Tim Timmerman, Hope of America
U.S., 2016, 94 min.
The winner of the 2016 SLIFF Audience Choice Award for Best Film, the delightful comedy "Tim Timmerman, Hope of America" chronicles the self-promoting schemes of the title character, Mount Vista High's student-body president. Tim (St. Louis native Eddie Perino) — class of 1994 — has aspirations of attending Yale and becoming a famous politician. Although derided and snubbed by the cool kids in school, Tim manages to beat head cheerleader Mackenzie Miller in the election by assembling a wildly diverse coalition of disenfranchised groups such as the cowboys, the goths, and the nerds. Once elected as president, however, Tim has zero interest in doing any actual work: He simply coasts, believing that his office will open the door to Yale and a future political career. When Tim’s laziness and missteps undermine his dreams for the future, he realizes that Sydney (Chelsea Maidhof), a girl from a rival high school, might actually provide the quickest pathway to Washington. The attraction for scheming Tim is not Sydney’s beauty and intelligence — at least not initially — but her father’s potentially helpful connections as a U.S. senator. Nothing can stop Tim from reaching the top … except himself.