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The Family Picture Show - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
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steve98052
steve98052
The Family Picture Show
SIFF's capsule summary: "Bring the whole family to the cinema for a playful set of animated, live action, and documentary short films curated for the young and the young at heart." (2018, 83 minutes)
SIFF link: The Family Picture Show

I plan to expand this later, but not necessarily right away because it's not going to repeat. But my brief summary is that this was one of the best short film collections I've seen. Many compliments to the short film programmers.


FILL and Moo
Japan | 2017 | 8 minutes | Toshiko Hata
A mushroom-like sprite dwells on the forest floor until his filmstrip cap pulls him magically through the fourth wall.

C.A.T.
USA | 2017 | 4 minutes | Sandra Boynton
A wry homage to classic film noir movies and a celebration of the infuriating glory of cats.

Between the Lines
Russia | 2017 | 5 minutes | Maria Koneva
A Zebra thinks she is completely alone in a world where everyone has a partner, until she finds another Zebra.

Inclusion Makes the World More Vibrant
Australia | 2017 | 3 minutes | Genevieve Clay-Smith
A little boy and his mother experience an art gallery together in the most surprising way.

JessZilla
USA | 2017 | 7 minutes | Emily Sheskin
A young girl, age 10, dreams of becoming a professional fighter and boxer with no one standing in her way.

Tiger, Tiger
USA | 2017 | 5 minutes | Rhea Dadoo
A family takes a wrong turn in the jungle where a Bengali tiger lurks in the shadows.

Post No Bills
Canada | 2017 | 5 minutes | Robin Hays, Andy Poon
The characters featured in a wall of posters come to life and work together to avoid being painted over.

I Think My Dad's a Superhero
USA | 2018 | 9 minutes | Joseph Barton
A young boy believes his dad is a superhero and sets out to prove his theory.

Polychrome
Iran | 2017 | 3 minutes | Negareh Halimi, Amin Malekian
A set of paints spring to life to create new masterpieces through the technique of stop motion.

Sherbert Rozencrantz, You're Beautiful
Australia | 2018 | 11 minutes | Natalie van den Dungen
A young girl who is obsessed with her pet guinea pig is suddenly forced to make real friends.

Galaxy Girl
USA | 2018 | 4 minutes | Richard Grover
A pizza delivery girl runs into an unexpected customer that will change her fate forever.

Becky
Cameroon | 2018 | 9 minutes | Victor Viyuoh
Classic rags-to-riches tale of a lower-class girl who insinuates herself into an upper-class family with unintended consequences.

Wishing Box
USA | 2017 | 6 minutes | Wenli Zhang, Nan Li
A greedy pirate attempts to force his food-obsessed monkey to wish for gold to come out of the magical box.

Shoot for the Moon
USA | 2017 | 4 minutes | Lauren Hoekstra, Doug Turner
A girl discovers what can happen when you reach for the stars while attending a summer science camp.


Ratings: Short films aren't awarded ratings in the US. However, all 14 of these films were advertised for all ages; I'd rate all but one "G", with a "PG" for the exception.

Screening: 11:30 am, SIFF Cinema at the Uptown (large screening room).
Audience: full house, except a few scattered seats, 515 seats (posted capacity).

Snacks: popcorn.

Ads and announcements:

  • Big Bad Fox — This animated film looks cute, but I didn't get much of a feel for what it was about.
  • Zombilennium — This animated comedy looks good, and it's had a lot of good buzz already.
  • in-person announcement — SIFF programmer Megan Leonard presented the series and made the usual announcements. She had a pretty good joke too: "It's good to see a lot of people as short as me in the audience."
  • Thank you, volunteers — This is a cool clip from Shoreline College, specially targeted for kids. Time for applause for SIFF volunteers.
  • Movioke — This pre-film "Movieoke" features a familiar line from a movie, in this case, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more", from The Wizard of Oz, with a karaoke-style bouncing dot, followed by a message requesting people to turn off electronics.


Bonus: film-makers' question-and-answer session:
After the series finished, people from three films appeared for a question-and-answer session moderated by Megan. The director of Fill and Moo was here from Japan, the director of I Think My Dad's a Superhero was here from Los Angeles, and several people from the Galaxy Girl team came across the bridge from Redmond.

I took notes at the time, but I lost a lot of details. Film-makers' answers to questions were all coherent, but my transcription often isn't.

Audience question: How did you make your films?
Dad's a Superhero director: We didn't use any professional actors, just a regular kid.
Galaxy Girl director: Animation.
Fill and Moo director: We built a set. We used a grant from an agency that helps kids who don't get to see movies much have a chance to see them to create the film, so that it could be provided to the kids.

Megan: What was your inspiration?
Dad's a Superhero director: The writer started it. The story was all ready to go when I started working on the film.
Galaxy Girl director: I was a delivery guy as a kid.

Audience: What about the gorilla?
Fill and Moo director: The gorilla was inspired by King Kong.

Audience: Do you have advice to young minds.
Dad's a Superhero director: Just try and fail. Try and fail. And keep going.
Galaxy Girl director: Don't give up.

Notes to myself:

SIFF statistics: 62 films (35 features, 27 shorts), 38 time slots, 4 parties. ("J": only two parties and 20 shorts, counting these 14.)

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