And the winner is …
Audience Award for Best Student Film: Boy Wonder, Zack Brewer, Director (Asbury University).
Audience Award for Best Animation Film: The Orphan and The Polar Bear, Neil Christopher, Director.
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short Film: Sawdust, Leo Mahoney, Director.
Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary: Coming Back To The Hoop, Jane Pittman, Director.
Audience Award for Best Narrative Short Film: Satan Has A Bushy Tail, Louis Paxton, Director.
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film: Wildlike, Frank Hall Green, Director.
Congratulations to all involved in the making of these films, and to all the filmmakers whose works were screened at this year’s Praxis. We so appreciate your creations!
Praxis refers to practical application, and it is a term often paired in opposition to theory. Theory is an idea and praxis is about bringing the idea into reality. Praxis Film Festival celebrates filmmakers who bring ideas to life on the big screen. This year, Praxis celebrates 41 films from across the United States and around the world. Below is the list of films that were screened at the 5th annual Praxis Film Festival:
Back to The Garden - It is a year since the death of an inspirational theatre director and teacher, and his widow is struggling to come to terms with her loss. A group of close friends, many of whom are or were actors, come to spend the weekend with her to offer their support and to celebrate his memory in an entertaining and moving performance before they scatter his ashes in the garden. Director: Jon Sanders, UK. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 10:30 am at The Paramount Theatre.
Ballkoni – An entire village reacts to a boy dangling from a balcony in this one-shot tour de force. Director: Lendita Zeqiraj, Kosovo. Screening Friday, February 6th, 11:00am at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Beneath Water – At the height of Winter in the desolate Ozark mountains, Daisy spends lonely hours at the lake where her brother died. On the anniversary of his death, Daisy confronts her mother about her mother’s withdrawal from her. Daisy’s request leads to shocking allegations. Director: Charlie Manton, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 8:00pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Blackbird - Young Scottish ballad singer Ruadhan despairs as the fabric of his quaint hometown erodes. The town’s fading glory is there for all to see. There are no fish in the sea, no jobs, and the young generation is leaving for the cities. Even worse, as the elders pass away, their songs die with them. Ruadhan’s desperate attempts to save the town’s connection to song spiral out of control until it is Ruadhan himself who needs saving. Blackbird is a film haunted by the songs and traditions of the past, and features legendary Scottish performers Norman Maclean and Sheila Stewart alongside up and coming talent, adding to the film’s authenticity and soulfulness. Director: Jamie Chambers, Scotland. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 8:00pm at The Paramount. Q&A with lead actor Andrew Rothney following screening.
Born In Adana – A haunting, moving story of Armenian persecution in Turkey in 1915 and the survival of only a remnant of a family line. Director: David Hovan, Canada. Screening Friday, February 6th, 2:45 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Boy Wonder – A young boy works to buy an action figure of his favorite superhero, but, after witnessing a classmate being bullied, he learns it doesn’t take superpowers to be a hero. Director: Zach Brewer, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Charlie and Hope – Charlie and Hope are in love. But the day that Charlie plans to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Hope is offered an unexpected opportunity that may leave Charlie behind. Director: Gary Allen, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Check Out – Check Out takes place in a fantasy forest, a forest where people check in so they can rest in peace…eternally. Adam and Anna meet on a river bank in the forest and seem to make a connection. But is it enough to keep them from checking out? This film is based on a similar type of “check out” Garden in Japan. To see a short doc on the making of the film, click here. Directors: Federico Di Liddo, Giacomo Maragliulo and Yoni Ronn, Italy/Israel. Screening Friday, February 6th, 10:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Coming Back to the Hoop – A promising basketball star at her small town high school ran off the court during a holiday tournament game and did not return to the sport until 43 years later. ‘Coming Back To The Hoop’ is a film about the power of basketball to transform one’s life and the healing it brings when you connect with something larger than yourself and then give yourself over to the team. Director: Jane Pittman, USA. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 1:30 pm at The Paramount Theatre. Q&A with Jane Pittman following screening.
Curio Shop – Oliver and John are two lonely survivors in a post-apocalyptic frontier where everything is broken … even time. When Oliver fashions a bizarre weapon for John, it opens a surrealistic Pandora’s Box, engulfing everyone in a fever dream with no clear exit. Director: Edward S. Anderson, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 1:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Delusions of Grand Jury – Henry, a street performing sock puppeteer, holds a Law and Odor puppet show for a few bystanders. A critic comes a long and judges the show. The judgment leaves such an impact that now Henry must choose which one of his puppets will have to live and which one will have to die. It’s up to the puppets to save their own skin. Director: Stavros Stavropolous, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Democracia – The owner of a company proposes a daring plan for keeping worker morale high. Director: Borga Cobeaga, Spain. Screening Friday, February 6th, 11:00 am at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Electric Indigo – Indigo grew up in a family with two fathers who loved the same woman: her mother. Their decision to raise the girl together seemed a good one until the day her mother returned to the home to get her. Director: Jean-Julien Collette, Belgium. Screening Friday, February 6th, 10:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
evolution - What would you do if you were asked not to open something, but then left alone with it for days? A story of trust when there seems to be no consequence for deception. Director, Georg Jungermann, Germany. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Flowers – A Young Man falls in love with a Young Woman who callously rejects his babbling invitation to go out with him until he realizes that she is in fact deaf and mute. Undaunted, the Young Man creatively comes up with a way to communicate his feelings and so win his fair lady’s heart. Director: Sabina Sattar, UK. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Godka Circle – This short documentary is a mesmerizing observation of life in a a small, little known area with wide open expanses in wind swept Somaliland. This film brings a new perspective on how we look at the lives of ordinary women living in an extraordinary place. Directors: Àlex Lora, Antonio Tibald, Spain. Screening Friday, February 6th, 2:45 pm, at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Grafters – Kurt, an expert car-thief, has his life suddenly complicated by an offbeat romance and professional competition. The complications in Kurt’s personal and professional life are speeding him towards a dangerous intersection where his career and his ethics collide. Director: Nicholas J. DeMicco, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 10:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
In Capricious Hands – Stuck living in a dark box, life is pretty bleak and boring until a window appears. The mechanisms within the box come alive in an effort to investigate the window but it is unclear whether the box is really helping or hindering the discovery of what exists outside of the box. Director: Stephen Larson, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
LAMI – La is a shy little blue boy. He is always singing alone on the line. One day he meets a little girl, Mi, crying, and discovers friendship. He finds out that singing together with friends becomes melody. More friends join in each story, so that the melody expands. Director: Christopher Defaye, France. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Love At First Sight – A heart warming story of a lonely young man’s increasingly creative attempts to attract the attention of the girl of his dreams. This silent film transcends international borders with a timeless, ageless and universal tale of love – from one Mediterranean balcony to another – a gentle film about hope and optimism. Director: Mark Playne, UK. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Me + Her – In a faraway world, tucked away in a small fold of land behind an enormous willow tree, exists the tiny city of Cardboard. Director: Joseph Oxford, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Money Box – A young man gets from a vending machine more than he set out to buy. Director: Muzappar Osman, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
MONSTER – After moving into this old house, a little girl is frightened to sleep alone in her new room. Is there a monster under the bed? Director: Alex Rask, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 10:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Musical Star! – Jimmy hates musicals. But his aversion to the melodic art runs far deeper than mere dislike. In order to save the world from a tuneless future, Jimmy is forced to confront a buried childhood trauma… MUSICAL STAR! is a charming, short comedy for anyone who’s ever loved, or hated musicals. Director: Louis Paxton, UK. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 8:00 pm at The Paramount Theatre.
One Armed Man – CW Rowe has it all. He owns the cotton gin, making him the wealthiest man in Harrison, Texas. Few things ever interrupt the efficiency of the cotton gin with the exception of the weekly visit of a young man, Ned, who lost an arm in the gin’s machinery. On a normal day, he goes away when CW offers him five dollars. But today is anything but a normal day. Director: Tim Guinee, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 1:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Royal Migration – In a mystical forest full of exotic and strange botanic, a marching group of caterpillars blindly follow the leader without critically thinking where they are heading. Director: Yun Chen, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Run – A young woman finds that a run through the city can be more than what she expects. Director: Peter Mackie Burns, Scotland. Screening Friday, February 6th, 11:00 am at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Satan Has A Bushy Tail – Grandfather believes a squirrel in his yard is possessed and enlists his grandson to help him get rid of it. Hilarity ensues. To see their fundraising pitch that resulted in this film, click here. Director: Louis Paxton, UK. Screening Saturday, February 7th; 10:30 am at The Paramount Theatre.
Sawdust: The Art of Ken Packie – This short documentary, gives the viewer a brief glimpse into the art of wood sculptor Ken Packie. Director: Leo Mahoney, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 2:45 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC. Q&A with Leo Mahoney following screening.
Severo – Severino lives a harsh life. His brother is a thief and his mother doesn’t want her children to go to school. She prefers that they hit the streets to help out financially. Severino has dreams of playing soccer for the national team, but the opportunities he has been given in life already dictate his future. Director: Danilo Baracho, Brazil. Screening Friday, February 6th, 11:00 am at Moffatt Auditorioum WCC & Saturday, February 7th, 1:30 pm at The Paramount Theatre.
Stray Dog – Ron “Stray Dog” Hall is a Vietnam War veteran who lives in Southern Missouri where he owns and operates the At Ease RV Park. With Stray Dog as our guide, we experience the restlessness of ex-warriors as he tries to make peace with what he can’t change and weathers the incomprehension of those who have never been to war. Director: Debra Granik, USA. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 4:00 pm at The Paramount Theatre. Q&A with Ron “Stray Dog” Hall following screening.
The Amautalik – A neglected orphan and a kind little girl encounter one of the most dangerous land spirits from Inuit folktales–the Amautalik. This huge creature wanders the tundra, looking for children or lone travellers. When the Amautalik finds the two children far away from the safety of their camp, she is certain of her prize. However, the little orphan’s quick thinking response saves the two children. Director: Neil Christopher, Canada. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
The Bravest, The Boldest – Two Army Casualty Notification Officers arrive at the Harlem projects to deliver Sayeeda Porter news regarding her son serving in the war in the Middle East. But whatever it is they have to say, Sayeeda ain’t tryin’ to hear it. Director: Moon Molson, USA. Screening Saturday, February 7th, 4:00 pm at The Paramount Theatre.
The Doughnut Dance – Things take an interesting turn at a small café when only one doughnut remains. Director: Jason Knade, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 5:15 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
The Fire – A young boy travels through back roads and unknown wilderness to find the house his father grew up in and died protecting years before. Along the way he discovers the importance of family and his true purpose in life. Screening Friday, February 6th, 10:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
The Orphan and The Polar Bear – According to Inuit oral history, long ago animals had the power of speech, could shift their appearances, and could even assume human form. In The Orphan and the Polar Bear, a neglected orphan is adopted by a polar bear elder. Under the bear’s guidance, the little orphan learns the skills he will need to survive and provide for himself. Director: Neil Christopher, Canada. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
The Unclean – A Muslim man hits a dog with his car and faces a dilemma: does he try to save the wounded animal or leave it to die because his religion tells him the dog is unclean? Director: Bahram Ark, Iran. Screening Friday, February 6th, 11:00 am at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
The Walk – In the harshness of the Arizona desert a father and his son will be forced to decide between making their dream come true or saving a life. Director: Alonso Alvarez Barreda, USA; an HBO special production. Screening Friday, February 6th, 1:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC and Saturday, February 7th, 10:00 am at The Paramount Theatre. Q&A with Alonso Alvarez Barreda following both screenings.
Where Do Cars Come From? – A young girl asks that question of her mother and receives an amusing answer. Director: Noam Sharon, Israel. Screening Friday, February 6th, 4:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC.
Wildlike – Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. She longs for her struggling, absent mother, but as her mom’s phone calls become less frequent and her uncle’s care is not what it seemed, she must flee. Her only thoughts are to escape her uncle’s grasp and find her mother somehow, but as she plunges deeper into the Alaskan interior she encounters a hiker who reluctantly comes to her aid. Together they make their way through a beautiful wilderness, one that enables them to believe again in the idea of family. Director: Frank Hall Green, USA. Screening Friday, February 6th, 8:00 pm at Moffatt Auditorium WCC. Q&A with filmmaker to be announced.