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5:30PM - 7:30PM

"Return to Bosnia"

Feature Documentary  |  Runtime: 50:00

Country of Origin: Australia (Filmed in Bosnia / Herzegovina)

Language: English

Synopsis: Twenty-five years after fleeing a brutal civil war in Bosnia, Damir Mitric returns to uncover the pain and trauma that still divides his homeland. Now a historian living in Australia, Mitric returns to Bosnia, reuniting with family and friends, and meeting those working to rebuild a nation borne of bitter ethnic and religious divisions.

From his childhood home in Europe’s most besieged city, to a former concentration camp and to mass graves, Mitric confronts the incomprehensible: How could your neighbours turn into killers? And how can you rebuild lives and communities devastated by violence?

Director: Wes Greene

Wes is a Director and DOP who recognizes the ability of film to move and influence people like no other medium. His objective is to produce stories that have an emotive hook and challenge our everyday assumptions.

Producer: David Corlett


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"Whining Low"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 15:30

Country of Origin: California, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: An illegal Russian immigrant working the graveyard shift at a Texas gas station is faced with a moral dilemma when she identifies one of her customers as being a local child kidnapper. 

Director | Writer: Sergio Zaciu

Born in Frankfurt, Germany and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Sergio comes from an eccentric, multi-cultural background that reflects deeply in his art. A committed stage actor prior to picking up film as a craft, his younger brother, Oliver, was the one who introduced him to the idea of working behind the scenes rather than opposite the viewfinder. Directing stuck with him most due to his love for working with actors, since seeking to channel emotional responses from professional performers was the component of visual storytelling that made him fall in love with the art.

Producer: Sabina Fooks

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by Soviet Russian immigrants, Sabina has skewed away from the traditional medical/clerical career path to pursue a life of film/ television producing and production management. Realizing that her belief in the healing capabilities of entertainment could be combined with her love for managing teams and organizations, she applied to Chapman University’s film program. Now graduating from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts’ Creative Producing program, she has acquired the logistical, practical, and management skills to help visual oracles develop their stories, as well as the work management skills to make their screenplay a reality. 


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directed by Wes Greene (Australia / Bosnia)

Preceded by Short Films:

  • "Whining Low" directed by Sergio Zaciu (CA, USA)

  • "I Got You Babe" directed by Ashton Avila (CA, USA)

  • "Addle Strife" directed by Karl Ryan Erikson (NJ, USA)


Following the films, there will be a Filmmakers Q&A with attending Directors, Cast, & Crew from the films.

*All Gala tickets, Day, & Weekend passes include admission to the Opening Night After-Party. All festival tickets include free admission to the Sunday Awards Ceremony. Come join the fun!

**Planning on attending multiple film blocks? Save & buy a Saturday/Sunday All-Access Day-Pass! Available for Advanced Sale only, will NOT be sold at the door.

***For helpful information such as tickets, directions, parking, handicap access, and where to eat/stay, please visit our Attend page.

"I Got You Babe"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 26:40

Country of Origin: California, USA

Language: English

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: An ambitious young woman must decide what she is willing to sacrifice should she marry her boyfriend before midnight, to save him from the Vietnam War draft, due to an executive order signed by President Johnson on August 26, 1965.

Director | Writer: Ashton Avila
Ashton Avila was born and raised in southern California where she fell in love with storytelling and discovered filmmaking as a child. In search of adventure, she left California to study film at the University of Rhode Island where she received a BA in Film Media. She then moved back to Los Angeles were she worked for a year before returning to school. She recently received her MFA in Film Production with an Emphasis in Directing at Dodge College of Film & Media Arts at Chapman University.

Producer: Shamola Kharkar

Shamola Kharkar is originally from India, was brought up in Zambia and is currently a southern California resident. From an early age, Shamola was influenced by legendary and classic filmmakers from both Hollywood and Bollywood, inspiring her to eventually pursue filmmaking at Chapman University where she received both a BA in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing and an MBA and MFA in Film Producing. 


Film Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

"Addle Strife"


Short Narrative  |  Runtime: 09:49

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: English

Genre: War Drama

Synopsis: Two US Paratroopers, who are at odds with each other, agree to track down an injured German soldier after a failed American ambush. Their hunt leads them through the French countryside to a final standoff outside a timeworn farmhouse. It is here where the men learn that revenge comes at a price.

Director | Writer: Karl Ryan Erikson (in attendance)

Karl Ryan Erikson is an award winning writer and director from New Jersey. As a filmmaker, Karl has tackled a broad range of genres and subject matters, for which he has be recognized. His latest film, Addle Strife, is an award winning short film shot right here in New Jersey. In addition,, Karl’s first feature screenplay, Disarray Days  has been accepted into numerous film festivals, and has been nominated for Best Comedy Feature Screenplay. In 2015 Karl found Lucky Elephant films.  

Producer: Omar Portilla

Omar Portilla is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, with nearly eight years of military service with three combat tours. After leaving the military he attended Montclair State University for his B.F.A. in Filmmaking. There he concentrate on helping others with their productions by taking on Producer duties. In 2012 he started 3YRS2Life Production.  Omar is currently freelancing in the Greater New York City Area.


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