More than 100 films by filmmakers from around the world and from every age group and experience level were previewed for inclusion in the 2018 Oneota Film Festival.

Films are listed in order of their showing from April 19 to April 22, 2018.

Click on the image to go to the film's site, see a trailer and get more information about each film. 

Here are the selections! 
Backgrounds are
color coded.





Use these buttons to go directly to any day.

2018 Films



Oneota Film Festival 2018 Opening Night Film Screening @The Elks Lodge, Downtown Decorah.

6:30pm  doors open.

7:00pm Screening of "Saving Brinton"


$5 Opening Night Pass or Festival Pass required for admission (available on-site or on website). Cash Bar. 

Desserts, Snacks & Cash bar.

SAVING BRINTON  (1 hr 30 mins)  

Directed by: Tommy Haines, Andrew Sherburne, USA



In a farmhouse basement on the Iowa countryside, eccentric collector Mike Zahs makes a remarkable discovery: the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to America’s Heartland. As Mike uncovers this hidden legacy, he begins a journey to restore the Brinton name that takes us to The Library of Congress, Paris and back for a big screen extravaganza in the same small-town movie theater where Frank first turned on a projector over a century ago.


By uniting community through a pride in their living history, Mike embodies a welcome antidote to the breakneck pace of our disposable society. "Saving Brinton" is a portrait of this unlikely Midwestern folk hero, at once a meditation on living simply and a celebration of dreaming big.

Discussion with filmmakers and Michael Zahs after the screening. 

Saving Brinton will be re-shown on Saturday at 1pm in Valders 206!

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2018


Valders 206, Luther College

HOMEGROWN CONNECTIONS: A collection of films with local and regional roots

Sponsored by Produce Iowa

6:00pm--To This Day: Remembering Nordic Choir’s First International Tour (1 hr 5 mins)

Best of the Fest: Student Documentary Award Winner

Directed by Aidan Spencer, Decorah, IA, USA

In May 1967, Nordic Choir embarked on its first international tour, traveling for six weeks to Norway, West Germany, and behind the Iron Curtain to East Germany. These countless stories of friendship, loss, laughter, and uncertainty all have a common thread: this was the adventure of a lifetime. 

So Damn Good: A Doctor’s Life of Love and Discovery (14 mins)

A Film by Justin Lubke, USA

SO DAMN GOOD follows the uplifting and humorous story of a 97-year-old country doctor and his life-long mission to put people above profits. From creating a hospital in the middle of nowhere to global orthopedic breakthroughs, Doc Losee, MD illuminates with his thoughts of love, life and medicine.


7:45pm-9:00pm Documentary Shorts Set 


7:45pm--Portrait: A Ballet Film in Four Movements (9 mins)

Directed by Jack Meggers

In the fall of 2017, Jack Meggers was selected as an artist in residence with Ballet Des Moines. For six weeks, he watched as they prepared for their performance. A four-part film of musical vignettes is the result. This selection is the second Movement, entitled “Make Ready.” 

7:55pm--Marieke (7 mins)

Directed by Thomas C. Johnson, Decorah, IA, USA

Marieke explores the life and craft of Marieke Penterman, acclaimed Dutch Gouda cheesemaker from Thorp, Wisconsin.


8:02pm-Q&A with the filmmakers


8:15pm--Aging in America (34 mins)

Directed by Kirk Monson

Aging in America begins by looking at the origins of an accelerated composition course that focuses on oral history and, specifically, ageism. “The way I pitch it to my students is ‘You’ll have to deal with old people’.” This poignant statement from the English professor to her writing students serves as a call to action. The students embark on a moving and heartfelt interview/writing project with older adults, encountering social injustice, cultural differences and ageism. This leads them to meaningful introspection about their own biases and misconceptions, and ultimately provides powerful insights for both student and senior. 


On Some Strange Mornings (10 mins)

Directed by Arlene Schulman

On Some Strange Mornings tells the story of Leo, a man living in Upper Manhattan who has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's. He cares for his mother who lives with dementia. Losing his words is a race against time. We learn how Leo, a former journalist, seeks to preserve his words and memory in a just under 10 minute documentary film produced and directed by Arlene Schulman.



9:00pm-10:15pm--August in Berlin (1 hr 16 mins)

Best of Fest Narrative Feature Award Winner

Directed by Becky Smith

The chance meeting of a German and a Canadian in a Berlin cafe unravels their carefully constructed lives.

Valders 362, Luther College  


6:00pm--Promise in the Sand (25 mins) 

Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers

Directed by Wendy and Jim Johnson

How would your life change if a never-ending line of dump trucks took over your neighborhood? And most of your neighbors moved away? And your wife didn’t feel safe in your front yard? We asked about that. Promise in the Sandis our short documentary about frac sand mining.


6:35pm--Life Before Fairfield (50 mins) 

Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers

Directed by Dick DeAngelis

“Life Before Fairfield” explores what happened in Jefferson County, Iowa BEFORE the first settlers arrived. Experience the impact of the great glaciers, the movement of prehistoric beasts and the traditions and languages of the native peoples of this land with interviews with archaeologists, Native American tribal historians.


7:45pm--Standing Rock Take Me From the River (29 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Denny Rauen

A glimpse into our future. An overwhelming sense of unfairness being perpetrated led to a small group of like minded activists from "Brew City" (aka Milwaukee, Wisconsin) to travel over 800 miles to Standing Rock's, Oceti Sakowin camp where protecting the water interfered with powerful oil interests. The story of Standing Rock is our future. How we treat the environment and each other is our destiny.


8:25--Life on the Ledge (14 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Marc Kornblatt

In this short documentary filmed in Israel, two laughing doves nesting outside his window capture the heart and imagination of a man mourning the recent passing of his mother.


9:00pm--Deana’s Story (11 mins)

Directed by Zach Jordan

Deana was diagnosed with dementia, in her 40's. Her daughter Cassandra creates a foundation, to help middle class families deal with the financial burden of a disease that impacts over 5 million Americans. This is a story about family, faith, and love.


9:11pm--Shoken (12 mins)

Directed by Jack Ross

'Shoken' (2017) is a short-subject documentary film on the life of Shoken Winecoff Roshi, a Buddhist monk and founding teacher of the Ryumonji Zen Monastery outside of Decorah, Iowa. Beginning with Shoken’s initial contact many years ago with Zazen meditation and Dainin Katagiri Roshi (1928-1990), a Buddhist monk based in Minneapolis, the film explores his journey to becoming ordained himself as a monk under Katagiri Roshi, and the establishment of the Ryumonji monastery. Through its exploration of Shoken's life experiences and encounter with meditation, as well as greater implications of its practice, we don't just learn about Shoken from merely a biographical perspective; rather, we are brought into his world through sound, motion, action, and drama.


Student Narrative Short Films Set

9:23pm--Pickle (22 mins)

Directed by Grant Moore

After accidentally freezing the family dog to death, Oscar attempts to make good with his soon-to-be stepson by driving the family pet’s ashes across the country.


9:45pm--Gloria Talks Funny

Directed by Kendall Goldberg

When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.


10:05pm--Character Study (12 mins)

Directed by Luke Brubaker

It all comes down to this for Tyler, a hotshot more interested in going on dates than getting good grades, as he finds himself in a forth-and-long situation with an important project due and a passing grade on the line. Tyler’s last hope is Evelyn, the girl he already rejected.


OLIN 102, Luther College


6:00pm--Depression! The Musical

Followed by Q&A discussion with the filmmaker

Directed by Keaton Fuller

Amy Borders has ended up back home after a failed suicide attempt. As she tries to rebuild her life, she takes to using musical fantasies to combat her depression.



Homegrown Narrative Short Films Set


7:45pm--Rag Dolls (4 min)

Directed by Justin and Kristin Schaack

Playtime turns into uncontrolled shenanigans when a child discovers rag dolls in an antique chest. Her imagination runs wild, but for the dolls' real-life doppelgängers, self-control is out of their hands.


7:49pm--On Account of A Hedgehog (11 mins)

Directed by Kyle Walsh

As they look ahead to their wedding day, a young couple has trouble piecing together the details of how they met and fell in love in this short mockumentary.


8:00pm--PLEA (20 mins)

Directed by Joseph Oppenheimer

A public defender has minutes to save her 16-year-old client from a life sentence for murder by convincing him to take a plea deal for a crime he only technically committed, but to defend this boy, she will have to condemn him.


8:20pm-Q&A with filmmakers


8:45pm--Gordan (3 mins)

Directed by Ian Carstens

A mesh of processing, seeking to understand the death of Carstens’s grandfather. An act of remembrance. A reinforcement of reality and feeling. Footage collected during week of mourning in Texas.


8:48pm--Denying the Wolf (4 mins)

Directed by Matt Love

Set in the northwoods of Wisconsin, Denying The Wolf is a short film dedicated to giving the instincts of a modern sporting dog the chance to be understood. For most of us, a dog is a lovable pet that lives to please through its unending loyalty. But deep inside sporting breeds resides an undeniable hunting drive and a kinship to its famous ancestors.


8:52pm--The Good News (6 mins)

Directed by Cameron Beyl & Daniel Tuch

"A short comedy about love... in all its forms."


8:58pm-Q&A with filmmakers


9:05pm--Smiley’s (17 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Mike James

A country legend becomes a waking nightmare for Mitch. His study group takes a break to the rural countryside which leads to an unusual discovery followed by obsession. A mysterious soda machine stocked by a Witch in the woods takes Mitch down a rabbit hole he may never return from.


9:35pm--Ms. Bigfoot: A Fanfiction (6 mins)

Directed by Jaime Raybin and R.D. King

An alienated teenage monster truck undergoes a feminist awakening through writing fan fiction. She experiences a lack of representation in both the real world and in mainstream pop culture. Using the internet as a platform, she constructs a universe with her own substantive meaning.


9:41pm-All Quiet on the Homefront (25 mins)

Directed by Harjus Singh Sethi

Based on the true story of Bhagat Singh Thind, one of the first Asian-Americans from India, who immigrated to the US, earned citizenship and volunteered to fight in the US Army during WW1. He comes back from the war and is discharged because a new law revokes the citizenship of Non-Caucasians. He meets a fellow soldier, Thomas Mannix, who has come back from WW1 and has no place to stay. Bhagat is initially reluctant but eventually lets Thomas stay in his home. Hearing Bhagat’s citizenship case Thomas reveals he is a lawyer and is willing to help Bhagat. The Oregon State Supreme Court doesn’t change the law but gives Bhagat an exception. However, since other Asians cannot get citizenship, this doesn’t sit well with Bhagat. Bhagat convinces Thomas to take the case to the Supreme Court. Thomas reluctantly agrees.


10:06pm-The Daze (7 min)

Best of Fest Student Animation Award Winner

Directed by Fredy Tan

Maya would do everything to protect her baby daughter from something sinister. She trusts only herself, and would do anything to keep her daughter safe from the thing.


10:13pm-Night Call (18 mins)

Best of Fest Student Narrative Award Winner

Directed by Amanda Renee Knox

When on a routine patrol, a Black female cop living in and patrolling Inglewood gets called to a disturbance she is forced to make an unprecedented life altering decision.


CFL Recital Hall, Luther College  


6:00pm--The Peace Agency (1 hr 31 mins)

Directed by Sue Useem

Lian Gogali and her 500 female students are a force to be reckoned with in the conflict torn area of Poso, Indonesia. They are part of a powerful and successful movement for peace and justice in an area that has been racked by inter-religious violence for over a decade. The Peace Agency follows her remarkable journey from her village to New York City to create The Women's School, an institution that transforms its all-female class into agents of peace and non-violent grassroots activism that has altered the course of the conflict in Poso, and possibly the future of Indonesia.


7:45pm--Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard (1 hr 25 mins)

Directed by Bryan Reichhardt

A collection of surprisingly joyful drawings created by school children living among the ruins of Hiroshima in 1947 becomes the heart and soul of this true, inspiring story about an exchange of gifts between Americans and Japanese after a devastating war. This powerful documentary about reconciliation and the power of gift, introduces the children artists  (now in their late 70s) who reflect on their early lives amidst the rubble of their destroyed city and the hope they shared through their art.


Narrative Short Film Set


9:00pm--Darkroom (8 mins) 

Followed by Q&A with filmmaker

Directed by Phillip E. Walker

in "Darkroom" an overbearing father finds his son has transformed their basement into an amateur darkroom. There the boy develops gruesome and voyeuristic images from his late-night crime scene photography.


9:15pm--FILS (14 mins)

Directed by Cyrus Neshvad

Sébastien, who cannot come to terms with his son being in a coma, begins to question his reality.



9:30pm--The Nesting Doll (13 mins)

Directed by Jeffrey Blake Palmer

The day before William relocates his mother to a memory care unit for aging seniors, his estranged brother Richard arrives to collect a box of belongings. Despite their contentious relationship, a document from their childhood inspires the men to search for a missing keepsake which might offer their mother one last happy memory with her two sons. 


9:45pm--The Cat (11 mins)

Directed by Adrian Burt

‘Rico is having a very bad day, foolishly he’s taken something he should not have from a group of gangsters and now they want it back. Stressed, upset and under enormous pressure he eventually ends up taking out his frustrations on his elderly next door neighbour and her beloved Cat “Cosmos”. This leads to unexpected consequences for him.’



9:56pm--L.A. Fadeaway (19 mins)

Directed by Meg Sutton

A young female musician in 1977 Los Angeles must prove that talent speaks louder than noise when she finds herself in an industry full of sellouts.




Valders 206, Luther College

Connecting Culture and Community

9:00am--Good Boy (7 mins) 

Directed by Rachel Beltran, Nicole Myers

A hopeful man goes on a blind date with the woman of his dreams expecting to have the best night of his life. Things seem to be going perfect, until the night takes an unexpected turn.


9:10am --Kid Flix Part 1

Short animated films from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. 

Intended for Ages 3+. All films are in English or without dialogue.


10:45am--The Pitch (23 mins)

Directed by Colin Sprigg

Ten-year-old Madison Halley is the star Pitcher of The Comets. Her father is the team manager and raised Madison to pitch, play ball, and to “never quit." Yet, he secretly plans to divorce his wife and leave Madison. In the midst of the championship game a mysterious legend from baseball’s past brings Madison a chance to see the reality of her parent's relationship, and to influence her father at his darkest hour.

For Madison Halley, everything in life comes down to the last pitch.


11:10am--Kid Flix Part 2

Short live action and animated films from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Intended for Ages 8+. All films are in English or with English subtitles.



1:00pm--Spark (6 mins)

Directed by Aharonit Elior

A girl finds someone to spark her flame.


1:10pm--Jane (1 hr 30 mins) This film was not delivered and will be replaced by a re-showing of the opening night film: SAVING BRINTON

Directed by Brett Morgen

Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives for over 50 years, award-winning director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall — a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.




3:00pm--HEROIN(E) (26 mins) 

2018 Academy Award Nominee Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Followed by Panel and discussion led by Helping Services for Youth and Families


Once a bustling industrial town, Huntington, West Virginia has become the epicenter of America’s modern opioid epidemic, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness, and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Hollow) shows a different side of the fight against drugs -- one of hope.


4:45pm--Bird of Prey (1 hr 30 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers

Directed by Eric Liner

Wildlife cinematographer, Neil Rettig, embarks on what could be the most challenging assignment of his career: to find and film the rarest eagle on the planet. Bird of Prey explores the vanishing world of the Great Philippine Eagle and reveals the people determined to save it, featuring Neil Rettig and Laura Johnson



Valders 362, Luther College  

Student Narrative Short Film Set*


9:00am--The Republican Movie (10 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Jon Navarro

Joseph Ocasta is a rising star in the GOP who’s set on shaking up the system and disrupting the status quo in Washington, DC. Along the way he makes enemies through his bullish, hard nose political stance. An assassination plot unfolds to eliminate him on election night. Life or Death becomes all a matter of a single vote.


9:20am--Stay Woke (25 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Langston Williams

On the eve of an election, the lives of a politician trying to reconnect with the people he once represented, two African American youth frustrated by a recent police killing, and a police officer who desires to do the right thing will all collide.


10:00am--Woman with an Editing Bench (15 mins)

Directed by Richard James Allen

Inspired by the woman who edited "Man with a Movie Camera" (1929), "Woman with an Editing Bench" reveals the personal impact of Stalin’s censorship of cinema on a woman navigating politics, bureaucracy and the impetuous outbursts of collaborators to create something beautiful despite the odds.



10:45am--Saving Harper Ross Episodes 1-3 (1 hr 29 mins)

Best of Fest Web Series Award Winner

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Chason Laing

Jack is stuck reliving the same day over and over and seeks help from his family and a therapist, but when their suggestions fail and Jack discovers a murdered girl, he must find a way to save the girl or end up in this day forever.


*this session will conclude at approximately 12:30pm.


1:00pm--Life in 5 (5 mins)

Directed by Wendy LaTella

A woman embraces all the love of a lifetime.

1:05pm--Bodacious Bill Bishop, Episode 1 (12 mins)

Directed by Rob Rook III

Bodacious Bill Bishop is a five-part web series about Bill Bishop, an apocalypse-fearing vlogger searching for an Alien audience.


1:17pm-Q&A with the filmmakers


1:40pm-2:26pm--Jezebel (46 mins)

Directed by Julien Bittner

Jezabel is a webseries with ten episodes of five minutes telling the story of a mute musician in search of new inspiration after getting famous on the Internet. She travels on the France and Belgium roads in search for both herself and her mother. An initiatory musical road trip.


2:30pm--The Break In (10 mins)

Directed by Rhett Thompson

Sam and Lexi, two newly paired career criminals are breaking and entering a house on a normal assignment. Personalities clash between them immediately once they are inside. Before long lights illuminate the house: the owner is back. The criminals hide quickly, unable to escape.


3:00pm--Down and Yonder (1 hr 26 mins)

Directed by Christopher Flippo

"Down and Yonder" is a story about two friends having a belated coming-of-age in their mid-twenties. When one of them becomes convinced to move away, they both begin to examine their futures. The film is about a friendship that becomes tested by time and distance, and it is ultimately a love letter to growing up in a small, Southern town.


4:45pm--Phantompain (1 hr 52 mins)

Directed by Andreas Olenberg

Two years after his brother’s deadly car accident, Finn meets senior consultant Ben Eisenberg again. Ben was the surgeon responsible that time and told Finn and his parents about the boy’s death. In the course of the journey in Finn’s taxi, Finn suspects that there is more behind his family tragedy. When he finds out that there are no medical reports about his brother in the system of the hospital he becomes suspicious. He breaks into Ben’s house and discovers that his brother neither died of heart failure nor any other natural cause.


OLIN 102, Luther College

9:00am--Score: A Film Music Documentary (1 hr 30 mins)

Directed by Matt Schrader

This documentary brings Hollywood's premier composers together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world's most widely known music genre: the film score.


10:45am--Joe’s Violin (24 mins)

2017 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Directed by Kahane Cooperman

In the award-winning short documentary film Joe’s Violin, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx school girl Brianna Perez, showing how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great impact.


11:10am--Chicago Mixtape (28 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Paola Piers-Torres

Systemic violence has resulted in 784 homicides in Chicago in 2016. Violence has become the norm for many residents, leaving a bleak future. This film explores how arts programs provide an alternative. Through the story of 13 year old Jalen, we enter into the world of spoken word, performance, and activism. Jalen and his peers are traversing every imaginable boundary, creating a hopeful future. By using poetry as a vehicle for change, these young people learn to pick up the tools of creation, rather than destruction. Alumni like Chance the Rapper are returning to Chicago, and contributing to these efforts, by using arts to change the public discourse. Without hope, there can be no change. 


1:00pm--From Seed to Seed (1 hr 27 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker     Underwritten by Patchwork Green Farm

Directed by Katharina Stieffenhofer

A diverse group of farmers are working with scientists, blending ancient traditions with cutting edge science, to develop improved methods for growing food ecologically and in a changing climate. A hopeful Canadian perspective on a Global Movement that aims to regenerate the land, farming, and communities toward a healthier future.



3:00pm--Our Mockingbird (65 mins)

Directed by Sandra Jaffe

OUR MOCKINGBIRD is a feature-length documentary that uses Harper Lee's 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird as a lens to view race, class, gender and justice -- then and now.  Woven through OUR MOCKINGBIRD is the story of two extraordinarily different high schools in Birmingham, Alabama who collaborate on a remarkable production of the adapted play, To Kill a Mockingbird.


4:45pm-Decorah High School Short Films

Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers


5:15pm-Decorah Middle School Short Films

Followed by Q&A with the filmmakers


5:30pm--Nadjeschda, the Danish-Russian American (1hr, 3min)

By Storywise, in cooperation with the Danish Emigration Archives

Around the year 1900 two young people fall in love in a village in Eastern Jutland (Denmark). The world showed them revolution, world war and poverty. Yet, they insisted on a life in the unknown. After 15 years of searching, they finally found the place, where they could settle down: near Harlan, Iowa, USA.
Despite a tumultuous life, they are gifted with a large family. One of those children was Nadjeschda Overgaard. This film is about Nadjeschda’s life and destiny--the tale of the dramatic history of Denmark, Russia and America in the 20th century. 


CFL Recital Hall, Luther College  

9:00am--Rodents of Unusual Size (1 hr 11 mins)

Directed by Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer, Quinn Costello

The residents of Louisiana never know what will attack them next: floods, hurricanes, even monstrous swamp rats. Gigantic orange-toothed nutria are eating up the coastal wetlands, destroying the landscape, and threatening the very existence of the human population. This invasive South American species breeds faster than the roving squads of hunters and trappers can control them. But the people who have lived here for generations are not the type of folks who let their land—and their livelihoods—recede into the Gulf without a fight. Meet fisherman turned bounty hunter Thomas Gonzales and a pack of colorful diehards as they defend their land, culture, and way of life against the unforgiving forces of nature. It is man vs. rodent. May the best mammal win.


10:45am--Writing My Own Happy Ending (1 hr 14 mins)

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Joseph Cabosky 

The Durham VOICE is a community newspaper, written by teens, that serves low-income neighborhoods. This tale follows mostly black teen writers on a trip to Ocracoke Island where they meet the older, white staff of another paper. The experience helps the students realize how much power they already have.


1:00pm--All Love Schmidt (1 hr 42 mins)

Directed by Lars Pape

„All Love Schmidt“ is a documentary movie about a remarkable person, Bruno Schmidt, 51 years old and a passionate bicyclist, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – an incurable disease. Bruno got the diagnosis ALS in December 2014 and has one remaining big dream: a bicycle tour through Germany to encourage others with the disease, and to drive the awareness for ALS.


3:00pm--Uranium Derby (1 hr 23 mins)

Directed by Brittany Prater

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Uranium Derby is a feature-length documentary about a young woman’s look into an experiment gone wrong—the American nuclear experiment. 

The story, centered in Ames, Iowa, begins with a curious native filmmaker (Brittany Prater) casually looking into her hometown’s highly secretive involvement in the Manhattan Project. Interrupting this history of World War II heroics is Dr. Johanshir Golchin, an Iranian-American environmental engineer who tells of a youth sports complex contaminated with radioactive waste. A story of controversy and cover-up unfolds much like a chain reaction as the film builds to its national story of unintended environmental consequences. 


4:45pm--The U Turn (58 mins) 

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker

Directed by Luis Argueta

The third documentary in Luis Argueta's immigration trilogy (ABUSED: The Postville Raid, ABRAZOS), THE U TURN tells the transformational journey of the immigrant workers who broke the silence about the abuses they endured at the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, and the community that would not abandon them. The most personal of his three films, THE U TURN captures the 9-year involvement by the director in helping to create a more human rhetoric about immigration.

FILMMAKERS' RECEPTION: T-Bock’s Upstairs, 206 west water street, in downtown Decorah

7:30pm--Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. Cash bar.

Filmmaker introductions and awards, followed by film screening

8:30pm--Losing Sight of Shore (1 hr 32 mins)

Directed by Sarah Moshman

Underwritten by Decorah Hatchery

LOSING SIGHT OF SHORE follows the extraordinary journey of four brave women known as the Coxless Crew that set out to row the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia unsupported. As they row over 8,000 miles during their nine months at sea, they face extreme mental and physical challenges they must overcome in order to go down in history. This is a story of perseverance, friendship, and the power of the human spirit. Everyone has a Pacific to cross.


SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2018

Valders 206, Luther College
“Connecting with Our World”

12:00pm--Honda Film: Clarity on Charging

Electric vehicles have arrived. Now you can drive great distances with your plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.  Hybrid Guru Chris Schneider takes you on a charging tour of the driftless region


12:30pm--An Inconvenient Sequel (1 hr 40 mins)

Directed by Jon Shenk, Bonni Cohen

A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes — in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.


2:10pm--Building the Agricultural City (16 mins)

Directed by Emily Tope

A centralized economy doesn't work for most rural Americans. The Building Agricultural Cities series demonstrates the need for rural Americans to collaborate in developing a self-sufficient, productive economy to ensure their survival.


2:30pm--Tomorrow (Demain) (1 hr 22 mins)

Followed by a panel/discussion

A film by Melanie Laurent and Cyril Dion

Tomorrow sets out to showcase alternative and creative ways of viewing agriculture, economics, energy and education. It offers constructive solutions to act on a local level to make a difference on a global level. So far, no other documentary has gone down such an optimistic road...TOMORROW is not just a film, it is the beginning of a movement seeking to encourage local communities around the world to change the way they live for the sake of our planet. Underwritten by Citizens for Decorah Power.

Q & A and panel discussion


VALDERS 362, Luther College

Documentary Short Film Set


12:00pm--A Bridge Between Two Worlds (51 mins)

Directed by Pascal Gélinas 

A Bridge Between Two Worlds relates how Muslim and Catholic farmers, on the Island of Flores, Indonesia, unite, overcome poverty and enhance their environment with the support of North American and European families. This astonishing chain of solidarity builds a living bridge between our two hemispheres, at a time when foreign aid is too often being questioned.


12:51pm--Bells in the Mountains (15 mins)

Directed by Sebastian Lasaosa Rogers

Two hundred cows from the town of Ulle make the three-day journey up the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees mountains at the start of the summer.


1:17pm--My Garden, No Longer (17 mins)

Directed by Scott Schimmel

The people of Vanuatu, a country once dubbed the happiest place on earth, face a grim future as climate change threatens their culture and traditions. My Garden, No Longer gives voice to the people of Malekula Island in Vanuatu as they discuss the impacts that climate change is having on their lives.


1:35pm--A Jump Across the Atlantic (6 mins)

Directed by Becky Holt

The de Koning family immigrated from Holland to farm mussels in Maine with the same techniques they've been using for seven generations. Their success depends on the heartiness of their crew and the conservation of the rugged Maine coastline they've made their home.


1:41pm--Return from Desolation (11 mins)

Directed by Justin Clifton

Return from Desolation is the story of Garrett Eaton, an Afghan war vet, oilman, and river guide who has fought his way back from addiction and certain death through the wild serpentine rivers of the American Southwest. While this is a story of renewal, forgiveness and healing, Return from Desolation is also a bridge between what we think we know and the nuance of what it means to be human in a complex society. Through Garrett's experience, we see the importance of wild, public landscapes to help us all find our way home.


1:52pm--The Park in Ramallah (10 mins) 

Best of Fest Documentary Short Award Winner

Directed by Philip Hopper

The Muntazah Ramallah, or the park in Ramallah is very different from what many in the West see of the West Bank. It is a safe place for children to play and adults to relax. However, it also raises complicated questions about what constitutes "normal" in an occupied territory.


International Films from Egypt

2:10pm--Contact (14 mins)  by Hassan Rida 

2:25pm--Life’s Eye (24 mins) by Wafaa Hussein

2:50pm--Warda Nahas (18 mins)

by Nihad Kamal


3:10pm--Rural Route Films

THE POACHER: Dir. Nicholas Jones. 2016, 12 min. Documentary. London, England.  John hunts and forages in the wilderness within the city limits of London for game and produce that has become popular in the city’s trendy restaurants.


KALB: Dir. Franz Maria Quitt. 2017, 7min. Narrative.  Tyrol, Austria.

A young boy learns the ways of the farm from his grandfather, and on his own.


THE RABBIT HUNT: Dir. Patrick Bresnan. 2017, 12 min. Documentary. Pahokee, FL.  Chris and his family set out for the fields of the Everglades’ largest industrial sugar farms, where rabbit hunting is a rite of passage.  


3:40pm--Kar Taneleri/Snowflakes (36 mins)

Directed by Elif Nur Kayalar

“Snowflakes" is about people with albinism living in Turkey. Their social relations, personal affairs, and education lives are affected by albinism. This documentary contains interviews with albino people and their parents. While they speak about their unique experiences, the position of state and the role of Albinism Association, Turkey comes into prominence too.


OLIN 102, Luther College 

12:00pm--Inocente (40 mins) 

Directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine (42 mins)

In San Diego, a young teenage girl’s eyes stare into a compact mirror. She paints a dramatic black swirl around her eye. She never knows what her day will bring, but she knows at least it will always begin with paint.

INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.


12:40pm--Denial (57 mins)

Directed by Derek Hallquist, Anoosh Tertzakian (57 mins).

The CEO of an energy company sets his family in flux with a staggering secret while dealing with a larger world crisis at work. Denial tells exactly the kind of complex, deeply personal story about climate change we need at this moment. A dynamic and passionate film that wrestles with many of the conditions of contemporary human existence…A risky personal narrative of gender transition that reaches well beyond ‘traditional’ environmental documentaries.


1:40pm--Such a Free Life (19 mins)

Directed by Julie McElmurry

Many movies about people who live in monasteries treat them as strange and quirky beings. This movie is about women telling their own stories in their own words. I've worked with, lived among and befriended many women religious (aka nuns) over the years. I was thrilled when the women of the Monastery of St. Clare agreed to let me spend time with them in February 2017 and August 2017 collecting interviews and images to make a movie. 


2:10pm--It’s Just a Gun (14 mins)

Directed by Brian Robau

Imagine in the life time of a gun all the hands it passes through. It's Just A Gun is just one chapter in that story. When a young boy named Gabe finds a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, it will set in motion a series of events that will change him forever.


2:25pm--Bride of Frankie (19 mins)

Best of Fest Narrative Short Award Winner

Directed by Devi Snively 

In this darkly comedic feminist nod to Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN set in 1937, a not-so-mad scientist builds a mate for her mentor’s lonely creation with electrifying -- and deadly -- results .



2:45pm--Bill Evans Time Remembered (1 hr 27 mins)

Directed by Bruce Spiegel

Bill Evans Time Remembered is a 90-minute documentary film, produced by Bruce Spiegel which tells the story of Bill Evans’ turbulent life and his contribution to jazz music. The film was self-funded by the producer who traveled and interviewed approximately 40 people over a 7 year period of time. Several well renowned musicians are included in the film including Tony Bennett, Dr. Billy Taylor, singer Jon Hendricks, and jazz pianist Bill Charlap. The film also compiles a wide range of historical information about the jazz pianist including his first TV recording which appeared on CBS Look Up and Live in April 1958, playing Come Rain or Come Shine.

CFL Recital Hall, Luther College


12:00pm--Sailor, Sufi, Spy (55 mins)

Directed by Raeshma Razvi 

Sailor, Sufi, Spy is a documentary portrait of Robert Darr —a teacher of traditional wooden boat building and of traditional Sufi spirituality in Northern California. As he restores the Freda, the oldest wooden sailboat on the West coast, he reflects on the intersections between art, beauty, adventure and spirituality.


1:00pm--Daughters of the Forest (56 mins)

Underwritten by Corbin Group

Directed by Samantha Grant

DAUGHTERS of the FOREST tells the powerful, uplifting story of a small group of girls in one of the most remote forests left on earth who attend a radical high school where they learn to protect the threatened forest and forge a better future for themselves. Set in the untamed wilds of the Mbaracayú Reserve in rural Paraguay, this intimate verité documentary offers a rare glimpse of a disappearing world where timid girls grow into brave young women even as they are transformed by their unlikely friendships with one another. Filmed over the course of five years, we follow the girls from their humble homes in indigenous villages through the year after their graduation to see exactly how their revolutionary education has and will continue to impact their future lives.



2:15pm--Two by 4 (6 mins)

Directed by Ian Bondurant

A young tree attends its first day of public high school.


2:21pm--Kokota: Islet of Hope (29 mins)

Directed by Craig Norris     UNDERWRITTEN BY STEVEN NELSON

Our ability to adapt is only limited by our ability to learn. Mbarouk Mussa Omar is from a small East African Island called Pemba. Nearly ten years ago he visited a tiny neighboring islet called Kokota and was shocked by what he saw. Kokota was teetering towards collapse, and Mbarouk knew climate change and deforestation were the culprits. He desperately wanted to help Kokota, but what could one poor man from Pemba possibly do? Kokota: The Islet of Hope tells the story of Mbarouk's quest to help Kokota. This inspirational film promises to leave audiences around the world believing that simple solutions really can have huge impacts. 


2:50pm--Dempsey the Diabetic Superhero

Directed by Kendall Goldberg

Meet Dempsey Foxson — a spunky, 10-year-old competitive gymnast who refuses to let her Type 1 Diabetes affect her dreams.


3:03pm--Jura: With Deep Roots in Their Land

Best of Fest Documentary Feature Award Winner

Directed by KUNZI

A portrait of three Swiss organic farmers of the mountains

                    CELEBRATE EARTH DAY

5pm--Earth Day Celebration


Oneota Community Coop/ Water Street Park, Downtown Decorah

Food, music, and environmental/sustainability demonstrations

Oneota Film Festival | PO Box 15, Decorah, IA 52101 | 563-265-1646 | | 


|Hosted by Luther College | 700 College Dr., Decorah, IA 52101

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-googleplus

© 2017 Oneota Film Festival, Inc.