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FROM THE STAFF OF SF SHORTS

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Film Round-Up 2020
SF SHORTS STAFF . OCTOBER 2020
Each year, SF Shorts choses a selection of short films which not only entertain but also provoke thought and scratch the core human itch to connect with the world around us. The group of films screening this year is no exception. Read our brief thoughts about each below.

Acquario
Hold your breath. Youthful infatuation shifts to a shattering of innocence.

After Laughter
A nuanced and provocative observation of an ironic gazing.

Bad Furniture
Thought provoking. Fetish? punishment? contemporary humanity’s yearning for purpose and the boundaries of functional roles. A metaphor for how we treat each other, or what we’re willing to sacrifice to support a relationship or a complex of martyrdom? or just bad furniture.

Ballast
At what age do we become responsible for the indirect repercussions of our actions?

Balloon
Expertly tackles adolescent bullying in a fresh and impactful way, through top-notch production, writing, and performances.

Bengale
A tense and claustrophobic depiction of the adage, there’s no going back.

Creative Evolution
To maintain the visual complexity of painterly composition throughout an evolving animation is a remarkable accomplishment.

Dagny
A theatric portrayal embodies the Norwegian knack to mollify with cheer even in the face of bleak suffering.

Days of Rage
On a tight-rope juggling cultural and personal identities.

Duet
A unique art-video collage of two men intimately sharing their physiological dysfunctions.

Five Foot 280
A professional drag racer shatters this world of speed and male domination.

Flunkyball
The film swelters with disorientation, when strangers that are foreign and male happen into a party which devolves through alcohol and toxic masculinity into a confusion of language, custom, and intentions.

Gabriel
Will we be able to suspend our disbelief in real life to abandon loneliness?

Irse
An immersive and heart-breaking document of families who must flee Venezuela to give birth in Columbia.

Je Suis Comme le Roi
Darkly atmospheric with the tension of a night intruder. Factions and fascism lie just below this suburban facade.

Kamaaina
A beautifully honest and insider portrait of a homeless teen searching for community in magical Hawaiian locations.

Let the Blonde Sing
A singer runs away to the end of the world and comforts people at the only open bar.

Love from Santiago
Embrace a young woman’s courage to run away from an abusive man, as she ventures on the open road from desert to sea through enchanting Chilean environs to spawn a new life.

Lucy’s Choice
This documentary is a privilege to embed within the daily life and customs of an elderly mother protecting her daughters from sharing her own fate.

Manzanal
Startling. Become a witness to massacres in El Salvador at the hands of the US government.

Metro6
A film about community ( on San Francisco’s infamous bus lines ) made by community ( 78 animators in 17 different countries ).

Particles
Maybe you shouldn’t do math alone in the desert.

Peter Has to Go to the Doctor
Carl Jung postulated that a boy cannot become a man until he severs his mother archetype. The comic vulnerability of this rite-of-passage is performed pitch-perfect.

Roots and Wings
This uniquely female-centric doc pops-up traditional Filipino cuisine across the US giving diners a direct relationship with the food and sharing trust with their neighbors.

Saudade
The pandemic’s ennui transports us into a past of Mediterranean contemplation.

Shredded
An honest documentary because it doesn’t go as expected when pitting strength against vulnerability.

Tan Paints the Tenderloin
Art grows like nature in the cracks of a challenged community, from the necessity of beauty in the face of struggle.

Two Prisons
A provoking document of the Chinese police to detain a human rights blogger, isolating him into deep psychological sadness and fear.

Unnur
It is a privilege to contemplate this enchanting portrait, balanced with modern reality, while traveling to sublime remote locations.

Wall Piano
Profoundly inspirational.
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