Since 1992, Hollywood Shorts has introduced fresh, artistic short films to LA audiences. This year’s screening on September 21, 2013 was held at Dim Mak studios in Hollywood and featured appearances by two of the film directors, Elric Kane and Kate Rees Davies. Seven short films screened, exhibiting an amazing variety, both fictional and nonfictional stories, everything from music videos to animated shorts. While high quality, low-cost camera and editing systems have changed the filmmaker’s landscape, and resulted in some very powerful works of art, some of the films screened also benefited from state-of-the-art equipment. Many of these film shorts are very popular and have been featured on major television networks such as MTV or shown at the Sundance Film Festival.
First up, was El Delirio Del Pez Len (2012) which is an animated short which exemplifies the greed and gluttony of business men set in a surreal underwater world of fish and crustaceans. This short film was written and directed by Quique Rivera Rivera.
Sposini (Newlyweds) by Nicholas Van Devender is a live action representation of a newlywed couple fighting. This absurd, surreal, film portrays the newlywed couple at each other’s throats.
Seed Story by director William D. Caballero is shot in macro vision and represents a miniature world that tells of our addiction to oil.
The Apocalypse by Andrew Zuchero is a comedic short about the end of the world; a thoughtful film that depicts how dumb people often are shielded by their ignorance.
Tender depicts a Craigslist date which goes horribly awry. The director Elric Kane was there to talk about this film. The ending is awfully ambiguous which Kane explained is the result of a deleted scene. The plot revolves around a band which the main character got “once in a lifetime” tickets to see.
The Comic King of Guatemala, also directed by Elric Kane, was the only documentary of the night. A young American couple moved to Guatemala and decided to start a comic book shop. In America we take comic books and graphic novels for granted but there it was like an exotic new art form had been introduced.
The final film of the night was a music video by Vassy, a popular Australian singer. Covering themes of empowerment, it featured children who excelled in spite of being subjected to bullying. Two of the children, Autumn and Fernando, were there to speak about their life experiences and successes since the production of this video. “Beautiful” was produced by Kate Rees Davies at the Think Tank Gallery.
After the screenings Vassy spoke with me about her motives behind her original song and the video. Vassy wrote the song “Beautiful” because of her emotional connection with bullying having watched her disabled brother subjected to merciless bullying by his peers. Vassy is an Ambassador for an international children’s mentoring program called
“Playground of Dreams”. When she decided to produce a video for this song about empowerment, she turned to Kate to direct it, having admired Kate’s work. The admiration was mutual, and Kate was enthused to work with her. Together they created a moving, and beautiful tribute to children who remain strong despite social challenges.