Atlas Awards 2016

The 2016 Atlas Awards International Film Festival, presented by Atlas & Aeris, took place from 15-31 January 2016. An international private online screening of officially-selected films took place from 15-29 January, followed by the selection of the Atlas Award-winners on 30 and 31 January. The full schedule of the festival, including international screenings, is below.

Festival Schedule

1 January - Official Selection Announced

15-29 January - Atlas Awards International Film Festival Screenings

Films were made available for viewing until the end of the indicated screening date on the Atlas Awards International Film Festival private online screening platform.

15 January



Courtesy; Pechorin

Director & Writer: Roman Khrushch

Cast: Stanislav Riadinskiy, Dmitriy Podnozov, Irina Savitskova, Iliya Shcherbinin, Klaudia Korshunova, Alexander Korshunov

Based on Mikhail Lermontov's classic novel A Hero of Our Time and named after its infamous protagonist, Pechorin tells a story reflected in the mind of its dying hero: as a series of irrevocable mistakes interpreted anew. With dialogue straight from the pen of Lermontov himself, the film reconstructs the Romantic era of 19th-century Russia. Is the final act of a hero to judge himself without mercy?

Runtime: 97 minutes | Genre: Literary/Historical Drama | Country: Russia | Language: Russian | Year: 2011

Rosso Papavero


Courtesy; Rosso Papavero

Director: Martin Smatana

Writer: Ivana Sujova

Once upon a starry night, a small boy with a head full of fantasies witnesses a dreamlike circus performance.

Runtime: 5 minutes | Genre: Animated Short | Country: Slovakia | Year: 2015

Autumn Leaves


Courtesy; Autumn Leaves

Director & Writer: Saman Hosseinpuor

Cast: Kamand Amjadi

A little girl's walk to school goes awry.

Runtime: 4 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2015

16 January

All the World in a Design School


Courtesy; All the World in a Design School

Director: Mattias Löw

Eclectic students and faculty from all over the planet meet at one of the the world's top industrial design schools in Scandinavia's faraway north just below the Arctic Circle. This documentary explores everyday life, unique study methods and dynamic design processes at Umeå Institute of Design during the school's 25th anniversary when traditionally welcoming and generous Sweden, with its export-driven economy, imposes steep tuition fees for non-Europeans, the very students that have been instrumental in making the school what it is today.

Runtime: 59 minutes | Genre: Documentary | Country: Sweden | Language: English, Swedish | Year: 2015

The Story of a Rainy Night


Director & Writer: Mehdi Fard Ghaderi

A man is alone at home until, one by one, his children arrive to celebrate his birthday.

Runtime: 24 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2014

Sore Eyes


Courtesy; Sore Eyes

Director & Writer: Evan B Wood

Cast: Trevor Brooks, David Gibson

Emmett, 9, is the only boy in his school who wears glasses anymore. After breaking them out of frustration, he must learn to see himself and the world around him through a different lens.

Runtime: 9 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015

17 January

Agnus Dei


Courtesy; Agnus Dei

Director & Writer: Agim Sopi

Cast: Astrit Alihajdaraj, Dafina Berisha

Born in Kosovo from a forbidden love between his Serbian mother and a young Albanian man, Peter now lives a desperate life with his mother and her husband in a Serbian village. Forced to join the war between the Serbs and the Albanians, he intends to escape his circumstances and head to the West. The arbitrary crimes of war, however, lead him elsewhere. Fighting is dangerous, but so is trying to escape.

Runtime: 110 minutes | Genre: Historical Drama | Country: Kosovo | Language: Albanian | Year: 2013



Director & Writer: Teddy Cecil

Cast: Barrett James, Dennis Keiffer, Derek Chariton, Chuck Wigginton, Dio Johnson, Erik Denton

One worker sparks an uprising when he attempts to break free of his dystopian underworld.

Runtime: 20 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Sci-Fi, Action | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2014



Director & Writer: Teymour Ghaderi

Cast: Omid Barjaste

A soldier does a strange job for a few hours furlough.

Runtime: 8 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2015

18 January



Courtesy; Encouragement

Director & Writer: Devin McAdam

Cast: Vince Friesen, Jaezila Crittenden, Allen Bibby, Kathy Taylor

Dan, a young man stricken with grief from a mysterious tragedy, is caught in the pull of a downward spiral of despair and delusion in the setting of his self-quarantined residence. While dark energy encircles him, a woman from his past is en route for a surprise visit. Will her arrival intervene and save him or will she fall victim to the sinister forces conspiring within? What, if anything, is powerful and pure enough in this world to pull someone back from the spiritual abyss?

Runtime: 51 minutes | Genre: Mystery, Horror | Country: Canada | Language: English | Year: 2014

The Eve


Director & Writer: Luca Machnich

Cast: Valerio Santosuosso, Ulf Kusdas, Mary Wall, Maurizio Rapotec

Simon is an eight-year-old boy who seems to have everything from life. He’s rich yet unhappy. Wishing to leave his materialistic world behind, the only present he wants for Christmas is for Santa Claus to take him away to live in his fairyland toy factory. Christmas Eve is transformed into the eve of something quite different, and it seems that something terrible might happen.

Runtime: 19 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Psychological Horror | Country: Italy | Language: English | Year: 2015



Courtesy; Brezinski Films Inc.

Directors: Shannon Kohli, Michelle Brezinski

Writer: Michelle Brezinski

Cast: Michelle Brezinski, Brian McGugan, Linda Watters, Ellie King

In 1348, as the Black Death hung itself over England, a medieval woman attempts to snatch her husband from his unjust grave only to be plagued by something far worse than death itself.

Runtime: 10 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Historical Drama | Country: Canada | Language: English | Year: 2014

19 January

Defenders of Life


Courtesy; Defenders of Life

Director & Writer: Dana Ziyasheva

Cast: Beatriz Brenes, Arman Darbo

Hidden in the hills of Southern Costa Rica, the Ngäbe indigenous community is blowing on the last flames of an ancient civilization. For Doña Carmen, the fight to pass on traditional ways of life will take a threatening turn when she walks young Esmeralda to her first-blood ritual. American youngster Feb settles in the community with his candid anthropologist mother, but what first looked like a colorful vacation will plunge him at the center of a dark ceremony. Is it a hideous crime or a noble battle for survival?

Featuring natural performances by nonprofessional actors.

Runtime: 94 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: France, Costa Rica | Language: English, Spanish | Year: 2015

The Jungle of Jules Levine


Courtesy; The Jungle of Jules Levine

Director: Michael John Edgar Mileham

Writers: Michael John Edgar Mileham, George Clayton Johnson

Cast: Peter Cook, Elliott Gould, John Denos

Just as the invasion of Panama is about to happen, an intrepid Smithsonian scientist embarks on a research mission. He goes deep into Panama's rainforest -- only to find that nature is the true enemy.

Runtime: 36 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Panama | Language: English, Spanish | Year: 2015

Touch of the Rain


Courtesy; Touch of the Rain

Director & Writer: Zahra Jafari

Cast: Sara Hessari

Rain is a pleasant murmur of the beauty of nature. From a child's perspective, there is always hope for rain in drought -- even if only in our imaginations.

Runtime: 2 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian

20 January



Director & Writer: Esquire Jauchem

Cast: Paige Davis, Ryun Yu

Based on David Henry Hwang's acclaimed 1992 play of the same name, Bondage features an amusing evening in the House of Bondage with dominatrix Mistress Terri, where anything is possible and everything is unexpected. When her customer insists on playing out racial stereotypes, he ends up challenging the very nature of her daily existence.

Runtime: 46 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015

Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game


Courtesy; Who Did It?

Directors: Tim Labonte, Frank Durant

In 1985, Parker Brothers produced the CLUE VCR Mystery Game for VHS. Filmed in Massachusetts, it would cast a group of unknown actors to portray the iconic CLUE characters such as Col. Mustard and Professor Plum. While most productions were filmed in Hollywood and New York City at the time, Parker Brothers took a chance and broke the mold by filming with New England-based talent. At the time, it became the most successful video board game of its time, revolutionizing the medium of VHS and video gaming. Thirty years later, the cast and crew reunite to tell the tale which many have forgotten. The trail blazers that changed the toy market and the actors who put Boston back on the map as a destination for filmmaking give their personal and professional opinion on the importance of what the CLUE VCR Mystery Game was all about.

Runtime: 37 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015

The First Smile After


Courtesy; The First Smile After

Director & Writer: Zahra Jafari

Cast: Elham Safkhah, Sara Hessari

With love and innocence, a child heals her mother's sadness.

Runtime: 2 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian

21 January

Baobabs between Land and Sea


Courtesy; Baobabs between Land and Sea

Director: Cyrille Cornu

By their sheer size and original shapes, baobabs are among the most remarkable trees on the planet. Relatively unknown in Madagascar, these giants are currently threatened by deforestation. To study them, in the heart of their forests, Cyrille Cornu and Wilfried Ramahafaly travel by pirogue, exploring 400 kilometers of wild and isolated coastline in the southwest of Madagascar.

Runtime: 55 minutes | Genre: Documentary | Country: France, Madagascar | Language: English, French, Malagasy | Year: 2015


Where Are You My Love? (Nerdesin Askim?)


Courtesy; Where Are You My Love?

Director & Writer: Merve Gezen

Cast: Seyhan Arman, Didem Soylu

Two transgender friends, Ece and Özge, make their livings as sex workers. Ece has fought hard to get her female ID card, but still has to solve the problem of her mandatory military service. She lies to her family to be accepted, but in a transphobic world, even safety is elusive.

Based on true stories, played by real transgender sex workers.

Runtime: 20 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Turkey | Language: Turkish | Year: 2014

I, You, We


Director & Writer: Ali Erfan Farhadi

Kindergarten children discuss the future -- but one of them disagrees with the rest.

Runtime: 1 minute | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2015

22 January

Following Shira's Journey: A Greek Jewish Odyssey


Courtesy; Following Shira's Journey

Directors: Carol Gordon, Natalie Cunningham

More than 60,000 Greek Jews perished in the Nazi concentration camps, and yet in the aftermath of the Second World War, the Greek Jewish wartime experience was relegated to an attic of denial and neglect. Following Shira's Journey uncovers a sorely neglected and tragic aspect of Jewish history, featuring interviews with Holocaust survivors, second and third generation survivors, and other community members, all of whom are fighting to keep their tradition and culture alive.

Runtime: 50 minutes | Genre: Documentary | Country: Australia, Greece | Language: English, Hebrew, Greek | Year: 2014


Parables of War


Courtesy; Parables of War

Director & Writer: Nina Gilden Seavey

Cast: Liz Lerman, Bill Pullman, Joshua Bleill, Keith Thompson, Tamara Hurwitz Pullman, Marjani Forte-Saunders

Dance, documentary, and drama -- all coalesce in 'Parables of War' in search of a multi-textured answer to the timeless question of the human condition: how can civilization bind the wounds of war? Using MacArthur 'Genius' Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman's theatrical performance piece, 'Healing Wars' as a point of departure, 'Parables' witnesses the journey of three men who are, in one way or another, all casualties of war: Bill Pullman, the actor; Keith Thompson, the dancer; and Josh Bleill, the former Marine. Transcending performance, 'Parables' explores the intricate nexus that exists between art and artist, between representation and personal narrative, and between historical truth and contemporary experience. Ultimately, what is laid bare is the struggle of the wounded and of their healers that expresses itself both in art as in life itself.

Runtime: 32 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015



Director: Jawad Wahabzada

A young boy washes cars next to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and reflects on the U.S. military withdrawal. Omid provides rare access to the war-torn streets of Kabul, Afghanistan -- weaving together Omid's personal story with the history of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan and its consequences for the country's future.

Runtime: 9 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: Afghanistan | Language: Persian | Year: 2015

23 January



Director: Chang Tsai-Hsing

Two sisters, Yu Fang and Cai Yi, were born in poverty yet strived to live and eventually blossomed into the world’s most beautiful flowers. Even the most beautiful things are only illusions in the flow of time.

Runtime: 60 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: Taiwan | Language: Taiwanese




Director & Writer: John Hellberg

Cast: Stéphane Bertola, Gunnar Ernblad, Marienette Dahlin, Roberto Gonzalez

What could be easier than robbing a small bookie place on the outskirts of town? It’s during the year’s biggest horse race event and the betting center Washington’s Tobacco looks like the ultimate hit for some fast cash. Mousse is a man of pride and principles and is fed up with living as a second-class citizen. But what happens when he faces principles different to his own?

Runtime: 40 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Dark Comedy | Country: Sweden | Language: Swedish | Year: 2013

The Nothing Man


Director & Writer: Joey Cassaro

Cast: Lawrence Grotts, Thea McCartan, John Crann, Ed Sheldon, Craig Scribner, Mark Tracy, Brittany Crowell, James Salerno, Charlie Mitchell, Brian T. Baker

After finding out his job is going to be outsourced, John Cleary decides to rally his men and fight, showing the lengths one man will go in the Great Depression to fight for his family and the America he was promised.

Runtime: 20 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Historical Drama | Country: United States | Language: English

24 January

New Generation Queens: A Zanzibar Soccer Story


Courtesy; New Generation Queens

Director: Megan Shutzer

This is the story of Zanzibar's women's soccer team, the New Generation Queens. Examining the history and culture of women's soccer in Zanzibar, it follows the team to mainland Tanzania, where the Queens participate in a tournament for the first time -- and several hope to be recruited to the Tanzanian national team.

Runtime: 55 minutes | Genre: Documentary | Country: United States, Tanzania | Language: Swahili | Year: 2015

You Know What? I Love You.


Courtesy; Victorian College of the Arts

Director: Natalie Cunningham

A heart-warming tale of life's simple pleasures inspired by filmmaker Natalie Cunningham's conversations with her 94 year-old grandmother, Giannoula Panagiotopoulos. On a sunny afternoon the two women reflect on life, from the cheekiness of childhood mischief to the sadness of losing the ones we love.

Runtime: 10 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: Australia | Language: Greek | Year: 2012



Director & Writer: Saman Hosseinpuor

Cast: Asie Moradi Zar, Mahmood Mirzaee

A woman and her husband have run out of water for their fish. Can they save him before it's too late?

Runtime: 4 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2015

25 January

Rites of Passage


Courtesy; Beyond Empathy Ltd

Directors: Phillip Crawford, Mary Callaghan, Gemma Parsons

Cast: Chris Simpson, Elias Rees, Daniel de Filippo, Skie Carlson, Chaise Barbaric, Tiran Dingle, Kane Porter, Lakia Igano

A groundbreaking, feature-length drama made collaboratively with a group of young people who dive below the surface of their often tough exteriors to reveal what’s going on inside.

Runtime: 80 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: Australia | Language: English | Year: 2013



Courtesy; Victorian College of the Arts

Director: Natalie Cunningham

A young poet follows a hip hop dream. Ror Akot is a South Sudanese former refugee making his mark on the Australian music scene. An inspiring portrait of a young artist finding his way.

Runtime: 14 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: Australia | Language: English | Year: 2013

Juvenile Justice: The Road to Reform


Courtesy; Gandhi Brigade Youth Media

Director: Gandhi Brigade Youth Media

It was a turbulent spring of 2015 as protesters and rioters took to the streets of Baltimore expressing their frustration with the justice system. Fifty miles away, seven high school students watched the scene unfold and asked themselves why it happened. What were the factors that lead to this situation, and more importantly, what could be done to make our youth safer in the communities where they live?

Conceived and produced by the members of Gandhi Brigade Youth Media.

Runtime: 8 minutes | Genre: Documentary Short | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015


26 January

Roman Buildings


Director & Writer: Brian Philip Katz

Cast: Sarita Choudhury, Michael Connor, Maria Rosenblum

A scathing, profound, and poetic portrait of the failed artist as middle-aged man.

Runtime: 66 minutes | Genre: Drama, Art | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2014

Local Girls


Director & Writer: Callen Diederichs

Cast: Diana Sawatzky, Dakota Hebert, Charles Lemire, Callen Diederichs, Jason Kucey

The violent antagonism between two women in the Old West is transformed by supernatural intervention and the appearance of a mutual enemy. Local Girls uses elements of Western, horror and exploitation films to explore the dynamics of colonialism in Canada originating in the late 19th century.

Runtime: 14 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short, Western, Fantasy | Country: Canada | Year: 2014



Courtesy; Asleep

Director & Writer: Billy Jackson

Cast: Harry Quinn, Sophie Lumb, Poppy Jackson, Josh Oliver

A homeless young man tries to come to terms with something terrible that has torn his life apart. That terrible thing lies in a remote field, where only he can find it, and he must find a way of dealing with it.

Runtime: 13 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: United Kingdom | Language: English | Year: 2015


27 January



Courtesy; Intersection

Director: Tim French

Writers: Michael French, Tim French

Cast: Hoyt Richards, Anabella Casanova

A broken man, haunted by a car crash that claimed the life of his daughter, returns to the same small town where the fateful accident occurred only to discover something he never expected to find – love. Do second chances come with a price?

Runtime: 80 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: United States | Language: English | Year: 2015

The Man Who Fed His Shadow


Courtesy; The Man Who Fed His Shadow

Director & Writer: Mario Garefo

A man intrudes into rich people’s dinners claiming to be able to collect the food from their table -- and feed his shadow.

Runtime: 18 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Greece | Language: Greek | Year: 2012

The Cat's Cradle


Courtesy; The Cat's Cradle

Director: David Spaltro

Writer: Tawny Sorensen

Cast: Tawny Sorensen, Nabil Vinas

Jim and Amy are a young couple attempting to conceive. As these attempts become all-consuming in their lives, stress and tension build between them. A romantic evening turns into a night of confessions and betrayal that will forever change their relationship.

Runtime: 15 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: United States | Language: English

28 January

Oblivion Season


Courtesy; Oblivion Season

Director: Abbas Rafei

Writer: Ali Asghari

Cast: Sareh Bayat, Amin Zendegani

An ex-prostitute starts a new life by marrying her loved one, but leaving the shadow of her dark past is not as easy as it once seemed. Now she is a prisoner of her own husband, and to earn her freedom she must prevail against a masculine society that won't let her forget her past.

Runtime: 94 minutes | Genre: Drama | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2014



Courtesy; The London Film School

Director & Writer: Christine Sherwood

Cast: Charlie Lewington, Jack Brett Anderson, Scarlett Byrne, Charlie Clarke

Adapted from the short story 'Feathers and Cigarettes' by Andrew Lloyd-Jones, Lashes follows 16-year-old Ashley through one day where her true, authentic self collides with whom she has been trying to be. A cheating boyfriend and a deceiving new friend makes her realise that the world she has been trying to fit into isn’t everything she had hoped for. She lashes out.

Runtime: 20 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: United Kingdom | Language: English | Year: 2014

Sound of Tears


Director & Writer: Dorothy A. Atabong

Cast: Edsson Morales, Dorothy A. Atabong, Albert Williams, Rhoma Spencer, Eugene Paul, Shane T. Edwards, Edgar Fraser, Aisha Betham, Phyllis Brown

Amina and her family have fled Vancouver to Toronto to escape her estranged lover Josh and the stamp of shame from their patriarchal community -- but Josh tracks them down. Drunk, he crashes an engagement party, demanding to be a father to their unborn child.

Runtime: 15 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Canada | Language: English | Year: 2014

29 January

Escapes (Huidas)


Courtesy; Escapes

Director & Writer: Mercedes Gaspar

Cast: Huichi-chiu, Liberto Rabal, Asunción Balaguer, Laura de Pedro

After China loses her father, she embarks on a journey that will reveal to her the essence of life. In traveling, though, she discovers that running away is not the answer.

Runtime: 90 minutes | Genre: Drama, Fantasy | Country: Spain | Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish | Year: 2013

Angels Die in the Soil


Director & Writer: Babak Amini

Cast: Donya Ghobadi

An Iraqi Kurdish girl living on the border of Iran and Iraq searches for the remains of Iranian soldiers fallen in the Iran-Iraq war. One day, she finds something she never expected.

Runtime: 30 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Year: 2013

Winter's Journey


Courtesy; Winter's Journey

Director & Writer: Susanne Boeing

Cast: Hermann Beyer, Yorck Dippe

Walter is waiting at the last station of his journey through life. His family and friends all know what is best for him. But in the end they must accept that his ending belongs only to him.

Runtime: 26 minutes | Genre: Dramatic Short | Country: Germany | Language: German | Year: 2015

30 January - Atlas Awards Announced: 'Bests'

31 January - Atlas Awards Announced: Atlas Aeris, Atlas Vitri, Jury Prize, Human Rights Prize

Please note that the festival schedule is subject to change without notice.

Viewer discretion is advised;  material may be inappropriate for children.

For more information about the Atlas Awards, visit our Awards page.

For a full list of the 2016 Official Selection, visit this year's Official Selection announcement page.