2020 FILMS A-B Go to DocsNow+ Sept. 25


6 min. |  France | Retrospective


Otalia Caussé

In Lisbon, a German married couple is about to get aboard the legendary n°28 tramway, but how does someone react when the brakes are suddenly gone and you are about to embark on a wild, breathtaking race... with a baby on board?

Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes

68 min.  |  USA  | World Premiere


Olympia Stone

Admired by artists ranging from Salvador Dali to Chuck Close, Richard Estes is a humble icon of modern art. Despite having avoided media attention throughout his long career, he has been called the “king of photorealism,” a movement he helped launch in the late 1960s. Now age 87, he is ready to reveal the techniques and inspiration behind his art.


10 min. |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


Remington Long

Bonnie Ohara is a mother, artist, and founder of a one-woman cottage micro bakery offering handcrafted sourdough bread in the old world tradition. Friendship, poetry, and a little bit of magic are all a part of the community built around Bonnie and the Alchemy Bread Co., located in downtown Modesto, in the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley.

48 Hours With Muhammad Ali

16 min. |  USA |  West Coast Premiere


Daniel Glynn

In July 1974, photojournalist Peter Angelo Simon got a loud knock on his hotel room door at 4.30 am. "Grab your pants and your camera. The Champ is running," said a gruff voice from behind the door. The Champ in question was Muhammad Ali & Peter's assignment was to go deep into the inner circle of perhaps the most famous man on the planet at that time.Screenings dedicated in memory of D.A. Pennebaker.


12 min. |  USA  |  US Premiere


Ryan Rundle

As a 33-year-old Bulgarian-born swimmer, Mihail (Mike) Alexandrov had spent the majority of his life in the pool, surpassing the lifespan of most professional swimmers. But despite a strong mind, the body knows its own age. Here, we follow the struggle of an aging athlete to reconcile the inevitability of retirement while training for a spot on the Olympic team for Tokyo 2020.

The Alchemy of Mountains

3 min.  |  Belgium  |  US Premiere


Anna-Maria Montonen

This short illustrative animation features some bizarrely humorous dialogue with ones self about the effects mountaineering can have on a person's mind and body. It seeks to highlight awareness around women's mental health and well-being, and to centers on outdoor-adventure sports among women, a proven factor in increasing both physical and mental health.

605 Adults, 304 Children

14 min.  |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Michael Mahaffie

An immersive and intimate documentary filmed entirely by The Peoples Temple in Jonestown. In the 1970s, a religious group of people followed their leader to Guyana. Together, they built a new community full of life and love. It seemed like a utopia that no one wanted to leave. In the end, 605 adults and 304 children never did.


64 min. | Australia | Palm Springs Premiere


Emma Balnaves

Offering an experiential collage of action and stillness, light and darkness, sound and silence, we explore the richness of traditional Hatha Yoga teachings and the deeply connected states of heart, mind, and freedom delivered to sincere truth seekers. This is a reconnecting of the human spirit to the true meaning of "yug," the connecting root of all yogas.

All I Have To Offer You Is Me

13 min. |  USA  |  California Premiere


Dillon Hayes

In 1990, Larry Callies was an aspiring country-western singer on the verge of signing a record deal with MCA Nashville. But when he developed a degenerative vocal cord disease that took his voice and ended his singing career, Larry had to start over completely. In this film, we follow Larry as he finds his voice again.

Almost 40

Filmed and edited exclusively using an iPhone 8 Plus, this film captures the beauty of America during this first-time director's cross-country road trip, mostly on Route 40.

17 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Mike Monroe

The Animator

An animator takes his anger out on the source of his frustration... his puppets. (Note: This screening is adult-themed and contains horror scenes that may not be suitable for children.)

2 min.  |  USA  | Palm Springs Premiere


Trent Shy

Asteroid Season

In a lonesome frozen land, a feisty hermit lives a charmed life, but catastrophic change waits just around the corner to transform her environment and change her outlook. When an enormous asteroid arrives overhead, her sheltered reality faces a cosmic shake-up. In the course of losing the world she knows, the hermit just might find the companionship she’s always hoped for.

4 min. |  Canada  |  Palm Desert Premiere


Earthstar Smith


Filmmaker Georgie Yukiko Donovan explores the story of the Ama divers - the last of Japan's 'women of the sea' and their fight to preserve their 3,000 year old way of life.

15 min. |  UK, Japan |  California Premiere


Georgie Y. Donovan

Are You Recording?

A fly-on-the-wall display of lives changing, and time passing, told through an unanswered question.

3 min. |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Cruz Moore


Residing in the Bronx for 50 years, Julio has seen the highs and lows of his neighborhood. But in 1995, the U.N. held their 50th Anniversary. While the Mayor at the time invited most of the world leaders to various dinners and events, Julio decided to have a dinner of his own and invite Fidel Castro to his Sierra Maestra.

12 min.  |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Jorge Gomez

America's Finest Ambassadors

Since World War I, American servicemen and women, after fighting a war and sometimes even during a war, truly became "America's Finest Ambassadors." The interaction with children by servicemen and women helped relieve some of their hunger, their longing for love and attention, plus often filled their need for medical assistance as well.

60 min.  |  USA  |  Palm Desert Premiere


George Ciampa

Ashes To Ashes

Winfred Rembert, the only living survivor of a lynching, a Star Wars fanatic, and leather artist, develops a friendship with Doctor Shirley Jackson Whitaker who is on a mission to memorialize the forgotten 4,000 African Americans lynched during the Jim Crow era. Together, their journeys of healing intertwine.

25 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


T. Rees, R. Ozturk

Baby Hers

A short film that explores the innate love and universal bond between all mothers and their children, and questions whether even the best queso in Texas is enough of a reason to tear the two apart.

15 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Susan Rosenzweig

Ballet After Dark

19 min. |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


Barbara K. Asare-Bediako

Real people. Real stories. Real lives. This short documentary combines the realness of cinéma vérité and videologue with the sometimes imaginary world of social media and animation to follow the journey of a trauma survivor’s attempt to create a healing space in present day Baltimore.

Beyond The Sky

17 min. |  Spain  |  US Premiere


Andrei Zakow

An immersive journey through the crowds and chaos, and drama and dust of the Giant Kite festival in Santiago Sacatepéquez and Sumpango, Guatemala. 'Beyond The Sky' (Más Allá Del Cielo) shows us how devoted teams fight together to send their massive creations into the sky and make safe passage for the honored spirits allowed to return only on this day.

The Bird & The Whale

7 min. |  Ireland  |  Palm Desert Premiere


Carol Freeman

This a story about a young whale struggling to find his voice. After straying too far from his family to explore a shipwreck, he discovers its sole survivor is a caged songbird. Together they struggle to survive, lost at sea.

Behind The Paradise

30 min. |  Ecuador |  California Premiere


Alain Chaviano Aldonza

During the last centuries, our technical and technological development has transformed the environment as never seen before. Looking for comfort, we have covered the ground with asphalt, disconnecting ourselves from an essential part of our nature, the Earth. However, there are still places where you can get that connection with our life, culture and history.


17 min. |  Spain  |  US Premiere


Ana Puentes Margarito

Nuria wants to volunteer in an immigration ONG. She must take care of Pape, Chiaka and Salif, three boys her age. But Nuria can't communicate with them and they don't trust anyone. Frustrated, she decides to leave, but while doing so, the real connection and discovery of each other happens. After this, their lives will never be the same.


10 min.  |  Germany  |  SoCal Premiere


Christoph Sarow

Vast plains, colorful scenery, a red dog that seems to reach into the sky. This is how Tom experiences summer in Blieschow, his grandfather’s farm. He feels overwhelmed by the exuberance of nature and finds himself in a constant competition with his cousin, who is seemingly better at everything. Envy starts to grow in little Tom. 


14 min.  |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Casey Skinner

Sometimes therapists, life coaches, and psychiatrists are actually worse off than their patients.  This film is about those people.  Four self-centered shrinks attempt to help everyone with their flaws, while being completely blind to their own. With zero self-awareness, these four often turn a minor inconvenience into a full-on crisis.

Bigger Than Life

30 min. | Germany | Palm Desert Premiere


Adnan Softic

In Skopje, the capital of Northern Macedonia, the government wants to fabricate national history - with a monumental building plan worth over 80 million Euros. Does it sell? Do we believe the city to be the origin of Europe and its cradle of ancient high civilization as they try to stage it? Who has the power to construct history? A music film in four acts.

Borneo's Vanishing Tribes

23 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Kent Wagner

In the forests of Borneo, a native community struggles to protect its ancestral homeland from an industry poised to destroy one of the Earth’s oldest and most bio-diverse rainforests. Borneo's Vanishing Tribes offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are most at risk, the Dayak "people of the forest," who have relied on the forests for thousands of years.

Breaking The Chain

14 min.  |  Australia  |  West Coast Premiere


Neel Parekh

It’s a fate far worse than death for countless animals: a life sentence of isolation and deprivation, without love, respect, or even basic care. Their only hope is the Community Animal Project, a dedicated field team fighting on the front lines against a national epidemic of animal overpopulation and neglect.

Broken Words

9 min.  |  USA  | West Coast Premiere


Eric Scott Fisher

An exploration of the importance of language through dark humor and satirical characters, we see it all here: from the regret of words unspoken, to the corruption of words through political rhetoric and nationalism, and ultimately, how dangerous that rhetoric can be - and has been - on culture, social justice, and human history.


1 min. |  USA  |  Palm Desert Premiere


Xi (Jake) Wang

In the mysterious cave, the butterfly meets the Butterfly Man, who is the combination of many other butterflies. They dance until they are all on fire and blown away by the wind.

Brewed In Palestine

14 min.  |  Australia  |  West Coast Premiere


Emma Schwartz

This intimate portrait of the Taybeh Brewery in Palestine, the first craft brewery on the West Bank, reveals the daily realities of one resourceful Palestinian family living and working under Israeli occupation.

The Burning Man Fantasia

47 min. |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Jeff Marx, Andrew Hawkins

Brave the dust and come see the Playa Pops Symphony Orchestra perform at The Temple and at Center Camp. Shot at Burning Man 2018 with 10 dusty Insta360 cameras. classical music and contemporary songs intermingle with Playa magic and editing mayhem. Bring your goggles and drink a lot of water.

Bright Lights

14 min.  |  Australia  |  West Coast Premiere


Charby Ibrahim

63-year-old ‘Sharon’ has been addicted to poker machine gambling since those machines first arrived in Australia in 1992. A 25-year addiction to this form of gambling has cost her almost everything... and very nearly her life, in this short, fully-animated documentary, voiced by Claudia Karvan.

But Honey, You Look Fine

10 min. | Australia | US Premiere


Jennifer Leonforte

We follow along with Gabby as she takes  the first, important steps to recovery in a long, lifetime battle with Bulimia. Among the levels of examination in the film are societal conditioning that may have caused the situation to develop in the first place.

© 2020 by American Documentary and Animation Film Festival. All rights reserved.