The Manhattan Short Film Festival
“Every vote counts” is a common phrase we all hear around Election Day. However, on October 1, 2017 with the Manhattan Short Film Festival at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut; ten short films from all over the world were screened for audiences near and far. The Garde was not the only venue to receive the honor of this film festival that originated from Australia. Yet, that did not stop a crowd from coming out.
From the moment I walked in, I knew this was a different type of movie showing. There was a table being set up with ballots being handed out left and right. Many patrons had walked into the theater reading about the short films they were about to see. But, the fantastic festival was not the only special event happening at the Garde.
From October 1st to November 5th paintings and sketches are on display as part of the Riverside Park Art show. Many of these works of art were on display in the lobby as a reception went on upstairs. Before the movies began many patrons had shown a great interest in the art that was on display. Several patrons were reading about the artists leading to many conversing with several of the artists as they walked in.
When the lights flickered for patrons to head inside to start the show, they quickly gathered their ballots and headed on in. When Steve Sigel came on stage there was a short applause before he thanked the audience for coming. Reminding them that they had a voice in which film and actor/actress would win the award. After announcing future like Girls Night on October 27 and Michael McDonald featuring Mark Cohn on October 15th the show began.
All of the films were different, from ten different countries. Each short film had a beginning, middle, and an end lasting all of ten minutes each. From documentaries to horror to action to inspiring stories the audience was in awe. There were multiple times when the audience cheered at the end of the film as many were moved and touched.
After the films were all shown there was a reminder to vote for whom they felt was the best actor/actress and which film was the best. With the results being published on October 7th many people were filling out their ballots as they walked out the door. However, all of the films were great where there was much discussion as to which was the best. While I struggled to fill out my ballot, I was reminded about the importance of a vote at the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT.