2020 UFFyc Schedule Announced

Over four days in March, the Underexposed Film Festival yc showcases the best in independent filmmaking from around the world. Running March 25 – 28, the 9th annual Underexposed Film Festival yc, presented by Morton & Gettys, welcomes filmmakers and movie lovers to Dina’s Place in the DiGiorgio Campus Center on the campus of Winthrop University, to York County Library’s Moore Room, and to the Gettys Art Center in Old Town Rock Hill, SC.

Established in 2012, the Underexposed Film Festival yc focuses on strength in storytelling, screening films that break down the fourth wall and envelop the audience in the story. Filmmakers often share their experiences during question and answer sessions that follow the screenings, giving festivalgoers a glimpse into their vision and process.

From the plight of Judas camels to the celebration of diversity, the slate of films screening in the 2020 festival tackles a variety of subjects through unconventional storytelling. History turned upside down by puppets, a rescued monkey telling his own story, and conception explained through dance are examples of the risks these talented women and men have taken to convey their stories this season.

An ancient artform, puppetry has been used in filmmaking since the early days of film, with large-scale puppets that were used in films like The Witch (1906) by director Georges Melies. It wasn’t until the 1930s that audiences saw the rise of puppetry through short film. George Pal, a notable pioneer in stop motion puppetry on film, used groundbreaking techniques that lead to the creation of a series of films known as Puppetoons. These short films became popular in the U.S. and Europe, however puppetry wouldn’t hit the big time until the late 1970s and 1980s when Jim Henson brought The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and movies featuring The Muppets to the silver screen. Today, multiple generations flock to theaters and gather around televisions to experience the fantastical world of puppetry, and a new generation of puppeteers and filmmakers continues to push the genre forward. The UFFyc has supported puppetry films since its inception. Season 9 marks our first year with a Best Puppetry Film category.

2020 UFFyc screening times and event locations:

Winthrop University | Dina’s Place at the DiGiorgio Campus Center

2020 Alumni Drive, Rock Hill, SC 29733

Block A | Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 7 - 9 PM

There will be a question and answer session immediately following Block A.

Block B | Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 7 - 9 PM

Block C | Friday, March 25, 2020 | 3 - 5 PM

There will be a question and answer session immediately following Block C.

Block F | Friday, March 25, 2020 | 7 - 9 PM

There will be a question and answer session immediately following Block F.

Block G | Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 2 - 4 PM

There will be a question and answer session immediately following Block G.

Block H + Awards Ceremony | Saturday, March 28, 2019 | 7 – 9:30 PM

York County Public Library, Main Branch | Moore Room

138 E. Black St. | Rock Hill, SC 29730

Block D | Friday, March 27, 2020 | 3 – 4:30 PM

Block E | Friday, March 27, 2020 | 7 – 8:30 PM

There will be a question and answer session immediately following Block E.

Workshop | YA FILMS: Teen Book Trailers | Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 2 – 4 PM

Gettys Art Center Courtroom

201 E. Main St. | Rock Hill, SC 29730

Puppetry Workshop with Sam Koji Hale | Yamasong: Working with Paperclay

Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 10 AM – 12 PM

Presented in partnership with IBEX Puppetry

Wrap Party | Slow Play Brewing

Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 9:30 – 12 AM

Awards will be announced immediately following Block H on Saturday, March 28, 2020. The 2020 awards include: Grand Jury Award; Best Animated Film; Best Documentary Film; Best Experimental Film; Best Narrative Film; Best Puppetry Film; Woman to Watch; Cinema Carolina; Best Student Film | Collegiate; and the Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award. 2020 awards partners include: Cinematiq, and Toon Boom.


THEME | Delightfully Different

3 Reflections on Bad Art

Narrative | 2019 | 4 min. 52 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | English

Director | David Hensley

Cast | David Hensley, Katie Bearden

3 Reflections On Bad Art is a collection of short films that explore how we define "art."

Oh Baby!

Experimental | 2019 | 8 min. 30 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | No Dialogue

Director | Meghann Artes

Cast | Tia Jemison, Brian Healy, Virginia Mayo, Shea Petersen, Sarah Serabian, Lauren Reed, William Delforge, Jolie Lepselter, Greg Fields, Chloe Baldwin, Tj Thomas, Jayson Lee, Maricruz Menchero, Matthew Elam, Eamon Hurd, Hunter Bryant, Kim Baker, Marchetta Genis

Miracle, science and luck all play a part in this vibrant and fantastic imagining of how life begins.

The Seahorse Trainer

Narrative | 2019 | 12 min. 39 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | English

Directors | Ricardo Bonisoli, Babak Bina

Writers | Ricardo Bonisoli, Babak Bina, Rodmon Sevilla

Cast | John R Tylor

Enter the surreal and nautical world of Seamour. A lonely old man with a passion for training seahorses. Desperate to have his most prized seahorse perform the highly ambitious “Triple Back Flip,” the final day of training has come and it’s up to his knowledge, preparation and the seahorse’s determination to see the trick come to life. But when the hourglass turns, Seamour realizes it is even harder than he thought and he must overcome his troubled past before the magic fades or the trick will never be achieved.

The Legend of Rasputin

Puppetry | 2017 | 12 min. 40 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Producer | Heather Henson

Director | Jamie Shannon

Cast | Marty Stelnick

A chapter in the life of Grigori Rasputin through puppets.


Narrative | 2019 | 11 min. 05 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Director | Will Kindrick

Cast | John Bubniak, Corey Potter

A government enforced dating app malfunctions sending an unexpected user through a series of splash portals determined to seal his fate.

The Magic Seed

Puppetry | 2019 | 4 min. 20 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | English

Director | Chris Chappell

Cast | Chris Chappell

A film about a guy (Bud Greenfield), who's friend (Blue) has to move to Colorado for cancer treatment. Who sends back a magic seed that grows into something special.

My Little Goat

Animation | 2018 | 10 min. 13 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | Japanese

Director | Tomoki Misato

A mother goat tries to help her children who has been eaten by a wolf, but one is missing!

Eat the Rainbow

Narrative | 2019 | 19 min. 31 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Director | Brian Benson

Cast | Cousin Wonderlette, H.P. Mendoza, Lady Bear, April Kidwell, Dolores Huerta, Jason Brock, Robert Caruso

Eat the Rainbow is a musical fable about an odd yet kind man named Bayani who moves into a conservative suburban neighborhood and disrupts the otherwise comfortable homogeny. He doesn’t look or act like anyone else which causes fear and panic and eventually a demand for him to leave the neighborhood. Cousin Wonderlette befriends Bayani and together they take on the opposition led by manipulative and unscrupulous realtor Lobelia Gerber.​


THEME | Around the World


Animation | 2019 | 1 min. 49 sec.

Suggested Rating | G

Language | No Dialogue

Director | Illogic

Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals start a nocturnal opera, conducted by a squirrel.

Judas Collar

Narrative | 2018 | 15 min. 00 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Director | Alison James

In outback Australia a wild camel is captured and fitted with a tracking device known as a Judas Collar. Based on a real-life practice, Judas Collar is a scripted, no-dialogue, live action short that explores the story of a camel used to betray her kind.

Oeil Pour Oeil

Animation | 2019 | 5 min. 54 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | French

Directors | Thomas Boileau, Alan Guimont, Robin Courtoise, Mathieu Lecroq, Malcom Hunt, François Briantais

Writers | Thomas Boileau, Alan Guimont, Robin Courtoise, Mathieu Lecroq, Malcom Hunt, François Briantais

Cast | Antoine Perrichon, Avital Sthapura

A one sighted pirate captain keeps going on a journey to get a treasure, every time with a new crew of pirates as one sighted as he is.

Music & Clowns

Animation | 2018 | 7 min. 29 sec.

Suggested Rating | G

Language | English

Director | Alex Widdowson

Despite being close to nonverbal my brother is funny, charming and perceptive. I discuss with my parents what it was like raising a child with Down syndrome. Our speculations about his inner life reveal as much about our own subjectivity as they do his. There is a critical under representation of the ordinary and diverse lives of people with Down syndrome. As prenatal testing advances, I feel an urgency to provide insight for people making a life changing decision regarding whether or not to raise a child with Down syndrome.

The Field

Narrative | 2018 | 19 min. 13 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | Hindi

Director | Sandhya Suri

Cast | Mia Maelzer

A poor agricultural laborer leads a double life in the village's last remaining corn field, but the harvest is approaching...

Giant Bear

Animation | 2018 | 11 min. 30 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | Inuktitut

Directors | Neil Christopher, Daniel Gies

Cast | Solomon Awa, Beatrice Deer

ᓇᓄᕐᓗᒃ / Giant Bear | A timeless Inuit legend about a solitary man, a giant bear and their daunting foes: each other. Centered on a confrontation between the last monster bear and an Inuit hunter, Giant Bear is a chilling short that brings an ancient story out of the North. In Giant Bear, we follow a hunter in the depths of starvation. The snow is thick, his dogs are mysteriously dying, and food is nowhere to be found. A quest for answers leads him straight to a nanurluk, an iceberg-sized polar bear, setting up a “kill or be killed” battle that pits one man’s wits against a fearsome foe.

The Tattooed Heart

Narrative | 2019 | 10 min. 49 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Director | Sheldon Wong Schwartz

Cast | Jennifer Morrison, Madison Wolfe, Nestor Serrano

A creative writing instructor (Jennifer Morrison, "Once Upon a Time") at a juvenile detention center finds common ground with a troubled student (Madison Wolfe, "I Kill Giants") yet quickly finds herself in great danger when she decides to help her.

Song Sparrow

Experimental, Narrative

2019 | 11 min. 43 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | No Dialogue

Director | Farzaneh Omidvarnia

Based on a real event, in Austria 2015, and in Ireland 2019...

A group of refugees tries to reach a safe country in search of a better life. They pay a smuggler to convey them across the boarders in a fridge truck. However, the freezing temperature of the truck turns their hopes for a better future into a fierce struggle for survival.

A Congo’s Journey

Documentary | 2019 | 16 min. 26 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | English

Director | Marco G.Lerin

This is the first documentary-film in the world in which a baby monkey tells its own story addressing the human being. A Congo’s Journey, is a non-profit documentary-film that has been created by Marco G. Lerin for the Jaguar Rescue Center, located in the South Caribbean of Costa Rica, in order to give a voice to the animals and motivate the human beings towards the protection of the natural environment in which they live.


THEME | Emerging

Good Intentions

Animation | 2018 | 8 min. 34 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG

Language | No Dialogue

Director | Anna Mantzaris

After a young woman is responsible for a hit and run, strange and spooky things start to happen... A small thriller about people that are not always the best at making decisions.


Narrative | 2019 | 16 min. 46 sec.

Suggested Rating | PG-13

Language | English

Director | Jeremy Merrifield

Cast | Paul Scheer, Jonah Beres, Jaylin Ogle, Carson Severson

Exploring gender through the lens of the superhero myth, BALLOON questions how we raise boys when our concept of masculinity has become narrow. For fourteen-year-old Sam, surviving junior high means staying below radar. But that becomes impossible after he becomes the target of the school’s next viral video. He’s pressured to “hit back,” but Sam isn’t so sure—even if he does have superpowers.

Ready to Work

Documentary | 2019 | 15 min. 20 sec.

Suggested Rating | G

Language | English

Directors | Seth Farmer, Reagan Wells

Cast | Dr. Clarence Sutton, Jr., Tameria Coleman, Antwone Stowe, Tyler Omar Grice-Williams

At a local high school, three seniors attend a job fair through a career-readiness program. This documentary was produced for the University of Alabama's Documenting Justice course by Seth Farmer and Reagan Wells.</