He Never Died

Jack’s in a rut. Depression and severe anti-social behavior has whittling down his existence to sleeping and watching television. Seeing the human race as little more than meat with a pulse, Jack has no interest to bond with anyone. There’s little purpose for him to make friends with someone he’d eventually eat or outlive by more than a millennia. The fuse is lit when Jack’s past comes back to rattle him. Jack must now walk a tight rope of sobriety and try to eat as few people as possible in this violent tale of personal responsibility. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW Film Festival]

Empire of Dirt

Like many Native families, Lena Mahikan grew up in the cycle of abuse. Her father, a residential school survivor, was an alcoholic until he killed himself when Lena was 10. Her mother, only 14 years her senior, turned to the slots. By the time Lena was 15, she was pregnant and, before giving birth, was kicked to the curb by her mom. The cycle continues and Lena is now watching helplessly as her own daughter, Peeka, spirals out of control, landing herself in the hospital following a drug overdose. As a final attempt at survival, Lena decides to return home and face her own mother and a past she’s desperate to escape.