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Aspen Shortsfest


On Sunday, the awards were announced for the 17th Aspen Shortsfest. The entire list can be seen below. Except for the audience award given to COME BACK TO SUDAN, which shared the award with ONE BRIDGE TO THE NEXT, nothing was too surprising. I really liked the message of COME BACK TO SUDAN, but felt the filmmaking – especially from a story standpoint, lacked focus. More understandable, was the award to ONE BRIDGE TO THE NEXT. It’s presents us with Dr. Jim Withers, a street doctor who atten...


So I came to the last night of the screenings at Aspen Shortsfest filled with high expectations.  Generally, the first and last programs are filled with great films.  Program 7 fluctuated between good and fair films.  The good ones included: CHIEF, TAXI, and my favorite PETER AND BEN.    It’s another quirky English doc depicting the relationship of Peter (a man), and Ben (a ram).  Both opt to live outside their respective flocks, and with each other.  The eighth and last program of the...

ENVIOUS IN ASPEN - Programs 5&6

Jealousy reared its ugly head last night at Program 6 here at the Aspen Shortsfest.  I never thought I could be envious of a total stranger, a student nonetheless.  I asked myself how someone so early in their career could create a piece so nuanced, so mature, so well done.  I'm writing of ON THE LINE, a 30 minute German/Swiss coproduction that is clearly the best film I've seen here so far.  That is saying a lot, since almost the entire program was stellar.  SPIDER is a devastatingly fun...

Kate Hudson's directoral debut with CUTLASS

Yesterday, I started to get press releases from the Aspen Shortfest. The first one was for Kate Hudson’s directorial debut CUTLASS. Of course it’s great that Aspen helps support a local girl, albeit a famous one. I’ve seen a lot of these shorts that turned into vanity projects, but I am hoping this one avoids that pitfall. Almost all filmmakers, even the rich and famous, have to call in favors to get their film made. The problem is when stars get other stars and crews to work gratis on t...

Heading to Aspen Shortsfest

 Heading to Aspen for the Shortsfest next week and hope to post daily. I've spent over 15 years in the short film business and find Aspen to be the best programmed short film festival in the U.S. Hope this year will be no exception. Looking forward to screening 50 or so of the best short films for 2008.  Will start to update when I get there on April 2nd. ...