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NFFTY: <em>What’s Good 206</em> Staff Picks

We review our favorite films from the 2017 National Film Festival for Talented Youth lineup.

April 24, 2017

This year’s NFFTY Film Festival runs April 27–30.

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<a href="/abby-shalawylo">Abby Shalawaylo</a>

Forever Home

I loved the documentary, Forever Home. Hearing these kids talk about the trials they faced in the foster care system at such a young age opened my eyes to their lives of heartbreak and hope.

The documentary centers around a California couple’s commitment to providing a “forever home” for the 10 children they adopt out of the foster care system. Despite their own hardships and challenges, these kids lives are forever changed by the couple’s dedication and love for them. What I appreciated so much about this film was that it shows what can happen when people choose to reach out to the community around them.  It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes: “You cannot change the world, but you can change someone’s world.”

Forever Home

Sunday, April 30, 2017
6:30 p.m.
Uptown Cinema 1
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Smile

The music video Smile is a captivating film that tracks a woman as she revisits the important places in her life, reliving the pivotal memories from each place. This video ponders the question: What is life?, showcasing those small, special moments of excitement, adventure and passion that remain with us no matter how much time has passed. Explore those moments that pull us back from everyday trials and chaos, bringing us back to the heart of it all. 

image for Smile

Smile

Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cinerama Theater
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<a href="https://kcts9.org/gabriela-capestany">Gabi Capestany</a>

Frankie Keeps Talking

For me, Frankie Keeps Talking was a flawless short film from start to finish. The concept of a “manologue” is truly relevant and hilarious to watch unfold on screen — I promise you’ll be cracking up the entire time. The style is quirky and the pace is quick. Be sure to catch this gem at NFFTY’s opening night this year!

image for frankie keeps talking

Frankie Keeps Talking

Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cinerama Theater
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I’m Free

I’m Free is an incredibly moving documentary about a man named Geir Karijord, who went missing in Romsdal Valley, Norway in 2013. The film examines Geir’s shaky life, along with interviews of his family and friends. You slowly learn how Geir’s disappearance affected an entire community. When it began I thought this would be your typical search and rescue-type film but then it turned into something else, something much more human and emotional. Buy your ticket to the centerpiece gala to experience this incredible film.

I'm Free

Saturday, April 29, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Uptown Cinema 1
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<a href="https://kcts9.org/paris-nguyen">Paris Nguyen</a>

Jesse Eisenberg Uses the Urinal

Alec Brown, the helmsman behind Jesse Eisenberg Uses the Urinal, is a visionary whose only mistake was releasing this film at the beginning of his filmmaking career — because I don’t think he can go up from here.

Brown’s edgy, short film brilliantly dissects the inner psyche of a pop-culture icon at the top of his game, showing the world that even our most beloved heroes are not without flaws. Jesse Eisenberg Uses the Urinal is disarmingly clever, refreshingly strange and a definite festival standout.

In the film, Jesse Eisenberg is a man of countless talents. He’s changed the face of social networking, double-tapped his way out of a zombie apocalypse and poured a fresh glass of Granny’s peach tea for a parched Clark Kent. But there is one thing that Jesse Eisenberg can’t do. And you’ll just have to watch during NFFTY’s The Last Laugh screening to find out what that is.

Jesse Eisenberg Uses The Urinal

Friday, April 28, 2017
10:30 p.m.
Uptown Cinema 1
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<a href="https://kcts9.org/programs/producers/jen-germain">Jen Germain</a>

Northern Belles

Northern Belles will have you laughing so hard, you may shoot popcorn through your nose. The first in a web series directed by 24 year-old Lael Rogers, the best features of this hilarious film are rooted in its characters.

Played with a perfect balance of exaggeration and relatability, actors (and script writers) Maddie Downes and Isabela de Campos deliver comedic performances reminiscent of Zoe Deschanel’s New Girl.

Quirky best friends Alex O’Neill and Dani da Silva are awkwardly navigating love in their twenties. While both characters are busy handling their own hilarious dating blunders, this film is less about finding love and more about friendship. Though perhaps wacky in their methods, one thing is clear: These friends would do anything for one another.

image for Northern Belles

Northern Belles

Sunday, April 30, 2017
11:00 a.m.
Uptown Cinema 2
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Still Here

Still Here, directed by Ryan Kreston, is a visual storytelling at its best. The film follows a young man struggling with loneliness in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone else is frozen in time. He is the last person alive.

Apart from its gorgeous cinematography, this film impressively achieves the “show, not tell” rule of quality filmmaking. The gloomy atmosphere perfectly reflects the character’s isolation and dismay. Utilizing only voiceover, each shot takes you through an emotional journey as the main character searches for signs of other life on Earth.

image for still here

Still Here

Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cinerama Theater
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<a href="https://kcts9.org/desirae-hayes-vitor">Desirae Hayes-Vitor</a>

Seven Dates With Death

Seven Dates With Death is a documentary about finding hope and courage in a life flooded with pain and sorrow. I was brought to tears by this film for its ability to capture Moreese Bickahm’s incredible faith with a raw authenticity. Holland does a remarkable job at crafting an intimate film, taking viewers through a range of heartbreaking emotions.

image for seven dates with death

Seven Dates With Death

Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cinerama Theater
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Hell You Talmbout

I have never experienced a film produced with such raw emotion and yet so little dialogue. In Hell You Talmbout, Tyler Rabinowitz does a marvelous job capturing the power and pain that emerges when unarmed black lives die at the hands of police officers. The beauty of tap dance coupled with the sheer passion of the dancers perfectly captures the emotions of such a sobering, impactful issue.

image for Hell You Talmbout

Hell You Talmbout

Sunday, April 30, 2017
6:30 p.m.
Uptown Cinema 1
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