Saturday, September 7, 2013

LA Shorts Festival 2013

Director/writer Cyrus Kowsari and his star Nathan Lucas of Color of Christmas
I feel privileged to have attended my very first LA Shorts Festival at the Laemmle's NoHo 7 Friday September 6. Seven short films screened to the theme of Race/Culture. All of the choices were quite good, considering that for many of the filmmakers, it is their first movie.

Color of Christmas which stars Nathan Lucas and written by Cyrus Kowsari is fun to watch but for me is a tad too plastic, too ready made. It seems like a model college project, that strives for too much perfection, although the acting is great.

Way of Seeing by Donaco Smyth (top photo at left) is also fun in a far lighter mood, about how a woman (Dagney Kerr) returns home to find a lot of changes that she's just not ready to accept. Smyth deliciously plays a campy genie-like persona amidst the frothy proceedings.

I thought the funniest comedy to be Mor Mexican written and directed by Ricardo Aranda Aupart and Alejandro Behar. It simply involves a Mexican actor doing a commerical for a burger. The producers are trying to market a Mexican's tastes and are just not satisfied because they think the actor's performance is not ...Mexican enough. Viewing their extreme prejudice in trying to make him over is hilarious.

On the drama side of the fence, the film that caught my fancy is entitled Solidarity. Written/directed by Dustin Brown this is a great piece of filmmaking. Elpidia Carrillo and Mantas Valantiejus are beautifully cast as two completely different foreigners who come to America only to encounter racism and mistreatment/harassment in the workplace. In spite of their pain, they still have strength and a sense of pride in what they do. Brown works cinematic magic as he combines the two stories with great detail. I hope this gets Oscar nominated.

'Til next year!