How many films can you watch in 5 days? At Aspen ShortsFest, you can watch all 82! I think this festival is just about perfect in it's size and format. There are 2 screenings each evening, each presenting a "well-balanced meal" of films of various genres, subjects and tones. You leave the theatre feeling satisfied but not overwhelmed. Neither are you faced with that dilemma that often happens at larger festivals with multiple screening venues, of having to choose which films NOT to see. Here you can actually see them all.
So, after several days of a well-balanced film diet, and just before the awards ceremony, we give you our favorite picks. I've tried to provide links to websites and trailers where available so click the picture for more info on each film.
Raju Max Zähle, Germany/India
Jan and Sarah are overjoyed to adopt an orphaned boy from Kolkata. When he vanishes, they begin a frantic search and hit upon some unsettling truths in the process.
Falling Adriano Cirulli, UK/Italy
A poetic study of human interaction, expressed through movement and sound.
Time Freak Andrew Bowler, USA
Chronology goes comically awry for a wacky inventor trying to change his life through his time machine.
West of the Moon Brent Bonacorso, USA, 10 min
Perhaps one of my favorite of the entire festival, this recounting of a dream becomes a visual feast of paradoxes.
The Little Boy and the Beast Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschötter, Germany
A gracious and witty picture of parents at their most difficult moments. Beautiful story and delightful animation.
dik Christopher Stollery, Australia
A child’s drawing is the inadvertent catalyst for this spirited domestic comedy about sexuality and secrets.
And last, but certainly not least, I must give a mention to Animal Beatbox, by Damon Gameau of Australia There is nothing technically special about this animated oddity. In fact it looks as though it was made by a guy, his mother and his girlfriend in 3 days. In fact it was. But when you watch it, you'll see why it was the unofficial hit of the festival. I warn you, the beat will be stuck in your head for days.
Special thanks to all the filmmakers and festival staff and volunteers who made Shortsfest such a great success!