson would set out with that tape and a 16mm camera, looking for echoes of those experiences in the modern landscape. “Last Thoughts” is an impressionistic tour of the American West, past and present, guided by the voice of a dying hobo.

Sunday - 3:00 PM
Dir. Steve Moreau - 52 min. - France (English / French)

The incredible story of two young men who where brought together through coincidence and confidence in each other. They had only known each other for a few hours, spoke different languages and had different approaches to navigation and life in general. Together, they set forth from the island of La Gomera on one of the most difficult sporting events in the world: rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday - 4:00 PM
Dir. William Prosser - USA - 114 min. (English subtitles)

This deeply moving documentary chronicles the devastating effects and wonderful relief efforts in one small fishing village in southern Sri Lanka after the horrible Tsunami of 2004. The story epitomizes the power of the human spirit with examples of the villagers strength of heart and wonderful generosity of foreign aid workers as we come face to face with village life before, during, and after the disaster.

Sunday - 6:00 PM
Dir. Joe Cultrera - USA - 96 min. (English)
How does a film about Catholic clergy not descend into depression? It helps when the victim doesn’t act like one, but uses his own intellect and humor to fight back. Beyond the headlines, statistics and ecclesiastical spin, filmmaker Joe Cultrera grounds the story of his brother Paul - an abuse survivor - in the details of their Sicilian-American Catholic upbringing. From indoctrination to abuse, silence to dialogue, resignation to action, the film follows one person’s journey from potential priest to scathing critic. The paint is peeled off generations of blind faith as a family tries to regain its spiritual footing, and a survivor comes to incendiary conclusions about Corporate Catholicism.

Sunday 7:45 PM
Dir. David & John Eckenrode / John Sheedy - USA - 90 min. - (English, Spanish)
“El Inmigrante” examines the Mexican and American border crisis by telling the story of Eusebio de Haro, a young Mexican migrant who was shot and killed during one of his journeys north. The film presents a distinct humanitarian focus in which story and character take precedent over policy and empiricism. The diverse cast of players in this border narrative includes the de Haro family, the community of Brackettville,Texas- where Eusebio was killed, members of the vigilante border militias in Arizona, the horseback border patrol in El Paso, and migrants en route to an uncertain future in the United States.

Sunday Closing Feature - 9:30 PM
Dir. Wayne Coles-Janess - Iraq - 92 min. (Arabic / English)

"In the Shadow of the Palms - Iraq" has been described as a 'humane and profoundly authentic' portrayal of the struggles of the people of Iraq through this tumultuous war. It provides an intimate insight into the lives of ordinary people during Saddam's Regime as they prepare for the rapidly approaching War. As the War raged, despite numerous arrests by the Iraqi Government, the production continued to film "un-embedded," documenting life in Baghdad not shown in the media. With a new government in place,the film takes us back to Iraq documenting the changes in the lives of these individuals who are now living with the realities of this controversial War.