Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Might Be the Next Great Film Critic


I moved back to Ohio so that I could start a life in Cleveland, but, uh, I'm not there yet. "Yet" is the key word, I hope, but it gets discouraging sometimes, living with my mom in my hometown at age 30. I recently realized that I don't even know that much about Cleveland - what's there, what my neighborhood options are, why I like it, if I'll like it. I've been worried lately, to be honest, that Cleveland is just a very distant "maybe someday."

I was really, really excited, then, to have an excuse for a mini-adventure in Cleveland last weekend to raise my spirits a bit. The cause for said mini-adventure? I won a giveaway from Alexa of Cleveland's A Plum: two tickets to the Cleveland International Film Festival's annual Get Shorty short film event.

At $100 a ticket, I probably never would've thought to pay for an event like this. I'm not necessarily a splurge-on-arts-&-culture kinda gal, & that would've seemed like a steep pricetag for movie-watching; after all, that's why I have Netflix, right? But this event turned out to be really, really cool, with a feel that was somehow both exclusive & informal - & it was one that I would definitely pay to repeat next year. On Thursday night, I trekked up to Cleveland & my friend Lindsey & I got a little bit dressed up & headed over to the Capitol Theater despite some seriously inclement weather. We gorged on chocolate chip cookies, enjoyed a few Dortmunders (because Cleveland), & then settled in for film-watching & VIP voting.

Get Shorty attendees had the opportunity to watch a selection of 10 short film submissions &, after watching each film, to cast our vote - a simple "highly recommended, "recommended," or "not recommended." At the end of the night, we learned how the films had ranked, & the top three were guaranteed a spot in the festival in March. Another cool element of the event: The short films that win in the categories of Best Animated Short Film Award & Best Live Action Short Film Award at the festival will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. That means it's possible that I just voted on a film that could go on to win an Oscar!

Curious about how we voted? Our winning films, in order, were The Hyperglot, Sequestered, & Dad in Mum. The first two were my favorites of the bunch, & I absolutely loathed the third - but hey, man, that's democracy for ya. Trailers for the two I loved are below (only because I can't find a trailer for the third, I swear). If you have the opportunity to watch them in their entirety anywhere, definitely do so. And if you're anywhere near Cleveland in March, try to hit up the Cleveland International Film Festival. I know I'm going to try!



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