Considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers, the Festival includes fiction, documentary and animation from around the world. Throughout its almost 40 years of history, the Festival has always supported short films, providing a platform for both established and new filmmakers to connect with audiences. The 2023 Short Film Tour program is a sampling of Festival offerings and a testament to the unique storytelling potential that the format holds. The perfect warm up for this this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking place January 18-28, this shorts program is a mix of fiction, documentary, and animated shorts that are funny, sad, inspirational, and full of strong characters.
The Festival’s Short Film Program has long been established as a place to discover talented directors, such as past alumni Andrea Arnold, Lake Bell, Damien Chazelle, Destin Daniel Cretton, Jay and Mark Duplass, Debra Granik, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Todd Haynes, Sterlin Harjo, Don Hertzfeldt, Sky Hopinka, Shaka King, Lynne Ramsay, Dee Rees, Joey Soloway, Taika Waititi, and many others.
Help Me Understand. / United States (Director and Screenwriter: Aemilia Scott, Producers: Paul Feig, Laura Fischer, Kesila Childers, Erica Fishman, Amy Geist) — Six women come to a consensus. Fiction. Cast: Dana Powell, Dierdre Friel, Rachael Harris, Nicole Michelle Haskins, Kate Flannery, Ken Marino, Kali Racquel.
Parker / U.S.A. (Directors: Catherine Hoffman, Sharon Liese, Producers: Sharon Liese, Funmi Ogunro, Samantha Hake)) — Three generations of a Kansas City family are finally unified when they do something that countless other Black Americans could not — choose their own last name. Nonfiction.
Take Me Home United States (Director and Screenwriter: Liz Sargent, Producer: Minos Papas) — After their mother’s death, a cognitively disabled woman and her estranged sister must learn to communicate in order to move forward. Fiction. Cast: Anna Sargent, Jeena Yi, Joan Sargent.
Inglorious Liaisons / France/Belgium (Directors and Screenwriters: Chloé Alliez, Violette Delvoye, Producers: Jean-François Le Corre, Mathieu Courtois, William Henne) — On the night of a big party for Lucie, Maya, and their friends, Jimmy has also come. Everyone knows he is here for Maya, but does she have the same feelings for Jimmy? Fiction/Animation. Cast: Evmorfia Spanoudis, Hélène Bolenge Boteku
Rest Stop/ ….United States (Director and Screenwriter: Crystal Kayiza, Producers: Jalena Keane-Lee, Brit Fryer) — On a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, Meyi, a young Ugandan-American girl, realizes her place in the world through her mother’s ambitious effort to reunite their family. Fiction. Cast: Leeanna E. Tushabe, Alicia Basiima, Khalid Semakula, Robert Wanyama, Margaret Bisase, Olivia Nantongo. Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction.
Pro Pool / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Alec Pronovost, Producer: Patrick Francke-Sirois) — Newly graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and civilization, Charles-Olivier struggles to find a job in his field and must rely on a clerk position in a pool shop. Feeling down, he navigates his gig as best he can. Fiction Cast: Louis Carrière, Alexis Martin, Sylvie De Morais, Sébastien Rajotte, Oussama Fares, Louis Girard-Bock
When You Left Me On That Boulevard / United States (Director and Screenwriter: Kayla Abuda Galang Producers: Alifya Ali, David Oconer, Udoy Rahim, Samantha Skinner) — Teenager Ly and her cousins get high before a boisterous family Thanksgiving at their auntie’s house in southeast San Diego in 2006. Fiction. Cast: Kailyn Dulay, Melissa Arcaya, Elle Rodriguez, Whitney Agustin, Gina May Gimongala, Allan Wayne Anderson. Short Film Grand Jury Prize.