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Finalists Announced for 2017 ShortList Film Festival, Including New Student Category

Voting begins today and runs through August 22

TheWrap is pleased to announce the 12 finalists in the sixth annual ShortList Film Festival, launching today on www.shortlistfilmfestival.com.

The award-winning finalists, hand-picked from the world’s top film festivals over the last year, will stream on the site starting today through August 22, 2017 — allowing visitors to vote on their favorites.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony to take place at IMAX’s corporate office in Playa Vista, California, on Wednesday, August 23.

For the first time, TheWrap has expanded the ShortList to include a student film category. Eight student films from top colleges and universities included in TheWrap’s ranking of film schools have been named finalists in a sidebar competition.

The contenders come from filmmakers who studied at UNCSA, USC, UCLA, AFI, LMU, Chapman, Emerson and SCAD.

The films in the main competition are a mix of foreign language, comedy and stop-motion from filmmakers that hail from around the globe including China, France, Italy, Poland, Germany and the U.K.

The finalists include prize winners from the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, South By Southwest Film Festival, and one short by Hu Wei entitled “What Tears Us Apart” features a performance by 2016’s Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress Isabelle Huppert.

Three prizes will be awarded this year, the Audience Prize chosen by TheWrap’s voting audience on shortlistfilmfestival.com and presented by First Look Media/Topic, with a $5,000 cash prize.

The Industry Prize winner, selected by our distinguished jury, will be awarded a week-long RED Epic Dragon $6,000 rental package provided by RED and AbelCine and lastly the student category prize which will also be selected by the audience.

Here are the official finalists in the 2017 ShortList Film Festival:

1. “Alone,” Garrett Bradley
USA, 13 mins.

With her fiancé in jail, single mother Alone Watts must decide whether to go through with their wedding. A documentary short filmed in black and white, “Alone” mines layers of mass incarceration and its shaping of love within the modern African-American family.

2. “American Paradise,” Joe Talbot
USA, 18 mins.

A grandfather attempts to pull his two grandsons out of their collective boredom with a twisted fairy tale out of Trump’s America. Inspired by true events, “American Paradise” is a story of desperation and disguise that features characters from the upcoming Sundance-supported feature, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

3. “Broken,” Volker Schlecht and Alexander Lahl
Germany, 7 mins.

Based on interviews with former prisoners, this animated documentary provides a glimpse into the most notorious women’s prison in east Germany. A film about political imprisonment, forced labor and enormous profits on both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

4. “Chekhov,” Jack Dunphy
USA, 5 mins.

A secretly recorded phone conversation between the director and his sister, laced with bitter honesty, familial messiness and complex affections that only siblings can provide.

5. “Close Ties,” Zofia Kowalewska
Poland, 19 min.

Zdzisław Torhan left his wife of nearly 45 years, Barbara, to live with his lover — but returned home seven years later. Putting their relationship back together becomes extremely difficult for the both of them. Now, the unfaithful husband suggests organizing their 45th anniversary in order to make amends.

6. “The Geneva Convention,” Benoit Martin
France, 15 mins.

As Hakim is waiting for the bus after class, he is caught in a vendetta between teenagers. He is not exactly keen to get into a fight, but how can he possibly avoid an awaited confrontation?

7. “Lucia, Before and After,” Anu Valia
USA, 15 min.

After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed.

8. “No Other Way to Say It,” Tim Mason
USA, 7 mins.

Director Tim Mason pulls the curtain back on the glamorous world of advertising in this short comedy about a voiceover actor trying to nail the right tone for a pair of indecisive ad creatives selling a fictitious children’s ice cream brand. Or is it a short tragedy about a pair of ad creatives trying to coax the right tone out of a distracted voiceover actor?

9. “Promise,” Tian Xie
China, 16 mins.

In a remote Chinese village, a young boy forms a bond with a pig.

10. “The Silence,” Farnoosh Samadi and Ali Asgari
Italy, France, 15 mins.

Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. On their visit to the doctor, Fatma has to translate what the
doctor tells to her mother but she keeps silent.

11. “Wednesday With Goddard,” Nicolas Ménard
U.K., 4 mins.

A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair.

12. “What Tears Us Apart,” Hu Wei
France, 18 mins

After a long separation, an encounter. Two families. One child. Featuring Isabelle Huppert.

Here are the Student ShortList Finalists:

1. “Chester” — Shaun Swift, UNCSA
USA, 15 mins.

When a furry guy named Chester offers comfort to a lonely girl, he either makes the worst move of his life, or the best one.

2. “Fanny Pack” — Uttera Singh, USC
USA, 10 mins.

A comedy about a young Indian-American girl who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny-pack-clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow.

3. “Noble Creatures” — Daniel Lafrentz, UCLA
USA, 20 mins.

Set in the swamps of rural South Louisiana, this short pits two adversarial escaped convicts — with different ideas about how to hold onto their freedom — against a tortured, but resolute female corrections officer known as “Put-Down.”

4. “Benny Got Shot” — Malcolm Hayes Washington, AFI
USA, 19 mins.

A coroner faces her fear of loss when her younger brother goes missing on the same day an unidentified local boy is shot by police.

5. “Curiosities of the Quiet Boy” — Quran Squire, LMU
USA, 11 mins.

A partially deaf 12-year-old undergoes a series of supernatural phenomena in the midst of mourning his mother.

6. “Gardeners of the Forest” — Ceylan Carhoglu and Nicole Jordan-Webber, Chapman
USA, 15 mins.

For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants. Today, there are around 400 elephants left. This short explores how the Chinese market, deforestation and tourism all play a role in the imminent extinction of elephants in Laos.

7. “This Year’s Angel” — Bethany Spreadborough, Emerson
USA, 8 mins.

It’s Christmas time and Matthias finds himself all alone — that is, until a beautiful angel appears atop the Christmas tree.

8. “Rosie, Oh” — Andy Koeger and Apple Xenos, SCAD
USA, 9 mins.

A one-shot short film following an unsupervised little girl as she wanders into her neighbor’s house looking for her lost dog.

The ShortList Film Festival has the support of partners IMAX, Red Digital Cinema, AbelCine, Topic.

Watch, vote, and share your favorite festival short film using #Shortlist2017 for your chance to win two tickets to the ShortList Film Festival award ceremony.