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VTXIFF 2019 - Nominations

Best feature - Nominees

Dizzy Pursuit

Directed By: Jay Alvarez

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                       

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language)

Runtime: 87 min

Synopsis: A young couple receives unwanted visits from family members while trying to cast their independent feature film.

Bite Me

Directed By: Meredith Edwards                    

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                       

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language, adult themes)

Runtime: 81 Mins

Synopsis: Sarah is a 20-something living in New York. She is also a vampire. Not the mythical kind; she's part of the underground subculture of people who self-identify and live as vampires. James works for the IRS and has spent his entire life trying to seem more normal than he feels. When Sarah’s coven gets audited, she and James meet. Although the initial spark between them is strong, they struggle to make a relationship work as she doesn’t trust him to love her and he can’t quite believe she needs blood to survive.

A Name Without A Place

Directed By: Kenny Riches         

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                      

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language)

Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: The story is set in Miami Beach with Burton portraying a sheltered young man in a relationship with an aging movie star, played by McGovern. He lacks the drive to discover the world beyond until he suffers the loss of his twin brother — prompting him to retrace his brother’s travels to the Florida Keys, where he meets a young woman (played by Best) trying to find a ride to Miami. The two quickly find trouble and escape to a mysterious estate, where Fugit’s character lives and has discovered The Fountain of Youth.

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Best documentary - Nominees

Our Friend Jon

Directed By: Edward Payson

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                     

Rating: Teen, Adult 

Runtime: 80 min

Synopsis: Before Jon Hernandez passed away due to complications stemming from Sickle Cell Anemia, he was writing a horror film he wanted to make with his friends. Upon his untimely death his friends (all whom have their own disabilities) decide to make the film in Jon's honor, even though they have no clue where to start. This is that story.

This World is Mine

Directed By: Ann Oren

Country of Origin: Israel

Language: English, Japanese                                   

Rating: Teen, Teen, Adult

Runtime: 70 min

Synopsis: “Talented fans constantly re-create her, that's why she never dies. She is a creative instigator. A collective fantasy. A social glue. Hatsune Miku is the future.” – Hiro San
  In cosplay of the Japanese cyber diva Hatsune Miku, the director moves to Tokyo, seeking an identity in the world of Miku fanatics, where she is drawn into a love affair with one of the fans. Miku is a Vocaloid, a vocal synthesizer software personified by a cute animated character. Her entire persona: lyrics, music and animation – is fan created, and that's her charm. She even performs sold out concerts as a hologram. By transforming herself into a Miku character through cosplay, Oren enters a world of real hardcore fans where fantasy is more real than reality and the differentiation between the two becomes obsolete. The film examines the performative nature of cosplaying – dressing up and playing the role of fictional characters – as a hybrid space where reality blurs into fetishistic fantasies and pop culture clichés. Combining fan-made lyrics and songs, Oren's trials and tribulations in the fictional Miku world unfolds through vague erotic episodes and encounters with characters whose ontological status remains mysterious, bringing to mind the adventures of a modern Alice in a virtual Wonderland. “I sleep inside the display that depicts the end. And in that end, I will sing a song that only you wanted to hear.“ - Hatsune Miku

Minor Injustice

Directed By: Jonathan Seaborn, Emily de Santos

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                     

Rating: All Ages

Runtime: 69 min

Synopsis: Texas is now one of only 4 states that charges 17 year olds as adults. During the 2017 legislative session there were two bills being introduced that addressed this issue. One to raise the age of adult prosecution from 17 to 18, and the other would allow people currently in prison for a crime committed before the age of 18 a chance at early parole. Right now Texas sentencing laws ignore recent scientific evidence on adolescent development and neuroscience, and the state’s current parole system provides no viable mechanism for reviewing a case after a young person has grown up and matured. Can we morally keep sending our youth to adult prisons?

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Best short - Nominees

The Lost Year

Directed By: Ryan O'Leary      

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                       

Synopsis: After a rough breakup, Charlie Monahan dives headfirst into the world of online dating. Guided by his charismatic best friend, Rufus, Charlie meets the charmingly complicated Maggie Mae. Quickly learning the differences between expectations and reality, Charlie's forced to confront the challenges of maintaining a relationship in the digital age. In an era where everyone's connected, Charlie's never felt more apart.

The Myth of Summer

Directed By: Jordan Dee Crabtree

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                       

Synopsis: Set in future suburbia, two sisters spend a day together before the oldest leaves for college.

Untitled Marfa Project

Directed By: Emily Elizabeth Thomas

Country of Origin: USA

Language:  English                   

Synopsis: Untitled Marfa Project is a poetic story following two best friends, Star and Margot, as they venture on a road trip from Austin to Marfa in the hopes of mending their broken friendship. Throughout their time in the desert Star and Margot witness strange yet beautiful things, get in heated fights, and also sit in complete silence with each other. At stories end, Marfa and the strange magic of the desert makes them realize that maybe they aren't so different after all. Untitled Marfa Project is a film about love, loneliness, the patterns that are destined to repeat, and storied and meaningful friendship between women.

Blackout

Directed By:Taylor HIll 

Country of Origin: Canada

Language: English                          

Synopsis: The meaning of intimacy is challenged after a young man brings his one-night stand to his best friend's funeral reception.

Faith

Directed By: Kymberly Harris

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                              

Synopsis: FAITH is a character driven dark comedy inspired by the lives and struggles of real teenagers recovering from drug and alcohol abuse in a psych ward. Under the direction of writer/director Kymberly Harris , this young all star ensemble employed method acting techniques to explore the lives of the characters. The result is an edgy, magical, and truthful human story exploring how broken people can find their way back to connection in life and with each other.

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Best director - Nominees

Meredith Edwards, Bite Me

Directed By: Meredith Edwards                    

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                       

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language, adult themes)

Runtime: 81 Mins

Synopsis: Sarah is a 20-something living in New York. She is also a vampire. Not the mythical kind; she's part of the underground subculture of people who self-identify and live as vampires. James works for the IRS and has spent his entire life trying to seem more normal than he feels. When Sarah’s coven gets audited, she and James meet. Although the initial spark between them is strong, they struggle to make a relationship work as she doesn’t trust him to love her and he can’t quite believe she needs blood to survive.

David Blue Garcia , Tejano

Directed By: David Blue Garcia         

Country of Origin: USA

Language: Spanish                                      

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language, violence)

Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: Javi (Patrick Mackie), lives and works in the fields of South Texas with his grandfather Arturo (Hector Uribe, No Country For Old Men). Secretly, Javi plans on escaping South Texas with his Mexican 
girlfriend, Lorena (Mayra Leal, Machete). But when Arturo’s cancer takes a turn for the worse Javi’s plans are put on hold.

Kenny Riches, A Name Without A Place

Directed By: Kenny Riches         

Country of Origin: USA

Language: English                                      

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language)

Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: The story is set in Miami Beach with Burton portraying a sheltered young man in a relationship with an aging movie star, played by McGovern. He lacks the drive to discover the world beyond until he suffers the loss of his twin brother — prompting him to retrace his brother’s travels to the Florida Keys, where he meets a young woman (played by Best) trying to find a ride to Miami. The two quickly find trouble and escape to a mysterious estate, where Fugit’s character lives and has discovered The Fountain of Youth.

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Best Cinematography - Nominees

David Blue Garcia, Tejano

Directed By: David Blue Garcia         

Country of Origin: USA

Language: Spanish                                      

Rating: Late Teen / Adult (language, violence)

Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: Javi (Patrick Mackie), lives and works in the fields of South Texas with his grandfather Arturo (Hector Uribe, No Country For Old Men). Secretly, Javi plans on escaping South Texas with his Mexican 
girlfriend, Lorena (Mayra Leal, Machete). But when Arturo’s cancer takes a turn for the worse Javi’s plans are put on hold.

Bianca Butti, Untitled Marfa Project

Directed By: Emily Elizabeth Thomas

Country of Origin: USA

Language:  English                   

Synopsis: Untitled Marfa Project is a poetic story following two best friends, Star and Margot, as they venture on a road trip from Austin to Marfa in the hopes of mending their broken friendship. Throughout their time in the desert Star and Margot witness strange yet beautiful things, get in heated fights, and also sit in complete silence with each other. At stories end, Marfa and the strange magic of the desert makes them realize that maybe they aren't so different after all. Untitled Marfa Project is a film about love, loneliness, the patterns that are destined to repeat, and storied and meaningful friendship between women.

Jens Schaffner, Sea At Night

Directed By: Kim Fabienne Hertinger

Country of Origin: Germany

Language: German                             

Synopsis: "Meer bei Nacht" (Sea at Night) tells the story about a man, whose disease took away his self-determination, reputation and social support. His tendency to get lost in memories of his past, leads him to a momentous decision.

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