It’s almost time to say goodbye to the 18th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival, but we still have one more full day of incredible films, but not without one more full day of screenings! With the final day mostly dedicated to the awards ceremony, this will give us one last chance to see an entire day of the best in short films. The following are a few highlights, and be sure to stick around for an interview with someone from one of today’s highlighted films. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the final day’s coverage, and be sure to check out BitPix for all the films we’ve shown so far!
Aspirational Slut – Ellyn Jameson, Jake Nordwind and Kenton Chen star in this Caroline Lindy film about a heartbroken woman looking to get back on her feet after the end of the relationship. After getting a motivational montage about the wonders of casual sex from a pizza delivery person, Rosemary embarks on a journey towards her own sexual liberation, free from attachment. Which, of course, goes super well. The entire cast is fantastic, and this film is sweet in an odd way, but very fun throughout.
Invisible Eyes – Director Jung Seung-hee delivers a gorgeous animated film about three children playing in the forest, and everything they experience while out in nature. The background are incredibly detailed, with an interesting style for the children as they’re animated in the world around them, and tells an engaging story even without having a world of dialog.
How Do You Measure A Year? – Jay Rosenblatt shows both love and patience in this fantastic documentary that spans 17 years. From ages 2 to 18, Jay and his daughter Ella filmed an interview, where Jay would ask her the same questions every year to see how she’s grown both physically and as a person. Seeing this young woman grow from childhood to legal adult, with all the stages in between is a beautiful love letter from father to daughter, and something the two obviously loved doing together.
They Don’t Come in Peace – Pedro Oranges and Victor Silva have brought forth a harrowing and introspective film from Brazil, using the theory of alien abduction for something much more important within the borders of the country. As two brothers watch the news, which speaks of alien abductions, this is set up as a metaphor for the “abductions” (see: killings) of thousands of black people within Brazil that are lost each year to police violence, to an average of a shocking 17 per day. Using this platform to speak out about this is brave and incredible, with the cast of Dante Preto, Gustavo Coelho and Teka Romualdo really helping to bring this very important point to the audience.
Happy Birthday, Coley – Sam Milman & Peter Vass team up to write and direct this very interesting film that focuses on Coley, an influencer well past her peak in popularity as she attempts to hold a birthday party for herself. When this fails, mostly due to her negative attitude, she takes measures to show her following, and herself, how well she’s doing and how much people want to celebrate with her, regardless of the truth of the matter. Stephanie Barkley, Sam Milman and Kelsey Gunn are all doing amazing work in this, cranking up the cringe-factor as we watch Coley attempt to show off.
Our interview for today is with Jay Rosenblatt, writer/director of How Do You Measure A Year?, a fantastic film that chronicles the growth of his daughter through interviews done every year on her birthday. Thanks to Jay for taking the time to talk!
Q: Tell us more about your film. How did it come to be?
This is the 5th film I’ve made with my daughter as the subject. We began filming every year on her birthday, starting at age 2 and ending on ager 18.
Q: What was your budget?
I really had no budget for this project. It was all out of pocket. Most of the hard costs came from digital transfers, online editing, sound design and mix, a fair use lawyer and DCP. I did most of the shooting and all of the editing.
Q: What was the biggest takeaway from making the film?
To see a toddler turn into a young woman in 29 minutes of screen time is quite amazing. Sticking with a project for so many years can really pay off.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?
Motivating my daughter to take some time out of her birthday each year to do filming. It was especially challenging when she was a young teen. But she was a trooper and we are both happy with the result.
Q: What is next for you?
Not really sure…
Thanks to everyone for checking out today’s coverage, and for viewing the films, either in person or online. Come back tomorrow for even more coverage of this year’s HolyShorts Film Festival, and a huge appreciation to Jay Rosenblatt for the interview!