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Film preview: The 58th Rochester International Film Festival 

The Rochester International Film Festival, now in its 58th year, continues its mission to deliver the best in short films from around the globe. The festival — which has become widely known by its nickname "Movies on a Shoestring," after the 8mm film stock that was used by most filmmakers in the early days of the festival — will host four programs over three days. This year's edition screens 27 films from nine countries, including four works with Rochester connections. Admission is free (though donations will be taken).

For more information on the festival and to view the complete schedule, check

Thursday, April 14, 8 p.m.

The beautifully photographed documentary "The Path of Grey Owl" examines the legacy of Grey Owl, a pioneer in Canada's conservation movement during the early 20th century. Director Goh Iromoto injects his film with the environmentalist's deeply held appreciation for "wild country" and its inhabitants, whether they be human or animal.

Left home alone while a massive storm system rages outside, two young brothers get into an argument that leads to catastrophic consequences in Samuel Flueckiger's disquieting drama, "Nightlight."

From Rochester filmmakers Nate Mancini, Johnny Sikma, and Craig Peterson, "Pastime" is a sweet story about the importance of never losing touch with our childhood passions.

In Mariana Conde's offbeat "C.T.R.L.," a potential love connection between a young man and woman takes an unexpected turn.

Inspired by actual events, "If These Walls Could Talk" is a locally-produced short from director Matthew Spaull that shines a spotlight on the Rochester-based Center For Youth. With a catchy hip-hop soundtrack, the film acts as tribute to a group of young men who prove that it takes courage to accept help when it's needed.

Friday, April 15, 8 p.m.

A woman involved in a quarrel over the claim to her sick father's silver mine receives some assistance from a surprising source in Joey Grossfield's gritty western, "Lightning in the Hand."

"The Nike Chariot Earring" tells the remarkable true-life story of Florence Wolsky, who recovered the titular priceless artifact after it was stolen from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1963.

Most Rochesterians should be able to relate to the charming piece "Long John," from RIT SOFA alum Joe Bellavia. The short proposes a singular secret weapon for when those harsh winters get you down.

Time heals all wounds as a woman wishes to take her estranged mother to the place "Where Leaves Fall" in Alicia Albares Martínez's metaphysical drama exploring the incomprehensible nature of death and dying.

Saturday, April 16, 4 p.m.

"Cloth Paper Dreams" follows three different men who've made the pilgrimage to India's Kumbh Mela, where millions journey in order to find faith, devotion, and purpose in their lives.

"Isa and the Frog Prince" is the gentle tale of a young girl who, inspired by a favorite bedtime story, takes her pet frog on a fateful trip through the woods in order to prove the power of magic to her bullying classmates

Told through dance and music, Mitsuyo Miyazaki's stirring "Where We Begin" observes a sick woman as she reflects back on her memories of the forbidden love that ruled her life.

An embittered widow left caring for her senile mother-in-law receives a visit from a woman with whom she shares a tragic connection in Paolo Monico's darkly comedic "The Mother."

Saturday, April 16, 8 p.m.

With a wonderful lead performance from actress Roslyn Gentle, Swati Srivastava's heartbreaking "Remember When" examines the devastating impact of Alzheimer's on a once happy marriage.

"59 Days of Independence With the Children of Galloya" documents the Wide Open Walls art project, which was conceptualized by Heather Layton and Brian Bailey, a pair of artists from Rochester. The artists work with the children of Gambia to create 59 handmade kites in honor of the 59 countries that gained independence from Great Britain.

Despite warnings that his crooked dealings will eventually catch up with him, an unscrupulous businessman ditches "Business Ethics" and decides that there's no limit to what he'll do to get ahead so long as it makes him rich.

In Yu Shibuya's unique fable, "The Apology" a young boy makes a shocking discovery about his beloved father. Afterward, their inability to reconcile has lasting effects that carry on the future of the family.


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