film festival films 2009

2009 film lineup

 click here to see the 2009 winners

All VF09 screenings took place at the Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street, corner of Laight Street)


PROGRAM 01 -- 8:00pm -- Tribeca Cinemas 2   (85min)

A WAGON FULL OF MISCHIEF D: Joshua Martin -- 5min.  Narrative Short
This slow motion short captures the devious actions of six young boys who meet on a hillside with a red wagon full of mischief and an appetite for destruction. The only rule... no one tells mom. [more info]

EVIL THINGS  D: Dominic Perez -- 80min.  Narrative Feature
On January 9th 2009, five college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later, all five students simply vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence...until now. [more info]

OPENING NIGHT AFTER-PARTY - Featuring a live performance by MISTER GIO
Your Program 01 tickets will entitle you to admission to this after-party, which immediately follows the screening, as the audience spills out into the Tribeca Main Lounge.  There will be a full cash bar available and some delicious drink specials, particularly the VISIONTINI


PROGRAM 02 -- 6:30pm -- TC 2   (108min)

DANIEL FINDS HIS WALKING STICK D: Gary Hebert -- 8min.  Animated Short
This collage of memories is from a man suffering from Alzheimer's. It is a funny and sad portrait of the plight of an aging lonely man in a changing world. [more info]
AUTISM: MADE IN THE U.S.A.  D: Gary Null -- 100min.  Documentary
Autism. What is it and why is it on the rise? In this feature length documentary presentation, award winning executive producer Gary Null is on a quest to reveal the true causes and promising solutions for the recent dramatic increase in autism in our children. [more info]

PROGRAM 03 -- 9:15pm -- TC 2   (111min)

MONEY PLEASE!  D: Joe McClean -- 11min.  Narrative
A 'Leave It To Beaver' type, 1950's family plays its favorite American Real Estate board game, Money Please!  In an absurd twist, the game play begins to reflect the reality of the American economy, and the characters are pushed into lives of crime, sex, and violence, where only the fittest survive. [more info]

BLUE-EYED MARY  D: Olivia Newman - 13min.  Narrative 
Free-spirited Johanna, a beautiful sixteen-year-old with the mind of a child, spends her time climbing trees, catching frogs, and half-heartedly helping her grandmother with the household chores.  But when a handsome neighbor comes by to mow the lawn, everything changes, and then changes again, in ways both predictable and utterly unexpected. [more info]

THE HEART IS WHAT REMAINS   D: Alexandra Roxo -- 14min.  Experimental
A young woman sleeps under a tree, dreaming of the thorns and roses that caused her to bleed. A young man finds her under the tree and with her blood awakens her. Together they awake and enter the world of love, where they learn that the gift of love is as painful as it is beautiful. [more info]

UNITED WE STAND  D: Rick Floyd -- 10min.  Narrative
What happens when learned patterns of behavior, which are constantly reinforced, become disrupted and push us into a new reality. Chaos, brought on through war, natural disasters, or personal trauma, short circuits us into a window of truth. [more info]

BLEEDING  D: Nyle Cavazos Garcia -- 18min.  Narrative
Ellie's recurring nightmares of torture begin to come eerily true when one day, for no reason, her arms begin to bleed. At a restaurant with friends, she sees a man who is oddly similar to the man in her nightmares. After following the man, and looking through some of her recently deceased grandmother's possessions, she finds information that may prove to be the link between the man and the bleeding. [more info]

MILDRED RICHARDS  D: Marc Kess -- 19min.  Narrative
Mildred, an ego-maniac actress, in serious debt decides to visit her elderly, wealthy aunt. Gerald, dominated by his sister, becomes a reluctant recruit in her single minded murderous intent, but things get complicated by the aunt's doctor, lawyer, and maid! [more info]

BOHEMIBOT D: Brendan Bellomo -- 26min.  Narrative
A great cyborg harpist, forced to serve as a pilot in the last war on his planet, struggles to overcome a debilitating injury and the loss of his family. His encounter with a young enemy captive reveals that even the din of war can never silence the voice of the heart. [more info]


PROGRAM 04 -- 6:30pm -- TC 1   (107min)

ZEPHYR  D: John Bush -- 6min.  Experimental
A trio of sleepy, wind-ruffled blossoms in the green soul of the city. At times giddy, at times poignant, this surreal take on spring celebrates the fluidity of being - the elusiveness of it all within the gift of each moment. [more info]

YOU'RE OUTA HERE  D: George Griffin -- 3min.  Animated / Experimental
A spunky descendant of Betty Boop tells her no-good boyfriend to hit the road, to the stride rhythms of Fats Waller's 'The Minor Drag,' reinvented as 'You're Outa Here. A modern Soundie. [more info]

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME  D: Paul Marcus -- 98min.  Documentary
College students assemble en masse every semester's start to audition for the thousands of a cappella groups that are incredibly popular on campuses across the country. For those lucky few who make an all-female, all-male, or co-ed group, hours of rehearsal, learning of arrangements, and developing performance elements lay ahead. How these groups come together, make their music, and support one another in the process is the subject of this documentary. [more info]

PROGRAM 05 -- 7:00pm -- TC 2   (110min)

LOVE ON THE LINE   D: G. Melissa Graziano -- 5min.  Animated
Follow the dots and dashes to a time before the Internet, even before telephones, when star-crossed lovers had to curb their raging hormones using the quickest form of communication available: the telegraph. [more info]

WELCOME HOME THE AIRMAN   D:  Ethan Mayer Smith -- 16min.  Narrative
Will, a self medicating flight attendant, is caught off guard when he returns from a trip and finds Echo, a 'homeless-by-choice' waif, squatting in his apartment.  Their unlikely circumstance sparks a romantic interest that neither suspects is possible. [more info]

VF09 “special screening,” offering a sneak peek at a dramatic short that's currently in the very final stages of post-production.

COVERAGE D: Jef Taylor -- 29min  Narrative
A raw and uncompromising human drama that shines a critical light on the media's exploitation of the events of 9/11, while also exploring the blurry boundaries of human sexuality and powerlessness in the technological age. [more info]

ARNOLD AND THE ALPS D: Drew Mylrea -- 40min.  Narrative
Arnold drops everything to pursue his passion of ice climbing and is met with unforeseen obstacles that challenge his physical and mental endurance. [more info]

PROGRAM 06 -- 9:00pm -- TC 1  (106min)

SKY DROPS  D: Burke Roberts -- 11min.  Narrative
In a Future Primitive war, we find paratroopers confined to the ultimate Russian roulette of descending into an all out fire-storm. Trapped in the heads and harnesses of this abstract limbo, this film examines propaganda versus the individual. [more info]

FOWL PLAY  D: Adam Durand -- 25min.  Documentary
A group of animal advocates discuss humanity's relationship with animals as they work to expose the hidden cruelty of the American egg industry. [more info]

EXCUSE ME, MR. SPEAKER...  D: Justin Sullivan -- 71min.  Documentary
After eleven unopposed elections, the powerful Speaker Sheldon Silver returns to the campaign trail in 2008 with the appearance of two challengers seeking to unseat him.  Follow the quixotic, grassroots journey of one of those candidates, Paul Newell -- from his base camp beneath a loft bed in Chinatown, to his trip to Denver as a Barack Obama Delegate, and ultimately to him becoming the first non-incumbent in modern memory to be endorsed by all three New York newspapers.

PROGRAM 07 -- 9:30pm -- TC 2   (113min)

ELLA AND THE ASTRONAUT  D:  Harper Gloria-Graham, Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck  - 8min.  Narrative
This is a film about one girl's journey to her secret hiding spot, where her and Astronaut Henry can travel to the stars. [more info]

X-MESS DETRITUS  D: Aurelio Voltaire -- 2min.  Animated
MTV and SciFi Channel veteran, Voltaire, takes a dark look at gift-giving and the negative effect it has on the Earth in this one-minute Christmas parable. Animated in stop-motion by Voltaire and narrated by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance.

BLOOD RIVER  D: Adam Mason -- 103min.  Narrative Feature
Intense psychological thriller which explores the destruction of a young couple's seemingly perfect marriage.  Watch out when you're on the road because you never know who you might run into. That's something a man and his pregnant girlfriend should also bear in mind when they set out on a route called 'blood river'. [more info]


SPECIAL EVENT:  @ The Cherry Pit - 155 Bank Street New York NY, 10014 -- 3:45pm --  (Approx. 150min)
Witness the “live” stage reading of PREEMPTIVE STRIKE, by Alan Armstrong, winner of the Visionfest Feature Screenwriting Competition 2008, who will also be in attendance.
(This special event is free and open to the public, however, due to limited seating, advance reservations for this program are required and can be made via e-mail ( or with management staff at VF09, beginning on June 17, after 6pm, at Tribeca Cinemas)

PROGRAM 08 -- 7:30 pm -- TC 2   (100min)

TRUE BEAUTY THIS NIGHT  D: Peter Besson -- 10min  Narrative
Last night, Rhett Somers, so far scraping by on good luck or just plain old ignorance, met the love of his life. He's sure of it. She doesn't know. Now the only thing left to do is convince her that she's the one. Not an easy feat considering how they met. [more info]

SANDHOGS: THE GREATEST TUNNEL EVER BUILT  D: Eddie Rosenstein -- 90min. Documentary
Sandhogs are New York's legendary urban miners, rock-hard tough guys who have been tunneling underneath the city for over a century, providing the underground infrastructure for the America's largest metropolis. For decades, the hogs have been digging "City Water Tunnel #3". 800 feet down and 24 miles long, this is the largest public works project in the history of the Western Hemisphere. New York's entire water supply depends on this water tunnel's success, but it's a race against time and the project is fraught with peril. It is up to the Sandhogs, this historically unruly band of brothers, to prevent catastrophe. [more info]

PROGRAM 09 -- 9:30pm -- TC 2   (115min)

EDGE  D: Natalia Babinski -- 7min.  Music Video
Heartbroken Nick can't stop his tears of sorrow, after Tania leaves him. As if infected by a strange virus, he spreads the 'crying disease' around New York, and soon the whole city is weeping. [more info]

OFFICIAL REJECTION  D: Paul Osborne -- 108min.  Documentary
Much has been said about the trials and struggles of making an independent film, and with good reason: it's incredibly difficult, and not many are able to accomplish this feat. The perception is, however, that once you have finished your movie, you can just 'take it to Sundance'. Yet the task of finding placement at a major film festival is often more daunting, and exhausting, then the making of the movie itself.  One festival gives out its awards to whomever buys them the most beer, others give themselves the awards. Two festivals fight over the right to premiere a film, while another abandons its opening night movie altogether.  Join us for this very entertaining journey into the world of film festivals and be sure to stay for the Q&A when we may even reveal whose drink you'll need to buy to win an award at VISIONFEST... [more info]


PROGRAM 10 -- 7:00pm -- TC 2   (101min)

boy I man  D: Danielle Jacobs -- 11min.  Narrative
A boy, his backpack, his bike, and his mission... A heartfelt, coming of age story about the journey of loss, friendship, and hope. [more info]
LIKE DANDELION DUST  D: Jon Gunn -- 90min.  Narrative Feature
Karen Kingsbury's 'Like Dandelion Dust', based on the best-selling novel, is a compelling drama that explores the different meanings of being a parent through the grittily realistic lives of the struggling, blue-collar Porter's, and the privileged Campbell family. Their lives intersect, intertwine, and collide, all for the love of a little boy. This wonderfully acted film, bravely exposes the humanity in each character, reminding us that we each have the potential to be the best and worst versions of ourselves at any time.  Stars Academy Award™ Winner Mira Sorvino, Emmy and Golden Globe Nominated Barry Pepper and Cole Hauser. [more info]

10 MINUTE INTERMISSION -- followed by


VISIONFEST 09 honors its participating filmmakers with an awards ceremony that will also reveal the top three scripts from the VF09 Feature Screenwriting Competition.

click here to see the 2009 winners


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