Short Films - IFCKC

Reviewed By Tea Umana

Tucked away between the Deep Space arts cooperative and the Los Tules Mexican restaurant on Broadway Blvd. sits the Stray Cat Film Center. Inside is a fabulous space for local independent filmmakers to find a home and an audience. On Friday, July 15th, Festival patrons could see eight different short films spanning multiple genres and tones.

“Can't We Be Friends” by Arthur Payne used the juxtaposition of a couple fighting while the camera panned to several photos of them being happy and in love to depict the age-old story of a turbulent marriage. A combination of excellent cinematographic direction and sound design, it felt like a beautiful scene out of a bigger story.

“The Job” by Dillon Latham was a nugget of comedy gold, with cinematography that perfectly matched the tone and plot, an actress with a very natural charm, and fantastic writing that delivered great joke after joke. Not a moment went by without laughter from the audience.

“Loose” by Garrett Saunders told the story of an adult with one last remaining baby tooth. Finally loose, the tooth fairy assigned to him might just get to retire. Outstanding writing, cast, and humorous sound design.

“Faces After Suicide” by Lindsey Doolittle showcased Doolittle's art installation of the same name. Raising awareness for both suicide and suicide loss survivors, this short film told a beautiful story about grief and cherishing the present.

“Distance” by Patrick Rea was a fantastic science fiction film that reimagined the COVID-19 pandemic as a virus spread by touch in a world with advanced virtual reality technology. With a perfect set to highlight both the metaphorical and literal distance, amazing visual effects, and terrific acting from the lead, “Distance” captured the attention of the audience and held the suspense to the end.

“The Misadventures of Max and Anna” by Gordon Lamb told the story of two roommates and best friends, showing one of many wacky exploits that Max drags Anna into. This short film used wonderful editing to make the alternate dimension the pair traveled to come to life and dynamic characters to keep the audience laughing.

“The Pivot” by David Ting used snapshots of time spanning two years to tell the story of a pianist dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. The cinematographic direction elevated the story into a beautiful little film, using black and white coloring for that gloomy time that the lead went through after the accident and before he healed emotionally, and focusing entirely on the characters' hands.

“Weenies” by Krystal Heib was an entertaining watch, depicting the short-lived paranormal investigation of a trio of very interesting characters. The camera work was first-class, the acting paired very nicely with the hilarious writing, and characters with vocabulary more terrifying than a ghost made the whole thing really work. Waiting until the end to reveal the title added yet another level of humor to this great comedy short.

The cast and crew of these short films prove that the Independent Filmmaker's Coalition of Kansas City continues to provide a forum for accomplished and entertaining filmmakers.