2005 Chicago Really Short Film Festival "Go Shorty" Awards
Without further Adieu…

Written by [ Richard Sharp ]

The Second Annual Chicago Really Short Film Festival wound down this weekend at the wee hour of two in the morning after five hours of quality shorts, music and sketch comedy. The highlights were bountiful, and it's clear that, with a threefold increase in submissions and a 500% increase in quality, this festival is one to watch.

And now, (drumroll, please) without further adieu, these are the selections for ChicagoFilm's Go Shorty Awards - recognizing excellence where we spot it and making up new categories whenever we feel like it. With so many great new films in the mix this year, it was a tough nut to crack, but we've come to a decision. For those filmmakers who've won, we say most sincerely, "Go Shorty, it's your birthday. We gon' party like it's yo birthday. Gon' sip Bacardi like it's yo birthday. 'Cause you know we don't give a…"

ChicagoFilm Go Shorty Selections

Go Shorty Award for Best Picture:
The Yearbook
The goofball quasi-ad agency crew at the Wexley School for Girls sent in this flawless short from Director Jonnie Ross about a young man living in his van who pines for a lovely gal from his high school days. Pulling his best "Whiz Kid" Donnie Smith bit, the hero (played by Luis Gernandez Gil) must prove his "power to love" to win over the gal of his yearbook dreams. Who ever thought bikes and sky-high bangs could be this much fun?

Hometown Shorty Award:
Jakarta Boom Boom
The improvisational group Dasariski consists of Craig Cackowski, Robert Dassie, and Rich Talarico. The three co-writer/performers honed their chops performing at Second City and, after moving along to work in L.A. and New York (Tallerico is currently a staff writer for Saturday Night Live and formerly wrote for MadTV), teamed up with Chicago-based director Leroy Koetz to create Jakarta Boom Boom, a hilarious take on drugs, travel and…um… "Indonesian Squeezin.'"

The film screened at the 2005 US Comedy Arts festival and won over the Really Short audience with a great script, solid production values and one highly unusual menage trois. Sure the film was shot in L.A. (D'oh!) but the talent was pure Chi-town and the results were impressive..

Dopest Shorty Award:
Carla Cope
"I'm Carla Cope, and I don't smoke dope," says the heroine of this densely-layered frenetic, beat-driven cinematic poem from NY-based filmmaker Aileen McCormack. We don't really buy the dope claim, but we will say that this jumping, jittery piece was as innovative and oddly compelling a short as we've seen in a long time. Many of the scratched up, painted on, acid-eaten segments either looked like archival footage dug up from some lost cavern of world history or as if they had been so artfully reconstructed that they had us utterly fooled. Either way, massive style points to McCormack and here's hoping we see more from her in the near future.

Emerging Shorty:
Joe Hanson
Writer/director Joe Hanson got the Hollywood Bitchslap Award from Erik Childress for his bizarre, funny Lord of the Rings meets Requiem for a Dream parody Requiem for a Ring. Hanson's but a wee pup, getting set to graduate from University of Chicago this summer. We caught a screening of one of his other fest submissions Joe Gets Dominated (which may have been axed due to its length), and thought it could have been in the running against any of the other shorts in the fest. The kid's got talent and word on the street says he's on the lookout for a regular editing/filmmaking gig. Anyone in need of an Emerging Shorty? Anyone? Bueller?

Other Awards from the festival:

Audience Choice:
Couch Fu, Devin Breen & Michelle Kaffko

Image Union Selections:
Yearbook, Jonnie Ross
Phudi Mart, Schadenfreude
Carla Cope, Aileen McCormack

Written by [ Richard Sharp ]

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May 13, 2005 //
Talk about a hip eve. [ Sonic Celluloid ] brings together the folks from indie rock station WNUR with Northwestern's Block Cinema to present a one-night-only festival of "live music and dead film." Films from avante-pioneers like Dziga Vertov, Stan Brakhage and Chris Marker are set to music by electronic and rock acts like Cheer-Accident, Olivia Block, Molar, and Phantom Limb & Bison. The show starts at 8pm at Block Cinema (40 Arts Circle on the Northwestern University Campus). Tickets are 10 bucks at the door. There should be more events like this.

May 14, 2005 //
Speaking of shorts, [ Chicago Filmmakers ] will be holding a "lesbian-pleasing shorts program" this year as part of their annual Dyke Delicious series. Besides a weatlth of lesbian-themed programming, attendees are invited to wear their "cutest, sexiest shorts" in order to be entered in a Short Shorts contest. I think I saw that in a movie once. The program takes place at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St. Tickets are 7 bucks.

May 27-30, 2005 //
Local non-profit [ Split Pillow ] holds their annual Chicago Challenge this year over Memorial Day weekend. The format for the fast-forward style concept has teams of filmmakers writing, shooting and editing footage for one another, leading to one final collective project. Inspired by the maniacal "exquisite corpse" method of improv artmaking, past Challenge films have been compelling stuff, garnering festival awards and becoming the center of screenings and raucous parties throughout the city. [ Read the ChicagoFilm feature ] on Split Pillow.

May 14, 18, 2005 //
The [ IFP Chicago ] continues its 5-part Producers series this month, with a screening and discussion featuring local talent Kirkland Tibbells, whose Adam and Steve stars Parker Posey and recently premiered at Tribeca. On the 18th, Ruth Leitman will present a preview screening of Lipstick and Dynamite, the critically acclaimed tale of the early days of women's wrestling. If the world were a just place, the IFP would offer a night with Parker Posey wrestling, wearing lipstick and carrying dynamite. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.


The Hookup - [ Click Me ]

It's All Gone Pete Tong
Courtesy of Matson Films and Shake Chicago

Landmark Century Cinema
Thursday, May 19, 2005 (7:30 p.m.)

An award-winning biopic on DJ Frankie Wilde, featuring interviews with world-famous DJs including Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk. [ Sign Me Up ]


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Editor // [ Richard Sharp ]
Creative Director// [ Scott Lindenberger ]