More than 20 film enthusiasts packed into the narrow confines of the art gallery in Taylor Books for the opportunity to view five Oscar-nominated live action short films Tuesday night.
The screening, sponsored by Taylor Books in partnership with the West Virginia International Film Festival, was the first of three nights of Oscar-nominated shorts shown as part of Charleston's citywide FestivALL celebration.
A repeat program was held at the bookstore Wednesday evening, giving others a chance to catch the films. The third night of shorts, this time animated films, will be held tomorrow night at Davis Park.
"Taylor Books has always tried to support the arts in general and the film festival in particular," said Daniel Carlyle, a Taylor Books employee. "We want to be a part of and support FestivALL to help keep the downtown area exciting."
Carlye said this was the first time the bookstore had hosted a short film screening, but he hoped it wouldn't be the last.
"For us it's about becoming the place people think of for these types of events. We want to solidify our stance as a cultural institution," Carlyle said.
Carlye said the film festival typically shows Oscar-nominated short films during one of its two festivals of the year, but this year the shorts didn't make it into the program
"So we thought we'd do it here as part of FestivALL," he said.
The programs included "Death of a Shadow," "Henry," "Curfew," "Buzkashi Boys," and "Asad."
All of the films, which ranged from 15 to 30 minutes in length, were considered for the 2013 Oscars last February.
During the 1 hour and 45 minute program, attendees were treated to complimentary beverages and snacks.
There was also a table full of film festival merchandise available for purchase, including T-shirts designed by local artist Charles Jupiter Hamilton.
David Howard, a WVIFF organizer, said the organization had decided to become part of the annual celebration to help bring attention to the group as it prepares to mark an important milestone.
"The film festival has been going on for upwards of 30 years; this fall we'll be celebrating our 30-year anniversary and we're really excited about it," Howard said.
Howard said funds provided by FestivALL had covered the licensing fees the group is required to pay in order to show the films in public. He said the films are all being shown on a digital Blu-ray projector provided by West Virginia State University.
The WVIFF's contribution to FestivALL will continue Friday in Davis Park between Capitol and Summers Streets.
Following this week's Live on the Levee performances by Dugan Carter & Full Flavor and The Esquires, there will be a screening of five Oscar-nominated animated shorts starting at 9:30 p.m.
The outdoor screening will last 128 minutes and feature the films, "Adam and Dog," "Fresh Guacamole," "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,'" "Paperman," and "Head Over Heels."
Admission is free and there will again be complimentary refreshments and the opportunity to purchase merchandise supporting the film festival.
"After you go to Live on the Levee or some other early evening FestivALL event, I hope you'll be able to join us for another night of great films, this time under the stars," Howard said to the crowd Tuesday.
Contact writer Charles Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1796
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