Springfield film-lovers have a chance to unite with audiences around the world to choose their favorite short film at the 21st Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival, Saturday Sept.29 from 7:00 to 9:30pm in Plaster Student Union Theater. Between now and October 7, more than 100,000 people around the world will view and vote for the film they like best — making this the only global audience choice film festival in the world. Nine outstanding films were selected this year from 1,565 entries submitted by 73 countries. Springfield is once again the ONLY place in the state of Missouri where you can see these international films. Doors open at 6:30pm.
Who has the daunting job of culling the more than 1500 entries down to nine or ten candidates? According to Dr. Tim White, Missouri State University Associate Professor of Media, Journalism and Film, "The Manhattan Short people in New York watch these things--they have a year to do it, which is good because there are so many films! And they get it down to, this year, nine finalists. I've seen these, and they are good films."
And yes, Dr. White has his own favorites, as he does every year. "I don't know if you remember, I mentioned this last year. One of the ones I thought was best, it wasn't very popular here in Springfield... and it went on to win an Academy Award. So," he jokes, "people should trust what I say!"
That Oscar winner last year was an animated short, and Dr. White confesses to being a "sucker for animation. There is one animated film (this year) from New Zealand called 'Fire in Cardboard City'" that is one of White's favorites. He feels that one of the two short films from Great Britain, 'Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times," will be a favorite with the local audience Saturday night. "There's a really interesting one from Germany ('Someone') about a woman who is recalling something that happened to her during World War II when the Russians entered Berlin. The one from Austria, 'Lachrimosa,' is another one of my favorite films. It's a really beautifully shot film."
The other films this year are "Fauve" from Canada; "Chuchotage" from Hungary; "Her" from Kosovo; "Baghead" from the UK; and "Home Shopper" from the United States.
The Final Nine films, as they're called, are screened simultaneously across the world during a one-week period (September 27 to October 7, 2018), with the Best Film and Best Actor awards determined by ballots cast by the audiences in each participating venue. By virtue of their selection by MANHATTAN SHORT, each short film is automatically Oscar-qualified. MANHATTAN SHORT is the only event of its kind.
While watching nine movies in an evening may sound daunting, remember these are "short films". Dr. White says they range in running time between 8 and 18 minutes. Admission is $10, and proceeds support the Department of Media, Journalism and Film's Digital Film Production Scholarship. Your best bet for parking is probably MSU Lot 24.
Dr. White says he'll publish the results of both the local voting and the international results (set to be announced at 10:00am on October 8) on the Media, Journalism and Film Department's Facebook page, "MSU - Media, Journalism and Film."
For information contact Associate Professor Tim White at 836-5218.