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Kevin Conner

Senior programmer

“I am constantly amazed by the power of storytelling and its ability to produce emotion. Compassion, joy, wonder, laughter, and heartbreak- I believe you can find these in all of the selections in this year's festival. But here are a scattering of films that produce feelings particularly delightful to bask in.”

kevin’S PICKS:

MORMOR & I LOVE YOU, I’M SORRY
Family Ties / Reclaiming Me
Matthew MacDonald - 23 | Washington / Ariel Grier - 21 | Washington

"Family is complicated, but someone wise once said it means no one gets left behind or forgotten. As these two filmmakers explore the intricacies of their relatives, you can't help but be bowled over with the idea that these could be your own.”

YOU’RE GONNA BE OKAY
Opening Night Gala
Catherine McCord - 19 | Virginia
"At times making a film feels like it takes us to the edge of our perseverance, and then sometimes life finds a way to put that all into perspective. This is a film about the strength it takes to find yourself that makes you feel fortunate to have found it.”

PLAYHOUSE
Family Ties
Kerry LeVielle - 23 | New York

"Growing up and staying young has never been such a tightrope for 3 women of 3 different generations under one roof.”

AH GONG
Family Ties
Clifford Miu - 24, Linhan Zhang - 21 | Taiwan
“So rare to see this subject and situation be treated with such boundless sensitivity. Like the main character, this filmmaker feels wise beyond their years.”

SCENES FROM A HIBACHI RESTAURANT
After Hours Absurdity
Stephen Musumeci - 23, Raymond Knudsen - 23, Jacqueline Xerri - 22 Millicent Louise Jenkins - 22 | Florida

"Mix together:

- a shake of date night
- a dab of a birthday party
- a girls night out
- and the full Patriots game

 A fly on the wall look at the bizarre subplots unfolding in a Hibachi restaurant with the tone of something like the Netflix show This is Where I Leave You. Folks might remember this director from his short The Orthodontist's Son last year, and the same unique blend of irreverent, cringy but wholly hilarious setups can be found here.”