2019 Selected Films
2019 Film Festival CategoriesPick a film block to skip down to films showing in that block
58min – FRIDAY – 6pm
Tarrell Christie – 20:00 – West Des Moines, IA – Best Sci-Fi/Experimental
Raekwon, the actor behind a popular energy drink mascot named Lil Pooky, is criticized for the messages his performances send to the public. In a knee jerk attempt to put a message behind his character, he finds that Lil Pooky may be tied into a horrifying conspiracy.
The Book of Faces
Rus Blemker – 15:15 – Chicago, IL – Best Sci-Fi/Experimental
Five teens join a creepy website where you can conduct a séance by video chat – what could go wrong? This is an exciting new entry in the desktop film genre. The title and tagline is a play on words as the feature length version goes even deeper – social media ills become truly EVIL.
Seth D. Meyers – 18:27 – Dubuque, IA – Best Short Film – Iowa Made
A young female dancer travels on an emotional journey through psychological and physical worlds to discover a crucial truth that lives within her.
Mother of All Time
P. Sam Kessie – 4:06 – Iowa City, IA – Best Sci-Fi/Experimental – Iowa Made
An experimental dance project that explores the relationship between time, space, dance, and music. This was the first of it’s kind to combine choreographed dance, hyperlapse presentation, and dramatic camera movement. The piece shows how a person’s interpretation of time can affect their perception of movement.
MIFF Sci-Fi Film Block
25min– FRIDAY – 7:30pm
Jeremy Ferguson – 25:15 – Muscatine, IA – Not award eligible
In 1977, a mysterious 72 second radio transmission was picked up from the M55 star cluster. Jim is on a mission to explore the region, but to find what he is looking for, he must confront the life he left behind. Is 72 seconds enough time for a second chance?
Triple “M” Film Block (Murder, Mayhem & More)
66min. – FRIDAY – 8:15pm – ADULTS ONLY
Raza Rizvi – 14:47– Sudbury, MA – Best Comedy
A young couple has decided they are ready for their first time. They just don’t exactly know what they’re doing.
A Talk With The Devil
Dylan Jaeger – 7:16 – Mt. Vernon, IA – Murder & Mayhem – Iowa Made
Jackie’s past comes back to haunt him in this short thriller “A Talk With The Devil”
Ben Schmidt – 17:29 – Dubuque, IA – Murder & Mayhem – Iowa Made
Owen is out for a evening stroll when he encounters a young woman named Mercy who claims she is being followed by a strange man. Owen decides to walk Mercy home, thinking he can keep her safe. However, as the night goes on, it is revealed there is more to Mercy and this strange man than it seems.
Kevin Isaacson – 8:16 – Manly, IA – Murder & Mayhem – Iowa Made
A Southern belle hosts a twisted tea party for the very classmates who tortured her in high school.
Eric Lang – 12:00 – Omaha, NE – Best Comedy
When Corey opens a package addressed to his girlfriend, he finds himself in a situation that must be handled with care.
After Noon Film Block
69min. – SATURDAY – 12:30pm
Cordelia Moves In
Shannon Mulligan – 11:20 – Iowa City, IA – Best Student Film
Lester meets his strange new roommates, Cordelia and Conrad, who are very obviously hiding something. Little do they know, he’s hiding something too.
Take Me To Church
Elise Edens – 10:46 – Moline, IL – Best Short Film – Best Local
Born into an Irish Catholic family, Saoirse and Nora were raised to be religiously conservative, but when Saoirse fell in love with someone who was unacceptable to family standards, she was ostracized. Four years later, Nora finds herself in an unconventional situation, and needing a more impartial opinion, she tracks down her shunned sister for help.
Enemy Territory 2: Future Fight
Matt Wagner – 16:33 – Urbandale, IA – Best Comedy – Best Sci-Fi
In the sequel to Enemy Territory, two boys have their mission interrupted by an even more important one — in the future.
Brody Buchanan – 9:01 – Muscatine, IA – Best Short Film – Best Local
A group of friends before and after an unexpected death.
Evil Acts, Freak Storms, Infidelity & Murder
Drew Lawton – 10:01 – Iowa City, IA – Best Student
In Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery sits the mysterious Black Angel. Is it just a statue, or is there more?
A Love Affair (in Brief)
Amber Krieg – 4:14 – Dubuque, IA – Best Student Film
Hopeless romantic Casey details the events of the twisted, brief, love affair that has distanced her from her “boyfriend” Allen.
The Romance Language
Mitchell Keeran – 6:46 – Mason City, IA – Best Comedy
Bobbie is a hopeless romantic, but he tries to teach himself how to speak Spanish so he can ask out a beautiful transfer student, Eulaulia.
Baker Film Block
65min – SATURDAY – 2pm
The Baker Institute
Chad Bishop – 66:00 – Muscatine, IA – Not award eligible
World Premiere of the Baker Institute is Saturday at 2pm. This is a feature length documentary that features interviews and research regarding Muscatine’s most infamous former resident “Norman Baker”.
Micro-Short Film Block
25min -SATURDAY – 3:30pm
At the Violet Hour
Spencer Smith – 3:43 – Des Moines, IA – Best Micro-Short
A young man in the throes of addiction carelessly wanders from one situation to the next.
Brody Buchanan – 3:57 – Muscatine, IA – Best Micro-Short – Best Local
Thriller/ Chase Scene
A Christmas Surprise
Mike Ray – 3:40 – Muscatine, IA – Best Micro-Short – Best Local
Christina is used to celebrating Christmas every year without her husband & father of their child. This holiday season they are about to get an unexpected surprise under their Christmas tree.
Nolan Quade – Mount Pleasant, IA – 1:20 – Best Micro-Short
A scientist builds himself someone who he has always loved, himself.
Kelsey Quakenbush – 3:55 – Westminster, CO – Best Micro-Short
A former deputy district attorney leaves her law books behind to find her true nature and shares the meaning of her discovery with others culminating in the successful immersive art experience, Natura Obscura.
The Honey War
Landon Walsh – 1:41 – Muscatine, IA – Best Micro-Short – Best Local
A short animated tale of heroism, betrayal, and countless other nonsense as you learn about the stupidest war Iowa has ever been involved in.
Onofrio Damiano – 3:12 – Carrigtohill Cork, Ireland – Best Micro-Short
A robbery happens inside a café but nobody notice it because too absorbed by their smartphones.
The Redneck Diaries
Brycen Hatfield – 4:00 – Best Micro-Short
Just another ordinary day for the dysfunctional Redneck Brothers, Cletus, Donny and Dusty.
Best Iowa Made Film Block
102min – SATURDAY 4:30pm
Marissa Vonn – 13:50 – Ottumwa, IA – Best Short Film –Best Iowa Made
Set against the Iowa farmlands, KNEE HIGH follows Calvin Melbourne as he struggles to keep hold of the reins to the family farm while still making time for his young son, Avery.
Jim Brockhohn – 17:33 – Forest City, IA – Best Comedy – Best Iowa Made
Murphy’s life is in Shambles. He believes that seeking for a near death experience, may provide him with a better perspective of LIFE.
Saving Grace – Pilot Episode
Michael Huntington – 21:29 – Iowa City, IA – Best Short Film – Best Iowa Made
Ex-communicated mafia member, Joey, plans to take out his former mob boss Tommy; driven not only by his desire for revenge on Tommy, but also by his passion for protecting his hometown of Grace City from the corrupt forces taking root in the mob.
Jack Meggers – 24:55 – West Des Moines, IA – Best Short Film – Best Iowa Made
Abby is a young American woman, a recent college drop out, of Native American and Caucasian descent. She is called to her childhood home, the upper Mississippi River valley, after the death of her estranged father. There, she is tasked with burying a father she hardly knew. Once back in the tiny river town she called home as a child, Abby runs into her childhood friend, Haley, and Haley’s new boyfriend, the charismatic yet threatening Tyler. Avoiding her responsibility, Abby carouses with her small town friends. The threesome heads downriver and in the woods, they discover an undocumented ancient Indian burial mound, a remnant of a 1,800-year-old indigenous society. Their exploits disturb the sacred space, and an ancient sickness is awakened inside them. The friends turn against each other and must fight for survival.
Grand Jury Film Block
94min – SATURDAY – 6:45pm
In the House of Paper Flowers
Anita George – 7:30 – Altadena, CA – Best Short Film
In a house covered with papery flowers, a woman with white hair, two cats and a tiny wolf songstress learns a valuable lesson about the enduring power of love.
Santiago Sun – 16:44 – Los Angeles, CA – Best Short Film
While at war, a US Army Sergeant helps one of his soldiers cover up the murder of another making it look like a suicide. His life is turned upside down as the soldier is racked with guilt and wants to confess his crime.
Phillip Lindsey – 24:56 – North Hollywood, CA – Best Short Film
Daron goes on a blind date with a girl he met on the internet. His car is stolen during his dinner date, and he must learn to trust a crazy girl he just met in an attempt to get his car back.
Bob Klein – 19:00 – Hackensack, New Jersey – Best Short Film
When a middle-aged “nice guy” is taken into a police interrogation room by a female officer, he soon realizes that perhaps he hasn’t been such a nice guy after all.
In the Driver’s Seat
Ralph Klisiewicz –19:23 – Chicago, IL – Best Short Film
A biker and a driver get into an accident on a cold winter morning. They begin to argue about fault, but come to no conclusion. They decide to go to a nearby coffee shop to discuss the matter further. However, once at the cafe, the argument takes a turn. A deeper conflict between the characters is revealed. Showing little respect for the biker, the driver challenges his adversary. The subsequent conversation evolves into a play of control and manipulation.
Haunting the Haunted
John Gigrich – 6:05 – Minneapolis, MN – Best Short Film
The crew of a haunted house try to find a teenage trouble making ghost, even though they’re not sure if she’ll talk their ears off or rip their limbs off.