No Ordinary Place

Quiet and cerebral, the poetic contemplations of community and family that comprise No Ordinary Place remind viewers of the inescapable influence of environment on identity. Whether their cameras are trained on the rocky coastlines of a far-flung Grecian island, or the overgrown front yards of a fading Texas neighborhood, the filmmakers behind these elegant documentaries and experimental shorts are united in their preoccupation with landscapes and lives in flux.

The Island Man

Alex Morelli | Durham, NC | 21 min
Genre: Student, Documentary Short

Though he is long gone, buried on the Greek island he left behind as a teenager, John remains a painful mystery to his former wife, children, and grandson. On rediscovering his home movies, the family begins to reconcile the troubled man they knew with the person he might have been.

Medusa & the Abyss

Felicity E. Palma | Los Angeles, CA | 11 min
Genre: Experimental Short

Rhythmic, sensory, and laced with wry humor, this probing experimental short (shot on gorgeous color film) grapples with questions of language, travel, and history, with the sundrenched Italian island of Sicily as its backdrop.

East Side

Carlo Nasisse & Patricia Nogueira | Austin, TX & Mexico City, Mexico | 10 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Pet rams, streetside accordionists: East Austin is certainly not lacking in character. But as Texas’s capital city gentrifies, the neighborhood’s spirit fades. This melancholy documentary is the second film by Indie Grits alum Carlo Nasisse to screen in the festival— Coby & Stephen Are in Love appears in On Love & Other Connections.


Eastern State

Talena Sanders | Sebastapol, CA | 5 min
Genre: Experimental Short

Archives speak volumes—and not just about their subjects. This found footage experimental short from Indie Grits alum Talena Sanders draws on decades of color and black-and-white material, all shot in mental health institutions around the United States.

Little Saluda USA

Lillian Burke & Amada Torruella | Columbia, SC | 13 min
Genre: Documentary Short

In Saluda, South Carolina, established Latinx immigrants and generations of Black and white residents coexist in isolation. A poetic analysis of place and gaze, this documentary witnesses the rural South and showcases a collage of experiences from 21st-century America.

When It Is Still

Anna Kipervaser | Sharjah, United Arab Emirates | 10 min
Genre: Experimental Short

An array of beguiling images—from insect wings to coin slots, carnival lights, and beyond—comprise the latest experimental short from Indie Grits alum Anna Kipervaser, a silent response to her 2017 short And By the Night.


Blue & Gold Marching Machine 

Jen Hughey, Aly Vermillion, & Nathan Burton | Asheboro, NC | 18 min
Genre: Student, Documentary Short

From the early stages of rehearsal, to their final performance during the “Greatest Homecoming on Earth,” this immersive documentary short follows the musicians and dancers of North Carolina A&T State University’s marching band in their quest for excellence on and off the field.

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