Adolescence

Dances With Films (DWF), the vibrantly independent film festival announced today its 2019 lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for its 22nd annual edition. Opening the festival on June 13 is the drama written and directed by Michael Worth, APPLE SEED starring the late Rance Howard along with Esther Anderson, Clint Howard, Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Worth and Robby Benson. ADOLESCENCE, directed by Ashley Avis (director of the upcoming film, Black Beauty) and starring Mickey River, India Eisley, Romeo Miller, Michael Milford, Elisabeth Rohm, Tommy Flanagan, Jere Burns, John Driskell Hopkins, closes the festival with its world premiere on June 23.

Tickets and passes will be available for sale thru the festival’s own site: https://danceswithfilms.com. A complete listing of additional films and screenings will be populating the festival’s website over the next week.

The festival has continued to thrive and progress after 22 consecutive years, it is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of innovative independent cinema in the U.S., presenting amazing, undiscovered talent to an industry audience in Hollywood. DWF will run June 13-23, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at: Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

“Everyone has a story, the possibilities are limitless, no boundaries to achieve or succeed, no boundaries in storytelling, there is no end in this chapter!” said festival co-founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent. “We have always been about no politics, no sh*t, no stars. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!  This has been our slogan since 1998.”

The opening night DWF green carpet festivities and industry mixer will be held Thursday, June 13 at the famous, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

The final lineup will feature more than 200 titles, chosen from a record 3,700 submissions from all over the globe including 11 countries. The juried narrative competition section includes 16 features and more than three-dozen shorts. DWF also has a category for groundbreaking short and feature documentaries, provocative genre fare in the Midnight section, and the most exciting music videos and dance-themed films from the indie scene in the Downbeats section. The Fusion section brings together a multitude of additional features and shorts. There are a significant amount of films and shorts represented by women this year, with nearly 40% of documentaries directed and written by women.

In 1998 Dances With Films began as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrow’s talent today and continues to carry on this mission today.  With many World and West Coast Premieres, Dances With Films provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit.  With a vast number of submissions, the selection process is based solely on merit and discoverability. Dances With Films continues its dedication to and is a devoted champion of fresh and creative voices, mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors, or producers.   For the past 20 years, Dances With Films has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers from across the globe that diligently work year after year to see their dreams realized.   With more than 12,000+ festival attendees and 2.5 million impressions per month on www.danceswithfilms.com, Dances With Films is loyal and dedicated to the indie filmmaker and is considered their champion in Hollywood.

OPENING NIGHT FILM

APPLE SEED

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 121 min.
WRITER/DIR: Michael Worth
PRODS: Jody Marriott Bar-Lev, Dustin Rikert, Avi Bar-Lev, Michael Worth
CAST: Rance Howard, Michael Worth, Esther Anderson, Clint Howard, Adrienne Barbeau, Robby Benson

Prince McCoy has found himself almost to the middle of age, and definitely to the end of his rope. Losing his home, his current girlfriend of the week and his father all at the same time, he decides to go out with a bang and drive across the country to rob his hometown bank. Relying on the help of an 88-year-old hitchhiker named Carl to make the journey possible, Prince finds one man’s past is on a collision course with the other man’s future that all will take place in a small bank in Apple Seed, Vermont.

CLOSING NIGHT FILM

ADOLESCENCE

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 106 min.
STORY: Mickey River and Cal Barnes WRITTEN BY: Cal Barnes & Mickey River and Chris Rossi and Ashley Avis
DIR: Ashley Avis
PRODS: Edward Winters, Larry Hummel
CAST: Mickey River, India Eisley, Romeo Miller, Michael Milford, Elisabeth Rohm, Tommy Flanagan, Jere Burns and John Driskell Hopkins

When a creative, sensitive teen from a dysfunctional family named Adam (Mickey River), meets a beautiful, enigmatic runaway named Alice (India Eisley); his entire life is turned upside down. Quickly spiraling out of control and into her complicated, seductive vortex, Adam joins Alice down the rabbit hole of hard parties, drugs, and eventually heroine. It will take Adam’s broken family (Elisabeth Rohm, Michael Milford), his best friend Keith (Romeo Miller), and unlikely mentor Shepherd (Tommy Flanagan) to help pull him back toward the light again.

COMPETITION FEATURES

90 FEET FROM HOME

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 126 min.
WRITER/DIR: Brett Bentman
PROD: Tiffany McDonald
CAST: Shawn Michaels, Eric Roberts, Adam Hampton, Thom Hallum, Steven Michael Quezada, Alexandria DeBerry and Dean Cain

A former, troubled Major League Baseball player returns home to confront his abusive step-father.

BLOWING UP RIGHT NOW

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 80 min.
SCREENPLAY: Chris Lee Hill  WRITERS: Tom Morris, Jaz Kalkat
DIR: Tom Morris
PRODS: Jaz Kalkat, Aaron Webman, Tyler MacIntyre, Tom Morris, Chris Lee Hill,  EXEC PRODS: Nathan Lonsdale, Johnny Kuebelka, Natalie Oman, ASSOC PRODS: Rashaana Shah, Travis Hodgkins
CAST: Danny Jolles, Sujata Day, Pete Gardner, Kelli Maroney, Maria Blasucci, Corey Jantzen

Shep and Mandy are coming up on their fifth year together. They are one of those couples you know and hate through social media because everything looks so perfect and you know it’s fake. When Mandy gets the courage to finally break things off with Shep, their day is thrown off course by an emergency alert: AN INBOUND MISSILE IS HEADING FOR LOS ANGELES. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. With LA in a panic, and freeways jammed, the couple decides to ride it out in their home, and come to terms with everything that hasn’t been working in their relationship.

CHANCE HAS NO EMPATHY

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 97 min.
WRITER/DIR: Gabriel Saint
PRODS: Gabriel Saint, Derrick Denicola, Richard Lambert, James Brent Armstrong, Lisa Goddard, Devin Denicola
CAST: Will Rothhaar, Brooke Culbertson, Nancy Linehan Charles

Chance is an artist in Los Angeles whose life is completely consumed with finding inspiration. His relationships suffer at the hands of his obsession. Chance encounters a young student, Charlie, and realizes that she is the key to ridding himself of his creative block. Chance must struggle with what it truly means to make a sacrifice for his art… even if it means endangering the muse herself.

COME, SAID THE NIGHT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 96 min.
WRITER/DIR: Andres Rovira
PRODS: Colby Reed Miller, James Edmund Datri
CAST: Lew Temple, Danielle Harris, Nicole Moorea Sherman, Tate Birchmore, Max Page, Daniela Leon

Thirteen-year-old Sprout Grady, in the midst of coming-of-age, and on vacation with her family to their secluded retreat in the forest on the anniversary of her sister’s death, grows convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods. Embarking on a mission to vanquish it, she uncovers horrifying secrets that rock the core of everything she thought she knew.

DAKOTA

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 82 min.
WRITER/DIR: Roberto Carmona
PRODS: Roberto Carmona, Stephen Stanley, Annie Schlossman
CAST: Phoebe Ryan, Jake Etheridge, and Holly Twyford

A week in the life of Dakota, a talented but aimless singer, besieged by a failed relationship and struggling to make peace with her past. Desperate to prove that she isn’t a failure, she revisits her musical ambitions and embarks on a new path – albeit, not a straight one.

GUTTERBUG

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 101 min.
WRITERS: Andrew Gibson and Chris Tobin
DIR: Andrew Gibson
PRODS: Leigh Lanocha and Tim Haber EXEC PROD: Michael List
CAST: Andrew Yackel, Hannah Mosqueda, Justin Pietropaolo

Homeless and addicted, a crust punk named Bug resolves to go back home, a decision that leads him and his misfit crew down a dangerous path.

I WROTE THIS FOR YOU

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 94 min.
WRITER: Brennan Keel Cook
DIR: Jason Zavaleta
PRODS: Matt Stoner, Stefania Pierucci, and Jason Zavaleta
CAST: Brennan Keel Cook, Melise, Serra Naiman, and Patrick R. Walker

The edges of reality are blurred as Hunter struggles to overcome the trauma of a broken relationship. Traversing the surreal landscape of Los Angeles, on a daily quest to “do good things,” he encounters a raft of obscure new relationships. Set amongst an artistic backdrop of slam poetry, I Wrote This For You explores our desire to find courage, face challenges, and continue the universal quest for hope.

INGENIUM

WEST COAST Premiere I GERMANY, 2018, HD, 88 min.
WRITER: Michael Knoll
DIR: Steffen Hacker
PROD: Eric Sonnenburg
CAST: Esther Maaß, Judith Hoersch, Adrian Topol

As Felicitas’ life is turned upside down she does not know if her nightmares are taking over or if something bigger is trying to control her – and the only way to find out the truth about her life is her best friend Natascha, who is locked up in an asylum.

THE LAND

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 89 min.
WRITERS/PRODS: Mary Settle Pruitt and Stephen Wallace Pruitt
DIR: Stephen Wallace Pruitt
CAST: Herman J. Johansen, Kathleen Warfel, Davis DeRock, Laura Kirk, and Joicie Appell

Sixty-something farming couple John and Mary Lou Martin come face-to-face with mistakes from their pasts and an uncertain future as they strive to hold onto the only life they’ve ever known. Inspired by those set adrift by circumstances that leave them too old to start over and yet too young to give up, the film explores the question “Are we more than what we do?”

LAST CALL

WEST COAST Premiere I CA, 2019, HD, 76 min.
WRITERS: Daved Wilkins, Gavin Michael Booth
DIR: Gavin Michael Booth
PRODS: Gavin Michael Booth, Daved Wilkins
CAST: Sarah Booth, Daved Wilkins

Shot in two true single takes, filmed simultaneously in two different parts of a city, Last Call, is a real time feature presented in split screen showcasing both ends of a wrong number phone call that has the potential to save a life.

LOVE CUTS

NORTH AMERICA Premiere I CROATIA, 2019, HD, 80 min.
WRITER: Dragan Nikolic
DIR: Kosta Djordjevic
PRODS: Milos Ivanovic, Kosta Djordjevic, Bojana Andric, Ivana Marinic Kragic, Nina Gortinski
CAST: Kristina Jovanović, Djururdjina Radić, Mladen Sovilj, Marko Janketic, Milan Cucilovic

It is a scorching August on the streets of Belgrade. A cocky teenage girl, Aja, breaks up with her boyfriend for the umpteenth time. A little while later, while hanging out with her friends, she gets bullied and stabbed by a gang of local kids. For the rest of the day Aja struggles between taking revenge and making up with her boyfriend.

RECKONING

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 87 min.
WRITERS/DIRS: Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye
PRODS: Allison Maier, Gabriel Olson, Martin Kelley, Lane Skye, Ruckus Skye, Danielle Deadwyler
CAST: Danielle Deadwyler, Catherine Dyer, Adam Boyer, Jayson Warner Smith, Brad Carter

After the disappearance of her husband, a struggling farmer in an isolated Appalachian community discovers she is a pawn in a blood-soaked revenge plot and the only way out for her and her son could mean destroying a decades-old truce.

SUNNY DAZE

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 95 mins.
WRITER/DIR: Jason Wiles
PRODS: Jason Wiles, Stephen Peace, Michael O’Shea Jr., Mandy June Turpin, Igor Kosenko
CAST: Jason Wiles, Lonnie Chavis, Michael Beach, Jamie McShane, Amy Carlson, Ryan Merriman, Stephen Peace

Sunny Chase had it all: a notable music career, a loving family, and many friends who were always there for him. But, after a decade on the road chasing what was once a dream, the absence from his family resulted in a failed marriage. Longing for something more, a burnt out Sunny decides to take a break and raise his kids. Now, after years of not performing and not making any money, his functioning alcohol and drug use is causing his life to unravel at a dangerous pace. To top it off, Sunny is haunted by the recent death of his best friend, Mickey. With his life at a standstill, his current wife and young daughter having just left him, Sunny is at his breaking point. His self-medication is escalating and his family and friends tell him something needs to change. But it’s through Mickey’s son, Sean, that Sunny gains the strength to try to get clear of his demons and move forward in rebuilding his life

TWO WAYS HOME

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Richard Schinnow
DIR: Ron Vignone
PROD: Tanna Frederick
CAST: Tanna Frederick, Tom Bower, Joel West, Rylie Behr

A young woman living with bipolar disorder struggles to look after her cantankerous grandfather and his dilapidated farmhouse, all while trying to make things right with her estranged 12-year-old daughter.

WADE IN THE WATER

USA I 2018, HD, 88 min.
WRITER: Chris Retts
DIR: Mark Wilson
PRODS: Chris Retts, Mark Wilson
CAST: Tom E. Nicholson, Danika Golombek

Sure, our man has a name, but he never gives it. He works from home. His neighbors are all idiots. He doesn’t really “do” friends. But all that changes when a mis-delivered package arrives in his post office box bearing a horrifying secret — one that will set him on a collision course with a predator, the man’s disillusioned daughter, and his own dark past.

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 85 min.
WRITER/DIR: John Cerrito
PRODS: Julia Angley, John Cerrito, Marcel Perez, Masaya Tajika
CAST: Nick Fink, Bailey Noble, Emily Tremaine, Juliette Goglia, Shane Coffey

Peter, typically unlucky in love, is overjoyed when he finds the girl of his dreams, Ellie, on a dating app. But when their seemingly perfect date ends with Peter waking up alone, he begrudgingly turns to a new dating site that guarantees it will find his perfect match. After a series of unsuccessful dates, Peter begins to notice eerie similarities between the women from the website and Ellie (who is still very much on his mind). When Peter learns the truth behind Ellie’s rejection, he discovers a world he never imagined in this unique love story with a twist.

COMPETITION SHORTS

AMERICANO

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 20 min.
WRITER/DIR: Tim Viola
PRODS: Kris Mendoza, Kevin Frakes
CAST: Adam Budron, Rick Schneider, Melody Vargas, Esin Varan

On the eve of deportation, a refugee hacker questions his role as he fights for a chance at citizenship with a politician using him to sway public opinion.

THE AUTOMATON

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 22 min.
WRITER/DIR: W. Alex Reeves
PRODS: Adam Joseph Janeira, D. Janeira, Scott Wickman, Nicole Wyland, W. Alex Reeves
CAST: Nicole Wyland, John Ennis, Mindee de Lacey, Jill Remez, Bruno Oliver

In 1897, while away caring for her mentally ­ill mother, Margaret Woodruff receives word that her brilliant husband has died. When she returns to the family farm to tend to his affairs, she discovers his last, unfinished invention: a primitive sentient machine with the ability to speak, learn, and think like a human being. The Automaton is a genre­ bending, period sci-fi fairy tale that explores the profound and unavoidable drive for human connection in an era of overwhelming progress and change.

THE BEACH

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 19 min.
WRITERS: Toroes D Thomas Jr., Blayre Pichon
DIR: Toroes D Thomas Jr.
PROD: Blayre Pichon
CAST: Kebron Woodfin, Michael Myles Hayes, Sunday Curry, Idella Johnson, Jessica Johnson, Ariel Simmons, Jefferey Johnson

Based on a true story. The Beach journeys through a day in the life of struggling father, David, and his children Junior and Marie while they are on the run. Junior, the oldest, unbeknownst to the chaos at hand convinces his father to take them to the beach. In an attempt to shield them from their harsh reality, David agrees. As the pressure around them builds, can David keep his promise?

BIG BOY PANTS

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Scarlett Bermingham
DIR: Phillip Montgomery
PRODS: The Bindery, Greg Beauchamp, Andrew Rhymer, Lisa Steen, Scarlett Bermingham, Phillip Montgomery, Sarah Eve Roberts
CAST: Finn Wittrock, Scarlett Bermingham

It’s 1987 and Kyle has cold feet and hot legs before his wedding. When his sister Kara tries to bully him into putting his pants back on, things get worse before they get better. Through a series of twists and turns it’s revealed that there’s more going on between these weird siblings than meets the eye.

CONSENT: A SHORT COMEDY ABOUT A SERIOUS SUBJECT

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HDV, 14 min.
WRITER: Rebekka Johnson
DIR: Kimmy Gatewood
PRODS: Rebekka Johnson, Matt Johnson, Kimmy Gatewood
CAST: Rebekka Johnson, Tate Ellington, Oscar Montoya, Jackie Tohn, Sarah Lowe, Dwayne Colbert

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

DANCE WITH A DEMON

WORLD Premiere I CANADA, 2019, HD, 13 min.
WRITER/DIR: Mitch Bax
PRODS: Mitch Bax, Miles Forster, Fiona Vroom
CAST: Heather Morris, Marcus Rosner, Bailey Skodje

A Mother’s struggle with a debilitating disease, is brought to life inside the imagination of a young girl in the form of a haunting fantasy world of dance.

DEMAND CURVE

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 11 min.
WRITER/DIR: The Bragg Brothers
PRODS: Teddy Sylte, Victoria Hill EXEC PRODS: Matt Edwards, Patrick Reasonover, Jon Gann
CAST: Bill Castrogiovanni, Nick Cassidy, Jonathan Gaietto

Offended by his kidnappers’ low demands, a university professor uses basic economics to increase his ransom and get in on the action.

EVIE

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 12 min.
WRITERS: Marc Fellner-Erez, Mike Peebler
DIR: Mike Peebler
PRODS: Kate Turnipseed, MaryLynn Suchan
CAST: Caitlin Durkin, Scott Peat, Lauren Stamile, William Dennis Hunt, Paul Turbiak, Earnestine Phillips

Facing either the wrath of her parents or a forced marriage to a man more than twice her age, fifteen-year-old year old Evie makes an impossible choice.

FISH HEAD

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2019, HD, 17 min.
WRITER/DIR: Marcos Durian
PRODS: Cynthia Shreves, Marcos Durian, Ee T. Lim
CAST: Madison Rojas, Aina Dumlao, Cynthia San Luis, Michael Kuya, Grant McLellan, Melanie Lora, Steve Griffin, Brent Anthony, Tarik Ellinger, Bill Lippincott and Richard Davis

A coming of age story which chronicles defining moments in the life of Milo, a young Filipino-American boy struggling with adversity in childhood, with his identity and being bullied at school, guided by the support, and love of Lorena his immigrant, single mother.

FIVE FAMILIES

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, 35mm, 10 min.
WRITERS: Adam Cushman, Barry Primus
DIR: Adam Cushman
PRODS: David Phillips, Jane Alvey Harris
CAST: Barry Primus, David Proval, Joe Blue, Chris Redman, Laurence Fuller

A semi-retired associate of the jewish mafia in Los Angeles tries to save his young grandson from a life of crime as three corrupt cops crack down on local criminals.

FLOW

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HDV, 19 min.
WRITER/DIR: Ryan Love
PRODS: Ryan Love, Emily Reas ASSOC PRODS: James Herrera, Zackery Alexander Humphreys, Danezion Mills, Riley Songer
CAST: Terrel Mollison, Danezion, Nomsa Mlambo

With the help of his older, paraplegic brother, sixteen year old Delvin prepares for an upcoming track meet in the wake of a family tragedy. While often caught up in the middle of fights between family members, Delvin finds an outlet in his music.

FLYBY

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 13 min.
WRITER/DIR: Jesse Mittelstadt
PRODS: Tommee May, Britnie Banks, Caity Ware
CAST: Riley Egan, Tommee May, Torrey DeVitto, Charles Chu, Justin Rupple, Caity Ware, Phil Abrams, Ryan P. Shrime, Valeria Maldonado, Chelsea Harris, Akul Dang, Bardot Corso, Adam Mayfield

FLYBY is a story about the elusiveness of time, and the different ways we each fight to hold onto it. In 15 minutes, we watch as a young couple meets, falls in love, grows old together, and grows apart. As they struggle to keep their own lives from slipping through their fingers, decades pass in the blink of an eye, transforming the culture, fashion, and technology of the world that surrounds them.

FOR THE GIRL IN THE COFFEE SHOP

WORLD Premiere I AUSTRALIA, 2019, HD, 9 min.
WRITER/DIR: Rebekah Jackson
PRODS: Rebekah Jackson, Elaine Beckett
CAST: Rory O’Keeffe, Tequila Rathbone, Alex King

Ever fallen in love with a stranger on the train or the person you see at the gym on Tuesdays? This is precisely what happened to Will. He fell so hard for the girl in the coffee shop that he decided to write a book all about her. Good news: It’s getting published Bad news: He has to tell her

GOOD BOY

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 6 min.
WRITER/DIR: Lizz Adams
PRODS: Lizz Adams, Chuck Maa- Seventh Grade Productions
CAST: Lizz Adams, Potato Adams

When tragedy suddenly strikes, Girl is transported from the world she knows into a new, two dimensional world that is unfamiliar to her. As she navigates her way through loss and grief, she meets a very good boy who brings love and hope into her life again.

INFERTILE HEARTS

WORLD Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 6 min.
WRITER: Colleen Hartnett
DIR: Kevin R. Phipps
PRODS: Colleen Hartnett, Chris Ayoub
CAST: Colleen Hartnett, Eduardo Enrikez

An intimate look into one couple’s battle with infertility, told through movement and music.

THE INVISIBLE MAN & THE BLIND GIRL

WEST COAST Premiere I USA, 2018, HD, 15 min.
WRITERS: Xiao Ma, Brady Robinson
DIR: Xiao Ma
PROD: Yining Xu
CAST: Bryan Schany, Ashlyn Lopez

William, invisible to everyone but a blind girl, discovers he can help her regain her sight, but at the cost of being visible to her.

KING OF THE HOUSE

WORLD Premiere I CHINA, 2019, HD, 11 min.

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Sarah Musnicky

Managing Editor at Nightmarish Conjurings
Sarah is the managing editor of Nightmarish Conjurings and a lover of all things magical and horrific. All who are familiar with her can attest for her love of glitter, adorable plush, and obsession with folklore and mythology. When she's not chasing after things she probably shouldn't hug, Sarah is making sure that Shannon's sanity stays intact long enough for deadlines to be tackled.
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