Macon Film Festival releases 2014 Narrative, Student and Music lineup

By Cameron McAllister The 9th Annual Macon Film Festival doesn't start for just under eight weeks, but preparations are well underway in central Georgia. Last week, the festival released the Documentary and Animation lineups. Now, the entire lineup has been revealed, including the Narrative Features, Narrative Shorts, Student Shorts, Music Videos and Music Documentaries.

Several selections are familiar to the Georgia circuit. Mike Brune's "Congratulations!" is one of my favorite Georgia indie films of all time and screened last year at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham. "Desires of the Heart" comes from frequent MAGA filmmaker James Kicklighter. "Brothers Hypnotic" and "Scarred but Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin n Cryin" have played to much success at the Savannah Film Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival, respectively.

MAGA kicks off on February 27th and runs through March 2nd. Georgia Film Critics Association Best Documentary nominee, "Muscle Shoals," will feature as one of the festival's special screenings. The other three (one per night) have yet to be announced.

Check out this year's films after the jump. More information can be found at www.maconfilmfestival.com. Buy your tickets and passes now.

Narrative Features

Birthday Cake
Director: Chad Darnell (USA)
Feature length sequel to the multi award-winning short film, "Groom's Cake." A mockumentary following the three days leading up to the first birthday party of a child with two gay parents: television actor Steven James and his screenwriter husband, Daniel Ferguson. A movie about the family we are born into and the family we create.

Congratulations!
Director: Mike Brune (USA)
Veteran Detective Dan Skok of the Missing Persons Bureau lands the case of his career - a six-year old boy who disappears inside his own house. What should be a traditional investigation becomes an absurd and comic exploration of a man whose profession is a perpetual search.

Desires of the Heart
Directors: James Kicklighter & Rajesh Rathi (India/USA)
Dr. Kris Sharma is a psychiatrist from India practicing in Savannah, Georgia when he meets Madeline, a local artist with a mysterious past. But as their relationship begins to blossom in America, Kris is summoned home to marry the woman chosen by his parents. But as he begins to make decisions about his future, he discovers centuries old secrets that may seal the fate of his destiny.

Il Rosa Nudo
Director: Giovanni Coda (Italy)
An experimental film inspired by the life of the French "Pink Triangle" deported Pierre Seel. At the very young age of seventeen, Sell was arrested by the Nazis during the war on charges of homosexuality and sent to a concentration camp. In 1982 he was the first homocaust survivor to denounce the atrocities he witnessed.

The Last of the Great Romantics
Director: Duncan Skiles (USA)
Cameron Hill is plumbing the depths of heartbreak, loneliness, and despair. Or so he informs the loyal viewers of his video blog after being dumped by his girlfriend Marla. Wearing Marla's old pink terrycloth bathrobe, Cameron is completely disconnected from the real world until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his new neighbor Kate, but their relationship is put to the test when Marla returns and wants Cameron back.

The Space Jockey Pursuit
Director: Brian Titshaw (USA)
"Space Jockey" is Hollywood's next big blockbuster and the producers want to cast an unknown. And no one is more unknown than Alvin Bernstein. A strict method actor, Alvin always commits himself completely, and in this case literally. For the past year, he has lived in a mental institution doing character research. But to break into Hollywood, Alvin must first break out of the nuthouse. He finds an accomplice in his brother Tom, a recent college graduate. Tom is uncertain about his future. His father wants him to take over the family's failing automotive business, but Tom wants something different.

Tu Seras Un Homme
Director: Benoit Cohen (France)
Leo is 10 and wise beyond his years. A solitary dreamer who seeks refuge in books. When the carefree 20-year-old Theo steps into his life, it forces Leo out of his shell. Despite their age difference, the two becomes best friends, helping each other face up to their responsibilities.


Narrative Shorts

Alice
Director: Candy Li (USA)
A young French girl, Alice, comes out of an Expressionist painting and forms a friendship with the lonely elder security guard, Tom, who has been longing for his missing daughter.

Boxes
Director: Jason Winn (USA)
"Boxes" examines homelessness through the eyes of two young boys whose parents have lost their sense of family. But in the end, their parents learn what's important and restore our hope in them, and therefore, in ourselves.

Consumed
Director: Tariq Nasir (United Kingdom)
"Consumed" observes one woman's overpowering addiction. The kind covered up with charm and hospitality—until night comes. Until guests go to sleep. Until this woman's needs cannot remain unaddressed.

Crossroad
Director: Mehran Rows (Australia)
Ethan, a loving father and husband, risks destroying himself and his family as he deals with an addiction that will change everything.

Discover Kasper
Director: Seth Christian (USA)
The story of how a sad, quirky man breaks out of his comfort zone in search of not only his identity, but friendship. As Kasper oddly finds hope through a toy firefly, the relationship reveals a truth about himself and the world.

Drain
Director: Eric Otten (USA)
A young woman is desperate to save her father in the dry, post-apocalyptic world where water is running out.

El Lado Frio de la Almohada
Director: Herminio Cardiel (Spain)
A couple who just met is going to share a bed and its pillow that same night...

Exposures
Director: Jonathan P. Gribbin (USA)
Harper Lowell is a photographer who peaked early in his career with a controversial photo. The source of his success led to his eventual downfall and status as a pariah. His search for his next big picture drives him into insanity.

Flicker
Director: Bouha Kazmi (United Kingdom)
A fragmented story of loss and self-discovery, following a vulnerable drifter girl as she treads desolate hollow ground.

Flip Fantasia
Director: Cady McClain (USA)
A short film about love and death, "Flip Fantasia" follows four young urban men through the after effects of a wild night out in NYC and the emotional process of letting go.

Grace
Directors: Faye Viviana & Haley Sims (USA)
In an artistic depiction of the beauty found in the grittiness and struggles of life, the day of a prostitute and a ballet dancer are juxtaposed against the poignant sound of "Amazing Grace," illustrating the way in which we ultimately persevere with grace.

Ham
Director: Robert Ford (United Kingdom)
Cover me in mayo, cover me in cheese, make a sandwich out of me, Linda.

Lapsus
Director: Karim Ouaret (France)
Terry is a psychologically disturbed predator whose sinister playground is a laundromat. Terry thinks he is the hero of a gangster comic—'Terry Lawrence, Gentleman Gangster.' His memory playing tricks on him. Terry is a victim of an unknown phenomena that literature considers as a Lapsus Memoriae—a slip of memory.

Morales
Director: Roger Villarroya (Spain)
Morales doesn't pay attention in class and his teacher's patience is running out. If he continues to have that lack of discipline, he will be punished without recess for the rest of the course.

Only Fair
Director: Peter Rautek (Austria)
The short film "Only Fair" travels through the history of mankind. During this journey, man has increasingly distanced from nature and lost the sense for what really matters in the end. But fatal actions of the past do not remain unpunished—stress, diseases, addiction, greed, power and fear are hard on our heels. Is it only fair that one little mistake could erase mankind forever from the blue planet? Or is the question rather when we take this final step? Will the world be a better place after creations crowing glory has vanished?

Picture Show
Directors: Jonathan Hicks & Robyn Young (USA)
An elderly couple, confined to their home for years, venture out for one last date in hopes of rediscovering the romance of their youth. Recreating their first date at the Picture Show, they return home only to face the reality of their impending mortality. Set in the midst of a small, aging Southern town, the story is simple, yet sweet, and examines the lives of often forgotten, but immensely profound characters.

Plan B
Director: Lawayne Bontrager (USA)
An elderly couple down on there luck have to resort to some creative financing.

Restitution
Director: Justin Miller (USA)
Still recovering from the recent loss of a child, architect Preston Sanders discovers that his wife has cloned their son without his consent.

Rose, Mary, and Time
Director: Hardeep Giani (United Kingdom)
A story of second chances. Barney is married—unhappily. He lost the love of his life around six years ago—she was murdered. Through the magic contained within a clock he inherited, and with the help of an old Indian shop keeper, Barney finds himself back in time—with the opportunity to save her—but life isn't always as easy as that.

Searching for Signals
Director: Byron Erwin (USA)
The disturbing story of a boy named Cameron that is mourning the loss of his mother, who died by the hand of his violent father. No longer able to keep the abuse a secret, Cameron's life comes crashing down around him when the authorities move in on their little home.

Sticks & Stones
Director: Chloe Dahl (USA)
This is a true story about a fourteen year-old girl named Emma. Just like any other girl, Emma has a crush; only this crush is on a girl named Alice. Although Emma is a great kid, no matter how hard she tries, she is socially rejected and bullied by her peers. Nevertheless, her attempts to fit in are relentless.

The Bash
Director: Tyson FitzGerald (USA)
A gay couple leaving a midnight screening in a seedy area of town get gay bashed and then turn the tables on their attackers and fight back.

The Redwoods
Director: Anderson Boyd (USA)
While confined to an institution for troubled youth Evan and Christopher find themselves in the throes of young love. Through their bond the two lovers find refuge and meaning within the stifling walls but the machinations of Peggy, the staff psychiatrist, may threaten all that they know.

The Watch
Director: Roger Franks (USA)
A powerful story detailing how the past and the present can be connected by a simple item.

Til Death
Director: Jason Tostevin (USA)
A short horror comedy about four unhappily married husbands who wake up to a gruesome surprise the night after killing each others' wives.

Trois Nuits Et On Mort
Director: Stéphane Dirschauer (Canada)
When his estranged sister shows up at the doorstep of his downtown Toronto bistro, Patrick only wishes for one thing - to get her on a bus straight back to Quebec. Her chaotic existence and wild ways spell disaster for them all.


Student Shorts


A Call
Director: Len Chi (USA)
A fugitive's botched crime. An officer's pursuit. Two characters search for righteousness but in their own vastly different ways—shining light on the true natures of each.

A Tibetan Marriage
Director: Lu Liu (USA)
This is a story about a Tibetan Polyandrous Marriage. Gongbu spent a couple of years in the city and changed his mind about the idea of a Tibetan marriage. He doesn't want to share the wife with his younger brother anymore. Will he be able to achieve what he wants?

Border Patrol
Director: Peter Baumann (United Kingdom)
Carl and Franz are all ready to get off work and watch the big match against Austria when they make an unwelcome discovery. So, deal with it, or make it someone else's problem?

Deep Emotion
Director: Justin Litton (United Kingdom)
"Deep Emotion" is an exploration of people's perceptions of student filmmakers and short films in general. Both hilariously funny and thought-provoking, the twin narratives of the film and its audience provide a playful discourse between the sublime and the ridiculous.

The Dress
Director: Alvaro Congosto (USA)
Jamie loves Laura from the bottom of his heart, but he also has another passion, No, it's not dresses, it's photographs. Jamie is obsessed with the image of a girl, and unfortunately, that girl is not Laura. In a visually striking journey through his deepest obsession, Jamie will discover what is so fascinating about images that he can't find in real life.

Echoes
Director: Diane Bou-Chedid (Lebanon)
After finding the tapes of her deceased father, the young woman decides to visit his place and collect his memories through his echoes.

Lost Swag
Director: Rachel Foley (USA)
After a social networking faux pas with the girl of his dreams, straight edge Will unravels and finds himself chasing after a cop, and swagger.

Peach Creek Show
Director: Jeremy Tuttle (USA)
In the 1950's rural town of Peach Creek, Georgia, Deputy Wilbur Moss struggles to put on a funeral for his father, following his father's death in a moonshine explosion.

The Promise
Director: Nongkhran Meecharoen (USA)
An old man struggles to take care of his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Although she can't remember him, she still feels his love for her.

The Spectator
Director: Mirco Valenza (United Kingdom)
A thief breaks into an apartment but, when the owner unexpectedly returns home, he becomes witness to a series of unsettling events that call for his intervention.

Until the Dust Settles
Director: Alexander Gangi (USA)
A father and his two sons reconnect while traveling through the heart of the American Dust Bowl in 1932.


Music Video

Dark Comedy
Directors: Jeremy Oliver Miller, Lawayne Bontrager (USA)
The story of a domestic violence victim who gets by with a little help from a friend.

Eve
Director: Nicholas Goodman (USA)
Who is Eve really, but the essence of all women?

Found
Director: Shawn Ketcham (USA)
A personal struggle of one wanting to be a good person but still finding faults in oneself.

From One Island to Another
Director: Paul Jerndal (Sweden)
What could seem to be the largest contrasts sometimes are not. By taking the audience from a Swedish island to the island of Manhattan through buildings, design and fashion, the contrasts are suddenly erased. And finally they seem like very similar places.

Hey Amariah
Director: Bobby McCullough (USA)
Death On Two Wheels, a rock-n-roll band from Atlanta, visits the historical Grant's Lounge to get day drunk and ends up having a vision of themselves becoming the next legendary band to hit the stage.

Never Be That Tough
Director: Nancy Jean Tucker (USA)
You could lose everything and it will still be alright.

Switzerland
Director: Brady Bigalke (USA)
Comparing the internal battles in one's self to the historical battles in World War II.

Under Cold Bright Stars
Director: Jeremy Rourke (USA)
This animated video uses archival imagery, paint, light, photographs and time. The lyrical words materialize and evaporate, the sun rises, the moon sets, we go into the woods, go deeper into them, come out of them, go into a stone house and see the faces of folks eighty years in the past.

Upon Your Enemy
Director: Dan Shipton (United Kingdom)
Doll invites three military generals to dine at her disused mansion as a means to get revenge for her war-scared face. Her dual personality leads us through the video as she feeds the generals a blood filled meal, ending in a visual depiction of how war dines on the young and innocent—quite literally.


Music Documentary

Brothers Hypnotic
Director: Reuben Atlas (Netherlands/USA)
For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, 'brotherhood' is literal—they're all sons of anti-establishment Chicago jazz musician, Phil Cohran. They grew up in the same house, in a family of 24 siblings, on a strict diet of jazz, funk and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM. Now grown, as they raise eight brass bells to the sky—whether playing in the streets of New York City, collaborating with Mos Def or Prince, or wowing Atlantic records—they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether their fathers' principles really are their own.

Open Mic Night After the Apocalypse
Director: Mike James (USA)
The story of three independent filmmakers who invited seven indie rock bands from LA—and their biggest fans—out to the edge of the Mojave desert to film a one-of-a-kind musical, spiritual experience.

Scarred But Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin n Cryin
Director: Eric Von Haessler (USA)
Von Haessler spent three years looking for reasons why his favorite band, Drivin n Cryin, hadn't enjoyed more national success. With the help of fellow fans Peter Buck, Darius Rucker, Ed Roland, Ty Pennington and others, he uncovers the fascinating, behind-the-scenes story of a band that has spent the last 28 years both creating great music and making questionable career moves. Along the way he finds that Drivin n Cryin is a true rock & roll success.

When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & The Theremin
Director: Robert Nazar Arjoyan (USA)
Glamorously eccentric and enigmatic Theremin master Armen Ra recounts his dynamic journey in this life-spanning documentary that mixes rare concert performances, candid interviews, and archive material with the magical power of music that can alchemize ancient sorrow into timeless beauty.

Source: Macon Film Festival releases 2014 Narrative, Student and Music lineup