Aspen Film recently announced the finalists invited to screen at Aspen Shortsfest 2013, April 9-14, at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. More than 2,800 submissions from around the world were considered, and 83 short films, representing more than 30 countries, were ultimately selected for this year's international competition. From recognizable actors (Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, J.K. Simmons) to emerging directors, the 2013 edition showcases a vibrant array of comedy, drama, animation and documentary films.
Aspen Shortsfest is widely recognized as a premier North American showcase for short films. Its centerpiece, the juried International Competition, offers a diverse slate of films running two to 40 minutes. Along with filmmaker guests from around the globe, a jury of esteemed film professionals will attend and determine this year's award winners and cash prizes.
The festival celebrates the work and creators of a visual medium that is largely unavailable to general audiences. This year's lineup includes several premieres, critically-acclaimed films and favorites from the international festival circuit.
"We continue to be impressed by the high level of accomplished originality that thrives in the realm of short filmmaking," said Aspen Film.artistic director Laura Thielen. "With films representing a record number of countries, this is our most international selection yet and a wonderful testament to the vitality of shorts to be found in all corners of the globe. With storytelling approaches ranging from classical to inventive, the animation, live action and documentaries in Shortsfest's competition spotlight an eclectic array of topics and bright talent."
Among this year's festival lineup, Oscar-winner Jessica Yu has been chosen to screen her new short film, "The Guide," set in Mozambique's war-torn Gorongoza National Park. "Walking the Dogs," a film set at Buckingham Palace based on an actual incident, stars Emma Thompson and was directed by Jeremy Brock. Competition programs also include short films from Iran, China, Russia, Liberia, Cuba and Thailand.
Aspen Shortsfest also presents special opportunities to engage with attending filmmakers. Two free "Filmmaker Talk Backs" will be held at noon on April 11 and 12. On April 13, the festival presents "Producing a Film From Start to Finish," with Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman, who has produced several films including "Casino Jack" starring Kevin Spacey. For the second year Shortfest also partners with The Writers Guild Foundation to present "Seriously: Writing Drama For Television," a spirited conversation with engaging, award-winning television writers. Complete details, including participants, are available at www.aspenfilm.org.
Tickets are $15 per program and are available at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office in Aspen and Bonfire Coffee in Carbondale, and through aspenshowtix.com. The full program guide is currently online at aspenfilm.org.