When Refinery29 premiered its Shatterbox Anthology in August of 2016, the new program was anchored by a forward-thinking concept: to “create short films that redefine identity, imagination, and storytelling through the female lens.” In their first “season,” they made a dozen films with a dozen female directors. Now, they’ve unveiled their second series of short films from female directors, including new offerings from Yara Shahidi, Gillian Jacobs, Jessica Sanders, A.M. Lukas (aka Anna Martemucci), Allana Harkin, Gilly Barnes, Ivy Agregan, and Janine Sherman Barrois.
Alongside partner TNT, the second season of Shatterbox (as its known these days) kicked off with a TIFF screening earlier this month, but the full series is already available online for interested viewers. This second season consists of 8 wide-ranging short-form films helmed by female directors, from a new take on “The Red Balloon” to a timely story about immigration and even a wild digital tale about viruses gone crazy.
Check out full details about each short below, and then head over to the series’ official page on TNT to watch each film in its entirety.
“Are You Still Singing?,” directed by Gilly Barnes
Starring: Joey Ally and Ian Harding
Logline: When Joy Fields ends her comfortable marriage, she finds herself trying to financially stay afloat by becoming a telegram singer. Add an anxiety disorder to the mix, and welcome to the new life she’s created for herself.
“CTRL,” directed by Ivy Agregan
Starring: Jamie Chung and Shiva Negar
Logline: 2041. While an unorthodox virus ravages the digital battlefields of Cyber War II, a renegade hacker and her interrogating CyberFed share far more than a mutual interest in the virus’s origins.
“Curated,” directed by Gillian Jacobs
Starring: Ahna O’Reilly, Danny Pudi and Jefferson Mays
Logline: During a reluctant trip to her late grandmother’s home in the middle of nowhere, Nancy learns that a person’s sentiment and complexities aren’t limited to the things they leave behind.
“End of the Line,” directed by Jessica Sanders
Starring: Simon Helberg and Brett Gelman
Logline: A lonely man goes to the pet store and buys a tiny man in a cage.
“French Fries,” directed by Janine Sherman Barrois
Starring: Rebecca Naomi Jones and Carl McDowell
Logline: French Fries explores a young Black couple’s fight to resolve communication problems in a modern marriage.
“One Cambodian Family Please For My Pleasure,” directed by A.M. Lukas (aka Anna Martemucci)
Starring: Emily Mortimer
Logline: When news of the Cambodian genocide hits, Franka (a Czechoslovakian refugee) reaches out to the Lutheran Refugee Service in hopes of welcoming a family like hers to her new life in Fargo.
“The Godmother,” directed by Allana Harkin
Starring: Lauren Ash
Logline: A godmother keeps her promise to spiritually guide her godchild – even after the parents have a bar blowout and spend the night in their car.
“X,” directed by Yara Shahidi
Starring: D’Kristian Lamar, Kyler Nesbitt, Layla Crawford and Michael Goodman
Logline: In this modern take on the French impressionist film “The Red Balloon,” X, a young black kid wanders through Los Angeles while confronting the difficult realities of adolescence, while being black in America.