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Can't make it to an in-person screening? Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival now has an online streaming platform for select films! View online or through a streaming platform such as Roku.

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Audience Choice Award

Click below to see which EmergingStream Film won Audience Choice, along with other awards!


Ohskennón:ten Owí:ra (Little Deer)

On Christmas Eve, 1967, two young Indigenous girls are forced to battle the elements, confront their darkest secrets and work together in order to return home to their families after a daring escape from the Mohawk Institute Residential School. This harrowing coming-of-age story was developed with survivors of the Mohawk Institute and is based on their real experiences.

This film is a story about the resilience of Indigenous youth, the power of friendship, and the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system on Indigenous people and communities.

Director: Johnathan Elliot

Runtime: 32:41


Browse the films that are available through our EmergingSTREAM platform.

To Estaban

Hector Almeida

Documentary, 16:52


Gregorio, Dolores and Zoila are three elders excited about the arrival of a new member to the family; Esteban, their great-grandson. Through the memories of their ancestors, they narrate themes of loneliness, love, union, loss, and hope. They search through their belongings for a special gift to leave to a future Esteban, who may never know them as an adult. The short film itself is a gift that will make them endure in their family history.

The Teacup

ZhiMin Hu

Short Film, 17:23


A teacup triggers an immigrant's memories and nostalgia. How she deals with this past affects her perspective on her childhood, her family, and her future.
The Teacup is a poignant exploration of the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring bonds of family, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, the seeds of redemption and reconciliation can bloom, transforming shattered dreams into rays of hope.

The Sting

Damola Layonu

Short Film, 10:35


Erica conscripts friends, Leah and Clarence on a mission to catch her allegedly unfaithful boyfriend, Sean in the act.


Jonah Kozlowski

Short Film, 6:44

United States

A grandmother. A source of existence. A portal to other worlds. For thousands of years, the Indigenous Peoples of what is now known as North and South Dakota co-existed reciprocally with the Missouri River, its waters offering life while also inspiring legends and languages. In Tahnaanooku’, filmmaker Justin Deegan takes an experimental approach to the severing of this relationship between his community — the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara — and the river, the result of over 80 years of US government efforts to control the Missouri, including via the Garrison Dam.

Deja Vu

Jean Frenette

Short Film, 13:50


John is convinced he’s been on this planet for longer than his lifetime.


Daniel Croix

Short Film, 12:00

United States

To find some peace of mind, he decides to consult an hypnotherapist to dive into his subconscious and get some clarity.

Waiting for the End


Feature Narrative, 1:15:25

United States

"Waiting for the End" A story of young Uyghur man's life in exile, Shirzat thrust into exile in 2020 after his father's sudden and mysterious disappearance in northwest part of China during the mess genocidal detention policy. As Shirzat grapples with the abrupt upheaval, he navigates the challenges of building a new life in a foreign land, haunted by the sudden and unexplained silence surrounding his family's fate. Confronted with the stark choice between speaking out for his missing father, risking his own safety and rest of family members outside the camp, or maintaining a silence weighed with the sudden echoes of inner conflict, Shirzat's journey becomes an intimate exploration of survival, conscience, and the resilient quest for identity amidst the sudden disruptions of life.

Director Biography - Memetjan Semet


Menelik King

Short Film, 16:31


Gabriel, an up and coming DJ/beatmaker, has to buy a new pair of headphones after his break, only to discover the new pair he buys lets him read people's minds as he embarks on a romantic afternoon with a classmate's cousin.

Seven Citrus aurantium

Farshad Gol Sefidi

Feature Narrative, 1:20:00

Iran, Islamic Republic of

SHAMS, a retired professor of literature, is faced with a great dilemma. Despite having to cope with his own infirmities, he decided to abandon reason in the name of love; the only means of maintaining his existence. This love is symbolized by seven orange blossom

Mushroom's Quest

Dave Johnson

Documentary, 4:00

United Kingdom

Oltha, a determined and compassionate woman, embarks on a heartfelt journey across continents to discover her roots. Armed with little more than a dream and a prayer, Oltha’s story unfolds against a backdrop of family secrets, unexpected revelations, and unwavering love.

Cultural Abduction

Abdurrahmaam (Abdur) M. Howard

Short Film, 9:37

United States

Cultural Abduction is a film that shines a light on the remembrance and loving of oneself and one’s culture. This concept is viewed through the lenses of a middle class African family adapting to the physical and cultural changes of living in America. In this film you will see a frustrated and homesick grandmother desperately trying to maintain her family’s African heritage as they are quickly adapting and conforming to life and culture in the West… Will this family keep their heritage? Or, will they let their new home abduct them of their culture.

Toronto the Good

Sheronna Osbourne

Short Film, 7:23


Based on a true story in 1976. Don visits his local bar and contrives a plan to become Toronto’s next mayor by starting the Western Guard, a white supremacist group. Committed to “Making Canada Great Again” he vows to run a political campaign aimed at reducing immigration. Caught in Don’s sinister plan is one unlucky black musician, that attracts some unwanted attention.

EMPALIKINO (Forgiveness)

Eric Mwangi

Documentary, 5:12


In the picturesque Ol Kinyei conservancy, Dalton, a Maasai tribesman, grapples with the intricate dance of coexistence between his community's cattle and the majestic yet perilous lions, confronting the dualities of significance: the lion's role in the ecosystem versus the livelihood tied to his cattle and the experience of loss in the past. Amidst the tension of restless nights, a poignant internal conflict arises— Living and thriving in the land, juxtaposed with the lion's freedom. As Dalton prays for safety and forgiveness, an elder's prayer marks a powerful moment of acceptance and forgiveness, ultimately shaping Dalton's perspective on the enduring struggle for harmony in this shared land.



Short Film, 4:16


George, a Maasai man, defied his father's wishes to pursue education. Despite initial resistance, he excelled in school, securing a job that transformed his family's life. Witnessing his success, his father embraced the value of education. Now, George is determined to ensure his children receive the same opportunities he did.

The Invisible Woman

Joy Tan

Short Film, 15:00

United States

Amidst the vibrant chaos of Chinese New Year celebrations in Los Angeles, Lulu navigates a day filled with unexpected magical encounters and interpersonal challenges, forcing her to confront the complexities of her romantic relationship amidst the clash of cultural traditions and femininity.

Tied to a Lie

Mia Golden

Documentary, 27:28:00


Documentary looking at the impact of sexual exploitation, sex trafficking and gang recruitment on today's youth.

Game Over

Saeed Mayahy, Miriam Carlsen

Documentary, 28:24


In a basement in Istanbul a group of illegal Afghan teenage boys are determined to smuggle themselves into Europe – a utopia far away. Caught in the no-man's land between childhood and adulthood they fearlessly play a dangerous game of destiny over and over again. But at what cost?

In an underground basement, Mo and Ali live with 30 other boys. As the place is crammed, they spend their awakening hours outside moving around the streets and parks of Zeytinburnu, always on the go, to avoid being caught by the police. Left with no one but themselves to look after one another, their incredible strength and yet extreme vulnerability surface side by side in the no-man's land between childhood and adulthood. Fearlessly, they play a dangerous game of destiny over and over again, determined to smuggle themselves into Europe – a utopia far away.

They have all lost so much, they are willing to jeopardize everything to win the dreamy prize of safety and freedom. But at what cost?

For Roy

Vivian Cheung

Short Film, 12:00


Inspired by true events, an imaginative Asian-Canadian girl attempts to fold a thousand cranes as she learns to lose her father during his final days in the hospice.

Strangers Under My Skin

Yifan Xiang

Short Film, 3:58

United States

An old, blind painter living life alone in his trailer, during whose last breaths, suddenly regains his vision and picks up his painting brush, fantasizing about his younger self and his lovers, dying after his last strokes.


Alvin Yu

Short Film, 14:59

United Kingdom

This feeling of knowing more than what meets the eye troubles him deeply.


Samuel Di Blasi

Short Film, 6:55


This leads him to find some truth in his beliefs: the one that he has been living through multiple bodies, for centuries.

Love Cuts

Menelik King

Short Film, 14:50


A young couple walk home together from their friend's engagement party. As the sunrises on a grey London morning, they both wake up to harsh truths about themselves and each other.

Until Withering

Xinyu Zhang

Short Film, 16:12


The story happened in the 1920s. A young tailor was on his duty with his master, an old tailor, to deliver costume-order for Hongfu Kunqu Opera Tea-house. He came to the backyard by chance. Heard a violent cough, he looked curiously into the room through the hole in the window paper. There the young tailor saw a frail-looking but so very beautiful Kunqu opera performer carefully putting on his makeup, and could hear him coughing once or twice in the room from time to time. Ignorant to his real look or even his gender under the heavy lady-make-up, confused by what he witnessed, the young tailor couldn’t help thinking about him from then on. His image on stage left a shadow-like imprint on the young tailor’s heart.
In his dream, someone handed him a piece of blood-red cloth, recalling the morbid beauty of the performer, he began to sew a red costume that even the old tailor had been struggling for a long time. And there in the young tailor’s dream, that familiar figure, dancing, hiding, showed up again...

Dance of the Weeping Willows

Nathan Tamaki

Animation, 2:00

United States

Surrealist film exploring anxiety and fear in the subconscious.

A Prayer for My Father

Sarah London

Short Film, 10:01

United States

Decades after she and her late father found an unspeakable horror in the woods, Lola receives a package of his ashes, and along with it the ghost of their shared trauma.

Soul Compass

Maziar Ghaderi

Short Film, 14:00


A poor wanderer embarks on a quest for treasure, only to find himself on an unexpected journey of self-discovery deeply rooted in the wisdom of Rumi's poetry. As he navigates through trials and tribulations, he uncovers profound truths about himself and the world around him, guided by the echoes of centuries-old teachings.

About Oliver

Israel Ekanem

Short Film, 14:19


About Oliver navigates the shadows of familial challenges as Oliver learns and grows to become a beacon of hope

ORMOILAA OGOL (The Strong One)

Shamit Patel

Documentary, 5:02


Battling fierce predators and the encroaching threat of human wildlife conflict, his journey is fraught with peril at every turn. Yet, propelled by an unwavering devotion to love, Ormoilaa fearlessly navigates through diverse landscapes, risking life and limb to ensure a prosperous future for his offspring. Join him on this epic adventure where bravery knows no bounds, and the legacy of love transcends the wilds of nature.


Sandra Ruong'o

Short Film, 6:34


In the Mara, the symbiotic relationship between villagers and village weaver birds has long thrived. These sparrows, known for their cheerful demeanor and intricate nests, have been integral to the community's fabric. However, a devastating incident unfolds when a mother, ensnared by plastic pollution within her nest, meets an untimely end. Unbeknownst to her, the building materials intended for shelter became a tragic snare, marking an unintentional betrayal by her human neighbors.

Going Home

Janeece Niles

Short Film, 6:33


With the opportunity of a lifetime on the line, headstrong Kaya reaches out to her estranged mother for help with her hair which leads to a journey of forgiveness and healing.

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