‘Short’ fest gives viewers choice


PENDLETON — Manhattan Short film festival uses “One World | One Week | One Festival” in its promotional material, but locally it can be added that there’s “One Venue | Two Showings.”
Pendleton Community Public Library will play host to a pair of screenings — one at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and the other at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8 — for the festival, which is in its 26th year.
The library is the only place in Madison County, and one of just seven statewide, on the festival’s list of confirmed venues.
“We really have a lot of patrons who enjoy it,” said Arianna Ingan, the library’s adult events planner. “It is kind of its own type of crowd, moviegoers for these short films.”
The library has been a site for Manhattan Short for several years.
The festival bills itself on its website as “an instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites.
“If the Film Festival experience truly is about getting great works in front of as many eyes as possible, Manhattan Short offers the ultimate platform — one that sees its films screened in Sydney, Mumbai, Moscow, Vienna, Cape Town to cinemas in all 50 states of the United States and beyond.”
There are 10 finalists this year, with run times for the films ranging from 8 minutes to 14 minutes 50 seconds.
Three of the finalists are from the United States, while the others were submitted from across the world, including Finland, Iran and United Kingdom.
One film, “The Record,” directed by Jonathan Laskar, Switzerland, tells the story of an antique musical instrument dealer who obsessively plays a magical vinyl record that “reads your mind and plays your lost memories.” Run time: 8:38.
Another one, “Voice Activated,” directed by Steve Anthopoulos, Australia, runs 12 minutes. Its synopsis: “A florist with a stutter is forced to cooperate with a voice-activated car on the way to an important delivery.”
“Sunless” — directed by Boris Vesselinov, United States, and sent to a festival representative before The Titan submersible went missing en route to the Titanic shipwreck site — navigates this subject: “As they pilot their submarine down into the world’s deepest point, two researchers must debate pressing on when a crack in their window port grows.” Run time: 8 minutes.
Both library screenings take place in the Sycamore A/B room and will last about two hours each, Ingan said.
The first showing is after hours for ages 21 and older and will include wine and refreshments.
“We make it a really fancy and enjoyable thing,” Ingan said.
The second showing is during library hours for ages 15 and older and will include refreshments but no alcohol.
There’s a 21-and-older age limit on the Friday event because of the wine service, Ingan said, but the 15 age limit for Sunday has to do with the films.
“These films are very, very different, and they’ve been chosen for specific reasons out of a lot of other films,” she said.
She said some content “may be triggering” for some people.
Viewers in Pendleton, like at all venues, will get to vote on the best film and best actor.
The library will tally the votes from both showings and email the results to festival headquarters, Ingan said.
Worldwide results will be compiled to determine overall Best Film and Best Actor, which will be announced at ManhattanShort.com on Monday, Oct. 9.
This year’s festival window runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 8, with more than 500 locations participating.
All 10 films also will be part of the Manhattan Short Oscar Qualifying Run, which means they will screen for a week at a cinema in the county of Los Angeles. This run qualifies every film selected in Manhattan Short for the Oscars.
Ingan said there is no charge and no registration required to attend the Pendleton screenings.
Visit manhattanshort.com for more details about the festival.

The films:

Career Day
Directed by: Jason Robinson & Chris Hooper
Cast: Paul Bartholomew, Aria Perry, Abby Eiland, Julianna Robinson
Country: USA
Time: 10:00
Synopsis: A once-promising ’90s pop star and his aging boy band reunite for his daughter’s elementary school Career Day. They go viral.
Directed by: Aminreza Alimohammadi
Cast: Bahareh Nouhian, Iliya Akhavanrad
Country: Iran
Time: 14:00
Synopsis: A loving mother strives to make her young son’s singing dreams come true, but an audition takes a dramatic, unforeseen turn.
Soleil De Nuit
Directed by: Fernando López Escrivá, Maria Camila Arias
Cast: Larissa Corriveau, Jacques Newashish, Mark Krupa, Oshim Ottawa
Country: Canada
Time: 13:00
Synopsis: While training for a moon landing, a group of Canadian astronauts are tasked with an added mission by a Native American elder.
Directed by: Boris Vesselinov
Cast: Ben Holtzmuller, Erik Scilley
Country: USA
Time: 8:00
Synopsis: As they pilot their submarine down into the world’s deepest point, two researchers must debate pressing on when a crack in their window port grows.
The Family Circus
Directed by: Andrew Fitzgerald
Cast: Elyse Dinh, Michael Ironside, Scott Subiono, Michael Nguyen Manceau, Blake Dang, Christian Seavey
Country: USA
Time: 17:00
Synopsis: A Vietnamese-American family’s plan to cover up a drunk-driving incident begins to unravel when their emotional baggage spills out in front of the police.
The Record
Directed by: Jonathan Laskar
Country: Switzerland
Time: 8:38
Synopsis: An antique musical instrument dealer obsessively plays a magical vinyl record that “reads your mind and plays your lost memories.” Even the forgotten ones.
The Stupid Boy
Directed by: Phil Dunn
Cast: Joshua Griffin, Shaun Mason, Derek Elroy, Ellie Piercy
Country: United Kingdom
Time: 14:50
Synopsis: In London, a broken man groomed for a terrorist attack is confronted by a local lad who sees things differently. But seeing things differently can be dangerous.
Directed by: Teemu Nikki
Cast: Saana Koivisto, Elina Knihtila
Country: Finland
Time: 14:00
Synopsis: When a young woman dominated by an over-protective mother plots her escape, their relationship dissolves into one of mutual suspicion.
Voice Activated
Directed by: Steve Anthopoulos
Cast: Aleks Mikic, Becky Lucas, Sam Neill
Country: Australia
Time: 12:00
Synopsis: A florist with a stutter is forced to cooperate with a voice-activated car on the way to an important delivery.
Directed by: Elham Ehsas
Cast: Afsaneh Dehrouyeh, Elham Ehsas
Country: UK/Afghanistan
Time: 13:00
Synopsis: In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, a woman walks into a chadari store in Kabul to buy her first full-body veil and face an uncertain future.


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