Congratulations to Our Winning Films of 2016, Presented at the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles on March 25th.

Our Pangaea Award is given to the film our jury, curator and audiences felt best exemplified the mission of wandering reel, by inspiring conversation around an important topic and demonstrating how the art of film can truly effect positive change.

Official Selections of the WRTFF 2015~2016

films appeared in the following Programs:

A Call To Action

From inspiring initiatives to human struggles we don’t want to confront but need to know about, these films not only inform, but ask us to discuss our view of human progress, social justice and change worth standing up for.

Total Program Runtime = 82 minutes

Brooklyn Farmer 

Directed by Michael Tyburski

BrooklynFarmer.jpg

Synopsis: A portrait of Brooklyn Grange, a group of for-profit urban farmers in New York City, as they set out to build the world’s largest rooftop farm through the 2012 growing season.

Runtime: 26:27 minutes

Film Website

Brooklyn Grange Website

Purchase Brooklyn Farmer

My Saltwater Sanctuary 

Directed by James Sherwood and Danielle Ryan

Synopsis: From Byron Bay to Bateman's Bay, on the east coast of Australia, there is a vibrant ocean and beach culture, which is shared by all locals. Their joy, their livelihoods, and their local identity is intertwined with the ocean and ultimately on the future conservation of marine parks and sanctuaries, giving iconic species like the friendly Blue Groper a chance to replenish.

Runtime: 19:00 minutes

Film Website

Take Action

Godka Cirka 

Directed by Alex Lora and Antonio Tibaldi

Synopsis: YOUNG ALIFA LOOKS UP AT THE SOMALI SKY.

SHE THINKS ABOUT HER DAILY LIFE AS A SHEPHERDESS.

SHE KNOWS THAT THE DAY THAT WILL CHANGE HER LIFE FOREVER IS ABOUT TO COME

Runtime:  10:00 minutes

Film Website/Trailer

Learn More

Take Action

Good Karma $1

Directed by Jason Berger and Amy Laslett

Synopsis: “Good Karma $1” is a short documentary that explores acclaimed ad-guru Alex Bogusky’s fascination with collecting homeless signs. What starts out as a project to understand the world’s simplest form of communication turns into a lesson of generosity.

Runtime: 14:17 minutes

Film Website/Trailer

Take Action - End Homelessness

Watch Good Karma $1

The Last Mile: Inside San Quentin’s Tech Incubator 

Directed by Ondi Timoner

Synopsis: There’s a tech incubator popping up, but it’s not in Silicon Valley—it’s inside San Quentin State Prison. The Last Mile program teaches inmates entrepreneurship skills with the goal that each participant founds a socially conscious, tech-forward company. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner goes inside the innovative non-profit and follows inmates as they work to craft a business plan, pitch their ideas in front of venture capitalists, and the, transition back into society.

Runtime: 16:56 minutes

More About the Last Mile Program

Watch The Last Mile

*****

Encounters

In an ever more globalized world, we are forced to confront our differences more and more. “Encounters” explores how the cultural, racial and spiritual differences between us as human beings can lead to some surprising interactions, challenging our notion of diversity altogether.

Total Program Runtime = 82 minutes

Stop

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green

Synopsis: A young man's livelihood is put to the test when he gets profiled and stopped by the police on his way home from practice.

Runtime: 9:05 minutes

Film Website

Watch Stop

First World Problems

Directed by Hanna Maylett

Synopsis: A tired housewife loses her car in a shopping mall and her world collapses. Thank God there is ice cream. A trolley collector offers her help. Sometimes problems can open a door to a whole new world.

Runtime: 6:31 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Discipline

Directed by Christophe M. Saber

Bottle_still_01.jpg

Synopsis: It’s 9:30pm in a grocery store in Lausanne, Switzerland. The place is run by Egyptians. In a moment of anger, a father looses patience and disciplines his disobedient child. A shocked customer immediately intervenes to express her concern. Other customers join the conversation, they each put in their two cents and the staff is swamped. This discussion turns into a debate, which into quarrel. The situation gradually gets out of hand and into chaos...

Runtime: 11:00 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Purchase Discipline

Bottle

Directed by Kirsten Lepore

Synopsis: Animated on location at a beach, in the snow, and underwater, this stop-motion short details a transoceanic conversation between two characters via objects in a bottle.

Runtime: 5:25 minutes

Film Website

Watch Bottle

Love Comes Later

Directed by Sonejuhi Sinha

Synopsis: America, the land of opportunity, attracts immigrants from every corner of the world. An ambitious young immigrant, Riz, works at a small motel in pursuit of her American dream. When an unexpected discovery confronts Riz with the consequences of being undocumented, she is forced to make a life changing decision.

Runtime: 10:00 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Hitler In The Opera

Directed by Michal Gryzybowski

Synopsis: Aaron, a quiet, introverted Israeli opera singer, arrives in a little theatre in rural Poland to give a guest performance. He doesn’t feel comfortable in the country where Jews suffered so much but he tries to integrate with the crew. During one of the rehearsals, he feels that somebody is watching him. To his horror, the man he notices behind the curtain looks like…Adolf Hitler.

Runtime: 28:41 minutes

Passengers

Directed y J.T. Walker

Synopsis: Beneath a gray city, a floating feather momentarily connects a train full of strangers.

Runtime: 8:00 minutes

Film Website

Watch Passengers

 

*****

Family Matters

Family is the center of most cultures around the world and at the heart of this program. These films examine an array of human issues and how our relationship with loved ones plays a role in shaping our every day lives for better or for worse.

Total Program Runtime = 88 min

Guest Room

Directed by Joshua Tate

Synopsis: A young woman with Down Syndrome grapples with intimacy, identity, and adulthood after an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend.

Runtime: 13:00 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Watch Guest Room

Baby Mary

Directed by Kris Swanberg

Synopsis: Shot with non-actors on the west side of Chicago, Baby Mary, is the story of eight-year-old Kiara, who finds a neglected toddler and decides to take her home.

Runtime: 8:00 minutes

Watch Baby Mary

 

The Hero Pose     

Directed by Mischa Jakupcak

Synopsis: Mia a precocious eight year old wants to do anything but hang out at her father's house trying to sell a car that doesn't run.  This short film explores these two characters, their relationship and those precious moments in life when two people are able to pause, breath and connect.

Runtime: 12:14 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Watch The Hero Pose

Animals I Killed Last Summer      

Directed by Gustav Danielsson

Synopsis: A young boy kills small animals and his father can’t handle it. A handful of small animals are killed, and in the end even the father gets blood on his hands. This is a macabre, comical story of a moral dilemma with no easy answers.

Runtime: 14:50 minutes

Film Website

The Distant Touch

Directed by Jun Chen

Synopsis: The Distant Touch is a 2D animation about a baby fox’s quest to find his mother. It shows an animal’s inner world that has been destroyed by human beings.

Runtime: 4:56 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Distant Touch

Volta

Directed by Stella Kyriakopoulos

Synopsis: A mother and daughter start out from downtown Athens and head to the northern suburbs of the city. Nina thinks she's going on a walk.

Runtime: 11:24 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Dotty

Directed by Mick Andrews and Brett O’Gorman

Synopsis: A stubborn old lady struggles to send a text message to her daughter.

Runtime: 10:48 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Watch Dotty

I Think This is Closest to How the Footage Looked

Directed by Yuval Hameiri

Synopsis: A man recreates a lost memory using limited means. A memory of the last day spent with his mom. Objects come to life, in a desperate struggle to produce one moment that is lost.

Runtime: 9:40 minutes

 

Birthday    

Directed by Chris King

“Birthday” is a about a severely wounded Marine and his wife coming home for the first time following months of surgeries and rehabilitation. It is a powerful, realistic and dignified depiction of what it is like for our severely wounded soldiers and their spouses as they face enormously difficult times ahead.

Runtime: 12:30 minutes

Film Website

 *****

Pushing Boundaries

“Think outside the box” is an old cliché that asks us to discover and challenge our boundaries of perception and experience. These vivid and imaginative films certainly do that as they push beyond the confines of narrative filmmaking to explore the complexities of the human condition, leaving the viewer wondering why but wanting more.

Total Program Runtime: 80 minutes

Out of Erasers

Directed by Erik Rosenlund

Synopsis: A woman on her way home becomes a victim of a strange infection. She soon realizes that an epidemic is spreading and there are larger forces at work. While struggling to find a cure she also discovers that desperate times require hard choices.

Runtime: 14:59 minutes

Film Website

Watch Out of Erasers

Trotteur                             

Directed by Arnaud Brisebois and Francis Leclerc

Synopsis: A metaphorical tale of adversity. A settling of accounts between a young man and a locomotive turns into a diabolical race against a merciless opponent.

Runtime: 8:40 minutes

Film Website

House on Its Head

Directed by Adam Palenta

Synopsis: This unusual documentary shows the family life of Wojciech Zamecznik (1923–1967), an architect, set designer and eminent poster artist. The film was made thanks to the private archives of the artist who loved to record his family life, meetings and trips with friends. Graphic works and experimental materials, never published before, complement the documentary material. The film provides not only an interesting perspective on the artist’s everyday life, but also a rare opportunity to find out about the life in communist Poland of the 1950s.

Runtime: 19:00 minutes

Watch The Trailer

Next Floor                              

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Synopsis:  During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. In this absurd and grotesque universe, an unexpected sequence of events undermines the endless symphony of abundance.

Runtime: 11:34 minutes

Film Website

Watch Next Floor

The Chair

Directed by Grainger David

Synopsis:  The is the story of a mysterious outbreak of poisonous mold in a small town and one boy’s attempt to understand his mother’s death, his grandmother’s obsession with their discarded recliner, and the roots of this short-lived, strange, and inexplicable plague.

untime: 12:09 minutes

Film Website/Trailer

Purchase The Chair

Magnetic Reconnection

Directed by Kyle Armstrong

Synopsis: A short documentary film contrasting the Northern Lights with decaying manmade debris surrounding the Arctic Canadian town of Churchill, Manitoba. "Magnetic Reconnection" touches on the regenerative power of nature and the futility of mankind’s struggle against natural processes of decay and features likely some of the best footage of the aurora borealis ever captured.

Runtime: 12:31 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Purchase Magnetic Reconnection

(invisible) borders

Our nations are divided along invisible lines and sometimes even our communities within. But why? In an ever more globalized world, invisible borders decrease in meaning but have perhaps never contributed to more human strife.

Total Program Runtime = 86 minutes

Crossing Salween

Directed by Brian O’Malley

Synopsis: Having survived the massacre of her family, a young girl must make the long journey through the horrors of the Burmese jungle to the Salween river, beyond which lies the freedom of Thailand.

Runtime: 20 minutes

Film Website

Watch The Trailer

Watch Crossing Salween

Xenos

Directed by Mahdi Fleifel

Synopsis: Aided by smugglers, Palestinian refugees flee across Syria and Turkey to Greece, a place of projected hopes and paradise rolled into one. But Greece is stuck in a serious economic, political and social crisis and their dreams are soon stifled by a brutal reality that only permits a hand-to-mouth existence.

Runtime: 12:21 minutes

Film Website

Maddoggin'

Directed by Terence Heuston

Synopsis: A powerful film about two teens in East L.A. being pressured to join a local gang. The choices they make over a single day will alter their lives forever.

Runtime: 23:51 minutes

Film Website/Trailer

Watch Maddoggin'

La Carnada

Directed by Josh Soskin

Synopsis: The film follows a 13 year old boy from Tijuana as he embarks on his first drug smuggle across the “Devil’s Highway,” a notoriously fatal stretch of desert on the Arizona/Mexico border.

Runtime: 13:03 minutes

Film Website/Trailer

Watch La Carnada

What About Me?

Directed by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen

Synopsis: An absurd depiction of bureaucracy gone awry. A man and his donkey are separated at a checkpoint; the man doesn't have the right to pass...though funnily enough, the donkey does.

Runtime: 4:10 minutes

Watch What About Me?

Le Puits (The Well)

Directed by Philippe Vaucher

Synopsis: An adventurous girl lives in the rich world above, while an inventive boy lives in the desolate world be- low. They exchange gifts and quickly become friends through the well that separates both of their worlds. But adults chase them away and seize the well, transforming what was a fair exchange into a terrible industry that risks to destroy the two worlds.

Runtime: 12:09 minutes

Film Website