Announcing The Shorts Lineup For Fantastic Fest 2017!

Dive in for a whole bunch of goodness.

Every year, we take a lot of pride in our shorts programming at Fantastic Fest. Shorts programmer Peter Kuplowsky puts a lot of time into ensuring that we showcase the most original, compelling, balls-out brilliant short films anywhere, and 2017 will be no different.

Read on for the lineup - and read the First Wave Announcement here

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Austin, TX - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - Fantastic Fest is thrilled to announce the short film line up for the 13th edition of Fantastic Fest, which runs September 21 - September 28, 2017 at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX.

This year, to celebrate the festival’s Arabic theme, veteran festival programmer Peter Kuplowsky and Fantastic Fest creative director Evrim Ersoy have added a unique sidebar to the festival’s regular short-subject programming. YALLA! ARAB GENRE SHORTS assembles four remarkable genre productions from Arab countries, each with a distinct sensibility and style that further expands the breadth of genres traditionally showcased at the festival.

The 48 film lineup, culled from a record submission pool of nearly 1200 entries, spans 23 countries and features a trio of stop-motion mini-masterpieces including the North American premiere of the chilling CERULIA by Sofia Carrillo (who genre fans will be familiar with from her contributions to the anthology feature XX) and the US premiere of THE BURDEN, Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s award-winning musical. Other highlights include an acclaimed and mind-melting short about escaping a Red Lobster commercial (GREAT CHOICE), and a potent sci-fi skewering of government bureaucracy so incendiary it was banned in Turkey (THE LAST SCHNITZEL)! Speaking on the programme, curator Kuplowsky commented: “With the proliferation of digital distribution channels, the audience for short films is growing exponentially and the mode of filmmaking is becoming more relevant than ever before. I’m thrilled that Fantastic Fest can be the first stop for so many of these fantastic films on their road to people’s eyeballs.”

The complete lineup, divided by program, is as follows:

FANTASTIC SHORTS

 

ANIMAL

Iran, 2017

US Premiere, 15 min

Directors: Bahram & Bahman Ark

A desperate man adopts the guise of a ram in a plot to penetrate a heavily guarded border crossing.

 

THE BURDEN

Sweden, 2017

US Premiere, 14 min

Director: Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Lonely fish, tap-dancing mice and telemarketing monkeys harmonize in their collective angst towards the apocalyptic banality of the modern age in this epic stop-motion reverie.

 

DEAD HORSES

Spain, 2016

Texas Premiere, 6 min

Directors: Marc Riba & Anna Solanas

A child caught in a war zone innocently grapples to understand his horrifying surroundings in this grim stop-motion parable.

 

FUCKING BUNNIES

Finland, 2017

Texas Premiere, 17 min

Director: Teemu Niukkanen

The comfortable routine of Raimo's middle-class life is interrupted when a Satan-worshipping sex cult moves next door. A wickedly funny comedy of manners.

 

JUST GO!

Latvia, 2017

Texas Premiere, 11 min

Director: Pavels Gumennikovs

Young Just may not have legs, but that doesn't prevent him from proverbially kicking ass in this remarkable slice of action inspired by the star's extraordinary life story.

 

KAIJU BUNRAKU

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 13 min

Directors: Lucas Leyva & Jillian Mayer

The Japanese art of bunraku puppetry dramatizes the existential crisis of a despondent denizen of a Kaiju-infested region of Japan; a rigorous theatrical tradition soaked in profound absurdism.

 

THE LAST SCHNITZEL

Denmark, 2016

US Premiere, 22 min

Directors: Ismet Kurtulus & Kaan Arici

The world is ending, but the president of Turkey won't let it until he has a chicken schnitzel. Gleefully silly science-fiction satire with political bite.

 

LET THEM DIE LIKE LOVERS

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 16 min

Director: Jesse Atlas

Fantastic Shorts Award Winner Jesse Atlas (RECORD/PLAY) returns to the section with an arresting sci-fi character study about a body-hopping assassin.

 

THE NIGHT I DANCE WITH DEATH

France, 2017

Regional Premiere, 6 min

Director: Vincent Gibaud

The consequences of saying "hell yeah, I'll try that" at a party. A marvelously animated kaleidoscope that collides liberating euphoria with crippling anxiety.


 

SHORT FUSE Presented by Stage 13

 

Short Fuse is presented by Stage 13. Stage 13 is a fearless, original digital content brand showcasing a new generation of inspired talent and voices in scripted and unscripted storytelling. Creating dynamic, unapologetic series for a multidimensional audience, the brand is part of the Warner Bros Digital Networks.

 

CERULIA

Mexico, 2017

North American Premiere, 13 min

Director: Sofia Carrillo

The brilliant animator behind the stop-motion segments of XX spins an eerie fable about a young woman's repressed memories luring her back to her childhood home.

 

CRESWICK

Australia, 2016

Regional Premiere, 10 min

Director: Natalie Erika James

Creeping dread meticulously escalates to an understated but deeply unsettling coda as a father and daughter pack away the contents of their family home.

 

EARWORM

USA, 2016

Texas Premiere, 5 min

Director: Tara Price

When a few measures of music get stuck in a man's head, the consequences are almost as disturbing as the source of the tune.

 

GREAT CHOICE

USA, 2017

Austin Premiere, 7 min

Director: Robin Comisar

A woman is trapped in a Red Lobster commercial. Sublime absurdity that crescendos to nightmarish heights and remarkable emotional resonance.

 

HIGHWAY

Australia, 2016

Texas Premiere, 10 min

Director: Vanessa Gazy

A teenage hitchhiker traverses a lonely mountain highway and begins to pick a mysterious radio broadcast rife with ominous reports of the near future.

 

LATCHED

Canada, 2017

International Premiere, 17 min

Directors: Justin Harding & Rob Brunner

Spilt milk is nothing to cry over but when it inadvertently awakens a voracious woodland creature, this funny and freaky short makes the case that it might be something to scream over.

 

SETACEOUS

Australia, 2017

World Premiere, 11 min

Director: Tel Benjamin

An incessant car alarm attracts the curiosity of a cul-de-sac's residents with chilling consequences. A measured slice of suburban horror that implies and terrifies.

 

STAY

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 9 min

Director: David Mikalson

Satan sucks, but this pitch-black comedy about catching the eye of the prince of darkness is the best.

 

THURSDAY NIGHT

Portugal, 2017

US Premiere, 8 min

Director: Gonçalo Almeida

Hypnotic cinematography buoyed by a ghostly soundscape envelopes remarkable canine performances in this moody, experimental nightmare.

 

TOOTH FAIRY

Uruguay, 2017

World Premiere, 6 min

Directors: Jeremias Segovia & Gonzalo Torrens

A greedy young boy discovers that the Tooth Fairy is a stickler for the rules in this frightening permutation of the folk figure.

 

VOYEUR

Canada, 2017

US Premiere, 4 min

Directors: Claire Stradwick & Charlotte Lam

The private spaces of women are unnervingly encroached upon by a masculine other in this confrontational work that shifts cinema's scopophilic gaze back on the audience.

 

SHORTS WITH LEGS

 

THE ALIENS

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 4 min

Director: Alex Lee

A punk ruminates on the consequences of an alien invasion during some katana practice in the park.

 

beans.

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 7 min

Director: Maxwell Nalevansky

An acerbic narrator reflects nostalgically on the profound pleasure that was afforded to him upon once being offered a free bowl of beans.

 

CALL OF CUTENESS

Germany, 2017

Austin Premiere, 4 min

Director: Brenda Lien

A parade of cat meme tributes mutate into a disturbing animated critique of how these sublime objects of cuteness belie a more sinister cycle of exploitation and control.

 

THE CURE

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 20 min

Director: Mike Olenick

A surreal sci-fi soap opera that collides the idiosyncratic private lives of both humans and aliens in a parade of hypnotic slow-zooms and kitschy feline totems.

 

HOMER_A

Canada, 2017

World Premiere, 10 min

Directors: Milos Mitrovic & Conor Sweeney

Conor Sweeney of ASTRON-6 and FF alumni Milos Mitrovic smash the characters of THE SIMPSONS with the aesthetics of TRASH HUMPERS, and the results both haunt and disturb. Ay caramba.

 

LA TRISTESSE DURERA TOUJOURS

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 12 min

Director: Vinny De Giulio

Vinny De Ghoulie returns to SHORTS WITH LEGS with what may very well be his 8 ½. This is a maddening deconstruction of his own process culled from the remnants of a feature film he mounted, but failed to to realize. As amusingly bemusing as it is devastating.

 

MÖBIUS

USA, Canada, 2017

Regional Premiere, 15 min

Director: Sam Kuhn

A hallucinogenic dive into the consciousness of a teenage poet in the wake of her lover's mysterious death. Exquisitely photographed and seemingly assembled in a Lynchian dreamstate.

 

THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT

Canada, 2017

Texas Premiere, 8 min

Director: Matthew Rankin

Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla makes one last appeal to his benefactor in Matthew Rankin's mesmerizing live-action/animated hybrid that paints with light itself to conjure its indelible abstract visuals.

 

THE VETTING

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 19 min

Director: Matthew Dunehoo

A twitchy and hysterically garish political satire in which a US senator is vetted for a Presidential nomination by a 6,000-year-old telepath that secretly rules the Earth.

 

THE VIEW FROM HERE

Canada, 2017

US Premiere, 9 min

Director: Sofia Bohdanowicz

A delirious puppet-theatre libretto that depicts two lovers nostalgically yearning for the good-old-primordial-soup days of yore.

 

YALLA! ARAB GENRE SHORTS:

 

DUNIA

Qatar, 2017

North American Premiere, 15 min

Director: Amer Jamhour

Little Dunia is asked to wait in the car in an effort to shield her from her mother's desperate decision, but when a curious cop comes a-knocking, Dunia's innocence is suspensefully put to the test.

 

FEAR: AUDIBLY

Saudi Arabia, 2017

International Premiere, 22 min

Director: Maha Al-Saati

Anxious that Judgment Day is on the horizon, Amal keenly awaits to hear the Trumpet of Doom; could the incessant mewing of cats in her office be the first harbinger? An eccentric and experimental rumination on the end of days.

 

KINDIL

Algeria, Kuwait, USA, 2016

Regional Premiere, 40 min

Director: Damien Ounouri

The spectre of a murdered woman returns to the site of her death, claiming the lives of those responsible, as well as those who turned a blind eye. An arresting social critique in the guise of a vengeful ghost story.

 

LAST DAYS OF THE MAN OF TOMORROW

Germany, Lebanon, 2017

World Premiere, 29 min

Director: Fadi Baki

A remarkable mock-doc that profoundly explores Lebanon's turbulent history through the life and times of a reclusive metal automaton that once was emblematic of the country's hopes and dreams.

 

PAIRED WITH FEATURES:

 

THE ACCOMPLICE

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 7 min

Directors: Jon Hoeg & John F. Beach

A man discovers his unwitting participation in a bank robbery across a series of increasingly incriminating (and hilarious) answering machine messages.

 

CATHERINE

Belgium, 2016

Special Presentation, 11 min

Director: Britt Raes

Delightful animation depicts the origins of a crazy cat lady, while disturbingly proving the axiom: "You always hurt the ones you love."

 

THE DROP-IN

Canada, 2017

US Premiere, 13 min

Director: Naledi Jackson

A hairstylist confronted with her past fights to protect her future in this stylish, genre-hopping metaphor for the immigrant experience.

 

THE DUNDEE PROJECT

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 19 min

Director: Mark Borchardt

Cult filmmaker Mark Borchardt (as seen in AMERICAN MOVIE) takes a trip to the UFO Days festival in Dundee, Wisconsin. Eccentric personalities abound as Mark poetically ruminates on why the compulsion to seek out little green men seems to converge in his home state.

 

THE END OF DECAY

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 12 min

Director: Chris Todd

A paraplegic scientist attempts a dangerous experiment to reclaim his mobility in this visceral bit of gruesome, wince-inducing body-horror.

 

GIRL AT THE DOOR

South Korea, 2017

Texas Premiere, 11 min

Director: Song Joo-sung

A young girl gleans a few choice maneuvers from gym class that enable her to turn the tables on her abusive father.

 

MANILA DEATH SQUAD

Philippines, USA, 2017

World Premiere, 13 min

Director: Dean Colin Marcial

An ambitious journalist challenges the leader of a violent vigilante group to a high-stakes drinking game that may score her a scoop or a bullet to the head.

 

NEONATAL

USA, 2017

Austin Premiere, 15 min

Director: Andrew McDonald

In this tense Austin-bound thriller, an expectant mother is lured into a sinister plot by a disturbed and desperate woman.

 

NOTHING A LITTLE SOAP AND WATER CAN'T FIX

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 9 min

Director: Jennifer Proctor

An exhaustive and illuminating deconstruction of how horror films frequently feature the bathtub as both a private sanctuary for women and, damningly, as an impromptu sarcophagus.

 

THE PASSENGER

Russia, 2017

International Premiere, 11 min

Director: Egor Abramenko

A Russian cosmonaut grapples with post-traumatic stress following his return from orbit. But that's not all he's brought back.

 

UFO DAYS

USA, 2017

Austin Premiere, 9 min

Director: Quinn Else

A fascinating fusion of documentary and fiction against the backdrop of UFO Days that juxtaposes a Ufology lecture with the rural wanderings of an enigmatic "visitor."

 

VIULU

Finland, 2017

Texas Premiere, 12 min

Director: Ramin Sohrab

When a precious violin is snatched by gangsters, an ex-hitman wreaks some serious martial-vengeance in an effort to reclaim it.

 

YOUR DATE IS HERE

USA, 2017

Austin Premiere, 6 min

Directors: Todd Spence & Zak White

An old Mystery Date-style board game holds more evil than amusement in this expertly wound fright flick.

 

ZARR-DOS

Switzerland, 2017

North American Premiere, 7 min

Director: Bart Wasem

Two grotesque floating heads engage in an aerial waltz of wanton destruction in this spectacularly animated epic. You won't have a clue, but you'll appreciate the cosmic justice.

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