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Past Years

Special thanks to all the filmmakers, attendees, volunteers, and donors who have helped build the Windrider Bay Area legacy over the last eight years. Below is an archive of past WRBA film selections.

2016 film selection

Searchdog Thursday, April 14, 2016
A documentary following Sergeant Matthew “Matt” Zarrella for more than four years as he identifies dogs at rescue shelters—frequently those labeled as problem dogs scheduled to be put down within the week—and rehabilitates and trains them into dependable search-and-rescue dogs. Rather than being unmanageable, they become the trusted partners of teams on a time critical search for a missing person, hoping to make it a rescue rather than a recovery.

2016 Best in Fest Selection, Palm Springs International Film Festival

Mary Healey Jamiel, Filmmaker, Matthew (Matt) Zarrella, Marine Veteran and Rhode Island State Police Sergeant, and Buster, Matt’s dog and Marine K-9 Veteran

“Frogman” Friday, April 15, 2016
A boy idolizes his father, whose stories are larger than life. His father, a frogman (Navy Seal), is frequently away on secret missions. However, the frogman changes, becomes distant, and over the years, the boy feels abandoned. Only a frightening diagnosis presents the possibility of reconciliation.
2017 WISFF Outstanding Documentary Award

Patrick Humphrey, film narrator and real-life son of Frogman

“This Way Up” Friday, April 15, 2016
An unemployed, down-on-his-luck father finds himself living in a storm drain and keeping up a charade of being too busy working to visit his daughter. When his daughter perseveres to see him, the father enlists help from a teenage vagrant to create a fake life. Unforeseen consequences ensue.
2016 WISFF Grand Jury Award Winner
2015 Student Academy Award — Narrative

Mike Langer, Producer

“Day One” Friday, April 15, 2016
Inspired by a true story, Day One follows a new interpreter during her first day on the job, which has her accompanying a US Army unit as they search for a local terrorist. She quickly discovers the brutal complexities. Gender and religious barriers emerge with lives hanging in the balance. A crisis confronts both sides of the battle, and they are forced to work together for a moment in time.
NBCUniversal 2016 Short Film Festival winner of three of the seven awards: Best Drama, Best Director and Audience Award
2016 WISFF Director’s Choice Award
2016 Academy Award Nominee — Best Short Live Action

Henry Hughes, Filmmaker

How to Dance in Ohio Saturday, April 16, 2016
In Columbus, Ohio, three young women living on the autism spectrum prepare for an iconic event – a spring formal dance. Entertaining, funny, and heartwarming, How To Dance in Ohio challenges us to question and celebrate the path to human connection and to rethink the definition of normal.
World Premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Dr. Emilio Amigo, Founder and Director of Amigo Family Counseling in Columbus, Ohio and clinical psychologist working with individuals living with autism spectrum disorders, and Caroline McKenzie, featured in the film


2015 film selection

“1440 and Counting” Thursday, August 13, 2015
Mrs. Nickel (Loretta Devine) is a burned-out teacher full of regret. She is one day away, fourteen hundred and forty minutes from retirement and a fresh start. She’s packing up her apartment when she is confronted by a desperate man from her past. When she discovers that he is in danger, her life is turned upside down within minutes.
Director, Tony Gapistone

“Winter Light” Thursday, August 13, 2015
Adapted from a story by James Lee Burke, WINTER LIGHT is a modern-day revisionist Western set in the frozen wilderness of Montana. The half-hour short tells the story of Roger Guidry, a cantankerous college professor who finds himself alienated and marginalized as he nears retirement. When Roger confronts two hunters he discovers trespassing on his property, he begins an escalating battle of wills that will test his faith in everything he holds dear.
Director, Julian Higgins

“And the Wind Falls” Thursday, August 13, 2015
The theft of a large sum of money belonging to a guest found dead threatens a motel housekeeper’s emerging sense of dignity and any chance she has of reuniting with her daughter. What choice would she make when faced with the inevitable consequences of her actions?
Director, Shuming He


2014 film selection

Alive Inside Saturday, June 21, 2014
As dementia continues to affect millions of elderly Americans, Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory reveals a remarkable, music-based breakthrough that has already transformed lives. Spearheaded by social worker Dan Cohen and captured on camera over the course of three years by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, we learn that songs from a patient’s past can awaken memories and emotions that have been asleep for years, sometimes decades. Within a moment of hearing “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, Alzheimer’s patient MaryLou jolts back to life, dancing around the living room and expressing a euphoria her husband hasn’t witnessed since her illness took effect. Countless instances in Alive Inside provide proof that music stimulates activity in dementia-affected parts of the brain and transforms the quality of life of those often left to languish in silence.”
Michael Rossato-Bennett (director/writer/producer) and Alexandra McDougald (producer)

Short Term 12 Friday, June 20, 2013
The film tells the story of a group of troubled kids in a residence home. They struggle with various problems, such as anger management, abusive parents, and cutting and are being guided back to a better life by counselors with their own challenges. It is an insightful, somewhat edgy, thought-provoking short film that won the 2009 Jury Prize in U. S. Short Filmmaking category at Sundance.
Destin Daniel Cretton (director/writer)

Hank and Asha Thursday, June 19, 2014
In this charming romantic comedy, an Indian woman studying in Prague and a lonely New Yorker begin an unconventional correspondence through video letters – two strangers searching for human connection in a hyper-connected world.
James Duff (director/writer/producer) and Julia Morrison (writer/editor/producer)

“Old Immigrant’s Dance” Saturday, June 29, 2013
Old Immigrant’s Dance or Danza del Viejo Immigrante (a.k.a. “Danza”) wades into the waters of the current discussion on comprehensive immigration reform. Set in the 30 Street Senior Center against the backdrop of San Francisco (a city settled by immigrants), Danza looks at the unique challenges and opportunities facing elderly immigrants in the United States. It is also a film infused with the passion of dance, moments of enduring sweetness, and the compelling stories of sacrifice and devotion of four families.
Filmmaker, Charlene Music

“The Fence” Saturday, June 29, 2013
In Oct. 2006, the U.S. government decided to build a 700-mile fence along its troubled 2000-mile-plus border with Mexico. Three years, 19 construction companies, 350 engineers, thousands of construction workers, tens of thousands of tons of metal and $3 billion later, was it all worth it?

THE FENCE (LA BARDA), Rory Kennedy’s latest HBO documentary, investigates the impact of the project, revealing how its stated goals – containing illegal immigration, cracking down on drug trafficking and protecting America from terrorists – have given way to unforeseen consequences.
Filmmaker, Rory Kennedy

“The Dream is Now” Saturday, June 29, 2013
“The Dream is Now” is a compelling 30-minute documentary by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth). The film gives voice to and puts a human face on the undocumented children of immigrants who are desperate to earn their citizenship and give back to the only country they’ve ever called “home.” The film also goes beyond the personal. It places these stories in a larger context and puts in perspective the consequences of continuing our current policies and maintaining the status quo versus the potential opportunities that immigration could have, both personally and corporately, on our country.
Filmmakers, Davis Guggenheim and Laurene Powell Jobs


2013 film selection

Linsanity Saturday, June 29, 2013
Jeremy Lin’s inspirational story at a time when Lin was still struggling to find a place in a league that didn’t want him while never wavering on his faith and hope for an opportunity.
Produced by Chris Chen and Allen Lu, special thanks to Jeremy Lin’s high school basketball coach, Peter Diepenbrock

Trash Dance Friday, June 28, 2013
A choreographer finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and ralliesreluctant Austin sanitation workers to perform a most unlikely and stunning spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen sanitation workers—and their trucks—inspire an audience of thousands.
Director / Producer / Cinematographer, Andrew Garrison, Choreographed by Allison Orr, Featuring Ivory Jackson, Jr.

Not That Funny Thursday, June 27, 2013
A simple story of how far a serious man will go for love. Exploring a rare side of gifted comedic actor Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development, Chuck), this audience award-winner has deeper themes of acceptance, friendship, and risk-taking beneath its light-hearted surface.
Directed and Written by Lauralee Farrer

“HARK” Saturday, June 29, 2013
“Hark” is about a man who is confronted with a moral dilemma to save his own life or risk the life of another. The characters in Hark are ordinary people making choices to survive. The story draws attention to the harsh reality of human trafficking and shines light where there is darkness.
Filmmaker, Jonathan Fung

“Thief” Saturday, June 29, 2013
“Thief” tells the haunting story of Mehdi, an Iraqi boy who unwittingly befriends the young Saddam Hussein in 1959. Forty years later, in 2003, the two men come face-to-face a second time, and Mehdi must weigh his desire for revenge against his need to make peace with the past.
Filmmaker, Julian Higgins

“Love Hacking” Saturday, June 29, 2013
“Love Hacking” is a short documentary that follows the journey of Tim Heath, a robot inventor living in Silicon Valley. After a personal reawakening, Tim radically shifts his outlook on courtship and utilizes the technology he knows best in order to find love.
Filmmaker, Jenni Nelson


2012 film selection

Red Dog Saturday, July 14, 2012
The true story of a dog in the back country of Australia. He becomes the catalyst for creating a real community out of a group of mavericks and teaches a town the importance of being there for each other.
Directed by Kriv Stenders, Written by Daniel Taplitz, Starring Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor

The Hammer Friday, July 13, 2012
A docudrama depicting the struggles and successes of Matt Hamill as he pursues his education and his passion for wrestling. Born deaf, Matt must determine how to navigate in a hearing world and achieve his dream.
Directed by Oren Kaplan, Written by Eben Kostbar, Starring Russell Harvard, Raymond J. Barry, Shoshannah Stern

Rising From Ashes Thursday, July 12, 2012
A feature length documentary about the first Rwandan National Cycling Team and their six year journey to fulfill every athlete’s dream to attend the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Directed, Produced and Edited by T.C. Johnstone, Narrated by Forest Whitaker


2011 film selection

Cool It Saturday, April 30, 2011
A film that follows Bjorn Lomborg on his mission to bring the smartest solutions to climate change, environmental pollution, and other major problems in the world.
Executive Producer Ralph Winter, Writer Terry Botwick

Bhutto Friday, April 29, 2011
As the first woman to lead an Islamic nation, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s life unfolds like a Greek tragedy. BHUTTO is a sweeping epic of a transcendent, controversial leader whose legacy will be debated for generations to come.
Directed by Duane Baughman and Johnny O’Hara, Written by Johnny O’Hara

The Dry Land Thursday, April 28, 2011
James, a soldier returning home to small-town Texas from the war in Iraq, finds that he is still facing a daily battle on the journey back to himself.
Directed and Written by Ryan Piers Williams, Starring Ryan O’Nan, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama

Kavi Thursday, April 28, 2011
2010 Oscar-Nominee and Winner of the 2009 Student Academy Awards, KAVI is about a boy in India, who wants to play cricket and go to school, but instead he is forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave. Unsatisfied with his fate, Kavi must either accept what he’s always been told, or fight for a different life even if he’s unsure of the ultimate outcome.
Written, Directed and Produced by Gregg Helvey

On the Road to Tel-Aviv Thursday, April 28, 2011
A drama (with comedy elements) that shows how, under the tense reality of war and terror, enemies can sometimes find themselves in the same boat (or in the same bus).
Written and Directed by Khen Shalem, Produced by and Starring Orit Fisher

Kunjo Thursday, April 28, 2011
Kunjo, a 12-year-old Rajasthani refugee, spends her days begging in the streets of a rural village in North India. When an unlikely friendship blossoms between Kunjo and Preeta, an educated schoolgirl from a higher caste, Kunjo reveals her secret passion for storytelling.
Written by Terrie Samundra


2010 film selection

The Answer Man Saturday, April 10, 2010
A reclusive author of spiritual books, is pursued for advice by a single mother and a man fresh out of rehab.
Written by John Hindman, Produced by John Priddy

Short Term 12 Saturday, April 10, 2010
A day at a group home for troubled adolescents. Denim is the head counselor, involved somehow with Natalia, another counselor. During the day, we watch them and other staff deal with a boy who’s getting into fights though he has only a week to go before his 18th birthday, a girl whose birthday it is, a foul-mouthed lad, and others. Do any of us have it together?
Directed by Destin Cretton

Queen of Cactus Cove Saturday, April 10, 2010
Teenage chess champ Billie (Alia Shawkat) faces the prospect of defeat for the first time when she faces her best friend (Alex Frost) at the biggest chess tournament of her career.
Directed and Written by Anna Christopher

Waiting for a Train: The Toshio Hirano Story Saturday, April 10, 2010
This short reveals the humorous and heartfelt true story of Toshio Hirano, a Japanese immigrant whose life was transformed by the music of country legend Jimmie Rodgers.
Produced and Directed by Oscar Bucher

Sympathy for Delicious Friday, April 9, 2010
A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing.
Directed by and Starring Mark Ruffalo, Written by and Starring Christopher Thornton

After the Storm Thursday, April 8, 2010
A feature-length documentary film that follows a group of New York Broadway actors who were inspired to help the youth of New Orleans.
Written and Produced by James Lecesne, Produced by John Priddy