It’s not often the average movie-goer gets to have a hand in selecting a film that may end up an Oscar nominee.
Next weekend, the chance is ours.
For three days and in three locations – Durango, Bayfield and Cortez – Durango Independent Film Festival will host showings of the 21st annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. The screenings will be held at Animas City Theatre, Sunflower Theatre and Bayfield Performing Arts Center.
The worldwide event – to be held in more than 300 venues – is a program made up of nine short films that were selected from a field of 1,565 submissions from 73 countries.
The nine finalists hail from eight countries: the U.S., Austria, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, New Zealand and two from the United Kingdom.
When audience members enter the theater, they will be handed paper ballots on which to select their favorite for best film and actor. The ballots will be collected, and the results will be announced Oct. 8, said Joanie Leonard, executive director of Durango Independent Film Festival.
“These are the best because it’s an Oscar-qualifying film festival, which means that it meets the criteria to have these films have the potential to be nominated for an Oscar,” Leonard said. “It’s whittled down to nine, so you know it’s going to be good. We’re the ones who get to bring it to our area, so it’s really fun, we enjoy it. We have a good audience that comes every year to see these films, and it’s just a great way to see some really great films in one night.”
In a news release, Manhattan Short said this year’s selections span film genres: a World War II epic; a film shot entirely underwater; intimate dramas; animation; spine-tingling stories; and comedy.
“They can be scary, they can be thought-provoking. They’re good,” Leonard said.