Local filmgoers will have an opportunity to be judges in the 15th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival and band with audiences in 300 cities on six continents to pick the winner of 10 finalists from around the world.
There are three times when the audience can view the short films, which range from 8 minutes to 18 minutes, at the Shalin Liu Performance Center: Sunday, Sept. 30, at 3 and 7 p.m. and then again on Friday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. The screening of the 10 films takes about two hours. The winner will be announced on Oct. 7 at ManhattanShort.com.
The Cape Ann audience will be among more than 150 at cinemas from coast to coast taking part in this event in 47 of the 50 states.
Of 520 entries received from 49 countries around the world, festival organizers chose ten finalists. Past finalists have been nominated, and even won, an Oscar in the short film category.
“In one week, over 100,000 people from as far north as St. Petersburg, Russia, to as far south as Buenos Aires, Argentina, as far east as Kathmandu, Nepal, and as far west as Perth, Australia, will come together to view and vote on these 10 films,” according to a press release.
Each audience member will be given a voting card and asked to choose the one film they believe should win.
Nicholas Mason, founder and director of the festival, said the real aim of the festival is bringing communities together through stories. Mason began this festival by projecting short films onto the side of a truck on a downtown Manhattan street.
“I never imagined...it would grow into what it is today, with communities all over the world getting together to celebrate via ten short films,” said Mason in a press release.
Tony Beadle, the executive director of Rockport Music, which is presenting the event, said he liked the idea of having audience participation.
“When we have cinema events here, it has to have a special twist to it,” he said. “I thought it would be a fun thing for the audience to be part of the process. Plus, you don’t often get an opportunity for a night of short films very often.”
The finalists for 2012 are “The Devil’s Ballroom” from Norway; “A Curious Conjunction of Coincidences” from Holland; “Where Does the Sea Flow” from Russia; “Two & Two” from England; “Cluck” from Ireland; “Behind the Mirrors” from Peru; “The Elaborate End of Robert Ebb” from England; “Superman, Spiderman or Batman” from Romania; “92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card” from the United States; and “Voice Over” from Spain.
The U.S. entry, “92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card,” directed by Todd Sklar, was screened a
t the Sundance Film Festival. The synopsis states: “Jim and Dave, two brothers who don’t like each other very much, are forced to come together when their dad dies in Kansas City. Dave is pretty sure he has an Alonzo Mourning Skybox Series rookie card, but Jim has other ideas.”
The entries embody a variety of topics. Norway’s nearly 16-minute entry, “The Devil’s Ballroom,” is about a perilous journey to the North Pole, when an Arcti
c explorer has to make a critical decision with lifelong consequences. The nine-minute Dutch film “A Curious Conjunction of Coincidences” is about how bad luck connects three men even though they live in different centuries. The 10-minute Spanish entry “Voice Over” is described as a love story involving a series of life-threatening experiences that pale in comparison to a situation that requires real courage.
Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at www.rockportmusic.org or call the box office at 978-546-7391. Tickets are $9.75 for adults, and $7 for students and seniors.
For more information on the Festival and to read detailed interviews with the 10 Finalists visit www.ManhattanShort.com.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.
If you go What: 15th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. Local audience unites with audiences in 300 cities on six continents to pick the winner of 10 finalists from around the world. When: Sunday, Sept 30 at 3 p.m. or at 7 p.m. and then again on Friday Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. The screening of the 10 films takes about two hours. Where: Shalin Liu Performance Center at 37 Main St. in downtown Rockport. How much: $9.75 for adults, and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets available at the door, in advance at www.rockportmusic.org or call the box office at 978-546-7391. Details: more information on the festival, including detailed interviews with the 10 finalists. Visit www.ManhattanShort.com. The winner will be announced on Oct. 7 on the website.