Listen up, film buffs. In late September, you’ll have the unique opportunity to participate in an incredible festival that spans its way across the globe. Want to make like a member of The Academy? Here’s your chance.
The Manhattan Short Film Festival is different than any other film festival for two reasons: They send their films all around the world, reaching an audience of roughly 100,000, and (here’s the real kicker) the audience gets to pick the winner. MSFF organizers select 10 of the best short films from hundreds of diverse entries. They then showcase those 10 shorts worldwide in theaters and cinemas across all 50 states, and over 250 cities worldwide, spread out across 6 continents. Afterwards, the audience at each participating venue are given voting cards and asked to vote for the film that they think is the best. Voting cards are sent to the Manhattan Short Headquarters to be counted and the winner is announced on October 7.
Previous finalists of the MSFF have gone on to garner multiple award nominations, and even the occasional Oscar win in the short film category.
I happen to find the fact that this type of film festival exists—and is so easily accessible—pretty incredible. As a self-proclaimed movie addict, the fact that I can have access to high caliber international film makes me giddy to the point of lightheadedness. And as a professionally diagnosed member of the Attention Deficit Disorder club, it makes me really happy that I can watch high caliber international film that isn’t, like, a million hours long. No entry at the MSFF can be longer than 18 minutes, which means that the filmmakers had to face the challenge of making their scripts imaginative, original, and resonating in a very short span of time.
Finalists for 2012 include a Norwegian film about an explorer trying to reach the North Pole, a French short about a monster terrorizing a town, and a Romanian flick about a young boy trying to emulate his favorite superheroes, among others.
More information about the festival can be found here.
Local venues showing the Manhattan Short Film Festival include:
Brunswick: Frontier Cinema - October 4th @ 7 PM; October 5th @ 7 PM; October 6th @ 2,5, and 8 PM
Ellsworth: The Grand - September 28th @ 7 PM
Lewiston: The Public Theatre - September 28th @ 7:30 PM; September 29th @ 7:30 PM; September 30th @ 4 PM
Orono: The University of Maine - October 2nd @ 7 PM
Rockland: The Strand Theatre - October 4th @ 7PM
Waterville: The Railroad Square Cinema - September 29th @ 12:45PM; September 30th @ 12:45PM
So go in and see some of the best short films the world has to offer. Who knows? You might even get to see this year’s Academy Award winner for best short film before anyone else does.