The 2023 Davis Film Festival takes place November 5, 2023 at the Veteran's Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th Street in Davis, CA. Films from around the world and our own backyard. Narrative, documentary, animation, experimental. Shorts and features. Festival Director: Judith Plank
Tickets go on sale October 1st at filmfreeway.com. Tickets will be sold at Watermelon Music in Davis starting October 15th. (Cash or check only. No credit. Make checks payable to: Davis Film Festival). Tickets will also be sold at the door. Prices are $10 General for afternoon films, $10 General for evening films. Students w/ID and Senior tickets are $8.50 for each section. Festival Pass is $15. There will be two Audience Awards this year, for 1st and 2nd place. (Next year the Juried Awards will start). Also, According to Bazooka is returning for your dinner break entertainment at 5:30.
We want to thank our Festival Sponsors: Davis Food Co-op, Davis Media Access, International House, The Avid Reader, Strands Salon, Sudwerk, and Judy Reynolds Low-Salt Recipes. For more information call 530.383.1711.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2023 DAVIS FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS!! As a result of "Ranked Choice Voting" (which is a technique used by the Academy Awards for Best Picture ballots) we have our 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place winners! Drum roll, please:
FIRST PLACE BEST PICTURE AWARD GOES TO "TILT"
DIRECTED BY NICK MASSOUH
SECOND PLACE HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO "DAD BRAKES" DIRECTED BY TREVOR DOYLE
Both filmmakers will receive statue awards.
There was a TIE FOR 3RD PLACE BETWEEN THESE 3 FILMS:
"Abouna" Directed by Andrew Ishak
"This Ole Barn" Directed by Al Remmers
"Days and Times" Directed by Mo Alagi
These 3 winners will receive certificates.
Congratulations to all the winners! Next year the Juried Awards begin. We will also have the Audience Award again. Take care everyone and see you next year!
Judith Plank, Festival Director
Each film director in the festival will receive one Festival Pass, to use as they wish. Doors open at 1:30 pm on Sunday, November 5th. Films start at 2:15 pm after a short Welcome from the Festival Director. Masks are recommended but not required in the theater. All children under 12 get in free to the Sunday afternoon family friendly films. Sunday evening films are for mature audiences only. NO ALCOHOL will be sold at the festival this year. (Next year we probably will have wine and beer, along with a reception/party). There are eight easels available for use if filmmakers wish to show their movie posters in the lobby. We are still looking for one more volunteer for this year's festival. Volunteers take tickets, hand out programs, work at the concession booth and show people their seats. Each volunteer will receive one Festival Pass. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Judith at email@example.com or call 530.383.1711. The film schedule for November 5th is as follows:
2:00 pm. WELCOME! A few announcements.
2:15 pm. "Water, Star Medicine" Dir. Ilysa Spencer and Middle School Kids. Running time: 12:00. A teacher and her students study the nature, science and brilliance of water.
2:30 pm. "The Invisible Homeless" Dir. Nick Anderson and Ian Lee. 21:05. This documentary short explores the Sacramento housing crisis through the eyes of women and children while also hearing from leaders in government, nonprofits, academics and community leaders on this issue.
2:50 pm. "Let's Put an End to E-Waste" Dir. Kent Duke 1:20. (Davis filmmaker). This film hopes to raise awareness about the growing e-waste and provide information about how people can reduce their contribution to it.
2:55 pm. "Love Don't Bully" Dir. Dr. Lisa Spencer 8:00. A teacher and her middle school students talk about, interview, act out and research bullying, both at school and as a society.
3:05 pm. "Alice in Covidland" Dir. Sharon Camille. 16:39. Can a small, local ballet company make a comeback after the Covid-19 shutdown and keep their dancers inspired and well-trained?
3:25 pm. "All About Claire" Dir. Judith Plank 10:00. Actress Claire faces a troubling riddle as her film character's difficulties play out in real life.
3:35 pm. "For Quentin" Dir. Mo Alagi. 15:00. After meeting with a kindly homeless man, a college student photographer captures Sacramento's homeless before his social studies class loses interest in the topic.
3:50 PM INTERMISSION (20 MIN)
4:10 pm. "This Ole Barn" Dir. Al Remmers 1:05:00. SPECIAL TRIBUTE to Al Remmers, a well-loved filmmaker and community member, who was editing his film "Closing of the Palms" especially for the Davis Film Festival when he passed. Many of us remember this film when it exploded on the Davis Art Scene a few years ago. "It's the story of an old barn that became a community playhouse and then morphed into a must-stop music venue revered by the world-class roots, folk and Americana musicians who played there." Davis resident Bill Fairfield will say a few words about Al before the film starts.
5:30 pm. DINNER BREAK. The musical duo "According to Bazooka" with Renee and Richard will be playing in the lobby for an hour. Pizza, popcorn, chips, candy, coffee, tea, sodas and other concession items will be sold in the lobby.
6:35 pm. WELCOME BACK! A few announcements.
6:45 pm. "Happy Returns" Dir. Travis Emery Hackett 10:41. Sophie has her shit together, Ben doesn't. Or is it the other way around? Two siblings fight, make each other laugh, and share understandings like only siblings can, as they try their best to find their place in life.
6:55 pm. "Two Sides" Dir. Brian Jeon 13:50. Jae Min is a part-time restaurant worker while attending a university. Ha Na, on the other hand, is a university student who happened to be separated from her friends on a night out. What will happen when they cross paths with each other? The director states "This is likely the first Korean drama ever to be shot in the Sacramento region."
7:10 pm. "Dad Brakes" Dir. Trevor Doyle 10:00. A comedy about a worried dad teaching his son to drive, with funny and heartwarming results, set in a small gay family community.
7:20 pm. "Resurrection Under the Ocean" Dir. Serkan Aktash. 2:57. A symbolic journey of resurrection and redemption.
7:25 pm. "Days and Times" (music video) Dir. Mo Alagi 4:30.
7:30 pm. "Tilt" Dir. Nick Massouh 14:45. After accidently taking a woman hostage in a remote house, a hapless man in the midst of a mental breakdown tries to reason his way out of the situation without consequences.
7:45 pm. "Silent Night" Dir. Barbara Medajska 30:00. The travelers, who meet each other by chance, explain where they go for Christmas and why. Christmas in Poland is very much a family holiday, and loneliness or unfulfilled hopes during this period often lead to the biggest personal dramas.
8:30 pm. "For the Skeptical" Dir. Dawn Westlake 3:14. Another irreverent and timely short film from this L.A. talent.
8:35 pm. "Abouna" Dir. Andrew Ishak. 1:05:21. Just after being ordained, a young priest of an old-world church quickly finds he's in over his head--and decides to try something that will fly in the face of 2000 years of tradition.
9:40 pm. IT'S A WRAP! See you next year.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 DAVIS FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS!! Drum roll, please:
FIRST PLACE BEST PICTURE GOES TO 'The Diner" (15 votes)
Screenwriter: Claire Langton Director: Elise Marie Hodge
SECOND PLACE HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO "The Big Hysto:
A Black Womb Revolution" (14 votes). Writer/Director: Melissa Muganzo.
THERE WAS A TIE FOR THIRD PLACE between "Riptide" Directed by
Tony Wisneske and "The Mannequin" Directed by Kevin Carpio. Both
films got 7 votes. The rest of the votes were distributed among twelve
other films, including "Eugene Does Not Want to Work for Milkshakes" and "Regrets and Second Chances" which were both tied for 4th place.
First and Second place trophies will be handed out to the winners with
photos going up on the Davis Film Festival Instagram page as well as on our other social media pages. Next year we hope to have Juried prizes as well as the Audience Awards.
Thank you everyone for attending, and see you next year!
The late deadline for Film Freeway submissions was October 5th. The extended deadline is October 25th, but because of the extremely high number of submissions this year, winning films after October 25th may be postponed until next year. Each director in the festival will receive one Festival Pass. Doors open at 2 pm on Sunday, November 6th. (We are closely watching Covid transmission rates in Yolo County. As of 11/1/2022, the transmission rate is low and masks are recommended indoors, but not required. However, if this changes and the transmission rate is medium or high on November 6th, masks will be required).
All children under 12 get in free during the afternoon family friendly films. Evening films (especially after the 8:25 pm intermission) are for mature audiences only. NO ALCOHOL will be sold at the festival this year. (Next year we probably will have it). Next year we will also have Q and A sessions with the filmmakers. There are 8 easels available for use at the Vet Memorial if filmmakers wish to show their movie posters in the lobby. To request an easel, please email Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org. MANY THANKS to the Davis Enterprise Newspaper for the great coverage over the last few months. There is one update though: We have already found our volunteers! So disregard the request for volunteers in the Sunday, November 6th paper. The film schedule for November 6th is as follows:
2:30 pm "Riptide" Dir. Tony Wisneske 7:57
A kid growing up in a Southern California beachtown faces one
problem: overcoming their fear of the ocean.
2:40 pm "Vanishing Chinatown: The World of the May's Photo Studio"
Dir. Emiko Omori. Executive Producer gayle yamada of Davis. 28:00
The May's Photo Studio captured dreams and life in San Francisco's
Chinatown, creating family portraits in spite of family separations
due to the Chinese Exclusion Act.
3:10 pm "Great" Dir. Ryley Sakai 6:37
A kid imagines becoming a famous runner.
3:15 pm. "Eugene Does Not Want to Work for Milkshakes"
Dir. Jezer Serafica 5:16
Two amateur artists are on the verge of eviction, whilst they debate
over the efficacy of jobs, money and art vs. commerce.
3:20 pm. "Madge and Me" Dir. Austin Aviles 5:00
An ex-public defender recounts the journey of deciding to become
a Milliner and the process of crafting handmade hats.
3:25 pm. "Shots in the Dark" Dir. Andrew Ishak 9:25
A group of friends leave a fun legacy at their alma mater (UC Davis)
by creating a not-so-secret, only-at-night disc golf course on
campus that is still being played by students and alumni almost
two decades later.
3:35 pm. "Swim County USA" Dir. Chris Connor 22:30
"Summer rec" swimming is woven into the social fabric of Contra
Costa County, California. Family participation on a team may span
decades or even generations. This culture has an impact that goes
beyond the pool. Swimmers, coaches, parents share their stories.
4:00 pm. INTERMISSION
4:20 pm. "Maria Torres: Neighborhood Artist" Dir. Davis Hall 11:32
What if making art could save your life? For this Peruvian-born
New Yorker, painting helps heal physical and emotional trauma.
4:35 pm. "Tangent 61" Dir. Dan McHale 5:20
A dot becomes a line, which becomes...a triangle! What other
eternal shapes may emerge as we travel through zones of color in
this abstract animated short film? Composer: Christof Vonderau.
4:40 pm. "Luv, me" Dir. Nick Jara and Yen Dinh. 9:23
Tiffany, a K-Drama fanatic, and Thanh, an anime and gaming nerd,
struggle to agree on the definitions of love. (Some strong language)
4:50 pm. "Regrets and Second Chances" Dir. Matt Johnson 10:00
After a chance encounter in Downtown Sacramento, James
attempts to heal a past trauma by helping a young woman get off
5:00 pm. "The Ghost Hunt" Dir. Chris Wallace 8:10
Three ghost hunters investigate a house for their YouTube channel,
but encounter more than what they expected.
5:10 pm. "Becoming Santa" Dir. Dawn Spinella 10:17
After an encounter with Santa, a spoiled girl begins to see the world
5:20 pm. DINNER BREAK
Renee and Richard from the band According to Bazooka will play
in the lobby. Pizza, popcorn, desserts, beverages for sale.
6:40 pm. "The Diner" Dir. Elise Marie Hodge 10:18
Relationship entanglements fall like a House of Cards in this short
film written by Claire Langton.
6:50 pm. "The Big Hysto: A Black Womb Revolution"
Dir. Melissa Muganzo Murphy 7:50
This film highlights some of the history behind hysterectomies and
the connection to today's fight for reproductive justice.
7:00 pm. "The Bust" Dir. Nick Anderson 3:00
The Bust is an action-comedy set in a classic warehouse drug
deal. But as the characters discover, there's more going on than
meets the eye.
7:05 pm. "Safe Haven" Dir. Lisa Molomot 80:00
Safe Haven weaves together the powerful stories of U.S. war
resisters who sought safe haven in Canada during both the
Vietnam and Iraq wars.
8:25 pm INTERMISSION
8:40 pm. "Lone Star State" Dir. Sarah Soucek 10:47
Lone Star State is an experimental short film that uses both fiction
and nonfiction to tell the story about a young couple's struggle with
8:50 pm "Don't You Die too" Dir. Ozgur Mercan 13:19
As the devastating effects of the pandemic continue, Ali, a folk
song bar musician, is about to be depleted both economically and
psychologically. Everything depends upon the news he is waiting
for, and only a thin line separates his life and his death.
9:05 pm. "The ABCS of Alien Encounters" Dir. Ethan Connor Ireland
In this 1950's era educational short, Billy discovers that meeting
extraterrestrials can be fraught with perils undreamt of by
earthling minds. 9:31
9:15 pm. "Virium" Dir. Margarita Faneitte 17:00
Marcelo, a 12 year old boy, seeks to achieve his only dream: free
himself and his mother from a punishment imposed by a sexist
9:30 pm. "Terroir" Dir. Dawn Westlake 6:58
The French word "terroir" is used across many languages and
cultures to describe the soil and climate factors that give wine its
character. Metaphorically, we can look at our human upbringing
and the resulting character of various world cultures as "terroir."
Factually, we all originate from women, but it is the rare culture
that respects or honors this truth. Why do we pervert the vessel
of life to its own self-denial?
9:35 pm "Mannequin" Dir. Kevin Carpio 28:54
A clothing designer is caught in a wave of obsession and isolation
when they are tasked with the creation of a dress for a mysterious
10:05 pm. IT'S A WRAP! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
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