2017 Highway 61 Film Festival schedule • Oct. 5-8

DIFFERENT REALITIES • Thursday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. • Pine Center for the Arts  (265 5th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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iRony • Director: Radhey Jegatheva • Animation • Australia • 8 min • A film that explores the relationship between man and technology… told from the perspective of a phone.


Limit • Director: Javad Daraei • Student Short • Iran • 9 min •  in a quiet area a mentally-challenged man asks for help from the people he sees till someone enters his house, then suddenly…


Sonate • Director: Rineta Xhema  • Student Short • 3 min • A ballerina dreams of performing, then wakes up to find things are not as they seem.

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Metamorphosis • Director: Lana Bregar • SECOND PLACE- Student Short • Slovenia • 2 min• Gregor Samsa is a traveling salesman, a lone individual, and is actually transforming into a bug.

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The Interview • Director: Marc Gurung • FIRST PLACE-  Drama Short  •  France • 18 min • Christophe passes a job interview in the company where his girlfriend, Emma, works. The couple celebrates, but Christophe asks himself if he received special treatment. The evening has just begun…

Officially Limited explores artists' reimaginings of pop culture

Officially Limited • Director: John Otterbacher • FIRST PLACE- Documentary Short  • Chicago • 37 min • A trip into the booming alternative movie poster world through the lens of a filmmaker, where nerd art is coveted and copyright battles are fought.


Occupants• Director: Russell Emanuel • SECOND PLACE- Action/Horror Feature • California • 1 hr 20 min • Annie and Neil set up cameras all over their house for an internet show. But half of their cameras capture a parallel version of themselves – a version that ultimately threatens their very existence.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US • Friday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College  (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

The astronauts journal

The Astronaut’s Journal • Director: Marina Belikova • Germany • SECOND PLACE-  Animation •  5 min • Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth…

The Bet Styx

The Bet (Styx) • Director: Mari Cielo Pajares • FIRST PLACE-  Action/Horror Short •  Spain • 15 min • A man awakes in a different body every day. He will soon find out that there is a reason for him to be “them” on one particular day.

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Hope Springs Eternal • Director: Rachel Miller • FIRST PLACE- Student Short  •  USA •  5 min • A mother must learn to cope with the hardships of war, her son’s absence, and the reality of her situation.

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El Audifono (The Earpiece) • Director: Samuel Quiles Palop • FIRST PLACE- Comedy Short • Spain • 15 min • One day, Perfecta finds out that Fernando is the one who is responsible for her cats’ disappearances, so she takes revenge in their anniversary dinner.

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Laymun • Director: Catherine Prowse • London • FIRST PLACE- Animation Short • 5 min • The story of a gardener in a Middle Eastern war zone, fighting the destruction around her with life-giving plants.

Zero MM

Zero MM • Director: Semaa Samir • Iraq • Drama Short • 8 min • Homeless children live in a car parking lot and struggle for life.

Jukebox Girl

Jukebox Girl • Director: Alex Richard Thomas •  Georgia • Drama Short • 10 min • Brenda, the mayor’s daughter, is also known by her criminal alias, The Jukebox Girl.


Inhumanwich! • Director: David Cornelius • FIRST PLACE- Comedy Feature • Ohio • 1 hr 15 min • When all-American astronaut Joe Neumann mutates into an unstoppable blob of meat, it’s up to a team of devoted scientists and hard-nosed soldiers to save the planet.

BLOODY GOOD FUN • Friday, October 6 at 9 p.m. at Pizza Pub (500 3rd Ave SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

When chickens turn the tables, you have All You Can Eat

All You Can Eat • Directors: Manuel Pérez and Paulina Galindo • Animation • México • 8 min • Tommy is a tiny chick living a normal life until the farmer kills his mother, and he leads a revolution of chickens.

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Princess Beard • Director: Hiroki Ohsawa • Comedy Short- SECOND PLACE • California • 15 min • A princess who has a beard because of a wicked witch’s curse tries to get a true love kiss.

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A Father’s Day • Director: Mat Johns • Action/Horror Short- SECOND PLACE • U.K. • 10 min • Reunited with his daughter amongst the ruins of the world as they knew it, a father is determined to make this day special, even if they are already dead.

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Pet Man • Director: Marzieh Abrarpaydar • Animation • Iran • 4 min • An animal dealer goes asleep in his shop and has a nightmare, finding himself caught in an animal cage.

so what if I

So What If I Couldn’t Take It • Director: Zachary Weinstein • Student Short • New York • 6 min • A high school student directed music video in four different parts.

When your blind date turns out to be a sock pupp

American Sock • Director: Jeffrey Lamont Brown • Comedy Short • Tennessee • 7 min • A girl finds her soul mate on a social media site, but he turns out to be a sock puppet.

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For Luck • Director: TL Westgate • Comedy Short • USA • 7 min • The wrong guy goes into the wrong place at the wrong time. What could possibly go right?

Atlas world

Atlas World • Director: Morgana McKenzie • Student Short • Ontario, Canada • 7 min • A malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld.

the stillborn

The Stillborn • Director: Forrest DePoy • Action/Horror Short  •  Indiana  •  5 min • Something terrible has happened. One brother has gone missing, and something evil stalks the other.

The Tug

The Tug • Director: Nic Barker • Comedy Short • Australia • 1 min • Matt and Emma are about to take their relationship to the next level.

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Autumn Lovers • Director: Jason K. Allen • Comedy Short • Tennessee • 5 min • Two young lovers go for a walk in the park and are inspired to reveal their true feelings about each other.

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Just Words • Director: Ilia Antonenko • Drama Short  •  Russia • 24 min • A policeman and his happy-go-lucky colleague investigate a routine suicide. The policeman breaks the law and his own moral principles after he hears a familiar voice from a victim’s cellphone.

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Short Distance • Director: Nic Barker • FIRST PLACE- Drama Feature •  Australia • 1 hr • Over the course of a weekend, three couples experience complications of long distance relationships and modern love.

FINDING FAMILY (Family friendly films)  • Saturday, October 7 at 12 p.m. at the North West Company Fur Post (12551 Voyageur Lane, Pine City, MN 55063)

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Corky • Director: Ty Primosch  •  Animation  •  Connecticut •  6 min• A corkscrew with a screw loose battles a giant glass bottle to uncork seven magical lightning bugs trapped inside.

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The Magician • Directosr: Yu Xin, Yao Nan and Zhu Yinyin •  Student Short  •  4 min • A young magician is practicing his magic tricks all alone when a bird arrives across and becomes his only fan.

the snack list

The Snack List Director: Alyce Rogers  •  Student Short •  Florida  •  7 min • Kids who run a snack business at their summer camp have competition, and set out to take their rivals down.


Believer • Director: Joey Gainor • Student Short • USA • 1 min • Skeletons and a tiger engage in a fierce stop-motion battle in a film by this 8-year-old director.

Finding Home • Director: Radheya Jegatheva • Student Short • Australia •  3 min • A lonely piece begins to look for his family and home.

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Tiny Wing • Director: Wei Li • Animation • California • 3 min • Two birds born with wing problems meet each other and figure out a way to make a miracle happen.

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FloreDirector: Jean-Philippe Poisson • Animation • Canada • 1 min • An old adventurer tries to catch a mysterious flower in a desert temple.

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Flipped Out •  Director: Jae Bae • Animation • 6 min • An old flip phone has to come to terms with being replaced by the latest smartphone model.

The true viking

The Story of the True VikingDirector: Alexandra Evseeva • Animation • Russia • 7 min • Danger, blood, powerful enemies, death risk – all of this is not a problem at all…

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The Genesis of the Trike • Director: Andrew Hed • Documentary Short • Minnesota • 4 min • Peacock Groove, founded by Erik Noren, is a Minneapolis-based custom bicycle studio where Noren handcrafts one-of-a-kind bicycles.

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Demolition Dreaming • Director: John Akre • Animation Feature • Minnesota • 53 min • A fantasy of the Minneapolis Gateway District, part of the city destroyed during the days of urban renewal in the 1950’s and early 1960’s

EXPLORING MINNESOTA • Saturday, October 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

My father

My Father • Director: Joseph Dutra • FIRST PLACE- Made in Minnesota • 6 min • An honest, historical portrait a man’s father, and how memories struggle in his thoughts.

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The Ragman – A Hobo’s Story Untold • Director: Cy Dodson • SECOND PLACE- Made in Minnesota • 15 min • The untold tale of The Ragman – the storyteller, the vagabond, but most importantly the songwriter.

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In the Skip Distance • Director: Emily McNeill • Made in Minnesota • Duluth • 7 min • A young girl alone in the wilderness finds analog technology. An exploration of childhood.

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Nuclear Winter- The Musical! Director: Erin LeMair • Made in Minnesota • Lindstrom • 12 min • A spunky girl, who really likes to break radios, makes music in the aftermath of nuclear war.

What happens when actual aliens move into a small MN town? Illegal Aliens has the answer

Illegal Aliens • Director: Justin and Kristin Schaack • Made in Minnesota • Richfield • 10 min • Due to the arrival of actual undocumented aliens, the city meets to determine if they should ban the newcomers.

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Twin Cities • Director: David Ash • Made in Minnesota • St. Anthony • 1 hr 38 min • Salvaging a marriage takes time and trust, two things that John and Emily no longer have.

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS • Saturday, October 7 at 9 p.m. at Pine City Pizza Pub (500 3rd Ave SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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Zomburbia • Director: Nathan Wold • Made in Minnesota • 7 min • A zombie movie set inside a 1950s sitcom.

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Conscience • Director: Kirk Eckstine and Joe John • Made in Minnesota • 13 min • Asleep at the wheel, a driver makes a tragic mistake. All choices have consequences. What will his be?

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Inside • Director: Tony Perkins • Made in Minnesota • 13 min • A psychological thriller about a girl wrestling with her past as the lines of reality are blurred.

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Ghost Slapper • Director: David Mair • Made in Minnesota • Vadnais Heights • 7 min • It’s business as usual for ghost exterminator Keith, until he must face the biggest challenge of his life – the ghost of his former partner.

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Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf Trailer • Director: Joseph Dutra • Made in Minnesota • Shoreview • 3 min • Based on a myth they heard, teens dare the actor Shia Labeouf to come to their house and kill them. Then bodies start dropping.

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 “Vilsen” /Ave Mater • Director: Rasmus Tirzitis • FIRST PLACE- Action/Horror Feature • Sweden • 1 hr 55 min • Detective Lidman faces his career’s toughest assignment yet – to solve the ritualistic serial killings in Gothenburg.

TELLING STORIES • Sunday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Technical and Community College (900 4th St. SE, Pine City, MN 55063)

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American Storytellers • Director: Emily Tope • Documentary Short • Wisconsin • 11 min • This Decorah-made film explores the history and mission of Free River Press.

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Melding Tiles • Director: Justin Choo • Student Short • Hong Kong • 7 min • The ancient tradition of carving Mahjong tiles is explored.

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Shadow People • Director: Amanda Ramirez • Student Short • Texas • 7 min • Exploring the dark and mysterious world of the paranormal phenomena known as “Shadow People.”

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Stroke • Directors: Jiani Zhao and Emanuele Romano • Animation • U.K. • 5 min An old man recalls his experience. It starts with a strong headache, then symptoms alternate with peculiar visions of the reality around him.

Full Throttle – Without a Care • Director: Daniel Bahr • Animation • 3 min • Every year, 3.3 million people die. Tiny poison bombs in the air penetrate our bodies. Fine dust kills.


Yi • Director: Jiacheng Xu • SECOND PLACE- Documentary Short • Virginia • 36 min • Yi centers on a Chinese migrant laborer, and explores the intersections of transnational migrancy, cultural identity, and diasporic communities.

Scent of the Stars

Scent of the Stars • Director: Francesco Felli • SECOND PLACE- Drama Short • Italy • 12 min • Nino, out of the madhouse after 30 years, finds himself incapable of living otherwise. Just as Adriano, a hospital doctor, is unable to find the courage to face life. They all will find the meaning of small things again.

Jeffs World

Jeff’s World • Director: Brenda Piekarski • FIRST PLACE- Documentary Feature • Minnesota • 1 hr • A humorous behind-the-scenes look into the world of rock climbing Follow Jeff Engel and his friends as in a wild and remote climbing area ten miles beyond the Minnesota border into Canada.