HollyShorts 2020: Otherworldly Block - Film Reviews

There's a lot to love about this year's HollyShorts festival, even in light of its virtual setting. One of the more interesting blocks of this year's festival takes things just a bit further, with multi-genre entries from all over the world. My personal favorites from this block of stunning films will be listed first, with the other entries listed after. All entries were excellent and worth a look.

Audio Guide
Dir. Chris Elena
Starring Emma Wright

A woman is told the deepest mysteries of the world through a strange art museum audio guide. This is one of my favorites of this festival. It was surprising, charming, and really fun to watch as it evolved from a simple concept to something much more.

Just Be
Dir. Sarah Koteles
Starring Clementine Lea Spieser, Krystal Ellsworth, Persephone Apostolou

Two sisters are kidnapped by sex traffickers, and the traffickers get more than they bargained for with the two women. This is an interesting take on a terrible act, with so many women being victimized by this crime. Being able to show victims of abuse being able to give a bit of comeuppance to their attackers gives a sense of justice to something so cruel.

Dir. Emily Dubovi
Starring Sophie Zucker, Phil Matarese

A young couple details the changes in their relationship as time has gone on, represented by a pretty significant change in one of the partners. This was a really funny take on how relationships change and evolve over the years, sometimes for better, some for worse.

Meeting in the Cafe
Dir. Leah R. Brown
Starring Jodi Balfour, Suzanne Owens-Duval

A young woman leaves for a rather normal day, only to have her worldview challenged as she meets with an old friend. This film is powerful and beautifully shot, with a great score and some incredible performances. It's one of the strongest entries of this year's festival.

Also in this block are these terrific films:

The Price of Cheap Rent
Dir. Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka
Starring Amina Sutton, Wyatt Cenac

A young artist has to deal with an interesting living situation, as the search to find somewhere affordable to live in the era of gentrification creates some unique barriers.

Pipo & Blind Love
Dir. Hugo Le Gourrierec
Starring Solange Frejean, Anatole Zangs

In a world where emotions are measured by a gauge, a young man does everything he can to show his affection for a woman he meets on a bench, trying to fall in love in a world where emotions are so guarded.

Dir. Grant Newcomb Henderson
Starring Joe Chrest, Lana Young, Eddie Jemison

After the first time a man tries the mythical three-bird roast, he becomes obsessed with putting small things into bigger things, creating some unique results.

The Immortal
Dir. Carl Firth
Starring Guy Edmonds, James Cromwell, Maeve Dermody

A man who is afraid of dying finds the secret of immortality, learning the hard way about the inevitablity of death for all but him.

Cycle of Apples
Dir. Maha Al-Saati
Starring Jennifer Kassab, Lula Haj, Rwand Bahaa

After befriending a ram, a young girl living on an island of women attempts to find the apple of eternal life, not wanting death to keep her and her friend apart.

Dir. Tate Young
Starring Natalie Lisinska, Dalmar Abuzeid, Matthew MacFadzean

A woman who wears a mysterious spacesuit everywhere goes through a day of personal turmoil as everything comes to a head.

This is a wonderful selection of films, with each one bringing a unique perspective to the table. Information about this year's festival can be found at their website.

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