37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

Short Films: Sense of Place


These short films take you on a journey to places real and imagined. Explore a sinking island on the Chesapeake Bay or an old motor lodge housing a dark history. A farmland in the Pacific Northwest, a serial killer’s house in California, and an outdoor trade market in 1988 all find their home in this collection. Films include:

Abandoned Generations

2015. USA. 10 min. Director: Linda Fenstermaker.

A portrait of farmland in the Pacific Northwest, Abandoned Generations explores relationships with land and time in different generations. Told through the perspective of a female farmer living in the 1940s, the film questions the distance that modern society has from the earth and how that relationship informs daily life.

The Ballad of Holland Island House

2015. USA. 4 min. Director: Lynn Tomlinson.

Animated clay paintings tell the true story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay. In an Old-Time Music ballad, the house sings of its life and the creatures it has sheltered during its journey from tree, to timber, to home, to its ultimate return to nature. The film contemplates time, environmental change, and the rise of the seas.

Collinsville Trade Day, 1988

2015. USA. 7 min. Directors: Jason Keener, Charles Keener.

In 1988, Charles Keener took his video camcorder to Collinsville Trade Day to document the popular outdoor market for posterity. 26 years later, Jason found the tape buried in a box in his living room closet. The resulting film is a very personal collaboration with his grandfather’s footage about a small town’s culture.

El Portal

2015. USA. 7 min. Director: Jason Robinson.

El Portal is an experimental documentary about the Cedar Motor Lodge in El Portal, California. Combining vintage analog home videos with footage shot this summer, the film spans 25 years, weaving together the complicated and tragic story of the lodge with the filmmaker’s family history. El Portal is a movie about memory, murder, and the materiality of video tapes.

The House is Innocent

2015. USA. 12 min. Director: Nicholas Coles.

Meet Tom and Barbara, the proud new owners of a serial killer’s house – the most infamous residence in Sacramento, California. The middle-aged couple soon realizes it’s going to take more than a fresh coat of paint to whitewash the home’s macabre history.


2015. USA. 8 min. Director: Marta Renzi.

A documentary portrait in miniature of a singer, dishwasher, storyteller, octogenarian Roxie Duncan in all her glory – and of her hometown: Cape Charles, Virginia. Whether washing dishes at Rayfield’s Pharmacy-and-diner, or singing gospel music while touring small town USA, Roxie’s view of race and changing times is rich and rewarding.



Sunday, November 8


1:30 PM


Downtown Mall : The Southern

Film Info

Runtime: 51 min.

Genre: Shorts