3 Film Shorts from SXSW Film Festival: After, Endless Day & The Village


Given the chaos of SXSW Interactive and how many parties, events, one-on-ones, book signings and panels there are, it was harder than most years to take in the best that SXSW FIlm had to offer. I stumbled upon five shorts one afternoon, only one of which was on my life: The Village.

The first one was entitled “After,” which is a ‘short film’ about contemporary life in Auschwitz. In an observation from dusk till dawn, it portrays the theatre of everyday life around the grim confines and captures the energies and activities of a world fascinated by this former concentration camp.

To be honest, I had a hard time following the thread or lack thereof although if I saw it a second or third time, it would probably come together. Starting with shots of soles of shoes getting glued in a factory, repaired and then laid out in a stack, then moving to a shot of a group getting photographed, followed by zooms in and out of wired fences and a rabi’s talk.

Endless Day followed, which was a short film in subtitles and takes on its own kind of darkeness, one which leads us to someone depressed, sleep deprived and unable to cope with the endless days that all run into one big blur.

For most people, sleep comes naturally, but for others, the night turns into an ongoing struggle to drift off into oblivion. This film explores what it’s like to be awake involuntarily and the feelings that accompany the passing of sleepless time.

Images mostly revolved around darkness implicating her inability to sleep. From dark images of branches, twigs, a train track, you too feel as if you’re in a lost faraway dream that will haunt you forever.

The Village was by far my favorite. Also using subtitles, the cinematography was amazing with great lighting and great angle shots, showing this small town life stopped in time.

Far away from any other urban centers, Itapuã is a small community with the characteristics and rituals of everyday life. The location, which sheltered 1,454 people and has more than 70 years of existence remains with only 35 residents all over the age of 60. No one likes to remember what the place was in the past, even though for many the memory is etched on their bodies.

Lastly, “Short Term 12” was the most popular movie at South by Southwest, winning top awards from both the festival’s jury and its audience. According to one piece I read about the film, Destin Daniel Cretton’s second feature-length film, based on his own experience working at a foster care facility, was never supposed to get made.  Cretton told the audience at the Topfer Theater in Austin that he “didn’t write the short to be a feature.”

Photos by Renee Blodgett. For more on Austin and festivals, including SXSW, go here.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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