It’s that time of year again, the Sundance Film Festival is a week away. We feature a lot of Sundance films on Short of the Week, hence our excitement for the 2018 program. I personally had four on my 2017 top 10 list, and many of these projects will have bright futures: three years ago SMILF was just a line on the 2015 short film program, it is today a Golden Globe comedy series nominee. This year 69 films have been carefully chosen from all over the world. As Senior Programmer (and SotW alum) Mike Plante words it:
“ We are thrilled to discover new voices in filmmaking through the short film program: they take risks in story and style you might not expect”.
A couple of highlights: Grand Jury Prize Winner (2007 and 2015) Don Hertzfeldt is back this year, Charlotte Wells who was awarded in 2017 has a new short film and Dev Patel premieres his directorial debut. ‘Fraid not if you can’t make it to Utah this year, we have compiled below the few films that are already online. For previously featured shorts from past years, here is the link.
A Night At The Garden
Dir: Marshall Curry
Third year in a row for Field of Vision to be invited to Sundance. The filmmaker-driven political documentary venture is back with (scary) archival footage of a Nazi rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1939. Two time Academy Award nominee Marshall Curry, feeling the urgency after Charlottesville, edited different clips of the event that gathered 22 000 Americans in the heart of Manhattan, choosing to let the audience watch the event unfold with no narration necessary.
Dir: Waikwan Ho
Eye Bags is Waikwan Ho’s final year project at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In this sweet animated film, Talia a chronic insomniac shares through monologue her helplessness facing those sleepless nights up until she meets Ah Gum, a goldfish that lives in – you guessed it – her eye bags.
Dir: Jeron Braxton
Glucose premiered at SXSW, before being showcased in the Cartoon Brew Fest and eventually being Staff Picked by Vimeo. Braxton, filmmaker/musician, takes us on a visually bright and colorful journey through the dream of a video game character that has just been KO’d. Using video game and internet culture aesthetics, the film turns into a reflection on race and identity in our society and we are left wondering whether it was a dream or a nightmare.
Dir: Shaka King
Do you suffer from racial glaucoma? Ask your doctor if LaZercism is good for you. In this Vimeo Staff Picked short film, Shaka King calls out racism in a humorous tone. Featuring Lakeith Stanfield, this satire treats racism like the disease it is and LaZercism is the cure! Shot like a commercial straight out of the shopping channel and later on like a daytime talkshow to maximize the irony, it will make you laugh leaving a bit of a sour taste.
The violence of a civilization without secrets
Dir: Adam Khalil & Zack Khalil & Jackson Polys
Filmmakers and brothers Adam and Zack Khalil joined forces with artist Jackson Polys in this documentary commissioned by inhabitants. The recent court case surrounding the “Kennewick Man”, a prehistoric Paleo-american man whose remains were found in Washington state in 1996, pitting Native American tribes who wanted to properly bury their ancestor against two scientists, unleashed a controversy and triggered a discussion on indigenous sovereignty over their land.
World of tomorrow 2: The burden of other people’s thoughts
Dir: Don Hertzfeldt
As previously mentioned, Hertzfeldt is back with a sequel to his critically acclaimed World of Tomorrow that was awarded Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2015 and multiple other awards before being nominated for best animated short at the 2016 Academy Awards. It is however only available for rental on Vimeo on Demand.