Where was I on Tuesday night? I suppose there’s no harm in telling you. In fact, it’s no secret at all. This year’s slate of NBFF Shorts regaled us with their powerful presence for the 2016 OCFS Shorts Showcase screened at the Lido Live Theater. Spirits were high as a brief Q&A followed with a few of the filmmakers involved. Presented by Director of Short Film Programming Bojana Sandic, these films were selected as some of the most moving and creative in this year’s field of short-form storytelling.
From contemplative comedy to crawling suspense, the screening list of seven total films serves as a testament that short films are still essential to the evolution of visual media. In fact, the prominence of online visual bites almost forces us to compress our attention span. But these films used their limited time constraint wisely. The program began with Dorothy’s Secret (Matthew MacFadzean), catapulted off with Tail (Matt Mercer), An Apprentice (Jacob Patrick), Plein Soleil (Frederic Castadot), The Biggest Board: Surf City USA’s Epic Ride (Nick Bowser), Bail (Ben Kadie), and finished off with the light-hearted vignette of loss and love in Worth the Wait (John Sinclair and Joel P. Berry). While the films ranged from comedy and drama, to documentary and period, the shared themes seemed to be that of not only the life’s unrepentant absurdity but also of love and friendship. The night was accompanied by the filmmakers/representatives behind Tail (Celia Finkelstein, Charley Koontz, Matt Mercer), The Biggest Board (Kelly Miller), Bail (Ben Kadie and Blake Alexander), An Apprentice (Jacob Patrick), and Worth the Wait (Troy Lamberth).
Our guests eagerly and jokingly discussed the motivation behind their projects, the challenges and fruits of short filmmaking, and their prospective future projects. One audience member asked essentially about a short film’s economic insurance while another rhetorically asked why short films weren’t regularly screened at large venues. Hats off to the latter comment, but, as the filmmakers on the stage well know, profit and short film are a tricky combination.
The filmmakers lingered about after the Q&A, taking questions, comments, and compliments—the full-fledged package—and were grateful of the wide turn-out and support. Indeed, we graciously thank the filmmakers for their films and, equally important, their time. If there’s any way to support or keep up with rising filmmakers such as Tuesday night’s guests, it’s spreading the word about their projects—funding, viewing, sharing. And with that, I leave you. Until next time, film-lovers. Stay cool.