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Salute Your Shorts Film Festival Unveils Its First Batch of 2020 Selections

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

The Salute Your Shorts Film Festival has announced the first batch of films in its official selection, which comprises 79 short films including Logan Jackson’s heartfelt drama MY HERO, which won Special Jury Award: Best U.S. Short at the 2020 Palm Springs ShortFest, Geeta Gandbhir’s culturally relevant documentary CALL CENTER BLUES, Janina Gavankar and Russo Schelling’s horror STUCCO, Ashley Williams’s directorial debut MEATS, and Ashley Eakin’s dazzling anti-romantic comedy SINGLE.

At the fourth edition of the festival, Salute Your Shorts is teaming up with Street Food Cinema to host an opening night event with a drive-in screening at Brandeis Bardin Campus in Simi Valley on August 21, 2020 (the lineup will be announced soon). The festival will continue with an online festival powered by Seed&Spark from August 22-29. Tickets for the Opening Night at Drive-in Theater are available now

Here is the first wave lineup for the 2020 Salute Your Shorts Film Festival:

"GHOSTS" Directed by Diego Escobar

A mother does everything within her reach to try and make her daughter happy during quarantine, to avoid making her memories ghosts from the past.

1, 2, 3, ALL EYES ON ME Directed by Emil Gallardo

A loving teacher gets caught in a crisis that engulfs her campus, threatening the kids in her care.

A LIVING SCULPTURE Directed by Diana Chire

A young French Horn player explores pros and cons of her relationship with an Artist.


A MOTHER Directed by Natasha Ngaiza

As a town copes with the disappearance of a little girl, a mother of two must come to terms with her own decision to abort an unexpected pregnancy.

A SUNDAY IN MAY Directed by Carlos Matias

The story follows a son throughout his day as he prepares for his traditional Mother’s Day dinner. Except this year, things are a little bit different.

A WOMAN Directed by Tahmina Rafaella

A young, modern mother struggles to find her place in Baku, Azerbaijan, a culture simultaneously Muslim and secular, progressive as it is traditional, and like her at a crossroads of seeming contradictions.

ADAM (WITH AN EYE) Directed by Derrick Duan

A lonesome astronaut roams alien landscape thinking of his left-behind love.

AFFURMATIVE ACTION Directed by Travis Wood

An exploration of workplace diversity through "meet the team" pages.

BAGEL BITE FRIGHT NIGHT Directed by Tessa Evelyn

Two stoner babes believe they are being stalked by celebrity sex offenders.

BLACK BOY JOY Directed by Martina Lee

Three generations of black men struggling to juggle the demands of raising a young son with autism while adapting to their new normal after the death of a loved one.


BLACK BOYS CAN'T CRY Directed by Victor Gabriel

A father overtaken by an inexplicable force in the middle of the night attacks his family and comes face to face with his past.

BLOCKS Directed by Bridget Moloney

An existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit plastic toy blocks.

BROKEN ORCHESTRA Directed by Charlie Tyrell

When schools lose arts funding, what happens to their musical instruments?

CALL CENTER BLUES Directed by Geeta Gandbhir

A community of US deportees struggling to rebuild their lives in Tijuana.

COFFEE SHOP NAMES Directed by Deepak Sethi

Three Indian friends discuss what their "coffee shop names" are and their made-up personas behind them.


COLDSORE Directed by Caitlin McCarthy

One girl's quest for a viral infection

DANNY'S GIRL Directed by Emily Wilson

Danny meets his online girlfriend for the first time but accidentally discovers an unspeakable possession of hers, which throws their first night together into a dizzying tailspin.

DEMAND CURVE Directed by The Bragg Brothers

A university professor uses basic economics to up his ransom and get in on the action.

ELI Directed by Nate Milton

A true story from the realms of High Strangeness, Magical Thinking and Manic Delusion.

ESTHER Directed by Rebecca Halfon

Drunk with power after getting her braces off, 13-year-old Esther tries to seduce her oblivious Hebrew tutor.

EXAM Directed by Sonia K. Hadad

A teenage girl gets involved in the process of delivering a pack of cocaine to its client, and gets stuck in a weird cycle of occurrences.


FACE TO FACE TIME Directed by Izzy Shill

Claire takes the bold step of initiating a FaceTime call, only to discover Danny’s flaccid enthusiasm for her.

FANGIRL Directed by Shayda Frost

14-year old Nat walks an audience through her world of bullies, family, friends and fandom.

FINE, I'LL WRITE MY OWN DAMN SONG Directed by Allyson Rice

A 56-year-old mom sends a comedic rap video message to her musician son that she’s still relevant.

FREERIDE SKIING AT HOME Directed by Philipp Klein Herrero

You can keep a Freerider quarantined, but you won’t be able to keep him from skiing.

HAND IN HAND Directed by Ennio Ruschetti

Two politicians shake hands. The situation gets out of hand.

HEAT Directed by Thessa Meijer

During an extreme heat wave, a shy girl seeks refuge in an ice cream shop. But when she looks into the eyes of the charming vendor, she is on thin ice...

HOMESICK Directed by Koya Kamura

Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Murai braves danger and wanders through the no-go zone in order to spend time with Jun, his eight-year-old son.

HOT DOG Directed by Patrick Muhlberger

A group of coworkers tries to rescue a dog trapped in a hot car. Chaos ensues in a single shot.

I NEVER PICKED COTTON Directed by Hanna Adams, Cole Bacani, Max Edmeier, Dariel Filomeno, Alexandra Gottlieb, NamQuyen “Q” Le, Yolanda Morgan, Victoria Perez, Benjamin Ragasa, Josie Stocks, John Stover, Jinghan Tian

Yolanda Morgan recalls her experiences with racism and the impact it has had on her.


ISOLATIONS Directed by Talia Shea Levin

An outlet for chaos and the enduring need to connect created as lockdown took effect in Los Angeles.

LA HISTORIA DE MATEO (MATEO'S STORY) Directed by Malona P. Badelt

When a family seeks safety in the US, their journey turns into a struggle of trauma, fear and irreparable damage.

LANCE (IN A NECK BRACE) Directed by Chloé Aktas

After a devastating break-up, Lance listens to instructional cassette tapes on how to heal his broken heart.

LAZY SUSAN Directed by Terri Timely

You might be one of the millions of people whose life was made a little bit easier by Susan and you don’t even know it.

LENA Directed by Gosha Shapiro

A 9-year-old girl plays translator during a parent-teacher conference.

LEND ME YOUR SUGAR Directed by Geir Jardar Olsen

A grumpy old recluse is constantly challenged by the cheerful, love-struck woman from downstairs.

LINE DRY Directed by Anna Elizabeth Baumgarten

A run-in between two neighbors in an apartment building laundry room takes an unexpected turn.

LITTLE CHIEF Directed by Erica Tremblay

The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma


LIV Directed by Alan Hicks

Liv and her older sister Tess are inseparable siblings, who from a young age share a strong musical bond, but behind the music and happy images, hides a terrifying secret. Liv rides the waves of hope and despair, older sister Tess desperately fights to save her.

LONG RIDE HOME Directed by Dame Pierre

The film explores the unfortunate reality that it's extremely hard to 'make it out.' To show Black people who are fortunate enough to transition from being a have-not to a have, that it is not always as simple as pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.

LOOPY Directed by Max Cianci, Anthony Peduzzi

A man follows mysterious trails through a seemingly abandoned building.

LOST KINGS Directed by Brian Lawes

While searching for food, a boy becomes trapped inside with the homeowners he's stealing from.

MADRE (MOTHER) Directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen

The daily conversation between Marta and her mother turns into a tragic time trial situation when they receive a call from her 6-year-old son who is lost on a French beach, separated from his father.

MAELLE Directed by Jordi Gueyrard

Do you think you can spot the evil by its face?

MAUDE Directed by Toby Frow

When retired housewife Maude wins a cruise for two, her hope of escape from her stale marriage is placed on Henry, her local shop keeper.

MEATS Directed by Ashley Williams

A pregnant vegan struggles with her newfound craving for meat.

MY HERO Directed by Logan Jackson

As last-minute plans for a babysitter fall apart, eight-year-old Brandon is left alone to oversee his younger brother Mason.


NEXT LEVEL SHIT Directed by Gary Jaffe

Taylor prepares obsessively for the perfect third date with dreamboat Chris, but his efforts backfire, sending the relationship spiraling to a whole new level of intimacy.

NO CRYING AT THE DINNER TABLE Directed by Carol Nguyen

Filmmaker Carol Nguyen interviews her family to craft a portrait of love, grief and intergenerational trauma.

NOTHING TO SAY Directed by Aubry Mintz

An animated turtle challenges a zookeeper by not speaking on command exposing themes of exile

ONE SMALL STEP Directed by Jorge Moratal, Nacho Garvia

Space exploration is a big leap into the unknown.

OVERSHARE Directed by Michelle Noh

Hazel's not in the mood to humor her rideshare driver with idle chit chat. But when they finally cut through the small-talk, she has to reveal what her real destination is, and their relationship takes a sharp turn.

PANGU Directed by Shaofu Zhang

Based on the ancient Chinese creation myth, PANGU is a modern tale about parenthood and the differences between generations. PANGU creates a rigid world of straight and square shapes, but there’s just one problem: his son sees the world as curves and circles.

POSTCARDS FROM THE END OF THE WORLD Directed by Konstantinos Antonopoulos

Trapped in their marriage, Dimitra and Dimitris try to endure their summer vacation with their two daughters on a remote island. Unexpectedly, human civilization collapses.


POWER Directed by Chris Foito

A mother desperately tries to reconnect with her son across memories, missed calls, modern distractions, and the distance of neglected relationships.

QUILT FEVER Directed by Olivia Loomis Merrion

Welcome to the Academy Awards of quilting.

RUNNING OUT Directed by Avi Kaye

Everything seems to be getting in Jake’s way as he tries to get out the door in time for his flight.

Si Directed by Thomas Kim

After baseball practice, an Asian-American boy navigates micro-aggression with his friends through seemingly innocent jokes and games.

SINGLE Directed by Ashley Eakin

A girl born with one arm is set up on a blind date with a guy who has one hand... and she is pissed!


SIXTH OF JUNE Directed by Henry Roosevelt

Sainte-Mère-Église was ground zero on D-Day. For 75 years, people of all countries, races and faiths have gathered to commemorate those whose sacrifice changed the world. With few veterans left, who will preserve their legacy? SIXTH OF JUNE is the story of why we remember and what we lose if we forget.

SOUTHPAW Directed by Sawako Kabuki

Organisms dance vigorously along with delightful recorders.

SPONTANEOUS Directed by Lori Felker

You never know when someone is miscarrying; it could be happening right next to you.

STICKER Directed by Georgi M. Unkovski

After an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, Dejan falls in a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father.

STUCCO Directed by Janina Gavankar, Russo Schelling

An agoraphobic woman finds a suspicious, hollow wall in her house.


THE 410 (PILOT EPISODE) Directed by Renuka Jeyapalan

Hard-boiled noir meets hipster chill in this tale of familial strife and vigilante justice. Desperate to bail her father out of jail, Suri (Indian, blonde and bougie) comes face-to-face with the criminal underworld that operates inside her seemingly quiet suburban community.


A celebration of simple acts of play, imagination, and downtime.

THE DEVIL'S HARMONY Directed by Dylan Holmes Williams

A bullied teenage girl leads an a cappella club on a trail of destruction against her high school enemies.

THE HOUSE WHERE I GREW UP Directed by Jon Walkup

After the death of his older brother, Jonathan decides to visit their childhood home.

THE QUARANTINE RAG Directed by Charlotte Quintanar

Making cleaning the bathroom more fun with a creative clash of animation and reality.

THE SLUG FINGER Directed by Lily Shaul

A girl's finger transforms into a slug, can she learn to love and care for it?


THE SPEECH Directed by Haohao Yan

Beijing, 2003 - While the SARS epidemic unravels social norms, three eight-year-old girls uncover personal truths during a school lockdown.

UMBILICAL Directed by Danski Tang

An animated documentary exploring how my mother’s abusive relationship shaped my own experiences in boarding school.Through a conversation, my mother and I learn to understand and support each other.

UN DIABLE DANS LA POCHE Directed by Antoine Bonnet, Mathilde Loubes

A group of children witnesses a crime and is forced to remain silent. Auguste, the youngest, finds the burden too heavy and decides to reveal this secret. To punish this treason, the rest of the kids plan to get rid of him.

UNADOPTED Directed by Paula Neudorf, Arianna LaPenne. Produced by YR Media.

In UNADOPTED, 24-year-old Noel Anaya investigates why the foster care system never found him a “forever family” — and why he was taken from his biological parents in the first place.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS Directed by Mary Dauterman

A male stripper has an unusual experience on the job.

WAFFLE Directed by Carlyn Hudson

A young woman tries to endure a sleepover with a socially awkward, mysteriously orphaned heiress.

WHITE EYE Directed by Tomer Shushan

A man finds his stolen bicycle and it now belongs to a stranger. In his attempts to retrieve the bicycle, he struggles to remain human.

WILLY GOES WAY BACK! Directed by Ryan Wagner

Willy, an outcast grieving the loss of his mother, is given the opportunity to go on an incredible, surreal adventure.

ZORG II Directed by Auden Lincoln-Vogel

An alien comes to earth in hopes of starring in a sci-fi blockbuster.


>>Stay tuned for some late additions.<<


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