Review: Heartland Film Festival Shorts 1

By: Logan Sowash

While I was excited to see a few features at this year’s festival, I was also extremely excited to see some shorts as well. I love short films and the fact there are several packaged in one presentation made me giddy when choosing things to go see. After looking through the selections, I decided to choose these because of my availability and one of the people involved with a certain short. Also due to the amount of shorts, I thought it’d be better to quickly review each one I saw during the showing. With that said, here are my quick thoughts on the 5 shorts I saw in order of presentation:

The Way of Tea: A simple yet beautiful short that has great acting, a wonderful message and an interesting premise that uses the short film format perfectly. It was perfect from start to finish and was pleasantly surprised by it. Rating: 5/5 

Luchadora:  This short documentary about a female star’s life in professional Lucha Libre wrestling is interesting and emotional. It pulls you in from the beginning and keeps you hooked till the end. It feels like it could be handled better with a longer runtime but for what it is, the short is tight and enjoyably informative. Rating: 4/5 

A Proud Woman: This short was simple and fun to watch yet deserved much more time than given. With only 9 minutes to tell a story, it’s understandable that the pacing is extremely fast and the characters have little development though it’s still a shame. While I liked the premise and how it ended, I feel that its small runtime keeps it from being great. Rating: 3/5

World of Tomorrow: The creator of the short, Don Hertzfeldt, is the sole reason why I was interested in this shorts compilation. With that said, his absurd and comical story has wonderful animation that is definitely worth watching for that fact alone. While I didn’t fall in love with the short, I feel that its animation, presentation and comedy make it a unique experience you don’t see very often. Rating: 4.5/5 

The 100 Years Show: I absolutely loved this short. Its 30 minute runtime was chock full of great camerawork, editing, music and many others. Carmen Herrera, the subject of the film, is such an interesting and inspiring character that you can’t but love her as soon as you see her onscreen. With an experienced background and years of living, Herrera’s life is the perfect example of passion and determination. It was my favorite of the 5 shorts. Rating: 5/5 

If you want more info about the short or feature-length films shown at this year’s Heartland Film Festival, hop on over to to check out this year’s guide and schedule on all of its film screenings.