Chicago Festival: February 2023 Feature Film Festival

A showcase of the winning feature film in 2023 from the DIVERSITY festival.

Directed by Armando Ravelo
Nola, a girl of Senegalese origin, arrives in the Canary Islands in a canoe. Then begins an epic through the most defining corners of the Canary Islands in search of a Canarian father whom he never knew.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Director Biography – Armando Ravelo

He has directed several shortfilms and a feature films with great critical and public acclaim. His cinematographic work (Bentejuí Project), takes the History of the Canary Islands to the screens.
Ravelo, who has won several awards at national and international festivals, started this project with ‘Ansite’ in 2012.

In early 2021, his first feature film ‘La piel del volcán’ premiered, becoming the most watched Canarian film in theaters so far this century.

With ‘Once upon a time in the Canaries’, the author moves away from the historical genre to make a social chronicle with the hope of raising awareness of the problem of continental African migration to the Canary Islands.

Director Statement:

This film is the result of the effort of many people dedicated to tell a story about the migratory movements from Africa to the Spanish islands. Many people start the journey and only a few finish it.

Transmigrations Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

TRANSMIGRATIONS, 6min., USA, Experimental/Drama

Directed by William Harper

Shot over Lake Michigan near Chicago, this film is an expression of my engagement with line and the contrapuntal movement of multiple lines in music and imagery. The visual lines here are traces of the motion of air and lake traffic against the apparent motion of the stars and moon.

Jilbab Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

JILBAB, 4min., USA, Bahrain, Drama/Family

Directed by Jaan Albalushi

Sometimes we should see life under the robes.

Ephemera Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

EPHEMERA, 20min., USA, Drama

Directed by Chelses Venkadathu

The story is about a young couple that have been married for ten years. They have a five year old daughter who bonds the family despite the mundanity of their marriage. But a new lifestyle that pushes boundaries might be the unexpected resolution to keep this family bound.

Ours To Tell Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

OURS TO TELL, 17min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Rayka Zehtabchi

Without shame and without fear “Ours to Tell” depicts four people who share their stories and walk in their truth. By owning the lives they choose, what unfolds is an unfiltered and poetic demonstration of how the right to access abortion acts as a dynamic turning point in an individual’s journey to freedom and self love. Each with different perspectives and experiences, the film’s subjects — Brittany, Hannah, Nick and Ylonda — take us inside their worlds, their families, their souls and boldly illustrate the beauty and power of bodily autonomy. As we watch, listen and love each storyteller, we also bear witness to a chilling reality: The fundamental freedom to own our body and future has never been more uncertain than it is today.

Kenya’s Symphony Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

KENYA’S SYMPHONY, 5min., USA, Animation/Drama

Directed by Carlos Douglas Jr.

A bold, five year old girl reluctantly attends her very first symphony concert with her mother. Being dragged against her will into the auditorium room, Kenya (the young girl) is not content being there. As the conductor lays a downbeat and the orchestra begins playing, this young rascal finds a new way of entertaining herself. She pulls out a straw and begins blowing spitballs at the attentive patrons.

Collapse Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

COLLAPSE, 6min., USA, Thriller/Drama

Directed by Josiah Holroyd

Kyle, a 17-year-old with PTSD goes through a rough therapy session talking about his friends who he witnessed get murdered. During the therapy session, the therapist pushes a little too hard into Kyle’s head and finds himself revealing that Kyle is indeed the murderer of his best friends.

Anna Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from June 2020 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival

ANNA, 15min., Ukraine, History/Drama

Directed by Dekel Berenson

Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love. Nominated for a short Palme d’Or, TIFF, AFI Fest + dozens of selections and awards. Currently, BAFTA shortlisted. BIFA award for Best British Short Film.

Chicago Festival Videos: June 12/2020 Event.


Theme of night: Unique Courtships

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterANNA, 15min., Ukraine, History/Drama

festival posterTRANSMIGRATIONS, 6min., USA, Experimental/Drama

festival posterCOLLAPSE, 6min., USA, Thriller/Drama

festival posterFALL TO FAME, 9min., USA, Relationship/Drama

festival posterKENYA’S SYMPHONY, 5min., USA, Animation/Drama

festival posterOURS TO TELL, 17min., USA, Documentary

festival posterEPHEMERA, 20min., USA, Drama

festival posterJILBAB, 4min., USA, Bahrain, Drama/Family

festival posterLE COUP, 7min., USA, Romance/Drama

festival posterTHE TRANSACTION 3min., France, Romance

festival posterFLORENCE, 16min., USA, Romance

festival posterLIT, 5min., USA, Romance

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo