Official 2017 Prairie Lights Film Schedule!

Well folks, here it is, the Official Schedule for the 5th Annual Prairie Lights Film Festival! 40 films, including 23 World or Nebraska Premieres! We’ll have dozens of Nebraska filmmakers on hand in Q&A’s. Show up. Network. See rad films.

Order your Weekend Passes right now for the low price of just $10.00! Here’s what you get:

  • Entrance to all 40 films
  • Entrance to all Q&A’s and all Mixers
  • Free DVD Sampler containing 15 films from Nebraska filmmakers
  • 25% off food and drinks all weekend at Bonzai Wave Pizza, Sin City Grill, and Kinkaider brewery!
  • Free entrance to the Friday and Saturday night after parties. Friday night at Kinkaider brewery, and Saturday night at Bonzai Wave Pizza where local rock band BRINER will be performing!
  • Free Popcorn and Soda vouchers!
  • A Prairie Lights lanyard featuring original artwork by Grand Island artist Jim Pohl!

Day passes are $5.00 but do not come with all the sweet shwag listed above, so even if you can’t attend all three days, you should still get yourself a weekend pass for all the merch!

And without further ado, this year’s schedule!

Friday, October 20th

5:30 pm: Nebraska Independent Film Projects Mixer @ The Chocolate Bar!

  • Nebraska Independent Film Projects will be hosting a meeting/mixer/filmmaker meet and greet before the festivities! Writers, Directors, actors, and the public are welcome to meet up prior to the festival’s opening to network, chat, and have some cocktails. Filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their upcoming projects and NIFP will discuss their organization and how they can help support local cinema.

6:30 pm: Doors Open

6:50 pm: Prairie Lights Film Festival Opening  Remarks by Mark Popejoy

  • The festival kicks off with an introduction, thank you’s, and a look at the weekend ahead.

7:00 pm: NAOMI JONES (2017)  d. Tom Knoblauch {Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE!

  • Mumblecore filmmaker Naomi Jones is having a bad day on the set of her first movie with a high-stakes budget.

8:25 pm: Q&A with Director Tom Knoblauch, Producer Ben Matukewicz, and Lead Actress Leah Cardenas of NAOMI JONES

8:40 pm: THE BAGMAN DIED FIRST (2017) d. Michael Johnson {Western/Crime}  WORLD PREMIERE!

  • Once upon a time, in the Midwest…It was supposed to be easy. Quick change of hands type job. But that’s not how it happened. The survivors don’t have long yet to live, but they still have to outlive each other…

9:00 pm: GHOST HUNTER (2017) d. Patrick Lambrecht {Horror} WORLD PREMIERE

  • While waiting for the rest of her paranormal investigative team to arrive, Jayda decides to start exploring an abandoned building on her own. What she ends up capturing is more than what she expects.

9:20 pm: PROOF (2017) d. Vincent Smith {Horror} WORLD PREMIERE

  • A physicist makes a shocking discovery that threatens to change the world.

9:27 pm: THE GRAVE WHISPERS (2017) d. William Fischer {Horror} WORLD PREMIERE

  • The stories of lives lived all across Nebraska are often forgotten unless one pauses in their day to visit some of the older cemeteries, wander amidst the gravestones and begin to learn of those buried there…

9:42 pm: ????????????? (2017) d. ???????????????? {???????} WORLD PREMIERE

  • What could it possibly be? Who could it possibly be by? What genre??!!! You won’t know until you’re sitting in the audience for this mystery World Premiere!

9:48 pm: END OF THE ROAD (2017) d. Dorothy Booraem and Chad Haufschild {Sci-Fi} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Three National Guardsmen must barricade a lonely country road. Their orders are simple but very clear: no one goes in and nothing comes out.

10:05 pm: IF THE SHOE FITS (2017) d. Nate Coulombe {Horror} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • The owner of a Shoe Repair shop is put in a tough spot when his only employee quits. As the customers keep coming, and the shoes keep piling up, his patience begins to wear thin.

10:25 pm: Q&A with Michael Johnson, Patrick Lambrecht, Vincent Smith, William Fischer, Nate Coulombe, Nate Coulombe, Dorothy Booraem, and Chad Haufschild

11:00 pm: Kinkaider Brewery After Party!

  • After the Q&A, head to Kinkaider Brewery for 25% off drinks and appetizers for all Weekend Pass holders!

Saturday, October 21st

8:00 am: Sin City Grill Breakfast Mixer

  • Gather at Sin City Grill, located 1 block west of the theatre to enjoy a fantastic breakfast with fellow filmmakers and festival attendees.

9:30 am – Leeched (2015) d. Jonathan Kimbrell {Science Fiction}

  • In the future, a hacker sits safe in his room as he guides his partner thru a maze of security half way around the world.

9:33 am – Errant (2016) d. Jonathan Kimbrell {Thriller}

  • Detective Gavin is forced to confront his obsession with a cold case with a personal connection.

9:40 am – Loch Ness: The Webseries (2015) c. Christina Marie Leonard  {Comedy} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • Donna, Joey, Kyle and Steve are four high school metal heads that dream of making it big with their folk metal band, Loch Ness. Now, all they need to do is figure out how to keep a lead singer. However, in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska there’s not a lot of candidates lining up for the position. With overbearing parents, lack of funds and a bass player who manages to get it wrong more then right, will they ever keep it together long enough to truly rock out?

10:15 am- Decades (2016) d. Bill Hedges {Documentary}

  • Take a trip to downtown Lyons Nebraska, and 147 years into the past. Changes in a downtown happen so slowly over the decades that we never notice them until we look back over a long timeline. Follow those changes in Lyons, Nebraska to see how a small town grew and evolved to the changing times. The one thing that stayed constant were the generations who tried to make it a better hometown.

11:00 am- Prairie Pints (2017)  d. Tyler Schmid, Shadlee Jo Meinke, Ryan Meinke, Scott Powers {Documentary} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Nebraska has always been the land of pioneers eager to explore and brave enough to take risks. Our journey takes us from the edge of the Missouri River to the Sandhills and beyond. Join us as we explore the Nebraska craft beer landscape, meet its trail blazers, and see its landmarks…from grain to glass, this is Prairie Pints..

12:30 pm: Q&A Tyler Schmid, Shadlee Jo Meinke, Ryan Meinke, Scott Powers, and Christina Marie Leonard

1:00 pm : Pete Lipins Cinema Retrospective

  • We celebrate the life and films of local filmmaker Pete Lipins with a collection of his films.
    • Biezie Satiekas (2008) d. Pete Lipins

    • Overstock of the Man Machine (2008) d. Andrew Johnson

    • Dudeling (2008) d. Pete Lipins

    • Killer (2008) d. Pete Lipins

    • Statement from Chad Haufschild

3:00 pm: SOLD FOR SEX (2017) d. Mike Tobias {Documentary}

  • We showcase two important documentaries detailing the problem of sex trafficking in Nebraska and hold a Q&A with survivors.
    • Trafficking In Nebraska

    • Survivor Stories

    • Q&A with Anna Brewer and survivors

4:30 pm – Intermission

  • Take a break from the festival to head out to Bonzai Pizza, Sin City Grill, Kinkaider, or The Chocolate Bar for food and drinks!

6:00 pm – Life After Ex (2017) d. Jim Fields {Dramedy}

  • Life After Ex is a new romantic comedy/drama about the search for love after a gay divorce. Set in the months before the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same sex marriage nationwide, Dylan Holm (Nicklaus Knipe) is shocked to learn he’s unable to file for divorce in his home state of Nebraska and must move to Iowa (where same sex marriage is legal) to establish residency and eventually file for divorce there. After moving across the river from Omaha, Nebraska, to Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dylan struggles to put his life back together but eventually discovers it’s never too late for love.

7:30 pm – The Nuanced Side (2017) d. Tom Knoblauch  {Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Pepper (Leah Cardenas) runs the least biased news podcast out there, but when she runs into her ex-boyfriend Bradley (Ben Matukewicz) who now works for the mainstream media, she runs into a clash of philosophies and feelings.

7:45 pm – The Contest (2017) d. Patrick Lambrecht {Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Cliff and Sheila return home after a wonderfully romantic afternoon together. A seemingly innocent conversation about their dinner quickly breaks down into a discussion of who has it worse, men or women. The only thing that could make this situation more akward is when Cliff picks up a notepad and decides to keep score. Who will win?

8:05 pm – Pisser (2017) d. Van Jensen {Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE

  • A man with nothing to lose finds himself drawn into battle against a urinal. Only one can be victorious in this absurdist indie take on potty humor. The debut short film of writer and director Van Jensen (author of comic books including The Flash, Green Lantern Corps and James Bond). Starring comedian Nick Vatterott (Conan, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Comics Unleashed).

8:15 pm – Three to LA (2017) d. Z {Dramedy} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • A young man and woman’s personal struggles to confess their feelings, secrets, and choices in regards to their complicated friendship, after one surprises another with plane tickets to their childhood dream to go to Los Angeles to escape their Midwest fates.

8:20 pm – The Collection (2017) d. Adam Roffman {Documentary} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • Two friends stumble upon the mother lode of movie memorabilia, long forgotten and hidden away in Omaha, Nebraska.

8:33 pm – Coffee and Cigarettes IV (2016) d. Ian Snyder {Comedy}

  • Two unemployed twenty-somethings ponder life and love in twenty-first century urban America.

8:36 pm – First Kiss (2017) d. Justin Stearns {Horror} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • A socially awkward teenage girl finally gets her first kiss with the unexpected help of her sister.

8:45 pm – Corruptor (2017) d. Dorothy Booraem and Chad Haufschild {Horror} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Wracked with guilt over the death of his younger brother and struggling with his ultra-religious family, Tyler Iske is easy prey for the darkness called Corruptor.

10:15 pm: Q&A Dorothy Booraem, Chad Haufschild, Jim Fields, Tom Knoblauch

10:45 pm: Bonzai Wave Pizza Afterparty featuring local rock band BRINER!

Sunday, October 22nd

8:00 am: Sin City Grill Breakfast Mixer

  • Gather at Sin City Grill, located 1 block west of the theatre to enjoy a fantastic breakfast with fellow filmmakers and festival attendees.

9:30 am – The Retirement of Mr. Jones (2016) d. Matt Townley {Documentary}

  • The Retirement of Mr. Jones follows Mark Jones, Director of Bands in Fort Calhoun, NE, as he struggles with his decision to retire after a 36-year-tenure. Like a Midwestern Mr. Holland’s Opus, the film highlights the triumphs, defeats and daily grind of music educators who teach Beethoven and marching band in an on-demand world.

9:47 am-  Darkroom (2016) d. Magie McCombs {Drama}

  • Two college students develop a friendship while working in the darkroom, but one has an unsettling secret that could put an end to their chemistry.

10:00 am – Black Luck (2016) d. David Weiss and Jason Levering {Drama}

  • A legendary killer for the mob disappears, leaving behind his violent past to try and carve out a peaceful future for himself. But when his former boss sends a series of goons after him to settle some unfinished business, he finds out that you can’t keep your monsters at bay forever. Withthe mob closing in and new enemies at every turn, he has to try and stay a step ahead in order to survive. Sometimes your luck just goes black.

11:30 am – No Clean Finish (2017) d. Eric Dwight {Drama}

  • Tommy is an independent wrestler who has just been called up to the big time. On his last night with the company, he is set to drop the title. Around him are those who have their own take on Tommy’s recent push. During the lead up to the main event, Tommy is battling making a decision that could change so many peoples’ lives.
  • connection.

11:46 am – Military Husband (2017) d. Kevin McMahon {Drama} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Matt Whittaker can barely get out of bed, he’s addicted to coffee and watching the cable news coverage of the Iraq war. The year is 2005 and Matt’s wife Celia, who was an ROTC student in college, was reactivated for service after three years in civilian life and sent to Iraq. Now he can barely cope with the emasculating experience of having his wife in a war zone and no way to protect her. Seeing his plight, Karen, his next door neighbor and ‘Military Wife’ invites Matt to the support group where the other wives stage an intervention to help him cope for Celia’s sake. After learning the tools to help him get through the day, tragedy strikes in Iraq and Matt is unsure if his wife will ever come home.

12:30 pm – Bear (2017) d. Jasmine Winter {Animation} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • A bear goes through a series of emotions on his way home, the visuals change to reflect their emotional state.

12:32 pm – The Room (2017) d. Erica Johnson {Comedy} NEBRASKA PREMIERE

  • The Room is about a young boy who is happily playing in his room by himself using his imagination. Suddenly, he realizes that his room is a mess and that his mom would not be happy about that. He rushes to clean up his room before his mom finds out!

12:35 pm – Growing Pains (2017) d. Elijah Watson {Drama}

  • When tragedy strikes in the middle of the night, a young boy is forced to pick up the pieces of his life and discover that everything is going to be alright.

12:45 pm – 11 Confession Road (2017) d. Rhett McClure {Science Fiction}

  • The Year 2020. Set in post-alien-life-reveal apocalypse America, two paranoid bounty hunters on the run from the NSA are about to ditch their prisoners.

12:52 pm – Kindle (2017) d. Adam Meyer and Dirk Czarnecki {Drama}

  • Kindle is the story of two male lovers, one betrayed and forgotten; left in the dark.

12:55 pm – Reverie (2016) d. Karalyn Smith {Drama}

  • A man uses daydreams to build his confidence to ask out the girl of his dreams.

1:00 pm – Who Will Listen But the Wind (2017) d. Jennifer Hanisch {Drama} WORLD PREMIERE

  • Money is short and stress is high due to a child with TARS syndrome. Christopher quits his job of 10 years when his wife gets involved with another man. Things appear to go well for a short period when they decide to start an e-cigarette business. However, their relationship quickly spirals out of control as his wife plots his murder with a soldier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

1:15 pm – Mower Boy (2017) d. Mark Popejoy  {Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE

  • We won’t take any mow!! A Nebraska family’s quiet camping retreat is terrorized by an overzealous groundskeeper who doesn’t know when to quit. When he returns that night armed with a weed-whacker, Mom must save her family in a harrowing encounter with the deranged “Mower Boy”!

1:30 pm – Return of the Robo-Mummy From Outer Space Part 7 (2017) d. Mathew Kister {Sci-fi Comedy} WORLD PREMIERE

  • It is 1953 and the United States basks in the glow of its power and dominance. Unfortunately, they must contend with the return of the Robo-Mummy, a half-robot, half-mummy monstrosity who has designs on using a human female as the vessel to bring back his long lost love. Only America’s finest scientist and Forest Ranger can stop him….or can they?!!!

1:45 pm – Filmmaker Q&A – Kevin McMahon, Jennifer Hanisch and Mark Popejoy

2:15 pm – Closing Remarks

41 films, 23 World or Nebraska premieres! Get your $10 weekend passes right now to enjoy this amazing selection of Nebraska made movies!

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