OFF ON Selection
As of 2023, our festival adds the 'OFF ON' selection to the line-up. This special section is available for streaming only. Streaming on Whush.com from 20 March to 6 April 2023.
ARMORED SAINT - A BAND OF BROTHERS (UK) BY RUSSELL CHERRINGTON
Synopsis: This is the story of Armored Saint, a band of brothers that created their own unique sound and image in the 1980's Los Angeles rock and metal scene. Running time: 02:24:00.
About the director: Cherrington is a senior lecturer for Film and Video Production at the University of Derby. He has written, directed and produced the short film “To The Devil His Due” (2008) and appeared in the documentary “Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II” (Documentary).
TO AMERICA (USA) BY ARYA JO SINGH
Synopsis: In an effort to defend her “American-ness”, an Indian-American teenager writes a poem about her dual identity. Running time: 00:04:24.
Selections/awards: Venice Film Week, Doc.Boston, New Jersey Independent FF, Super Shorts NY.
About the director: Arya Singh is currently a sophomore at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts studying Film and Television. She grew up in New Jersey and has a passion for creating narrative and documentary work.
FLEE (FRANCE) BY XU KAI
Synopsis: At the beginning of 2020, a major virus swept the world. Xu Kai rushed to Chengdu to catch a flight back to France before all of China was quarantined, so as not to miss his studies. On this trip, he used his phone to record what he saw and heard. He continued this until he arrived in Paris and got sick and quarantined. Running time: 00:30:00.
About the director: Xu Kai, born 1992 in China, currently study and lives in Paris. He is a f ilm director and photographer.
ONE DRIVER, ONE MIC (USA) BY KRISHNAN VASUDEVAN
Synopsis: When Uber and Lyft decimated Austin’s taxi industry, a group of immigrant drivers decided to fight back by starting a driver-owned taxi cooperative. However, they must transform themselves from competitors vying for fares to equal citizens within a democracy. Just as the drivers start to gain traction, Uber and Lyft force an election on transportation regulations. The drivers join a grassroots fight ahead of the citywide referendum, as their livelihoods depend on it. “One Driver, One Mic” chronicles the drivers' difficult journey and serves as a cautionary tale for workers trying to unite in a rapidly transforming economy. Running time: 01:02:00.
Selections/awards: Big Sky Documentary FF, Chagrin Documentary FF, Workers Unite FF, Immigration FF.
About the director: Vasudevan is assistant professor at the University of Maryland. He is a 2021 Docs in Progress fellow, a 2015 recipient of the Austin Film Society Award and the co-recipient of numerous national journalism awards for his contribution to the investigative journalism project, Code Red. As a multimedia journalist, Krishnan published extensively with the New York Times and Slate.
SHIVERING WALL (TAIWAN) BY TSENG YU CHIN
Synopsis: A dark room. A reverberating bass. A languid heap of teenaged bodies at a house party. A heavy atmosphere. A slight smog represents a spirit in the space. Is the spirit someone else? Is the smog another you – a parallel you from another world to look at your own body in this group full of chaos and desire? All you can do silently look down at your body, and move away quietly. Running time: 00:10:00.
Selections/awards: Super Shorts London, Amsterdam Independent FF, Brussels Independent FF, and more.
About the director: Tseng Yu-Chin, (1978, Taiwan) is a video artist, film director, photographer, curator, designer. His work has been exhibited all over the world.
UNDER THE ROOF OF THE SKY (UK) BY TONY LORD
Synopsis: "Under the Roof of the Sky" is a poignant exploration of homelessness which uses the personal testimony of five men who used to be homeless and addicted to drugs in Manchester, Bolton, Stockport and Liverpool. We hear their personal accounts of what life was like on the streets, their tragedies and their hopes of a better life. Juxtaposed against this emotionally charged personal testimony we hear the perspective of various professionals who work with the homeless, with whom we explore some of the complex political and economic reasons that contributed to homelessness increasing. "Under the Roof of the Sky" is, ultimately, a film about hope. Hope that a better life is possible for those who are enduring some the greatest challenges and hardships. Running time: 01:05:51.
Selections/awards: London Independent Film Awards (Winner Best Documentary), Gold Movie Awards, Canterbury FF. Broadstairs FF.
About the director: "Under the Roof of the Sky" is Tony Lord's first feature film as director.
IN A DISSENT MANNER (INDIA) BY EHRAZ ZAMAN
Synopsis: The campus of Aligarh Muslim University became a battleground on 15th December 2019 when police and RAF forces entered the campus on the pretext of dispersing protestors, and inflicted what can only be described as one of the worst cases of police brutality, and violence on the students. “In A Dissent Manner”, through various footage, and accounts of students and professors, explores the events of that one single night and its horrific after-effects on many students. Running time: 01:02:20.
About the director: Director and Producer Ehraz Zaman is currently pursuing a Master's in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia.
FOR VEGAS (USA) BY ROBIN GREENSPUN
Synopsis: In 2015, Egyptian writer Ahmed Naji was accused of referencing "transient lust and fleeting pleasure" in his novel “Using Life”. He was sentenced to two years in prison. After 10 months in prison, Naji’s sentence was suspended and he was temporarily released but remained under a travel ban until the original sentence was overturned in 2018 and he was finally able to leave Egypt. In 2019, he became a Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute City of Asylum Fellow at the University of Nevada - An exiled writer in a new country, a new city and a new reality. Through his narrative, “For Vegas” follows Ahmed as he finds his foothold in his adoptive city, striving to understand not only his own life as a writer in exile, but the life of a city whose roots were founded as a waystation, a temporary stop for so many over its storied history. Using the visual and cultural iconography of Las Vegas, at times a love letter, at times a cautionary tale, “For Vegas” is a poem for and about a city and its culture as told through the eyes and heart of a traveler, a migrant, a seeker of truths. Running time: 00:42:39.
Selections/awards: DC Independent FF (Best Documentary Feature).