Each year at Tribeca Film Festival, the short films are always the biggest highlight for me, but this year in particular boasted an even stronger crop of films than usual. There were so many incredibly creative storylines featuring talented newcomers from all over the world. From Earthy Encounters to Exit Strategy, here’s 7 short films that will leave you shouting at your screen for a full feature!
Watch my review of short films from Tribeca Film Festival 2018, below:
The short film Exit Strategy was directed, produced, written, and edited by Travis Bible — the man can do it all! Some of his past credits including working as an editor and producer for episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Real World, and The Challenge. The cast consisted of Christopher O’Shea (Baby Daddy, Madame Secretary) and Richard Kohnke (Pitch Perfect, The Carrie Diaries) as brothers Shane and Matt. I’m a sucker for time traveling stories so this film — about a man in a time loop who works with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire — was right up my alley. The twist in the film was really well done and the attention to detail was impeccable. I ended up re-watching Exit Strategy about three times and kept noticing more little details. Like the way the audio would sound muffled and the camera focus would blur when Shane was thinking instead of being in the moment with his brother. I thought this film had a strong concept and a really powerful message about spending time with loved ones when you get a second chance.
HOW TOMMY LEMENCHICK BECAME A GRADE 7 LEGEND
Directed by Bastion Alexandre, How Tommy Lemenchick Became A Grade 7 Legend stars newcomers Sam Ashe Arnold and Charli Birdgenaw. The short tells the story of 11 year old Ophelia who’s never been kissed and sets out to change that. She finds the perfect guy — Tommy Lemenchick — and the next day at school he becomes a legend. What I really enjoyed about this story was the twist at the end. Based off the synopsis and watching it unfold, the film leads you to believe Tommy Lemenchick is bragging about kissing Ophelia, but the reason he becomes a legend is way more sweet and goofy than that and the epitome of what seventh graders actually think is legendary. I enjoyed Charli Birdgenaw I’m the role of Ophelia as well. She has a star quality about her that makes me think we could see her doing big things in the next few years.
Irish director Louise Bagnall brought the realities of Alzheimer’s to life in a beautiful animated short called Late Afternoon. In addition to directing, she also works as a storyboard and character designer. The film follows a character named Emily who feels disconnected from the world around her and looks to her past to embrace the present. The film won the Shorts Animation Award at Tribeca Film Festival and tells a moving and insightful story about Alzheimer’s and memory. I was definitely teary eyed by the time the film ended.
Laboratory Conditions is a short film that stars Marisa Tomei and Minnie Driver and was directed by Jocelyn Stamat, M.D. — a woman who has an impressive resume as both a graduate of Duke University School is Medicine and a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. The story follows Tomei as a doctor looking for her missing patient. What she uncovers is an unlawful underground experiment going on to determine at what point the soul really leaves the body after death. They’ll discover something more sinister than they ever imagined is coming, but it might already be too late. This film was wild and I would absolutely watch a full length feature of it.
RISE OF A STAR
Rise of a Star is a French film by director James Bort, a photographer and fashion blogger who has photographed some of the greatest dancers in the world. In his first short film, he tells the story of Emma, played by real-life prima ballerina Dorothee Gilbert, who is about to be the new star ballerina at the Paris Opera, but is hiding a big secret that may undermine her dreams. I enjoyed the empowering messages of not letting doubters bring you down and realizing that you can have multiple dreams and not have to give any up to achieve what you want.
Earthy Encounters is a British film written and directed by Sam Johnson that stars Fionn O’Shea and Jessica Barden. The short tells the story of a guy who believes he can save his dying older brother with a plant he found in the garden center he works at, but a shady government agency is on their own mission to destroy it. I was particularly excited to see Jessica Barden in this project — she’s also known for her roles in Penny Dreadful and The End of the F***ing World — and she definitely stole the show in this film as well. She has this real, blunt quality to her acting that I’ve noticed in her other roles and it’s very refreshing.
Directed and written by Steve Kenny, Time Traveler tells the story of a young Irish boy who is obsessed with Back to the Future and wants to finish building his own DeLorean replica before his family is evicted from where they live. What I enjoyed about this movie was that they really made you think deeply about Back to the Future. When explaining why he’s so passionate about the film to his dad, our main character reveals that he loves that Marty McFly is able to give his family a better life by traveling back in time. I think that’s really what the heart of this short was about — a kid holding onto this dream that he could help his family.