The 2nd HIDFF

The Anxious Taxidermist - A Musical
The story of Marie, a young woman who uses her secret passion for rogue taxidermy to cope with debilitating anxiety. She needs a job and the opportunity to preserve a Hollywood Has-been's deceased pet Shih tzu may just be the answer. But will taking her art public destroy its power to calm her ever present anxiety?
Directed by Jeff Dickamore
Written by Aurora Florence and Jeff Dickamore
Cast: Aurora Florence, Shaunna Harmon Thompson, Alex Diaz, Rachael Winegar

Captain Mira Bernhard is finally home after a lengthy mission to the new planet, GAIA - humanity’s last hope. But what’s only been a 5-year trip for her, has been 45-year wait for her husband.
Directed by Soma Helmi
Written by Soma Helmi
Cast: Sheila Cutchlow (The Wire, NCIS Los Angeles, The Baxters), Patrick Gorman (Avengers: Endgame, Gettysburg)

Augustus, a literate, escaped slave masquerading as a free man in Massachusetts just prior to the Civil War, experiences nightmares of his son's death and a future America that resembles the struggles of his own time. Augustus soon realizes the horrors of slavery and racial inequality will only continue if he remains complicit. He’s left with one choice; speak out or risk his freedom.
Directed by Jon Alston
Written by Ayinde Howell, Story by Jon Alston
Cast: Ayinde Howell (BROOKLYN 99), Michelle Mitchenor (CHI-RAQ, LETHAL WEAPON), Patrick Cage (WESTWORLD, THIS IS US, ALL AMERICAN, MANHUNT)

The Celine Archive
Adulteress, traitor, heroine, or prey? In 1932, Celine Navarro was buried alive by her community in Northern California. This film digs up her story. The filmmaker, a grieving mother, with a long-term commitment to exploring race, gender and immigration, digs up Celine Navarro’s story, exposing silences that haunt Filipinx American communities today, along with Celine Navarro’s family, community members and scholars who know different details about this largely untold event in American history.
Directed by Celine Parrenas Shimizu
Written by Celine Parrenas Shimizu
Cast: Dawn Desuacido, Henie Navarro, Tootsie Reyes

Con Dios
Seventeen-year-old Pablo Sanchez is an aspiring architect longing to go to college. But with no clear path to citizenship, Pablo's growing anxiety causes him to take actions that go against his moral code.
Directed by Carlos Ibarra
Written by Carlos Ibarra
Cast: Kevin Balmore (The Dishwasher, Short Term 12, Get the Gringo, The Sitter), Eliud Kauffman (Bel Canto, Hands of Stone), Reza Salazar (Daredevil, Sweat), Illiana Guibert (Quantico, Blue Bloods)

The Crickets Dance
If ANGIE LAWRENCE, 30s, an attorney and southern beauty, ever hopes to find love she needs to do two things: let a man walk her to the door and let go of the past. She sadly gets the opportunity to do both when her dear friend MISS CLAUDIA (80s) passes away and leaves her a stunning southern antebellum mansion.
Directed by Veronica Robledo
Written by Veronica Robledo
Cast: Kristen Renton (Sons of Anarchy, Days of Our Lives), Maurice Johnson (The Vampire Diaries, For better or Worse, Hawaii Five-O, Devious Maids), Sandra Lafferty (The Hunger Games, Walk the Line)

The Eagle's Nest
During a night of debauchery, Paris and Samantha discover 5 million euros in a hotel room. Later, a thief breaks into Paris’s house, kills her mother, her sister and leaves her for dead. With nothing else to lose, what begins as a search for the truth quickly turns into violence and disturbing revelations. In a world full of lies and deception, will Paris be able to uncover the truth about the murder of her family?
Directed by Olivier Assoua
Written by Olivier Assoua and Magno Assoua Adeline
Cast: Felicity Asseh, Claude S Mbida Nkou, Richard Essame, Axel Abessolo

The salmon have returned to their spawning grounds and left behind the next generation of their kind. One of this generation, however, is something of a late bloomer. Despite being pitifully puny compared to his brothers and sisters, he's about to prove that size doesn't matter.
Directed by Tyler Cunningham
Written by Tyler Cunningham

Erika is questioning her boyfriend Donovan’s fidelity. She finds out after talking tea with her best friend Krystal and her cousin Sharon that the answer to Erika’s problems can also be her breaking point.
Directed by Bryan Bostic
Written by Bryan Bostic
Cast: Yazzmyn Shelby, Terri Wright, Fatou Villane

Honeymoon tells the story of a newlywed couple on their first night together, made all the more awkward, romantic and honest, because they only just met.
Written by Amy Aniobi
Cast: Tayo Elesin, Tomiwa Edun

Hot Flash: The Chronicles of Lara Tate Menopausal Superhero
The story of woman going through the change who must learn to harness the symptoms of menopause as a source of power, as a way to combat evil, as a way to get through it.
Directed by Danny Woodburn
Written by Amy Buchwald and Danny Woodburn
Cast: Amy Buchwald (Conan, White Trash Xmas, Pretty Bad Actress), Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld, Watchmen, Death to Smoochy), Mike Hagerty (Friends, Speed II)

In the Shadows
Ash's journey to finding the long-avoided source of her wounds and addiction.
Directed by Charmaine Bingwa
Written by Charmaine Bingwa
Cast: Charmaine Bingwa (Trees of Peace), Damon Herriman (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood), Millie Samuels (Alex & Eve), Aleah Cunningham (Party of Two)

I Resign
“I Resign” is the first public short film about Institutional Racism that received over 343,000 views on Youtube within 7 days! It is alarming to note that anti-national, anti-constitutional ideas of racism and race superiority are spreading fast in the land of freedom, especially in enterprises, threatening the very own foundation this great country was built upon. This short film is a look into the question - Is racism spreading in United States now?
Directed by Jay Mohan
Written by Jay Mohan
Cast: Manoj Pillai

January 14th
A young, black couple’s anniversary takes a bittersweet turn when a police officer pulls the husband over on a questionable traffic stop. Inspired by true events.
Directed by La'Chris Jordan
Written by La'Chris Jordan
Cast: Jasmine Runnels, Tyree Jamar, Tabitha Mitchell, Brian Badolato

Natural Management
A couple navigates crippling grief after their first miscarriage.
Directed by Kelsey Landon
Written by Brynn Mitchell
Cast: Cherie Jimenez, Victoire Charles

Ole, Benni und der Rest des Universums
The fact that his friend Benni has Down Syndrome had never bothered Ole. But when Ole falls in love for the first time, it becomes a challenge to stand by his friend.
Directed by Anna Ludwig
Written by Anna Ludwig
Cast: Leopold Schill, Frederik Dahnk, Helena Prison, Ferdinand Ranninger

The One and Only Jewish Miss America
“The One and Only Jewish Miss America” is the surprising story of Bess Myerson, the talented beauty queen from the Bronx, and how she won the world’s most famous beauty pageant 75 years ago, at the tail end of World War II. The film follows Bess, the middle daughter of poor Russian immigrants, from her childhood in a one-bedroom Jewish housing project apartment through the suspense-filled pageant. Impressed by the college-educated musician, the judges chose her in spite of anonymous threatening phone calls and sponsor disapproval of a Jewish pageant winner. On her 1945 Miss America tour, Bess faced antisemitism and closed doors at race-restricted venues which did not allow Jews. It is also a story of courage as her disappointment turned to determination, leading Bess Myerson to start her own tour to teach tolerance at high schools and colleges around the country -- a tour which launched her lifelong passion for justice.
Directed by David Arond
Written by Codi Ruttenbur
Cast: Barra Grant

A young black male encounters a police officer while walking home. Juxtaposed with a race in a track meet, the boy runs for his life.
Directed by Amiri Scrutchin
Written by Amiri Scrutchin

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