Disciple – Directed by: Bob Reynolds
A boy gets his soccer ball stolen by bullies, and his abusive dad is having none of it. He takes the tyke out back and using a baseball bat on a tree, demonstrates how to effectively beat the crap out of a bully to get his stuff back. With bat in hand, Junior goes after his ball and effectively adapts dads instructions. He returns triumphantly and gives pops a personal demonstration of his new technique. Super short but impactful black and white film unnecessarily exaggerates the negative to deliver an already effective, darkly humorous objective. Final Take – Bat out of Flagstaff.
The Amazing Mortimer – Directed by: Phil Wilson
Old ventriloquist Mortimer (Greg Joseph) entertains an audience of about 3 people with an act as stale as Halloween Matzos. Little Thomas (Zander Nolte), the clumsy, abused nephew of the theatre owner has to tell Mortimer to gather up his stuff and kick rocks. Mortimer doesn’t take the news very well, especially since he’s living in his dressing room(?) and flips out on Thomas. They make up and Mortimer bestows his mystical powers of stupefaction on Thomas. The first student film to come out of the new Huntington University Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. Difficult to stay tuned in, especially when exteriors of an old vaudeville club are shown, and cut to brand spanking new building interiors where ancient Mortimer has lived for the past several years(???). Saccharine tale meanders into a Mean Joe Greene jersey-toss finale. Final Take – Wooden.
Tobi & Matt – Directed by: Joe Gruberman
Widowed Tobi (Judith Eisenberg) wakes up in a tizzy to find her late husband’s bartender in her bed. As Tobi hurriedly dresses, her best friend Judy (Karen Lewsader) calls and demands a blow by blow description, I mean she wants an oral account, nope. She wants Tobi to dish on her dalliance. Matt (Larry Laverty) slowly awakens and brags about getting Tobi soused. He explains that last night, he was impersonating her dead husband for the purpose of allowing the grieving woman to come to terms with her husband’s death, thereby opening the doors of trust and compassion, thus facilitating healing and henceforth allowing Matt to get laid. Talented actress Judith Eisenberg performs yet another underwear-clad, morning-after monologue in this jacked up, creepy casuist short. Final Take – Mickey Finn for the win.
Waiting For Goodbye Directed by: Curt Apduhan
Claire (Emily Somers) spends her final morning with her beloved Shih Tzu Beau, and prepares herself for the overwhelming feelings of loss and grief that are already manifesting in her memories. Narration is intentionally anthropomorphic to illustrate that there is no distinction between what we feel at the loss of a pet compared to human loss. Little Beau (a dog that is still very much alive today!) was just way too feisty to euthanize, making the decision to put down this particular pooch seem premature. The absence of focus on a specific person combined with the generalization towards the animal creates a wider gap than the film hopes to bridge. Final Take – Doggie heaven.
Limelight – Directed by: Killian Davies
An intense actor (Vincent Alonzo Jamal) unloads on his sympathetic pal (Cavin Gray), gradually revealing that his passion for the art of acting is pushing him to the limits of his sanity. He beats up his furniture and murders a houseplant. Hyper performances and some nifty jump cut editing. Final Take – Curtains.
The Listening Hour – Directed by: Kelcy Valletta
A young woman sits in a park and evaluates everyone she sees, surmising that they all lack proactive communication skills and need a hug. Unintentionally judgemental short seeks to emphasize the importance of human contact, but comes off as a smug ultracrepidarian assessment. Final Take – Mute minute.
Just Like Us – Directed by: Adam Benavides
Mini doc introduces us to the campers and counselors at Camp Tatiyee, a camp for special needs children and adults that has been in operation in Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona since 1958. Uplifting and inspiring doc tells the stories of some of the regular campers, with equal focus on the dedicated and compassionate staff. The camp provides all the activities you would find at any summer camp, all FREE OF CHARGE. The camp needs your help to keep running. Please visit their webpage for more information on this extremely rewarding experience for individuals that would otherwise be overlooked. Final Take – Cavity cave.