Film Guide 2020


HEADING SOUTH

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 12 min Eight-year-old Chasuna visits her father in the big city, where she is greeted by an unwelcome surprise.

Directed by Yuan Yuan

HEAVEN REACHES DOWN TO EARTH

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 10 min North American Premiere Once Tau comes to a realization about their sexuality, a cascade of thoughts and emotions are set aflame in Tumelo.

Directed by Tebogo Malebogo

HERSELF

2020 World Cinema | narrative feature | 97 min East Coast Premiere In the wake of a physically abusive relationship and a looming housing crisis, Irish single mother Sandra (Clare Dunne) struggles to provide her two young daughters a safe and happy home. Attempting …

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd

HIRAETH

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 20 min US Premiere After leaving Syria on a single-entry visa to the USA, architect and artist Mohamad Hafez makes the life-changing decision to recreate the home he left behind.

Directed by Jimmy Goldblum

HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 15 min US Premiere A young academic prepares to leave her home in Kazakhstan for a fresh start in London. On the eve of her move, she dares to consider what will be left behind.

Directed by Zhannat Alshanova

I AM A TOWN

2020 Documentary Competition | documentary feature | 83 min Nestled at the end of a remote peninsula, and protected by a circling school of great white sharks, lies Provincetown, MA—a historic New England fishing village turned vibrant arts colony. In his …

Directed by Mischa Richter

I AM GRETA

2020 Air, Land & Sea | documentary feature | 97 min US Premiere Back in 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg organized a one-person protest for climate action by setting up camp in front of the Swedish Parliament building with a simple sign: “School Strike for Cli …

Directed by Nathan Grossman

I CARRY YOU WITH ME “TE LLEVO CONMIGO”

2020 Narrative Competition | narrative feature | 111 min Based on a true love story, Academy Award® nominee Heidi Ewing’s (JESUS CAMP) narrative debut unfolds with startling intimacy. Iván and Gerardo are involved in a surreptitious romance as Iván, …

Directed by Heidi Ewing

I’M FREE NOW, YOU ARE FREE

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 15 min Following a 40-year, state-sanctioned separation, the reunion and the repair of the relationship between a mother and son serve as a meditation on Black family preservation as an act of resistance.

Directed by Ash Goh Hua

MINARI

2020 Spotlight | narrative feature | 115 min East Coast Premiere A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, MINARI follows a Korean-American family as they relocate to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. Amidst the instability and ch …

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung

NINE DAYS

2020 Spotlight | narrative feature | 124 min East Coast Premiere In a lonely outpost in an unknown, metaphysical realm, Will (Winston Duke) is tasked with observing those living on Earth. When an unexpected event leaves a vacancy for a new life, Will must whittle …

Directed by Edson Oda

NOMADLAND

2020 Spotlight | narrative feature | 108 min In the aftermath of the economic collapse and with no opportunities left in her small Nevada town, Fern (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) packs her van and embarks on a peripatetic life, ou …

Directed by Chloé Zhao

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…

2020 Opening/Closing Films | narrative feature | 110 min CLOSING NIGHT FILM Unfortunately, our Closing Night Drive-In has been canceled due to the weather. Original ticketholders will be contacted about refunds and virtual ticket options. On one incredibl …

Directed by Regina King

PARACHUTE

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 14 min New York Premiere Wendy, a teenage Chinese immigrant, struggles to acclimate to life as a high school student in the United States. Then Mei-Ling arrives.

Directed by Katherine Tolentino

ROSE PLAYS JULIE

2020 World Cinema | narrative feature | 100 min US Premiere Yearning to know more about her mysterious past, Irish veterinary student Rose (Ann Skelly) travels to London in the hopes of establishing contact with her biological mother Ellen (Orla Brady), a su …

Directed by Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy

ROUND 0

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 17 min US Premiere A group of Icelandic boxers train for the Nordic Championship, until a serious accident risks compromising their futures—both as athletes and as young men.

Directed by Sonia Ladidà Schiavone

SHORTS PROGRAM: 2020 DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION

2020 Short Film Programs | 75 min Featuring an array of powerful subjects, the Short Documentary Competition honors new and distinctive voices in documentary filmmaking. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and qualify for cons …


SHORTS PROGRAM: 2020 NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION

2020 Short Film Programs | 80 min Featuring exceptional technique and storytelling, the Short Narrative Competition honors the fresh perspectives of up-and-coming filmmakers. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and qualify for …


SHORTS PROGRAM: 2020 UNIVERSITY SHORT FILMS SHOWCASE

2020 Short Film Programs | 68 min Curated from hundreds of submissions by a selection committee of industry professionals and HIFF Advisory Board members, these prize-winning short films showcase the extraordinary talent and achieve …


SHORTS PROGRAM: ON THE ROAD TO FIND OUT

2020 Short Film Programs | 78 min Spanning multiple generations, this thoughtful collection of stories finds characters navigating moments of transition, uncertainty, and self-discovery. Available in the Virtual Cinema: October 9 (1 …


SOUND OF METAL

2020 Spotlight | narrative feature | 130 min East Coast Premiere During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rap …

Directed by Darius Marder

STRAY

2020 Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights | documentary feature | 73 min Through the eyes of three canine outcasts roaming the streets of Istanbul, a city where it is illegal to euthanize stray dogs, documentarian Elizabeth Lo paints an intimate picture of the life of a …

Directed by Elizabeth Lo

TAPE

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 13 min New York Premiere A young hockey player struggles to repair her relationship with her teammate as they prepare for the team’s pre-qualifying match.

Directed by Jojo Erholtz

THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION

2020 Narrative Competition | narrative feature | 119 min East Coast Premiere In his arresting and unforgettable fiction debut, writer-director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese crafts a beguiling parable of displacement and resilience. In a small village nestled among the imposing mo …

Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

TIME

2020 Documentary Competition | documentary feature | 81 min Fox Rich is a fighter. The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence …

Directed by Garrett Bradley