Short films might not be as labor-intensive as full lengths, but they have their own set of challenges. Telling a great story in a limited amount of time is not easy and it takes real skill to do it well. The L.A. Shorts Film Festival is one of the most respected showcases for short film for a reason– it’s long on established filmmakers and award-winning titles– so odds are very good you’ll be screening the best talent out there. Accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (OSCAR®), the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and many more, no less than 65 L.A. filmmakers who debuted at the fest have gone on to score Academy Award® nominations (and 16 won). It’s the longest-running short film festival in Los Angeles, and this year –its 26th– promises some intriguing entries. See a few of our picks below.
Opening Night (July 21) features superstar rapper Wiz Khalifa starring in Blair Avery’s documentary Still Rolling Papers, about the making of his first studio album and his professional journey since it came out, while closing night (July 28) offers another big name– George R.R. Martin, the famed fantasy, horror, and science fiction writer best known for A Song of Ice and Fire later adapted into HBO’s Game of Thrones. Directed by acclaimed actor Vincent D’Onofrio, Martin’s “Night of the Cooters” short will be screened followed by a conversation with the writer and film cast.
Other shorts throughout the week that look promising: director Vanessa Beletic’s dance thriller narrative short Catching Spirits, exploring destiny, dance, and voodoo (July 27); Rapper Bun B starring alongside writer/directors Andy Cohen and Grover Ellisor in Lotusland, about two friends who turn to their eccentric spiritual guru uncle after getting robbed (July 27); and Daddy’s Eyes, a dark drama about a bittersweet mother and daughter reunion (July 27).
L.A. Shorts International Film Festival runs from July 21-18 at Laemlee NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. More info at lashortsfest.com