Keepin' it on the short side

So you like movies but have the attention span of a fly? Maybe the S.N.O.B film fest isn’t for you. Maybe you need something shorter, something zippier.

On Nov. 27, the Short Short Story Film Festival returns to Red River Theatres for the fourth year. The emphasis of the one-day festival is on short films – really short films – all of which are less than five minutes in length. There are 40 films in total.

The brief duration of the films doesn’t take away from the depth of their messages, said Toni Pennacchia, creative director of Merging Arts Productions, which is bringing the festival back to Concord.

“Our idea is to present a wide variety of themes and moods within the time of a typical feature films,” Pennacchia said. “We focus both on succinctness and storytelling . . . Our films tell genuine stories rather than being just concept pieces.”

The festival features works from filmmakers from nearly 20 countries, including Australia, Colombia, Italy, Ireland and Korea. It includes a mix of live action and animated films broken up into two categories: the “Heartstrings Program,” which tackle warm, tender and humorous subjects; and the “Headtrip Program,” which include dark, satirical, puzzling and unsettling films.

There are two showings of each series. The Heartstrings program shows at 1 and 6 p.m. The Headtrip program is at 3 and 8 p.m. Pennacchia said a few of the films from each category stand out. They include:

– “Neon Skin,” an Australian film about a sensual connection between a young man and his blind friend.

– “Frosty Man and the BMX Kid,” a film from New Zealand about briding the generation gap as an old man and a young Maori boy eat ice cream and do cannonballs off a cliff (our personal favorite).

– “Guns, Bees, and Tadpoles” an animated short from Northern Ireland recounting a summer’s day in 1971 that took a turn to the extraordinary for an ordinary family.

– “Make Piece,” from London, a film about a machinist who tries to cope with the loss of his girlfriend by finding missing pieces of his life.

– “Timeless Confessions,” a Sicilian film on the world economic crisis capturing reflections in an intimate fashion.

– “Familyship,” a Korean black comedy about unusal approaches to dealing with family conflicts.

– “The Unhappy Woman,” a Norwegian satire showing what happens when the filmmaking process gets too personal.

– “Farat,” a tragic animated horror fable from Bulgaria based on the power “The Lighthouse Keeper Loves Birds Too Much.”

– “Perpetuum Mobile,” a Swiss role reversal film about a man rescuing a woman from doom before needing rescuing himself.

Tickets for the event are $6 for matinees and $8 for evening shows. After the last screening, there will be a reception with music and food (provided by Hermanos Cocina Mexicana. Yum!) at Susty’s Café in Northwood. For more information on the festival, contact Pennacchia at, or visit

Author: Amy Augustine

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