For the past ten years, ShortsHD™, the global Short Movie Channel (www.shorts.tv), has worked with Magnolia Pictures to bring the Oscar Nominated short programs (Live Action/Animation/Documentary) to theaters, giving audiences a chance to see the nominees prior to Hollywood’s Big Night. This Friday, the five nominees for Live Action short film will play as one program at Landmark’s Chez Artiste.
Visit http://www.landmarktheatres.com/denver/chez-artiste-theatre for screening times, ticket prices and additional info.
All photos courtesy of ShortsHD.
Aya (Israel-France/39 mins/2012)—Aya (Sarah Adler) was waiting for her friend’s flight to land when a driver (Gil Wasserman) handed her a sign with a client’s name on it. The driver’s car will be towed if he doesn’t move it and Aya just needs to hold the sign and inform the client that the driver will return shortly. Not really a big deal if the driver returns in time, but he doesn’t, and the client, Thomas (Ulrich Thomsen) does. Thomas mistakes Aya for his driver and Aya decides to play along. What starts as a new twist on a “meet cute” gives way to a quite and contemplative tone, one where regret hangs in the air the entire time, leading the audience, and Aya, to the assumed conclusion, where Aya abruptly ends. At 39 minutes long, Aya is a solid first act for a feature-length about a 30-something woman caught between two possible paths.
Directed by: Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnum
Produced by: Yael Abecassis, Hilel Rozman, Pablo Mehler
Written by: Mihal Brezis, Oded Binnum, Tom Shoval
Starring: Sarah Adler, Ulrich Thomsen, Haim Znati, Gil Wasserman
Boogaloo & Graham (UK/14 mins/2014)—Two Irish boys, Jamesy and Malachy (Riley Hamilton and Aaron Lynch) have adopted two pet chickens (Boogaloo and Graham) and are keeping them against the wishes of their mother (Charlene McKenna). Dad (Martin McCann) hesitates, but ultimately sides with his boys and ends up being the chicken’s savior, much to Mom’s chagrin. Narrated from the future by an older Jamsey (Jonathan Harden), Boogaloo & Graham is memory with a fond haze, possibly the first clear recollection of someone’s father and what he did for his sons. There is little more to the story (or style) than that, but sometimes you don’t need all that much.
Directed by: Michael Lennox
Produced by: Brian J. Falconer
Written by: Ronan Blaney
Starring: Martin McCann, Charlene McKenna, Riley Hamilton, Aaron Lynch, Jonathan Harden
Butter Lamp (France-China/15 mins/2013)—A large group of Tibetan Nomads pose for a family picture. The photographer (Genden Punstok) tries to position them as best as he can, while his Assistant (Soepha) cycles through the different background drop sheets of sacred temples, The Great Wall of China, Walt Disney World, etc. Shot entirely from one angle, director Hu Wei’s camera quietly observes without commentary. Who are these people? Will they tell their friends and family that the pictures are taken in front of fake backdrops? Will they pretend that they are real? That is for the audience to conclude.
Written & Directed by: Hu Wei
Produced by: Julien Féret
Starring: Genden Punstok, Soepha, Sonam Gonpo, Wangmo Tso, Kalsang Dolma, Zirang Lhamo, Gangrong Dorjee, Leung Tso, Sonam Tashi, Yang Tso
Parvahen (Switzerland/25 mins/2012)—Parvahen (Nissa Kashani) is a teenage Afghan working in Switzerland to send money home to pay for her father’s doctor. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot an underage immigrant can accomplish, so she enlists the help of a troubled local girl, Emely (Cheryl Graf) to help and the two start-up an unlikely friendship. Loaded with good intentions and warm fuzzy feeling, Parvahen plays out predictably, with the crises coming just when they should and a nice cute ending signifying that there might be hope for us all.
Written & Directed by: Talkhon Hamzavi
Produced by: Stefan Eichenberger
Starring: Nissa Kashani, Cheryl Graf, Brigette Beyeler
The Phone Call (UK/21 mins/2013)—Heather (Sally Hawkins) works at a crisis help line and her first call of the day is Stan (Jim Broadbent), a man who just wants to hear someone’s voice as he waits for the copious amount of pills he took to do their job. Heather tries desperately to help him, and get help to him, but Stan wants the pain to stop. Heather hopes that if she can keep him talking, she might save him, but the more questions she asks, the more the answers cut, and cut deep. Hawkins’s face carries the emotion and Broadbent’s voice carries the pain, making this one of the most heart-wrenching movies of the past year, despite its swift running time.
Of the nominees, The Phone Call is the clear standout, which almost seems like a cheat considering its strength is derived entirely from two professionals (Hawkins, an Oscar nominee, and Broadbent, an Oscar winner), but if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right and Hawkins and Broadbent are about as good as it gets.
Directed by: Mat Kirkby
Produced by: Michelle Kirkman
Written by: Mat Kirkby & James Lucas
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Edward Hogg