November 22, 2018

The magic made within a half-hour

By Nick Long — 

Today, some believe the only way to create a substantial movie is for it to be an entire feature-length film. However, on Nov. 16 the Student Activity Board Film Committee hosted a showing of all the 2018 Oscar Nominated Short Films in the Floyd Theater.

The short films shown included Dekalb Elementary,The Silent Child, My Nephew Emmett, The Eleven O’Clock and Watu Wote.

Dekalb Elementary is a film directed and written by Reed Van Dyk about a young man who decides to hold an elementary school at gun point, but has second thoughts about his intentions after a receptionist talks him down halfway through his plan.

The Silent Child, directed by Chris Overton, is a film that follows a young girl named Libby who has trouble connecting with her family because she is deaf. She has a nanny who comes and helps Libby learn to express herself with sign language, but Libby’s mother thinks her whole family doesn’t have time to learn sign language. It’s a beautiful commentary on how hard it is for deaf kids to assimilate into normal school curriculums.

My Nephew Emmett, directed by Kevin Wilson Jr., tells the story of how Emmett Till was murdered for whistling at a white woman in Money, Missouri on August 28th, 1955. The Emmett Till murder trial brought to light the brutality of Jim Crow segregation in the South and was an early spark for what started the Civil Rights Movement.

The Eleven O’Clock is a short comedy directed by Derin Seale that has a psychiatrist who has an appointment with a man who also believes he is a psychiatrist. Hilarity ensues and it’s very funny for how short the film is.

The final film was Watu Wote, which was directed by Katja Benrath. Watu Wote is based on the December 2015 Mandera bus attack orchestrated by the militant group Al-Shabaab in Kenya that had Christian and Muslim passengers aboard. The film is about Christians and Muslims coming together in the face of terror. The phrase “Watu Wote” translates to “All of Us.”

All of these films were able to effectively tell their stories in less than a half hour. It was really eye-opening to see that one doesn’t need two hours to present an effective film.

This short film screening also acted as a promotional event for the Short Film Festival happening next semester. Next semester’s festival will have short films that are made by students here at U of L.

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