Tarheel Shorties Film Festival

Tarheel Shorties showcases a slate of the coolest indie films from North Carolina artists. The 4th annual Tarheel Shorties Film Festival kicks off (online!) August 25-27, 2020. This homegrown festival highlights films created with roots in North Carolina. The festival was launched ten years ago to showcase the legacy of indie film in NC showcasing filmmakers like Norwood Cheek, Francesca Talenti, Dave Monahan, and dozens of the states most talented creators. Join us as we plant Tarheel Shorties in Wilson, NC for many years to come. Check out our 2020 programming below!

Click HERE to check out the 4th Annual Tarheel Shorties program guide!


Homebound and Hungry | Tuesday, August 25 | 8:00pm

Mi Casita

Yolanda House | 5:17 | Wilmington, NC

An intimate look at the story of a family and their struggle to stay in their home after Hurricane Florence. “Mi Casita” was produced by community journalist Yolanda House as part of the Working Narratives’ Resiliency Media Fellowship in Wilmington, NC which trains local grassroots folks to tell stories using media as a community development tool.


Shawn Pinner | 10:22 | Youngsville, NC

Dr. Blackwell, an expert in treating hoarding disorders, finds herself in a deadly situation while working on a TV show about her patient, Mr. Brownstone. Kristi Ray and Matthew Gold create compelling performances for Pinner’s directorial debut. 

Solitary Confinement

Raquel Salvatella de Prada | 1:45 | Durham, NC

Solitary Confinement is a visual representation on an excerpt from prisoner Chris McBride’s letter to the newspaper Indy Week dated on July 4th 2012. In less than two minutes, this experimental piece compares the time a prisoner spends in a cell versus outside and the psychological impacts it can cause. 


Bill Brown | 6:18 | Chapel Hill, NC

Leaving one hometown and looking for the next one. Bill Brown is an associate professor in Media & Technology Studies and Production at UNC Chapel Hill in addition to being the co-founder of the Zine Machine: Durham Printed Matter Festival, and the Cosmic Rays Film Festival, an annual showcase of experimental and first-person films.

Diary Of A Garden Chile with Gabrielle

Vittles Films | 8:34 | Durham, NC

This endearing documentary shares the stories of Black farmers and growers throughout the Carolina’s, their sacred foodways, a new generations’ interpretation of rural bounty, and a knack for turning misfortune into abundance. Vittles Films is known for projects which examine contemporary social issues in the South and beyond.

Long Drive To Yadkin

Parrish Stikeleather | 12:46 | Wilmington, NC

A man walks into a barber shop for one last haircut. Onscreen talent, Jerry Winsett (3 Billboards) and Don Henderson Baker (October Sky), and the voice of Nina Repeta (Dawson’s Creek), combine to bring an authentic tone to this unexpected situation.

Playing with Portraits | Wednesay, August 26 | 8:00pm


Whirligigs at Night

William Howard | 3:15 | Wilson, NC

An abstract film of the details of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson, NC at night. Bill Howard is a commercial, sports, landscape and travel photographer based in Wilson.

Kindred Kings

Trey Gray | 6:03 | Winston-Salem, NC

A poetic visual piece that explores freedom and true versatility for the black man and illustrates the journey for us to remember that black men are Kings, Kindred Kings. Tramaine Raphael Gray (Trey Gray), is a multifaceted creator and director who focuses on performance art, film, and editorial work. He’s grown to lift up and serve underrepresented voices and their stories.

Hui Chi Lee: Hair Process

Erin Durham, Craig Dillenbeck | 4:55 | Boone, NC

Artist Hui Chi Lee speaks about her inspiration and process of working with hair to create her large-scale drawings and sculpture. Her installation, Lian 連 Lian 鏈, was on view at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, NC this year. Directors, Durham & Dillenbeck, are both Art-Installers by profession. They have been fortunate to work with many amazing artists and are hoping to genuinely capture their essence and story and relay their beautiful inspiration in a Documentary form.

After The Reign

Jennifer Scully-Thurston | 1:00 | Raleigh, NC

An experimental look into a moment in one woman’s journey using music, movement, and visual effects. Scully-Thurston brings her skills, dance and music, to the public school system through NC Arts in Action.

Mrs. Buck in Her Prime

Erick Yates Green | 10:47 | Washington, NC

A documentary that follows the story of an irrepressible 104 year old pianist who, despite her many infirmaries, determinedly plays at her small town church services in Washington, NC.  Erick Yates Green is an Associate Professor of Film and Video Production at Eastern Carolina University. As a director, he is currently completing a series of projects about unique personalities in small communities in Eastern NC.

All the Possibilities…

Marsha Gordon, Louis Cherry | 16:16 | Raleigh, NC

A documentary about one of the most important American paintings that nobody has ever heard of, reveals artist Vernon Pratt’s 1,450 square foot systematic abstraction painting, ALL THE POSSIBILITIES OF FILLING IN SIXTEENTHS (65,536), which was completed in 1982 but only recently exhibited posthumously and for the first time. Marsha Gordon is a professor of film history and author of numerous books and essays. Louis Cherry is an architect who designs houses, schools, libraries, churches, and other community buildings. They make documentaries about art- and architecture-related subjects.

Tough and Transforming | Thursday, August 27 | 8:00pm


Get A Job

Zoe Leota | 5:00 | Durham, NC

Mac is a smart, creative guy who’s into video games. But he’s also 22 years old, unemployed, and still living at home with his parents, much to their dismay. While they are beyond frustrated with his chronic unemployment, Mac’s pretty content with his lifestyle—that is, until he gets visited by a spirit with some words of advice. Zoe Scretchings was inspired by the Lakota legend of Iktomi, the trickster spider spirit. Scretchings used her interest in blending pop culture aesthetics and traditional Indigenous stories and a passion for Indigenous representation in film for her first narrative short.

Angela Isn’t Changed

Samantha Hawkins | 3:32 | Greensboro, NC

Angela makes last-minute preparations before a first date. This horror short is from UNC grad Samantha Hawkins, the head of Proverbial Sister Productions. Her solo directorial debut “Picnic” screened at festivals in 2018, winning Best Makeup FX at the Micropolitan Film Fest and an Honorable Mention from the Stranger Days Independent Film Fest.  

Short Form

Will Kindrachuk | 9:44 | Raleigh, NC

A teenager experiences an anxiety attack during a live improv performance. In addition to being a filmmaker, Kindrachuk is an actor known for Boy Erased, Good Girls, and Creepshow.

The Black Baptism

Stephanie Diane Ford | 20:18 | Durham, NC

Informed by a mysterious voice, an imprisoned young woman must pass a series of enigmatic tests or face a violent death as the terrifying situation unlocks a dormant power in this story of courage and redemption. Stephanie Diane Ford was awarded the “Filmed in NC” grant from Cucalorus Film Foundation in 2019 and 2020 for this debut narrative short film.

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