The 13th Annual Colony Short Film Festival is a showcase for independent films from all over the United States and across the globe, with a focus on featuring local and regional talent from the Ohio Valley. The Colony Short Film Festival features selections from emerging and established short filmmakers that have ranged from innovative to off-the-wall and quirky to provocative.


Friday, March 1

7:00 p.m. – Special Feature: Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra
Masters of Silent Comedy
A 1919 Movie Night featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel & Hardy
with live musical accompaniment
Tickets & Info

9:45 p.m. – Official Selections of the Colony Short Film Festival

First Disco
Directed by Helen O’Reilley
Dublin, Ireland
It’s 1983, Culture Club are no. 1, everyone’s glued to Knight Rider, and Kelly Harrison is not only experiencing her first crush, she’s going to her first disco. The only problem is that she’s getting train tracks before her big night and becomes besieged by self consciousness. However with the help of her best friend, Kelly realises what’s really important in her life.

One Steamy Night
(06:59) Student Short
Directed by Skye Stewart
Lee University – Cleveland, Tennessee
A modest teenage girl has an unlikely “bonding” experience on a painfully awkward first date.

(12:00) Documentary Short
Directed by Dave Donnellan
Dubin, Ireland
Rosemary is a visually impaired woman from the Traveller and Roma communities who is living homeless in Dublin. She takes no support from the government living by selling ‘The Big Issue’ magazine and busking. She is a survivor but dreams one day of owning her own place where she can grow her own vegetables and keep some animals.

The Art of Lifting
Directed by Ian Nolte
Huntington West Virginia
While shopping for some khakis, a real pushover has a strange, yet transformative, encounter inside a men’s changing room.

Hers is a Lush Situation
Directed by Samuel Valenti
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Like reading the back pages of a discarded journal revealing the thoughts of a young man slipping into madness, Hers Is A Lush Situation mixes a disjointed narrative with an underlying thread of black humor to give a subtle view on what young, urban lives really look like today. Shot in a week on location with a mixed cast of actors and local characters, the film follows the parallel lives of two confused, yet strong-willed kids who lose themselves, find each other, and lose each other again in the grimy underbelly of Philadelphia.

Tomorrow Will Be Different
Directed by Lucas Willis
Willowick, Ohio
In a dystopian, overpopulated world run by The State, the lives of people depend on the need of a new type of blood called Pure. An unlawful blood trader leaves home to provide for his family without knowing his great grandfather is quickly running low on his source of Pure.

Directed by Pierre Gaffié
Sibyl works as a radio host during the night. Though she knows how to appease her listeners’ sufferings, her own personal life is in turmoil and she’s decided to leave Luke. But the desperate call from Michel, a very sad listener, make her change her mind.

Saturday, March 2

10:30 a.m. – Official Selections of the Colony Short Film Festival

Nora Ephron Goes To Prison
Directed by Hannah Elless
New York, New York
Friendship transcends fantasy in this musicalized love letter to Nora Ephron and New York City. Two women from very different worlds meet in unexpected circumstances. Through their common love of Nora Ephron and her films – Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally – hope conquers a confining reality as an unlikely friendship blooms. Watch what happens when Mary meets Ally.

The Way You Saw Me
Directed by John Sylva
Los Angeles, California
Cindy, alone, grieves the War’s end. After her husband Tom returns, her only companion, Barbara, withdraws. As fantasy meets reality, Cindy slips away…the past her only reprieve.

Panic Button
Directed by Jason C. Brown
Los Angeles, California
Tammy and Alice have been lost in the woods for days. But all is not lost, Tammy brought her Panic Button. Somewhere between The Revenant and a Monty Python sketch is Panic Button.

The Spirit Seam
(14:52) Animated Short
Directed by Ashley Gerst
Brooklyn, New York
The Spirit Seam is a short animated film about a little girl, Pollywog, and her Pap-Paw. Located in an Appalachain coal-mining town in the 1950s, the film takes the audience through the daily life of both characters. At the start of the film, the characters eat breakfast together and then travel to their respective locations- Pollywog is dropped off at school, and Pap-Paw clocks into work at the Hiraethsburg coal mine. Throughout the film they experience the simple pleasures of rural Appalachian life: catching fireflies, fishing, catching frogs, and birthdays.

(07:00) Animated Short
Directed by Christopher Angus
Manitoba, Canada
A quirky journey through recent time to an ethos of futurity, which explores the potential ramifications of technology on human beings while leaving us with choices.

(05:10) Animated Short
Directed by Ronnie Cramer
Denver, Colorado
Five hundred years of world art in five minutes, featuring three dozen iconic works rendered with nylon-tip pen and animated old school style. Each painting is onscreen for three seconds; the transitions between them also last three seconds each. Made up of 2,500 individual drawings, with a musical soundtrack created by the artist.

The Day After
(17:52) Student Short, Animated Short
Directed by Kira Findling
Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio
After her husband passed away, Norma threw herself into her church community. The day after her church burns down, she is forced to reckon with her cartoonist husband’s death for the first time as his drawings come to life. Told through magical realism and animation, The Day After is a story about loss and letting go.

Two Balloons
(09:08) Animated Short
Directed by Mark C. Smith
Portland, Oregon
Two adventurous lemurs navigate their dirigibles halfway around the world to a place where happenstance and fate threaten to disrupt their reunion.

On Target
Directed by B. R. Tatalovic
Cleveland, Ohio
A retired Air Force veteran recalls an incident from 1999 NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia and decides to reveal everything he knows, while being videotaped by his daughter – for her student documentary film. “On Target” explores the problem of global wars and the killing of innocent children, from the point of view of someone who participated in it. It’s a minimalist psychological drama that aims to expose an ongoing tragedy and its long-term effect on human brain and human race as a whole.

Cacti & Other Succulents
(10:02) Student Short
Directed by E.M. Moore
Lee University – Cleveland, Tennessee
A boy cares for his grandmother’s aloe vera plant in the wake of her death.

(13:13) Student Short
Directed by Samuel Askland Gordon
American Film Institute Conservatory – Los Angeles, California
When his protective sister falls ill during a practice race for the upcoming school field day and is rushed to the hospital, a young boy with OCD must survive his strained relationship with his controlling older brother.

The Storm
(09:00) Student Short
Directed by Benjamin Crane
Huntington University – Huntington, Indiana
When Cameron Morris returns to his home town to search for his mother following the aftermath of a deadly storm, he struggles to reconnect with his Aunt Evelyn, and his brother Ethan in light of a family estrangement. When they are brought back together, tension builds up between them and Ethan questions his motives in returning home. The stakes rise after they find their mother deceased in the woods, and Ethan keeps her last will and testament out of Cameron hands. As another storm front approaches, Cameron confronts Ethan about the will and is overcome with rage and strangles his brother inside the storm shelter. After the storm passes, Cameron is overcome with grief and regret when he realizes the gravity of his blind anger.


1:30 – The Price of Free
2018 Sundance Grand Jury Prize
Sarah Anthony, Producer

As a young man, Kailash Satyarthi promised himself that he would end child slavery in his lifetime. In the decades since, he has rescued more than 80,000 children and built a global movement.

3:30 – Tickling Giants
Sara Taksler, Director & Producer

Tickling Giants tells the story of Dr. Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, who decides to leave his job as a heart surgeon and become a late-night comedian. The movie is about how he finds creative, non-violent ways to protect free speech and fight a president who abuses his power.

5:30 – Filmmaker Panel
with Sarah Anthony & Sara Taksler

7:30 – Official Selections of the Colony Short Film Festival

Thirty-Seven Minutes
(04:53) Student Short
Directed by Ryan Chester
Harvard University — Cambridge,Massachusetts
Instead of accompanying his wife and kids to a family party, Don Sammen heads to work. A fight ensues as wife Rachel expresses her displeasure. Don storms out, leaving an emotionally shaken Rachel and his two children in his wake. Later at work, Don reflects on his earlier outburst, feeling guilty about what transpired. Suddenly, an alarm goes off, notifying Don and his co-workers of impending danger. As everyone scrambles to safety, Don decides to leave in order to reunite with his family. With communication non-existent and limited time, Don must navigate through a panicked city in order to find his family.

(03:54) Student Short
Directed by Danny Bowles
Lee University — Cleveland, Tennessee
Gwen, a lonesome survivor in a world where the air has become noxious, waits for her partner Thomas to arrive after being separated from him. When he arrives, Gwen questions Thomas to make sure it’s actually him on the other side of the door. Gwen’s trust is put to the test when an identical man shows up and attacks Thomas.

Smilin’ Jimmy
(06:53) Student Short
Directed by Graham Holford
Ohio University — Athens, Ohio
Stories and rumors. One of the ribbons that tie a town together.

(16:41) Student Short
Directed by Carrie Love
Ohio University — Athens, Ohio
Marie struggles with issues of identity and belonging as her sister passes through a coming of age ceremony at church.

Heather Has Four Moms
Directed by Jeanette L. Buck
Athens, Ohio
When Heather decides to lose her virginity for her 15th birthday, Mom’s wife must convince Mom, and Mom’s ex, and Mom’s ex’s partner that it’s time for Heather to have “the talk”. Which mom is ready to help Heather make a big decision? It’s a mother-daughter story. Times four.

The Reason We’re Still Here
(15:00) Documentary, Student Short
Directed by Sofia Smith Hale
Oberlin College — Oberlin, Ohio
Over the last decade, the Rust Belt city of Youngstown, Ohio, has become increasingly divided between those in support of job development and those who seek to protect access to clean drinking water. The Reason We’re Still Here provides a unique window into lives of union members, community organizers and residents on each of these conflicting sides, raising the question of whether economic livelihood must exist in opposition to a healthy and safe environment.

Anna Karenina
Directed by Yana Sar
New York, New York
Mr. White is a successful businessman in denial of his mental condition. One day he receives a gift that triggers displaced memories from the past. Seeking the truth, Mr. White takes a trip to the house that he grew up in. Once there, he is finally revealed the truth of his past and must accept his current reality in order to face his inevitable future.

A Day in the Life of a Himalayan Shepherd
(20:00) Documentary Short
Directed by Manchhiring Tamang
Nepal / New York
The northernmost part of the Dhading district of Central Nepal, is home to a Tamang community; an ethnic group that has been depending on cattle rearing for the last three centuries.This documentary is based on the day of a shepherd from this culturally rich community; who is in dilemma whether to ask his children to continue his profession or to let them find opportunities elsewhere.

9:00 p.m. — Filmmaker Panel + Q&A

9:45 p.m. — Festival Awards Presentation


Around town during the Colony Short Film Festival:

Friday, March 1 is First Friday in Marietta. Downtown shops will be open late, and restaurants frequently feature First Friday specials. It’s also MOV Restaurant Week, featuring 3-course specials at participating restaurants.

If you need help planning your stay, please visit our local CVB’s website for lodging and dining guides: You can find additional local events and featured attractions at