2020 FILMS R-S Go to DocsNow+ Sept. 25th

Reaching For Solid Ground

We follow along on college student Slade's first trip home to Kentucky after beginning hormone conversion therapy to see what it means for a trans woman to transition with family, and not in spite of.  Directed by Slade Warnken, Debbie-Marie Brown, Madeline Ashmun & Elizabeth Guthrie, it is part of AmDocs' Northwestern University Medill Documentary Program series.

27 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere

Saturday, September 26 | 4 pm | Camelot

Warnken, Brown, Ashmun, Guthrie

Remaking The Pathway

When Batumbil Burarrwanga retraces a journey she made by foot as a child, she speaks to the land and recalls stories passed down by her father. In doing so, she revives her family’s connection to their homeland.

31 min. | Australia | US Premiere

Saturday, September 26 | 2 pm | Camelot

Emma Hudson

Riding A Dream

An inspirational documentary that charts the history-making journey of 18-year-old British Muslim woman Khadijah Mellah, from humble beginnings at her inner city riding school in East London to victory in the Magnolia Cup.

24 min. |  UK  |  US Premiere


Tommy Bolwell, Mattia Reiniger

Recovering Motherland

We follow the recovery journeys of 3 women in Madison as they fight to stay clean for their children and themselves. Wisconsin’s “Cocaine Mom Law” has created a culture of fear for pregnant women with substance use disorder. This film, directed by Jessica Martinaitis and Mary Hall, is part of AmDocs' annual Northwestern University Medill Documentary Program series.

18 min. |  USA  |  World Premiere

Saturday, September 26 | 4 pm | Camelot

Jessica Martinaitis, Mary Hall

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.

9th Annual Film Festival, September 25-29

Palm Springs, CA

AmDocs 2020

Rigged: Voter Suppression Playbook

What would happen if some political operatives tried to subvert the sacred American principle of “one person, one vote?” What if they hatched and pursued that plan for years before anyone noticed what they were doing? That is the frightening tale of our democracy, which is in peril. 

80 min. |  USA | SoCal Premiere


Michael Kasino

The Reef

The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme carries out marine wildlife research and fosters community focused conservation initiatives. The field team of the MWRSP monitors the demographics and movement of different species such as whale sharks. This is their story.

8 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere

Tuesday, September 29 | 2 pm | Camelot

Sven Dreesbach

The Reversal

At the turn of the 19th century, the city of Chicago razed a continental divide and reversed its namesake river. This film animates thousands of archival photographs with an original soundscape composition to experience the formative years of our planetary crisis through the history of an urban river.

11 min. | USA | World Premiere

Monday, September 28 |  9 pm |  Camelot

Jennifer Boles


'ROARrrr:The Beast King's Great Discovery' tells how the courage of Maureen, a little village girl, brings the divided worlds of villagers and beasts together by helping the King Beast-Two-Feet learn a very important lesson and discover his true identity. This is a positive African American children’s musical fairy tale with a universal message that will warm your soul.

5 min. | USA | North American Premiere


Chuck Taylor

Rosebud, Alberta

A short documentary about a day in the life of Rosebud, Alberta. A Canadian town of just 86 permanent residents, Rosebud attracts 40 000 theatre-goers each year in a town economically dependent on the arts.

19 min. |  USA  |  US Premiere


Eric Pauls

The Seed Of Juna

Juna is a rebellious girl living in a post-apocalyptic world. She finds herself reborn in a different part of the universe after being killed by a ruling religious sect on Earth. As she comes to accept her new disposition in an unknown and frightening place, Juna makes several unexpected encounters with both herself and her surroundings.

13 min. |  UK  |  US Premiere


Alvaro García Martínez

Roses In The Night

A young girl in ancient Greece is ready to face the mysteries of her first love. In the
shadows of the night she sees strange flowers, goes through unusual occurrences, meets peculiar creatures and beautiful wood-nymphs. Based upon “Les Chansons" de Bilitis” by Pierre Louys (1870-1925).

11 min.| Bulgaria | US Premiere ADULTS ONLY


Pencho Kunchev


A short-and-sweet documentary about a farm sanctuary in California's Half Moon Bay, where previously farmed or abused animals can live out their lives peacefully.

11 min. |  USA  | SoCal Premiere


Lottie Johnston


In an izakaya, a chef notices a group of special guests. He decides to serve them a variety of signature dishes.

3 min. | Canada | West Coast Premiere


Po Chien Chen

Ryan Marker

In 'Living Your Authentic Truth: The Ryan Marker Story,' we meet Ryan, an NCAA Division I student-athlete who faced the deep struggle of disclosing his sexual orientation to his family, friends, coaches and teammates. A tennis player with the USF Dons, Marker faced difficulties expressing his identity and a fear of living a life where he couldn't be his true self.

14 min.  |  USA  |  World Premiere


Katie Morgan

Seasons Of Change On Henry's Farm

For a quarter-century, Henry Brockman has worked alongside nature to grow delicious organic vegetables on his idyllic Midwestern farm. But farming takes a toll on his aging body and he puts his former apprentices in charge of the farm. When things don’t turn out as planned, Henry must grapple with the future of farming in a changing climate on personal, generational, and global levels.

83 min. | USA | California Premiere


Ines Sommer

The Sex Recession

Why are young people having less sex? In the space of a generation, sex has gone from something most high school students have experienced to something most haven’t. The average adult used to have sex 62 times a year. Now, that number is 54. In a culture that is becoming increasingly more tolerant, why is sex on the decline?

4 min. | USA | US Premiere


Jackie Lay

The Shallow Pond

3 min. | USA | World Premiere


Clay Thomas

Dubbed by The New Yorker "the world’s most influential living philosopher,” Peter Singer expands our understanding of what it means to care for each other on a global scale. 'The Shallow Pond' is the first film in which Singer himself walks us step by step through his most famous thought experiment.

Shinya Kimura

3 min. | USA | World Premiere


David Solomini

A poetic film about Japanese bespoke motorcycle designer and builder, Shinya Kimura. creating harmony and flow with metal and steel. We make an unexpected connection of soul and creativity in this hard to find, innovative, gentle soul, who finally takes us on an adrenaline-filled ride.


9 min. |  USA  | Palm Springs Premiere


Siqi Song

2020 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Short Film. A man remembers his childhood memory of growing up with an annoying little sister in 1990s China. How would his life have been if things had gone differently?


3 min. | USA | West Coast Premiere


Suyoung Jang

In a human generating factory a new woman awakes in a flawed system. But finds she can't achieve her potential until she gets through a giant glass wall.

A Simple Life

17 min.| Greece | SoCal Premiere


R. Harding Pittman, M. Papadogeorgou

Gioula is fighting to preserve her simple way of life with family, dogs, cats, bees, horses,  chickens & hundreds of ancient olive trees on her organic farm on the coast of Greece. The rural, arid region, where water is scarce and where people have fished and farmed for over 35,000 years, is threatened by plans to build a large golf resort destined for foreign wealthy sunseekers.

Sister Of St. Mary's

15 min. | USA | International Premiere


Miles Stumbaugh

Sister Carmel, the Head Tudor and Principal at St. Mary’s School of Midwifery in Northern Uganda, is a heroic figure in a beautiful but tough landscape.

Shelter Me: Here And Now

30 min. | USA | World Premiere


Steven Latham

Introduced by two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, this film features an innovative program where Alzheimer's facilities foster orphaned kittens. This program not only provides the kittens the 24-hour care they need to survive, but also engages the seniors at the memory care facilities in profound ways.

Siqueiros: Walls of Passion

61 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Lorena Manríquez, Miguel Picker

One of the great Mexican artists of the 20th century and one of three great Mexican muralists (with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco), David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) was a controversy-stirring revolutionary and lifetime activist who lived with theatrical flair and painted on an epic scale. Narrated by Cheech Marin as the voice of Siqueiros.

Sixth Of June

15 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


Henry Roosevelt

Sainte-Mère-Église was ground zero on D-Day. For 75 years, people of all countries, races and faiths have gathered to commemorate those whose sacrifice changed the world. With few veterans left, who will preserve their legacy? 'Sixth Of June' is the story of why we remember and what we lose if we forget.


From dawn to dusk, the daily story of two young guys and their snails that deal with their brand-new farm.

15 min.| Italy | West Coast Premiere


Cristian Scardigno

The Songpoet

By 1967, the stage had been set for Greenwich Village folk musician Eric Andersen to be catapulted to international fame. But the death of his newly acquired manager, famed Beatles impresario Brian Epstein, turned his career upside down. This is the often tragic, but surprisingly uplifting story of Eric Andersen, The Songpoet.

113 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Paul Lamont

The Stone Guest

The key figure of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia was Lenin. After his death in 1924, Lenin’s image was immortalized in countless numbers of monuments in the Soviet Union and in the Soviet bloc’s countries.

8 min. | Russia  | US Premiere


Marina Fomenko

A Song Of An Unknown Actress

We follow five actresses trying to make it in Hollywood. Going from audition to audition, reading for bit jobs and commercials, and working side jobs to make ends meet, we see the highs and lows of what it means to follow your dreams.

80 min. | USA | Palm Springs Premiere


P. Goeltenboth, F. Giefer


A dishwasher puts her job on the line to pursue her love of cooking.

6 min.| USA | Palm Springs Premiere


F. Okike, A. Kashima

Stonewall:  Making Of A Monument

Ever since the 1969 riots on the streets outside New York City’s Stonewall Inn, LGBTQ communities have gathered there to express their joy, their anger, their pain and their power. This film explores what more than half a century of LGBTQ history in the US looks like when viewed through just a few blocks in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

19 min. |  USA | California Premiere


Cheryl Furjanic

Song Sparrow

A group of refugees tries to reach safety in a new country, searching for a better life. They pay a smuggler to convey them across the border in a refrigerated truck. However, the freezing temperatures inside that truck ends up turning their hopes for a better future into a fierce struggle for survival.  Based on real events in Austria (2015) and Ireland (2019).

12 min. | Denmark, Iran | SoCal Premiere


Farzaneh Omidvarnia

Spirit Of The Drowning Girls

The ghost story is inspired by a letter of the famous ancient Chinese poet / scholar Dongpo Su (1037-1101). A young Kongfu master falls into the trap of an evil old spirit who enslaves dead little girls drowned by their own parents.

11 min. | China | Palm Springs Premiere


Runze Cao

The Story Of Pema

The breathtaking story of a young Tibetan nomad and her epic seasonal journey across the mountains of Amdo Region, Tibet.

5 min. |  China  |  US Premiere


Martin Buzora

Surfer Joe

5 min. | USA | Palm Desert Premiere


Jim Keeshen

'Surfer Joe' is an animated short based on the original 1963 hit song by The Surfaris. This is a nostalgic look back at the early days of surf culture in California through the antics of a bleach blonde surfer, named Surfer Joe.


4 min. | USA |  World Premiere


Laura Gamse

ICE conducted the largest immigration raids in US history at slaughterhouses in the past year, arresting and deporting undocumented workers. Despite the danger to herself and her family, former slaughterhouse worker Susana returns to the scene at night to care for animals on their way to the kill floor.

Sustained Outrage

24 min. | USA | California Premiere


Gabriela Cavanagh

For over 100 years, the family-owned Charleston Gazette-Mail has been a relentless watchdog over West Virginia’s most powerful, propelled by its unofficial mantra: “Sustained Outrage.” But just eight months after winning the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Gazette-Mail grappled with a painful reality: bankruptcy ahead of a sale.

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