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“Arlo & Julie” premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

2014 Free Range Film Festival top picks

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“Arlo & Julie” (Comedy, 80 minutes)

In “Arlo and Julie,” a feature-length comedy by Steve Mims, a young couple literally puzzles over an unusual piece of anonymous daily mail that comes addressed to Julie.


They eventually drop out of the daily grind — she’s a wide-eyed waitress, he’s a computer guy deferring his work to Raj — to try to solve the mystery of an obscure artist, a valuable painting and an estranged aunt. This plays alongside classist friends in and out of a therapy-driven relationship.

The mailbox gets constant surveillance, a flu bug is faked and the food garbage grows in this quirky mystery/wry comedy about the ways we can get singularly focused on a fixation to the detriment of the kitchen floor.  

And then, they all went to Mexico.

“Arlo & Julie” premiered at SXSW.

“Random Stop” (Drama, 7 minutes)

This super-intense short by Benjamin Arfmann is a first-person re-creation of the true events of a young cop’s traffic stop on a country road in Georgia.

Arfmann eases viewers into this eyeball of the beholder perspective with shots of Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Dinkheller chewing sunflower seeds and flipping through photos of his wife and young daughter.

But things get extra 3-D-ish when he flips on his cherries to chase down a reckless Nissan pickup driver.

Expect a physical response, lots of bucking and bobbing, to this movie that was inspired from dash-cam footage of the actual event.

“Random Stop” played at SXSW and was recently named a Vimeo Staff Pick.

“Mr. Plastimime” (Animation, 10 minutes)

Mr. Plastimime performs in an old club on a stage beneath a single bulb where his caught-in-a-box, big-wind routine unfolds for a rapidly shrinking audience.

He earns applause from a lone figure in the audience and returns to his home where he engages in a romantic, albeit chaste, dream about a mysterious woman — who is simultaneously thinking of him.

This charming and quietly funny, quietly sad Claymation short is by Oscar award-winning English director Daniel Greaves. The project was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

“AJ’s Infinite Summer” (Animation, 8 minutes)

School’s out and the kicks have morphed into sandals, the beach ball is out of the backpack and AJ and his friends are ready for some summer funning.

AJ takes his vacation cue from a sign on the side of a bus. Instead of chillaxing with ice cream cones, like last summer, he sets off to find a job with an enthusiastic “The bus has spoken.”

With the help of his eccentric father’s oversized business suit, AJ is able to climb the ranks of corporate America.

But will all this free pie go to his head?

“AJ’s Infinite Summer” was produced by “Regular Show” artist Toby Jones as a pilot for the Cartoon Network.

It’s wacky and weird and contains highly steal-able quips.