The Seattle Shorts Film Festival has doubled in size since last year to become a two-day event, this Thursday, November 14 & 15 at SIFF Film Center. While seattleshort.org reported this Sunday that tickets are officially sold out, they hinted that tickets may become available at the SIFF box office on a first-come basis leading up to the shows. I’m hoping you already have your tickets, because the event promises to showcase some seriously transformative cinema from a diverse pool of local, national and international filmmakers. Friday night’s award ceremony will be once again decided by an all-female jury, because why the hell not, right?
The handful of films I was lucky enough to preview for this year’s festival put me through the ringer in a big way. Here are just a few of my personal festival favorites that ticket holders won’t want to miss.
In Shelter, Clea Duvall stars as a prison inmate on work detail at a shelter for dogs. Since I first saw her in 1998’s teenage sci-fi horror The Faculty, I’ve thought Duvall had one of the prettiest faces I’d ever seen. In prison blues, Duvall shows us a complicated portrait of a downtrodden woman and what little the world thinks of her. As for the fate of the dog… I can’t say.
Not all animation is just for kids, as evidenced by Scott Storm‘s visually arresting short, The Apple Tree. The film features an adolescent’s travels through a grown-up forest and the objects and people he encounters there. The Apple Tree has plenty of action, romance, intrigue and violence—and yet no one speaks.
Merlin Camozzi shows a twisted side of the Pacific Northwest in his short film, Coeur D’Alene (FKA Rabbits), about a 12-year old girl on the precipice of what looks to be a cold and uncertain winter. Camozzi’s careful storytelling begins with a startling event that we both forget about and never fully recover from. Her father looks so young and scared that it’s almost hard to comprehend the actions he proves capable of.
And the hits just keep coming from there. The Haircut deals with discrimination against women in the 1970s. In Signs Everywhere, a Seattle man comes to see his neighbors’ humanity at a traffic stop on Capitol Hill, of all places. D. Asian brings a little levity to the issue of race identification among some lively fourth graders, and Tomgirl is another Washington-based film about a gender fluid 7-year old with some rad advice on how to live.
For more information on these and other films, visit seattleshort.org.