Sebastopol film festival

2020 Virtual Film Festival Program Archive

Preview Week: Shorts w/ Filmmaker Conversations
Keeper of the Creek, filmmaker Dan Goldes
Rewilding Honeybees, filmmaker Cameron Neilson
A Pilgrimage, filmmakers: Sara Alexander & Brian Antonson
Three Red Sweaters, filmmaker Martha Gregory
All That Remains + filmmaker interview w/ Director/Producer Eva Rendle
Dick Ogg: Fisherman + filmmaker interview w/ Director Cynthia Abbott + Producer Andrea Leland (sponsored by Slow Fish/Slow Food Russian River)

Week 1: Opening Night – Our Time Machine + exclusive filmmaker interviews
Our Time Machine featuring filmmaker interviews with Directors Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang

Week 2: SDFF 2020 Jury Winners – Midnight Family, Night Cleaners, The Whale
Midnight Family, filmmaker Luke Lorentzen
Night Cleaners, filmmaker Hannah Nordenswan
The Whale, filmmaker Iza Pająk

Week 3: SDFF 2020 SDFF 2020 Music Docs
The Poster Boys, filmmakers Joshua Lamme Hilliard and Bobo Simmons
Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life, filmmaker Fiona Cochrane
That’s My Jazz, filmmaker: Ben Proudfoot

Documentaries Make House Calls Preview:
Shorts + Conversations 1

May 7 – May 17 — Total Running Time: 77 Minutes

Sebastopol Center for the Arts proudly presents Documentaries Make House Calls from Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. Docs Make House Calls will be streaming films at intervals, beginning June 19 and ending Oct. 18.

All of these stories selected for DMHC are in keeping with current circumstances — close to home. While the air we share has become a carrier of danger we stay put to diffuse and defeat the threat. Smog, frantic schedules and routine are lifted. While desperation exists, it’s also a time of introspection and reassessment. Our values and connections rise to the fore: family, charity, recognition and stewardship of that which nourishes and sustains.

This collection of films is presented as a touchstone in troubled times. The filmmakers’ voices support and expand our appreciation for one another. For many of us they will resonate far into the future.

More extraordinary feature length and short films from SDFF 2020 are coming directly to you online through Docs Make House Calls. Check out to keep up with special interest stories, news and the opportunity to view more movies that matter.

To survey upcoming films in the DMHC online series, click here.

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“If you’ve ever thought ‘Someone should do something about that litter problem’, remember, you’re someone.”

Keeper of the Creek

Filmmaker: Dan Goldes

US, 2018, 5 mins

Official Selection: EkoFilm Poland Nowogard, Golden State Film Festival Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival Kuala Lumpur  Culture Award

“Keeper of the Creek” is director Dan Goldes’s film about his brother, Joel, who has adopted a forgotten creek and watershed near his home. Without fanfare, he has diligently worked for 10 years on cleaning the creek, understanding that “we all live downstream” and that the health of the waterway impacts the health of the surrounding neighborhood. In an era of cynicism and divisiveness, Joel quietly shows that one person can make a difference. This isn’t director Bob Goldes’s first time at SDFF or his only film selected as part of SDFF 2020. His feature, “5 Blocks,” about gentrification on Market Street in San Francisco was also an official selection for SDFF 2020’s original festival and is well worth looking up!

Sebastopol film festival
Sebastopol film festival

Farmworkers find themselves in an increasingly precarious position a year after wildfires ravaged the Northern California vineyards in which they worked. The current pandemic has again magnified the a heightened state of insecurity and inequality, and risks to life and limb these workers experience on a daily basis

All That Remains

Filmmaker: Eva Rendle

US, 2019, 20 mins

Winner-Student Academy Awards; Official Selection-
Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2020, Mill Valley Film Festival 2019, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2020

A year after wildfires ravaged Northern California’s Wine Country, its vulnerable population of farmworkers, many of them undocumented, find themselves in a heightened state of insecurity and inequality. All That Remains follows the second responders and vineyard workers who are still dealing with the aftermath of the fires, long after the media has turned away. Immigration, labor, and housing issues that have been building in Napa and Sonoma for decades, only to be brought to the surface by one of the deadliest natural disasters in California history.


Short is complemented by exclusive interview between filmmaker Eva Rendle and SDFF programmer Jeffrey Zankel.

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A filmmaker explores memory and the way that we use technology to record our lives; sometimes at the expense of being present for them. Filmmaker Martha Gregory utilizes her grandfather’s 16mm home videos as her medium. This journey into family archives employs a very personal story to examine how memory is captured as a moment in time, and breathes new life into what was once thought lost forever.

Three Red Sweaters,

Filmmaker: Martha Gregory

US, 2017, 8 mins

Awards: SDFF 2018 Critic’s Choice; Aspen Shortfest 2017 Best Doc; Middlebury New Filmmakers Fest 2017 Jacob Burn Film Center Creative Culture Award

Photographer Sally Mann once wrote: “Before the invention of photography, significant moments in the flow of time of our lives would be like rocks placed in a stream; impediments that demonstrated but didn’t diminish the volume of the flow and around which accrued the debris of memory, rich in sight, smell, taste and sound.” Do photographs and film help us remember the past or remove us from it? As visual media becomes ever more ubiquitous, do we need our memories? Are our smart phones a barrier between us and experience?

This film evolved over many months of research and interviews and then took on a new form when filmmaker Martha Gregory gained access to hours of archival footage shot by her grandfather in the 50s, 60s and 70s. With a wealth of incredible images she had a new angle from which to explore her initial question; how are our memories changing now that we have the ability to document every moment of our lives? The film’s course was then altered again when she realized her Grandfather would not live to see the project completed; a project to which he had been invaluable.

Sebastopol film festival
Sebastopol film festival

Dick Ogg: Fisherman tells the compelling story of the challenges facing the California Dungeness Crab fishing industry and one man’s passion to keep the fisheries alive and thriving.

Dick Ogg: Fisherman

Director: Cynthia Abbott

Director: Prod. Andrea Leland

US, 2019, 9 mins 2020 Awards: International Ocean Film Festival Best Short, Big Sky International Film Festival Official Selection

Living and fishing in the Bodega Bay area for 55 years, Dick is forced to confront the realities of a warming ocean, the creation of a Marine Projected Area in the local fishing grounds, and derelict crab pots. Dick wants to see organic sustainable fishing practices but daunting challenges are causing local fishermen to leave the profession. Here Dick faces these challenges with solutions and actions to keep the local fisheries alive.


Short is complemented by exclusive interview between filmmakers Cynthia Abbott & Andrea Leland and SDFF programmer Jeffrey Zankel.


Dick Ogg: Fisherman streaming at SDFF 2020 is sponsored by

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Join Sonoma County artist Genevieve Barnhart on her 97 year pilgrimage through life and art.

A Pilgrimage

Director & Producer: Sara Alexander

Director of Photography & Editor: Brian Antonson

US, 2017, 10 mins

When Genevieve Barnhart, now 97, was invited to assemble a retrospective of her sculptures and photographs, her first thought was, “Why would I want to do that?” Her second was, “Maybe I can inspire ‘little women’ to do big things.” This is a cinematic adaptation of her astounding, auto-biographical one- woman show, tracking this iconic local artist’s life and her work’s global reach.

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Honeybees have been domesticated over hundreds of years, however now with colony collapse disorder, rewilding them might be the solution to saving them.

Rewilding Honeybees, Filmmaker: Cameron Neilson 

United States, 2020, 11 mins

Rewilding practices are a radical shift in beekeeping towards the preservation and protection of the honeybees. This film showcases the work of Michael Thiele, and his vision of symbiotic narratives and an apiculture paradigm which integrates natural bee life cycles as guiding principles. You see the creation of log hives, which Michael puts high up in trees to mirror the natural nest preferences of honeybees, using the research of scientist Thomas Seeley. Throughout the film Michael inquiries into the current conceptions of humans relationship to nature and redesigns the ways in which we live with bees.

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Week 1: Our Time Machine
Featuring interviews with Yang Sun & S. Leo Chiang

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Our Time Machine


S. Leo Chiang & Yang Sun

China, 2019, 86 mins 


Our Time Machine streaming at SDFF’s Docs Make House Calls is sponsored by the Gravenstein Grill.

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When influential Chinese artist Maleonn realizes that his father Ma Ke, an accomplished Peking Opera director, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he invites his father to collaborate on his most ambitious project to date—a haunting, magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets called “Papa’s Time Machine.” As they create this play, the two men confront their mortality before time runs out and memories are lost forever. 


China Academy Awards-Best Documentary Film, Tribeca Film Festival-Best Cinematography 2019, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival Grand Jury Award, IDFA Official Selection 2019, Winner-DocEdge Film, Minsk International Film Festival Listapad 2019 Grand Prix, Indie Street Film Festival 2019


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Yang Sun

Director – Producer – Cinematographer

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Shanghai-based director and cameraman Yang Sun has directed several short documentaries. This is his feature-length debut.  See his opening remarks for our screening here.

S. Leo Chiang

Director – Producer – Writer

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S. Leo Chiang is a filmmaker based in San Francisco and Taipei. He co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), and is a documentary branch member of the Academy. Watch him introduce our screening of the film here.

Our Time Machine Website

Facebook: @ourtimemachinefilm – Instagram: @ourtimemachinefilm – Twitter: #ourtimemachinefilm 

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Week 2: SDFF 2020 Jury Winners

Feature: Midnight Family, filmmaker Luke Lorentzen
Short: Night Cleaners, filmmaker Hanna Nordenswan
Mini: The Whale, Iza Pająk

Sebastopol film festival
Sebastopol film festival


Filmmaker: Luke Lorentzen

US, 2020, 90 mins

In Mexico City, the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services.

Filmmaker Luke Lorentzen accepts his jury award for Best Feature here.

Midnight Family trailer here.

For more information on the film, check out their website or catch them on all of the socials @MidnightFamilyFilm.

Selection of Awards: Special Jury Award for Cinematography, U.S. Documentary, Sundance Film Festival; Best Film & Best Director, Guadalajara International Film Festival; Premio Guerrero de la Prensa, Red de Prensa Mexicana de Cine;Firebird Award for Best Documentary, Hong Kong International Film Festival; Cine Latino Documentary Audience Award, MSPIFF; Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature, Cine Las Americas; Best Mexican Documentary, DOQUMENTA, Queretaro; Grand Prix, Russian Press Prize and IFFS Prize Message to Man Film Festival, Saint Petersburg; IDA Documentary Awards, Winner, Best Editing, Best Feature and Best Cinematography.

SDFF 2020 Jury winner-Shorts-laurels
DMHC presents SDFF 2020 winner-shorts


Filmmaker: Hanna Nordenswan

US, 2019, 24 mins

After sunset familiar New York spaces turn into something else entirely; shadowy worlds where only the thoughts of the night cleaners can be heard.

Night Cleaners is about the people who clean up while most of the population sleeps. It explores the relationship between spaces and the cleaners who go through them at night, while shining a light on people who are rarely noticed.

The stories of the cleaners have similarities – most are immigrants and all have a special connection to the space they clean. Night Cleaners peaks behind the scenes lets us witness the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Selected Awards: Visionary Documentary, Oaxaca International Film Festival; Best Doc, Nordic International  Film Festival; FIPA Selection and New Doc shortlist.

Watch Night Cleaners Trailer Here.

Filmmaker/journalist Hanna Nordenswan accept her SDFF 2020 Jury Award for Best Short Here.

For more information about the film and filmmaker, go to or catch her on her socials – instagram: @nordenswanson, facebook: @hanna.nordenswan,  twitter: @HannaNordenswan.

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SDFF 2020 Jury Winner for Minis The Whale


Filmmaker: Iza Pająk

Poland, 2018, 8 mins

A whale was found at the side of Vistula river in Warsaw. How he got there? Was it possible to save him?

This experimental documentary by young Polish filmmaker Iza Pająk has also been honored with a bundle of audience and juried awards at Red Rock, and has also won at the 2019 Canberra Short Film Festival and at the 2019 Millennium Docs Against Gravity.

Filmmaker Iza Pająk accepts her jury award for Best Mini here.

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Week 3: Music Program

Sebastopol Film

That’s My Jazz

Filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, 2018, 14 min, U.S.A.
Social Media Handle: @breakwaterstudios,


Milt Abel II, a world renowned pastry chef, reflects on his relationship with his deceased father Milton Abel Sr., famed Kansas City Jazz musician.

Milt Abel II, the son of Kansas City jazz legend, Milt Abel Sr., longed to follow in the fortuitous footsteps of his father, but on a different stage. From a young age he found his passion in the culinary arts, working his way from being a dishwasher in diners to the head pastry chef at Thomas Keller’s prestigious restaurant, The French Laundry, and sous pastry chef at the two-Michelin-star Noma. But while Milt II was rising to the top in his career, his father’s was slowly coming to an end. “That’s My Jazz” follows Milt II at the peak of his career yet facing the realization of his own limitations. Finding himself at a critical crossroad of life, Milt II pushes the button to turn back time, reflecting on the rise of his star and its intersection with the sunset of his father’s.

Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life

Filmmaker: Fiona Cochrane
2019, 53 mins., Australia

Trailer: Click Here
Film Website:

Strange Tenants were the “Godfathers of Australian Ska”, emerging in the 1980s in the wake of UK two-tone ska bands like The Specials but producing original political ska songs unlike most other Australian ska bands. 36 years later they’re still around and still political.

The Poster Boys

Filmmakers: Joshua Lamme Hilliard, Bob Simmons
72 mins. U.S.A.

Trailer: Click Here 
Two young artists help develop a visual language that became an integral part of Austin’s music scene and underground culture, beginning in the 1960s and 70s.

Armed only with pen and ink, a few artists found a need and filled it, and along the way, changed a sleepy Texas town into a vibrant international city. The Poster Boys is the story of a few artists who pooled their talents to visually inform a cultural revolution in Austin, Texas. Beginning in the proto-psychedelic late 60’s through to the cosmic cowboy 70s, they created thousands of images to promote the music and defined the city along the way. In so doing, they set a scene that went on to define an internationally recognized artist-centered city. This feature doc is a tale about a special time and a place that will not be seen again, but begs to be examined and celebrated. The film drops a formal film score and instead is set against the music of the era, including Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, Shiva’s Headband, Mance Lipscomb, and other other psychedelic, blues and country tracks of its day.

Facebook: @PosterBoysTheMovie 

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