This month’s Hollyshorts Monthly Screenings are underway, bringing forth a fresh batch of new films for fans to enjoy. This month’s films all come from the incredible creative minds at the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts, who have submitted some amazing films to showcase at this month’s screenings. A shout-out to these talented creators for their work on these projects, and for their work throughout the collection. There were a few names that appeared in the credits of multiple films from this group, which shows the brilliance of these creators and their support for one another. The films from this collection are:
Clave – Written and directed by Alex Argiles, Clave focuses on the strains of familial relationships as Alfredo, a Cuban-American musician, returns home upon learning some heartbreaking news about his father. Starring Roberto San Martin, Alberto Pujol, Carol Saragusa and Susana Perez, this is a beautiful story of taking broken bonds and forming new ones, through shared love, both of music and of each other.
Wing It – This very short film is a wonderful animated piece that focuses on a flightless dragon’s attempt to bring back their desire to fly after making an important discovery about what their dragon fire can truly do. It’s a really sweet film that shows the power of perseverance and ingenuity from writer/directors Jillian Lucia and Brendan Arena.
Smell The Trees – It can be tough to find content about a pandemic endearing while living through one, but Smell The Trees manages to make it work. Written, directed by and starring Breyionna Flowers, this touching tale focuses on Jakayla’s difficulties of her sister Taniya’s (Ashia Benford) positive test result. With the damage the disease will cause becoming more and more apparent, Jakayla does everything she can to find the good amongst all the bad. It’s a beautiful story of love and sorrow, of finding a bright spot in even the darkest of times.
Pedo – Focusing on a very specific and destructive disorder, this film focuses on Levi, a young and non-active pedophile who is struggling with what he knows is a immoral and unhealthy illness. As he fears for his own actions and future, he tells his best friend about his proclivities as a way to come to terms with something he knows is wrong. It’s a tough film to watch given the subject matter, but it does shine a light on a smaller subsect of this topic in a way that was unexpected. Collin Pennell and Anthony Gonzalez bring a lot to the film, which is sure to be controversial. Writer and director Alexander Ullom really brought to life a dark topic, and this film is sure to get people talking in one way or the other.
The Red Pad of Courage – Another animated film, this quick short brings the panic and struggle of a young woman’s first foray into womanhood to life with great exaggeration and humor. It feels very anime-inspired, with great visual effects and some wonderfully outrageous moments. Writer and director Chelsea Low brought forth a very genuine and fun film about the trials and tribulations of puberty for all of the young women who will go through this rite of passage.
Fo[u]r – Featuring Tasia Erin Brown and Volnerius Rackley, Fo[u]r shows the life of a couple who have been dealing with the hardships of attempting to conceive and the pain that comes with those challenges, especially when things go wrong. With the tension between them expanding, one tries to find common cause, while the other immerses themselves into an elaborate theater performance. Written and directed by Ashley James, this is a difficult and powerful film that shows the impacts of immeasurable pain, how to cope and the struggles with finding your way forward.
Reanimated – In 1992, Hurricane Andrew left massive damage in the city of Miami. In the wake of Andrew, many buildings, including the Miami Marine Stadium, were left forgotten. It wasn’t until much later that this beloved structure was given life again by local graffiti artists, who brought the stadium back into the spotlight thanks to their creativity. Reanimated is a fascinating look into rebuilding after a natural disaster, and the lengths those will go to show their own version of love and respect for their city and what remains after the dust settles. While there’s no linear narrative to this film, it’s incredible to see what so many have done to bring this place back from the brink and back into the public eye. With amazing visual effects, director Shae Demandt puts on a stunning show about the new life of a beloved place within the city of Miami.
La’Diablesse Curse – The only horror film of this collection, this film brings forth the terrifying story of a terrible man, a womanizing absent father who finds himself being chased by a Caribbean spirit by the name of La’Diablesse, whose ability to shape-shift plagues this man for his actions and makes a demand of his soul in order to free his son from her curse. This film is absolutely wild, in the best way. It’s an amazing piece of short horror that is superbly acted by the cast. Writer/director Jared Prima took a relatively obscure part of Caribbean lore and brought it into the mainstream, to great effect. Stars Andrew Guilarte, Tishanna Williams, Kyle Hernandez and Pauline Mark were all excellent in their roles, giving this occult horror some believability.
Pine Mountain Overnight – Things get weird in this comedy that focuses on an eighth-grade class trip into nature, as a member of the class makes some incredible discoveries, braving not only their surroundings, but the trappings of life as a person of that age. And also, potentially Bigfoot. Writer/director Geena Marie Hernandez and co-writer Chris Violette have put out a wonderful, funny tale about being young and awkward, with Tori Bates, Zoey Todd, Maricel Lopez-Marrero, Cort Asante and Nathan Willamson all delivering in an excellent ensemble cast of actors.
Thanks again to all the wonderful filmmakers who helped make this possible, and to the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts for their support and contributions to this collection of films. It can be viewed on the BitPix platform from February 25th to February 28th on BitPix.