Destiny City Film Festival

Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021

Tacoma, WA 98401

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Schedule of Events

Narrative Features

Beast Beast

Director: Nick Ravich
Running Time: 7
Recently returning to New York City after several years of living in Sweden, artist and storyteller Bryan Zanisnik comically chronicles the highs and lows of life as a contemporary artist, discovering a love for mushroom foraging and the pleasures of inner stillness along the way.

Take Out Girl

Director: Hisonni Johnson
Running Time: 99
Tera Wong delivers Chinese food for her mother's struggling restaurant located in the "Low Bottoms," an infamous Los Angeles project. And everyone around her, including her unpredictable brother (Saren), are financially trapped in this crime and violence-ridden neighborhood. That is until, Tera takes a job from the local drug Kingpin, moving his "product" inside her takeout food boxes. With the cash rolling in, Tera intends to move the family restaurant to the suburbs and go clean. But after a series of tragic events, the dream that Tera built on a foundation of lies, may crumble.


Director: Sevgi Hirschhäuser
Running Time: 106
Toprak is the dramatic story of a simple family in rural Turkey dealing with poverty, family traditions, and religious heritage. Since the death of his parents, the teenage Burak has lived with his uncle Cemil and grandmother in a remote Turkish village. The small family unit has been trying to make a living by selling fruits. While the religious Cemil is satisfied to live his life in poverty, Burak struggles to leave for the city and attend university. When grandmother falls sick, both Burak and Cemil have to make tough decisions that will change their lives forever.

Documentary Features

Dave Not Coming Back

Director: Jonah Malak
Running Time: 95
In October 2004, two cave divers and long-time friends, Don and Dave, dive in Boesmansgat, a mythical cave in South Africa. Dave was breaking a world record for depth. It would take them 15 minutes to reach the bottom, but 12 hours to surface. Once he touched bottom, against all odds, Dave finds a body.
The two friends decide to come back and retrieve it. They call the parents, enroll 8 support divers, and hire a cameraman to document the historic dive in its entirety – from the preparation on the surface to the operation at the bottom of the cave.
Little did they know that, from that dive, Dave would not be coming back.
In a time of over-performance driven by self-promotion and self-filming, Dave Not Coming Back is a story of loss and mourning where ego and altruism, hubris and self-control, risk-taking and spirituality all go hand in hand. A chain of paradoxical choices that lead to a tragedy long foreseen, yet impossible to prevent.

The Donut King

Director: Alice Gu
Running Time: 90
Ted's story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It's the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut.
Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979 he was living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls.

The Falconer

Director: Annie Kaempfer
Running Time: 76
This intimate portrait film follows master falconer Rodney Stotts on his mission to build a bird sanctuary and provide access to nature for his stressed community. The Falconer weaves Rodney's present-day mission with the story of his past, both of which are deeply rooted in issues of social and environmental injustice, and consistently orient the viewer to his worldview: nature heals. The Falconer captures beauty and hope in a forgotten corner of our nation's capital, as Rodney takes the time to break through to those too often dismissed as "hard to reach". This is a story of second chances: for injured birds of prey, for an abandoned plot of land, for a group of teenagers who have dropped out of high school, and for Rodney himself.

The River

Director: Rick Walters
Running Time: 91
The River is a documentary about how communication and purpose play into the success and failures of managing the homeless encampment in Aberdeen, Washington. Director Rick Walters goes to The River Camp to live with and talk with the displaced inhabitants to search for meaning in their experience, and to find catharsis for his own battles with addiction and security.

Surviving the Silence: The Untold Story of Two Women in Love who Help Change Military Policy

Director: Cindy L. Abel
Running Time: 79
Surviving the Silence tells the story of two women in love who played a part in changing military policy, shining light on the unknown history of how a closeted colonel forced to expel an Army hero for being lesbian did so in a way resulting in re-instatement via federal court.

DCFF After Dark shorts program (74 min, for Mature Audiences Only)

Sunday Dinner

Director: Kevin Mead
Running Time: 14
After the recent death of their parents, a passionate Italian-American family reunites to enjoy their customary Sunday dinner. But one of them has a major confession that threatens to unravel their beloved tradition.

Woodland Cemetery

Director: Niels Bourgonje
Running Time: 10
A photographer has the assignment to shoot Skogskyrkogården, a cemetery located in the woods of Stockholm. There she sees an old woman placing a lantern on a grave. When the photographer shoots a picture of this very private moment, she soon finds out that this haunting image is more haunted than she bargained for.


Director: Tone Ottilie
Running Time: 19
16-year old Frede goes with her queer older sister to a hardcore gay techno party to try and win back her ex-girlfriend Rosa. When this goes wrong, she decides to follow her sister's less romantic advice on how to get over your ex and not be a "babydyke". This leads to Frede violating her own boundaries and results in a big confrontation between the two sisters. In the end Frede can finally go through with her original plan – but does she really want her ex back?

Tooth Fairy

Director: Alice Bédard
Running Time: 2
A young boy hears some noises at the end of the corridor. Seems like the tooth fairy came…


Director: Seora Hong
Running Time: 4
Losing all reason to live, a man stands on the precipice of life and death.
A man who feels like he has lost all reason to live. As he stands on the precipice of life and death, he faces an unexpected situation that may just save his life.

The Internet Kills

Director: Ari Costa, Eren Celeboglu
Running Time: 8
Euphoria meets The Ring. When Victoria and her friends discover an app that kills you, they accidentally unleash something truly evil…


Director: Matt Porter
Running Time: 16
After a break-up with his long time girlfriend, Charles explores parts of his sexuality that he never allowed himself to explore before.

Real to Reel shorts program (82 min)

Bryan Zanisnik's Big Pivot

Director: Nick Ravich
Running Time: 7
Recently returning to New York City after several years of living in Sweden, artist and storyteller Bryan Zanisnik comically chronicles the highs and lows of life as a contemporary artist, discovering a love for mushroom foraging and the pleasures of inner stillness along the way.

Say You Will

Director: Mariel Sosa
Running Time: 18
Following his release from the juvenile hall at fourteen, Jeovany "Jeo" Salgado finds out he is subject to a gang injunction – a secretive law enforcement tool that will follow him for the rest of his life.
Fast forward to fourteen years later, his mother and youngest brother unveil Jeo's chronicle and how their three lives were shaped by the enduring abuse of the criminal justice system in America.

All for One

Director: Luke Grigg
Running Time: 12
As part of the 1% of Asian American females playing her sport, it seemed as if UCLA women's basketball player, Natalie Chou, would never have a role model to look up to on the court… but that hero was closer than she thought.

Los Otros

Director: Monica Pendergrass, Eric Baldetti
Running Time: 13
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Americans are deported from the United States to "their country of origin" every year. What happens to these "non-citizens" after they return to a country they barely know? The short documentary Los Otros profiles three such undocumented individuals as they rebuild their lives in Mexico City. Separated from family and starting all over with nothing, they attempt to forge new lives in the shadow of a broken immigration system and a country not prepared for their return

Endure the ****

Director: Isaac Mead-Long
Running Time: 16
A short documentary that tells the story of two disabled military veterans, Danny and Frances, who go out sailing together in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Ava & Bianca

Director: Rachel Fleit
Running Time: 14
Ava Benjamin Schorr and Bianca Cline are cinematographers who also happen to be trans women. The film explores who they are beyond their trans identity, what it means to be a female cinematographer and last but certainly not least, what it means to be a woman in this moment in time. Ava & Bianca explores the complex dimensionality of identity, the magic that unfolds when two people can find deep identification with one another, the experience of feeling seen and understood and the power of two women forging ahead in a very difficult landscape, as women, as trans people and as cinematographers.

Around the World in 83 Minutes shorts program (83 min)

Roseline Like in the Movies

Director: Sara Bourdeau
Running Time: 15
Roseline is a renowned actress with an impressive career. After a lifetime on camera, she gets ready to play her greatest role yet. Fiction and reality blur together, surfacing a deeply buried secret—then: lights, camera, action.

Director: Élodie Dermange
Running Time: 4
Inès is facing a difficult choice, this evening she thinks a last time about the decision that she will make.

Good Thanks, You?

Director: Molly Manning Walker
Running Time: 13
In the aftermath of an attack, Amy is left voiceless, trapped in a whirlwind of incompetence. She must find a way to confront what has happened, in order to save what matters to her most.


Director: Georgi M. Unkovski
Running Time: 19
After an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, Dejan falls into a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father.

The Music Video

Director: Camille Poirier
Running Time: 14
In order to be in her older brother's music video, Clara, a 13-year-old tomboy, agrees to undergo a radical change of style. She soon notices that this transformation changes her brother's friend's behaviour towards her.

Red Bean Soup Director: Kadi Tsang
Running Time: 18
In the backdrop of present-day New York, the film follows a couple in their 70s who immigrated from Hong Kong, happily married for decades. The husband (Chun), who has been suffering from Dementia, has slowly forgotten his wife (Lin). Harkening to the old days in Hong Kong selling their iconic Red Bean Soup, Lin hopes to bring her husband's memory back through the nostalgic bowl of this heartwarming desert.

The Stories We Tell shorts program (92 min)


Director: Haley Elizabeth Anderson
Running Time: 18
After seeing a boy she likes before church, Amber sneaks out to the Sunday school bathroom during the service and is given her first kiss.

Lost Kings

Director: Brian Lawes
Running Time: 16
Searching for food, a boy breaks into a neighborhood home. But when the homeowners return, he becomes trapped inside with those he's stealing from.

AJE IJO SERIES (4th Installment Finale): Immortal

Director: Kiana Harris
Running Time: 14
‘AJE IJO' Short Dance Film Series centers the humanity, resiliency, vulnerability of Black & African diasporic people [of all genders], interrogating the western gender binary and interrupting accompanying notions of masculinity and femininity. Our individual and collective complexity, survival, thriving, and ultimately our healing as a people are at stake, and compel the elaboration of this narrative. To this end, the ?lm elicits elements of spiritual cosmologies of the African diaspora, particularly those that emerge from the Yoruba divine consciousness, Ifa, and the Orisa (deities) that comprise it.

The Shift

Director: Laura Carreira
Running Time: 9
Anna, an agency worker, takes her dog for a morning walk before doing her shopping. Searching through the discounted items, Anna wanders through the supermarket trying to find the most affordable necessities. As her groceries edge towards the checkout, her agency calls; she has lost her shift. The Shift aims to capture the vulnerable condition of a temporary worker and to reveal the immediate consequences of the dangerously short and ever-present distance separating employment and poverty, security and tumult.

Skipping Shorewood

Director: Evan Kubena
Running Time: 8
A lovable small-town musician decides to take up the family mantle of becoming a professional athlete.

Dolapo Is Fine

Director: Ethosheia Hylton
Running Time: 15
Soon to leave her very British boarding school, Dolapo is pressured to conceal her natural hair, and to change her name in order to get a job in the City. D?láp?? buys a wig, but the hair leaves her questioning its uncertain origins and she is forced to reconsider her own assumptions about identity.


Director: Zach Woods
Running Time: 12
David needs help. So does David.

NFFTY 2020 Showcase (63 min)


Director: Ciani Rey Walker
Running Time: 18
When they learn their friend has kidnapped a cop on the night of MLK Jr.'s assassination, two sisters and leaders of the Black Panther Party must set aside their differences to navigate one of the most turbulent nights in history

What We See In the Clouds

Director: Barb Hoffman
Running Time: 7
A lonely animator seeks companionship through asking her friends to tell her what they see in cloud pictures. She then proceeds to animate their visions.

The Mood in the United States Today

Director: Ward Kamel
Running Time: 13
When a live-in nurse fears her immigration status is in jeopardy, she reluctantly agrees to her elderly patient's Green Card marriage proposal — and must quickly learn to navigate the shifting dynamics of the relationship.


Director: Claire Gostin
Running Time: 14
In the midst of a rebellion in the Republic of Congo, two young women must grapple between their political allegiances and their love for each other.


Director: Moira Fett
Running Time: 11
A dystopian story of two young girls who face mounting pressure from their school's administration after a moment of sexual experimentation is documented by the body cameras pinned to their uniforms.

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