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PCFF 2015 Day 2: A Mixed Bag of Shorts

Posted on | February 13, 2015 | Add Comments

Sure to be the quietest day of the festival, boasting only one screening, today’s lineup included the Elementary edition of the festival’s very popular Your Shorts Are Showin’ (YSAS) compilation. If you’re not familiar with YSAS, it’s where you’ll find the shorts that the festival has juried spilt into Kindergarten, Elementary, and Middle/High School. This year, the Elementary and Middle/High School editions have been split into two Volumes in order to make room for more shorts than ever.

To kick things off, the Elementary Vol. 1 compilation was shown today. The eight short films ranged from nature beauty to animated sci-fi, children of war accounts to ADD documentary. While not all of the shorts were as amazing as the shorts shown in years past, it was still an enthralling mix. Super Girl and Saka Gibi (Fooled) followed young children yearning for excitement in the form of superpowers and turtles, respectively. While both had their moments, their lackluster visuals and clunky acting disappointed. The Looking Planet was a confused tromp through unknown universes with bizarre, blue-colored extraterrestrials.

How the Wolves Changed the Rivers featured beautifully photographed nature landscapes and wintery shots of wolves. With an educational narration, the film set a tone that was both engaging and informative. It was also the shortest of the shorts, which stood out in a compilation where the majority of the shorts could have used another cut in the editing room. In Spin Ritalin documented a young girl with ADD who takes ritalin every day. Yearning to fit in with the other kids, she tries not using the pills for one day. The film is well done and the story is certainly engaging, although it could use some more emotional flare.

In my opinion, Little Questions was undoubtedly the best. It tackled the subject of war from a fresh perspective: that of a young girl. As she asks child survivors about their experiences, director Virginia Abramovich constantly keeps us rooted in the story by grounding it with the simple, innocent thoughts of a child. The film is accessible enough for young kids that it could certainly raise some conversation, while not being violent in any way. It’s through the raw power of the survivor’s words that we get a glimpse into the horror of war in a way few other films manage to do.

Tomorrow, the festival truly kicks into gear with the RISD Museum as well as the Avon Cinema showing shorts and features all day. I’m personally looking forward to re-watching Side by Sidemy personal favorite of the festival so far. Academy Award nominated Song of the Sea is shaping up to be one of the busiest, most anticipated screenings of the entire festival. Snow storms, food trucks, film talks, and more…Flack and I are looking forward to bringing you the highs and lows, surprises and winners of the festival.

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