Call it “the Olympics of short film festivals.” At least that’s what Manhattan Short Film Festival project coordinator Herman Lira hopes people will regard the event as when the 2007 competition makes its way into San Antonio for its fifth straight year.
“Unlike a local festival where you represent your city, in this festival you’re representing your country,” Lira said.
In its 10th year, the MSFF received 456 entries from 32 countries around the world, including Germany, Kenya, Israel, and Australia. After an intense judging process, 12 films were selected as finalists. These dozen films are now on a trek through 99 different venues on four continents, where they are screened for the general public.
In San Antonio, one of only two Texas cities participating this year, MSFF will take place from September 28-30 at the Urban-15 Studios. On September 29 at 1 p.m., Urban-15 will host a film workshop where cinematography, editing, and sound will be discussed.
On the final day of the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite film. Their vote will be tallied, along with those of other movie watchers from across the globe. The grand-prize winner, who will receive funding for a full-length feature film, will be announced on September 30 in New York City’s Union Square Park.
“The stakes are so high, everyone around the world wants to throw their hats into the voting process,” Lira said.
Finalists include Lines directed by Sonja Jasansky, the only U.S. competitor, I Want to be a Pilot, directed by Diego Quemada-Diez, who filmed the short while in Kenya working as a camera operator on The Constant Gardener, and Boris’s Complete Book of Rules, directed by Shefy Malek of Israel.
In the Canadian documentary I Met the Walrus, director Josh Raskin uses animation and an original recorded interview with John Lennon conducted by a 14-year-old boy who sneaked his way into the late Beatle’s hotel room in 1969.
“I thought it was a brilliant story and was immediately interested in the project,” says Raskin on the MSFF website. “Not to mention I’m head-over-heels in love with John Lennon.”
2007 Manhattan Short Film Festival
8pm Fri-Sat, Sep 28 & 29; 2pm Sun, Sept 30
$6 students, military, senior
2500 S. Presa