CineLife Entertainment, the event cinema division of Spotlight Cinema Networks, has teamed with Reel Plan to bring Big Screen Shorts, a four-part series of curated short films from around the world, to select theatre across the country beginning March 15.
Big Screen Shorts will include documentaries, comedies, dramas, and animated short films. The inaugural U.S.-based theatrical release showcase features eight selected shorts, that range from a Cuban comedy, to a touching tale of loss, to an adrenaline-filled look at an inner-city police officer’s evening.
Each shorts series will have a thematic bent, working to unify the films as part of a single cohesive showcase, with several films having won awards at film festivals around the world, as well as some films having been Oscar shortlisted. In addition, each program of short films will also be introduced by a noted film critic, journalist, or luminary. The first showcase will be presented by Ann Hornaday, chief film critic at The Washington Post, and author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.
Big Screen Shorts is created and curated by veteran film festival programmer and taste maker, Jon Gann, Executive Producer, Reel Plan, and founder of DC Shorts Film Festival.
Gann said, “Film going audiences are constantly in search of something they have not seen before – something rare, something exciting, something that captures their imaginations. Short films have long been a thriving part of the film festival ecosystem, so much so that more and more festivals devoted solely to the screening of shorts are popping up each year. Big Screen Shorts will feed that hunger for entertainment that goes beyond the typical feature film format. It fuses great storytelling with the immediate rewards of the short subject. It takes the thrill of something that grabs us on YouTube making it go viral to a big screen presentation. We see a hunger out there for these films, and we seek to feed that hunger.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Jon Gann and bring the four-part series of award-winning shorts to the U.S. theaters,” said Mark Rupp, SVP, Programming & Acquisitions, CineLife Entertainment. “Jon is well-known across the film festival world and has helped us develop an amazing lineup of short films that fit together as a cohesive program and meet the demand of moviegoers across the country.”
Big Screen Shorts kicks off in several markets, including; Alabama (Prattville); Florida (Fleming Island and Miramar Beach); Illinois (Bloomington and North Pekin); New Jersey (Cranford); Ohio (Columbus); Pennsylvania (Allentown and York); and Wisconsin (Fitchburg).
Showcase 1 for Big Screen Shorts includes;
Maeve Jackson’s THE BEAUTIFUL: THE STORIES SHE TELL – a personal film where a young woman removes her head wrap, provoking questions of identity and culture.
Charlie Lynn’s FISH STORY, which won Best Documentary Short at the Denver Film Festival, as well as taking the Audience Award at AFI DOCS, is about a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, which was attended exclusively by people with fish surnames – or so the story goes.
Narrative comedies within the program are;
Aldofo Menas Cejas’ THE MACHINE, winner of the London Eye International Film Festival’s Best Narrative Film Award, which focuses on a Cuban woman who decides to leave for America after learning she has just won the American Visa Lottery – even if it means abandoning her family.
Frédéric Hambalek’s MOUNTAIN FEVER, which takes a comic look at an alpine team conducting a hazardous search during an apocalyptic snow storm, when one of the team’s members goes missing.
Greg Chwerchak’s SAC DE MERDE – an award winner at Atlanta ShortsFest, NOVA Festival, and Chicago International RREL Shorts Film Festival. The film follows an unlucky-in-love, yet irrationally optimistic New Yorker who thinks she just spent the night with the man of her dreams – unless he’s just full of crap.
Amanda Renee Knox’s NIGHT CALL, which takes us on a routine patrol, where an accomplished L.A. police officer is forced to make a life-altering decision at one of her stops. The film was a winner at the Bermuda Film festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and a Directors Guild of America West Region Jury winner,
Ilay Mevorach’s OPEN YOR EYES – a dramatic short about an Israeli woman whose prejudices are challenged during a critical eye care appointment.
Erica Milsom’s SO MUCH YELLOW – another winner of multiple awards, including jury awards from the Ashland Film Festival (Best Short) and Deep in the Heart Film Festival (Best Writing for a Short Film), as well as the Audience Award from the Austin Film Festival). The film follows a little girl whose world is changed forever during what seems to be an uneventful family road trip.