DOCUTAH 2014 Film Synopses



DIRECTOR:  Linda Alderman

USA, 2013, 18 min.

In 1911 Kanab, Utah elected the first all women town council in the United States.  To commemorate the 100-year anniversary, a group of local Kanab women scripted a charming vignette that they presented all over Utah during the centennial celebration.  This film captures the history and celebration.


DIRECTOR:  Kyle Plummer

USA, 2014, 5 min.

A veteran of the nuclear bomb testing at Plumbbob recounts his experiences both on the testing sites as well as in his present day dealings with the VA.


DIRECTOR: Sushrut Jain

USA/India, 2013, 97 min.

After a 28-year drought India begins its campaign to win the 2011 World Cup of Cricket.  We follow three ordinary Indians seeking their escape from a difficult life through their passion for cricket:  Sudhir, a penniless superfan who cycles across India to cheer on the team; Prithvi, a 12-year-old cricket prodigy; and Akshaya, a girl cricketer from Mumbai’s slums.


DIRECTOR:  Jan Selby

USA, 2014, 85 min.

Fifty years ago, an enduring divide began between those who served in Vietnam and those who fought a different war at home. Through the courageous acts of a Vietnam veteran and a peace advocate in Missoula, Montana, BEYOND THE DIVIDE illuminates a path to healing old wounds while reimagining peace.


DIRECTOR:  Rebecca Roberts-Wolfe

Algeria, USA/Algeria, 2013, 27 min.

Two women of different generations struggle for survival, happiness, and freedom in barren desert refugee camps. Here, the displaced people of Western Sahara have rebuilt life after fleeing from Morocco’s brutal occupation of their homeland, and they continue to cry out for justice.  


DIRECTOR:  Spencer Creigh

USA, 2013, 22 min.,

Santa Catalina Island lies 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles and is home to over 25 endemic plant and animal species.  See the unique ecology and conservation strategies taking place on the island as told through the eyes of the island’s most iconic species: the American Bison, the Catalina Island Grey Fox, and the Bald Eagle.


DIRECTORS: Matt Rogers, Mor Albalak, Nate Skeen, Stephanie Lincoln & Shaneika Lai

USA/Uganda, 2013, 15 min.

City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the brutal anti-homosexuality bill before the Ugandan Parliament. Although the death penalty has been withdrawn from the bill, punishments are harsh and public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community. The daring non-governmental organization, Youth on Rock Foundation, is fighting against this stigma by promoting economic empowerment among its members.  (Sexual Issues)

COWJEWS AND INDIANS: How Hitler Scared My Family, and I Woke Up in an Iroquois Longhouse with a Picture of Jesus, Reminding Me, for the Wrong Reason, that I Owe the Mohawks Rent

DIRECTOR: Marc Halberstadt

USA/USA, Germany, 2013, 86 min.

My Jewish family lost their home to the Nazis. I decide to return the reparations my family received and I go to Germany to get our home back.  In Germany, I suddenly realize I’m a hypocrite: here I am, complaining about the property taken from my ancestors, when in America I’m living on the land taken from the Native Americans. Then I have an idea: If Germany owes me for 65 years of back rent, and I owe the Native Americans for 65 years of back rent, why not let the Native Americans collect directly from Germany and cut out the middleman.  (Language)


In partnership with Oman Film Society

DIRECTOR:  Saad Hendawy

Egypt, 2012, 88 min.

Doaa meets Aziza at Nile TV, the Egyptian television station. The first is a trainee aiming to become a presenter while the second has already been working as a presenter for years but plans to leave everything behind and go away to France, the same country that Doaa decided to leave.


DIRECTORS: Sue Arbuthnot & Richard Wilhelm

USA, 2014, 62 min.

Filmed over a decade and set in the American West, Dryland traces a young man’s quest for victory in a rambunctious contest while battling to save a threatened way of life. The Lind Combine Demolition Derby pits steel and wit against rural decline—fueled by ingenuity, heart, and axle grease.


DIRECTOR: John Dahlgren

USA/USA, Luxembourg, 2014, 57 min.

American couple Kasey and Bracey Ulin played professional basketball in Europe. They met in Germany during the prime of their careers, only to find themselves quickly out of basketball just a few months later due to one huge mistake. As they adjusted to living just an average American life in rural America, they received a phone call from the small country of Luxembourg that changed everything.

DIRECTOR: Vivian Kleiman

USA, 2013, 21 min.

Tom and Wendy were devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community, raising five children and knocking on doors to promote support for California’s Proposition 8 to prevent same-sex marriage. Then, Wendy read 13-year-old Jordon’s diary and discovered he was gay.  Their story will surprise you, give you hope and move you with the possibility of change.  (Sexual Issues)


DIRECTORS: Henry Corra & Regina Nicholson

USA, 2013, 90 min.

A love story unlike any you’ve seen before. The life’s wish of a terminally ill 17-year-old girl, Regina Diane Nicholson, leads to a deep, loving, and controversial relationship with 55-year-old filmmaker, Henry Corra. With mortality’s clock relentlessly ticking, Reggie risks everything to fight for the life, art and love she chooses. (Sexual Issues, Nudity, Language)


In partnership with TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi

DIRECTOR: Rafed Al Harthi

United Arab Emirates, 2012, 22 min.

How long would you feed a bunch of stray cats? For Sediq, it has been 15 years.  Feeding Five Hundred tells the story of Sediq’s passion and determination to save the lives of the UAE’s stray cats – the sacrifices he regularly makes, and the sympathy, aggression and indifference that he faces every day.


DIRECTORS: Chad King, Mia Montanile, Sarah Lee

USA, 2013, 18 min.

Surfing is an expression of freedom for women around the world, but what happens when the media and larger culture of sexualization threaten to take that freedom away?


DIRECTOR: Andrei Molchanov

USA/Russian Federation, USA, 2014, 18 min.

In 1979 in Moscow, Harvard law student Ann married Boris, a Russian musician. The USSR violated international compacts and refused to let Boris join Ann in America. After four years, 26 visits to Russia by Ann, and jail time from Boris, Ann’s father Lewis Pollock organized a dramatic demonstration in Moscow to bring attention to the situation. 


DIRECTOR: Daniel Skaggs

USA, 2013, 65 min.

Freeload is a portrait of the modern train-riding culture. This movie follows Blackbird, a lost teenager searching for the answers to life. Young lovers Ponyboy and Rachel attempt to settle in Texas, but the freedom of the road lures them back. Brothers Skrappe and Christmas try to rekindle their distant brotherhood. Dice, the soft-spoken mystic will risk everything to ride the rails.  (Language)


DIRECTORS: Anand Kamalakar & Richard Breyer

USA, 2013, 68 min.

The rich and controversial life of Richard Garwin, the scientist who brought us everything from the hydrogen bomb to the touch screen. He has advised every president since Eisenhower and was one of the scientists asked to help solve the gulf oil spill and the Japanese nuclear disaster.


DIRECTOR:  Matt Merrill

USA/India, 2014, 18 min.

The story of two men: An Indian lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping Tibetan refugees in legal matters, and a Tibetan monk, who started a non-profit organization to improve the lives of Indians living in the slums.


DIRECTORS: Charlotte Loxley Helleland & Ronald Eliassen Hole

Norway, 2013, 24 min.

Tuberculosis sanatorium, mental hospital, reception centre for asylum seekers and decay.

The 100-years-old walls of Harastolen have seen it all. Now they tell their stories. 


DIRECTOR: Lindsay Blatt

Iceland, USA/Iceland, 2013, 28 min.

For over 1,000 years, Icelandic law has made it illegal to import horses onto the island. For that reason, Icelandic horses are a pure breed. During the summer months, the horses live a wild existence, grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Every September, they are rounded up and reunited with their owners. It is a breathtaking tradition that unites the country.


DIRECTOR:  Peter McBride

USA, 2013, 4 min.

The Colorado River runs 1,450 miles across seven states and two countries and supplies water to 36 million people. It flowed to the sea for six million years but has not kissed the ocean since the late 1990’s. This video poem highlights the beauty and challenges of this national icon.


DIRECTORS: Darian Henry & Imani Peterkin

USA, 2013, 8 min.

Inside The Ring takes a look at the City of Albany’s youth boxing program from the perspective of long time coach Jerrick Jones and many of the young aspiring boxers.


DIRECTOR: Abbey Hoekzema

USA, 2014, 20 min.

Into the Canyons is a coming of age portrait of two first-time Wilderness Volunteer Rangers living, working, and exploring Zion National Park.


DIRECTORS: Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson

USA, 77 min.

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i. Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. (Sexual Issues)


DIRECTOR: Olivia Klaus

USA, 2013, 25 min.

An intimate portrait of one of the world’s most infamous crimes and notorious killers. This exclusive interview with Patricia Krenwinkel reveals an unlikely relationship with the charismatic Charles Manson that led her to cross every line of moral consciousness to win the approval of the man she loved.


DIRECTOR: Mireille Couture

Canada, 2014, 55 min.

In the house of her childhood, Simone cares for her 100-year-old mother, Marguerite, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. While Marguerite’s memories slowly disappear, we see Simone coping with her own vulnerability and looking back to her past.


DIRECTORS:  Shaikha Al Ameri & Mariam Khanji

United Arab Emirates, 2014, 10 min.

Once Abu Dhabi survived off of the meager income it made from pearl diving.  But all that was lost when the Japanese invented the cultured pearl.  Today, the Japanese are helping Abu Dhabi revive its pearl industry.


DIRECTORS: Jonathan Vigouroux, Xavier Christian & Joshua Gobbell

USA, 2014, 26 min.

French horseman Walter Badet spends a day among wild Mustangs, the last living herd of the Shoshone Indians. After twenty years of direct contact with Indian culture, he helps us discover a life philosophy taught by the horse. You will be transported into the majestic plains of Utah and enlightened about how nature and the animal can elevate us.


DIRECTOR: Lucas da Silva

USA, 2013, 8 min.

Is the nostalgic family farm a thing of the past? If so, no one has told the Westendorps. Their small, family dairy farm is a successful producer of milk and ice cream and in 2012 they won the Best Ice Cream Parlor in Michigan Award. This family does what their grandparents did a long time ago, but in a very different way!


DIRECTOR: Judith Van Wyk

USA, 2014, 25 min.

This documentary chronicles one man’s journey from accomplished artist to reluctant refugee and a voice for the millions of Iraqis whose lives have been irrevocably upended by war.


DIRECTOR:  Phil Tuckett

USA, 2014, 60 min.

The story about the route from Los Angeles northward – U.S. Interstate 15 crosses a section of rugged, high mountain Mojave Desert  in the extreme northwest portion of Arizona. It then continues north to the Arizona/Utah border past St. George, Utah. This portion of I15 was completed in 1973 at the cost of more than $61 million or $100 an inch. To this day it represents the most expensive and spectacular engineering feat in the history of the United States Interstate Highway System. The road winds through the Virgin River Gorge, at times only 150 wide with 2000 ft. cliffs towering on either side, revealing breathtaking scenic beauty and taking the traveler through a 500 million year geological era. This films tells the epic story of how this road was built and the people who overcame every challenge , even death, to make sure it happened.



USA, 2014, 56 min.

Growing up fast in 1930’s Shanghai, the ‘Paris of the Orient,’ Virginia Lumsdaine McCutcheon was imprisoned by the Japanese in World War II.  At the age of 92, Virginia unveils a provocative story of love, loss, art, and survival in this portrait documentary.


DIRECTORS: Christian Muno, Fränk Muno & Raoul Schmitz

Luxembourg/France, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Thailand, 2013, 55 min.

NAK MUAY (the designation for one who practices Thai boxing) tells the story of Kevin Haas, a young 30-year-old Luxembourgian who wants to make his dream come true of becoming the first Luxembourgian World Champion of Muay Thai.  (Language)


DIRECTOR: Greg Koorhan

USA, 2013, 22 min.

On Blitzen tells the touching tale of love and connection created by an almost human pure bred and the daughter of a champion dog breeder.


DIRECTOR: Brian Bolster

USA, 2014, 11 min.

Renting an apartment in New York City, tiny, challenging spaces coupled with enormous rents are to be expected. But an eccentric landlord directly above you with an itchy speed-dial finger is not as common. Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, experience the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a yearlong sentence with Rita the cat-loving landlady.


DIRECTOR: Reem Al Meqbali

United Arab Emirates, 2013, 7 min.

An Emirati documentary about Emirati women who want to study media despite their families’ rejection because of their traditions, which forbids women from working in media.


DIRECTOR: Tim Mahoney

USA/Egypt, Israel, Netherlands, USA, UK, 2014, 115 min.

Is the history found in the Bible fact or fiction? What does the hard evidence really have to say about the foundational story of the Exodus out of Egypt in the Old Testament? An in-depth investigation searches for answers to these questions amid startling new finds that may change the traditional views of history and the Bible.


DIRECTOR: Michael Matheson Miller

USA/Africa, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Ireland, Italy, Peru, Russian Federation, South Korea, Thailand, USA, UK, 2013, 94 min.

From disaster relief to TOMs Shoes, from adoptions to agricultural subsidies, Poverty, Inc. follows the butterfly effect of our most well-intentioned efforts and pulls back the curtain on the poverty industrial complex.  Drawing on perspectives gathered from over 200 interviews shot over 4 years in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. explores the hidden side of doing good.


DIRECTOR: Tatyana Bronstein

USA, 2013, 58 min.

A portrait of Larissa Ponomarenko, Prima Ballerina of the Boston Ballet. Through flashbacks of her childhood and training in Russia to her emergence as the prima ballerina of Boston Ballet, the film captures the vitality and beauty of her dance. It is a story of hard work and determination and of an extraordinary dancer’s transition from the stage, to her new life as mentor for aspiring dancers. 


DIRECTOR: Slavko Martinov

New Zealand, 2012, 96 min.

An anti-Western propaganda film about the influences of America’s visual and consumption culture on the rest of the world, told from a North Korean perspective.



DIRECTORS: Benedict Mirow & Dorothee Binding

Germany/Germany, Czech Republic, 2013, 58 min.

A tribute to the music written by Jewish composers in one of the notorious Nazi concentration camps in the Czech Republic during World War II.  It tells the story of two extraordinary musicians, classical pianist Alice Herz-Sommer (109) and jazz musician Coco Schumann (89), who survived the ghetto Terezin/Theresienstadt and whose performances brought comfort and hope to so many.


DIRECTOR: Daniel Roher

Canada, 2014, 22 min.

It was a forced relocation that led the Canadian government to commit one of the most grievous human rights violations in Canadian history.  Zipporah was a girl when her family was among the eighty Inuit to be sent to the high arctic. She and her two daughters grew up in a community of darkness. Through haunting interviews and archival footage Resolute tells a story familiar to thousands of indigenous families.  (Sexual Issues)


In partnership with Wairoa Maori Film Festival, New Zealand

DIRECTOR: Mike Jonathan

New Zealand, 53 min.

Follow a group of Maori actors, Ngakau Toa, as they prepare to perform a Te Reo adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida at the legendary Globe Theatre in London. Led by Kiwi actor Rawiri Paratene (Whale Rider), Ngakau Toa was given the prestigious honour of opening the ‘Globe to Globe’ festival.


DIRECTOR: Sylvia Johnson

USA, 2013, 64 min.

Roaming Wild is a modern day Western about the federal government’s controversial wild horse round ups, and a cowboy, an activist, and a mountain man searching for solutions to protect life and land.  (Inflammatory Subject Matter)

SEE: An Art Road Trip

DIRECTORS: Glenn Holsten, Betsy Eby & Bo Bartlett

USA, 2013, 74 min.

Artists Bo Bartlett and Betsy Eby set off to make a film about seeing. They travel the country, stumbling upon art sites, characters and luminaries. But then the unexpected happens, sending their adventure into unforeseen territory, and the clear becomes unclear. The film invites us to open our eyes anew and see the beauty and wonder in the world around us.



China, 2014 21 min.

Exploring the life of autistic children and their parents and raising awareness of autism.


In partnership with Oman Film Society

DIRECTORS: Mona Eldaief & Jehane Noujaim

Jordan, 2014, 58 Min.

Rafea has never left her tiny village of tents in Jordan. Now she is traveling to India to become a solar-energy engineer, in hopes she can return and help her village to become sustainable and self-sufficient.


DIRECTOR: Luke L. Hansen

USA/USA, Viet Nam, 2014, 46 min.

Journey with a group of U.S. veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam Wars to the infamous battlefield at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. There, they join in an emotional meeting with veterans of the People’s Army and together participate in a ceremony to honor fallen comrades. Watch as barriers dissolve and loss dissipates to hope and new meaning.


DIRECTOR: Griffin Hammond

USA/Thailand, USA, 2013, 33 min.

Sriracha has earned a cult following, but the story of this spicy sauce is a mystery to most fans. Dedicated to Sriracha lovers, this fast-paced documentary travels around the globe to reveal its origin and the man behind the iconic ‘rooster sauce.’


DIRECTOR: Matthew Black

USA, 2014, 23 min.

The Boston Marathon has stood as a pinnacle achievement for athletes around the world for over a century.  In 2013, this event was attacked.  One year later, 37,000 runners united to show the world that you cannot stop a runner.  This film shows the unbreakable human spirit through the perseverance and tenacity of 20 of these runners as they prepare for and compete in the 2014 Boston Marathon.


DIRECTORS: Amos Angeles & Veli Silver

Switzerland/Germany, Israel, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA, 2013, 68 min.

30 years after the release of Style Wars, the movie that helped spread the graffiti movement from New York around the world, Veli and Amos, hit the road to discover new graffiti styles and meet the artists. A wild journey takes them from Europe to New York to the Middle East, and from galleries to war zones.  (Nudity, Language)


DIRECTORS: David Smellie & Madison Pope

USA, 2014, 8 min.

Ryan Mertaugh lives in Jackson Hole Wyoming – an environment that is steeped in mountain culture. Ryan has added his own signature to this framework by developing the art of parkour Hula Hooping.  Last winter he began a journey to hula hoop on top of several peaks in the Teton Mountain Range. This film documents the remarkable expedition and the surprising discoveries made along the way.


In partnership with TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi

DIRECTOR: Amal Al Agroobi

United Arab Emirates, 2013, 62 min.

The film follows the journey of two boys with Autism in the UAE, 19-year-old Mohammed and 6-year old Khalifa, and their progression through three months of music therapy.  The film explores the cultural stigma associated with having a child with special needs in the Arab world.


DIRECTORS: Juan Luis Passarelli & Mathew Charles

Guatamala, UK/El Salvador, 2013, 94 min.

For The Engineer, death is an art. A corpse is a friend. And he spends more time with his friends than his family. His own life is in danger, but he continues to unearth secret mass graves and identify the hundreds of missing teenagers lost to El Salvador’s brutal gang conflict. (Language, Graphic Autopsy Images)


DIRECTOR: Robert Philipson

USA, 2013, 34 min.

W. E. B. DuBois wrote that every Black in America grows up with “this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.” But what happens when the double consciousness of being gay is overlaid on that? This self-narrated documentary follows a man of extraordinary talent: running back for the Stanford Cardinals; dancer at Julliard; model, singer, and performer in Europe. (Nudity, Sexual Issues)


DIRECTOR: Joe Siebert

USA, 2014, 84 min.

An aging, down-and-out street musician finds renewed purpose when he gets a surprise opportunity to play the big stage for the first time in 40 years.


DIRECTORS: Dina Kadisha Aspen

USA/Israel, Poland, USA, 2013, 47 min.

70 years after the Holocaust, filmmaker Dina Kadisha Aspen begins her quest to understand what’s left of Jewish Poland today. In interviews with survivors, their children, and even the hidden and displaced children of the Holocaust, Aspen discovers a vivacious reemerging community whose next generation’s Jewish existence still lies in the balance.  (Language)



USA, 2013, 8 min.

Kyle Thompson is a 21-year-old surrealist photographer with no formal education in photography. He is now known around the world for his self-portraits. This documentary observes his style, method and motivations behind the creation of his captivating images.


DIRECTOR: Peter McBride

USA/Kenya, 2013, 27 min.

Mt. Kenya, the second tallest peak in Africa, is home to Ngai, the local water. Ngai and the mountain provide 70% of the nation’s water supply.  Pete McBride climbed its false summit with his family when he was 9-years-old. Returning in 2012 with a group of climbers, he noticed something frightening. It wasn’t the same mountain he climbed as a boy.

TIKOTIN  – A Life Devoted to Japanese Art

DIRECTOR: Santje Kramer

Netherlands/Belgium, France, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, 2013, 77 min.

His passion for Japanese art takes a famous German Jewish art dealer all over the world. Two World Wars and a series of personal adversities later, the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art shines on Mount Carmel in Haifa.  Twenty-five years after his death, his grandson tries to unravel his story. Behind the success story and adventures, he finds a family man who cannot prevent his family from falling apart.


In partnership with Oman Film Society

DIRECTOR: Mohammed Bin Tamman Al-Mashni
Sultanate of Oman, 2013, 27 minutes
This film tells the story of a month long journey of thousands of camels during the grazing season in the lush green valleys and mountains of Dhofar Governorate during which the herdsmen from different tribes get together to make this journey happen, by living and traveling according to ancient customs and practices.


DIRECTOR: Gregor Eppinger

Germany, 2013, 14 min.

Friday evening, in a Berlin station on a train to Poland, cleaning ladies are on their way home. It’s a journey between two worlds. From anonymous cleaning ladies they transform suddenly into confident women, the main bread-earner of the family. They are neither at home, nor at work, they are amongst themselves.


DIRECTORS: Ashley Moradipour & Devyn Bisson

Uganda, 2014, 18 min.

After being forced into a brutal war against their own communities, ex-combatants and victims of the Lords Resistance Army unite within Grassroots Reconciliation Group in order to heal the wounds of their past.


DIRECTOR: Kyle Plummer

USA, 2014, 19 min.

The story of a military family that started an organization to give back to local troops and welcome them home from their time overseas.


DIRECTOR: J. Christian Jensen

USA, 2013, 20 min.

A winter portrait of North Dakota’s oil boom as seen through unexpected eyes. 


DIRECTOR: Ryan Westra

USA, 2013, 11 min.

A survivor of a motorcycle wreck, disabled for life, trains to compete in the Paralympic Games.