June 22 - 24, 2018 Western Gateway Park Friday & Saturday 11AM - 10PM I Sunday 11AM - 5PM
20 Years!

Interrobang Film Festival

The Interrobang Film Festival combines a traditional film production festival with a public screening. Films will be screened at various times throughout the three days of the Des Moines Arts Festival® on June 23-25, 2017 inside the air-conditioned Des Moines Central Library.


Interrobang Film Schedule

All films are screened in the South Wing of the Central Library located downtown at 1000 Grand Ave. between 10th and 12th streets.

Friday, June 23rd - Room A


Catalyst – RT 0:14:21 – Directed by Serena Illuminati

After recent college graduate swimming in debt writes a suicide note on the back of a student loan bill, a political movement for free higher education is sparked. Two young women fall in love through shared activism, and explore the limits of how far they are willing to go for a revolution.

A Night at the Movies – RT 0:16:08 – Directed by Erik Carlson

A shy movie nerd must overcome his confidence issues when he and his crush, the theater concession stand girl, are pulled into a 1930s adventure film by its fiery heroine.

Believers – RT 0:17:51 – Directed by Ray Whitehouse

Six democrats work as campaign volunteers to help their candidate win the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. The volunteers differ in many ways and their reasons for volunteering vary, but they do share one thing in common. They believe their work influences the election.

Segments of Jonah - episodes 1 & 2 – RT 0:30:00 – Directed by Tommy Graef

Madness is a Cancer! And, a drastic new form of surgery is needed... Segments of Jonah is the story of a man fleeing from his calling into a tragic moment of the past. This 4-part series mirrors the Biblical story of Jonah in a surreal, sci-fi tale that delves into the effects of childhood abuse, prejudice, revenge, love, and faith, as Jonah escapes into a lost moment but must come to terms with the death of his sister before submitting to his calling. In a strange room, tormented by guilt and fear... and the bitterness they give birth to, Jonah argues with a mysterious counselor and introduces questions to be answered throughout our story. Within this framework, besieged by memories, disturbing questions unfold concerning the essence of his pain… which all who have failed another must contend with. introduces questions to be answered throughout our story. Can we protect the innocent? Can we recover from their loss? Who deserves redemption? Do stories really have the power to change a man's heart? What path lies ahead for the hurting… perpetual victimhood, sacrificial healer, or insatiable abuser? 'An Old Despair', episode 1 of the Segments of Jonah quadrilogy, makes use of various artistic styles and techniques, as Jonah's created worlds coalesce, resolving current plotlines and creating new mysteries. Future episodes will answer questions such as the identity of the "boy", the nature of the "machine", and the ending of the "monster".

Relativity Explained to Children – RT 0:10:10 – Directed by Pierre Gaffié

Because he forgot a teacher's demand, for the end of school term, a father takes a radical decision : explain Einstein's theory of relativity to Nicolas, his 8 years old son...

20 meters of love in Montmartre – RT 0:04:40 – Directed by Pierre GAFFIÉ

4 lonely women in Paris find a secret connection between them, through their hearts and through their arts...

1:30 p.m.             

Jessica – RT 1:25:00 – Directed by Josh Rosenberg

Jessica’s boyfriend is moving out. Her best friend is about to land a better job. But Jessica, so far, is going nowhere. As she goes through the motions—waitressing, partying, teaching the little neighbor girl ballet—her father comes back into her life with a new family and an old drinking problem. Skipping town, Jessica drives home to mom, only to be confronted by a house full of reminders of how littleher life has progressed since she moved away. As her family and friends continue to move ahead, the pressure builds and Jessica continue to move ahead, the pressure builds and Jessica begins to lash out. Can she figure out her next move before she’s left behind? With compassion, humor, and a breakout performance from Boudreau, Jessica asks whether coming-of-age can ever come too late.


What To Do With Life – RT 0:17:58 – Directed by Simon Schabert

New York is the city of dreams. But how can you dream if you never sleep? A short film shot on iPhone and Super8.

Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir – RT 0:13:10 – Directed by David Maire              

The filmfollows the isolated adolescent son of a storied vintner family who finds himself torn between obeying his father’s callous restrictions and preventing his ailing mother from deteriorating further. When a doting woman and her indifferent son arrive seeking a tasting and tour of the winery, Nicolas sees an opportunity to help care for his mother, as well as prove his worth to his choleric father. However, his wayward plan quickly takes a turn for the worse, and his missteps puts his family’s secretive murderous ways in peril of being unearthed.

A Spectrum of Faith – RT 0:15:54 – Directed by Anna Steenson

This is a documentary on the grand adventure of publishing the book, “A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America’s Heartland.” The book invites readers on a vivid pictorial journey into the diverse religious communities of greater Des Moines. Explore the south-side office park transformed into a Buddhist monastery or the Basilica in the city’s center named to the National Registry of Historic Places; discover the Hindu temple rising above the cornfields of nearby rural Madrid, or the mosque,temple or gurudwara tucked away in a neighborhood near mosque, temple or gurudwara tucked away in a neighborhood near you.  These Iowans from the world’s major faith traditions—Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam—extend the rich history of welcome in our state to readers of all faith backgrounds. A collaboration between DCP, The Comparison Project, and the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) allow you to get to know the fascinating spectrum of individuals, traditions and practices of the religious communities who call Iowa home.

THE ENDLESS RIVER – RT 0:03:00 – Directed by Mohammad Mohammadian

A young boy is sitting next to a droughty river, watching the barren land while fantasizing about fishing. Drown in his daydreaming, he coughs and comes back to his senses, gets up and walks along the river.

Light Sight – RT 0:07:34 – Directed by Seyed M. Tabatabaei 

Whole Brain Bread: The story of Living with Steak the Ferret – RT 0:02:00 – Directed by Mike Fallek

The animated saga of how filmmaker Mike Fallek and his pet ferret named Steak get along.

6:30 p.m.             

Bubba Moon Face – RT 1:25:00 – Directed by Blake Eckard

A down-on-his-luck drifter, stranded without money in the place of his rural Missouri upbringing, hooks up with an old flame, and finds himself caring for his brother's infant child.

They Had It Coming – RT 1:23:00 – Directed by Jon Jost

Set in Stanberry, Missouri, pop 1085, this film is a “story” about story telling. Blake Eckard, who has lived all his life there, tells true stories from his county and town, in an imaginary local bar. Around this is woven a fictional “story” which finds Blake eating dirt at the end. This work is a kind of ruraltone-poem, pure Americana.

Friday, June 23rd - Room B

12:00 p.m.           

Passfire: A Film About Fireworks Culture Across the Globe –  RT 1:39:49 – Directed by Hannah Basciano

Passfire is an independently produced feature documentary about the world's most amazing fireworks, the people who make them and the cultures behind them. Covering 23 countries on six continents, the film ventures from the most well-known pyrotechnic hubs, to remote enclaves where the cultural traditions of truly unique fireworks have lasted generations. It asks and answers questions like, “why do we love fireworks, how do they unite us, and hoe can we pass on our most cherished fireworks traditions?”

2:30 p.m.             

Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America's Heartland – RT 1:05:43

Forget everything you thought you knew about wine! Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America's Heartland explores the difficulties and excitement of creating a new wine region in the Heartland and rewrites wine making history in the process.

5:00 p.m.             

The Magic Pill – RT 1:30:00 – Directed by Robert Tate

A documentary exploring how changing the way we eat can not only impact our own health, but the health of every living thing on our planet.

7:00 p.m.             

Black Cat – RT 1:25:00 – Directed by Peter Pardini

When a near-decade old murder case involving a movie star threatens to reopen, adult child Duke Moody decides to make a true crime documentary, financed by his mother.

Saturday, June 24th - Room A

12:30 p.m.           

Carmilla – RT 1:04:08 – Directed by Jeff Harder

After being buried alive as a heretic in the 17th century, Carmilla awakens from her grave in northern Iowa and begins her conquest of a small town.

3:00 p.m.             

Chupacabra Territory – RT 1:30:00 – Directed by Matt McWilliams

The Chupacabra is real and four friends will document it! Will they survive?

5:00 p.m.             

OUTED Web Series Premiere EXCLUSIVE - RT 1:20:00 -

Directed by Joseph Smith & Marissa Vonn    

6:30 p.m.             

In Winter – RT 1:37:21 – Directed by Alexander Gutterman

Annika is a young woman left alone to deal with her aging and senile grandfather, while also confronted by poverty, isolation and sexual oppression. When Mark, a wealthy, married stranger on his way to a sailing competition visits her bleak lakeside town during the dead of winter, a quiet but intense entanglement develops. Opened and transformed as a result of the affair, Annika faces possibilities normally unavailable to people of her class, while Mark gradually falls into a forlorn, cold solitude.

Saturday, June 24th - Room B

11:00 a.m. SHORT FILM SELECTION FOUR            

Detroit Punks: Jerry Vile – RT 0:29:00 – Directed by Elizabeth Holloway

The story of the Detroit original Jerry Vile.

Illegal Aliens – RT 0:10:00 – Directed by Justin & Kristin Schaack

A sci-fi/comedy/satire that’s ironically human. Due to the recent arrival of undocumented immigrants, the city of Simpletown holds a special session city council meeting to determine if the town should officially ban the newcomers.

GOOFS – RT 0:14:45 – Directed by Joshua Hanesack        

In a postgraduate daze, best friends Milo and Brendan embark on a weekend camping trip. Brendan is leaving in 24 hours to pursue a new job out of state, while Milo is directionless. As the trip progresses, years of unspoken resentment emerge and force them to confront a sobering truth.

The Guy Came on Horseback – RT 0:15:00 – Directed by Hossein Rabiei Dastjerdi

When the rural man got aware of the truth that his disabled son has fallen in love with their neighbor's daughter, He decides to work around it…

Hush Hush – RT 0:11:35 – Directed by Thomas Nolle

Hush Hush is a horror/comedy in the vein of Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead and Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. Directed by The Late Late Show with James Corden alum Tom Nolle, and written by Chad Goldich (from Second City) and Kris Rubio (a stand-up comedian), the film is imbued with a wry sense of humor and a taste for the morbid. The project is a part of a series of films created by AK Studios, an acting studio and film collective based in Hollywood.

Invisible – RT 0:29:55 – Directed by Kostas Gerampinis

Thodoris is a lonely 25-year-old who spends his days working out. When he signs up to a new gym, he meets Vicky, a sexy 30-year-old trainer. He tries to claim her attention as he struggles with his shame, image and repressed libido.

ONLY FIVE MINUTES – RT 0:05:00 – Directed by Mohammad Mohammadian

A blind girl is walking in the streets and faces multiple obstacles.

This a short experimental film, no camera has been used during the production and it consists of sound, credits and English subtitle.

PET – RT 0:11:21 – Directed by Christos Liakouris

Dimitris (a 10 year-old-boy) is the only child of a rich family. The only person that took care of him, his grandma, is dead. Now his only companion is his pet guinea pig. When Dimitris’ parents decide a cruel future for him, Dimitris in order to survive he “cripples” the most pure side of himself.


For the Children – RT 0:27:46 – Directed by Bruno Catarino

A woman accused of using a charity organization for her own benefit attempts to convince the co-worker who reported her to the authorities that she's innocent. But succeeding might cause more harm than good.

Rhizophora – RT 0:16:14 – Directed by Julia Metzger-Traber

It has been forty years since the Vietnam War. Yet, its toxic remnants are not fading. Dancing between waking and dreaming, Rhizophora follows eleven Vietnamese youth, with disabilities caused by Agent Orange, on a whimsical and intimate journey through their day. As the film progresses we are welcomed ever deeper into their richly symbiotic world. Rhizophora was conceived of and realized in a collaborative process between the featured group of residents and the Berlin based performing arts duo ¿Che.Ne.So?. It is both a meditation on the lasting impact of war as well as an ode to the power of life, which can flourish in even the most toxic of circumstances.

The Retirement of Mr. Jones – RT 0:17:01 – Directed by Matt Townley

A year-long retrospective about Mark Jones, longtime Director of Bands in the Fort Calhoun, Nebraska school district as he struggles with his decision to retire after a 36-year-tenure.

Fingerprints – RT 0:08:38 – Directed by Bill Redding

A woman craves to start a family but first must resolve her secret career.

Iowat: Volume 2.5 – RT 0:09:42 – Directed by Bruce James

Iowat: Volume 2.5 follows Iowa rollerbladers as they explore the streets and heighten their skills across the Midwest.

Marmalade – RT 0:03:54 – Directed by Bruce James

A silent short with an original score, Marmalade is a study of closure and the color orange.

I don't like her – RT 0:20:00 – Directed by Javad Daraei

Eli has been involved in a personality dualism and regardless of her constant disagreements with her father, she still seeks her true nature

3:00 p.m.               

The Barn Raisers – RT 0:56:00 – Directed by Kelly Rundle

The Barn Raisers historical documentary feature film tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. What do barn settings, styles, methods and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived, and the role these vanishing country cathedrals played in the settling and building of a growing nation? Barns were constructed by farmer/craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Benton Steele and African American round barn builder Alga Shivers. 'The Barn Raisers' paints a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, and reminds us that these remnants from America's rural past are still here to be appreciated and experienced.

4:30 p.m.             

Pressing On: The Letterpress Film – RT 1:36:00 – Directed by Erin Beckloff & Andrew Quinn

The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age. From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, Pressing On: The Letterpress Film explores the question: why has letterpress survived? Worlds of each character emerge as unusual narratives—joyful, mournful, reflective and visionary—are punctuated with on-screen visual candy, every shot meticulously composed. Captivating personalities blend with wood, metal and type as young printers strive to save this historic process in a film created for the designer, type nerd, historian and collector in us all.


Lunch Time – RT 0:15:00 – Directed by Alireza Ghasemi

A 16-year-old girl has come to the hospital to identify the body of her mother. The people in charge at the hospital – due to her young age – won’t let her into the morgue and ask her to bring her guardian instead. However the girl insists that most of her family is in jail for criminal activities. Finally after her insistence they agree to let her into the morgue.

Greene County – RT 0:14:56 – Directed by Andrew Twibell

The world is slowly freezing. For Lane (Cheryl Weston), grieving the loss of her husband in their deteriorating Ozarks farmhouse, the lines between past and present, reality and dream, have started to fade. When a young woman (Anna Call) appears at her door, Lane reluctantly lowers her guard. But is the woman truly there? And if so, is she alone? Shot on location in rural Missouri, Greene County is an apocalyptic Western about the fear brought on by solitude, and the hope offered by connection in a hostile place.

Absolution – RT 0:07:42 – Directed by Michael J Petty

Absolution follows Joe (Corey Renfree), an escaped convict on the run from his past sins. While hiding out in a seemingly abandoned barn, Joe is forced to confront the truth about who he is as he searches for redemption from outside of himself.

In a Dream (Director's Cut) – RT 0:16:52 – Directed by Edina Kishonthy

Kate, a young office worker and aspiring pet portrait painter, is determined to find a mysterious man who keeps appearing in her dreams at night. Her acerbic co-worker and best friend, Heather, does not share Kate's conviction the Dream Man even exists, and she begins to get seriously concerned about her friend's state of mind when Kate sets out on a desperate quest to find the man based on clues she believes to be receiving from him. During her search, she goes through awful dates and mishaps – but the surprise ending provides revelations about the triumph of friendship, the benefits of adopting a pet, and the importance of following our dreams.

Beat – RT 0:03:46 – Directed by Sarah Knauf

Explorations in feminism and beauty as a means of resistance.

The Dolphin Skin City – RT 0:19:50 – Directed by Pierre Gaffié

Eric Laurent, an idealistic jtect, works on a very special project : "The dolphin skin project", that was initiated in Australia. A few hours before attending a congress he meets Claire, a florist, and falls under her spell.

WILDER – RT 0:25:19 – Directed by Mark Volkers

Upon arriving home, Catriona attempts to reconcile the relationships between herself and her remaining family, only to discover they are more toxic than she remembered. - Contains Mature Subject Matter –

Sunday, June 25th - Rooms A and B

Award Winning Films Selection Sunday’s schedule features all award-winning films. Awards are presented on Sunday morning. Schedule will be posted following the award presentation on the Festival’s social media channels, website and in the lobby of the Library.


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