Wlittle nuggets of cinematic goodness, working within the narrative constraints of a compressed time frame while still offering up a complete story — or at least a compelling slice of one. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival presents numerous short-film programs throughout the weekend, with plenty of homegrown fare as well as efforts from afar. On Friday, Oct. 21, festival-goers can catch the following programs at the Center for Contemporary Arts Studio: Documentaries (10:30 a.m.), Animation Shorts (1 p.m.), Experimental Shorts (3:30 p.m.), Past and Future Tense Shorts (6 p.m.),
and Mistaken Identity Shorts (8:15 p.m.). Santa Fe Student Shorts screen at 9 p.m. in the CCA main theater. Some stand-outs in the Past and Future Tense program include
Unfortunate Circumstances, starring Gena Rowlands as a therapist counseling a recent widow about her loss — but her client displays an alarming lack of sadness. Avo is a bittersweet story of an Armenian boy on the day of his grandfather’s funeral, and You, Me, & Me is a timetravel comedy that turns on the thin premise of going back to warn one’s younger self of heartbreak ahead. Mistaken Identity Shorts include the campy bloodbath ie tropes are inverted for comic effect. Jesse Eisenberg Uses the Urinal, one of the Santa Fe Student Shorts, is an unexpectedly nuanced look at the acting tics of the Academy Awardwinning actor, packaged in scatological nonsense about Eisenberg’s inability to use the bathroom. The comic timing of the actors is impeccable.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the shorts programs continue at CCA Studio with Emergency Exits (10:30 a.m.) and
Popularity Contest (4 p.m.), along with additional screenings of Documentaries (6 p.m.) and Past and Future Tense (8:50 p.m.). Emergency Exits include films that focus on abrupt departures as well as the immigrant experience, however metaphorical that might be. In Boat People ,a white European couple on a houseboat find a stowaway, a shipwrecked refugee fleeing the terror of Boko Haram, and must decide whether or not to trust him. In Home, a family that at first appears to be going on vacation is smuggled across a border, and in Zero M2, a French take on the housing crisis, a young man moves into a cheap studio only to find that the lease does not guarantee his apartment will stay the same size. Animated and Experimental shorts screen again on Sunday, Oct. 23, at CCA, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively. For a complete schedule, visit www.santafe independentfilmfestival.com. — Jennifer Levin