The WYO Film Festival was honored to screen these films as part of the programming for our festival in 2019. We're proud to consider these WYOFF alumni part of our festival family and continue to celebrate the projects that have made the WYO Film Festival what it is today.
A Passion of Gold and Fire
A beekeeper shares his worries about the future of his apiary school. A passion of gold and fire which definitely helps our environment to keep on living.
2016 / BELGIUM / 6 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Pins Sébastien
WRITTEN BY: Pins Sébastien
PRODUCED BY: Pins Sébastien
Jim Ewing is a veteran rock climber and senior rope engineer at Sterling Rope, a prominent rock climbing rope company. On Christmas Day in 2014, Jim fell over 50 feet to the ground in a climbing accident, a near-death experience that led to the subsequent below-the-knee amputation of his left leg. Before walking on a prosthetic, Jim was already climbing again, and before long, he began dreaming about his bucket list…
In 2018, Jim invited a climber missing her left hand, Maureen Beck, to accompany him in attempting the first all-adaptive ascent of the über classic and deeply remote Lotus Flower Tower (5.10+) in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables. The route is on the list of North America’s 50 classic climbs and the 2,000 foot granite face is coveted by climbers everywhere. In “Adaptive”, Jim and Maureen hope to demonstrate that “disabled” climbers are just differently––and equally––abled.
2018 / United States / 35 Minutes
DIRECTED BY: Taylor Zann
PRODUCED BY: Taylor Zann, Anna Callaghan, Liz McLellan
Based out of Des Moines, Mike Gustafson makes custom motorcycles as MONNOM Customs. Mike’s love for motorcycles paired with his craftsmanship and vision helped to create MONNOM’s unique builds. DELINEATION is an exploration of how Mike’s love for all types of riding evolved into building and creating custom cafe racers.
2018 / United States / 10 Minutes
DIRECTED BY: Bruce Bales
PRODUCED BY: Mike Gustafson
CINAMATOGRAPHY BY: Bruce Bales
SOUND BY: John Hennessey Baker
Fire on the Hill: The Cowboys of South Central L.A.
Long before it was known for its hip hop and gang culture, South Central Los Angeles was home to one of the most recognized cowboy communities in the Nation. Yet after decades of urban development and rising street gang activity, this community–which had produced world champions– shrunk to all but a one-block horse stable known as “The Hill.” When a mysterious fire destroys the Hill Stable in 2012, the future of this once thriving culture finds itself at the brink of vanishing forever.
This feature documentary follows three cowboys in the wake of the fire. Ghuan, seeing the fire as an opportunity to resurrect the stable in his own vision must win over the broken cowboy community and hunt down the land’s estranged owner before developers get to it first. Chris, a rising bull rider from Compton, enters into his rookie year of professional rodeo and discovers that the LA streets aren’t so easy to leave behind. And Calvin, having found freedom on the back of a horse, must choose between the cowboy lifestyle and his family when his inner demons come back to haunt him.
FIRE ON THE HILL paints a portrait of the little-known urban cowboy community in South Central LA. Together, these three stories of perseverance shine a new light on what it means to be a “cowboy” in our modern world. This genre-bending documentary combines western film style with South Central’s urban landscape to depict Los Angeles like it has never been seen before.
2018 / UNITED STATES / 1 HOUR 18 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Brett Fallentine
WRITER: Brett Fallentine
PRODUCER: Brett Fallentine, Jenna Cedicci, Jordana Glick-Franzheim, Steven Amato, Sean-Michael Smith
Welcome to the friendly skies of animal rescue. Saving dogs and cats one flight at a time is the mission, but changing the fate of these lovable creatures is no easy task. Lives are at stake and failure is not an option.
2018 / UNITED STATES / 36 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Alicia Wszelaki, Matthew Nothelfer
PRODUCER: Alicia Wszelaki, Matthew Nothelfer
Girl on the Third Floor
Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 1 HOUR, 33 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Travis Stevens
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Badie Ali, Hamza Ali, Malik B. Ali, Paul Johnstone, Ben Parker
PRODUCER: Giles Edwards, Nicola Goelzhaeuser, Travis Stevens, Greg Newman
Go Go Go
When your job is your passion and your passion is a 30 strong pack of huskies. Judi muses on her life and love of dogs as the physicality and majesty of these animals unfolds.
2019 / UNITED KINGDOM / 03:22 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Jose Macerola
PRODUCTION STUDIO: Huxley Studios
As children, we viewed the world through the lenses of our imaginations. The carpet became lava, the shadows formed monsters, the family minivan was a spaceship. But the older we got, the more reality set in, and soon we forgot the magic our minds could create. We invite you to step back into your childhood and take a look through the lens once again in this stop-motion sensation, “Imagination.”
2019 / UNITED STATES / 4:13 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Roth Rind
PRODUCED BY: Roth Rind
MUSIC COMPOSED BY: Jordan Corey, Drew Roulette
“The Iron Orchard” is the story of Jim McNeely, a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939, who works his way through the ranks to ultimately become a formidable wildcatter.
2022 / UNITED STATES / 1 HOUR, 58 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Ty Roberts
WRITTEN BY: Gerry De Leon
PRODUCED BY: Peter Atherton, Anne Fleitas, Van Scott Folger, Ryan Haggerty, Houston Hill, Greg McCabe, Gary Newson, Ty Roberts, Brint Ryan, Camille Scioli-Mcnamara, George Sledge, Jon Wroblewski
Jeffy’s Day Out
A robot vacuum ventures out into the big open world.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 03:54 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Shiramizu, Jake Gigliotti
WRITTEN BY: Kevin Shiramizu
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Shiramizu, Jake Gigliotti
Set against the Iowa farmlands, KNEE HIGH follows Calvin Melbourne as he struggles to keep hold of the reins to the family farm while still making time for his young son, Avery.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 13:50 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Marissa Vonn
WRITTEN BY: Marissa Vonn
PRODUCED BY: Alex Joss
Mointal Ranger is a 16-minute short observational documentary film. It tells the story of a Chinese Russian ranger who is using his lifetime to guard the forest in the frontier of China and Kazakhstan.
2019 / CHINA / 16:09 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Ansiqi Li,
WRITTEN BY: Ansiqi Li
PRODUCED BY: Lulu Zheng, Weina Kong, Elizabeth McLeod (Executive), Yuanyuan Wang (Executive)
Owned, a Tale of Two America’s
The United States’ postwar housing policy created the world’s largest middle class. It also set America on two divergent paths — one of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation and endless booms-and-busts, and the other in systematically defunded, segregated communities, where “the American dream” feels hopelessly out of reach.Some ten years after the last housing collapse and well into a perceived upswing, the election of Donald Trump and urban uprisings in places like Baltimore suggest that there’s a far more fundamental problem with housing policy in America. And we haven’t even begun to ‘recover.”Owned’ is a fever dream vision into the dark history behind the US housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings to its unbridled commoditization, the doc exposes a foundational story few Americans understand as their own.Owned has been selling out screenings nationwide. The little engine that could, MSNBC host Chris Hayes invited ‘Owned’ director Giorgio Angelini onto his podcast, Why Is This Happening, for a memorable conversation about America’s real estate obsession. The podcast was one of the most listened-to episodes of the year. Please…Person who is watching this screener. I know you’ve seen 5 movies already today. I know you’re tired. I know you’re thinking…not a documentary about housing policy. But it’s a good movie. We went to great lengths to make it an entertaining, cinematic and educational watch. People care about this film. I promise you. I know it because we keep selling out screenings. We’d love to continue spreading the word. We’d love to screen at your festival. Thank you for your consideration.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 1 HOUR, 22 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Giorgio Angelini
WRITTEN BY: Giorgio Angelini
PRODUCED BY: Giorgio Angelini, Maggie Burns
Pariah Dog is a creative documentary focusing on several eccentric dog lovers in Kolkata, India. Shot over two-and-a-half years, the film paints a kaleidoscopic picture of the city of Kolkata, seen through the prism of four outsiders and the dogs they love. These men and women have found meaning and purpose in their shared mission to care for these neglected street dogs, who have existed in the towns and villages of India for thousands of years. For some this mission is enough, for others, dreams of a better life are always near.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 1 HOUR, 16 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Jesse Alk
PRODUCED BY: Jesse Alk, Noah Lerner, Aditi Sircar (Executive)
WRITTEN BY: Jesse Alk, Koustav Sinha
A gas station convenience store clerk has a Magic 8 Ball for a head which holds the power to predict the future. He lives in a constant state of paranoia, fearing others will discover his secret.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 03:55 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Mikail Ekiz
PRODUCED BY: Madeleine Arana
Seattle’s Bikini Baristas
Seattle’s Bikini Baristas is a documentary about the commodification of sexual harassment in the booming scantily clad barista coffee shop scene in Seattle.
UNITED STATES / 09:49 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Benjamin Nolot
WRITTEN BY: Benjamin Nolot
PRODUCED BY: Benjamin Nolot, Morgan Perry, Kenneth Miracle
Follow the Steep City Slackers, a close knit group of Pittsburgh Highliners who devote countless hours to walking across mountains. Not up mountains. Literally across them. On pieces of nylon webbing.By exploring the passion this group has for this outdoor sport, Shoestring Bridges explores the meaning of group identity, relentless pursuit of improvement, and what it means to be a part of a community.
2018 / UNITED STATES / 13:39 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Dean Bog, Stephen Kraus
The Bighorns: A Time Lapse Journey
It’s a place where alpine peaks tower above countless sparkling lakes and deep rugged canyons. A pristine wilderness with glaciers and snowfields, waterfalls, amazing wildlife, and some of the darkest night skies you’ll ever see: this is the Bighorn Mountains, a treasure of northern Wyoming. This time lapse film is an attempt to showcase this beautiful range in every season and weather condition, day and night. But even after 3 years of exploring it feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 10:45 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Palmer
MUSIC BY: Caleb Etheridge, Acreage
The Quiet Force
Through individual experiences living in tourism-driven mountain communities, ‘The Quiet Force’ explores social and economic impacts of the Latino immigrant workforce relating to the current national immigration policy.
2018 / UNITED STATES / 35 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Sophie Danison, Hilary Byrne
PRODUCED BY: Greg Epstein
The Traffic Separating Device
A traffic separating device is installed in the middle of Stockholm. It is supposed to keep normal cars away and only let buses pass. It turns into a disaster as normal cars continue to go there and hundreds of cars get destroyed every week. Tragic and funny situations occur and we follow the whole mess of human failures.
2018 / SWEDEN / 15 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Johan Palmgren
WRITTEN BY: Johan Palmgren, Julian Antell, Mattias Grosin
PRODUCED BY: Johan Palmgren
“Nature and the beauty of the wilderness is far far greater than us.”THE WONDER is a reflective journey exploring the human sense of awe and wonder amidst the landscape and wildlife of Kenya.This film follows the story of Ninian Lowis, a safari guide who has spent much of his life amongst the wilderness of Africa – surrounded by rich savannah, mountains, forests, deserts and the extraordinary creatures that reside within these very landscapes. The story revolves around his reflections of how nature helped overcome a sense of purposelessness during his youth, and how he came to realize that a sense of solitude and deep exposure to wild environments had the ability to awaken his senses.
2018 / CANADA / 6:50 MINUTES
DIRECTED BY: Goh Iromoto
WRITTEN BY: Goh Iromoto
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY: Goh Iromoto
Trout Country: Fly Fishing on a Changing Yellowstone
Trout Country: Fly Fishing on a Changing Yellowstone takes us down the Yellowstone River to Paradise Valley, Montana, renowned for its world-class fly fishing. The stories in the 15 minute documentary demonstrate the very real economic, environmental, and emotional impacts of a rapidly changing climate for the community living in Paradise Valley. Trout Country delves into the fly fishing culture and livelihood of the folks in the film and rural communities that rely on the recreational fishing industry. The beauty of this iconic river contrasts with the harrowing reality of the warming of the Yellowstone River, which led to a massive die off of whitefish and a weeks-long closure of the river during the heart of fishing season in 2016. We watch as the communities along the river come together to develop and implement strategies to begin understanding the river’s climate change-driven changes.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 14:23 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Tony Valentino
PRODUCER: Brennon Edwards, Randy Kulina, Rob Fonda
It is a coincidental discovery that tears a broke private detective out of his daily routine and turns his life upside down. He embarks on a search into the past to change his future.
2019 / SOUTH AFRICA / 03:18 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Per Kasch
WRITER: Per Kasch
PRODUCER: Per Kasch GmbH
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Tristan Siefert
ART DIRECTION: Franzi Neumann
COSTUME DESIGN: Franzi Neumann
EDITOR: Florian “The Rabbit” Baeker
White Guys Solve Sexism
Because of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, two men realize that all of their favorite movies are now sexist, leading them down a dark path of discovery.
2019 / UNITED STATES / 06:26 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Christopher Guerrero
WRITER: Eric Roth
PRODUCER: Christopher Guerrero
Will “The Machine”
Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther) and Chris Fornataro (Bad is Bad) star in this brooding character portrait of an elite high school football star consumed by ambition. When Will faces defeat to an outsider in a series of races, the demons keeping “The Machine” running finally surface. Set in the unique backdrop of wintertime Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, the title character embodies the city’s conflicted, tumultuous history.
2018 / UNITED STATES / 13:35 MINUTES
DIRECTOR: Kent Lamm
WRITER: Chris Fornataro, Kent Lamm
PRODUCER: Chris Fornataro, Kent Lamm, John Trefry, James Mitchell