Manhattan Short Film Festival

The boyfriend and I attended the Manhattan Short Film Festival at the Enzian theater this past Monday night. The Enzian aired 10 short films (averaging at 10 minutes each) that were entered in the festival.  At the end, we were given a voting card to vote for our film pick of the evening.

Since we were expected to vote, I’ve included my own random reviews of the evening.

The 10 finalists and films (also viewable here) shown Monday night were:

  • Incident by a Bank (Sweden): A reimagining of an actual failed bank robbery.  One of the coolest things was that this one was filmed all in one shot, using 90 extras.
  • Dik (Australia): Funny premise and well-acted.  And it’s always good for my soul to hear Australian audiences.  This material to me fit more of a situational comedy though.
  • Mak (Switzerland): Incredibly sad social commentary on abandoned babies.  This was beautifully shot and acted.  I found the lead actress to be quite compelling without using much dialogue.  However, after it was all done I just felt slightly depressed.
  • I Love Luci (Scotland):  Very well acted and executed.  Quirky humour with some unconventional camera work.  I definitely felt drawn into this story, with all its weird charm.  This was  in my top three.
  • The Legend of Beaver Dam (Canada): Kiddies in a slasher horror-turned musical flick.  I started out liking it, but lost interest halfway through, but couldn’t quite pin down why.   John thought it was a bit “cocky.”  He is so astute.
  • Sexting (USA): While watching this, this felt very much like a play.  I found out afterward that the writer is used to doing straight theater.  A clever one-shot monologue by Julia Stiles (unexpected surprise)  but I think I figured out the twist ahead of time which ruined it slightly for me.
  • The Forest (Hungary): This was well shot, but there was simply no climax after an eerie mood.  The synopsis literally says it all.
  • A Doctor’s Job (Peru): I voted for this one, mostly because I felt real empathy for the main character.  It had drama, action, comedy and captured the flavor of the city Lima well.
  • David and Goliath (USA):  It was really a toss-up between this one and the Doctor’s Job for me.  John voted for this one.  I could have easily voted for this one as well.  Based on a true story, a Czech man evaded capture and murder by Nazis, by hiding in a doghouse, protected by a German Shepherd and his farmer owner.  Also a pleasant surprise to see Billy Burke (he plays the psychotic dad who tries to kill Jack Bauer’s daughter in season 2 of 24.  Also he plays Bella’s dad in the Twilight series).
  • Martyr Friday (Egypt):  Compelling montage of scenes from the February revolution in Egypt from earlier this year.  I didn’t vote for this one, mostly because it seemed more like an expose or a documentary, rather than a short film.

I wish there were more opportunities to see short films like this.  People make them all the time and we never get to see them.

More of this, please, Enzian.

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