I have a confession to make: I'm kind of a film festival newbie. As such, I've spent most of my time at the few festivals I've been to almost exclusively watching their feature film programming whilst completely neglecting the short films. Not that I have anything against shorts, I love them, in fact, it was just that in my noob brain the equation was: Me + Finally at a Film Festival = Watch Feature Films Like They're Going Out of Style. I recently realized how stupid that equation is.
Over the summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to lend a hand to the Fantastic Fest programmers in going through the legion of short films that were submitted to the fest. Around the second time I finished watching a submission and thought, "Those 14 minutes were better than half of the theatrical films I've seen this year", I realized just how neglectful I had been. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening experience and I can absolutely attest that the slate of short films selected for this year's FF are phenomenal.
In true FF fashion, the selected films range from shocking to weird to hilarious to 'what in God's name am I watching?'. And while there are recognizable filmmakers among the names below, like make-up effects maestro Greg Nictorero and animation genius Don Hertzfeldt, the best part of the shorts slate will of course be discovering new filmmakers for the first time.