Last Tuesday night a girlfriend gave me a precious gift by inviting me to join her to watch an evening of movies at the aspenShortsfest that claims to be, “one of the world’s premier international short film and video showcases for the trend-setting art form: the short. Aspen Shortsfest’s centerpiece, the six-day Oscar®-qualifying International Competition, offers a lively, thought-provoking, and humorous selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary – all 30 minutes or less”.
Not only was it a treat because I am passionate about films but I was once the Hospitality Coordinator for the festival, a job that was right up my alley, and I miss being a part of it all.
I helped to organize the travel for the filmmakers and coordinate their activities once they arrived. One of the highlights of my job was to map out the rooming situation by getting to know them through email and figuring out who should be roommates in the donated condos, hotel rooms and generous film lover’s homes. I did my best to put the shy near the boisterous and the foreign with the domestic. It was very rewarding to see the beautiful and lasting relationships that transpired.
The filmmakers were an eclectic mix of people, as were their films, and their bonding created incredible energy during the festival.
At the end of the festival they were always very sad to leave and often commented on their admiration for the Executive Director of the festival, Laura Thielen, and her husband George Eldred who is the Program Director for the festival. They also mentioned how brilliantly the program was put together and how Laura and George successfully created a far more personable and less commercial atmosphere than the other festivals that they had attended.
As stated on their website, “For almost two decades Aspen Shortsfest has connected film lovers with the unique qualities of short films, which encourage unparalleled innovation and creativity, by presenting works from established filmmakers and emerging artists alike. For example, Academy Award®-nominated producer and director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) first garnered notice at Aspen Shortsfest 2000, winning the festival’s best comedy and audience awards. Four of the films shown at Shortsfest 2009 were recently nominated for Academy Awards®: Nick Park’s A Matter of Loaf and Death and Fabrice O. Joubert’s French Roast, for Best Short Film-Animated, and Instead of Abracadabra, directed by Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellstroem, and Miracle Fish, from Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey, for Best Short Film-Live Action”.
This week is your chance to see some more incredible films and even though the festival began April 6th you need not to worry. You still have the weekend to see more films and chances are that if you missed any shows upvalley you may still have the chance to watch them downvalley at The Crystal Theatre.
For those of you who would like to bring your children, there is a family program on Sunday, April 11th beginning at 2:00pm, at The Wheeler Opera House. Tickets are $6 and filmmakers are expected to come and speak afterwards. The program runs 60 min. The presentation is appropriate for ages 11+
Another program of interest that is also showing on Sunday, April 11th at The Wheeler Opera House, beginning at 6:00pm, is Australia’s Tropfest’s Best showing movies that are 7 minutes or less. Tickets are $12.
The program runs 80 minutes and is appropriate for ages 13+
All films are shown either at The Wheeler Opera House, The Isis or downvalley in Carbondale at The Crystal Theatre.
Visit this link for the complete online guide.
I hope to see you all there.