Short films by the moviemakers of tomorrow are some of the most creative comedies, cutting-edge animations and gripping dramas of today. Produced by KQED, each episode allows viewers to see, for the first time, works by emerging filmmakers who could become the next Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola.
Nice Guys Finish First (#1211H) Duration: 27:32 STEREO TVG
NO MAIL (Australia): Small minds in a small town attempt to ostracize the new postman, who happens to be Muslim, and their actions divide the town. When the postman's co-workers rally behind him the residents are forced to face the same exclusion they imposed on him.
AMBER AMULET (Australia): Meet Liam, a lonely twelve year old boy whose alter ego is the Masked Avenger, a superhero with powers so potent, not even he can fully comprehend their extent. Dressed in his superhero outfit and accompanied by his best friend, Richie the Power-Beagle, the Masked Avenger roams his neighborhood putting things right. There is a damsel in distress in the house down the block. It's time to spring into action.
Planet Animation (#1206H) Duration: 26:19 STEREO TVG
WIND (Germany): Global warming has taken its toll on a windy town. The inhabitants are resourceful and adapt to the new routine... that is until the gust stops... then things really get "blown" out of whack.
BEAR ME (Germany / Poland): One day, I found a bear... or he found me. I couldn't get rid of him. We became to closest of friends. The film shows how love makes for strange bed partners.
MARCEL, KING OF TERVUREN (United States): Marcel the Rooster, survives bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son Max. Despite being blind in one eye, he remains the proud King of Tervuren. Never underestimate the willpower of a one-eyed rooster.
THE ORIGIN OF CREATURES (Holland): A futuristic vision of a world after a catastrophic disaster and those left behind to pick up the pieces.
End of the World As We Know It (#1112H) Duration: 27:52 STEREO TVG
ABIOGENESIS - New Zealand
In this ingenious science fiction short animation, a mysterious mechanical device lands on a desolate world and use the planet to undergo a startling transformation that has profound implications for an entire galaxy. Directed by Richard Mans.
ARMADINGEN - Germany
Walter lives with his wife Helga on an isolated farm in northern Germany. The marriage has grown cold over the years, their love having been long since replaced by routine. One late summer morning, Walter hears on his tractor radio news of an enormous asteroid hurtling towards the earth. All attempts to prevent impact are futile. Mankind will be annihilated in sixteen hours. Suddenly facing his own mortality, Walter finds himself contemplating the love for his wife he had all but forgotten. He decides to hide the news of the end of the world from her. Tormented by his dishonesty, Walter struggles to restore his marriage by giving Helga the best possible last day on earth. Written and directed by Philipp Kassbohrer. Principal cast: Gernot Hertel and Karin Graf.
Omg (#1204H) Duration: 26:56 STEREO TVPG-L
THE VOORMAN PROBLEM (England): Doctor Williams is called in to examine the enigmatic Mr Voorman, a prisoner with a peculiar a: he believes he is a god. The doctor must decide on the sanity of Mr Voorman. Is he a faker or a lunatic?
THE BIG LEAP (Poland / Sweden): Three people meet atop a skyscraper. They have the same intention - to commit suicide due to a major financial crisis. The conflict quickly escalates when they discover that they all represent a different conviction about the afterlife. The believer, the agnostic and the atheist know the only way to find out the truth is to take The Big Leap.
Man's Best Friend (#1104H) Duration: 29:09 STEREO TVG
MY HAPPY END - Germany
All dogs love to chase their tail. This particular dog succeeds in catching it. Not only does this act change his life, but his new best friend's life as well. An affectionate tribute to the old Saturday morning cartoons we all grew up with. Directed by Milen Vitanov.
TALKING DOG FOR SALE, 10 EUROS - France
When a man sees a curious advertisement for a talking dog for sale really cheap, he pursues the offer with natural skepticism. It's got to be a joke, right? Written, produced and directed by Lewis-Martin Soucy. This is Lewis-Martin's second film to be part of Imagemakers (Season three - Handicap). Principal cast: Roberto Alvarez, Rikar Gil and Camilo Garcia.
DOG YEARS I & II- England
Ben, a frustrated mongrel ties to make sense of his human companion's strange behavior. When his supposed best friend takes him to get castrated, Ben has a hard time seeing the bright side of the situation. A dog's life is not all it's cracked up to be. Shot on super 8, the hilarious film gives a dog's perspective on the meaning of life. When nothing seems to make sense, all you've got left is to live in the moment. Written and directed by Sam Hearn and Richard Penfold.
DAVID AND GOLIATH - USA
David, a Jew and a resistance fighter, flees for his life as he is being hunted down by Nazi soldiers. David finds refuge in a nearby farmhouse where he hides in a dog house protected by a ferocious German Shepherd, who ultimately becomes his savior. An extraordinary true story set in 1943 Czechoslovakia and based on the life of David Bako. Produced, written and directed by George Zaverdas. Principal cast: Billy Burke, Kent Kasper, Jim Boeven and Rudolf Martin.
Starting Over (#1103H) Duration: 25:20 STEREO TVG
EVEN GODS - Ireland
Recovering alcoholic Hughie has been living in a long-term homeless shelter for as long as he can remember. But when his long forgotten daughter contacts him out of the blue and wants to see him for the first time in 13 years, the long buried wounds of the past come back into sharp, painful focus. A heart-wrenching tale about the power of reconciliation with a tour de force performance by lead actor Lalor Roddy. Written and directed by Phil Harrison. Principal cast: Lalor Roddy, Laura Thompson and Lois Turkington.
JONNY BOY - Ireland
After a lifetime of love, faithfulness and loyalty, Jonny's terminally ill wife confesses a secret that she has kept secret for thirty five years. A secret stash of letters takes Jonny on a journey of discovery of feelings that had long since been denied, but never forgotten. Directed by Laura Way. Principal cast: Jon Polito, Kathleen Tierney, Ronan Wilmot and Irene Wright.
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Millennial Love (#1208H) Duration: 28:15 STEREO TVG
YOUR PLACE? (Germany): How much would you trust a stranger? Freya meets Max on the dance floor. There's an immediate connection and attraction. When the lights switch on in the nightclub and the crowd disperses, she makes him an unusual offer which is a bigger, more exciting adventure than a normal one night stand.
Dead Last Option (#1105H) Duration: 29:05 STEREO TVPGV
TRUE LOVE - Australia
A woman has suffered years of psychological and physical abuse at the hands of her husband. When he starts focusing his rage on her daughter, she snaps and kills him. She never thought she had it in her to kill somebody. Now does she have it in her to bury the evidence? The original and unpredictable thriller that will have you guessing up to its shocking climax. Directed by Robert Braiden. Principal cast: Niki J Price and Jamie Dunn.
CURFEW - USA
At the lowest point in his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his 9-year-old niece. Years may exaggerate the distance separating brothers and sisters, but blood ties run too deep and cannot be ignored. Written, directed and edited by Shawn Christensen. Principal cast: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek and Kim Allen.
Future Shock (#1202H) Duration: 26:56 STEREO TVPG-V
THE GATE (England): A new virulent strain of rabies is thought to be responsible for a number of horrible deaths in the city of London. It soon becomes clear that the cause of the condition has a much more sinister origin.
PEACEFORCE (Denmark): Copenhagen, Denmark. 2045. A global economic collapse has left humanity on the brink of total anarchy. A young, inexperienced and idealistic peacekeeper volunteers for an unusual mission. Elephants had become extinct years ago, but the locals tell of an elephant that is currently on the loose leaving dead and injured in its wake. He decides to appease the locals and visits them, but before long he is in over his head.
Behind The Veil (#1212H) Duration: 26:47 STEREO TVG
WHAT CAN I WISH YOU BEFORE THE FIGHT? (France): Marie, adopted at the age of five under strange circumstances, lives in the French countryside with her father and younger sister. One fateful evening, the family finds a strange young girl hiding in their barn. On the run from the law, this stranger will change Marie's life forever and bring her hidden past into sharp focus.
AFTER THE CLASS (Iran): In this emotionally nuanced family drama, a high school teacher's day begins with the good news of a promotion. But later, her independently minded daughter brings less welcome news. A universal story about what freedom and independence means for a modern day woman.
A Boy's Life (#1107H) Duration: 29:16 STEREO TVPGV
FELIX - Germany
An annoyingly precocious boy in a supermarket learns the hard way that for every action there is a reaction. Clocking in at just 43 seconds, this is the shortest film to air ever on Imagemakers. While short in length, it does not lack for impact or lack or laughter. Written and directed by Anselm Belser. Principal cast: Felix Muller, Daniela Blaschke and Paul Ohmert.
LITTLE BOY AND THE BEAST - Germany
Since little Haro's dad has left, his mother has completely changed. Divorces are always difficult and painful but when your mother and father are actually monsters... that makes life even more difficult. He discusses the pros and cons of having monsters as parents, but deep down wishes he had normal parents. The award winning film is directed by Uwe Heidschotter and Johannes Sweiland.
HELLION - USA
All hell breaks loose after three brothers tape their babysitter to the side of the house. Petey is the youngest of three boys in his family and he must survive his older brothers' slash and burn approach to the world. These older boys are rebellious in a way that is both terrifying and intriguing to Petey. He must decide if he wishes to become just like them or remain the sweet innocent child in the eyes of his father. A dark tale about the destructive seeds of machismo. Written and directed by Kat Chandler. Principal cast: Arthur Dale, Deke Garner and Jonny Mars.
SIX DOLLAR FIFTY MAN - New Zealand
Set in the 70s at the height of popularity of the TV series "Six Million Dollar Man," a gutsy eight year old misfit is forced to break out of his make believe superhero world to deal with playground bullies. Writer and director Mark Alison and Louis Sutherland capture the innocence, wonder and bravado of kids that don't fit in. The film won the top prize at numerous film festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and Aspen. Principal cast: Oscar Vendee Connor, Celina Russo Berwick, Carmel McLane and Thomas Limber.
Humor Me (#1201H) Duration: 26:18 STEREO TVPG
DO I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING (Finland): All hell breaks loose when a family oversleeps on the day they are supposed to be attending a wedding. A comedy featuring disinterested kids, a clueless husband and a wife who has to take care of everything herself - sound familiar?
NO COMMENT (France):When an English speaking tourist asks a beautiful young woman for directions in Paris, she reads him the riot act, assuming he's simply trying to pick her up.
THE DATE (Finland): Tino, a geeky and shy teenager, has to host a date for Diablo, his family's pedigree stud tomcat. An embarrassing frank mother and her good looking daughter arrive with their prized possession.
THE OP SHOP (Australia): It came in a box. No name. No description. Just a strange donation that three elderly women at a thrift shop were determined to sell for $3.50. But then... and then again... and once more... they slowly unlock its secret.
Family Is Everything (#1207H) Duration: 26:18 STEREO TVPG
GREAT ADVENTURES (Australia): Grandma thinks Billy and his granddad are in the living room. She couldn't be more wrong.
GRANDPA AND ME AND A HELICOPTER TO HEAVEN (Sweden): The relationship between a remarkably perceptive young boy and his wise, bedridden grandfather overflows with humor, warmth and love. They share jokes, talk love, sex and politics, and enjoy each other's company as only best friends can. The film offers a moving reflection on being young and old; living and dying; and the legacy we leave behind.
COLD BLOOD (Canada): A stressed and exhausted mother brings her terrified son to the hospital. A poignant tale about the sacrifices we unquestionably make for family.
Cry for Love (#1108H) Duration: 28:38 STEREO TVPGL
DIVISION OF GRAVITY - England
Kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises. With every goodbye you learn. Love can take your breath away as well as break your heart. A woman lets her heart reveal lessons of a love lost. The fragility of love is captured eloquently and gorgeously by director Rob Chiu. Principal cast: Rebecca Calder and Max Wrottesley.
NEW YEAR - Germany
The morning after celebrating New Years' Eve is going to define the relationship between Michael, Anna and Fabian. It's the start of the New Year. It's time for things to change. Written, directed and edited by Thomas Hartmann. Principal cast: Alexander Merbeth, Ann-Cathrin Schaible and Jan Taubert.
FALLING APART - Holland < br />Frank is a quiet, ordinary man with an extraordinary problem. His life is no longer subjected to the laws of gravity. Frank's life is turned upside down, figuratively and literally. Finding love is hard enough as it is when you're shy. His unusual situation forces him to resort to desperate measures. Written and directed by Jasper Wessels. Principal cast: Stijn Koomen and Tamara Bosma.
Woman to Woman (#1205H) Duration: 25:59 STEREO TVPG
DOTTY (Australia): Sitting on her bed in a nursing home, a stubborn old woman struggles to send an important text message to her daughter. When her morning cup of tea arrives, Dotty manages to rope someone else into her endless battle with her cell phone. Through stubborn persistence, love conquers technology.
KIRUNA KIGALI (Sweden / Rwanda): In the midst of a snowstorm, a woman is driving her way to the hospital in Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden. Under the scorching sun in a remote village near Kigali, Rwanada, another woman is being carried to the nearest hospital on a stretcher by the village boys. Two single mothers to be on the verge of giving birth are separated by thousands of miles, but share the same fear of childbirth and being a single parent.
Love Fool (#1109H) Duration: 25:07 STEREO TVG
0507 - England
Who says technology makes your life easier? There's an app for everything except when it comes to your boyfriend's stupidity. Directed and edited by Chris and Ben Blaine. Principal cast: Fraser Millward and Cariad Lloyd.
LUNCH DATE - England
Getting dumped always hurts...even more so when your boyfriend sends his fourteen-year-old brother to break the news to you. Annabelle believes everyone is a half - a half that is looking for its other half to make a whole. What if you never find your other half? Written and directed by Sasha Collington. Principal cast: Sasha Collington and Alexis de Vivenot.
GEMOLOGY - Spain
Erick is a young gemologist who works for a company that specializes in classifying diamonds. He and his colleagues spend long hours analyzing the imperfections of these precious stones, until one day he believes he has found the perfect diamond despite evidence to the contrary. He loses his job, but comes to the realization that imperfections are what give character and make something special and unique. This goes for diamonds... and for people. Written and directed by Rick Limintani. Principal cast: Alex Barahona and Rebecca Cobos.
The Gravity of Life (#1203H) Duration: 26:32 STEREO TVG
43,000 FEET (New Zealand): You think you've got problems? When statistician John Wilkins is sucked out of a plane at 43,000 feet, he calculates that he has exactly 3 minutes 48 seconds before he hits the ground.
EXPLOSIONS (Australia): As gravity appears to fail all around them, the inhabitants of a neighborhood begin to mysteriously float into the sky. After failing to save her boyfriend from this phenomenon, will she succumb to the same fate?
BRIDGE (New Zealand): A woman finds herself along after dark waiting for a train on an empty platform... or so she thinks. She starts to run as she is pursued by a faceless stranger... or so she thinks. She slips and is knocked out. When she wakes up, her world is truly upside down and she must decide if it's time to let go of the past.
Island of Misfit Toys (#1209H) Duration: 29:10 STEREO TVG
FUGU & TAKO (Australia): Two friends have very discerning tastes when it comes to sushi. They want only the freshest sushi. When one friend reprimands the chef for stale sushi, the chef gives him really fresh sushi. Be careful what you wish for.
ELEPHANT (Spain): Manuel is a middle aged man with a dull life. He is trapped in a monotonous job. His family takes him for granted. But one day his doctor tells him he suffers from a rare disease that will turn him into an elephant.
EDMOND WAS A DONKEY (Canada / France): Edmond is not like everybody else. Some may say odd. He is very well aware he is different. When his co-workers tease him by crowning him with a pair of donkey ears, he suddenly discovers his true nature. Since he can't bring himself to be what others expect, Edmond makes the only possible choice.
My Lover's Kimono (#1210H) Duration: 29:18 STEREO TVPG
KIMONO (Germany): Looking for something to eat, a homeless woman sneaks into a man's apartment. She likes it so much she decides to secretly live there. A story about two lonely strangers with an even stranger relationship.
OTHER LIVES (Norway): Two apartments. Same floors. Directly opposite from one another across the alley. In one lives an older couple stuck in a routine. In the other, a young couple at the beginning of their lives together. They both watch each other's relationships unfold from their kitchen windows, longing to switch places. The grass always looks greener on the other side.