At the movies |

At the movies

Short attention spans were accommodated once again at the annual Shortsfest, staged at theaters in Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood between March 31 and April 4. One of the nations finest short-film competitions, the 13-year-old festival included 59 short films and videos from 20 countries in its International Competition. This years finalists were drawn from an international pool of more than 1,500 works.Fewer than 4 percent of the entries actually make it to Shortsfest, noted Robert Adams, a member of the Shorts-fest screening committee and announcer at Carbondales Crystal Theatre. Its extremely competitive, so what youre seeing in the festival are the really, really good films.Substantial cash prizes were awarded for top films in categories such as animation, comedy, drama and documentary. In addition to the screenings there were panel discussions, workshops and social activities celebrating the art of short filmmaking.I truly appreciate Shortsfest, continued Adams. There is such a wide variety of films from so many countries. They have the opportunity to show 60 films from 22 countries over the course of the weekend, which obviously cant be done with features.Its a very big honor to be in the festival at all, said Ben Phillips, producer/director of As of Lately, a short screened in the Local Filmmaker Showcase at the Wheeler Opera House. Phillips and Rickey Gates, the key grip and on-screen talent for As of Lately, won most innovative for their films artistic effects and intriguingly edgy style. Though Phillips intends to continue pursuing his film career, he currently has no plans for L.A.Besides, interjected Gates, Aspens the new Hollywood anyway.Filmgoers Jennifer and Taki Sidley of Washington, D.C., attended Shortsfest for a second straight year. Im getting great ideas for my next film, said an inspired Taki in the lobby of the Wheeler one evening. My goal is to produce and submit a live action short for the 2005 festival.Aspen Shortsfest 2004 Awards were announced at a closing-night ceremony, on Sunday, April 4, at the Mountain Chalet. For a complete listing of award winners, log onto contact May to send info, insight or invites, e-mail:

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