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Sunnyside Shorts International Film Festival Returns Next Month, New Teen Filmmakers Category

Oct. 12, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The ever-popular Sunnyside Shorts International Film Festival will be returning to the neighborhood in November, marking a tradition now its in eighth year.

The one-day film festival will take place on Nov. 3 at the Sunnyside Reformed Church, where 17 films will be screened through the afternoon and evening.

The festival includes a new “for teens, by teens” category this year, with nine films made mostly by young adults from places like Turkey, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and, of course, Sunnyside.

The teen shorts, to be played in the afternoon, range from documentaries about Turkey’s Mount Ida and its nearby inhabitants, a disillusioned high-school senior who receives advice from his older sister, and a director chronicling her estranged relationship with her mother.

The remaining films, to be played in the evening, represent directors from countries like Iran, India, Spain, and the USA. The shorts tell stories of asylum seekers who form bonds through a volleyball game, a young girl who looks for a treasure in the forest with her grandfather, and a black man running against Trump for president under the slogan, “Make America Black Again,” with an all-white campaign staff.

The film festival’s judges and volunteered screened through almost 100 films before selecting the top ones for viewing.

The festival begins at 1 p.m. with the teen film screenings, to be judged by teens for awards. The evening films will play at 7 p.m.

The teen component is free, with tickets to the evening film screenings available for $12 online or $15 at the festival.

The Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival has its roots in 2001, when Shinichi Murota, a Japanese exchange student studying at Hunter College, created it for a class project. The film festival went on a hiatus when Murota returned to Japan, and was revived in 2016.

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Sandra H Statner

Looking forward to seeing this year’s films. Always a great time at this film festival.


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