Between Thursday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 6, 10 films that make up the Manhattan Short Film Festival will screen in more than 400 cities around the globe, including in Ketchum on Thursday, Oct. 3.
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present two such screenings of the complete film festival lineup at Magic Lantern Cinemas as part of its ongoing 2019-20 film series, which began just two weeks ago with dual screenings of the documentary “Carmine Street Guitars.” The first showing of the Manhattan Film Festival will kick off at 4:15 p.m., and the second will follow at 7:15 p.m.
Though named for a particular New York borough, the Manhattan Short Film Festival touts internationality in both its roster of films and its screening locations.
The 10 films are selected from more than 1,200 total submissions, whittled down by a committee of judges. This year, these finalists come from seven countries: France, the United States, Iran, Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland and Germany.
They will screen before upwards of 100,000 cinemagoers in even more countries, including, in addition to those nations of origin, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, India, South Africa, Bermuda, Mexico and Argentina.
Following each screening, viewers from around the world can vote for the winner. Each audience member will receive a ballot to select Best Film and Best Actor. This kind of widespread audience engagement is unlike other film festivals, and is something that attracted the attention of The Center.
“I love the fact that this festival’s winners are chosen entirely by the worldwide audience and that our audience will have a say in who wins,” said Kristine Bretall, The Center’s director of performing arts. “This project is unique and gives us the chance to see another whole selection of short films—some of which might make the cut to be in the nominated shorts for the Oscars.”
One of the unique selling points of the Manhattan festival, as far as filmmakers are concerned, is that each of the 10 finalists will be eligible for the Academy Awards.
Oscar bylaws stipulate that to be considered for one of the three short film categories, a nominee must have screened for a certain period of time in a cinema in the county of Los Angeles, which Manhattan does. Of 10 films in the 2018 Manhattan lineup, two made it to the official Oscar shortlist for 2019.
Each year, The Center holds Magic Lantern screenings of the Oscar-nominated short films, and these screenings of the Manhattan Short Film Festival are partly due to the popularity of that event.
“Our community has been so fanatical about the Oscar Shorts we screen with the Magic Lantern each February that I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Manhattan Short Film Festival,” Bretall said.
Cinemagoers may purchase tickets online at sunvalleycenter.org, via telephone at 208-726-9491 or in person at The Center or at the Magic Lantern. Admission for either screening costs $12, but members of The Center enjoy a $2 discount.
For more information about the films, visit manhattanshort.com.