Films of the 7th Annual

Petaluma International Film Festival®

All films are in English or have English subtitles

Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains

Director: Sadyk Sher Niyaz, 2014, Kyrgyzstan, 131 minutes, Cast: Elina Abai Kyzy, Nazira Mambetova, Aziz Muradilaev, Mirlan Abdullaev, Adyl Bolorbek uulu

Sunday, October 18 @ 12:00 PM

Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains is a historical epic from Kyrgyzstan, set in the 19th century, which tells the true story of Kurmanjan Datka, a strong willed woman who becomes the ruler of her country and saves the nation from total destruction.

As a young woman, Kurmanjan is forced into an arranged marriage with a man she does not love. However, on the first night she runs away back home, breaking with tradition and bringing shame on herself and her family. The feud between the two families is resolved by Alymbek Datka (ruler of the Alai highland country) who frees Kurmanjan from the imposed marriage and later takes her as his wife. But several years later he is murdered, leaving Kurmanjan widowed with a young family.

Sadyk Sher Niyaz

Sadyk Sher Niyaz born in 1969, in the village of Chon- Kapka, Talas oblast, Kyrgyzstan, is a public and political figure in the Kyrgyz Republic, the founder of public fund "Aitysh", literary club "Kalemger", studio "Aitysh film" International Film Festival "Kyrgyzstan - the country of short films," and the chairman of the Union of Cinematographers in Kyrgyzstan.


Director: Dariush Mehrjui, 2014, Iran, 78 minutes, Cast: Mahtab Keramati, Homayoun Ershadi, Hassan Ma'ajouni, Melika Sharifinia, Mehdi Soltani, Hengameh Hamidzadeh, Amirali Danaei

Screening with: Unripe Cherries + Celluloid Me ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 6:15 PM


A drunken, boorish general tyrannizes his wife and his maid. When the wife discovers that her husband and the maid are having an affair, she throws the maid out of the house, little realizing that the young woman is pregnant with the general’s child. Years later, the general is dead, and a younger generation has risen with a new outlook on life and new problems to face…This flamboyantly stylized melodrama, loosely adapted from Ibsen, is the newest work by one of the legendary figures of Iran’s New Wave.

Dariush Mehrjui

Mehrjui was a founding member of the Iranian New Wave movement of the early 1970s.  His second film, Gaav is considered to be the first film of this movement, which also included Masoud Kimiai and Nasser Taqvai. Most of his films are inspired by literature and adapted from Iranian and foreign novels and plays.

- An Exclusive Screening -

Passion & Poetry - The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah

Director: Mike Siegel, 2005, USA/Germany, 115 minutes, Cast: Ernest Borgnine, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, Senta Berger, Isela Vega, L.Q.Jones, R.G.Armstrong, Mario Adorf, David Warner, Bo Hopkins, Vadim Glowna, Roger Fritz

Saturday, October 17 @ 2:00 PM

Passion & Poetry - The Ballad of Sam Peckinpah is the portrayal of a talented, influential and troubled artist: A film maker who fought his own demons and seemed to live his own legend like no other director. Against all odds Peckinpah was able to create a very personal body of work in the studio system of Hollywood and with his powerful directing and editing style changed the way of film making forever. Legendary for his use of slow-motion violence, various scandals and his ongoing problems with studios and producers, the story of Sam Peckinpah is filled with tragedy, humor, success and defeat.

In Passion & Poetry, Sam Peckinpah himself gives us his thoughts on film making, violence and his problems in Hollywood. Actors and friends, family and crewmembers take us on a ride through the adventurous times of 1960’s and 70’s movie-making and tell us hair-raising stories about Peckinpah’s erratic behavior as well as anecdotes on the making of some of the best films that ever came out of Hollywood: The legacy of Sam Peckinpah.

Festivals: Locarno Film Festival 2015

Mike Siegel

Born in 1967 in Sindelfingen, Germany. As a little boy, Mike Siegel grows up at the local movie theatre where he sees more than 3000 films. He starts collecting movie memorabilia and has first contacts with film making through little jobs on the sets of his former neighbour Roland Emmerich’s first four science-fiction movies.In 1992 Siegel moves to Munich where he makes his first documentaries. 1997 marks a turning point: Siegel meets Film maker Robert Rodriguez who encourages him to make his $10.000 feature film debut PENDECHOS! Like Rodriguez, Siegel does all jobs himself: Production, direction, writing, photography, editing, etc. In 2000 Siegel co-organizes a Sam Peckinpah festival in Padua, Italy. It includes the most complete retrospective to date and an exhibition of the director’s life and films. All present guest stars like James Coburn, Ali MacGraw, R.G.Armstrong and David Warner agree to be part of a feature-length documentary on the director’s life. PASSION & POETRY - THE BALLAD SAM PECKINPAH starts shooting in December 2002 in Mexico, Los Angeles, London & Berlin. In December 2003 Mike Siegel’s photo-book on Peckinpah is published in Germany: PASSION & POETRY - SAM PECKINPAH IN PICTURES. PASSION & POETRY premieres at the 2005 Munich Film Festival and at the Locarno Film Festival in 2015.


Director: Ferdinando Vicentini Orniani, 2014, Italy, 85 minutes, Cast: Lambert Wilson, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Vincenzo Amato, Daniela Virgilio, Pietro Sermonti

Screening with: Da Vinci Project ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 8:30 PM


It all started with a sip of wine, a very special marzemino. After that first ruby drop hit his tongue, everything changed for shy bank clerk Giovanni Cuttin. With his senses feverishly awakened, Giovanni quits his day job to embark on a life as a powerful wine writer, in a classic Faustian arrangement. Unfortunately, as foretold by a mysterious gentleman, Giovanni’s rise to fame will include a mad thirst for more expensive and exquisite wines, turning a formerly honest man and loving husband into a thief, a liar…and possibly a murderer? Matched with the genius of Italian winemakers, Giovanni’s very soul is on the line.
Ferdinando Vicentini Orinani

Ferdinando Vicentini Orinani

Ferdinando Vicentini Orinani was born in Milan Italy, and studied film at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. His feature films include The Cruelest Day (2003), which won numerous awards for its star, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, as well as several documentaries, including Zulu Meets Jazz (2008).

35 Cows and a Kalashnikov

Director: Ossie von Richthofen, 2014, Germany/Ethiopia, 87 minutes

Screening with: A Day at School + Exit Right ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 4:15 PM

35 Cows and a Kalashnikov is a triptych about warrior-farmers in Ethiopia, colorful dandies in
Congo-Brazzaville and voodoo wrestlers in Congo-Kinshasa. In beautiful images accompanied by remarkable texts, music, and expressive editing, this film paints a loving, attentive portrait of African pride.

Ossie von Richthofen

Ossie von Richthofen was born 1955 in Germany and raised in Djidda, Khartum, and Singapore. He started his film career at the University of Television and Film in Munich in 1977, where he met fellow student Roland Emmerich with whom he enlisted in the Directing program and shortly afterwards co-directed their first student film. Thirty years of collaboration and friendship continued in which Richthofen pursued a successful career in advertising and music videos. He headed up one of Europe’s leading production companies. In 2004 he teamed up again with Emmerich and co-produced 10,000 B.C. and TRADE. Having traveled and worked together in Africa over the years, Richthofen and Emmerich became avid collectors and keen appreciators of African art. With the trilogy 35 Cows and a Kalashnikov Richthofen and Emmerich strove to pay artistic tribute to a very special continent.

Between Cuba & Mexico

Director: Idalmis del Risco, 2015, Mexico/Cuba, 82 minutes

Screening with: Cuban Sun ~ Friday, October 16 @ 4:15 PM


There has been a strong indissoluble relationship and brotherhood between Cuba and Mexico since the 19th century.  Their geographic proximity has led to a friendship, sympathy and community that together with a historical process of political, economic and cultural relations, have defined the link that unites both countries as true brothers, one of the strongest connection of the continent. The main thread is an interview with the writer Eliseo Alberto Diego, complemented with the participation of intellectuals, artists, athletes, educators and people who give their testimony of the common culture of these nations.

Idalmis del Risco

Idalmis del Risco, Cuban-Mexican actress and director, graduated in Cuba from the ENA and the ISA. She has acted in the films: Guantanamera, directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea; Alice in the Village of Wonders; Angel Dust and Under House Arrest. In theatre, she has acted in twenty plays. She has written and directed short films and TV programs.

The Last Passenger

Director: Omid Nooshin, 2014, UK, 97 minutes, Cast: Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, Iddo Goldberg, David Schofield, Lindsay Duncan, Joshua Kaynama

Screening with: The Martyr ~ Friday, October 16 @ 8:30 PM

A single father races to avert a disaster after becoming stranded on a speeding train with no brakes in this adrenaline-charged thriller. It's late, and exhausted doctor Lewis Shaler (Dougray Scott) has just caught the last train from London with his young son Max. Although the sudden appearance of a pretty stranger (Kara Tointon) finds tired Lewis perking up, his night takes a turn for the worse when he realizes that the conductor has disappeared, and the brakes have been cut. Before long, Lewis has learned that a dangerous sociopath with a death wish has decided to go out in a fury of speed and fire, and he's determined to take as many innocent passengers with him as possible. Meanwhile, as police fail repeatedly in their efforts to halt the diesel-powered locomotive, the terrified passengers turn desperate, and Lewis prepares to take extreme measures to ensure that he and his son will live to see another day.

Omid Nooshin

Omid Nooshin was born in 1974 in Guildford, United Kingdom, the son of Hoshyar Nooshin, Emeritus Professor of Space Structures at Surrey University, and began making short films aged 10. As a teenager he gained work experience with the BBC's News and Current Affairs department, and spent his free time making short and feature length video films. He went on to study film at the University of Creative Arts, Farnham. After graduating, Nooshin began directing commercials, using the profits to finance 35mm short s Rooftop and Panic. The films went on to screen at numerous festivals including Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, and Raindance. Nooshin continued working in commercials, shooting in London, Amsterdam, Miami, and Prague, and gaining a reputation as an actor's director. He directed over 50 TV and cinema commercials for London based Park Village Productions and New York based Director's Film Company. During this time Nooshin began writing feature screenplays and his third completed script, Last Passenger, was voted onto the Brit List in 2008. The script received development finance from the UK Film Council, and a £500 teaser trailer helped secure backing from Pathe, Pinewood, and the BFI. Last Passenger was filmed at Shepperton and Pinewood Studios and released in October 2013. Nooshin recently completed a sci-fi writing assignment for Film Nation Entertainment and is currently writing another sci-fi script dealing with the early stages of space colonization.

Bad Hurt

Director: Mark Kemble [in person], 2014, USA, 100 minutes, Cast: Karen Allen, Michael Harney, Theo Rossi, Johnny Whitworth, Ashley Williams, Calvin Dutton, Iris Gilad [in person]

Saturday, October 17 @ 10:15 PM

 Elaine Kendall, a determined Staten Island housewife, fights to keep her family together in the face of growing chaos. A once passionate love affair with her husband Ed, a proud Vietnam veteran, is evaporating after many years of unspoken regrets. Together, they struggle to make sense of the blossoming romance between their adult, mentally challenged daughter and a provocative coworker. Meanwhile, their patriotic eldest son fights to overcome physical and psychological scars from serving in the Gulf War in Iraq. Their youngest son lives in the shadow of his brother’s accomplishments, wishing nothing more than to carve out his own place in his father’s heart.

Mark Kemble

Mark Kemble is an award-winning writer/director from Providence, Rhode Island. He has directed stage productions over the years in Providence, Los Angeles and New York. In 1995, his World Premiere play about the Hollywood blacklist, the multi-award winning show Names, played to sold out audiences in Los Angeles. Mark also directed the production. Names was Critic's Choice in every major newspaper, and was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 1995, by NPR. In the spring of 1997, Kemble directed Names off-Broadway, prompting notable New York critic, Clive Barnes to call Names “a better play than Odets' “The Big knife.” Other favorite produced plays include, Bad Hurt on Cedar Street, (Four Ovation Award nominations), Humans from Earth, Special Delivery, and In A Family Way, written while Mark was a member of the Mark Taper Forum Playwrights Lab. Mark has lectured at U.C.L.A. and Rhode Island School of Design. He has also moderated the Actors Studio Playwright/Directors Unit.

Happy Times

Director: Luis Javier M. Henaine, 2014, Mexico, 80 minutes, Cast: Luis Arrieta, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Humberto Busto, Iván Arana, Miguel Rodarte, Bárbara de Regil

Screening with: The Runner + Teresa ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 4:30 PM


In this hilarious romantic comedy, Max is a young man involved in a relationship he’s unable to end. After using up all possible resources to break up with his girlfriend, he decides to hire an agency that specializes in ending relationships. However, he regrets his decision and tries to cancel his contract with the agency, but they are not willing to stop. At least, not until they achieve their goal!

Luis Javier M. Henaine

Luis Javier M. Henaine  (Mexico City, 1980)  He graduated with honors from Universidad Iberoamerican a (MX), where he obtained a  bachelor's degree in Communications with a specialty in  Film.  His short film  Deserted Crosses  was awarded Magna Cum Laude as a thesis project,  besides being selected at several Film Festivals. It wo n Best Director and Best Short  Film at Kinoki Short Film Festival, as well as being  part of the art exhibit,  NI UNA MÁS:  THE JUAREZ MURDERS , at The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery based in Philadel phia, US.  He has directed several short films and TV Ads.  His first film, Happy Times, had its world  premiere at Morelia International Film Festival and  its international premiere at Dubai  International  Film  Festival.  It  was  awarded  the  Nueva Vision  Award  for  Best  Spanish/Latin American Film at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Best First Film Prize at the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival.

Bastards y Diablos

Director: A.D. Freese [in person], 2015, USA, 99 minutes, Cast: Andrew Perez [in person], Dillon Porter, Sebastian Eslava, Juanita Arias, Brunhilde Otto, Constanza Marek Otto, Gabriel Antonio Mejia, Vicky Zorrilla Vaughn, Ruben Dario Arciniegas

Friday, October 16 @ 6:15 PM  &    Sunday, October 18 @ 8:15 PM


Ed and Dion are half-Colombian half-brothers who were raised in the U.S. estranged from their father, their roots and each other. After their father’s death they reunite and travel together to Bogotá to fulfill the wishes in their father’s will, only to find a mysterious set of instructions sending them on an unexpected journey all over Colombia. Leading them on this quest is their enigmatic father’s spirit, linking his own formative journeys as a young man with his sons’ present day adventures. Amid the mystical splendor of Colombia’s panorama, Ed and Dion experience a brotherhood and sibling rivalry they missed out on growing up. A fresh and distinctly bi-cultural story brimming with resonant moments, Bastards Y Diablos is about finding your inheritance at the end of the world.

A.D. Freese

Director/producer - A.D. Freese moved to Los Angeles on his 19th birthday with one dream and two-months-worth of rent money.  With no formal training and no connections in the entertainment industry, his options were limited, yet he scratched out a living hustling for whatever filmmaking work he could find.  He edited photo montages for funerals at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  He documented a drug rehab program in South Central LA, which caught the attention of producers at Fremantle Media and subsequently led to a full-time job developing reality TV shows.  In 2013, A.D. quit his day job at Relativity Media to direct Bastards y Diablos.  He now owns a production company- One Percenter Pictures, and is still running down the dream.

Exit Right

Directors: Rupert Höller & Bernhard Wenger, 2015, Austria, 6 minutes, Cast: Cornelius Obonya, Thomas Maurer, David Wurawa

Screening with: 35 Cows & a Klashnikov + A Day at School ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 4:15 PM


How do you best confront xenophobia? Is it right to stand up for the one abused or is it too great a risk of becoming a victim too? When a dark-skinned man is abused by a stranger for no reason in a packed bus, there is only one passenger who won’t ignore the situation like everyone else. He has the courage to step up and intervene. This doesn’t please his aggressive opponent at all and confrontation commences.

Rupert Höller & Bernhard Wenger

Rupert Höller was born in 1992 in Vorarlberg, Austria and moved to Salzburg, when he was 2. After school and civil service, he moved to Vienna, where he began to study film science and works as a freelance director and editor for short films, music videos and commercials. In 2014 he was accepted at the Vienna Film Academy, where he currently studies.

Bernhard Wenger was born on 24th of June 1992, in Salzburg. After school and civil service he moved to Vienna where he studies at the Vienna Film Academy since 2014. As a freelancer director, writer and producer, Bernhard Wenger makes short films, music videos and commercials. He also contributed in various film projects in the directors or producers departments.


Director: Benjamin Meyer, 2015, USA, 87 minutes, Cast: Mary Cross Michael Szeles, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Rebecca Spence, Tony Fitzpatrick, Danny Goldring, Maury Cooper

Screening with: Merry Xmas ~ Friday, October 16 @ 2:15 PM

Fools is the story of Sam and Susan, who move in together without exchanging a word. He’s barely hanging on after being fired, again. She is fleeing an angry roommate. They make it work, the way two strange people can sometimes make strangeness work for them. They fabricate a life for themselves, making up a rich romantic history. But when their story is tested by reality, they must decide whether what they share is truly love, or just a fantasy.

Benjamin Meyer

Benjamin Meyer is a writer, director and editor working in Los Angeles. His short film WHAT ARE YOU HAVING? won the Grand Prix du Court-Metrage at the Deauville Film Festival (Roman Polanski, jury chair), a CINE Golden Eagle, and Best Short Film at the Abuja International Film Festival in Nigeria. His prior short, GEORGIE PORGIE won “Best Short Film” at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Boston Underground Film Festival and the Seattle Underground Film Festival; “Best Director” at the Georgetown Independent Film Festival; “Best Drama” at the IFP/Chicago Film Festival; and a Bronze Plaque at the Columbus International Film Festival. He also won multiple festival awards for his prior two shorts, SOLD and BOTHERED. Benjamin received his BA in Film Studies from Wesleyan university with High Honors, and received his MFA in Film Production from Northwestern University. As an editor he has worked on feature documentaries and television specials with such award-winning filmmakers as Michele Ohayon, Ondi Timoner, Eddie Schmidt and Peter Stuart. He edited the feature film NORMAL ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR for New Line Cinema. Meyer’s short story (and yourself) was recently published by Mullholland Books as part of their Popcorn Fiction series.

Paranoia Park

Director: Bruno Mercier, 2014, France, 76 minutes, Cast: Audrey Beaulieu, Jean-Yves R. Lemoine, Ériq Ebouaney

Screening with: Recover + Six Coups ~ Friday, October 16 @ 10:30 PM


When a girl is kidnapped in the park by an online predator, her mother is forced to carry out a series of humiliating and dangerous public tasks by the sadistic kidnapper on the other end of the phone. Blistering real-time thriller.

Bruno Mercier

20 March 1960: born in Besançon, France 1987: Diploma of architect DPLG in Paris 1987-1989: studies Cinema and Theatre at New-York University 1990 – 2008: career in architecture 2010: writes and stages his first theatre play CONTAINER 606, a conceptual in camera thriller Since 2012: adapts his play CONTAINER 606 to film , then continues his filmmaking career with a crazy comedy LOVE LOVE LOVE [PIFF 2013], a musical romance SO LONG and the breathless thriller PARANOIA PARK.

Celluloid Me

Director: Sholeh Zahraei, 2015, Cyprus, 3 minutes, Cast: Sholeh Zahraei

Screening with: Ghost + Unripe Cherris ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 6:15 PM


Abandoning a body and transforming into other bodies. The desire to become one with water, nature and celluloid.

Sholeh Zahraei

Sholeh Zahraei was born in Tehran/Iran, grew up in Berlin, and studied Digital Filmmaking in Amsterdam. Later she moved to Cyprus where she graduated with a BA with High Honors from the Department of Radio, Television and Film and pursued her Master’s degree in the Department of Visual Arts & Visual Communication Design. Sholeh Zahraei has worked with the renowned Cypriot filmmaker Derviş Zaim as his student. Since 2005, she has produced several short films such as experimental, fiction, documentary, video clips and TV ads. Sholeh has gained film experience on film sets in Germany, Holland, USA, Canada, UK, Turkey, Cyprus and Iran where she has worked with renowned directors like the Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Bahram Beyzaie. Besides film, singing and photography are other parts of her artistic life. Since 2010 she also works on underwater photography and film. Currently she is working together with Kamil Saldun on their debut feature film.

Cuba Sun Sex and Socialism

Director: Diana Taylor, 2014, UK/Cuba, 17 minutes

Screening with: Between Cuba & Mexico ~ Friday, October 16 @ 4:15 PM


Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and has been controlled for more than half a century by the Castro bothers. With over 3 million tourists pouring into the country Cuba is struggling to cope with the demands of the twenty first century, especially with the lack of   food production and supply. The film looks at the political climate in the country and explores the dramatic changes that are taking place which will have a profound effect within the next few years.

Diana Taylor

Diana Taylor worked at the BBC as a film editor in News and  Documentary Features and as an Assistant Producer in Continuing Education . Diana has made a number of documentary films. Severn and Somme the Life of Ivor Gurney WW1 Poet and Composer which has been shown in over 30 film, music and art festivals in the UK.  Strange Storms and Symphonies the life of George Lloyd  Cornwall’s most prolific composer has been shown in Truro Cathedral, St Ives Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival. Hidden in History is a documentary about the women who worked in the textile factories in St Ives for 70 years. This was part of a project for St Ives Archives and the project won a national award  in the Women’s History Network.  Cuba Sun Sex and Socialism won a regional documentary award  and was selected for the Portabello Film Festival London  and the Dublin LAFF 2015. Short films have also been shown on the BBC Big Screen.

Finding Hope

Director: Julian Grant, 2015, USA, 105 minutes, Cast: Shannon Brown, Suzette Brown, Sean Patrick Leonard, Robyn Coffin

Saturday, October 17 @ 12:00 PM


A contemporary Mormon love story about Hope, a young wife plagued with amnesia and Andrew, her duty obsessed husband who must help her fall in love with him all over as he comes to term with his own destiny.

Julian Grant

Julian Grant was born in London, England and was a cinema fan early on with King Kong and American comics being instrumental in his passion for telling stories with pictures. Immigrating to Canada in the 1970's, he worked diligently and began creating fantasy worlds of pictures and stories. He graduated from York University in 1985 with a BFA in Film Production and immediately began working in Hollywood North. Through the late 80's and early 90's, Julian dedicated himself to independent production, learning the ropes of distribution (with both New World and Disney as employers) and opening his first production company. Julian made his first feature film, Bust A Move before he was 30 and this was the picture that started it all for him as he was introduced to Lionsgate and began creating pictures for them. HBO came calling and Julian moved even further up the production ladder creating three World Premiere cinema showcases for them and began the Millennium as the Producer/ Director of the acclaimed mini-­‐series, Robocop: Prime Directives.

Merry Xmas

Director: Boman Modine, 2015, USA, 7 minutes, Cast: Dick Van Dyke, Valerie Harper, Glenne Headly, and Matthew Modine

Screening with: Fools ~ Friday, October 16 @ 2:15 PM


Merry Xmas tells the story of a mischievous father (Dick Van Dyke) who calls his very busy kids (Matthew Modine and Glenne Headly) to tell them that, after 55 years of marriage, he and their mom (Valerie Harper) are getting divorced. Horrified by the news, the children prepare to fly home to stop the divorce and save their parents’ marriage.

Boman Modine

Born in London and raised in New York City, Boman Modine presently resides in Los Angeles where he is a flourishing director and filmmaker. Aside from working in many positions on set, Boman has directed and produced several award-winning short films, internet-based commercials, and a television pilot as well as founding his own production company, Strangeway Productions, LLC. Most recently Boman produced CLASSLESS, a half-hour comedy pilot that was written and directed by Emmy nominee, Nick Bernardon. Last year Boman was honored with the Rising Star Award by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for his short film, HYPERION. Boman is currently working on the upcoming feature, NO SUCH THING AS MONSTERS with Tony Abbate, as well as a web series entitled NEUTRALITY with Blake Hao.

I Want to Be a King

Director: Medi Ganji, 2014, Iran, 70 minutes, Cast: Abbas Barzegar

Screening with: Estela ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 2:30 PM        


Several years ago, two German tourists knocked at the door to the modest farmhouse of Abbas Barzegar somewhere near Shiraz, Iran. Barzegar offered them a place to stay and the meal that his wife had just prepared. The tourists ate with gusto, and the news soon spread that Barzegar served the best food in all of Iran. The simple farmer metamorphosed into a real businessman with successful, increasingly modern accommodations offering guests “the authentic Iran.”

Mehdi Ganji

Mehdi Ganji was born in Iran in 1978. He graduated from Tehran University of Art in 2002, and received his BA in cinema, cinematography discipline. After graduation, he started to work as the cinematographer and editor of documentary and fiction films. He has worked with various channels in Iran since 2003 in the making of television documentaries, and has made series like Vocation and Industry (2004), Bipolar Football (2006), House of the Sun (2013). He is a member of Iranian Documentary Filmmakers Association. He did the editing and sound designing of the documentary animated film Cyanosis in 2008. The film was chosen the best documentary by Sheffield Students Festival and won numerous awards like Silver Nanook from Flahertiana Festival and Honorary Diploma from Leipzig Festival. The documentary ‘I Want to Be a King’ was made by utilizing the same style of filmmaking from 2011 to 2014.
Filmography: (2014) I Want to Be a King, (2012) My Mother: Manizhe, is a Miner, (2012) All My Identity Papers, (2011) Living at the gallows, (2000) The White Path, (2008) Tehran Diary: The Midwife, Qum Diary: The Cleric, (2002) You Moonlight


Director: Tim French, 2015, USA, 80 minutes, Cast: Hoyt Richards, Anabella Casanova

Screening with: Italian Miracle ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 10:30 PM

A broken man, haunted by a car crash that claimed the life of his daughter, returns to the same small town where the fateful accident occurred only to discover something he never expected to find – love. Do second chances come with a price?

Tim French

Born in NYC, Tim moved from Brooklyn to Santa Fe New Mexico at the age of two. He developed a passion for storytelling starting in elementary school and his favorite subject was always English. While writing was Tim’s true love, reading wasn’t.
After Tim graduated from Loyola Marymount, he moved to Los Angles so he could be closer to the film industry. Shortly after his move, Tim co-wrote a feature titled Intersection, which he also webt on to direct the film.


Director: Joacenith Vargas, 2014, Cuba, 22 minutes, Cast: Edith Mazzola, Mario Balmaseda

Screening with: I Want to Be a King ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 2:30 PM


Estela (52) lives alone and avoids contact from the outside world. A small act of humanity makes her break into her neighbor´s house who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. During her time there, Estela rekindles her childhood and experiences an unexpected moment of intimacy, not, however, without leaving unscathed.

Joacenith Vargas

Born in Venezuela in 1983. She received her Bachelor's degree in Arts from the Central University of Venezuela in 2006. She has worked as a first assistant director in the Venezuelan feature films: “Bloques” by Carlos Caridad Montero, “Cheila: Una Casa pa´Maita” and “Bambi C4” by Eduardo Barberena, “Cuidado con lo que sueñas” by Geyka Urdaneta, “El Circo Fantasía (3D)” by Raúl García and also the documentary feature “El Santo Salvaje” by John Petrizzelli. Graduated from the International School of Film and TV in Cuba in 2014 in Direction. While studying she directed the short documentary films: “El Quilla” (2013), “Orgasmo en la 3ra Edad” (2011), and “Rey del ganado” (2011), and short fiction films: “Estela” (2014), “Ayer por la tarde” (2013), 11 y 8 (2013) and “Secreto de la Ventana” 16mm (2011). Recently Joacenith was awarded a research scholarship to Concordia University to investigate working with Non-Actors in Canada.

Original Copy

Directors: Florian Heinzen-Ziob & Georg Heinzen, 2015, Germany/India, 95 minutes

Screening with: The Wall ~ Friday, October 16 @ 12:00 PM


In the heart of Mumbai lives Sheikh Rehman, the city‘s last painter of film posters. His studio is run in the old masters’ style - behind the screen of an old Hindi-Film cinema. Here, Rehman is both artist and guru, comedian and philosopher. But Rehman’s world is at risk. Today’s film posters are printed on plastic, and Rehman’s audiences are being kept away by new high-rise buildings. It‘s a hopeless struggle, but Rehman won’t give up ... Original Copy - a sensitive portrayal of the magic of film, its transience, and its immortality.

Festivals: Hot Docs 2015 Canadian International Documentary Festival

Florian Heinzen-Ziob & Georg Heinzen

Florian born 1984 in Düsseldorf, Germany. After leaving school, he worked at the Düsseldorf theatre as assistant director and as an editor and animator in Hamburg. 2006 – 2012 he studied media arts and film direction at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, where he wrote and directed a range of feature and animated films and documentaries, which were screened in the competition programmes at several international festivals. 2012 – 2015 he produced and directed his first feature-length documentary film „Original Copy“ in Mumbai, India. Florian Heinzen-Ziob lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

Georg Heinzen, born in 1953, is a German writer. He studied history and German literature in Düsseldorf and scriptwriting in Munich. He writes novels, plays, and above all screenplays for television and cinema. In 2011 he lived in Mumbai, India, as artist in residence. „Original Copy“ is his first movie as producer and director. Georg Heinzen works and lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Da Vinci Project

Director: Alain Escalle, 2015, France, 5 minutes, Cast: Marie Bokillon, Christophe Poulain, Ludovic Hubert

Screening with: Rewined ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 8:30 PM


A visual diary of Renaissance world

Alain Escalle

Alain Escalle works as Filmmaker since 1990 as much in France as abroad (Belgium, Germany, United State, United Kingdom, Japan, etc…) traveling from is personal works to collaborative works on several medias (Commercials, Museum installations, Live concerts, Music videos).

The Martyr

Director: Darren Langlands, 2015, UK, 10 minutes, Cast: Mia Vore, Aatif Ati Zafar, Nick Pearse

Screening with: Last Passenger ~ Friday, October 16 @ 8:30 PM        


MI5 Agent Laura Kent explains her actions to an internal inquiry in the aftermath of a major terrorism incident.

Darren Langlands

Darren Langlands is an award winning Writer, Director and Editor who grew up by the seaside in sunny Sydney, Australia. After years of extensive travel, he now calls the mostly dreary north of England home – don’t ask, people do silly things for love. Darren’s films have been shown at festivals and film events all across the UK and internationally in places as far flung as Australia, Canada, Ukraine and India. Darren’s comedy short “The Santa Lie” was officially selected for over seven children’s film festivals including the Adelaide Kids Film Festival (Australia), the world Kids International Film Festival (India) and the MICE Children’s Film Festival (Spain). It went on to win two awards at the 2013 Pro Fire Short film Festival in Edinburgh.


Director: Lilih Curi, 2014, Brazil/Cuba, 4 minutes, Cast: Edileuza  Penha De Souza

Screening with: Happy Times + The Runner ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 4:30 PM


Passed twenty years, Teresa, a women forgotten by her great love, decides to burn her past.

Lilih Curi

Director, Actress and Writer. Graduated in Journalism (PUC-SP) and Master in Performing Arts (PPGAC-UFBA). Lilih studied "Scenic direction" at Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV of San Antonio de los Baños - Cuba. In 2013, she made the experimental short - CARMEN. In 2014, she directed TERESA, in partnership with professionals from Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia.

Unripe Cherries

Director: Nebojsha Jovanovik, 2015, Macedonia, 16 minutes, Cast: Dushica Stojanovska, Kole Angelovski, Izabela Novotni, Elizabeta Stefanovska, Gjorgji Todorovski Trupce

Screening with: 35 Cows & a Klashnikov + Exit Right ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 4:15 PM


Few people from different religious and ethnic communities must traveling together even they don`t want it in one compartment of a train, in a country that is in a civil war. Everybody expects the latest news on the war in the country and results of the negotiation process between Macedonian and Albanian political side concerning the requirements by the Albanian terrorists including Albanian minority. But when it seems the war is over, one young Albanian guy whose brother was killed in this war appears in the compartment.

Nebojsha Jovanovik

Nebojsa Jovanovic was born in Skopje, Macedonia, where he completed his primary and secondary school. During his high school, he was attracted by film art. That period he tried to express himself through the film art, becoming an active member of the film club "EDWOOD".  Within this workshop he worked on the development and realization of several amateur documentaries and feature films. Later within the same workshop he produced and directed the short documentary "Storming", which is shown at the International Film Festival "Brothers Manaki" in 1997. The same year Nebojsa began to cooperate with Sitel TV to develop a documentary and feature film production. As a result is the short documentary "Daniel" which was made with his idea and scenario, and later be screened in the official selection of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and received an award.  In 2014 he wrote the screenplay for the short fiction film "Unripe cherries" and later the same year with help of the staff and resources of several major Macedonian production firms as Quasar, FX3X, Filmtrick and Macedonian Radio and Television he produced and directed it as an independent project.

I Remember

Director: Janna Ji Wonders, 2015, Germany/USA, 30 minutes, Cast: Jude Thomas, Spencer Kennedy, Robyn Miller

Screening with: Sonoma Filmmakers ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 6:15 PM

Best friends Josh and Ben [both 18] spent their vacation in a remote hut on the craggy California Pacific Coast. Their friendship is put to the test when Elena, a mysterious 30-year old woman, moves into the house down at the end of the beach. The two boys fall under her spell and get caught up in an emotional turmoil with dramatic consequences, leaving Josh as the sole witness  to the shattering disaster summer.
Festivals: Berlin International Film Festival 2015

Janna Ji Wonders

Janna Ji Wonders was born in Mill Valley, California and lives in Munich, Bavaria. She studied at University of Television and Film Munich where she directed numerous music videos, shorts and documentaries. Her award-winning films, including the L.A. Hip-Hop documentary “Bling Bling", and “Street Punk Moscow" about punks in the suburbs of Russia, were shown at International Film Festivals around the world. With her band YA-HA! she recently released a debut album. Her love for music shapes her work as a filmmaker. I REMEMBER is Janna's first narrative film. She is currently developing a full-length feature.

Italian Miracle

Director: Francesco Gabriele, 2015, Italy, 9 minutes, Cast: Francesco Gabriele, Jennifer Ann Elmore, Anna Maria Teresa Ricci, Pietro Marchesani

Screening with: Intersection ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 10:30 PM

In a rural Italian village, Antonio is asked to translate an English-speaking woman's confession, but when he starts disagreeing with the priest, he has to make a decision that might change the course of her life and maybe his too.

Festivals: Cannes 2015

Francesco Gabriele

Francesco graduated in Acting from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. After an internship at the Columbia College Hollywood with John Swanbeck, in 2012 he was a part of the Directing Intensive Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  In 2013 he moved to London where he was offered a place to the London Film School's M.A. Filmmaking Course, chaired by Mike Leigh. During the 2-year program Francesco produced and directed numerous short films in 16mm, 35mm and digital. Among these films, "The Bicycle," was chosen by the faculty has one of the best short films realized and uploaded on the official LFS website.


Director: Nicky Naudé [in person], 2014, France, 10 minutes, Cast: Nicky Naudé, Remi Martin, Emilie Duchenoy

Screening with: Paranoia Park + Six Coups ~ Friday, October 16 @ 10:30 PM


After spending 8 years in jail, Luc Leroy finally gets out, ready to change his life and to leave behind his criminal past. But when you used to be a gangster it’s hard to have a normal life, even when you do your best for redemption.

Nicky Naudé

From an early age, Nicky Naudé was attracted to cinema and to martial arts. At 12, he starred in his first TV movie, and at 18, he became the European Champion of “Full Contact”. He began to teach combat sports in order to finance his drama lessons. He figured in more than 40 films, for television (‘Extrême Limite’, ‘Commissaire Moulin’, ‘Navarro’…) and in feature films (‘Les Rivières pourpres’, ‘Le Pacte des loups’, ‘La Mémoire dans la peau’, ‘Arsène Lupin’, ‘Jean de la Fontaine – le défi’, ‘Black’, ‘Les Reines du ring’…). He also worked on staging stunts and fight scenes in films. In parallel, he develops auteur films, since the making of his first short film in 2002, ‘L’Ancien’.

Metal Man

Director: Bill Chayes [in person], 2014, USA, 37 minutes, Cast: Victor Ries

Screening with: Sonoma Filmmakers ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 6:15 PM


Victor Ries, considered one of the greatest metal artist/craftsman of the 20th century, died in 2013 at nearly 106 years old. His inspiring story takes us through early life in Germany, fleeing Nazis for Palestine in 1933, emigration to America during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, beginning his American career at the legendary Pond Farm art school/cooperative in Guemeville, CA, through shows at major San Francisco museums in 1950's, and through developing a reputation as a visionary in liturgical art and as a highly respected NorCal teacher. From childhood until his passing he made myriad drawings chronicling his life, including his beautiful 50 year marriage to his wife Ruth. Victor leaves an important legacy of undeniably excellent and hugely abundant metal artworks of all kinds and sizes, from jewelry to major screen and altar installations in synagogues and churches.

 Bill Chayes

Bill Chayes began his career in film production, exhibition design and education by working with classic film documentarians Richard Leacock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and John Marshall at the Center for Documentary Anthropology in Cambridge, Mass. As producer/director of documentary, experimental and educational films, Chayes has won many national and international awards. Jews and Buddhism: Belie/Amended, Faith Revealed, was named "one of the outstanding documentaries of the year" by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is in over 50 major university libraries. His museum experience includes many years serving Berkeley, Calif.'s Magnes Museum as its Exhibition Designer and Curator of Film, Video, Photography, Music and Digital Art. He now designs exhibitions for the African American Museum in Oakland, CA and the Petaluma (CA) Historical Museum, and does free lance museum consulting and design in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Six Coups

Directors: Myriam Aguiriano, Matthieu Castex, Tomas Gallardo, Aymeric Mezaute, Christophe Rigotti, Damien Samper, 2014, France, 5 minutes, Animation

Screening with: Paranoia Park + Recover ~ Friday, October 16 @ 10:30 PM


A suspense packed 3D animated short film about an interesting assembly of people who have decided to play an extremely dangerous game to win a lot of money.

Nashville Yacht Club

Director: Quinn Fujii [in person], 2015, USA, 10 minutes, Cast: Joey Maloney, Peter McKeown, Kyler Daron, Tyier Moody, Brant Craft, Maddison Grigsby

Screening with: Sonoma Filmmakers ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 6:15 PM


Two young singer-songwriters search for community in Music City and ultimately decide the best way to find it is to create their own. The Nashville Yacht Club exemplifies the motto, "once you've made the music, you've made it" in the music world.

Quinn Fujii

Quinn Fujii is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he directed the filmmaking club, CalTV. His independent videography experience ranges from music videos to comedy sketches - Nashville Yacht Club is his first documentary film. Quinn is a medical student at Touro University and is currently based out of his hometown, Sebastopol, California.

The Wall

Director: Andra Tévy, 2014, France/Belgium, 17 minutes, Cast: Evelyne Didi, John Arnold, Veronique Levy

Screening with: Original Copy ~ Friday, October 16 @ 12:00 PM


One winter evening, on a snowy weather, a woman is going to her job. The surroundings are hostile, the labor – backbreaking. And a window doesn’t close anymore: it snows inside the work space. The chore place becomes a land of adventures…

Andra Tévy

Andra Tévy was born in Bucharest in 1977. She has always had two passions: the French language and film direction. She came to France when she was 18 to study at ESRA Nice and FEMIS, in the image section. Since that time, she kept on writing scripts and working as a camera assistant for feature films - a special place for her to practice various film techniques, sharpen her visual sense and learn in the shadow of great film directors such as: Tony Gatlif, Christophe Honoré, Hiner Saleem, Abdellatif Kechiche… At the same time, she attended drama, dance and script-writing workshops. MUR (THE WALL) is her first produced short-movie; the script was one of the winners at the 30th Open-Air festival of Grenoble and it was awarded the France 2 Price at Pantin’s 21st Festival Côté Court.

A Day at School

Director: Victor Ghizaru, 2014, Canada/Burkina Faso, 7 minutes

Screening with: 35 Cows & a Klashnikov + Exit Right ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 4:15 PM


An observational portrait of two brothers from Burkina Faso who, despite their young age and the title of this film, don’t spend their days in the classroom. The film begins with the most intimate moment of the day: before going to prayers, the boys perform their morning ablutions in the quiet courtyard of their clay home. Without dialogue or explanatory voice-over, the camera follows them as they set out with their donkeys. The two of them look like cowboys, in their element on their donkey cart rolling along a quiet sandy path. Then suddenly they’re standing, timidly, at the side of a busy paved road, waiting until the car traffic passes so they can cross. It’s noisy, and women are selling their wares at the roadside. It turns out that the boys’ destination is a landfill. There they dig up soil and deliver it to a private school, a world that is starkly different from where they are growing up. They watch in silence as the school day ends, and then they go back to work.

Victor Ghizaru

After completing two years at Mel Hoppenheim's School of Cinema, Victor Ghizaru's first short fiction AURELIA film won him the Best Director prize at the 2012 London Film Awards as well as the Royal Reel award at Canada International Film Festival. He then turned to documentary while travelling the world and engaging in an independent humanitarian project. His first short documentary A day at school, shot in Burkina Faso in 2014, premiered at IDFA, HotDocs and later won him the emerging Canadian Filmmaker prize at the Vues d'Afrique Festival in Montreal and the Caroussel international du film de Rimouski. He is currently in post-production on his next documentary short which he shot in Cambodia last year. It will serve as a stepping stone to help finance his first feature project scheduled for 2017. He is also in development for his next short documentary with the help of SODEC, a government funding program for culture.

The Runner

Director: Jose Luis Montecionos, 2014, Spain, 12 minutes, Cast: Miguel Angel Jenner, Luis Altes

Screening with: Happy Times + Teresa ~ Sunday, October 18 @ 4:30 PM


The luxury speedboats and yachts that pack the marina glisten in the sunshine, as an aging man jogs determinedly along the promenade. While his exercise routine brings him in close to these lofty status symbols, his economic reality is one far removed from the opulence on display here. He is accosted by a younger man, smartly-dressed in business attire. A conversation starts up, which begins in recrimination before charting a course through guilt, conflict, and perhaps most bitterly, hope.

Jose Luis Montecionos

Born in 1978 in Tarragona, he graduated in Image and Sound Engineering and in Film Direction at the Film Studies Center of Catalonia (CECC). Director of several commercials and producer of a couple of TV programs for Televisió de Catalunya. He's currently writing feature films and TV-movies. His passion for cinema drives him to make several video short films and finally he directs "Físico" in 2002, his first 35mm short. His next work, "The End", travels halfway around the world in 2003 and gets 30 awards, among them the best short film in San Sebastian Film Festival. In 2007 he gets back behind the camera to direct "Fest", a biting satire about the world of short film festivals, and winner of 6 new awards. Two years later he gives birth to his most successful work, "The same old story". Screened in over 200 Festivals around the world and with a track record of 132 awards, it's undoubtedly the most successful Spanish short film in 2010, and it took part in the official sections of some prestigious international film festivals such as Hong Kong, Cartagena de India, San Diego, Cleveland, Seatle, Warsaw, Rhode Island, Trieste and SEMINCI in Valladolid.


Director: John Harden [in person], 2014, USA, 16 minutes, Cast: Jared Abrahamson, Joslyn Jensen, and Jennifer Lafleur

Screening with: Sonoma Filmmakers ~ Saturday, October 17 @ 6:15 PM


NEW tells the story of an elderly couple who are cryonically preserved (chilled to sub-zero temperature) at the time of their deaths. They awaken centuries later, their health – and youth – totally restored. Together, they face the joys and challenges of a second life in the distant future.

John Harden

John Harden made his first Super-8 film as an extra credit project for his 7th grade Spanish class. John got an “A,” and was delighted to discover that making a movie was a way to get people’s attention and simultaneously hide in the back of the room. Perfect. The action-packed space battle from “El Vehiculo Espacial Fantastico.” John went on to study film history and production at Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University, and screenwriting at The College of Marin and The Film School in Seattle. His films have played on PBS, and screened at places like the Slamdance Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and New Directors/New Films. His short film La vie d’un chien (The Life of a Dog) won numerous festival awards including the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the Los Angeles Film Festival. His screenplays have been recognized in various competitions. A script he co-wrote with Skot Christopherson, The Sensitivity Program, won best science fiction screenplay in the prestigious Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, beating out over 700 entries in the category. John’s other skills include graphic design, illustration, and writing about himself in the third person. He is married and lives in Santa Rosa, California.

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