Viewers are the critics: AoA presents Manhattan Short Film Festival

091919 One of 300 Cities

The Manhattan Short Film Festival takes place in Elizabeth City this year at the Arts of the Albemarle. Nine films will be shown and judged in over 300 cities and six continents. Elizabeth City is the only venue within 200 miles that will host this annual event. The event is on Saturday, Oct.6 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday Oct.7 at 2 p.m. at the Maguire Theatre.


By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

Sunday, September 30, 2018

With the aroma of buttery popcorn in the air, lights flicker in the darkened theater and all eyes are focused on one thing — the story on the screen.

Arts of the Albemarle will present the Manhattan Short Film Festival on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Maguire Theatre.

The nine short films that were chosen as finalists for the festival will be shown in more than 350 locations on six continents during the span of Sept. 27 to Oct. 7.

“They are truly amazing and wonderful,” said Darlene Tighe, Arts of the Albemarle gallery manager. “It really is like nothing you have ever seen.”

Tighe said this is the third year the AoA has participated in the film festival which was established in 1998 and is in its 21st year.

“We had such a great response,” said Tighe, referring to last year’s film festival. Because of that, AoA added a second date this year with the films being shown on both Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 6-7).

“Every viewer will get a ballot,” said Tighe.

Viewers of the short films will cast a paper ballot for their favorite “Best Short Film” and actor. Each venue counts and reports the ballot votes to the festival organizers. After votes are tallied from all locations across the world, the winners will be posted at http://www.manhattanshort.com.

A list of past winners may also be viewed at the website, and DVDs of past short film finalists may be purchased.

The Gold Medal Winner of the 2017 Manhattan Short Film Festival was “8 Minutes,” and the Best Actor Winner of 2017 was Aleksandrs Ronis from the film, “Just Go!”

Following the Sunday showing, Tighe said there will be an opportunity for a casual forum at the AoA for people to discuss who they voted for and their reasons for their choices.

The nine films in the festival are “Baghead,” “Chuchotage,” “Fauve (Five),” “Fire in Cardboard City,” “Her,” “Home Shopper,” “Lacrimosa,” “Someone” and “Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times.”

The films run from the shortest at eight minutes and 47 seconds to the longest at 18 minutes and 27 seconds.

Tighe said there is “a nice sample of different genres” at the festival, adding these films could be Oscar contenders.

Films from previous years of the Manhattan Short Film Festival have been nominated for Oscars including the short films “Bear Story” and “SHOK,” according to the festival’s website at www.manhattanshort.com/information.html.

Tighe said viewers may be familiar with a few of the actors and directors of the films.

Dev Patel, known for his role in “Slumdog Millionaire,” is making his directorial debut with “Home Shopper.” The short film features actor Armie Hammer, and it was also selected to show at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

The films in the festival are from the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Kosovo, Germany, Hungary, Canada and Austria.

“It is truly an international film festival,” said Tighe.

Tighe said the short film from Austria, “Lacrimosa,” is filmed underwater.

“I hope people will have a bigger respect for shorter films,” said Tighe after they attend the film festival.

“It can be a very powerful medium when done correctly,” she said.

Tickets are $12 for AoA members, $15 for non-members and $8 for students.

For more information about the Manhattan Short Film Festival, call (252) 338-6455.