2016 Films Selection

2016 West Chester Film Festival Official Selections

A Grand Pursuit
AGrandPursuitWill Strathmann/PA/USA/Documentary/World Premiere/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/22:55

Vasu Sojitra is the first leg amputee to attempt climbing the Grand Teton without the use of a prosthetic leg. During the push to the 13,775 foot summit, Vasu and four other adaptive athletes redefine their own physical and mental limitations and will change your perception of what it means to live with a disability.

Watch the trailer.

A Six and Two Threes

Andy Berriman/United Kingdom/Comedy/US Premiere/12:30

Two boys from different sides of the tracks meet when one goes in search of his father. Over the course of the day they realise they might have more in common than they think.

Watch the trailer.


Guillaume Comtois/Canada/Drama/U.S. Premiere/20:00

A man returning from a business trip saves a teenage girl from drowning. She disappears a few moment later, leaving the man quite shaken. His girlfriend tries to cheer him up, but she disappears too, when the teenage girl suddenly comes back.





Apocalypse Rock

Apocalypse RockBrian Pennington/MD/USA/Comedy/Pennsylvania Premiere/Best Comedy Nominee/24:20

Tom Harper is the last man alive. Surviving alone in an emergency broadcast radio station, he broadcasts a rock and roll fueled radio show each and every day in hopes that someone out there might hear him.

 Watch the trailer.


BreakageSteve Parys/PA/USA/Drama/World Premiere/12:11

A friend’s enthusiasm about her new boyfriend causes Ally Kent to revisit her own relationship with Frank Brown, the love of her life.

Watch the trailer.


Chasing Light

CHASING LIGHT POSTER SmallJessika Pilkes/CA/USA/Drama/World Premiere/23:11

After years in denial, an international photojournalist must confront and come to terms with losing his sight.






Counter Histories: Rock Hill

CounterRevolutionSmFR3DER1CK Taylor/GA/USA/Documentary/World Premiere/27:30

Meet the men who stood up for their rights at the counter of the Rock Hill, SC Five and Dime. They asked for a cup of coffee and were instead met with violence, police brutality and unjust imprisonment. A small town miles from Charlotte, NC, Rock Hill became a landmark of the Civil Rights Movement, one that too few remember today. Students of Friendship College took on the weight of discrimination under the banner of non-violence and ‘Jail No Bail.’ The tactic spread across the South, inspiring protesters to no longer fund their own oppression through bonds and fines. The courage of these men ignited a passion and furor that rose into the famed Freedom Rides.

Watch the trailer.


Katie Smith/United Kingdom/Drama/U.S. Premiere/19:54

Following the death of his wife, a depressed father discovers that his son is gay and confronts him leading to explosive consequences.

Watch the trailer.

Dear Santa

Maura Smith/MA/USA/Student Comedy/World Premiere/Best Comedy & Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/22:43

When Ann Dunham asks Santa Clause to turn her into a boy for Christmas, her request throws her conservative mother into a tailspin.

Watch the trailer.

e-Nable: Open Technology; Faster Progress

e-nable-film-posterBrett  Abramsky/NC/USA/Documentary/U.S. Premiere/Best Documentary Nominee/8:51

The e-NABLE community designs, fabricates, and distributes open source, 3D-printed prosthetics for people who need them–and gives them away for free.

Also shown as part of our Family Block.




First Date

Rob Innes/Australia/Comedy/North American Premiere/Best Comedy Nominee/9:00

Mark decides to make a change to his life, so he goes on a date with Sue, a girl he has met on an Internet chat site. Problem is, Mark doesn’t know what Sue looks like, and when he sits down with her at the Cafe, he accidentally mistakes her for Sarah, the cafe’s manager who is there conducting job interviews.


FrontmanPosterMatthew Gentile/NY/USA/Student Drama/North American Premiere/Best Student Filmmaker Nominee/19:01

A recently deceased man searches for his final resting place.






Hit & Run

Jordan Liebowitz/CA/USA/Drama/World Premiere/6:41

After a car accident disrupts their plans, two low level drug dealers scramble to dispose of the evidence only to discover that an unwitting victim may be far more dangerous than they first imagined.

Holodomor: Voices of Survivors

sad peasants w_grain bagsAriadna Ochrymovych/ON/Canada/Drama/U.S. Premiere/29:36

The Richest Soil, The Best Harvest, The Biggest Lie, The Best Kept Secret. Millions Perished.

Survivors recount the horrors of living through the little-known Ukrainian Famine/ Genocide, engineered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1932-33. Over 5 million people died, as brigades forcibly confiscated all livestock, grain and foodstuffs. The Ukrainian elite was decimated and hundreds of thousands who opposed collectivization were sent to the Gulag. Journalists are barred from Ukraine and borders were closed. No one spoke of this atrocity until 1991 when Ukraine gained independence. But the consequences of this genocide continue to reverberate today as Ukraine struggles to become a true democracy..

Watch the trailer.

In the Shadow of Ebola

Gregg Mitman/WI/USA/Documentary/26:32

‘In the Shadow of Ebola’ is an intimate story of a family and a nation torn apart by the Ebola outbreak. We follow a Liberian student and his family living divided between the United States and Liberia, who open our eyes to the ripple effects the outbreak is having on Liberians living through this crisis. Caught in an invisible war that is painfully reminiscent of the chaos and confusion they lived through during a fourteen-year civil war, a family and a people find the compassion and inner resolve to combat the virus’s spread.

Into the Dark

Into the Dark poster smallLukas Hassel/NY/USA/Drama/U.S. Premiere/14:24

Sometime in the future. Two men, strapped in back to back, on a journey from Moon to Earth.Just Reality. Real Justice.

Watch the trailer.





Jewish Blind Date

poster_JEWISH_BLIND_DATEAnaëlle Morf/Switzerland/Student Comedy/Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/15:54

Unhappy in love, Mary Lou decides to reconnect with her religious roots by marrying a practicing Jew. In order to get married, she has to pass the Shidduch test, which will determine whether her life will be a success or failure.





Jayil Pak/South Korea/Drama/World Premiere/15:00

An affluent housewife one day chooses to leave her husband along with her hopelessly repetitive lifestyle. The question is: should she take her two daughters with her or leave them behind? Based on a real-life incident involving a Korean mother and her children, ‘Jubu’ explores the bleak world of women suffering from depression, who struggle to find purpose in their cripplingly mundane lives.

Lies Beneath The Nightshade

Andrew Wecht/MD/USA/Student Drama/World Premiere/10:21

In the throes of The Great Depression, Basilio is unable to upkeep his beloved tomato garden with his grandson Anthony serving life in prison-but Anthony has an endgame to help save the family tradition.

Margret and Helmut

Margret&HelmutClemens Beier/NY/USA/Student Drama/North American Premiere/Best Drama & Best Student Filmmaker Nominee/30:00

When Margret loses her husband to his diagnosed dementia, she creates a new reality for them.



Nepal Heroes

NepalHeroes_H_Poster2Aaditi Dutt/Maharashtra/India/Documentary/World Premiere/Best Documentary Nominee & Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/3:28

Ordinary people came together to make an extraordinary difference in helping the people of Nepal recover from the April 2015 Earthquake. Here is a salute to these #NepalHeroes.


ResonanceSmLachlan Linton-Keane/ACT/Australia/Student Drama/World Premiere/Best Student Filmmaker Nominee/14:00

Emily’s mind rages against a trauma induced coma. She must fight a battle grounded in memory and pain to heal herself and reconnect with her partner.

Watch the trailer.


Revival PosterNadav Lazare/Israel/Student Drama/U.S. Premiere/24:44

Hemi is an old fashioned and shy religious studies teacher who finds out that his wife, now in her sixties, is planning to get back together with the punk band she played in thirty years ago.





Roller Coaster

RollerCoaster posterBradley Hawkins/PA/USA/Comedy/15:26

A young actress encounters ‘Murphy’s Law’ while on the way to a potentially career-making audition.

Watch the trailer.






Poster_Scheherazade_SmMehrnoush Aliaghaei/AL/USA/Drama/North American Premiere/Best Drama Nominee & Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/14:56

In an audition, the unseen man behind the camera is asking the young actresses to share their dark personal stories.  How much are they willing to share? What is this really about?

Watch the trailer.




Sock Puppet

SockPuppetSmRichard Tatum/CA/USA/Comedy/U.S. Premiere/7:03

Sometimes you can only hear love through an interpreter.  Sometimes that interpreter isn’t human.




Soup of the Day

Soup_of_the_Day_PosterLynn Smith/QC/Canada/Animation/Best Animation Nominee/3:44

A rollicking short, animated ‘directly under the camera’ in vibrant gouache paint, tells a doo-wop story-in-song about the dilemma a husband and wife face every time they go out to eat. Will their culinary differences douse the flames of romance, or will love prevail? Featuring the voices of Susie Arioli and Alexander Ary.

Also shown as part of our Family Block.

Take Away

TakeAwayGregory Chollet/Switzerland/Drama/World Premiere/Best Drama Nominee/5:36

A slice of a couple life which might not be so meaningless.



Take Care

Brynn Thayer/CA/USA/Drama/U.S. Premiere/15:07

How would you deal with hearing the worst news of your life? How about hearing it from your favorite nurse who is also your true love? For Lisa, a witty foul mouthed long term hospital patient, she only knows one way…sarcasm.

Take Care

Jeremy Braverman/PA/USA/Comedy/U.S. Premiere/17:48

A ‘cancer comedy’ about a theater undergrad and aspiring actress taking care of her terminally ill father, a charming, fast-talking schemer left without health insurance or a support network when his health goes south. When he realizes the demands of his care are forcing her to give up on her dreams, he tries to do the right thing–not exactly his strong suit.This character-rich dramatic comedy finds humor and grace in the most difficult of circumstances.

The Block

Tristan Santana/PA/USA/Student Drama/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/12:17

After a cinderblock crashes into their car, a father  seeks revenge for his daughter.

The End of Blessings

John  Rice/PA/USA/Drama/9:57

The saying goes, ‘Count Your Blessings,’ but we often don’t know we’re being blessed until the blessings stop.

Watch the trailer.



The Holy Cave

Aleix Massot/Spain/Comedy/World Premiere/15:19

The story of a high school boy that would do anything in order to get the girl that he truly loves. Even if ‘anything’ means to destroy his own life as he used to know…

The Itinerary

Ricardo Perez-Selsky/CA/USA/Comedy/U.S. Premiere/10:41

An older waitress abruptly finds herself without a job, but receives a mysterious package in the mail about what to do next.

The Nike Chariot Earring

Karen Audette/MA/USA/Documentary/Pennsylvania Premiere/Best Documentary Nominee/14:06

A half-century ago a priceless treasure was stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This is the remarkable story of its recovery and the woman who found it.


The Prodigy

TheProdigyDavid Traverso/PA/USA/Drama/9:41

Preparing to embark on a major study in Norway, renowned Child Psychologist Dr. Russell Winfield agrees to meet with an institutionalized graduate student who has requested him by name. Hoping to quickly diagnose the young man and return his focus to the study, Dr. Winfield soon discovers the magnitude of their encounter.

Watch the trailer.



The Story of Ginger and Snapper

D.C. Douglas/CA/USA/Animation/World Premiere/Best Animation Nominee/5:03

A post-apocalyptic story about a lonely gamer girl and a misunderstood zombie. Starring Lacey Chabert (‘Mean Girls,’ ‘Party of Five’) and 12 other voice actors who have all been heard in the zombie-centric video game franchise, ‘Resident Evil.’

The Thrill of Being Followed

A029_C009_06059HMickey Newman/PA/USA/Comedy/U.S. Premiere/Best PA Filmmaker Nominee/21:29

After her cell phone is kidnapped and held for ransom, a neurotic woman and her mischievous boyfriend embark on an amusing quest to retrieve it in this light comedy that pokes fun at cell phone addiction and the technologically warped culture that perpetuates it.

Watch the trailer.

The Visit

Shane Andries/NJ/USA/Drama/Pennsylvania Premiere/11:10

A ‘brown’ man with a beard finds himself caught in a dilemma when two men show up to his house looking for answers. Stereotype, victim, or perpetrator? ‘The Visit’ is an upside-down look at present day racial realities.

Watch the trailer.





Jonathan Stutzman/PA/USA/Student Drama/World Premiere/Best Art/Experimental Nominee/8:40

A fairy tale about a young girl who finds a magic mask and enters a dreamworld.

Today is the Day

Betsy Haley Hershey/MA/USA/Documentary/U.S. Premiere/15:47

Deep in Mexico, Carlos, an indigenous Tarahumara who left his community to be trained as a nurse, has returned to his homeland to try to save babies and mothers who have been dying at a high rate during childbirth. These deaths (far too common in indigenous groups worldwide) further threaten an already dwindling population and its dying culture.


Touched Poster2Itaay Netzer/Israel/Student Drama/U.S. Premiere/19:59

A young man with a secret gift for healing the emotional pain of others can cure everyone else’s sadness but his own.






Tree Hugger

TreeHuggerDave Sarrafian/PA/USA/Art/Experimental/World Premiere/7:36

Mad Scientist, Josh Manton, resolves to end his loneliness by growing the perfect companion



UMBRA/Eclipse of the Moon

Urszula Nawrot/Poland/Art/Experimental/U.S. Premiere/Best Art/Experimental Nominee & Best Female Filmmaker Nominee/29:58

An allegorical picture  about discovering oneself on a conscious and subconscious level, about reaching out into the deepest, hidden secrets. Through symbols, music and dance it tells  a story of a girl gone missing and later a woman seduced by the evil touch who cannot break free from it and fights her emotions towards  her tormentor.

Un Signe, Un Geste

ASignPosterDon Duncan/Belgium/Student Drama/U.S. Premiere/17:52

Shortly after losing her once-solid faith in God, Rosaline meets Georges, a puppeteer. She physically reminds him of a woman he lost in his past. Rosaline agrees to pose for him so as to help him bring that woman back in the form of a puppet. During their numerous posing sessions, Rosaline finds a new, unexpected hope. But once the puppet is finished, their moment of grace comes to an end and she must return to despair. While her situation again appears hopeless, Rosaline experiences the sort of miracle that she has so long waited for.

Watch the trailer.

Under the Heavens

Under The HeavensTyrik Washington/NY/USA/Drama/Pennsylvania Premiere/9:00

The American dream becomes a nightmare due to the recent killings of several unarmed black men by the police for Rahkeem; a frustrated African- American adolescent from Brooklyn, New York. In his quest for justice, he becomes vulnerable to questionable spiritual guidance.

Watch the trailer.





Sharokh Dolkou/NY/USA/Art/Experimental/World Premiere/Best Art/Experimental Nominee/25:42

A man and a woman. A cafe. And talking about a problem. The Man`s wife cheating him, and he talk about it with his wife`s sister…