Manhattan SHORT film fest is for the people

Be a film critic for an evening and have a say in a festival-winning movie during the Manhattan SHORT film festival Sept. 29.

Starting at 7 p.m. at Five Star Dive Bar, 526 S. Main St. in Elkhart, 10 short films will be screened and afterwards, attendees can vote on their favorite.

Tickets are $5 and Five Star will have food available for purchase during the event.

The films are all under 18 minutes, meaning the screening will be done in about two hours.

According to festival founding director Nick Mason, the week-long festival has been going for 22 years and brings the opinions to the people and out of the hands of critics and industry insiders.

“It was created by the public, through word of mouth, for films that resonated and for the general public,” says Mason. “It evolved, at the start I was acting in short films, there were no festivals for short films and so I said ‘lets create one.’”

Mason says that the first festival was held on a New York street with the films shown on the side of the truck. Now the 10 films, selected from 1,250 entries, representing 50 countries, will be screened 2,000 times in 400 cities worldwide.

“I wanted it to be like the Olympics with different countries,” he says.

According to Mason, this year there is a range of films that will resonate with audiences and he says that there’s as many as eight films this year could win the whole thing.

“This year, we just don’t have a clue. I can’t stress how close it is this year,” Mason says.