Do you want to be a film festival judge? Here is your chance

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Upper Thumb moviegoers will join over 100,000 moviegoers from around the world during the week of September 23 through October 31. 3 to see and vote for the films of the 10 finalists at the 24th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival at the Harbor Beach Community Theater.

Screenings will take place at 7 p.m. on September 24, 25, 26 and 27. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 26. This screening is sponsored by the Harbor Beach District Library, so admission is free.

The festival will also be screened at the Rawson Memorial District Library in Cass City at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 and at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 29.


The finalists of the festival come from eight countries: the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Italy and Canada, alongside two films each from France and the United States. The 10 final selections represent the best short films out of 970 submissions from 70 countries.

The last 10 shorts are Oscar qualified, which means they will automatically be eligible for an Oscar nomination by being screened for one week at the Arena CineLounge in Hollywood during the last week of September.

Cinephiles around the world will become instant movie critics as they will receive a ballot at the entrance that allows them to vote for Best Picture and Best Actor. The winner will be announced on ManhattanShort.com on Monday, October 4.

Vicki Mazure, director of the Harbor Beach Area District Library, said the film festival is growing in popularity every year, with the 2020 festival attracting more than 80 moviegoers. Mazure said the shorts aimed at adults cover a variety of genres.

“They have some moving stories to tell – there is one lively this year,” she said. “These films really stick to your skin.”

Movies are five to 20 minutes long and the screening is just over two hours, so if one movie isn’t for you, Mazure said, another will start soon. And since the screening will take place at the theater, concessions will be available.

The 10 finalists are:

“Death by handshake” (United States)

Synopsis: A talented teenager faces restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic by filming a witty love letter to his hometown of New York. Duration: 9:16

“Ganef” (United Kingdom)

Film synopsis: A little girl, frightened by a dark story of her mother’s wartime past, begins to believe that her beloved housekeeper is a sinister thief. Duration: 4:00 p.m.

“Bad omen” (Afghanistan)

Summary: Kabul, Afghanistan. Pari, widow and mother, finds it difficult to buy her glasses to continue working as a tailor. Duration: 16:10

“Rough” (Northern Ireland)

Synopsis: The ex-paramilitaries apply their own street justice, but when they sentence a dog to death, they bite more than they chew. Duration: 13h00

“Archibald Syndrome” (France)

Synopsis: Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but for Archibald, it’s literally an affliction until he meets a free-spirited woman during a bank robbery. Duration: 19:15

The Kicksled Choir (Norway)

Synopsis: A boy wants to sing in the local choir, but when his father fights with a refugee, his aspirations are compromised. Duration: 18h00

“Closed to the Light” (Italy)

Synopsis: In a captured moment in time, diehard Italian fascists carry out retaliatory executions against civilians in Lombardy during WWII. Duration: 10h00

“Out of time” (France)

Synopsis: Felix’s mother has been summoned and an exasperated director threatens to ban him from the scene. But Felix still has a few hits. Duration: 9h00

“Aurore” (United States)

Synopsis: The animated story of a little girl who falls in love with a beautiful horse named Aurora and learns love, friendship and growing up. Duration: 5:12

“Monsieur Cachemire” (Canada)

Synopsis: A bank loan officer extracts dark secrets from the past of an eccentric and mysterious client in need of funds. Duration: 4:00 p.m.

For more information and to watch a festival trailer, visit manhattanshort.com.

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