Chicago Film Festival 2011:
    The Short Films

Short Film Jury: Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Nick Davis, Todd Lillethun
Since I am serving on the competition jury for this year's short films, I would like to spotlight that category of this year's Chicago Film Festival even more strongly. Without giving anything away about the jury's conversations (except that, surprise, our responses overlapped more on some selections than on others), I think we all agreed that this year presented a true bumper crop. We each perceived real standouts, if not always the same ones, in the narrative, animated, and documentary modes, and in all seven of the curated Programs listed below, which is how the Festival will exhibit the work. Sometimes, for funding reasons, festivals get stuck incorporating locally-produced works or student efforts that wouldn't otherwise make the grade, but it's my total delight to tell you that the Chicago-based "City & State" program is every bit the magnificent equal of the other six, and that student-produced films comprised many of the most potent entries across a terrific general field. I was truly, deeply impressed, and I really think audiences will respond strongly, so I hope you're all buying tickets!

I won't grade these shorts, but having secured the Festival's blessing, I will offer Tweet-length reactions, plus longer capsules about some of my personal pets... which aren't always the "best" in each group, but may have resonated for other reasons, or captured something about the form that the companion films within its program don't attempt. I'm starting now, while you still have time to scoop up tickets... especially to the City & State screenings, which have already begun selling out the house. So don't delay, but check back in for conversation!

Click here to reorganize these titles by the Program in which they will be exhibited.

Animated Short Films:
Listed alphabetically
Belly (Program #2, UK, dir. Julia Pott)
Birdboy (Program #2, Spain, dirs. Pedro Rovero & Alberto Vazquez)
Bride Can (Program #2, Iran, dir. Ronak Taher / no link available)
The Doctor's Wife (Program #1, USA, dir. Julian Grant)
Dream of 1st of April 1999 (Program #3, France, dir. Miscellaneous)
The Eagleman Stag (Program #2, UK, dir. Michael Please)
Flowers for Jupiter (Program #2, USA, dir. Chris Mars)
Friend of Flies (Program #3, Sweden, dir. Emil Gustafsson Ryderup)
The Gallery (Program #2, Poland, dir. Robert Proch)
Guard Dog Global Jam (Program #2, USA, dir. Miscellaneous)
Heavy Heads (Program #2, Denmark, dir. Helena Frank)
Hellville (Program #2, France, dir. Miscellaneous)
Just That Sort of a Day (Program #6, India, dir. Abhay Kumar)
El Macho (Program #2, UK, dir. Daniela Negrin Ochoa)
The Renter (Program #2, USA, dir. Jason Carpenter)
Traumdeutung (Program #2, UK, dir. Lauri Warsta)
Venus (Program #4, Denmark, dir. Tor Fruergarrd)

Documentary Short Films:
Listed alphabetically
Bitter Lemon (Program #7, Bangladesh, dir. Nazmun Nakeb)
Caretaker for the Lord (Program #7, Scotland, dir. Jane McAllister)
Flying Anne (Program #7, The Netherlands, dir. Catherine Van Campen)
Goodbye, Mandima (Program #7, Switzerland, dir. Robert-Jan Lacombe)
Grandmothers (Program #7, UK, dir. Afarin Eghbal)
Grandpa's Wet Dream (Program #4, Japan/USA, dir. Chihiro Amemiya)
The High Level Bridge (Program #7, Canada, dir. Trevor Anderson)
The Vacuum Kid (Program #1, USA, dir. Katharine Mahalic)

Narrative Short Films:
Listed alphabetically
720 Degrees (Program #5, Bangladesh, dir. Ishtiaque Zico)
After-School Special (Program #6, USA, dir. Jacob Chase)
Beating Hearts (Program #3, USA, dir. Matthew Garrett)
Cropped (Program #3, Australia, dir. Dave Wade)
Ex-Sex (Program #4, USA, dir. Michael Mohan)
The Extraordinary Life of Rocky (Program #6, Belgium, dir. Kevin Meul)
Foal (Program #3, Austria, dir. Christoph Rainer)
Ghost (Program #3, South Korea, dir. Dahci Ma)
The Ghosts (Program #1, USA, dir. Eddie O'Keefe)
The Heist (Program #6, UK/Ireland, dir. Thomas Hefferon)
Krass (Program #5, Iceland, dir. Tómas H. Jóhannesson)
L Train (Program #1, USA, dir. Anna Musso)
Meathead (Program #5, New Zealand, dir. Sam Holst)
Method (Program #4, USA, dirs. Rider Strong & Shiloh Strong)
Minuto 200 (Program #5, Colombia, dir. Frank Benitez Peña)
Narkis (Program #5, Israel, dir. Noam Ellis)
Ostrich's Flight (Program #6, Brazil, dirs. Clara Izabela & Ze Inle)
Pass the Salt, Please (Program #4, USA, dir. Tatjana Najdanovic)
The Runaway (Program #5, Spain, dir. Victor Carrey)
The Shirt (Program #5, Germany, dir. Jonas Rothlaender)
The Shower (Program #6, Chile, dir. María José San Martín)
The Strange Ones (Program #5, USA, dirs. Lauren Wolkenstein & Christopher Radcliff)
Sugar (Program #4, The Netherlands, dir. Jeroen Annokkee)
Time After Time (Program #6, USA, dir. Laurie Thomas)
The Truth (Program #1, USA, dir. Hill Harper)
The Unliving (Program #3, Sweden, dir. Hugo Lilia)
Winter (Program #1, USA, dir. Alaric Rocha)

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