Who doesn’t love short films? And some of the best around are shown each year at the DC Shorts Film Festival. Now in its 11th year, the festival, intent on becoming an industry player, will screen 135 films from 25 countries culled from 1400 submissions by 100 volunteer reviewers. The 11-day event will include film screenings, Q&As, filmmaker workshops, and parties in five different locations throughout DC and Fairfax. The films will also be available for viewing online.
Here are just six of the films, a taste of what’s waiting for filmgoers during the festival.
A Special Day (Un Día Especial)
13 minutes, Comedy, Spain
It’s David’s wedding day but he’s about to learn something about his future wife, Cristina, that he didn’t know: she’s secretly a superhero. Not a sexy, glamorous one like Wonder Woman, but a bulked up steroid one like The Hulk. His first tip off comes when some of Cristina’s “friends” arrive for the ceremony, strange beings for sure. But in the end, love conquers all, even a wife with green skin. This short is sweet and very funny.
“When you learn how to survive before you learn how to live that’s a hurtin’ thing, you know?” Douglas, born to a drug-addicted mother, manages to rise above it all, working hard to become an undefeated boxer. Douglas is indeed a fighter, in and our of the ring. This documentary includes interviews with his mother who is alternately proud of her son and ashamed of her own inability to help herself or him. A poignant portrait of a family.
Many will relate to this poor man who goes to extremes trying to get rid of a mosquito who won’t let him sleep. No matter what he tires, everything from a fly swatter to an ax, he can’t kill the annoying insect. In the end, the bug wins. A haunting musical score creates the perfect suspenseful atmosphere.
Rubina was selected among thousands of children in India to star in the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire. She walked the Red Carpet in Hollywood and won many hearts. Several years later, she’s back home, living in the slum of Garib Nagar where families live eight to a room in horrible conditions. Yet Rubina hasn’t lost her optimism, focusing on the positive side of living where she does. And she still radiates the glow that she reflected on screen. She still dreams of becoming an actress and this short will have the audience hoping that her dream comes true.
Ike Simmons is a typical guy, a 31 year-old insurance agent from Queens. Played by Ryan Wesley Gilreath there’s nothing about his appearance or his life that would single him out for an extraordinary event. That’s the point. God, voiced by Linda Jones, wants to grant an interview and she chooses Ike for that honor. But talking to God is nothing like what Ike thought it would be. God only wants to talk about cooking, but when Ike presses for more answers, he gets a doomsday prediction he can’t fully grasp. While billed as a comedy, this short also delivers a serious sobering message.
Ernest J. Carlton, a retired Air Force officer, discovers that he was at the center of a huge political scandal during the Kennedy administration. Stationed at Otis Air Force base, Carlton helped prepare a hospital room in the event a pregnant Jackie Kennedy went into labor. When the press announces that $5,000 was spent on the room, the episode created a big enough explosion that Kennedy himself was on the phone to Carlton’s superiors. Although Kennedy wanted Carlton exiled to Alaska, that never happened. Looking back now and learning about the scandal for the first time, Carlton can laugh. So will the audience.
DC Shorts Film Festival 2014
Landmark E Street Cinema: 555 11th Street, NW, WDC?U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater: 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, WDC Angelika Film Center: 2911 District Ave, Fairfax, VA?See other events below for location details.
September 11-21 – Website (www.dcshorts.com) for full schedule.
Box offices will open at noon on September 11, 2014
Film Screening: $12 + service charge online; $15 at door
All Access Pass: $100, online and box office
Tickets can be purchased online at www.dcshorts.com
Over 100 films can be watched during the event week (September 11-21) on any computer and most mobile devices. After purchasing online ($40) or at the box office ($20), DC Shorts will email a special access code and link to the online festival website.
The DC Shorts Screenplay Competition will be held at the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater on Friday, September 19, 7:00pm-9:30pm. Tickets are limited and are $15 + service charge, advance online only.
City View Party
Celebrate opening weekend under the stars atop a roof deck Friday, September 12, 9:00pm-11:00pm?Carroll Square, 975 F Street, NW (Metro Center)?Tickets: $20 + service charge, online or box office
Spend an evening with filmmakers and film lovers complete with night views of the Archives and the Capitol.
Saturday, September 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
U.S. Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (Archives Metro)
Tickets: $20 + service charge, online or box office
Parties are 21+ only?Light refreshments, special selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.
Filmmaker Workshops will be presented at two levels – emerging and established filmmakers – and topics range from fundraising to film festivals to sound design and more.
Workshops will be held at Landmark E Street Cinema. Full schedule and topics can be found on website. Space is limited and seating priority to be granted to filmmakers in the competition. Tickets required and can be purchased at www.dcshorts.com or box office.