2023 Lake County Film Festival announces films, schedule, tickets on sale.
The Lake County Film Festival returns for its 13th year bringing the best of independent films to Lake County. The College Of Lake County again hosts the festival at the campus in Grayslake, IL for two weekends packed with film screenings.
OPENING NIGHT HORRORS
Opening Night of the festival has been moved two days earlier than previously announced. The festival will now launch on October 31st, with a special secret screening of a Halloween-themed, Lake County-produced horror film at 8 pm. “It’s always special when we can show a film from Lake County”, said festival founder Nat Dykeman, “but showing this slasher film on Halloween, which has never been shown publicly before, takes everything to a new level.” The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, and it’s expected that many of the cast and crew will be in attendance. Costumes are encouraged!
LAKE COUNTY CONNECTIONS
The Lake County Film Festival was named after the county where the movies are shown, but this year, Lake County filmmaking is taking a front seat. Not only is the festival’s opening night filmed in Lake County, but the feature narrative Save State is written and directed by Grayslake resident Scott J. Sawitz. Additionally, the feature documentary The Depths Of My Despair, also having its World Premiere at the festival, and the feature narrative Plea, are by ex-Lake County residents. A handful of short films also have connections to Lake County, the most prominent being I Became An American, made by Beach Park resident Jose Luis Catalan while completing his Master of Arts degree at Lake Forest College.
Another strong thread in this year’s festival is new work from filmmakers whose work was shown in the past. Sometimes the distant past. “One of the things I’m most excited about in this year’s festival are the two filmmakers whose short films we were showing 15 years ago, who are now bringing us their debut narrative features”, Dykeman said.
The first film is writer/director Brian McQuery’s Plea, a dramatic thriller about the trauma of a violent crime and wrongful conviction that leads to a desperate kidnapping to find the real killer. McQuery showed three different short films at the festival in 2006 & 2007. The second film is Outrunners, a satirical action/comedy about a deadly reality TV show, written & directed by Ken Hegan. Hegan had short films play at the 2006 & 2007 iterations of the festival, winning a jury award for Best Comedy Short in 2006.
Director Alexander Jeffery, whose feature documentary You Have No Idea and narrative short Addie And The Lightning Bugs are showing this year, previously brought the feature narratives A Chance Encounter (‘20) and Days Of Daisy (‘22) and the short film House Sitters (‘21). Additionally, the short films Photo Of The Day (Mac Eldridge ‘08, ‘09, ‘10, ‘19), Quiet! Mom Is Working & Shatter The Glass (Patrick Hogan ‘07, ‘19, ‘21), A Mother Is Born (Sarah Moshman ‘20, ‘22), and Paper Planes (Michael Glover Smith ‘19, ‘22 & Alyssa Thordarson ‘22) are by long time alumni.
This year’s festival also has more recognizable faces appearing than ever before. Some recognizable stars in the narrative features lineup include the ever-present, and always-great Lake County native David Pasquesi (star of Trust Us, This Is All Made Up ‘10) in Good Guy With a Gun with Joe Swanberg (Festival Juror ‘06), Hudson Yang, star of Fresh Off The Boat is in Honor Student, Loren & Rose stars legendary actress Jacqueline Bisset, Heather Langenkamp from A Nightmare On Elm Street is in Plea, Scrap stars Lana Parrilla (TV’s Once Upon A Time) & Anthony Rapp (Rent), and Trapped Balloon stars Tōko Miura from Drive My Car.
In the short film lineup, we compiled most of the most recognizable actors into one short program, entitled Famous Faces. These include Martin Starr in Ursula, Bella Ramsey in Villain, Alden Ehrenreich in Shadow Brother Sunday, and Beck Bennet & Jessy Hodges in Photo Of The Day. Additionally, Tim Blake Nelson voices the main character in the animated short film Ninety-Five Senses.
Another place to see recognizable features is in our Music Documentary category, known as Rockin’ The Suburbs. You’ll see jazz legends Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, Jason, and the entire Marsalis family in the documentary Ellis, as well as actor Wendell Pierce. Three-time Grammy-winner Fantastic Negrito has a documentary playing, as well as the culture-jamming, plunderphonic band Negativland. Cover Your Ears, a documentary about music censorship, features Chuck D, Dee Snider, and Ian MacKaye.
Obviously, one of the best reasons to attend a film festival is to have a chance to meet the filmmakers and ask questions during after-film Q&A sessions. While filmmaker schedules are not solidified yet, this looks like it will be our best filmmaker turnout since at least 2009. At this time almost half of all screenings are expected to feature someone involved with the film attending.
The complete list of films follows. Further descriptions, images, trailers and the full schedule can be found at our website www.lakecountyfilmfestival.org.
Curral de Moinas (The People’s Bankers) (d. Miguel Cadilhe)
When Quim’s father dies and leaves him the prestigious Bank Of Loans Over Worth-Market Exchange (BLOW-Me for short) in his inheritance, the farm-raised Quim & his friend Zé head for the big city. If you see only one banking-romantic-financial-comedy farce this year, make it Curral de Moinas!
Good Guy With A Gun (d. John Mossman)
Will Greenwood, a Chicago teenager forced to come to terms with his father’s violent death, visits a small town and finds solace in a group of local kids. When the town bully threatens Will’s new friend, how far will he go to protect him…especially with a gun? It is a coming of age drama where young men and guns come crashing together….
Happy Birthday Charlie (d. Nina Martinek)
June is a single mom with a growing dependency on opiates. On the run from the law, she takes Charlie, her teenage daughter on the road, where the encounter a variety of people and challenges that divide them.
Honor Student (d. Tamika Miller)
Jeremy Chue is a picture-perfect teenager. He is talented, has perfect grades, a well-off family, and attends a prestigious Washington, D.C. private school. At least that is how he appears. After losing his twin brother in a mass shooting, Jeremy takes matters into his own hands, holds a teacher hostage and proves America a lesson it’ll never forget.
Loren & Rose (d. Russell Brown)
Rose is a legendary actress trying to revive her career. Loren is a promising filmmaker. Over the course of their many encounters, a deep friendship evolves as their love of art, understanding of grief, and faith in life’s potential guide them through personal and creative transformations. Jacqueline Bisset and Kelly Blatz star with a chemistry that is at once authentic and intoxicating.
Outrunners (d. Ken Hegan)
During a deadly future pandemic, reality stars Todd and Emily race to save her mom’s life while chased by reality TV camera drones and vicious snipers.Outrunners is a high-stakes pandemic death run and a powerful debut by a talented filmmaker to watch.
Perfectly Good Moment (d. Lauren Greenhall)
Ruby and David have been on-and-off for 8 years. Six months after Ruby last ran out on him, she has returned. But Ruby has more in store than just a reunion.
Plea (d. Brian McQuery)
After 20 years in prison, a man wrongfully convicted of murder is released and rebuilds his life. The victim’s husband is obsessed with a documentary about the case and futilely tries to get the case reopened. Then the prosecutor is kidnapped in a desperate attempt to find the real killer.
Save State (d. Scott J. Sawitz)
The love of Chris’s life walked out on him exactly one year ago. Unable to get over her, he’ll use a time machine to stop her from walking out. With only ten minutes to talk her out of it, he’ll discover that he just can’t solve it one fell swoop. Going back time and time again, he’ll keep trying to stop her from leaving while also being forced to deal with the not so perfect relationship he thought he had.
Scrap (d. Vivian Kerr)
After getting laid off, a single mom struggles to hide her homelessness from her estranged brother and his wife.
Shudderbugs (d. Johanna Putnam)
Samantha Cole returns to her childhood home in the wake of her mother’s mysterious death, spiraling down a rabbit hole of grief, suspicion and isolation.
Stag (d. Alexandra Spieth)
An urban loner fights for a chance at redemption when she’s invited to her estranged BFF’s bachelorette party.
Trapped Balloon (d. Hiroyuki Miyagawa)
Rinko, who has been estranged from her ailing father since her mother died, decides to visit him on the island where he lives and ask his advice about an impending career decision. During her visit, she becomes suspicious of a reclusive young fisherman named Kenji, who lives in her father’s neighborhood, and brings him freshly caught fish without explanation.
Join Or Die (d. Rebecca Davis & Pete Davis)
Join or Die is a film about why you should join a club—and why the fate of America depends on it. Follow the story of America’s civic unraveling through the journey of Robert Putnam, whose legendary “Bowling Alone” research into American community decline may hold the answers to our democracy’s present crisis.
Taking The Fight (d. Carlos Arrieta)
Discover the incredible journey of Stuart Warren Dansby, a 56-year-old who enters the kickboxing ring for the first time to battle against a 26-year-old opponent. Follow his gripping seven-year journey as he faces life-changing injuries and battles men decades younger than him in his quest for a championship.
The Depths Of My Despair (d. Elizabeth L. Lawrence)
Filmmaker Elizabeth Lawrence takes an emotional, first-person detour inward. Oscillating through saneness and psychosis; debris and lucidity, the film stares at depression dead-on.
The Philadelphia Eleven (d. Margo Guernsey)
In an act of civil disobedience, a group of women and their supporters organize their ordination to become Episcopal priests in 1974. The Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia welcomes them, but change is no small task. The women are harassed, some lose friends, and others are banned from stepping on church property. In this feature-length documentary film, we meet the women who succeed in transforming an age-old institution, and challenge the very essence of patriarchy within Christendom.
Wine, Women, and Dementia (d. Kitty Norton)
Seeking healing and comfort in community, a dementia family caregiver roadtrips the U.S. to swap caregiver stories of love, humor, devotion, and death with other dementia caregivers who share this hilariously heartbreaking end-of-life journey.
With Peter Bradley (d. Alex Rappoport)
An intimate, provocative series of conversations with 80-year-old abstract painter Peter Bradley. At turns bitter and humorous, the telling of Bradley’s rise to success as a Black artist – and subsequent fall from grace – unfolds as we watch Peter’s artistic process amidst the changing seasons at his rural home and studio.
You Have No Idea (d. Alexander Jeffery & Paul Petersen)
When Beth’s son Evan James was diagnosed with Autism in the early 90s, treatment options were limited. Doctors offered no practical advice for daily living and advised Beth to limit his social interactions. Rejecting these notions, Beth sets out to provide her son with a life filled with purpose and friendship. This heartfelt film is a sweet testament to the power of love and community by following a determined mom advocating for her son.
Rockin’ The Suburbs Features
Cover Your Ears (d. Sean Patrick Shaul)
From poignant protest songs to fluffy Top 40 hits, music has always defined our culture. With such a powerful influence on all aspects of society, the messages and themes portrayed by musicians have long been considered dangerous to some. This film looks at how the censorship of music has shaped not only how we view art and how it’s made, but who we are as consumers and free-thinkers.
Ellis (d. Sascha Just)
The first feature-length documentary about New Orleans pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis, Jr., the patriarch of the Marsalis Family, Branford, Wynton, Jason, Delfeayo, and Ellis the III, often referred to as the First Family of Jazz.
Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? (d. Yvan Iturriaga & Francisco Nuñez)
Iconoclastic bluesman Fantastic Negrito faces his demons as he records his third Grammy-winning album. Digging deep into his turbulent past, he searches to answer the question: in a sick society, how do you keep from going crazy?
Stand By for Failure: A Documentary About Negativland (d. Ryan Worsley)
Over 40 years ago, Richard Lyons and Mark Hosler formed Negativland, which quickly became an absurd and noisy multimedia world without boundaries, ownership or privacy. Negativland’s complex chaos of plunderphonics poses both serious and silly questions about the nature of sound, media, technology, control, propaganda, power and perception in the Global Village.
This Is National Wake (d. Mirissa Neff)
This is National Wake recounts the revelatory story of young musicians who dared, in 1970s South Africa, to launch a multiracial band against the backdrop of apartheid.
Narrative Short Films
The 13th Hour (d. Xavier Tesson)
Anna is in a toxic relationship. She wanders the streets of Rouen in search of a solution to free herself from it.
A Mother is Born (d. Sarah Moshman)
In the first three months of the sleep-deprived, surreal, and emotional haze of being postpartum, a writer tries to make sense of her new identity as a mother.
Addie and the Lightning Bugs (d. Alexander Jeffrey)
In the damp heat of a southern summer, a young girl finds out that her family is moving to a new city. As Addie hatches a plan to stay put, she seeks solace in the mysterious lightning bugs in her backyard.
All Good Dreamers (d. Ehson Rad)
Music Video for the musical artist Caley Schiller
The Anne Frank Gift Shop (d. Mickey Rapkin)
When a high-end design firm presents its plans to reimagine the gift shop at The Anne Frank House, the company’s overt appeal to Generation Z sparks a debate about collective trauma, the Holocaust and tote bags.
Art of Crossing (d. Tobiasz Wałkiewicz)
Corporate employee and student follow the same path, but in opposite directions. A collision is inevitable. Passing by is the obvious solution to this problem. Only that despite their best efforts, they cannot do it. So they try harder. Kung fu – harder.
Bad Vibes (d. Emily Foran)
A young married couple resolve to repair their relationship with a visit to a Belfast sex shop.
Blue (d. Sophie Rose Worger)
A father daughter relationship is tested as Dad drives Lucy to have her abortion and the two dance around what her future might hold.
Brother (d. Aleksei Borovikov)
With his wedding to Carlos approaching, Tony, a young immigrant to the US, invites his conservative elder sister to the ceremony — a fateful decision that forces Tony to choose between his family and his happiness.
Closing Time (d. Russell Goldman)
An estranged friend surprises his old college buddies with an unusual reunion.
Crack Shot (d. Alex Cohen)
When a stranger offers a large sum to train with his son, a junior squash ex-champion must decide whether to release his repressed demons.
Demon Box (d. Sean Wainsteim)
After festival rejections, a director revises his intensely personal short film about trauma, suicide, and the Holocaust, and transforms it into a painful, blunt and funny dissection of the film and his life.
Distance (d. Thisen Umagiliya)
In the gentrifying neighborhoods of Colombo, an adolescent girl copes with her insecurities by seeking solace in fantasy.
Don’t Touch My Hair (d. Matthew Law)
After landing the job of a lifetime, a BIPOC actress with natural hair is faced with the dilemma of keeping her righteous anger inside, or unleashing her untapped power and losing everything.
Dreaming Of You(th) (d. Mike Woodall)
While working on an art project and reminiscing about the past, an older Woman gets lost in thought, and finds herself entranced by a familiar stranger.
Family (d. David L Bradburn)
What appears to be a random act of helping is really a familial one.
Food That Saves You (d. Joe Vella)
A man overcomes depression and his wife’s death with a passion they used to share.
Get Away (d. Michael Gabriele)
A group of friends spending the weekend at a remote vacation rental in the desert, play a mysterious VHS tape, and realize that there are too many strange and terrifying coincidences.
IF (d. Didier Charette)
When Ryan and his imaginary friend JO embark on their ultimate adventure together, Ryan is forced to confront his worst fear.
Infraction (d. Timothy Blackwood)
When a prison guard is murdered on the job, his replacement and an inmate form an unlikely relationship with life-altering ramifications.
Just Lie To Me (d. Kelly Walker)
Noah is a well-off intellectual who gets pressured by his coworker into soliciting a girl, Brooke, who he has mistaken for a sex worker. Brooke decides to go along with it, and the situation unfolds in a clunky interaction where both characters’ facades slowly wear away as they’re forced to examine themselves.
Leonetty (d. Logan Jackson)
A young boy is sent to live with his bedridden grandmother and struggles in his new environment.
Luke and Emma and a Gas Station on Franklin Avenue (d. Levi Wilson)
A coming-of-age story set in 1980’s rural America where a mixed Asian boy navigates his way through love in a white world.
The Milky Way (d. Clint Till)
Paige will do whatever it takes to give her newborn daughter the very best.
Murder Camp (d. Clara I Aranovich)
Two slasher serial killers make the shameful error of serial killing at the same summer camp on the same night, challenging the very fabric of their friendship… and identities.
My Eyes Are Up Here (d. Nathan Morris)
A disabled woman sets off on a mission to get the morning after pill. The only thing in her way is… everything.
My Vagina (d. Shannon Burkett & Neil Burns)
PTA Prez Keli Pam Convoy is the perfect mother who does everything perfectly except this one little thing…she accidentally sent a picture of her vagina to her manny (male nanny), who also happens to be an assistant teacher at the school.
NEON (d. Ehson Rad)
A mission to the unknown creates more questions than answers as one traveler learns that not everything is as it seems
Neon Rage (d. Alejandra Parody)
A young illustrator pulls herself out of her creative rut through a brief encounter with a privileged teenage girl.
Non-Negotiable (d. Mike Doxford)
A couple in a cafe await with trepidation their harshest critic and most important confidant… their 9 year old daughter. Here she outlines the terms and conditions she requires for the arrival of her new sibling.
Nordo (d. Kyle Taubken)
A woman faces mounting anxiety and fear when her pilot husband unexpectedly volunteers to fly troops and refugees out of Afghanistan in August 2021.
Paper Planes (d. Michael Glover Smith & Alyssa Thordarson)
A woman with agoraphobia and the airbnb guest across the hall strike up a correspondence that becomes something more for the holidays.
Photo Of The Day (d. Mac Eldridge & Tom Dean)
A photo from their past ignites a conversation about the possibility of an open marriage between a husband and wife.
Poof (d. Margaret Miller)
Ruby and Paula are gearing up to be their own bosses through multi-level success magnet FYZZLE Cosmetics when a small dog, a medium amount of blood, and a box of loose powder conspire against them.
Prison Romance (d. Pavel Gavrilin)
Music video for the musical artist Nogu Svelo
Quiet! Mom’s Working! (d. P. Patrick Hogan)
What happens in mom’s basement, stays in mom’s basement. An offbeat killer kung-fu family comedy.
Room For One More (d. Jesse Vogelaar)
When an entire house collapses on him, Alex realizes he’s close to death. Will he use his final moments to reconnect with loved ones?
Sevap/Mitzvah (d. Sabina Vajrača)
During WWII in Nazi-occupied Bosnia a Muslim woman risks everything to save her Jewish friends.
Sex Sells (d. Rudi Brekelmans)
It’s the fall of 2020. Lockdowns and restrictions have been released in the Netherlands, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has left sex worker Ellen in debt with a pimp. Determined to win back her independence she goes on a date with Evert, a reclusive salesman who actually prospered during the pandemic. The two loners connect at first, but once Ellen finds out how Evert made his fortune, a perfectly pleasant evening takes a dramatic turn for the worse.
Shadow Brother Sunday (d. Alden Ehrenreich)
A down-on-his-luck musician returns home on the day of his younger brother’s movie premiere to steal his computer and sell it to the paparazzi.
Shatter The Glass (d. P. Patrick Hogan)
After troubling social media, a talented musician must choose between being liked and being authentic.
Sleep Study (d. Natalie Metzger)
A restless new mother confronts a dangerous terror whenever she tries to sleep.
Stairs (d. Jeph Porter)
An older woman returns home to find life has taken a frightening turn.
Trying (d. Emily Alpren)
She expected getting pregnant would be easy. Then she started trying.
Unicorn Training (d. Craig Alan)
A dejected man on the verge of divorce meets a bodacious woman dolled in fur at a bar… arousing a whimsical night of eroticism.
Ursula (d. Hannah Heller)
Nearly 2200 days into a drought, two anxious oddballs embark on something between a date and an experiment in optimism, finding real connection amidst the surreal.
Villain (d. Sparky Tehnsuko)
After a dragon destroys young Georgia’s home, she journeys to its lair to enact violent revenge but instead finds an innocent child in the cave. When the dragon then returns, Georgia must reckon with the price of vengeance.
Wake Up (d. Mary-Sue Masson)
Sonny and Layla are a happy couple… until the lights go out, and thing get dark.
A Chocolate Lens (d. Gabriel Veras)
A Chocolate Lens chronicles Steven Cummings’s photographic journey through a disappearing Black Washington. His approach was simple: use the camera lens to find the power amidst the storm. His images are a love letter to Black people across America.
amalgaMOTION (d. Adam Daniel Mezei & Crystal Finn-Dunn)
A visually stunning celebration of diverse dance styles fusing into harmony.
The Artist (d. John Falchetto)
eL Seed uses his art as an echo of the stories of the communities that he meets around the world and aims to amplify their voices.
Benny: Our Musical Lineage (d. Dave Garcia)
Three generations, spanning 70 years, sharing their passion for music, family and purpose.
Game of Nim (d. Robert A. Emmons Jr.)
A bait and switch history of the first computer game.
Good Boy (d. Russell Chadwick)
Featuring interviews with Robert Duvall, Sean Penn & Brad Pitt, Good Boy is a look at how Bart The Bear, Doug Seus, and his incredible family built a bond that took them all over the world and on-screen with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Heart of The Hinterlands (d. Camila Martins)
On the lead up to Carnaval, a group of fearless women in the Brazilian hinterlands defy convention and challenge the male-dominated role- playing tradition of Maracatu by forming the world’s first all-female troupe.
Junkin’ (d. Andy Heck)
Mike Heck seeks redemption after suffering most of his life with alcoholism, depression, and hoarding disorder.
Little Leaf (d. Mhaya Polacco)
A short documentary following Kate and her pygmy goat Little Leaf and their sweet, storybook life.
Student of the Game (d. Ben Scholle)
Arnetta and Lydia meet in the park on a November afternoon to talk and take pictures. Even though it’s the first time they have met in person, both of their lives have been ripped apart by bullets, and they share a sense of trauma only a survivor can understand.
This Is Major (d. Scot Sax & Leslie Mills)
A charismatic beloved hip hop artist from South Philadelphia puts his lyrical poetry and love to the world, but in the face of recent loss and a pandemic, spirals into struggles with Mental Health.
Waking Up A Widower (d. David Grewe)
Director David Grewe wakes up one morning to discover his entire life has changed.
A Hand To Hold (d. Stacey Davis & Ali Clark)
Told from alternating points of view, A Hand To Hold explores the connective thread of hand holding between parent and child.
A Perfect Day for a Walk (d. Diane Catsburrow Linnet)
A determined dog tries to convince his owner out for a walk.
David (d. Patrick Ward)
David is a satirical sports story that places the biblical passage of David and Goliath into the world of top-flight professional football.
Harvey (d. Janice Nadeau)
A young boy candidly recalls the spring day when his world turned upside down.
In Your Dreams (d. Mike Krohn)
In the future, a sentient robot finds that his dreams intrude on his waking life.
Island (d. Michael Faust)
Island recounts the history of a small secluded island over the course of several millennia, to reveal a telling lesson about human nature.
Mixed Signals (d. Thomas van Kampen)
A little robot comes to find out it’s very different from all the other kids.
Ninety-Five Senses (d. Jerusha Hess & Jared Hess)
An ode to the body’s five senses delivered by a man with little time left to enjoy them.
Roped (d. Carmen Córdoba González)
Mother and Daughter are roped for life by an eternal bond that heals and hurts, and that is perpetuated when Daughter becomes a Mother.
The Fox (d. Martin Garde Abildgaard)
Every Friday night a woman is dreaming the exact same dream, where she is followed by a fox. She is desperate and must find deep courage to make it stop.
Where Are The Files? (d. Philip Davies)
You have received a message. The message reads: “Where are the files?” Where are the files?
Zombie Meteor (d. Alfonso Fulgencio & Jose Luis Farias)
It seemed like a normal day on the International Space Station, until one of the ship’s systems fails. Mar and Petrov, two experienced astronauts, try to repair it, but something never seen before hits them violently, now all that remains is to try to survive.
Broken Puzzle (d. Anna Pazderski)
Three girls in love with the same cheating man try to convince him to choose just one of them. However, doing so they accidentally kill him, leading to more and more problems, which as they overcome leads them to regaining their self-love and confidence.
Flashback (d. Diana Martinez)
A message of hope through the eyes of a female combat veteran retuning home from deployment into the arms of her true love.
I Became An American (d. Jose Luis Catalan)
This autobiographical documentary details his family’s journey to the United States and the impact it has had on their lives.
SymBionic (d. Jack Tenbusch)
After clipping her wing on a robotic facility antenna, a Songbird forms an unlikely symbiotic relationship with the robot she inadvertently creates.
The End Of The World (d. Aleksandra Podziewska)
Jitka and Jaromir, a married couple in their seventies, live their routine-filled day-to-day life while constantly getting on each other’s nerves. Upon hearing on the radio that the end of the world is coming, they start working together to get ready for the apocalypse.
The Search (d. Thomas Brouns)
Three years after Jasmine Lovett, who was serving in the US Air Force, took her own life, her family still wonders if the Air Force did everything they could to prevent Jasmine’s death.
Walkman (d. Ana Guedes)
While working at night on her new artificial intelligence project, an enthusiastic programmer asks the janitor to use one of her projects as a test run, causing many comic and reflective moments.