2021 is starting off on a fine note for BitPix and Hollyshorts, with several fantastic new short films being selected for the spotlight. From January 21st to January 24th, these films will be highlighted as some of the best short films making their way through the industry, all viewable through the BitPix service.
These are the films for the January 2021 HollyShorts Monthly Screening Spotlight:
Scars – Set in a world where every lie creates a scar on your body, this wonderfully interesting film puts a price on the truth, as well as begs the question of if you’re viewed as who you are by what you believe, or what is seen. This world is carefully crafted by director Jonny Zeller and writer Bryan Bagby, but what really engrossed me was the talent and dedication of the cast. Meg DeLacy, Avy Samala, Jeremy Shada, Adam Kang and Tim Larkin make up an excellent cast who really bring this unique concept to life.
Gail – Written and directed by Katie Lemon, Nancy Cronig stars in this touching story of a woman who lost her partner, both in in her local dance studio, as well as life. After this devastating loss, she must reckon with her grief, and decide whether she wants to return to the activity her and her partner loved so dearly. This is such a beautiful film, highlighting love, loss and grief, especially focusing on people who have spent so long with their partners that life without them is nigh unimaginable.
Fish Head – Grace Tan’s engaging coming of age story is a beautiful look at the life of a young teen who is just figuring out their own identity, and becoming comfortable with who they are and who they want to be. Inez Curro shows off excellent skills for a young actor, giving heart and depth to a story that can ring true for so many.
Open Arms – A performer tries to get back into the swing of things as she prepares to retake the stage after a nearly fatal accident in this incredible film by Ester Song Kim and Nika Burnett, who also wrote and stars in the film. Joining Burnett is Nick Cabot Rodriguez, Alex MacNicoll and a cast of very talented musicians. I also wanted to highlight the beautiful original music by Jason Martin Castillo in this film, as it was such a major feature. This film is just gorgeous, displaying powerful emotions in some unique ways.
Meanwhile, At The Abandoned Factory… – This marvelous animated film brings all the fun of the old-style pulp mystery, with an crafty reporter working to escape captivity before it’s too late. This was a delightful throwback to the old Hollywood serials, with wonderful performances from Jo Stone, PJ Oaten, Andy Seymour and Holly Meyers. Michael Cusak’s vision for this film is obvious, and it was a standout for me at this month’s screening.
Upgrade – A.J. Danna and Grant Goodman star in Michael Lazovsky’s weird and wild comedy that brings the drama of two chairs dueling over ownership of a beloved cushion.
The Hit – Jason A. White’s dark comedy about a cold-blooded hitwoman who falls for her suicidal target, this film is one of a kind. It’s hilarious, a bit over-the-top and takes the viewer on a journey, despite a short runtime. Hilary Barraford is a delight, Matthew Rocheleau gives a very charming performance, and Craig Cackowski, a big name in the comedy world and a personal favorite actor, makes a surprise featured appearance. A wonderful, weird film that was a joy to watch.
The Way That I Take – From writer and director Chris Hartwell, Jason Burkey headlines an stellar cast in this film that really shows the hardships and struggles faced by those who do all they can to help as members of the healthcare industry. It’s a really poignant film that highlights the respect these workers have earned through their work.
Martin Fell From A Roof – Director Matias Ganz displays their talent in this wonderful French film, starring Coralie Russier, Daouda Diakhate, Vincent Lepretre and Joel Lefrancois. The story focuses on a man and his wife, who must deal with the effects of his own workplace injury, and her refusal to accept what was offered to him as compensation. This film is very witty, and highlights the struggles of workers when things go wrong, and how those consequences are handled.
The Diver – When a young man begins to give in more and more to some of his growing impulses, his father attempts to give him a way to focus in this thrilling film by Jamie Helmer and Michael Leonard. Buoyed by great performances from Nicholas Denton and John Brumpton, this is a dark and intriguing film that really gives its all.
All of these fantastic films are worth a viewing, and those who would like to take a look can do so via BitPix! Let’s all congratulate these talented filmmakers for their work and creativity. Check back soon for a full rundown of next month’s screenings.