Director: Emilio Guerrero Alexander
In a futuristic Mexico where the law no longer exists, three twisted Agents of Order go on their routine patrol through the city in search of wicked fun and brutality when they come across a homeless busker and target him as the victim of the night.
Inspired by true events where the band's lead guitarist got kidnapped by police, Perdidos In Pantitlán takes place in a not-so-absurd reality where police are in full control of the city. It's represented in a cyberpunk, sci-fi environment to reflect on how today's world needs to be seen through a preposterous optic to be understood and see how we're not that far away from what is depicted.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Director: Mithra B. Alavi
When Arab-American, Leila, returns home from her first year of college in Amman, Jordan, her American mother, Karen, is surprised to see her wearing a hijab. Now mother and daughter must navigate what Leila's new found identity as a Muslim woman means for their relationship.
This struggle for identity is one very close to director, Mithra B. Alavi's, heart and she drew on her own upbringing as an Iranian American Muslim to tell this story. With BIRDS FLY HOME, Mithra explores themes of clashing cultures, ethnocentric fear, and the relationship between parent and child. The easy story to tell is that of a young Muslim Arab American woman who decides that she is going to walk away from a culture and religion that many see as oppressive to women. But the truth is, this is a culture full of warmth and love that puts a great emphasis on home and family. With the incredible Kate Butler (SHOCK & AWE, LBJ, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA) starring as "Karen" alongside the talented emerging actress Zein Khleif as "Leila", BIRDS FLY HOME is a journey of identity, belonging, and love.
BEST DRAMA SHORT
LOS ANGELES PREMIERE
Director: Elvis Nolasco
GOD BLESS tells the story of Lincoln Lawrence (Jake Sidney Cohen), a troubled video store owner, who is visited by the three archangels, MICHAEL (Elvis Nolasco), RAPHAEL (Kendall Stillman-Riddle) and GABRIEL (Andrew Garrett).
On a hot summer day in Los Angeles, a man is forced to confront his past, and his faith.
Note from Screenwriter (Jake Sidney Cohen): “Our respective hero, Lincoln, looks and acts nothing like the heroes we’ve come to accept. He’s just a simple man, stunted by trauma, manifested by nervous energy and repressed desires. Being a Jewish writer myself, I always felt the Talmudic interpretations of the three archangels and their imprint on the stories of the Old Testament were absolutely fascinating as devices in the Hero's Journey. They each had specific tasks in our film, and their tasks are clear and direct. With their combined work, they leave Lincoln forever altered, with a renewed perspective on life, ...and filled with hope.
GOD BLESS is Elvis Nolasco's follow up directorial effort, following 2018's 'TIME 2 SURRENDER'.
BEST FAMILY FILM
Director: Derek Champnella
When you have to shoot your high school sophomore year short film project during a pandemic and the only two actors you can get are your mom and dad, this is what happens: A husband and wife battle over the last snack.
BEST STUDENT FILM