Short Takes on Film: Manhattan Shorts Return | Movies | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Short Takes on Film: Manhattan Shorts Return 

State of the Arts

sota-filmshort.jpg

Despite its name, the annual Manhattan Short Film Festival is neither held (exclusively) in the Big Apple nor limited to the city’s filmmakers. Instead, it’s nothing if not international: From 520 entries received from 49 nations, the judges have selected 10 films, each 18 minutes or less. The finalists will be screened starting this Friday in 300 cities around the globe — including Burlington and (for one night only) Middlebury. After each screening, popular democracy kicks in, as viewers receive ballots to vote for their choice of top film. The results of the global vote will be announced on Sunday, October 7, on manhattanshort.com.

This year’s selection is diverse and lively, with several films combining live action, digital animation and other stylized elements in inventive ways. “A Curious Conjunction of Coincidences,” from the Netherlands, for instance, tells a tall tale that spans several centuries just by changing the actors’ costumes and backgrounds. “Voice Over,” from Spain, goes meta with a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style narrative — except that all the choices lead to the protagonist’s comically gruesome demise.

Other shorts are lower tech and more earnest, such as “Behind the Mirrors,” a mini-thriller from Peru set in a brothel; and “Two & Two,” a chilling parable about miseducation from the UK. A few films milk their concepts too hard: “Cluck,” an Irish short about a “chicken boy” sent to an orphanage, drags on. For my money, the fest’s most memorable entry is “Where the Sea Flows,” a dark, poetic, sometimes enigmatic Russian drama in which Oksana Akinshina (Lilya 4-Ever) plays a mother with mixed feelings about her young daughter.

Judge the finalists yourself this week at Merrill’s Roxy, and next Saturday at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater.

Manhattan Short Film Festival. Friday, September 28, through Thursday, October 4, at Merrill’s Roxy Cinemas in Burlington. Regular admission. Saturday, October 6, 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. $12; $8 for students. townhalltheater.org

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Bio:
Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation