Friday, November 24, 2017

AIFF 2017: Shorts In Competition - The Robbery, Temporary, Must Kill Karl, Iron, Whoever Was Using This Bed, Game, Cold Storage, Temporary, Couples Night, Brain Storm, 8 A.M.

Shorts are fiction 10 - 55 minutes.  In competition means they were selected to be eligible for a festival award. Super Shorts are under 10 minutes.

Shorts are generally shown in groups, called programs.  The shorts in competition this year fall neatly into two programs.  The first is "Shorts on the Edge"  but it's also called "Opening Night Soirée."
The second program is called "Love and Pain."  I've color coded them to make it even easier.

BUT,  I've combined the shorts and super shorts on the chart below, since they are showing together in the programs.  The super shorts have an * after them.

To make it easy for you to figure out when and where to see these films, I've divided the list of shorts in competition into two groups so you can see what program they're in, and when and where each program is shown.

[NOTE: I try to be completely accurate here, but there's a lot of details and I can make a mistake.  To be safe, double check the times and locations before you go. If you see an error please let me know in the comments or via email - in right column above blog archive.]

The first program is:

Opening Night Soiree
Fri Dec 1  Bear Tooth  7 pm

Shorts on the Edge
Sat Dec 9  AK Exp Sm  9 pm

Shorts In Competition   Director Country Length   
Cold Storage* Thomas Freundlich Finland 9 min
Game Jeannie Donohoe USA 15 min
Whoever Was Using This Bed Andrew Kotatko Australia     20 min
Iron Gabriel Gonda USA 17 min
Must Kill Karl Joe Kick Canada 12 min
The Robbery Jim Cummings USA 15 min
8:AM* Emily Pando USA 5 min
Brain Storm* Christophe Clin  Belgium 6 min
Couples Night* Russell & Robert
USA 4 min
Temporary Milena Govich USA 12 min

Remember, the blue ones are in the program called:
Love and Pain
Which shows: 
Sat Dec 2 AK Exp Large  12 pm
Fri Dec 8 AK Exp Small  7pm

* means it's a Super Short.


This first group of shorts in competition all are part of the Opening Night Soirée which repeats as the program "Shorts on the Edge."  I've done it this way to help you identify which films are shown together so you can easily find when and where to see them.  

If they are in red, they are together in this program.  

Also, both Shorts and Super Shorts* are together in the same programs, but they are eligible for separate awards.  The * marks the Super Shorts.  These are films under 10 minutes long.

Opening Night Soirée
  Fri  Dec 1 Bear Tooth  7pm

Shorts on the Edge
Sat Dec 9 Ak Exp Small 9pm


Cold Storage* (*Super Short)
Thomas Freundlich
9 min

This one should appeal to all Alaskans, especially ice fishers, glacial archeologists, and dancers.

From the film's webpage:
"Thomas Freundlich is one of the leading practitioners in Finland’s vibrantly growing independent dance film scene. Mr. Freundlich’s work ranges from dance shorts, documentary work, performance videography and 3D projects to music videos and projection design for the stage. His work has been seen at dozens of film festivals worldwide as well as broadcast TV both in Finland and internationally. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Freundlich was the co-artistic director of Finland’s Loikka dance film festival."
Cold Storage :: Trailer from Thomas Freundlich on Vimeo.

Jeannie Donohoe
15 min

This story takes place during tryouts for the high school basketball team.  It's a very well made film.  To add a little moral crunch to all this, the Weinstein Company was involved with this film.  Just yesterday (Nov 20), I read an article from the Paris Review, "What Do We Do With The Art Of Monstrous Men?"  I suspect that the Weinstein Company, particularly Harvey Weinstein had little to do with the making of this film.  But it's something to think about as you watch this gem of a film.  I know this film is good because you can watch it online, and I did.   Below is a trailer.  I'd note, watching it online probably won't take anything from the experience of seeing it on the big screen opening night of the festival.  There's lots I'm sure I missed the first time.

Whoever Was Using This Bed
Andrew Kotatko
20 min

Go to the the film's website.  Scroll through the credits and connections of the cast and the director and others.  This is NOT a film by new faces showing what they can do in hopes of making it.  But the fact that these aren't newcomers to the film industry tells us something about the competitiveness of the world of film-making.


Gabriel Gonda
17 min
"Iron is a short period drama set in the Pacific NorthWest inspired by the true stories of women railroad workers during the early 1900’s.  
Lily Cohen escapes the the crowded tenements of New York to take on a demanding railway job. Determined to work on a steam engine, a position not traditionally held by women, Lilly faces the hostility of her fellow railroad workers while finding her own inner strength. 
While America is very familiar with the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter, the women laborers of the First World War are mostly forgotten by history. The American railroad represented freedom and adventure in a time when most women had very little opportunity for either. These opportunities disappeared when the soldiers returned home."
Must Kill Karl
Joe Kick
12 min

I haven't seen the whole movie, but the trailer . . .   judge for yourself.  I had it up here for a day or two as I worked on the rest of the films.  I decided to take it down because I thought the thumbnail was gross and I didn't see any redeeming features that would make it worth keeping up.  I'm not censoring it - you can go watch it here.  Remember, the programmers thought it was worth being 'in competition'.  I'm waiting to be pleasantly surprised.

The Robbery
Jim Cummings
15 min

Cummings won the best Short Award last year at AIFF with his film "Thunder Road."  It also won at Sundance which led to a slew of opportunities which are described in this IndieWire article.  The article also includes a full version of of The Robbery.  I don't recommend seeing it now if you plan to see it at the festival.  I'm not sure how much it offers with additional viewings.

It's about a robbery that goes badly.  It's well made.  It spoofs our national (global?) cell phone addiction among other things.


This second group of shorts in competition all are part of the program "Love and Pain."  I've done it this way to help you identify which films are shown together so you can easily find when and where to see them.  

If they are in blue, they are together in this program  Also, both Shorts and Super Shorts* are together in the same programs, but they are eligible for separate awards.  

The * marks the Super Shorts.  These are films under 10 minutes long.  

In this group, all but "Temporary" are Super Shorts.

Love and Pain
Sat Dec, 2  12pm AK Exp Large
Frit Dec 8  AK Exp Small 7pm


Emily Pando
5 min

Can't find much on this film, though it was at the festival in August 2016, the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival's Shorts Fest this year if I'm reading the Facebook page right.  

Brain Storm* (Remue-Meninges)
Christophe Clin
6 min
(Also Showing at Martini Matinee - Friday December 8, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00pm)

Another film that's got few internet footprints.  From Augohr:
"What happens in our heads when we are about to meet someone on the street? Anguish, prejudice, expectation, surprise, disappointment … These few very brief moments are the nest of a real brainstorm!"
I had to look much harder to find Christophe's Vimeo page. (His Youtube page was blank. You really don't need a link to a blank Youtube channel.)  But it was worth the effort.  (Actually, if you only google his name, there's more, mostly in French.)

This is one of the most tantalizing trailers I've seen. It could be a super short all its own.

REMUE MENINGES (2017) - TRAILER from Christophe Clin on Vimeo.

Couples Night*
Russell & Robert Summers
4 min

This is a four minute movie.  What do you want?  A ten second trailer?  Christophe Clin found a way to do a trailer for a six minute movie (above) but . . . And why would you want a description?  This is part of a program of other shorts.  Just sit back and watch it.  I can give you one hint - it's been in some horror movie festivals.  

Milena Govich
12 Min

The first few minutes of this probably tells you what you need to know about this film.  It comes from her Kickstarter page and I found the embed code at Vimeo.

Temporary - A film by Milena Govich from Troy Foreman on Vimeo.


I'd also note there are other Shorts programs.  Global Village has a series of international shorts.
There are Made In Alaska shorts.  And Martini Matinee will play a mix of narrative shorts, short docs, and animation.  I'm not totally caught up (and probably will never be) with all these programs but I did want to give you an alert that the narrative shorts and super shorts in competition aren't the only shorts.

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