Big Night of Short Films

Film fests are great. It seems like the atmosphere that surrounds these quick, momentous occasions are often very unique and exciting in an exotic sort of way. Much of my experience with these weekend-long parties has admittedly come at the hands of the True/False Film Fest in our own backyard back home at Mizzou.

I’m hardly a pro, then, but my interest continues to rise with each stirring weekend that the annual True/False celebration brings. When Professor Steffens mentioned a similar festival taking place here in the Big Apple, I jumped at the chance to indulge in the distinctive environment once more.

That is how Yang and I found ourselves among a crowd of hundreds yesterday evening at Bryant Park, just off of Times Square. The event: Tropfest 2012, “the world’s largest short film festival,” as many banners read around the park.

Tropfest was actually a bit different in form than True/False, but every bit as exciting. Quite contrasting from True/False’s feature documentaries were Tropfest’s 20 (in total) short films, which to be considered for entry were required to run at seven total minutes or less.

The films were indeed quite short in stature, but the festivities surrounding them were anything but. Several live bands beckoned the park into a kicked back mood before host Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) took the stage and introduced each of the event’s films.

The short films were like nothing I had experienced before. Each had fit the seven-minute requirement, but conveyed full plots and fixated attention. From a light-hearted laugher about a dog becoming the top predator on post-apocalyptic beach (I promise it was actually funny) to a heartstring-jerking story full of lessons on being a family man, Tropsfest came through on the unwritten film festival basis – enlightenment.

We had a blast and I was happy to add a new festival experience to a collection that will hopefully continue to grow.

– Zach Garcia

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