Film School Roundup — July Week One, 2019
The News, Releases and Recommendations From Film Schools & Short Filmmaking Around The World (6/29/19–7/5/18)
~Midsommar, the new arthouse horror feature from Ari Aster, director of last year’s smash hit Hereditary comes out this weekend. For some, it may seem like he just jumped onto the film scene out of nowhere. However, as Bloody Disgusting reveals, this is far from the case. Aster started at AFI Conservatory before going on to make six short films. While the subject matter changes wildly between each one, the signature style he brought to his features can be found first in his shorts. Watch them here.~
~Speaking of AFI, the lauded film program just recently ran an engaging interview with one of their recent alumni, Valerie Weiss. She was a scientist (with a Ph. D. from Harvard) before deciding to become a filmmaker, and ever since being trained at AFI, she’s gotten plenty of work. She has directed several hit TV shows and now she is getting the opportunity to create a short using 20th Century Fox’s IP.~
~Let’s head from one prestigious university to another. At Yale, filmmaker Hito Steyerl serves as a Hayden Distinguished Fellow. She currently has a three-projection running as part of an immersive exhibit on militarization and gun violence in America. This piece, called “Drill”, includes discussion from victims of gun violence, along with a commissioned symphonic score.~
~Whatever happened to the short film musical? Or perhaps more appropriately, was there ever a short film musical? Thanks to MT Shorts and the Atlanta Workshop Players, there has been for several years. The latest short musical by MT Shorts is entitled Jump and is being filmed currently. To learn more about this special program go here.~
~Director’s Notes, one of the best short film coverage sites in the UK, offers its seven favorite short films from The Shortest Nights festival, a premiere British short film fest for new and exciting talent.~
~Collin Souter for Rogerebert.com offers us a new entry in the ‘Short Films In Focus’ category, writing a short review of the SXSW hit How To Be Alone. It also includes an interview with the director.~
~Now for another interview, this time with Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel. This multiple award-winning director (and a recent Cannes offical selection filmmaker) has a new short documentary out called I Signed The Petition. It is a film detailing Fleifel’s own introspective struggle over a petition he decides to sign, and its larger socio-economic implications.~
~Short filmmakers looking for a new competition? If you’re from Ireland, look no further than Virgin Media, who is starting a new short film competition. Called Virgin Media Discovers, this competition will grant 35,000 Euros to the winner and an entire crew to help make the short come to life. Several major figures in the European film world will be judges. Script submissions due by July 26.~
~All you avid PBS watchers (or just enthusiasts of documentary and narrative shorts with a local purpose) will want to tune in starting July 15th for the 2019 PBS Online Film Festival. Each year PBS brings together inspiring narrative stories and documentaries on tough or controversial subjects.~
~Chicago, also known as the Windy City, offers plenty of great movie-going experiences year-round. Currently, you can look forward to the Windy City Intl. Film Festival (July 18 — July 20). Included in this year’s fest are 84 short films, and 150+ filmmakers who will be there in person for Q and A sessions.~
Did You See That?
In The Still Night
Director Jean-Baptiste Braud and comedian/star Eric Wareheim collaborate for a 15 minute visual feast (and a film with uncomfortably hilarious moments). Taking place in Tokyo, Wareheim plays an art curator who goes a journey equal parts existential and surreal. This short will be coming soon to the Canal+ network.
BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content
This playful documentary almost plays out more like an extended YouTube diary, though with many incredible locations from bookstores around the world. If you’re a book lover of any kind, you will appreciate this love letter to the medium — and the practical insight into how to actually read more in 2019 and beyond.
Who said the VR short film is dead? Not filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, who have perhaps made one of the most tactile and surreal VR experiences ever. Using creepy minatures and an abandoned-looking gym set, this film may look to re-define the potential for the collaboration between emerging technologies and the long-held principles of art.