The New Ohio Theatre’s NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival (NYCITFF) announced the 2021 online film lineup today. NYCITFF offers a selection of new feature-length and short films, filmmaker Q&As, and a conversation with prolific screenwriter and playwright Qui Nguyen between March 10-14.
Five new feature films (BUTCHER HOLLER HERE WE COME, THE LAST CYCLIST, THE MAGIC HOUR, RIVAL QUEENS, TIT) explore the theatrical realms of historical fiction, dance, opera, expressive movement, music, reinterpretation of old texts, and more.
In addition, 35 short films (including fifteen world premieres) from fresh new talent will be presented in five programs. Take a deep dive into how people connect in Surprising Relationships, the physical and mental quests we take in Going on a Journey, reaching our breaking points in The Absurdity of Life, and a collection of horror, dark comedy, and late night conversations in After Dark.
Rounding out the shorts series is the Documentary Program, which shines a spotlight on true life stories. Already announced is NYCITFF’s Opening Night conversation on March 10 at 7pm EST with New Ohio Theatre alum - theatre artist, film, television and Obie Award-winning writer Qui Nguyen (Disney’s RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere, Netflix’s The Society).
NYCITFF runs from March 10-14, 2021. Passes are $35 and provide access to all online programming. Individual tickets for feature films and short film blocks are $12. Purchase at the Festival’s website https://nycitff2021.eventive.org. The NYCITFF is a production of New Ohio Theatre, an award-winning non-profit theatre company in Manhattan’s West Village. The full film program for NYCITFF is listed below.
FEATURE FILM PROGRAM
BUTCHER HOLLER HERE WE COME Narrative Feature Director: Leah Bonvissuto | Writer: Casey Wimpee 1973, West Virginia. Following a cave collapse, five coal miners struggle to survive the dwindling supply of oxygen, the lack of food and water, the unravelling sense of passing time, and, even more threatening, their own competing natures. THE LAST CYCLIST Narrative Feature Director: Edward Einhorn | Writer: Naomi M. Patz THE LAST CYCLIST, written in Terezín during the Holocaust, is a daring absurdist comedy in which bicyclists are blamed for all of society’s ills and systematically hunted down and murdered. The script was painstakingly reconstructed and reimagined by the writer and producer Naomi Patz, beginning in 1995. THE MAGIC HOUR Narrative/Dance Feature Director: Joseph Gallo In this ecstatic SWG dance/theatre work, performers fling themselves through a scary/happy/sad dreamscape in search of how to be, how to make an impact, and how to fade away. RIVAL QUEENS Documentary/Opera Feature Director: Anton Armendariz Diaz | Writer: Ashley Bell Created during Covid on an intercontinental basis with individuals in four different locations, RIVAL QUEENS tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. This biopic represents a new form of art that melds documentary film with the music of opera, which serves as the driving force of the story. TIT Narrative Feature Writer/Director: Elizabeth Dinkova | Writers: Nicolette Emanuelle, Jesse Rasmussen, Eugene H. Russell IV, Ellen Warkentine In the desolate war-torn future, the Neo-Roman Empire has risen from the cannibalized corpse of our old United States. We follow the intersecting stories of those in power and those who seek to gain it. PRECEDED BY: DON'T STAY SAFE Narrative Short Director: Christina Franklin | Writers: Cheryl L. Davis, Douglas J. Cohen DON'T STAY SAFE reflects on critical events of the past year, engaging with the ongoing struggle for racial equality and civil rights, examining the risks of protest... and the risks of
SHORT FILM PROGRAM
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: SURPRISING RELATIONSHIPS Friends, lovers, family, and everything in between are explored in these stories. 16 WORDS OR LESS Director: Meghan Finn | Writer: Peggy Stafford A lonely flower shop clerk helps a grieving man find words to express his loss in this offbeat film about language, death, and hair. AQUAMARINE Director: Jack Dentinger | Writer: Bixby Elliot A gender-bending comedy about loud birds, romantic suitors, and a Victorian-era female serial killer. DATA RECOVERY Director: Jessica Cummings | Writer: Ashlin Halfnight To ward off loneliness and dementia, an elderly woman hires a cloning company to bring back her long-dead son. MAYA Writer/Director: Maren Lavelle | Writer: Matt Steiner A Queer NYC stage manager reflects on her break-up while trying to manage the rehearsal of a play about a gay couple falling in love. PLATONIC Director: Trace Pope | Anna Walker-Roberts A recently divorced woman decides to reconnect with her estranged childhood best friend.
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: GOING ON A JOURNEY These characters are going through mental and physical trials and tribulations to uncover the truth. THE BAND AT THE END OF THE WORLD Director: SRĐA | Writers: Bandits on the Run (Adrian Blake Enscoe, Sydney Shepherd, Regina Strayhorn) In a post-apocalyptic world, three musicians discover an abandoned theater and strive to reconnect with humanity. LOLITA EXPRESS Writer/Director: Octavia Chavez-Richmond 9-year-old Nena is the latest addition to a wealthy man’s collection of captives detained on a private island. Nena’s innocence and recent arrival to the island force the girls to face the reality of their circumstances. THE OFFERING Writer/Director: Marissa Molnar Time is warped in quarantine: minutes stretch to hours or tick by in an instant. A woman
wrestles with isolation, like a boat lost at sea. ONE WOMAN MOVIE Writer/Director: Lindsey Hope Pearlman | Director: Sean Welski An exploration of one woman’s loneliness, malaise and emptiness passing the time without a live, in-person theatre community to tap into. SEASON 2, EPISODE 3 BY GLASS ANIMALS Writer/Director: Kaitlin Gould Performed and choreographed by Kaitlin Gould, this aerial act explores the nuance and complexities of depression and anxiety. TELLING TIME Director: Daniel Talbott | Writer: Samantha Soule Ten months into the pandemic, day is for sleeping and night is for wandering alone and aimless on the East Side of Los Angeles. A young man reminisces about the loss of a great love. VALENS Writer/Director: Mazin Akar Faisal believes in his country. Not for what it is, but for what it can be.
NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: THE ABSURDITY OF LIFE Laugh, cry, and go a little mad: stories about how life can feel sideways sometimes. THE BAD INFINITY Writer/Director: Graham Sack | Writer: Mac Wellman During a debauched dinner party, John Sleight, Deborah, Megan, and Ramon discuss the various ways in which modernity is drawn towards manifestations of "the bad infinity." CALL FROM: GODOT Writer/Directors: Anita Castillo-Halvorssen, Olivia Miller Didi and Gogo are expecting an important Zoom call from Godot. They just have to wait... FITNESS! OR A STORY ABOUT SWEAT Writer/Director: Kana Hatakeyama A titillating spiritual comedy about finding your joyful, deepest nature through technology, human connection...and sweat. GRINDING DOUBT Director: Alexandra Ann Spieth | Writer: Mike Corey In a misguided attempt to impress a movie producer, a group of small town degenerates party way too hard at their kid nephew's confirmation party. LANGUAGE GAMES Director: Ralph Lewis | Writer: Barbara Yoshida Set in a fictional world of philosophy and language, Sheela arrives for a spirited game of MahJong with three great thinkers from the past. NO MORE BEAUTIFUL DANCES
Director/Choreographer: Anabella Lenzu NO MORE BEAUTIFUL DANCES wrestles with the ideas of exploration, introspection and reframing a woman after becoming a mother and being an immigrant. THERE’S NO WRONG WAY TO EAT A CUPCAKE Writer/Director: Joey Rizzolo Three people are each provided a cupcake to test the title's axiom. NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM: AFTER DARK Horror, dark comedy, and late night conversations are the highlights of these stories. BELOW Writer/Director: Chance Muehleck A one-shot, first-person thriller with a twist. Join us under the bed. BERENICE Director: Hannah Eakin | Writer: Edgar Allan Poe A silent adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting tale, BERENICE tells the story of a troubled young man who, when faced with unexpected grief, descends into obsession and madness. BILLIARDS Director: Nile Price | Writer: JaQuan Malik Jones Four graduate visual art students reflect on their purpose and why they love art as tensions run high while they await the highly anticipated gala slot list for this year’s professional art show. CLEAN CUT Writer/Director: Dylan James Amick Two roommates hiding from a monster in their mirror must decide if it safe to leave. JAMMED Director: Laura Lewis-Barr | Writer: Vince Gatton A malfunctioning piece of office equipment brings out the worst in a diverse group of co- workers. LOWER EAST ASIDES Writer/Director: Steve Becker A resourceful young producer and jaded club manager guide an eclectic group of rock star wannabes on the problematic road to stardom on the Lower East Side of NYC. MALALA Writer/Directors: Julia Cavagna, Komiko Paul | Director: Hugo Perez We follow Malala on her journey towards decision, which can sometimes be more treacherous, tortuous, and torturous than any physical voyage. She is dreaming while she is making some fundamental choice in her life. Is she awake when we find her? No one knows. WIDE EYED Writer/Director: Ashley Kristeen Vega | Writer: Laura Kay Frankie Weston wakes up after a one night stand, unsure what to make of the morning.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS PROGRAM
Films that chronicle true life stories of struggle and triumph. FLY MYSELF HOME Director: Jose Restrepo A love letter to the theatre about one actor's journey of what “home” can mean. HOW MUCH AM I WORTH? Director: Rachel Handler This stirring documentary explores the failings of the U.S. health system through the lens of four women with disabilities. THE JOY OF 2020 Director: Bailey Bass No matter the circumstances, one can always find beauty in each day. We follow the stories of five individuals who found ways to persevere, in a time when the world took a pause. ON THE ROOF Writer/Director: Paul Zimet About two artists and a moment in time - early pandemic New York City. THE POWER OF CREATIVITY: BEAUTY IN SADNESS Directors: Sheryl Carbonell, Molly E. Smith Carmen, a respiratory therapist, uses art as an escape from the death and destruction of the world. THIS IS ME EATING___ Writer/Director: Giorgia Valenti | Director: Pranav Kothary Making space for people to express their relationship to their eating and their body. TORTUGA CRAWL Director: Gabriele Schafer | Writer: Nick Fracaro On Thanksgiving 1990, theater artists Gabriele and Nick erected a tipi made of 78 U.S. Domestic #3 mailbags in a New York City's then longest-existing shantytown, located atop the historic Five Points area at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge at Canal and Chrystie Streets. The NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival presents work from New York City independent theatre artists defying labels and branching out into digital media and film. For their 5th year, they’re taking the festival online and opening it up to include indie theatre artists from across the United States. They’re excited to take advantage of the internet’s wide reach to meet a new, national community of fellow theatre artists, and showcase new perspectives and voices from across the country. North and South. Coast to coast. This year, it’s national.
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