One of the joys I have discovered this past year has been short film screenings. What I love about going to them is not only being able to see a bunch of films all at once, but also that I usually know nothing about the films being screened (a rarity for someone obsessed with film news). Last weekend, I went to my third, at the Reading Film Festival. Like our recent trip to the Bucks Fever Film Fest, all of the films screened had their charm. And for $7 a pop for tickets, short film festivals prove to be a cheap and fun form of weekend entertainment.
The Reading festival was similar in its setup as the Bucks festival. There was a category for adult, college and high school student films. Here are profiles of some of my favorites.
The first is God of Love, by Luke Matheny, which won the top prize for the adult category. It is a sweet romantic comedy about a lounge singer and dart throwing prodigy who receives a mysterious package of darts that induce the feelings of love. The use of black and white film was also an inspired choice that added volumes to an already solid story. I absolutely loved this film, and it even won a 2010 Student Academy Award. Watch a clip here (the player doesn’t allow for embedding). And here is the filmmaker’s website.
Billed as “a musical where everyone dies,” Sudden Death! reminds me of a lighthearted black comedy in a Joss Whedon-esque vein. This was an absolute joy from start to finish, and had a great mix of humor, music, and ideas. The soundtrack itself is reason enough to see this film. The filmmaker, Adam Hall, is currently in the process of looking for funding to turn the film into a full-length feature; so if you have some extra change, throw it his way! (The film’s website) Check out the trailer here:
Ping, the only animated film in the bunch (The Bucks County fest had many more animated films from students, so I was surprised by the lack here) was a very well done stop motion film by a college student from Penn State. It tells of two robots jailed by some kind of evil robot empire. The animation is very well done, but what makes the film impressive is how much I came to care about the robots characters in 10 minutes. Imagine if Wall-E starred in The Great Escape. (Ping website) Watch here:
Thunderbolt and The Mermaid (El Rayo Y La Sirena) is a great Spanish film about a man who finds his true life’s calling after a chance encounter with a mermaid. A little surreal and surprisingly funny, although I couldn’t find a subtitled version of the trailer. Watch the Spanish language one here.
There are just four of the nine films that were screened, and each was interesting and worth watching. Again, we here at Filmhash can’t stress enough the importance of supporting local film festivals-make it a mission to look up festivals in your area!
Jill-Okay, Ryan wrote this, but I have something very cool and exciting to add-Ryan and I attended a screenwriters workshop in the morning before the film screenings. I didn’t realize at first when I sat down in the theatre that I was sitting next to none other than Michael Constantine (the adorable father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Reading, PA resident). I know, I’m a huge dork, but it really made me happy :-). It’s always the little things with me.