Films in Competition 1

  • Projector and Audience Calibration Film
  • Intersextion
  • Welcome to the Enclave
  • Really Good Friends
  • Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War
  • Waterpark
  • Midnight Rising
  • This Is a Story Without a Plan




U-M Arts Initiative

Projector and Audience Calibration Film

Steve Wood
Chicago, IL | 2023 | 5 | digital file
World Premiere

When the 16mm format was in wide distribution, there were test films that could be used to calibrate your projector. This composition imagines a test film that includes calibration for the audience, using sounds created by patterns on 16mm film as they pass through the optical sound system. These are edited into musical rhythms and melodies, with every sound accompanied by its pattern on the screen, adjusting the viewer’s brain for the best possible cinematic experience.



Kelen Richard Roger Reeves

Creston, BC, Canada | 2022 | 4 | digital file

Two abstract energies fall in love, unite as one, then disappear into a vanishing point. "Intersextion" expresses a symbiotic interplay between two cosmic energies, contrasting the intersection of reality and self expression. A film without words. No camera or musical instrument was used.


Welcome to the Enclave

Sarah Lasley

Eureka, CA | 2022 | 12 | DCP
Two Texas sisters fight to rescue their digital utopia, the Enclave, from obscurity. Owner Moni Calvioni’s crowdfunding campaign invites an onslaught of Reddit trolls who unravel the delusion at the heart of the Enclave’s pursuit for a white, suburban ideal, exposing the baggage we bring to online spaces when we don't fix our very real IRL problems.


Really Good Friends

Adam Sekuler

Detroit, MI | 2022 | 10 | digital file

In a hotel room, a woman in her sixties shares a surprising and provocative story of longing and unlikely connection.


Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War

Leah Loftin

New York, NY | 12 | DCP

World Premiere

A woman in Kherson navigates the horrors and absurdities of daily life during the initial weeks of Putin’s war on Ukraine. An experimental nonfiction film adapted from Olena Astaseva’s personal accounts from the front lines, Dictionary of Emotions in a Time Of War is an expressionistic portrait of the highly personal and nuanced side of war that is rarely represented.



Ross Malo

Dublin, Ireland | 2023 | 4 | digital file
United States Premiere

"Waterpark" is an experimental film that stimulates us to the extents of our perceptions. Its tactile imagery generates hallucinatory colors and contrary momentums.

Midnight Rising

Aileen Ye

London, UK | 2023 | 8 | DCP

This world-within-a-world is instantly familiar—filled with ambitions, desires, and yearnings that reflect the joy and resistance of today. "Midnight Rising" is an intimate portrait of London’s East and Southeast Asian clubbing community, a world in which the allure of raving, fashion, and hyperpop becomes an affirmation of love, acceptance, and joy.

This Is a Story Without a Plan

Cassie Shao

Los Angeles, CA | 2023 | 8 | DCP

United States Premiere

Two people, and an explosion. "This Is a Story Without a Plan" envisions two characters witnessing a constant explosion in different fragments of their lives.

9:30–11:30 pm | free
600 East Liberty Street
Featuring the Jon Hammonds Trio