[New York Independent Film Festival] Short Films (Narrative & Documentary Short Films) - Reviewed

This is a collection of narrative and documentary shorts that were screened as at the New York Independent Film Festival.

NOA - USA – Directed by Angel Barroeta – Set in a chaotic dystopian society, this is an odd piece of cinema that is as confusing as it is enthralling. What stands out is the ambient and pulsating score and the filmmaker's decision to have no dialogue in the short. Is this a creative choice or part of something going on in this world that is being presented to us. There are more questions left for the viewer than there are answers, which may very well anger the films target audience.

End Unsung – Finland – Directed by Rolf Lindblom – Part one of an ongoing series of connected shorts, the story follows a man traveling through time and space to locate his son. The first episode takes place in the year 1873 and the sci-fi elements recall movies like Cowboys vs. Aliens. It's a an interesting short film that should sufficiently wet your appetite and having sci-fan eager to see where the rest of the series goes. With its striking locations and cinematrography, intriguing story, decent special effects, and beautiful orchestral score, End Unsung is worth taking a look at.

Home In Between – Netherland – Directed by Maren Gedenk -  This is a 360-degree documentary about the people of Kara Tepe, a refugee-camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. The short film provides a snapshot of the daily life of these refugees, delivering an immersive experience in which you experience the resiliency and the close community that they are creating.

A Fierce Breed – Puerto Rico – Directed by Karisa Cruz, Ivan Bonilla – This enthralling documentary takes the viewer into the world of cockfighting in Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining U.S. territories that it's still legal. It's a huge sport that has a huge impact on tourism and employment, with more than a million people visiting Puerto Rico to attend and grossing over $100 million annually. The filmmakers interview and follow several people in the industry and covers the history of cockfighting and it cultural impact on the country. It's an interesting foray into a world that we may not know much about and may not truly understand. Clocking in at around twenty minutes, it's a topic that deserves to be explored further.

The Dollhouse – USA – Directed by Kyra Gardner –  A filmmaker that grew up with Chucky talks with other members of the franchise's cast and crew to get their perspectives on life with Chucky, giving their insight into being part of the Chucky family. This is a terrific short film that features so many people involved in the Child's Play franchise, and how important the movies are to them. It also focuses on how working in the movie industry, in particular these films, affected their family life and what it was like being a parent during those times. This documentary short could definitely be explored further. 

Ex Nihilo – Finland – Directed by Timo Wright – Ex Nihilo is an experimental short documentary, by Finnish director Timo Wright. Through straightforward, black and white, still shots of three different locations, Oregon Cryonics, Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the test run for HUBO (one of the most advanced humanoid robots), Wright creates a documentary that conveys a truly kubrickian feeling of uneasiness. We are confronted by images of actual places and technology that could easily (and eerily) be exchanged with any episode of Black Mirror in their uncanny depiction of the path humanity is taking. A road towards an uncertain future that begins in a present day sci-fi setting. The future has happened. It