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DC Shorts: inviting the Community to Participate

No ADD intended--it seems the Dresser keeps happily coming up short--most recently it has been with ten-minute plays but on the horizon, September 8-18, 2011, is DC Shorts Film Festival under the direction of filmmaker Jon Gann. This is their eighth year and Gann and his followers have their act together. Last year in the September, the short hit "God of Love" played in DC Shorts and in February 2011, it won an Oscar for a live actions short film. The film is about a dorky guy who acquires love darts and then by stabbing his love object with this special dart, he gets the girl he really wants offering to read her a nine-page poem in Portuguese but he says he can translate.

There are 145 films and six screenplays from 23 different countries presented in 17 shows of 90-minute duration. This translates to eight or nine films running three to under 20 minutes each. Show 17 is a free set of films presented for family viewing. What the Dresser was interested to hear is that the films picked for each showcase intend to create a balanced landscape of mood and variety while emphasizing what would interest a DC audience. soata-300x163.jpgA special feature of the 2011 Festival is the inclusion of thirteen shorts from Brazil that range from the joys of Brazilian music and dance ("No Baque--Soatá," an animation) to an examination of the ethical and social ramifications of wasting food ("Insustentável").insustentavel-300x168.jpg

While there aren't any operas in this film festival, there is a quirky musical in Showcase 6 entitled "Sudden Death" and to the Dresser's mind, it has some of the same appeal as "God of Love" and guess what? Poetry gets blamed in part for the fact that everyone is dying, while a lab of scientists are trying to find the antidote. What the Dresser loves about this film is the nerdy dance scenes, especially those with a flash mob which seems somewhat lame but not. How did the choreographer get those dancers to almost look like they didn't know what they were doing?suddendeath-300x168.jpg

Many of the filmmakers will be on hand to answer questions at designated shows, so now is the time to go to the website and spend serious time there with their film sorter. Other bonuses include several parties--one is a Brazilian Carnival party at the Artisphere, free lunch shows at E Street Cinema, one-night stands on specific thematic threads (LGBT--Pink Shorts, Naughty--Sexy Shorts, comic--Funny Shorts), free seminars for budding filmmakers, and a live script competition using in-the-flesh actors--five plays and the audience helps pick the winner who will get money and a guaranteed slot in a future DC Shorts Festival.

Serena Fox's poem "Nightshift" nails the love story taking place between two research scientists in "Sudden Death" who are having a hard time seeing each other clearly. Of course, part of the problem is that both scientists are infected with Sudden Death Syndrome that manifests in singing and dancing.


Mad as a hatter, hot as a hare, red as a beet,
Dry as a bone
--pupils dilated as meteorites,
The stranger with the perfect pleats looked deep
Into your eyes, man to man, and slipped you some.

You went berserk, alone in your room, until José
The super, swaggered back from bingo and called
The cops. Bella Donna--Beauties of Rome, tincture
Of Deadly Nightshade: one drop in the marketplace,

And pupils become the Discus, an iris-less magnet
To a Hero's hand. To him, she is worthy of wielding
In any game, an object more desirable. To her, he is
A mydriatic blur, overexposed beyond recognition.

For him, definition is not an issue. Skin anointed,
Stance youthful, eyes wide and black as a stabled
Beast. Bella Donna! She reinterprets: this doesn't
Look so bad. He is not so bad. What can happen, if

He takes me? It's broad daylight; my eyes will
Accommodate, before night catches up.

Serena Fox

Copyright © 2009 Serena Fox


Comments (2)

Grace Cavalieri:

QUITE WONDERFUL! and exhilarating what is going on.

Susan Brennan:

Great comments, Dresser! I wish I could have been there to see these great flicks - especially the Brazillian ones. I applied to their screenwriting contest and I have to say, they really are wonderful and sent me back very insightful and helpful comments.

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