2018 lineup (scroll down for film synopses)

aDay Playing
Wednesday, July 25 - 7pm-until
Somewhere in Beulah Land   28 min 10 sec Documentary
For Love   7 min 50 sec Short
Q&A Road to AI   17 min Documentary
  4'9   11min 18 sec Short
Lost in Buffalo City   30 min Short
  Little Skater   14 min 57 sec Short by Child
Thursday, July 26 - 7pm-until
*The City that Sold America PG 1 hr 9 min Documentary
Carolina Cross PG 9 min 15 sec Documentary
  The Backup Plan R 26 min 48 sec Short
Frank Embree   7 min 27 sec Short
Friday, July 27 - 7pm-until
One Vote PG 1 hr 18 min Documentary
  Hands Free   7 min Short
The Hundred Year Old Whale G 15 min Documentary
Ameriki Kum, Escape from Dubai PG-13 1 hr 29 min Documentary
KIDS FEST! Saturday, July 28 - 10am
  Toy Man G 6 min Animation
  Milk G 3 min Short by Child
  For the Love of a Cat G 3 min 40 sec Animation
  HONESTY G 2 min 9 sec Animation
'Did You Know' Farm Special w/ Sabrina G 6 min Documentary
  Daydreamer G 4 min 29 sec Animation
  The Fast & The Furry G 57 sec Animation
  What is Happening G 4 min Short by Child
  The Water Bottle's Adventure G 1 min 5 sec Short by Child
  Go Green! G 1 min 46 sec Animation
  Agent Hollywood G 12 min 45 sec Short by Child
  Boat Race G 4 min 22 sec Short by Child
  The Pirates G 1 min 56 sec Animation
  Mad Monsters G 52 sec Animation
  Morphing Tales G 1 min 1 sec Animation
  Political Plastic G 5 min Documentary
  Picture Day G 1 min 24 sec Short by Child
  Stop Deforestation G 2 min 17 sec Animation
  DREAMERS G 7 min 30 sec Animation
  Tough Guy G 2 min 59 sec Short by Child
Bullies G 27 min 40 sec Short
Saturday Matinee, July 28 - 1pm
One Big Home PG 1 hr 46 min Documentary
Behind the Blue Door   1 hr 32 sec Feature
Q&A Night PG 5 min 53 min Short
Saturday, July 28 - 7pm-until
All Who Dare PG 1 hr 36 min Documentary
  Toy Man G 6 min Animation
Fiddlin' PG 1 hr 36 min Documentary
*(Schedule subject to change)
 Awards & Party!
Awards will be announced during the PARTY following the final film on Saturday night!

"Somewhere in Beulah Land"
(28 min 10 sec, Documentary, Short, Andrew Harrison Brown, RALEIGH, NC)
A portrait documentary about a young farmer and his first year learning how to love & care for a piece of land. Based in Beulah - Mt. Airy, NC


"For Love"
(7 min 50 sec, Short, Kevin Murray, North Carolina)
Matt, who seems to be quite the average fellow, shleps through his workdays at a local convenience store, mostly unnoticed by his customers and colleagues, most especially and unfortunately by his gorgeous coworker, Maddie, the girl of his dreams. Little does anyone know that Matt is actually quite the remarkable fellow, one who single-handedly saves the world from utter destruction every single night.


"Road to A.I."
(17 min 2 sec, Documentary, Brett Abramsky, Raleigh, NC)

How do you teach a car to drive? For many self-driving car makers and artificial intelligence researchers, the answer starts with data and sharing. ROAD TO A.I. looks at the current state of the emerging autonomous vehicle industry: how it is shaping the future of public transportation, why it is the best use case for advancing artificial intelligence, and where open source can best fill the gap between the present moment and the future of autonomy.


(11min 18 sec, Short, Nacho Ros, Madrid, Spain)
A teacher of future teachers is committed to a radical change in teaching; To modify the paradigm of your students, you will tell them a true story.


"Lost In Buffalo City"
(30 min, Short, Raymond Wallace, Manteo, NC)
Against better judgement and warnings from locals, eager reporter John Miller is investigating a series of strange apparitions and deadly encounters surrounding a long-forgotten ghost town in the dark coastal swamps of North Carolina. But his investigation uncovers something evil lurking in the ruins of Buffalo City, sinister forces that may wind up costing him his life.


"Little Skater"
(14 min 57 sec, Short, Wilson Misago, Rwanda, Africa)
When his father abandons them - him and his mother - MBONIGABA an 8 year old witty little skater decides to drop out of school to take care of his mother. MBONIGABA  takes the streets skating, which he believes it will save them from starving.


"The City That Sold America"
(1 hr 9 min, Documentary, Ky Dickens)

*The Real to Reel Film Festival is happy to present "The City That Sold America" as a full length Special Preview Screening:

At the threshold of the 20th Century, a melting pot of adventurous immigrants, creative mavericks, and freedom-seeking African Americans shaped consumerism as we now know it. The new documentary THE CITY THAT SOLD AMERICA reveals, with intriguing insights and wistful nostalgia, the confluence of Chicago’s creative talent, business savvy, grit and determination that changed the country and our relationship with popular culture.


"Carolina 'Cross"
(9 min 15 sec, Documentary, Short, Student, Jay Capers, Asheboro, NC)
Bicycle racers crisscross North Carolina from September to January racing bikes in a sport known as Cyclo-Cross. Originating in France in the early 1900s, racers compete on a short course, with multiple laps through parks, fields, woods, mud, rain and snow.


"The Backup Plan"
(26 min 48 sec, Short, Student, Daniel Earney, Austin, Texas)
When a down-on-his-luck single father faces eviction, he begins stealing catalytic converters to save his home.


"Frank Embree"
(7 min 26 sec, Short, Skinner Myers, Culver City, CA)
Frank Embree. 9:55AM. Fayette, Missouri. July 22nd, 1899.


"One Vote" (1 hr 18 min, Documentary, Christine Woodhouse, Weston, CT)
"Filmed in five locations on a single day, One Vote captures the compelling stories of diverse American voters on Election Day 2016: the charismatic owner of the last tavern polling place in the US, an Alaskan family that travels by dogsled to reach the polls, an iconic American investor who devotes his Election Day to transporting voters in Omaha needing a ride, a gospel-singing physician who heals and empowers disenfranchised citizens in rural South Carolina, and a former felon, casting an emotional vote in Kentucky for the first time since his right to vote was restored.  Their stories connect us with the struggles of generations and Election Days past, as well as voters' dreams for the future.  At times funny, surprising and heart-wrenching, the film eschews partisan politics in favor of an honest portrayal of voters' Election Day experiences At a moment of unprecedented cynicism about the political process, One Vote bears hopeful witness to the humanity and rich diversity of American voters, and to the unsung stories that comprise our exercise of democracy."


(7min, Short, Addis, M. Bowron, Berlin, Germany)
The story focuses on Dr. Morris and his increasingly awkward attempts to conceal a painful truth from his wife.


"The Hundred-Year-Old Whale"
(15 min, Documentary, Mark Leiden-Young, Toronto ON, Canada)            
On January 2, 2017 it was announced that "Granny" was missing and presumed dead.  Born in an era when whales were on everyone's menu and her family members were being harpooned, then shot, then captured and put on display, "Granny" (J2) miraculously survived in the west coast waters for over a century as the world - and the world of whales - changed completely. We meet the world's oldest killer whale and explore her past and her family's future.


"Amereki Kum, Escape From Dubai"
(1 hr 29 min, Documentary, Matt Johanning, Madison, WI)
Amereki Kum, Escape From Dubai is the true story of Chicago CPA, Ted Van Der Zalm, who escaped from the middle east by mailing himself to Amsterdam in a wooden crate.


"Toy Man"
(6 min, Animation, Zhao Yun-Yi, Taiwan)
Every child has a favorite toy. The protagonist and his first toy grew up together and jointly they defeated many rivals. With the transformation and refinement of the protagonist, to pursue more power and victory, the toy is not as authentic and original as before. Moreover, the protagonist forgot the affection and admiration for the toy of his childhood. In the end, the protagonist brings on a tough competition. Can he find back his childhood memories and reconcile with his toy once again?


(3 min, Student Short, Ashley Wyatt Thornton, Sherman Oaks, CA)
Sometimes you can be too smart for your own good.  A little boy devises many clever ways to reach the milk on the top shelf of the fridge, only to be foiled by his practical sister.


"For the Love of a Cat" (3 min 40 sec Student Animation, Mumbai, India)
For The Love Of A Cat, is a short Cut-Out Animation film based on a Buddha Story by Rosalind Wilson, created by a team of young Grade VII animators of ECOLE MONDIALE WORLD SCHOOL. All BG, Characters and Props are hand-painted by the kids using the aboriginal tribal Bhil Art style. The film is a story of a Painter and his pet cat Tara. During one cold winter, the Painter is unable to sell his paintings to the poor villagers. He soon runs out of money and food. The Priests from the Buddha temple offer him a lucrative project to create a portrait of Lord Buddha surrounded by all the creatures of the world except the cat. The reason, Lord Buddha did not like cats. He accepts the condition and begins work only to find that Tara is unhappy and over time falls very ill and dies. The Painter chooses between his love for the cat, art and the absurd condition of the Priests. He disobeys the Priests and Lord Buddha finally comes to his rescue.


(2 min 9 sec, Animation, JC Little, Canada)
When PickleWeasel meets someone he likes, he decides to cut some flowers to give as a gift. But, when he discovers the flowers belong to someone else, he finds himself in a pickle. What to do! Pretend he didn't cut them? Run away? A charming animated story about how to listen to your conscience, even when it's difficult.


"'Did You Know' Starring Sabrina Farm Special"
(6 min, Student Short, Sabrina Anderson, Saint Albert, Canada)
Sabrina visits Irvings farm and meets some pigs!


(4 min 29 sec, Student Animation, Kat Garrido, Gastonia, NC)
Daydreamer features a student who, while falling asleep in class, is awoken by the teacher and is told to do a problem on the board that he doesn't know how to solve. Embarrassed, the student daydreams of entering a cloud kingdom, where he learns to overcome challenges before waking up.


"The Fast & The Furry"
(57 sec, Student Animation, Mumbai, India)
The Fast & The Furry, is a short Rotscopy animation film created by a team of seven young animators. This film was created under Toon Club's supervision & creative training. The story, background, characters and Props were designed by the young students. The students animated this film by drawing frame-by-frame on an animation light table using Edward Mybridge's photographic studies on animals in motion. This film doesn't have a story line. This film is more experimental in its style. Each child has created a walk or run cycle of an animal using Edweard Mybridge's photographic studies on animals in motion, as a reference to trace out frame by frame. They then explored different styles and techniques to render each frame. A background & props were added to illustrate where the character was moving.


"What is Happening"
(1 min 46 sec, Student Short, Kristin Walton, Delaware, OH)
A short film about a girl and her vanishing stuffed animals.


"The Water Bottle's Adventure"
(4 min, Student Animation, Alice Sinkner, Ontario, Canada)
Walter the Water Droplet along with Clean Water work together to catch and treat a group of mischievous dirty water bottles so they can get clean and contribute to society and help save lives. Join them on this adventure to cleanliness and happiness.


"Go Green!"
(1 min 5 sec, Student Animation, India)
Go Green!, is a short Hand-drawn Animation film created by a team of seven young Grade 3-7 animators. These films were created under Toon Club's supervision & creative training at American School of Bombay's Intersessions Program. The story, storyboards, background, characters and Props were designed by the young students. The film is a series of short gags on the 3 R's of Go Green: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. The story is about how we as humans are polluting our world & wasting valuable resources. Only Trees can save us. For this, the kids have created a superhero in the form of a tree.


"Agent Hollywood"
(12 min 45 sec, Student Short, Anthony Hobbs, Baltimore, MD)
Agent Hollywood is a film about a kid actor who is also a secret agent. His days are filled with Hollywood, homework, and henchmen.


"Boat Race"
(4 min 22 sec, Student Short, Ashley Wyatt Thornton, Sherman Oaks, CA)
Become captivated with how this classical music piece delivers a paper boat race perfectly timed with the highs and lows.  You'll never hear this music without thinking of boats again!


"The Pirates"
(1 sec 56 min, Student Animation, Alice Sinkner, Ontario, Canada)
Set sail for adventure. Stop motion animated film about a girl looking for a treasure.


"Mad Monsters" (52 sec, Student Animation, India)
Mad Monsters is a short hand drawn animation film created by a team of five young child animators. The film is a series of incidents that happen with monsters. A monster walks into frame and kicks a 3 tentacle monster. One of the tentacle grows in length and becomes a strong fist which bangs the head of the other monster. A purple monster bites and swallows a cookie monster. When he burbs, a bird comes out from his mouth. Poor purple monster feels dizzy and faints. A monster laughs at a house. The house becomes a monster, grows an arm and boxes the laughing monster. A blue caped monster swallows a mushroom. The other mushroom is terrified and turns into a stop sign.


"Morphing Tales"
(1 min, Student Animation, India)
Morphing Tales, is a short Sand Animation film created by a team of seven young animators. This film was created under Toon Clubs supervision & creative training. The story, characters and Props were designed by the young students. The students animated with sand under the camera. This technique is inspired by Caroline Leaf. In this film, things morph into one another. A circle turns into a square which finally becomes a house. A man waves his hand but then shrinks in size and transforms into a smiling banana. A worm bumps into a birdlike creature which transforms into a snake. A rectangle becomes a boat which morphs into fish. A rocket turns into man and a flower becomes a butterfly.


"Political Plastic" (5 min, Student Documentary, Ellie Lerner)
"Have you ever heard of the North Pacific garbage patch? Perhaps you have, but what does that have to do with several men behind closed doors? "Political Plastic" documents the effect of oil companies and super PACs on our everyday lives and the environment. This film began as a school assignment and evolved into a documentary. As we did more research, we discovered the very close connection between plastic floating around in the Pacific Ocean and in daily politics. We wanted to showcase this close connection in an accessible way through animation. Everyone has the right to understand our society's environmental impact."


"Picture Day"
(1 min 24 sec, Student Short, James Thornton, Sherman Oaks, CA)
A girl will stop at nothing to get the perfect picture, but the hall is packed full of obstacles.


"Stop Deforestation"
(2 min 17 sec, Student Animation, India)

A short hand-drawn Animation film based on Deforestation. A team of young Grade VII film-makers of ECOLE MONDIALE WORLD SCHOOL developed the story, created all BGs, Characters and Props and finally animated the film. This is a story of how growing trees is important for the environment and cutting down trees impacts the eco system and the lives of birds and animals living on these trees. Deforestation is a harmful exercise and should be avoided as far as possible.


(7 min 30 sec, Student Short, Alejandro Lombard)



"Tough Guy"
(2 min 59 sec, Student Short, Monika Dalman, Vancouver BC, Canada)
A new kid shows his classmates that you don't have to be bigger or older to be tough. The production team behind this film is composed of elementary and middle school students.


(27 min 40 sec, Short for Children, Daniel Bydlowski, Northridge, California)
Eugene is a shy 10-year-old boy who is constantly tormented in school. One day, while attempting to hide from his bullies, Eugene discovers a secret that could keep him safe for the rest of his life, if he's willing to pay the price.


"One Big Home"
(1 hr 46 min, Documentary, David Piperni)
Gentrification comes in many forms. On the tiny island of Martha's Vineyard, where presidents and celebrities vacation, trophy homes threaten to destroy the islands unique character. Twelve years in the making, One Big Home follows one carpenters journey to understand the trend toward giant houses. When he feels complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, Thomas Bena takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Bumping up against angry homeowners and builders who look the other way, he works with his community and attempts to pass a new bylaw to limit house size.


"Behind the blue door" (1 hr 32 min, Feature, Mariusz Palej, Warsow, Poland)

For 11-year-old Lukas, an incredible adventure begins the moment he and his mom set off on a long awaited summer holiday trip. The joyful travel is suddenly interrupted by a car accident that results in the boys and his mom hospitalization. When it turns out Lukas mom is in a coma, the boy must be taken care of by his only relative, aunt Agatha, whom he gets to meet for the first time in his life. Agatha brings the boy to her own guesthouse by the seaside, and places him in a room his mom used to live in. It's the room where Lukas accidently discovers a secret passage to a different dimension and soon learns what amazing and yet frightening mysteries the newly disclosed world hides. The blue door in his room is a gate to different reality. There he meets a dangerous creature, which he will have to face.

This experience will challenge the boy confronting him with the difficulties of his situation; his fears, loneliness, helplessness and longings.


(5 min 53 sec, Student Short, Christian Scales, Durham, NC)

 A young woman confronts her fears when returning home late from work.


"All Who Dare"
(1 hr 1 min, Documentary, Kiera Faye, Saint Paul, MN)
"All Who Dare follows nine incoming students at Eagle Rock School, an alternative high school in the mountains of Colorado, who leave behind their families, friends, and familiar environments as they surpass their limits in Colorado's Lost Creek Wilderness. Guided by experienced wilderness educators, the students are challenged physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially during this once-in-a-lifetime journey of personal growth. They quickly learn that there are no excuses in the wilderness and that completing the trip is only the first step in taking responsibility for their lives. "All Who Dare“ also the motto of Eagle Rock School provides a compelling look at the unconventional approach of a nationally acclaimed innovative high school that provides hope for young people who are striving to turn their lives around."


(1 hr 36 min, Documentary, Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic, Los Angeles, CA)

Fiddlin’ is an uplifting Old Time and Bluegrass music documentary that takes place at the world’s oldest Fiddler’s Convention in the Appalachian Mountains. Wayne Henderson, a world-renowned luthier known as the “guitar god,” is both a master craftsman and master storyteller. His friendship with 11-year old guitar prodigy Presley Barker shows just how closely knit a community of musicians can be. The enduring relationship between mentor and prodigy is a testament to music’s power. With multi-generations jamming together, we are witness to some off-the-charts pickin’ and fiddlin’. And when the top ten finalists are announced in the ultra-competitive guitar competition, we’re in for an exciting and unexpected musical climax. Fiddlin’ is “authentic, inspiring and humbling”. With kids holding instruments instead of smartphones, it  feels like we have taken a step back in time.



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