ASPEN FILM ANNOUNCES STELLAR PROGRAM OF 77 FILMS FOR THE 31ST ANNUAL ASPEN SHORTSFEST
March 22, 2022
ASPEN, Colo. (Mar. 7, 2022) – Aspen Film, the year-round film arts, and education organization, today announced its program for the 31st Aspen Shortsfest, April 5-10, 2022. One of only four Oscar®-qualifying festivals in the US strictly dedicated to short films, Aspen Shortsfest is widely recognized as a premier short film festival and showcase of world cinema’s most remarkable emerging and established talents.
This year’s Oscar®-qualifying competition highlights notable filmmakers and talent including
Amanda Seyfried, Rose Byrne, Mariama Diallo, Molly Ringwald, Anne Alvergue, and Debra McClatchy, along with international prize-winners by filmmakers in Senegal, Lebanon, Nigeria, and more.
Celebrating over three decades of presenting great shorts, the 31st Aspen Shortsfest, the first to be conducted in person in three years, is an Oscar®-qualifying festival in the fields of animation, documentary, and live-action narrative short film. Among the 2021 prizewinners were Joanna Quinn and Les Mills’s Affairs of the Art, a nominee for Best Animated Short in the upcoming 94th Academy Awards. This year’s Shortsfest features filmmakers exploring unique and timely themes in a competition slate that includes nine world premieres, two international premieres, five North American premieres, and 12 US premieres by directors representing 28 countries. Close to 3,000 films were submitted for consideration with 77 selected for this year’s event. Of the 77, 41 films are directed or co-directed by women, accounting for 53% of the program.
The lineup features wildly imaginative and talented individuals from around the world. Highlights include the world premiere of Skin & Bone, directed by Eli Powers and starring and co-produced by Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Mank, Things Heard & Seen); the US premiere of You and Me Before and After, starring Yael Stone (Orange Is the New Black); Shark, starring Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Physical) and co-starring and directed by Nash Edgerton (Mr. Inbetween); White Devil, starring and co-directed by Mariama Diallo, director of the recent Sundance feature selection and upcoming Amazon Studios thriller Master; A Brief History of Us, narrated by Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, Riverdale) and directed by celebrated Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret; The Martha Mitchell Effect, a new Netflix documentary by the team of Anne Alvergue and Debra McClutchy; Enjoy, starring Himesh Patel (Don’t Look Up, Yesterday); Daddy’s Girl, starring Peter Friedman (Succession); Don Vs. Lightning, starring Peter Mullan (The Underground Railroad, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power); and The Shaman’s Apprentice, directed by Cannes prizewinner Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner). The slate also includes such recent award-winners as Warsha by Lebanon’s Dania Bdeir, Astel by French-Senegalese director Ramata Toulaye Sy, Displaced by Kosovo’s Samir Karahoda, Egúngún (Masquerade) by Nigeria’s Olive Nwosu, and If I Go Will They Miss Me by Walter Thompson-Hernȧndez, the US Fiction short film prizewinner at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
“We are delighted to be presenting another incredible roster of films from around the globe for this year’s Shortsfest,” says Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director, Susan Wrubel. “What a wonderful recharge after two virtual years, to be back in person at our festival home, the historic Wheeler Opera House. Once again, our Programming Team has assembled some of the most dynamic, innovative, and thought-provoking short films of the year to showcase for Aspen and valley-wide audiences.”
Shortsfest Director of Programming Jason Anderson states, “We’re thrilled to be celebrating Aspen Shortsfest’s 31st annual festival with another exciting showcase of incredible new work by filmmakers from every corner of the world. The 77 titles in this year’s program demonstrate the depth and diversity of film talent that we have the privilege of introducing to our audience. Moreover, we’re astounded by the strength and resilience these directors have shown in the face of all the recent challenges and are so excited to be able to present their films in person.”
This year’s jury includes three top jurors: Producer Mimi Polk Gitlin, a seasoned film/TV producer and finance executive who produced THELMA AND LOUISE, which was nominated for 5 Academy Awards® and 5 Golden Globes, and won the Oscar® and Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Another juror, film and animation consultant Michael Fukushima, produced or co-produced over 200 works, including several Oscar® nominations during his 26 years at the National Film Board of Canada. Fukushima recently produced the 2022 nominee, AFFAIRS OF THE ART. Lastly, Los Angeles-based Valerie Steinberg is a film producer whose KARMALINK opened Venice Film Critics’ Week 2021, and whose award-winning shorts HAIR WOLF and COFFEE SHOP NAMES have been recent Shortsfest selections.
The industry special guests for 2022 include four industry notables: Emmy-winning Co-Producer and Shorts Producer, Opal Hope Bennett, from POV; Sarah Lash, Senior Director of acquisitions for Condé Nast Entertainment, the award-winning next-generation studio, and distribution network; Meghan Oretsky, Senior Curator at Vimeo, the world’s leading all-in-one video solution; and Casey Sunderland, Media Finance Agent at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.
Shortsfest award winners will receive cash prizes of $1250 or $2500, in the following categories.
For the fifth year, Aspen Film is proud to be able to present the Vimeo Staff Pick Award, a live iteration of the platform’s Staff Pick laurel. The winning film receives a $2,500 cash prize and will become available for viewing worldwide on the Vimeo Staff Pick channel after the festival on Monday, April 11.
The Ellen Jury will present its annual Ellen Award for artistic merit and originality to a distinguished filmmaker. This award honors the memory of Aspen Film’s founder and first executive director Ellen Kohner Hunt, who retired in 1995 and passed away in January 2021.
The Youth Jury, comprised primarily of local middle and high school students, awards a student prize to the film that they feel best reflects the impressions and thoughts of today’s youth. Filmmakers have said that winning this award is one of the highest honors at the festival.
In 2022, Aspen Shortfest continued its tradition of Oscar® success when Joanna Quinn and Les Mills’ Affairs of the Art – the jury prize winner for best comedy at Shortsfest in 2021 – was nominated for Best Animated Short at this year’s 94th Academy Awards. Other recent Shortsfest selections that have garnered Oscar® nominations include Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva, Sister by Siqi Song, Brotherhood by Meryam Joobeur (also a jury member at Shortsfest in 2020), and Nefta Football Club by Yves Piat.
The festival is an industry-recognized destination for discovering breakthrough talent. Reinaldo Marcus Green (another of this year’s Oscar® nominees for King Richard), Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Short Term 12), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Up in the Air), Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell) and the late Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) are among the notable alumni whose short films first screened at Aspen Shortsfest before they became household names.
At Shortsfest, Aspen Film’s FilmEducates is providing educational opportunities to schools throughout Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Programs are offered at no charge and aim to engage students and educators in conversations around a selection of age-appropriate films. Visiting filmmakers are invited into the classroom, and young filmmakers have the opportunity to go deeper into the craft of visual storytelling. Programs include Filmmakers to the Classroom, Young Filmmaker Labs, and Making Movies Matter. The FilmEducates Youth Jury will meet daily via Zoom to vote on the coveted Youth Jury Award presented during the festival’s award event.
TICKETS For all ticket inquiries and available pass options, please visit: www.aspenfilm.org
On sale ticket dates: March 16 for members; March 22 for general ticket sales. Tickets: $20 for nonmembers; $15 for members.
Tickets for Sunday’s Family Program: $15 for nonmembers and $12 for members; FREE to kids 12 + under.
Wheeler Opera House:
Tuesday, 4/5, opening night program: 7 pm.
Tuesday-Friday, 5 pm, and 8 pm programs.
Saturday 4/9, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm programs.
Sunday, 4/10, Family Program 11 am.
Friday, 4/8, 7pm
Saturday, 4/9, 5pm + 7pm
Sunday, 4/10, 5pm
Read here for the SHORTSFEST 2022 Film Details and descriptions. The titles, directors, and countries are below:
AERONAUT – Directed by Leon Golterman (Netherlands)
ALLOWED – Directed by Zillah Bowes (UK)
ANGKUKSAJAUJUQ: THE SHAMAN’S APPRENTICE – Directed by Zacharias Kunuk (Canada)
ANXIOUS BODY – Directed by Yoriko Mizushiri (Japan/France)
ASTEL – Directed by Ramata-Toulaye SY (Senegal/France)
AUNTIE – Directed by Fawzia Mirza (US)
BEITY – Directed by Isabelle Mecattaf (Lebanon/US)
BELLE RIVER – Directed by Guillaume Fournier, Samuel Matteau, Yannick Nolin (US/Canada)
BOOBS – Directed by Marie Valade (Canada)
BOTTLE CAP – Directed by Marie Hyon, Marco Spier (US)
A BRIEF HISTORY OF US – Directed by Etgar Keret (Poland)
A CARTOON OF A CAT SLEEPING – Directed by Randall Scott Christopher (US)
CAT AND BIRD – Directed by Franka Sachse (Germany)
CAT AND MOTH – Directed by India Barnardo (Canada/UK)
CHARLOTTE – Directed by Zach Dorn (US)
CHILLY & MILLY – Directed by William David Caballero (US)
CONDUCTING LIFE – Directed by Diane Moore (US/France)
CRUMB – Directed by Josh Cohen (US)
DADDY’S GIRL – Directed by Lena Hudson (US)
DEAR MAMA… – Directed by Winter Dunn (US)
DEERWOODS DEATHTRAP – Directed by James P Gannon (US)
THE DIAMOND – Directed by Vedran Rupic (Sweden)
DISPLACED – Directed by Samir Karahoda (Kosovo)
DON VS LIGHTNING – Directed by Big Red Button (UK)
DRESS UP – Directed by Karina Dandashi (US)
DRUMMIES – Directed by Jessie Zinn (South Africa/US)
EGÚNGÚN (MASQUERADE) – Directed by Olive Nwosu (Nigeria/UK)
ENJOY – Directed by Saul Abraham (UK)
ERRATUM – Directed by Giulio Callegari (France)
F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K – Directed by Harris Doran (US)
FANMI – Directed by Sandrine Brodeur-Desrosiers, Carmine Pierre-Dufour (Canada)
FARRUCAS – Directed by Ian de la Rosa (Spain/US)
FOOTSTEPS ON THE WIND – Directed by Maya Sanbar (UK/Brazil/US)
FOR LOVE – Directed by Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (UK)
FREEDOM SWIMMER – Directed by Olivia Martin-McGuire (France/Australia)
FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY – Directed by Polen Ly (Cambodia/Germany)
GOODBYE JEROME! – Directed by Gabrielle Selnet, Adam Sillard, Chloé Farr (France)
HANGING ON – Directed by Alfie Barker (UK)
HUELLA – Directed by Gabriela Ortega (US)
I LIVE HERE – Directed by Tyler Evans (Canada)
IF I GO, WILL THEY MISS ME – Directed by Walter Thompson-Hernández (US)
IN NATURE – Directed by Marcel Barelli (Switzerland)
JENSEN – Directed by Chloe Sarbib (US)
L’AMOUR EN PLAN – Directed by Claire Sichez (France)
THE MARTHA MITCHELL EFFECT – Directed by Anne Alvergue, Debra McClutchy (US)
MEMOIR OF A VEERING STORM – Directed by Sofia Georgovassili (Greece)
MUM IS POURING RAIN – Directed by Hugo de Faucompret (France)
MY GRANDMOTHER IS AN EGG – Directed by Wu-Ching Chang (UK/Taiwan)
MY MOM’S EGGPLANT SAUCE – Directed by Shaina Feinberg (US)
NALUJUK NIGHT – Directed by Jennie Williams (Canada)
NAYA – Directed by Sebastian Mulder (Netherlands)
NUISANCE BEAR – Directed by Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden (Canada)
OUSMANE – Directed by Jorge Camarotti (Canada)
PARACLETE – Directed by Matias Maumus, Tomas Maumus (Argentina)
SATURDAY NIGHT – Directed by Rosana Matecki (Canada)
SHARK – Directed by Nash Edgerton (Australia)
SHE DREAMS AT SUNRISE – Directed by Camrus Johnson (US)
SIERRA – Directed by Sander Joon (Estonia)
SKIN & BONE – Directed by Eli Powers (US)
SKYWARD – Directed by Jessica Bishopp (UK)
SMILE – Directed by Jonas Forsman (Sweden)
SOFT ANIMALS – Directed by Renee Zhan (UK/US)
SOLAR ECLIPSE – Directed by Alireza Ghasemi, Raha Amirfazli (Iran/France)
SOME STILL SEARCH – Directed by Nesaru Tchaas (US)
SOTAVENTO – Directed by Marco Salaverria Hernández (Venezuela/Cuba)
STRANGER THAN ROTTERDAM WITH SARA DRIVER – Directed by Kloster, Noah Kloster (US)
THE SUCCESSFUL THAWING OF MR. MORO – Directed by Jerry Carlsson (Sweden)
THE VICTORIAS – Directed by Ethan Fuirst (US)
THE WINDOW – Directed by Sarah Kaskas (Lebanon)
TOGETHER – Directed by Albert Shin (South Korea/Canada)
VIDEO VISIT – Directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall (US)
WARSHA – Directed by Dania Bdeir (Lebanon/France)
WE SHOULD GET DINNER! – Directed by Eliza Jiménez Cossio, Lexi Tannenholtz (US)
WHITE DEVIL – Directed by Mariama Diallo, Benjamin Dickinson (US)
WOMEN OF VIRTUE – Directed by Stéphanie Halfon (France)
YOU AND ME BEFORE AND AFTER – Directed by Madeleine Gottlieb (Australia)
ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT) – Directed by Brit Hensel (US)
Who: Aspen Film
What: 31st Annual Shortsfest, Oscar®-qualifying short film festival
When: April 5-10, 2022, Tuesday through Sunday
Where: Wheeler Opera House, Aspen, CO (4/5-10); Crystal Theater, Carbondale, CO (4/8-10). Aspen Film will adhere to the COVID-19 protocols dictated by each venue. For details, please see each venue’s website: Wheeler Opera House, Crystal Theatre
The 31st Aspen Shortsfest is made possible by the generous support of Alpine Bank, Aspen Public Radio, The Aspen Times, and The Gant. Aspen Shortsfest is also charitably underwritten by grants from AspenOUT, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media, Melinda Goldrich, National Endowment for the Arts, Les Dames d’Aspen, Wheeler Opera House (City of Aspen) Arts Grant Program.
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About Aspen Film
Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue, and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide. To learn more, visit aspenfilm.org.