By Ray Myer
Sixty-three movies for next month’s inaugural Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Sanford were selected this week from 225 movies submitted by filmmakers around the world. Entries were from 15 different countries.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions we received in our first year – more than double what we were anticipating,” said Christina Grace-Beverly, media director of the Feb. 11-13 festival. “I think the audience will be pleased by the quality and variety of films.”
The three-day event organized by a nonprofit group in Sanford will feature films up to 30 minutes long in six different categories.
The movies will be shown at the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce. The chamber, which used to be a USO headquarters for dances and parties from 1943 to 1968, will serve as the weekend headquarters of this first Love Your Shorts event.
In addition to films from the United States, others from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, India, Thailand, Oman, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia were submitted for judging. Some of the films are subtitled.
The films chosen for the event have been grouped into categories and will be shown in blocks of about 1½ to 2 hours each: animation, comedy, documentary, drama, Florida Flavor, and sci-fi/horror. The Florida Flavor category is for films made in Florida, or by Florida filmmakers elsewhere.
“I think that we have compiled a solid lineup. There is undoubtedly something for everyone,” said Scott Gabbey, one of the festival’s board members. “I was amazed by the creativity involved.”
Film fans at each block will vote on their favorite movie. The winning movies from each block will advance to a final block for a panel of judges to pick the Best of the Fest.
Grace-Beverly said some filmmakers from as far as New York and Canada have responded that they’ll attend the festival.
On the final afternoon of the festival, a free discussion forum will be presented featuring several of the filmmakers attending the festival. The filmmakers will discuss their movie techniques, triumphs and tribulations.
Tickets for the festival are $6 per block and are available on the festival’s website, LoveYourShorts.com.