2007 Fresno Film Festival

Synopsis & Film Details



PROGRAM #1: 7 p.m

Sweet Land 

Inge arrives in Minnesota in 1920 to marry a young Norwegian farmer named Olaf. Her German heritage and lack of official immigration papers make her an object of suspicion in the small town, and she and Olaf are forbidden to marry.

Maestro sits in front of a dressing room mirror, and carefully prepares for his grand show. Oscar nominee for Best Animated Short.
Directed by Geza M. Toth
Hungary, 2006; 5 min., video


PROGRAM #2: 11 a.m

Opal Dream

The touching story of a young girl whose unshakable faith in her two imaginary friends resonates through her small hometown in the Australian Outback.

The Little Matchgirl

From Walt Disney Pictures, a tale about a poor young girl who finds visions of happiness in the fiery flames of the matches that she lights to keep warm.

PROGRAM #3: 1:30 p.m

El Violin 

Made in the tradition of Buñuel’s Los Olvidados, Francisco Vargas Quevedo’s poignant debut feature is set in a small Mexican village during the uprisings of the 1970s. Portraying the tensions between the peasants and military in the Guerrero region, the absorbing drama follows aging musician Don Plutarco (Don Ángel Tavira), his son and grandson, who scrape together a living as traveling musicians by day. By night, however, they secretly amass resources for the peasant guerrilla movement.

4pmFilmmakers’ Panel: The Craft of Film

Those who work behind the scenes talk about their craft and present clips from their work.

Damian Acevedo is an independent cinematographer whose credits include The Fourth, for which he was awarded the International Cinematographer’s Guild Award for Artistic Achievement in Cinematography; and The Shadow Effect, winner for Best Cinematography at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Russell Calabrese is a Hollywood animator whose credits include The Ant Bully and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Stephen Thomas Cavit is a film composer. His most recent score for Everything’s Cool premiered along with the film at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Other recent work includes the film Blue Vinyl (Sundance 2002) and the TV series Family Bonds, both for HBO; The Meaning of Food, a mini-series for PBS; and Knocking, a film for the Independent Lens series on PBS. In addition, Stephen was awarded one of six fellowships to the 2000 Sundance Composers Lab and was invited to attend BMI’s prestigious Conducting Workshop where he studied with renowned conductor Lucas Richman.

Darrin Navarro is a motion picture editor whose film credits include the independent drama Hate Crime; the psychological thriller Bug, to be released nationwide on May 25th, 2007; and the high school comedy Senior Skip Day, to be released later this year.

PROGRAM #5: 5:30 p.m

A Night at the Oscars

7 Academy Award-nominated short films.

PROGRAM #6: 8:30 p.m

Everything’s Cool

In their signature upbeat comedic style, Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand have created an entertaining, character-driven documentary about global warming. Among the profiles are a Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist who repeatedly tries to retire but can’t, the Weather Channel’s first climatologist with a “global-warming beat” who must pack her Ph.D. into 30-second sound bites, a snow groomer turned biodiesel entrepreneur.

One Rat Short
The mesmerizing ballet of a discarded food wrapper leads a New York subway rat into an adventure of love and loss. Inspired by A Red Balloon, One Rat Short was awarded Best in Show at the 2006 Siggraph Computer Animation Festival. and an Inuit community that must decide whether to stay and risk getting washed into the sea or move their entire village.


PROGRAM #7: 1:30 p.m

Filmmakers’ Showcase

PROGRAM #8: 4 p.m

The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez

José Antonio Gutierrez became the first American soldier to be killed in the Iraq War. Heidi Specogna’s powerful documentary tells his story from the streets of Guatemala to his green-card enlistment. Woven into that portrait is the story of the countless immigrants who have shared his hardships and his dreams.

PROGRAM #9: 7 p.m


Fiona is the manager of a fast-food restaurant. She lives comfortably with her family in the suburbs. In other words, Fiona is happy… until one day she accidentally gets locked into a walk-in fridge. She escapes the next morning, half frozen and barely alive, only to realize that her husband and two children didn’t even notice she was missing. But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy: snow, polar bears, fridges, icebergs – she drops everything, climbs into a frozen goods delivery truck, and leaves home. For a real iceberg.

Bicentennial Curious
With a special appearance by the film’s screenwriter, Justin Varava, and cinematographer, Damian Acevedo
In this hilarious mockumentary, the fictitious director of Bicentennial Curious recounts how the Christian Right opposed the making of his soft-porn tribute to America. For mature audiences.


• 90.7 KSFR
• Camerad, Inc.
• Donaghy Sales, LLC (Ryan Donaghy)
• Con Am
• Fresno Arts Council
• JA Photography
• Janzen IdeaCorp
• KJewel
• Pardini’s Catering & Banquets
• Fresno City Council President Henry T. Perea, District 7
• Professional Print & Mail
• Valley Public Television
• Whitie’s Pets


American Friends Service Committee/Pan Valley Institute (The Short Life of José Antonio Gutierrez )
Fresno Metro Ministry – Environmental Health Program (Everything’s Cool)
Il Giardino Organico (Sweet Land)
Radio Bilingue (El Violin)