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Elevating female-identifying filmmakers.

Nevertheless Film Festival Film Guide

We are beyond thrilled to announce the exciting program of films playing at the inaugural Nevertheless Film Festival! Our program is made up of 26 films — which includes 1 North American Premiere, 1 US Premiere, 10 Midwest Premieres, and 9 Michigan Premieres.


 

Narrative Features

 
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A COlony (Une Colonie)

Mylia, a timid 12-year-old, is about to leave her native countryside to begin high school. Lost in this new hostile environment, she copes as well as she can, sometimes awkwardly, dealing with the absurdities, discomforts, and small victories of adolescence. Along the way she encounters Jimmy, a young indigenous outsider from the neighboring reserve, who will help her stand her ground and embrace who she really is.


Directed by Genevieve Dulude-De Celles
Midwest Premiere
| Canada | 102 min


Go Back to China

When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. What simply begins as a way to regain financial support soon develops into a life-altering experience as Sasha learns the family business from the ground up, and more importantly, learns to reconnect with her estranged family.

Go Back to China is a hilarious, heartfelt, and compelling portrayal of what happens when today's culture clashes with the old-school, hard-working values that families around the world have continued to instill and pass down.

Directed by Emily Ting
Michigan Premiere
| USA, China | 96 min

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South Mountain

Lila (Talia Balsam) is an artist and teacher who has built a modest rural paradise in New York's Catskill Mountains with her writer husband, Edgar (Scott Cohen). Soon after their teen daughters head off on summer adventures, Edgar reveals he's started a new family with another woman. This leaves Lila alone for a season of anger, revenge and self re-discovery.

Directed by Hilary Brougher
Michigan Premiere
| USA | 85 min


Sister Aimee

In 1926 America‚ the most famous evangelist is a woman. And she's looking for a way out. Fed up with her own success, she gets swept up in her lover, daydreams about Mexico and finds herself on a wild road trip towards the border. Based on true events. Mostly made up.

Directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann
Michigan Premiere
| USA | 87 min

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Documentary Features

 
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Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl

At 18, Kate Nash reached the stratosphere of pop music, vaulting from a working class family in North London into worldwide tours, a platinum record, and a season dominating the music charts. A few years later, she is breaking down, nearly homeless. Defrauded by her manager and dropped by an industry that cannot find a place for her in the girl-pop machine, Kate struggles to retain her creative freedom and to remain an innovative voice in music. She pursues acting as another form of artistic expression and way of making a living and lands a part in the TV series GLOW

This high-energy, female-centered rock odyssey reveals the treacherous line that today‚ artists must walk to survive while making art on their own terms in the digital economy. And it asks the audience: how much longer will the true artists survive?

Directed by Amy Goldstein
Michigan Premiere
| USA | 89 min


Pipe Dreams

Take a look into the thrilling world of competitive organ playing! Follow five young organists as they compete in Canada’s International Organ Competition. Who will come out victorious?

Will it be Yuan Shen, the daughter of China’s most famous organist, or Alcee Chriss III, a young African American musician who plans to draw on his gospel roots to prevail? Can Thomas Gaynor be the first organist to win three competitions in one summer or will Nick Cappozoli’s risky modern program win over the judges?  Perhaps 19-year-old Sebastian Heindl, the youngest person to ever compete in the CIOC, will surprise everybody by taking the win?

Directed by Stacey Tenenbaum
US Premiere
| Canada | 78 min

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Romantic Comedy

Romantic Comedy goes beneath the surface of our favorite films, seeking to better understand the way we view love, relationships and romance. From It Happened One Night to Runaway Bride, from clumsy meet cutes to rain-soaked declarations of love, these films reflect our experiences but are often just as problematic as they are comforting.

They're hugely successful and deeply loved by many, but - being frequently dismissed as guilty pleasures - they have often avoided critical analysis. Helped by a chorus of critics, actors and filmmakers, and original songs by her band Summer Camp, director Elizabeth Sankey embarks on a journey of investigation and self-discovery.

Directed by Elizabeth Sankey
Michigan Premiere
| United Kingdom | 78 min


Senior Escort Service

After the sudden death of her father, filmmaker Shaina Feinberg goes on a tour of grief. Blending archival footage with a series of journeys, both real and imagined, Senior Escort Service is a funny, sad - and incredibly inventive - meditation on loss.

Directed by Shaina Feinberg
Michigan Premiere
| USA | 60 min

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We Are Not Princesses

The Syrian refugee crisis is on the world stage. But We Are Not Princesses shows a personal side of the crisis most have never seen, following the daily lives of four remarkable women, whose extraordinary struggles and strength tell a different kind of story, about obedience and defiance, resilience and reconciliation.

Follow along as the women navigate new lives and small freedoms in exile, adapting to new roles: in their families and in a theater production of the Greek play, Antigone. Glimpse into life under siege, as these mothers, sisters, and wives grapple with past trauma and express themselves openly, often for the first-time, on camera.

Directed by Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam
Midwest Premiere
| USA, United Kingdom | 75 min


 

Short Films

 

1500 Miles

Nicole Ver Kuilen is an athlete and amputee who challenges herself to complete a 1500 mile triathlon from Seattle to San Diego. She has the endurance, the will, and the passion to make it to the end. The question is: will her prosthesis survive the journey?

Directed by Chris Duncan
Documentary Short
| Midwest Premiere | USA | 18 min

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Albatross Soup

A man gets off a boat. He walks into a restaurant and orders albatross soup. He takes one sip... pulls out a gun, and shoots himself to death. So...why did he kill himself?

Over 50 people have been recorded trying to guess this riddle using only “yes” or “no” questions. The film is a visual representation of the riddle unraveling as we hear a rapid fire kaleidoscopic soundscape of questions from each participant. An all knowing God-like voice guides the story by answering “yes” or “no” for each question.

Directed by Winnie Cheung
Documentary Short
| Michigan Premiere | USA | 7 min


All INclusive

Under the spell of mass entertainment on the high seas.

Directed by Corina Schwingruber Ilic
Documentary Short
| Michigan Premiere | Switzerland | 10 min

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Aziza

Ayman, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, teaches his wife how to drive his car, the only thing left for him from his country. The lesson takes a wrong turn into madness and nostalgia.

Directed by Soudade Kaadan
Narrative Short
| Lebanon | 13 min


Consent: A short comedy about a serious subject

A singer ignores her fan's consent in this romantic comedy gone wrong. An allegory about sexual assault with absolutely no sex.

Directed by Kimmy Gatewood
Narrative Short | Midwest Premiere | USA | 14 min

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Currency of dreams

Follow through the lives of 3 Taiwanese people: a lonely baker separated from her children, a man who runs a recycling business, and a young mother with a disabled child.

Directed by Angela Chen
Documentary Short | Midwest Premiere | Taiwan | 10 min


Desires of the flesh

Since 2016, Pope Francis has allowed women to take part in the washing of the feet ceremony. The girls of St. Peter Church are preparing something special for the ritual. Camila just hopes to find Giovana.

Directed by Rafaela Camelo
Narrative Short
| Brazil | 18 min

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Edgecombe

Revealing the deeply personal truths of three local residents, Edgecombe is an examination of the ways trauma repeats and reinvents itself in rural Black communities.

Directed by Crystal Kayiza
Documentary Short
| Midwest Premiere | USA | 15 min


Finding Shelter

Finding Shelter shares the stories of several unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the US from Central America. Their collection of stories was made into a ground-breaking play that was performed in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Directed by Marissa Chibas
Documentary Short
| Midwest Premiere | USA | 26 min

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Fran This Summer

Fran This Summer explores first love between a teenage couple whose other half wishes to transition. Fran and Angie must face who and what they mean to each other when they make their way to the beach and their love is on display for the world to see.

Directed by Mary Evangelista
Narrative Short
| USA | 9 min


Pozole

When Maia, a mixed race Latina woman, sets out to reconnect with her traditional Mexican roots on her Nana's 100th birthday, things go terribly wrong.

Directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros
Narrative Short
| USA | 10 min

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sometimes, i think about dying

Fran likes to think about dying, it's comforting to her. She imagines a different death every day and doesn't need anything more. But her routine is unexpectedly interrupted by some enticing attention paid to her by a good looking co-worker. She made him laugh and now he wants more - a movie date, a slice of pie, a conversation. But if dating him means learning to live, she's pretty sure she can't do that.

Directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz
Narrative Short
| USA | 12 min


the audition

An aspiring actress auditions for a film producer who is interested in a more personal relationship and she gives him more than he bargained for. Based on an excerpt from the novel The True Life Story of Jody McKeegan by Don Carpenter.

Directed by Sarah Kate Madden
Narrative Short
| Midwest Premiere | USA | 4 min

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Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (Katatjatuuk Kangirsumi)

Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland practice the Inuk art of throat singing in their small village of Kangirsuk. Their mesmerizing voices carry through the four seasons of their Arctic land.

Directed by Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland
Documentary Short | Midwest Premiere | Canada | 3 min


To Ana

Ana learns to witness her own value when she ingeniously discovers a do-it-yourself cure for her ghosted heart.

Directed by Simone LeClaire
Narrative Short
| Michigan Premiere | USA | 6 min

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We Are the freak show

A bingo game. An allegorical, wild, and humorous portrait. An homage to eccentricity and entertainment. To those things that remain unchanged.

Directed by Marie-Helene Viens and Philippe Lupien
Narrative Short | Midwest Premiere | Canada | 9 min


Wise Decision

Emma strives for the leading role in "Electra," but finds herself caught between taking care of her ill mother and pursuing her own dream. With the help of Wise Decision, an A.I. device that helps people make the best choices, her performance improves significantly and brings her one step closer to her dream, until her humanity is put to the test.

Directed by Chuxiang Xiao
Narrative Short
| North American Premiere | United Kingdom | 15 min

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