Best of Fest Film Festival starts tonight

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Click to enlarge or view at www.eurekacommunityinitiative.com

Click to enlarge or view at www.eurekacommunityinitiative.com

A ONE YEAR LEASE
(USA) (11 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
Ahhh, renting an apartment in New York City, tiny, challenging spaces coupled with enormous rents are to be expected. The most eccentric of landlords directly above you with an itchy speed-dial finger? perhaps not as common. Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita the Cat-loving landlady. Sometimes the calls NOT coming from inside the house, BUT from the apartment upstairs, can be just as scary or, well, just downright bizarre.

AMERICA’S FIRST ALL WOMEN TOWN COUNCIL
(USA) (18 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
At a time when women’s suffrage was being debated and fought for on a national level, the election of an All Women Town Council in a small, rural Utah town began as a prank. A few men in the community thought it would be a good joke to ask the citizens of Kanab, Utah to vote for an all woman ticket. One of the men said, “I’m tired of hearing all the women complain, so they might as well run things.” As circumstances would have it, they ran unopposed and were elected on November 11, 1911. They were sworn into office on January 2, 1912 and fulfilled their term of office until January 2, 1914. They served with honor, dignity and accomplished many needed improvements, having the support of their husbands and the community.

BEYOND THE DIVIDE
(USA) (85 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

Set in the vast, mountainous beauty of Montana, Beyond the Divide is a feature-length documentary film about war, peace, and the courage to find common ground.
Beyond the Divide follows Dan, a Vietnam veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Betsy, a peace advocate struggling with rejection by veterans, and their community’s reaction to the mysterious graffiti peace symbol that inflames decades of animosity between veterans and peace advocates. Beyond the Divide has the power to inspire viewers to consider a choice: will we accept the ever-increasing culture of polarization as inevitable or will we create a different future by choosing to focus on what we have in common instead of on what divides us?

BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES
(USA, India) (97 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

As India, host of the 2011 World Cup of Cricket, begins its campaign to win the Cup after a 28-year drought, three ordinary Indians seek their salvation/escape from a difficult life through their passion for cricket – Sudhir, a penniless superfan who cycles across India to cheer the team; Prithvi, a 12-year old boy wonder who is a cricket prodigy; and Akshaya, a girl cricketer from Mumbai’s slums. We follow Sudhir to see what drives the man who has renounced so much, including marriage, for his dream of cheering Team India forever; Akshaya as she competes in the trials for selection to the Mumbai Women’s Team, and Prithvi as he copes with the unique pressures of being a cricket phenom in a cricket-crazy nation.

CATALINA ISLAND
(USA) (22 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
A film about the unique ecosystem and conservation strategies on Catalina Island, told through the eyes of its unique species.

FAREWELL TO HOLLYWOOD
(USA) (90 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

A nonfiction fairytale about love, death, art, holding on, and letting go.

GARWIN
(USA) (68 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

Garwin is a feature length documentary film about a scientist who brought us everything from the hydrogen bomb to the touch screen. Described by Enrico Fermi as the only true genius he ever met, our protagonist Richard Garwin, has advised every president since Eisenhower. He was part of an elite group of scientists who were asked to help solve the gulf oil spill and the Japanese nuclear disaster. In this verite documentary we delve into the rich and controversial life of Garwin and attempt to understand the complex nature of war peace and humanity from people who make profound decisions. Meeting scientists, historians and politicians we go in search of what it really means to build a more peaceful, verdant and sustainable world.

HERD IN ICELAND
(Iceland, USA) (28 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
For over 1,000 years, Icelandic law has made it illegal to import horses onto the island. For that reason, Icelandic horses are a pure breed, isolated by oceanic borders. During the summer months, the horses live a remote and wild existence, grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Every September, they are rounded up by local farmers and directed across the rugged terrain to reunite with their owners. It’s a breathtaking tradition that unites the country. Herd in Iceland, a film by Lindsay Blatt and Paul Taggart, documents the annual horse round-up. The result is a unique and moving portrait of Iceland’s people, horses, and stunning landscape.

INTO THE CANYONS
(USA) (20 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
Into the Canyons is a coming of age portrait of two first-time Wilderness Volunteer Rangers living, working, and exploring Zion National Park.

MOO
(USA) (8 min): STUDENT FILM IN COMPETITION
Is the nostalgic family farm a thing of the past? Is it inevitably becoming obsolete, strong-armed out of operation by large corporate farms? Maybe, but if so, no one has told the Westendorps. Their small, family dairy farm is a successful producer of milk and ice cream. In fact, they recently won the 2012 Best Ice Cream Parlor in Michigan Award. This family does what their grandparents did a long time ago, but in a very different way! Moo: A Documentary explores the significance of family farms, what technology has to contribute, and the process of making milk and ice cream that results in a delicious product that can be enjoyed by their community.

MY FATHER’S HIGHWAY
(USA) (60 min): FEATURE FILM IN COMPETITION
This films tells the story about the route from Los Angeles northward – U.S. Interstate 15 which crosses a section of rugged, high mountain Mojave Desert in the extreme northwest portion of Arizona. It then continues north to the Arizona/Utah border past St. George, Utah. This portion of I-15 was completed in 1973 at the cost of more than $61 million or $100 an inch. To this day it represents the most expensive and spectacular engineering feat in the history of the United States Interstate Highway System. The road winds through the Virgin River Gorge, at times only 150 wide with 2000 ft. cliffs towering on either side, revealing breathtaking scenic beauty and taking the traveler through a 500 million year geological era. This films tells the epic story of how this road was built and the people who overcame every challenge, even death, to make sure it happened.

MY SHANGHAI
(USA) (56 min): FEATURE FILM IN COMPETITION
Growing up fast in 1930s Shanghai, the ‘Paris of the Orient,’ Virginia Lumsdaine McCutcheon was imprisoned by the Japanese in World War II. Her memory sharp as shrapnel, Virginia, 92, unveils a provocative story of love, loss, art, and the art of survival in this portrait documentary.

POVERTY, INC.
(USA) (99 min): FEATURE FILM IN COMPETITION
Work in Progress Pre-screening

The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of the development narrative. But the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and developing world leaders have become increasingly vocal in calling for change.
Drawing on perspectives gathered from over 150 interviews shot over 4 years in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. explores the hidden side of doing good.
From disaster relief to TOMs Shoes, from adoptions to agricultural subsidies, Poverty, Inc. follows the butterfly effect of our most well-intentioned efforts and pulls back the curtain on the poverty industrial complex – the multi-billion dollar market of NGOs, multilateral agencies, and for-profit aid contractors.
Are we catalyzing development or are we propagating a system in which the poor stay poor while the rich get hipper?

PRIMA
(USA) (58 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION
Prima is a portrait of Larissa Ponomarenko, Prima Ballerina of the Boston Ballet. Through flashbacks to her journey from the childhood and difficult training in Russia to her emergence as the prima ballerina of Boston Ballet, the film captures the vitality and beauty of her dance. It is a story of hard work and determination, of devotion to the arts, and of an extraordinary dancer’s transition from the stage, to her new life as mentor for aspiring dancers who follow in her footsteps. After dancing Russian classic ballet, Larissa pushes the boundaries, displaying the soulful exuberance of dance. Her body language tells her deep personal story in a most beautiful and unconventional manner, the story of the ordinary life of one extra-ordinary person.

ROAMING WILD
(USA) (64 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

Roaming Wild is a modern day Western about the federal government’s controversial wild horse round ups, and a cowboy, an activist, and a mountain man searching for solutions to protect life and land.

SEE: AN ART ROAD TRIP
(USA) (74 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

SEE had its world premiere at Camden International Film Festival 2013. In the film, artists Bo Bartlett and Betsy Eby set off to make a film about seeing. They travel the country, stumbling upon art sites, characters and luminaries. But then the unexpected happens, sending their adventure into unforeseen territory, and the clear becomes unclear. The visible world, a strain to see. A moving meditation, SEE delivers the beauty of America through the eyes of two artists, determined to see art in the everyday. The movie invites us to open our eyes anew and see the beauty and wonder in the world around us.

SOLAR MAMAS
In partnership with Oman Film Society
(Jordan) (58 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

Rafea has never left her tiny village of tents in Jordan. Now she is traveling to India to become a solar-energy engineer, in hopes she can return and help her village to become sustainable and self-sufficient.

SRIRACHA
(USA) (33 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
Sriracha has earned a cult following, but the story of this spicy sauce is a mystery to most fans. Dedicated to Sriracha lovers, this fast-paced documentary travels around the globe to reveal its origin and the man behind the iconic ‘rooster sauce.’

THE SAX MAN
(USA) (84 min): FEATURE IN COMPETITION

An aging, down-and-out street musician finds renewed purpose when he gets a surprise opportunity to play the big stage for the first time in 40 years.

TRAIN OF PEARLS
(Germany) (14 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
Friday evening, Berlin station. In the train to Poland, cleaning and household helps crowd on their way home. It’s a journey between two worlds. From anonymous cleaning ladies they transform suddenly into confident women, main bread-earner of the family. They are neither at home, nor at work, they are amongst themselves. Nowhere they can talk more open and private, than with a glass of sparkling wine on a long train ride through Western Pomerania.

WHITE EARTH
(USA) (20 min): SHORT IN COMPETITION
A winter portrait of North Dakota’s oil boom as seen through unexpected eyes.

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