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PCFF 2015 Day 7: Shorts, Dog vs. Nazis, and Awards

Posted on | February 22, 2015 | Add Comments

The final day of the festival is finally here! That’s right, the festival has come to an end after many snowstorms and much perseverance. I began the final day with Finn which I had heard lots of good things about, prior to viewing the film. The movie follows the titular boy who discovers his family history, musical calling, and mysterious instructor. But everyone is not as they seem and the baffling past will come to be revealed by the end of this film. While it suffers from predictability, Finn is at first glance nothing but an average family drama. But as it continues on, the film becomes increasingly more and more interesting as the plot continues to unravel. Mels van der Hoeven stands out in an impressive cast as Finn whose boyish curiosity leads to conflict and…Watch the film, already!

Finn

Next up was the second Youth Filmmakers Showcase, this time the Multi-Regional edition. They ranged from zombie epics to magic gum to invisible girlfriends. While it may not have been the strongest collection of shorts the festival has showed, it was still fun to see what young filmmakers had to say. One highlight was GIFTS, a surprisingly violent murder-mystery that made you put the pieces together with little help from the filmmakers.

For the closing night screening, Belle & Sebastian was the perfect fit. I had never seen it before myself, so it was a pleasure to see something new. Sebastian, a young boy on the France/Switzerland border, meets Belle, the so-called “beast” who’s really a shaggy dog with large, cute eyes. But the story is more than cute; it’s moving, emotional, and memorable in all the right ways. Asides from some phenomenal performances from all the lead actors notably, like Finn, the young lead. The main standout, however, is the cinematography which is never better than the opening scene. As Sebastian is daringly lowered from a cliff, I clenched my seat in suspense. The breathtaking shots of the landscapes are fantastic, but it never gets better than the opening scene.
Belle and Sebastian

Of course, the highlight of the day had to be the awards. As predicted by both Flack and I, Song of the Sea took home the big prize that was Audience Choice. Thanks to the audience at the final screening, Belle & Sebastian scored the second spot while Finn clocked in at third. Winda thoroughly entertaining short, took home the award for best short and Scrap Wood War was the Jury Choice.

All in all, it was a great festival that will surely rank highly in the pantheon of past fests. From great…Wait a second, the Oscars are on! We’ll see you next year, at the movies.

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