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Aspen Shortsfest unveils program

Aspen Times Staff ReportAspen, CO Colorado
The animated short film, Burley! about a gang of adventure-loving fish whove invented a new extreme sport will be screened as part of Aspen Shortsfest, April 2-6. (Courtesy Aspen Film)
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ASPEN Aspen Films annual salute to the short film returns April 2-6, with a diverse selection of animated, live-action and documentary short films.The week brings screenings to both the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.Aspen Film unveiled the program schedule on Saturday; tickets go on sale Friday, March 21. Tickets, priced at $12, will be available at the Wheeler Opera House box office (www.aspenshowtickets.com) in Aspen and Sounds Easy in Carbondale. Doors open 30 minutes before each program; a ticket guarantees a set up to 10 minutes before showtime. In the event of a sellout, unclaimed seats will be released; a wait list begins 30 minutes before the program.Go to http://www.aspenfilm.org for more on Shortsfest and Aspen Film.And now, the program:WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2 COMPETITION PROGRAM 1(Wheeler Opera House, 5:30 p.m.)Alagados Music opens surprising doors for 23-year-old Renato, who gets a new lease on life when he joins a percussion group. Step beyond statistics and into the life and dreams of a young Brazilian determined to beat the odds. (Sylvia Johnson, USA/Brazil, 23 min.)Its My Turn In this valentine to movie magic, a group of children with limited pocket change but abundant ingenuity pool their pennies to enrich their imaginations. (Ismet Ergn, Turkey/ Germany, 11 min.)John and Karen A cup of tea and some biscuits on the settee. And, oh yes, a polar bear and a penguin. (Matthew Walker, UK, 4 min.)Just One Hour What can you do in an hour? A womans surprising proposition to a complete stranger in a caf sets in motion this intriguing drama of human yearning. (Virginie Peignien, France, 10 min.)Left in Baghdad A sensitive portrait of a 32-year-old husband and father, an Iraq war veteran being sent home from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and facing the first day of the rest of his life. (Peter Jordan & John Kane, USA, 12 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Sikumi (On the Ice) Guiding his dog sled across the austere Arctic snowscape, an Inuit hunter inadvertently witnesses a crime. He soon discovers the path to righting the wrong is more slippery than it first appears. (Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, USA, 15 min.) APRIL 2 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 2(Wheeler Opera House, 8:15 p.m.) Cherries A group of unruly teenage schoolboys is oblivious to much beyond their disruptive horseplay. But theyre about to be assigned a lesson they will never forget. (Tom Harper, UK, 15 min.)Dog A wry mini-meditation memorializing the passing of one boys best friend. (Hermann Karlsson, UK, 1 min.)Elegy for the Elswick Envoy Artist Nancy Williss fond chronicle of her quest to find just the right resting place for her car – a trusty, but rusty, friend. A heart-warming double portrait of a unique vehicle and its plucky owner. (Nancy Willis, UK, 24 min.)The Last American Ski Bum – Bumps Jackson The mayor, the sheriff, the lift operators… everyone knows Bumps, Aspen legend and last of a dying breed. (Charles Agar, USA, 9 min.)Lost in Snow Latvian animator Vladimir Leschiov (Insomnia, SF05) applies his unique deadpan surrealism to the frigid and solitary pastime of ice fishing. (Vladimir Leschiov, Latvia, 8 min.)Pig and Shakespeare In this lighthearted look at the seductive power of art, a young farmer, distracted by the antics of two strangers in a neighboring field, crashes his tractor and loses a piglet, but discovers the Bard. (Geon Kim, South Korea, 21 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Kick Off Your Shorts Festival Launch Party(Wheeler lobby)Meet filmmaker guests, mingle with other film enthusiasts, and enjoy drinks and desserts at the post-screening party. Open to all Program 2 ticket and pass holders. APRIL 3 – SPECIAL PRESENTATION(Wheeler Opera House, noon)Freeheld and La Corona (The Crown) two of this years Academy Award-honored short documentaries, including the winner (Freeheld).April 3 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 3(Wheeler Opera House, 5:30 p.m.) One Bridge to the Next Navigating riverbanks, bridges, and alleyways, Dr. Jim Withers and his team provide a lifeline to Pittsburghs homeless. This stirring documentary illuminates the complexity of homelessness and the tireless efforts of a visionary doctor to create dignity for those living on the streets. From the director and producer of Trevor, SF94. (Kim A. Snyder, USA, 33 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.The Receiver In this poignant modern-life tale from the outskirts of the former Soviet Union, a lonely cab drivers off-hours hobby takes an unpredictable twist. (Anne Devereux, Kazakhstan/ USA, 14 min.)Return to Labradoria Unlucky in love, and stuck in a dead-end job, Jacques sets off for the Planet Labradoria to retrieve a special long-lost childhood friend in this charmingly offbeat tale. (Diego Ongaro & Thomas Pousson, France, 23 min.)Salvador A child playing hide and seek with his father on a crowded train triggers unexpected consequences for all the passengers aboard. (Abdelatif Hwidar, Spain, 11 min.)Speed of Life Speed of Life Meet Amy Purdy, a competitive snowboarder with an amazing story. Jeff Lester (The Last Real Cowboys, SF00) returns with a surprising portrait of a young athlete whose spirit can only be called inspirational. (Jeff Lester, USA, 9 min.)Their First Journey A nervous new father takes his first excursion with his 10-month-old daughter. Hes outfitted for all eventualities or so he thinks. (Grgoire Sivan, France, 10 min.)APRIL 3 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 4(Wheeler Opera House, 8:45 p.m.) Aquarium At 15, David and his two buddies are the youngest members of an aquarium society. Theyre en route to a meeting, but David harbors a secret hes reluctant to share in this bittersweet ode to adolescence and animals. (Rob Meyer, USA, 17 min.)Brackish Water A teenage girl and her mothers new boyfriend meet for the fi rst time at the familys summer cottage. When the mother goes out, the two are left to get to know each other. (David Reiss-Andersen, Norway, 20 min.)The Champ After one too many fights, 17-year-old Fatima finds the one place where she can punch as hard as she wants – a local boxing club, where her coach shows that being a fighter is not just about boxing, its about life. (Peter Jordan, USA, 6 min.)Lapsus The Nuns Story meets Duck Amuck in this goofy, abstract, and downright metaphysical animation. (Juan Pablo Zaramella, Argentina, 4 min.)Not Available Today In this playful urban fairytale from Gustavo Taretto (Sidewalls, SF06), a shy wallflower goes to architectural extremes to avoid attracting attention. (Gustavo Taretto, Argentina, 8 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this year’s Directors Spotlight honoree.The Second Line In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a man living in a FEMA trailer resorts to extreme measures to get by when his savings are stolen. An unflinching look at the devastation wrought by the storm, told through the perseverance of one survivor. (John Magary, USA, 20 min.)Wrestling Icelands national sport requires some unusual maneuvers. And sometimes those dynamics move beyond the wrestling arena. A love story about ordinary guys. (Grmur Hkonarson, Iceland, 21 min.) APRIL 4 – COMPETITION PROGRAM A(Crystal Theatre, Carbondale, 5:30 and 8 p.m.) Chief Tribal leader Semu is a brave and respected man, destined to govern his people. But when fate intervenes, he leaves Samoa to create a new, anonymous life in Honolulu. Then one day his past resurfaces and history threatens to repeat itself. (Brett Wagner, USA, 21 min.)Its My Turn In this valentine to movie magic, a group of children with limited pocket change but abundant ingenuity pool their pennies to enrich their imaginations. (Ismet Ergn, Turkey/ Germany, 11 min.)Lifes Hard Who will escape from whom in this funny tale that puts a bad driver behind the wheel and a carjacking thief in the passengers seat? (Gabriel Sirbu, Romania, 20 min.)Lost in Snow Latvian animator Vladimir Leschiov (Insomnia, SF05) applies his unique deadpan surrealism to the frigid and solitary pastime of ice fishing. (Vladimir Leschiov, Latvia, 8 min.)Not Available Today In this playful urban fairytale from Gustavo Taretto (Sidewalls, SF06), a shy wallflower goes to architectural extremes to avoid attracting attention. (Gustavo Taretto, Argentina, 8 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Salvador A child playing hide and seek with his father on a crowded train triggers unexpected consequences for all the passengers aboard. (Abdelatif Hwidar, Spain, 11 min.) min.)Taxi? This citys cab drivers have taken a course on kindness. But if you dont make the grade, you wont arrive at your destination. (Telmo Esnal, Spain, 5 min.) min.)APRIL 4 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 5(Wheeler Opera House, 5:30 p.m.) The Beloved Ones Two personal African stories form the core of this visually poetic documentary from the director of Success with Sweet Peas (SF04). (Samantha Moore, UK, 6 min.)Irinka and Sandrinka Grandmother Irene, of Russian nobility, lived through the fall of the czar. To granddaughter Sandrine, Russia was a distant fairytale. A lifetime of momentous history and imaginings enliven this colorful family chronicle. (Sandrine Stoanov & Jean-Charles Finck, France/Belgium, 16 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Silent Snow Sarah and Pipaluk are two spunky young girls living in Greenland, a breathtaking expanse of ice and ocean. But their far northern town is literally melting and, with it, their families way of life. Greenlanders have many different words for snow but they dont yet have a word for this new reality. (Jan van den Berg, The Netherlands, 14 min.)Taua (War Party) A sensory-rich journey through the ancient Maori forest, where a young mans act of compassion reveals the true nature of leadership. (Tearepa Kahi, New Zealand, 15 min.)Unexpected Company? Enjoy a wonderful summer evening by the sea: a delicious dinner, a drink on the terrace, and weather that gets warmer and warmer. (Per Carleson, Sweden, 4 min.)Waves Its a hot, busy day at the beach. A pretty mother asks a gypsy boy to watch her young son while she takes a quick dip. A surprising twist of fate presents the young man with an unexpected opportunity. But people arent always as they seem. (Adrian Sitaru, Romania, 17 min.)The Wednesdays When an elderly couple makes an inadvertent discovery, theyre able to reignite the love theyd almost forgotten. This witty, insightful film will resonate with anyone who yearns to disrupt life’s predictable rhythm. (Conor Ferguson, Ireland, 14 min.)APRIL 4 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 6(Wheeler Opera House, 9 p.m.) Force 1 TD Carmine needs a new pair of sneakers for a very special occasion. In this lively New York comedy, three good friends spend the day trying to find him the perfect footwear. (Randy Krallman, USA, 11 min.)Lavatory Lovestory Love is always sudden – you never know when or where it might strike. A sweet tale from the animator of At the Ends of the Earth and The God (SF97 & SF03). (Konstantin Bronzit, Russia, 9 min.)On the Line A shy security guard spends his days observing others, including a young bookstore clerk. He looks for ways to connect with her on the commuting line they share. Then one evening she appears on the train with another guy… (Reto Caffi, Germany/Switzerland, 30 min.)Pickin and Trimmin At a rural North Carolina barbershop, the atmosphere is laidback, the conversation free, and the music a cut above the rest. An engagingly genuine slice of old-time Americana. (Matt Morris, USA, 23 min.)Pika Pika, The Lightning Doodle Project A whimsical dance of light and life through parks, train tracks, schools, and Tokyo Bay. (Takeshi Nagata & Kazue Monno, Japan, 4 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this year’s Director’s Spotlight honoree.Spider Jack and Jill are always hurting each others feelings. But like Mum said, Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Truly outrageous. (Nash Edgerton, Australia, 9 min.) April 5 – DIRECTORS SPOTLIGHT(Wheeler Opera House, 2:30 p.m.Master class with two-time Oscar nominee and perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton.APRIL 5 – COMPETITION PROGRAM B(Crystal Theatre, Carbondale, 5:30 and 8 p.m.) On the Line A shy security guard spends his days observing others, including a young bookstore clerk. He looks for ways to connect with her on the commuting line they share. Then one evening she appears on the train with another guy…(Reto Caffi, Germany/Switzerland, 30 min.)Pig and Shakespeare In this lighthearted look at the seductive power of art, a young farmer, distracted by the antics of two strangers in a neighboring field, crashes his tractor and loses a piglet, but discovers the Bard. (Geon Kim, South Korea, 21 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Return to Labradoria Unlucky in love, and stuck in a dead-end job, Jacques sets off for the Planet Labradoria to retrieve a special long-lost childhood friend in this charmingly offbeat tale. (Diego Ongaro & Thomas Pousson, France, 23 min.)Unexpected Company? Enjoy a wonderful summer evening by the sea: a delicious dinner, a drink on the terrace, and weather that gets warmer and warmer…. (Per Carleson, Sweden, 4 min.)The Wednesdays When an elderly couple makes an inadvertent discovery, theyre able to reignite the love theyd almost forgotten. This witty, insightful film will resonate with anyone who yearns to disrupt lifes predictable rhythm. (Conor Ferguson, Ireland, 14 min.)APRIL 5 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 7(Wheeler Opera House, 5:30 p.m.) Chief Tribal leader Semu is a brave and respected man, destined to govern his people. But when fate intervenes, he leaves Samoa to create a new, anonymous life in Honolulu. Then one day his past resurfaces and history threatens to repeat itself. (Brett Wagner, USA, 21 min.)Come Back to Sudan The last time Lado Jurkin, Mabior Mayom, and Deng Dau saw their home and families was when they were eight years old. Flash forward 18 years. Accompanied by their adoptive Colorado mother, Jean Wood, the three undertake an extraordinary journey back home to their villages in war-torn Sudan. (Daniel Junge & Patti Bonnet, USA, 29 min.)Fish This lyrically visual tone poem from director Alexander Kott (Photographer, SF99; The Scarecrow, SF00) follows a young boys wanderings as he finds wonder in his wintry playground. (Alexander Kott, Russia, 14 min.)Peter and Ben A droll snapshot of two friends who share a preference for living outside the flock. (Pinny Grylls, UK, 10 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.Rattlesnakes A seemingly innocuous wardrobe purchase turns a middleaged car salesmans world topsy-turvy in this laconic comedy about the importance of realizing your dreams, no matter how small. (Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, Iceland, 23 min.)Taxi? This citys cab drivers have taken a course on kindness. But if you dont make the grade, you wont arrive at your destination. (Telmo Esnal, Spain, 5 min.)APRIL 5 – COMPETITION PROGRAM 8(Wheeler Opera House, 9 p.m.)Burley! A young tetra seeking attention is drawn to a gang of adventure-loving fish whove invented a new extreme sport. How to gain their acceptance? Hey, dude! (Dave Edwardz & Gareth Cowen, Australia, 9 min.)Cutlass Parenthood can carry a hefty price tag. But when her daughter, Lacy, begs for an expensive gift, Robin discovers why giving in to your kids – once in a while – can be priceless. Virginia Madsen, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning star. (Kate Hudson, USA, 15 min.)Drowning River In the mid-1950s, folksinger Katie Lee left Hollywood, discovered the canyonlands of Utah and Arizona, and befriended Edward Abbey and other members of the Monkey Wrench Gang. Trying to prevent the damming of Glen Canyon became her lifes work. Historical footage, lively interviews, and Lees music capture a time, a place, and a fierce spirit who champions that wild beauty. (ML Lincoln, USA, 20 min.)Have You Ever Heard About Vukovar? Tim, a decorated Iraq war vet, is en route to deliver a speech at his high school alma mater. Davor is the driver sent by the car service. In the space of a car ride, they discover they have more in common than they think. (Paolo Borraccetti, USA, 16 min.)Last Time in Clerkenwell Birds rule the world in animator Alex Budovskys (Return I Will to Old Brazil, SF05) syncopated sequel to Bathtime in Clerkenwell (SF02). (Alex Budovsky, USA, 4 min.)Lifes Hard Who will escape from whom in this funny tale that puts a bad driver behind the wheel and a carjacking thief in the passengers seat? (Gabriel Sirbu, Romania, 20 min.)My Olympic Summer A curiously resonant film about mothers, fathers, and internal and exterior events. (Daniel Robin, USA, 13 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.The Sound of People Standing on the brink, 18-year-old Stephen finds himself in the moment, pondering an outcome both tantalizing and terrifying. (Simon Fitzmaurice, Ireland, 8 min.) APRIL 6 – LIGHTS, CAMERA, KIDS – FAMILY SCREENING(Wheeler Opera House, 1:30 p.m.) Burley! A young tetra seeking attention is drawn to a gang of adventure-loving fish whove invented a new extreme sport. How to gain their acceptance? Hey, dude! (Dave Edwardz & Gareth Cowen, Australia, 9 min.)Cats and Dogs Meet the cats and dogs waiting to be adopted in our valleys animal shelters. Produced in Aspen Films Latino Youth Filmmaking Project 2007. (Alyce Warnock, USA, 6 min.)Cutlass Parenthood can carry a hefty price tag. But when her daughter, Lacy, begs for an expensive gift, Robin discovers why giving in to your kids – once in a while can be priceless. Virginia Madsen, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning star. (Kate Hudson, USA, 15 min.)Its My Turn In this valentine to movie magic, a group of children with limited pocket change but abundant ingenuity pool their pennies to enrich their imaginations. (Ismet Ergn, Turkey/ Germany, 11 min.)Lucys Shoes Join Lucy on the adventures she takes each time she tries on a new pair of shoes. Produced in Aspen Films Workshop in Directing Movies with Lewis Teague. (Hanna Kelly, USA, 4 min.)Pika Pika, the Lightning Doodle Project A whimsical dance of light and life through parks, train tracks, schools, and Tokyo Bay. (Takeshi Nagata & Kazue Monno, Japan, 4 min.)Speed of Life Meet Amy Purdy, a competitive snowboarder with an amazing story. Jeff Lester (The Last Real Cowboys SF00) returns with a surprising portrait of a young athlete whose spirit can only be called inspirational. (Jeff Lester, USA, 9 min.)Their First Journey A nervous new father takes his first excursion with his tenmonth-old daughter. Hes outfitted for all eventualities – or so he thinks. (Grgoire Sivan, France, 10 min.) APRIL 6 – INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION AWARDS CEREMONY(Wheeler Opera House, 3:30 p.m., free)Shortfest jurors award more than $20,000 in cash and other awards to the top live action, animation and documentary finalists.APRIL 6 – BRITISH SHORTS PANARAMA(Wheeler Opera House, 5:30 p.m.A sampling of fare from the U.K.APRIL 6 – COMPETITION PROGRAM C(Crystal Theatre, Carbondale, 7 p.m. Aquarium At 15, David and his two buddies are the youngest members of an aquarium society. Theyre en route to a meeting, but David harbors a secret hes reluctant to share in this bittersweet ode to adolescence and animals. (Rob Meyer, USA, 17 min.)Drowning River In the mid-1950s, folksinger Katie Lee left Hollywood, discovered the canyonlands of Utah and Arizona, and befriended Edward Abbey and other members of the Monkey Wrench Gang. Trying to prevent the damming of Glen Canyon became her life’s work. Historical footage, lively interviews, and Lee’s music capture a time, a place, and a fierce spirit who champions that wild beauty. (ML Lincoln, USA, 20 min.)Have You Ever Heard About Vukovar?Tim, a decorated Iraq war vet, is en route to deliver a speech at his high school alma mater. Davor is the driver sent by the car service. In the space of a car ride, they discover they have more in common than they think. (Paolo Borraccetti, USA, 16 min.)John and KarenA cup of tea and some biscuits on the settee. And, oh yes, a polar bear and a penguin. (Matthew Walker, UK, 4 min.)One Bridge to the Next Navigating riverbanks, bridges, and alleyways, Dr. Jim Withers and his team provide a lifeline to Pittsburgh’s homeless. This stirring documentary illuminates the complexity of homelessness and the tireless efforts of a visionary doctor to create dignity for those living on the streets. From the director and producer of Trevor, SF94. (Kim A. Snyder, USA, 33 min.)Plymptoon An animated treasure from the vaults of perennial Shortsfest favorite Bill Plympton, this years Directors Spotlight honoree.