Manhattan Short Film Festival

Billed as "the world's first global film festival," the 13th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival will offer local moviegoers the opportunity to view rarely screened works with audiences from 250 cities spanning six continents. The event has winnowed down 598 entrants to 10 finalists, forming an international coalition of Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Scotland, Canada, Hungary, Peru, and Egypt. As for the U.S., we can boast of having two films in the running: David and Goliath, the tale of a canine's courageous actions during WWII from first-time director George Zaverdas, and Sexting, a piece from the always-provocative playwright/filmmaker Neil LaBute concerning the exposure of an affair starring Julia Stiles. Other works involve the meticulous recreation of a bank robbery (Incident by a Bank), a documentary on the 2011 Egyptian political upheaval (Martyr Friday), and a twisted musical about a bloodthirsty woodland monster (The Legend of Beaver Dam). With the longest film running no more than 18 minutes, all 10 works will be screened in just over two hours, after which audiences will have the chance to vote on their favorites. And with previous festival finalists going on to earn Academy Award nominations, viewers will not only receive an exhilarating sampling of world cinema, they'll also possess an impressive inside line on what is traditionally considered one of the more obscure Oscar categories. (Julia Stiles in Sexting)
Fri., Sept. 30, 7 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 1, 9:30 p.m., 2011

 
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