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Sundance 2018 Shorts Lineup Includes New Films From Don Hertzfeldt, Dev Patel, Anna Margaret Hollyman, and Many More

Boasting 66 films across four sections, the Shorts lineup includes new and rising talents working in narrative, animation, and documentary.

Don Hertzfeldt "World of Tomorrow Episode II: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts"

“World of Tomorrow Episode II: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts”

Documentary Short Films

“Baby Brother” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kamau Bilal) — The director’s baby brother moves back in with his parents.

“The Driver Is Red” / U.S.A. (Director: Randall Christopher) — Argentina, 1960: a true crime story of how secret agent Zvi Aharoni hunts down one of the highest-ranking Nazi war criminals on the run.

“End Game” / U.S.A. (Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman) — Filmed and edited in intimate vérité style, this work follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death — and dedicated to changing our thinking about both.

“I Like Girls” / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Diane Obomsawin) — Charlotte, Mathilde, Marie, and Diane reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves, sharing funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments and fumbling attempts at sexual expression.

“Intimity” / Switzerland (Director and screenwriter: Elodie Dermange) — As she is showering, dressing, putting on her make-up, a woman bares her soul.

“JUDITH LOVES MARTHA” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anna Gaskell) — A wily 87-year-old New Yorker, Judith Godwin is one of very few women of the Abstract Expressionist Movement. A creative awakening in college led her to produce the brilliant, gestural paintings for which she is renowned.

“Julius Caesar Was Buried in a Pet Cemetery” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sam Green) — A short documentary portrait of the greatest pet cemetery in the world.

“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes” / Canada (Director: Charlie Tyrell, Screenwriters: Josef Beeby, Charlie Tyrell) — Filmmaker Charlie Tyrell seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through the personal belongings he left behind…including a stack of VHS dirty movies. Narrated by David Wain.

“A Night at The Garden” / U.S.A. (Director: Marshall Curry) — Months before the start of World War II, 22,000 Americans gathered in New York’s Madison Square Garden to rally in support of Nazism.

“Nuuca” / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Michelle Latimer) — The oil boom in North Dakota has brought tens of thousands of new people to the region and with that has come an influx of drugs, crime and sex trafficking.

“SYMPHONY OF A SAD SEA” / Mexico (Director and screenwriter: Carlos Morales) — Hugo, a Mexican child and victim of the violence, flees his hometown with one single dream: crossing to the United States to meet his father and leave his past behind.

“THE TRADER (SOVDAGARI)” / Georgia (Director and screenwriter: Tamta Gabrichidze) — Gela sells secondhand clothes and household items in places where money is potatoes.

“The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets” / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys) — An urgent reflection on indigenous sovereignty, the undead violence of museum archives and post-mortem justice through the case of the “Kennewick Man,” a prehistoric Paleoamerican man whose remains were found in Kennewick, Washington State in 1996.

“Volte” / Poland (Directors and screenwriters: Monika Kotecka, Karolina Poryzala) — Zuzia, 12, has been training for two years and has extraordinary role topping the acrobatic pyramid. At the start of a new season, it’s clear that she’s lost some grace and lightness. A growth spurt may be the culprit.

“Wild Wild West: A Beautiful Rant by Mark Bradford” / U.S.A. (Director: Dime Davis) — A rumination on formative moments in the artist’s life, the process of his work, and what it all means.

“ZION” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Floyd Russ) — A portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler who was born without legs and grew up in foster care. DAY ONE

Animated Short Films

“BLACK” / Poland, Japan (Director and screenwriter: Tomasz Popakul) — A pair of astronauts are trapped on an orbital space station due to unexpected nuclear war on Earth. They lost contact with Earth and all attempts to communicate with their base or anybody else have failed.

“A Brief Spark Bookended by Darkness” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Brent Green) — A hand-drawn animated tale about love in an increasingly dark world.

“The Burden” / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Niki Lindroth von Bahr) — A dark musical enacted in a modern shopping center, situated next to a large freeway. The employees of the various commercial venues deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns. The apocalypse is a tempting liberator.

“Eye Bags” / Hong Kong (Director and screenwriter: Waikwan Ho) — Through monologue, Talia describes her chronic insomnia. She does not know its cause, and spends many painful nights awake. When Talia meets Ah Gum, a goldfish who lives in her eye bags, they develop an interesting relationship.

“GLUCOSE” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeron Braxton) — Sugar was the engine of the slave trade that brought millions of Africans to America. Glucose is sweet, marketable and easy to consume, but its surface satisfaction is a thin coating on the pain of many disenfranchised people.

“Hedgehog’s Home” / Canada, Croatia (Director and screenwriter: Eva Cvijanović) — In a lush and lively forest lives a hedgehog. Though he’s respected by the other animals, Hedgehog’s devotion to his home annoys a quartet of beasts, who decide to confront him.

“JEOM” / U.S.A., South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Kangmin Kim) — A father and a son both have the same big birthmark on their butt. Believing that the two birthmarks are connected, the son scrubs his father’s birthmark to remove it – but he just can’t get rid of it.

“Manivald” / Estonia, Croatia, Canada (Director: Chintis Lundgren, Screenwriters: Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić) — Manivald is still living at home with his retired mother. The day before his 33rd birthday a hot young wolf named Toomas comes to fix their washing machine. A love triangle develops, which leaves Manivald increasingly frustrated.

“Marfa” / United Kingdom (Directors and screenwriters: Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod) — An isolated town in the Texas borderlands. A place out of time. A shrine to minimalist art. Home to a remote festival. A place where unexplained lights tremble in the night sky. And then there’s the giant lemon.

“Nevada” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Emily Ann Hoffman) — A young couple’s romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap in this stop-motion animated comedy.

“[O]” / United Kingdom (Directors and screenwriters: Mario Radev, Chiara Sgatti) — A film that imitates nature in its manner of operation, depicting animated cycles in a world entirely based on sound frequency and vibration.

“PLUR” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Julie Fliegenspan) — A claymation adaptation of a series of actual voicemails received after making out with someone at a rave.

“The Shivering Truth” / U.S.A. (Directors: Vernon Chatman, Cat Solen, Screenwriter: Vernon Chatman) — An omnibus of painfully riotous daymares, dripping with dream logic; a slate of emotional parables from the deepest caverns of your unconscious, lovingly animated in stop-motion. In other words: it is the Truth.

“Vox Lipoma” / Sweden (Directors and screenwriters: Jane Magnusson, Liv Strömquist) — A short about Ingmar Bergman’s power, sexuality and facial lipoma that gives him no rest.

“World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Don Hertzfeldt) — Written entirely around candid audio recordings of Don Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece, “Episode Two” finds Emily Prime swept inside the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. DAY ONE

Special Events

One-of-a-kind moments highlighting new independent works that add to the unique Festival experience. An evolving section, this year includes episodic work, short films and live post-screening discussions.

“The Trade” / U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Heineman, Executive Producers: Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Pagan Harleman, Matthew Galkin) — A character-driven vérité docu-series which explores the opioid epidemic from the intimate perspectives of growers, addicts and law enforcement on both sides of the border. This interwoven narrative transcends the headlines to convey, with humanity and nuance, the scope and gravity of the crisis. World Premiere

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