Shorts International Film Festival

I've seen five of the seven short films in this touring program, reportedly culled from a thousand entries representing 32 countries (though except for Canadian and Belgian entries and a Spanish-language film shot by an American student in Ecuador, everything here is from the U.S.). Most of them are pretty good, even if the categories under which they are listed (and presumably were submitted) can be enough to drive you bonkers. Bill Cote's cutesy time-lapse account of his wife's entire pregnancy, 17 Seconds to Sophie, is inexplicably termed “experimental,” while a genuinely experimental found-footage item—Jay Rosenblatt's Human Remains, a funny, creepy, and obviously speculative film on the lives of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Mao, and Stalin—is perversely labeled “documentary.” The best direction is found in Enrique Chediak's El rio, the funniest sensibility in Debra Solomon's animated and satirical Everybody's Pregnant. Also included: Sylvie Rosenthal's Canadian film La bombe au chocolat ( a quirky look at information overload), Martine Doyen's Belgian film Christmas in the Air, and Scott and Adam Fields's The Script Doctor.

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