2020 FILMS N-Q Go to DocsNow+ Sept. 25

Native Realities

This film celebrates and explores the work that Native artists are currently doing to reframe Indigenous identity within pop culture. We follow Lee Francis, the owner of the world's only Native American Comic Book shop during the Indigenous Pop Expo, an event rich with Indigenous visual and cosplay artists, video game designers and comic book writers.

9 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Jody McNicholas

The Night I Met Charles Bukowski

One man's chance encounter with Charles Bukowski, where he shared a drink with the literary legend who then stole his radio and threatened to kill him too.

5 min.  |  USA  | World Premiere


Evan York

Nurse Helen Fairchild

Bravery, compassion, and the will to save lives motivated the young Nurse Helen Fairchild to leave home in Pennsylvania and embark on a journey to Europe, where she served as a surgical nurse during World War I. This short documentary recounts her fascinating story and the quest for Fairchild’s recognition as a war hero.

11 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Eliciana Nascimento

The New Homesmiths

Jewel Pearson, an African-American Tiny House trailblazer, sets out to redefine the American Dream within a typically white, hipster community. This "I Live In A Tony House" film is a part of The New Homesmiths Series exploring the definition of "home" outside the traditional four walls.

8 min. |  USA |  World Premiere


Rebecca Blumhagen


Cici's good friend Nini was taken away. At midnight, Nini returns to her friend and tries to tell here something important.

5 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Yingzong Xin

Odd Dog

A young boy pleads with his mother to get him a dog but his mother prefers a cat. Years later, the boy runs into what looks like a cat on the street. Can the cat win the boy over with his crazy dog-like antics and become the boy's "odd dog"?

5 min.  |  USA  |  SoCal Premiere


Keika Lee

New Men  

 An orthodox monk reflects on shedding former identities to embrace new lives of prayerful asceticism are woven together with rarely seen moments of the community’s 1,700-year-old monastic tradition. Father Justin contemplates his upcoming final vows to live in the monastery until his death. (Signup for updates on upcoming film: https://newmendoc.com/american-documentary-festival)

48 min. |  USA |  West Coast Premiere


Sam Cox

No Comment

Sharp climate change and natural disasters remind us that everything depends on us, the people. Disrupting nature through our actions, we are contributing to the global collapse of the planet. With this short film, we call out: People, Think!

17 min. | Bulgaria | US Premiere


Vera Doneva

Do You Have Your Tickets Yet?

Tickets for all 250+ films for #AmDocs2020 are on sale now. We have a variety of  festival passes from which to choose, and a number of ticket plans that will suit any of your needs. Individual film screening tickets are available by clicking here. (PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Covid crisis, AmDocs 2020 shall be virtual, go to DocsNow+)

9th Annual Film Festival, September 25-29

Palm Springs, CA

AmDocs 2020

The Offline Playlist

A first-of-its-kind concert that paired New Orleans artists on a Spotify playlist with the fans who were listening to it, live at the hallowed Preservation Hall. Starring Jon Batiste, Irma Thomas, Curren$y, Mannie Fresh, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more New Orleans legends.

49 min. |  USA  |  California Premiere


Brian C. Miller Richard

On The Water

A portrait of a former industrial city through a river that passes through its center. Sometimes, a river reveals the remains of the pastthat left traces in the water. What will remain behind us?

79 min. | Croatia  | US Premiere


Goran Dević

The One-Minute Memoir

A compilation of animated films by the following directors: Chris Hinton, Paul Driessen, Dennis Tupicoff, Joan Gratz, Theodore Ushev, Janet Perlman, Marv Newland, Jim Blashfield, Bill Plympton, Diane Obomsawin, and Chel White. The content and technique was determined by each director. The results range from the poignant to the absurd.

17 min. |  USA | Palm Desert Premiere

Fri., September 25 | 6:30 pm | Civic Ctr Pk

Joan C. Gratz, et al.

Oh, no! Hitler Again

We get a look at Miguel Castaneda, a Mexican scientist, who tells us first-hand the story of his achievements being stolen while in the United States, as well as the many obstacles he faces in a quest for justice upon returning to Mexico.

21 min. | Mexico | Palm Desert Premiere


Mariano Madrigal

Once In A Hundred Years

'Once in a Hundred Years' shares the story of Marian Anderson, a young girl from South Philadelphia who, armed with only a voice, fought to break down one of the most daunting barriers closed to black Americans in the 1930s — the classical music stage.

40 min. | USA | West Coast Premiere


Bill Nicoletti

The Opposites Game

A classroom erupts into a war of words as students grapple with a seemingly simple prompt: what is the opposite of a gun?

5 min. | USA  | Palm Desert Premiere

Sat., September 26 | 6:30 pm |  Civic Ctr Pk

Lisa LaBracio


In our age of attention scarcity, ‘On’ explores just where our gaze is falling. Take a curious and playful glimpse into both the connectedness and enduring loneliness of the modern condition, through this intimate and unexamined lens.

2 min.  |  Australia  |  US Premiere


Jelena Sinik

One Word Sawalmem

The son of the Winnemem Wintu tribal chief receives guidance from the spirits to organize a 300-mile journey by foot, bike, kayak, horseback to help California recognize the wisdom in native world view, and the clues it offers for untangling ourselves from the climate crisis.

17 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Michael Preston

Go to DocsNow+ September 25-October 4 to watch AmDocs 2020 films.





4 min. | Hong Kong | California Premiere


Yiannis Biliris

Internet, mobile phones, social media, etc. are new magic tools in our hands. For now, we are still little kids playing with new, freshly discovered toys. We enjoy a superpower, we enjoy pleasure and opportunities – all while being totally unaware of the possible downsides. Or, at least, unaware of the upcoming changes. What does the human experience mean?

Parkland Rising

92 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Cheryl McDonough

We go past the news headlines to reveal  personal, intimate stories of students & their families working to create meaningful change. Uniting March for Our Lives founders David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez, grieving fathers Fred Guttenberg & Manuel Oliver, and more, we witness the immediate aftermath of a tragedy that changed the conversation about guns.

The Phantasmagoria of Offense

7 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Jess Irish

The Phantasmagoria of Offense is an animated film lyric about the costs of image suppression. In the 'male version,' corporal images focus on the male body, presenting a collage history that contrasts the cultural anxieties around expressions of vulnerability and homosexuality with power and privilege within the dominant paradigm.

Paradise Without People

80 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Francesca Trianni

During the height of Europe’s refugee crisis, two Syrian women give birth in the same Greek hospital. They share the same dream, to raise their children away from war. But their lives take an unexpected turn, as they navigate motherhood and marriage while seeking asylum.


5 min. |  India | Palm Springs Premiere


Asavari Kumar

Finding herself in a state of limbo, an Indian woman revisits her immigration journey and voyages through a tempestuous emotional landscape of memory, identity, belonging and the illusion of the American dream.


3 min.  |  USA  |  SoCal Premiere


Doug Armknecht

A thoughtful and scenic perspective on the beauty of farming and rural living, set to a passage by pioneer author Willa Cather. Even though removed from Cather's world by more than a century, the modern farmer embodies the spirit of the pioneers: Enjoyment of solitude, appreciation for nature, and stubborn independence.

Parkinson's Third Wind

13 min.  |  USA  |  World Premiere


Peter Barton

This is a way of looking at aging, urging us to realize that no matter what barriers we face -- in this case, it's Parkinson's -- that we need never count ourselves out; that we can surprise ourselves with tenacity, grit and resourcefulness.


98 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Jo Ardinger

The 14th Amendment guarantees rights to all citizens, including legal personhood at birth. In Wisconsin, this right has been extended to unborn children. After a doctor’s visit places her pregnancy under the oppressive scrutiny of the state, Tammy is denied her constitutional rights and jailed, while her fetus is provided court protection.

Pizza & Prana

13 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere


Chip Duncan

Western medicine has no cure. And the mythology around Lou Gehrig’s Disease is as bleak as it gets. But with a curious mind and determined spirit, Scott Stieber refused to listen to the dismal predictions of his doctors. A trained anesthesiologist with a reputation for thinking outside the box, Dr. Scott tossed the crippling diagnosis aside & embraced the practice of therapeutic yoga.

Planet Of The Humans

90 min. |  USA  |  West Coast Premiere


Jeff Gibbs

OPENING NIGHT SCREENING.  A film that dares to say what no one will — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face.


6 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Luke Snedecor, Sarah Heinz

A boy's plan to bake a birthday cake becomes disastrous when his scientist father's latest experiment gets added to the mix.

Queen Without Land

70 min. | Norway | US Premiere


Asgeir Helgestad

A true story of the meeting between Frost, a beautiful polar bear mother, and a Norwegian wildlife filmmaker. Ice is melting at a rapid pace due to climate change, and Frost's ecosystem is threatened, turning a cold and inhospitable place to the most joyous and lively scenery for ice algae, fish, birds and animals. The disappearing sea ice forces life to new limits.

Planet Of The Humans

90 min. |  USA |  West Coast Premiere


Jeff Gibbs

SCREENING #2.  A film that dares to say what no one will — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face.  (RED CARPET EVENT.)

The Price Of Protest: Colin Kaepernick

52 min. |  Germany  |  US Premiere


Annebeth Jacobsen

A simple gesture turned football player Colin Kaepernick into the most controversial athlete of our time. In 2016, he kneeled during the national anthem in an act of protest against police brutality. Taking a knee triggered a heated debate about racism and national identity, and how he became the icon of a protest movement.

The Quintet Of The Sunset

8 min. |  China  |  US Premiere


Jie Weng

What we expect from relationships with animals reveals how we want to be treated and respected ourselves. Told from a first-person perspective of an animal, we meet Gina, a human whose five cats mean the world to her. As Gina approaches the end of her life, we learn what she meant to her cats, as they tell their story while watching Gina live out her final days.

Playing For Keeps

61 min.  |  USA  |  Sneak Peek


Jamie Redford (past AmDocs winner)

Examine the value of play through a health lens, following individuals who prioritize play as essential to a happier life. We will witness how play is a particularly powerful antidote to those subjected to stress and danger on the job.

Prime Time: A Rapper Battles ...

22 min. | USA |  World Premiere


Barker, Hovanes, Miller-Bottome

Growing up in Chicago & battle rapping under the name Prime, Andre Vasquez never shied away from a fight. Does he have what it takes to go up against the city's political machine? Directed by Holly Barker, Melissa Hovanes & Isabel Miller-Bottome, 'PrimeTime: A Rapper Battles The Machine' is part of our Northwestern University Medill Documentary Program series.  

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