REVIEW: Manhattan Short Film Festival, for your Durham viewing

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 02:15 PM

For $10, you can go watch 10 short films the same week they’re being watched at other venues across the globe.

In North Carolina, the Manhattan Short Film Festival is being screened in Charlotte and here in Durham, at The Pinhook downtown, on Oct. 2. Audiences vote for their favorite films and actors, and votes are tallied at the festival’s home base in Manhattan. Festival founding director Nicholas Mason introduces the films, and most directors introduce each of their own films. Mason said there are 628 entries from 48 countries narrowed down to 10 finalists.
“The judges are you,” he says before the films start.
First up is “#30,” from Australia, about a woman auditioning. Other films range from the emotional to funny to bleak. “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything” from Finland is a funny short about a family who wakes up late for a wedding. Much more serious is “Friday,” about a teenage boy with much weighing him down. Any more details will spoil the emotional story as it unfolds, and perhaps brings tears from viewers. It’s a moving film.
Other films come from England, the U.S. and France. A film from Ireland called “Irish Folk Furniture” is a particularly interesting and delightful film about just what the title says. The furniture is centerpiece, with its builders and owners narrating each description and history.
“I’m a Great Big Ball of Sadness” shows what urban rooftop party minglers say and don’t say, and captures much in just minutes. In “Kismet Diner” is an unexpected love story.
That’s the beauty of short films – crafting a full story in a short time. The screening lasts about an hour and 45 minutes, and gives you quite the array of options to vote for best film and best actor. There are several worthy options for the win. It’s also a neat idea to have simultaneous screenings – well, in the same week at least – of the same shorts, so audiences around the world can share that feeling you get when watching a film in a room with so many others. A shared way to experience art.
For more about the festival, visit


WHAT: Manhattan Short Film Festival
WHEN: 7 p.m. Oct. 2
WHERE: The Pinhook
117 W. Main St., Durham