Article by Rebecca Romani
May 15, 2021
With run times of 30 minutes and under, the San Diego International Film Festival’s first Shorts Fest is handling the pandemic with panache. Over 100 films and various filmmakers panels running through Sunday, May 16, promise a stunning variety of films and a wide variety of film-oriented activities. You can screen the films and join the fun at home all day long until 8:30 p.m. through the festival’s Virtual Village.
What’s up to see? Short takes on places and people near and far. With an interesting line-up and well-thought-out categories, there is a surprising amount of variety on hand.
You can catch live screenings (see the schedule) or go for screening on demand, or a combination of both. Live screenings are for set times and on demand can be seen at any time up to 8:30 p.m.
Some of the more interesting categories are also the most timely. Wondering what others might have been up to during the pandemic lockdown? The Quarantine-Inspired program has a few ideas. Man Up in Lockdown, for example, is a poignant look at what happens when a performance artist has to redefine themselves, sans performance.
Human Rights don’t take a pandemic break, either. If anything, they become more important. The Human Rights/Social Impacts Program take a good look at issues from organ trafficking to single dads to the fragility of democracy. Sourced from all over the word, this program will have you thinking about the fragility of human life and the strength of individual will for a long time to come.
If it’s comedy and irony you’re after, look no further than The Comedy/Dark Comedy Program. You can hang out with a pet turtle (Snowy) and ask what it means to be happy or find out if working remotely (Remotely Working) is working for ANY of us.
There is also an impressive international slate with films from Iran, Korea, France, Norway, and Japan. A surprising number are beautifully animated, like The Amazing Adventures of Awesome, about an autistic girl, Navozande, le Musicien (the musician), about a musician whose beloved is kidnapped by Mongols, and the delightful, Meow Or Never, about a catstronaut looking for the meaning of life.
One category sure to be a hit is the local showcase, Local San Diego. Many of the films are by people who come out of local film programs at the community colleges, San Diego State University, or University of California, San Diego and most of the films are local or world premieres.
So, how to festival?
With everything online, it’s all relatively simple. The best way is to buy a day pass ($29) and then work your way through the on-line program, creating a customized experience that will allow you to get the maximum access. To see the most accurate programming list, go here and choose the live program. You can then choose the day pass here, and drop into the program notes to watch the trailers and learn more about the films!