To call it a festival is a stretch, but it’s a cool idea. A panel somewhere looks at a ton of short films from around the world and somehow chooses just 9 films to be watched and judged by everyday viewers like you and me. Their publicity says this is the 21st year! And I only heard of this a few weeks ago. There were screenings around the globe over a week and a half. Mine was at the local library, and I’d have preferred a real cinema, but…

The films were all really great! And they were spread across a lot of genres – horror, surrealism, comedy, drama, stop-motion animation. Mostly the directors and actors were unknowns, though there was that one directed by Dev Patel with Armie Hammer in it. They will be having a theater screening in LA to try and entice some Academy member to consider these for Best Short, and I hope a lot of them do go. The winner, announced today, was Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times, a beautifully done story of two men whose lives randomly intersect over their lifetimes. And it is a great example of the way a good story can be told in an efficient and well-paced short.

When this festival comes around next year, I’ll be going and I highly recommend it to all lovers of shorts.

Below you can watch the trailer for the winner and the entirety of my favorite of the bunch. (It was a really hard choice.) And if you’d like more info on the festival, go to this link.

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