SF ShortsSF Shorts

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FILMMAKER TESTIMONIALS
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MOUHANAD AL RIFAY and OULA A. ALRIFAI

Tomorrow’s Children is a documentary made by a brother and sister, who are both themselves refugees from Syria. The film follows six children, forced from their homes and schools in Aleppo and then attempting to cope as laborers in Turkey. The documentary was awarded the Impact Award from the festival. Mouhanad and Oula share their experience of attending the festival: 

“In light of the divisive political rhetoric we are currently experiencing, SF Shorts captures the essence of San Francisco where globalism is embraced, diversity is celebrated, and progressive ideals are tested. SF Shorts exceeded our expectations. The festival was well organized, and, from the start, we felt appreciated, supported, and encouraged by the directors and team. The unique programming reflects the organizers' expertise and love for high quality intriguing short films that provoke new ideas and challenge assumptions. We are proud to have premiered Tomorrow's Children, our first documentary film, at SF Shorts, and honored to have received the Impact Award!” 

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RICHARD ARUM

So I Was Wondering, a drama which challenges what we’re willing to do for true friendship, screened at SF Shorts. Its director, Richard Arum, tells us what he thought of the festival: 

“It was truly an honor to have my film screened at SF Shorts. The quality of films was tremendously high; each film was unique and thought provoking, and each program was expertly curated by the festival organizers. The Q and A sessions at the end of each program were well moderated, with interesting questions being asked of the filmmakers which led to great discussions in many cases. Having taken part is several Q and A sessions, some more successful than others, it was great to hear these in-depth conversations, both as someone on the panel and as an audience member. As a filmmaker I felt very welcomed and encouraged, and I appreciated getting the chance to meet and talk with other filmmakers from around the country. I'm so glad I had the chance to share my film with the city of San Francisco, and I loved being able to do it at the charming Roxie theater. I hope I get the chance to be a part of this festival again someday!” 
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LAURA HERMANIDES

Prove Me Wrong, a documentary which follows a troubled youth in the Netherlands, screened at SF Shorts. Its director, Laura Hermanides, tells us what she thought of the festival:

“First of all: what a great selection of films. The quality of the films in the diverse programming of SF Shorts is very high. Obviously the films have been chosen by people with a great, maybe even fanatic, love for film. Evidently that makes it an honor to have been selected, but it also made me a very nervous person on the day of my actual screening. Not only were the selections good, but the audiences were also very film-loving and therefore, of course, also critical. I prayed my film would survive among all the other good ones. Which is a great thing: feeling that you really want a public to feel, like, or even hate your film – just as long as it gets to them. So the Q&A’s were wonderful, because of the intelligent, interesting questions being asked. It was wonderful for a film-loving, and for a film-making, public. But a festival wouldn’t be good without all the other stuff around the films. The atmosphere in the over-a-century-old Roxie Theater was the best I found in the town. The filmmakers, that came in from all over the world, were not only good at making films, but were marvelous bar-hanging company as well. So overall, SF Shorts is a festival that stimulates me to make a new film and try to get selected again next year…”
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VERONICA LOPEZ

Light and Dark, an intense documentary screened at SF Shorts. Its director, Veronica Lopez, tells us what she thought of the festival:

“I was honored to be part of a program that was packed with an eclectic mix of great shorts, some dazzling and some disturbing, but this festival is also about a sense of community. The audience was engaged and the programmers and volunteers are such an amazingly supportive crew. I had a great time, saw some wonderful films, met some talented local filmmakers, ran into old friends and made new ones. It was my first time submitting and attending SF Shorts and I am very glad I did.”
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DAVID MEIKLEJOHN

The Upper Room, an innovative music video screened at SF Shorts. Its director, David Meiklejohn, tells us what he thought of the festival:

“When SF Shorts accepted my music video into their program, I had no idea how much fun it would be seeing it on the big screen at the Roxie Theater. The venue and the festival are true champions of short film work, and I felt so appreciated being there in the audience to see the other great works. Short films rarely get such royal treatment as they do at this festival, and I'm going to submit every short project I make to them so I can have the chance of participating again. What a great festival!”
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JOHN VALENTI

Tech Service: A Memoir by John Valenti, rocked the audience. John tells us what he thought of the festival:

“It was an honor to be a part of such a highly-considered program of films at SF Shorts. I was constantly surprised by the subject matter and style of the programming. They were the type of films you want to talk about afterward. It was also nice that the festival directors knew me by name before I even introduced myself, having recognized my face from my film. As a filmmaker, I was really pleased with the high quality projection at the theater and to receive support to travel to San Francisco. It was exceedingly apparent that the festival took great time and care in selecting its incredible range of films.”
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PERRIN KERNS

Between Sasquatch and Superman... Living with Down Syndrome, a documentary true and raw, by Perrin Kerns screened at SF Shorts. After the festival, the filmmaker shared her experience:

“The SF Shorts festival is a film festival that feels completely native to San Francisco. The two fantastically kind directors of the festival chose mixes so wild and wonderful that one thinks, while watching in the packed house, that only a place like San Francisco could host such range and welcome such creative innovation and vision. This festival gave a new film maker like me, and also my nephew who is the subject of my film, an incredible venue for showing our film amongst world class international films. Even though we were newbies to the film scene, we were welcomed at every turn and thrilled to find our short in this collection of outstanding films. The question and answer sessions at the end of our showing added depth and a feeling of connection between audience and film makers. This is a film festival that runs as they should run, with verve and energy and learning all around. The whole experience just left me on fire about making films. And, if I can do it, anyone can ! ”
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JAYAN CHERIAN

Shape of the Shapeless, an unflinching documentary by Jayan Cherian screened at SF Shorts. After the festival, the filmmaker told us what he thought:

“SF Shorts captures the true spirit of San Francisco, and it is one of the most filmmaker friendly festivals that I ever have attended in the US. It is any filmmaker's dream to attend such a festival with sold out shows and inspiring Q&A sessions. SF Shorts 2010 show-cased a global cross section of visual expressions with a cutting-edge sensibility. Three days, breathing the bohemian ambiance of Ashbury Heights, being in the company of the most free spirited filmmakers of San Francisco was a genuine ecstatic experience for me as a filmmaker.”
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DUSTIN GRELLA

Prayers for Peace, a celebrated film by Dustin Grella screened at SF Shorts. After attending the festival, the filmmaker remarked:

“I can't say enough great things about SF Shorts. As a filmmaker it is so important and exciting to screen your film to a packed house. It was great to see that SF Shorts was selling out their venues to enthusiastic audiences. The Q&As afterwards were engaging, with great questions and insight into the filmmaking process. And I hate to sound greedy, but the PRIZES! Holy shit. It's hard to find prizes like that at a festival in the US.”
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