The Journal of Short Film Volume 36 – Press Release

From animation to live action, narrative to augmented-reality essay, The Journal of Short Film, Volume 36 brings together films produced in an array of styles and modes. In spite of their diversity, all of these films deal with the connections that, for better and for worse, define human beings’ experiences of the world: connections with other people, with nature, and with higher powers. The films are interested in visualizing how these formative connections emerge and how they break down. They explore the simultaneously creative and destructive aspects of relationships, at a time when our relationship with the screen—liberated from the theater and the living room and appearing in our palms, cars, and glasses—seems increasingly primary.

Still from Bye-Bye Blackbird by Gaia Bonsignore

Still from Bye-Bye Blackbird by Gaia Bonsignore

Still from Big Willow by Jared Katsiane

Still from Big Willow by Jared Katsiane

Still from Jump by Franz Ross and Dara Eliacin

Still from Jump by Franz Ross and Dara Eliacin

The Journal of Short Film, Volume 36

  1. Bye-Bye Blackbird, Gaia Bonsignore (2013). A conversational but visually complex live-action short, Bye-Bye Blackbird transports the viewer from a bedroom, to a deserted country road, to the beach, and back. Repeatedly reframing reality as artifice, the film reflects on the power of travel, imagination, and storytelling. (15:30)
  1. Animation Hotline, Dustin Grella (2013). Animation Hotline is a series of animated micro-shorts based on anonymous messages left on the artist’s voicemail. Kinetic, chalkboard-style drawings illustrate and provide ironic counterpoint to the words of the eclectic speakers’ sometimes insightful, sometimes bizarre anecdotes. (5:24)
  1. Three-O-Seven, Spencer Howson and Cole Becker (2014). A detective investigating a puzzling murder quickly finds himself locked in a dangerous game with a smart, calculating killer. In its setting and visual style, Three-O-Seven situates itself squarely in the tradition of film noir, even as its frenetic handheld camerawork suggests the influence of more contemporary procedurals. (8:53)
  1. The Umbrella Factory, Nick and Lexie Trivundza (2013). Spare animations harkening back to the Victorian Era bring a narrator’s macabre tale to life in The Umbrella Factory. One rainy evening, a traveler knocks on the door of three brothers’ house, offering them a wish-granting talisman in exchange for room and board. The brothers attempt to exploit the talisman’s powers, failing to heed the old adage, Be careful what you wish for. (3:52)
  1. Jump, Franz Ross and Dara Eliacin (2014). Jump is a silent film with musical accompaniment, which relies on point-of-view editing and actor movement for its effects. In this tragicomic vignette, the paraphernalia of a playground frustrates and eventually enables two young children’s effort to play together. (2:19)
  1. Street Views, Annie Berman (2013). Set in New York City’s West Village, but “shot” almost entirely within Google’s Street View, this subtle essay film explores how virtual mapping alters our experience of space and identity. Street Views is a somnambulist tour, which defies natural laws of perspective, time, and continuity, allowing one to get lost without ever straying from the map. (8:10) www.annieberman.net, info@fishinhand.com
  1. Big Willow, Jared Katsiane (2013). Blurring the line between dramatic narrative and observational documentary, Willow offers an elliptical narrative about an aspiring artist facing the impending destruction of his favorite subject, “Big Willow.” Through the juxtaposition of the artist’s younger sister’s voiceover and often impressionistic images, the film makes the eponymous tree a potent symbol of hope and frustration. (10:29) www.jaredkatsiane.com
  1. Teddy, Margaret Orr (2014). In this animated short, a stuffed toy acts heroically to protect a sleeping child from the monster lurking under the bed. With its unusual blend of the cute and the violent, Teddy offers intriguing echoes of Edwin Porter’s groundbreaking novelty film, The “Teddy” Bears (Edison, 1907), which introduced the iconic toy to the American screen. (1:47)
  1. A Well-Proved Helpmate, Richard Bailey (2013). Speaking directly into the camera, folk preacher Pontain Mitchell attempts to explain his beliefs and ministerial practices. As decontextualized images punctuate his discourse, A Well-Proved Helpmate becomes a meditation on the limitations of linguistic sense and the evocative powers of the word. (14:35)

The Journal of Short Film Staff is: Publisher – Ohio State University Film Studies Program Executive Editor – Ryan Jay Friedman Editors – Brian Hauser, Margaret C. Flinn Production Manager – Matt Swift Production Assistant – Michael Polk, Nikki Swift

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