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Mountain Mayhem: Big moments at Aspen Shortsfest

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem
An after-film gathering at Aspen Pie Shop - Susan Wrubel and filmmakers.
Jason Anderson leads a post-screening Q&A at The Wheeler Opera House with Shortsfest filmmakers.
Richard Gitlin with Mimi Polk Gitlin who served on Shortsfest's jury this year and produced Thelma and Louise in 1991, which was nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globes and won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.
Aspen Film's executive and artistic director Susan Wrubel and Shortsfest's program director Jason Anderson who's based in another famous film fest city, Toronto.
A few of Aspen Film's finest - Liz Lasko, Roua Adam, Erin McVoy and Amy Mountjoy at Public House.
Barb Sanders and Kathy Kendrick at Public House for the opening night reception. Barb's son, Micah Sanders Silva, along with Mortiz Johnson from Aspen High School created snd screened their short on how bullying originates and how to make one's own luck.
Susan Wrubel with filmmaker Harris Doran whose short won first place for comedy, called F^¢K ‘€M R!GHT B@¢K.
Lorenzo Semple served on the Ellen Jury named for Aspen Film's late founder Ellen Hunt. The Ellen Award is a $2,500 cash prize given to the film that evokes her spirit.

Hats off to the entire team at Aspen Film who welcomed audiences from April 5 – 10 for the 31st Aspen Shortsfest, one of only four Oscar-qualifying festivals in the country strictly dedicated to short films. Nearly 3,000 films were submitted in consideration for the 2022 edition of Shortsfest, which presented 77 films in competition.

A favorite aspect of this festival in my eyes is the opportunity to connect with the filmmakers, jury, Aspen Film staff and patrons at the various screenings, pre-event receptions, and post-event gatherings, as well as to hear from many of them onstage in panel discussions. This year’s social activity took place at Aspen Public House, Sports Bar, Aspen Pie Shop, The W and other cozy spots.

Aspen Film’s Shortsfest Competition Jury awarded films in six categories – Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Short Short (films under 10 minutes in length), and Student Short. Awards were also presented by a Youth Jury, comprised of students primarily from the Aspen area, as well as Denver and New York, and also the Ellen Jury who present an award in honor of Aspen Film’s founder and longtime executive director, Ellen Hunt, who passed away in January 2021, and the Audience Award, voted on by Shortsfest viewers.



Aspen Film’s 2022 programming will continue with Summer of Cinema offerings and the 43rd Filmfest which will run September 27-October 2, 2022, at the Wheeler Opera House. Shortsfest 2023 submissions will open in mid-July 2022. To learn more, visit aspenfilm.org.


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