DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenwriting Competition

rotating reel

Showcase 14: Strength of Character

Successful stories possess characters of consequence and interest.  The characters on screen must entice, thereby facilitating a bond between the character and viewer that captivates the viewer’s frame of mind.  The filmmakers of Showcase 14 constructed characters (and a number of actors portrayed these characters) in such a way that is mesmerizing and attention grabbing.  Not only are these characters formidable within the context of the respective script, but they are captivating as projected images of people, of human behavior that bears truth and meaning.


In David Pyefich’s Australian short, Showing the Ropes, Gregory is the hangman of his village, extolled for his “talent.”  However, his profession and renown amongst the townspeople becomes threatened when his nefarious adversary develops a new hanging technique.  This jocular farce parodies turgid old English prose in its dialogue and the deplorable execution customs of the time.



In First Match, a film by Olivia Newman, Monique is about to wrestle in her first match.  As a freshman and the only girl on her high school team, she is taunted by her male teammates.  All Monique really wants is to get closer to her detached father, who was a wrestler in his youth.  Newman poignantly depicts familial struggle and the search for connection in this sports short.


The Capital Buzz is a documentary short that provides insight into the DC beekeeping community.  The film includes interviews with members of DC Honeybees, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop beehives within the DC area and inform the public on the importance of the honeybee.  We even meet one member with a hive on roof of his Georgetown row house.  The film was created in a collaborative effort by students at the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking at the George Washington University.


In High Heels & Hoodoo, an eerie comedy written by Jocelyn Rish and directed by Brian Rish, Tiffany is determined to gain access to her deceased grandmother’s fortune.  In a zealous attempt of financial exploitation, she solicits the services of a Gullah root doctor to contact her grandmother from the grave.  Tiffany’s wish is met as her avaricious ways transport her to the land of the dead to see her Nanna once again.



An off-season Santa Clause struggles to find meaning in life without the holidays in Merry.  He explores some part-time work, but nothing seems to be as fulfilling as his work as Kris Kringle.  In this film by Conor Byrne, you’ll be rooting for this Santa to find some jolly cheer in his spare time.



Cahaya, a young girl who works as a trash collector in the slums of North Jakarta dreams of riding a bicycle in the eponymous short film, Cahaya.  She is fortunate to find part of a dilapidated bike that she makes her own.  However, she meets conflict after it becomes the envy of the neighborhood children.


In Cool Toys, created by Australian filmmaker Jordan Fong, Bradley and Timmy’s play date becomes the object of suspense after Bradley’s snooping leads him to discover Timmy’s father’s old revolver and bullets.  Bradley coaxes Timmy to play with the “cool” toy, and unbeknownst to their parents barbequing outside, the boys entertain some very violent mischief.  You will not be able to predict what will happen next in this tempestuous short.



In Marco Gadge’s foreign German short, Die weiße Mücke (The White Mosquito), two policemen hatch a plan to save their provincial village from a resort developer.  The two take extreme measures to derail the development, however, mother nature has another plan.  With beautiful scenery of rustic Germany, this film is engaging for its dialogue, storyline and cinematography.


By:  Hadley Fielding


The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Copyright 2012 DC Shorts/DC Film Alliance

Rimons twitter widget by Rimon Habib