2020 Film Streams Local Filmmakers Showcase | Film Streams
Close Menu
Nov 6 – Dec 17, 2020

2020 Film Streams Local Filmmakers Showcase

134 min


E News LFS2020

Now in its eleventh year, our annual celebration of Nebraska and Iowa filmmakers includes short comedies, dramas, and documentaries. This year’s guest jury — composed of folks from BFF — had the challenging task of reviewing 58 submissions, ultimately arriving at a feature-length collection that once again demonstrates the creativity and talent at work in our region.

Jurors: Alex Jochim, Caitlin Little, JP Gurnett, Grace Short, Tony Buttells, Ben Matukewicz, Liz Thrash, Kirby Kaufman, Katie Anderl, Zach Schmieder, and Brittani Button

Generously supported by Mutual of Omaha

The Program



Eric Butler // Ord, NE


No matter how we see our childhood home, our memories are not entirely based in reality. Home is an idea made up of tall tales, longing, and forgotten truths.


Eric Butler was born in Omaha, Nebraska four days before Fellini died. Eric received a BFA in Acting from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2017 and is currently working towards a Certificate in Collaborative Filmmaking from Maine Media College + Workshops. His work has been screened across the US and internationally, most recent being at the New Jersey Film Festival. Eric is currently based in Orlando, FL.

Buzz Vs Scooty2

Buzz vs. Scooty

Todd Graves & Margaux Towne // Omaha, NE


You won’t find a more local film than Buzz vs. Scooty! You will certainly recognize the Ruth Sokolof Theater marquee and RST back parking lot as well as Petitttt’s Pastry and Sol’s Jewelry & Loan. The actors and extras in the film have combined for 142 professional boxing wins (and counting), multiple national Golden Gloves and World Wrestling championships and many UFC victories. There are also appearances by a former Omaha Mayor and a Miss Nebraska USA winner. As a couple of Film Streams members, we are thrilled to have our film screened at the historic Dundee Theater.


Margaux Towne received her Communications degree from Florida State University and worked as an actor at Universal Studios. In addition to working for the Orlando Magic and CFN13, she produced a children’s animated cartoon, Buddy G, My Two Moms and Me and currently heads Digital Moxie Studio, a woman-owned production company.

An Omaha native, Todd Graves graduated from University of Nebraska - Omaha with a Broadcast Production degree. His microfilm Where Bears Go premiered in NYC as a GIPHY Film Festival finalist and his next film I know you are but what am I was selected for the 2019 Omaha Film Festival.

All We Know2

All We Know

Kat & Nik Fackler // Omaha, NE


A short dance film. Filmed in isolation during the 2020 quarantine.


Nik Fackler is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning filmmaker. He was nominated for a Spirit Award for his first directorial feature, Lovely, Still (starring Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn, Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks). For his follow-up film, Sick Birds Die Easy, Fackler won Best Picture at the Poland International Film Festival. Throughout the past 15 years he has produced and directed over 20 music videos for various artists including Bright Eyes, The Faint, Sia, and his own band, Icky Blossoms.



Aliza Brugger // Albion, NE


I grew up in a working-class family in rural Nebraska where queerness was a foreign concept. Not only had I never seen myself represented in my community, but I also never saw myself represented in the media where queerness seemed to only exist safely for wealthy cosmopolitans. However, I eventually saw how these two important parts of myself, my ruralness and my queerness, could not only coexist, but that they belonged and even elevated one another. I wanted to tell a story that shows how queerness cannot be defined by class or geographical boundaries, and from that idea, Roadkill was born.


Aliza Brugger is a New York City/ Los Angeles based producer, director and screenwriter originally from Nebraska. She received her MFA in filmmaking from Columbia University where she has written, directed and produced several features, TV pilots, and short films that have screened in festivals all over the world. Aliza enjoys exploring themes of sexuality, female connection, nature and dystopia. Her goal as a filmmaker is to create stories that connect viewers to the image, to each other and to the world.

One Punch12

One Punch

MJ Peters, Lauren Abell, & Shawn Gourley // Omaha, NE


Shortly after buying a self-defense class from an infomercial, a broken-hearted manager must use his newly acquired skills.


Shawn Gourley is the Creative Director at Edison Creative, a video production studio he helped start over a decade ago. Shawn works as the director and animator of an original animated series and continues to pour into it along with other creative projects. Outside of work, Shawn enjoys devoting the rest of his time to his family. He and his wife of 8 years, whom he met while filming a short film, live in Omaha with their three kids.

Lauren Abell is a cinematographer and editor based in Omaha and has worked with Shawn for the past 6 years. Lauren’s passion is turning a written story into raw and honest visuals, bridging the two so anyone can connect with it.

MJ Peters is a local producer who teamed up with Lauren and Shawn on this project. MJ has worked in the film/commercial industry for 10 years and stars as Luna in their film, One Punch.

The Murder King1

The Murder King

Kate Ryan Brewer // Council Bluffs, IA


I’ve had horrible nightmares ever since I was in first grade. For a long time I avoided scary movies and stories, despite being invariably drawn to them. Early on in my career, I started to embrace all things creatively dark and complicated. Personally, my favorite movies are psychological, intimate stories told within the setting of horror. That’s what we’ve tried to explore with The Murder King — loss, grief, and an almost labyrinth-like relationship with the self. Hopefully something about it stays with you. Makes you question. Maybe even keeps you up at night.


Born in Seattle and raised in Southeast Asia, I’m an independent writer and filmmaker. Since graduating from FSU film school I’ve lived and/or worked in Los Angeles, Marrakech, London, Sydney, Washington DC, and Omaha.

My first feature film, Knots: A Forced Marriage Story, won Best Documentary at the Manchester and Geelong International Film Festivals. In November 2019 I presented a TEDxOmaha talk on forced and child marriage in America: the subject of the documentary.

Hyperion published my first YA novel, “I Heart Vampires: Birth” under the pen name Siona McCabre in 2011. The Murder King feature is currently in development.



Marissa Vonn // Agency, IA


A young woman’s search for a home is complicated by an unsettling gift from a secret admirer.


Marissa Vonn is an Iowa filmmaker with a passion for crafting authentic stories with characters who feel like friends. She loves centering films in the wildly underrated Midwest and is excited to share Domicile with home-based and socially distant audiences across the country

Two Irons2

Two Irons

Joe Rohleder // Omaha, NE


They used to have one iron. Now there are two. What gives?


Joe Rohleder was born on the island of Guam on October 8, 1986. He lived in various places throughout the world before landing in Omaha, NE. After graduating from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Film Degree he aimlessly wandered the country before returning to the good life. Joe continues to write, direct, edit, and produce video for himself and other artists and organizations that he vibes with in the area.

The Conservationist1

The Conservationist

Ken White // Omaha, NE


Trying to escape his complicity in an environmental disaster, a gifted economist retreats into an Eden of his own making. But when a tyrannical energy conglomerate threatens to destroy paradise, he takes conservation to a murderous extreme.


Ken White is a poet and screenwriter. He co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Winter in the Blood, co-directed and co-wrote the short film Universal VIP, as well as directed and co-wrote the short film The Conservationist, currently in development as a feature. White has written three books of poetry: "Eidolon," "The Getty Fiend," and "Middlemost Constantine." His work has appeared in The Boston Review, Versal, Spork, Horsethief, Poets.org, and BOMB Magazine, among others. White is an Assistant Professor of Screenwriting at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Writer’s Workshop, and teaches at the low-residency MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

Freckles Jr3

BFF BONUS PICK: Freckles Jr.

Zachary Nowlin // Omaha, NE


Down on his luck, Freckles Jr. decides to follow in his father’s comedically large footsteps by becoming the worlds greatest clown. There is only one problem . . . Freckles Jr. is terrible at being a clown.


Young filmmaker from the Midwest. Writer and director of Freckles Jr. Worked as Director of Photography on The Computer Lab.

More Films

View All Films

The Perfect Gift

Film Streams Membership