We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The films of Showcase 4, “Prisoners of Circumstance,” examine what it’s like to be trapped in less-than-ideal circumstances. Though the more serious fare, especially showcase highlight People Like Us, is likely to garner the most mind share, animated comedy T.P. is not to be overlooked.

Built to ServeAn on-the-run service robot finds himself caught up by a young girl and her dead dog. Director Dylan Chase offers a silly, though somewhat stale take on the nature of predestination and free will.

T.P.What if your toilet paper was alive? This is the question asked by directors Bob Blevins and Bradley Werley. Set in a gas station bathroom, a naive young roll of toilet paper faces the horrors of public restrooms. Drawing on everything from Saw to Lord of the Rings for inspiration, this offers some serious laughs.

Help! I’m Trapped in a MovieA man wakes up from a dream to find himself in a movie without any control over what happens next. Director Riley Madincea offers some interesting insight into the nature of filmmaking––including a particularly funny comment on the shot/reverse-shot editing technique––but the novelty of the film’s premise wanes rather quickly.

People Like UsTina Gharavi’s documentary tells the story of Resurrection After Exoneration, a U.S.-based charity that battles to release those condemned to death where scientific evidence contradicts the verdict. As an unnamed exoneree tries to find his place in the world, voice-over highlights how the failures of the criminal justice system can leave lives broken.

MonstersDirector Steve Desmond’s science fiction thriller follows a relatively well-worn path: Jenn and her family live in an underground bunker to avoid the monsters who roam outside. However, this trope is quickly turned on its head once she goes outside, going from cliche to rather nifty in a matter of seconds.

WildfireA mother’s love for her daughter is on full display in Adam Meeks’ drama, when the leader of a religious community in the Rocky Mountains decides not to flee in the face of oncoming wildfires. Featuring some of this showcase’s best performances, Wildfire looks at just how far some people are willing to go to preserve their way of life.