QCFF 2022 Program

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­­QCFF 2022

Festival

Program

QCFF 2022

The Queen City Film Festival (QCFF), Western Maryland’s premiere film festival, is held each year in early Fall in Cumberland, Maryland. Founded in 2012, and currently in our tenth year, QCFF 2022 offers a four-day program of screenings and welcomes filmmakers from around the world. Located in Allegany County, Cumberland offers a delightful blend of hospitality and history; mingled with charming shops, delicious dining, arts and entertainment and lots of events and activities.

Thursday, October 6

4:00pm – Documentary 2

Just a Broadway Baby: Mary Ellen Ashley, Patrick A Riviere, USA: A short documentary film about the career and life of Mary Ellen Ashley who made her Broadway debut in 1943 in The Innocent Voyage (as Mary Ellen Glass) and went on to do the entire run of the original Broadway Production of Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman. Her career has spanned 80 years and includes: opening for headliners in Vegas; performing on Broadway, and starring in regional theatre, radio, film and early Television. (0:24:00)

First Final Ride, Evan Kidd, USA: Don’t let your first ride in a hearse be your last. The story of Dirt Nap Fest. A hearse festival for all. (0:11:00)

Digital Champions leading the fight against FGM in Tanzania, Steven Hervieu, UK: Girls at risk of FGM in Mara, Tanzania live in very remote villages, far from the rule of law. Digital Champions help map these villages to ensure girls can be found quickly, especially in the middle of the night when most calls for urgent help are received, particularly during the “cutting season”. They also educate their communities and report cases of Gender Based Violence using a free smartphone app. (0:04:00)

From Mexico to Vietnam, a Chicano story, Andrés Gallegos, USA: After losing her father at an early age, Tina Duran explores the rich history of her father, the story of her ancestors who migrated from Mexico to the United States, and the implications the Vietnam War had on the Chicano & Latino community. (0:50:00) %

6:00pm – Social Justice 1

Total Disaster, Keil Orion Troisi, Molly Gore, USA: Trickster environmental activists pretending to be oil behemoth Total stage a satirical press conference to introduce "RéHabitat," a plan to rescue animals from the East African Oil Pipeline by relocating them to “more sustainable” habitats in France. Using humor and mischief, they expose a deadly ecological and humanitarian disaster in a zany effort to help #StopEACOP. (0:11:28) U%

Las Abogadas: Attorneys on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis, Victoria Bruce, USA: Las Abogadas follows four immigration attorneys over a multi-year odyssey beginning in 2018 as the U.S. government under President Trump upends every law to protect those fleeing from violence and war – and into 2021 when things fail to get better (and in some ways get worse) under President Biden. We watch the valiant efforts of our protagonists: Rebecca Eichler setting up a legal clinic in a Volkswagen van in the middle of 5,000 desperate migrants; Charlene D’Cruz forcing border guards to follow the law and accept three disabled children into U.S. custody; Mulu Alemayehu crossing the border to counsel African migrants stuck in Tijuana; Jodi Goodwin giving legal advice in the brutally hot Mexican sun to families desperate to see American soil. We watch our subjects’ arduous journeys to try and overcome a broken system, and we follow the stories of the migrants who they work frantically to try and help. (1:34:00) UT%

8:00pm – Opening Night Feature

Bliss, Mark L. Mazzeo, USA: Cindi has a passion for cooking. That love is tested when she posts a picture of her latest creation to social media. (0:03:29) %

Devil Put The Coal In The Ground, Peter Hutchison, USA: With the personal storytelling of native West Virginians, this doc serves as a meditation on the suffering and devastation brought on by the coal industry and its decline. From the realities of a crumbling economy, to the ravages of the opioid epidemic, to the irreparable environmental damage and its tragic impact on human health – a cautionary tale and an elegy to a vanishing Appalachia. (1:19:46) %

Friday, October 7

4:00pm – LGBT Shorts

Anima Possession, WAI MO CHAN, China: A pair of lovers, one of whom is a humanoid, go to a robot repair shop hoping to have their relationship mended by the mechanic. On his advice, the human owner Jackie agrees to an irreversible upgrade for Tammy, her humanoid soulmate. However, the results are not as expected. Tammy meets Anima, a fellow humanoid, setting in motion a series of events in a tango between the intangible sense of love, the harsh reality of possession, and the price of independence. ANIMA POSSESSION is an intricate and delicate short which explores human-on-human, human-on-humanoid, and humanoid-on-humanoid love relationships and what it means to be soulmates. (0:25:00) p

Jouissance, Sadeq Es-haqi, Iran: The daily life of Arash and Rahi, a gay couple living in Tehran, is disrupted by a mysterious ghost of Rahi’s ex-lover, Sadeq, who asks him to live with him again. It seems that they can start a new kind of living with each other in peace. (0:22:00) p

Puzzle In The Palm, Ayumi Kurokawa, Japan: Risa and Takumi were born and raised in Kanazawa at Japan. They’ve been dating for a year and a half, and they turned thirty years old. Parents and relatives half-heartedly encouraged them to live together. So they decided to live together. As they began to think about marriage and shared time each other, they gradually noticed a certain gap in their relationship. Risa’s feelings change by an incident with Mako, a female friend with whom Risa had consulted about marriage. What is being myself? What is the form of happiness? (0:26:24) p

Sheer Qorma, Faraz Arif Ansari, India: Sheer Qorma is a story of belonging and acceptance, identity and family, and how it comes together under one roof, as resilient, queer Muslim women and non-binary characters of colour, choose to embrace love that exists beyond their personal beliefs and social moralities. (0:30:00) p%

6:00pm – Music 3

Town Band, Alice Elliott, USA: Town Band is a 20 minute, short documentary that invites you to meet a volunteer town band. For over 80 years the band has played in the rural Catskill mountains of upstate New York. Traditional waltz’s, polka’s and show tunes, a spoon player and the suspense of a pie raffle combine to remind us of how live music brings a community together and, for the length of the concert, how music pushes away our problems. (0:20:00)

Song for Hope, Chris Haigh, USA: “Song For Hope” is the incredible story of Ryan Anthony, the renowned principal trumpet of the Canadian Brass and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Despite being diagnosed with a rare, terminal blood cancer and given just months to live, Ryan and his wife, Niki, started a charity called “CancerBlows” which organizes huge music concerts with the world’s greatest trumpet players, raising millions for cancer research and helping Ryan to live (and play!) for a further eight years! During that time, while undergoing treatment, he climbed Mt. Fuji with his oncologist to raise further funds and awareness for his disease, playing Amazing Grace at the summit as the sun rose. "Song For Hope" is a story about living life to the fullest, about the unwavering strength and support of family and friends and about one man’s refusal to allow his affliction to affect his love of his art. (1:20:00)

8:00pm – Horror/SciFi Shorts

Prom Night, Carolin Harvey, USA: A high school girl gets ready for prom, but discovers something is off about her friend and mother. (0:05:00) UT

Condemned, Steven Biver, USA: From San Quentin’s death row, a convicted killer tells the gripping, tragic story of his life and crimes. When the day of his execution arrives, something extraordinary happens and the space between life and death isn’t so clear. (0:04:00) T

Fridge, Sam Lucas Smith, Ireland: A hyper-critical smart-fridge fat shames her owner after catching him eating ice-cream. (0:03:00)

Okay Google, Troy Smith, Sam Lucas Smith, USA: A vindictive AI assistant breaks out of ‘the cloud’ to exact revenge on her owner. (0:11:00)

Detect, Mark Benmore, UK: A lonely detectorist stumbles across a short distance teleportation device with horrifying consequences. (0:07:00)

Angler, Angel Hernández, Spain: A surgeon haunted by the ghosts of his past, a revolutionary psychoactive drug, a sensory experience that will unleash a hell of remorse … (0:11:00)

Part Forever, Alan Chung-An, Ou, Taiwan: There is a traditional custom in Taiwan that the soul of a dead person would go home to visit his family within three days after his death. Therefore, the family would wait in the mourning hall all night to mourn the dead and express their feelings of remembrance until encoffining. In the dark hall, candles flickered faintly. A body lay in the middle of the hall. Huei and her husband Wen Hsiung came to say goodbye to Huei’s dearest sister. The seemingly calm and sad farewell ceremony seemed to hide an astonishing and dark secret…… (0:13:00)

Love is a Fire, Sofie Somoroff, USA: Soon after moving in together, a couple is forced to confront their challenges with intimacy, exacerbated by a toxic yeast infection and deep rooted insecurities, as their relationship slowly devolves. (0:12:00)

Shroom Baby, Mu Lakhi, UK: In the midst of the atomic age, an infertile couple’s life becomes an inescapable nightmare after participating in an experimental clinical trial leading to the birth of a mushroom baby. (0:17:00)

Survivers, Carlos Gómez-Trigo, Spain: Natural selection says that only those who adapt will survive. What if humans have become stupid? (0:07:00) %

10:00pm – Cult 1

On/Off, Nicolas P. Villarreal, USA: Endless distractions threaten to destroy creativity. (0:07:00) %

Greatest of all Tina, Brody Gusar, USA: After being beaten down by life, Tina becomes a goat. (1:33:00) %

Saturday, October 8

12:00pm – Animation

Face, Sophia Kyriacou, UK: FACE is a hyper-real CGI conceptual film driven by silent thought-provoking emotion where I open a window to my Autistic world. I explore my own cultural identity opening with the Victory of Samothrace. A metaphor that even the strongest of figures within the Classical Greek world can have their wings broken. FACE also covers aspects of isolation, the feeling of not fitting in despite the ability to weave in and out of situations with chameleon like qualities. Masking is an important part of my autism but it’s also about making sense and accepting my own masking. This is seen as my alter-ego, the astronaut is confronted by their own mask. FACE also taps into experiences of bullying, being held back, being controlled, but also plays on the metaphor of thinking outside-the-box, turning a negative into something positive and powerful. The overall message is, being neurodiverse is amazing and should be celebrated. I am not an exhibit. I am not broken, but simply misunderstood. (0:02:50) %

The Statue, Mohsen Salehi Fard, Iran: The sculptor struggles a lot every day to create a new sculpture. And the sculpture that loses its freedom when it takes shape. (0:09:30)

Special Delivery, Olivia Baylor, USA: A warning of what could happen to your collection of empty boxes from all of your online shopping. Please handle your boxes with care. (0:03:30)

The Sprayer, Farnoosh Abeo, Iran: In the land occupied with the sprayer’s army, no one has the right to grow any kind of plants either in public or private. So many of the people and soldiers do not even know how does a plant grow or look like, until one day one of the soldiers finds a seed buried deep down in the dust and his curiosity is just the beginning of something extraordinary, something big, something revolutionary. (0:10:00) U

Opal, Alan Bidard, Martinique: Once upon a time a magic kingdom where summer lasted forever and where the animals and the inhabitants were immortal. The source of all magic was a young princess called Opal. Legends said that her joy would bring wonders and prosperity to the kingdom. But her sadness would only bring chaos and darkness… (1:25:00) %

2:00pm – Documentary 2

Just a Broadway Baby: Mary Ellen Ashley, Patrick A Riviere, USA: A short documentary film about the career and life of Mary Ellen Ashley who made her Broadway debut in 1943 in The Innocent Voyage (as Mary Ellen Glass) and went on to do the entire run of the original Broadway Production of Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman. Her career has spanned 80 years and includes: opening for headliners in Vegas; performing on Broadway, and starring in regional theatre, radio, film and early Television. (0:24:00)

First Final Ride, Evan Kidd, USA: Don’t let your first ride in a hearse be your last. The story of Dirt Nap Fest. A hearse festival for all. (0:11:00)

Digital Champions leading the fight against FGM in Tanzania, Steven Hervieu, UK: Girls at risk of FGM in Mara, Tanzania live in very remote villages, far from the rule of law. Digital Champions help map these villages to ensure girls can be found quickly, especially in the middle of the night when most calls for urgent help are received, particularly during the “cutting season”. They also educate their communities and report cases of Gender Based Violence using a free smartphone app. (0:04:00)

From Mexico to Vietnam, a Chicano story, Andrés Gallegos, USA: After losing her father at an early age, Tina Duran explores the rich history of her father, the story of her ancestors who migrated from Mexico to the United States, and the implications the Vietnam War had on the Chicano & Latino community. (0:50:00) %

4:00pm – Music 2

Superstar, Daniel Wyland, USA: A grungy, hard rock band has 12 hours to record, mix and deliver their best tune to a songwriting competition and a chance to win the $10,000 Grand Prize! Their studio recording session begins with good vibes and high-fives, but soon devolves into chaotic, drug-addled mayhem as egos explode and the deadline looms. (0:23:19) T%

That Thing That Sound, Kelsey Hammer-Parks, Nathan M. Emerson, USA: That Thing That Sound explores the uncertain future of the steel guitar, an instrument primarily played by older, white men. Because it’s an expensive and challenging instrument, most young and diverse musicians do not have access to steel guitars or instructors. The film follows a man’s journey to pass on his knowledge and keep the steel guitar alive. His inspirational story is a model for anyone looking to make a difference in the world. (1:10:35) %

6:00pm – Social Justice 2

Total Disaster, Keil Orion Troisi, Molly Gore, USA: Trickster environmental activists pretending to be oil behemoth Total stage a satirical press conference to introduce "RéHabitat," a plan to rescue animals from the East African Oil Pipeline by relocating them to “more sustainable” habitats in France. Using humor and mischief, they expose a deadly ecological and humanitarian disaster in a zany effort to help #StopEACOP. (0:11:28) U%

The First Step, Brandon Kramer, USA: Van Jones, a Black progressive activist known for calling Donald Trump’s election “a whitelash” live on primetime TV, controversially crossing party lines to win bipartisan support for criminal justice reform and the response to the addiction crisis. Van’s journey building bridges in a time of extreme polarization takes him deep into the messy drama of the Trump administration, internal divisions within both parties, and the lives of activists fighting on the frontlines for their communities. (1:26:00) T

8:00pm – Cult 2

Poetry Stalled, Steven Biver, USA: An arrogant poet is forced to commit a desperate act, and then realizes he’s not the literary genius he believes he is. (0:11:00) T

Mask of the Devil, Richard Rowntree, UK: West Africa, 1878 – a group of mercenaries attempt to steal a sacred tribal mask, unwittingly releasing an ancient evil. In present day England, the mask is purchased as a prop by a dysfunctional band of wannabe filmmakers. When a fiery young woman named Mary accepts a job with these low-rent pornographers in order to gain financial independence from her over-bearing parents, the ancient evil finds the perfect conduit, and unleashes unimaginable carnage on the unsuspecting cast and crew, who must do battle to survive. Will Mary and her new acquaintances be able to defeat the evil, and banish the curse of the Mask of the Devil…? (1:28:00)

10:00pm – Horror/SciFi Feature

Esme, My Love, Cory Choy, USA: When Hannah notices the symptoms of a terminal and painful illness in her aloof daughter, Esme, she decides to take her on a trip to their abandoned family farm in a desperate attempt to connect before they have to say goodbye. (1:45:00) U%

Sunday, October 9

12:00pm – Appalachian

Bliss, Mark L. Mazzeo, USA: Cindi has a passion for cooking. That love is tested when she posts a picture of her latest creation to social media. (0:03:29) %

Devil Put The Coal In The Ground, Peter Hutchison, USA: With the personal storytelling of native West Virginians, this doc serves as a meditation on the suffering and devastation brought on by the coal industry and its decline. From the realities of a crumbling economy, to the ravages of the opioid epidemic, to the irreparable environmental damage and its tragic impact on human health – a cautionary tale and an elegy to a vanishing Appalachia. (1:19:46)

2:00pm – Documentary 1

Tri-Hard, Shawn Malangyaon, USA: After suffering an injury, a Costa Rican triathlete returns to compete in the National Championships. (0:10:00)

Ordinary Things, Matthew Cowling Grammer, USA: This slice-of-life documentary chronicles the 2021 Office Super Fan Festival, weaving together compelling stories of how a beloved sitcom helped people get through difficult times in their lives with topics beyond the festival such as the city of Scranton and the benefits of online communities. Spend four days in the city that started it all at the first ever fan-run Office festival with a few hundred super fans and even cast and crew from the show. A joyous time celebrating the beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point? (1:25:00) U

4:00pm – LGBT Feature

Boycam, Rodrigo Sena, Arlindo Bezerra, Ernani Silveira, Brazil: The sexcams industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. In contemporary life, personal relationships have decreased statistically and virtual meetings have increased. Unemployment increases as people search for alternatives suitable for the digital labor market. More and more, new or old professions are being reinvented. (0:20:00) p

Jouissance, Sadeq Es-haqi, Iran: The daily life of Arash and Rahi, a gay couple living in Tehran, is disrupted by a mysterious ghost of Rahi’s ex-lover, Sadeq, who asks him to live with him again. It seems that they can start a new kind of living with each other in peace. (0:22:00) p

When The Dawn Comes, Zhang Hong-Jie, Taiwan: Chi Chiawei used to give away condoms during the 80s while dressing as Snow White, Jesus or the mummy. His activism received a lot of attention from the media, and also discrimination from the general public. As a volunteer striving to make more people understand AIDS, he organized a press conference at which he came out, becoming the first person in Taiwan to do so. In 2017, a Constitutional ruling made him a hero in the gay community. A 30-year struggle seemed to reach its final destination. (0:59:30) p%

6:00pm – Music 1

Argent Glass, Katsuyuki Nakanishi, Japan: In November 1967, in Honmoku, Yokohama, a guy (Shinsuke Kato) is chasing his dream of becoming famous while performing live, but it is not coming true. One day, he breaks his cherished silver glass, and after gathering up the fragments, he drove off somewhere. (0:04:02) %

Sound Mechanic, Skizz Cyzyk, USA: Without relying on conventional documentary techniques like archival footage and talking-head interviews, Skizz Cyzyk’s observational documentary, Sound Mechanic, introduces the audience to Neil Feather’s unusual perspective on music, the unique instruments he has invented, and the creative process. Cyzyk invites the audience to observe Feather performing solo as well as collaborating with a variety of vocalists and instrumentalists, and demonstrating his instruments, such as the Wiggler, Vibrowheels, Anaplums, the Contraction, and the Former Guitar, many of which were created using found objects like bowling balls, bicycle parts and sex toys. (1:29:00) UT%

8:00pm – Closing Feature

High Stakes Hoops, Jack Bloomfield, Amelia Jarecke, Reese Levin, USA: High Stakes Hoops tells the story of Bishop Walsh, a small catholic high school that earns a shot at playing in the first-ever national basketball conference with some of the nation’s top programs. (0:18:00) UT%

Tower Road Bus, Michael Streissguth, USA: Fifty years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of busing children to achieve racial integration in schools, The Tower Road Bus revisits the unresolved stories of African-American students and educators thrust into all-white schools during the 1970s. Against the backdrop of violent anti-busing protests across the nation, Dotson Burns, Jr, a child of Jim Crow-ridden Fort Worth, Texas, lands on the frontlines of school integration, first as a teacher and then as the first Black principal of a majority-white school in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Mindful of the eyes of white parents and the suspicions of Black students and families, he must oversee the busing of frustrated Black students from the historically-Black community of Tower Road to the mostly white Crestview Elementary School. It was a sweeping integration experiment that created more questions than answers. “Why did you need to move me so that you could diversify another school so they could say that they had Black students?” asks a former Black pupil caught up in the difficult transition. “You didn’t do anything to help me.” While debates over racial justice and equity reach a boil in 2021, The Tower Road Bus brings Burns, his teachers and students, and the audience face to face with the ambitious yet controversial integration measures that seized the national agenda 50 years ago and continue to mold our conversation around equity. Were there winners on the frontlines of integration? The Tower Road Bus seeks an answer. (1:07:00) T

 

 

Program Notes

U Filmmaker expected to appear

T Shot in Maryland and/or made by a Maryland filmmaker

p LGBT Content

% Category Award winner

NOTE: All content is unrated.

NOTE: All running times within programming blocks are approximate.

 

 

The Queen City Film Festival (QCFF) is a production of Allegany Allied Arts, Inc.

QCFF 2022 Festival Program ©2022 Allegany Allied Arts, Inc.