If you ever wished for diversity, creativity, new stories, comedies, or amazing films, the Hollyshorts Film Festival will bombard your mental platter with it all. The HollyShorts Film festival is a prestigious and honorable short film festival with entries from creators of all skill level and experiences and from all over the world. In one night, I was able to meet creators from China and Norway. This festival brought together so much over a week of screenings that it is mind-boggling. There was so much to experience and I was only able to participate in a small portion.
I was genuinely impressed with what I was able to see at the HollyShorts 2016. Even with the shorts that I did not favor, I was still impressed by the craftsmanship and by just completing the project in general. Mega kudos to every filmmaker for seeing their vision into fruition. The place to celebrate that is definitely at HollyShorts Film Festival
Here is what I experience that I absolutely enjoyed:
Of all the animation in the festival, this one still resonates me. The short utilizes rod puppets and animation. These rod puppets are strange but oddly very expressive. In the short, an introverted man takes a “Feral” course to unleash his inner strength. It unleashes all right! In the form of a squat, naked, man with large testicles. Through a series of adventures and with the encouraging behavior from the little man, these two create absolute havoc while breaking down inhibition after inhibition.
This short becomes even more interesting when recent events and debates flash through my mind.On one level, this is about recognizing the masculine side and being free to be a man. As the main character quickly realizes, there is a point where he questions his humanity.
It is a beautifully done short with some great comedic and sobering moments.
This THIRD YEAR FILM PROJECT for Filmakademie Baden Württember (Germany) still astounds me in all of its cinematic beauty. The story is thin and there might be some lost in translation but the overall gist of it is not hard to grasp. A particular class of people are being chased for some power that they are able to wield. As a couple of this class is being chased, a lone woodsman is caught up in the middle of it. What ensues is just a pure slow motion visual feat. Everything about this short conveys strength, beauty, and mysticism. From the forest, to the shadows, to the very dust particles that swirl around. Plus, there is quite a lot of bloodshed. Beautifully shot but wow. So much spurting blood.
The short will be available to watch online on September 3,2016. Check out their Facebook for updates.
- Battery Life –http://www.jordanmserra.com/batterylife/
This stop motion short was heavy on the religious subtext but it wasn’t a hindrance to the enjoyment. In this world, robots are living entities fueled by the battery source in their chest cavity. When a the little robot of a family is injured, the parents have to risk the judgement of the devout robots for help. From the design of each of the robots to the action sequences, it was just amazing.
- PRINCESS YUN– https://www.facebook.com/PRINCESSYUNTIGERTSE
Of all the Chinese epic fantasy movies on the landscape right now, this short will not make much of an indent in terms of memorability. The short tries to cram a lot of story in a short format. The rushed story leaves very room to connect with the characters and they become just 2D caricatures.
Princess Yun narrates this tale of two families sacrificing to protect two very powerful objects. Even love has to be pushed aside to protect these items.
What makes this short so memorable for me is that I am seeing the seed of a great visual director. For it is spectacularly gorgeous. The bright colors of the rooms often overtake the main characters themselves. There is so much to drink in around them that it does become difficult to follow along with the story. I have a feeling that there will be more from Tiger Tse in the future.
- Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time: http://www.neilstryker.com/
Any fans of muppets or Archer would love, LOVE this short! Although calling it a short is kind of misleading. Happily, this nugget of pure awesome is a snippet of a much greater project. The short follows some over the top agents as they attempt to maneuver through a eerie bog. The ultimate catch is that they must pass through a wall of tachyons that greatly accelerate their age. Some fare all right, some not so much.
The short was a gleeful smorgasbord of lewd jokes, raised eyebrows, action, and a whole lot of fun. I absolutely love seeing more puppets on screen and this was just hilarious.
I am so glad there is so much more to this. I enjoyed it way too much to not see more of Neil Stryker!
- Downsizer– http://www.downsizer.info/
Hailing from the UK, comes this fantasy action short. Especially for those who live their lives by the office dynamic, this short may be the most cathartic short for your soul. When an office worker takes offense to downsizing his department, he takes a stand. A stand wrings out a bloody, bullet storm of rebellion. There is also a waste basket samurai to boot.
- No Touching– https://www.facebook.com/notouchingshortfilm/
Had I recognized the two lead females of the short as a pair of stuntwomen of some of my favorite movies (Sucker Punch, Avengers) then I wouldn’t have been surprised by how quickly the short turned. I was already surprised by the appearance of Doug James as a simple haunted house ticket takers.
Heidi Moneymake and Zoe Bell play a pair of friends who are forced to enter a haunted house rumored to harbor some demons. What they encounter is some lecherous men who take advantage of their ability to touch the participants. Well, they picked on the wrong pair for these women quickly breaking the “No touching” rule from the participants and lay some serious butt-whooping.
Although they meandered into the house clutching one another as meeklings, these two quickly switched over to deadly tornadoes of kicks of punches. There is a surprise to the house waiting for them however.
It was pure campy butt-kicking fun! Especially those who are fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (C’mon! Doug Jones should have been the clue!!)
Since there isn’t a trailer available for the short, here is a jaw-dropping stunt reel for Heidi Moneymaker:
- Exiles:Star War Fan Film: https://www.facebook.com/StarWarsExile/
Fan films have continually impressed me with their creativity and passion for their source material. This fan film is pretty much the answer for anyone who wanted to see a more diverse landscape in the Star Wars landscape. With the success of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, it is a very encouraging step forward.
For something as vast and dense as the Star Wars universe, there is always room to explore and tell a story. During the time when Darth Vader was hunting down Jedi, one pair is secluded away on a planet. The Master Jedi and her Padawom have so much to come to terms with but time is short as the threat immediately comes in.
Although it was shot on a micro budget, this short (really a small snippet of a bigger story) is a powerful testament that when passions and talent alight, what amazing things can be accomplished. The short is merely the beginning so the abrupt ending is a bit jarring but everything up to that point just shows much love and care has been put in. The makeup alone is mesmerizing.
There were definitely some shorts that I would have loved to catch but I couldn’t attend all the screenings. Thanks to http://bitpixtv.com/ , anyone can have a chance to catch all of the shorts from the Hollyshorts Film festival.
Some of the films that I would love to catch are:
- UFO diary: https://www.facebook.com/ufodiary/
A short film that combine the efforts of WWII female soldiers and aliens.
- West Side Swordy: http://www.westsideswordy.com/
Anything that mashes up musicals with sword fighting will always get my attention. I present West Side Story meets sword fighting and Deadmaus.
- John the Carpenter: http://www.johnthecarpenterfilm.com/
I may be a scaredy-cat but even I am a fan of John Carpenter movies. Mix it all with monsters and this looks very intriguing…