A worldly young man, two mismatched would-be thieves and a pair of curious little sisters star in three shorts selected by Get Shorty attendees to screen at the Cleveland International Film Festival March 18-29.
Film fanatics packed the Capitol Theatre in the Gordon Square Arts District for the Film Feast last night to spend an evening as a CIFF programmer watching 10 shorts and ranking each. The winning 23-minute short, The Hyperglot, is a charming tale that follows a young man who has a unique verbal talent but struggles to communicate with the ladies.
In second place, the 9-minute Sequestered zooms in on two would-be robbers who wear opposing presidential masks and debate policy matters and cross-the-isle issues. Stars Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas' funny on-screen chemistry will be familiar to fans of ABC's Castle — where they play partners enforcing the law instead of trying to break it.
The third pick is the French 6-minute Dad in Mum, about young sisters who hilariously try to figure out what that thumping noise coming from mommy and daddy's bedroom is.
Some other standouts that I personally enjoyed were Yearbook, a poignant animated flick about an oh-so-average man charged with chronicling the history of humans, and the quirky French People of Mylonesse, Mourn Thy Queen Naphus about a bumbling actor who just wants to see his bit part through.
So how do the CIFF staff program the mammoth cinematic fest? Each of the 2,065 feature films and 1,600-plus shorts submitted are rated by at least three viewers. To get an idea of how many make it into the Oscar-nominating festival, 10.9 percent of submitted features were programmed last year as well as 11.6 percent of the shorts.
If you want to feed your appetite for films once more before opening night in March, get in on the Oscar conversation at the final Film Feast Feb. 19 at the Bop Stop with Plain Dealer film critic Clint O'Connor and Cleveland Cinemas marketing director Dave Huffman.