June 28 - 30, 2019 Western Gateway Park Friday & Saturday 11AM - 10PM
Sunday 11AM - 5PM

Interrobang Film Festival

The Interrobang Film Festival presented by AARP Movies for Grownups, is three days of films and engagements with filmmakers. The audience - whether cinema enthusiasts or curious newcomers - can experience curated screenings from films around the globe. 

Congratulations to this year's award winners:

Best of Show - My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes

Best Showmanship - The Old Stripper

Best Feature Documentary - American Futball

Best Short Documentary - The Happiness Machine

Best Feature Narrative - Anori (Wind)

Best Short Narrative - The Manual

Best of Iowa - Saint's Rest

IFF Producer's Choice Award - Hairat


Films are screened Friday, June 22 - Sunday, June 24 in the South wing of the Des Moines Public Library located on the festival site. Click here for a detailed schedule of films.

Red Season – RT 00:15:00

Zahra and Fatemeh are two sisters that are coming to Tehran for acting when suddenly one of them vanishes

Amma Meri (Mother) – RT 00:20:00

A family faces many challenges after their father’s death.

The Happiness Machine – RT 00:23:34

Carl grew up a sharecropper on twenty-two acres in rural Iowa, which he now calls The Promised Land. A philosopher, inventor, and framer, he shares with us the deeply intricate workings of his projects, how they are connected to the land which was given to him as a promise, and what he hopes to pass on to his children as the gift of place.

NIGHT OWL – RT 00:41:43

Turns out, the key to overcoming your loneliness lies in the most pedestrian place on Earth! Plagued by sleepless nights, Jessie Barr finds herself heading to the safest, least weird place she can go at 3AM: the 24 hour grocery store.

Sgt Stubby - An Unlikely Hero – RT 01:24:00

With World War I looming, a young Army Pvt. Robert Conroy adopts a stray stump-tailed terrier. The two grow close and embark on the adventure that would define the century. Among the French trenches, the two befriend a soldier that accompanies them through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage.


A man who wants to pass the border disguises himself as a ram.

Saint’s Rest

A musical drama set in small-town Iowa, Saints Rest tells the story of two estranged sisters, who over the course of one summer form a connection through their shared love of music as they grieve the recent death of their mother.


A coming of age story about two boys who learn that life isn’t always fair.

Ettore’s Stargate – RT 00:03:07

Extrasensory journey through a young girl’s house.

Blows With The Wind – RT 00:06:30

A scarecrow becomes human after strange events.

Funfair – RT 00:20:48

Aram has Congenital Disability which has damaged his body. His imagination, however, has wings that fill what he lacks in life. Aram dreams of flying...

Farewell – RT 00:10:00

When a homeless person finds an elderly homeless man dead in the park, he can’t do anything but worship the deceased with his food and cigarette. He fears he will die in the city just like the other man.

Room Tone – RT 00:15:29

Lloyd is a man in his late-20s who works as a freelance sound mixer in Kansas City, MO. Lloyd loves his job, is good at it, and has a nice, stable life… but he can’t seem to let go of an unfulfilled dream. “Room Tone” explores an artist’s conflict--the fine line that separates joy and self-doubt.

Break from the Herd – RT 01:18:24

A trilogy of stories about courage, fortitude and grit; Break from the Herd features a scientist, a farmer and a winemaker. Their stories cover standing up for unbiased research, fighting to grow healthy soil, and persevering to conserve natural resources. Through first-hand accounts they share the risks taken, the trials endured, and the paths forged in order to inspire better ways of improving our food production systems.

THE KINGDOM – RT 00:52:13

The incredible story of how fungi made life on land possible. Neither plants nor animals, fungi represent a third mode of life and belong to their own kingdom. By looking at fungi in the context of evolution and natural history, scientists are making discoveries that will change our lives. Some fungi will save us; others will threaten us, and we are just beginning to understand which is which.

Genesis – RT 00:10:00

A fantasy short film with a critical point of view about the horrible situation in Syria. This is the first of four episodes in Mozafari’s episodic film. In this film, you will see a container, and the story of the container will be told in the second episode.

The Masseuse – RT 00:20:00

In a futuristic city, a rookie technician falls in a love with an out-of-date humanoid masseuse. He then must face the emotional fallout from this strange relationship and make amends with his anti-droid fanatic father.

Dispassion – RT 00:03:00

A young woman sitting on a chair bathes as water trickles rhythmically down a white wall. Later, in a place where the horizon fuse with the sky at the sea’s edge, she finds the connection between her Inner Self and the Universe.  It follows a long tradition of cinema in which “nothing” happens, and in that void audience and filmmaker meet to complete the meaning of the film.

Iku Manieva – RT 00:07:30

The struggle between different criminal groups for the dominance of the largest poppy and marijuana growing region in south Sinaloa has resulted in deadly crimes and serious violations to the human rights of rural communities residents throughout the state, a conflict that has produced more than 3,000 displaced people and several ghost towns in 2017 alone. The film features two children taking refuge in the Sinaloa sierra.

A Different Script – RT 00:29:58

Twenty-year-old Chris Lopes is finally on the pathway to his dream of becoming a professional actor, but as a young man with Down syndrome, he is still struggling to achieve independence in his personal life. Chris lands a Hollywood agent and auditions for one big role that he hopes will be his big ticket to fame. All the while, his family worries about the practicality of his dreams and his desire to move to LA and live on his own.

Brothers – RT 00:16:20

Broke and alone, two brothers who drank away their inheritance start a new life together while trying to put their troubled past behind them.  Living off the grid in New Jersey, their innovative ability to survive went on for four years…until one of them decided it was time to get out, leaving his brother to make an important decision.  This 16 minute doc was made with an iPhone 5s. 

American Fútbol – RT 01:35:00

In 2014, four American filmmakers and (Emerson) college friends decided to take a four-month journey through Latin America to the World Cup in Brazil. Over 7,000 miles and 8 countries, their mission was to explore Latin America's passion for fútbol and translate it for a surge of soccer fans back in the States. They used the sport to connect with people and cultures along their adventure and learned how powerful a force the beautiful game can be.

Balance – RT 00:02:30

A story about the soldiers who are sacrificing their lives in order to protect the people of the city, so future generations may live in peace

America – RT 00:19:08

An Iranian journalist couple wants to move to America to escape the difficulties of their country. The woman receives her visa, but her husband doesn’t. He stays in Iran and watches his wife find success on television and falls into a state of depression.

Belonging – RT 00:19:43

A baby is shared by three different persons of different worlds.

A Place to Stay – RT 00:04:39

There are just three cancer centers serving the 50 million people of Tanzania. These centers work with limited resources and equipment to battle what are slowly becoming the country's leading causes of death.  A Place to Stay follows the work of doctors and nurses at the overcrowded Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center as they appeal for an inpatient ward, provide care to rural areas, and battle the stigmatization of cancer throughout Tanzania's northern healthcare zone.

Brujas – RT 00:07:37

Women challenge the stereotypes of witchcraft in our modern time

The Hustle: Life of Subway Performers – RT 00:04:26

Busking: playing music or other forms of performing for voluntary donations in the street or in subways; better known as "The Hustle."

Skateboarding – RT 00:04:36

For young people who love to skate

Outpost – RT 00:17:29

When the last citizen on the furthest outpost in space makes first contact with intelligent life, he's forced to not only protect humanity, but that which makes him human: love.

Cancel the F---ing Internet – RT 00:12:51

After the final infuriating straw, Dan calls his internet provider to cancel the f---ing internet. Surviving the apathetic gauntlet of support staff, he finally reaches the retention department and their star agent: Gerald. Things are finally looking up for Dan. That is until Gerald makes it very clear just how much he knows about Dan’s browsing history, and how far he’s willing to go to maintain his perfect retention record.

The Inescapable Arrival of Lazlo Petushki – RT 00:11:10

A scruffy young man is about to arrive in a mysterious city by boat, when he finds himself lost in the labyrinthine hull of the ship. On his surreal journey through the boat, he is chased by the inescapable; himself, the very luggage he was hoping to leave behind.

Sunnyside – RT 01:12:00

Ninety-year-old sound artist and comedian Henry “Sandy” Jacobs and his eccentric old friend and neighbor, architect Daniel Liebermann, live a quirky existence on a mountain in Northern unfinished projects and unfulfilled dreams. These non-conformists, each in their own way, still search the world for perfection.

The Accomplice – RT 00:07:24

Arriving home from a long business trip, Jerry discovers a number of urgent messages on his answering machine from his impulsive and inept friend, Randy. Much to his surprise, Jerry is now an unwilling participant in one of Randy's boneheaded schemes.

The Manual – RT 00:29:30

In the distant future, James is the last human on Earth. He is raised and protected by a humanoid robot, the Machine, who brings him up on a strange composite religion described in a handheld device called The Manual. The man wrestles with loneliness and depression while the search for other humans becomes more and more futile. As his faith in The Manual is shaken, he sets out to test one of The Manual’s core beliefs: reincarnation to the next life in the city of the Creator.

HAIRAT – RT 00:06:39

One man's nightly ritual brings solace to the lovelorn of Harar.

Intercourse – RT 00:10:00

"I’ll give you 100 bucks” he suggests, and jokingly she agrees, and neither of them see the gravity of the situation. When a sexual boundary is crossed and the balance of power is shifted – what will happen to their peaceful and normal relationship?

VEXED – RT 00:12:59

A romantic date night goes horribly wrong when a couple debates the validity of horror film plots.

ANORI / Wind – RT 01:25:40

ANORI is a tragic love story inspired by the old Greenlandic myths. A woman who believes only in all that is good in life, but when confronted by the dark forces of nature, Anori is determined to bring back the light. This modern story - set amongst the incredible Greenlandic landscapes and the intensely crowded New York - takes you on a journey where myth comes to life.  ANORI is the first feature film from Greenland directed by a female filmmaker.

My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes – RT 00:13:38

Filmmaker Charlie Tyrell seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through the personal belongings he left behind... including a stack of VHS dirty movies. Narrated by David Wain.

The Provider – RT 00:22:14

Restrictive laws, such as House Bill Two (HB2) in Texas, threaten abortion providers and force clinics to shut down or hire out-of-state practitioners. Some abortion doctors, such as Dr. Shannon Carr, travel hundreds of miles to provide legal and safe services, while encountering threatening opposition from anti-abortion forces.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking – RT 00:14:17

A black male burn-survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly-abled man. After the bar, they go back to his apartment, where he faces his demons as he attempts to experience intimacy for the first time since his accident ten years ago.

Search Engines – RT 01:35:00

Sanity and relationships are put to the test when mysterious circumstances force a family to survive the annual American Thanksgiving holiday without their cell phones.

Yarchen Gar – RT 00:02:52

Yarchen Gar, officially known as the Yaqên Orgyän Temple, lies in an isolated valley 4,000 m above sea level in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.  Due to the remoteness of the institute and the bad condition of roads leading there, Yarchen Gar sees very few tourists. It is reported to have 10,000 monks and nuns, making it possibly the largest monastery in the world.

Lola – RT 00:25:10

The teenage daughter of an affluent Chinese family in America struggles for control when her past abuser returns, threatening her carefully crafted future.

The Boat – RT 01:13:00

In an isolated fishing village, Esmerina is married to a fisherman and has twenty-six children. The oldest son secretly desires to leave to see the world beyond the sea. The daily routine of this family is suddenly altered when a mysterious boat runs aground on the beach and introduces Ana, a girl who survived the shipwreck.

The Observer Effect – RT 00:18:57

A woman is haunted by a dark watcher, a man obsessed with thoughts of her vicious murder, but as the fateful hour draws near, bizarre events unfold to reveal truths they could never imagine—and a secret that will change their lives forever.

Faded – RT 00:19:04

Jenna is happily married and in love with her husband Ryan, but her life crumbles when Ryan is hospitalized from a serious car accident. Tragically, Ryan loses his memory, including that of his life with her. Jenna desperately tries to reconnect with her bewildered and confused husband, but as she struggles day by day to find tiniest glimmers of hope, the pain of loss starts to take its toll.

Lingua Absentia – RT 00:10:00

Lingua Absentia is a paper cut-out animation about a mother and her schizophrenic daughter, Abby. Guided by the mother’s voice-over narration, the film takes the viewer through Abby's severe cancer treatment and her long process to recovery.

The Old Stripper – RT 02:40:00

Burlesque legend Opal Dockery travels the country with her real-life son, award-winning filmmaker Jack Truman on a road trip to visit Dockery’s dancing cities from her past. They visit national landmarks and interview over 50 burlesque dancers across the country, young and old, to show how burlesque is today compared to the past. An epic and unforgettable journey, The Old Stripper opens the audience's eyes to a lost era.

Every Ghost Has An Orchestra – RT 00:07:10

Truth hides in the margins and the artist’s role is to point to it. The question of what happens after we die is a universal question explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito. He straddles the line between spiritual and material and asks the audience to reflect on our purpose, legacy and what our actions say about who we are.

Frank and Lamar – RT 00:10:00

Frank and Lamar follows two best friends who live together and work together as middle school teachers in New York City. When workplace drama, romance, and personal growth turn their world upside down, their friendship is put to the test.

Shoken – RT 00:11:58

Shoken (2017) is a short-subject documentary film on the life of Shoken Winecoff Roshi, a Buddhist monk and founding teacher of the Ryumonji Zen Monastery outside of Decorah, Iowa. The film explores his journey to becoming ordained himself as a monk under Katagiri Roshi, and the establishment of the Ryumonji monastery

Portrait: A Ballet Film in Four Movements – RT 00:09:18

In the Fall of 2017, filmmaker Jack Meggers was selected as the artist in residence with Ballet Des Moines.  For six weeks, he embedded himself with the company as they prepared for the fall performance, Triple Bill: Redefined.  A four-part film of musical vignettes is the result of that residency.   This selection is the second Movement, entitled "Make Ready".

Marieke – RT 00:07:15

Marieke explores the life and craft of Marieke Penterman, acclaimed Dutch Gouda cheesemaker from Thorp, Wisconsin.

Beth's three o'clock with Dr. Harlow – RT 00:02:06

Beth discloses a recent dream to her analyst.  A vivid study of casual brutality and failed empathy, this surrealistic film intermixes stop motion animation with live action sequences.

Nobody Dies Here – RT 00:23:21

Perma gold mine, Benin. Some dream to find something, others realized there was nothing to be found. Some dig relentlessly hoping to become rich, others died in the process. And a few of them say that here, nobody dies.

165708 – RT 00:07:00

Shot entirely in 16mm black and white film using single frame photography, 165708 begins with a woman looking out from the shoreline. This acts as a point of departure to disparate yet interconnected sequences which prompt the viewer to engage in a structurally unique mode of inquiry and experience. A dynamic original score by the acclaimed composer Graham Stewart accompanies the film.

For more information, contact Kristian Day, Interrobang Film Festival Producer.

The Interrobang Film Festival is presented by