7 Short Films To See at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
With Sundance 2020 just a couple of weeks away, it’s time for the attendees to start putting together their itinerary — and for festival programmers and critics around the world to take notice of what’s playing. Sundance is a great place to launch a career or to continue solidifying your output. In this list, we single out the extraordinary short films being presented. We also refer you to a past work from each filmmaker.
Daytime Noir — Jeron Braxton
Synopsis: A mother and son’s journey through the exploitative world of tabloid TV.
About The Director: NYC artist who uses 90s’ computer aesthetics to create sharp critiques of consumerism and race relations in the U.S.
Other Film To Watch: “Octane” feels like a summation of everything he’s created so far. While his career is just getting started, this one’s an early masterpiece.
Valerio’s Day Out — Michael Arcos
Synopsis: A young jaguar goes on a killing spree when he escapes from his enclosure at a zoo. After he’s captured, sedated, and relocated, he makes a video diary for his significant other, Lula.
About The Director: An experimental filmmaker since his early years, Michael has crossed genres to create strange and wonderful hybrid films.
Other Film To Watch: “Garfield Estate Sale” is a great entry into his work. It’s funny with an underlying darkness that’s hard to shake. Plus it’s a very fun concept.
Buck — Elegance Bratton + Jovan James
Synopsis: Caught in the throes of a depressive fugue, young Lynn resorts to debauchery to find joy — only to discover that happiness is a much more complicated proposition.
About The Director: Both Elegance and Jovan worked together on the 2018 “Tadpole” and we can’t wait to see what their next collaboration holds in store. These two are known for complex character studies.
Other Film To Watch: While no specific films are available to see at this time, we highly recommend the New York Times’ article on Elegance Bratton. His story is inspiring and will make you even more excited to see his collaboration with Jovan.
Dirty — Matthew Puccini
Synopsis: Marco cuts class to spend the afternoon with his boyfriend, Graham. Things do not go as planned.
About The Director: Matthew Puccini put himself on the map in a big way last year with the short film “Lavender”. Fox Searchlight picked it up for their online short film label, so the anticipation is high for this follow-up.
Other Film To Watch: “Lavender.” One of the best of the year.
Guisado On Sunset — Terence Nance
Synopsis: Missed-connection regret at that one late-night spot — the kind you keep playing back in your head but not quite ever remembering right, until it starts to look like something else.
About The Director: Terence Nance has found success in the feature film and television world with highly popular and creative work. He first premiered his film at Sundance in 2012, so this will be a nice reunion.
Other Film To Watch: “Random Acts Of Flyness” is an HBO show with plenty of creativity behind it.
My Juke-Box — Florentine Grelier
Synopsis: Yesterday, I overheard an old rock ’n’ roll song that sounded familiar. This is probably the music that we used to listen to on my dad’s mechanical devices — the thousand-lives man, the king of the juke-box.
About The Director: This evocative short was directed by a graduate of a parisian Art School and she’s been incredibly prolific ever since.
Other Film To Watch: Just go see everything on her Vimeo. She has several 5 to 25 second shorts that give you a sense of her creative sensibilities.
Broken Orchestra — Charlie Tyrell
Synopsis: The Symphony for a Broken Orchestra project collected hundreds of broken instruments from the Philadelphia public school system, fixed them, and then returned them to the hands of students.
About The Director: Charlie has an incredible feel for finding the story within a real life, including his own. He’s just coming off an Oscar nomination, so we are very excited for what he’s doing next.
Other Film To Watch: “My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes” was one of the best received short films of the year last year, resulting in an Oscar nomination.