2020 FILMS C-E Go to DocsNow+ Sept. 25

A Call From Yesterday

Leart Rama, Redon Kikaj

A married father of two leaves his family in the countryside to finish college in Prishtina alone. The war in Kosovo catches him unprepared, and he cannot reunite with his family. As months pass, he calls home but hears nothing except a ring tone. Isolated, the only thing that keeps his mind from racing is a pen and a notebook.

17 min. |  Kosovo  | US Premiere


The Case

Vera Krichevskaya

A deep look inside the world of Vladimir Putin’s patron, Anatoly Sobchak, the first ever mayor of St. Petersburg, with narration by his daughter, Ksenia.

108 min.  |  Russia  | US Premiere



Cullen Parr

Myron Dyal is a California artist who has temporal lobe epilepsy, and creates striking paintings, drawings, and sculptures inspired by the visions he has during his seizures. For decades, Myron faced abuse and hardship because of his epilepsy, and discovered art as a powerful way to work through his pain.

12 min.| USA | Southern California Premiere



Christopher Stoudt

Nestled in the woods outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Camp ALEC is a
sleepaway camp for kids who are non-speaking. Despite being smart and capable individuals in every sense, disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy, and verbal apraxia have made it impossible for these campers (and 1.3% of the total US population) to vocalize speech.

18 min. |  USA |  Palm Springs Premiere



Ivan Marković

Sava Centar is a congress space built in 1978 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, whose architecture reflects an idea of the future. Made to host thousands, it now stands almost entirely abandoned. The maintenance workers shoulder the responsibility for restoring the space.

49 min. | Serbia, Germany | US Premiere


Cherokee Chief John Ross

Joseph Erb

The animated short of Cherokee Chief John Ross's life.

6 min.  |  USA  |  Palm Desert Premiere


Carrying Tomorrow

Sarah Davis, Caleb Lucky

For women and girls in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, becoming pregnant can be a death sentence. It is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age, and could be almost entirely preventable. Here, we meet two women who defy the odds through an incredible culmination of medical professionals, governments, and communities rising together.

22 min.  |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


A Certain Kind Of Love

Richard O'Connor

Glenda fell for Lauree in small-town Georgia at a time when both women felt societal pressure to pursue traditional paths. Though fate interfered with their plans to enjoy a late-in-life reunion, Glenda never forgot what it felt like to be loved by Lauree.

3 min. | USA | West Coast Premiere


Child Of Lebensborn

Yana Alliata

As a young boy, Lars Aanning was taken by the Nazis and forced to live in a Lebensborn orphanage designed to enhance the Aryan race. After five years of being indoctrinated by Nazi ideology, a victim of kidnapping, and subjected to systemic propaganda, Lars spends his adult life reconciling his childhood trauma.

15 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Children Of The Exodus

A makeshift shelter set up in an old events hall, a cold new home for children displaced by violence in Mexico´s Tierra Caliente; their stories send shockwaves through a society blinded by indifference, as their drawings give shape and color to the same dreams of happiness that children long for everywhere.

83 min. |  Mexico  |  US Premiere


Wilma Gomez Luengo

City Of Widows

Through the lens of Hari Dasi, an elderly widow, we experience her tragic life and that of so many widows in India — being married off as a child at the young age of 11, becoming a widower as a young woman, then being cast away into a purposeless existence; disowned by her family, shunned by her culture, and stripped of all her earthly freedoms.

11 min.  |  USA  | Palm Desert Premiere


Lacey Uhlemeyer

Coffee Or Die: Resistance Radio

Veteran, author, and filmmaker Marty Skovlund travels back to Iraq after 10 years. During his travels, Marty meets the creator of a Kurdish radio station, Noor Matti, a Kurdish American who was born in Iraq, but whose family immigrated to the US after the First Gulf War. We learn how Noor created a radio station that becomes a voice of resistance during a harrowing time in Iraq.

29 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


AJ Miller

Christian's Second Shot

Christian Ulanch is a disabled Marine veteran who was on the brink of death when the art of photography gave him a second shot at life.

8 min. |  USA |  California Premiere


Kenneth Heidt

Clean With Me

On YouTube, many women film themselves cleaning homes and doing housework.

21 min. |  France  |  California Premiere


Gabrielle Stemmer

A Colourful Red

Accepting a job for a high-profile client, an amateur photographer travels to Indonesia and becomes part of a plot affecting hundreds in the freelance industry.

12 min.  |  USA  |  World Premiere


Costa Karalis, Jack Owen

Cielo E Infierno

A samurai kills for the first time, and his world is turned upside down with a feeling of shame. Looking for answers and looking for happiness, he reaches out. Will he find heaven or hell?  [Note: This film contains adult themes (graphic violence) and may not be suitable for younger viewers.].

9 min.  |  Spain  |  US Premiere


Diego Lodeiros


Technology makes life easier, but not everyone can adapt to it.

4 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Xinyue Song

The Composer

As a World War II medic writes his magnum opus, he is at the same time forced to compose himself.

7 min. |  USA  |  Palm Springs Premiere


Jason Sandri

Dafa Metti ("Difficult")

18 min. |  UK, France  |  SoCal Premiere


Tal Amiran

Under Paris' glittering Eiffel Tower, illegal Senegalese migrants sell miniature souvenirs of the monument as a means of financially supporting their families back home. Far from their loved ones and hounded by the police, each day is a struggle through darkness in the City of Lights.

Diego On My Mind

6 min.  |  Bulgaria  | World Premiere


Elizabeth Vladimirova

Mexican artist & painter Frida Kahlo is the subject here, with the inspiration being one of her self-portraits. From a panoramic view of Mexico City, to a darkened room filled with paintings and canvasses, we go deep inside Frida's thoughts and daydreams. In this colorful world, we see her reality, her loves, and her remarkable life.

Don't Feed These Animals

10 min. | Portgual | Palm Desert Premiere


G Afonso, M de Freitas

Once upon a time there was a lobotomised bunny who lived in a research laboratory. He had bi-polar personality disorder, triggered by a huge appetite for carrots. One day the bunny accidentally brings a carrot to life, but also creates something evil. Now both carrot and bunny must surpass their differences and join forces so that together they may end this threat.

David Henry Nobody Jr.

15 min. |  USA |  West Coast Premiere


Keith Aronowitz

David Henry Nobody Jr. is a New York City-based immersionist and performance artist in the art form known as "Resemblage," using body paint, found objects, motorized toys, etc., applied to his own body, creating bizarre and sometimes disturbing images  that reflect his feelings toward capitalism and the dark side of American culture.

Division Series

6 min. | Korea | North American Premiere


Ho Kwon Kim

Prime Minister Abe goes into KFC (Kennedy Fried Chicken) stores to buy chicken, only to find that the chicken is sold out. At a nearby table, presidents from various countries start playing cards to win the one remaining chicken basket.

Dream Catcher

4 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Ryan Adkins

Six-year-old Dorian Hubble escapes his loneliness into the fluid, watercolor World of Dreams with the help of a magical dream catcher and a little imagination. As he journeys through the fantastical world, he finds strength and happiness in this enchanted land filled with creatures both big and small.

Desert Flight

39 min.  |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


J Azoni, S Staehle

An inside look at the only Olympic sport to involve male, female, and animal participants. The sport of show jumping relies on the unique relationship between horse and rider. In this documentary film, we see why people dedicate so much to the equestrian life.

Don't Croak

2 min. | USA | California Premiere


Daun Kim

An agile, long-legged frog escapes from being dissected by a frenzied and very determined 12-year-old girl.

Dreams Into Drawing

10 min. | Japan |  US Premiere


Koji Yamamura

Painter Kuwagata Keisai lived over 200 years ago. He illustrated Ways to Sketch, a series of picture books depicting humans and animals, all richly expressed. One day he was sketching a carp, when suddenly he fell asleep and, in a dream, transfigured into a carp. When a fisherman caught that carp, things took a dramatic turn for the worse.

An Earful

14 min. |  Belgium  |  World Premiere


Clare Edlund

A lonely woman in her mid-twenties uses a common, yet effective, device to dodge reality. This device, compared to a serious addiction, takes us through a contemporary mind to replace a dull, mundane reality with a colorful and bold fantasy.

El Desierto

19 mins.  |  USA  | California Premiere


Carly & Jared Jakins

Amid a terrible winter drought, a lone migrant worker struggles with his task of caring for thousands of sheep in the Great Basin desert. El Desierto poetically explores themes of isolation, climate change, and the Sisyphean plight of migrant workers in the United States.

Exit 12

24 min. |  USA  |  SoCal Premiere


Mohammad Gorjestani

After two tours in Fallujah during the Iraq War, US Marine & Combat Veteran Roman Baca came home ravaged with depression, anxiety & anger. With few places to turn, he went back to his first passion, ballet, as a way to cope and begin to heal. This inspired him to form Exit 12, a New York-based dance company led by Veterans and military families.


7 min. |  Iran |  World Premiere


Barzan Rostami

The story of echo is about understanding wildlife, and environmental abuse and the consequences on the human race. Would humans still hurt or hunt animals, and cause damage to the environment if they were treated in the same way? All living creatures have feelings. 

El Perro De Piedra

6 mins. |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


Brennan Brinkley

In present-day Puerto Rico, a dog awaits the return of his conquistador owner who left for war hundreds of years ago. He sat still for so long, he turned to stone. Now, he will discover the true meaning of friendship when a bullied young boy discovers him on the beach.


3 min. |  USA  |  Palm Desert Premiere


YaLin Yu

Joyce, a girl who got cancer and became bald, is afraid of facing her friend because of her appearance, so her imaginary wig monster friend is trying to help her out.


24 min.  |  Spain  |  US Premiere


Marga Gutiérrez

French artist Manu Topic goes through the Navarrese Pyrenees searching for river stones to continue his work of stone balance. The inhabitants of the Salazar Valley will help Manu with conversations on dreams, opportunities, and social success. A desert full of trees, this is the story of an unpopulated Spain, where a valley fights for balance.

European Tour '73

15 mins. | Canada | World Premiere


Ross Munro

Utilizing archival Super 8 film footage and original animation, we go along for the ride in this film about a father fulfilling his dream of reconnecting his 5 small children to the steps of his own father, who fought for the Canadian military in WW2, through a trip to Europe in 1973.

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