The doors are closed. There are no more screenings of this film.
Synopsis: 1. Closing Time / Hector Perez-Aguilar & Ryan Johnson / USA / Animation / 5 min.
“When an obnoxious truck driver makes a late-night stop at a middle of nowhere gas station and stays past the store’s closing time, he quickly learns that choosing which snack to buy is the least of his worries.”
2. Cloudy Man / Shahin Jalali / Iran / Foreign Language / 21 min.
“A man with a shaky hand faces unexpected events.”
3. Split Ends / Alireza Kazemipour / Iran / Social Justice / 14 min.
“A bald girl and a young boy with long hair whose car has been confiscated due to lack of proper hijab are trying to solve their problem with the Tehran Morality Police without having to pay a fine.”
4. Out of Order / Mason Gillard / USA / Student / 5 min.
“A starving survivor in an apocalyptic wasteland struggles to stay alive and must gather enough currency to use a vending machine.”
5. Psycho / Mostafa Davtalab / Iran Drama / 15 min.
“A couple, a young woman and her mentally-ill husband, takes a cab to a psychiatric hospital.”
6. Painter / Mohsen Afshar / Iran / Drama / 16 min.
“Three people are trapped in a broken elevator and are looking for a way out, unaware that they have reached their final destination. (Adaptation of the elevator play written by Gérard Levoyer.)”
7. Duplicitous Minds / Robert Rippberger / USA / Drama / 17 min.
“This film is a crime thriller/drama about the mysterious world of magic, a journey of hypnotism, heists, illusions and fun with many thrilling twists and turns.”
1. CLOSING TIME / none available
2. CLOUDY MAN / none available
3. SPLIT ENDS / “Split Ends is about the confrontation of young Iranian boys and girls with the law of mandatory hijab and the Iranian Morality Police that is responsible for enforcing this law. In recent years, the Iranian women’s movement has taken steps against the compulsory hijab, paying a high price for their protests under “The Girls of Enqhelab Street” movement and “The White Wednesdays” movement which has been met with a strong response from the Iranian government. Women who took off their headscarves in the streets to protest the forced hijab were punished with severe prison sentences and floggings.
This confrontation has brought about great political costs for the government. Therefore, the regime resorted to various ways to put pressure on women opposed to the hijab, including controlling the hijab through traffic cameras and sending tickets to the car owners’ phones, and confiscating their vehicles. This act can easily set common people against each other. Now, taxi drivers and ordinary men think they should give hijab warnings respectively to their female passengers and their female companions. Hence men have involuntarily become a tool to enforce the rule.
As the father of a teenage girl, I am often asked by my daughter, “Why do girls have to cover their heads? Who passed the Hijab Law in the first place? Why did you not protest?” In my head, I have always been looking for convincing answers to those questions, and when I heard the story of a friend who, despite being a man, albeit with long hair, had received a ticket for not observing hijab in his car, the idea of making this film sparked in my head. I wrote the script in collaboration with my wife, Solmaz Mortezavand. We also did the production together. In the directing process, I tried to emulate a completely realistic setting and provide a realistic picture of the situation, and particularly of the Morality Police station. To depict the psychological pressure that the two main characters had to endure, I used telephoto lenses and versatile camera angles to shrink the space between people. There are almost no wide angles in the first two-thirds of the film. I only used the open view after the boy and the girl left the police station and decided to protest in an attempt to show their freedom despite all the control and repression.”
4. OUT OF ORDER / “As I continue to develop my technical abilities, I hope to better express my creativity.”
5. PSYCHO / none available
6. PAINTER / “When you are at the end of life, you have no choice but to face the truth.”
7. DUPLICITOUS MINDS / “The entire film is structured like a long form magic trick with hidden clues, symbols and meanings. The theme of the movie is the choice between love (The Queen of Hearts) and power (The Ace). The dichotomy of one man’s lust for power (Ace of Spades) and one man’s loyalty to love (Queen of Hearts) propels our lead into a labyrinth of traversing a heart torn in two. It’s a battle between traditional magic vs digital magic as a Magician and the Artist (a crooked businessman) team up for a heist that turns into a magic trick and an illusion onto itself.
The film opens with The Magician performing on stage with The Assistant. The Magician shows the audience how magic works by manipulating the Ace to the top of a pile of cards where every card he turns over becomes an Ace. After revealing the trick, he then magically turns the Queen of Hearts into an Ace right before their eyes.
Behind the scenes, the Magician is in a love relationship with the Assistant. A mysterious man enters the magic parlor and introduces trouble to the couple. The mysterious man who calls himself “The Artist” offers the Magician a deal. The Magician ultimately decides to do a heist job for the Artist to obtain a valuable painting.
It is revealed that the Artist works in the surveillance business and is able to manipulate CCTV cameras for his benefit. In twist of events, it is revealed that The Assistant has been working for the Artist the entire time, with the plan being a setup to steal valuable diamonds hidden behind the painting and to have The Magician take the fall for the heist. The Artist flaunts his power and control over the Assistant through his usage of blackmail video surveillance. But in the end, the tables are turned and the audience learns that The Magician and The Assistant were really in control the entire time.
Just like the beginning of the magic trick, the Magician had turned his queen into the ace and they both disappear into the sunset with the money and diamonds from the heist.”
1. CLOSING TIME / none available
2. CLOUDY MAN / “I am an independent filmmaker from Iran. I was attracted to cinema since I was a child, I directed my first film even before studying cinema at the university. After that I found my way in the field of cinema. Then I studied B.A and M.A in cinema. After graduation from the university I worked on many projects as director, editor and writer. Also I hosted many workshops in the field of cinema, screenwriting and film direction.”
3. SPLIT ENDS / “Alireza Kazemipour, is a multi-awarded Iranian-Canadian screenwriter, director, and producer. He has gained his master’s degree in Film directing from the faculty of art at the University of Tehran in 2010 and directed his first short film “Slowness”. He made his second film “The Blue Bed” in 2020 and it has been selected and screened for more than 60 Film festivals around the world including the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2020, Elche Independent Film Festival 2020, and Palencia International Film Festival, and has been received 15 awards and 14 nominations, including the Best Director Award from the Vancouver Short Film Festival. Recently, he has directed a documentary feature film “Margin vs. Center” (2021), and a short movie “Split Ends” (2021) that will be released soon. Social justice, women’s rights, and immigrant issues are his concerns.”
4. OUT OF ORDER / “Mason Gillard was born and raised in Georgia and has worked in the film industry since 2018. He is an editor and VFX enthusiast currently working at a VFX house in Atlanta.”
5. PSYCHO / “Born in 1991 in Iran, Mostafa Davtalab is a scriptwriter, film editor and a short film director. He holds a M.A in Cinema. He’s also alumni of Iranian Young Cinema Society where he was trained as a professional filmmaker. He made his debut short film ‘Psycho’ in 2021.”
6. PAINTER / “I have been working in cinema since 2009. Bachelor of Cinema Directingٍ
Director/Producer/Editor, episodefilm CEO.”
7. DUPLICITOUS MINDS / “Robert Rippberger is a filmmaker with a broad array of creative and executive experience. He most recently directed and produced the Harlem drama, ‘Strive,’ with Danny Glover released theatrically and through AMC’s Urban Movie Channel, as well as the war on drugs documentary, ‘Public Enemy Number One’ from Executive Producer Ice-T.
In 2016, Robert directed/produced the documentary “7 Days in Syria,” a look at the human side of the war in Aleppo. The film was championed by Angelina Jolie, screened at Britain’s House of Lords, to senior members of the U.N., and was released on Hulu and Amazon.
Robert went on to executive produce with Jason Blum the feature doc, “Alive & Kicking.” The film was sold to Magnolia Films after its debut at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival where it received a Grand Jury nomination. The film is available on Netflix.
In 2006, Robert formed the production company SIE Films, a philosophy term used to describe a disclosing of truth, with a view to make entertaining and impactful films for mass audiences. He was the 2012 recipient of the Dan Eldon Activist Award.
Robert received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from UC, Berkeley in 2012 where he was awarded the Eisner Prize for his film “In the Middle.” It is considered the highest achievement in the creative arts given on the UC, Berkeley campus. Across animation, documentaries, features, music videos, and commercials, Robert has extensive experience from development to delivery throughout North America and Europe. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America and is on the PGA’s Social Impact Entertainment Task Force. In addition to SIE Films, Robert is also president of FinalMation Studios, an animation studio founded with Ice-T and others.”