Fall is in the air. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, and days are growing shorter. Which means only one thing:
Time for the annual Manhattan International Film Festival!!
Over the span of one week, a program of 10 short films are shown in 250 cities across 6 continents to over 100,000 people. At each screening, the audience votes on their favorite and the winner is unveiled in NYC at the end of the week.
One interesting, and sometimes frustrating aspect of the Festival is that each program only runs for one day in each of the theaters. And since the festival isn't exactly backed by Hollywood, the theaters tend to be in smaller, more obscure locations. In other words, this will not be showing at your neighborhood multiplex. In my opinion, this makes the experience all the better because you end up getting to check out these quirky little theaters that are (often) short on seating, but large on personality and you get to share them with people who are genuinely excited about film. But you do have to work for it a bit more. For instance in the Seattle area the options are:
1. Take a ferry to Bainbridge Island
2. Drive to West Seattle
3. Drive to Kirkland
Now, normally I would opt for any excuse to ride a ferry across the beautiful Elliot Bay. However, the one-time-only-screening was this past weekend. Same is true for West Seattle. So, it looks like I'll be driving to Kirkland Saturday night.
Why would I go to such lengths you may wonder? Well, it is because it simply never fails to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, highly enjoyable evening. The films are from all over the world are typically a great mix comedy, drama, and documentaries. They focus on a variety of themes and cultures and it's really fun to see the world through someone else's eyes for a bit. Also, good short films are built upon good story telling since there's no time to waste. This translates into high entertainment value for you the viewer.
Remember, it's one night only, so check your city now!
-San Francisco is tonight!
-Tucson is Thursday
-Ann Arbor is Thursday
-Tangier, Morocco is Sunday
Find your venue here.
Here are the 10 finalists: