Rainier Film Festival Rainier Independent Film Festival

2015 List of Films

Alegria - A Humanitarian Expedition: 28 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Chistoph von Toggenburg

Alegria - A Humanitarian Expedition is the story of an epic 3200km solo bike ride across the Himalaya. Supporting leprosy patients and mentally destitute women, Christoph von Toggenburg survived conflicts, altitude sickness mastering more than 50'000m altitude. His adventure changed the life of thousands in need and highlights how one person can change the world.

Batman and Jimbo: 7 min

Short Comedy - USA, Directed by Angus Mullane

Batman & Jimbo' follows two low-life guys, Johnny and Jimbo, who pretend to rob the local store in an effort to win back Johnny's ex-wife however the situation turns horribly wrong when they soon find an actual robbery taking place.

Bear Story: 6 min

Comedic Short - USA, Directed by J. Rick Castaneda

Against her wishes, Coworker Dave tells Kim a story about a bear and soldier in the woods. As the story gets further and further off course, it starts to warp reality and wrap Kim up right inside of it. Will she ever make it back?

Birthday: 11 min

Short Drama - USA, Directed by Chris King  |  Official Site »

A severely wounded Marine and his wife finally come home following months of surgeries and rehab. A powerful and realistic depiction of what it is like for our wounded vets and their spouses as they face enormously difficult times ahead.

Booze Boys & Brownies: 100 min

Musical Comedy - USA, Directed by Veronica Mannion  |  Official Site »

An aspiring actress navigates the musically comedic underbelly of Hollywood in search of fame fortune (boys) and herself. Hint: she finds one.

WATCH the Trailer

Box Walk: 16 min

USA, Directed by Tony Fulgham

The short film is a coming-of-age story set in rural Eastern Washington, that spans almost two decades. A quiet thirteen-year-old and his stepfather track down a wounded deer. The lessons learned in those dark woods aren't fully realized until seventeen years later, when the teenager, now a grown man, pays a visit to his stepfather.

Capsized: 13 min

Dramatic Short - USA, Directed by Brandon M Freer  |  Official Site »

Using only a cell phone, a young bride-to-be must find a way to save her fiancé from drowning in a cargo hold of a capsized cruise ship.

Cast in India: 26 min

Short Documentary - India, Directed by Natasha Raheja

Natasha Raheja is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at New York University with a Certificate in Culture and Media. Her research interests are in the areas of migration, material flows, and belonging. In Cast in India, she raises questions around the disparate conditions that shape the geographies of production of everyday urban objects. How does the built infrastructure of New York City conceal the labor infrastructure on which it stands?

Class Dismissed: 90 min

Documentary - USA, A Film by Jeremy Stuart & Dustin Woodard  |  Official Site »

Frustrated with the traditional school system, a family in L.A. pulls their two kids out of school and takes their education into their own hands. Class Dismissed takes a fresh look at what it means to be educated in the 21st century and explores the rapidly growing movement of parents providing an education outside a classroom setting.

Come Fly With Us: 5 min

USA, Directed by Vance Malone

Cameron Smith is making a spacesuit in his Portland home, from scratch. But is it ready for lift-off.

Diamonds in the Rough: 15:30 min

USA, Directed by Dominique Carino

The Helfer family meticulously crafts handmade jewelry at their shop in downtown Pittsburgh while addressing family dynamics both in and out of the workplace.

Dreams of the Last Butterflies: 10 min

Fantasy Short - USA, Directed by Zina Brown  |  Official Site »

Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a live-action 'dark faerie tale' short film with an urgent environmental message.

Fixed: 7 min

Narrative Short - Australia, Directed by Codey Wilson & Burleigh Smith

Jemimah is five years old and desperate for her dog, Tilly, to have puppies. When she learns her parents plan to have Tilly desexed, Jemimah embarks on a quest to get Tilly pregnant.

Forgiveness: 6 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Alix Bannon

In 1749 a woman must do the unthinkable to escape the misery of her life.

Freeze! Try Again: 16 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Christine Deitner  |  Official Site »

A short dance documentary inspired by the curriculum and participants of a Special Needs DANCE program that is open to everyone.

From the Sky: 18 min

Dramatic Short - USA, Directed by Ian Ebright  |  Official Site »

A humble father and his troubled son struggle to cope with the effect of drones in the Middle East.

Growing Local: 46 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Bridget Besaw  |  Official Site »

Exploring the growing pains of the local food movement and the uncertain fate of the farmers and farmland that keep it alive.

I Owe You: 13 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Mike McNeese  |  Official Site »

Father-to-be Cam owes his perfect life to his estranged friend Todd. But when Todd shows up one night with a body in his trunk and calls in the debt, Cam must choose between an awful trip into darkness and having his own terrible secret revealed.

If You Love Your Children: 23 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Sanjay Patel  |  Official Site »

A young man loses everything but finds himself, when his fight against climate change consumes his life.

Imperial Dreams: 87 min

Drama - USA, Directed by Malik Vitthal

A 21-year-old reformed gangster's devotion to his family and his future is put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old stomping grounds in Watts, Los Angeles.

In Search of the Miraculous: 15 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Sam Kuhn

A young man drawn silently towards the siren call of oblivion. A river of cinematic images and sounds flowing into an ocean. A yawning abyss. A woman. The last shot in this film could land the director in jail.

Land of Leopold: 87 min

Feature Comedy/Adventure - USA, Directed by Akis Konstantakopoulos  | 
Official Site »

Leopold Rawlins is a troubled drifter suffering from a bad past and worse present. Living in & out of prison and out on the streets, Leopold winds up being deemed insane by the state and sent to the Milton Way House. Searching for redemption, Leopold uncovers new unlikely friends and an adventure that tests his limits.

Marathon: 13 min

Dramatic Short - USA, Directed by Lauren Smitelli

Evvie is looking for someone she may not be ready to find.

Mary and Louise: 16:44 min

Comedic Short - USA, Directed by ABIGAIL ZEALEY BESS  |  Official Site »

Mary and Louise is a comedy with heart, based on the fictional friendship of silent film goddesses, Mary Pickford, (Americas Sweetheart) and Louise Brooks (The Iconic Vamp). After the Talkie World explodes on the Hollywood scene, Mary and Louise find themselves suddenly out of work when they have a disastrous experience on the set of their first Talkie.

Mei Mei, A Daughter's Song: 27 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Dmae Roberts

With the 1989 Peabody-winning audio documentary as the sole soundtrack, 'Mei Mei, A Daughter's Song' mixes live action, animation effects and archival footage to tell the story of Dmae Roberts and her mother traveling to Taiwan together.

As Chu-Yin Roberts' story unfolds, she reveals she was sold into servitude at age two and talks of her hardship growing up during WWII. She speaks of a female Buddha who saved her life amid the abuse she endured by her step-family. The tensions the mother and daughter face become intensified because they are of different cultures and language yet tied together because they are family.

Nature Rx: 4 min

Short Comedy - USA, Directed by Justin Bogardus  |  Official Site »

One lost man, longing for the apocalypse, neutered and crippled by modern life, finds an answer... a hilarious and obvious truth he was missing (and as he discovers - many of us were missing) all along.

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution: 15 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Matthew Vandyke  |  Official Site »

The story of the Syrian revolution as told through the experiences of two young Syrians, a male rebel fighter and a female journalist, as they fight an oppressive regime for the freedom of their people.

Omo Child: The River and the Bush: 89 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by John Rowe  |  Official Site »

For many generations people in the Omo Valley (tribal southwest Ethiopia) believed some children are cursed and that these 'cursed' children bring disease, drought and death to the tribe. Filmed over a five year period we follow Lale's journey along with the people of his tribe as they attempt to change an ancient practice.

Plundering Tibet: 25 min

Short Documentary - Canada, Directed by Michael Buckley

Plundering Tibet is a short documentary about the dire consequences of China's ruthless mining in Tibet. As a Canadian filmmaker, the narrator has a personal take on this because of the involvement of Canadian companies in mining in Tibet-and the railway to Lhasa. Following the arrival of the train in Tibet in 2006, large-scale mining of lithium, gold, copper, lead, crude oil, natural gas and other resources is under way to feed China's voracious industrial sector. Tibetans have vigorously protested the defilement of their sacred mountains by Chinese mining operations.

Riding My Way Back: 26 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Robin Fryday & Peter Rosenbaum  |  Official Site »

Riding My Way Back chronicles one soldier's journey back from the brink of suicide.

Secret: 7 min

USA, Directed by Tony Fulgham

Watching his neighbors navigate the treacherous waters of young love, George is moved to look at his marriage of thirty years.

Skunk: 16 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Annie Silverstein

Raised by a single mother on an isolated subdivision in rural Texas, fourteen-year-old Leila's deepest connection is with her pack of rescued dogs. When her beloved pit bull is stolen by an aspiring dog fighter, Leila is forced to stand up for herself, at the cost of her own innocence.

Stop: 9 min

Narrative Short - USA, Directed by Reinaldo Green

A young man's livelihood is put to the test when he gets stopped by the police on his way home from practice.

The Man From the City: 11 min

Dramatic Short - USA, Directed by Elias Plagianos  |  Official Site »

A mysterious businessman visits a small town with questionable intentions as he contemplates leaving his big city life behind.
WATCH the Trailer

The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano: 28 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Joshua Seftel

In his latest project, photographer Phil Toledano has become obsessed with his own future. Director Josh Seftel follows as Toledano uses DNA tests, fortune tellers, and a prosthetic makeup artist to envision the many dark possibilities that might await him, including obesity,desolation, stroke, isolation, suicide, and violent death. Over the course of three years, Toledano becomes dozens of characters and captures these bleak possibilities in a series of haunting photographs. Meanwhile, his wife and daughter sit on the sidelines, worried that this project will leave Toledano unable to ever imagine a positive future. While on this journey, Toledano's obsession alters him and his family forever.

The Minions: 11 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Jeremiah Kipp

A man's walk home becomes perilous when he decides to walk down 'the witches' path' and happens upon two drunk girls who need his help...

The Pioneertown Palace: 9 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Andrew McAllister

10 years ago, Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz moved from NYC to the nearly deserted Pioneertown, CA in hopes of reviving Pappy and Harriet's, one of the last remaining original honky tonks in the country. Today, the venue has become a major destination deep in the Mojave Desert and has attracted artists and musicians from all over the world - ranging from Victoria Williams to Robert Plant to Vampire Weekend.

Braving the 100-plus degree heat of August 2013, director Andrew McAllister and producer Kerry Ware set out to capture the roots of one the country's best roadhouses, Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace. The two made a short documentary that traces the venue's history - starting with its birth as part of the original set of Pioneertown (an Old West motion picture set created by Gene Autry and the Sons of Pioneers in the 1940's) - to its stint as a rough-and-tumble biker burrito bar in the late 70's - through the 80's when Pappy and Harriet transformed the bar into a family-friendly restaurant/music venue - into the present day with Robyn and Linda keeping the Pappy's spirit alive while also attracting an even wider range of musical talent.

The Shoot: 79 min

Feature Thriller - USA, Directed by John Adams & Toby Poser  |  Official Site »

A fashion shoot in the desert goes horribly wrong when two hard-up rockers try their luck at robbing it.

TO NAADAM for the Races: 57 min

Documentary - Mongolia, Directed by Arete Gekas

The lens of the camera plunges into a semi-nomadic Mongolian herding community, focusing on their traditional lifestyle. The headmaster of one family, Ganbold, is a respected stallion trainer and herdsman; with some of the other men, he trains horses, teaches young jockeys to ride, and prepares them for the horse-racing competition section of the annual Naadam (festival).

Universal Language: 36 min

Romantic Short - USA, Directed by Kirsten Russell

When Dan, who speaks no French has a black-out one night stand with Sophie, who speaks no English, on his first night in Paris, finds that the only thing that could keep them together is what he doesn't remember.

Until the Southern Border is Secure: 28 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Mauricio Casillas, Cammeron Neely & Carolina Marquez

Until the Southern Border is Secure is a documentary that explores how different groups of people dedicate their lives to working along the U.S./Mexico border. The border is a polarizing area, and it becomes a central part of the identity for those that work and live by it. The film looks through the eyes of a border vigilante, a border patrol agent, a humanitarian and the migrants themselves that try to cross into the United States.

When Giants Fall: 75 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Leslie Griffith

The Ivory Trade is a cruel business. Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for its ivory. 65 percent of the continents elephants have been killed for their ivory in the last five years. Crime syndicates involved in gun, drug and human trafficking reap huge profits from the Ivory Trade. So do dangerous terrorist groups including Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army and al-Qaeda affiliated with Al Shabaab. These terrorists threaten the safety and stability of Africa and the national security of the United States.

Wildlike: 98 min

Narrative - USA, Directed by Frank Hall Green

Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska, by her struggling mother. As her mom's phone calls become less frequent, her uncle takes advantage of her, and Mackenzie decides to flee. As she plunges deeper into the Alaskan interior she is suddenly helplessly alone. A chance connection with a loner backpacker Bartlett played by Bruce Greenwood proves to be her only lifeline. As Mackenzie shadows Bartlett across the last frontier, she thwarts his efforts to cut her loose until Bartlett has no choice but to help her survive. Against the backdrop of a spectacular landscape, they discover the redemptive power of friendship.