By Punch Premiere Correspondent Lindsey Clark
I got SO CLOSE to my goal of seeing all 9 films nominated for best picture this year before the Oscars. Only Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty managed to elude me, although I definitely plan to see them both at some point. It’s a goal I certainly had no problems pursuing (do you know how much popcorn it meant I got to consume??), and they were all incredible, deeply moving films. However, as I took my seat in the Burke Theater at the US Navy Memorial over the weekend for a screening of short films hosted by the DC Shorts Film Festival, I found myself wondering if I had really needed to spend 15 and a half hours of my free time (yes, I did the math) at the movies in order to fully experience the impact of a good movie.
DC Shorts knows that good things can happen on screen in under 20 minutes – and after having seen some of the offerings at the organization’s film festival last year, I was looking forward to watching some of their Oscar-weekend-worthy selections. The short films featured had won audience awards at the festival in years past (hence the name of the event – DC Shorts WINS!), and I purposely selected a showcase that screened the film that captured my heart at the 2012 festival and has never left my mind – Guang. Within the hour and a half that I spent in front of the movie screen, I laughed (so loud at one point I think I embarrassed the friend I’d brought with me – although she has to be used to that by now), I cried, I cringed, I covered my eyes, and I marveled at how the lives of people who live not so far from me could be so drastically different than my own. In the span of time in which I would normally only see one film (although as it were, only one of the Oscar contenders for Best Picture clocked in at under 2 hours this year), I got to experience 8 completely different stories, each iliciting completely different emotions.
DC Shorts also hosted the only official Oscar watch party in DC, Snuggle With the Stars. Forgoing the restricting dresses to watch the event in your comfiest pajamas, audience members were treated to soda creations by Buffalo & Bergen’s Gina Chersavani, gourmet snacks from Whole Foods, and the thrill of watching Seth MacFarlane make incredibly awkward jokes about nominees on a 2-story HD screen.
DC Shorts is currently accepting applications for both films and jury members for the 2013 Festival, which will run from September 19-29. More info is available here. I raise my popcorn tub to DC Shorts creator, Jon Gann, and the team behind the DC Shorts Festival – proof that you don’t need an unlimited budget and a 2 and a half hour run time to move an audience.
As the Punch Premiere Correspondent, Lindsey covers all things music and theater related. When not writing for Pamela’s Punch, Lindsey has a seriously sweet gig as Executive Assistant at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (www.pcah.gov). Aside from writing and seeing as much live music as possible, you can usually find her on a running trail, in front of a painting, staring at her dog, Lincoln, or hanging out with her big sister and fellow Punch Correspondent Niki Clark. Follow her on twitter @lindseykayclark. Contact Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.