The Monadnock International Film Festival (MONIFF) showcases three days of high quality independent cinema, both domestic and foreign feature films and shorts. Enjoy Q&A’s with guest filmmakers, film industry panels, and lively “after parties” at local restaurants.
9:45AM- 11:10AM – SHORTS BLOCK A (Narrative Shorts)
SOMEWHERE IN JULY: Somewhere in July follows a 10-year-old girl, caught in chasm of a family divided over her father’s recent transition into a woman.
TRAP: After a trial adoption Christine finds herself struggling to adapt to her new home. The couple that adopted her also face difficulties; beyond a child’s ability to comprehend. Consequently, all three are trapped.
EXPRESSWAY WEST: Whisked away on an impromptu road trip, Mel and her little brother Brian struggle to understand their father’s intentions.
THE SPIRIT SEAM: The Spirit Seam is a short animated film that follows a little girl named Pollwog and her Pap-Paw as they experience daily life in a small coal-mining town in 1950s Appalachia.
TANGLEFOOT: A young and fragile dancer attends a prestigious dance audition, prepared to do whatever it will take to achieve her long-term goal of becoming a professional choreographer.
UBER EX: It’s Friday night and Kate and David are out on what feels like a potentially significant date. David calls an Uber to take them home. When it arrives, they get in, only to discover that the driver, Lev, is Kate’s old flame. Now, stuck in a car together for a long drive home, the three of them must navigate each other.
11:30AM-1:15PM – GHOST LIGHT (1:02)
Ghost Light is a haunted comedy about the absurd, but very seriously regarded, superstitions of the theatre, specifically those surrounding Shakespeare’s Macbeth. When a disgruntled and arrogant understudy tempts fate by uttering the forbidden name of the “Scottish King” on stage, the sorcery of the Bard’s witches overwhelms the production leading to chaos, misfortune and death. All’s well that ends well… but not for everyone.
1:45PM – LETTER FROM MASANJIA(1:13)
Letter from Masanjia begins when mom of two, Julie Keith, finds a SOS note in a box of “Made in China” Halloween decorations from an Oregon Kmart. The desperate note written by a political prisoner named Sun Yi is from China’s notorious Masanjia labor camp. On the crumpled page that travelled over 5000 miles, he details being jailed for his spiritual beliefs and the torture and brainwashing tactics he endures. His message goes viral and miraculously leads to the closure of China’s entire labor camp system.
3:15PM – ON HER SHOULDERS (1:34)
Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of exhausting undertakings from giving testimony before the U.N. to visiting refugee camps to soul-bearing media interviews and one-on-one meetings with top government officials. Filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows this strong-willed young woman, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped the hands of ISIS to become a relentless beacon of hope for her people, even when at times she longs to lay aside this monumental burden and simply have an ordinary life.
6:15pm – WOMAN AT WAR (1:40)
Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman, but behind the scenes of her quiet routine as a choir director, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist and secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. As Halla’s actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminum smelter. But right as she plans her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives a letter that changes everything.
8:15pm – WILDLIFE (1:40)
Fourteen-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry – a housewife and golf pro – in a small town in 1960’s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest re rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job – and his sense of purpose – he decides to join the cause of fighting there, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.
9:45am-11:25AM – SHORTS BLOCK B (Documentary Shorts)
THE LAST STORM: Mark, a 60-year-old fledgling storm chaser recently diagnosed with lung cancer, sets out across the Midwest with his friend’s nephew in search of a tornado before the two month season comes to an end.
BUILT TO LAST: From humble beginnings in a small slate roofed village in Greece, to the heyday of America’s movie palaces, “Built to Last” is the story of one family and how they built an empire of theatres throughout New England in the hard- scrabble years of the Great Depression.
SISTER HEARTS: Maryam Henderson-Uloho spent thirteen years in prison, six of which were in solitary confinement. After her release in 2013, she lived as a squatter on the streets of New Orleans and sold found items on street corners to get by. That’s when Maryam’s journey to help other ex-offenders, especially women like her, began.
STRANGE KID: Ethan Gingerich is the quiet and brilliant founder of a company that converts old film projectors into guitar amps. Strange Kid follows him in search of what makes his craft so unique and the love that goes into each piece of work.
WE BECAME FRAGMENTS: After losing his mother and four siblings in a bombing that left him injured, Syrian teenager Ibraheem Sarhan and his father make a new life for themselves in Winnipeg, Canada despite the heartbreak of leaving their home behind.
TUNGRUS: Tungrus observes a week in the peculiar lives of a middle-class suburban Mumbai household, which is turned topsy-turvy when they adopt a chicken as a pet. The once adorable chick soon grows into a hell-raising rooster, generally making their life miserable.
TRAP FISHING: Learn the art of trap fishing with one of the last remaining trap fishing families in Rhode Island. Although it is it rare to come across a family that works together over generations, the way the Wheelers harvest fish is even more rare. There are only four trap companies left in Rhode Island, down from approximately two hundred in the late 1800’s.
11:45am-1PM – LOBSTER WAR
Lobster War is an award-winning feature lm about a climate-fueled conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea, known as the “Gray Zone”, were traditionally shed by US lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty. (Q&A w/filmmaker)
1:30PM-3:30PM – Capernaum (2:00)
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Film, Capernaum (“Chaos”), is a new film by Nadine Labaki about the journey of a clever, gutsy 12-year-old boy, Zain, who survives the dangers of the city streets by his wits. He flees his parents and to assert his rights, takes them to court suing them for the “crime” of giving him life.
4:00PM-5:45PM – The Bird Catcher (1:40)
The Bird Catcher is a suspenseful, coming of age story set against the backdrop of violence and prejudice. It’s inspired by the little known actual stories of Norwegian Jews during World War 2 that have never been told. This film uncovers a hidden slice of history that grips at the heart and inspires us all at the deepest level – it’s a profound fable of identity and loss, of forced migration and the cost of war. (Q&A w/filmmakers)
7:30PM-8:55PM – Grit (1:21)
When Dian was six years old, a tsunami of mud barreled towards her village forcing her neighbors ran for their lives. Sixteen villages, including Dian’s, were plunged under 60 feet of mud. A decade later, nearly 60,000 people have been displaced from what was once a thriving industrial and residential area in East Java, Indonesia. Lapindo, a multinational company drilling for natural gas in 2006, struck an underground pocket of mud and unleashed a violent flow of hot sludge from the earth’s depths. Dian and her mother fight against the corporation accused of one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in recent history for promised reparations to the victims. (Q&A w/filmmakers)
For more information about MONIFF events or to purchase passes, visit www.moniff.org.
Individual film tickets: $14