Sundance, one of the signature film festivals of the season, is a full go, and here are the raw numbers: 71 features, 50 shorts, four indie series, and 14 “New Frontier” projects for the 2021 event, which goes from January 28-February 3. Passes and tickets are available starting January 7.
Sundance will also commence as a hybrid affair; in case you’re wondering. That means the festival will play digitally through a feature-rich online platform and in-person at satellite venues across the country (public health permitting).
“The work in this year’s program is groundbreaking, imaginative, and formally daring,” said Kim Yutani, the Festival’s Director of Programming. “With over half the program made by first-time directors, a sense of discovery remains true to us at Sundance. This year’s Festival presents irrefutable evidence that despite the challenges, the independent voice is as strong as ever.”
While we are stoked about the features, we are super geeked for the short film program. As usual, it is beyond tough to get your submission accepted. How tough? About five percent of the 2021 short film submissions were accepted or 50 out of 9,933 (whew!)
Of those accepted shorts, these immediately stood out (full disclosure: we have not seen any of these films but their synopses grabbed us immediately):
- “BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop” chronicles a Korean-American hustler who runs throughout Chicago making sales out of a “mobile gift shop” (U.S. Fiction). Heart eyes and heart hands.
- “Dear Philadelphia,” a film about three dads who unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community in North Philadelphia (Non-fiction). Sounds deep!
- “Five Tiger,” about a woman in South Africa who finds herself in a transactional relationship while also supporting a sick husband and daughter (International Fiction). “Transactional” grabbed us!
- “Ghost Dogs,” a mind-bending horror about a family’s new rescue pup that is terrorized by deceased pets (Animation). No words, only ‘!!!!’
- “LATA” is about a 23-year-old domestic worker who navigates her way through an upper-class home in South Mumbai (U.S. Fiction). We’re getting “Parasite” vibes here.
- “Little Miss Fate,” an animated short about the protagonist slipping into the role of world leader (Animation). Sign us up!
- “The Field Trip” is about a group of fifth-graders who learn what it takes to get ahead in the American workplace (Non-fiction). Never too early to learn.
For more information on how to watch Sundance and purchase tickets and passes, visit festival.sundance.org.
GeekFest, Stars Wars, and Superman
GeekFest winds down its December Madness film showcase with these two works: “Hood: A Star Wars Story” and “Laundry Day.” The former is an imaginative take on minor Star Wars character Willrow Hood, and the latter reimagines Superman before he was the Man of Steel doing the “normie” thing — laundry. Both are excellent fan films and are worth your eyeballs.
You can check them out on our itsashort.com platform!
This COVID-19 Short is a Heartbreaker
There are no two ways around it: The coronavirus pandemic is the story of the year, if not this decade already.
In the coming years, expect a flood of works — from films to books — that will chronicle the shape, totality, and devastation of this scourge. Films are already being made that document Covid-19’s carnage. One such short is “Loss in Lodi” by Brandon Tauszik, which depicts the impact of the virus on a family in a small Northern California city.
It’s heartbreaking yet utterly compelling, and you can check it out here.
On The Lighter Side: A Fox Goes Fishing
Our favorite short of the week is this shot of a fox using precision and athleticism to find dinner! We give this flip a 10! Check it out for yourself here!