Feeling like you missed out on the biggest short film festival on the East Coast last weekend? Fear not! DC Shorts, which began on September 6th and continues through September 16th, saved the best for last – literally.
Not only is there still time to catch Showcases 3 through 16 between Thursday, September 13th and the close of the festival on Sunday, but viewers can also catch the Best of the Fest, 16 films deemed favorites through audience votes, festival director's choice and the Whole Foods Market Golden Pineapple Award, not to mention Best First-Time Director and Outstanding Local Film selections. Best of the Fest will be shown in two showcases on both Saturday and Sunday.
Showing more than 140 films from 27 countries, DC Shorts showcases are grouped combining a variety of short films into each program. At any one given showcase, avid movie watchers can see 90 minutes of film covering five to eight short films.
The diversity of the films seems limitless, including documentary shorts, fictional shorts, animated shorts and those that combine the genres.
Among the Best of the Fest is "Good Karma $1," a film that has a social message apart from its entertainment factor. Director Alex Bogusky, an advertising executive, became fascinated with the messages he saw on the cardboard signs of the homeless, and decided to create his own signs and a short 15-minute film about the process.
Another best "Guang," tells the short story of an autistic young man in China who is more preoccupied with collecting glasses than finding a job. What he does with the glasses is amazing, but one wouldn't want to give away the ending.
Throughout the festival, parties happen along with competition. On Friday, September 14th, the culmination of the Live Screenplay will be held at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, followed by – what else? – a party. This different type of competition features a panel of judges – filmmakers, screenwriters and critics – who reviewed more than 145 submitted screenplays and selected the top five, to be read by local actors and actresses in front of a live audience. Then, after the audience votes, the screenplay writer of choice nabs a $2,000 prize to film their creation.
The festival, now in its ninth year, is spread out over three venues in Washington –Landmark E Street Cinema, the Navy Memorial and the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and the Angelika Film Center and Café Mosaic in Fairfax, Virginia.
"DC Shorts is dedicated to bringing the best short films from around the world to D.C. We have films for every kind of movie fan, from dramas and comedies to documentaries and experimental films," said Jon Gann, founder and DC Shorts Festival director.
"We're especially excited to feature films from several internationally known celebrities this year, like Judi Dench and Gerard Depardieu. While DC Shorts focuses on showing films with great stories, regardless of star power, it's always great when the two match up," he added.
Each of the 16 showcases mix up the shorts, which are each between one and 20 minutes in length, so each showcase, has a little something for everyone. One can even catch a free lunchtime show at 12 noon at the E Street Cinema if the cafeteria food gets you down.
From comedy, to drama, sci-fi to experimental film, it won't be hard to find something for each individual taste. And, if the film isn't speaking to you, it will be over, shortly.
Events include plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and mix and mingle with the film makers and other film lovers. Earlier highlights of the festival paired films with a chef, who created a dish related to one of the films. The Live Screenplay Competition is followed by a reception where the audience can chat with the screenplay writers, and congratulate the winner!
Next year will mark the 10th Anniversary of DC Shorts and promises to offer up more films, more food and lots more fun for those who love movies, people and a chance to check out a genre that rarely gets to be the feature show, not just the opener for a feature-length film.
Tickets for films can be purchased by showcase at DCShorts.com, as well as ticketed events like the Live Screenplay Competition and the Closing Party, both being held at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Northeast. During the festival, an online selection of films can be viewed, with tickets also available for purchase through the festival website.