Your vote counts: Manhattan Short Film Festival
Now in its 12th year, the Manhattan Short Film Festival will launch the Martha's Vineyard Film Society's (MVFS) fall/winter season on Saturday, Sept. 26. There will be screenings at 7 and 9:30 pm in the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
Participating in the festival for the sixth year in a row, the Island is one of the festival's 173 venues on five continents. The 10 films, each lasting no more than 15 minutes, come from Australia, Mozambique, Great Britain, Israel, Spain, France, Sweden, Italy, and the U.S.
The screening of the films lasts two hours with an intermission, and afterward, the audience is invited to vote for their favorite. "Martha's Vineyard has always voted for the winner," says MVFS director Richard Paradise.
"A'Mare," the Italian entry by Martina Amati, follows the fishing excursion of two boys, Andrea and Felice. They find something unusual in the water, and the rest of the film - this reviewer's vote for the best - concerns what they do about it.
Julius Onah directed the U.S. entry, "Boundary." In it a family returns from an excursion across the U.S. border. What happens to them illustrates anyone's worst nightmare in an age of terrorism paranoia.
From Mozambique comes a story about a 16-year-old who is one of 500,000 orphans with AIDS living in the country. An American TV writer and a movie director gave Alcides Soares, the 16-year-old featured in "Mozambique," a camera, and he captures elements of his life.
Tina is the central figure in "Love Child," the Swedish entry by Daniel Wirthberg. A little blonde child, Tina must compete with the family's cat for the attention of her parents.
In a dark comedy from Spain directed by Jorge Molina, "Parking" follows the anxiety of a man talking on his cell phone who enters a parking garage only to find someone else in his car. In another comic spin, Australian director Sandy Widyanata offers a portrait of a young woman getting ready in bizarre ways for a date in "Plastic."
A second Spanish entry "Miente," by director Isabel De Ocampo, examines the efforts of an Eastern European prostitute to find a special birthday present for her younger sister. In "Lashabiya," Israeli director Yehezkel Lazarov turns the horror of a military firing squad for a Palestinian into the child's game of Red Light Green Light.
"Skhizein" is an animated French film by Jéremy Clapin about a man named Henry, who is hit by a 150-ton meteorite. As a result, he finds himself living 91 centimeters away from himself. From Great Britain comes "Hammerhead" by Sam Donovan, in which a boy named Boris, who is obsessed with aquarium fish and a hammerhead shark mask, tries to reunite his estranged parents.
Once the 10 short films have screened in 173 cities across five continents, votes for the best one will be tallied. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 10 pm.
For more information, visit msfilmfest.com or mvfilmsociety.com.
Manhattan Short Film Festival, Saturday, Sept. 26, 7 and 9:30 pm, Katherine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven. $10 ($7 for Film Society members). Doors open at 6:30 pm. mvfilmsociety.com; 774-392-2972.
Brooks Robards writes on film, theater, art, and books for The Times.