A World, in a Moment: DIFF 2017 Shorts Programs
by Crystal Orren
Short films capture life through small moments—both mundane and monumental—and show us truths about ourselves and our own lives with a clarity that is often best told in Short form. Get a glimpse at some of the shorts featured in these 5 unique, must-see shorts programs you won’t want to miss during DIFF 2017.
When their cat escapes from a motel room in a strange town, the ensuing search reveals the dormant frustrations and latent hostility of a dissatisfied couple in PET FRIENDLY.
Alopecia (unpredictable, rapid hair loss) would be challenging at any age, but imagine the nightmare it might be if you were a fourteen-year-old girl. EMMA is a story of pre-teen insecurity, helplessness, and ultimately, acceptance.
BILL’S RECORDS centers on Dallas musical institution and owner of Bill’s Records, 72-year-old Bill Wisner. Bill has spent the last 43 years maintaining one of the largest “mom-and-pop” music stores in the US. Uncatalogued and unconcerned with profits beyond keeping the doors open, his fifty-thousand-plus archive remains a music-lovers Valhalla and treasure-hunting destination.
In THRUSH, Gordon Hempton travels the world, looking for the quietest places on earth, and seeking the rarest birds still left in the world. This is an excerpt of his journey- a free-associating document of obsession and discovery.
DEAR MR. SHAKESPEARE is a vicious, violent, and magical mashup of slam poetry and literary critique, this look at Shakespeare’s OTHELLO is lyrical while it cuts to the bone, exposing the bias against race and gender in early literature and theater. DEAR MR. SHAKESPEARE is raw, heartfelt, and a true award-winner.
Anyone who’s lived in a small town knows what it’s like to wish for something more from your life, but when you’ve been abandoned, escape is the most important thing. In HOW FAR SHE WENT, a young girl’s grandmother, left as ward with no choice, has to rescue her granddaughter from a bad crowd, ultimately leading her to make a devastating choice.
If you ever wanted “biohacking” defined, look to Josiah, an ex-NASA scientist whose current project to replace all the bacteria in his body takes him to extremes in GUT HACK: human donor samples, swallowing unmentionables, and the resultant illnesses they spawn. His results beg the question: is it worth it?
In a quite-timely exploration of conspiracy-theorist nightmares, PROJECT X is a handbook of sorts, guiding those trapped in a security emergency, while detailing the depths to which the overarching government entity has control of the data secured in its net- but nothing is as chilling as the word “redacted” repeated among its warnings.
If you’re a fan of movies and movie memorabilia, you’ll love THE COLLECTION, a story of two friends who uncover a treasure trove of golden-era items considered lost long ago.
CATHERINE is a heartbreaking, heartfelt, and grimly hilarious story of how our pets make a home in our hearts, change our lives, help us be our best possible selves, and possibly get us interested in taxidermy.
In HOW’S YOUR PROSTATE?, a sun-drenched poolside sit offers the perfect opportunity for a stream-of-consciousness, 100% TMI account of medical procedures, side effects, and true-life stories no child should hear from their parents.
VICTOR AND ISOLINA uses multiple visual formats to impart stories from both the past and present in this interview with the filmmaker’s grandparents, revealing detailed and poetic elements, both sublime and ridiculous, from their personal history and relationships with one another and their emigrated America.
LATE NIGHT SHORTS
A bloody-hilarious cautionary tale for anyone who refuses to read the directions, DEATH METAL is the story of a diabolically enchanted axe (guitar, that is), and the few simple rules to rule it in this dimension- if you don’t go running off with it first.
In WELL SPOKEN, a quiet, unassuming (and possibly sheltered) young woman tries to manage a normal day at work until one of her co-workers’ careless comments sets her off. This short film is more a four-and-a-half-minute tee-up to a punchline, but the joke is well-worth waiting for.
WHAT HAPPENED TO HER portrays an interview- and many, many real-life examples- regarding the actresses who portray the dead in television and film, and the current cultural obsession with seeing murdered women as entertainment.
DALLAS STAR AWARDBILL PAXTON (POSTHUMOUSLY)
Bill Paxton was an award-winning actor and filmmaker from Texas. In 1992, he landed his first leading role in ONE FALSE MOVE. Paxton went on to star in several hit films including ALIENS (1985), APOLLO 13 (1995), TWISTER (1996) and TITANIC (1997)
L.M. KIT CARSON
DAVID GORDON GREEN
This year’s L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Award Honoree is writer/director David Gordon Green. David Gordon Green’s debut feature, GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000) won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and his second feature, ALL THE REAL GIRLS (2003) received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
SHINING STAR AWARDZOEY DEUTCH
This year’s Shining Star Award Honoree is Zoey Deutch. Zoey Deutch is an actress known for VAMPIRE ACADEMY (2014), EVERYBODY WANTS SOME! (2016) and WHY HIM? (2016). Most recently, Zoey Deutch starred in two films selected at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, REBEL IN THE RYE and BEFORE I FALL.