Our film isn’t the only one worth watching. Take some time this weekend and see something different. They are all available for streaming. Kathryn, the producer of Refuge, took the time to watch every short film; she will help you sort through the offerings:
Ditching School to Whistle - Documentary
Ditching School to Whistle is the only documentary in the festival & very nicely done. Director Ien Chi, a film student, happens to be an extremely good whistler. Though he’s never given it much thought, he does some research and finds an international whistling competition in North Carolina. Armed with curiosity & a camera, Ien Chi sets out to document his experience not knowing what to expect.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. Ien Chi does a great job at sharing his experience while maintaining the delicate balance between being respectable to its subjects & entertaining to its audience.
The Double - Drama
The Double is a film I consider to be most similar to Refuge in the festival. Though the plots are different, both films play with the idea of time & reality which I found interesting given my history with Refuge.
Overall, the story wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I still found value in the technical aspects & comparison to Refuge.
Extranjero - Experimental, Drama
This is a quick experimental video where reading the synopsis before watching can go a long way. I’m not sure I would have understood the story without reading it, but I can say the visual storytelling was great. There are some great effects & you can see that co-directors Dou Dan Lumb & Crinan Campbell have a language and synergy all their own. I definitely recommend viewing this, plus it’s only 5 minutes!
Jackpot! - Drama
Jackpot! was my least-favorite film in the festival. Not every film is for every person. I think my biggest complaint is within the characters themselves. They are all unethical and the ending feels very empty because you really can’t “root” for anyone. I guess one could argue that the ending would inspire change in our female lead, but if you watch it, you’ll understand when I say it’s a pretty extreme learning lesson.
Refuge - Drama
Well, this is difficult for me to say anything about, but we would love you to watch the film and tell us your thoughts.
Refuge plays with the idea of time & reality. How is Refuge different? Well, this film has corn fields, is a “road trip” film & showcases Midwest America. For you film lovers, it was shot on 35mm Vision 50D & 500T.
You might have questions, you might reach conclusions and you might be challenged. One thing I can suggest is for you to trust yourself & your thoughts. It doesn’t matter what the director or writer thought, it matters what you think and what you took from it. This can be applied to anything - films, art, music. That’s the beauty of artists. They are sharing, not telling.
Stay Still - Drama
Stay Still was a nicely produced film. A few observational notes, the film definitely had some money & has the distinct California Hollywood style. The people are in general more beautiful, the production design is well cared for & I think the young boy lead looks familiar which leads me to believe he’s a celebrity. Maybe this is a Q for IMDB…
Anyway, overall, it’s a nice script featuring two young teenage boys & their drug addict mother. It doesn’t feel the most realistic, (think Hollywood glossy), but it’s really a story about the relationship between two brothers & that was nicely done. The cast is very talented & the cinematography was beautiful. I’d definitely recommend watching this film as something that rounds out the festival nicely.
Drowned Out - Feature Film, Drama
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch this film as it’s the only feature of the bunch. If you have time to view it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Bravo to the festival for their excellent curation. There is a social media element to the festival, so you’re able to “Like”, “Share” & “Tweet” films that you support! The film with the most amount of “Likes” will be awarded the Audience Choice Award.
So, if you’re inspired, go watch & like some films. Be sure to share your thoughts, reviews & questions, I would love to hear them!