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Magnificent minutes: Shortsfest celebrated in Carbondale

Staff ReportIf you’re looking for a complete schedule of the 11th annual Aspen Shortsfest films for this weekend, your best bet is to find an “Official Program.” They’re mustard yellow and brick red and have a series of film clips running down the right side of the cover.If you’re plugged into the World Wide Web, log onto http://www.aspenshortsfest.org and all the information you want and need is there.But if you’re not into making the drive to Aspen and just want to know what Carbondale’s Crystal Theatre has to offer, look no further.The Crystal will offer three Shortsfest programs, with two screenings of Program A and Program B on Friday and Saturday, and one screening of Program C, the lineup of which will be announced later, on Sunday evening.Shortsfest is an international short film festival and competition and is one of but a handful of such festivals that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences recognizes for Oscar nominations. Over the past four months, the Shortsfest screening committee has previewed more than 1,000 short films from around the world and in the valley, and narrowed the finalists to 60 films from 21 countries. Film producers compete for more than $20,000 in cash and other prizes.”Our goal is to create an intimate international forum for emerging artists, established film professionals and film-loving audiences to gather together for a unique celebration of short cinema,” said executive director Laura Thielen.While most of the activity is centered in Aspen, in the past few years the Aspen Film Festival, which presents Shortsfest, has made efforts to bring screenings to Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, where last week a program of youth-oriented films from around the world was screened at the Springs Theatre.Advanced tickets for Aspen and Carbondale shows are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, at the Wheeler Box Office, or call 920-5770; Carbondale tickets are available only at Sounds Easy, located in the Sopris Shopping Center on Highway 133.Admission to Crystal Theatre screenings is $9.50. Doors open 15 minutes prior to each show. Filmgoers are asked to be prompt. Shows often sell out in advance. In the event of a sellout, unclaimed seats will be released for sale 10 minutes prior to show time. Programs are subject to change without notice.Program A: Show times 6:30 and 9 p.m. Friday, April 12, total running time approximately 120 minutes (films not necessarily listed in running order):”Bintou” – Filmed in France, Zimbabwe, and Burkino Faso, this 31-minute film, directed by Fanta Regina Nacro, asks the question, “Why does a girl need to go to school?” Set in an African village, this lively drama looks at one woman’s determination to educate her daughter, no matter what the cost. “Cowhide” – Filmed in France, this 22-minute film, directed by Gerald Hustache Mathieu, is a coming-of-age story about an emotional and rebellious 22-year-old girl whose only friends are the cows she milks every day, and Paolo, a curiously fascinating next door neighbor of sorts.”The Hawker” – Made in Greece, this 13-minute film, directed by Panayotis Fafoutis, is set in a sleepy byway in rural Greece, where Vassiliki spends her day at her rundown roadside taverna, waiting for customers. One day a persuasive traveling salesman beguiles her with a bright new restaurant decoration and life takes on new shades of meaning.”Home Road Movies” – This true story, filmed in England and directed by Robert Bradbrook, is about a regular dad who wanted the family car to make him a better parent. The 13-minute film is based on family folklore and children’s memories, and employing an unusual synthesis of computer animation, photographs, and live action footage.”Palindrome” – In just one day a man loses everything: his job, his home, his possessions. A straight-forward story, you think, but this 11-minute story, filmed in Brazil and directed by Philippe Barcinski, is told with a dazzling adrenaline twist.”Site” – Filmed in the United States and directed by Jason Kliot, this visual meditation charts a landscape of emotion as it crosses a variety of faces at Ground Zero in the days following Sept. 11.”Strange Invaders” – This is a nine-minute, Canadian, irrepressibly comic cautionary tale, directed by Cordell Barker, about Roger and Doris, whose quiet lives are changed with the arrival of a strange visitor.Program B: Show times 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday, April 13, total running time approximately 120 minutes (films not necessarily listed in running order):”Andy Across the Water” – Filmed in 2002 in the United States, this 29-minute film, directed by Leo Geter, is about Andy Larson, who has spent years treating his family badly and they’ve had years to get used to it. Then he has a life-changing vision. Set against the landscapes of southern Colorado, this down-to-earth drama explores trust, forgiveness and redemption.”Humanitarian Aid” – Filmed in Romania in 2002, this 17-minute film, directed by Hanno Hfer, is sparse in words but rich in understanding of human nature. One sunny day, three young Western Europeans arrive in a village bearing a long-awaited truckload of humanitarian aid. “Living with Happiness” – Directed by Sarah Watt, this six-minute Australian film looks at the adage that being happy means knowing you’re happy. A lusciously animated imagining about the things that keep us awake at night.”Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers” – The hidden melodies in everyday life are just waiting to be brought to life as six percussionists launch a musical attack on the suburbs. Filmed in Sweden, this 10-minute film was directed by Ola Simonsson.”Restless” – Filmed in Norway and directed by Therese Jacobsen and Erik Vang, this four-minute short about a mysterious traveler channel-surfing through anonymous urban landscapes is a beautiful computer-animated meditation on modern life.”Sweetnightgoodheart” – Filmed in England and directed by Dan Zeff, Pete has something very important to say to Juliet in this nine-minute film, but the evening doesn’t go according to plan.”TALLgirl” – This 15-minute American film, directed by Amalia Zarranz, looks at lanky Tamunda, and her crush on her basketball partner Tommy, who sees her as one of the boys.”The Voice of the Prophet” – Filmed in the United States, and directed by Robert Edwards, this film is about a prescient interview with Rick Rescorla, head of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. It was filmed in the World Trade Center in 1998. This military veteran’s straightforward talk about new kinds of war and how we create our own enemies will leave an indelible impression.Program C: Show time 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14; a pick of some of Shortsfest’s prize-winning shorts and other favorites; a full lineup will be announced on Sunday. Call 925-6882, ext. 108, for a list of films.


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