Founded by two Iowans transplanted in New York City to highlight work that deals with rural people and places, this festival offers a broad spectrum of short films—animation, documentary, narrative and experimental—from around the world. A breath of fresh air for city folks, this touring festival will be right at home here in Ithaca.
2012-13 ‘Best of/Shorts’ - Rural Route Tour Program:
Director: Robert Gardner, Dallol, Ethiopia, 1968/2011, 2.5min
One of legendary ethnographic filmmaker Robert Gardner’s filmic interests in Ethiopia was to see and film the salt trade between the Highlands and the Dallol Depression, a wondrous environment of unbearable heat and intense color. He managed a start only and these are the bits that emerged.
Director: Audrey Hall, USA, 2011, 10min
Painting John is a documentary that captures two people, generations apart, separated by education and background but tied together by a commitment to their unique life paths. Hugh Wilson left his career on Wall Street in exchange for the pursuit of his passion – conveying the human condition through art. He paints entirely from life, inspired by the intimate and authentic relationship between artist and subject. The son of Norwegian immigrants, John Holland has lived alone in a rustic Montana cabin his entire adult life devoted to his cattle and family ranch.
Director: Mike Hoath, Australia, 2011, 12min
Two brothers from rural Western Australian are caught poaching a lamb on a neighboring property. When Beau refuses to go quietly his younger sibling becomes a pawn in a violent showdown. Script by award-winning writer/director, Peter Templeman.
Compound Eyes #1
Director: Paul Clipson, USA, 2011, 6min
Taken from a series of short film studies, commissioned by the San Francisco Exploratorium, studying aspects of insect and animal life, viewed within a succession of environments in unexpected ways. A macro-menagerie of natural lifeforms are introduced in a forest’s tapestry of earth, water and air: Spiders, slugs, flies, bees, and ants navigate their lives in darkness and light. Filmed in Super-8 with sound collage/music by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.
The Water’s Edge
Director: Chris Thomas, North Wales, 2011, 14min
In the aftermath of an alien occupation of Britain, a lone man devotes his life solely to a myth that salvation can be found in the water. However, he must avoid the threats that surround him.
George Thompson: Street Cleaner
Producer: Mountain Community Television/Appalshop, USA, 1977, 2.5min
In addition to being “the best street sweeper they ever had in the city of Norton,” Thompson was an accomplished, self-taught guitarist. MCTV was a cable access television project that aired locally in the coal mining region of southwestern Virginia from 1972-78. Programs featured homegrown craftspeople, musicians, events, and profiles of local citizens. Following MCTV’s demise, the original b&w ½” open reel videotapes were deposited at Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY, where they were safeguarded, and in 2008 a large portion of the collection was preserved.
Sacha the Bear
Director: Henri Desaunay, France, 2012, 12min
A bear finds refuge from a hunter by a pretty girl who lives in the woods. This fun and well-crafted film utilizes archetypal fairytale characters, but their well-ordered world lapses into confusion, as the naïve girl starts acting like a seductive woman, the lord starts acting like a beast, and the beast seems surprisingly human.
A Short Film about Ice Fishing
Director: Jason Shahinfar, USA, 2011, 8min
Two friends devote a winter afternoon in South Dakota to ice fishing, cold beers, friendly chatter, man’s best friend, guns, dynamite…all on a frozen lake.
Un Buen Hijo
Director: Juan Gil Garcia, Mexico, 2011, 20min
A young man from rural Mexico with secret aspirations of being a drag performer is forced to choose between helping his hard-working farm parents and running for his dreams.
Director: Marieka Walsh, Australia, 2012, 6min
A boy goes missing in the snow-covered wilderness, feared taken by wolves. A hunter undertakes a journey to find the him, but as he tracks the boy into the mountains, he discovers that his instincts can no longer be trusted. Here, far from civilization he must make decisions that will forever change his relationship with the wilderness he has always feared. The Hunter is an elegant & surprising stop-motion sand animation that tells a new timeless tale.
It Could be Good, It Could be Bad
Director: Robert Gardner, Chilean Andes, 1997/2011, 6min
A breathtaking flight over the Chilean Patagonian Andes in a small craft piloted by filmmaker Robert Fulton.