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
Directed by Michael Tyburski
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
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
Directed by Alex Lora and Antonio Tibaldi
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
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
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
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green
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
Directed by Christophe M. Saber
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
Directed by Kirsten Lepore
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
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
Directed y J.T. Walker
Synopsis: Beneath a gray city, a floating feather momentarily connects a train full of strangers.
Runtime: 8:00 minutes
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
Directed by Joshua Tate
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
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
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
The Distant Touch
Directed by Jun Chen
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Directed by Terence Heuston
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
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
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