December 2022 HollyShorts Monthly Screenings!

2022 is coming to a close, and with it comes out final Monthly Screening of the year. With that comes over a dozen amazing films from some very talented filmmakers that everyone should enjoy. This month’s screening will run from December 14th to through December 18th on BitPix, with the in-person screening on the 14th being held at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. And now, let’s get on with these terrific films!

Passcode – Christian Elan Ortiz and Elizabeth Byland star in this film that focuses on something many people have gotten in on in the last few years: joke crypto currency. Ortiz stars as Neil, a software developer who has shunned the internet finds out that a joke crypto he bought has taken off. As he attempts to login, he can’t remember his password, starting a journey that could lead to fortune or despair, depending on if he can figure his out his password. It’s a fun film that really strikes close to home for many who have taken a shot at crypto ownership, whether for fun, profit or both. Writer and director Harish Chatrathi has delivered on a fun and frenetic film that is both relatable and a bit absurd.

Good Cuban Girls – Sophia Costanzo writes and directs this short about a second-generation Cuban-American woman who has to go through the motions of applying to a college close to home, despite needing to tell her family that she sees herself elsewhere. Shot mostly inside a vehicle on the way there, this choice brings an impressive intimacy to this family and their goals. From Samantha’s (Bianca Dovarro) desire to leave the nest, to her younger sister’s (Chloe Perez) prodding, this is a film about family, growing up, moving on, and the desire to stay close. It’s a really well done film.

Pasqualina of Springfield – Gina Cunningham writes and directs this wonderful documentary film about her family and its history, through the lens of their ancestor, the famed Pasqualina of Springfield. In Springfield, Massachusetts lived a family with ties to the mafia, and over time, and through circumstance, Pasqualina became the head of this family, much to the dismay and/or celebration of those who came after her. Cunningham interviews family members, a Mafia Genealogist and those in the know about her relative, bringing forth a fascinating story about making it in America as an immigrant, by any means necessary.

Keep/Delete – Kryzz Gautier brings us the powerful and emotional Keep/Delete, a story of two women who use an advanced technology to delete their entire four-year relationship from their memories after it ends. Kaari (Lorena Jorge) and Grace (Wilder Yari) are just excellent in this film, bringing so much emotion and baggage, both spoken and unspoken, to the roles. You feel the pain of lost love, of a rift wide enough to tear their relationship apart, of resentment and remorse. It also shows the power of connection, of memory not always being just in the mind, but also in emotions.

Together/Apart – David Amberg’s beautiful animated short about a couple, Michael and Alex (Eric Roberts and Alex Redd), who have to deal with the fallout of an attack that happened years ago. As Michael still worries they’ll be attacked for living their lives openly as a gay couple, his body begins to literally fall apart, forcing him on a journey towards acceptance of himself and true acceptance of his love for Alex. It’s silly in moments, but so inspiring and heartwarming, using a literal action as a metaphor for coming together even in the wake of trauma.

The Girl At The Motor Hotel – Tatiana Harman and David Perez star in Garrett Detrixhe’s film about a young woman living and working at a motel, struggling both physically and emotionally after a recent abortion. As she lives in almost total isolation, other than the guests at the motel, Sherri (Harman) has to learn to cope with what’s going on in her life and try to get herself together. It’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching film, with Harman really bringing a lot to the role, letting it feel incredibly lived-in and real.

Hot Singles – Shannon Walton stars in a very unique film by Laura Jean Hocking that puts the world in a pretty rough place, through unexplained means that have formed some sort of post-apocalypse. As Daisy (Walton) finds herself without much phone service and an air quality warning as she shelters in place, she finds that a spam sex hotline number is the only thing that seems to be coming through. This film takes an interesting turn, saying less about the environs of the world inside the film and more of a statement on the grosser side of the male gender in a way that is funny and stunning. It was a delightful take on this subject, for sure.

Moving Out – Writer/director Rachel Earnest (with co-writer Ashley Monti) delivers on a powerful and uplifting film that shows the disparity between faith and living your truth, and how they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Growing up closeted in a religious household, Sam (Carolyn Grundman) must make the decision to come out to her family, even knowing the church’s stance on homosexuality and gay marriage. It’s a story with some hope, as her family at least continues to look out for her as she decides to move out and take her own journey, and Ernest, who, along with the cast and crew, staying with the church community in her hometown while filming, seems to take from her own life to bring this film to the world. It’s beautiful and bittersweet, showing that while there’s hope, there’s still a long road ahead for those who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still retain their faith.

Buzzkill – Kathy E. Mitrani’s story about a girl and her younger sister attempting to fit in with a group of teens, this film is more about vibes than narrative, something that should not be seen as a detriment. Putting the audience in the shows of our protagonist (Sofia Abad) and her sister (Ariella Abad), we follow the girls as they follow and spy on the group of kids hanging out until they’re eventually able to join them. This leads to some trouble, as it tends to do with rambunctious youth, but getting to see it play out in real time is one of those magical things that allows an audience to relive their youths, and remember when that kid getting into trouble with friends was you. The cast was wonderful, helping to give that feeling of authenticity and realness to the film in a way that really brings back those memories of childhood.

Reservation For Tam O’Shanter – Director Sarah Jacobs delivers on a very interesting bottle film that focuses on a group of friends getting ready to head out to a dinner reservation. Things are thrown off the rails as something goes missing and a surprising confession is made. Emma Sofia Fazzuoli, Jessica Deshaw, Brennan Murray, Miska Kajanus, Anastasia Lincoln, Eddie Ewing, and Dylan Tucson star in this engaging and enigmatic film that was a joy to watch.

Dick Heist – Written by Kevin Glikmann and directed by Aiden Glikmann, this film focuses on a ridiculous and hilarious concept as Issac (David Prottas), afraid of his friends messing with him during his bachelor party, locks his gentials in a chastity cage prior to his wedding. However, the device getting hacked sends him and his new bride (Ashely Rene) on a spree of robberies as a way to prevent Issac from being harmed by the hacker. It goes in a wild direction, and this was a very fun film to watch, especially as some of the more ridiculous twists get going.

Honeymoon Missouri – Joe Eckstein’s film is a dark and powerful piece that focuses on Archie (Cassie Ferrick), whose night spirals out of control when she’s given the Honeymoon Suite at a small hotel after the person who originally reserved it doesn’t show on time. Archie’s stay takes a massive turn when a couple (George Hovis and Coleen Tutton) attempts to purchase use of the room from her, setting forth a wild series of events. It’s a film that is both gripping and uncomfortable in moments, but is very emotionally driven, creating a thrilling film.

Table For One – Glenís Hunter stars in this film by Jacqueline Linares about Daphne, a young woman who wants to honor her latest achievement after getting that good news that she’s finally student-debt free. After trying to get ahold of friends and family, all of which who cancel or don’t listen long enough to hear her news, she makes the decision to go out anyways. It’s a really emotionally powerful film that reinforces the fact that good news should be celebrated, even if you’re the only one doing it.

Dear Ani – Micah Levin’ documentary about one man’s obsession with artist Ani DiFranco is a fascinating look at how mental illness and connection to art can build something special. There is a negative connotation to a pure love of someone’s creativity sometimes, but this film is not that. This film is a look into how that love and connection can bloom into something greater than the sum of its parts. The story of Keith Wasserman’s journey through multiple manic episodes, all buttressed by a love for DiFranco is one that is pretty unique, as the two have built a real bond that feels constructed over a love of art, creativity and dedication. It’s a fascinating film that absolutely has to be seen to be understood.

That will conclude the HollyShorts Monthly Screenings for the year! Be on the lookout for more screenings in 2023! Thanks for joining us to watch these incredible films, and make sure to check out this selection from December 14th to December 18th, only on BitPix!

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