Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aspen ShortsFest, Day 1

Aspen ShortsFest started off with a bang last night at the Wheeler Opera House. Thom and I love watching movies in the Wheeler. We sit right up in front in the cushy red seats and enjoy the show.

The first thing that came up on the screen, in all its HD glory, was that smart little Aspen bear! Wow! It looked great on the big screen, which reminded me why film festivals will never go out of style, even when everything is up on YouTube. I can't wait to see how "Snow" looks up there Friday night!

If the first 2 programs are anything to go by, this is going to be an amazing 5 days of shorts. Thom and I stayed for both programs and even with our high standards, we couldn't find one film to complain about. In fact some of them were so good they are absolutely worth mentioning. If you have a chance to see these films at a festival, you should:

Swimming Pool - Alexandra Hetmerova, Czech Republic,
It's a quiet evening at the city pool, and two strangers looking for peace instead find each other in this charming aquatic tale.

The Wind Is Blowing on My Street - Saba Riazi, Iran
The wind blows, the gate closes, and a young woman in Tehran finds herself stranded on the street without her headscarf.

North Atlantic - Bernardo Nascimento, UK/Portugal
Hugo, a young air traffic controller in the Azores, has only one pilot on his radar tonight. Their conversation is one he won't soon forget.

Stanley Pickle -Victoria Mather, UK
Stanley's life runs like clockwork, until an encounter with a mysterious girl awakens something deep inside.

After the show, several of the filmmakers came up on stage and spoke about their films and answered questions from the audience. Afterwards, we headed over to the Library (a cozy little bar) at the Hotel Jerome for a nightcap and more conversation with other filmmakers and guests. This will be going on every night at different local venues, so if you come out for the screenings, be sure ask where the party is and bring your stub for discounts on the bar tab. I have to say, from a filmmaker's perspective, ShortsFest is certainly one of the best run festivals that I've been to, and the Aspen community is certainly coming out for it!

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