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Essential Event Info

W H A T :

  • 2 Separate Programs
  • TRT: Prg 1, 98 min; Prg 2 104 min.
  • There will be a 10 minute intermission each night.
  • Genre: live-action and animated short films
  • These films are "Not Rated"

  • W H E N :

  • N E W   D A T E S :
  • PROGRAM 1 Tuesday October 21
  • PROGRAM 2 Wednesday October 22

  • Doors open at 6:30 pm, films start at 7:00 pm.

    W H E R E :

  • Cincinnati Art Museum,
    953 Eden Park Dr, Eden Park/Mt. Adams.
  • Easy Access, Free Parking
    click for Directions & Map

  • T I C K E T S :

  • Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for Art Museum members, ETA/Start members, military families and students with valid ID.

  • SAVE MONEY: Combo tickets (a single ticket good for both programs) are available with at a discount - $15 for adults and $12 for Museum members, ETA, etc.

    $7 and $12 tickets are ONLY available online, by phone, at the Museum, and at the door subject to availability.


  • tollfree 1-877-548-3237
  • visit or call the Art Museum (513 721 ARTS)

  • ...and at these locations
    ($9 and $15 tix only, cash only),
    click each link below for a map:

  • Clifton - Ludlow Ave. -
    Sitwell's Coffee House
    513 281 7487

  • Mt. Lookout Square -
    Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters

    513 871 8626

  • College Hill - North Central -
    The College Hill Coffee Co.
    513 542 2739

  • Northside - Hamilton Ave. -
    Shake It Music & Video
    513 591 0123

  • Downtown Cincinnati -
    Coffee Emporium
    513 651 5483

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    C W C   S H O R T S   F E S T

    "An Embarassment of Riches. All the films ... can easily rank with some of the best films you will see this year. Each evening is a different program of films, to avoid making a tough choice, just plan on going to both nights. You will be cinematically rewarded for your efforts."
      ~ Larry Thomas, WVXU

    >>>    Read the complete WVXU film review by Larry Thomas, here.
    Listen to the WVXU review here.   WVXU film review

    Award Winning Shorts

    Cincinnati World Cinema is pleased to present a collection of exceptional short films that will appeal to film lovers and general audiences alike. Here, in two distinct programs, you will enjoy romance, comedy, drama and suspense from accomplished filmmakers and prestigious film festivals in the USA and around the world.

    The lineup includes award winners and nominees from festivals such as Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand (the "Cannes of Short Films"), Aspen, Chicago, Valladolid, Sitges, Montreal, Ottawa, Valencia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Palm Springs, Rotterdam and many more, with many films recognized by the US Academy Awards, BAFTA, the Student Academy Awards and Cannes.

    Around the world ... and around the corner. To the mix of films from the UK, Spain, Ireland, France, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US, we are delighted to add the locally produced film "Held in Sway." Winner of Best Film, Direction, Cinematography and Score at the Cincinnati 48 Hour Film Project and ultimately selected as one of ten 48 Hour films for presentation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

    Program 1 screens Tuesday, October 21 and Program 2 screens Wednesday, October 22. Film rosters for each program are listed in the panels below.

    Get ready for two highly enjoyable evenings - a lot of laughter, a little heartbreak, a pinch of revenge with ample doses of unexpected plot twists, suspense and thought-provoking themes, plus some cinematic styles you may not have seen before!

    Tickets for the individual programs are $7 and $9, as usual, and you can purchase COMBO tickets - both programs as a package -- for $12 & $15.

    Post Film Discussion

    Divided over both nights, the filmmaking team from Mirepoix Pictures (Amy Cunningham, Mike Dittiacur, Russ Faust and John Mays) will be our special guests, talking about the creation of their own film (Held in Sway) and offering insights into the rest of the short film slate.
    Read more about Mirepoix here.

    PARENTS' NOTE:    In response to inquiries about Perils in Nude Modeling, the last film screening in Tuesday's program ... this Academy Award-nominated comedy is set in an art class studying female anatomy; there is no lascivious content. The nude model is seen in profile, not full frontal. Indeed, the nudity in the film is less than customarily encountered when touring an art museum, and the sexual quotient is far less than found with Fox and WB television programming. It is "Not Rated" but equivalent to a PG or PG-13. Consider this rule of thumb: If you would not take your son or daughter through the Cincinnati Art Museum because of nudity in the artwork, then you should leave Shorts Fest before the final film on Tuesday.


    Program 1 ~ Film Descriptions

    The cumulative awards and official festival selections for these films are too lengthy to list. For easier reading only selected highlights are provided.

    AT DAWNING    Live Action

    Director Martin Jones, UK, 12 minutes.

    A woman (Jenny Agutter) tries to quietly depart the bedroom of her one-night stand, only to find a man (Yvan Attal) caught in the branches of a tree outside the window. The gentleman has tried, and failed, to commit suicide. They embark on a moral discourse about fidelity and the fall of humankind, before she finally leaves him, hanging by a single branch, to his incandescent wife.

    An Official Selection at more than 80 film festivals, notable wins were at Berlin, Valladolid and the European Film Awards, all for Best Short Film. Filmmaker website.

    7:35 en la manaña (7:35 AM)    Live-Action

    Director Nacho Vigalongo, Spain, 8 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles.

    A surprise morning serenade at the coffee shop. The patrons aren't hungry. A little dance routine. A table-top ballad of unrequited love. A confetti-laden recipe for disaster.

    Highly inventive and original, this little gem was selected by 160 Spanish and International film festivals. Oscar nominated for Best Short Film, and a finalist for the European Film Awards' Best Short Film, notable wins include Best Short Film at Gijón, Youth Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand, Best Short Film at Salerno and additional wins at Milan, Sweden, Iberoamerican Shorts Competition and Cinema Jove-Valencia. Filmmaker website.

    Special thanks to Eduardo Carneros at Ibarretxe; to Txema Munoz at the Kimuak Basque Film Center and to Francisco Tardio at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. for their extraordinary assistance in making this film available. And thanks also to Phil at Lintel for the transfer from PAL to NTSC.

    PASSING HEARTS (En del av mitt hjarta)

    Director Johan Brisinger, Sweden, 14 minutes, in Swedish with English subtitles.

    A well written, superbly crafted and well acted film that pulls hope and love from the ashes of sadness and loss.

    A young man, Daniel, makes a mysterious and moving journey to learn about another family and another boy, who in death, donated his heart so Dan could live. Passing Hearts is the story of Daniel's poignant meeting with the family whose late son saved his life.

    Johan Brisinger's touching and inspiring film has been well received by the international film community, winning Best Short and/or Humanitarian Awards at Berlin, Alpinale, Aspen, Chicago, Cleveland, Odense and Deep Ellum festivals, among others. Filmmaker website.

    DATE    Live-Action

    Director Eva Saks, USA, 4.5 minutes.

    A New York City couple meet after work for a date. He's late. She's perturbed and fussy. He brought her a gift, a candle. She's clearly not impressed. So he buys her a flower. Same reaction. So he buys her several small bouquets. The pettiness and tension evaporates as they walk along and discover a more fitting recipient for the gifts and gain meaningful perspective on their own lives.

    Date is part of Eva's trilogy called New York Trio which has garnered numerous festival awards and nominations and played at dozens of festivals. It is currently on IFC and Internet channels around the world. Eva Saks is a talented storyteller and filmmaker with a social conscience; CWC has previously screened her Twin Set and Kylie Goldstein, All-American. Here is an excellent interview with Eva.   Filmmaker website.

    THE TEN STEPS    Live-Action

    Director Brendan Muldowney, Ireland, 10 minutes

    Using obvious "scary movie" devices at the beginning, director Brendan Muldowney deliberately sets us up for what seems to be a traditional "teenage girl home alone at night" scenario. But that's not where he's taking us ...

    Made on a modest budget with just two locations and a handful of actors, Muldowney uses music and increasing suspense to prolong every second of this artfully conceived and executed thriller with a twist. Awarded Best Short Film at Sitges and Jury's Choice and Best Short at Puchon, The Ten Steps has been selected for numerous festivals. Filmmaker website.


    Director Joan Gratz, USA, 7 minutes.

    "A tour-de-force that compresses the history of modern art into seven minutes" is how The New York Times described Joan's Academy Award winning short Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase.

    Taking decades to develop, Joan's unique approach to animation is based on clay painting. Working with bits of clay as if they were oil paints, she blends colors and etches fine lines to create a seamless flow of images. Each frame is painted and shot directly under the camera, then repainted frame by frame as her figures morph and the process is recorded on film. In this regard the product is the process, yielding one-of-a-kind imagery that nourishes the imagination. Filmmaker website.


    PERPETUAL MOTION    Animation

    Director Kimberly Miner, US, 1.5 minuteS.

    A tumbling cat + toast and jam = perpetual motion. Solving the energy crisis? Well not exactly...

    Winner of the Gold Award for Animation from the Academy Awards Student Division; selected by roughly 40 US and International festivals.

    Kim currently works for Nickelodeon as a production manager in their Computer Graphics department; her animation website is here.

    WINNING THE PEACE    Live-Action

    Director Eli Akira Kaufman, USA, 18 minutes.

    Powerful and poignant, Winning the Peace pushes aside politics to present a humanistic perspective on the cost of war. The juxtaposition of the protagonist's son at home playing soccer and the soccer-playing boys he encounters in Iraq is effective and heart rending. A thought provoking film regardless of where you stand on the war.

    An Oberlin (Ohio) graduate, Kaufman made this film while an MFA student in the UCLA film program. The effort was part of a program funded by UCLA and the Showtime Network to examine images of war in the 21st Century. An informative interview with the director is here.   Filmmaker website.


    Director John Harden, USA/France, 13 minutes, in French with English subtitles.

    An homage to Chris Marker's technique in La Jeteé, wherein the "film" is actually a voluminous series of photographs, this is the story of a Parisian scientist who creates a serum that will turn humans into dogs, albeit for a limited time. This review by David Pelfrey says it best:

    " ... a gentle parody of everyday French romanticism (capital R) ... thoroughly, hilariously infused with Gallic sensibilities. The camera is clearly in love with the City of Lights, and the adorable short-haired, Terrier-mix star even sports a decidedly Gallic snout. ... the narration, spoken in florid French with English subtitles, is a masterstroke.

    "It all works because each lovingly crafted photo, accompanied by a marvelous score, is a kind of visual surprise that fades into the next, just as the story holds a dozen surprises that are impossible to anticipate. The film manages all this, not to mention capturing the hearts of Francophiles, dog lovers, and film fans, in less than a quarter of an hour."

    A BAFTA Excellence in Film runnerup, La Vie was honored at Clermont-Ferrand, Aspen Shortsfest, Seattle International, Los Angeles International, Palm Springs, London, Interfilm Berlin, Rotterdam, and made appearances at a multitude of other film festivals. Filmmaker website.


    Director Scott Rice, USA, 10 minutes.

    On the verge of expulsion by his tyrannical instructor, a hapless art student must decide between his life-long ambition and blossoming attraction when an audacious nude model makes a dangerous demand in the middle of class.

    "A remarkable tour de force ... superbly paced, inventive, and exhilarating." ~ Roger Corman

    Created as a master's thesis in the MFA graduate program at the University of Texas, Perils was nominated for the Gold Award for Best Narrative by the Academy Awards Student Division; winner of Best College Short Film from the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, Grand Jury Prize from WestFest/Houston International, Best Student Film from the Manhattan Short Film Festival, plus another 20 awards and selection by roughly 50 film festivals. Filmmaker website.

    Line up and sequence of play is subject to change.

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    Program 2 ~ Film Descriptions

    The cumulative awards and official festival selections for these films are too lengthy to list. For easier reading only selected hightlights are provided.

    KUNSTBAR    Animation

    Director Steve Whitehouse, Canada, 4 minutes.

    Funny, cultured and well-executed, KUNSTBAR is a surreal look at the world of iconic expressionist art through the bottom of a shot glass! Against the backdrop of a de Chirico painting, a man stumbles upon the Kunst Bar (Art Cafe). Inside at the bar the thirsty patron discovers the metamorphic powers of the cocktails named after famous artists, as they transform him and his surroundings into various well-known art works.

    An imaginative spoof on high art made in South Park style, the film is more than just an inside joke for art world cognoscenti. Used by art teachers in their classes, KUNSTBAR is a refreshing, highly original introduction for those not overly familiar with the masters. The drinks are on house -- try the Klee, have a Chagall blue goat, but watch out for the Bosch!

    Created in Flash, KUNSTBAR has been a Best Animation and Best Webfilm winner at the Cannes Critics Week, Annecy, and numerous other festivals in France, Germany, Canada, Korea, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Australia and the US. Filmmaker website.

    sweetnightgoodheart    Live-Action

    Director Dan Zeff, UK, 9.25 minutes.

    Returning home from work Juliet, (Kate Ashfield, Shaun Of The Dead) is surprised to find a candle-lit dinner table laid and a gourmet meal being prepared by her boyfriend Pete, (David Tennant, Dr. Who, Casanova).

    While Pete planned the event in order to break up with her as gently as possible, his soft approach only confuses the matter when Juliet comes to believe that Pete intends to propose. As the misunderstanding takes on a life of its own, the evening becomes more and more farcical, eventually reaching a conclusion Pete had least expected.

    HELD IN SWAY    Live-Action

    Director Russ Faust, USA, 5.3 minutes.

    Made in Cincinnati
    by Mirepoix Pictures, this is a story about love in the modern world where desire turns to dark obsession. Set in a gritty, urban landscape, we share a day in the life of Scott Morton as he searches for his longtime love. Told in flashback style, the film juxtaposes Morton and the object of his affections in a visceral and poetic twist on modern day romance.

    Selected as one of the ten national "Best of the 48 Hour Film Project 2007" films; screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Short Film section. Filmmaker website.

    EXHIBIT 42     Live-Action

    Director Glenn Komsky, USA, 12 minutes.

    Here is another thought-provoking gem that too few people know about, filled with Fellini-esque characters and multiple meanings. Mark Bell's review at Film Threat provides the perfect introduction:

    "Will he or won't he? The question that's running through everyone's head as Myles stands before the newest museum art piece: a goldfish in a blender. What could simply be an exercise in shock value had filmmaker Glenn Komsky wanted to go that route, winds up being a grander social commentary on both the participants of the film and the audience itself.

    "The moral question of whether one should press that button and send the goldfish into a spinning, bladed death is made that much murkier by the ambiguous nature of its purpose as art. What is the true exhibit, the helpless goldfish or the people trying to figure out what to do with it? What is more disturbing, that someone might actually press that button or that there's a crowd of people wanting someone to do it, as long as it's not them? As an audience member, what was my true curiosity, whether someone would kill the goldfish or what it would be like to see a goldfish diced in a blender? The short doesn't give concrete answers but it raises all the right questions. In some places our curiosity is satisfied, in others, thankfully not.

    "Exhibit 42 is, quite simply, multi-layered and brilliant. The film tackles the battle of "what is art" while pulling the camera back and focusing on those that study it, as well as how one's social status can change the definition of it all. It would be easy to fall into a trap of pretentious nonsense when pondering such matters, but luckily the film's points are made with a paced subtlety and humor that makes one comfortable enough not to rebel against such profound thinking. For once a film that allows the audience to make of it what they want, rather than telling you what it wants to be."

    Awarded Best Short Film at Sedona and selected for Best of Pre-Feature Shorts Showcase at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

    PRETTY DEAD GIRL    Live-Action

    Director Shawn Ku, USA, 21 minutes

    What might happen if Andrew Lloyd Webber teamed up with Bob Fosse to create Romeo & Juliet meets All That Jazz meets Rocky Horror in a short film set in a hospital morgue? An absolutely wacky and darkly inspired musical-comedy-romance, which director Shawn Ku describes as a "Necromance," for reasons you will soon discover.

    Starring Christina Souza (Boston Legal, CSI, American Family) and Christian Campbell (The Betrayed, Trick, Reefer Madness, One Night)


    THE CHINESE WALL (De Chinese Muur)   Live-Action

    Director Sytske Kok, NL, 11 minutes, in Chinese and Dutch with English subtitles.

    Aagt (Celia Nufaar) is a lonely woman, bruised by life. Her marriage was a failure; she missed out on the one love of her life. Her only son stood up against her; her daughter in law was a bitch; and her husband died in his chair sitting next to her.

    During her visit to the Chinese restaurant, at her regular table, we get to know her by her thoughts. She is a straight, even stiff woman, but with a sense of perspective and humor. Aagt reflects her life on that of the other guests. Thanks to the kindness of the Chinese restaurant owner, Aagt learns that things aren't always what they seem.

    Director Sytske Kok employs fine writing, great camera work and subtle humor to convey the paradigm of aging and solitude in modern society.

    Virtually unknown in the US, The Chinese Wall has accumulated Best Short Film Jury and Press prizes, Clermont-Ferrand; Best Short Film, Berlin Interfilm; Best Screenwriting, Festival de Cortometrajes de Ficción de Europa y el Mediterráneo, Spain; Audience Awards at Lyon, Lausanne, Sao Paulo, Ankara; nominated for Best Short Film at the Nederlands Film Festival. Filmmaker website.

    LUV JUNKET     Animation/Spoken-Word

    Director Alexandre Franchi, Canada, 7 minutes.

    Embodying Venus, the Virgin Mary, and other classical beauties, a woman comes to life from within the paintings of the masters to exact revenge on her cheating lover.

    Featuring singer-actress Kinnie Starr, choreographer-dancer Simone Orlando and based on a poem written by Judy MacInnes Jr., Luv Junket is a poetic lament, which comes as the third film in a four-piece series directed by Alexandre Franchi. Each of these films explores the theme of flight through the imagination and portrays a female archetype through a different classical art form. Other films by Alexandre Franchi ... here and here.

    THE MANTIS PARABLE    Animation

    Director Josh Staub, USA, 8 minutes.

    Created in its entirety by first-time filmmaker Josh Staub, The Mantis Parable is the charming tale of a humble caterpillar trapped in a bug collector's jar and in need of a helping hand. The story unfolds when a praying mantis with some lessons to learn in humility stumbles upon him.

    A parable in every sense of the word, the film encourages the viewer to find the truth revealed through the characters actions and choices. From story to visuals to music and sound, Josh created this computer animated film over an 18 month span at home in his spare time.

    Well known in the CG community for his art and design work both personally and professionally, this is Josh's first linear story-telling endeavor. By day, Josh is the Art and Visual Design Director for Cyan Worlds, the creators of the popular games Myst, Riven, and Ages Beyond Myst. Notable awards include the Future Filmmaker Award at Palm Springs, Best Animation at Winnipeg, runnerup Children's Jury Award at the Chicago Children's Film Festival.

    Visit the Mantis website, here

    JESUS HENRY CHRIST    Live-Action

    Director Dennis Lee, USA, 25 minutes.

    Henry Hermin, a fifth-grader with a photographic memory, attends a private Catholic school after receiving a scholarship for memorizing the Bible. He doesn't exactly fit in and his exploration of left-wing philosophies leads to a confrontation with new headmaster Father Bennett, and ultimately brings some changes to St. Agnes Academy.

    Those who received an education at the hands of the Nuns will treasure this film, and those who did not will enjoyably see what they missed!

    Winner of the Silver Award for Narrative Film from the Academy Awards Student Division; winner Best College Comedy Short, HBO US Comedy Arts Festival; selected by dozens of festivals.

    Line up and sequence of play is subject to change.

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