For your consideration: a collection of international short films, live-action style. Ranging in length from 12 to 30 minutes, the filmmakers create films as compelling as their feature-length counterparts. Check these out, if you have access. If you can’t find these films specifically, check out ShortsHD—this channel is nothing but short films. I found it the week of Halloween, and nothing played but short horror films. Got me ready for the IHSFF at PFF in April…and, I’m rambling.


AVE MARIA—France, 15 minutes
Moshe, his wife, and his mother, Jewish settlers, crash into a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a convent in the West Bank, just as Sabbath is beginning. Hilarity ensues as the different worlds collide while working towards a common goal: get the family on the road again. The script is magnificent, as a comedy can truly be when there are so many conflicts between characters.


SHOK (FRIEND)—Kosovo/UK, 21 minutes
Two young friends struggle to keep their normal lives during the Kosovo war. Petrit and Oki live in a simple town. They go to school. Oki has a bicycle, and they boys ride around together. One day, Petrit takes Oki to “do a deal”, and their daily routine is compromised forever. A beautiful film; the cinematography is top-notch.


Michael, a divorced dad, picks his daughter (Lea) up from his ex-wife for his scheduled visit. They go shopping for a present, get a bite to eat, fill out some official, last-minute documents, and head to the airport. Which is weird. And Lea knows it.
• This is my pick for the Oscar ®, mostly because of Julia Pointner (Lea)’s performance. I’ve never been so stressed out.


STUTTERER—UK/Ireland, 12 minutes
Greenwood has a stutter. He’s extremely introverted, almost exclusively because of this condition. He meets his dad to hang out, and he can talk to him. The only other regular contact Greenwood has with another human is through Facebook. His chat partner, Ellie, will be in his area for a few days and wants to meet him. Greenwood’s struggle is elegantly portrayed, and who doesn’t love films set in London?


DAY ONE—USA, 25 minutes
Feda begins her first day as a US Army interpreter in the field. She is to travel several kilometers with soldiers to a place where a bomb maker is believed to be hiding. Due to her own personal history, the rest of her day is a true test of strength she may not have known she possessed. Brutal, yet the story is very honest. Skywalker Sound and ILM assist in the realization of this film.


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