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Fort Myers Film Festival

April 10th – April 14th

Tickets now on sale! View listings and purchase tickets below.

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Black Tie Red Carpet Opening Night Gala and Movie

The Black Tie Red Carpet Opening Night Gala will be celebrated with excitement and style April 10, 2019 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center at 7 p.m. The evening begins with the red carpet rolling out, paparazzi clicking and doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for drinks, mingling, and musical entertainment with local and international filmmakers prior to the featured movie. The opening night film “A Man and His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story,” directed by Cameron Washington. Mr. Washington and featured jazz trumpeter Leroy Jones will be in attendance.

VIP tickets include access to the Pre-party and the Red Carpet After Party, which will include a fabulous jazz concert featuring Mr. Jones, a fully-stocked bar with complimentary signature cocktails by List Distillery, and a chance to meet with the stars of the evening’s film, other filmmakers, and event VIPs. The event will provide the delicious culinary creations from G3 Catering. The event will benefit the Raddatz Foundation and Florida Arts Inc.

VIP: $150 | GA: $25

7 p.m. – A Man and His Trumpet: The Leroy Jones Story
Documentaries | Dir. by Cameron Washington
There’s millions of musicians in the world – but there’s only one Leroy Jones.
*Attending Leroy Jones and Cameron Washington

Dir. by Byeo Ri Kim, Hae Deun Woo and Ye Bin Ahn
Fun mix of reality and animation to create a new super heroine.

VIP Tickets GA Tickets
All Day Passes
Get all day passes for Thursday, Friday, & Saturday for just $20 each!

Thursday Day Pass

Friday Day Pass

Saturday Day Pass

Thursday Films & Tickets

9 a.m.
Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore*
Documentaries | Dir. by David Sutherland
David Sutherland’s Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore examines the US immigration system with the help of two unforgettable protagonists, demonstrating the human cost of deportation. Elizabeth Perez, a decorated US Marine veteran living in Cleveland, fights to reunite her family after her husband, Marcos, is deported. Meanwhile, Marcos is alone in Mexico, working as a soccer referee, struggling with depression, and fighting the urge to cross the border illegally to see his family. *Team Attending


11 a.m.
Daniel, Debra, Leslie (and You?)
Documentaries | Dir. by Benjamin Wolf
What do we mean by ‘recovery’ from serious mental disorders? What do we know of how individuals with such disorders cope? ‘Daniel, Debra, Leslie (and You?)’ invites us to listen — empathically and constructively — as courageous individuals speak openly and honestly to each other of their experience. The film invites us to watch as caring and advocacy develop from the sharing of ‘unusual’ thoughts and feelings, thoughts and feelings more common than one might suspect. 


12:15 p.m.
Full Length Features | Dir. by Andrew Seok
If you remove all the names, places, and faces from all wars, from all time, you are left with the same story.


1:30 p.m.
New Money
Full Length Features | Dir. by Jason B. Kohl
A struggling pet store worker kidnaps her estranged father after he cuts her out of his will.


3 p.m
Beyond Kepler
Shorts | Dir. by Michael Maugeri
After completing a major milestone mission of navigating the universe, Astronaut William Montgomery plans to solidify his late Father’s legacy by completing their research and traveling to the planet Kepler 452B, which is also deemed Earth 2.0. 


3:30 p.m
Where There Is Darkness
Crime | Dir. by Sean Bloomfield, Cimela Kidonakis
Fr. Rene Robert devoted his life to helping the less fortunate in and around the tight-knit community of St. Augustine, Florida. But, in 2016, he was kidnapped and murdered by 28-year-old Steven Murray—an ex-felon he had been trying to help. Just as prosecutors began seeking a death sentence for Murray, Fr. Rene’s friends discovered a document he had signed 20 years earlier which stated, in part, “Should I die as a result of a violent crime, I request that the person responsible for my killing not be subject to the death penalty, no matter how heinous their crime.” 


5:30 p.m
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
Documentaries | Dir. by Arwen Curry
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a feature documentary that explores the remarkable life and legacy of the science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away in 2018. Produced with Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade, the film is a journey through the writer’s inimitable career and her worlds, both real and fantastic. Featuring David Mitchell, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and more. 


7 p.m.
Random Official Shorts Selection

11 | Dir. by Spencer Muhlstock
Today is the day. All that’s left is to wait until 11:00pm. A surreal-narrative short shot on super 16mm film.

Reflection | Dir. by Juan Buendia
This story lets you recognize that the things we choose to do have an impact on our lives and we have to deal with the consequences of the decisions we make.

AV Club | Dir. by Nicholas Markart
As a high-school A.V. club faces the absurdity of egomania, tensions flare between the director and lead actress, causing the director to fatally reprimand the crew.

Dear Alice | Dir. by Matt Cerini
An unconfident artist must inspire a wide-eyed young girl to see the beauty in her sketch before the bus reaches his stop.

Cold Shoulder | Dir. by Max Debczak
A lonely Eskimo fishes up a cave woman frozen in ice and attempts to get her out.

Jewelry Junky | Dir. by Felix Meinhardt
A squad of small-time criminals take advantage of the beautiful blonde’s Judy’s (Alena Bacher) drug addiction to come by a valuable diamond necklace. With the help of her alleged bodyguard, Judy classily causes confusion in a jewelry store.

The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and a Wild Child | Dir. by Hannah Roze
When Hazel runs away into Prague’s wintry, dizzying, fairytale-esque nightlife, Rachel finds her. But the euphoria of their rekindled sisterhood shatters as the two talk.

Instructions on Flying | Dir. by Tari Wariebi
A young woman is unexpectedly fired from her job and begins a new journey when she stumbles upon a special instructional book.

The Good, the Bad and the Puppy | Dir. by Louisa Lawler
In this homage to spaghetti westerns, a young woman sets out to find her dog when he runs away from home to play poker.


8 p.m.
The Old Stripper*
Documentaries | Dir. by Jack Truman
An epic underground feature documentary film about a burlesque legend visiting her dancing cities from yesterday. *Team attending


10 p.m.
Full Length Features | Dir. by Elias Talbot
A young medical student finds himself entrenched in a web of intrigue when he’s sent to care for the former US Ambassador to Syria. Christopher Cousins, Vivica A. Fox and Missi Pyle co-star in Loomis’ thrilling drama. *Team Attending


Friday Films & Tickets


10:30 a.m.
To Your Health Shorts Selections

The Nesting Doll | Dir. by Jeffrey Blake Palmer
Filmed in the style of “relatable realism” akin to movies like Still Alice (Alzheimer’s) and The King of Marvin Gardens (fraternal bonds), The Nesting Doll delivers a poignant, heartfelt and bittersweet story of memory loss and memory lane. 

The Lemonade Stand | Dir. by Ijaaz Noohu
Grace, a young girl living in New Jersey, comes up with a master plan to save her family’s home.

Vivian | Dir. by Kevin Garcia
Diana a selfless mother of two who takes care of others before herself, tries to take care of her mother Vivian that has Alzheimer’s.

Family Day | Dir. by Harry O’Reilly
Family Day is a powerful short film about a mid twenties woman (Kelly O’ Connell) who is finishing up her third stint in rehab at Greenbrier Rehab center in Dobbs ferry NY. In the final days of her three month stay, her mother and loving step dad (Brenda and Richard) come to visit for Family Day. What ensues is unexpected and revealing. Kelly’s sobriety is tested in a myriad of ways by dealing with an avalanche of her mothers past pains and fears.


11:15 a.m.
Serious, Seriously Interesting Shorts

Flag Duty | Dir. by Raymond Knudsen
Tensions mount as two children reconcile their socioeconomic differences when they’re forced to work together on flag duty during elementary school.

Mrs. Lavinski | Dir. by Suraboon Art Purnaveja
In order to prove herself sane, Bobbie Lavinski has to tell her therapist, Dr. Carson, about what happened before the car accident she was in. After her husband, Richard, retired, he stayed home more and make both her and her son uncomfortable. 

Dirty Bomb | Dir. by Valerie McCaffrey
Signing his own death wish, a concentration camp prisoner Aharon sabotages the construction of the V-2 bomb against the Nazi’s, while American soldiers struggle to advance against the Germans during ‘The Battle of the Bulge’, Hitler’s last chance for winning the war. Aharon, a Jew, (Ido Samuel) defiant enters the secret Dora-Mittlebau concentration labor camp, where he is especially chosen to work on the V-2 bomb. He joins Samuel (Robert Arce) who is the mastermind of the sabotage of the missile, and encourages Aharon to help him.

Stall Boy | Dir. by Luke Toye
Logline: When a germaphobic thirteen-year-old boy grapples with an abusive father at home and relentless bullying at school he must find the will to overcome his inner turmoil or be consumed by it.

Patrik | Dir. by Evgeniya Radilova
A real human connection is the ultimate reward we can all hope for in this life time.


12:15 p.m.
Around the World Shorts Selections

Mr. Nomad | Dir. by Sifis Stamou
A man in a shattered world.

Cows Can’t Swim | Dir. by Jonas Möllmann
Two lonely Souls meet at a hotel bar. Hotshot TV-Host Nick and blind musician Klara get into each other’s hair immediately. They prey on their counterpart’s weaknesses with precision and persistence, but seemingly just can’t get off each other’s backs.


1:15 p.m.
International Shorts Selections

Greek Tragedy | Dir. by Norberto Trujillo
Two men walk towards their destination.

One More Experiment | Dir. by Sergey Vlasov
In the near future all actors have become computer generated character and human actors are unemployed. This is a story of an aging actor who came to the small booth where the computer directs his monologue reading. This is the only place he can act. 

The Awakening | Dir. by Bahi Ben Hamani
Should we listen to others? Or is following your instincts more judicious?

Green land | Dir. by Hatam Saedpanah
A female journalist risks her life taking photos of the conflict between Palestinian people and the military. 

Baghdad Photographer | Dir. by Mejd Hameed
The film discusses the wars that have been taken place in Iraq and their reflection on the society represented by the family which is the base of the society. 

The Traffic Separating Device | Dir. by Johan Palmgren
A traffic separating device is installed in the middle of Stockholm. It is supposed to keep normal cars away and only let buses pass. It turns into a disaster as normal cars continue to go there and hundreds of cars get destroyed every week. Tragic and funny situations occur and we follow the whole mess of human failures.

Another Beautiful Day | Dir. by AK Simba
Another Beautiful Day follows the last moments in the life of the man in the overcoat. He is an enigma. His actions while they seem rational are quite the opposite. This is a man who has not anticipated the way this day will end. This is a man who is haunted by his past, present and future. A man who cannot face himself.

Iku Manieva | Dir. by Isaac Ruiz Gastélum
Filmed at the edge of the narco horror in Mexico, the Sinaloa sierra, it seems to absorb from the cinema of Terrence Malick, Tarkovski and even The Apu Trilogy. A symphony of images with great evocative power over a territory infested with terror.


2:15 p.m.
Musically Infused Shorts Selections

First Disco | Dir. by Helen O’Reilly
It’s 1983, Culture Club are no. 1, everyone’s glued to Knight Rider, and Kelly Harrison is not only experiencing her first crush, she’s going to her first disco. The only problem is that she’s getting train tracks before her big night and becomes besieged by self consciousness. However with the help of her best friend, Kelly realizes what’s really important in her life.

Bird’s Eye | Dir. by Scott Poiley
A blind music professor’s life gains new purpose when her brittle world collides with the unexpected music students of an at-risk urban high school.


3 p.m.
Woke AF Shorts Selections

Hurry Up & Wait | Dir. by Riley J. Ewing
It’s another New Year’s Eve, and Patrick’s ‘woke’ roommate, Corey, has dragged him out to party. When Patrick comes face to face his high school crush will he be able to overcome his social anxiety? Or is he doomed to spend another year stuck in the past?

In Search Of | Dir. by Edward Neil Bowen
What if someone could answer all your questions? Would you be able to hear them?

Expend | Dir. by Bismark Fernandes
A stop-motion film about a man’s endless hunt for elusive energy sources in a decaying world.

Compliance | Dir. by John Michael Kennedy
In a severely overpopulated world, a father and son have ten minutes to decide who lives and who dies between them.


4 p.m.
Horse Powers: From the Land of the Vikings
Documentaries | Dir. by Jonathan Learn, Eva Learn
Our most trusted & reliable working partner has become a prescription for our health & well-being. We’ve relied upon horses for thousands of years to get us from place to place, charging through battlefields and farming our lands. In this film, we’ll explore the close bonds that the horse developed with several real-life characters: An Adventure Horsewoman, A Mountain Horse Family and a War Veteran- from the land of the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun the horse culture, traditions and the healing powers of the horses.


5  p.m.
Relationships – Or Not – Shorts Selections

The Happiest Couple Alive | Dir. by Daniel Nogueira
‘The Happiest Couple’ is a day in the life of a couple trapped in a self-destructive cycle because it’s the only love they know.

Dirtbags – Boyfriend | Dir. by Brea Grant
Mark takes some advice from his therapist too literally.

On the Way to Lovetown | Dir. by Mariya Pyter*
The road to the city named “Lovetown” turns into a roadside battle to the death between hot ex-teacher Sunny and most wanted criminal Monroe. *Attending Mariya Pyter, Theresa Ireland

The Chase | Dir. by Chantal Gabriel
A wolf boy infiltrates Wool Town.

Facebook Me | Dir. by Jemilah Findlay
Thanks to Facebook, Penny has 24/7 access to a perfect photo of the-one-that-got-away. Will her comedy fantasies make her dream lover unfriend her?

Dishwasher | Dir. by Peter Lively
A couple struggles to load a dishwasher.


6:15  p.m.
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story*
Documentaries | Dir. by Jon Strong
When racial segregation defined America, two teams of 12-year-old boys defied social norms to change the world. *Team Attending


7:45  p.m.
Hanging Millstone
Full Length Feature | Dir. by Curtis Collins
Shawn Murphy is a 37 year old single father. He is driven to find the man that kidnapped his little girl four months ago. She is one of eleven children that have been abducted in the Southwest, Florida area. All isn’t what it seems inside this courtroom; for no one can escape the judgment of the Hanging Millstone. 


9:45  p.m.
Light Night Shorts Selections

Harper Finch | Dir. by Jonathan Baker (AKA Bo D)
Driven by obsession, a young mental patient forcibly attempts to rekindle his relationship with an emotionally fragile fellow inmate. When she rejects his advances, the confrontation quickly escalates into a violent battle for survival and sanity.

No. 3: In the Absence of Angels | Dir. by Camille Hollett-French
In the brutal aftermath of being raped in broad daylight, Crystal, a streetwise community mentor, is forced to make an irreparable decision that will shape the person she’s about to become.

Complicit | Dir. by Austin Tanner
A neo-futuristic fictional period where U.S immigration laws are based on productivity. A U.S patriot finds himself caught and crushed in the cogs and wheels of the new I.C.E agency.

Broken Wings | Dir. by Daniel Lee Pitcher
Broken Wings is an independent Australian short film that centers around a growing relationship between two psychiatric patients, whose past scars their bodies.

Trophy Boy* | Dir. by emrhys cooper
James, a sexy, youthful sought-after Instagram star in high-society and self-proclaimed ‘Trophy,’ is dumped by his wealthy live-in benefactor. Now he must learn that the real world is not the facade he’s built for himself on social media. *Team Attending


Saturday Films & Tickets





9:30 A.M.
A Prayer For Compassion
Documentaries | Dir. by Thomas Jackson
The film follows Thomas Jackson on a quest to make a better world for his daughter that crisscrosses America and takes him to Morocco for the UN Climate Conference and throughout the Indian subcontinent to ask the question, “Can compassion grow to include all beings? Can people who identify as religious or spiritual come to embrace the call to include all human and nonhuman beings in our circle of respect and caring and love?”


11:30 a.m.
Beautifully Animated Shorts Selections

The Colors Of Life | Dir. by Heather Pirnak
During the 1930’s in New York City, an Irish immigrant struggles to make a living as an artist. Even after many hardships he continues to see the beauty in world. As he nears the end of his life, he recounts his memories of coming to America and starting a family. He uses his canvas as a medium to express his sorrow, joy, and nostalgia.

All The World is a Stage | Dir. by Hannes Rall
An animated adaptation of the famous Shakespeare poem ‘All The World’s A Stage’ narrated by the renowned Shakespeare actor and director Samuel West (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Tempo | Dir. by Angela Arzumanyan
An aspiring drummer works in the kitchen of a jazz club, yearning to be one of the musicians up front.

A Long Way From Home | Dir. by Andy Tai, Eduardo Enriquez
In an old western tavern, the fate of a town is about to change when an outsider arrives and doesn’t have the money to pay for a glass of water.

Poached | Dir. by Isabel Waller
A bird encounters a hand grenade in the forest which she thinks is an egg and tries to hatch it.

Yuanfen | Dir. by Amanda Sparso
A heartwarming tale of adoption as seen through a child’s eyes.


12:30 p.m.
The Truth About Marriage*
Documentaries | Dir. by Roger Nygard
This documentary by filmmaker Roger Nygard (‘Trekkies’) follows three not-so-ordinary couples to see how things turned out several years after their weddings. The film presents challenging ideas about relationships, as it answers the question: Why is marriage such a difficult challenge for many? *Team Attending


2 p.m.
Light in the Darkness*
Documentaries | Dir. by Daniel Gartzke
A hidden epidemic affects ten percent of the American population daily and for those it grasps, hope can seem like a distant dream. Light in the Darkness is a feature length documentary dedicated to illuminating an understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) In a message of hope, the film provides an opportunity of support to so many who may be struggling through difficult mental health conditions; and by means of storytelling will offer a platform for education, discussion, and healing of one of the most common diagnosis in our country. 
*Team attending


3:30 p.m.
Thoughtful Shorts Selections

Genesis* | Dir. by Dale Metz, Ted Souppa
Anticipating a nuclear holocaust on Earth, the mission Genesis was launched with four women and thousands of fertilized eggs – zygotes. All does not go as planned. *Attending Dale Metz / Ted Souppa

The Things We Don’t Say* | Dir. by Soleidy Mendez
Unspoken words can haunt one’s soul. *Attending Soleidy Mendez

AKA* | Dir. by Julia F. Mann
Aka’s tribe of bottlenose dolphins crosses paths with a lone sailor in the equatorial mid-Atlantic ocean, exciting Aka because he wonders if his tribe has found a descendant of the long-lost, ancient Sea Kings of Atlantis. When the unimaginable happens, their fates become intertwined, leaving the dolphins with a life-transforming decision to make. *Attending


4:30 p.m.
Black, White & US*
Documentaries | Dir. by Loki Mulholland
“Black, White & US” explores racism in America like it has never been seen before through the lives of four white families in Utah who adopt African American children and overcome their own inherent biases to become advocates. From the award-winning filmmaker of “An Ordinary Hero” and “The Uncomfortable Truth”, Loki Mulholland reveals the challenges faced by the parents, children and our society while exposing the darker side of those adoption agencies who profit from it. Is there a way to fix our country’s racial divide? These transracial adoptive families just might provide the answer. *Attending


6 p.m.
Rad Shorts Selections

Roaring Tides* | Dir. by Aly Mang
A twisted love-story that dives into the deeper understanding of what we all go through as humans and couples in this lifetime. The film explores love, loss, and the heartache of human existence – the confusion and power struggles we go through, while ultimately discovering our truth and purpose. *Attending team Aly Mang

Coach* | Dir. by Jordan Axelrod
Coach follows Tracy Hamm as she seeks to become the first American woman to earn her UEFA A license, the highest international accreditation for coaches. *Team Attending

Ready | Dir. by Melissa Farman
A reclusive mother and her young son celebrate the end of their relationship before she releases him into the world.

Cherry | Dir. by Chantal Gabriel
A creative, introverted girl is torn between her imaginary world and the real one.

Skindiving | Dir. by Victoria DeMartin
An observation of a woman caught between her old life and her new one as she goes about her daily routine leading up to her last night on the island.

I’m Taking You Home* | Dir. by Jim De Koch
Through a series of flashbacks, singer songwriter filmmaker Jim De Koch recounts key moments that would shape the destiny of his mothers life. *Attending Jim De Koch


8 p.m.
Surviving Lunch*
Full Length Feature | Dir. by KT Curran
A beautiful teenage girl named Gabriella moves to Florida after a violent event tears her life apart. As Gabriella struggles to overcome her grief, she sees a boy being bullied in the lunchroom and begins a dangerous quest to stop the meanest boy in school. *Attending


9:30 p.m.
Unforgettable Shorts Selections

Hairy | Dir. by Megan Domaille, Jack Powley
A tongue in cheek celebration of the wonderfully hairy human body. 

The Girls Were Doing Nothing | Dir. by Dekel Berenson
Marta and Jake are a married couple in their late 30’s. Working in senior professional positions, they are very wealthy: living together in a luxurious cosmopolitan home while spending much of their free time eating at expensive restaurants and exercising at private gyms. Their idealistic lifestyle is a grandiose means of concealing and deflecting the strains of their spousal dynamic. 

After a rare night of drinking on her 25th birthday, Jess wakes up to a wicked hangover and surprise unemployment. As she struggles with whether or not to spend her last few bucks on weed, she tries to pick up the pieces of her life and find some peace of mind in the process. 

#SLUT* | Dir. by Jenna Kanell
A young writer’s life is mysteriously impacted through his writing about an innocent girl at your every day high school who falls prey to a handsome predator in a position of power after being bullied on social media and at school; if she can’t get out before it’s too late, lives will come crashing down. *Team attending

Our Horizon | Dir. by Jack Szynaka, Nikki Conero
Holding in his heart the power to give life to all living things, a magical forest-creature finds himself running for his life from a power hungry man intent on capturing the heart and taking the magic for himself.

Peggy | Dir. by Justin Miller
Everything always seems to work out perfectly for Peggy, but her social graces are put to the test when she throws a birthday party for her eight-year-old son.


Sunday Films & Tickets

10 a.m.
Lifeline: Pearl Harbor’s Unknown Hero Narrated by Gary Sinise
Documentaries | Dir. by Tim Gray
United States Navy sailor Joe George is probably a name unfamiliar to almost every American, but on December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Joe George was every bit the awe-inspiring hero in the opening moments of America’s violent entry into World War II.USS Vestal crewman Joe George was not your model navy sailor. He fought both inside and outside the boxing ring, liked his beer a little too much at times and had a stubborn and defiant streak that often left him at odds with his superior officers and once in a while got him thrown in the brig. But on that ‘Day of Infamy’ in United States history Joe George did something extraordinary. 


11:30 A.M.
Uncanny: The Dolls of Mariana Monteagudo
Documentaries | Dir. by Elaine Minionis
“Uncanny, The Dolls of Mariana Monteagudo” is a short documentary about renowned Venezuelan plastic artist currently residing in Florida, Mariana Monteagudo; her creative process and her inspirations behind her intriguing, eerie and culturally hybrid doll sculptures, all made of repurposed materials that were originally waste. In the film, we closely follow Mariana into the creation of her new doll series “Uncanny”, and topics like capitalism, immigration, maternity, contemporary art, terror and the repurposing of objects are explored.


12 p.m.
Filmmakers Panel
Panel of incoming and local filmmakers discuss the state of independent filmmaking in 2019.

Ticket Policy

All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets except for cancelled events that are not rescheduled. SBDAC does not offer refunds on purchased ticket. In rare circumstances when a performance may be cancelled (due to extreme weather, artist absence, or other unavoidable situations) we offer refunds or replacement tickets for another performance.

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