Short and Sweet From SXSW
Time for a blur of information. SXSW unleashed their phenomenal list of Midnighters and Midnight Shorts today, but brace yourself for the full list of short films screening this year, including two categories dedicated to the Lone Star State.
"216 Months" (France)
Directors: Valentin Potier, Frédéric Potier
A shadow is hanging over Maureen's career the famous ventriloquist singer. The deep voice that comes out of Maureen's insides has a name: Charles. He will soon be 18, the rebellious age, and he has one sole objective in life: to be born.
Director: Kris Swanberg
An eight-year-old girl living on the west side of Chicago finds a neglected toddler and decides to take her home.
"Blood Pulls A Gun" (Australia / France)
Director: Ben Briand
A teenage girl gets a keyhole look into a dangerous and mysterious world when a tattooed stranger checks into her roadside motel.
Director: Kevin Meul
“If it were easy, everyone would do it”
"Cowboys Janken Ook (Netherlands)
Director: Mees Peijnenburg
A film about losing your youth, loneliness, violence and guilt: an homage to friendship.
"Crystal" (Canada / USA)
Director: Chell Stephen
Cursed with a real crumby attitude and a boring-ass hometown, 17-year-old Crystal relies on her passion for dance to escape the mundane life of rural Ontario and pursues her outsized dream of being a pop superstar.
Director: Andre Hyland
When a man's car breaks down, he finds himself on a quest for a funnel.
Director: David Bonneville
Sebastian is a wealthy young man. He finds out he has a flat tire and ends up accepting help from a Gypsy passer-by.
"I'm Not Sorry"
Director: Russell Costanzo
A lonely man wants nothing more than to fit in but his self-loathing tendencies prevent that from becoming a reality. Surreal and macabre, sad and funny – "I’m Not Sorry" is an unsettling tale about the power of self-image and societal judgments.
"Jonathan's Chest" (USA / France)
Director: Christopher Radcliff
Everything changes for Alex, a troubled teenage boy, when he is visited one night by someone claiming to be his brother - who disappeared years earlier.
"The Kármán Line" (UK)
Director: Oscar Sharp
A mother is hit by a rare condition and begins to rise gradually into the air.
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Krisha has not seen her family for many years. When Krisha decides to join her family for a holiday dinner, tensions escalate and Krisha struggles to keep her own demons at bay.
"Little Horribles: Minibar"
Directors: Amy Talkington, Amy York Rubin "Little Horribles" is an uber self-aware, deadpan comedy series following the poor decisions of a selfindulgent lesbian.
Director: Stéphane Moukarzel
In his teenage crisis, Akram decides to take off to live his own life, creating a commotion in the family.
"Oi, Meu Amor (Hi, My Love)"
Director: Robert G. Putka
Men are from Mars. Women are from Brazil.
Director: Ken Lam
Todd and Tamara's perfect life begins to crumble once they sense that someone's watching.
"Person to Person"
Director: Dustin Guy Defa
A man tries to get rid of a stranger who won't leave his apartment.
Directors: Zeek Earl, Christopher Caldwell
A girl and her father aim to strike it rich on a toxic alien planet. When her father is attacked, she is forced to grow up quick.
Director: Monia Chokri
A 30-year-old scholar, intelligent and beautiful yet socially crippled, is forced to attend a bachelorette party.
Director: Benjamin Arfmann
On his way home at the end of his shift, Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Dinkheller made one final stop. Based on tragic true events.
Director: Mohammad Gorjestani
Set in 2020, a brewing cyberwar between the US and Iran puts Sonia, a young Iranian refugee, at risk of deportation. Her only escape may come at a greater price than she’s willing to pay.
Director: Peter Vack
Separated for the summer, the only way for a teenage girl to communicate with her boyfriend is over the Internet.
Director: Lily Baldwin An innocent tourist travels to LA and unexpectedly conjures her sister's last night alive. Bold score, stylized dance and an eccentric cast weave a dark and luminous film that revamps traditional narrative.
Director: Robin Fraser
Set high above the streets of South London, Sunroof is the story of two brothers pit against one another by a freak accident as their world closes in around them.
Director: Benjamin Dickinson
Marie takes a break from her own heartache to help her best friend Sally Blue Frankenfrass find her missing boyfriend, but the duo keeps getting distracted along the way.
Director: David Formentin
A Hasidic woman discovers she has an STD and seeks its source.
Director: Brett Weiner
A jaded lawyer wastes his afternoon trying to figure out if dim-witted government employee has ever used a photocopier. All dialogue in this short is from an actual court deposition.
Director: Josh Polon
Trent and Chris go on a sonic journey.
"David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes)"
Director: Lucy Walker
A tribute to the legendary British artist David Hockney, produced for LACMA's Art + Film Gala.
"Eleanor Ambos Interiors"
Director: Andrew Michael Ellis
As a celebrated interior designer loses her eyesight to macular degeneration, she begins to see her life’s work in a new light. This eccentric renegade topples ageist stereotypes as she grapples with the limitations of her aging body.
Director: Dress Code
You've never heard of Jonathan Hoefler or Tobias Frere-Jones but you've seen their work. They run the most successful and respected type design studio in the world, making fonts used by the Wall Street Journal to the President of the United States.
"The High Five"
Director: Michael Jacobs
The story behind the classic celebratory gesture and its unsung originator.
"The Home Team"
Director: Joshua Seftel
What’s in the water of Murray, Kentucky that such a small, tight-knit town is home to such an extraordinary basketball team? Murray’s love for The Home Team runs deep, and on the night of the big game, a single act of generosity changes everything.
"Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace"
Director: Jeff Dupre
Painter Kehinde Wiley is renowned for his stunning portraits of black and brown men. Now, for the first time, he’s decided to create a series of paintings of women, and he’s enlisted Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci to help him.
"Notes on Blindness" (UK / USA / Australia)
Directors: Peter Middleton, James Spinney
Cognition is beautiful.
"OBEY THE ARTIST
Director: Ondi Timoner
From the studio to the streets, graphic design legend Shepard Fairey takes us inside his creative process as he makes a 12 foot mural in order to give voice to social justice & the forgotten history of the Black Hills’ Lakota Indian tribe.
"Phoebe's Birthday Cheeseburger"
Director: Will Lennon
Every year for Phoebe's birthday, she has a cheeseburger to celebrate.
"The Pioneertown Palace"
Director: Andrew McAllister
From the dusty sets of Gene Autry to the musical stage of Victoria Williams, "The Pioneertown Palace" tells the eclectic but true tale of an unlikely venue - a remote honky tonk - that sings life into an otherwise deserted California ghost town.
"That B.E.A.T" (USA / UK)
Director: Abteen Bagheri
Abteen Bagheri’s That B.E.A.T for Nokia New American Noise sinks deep into the sensational sounds of New Orleans. Beware: Booty poppin.
"Unlocking the Truth"
Director: Luke Meyer
Unlocking the Truth is a band of pre-teen heavy metal phenoms from Flatbush Brooklyn. This eponymous short documentary offers a look into their distinctive vantage-point on the precipice of both adolescence and rock and roll fame.
An assortment of stories told using a mix of traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stopmotion, and everything in-between. The winner of our Grand Jury Award in this category is eligible for a 2014 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short.
Director: Alexandra Barsky
Two creatures are trapped together in a swamp. Tension escalates between them when an alligator haunts the waters outside.
"Cavierão" (Brazil / France / USA)
Director: Guilherme Marcondes
Caveirão imagines the secret night activities of São Paulo's spirits. Inspired by the darker side of Brazilian pop culture, the film crosses over genres and techniques. Fantasy, horror and cartoon meet through live-action and animation.
Director: Skyler Page
Clarence is an optimistic boy, who is excited by life. He wants to do everything. Because everything is amazing.
Director: Alan Holly
A lost soul stumbles drunken through the city. In a park, Death finds him and shows him many things.
"Confusion Through Sand"
Director: Danny Madden
A 19-year-old kid finds himself alone in a hostile desert, scared as hell and trained to react.
"The Construction of ANSTALT3000" (Austria)
Director: Helmut Munz
"The Construction of ANSTALT3000" is about the construction of ANSTALT3000.
"Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2 - Time" (UK)
Directors: Becky Sloane, Joe Pelling
Following up from the award-winning "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared," the gang are back to discover the meaning of time.
Director: Allison Schulnik
"Eager" is a traditional, stop-motion and clay-mation film ballet by painter/animator Allison Schulnik.
Director: Mikey Please
Marilyn maketh. Marilyn taketh awayeth. Marilyn is trying really hard to create something good. For once, her expectation and reality are going to align. It will be epic. It will be tear-jerkingly profound. It will be perfect. Nothing can go wrong.
"Queenie" (New Zealand)
Director: Paul Neason
An animated film following Danny, a university Geography tutor in his 30s, as he embarks on a cutting edge academic project which has nothing to do with his ex-wife.
"Through the Hawthorn"
D: Anna Benner, Pia Borg, Gemma Burditt
Three characters, three perspectives, three directors: A session between a psychiatrist, a schizophrenic patient and his mother.
"The Video Dating Tape of Desmondo Ray, Aged 33 & 3/4" (Australia)
Director: Steve Baker
His name is Desmondo Ray, and this is his video dating tape.
Director: Bernardo Britto
A man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before the planet blows up.
A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.
Alagoas - "Brighton", Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Clubfeet - "Everything You Wanted", Director: Josh Thomas
Deathcrush - "Lesson #16 for Beatmaster V/Fun", Director: Kenneth Karlstad
Diplo - "Revolution", Director: Phil Pinto
Floyd, Darling - "A Lake", Director: Alberto Belli
Hiatus - "We can be ghosts now", Director: Tom Jobbins
Joel Compass - "Back to Me", Director: Ian And Cooper
Mgmt - "Cool Song No. 2", Director: Isaiah Seret
My Panda Shall Fly & Adventure Elephant - "Opening Brace", Director: Chris Toumazou
Nekrogoblikon - "No One Survives", Director: Brandon Dermer
Paper Kites - "Young", Director: Darcy Prendergast
Passion Pit - "Cry Like A Ghost", Director: DANIELS
Placebo - "Too Many Friends", Director: Saman Kesh
Raffertie - "Build Me Up", Director: Vincent Haycock
Sandra Kolstad - "Run Away", Director: Yenni Lee
Siriusmo - "Itchy / Cornerboy", Director: Jakob Grunert
Tame Impala - "Mind Mischief", Director: David Wilson
The Vein - "Magma", Director: Dvein
Vitalic - "Fade Away", Director: Romain Chassaing
An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.
Director: Toby Halbrooks
A young girl makes a connection with her father, after watching him dig a hole in their backyard.
Director: Daniel Laabs
A character study about the relationship between two brothers, one on the verge of becoming an adult, the other becoming a teenager, and impact each others choices have on one another.
"I Was a Teenage Girl"
Director: Augustine Frizzell
Emma and Jesse are close friends. One night, after an intense breakup, they have a heartfelt conversation that challenges the boundaries of their friendship in an unexpected way.
Director: Craig Elrod
Denial. Regret. Depression. Foam Party.
"One Armed Man"
Director: Tim Guinee
In Oscar-winning writer Horton Foote’s chilling drama, "One Armed Man," a wealthy cotton gin executive is confronted by a disgruntled former employee demanding the return of an arm lost in the gin’s machinery.
"Road Kill Zoo"
Director: Bradley Beesley
"Road Kill Zoo" follows Abby, a nearly-blind girl who spends her summer saving up to go on a cruise - one dead possum at a time
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS
Texas High School students offer a glimpse of a bright future for Texas filmmaking.
"As We Get Older"
Director: Silas Connolly
A short film following Jack, a lost and lonely high school boy, for one weekend. It reflects the emptiness and loss of innocence experienced by a generation who escape reality through drugs and alcohol.
Director: John Byron Hanby, IV
War is tragic on all fronts.
Director: Harrison Chen
A boy is trapped by his fears in his dreams.
Directors: Joseph Alvarez, Eric Zelaya
Four teenagers on a mission to create the greatest student short film.
Director: Tiffany Giraudon
"Cultivation" is a stopmotion short about young woman and the world that her written words create.
Director: Nicky Cannon
A teenage boy with a mysterious past latches onto his fellow classmate and is heartbroken when she does not reciprocate. Trouble ensues, as the night grows darker.
Director: Frankie Chen
"Ernest" is a short portrait of Katrina survivor, Ernest Lemot, who recounts his life-changing move to Austin, Texas. Featuring Ernest Lemot, Jacquelyn Lemot, Chris McCoy, Joan Winter, Nick Osella. A film by Frankie Chen
Directors: Alexia Salingaros, Sophia Salingaros
"Evolution" is a hand drawn animation, which explores the energy and connection of all living things.
Directors: Jonathan Zonum, Kyle Curtis
A young man is out for his morning jog when something extraordinary happens...
Director: Callan Harrison
"Genetika" is a short film exploring the difficulties of being a transdimensional time traveller.
Director: Eric Stern
Love throws curves, so who can really be trusted? Involved dialogue between friends strikes an uneasy chord.
"Homecoming: A Texas Tradition"
Directors: Sammy Ali, Bridgett Falcone
Everything is bigger in Texas, including a Texas high school homecoming.
"Ice Cream Truck"
Directors: Rania Blaik, Alexander Raphael
Let's go, baby.
Directors: Alicia Tanguma, Brianna Garza
The boy loves to skate.
Directors: Xander McCabe, Jasmine Hashemi
Two young men pursue the same girl and try to find a way to her heart.
Director: Logan Evans
A mysterious stranger encounters a ghost with which he has unresolved ties.
Director: Chris Prinz
Build a life, then tear it down.
Directors: Ryker Allen, Isabella Cabello
A Super-8 esque shot, coming of age music video for the song "Purple" performed by San Antonio based band Islands and Tigers.
Directors: Caila Pickett, Max Montoya
"Seawolf" follows a young girl as she travels to different worlds through magical boxes.
Director: Kunal Dixit
A man goes for a walk in the woods
Directors: Kalen Doyle, Abby Grindstaff "Unicorn Council" is a stopmotion short about an evil man-eating cat and the space unicorns that work to save the day. The saviors of the universe have horns and attitudes.
"A Wrong Note"
Director: Josh Leftwich
Some things happen at the worst of times.
The 2014 SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15. Keep up with all our SXSW coverage online at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.