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Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival Announces Official Selections for 21st Edition, April 5-7

Fifty-seven films from across the country, all with an Iowa Connection, will be screened at the 2024 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, April 5-7, 2024 at the Collins Road Theatres, 1462 Twixt Town Road, Marion, Iowa. 

A panel of judges awarded these films Official Selection status from a field of 102 entries. Films to be shown at CRIFF (as it is known among filmmakers) include short and feature length narrative, documentary, and freestyle works from students, hobbyists and seasoned professionals. Freestyle films are those that fall outside traditional narrative or documentary, such as music videos, prose, and film art.

“There truly is something for everyone. We screen a wide variety of genres: dramas, comedies, documentaries of all kinds, music videos and more,” says Festival Director, Eric Dean Freese. He believes CRIFF offers more than just a day at the movies. “Watching ‘motion pictures’ is an activity that many of us share. At our fest, you’ll enjoy engaging with unique stories and characters you may not find in mainstream cinema. Viewing the world through another person’s lens can not only be entertaining, but also is a fantastic catalyst for empathy and understanding.” 

Many filmmakers will be in attendance, and films will be followed by Q&A. Other attractions are forthcoming. “We are working on some fun event-within-the-event opportunities for filmmakers and audiences, and hope to announce those shortly,” Freese says.

Official Selections

II Amendment – ProAm Short – Ciro Fusco – Portland, OR

29 Years, A Second Chance At Life – ProAm Documentary – Steve Saunders, David Salzberg – Omaha, NE

90 Pounds of Butter – Student Documentary – Austin Reimer, Ella Thome, Zach Booth, Troy McKay – University of Minnesota, Mounds View, MN

A Century of Citizenship – ProAm Documentary – Gabriel Fink, Ashton Nanke, Spare Card Media – Cedar Rapids, IA

Agnus Dei Music Video – ProAm Freestyle – Jean-Francois Charles – Iowa City, IA 

Arcades & Love Songs – The Ballad of Walter Day – Professional Documentary – Ed Cunningham, Seth Gordon, Jonathan Perkins – Long Beach, CA 

Automated Confession Service – Student Freestyle – Ethan Jon Ahrens – University of Northern Iowa, Waterloo, IA 

Before Our Eyes – Student Documentary – Matthew Williams, Joshua Payan, Loras College Creative Media Studies – Loras College, Dubuque, IA 

Behind Everyman – ProAm Short – Brittany Benedict, Demian Alan Mancino, Kevin Shepherd – Coralville, IA 

Blue Christmas – Professional Narrative Feature – Max Allan Collins, Chad Thomas Bishop – Muscatine, IA 

Bonicel – Professional Documentary – Nick Ford, Bruce James Bales, Rhys Davis, Easton Koch – Des Moines, IA 

Charlotte’s: A Love Story – Student Narrative Short-Form – Libby Perry, Emily Surma – Loras College Creative Media – Loras College, Dubuque, IA 

CRIMSON ARCHER a G.I. JOE Fan Film – ProAm Feature – Pierre Doanetto, John Doanetto, Eric Bench, Chris Hansen – Clive, IA 

Dear Liza – Professional Narrative Short – Adam Harper, Sydney Davis – Atlanta, GA 

Devil’s Due – ProAm Short – Jacob Daniels, Kevin Shepherd, Mediaverse Studios – Marengo, IA 

Drawn – Professional Narrative Short – Ty Clancey, Bo Clancey – Los Angeles, CA 

DUNK – Student Freestyle – Jack Joseph McCarthy – Eldridge, IA 

Friendly Faces – Professional Narrative Feature – Keaton Marshall Fuller, Landon Sheetz, Joey Loboda, Spencer Michael Smith, Marissa Vonn, Bruce James Bales, Matthew Tribble, Ron Reynolds – Iowa City, IA 

Genesis – Student Freestyle – Dillon Jacobson- University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 

Hell’s Gold – Student Narrative Short-Form – Kathryn Christensen, Wyatt Debban, Hannah Pedersen, Frumble Films – University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 

I’m Listening – Student Narrative Short-Form – Nick Hull – University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 

It’s Not Weather – Professional Narrative Short – Ashton Nanke – Cedar Rapids, IA 

Jamiroquai Has No Friends – ProAm Short – Kazek Israni-Winger, Abby Bjorholm – Cedar Rapids, IA 

Knee High – Professional Narrative Feature – Marissa Vonn, Bruce James Bales, Michael Ridley, Dakota Carpenter, Kalena Clarkson – Agency, IA 

Layaway – Student Narrative Short Form – Kaitlyn T. Busbee, Hanna Gray Organschi, Kai Swanson – NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Brooklyn, NY 

Life in Color – Student Documentary – Kendra Gauge Hefner – Harvard Extension School, Winfield, IA 

Lightbulb – Student Narrative Short Form – Hannah Meyer, Mark Newcom – Waldorf University, Forest City, IA 

Lightsaber Battle – Student Narrative Short-Form – Palmer George LeVake – Cedar Rapids, IA 

Limits – ProAm Short – Courtney Grawe, Dave Grawe – Davenport, IA 

Lost in the In-Between: Graduating into 2020 – Professional Documentary – Ryan Adams, Jenna Galligan, Jake Maish, Danny Wilcox Frazier – Iowa City, IA 

Martian Encounter – Professional Freestyle – Paul Hunenemann – Cedar Rapids, IA 

melancholia – Student Freestyle – Artie Kerchmar – Loras College Creative Media – Loras College, Dubuque, IA 

Milkshake – Student Narrative Short-Form – Ai Tomita Bly, Erik Martinez Gonzalez, Ashley Valenzuela – San Jose State, San Jose CA 

Never Lose – ProAm Freestyle – Josh Booth, Tyrone Thomas – West Des Moines, IA 

Origin Point – Professional Short – Tony Joseph Cross – Taylor Ridge, IL 

Outlaws: A Poem – ProAm Freestyle – Jason Cox, Tiffany Iskander, Whitney Montgomery, Gregg Voegtlin – Pleasant Hill, IA 

Parsons – The School that Changed the Rules – Professional Documentary – Dick DeAngelis, Fairfield Productions – Fairfield, IA 

Parts & Pieces – Professional Documentary – Bruce James Bales – Des Moines, IA 

PAW – Student Narrative Short-Form – Timothy Tindle, Martin Blythe, Noah Miller – Loras College Creative Media – Loras College, Dubuque, IA 

Posthumous – Professional Narrative Short – Jon Gollner, John Otterbacher – Chicago, IL 

Resurrecting Forest Grove – Professional Documentary- Kelly Rundle, Tammy Rundle, Fourth Wall Films – Moline, IL 

Romantics & Rebels – ProAm Freestyle – Roxanne Jones – Cedar Rapids, IA 

S’mores – Student Narrative Short-Form – Matt Chezum – Augustana College, New Windsor, IL 

Shift: The RAGBRAI Documentary – Professional Documentary – Courtney Crowder, Kelsey Kremer, Carol Hunter, Kathy Kieliszewski – Des Moines, IA 

Suffer in Silence – ProAm Short – Brittany Benedict, Demian Alan Mancino, Allison Noelle, Bradley Cerny, Taylor Gholson, Adam Rudisill, Garrett Sandoval, Jolie Stratton, Cintree Films – West Des Moines, IA 

Tama Flint: A Meskwaki Tradition – ProAm Documentary – Oogie Push, The Meskwaki People – Minneapolis, MN 

The Family You Choose – ProAm Short – Sabryna Papagni, Alan Mancino, Mediaverse Studios – Cedar Rapids, IA 

The Inside Singers – Professional Documentary – Daniel Kolen – Chicago, IL 

The Kids’ Table – ProAm Short – Stephen Folker, Beth Ann Hinde – Cedar Rapids, IA 

The King of Berry – Student Narrative Short-Form – Nathan L Gusman, Gage M Dawson – Wayne State University, Wahoo, NE 

The Salvages – Professional Narrative Short – Carrsan T. Morrissey – Cedar Falls, IA 

Thick as Thieves – Professional Narrative Short – Spencer Michael Smith, Bruce James Bales – Des Moines, IA 

This is He – Student Narrative Long-Form – Leak Rebekah Bennett, Blake Bodlak – Wayne State University, Wayne, NE 

Tillie – ProAm Short – D Andrew Hartfield, Noelle P. Wilson, Tillie Hartfield – Hudson, WI 

We Joined A Cult – Professional Narrative Short – Chris McInroy, Stacey Bell, Kris Phipps, Matthew Thomas, Jarrod Yerkes – Austin, TX 

Wheel of Death – Professional Narrative Short – Patrick Boberg – Des Moines, IA 

Why Not Me? – Student Documentary – Libby Perry, Emily Surma – Loras College Creative Media – Loras College, Dubuque, IA 

Unique to CRIFF is that all entries must have an Iowa Connection, which could include: A crew or cast member who lived, worked or went to school in Iowa; a film that was produced, at least in part, in Iowa; or a story featuring an Iowa subject or Iowan (present or former, real or fictional). Each film will screen twice over the weekend, and compete for 27 Eddy Awards, including Gold and Silver in 12 categories, Audience Choice, and Iowa Connection, at the Eddy Awards Ceremony, presented by Farmers State Bank, following Saturday night’s screenings. 

Student filmmakers will be celebrated at Student Cinema Sunday, April 7. Their films will compete for the $1000 Collins Road Theatres Scholarship, as well as the Student Audience Choice Eddy, voted on by all attendees and awarded following Sunday’s screenings. 

Tickets are available through the Collins Road Theatres box office. Full event passes are $35 adult/ $25 student; single sessions are $10/$8 in advance. Student Cinema Sunday student tickets are $5 in advance. Schedules, film information and festival details are available by clicking right here.

The Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival’s mission is to encourage independent filmmakers with Iowa ties to continue improving their craft, to provide a place to specifically showcase their films, present a unique cultural event to the community, and to offer networking opportunities for the purpose of building connections between Iowa-connected filmmakers everywhere.

In addition to Collins Road Theatres and Farmers State Bank, CRIFF is supported by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, ProduceIowa, Wired Production Group, ImOn Communications, Sweetopia Emporium, Uptown Coffee Co., Adobe Express and R&D Events. 

For more information, visit crifm.org.

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