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Aspen Shortsfest Announces 2014 Lineup

By Melina Gills | Indiewire March 18, 2014 at 12:00PM

Aspen Film has announced the lineup for its upcoming Shortsfest, to run April 8-13th. The films cover a range of genre and styles, and hail from thirty different countries.
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Stephen Dunn and Peter Knegt's "Good Morning"
Stephen Dunn and Peter Knegt's "Good Morning"

Aspen Film has announced the lineup for its upcoming Shortsfest, to run April 8-13th. The films cover a range of genre and styles, and hail from thirty different countries. Audiences will also be treated to events featuring filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors.

"Our 2014 season explores a truly global array of characters, situations and subjects," says Aspen Film Co-Director George Eldred. "From our festival seats we travel together to all seven continents--even Antarctica--to experience the imagination of our talented filmmakers and their creative risk-taking. We look forward to sharing the thrill of discovery with our audiences this spring."

Among the special events is a conversation entitled "Writing For the Screen: How to Create Characters and Keep Your Friends" with screenwriters Peter Blake (Elementary, House M.D.), Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) and David Pollock (M*A*S*H), on Saturday, April 12. For the full list of special events and the schedule of films, visit their website

Here are the Aspen Shortsfest programs and films to be screened for the international competition:

PROGRAM ONE:

The Brunchers
Looking for a change of routine, a London couple's search for a new brunch spot turns into a hilarious existential quest for more than a meal. Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Tom Burke and Rufus Sewell star. (Matt Winn, UK, 19 min. F)


Cargo Cult
It's the middle of WWII and inhabitants of a remote Pacific island are captivated by mysterious cargo gods, who appear to drop good fortune by the crateful. Inspired by true events. (Bastien Dubois, France, 12 min. A)


Elementary
With the allure of summer just on the horizon, a group of fourth graders ready themselves for a rite of passage whose outcome will echo far beyond the school term. An astute portrait of a transformative moment. (Hugo Pedro, Portugal, 20 min. D)


The Gallant Captain
A boy and his cat journey into unknown waters with a bottle, a boat and a vivid imagination. (Graeme Base + Katrina Mathers, Australia, 8 min. A)


The Hero Pose
Spending a day trying to sell an old beater car sounds like a pain in the neck, but here it yields a precious opportunity for a father and his young daughter to connect. (Mischa Jakupcak, USA, 12 min. F)


Maasai
A hospital's quiet reception area becomes a skirmish line between two brothers as they await their mother’s return from surgery in this compelling drama. (Harry Lagoussis, Greece, 17 min. F)


Mr. Hublot
Mr. Hublot finds his reclusive life turned upside down when he overcomes personal obstacles to do a good deed. A lovely story about a timid man and an incredibly invasive four-footed companion. Oscar® winner. (Laurent Witz, France/Luxembourg, 12 min. A)

The Pixel Painter
Grandpa worked as a graphic artist back in the hand-drawn day. Long after he retired, his family introduced him to the computer. Meet 98-yearold Hal Lasko, The Pixel Painter. (Josh Bogdan, USA, 8 min. D)

PROGRAM TWO:

97%
When an algorithm alerts Bert that love is near, he sets off on an amusing subterranean goose chase that would only be possible in our digital age. (Ben Brand, Netherlands, 8 min. F)


Hollow Land
Two seasoned seekers arrive in a sun-washed land, searching for respite from their ceaseless travels. A meditation on what it feels like to be displaced - whether by circumstances or choice. (Michelle + Uri Kranot, Canada/Denmark/France, 14 min. A)


Lambing Season
Ireland’s windy west coast serves as a backdrop for this story about the way loved ones hide from one another, and the way that the secrets of family - and nature - reveal themselves. (Jeannie Donohoe, USA, 15 min. F)


The Long Drum
A sacred drumming tradition has been in Thanh's family for generations. When his only son dies, Thanh searches high and low for someone in his village to perform the burial chant. Shot on location in Vietnam. (Eve Symington, Singapore, 12 min.F)


Native Silence
In the mid-1900's, as many as one third of Native American children were relocated into non-Indian foster homes. Here, we meet two of them, who share their struggles to find a place in the world. A solemn account of the impact of misguided government policy. (Jane Wells, USA, 25 min. D)


No One Is Listening Anymore!
She blames technology. He blames the plumber. And therapy has never been so revealing...A funny new short from the star of Chocolate Cake (SF11). (Romi Trower, Australia, 7 min. F)


The Smortlybacks
On a mesa, a mahout and his herd of strange creatures make a surprising and never-ending journey. (Ted Sieger & Wouter Dierickx, Switzerland/ China, 5 mins.A)


Yearbook
With the planet on the edge of destruction, a man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence. A bemusing consideration of what's really important. (Bernardo Britto, USA, 5 min. A)

PROGRAM THREE

Future Hero
A father-son bonding film just like any other, except for that timetraveling killer android. (Ramin Serry, USA, 6 min. F)


The Ledge End of Phil (from accounting)
A mild mannered accountant takes an inconvenient trip to the outside world, and radically reevaluates his priorities in this animated fantasy. (Paul O'Muiris, Ireland, 6 min. A)


The Lion's Mouth Opens
From the director of The Crash Reel comes this moving portrait of remarkable courage as a young actress confronts her risk of the debilitating and incurable Huntington's disease. (Lucy Walker, USA, 15 min. D)


Listen
A young Ethiopian musician, haunted by a childhood trauma, finds solace when a spirit appears and inspires him to channel his memories in a new direction. From the director of For Today (SF11). (Zelalem Woldemariam, Ethiopia, 18 min. F)


Mr. Invisible
A lonely and disregarded old man finds himself in a city where his greatest weakness suddenly becomes his secret weapon. (Greg Ash, UK, 14 min. F)


Orbit Ever After
In this eccentric romantic comedy with a science fiction twist, young orbitcrossed lover Nigel (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Game of Thrones) seeks to escape his family's ramshackle space homestead and his overly-protective parents to follow his heart. (Jamie Stone, UK, 20 min. F)


Rabbit and Deer
Two friends seem quite content with their lives until one becomes obsessed with something that deepens his perspective. A visually droll look at the hidden costs of discovery. (Péter Vácz, Hungary, 16 min. A

PROGRAM FOUR

Flor de Toloache
Traditional Mexican culture is put through the blender of New York City. What emerges is a Mariachi sound that transcends gender stereotypes to reveal a new variation on a traditional art form. (Jenny Schweitzer, USA, 4 min. D)


Marina's Ocean
A 15-year old girl yearns to see the ocean, but her disability interferes. Unable to travel to the beach with her fellow students, Marina strikes out on an adventure of her own. (Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Brazil, 17 min. F)


Mia
A seven-year-old tries to liberate her overworked mother from the clutches of an overcrowded metropolis. In her quest, she unlocks her world's hidden secrets. (Wouter Bongaerts, Belgium/Netherlands, 9 min. A)


My Little Friends
An innovative program in upstate New York connects elderly people diagnosed with dementia to young children, who remind us that even when we lose our memory, our basic humanity remains. (Megan Mylan, USA, 10 min. D)


The Phone Call
When a shy lady (Sally Hawkins) who works in a suicide helpline call center takes a phone call from a distraught man (Jim Broadbendt), she has no idea that the encounter will change her life forever. (Mat Kirkby, UK, 19 min. F)


Pony Place
When young Emma is prohibited from taking her iPad on holiday, she asks her grandma to look after her digital horse farm. Koba is a seasoned agrarian, but nothing she learned in the garden prepares her for this. A hilarious leap across the generation gap. (Joost Reijmers, Netherlands, 10 min. F)


Samnang
A Cambodian immigrant lives a life of contented solitude, working nights in a Long Beach, California donut shop. But when competition emerges from within his own family, Samnang must decide whether to see a threat or an opportunity. (Asaph Polonsky, USA, 22 min. F)


Wind
A droll comment on weather of the blowing kind and our uncanny ability to adapt. (Robert Löbel, Germany, 4 min. A)

PROGRAM FIVE


The End of Pinky
In this stylish cartoon noir, three fallen angels, Johnny, Mia and Pinky, find companionship in Montreal's red light district. When one of Pinky's quirks set off a tragicomic chain of events, the fragility of their bond emerges. (Claire Blanchet, Canada, 8 min. A)


Good Morning
30 isn't old, but it sure feels that way when you wake up hung over in your apartment on the morning after that milestone birthday and find a surprising someone there with you. A comedic look at sexual identity and age anxiety (Stephen Dunn + Peter Knegt, Canada, 10 min. F)


The iMom
Harried parents have long been grateful to that electronic babysitter, the television. But when a mother outsources her parenting duties to a more advanced form of technology, she risks being made obsolete. A cautionary parable. (Ariel Martin, Australia/USA, 14 min. F)


Journey
In harsh and unlikely conditions, a performance artist works to become an island unto himself. (Ali Parandian, Norway, 5 min. D)


Ondek
A merchant sailor opts to leave behind his maritime life. On his final night, he and the crew find a delightfully unexpected way to celebrate. (Louis- Martin Charest, Canada, 6 min. F)


Person to Person
Benny awakes on the morning after a party to find a mysterious stranger passed out on his floor. He's a generous and gentle man, but as the unknown guest refuses to leave, his patience begins to wear thin. (Dustin Guy Defa, USA, 18 min.F)


Selma
Following the death of her taxi driver husband, Selma is determined to secure a better life for herself and her daughter, no matter what her family and community think. (Mohamed Ben Attia, Tunisia, 20 min. F)


A Tropical Sunday
It's Sunday and the fairground is coming to life as crowds of eager children line up for rides. Among them are four street kids, who have spent the week begging and scavenging. Today all they want is to feel like children again. (Fabian Ribezzo, Mozambique, 15 min. F)

PROGRAM SIX

A Goldfish Documentary
As their owners drive to the edge of the country, Noodles and Tony P can only swim to the edge of their bowl. Still, it's a transformative journey. (Elizabeth Stehling, USA, 8 min. D)


Our Curse
A moving exploration of our capacity to adapt, accept and love, this family self-portrait takes us inside the lives of a young couple coming to grips with what their young son's life will bring. (Tomasz Sliwinski, Poland, 27 min. D)


The Runaway
Today Lakdar, a youth worker in a home for juvenile offenders, is preparing to take one of his teenage charges, Sabrina, to court. Lakdar feels confident the hearing will go well, Sabrina is not so sure. (Jean-Bernard Marlin, France, 22 min. F)


Sker
A kayaker discovers a seemingly safe port that turns out to harbor unseen hazards in this adventure drama. (Eyþór Jóvinsson, Iceland, 11 min. F)


Snowflake
When a little African boy receives a letter containing a copy of a natural wonder, he longs to experience the real thing. (Natalia Chernysheva, Russia, 6 min. A)


Sprout
When Bory, an endearingly perky seven-year-old, sets off to the local market to buy bean sprouts for her mom, a cascade of detours transforms her neighborhood errand into a horizon-widening adventure. Berlin Film Festival winner. (Ga-eun Yoon, South Korea, 20 min. F)


Uggs for Gaza
Mitch, a Midwesterner recently transplanted to Los Angeles, tells a lie to impress a girl at a party. He's plagued by guilt and anxiety, but instead of admitting his fib, he sets out to make it real. Hilarity ensues. (Brooke Berman, USA, 11 min. F)

PROGRAM SEVEN


The Charlatan
A skittish accountant, an inscrutable stranger, a wide-open road and an unbelievably cool car. The essential ingredients for a sly bebop-era sleight of hand tale. (Alexis Manya Spraic, USA, 13 min.F)


Fingerplay
Teresa, a Swiss bourgeois, is confronted with her own aging, her husband’s waning desire, and an unexpected guest: her mildly disabled nephew. Another evocative drama about power, sexuality and moral boundaries from the director of A World for Raul (SF13). (Mauro Mueller, Germany/ USA, 25 min. F)


The Gardener
A rich man and a poor man meet in a hospital hallway. For five minutes, these two gentlemen become equals for the very first—and last—time. (Jo Henriquez, Aruba/Netherlands Antilles/USA, 8 min. F)


Globe Trot
A renowned choreographer holds the whole world in her hands when the powers of movement and technology meet. Crowd-sourcing with a beat. (Mitchell Rose, USA/The Globe, 5 min. D)


Kiki of Montparnasse
An animated homage to Kiki, famed Parisian queen of the night. Model, actress, writer, nightclub singer and muse to the finest avant-garde painters of the early 20th century. (Amelie Harrault, France, 14 min. A)


Los Olvidados (The Forgotten)
With his installations, young Latino artist Ramiro Gomez creates tangible reminders of those who made the trip “El Norte” and humanizes a forgotten people. A unique and affecting tribute to the immigrant labor community. (David Feldman, USA, 14 min. D)


Me + Her
A young man thinks outside the box in this visually original ode to love. (Joseph Oxford, USA, 12 min. A)


Over the Moon
Brace yourself for a rough landing as kick-ass comic book heroine Connie Radar defends the moon and attempts to prevent the USA’s first lunar landing. From a Shortsfest perennial who always provides a laugh. (James Cunningham, New Zealand, 7 min. F)

PROGRAM EIGHT

The Apothecary
The beloved druggist in a rural Colorado outpost operates the only pharmacy within 4,000 square miles and navigates a profound divide between his public persona and personal life. (Helen Hood Scheer, USA, 18 min. D)


The Bravest, the Boldest
Human empathy confronts protocol when two army notification officers enter a Harlem housing project to deliver some news. A powerful tale about telling - and hearing - the truth. (Moon Molson, USA, 16 min. F)


Humpty
Learning his girlfriend is pregnant, Dean is surprised, delighted and a bit unsure. To prove himself responsible, the father-to-be seeks confirmation from an unlikely source: a home economics project. (Clare Sackler, USA, 15 min. F)


Rare Bird
Augustin leads a solitary life. He dreams of wild changes. Then one day the extraordinary flutters into his work-a-day existence. Can it last? (Leslie Pandelakis France, 4 min. A)


Small Yellow Field
Traversing the vastness of the Himalayas, a young nomad finds his curiosity beckons him beyond the horizon. (Rodd Rathjen, Australia/India, 8 min. F)


Teinen
Freshly retired, Mr. Yamada is eager to leave behind office routines and begin his new life of leisure. But when he finds Mrs. Yamada busy with her own routines, he must find a way for them to remember the couple they once were. (Emilie Silvestri, Japan/USA, 13 min. F)


We Keep on Dancing
The Rainbow Mechanics workshop provides an unlikely setting for this quirky, heartfelt moment of human connection between Danny the head mechanic and Alan the lonesome gent with the rundown Beetle. (Jessica Lawton, Australia, 8 min. F)

PROGRAM NINE


Hunting for Hockney
Two bereaved friends set off in search of a famed painter, and his spirit imbues their journey with new perspective. (Alice Dunseath, UK, 3 min. A)


The Kármán Line
When a mother, played by Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz, Iron Lady), contracts a rare condition, her husband and daughter must console themselves with the thought that she's bound for a (much) higher place. From the director of Sign Language(SF11). (Oscar Sharp, UK, 24 min. F)


Overpass Light Brigade
Performance art meets activism in this celebration of peaceful - and playful - political protest. (Dusan Harminc + Matt Mullins, USA, 6 min. D)


Rhino Full Throttle
Bruno is searching for the soul of his city, but when he happens upon a kindred spirit, his whimsical quest takes an imaginatively romantic turn. (Erik Schmitt, Germany, 15 min. F)


The Secret World of Foley
A film depicting a single morning in an English fishing village comes to life when two sound effects specialists score it using their vast trove of props, along with uncanny judgment and timing. A wondrous exposé of a little-known art form. (Daniel Jewel, USA, 14 min. D)


Stumped
This inspiring documentary relates the trials and triumphs of a courageous multiple amputee as he adapts to a world he never could have imagined, including his first stand-up comedy performance. (Robin Berghaus, USA, 10 min. D)


This Is It
Two college students. First apartment. Things get real. Hilariously fast. (Alexander Engel, USA, 3 min. F)


Tides
At the beach, Camelia plans to celebrate her son Angel's birthday. Provoked by the disappearance of his father, the boy runs off and Camelia begins a search that will lead her to an uncomfortable family truth. (Ádám Breier, Cuba, 15 min. F)

Film category code: A = Animation D = Documentary F = Fiction


This article is related to: Aspen Shortsfest, Short Film, Short Film, Film Festival