Conversation on Creative Districts - DISCUSSION PANEL


HIKO in TONGA - 60 min
A Country Where Only Women Juggle

The Film Featuring Stories of Hiko Juggling, Queen Salote and Life in Tonga

Produced and Directed by Connie "Paprika" Leaverton
Edited by Simone Khan

Juggling is male dominated throughout the world.  But in Tonga, the Hiko or Juggling is for women only …and men wouldn’t dare. HIKO empowers all generations of females in this Pacific Island group. It's something they can truly call their own.

Paprika's Inspiration for Making the Film - As a professional juggler and filmmaker, I found this unusual women’s culture through research on my first film, 'Trailblazers: Women Who Juggle'. A Country where only women juggle?  But that's a man's world. Was there really an entire country of women who toss 8-12 Tui Tui Nuts into the air for fun and competition and exceed the world record status?  So I ventured over to the The Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific Islands twice, by myself, camera and curiosity in hand. Six years later I have a film to share of the stories and culture of these beautiful women, who graciously allowed me to share their lives of challenge, inspiration and play.

A Unique World in a self-ruled Monarchy. 'HIKO' gives insight into the women's lives of Tonga and their revered Queen Salote6

When the Smoke Clears
Documentary, 17 min, Nevin Fowler, USA

Nevin Fowler is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and his background in information gathering as a Recon Marine Scout Sniper tempers his attentive and focused artistic approach. His passion is to document the human condition though visual media. The outdoors is the catalyst for Nevin’s creativity and a reoccurring theme in his work. “When the Smoke Clears”, documents his experiences with Veterans Expeditions, a Salida Colorado based nonprofit organization working to create community among military vets of all eras through adventure in the outdoors.

Q & A with Paprika Leaverton

BREAK 5:30-5:45PM



Breaking the Mold - 54 min.
Julie Speer

In this comical, lighthearted documentary, discover how two “high altitude”, octogenarian university professors broke the mold for their industry and created a ripple effect that continues to inspire. History professor Dr. Duane Vandenbushe, the longest serving professor at any public higher educational institution in Colorado - who is also the namesake for the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year Award - and his best friend, Geology professor Dr. Bruce Bartleson, are icons from the Gunnison Valley of Colorado. Discover their unique personalities and their secrets to success.

Whitewater - FIBArk - 50 min.
Julie Speer

Motivated by a bet in the late 1940s, two Swiss brothers on small wooden folding boats raced 57 miles down the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge from Salida to Cañon City. The race would inspire what is now the oldest and longest whitewater festival in the United States, FIBArk—“First in Boating the Arkansas.” Discover how a small town in central Colorado went from a small mining town to a destination worldwide for whitewater sports.

West Chester Film Festival Block

Watu Wote - All of Us - 21:33
Drama Winner - Best of WCFF

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Watu Wote – All of Us (Oscar Nominee)
Katja Benrath/Germany/Student Drama/Female Filmmaker/21:33

For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. Watu Wote is the dramatization of a 2015 event in which Muslim and Christian passengers find common ground when they are attacked on a cross-country bus journey

The Eleven O'Clock - 14:00
Comedy Winner - Oscar Nominee

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The Eleven O’Clock (Oscar Nominee)
Derin Seale/Australia/Comedy

The delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other the session gets out of control


Lacrimosa - 18:27
Art/Experimental Winner


Tanja Mairitsch/Austria/Art/Experimental/Female Filmmaker

Every tear drop tells a story.

Game 15 min


Jeannie Donohoe/CA/US/Drama/Female Filmmaker/15:00

A new kid in town tests the limits at the high school basketball tryouts.

Extra 1104 - The Rockport Train Wreck - 21:05
Student Documentary Nominee

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Extra 1104 – The Story of the Rockport Train Wreck
John General/NY/US/Student Documentary

The tragedy of the “Extra 1104” 1925 stands today as one of the most disastrous train wrecks in New Jersey’s history. For over 90 years, the full story remained largely untold until local filmmaker John General set out to reveal what really happened on the fateful night that put courage, selflessness and pure heroism to a true test. Extra 1104 – The Story of the Rockport Train Wreck is the only film to document the horrific story that left the village of Rockport shaken for decades.


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West Chester Film Festival Block


Witnesses - 28:57
Drama Winner

Witnesses follows Stéphane, a French war correspondent as she covers the daily existence of a young Syrian couple in their bombed-out, metropolitan war zone. Stéphane takes a photograph of the couple that unwittingly places them all in grave danger. What follows is their harrowing escape from the war zone.


Zebrafish 9:46
Documentary Nominee
Jennifer A. Manner/MD/US/Documentary/Female Filmmaker

Zebrafish: Practically People documents the surprising similarities between this common aquarium fish and humans, making them ideal for studying human disease.

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Panic Attack - 3:00
Animation - Staff Pick

Panic Attack!
Eileen O’Meara/CA/US/Animation/Female Filmmaker

You know the nagging thoughts that start with “did I leave the coffee on?” and turn in to “am I pregnant with a devil-baby?” This hand-drawn animation explores anxiety, obsession, and one woman’s slippery hold on reality.

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Garden Party (Oscar Nominee) - 7:25
Animation Winner - Student Film
Théophile Dufresne/France

The frogs are having a party.

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Pirate Cruncher - 9:58
Animation - Staff Pick
Paul Conner/CO/US/
Student Animation

One night in Port Royal a band of pirates meets an old fiddler with a map leading to treasure. As they set out across the sea they learn that the treasure is guarded by a monster called the Pirate Cruncher and that not everything is what it seems.


Catherine - 11:51
Animation - Staff Pick
Britt Raes/Belgium/Animation/Female Filmmaker

Catherine loves pets! But most of all, she loves her cat. As a young girl, she can not connect with other people. Her cat is her life, and little by little she grows up to be a crazy old cat lady… Will she ever find friendship, or love?

Car Park 6:25

Denver Film Block

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Help Wanted - 16 min; Director: Patrick Hackett; Producer: Britta Erickson, Alison Greenberg Millice, Mitch Dickman, Patrick Hackett, Screenwriter: Patrick Hackett, Cast: Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”)
An older gentleman who should be retiring is compelled to reenter the workforce. How much will he have to sacrifice to live out his remaining golden years?
Awards/Recognition: Official Selection/Colorado Premiere @ 2018 Denver Film Festival; Official Selection/World Premiere @ 2018 Cleveland International Film Festival; Official Selection/European Premiere @ 2018 Raindance Film Festival


Greenport - 26:00
Creators: Shannon Goldman, Tony Spiridakis; Producer: Jim Thompson, Paul Michael Henry, Shannon Goldman and Tony Spiridakis; Cast: Rob Hancock, Dimitri Spiridakis, Geoffrey Owens, Jennifer Bassey, Michael Nouri
Written and shot on the North Fork of Long Island, Greenport is inspired by personal chronicles and is a story about a struggling Hollywood filmmaker who is determined to show the world that an autistic kid can do anything. This heartfelt comedy explores a common life conundrum: ambition, family and how to balance it all.
Awards/Recognition: Best Comedy Pilot @ Denver’s 2018 SeriesFest; Best TV Pilot @ 2018 New York City Independent Film Festival; Best TV Series @ 2018 Manhattan Film Festival


A Home Called Nebraska - 17 min
This film is about a community’s embrace of immigrants from Syria.
Q & A with George Gage

Salute Your Shorts Film Festival Block


Pop - 8:18

In this off-beat comedy, Carol has to face the one thing she fears the most. It lies in wait behind a mysterious door at the end of the hall. Can she face her fear, go through the door, and burst through her crippling phobia.


bnb - 12:41

Meet Harry and Sally, a couple of millenials who found love on tinder, get around in an uber, and can always find a "home away from home" using the rental site bnb. But for tonight’s stay, their host is no where to be found. Facing the new anxieties that come with the inrnet's "sharing economy", being strangers in a strange house leads Sally to fear for their online reputation... and Harry to fear for their lives.n


Deep Dish Apocalypse - 8:40

As a zombie-riddled Los Angeles erupts in chaos, two co-workers bump into each other beneath the city on an abandoned subway platform. One of them makes a confession, the other makes a move, and both try to escape alive.

Negative Space - 5:30
Miyu Distribution

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My dad taught me how to pack.

Weekends - 15:06
(OSCAR Qualified)


"Weekends" is the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal dream like moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken up family in this hand animated film set in 1980's Toronto.

Undiscovered - 2:49

“Undiscovered” explores the real reason there are no good photos of Sasquatch--not because he's secretive, but because he's un-photogenic. His attempts to jump into a photo before scaring away the hikers who are taking them are thwarted by the usual suspects--food in his teeth, closed eyes, mussed-up hair, an out-of-focus shot--resulting in deleted photos every time. Dejected, Sasquatch accepts his fate as a cryptid without a head-shot when he's caught by surprise by one straggling hiker.

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The Accomplice - 7:24

Arriving home from a long business trip, Jerry discovers a number of urgent messages on his answering machine from his impulsive and inept friend, Randy. Much to his surprise, Jerry is now an unwilling participant in one of Randy's boneheaded schemes.

One Small Step - 7:40 (OSCAR Qualified)

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Luna is a vibrant young Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. From the day she witnesses a rocket launching into space on TV, Luna is driven to reach for the stars. In the big city, Luna lives with her loving father Chu, who supports her with a humble shoe repair business he runs out of his garage. As Luna grows up, she enters college, facing adversity of all kinds in pursuit of her dreams.

Erin Brown Thomas - Shorts

Wildman Athletica - 6:26
Documentary short that highlights celebrity trainer Mark Wildman. Wildman engages his clients with unique circus arts such as aerial silks, along with full-armored combat, clubbells, real machete duels, and tactical fitness.  Included are several of his clients: Troian Bellisario (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS), Christa B. Allen (REVENGE), Chanon Finley (MAD MEN), Babar Peerzada (LIONS FOR LAMBS), and director Erin Brown. 

The Chain - 3:38
A woman overcomes fear and opens her heart again.

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Hotwire - 14:09
Stan is a shy and hopeless romantic who pines after his best friend Cindy. Too scared to risk sharing his true feelings, he instead imagines a world where his action movie heroics woo her time and again. However, when Cindy is offered a job overseas, Stan must man up and mirror the hero of his film fantasies in order to win her heart. During their last celebratory dinner, his failed romantic gestures ricochet from reality into fantasy and back again, right up to the heart-pounding and heart-warming climax that ticks down to the wire.

Once Upon a Dream - 3:36
A woman wakes up in a stupor.  As she recollects the night before, tragedy finds her.  

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The Happiness Machine - 23:35 Documentary
Carl grew up a sharecropper on 22 acres in rural Iowa, which he now calls The Promised Land. A philosopher, inventor, and farmer, he shares with us the deeply intricate workings of his projects, (including a full span bridge he built with his hands), how they are connected to the land which was given to him as a promise, and what he hopes to pass on to his children as the gift of place.

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Eye of the Needle - 3:34
A woman must find the courage to let her guard down and step into her unique identity.

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Rekindled - 12:38
After a string of failed relationships, successful career woman Kate gets the chance via a magical Groupon to rekindle romance with the love of her life -- her high school boyfriend. But as she soon discovers, the 40% discount is there for a reason...

Young & Beautiful - 5:02
A woman finds the strength to exit a complicated relationship.

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One on One - 11:21
Sarah, a runaway teenager in the city of Metropolis, encounters a persistent newspaper reporter named Clark Kent who won't leave her alone until she agrees to an interview for his newspaper column. Ten questions -- that's all he asks. In their moments together, the fragments of her tragic life emerge, but her anger towards superheroes and Superman himself explodes in full force. If he is so great and so powerful, why is the world such a horrible place? Why doesn't he do something about it?

Q & A follows with Erin Brown Thomas