2018 Films


Here’s a list of all the features and shorts you’ll see at the Flyway!

Feature-length Films (in alphabetical order)

A Fine Line (Dir. Joanna James) 11am Saturday, WideSpot: Well-known women chefs and restaurateurs describe the challenges they faced on their way to celebrated careers in an industry where fewer than 7% of restaurants are helmed by female chefs or owners. The film focuses on the story of Valerie James – the director’s mother – who’s a small-town restaurateur and single mom on a mission to do what she loves, while raising two kids with the odds stacked against her.
A Fine Line

Amateurs (Dir. Gabriela Pichler) 1:30pm Saturday, WideSpot: In this Swedish comedy/drama, a city council initiative to create a promotional video for their small industrial town prompts two teenage schoolgirls to create their own rival project. But while the council’s puff piece tries to airbrush out any hint of poverty and remove any non-white people from the frame, the phone footage opus created by the teenagers captures the true spirit of the community, for better and for worse. ScreenDaily calls it “a feisty delight, combining fizzing energy with finely-crafted characters and a light-footed approach.”

Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story (Dir. John Whitehead) 6:30pm Saturday, Minema: Ranging from the historical to the deeply personal, this documentary tells the story of three African-American musicians from the hip-hop generation who embraced a traditional 19th-century folk genre and took it to Grammy-winning heights. Minnesota director (and Wisconsin native) Whitehead followed the band from their meteoric rise through their breakup, making for an emotionally satisfying journey as well as a spectacular musical one.
Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind

Farmer of the Year (Dir. Kathy Swanson and Vince O’Connell) 6:30pm Saturday, Big River Theatre: After selling the Minnesota family farm, 82-year-old Hap Anderson (Barry Corbin) feels old and in the way. He tries to recapture his youth by setting out to attend his 65th WWII reunion in California, road-tripping with his unemployed granddaughter (Mackinlee Waddell) in a dilapidated Winnebago while desperately trying to find a date to impress his old army buddies. Co-writer/director Swanson is from Tyler, Minnesota, where the film was shot.
Farmer of the Year

Home + Away (Dir. Matthew Ogens) 4:00pm Saturday, WideSpot: Part coming-of-age story and part sports documentary, this stunning, beautifully shot film follows the lives of three students -- Erik, a soccer player, Shyanne, one of the school’s best wrestlers, and Francisco, a hard-throwing pitcher and third baseman -- who cross the border every day from their homes in Juarez, Mexico to attend high school in El Paso, Texas, where they look to sports as a path toward success. 
Home + Away

Life in the Doghouse (Dir. Ron Davis) 1:30pm Saturday, Big River Theatre: Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw, both in their 60s, live on a horse farm in North Carolina, where they train show horses. They also operate Danny & Ron’s Rescue, which has saved more than 10,000 abandoned dogs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now their home is occupied by the menagerie of dogs that they have rescued, mainly from animal shelters who would have had to exterminate them otherwise. Their story is “one of those documentaries that will touch the heart of the coldest of souls” (We the People).
Life in the Doghouse

Little Woods (Dir. Nia DaCosta) 9:00pm Saturday, Minema: In a North Dakota fracking town, Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is nearing the end of her probation after being caught running prescription pills over the Canadian border. She’s ready to start anew when, after her mother dies, she learns that her estranged sister Deb (Lily James), is pregnant and about to be homeless. Writer-director DaCosta’s debut is “an emotionally-charged small-town thriller that weaves themes of economic downturn and the opioid crisis into its intimate story of two sisters just trying to get by” (Cara Cusamano, Tribeca).
Little Woods

People’s Republic of Desire (Dir. Hao Wu) 9:00pm Saturday, Big River Theatre: In China, live streaming has become the most popular online entertainment. This “provocative and unsettling” (Variety) documentary takes us into a bizarre digital universe, where marginally-talented young performers earn as much as $150,000 a month by live-streaming to millions of viewers who seek the comfort of virtual relationships, and where China's super-rich lavish virtual gifts on their favorite performers every night. The film won the documentary competition at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.
People’s Republic of Desire

Risking Light (Dir. Dawn Mikkelson) 1:30pm Sunday, Minema: This deeply moving film explores the process of forgiveness through individuals who overcome tragedy by channeling their anger and grief into endeavors that make the world a better place. Wisconsin director Mikkelson followed the stories of Mary Johnson, a Minneapolis woman whose son was murdered; Debra Hocking, a victim of government-sanctioned genocide in Tasmania; and Kilong Ung, who survived the terror of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge, to create a film that “provides the solace and hope we need” (Bay Area Mercury News).
Risking Light

Science Fair (Dir. Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster) 4:00pm Saturday, Minema: In this uproarious documentary by Wisconsin native Cristina Costantini, nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the prestigious International Science and Engineering Fair, or the "Olympics of science fairs," as one student puts it. USA Today says, “‘Science Fair’ is so funny and so moving, it almost seems too good to be true.”
Science Fair

Thrasher Road (Dir. Samantha Davidson Green) 11:00am Sunday, Big River Theatre: When an accident strands pregnant Chloe and her geriatric dog, Thrasher, on the highway home from broken dreams in L.A., unwelcome rescue comes from her estranged dad, Mac, who takes them on a disastrous detour toward a second chance. This gentle comedy/drama was shot on Super16 film on location in 20 states across the country. It recently won the "Spirit of Independent Filmmaking Award" at the Stony Brook Film Festival in New York.
Thrasher Road

Time for Ilhan (Dir. Norah Shapiro) 1:30pm Sunday, Big River Theatre: This lively, inspiring film follows the 2016 Minnesota House of Representatives campaign of Ilhan Omar, a Somali immigrant who attempts to unseat a 43-year incumbent and other challengers. Minnesota director Shapiro tells an often-surprising story about “immigrants who embrace American ideals, and who are sometimes disappointed by them” in this “exciting and entertaining documentary” (Film Journal International).
Time for Ilhan

TransMilitary (Dir. Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson) 4:00pm Saturday, Big River Theatre: Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service. This personal, emotionally compelling documentary, which received the 2018 SXSW Audience Award, chronicles the lives of four individuals defending their country's freedom while fighting for their own. Minnesota native Jamie Coughlin produced the film.

Wild Nights with Emily (Dir. Madeleine Olnek) 6:30pm Saturday, WideSpot: Olnek’s dramatization of the little-known side of writer Emily Dickinson's life, in particular her relationship with another woman, has been heralded as “entertaining and thought-provoking” (IndieWire) and “warmly funny” (Hollywood Reporter). It stars Molly Shannon as Dickinson and Minneapolis native Susan Ziegler as her beloved sister-in-law. Ziegler will attend the screening for a Q+A, along with other special guests.
Wild Nights with Emily

Woodpecker (Dir. Alex Karpovsky) 4:00pm Sunday, Big River Theatre: In this tragicomic blend of fact and fiction, which screened during the inaugural Flyway Film Festival in 2008, fanatical birdwatchers have descended upon a small town in the Arkansas bayou in hopes of finding the extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker, resulting in a film that “will have you simultaneously laughing and performing mental gymnastics to unravel its many layers" (Austin Chronicle).

Short Film Programs

Cartoons & Cereal!
11:00 AM Saturday 10/20, Minema

Each year, the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama (which, like Flyway, is one of MovieMaker Magazine's "25 Coolest Film Festivals") compiles an awesome selection of 1980's and 90's cartoons and vintage Saturday morning commercials. And this year, because we asked nicely, they're sharing this family-friendly program with the Flyway! To accompany the screening there will be a free cereal bar, because what else are you going to eat on a Saturday morning while watching cartoons? Bring the kids! Fun for all ages!

Documentary Shorts: “In Our World” 
1:30 PM Saturday 10/20, Minema

How are we defined by the world around us? How do we define our own worlds? These documentary short films explore issues of individual identity, cross-cultural communication and the ways in which we create our own realities.
CLICK FOR TICKETS ==> Documentary Shorts

In Our World, directed by Kyja K-Nelson (2 minutes) 
Witches are evil. Ghosts are evil. Fire girl is evil. A non-fiction travelogue led by 5-year old Unna Katla.

Scent of Geranium, directed by Naghmeh Farzaneh (5 minutes) 
Immigration is a new chapter in one's life, a chapter with unexpected events that can take one's life down paths different from the one imagined. This film is an autobiographical account of the director's experience with immigration.

Café De Temporada, directed by Luisa Santos (13 minutes) 
Four Nicaraguan kids move to a Costa Rican coffee farm with their families to work during their summer break. They spend the majority of their day helping their parents pick and sort coffee, but their adventurous spirit takes them on unusual breaks.

This Little Piggy Went to Market, directed by Jeanine Fiser (15 minutes) 
This documentary captures a slice of Central Californian life as it follows Austin Blomquist, a 15-year-old pig farmer, from the field to the county fair, where Austin is determined to be crowned this year’s “Grand Champion.” 

Stems, directed by Ainslie Henderson (2 minutes) 
A eulogy to the short lifespan of stop motion animation puppets.

Beneath the Ink, directed by Cy Dodson (13 minutes) 
As society's belief systems are changing or even reverting in time, Ohio artist Billy Joe White is challenging his community by saying, "Bring me your mistakes." The film is a timely look at hate and racism in one Appalachian community that reveals heartfelt stories of change and redemption.

Language Lessons, directed by Lucy Kreutz (5 minutes) 
Faced with the global refugee crisis, many people feel they don’t know how to help. But a group of women who speak both Arabic and English found a way to make a difference -- even with limited time and resources.

 Xiaolu, directed by Xiaolu Wang (3 minutes) 
A young Chinese woman's journey of reclaiming her birth name after a year of using an English name.

 Kinderchomper, directed by Mike Scholtz (17 minutes) 
A mild-mannered artist from Minnesota leads a double life as a baby-eating professional wrestler in Japan.

The Traffic Separating Device, directed by Johan Palmgren (14 minutes) 
A traffic separating device is installed in the middle of Stockholm, Sweden, intended to keep cars out and only let buses pass. It turns into a tragicomic disaster as cars continue to go there and get destroyed every week.

Strawberries Will Save the World, directed by Yoko Okumura (6 minutes)
Yuko's love for strawberries knows no bounds and she believes they will save the world.

Narrative Shorts: “To Be Free” 
11:00 AM Saturday 10/20, Big River Theatre

What does it mean to be free? From an aspiring newscaster in North Carolina to a young Chinese immigrant in 1950s Texas, the characters in these narrative short films strive to define themselves on their own terms. 
CLICK FOR TICKETS ==> Narrative Shorts

To Be Free, directed by Adepero Oduye (12 minutes) 
In a tiny after-hours club, singer Nina Simone finds a way, for one moment, to be free.

Preschool Poets: A Poem Play, directed by Nancy Kangas & Josh Kun (1 minute) 
Delanie imagines a world locked in routine. Parents work two jobs. They can’t come home because they work a double. Even the pleasure of a hot tub has a time limit. The films in Preschool Poets: An Animated Series are based on poems composed and spoken by preschoolers from Columbus, Ohio’s east side and animated by artists from around the world.

First Generation, directed by Jeannie Nguyen (9 minutes) 
A short that explores the boundaries of self-expression and what it’s like growing up in America as a first generation Asian-American in the late 90's.

Acid Test, directed by Jenny Waldo (14 minutes) 
A teenage girl drops acid and goes home to her parents, sparking a hallucinogenic family meltdown.

Family Happiness, directed by Alice Englert (15 minutes) 
The Wells orphans, Romilly and Fiona, are having a family gathering -- just the two of them. A former pop idol is selling religious paraphernalia outside Romilly’s building. Fiona has an older boyfriend who wants her to be home before he takes his sleeping pill and she doesn’t miss their dad. In short: they’re a mess.

El Aguacate, directed by Darwin Serink (11 minutes) 
Coworkers Rosa and Raul always take their lunch breaks together, sharing Rosa’s homemade dishes and an avocado from Raul’s tree. With hopes of companionship and possibly of love, Raul finally gets the courage to ask Rosa for a date. But when the day finally arrives, unexpected tragedy occurs.

The Future Is Bright, directed by Courtney Powell (10 minutes) 
In 1979, a local newscaster prepares to cover an anti-KKK protest in Greensboro, North Carolina, and realizes that she may never be ready for the events to come.

Preschool Poets: Bullets, directed by Nancy Kangas & Josh Kun (84 seconds) 
Brayden asks for a calmer world, without the chaos of tornadoes, hungry wolves and guns with bullets. The films in Preschool Poets: An Animated Series are based on poems composed and spoken by preschoolers from the near east side of Columbus, Ohio and animated by artists from around the world. “Bullets” is animated by Stas Santimov.

 June, directed by Huay Bing Law (13 minutes) 
A Chinese wife tries to fit in at her husband's graduation party at a Texas university in 1955.

 Sexxy Dancer, directed by Jessica Makinson (6 minutes)
A woman down on her luck gets a lift when a friend lends her a Sexxy Dancer for the week.

Late Night Shorts: “We Are In A Dream” 
9:00 PM Saturday 10/20, WideSpot

Not your average after-dark shorts. From over-the-top comedy/horror to bizarre portraits of the dark side of human nature, these films will freak you out in surprising ways. 
CLICK FOR TICKETS ==> Late Night Shorts

 Pie, directed by Adria Tennor (11 minutes) 
Carol invites Annette over for homemade pie and coffee, and after much prodding she divulges her special secret and scandalous ingredient. It’s Sweeney Todd meets Thelma & Louise via Stepford, Connecticut.

 Lady Lillian, directed by Amber Johnson (7 minutes) 
A dark comedy about a tarot reader/psychic whose rambling and somewhat absurd conversations with clients become self-fulfilling prophesies.

Catherine, directed by Britt Raes (12 minutes) 
A tragic comedy of a sweet little girl who grows up to be a crazy old cat lady.

 Hús, directed by Kyja K-Nelson (90 seconds) 
A meditation on emigration, immigration, house, and home.

End of the Line, directed by Jessica Sanders (15 minutes) 
Oscar-nominated, Sundance and Cannes winner Jessica Sanders based this short on writer Aimee Bender's surrealist short story about a lonely man who goes to the pet store and buys a tiny man in a cage. Starring Simon Helberg (Big Bang Theory, Florence Foster Jenkins) and Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Lemon).  

We Are In A Dream, directed by Henna Välkky and Eesu Lehtola (6 minutes)
Based on personal recordings of people narrating their nightmares, we race through their unconscious desires and fears.

 Augenblicke, directed by Kiana Naghshineh (4 minutes) 
A woman walks home at night. She is overwhelmed from behind by a stranger. Three perceptions of only one truth: hers, his and ours.

Pumpkin Movie, directed by Sophy Romvari (10 minutes) 
When two long-time friends call each other over Skype to continue their annual Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins together, they swap stories of negative encounters with men.

Hair Wolf, directed by Mariama Diallo (12 minutes)
In a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.

Local Issues: “This Land” 
11:00 AM, Sunday 10/21, Minema

In this special program of “long shorts,” two brand-new documentary films highlight the beautiful Flyway region.

Promise in the Sand, directed by Jim Tittle and Wendy Johnson (25 minutes) 

When frac sand mining came to Wisconsin, promoters promised good jobs with no down side. Five years later, the price of sand dropped, mines closed and reality set in. “Promise in the Sand” is a look at what happens when a mining boom goes bust. 

 Decoding the Driftless, directed by Jonas Stenstrom (62 minutes)

This documentary takes you on a wild ride through the air, across rugged landscapes, through a secret underworld, and across time itself to explore and decipher ancient clues of our own "Driftless Region" -- a unique ecosystem found only in parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Cinematography by six-time Emmy-winning wildlife photographer Neil Rettig.

Special Presentation: “Exposure” 
4:00 PM, Sunday 10/21, Minema

Much of this 52-minute film was shot in Pepin, Stockholm, and other areas of Western Wisconsin with the help of local cast and crew. Danish director Kristjan Knigge began creating the film here after the premiere of his feature, "Second Honeymoon," at the 2016 Flyway Film Festival.

Synopsis: As the love between two women sours, each sets off on a journey of self-reflection and contemplation. Jo (Geerteke van Lierop), a photographer, heads to Wisconsin to revisit the scenes where she took portrait shots of Rachel on a previous trip. Rachel (Erica Anderson) stays in Portugal where the two women lived, revisiting her favorite empty beach, searching for peace. The film is an exploration of memory and perception based on a simple, relatable event: a breakup.