SFIFF58 is underway, and we’re here to bring you all the goodies! Here’s a quick look at a few selections from three of the MANY amazing shorts programs, all of which are worth checking out at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7):
Shorts 6: Youth Works
April 25, 11:00am – Tickets & Info
Created by amazing young talent, this collection of narrative, documentary, and animated films is astounding and just a taste of the strong pool of future filmmakers we can expect to see more of down the line.
(Alexia Salingaros, USA 2014, 5 min)
Steadily shot and succinctly edited, Kers is a quick portrait of a female graffiti artist. Challenging the notions of gender roles and respected art forms, the subject reveals the struggles and lifestyle her passion has created for herself.
(Lukas Dong, USA/Sweden 2014, 10 min)
Sophia is a beautiful look at Swedish folk music singer Sophia Higman. Director Lukas Dong employs a soft color palette and strings together wonderful shots of performances, instruments, and Sophia’s private life to capture the artistry of a young musical talent in a way that rivals many of today’s most well produced commercials and music videos.
(Clio Gevirtz, USA 2014, 10 min)
Managing to evoke Lord of the Flies and Black Swan within a matter of minutes, Stranded takes the simple premise of a bus breaking down and extends the metaphorical and cinematic opportunities it offers. Caught on the side of the highway waiting to continue the journey, one young woman from the dance team the bus is carrying unnervingly strives for perfection as she waits.
Shorts 5: Family Films
April 26th, 10:00am – Tickets & Info
From singing cows to art imitating life, this collection of family-friendly shorts doesn’t settle for anything less than charming the heck out of the viewers.
Aria for a Cow
(Dan Lund, USA 2015, 7 min)
Featuring a never-before heard song from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Aria for a Cow is a wonderful sendup of big Broadway diva musical numbers — in this case, for the cause of bringing light to the often single-minded opinions we have of cows.
My Big Brother
(Jason Rayner, USA 2014, 3 min)
My Big Brother is a charmingly animated whimsical ode to sibling love and rivalry. As a proud middle child, I can attest to the thoughts and sentiments that this fable-like short showcases in such a cute manner.
(Carlos Lascano, Argentina/Spain 2014, 9 min)
Probably the closest parallel to the visual and tonal aesthetic of Amélie that I’ve ever seen, Lila is a lovely short about a young woman who uses her talent for drawing and boundless imagination to fill in the gaps of life around her, including those of her own.
Shorts 3: Animation
April 25th, 9:30pm
May 3rd, 1:30pm – Tickets & Info
Featuring the newest work from Don Hertzfeldt and a score of other incredible animators and filmmakers from across the globe, and employing numerous animation techniques, this animated program is nothing short of a great animated short program.
A Single Life
(Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen, Netherlands 2014, 3 min)
A Single Life is a hilarious story of a lonely woman using turntablism to control her world. The short was an Oscar nominee and this is no surprise, considering the film’s sharp sense of humor and inventiveness.
(Sonia Gerbeaud, Mathias de Panafieu, France 2014, 10 min)
Hand painted and gorgeous throughout, Faded Finery is a combined humanitarian and wildlife preservation effort. The story of a feral child and local feral coyote-like animals makes for a sad but ultimately redeeming tale with a powerful message on harmony in nature.
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
(Konstantin Bronzit, Russia 2014, 16 min)
Funny, heartbreaking, and triumphant, We Can’t Live Without Cosmos is a masterful animated work about a pair of old buddies training to be cosmonauts. Bound by friendship and a shared drive to reach the stars, his touching tale of overachievers and their quest is just about as good as an animated short can get.