ShortFest Spotlight

We've curated films for your escaping pleasure.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  Check back for additions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Russian Roulette | 5 minutes

Director: Ben Aston

Ben is a London born filmmaker, raised in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Australia and Bath. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy from King's College London. His mid-course LFS film, Dinner and a Movie, was selected for the #Shortfest13.

His graduation film He Took His Skin Off For Me premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2014. After screening at over 30 festivals and winning several awards it went viral upon it's online release, quickly reaching over 2 million views on Vimeo alone.  His micro-budget comedy short, Russian Roulette, won the jury prize at Sundance London and went on to be selected for #ShortFest15, eventually selling to Condé Nast. As a result, Screen International named him a Star Of Tomorrow in October 2015. His work is regularly described as poignant, hilarious, heartwarming and terrifying. He is currently in development on a feature project John Moves In and can otherwise be found squirrelling away on something small and weird on the side.

Sweater | 5 minutes

Director: Nick Borenstein

A short Nick Borenstein wrote, directed, and starred in. Sweater is about Corey's worst day ever, until he gets a free coffee.

Nick Borenstein is a New York-based writer, director, dancer, and actor. Nick wrote, directed and starred in Sweater and 99, two short films that screened at many film festivals including #ShortFest19.

He also wrote, directed, and starred in the comedic digital series Trip, a selection of IFP's Screen Forward Lab, and The Buddy System, a short film that was developed into a digital series for Elite Daily. Additionally, Nick was a finalist for Sundance Institute's YouTube New Voices Lab, and he staged a live dance performance entitled "5INCO" during his 2019 Artist Residency at Casa Lü in Mexico City. He just wrapped a new short film to be released in 2020 and is developing his first feature film.

Pickle | 15 minutes

Director: Amy Nicholson

Her short film, Pickle, was featured at ShortFest 2016. After going on the festival circuit, the film was picked up by the New York Times.

Examining the complicated relationships humans have with animals, Amy Nicholson's festival favourite Pickle is a film of unexpected warmth and mirth. Centering on a couple's dedication to homing sick and deformed animals (from paraplegic possums to cross-eyed cats), Nicholson's 15-minute short may sound morbid on paper, but this documentary quickly proves to be a life-affirming watch.

Nicholson has a film production company called Myrtle & Olive. Her other films include: Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride, Muskrat Lovely, and Beauty School.

How to Lose Weight in 4 easy steps | 7 minutes

Director: Ben Berman

Benjamin Berman is a director and editor, known for The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019), Lady Dynamite (2016) and Man Seeking Woman (2015). How To Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps was featured during ShortFest 2016.

How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps almost begs to be watched during this back-to-the-gym season, when the year's resolutions are still fresh in our minds. Per its click-bait title, this story of a heartbroken mattress salesman who pulls himself out of a rut by lifting weights does offer a smattering of timeworn weight loss tips (portion control! avoid carbs!), along with the far more substantial reminder that loss and grief can make us stronger.

His future projects include developing a TV show with some similar elements and philosophies to 4 Easy Steps. He's also working on a feature film and filming a documentary about a magician-comedian who, although diagnosed with a terminal disease and given 2 years to live, doesn't appear to be dying.

Garfield | 12 minutes

Director: Georgi Banks-Davies

Georgi Banks-Davies is a director born in the UK. A graduate of the Newport Film School, she has also directed many festival screened shorts - two of which; The Glossy Mag & Penny Collectors were UK lottery funded. Her short film, Garfield (2016) was selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Alongside establishing a career as a successful commercials director.

She is currently directing Sky Atlantic's new drama I Hate Suzie. Her debut feature film is in development.

MAUDE | 10 Minutes

Director: Anna Margaret Hollyman

Known for her extensive filmography as an actor, Anna Margaret Hollyman steps behind the camera in Maude, her writing and directing debut. With her trademark humor, she conveys the millennial struggle with a rare authenticity in this farcical story of a woman who tries another's life on for size.

Another upscale babysitting gig at a beautiful house-this is routine for Teeny, a stereotypical 20-something, gig-economy worker. This time is a bit different however. When she gets to the door she is not greeted by an anonymous trophy-wife, but by someone she went to high school with. The mild surprise jars loose something deep and repressed in Teeny's brain as the unflattering comparison of their social and economic stations awakens a hunger she didn't know she had.

BODEGA | 12 minutes

Director: Rebecca Halfon

Rebecca Halfon is a writer and director born and raised in New York City. Her short film Bodega had its World Premiere at the 2019 South By Southwest Film Festival, premiered online on Short of the Week, was licensed by Air Canada, and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. It aired on RevoltTV's "Short & Fresh" anthology series in March 2020 and is currently available on Revolt on Demand.

Bodega is about A Syrian deli owner and a high school girl with a fake ID find common ground on one winter night in Brooklyn. Her latest short is a coming-of-age comedy called Esther. It will be released in 2020.

MADE PUBLIC | 13 minutes

Director: Foster Wilson

Foster is an award-winning director, filmmaker, and Emergence Award Recipient. She earned her BFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied for 3 years with the Atlantic Theater Company under the tutelage of David Mamet, Chris Bauer, Scott Zigler, and Mary McCann, among others. After more than a decade working in the industry as an actor, Foster co-founded Detroit Street Films, an independent film production company intent on building a robust community of filmmakers to collaborate on micro-budget films. In DSF's inaugural year, the company produced over a dozen films, including Foster's directorial debut: a gritty short about possessions and priorities titled BRICK & MOPSIE. Foster's most notable directing work to date is the award-winning short film MADE PUBLIC, a Emergence Award Recipient for Female Filmmakers, written by her husband Brian Leahy, and starring Jeanine Mason (Roswell, New Mexico) and Josh Zuckerman (90210). The film premiered in 2019 and has played at more than 25 festivals including Palm Springs, Cinequest, Cleveland, and many more. The film has received 13 nominations and 9 awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and the Audience Award at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Director Foster Wilson discusses Made Public during the 2019 ShortFest ShortShots!  More ShortShots may be watched on the ShortFest YouTube Channel.

2020 ShortFest