H-E-A-T-H-E-R (Francesca Mirabella, Kylah Benes-Trapp, Co-Writers/Co-Directors). Heather, a young, racially ambiguous artist, confronts questions of identity when she becomes a part-time babysitter for 11-year-old Jayda. Their dynamic prompts Heather to explore the limitations of her persona as she voyages into other realms of her imagination through fantasy, alternate realities, and moving collages.
LIFE ON sMARS (Laramie Dennis, Writer, Director; Jenna Cedicci, Producer). Six aspiring astronauts are sealed inside a solar-powered dome, attempting to simulate life on Mars. When Dana’s helmet malfunctions on the first spacewalk — depriving her of precious oxygen — she and her teammates have a critical decision to make.
ROSA (Suha Araj, Writer/Director; Maryam Keshavarz, Producer). While working at her aunt’s flower shop, Rosa takes her job underground when she begins a side business of shipping undocumented bodies to their home countries for burial.
EL TIMBRE DE SU VOZ (Gabriella Moses, Writer/Director; Shruti Ganguly, Producer). Yaneris, a Dominican teenager, plots a way to escape her hometown of Sosúa, where becoming an escort seems to be her only fate. After unexpectedly falling in love with her client’s son, she decides he may be the ticket to a new life — for both her and her disabled sister.
WHAT IS YOUR SOUL PURPOSE? (Jennifer Cho Suhr, Writer/Director; Carolyn Mao, Producer). A sheltered Korean American family travels to Atlanta to retrieve the body of their son after he passes away from an accidental overdose. In the depths of their grief, they find an unlikely connection and momentary solace with the African American family who owns the mortuary.
This year, Master Class Advisors include costume designer Stacey Battat, casting director Ellen Chenoweth, writer/director Debra Granik, composer Laura Karpman, and cinematographer Rachel Morrison.