The Best of the Fest (Shorts)
We don't announce the official winners for Best Short, Best Short Documentary, Best Narrative, and Best Documentary until this Friday at the Kickoff Party. But we'll let you know now which ones were some of our favorites. Who will be the winners? You'll just have to come to the party and find out!
Part One: Best Shorts
- Southern Exposure screens on Fri, 9/26 at 7:00pm at the Goethe-Institut in Chinatown. This animated short packs in lot of laughs and witty animation in just 6 minutes. Director/Animator/Pharmacist Susan Chien delivers a perfect deadpan narration about her reluctant graduation from pharmacy school and relocating to the southern US, where she encountered more than a few strange looks and the unfortunate, but hilarious nickname "Chop-Chop". Worth it alone for seeing cartoon animals dressed in KKK robes(!) and the delightful pop song that goes with the ending credits. Plus, I hear that Susan will be in attendance at the screening that evening.
- Superhero Training Center screens on Sun, 9/28 at 2:00pm at the Goethe. This short interviews Asian students talking about their experiences of dealing with things like language barriers and cultural differences while on a college campus. The interviews were then used as the voices of the fictional animated character s in the short film. The catch is that the characters are all visualized as different types of futuristic superheroes. A very clever combination of documentary, animation, science fiction, and comic book genres.
- What Happened on the Fourth Date screens on Sun, 9/28 at 4:00 at the Goethe. A comedy about a guy on a fourth date that tries to get past the awkward stages of beginning a physical relationship by putting his true feelings out there for everyone to see. Literally. In the style of a comedy sketch by Kids in the Hall or Woody Allen, this short film had us in shock, hysterics, and finally appreciation. The director is currently a fellow at DC's Arena Stage, so hopefully he'll be at the screening to explain whether or not the technique works!
- Light Years screens on Thurs, 10/2 at 7:00pm at the Navy Memorial. This film accomplishes in 15 minutes what most features coming out these days wish they could do but don't even come close-- a set of richly developed characters, beautiful images, and a dramatic plot that leaves you breathless at the end. A must-see for fans of films that show overlapping plots all happening at the same time (Four Rooms, Magnolia, Nashville, etc.)
- California King screens on Fri 10/3 at 8:30pm at the Navy Memorial. There's something about this short that just makes my 'ol cynical heart melt like a little trendy frozen yogurt cup every time I think about it. A simple story about a girl, a guy, and the physics of the heart (not to mention a good mattress). We're a fan of filmmaker Eli Akira Kaufman; his previous short film Winning the Peace, screened at our festival back in 2005.