DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenwriting Competition

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Showcase 8: Defining Oneself

Some define themselves by their occupation and passions, others by their actions, relationships and personal attributes.  Every individual differs in his or her self-definition and path to self-discovery.  The nine films that comprise Showcase 8 reveal a segment of a character’s journey to self-realization and fulfillment.  The infinite forms of self-expression and self-definition are underscored in the content of these short films.  They present relatable material, allowing audience members to empathize with the characters and uncover a personal connection with the stories.



In Score, a French-Canadian film by Lawrence Côté-Collins, a couple Audrey and David, air their dirty laundry in what better a location than a Laundromat!  The two discuss the conventionalized double standards between men and women, as Audrey struggles to decide whether or not to reveal her number of sexual partners to David.  This short is sardonically witty and amusingly relatable.



Water documents the ritual of water gathering in rural Tibet, a laborious duty bestowed upon the Tibetan matriarch.  Director Bari Pearlman captures a day in the life of one Tibetan woman’s toilsome water collecting obligations.  The woman must make multiple trips a day to a potable source of water near her family’s farm and transport it back and forth by means of a wooden barrel strapped to her back.  The task is not only menial, but is physically exhausting as the barrel reaches 80-pounds when filled.


Mike Liu makes an original animated short about the life of a ninja and his failed attempts to find work outside his skill set in Shinobi Blues.  With animation that reminds one of a feature length Pixar film, it is easy to forget this is only a 6-minute short.  Liu is an amazing animator and storyteller, and creates an inspiring pleasure with his film.


Laundry Day, a film by Thayer Radic, is a short about a man and a woman who meet in a Laundromat.  They take part in a seemingly engaging conversation; however, a slight blunder proves to be a major miscommunication.  This short presents a highly relatable subject matter in such a way that is ironic and germane in today’s world.



In the Greek foreign short, Mikros Vasilias (Little King), by Socrates Alafouzos, a man’s secret childhood abuse has led him to a life of deep-seated anger and bitter resentment.  His temper is volatile and disturbing, and beckons grievous implications in his personal and professional life.  Alagouzos grippingly depicts the egregious nature of abuse and its lifelong reverberations.


Pierre Coffin creates a kid-friendly delight with the French animated short Brad & Gary.  In the short, Brad and Gary, two animated creatures, face some “self-adhered” binds after getting a little carried away with their routine nose picking.  They are forced to use their fingers, nostrils and other extremities to save one another from the deathly consequences of their seemingly harmless habit.  The film is also featured in this year’s free Family Showcase.


In The Last Animals, a film by Mary Holyoke, bees have become extinct leading to a world without food and water.  This depiction of a post-apocalyptic world is both terrifying and heart breaking, as a woman must take extreme measures to protect herself and her infant baby in order to survive.  This film is reminiscent of the jarring full-length film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, directed by John Hillcoat and staring Viggo Mortensen.



Can’t Dance, written and directed by Richard Uhlig, is a charming atypical comedy about a forlorn widower named Stu.  After he drinks his wife’s ashes on what would have been their 40th anniversary, she comes back to life to give him some much-needed guidance in his love life.  With witty dialogue and a heartening storyline, this film reinforces a positive message about love, loss and moving on.



Jeremy Smith creates a hilarious teenage comedy with 10 and 2.  The short’s main character, Wilbur, a nerdy and apprehensive teenager, is having a rough time of it in Driver’s Ed.  During his first driving lesson, in an unlikely turn of events, two rowdy thugs hijack his car.  He is forced to be their driver in what turns into a rollicking high-speed chase that may, or may not have been just the instruction Wilbur needed.


By:  Hadley Fielding


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

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