BIG SCREEN | Manhattan Short – 21 years of Short Films

Manhattan Short Film Festival - Skagit Art Music

Launched in ’98,  this year the Manhattan Short Film Festival (9/27/18 – 10/7/18) premieres over the course of several days when more than 100,000 film-lovers come together in 350 cities, across six continents to watch nine short films and vote for their favorite. This year I was fortunate enough to be one of them. This wasn’t my first foray into the world of tiny movie watching, but it was the first time I was a participant at the global level and it feels really cool! The level of which I am referring to is that all votes for best movie and best actor will be tallied and pushed out to the 2019 Academy Award  nomination committee.

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21 years in the making, the Manhattan Short Film Festival is the brainchild of founding director, Aussie Nicholas Mason. I don’t personally know Nicholas (yet), but I can tell he’s the very special kind guy you want at your next dinner party. If you’d like to see where this all goes, I suggest you follow Nicholas John Mason on Facebook and  stay tuned for his November launch of “Attention Members of the Academy” social media campaign. His intentions are to not only get these nine exceptional films out in front of the movers and shakers in Hollywood, but potentially win some Oscars for the many deserving artists who made this fine art movement possible. This social campaign is being attributed to the recent week-long run Mr. Mason’s project experienced at Vintage Cinemas Los Felize 3 in Los Angeles.

Find A Manhattan Short Film Festival Screening Location Near You

Respectfully, Mason gives up a whole page of his nicely produced One Word | One Week | One Festival handbill to give a BIG THANKS to Wheelhouse Creative in NYC, the talented team of marketing folks behind those enticing trailers and the international PR strategy. He also goes on to appreciate the long list of film makers, actors, and production folks, and warmly includes his Mum, Dad, family and friends – especially his Godfather Bob – back in his homeland down under. Needless to say, a project of this size truly takes an international village, and Nicholas Mason has done it again!

Since our Skagit Art Music readers drop in on our editorial from places near and far, I won’t spoil the experience for you. There is still time to catch the festival around the globe through October 7th, Albeit, many of the scheduled showings are now booked outside of the Skagit region.  Manhattan Short Screening Venues

You Be The Judge!

2019 Manhattan Short Film Festival Winners

Baghead –  “If your eternal soul is in danger, the stakes are much higher,” Alberto Corredor Marina, Director.  Country: England

Fire In Cardboard City – “I’m a huge fan of action and genre blockbuster films, ” Phil Brough, Director. Country: New Zealand

Home Shopper – (You’ll never look at the Home Shopping Network the same again.) Directed by Dev Patel   Country: USA

Her – “I used silence so that in certain moments, the silence becomes frightening,” More Raca. Country: Kosovo

Two Strangers Who Met Five Times – “I noticed this low level intolerance and prejudice of other people in ordinary situations,” Marcus Markou, Director.  Country: United Kingdom

Someone – “Everyone was ready to fight with us for this film,” Marco Gadge, Director.  Country: Germany

Cuchotage – (Set in an ancient meeting room for top communist leaders in Budapest.) Directed by Barnabas Toth   Country: Hungary

Fauve – “Films about childhood are often too clean and polished,” Jeremy Comte, Director. Country: Canada

Lacrimosa – “Every image and every scene mirrors Mila’s inner state,” Tanya Mairitsch, Director   Country: Austria

Voting was difficult. I will share that in my opinion eight of the nine shorts all ranged from very good to great, with #9 being good, but a little too in-your-face violent right out of the gate for me. I will also warn those of our readers who are bothered by the concept and big screen translation of revenge, violence, tragedy, and abuse, five of the nine shorts contain content that will offend you, but most importantly make you think and hopefully feel more connected to the human race.

Manhattan Short Film Festival 2018 _ voters ballot - Skagit Art Music

Lacrimosa – The top artistic film in my opinion was by the only female director Tanja Mairitsch from Austria. Her film about a couple finding each other in a surreal landscape was artfully choreographed and magically translated.

Voting – I was torn for top flick between Fauve and Two Strangers Who Met Five Times. In the end I picked Felix Grenier of Fauve for Best Actor and Two Strangers for Best Film. The story might be a bit too predictable for some, but  I resonated with the underlying theme suggesting multi-universes and the impact of our care and treatment of “perceived” strangers. Like I said, it was a very grueling decision. I struggled picking just one in either category, but I couldn’t break the rules – this time.

Thank you to our local Lincoln Theatre in downtown Mount Vernon, WA for hosting this event. I look forward to participating in this artistic film experience again next year. And maybe, just maybe… one day seeing a locally produced film on the big screen!

Call For Entries 2019 – Featured Musical Artists!

Manhattan Short Film Festival 2018 - Skagit Art MusicManhattan Short’s has announced they will be featuring a musician or band for the 2019 festival and apparently every year moving forward. The selected musician or band will be featured in over 400 venues and played to an international audience of more than 100,000 during the 2019 Mahattan Short’s intermission.  The winner will be included in an international social media campaign and their music made available for digital download. Visit for more.

About the author…

Sandra Benton Skagit Art Music Anacortes WA

This contribution to The SAM Project is by founder and publisher, Sandra Benton.

For more information about becoming a contributor to the Skagit Art Music team, contact Sandra at

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