Sept. 26--ROCKPORT -- Audiences in more than 300 communities on six continents will be serve as judges in a global film festival -- and one of those sites will be right here on Cape Ann.
Rockport Music is inviting viewers to not only view but also judge the 10 finalists in the 16th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival through showings at its Shalin Liu Performance Center.
The screening times are slated for Sunday at 3 and 7 p.m.; on Monday at 2 p.m.; and on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m.
The finalists for the Manhattan Short Film Festival came from a record-breaking 628 entries received from 48 countries.
Tony Beadle, the Rockport Music executive director, said it's clear that the event growing, judging by the increasing number of venues taking part this year.
"It's a lot of fun, because everybody is a participant and they get to vote," he said, noting that this year there are four local times to see the suite of short films for the festival this time around.
"We had a good turnout last year and everybody loved the movies," he said.
Each film is 18 minutes or under in length. Countries represented this year include the United States, England, Ireland, France, Finland and Australia. Past finalists have gone on to achieve the ultimate in recognition by being nominated and even winning the Oscar in the short film category, according to a festival release.
The film titles are:
"#30" by Timothy Wilde of Australia;
"Do I Have to Take Care of Everything" by Selma Vilhunen of Finland;
"Friday" by Seb Edwards of England;
"No Comment" by Alexandra Naoum of France;
"Irish Folk Furniture" by Tony Donaghue of Ireland;
"Black Metal" by Kat Candler of the United States;
"Faces From Places" by Bastien Dubois of France;
"I Am a Great Big Ball of Sadness" by Ken Urban of the United States;
"Kismet Diner" by Mark Nunnely of England;
"Pale of Settlement" by Jacob Sillman of the United States.
Filmgoers will be handed a voting card upon entry into the theater and asked to vote for the one film they feel should win.
Votes are tallied at each participating cinema and submitted to the Manhattan Short headquarters, where the winner will be announced in New York City as well as posted on the Internet (www.ManhattanShort.com ) on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10 p.m.
"In my 16 years of programming Manhattan Short, this is by far the strongest program I've ever put together," Festival Director Nicholas Mason said in a prepared statement. "There is something for everyone, from the ages of 16 to 80."
For the first time, the audiences will also vote on a "Best Actor" award. The organizers believe the outstanding work of actors and actresses in short films is often overlooked by the general public and the film community. By asking the audience to vote for Best Actor, the festival wants to acknowledge the role an actor plays in the execution of a short film director's vision.
This Manhattan Short film festival began in 1998, when Mason screened 16 short films onto a screen mounted to the side of a truck on Mulberry Street in Little Italy in New York City.
A year later, the festival moved uptown to Union Square Park in New York City. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the festival became a worldwide event, becoming the only film festival that unfolds, simultaneously, in more than 250 cinemas on six continents, bringing over 100,000 film-lovers together for one week, via the next generation of filmmakers.
Tickets can be purchased in advance on the website at www.rockportmusic.org, or at the door.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at email@example.com.
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