Manhattan Short Film Festival

Image result for 2017 Manhattan Short film festivalThe 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.

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Photo Friday: Controversial Columbus

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“My land is where my people lie buried” is one of the famous quotes that came out of Crazy Horse. This coming Monday is a very controversial holiday in America, Columbus Day. Many people don’t feel that it should be acknowledged because of his actions towards Native people and the fact that he discovered the Bahamas, not America. While others believe Columbus Day should be a holiday to honor a brave explorer who discovered routes to the Americas and his willingness to go to the edge of the world. What do you think about Columbus Day?

Theater Thursday: The Laramie Project

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The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman has to be one of the most raw and gut wrenching plays out there. Following the aftermath of Matthew Shepherd’s horrific murder the details come out in pieces. Matthew Shepherd, who was beaten to death, was an openly gay man and his death set off a revolution. With many people supporting a time for change in the wake of this tragedy. With names of friends and foe The Laramie Project is one that is to stay.

Read it Wednesday: Frankenstein

I don't care how cliche it is, this is hands down the most riveting horror story ever written.    Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics Series)

Many of us have seen imitations of Boris Karloff’s portrayal as Frankenstein’s monster. However, many people have not read the classic by Mary Shelley. Following the “mad scientist” Victor Frankenstein as he works to bring the life of a dead man back. However, the experiment goes horribly wrong leading to the death of several townspeople causing him to be run out of town. After his beloved is killed, Victor chases the infamous monster all the way to the North Pole where he collapses from exhaustion leading Victor to warn many others of the danger of success and what it could lead to.

TV Tuesday: The Munsters

A fun poster of the cast of the classic TV show The Munsters! Fully licensed. Ships fast. 22x34 inches. Need Poster Mounts..? bm9363

With the month of October having begun everyone seems to be in the Halloween spirit. In the hit 1960’s TV show The Munsters we are introduced to a different type of family. Following Herman and Lily Munster with their son Eddie as they make it through every day life. Along with Grandpa and their niece Marilyn, they don’t seem to think anything is out of the ordinary. With the exception of Marilyn, each of them is stylized after a classic movie monster. Even though the world sees them as different, they do not thus leading to quite some of the comedic situations.

Music Monday: Michael Jackson

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It is officially the beginning of October, with that being said many people are going to be hearing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Michael Jackson had several hits other than “Thriller” like “Billie Jean” and “Smooth Criminal”. Even though he passed away back in 2009 we still remember him as the King of Pop as an inspiration, trailblazer, and all around icon for many people to enjoy.

Photo Friday

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One year ago today I was in South Dakota enjoying a Chuck Wagon Dinner. Well, Facebook was kind enough to remind me about it. In the photo is Cowboy Keith, the main man who serenaded us through the night. There was dancing and singing through out as we enjoyed our dinner. A Chuck Wagon Dinner is one thing that you have to experience.

Theater Thursday: Les Miserables

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This past Sunday, I saw my favorite musical of all time Les Miserables. Many people ask why this is my favorite given the subject matter, but the story of Jean Valjean’s redemption has meaning. Following Jean Valjean from hardened criminal to an honest man after he made a promise to God when a Bishop saved him from being sent back to the chain gang for stealing a loaf of bread. However, Valjean is pursued recklessly by the legally blinded Javert as he tries to live a normal life raising the daughter of Fantine, a young woman who gave everything for her daughter. In this touching and moving story there are many tears to be shed.

Read It Wednesday: Pollyanna

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Growing up I remember when I first read Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter. Following the orphan Pollyanna Whittier as she looks on the bright side of life in the toughest of times. However, her bitter Aunt Polly pays no attention allowing her to spend time sharing her happiness to the rest of the small town she now lives in. But, when Pollyanna ends up in an accident it is up to the town to cheer up the happy girl who brought sunshine into their lives.

TV Tuesday: Pretty Little Liars

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A day ago it was announced that the popular Freeform television series Pretty Little Liars was getting a spin off. The hit series following four girls as they uncover the truth about a friends murder. That is how the series begins, but as it goes on secrets are uncovered about each of them, including their friend. All of this leads to crazy finales with startling endings. e