This Year’s Selected Films
The 2018 Awards and nominations for 2018 are in!
Click the button below to see the selections!
2018 Film Festival CategoriesPick a category to skip down to films entered in that category
Student Film Block
FRIDAY – 6pm
2018 | Student Film Block | Mitchell Keeran | 10:35 | Forest City, IA
An enthusiastic freshman, Sidney, is excited to be joining a sorority called Sigma Kappa. The girls love Sidney, but insist that she go through the same initiation that everyone else did to get into the sisterhood; by attempting to summon the ghost of a bullied girl who died years ago at the college.
2018 | Student Film Block | Connor Aden | 12:17 | Quad Cities, IA
When a struggling college student encounters a strange magical being, she unwittingly makes a deal that has serious repercussions.
2018 | Student Film Block | Stephanie O’Brien | 18:51 | Bernardsville, NJ
A mockumentary that follows two groups of students as they create their first short films for their college film class.
2018 | Student Film Block | Patrick Burns | 8:01 | Muscatine, IA
Friendship and how it changes Post Graduation
FRIDAY – 7:30pm
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Codey Allen | 6:14 | Muscatine, IA
Chad, after his office shift, walks to his car when he discovers that someone may be stalking him. His night of drug usage turns into a night of terror as he wakes up in an abandoned house in the middle of no where.
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Michael Huntington | 9:55 | Coralville, IA
A sadistic serial killer is virtually stalking his prey. Not even going offline can save you.
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | John Gigrich | 10:19 | Minneapolis, MN
A con artist ignores the advice of her mentor and tries to con her high school rival, but the tables are turned when their mark threatens to turn them in unless they help her commit a crime.
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Carl Busch | 7:30 | Dubuque, IA
After a one night stand, two people become inexplicably connected to each other.
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Ian Kevin Scott | 14:05 | New York, NY
An epic transformation manifests from a seemingly routine interview. A failed everyman begins working through pages and pages of questions. As time begins to elongate, the man finds himself tormented and more and more isolated. He battles the unknown ultimately transcending into a heightened reality, discovering a new life existing between multiple worlds, both familiar and otherworldly.
Low Self Esteem
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Mikeal Burgin | 3:25 | Mt. Vernon, IA
Ellie is caught in the middle of an ongoing tryst with a man who is already committed to another woman. Suffering from a poor opinion of herself already, Ellie decides to end the relationship on the advice of her counselor. Unfortunately, Ellie may have misunderstood exactly what “ending it” truly means.
2018 | Murder & Mayhem | Charlie Gandez | 7:48 | Forest City, IA
Dr. Gregory Knight, a university psychiatrist, listens to a student tell her experience with the apparitions that she sees during sleep paralysis. It isn’t until later that Dr. Knight sees an eerie connection between the students’ story and her missing roommates’ similar experience detailed in a previous counseling session. But by the time he makes the connection, it very well may be too late to save anyone.
After Noon Short Film Block
SATURDAY – 12:30pm
A Patriot Act
2018 | After Noon Short Film Block | Yousef Assabahi | 14:59 | Los Angeles, CA
A Patriot Act is a thriller, dramatic story which unmasks the moving parts behind an FBI terrorism sting operation set in a post-9/11 America. Set in Los Angeles, Saleem and Hamada—two Yemeni immigrants, close friends, and roommates—struggle to contain themselves after an American drone hits Saleem’s house in Yemen. While Saleem works in a grocery store, Hamada—a former drug dealer—is an FBI informant.
2018 | After Noon Short Film Block | Kevin Isaacson | 27:02 | Manly, IA
A troubled teenage girl, struggling with the death of her father, must help three spirits with their unfinished business on earth.
2018 | After Noon Short Film Block | Marc Bauer | 28:41 | Marion, IA
A rock radio DJ must fight against his station’s corporate interest when they force changes to his show.
Comedy Film Block
SATURDAY – 2pm
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Nick Austin | 35:00 | Muscatine, IA
When Mark, your average introverted nice guy, finds himself stuck with a unique new roommate, he must rely on a Mutual Friend to keep his sanity.
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Matt Wagner | 8:23 | Oskaloosa, IA
Two young friends gear up and go on an epic adventure behind enemy lines.
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Grigoriy Mironov | 6:22 | Canada
A waiter is trying to open the bottle of wine for a long time.
When he succeeds he doesn’t give this bottle to the client. So the client gets angry and they try to hurt each other.
Just A Tic
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Russ Meyer | 5:59 | New Prague, MN
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and a wind generator mechanic believes this even applies apocalyptically to windmills.
Voice of Reason
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Alexander Dingeman | 3:40 | IA
A Catholic schoolboy becomes possessed by a demon.
My Favorite Forehead
2018 | Comedy Film Block | John Akre | 3:19 | Minneapolis, MN
Prominent foreheads get in the way of some serious smooching.
2018 | Comedy Film Block | Siqi Xiao | 13:35 | Hollywood, CA
Thinky constantly lip syncs his music, so an irritated god makes the singer fart uncontrollably. But eventually Thinky learns his lesson and begins to use his fart as a superpower.
Baker Film Block
SATURDAY – 4pm
Man In Purple
2018 | Baker Film Block | Chad T Bishop | 50:00 | Muscatine, Iowa
Man in Purple tells the story of the one and only Norman G. Baker. Baker was born in Muscatine and raised to be an entrepreneur from an early age. Norman was known for the fantastic nature of his plans and inventions, including calliaphones, radio stations, and finding a cure for cancer. His “cure” for cancer was an attack on the standard medical practices of his era and an early pre-cursor to holistic wellness practices and alternative illness treatments. The man was a fascinating piece of history, who made waves on the radio that were a precursor to modern-day personalities, such as Howard Stern.
You couldn’t make up this story if you tried…
This film was partially funded through a grant from Humanities Iowa.
This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Evening Short Film Block
SATURDAY – 7:00PM
Witches of Wonder
2018 | Evening Short Film Block | John Gigrich | 6:33 | Minneapolis, MN
Two young witches must figure out how to rescue their younger sister after they accidentally send her back in time.
2018 | Evening Short Film Block | Marissa Vonn | 16:04 | San Francisco, CA
Ellie, a teen from deep in the heart of Texas, is in trouble. Her future, her family, and her life are all on the line and she is willing to do anything to protect them. With the help of her new found friend, Raena, Ellie pursues her right to live life on her terms.
Café of the Mobile Gods
2018 | Evening Short Film Block | Brian Rossi | 6:35
Human nature prevails as separate groups find a common dependence.
The Secret Lives of Teachers
2018 | Evening Short Film Block | Aaron Seever | 11:52 | Mesa, AZ
A romantic story about two eccentric teachers who find love and each other through a shared passion for a very unique hobby.
I am Here
2018 | Evening Short Film Block | Nick Busch | Davenport, IA | 3:00
A man and a woman confess their deepest regrets.
Iowan Doc Block
SUNDAY – 11:30am
Through My Eyes
2018 | Iowan Doc Block | Keaton Fuller | 28:40 | Iowa City, IA
A disability simulation documentary in which individuals with disabilities guide able-bodied people through an afternoon in their shoes to gain an understanding and appreciation for the challenges they overcome each day.
The Retirement of Mr. Jones
2018 | Iowan Doc Block | Matt Townley | 17:01 | Sioux City, IA
A year-long retrospective about Mark Jones, longtime Director of Bands in the Fort Calhoun, Nebraska school district as he struggles with his decision to retire after a 36-year-tenure.
How I Saw It
2018 | Iowan Doc Block | Rob Erwin | 23:09 | Bettendorf, IA
Best-selling travel author, Rob Erwin, sets out on his next great adventure… exploring some of the most desolate and awe-inspiring stretches of America, on his way from Chicago to the Pacific Coast.
2018 | Iowan Doc Block | Thomas Johnson | 7:15 | Decorah, IA
Marieke explores the life and craft of Marieke Penterman, acclaimed Dutch Gouda cheesemaker from Thorp, Wisconsin.
Flat Egg Cream Doc Block
SUNDAY – 1:30pm
2018 | Flat Egg Cream Doc Block | Barry Thornburg | 29:00 | Denton, TX
Quirky, subversive, and unsettling; FLAT! explores the conspiratorial anti-intellectual movement that has taken hold in our country and beyond from the perspective of a man who has dived head first into it, and examines how the world reacts.
2018 | Flat Egg Cream Doc Block | Peter Miller & Nora Claire Miller | 15:12 | New York, NY
EGG CREAM is a short meditation on the enduring meaning of a beloved chocolate soda drink born in Jewish immigrant neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century. The egg cream contained neither eggs nor cream – it was a product of necessity and hardship, but a source of joy and sweetness. Through and a tour of egg cream establishments led by a filmmaker and his young daughter, exhaustively researched archival imagery, and even a song by Lou Reed, the film examines the Jewish experience in America and the mythology of a simpler time.
Muscatine Doc Block
SUNDAY – 2:30pm
Pathway From Poverty
2018 | Muscatine Doc Block | MCC | 35:35 | Muscatine, IA
A documentary that follows the progress of residents at Muscatine Iowa’s community homeless shelter who were awarded a unique opportunity to overcome their financial deficits… traveling down the “Pathway from Poverty”.
Stan and Helen Howe: MCC Legends
2018 | Muscatine Doc Block | MCC | 19:10 | Muscatine, IA
A tribute to Stan and Helen Howe who were philanthropists from Muscatine Iowa.
Chinese/US Documentary Block
SUNDAY – 4pm
2018 | Chinese/US Documentary Block | Malcolm Clarke | 90:00 | Los Angeles, CA
Five years in the making, BETTER ANGELS is the untold story of the true potential of the US-China relationship. Culled from 850 hours of footage shot across four continents, BETTER ANGELS explores how the world’s two largest superpowers are racing towards economic and political conflict, yet each finds themselves undeniably linked and interdependent by the new reality of global economic rivalries and cultural ties.