Rainier Film Festival Rainier Independent Film Festival

2014 List of Films

A Bit of Bad Luck: 86 min

Narrative - USA, Directed by John Fuhrman  |  Official Site »

Brooks Caldwell, (Cary Elwes) an erudite and handsome lawyer, seems to have it all: wealth, social status and a red hot career. His success is, in reality, a product of his marriage to his beautiful, socialite wife, Amanda, (Terri Polo) a wealthy timber heiress. Unlike most, who would remain content to enjoy a life of luxury and privilege, Brooks continues to risk everything by having extramarital affairs. Brooks' philandering, in addition to humiliating Amanda, has driven her to the point of a mental breakdown. Having been pushed over the edge, Amanda orchestrates a just and elaborate plan to bring her husband down. When Brooks leaves for a weekend romp with his latest squeeze, (Agnes Bruckner) his life quickly descends into a bizarre, nightmarish, downward spiral.

Blue: 9 min

Animated Short - USA, Directed by Katelyn Bianchini, Rena Cheng & Asia Lancaster

A fearful balloon must learn to put his fragile life in the hands of an unlikely friend.

Cement Suitcase: 91 min

Comedy/Drama - USA, Directed by J. Rick Castañeda  |  Official Site »

Franklin, the best wine salesman in the Yakima Valley, hates his life. His girlfriend is cheating on him, and he doesn't even have the self-respect to tell her that he knows. When he meets the "other guy" - who turns out to be a terrific person - he decides it's time to let go of some baggage.

Chypre: 15 min

Short Narrative - USA/India, Directed by Anish Dedhia

Chypre focuses on a woman's relationship problem with a hint of fragrance. How a middle class wife who is ignored by her husband finds herself interested in a fellow lady commuter, a mystery of growing silent rendezvous between two women.
WATCH the Trailer

Creativity, Entrepreneurship and ADHD: 13 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Robert Johnson

When you look past the negative stigma associated with ADHD, you find stories of inspiration, success, and hope.

Curse of the Sunset Starlet: 20 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Lori Precious

A struggling artist and mother gets an unexpected visit from her aging horror film actress mother who abandoned her years ago. But is her mother a drifter, grifter or ghost come to destroy her family? The Curse of the Sunset Starlet and a swarm of moths hold the secret.

Finding Hillywood: 58 min

Documentary - Rwanda, Directed by Leah Warshawski

Set amongst the hills of Rwanda, FINDING HILLYWOOD chronicles one man's road to forgiveness, his effort to heal his country, and the realization that we all must one day face)our past. A unique and endearing phenomenon film about the very beginning of Rwanda's film industry and the pioneers who bring local films to rural communities. A real life example of the power of film to heal a man and a nation.

Furever: 80 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Amy Finkel

The bonds that form between humans and their pets, the dimensions of grief people experience when they lose a pet, and the lengths to which they'll go to preserve more than a memory...FUREVER.   WATCH the Trailer

Girl: 8 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Charles Quinn Frutos  |  Official Site »

Deep in the dark woods, a girl in a cage is being held captive by a man with a knife.

Green Acres: 6 min

Short Animation - USA, Directed by James Beck

A parched tortoise wanders through a vast desert desperately in search of water. He comes across an oasis only to find that trespassers are unwelcome. Somehow he must slip past the defenses to quench his thirst.

Herd in Iceland: 28 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Lindsay Blatt

For over 1,000 years, Icelandic law has made it illegal to import horses onto the island. For that reason, Icelandic horses are a pure breed, isolated by oceanic borders. During the summer months, the horses live a remote and wild existence, grazing in the highlands and raising their young. Every September, they are rounded up by local farmers and directed across the rugged terrain to reunite with their owners. It's a breathtaking tradition that unites the country. HERD IN ICELAND, a film by Lindsay Blatt and Paul Taggart, documents the annual horse round-up. The result is a unique and moving portrait of Iceland's people, horses, and stunning landscape.

High and Hallowed: Everest 1963: 49 min

Featured Documentary - USA, Directed by David Morton and Jake Norton

High and Hallowed: Everest 1963 is the deeper story of the greatest Himalayan climb in American mountaineering history. Profiling the bold and visionary efforts of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition, the film examines the sheer commitment, step-by-step struggle and lasting impact of the first American ascent of Mt. Everest and the pioneering first ascent of the West Ridge by Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld. Five decades later, High and Hallowed journeys back to Everest to discover if the essence of risk, adventure and the unknown that drew the first Americans to the summit still exists on Everest today.

Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story: 28 min

Featured Documentary - USA, Directed by Don Sellers

HONOR & SACRIFICE tells the complex story of a Japanese immigrant family ripped apart by WWII. The Matsumoto family included five sons; two who fought for the Americans and three who fought for the Japanese. The eldest, Hiroshi (Roy), became a hero, fighting against the Japanese with Merrill's Marauders, an American guerrilla unit in Burma.

Hiroshima after the bomb
Tori Gate, off an island near Hiroshima

Into the Dark: 15 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Lukas Hassel  |  Official Site »

Two men, strapped in, back to back - a journey from Moon to Earth. Real Justice. Just Reality.

King of Herrings: 82 min

Narrative - USA, Directed by Eddie Jemison and Sean Richardson  |  Official Site »

In this Tom Waits tips-his-hat-to Woody Allen world, a group of small time wannabes banter about the rickety streets of New Orleans to find themselves in a strange tug-of-war over a childlike woman who is looking for a way out.
WATCH the Trailer

Little Hope Was Arson: 71 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Theo Love

January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside-out. Families are torn apart and communities of faith struggle with forgiveness and justice in this incredible true story.

Magnesis: 7 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Evertt Beidler  |  Official Site »

"Magnesis", Beidler's latest public performance video project, shows him moving through Portland while wearing a cumbersome steel suit, a custom steel business suit equipped with a series of electromagnets.

McConkey: 90 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Rob Bruce, Scott Gaffney, Murray Wais, Steve Winter and David Zieff  |  Official Site »

'McConkey,' examines the legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports, and the path he paved to conquer his dreams. Shane McConkey is revered as a pioneer of freeskiing and ski base jumping, and through his talent and unique, irreverent outlook on life, he inspired countless lives.

Misfire: The Rise and Fall of The Shooting Gallery: 78 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Whitney Ransick  |  Official Site »

In 1991, a group of young filmmakers banded together to make films and found great success producing Billy Bob Thornton's Academy Award winning SLING BLADE. But the company's success came at a cost and it eventually collapsed under massive debt and questionable business practices. MISFIRE is a story of passion, hubris and missed opportunity, where the question of 'what happened' is asked not just of the company, but independent film itself.

Sand Castles: 93 min

Featured Drama - USA, Directed by Clenét Verdi-Rose  |  Official Site »

A gritty and intricate tale around the cornfields of small-town Indiana. Noah and his poverty-stricken family wrestle with the mysterious return of his now mute sister Lauren, who was kidnapped and held captive for over a decade.

Sequoia: 86 min

Narrative - USA, Directed by Andy Landen  |  Official Site »
Stars: Aly Michalka, Joey Lauren Adams and Lou Diamond Phillips

Sequoia tells the story of a 23-year-old cancer victim whose plan to take her own life in Sequoia National Park is disrupted by a young man she meets on her way to the park.   WATCH the Trailer

Sheltered Love: 10 min

Student Film - USA, Directed by Alex Italics  |  Official Site »

In blissful 1950s suburbia, a lovestruck bobbysoxer and her no-good-nik boyfriend seek refuge from her overprotective and hot-headed father.

The Bath: 25 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Mark Lundsten  |  Official Site »

A woman with Alzheimer's raises havoc with her family, but manages to bestow a blessing on both her burned-out caregiver husband, and on her overtaxed adult daughter, even though she doesn't know who either of them are.

The Blinding Sea: 52 min

Feature Documentary - Canada, Directed by George Tombs

The Blinding Sea, explores the life and loves of Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), the most successful polar explorer of all time. The film portrays him not as a lone white hero of legend, but as a person who shared with the Inuit and Inupiat of Arctic Canada and Alaska and the Chukchi of Siberia. He gained vital knowledge that enabled him to navigate the Northwest Passage, conquer the South Pole, navigate the Northeast Passage and be first confirmed to have reached the North Pole. Shot entirely on location in Antarctica, the High Arctic between Alaska and Nunavut, and Mexico and Norway, The Blinding Sea is a non-derivative film affirming the values of courage, dignity and sharing of knowledge in a multicultural setting.

The CoffinMaker: 3:40 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Dan McComb

Every year, Americans bury enough metal in the ground to rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge, says Vashon Island coffin maker Marcus Daly. His simple, handcrafted wooden coffins are an economical and environmentally friendly burial alternative. But Daly believes a coffin's most important feature is that it can be carried.

The King of Size: 18 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Peter Dowd

A 40-year old bodybuilder's 17 year injury-plagued quest to reclaim his title as "Mr. New York."

The New West: 16:40 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Peter Edlund

A high school counselor tries to sweat the truth out of a mysterious new student, and as motives become foggier a traditional revenge tale becomes something else entirely. THE NEW WEST explores how the classic American western might look in the unflattering light of the modern day.

The Roar: 7 min

Experimental Short - USA, Directed by Monish Gangwani

In this lyrically haunting piece, a young man vacillates between success and self-destruction until he faces the truth of who he really is and claims his destiny.

The Shootout: 19 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Craig Muller

In the old West, the choices you make determine a path of righteousness or destruction.

The Titanic of Southampton: 13 min

Short Documentary - USA/UK, Directed by Justin Zimmerman

The Titanic of Southampton traces the lasting and haunting effects of the Titanic disaster on the town of Southampton a century later.

They Look Right Through You: 9 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Tess Martin

Whether a cat person or a dog person, you probably think you have some kind of relationship with your pet. But does your pet feel the same way?

Thicker Than Water: 15 min

Student Film - USA, Directed by Camille Kolodziejski and Sami Kubo

Abby is going through something that will transform her life forever. Can she keep her identity and be happy in a harshly judgmental society?

Tricky Bidness: 70 min

Feature Documentary - USA, Directed by JoAnn Schuch and Lynne Canning
Official Site »

Arcata is a progressive college town in Humboldt County, northern California, the heartland of American marijuana country. Marijuana growing has long been accepted in the region, but the residents of Arcata have come to realize that its biggest unregulated industry has some unexpected consequences. In the wake of legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, Tricky Bidness takes a timely, hometown look at the complexities of marijuana, culturally, legally and personally from the people who have lived with it in their community for over 40 years.

Under the Same Sun: 75 min

Feature Documentary - Israel, Palestinian Territories, USA
Directed by Sameh Zoabi

Shaul, an Israeli, and Nizar, a Palestinian, seem to have little in common, but for a shared spirit of entrepreneurship. They create a solar energy company with plans to bring renewable energy to communities in the Palestinian territories. Support for their venture is difficult to gain. From families who question them, to community members who threaten them, and government policies that make collaboration nearly impossible, Shaul and Nizar face many obstacles. Through everything, they grow to respect and trust one another. But though they continue to believe in their project, they recognize that their company cannot succeed without change. They take their story to the Internet and inspire others to work together. What began as a partnership for business becomes a partnership for peace.

Our Urban Wilderness: 24 min

Short Mockumemtary - USA, Directed by Johnny Winningham

OUR URBAN WILDERNESS is a hilarious rewriting of American history. A film that tells the story of a true national icon, the North American shopping cart. From prehistory to present modern day, Our Urban Wilderness is a comedic look at American consumerism, as well as a spoof of old 1980s nature documentaries.

Verbatim: 7 min

Short Narrative - USA, Directed by Brett Weiner

A jaded lawyer wastes an afternoon trying to figure out if a dim-witted government employee has ever used a photocopier. All the dialogue in this short comes from an actual deposition filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio.

We Are The Land: 14 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Lauren Lindberg

Amidst national controversy surrounding the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' environmental activist Pauline Matt stands alone to protect her native homeland - the Blackfeet Reservation of northern Montana.

Wild New Brave: 28 min

Short Documentary - USA, Directed by Oakley Anderson-Moore  |  Official Site »

In the 1970s, teenage misfits take to the cliffs, live out of tents, and eat peanut butter for every meal. With 16mm archival footage and campfire interviews with John Bachar, Henry Barber, Lynn Hill and more, hear how the figures who revolutionized free-climbing created a Utopia of risk and innocence.

Yakona: 85 min

Documentary - USA, Directed by Paul Collins & Anlo Sepulveda

"Yakona" is a visual experience through the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River and its headwaters at Spring Lake. Follow the river on an impressionistic journey from its point of view as it flows from source to sea, through the changing seasons, through time and memory. Experience its relationship with the natural world and its interactions with humankind. Through "Yakona", the voice of the river calls on humanity's higher nature, inspiring its protection by revealing its beauty and life-giving spirit.

Yearbook: 6 min

Animated Short - USA, Directed by Bernardo Britto

A man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before the planet blows up.