With over 50 films on three screens this Labor Day weekend, we’re proud to present a program that includes the inspired work of everyone from first-time filmmakers to established arthouse auteurs. Every year our selections shine a light on new independent work by filmmakers and talent that are going places.

Please bear with us while we continue to update this page over the next few days! For showtimes and screening details, search the film schedule.

The Intro

The complete film program for the 2022 Tallahassee Film Festival is below. Films are listed in alpha order. To see the full schedule of films and their times, visit the Film Schedule page.

Short films are grouped into 90 min programs. Tickets to feature films or shorts programs are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. An All-Access pass is your best bargain if you plan to see more than a few films.

The Venues

Theater #1 = Residence Inn & Suites – Seminole Room
Theater #2 = Cap City Video Lounge
Theater #3 = Hyatt House – Gathering Room
Theater #4 = Challenger Learning Center IMAX

The Legend

🍊 = A Freshly Squeezed Florida Film
🦩 = In competition for the Florida Filmmaker Award
🏆 = In competition for Audience Favorite Awards
🎬 = First-time filmmaker
✏️ = Student filmmaker
🎓 = TFF alum

Spotlight selections

The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic

a film by Teemu Nikki

Petri Poikolainen in
2021 | 82 mins | Finland | In Finnish w/ English subtitles | Color | IntraMovies

Did you say the pandemic sucked? It sucked worse for Jaakko. As played by actor Petri Poikolainen in his first role, the titular The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See ‘Titanic,” this gentle, buoyant, witty soul is making the best of a crappy situation. He is blind, but he’s also confined to a wheelchair by MS, and often stuck in his apartment, dependent on visits from an assistant to handle some essential details. All that goes out the door, literally, when Jaakko must urgently reach his online girlfriend Sirpa in another city. No spoilers here, but suffice to say he’s got his reasons. Transit by cab and train shouldn’t be too complicated, right? Instead, the comic tone turns thriller in the hands of Finnish writer-director Teemu Nikki. If you take Jaakka as a blackly humorous superhero (and the kick-ass Paikolainen sure plays him that way), you won’t be wrong. He’s named his legs “Rocky” and “Rambo.” A big favorite at this year’s SXSW film festival, Blind Man is both an unlikely crowd-pleaser and a pandemic parable.


the integrity of Joseph chambers

a film by Robert Machoian

Clayne Crawford | Jordana Brewster | Jeffrey Dean Morgan
2022 | 96 mins | US | Color | Visit Films

Writer-director Robert Machoian (2010 TFF alum) and actor Clayne Crawford, who together, previously made The Killing of Two Lovers, have a way with dark Americana and the perils of masculinity. They double down in The Integrity of Joseph Chambers, in which a would-be Rambo marches off on a solo hunting expedition that Variety likened to a “one-man Deliverance: No group of buddies on a weekend canoe trip. No dueling banjos. No hillbilly-inflicted sexual humiliation. Just a guy with a rifle in the woods, determined to prove something to the world about his capacity for self-reliance — a capacity that is very much in question with nearly every decision he makes.” What could possibly go wrong?

Preceding the film will be the nonfiction short The Last Days of August, co-written with its director, and Machoian’s partner on such acclaimed films as God Bless the Child, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck. 


lost highway

a film by David Lynch

Patricia Arquette | Bill Pullman | Robert Blake | Balthazar Getty
1997 | 135 mins | R | France | Color | 4k | Janus Films

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?”

Lost Highway is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Supervised by director David Lynch, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner from the 35 mm original camera negative. The near-field remaster of the original 5.1 soundtrack was made from the 35 mm magnetic track and mix supervised by Lynch and rerecording mixer Ronald Eng.

Preceded by a screening of The Lake.


quantum cowboys

a film by Geoff Marslett

Lily Gladstone | David Arquette | Kiowa Gordon | Neko Case | Alex Cox
2022 | 99 mins | US | Color | Geoff Marslett

Renegade auteur Geoff Marslett, whose work veers from experimental animation to documentary to indie drama, delivers his most ambitious project yet in Quantum Cowboys. The fantasy feature combines the filmmaker’s love of physics with his passion for animation, in this case a whole shopping cart’s worth of styles and processes that include stop-motion, hand-drawn digital rotoscoping, acrylic painting combined with live action characters, digital collage, CGI 3D animation, and old-school hand-drawn animation (a mere 2D). If that’s enough, the all-star cast acts in front of 8k digital and 16mm film cameras, and then it’s all stitched together into a rootin’-tootin’ hybrid thingamajigger you’ve never, ever seen before. Marslett’s time-and-space cowboys (Kiowa Gordon and John Way) traverse a cosmic terrain (also known as Arizona) populated with the likes of David Arquette, Frank Mosley, Gary Farmer, Alex Cox, the late French New Wave goddess Anna Karina; musicians Neko Case, John Doe and Howe Gelb (who also composed the soundtrack); and the actress Lily Gladstone in the lead role of Linde, whose character’s arc takes her through a dozen different multiverses.  Gladstone, who also stars in another TFF highlight, The Unknown Country, acknowledged the film’s creative risks to Variety magazine, and had no regrets.  “Just trusting the process, trusting the story and trusting your intuition and instincts about things is a very hard thing for all of us to do, but I think we got a pretty big payoff.”


Riotsville, U.S.A.

a film by Sierra Pettengill

2022 | 91 mins | USA | Color, B+W | Magnolia Films

Welcome to Riotsville, a fictional town built by the U.S. military. Meticulously conceived and masterfully constructed, filmmaker Sierra Pettengill’s documentary exclusively utilizes archival footage shot by the media and the government to excavate the racist governmental crackdown on Black Americans in the late ’60s. The film’s centerpiece is the astonishing, unsettling footage of police and National Guardsmen being trained in fake towns known as Riotsvilles, constructed on military bases and populated by participants “playing” rioters. Buoyed and complicated by philosophical voiceover narration written by critic Tobi Haslett, and precisely edited by Nels Bangerter, Pettengill’s film is a trancelike yet politically urgent work of historical record–resetting, using a tumultuous era not to wall off the past, but to clarify how little has changed in terms of the political scapegoating and violence the U.S. government uses against its Black citizens.


that kind of summer
Un été comme ça

a film by Denis Côté

Larissa Corriveau | Violaine Estérez | Laure Giappiconi
2022 | 137 mins | Canada | In French (Canada) w/ English subtitles | Color

The Tallahassee Film Festival is proud to present the work of one of North America’s most original and daringly creative filmmakers, Montreal’s Denis Côté. The writer-director slips fluidly between genres, with both documentary (A Skin So Soft, Bestiaire) and fictional features (Vic + Flo Saw a Bear, Curling) lighting up a prolific career full of Berlin and Locarno film festival prize-winners. That Kind of Summer, his 15th feature in nearly as many years, shares with the others an inquisitive and unflinching approach to human (and/or animal) nature, and the processes and accidents by which the elements of self (the good, the bad and the ugly) are exposed, and engage a kind of chemical reaction. In Summer, three women (played by a remarkable trio of actresses: Larissa Corriveau, Laure Giappiconi and Aude Mathieu) enter a one-month program at a country retreat for sex addiction where they exorcise their demons and recount past traumas. “Sometimes at a discreet distance, at others transgressively close, the camera swirls around the protagonists in this dance of trauma and lust. Norms are deconstructed, the present becomes tangible and the future conceivable. Cinema is – vibration.” (Berlinale 2022).


the unknown country

a film by Morrisa Maltz

Lily Gladstone | Raymond Lee | Richard Ray Whitman
2022 | 85 mins | US | Color | Music Box Films

A sweeping cinematic embrace of the skies and horizons of the great American West, The Unknown Country tracks a Native American woman (Lily Gladstone, soon to star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon) and her odyssey from Minnesota to Texas, on a quest for family and self-discovery after the death of her grandmother. Along the way, she accepts the kindness of rank strangers and the gentle arms of kinfolk close and distant, measuring the miles in hugs, gatherings, family revelations and cigarette butts. Director Morrisa Maltz, who previously made documentaries and short films, conjures a touch of hybrid magic as the film blurs fiction and non-fiction elements (including non-professional cast, an actual wedding, and sweet interludes with some of the actual characters Gladstone’s Tana meets on the way). Fans of Terrence Malick and Paris, Texas won’t miss the film’s affinity for their vibe, but in this loose, sprawling and sometimes anxiously heartfelt excursion, Maltz offers a vital glimpse of an overlooked America.

Official Selections – Features

all jacked up and full of worms

a film by Alex Phillips

2022 | 72 mins | USA | Color

Two strangers bond over addictive hallucinogenic worms leading them on a psychotic bender full of murder and perversity through the back alleys of Chicago.


freedom’s path

a film by Brett Smith

RJ Cyler | Gerran Howell | Ewen Bremner
2021 | 125 mins | US | Color

When a soldier deserts from battle, he soon discovers the true cost of war through a young heroic black man, who teaches him the real meaning of Freedom.


naked gardens

a film by Ivete Raquel Lucas, Patrick Xavier Bresnan

2022 | 95 mins | USA | Color

An immersive narrative documentary, Naked Gardens unveils the complex and hidden world of a family nudist resort in the Florida Everglades as its aging owner Morley prepares his fringe community for the largest gathering of nudists in the US, the Mid Winter Festival.


provo

a film by Emma Thatcher

2022 | 85 mins | US | Color

A self-destructive ex-Mormon finds out her abusive father is on his deathbed and road trips to Utah to reckon with her past.


relative

a film by Michael Glover Smith

2022 | 97 mins | USA | Color

As members of the Frank family come together for a college graduation party in Chicago, they find their bonds being tested – and strengthened – in surprising ways.


yelling fire in an empty theater

a film by Justin Zuckerman

2021 | 72 mins | USA | Color

Yelling Fire in an Empty Theater follows Lisa, a recent college graduate, as she struggles to “make it” in New York. Filled with conviction that the best plan is no plan at all, she decides to move to the city and “figure out the why after”.

official selections – shorts

always for the first time

a film by John Caliendo, Victoria Meade

2021 | 20 mins | US | Color

The film is loosely based on the first meeting of surrealist writer Andre Breton and surrealist artist Elisa Latte Elena Bindhoff Enet.

a beacon, a warning (fowey rocks)

a film by Dave Rodriguez

2021 | 5 mins | US | Color

A short film that pays tribute to the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, the last operational lighthouse in the Florida Straits located off the coast of Miami, the filmmaker’s home town.

by way of water

a film by Alexander Spenser

2021 | 18 mins | US | Color

A day in the life of two runaways as they navigate their world and face an uncertain future.

choose the right

a film by Mitchell Cole

2022 | 22 mins | US | Color

Days after being ordered to carry out his first hit, Todd Alexander receives an unexpected visitor.

a cartoon of a cat sleeping

a film by Randall Christopher

2022 | 7 mins | US | Color

A 7-minute comedy which unfolds entirely in one shot with no edits, cuts, or camera movements.

coffee, community, culture

a film by Kerry French

2022 | 27 mins | US | Color

A short documentary about three coffee shops in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Tallahassee, and how they are using their stores as a gateway to fight crime through literacy while exposing gentrification, empowering entrepreneurship, influencing generational wealth, and supporting nonprofit organizations.

cold brew

a film by David Kennedy

2022 | 7 mins | US | Color

A young woman is imprisoned by her inner thoughts in a caffeine-fueled assessment of her co-dependent relationship.

dress up

a film by Sara Chia-Jewell

2021 | 8 mins | UK | Color

A mixed-race woman applies for a job as a costume wearer, only to find nothing fits.

drive thru n chill

a film by Sean M.F. Ahern

2022 | 8 mins | US | Color

A young music producer struggles to keep himself entertained during shifts at a 24-hour drive-thru donut shop. He finds solace in making music during the long overnight hours alone, while waiting for a call that could change everything.

dugout dick

a film by Harrod Blank & Joanne Shen

2022 | 17 mins | US | Color

A heartwarming portrait of an Idaho hermit, Richard “Dugout Dick” Zimmerman, who lived in caves that he dug on the banks of the Salmon River.

en suite

a film by Geoffrey Cantor

2021 | 13 mins | US | Color

An emotional glimpse into the personal lives of a seemingly happily married couple following a radical bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction.

essentials

a film by Allison Torem

2021 | 17 mins | US | Color

Shocked and fatigued by the screeching halt of daily life in early quarantine 2020, Vivian muscles her way home with too many groceries until she is interrupted by a senior citizen who makes a corny joke on his nightly walk.

fire in the meadows

a film by April Cluess

2022 | 25 mins | US | Color

A short documentary examining the impact to residents of a Tallahassee mobile home park when an investor buys the park, raises the rent, and tries to evict low-income tenants.

forever yours

a film by Martin Elia Hermena

2022 | 6 mins | Egypt | In English w/ Arabic subtitles | B&W

In a world full of technology to communicate with each other, D and A, hopeless lovers, have only the sea to send their letters through.

how do i tell you this

a film by Chad Hill

2021 |19 mins | US | Color

Two long-time internet friends – Ted, the hometown artist, and Liz, a globe-hopping humanitarian – finally meet in person and explore the possibility of a future together.

the kind of love that hurts

a film by Michael Curtis Johnson

2021 | 22 mins | US | Color

A young woman. A married man. This is the way the world ends.

the lake

a film by Tyler Hubby

2021 | 13 mins | US | B&W

One of the most notorious lakes in Los Angeles has a strange and gruesome history. This meditation on misfortune features an original score by Australian death pop duo, VOWWS.

lioness

a film by Molly E. Smith

2021 | 7 mins | US | Color

Barricaded in a motel room, a mother’s determination and primal instincts kick in to protect her child’s innocence.

listen to my voice

a film by Ryan Hiosvany Muina

2022 | 12 mins | US | Color

Three women share their stories of abuse as they all hope to raise awareness on the ongoing issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.

living in a bubble

a film by Natalie MacMahon, Nikola Drvoshanov

2021 | 8 mins | Germany, Macedonia | No dialogue | Color

When two strangers feel isolated in the big city, they soon realise that their imagination is able to bring them anywhere they would like to go, despite all the obstacles of modern society.

maid

a film by Rose Caltrider

2022 | 18 mins | US | Color

Ina has two lives: the one that people see and the one she lives at home. The nightmare that is her abusive home is only the tip of the iceberg as Ina begins to believe she is slowly turning into a mermaid.

nothing’s changed except for everything

a film by Chris Cameron, Joanna Kotze, and Ryan Seaton

2021 | 9 mins | US | Color

Initiated from solo movement that Joanna Kotze (Brooklyn NY-based dancer and choreographer) had been working on since 2018, “Nothing’s changed except for everything” tells a story of personal and collective loss and isolation and the human body’s potential for persistence, resistance, and power through one specific body.

Once I passed

a film by Martin Gerigk

2022 | 10 mins | Germany, US | In English | Color, B&W

Walt Whitman is one of the most important poets in American literature.  In 1860, he published his poem “Once I Passed Through a Populous City”, an aphoristic account of a romantic relationship with an unknown woman.

pest

a film by Nicholas Long

2022 | 3 mins | US | In Japanese w/ English subtitles | B&W, Color

You wake up to the sound of knocking from inside of your closet.

recovery of the fallen

a film by Curtis James Matzke

2021 | 7 mins | Spain | In Spanish w/ English subtitles | Color

A lone man wanders a barren landscape on a foreign planet, salvaging items off of bodies that have fallen to the surface.

roadkill

a film by Justin T. Malone

2021 | 14 mins | US | Color

A Southern Gothic thriller that follows a homeless woman and a young, upper-middle class girl as their lives tragically intertwine.

sex & other memories

a film by Jack Dunphy

2021 | 20 mins | US | Color

Jack takes his highschool sweetheart, Sara, to dinner in hopes of rekindling a connection, only to find she has become cold and cynical. After a night of emotional bruising, Jack gets a phone call from the 18 year old version of Sara. She implores him to meet her in his basement, despite the fact that his childhood home was sold years ago. Jack accommodates her, and in the process steps into the past.

smart ass

a film by Ella Genovese

2022 | 18 mins | US | Color

Chip, a zoophile, has controlled and hidden away his half-animal half-man son, Smart Ass, for the entire fifteen years of his life. The father and son soon face difficulty with their old way of life and must learn to let one another go.

starbucks workers united: tallahassee, fl

a film by Autumn Love, Alyce Rogers, Bana Habash, Ben Eacker

2022 | 11 mins | US | Color

With a wave of national unionization taking form in one of the largest corporations in the U.S., this short documentary follows the desires of starting a union in Tallahassee, FL.

sweat of his cow

a film by John Stuart Wildman, Alan Smithee

2021 | 6 mins | US | Color | VHS

From the depths of someone’s lost VHS tapes is this story of an impossibly gorgeous doctor lawyer who runs out of gas next to a barn where an impossibly sweaty man is milking a cow. A sexy relationship ensues where they learn that gas is just the beginning, milk is always the end.

sweet nothings

a film by Christian Klein

2020 | 10 mins | US | Color | *Not in competition

A young man of the near future wistfully searches for love on a dating app, only to find that it has been corrupted by a seductive new marketing system.

tap twice

a film by Julia Bell Mandler

2022 | 20 mins | UK | Color, B&W

A housewife is tasked with watching her neighbors paralyzed son, his silent observation of her domestic routine forces her to grapple with her role as wife and mother.

to live and die

a film by Isabella Nemcik

2022 | 8 mins | US | Color

In Tallahassee, Florida, an experimental band and their fans ruminate on the relationship that is cultivated during a live performance.

voicemails to slurrie

a film by Jason Stelios Chimonides

2022 | 8 mins | US | Color

Wayne Bickers, a meditating North Florida Dad leaves multiple voice mail messages for his old friend, Stephen Lurie (nickname: “Slurrie”)

wild card

a film by Tipper Newton

2022 | 12 mins | US | Color

Two strangers are brought together by a video dating service.

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