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2008 Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival: Official Lineup

This is the first year I’m listing Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival based in Bay City, Michigan, but it’s the festival’s third year in existence. While not quite an “underground” film festival, HHM has screened and is screening this year several films that have played at the underground fests regularly covered on the Underground Film Journal. It runs this year Oct. 2-5.

Looking over this year’s extensive lineup, which is posted in full below, there’s several films I’d be real interested in checking out. The only real traditional Underground Film Journal shout out I can make is for Kenneth Hughes’ short film The Tapster. I haven’t seen this particular film by Hughes, but we’re fans of his around these parts, so I’d definitely be at the screening for this.

A couple filmmakers, including Hughes, have raved to me about HHM saying it’s a really fun festival to attend and a great venue at which to screen. I’m not listing the music section of the fest, but the film side looks great:

Oct. 2
8:00 p.m.: More Shoes, dir. Lee Kazimir. Heeding some advice from Werner Herzog, director Kazimir walks for six months from Madrid to Kiev and documents the entire trip.
Screening with: Yellow Sticky Notes, dir. Jeff Chiba Stearns

Oct. 3
4:30 p.m.: Alaska Far Away: The New Deal Pioneers of the Matanuska Colony, dirs. Paul Hill & Joan Juster. A look back at FDR’s New Deal program that sent 202 destitute Midwestern farmers to Alaska to get a new lease on life.

4:30 p.m.: “Body Language Short Film Series”
Salvation, Texas, dir. Mark Apicella
Square Pegs, dir. Ben Hicks
The Insides of a Lamb – Loin Shank Cut, dir. Jesse Saunders
The Tapster, dir. Kenneth Hughes
The Universe Connection, dir. Phillip Chernyak
Cracked Quarters, dir. Greg Scott

6:30 p.m.: Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, dir. Patty Sharaf. Clint Curtis knows a little something about rigging an election. That’s because he caught a Florida congressman trying to buy rigged voting software!

6:30 p.m.: Partes Usadas, dir. Aaron Fernandez Lesur. A 14-year-old Mexican boy turns to dealing in stolen car parts in order to raise enough money to emigrate illegally into the U.S.

6:30 p.m.: Dakota Skye, dir. John Humber. A teenage girl has the superhuman power to see the truth behind every lie she hears, so of course she’s going to fall in love with the only person she’s ever met who never lies: Her boyfriend’s best friend.

9:00 p.m.: Leaving Barstow, dir. Peter Paige. A conflicted high school senior wants to leave his hometown behind and see the world, but can’t decide if he can leave his mother and his new girlfriend behind.

11:00 p.m.: The Vampire Diaries Part 1: Thicker Than Water, dir. Phil Messerer. Lara didn’t mean to kill her sister Helen. She also didn’t mean for Helen to come back as a vampire!

Oct. 4
11:00 a.m.: Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, dir. Patty Sharaf. See 10/3 at 6:30 p.m. for description.

11:00 a.m.: Song Sung Blue, dir. Greg Kohs. A documentary about Michael and Claire Sardina, also known as Lightning & Thunder — a Neil Diamond tribute band.

11:00 a.m.: “Big Picture Short Film Series”
The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay, dir. Michael Ramsey
Inside Every Moment Is Another Moment, dir. Kacey Morrow
pea vs. carrot, dir. Ben Hicks
Mallow, dir. Kara Ulseth
Come Back Sweetheart, dir. Chang-Pei Wu
Red Princess Blues Animated, dir. Dan Cregan
Sleepwalker, dir. Michael Randolph
Cantata in C Major, dir. Ronnie Cramer
An Unquiet Mind, dir. Chihwen Lo
The Hijab of Dena, dir. Erika Rydell
Kite, dir. These People
El Tux, dir. Paco Farias

11:00 a.m.: “New Explorations Short Film Series”
Permutation, dir. Viktoriya Gruzdyn
Night in the Underworld: A Selection From Rome in a Day, dir. Diana Salmonson
The Janesville Baby, dir. Daniel Kettler
Matter, in a quiescent state, prepares itself to be transformed., dir. Kwibum Chung
The Untethered Citizen, dir. Alix Duggins
Water Wings, dir. Tim Rooney
To Where the Water Will Carry Her, dir. Christy Rubenstein
Faces of Community, dir. T. G. Fredericks
One Nation Under Steelers, dir. Jessica Mosley
Back on the Corner, dirs. Allison Taich and Tracy Rausch
Phantom Limb, dir. Tom Willerer
Imancifi Pulsifi, dir. Eric Carden
No Air House, dir. Marco Cordero

1:00 p.m.: Margin of Victory: Saginaw Valley’s Role in Winning World War II. A look the role companies such as General Motors, Defoe Shipbuilding and Dow Chemicals played in helping the U.S. win WWII. A production of Delta College Quality Public Television.

1:00 p.m.: More Shoes, dir. Lee Kazimir. See 10/2 at 8:00 p.m. for description.

1:00 p.m.: Partes Usadas, dir. Aaron Fernandez Lesur. See 10/3 at 6:30 p.m. for description.

3:30 p.m.: Vanaja, dir. Rajnesh Domalpalli. Vanaja is a 15-year-old Indian girl who gets a job in her landlady’s house where she becomes the object of affection to the woman’s son, which defies the local social traditions.

3:30 p.m: Student EFEX: The Story of Bilal, dir. Sultan Sharrief. A teenage boy is expected to work at his family’s Detroit taxi stand, but instead secretly applies to college behind his family’s back.

3:30 p.m.: Leaving Barstow, dir. Peter Paige. See 10/3 at 9:00 p.m. for description.

6:00 p.m.: Run for Your Life, dir. Judd Ehrlich. This documentary tells the improbable true story of Fred Lebow, the fanatical runner who founded the NYC Marathon, but only got to run in the race once.

6:00 p.m.: Bitter and Twisted, dir. Christopher Weekes. A family struggles to hold onto its sanity after its eldest son dies.

6:00 p.m.: “Sound Off Short Film Series”
PSA: The Series, Episode 1, The Pilot, dir. Matthew Waynee
PSA: The Series, Episode 2, Baby Go Goo, dir. Matthew Waynee
Plain Us, dir. Amir Motlagh
HONK YOU VERY MUCH, dir. Olivier D. Asselin

8:30 p.m.: The Auteur, dir. James Westby. Arturo Domingo is one of the top porn directors in the business who suffers an ignominious weekend when he accepts a lifetime achievement award.

11:00 p.m.: Reel Zombies, dirs. David J. Francis and Mike Masters. A pair of inept horror movie directors tackle their biggest project yet: A movie set in their own world where zombies have really come back to life.

Oct. 5
11:00 a.m.: “New Explorations Short Film Series”
See 10/4 at 11:00 a.m. for film list.

1:00 p.m.: Run for Your Life, dir. Judd Ehrlich. See 10/4 at 6:00 p.m. for description.

1:00 p.m.: Bitter and Twisted, dir. Christopher Weekes. See 10/4 at 6:00 p.m. for description.

1:00 p.m.: “Body Language Short Film Series”
See 10/4 at 4:30 p.m. for film list.

3:30 p.m.: Dakota Skye, dir. John Humber. See 10/3 at 6:30 p.m. for description.

3:30 p.m.: “Big Picture Short Film Series”
See 10/4 11:00 a.m. for film list.

8:30 p.m.: The Auteur, dir. James Westby. See 10/4 at 8:30 p.m. for description.

6:00 p.m.: Hell Drivers: America’s Original Crash Test Dummies, dir. Peter Koziell. Old-fashioned and just plain old rural daredevils try to drum up business traveling to county fairs all over the midwest.
Screening with: Rex, dir. Damian Foley

For more info, please visit the Hell’s Half Mile official site.