The films I saw this year weave a complex labyrinth that rises and loosens itself to demonstrate how we sometimes lose ourselves and capture feelings as spectators. They reveal the desire for cinema to demonstrate how self-image is constantly threatened by society, yet they are diverse and fertile and strike a rich body of remarkable examples of the best of short filmmaking. I believe they will be experienced as a renewed form of perception and spectator for all.
Maureen Selwood was born in Dublin, Ireland. She started making films after graduating from the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. Aptly described as poetic odysseys, her work utilizes hand-drawn animation and, most recently, installation. She has been a recipient of numerous awards including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, American Film Institute Filmmaker Grant, and MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her book GREEN IS FOR PRIVACY was written while studying the origins of the Hail Mary prayer as a Visual Arts Rome Prize recipient at the American Academy in Rome. She lives in Los Angeles where she is on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts and is a freelance director with Duck Studios.
Best Experimental: GOLD MOON, SHARP ARROW by Malic Amalya
Amalya paints a landscape of the forgotten and obsolete objects that are or were experienced in childhood. By moving back in time and through the thrill of the hallucinogenic images that the sequences make up, the film take us on a kind of joy ride into the past where nature gravitating toward these lost objects creates a surreal search for secret knowledge.
Best Narrative: LINGO by Bahar Noorizadeh
When a boy accidentally starts a fire in his residential neighborhood, his mother, an Afghan immigrant to Canada, is interrogated by the police. Language becomes a weapon to protect her son as she realizes the possible implications of losing him. This is one of the most poignant shorts about cultural obstacles in the festival.
Best Use of Voice: DEAR PETER, WOODCHIPS I by Orland Nutt
I find that the exquisite writing of the voiceover, realized with a strong voice, assures us of how vital the character of a voice reading a letter to a friend about a concrete pile of woodchips can be.
Best Documentary: THE SANDWICH NAZI by Lewis Bennett
The Sandwich Nazi fetishizes his own body as a means to convey the futility of identity in a series of lively provocative monologues, yet, as a supporter of the homeless in Vancouver, BC’s Downtown Eastside, another passion emerges from this original story.
Best Animation: A TAX ON BUNNY RABBITS by Nathaniel Akin
This film is animated in an ASCII text art style and uses sound effects from Freesound.org, a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. It is a wonderful play on text and a very creative, collaborative use of sounds with text.
Best Documentation of Performance: MOVES MANAGER by Erik Fauske
In MOVES MANAGER, performance artist Evertt Beidler foregrounds a complex mechanical bicycle as a man who extends his body into the social world, adding new meaning to Sisyphus navigation. Performance highlights the fragile relationship of man and his relationship to the machine. I found this film to be a great example of how to make a performance piece cinematic.
||B. Ruby Rich
|Jo Ann Danzker
||Gus Van Sant