Cinequest Film Festival 17 - Maverick Competition

Cinequest Film Festival 17 - Maverick Competition

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Experience the Revolution

Cinequest 17 brings the most exceptional and riveting independent cinema to San Jose. Audiences from all walks of life will discover a gem to make them wonder how they ever lived without it.

Filmmakers from around the world seek entrance into the festival, which promotes the work of independent artists who deserve to be spotlighted for their innovative style and powerful voice. Cinequest is committed to empowering film artists with access to an inquisitive audience and the most cutting-edge technology.

The Cinequest experience fosters an audience bestowed with Maverick inspiration and passion to discover the newest emerging voices in cinema. The result is a festival that captures the spirit of diversity and innovation—independent cinema at its best.

The essence of Cinequest’s theme is captured in the line-up of this year’s Maverick Competition. With myriad films representing each page of the atlas, Cinequest dares you to find the uniqueness in each of them.

With 15 features, 12 documentaries and over 70 short films, this year awards will be given for: Best Feature Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Animated Film, Best Short Documentary, and Best Student Film with the highest honor of Maverick Spirit given to the worthy candidate that exhibits the qualities of supreme innovator, with the audacity to take film to a new level.

Additionally, Cinequest is honored that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected to recognize the Cinequest Film Festival as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category for the annual Academy Awards®. Recipients of the Best Short Narrative and Best Short Animation prizes will qualify for consideration for an Academy Award®.


Narrative Features

Narrative Feature Competition

Border Post

The Bothersome Man


Hand in Hand

Hitler Meets Christ


Midnight Clear


Pao's Story

Parting Words


The Road

Swedish Auto

You Are Here

Narrative Feature Jury is comprised of the following members:

Dale Djerassi
Dale Djerassi, president of Djerassi Films, Inc., has produced and directed documentary films, including Nada Será Como Antes (Nothing Will Be As It Was), about the return of jazz musicians Flora Purim and Airto Moreira to Brazil,  Bhutan—A Strange Survival, the story of a unique Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas and Oil on Ice, about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the controversy over drilling for oil there.  Mr. Djerassi co-produced (with Barbet Schroeder) Koko—The Talking Gorilla, a feature-length documentary about the famed sign language-speaking gorilla. He produced ‘68, an independent feature film set in San Francisco in the turbulent year of 1968.  He, also, executive produced The Horse Dealer's Daughter, a short feature adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence story. Additionally, Djerassi has produced plays: An Immaculate Misconception at the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco and Primary Stages in New York, Calculus at the Performing Arts Library & Museum in San Francisco and Lies Have Been Told in London and Edinburgh.  Mr. Djerassi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Stanford University where he also studied documentary film production. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco and is a founding trustee of both the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California and the Vanguard Public Foundation in San Francisco.

Robert Hawk
Robert Hawk, advisor to filmmakers and festivals, has his own business—ICI (Independent Consultation for Independents)—and been a part of the film scene for 24 years.  Hawk served on the Sundance Film Festival's Advisory Selection Committee for its entire existence (1987-1998), and been on numerous festival juries, foreign and domestic.  He has curated film series for,the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Kennedy Center, the de Young Museum (San Francisco), and the International Documentary Congress (Los Angeles).  Hawk founded San Francisco's Film Arts Festival, showcasing independent filmmakers of Northern California.  He has consulted on films as varied as Moises Kaufman's Laramie Project and Terry George's Some Mother's Son, as well as many documentaries, including Oscar winners/nominees Common Threads, In The Shadow Of The Stars, My Architect, The Times Of Harvey Milk and Troublesome Creek.  Producer credits: Ballets Russes, Chasing Amy, Slaughter Rule, Trick.

Susan Tavernetti
Susan Tavernetti (M.A., School of Cinematic Arts, USC) teaches film studies in the Film/TV Department at De Anza College. An award-winning writer, her film reviews and feature articles appear online and in The Palo Alto Weekly and its five sister publications serving the Mid-peninsula, Marin County and the East Bay. A film historian, she has published articles in the anthology Hollywood’s Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film and the quarterly journal Film & History, as well as contributing numerous essays to the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Susan appeared in the KRON Channel 4 documentary, San Francisco in the Movies: The Silent Era. Currently she and Margo Kasdan are working on the fourth edition of their textbook, The Critical Eye: An Introduction to Looking at Movies. Susan’s love for discovering films and artists emerges in her festival coverage for and


Documentaries and Short Films

Feature Documentary Competition

Act Normal

American Losers

The Ghost Mountain Experiment

Holes in My Shoes


Lockdown, USA

Out of Balance

Shoot Down

Super Amigo's

The Third Monday in October

Trained in the Way of Men

Urban Explorers

Short Film Competition

Short Program 1: Mirror, Mirror

Short Program 2: Ties and Expectations

Shorts Program 3: Escape

Shorts Program 4: Animated Worlds

Shorts Program 5: Docu-Nation

Shorts Program 6: Mindbenders

Shorts Program 7: Student Shorts

The Documentary Jury is comprised of the following members:

David Hakim
David Hakim, founder of the consulting firm Gavilano Associates, has more than 20 years experience in publicity and PR for a variety of clients.  Working extensively in entertainment promotion, he has created marketing packages and campaigns for features, prime-time TV shows, and TV series entering domestic and foreign syndication.  Hakim has also participated in the development and implementation of campaigns for a number of public events, film festivals, entertainment conventions and awards programs, including the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences ‘Student Film Awards’ and the Oscars.  Having a broad background in both print and media, Hakim started in graphic arts while studying film at Loyola University.  His print work includes both book and magazine publishing.  As Director of Public Relations for jkParker & Associates, Hakim oversaw regional campaigns for Diet Centers of America, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Los Alamitos Hospital and many others, including companies in the restaurant and travel sectors.  In the same post at Odom  & Associates, he directed national promotional campaigns for J Walter Thompson, 20th Century-Fox, MTM Productions, Warner Bros, Universal Studios and Columbia Pictures.  Hakim served on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Transition Team and sits on advisory boards for film-related events in the Bay Area.  Formerly the Chairman of the Directors Guild of America’s San Francisco Executive Committee, he now sits on the National Board of the DGA.  He was recently elected President of the Bay Area Film Alliance, working to promote the Bay Area as a production destination world-wide. 

Kimb Massey
Kimberly Massey, Ph.D. is a Professor of Radio-Television-Film for the Television Radio Film and Theatre (TRFT) Department at San Jose State University in California. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Massey was involved in politics working for the Texas House of Representatives. She has professional broadcasting experience--both public and commercial--in sales, programming and audience research in addition to multimedia production, testing and research. Outside of the academy, Dr. Massey consults on Internet/Web Strategy and Design. Dr. Massey has written several books on subjects ranging from media production, to media criticism to media and culture. She has published numerous communication conference papers and published several communication articles and book chapters. In addition, Dr. Massey¹s publication record includes numerous pedagogical materials such as Web sites, study guides (printed and electronic), media literacy guides, and digital audio podcasts. Dr. Massey also has international teaching and consulting experience. She taught multimedia at Bath City College in England while consulting with Real World Multimedia (Peter Gabriel¹s brainchild) where she directed audience testing and instrumentation for their CD-ROM release entitled Ceremony of Innocence based upon Nick Bantock¹s Griffin and Sabine trilogy. In the 90s, Dr. Massey has was awarded a Distinguished American Lectureship Grant by the German Marshall Fund of the United States where she lectured on topics related to New Media and Multimedia in the United States.

Pam Walton
Pam Walton is an award-winning documentary video producer. She has a masters in Film and Video production from Stanford University. Her work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; in the International Documentary Association's Theatrical Documentary Showcase; and has been included in the prestigious International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT). Her documentaries have aired on PBS member stations in major American cities, are broadcast nationally on MTV Network's LOGO, and are distributed by New Day Films and Netflix. From 1989 to 1999 Walton was a lecturer in the Department of Communication at Stanford. For more information on Pam please visit her website by clicking here.