Longleaf 2019 will screen 59 juried films, and all of them will engage, enrich, and entertain you during film blocks scheduled for Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at the North Carolina Museum of History. Join us for film, fun, and community through the following 2019 Official Selections.
Festival tickets do not guarantee seating in any particular venue or for any particular film block or film;
ALL seating is on a first-available basis.
*Note: While these independent films are not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), most would fall within the PG-13 range. Films that may fall outside the PG-13 range will be noted with an asterisk.
in alphabetical order by title (A and The count as words)
click on an image to expand it
Bridget Fitzgerald, Dustin Foote
This short documentary reveals the economic impact of climate change on the Appalachian ski industry and offers insight into what the future holds for a sport threatened by global warming. Click here to watch a trailer; click here to read a synopsis from Dustin Foote Media; or click here to follow Bridget on Twitter.
A Cure for Loneliness
Technology has connected us more than ever before; yet, many of us struggle to have meaningful human interactions. Only behind closed doors do we admit to therapists and doctors the truths about our social anxieties and loneliness. Click here to view a trailer of the film. North Carolina premiere
A violin student wrestles with her motivations for studying what she loves. Click here to read a short interview with the director and hear part of an audience feedback session. North Carolina and regional premiere.
All of This!!!
A group of artists faces rejection and failure in the moments before a natural disaster in Oakland, California. Click here to view samples of projects by this director. North Carolina premiere
All Skate, Everybody Skate
Near the southern tip of Topsail Island, you’ll find a typical small town post office; but, climb the stairs to the second floor and you’ll also find a roller skating rink that is more than 50 years old. And, behind the counter of both, you’ll find Miss Doris. Click here to watch a preview of the film; click here to read a short biography of the director; or click here to follow the film on Facebook.
Life as a herder is hard and solitary, but 82-year-old Iranian Firouzeh loves her hard life, the changing seasons, and her faithful cows. This striking portrait captures one of the last female herders still working in the traditional way—an indomitable woman who ultimately chooses independence. Click here to watch a trailer.
This is the story of five women who move onto Benevolence Farm, a working farm in Alamance County that is a transitional home for women coming out of prison. We see how the women ended up in prison, as well as the gender-specific issues women face when they get out. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to read more about the project. Public premiere
In an attempt to score a one night stand, a lustful teen falls victim to a pedophile with complicated intentions. Click here to watch a trailer.
Blue and Gold Marching Machine
Follow along, from band camp to the “Greatest Homecoming on Earth,” as 200 musicians and dancers celebrate the 100th year of North Carolina A&T State University’s marching band. Click here to view other projects by this director. World premiere
Deep in the Smoky Mountains, a beaten-down drifter, unsure of his own humanity, manipulates his way into the home of two grieving siblings. Click here to view some stills from the film, or click here to watch a trailer.
Burning Cradle of Liberty
Members of the radical group MOVE were flushed from their home on May 13, 1985, when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on their house. Of the 13 people inside, only two survived. World premiere
A man and woman try to stave off an affair by confessing their deepest, darkest secrets. Click here to view a trailer for the film.
On the surface, Beau and Lena have a seemingly perfect relationship. But then, Beau’s disturbing craving for something more in life begins to emerge. Click here to watch a trailer and see credits.
Hannah can’t shake the guilt of a past mistake. Joseph is lost in his religious ideals. Esther is caught in the middle. Can God save them or is all innocence lost? Click here to follow the film on Facebook. World premiere.
A young mixed-race girl comes to find and accept herself by reconnecting with her late mother through Irish dance. Click here to read about some of the film’s accomplishments.
D.O.G. Days of Summer
Join us in the Smoky Mountains as we visit a Dutch Oven Gathering (D.O.G) with the Southeast Camper chapter. Learn why exchanging modern luxuries for cast iron makes for some fantastic cooking—and even better fellowship! Click here to follow the group on Facebook. World premiere
Chris and Lowe McKee
Donny and Clive*
Two dimwitted criminals attempt to rob a house. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to visit the video-production company website and learn more about the film.
Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind
Follow the journey of three African American singers from the hip-hop generation who found their mentor in an 87-year-old fiddler, then embraced and revived a nearly lost black string-band tradition and took music to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. Click here to read about the film and filmmaker and to watch a trailer of the film; click here to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops performing this title song in 2009.
Griffin Hart Davis
Fall of the Matador
A young matador struggles with his craft as bullfighting threatens not only his life but his emotional and spiritual existence. Click here to visit the film’s website, which includes a trailer, stills, and production information. World premiere
After two days of camping alone in the woods, a 10-year-old girl’s reality begins to blend with her favorite comic book. Click here to watch a trailer; click here to read an interview with the director, or click here to learn about the film’s origins.
When a teleportation suit malfunctions, the test pilot—a headstrong scientist—bickers with her only lifeline. Click here to watch a trailer. Festival premiere
Based on a true story, Hope features a widow with mental illness who attempts suicide and survives only to find herself homeless and unable to reconnect with her son—until a chance encounter changes her life. Click here to watch a trailer; to see some production stills and behind-the-scenes shots, click here or click here.
“I Want to Be with You in the Darkness”
One relationship. One love. One life. Two angles. Click here to hear the song (by Skylar Gudasz) that inspired this music video.
Trapped in a terrible foster home, a young boy secretly meets up with his older brother for a day of therapeutic relief. Click here to watch a trailer. World premiere
From industrial loggers, who harvest trees from ancient forests, to Sphenia Jones, a Haida matriarch who bears an intimate knowledge of her people and the ancestral territories of the Haida Nation, Juskatla weaves together the perspectives and divergent ways found on the islands of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago on Canada’s northwest coast. Click here to see some other projects by this director, or click here to read a short biography of him. North Carolina premiere
After their daughter Katie dies in an accident on the eve of her wedding, her parents plunge into depression, and Katie’s grief-stricken fiance assumes care of her dog. Now, two years later, he’s moving and cannot take the dog with him. Click here to watch a new trailer for the film.
Two best friends meld the imaginary and the real to battle dragons and confront the eternal challenges of childhood. Click here to read about the film’s origins, or click here to see some behind-the-scenes action; click here to follow the film on Facebook; click here to see other projects by this director. World premiere
When Seth receives a mysterious letter inviting him to spend a long weekend at a secluded mansion in the country, he soon realizes the people inside the house may know him better than he knows himself. Click here to view a trailer of the film, or click here to listen to an interview with the director and Adam Weppler, one of three stars in the film; click here to follow the film on Facebook.
Stuart Parks II
Produced as part of the 2018 Hampton Roads 48 Hour Film Project, this short follows a popular intergalactic match-making show—as it checks up on a previous season’s winning couple. Click here to see the director and some of its actors talk about the film, or click here to see other projects by this team.
Martin Hill: Camera Man
Hill is an unlikely curator of iconic Hollywood film cameras and production equipment that he stores in a leaking, dilapidated, former bowling alley located in his backyard, near Midland (Cabarrus County). Hock’s film is a 10-year journey that tells a story of passion and preservation, obsession, and compulsion, sacrifice and disappointment, and unmet expectations. Click here for some background on the film and a link to its trailer; click here for information on the director; click here to read some history on Hill’s collection and the director’s long-term participation.
N. C. Jones
A misfit band of girl scouts faces off with a hardened criminal while trying to hustle enough cookies to get to their national jamboree. Click here to read about the film and its crew, or click here to follow the movie on Facebook. World premiere
No Good Deed
A father and son must reconcile a fractured relationship—but during a time of ever-present danger, imposed by an unpredictable and unstable antagonist. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to follow the filmmaker and his production company on Facebook. Festival premiere
Through a collection of interviews, trial footage, home videos, and personal testimonies, No Sanctuary explores the lives of the “Emanuel 9″—those killed in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015—and their families, in search of answers only those with such experiences can provide. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to read a short article on the film’s selection to the AFI/Meet the Press Film Festival.
Daniel K. Hargrove
Nothing but Love in God’s Water
In Nothing but Love in God’s Water, the Bull City Doc Squad continues its exploration of Durham’s African-American heritage. The documentary explores the past and present of the city’s legendary White Rock Baptist Church. White Rock has been (and still is) home to many of the city’s black leaders, including the key figures that established Durham’s Black Wall Street and North Carolina Central University. The Bull City Doc Squad is a NCCU student documentary team advised by Bruce dePyssler, an associate professor in NCCU’s Department of Mass Communication. Click here to to watch a trailer, or click here to read about the project.
“Pray Me Over”
A college boy returns to his mountain home in 1960s Appalachia to claim his estranged father’s land. But he quickly learns that he’s inherited more than he bargained for when he must prove himself to his outlaw kin. Click here to hear a clip from the song by Don Clayton that is associated with this music video.
Reeves: A Home for Music
Follow the people of Elkin (Surry County), a former tobacco and textile town, as they transform an abandoned 1940s movie theater into a new music venue that celebrates the area’s rich Appalachian folk and music scene in a whole new way. Click here to read about the rebirth.
A plucky camp director named Renaldo has big plans: to build a climbing tower in an attempt to impress his father. One thing stands in his way: at night he lurks around the camp dressed as the cryptic Deer Man, a local legend in the area. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to follow the film on Facebook.
W. Jarvis Rooker
Some people never learn from their mistakes. And for those people, there’s this old cabin in the woods . . . Click here to watch a trailer. North Carolina premiere
Pilar R. Timpane, Christine Delp
Juana Luz Tobar Ortega immigrated to the United States over 25 years ago as an asylum seeker from Guatemala, but in 2017 she was told she had 30 days to leave the country or be deported. Refusing to leave her family and home, Juana took sanctuary at an unfamiliar church in Greensboro. By May 2019, Juana will have been in sanctuary for two years. Click here to learn more about Juana’s situation, and click here to watch a trailer; click here to hear more about the film, and click here to follow the film on Facebook.
A man in the Deep South must confront his prejudices when a young boy moves into the neighborhood and tries to befriend him. Click here to watch a trailer for the film, or click here to read a review. World premiere
Sound and Sole
Born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains, Arthur Grimes is the only professionally working, African American buck dancer in Boone. In this short film, he recounts some of his dance journey, from eager youth to professional master, and offers a glimpse into his performance experience while demonstrating his deep love for Appalachian music, dance, and history. Click here to view a trailer, and click here to see some background on the film and a short film of Grimes dancing in 2011; click here to read more about the film.
Lilah tries to get rid of any sign of her ex-girlfriend after their sudden breakup. Unfortunately, she can’t get untangled. Click here to view a trailer.
A man gets tired of the same repetitive job of being a teacher and gets caught up in the idea of what could have been. A high school student film. East Coast premiere
Kimberly K. Best
Where is that cat of yours going? The Cat Tracker Project uses citizen scientists to track the whereabouts of their outdoor cats. Click here to watch a trailer.
“Stir Fry with Orange Sauce,” by Jackson Honeycutt
We had several ideas for this music video, so we made them all. Click here to view other music videos and films by this director, or click here to listen to the song for this music video.
A young and fragile dancer attends a prestigious dance audition, prepared to do whatever it will take to achieve her long-term goal of becoming a professional choreographer. Click here to read about the film.
Kirk Hewitt, Takayuki Yamato
Team River Runner: Beyond Paddling
A group of Raleigh veterans finds healing for their wounds in the rivers of North Carolina—and in the support of fellow veterans and volunteer whitewater paddlers who are grateful for their service. Click here to view a trailer, or click here to follow the group on Facebook.
Temptation of Saint Francis
Two ill-matched garden statues fall in love in this animated exploration of the battle between spiritual enlightenment and physical desires. (This might be what happens in your garden when you’re not looking!) Click here to view a short clip.
The American South as We Know It
Explore the lives and experiences of African Americans who lived through the Jim Crow era. This film depicts a time when racial tension was at its peak. Click here to view a trailer, or click here to view interviews with several of the film’s stars; click here to follow the director’s journey on Instagram.
The Big Question
This coming-of-age comedy follows the journey of Emma, a sixth grader, as she embarks on a mission to understand the greatest mystery of life: the “birds and the bees.” Click here to view a trailer, or click here to follow the film’s journey on Facebook; click here to read about the film’s initial crowdfunding campaign.
The Grey Zone
Explore the complexities and absurdities that revolve around unresolved border conflicts by learning about the last land dispute between the US and Canada, a 20-acre island in the Gulf of Maine. The film will encourage you to reflect on our incessant preoccupation with borders. Click here to watch a trailer, or click here to read about the director.
In the 1950s, African Americans could not gain access to beaches along our coast. The Hammocks tells the story of a defiant friendship between Dr. William Sharpe and African American outdoorsman John Hurst. The friendship itself was an act of resistance for the time, and the subsequent story of a coastal barrier island’s journey to its place as a pristine jewel on North Carolina’s coast is surely inspiring. This is a story of how African Americans asserted their rights not only to open lunch counters and public spaces but also recreational wild places. Click here to read about the film and that area’s history.
The Mountain Minor
Life-worn Charlie Abner struggles with leaving his present life in Ohio to return to the mountain home and musical heritage that once defined him. The film’s principal actors are traditional musicians who perform all of the music—largely, traditional Appalachian old-time and bluegrass—in the film. This is an overlooked story about the people and cultures behind the resurgence of American Roots music and artful responses to the difficult circumstances of human migration. Click here to view a trailer for the film; click here to listen to the director talk about the film’s motivations, or click here to watch an interview with the director; click here to visit the film’s blog and website. North Carolina premiere
This underdog story features Alex, a young space station janitor who longs to become an astronaut, and his pessimistic custodial partner—an odd couple whose shear dumb luck has landed them aboard the Voyager PEN-15, a ship that has accidentally launched into space. Or so they think. Click here for behind the scenes footage and stills, or click here to read the director’s biography on IMDb.
When All That’s Left Is Love
With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, this film tells the emotionally gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. Along the film’s journey, we see the toll on families coping with Alzheimer’s, as well as the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers. Click here to follow the film, and its Alzheimer’s-related journey, on Facebook, or click here to learn more about the film and its journey. North Carolina premiere
Something is living in the corn field. Young Ida doesn’t know what it is, but it seems to understand her better than anyone else on her uncle’s farm. Click here to view a photo album, watch a trailer, and see some behind-the-scenes videos; click here to read about the director and her accomplishments. North Carolina premiere