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11th international film festival held; note academy nominees

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UPDATED Dec. 7: The 11th annual Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF), was held Nov. 4 through 14.

The AIFF Audience Choice Award goes to “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour." Congratulations to filmmaker Daizy Gedeon.

Now, consider the AIFF 2021 filmmakers who have been nominated for Academy Awards: Skye Fitzgerald, Daniel Perez and Bill Plympton. See their works below.

Academy Award Nominee for
Best Documentary Short Subject
Skye Fitzgerald | 40 min | 2020 | US/Yemen
World Premiere
Nominated for a 2021 Oscar, HUNGER WARD is the third film in the Refugee Trilogy by 2x Oscar & Emmy nominated director Skye Fitzgerald. Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, HUNGER WARD documents two women health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war. The film provides an unflinching portrait of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they work to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine. With unprecedented access within a sensitive conflict-zone, HUNGER WARD reveals a world of bravery and commitment-to-care for war-stricken children amidst desperate need.
Academy Award Nominee for
Best Live Action Short
Daniel Perez | 20 min | 2019 | Nar | France
US Premiere
Archibald was born with a curious malediction: he cannot make any gesture without someone nearby repeating it. Living on the outskirts of society, through desperation he has made up his mind to rob a bank. He then encounters Indiana, a young woman who has always managed to elude any form of control.
Academy Award
longlisted for
Best Animation Short
Bill Plympton | 10 min | 2021 | US 
New England Premiere
Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, this short tells the story of Demi, a Latina in NYC whose nightmares foreshadow an unprecedented storm, transforming her city & her life. Plympton, the 'King of Indie Animation, is unmistakably recognized for his wonderfully weird creations...the wriggly, hand-sketched style and endlessly shape-shifting, transmogrifying images that are brilliant creations. Bill Plympton is an Arlington, MA resident.
Multi-Award Winner
Sophie Meissner
6 min | 2020 | US/Germany
AIFF congratulates Director Sophie Meissner who won the AIFF award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY in this year's VOICES OF OUR YOUTH program. Sophie's film has been recognized around the world and has won numerous awards.

Here's what was showing >>

Times of Plenty


Sponsored by the Real Gusto Restaurant

Times of Plenty | Claudio Costa | 13 min | Animation | 2020 | Italy | US premiere

 Italy is revealed through a satirical comedy told by Cesare, a young boy living with his family in Rome.  "Times of Plenty" is a reference to the sociocultural climate of the 1980s and '90s in Italy, a time of the Socialist Party and young, upwardly mobile yuppies … a time of Silvio Berlusconi’s privately owned TV channels, the new agreement with the Holy See … a period in which Italy came to be the fifth leading industrial country in the world, but also a time of spiraling growth in public spending, growth that many knew could not last.


Sponsored by Vinotta Restaurant


Martin Eden | Jay Craven | 105 min | Nar | 2021 | US | Boston premiere 

Filmed exclusively on Nantucket during the pandemic, director Jay Craven mystically takes you back in time to the turn of the century and introduces you to Martin Eden, a poor and unschooled sailor who unexpectedly meets a magnetic young woman of means and education. Based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel, this dynamic film captures the socio-economic class distinctions of the time.


Sponsored by Irving House of Harvard 

Los HermanosLos Hermanos/The Brothers

Ken Schneider & Marcia Jarmel | 80 min

Doc | 2020 | US/Cuba

Virtuoso Afro-Cuban-born brothers—violinist Ilmar and pianist Aldo—live on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm a half-century wide. Tracking their parallel lives in New York and Havana, their poignant reunion, and their momentous first performances together, this film offers a nuanced, often startling view of estranged nations through the lens of music and family. 

Featuring an electrifying, genre-bending score, composed by Cuban Aldo López-Gavilán, performed with his American brother, Ilmar, and with guest appearances by maestro Joshua Bell and the Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet.


Sponsored by Center Square Realty

I'm an Electric Lampshade | John Clayton Doyle

96 min | Doc | 2020 US | Boston premiere 

Doug McCorkle a buttoned-up, mild mannered corporate accountant who retires at age 60 to become the world’s least likely rock star is an offbeat doc-narrative-music film that demands a genre of its own.

His openness to pursuing dreams well outside of his comfort zone, both in far-away places and with various people and cultures (including LBGTQ) is refreshing and inspiring, and his struggles to achieve his dreams lay bare his inner doubts and fears.

By the end of the final concert, filmed before thousands in Mexico City’s La Plaza Condesa, we are in love with Doug, his bravery and his heart. His journey and final transformation leave us with proof that it is never too late to pursue your dreams.

Hunger Ward
Hunger Ward | Skye Fitzgerald | 40 min | Doc | 2020 | US/Yemen | world premiere 

Nominated for a 2021 Oscar, "Hunger Ward" is the third film in the Refugee Trilogy by 2x Oscar & Emmy nominated director Skye Fitzgerald. Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, "Hunger Ward" documents two women health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war.

The Last Jam Jar


The Last Jam Jar | Arpan Bahl | 13 min | Short Nar | 2021 | India | US premiere

 Inspired by a true story of eternal love, caught in a moment. On their special day, Govind spends it with Leela in a trance-like state. When the day ends and he returns home will the trance be broken?



Woman | Lillian Carter | 2020 | US | Experimental | East Coast premiere

 WOMAN reveals the three archetypes that all women utilize throughout their lives. The Mother, unconditional love, The Hunter, the search for truth and The Witch, wisdom and intuition. They are innate strengths that women draw upon to understand others' decisions, resolutions, and perspectives as well as our own.

Iranian program

Egg is comfortable and poses no threat to society or the government.


Sponsored by Super Vanak International Food Market & Café  

47 | Alireza Ataollah Tabrizi and Ahmad Otraghchi | 80 min | 2020 | Iran | East Coast premiere  

3 separate stories that become rivetingly interwoven and we are shown the difficulty of being a woman alone.

GANDO | Teymour Ghaderi | 8 min | 2020 | Iran | Boston premiere

Girls in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces of Iran are tasked with going to the pond to bring water back to their villages and most ponds are inhabited by the Iranian crocodile, the Gando.

POLITICS | Fardin Zarei | 2 min | 2021 | Iran | World premiere

The story of a carton of eggs; one egg emerges as the leader. 

Native shorts


This short program chronicles the indigenous and the work they are doing -- the work of healing and making themselves and their community whole. The topics vary as well as the styles and genres they use to capture their stories, but all are intense and poignant.

These are six independent films that cover issues that are vastly underreported -- the mental health crisis that is exploding among the youth as well as addiction. These films tell the stories of healing when tradition and culture are rediscovered and a personal connection is made, realizing the value of keeping the native languages alive and acknowledging the value that the elders offer.
Voices of Our Youth


This is a short program sponsored by YourArlington that is perfect for you to wander through various genres, styles and topics that have captured the attention of our youth. “Voices of Our Youth” offers 23 independent films from around the world.

The program features films from Australia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, Ukraine and the United States (California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia and many of the filmmakers have recorded introductions.


AnimationThis shorts film program — perfect to let your imagination wander through the different topics, styles, and genres. The nine shorts were  created by independent filmmakers from around the world.

Travel with us to Colombia, Denmark, Iran, Italy and Spain, and we will return you to the United States. We begin with a satirical comedy, winner of the BEST ANIMATION SHORT, Times Of Plenty, set in Italy during the ’80s and ’90s, a time of the Socialist Party and young upwardly mobile yuppies. 

Demi’s Panic was inspired by the spread of Covid-19 and offers a look into a young woman’s fear as the pandemic spreads. 

A postapocalyptic Bogotá and survival are presented in Tomas. A Tale of Redemption.

Nº01 Year 2095. Behind The Glass is a drama of a man struggling to overcome his personal limitations in the face of society’s rejection.

 Wood is a meaningful animation that addresses the lack of respect we have for the planet, cutting down trees indiscriminately but quite a twist at the end. 

Based on a real event that happened in 2015 Austria, Song Sparrow is a reflection on immigration and what it means to embark on a journey to find another place to call home. 

A Little Too Much creates an imaginary space where a woman lets go of all inhibitions and embraces all of herself. An ambitious journalist and human rights activist on the hunt for her next big story interviews a corrupt general in the Eritrean army who happens to be her father.

Double Interview is based on a short story by Dessale Abraham who holds the 2013 International Press Freedom Award. Amaluna is a song for the moon by Aleix Bové , an accomplished flamenco guitarist who enjoys artistic collaborations with theater, dance, and film projects. 

Love Moon is a testament to the lack of discrimination that is given by the moon, rich or poor and no matter what part of the world you may live the moon shines as bright for you as it does for all people.

Animation 2


Twelve independent shorts from around the world, 75 minutes of travel from Algeria to Australia, France, Iran, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and United States.

Beginning with Salmon Men, this Swiss animation is a creative satire addressing the meaning of manhood in a world of fully emancipated women and reverse role identities. 

Sad Beauty, illusion, or reality, a young woman mourns the disappearance of animal species.

Woven Threads - Olive is one of a series of animated documentaries that looks at teen depression, reminding us of our shared humanity and the frailty of life.

Family Name in The Pocket is based on a real-life story of a mother’s ultimate sacrifice to keep her child alive.

White Night set in the Aures mountains, begs the question, what is the life of a snowman. 

The Sea Within the Room addresses the emotional reaction experienced by some rape victims referred to as "freezing behavior."

The Cat is a parable about life in Iran – especially for women after the Revolution; created by a female filmmaker born in Iran. 

Autumn and birds are migrating to a warmer climate and on the gray streets of Paris, illegal immigrants are selling shoes. 

Creative Mind so aptly illustrates the inability to control our brain.The musical heritage of Paul Crucq, an Amsterdam-based multi-instrumental singer/songwriter was the inspiration for this short, Senses. With Paul’s passing, he left a beautiful collection of songs, compositions, and experimental sound archive that were used as a base for this short, celebrating the immense creativity, integrity, and love Paul represented. 

The Man Who Never Saw the Rain, well … can you imagine never having experienced rain? Lulled to sleep with basic needs met.

Prefestival activities

The Arlington International Film Festival has partnered with the Roasted Granola Café for some fun fall events, beginning with the AIFF poster exhibition, on display in the café during September. Follow the submissions from 2010, when the competition was offered to high school students and later evolved to college students.Its prefestival kickoff took place at Roasted Granola on Saturday, Oct. 2, with a demonstration of Code Ninjas®, a fast-growing coding franchise for kids, and a screening of "All Me: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert," including a Q&A with filmmaker/director Vivian Ducat (more below).The festival invites the public to visit Roasted Granola during October and enjoy the photo exhibit of Atta Özkefeli. See

Winfred Rembert observing art class at AHS.Winfred Rembert observing art class at AHS in 2014. Read a feature story >> Photography by Atilla Özkefelli, owner of Magic Bites in Arlington. SeeÖzkefeli was born in 1966 Ankara, Turkey, and graduated from Middle East Technical University with a BSc degree in electrical and electronics engineering. He and his family moved to the U.S. in 2015, settling in Arlington. Atilla and his wife, Elif, an interior designer and chef, own and operate Magic Bites, which provides tastes of the Mediterranean. Attila identifies as an amateur, enjoys street photography and works mostly in black and white. A passionate photographer, he focuses on portraits that tell a story. His work has been purchased by individuals, companies, magazines and books. Previous exhibitions include shows in Turkey and the U.S.
Best of Festival in 2012

AIFF BEST OF FESTIVAL 2012, ALL ME: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert is shown at Roasted Granola in homage to Rembert, who died in May.Synopsis: With his autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Rembert has preserved an important, if disturbing chapter of American history. His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry that existed as recently as the 1960s and '70s.In ALL ME the artist relives his turbulent life, visualized by his paintings and in a series of intimate reminiscences shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful.Trailer: Ducat is a self-described "networker extraordinaire and a creative thinker." She is the principal of Ducat Media, which produces documentary films, long and short format, interpretative media for museum and web exhibitions, as well as media for Columbia University and New York University. Clients have included the BBC, PBS. the New-York Historical Society, National Park Service, Library of Congress, NYU and Columbia University.dent film — to nurture the next generation of filmmakers.Arlington Interntional Film Festival ONLINE: Nov. 4 through 142021 Festival Program will be posted in October with Tickets and Festival Passes available for purchase.For more information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Tax-deductible contributions should be made payable to the Festival's fiscal agent, MIRA, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

 United Filmmakers partnership
AIFF has announced a new partnership with Unified Filmmakers based in Munich, Germany. We are working together to screen films made about the Covid-19 pandemic. Unified Filmmakers Festival has given filmmakers from around the world an opportunity to tell their personal stories about this extraordinary time. Festival Director and Founder Floryan Deyle, has created a network of unified creators that intend to make us think about who we are, where we come from and where we want to go.
Center Square Realty sponsors 2021 Best of Festival Award 
The Arlington International Film Festival partners this year with Center Square Realty, an Arlington-based real estate brokerage.  Its success is measured through thousands of real estate transactions that have made moves easier and more transparent for clients. Center Square acknowledges that the No. 1 thing most people dread (other than packing) is dealing with real estate brokers. The company is committed to changing how people move by focusing on what really matters: you.As a supporting sponsor of this year’s festival, Center Square Realty has committed to supporting their local film festival that has become internationally recognized for the quality of independent films screened, entertaining viewers as well as initiating substantiative dialogue on prominent topics that confront us.

AIFF's Audience Choice Award

Each year, the organizers of the Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) receive many excellent submissions to our poster contest. AIFF judges select the winning poster that becomes the face of the current year's festival, but you have the chance to pick your favorite.The #AIFFaudiencechoice is open up until Nov. 2.Now you can win free festival passes by participating. Here’s how to enter.1. Head to and cast your vote for your favorite poster design. 2. Share or repost your favorite poster from our social media feeds on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn with that poster’s hashtag — don’t forget to tag AIFF.3. Tag three friends in your post — or more.That is it ☑️ We will draw a winner from each platform (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) on Nov. 2 and send the all-access festival pass digitally. Which poster design is YOUR favorite?

11th film-festival poster winner

The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) has awarded the 2021 poster design with an “allusion to peace" (at right) to Elena Mathis, student of Mass College of Art in Boston. An accompanying $500 aims to assist a student in advancing art studies. The deadline to submit film entries for 2021 is Monday, May 31.Mathis’s design creates a strong connection with the viewer while the bird taking center stage, making direct eye contact and spreading his feathers announce the festival. The bird carries an olive branch in its talons, an ambassador of peace.Named the 11th festival winner May 7, Mathis said her “poster was inspired by the theme of documentaries, in particular, nature documentaries about birds with ridiculous courtship dances who always seem to love showing off for the camera.”The poster submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges with expertise in composition, design, public relations and marketing and evaluated based on visual appeal, content and marketability. The jury was Elisa Adams, David Ardito, Jennifer Cheng Des-Autels, Marc Gurton, Erica Licea-Kane, Vicky Rodriguez and last year’s award winner, Rayna Walters.Rodriguez calls the winning poster “so different from designs of previous years! I love the playful and self-assured look of the bird, and how he is looking directly at the viewer. Overall, it is humorous and wonderful in its simplicity.”This year’s competition was offered exclusively to professor Robert Maloney’s illustration class at Mass College of Art & Design. The selected design appears around the world in various forms.
Jury for 2021 festival
Organizers have announced the jurors for the 2021 festival. They are Taylor Braun, Shoma Chatterji, Ali Zare Ghanatnowi, Zoë Kooyman, Kris Mokwunye, Eduardo Rencurrell Diaz and Mohit Soni.They join current jurors Akasa Stephe Angba, Kate Bernhardt, Alice Bouvrie, Barbara Costa, Sandip Pratihar and Marga Varea.
Braun is the film-festival specialist at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. In this role, he helps educate students about the current film festival landscape as well as help create custom festival strategies for students’ films. Previously, he was the senior programming coordinator at the Newport Beach Film Festival. He has also worked at Telluride Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and Milwaukee Film Festival.Chatterji -- a film scholar, freelance journalist and author based in Kolkata -- is one of the senior-most film critics in India and has 25-plus published titles, of which 15 are on Indian cinema. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of Indian cinema and postgraduate diplomas in journalism and mass communications. She has won two national awards: Best Film Critic in 1991 and Best Book on Cinema in 2002. Ghanatnowi is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer, translator, author, teacher, graphic designer, cameraman and producer. For the past two decades Ali has been involved in making more than 20 films, including animations, documentaries and short movies. Kooyman is an event producer and project director with deep experience in the global organization of large-scale live events for thousands of people, as well as intimate gatherings and cultural manifestations.Mokwunye is a graduate of theater arts, a filmmaker and media expert from West Africa. He has worked with Silverbird Communications, a leading media and entertainment company in Africa, Anttention Media, Phresh Media and hub manager for British Council.Diaz holds a Ph.D. of arts from the University of the Arts (ISA) of Cuba / Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). From the same schools he received his bachelor’s in audiovisual communication graduating summa cum laude and a master’s degree in film production. Soni has worked in Los Angeles as a line producer/production manager for four years. Mohit is a graduate of University of California Los Angeles with a bachelor of fine arts in film and aideo production. He is also a graduate of the New York Film Academy, Burbank, Calif., and has certificates in business and management of entertainment as well as acting from UCLA.
Jurors for VOICES OF OUR YOUTH, student filmmakers' program
YourArlington AIFF .gif logoJaina Cipriano, Christina Oneil and Cameron Thuman join Padriac Farma as jurors for this year’s program.Cipriano is a Boston-based artist working with photography, film and installation. Her work explores the emotional toll of religious and romantic entrapment through immersive sets and emotional performances that mirror the subconscious. Oneil has a B.A. in film studies and has worked on critically acclaimed movies and TV shows alongside Regina King, Bryan Cranston, and Ryan Murphy. .Thuman is a director known for his story-driven and highly visual style. Growing up as a halfpipe skier in Park City, Utah, he was nationally ranked and invited to the US Ski Team Project Gold Camp but fell in love with making videos of his friends even more than competing. After collaborating with Olympians, Cameron desired to do more with film and especially aspired to tell stories.
For the second year, AIFF is hosting an Audience Choice Awards. Now YOU can choose your favorite poster design.Regardless of distance, become part of the AIFF international family network and cast YOUR vote. Voting will be open until Nov. 3, 2021, 11:59 PM EST.The winner will be announced on opening night, Nov. 4, via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the AIFF website.The design student will receive a cash prize of $200.We encourage you to visit http://, view the posters, and vote for YOUR favorite.
 Call imageVOICES OF OUR YOUTH: High School Filmmakers Program
welcomes short films in the previously named categories.ARLINGTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL welcomes short films in the previously named categories.Member of the Arlington Cultural District | short films in the previously named categories. Film Festival Alliance | short films in the previously named categories.Mass Film Office | short films in the previously named categories.IMDB | 


Read a 2014 YourArlington feature here >>
His sense of life, his amazing ability to tell stories, and his visually compelling ways of presenting those stories in his art were only a few of his gifts that he shared with us. We are grateful for our time together.Here is a 9-minute short film of Winfred made 11 years ago by Vivan Ducat before anticipating the making of the documentary, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert. New York Times Obituary >>
AIFF, partners with Videomaker magazine
The Arlington International Film Festival,celebrating its 11th year of production, has announced its 2021 partnership with Videomaker magazine. Filmmakers submitting films to AIFF via FilmFreeway in 2021 will be offered a free annual subscription. The magazine icovers all levels of video-production techniques from planning to shooting to editing and distribution.It is dedicated to providing resources to filmmakers and artists in a range of categories; i.e. electronics, video, audio, entertainment, media, industries and profession, and photography.Indie filmmakers, you are invited on a journey this year as AIFF continues to foster ways in which to connect filmmakers across economic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds, bringing together people and communities. To claim your subscription, click here >> 
Other partners
Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema was founded in 1957 as the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa and is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. The Institute is a member of the International Organization For Cinema Colleges and Institutes. Over the years, the Institute has participated in many international festivals and won numerous awards and honorary certificates. Besides the bachelor's degree, the Institute grants master's and Ph.D. degrees in the arts and sciences of cinema. The institute’s sections comprise Scriptwriting, Directing, Editing, Cinema and TV production, Animation, Scenic Designing, Cinematography, and Sound Engineering.'s Online Exhibit
The Equinox – When Light and Dark are Equal Worldwide The New England Sculptors Association (NESA) in its first annual online juried show, focuses on the power of the arts, the tension between light and darkness, justice and injustice, equality and inequality, reproductive rights, and environmental issues. This online show entitled The Equinox – When Light and Dark are Equal Worldwide displays 25 entries selected by juror Brian Hones of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Commissioner of the Boston Art Commission. The online show is free to the public for viewing March 19 - June 3.Visitors to the show are invited to vote for the sculpture they feel is most deserving of 'The People's Choice Award'  

2020: Arlington International Film Festival program

This announcement, which include opinion, was published Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, and updated Dec. 7.

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