The Ten Short Films That Got the World Voting
Bart Sullivan, 10-01-2019

The Manhattan Short film festival is screening at the Cuyahoga Falls Library so area film buffs can vote on their favorites.
Poster provided by the Manhattan Short film festival.
Since September 26th, the Manhattan Short film festival has been showing the top 10 film finalists in over 400 cities around the world, spanning 6 continents. A diversity of languages, cultures, genres, and ideas can be found in the films, which come from France, Iran, Finland, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With each screening of the festival, individual audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite nominees in film and acting categories. For the second year in a row, the Cuyahoga Falls Library was selected as one of these many screening locations, giving the community three chances to view the films.

“There are many people in our community who enjoy unique and artistic films, but often have to travel far to see them,” explains Alex Yurosko, the library’s PR Manager. “The MANHATTAN SHORT project is a great opportunity for us to bring these films to Cuyahoga Falls and give our community the chance to participate in the Oscar nomination process.”

The festival begins with a humorous story from France called NEFTA Football Club, set on the border of Algeria and Morocco. Two children find a literal drug mule with headphones covering its ears and a basket full of cocaine, which the younger boy believes is powdered laundry soap which gives way to an unexpected ending. Debris, an American film directed by Julio Ramos about the brutality of human labor trafficking in America, is not for the faint of heart, and Alysse Leite-Rogers’ Tipped, takes an action-packed look at what customer service workers think about when they face rude or obnoxious customers. Sylvia, meanwhile, packs a heart-wrenching ending, based on the true story of Sabrina Archey, who sold her mother’s car two years after she had died in a house fire with Archey’s six-year-old daughter—the audience at the first Cuyahoga Falls showing were heartbroken upon intermission when the film ended.

Other filmmakers appear to have put a lot of money into their shorts, incorporating many significant technological improvements and computer generated images, as well as big names. This Time Away, starring Timothy Spall, shows him as a father no longer in touch with his family or those around him. After saving a small service robot being tortured by children in the man’s yard, the robot, “Max,” decides to take on the responsibility of taking care of the man and giving him a reason to be happy. A particularly expensive film for director Adi Wojaczek, the German-language film Malou, focuses on a dancer with one wooden leg who is determined to get accepted at her dream school, despite the stacked odds. “Financing and a tight schedule were the most difficult parts. We financed it ourselves and had no institution behind us. Costs exploded in the end and we are still in the process of paying for everything,” explained Wojacek in an interview with the Manhattan Short film festival. “We had to rush everything, much to our discomfort.”

Family Affair, for which John Standing is also nominated for Best Actor, takes a look at our perceptions of events, and how what we believe to be true might influence our lives. The comedy introduces Annabelle as she wakes up naked, alone in a strange room, only to be greeted by Standing coming into the room in a robe, making her believe she left the bar with him the previous night.

Finally, the futuristic wartime story, At the End of the World, is the love story of two passersby on the street in front of a screen showing nature videos. Having worked on previous blockbuster films such as Mission Impossible, director Fon Davis creates a brilliantly lit short that looks like it belongs alongside The Avengers. While war is happening around the world, Sara and John meet and fall in love over video of penguins, only to be separated in a week’s time as he is sent off to war.

While audiences will have the opportunity to vote on these nominees to win, simply being a part of this group of finalists gives these short films the opportunity to be nominated for an Academy Award. Once all ballots have been gathered by library staff, they will be sent to the Manhattan Short headquarters, where all screening votes are tallied. The final winners will be announced on October 7th online.

Cuyahoga Falls audiences have two more opportunities to view these films. The library will screen the festival again on Wednesday, October 2 at 6:30pm, and Sunday, October 6 at 2pm.

For more information on the Manhattan Short film festival, visit https://www.manhattanshort.com. For information about the Cuyahoga Falls Library screenings, call 330-928-2117 or visit https://cuyahogafallslibrary.org/.


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