By Robin E. Simmons
Choosing a program to see can be overwhelming when the options are so plentiful. Here are some recommended categories and titles that are buzzed about. However, even picking a program at random, you’re likely to find at least one movie that enthralls, provokes, amuses and maybe even enlightens.
Here then are a few programs that are pretty much guaranteed to offer delights and surprises that will be difficult if not impossible to see anywhere in the near future, so catch these little cinematic gems while you have easy access. Please note time and date.
Program: A WORLD IMAGINED Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 pm
This eclectic mix of inventive films boasts arresting visions of whimsical and dystopian worlds that span sci-fi and fantasy, from Steampunk romance to mind-reading police and interplanetary trips. Note: If you’re reading this online today Wednesday, there’s still time to catch this terrific program.
Includes “The Shipment” (Canada)
Stranded with his daughter on a wretched spaceport and unable to afford repairs on the family ship, an interplanetary transporter is coerced into choosing between a promise and a way out.
Program: GROWING PAINS Thursday, June 20, 1:30pm
Includes “Milkshake” (USA)
An unexpected coming-of-age story set in Burbank about a girl who craves her mom’s approval.
Program: WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD Friday, June 21 6:00 pm.
What does it mean to live in a community where what’s private can be made public? How does close proximity impact our selves and others?
Includes “Floating” (Spain/Argentina)
When outside knockings awaken a Russian astronaut in an International Space Station capsule after an accident, he realizes someone has come calling. But is it friend, foe or????
Program: CAST ADRIFT Friday, June 21, 2:00 pm
Living on the edge of society, one has limited options.
Includes “Fixed Water” (USA)
This tender inter-generational portrait focuses on an older Armenian mother and daughter living in the San Fernando Valley and contending with co-dependency and alienation.
Program: GETTING IT ON Friday, June 21, 4:30 pm
Steamy riffs about sex and love and all that it entails.
Includes: “Straight Up” (Sweden)
When Marcel tries to teach his girlfriend yoga, she wrestles him to the bed and challenges him to accept something new about himself.
Program: DEPARTURES Saturday, June 22, 315 pm.
Whether leaving home or saying adios to a loved one, the characters in these heartfelt and poignant films are at the end of their life paths or perhaps just a fork in the road. What route will they take as they embark on the always uncertain future that lies ahead?
Includes: “Street Flame” (USA)
A crew of skateboarding teenagers commemorates their friend Jinx on their own terms.
And remember the “Best of Fest” screenings on Monday, June 23 that showcase audience favorites. This always popular program usually sells out so get your tickets now (online or the box office). When visitors to the Shortfest ask me for one recommendation of what to see, I always suggest this wonderful wrap-up of films that are a sure bet to please.