CineOdyssey Film Festival 2020

Thursday, November 5

Opening Night 

2 Weeks In Lagos
It is love at first sight for Ejikeme and Lola, as they embark on a journey of discovering new love. Their lives collide when Ejikeme, an investment banker, comes home from the U.S. with Lola’s brother Charlie to invest in Nigerian businesses. The film captures the excitement, vibrancy, and complexity of everyday life in Lagos, a dynamic city where anything is possible in two weeks.

Dir: Kathryn Fasegha

Narrative | Feature | 2019 | 117 mins | Nigeria

It’s Complicated

Film Block: A look at romantic relationships in all their complexities.


After a birthday celebration, a millennial couple’s relationship comes into question when a debate is sparked on sexuality and social norms.

Dir: Jasmine Jewet
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 20 mins | U.S.


Blanes St and Muller

A few days after moving in with his girlfriend, Jorge receives a visit from his future self, who warns him that she is going to leave him for another guy, and proposes him a plan to avoid it.

Dir: Nicolás Botana
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 15 mins | Uruguay


Two old friends-turned-lovers reunite years later and try to pick up where they left off. Feelings resurface, and they try to make sense of it all in one transformative evening.

Dir: Katherine Murray-Satchell
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 17 mins | U.S.


After a devastating breakup, Lance listens to instructional cassette tapes on how to heal his broken heart.

Dir: Chloe Aktas
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 10 mins | U.S.

The Obituary Of Jasper James

A struggling poet quits his life in the city to take up residence inside a mausoleum at the cemetery. What starts out as an absurd comedy becomes a love story when a woman appears who can appreciate Jasper’s unusual lifestyle.

Dir: Ryan Fenson-Hood
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 22 mins | U.S


Trey is trying to balance his relationship with three women: his sexy wife, his hellcat ex, and his rebellious and bi-curious teen daughter, while adapting to life in the all-white suburb of Roswell, GA.

Dir: Anthony E. Williams and Kyle Romanek
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 28 mins | U.S.

Friday, November 6 (5:30pm)

Student Block

Strike out!

An average American citizen is forced to acknowledge this country’s current state of affairs after years of willed ignorance.

Dir: Clarke Phillips
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 4 mins | U.S


This is a story about a dog, who thinks he is a cat, and meets a real dog for the first time.

Dir: Yu Shu Grace Wang
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 3 mins | Taiwan, U.S.

Gay As In Happy: A Queer Anti Tragedy

An experimental, autoethnographical documentary about queer joy, resistance, and resilience in the face of abuse, trauma, and transphobia.

Dir: Jordana Valerie Allen-Shim
Documentary | Short | 2020 | 4 mins | Canada, U.S.

A Lonely Death

A quiet cleaner specializing in unattended or “lonely” deaths makes a discovery at a dead man’s apartment, putting him at odds with his boss and the dead man’s daughter.

Dir: Matthew Suppes
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 26 mins | Japan, U.S.

Smartphone Films (Film Block 3)

Dear Ronan

A perspective on the global pandemic seen through the eyes of a 4-year-old girl, providing a glimpse of what childhood friendship looks like during a quarantine. This film was shot and edited on the iPhone 11.

Dir: Leigh Murphy
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 2 mins | U.S.

Hi, How Are You?

A man tries to survive hardship, pondering his fate in the middle of an intense, hot desert.

Dir: Howon Kim
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 10 mins | Korea

A Postcard To Nina

Longtime Instagram penpals Jean and Nina meet in person for the first time, re-defining their relationship as they stumble through a deceptive, although well-meaning dinner with Nina’s ultra-conservative father.

Dir: Ronald Baez
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 13 mins | U.S.

Regional Films (NC and SC) (Film Block 4)

Off The Record

Despite a successful career, a young, popular news reporter struggles to find peace and a resolution of her past.

Dir: Lisa Donatien (NC)
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 20 mins | U.S.


Two best friends relationship is tested when one falls under the
influence of A.V.G.(Addition to Video Games)

Dir: Asha Chai-Chang (NC)
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 5 mins | U.S.


No longer content with killing, a hitman has one last job to complete before he can retire — but to what end? After a long career of taking lives, he is uncertain of what, if anything, he has worth living for … until he meets a peculiar young woman who inspires a certain something within him — hope.

Dir: Kevin Murray (NC)
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 27 mins | U.S.

The Black Baptism

Informed by a mysterious voice, an imprisoned young woman must pass a series of enigmatic tests or face a violent death as the terrifying
situation unlocks a dormant power in this story of courage and redemption.

Dir: Stephanie Diane Ford (NC)
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 20 mins | U.S


At the genesis of his young career, undefeated fighter Impa “Tshilobo” Kasanganay is on the verge of signing his first contract with the UFC. As he pursues his dream to become the greatest fighter to ever live, sudden adversity strikes.

Dir: Cliff Barrett II (SC)
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 20 mins | U.S.

Friday Night Feature (Film Block 5)
Preceded by:

Generation Lockdown

A narrative short film, seen through the eyes of an eleven year old boy
as he tries to save his friend’s life during an active shooter attack in his school. Based on a short story by NJ 6th grader Caleb Brown, this film examines the PTSD of repeated lockdown drills and the fallout from our country’s gun epidemic.

Dir: Sirad Balducci
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 16 mins | U.S.

Mambo Man

Based on the true story of a struggling Cuban farmer and music promoter who gambles everything on a deal that appears too good to be true. This remarkable and engaging film will move both your spirit and your feet with its unforgettable passion and intoxicating music. The soundtrack and live performances in the film include some of the legendary Cuban artists who appeared in the box office smash, Buena Vista Social Club.

Dir: Mo Fini and Edesio Alejandro
Narrative | Feature | 2020 | 83 mins | Cuba

Saturday, November 7

All Day Screenings, Panel Discussion, and Closing Night Film (10:00 am)

Film Block 6


Jamison French, who left behind his family heritage, must honor the death of an ancestor or face death himself when he returns home for the funeral of his late grandmother.

Dir: Alex Rene Laura
Prod: Imani Warren
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 12 mins | U.S.

Bolas Criollas (Creole Balls)

Oscar and Paco live in a country where a fascist revolution has been imposed for the last 50 years forcing the people to live stark naked.

Dir: Juan Vicente Manrique and Vittorio Dugarte Barbarito
Narrative | Short | 2018 | 12 mins | Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela

I Resign

A look at institutional racism in corporate America, as experienced by a computer engineer from India.

Dir: Jay Mohan
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 7 mins | U.S.

Toronto Caribbean Festival: Fun and Free

This documentary celebrates Toronto Caribbean Carnival which is the largest street festival in North America that attracts up to two million people from around the world. A both revealing and inspiring journey from the history of Caribbean colonization to the biggest celebration of freedom tied with creativity, innovation and economics.

Dir: Irina Volkova
Documentary | Feature | 2020 | 60 mins | Canada

Film Block 7

Mickey Hardaway

A young sketch artist visits a well renowned psychiatrist as his life spirals out of control, after years of physical and verbal abuse.

Dir: Marcellus Cox
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 20 mins | U.S.

Dry Leaves

Zahida arrives at a retirement home, believing her son will take her back after a week. Hesitant and apprehensive, she soon realizes that the future might be different from her expectations.

Dir: Juan Vicente Manrique and Vittorio Dugarte Barbarito
Narrative | Short | 2018 | 12 mins | Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela

A Paper House

When a mysterious boy with a penchant for making paper houses is transferred to her fifth grade class, a girl named Jiang Ling is determined to find the the connection between the paper houses and real houses in her village.

Dir: Wei Geng
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 17 mins | China

L’eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life)

From Standing Rock To The Swamp On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight—to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it.

Dir: Sam Vinal
Documentary | Short | 2019 | 25 mins | U.S.

Seen Through A’Mira

A’Mira is a hard working single Black mom living in a world where nothing is given. Faced with decisions that could mean life or death for her ailing son, this Philadelphia nurse holds a secret that could change her life for the better or lead her down a road to self- destruction.

Dir: David Jones
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 12 mins | U.S.

Film Block 8

Making Sweet Tea

A documentary film that chronicles the journey of southern-born, black gay researcher and performer, E. Patrick Johnson, as he travels home to North Carolina to come to terms with his past, and to Georgia, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. to reconnect with six black gay men he interviewed for the book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral

Dir: John L. Jackson, Jr. and Nora Gross
Documentary | Feature | 2019 | 90 mins | U.S.

What Are You?

What Are You

A short documentary that explores the lives of multiracial people as they reveal the struggles of living in a racially divided world.

Dir: Richard B. Pierre
Documentary | Short | 2019 | 20 mins | Canada

Film Block 9

Mourning Meal

After the tragic loss of her son, Cheryl, a grieving mother, adopts a new philosophy, one that changes her outlook on life and grief. One where suffering has become a dear friend… that must be shared.

Dir: Jamal Hodge
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 20 mins | U.S.

Little Chief

Against the landscape of a rural reservation in Oklahoma, the lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school

Dir: Erica Tremblay
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 12 mins | U.S.


An Afro-Latina struggles with her identity as she navigates the
Hollywood machine.

Dir: Jeanette Dilone
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 15 mins | U.S.

Breaking The Silence

Francesca, tormented by her past for nearly forty years, finally breaks the silence to tell the truth.

Dir: Seayoon Jeong
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 27 mins | U.S.

1,2,3, All Eyes On Me

When a crisis suddenly engulfs an elementary school campus, Ms. Leena, a determined art teacher, tries everything she can to save her frightened

Dir: Emil Gallardo
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 15 mins | U.S.

Film Block 10

An Occurence At Arverne

A man arrives at an unknown home with an unknown agenda.

Dir: Robert Broadhurst
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 8 mins | U.S.


After multiple encounters with her bully and a little academic inspiration, an African-American teen girl finally stands up for herself
against classmates that question her cultural identity.

Dir: Jenn Shaw
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 12 mins | U.S.


Filmed entirely in Suriname, the short film “ReleaseD” highlights six women of Afro-Surinamese descent who passionately express themselves through the traditional performance arts, martial arts, and visual arts.

Dir: Keoni K. Wright
Documentary, Experimental | Short | 2020 | 13 mins | Suriname

In Full Bloom

A Vietnamese immigrant woman, grieving over the loss of her husband, orders worms to grow a rare flower. Though they help the flower grow, the development comes at a price when the worms create a black hole that absorbs everything she cherishes.

Dir: Maegan Houang
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 11 mins | U.S.


The aggravation of memory loss forces an old man to move to his daughter’s house, where his young grandson  reinterprets old photographs into drawings, helping him to regain lost memories.

Dir: Gustavo Ribeiro
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 17 mins | Brazil

Loreen’s Gotta Boogie

It’s 1978. Loreen is torn between her dreams of being a Soul Train Dancer & honoring her traditional Filipino heritage.

Dir: Bobby Yan
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 15 mins | U.S.

Closing Night Feature

Mama Gloria eet Mama Gloria. Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen, now in her 70s, blazed a trail for trans people like few others before her. Emerging from Chicago’s South Side drag ball culture in the 1960s before Stonewall, she pioneered a charm school for young homeless transgender people that served as inspiration for the hit play Charm. This empathic and engaging documentary is not only a portrait of a groundbreaking legend, but also a celebration of unconditional love.

Dir: Luchina Fisher

Documentary | Feature | 2020 | 76 mins | U.S.

Film Block 11


Set against the backdrop of the vibrant and colorful St Pauls Caribbean Carnival in Bristol, a conflicted woman must decide whether she wants to be a different, responsible mother or go back to her shady past.

Dir: Stuart Napier
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 11 mins | United Kingdom

The Couple Next Door

A single woman’s feelings of loneliness begin to stir when an eccentric African couple move into her building.

Dir: Abbesi Akhamie
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 11 mins | U.S.

Ungubani (Who Are You?)

A young black man who puts himself at risk to save a young white woman
in distress. A powerful tale of identity, perception, and race with a
literary leitmotif.

Dir: Booker T. Mattison
Narrative | Short | 2019 | 16 mins | U.S.

Dead Talks

A judgmental preacher and an agnostic hippy are forced to coexist as audience members in Lucifer’s Hellish Ted Talk.

Dir: Dir: Chukwudi “Chuck” Anakwenze
Narrative | Short | 2020 | 26 mins | U.S.

About Our Festival

The CineOdyssey Film Festival showcases diverse, contemporary films from around the world, featuring cutting edge works by filmmakers of color from the African, Caribbean, Latino, Asian, and Native American diasporas, as well as the U.S.

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