By Vivien Pong and Nicole Koehn
Fred : The Town Dog
This short directed by Ava Lowrey follows an interesting tale of how one dog brings a whole town together. Taking place in small town Rockford, Alabama, it showcases the directors love for the small town simple life and where a whole town can be brought together for a common goal which happened to be a lovable stray dog by the name of Fred. Overall, this short is a heartwarming story and showcases that one town can work together and love one charming dog.
Rabbit and Deer
Directed by Péter Vácz, this charming short fuses pen-on-paper animation and claymation with delightful results. Rabbit and Deer are best friends living in their two dimensional world, until Deer discovers the third dimension. The friends are separated between their dimensions, but through Deer’s clever manipulations, they are able to continue their friendship. Enchanting and engaging, Rabbit and Deer reminds us all of the power of camaraderie.
The Dam Keeper
Directed by Megan Bartel, The Dam Keeper is a gorgeously animated short that blends together messages of isolation, loss, and ultimately, hope. Young Pig has lost his father, and is now in charge of operating the dam that keeps the poisonous clouds at bay. Despite such an important job, Pig is lonely and consistently bullied by his classmates. The Dam Keeper tells an important story of acceptance and friendship, of seeing the best and the worst in people. Surprisingly dark and beautifully thought out, this short is much more than it seems to be.
Taweez – The Talisman Writer
Directed by Ali Hakim, Taweez – The Talisman Writer verges on the darker side of humor, focusing on an elderly talisman writer whose life spins slowly out of control due to rumors from his small village. Dramatically shot, this short merges reality with magic.
Directed by Robert Löbel, this short portrays a community of beings who live in a very windy area. They have so far coped with this weather by using it to their advantage. Drawn in the style of classic newspaper cartoons and filled with cleverly executed jokes, Wind is witty, with a twist ending.
Directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella, Luminaris is quirky in its use of stop motion and the imaginative storyline. Creative and eclectic, Luminaris makes the most of its talented actors. Highly enjoyable, this short brought out a sense of childlike glee.
Directed by Óscar Bernàcer, Bikini is a dramatic short with a comedic undertone. It focuses on the transition from the past to the modern day. Taking place in Spain, Bikini takes a nation’s political problems and adds a fun twist to them. Warning, there are no actual bikinis to be found in this short.
The Moped Diaries
The Moped Diaries is a coming of age story directed by Tyler Nilson and takes place on a once secluded island off the coast of North Carolina. The conflict that changes the main character’s life is when a bridge is built connecting the island to the main land. After a series of comically tragic events the character realizes he must “leave the nest” and see what the world has to offer him.The short is a typical coming of age tale that is easily relatable to audiences, and has many themes people everywhere experience.
Payada pa’ Satan
The short using stop motion animation and directed by Carlos Balseiro tells the tale of the quiet life of a gaucho and his wife. The couple’s simple life is ruined when a mysterious force or what the natives believe is satan starts to drastically interfere. This film carries a strong political message and puts situations into the eyes of those directly affected by these changes.
Recently in the Woods
Directed by Daniel van Westen this short film uniquely tells the age old story of tolerance, however with a surprising choice of using horses and a unicorn. The animation used in this was fun and childlike, anything one would expect from a story that centers on a unicorn, and added to the pieces overall feel. It jumps away from being a simple children’s short by having an unexpected ending.