Monday, September 30, 2013

The 6th Annual Film Brothers Festival of Shorts

Good news for those who missed this year's Film Brothers Festival of Shorts at Theatre N (which was held in tandem with Fringe Wilmington for the past few years) -- the popular film festival has one more run at the Delaware Art Museum on October 5. In the past, The Festival of Shorts has screened films that have gone on to do big things, most notably Delaware native Luke Matheny's God of Love, which won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film in 2011.

This year, there are eight films from all over the world, including Cracker Jack Rises by Delaware's Indie Frame Films, an entry in last year's Fringe Wilmington Film Festival (aka the "Super Noodles" festival -- the challenge being to include certain noodle-related footage in the film somehow). I would have liked to have seen a Delaware film with fewer limits, but Cracker Jack Rises is a funny and entertaining film.

The standout films for me were 30% Women in Politics in Sierra Leone, a UK film by Anna Cady and Em Cooper that blends oil painted animation with live-action footage and interviews of three women running for Parliament in post-conflict Sierra Leone. The title derives from a bill that would require the government to have a 30% quota of women representation. Even if you prefer lighter fare in film festivals, this film will engage you from beginning to end.

Another favorite does qualify as "lighter fare": a romantic, comic film called Cataplexy by Los Angeles filmmaker John Salcido. It's the story of a guy who orders a call girl, only to find that the woman they've sent is an old high school friend. Embarrassed, he explains that he has an unusual disorder, and they spend the evening catching up instead of following through on the "date." You'll probably see the punchline coming, but it's a very well done little film.

The full list of films are after the jump:

1. Cataplexy, 7 mins. USA (Los Angeles, CA) PRESENTED BY: DIVER CHEVROLET synopsis: A man with an unusual medical problem is embarrassed to discover the call girl he hired is an old friend

2. Among Giants, 13 mins. USA (Flagstaff, AZ)PRESENTED BY: KENNY FAMILY FOUNDATION/LENAPE INDIAN TRIBE OF DE synopsis: Risking injury and incarceration, an environmental activist disrupts the clear-cutting of an ancient redwood grove by sitting on a tiny platform a hundred feet up in the tree canopy.

3. 30%: Women in Politics in Sierra Leone, 10 mins. UK (Winchester, Hampshire)PRESENTED BY: BLOOM METZ CONSULTINGsynopsis: Three powerful women from diverse backgrounds share stories of the ‘road blocks’ women face within the world of politics in Sierra Leone.

4. La Huida (The Runaway), 10 mins. (Barcelona, Spain)PRESENTED BY: MATT HALEY COMPANIESsynopsis: Chewing gum . A dog leash. An Australia shaped stain on the wall. A bent traffic light... Each of these elements has its own story, even though all of them together can create a new plot

5. One Step Forward, 4 mins. USA (Los Angeles, CA)PRESENTED BY: FRANK'S WINEsynopsis: Follow one man's journey backward so that we can take one giant step forward

6. Facing the Future, 2 mins. USA (San Francisco, CA)PRESENTED BY: GOODWILL OF DELAWARE & DE COUNTYsynopsis: As we all dive into the New Year — having survived the apocalypse and the cliff – here’s something from the Moxie team that’s a bit more awesome to worry about

7. Cracker Jack Rises, 5 mins. USA (Wilmington, DE)PRESENTED BY: BELLA VISTA TRATTORIAsynopsis: Here's how this delicious treat started!

8. We Refuse to be Cold, 7 mins. Canada (Calgary, AB)PRESENTED BY: ROYAL PEST SOLUTIONSsynopsis: "We Refuse To Be Cold" is Alexander Carson's latest film, a poetic and lyrical portrait of a young couple spending a Montreal winter together


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