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Saturday’s Afternoon Short Block Offers Variety

Saturday afternoon at the Moffatt-Ladd house, festival goers had the opportunity to see eight short films during the Shorts Block Five.  A short Q & A followed.


The first film of the block was a personal documentary about Fall River, Massachusetts, a town that once was bustling with people and industry, and has since become one of the most impoverished and under educated towns in the country. It is the perfect backdrop for the focus of the film, an extraordinary woman who lived her whole life in Fall River, and tells her story of tragedy and redemption, perhaps offering hope to the city around her. Fall River is directed and produced by Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis.


Dios Nunca Muere is a day-in-the-life story about Paula, a Mexican migrant worker living with her two children in a crowded caravan. When a new caravan arrives on the farm, she allows herself and her children to briefly imagine a different life. It is a beautiful homage to the thousands of migrant workers across the country. Dios Nunca Muere is directed by Barbara Cigarroa, produced by Julie O’Leary, written by Barbara Cigarroa, and stars Monica del Carmen, Diego Sanchez, and Miley Cabanas.


Funeral is a quick and comedic take on mourning. A woman attends the funeral of her late husband, and upon retreating to a sitting room, encounters a silly and unexpected visitor. It is directed by Leah Shore, produced by Leah Shore and Jonathan Federico, written by Leah Shore and Jonathan Federico, and stars Jennifer Prediger and Jarret Kerr. Learn more on Facebook.


The next film was another documentary about the world’s tallest water slide that was built in Kansas back in 2012. It was a feat of construction and physics by a group of overzealous men. Ultimately, it lead to the horrific death of a young boy just days after opening. The Water Slide touches on the lack of safety laws in Kansas at the time, and poses questions of responsibility in our pursuits. The film is directed by Nathan Truesdell, and produced by J. Gonçalves, Jessica Kingdon, and Charlotte Cook. Learn more on Twitter.

The mysterious disappearance of teenage girl Hailey (Natalia Dyer) after a walk in the woods haunts Callum (Christopher Dylan White) for years. Upon returning home as a young adult years later, he gives a last ditch effort to reach Hailey, leading him to a mysterious, sci-fi dream world, probing us to wonder what it means to be lost. After Her is directed by Aly Migliori, produced by Laura Heberton and Zander Fife, written by Aly Migliori, and stars Natalia Dyer and Christopher Dylan White.


A Hand is a retelling of a true story that many viewers could, unfortunately, relate to. In the short narrative, a young professional woman is offered a ride home by her older, charming male coworker. What begins with a air of light humor quickly turns sour when an unwanted sexual advance rears its ugly head. The film’s director and writer, Prashanth Kamalakanthan, was the only artist present at the following Q&A, and expressed that he hoped men watching the film would recognize the character’s behavior for what it is: common, and all too prevalent, perhaps even in themselves. The film is produced by Artemis Shaw, and stars Ariel Kavoussi, Onur Tukel, and Prashanth Kamalakanthan.


The animated short Brainworm Billy is an absurd and whimsical tale of a man who buys a crystal to rid his home of malignant spirits. The spirits leave, but only to be replaced by a ethereal Billy Crystal who haunts the man day and night. With its creative use of color and design, Brainworm Billy transports viewers, if only briefly, to a ridiculous and utterly enjoyable world. The film is directed and produced by Emily Hubley, written by Max Rosenthal, and stars Max Rosenthal.

The block wrapped up with Magic Bullet, an unexpectedly comedic drama about two grief stricken strangers who connect via a Florida shopping channel. Their mirrored lives find common ground in unexpected places, probing us to wonder about the unknown inner lives of the people we pass on the street every day. Magic Bullet is directed by Amanda Lovejoy Street, produced by Amanda Lovejoy Street and Kelly Pendygraft, written by Amanda Lovejoy Street, and stars Rosemarie DeWitt and Molly Parker.


By Steph George