Online video services such as YouTube have opened up a world of opportunities for independent filmmakers to reach a broad audience. But there’s just something about seeing your movie on the big screen.
“This allows our local filmmakers the opportunity to actually have their shorts — even music videos or documentaries — projected on what we consider to be the top projection system and screen in the city,” says Soozie Eastman, executive director of the LFS. “And that’s not something that is really afforded to a short filmmaker … It’s great to have your film shared and enjoyed virally, but there is something about seeing your film up on a big screen and having that surround sound and sharing that experience with 141 other people.”
Eastman says the 11 films, all shorter than 15 minutes in length, reflect the range of interest and creative vision in the Louisville filmmaking community. Two of the short subjects deal with social justice; one is an animated short in an “outsider art” motif; and one laments the passing of 35mm film projection.
Of particular note is the inclusion of several music videos. Eastman says Louisville has become a known hub of talent for music video productions, and “a lot of our local filmmakers are brought to cities across the country to shoot music videos … So the eye of these directors is very keen,” she explains. “So I am thrilled we are going to be able to showcase this work.”
Unlike entries in the LFS’s Flyover Film Festival, Short Film Slam selections may well have been released publically and been screened at other festivals, Eastman says.
Previous LFS Short Film Slams drew sell-out crowds, with the audience being a mix of filmmakers coming out to support their peers and film lovers just coming out to see new and innovative works.
The LFS Short Film Slam screens Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 for the general public, or $7 for LFS members. In case you can’t make it to the Speed Thursday, we’ve included links to the shorts or trailers for them in the list below. But you’ll enjoy them even more on the big screen.
Director: Rebekah Lynn Dow
Described as an “experimental visual poem” of Robert Hayden’s “Runagate, Runagate,” which honors Harriet Tubman, this short employs some video animation techniques as well as choral vocals to convey a sense of gravity and spirituality.
“A Tale of Crows”
Director: Roy Taylor
Cut paper and filtered light are used to adopt the style of outsider art in this animated short featuring the voices of several well-known musicians, including Patty Griffin. Director Taylor says he has always been fascinated by crows, and his films tells the story of three siblings as they mature and take their first flight — all without anthropomorphism, a la Disney.
Director: Remington Smith
This brief “documentary” has been screened at several indie film festivals. It focuses on a projectionist who threads up a 35mm trailer for “The Monster Squad” before his projectors are dismantled.
Directors: Richard Van Kleeck and Julius Friedman
This video “fantasy” captures an improvisational ballet by Erica De La O and Roger Creel in which a dancer uses a veil to express her loneliness. It was shot against the backdrop of a multimedia display at the Frazier History Museum. Music by composer Rachel Grimes.
Director: Stephen Blair
This short looks at how technology has impacted personal relationships. After several missed connections, Anna and Patrick finally meet and share a dance.
“On the Front Lines of Freedom, Justice and Peace”
Director: Joanna Hay
This short captures the voices of the fighters for human rights in Kentucky. It’s an overview of the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Oral History Project, in partnership with the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and other agencies.
“GSA Days 14 & 17”
Director: Mike Fitzer
This “mini-doc” offers a quick look at the work being done at the annual Governor’s School for the Arts.
Performed by Jenna Dean featuring Carly Johnson
Director: Sam Newton
A contemporary spiritual focusing on diversity features backdrops of several Louisville neighbors and scenes from the Big Four Bridge.
Performed by Mayday Parade
Director: Max Moore
On the way home from his music video shoot, Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade encounters various signs of bad luck.
Performed by Shania
Director: Roman Lane
A sultry approach to visualizing a romantic song, with the focus on singer Shania in both vocal performances and vignettes.
Performed by The Pass
Director: Matt Fulks
‘80s-style visuals intercut with wrestling TV footage set the tone for a retro synth-pop tune.