Centerpiece: Present


It has been more than a year since we started to self-isolate. Even as vaccines are rolled out and lockdown restrictions loosen, it seems like isolation still dictates the way we live our lives. These films interrogate the value of keeping to yourself, wishing you could fly away, and wanting to become something else. 

Followed by our Special Present(ation): two quiet films that attempt to make sense of small spaces between our words. These films take place just outside of the Present program as two longer shorts that speak to each other directly.

You can watch the stream live on May 29th at 8pm EST here or at It will screen again May 30th at 4am EST and 12pm EST.

Stream schedule.

Vote for your favorites at the end of the night on the front page of

Press Pound to Connect (dir. Alexander Fingrutd)
Press Pound to Connect (dir. Alexander Fingrutd) (USA) (2:31)

A meditation through archive footage on our connections to each other, the environment, and our larger place in the universe. Press Pound to Connect frames isolation and connection in a way that makes you wonder whether we can ever truly have either. -SJ

Interdimensional Pizza Pushers (dir. Lije Morgan)
Interdimensional Pizza Pushers (dir. Lije Morgan) (USA) (5:34)

With a gluttony of different animation styles and homages to popular cartoons, this hilarious short follows Honeybear and Fishlips as they attempt to deliver pizzas across dimensions. -EZ

Salt (dir. Reem Morsi) (Canada) (8:45) wORLD PREMIERE

During what seems like a normal delivery of Chinese takeout, power dynamics arise, roles reverse, and intimate discoveries are made in this psychosexual mini-thriller. -EZ

IMG_3505 (dir. Ben Creech)
IMG_3505 (dir. Ben Creech) (USA) (1:00)

An honest and stirring reflection on the vanity and absurdity of human hope played out by the struggle of a bird fighting for its breakfast and a seagull not even Chekov could’ve come up with. -SJ

Please Enjoy Your Stay (dir. Tynan DeLong) (USA) (9:53)

Following an anxious musician who is unable to leave his hotel room, Dan Arnés’s Please Enjoy Your Stay features an exquisite score, a cast of absurd characters, and witty jabs at the vapidity of the music industry. -CN

A Quiet Declaration of Independence (dir. Dexter Marsh-Taylor)
A Quiet Declaration of Independence (dir. Dexter Marsh-Taylor) (USA) (7:09) wORLD PREMIERE

Facing the holidays alone for the first time, a young woman resists her binds to tradition and tries to find comfort in isolation. -CN

Time (dir. Mustapha Benghernaout)
Time (dir. Mustapha Benghernaout) (Algeria) (1:00) wORLD PREMIERE

In a nearly empty room we have a cigarette and a clock, both are perpetually in motion. -EZ

1 Bottle of Wine (dir. Anne Isensee)
1 Bottle of Wine (dir. Anne Isensee) (Germany) (5:00)

On Easter Monday 2020, the animator gives herself a challenge: she is going to drink an entire bottle of wine and draw a film. Instead, she finds herself in emotional turmoil about the state of the world and the health of her family. -EZ

existing is a bitch rn (dir. Hannah King Bosnian)
existing is a bitch rn (dir. Hannah King Bosnian) (USA) (4:00) wORLD PREMIERE

“Can’t I just exist abstractly?” Through humorous dialogue and disorienting animation, existing is a bitch rn explores the intersections of gender identity, and the search for connection and meaning in a disjointed and incomprehensible world. -MV

Forever (dir. Mitch McGlocklin)
Forever (dir. Mitch McGlocklin) (USA) (7:25)

Utilizing experimental LiDAR technology to mesmerizing results, Forever follows a man grappling with alcoholism and mortality after an artificial intelligence tells him he is ineligible for a life insurance policy. -CN

I've Said and Done Things (dir. Eric Michael Kochmer)
I’ve Said And Done Things That No-One Will Ever Remember (Volume VI)
(dir. Eric Michael Kochmer) (USA) (5:47) wORLD PREMIERE

A visually enrapturing and implacably raw journal of a man grappling with memories of past lovers and the passing of his father. -CN

Neko (dir. Maximilien Luc Proctor)
Neko (dir. Maximilien Luc Proctor) (Germany) (4:40) wORLD PREMIERE

Through gorgeous analogue cinematography and experimental editing techniques, the director explores the personhood of his newly adopted pet cat. -EZ

my dear quarantine (dir. Ewa Maria Wolska) (Poland) (5:19)

Two people discover a spark of magic in this half heartbreaking, half heartwarming film about isolation, boredom, and the wild animals who explored our cities during lockdown. -EM

Flying Turtle (DIR. Zipei Zhang) (China) (3:29) wORLD PREMIERE

A charming, short animation exemplifying the interconnectedness of Modern Life. The film depicts a Universal Society without bounds of place or language, where communication and presence are aided by helpful technology that brings us closer to one another. -GL

Peeps (DIR. Sophie Somerville) (Australia) (17:39)

Peeps cleverly explores five teenaged girls’ complex inner lives as they spend their afternoon at the shopping mall and attempt to communicate with one another. -EM


Intimate Views (DIR. Joseph Barglowski) (USA) (29:50) wORLD PREMIERE

Shot on gorgeous Super 16mm in a secluded house in the woods, Intimate Views constantly pokes at something darker just beneath the surface—but instead showcases two contrasting relationships that unfold within its walls. -EZ

The Other (DIR. Saman Hosseinpuor & Ako Zandkarimi) (Iran) (24:42)

A deeply affecting story of a man dealing with loss of a loved one, lost in his personal obligations and feelings, making decisions. This film stands as an example of what is possible with the narrative form of silent film, something which is often misunderstood and not pursued in most narrative films. -GL

Past | Present | Future | May 28th – 31st | Stream Schedule | Time Zone Converter |