2016 Schedule of Films & Events


This November 16-20 the Lake Champlain International Film Festival plans to outdo itself. With more films and visiting filmmakers than ever before, the festival will spotlight women in film and issues concerning drug abuse. Comedy, Drama, Horror, Experimental, and Documentary films from all over the globe will play alongside panel discussions featuring experts and filmmakers. Meet visiting filmmakers from across the country and across the globe! The LCIFF will continue its focus on local film made in the North Country by North Country Filmmakers. A single $10 pass will get you into all five days of screenings and events! Plattsburgh SUNY and CCC students (w/ I.D.) and children 13 & under are FREE!


Buy your tickets now at www.strandcenter.org or call (518) 563-1604.

For schedule and info: www.lcifilmfest.com

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Wednesday November 16th, 2016 – Opening Night Film: FROZEN RIVER

Come meet Oscar-nominated director Courtney Hunt before the film @ 5pm at Olive Ridley's!


Doors at 6 p.m.  Refreshments available. 

7 p.m.  Frozen River (2008, 1 hr. 37m., USA, Dir: Courtney Hunt).  The Academy Award-nominated and Sundance Best Picture-winning film that put our area on the film map! Featuring the film, a special message, a presentation of an AP award winning documentary about the making of the film by the Press-Republican’s Robin Caudell (featuring footage shot by LCIFF’s very own Simon Conroy), and other surprises!  Stark and unsentimental as a North Country winter, Frozen River tells the story of two women who become unlikely partners in smuggling—a powerful film about lives lived at the border of hope and despair. 2008 Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.


 Thursday November 17th, 2016 – Cinema Vérité Music Films


Doors at 6 p.m.  Refreshments available.

6:30 p.m. Hit Me Harder (2016, 18 m., USA, Dir: Ben Stechshulte).  A rollicking and exciting document about Essex County Demolition Derby!  Follow the CAR-nage (the LCIFF does not apologize for its puns)!  Director will introduce.

6:50 p.m.  Local documentarian Ben Stechshulte will introduce Robert Elfstrom, director of tonight's first feature about Johnny Cash.  Audience questions and special guests will follow.

7 p.m.  Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music (1969, 1 hr. 34 m., USA, Dir: Robert Elfstrom).  A fly-on-the-wall account that follows the legendary singer on tour in the USA during the late sixties. Crammed with superb music footage, the film also takes time out to relax with the man behind the most famous voice in country music. Whether visiting family or friends, winding down backstage or on a solitary hunting expedition, Johnny Cash always finds a song to fit the occasion (imdb.com).  

9 p.m. Hidden Magic Revival (2016, 1hr. 5m., USA, Dir: Jason Andrew Torrance).  An energetic and revealing look at Plattsburgh psych-folk rocker Christopher Rigsbee, aka Adrian Aardvark.  One-part concert film and one-part artist profile, the film follows Chris as he explores his past and his band performs his seminal album Hidden Magic Revival at a special performance at the ROTA Studios + Gallery in 2012.  Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker and Christopher Rigsbee.


Friday November 18th, 2016 --  LCIFF Gala Event: A Celebration of Film!


Doors at 6 p.m.  Refreshments available.

7 p.m.  Films from around the world and close to home.  Films include:

  • AdironDocs: "The Michigan" & "Harvest" (2016, 15 m. & 5 m., USA, Dirs: Michael Devine and Jean Ulysse). A documentary initiative celebrating the culture of the Adirondack coast. First, a documentary on the legend of a North Country delicacy: the Michigan! Second, a look at art in the alleyway: the new "Harvest" mural of painter Gharan Burton in downtown Plattsburgh.  Filmmaker Q&A to follow.
  • 72-Hour Cell Phone Contest Winners: The winning films from this October’s film contest will be screened.  Expect something unusual.  Expect something fun!
                      Memoriae (2016, 4 m., USA, Dirs: Harbus, Muniz, Proven).  
                      The Phone Call (2016, 4 m., USA, Dir: Matt Hall).  
                      XO (2016, 4 m., USA, Dirs: Funk, Grigoli, Singleton). 
  • Inez Milholland: Forward Into the Light (2016, 14 m., USA, Dir: Martha Wheelock).  This short documentary is a window into the Women's Suffrage Movement through the sacrifice of an American Amazon who will inspire today's woman as much as she did 100 years ago.  Inez Milholland broke convention with her striking conscience which was demonstrated advocating for gender equality, pacifism, racial justice, labor, and women's suffrage (imdb.com).
  • It's an Adirondack Thing (2016, 5 m., USA, Dir: Paul Larson).  This spotlight segment produced by Mountain Lake PBS visualizes a new song Michael Bacon wrote to celebrate his family's summer camp, which he's visited nearly every year of his life.  The lyrics and visuals address the challenges of a New Yorker living off the grid for a few weeks each summer.  This is a rare solo number from Michael Bacon, who usually performs with his brother Kevin as The Bacon Brothers.

  • The Sky Over Berlin of My Childhood (2015, 12 m., Kazakhstan, Dir: Bakhtiyar Islamov).  A surreal and absurd piece of experimental cinema from Kazakhstan!  A meditation on memories of the Soviet empire’s collapse.
  • Film Trailer for Lama La (2016, 3 m., Nepal, Dirs: Nischal Poudyal and Manoj Kumar Pant). A presentation of the trailer for a film on Sunday.  Jamyang is a young Buddhist monk who has recently finished his intermediate monastic education. He is now heading towards higher monastery for his higher education. In the course of his journey into the war-torn mountains, he meets a young rebel, Arjun. This is a story of their journey where they form an unlikely friendship that will change both of their lives. The filmmaking team from Nepal will present the trailer.
  • And So… (2016, 3 m., USA, Dir: Jason Andrew Torrance).  A filmic interpretation of local poet Elizabeth Cohen’s “and so…” from her recent collection BIRD LIGHT.  A mysterious experimental film.  Q&A to follow.

Saturday November 19th, 2016 – Women in Film and more!!!


Morning delights provided by Blue Collar Bistro.

11 a.m. Family Friendly Film Hour.  Continuing our tradition of free family programming to start our weekend sessions, the LCIFF has several delightful offerings for the whole family and some surprises, too.  Including:

  • Cuerdas (2014, 11 m., Spain, Dir: Pedro Solís).  This charming Spanish language animated film tells the story of Maria, a quirky schoolgirl who befriends a new student with special needs.  Very touching.
  •  Burlington Farmers’ Market: A Tale of Challenge and Devotion (2016, 12 m. USA, Dir: Tatsatom Goncalves).  A short documentary on the work and struggle of local farmers and homesteaders shot at a fair at the City Hall Park in Burlington, VT. In the format of what one might call a “film-portrait”, the documentary tries to capture pretty much what a chatty passerby would encounter on a regular Saturday morning at the Burlington Farmers’ Market.
  • Thumbelina (1954, 10 m., United Kingdom, Dir: Lotte Reiniger).  In this classic cut-out animated version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, visual splendor abounds in this tale of magic and fantasy.
  •  And some special surprises!


12 p.m.  Short Films about “Connections”.  These short films all share a theme of people reaching out to make a connection.  But something gets in the way.  How do we cope?  Well, watching these entertaining films could help!

  • Reverse Psychology (2016, 8 m., USA, Dir: Marina Bruno).  In this darkly comic short, a mentally-ill patient violently resists getting any help from his therapist. Fun...  with a neat twist!
  • The Other (2016, 2 m., Iran, Dir: Hadi Anani).  In this micro-short, a couple doesn't care about their neighbor's problem, until it impacts them and their child.
  • Touch (2016, 15 m., Canada, Dir: Noel Harris).  When a single mom facing eviction is offered a night’s work, she unsuccessfully seeks a babysitter for her two small children. Desperate, she reaches out to the last person she wants to ask for a favor.
  • The Endless River (2016, 3m., Iran, Dir: Mohammad Mohammadian).  Fantasizing about fishing, a young man sits next to a dried-up river.
  • Texte à Trous (2016, 9 m., France, Dir: Chloé Marçais).  At the laundry a man listens to two girls’ intimate conversation. Unfortunately, several noises prevent him from hearing the most interesting details...
  • Gretl (2016, 4 m., USA, Dir: Wyatt Markus).  One of the runners-up in the 72 Hour Film Contest.  A droll short about...  well, it's hard to explain.  When you see the pumpkin you'll know what I mean.
  • Last Night (2016, 18 m., USA, Dir: Jon Andrews).  In this Vermont-made film, a young woman travels by bicycle to a rustic mountain camp, where she meets a pensive young man for a hike in the woods. As they walk comfortably with each other through the sun-dappled forest, it becomes clear that they’re spending their last night together. Later, in the glow of a campfire and in a weathered one-room cabin, the profound importance of this night is revealed. 


1 p.m.  Dangerous Visions: Short Films With Bite!  These short films have something daring about them.  Whether it is the stories they tell or the way they are told, these films provoke the viewer.  You won’t be bored!

  • Kimberly (2016, 4 m., USA, Dirs: Lewis, Scalzo, Denardis).  Runner-up in the 72-Hour Cell Phone Film Contest.  Wackiness at an audition proves not everyone can act.
  •  From the Outside (2016, 13 m., USA, Dir: Louis D’Arpa).  In this unconventional film, a boxer returns home to attend his mother's funeral, and is forced to share a room for a night with a thug.
  • Tongue Stabs Cheek (2016, 13 m., Canada/Germany, Dir: Kyle Heller). Blame! Revenge! Suicide! Cake! And that’s just for starters.  Words fail to communicate how bizarre and fun this film is.  Cult classic in bite-sized form.
  • B&E (2016, 13 m., Canada, Dir: Andre Rehal).  In this crime thriller from LCIFF veteran Rehal, Denny and Naz, a pair of hired guns looking for their next job are contracted to retrieve a ‘bag’. Getting no other details from their contact--and in need of money--the two undertake the job. Confusion and death ensue.  Q&A with the filmmaker will follow.


2:15 p.m. Peace Has No Borders (2016, 1 h. 12 m., USA, Dirs: Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller). Between 1965-1973, over 50,000 Americans made their way to Canada, refusing to participate in the Vietnam War. Forty years later, Canada has another moral choice - whether to give refuge to U.S. veterans of the Iraq War. Caught between two countries, today’s war resisters fight the law, politics, and the court of public opinion for the opportunity to remain in Canada.  A Q&A with both directors follows.


3:30 p.m. Dirty Beautiful (2015, 1 h. 36 m., USA, Dir: Tim Bartell).  In a comically nightmarish mash-up of opposites attracting, a struggling writer brings a shiftless young beauty into his L.A. apartment, where her bad habits crash head-on with his orderly life. Just as they're about to completely destroy each other, fate throws them an unexpected curve.


5-6 p.m. Dinner Break.


6 p.m.  Five Star Shorts.  Some of the festival’s most intriguing short films play here.  The perfect way to start an evening of excellent cinema!

  • Arts and Crafts (2015, 14 m., USA, Dir: Nina Gielen).  When Misha was small, he and his mother would spend hours creating their own toys and animals out of sticks and leaves. It’s been over a year since Misha’s mother died, and he now lives alone with his dad. Still hoping she might come home eventually, Misha leaves the door unlocked for her every night, much to his father’s consternation, but nothing seems to have worked … so far.
  • Wintry Spring (2015, 16 m., Egypt, Dir: Mohammed Kamel).  Nour, a schoolgirl who lives alone with her father, goes through a crisis with the unexpected arrival of puberty.  She cannot tell her dad. He doesn’t understand her change in mood, which results in tension between father and daughter.
  •  Fragments (2014, 27 m., USA, Dir: Ljiljana Novakovic).  Xavier, a complex, enigmatic man, goes through life mostly unacknowledged. Anika approaches him at a bus stop, and a strange friendship develops.  A wonderfully offbeat and fascinating film; don’t miss this one!  Filmmaker Q&A to follow.


7 p.m.  Panel Discussion: Women in Film.  Visiting filmmakers will discuss the realities and challenges of working in today’s film industry.


7:45 p.m.  The Founders (2016, 1 h. 25 m., USA, Dirs: Charlene Fisk and Carrie Schrader). They were not supposed to be athletes. They were not supposed to get paid to play. They were not supposed to call the shots. But in 1950, 13 amateur women golfers battled society, finances and sometimes even each other to stake their claim to become professional sportswomen by creating the Ladies Professional Golf Association (The LPGA). Long overdue, this film is about finally recognizing those unseen efforts and identifying The Founders as true icons of sport and equality. The film isn’t just for those who frequent the golf course. This film is for anyone who believes in the transformative power of defying the odds.  Q&A with Charlene Fisk follows.


9:30 p.m.  Horror!!!  Sci-fi!!!  We finish our Saturday program with a startling trio of genre films.  There is something quite horrifying in each.  Can you stand the terror?!?!

  • Pet (2016, 11 m., Greece, Dir: Chris Moraitis).  Ten year-old Dimitris is the only child of a rich family. The only person that took care of him--his grandma--is dead. Now his only companion is his pet guinea pig. When Dimitris’ parents decide a cruel future for him, Dimitris in order to survive “cripples” the most pure side of himself.
  • Chateau Sauvignon: terroir (2014, 14 m., USA, Dir: David E. Munz-Maire).  This visually arresting horror tale follows Nicolas, the isolated adolescent son of a ruined vintner family, who finds himself torn between obeying his boorish father and saving his ailing mother. When a doting woman and her indifferent son arrive for a wine tasting, Nicolas sees an opportunity to help his mother and prove his worth to his father. However, his wayward plan quickly takes a turn for the worse, putting his family’s secretive murderous ways in peril of being unearthed.
  • Disposable Darling (2016, 25 m., Latvia, Dir: Dan Silov).  A wealthy and obsessed man struggles to forget his long-lost love, so he buys himself an idealized robotic copy - a replicant - only to realize that love is never about perfection.

Sunday November 20th, 2016 – Closing Day and Awards Ceremony


Breakfast bagels provided by the Bagel Pit.

11 a.m.  Family Friendly Films (Part Two).  A second offering of family friendly films for you and your kids. 

  • Jack and the Beanstalk (1955, 12 m., United Kingdom, Dir: Lotte Reiniger).  This colorful version of the classic fairy tale was made using cut-out silhouettes animated over spectacular backgrounds.  A treat for young and old alike!
  • And more cartoons and surprises!

12 p.m.  Surprise!  Experimental Films and more.  Sometimes a film can surprise you.  We think those chances are pretty good with this selection of films.  We start with a towering classic of the American avant-garde and then go around the world in quick succession, ending with a powerful Australian film about a young woman finding hope through boxing.

  • Meshes in the Afternoon (1943, 14 m., USA, Dir: Maya Deren).  One of the touchstone works of American surrealism, Meshes plays like a fever dream within a fever dream within…  A woman is haunted by recurring visions of a mirror-faced figure.  Doors, keys, a phone off its hook.  A mesmerizing and enigmatic treasure of a film.
  • The Crow, Don’t Ya Know (2016, 2 m., USA, Dir: Michael Hart).  This short cinematic tone poem is simple yet fascinating.  Crows in the trees.  That’s it.  But there’s something to this little film…
  • Butterflies (2015, 3 m., Iran, Dir: Adnan Zandi).  A mother urgently needs to feed her child, but obstacles present themselves.
  • OneNight (2016, 13 m., USA, Dir: Cal Hopwood).  Confusion over a one night stand leads two young people to question their motives, their actions and the notion of consent.  Made in Vermont.
  • Silence (2016, 5 m., Japan, Dir: Hamish Downie).  Surreal and beautiful.  Discovered trying to escape, a woman must survive the night with her abusive girlfriend.
  • No End (2015, 6 m., USA, Dir: Josephine Massarella). Inspired by a poem written by the filmmaker about grief and loss, No End depicts a lyrical journey that explores the intersection of interconnectivity and lived experience.  A woman walking in the woods finds a book.
  • Bluey (2015, 14 m., Australia, Dir: Darlene Johnson).  Bluey, an angry young woman trapped in a life of violence, meets a mysterious mentor who could change everything. Bluey is a story of courage, heart and the fight for survival (imdb.com).


1 p.m.  Family Issues.  These short films examine the notion of family from unique angles.  The strength of those bonds are tested in these films.

  • Fish (2016, 4 m., Iran, Dir: Saman Hosseinpuor).  An old couple are living in an apartment; the man is sleeping and the woman is doing housework.  The lady wants to change the fishbowl’s water but it slips out of her hand and falls on the ground.  What will they do?
  • Pale Mirrors (2016, 16 m., Kurdistan/Iran, Dir: Salem Salavati).  A woman has only 24 hours to get pregnant. This might be her last opportunity to be a mother.  Unavoidably, she needs to go to the city prison...
  • Adaptation (2016, 25 m., Poland, Dir: Bartosz Kruhlik).  One brother of a set identical twins dies in a car accident.  This crash wrecks more than a vehicle, as the family tears itself apart.  Emotionally brutal with great performances, Adaptation pulls no punches.


2:10 p.m.  Diverse Voices.  A duo of films that look at the place of someone who doesn’t quite fit into the conventional family dynamic. 

  • Where We Left Off (2016, 13 m., USA, Dir: Alyssa Carroll).  One night over a cup of tea, Sarah, a young woman with an anxiety disorder, imagines a conversation with her recently deceased father. It's a story of the intersection between mental illness, self-acceptance, and the complicated father-daughter relationship.
  • It Runs in the Family (2016, 45 m., Canada, Dir: Joella Cabalu). This feature documentary debut follows the director and her gay younger brother, mixed-media collage artist Jay Cabalu, as they embark on a “road trip” from Vancouver to Oakland, California to Manila, Philippines meeting their other queer relatives along the way.  And see how those relatives have reconciled their Roman Catholic faith, their sexuality and family relationships.
Promotional support by the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance.


3:20 p.m.  Lama La (2016, 1 h. 24 m., Nepal, Dirs: Nischal Poudyal and Manoj Kumar Pant). Jamyang is a young Buddhist monk who has recently finished his intermediate monastic education. He is now heading towards higher monastery for his higher education. In the course of his journey into the war-torn mountains, he meets a young rebel, Arjun. This is a story of their journey where they form an unlikely friendship that will change both of their lives.  Filmmaker Q&A to follow.


5 p.m.  Supply and Demand: Addiction in the North.  Drugs and how they impact the lives of our friends and neighbors are at the heart of these two films. Followed by a panel...

  • Under Water (2015, 15 m., Canada/USA, Dir: Bryan Fitzgerald). Greg, a young man, escapes his tumultuous home and immerses himself in drugs, alcohol, and parties. What begins as a way out – and lasts for one night or several years, we are not clear – takes a turn for the worst. Greg is forced to make a positive change in his life, or drown in his addictions. Based on a true story.  Filmmaker introduces the film.
  • The Dragon Lives Here: Heroin in the Capital Region (2015, 47 m., USA,  Ex. Prod: Daniel Swinton, Prod: Nicole Van Slyke).  A film version of a multimedia project that probes the unprecedented heroin epidemic in the Capital Region, the lives of those it has touched and the terrible effects it is having in local communities.
  • Panel Discussion: A group of filmmakers and experts will discuss some of the issues surrounding drugs and addiction.


6:30 p.m.  To Be a Miss (2016, 1 h. 24 m., USA, Dir: Edward Ellis, Prod: Aaron Woolf).  In a country famous for its success in international beauty pageants, three young women are fighting to participate in their nation's most celebrated cultural institution. But obtaining a place in the Miss Venezuela contest is no easy task. Women must endure grueling diets, consent to intensive plastic surgery, and find the resources necessary to transform themselves from ordinary citizens into famous and illustrious Misses. To Be a Miss is a character-driven documentary that takes the viewer through the inner workings of Venezuela's renowned beauty factory, revealing the risks and rewards associated with this multi-billion dollar industry while exposing what nationalism, personal ambition, and the influence of mass media has meant for women in the country (imdb.com).  To be preceded by a message from producer Aaron Woolf.


8 p.m.  Closing Ceremony and Awards Presentations.  Phew!  That was a lot of film.  Over 50 films from 13 countries!  At the end of the festival, we will take a moment to single out particular films for excellence.  One award given will be an audience-voted award for their favorite film.  And at the end of the evening, the GOLDEN HONEYCOMB will be bestowed upon a filmmaker for their contributions to the craft

Closing reception with light hors d'oeuvre provided by My Cup of Tea.


We can’t wait to see you all there!  The Third Annual Lake Champlain International Film Festival takes place November 16th-20th at the Historic Strand Theatre.  And remember…