This collection of short films reminds how each of us pursues life according to dream or circumstance.  There is vitality and reassurance in each of these stories that our filmmakers  have brought to the fore.

Beginning November 6, SDFF’s Docs Make House Calls will be continuing its Who Are You? theme with 7 short films: A Pilgrimage, After The Fire, Dick Ogg: Fisherman, Kamali, Knocking Down The Fences, and Maikaru. The Who Are You?  series examines our identity as, and within, the communities that help us define ourselves in, and through, others. This curated collection of short films is a reminder of how each of us pursues life according to our dreams or circumstances.  There is vitality and reassurance in each of these stories that these filmmakers have brought to the fore. This film program begins streaming Nov. 6, ends on Nov. 15 and costs $12. 

We encourage donations beyond ticket cost—consider matching what you might have spent on that medium popcorn plus Milk Duds or Raisinets. Online delivery of films is not free for us.

More extraordinary feature length and short films from SDFF 2020 are coming directly to you online through Docs Make House Calls (DMHC). Check in to to keep up with special interest stories, news and the opportunity to view more movies that matter.

After the Fire follows residents of Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community that has been reshaped overnight by the historic Northern California wildfires. It is an intimate look at what they’ve lost, what they’ve gained, and what happens next, after the Fire.


Filmmakers: Derek Knowles & Spencer Seibert, 2018, TRT: 19 min
Country: United States, Language: English, Spanish, Subtitles: Yes
Socials:@dereknowles, @sybertronic
Trailer  l  Visit Film Website

In October of 2017, the most destructive fires in U.S history engulfed cities and towns across northern California. While national coverage emphasized the scale and devastation of the disaster, AFTER THE FIRE examines the less heralded experiences of those who lived through it, following three residents of one of the Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community reshaped overnight. Winner of the Tribeca Film Institute’s If/Then Shorts award.

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Join Sonoma County artist Genevieve Barnhart on her 97 year pilgrimage through life and art.

A Pilgrimage 

Filmmakers: Sara Alexander & Brian Antonson, 2017, TRT: 10 mins
Country: U.S. Language: English  Subtitles: No


Just before her 95th birthday, sculptor/fine art photographer Genevieve Barnhart agreed to let her friends organize a retrospective of her work at Sebastopol Center for the Arts, which included photographs and bronze sculptures based on Genevieve’s years of repeated “Pilgrimages” along the Camino di Santiago (driven, in her V.W. bug!). The exhibit also included performances of her one woman show. In the process of recording  Genevieve’s performance, the filmmakers discovered Genevieve was in the midst of another pilgrimage: telling her life journey as female artist in a man’s world – in the foundry, in society, and at home. Genevieve’s first thought when asked to be the subject of a documentary,, “Why would I want to do that?” Her second was, “Maybe I can inspire ‘little women’ to do big things.” This documentary began as a cinematic adaptation of her astounding, auto-biographical one- woman show, tracking this iconic local artist’s life and her work’s global reach.”

Filmmaker Sara Alexander further explains how the project came together, “One day I wandered into the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and discovered that a brilliant and petite artist, whose work is far greater than her fame, was living just a few miles away.  By chance I soon came to know and film Genevieve Barnhart, then 95, who has always believed (and “wants young women to know”) that “little women can do something else if they wanted to.”  And she wanted to, so she did.  The exhibit ended and her exquisite bronze sculptures and photographs inspired by decades on the Pilgrimage trails of Europe returned to private collections where they live hidden from most of us, but this film preserves part of Gen’s remarkable life work and life story.”

Dick Ogg: Fisherman tells the compelling story of the challenges facing the California Dungeness Crab fishing industry and one mans passion to keep the fisheries alive and thriving.

Sebastopol film festival


Filmmakers: Dir. Cynthia Abbott & Prod. Andrea Leland , 2019, TRT: 9 min
Country: United States, Language: English, Subtitles: No
Socials: fb: @everysecondbreath  ig: @everysecondbreathproject
Watch Clip  l  Visit Film Website  l  See Exclusive Filmmaker Interview

Living and fishing in the Bodega Bay area for 55 years, Dick is forced to confront the realities of a warming ocean, the creation of a Marine Projected Area in the local fishing grounds, and derelict crab pots. Dick wants to see organic sustainable fishing practices but daunting challenges are causing local fishermen to leave the profession. Here Dick faces these challenges with solutions and actions to keep the local fisheries alive.


Short is complemented by exclusive interview between filmmakers Cynthia Abbott & Andrea Leland and SDFF programmer Jeffrey Zankel, which you can watch here.


Dick Ogg: Fisherman streaming at SDFF 2020 is sponsored by

A single Indian mother fights for her daughter’s empowerment through skateboarding.


Filmmaker: Sasha Rainbow, 2019 TRT: 78 mins
Country: India Language: Tamil  Subtitles: Yes
Socials:FB: @KamaliFilm, @Its.Sasha.Rainbow, IG: @kamalifilm
Twitter: @itssasharainbow

Trailer  l  Website 

A single Indian mother fights for her daughter’s empowerment through skateboarding.

After the “skating Sari girls’ featured in the Wild Beasts’ video Alpha Female went viral, filmmaker Sasha Rainbow was overwhelmed by the public’s response to these young women, who were symbols of rebellion, individualism, self-possession and independence. She tells the story of how skateboarding changed these young women’s lives. While shooting the music video, Rainbow met 7 year-old Kamali, a courageous and charismatic skater girl and her mother Suganthi, who made their first trip outside of the small village in which they lived, where Kamali was the only skater girl. Against the wishes of the family, Suganthi is determined to give her daughter a chance to break the family’s cycle of poverty and face the future as an independent woman, a fate Sugathi was denied.

This inspiring documentary short not only produces a symbol of freedom in its depiction of Kamali, it is also a way of encouraging more young girls to follow Kamali’s footsteps, and helping Kamali and her mother make positive changes for the women of their village now and into the future.

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A documentary about AJ Andrews, the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, and her struggle to make it as one of the best professional softball players in the world.

Knocking Down The Fences

Filmmaker: Meg Shutzer, 2019, U.S., 12 mins
Language: English, Subtitles: No
Social Media: @knockingdownthefences
Film WebsiteSee Trailer

“When I first heard about AJ and saw some of her flying catches, I could not believe that I had never heard of her.  AJ Andrews should be a household name. But I didn’t know about her because the mainstream media wasn’t covering her story. So I made this film not only to tell people about AJ and to celebrate her achievements but also to unpack the racism and sexism in sports and the media that have kept us from knowing her.” 

 -Knocking Down The Fences filmmaker Meg Shutzer

Knocking Down the Fences tells the story of a superstar athlete you might not have heard of– and why the sports industry hasn’t put her on your radar. AJ Andrews is the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, an award that has been given to the best fielders in Major League Baseball for decades. Her skills are outstanding, but winning the award did not change the fact that Andrews earns less than $15k a year as a professional softball player. And though Andrews is hopeful, she still has to fight against an industry that is more willing to pay female athletes to model than to play their sport.

Maikaru looks toward a bright future having survived a childhood filled with violence and human trafficking.


Filmmaker: Amanda Harryman, 2014, TRT:  7 mins
Country: U.S., Language: English, Subtitles: No
Social Media: ig: @mandatoryfilm
See Trailer

An authentic and vulnerable piece that exposes the invisible issue of human trafficking that is happening worldwide. Maikaru’s story is at once horrific, healing and hopeful. aikaru was born into Seattle’s dark world of human trafficking, drug dealing and violence. His mother was kidnapped at the age of 12 and was forced into prostitution. When Maikaru was seven, he was forced into dealing crack cocaine. His gripping story of survival is the subject of this award-winning documentary short directed by director Amanda Harryman. Told with artistry and honesty, My-kah-rue and his story are unforgettable.

According to filmmaker Michael Attie, he came to this story after hearing an episode of This American Life about the subject of this documentary, renowned physicist Carl Jewett. Jewett was grappling with the early stages of  an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and trying to use his scientific bearings to decipher his own illness by applying the scientific method to evaluate his own deteriorating abilities. 


Filmmaker: Michael Attie, 2018, TRT:  13 mins
Country: U.S., Language: English, Subtitles: No
Social Media: ig: @mandatoryfilm
Visit Website

This documentary follows Carl and Susan, husband and wife, scientist and artist, as they navigate the challenges of Carl’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Unable to engage in his prior physics career, Carl finds solace dismantling discarded electronics in search of the copper inside. This film is a love story and a testament to human resilience and creativity in the face of a debilitating disease.

Carl and Susan met as teachers. Their chemistry is palpable as Susan recalls the moment she first saw him and, later, the flavors and textures of the picnic lunch Carl packed for their first date. She describes the man she eventually married as a brilliant problem solver drawn to the rules of physics. Her memories illustrate the life they built together, and the ways that it changes when Carl is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Moment to Momentbeautifully renders the tenderness and resiliency of their love story. Navigating the debilitating effects of the disease, Carl finds purpose in removing the copper wiring from televisions. Susan lovingly creates sculptures with the delicate coils, holding on to the profound connection that remains in their lives.

Upon meeting the couple, he found that Carl and Susan’s unique and evolving relationship was what most moved him.

“I started filming knowing that I wanted to capture this moment in their lives, as roles shifted and challenges emerged. In the intervening time the story took an unexpected turn: unable to engage in the scientific inquiry of his prior career, Carl found solace in his basement, dismantling discarded electronics in search of the valuable copper inside. The metaphorical power of the act was striking, but it went one step further when Susan, an art teacher and artist, started framing the copper, leading to a fruitful collaboration (and now traveling art show!) that enriched their relationship in a difficult time.”

-Michael Atttie

The thread that has emerged is one of resiliency and love in the face of a life-changing diagnosis. My hope is that this short documentary can reflect this time.

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