Good Things Come in Short Packages at the Short. Sweet. Film Fest


Fri 3/3 @ 6-10:30 PM
Sat 3/4 @ 11 AM-midnight
Sun 3/5 @ noon-8 PM

We have one thing for which to be thankful to the invention of the World Wide Web (well, two things, if you count CoolCleveland). That is the resurgence of interest in the art of short subject films and videos. And that is the basis of the Short. Sweet. Film Fest in downtown Cleveland.

Until YouTube, Veoh, Vine and other online sites devoted to the moving image, short-subject cinema in the late 20th century had few widespread showcases outside of MTV’s Liquid Television and accommodating film festivals, either programming shorts as companion pieces alongside the more ballyhooed features or in marathon programming.

The latter is the design of the Short. Sweet. Film Fest, now in its third year. It encompasses an entire weekend of international shorts, plus guest filmmakers and meet-and-greet parties at the new Alex Theater in the Metropolitan at the 9.

The genres of the short films shown cover all angles: live action, animation, narrative to non-narrative experimental, documentary to music/dance performance. There are mini-horror flicks, pony-sized westerns, rom-com samplers, and special programming blocks devoted to shorts from Japan and by Cleveland State University students. The common element: all entries are 25 minutes or less in length.

This is also a competitive festival, with the winners announced in awards ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday. Judges for this year’s batch include CWRU graduate and documentarian Mike Suglio; Cyprian Piroch, a local filmmaker who also works in the Philippines; and LA-based Baldwin-Wallace graduate Alex Sherman, whose production credits include The Avengers, Yo Gabba Gabba and many others.

Prominent among the nearly 100 short films shown: Draw Hard, about paraplegic Cleveland alt-comics artist and impresario John G; The Silence of War, a WWII drama by Colton Bose on the encounter between a German deserter and an Allied Marine lost behind enemy lines; and Make America Great Again…and again…and again, the response of local avant-garde filmmaker Robert Banks Jr. to the Trump phenomenon.

Banks and Bose will be among the numerous VIP guests and speakers. Industry mixing/networking parties happen late Friday and Saturday. Tickets to the festival range from $20 to $40 (the BIG three-day pass).

[Written by Charles Cassady]


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