OFFICIAL 2017 MARFA FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS

A HOUSE WITHOUT SNAKES

In Botswana, two young Bushmen struggle to build their futures in the wake of their people's relocation from their ancestral homeland. Ketelelo looks to education as a way to reinvent himself and provide for his family. Meanwhile, Kitsiso wonders whether he should stay in his ancestral homeland to honor his father or seek a new life in town. A HOUSE WITHOUT SNAKES is an intimate coming-of-age portrait that explores the tension between modernity and tradition through the lens of two individuals’ hopes and fears.

A THOUSAND JUNKIES

As Los Angeles wakes up and goes to work, so do TJ, BLAKE and TOMMY, three junkies whose workday consists of driving around L. A. in a battered Volvo station wagon, figuring out how to get their drugs for the day. As plans A, B, C, D and E fall through, the trio starts to come apart at the seams. When Blake brings up the idea of violently robbing a drug dealer friend of Tommy’s, we find out who these three really are and what they are willing to do to get what they need. A “drug” movie with no drugs, and a “road” movie that goes nowhere, A Thousand Junkies is a dark, visceral comedy about the 9 to 5 job of being a junkie, and the strange bonds that are formed between addicts.

ADDY'S ODDYSSEY

A depressed puppet seeks life advice from a philosophical surfer dude.

AEROCENE

Aerocene is a film about Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno and his vision to imagine a metabolic and thermodynamic transformation of human societies’ relation with both the Earth and the Sun. In White Sands, New Mexico he launches a series of airborne sculptures powered by the sun including a manned flight of the DO-AEC sculpture.

ALI, THE GOAT AND IBRAHIM

Ali believes his late girlfriend's soul has been reincarnated in a goat. Ali, his goat and his friend Ibrahim embark on a journey of friendship and self-discovery across Egypt to reverse the curse.

AMERICAN PSYCHOSIS

Pulitzer-prize winning Journalist, Author and Activist Chris Hedges, discusses modern day consumerism, totalitarian corporate power and living in a culture dominated by pervasive illusion.

AMERIKA

A portrait of two parents and their 8-year-old son struggling against the harsh realities of inner-city life in an alternate version of modern day America.

 

ANY DAY NOW

A short, sweet comedy about how short (and sweet) life can be...

 

APOLLON

Apollon is a teenager hung up by the social ideals of masculinity. He fantasizes about having the perfect body - complete with big beefy muscles and a big banana.

BILL'S RECORDS

Bill’s Records is a short documentary about the current life of 73 year old Bill Wisener, Dallas record store proprietor of 42 years, and his massive and unwieldy collection of records. Bill's store was once considered the largest independent record store in the country. Although his store is no longer bustling, he still loves to connect with people. Bill's store has over 50,000 records, almost all are unpriced and uncategorized.

BRUTUS German Shepherd puppy grows in the usual family, loves his mistress. From a nursery Brutus as a watchdog gets into a concentration camp where the psychological manipulation and training turn a harmless pet dog into a killer.

BRUTUS

German Shepherd puppy grows in the usual family, loves his mistress. From a nursery Brutus as a watchdog gets into a concentration camp where the psychological manipulation and training turn a harmless pet dog into a killer.

CARMEN

What do you need to be, to be really funny? Stand-up comedienne Carmen Lynch knows what it takes. As she wanders from make-up mirror to performance stage, via Portland’s woozy streets and an all-night grocery store, we’re given an intimate insight into a talented individual. The city’s saturated lights and dying, showbiz neon become Carmen’s passing backdrop. She confronts herself - her looks, her dreams, the weird rituals of mating in the modern world - by confronting her audiences. Sometimes they laugh with her. Sometimes they don’t laugh at all. 

COWBOYS

Told in the cinematic tradition of classic westerns, this documentary trailer offers the opportunity to ride alongside modern working cowboys on some of America's largest and most remote cattle ranches. COWBOYS (coming early 2019) documents the lives of the men and women working on "big outfit" cattle ranches - some of which are over one million acres - and still require a crew of horseback workers to tend large herds of cattle.

Narrated through first-hand accounts from the cowboys themselves, the story is steeped in authenticity and explores the rewards and hardships of a celebrated but misunderstood way of life and the challenges that lie ahead for the cowboys and ranches critical to providing the world's supply of beef.

E.W.A.

EWA is a teenage girl who is suffering from a condition of a constant nose bleed while exploring different aspects of her life and the people around her.

ENOUGH.

A cathartic performance, Enough is about the intimate and personal struggle of confronting the effects of the societal objectification of the female form. The filmmaker exposes herself presenting her body for the viewers to place judgment. Sexual, vulnerable, shameful: the female body is quickly judged. The performance represents an opposition to the treatment of woman and assessment of her value based on her appearance. Removing a social symbol of her femininity and beauty the filmmaker demands transcendence, a change in the tides, a rebirth, a renewal – there has been enough.

GAME

A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?

JOY RIDE

Emma doesn’t see her mom much. One visit goes awry when her mom’s dealer boyfriend takes her for a ride. Can Emma retain her innocence ?

 

MESSIAH

In a playful collision of cultures, a hapless Irishman and his Parisian girlfriend get more than they bargained for when they encounter a particularly mischievous stranger in the spectacular Australian wilderness.

MON GERMA   (MY BROTHER)

After the death of their father, two estranged brothers embark on a fishing trip in their father’s old boat. The fishing trip quickly escalates into a fight as the older, estranged brother asserts himself as a father figure, ultimately giving the brothers the opportunity to speak openly for the first time.

NIGHT RIDE THE DIRECTOR'S CUT

This narrative short expands the world of the music video for Chrysta Bell and David Lynch’s “Night Ride.” Buried desires and a buried love slave come out for a ride in this B-horror-style night journey through the web of a demonic Black Widow Queen.

OWEN

An impoverished woman lives on the streets of Los Angeles with her dog as her only companion. When an opportunity to improve her life appears she is forced to examine her understanding of humanity and make decisions that leave both their fates hanging in the balance.

PARTHENON

A naked body moves a stranger to empathy. PARTHENON is a slippery, dizzying provocation on art, control, and perception.

POLINA, DANSER SA VIE

A young girl studies classical ballet. As a young woman she turns to modern dance and choreography.

ROXY

Roxy is an aging prostitute, working in a lovemobile on the German-Luxembourgish border. After being rescued from a brutal rape, she meets Jeff, a young man, whose intentions seem unclear to her.

SPLENDONA

A physically disfigured fashion model prepares for her runway debut. But as the fashion show approaches, dream and reality becomes blurred.

THE ART OF EMPTINESS

Music video for the track "The Art of Emptiness" from the debut EP of the same name from Austin band Torrejón. A speculation on the nature of George W. Bush's post-presidential painting hobby and the relationship between regret, art, and enlightenment.

THE EGG AND THE HATCHET

A girl's surprise for her boyfriend turns into a night of uncertainty when neither dares to say what the other is thinking.

THE NATION THAT HOLDS ITS BREATH

On the day of the most important football match in Irish history, a young father to be is torn between witnessing the miracle of childbirth and witnessing the miracle of reaching the quarter finals of the World Cup.

THERE WILL BE NO BAD TALK OR LOUD TALK IN THIS PLACE

Stubbs BBQ began as a humble bohemian haven for artists, musicians, and scoundrels in Lubbock, TX- 1968. In 1980 at the height of the restaurant's popularity, owner C.B. 'Stubb' Stubblefield and artist Paul Milosevich traveled from Lubbock to Nashville to cook BBQ for Johnny Cash...Before they left, they bought an 8mm camera and filmed their adventure. Their footage has never been seen... Until now

UNDERDOG

With economic and physical challenges in the way a young Japanese expat prepares to compete in a 1000 mile dog sled race to fulfill her mother’s dying wish.

VITAMINS FOR LIFE

Vitamins For Life was adapted from a series of tweets by @quietpinetrees who writes micro-fiction via Twitter. The series is called “Lost Vitamins” and each description was a tweet about the unknown qualities of certain vitamins. Grier was instantly drawn to the writing and reached out about adapting it into a short film. T.R. Darling (who remains a bit of a mystery) agreed and was excited to see his work come to life.

X500

Thousands of kilometers apart, three young migrants undergo mental, emotional, and physical transformations in order to survive the violence of their new worlds.  Maria arrives to Montreal from Manila to live with her grandmother and struggles to adapt to her new environment; Afro-Colombian Alex is deported from the US to Colombia, in his old neighborhood now controlled by criminals; David leaves his indigenous village after his father's death to find work on a construction site in Mexico City. The film follows these three teenagers living in different cities of the Americas yet going through the same experience of grief, migration and transformation.

 BLOOD STRIPE

A dramatic psychological thriller about a female Marine veteran and the struggle to come home.

BULLETS OF JUSTICE

During the Third World War, the American government initiates a secret project code named "Army Bacon" in order to create super soldier by inbreeding human being with pigs. 25 years later a breed called "Muzzles" have occupied top of the food chain, eating and farming humans like animals. Rob Justice is an ex-bounty hunter working for the last line of human resistance - a group of survivors hiding in a nuclear bunker deep underground. His mission is to find out how muzzles came to power and destroy them.

CASE DE MI MADRE

Casa De Mi Madre: A fire rages in the woods near a village. This fire triggers a memory in a lonely, middle-aged woman. And this memory pushes her to utter aloud the words she's always wanted to say.

DRESS IN BLACK

Hoping to come to terms with why she is unable to get out of bed, Olivia explores her memories and imagination.

EL PAQUETE

On a island with very little access to the Internet, El Paquete Semanal is Cuba’s alternative to “streaming.” The terabyte hard drive is loaded with weekly viral media and distributed by face-to-face file sharing.

FIRST DAUGHTER AND THE BLACK SNAKE

The “Prophecy of the 7th Fire” says a “black snake” will bring destruction to the earth. For Winona LaDuke, the “black snake” is oil trains and pipelines. When she learns that Canadian-owned Enbridge plans to route a new pipeline through her tribe’s 1855 Treaty land, she and her community spring into action to save the sacred wild rice lakes and preserve their traditional indigenous way of life. Launching an annual spiritual horse ride along the proposed pipeline route, speaking at community meetings and regulatory hearings. Winona testifies that the pipeline route follows one of historical and present-day trauma. The tribe participates in the pipeline permitting process, asserting their treaty rights to protect their natural resources. LaDuke joins with her tribe and others to demand that the pipelines’ impact on tribal people’s resources be considered in the permitting process.

GOING HOME

A family awaits for the return of their beloved Jimmy, an astronaut back from his first space mission, and find that he has been a little bit changed.

KATYUSHA

   Катюша (Katyusha)” is a three channel video piece based on material collected at Pyramida, a show-case community established by the Soviet Union in the Svalbard territory in the high Arctic. At its peak Pyramida was home to more than 1000 coal miners and their families. It was evacuated in two days in 1998 leaving a ghost town. "Катюша (Katyusha)" presents three fictional characters who personify different aspects of Pyramida. The Guide takes the form of a gray sea bird, the Northern Fulmar. As the piece progresses we discover clues to the identity of two Lovers, a ballet dancer and a basketball player. The elaborately painted floor of the basketball court in Pyramida is a central motif, as is the abandoned ballet studio in the northern most corner of the town – once the most northerly ballet studio on earth. Time becomes unreliable as the viewer jumps back and forth uncontrollably between two time periods. In the 1980s the lovers meet as adolescent young pioneers in the idyllic summer forests of the Ukraine. After the evacuation a mysterious love token is left behind on the tundra amongst the empty shells of Pyramida. The third unspoken time period is only hinted at – always skipped over, never shown – the time that the lovers spent living happily in a town built of dreams at the end of the world. The lonely voice of a Soviet “numbers station” recites the names of the missing.

MEST'

Based on the true story of Chett Hollander's youth in 1970s East Oakland. Chett is abused at home and beat up at school, until a black family takes him in and teaches him how to box and protect himself. But life for Chett doesn't get easier.

MY EILEEN

Eileen, a frustrated protagonist, acts out against the bitter narrator of this short film.

ODDBALL

A creative profile on Stephen Parr, the Oddball behind San Francisco's Oddball Films.

PALOMA

A series of intimate vignettes are woven together by the memories and dreams of people in central Havana.

PECHORIN

The aims of our hero are to understand meaning of the life, to find in it his own place. Our problem was to press time and epoch to open sense repeating dramatic problems in the history. We have tried to suggest to glance to the spectator in ourselves and to reflect on ourselves.

PORVENIR

In the early morning hours of January 28th, 1918, the town known as Porvenir, Texas, ceased to exist.  A group of fifteen fathers, uncles, brothers and sons were taken from their homes and executed in front of their daughters, mothers and sisters.  The perpetrators then burned the town to the ground forcing the remaining residents, made up of mostly women and children, to flee. 

Who were the killers?  Why did they carry out such a horrific act? 

Through new and archival interviews, site excavations and dramatic re-enactments, PORVENIR, TEXAS explores this tragic story, revisits what led to the events of that fateful night, and reveals tensions that remain a century later. Descendants of both victims and killers recount the stories passed down from Porvenir, while others are completely unaware that this crucial piece of history exists.  Their anecdotal evidence points to the possible reasons why the village of Porvenir was targeted, exploring this tragedy on a personal level and understanding how it is relevant in today’s polarized political climate.

SAD GIRL

A babysitter traverses the suburbs at night in search of happiness.

SWEET PIE

SWEET PIE, is a documentary in the vein of SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN, where a performer's career is resurrected and re-inspired. Proclaimed as, "the Baron of Bare-Assed Boogie-Woogie and Blues, this performer made a name for himself in the 60s, 70s and 80s, touring the U.S., performing for over 1.5 million at such iconic venues as CBGB and the Gaslight Au Go Go. Sweet Pie, also known as Paul Winer of Quartzsite, Arizona brings his show back to The Public Theater in New York City for the first time in 40 years. His story is one of freedom, music, family and the personal triumph that can come out of loss and grief.

THE BOY BY THE SEA

The story of an unlikely friendship. A young boy sitting by the sea, watching the stones he throws disappear beneath the surface. An old lighthouse keeper. A different truth beyond the water.

THE FARTHEST

The Farthest tells the story of one of NASA's greatest missions - the iconic Voyager mission and its Golden Record. 12 billion miles away, Voyager is the farthest human-made object from our planet. Launched in 1977, it’s the only spacecraft to have ever left our solar system and entered the uncharted waters of interstellar space. Still sending back signals today - first person testimony from the original men and women of the Voyager plus never-seen-before archive and Super8 - make this a poetic, cinematic and uplifting film, an inspiring experience for any audience and the perfect story for our troubled times.

THE PHANTOM MENACE

After suffering a miscarriage, a young couple goes ahead with their plan to attend their local comic con.

THE WIND TELEPHONE

A dance film about a girl who has suffered a loss, but is still dealing with being a child. The film employs various approaches to dream logic using a slipknot narrative.

TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS

2016 was a rough year in many ways. From over 1000 terrorist attacks to civilian and police killings; from planet dividing presidential elections to misplaced communities and children left without parents in war zones - A backward globalization seem to be slowly taking place thus uneasiness is all around us. “Try a Little Tenderness” hopes to promote compassion and tenderness in our world. As music brings people together, we hope that “Try a little Tenderness” will too.

WIG SHOP

Chaya (Emily Mortimer), ‎an orthodox Jewish women, visits a wig shop on the other side of town. At first on edge because of her new surroundings, Chaya lets down her guard when she is quickly befriended by the shop owner Tippy (Adina Porter) only to discover that nothing is as it seems.

DREAMS

A collection of tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.

BREAK DOWN

After 13 years together, Charlie had hoped for a completely honest break up. Unfortunately, David is being a real shit about it.

CALL FOR THE GOOD KING

A man travels to a foreign land of funk only to discover he has not only been accepted by the locals but others like him follow his lead . It is never to late to go back especially when the beat calls.

CHAOTIC BLISS

This is a music video for the song Chaotic Bliss from Fared Shafinury's 2016 album "Into the Night". Many parts of the album were written in the months Fared Shafinury spent in the West Texas desert in isolation where he also filmed the footage for the video. The main theme conveyed in the video and album is change and transformation.

DRYAD

The wind blows, noises of armor resound. A knight escorts a young woman athwart plains. The thunder begins to scold, clouds invade the landscape. The knight, worried, stares the castle on the horizon. The end is close.

ELECTROMA

Electroma is a indEpendent movie taking place in a near future. It’s the story of a journey lasting an entire night, set in a disquieting future, of a promise coming from far away to change everything. 

FORLOVE - MISSING PERSONS

In Forlove's debut single Missing Persons, Thomas and Dara are made up of the searing layers and pulpy fruits of an imperfect relationship. The film slices emotional moments into colorful spectrums, compartments, half-seconds, measures of patience, heartbreak and sculptural elements to examine reflection and entanglement.

HIGH CHAPARRAL

A theme park celebrating America’s mythic Wild West in wintery Sweden becomes a welcoming home for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

LOCKDOWN

When a high school misfit is taken hostage by a classmate with a gun, they must find common ground in order to survive the standoff.

MINH TâM

At the age of 33, Minh Tâm has given up on love. Devoted to the education of her autistic son, overwhelmed by a domineering mother, she uses men just to escape briefly from daily life. Until the day she meets Olivier, who causes her to question her certainties.

NACIDO DE NUEVO

After the death of his young son, border patrol officer Ramon Nunez finds redemption at the hands of an illegal immigrant in a single polarizing and life-altering night.

ONE UP

Hadley jumps into an uncomfortable sexual encounter after she's brutally rejected by her teammate crush Christine.

PAPA'S A ROLLING STONE

Music video for the Chris Catalena song "Papa's on a Rolling Stone". Recorded, filmed, and produced in Austin, TX. Edited from public domain footage.

PERFECT ROAST POTATOES

A bittersweet comedy about cooking and grief. Dysfunctional British siblings have an awkward Christmas with the corpse of their dead mum.

RAM DASS, GOING HOME

Ram Dass is one of the most important authors and spiritual teachers of the last three generations and is approaching the end of life. Since suffering a life-changing stroke twenty years ago, he has been living in his home on Maui and deepening his spiritual practice, which is centered on love and his idea of merging with his surroundings and all living things. The film is shot in a nuanced cinematic style, and is a lyrical meditation on life, death, and the soul’s journey “home”. The film intimately observes the details of his daily life – his home and natural surroundings, his personal practice and meditations, his regular swims, and an intimate interview on the summary of his life learning and awareness as he prepares for the great mystery beyond.

SANTOALLA

Progressive Dutch couple Martin Verfondern and Margo Pool had only one dream – to live off the land, far from the constraints and complications of the city. But, when they arrive in the crumbling, Spanish village of Santoalla, the foreigners challenge the traditions of the town's sole remaining family, igniting a decade-long conflict that culminates in Martin's mysterious disappearance. Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer's intriguing, expertly crafted true crime film follows Margo as she unravels the puzzle surrounding the strange happenings as she remains true to the ambitions that first drew her and Martin to Santoalla in the first place.

TENDER MOMENTS

TENDER MOMENTS follows John, who after being laid off by his job in Houston flees to Shreveport with the stolen company car. Once in town an attempt to make a human connection through some casual-sex goes awry, and he is roped into acting as the alibi for the woman that robbed him of his severance money.

THE DUEL

Based on a true story by actress Lili Taylor, The Duel is a visualization of her father's private struggle with mental illness. Originally told on the award-winning RISK! podcast, Taylor recalls a harrowing afternoon in which she saved her younger brother from the dangerous reality of their father's sudden mental breakdown.

THE HISTORY OF MAGIC : ENSUENO

When the high school bell rings, Ester Bolaños escapes her small, border-town high school. But when she rides her beloved bike all the way home, Ester escapes reality. To feel alive, she imagines every fantastical way she could die. She'll take her chances against sharks, tanks, or flame-throwing Nazis anyday if it means avoiding the boring fates of her fellow students and family.

THE SERVANT

A bug becomes servant, servant becomes master.

THE WOO

THE WOO is a story about isolation, dependence, and obsession that blurs the line between virtual and reality. Felix is an introverted pot dealer living alone in The Goodall Wooten; a decaying, claustrophobic high-rise. Following a breakup, Felix becomes addicted to a virtual reality avatar of his ex-girlfriend Dani, who has moved just down the hall. While the world carries on around him, Felix feels trapped in his own mind, all while the building mysteriously refuses to let him leave.

UFO DAYS

An enigmatic, strangely familiar man attends the annual UFO Days celebration in a small Wisconsin town.

YOU'VE GOT A WOMAN

A young man finds himself on the difficult end of a love triangle.

THIRST STREET

Alone and depressed after the suicide of her lover, American flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge, A TEACHER) travels to Paris and hooks up with nightclub bartender Jerome (Damien Bonnard, STAYING VERTICAL) on her layover. But as Gina falls deeper into lust and opts to stay in France, this harmless rendezvous quickly turns into unrequited amour fou. When Jerome’s ex Clemence (Esther Garrel) reenters the picture, Gina is sent on a downward spiral of miscommunication, masochism, and madness. Inspired by European erotic dramas from the '70s, THIRST STREET burrows deep into the delirious extremes we go to for love.